Monday, November 06, 2006
The Sexually Discredited Hall of Shame: Preachers’ Edition
Ted Haggard, former president of the National Association of Evangelicals and former pastor of the New Life Church, joined an elite group of religious hypocrites this weekend when he issued a letter to his congregation where he said, “The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. There's a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life.”
In the late ‘80s televangelist Jim Bakker of The PTL (Praise The Lord) Club was exposed and defrocked for sexual hanky-panky. Plus, he was imprisoned for fraud, tax evasion, and racketeering. Flash forward to today, and you’ll find Jim Bakker, along with a new wife, back on television with The Jim Bakker Show broadcasting from the Studio Café in Branson, Missouri. If you can’t make to the show, you can always leave a donation--“God loves you, he really does!” Or better yet, stop by the Gift Shop and donate $200 + $10 for shipping for a sword of “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” which is described as “a wonderful gift for all occasions.” My personal favorite is the “Come Unto Me Offer.” This will set you back from $75 to $1500 + $10 shipping depending on the size of the painting of Jesus you select.
Fellow Christian broadcaster Jimmy Swaggart joined Jim Bakker in the Hall of Shame a few short months later but only after saying to CNN’s Larry King that he believed Bakker was “a cancer in the body of Christ.” Swaggart was able to resurrect his ministry and today is back on the air. I must say though, you can’t really find cool stuff like the sword or the picture of Jesus like you can at Jim Bakker’s store. Brother Swaggart does, however, have plenty of Bibles, DVDs, books and you can get his latest CD with songs like “There's Room At The Cross For You” and “I Would Not be Denied.”
So, former pastor Haggard, have faith. After a while, you will be able to redeem yourself. Evangelicals are very forgiving of their own.