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Tammy Faye Passes
July 21, 2007 6:53 PM   Subscribe

Tammy Faye Bakker-Messner has passed away. Love her or hate her, she has been a cultural fixture. Televangelist in the midst of a landmark scandal, documentary subject, friend and hero to the gay community, friend of Ron Jeremy.
posted by The Deej (230 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 6:54 PM on July 21, 2007


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posted by ZachsMind at 6:55 PM on July 21, 2007


I personally found the way the skeletal Tammy Faye was paraded around the news media over the past few days revolting. While the headlines all spoke of her bravery and hope and never ending humour, to me it just looked like a big game of "Look at the Freak!"
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 6:57 PM on July 21, 2007


Awww. Here's hoping she found her heaven just as she expected it.

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posted by jokeefe at 6:58 PM on July 21, 2007


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posted by octothorpe at 6:58 PM on July 21, 2007


I was thinking of her the other day, as I had posted that she had given up her quest for a cure. It's a very sad thing to lose someone who gave so much of herself to the people she loved. It's sad not only for the Bakker family, but to who were her adopted family, who were her loved ones, and who made her life beautiful to the end. God blessed her.
posted by parmanparman at 6:59 PM on July 21, 2007


At least she outlived Falwell. That had to feel pretty good.
posted by tkchrist at 7:02 PM on July 21, 2007 [4 favorites]


,

sorry, that dot's makeup ran a bit
posted by Mikey-San at 7:03 PM on July 21, 2007 [16 favorites]


Tammy Faye Bakker wasn't an awful person, then? Any bad thoughts about her are like spatters of mud thrown off by the excreable Jim Bakker, she's but an innocent bystander?

Huh.

. , then.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:05 PM on July 21, 2007


there is a god
posted by mattoxic at 7:06 PM on July 21, 2007


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posted by brain cloud at 7:08 PM on July 21, 2007



posted by Poolio at 7:08 PM on July 21, 2007


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Hopefully they allow mascara in heaven, or we won't recognize her when we get there.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:10 PM on July 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


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posted by daninnj at 7:11 PM on July 21, 2007


She was an original.


It wouldn't surprise me a bit if the Lord met her at the Pearly Gates with a burger and fries.
posted by konolia at 7:11 PM on July 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


I personally found the way the skeletal Tammy Faye was paraded around the news media over the past few days revolting.

Thank goodness I missed all of that.

I spent some time with the Bakkers before "the fall." Despite being laughed at as the "crazy make-up lady" (which she was graciously self-deprecating about) she was, in person, very genuine and warm, and ready to welcome and love anyone she came in contact with.

Aside: In Charlotte, North Carolina, home of the PTL Club, a popular item for sale at the local malls was a t-shirt that said "I ran into Tammy Faye at the mall," beneath which was a graphic of heavily smeared make-up in a rough face-like shape. She found such things funny, and would often say "Any old barn looks better with a coat of paint!"
posted by The Deej at 7:11 PM on July 21, 2007 [6 favorites]


Despite all the hype and hoopla, and make-up, there was something kind of neat, and kind of honest there. Rest in peace Tammy Faye and God bless your soul.
posted by caddis at 7:16 PM on July 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


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posted by ottereroticist at 7:16 PM on July 21, 2007


I hope Christians learn to take a page from her notebook and learn to get along with people they don't like.

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posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:18 PM on July 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


Ha! Thanks for that, The Deej. For all their sins, anyone who can take a good-natured joke, or make one, at her/his own expense is on the side of the, as it were, angels. I didn't follow Tammy Faye's adventures in recent years, but she always did strike me as someone who knew how to laugh (and cry, streakily) at her own foibles and defeats. In my universe of choice, any deity would surely approve of brazenly quirky-ass characters like her.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:20 PM on July 21, 2007


Watching the New Jim Baker Show occassionally I never heard Jim Baker mention his former wifes battle with cancer.
Maybe he did but I am not a devoted viewer of his show
posted by robbyrobs at 7:22 PM on July 21, 2007


a wonderful example of acceptance and tolerance

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posted by exlotuseater at 7:23 PM on July 21, 2007


Tammy Faye Bakker wasn't an awful person, then?

Tammy Faye was just a person, like me and you, capable of both awful things and wonderful things.

I hope when you and I die that we are not remembered only by our failures. Hers happened to be used to sell papers and advertising time on news shows.
posted by The Deej at 7:24 PM on July 21, 2007 [5 favorites]


By the way, to anyone who hasn't seen The Eyes of Tammy Faye... check it out. You don't have to like Tammy or anything to do with her, but if you like good film making, you will like it.
posted by The Deej at 7:26 PM on July 21, 2007


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posted by psmealey at 7:28 PM on July 21, 2007


"she's but an innocent bystander?"

I resemble that remark.
posted by InnocentBystander at 7:28 PM on July 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


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posted by katillathehun at 7:32 PM on July 21, 2007


I didn't think I had any more respect for Larry King to lose, but his line of questions put to TFBM on Thursday was spectacularly crass, even for King.
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:39 PM on July 21, 2007


She never did express any regret for her role in the PTL Club stuff. I think that's what's saddest of all.

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posted by dw at 7:39 PM on July 21, 2007


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I always thought she was a whack job until I saw 'The Eyes of Tammy Faye'. What a great movie. My opinion of her changed completely after that. I too hope she has found the heaven she sought.
posted by PigAlien at 7:39 PM on July 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


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I wish they all were like her--she was never hateful, and never tried to make her religion our laws.

It was so hard to see her on Larry King the other day (but brave of her too--she was always so looks-conscious). And she raised a cool son too--he's not a hater either. Thank you, Tammy Faye. : >
posted by amberglow at 7:50 PM on July 21, 2007


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posted by TuffAustin at 7:55 PM on July 21, 2007


Wow, that Larry King clip is painful. :(

Tammy benefited from the money raised by PTL, no doubt, but if you think she was part of a scheme to bilk people, you seriously overestimate her guile. Her ingenuousness was not an act.
posted by The Deej at 7:59 PM on July 21, 2007


an interview from 02
posted by amberglow at 8:02 PM on July 21, 2007


. indeed. Brave woman. Nothing else to say at this point, but in a way she will be missed, and I hope inner peace has found her.

*bracing for inevitable negative snarkiness in thread*
posted by rmm at 8:05 PM on July 21, 2007


If she never did as much good as she claimed, neither did she do as much harm as she was accused of... we should all have as much fun in life breaking even...

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posted by wendell at 8:05 PM on July 21, 2007 [6 favorites]


A friend of mine just opened a musical based on her life here Houston. I wasn't planning to see it but I think I will now.
posted by zoey08 at 8:06 PM on July 21, 2007


Tammy Faye on Larry King, 65 lbs, some substantial amount of which must have been mascara.

No, I feel differently. No nice thoughts. She supported and was enmeshed with Christian fundamentalist right wing crooks. She enabled rooking millions from poor people, while living high on the hog, both husbands nailed for fraud, she was in cahoots with Falwell, laundering the millions she raked in off believers. She is part and parcel of the sick, ignorant dupes who have allowed the psycho Bush dynasty and its behind the scenes puppet masters to rule and get away with their stuff, silent and permissive because the Bush Klan is so-called Christian.
posted by nickyskye at 8:09 PM on July 21, 2007 [6 favorites]


RIP, Tammy Faye.

I saw that interview on Larry King, there's very few people I'd wish that level of suffering on and she was most definitely not among them.
posted by jonmc at 8:14 PM on July 21, 2007


nicky, i'd always heard it was Falwell who blew the whistle on Bakker, and was envious of their success.
posted by amberglow at 8:17 PM on July 21, 2007


I agree nickyskye, somewhat. I think that she may have been of that set, initially, but I really think her views matured as a result of everything that happened with PTL and Hahn. Seeing "The Eyes of..." really changed my opinion of her. I can't imagine any of the current crop of hateful Christofascist warmongering greedheads being so comfortable as an icon of the gay community, or befriending the likes of Ron Jeremy, for that matter. And her appearance on Larry King was really just victim porn for LK, as far as I'm concerned. He really is such a consistently gigantic piece of shit.

I went to check out her website, which is down. My browser shows the note on her page in the google cache as black on black, so for anyone interested, here it is just in case:
July 16, 2007

My Dear Friends,

It has been such a long time since I've written and I am so sorry for the long delay. I have been in bed for almost a year now. I have times when I feel good and times when I feel really bad. But, I have learned one thing about feelings. They have NOTHING TO DO WITH FAITH IN GOD!! He is the SAME yesterday, today and forever. He NEVER changes. That is what the Bible says and God's word does not lie EVER!

There have been many days when I felt so terrible with my back and stomach, that I have hardly been able to breath. I cry out to the Lord knowing that many of you are praying for me. In spite of it all, I get dressed and go out to eat. I may only be able to eat one bite, or sometimes ten bites, but I swallow each bite in "faith believing". There are MANY times it doesn't stay with me long at all, but I keep trying and HE helps me.

My daughter is here a lot of the times to give me my medications and to make sure I don't forget. When I got sick, she literally moved in and gave me hugs and kisses that are so needful during this period of ones life. She said, "I want to take care of my Mom". I gave her the last couple weeks off to go home and spend time with her children, James and John. They are well taken care of while Sissy is gone. My girlfriend, Deborah has been staying with me for the past 3 weeks. We have been friends for thirty years, so we know each other well! She gave Tammy Sue some much needed rest and she has taken up where Sissy left off. She will be here for two more weeks. How grateful I am to have such strong, loving, support around me. Then of course, there is my wonderful husband! We moved from Charlotte, N.C. to Kansas City, Missouri. He came here every weekend to build me a new house and when I got here, it was ready to move into, bed and all!! They had it beautiful and it is the most beautiful home I have ever seen. He has wanted to build me a house for 13 years, and I finally let him! His children and grandchildren have come every weekend to visit us, and it is so much fun! Someone I cannot forget is a friend named Daina. She worked so hard, I thought she was going to get sick. Bless her heart. I have to have help eating, bathing, doing my hair, taking my medicine, and help just getting comfortable, which is really hard for me to do.

I try really hard to eat and keep the food down, but sometimes, it is like my throat would just shut down on me, and the food comes right back up. So through all the prayers, I have finally gained some weight. I have gone from 60 pounds, to 65, for which I am very thankful.

I ask in great humbleness that you pray that I will be able to eat without it coming back up. I crave hamburgers and french fries with LOTS of ketchup! When I can eat that again, it will be a day of victory!

In closing, I want you to know that I am praying for you and your loved ones and I am believing God for complete healing. God is a healer of EVERYTHING!

I will let you know when I get to eat my hamburger! HA!

[Signed]Tammy Faye
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posted by nevercalm at 8:19 PM on July 21, 2007


Believe in God or not, one thing is sure: She'll never see Jimmy Bakker again.

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posted by SteveTheRed at 8:28 PM on July 21, 2007 [4 favorites]


whatever happened to Jessica Hahn? The last thing i heard was ages ago--she had had tons of surgery and was in Playboy and music videos or something...
posted by amberglow at 8:31 PM on July 21, 2007


In fairness to Larry King, I have read that the Messners requested the interview.

And of all the things to accuse Tammy of, being "in cahoots" with Falwell? I'd sooner believe she'd have gone to the mall sans makeup.
posted by konolia at 8:31 PM on July 21, 2007


Believe in God or not, one thing is sure: She'll never see Jimmy Bakker again.

if laughing at that is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
posted by Poolio at 8:31 PM on July 21, 2007


For you folks out there mightily restraining yourselves from the snark (I understand, the snark lives strong within me as well) consider whether you would have the courage, ability, or sufficiently strong desire to communicate with others, to present yourselves on national television when you time comes, when death is just a day or two away.
posted by scheptech at 8:31 PM on July 21, 2007


This thread has taken a much kinder tone than I would have expected.
posted by orange swan at 8:32 PM on July 21, 2007


she had had tons of surgery and was in Playboy and music videos or something...

indeed she was
posted by jonmc at 8:32 PM on July 21, 2007


she was in cahoots with Falwell, laundering the millions she raked in off believers.

Wow. Secretly in cahoots with a sworn enemy, and engaging in money-laundering. Get the info together about that, because that would not only make a great FPP but 60 Minutes, 20/20 and every other news show on the air would love to look into that.
posted by The Deej at 8:36 PM on July 21, 2007


I agree that "the Eyes of Tammy Faye" did make me feel a sympathy for Tammy Faye, and I certainly wouldn't wish her suffering on anyone, not even Dick Cheney or Andrew Lloyd Weber. As a genuine agnostic, I hope she's enjoying her hamburger in heaven.

But there is a facile naivite in her "I love every one of you" that troubles me. I don't want to speak ill of the dead, but what about self examination? Well meaning people were deceived and wronged by the PTL, and by the current administration, and a host of other "good Shristians". We U.S.ians need to learn to judge the Christian right without malice, but also without giving them a free pass, just 'cause they mean well and feel bad when they are caught.

Tammy Faye deserves the same sympathy any human being does. But don't we owe ourselves a little more? Shouldn't we care about those who are duped by people of faith?
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:36 PM on July 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


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posted by MythMaker at 8:37 PM on July 21, 2007


Jerry Falwell pretended he was going to protect Jim Bakker, and ended up stealing it.
Jessica Hahn

posted by amberglow at 8:39 PM on July 21, 2007


Sail through the center of the sun into the vortex at the center of the galaxy then beyond where even experimental mathematics dare not compute.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:41 PM on July 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


We U.S.ians need to learn to judge the Christian right without malice, but also without giving them a free pass, just 'cause they mean well and feel bad when they are caught.

Not one person on Earth gave her a free pass, and certainly no one gave him one. I think many of us look at her compared the others in her cohort, and find her better than the rest of them, and certainly as someone who has done far less damage to individuals and the whole country than the rest of them.
posted by amberglow at 8:42 PM on July 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


but also without giving them a free pass

I don't see a whole lot of "giving Christians a free pass" happening. If anything Christians in the public eye are not even given the benefit of the doubt that others get.

If you specifically mean that we shouldn't give Tammy a "free pass" now that she has died, for something that happened 20 years ago, and for which she likely had no culpability, legal or not... well I don't see what there is to give her a free pass about.
posted by The Deej at 8:44 PM on July 21, 2007


Not one person on Earth gave her a free pass, and certainly no one gave him one. I think many of us look at her compared the others in her cohort, and find her better than the rest of them, and certainly as someone who has done far less damage to individuals and the whole country than the rest of them.

or we'd just rather be compassionate than vengeful. we're sentimental that way.
posted by jonmc at 8:44 PM on July 21, 2007


a popular item for sale at the local malls was a t-shirt that said "I ran into Tammy Faye at the mall," beneath which was a graphic of heavily smeared make-up in a rough face-like shape.
The Deej, I had one of those. Bonus Charlotte trivia--the building that housed the first PTL headquarters was sold to them by my father's architecture firm.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:45 PM on July 21, 2007


Tammy Faye and her con artist ex endorsed Pat Robertson and the whole, disgusting rip off of televangelism.

"Contributions requested from viewers were estimated to exceed $1,000,000 a week, with proceeds to go to expanding the theme park and mission of PTL. Eventually, Jerry Falwell, with the backing of a $20,000,000 drive took control of the PTL."

"Their assets at that time included a $600,000 house in Palm Springs, four condominiums in California, and a Rolls Royce. In their success, the Bakkers took conspicuous consumption to an unusual level for a non-profit organization. PTL once spent $100,000 for a private jet to fly the Bakkers' clothing across the country. It also once spent $100 for cinnamon rolls because the Bakkers wanted the smell of them in their hotel room. According to Frances FitzGerald in an April 1987 New Yorker article, "They epitomized the excesses of the 1980s; the greed, the love of glitz, and the shamelessness; which in their case was so pure as to almost amount to a kind of innocence."

She said homosexuality is a sin on level with all the other sins. On par with what other sins, like mass murder or waging war on Iraq? Oh please, some mascara money-grubber pretending to be Christian gives a head-nod to gays and that makes her con okay?

So she had cancer. Likely so did many of the people who sent money to her for her extravagances, so they could buy "miracles".

She is part of the militant ignorance of Christian fundamentalists in America who are truly creating mass suffering in the world with their pro-Bush war mongering, narrow-minded bigotry and gloating all the way to the bank, while playing poor little victim when death comes down the pike, as it does to all human beings.
posted by nickyskye at 8:47 PM on July 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


"*bracing for inevitable negative snarkiness in thread*"

I may have this story remembered incorrectly, please feel free to correct me where I'm wrong.

Early on in the days of Mystery Science Theater 3000 they ribbed a movie that featured a young Beverly Garland performing in a B rated flick, and they were none too flattering to her.

Soon after that episode aired, Ms. Garland called the MST3K boys and asked if she could swing by. They welcomed her and showed her around their humble set. She was very good-natured about it all and complimented their work and was pleased to see something she did so long ago was getting notice again, even if they were making fun of her performance.

Ever since then, whenever they did a movie with Beverly Garland in it, they'd rib the other actors but she usually got more gentle treatment, and I don't recall any of the MSTers having anything bad to say about Ms. Beverly Garland.

Moral of the story? If you insult someone, and they smile at you and take it well, it squeezes all the venom out of the wound, and makes it pointless to bite the same hand a second time.

Tammy Faye Baker was a good sport, and a kind-hearted soul. IF she deserved any punishment for anything she might have done in her life, that was between her and her God, and looks like God took care of that fine. Dying of cancer ain't all roses and chocolates, mkay? No need to add insult to injury on this one.

Any negative snarkiness that might happen in this thread will probably be (and I believe should be and hope to God will be) good natured and friendly, just as the lady in question was.

Previous references to her makeup habits? Meh. Easy, predictable targets, although it's par for the course. I imagine the day when (heaven forbid) we acknowledge Dolly Parton's passing, there'll be the requisite wisecracks about her ..attributes.

Personally, I'll thank her for Jolene and Coat of Many Colors. Then I'll leave the requisite puncuation mark and surf on.

Thank you Tammy Faye. The world was a much more interesting place having had you in it.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:53 PM on July 21, 2007 [5 favorites]


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I'm not a big fan of Christianity, or religion in general for that matter. I developed and trained my suspicious cockeye for it during the Bakker years.

Christians, take out your notebooks. Tammy Faye was a true Christian. May she rest in peace in the realm of wherever lies between her and my beliefs.
posted by rollbiz at 8:54 PM on July 21, 2007


The Deej, I personally find that they very often get a free ride and are given far more than the benefit of the doubt. From Karla Faye Tucker to children whose children die accidentally, conservative Christians get a far easier time of it in the media than non-Christians.
posted by watsondog at 8:56 PM on July 21, 2007


Oh please, some mascara money-grubber pretending to be Christian gives a head-nod to gays and that makes her con okay?

She did more than a head-nod--for years and years she publicly and repeatedly told other Christians to cut the shit and stop hating on us. I won't bend over backwards defending her life and actions, but she was no Dobson or Falwell or Robertson, etc. And even at their height, they were never about legislating against us or demonizing us. They never used us to raise money. They never demonized anyone else to raise money, unlike every single other one around.
posted by amberglow at 8:57 PM on July 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


There haven't been any true Christians since the apostles, and some of them didn't make it either.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:57 PM on July 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


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I'm not a Christian, nor a supporter of her or her scammy husbands, but it was a sad death, a painful one, and not something that should happen to anyone.

There's a cliched statement "you can't take it with you"...referring to material possessions. Sometimes I wish it also meant that people who are left behind after someone's death should just drop whatever dislike, grudges, and issues they heaped on the departed person during their life.

If there is a time to get over something, it's when the tangible target of the issue has left this mortal coil.
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:58 PM on July 21, 2007


oh god I swear we've done this before
posted by BaxterG4 at 8:59 PM on July 21, 2007


Bonus Charlotte trivia--the building that housed the first PTL headquarters was sold to them by my father's architecture firm.

Wow MrMoonPie, that's something! Was that the old furniture store, you mean? I don't think I have ever seen, before or since, a more beautiful urban area than Charlotte.
posted by The Deej at 9:03 PM on July 21, 2007


I don't think I have ever seen, before or since, a more beautiful urban area than Charlotte.

Bern is much nicer.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:06 PM on July 21, 2007


conservative Christians get a far easier time of it in the media than non-Christians

Which begs the question: is Mefi "the media"?

(Remember, 1000's of readers, paid ads and all.)
posted by scheptech at 9:09 PM on July 21, 2007


From Karla Faye Tucker to children whose children die accidentally, conservative Christians get a far easier time of it in the media than non-Christians.
posted by watsondog


Well, we must both be experiencing confirmation bias.
posted by The Deej at 9:10 PM on July 21, 2007


A sad death is what is happening to millions of people in Iraq, who are being slaughtered because of right wing Christian war mongers, who Tammy endorsed.

It would be interesting to find out if Tammy's hanging out with gays, while saying homosexuality is a sin like all other sins, helped gays be accepted by Christians? Or did it just make Tammy a great drag queen idol, along with other over-mascaraed divas? Maybe, for her, it was less about accepting gays and more about her getting attention from a new audience she hand't bilked before?

Comparing televangelist fraudsters with "true Christian"apostles?

Bakker reached out to Falwell, to cover his ass because of his (Bakker's) raping Hahn.

"Bakker arranged for Falwell to take over PTL in March in an effort to avoid what he called a "hostile takeover" of the television ministry by people threatening to expose a sexual encounter he admitted to having seven years earlier with church secretary Jessica Hahn."..." According to Hahn, on the afternoon of December 6, 1980, when she was a 21 year-old church secretary, she was drugged and raped by Bakker for "about 15 minutes" and another preacher, John Wesley Fletcher. Later, she overheard Bakker comment to another PTL staffer "Did you get her too?"[3]

The September 21, 1987 issue of Time noted that Jerry Falwell "plunged" down a 163 foot "hellish" water slide in fulfillment to "a promise made during a fund-raising drive that netted $20 million for the debt-ridden PTL."[
posted by nickyskye at 9:12 PM on July 21, 2007


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I never saw The Eyes of Tammy Faye (although I want to!), but I really liked her on Surreal Life 2. Rest in peace, Tammy Faye.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:14 PM on July 21, 2007


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posted by Joey Michaels at 9:14 PM on July 21, 2007


Maybe, for her, it was less about accepting gays and more about her getting attention from a new audience she hand't bilked before?
Maybe it was. Who knows? We like a mess, and she qualified. : >

It not like we adopted Anita Bryant or Hitler or Cheney or someone like that. She had no history of even being rude to us ever, let alone trashing us or demonizing us or making money off hating on us.
posted by amberglow at 9:17 PM on July 21, 2007


She did more than a head-nod--for years and years she publicly and repeatedly told other Christians to cut the shit and stop hating on us.

From a review of The Eyes of Tammy Faye:
But then the movie turns on a scene where Tammy Faye talks to a AIDS victim. We have to remember that in the early 80's, paranoia and fear was still going on about AIDS, and I'm just going to say it: A lot of so called men(and women) of God did not treat AIDS victims well. Not only did Tammy treat this man with respect, she asked people to pray for him. Now this might not sound like a big deal, but for her to do this was such a revolutionary act, and incredibly brave.
posted by The Deej at 9:17 PM on July 21, 2007


You know, nicky, this is hard bc I pretty much totally agree with you to the letter. And I agree that back in the day, she was knee deep and leading the fray of the worst abuses of the whole selling of religion to the poor and whatnot.

But where we differ is that I also think that she had a pretty good fall after the pride, and really seemed to have learned a valuable lesson as a result. And if we're to be subjected to evangelicals (and it seems like we're stuck with them for the time being), I'd much rather they be like TFM than, say, Dobson or Falwell. I don't know the first thing about you, but I hope that even you would have to agree that the country (and the world) would be a better place if all the unchristlike christians around were more like this:

MW: There are many Christians who say gay is evil, that it’s an abomination.

TAMMY FAYE: I think being gay is just being a person who has a different thought on life. They're just people. I don't think that God categorizes people. I went to Disneyland one time, and it rained -- it’s so awful when it rains at Disneyland -- and everyone disappeared inside. And when the rain stopped and everybody came out, every single person had yellow raincoats on. You couldn't tell the fat from the thin, the rich from the poor. You couldn't tell anyone from anyone else. And that day I looked up and I said, "God, I think this is how you see us, all in yellow raincoats, and only you have the permission to look under those yellow raincoats."


Simplistic/trite/whatever? Sure. But much better than what passes for christianity in most places these days, the "God Hates Fags" and "Shock and Awe" and the wholesale holocaust of non-believers in those awful Left Behind books, is all I'm sayin. Sure, she's still selling religion, which I have a whole bunch of thoughts about I won't get into here, but she went to her grave preaching (and practicing, more importantly) tolerance and kindness and grace.

(I can't believe I'm going this far to defend anyone that religious.)
posted by nevercalm at 9:17 PM on July 21, 2007 [12 favorites]


I remember watching Falwell go down that waterslide on TV. Not his finest hour, to be sure.

One must remember that Falwell was a Fundamentalist and as such looked askance at Jim and Tammy's Pentecostal beliefs, never mind whether or not they were bilking people. It didn't take him long to take full possession of the grounds and make sure Jim and Tammy no longer had access.

By the way, I am old enough to have watched Jim and Tammy's show back in the day. My opinion is that if you sent them money you knew exactly what you were getting for it.

(I never sent them a dime.)
posted by konolia at 9:18 PM on July 21, 2007


(And in my quick googling, I couldn't find much about whether she was into Bush et al. If she was, then, fuck her.)

Just kidding, kinda.
posted by nevercalm at 9:21 PM on July 21, 2007


Bakker reached out to Falwell, to cover his ass because of his (Bakker's) raping Hahn.

JIM Bakker reached out to Falwell. TAMMY Bakker warned him NOT to sign over control, but he ignored her and did so anyway.
posted by The Deej at 9:21 PM on July 21, 2007


she went to her grave preaching (and practicing, more importantly) tolerance and kindness and grace.
amen. : >
posted by amberglow at 9:26 PM on July 21, 2007


$
posted by WCityMike at 9:27 PM on July 21, 2007


While I kind of enjoyed the sheer weirdness of Tammy's life, I'm torn, because as nicky notes...her legacy is ambiguous at best. She was employed and married into an industry that took money from a lot of people who were probably too poor to spare it, but who wanted God to know they were devout. And used that money to buy fabulous lives, not to help the poor. That's a lot of forgiveness to ask.

One of the devout was my granny, by the way; she used to send in her donations with notes to Tammy that she was wearing too much makeup (!) My granny was probably typical of her audience; married at 15, six kids, never finished high school or learned how to drive, Assembly of God/revival tent Christian. My granny was a good woman, but she was too trusting, and sent a lot of her money that could have been used better to people like the Bakkers. Sure, she shouldn't have been gullible, but does that let people who took advantage of her off the hook?
posted by emjaybee at 9:27 PM on July 21, 2007


hmmm, perhaps we should just port over the comments from here and call it a day? Pretty much the exact same conversation, only with less periods.
posted by edgeways at 9:33 PM on July 21, 2007


and really seemed to have learned a valuable lesson as a result

From her heavy-duty mascara on her last TV appearance, she learned nothing.
posted by nickyskye at 9:34 PM on July 21, 2007


Nickyskye, it is my understanding that she had that permanent eyeliner tattooed on years ago. (Along with eyebrows and lipliner. )
posted by konolia at 9:37 PM on July 21, 2007


.

I'm in the camp of having more respect for her after seeing The Eyes of Tammy Faye....one of the things I remember from it regarding gays was her saying something on the order of :"God created everyone, and God doesn't make junk".

I remember that t-shirt...my uncle's then-girlfriend saw it and had no idea who she was.
posted by brujita at 9:40 PM on July 21, 2007


well, that fabulous life was taken away from her--twice. And she learned it had never really been fabulous to begin with, with the cheating husband, and bilking of funds, and then the fraud of the 2nd husband...
posted by amberglow at 9:40 PM on July 21, 2007


This is all very dumb.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:41 PM on July 21, 2007


There would not have been a PTL empire without Tammy Faye Bakker. Her Charisma and sincerety and medium talent with puppets helped to drive that engine of God-commerce over the top.

She was always sincere, one could tell. A good heart should sometimes be loud and hard to miss, don't you think?
posted by longsleeves at 9:44 PM on July 21, 2007


And used that money to buy fabulous lives, not to help the poor.

There is an argument to made for what is proper compensation for the heads of non-profits, religious or not. The Bakkers' compensation was at least 3 million in the highest year. That was about 1% of the total income. In my opinion, despite the low percentage, it does no one any favors to pay a minister that much, but it was not illegal.

It's not accurate to say they didn't help the poor. But the vast majority of their fund raising pitches were not to help the poor, but to help support PTL in "spreading the gospel" by paying for airtime, and build Heritage USA. A staple of the tv show was Jim Bakker in front of construction sites, hard hat and all, showing the "partners" what their donations were being used for, and asking for more to complete the project.
posted by The Deej at 9:48 PM on July 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


.

She turned out all right, in the end. Hard to forgive those early puppet shows and all that high living, though.
posted by mediareport at 9:50 PM on July 21, 2007


Metafilter: Hard to forgive those early puppet shows and all that high living

: >
posted by amberglow at 9:51 PM on July 21, 2007


.
God speed and God Bless, Tammy.
posted by echolalia67 at 9:52 PM on July 21, 2007


And as for, "God, I think this is how you see us, all in yellow raincoats, and only you have the permission to look under those yellow raincoats."

"look under the yellow raincoats" ? *eye roll*. So, now there is no sane, intelligent way to discern the qualities of one human being from another? All human beings are the same and so that's why it's not okay to 'see' the different characteristics? But, in her pea brain, only God can be that blind.

Blindness to attributes makes for tolerance? No way. That's touting ignorance-is-bliss, rather than knowing is okay. To me that condones blindness not clarity, not working with or knowing about the complexities and myriad details, not being awake, not seeing, which I think of as a fundamentalist idiot mind-set.

No, I don't see redeeming qualities there.
posted by nickyskye at 9:54 PM on July 21, 2007


.
posted by rubyeyo at 9:54 PM on July 21, 2007


Nickyskye, your analysis of Tammy is overthinking a plate of beans.

Really.
posted by konolia at 9:55 PM on July 21, 2007 [4 favorites]


read that whole interview, nicky, esp the parts about what she has to say to Christian parents of gay kids, and about how it's wrong that Christians are so judgmental and cruel. It's not ignorance is bliss, but about loving everyone as they are.
posted by amberglow at 9:56 PM on July 21, 2007


about accepting everyone as they are. too.
posted by amberglow at 9:59 PM on July 21, 2007


.


(RIP, nickyskye's ability to grasp metaphor)

posted by The Deej at 10:03 PM on July 21, 2007


IF she deserved any punishment for anything she might have done in her life, that was between her and her God

And, presumably, the Prosecutor's office.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:16 PM on July 21, 2007


Bye Tammy Faye. I always liked you more
than your ex-husband.
posted by squidfartz at 10:16 PM on July 21, 2007


.
posted by zippity at 10:17 PM on July 21, 2007


Sorry, nickyskye, but Aunt Linda just called and gave your comments on this thread a "ghaa!" as well as a "What?" and an "Oh, brother!"
posted by zaack at 10:40 PM on July 21, 2007


No, when it comes to Christian fundamentalists, I don't care what saccharine camouflage she employed to attempt to cover her decades of connections with con artists and distract from her abject greed, bs is bs is bs.

You want to mourn a clown crook who spouted Hallmarkisms, go for it.
posted by nickyskye at 11:09 PM on July 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:10 PM on July 21, 2007


Well, alright, then, nickyskye.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:10 PM on July 21, 2007


,
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:10 PM on July 21, 2007


.
posted by lapolla at 11:17 PM on July 21, 2007


Make that two "Oh, brothers"
posted by zaack at 11:17 PM on July 21, 2007


Attention attention... We now have permission to mourn.

Also, intolerance on display in the food court.
posted by The Deej at 11:18 PM on July 21, 2007


I remember her from "The Surreal Life" a few years back. She seemed a rather intelligent, positive, likable person, once you got past her apparent airheaded-ness. The fact that she and Ron Jeremy became friends--not to mention her support of gays and lesbians--tells me there was a lot more to her than the vast majority of fundamentalist types.

.
posted by zardoz at 11:24 PM on July 21, 2007


Seriously, nickyskye, I am not sure what you are trying to prove here. I have an abiding distrust of most religions and those who readily and often describe themselves as "religious". However, your comments on this thread just put me off. I guess it's the old messenger getting in the way of the message thing. Maybe something about picking battles in there as well.
posted by zaack at 11:26 PM on July 21, 2007


.
posted by awesomebrad at 11:39 PM on July 21, 2007


Reading Nickyskye and amberglow, two commenters I respect very much, disagree, I guess I can only respond (appropriately) with a line from the Good Book:
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
posted by orthogonality at 11:51 PM on July 21, 2007


.
posted by annasbrew at 12:08 AM on July 22, 2007


Talk about a 'trip and a half'!

RIP, Tammy Faye.
posted by trip and a half at 12:12 AM on July 22, 2007


Seemed like a sweet lady who hooked up with a crazy fuck. God bless you Tammy.
posted by autodidact at 12:23 AM on July 22, 2007


I think it's even crazier that konolia and amberglow are effectively agreeing. Heh.

Thing is, amberglow and nickyskye are BOTH right. That's because she was, in the end, complex, contradictory, and very hard to put in any box. While nickyskye is quick to smear her in with other fundamentalists like Falwell and castigate her for the sins of her past, she's ignoring everything that came after PTL, her attitudes towards the gay community, and any idea that she is a redemptive character. OTOH, amberglow is quick to point out her rise to a cult figure among the gay community and her brand of Christian positivism as a counterbalance to the fire and division of fundamentalism, but he passes over her complicity with PTL's money scandals and her unwillingness to take any of the blame for it herself.

In the end, your stereotype is too small. Tammy Faye was bigger than any of these easy pigeonholes and easy dismissals or lionizations. She was a redemptive figure that never sought to be redeemed, a hateful and greedy figure who spread love and self-giving, a walking cartoon character who was both the punchline and the set-up.

Grotesque, strange, greedy, loving, emotional, she was every stereotype the world holds for Americans -- and Americans hold for Americans. The type of person you celebrate publicly and vilify privately (or vice versa). She was American, in every form. She was a character that O'Connor or Faulkner or even O'Toole would throw aside because she was just too unbelievable.

God bless you, Tammy Faye, you scoundrel.
posted by dw at 12:42 AM on July 22, 2007 [9 favorites]


"I was thinking of her the other day, as I had posted that she had given up her quest for a cure. It's a very sad thing to lose someone who gave so much of herself to the people she loved. It's sad not only for the Bakker family, but to who were her adopted family, who were her loved ones, and who made her life beautiful to the end. God blessed her."

Sorry, not buying. She and her ex-husband made millions and lived extremely well off the contributions of people who believed in them, some of them very ill and praying for a miracle.

As for her "not knowing" what was going on, uh, she was an officer of the PTL corporation. If she didn't know, it was because she didn't WANT to know.

I'm not entirely convinced that she didn't turn her then-hubby in to the government in exchange for a secret deal to not charge her with the same crimes. Isn't it just a wee bit suspicious that she subsequently married the guy who built Heritage, USA?

She and Jim were crooks "for" Jesus. Both of them cynically exploited other people's superstitions. I'm sorry for anyone who knew her and loved her, but I just don't feel much grief over her passing. If you want to feel bad for someone, feel bad for the people who bought those Holy Time Shares they never got to use. And how about the old ladies on fixed incomes and others who sent money they could ill afford to the Bakker bastards because they thought it was going to the Lord?

As for Tammy, well, sometimes assholes get cancer.
posted by Cranky Media Guy at 12:57 AM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think it's even crazier that konolia and amberglow are effectively agreeing. Heh.

From the fourth link of the FPP:

Bailey: I think that's why I wanted to make the film, because between these two polar opposites--the gay community and the Christian right--was you. And the only way you might understand both the communities was through you.

Tammy Faye: See, God is a bridge. And I want to be a bridge. I want my life to be a bridge.
posted by The Deej at 1:03 AM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 2:12 AM on July 22, 2007


Sorry, not buying. She and her ex-husband made millions and lived extremely well off the contributions of people who believed in them, some of them very ill and praying for a miracle.

It's an interesting question, isn't it? If you happen to be gullible enough to believe in your scam, does that somehow make it OK? If I'm punting laetrile as a cure for cancer, or some herbal concoction as a cure for HIV, will God meet me at the Pearly Gates with cheeseburgers and fries as well?

Because, you know, massive financial rewards are a pretty good incentive to hold fast to some pretty ludicrous ideas. Ideas that can justify your taking advantage of the slow witted and the gullible.

I think if I were a Christian, I'd probably want her to burn in hell, but as an atheist, I'm all too conscious that she's just gonna get consumed by worms -- a fitting and equitable end for us all.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:33 AM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


It amazes me that the mefites, usually so cynical & unabashedly cold-hearted, can mourn the death of this arguable sociopath, when other intelligent ideas can be dismissed based on knee-jerk dismissal. Hey, Rube. You've been suckered.

We all die, & most of us in fact will die of a painful disease. Them's the facts. That she died in this manner in no way excuses her from being a con artist.

She was no different than her husbands (why do you think she married two corrupt bastards in a row?) except instead of money being the main goal of her life, she craved attention & compliments.

Why else did she parade herself on tv in the last days of her life when she looked like a cadaver? For exactly the response you are giving.

I have experience with the bottomless pit personality of a sociopath - they are charming & will do anything to get you to be on their side - but they don't have empathy & they don't feel remorse. This woman was a huckster & demonstrated no remorse for the money she helped scam from desperately poor & ignorant people. Instead she just wept a lot & tried to play 'poor me'. Don't be deceived, she knew what she was doing every step of the way, in a cunning, instinctive way.

One dead Xtian fundamentalist. A good start.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 3:51 AM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think if I were a Christian, I'd probably want her to burn in hell, but as an atheist, I'm all too conscious that she's just gonna get consumed by worms -- a fitting and equitable end for us all.

Wise words, PeterMcDermott. And those who believe in reincarnation can console themselves that she will probably be reborn as a centipede with 50 legs.

(metaphorically, of course - I know how many legs centipedes actually have)
posted by Sparx at 4:06 AM on July 22, 2007


\\\/// \\\///
< *> < *>
posted by spitbull at 4:19 AM on July 22, 2007 [5 favorites]


.
posted by pieoverdone at 5:51 AM on July 22, 2007


so, who gets to be metafilter's token christer now?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:00 AM on July 22, 2007


.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:20 AM on July 22, 2007


First Jerry, then Tammy. Could someone please start preparing Pat Robertson? This is working out to be a good year cleaning out evangelists.

Yes, it is horrible that she died of cancer, I wish that on no one, nor am I going to act like our evangelist "friends" on the other side of the political and sanity spectrum by saying she deserved it. No one does.

However, i can say I side on her with how much she said that she's definately going to heaven. Just like those rapture and heaven bumper stickers proclaiming that crap, that's pride my friends. I don't think there's a heaven, but if there was you definately shouldn't be let in on those grounds.
posted by Chocomog at 7:09 AM on July 22, 2007


I need to stop posting without enough coffee in my veins. She's not going to heaven. You are also correct saying worms are too kind.
posted by Chocomog at 7:12 AM on July 22, 2007


You know, there's a middle ground somewhere between "she's a saint we should crown her!" and "OMG! Sociopath! Fundies deserve to die!" Do you think some of you could try to find it? Jesus Christ.
posted by LeeJay at 7:20 AM on July 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


One dead Xtian fundamentalist. A good start.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse


Woo hoo! While we are at it, folks of all kinds of faiths and creeds have died painful deaths, so let's celebrate that too...

One dead Muslim fundamentalist. A good start.


One dead atheist. A good start.


One dead Hindu. A good start.


One dead Buddhist. A good start.


One dead agnostic. A good start.


One dead Wiccan. A good start.


One dead Catholic. A good start.


One dead MeFite. A good start.
posted by The Deej at 7:34 AM on July 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


By the way, I am old enough to have watched Jim and Tammy's show back in the day. My opinion is that if you sent them money you knew exactly what you were getting for it.

(I never sent them a dime.)
posted by konolia


Such christian values, blaming the victim. Maybe you're just brilliant. Or maybe many of those who were robbed were elderly, or desperate, or not real bright. Maybe they were the same age group that's frequently targeted for scams today, and always have been.

You honestly believe all those people knew they were being ripped off and did it anyway? Maybe you're right. Sounds like something jesus would say. "They had it coming to them, fuck 'em".

I remember her from "The Surreal Life" a few years back. She seemed a rather intelligent, positive, likable person, once you got past her apparent airheaded-ness. The fact that she and Ron Jeremy became friends...
posted by zardoz


You do realize that reality shows are basically scripted, right? Villains and good guys, story lines, even dialogue often scripted. She may have been all those things, but of if you're using a reality show to back up anything chances are you'd fall for the same type scam konolia would condemn you for.
posted by justgary at 7:35 AM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Karma has a hellofaway of coming back and biting you in the arse.
posted by Webbster at 7:47 AM on July 22, 2007


Or maybe many of those who were robbed were elderly, or desperate, or not real bright.

or maybe they thought that their intention in sending the money was what mattered between them and god and it was ptl's problem with god if they didn't live up to that trust

at least one person explained it to me in those terms ... that doesn't seem to inquisitive enough for my taste, but ...

You honestly believe all those people knew they were being ripped off and did it anyway?

no one's making them watch ... no one's making them write the address down, write out the check, put it in an envelope, put the stamp on and mail it

it's no defence of the bakkers to state that people have to have personal responsibility for themselves, too
posted by pyramid termite at 7:47 AM on July 22, 2007


She was unique amone evangelicals. I appreciated the way she could love and accept people who very different than herself, and she was among the first to treat AIDS patients with compasion.

And I loved it when she played Mimi Bobeck's mother on The Drew Care Show.
posted by Jatayu das at 7:50 AM on July 22, 2007


it's no defence of the bakkers to state that people have to have personal responsibility for themselves, too

That's what trips me up. I really do feel sorry for the people that were bilked but at the same time, when a stranger tells you to send them money, a stranger on TV wearing expensive clothes and jewelry and makeup, and you do it, well, it's hard to put all the blame on the Bakkers. Just because someone wraps up their bullshit in the name of God doesn't mean you automatically become a pitiable victim for falling for said bullshit. You're still expected to think critically about the situation.
posted by LeeJay at 8:10 AM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


.
posted by mike3k at 8:23 AM on July 22, 2007


How incredibly sad to wake up to see this (although it was expected). I hope that she is not surprised and at peace.

.
posted by Jikido at 8:24 AM on July 22, 2007


she looked bad, but not as bad as the ghoulish Larry King anyway -- I'm not against her appearing on the show, she was starved for attention to the very end and clearly enjoyed going on TV, no matter how dead she looked, the exploitation there was going both ways as it usually doesit's fine by me. When, flipping channels, I saw her there on CNN, weighing less than her wig, I simply switched to something else (Adult Swim, if I remember correctly, dumber than CNN but marginally funnier).

anyway it's clear that, if they let him, he'd have even her corpse on the program, trying to get her to talk about her cheeseburger with the Lord at the Pearly Gates -- I'll-do-anything-for-a-buck Larry never disappoints.

the only significant difference between the Bakkers and Larry King, that trio of TV scammers, in the end, is just that he's way smarter than they ever were.
posted by matteo at 8:35 AM on July 22, 2007


Such christian values, blaming the victim. Maybe you're just brilliant. Or maybe many of those who were robbed were elderly, or desperate, or not real bright. Maybe they were the same age group that's frequently targeted for scams today, and always have been.

That all sounds fine and good, except that if all they did was bilk the elderly they wouldn't have had the empire they had. And also, you're saying that old people are stupid sheep. Good job on that.

The "health and wealth" movement was all about the sheer amount of money God was blessing these preachers with. Anyone watching these programs would be able to figure out pretty quickly that the extravagant sets and the nice clothes weren't being delivered by angels straight from Dillard's. But on some level, you want to believe it. You want to believe that there's some simple and magic formula that will lead to a blessing. It's the same thing that puts people on crash diets. And so, completely normal, intelligent people decide that even if looks like a scam and smells like a scam it may not be a scam.

I remember my grandfather coming into town when Oral was raising money for City of Faith. At that point, my grandfather (and his third wife) were pretty gung-ho believers in Oral and the prosperity gospel people. He wasn't some dullard or fool -- he was a doctor, been chief resident, founded a local hospital. And yet, here he was off to the Mabee Center for The Big Meetin'.

And when he came back, he talked about how people were standing up and promising elevators and ventilators and door knobs, and it was at that point that my grandfather finally realized that Oral Roberts was a con artist. He walked away, and eventually divorced wife #3 over it.

People were conned with the Bakkers. Some certainly were ripped off, lost life savings, completely flim-flammed, but others, well, they chose to believe in something that was being contradicted by the evidence in front of them. Tammy Faye played a role in that, a role she never fully owned up to. But it's not as cut and dried as "the Bakkers took the money of poor, defenseless people." It never is.
posted by dw at 9:04 AM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


I personally cannot bring myself to care.
posted by chuckdarwin at 9:31 AM on July 22, 2007


.
posted by treepour at 9:57 AM on July 22, 2007


There's something odd about fame
And those who are touched with the same
As soon as they're rottin'
Their sins are forgotten
And mention of failings is shamed.

Consider the former Miss Bakker
Who lived most of life as a taker
And now that she's gone
Dupes are singing her song
Just proves there's no surfeit of suckers.
posted by The Confessor at 10:09 AM on July 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


nickyskye, i've looked at all your links and excerpts, and all i can find is a lot of stuff on Jim Bakker, and nothing on his wife. is this it? given what we know about him, i don't have a lot of difficulty imagining that he could have been conning her as well. given what we know about her, i wouldn't surprised if she was just blissfully ignorant about their lifestyle.

however, histrionics like this
A sad death is what is happening to millions of people in Iraq, who are being slaughtered because of right wing Christian war mongers, who Tammy endorsed.
do you no credit whatsoever.

there are many, many fundamentalist wackos out there who are evil to the core and who exploit those around them to the hilt while engaging in the most rank sorts of hypocrisy -- Jim Bakker, Oral Roberts, Ted Haggard, and many others. there are also many deeply religious people out there, some of whom have warped beliefs, and some of whom follow those beliefs to miserable ends, but they certainly deserve a smaller share of the blame. those who are willing to reach past their personal prejudices, change their minds, who can act out of love and belief at the same time despite being pulled both ways by everyone around them, are rare indeed and deserve our sympathy and support. everything i've ever seen indicates that Tammy Faye fell in that last category.

and while she may have been imperfect, i'd suggest respectfully to you that you compare what you're doing with what you ascribe to her. the worst sorts of fundamentalists and reactionaries -- of any political brand -- are those who cloak themselves in righteousness and spit venom at anyone who disagrees with them. but even if everything you've said about Tammy Faye were true, i've never seen nor heard of her displaying the vitriol you have in even one of your comments here, let alone the entire thread. that matters. propagandists, slanderers, and hatemongers are a dime a dozen -- people like Tammy Faye Bakker are far rarer and more valuable.
posted by spiderwire at 11:52 AM on July 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


I want to thank nickyskye for stopping by and sharing your thoughts about all of this. I can tell by your comments that you really, really care about all those Christians that were duped and want nothing but the best for them, and there's nothing the least bit disingenuous about it. Bless your heart.
posted by dhammond at 11:56 AM on July 22, 2007


Confessor; I normally block your posts out but today you've hit the nail on the head. I saw "Eyes of Laura Mars" once and the critics thought that was slick and gimmicky as well.
What nickyskye and orthogonality said.
posted by adamvasco at 11:57 AM on July 22, 2007


thank you dw, spiderwire and all others who have been able to view someone with a little more depth and analysis. It's nice to see some folks in the thread see more dimensions of human nature than pure goodness and evil. There's a whole lot of grey in between two dualistic extremes, and the vitriol displayed about her is rather a sad reflection of the people spewing it than the subject matter it's supposedly about...
posted by rmm at 12:34 PM on July 22, 2007


There's a whole lot of grey in between two dualistic extremes,
I think even those of us who didn't hate her (or actually liked her) don't see her as any kind of embodiment of goodness or Christianity at all. It's all relative. (I personally think if we have to have "public Christians" at all, we're better off with them being like her than like the others who feed and thrive off hate and demonization and evil. Selfish, needy, a mess, and conman-ish, etc, is far far far better in my view.)

(i really wonder what's going to happen here when Sen. Byrd dies. This whole Tammy Faye thing reminds me of how people really do change and grow.)
posted by amberglow at 12:45 PM on July 22, 2007


She was selling a product in her earlier days, and herself as a product in her later days. It's how celebrity works, and we see it all the time. Beyond that, i ask if the harm she caused outweighed any good she did--earlier or later.

Did she leave the world even a tiny bit better than she found it, or no? /one of my religion's big rules--and i think she did.
posted by amberglow at 12:50 PM on July 22, 2007


(one drag queen weighs in on another) Lady Bunny: STICKTORIA BECKHAM AND TAMMY FAYE
posted by amberglow at 12:53 PM on July 22, 2007


I'm reminded of Anita Bryant too--an entertainer/singer/etc, and then ever since the 70s a force for hatred and division who used her access to the spotlight (her "bully pulpit", which is fitting) for bad.
posted by amberglow at 1:00 PM on July 22, 2007


There's a whole lot of grey in between two dualistic extremes, and the vitriol displayed about her is rather a sad reflection of the people spewing it than the subject matter it's supposedly about...
posted by rmm


To be honest, there is less spewing than I expected, but a few of of the spewing comments are downright scary.

We are all grey.
posted by The Deej at 1:08 PM on July 22, 2007


I was going to leave this thread alone and just nod silently to Tammy, but then I watched the YouTube clip of her on Larry King, and it completely broke my heart.

The sight of a person, any person, at death's door as she is in the interview is too powerful and upsetting to be ignored, but for someone like her, an appearance like that is as powerful and mythic as they get. The Tammy Faye we will carry in our heads is a cartoon, a bloated stereotype that somehow became its own archetype. A waddling, bawling, or strangely introspective kewpie doll imbued with a grab-bag of the best and worst human traits, with barely enough self-awareness to survive, but a heart that strove to make up for it some how.

For her final performance, she shattered her own image. In unveiling the sight of her bones and the sound of her gasping voice, she drove a stake through the heart of her caricature and achieved, in my opinion, no small redemption. Rather than leave her public with their vision of her intact, as so many celebrities vainly do, she chose to pull down the curtain and show us the transformation she had made, and then to immediately vanish into oblivion leaving us to contemplate our own bodies, hearts, and souls.

Just a woman, mostly, but a brave woman, ultimately.
posted by hermitosis at 1:38 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


We are all grey

What a crock.

Seeing grey is useful for a person who compulsively sees only in black and white.

But only seeing grey is neither sane nor healthy either. No good, no bad, no accountability, no opinion nothingness as a kind of pseudo superiority, a way of appearing not to feel passionately about something? Totally bogus bs.

There are people who do bad things. Sometimes bad people do good things. There are decent people too, who sometimes do bad things. That doesn't make people grey.

From what I've read, Tammy Faye's actions, over decades, supporting men who committed fraud, taking money from ignorant people in order to lead hedonistic lives (one of whom was committing and condoning at least one known drugged rape at the same time), using religion to do it, using televangelism in the deception, squandered lives of sheer greed with Praise The Lord as the mantra-for-dollars, her obsession with appearances (and looking ridiculous in her obsession) outweighed what appeared to be good in her life.

And for those who think she left her body to the worms, which might have been a plus for the worms, she didn't. She chose to be cremated, as she said in the Larry King interview farce, "so the bugs wouldn't be eating on" her body. She says it twice. Not even food for worms.
posted by nickyskye at 1:45 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


We are all grey

What a crock.


OK, then. We are not all grey. I think I have found the exception.
posted by The Deej at 1:52 PM on July 22, 2007


Nickyskye, what could we be saying about you if we went over you with the same fine-toothed comb?

That Book that I personally cling to and the God that Tammy and I both worship has said that by the same judgement we judge with, we will be judged.

I personally think Tammy had a laundry list of flaws. But she loved much. And she gave grace. I believe that grace is what she is receiving now.
posted by konolia at 2:11 PM on July 22, 2007


.
posted by moonbird at 2:24 PM on July 22, 2007


the same fine-toothed comb

?! Say wha? It's a "fine toothed comb" that picks out glaringly obscene greed, taking in tens of million$ (almost 200 million) in "donations", like to her flying her clothes across America in a jet for $100,000 fund? Aiding and abetting two criminally charged husbands, one felon, with whom she set up the whole sick PTL cult, who has not served time for his drugging-rape of fellow church member?

With that kind of "fine toothed comb" the prisons of the planet would go mostly empty. Who'd need lawyers, just throw your hard-earned money at the crooks. Hey, they wouldn't be called crooks. They'd be nicey nice grey people or something.

If you're talking real fine toothed comb? Bring it on. I hold myself accountable for my life, actions, words, thoughts, the good, the bad and everything else. And no, I have not been a criminal, endorsed con artists, participated in rooking people of million of bucks.

It's not perfectionistic or judgmental to hold people, and oneself, accountable. If one holds people accountable one doesn't have to be perfect or without guilt. But not holding people accountable because one is not perfect is to be militantly blind and, in my experience, is the mind-set of somebody who has been bullied into submission and not permitted to see the truth, or, if relevant, to feel angry about the truth.

That Book

That Book was The Book of The Inquisition, just for starters. Talk about lethal judgments.
posted by nickyskye at 3:36 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


And I loved it when she played Mimi Bobeck's mother on The Drew Care Show.

Wow. That's the most inspired "mom of" casting choice since Colleen Dewhurst played Murphy Brown's mother.
posted by orange swan at 3:47 PM on July 22, 2007


That Book was The Book of The Inquisition, just for starters. Talk about lethal judgments.

It's truly ironic that your overconfident judgment of another's guilt is so selective -- and leads you to such sweeping pronouncements of evil -- while this one false equivalence is all it takes to rob you utterly of credibility. Your anger and your vitriol poison you.
posted by spiderwire at 4:35 PM on July 22, 2007


The rank ranks of TV evangelism's 50-year self-promotional circus freak show con are thinning.

None too soon. Thanks, Tammy, for becoming the symbol of the usury behind the makeup.
posted by Twang at 4:47 PM on July 22, 2007


Can I be clear that I'm not proclaiming her innocence, her guilt, nor anything between?

It hasn't even been 24 hours. Taking shots at anyone who's just died -- that point where they are by definition beyond speaking in their own defense -- is unseemly and opportunistic. It smacks of cheap shots and cowardice. Ironically, these are exactly the qualities that people who hate Tammy Faye Bakker purport to condemn.

Wherever she is, she's far beyond the reach of your condemnations now. But for the sake of us remaining here: we aren't forced to make this world a more spiteful place than it already is. This concept should not be so difficult. People generally don't crash funerals in order to slander the dead -- and the internet's cloak of anonymity doesn't make that sort of behavior magically acceptable. Is it too much to ask that people direct the hatred elsewhere for at least a little while?
posted by spiderwire at 5:06 PM on July 22, 2007


Were you people this forgiving when Nixon died?
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:32 PM on July 22, 2007


Were you people this forgiving when Nixon died?
posted by Pope Guilty


Are you taking a poll?

Put me down for yes, I was.
posted by The Deej at 5:46 PM on July 22, 2007


Were you people this forgiving when Nixon died?

he didn't have the same flair with makeup, did he?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:25 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


this world a more spiteful place than it already is

Speaking openly/truthfully about con artists may be educational to those who might not want to be duped or comforting to those who were had. It may sound spiteful to the con artists. :) But then they have an agenda in people only saying nice things about them.

Taking shots at anyone who's just died -- that point where they are by definition beyond speaking in their own defense

What trite malarkey. Maybe you're of the belief that “Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions”. Thus spake the guy Jim and Tammy handed over their PTL cult to, Falwell. Not my belief system.

Why do you assume I wouldn't say exactly what I did were Tammy alive? And what did or could she say to defend her greed, complicity in siding with professional thieves who used Christianity as their ruse for conning? She never held herself accountable for her part. She played victim! No prison time, no repaying those she ripped off, she got off scot free.

Speaking the truth is a fitting memorial. I would say every syllable I did in this thread were Tammy alive. There would simply be no occasion to talk about her or the PTL televangelist scam, unless I were talking about the damage that cult leaders of any kind do to the people who get enmeshed and tricked.

The Moral Majority, and the rest of the televangelist ilk endlessly passed judgment on others, dead, dying or alive. example: “AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals”.

Please see the Metafilter Jerry Falwell just kekked love fest.

It's not my belief that it's not ok to speak ill of the dead. If the person is or was a bastard, let it be known. Dead or alive I think it's ok to have an opinion and that the person is dead doesn't make a reason to sugar coat or silence the truth.
posted by nickyskye at 6:29 PM on July 22, 2007


Y'know, there's two aspects of Tammy's life that I can be upset about: her MMF religious scam, and the actions she encouraged from her faithful.

Make Money Fast scammers are as thick as thieves; heck, just look at the junior mining sector. Gold, diamonds, religion, amway, scientology, it's all the same con bullshit.

In that regard, Tammy is largely no worse than your typical television douche-bag selling astrology, personal finance, or physical fitness infomercials.

Where I thought I had a beef was with the values I assumed she'd been pushing through her television appearances. So many of those televangelists are hate-spewing society-destroying scum I'd as soon see dead as alive. Truly destructive people who cause great harm to our culture and society via their influence over others.

But it sounds like Tammy was actually a positive Christian, one who encouraged people to accept and support others, to take the long view that God will look after the moral failings of others, and that we should look into our selves more than others.

That I can respect. A whole lot.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:37 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's not my belief that it's not ok to speak ill of the dead. If the person is or was a bastard, let it be known. Dead or alive I think it's ok to have an opinion and that the person is dead doesn't make a reason to sugar coat or silence the truth.
I feel the same way, and don't hesitate to slime those who did evil and hurt others. I don't see that in her--and she certainly was no Falwell.
posted by amberglow at 6:59 PM on July 22, 2007


Maybe you're of the belief that “Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions”.

I don't. I think that's repulsive, but not as repulsive as you are for ascribing that doctrine to me for no reason aside from your own vindictiveness. What I said is that if there was ever a time when we could take a break from the spite, it's right after the person's died. By definition, they're beyond your reach now. Taking shots at them is cheap talk. You act as if there is an urgency is taking up your faux righteousness here and now, when exactly the opposite is the case.

You speak as if I said you should never criticize the dead, or I was attempting to censor you. I did not, and would not; I am skeptical of all televangelists and believe that everyone deserves their reckoning. I even believe that a certain amount of candor is appropriate in this sort of situation. Your behavior could not be characterized as such. From the get-go, your responses have been loathsome and only gotten worse.

Why do you assume I wouldn't say exactly what I did were Tammy alive?

I didn't, I said it was pathetic that you felt the need to unload now. If you wanted to impugn her, you missed the boat when she passed. Now, it's done, and you are a small and vengeful person for bringing your grievances here.

And what did or could she say to defend her greed, complicity in siding with professional thieves who used Christianity as their ruse for conning?

Hard to say now, isn't it?

Speaking the truth is a fitting memorial. I would say every syllable I did in this thread were Tammy alive. There would simply be no occasion to talk about her or the PTL televangelist scam, unless I were talking about the damage that cult leaders of any kind do to the people who get enmeshed and tricked.

Your argument is circular -- and it discredits you. The fact that this is the only occasion that presented itself to you does not make it the appropriate occasion -- on the contrary, it demonstrates that you were too lazy to show conviction in your beliefs, and that you instead just took a convenient opportunity to be a shithead, no matter how disgusting a venue it might be.

You also speak as if there were no alternative but for you to speak out now, and in the manner you did, when there in fact was always a very good one -- restraint. Not permanent silence or enforced censorship, just restraint. Instead, you chose to come right out of the gate spewing venom, and that decision reflects on you, not anyone who objects to that sort of conduct.

"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."

Why are you quoting Falwell without attribution? Your assertion that all "of the televangelist ilk" are somehow equally culpable is puerile. Why are you talking about the Spanish Inquisition as if it has any sort of relevance whatsoever? Your hatred leads you to make false equivalences that expose you as the sort of charlatan you claim to despise. If you cloak yourself in the banner of Truth, you should hew to a higher standard of logic, even if you can't be bothered to maintain a basic level of civility.

Dead or alive I think it's ok to have an opinion and that the person is dead doesn't make a reason to sugar coat or silence the truth.

Sure doesn't. Nor does it give you license to shit on a moment of reverence just to relieve your own personal frustrations. Neither the strength nor the putative legitimacy of your hate changes that fact.
posted by spiderwire at 7:02 PM on July 22, 2007


I'm still torn on Nixon. He opened China. No president before him was able to bridge that divide. That took major cojones at the time and he had them. But, he was also a thief and a liar and he was the first president to get caught red-handed using the constitution of the United States of America as toilet paper. Maybe other presidents were doing that before him but he was the first to get caught doing it, perhaps that was his greatest crime: getting caught.

If so many homosexuals can see past the judgmental beligerence of so much hate for what Tammy Faye was involved in DECADES ago, and find a woman who appreciated their presence in her life and could accept them as they accepted her, I find that exceedingly cool. Tolerance is a two way street, and many homosexuals have proven they're able to meet halfway. If only more heterosexuals could say the same as Tammy Faye.

Did she leave the world a better place than when she arrived? She had a smile that was larger than life and whether you found her an angel or a clown, she made you happy inside. Yes. She left this world a better place.

I'm a self-confessed homophobe. I can't change who I am, and I learned the hard way how wrong it is to try to change others or not accept them for who they are. It's harder than it looks. It's harder than it sounds. It's harder than it is. It is a daily struggle to do the right thing and it often sneaks up on me and catches me off guard. I rarely get it right.

If Tammy Faye can show me a thing or two in how to be more open-minded and tolerant and just gosh-darned HAPPY in the face of torment and despair... That's downright humbling, but I don't mind the learnin'.

It's never too late to change.
It's never too late to be brave.
It's never too late to accept things as they are.
Sometimes you just have to bow to the absurd.

I don't care who or what you may or may not believe in; those aren't bad life lessons to take to your grave. That's rather universal right there.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:04 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


a moment of reverence

ROFL!!!

while this one false equivalence is all it takes to rob you utterly of credibility

huh, and I thought the Inquisition used That Book.

a positive Christian, one who encouraged people to accept and support others, to take the long view that God will look after the moral failings of others

I think that would describe her son, One Punk Under God.
posted by nickyskye at 7:08 PM on July 22, 2007


the inquisition also used pillows, dish racks and comfy chairs ... you'd better make sure those items aren't in your house
posted by pyramid termite at 7:15 PM on July 22, 2007


huh, and I thought the Inquisition used That Book.

You don't understand what a "false equivalence" means. Many, many people have used "That Book." While I'm not one of them, your comparison would apply with equal force to any person, throughout history, who believed in the Bible. The logic is so poor that it almost defies explanation, but I can try.

A comparison between Tammy Faye Bakker (and, implicitly, konolia) and The Spanish Inquisition -- with no further argument or reasoning -- is as intellectually dishonest as comparing the Inquisition to Martin Luther King, Jr. It is meaningless rhetoric that only holds water amongst zealots and demagogues. You are both, and a fool to boot.
posted by spiderwire at 7:15 PM on July 22, 2007


What pyramid termite said. With that, I'm leaving.

.
posted by spiderwire at 7:16 PM on July 22, 2007


2 statement to nickyskye:

1- You are more judgmental, self-righteous, and hateful-sounding than those you are accusing.

2- You don't even have the verifiable facts of many of arguments correct.

You have every right to be upset over the wrongs of Tammy Faye. But you lose credibility when you attribute the characteristics of others to her. That is prejudice in its purest form.

You can rejoice. She is dead and won't bother you any more.
posted by The Deej at 7:31 PM on July 22, 2007


it's no defence of the bakkers to state that people have to have personal responsibility for themselves, too
posted by pyramid termite


And I don't disagree. I'm all for responsibility. It doesn't make the Baker's ripping off people any less disgusting, nor konolia's 'they asked for it' drivel.
posted by justgary at 7:38 PM on July 22, 2007


Save your rhetoric spiderware. Not interested. Rather than focus on the topic at hand, you choose to be personally insulting.

Konolia referred to the Bible as "That Book", citing it as a reason not to judge. In turn, I referred to The Inquisition as a way in which the Bible was used to severely judge others. The Bible was used in both instances, not to judge and to judge.

Tammy's involvement with a criminal cult, the PTL, which bilked hundreds of millions of dollars from 'believers, was squandered in good part on Tammy. And she was part of the team that handed it over to Falwell.

Her affiliation with the gay crowd was less because she accepted homosexuality, since she kept reiterating it was a sin, and more that she got attention, being pedestalised, from the drag queen set.

Yes, I hold her accountable for being part of the PTL cult, part of the criminal bilking, endorsing the main bilker, her husband, Jim Bakker and being part of the ugliness of The Moral Majority crowd, as I said in my first comment in this thread. No I don't think she was a victim of being conned, I think she was a criminal cult leader, part of a fraud team, who played cutesy pootsie eyelashes batting victim, like many cult leaders do when they are caught pulling their con. She just pulled it off with nightmarish dollops of mascara.
posted by nickyskye at 7:39 PM on July 22, 2007


You are more judgmental, self-righteous, and hateful-sounding than those you are accusing.

First of all, so what? I didn't bilk hundreds of millions of dollars from 'believers' as part of a cult scam. She did.

Secondly, saying someone was a criminal cult leader, fraudster, scam artist, when it is true, is hateful, self-righteous and judgmental?
posted by nickyskye at 7:56 PM on July 22, 2007


Konolia referred to the Bible as "That Book", citing it as a reason not to judge.

and, if you look through it, you'll find that it does in fact say that

In turn, I referred to The Inquisition as a way in which the Bible was used to severely judge others.

but, nowhere in the bible does it say that heretics should be burned at the stake, or tortured or kept in dungeons ... in fact, they didn't even bother to recite the authority of the bible, you see, as the average person of that time was illiterate, translations in the vernacular were non existent, and latin copies were tightly monitored ... in fact, during the albigensian crusade, many parish priests in france were illiterate and wouldn't have been able to quote ANY bible verse that wasn't a part of the liturgy ... assuming they knew THAT well

short version - they didn't use the bible, they used the authority of the pope ... and if you KNEW what you were talking about, which you don't, you wouldn't have claimed they "used the bible" ... and yes, when you make references to the inquistion, i do expect you to know a little more about it than what could be garnered from the average monty python sketch

and, whatever else you might say about her, i'm reasonably certain that tammy faye bakker didn't base her con game or ministry or whatever you'd like to call it on the authority of the pope, being a protestant
posted by pyramid termite at 7:57 PM on July 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


Nickyskye, I'd be willing to bet you weren't even alive when PTL was going on. I can confidently assert that if there were any reason to arrest Tammy back then they'd have done it.

I'll not speak to Jim's guilt or innocence but I doubt you could prove in a court of law you could prove that Tammy was anything but naive and perhaps foolish-and guilty of faulty theology. I too used to be a member of the Assembly of God denomination and I remember how strong a grip the "prosperity gospel" had on that segment of the Body of Christ back then. Jim and Tammy were no different from hundreds and hundreds of preachers back in the day who taught that the more you give the more you get from God. It was considered de riguer to look prosperous.

Oh, and the air conditioned doghouse? Do some basic research. That whole thing was blown pretty badly out of proportion.

Anyway, Tammy had never had an ounce of guile that I could see. She always cared about people and was genuine with them. The internet is replete with stories of people who met her on airplanes, in stores, and on the street. Not once have I EVER read a story where she was mean or unkind to ONE SOUL.

I don't know too many people, to include myself, that I could same the same about.
posted by konolia at 8:06 PM on July 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


nickyskye on July 3:
It's a double edged predicament. Not caring at all can and has meant death and scapegoating. Caring too much can lead to being enslaved by others' opinions or a life constantly attempting to appease or avoid others' disapproval.

Not caring about others at all is a life without healthy connection with others, a life without empathy or healthy give and take, ultimately a life without love.

So, imo, a wiser approach is making savvy choices, which often come in the process of learning through suffering, when to care, when not to care and knowing why.
Good advice.
posted by spiderwire at 8:15 PM on July 22, 2007


I too used to be a member of the Assembly of God denomination and I remember how strong a grip the "prosperity gospel" had on that segment of the Body of Christ back then.

it's a common theme ... in fact, it was recently revived again with the prayer of jabez, which many have chose to interpret materially

another common theme is that as christ is the head of the church, so the man is the head of the household and the woman is to put her faith and trust in him ... so, it's quite easy for me to believe that tammy faye was duped by her husband in thinking that everything was honest and above board, as her own religious beliefs and upbringing would have made her reluctant to question the "authority" of her husband

i do know she wasn't convicted of any crimes ... and last time i checked, people are still innocent before they're proved guilty
posted by pyramid termite at 8:18 PM on July 22, 2007


Do we know who first coined the term "hate the sin love the sinner" in reference to gays? Was it Tammy Faye?

i ain't judgin' if that's a good thing or a bad thing i'm just askin'
posted by ZachsMind at 8:22 PM on July 22, 2007


Wow, this thread wendell'd in a hurry.

The Moral Majority, and the rest of the televangelist ilk endlessly passed judgment on others, dead, dying or alive. example: “AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals”.

Wait wait wait wait wait... Falwell was NOT a televangelist. The Moral Majority did NOT have its own TV show.

And for every Falwell and Swaggart and Robertson there was Hagin and Roberts and the Crouches -- guys who didn't give a damn about politics so long as the money came in.

You're raging against the slightest hint of redemption so much that you're starting to hang the thieves for murder.
posted by dw at 8:31 PM on July 22, 2007


Jay Bakker's statement on his church website page.
posted by The Deej at 8:53 PM on July 22, 2007


"...it's quite easy for me to believe that tammy faye was duped by her husband in thinking that everything was honest and above board..."

Years ago Jimmy Swaggart was caught in a hotel with a prostitute, and all indications pointed to this not being an islolated event. It was a habit he had had for some time. He went before his followers with crocodile tears.

"I have sinned against you," he said. He didn't. He just sinned. He was just human. If he sinned against anybody it wasn't his god or his followers or his church. Maybe he sinned against himself, if he'd made a promise to himself to live up to a higher standard.

Perception of truth, and truth, are two different things.

I've always presumed that like Swaggart and Tilton and Falwell and Robertson and so many others who fight their perceived devils with righteous rage in a public arena, the Bakkers gave in to the very temptations to which they were cautioning their viewers.

Provided one buys into the theology of evangelical christianity, it's literally impossible not to fail in the perceived goal. You're supposed to live up to Jesus' lifestyle. He allegedly NEVER sinned. Never as in EVER. From birth to death.

Can you honestly go through one day - one hour even - of your own life without committing some kinda sin? I don't think I can. Especially since even THOUGHTS can be sins, in evangelical christianity.

Everything is suspect. Even Barney the Dinosaur is a false idol. Anything that turns your attention away from your god is satan in disguise ready to smite you for being human.

This is the subjective reality the Bakkers wrapped themselves up in like wooly blankets and they felt comforted in serving their lord, so when he rewarded them with a following that was so giving, they gave into the temptation and rationalization.

Of course they had to look good on camera - they were representing their lord. Right? God would want them to be happy.

Of course they failed. Their appetites would increase. Situations would arise where they'd think oh this one time it won't hurt so much will it? First class instead of coach. Buy the jet instead of tickets since they fly so much anyway. Get the bigger house to show off for guests - they gotta look good for their lord.

The seven deadlies inched their way into their day to day lives. They never pretended to be monks with oaths of poverty or even fidelity. However, they were being judged by their own flock, and by the wolves just waiting to smell blood.

Of course they failed and fell short of the glory that is their perception of god. How could they not? All evangelical christians set themself up for failure - you are BORN a sinner. There is no hope for you, save that of the blood of Christ. This is the achilles' heel of christianity.

Did Jim Bakker wake up one day and decide he was going to rob millions from the ministry? No. He probably thought what he was doing was right, in his mind, at the time.

Don't mean he didn't deserve what he got. Just means he was human. And she loved her man. Did what she was told. Tried to do the right thing. Does that make her a saint or a sinner? Neither. Just makes her human.

It's why ultimately I object to and reject evangelical christianity. In trying to live up to that twisted perception of truth, you fall for the worst of lies. In pointing out the foibles of those around you, you lose sight of your own.

Greed. Sloth. Avarice. Gluttony. Lust. Vanity. Wrath. These are deemed by more than a few theologies to be wrong. They are also curiously enough so intrinsically human. They are perhaps, in the perception of some, the very worst qualities of humanity, and many theologies ask us to deny them. Deny being human. Deny reacting to the very impulses that make us human.

In practice, in a capitalist society, you are allowed to express these intrinsically human 'sins' but only if you can afford to do so. I don't know if that's a better theology or not, but it seems more honest than blatant denial in the face of inevitable failure.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:54 PM on July 22, 2007


From the "idea" link on the Revolution Church page.

The Idea of Revolution
To show all people the unconditional love and grace of Jesus without any reservations due to their lifestyle or religious background, past or future. This love has no agenda behind it (I Corinthians 13:5). This grace sets no timeline on personal change or standards for spiritual growth (Romans 4:4-5). The idea is to be a part of people’s lives because we truly care for them rather than to fulfill a religious duty; to walk with them through all their struggles as a part of their life, not as a religious outsider.

Religion Kills
Religion is a false perception of holiness that focuses on law and kills the true message of Christ. Jesus had much to say about the religious who put the law before his true message:

“…How terrible it will be for you experts of religious law! For you crush people beneath impossible religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden.” Luke 11:46


I'm sure Tammy would agree.
posted by The Deej at 8:58 PM on July 22, 2007


I'd be willing to bet you weren't even alive when PTL was going on. I can confidently assert that if there were any reason to arrest Tammy back then they'd have done it.

aww, Thanks for the backhanded compliment, lol, but I was.

In 1976 I remember watching one of their TV shows with my then dying of cancer father, who never played victim as he made his exit. We talked about how disgusting the scam these televangelist creeps were committing and the awful impact it would have on so many people. Tammy and Jim (married for 26 years from 1961 to 1992) were completely intertwined with Pat Robertson from from the early 60's. From the get-go there was the attempt to mix politics and religion with their Pat Robertson 700 Club show, as Robertson headed towards getting hold of the Presidential reins in 1988.

Just to give you an idea of the global clout Pat Robertson has "He is a global businessman with media holdings in Asia, the United Kingdom, and Africa. He is the nation's number three cable operator, behind Ted Turner and HBO...extensive business interests have earned him a net worth estimated between $200 million and $1 billion".

The Robertson's cult, via Pat's son, Gordon, has sunk its talons into politics in the Philippines and it isn't liked there.

The Bakkers, the Robertsons, Falwell were all part of one nasty televangelist group-cult.

It's these people who politically, socially, financially backed this war-mongering Bush puppet.

And Jim Bakker never did time for his drugging and raping Hahn. Lots of people don't get their just desserts. The Enron folk didn't, neither did the Christian Right criminals who pulled the savings and loan scam. The only reason Tammy didn't go to prison was because the authorities thought she might infect the other prisoners with mascara addiction. And somebody had to stay behind and sell the fraudulent "lifetime memberships" for $1,000 or more that entitled buyers to a three-night stay annually at a luxury hotel at Heritage USA."

mean or unkind to ONE SOUL

Looks like being part of a con team, scamming millions is okie doke with the sympathisers in this thread. If one is cute, one can get away with major fraud and it's alright? It isn't ok to me, it's mean and and unkind to plenty of souls.
posted by nickyskye at 9:11 PM on July 22, 2007


Well said, ZachsMind. I've had similar experiences, and you nailed it.

I was there at PTL when things started falling apart. I left because of what I saw: I had seen the Bakker home, the executive office with the Jacuzzi and gold faucets, and I heard from people on the inside about the financial improprieties. It would take years after I left for all these things to become public, but by the time I left around 1982 the Bakkers were separated, the Hahn incident had taken place, and Tammy was addicted to prescription drugs, among other personal issues I won't go into.

But I also knew Tammy Faye as a whole person, not just a headline. Based on my experience with her, as well as the opinions of some of PTL's harshest critics, who were inside PTL, she never seemed to be deceitful or to take advantage of people.

Yes, she benefited from PTL's funds, and if people want to hold her accountable for not questioning enough, that's fair. But it's hard to explain someone like Tammy. She really was a true innocent. She did not have the sophistication to live a double life. She was famous for putting her foot in her mouth, because she had no filter. It was all out there. That is hard for some people to believe. ("A liar won't believe anyone else.") But it's true. That's why she was so loved, and so disarmed people, even those who were determined to hate her. Once you were around her, there was nothing to hate. (She could be annoying, however!)

I had seen her countless times among the public at Heritage USA, just having fun and doing her thing. I sometimes cringed at her actions, knowing that her transparency may not be the best reflection on the organization. But she simply didn't care. She was who she was, and had no capability to be "handled" or put herself into public-relations mode. Even if she wanted to, she wouldn't have been able to do it. She was truly (not in an insulting way) a one-dimensional person. There was no hidden agenda.

Again, thanks for that, ZachsMind. Very insightful.
posted by The Deej at 9:21 PM on July 22, 2007 [4 favorites]


Well, nikkyskye, I'm not talking about Jim or Pat or Gordon or any of the rest. I'm talking about Tammy.

Look, I'm no big fan of 90 percent of what is called Christian TV. Never have been. And I don't particularly see Tammy as a spotless saint, either-just a flawed human who, unlike so many of her associates, never forgot she WAS flawed just like everybody else. I guess I see no need to rake her over any coals. Her husband sinned against their marriage with the Hahn incident, she wound up losing just about everything she owned, her husband got sent to prison, she divorced her husband (which more than likely got her lambasted by the Assembly of God crowd-they are particularly tough on divorce), she remarried only to see her second husband also put in prison, a husband who himself has prostate cancer...and then to top it all off she herself had ten years of fighting and ultimately losing her own cancer battle. All this while being a running joke in the national awareness.

After all that, the fact she was able to even crack a smile impresses the heck out of me.
posted by konolia at 9:36 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, and nicky, file this away for the remainder of your life: Keep your arguments to what you actually know.

You have plenty of reasons to not like or trust Tammy Faye. Plenty of factual, truthful reasons, even.

But you're like a desperate schoolgirl who thinks she has to pile on everything she has ever heard, true or not, to be taken seriously. All this does is bury what could be a legitimate and compelling point of view under a mountain of bullshit, negating anything valuable you have to say and losing the respect of anyone who reads your ranting.

You're like a little girl with a tummy ache, asking to stay home from school, but, afraid you won't be believed, you also say you have a fever and you threw up all night, and your head hurts and you have a fever and a sore throat and your legs hurt. So Mommy runs in and takes your temperature, and never heard you throw up all night, and concludes that you are lying and sends you off to school anyway, because you can't be believed.

Throwing bullshit onto your opinion doesn't increase its weight, it reduces its effectiveness and just makes your whole argument stink.
posted by The Deej at 9:38 PM on July 22, 2007


neither did the Christian Right criminals who pulled the savings and loan scam.

Wow. Now you're muddling Charles Keating into all of this? A man Falwell would have argued back then was a papist devil?

I'm so happy I made popcorn.

Really, I did just make popcorn.
posted by dw at 10:08 PM on July 22, 2007


Yup, just keeping the facts rolling in...

the Bakkers gave in to the very temptations to which they were cautioning their viewers

"fraud, tax evasion, and racketeering" is what he was cautioning his flock against committing? LOL

Also include drugging and raping Jessica Hahn, bribing her with over a quarter of a million dollars (actually $265,000 ) of money sent in by Christian believers, to keep his ass out of jail. "Later, she overheard Bakker comment to another PTL staffer "Did you get her too?"

"According to Jim Bakker's book I Was Wrong, the royalties from the books that he and Tammy wrote and the recordings that Tammy sold added up to $8,000,000. These royalties were given to PTL, as the Bakkers could not benefit from their own crimes. The board of PTL, independent of Jim and Tammy, awarded the Bakkers the 3+ million dollar bonus over a period of five years. They also determined Jim Bakker's salary of $200,000 per year."

8 million bucks royalties on lousy singing and lame books? Unlikely bs. Interesting how the PTL kickback worked to feather both their nests. Guess it bought him the fancy lawyers that got him off the 45 year jail sentence hook.

"On July 23, 1996, a North Carolina jury threw out a class action suit brought on behalf of more than 160,000 onetime believers who contributed as much as $7,000 each to Bakker's coffers in the 1980s."

160,00 ripped off souls never got justice.
posted by nickyskye at 10:16 PM on July 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wait wait wait wait wait... Falwell was NOT a televangelist

Wrong.

there was Hagin and Roberts and the Crouches -- guys who didn't give a damn about politics so long as the money came in

The charismatics, televangelists and Catholics (including Hagin, Crouches, Roberts) have formed a Christian Right with huge political clout.

" The aim of these men is quite clear: "to take back the nation for Christ" - not just spiritually but politically. And in this there is an underlying and growing sense among these leaders of a besieged Christian community which nonetheless feels it has a divine mandate from God to rule the world, including the United States.

And again, while these men would deeply resent the comparison, the parallel here to what they are doing now to what the mullahs of Iran did in 1978 is sobering."
posted by nickyskye at 12:42 AM on July 23, 2007


All this does is bury what could be a legitimate and compelling point of view under a mountain of bullshit, negating anything valuable you have to say and losing the respect of anyone who reads your ranting.

She hasn't lost my respect. If anything, she's gained it for her tenacious defence of PTL's victims in the light of their apologists.

You know, if you *really* don't think it's appropriate to have Tammy Faye's name sullied like this at the time of her death, then perhaps it might be an idea not to go around praising it on public forums. Because given the crimes that she and her husbands were involved in, there are always going to be people who sympathize with the poor suckers who are duped.

Me, I respect a good con artist. Particularly one who has the brass balls to keep on pushing their ugly mug out in front of the public after they've been rumbled when someone with *any* sense of shame and decency would have the good grace to stay out of the public arena.

And it's good to see their kid taking up the family business too. It would be a shame to see these old carny hucksters die out completely, and it's nice to see them revamping their grifts for a new, slightly less gullible generation.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:57 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


8 million bucks royalties on lousy singing and lame books?

I don't doubt it a bit. There was a market for it.
posted by konolia at 5:44 AM on July 23, 2007


The only reason Tammy didn't go to prison was because the authorities thought she might infect the other prisoners with mascara addiction.

well, i'm glad to see you've worked out a rational reason for her lack of criminal convictions
posted by pyramid termite at 7:21 AM on July 23, 2007


It's these people who politically, socially, financially backed this war-mongering Bush puppet.

Pardon me, I came in to pay small tribute to the death of a human being, and in doing so missed an opportunity to blame the the current Presidential administration on her.

Seems like some people really let their bladders fill up before they came in here...
posted by hermitosis at 7:21 AM on July 23, 2007


I wondered how long it would be before I saw this particular headline.
posted by konolia at 8:09 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Bakker's aim was not to take back the US for Christ by any means--they weren't like the others, for all their sins anyway. They were about personal stuff and that prosperity gospel stuff which was not at all about changing the laws or Constitution of this country. They also never poked into people's bedrooms (altho Tammy should have, given what Jim was doing).

Do we know who first coined the term "hate the sin love the sinner" in reference to gays? Was it Tammy Faye?
Not at all.
posted by amberglow at 8:25 AM on July 23, 2007


You know, if you *really* don't think it's appropriate to have Tammy Faye's name sullied like this at the time of her death, then perhaps it might be an idea not to go around praising it on public forums.

1. I never said it wasn't "appropriate" to "sully her name." Where did you read that? It's not anything I said. I have said over and over that there are enough legitimate reasons to dislike her, that you don't need to base it on things are are simply not true, or on prejudice because of "her kind."

2. I am not praising her name. Read my comments. I critique her where appropriate, and I could name many more things about her that I disliked, but that's not my purpose here at this time.
posted by The Deej at 9:26 AM on July 23, 2007


A few facts re the Bakkers' political connections, Wead (Christian Right liason to the Bush dynastic administration) and the Bush Klan.

"WHO Is Doug Wead Anyway?

Wead has been described as both a friend and "spiritual advisor" to George W. Bush. He was a gatekeeper between the White House and the religious right movements that supported Bush...Wead was also President George H.W. Bush's liaison with religious conservatives, and during the elder Bush's White House campaign reported to son George W. He later took on the title of Special Assistant to the President...His extreme position on political issues and what some described as a strident and abrasive style quickly brought him into conflict with other staffers...antagonizing fellow aides by protesting the presence of gay rights leaders at a bill signing that extended civil rights protections to the people with AIDS...

Wead enjoyed a close personal and professional relationship with disgraced preacher Jim Bakker,...
Wead received $75,000 from the PTL bank account in 1986 to author a book entitled "Anatomy of a Smear." The purpose was to defend Bakker and support his claims that he was the innocent victim of a conspiracy between the Charlotte, N.C. Observer newspaper and the "godless" Federal Communications Commission, which had been looking into potentially fraudulent on-air fund raising schemes. Allegations had surface involving questionable diversions of money raised for PTL foreign mission outreaches. The book was never published, and Wead later groused the Bakker had rejected all of the trial manuscripts.

Wead's name also surfaced in connection with a November, 1985 meeting between then-Vice President George Bush and preacher Bakker. Reports later described the confab as a "very enjoyable, very friendly, no-agenda kind of meeting." In January, Tammy Faye Bakker met with Barbara Bush at the official Vice Presidential residence in Washington. And during the following month, Bakker was conducting political meetings with Wead, who had been a frequent guest on the PTL television network, at the time the most popular religious program in the country."

Oh yeah, the Bakkers had no political agenda. Not.
posted by nickyskye at 10:28 AM on July 23, 2007


Wait wait wait wait wait... Falwell was NOT a televangelist

Wrong.


Yeah, well, OTGH slipped my mind.

The charismatics, televangelists and Catholics (including Hagin, Crouches, Roberts) have formed a Christian Right with huge political clout.

Show me where Oral Roberts (or Richard, for that matter) was ever a member of the Moral Majority or the Christian Coalition.

Show me where the Crouches' alliances with Pat Robertson or James Dobson or Jerry Falwell.

You can't. They weren't. They may be fellow travellers, but the Falwell-Robertson clan despised the Crouches and Roberts because they were Pentecostals -- and hucksters.

And while I'm at it, Catholics were in a whole other stream and didn't have any effective alliances with Religious Right groups until the early 1990s, despite the hilarious link you're putting in. (Calling Robertson an "evangelical Christian charismatic?" Implying that the Charismatic movement is part-and-parcel with the Christian Right? Wow.) Falwell was on record as being anti-Catholic. The Assemblies of God still has some pretty vehemently anti-Catholic language in their constitution. As someone who grew up Catholic in a town loaded with Southern Baptists and televangelists, I can tell you that there was a lot of ground-level antipathy towards Catholics from Protestants back then.

And this after implying that Charles Keating was solely responsible for the S&L crisis. He wasn't. He was just the most telegenic and politically connected. Lincoln Savings was the prettiest car in the 1000-car pileup.

And then you keep going back to the rape of Jessica Hahn, over and over again. Remind me again, what exactly was Tammy Faye's role in the rape?

You're so angry. And I think that's sad. Almost everyone here is taking a view that redemption is possible, that redemption is necessary. But you seem so driven by hate that you're going to broadbrush and demonize the same way the people you hate have done, and even when we point out that despite her many, many flaws Tammy Faye is a redemptive figure you suggest we're all mentally disturbed.

May others grant you the mercy you refuse to grant to others.
posted by dw at 10:51 AM on July 23, 2007


OK dfespite all the noise in this thread I have one plea.

Can we please get back to using the correct verb for what just happend. The woman DIED, she did not pass, euphemisms allow for linguistic slight of hand, distancing us from reality. Which when you think of it was what happend with the Bakkers
posted by Wilder at 11:00 AM on July 23, 2007


Regarding Doug Wead:
Jim had Doug Wead on the PTL show around 1979 to promote his book about the Jonestown massacre, People's Temple People's Tomb. As I heard the story, the aforementioned gold Jacuzzi faucets were actually purchased by Doug Wead in appreciation of Jim’s having him on the show, which made the book a hit. So, ironically, these gold faucets were not paid for out of little old ladies’ donations. But yes, Doug Wead was a guest on the PTL show at least a few times. Jim Bakker also had photos on the walls at the headquarters of himself with Reagan at the Whitehouse. Despite this, I don’t think he was a real power broker along the lines of a Falwell. I’m sure the politicians valued his influence and his audience. I do recall Jim talking about social and moral issues on the show, with a political bent. He certainly did not avoid politics, nor did he ever maintain that he was politically neutral, nor should he have. He just never organized a political group that I can recall.


Can we please get back to using the correct verb for what just happend. The woman DIED, she did not pass


LOL! Now there is something worth worrying about. Died. Passed away. Passed. Croaked. Bought the farm. Kicked the bucket. Please go back through all of the obit-filter posts and correct them as well for not using your preferred non-euphamism. I'll use whatever words I please.
posted by The Deej at 11:24 AM on July 23, 2007


On the subject of Robertson and the Crouches: You can blame or credit Jim Bakker for the 700 Club and the Crouches’ Praise The Lord show. The Bakkers got onboard with Robertson to do their puppet show on his newly formed Christian Broadcasting Network. They went under the condition that Jim could host a “Johnny Carson” style show. Robertson finally made good on his promise to allow this, and the 700 Club was born.

As the show became more popular, and Jim Bakker along with it, Robertson decided he should be the host, and took over those duties. The Bakkers left for California and joined forces with the Crouches to start the Praise the Lord show and Trinity Broadcasting.

Again, Jim was the on-air personality and Crouch was the businessman. After some disagreement over various things, Bakker was voted out by the board. The Bakkers left for Charlotte, North Carolina to host a telethon for a local Christian channel, and there they stayed, using the mailing list they took from Trinity to start the PTL Club.
posted by The Deej at 12:02 PM on July 23, 2007


nicky, you know i detest all those who try to change our laws and hurt us--and i do speak ill of the dead where warranted--that's no secret. But the Bakkers never used any connections or influence to hurt others the ways the others did and still do. They never ranted about evil gays or evil anyone.

They were all about selfish 80s shit--that god wants people to have nice things and have money, and stuff. They never did that Pat Robertson shit where he tells his listeners/watchers to pray the gay away or when he tells listeners that everyone else is evil or going to hell. Jim and Tammy were far more shallow and selfish than that. They also never told their watchers to lobby congress or to take over their local govts and school boards either. They never were about making this a Christian country or legislating at all.

Hate them for being conmen (altho even there it was him more than her). Hate them for deluding poor misguided people who should have kept their money themselves. Hate her for her makeup and fashion sense. ... But don't lump her in with the haters. She proved she wasn't one--over and over and over again.
posted by amberglow at 12:03 PM on July 23, 2007


lean left has a good clear-eyed thing about her
posted by amberglow at 12:07 PM on July 23, 2007


and from there: ...she was the only one who never stooped to homophobia, and never used hatred as a justification for her own bad behavior, or a reason for others to behave likewise.

Not only was she not like the other televangelists, she rose far above their level, transcending her teaching and background to embrace and celebrate - and receive the same in return from - those whom her entire life and culture would otherwise have been dedicated to destroying. ...

posted by amberglow at 12:09 PM on July 23, 2007


lean left has a good clear-eyed thing about her

And it links to this excellent Metro Weekly interview with her.
posted by dw at 1:05 PM on July 23, 2007


it is excellent (i and others linked to it here too)
posted by amberglow at 3:34 PM on July 23, 2007


Yeah, well, you post so many links it's hard to remember what all you have linked to.

That's just begging for a Greasemonkey script. Suck out all of amberglow's links, display them all in a floating div.
posted by dw at 4:04 PM on July 23, 2007


(what's a floating div?)
posted by amberglow at 4:08 PM on July 23, 2007


Something like this, only without the dimming.

Although a pop-up could work too.

Honestly, I'd like that for all commenters -- you can see everything commenters have linked to in one panel.

Hmm. And it wouldn't be that hard to code up in Greasemonkey....
posted by dw at 4:24 PM on July 23, 2007


Apparently, people sympathetic to Tammy in this thread do not think it was any big deal that she was a cult leader, ripping people off of hundreds of millions of dollars with her co-crook husband, with whom she was married for over 30 years (and stayed married to him for 4 years after he was caught drugging and raping a 21 year old).

I don't know how many of you in this thread would have remained married to a known drugger-rapist but standing by her man post felony seems to me to be endorsing the criminal bastard. And this was WHILE this guy and Tammy were setting themselves up to be examples of Christian behavior. Tammy stated she thought her rampant greed was a joke.

Anyone who might have turned to the PTL for authentic spiritual guidance, apparently 160,00 sued the Bakkers, so this wasn't some paltry few embittered people, must have felt really betrayed by these scam artist greed freaks.

Bakker's staff members bribed Hahn $265,000 to keep secret her allegation that he had raped her. So Tammy was part of an organisation BRIBING a rape victim (the age of her daughter) to shut up. It was only when this creep went to jail did Tammy ask for a divorce.

Calling this nut case manipulator, cult leader out on her criminal behavior, she was part of the fraud, racketeeting and tax evasion, is not hateful, it's stating the obvious facts.
posted by nickyskye at 7:27 PM on July 23, 2007


grind grind grind

troll troll troll
posted by The Deej at 7:47 PM on July 23, 2007


You make her sound like a mix between Leona Helmsley, Nancy Reagan, and Lucrezia Borgia.
posted by amberglow at 8:48 PM on July 23, 2007


You make her sound like a mix between Leona Helmsley, Nancy Reagan, and Lucrezia Borgia.

No, that sounds more like Azathoth, Seething Nuclear Chaos. I think she's characterizing Tammy Faye as more of a Nyarlathotep -- an avatar, if you will.
posted by spiderwire at 9:47 PM on July 23, 2007


I could see Nyarlathotep or Nancy Reagan, but given the momentum of this thread and the fact this is the internets, isn't Eva Braun the far more obvious choice?
posted by dw at 11:12 PM on July 23, 2007


I would think that Ms. Braun would merely be constitute one of the swirling aspects of Azathoth or one of the other Outer Gods, though she probably bears something of a resemblance to Cthulthu at this point... hmmmm...
posted by spiderwire at 11:34 PM on July 23, 2007


Bakker's staff members bribed Hahn $265,000 to keep secret her allegation that he had raped her. So Tammy was part of an organisation BRIBING a rape victim (the age of her daughter) to shut up. It was only when this creep went to jail did Tammy ask for a divorce.
Latest comments I have seen from Jessica Hahn seem to indicate it was consensual. Apparently she spoke to Tammy at some point by phone about it. Don't remember where the link is but I'm sure google could turn it up.
posted by konolia at 6:08 AM on July 24, 2007


The facts speak for themselves.

"Consensual my ass."
Jessica Hahn

"As God as my witness, they said, We're above the law. There's nothing you can do to us. You're just a church secretary."
Jessica Hahn

"The woman told of how her grandmother — who had no money — used to send her Social Security checks to Tammy Faye. The granddaughter described Tammy Faye as a financial predator preying on the elderly, the gullible, the vulnerable, seeking their assets to support her own lavish lifestyle."
posted by nickyskye at 10:37 AM on July 24, 2007


"As God as my witness, they said, We're above the law.

"they" is not Jim and Tammy, but Jim and/or his staffers/cronies. Do you really think she would participate in something like that, given that she didn't even know he was cheating? She wasn't a Hillary, who knew all about Bill's stuff on the side. Jessica Hahn has very little to say bad about Tammy, even today, from all accounts.
posted by amberglow at 2:46 PM on July 24, 2007


If only Tammy knew how much I really cared about her. She has nothing to do with any of this mess.--
Jessica Hahn
posted by amberglow at 2:47 PM on July 24, 2007


nickyskye, check this link.

I pretty much agree with Gabriel Rotello's assessment.
posted by konolia at 6:49 PM on July 24, 2007


Interesting link konolia. It's a pretty accurate nutshell version of the events. And 45 years for overselling timeshares, well, it doesn't take a legal expert to know that many murderers don't get that kind of sentence. That article may be a little too generous, but I do indeed recall that both Jim and Tammy were fond of saying "God told me it's not my job to judge people, it's my job to love them."

The definitive book on the whole story is Charlie Shepherd's Forgiven. Shepherd was the Charlotte Observer reporter who investigated the Bakkers for years, and was the contact point for breaking the Jessica Hahn story. Like any work of journalism, there are inaccuracies and innuendos, but it is overall a very fair assessment of the rise and fall of PTL and the Bakkers.
posted by The Deej at 8:53 PM on July 24, 2007


If ever there were a thread that I wished I had Woody Allen's knack with wry humor it's this one. With that in mind, Woody Allen interviews Billy Graham, part 1 and 2.
posted by nickyskye at 10:53 PM on July 24, 2007


I'm a big Woody Allen fan, and that interview shows him at his best. It also shows why Billy Graham was so successful. He was witty and held his own, and took no offense at Allen's ribbing, while not being shy about his convictions.

What does this all have to do with Tammy Faye? Nothing really. Except an interview between Woody Allen and Tammy Faye would have been something.

Thanks for the links. It almost makes up for the trolling. ;)
posted by The Deej at 7:15 AM on July 25, 2007



MSNBC commentary: Tammy got into many of her fixes not because she was vain or scheming, but because she was utterly naive.
posted by The Deej at 4:37 PM on July 25, 2007


Spot the second clown.
posted by nickyskye at 3:24 PM on July 27, 2007


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