My first cruise, January 2011
I’m sitting on the deck of my first cruise ship, looking out at the big, blue sea, listening to its lush loudness, sucking on a Coffee Nip and reading “Just Kids” by Patti Smith. It seems like she is saying that her god is art. On page 11, she has almost a religious experience during her first visit to the Museum of Art in Philadelphia, saying, “I knew I was transformed, moved by the revelation that human beings create art, that to be an artist was to see what others could not.” On page 13, she describes her boyfriend, Robert Mapplethorpe, “having broken from his father, leaving his Catholic, commercial and military options behind in the wake of LSD and a commitment to live for art alone.” On page 48, she says, “His service was to art, not to church or country.”
It sounds strangely like the New Age–human secularist philosophy, “man is god.”
Augusten Burroughs, one of my favorite writers, describes his mother as worshiping art. I love art. I melt in a museum. I try to paint, write poetry, write music. I can understand the passion, but we must worship the Creator, not the creation. Just as the Earth devotees like Gore and animal fanatics like PETA must worship the Creator, not the creation. Sex is god to some. God created sex. God is so awesome to give us these marvelous gifts; food, wine, the beauty of nature, the animals, music, creativity, art, talent, friendship, sex, marriage, children and love. We tend to worship the gifts instead of the Giver.
I’m alone on this cruise. The opportunity came up, and Husband had to work. Teenager had exams and cheer. I must admit I am quite enjoying my solitude. Keeping a family together and on the right path is hard work. On my cabin TV, I’m hearing bits and pieces of the news back home. There has been a shooting in Arizona. Families are devastated. Sarah Palin is being blamed! Conservative rhetoric is being blamed! I have two responses: 1) “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun” – Barack Obama. He was referring to conservatives, the ones he wants “on the back of the bus,” “the enemy,” as he also referred to us. Blame him. Blame his rhetoric. 2) The murderer’s favorite book was “The Communist Manifesto”! Sarah Palin explains it best – the rampage was the act of a “single, evil man.”
On my first cruise, I’m meeting strangers who will be friends for life. One is Jerry Johnson. I am telling him how grateful I am for Glenn Beck and how he educated me on the progressives’ secret agenda of destroying America, how he “outed” the Obama appointee, Communist Van Jones, and all the other scary czars like antigun animal-worshiper Sunstein and Holdren who wants to poison our water to limit population growth, how Beck exposed George Soros as the “Dr. Evil” that he is, trying to crash our economy and take over the world. Jerry brings up Glenn Beck’s Mormonism and I start to realize that the god Glenn Beck has been praying to for the healing of our land is not the God I’ve been praying to. I’ve had a fuzzy understanding of Mormonism, but, in a quest for truth, I listen to the facts Jerry is sharing with me and decide Beck has the freedom to worship any god he chooses, but he and Mitt Romney cannot accurately call themselves “Christians.” I now realize why the 8/28 event had a strange element with the ecumenical lineup Beck brought onstage with him. Praying to “any” god is not what 2 Chronicles 7:14 meant.
I think Glenn Beck should stick to politics.
I’m now sitting on an island out in the middle of nowhere thinking about the time God talked to me. It was on a beach. Venice Beach, 1997. Yep, God talked to me. Usually, God only whispers loudly to me, and it’s usually Bible verses I’ve memorized, like the time I was a Baptist virgin in Hollywood dating a Jewish Gypsy fire-eater who sold pot. God whispered, “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath light with darkness” (2 Corinthians 6:14). I whispered back to God, “I know, but I’m taking him to church.” Well, I disobeyed God and had to pay the consequences … literally. I’m not allowed to discuss the details of the divorce, but let’s just say one of us had to pay the other alimony. I’ll leave it at that.
In 1997, I had missed my plane from L.A. back to Miami. I think I was auditioning for “Speed II,” the role of the entertainment director on a cruise ship! (They asked me to improv what I would do if the ship started sinking, and I was supposed to keep the passengers calm and happy. I improvised that we’d hold hands and pray! I didn’t get the part.) I was frustrated that my cop husband’s job in Florida was keeping me from all my career opportunities in California. I loved my family, but missed the excitement of the spotlight and the creative stimulation. Remember, I love art. I had to kill three hours until the next flight, so I went to the beach near LAX. It was 9 a.m. I sat alone on the shore and cried for an hour. I spoke out loud to God. I poured my heart out until it was empty. Not one word was left. Then He said to me:
- God: You want to control your life.
Me: Yes, I do. And I’m pretty good at it. I’m famous. I made a lot of money. Two houses. Great family, marriage.
God: You want to control your life.
Me: Yes, I do.
Me: Well, I don’t really have any money anymore … or the houses. I did go through a divorce. My family is sad because I’m sad all the time. I’ve been drinking too much. I have a hangover right now …
God: Or I could control your life. I, who made the vast sea you are looking at, so big you can’t see to the other side. I, who created all the strange animals living in that sea. I, who created you, and the babies that came out of your body. I started their hearts beating inside of your belly. I, who created the people walking behind you … or I could control your life.
Me: OK. I know this, it’s a cliche from church – but how can you control me? I’m a puppet? You’re going to pull strings to lift me up and walk me?
God: Go home and love your family, and I’ll tell you what to do.
Wow. I floated back to my rental car and the airplane telling everyone I saw that God had just spoken to me. I glowed.
I told my family the whole story ending with God telling me to “Go home and love your family.” They looked at me, their faces perplexed and saying, “Duh.” It was soon after that that I was “outed” as a Christian on my 12 appearances on “Politically Incorrect” with Bill Maher, and my path seemed to veer from comedy to serious!
Marriage and the family unit is the pillar of society. God invented it to be a beautiful, strong thing. Sometimes, I want to run away from mine. They know how to hurt me better than anyone else. But, I will obey God (Proverbs 14:1). He knows best.
Liberals are “redefining” the family. Conservatives are “recommitting” to the family. I’d rather be a conservative.