UPDATE: Michael Jackson’s public memorial is planned for Tuesday.
I’m keeping my ears open for details about Michael Jackson’s funeral. I’ll post an update when the news breaks.
Some have wondered whether MJ arranged for a Muslim burial. He reportedly converted to Islam last year but never publicly confirmed this. His brother Jermaine said at a press conference Friday, “May Allah be with you Michael, always.”
In the meantime, don’t miss this first-person account by MJ on why he loved the Sabbath.
It was his day for “pioneering” — the term used for the missionary work that Jehovah’s Witnesses do: “In my world, the Sabbath was the day I was able to step away from my unique life and glimpse the everyday,” Jackson wrote.
And over at Religion Dispatches, read Anthea Butler’s take on MJ as a pop theologian. An excerpt:
“For all of the crass tabloid fodder, Michael was his best when singing these hopeful songs that called listeners to become better human beings. He most certainly reached more people than the average religious figure, and his songs had an effect on an entire generation weaned on MTV. …
“Struggling with his humanity, half man, half child, he danced as much to entertain I suspect, as to take away his pain. In the dance, he became transcendent, divine. And in the end, it was the very body that he used to beguile millions that failed him.”