Becky Says...

July 2007

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Tammy Faye - July 22

I was going to link to the coverage in the Charlotte Observer of Tammy Faye Messner's death, but when I went looking, their piece, noted as being from staff reports, contained so many snide remarks that I decided to suggest you skip it entirely. Please go to the news service of your choice if you need any facts.

I am sorry she's dead. I was never her biggest fan, but I liked her. And as for the makeup, it reminded me of that worn by one of my favorite people from my hometown, a teacher in our local school. Martha the teacher, who was Lutheran, would probably have disagreed on the theological points. But I'm pretty sure they could have made serious friends in terms of makeup. And my feeling was more power to them!

I was in college when PTL got started, and would occasionally watch it just because I was so miserably homesick in those days and it was taped close to home. PTL came along at a time when a lot of people were searching for answers they weren't getting in their local congregations. Answers that said if you were just good enough you could go be in heaven when you died. And for a donation, you could get your very own Bible with the PTL seal on it.

No, I don't have one. I wasn't looking for those sorts of answers...I was just looking for something from home and for some reason there was no interest in televising my mother teaching Latin classes or my best friend doing her work for Belk's.

But some of the cousins had their very own PTL Bibles, proudly displayed. And more than one person from my home Lutheran congregation decided that a trip over to PTL headquarters for a taping of the show was a fine thing to do. One man I know of came home from the thing and asked our pastor if it were all right that he had been rebaptized. So the influence was strong.

So for a while PTL was tangentially part of my life. And then came the troubles, which I don't feel any need to address. But the show was no longer coming from close to home, so I quit watching. I did sort of keep up with Tammy Faye, because she cropped up in the news every so often. I was pleased for her that there was a good life after the fall.

I hate that she was so ill, but I think she taught us several lessons about the end of life and what does or does not matter. And my final thought is that she should rest in peace.

Text © copyright 2000-2007 Becky