Is only some insensitivity wrong?
Religion & Liberty Online

Is only some insensitivity wrong?

Fox News and the Washington Post reported that actor Rob Lowe came under fire last week for making a joke on Twitter that poked fun at Senator Elizabeth Warren and her claims of Native American ancestry. After Senator Warren declared her candidacy for President, Lowe tweeted,



Lowe was immediately scolded by fellow actors like Mark Hamill and journalist Soledad O’Brien. Lowe deleted the tweet with a half-hearted apology, and lamented people’s “inability to laugh at anything” anymore

Critics lambasted Lowe for echoing President Trump and for being insensitive, I assume to both Senator Warren and to people of Native American descent.

Amidst all the criticism of Lowe I noticed something. Here was Lowe being criticized for lack of sensitivity and actress Valerie Bertinelli sent out a tweet that used the name of Jesus in vain.

This is a name that a billion Christians throughout the world from every nation and ethnicity hold to be sacred and only spoken with reverence. It is a violation of one of the 10 Commandments to use God’s name in vain. And in Catholic liturgy it is a custom to bow one’s head every time the name of Jesus is uttered.

Notice the irony here.

I have no problem with Ms. Bertinelli criticizing Lowe for an insensitive tweet, but must she offend millions of people while doing so?  Would she be so insensitive to other religions?

Or perhaps is it the case that only some insensitivity is wrong, or should I say, unfashionable.

Michael Matheson Miller

Michael Matheson Miller is a Senior Research Fellow at the Acton Institute