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Tammy Faye passes away

That last appearance on Larry King was difficult to watch, but her spirit and courage in her battle against cancer was strong. (AP):

Messner had battled colon cancer since 1996 that more recently spread to her lungs. She died peacefully Friday at her home near Kansas City, Mo., said Joe Spotts, her manager and booking agent.

A family service was held Saturday in a private cemetery, where her ashes were interred, he said.

She had frequently spoken about her medical problems, saying she hoped to be an inspiration to others. “Don’t let fear rule your life,” she said. “Live one day at a time, and never be afraid.” But she told well-wishers in a note on her Web site in May that the doctors had stopped trying to treat the cancer.

Here is part of the larry King Live interview, via Queerty, of Tammy describing the support she received from the gay community after the PTL scandal. Jim and Tammy’s son,  alt-Christian minister Jay Bakker, of the gay affirming Revolution church, who was featured in One Punk Under God, a series on Sundance, is also in the clip. (transcript via CNN).

KING: We have an e-mail question from Tina in Forestville, California: “If you go back — if you could go back and change one thing in your colorful, eventful life, what would it be?”

T.F. MESSNER: Well, I don’t think about that, Larry, because that’s just a waste of good brain space.

KING: Well, you might forget the “”PTL” Club”.

T.F. MESSNER: Well, I am — I have gotten over that, thank god. That was a terrible, horribly bad experience.

KING: So many people who are watching and listening care about you so much.

T.F. MESSNER: Thank you, Larry.

KING: What would you like to say to them?

T.F. MESSNER: I’d like to say that I genuinely love you and I genuinely care and I genuinely want to see you in heaven some day. I want you to find peace. I want you to find joy.

KING: Wonderfully said.

We have an e-mail question from Jimmy, Sherman Oaks, California: “Unlike many of your Christian contemporaries, you have been a very positive influence in the gay community. Why do you think you found it in your heart to love and accept us?”

T.F. MESSNER: Well, you know when I went — we lost everything — it was the gay people that came to my rescue and I will always love them for that.

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RIP Tammy Faye

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding