In a recent New York Times op-ed, comedian Bill Maher defended the vulgar comments he’s made about women in light of the uproar of the vulgar comments Rush Limbaugh made about a woman. How? By claiming that it’s all fake outrage. Someone from one side says something offensive; the other side demands an apology. The next day, the roles reverse. So, Mayer says we should stop apologizing and stop being offended.
But think about what he’s actually suggesting: pretend words don’t matter. Of course they do, because right and wrong matter, and people matter. Bill Maher’s idea is essentially nihilistic: nothing ultimately matters, so laugh at everything.
Is that the kind of people we want to be? The kind who don’t acknowledge that words and actions affect others? The kind who allow women to be publicly demeaned? C. S. Lewis said: “Good and evil both increase at common interest.” Public outcry can help preserve the public good, and public apologies are needed to move on. For the PointRadio.org, I’m John Stonestreet.