We are constantly reminded of the holiness of televangelists – by themselves. Like Kenneth Copeland, whose spiritual purity would be sullied if he took a commercial flight in “a long tube with a bunch of demons”. Whenever I board a plane and head back to the cheap seats, all I see is a bunch of entitled white people in first class – just the demographic Copeland would feel comfortable with. But because this man of God is creeped out to be around normal (lesser) humans, he needs his own private business jet – together with a hangar full of holy spare airplanes. And how about the divine extortion scheme run by Paula Cain, where she informed her members to sign over their January paychecks to her. Or bad things would happen to them.
“The nondenominational megachurch has made it easier for charlatans, or those who simply seek autonomy, to shelter themselves from accountability”, according to Ministry Watch. Nobody has been watching these scam-vangelists for so long that they have convinced themselves of their invincibility. And so they grow bolder in explaining how it really works.
“I’m not worth your McDonald’s money? I’m not worth your Red Lobster money?” A pastor was haranguing his “broke” congregation because they did not buy him the luxury watch he wanted. “You know I asked for one last year. And here it is all the way in August and I still ain’t got it”, he scolded. At least he is a truth-teller in admitting that the prosperity church is nothing more than a counting house. The greed no longer hides behind Jesus’ robes.
Likewise, the Christian Extremist Right feels secure enough now to show their cards. It’s been alluded to, hinted at, or implied – but finally now, they confirm it. According to Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, “we were a nation founded upon, not the words of our founders, but the words of God because he wrote the Constitution.” Now they have made the jump to decree that the words of the Constitution are “God breathed” – dictated word-for-word in Kynge Jaymes Englyshe, free from error and infallible in all respects. The Holy Spirit controlled the anointed Founding Fathers, just like with the verbally, plenary inspired Bible. Odd then, that the Constitution sounds more like a product of Freemasonry that nowhere mentions the word “God”. Funny, if it is inerrant, as Scripture supposedly was, I don’t recall the Bible having to be amended 27 times. Truth is incontrovertible; it doesn’t evolve. Nevertheless, our Constitution has been now officially decreed a further Word of God.
Holy War must be waged by a divinely-anointed Leader. While the Constitution makes provision for a President, it says nothing about his (her) divinity. Yet Right-wing pastor/MAGA cultist Shane Vaughn declares that “Donald Trump carries the prophetic seal of the calling of God: Donald Trump is the messiah of America.” Vaughn is no outlier; he reflects core covenants of the Christian Right. For many, Trump is the second coming of God. Jesus our Savior gave his life for America, and Trump our Chosen One – the new man of sorrows – sacrifices his own every day for us. A billboard in Georgia proclaimed For Unto Us A Son Is Given , taking the text from Isaiah 9:6 and applying it to the heaven-sent Trump in bold letters. We no longer have to read between the lines – they are being open and honest about an autocratic Christian States of Amerika.
I occasionally have this nightmare that the Christianity practiced around me is normal while I am the dystopian one. God blesses the greedy; God loves a holy hunger for worldly power and domination. Evangelicals are finally saying the silent part out loud. The truth is out, but it doesn’t look like the Truth I know. That Truth left the building some time ago.