Tag Archives: Billy Graham

Homer, Marilyn & Billy

It’s link to other people’s content day!

The Simpsons are finally legitimate cultural icons. Homer’s “Doh!” made it into the Oxford English Dictionary.

On an encouraging note, the end of the teeny bopper era may be near. And on a completely different note…

Marilyn Manson is not exactly a favorite conversation topic. Most people would rather just write him off as a freak or a Satanist and hope he goes away. But he hasn’t gone away, and in fact, I’ve noticed he has a few intelligent things to say.

A few years ago I read his autobiography, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell. It was not a fun book to read. It was full of violence and sex and drugs—basic depravity. But it was also full of twisted religion. Manson spoke of his roots, the Christian church.

It makes it all kind of ironic that Christians freak out over this crazed Satanist—yet he’s a product of Christianity. “A lot of people like to pass me off as a devil worshipper,” Manson said in a Beliefnet interview. “I think that could only be true if I considered myself to be the devil, because I tend to be narcissistic and believe in my own strength and my own identity.”

“Maybe I should become a Christian and make them all happy,” he said. “But I think if I found Jesus—which, I didn’t know he was lost in the first place—I don’t think he would be all that different from me.”

At this point I’m sure a number of Christians have turned away. After all, why should they read the words of Marilyn Manson, of all people? When your greatest enemy was once one of your own, perhaps you should listen to what drove him away.

He thinks Jesus wasn’t that different from him. Jesus was misunderstood. Jesus was rejected. Jesus tried to make people think and challenged the establishment. Marilyn Manson fits that bill. Of course Manson also does drugs and wears leather and make up. Don’t be too offended at his comments. There is some truth to them.

“And I think that image [the cross] has caused more pain and suffering than a swastika or the hammer and sickle,” he said. “And those images are taboo, while the crucifix will always be considered holy. But think of how many people died in the name of that image.”

He’s got a point there. It’s a sad state of affairs that the very history of Christianity can be used against it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, man is fallible, our mistakes don’t discredit God. But our hypocrisy does discredit God in the minds of an unbelieving world.

“My Bible teacher would ask the class, ‘Is there anyone in the room that’s Catholic?’ or ‘Is there anyone that’s Jewish?’ If there was no response, she would talk about how wrong those other religions interpreted the Bible. So at an early age, Christians already started to appear to me as people who believed that their interpretation of God was the only one that was right.”

Marilyn Manson had a Bible teacher? He went to a Christian school. Like I said, he’s a product of Christianity. It really makes you think sometimes.

In the interview Manson also described a trip to the Vatican. As a side note, I can’t help but wonder if he just walked in looking like his usual self. You’d think the Catholic church wouldn’t look too highly on that.

“I was kind of overwhelmed by the Vatican,” Manson said. “I was overwhelmed by the amount of gold that was used to create the building, while so many people complain about hunger and homelessness and the pain and sufferings of the world. And buildings like that are supposed to be what God intended. It doesn’t add up.”

Again, Manson has a point. Perhaps you should consider what drove him from Christianity before you write him off.

On a completely different and unrelated tangent, I was reading a chat transcript with Billy Graham on the way home tonight. Someone said that they were a young pastor and wanted to know what advice Graham would give them.

“Study the Bible constantly,” Graham said. “That’s where I think I failed. I don’t know the Bible nearly as well as I wish that I did, and I wish I spent more time studying it.”