We Owe All of Our Devotion to Michael Jackson

I'm sad for his family; I really am. The sudden loss of a family member or close friend is traumatic and will cause much anxiety. I have prayed that God will comfort them in the coming grieving process.

But for the rest of those flooding his Neverland Ranch . . . what in the world is wrong with you?! This guy was not some hero or world leader. "Beat It" and "Thriller" do not transform people. Michael Jackson was an "icon" (which for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, is already a bad word) for Pop music, of course. But does this mean that we should be forced to hear about it for the next week on the news?

Michael Jackson was an entertainer. . . an entertainer. All this attention in the media is expected by Americans since we worship entertainers. American "royalty" are actors, actresses, and musicians. Entertainers. We worship them because they make us happy. And when they don't make us happy, we discard them. We vitiate and vilify them. We love it when our royalty fall. His pedophilia charges occupied the media for weeks and weeks. People couldn't wait to hear a verdict that we all knew was true . . . but we were disappointed. It pays well to have good lawyers I guess . . . and oh yeah, it's Michael Jackson. He's royalty.

If we were to apply the Hindu caste system in the US, entertainers would have to be part of the Kshatriya, or even at times, the Brahmin strata. These people are on the very top. We treat them differently. We give them free stuff at every store. Brands beg them to wear their brand of clothes, star in their movies, sing their songs, and speak in their commercials. Why? Because people in those top caste systems will bring in the all-important, chief religious offering to the head god in the US: money.

Well, technically, it's not "money," but "power." Money is just the only real way in the country to possess power. "Whoever holds the gold makes the rule" should be on our dollar.

Athletes are paid more, injured on the side-line, in one year than a good teacher will be paid in a lifetime. Why? Because they entertain us. That makes them royalty. And we give the highest offering of money to those who make us happy. They deserve it--who else will make us so happy if we don't have entertainers, right? Do you expect me to find my own happiness and joy?

However, having that privilege of being my entertainer has its price. It means that you have to behave in a way that makes me happy at all times. Have an affair, take advantage of kids, shoot someone, or do anything that this culture believes to be bad, and you're the target of all our scorn. Don't you know better? Don't you know, royalty, that our entertainers must be flawless in their pursuit of making us happy? Why did you fail us? We gave you so much "power" (i.e., money and admiration) over us and you took advantage of it.

So here we go again. Another American royalty is dead. And for our culture, this is a hard blow. We worship our entertainers, especially those who have been around for several decades. Part of being "American" is the music of Michael Jackson. Hardly any of us has any memory in the last few decades without some of his music in our heads. He has made us happy for a long time. So, now it's time to grieve one of our "idols." It's only appropriate. When someone you worship dies, it's a big deal. Who else will fill his shoes and make me as happy as he did?

"Dear Jesus. Thank you for your life, death, and the resurrection. But, I really thank you for the wonderful, incredible, life of one of our heroes, our royalty, our idols, our icons: Michael Jackson. I ask that you let him in to the world to come. His #1 hits really transformed me when I sang them in the fifth grade. I'm not certain if I could have been as happy and complete without him in my life. Regardless of the color he is in Heaven, please let him in. In Jesus name, Amen." (I sure hope you get the social commentary in my sarcasm).

Heavenly Father, please forgive us. I wish I could say that we "know not what we do," but it wouldn't be true. There's something about us that wants to worship idols. I don't look forward to the day when you strip us (including me) of all of our idols.

I know this: You won't be singing "Beat It."