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Dear Lord

In Recent Headlines on April 21, 2010 at 8:41 am

There is a new group on Facebook that at the time of this writing has 454,520 members. The title of the group is:

DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN

I saw this group as a handful of my friends had joined it. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry, because the founder of the group insists:

… it’s a F[***]ING JOKE, people! for the last time, i seriously doubt any of the people who responded to me would have said a damn thing about the same joke being used on W (well, except maybe to agree with it and laughing).

I’m not quite certain where I want to begin with my criticism. I’ll start with something simple like spelling and typing in all CAPS. I would think if Patrick Swayze and Farrah Fawcett were favorite actors, the group founder would know how to spell their names correctly.

People who don’t like President Obama also tend to take their prayer pretty seriously. I find nothing f***ing funny about invoking the Lord’s name to pray for someone’s death. I’m pretty sure God isn’t laughing, either. As to the favorite celebrities? Kinda hypocritical here, as well.

Patrick Swayze’s breakout role was as Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing. His character had sex with an underage virginal teenager and he helped his friend get an illegal abortion, while dancing to the fabulous music of the early 60s. In Point Break, he wore the mask of Ronald Reagan while he robbed banks. In To Wong Fu Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, he portrayed a cross-dressing drag queen that riles a homophobic small town sheriff. Favorite actor, huh? I assumed a teenager who didn’t abstain, a friend who got an abortion, a mockery of conservative hero Reagan and blatant cross dressing would be offensive to such folks.

Farrah Fawcett was a bit more believable as a favorite choice. She also portrayed a woman who killed her abusive husband in The Burning Bed. In Small Sacrifices, she portrayed Diane Downs, a cruel, abusive, and neglectful parent who had been in trouble with the law before. Further investigation on the 28-year-old woman uncovered a troubled home life, surrogate pregnancies, a messy divorce, and an affair with a married man. Favorite actress, huh?

Michael Jackson, really? Michael Jackson who died from massive illegal drug prescriptions? Michael Jackson who carved his God-given body up with plastic surgery? Michael Jackson who had countless accusations of child molestation and Michael Jackson who dangled his baby from a balcony? Favorite singer, huh?

I suppose I should celebrate the open-minded nature of having such celebrity idols. Who knew that the conservative faction in our country finds such portrayals of immorality so entertaining?

I suppose what bothers me is not so much the choices, because honestly, I’m a fan of all of them. I “had the time of my life” with Dirty Dancing, I wanted to be one of Charlie’s Angels, and as teen, no dance was complete without several Michael Jackson songs. This is more a criticism of the conflicting messages. It’s in extremely poor taste to claim favorites only because they died last year, along with a snarky remark about a favorite president. It makes me cry more than it makes me laugh. To borrow from the founder,

… it’s not a f***ing joke, I would not have laughed about the same joke being made about W, I would have written something similar to this.

Like it or not, problems do not end with the death of someone. I’m more about figuring out ways to live effectively in each moment. Perhaps if the f***ing joke makers spent a little more time making change instead of jokes, they wouldn’t have to feel so ineffective as to pray for death.

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  1. It has been brought to my attention that the origination of this joke was from a union in NJ towards the state governor. I condemn the joke no matter who was the “punchline”. It is akin to using the Lord’s name in vain to jokingly pray for something as horrific as death. Call me humorless if you must, but I find it completely distasteful all the way around.

  2. Just so you know exactly where it came from…

    It was in an e-mail sent to the 17,000 members of the Bergen County (New Jersey) Education Association and came from its president Joseph Coppola:

    “Dear Lord,’ this year you have taken away my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett, my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, and my favorite salesman, Billy Mays. I just wanted to let you know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor.”

    It was immediately condemned and Christie got a swift apology from Coppola.

    It’s been pretty contentious here in NJ with the new governor, because he wants to cut services. And education here isn’t going to look like education soon. But that’s a whole nother issue.

    Politics brings out the worst in people. On all sides.

  3. […] original goal of two-sided communication. Yesterday, I wrote a post about what I considered a truly blasphemous “prayer” and we had the highest readership we’ve ever had. The email and support Lifted on […]

  4. When I first started teaching, I was approached by one of the faculty members to join the North Carolina Teachers Association. The first reason given to me that I should join was; if sued they would provide an attorney for me. I reasoned back that if I were to be sued they would also have to sue the school system because what they could get out of me wouldn’t pay the attorney fees—therefore I would have the schools systems attorney working for me.

    The second reason was they lobbied and got for NC teachers a 3% pay raise the first in two or three years. I reasoned back; the cost of living or inflation was 5%, so your lobbyists actually lost 2% real income for the teachers—that is not very smart lobbying to me.

    Finally he wanted to know if I would support and vote for the candidate they were supporting for governor? I wanted to know what they were doing spending money supporting any particular candidate, what about your members who do not like that candidate?

    He looked, struck dumb, I could his wheels spinning for a comeback but he was drawing blanks. While I had him in this state, I said, under NC constitution it is unlawful for state employees to strike, given that what power do you really have?

    I wasn’t bothered anymore about an organization that would cost me about thousand dollars a year to do nothing for me.

    I am starting to be very concerned that the conservative right, the Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin supports are more dangerous and detrimental to America out of office/power than in. No matter how beneficial a piece of legislation might be for the people they will vote and campaign against it, just because it comes from Democrats or what they perceive as liberals. And their hate seems to be growing daily.

  5. I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case, great info…I will bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

  6. Hi Kim, good for you for speaking out. What a well-written post with excellent points!

  7. […] In Uncategorized on May 7, 2010 at 2:24 pm Not too long ago, I wrote a post about the prayer “joke” wishing for President Obama’s death. Today, I had a very personal reminder how […]

  8. good for you……a very articulate and thoughtful response to a bunch of idiots.

    freedom of speech is precious but this was far over the line.

    anyone who calls herself a “christian” and approves of such vindictive drivel has the wrong idea regarding christianity…

    ann tercera

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