Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Death of Celebrity

It's good to have friends. This post is compliments of my roomate Adam. He is an editor so you might notice a significant upgrade! Anywho, I'm a fan and so should you!

In the wake of Heath Ledger’s death, I found myself thinking something like “What a pity! What a waste!” He’s not the first nor the last to suffer an ultimate end like that. I found myself, given my convictions, wanting to make an example of him: an example of how success, celebrity, money, and fame are worthless in the cold light of death. I think many Christians will want to as well. His life, that apparent emptiness, are easy prey for Christians with conviction that there’s more to life than accomplishments, that there’s emptiness even at the top, that meaning is not necessarily found in obtaining all your dreams.

Certainly those conclusions could be reached and preached, but to my mind, Christians, myself included, are wrong to descend like vultures on the corpses of broken lives and squawk, “See! See! We’re right! Material success isn’t what life is about!” To tear the flesh from their limbs and cannibalize it as evidence for what we believe is disgusting. To moralize on the carcasses of men seems quite irreverent to the lives God graciously breathed into them.

To bolster our claims on the death of a young celebrity in fact only undermines our perspective. Who would trust a man who uses another’s death as an opportunity? But who would not trust the man who grieves? What credibility have Christians, who are intent upon proliferating Jesus’ eternal life, when they prey upon death rather than mourning life? Compassion cannot be sacrificed for the sake of conviction. We should not make a mockery of a celebrity’s hopeless end. We should be grieving the end of a life that God saw fit to bear his image

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