You remember Willie Aames, don’t you? Right. That Willie Aames, he of Eight Is Enough and Charles In Charge fame. Oh, and Bibleman—the ongoing “adventures of a man transformed by the word of God.” I remember getting my first taste of the B-Man one summer at Kirk Cameron‘s Camp Firefly. It was “TV night.” Me beside Chelsea. Hmm, what episode was it—“Jesus, Our Savior,” or “Lead Us Not Into Temptation?” Ah, well, I forget. Camp!
Anyway, thanks to YouTube, we can all catch up with Aames’ armor-clad creation. Now put aside, if you can, the above clip’s anti-semitic stabs at humor. It’s Aames’ donning of that suit in clips like this one that I’m sure contributed to his
Thanksgiving Day suicide attempt after filing bankruptcy, having his car repossessed and his wife of 22 years, Mayla Upton, asking for a divorce. The former child star had been sober for 20 years when he left his Kansas home depressed and shaken, and rented a room in Los Angeles from a friend, stealing a bottle of Jack Daniels. Aames was also taking antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication when he put a knife to his throat and cut himself in six places.
Wow, sad—six places?! But consider this: unlike the possibly mythic Job, Aames is a very real, flesh-and-blood vessel spreading God’s word. To children. On television, no less. If such misery could beset him, one of God’s best Generals, what hope is there for we common foot-soldiers? What God would inflict such torment? Well, maybe no God would. No God at all.
Bless you, Willie Aames, atheists everywhere should be singing your praises—or something like that. Hey, stay off those knives!