- And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in (your) mind
by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.
I met Jane Fonda when I was 17 years old.
That was a few years ago.
I was a high school kid who had already been arrested in anti-war
demonstrations and idolized the movie star who had visited North
Vietnam, laughed as she looked through the sights of an anti-aircraft
weapon designed to shoot down U.S. pilots, tormented prisoners of war
and sided with the Stalinist regime in Hanoi.
I actually got to serve as one of Jane’s bodyguards at a speaking
appearance in the New York area.
I guess my view of Jane began to change after the U.S. pulled out of
Vietnam, withdrew all support of our former anti-communist allies and
watched as the long-predicted bloodbath took place in the south. That
was a tough one for the apologists of communism Vietnam-style. Even
anti-war crusader Joan Baez spoke out against the horror. But not Jane.
She continued to blame the U.S. — after all the U.S. troops were long
But that wasn’t the only thing that opened my eyes and changed my
worldview. It was also around that time that I became a follower of
Jesus, accepting the fact that He was who He said He was — the Living
God, the Way, the Truth and the Life.
I was pretty tough on Jane for many years. I have probably written
more angry columns about her misguided political and social actions than
any other living human being. Just check Lexis Nexis from 1988 through
1998. I’ll stack my anti-Fonda rhetoric against anyone’s.
One thing I confess I never did during that period — at least that I
remember — was to pray for Jane Fonda. I guess I figured that she was a
lost cause. Yet, there had been a time in my life in which I looked up
to her. She was a heroine to me. And then I condemned her as if she was
somehow too sinful for God’s forgiveness. How arrogant. After all, I was
no different than Jane. If she was beyond forgiveness, so was I. The
truth is, no one is beyond the forgiving power of Jesus, who died on the
cross and arose from the grave to extend grace to sinners.
I did not pray for my adversary. I tormented her as best I could.
Maybe it was my way of doing penance for my own sins — for having
briefly, as a youth, allowed myself to be seduced by evil.
It must have been somewhat effective, because, at one point, Jane and
her then-husband, Tom Hayden, actually tried to defuse my barbed written
assaults on them by sending their charming publicist over to meet me and
to reason with me.
It was no use. I continued the barrage — right up through one of
Jane’s most recent public political forays in June 1998, when she
babbled before the National Press Club on the need to spend more
globally on population control.
It was like old times for me.
But there was something different about the 1998 Jane. She claimed,
for the first time, to be a Christian. I assumed it was blasphemy. I let
her have it.
She deserved it for what she said that day. She was wrong, again. But
I didn’t take a minute to consider that maybe Jane Fonda was changing –
maybe she really was searching for the truth in her life. I had actually
heard that was the case and dismissed it. It couldn’t be. Jane was a
The fact that Jane Fonda has been saved, redeemed by the blood of the
Lamb, is testimony to the fact that only God knows which of us sinners
is going to spend eternity in His Kingdom. It has nothing to do with our
worthiness. It has to do with the shed blood of His Son.
It was a privilege, therefore, for me — Jane Fonda’s journalistic
nemesis — to tell the world about the miracle of her salvation. Who
says God doesn’t have a sense of humor — and a sense of irony?
- For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the
death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his