Sunday, June 07, 2009

Death of Danny Gans leads some to question the existence of God

Does the death of Danny Gans
prove there is no God?

That is the latest question to arise from the mysterious demise of the clean-living, Born Again Christian who was the unlikely biggest star in the so-called "Sin City" before his heart stopped suddenly and, thus far, without explanation, on May 1st-- and it's just another fascinating thread in the story being ignored by the lamestream Las Vegas media, be it out of a misguided sense of respect to his family, under orders from casino magnates, plain old laziness in the baking heat of the desert oasis, or some other unexplained lapse in journalistic judgment.

"Christian blogger" Toni Denis points out the phenomenon on her Dove and Snake site this weekend:

“Gans, known to be a family man, died suddenly on May 1 from an unknown cause. I searched today to see if there was any update on what caused his early death at age 52, because it often takes at least a month for toxicology reports to be completed. Instead of getting any clarification, I discovered a debate on God raging on an entertainment blog.

“Apparently Gans was a born-again Christian who made his beliefs part of his act, something truly unique in a place like Las Vegas. The blog debates were with tinged a mixture of grief and anger, as well as contempt toward the religious who mentioned this fact…."

Indeed, dozens of people have begun an Internet debate on religion, Christianity, the afterlife and the very existence of God after Paula Neal Mooney wrote on her site:

“I feel sorry for Danny Gans’ wife and three children — I seriously pray they can be comforted right now thru their pain, in knowing that Danny Gans’ was a born-again Christian whose act was in line with his faith…”

A very condensed version of the debate follows (read the entire thread here):

carla tigner: I saw Danny Gans in his last performance Wed. night. I was so moved by his profession of his faith during his show in a town where most don’t believe in God. I was so moved that I prayed for him during the show. When my husband and I left all we could talk about was how great it was that a Godly man was using his gift for the glory of God. We were so sad when we woke up Friday morning to the news of his sudden death but we also knew he was in Heaven. Later we learned that was his last show and that he had read a passage of scripture before the show to his band and then prayed. They said he prayed before every show. I am so grateful and thankful God allowed me to see and experience this Godly man’s gift. We serve an awesome Savior, Jesus Christ and I am thankful for the witness Danny Gans was and will continue to be!

Deb: ok, didn’t know really about his faith in God, only when he spoke to Larry King he said he prayed with his wife about the move to LV. Then I read above, the media has not said anything about his faith. They always seems to leave some like that out, you know it might offend someone...

Diana Roberts: I’m sending my prayers and warm wishes to Danny Gans family… I am glad that he was so spiritual. I truly believe that God blessed him with all this talent…

Sam Pinterpe: if danny gans was such a good christian and god is so
wonderful, why did He end gans’ life at 52?

Sallie: Danny died because he was human; he accepted Christ as his savior and therefore has eternal life. I used to not understand faith and acceptance of tragedy, but now believe God does have a plan for us, but we are human. Illness, violence and death are human ventures...
My point: I’m not a practicing Christian, but one could make the argument, why did God allow his own Son to be tortured on the cross 2000 years ago at the age of 32? But I think the point of Christianity—and all the great religions—is about eternal *spiritual* life. The time we have here is temporary… If Mr. Gans was truly a Christian, then he is—if you believe in the tenets of Christianity—in eternal life now and we are the unlucky ones.

Ron: You damn Christians are so naive and stupid, you’re all on a par with the Jihad idiots who believe they’ll get a slew of virgins in heaven after they implode themselves with a suicide bomb. Religion has been the root cause of EVERY major war that’s been fought on this planet. All religion and their gods are manmade fantasy and wishfull thinking, invented by primitive characters eons ago. Nobody wants to die permanently — but sadly we all do. And praying to Jesus Christ and accepting him as your “savior” isn’t going to make one damn bit of difference. Pray all you want … no one is listening. Face it — Jesus Christ is about as real as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy… Why is it so taboo in this day and age to shuck the final fairy tale — belief in an afterlife?

Theresa: To Ron:
 Obviously you’re not only an atheist, but you’re an UNEDUCATED atheist. While Jesus Christ may or may not by the “saviour,” he is a bit more “real” than the Easter bunny. You can read about the “man” in a little book called the “Bible.” 
Oh and as for Santa Claus, actually he DID exist. Our modern day Santa Claus has his roots in St. Nicolas who was a man who really did exist. He gave little children who were in need gifts. 
So, while you are more than entitled to believe in a supreme being or not I think you make yourself look like a moron by stating “with authority” that Jesus was as real as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny...

T.C.: Dito what Ron Said!!!!!

Paula Mooney: Luke 16:23-31

Jenaaa: Ron and TC - I feel sorry for you! I will be praying for you.

Ron: There may or may not have been a historical Jesus, but he never proclaimed himself to be the “Son of God” — his followers did that on his behalf. LONG after he was dead. If Jesus Christ was alive today, he would be SHOCKED that he was even remembered 2,000+ years after his death — let alone that he is being deified as the “Son of God”… Faith is BLIND, and opinions are like a$$holes — everybody’s got one. Ron: Jesus save me from the Christians!

Dominick: Ron, mmmmm, let me guess. You were educated at Cambridge, and read your doctoral dissertation on theological ambivalence in the post modern era, yes? And I’ll also bet that you were most certainly on the debate team, where you roundly trounced your opposition by calling them ‘morons’ and arguing that ‘opinions are like ashles, everyone’s got one’ also correct? 
Unfortunatley Ron, there are highly educated individiuals who have spent their entire professional careers struggling to come to terms for or against your position with serious, academic debate...

Bart: Praise the lord and pass the collection plate! MONEY is the answer to why anyone would want to continue the belief in the bible.

Ron: Right on… I have visions of the ghost of Tammy Faye months and months after her death standing on a cloud knocking on the gates of “heaven” still waiting for Jesus to open the door. “Hello, Jesus … are you there? It’s me,Tammy Faye. Hello, Jesus …. hello … hello???….”

Megan: How sad that some non-believers use a site dedicated to remembering a loving, moral, decent human being like Danny Gans to spew their vitriol… Danny deserves all the love and respect we have to offer him on this site. He was truly loved by all who knew him. He was a good man. Las Vegas was so blessed to have him among us.

Ron: Oh, is this discussion about Danny Gans? Seems he got lost in the shuffle. Get it? Vegas — shuffle — cards … Ha,ha. Knock Knock — Hello, Jesus — are you home? Knock, knock, knock … hello? Jesus — are you there??? Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock …

Carol: Ron, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is death.” Proverbs 14:12. Suggested reading: The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, a former aetheist; also, How Good is Good Enough? by Andy Stanley. You mention Tammy Faye Bakker. You don’t want to find out that she was right, and you were wrong…

Ron: ‘Scuze me — but there are umpteen hundred religions or more around the world that we know of. They all have their own gods and goddesses. Jesus is just one of many, so he needs to stand in line with the rest of them. Being right or wrong about the belief in an afterlife just shows the absurdity of faith. I repeat — FAITH IS BLIND!! NOBODY KNOWS what happens after death until they experience it for themselves. PERIOD.

BJ: you are all so lame.
DANG I wish I had caught a Danny Gans show when I had the chance!! so young… i’m sad for his fam

Carol: “Nobody knows what happens after death until they experience it for themselves. PERIOD.” Well, then it is too late, and then the choice one has made will have eternal consequences–eternal life or separation from God. He has given us a free will, so the choice is ours.

Ron: Yes that’s right, Carol. Nobody knows what happens after death until they experience it for themselves. That’s a friggin’ FACT! Nobody wants to die permanently, so primitive man made up a way for himself to be eternal. Gods and goddesses were created by ANCIENT man to explain away the things that he did not understand. SCIENCE is much more experienced in doing that…

Carrie: No use in arguing over religion! Religions are ALL based on faith, period. If you choose to believe in a higher power, believe and don’t care what others say…

Ron: Very well put. I had enough of that Catholic crap — mind CONtrol and obviously sexually frustrated priests and nuns, while attending years of parochial school myself. Go to hell because you ate meat on Friday? Puh-leeze — who determines that? The bishops, the cardinals,and the Pope?? Did Jesus say that? No more than he ever said that he was the son of God. His followers said that on his behalf AFTER he was dead. And another thing for you born again Christians out there. Where do you draw the line? Man is just a higher form of animal … so do your dogs, cats, pets, and the bugs you step on go to hell because they didn’t accept Christ as their saviour? Answer me that one.

Juicy: Ron, 
To answer your question about dogs, cats, pets and bugs… we as humans have a soul where they would not…

Kevin: First of all, there is no where in the bible that says that everyone who does not accept Christ will go to hell. What it does say is that those who reject Him will be rejected by Him. It also says that every man shall give account of himself to God... Oh, and by the way, Jesus Christ is the only one who foretold of His resurrection and followed through with it which is confirmed by over 500 eye witnesses at the time… Perhaps getting the name of God in the forefront is why Danny Gans died. God desires a relationship with His free will creation. Yes, He is sovereign and no, He doesnt do things our way and doesnt ask our opinion, but maybe Danny Gans died so Ron could begin a search for God and come to know Him…

alisa: I agree with Kevin. Danny’s death may be serving a higher purpose than his life. I was so fortunante to see Danny (live) and I was so moved by not only his talent but his mention of family and his faith in God. While a lot of men are putting fame and fortune first Danny put God and Family first and I believe that is why he was so blessed with a wonderful career and a great family. You can say why did God let him die so early but I can say wow he was so blessed to have accomplished all he did and have the opportunities that he did...

Daniel: …Back to the subject at hand. I have wanted to see Danny Gans for years but something always came up to not go. On Valentine’s Day I got married in Las Vegas and my new wife and I saw Danny Gans. Something I always wanted to do. I raved to everyone in my presence what a great performer he was and the excellent show he put on. Danny moved you emotionally with discussions of his family and his goal to be closer to him, his good fortune to be given his opportunity to entertain. He brought you up with the high energy songs he did, he made you laugh, he made you cry. To hear he passed away seems inconceivable. 
With apologies to Ron, who I’m sure I will offend by saying this horrible statement, I wish that God blesses Danny Gans and his family.

Ron: You see what a hot topic this is? It’s because there is no definitive solution or right or wrong in this back and forth debate… Rise from the dead after three days? Ask magician Criss Angel — he probably knows how it’s done. Criss Angel can walk on water too. In fact he mimics several Christ-like theatrics all the time, including ascending into the heavens.

Dana: Hey Ron, take a good look in a mirror. You are one ugly man… Such a direct contrast to Mr Gans and what his life stood for, what he believed and how he hoped to leave this world a better place. Who put you up to this blog? Why in the world would you even want to be a part of this? Are you sick of being so ugly? Maybe that is a good question for Danny and his God...

MJK: unfortunately, i tend to agree with the better part of what ron is writing here… what if ron’s right?... i think way more people are afraid of burning eternally in hell after they die than anything else, so to play it safe they accept jesus christ as their saviour … just in case.

Ron: That’s another thing you can THINK about. How can a “soul” burn eternally in hell? Is it noncombustible?

Paula Mooney: Ron, just please stop fighting God and pray. The Almighty will win in the end. Why even tempt finding out how a soul could burn eternally? Who would even want to risk that? Carol: Ron, I come in peace. Those of us who have posted regarding Christian beliefs aren’t doing so because we have to win an argument. We truly believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and we have the right to defend our faith, just as you apparently feel the need to refute it…

Alisa: This is for Ron.. So you do believe in God since you say we all have a God given brain. That’s a start but you have a long way to go….IMAGINE how you will feel if you are wrong and you end up in a firey hell for eternity…

Ron: alisa, I said “God” given brain. Note the quotation marks. I don’t know if there’s a God, or a heaven, or a hell. NOBODY does. But analyzing the facts available and putting everything into its proper perspective, I’m more inclined to believe that there IS NO God or heaven or hell.

Steve: After reading every post, I agree with EVERYONE. You believe what you believe. Who cares what other people think?

Steve: And by the way, Danny Gans. What a great entertainer and great person. I saw him in Vegas and really enjoyed. He will be missed.

Mike: Internet religion debates, wow! A Man dies and everyone goes into a religion frenzy. This site was supposed to be centered around the death of Danny Gans, not who believes in God and who doesn’t. Simple fact, approximately 88% of America believes in God, 12% does not… Let it go already. As for Danny Gans, I saw his show last November and he was superb! He was a truly talented person and is a headliner on the Vegas strip who will be greatly missed!

Carol: Jesus is still the biggest mover and shaker of them all!!

Sue: If I might bring things back on track here. I regret not seeing Danny Gans when he was with us.

ME: Oh…BTW…let’s not forget the basis of this stream of chatting…GOD Bless Danny Gans’ soul and his family’s while they mourn their loss…

Tim: I have read all of these comments and find a stimulating debate that will never be resolved, but the reason I came to this site was in an effort to find out what was the cause of Danny Gans death. Has that been determined? He was a great entertainer and seemed to be a fine person. I saw his show twice and would have gone again. He was relatively young and supposed to be in good health. When will we know what happened?

Ron: I don’t know what happened to Danny Gans either. Perhaps he had some congenital defect all the time that finally took him out, like whatever happened to John Ritter and the little girl from the Poltergeist movies…

There you have it. This explosive turn in the aftermath of the song-and-dance man who one local newsreader referred to as "religious leader goes far beyond the more obvious issues ignored by Las Vegas Fourth Estate, including questions whether another apparently clean-living religious exemplar led a double life, the economic impact of his show closing, the conflict of interest inherent in the city’s newspapers’ deal to publish Gans’ official “autobiography,” or any of the numerous rumours that are the talk of Clark County.

Adds Toni Denis: “What I found interesting was the lack of an open mind on the part of the anti-religious. Certainly that's the easiest position to take, since faith is required of the other, but I wonder why it's so threatening to someone in this context, and why at least one poster thinks that belief is simply "fire insurance" for Hell. They are missing out on the bigger picture.”


1 comment:

Ron said...

"Fire insurance for hell" -- that about nails it. Christians are scared of the possibility that hell may actually exist, and they want that insurance policy to be in effect when they die. Of course, nobody knows if there's a payoff -- but they want that coverage -- just in case. Don't bother to stop and THINK just how ridiculous the logistics of all of this is ... just go with the flow. Follow the rest of the lemmings into the flying saucer. We've translated our Bible to our satisfaction ... TO SERVE MAN.