Mindy McCready and the New American Priesthood
When it comes to country singer Mindy McCready’s suicide, I guess I should write something that sounds like a bad English translation of a badly written philosophical voice over at the end of a bad French film. Kind of like the New York Times achieves:
Her life was one of those aching odysseys sermonized redundantly across the musical landscape in which she performed. The rocket rise to stardom. The volcanic men. The depression. The drugs and booze. The brushes with the law. The heartache. The suicide attempts. Such were the tangled threads of the country music singer Mindy McCready, who could never seem to outrun life’s ill winds.
But I’m not feeling much sympathy. Buried in the news reports is the fact that McCready’s suicide was a permanent abandonment of her two children. Worse, she joined the father of one of them in dumping their kid. Baby dad killed himself on the same porch a while back.
So we have two kids who will grow up wondering what they might have done to make mommy so sad, and one wondering what he could have done to save mommy and daddy. Kids who will always, no matter how well their lives might progress materially, respond to the world as an unstable, untrustworthy place. They will carry scars. Maybe inflict lots of scars upon others, as traumatized people tend to do.
But you know what? It’s all good. Because, unlike those Roman Catholic child abuser priests, and their obviously false, discredited religion, Mindy McCready was an entertainer, a member of the new American priesthood. She deserves reverence and protection for the higher good she represents.
In a 2010 interview with the Associated Press, McCready extolled the lofty order to which she was ordained:
“It is a giant whirlwind of chaos all the time,” she said of her life. “I call my life a beautiful mess and organized chaos. It’s just always been like that. My entire life things have been attracted to me and vice versa that turn into chaotic nightmares or I create the chaos myself. I think that’s really the life of a celebrity, of a big, huge, giant personality.”
Yeah, that’s someone who should preach and to whom we should listen, in our American hunger to live good lives, guided by entertainment mediated “science and reason” rather than the old superstitions.
They can help us choose leaders for our troubled times.
Even their minor orders of ministry (the “B” and below list celebs) can help us with vexing issues of life, death and political conflict.
One hopes that a real priest, pastor or somebody will come alongside McCready’s abandoned children, with a word more enduring than film scripts or pop lyrics:
Though my father and my mother forsake me, the LORD will sustain me. (Psalm 27:14)
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