Gina de Vries

Possibly the weirdest Christian Fundamentalist press I've ever gotten

Filed By Gina de Vries | November 28, 2008 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Media
Tags: Christian beliefs, Christian fundamentalists, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, eulogy, Judy Garland

...and that says something.

On her blog Gina de Vries wrote a eulogy for [DC Madame Deborah Jeane] Palfrey, stating, "I always do what Nana (Franscesa, my great-grandmother) taught me to do when grieving -- light candles, say prayers, cook a meal for friends, buy some flowers if I can find them fresh, set up an altar. Wish the person well on their way home.

"Deborah, I hope you get there with ease and peace. I'm sorry your way out of this world was so rocky, that you were not treated with the grace and graciousness that every human being deserves," de Vries wrote. "I'm praying that Franscesa -- or someone very like her -- is there to greet you with a meal, some flowers, and some sweetness on the other side."

I am not judging Judy Garland or Deborah Jeane Palfrey and hope somehow they were redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, but Garland's Christian funeral and Palfrey's eulogy seem to be lacking reality.

In actual fact, a funeral service is not for the deceased. It is primarily for the family and friends; and while a Christian minister may be called upon to conduct the service, he must not be guilty of suggesting that the unredeemed will inherit eternal life. To do so is to be disingenuous at best and dishonest at worst.

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Weird indeed. You can trust "Christians" like this to be "right" about everything that other people do...even private prayers for those who have moved on. In actual fact, not all "Christians" have this person's pompous attitude. Even Catholic funeral masses are for the departed spirit, not just for those who are still on Earth.

I don't know what world these people occupy. I can't speak for anyone else, but whenever I've attended the funeral of someone who's passed after a painful illness, you can expect the clergy present to say that "now, our friend/family member is in a better place, where they are not suffering anymore." That, to me, implies the assumption that the deceased is not heading to the hot place where the guy with the red suit and pitchfork is running his barbecue pit.

At least he's trying to be honest.

He worships a Deity that maintains His own private torture chamber, and admits that, even though it troubles him.

I don't share his belief. As far as I'm concerned, such an entity doesn't deserve worship. But that's me.

Amen Zoe. It amazes me that people see the obviously unloving aspect of this love me or else deity, yet still worship out of fear. Sad actually.

I think whatever 'God' there is doesn't care what a preacher says and if he's going to accept someone into his kingdom then he'll do it on his own merits and not the permission of a man with collar and a few artifacts or amulets.

How could what you wrote not be comforting to those left behind? I felt it, and I don't even know your friend. Grand-mothers (greats,etc) usually have a better grasp of the real than any preacher does.

I only find his commentary, as usual, ironic. It's all too general among American fundamentalists for them to "know" the state of xtian salvation of everyone, although they say, when it's convenient, that they do not judge or that "only God knows who's gonna be saved."

I grew up in a very fundamentalist denomination: this was pretty usual fare.

You know, I tend to agree with Zoe on this one. I don't want to worship the same God he does, but if his religion dictates that salvation depends on a specific act and that isn't performed then the preacher should speak the truth. Of course, that would make them a lot less popular at funerals and ceremonies for the deceased and cut into a nice side pay source. So they don't.

But is the funeral for the deceased or the family/friends? The family. Obviously.

Reformed Ascetic | November 29, 2008 1:38 AM

I have seen a number of fundamentalist (they used to be proud to call themselves fundamentalist) Baptist ministers of various denominations preach fire and brimstone messages at a funeral service. Stating that the greatest service the departed could perform would be to allow mourners a chance to hear the word. Most of those didn't say anything at all about the deceased. I assume because they felt there was nothing good to say. A couple did "altar calls" at the service.

Even more surprising to me in each of these instances was that the deceased's family didn't act upset.

I went back and read Gina's original post. She discusses her Roman Catholic upbringing and what remains of it today. I think that the preacher is bashing Roman Catholicism and using Gina to do it.

(I loved the description of her family's Catholicism, and would embrace it too if it were not for all the other issues she mentions.)

I may be reading more into this than I need to, but I get the sense that Gina has made a statement about her spirituality has been attacked from the outside for it, and nobody on the inside is hearing her. In the backlash of late, a lot of harsh things have been said about religion; I just want to make sure that we're not trampling on anyone's feelings.

BTW Gina, if you're at all interested there is an independent catholic movement that in some of its iterations overcomes your voiced concerns (I don't know about the "hundred other things" though :) )

Hmm, well.

Actually, as far as christian chruches go, catholicism comes pretty close to some forms of paganism, and I have heard of witches who have practiced their craft while maintaining their ties to the catholic church. Many of the saints and holy days conform nicely to paganism, considering that is where they came from in the first place.

Of course the hard core catholicism, pope and all, is very anti-pagan, hell anti-human if you get right down to it. But as in all things, it seems a matter of degree.

BeachcomberT | November 30, 2008 8:18 AM

This preacher's thoughts about funerals reminds me of a Catholic wedding I attended years ago where the priest delivered a blazing condemnation of people who get divorced. I had just gone thru a divorce, so I sat in my seat, fuming and thinking "What the hell does he know about it?"

Obviously, nothing, since priests can't get married to begin with.

Kind of shoots down their whole credibility as far as marriage counselling and such things go, doesn't it?