No one should suffer because of a pain in the neck. Six years ago, I woke up every morning with a stiff neck. I tried exercises and heating pads. I took a few Aleves.
I bought a new pillow and was instantly cured. The foam-filled cushion provided exactly the support I needed. It was everything I ever wanted in a pillow.
I loved my pillow until August 2016, when Mike Lindell made a new friend: “When I met with Donald Trump, it felt like a divine appointment, and when I walked out of that office, I decided I was going to go all in.”
I began having mixed feelings when the pillow mogul started speaking at Trump rallies, telling his redemption story of going from cocaine, multiple DUIs and allegations of domestic violence to prayer, riches and proper head alignment.
The person who provided so many with much-needed rest sent others to the hospital by promoting oleandrin as a cure for COVID-19. This poisonous plant causes nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat and, in some cases, death.
The person who provided so many with neck support now supports overturning the presidential election. Lindell’s deceptive documentary, Absolute Proof, won the Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Picture and Worst Actor.
The person who provided so many with good dreams spoke at the rally that led to the nightmare-inducing storming of the Capitol. Lindell posted a video suggesting the rioters may have been “plants dressed as Trump people.”
How can I, one of the 46 million MyPillow customers who love the open-cell, poly-foam pillow design, rest my head each night on this guy’s pillow?
I have tried switching to another pillow, but I toss and turn. I know this makes me sound weak, but I need the interlocking fill and medium firm support. I want to get rid of it, but MyPillow is not only machine washable and dryable, but has a 10-year warranty. I can’t sleep with it and can’t sleep without it.
As I lie in bed staring at the ceiling, I realize my pillow problem is not just a pillow problem. It goes way back — even further than when we couldn’t go to Chick-fil-A.
“As I lie in bed staring at the ceiling, I realize my pillow problem is not just a pillow problem.”
How can we love the creations of problematic people? Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a fine three-point sermon, but he took a mistress the same age as his daughter and lied about his wife to get complete custody of their 10 kids. Should I still listen to Michael Jackson after the accusations of child abuse? Maybe I can listen to We Are the World — which raised more than $75 million to combat poverty in Africa. Kevin Spacey got fired from House of Cards for being a bad person, but he is not nearly as bad as his character on House of Cards.
The biggest names in Scripture are flawed. King David sexually assaulted another man’s wife and had the husband murdered to cover it up. How does that change the way we read the Psalms?
When Jesus predicts that Simon Peter will deny him, Peter says Jesus is wrong just before crumbling. How is this the rock on which Jesus built his church?
Saint Paul became the writer of most of the books of the New Testament, but only after he killed Christians. How do we square that with “love is patient; love is kind”?
“The biggest names in Scripture are flawed.”
St. Augustine wrote “God, grant me chastity, but not yet” and meant it. He had two mistresses and an illegitimate son whom he abandoned at the prospect of marrying an heiress. Martin Luther, courageous leader of the Protestant Reformation, was anti-Semitic. Martin Luther King Jr. bent the arc of history toward justice but was not a faithful husband.
The Christian faith has an embarrassing list of ugly episodes — the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the support of slavery, the failure to stand up to Hitler, the subjugation of women, the hoarding of wealth, the oppression of the poor. Christian compassion also has led to charity, public education, literacy, hospitals and care for the poor.
Separating the good from the bad is often impossible. History, art and pillows are complicated. Sometimes our disappointment is overwhelming, but there are also times to appreciate what disappointing people have created.
I am still not going to watch The Cosby Show, but I am keeping my pillow and am not going to lose any sleep over it.
Brett Younger serves as senior minister at Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, N.Y.
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