In case you missed it, Michael Jackson died. If, on the other hand, you have read or watched or listened to a minute of news over the last two weeks any time day or night, you were aware of that fact. The hysteria and overblown coverage of his life and death is not only itself pathetic, it reveals where we are as a culture.
We don't have lives. We don't have lives of significance. We live vicariously through unhealthy, but famous, people. We don't know the difference between famous and important. We have no tolerance for substance because our diet is the sugary-sweet junk-food of style.
According to one report, Jackson's funeral "took a spiritual turn."
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Michael Jackson's public memorial started out more spiritual than spectacular Tuesday, opening with a church choir singing as his golden casket was laid in front of the stage and a shaft of light evoking a cross as Lionel Richie gave a gospel-infused performance.
Pastor Lucious W. Smith of the Friendship Baptist Church in Pasadena gave the invocation, followed by Mariah Carey singing the opening performance with a sweet rendition of the Jackson 5 ballad "I'll Be There," a duet with Trey Lorenz.
"We come together and we remember the time," said Smith, riffing off one of Jackson's lyrics. "As long as we remember him, he will always be there to comfort us."
Part of me is frustrated with the pedestrian blashpemy here, but another part of me is not at all surprised. Psalm 115 tells us that we become like the idols we worship. And, to extend the thought, we are ready to use the ultimate of all ultimate justifications to support our idol worship - God himself. It should not shock us that there are those who would use God to put their own stamp of approval on this gold-ensconsed circus. Afterall, nothing supports our own vanity like a god encased in our own little boxes.