Michael Jackson’s spirituality

Amid the whirlwind of talk and writings about the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson, after his death last week, we stumbled upon a story he wrote for Beliefnet in 2000 chronicling his faith.

During his childhood in the spotlight, Jackson found solace in going to church on Sundays, he wrote. He was raised a Jehovah’s Witness, though there have been reports that he converted to Islam. He also spent the Sabbath handing out missionary materials at homes and malls.

As the musical and cultural sensation grew in popularity, the media made it difficult for him to attend church, but he continued going door-to-door for “years and years” in disguise.

“I was comforted by the belief that God exists in my heart and in music and in beauty, not only in a building,” he wrote.

But he still missed feeling like part of a community, “sharing a day with God.”

He goes on to write that he experienced God when his children were born.

“Children are God’s gift to us. No — they are more than that — they are the very form of God’s energy and creativity and love. He is to be found in their innocence, experienced in their playfulness.”

Much of Jackson’s life was riddled by publicity crises, sex abuse accusations, unverified gossip, theories on what went wrong. This raw account offers a glimpse into the effect a lifetime of celebrity can have on a psyche.

And whatever you choose to believe and remember about his private life, it seems his intentions were good and his outlook pure.

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18 Responses to Michael Jackson’s spirituality

  1. Bobby Ewing says:

    No matter what you are anyone else thinks – the FACT remains that Michael Jackson was A HUGE FORCE in this world. There has been NO ONE quite like Michael Jackson that had the AURA and that something “SPECIAL” that can’t really even be described. There is no artist on the scene that can even be display what Michael Jackson brought to us all. The world really LOST something significant the day Michael Jackson died. …

  2. Mike BJ says:

    he’s moonwalking his way to heaven

    rip mj …

  3. Mitch Finley says:

    …I have never been a Michael Jackson fan…and even if I were, I’d say let’s not hold a virtual canonization just yet…I would say that just as his talents were world class, so were his, shall we say, “peculiarities”…RIP

  4. Jim says:

    “And whatever you choose to believe and remember about his private life, it seems his intentions were good and his outlook pure.”

    I completely disagree. If the pedophilia accusations are correct, his intentions were evil and his outlook warped.

    It seems people want to forgive his many failings because they think he was talented. At the very least, he was a very troubled man; are we to celebrate that?

  5. Bill says:

    Are we being serious here? Giving kids “Jesus Juice” was pure-intentioned? And I guess when he dangled a baby off the balcony of a hotel in front of photographers, that was just Michael being Michael. Agree with Mitch. His talent was indeed world class, but let’s tap the brakes on canonizing this guy.

    Yes he was human like us all, and yes, he had a longing for God like all of His creation have placed in us. And he likely was sincere in his BeliefNet article. It is touching and sad to read about someone who you sense lives in a prison.

    It’s interesting to see how many people want so badly to remember Michael Jackson as they saw him in his hey day (read: “Thriller” years). And when one passes on, it is proper to remember the best things about him/her. I’m not trying to bury Michael Jackson. I love his music and pray he’s at peace and face to face with Our Lord right now. But to conclude with “it seems his intentions were good and his outlook pure” comes across as laughable, even considering this is a blog and not an actual CNS article.

  6. zena says:

    I need to get this off my chest, t upsets me. If you all look at the pictures of him, in 1978 you can see his skin peeling and having different colours, which looks like skin conditions, called pigment, it looks exactly the same as its shown on the web. Peeled, rough, bits of different tones, on the cheeks. He maybe had plastic surgery to make it look acceptabe to society, I believe that is how it started. Secondly, bit of fact for all. The sexual abuse was a hoax, he had too sing this song “she left me” or something to that effect, and he couldnt stop crying because his partner did leave him. If a child molester he wouldnt not have been that upset, same as a gay guy splitting with wife, doesnt have the same effect, I think that was a money grabbing load of bull. When you see the picture of him going to court, you can see he has been crying by the eyes, and looks a lost soul. Breaks my heart! I hope the father and son, can live with themself. I couldn’t, you know what they say, what goes around. I think also his childhood had been taken from him. Seeing that picture of him in court, I cant stop crying, how selfish, evil, our world has become.
    Who do you blame most, paparazzi, the penny pinchers, parents. I hope wherever he is, he will be happy, anything would be better than this twisted world.

  7. zena says:

    2 things,

    He couldnt sing the song because he kept crying, that to me does not sound like a peodophile
    if you want to see the skin I am talking about its in 1979http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/pictures/2009/06/26/the-changing-faces-of-michael-jackson-115875-21472166/

  8. DeaconScott says:

    I’m with the last two, pretty much. “… his intentions were good and his outlook pure” is a huge overstatement, at best. “At one time, when he was young, his intentions were good….” appears true from that article and elsewhere, I think, but they certainly didn’t stay that way!

    I think Michael’s life is, in a sense, a demonstration of the old axiom, “The best, when it goes bad, is the worst.” With his wealth, intelligence, and innate charm, he certainly was among the best in many ways.

    His life is also a demonstration of the validity of the concept of Original Sin. That is, while none of us is born a sinner, but for grace, each of us is certain to become a sinner.

    How strange that an Episcopalian should defend Original Sin on a RC website!

  9. DENESHA says:


  10. lorna says:

    Michael told an interviewer that he asked God (the universe) for inspritation when he was writing his music, and then it came to him, and the resultant inspiration was an overwhelming hit.. Only God and his angels could have given Michael, or anyone that kind of gift. When we open our hearts to the divine he never fails us. That makes it clear to me who believes in a creator, that when we ask and we beleive we receive. To be on the reciving end of such gifts, you have to be connected to God in a pure and fully open way. Such a person is therefore imcapable of cruelty. However his parents are a differnt story and their motivation and guidance comes from another source. The kind of source that asks you to hurt those who look up to you, to use emotional blackmail to live in luxuary, to rip grandchildren from a mother’s arms. Our lives are prescous, we come here to devleop our souls, some chose to do that others dont, and those that dont will only have to learn their lessons in some other way, which is sad but necessary, as no cruelty can go unpunished.

  11. Deb says:

    This is not fitting news for the Catholic News Service.

  12. lina yuliana says:

    we all condolence over death Jacko …

  13. julie says:

    I agree with Deb. We’ve had enough from the secular news media. No need to cover Jackson here.

  14. katyallgeyer says:

    With all the pedophelia priest scandals in the Catholic church, I find it interesting that CNS would find it appropriate to defend Michael Jackson. I’m with Deb: why even go there???

  15. Josly says:

    His life is also a demonstration of the validity of the concept of Original Sin. That is, while none of us is born a sinner, but for grace, each of us is certain to become a sinner.

  16. m4stono says:

    yeah I think his spirituality are loving child and peace, I very like this song “heal the world”…..

  17. Rumina says:

    I actually think that Michael was a great artist with obvious spirituality. Deepa Chokra wrote about that he read Sufi poetry and in his last weeks, Rabindranah Tagore, a great Eastern poet. Yes, he was also a tortured soul and naive in the way he dealt with the world, and he had purity and confronted an strange world. The rest is all media and easy judgment, irrelevant. They can keep talking, they won’t be remembered. Michael will be remembered.

  18. aleks says:

    Eternal rest grant unto Michael, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

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