They memorialized Ken Lay of Enron in Houston on Wednesday. The social "A" list was there: George Bush the senior and former Secretary of State James Baker were the best known, but other politicians and corporate types turned out.
Interesting that so many prominent types were there. Perhaps it was just human decency -- showing respect to the dead and those left behind -- but I tend to think that it has more to do with the fact that Lay, even though convicted, was still considered part of the power structure.
Those who spoke from the pulpit all seemed to think he'd been mistreated. According to the Houston Chronicle, one pastor who spoke even said Lay had been "lynched."
And everybody talked about what a great Christian he was. Every news report I've read mentions that.
Funny, but I always thought you needed to follow the Ten Commandments to be a good Christian -- or at least to repent when you broke them. As I recall from Sunday school, one of those commandments is "Thou shalt not steal."
I'm sure people are convincing themselves that Lay wasn't a crook because it's difficult to figure out how Enron stole so much money from people -- fancy accounting tricks aren't as obvious as the work of a pickpocket. And after all, he was such a nice guy and gave money to the church.
But as Woody Guthrie observed in "Pretty Boy Floyd":
Some will rob you with a six-gun,Ken Lay used computers and accounting wizards, not a fountain pen, but the principle remains the same.
And some with a fountain pen.
If Lay was really a believing Christian, I expect it's getting pretty toasty where he is now.