When Ministers Say Goddamned Stupid Things

The Reverend Dr. Bill Lawson compared [Ken] Lay with civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus Christ, and said his name would eventually be cleared.

“He was taken out of the world right at the right time,” he said. “History has a way of vindicating people who have been wronged.”

Ken Lay’s memorial attracts power elite, Reuters (via CNN), 7/12/06

10 Ways Ken Lay is Not Like Martin Luther King Jr. and/or Jesus Christ

10. When Martin Luther King, Jr., declared that he had a dream, that dream did not include a $200,000 yacht for the missus

9. Jesus’ disciples not caught on tape snickering at the prospect of grandma baking to death during an induced power outage

8. Jesus did not blame his downfall on the national media

7. Odds that Ken Lay’s birthday will be made a national holiday: really really really low

6. Ken Lay’s letters from jail not likely to have been concerned about much aside from bitching that the warden refused to allow him his favorite French-milled soap

5. Jesus crucifed; MLK assassinated; Ken Lay dead of a heart attack in his comfy vacation home in Aspen

4. Jesus threw out the money traders; Ken Lay an inside trader

3. MLK oversaw the Montgomery Bus Boycott; Lay oversaw the California Energy Crisis

2. George Bush’s nickname for Jesus unlikely to be “Christy Boy”

1. Neither Jesus nor MLK currently rotting in Satan’s duodenum

Hope that clears things up for you, Reverend Lawson.

43 Comments on “When Ministers Say Goddamned Stupid Things”

  1. Heh heh heh.

    For what it’s worth, I should be sleeping right now. I have to teach at 6:30AM tomorrow. Instead, I am surfing the blog of my high school graduating class and trying to figure out why all the people who moved to London are so good looking. Oh, and then ther’es my usual haunting of th’ whatever blorg to get trenchant commentary and assistance in dealing with procrastination.

    Ahem… Okay, now I’m really going to bed…

  2. Lay didn’t have the $15,000 umbrella stand; that was Dennis Kozlowski, the Tyco guy.

    Although Lay probably wished he had one, too. So I guess that one’s close enough to the truth to stand.

  3. Is there a religious school somewhere cranking out ministers specifically to say stupid things? Founded by Pat Robertson, perhaps?

  4. “Sure he was a… crook. But he had a great singing voice.” – Jack Nicholson as the Joker in “Batman.”

    One of the ministers (did you know Ken Lay’s Dad was a minister?) at the funeral said he touched so many. Touched, put the finger on, same thing, right?

  5. I’m not so sure you’re right on #2. I can easily hear Bush saying “Christy Boy.” I mean, he and God are pretty close, to hear him tell it…

  6. Apparently Ken Lay missed his window of time to arise from the dead, so he’s not quite up to the standards of Jesus Christ.
    I’m still sticking with the conspiracy theory. I figure we’ve got plenty of Ken Lay sightings, like Elvis, coming up in the next two years.

  7. Too bad GW couldn’t make the funeral. But at least his dad was there to honor an old friend of da Family. And of course they sent Baker, the consigliore.

  8. You guys… So snarky. Although a eulogy THAT stupid really deserves it, so more power to you!

    JOHN S.: One of the things I like about your writing is that you’re funny as hell. Good on ya!

    Incidentally, is there a single conservative in this crew? Just curious… :p

  9. I was living in CA at the time of th energy crisis. It wasn’t jsut Enron, it was about a half a dozen, possibly more, energy comanies that created the energy crisis.

    I mean quite seriously that the entire thing was fabricated after deregulation as a way to jack up energy prices and make money. Billions were stolen. It was quite probably one of the biggest swindles in history US, outside of Halliburton.

    There is no doubt. NONE. That Enron was at the heart of it, and that Ken Lay knew exactly what he was doing.

    “History has a way of vindicating people who have been wronged.”

    The entire state of California was wronged. By Ken Lay, and thousands of others like him.

  10. I think most everbody, including conservatives, thinks Ken Lay was a crook.

    In a small town near here they’ve just discovered a dude who started out good but ended up swindling a bunch of people out of their life savings in some kind of investment scheme that went ponzi. These were people who knew and trusted the guy.

    Ken Lay was that guy only bigger.

  11. Tripp, do you think Rev. Lawson, and all the people who showed up at his funeral think he’s a crook?

    A guy who steals a loaf of bread, or runs a small-time Ponzi scheme is viewed as a crook. But when someone like Lay goes for the really big haul, it’s a different matter.

  12. So now you’re writing for Letterman too?

    Sure, Ken Lay was a crook, but even crooks have family and friends, and if anyone’s going to speak nicely about him, his funeral is probably the best time. Only the media (and blog) coverage of what he says turns it from a “don’t speak ill of the dead” sentiment in a eulogy into a political statement of some kind.

    Also worth noting: Enron, et. al was a good idea – if it were done properly (i.e., without stealing millions from its customers). The villification of Ken Lay as an individual feels good, I’m sure, but probably further delays a true public market for energy, which would ultimately lower the cost of it for all of us.

  13. Brian Greenberg:

    “Sure, Ken Lay was a crook, but even crooks have family and friends, and if anyone’s going to speak nicely about him, his funeral is probably the best time. Only the media (and blog) coverage of what he says turns it from a ‘don’t speak ill of the dead’ sentiment in a eulogy into a political statement of some kind.”

    Oh, bah, Brian. There’s a difference between not speaking ill of the dead, and comparing a man whose actions (or lack thereof) lead to the largest bankruptcy in our nation’s history to Jesus Christ or MLK. Just because there’s a funeral doesn’t mean there’s a moratorium on calling out patently ridiculous and frankly offensive statements.

  14. Brian Greenburg: Capitalism is only great when the government forces everyone to play nice. Any market left unchecked soon devolves into a den of thieves.

  15. How ANYONE can compare this criminal to The Lord and Savior of mankind is an absolute joke. As a born again spirit filled child of The Living God, Im offended to be put in the same catogory as this “so-called” minister. As an ordained minister of The Gospel of Jesus Christ, I, along with all Christians and ministers are called to go into all the world and preach the gospel. To lay hands on the sick, set the captives free, feed the poor, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner, not spinning our wheels insuring political correctness. Mr. Lawson needs to find true salvation, then a job.

  16. Oh, bah, Brian. There’s a difference between not speaking ill of the dead, and comparing a man whose actions (or lack thereof) lead to the largest bankruptcy in our nation’s history to Jesus Christ or MLK. Just because there’s a funeral doesn’t mean there’s a moratorium on calling out patently ridiculous and frankly offensive statements.

    And yet it didn’t strike me as ridiculous or offensive until I read about it on your blog. Maybe his (second) mistake was not closing the funeral to media coverage and saving the eulogy for those closest to the deceased (as it should be, IMHO).

  17. I certainly do agree that if one is going to say ridiculous and stupid things, one should not do it in the vicinity of a reporter, for one’s own self-interest, at the very least. Because reporters tend to note them.

  18. Brian

    For whatever it’s worth, his funeral was a small private one in Aspen.

    The memorial service in Houston was much more public. I think they did try to keep the press out, but it’s pretty hard to ban press coverage when you’ve got a thousand or so people, including a former POTUS.

  19. Oh beautiful. More from the good Reverend:

    [Lawson] likened Lay to James Byrd, a black man who was dragged to death in a racially motivated murder near Jasper eight years ago.\

    “Ken Lay was neither black nor poor, as James Byrd was, but I’m angry because Ken was the victim of a lynching,”

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4043620.html

  20. Brian Greenberg:
    And yet it didn’t strike me as ridiculous or offensive until I read about it on your blog.

    This is a problem, then. And it’s yours. You shouldn’t need a blog to tell you that this is offensive. This says to me that you need… well, I won’t tell you what you need. It would be offensive.

  21. Anyone else reminded of Billy Wilder’s comment on Peter Sellers and *his* heart attacks?

    “You have to have a heart before you can have an attack.”

    Yeah, I’m shocked Kenny Boy had a heart, too.

  22. BUT WAIT! It gets better!

    Lawson likened Lay to James Byrd, a black man who was dragged to death in a racially motivated murder near Jasper eight years ago.

    “Ken Lay was neither black nor poor, as James Byrd was, but I’m angry because Ken was the victim of a lynching,” said Lawson, who predicted that history will vindicate Lay.

    What an asshole.

  23. I sent a link to this day’s blog to a friend of mine who was stuck in Enron’s California energy crisis. His, comment, quote in full:

    “The Reverend Dr. Bill Lawson is a man of the cloth–cheesecloth.”

  24. Honestly with everything you stated is nothing but poor judgement to the Lord. I think it is not a great help for anyone to read this, it’s just more discouaring to me to see this…….