StarTribune Headline: Son of televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye, Jay Bakker to start church in Minneapolis
Part of me doesn’t give a shit and the other part of me is a touch sentimental.
#1. Jay Bakker was the inspiration behind one my first Hot-For-Jesus Former Fundie posts back in 2007 (on tattoos) and 2008 (Poem by Philip Larkin dedicated to the likes of Jay ... who once upon a time I Hot4Jesus crushed on). You never forget one of your firsts.
#2. There is vague family lore about his mother. I won’t go into it, but one of the reasons my extended family never supported the Bakker ministry industry was because of these vague family lore reasons that came up during family reunions. (Sentimental in part because I don’t do family reunions anymore… at all.)
#3. If I hadn’t fallen off the Jesus bandwagon entirely I would be in the Jay Bakker fan club, hard-core… and probably stalk him after every service. In a parallel universe/reality thingy, right about now I would be leaving the Solomon’s Porch music scene behind to head the original worship music and JohnnyCash-esque cover songs for his new bar church here in Minneapolis. Or whatever they don’t do for music… I would be his go-to for not doing it. In a parallel universe, I would be a female deacon in Jay Bakker’s church, which wouldn’t have deacon but special helpers with special gifts. My special gift would be performing original Jesus music and encouraging others to do the same. Or maybe I finally would be sticking my neck out and… horrors… preaching!
#4. I HAVE entirely fallen off the Jesus band wagon. I will never be able to say that I’m 100% over the whole she-bang… as in… I still have hymns run through my head, get angry about spiritual abuse and American state-sanctioned religion, experience flashbacks, will still write about it as the spirit moves me, etc, etc, … but I have no intention of setting foot in Jay's church.
Hell, I’ll encourage other ex-fundies to go to his church until the cows come home and the chickens come home to roost, or whatever, but I’m done with that scene… yes, even the uber-liberal and liberated Jesus-IS-Love beer-drinking hipster Christian scene. I don’t disagree with their approach and I truly believe Jay is on the cutting edge and has wisely chosen Minnesota (it will be a challenge and affirming) but the sentimental aspect to this is… you can never go home again.
Trust me… I’ve tried… literally and figuratively (church-wise).
On the subject of prodigal son's attempting to go home again... By coming “home” to Minnesota, Jay may discover something different. I hope he finds Minnesota to be less of a bitch than I am… but to be honest, though my process of letting go of my spiritual past has been sometimes messy, sometimes funny, sometimes sexy and sometimes hard work… I know he has gone through a similar process and come to a very different conclusion than I have.
Where I’m coming from now is that one does not need to be a Believer/believer or have Faith/faith or even seek Forgiveness/forgiveness or Love/love or Grace/grace from God/god. We all have to live with ourSelves, and I understand a lot of people are conditioned to not love or forgive that self. They will seek the words and encouragement of Jay Bakker. He will not disappoint the people who won’t/can’t/don’t need to let go the way I did.
#5. For those who do let go, and even for Jay, there is this wonderful Former Fundamentalist group in Minneapolis/St.Paul that is still going strong, even after I walked away as organizer a year ago (another reason for sentimentality… an anniversary of letting-go…one year ago this week) and I encourage anyone/everyone who needs Jay Bakker and/or the grace and love of Jay Bakker’s Jesus in their life to realize there are people out there who will encourage you regardless of whether or not you listen and pray at the feet of Jay with a beer in hand. The Former Fundies drink beer sometimes, too. If you go… tell the Former Fundies, Evangelicals, catholics, Lutherans, pentacostals, et.al., that I say “Hey.”
So… yes, it is sentimental time here at Hot4Jesus… but that is in part what this blog is founded on… Sentimentality. It is also founded on Anger and Love and even finding the understanding to “forgive” (no, I don’t believe in “forgivness”… but I do believe in a deeper, kinder understanding…) those who impose their unrealistic beliefs on others, especially children.
Jay, like I’ve said before… gets it. He has seen the worst of the worst when it comes to religion.
We survivors are on your side. Keep your chin up, Minneapolis, and tell Jay I said, “Hey.”