It’s Therapy Time!

For the wages of sin is “having deep personal issues,” but the gift of mankind is eternal therapy.

It’s not exactly Romans 6:23, but it is the prevailing modus operandi of popular culture. What do Michael Richards, Isaiah Washington, Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan, Ted Haggard, and Gavin Newsom have in common? A good dose of therapy:

It used to be that celebrities sought treatment for things they put into their mouths. Now it’s for things that come out of them.

Michael Richards, warmly regarded for his oddball Kramer character on “Seinfeld,” began psychiatric counseling to control his anger just days after unleashing a racist tirade against black patrons at a comedy club. More recently, “Grey’s Anatomy” star Isaiah Washington said he would seek help after receiving a torrent of negative publicity for using a slur against homosexuals.

“With the support of my family and friends, I have begun counseling,” Mr. Washington announced after admitting, then denying, then admitting once and for all that he had used the invective last fall when referring to fellow cast member T.R. Knight, who soon after declared he is homosexual.

And, of course, the celeb story of the summer was Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic rant after he was pulled over for drunken driving. As with Mr. Richards and Mr. Washington, he quickly announced he would seek help through rehab.

So, are celebrities truly seeking to change the way they think? Or are they just doing damage control? Probably some of both.

The article’s writer leaves out Congressman Mark Foley’s exile into rehab for “alcohol abuse,” but it certainly fits, as does NASA’s renewed psychological testing procedures for astronauts.

In our world, personal angst has replaced wrongdoing, and rehabilitation has replaced redemption.