Over the weekend I read about the "television evangelist" who had launched some sort of fund raising telethon event whose goal was to raise 65 million dollars in one weekend. Naturally, I assumed that the good Reverend was either fund raising to expand the church building, or perhaps to aid some beleaguered refugee community somewhere in Africa or the Middle East. Maybe he was planning relief packages for Ebola victims in West Africa. Possibly, it might have been for some new outreach for AIDS victims or plans to build a community center in a blighted inner city somewhere. Then I read some background on the man behind the fundraiser and discovered that his services as a motivational speaker are very much in demand. His particular brand of "prosperity gospel" is quite popular at the moment. According to the Reverend, his heavy travel and speaking schedule have given him many grand opportunities to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What better way to facilitate these grand opportunities for evangelism than to buy a brand new 65 million dollar Gulfstream? Not just any Gulfstream mind you, but the G650, the finest private jet in the business. The jet-setting Reverend's plan is to persuade 200,000 people to donate $300 each, making this a grassroots Gulfstream.
I haven't kept up with the progress of the event so I don't know whether he was successful, but my trick knee tells me he will be.
When I think of the missionaries serving all over the world in every hell-hole corner of the globe, trying to be the hands and feet of Christ, laboring 14 hours a day in the hot sun trying to provide clean drinking water in some dirt poor village in the middle of a freaking war zone, this Elmer Gantry and his Gulfstream makes me want to vomit. When I consider the thousands of pastors and priests around the world laboring mightily to spread the message of grace and forgiveness on a shoestring budget, this charleton in the 3,000 dollar Italian suit bilking his gullible congregation out of their Social Security checks so he can park his ass in Peruvian leather seats at 35,000 feet, infuriates me more than I can possibly express. But, it has always been so. There have always been hucksters, showmen, and slime balls of every description in the church. It comes with the territory, I guess.
But, that doesn't mean I have to take it. I have this blog, and I have an outlet for whenever I get truly and thoroughly pissed off. So, Reverend...here's hoping that the maiden flight of your new luxury jet hits every possible pocket of turbulence, and that you christen those fine smelling leather seats with your own vomit.