Heath Ledger

0,,5855241,00Terribly upset to hear about the tragic death of Heath Ledger. Our family loved him in A Knights Tale and we used to watch for him in other movies. I always felt a special connection to him because he was born in Perth, Western Australia, the city that was my home for 7 years and is still where my mum and sisters live. PerthNow has the skinny. You can post your condolences to the Ledger family here.

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • I have heard a rumour that a group of Baptists are planning to picket his funeral protesting about his role in Brokeback Mountain. Does anyone know anything about this?

  • Are the baptists in this group aware that when compared with 90 minutes of play-acting on film, his real death is the greater tragedy? I doubt the picketing will will get the apology they have entitled themselves to.

  • Are the baptists in this group aware that when compared with 90 minutes of play-acting on film, his real death is the greater tragedy? I doubt the picketing will will get the apology they have entitled themselves to.

  • Yes, very sad. Our family thought A Knight’s Tale was brilliant–some of us went back to see it a second night back when it first came out. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.

  • That’s the Phelps family who plan to picket, from what I read. They picket all kinds of funerals. It is tempting to question their rationality, but to do so gives them more credit than they deserve. I’ve read court transcripts online concerning child abuse problems in the family from decades ago. They’re sick people. No denomination or group they were ever affiliated with should have their name connected with the actions of the Phelps family. I disagree with many of the actions of, say, Bob Jones University, where Fred Phelps went to school. But in the case of Phelps, I hold them totally innocent. Nobody produced Phelps. Not his church. Not his school. Not his family.

  • Fred Phelps is a self-ordained baptist minister who founded Westboro Baptist Church back in the 1950s. (http://www.godhatesfags.com/) His group goes so far as t protest at the funerals of American soldiers killed in Iraq because they are fighting for a “fag loving” nation. They’re that twisted. BTW-Phelps is someone Richard Dawkins quotes in “The God Delusion” as being an example of the Christian faith.
    Given Heath died in NYC, we are getting way too much coverage here. Even the “legitimate” news outlets are throwing around tabloid style accounts of his death.

  • Agreed. While I am finding the family’s ability to handle this media frenzy inspiring, I’m questioning the appropriateness of the even the mainstream media right now. They’re reporting rumors not fact – whether the death was accidental or intentional, does it really matter? The guy must have been in considerable inner pain to be taking so many medications – while we pray for the family and those who knew him, I find myself also praying for those I know who are unable to cope deal with what life dealt them. How do we reach out to these lost souls and how do we deal with those who reject our offers for help?

  • Becky, that last question is a whole new post, imo. It’s something I have been praying and wrestling through for a year now in working with homelessness, and the brokenness paradigms that flow in and out of it.
    “Do you want me to make you well?” asks Jesus. That assumes he’ll let you answer “nope”.

  • I agree – I was typing that while watching yet another local NYC news reporter behaving badly – instead of standing outside a funeral home waiting for a family to arrive (who wisely decided to stay in LA), why not explore how whatever happened can be a teaching tool of sorts?

  • giving people time and space to grieve thoroughly, rather than propose religion or faith as a sticky plaster that fills the intense pain and hole left in their hearts, is probably a good starting point. maybe reaching ‘lost souls’ should begin with stepping back.
    also, just because people are grieving or disorientated from pain or circumstance does not mean they are ‘lost souls’ or ‘broken’ … those who feel so deeply the extremes of joy and pain may live more whole, fully engaged lives than those who coast through a middle-class norm.
    who knows the depths of anyone’s heart, and who are we to speculate?

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