Monday, December 7, 2020

Even if it cost you everything: Jeannie Gaffigan

 Depending on what you view for entertainment, you may or may not know who Jeannie Gaffigan is.  Hopefully, you know her husband, Jim Gaffigan.  Both are known as strong family values people and are openly Catholic.  So what does that have to do with anything?

Let me take you back a couple of years to a guy named Colin Kaepernick.  He was a pro-football player who refused to stand for the National Anthem.  He chose to kneel.  He was working to bringing attention and change to police interactions with the Black community.  He lost his job.  He lost his career.  He put it all on the line and it cost him.  Nike, the shoe company, then ran an ad campaign around not just Mr. Kaepernick but his sacrifice was the kickoff point.

Again, what the hell does that have to do with the Gaffigans?  Jim's career has been built on him being a good Christian dad.  Jeannie is an amazing writer and the brains behind his career moves.  They have granted lots of interviews and seek opportunities that are on-brand for them.  They don't go out and do un-Christian things.  They are so not-Hollywood.  It is more important to be true to themselves than to make money.  Like the Gaffigans are everything we want Hollywood Christians to be.  They appeal to Catholics.  They appeal to Christians.  They appeal to pro-family values folks.  In other words, their audience is a bunch of Trumpers, but not exclusively and in fairness, they haven't courted Trumpers, it just happens that those are the people who connect to them.

Oh hell, Martha, what is your point?  Well, a few months ago, they made the decision to come out in favor of Biden/Harris.  Jim released videos blasting Trump.  Jeannie tweeted Biblical and Catholic doctrine reasons for why as a Christian you can't vote for Trump.  Y'all, two people who didn't need to say a damn thing and who know that it could very well cost them everything spoke up because it was on their hearts.  They put their safety on the line.  They put their careers on the line.  

Keep in mind, they are not known for being political.  Their fan base could have turned on them completely.  They knew they could stay silent.  They could cast their vote privately and let people just assume who they would be voting for but no they stood up for what is right.  They got hate for it.  They lost some opportunities for it.  They never backed down.  Even today, they are getting threats and hate.  They are not backing down.

So what?  I was publically supporting Biden/Harris but I was very careful to not make any statements that labeled me a "Catholic for Biden" because I knew the hate that would come my way.  But when I saw the Gaffigans stand up, I did too.  I changed my Twitter profile to include that I am a #CatholicForBiden and man did the hate wave come my way.  I'm a nobody and I got hate.  I can't imagine what they got.

Why am I singling out Jeannie?  She is a mom.  She is a Catholic mom who is truly a role model for me.  I've been reading her tweets.  She is smart and funny.  She educates without insulting.  She quotes the Bible and Catholic doctrine not just responses with feeling.  She is amazing.  I hope to one day be able to put the perfect quote that shows caring and research.

Thankfully Biden won.  I'm more hopeful than I have been in the last four years.  I hope that more people stand up and keep Biden moving in the right direction.  The work is far from over.  As we keep moving forward, I just wanted to stop for a second and acknowledge Jeannie Gaffigan for being a role model.  She stood up when she didn't have to.  She risked everything for her beliefs.  In a world that praises making money and physical beauty above all, be Jeannie.