Jay, my heartfelt condolences go out to you. Grace on you as you walk through what it means to walk in faith post-mom.
Having had Jay Bakker here at The Gathering a couple months ago, I got a sense of Jay's respect for his mother, and felt as though I myself softened a bit toward some if those elements of my Pentecostal background which are troublesome, or strange to myself, and many people in our society. Tammy Faye exuded love, and acceptance, and it was not only something seen on TV, but I discovered that her son thought of her as a saint as well. Now that speaks volumes.
A short time back Jerry Falwell died, and I mentioned that it felt as though we had come to the end of an era. I am neither happy nor sad for that era ending, but I am impacted deeply, and thoughtful about it.
An era does not end in a single action, or blip off the screen in a day. Eras fade. They transition like mood rings, marking temperature differences which slowly occur.
With the death of Tammy Faye an era evolves toward extinction. Not the loss of Christianity, but of a specific season of American church life. It is not dead, but perhaps still being in it's peak begins to gently ebb, and Tammy Faye may be one of the more simple, ingenuous waves of that season. Her name sweetly laps up on the shore one last time, and reminds us of a Gospel we grew up with (whether aplauded or reviled) in almost every American home, and of her kind there are few left, and certainly none who have held our enraptured attention like Tammy Faye. Some will take this time to mount their soap box, and speak ill - shame on you, if you do.