Tv producer Norman Lear, who died final week on the age of 101, most likely could not get away in the present day with what he placed on the small display within the ’70s together with his iconic sitcoms “All within the Household” and ” The Jeffersons”. As Mel Brooks did in his movies “The Producers” and “Blazing Saddles,” Lear undermined the facility of bigotry with humor.
Lear additionally had a political facet. It was politics that introduced us collectively within the 80s. He based a bunch referred to as Individuals for the American Method, which was opposed to numerous teams on the non secular proper, together with the Ethical Majority, for which I used to be a spokesman for a time. We met in Washington when he graciously invited me to take a seat at his desk and hearken to his Nationwide Press Membership speech. I joked if being seen with me would possibly damage his profession.
Lear was a fight veteran of World Struggle II. He informed me he would struggle in one other conflict “if they might take me at my age” ought to America once more face the same menace. He stated he loves America.
In 1998 I interviewed him for my e book, co-authored with Ed Dobson, entitled “Blinded by Would possibly: Why the Non secular Proper Cannot Save America.” It is fascinating what you’ll be able to find out about political opposition once you take the time to hearken to them. Within the interview, Lear stated one thing that the majority conservatives may agree with: “I believe the largest reason behind the decline in ethical values has been the escalating short-term, bottomless ‘give it to me now’ philosophy.”
Lear blamed a few of that on the abuse of the free enterprise system, the place corporations really feel the necessity “to have an revenue assertion this quarter that is greater than the final, on the expense of every other worth. You see it in the way in which tabloidism has grown on, within the sort of tv all of us agree we do not wish to see anymore.” Scores, he stated, trump any worth.
Lear lamented the variety of advertisements in so many exhibits, together with his personal, which he stated convey the message “you’re what you personal, you’re what you drink, you’re what you put on, you’re what you scent, you’re what you eat. “
Relating to questions then and now concerning the correct function non secular individuals ought to play in politics, Lear stated, “They’ve each proper and obligation to precise themselves socially, culturally and politically,” however with a caveat that he stated ought to be in accordance with the Structure.
As a younger Jewish boy rising up in Brooklyn within the 30s, Lear stated he listened to radio broadcasts by Father Charles Coughlin and Carl McIntire and their “rants” about Catholics, Jews and blacks. Lear stated he felt “threatened” by such discuss. I believe I can predict what he may need stated concerning the present wave of anti-Semitism sweeping the nation. He would have felt much more threatened.
Lear famous the hypocrisy of some non secular leaders on the time—he particularly talked about Pat Robertson—”when one second he is calling me ‘anti-Christian’ and the following he is saying how he loves everyone.” Lear quoted from a letter he acquired from Robertson proclaiming his boxing award with golden gloves and warned ‘The suppression of God’s servant’s voice (talking of himself) is a horrible factor! God himself will struggle for me in opposition to you—and he’ll win.’” The final half was underlined for emphasis.
This sort of discuss is what many Christians would name “a foul witness” when presenting the message of Jesus, which incorporates loving your enemies and praying for many who persecute you.
I’ll miss Norman Lear, not solely his expertise, however his voice of cause on the American political scene. Fortuitously, his TV exhibits and the values they embody are nonetheless accessible when you can put up with all of the advertisements which have the underlying message Lear hated: You might be what you personal, eat, drink, scent, put on and client.
Readers can e mail Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Search for Cal Thomas’ newest e book “A Watchman within the Night time: What I’ve Seen Over 50 Years Reporting on America” (HumanixBooks).