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Published:January 7th, 2009 10:30 EST
Cancer-Ridden Patrick Swayze Needs Support of His Fans

Cancer-Ridden Patrick Swayze Needs Support of His Fans

By Robert Paul Reyes

"Patrick Swayze said he was scared, angry and `going through hell` with pancreatic cancer, but a year after being diagnosed, he was determined to keep going.

`You can bet I`m going through hell,` the `Dirty Dancing` star said in his first television interview since his January 2008 diagnosis with one of the most deadly forms of cancer."

Jill Serjeant/Reuters

In our culture celebrity trumps virtue, character, intelligence, and even money. Despite the often repeated mantra that America is a Christian nation, we are a postmodern society that eschews dogma and moral absolutes. We don`t worship any sacred cows and we don`t look up to any of our religious or political leaders, we reserve our adoration for celebrities.

Pop culture is our religion and celebrities are our secular saints. Paris Hilton has more devotees than the Virgin Mary, and Brad Pitt is more popular than Jesus Christ. One pic of a pantyless Hilton or Spears will do more for my spiritual well being than a hundred sermons by a Pat Robertson or a James Dobson.

Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan have achieved airbrushed perfection, and we can`t get enough of our goddesses. It`s only a matter of time until there`s a Paris TV channel, dedicated 24/7 to all things Hilton. The economy may be tanking but we prefer to read about Hilton in People magazine than pick up a copy of the Wall Street Journal to find out how the stock market is doing.

Whenever we see a star like Patrick Swayze it`s always through a lens that filters all imperfections. But our celebrities are not perfect, and they bled like you and I.

I applaud Swayze for admitting that he`s "going through hell" as he battles cancer. Even though chemotherapy has left him in a weakened state, the Hollywood veteran lives by the creed: The Show Must Go On. He is a role model and an inspiration to all of us.

Saints of old would leave fruits and flowers at the feet of statues representing their saints, we should support Swayze with emails and blogs of encouragement. Our celebrities may be demigods, but they still thrive on the attention and support of their faithful fans.