Admission: I kind of like KISS music. I kind of like Gene Simmons. Some aspects of him, anyway.
I never joined the KISS Army like my husband did in the 70′s – wait, I wasn’t alive in the 70′s – but after 15 years of being married to a man who starts jumping around the room every time he finds out the band is going on tour, I’ve found a few tunes I actually enjoy.
I loved Gene Simmons Family Jewels. It was one of the funniest shows I think I’ve ever seen. It was rather satisfying seeing a guy who calls himself The Demon taken down a peg by his unimpressed family. Over time, I sort of started to respect Gene for all the work he does on behalf of the troops. Yeah, he’s a misogynist…maybe a narcissist…but he loves America. He appreciates it because of the new life it gave him and his mother – a holocaust survivor – when they immigrated here from Israel.
But last month he made these comments during a radio interview and people got angry, and for good reason:
“My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don’t want to hear f**k all about ‘the world is a harsh place.’ She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life,” he said. “And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say ‘I’m depressed, I live in Seattle,’ f**k you then kill yourself.”
“I never understand, because I always call them on their bluff. I’m the guy who says ‘Jump!’ when there’s a guy on top of a building who says, ‘That’s it, I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to jump,’” Simmons continued. “Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut … up, have some dignity and jump! You’ve got the crowd.
“By the way, you walk up to the same guy on a ledge who threatens to jump and put a gun to his head, ‘I’m going to blow your … head off!’ He’ll go, ‘Please don’t!’ It’s true. He’s not that insane.”
So Twitter totally blew up over this …
I had the most interesting conversation the other night on Twitter, and I couldn’t wait to blog about it here, but I had to give it some extra thought, first.
When someone starts talking about demons at Starbucks, my ears prick up. That’s my personality. I’m one of those people who listen in on others’ conversations at Red Robin, and I chime in on conversations at the grocery store. This guy – who leads a ministry with 23,ooo Twitter followers – said that if you need a cup of coffee to get going in the morning, you are an addict and you are possessed by demons. Apparently, the ratio is two demons per cup. Why two? Because God had told him so, that’s why. He addressed my skepticism by saying I needed to talk to God about it, and He would reveal the same thing to me.
Yeah, OK. I was just doing the math. Four cups of coffee a day… that’s eight demons. You’d think I’d be way more disturbed than I am at that rate.
He added that “the average Starbucks is filled with thousands and thousands of demons.” He might be right about that, but only because they charge so much. I wish I’d known I was buying $5 cups of iced Satan all these years. I would have completely switched to Dunkin’ Donuts.
The conversation took a turn and soon we were talking about depression and psychotropic drugs. God had told this person that those, too, were nothing but capsules filled with Beelzebub. Depression is a demon, he said, and we should be praying, not medicating. Demons enter the body through medication, too!
(Scribbling on a napkin…OK 2 demons per cup of coffee…that’s like eight…plus a demon per pill…that’s 11 demons if you include insulin…now we’re up to 13 demons. What about dietary supplements? How many demons are in an Omega 3 capsule? Cinnamon? What about the dreaded children’s Aspirin?)
I did what I shouldn’t have done – I told him that my medication was a gift from God, and that He had used it mightily in …
A few years ago, there was a couple living in our building that made life miserable. We’ll call them Ann and Bob.
They fought, sometimes physically, at all hours of the day and night. Bob was bipolar, but make no mistake – you can be bipolar and still be a jerk and the two are not always mutually exclusive. Doors slammed constantly, there was always screaming, things got thrown… including the Ann. One night, very late, my husband and I heard a crash, followed by sobbing. Bob had thrown Ann through a glass table and she was covered in blood and shards of glass. After he realized what he did, he overdosed on booze and pills and my husband stayed with him to make sure he was breathing while I comforted Ann. She admitted to me that he had punched her in the chest, but refused to discuss it with the police.
I want to hear your stories.
If you’ve been hurt by other Christians and/or churches that didn’t respond well to your mental illness, tell me about it.
If you were helped, loved, and supported by a church or ministry, I want to hear that, too. I want the good AND the bad.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women in park photo available from Shutterstock