Cultural Revolutions

Johnny Cash, R.I.P.

John R. Cash went to his reward on September 12.  His beloved wife, June, preceded the “Man in Black” in death on May 15.  His friends report that Johnny Cash was at peace and ready to meet his Maker.  Cash himself had calmly stated, “I don’t have long to live, now,” during his last TV interview, taped shortly before his death.  John’s long-dormant Christian faith was reignited in the 1960’s, partly by his love for June.  Their marriage was, as one observer put it, “A miracle of their faith . . . an absolute religious experience for both of them.”  That faith became the guiding light of Johnny Cash’s life.

Nevertheless, few media commentators made much of Johnny Cash’s religion or the role his Christian faith played in shaping his life and music.  On the basis of most of the comments made on his “spirituality” and his “faith,” one could have easily thought Johnny Cash was a Unitarian.  The man himself was not shy about speaking of his salvation in Christ, but media reviews of Johnny Cash’s career tended to focus on his hell-raising, boozing, and drug addiction.  Cash was cool because he had been a drug addict before it was fashionable, a drunken iconoclast who smashed the footlights at the Grand Ole Opry, sang rebellious songs about murderers (“I shot a man in Reno / just to watch him die”)...

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