Saturday, March 12, 2016

Griffith VS. "Griffith"

The political season is  in full bloom. Is there anything stranger, or at times nauseating, than politics? This is one of the best stories I have heard in the arena of public service, taken from November 11, 2006.

The elections are over but the fallout is in full descent. In Wisconsin, legendary actor Andy Griffith has filed suit against William Fenrick over the use of his name. In his quest to be elected sheriff of Grant County as an independent, Fenrick legally changed his name to Andrew Jackson Griffith. Fenrick, hoping to make political gain from the name of the revered sheriff of the fictional Mayberry, still finished third in a three-way race. The eighty year old sidekick of Barney, Floyd, Goober, and Earnest T. Bass et al, was not amused. The authentic Griffith contends the Andy-come-lately infringed on his copyright and trademark rights in addition to his privacy as he tried to link his name to the veteran of film and television. He is asking the courts to require Fenrick/Griffith to return to his original name as well as issue public apologies and disclaimers. For his part, the would-be politician claims he never reaped any financial advantage from the name change, insisting all promotional items that hyped the name of the famed actor were given away. Stay tuned! Could there be a Law And Order episode stemming from this conflict? I can hear the NBC ad now: "RIPPED FROM TODAY'S HEADLINES! Non-descript imitation politician steals storied actor's name in bold political power grab!" Your local news at 10:00 PM. I can't wait!

Invoking the use of another's name is nothing new. It isn't all that unusual to have a student forge a parent's name on a form or note. Kids have used false ID's for decades in an attempt to purchase alcohol as minors. Two thousand years ago, Jesus prophesied his name would also be used in a deceptive way as impostors would step forward claiming to be the Messiah. The Savior even predicted in Matthew 24 that the ruse would be successful as many would be led astray by the false claims. In John 8, as Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles, the crowd in the temple asked him bluntly, "Who are you?" His reply, equally as blunt, was
"Just what I have been claiming all along." What he claimed to be was one sent by his Father in heaven for the deliverance of the world. His name and his claims were authentic. He did not use deceit to prove a point or improve his popularity. He was simply who he said he was, the Son of God and the Son of Man. Those titles cannot be copyrighted or duplicated. There is only one rightful owner to wear those names: Jesus of Nazareth.

Applicable quote of the day:
"A name pronounced is the recognition of the individual to whom it belongs."
Henry David Thoreau

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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