Paul wrote: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10, emphasis mine).
I’ve read that passage many times, but the word “revilers” jumped off the page. The Greek word, loidoros, means “one who reviles; one who speaks profanely or rails at abusively.” It refers to irreverent speech that is hurtful and crudely disrespectful. The verb “rail” can also mean “to complain loudly and bitterly,” and it implies that the criticism contains nasty rumours or untruths.
Whether you listen to news broadcasts, talk radio or political commentary or read online forums or Facebook comments, it is common place now to hear/see hurtful and crudely disrespectful speech. Revilers can’t just disagree politely. They have to shout, and they have to lace their comments with vicious attacks and malicious jabs. Revilers also feel a need to drop F-bombs and use vulgar language in every sentence to make sure their words are as vile and hateful as possible.
Revilers have no respect for people in positions of leadership, either. Whether they are talking about a president, the CEO of a company, a college president, an athlete or a stay-at-home mother, revilers pounce on their prey and skewer their victims with abusive words that have been dipped in the acid of hate.
Comedian Kathy Griffin watches as her attorney Lisa Bloom (L) speaks at a news conference in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, June 2, 2017. (Reuters/Ringo Chiu)
Kathy Griffin is one of only three women who’ve won a Grammy for best comedy album. Her profanity-laced stand-up comedy routines made her a hit on HBO, and she was voted one of the funniest women alive by the Oxygen network a few years ago. Her popularity soared in recent years because of the way she irreverently pokes fun at politicians and celebrities.
But few people were laughing last week when Griffin posted images of herself holding a model of President Trump’s head dripping with fake blood.
Even though Griffin apologised for her botched attempt at political humour, saying, “I beg your forgiveness,” venues around the nation quickly cancelled her scheduled appearances.
As could be expected, within a few days, she declared that she was the victim and blamed the Trump family for trying to destroy her career.