Some more notable Christians of the 20th century

Mister Rogers

I think probably there’s never been a better, purer human being on television than Fred Rogers.  He was a saint, a bodhisattva.  With every atom of his being, he was a conduit of unconditional love, flowing out in an endless torrent to everyone around him.

Read this.  I’m not messing around here, you click that link, and you read that essay, and see how hard it is to keep a tear from your eye.

Look at this.

What you see there, in that video, is one man overcoming the United States Senate through sheer force of virtue.  Kindness.  Gentleness.  Meekness. Humility.  These things emanated from Mr. Rogers in a palpable wave, and they gave him a power against which no strength, pride or cynicism could prevail.

I’m a surly misanthrope who drinks, smokes, curses, loves violent movies, and tends to regard the human race with a detached cynicism.  I’m not like Mr. Rogers.  I don’t think I have it in me to be, although certainly I could try harder than I do.  Maybe it’s best that I’m not.  But the world needs people who are like Mr. Rogers.

I just watched that video.  Tears are welling up in my eyes as I type this.  This man was a living embodiment of agape, the perfect love of the Christ.  How many lives, how many millions of lives, did he touch with that love?

T.S. Eliot

That’s right, we’ve got the greatest poet of the 20th century.  Suck on that, other religions.  It makes up for having Stephen Baldwin.  It almost makes up for having Kirk Cameron.

As a fan and co-religionist of Eliot, and of Tolkien and Lewis, I also find it kind of hilarious that those latter worthies hated Eliot’s poetry.

The church shall be open, even to our enemies.
We are not here to triumph by fighting , by stratagem, or by resistance,
Not to fight with beasts as men. We have fought the beast
And have conquered. We have only to conquer
Now, by suffering. This is the easier victory.

Johnny Cash

Look up the word “badass” in a dictionary.  If the definition is anything other than that picture, your dictionary is probably defective.  Johnny Cash was probably the greatest country musician ever.  His voice was made of raw pain, anger and power.  In his earlier years, he spent a considerable amount of time raising hell.  Then one day he crawled into a cave while out of his mind on drugs and looking for a good hole to die in.  What he found instead was God.  He crawled out, got clean, married June Carter, and went to his knees before the altar at Evangel Temple in Nashville.

He continued to be a total badass.  He wasn’t much like Mr. Rogers at all either.  Indeed, he spent his final years on Earth covering metal songs in a fashion guaranteed to break the heart of any human being listening.

If you can watch that music video without being moved, you’d probably fail the Voight-Kampf Test, because you’ve got a subhuman lack of empathy.  But while his version of “Hurt” is the one people remember, I maintain that the better epitaph for the man is “Further On Up the Road.”


So what if he’s fictional?  He’s Superman.

In fairness, Batman is almost certainly an atheist.


3 Responses to “Some more notable Christians of the 20th century”

  1. I just stumbled upon your blog via your sig, and I have to say even though I’m a godless heathen, it makes me very happy to see a well reasoned, intelligent, fun, and geeky Christian blog. This is good stuff, keep it up.

  2. You know, when Trent Reznor did that song, it was good, and I liked it for a long time. Then Johnny Cash came along and made him seem like a thin, whiny emo kid in comparison. Johnny Cash = awesome.

  3. on behalf of Mr. Rogers I will accept this as an apology for some of the things you had to say about him when youi were 6-10 years old.

    I have always liked Johnny Cash and he is a cool example of a Christian but if he makes the list so does his wife June. Johnny would tell you how important she was to him being able to walk the line.

    Maybe the most intreasting thing about those two examples how walking the line came so easy and naturaly for Mr. Rogers and was such and effort for Johnny Cash. They each are so important in this world.

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