Because He lives….
We had a discussion in an earlier post about Michael Jackson’s religion. Raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, some say he converted to Islam or to orthodox Christianity.
I think the more interesting question than “What religion is Michael Jackson?” is “Is Michael Jackson a religion?” The memorial service was tinged with equal parts humanism and Christianity. Sure, there was the One World and Unity of Religions theme of the “We are the World” and “Heal the World” anthems. But there were also prayers from the Martin Luther King family and Rev. Lucious Smith offered “In Jesus Name.” Mixtures of generic spirituality and specifically Christian language punctuated the entire affair. The more intriguing presence of religious language and iconography, however, was centered on MJ himself. It started with well-meaning affirmations like “He will live forever,” and “He taught us to love all races.” Then it moved on to more universally bold statements like, “He healed the world.” At one point the image above the stage displayed Jackson with arms spread out in cruciform, with the inscription, “Because He lives, we live.” Images and language of healing, crucifixion, resurrection, salvation, and eternal life were employed throughout the memorial, as they might any service that emphasizes Christian hope of life after death. However, unlike most Christian memorials, those hopes were pinned not on Christ, but upon MJ himself. Did anybody else notice the messianic fervor?
For more perspectives on MJ and religion click here.