Sick, Sick, Sick.

I’m not sure where to start with this one, other than to just lay it all out (h/t Alabama Ass Whuppin’):

In a memorial service that bounced back and forth from loving salute to spirited defense, former Enron Chairman Ken Lay was remembered Wednesday as a kind and generous man who was unfairly characterized after the company’s collapse. . . .

“I am glad to have known Ken Lay and glad that he was willing to reach down and touch people like me,” said the Rev. William Lawson, pastor emeritus of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. “Ken was a rich and powerful man, and he could have limited his association to people who were likewise rich and powerful.” . . .

Lawson likened Lay to James Byrd, a black man who was dragged to death in a racially motivated murder near Jasper eight years ago.

“Ken Lay was neither black nor poor, as James Byrd was, but I’m angry because Ken was the victim of a lynching,” said Lawson, who predicted that history will vindicate Lay.

His comments, met by hearty applause, referred to Lay’s recent federal trial on fraud and conspiracy charges stemming from Enron’s unraveling in 2001 and four charges of bank fraud. Lay had planned to appeal his conviction and was awaiting sentencing when he died.

Some of the applauders:

Houston’s political and business leaders, including former President George H.W. Bush, turned out for Kenneth Lay’s memorial service on Wednesday, less than a week after the Enron founder’s sudden death. . . .

Among the other luminaries at the service were former Secretary of State James Baker, former Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher Sr., several corporate heads such as Reliant Energy Inc.’s Joel Staff, and baseball team owner Drayton McLane.

There was more reason for the applause:

“The folks who don’t like him have had their say. I’d like to have mine … (Like Jesus Christ) he was crucified by a government that mistreated him.”

“Overzealous federal prosecutors have vilified an exceedingly good man … They did so without visible efforts to seek the truth, and the media piled on. It was total character assassination … I do know Ken would never intentionally do anything illegal.”

Obviously, going to the funeral is fine, admirable even. If Ken Lay was someone important to you, of course you ought to attend his funeral.

But comparing him to Jesus Christ? The reasoning, I suppose, is this: Jesus Christ was perfect; Jesus Christ was convicted of a crime; therefore, if you are convicted of a crime you are perfect. You see this type of reasoning in other situations. For example, Lincoln was a great president; Lincoln was often criticised; there if you are criticised you are a great president. But the ubiquity does not make it correct. That Einstein was a genius and had disheveled hair does not mean mean that ill-groomed people are geniuses. The absurdity is patent.

Never mind the flawed logic, the big distinction between Ken Lay and the incarnate Son of God is that Jesus Christ was convicted by military commissions at GITMO by a mob and a petty local politician whereas an impartial jury evaluated the evidence against Ken Lay and the evidence supporting Ken Lay before deciding that, yes, the “overzealous prosecutors” were right: Ken Lay was a crook. Lay’s supporters can believe whatever they want, the facts say that whatever good deeds he may have done, in the end he was a crook.

And comparing Lay to James Byrd is just sick. In case you don’t remember, this is what happened to James Byrd:

On June 7, 1998, Byrd, 49, accepted a ride from Berry, Brewer, and King. Instead of taking him home, however, the three men beat Byrd, tied him to a pickup truck with a chain, and dragged him about three miles. An autopsy suggested that Byrd was alive for much of the dragging and died only after his right arm and head were severed when his body hit a culvert.

King, Berry, and Brewer dumped their victim’s mutilated remains in the town’s segregated black cemetery, and then went to a barbeque.

To aid him against his ‘assasins’ Ken Lay had the best defense money could buy. Not to mention the Constitution and all its guarantees of a fair trial. What did James Byrd have? Nothing. Ken Lay was ‘mistreated’ because there was good reason to believe he had broken the law and injured thousands of people. James Byrd was brutally murdered because he was black. Ken Lay died of natural causes in his own home. James Byrd spent the last minutes of his life feeling the skin burn off his body onto the tar of an empty Texas road. Yeah, I see the similarities, sure.  

Fred Gray should have preached at this funeral.

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Explore posts in the same categories: National Politics, Religion, Trials

4 Comments on “Sick, Sick, Sick.”


  1. […] I was going to comment on the pastor’s remarks at Ken Lay’s funeral, but Wheeler at Alablawg has done such a fine job that I’ll refer you there instead. Suffice it to say that this guy could have defended Richard Scrushy. […]

  2. Kathy Says:

    This was beyond disgusting. If he weren’t Baptist, I’d have to wonder if the pastor had been in the communion wine before the service.

  3. Dystopos Says:

    I knew this would be bad. I didn’t realize it would literally activate my gag reflex.

  4. wheeler Says:

    like i said, of course there was nothing wrong with anyone attending or speaking at his funeral. nor will i disagree with them that ken lay was by and large a good guy.

    but some of these folks should have seen their proctologist before they went to the funeral so they could have had their heads removed from their asses. no way you can justify comparing lay to james byrd or jesus christ.


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