Opinion: Columnists

No need to 'apologize' for your faith

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Opinion,Gregory Kane,Columnists

Would someone please tell me what Angus T. Jones is apologizing for? For the past nine years, Jones has been a co-star on the CBS television show "Two and a Half Men." Specifically, the 19-year-old Jones played Jake Harper, the "half man" in the series.

As Jones grew older, he apparently developed religious convictions. Christian ones. That doesn't sit well with those who want America to become a country where devout Christians end up with their pictures on wanted posters.

Jones made a YouTube video in which he talked to a Seventh Day Adventist minister. In it, he trashed his show, which has been a perennial hit. "I'm on 'Two and a Half Men,' and I don't want to be," Jones said in the video. "Please stop watching it. Please stop filling your head with filth."

Now had Jones gone on some ANTI-religious rant and dropped that OTHER "f" word in the process, Hollywood and media types couldn't praise him enough. But making a stand for Christianity? Why, the nerve of this guy!

Probably the only thing worse than religious hysteria is anti-religious hysteria. Check out these two linked headlines provided in a story about Jones and his comments that ran on the New York Daily News website:

"Angus T. Jones Backtracks, Aplogizes For Wacky Condemnation Of 'Two And A Half Men.'

"Aplogizes?" My kingdom for a copy editor!

"They Said What?! Stars Who Make Scandalous Remarks .... Publically."

"Publically?" Is there an illiteracy requirement in entertainment journalism?

Jones' remarks have America's feed-them-Christians-to-the-lions crowd so unhinged that some of them can't find -- much less use -- the spelling and grammar check function on their computers. The anti-religious bigots became similarly unhinged by the remarks of another man devoted to his faith: Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Yes, Farrakhan is a Muslim, and he is not easy to defend, given the accusations that he is an anti-white Jew baiter. But, like Jones, Farrakhan isn't hesitant about calling out filth in the entertainment industry when he sees it.

Last year, Farrakhan took issue with a performance Rihanna gave at the Grammy Awards show. He felt his fellow West Indian's performance was more than a little risque. There is a fine, clear line that separates sexy from downright skanky, and after viewing Rihanna's performance, I had to agree with Farrakhan: the performance crossed way over that line -- on the skanky side.

"If you enjoyed that performance," Farrakhan said, "you are starting to become a swine." Media types reported that as "Farrakhan calls Rihanna's fans swine," when it was clear he did no such thing.

High school wrestler Joel Northrup got it just as bad as Jones is getting it now, and as Farrakhan got it in early 2011.

Northrup hailed from a religious family in Iowa. He was home schooled, but allowed to wrestle for Linn-Mar High School.

A 112-pounder, Northrup had to face a girl in the first round of the 2011 Iowa state high school wrestling tournament. With a record of 35-4, he had a good shot at winning a championship. But, citing religious reasons, Northrup decided to forfeit the match rather than violate his principles. Do you think he was universally praised?

Hardly. Sportswriters that had never written about and knew nothing about high school wrestling before -- and haven't since -- couldn't wait to tell us how awful Northrup was.

Jones probably decided to apologize before the heat became too intense. But if he felt he was right, what was he apologizing for?

Much of what passes for network television fare these days is filthy. Or stupid. Or insulting to the intelligence.

There's no shame in pointing that out.

Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

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