News | Religion | Tammy Faye Messner

Tammy Faye Stops Cancer Treatments

Things aren't sounding good for Tammy Faye Messner, who has been battling lung cancer. Yesterday she posted a letter on her website, which read, in part:

Tammy_faye"The doctors have stopped trying to treat the cancer and so now it's up to God and my faith. And that's enough! But please continue to pray for the pain and sick stomach. My precious daughter, Tammy Sue, and her wonderful friends are staying with me while Roe builds churches. They don't want me falling down the stairs. I am down weight wise to 65 pounds, and look like a scarecrow. I need God's miracle to swallow. To those of you who are suffering as I....."don't give up"!! Make up your mind you're going to LIVE !! That is NOT EASY! The path gets so long. I look at young people and wish with all my heart for just one day of 'feeling great'. You see, God gives out his promises, they do not lie, they do not fail. We do not have to BEG him for them, they are FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

We send our prayers to Tammy Faye, and salute her courage.

Letter from Tammy Faye [official site]

(via popbytes)

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  1. Her husband was a crook and she is a holy roller who wears way too much make up, BUT I have to give her props for being there with sympathy for HIV + positive people back in the day when everyone even our own community were running and hiding from those suffering. She came out and said that it wasn't her place to judge, her place was to provide comfort and support.

    Posted by: pacificoceanboy | May 9, 2007 10:03:53 AM

  2. The prayers of the cosmetics industry are finally being answered.

    Posted by: Dan | May 9, 2007 10:14:22 AM

  3. I don't agree with her fundamentalist Christianity, but it sure is nice to see a prominent religious conservative who admits to having faults and who treats other people with heartfelt kindness and respect. Poor lamb. I hope they can keep her comfortable.

    Posted by: Brian | May 9, 2007 10:20:59 AM

  4. I have no idea who she is (bit before my time i suppose)

    but i admire her strength and faith

    Posted by: stephen | May 9, 2007 10:29:18 AM

  5. I don't think she's as fundamentalist as a) she used to be, b) everyone thought she was, or c) both. She's one of those rare jewels to emgerge from the dung-pile of televangalistic fundotardalism. She briefly wrote an advice column for XY magazine. If you haven't yet seen "The Eyes of Tammy Faye" (narrated by RuPaul), you must.

    Posted by: Acolyte | May 9, 2007 10:31:25 AM

  6. correction: fundamentalistIC

    Posted by: Acolyte | May 9, 2007 10:32:29 AM

  7. Tammy Faye, I am lost for words.
    God is holding you in his love.

    Posted by: Barney | May 9, 2007 10:35:00 AM

  8. thanks Andy for saluting someone who was so welcoming of gay people, yes, easy to make fun of but very sincere in her beliefs.

    Posted by: cd | May 9, 2007 10:45:12 AM

  9. She's hardly your typical fundamentalist. She's actually been a friend of the gay community, and her son, who is a preacher, has come out in favor of gay marriage.

    She's an odd bird, no doubt about it, but a good soul and her passing will be a loss.

    Posted by: Dan E | May 9, 2007 10:45:26 AM

  10. I grew up thinking Tammy Faye was a horrible woman for being involved with the whole evangelical thing. I only started looking at her differently after her divorce and especially when she and JM J. Bullock had that talk show together.

    My partner grew up the son of a preacher in Pennsylvania where they actually had Jim and Tammy over for dinner every once in awhile. His parents even invested in that horrible "Heritage" scheme.

    We both watched _Eyes of Tammy Faye_ when it was in theatres and both felt we learned a lot about this woman.

    She may be a bit naive, and perhaps a little simplistic, but she comes across as a very loving soul - and as a person who will not judge others despite how easy those with a similar faith have made it. The unafraid work she did with HIV+ folks was groundbreaking at the time and so counter to the mass shunning people of all faiths engaged in. For that alone, she deserves some kudos.

    Her son, who is now a preacher as well, has been losing a number of members of his church since embracing gay people and refusing to speak out against them. I have to think his mother played more than a small part in allowing him to feel comfortable expressing his faith without dogpiling on gay people.

    I'm sending good thoughts Tammy Faye's way. Not only is she a decent and loving person, but I'd love for her to have a little more time to sing a dorky tune and spread her love and cheer to other people who could really use it.

    Come on, Tammy. There are a number of us rooting for you!

    Posted by: Rey | May 9, 2007 10:47:07 AM

  11. If only *our* community had as much love for ourselves as Tammy Faye does. She's a damn good soul and mocking her appearance only reinforces how trite and superficial our community can often-times be.

    Posted by: Jason | May 9, 2007 10:49:05 AM

  12. BTW, Dan - Your comment doesn't even make sense. The cosmetic industry is praying for the looming death of Tammy Faye?

    I wouldn't wanna be around you, that bad karma you got must be oozin' outta yo' pores!

    Posted by: Jason | May 9, 2007 10:55:08 AM

  13. If her faith was so strong, she should look forward to the "eternal paradise" that Christianity claims to offer. Religion really is quite the silly delusion.

    That being said, I am sorry for her suffering.

    Posted by: JLS | May 9, 2007 10:58:08 AM

  14. Those who are calling Tammy Faye a fundamentalist are speaking from ignorance. She is FAR from a fundamentalist. Tammy Faye is a kind, compassionate, loving and non-judgmental woman of faith. She has been a very open, visible and tireless supporter of the gay community for many years.

    She has a son who is a progressive, gay supportive, marriage equality supporting Christian minister in Atlanta, where such a thing is unheard of. He maintains the gay supportive aspect of his ministry in spite of the fact that he has taken a lot of heat for it.

    God bless Tammy Faye. I pray that she finds comfort and ease of mind in her final days.


    Posted by: Zeke | May 9, 2007 11:17:06 AM

  15. I have big black streaks of bad karma running down my face!

    Posted by: Dan | May 9, 2007 11:19:04 AM

  16. It is rare to find someone in evangelical Christian circles who has been as loving, accepting, and non-judgmental as Tammy Faye. I applaud her faith, for she seems to be someone who is actually LIVING it, and heeding the words of Christ to love her fellow man. Many others from her background can only accuse and condemn. I'll be praying for her suffering to be eased as she goes through what sadly seems to be the final battle. Heaven will be brighter and infinitely more fun when she arrives!

    Posted by: JL | May 9, 2007 11:40:18 AM

  17. Thank you for your support of us Tammy Faye (and your support as well Jay) We love you and yo are TRULY an inspiration. You are in my prayers. Much love!

    Posted by: Jeff | May 9, 2007 12:00:39 PM

  18. Find peace, dear Tammy.

    Posted by: CHUX | May 9, 2007 12:13:29 PM

  19. I'm an athiest and have a pretty low opinion of religion in general, but I think Tammy Faye is a remarkable and loving woman. Especially considering her background it's amazing that she could be so loving. Even with her idiosyncrasies she is a truly good person. An example of what's right with religion in a world with so many examples of what's wrong.

    Posted by: Daniel | May 9, 2007 12:13:47 PM

  20. Lung cancer is a horrible way to go. Don't smoke! Gay men rant and rave about all the abuse they suffer, then go out and smoke and drink too much, which is clearly much worse on a regular basis. I'm beginning to think it's evidence of neurosis to take up the habit.

    Tammy's Ex may have well been on the down-low as well, which explains the compassion. It's amazing she was never implicated in the fraud of her husband. Did anyone in the 1980's think her constant flow of tears were genuine? PT Barnum all over again.

    Posted by: anon | May 9, 2007 12:15:00 PM

  21. I take back my description of her as "fundamentalist"... I should have said "evangelical", or something else. Tammy Faye always seemed to me to be a little out of place among the Jim Bakkers and Jerry Falwells of the world, but is still often thought of in her PTL incarnation initially. A little further inspection of her life since her divorce from Bakker shows a wacky, eccentric, but honestly kind and loving woman. She shows that you can have very conservative faith, while still treating others with huge kindness and respect even if they might not agree with her on a religious standpoint. If only more Christians could be a little more like that... the world would be a kinder and safer place.

    It's sad to hear that she's suffering. I'll send a little love her way.

    Namaste indeed.

    Posted by: Brian | May 9, 2007 12:17:44 PM

  22. It's easy for a cynical atheist to dismiss Tammy Faye (along with most Christianity) as a joke.

    Try to see it this way...

    Tammy's faith is what allows her to be TRUE to the teachings of Christianity, which, when followed as they should be, allow for compassion, love, acceptance, non-judgment, all of which benefit all people, but especially gays and lesbians.

    Rather than focus on the futility of her belief in the divine, I choose to focus on how it has shaped the way she treats others.

    Tammy, you have my prayers.

    Posted by: mark m | May 9, 2007 12:28:51 PM

  23. Once again, she proves there is NO god.

    Posted by: kevin | May 9, 2007 12:40:46 PM

  24. Zeke--

    A small correction: her son moved his church to Brooklyn when his wife got into grad school at NYU; one of my best friends here in the city is actually buddies with him, and says he's a great guy.

    That being said, his church is also still present in Atlanta, with a different minister.

    Posted by: Dan E | May 9, 2007 1:01:08 PM

  25. Tammy is really a beautiful emotional human being. Angels always get taken early from this planet.

    Posted by: joe | May 9, 2007 1:19:17 PM

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