Does Rush Limbaugh Loathe Free Stuff?

Rush Limbaugh/2009/By Nicolas Shayko

Rush Limbaugh/2009/By Nicolas Shayko

Recently, I was listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio (don’t judge me). Whether or not you agree with Limbaugh on political and social issues, one must admit he has a keen mind for political analysis in a way that makes dry material entertaining and thought provoking, if not occasionally irritating. But during one particular show I heard him talking about millennials and how they resent the fact that they must have a cable subscription in order to access programming such as HBO on their smartphone and tablet aps. In other words, Limbaugh bemoaned the millennial attitude that they could not get their favorite programming for free simply by using an ap. I understand his frustration at this attitude. I grew up being taught that there is no such thing as a free lunch. But I could not help but notice the ironic hypocrisy in Limbaugh’s statement about millennials wanting free programming. After all, Limbaugh’s radio program is free to the public. Yes, I understand that advertisers pay for Limbaugh’s programming to exist. But it doesn’t cost me, the listener, anything (especially since I turn off the commercials . . . apparently I’m a wannabe millennial). I wonder how many listeners Limbaugh would have if his radio program was not free to the public.

My point is not to blast Limbaugh for hypocrisy. I just want to use his example to demonstrate how easy it is for ALL of us to be hypocrites. (I prefer to focus on the hypocrisy of others rather than my own . . . and that of course is the point.) We are told in the Bible not to judge, and yet a recent Church Leadership article titled “7 Signs You Are ‘Judging’ Others” pointed out that Jesus did a lot of judging. The article rightly points out that Jesus did not follow-up his judgments with condemnation. The article goes on to state:

“Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that one of the first signs of Christian maturity is a frustration with the hypocrisy of the church and a desire to separate from it.

But the next sign of growth is recognizing that the same hypocrisy in the church is present in oneself.”

Bonhoeffer had a gift for striking a little too close to home. I have been there . . . am still there. It is soooo easy to see hypocrisy and faults in other people and institutions. It ain’t so easy to face up to them in oneself. Facing up to our hypocrisies chokes that exquisite sinful feeling of moral superiority. I am not suggesting that we can never speak up about an issue for fear of revealing our own hypocrisy. The Bible instructs us to confront one another with a spirit of love, not moral superiority or condemnation. Accepting that we might be a hypocrite regarding faults we see in others should inspire us to have an attitude of love, or so I hope.

Matthew 23: 1-3 says:

“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: ‘The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.’”

This is a hard lesson to live. Some leaders and key people in our lives have tremendous wisdom and spiritual and moral instruction that we would be wise to implement. But then we see them fail to practice what they have preached. And wham bam the virus of hypocrisy gets passed to us. Even young adults who decry the hypocrisy they see among their elders (with a certain flair of self-righteousness, I might add) wake up one day and realize they too are hypocrites in many ways.

What is a Christian to do with this dilemma? The healthiest thing is to focus on our own hypocrisy and concern ourselves less, if at all, with the sins of others. Or we can refuse to acknowledge our own hypocrisies and remain in a place of stagnation. I don’t know about you, but I have enough hypocrisy on my own plate to deal with.

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Posted on July 22, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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