Someone was wondering why I didn't put the "Those Wacky Fundies" moniker on my brief blurb about Tammy Faye Bakker Messner. Another assumed that I had refrained from commenting further to avoid speaking ill of the dead, and was just biting back bile.
Well. I feel enough time has gone by that I can speak more freely.
Tammy Faye was a fundie. And Tammy Faye was wacky. But she misses the mark in my book for a "Wacky Fundie". Because for me a "Wacky Fundie" is wacky because of the schitziod nature of their world view: preaching hate in the name of love, treating human nature as dirty, sick and corrupt while at the same time claiming that we could not have evolved because we are God's exhaulted creatures, insisting that all men are sinners, while making sure everyone knows that everyone else is a worse sinner than themselves.
My personal favorite was a wacky fundy who, in one conversation insisted that we should not give young girls the HPV vaccine because it could be consrued as "permission" to go ahead and have sex. But then, in a different conversation said that God's instructions about how to make a sex slave out of a war captive female were basically God's way of saying "if you're going to do it anyway, here's the best way to do it." God hates harm reduction and risk reduction when it comes to children's health, but gives it the A-OK when it comes to satifying men's lust. Lovely.
I got none of that off of Tammy Faye. I think she was genuine and sincerely a loving, open-hearted faithful person.
That doesn't let her off the hook for the things that she DID do wrong. There's no denying that she profited from the greed, corruption, and outragous abuses of her two husbands. She didn't seem to have any scruples about accepting the bounty without question as to where it came from. As some commentators pointed out, she seemed to view the luxuries and plenty that she enjoyed as being the natural result of her faith.
I think of Tammy Fae as being simple-minded and thoughtless, naieve and vain. Faults enough, but normal, natural, and not unusual. This is especially true of the "feeling" faiths...the "knowing what God wants in your heart" brands that teach people from birth to distrust questions, thought, and reason. What I DID NOT see in her was the hatefulness, guile, or hypocracy. I see someone who was trained to be child-like and trusting, to not ask questions, to expect God to provide bounty and to view hardships not as an out-come of personal failings, but instead as some sort of test or trial that God applies for his own reasons.
Here is an NPR report on Tammy Faye. See what you think, but anyway, in the end it really doesn't matter what you and I think.
Please don't miss the clip of the "documentary" narrated by Ru Paul. I like the ending quote.