Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rush Limbaugh’s Comments about Michelle Obama

After I became aware of Governor Palin and Representative Bachmann’s panning of Michelle Obama’s efforts against childhood obesity and in support of breastfeeding, I read about Rush Limbaugh’s comments. The link below contains an article explaining his views.

If Mr. Limbaugh believes that Ms. Obama has been hypocritical, I think that is fair game for commentary. If he thinks her conduct doesn’t live up to what she is preaching, that is one thing. I don’t know that I would agree with him, but Mr. Limbaugh is certainly entitled to his opinion.

I don’t understand that Ms. Obama has advocated that we never ever indulge in foods that aren’t healthy. I’ve heard interviews where she admits a penchant for French fries, but she indicates she is careful to not eat them often or in great quantity. She advocates healthier foods to be the mainstay of one’s diet. Personally, I haven’t seen evidence of hypocrisy, but I’m a busy person and haven’t studied the White House dietary choices in detail. Maybe I’m wrong and Mr. Limbaugh is right on this point.

I think Mr. Limbaugh has a right to point out hypocrisy if he thinks he’s spotted it, but I think it is completely undignified, unhelpful, mean-spirited and hypocritical for Mr. Limbaugh to make snarky comments about Ms. Obama’s qualifications as a swimsuit model. Indeed, Ms. Obama’s emphasis is improving the health of our nation’s children, and I think most people understand that swimsuit models are not necessarily the best role models for healthy living. For a variety of reasons, I don’t want swimsuit models to be role models my children try to emulate. Many other parents feel the same.

But if hypocrisy is Mr. Limbaugh’s concern, then there is of course tremendous irony in Mr. Limbaugh of all people harping on another human being for perceived imperfections in physique. Politely put, Mr. Limbaugh is a heavy set man. He has himself struggled with his weight for a very long time. I don’t know Mr. Limbaugh personally, but for as long as I’ve been aware of him (about twenty years), he is has been pretty overweight. Impressively, he has been successful in losing a good deal of weight in recent years. Nonetheless, I understand this is an on-going effort and he is not yet to his ideal weight.

Because of Mr. Limbaugh’s own serious weight issues, it boggles my mind that he would ever say ugly things about someone else’s physique. I myself am sorely tempted to say something snarky about Mr. Limbaugh’s own qualifications as a swimsuit model. I will refrain from doing so. Snarkiness is compatible with neither Christ’s commandment to love our neighbor nor the Christian value of humility.

Sadly, Mr. Limbaugh has a history of judging women on their appearance. He has famously described feminism as a strategy to “to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.” See link below.

Additionally, Mr. Limbaugh famously popularized the delightful term “feminazi.” I understand he has since distanced himself from the term.

In my opinion, such rhetoric is incredibly demeaning and disrespectful of women. Mr. Limbaugh is a media celebrity and in essence an entertainer. Maybe he doesn’t mean any of the things he says. Perhaps he has a great deal of respect for women and just says such things because it makes him richer. I frankly have no idea.

Genesis 1:26-28 (The Message)

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them
reflecting our nature
So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,
the birds in the air, the cattle,
And, yes, Earth itself,
and every animal that moves on the face of Earth."
God created human beings;
he created them godlike,
Reflecting God's nature.
He created them male and female.
God blessed them:
"Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,
for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth."

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