At this year's Golden Globe's ceremony, Ricky Gervais was again the host. Known for making outlandish statements at previous awards, Gervais, who has said that he would not host again, pulled no punches. He reminded the stars that their awards didn't mean all that much in the big scheme of things. He also noted that many stars were outspoken about certain subjects even though they were by no means experts in those fields. Just because one is a popular film star does not make one an expert in human rights, environmental matters or politics. They get a platform to speak because of who they are and not what they know.
In one way, I think Ricky Gervais has a point. If I am looking for some understanding about a political issue, a movie star is not necessarily the best source of information. For instance, much has been made of the fact that Jane Fonda has been arrested at several climate change rallies the past few months. Ms. Fonda is deeply concerned that human activity is having an increasingly detrimental fact on our environment. I happen to share Ms. Fonda's views. We must take better care of our earth which is our only home. However, I would do much better to read the actual scientific studies, do personal research on the topic , and listen to experts on the topic rather than Jane Fonda. I believe she is right, we do need to protect our planet, but she is not an expert.
We live though in a time where people seem to have more ways to express their opinions publicly. In this information age, people's opinions are shaped by what VIP's think about politics, current affairs, etc. I might be a fan of a certain hockey player but if I find out that that hockey player voices an opinion that is similar to mine on a certain topic, I might like him better. I might enjoy reading the works of a certain author but if I find out that she personally believes in something that I find to be abhorrent, will my opinion of her books change?
Each week, other than weeks like last week when I was on study leave, I get a chance to share a few thoughts with you the readers of my blog. In my blog, I always write as an individual. However, I know that if I post something that is too controversial it could easily reflect badly on not only myself, but on my congregation and church so such posts need to be made with care. No matter how big or small my blog readership is, I must always be aware that expressing opinions publicly is a risky privilege.
I write my blog and I know that there is just one thing I am an expert on- I am an expert on Darren Liepold. I might have strong opinions about gender rights, equality among all peoples no matter who they are, on war, on gun violence, on politics. I may have done some or a lot of research on these issues. However, I would find it quite scary if someone said that they did or didn't do something merely because Darren said. However, if someone said that they changed their mind because after reading my blog they conducted their own research and they came up with a similar view to mine, I would find that very satisfying. So that's they way I see it. Blessings.