Roseanne is certainly a character, and bold. Sometimes she just says whatever comes into her head without regard to the consequences. In a way you have to admire her for that—for her courage and boldness and straightforwardness. But you also should recognize that she doesn’t exercise much control over her tongue. We all need to tame our tongue. An untamed tongue can get us into a lot of trouble, and Roseanne admitted that she said things that she shouldn’t have said.
Okay, stepping back a bit, let’s take a broader and deeper look at this whole Roseanne situation and see what we can learn from it. First, what does the bible say—about any of it?
1. The bible tells us that all have sinned (Rom. 3:23). And sin originates in the heart and then comes out through our speech and actions, and even our attitudes. Jesus taught this well in Matthew 5:27-28 when He taught that a man who looks with lust on a woman commits adultery with her in his heart. Thus this sin is not only the physical act but is also of the mind.
In regard to racism, I think most of us are guilty to some degree even if we don’t express it—because we may be thinking it—or even having a superior attitude. Now that doesn’t get Roseanne off the hook, but it certainly tells us that she isn’t the only racist. Most of us, or maybe all of us, are in the same boat with her. She just expresses what many of us are thinking or feeling.
2. Forgiving others is God’s way. Forgiveness and tolerance is another very important bible principle. For some reason, people find it easy to forgive some sins, but for other sins, like racism, there is no forgiveness. And I think I know why—which I will explain in point three.
But the reason why it is important to be tolerant of sinners and to forgive them for any sin (when they repent) is because the devil will use the spirit of unforgiveness against us—against those who don’t forgive, and also against the sinner. Hence, when there is unforgiveness, it will eventually lead to sorrow, bitterness and hatred—even war (read 2 Cor. 2:6-11).
In Roseanne’s case, I am not necessarily opposed to what happened to her show; however, she did say she was sorry and regrets her words. So I hope we will see some actions of forgiveness. But since forgiveness is a Christian principle, it may be asking too much. We will see.
3. People are in search of a perfect society. If you were to stop and ask yourself why we are now so intolerant to racism, I think the answer you will eventually come up with is that we are in search of a perfect society. Hence, when we look back at America’s history and see the ugliness of slavery, we can’t help but react the way we do with intolerance and with a great desire to correct our society.
But our intolerance is also a sin! And it not only has not solved the problem of racism, it has added more problems, problems of hate and bitterness.
And if we look at other groups of people, past and present, we will see the same scenario—that they have sought to form perfect societies—according to their own ideas. One example is the Muslims. Their idea of a perfect society is disallowing all homosexuals and Christians and Jews. And their solution is to punish them and even kill them. Another idea they have is to make sure that all women have their head covered, and that they must obey their husbands in all things. And again, if they refuse they will be punished or even killed. Hence their idea of a perfect society is of a dominate male married to a subservient wife.
Another example is the idea that Hitler had—to have a perfect race. Thus he set out to eliminate all imperfect people (crippled people) and all Jews.
Americans and Europeans have ideas of a perfect society too. Our idea is to have a society that welcomes all people and that everyone will accept without question everyone’s choices of behavior, and that everyone will be nice and polite to each other and speak well of each other.
I see this more and more everywhere I go. We open doors for each other, we smile at each other, and we except each other’s dress and actions without question. The only problem is, if anyone forgets to open a door for someone this may be the cause of a fight to break out!
Here is a list of things that may be required of our American perfect society.
- No hate speech allowed. People must not make racist comments or speak against homosexuals, Muslims, or blacks. So because of this rule we know that Roseanne will probably not get her show back or be forgiven.
- America will welcome all immigrants no matter what they have done. And we will protect them all in our sanctuary cities. Our country is a country without walls!
- Anyone who speaks against anyone because of their skin color, or sexual orientation, or religion (except Christianity) will be punished.
Now to be truthful according to what is absolutely true, the only perfect society will come about with a perfect and holy God in charge and according to His perfect standards. All people that trust in God’s Son and live according to His ideas and directives found in the bible, and are controlled and empowered by His Spirit will someday live in His perfect society.
But since we are living in an imperfect world, that perfect society will not be realized until all sin is gone and Christ rules over the earth and over all things. At that time and place there will be no more sin and all that people say and do will be in praise to God and with a spirit of love for all.