At 55 Today I'm Wondering If I Can Book This Guy in Advance to Sing at My Funeral! LOL

Since I'm getting blasted in the comments below, supposedly because I may have made fun of a person with a mental disability, let me respond.

I found this video posted on Facebook by a well-respected Christian scholar, so if you blast me then blast him too.

Besides, I never said exactly what it was that I found to be funny about this guy who can't sing, so let me spell it out now.

What I find hilarious is that the church allowed him to sing before the congregation in the first place. That's it! They knew how he would sing on camera before he sang and they let him sing anyway! That's the hoot! So no, I would not want him to sing at my funeral for the same reasons the church leadership should not have let him sing before the faithful. Why? Because it’s painful to hear him sing. He can’t sing! Do I need to be any clearer?

If a Christian wants to respond that God doesn't care how talented someone is when it comes to worshipful praise, and that sincere faith is all God asks, then let's do a review. People have gifts. Christians say believers have spiritual gifts. This guy’s gift is NOT singing. So a responsible church leadership should not let him sing and/or lead the congregation in song. Any church leader who was this irresponsible should be fired. I know. I taught a church leadership class for a Christian college. This is not indicative of good church leadership. Not only is it not edifying to the congregation but it can also harm the guy who sang who will be ridiculed afterward.

Think of it this way. If sincere faith is all that's important then why doesn’t the church hire this guy to be their preacher and listen to him every week? Why not make him the treasurer of the church? Why not make him the choir director? You see, sincerity is not enough when it comes to placing the right people with the right gifts in the right place. Church leadership must be more responsible than this in identifying and properly placing people with the right gifts.

And that’s it. I find this incident absolutely hilarious for those reasons. It has nothing to do with whether or not this guy has a mental handicap. If he does I sympathize for him much more than that church did, for I would never have placed him in this situation in the first place. As a result, people would not be making fun of him in public like they are now.

So, let's have some more fun with this for the reasons I just stated.


feeno said...

Let me be the first to wish you a happy B-day. And if you can get Eddie Murphy to sing at you funeral, I'll be there too.

Later Geezer, feeno

Rob R said...

Do we know that this guy actually damaged his mind on drugs? He could've been born with mental retardation.

Careful John. You know what scripture says about those who mock the poor (and it would seem the same logic of that consideration applies to the poor of mind).

So just what human dignity and worth can we say that he has in a materialistic picture?

Anonymous said...

You're a killjoy Rob. It's my birffday and I can have fun if I want to. So there.

Brian_E said...

Darn - can't see the video at work. At any rate, Happy Birthday John!

David Parker said...

Happy birthday John!

Gandolf said...

Yeah happy Birthday John

Jason Long said...

Ironically, I could only bear 55 seconds of this. Best evidence of atheism ever found because no god would ever allow this!

Rob R said...

Well, happy birfday to you anyhow.

And as I said to my brother in law when he turned 40, your best years are now behind you! :D

Anonymous said...

Aww Jason,
you missed his big finish!

Rob R said...

Here you go John, posted on Ben Witherington's website on your birthday.

It's good to be alive.

Unknown said...

John, Happy Birthday! I had the pleasure of meeting you and your lovely wife when the two of you graced us with your presence at our Cleveland Freethinkers anniversary dinner last spring. I have since become a big fan of your site. Enjoy your birthday.

Luke said...

Seriously? You're laughing at a person with a mental disability and putting it out in public in order to celebrate your birthday?

This shameful behavior speaks for itself. It tells the world what kind of person you really are.

Shame on you, John Loftus.

ismellarat said...

I'm with Rob_R on this.

The guy is doing the best he can in spite of whatever obstacles he's got, and his church is trying to be supportive.

Imagine what it might do to him if he gets humiliated for it.

We should support what's good in this world, regardless of where it comes from.

I'd bet that if those who are laughing at him on YouTube were surveyed, the percentage of churchgoers among them would be much lower than we'd find in the general population.

Assuming it's all of no value can be just as bad as obliviously believing it all makes perfect sense.

ismellarat said...

Careful with the words there, Luke. We all have our issues.

Daddy thays I'm thpecial, for instance.

Rob said...

Happy birthday John. Going to play a few frames down at the local tavern to celebrate?

Ignore dickheads like "Saint" Luke. You'll live longer.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it was kind to let this guy up there to become the subject of gossip and youtube broadcasts. Whoever was in charge should have tried to prevent it.
And in my experience at churches, people gossip just as most other people do, so they don't seem to be different from the rest of us humans.

Anonymous said...

John, I just read your edit and totally agree. Yes, preachers and musicians, etc. are hired for their talents and skills, etc.-not their sincere faith. And I guess it's just dawning on me that the people in charge were aware the service was being taped, which makes it worse. Why was this on a facebook page, if you know?

Christian Agnostic said...

I think this was very funny indeed. I think its great that his church let him have a go. And Happy Birthday John. Keep blogging and writing and keeping Christians honest.

Reuben said...

John, that was fantastic. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi John,
as christians say
"don't let your mind be so open that your brains fall out"
so to let this guy up there was just incompetently poor judgment.

And there's always a risk when we do "humor" or "satire" because it is a good angle to charge "immorality" or "insensitivity" and allow christians slip into the fallacies of composition or division depending on which way you extrapolate to the conclusion.

Its not about other atheists (ismellarat) or atheism in general and it doesn't summarize the character of anyone (Luke).

Rob R said...

Well, I don't want to villainize John here in his birthday thread. He's got enough villainess in his unfortunate habit of celebrating every time someone leaves the faith.

I'll say that it isn't necessarily bad to find something humorous, that is something to be happy about in this guys performance. People will be cruel about this and thoughtless like the guy who titled the video, but as one who has worked as a supported living assistant with people with mental retardation, I know that people who love and respect folks with mental retardation come to love the idiosyncracies of some of them, not in a mocking way but in one where the humour of these situations brings joy inspite of the tragedy.

If this was really a funeral, I don't think that this guys performance was inappropriate at all but I'd like to think that the grieving there had something to smile about that day and they probably had to stifle more than just a smile.

It reminds me of something N T Wright said about two greek philosophers, one cried at everything and the other who laughed at everything. To the question of who was right, both of them reflected our human situation which is so thoroughly mixed with laughter and tears.

At any rate, while we're lining up handicapped people to present at John's funeral, I think the guy in the video in the link I provided above could give the eulogy.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

That is soooo wrong...i saw this video a while back and fell outta my seat...I can't believe this-LOL!!! Tooo funny 2 be true-LOL!!!

Happy birthday by the way!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

I'm sorry fellas think what you will about me but THIS is FUNNY and IF the church really was concerned about him they would have NEVER allowed him to take the mic and then they wouldn't have recorded it...So in this case one can make the judgement and say we shouldn't laugh, but I'll be truthful and be the first to's funny!

ismellarat said...

It may have been a spur of the moment idea of his. If it was a funeral, and he was close to the deceased (for instance), what church would have asked him to audition first? When he talked, you could understand him, so they probably didn't expect that he didn't know the words. (Or someone might have suggested they sing together.)

I'm guessing they were just surprised and let it run its course. Had this not made it to YouTube, it probably would have been forgotten.