Tammy Faye's cancer treatments suspended

For those of you who know of her, a link to the story. For those of you who don’t, a link to her story.

I gotta say, there had been a point in time when I, as a Christian, was embarrassed about this woman. Her clown makeup. Her goody-two-shoes perkiness. Her simplistic worldview of Christ as Love.

And then, two or three years ago, I watched the season of Surreal Life that featured her. When the promo said that she would be on there with Ron Jeremy, I just had to check it out. And to my amazement, she was — how best to put this — a very classy dame in the grand tradition of larger than life women.

She was both strong and gentle, never compromising her own principles, and never condemning anyone else in the process. Her behavior won over her roommates, who never felt like they had to pretend to be anything other than themselves in her presence. She always engaged people in conversation about what they wanted to discuss. She asked questions about them, and encouraged them.

When I learned that she had been for some time an icon in the gay community (via Jim J. Bullock), I was surprised. But then when I saw a large contingent of gays and lesbians turn out for her book signing, and gush about how wonderful she was and how important she was to them, I had a cathartic moment. I thought to myself, ‘My goodness, how she has changed over the years!’.

And then I realized, it wasn’t she who had changed. It was I. Watching her that season, my own judgmentalism melted away. I was able to see her for who I think she really is, a humble servant of Christ who sets an example for people like me. I’m ashamed that I’d been ashamed of her.

Here’s to you, Tammy Faye. […tink!..] God go with you always.

You do realize that she and her husband lived high on the hog from donations solicited from vulnerable people:

cite It is wonderful that she changed later in life, but she and her husband were scumbags.

Yep. I lived in Charlotte back then, and read about the Bakkers almost every day. They also had an air conditioned doghouse, and a gold toilet seat. But she was, to put it delicately, something of an airhead with respect to finances and politics. I’m convinced in my own mind now that she had absolutely no idea about Jim’s shenanigans. I honestly believe that she was guilty of nothing more than naivety and really bad taste.

Some relatives of mine worked for PTL in its heyday, and got to know her pretty well. She’s very well thought of in my family, and she was kind enough spend time with my uncle when he was on his deathbed dying of cancer.

Damn, but you guys are messing with my worldview in the worst way. Next you’ll be telling me that O.J. Simpson is revered by thousands of Bangladeshi orphans, and didn’t really kill Nicole anyway!

I think she serves as a fine example of how people can change for the better. And I am saddened by her health situation.

For a while she even had a column in XY.

She turned out to be a really good person. I went to college in Greensboro, and my roommate (originally from Charlotte) and I would watch PTL to mock Tammy and Jim. But then she turned everything around, and I have lots of respect for what she made of herself. I’m sorry that she’s so ill.

There’s a really good documentary about her called The Eyes of Tammy Faye. I also grew up with PTL-watching parents and was always embarrassed and creeped out by her, but I watched the movie after hearing good things about it. Between that and the kinds of stories others have mentioned, my opinion of her really changed. The movie is only a few years old and widely available. I think Netflix has it, and I’ve seen it for rent at Hollywood Video.

Jim Bakker can take a flying leap though. What an ass.

I came here to post this. The movie also exposes a lot of the greed and backstabbing that took place between Robertson, Swaggart and Bakker.

That is pretty much the case.*

Jimmy’s biggest problem was his enormous ego, leading to pride and arrogance. I honestly believe that he felt he could do no wrong. And that any prosperity he enjoyed was a blessing from God. There remains some controversy over how close he actually was to the finances.

Jimmy has renounced much of his own past behavior. After prison he spent time ministering to the homeless, so one might conclude that he has made somewhat of a turnaround himself.

  • Based on limited personal experience. I am closely related to Jimmy, and at the few annual family reunions I attended, Tammy was always extraordinarily friendly and personable. When they became famous and people would make fun of Tammy, I’d have to respond that “she was actually the nice, normal one”. Jimmy was always “on stage” and difficult to get to know. My older brother, who actually lived with Jimmy and Tammy pre-PTL, would dispute that attribution, so my personal perceptions may not be totally valid.

ETA: Don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending either of them. I was, at the time, one of their harshest critics. Much to the dismay of my father.

FYI, she’s going to be “Larry King Live” Thursday, July 19 at 9 p.m. ET

I recently watched the documentary series about her son, One Punk Under God. He’s a good kid, and obviously adores his mother. His relationship with his father is a lot more complicated.

Tammy is, according to that documentary, the first talk-show host (back in PTL days) to have openly gay HIV+ patients discuss the AIDS epidemic and plead for viewers to wear condoms and behave responsibly sexually, but she was never judgmental or homophobic like most of her Christian contemporaries. During the height of the PTL scandals she was a major (prescription) drug addict and basket case.

I do think she’s a much better person than her ex-husband (not that this is saying a lot) and I loved the scene of her dancing with Ron Jeremy on Surreal Life (the two seem to have legitimately hit it off). She did refuse to participate in a nudist event or something else that offended her, and the producers agreed to put her up in a hotel and nobody thought the less of her. I think she’s a nice but not particularly bright person who absolutely cracked under fame and fortune.

PS-I think Jim had something of a jailhouse epiphany and conversion- for a while. The last time I saw him while channel surfing, though, he was back to his manic “that don’t even make good nonsense” self involved and self exonerating style of sermon. That said, I always thought his 45 year prison sentence and the shackles he was conveyed in public in- was ridiculous. He lost every last dime while in prison and when he was released from prison he lived in a house that belonged to a member of Billy Graham’s family, while Tammy married the former main contracter for PTL (who also went to prison on white-collar charges of some ilk).

[Hijack]Does anybody think that Jim Bakker raped Jessica Hahn? I used to think she was exaggerating, but I actually wonder now- she seems to have no need to lie about it or for money [she’s the long-time live-in of the creator of Married With Children so she’s not pushing a shopping cart) and she’s never changed her story. She also says she very much wants to see Tammy Faye.[/HIJACK]

I lived very close to their hotel/complex during and after the PTL scandal. We were practically neighbors, Lib!
I second the recommendation of The Eyes of Tammy Faye. I adore her now.

So, is she expected to live long enough for the 2008 Death Pool? :smiley: :frowning:

I think she was definitely set up, and perhaps drugged, by John Wesley Fletcher.
When she told her whole story in PLAYBOY, I thought she was a starry-eyed fan-girl who was easily seduced and had to blame her seduction on “drugged” wine.
Later, hearing more about JWF, I think he was the main culprit. Whether or not Jim was a conspirator at first, he certainly became a co-conspirator upon bedding her.

I’ve been wondering whatever became of Debra Murphree. Is she even still alive?

Thanks for the heads up about Tammy’s interview Thursday. I’ll certainly set my DVR.

:slight_smile: That’s great! I lived on the west side near Belmont. By Charlotte’s standards, though, that was still pretty close. Before that, I lived on the east side and worked on the west side. It was a 50 minute commute, what with traffic and all.

She siad on Larry King that she weighs 65 pounds. She looked like a walking skeleton, but was quite upbeat.