|You gotta spin it to win it|
|Stop the presses!|
|We want pictures|
“”... make not my Father's house a house of merchandise.
“”Jesse and I and others, Keith Moore and Creflo, the world is in such a shape, we can't get there without this. The mess that the airlines are in today! I would have to stop—I'm being very conservative.
|—Kenneth Copeland defends his private jet|
Televangelists are greedy preachers who love bright lights, TV cameras and huge congregations that they never have to meet personally — unless, of course, that person is rich and/or powerful. They often complain of the unholiness of liberals while convincing poor people to send in their life savings in the hopes of gaining eternal salvation. They tend to avoid the unwashed rank-and-file unless they can profit monetarily from the meeting. They want everybody to be good Christians -- a word that means "Christ-like" -- even though Jesus was poor and homeless. Jesus never wore a Rolex or a $2,500 Italian suit, drove a $500,000 Italian sports car, flew in a $20,000,000 private jet, or lived in a 10,000-plus square foot Los Angeles beachfront estate; all paid for by contributions from
gullible faithful people who believe that every Bible-thumping sociopath preacher is their "Get Out of Hell Free" Card as honest and God-fearing as they are.
We are not talking "salt of the earth" here, people. It's more like cinnabar, or arsenic.
Televangelist is a portmanteau of "television" and "evangelist", used to describe the preachers on the TV. The phenomenon really took off in the late 70s/early 80s, when preachers were on TV all the time claiming direct links with God, the ability to lay on hands, and even the ability to prophesy.
However, many of the ones who claimed these supernatural powers turned out to be frauds, and even many of the ones who didn't were found to be utter hypocrites who engaged in the very sin they told their watchers to avoid. Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker were among the worst of the latter group, while Peter Popoff was one of the former, being publicly exposed as using secret radio transmissions from his wife to provide him information that he pretended was coming to him directly from God.
Televangelists (most notably Pat Robertson, Mike Murdock, Rod Parsley, Joyce "five mansions" Meyer , and T. D. Jakes) can still be found on both the TBN and DayStar religious networks, as well as some late-night local programming.
In 2015, talk show host and comedian John Oliver, as part of an episode examining televangelists and the Prosperity Gospel, tried to start his own ministry called "Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption" to see if he could meet the IRS' requirements to become a church for the purposes of tax exemption. With help from a tax lawyer, he was able to get away with claiming his studio as a place of worship and his audience as his flock, incorporating as a church in Texas despite living in New York, and "having congregants silently meditate on the nature of fraudulent churches" as a form of ritual and worship.
 See also
- Name it and claim it (or Prosperity Gospel)
- Con artist
- Trinity Broadcasting Network
- Eliezer Yudkowsky. Atheists can play, too!
- Genesis, "Jesus He Knows Me", We Can't Dance, Atlantic Records, 1992.
- Metallica, "Leper Messiah", Master of Puppets, Elektra (WEA) Records, 1986
- Ozzy Osbourne, "Miracle Man", No Rest for the Wicked, Epic/CBS Records, 1988
- Ray Stevens, "Would Jesus Wear a Rolex", Crackin' Up, MCA Nashville, 1987
- Suicidal Tendencies, "Send Me Your Money", Lights...Camera...Revolution!, Epic Records, 1990.
- Frank Zappa, "Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk", Broadway the Hard Way, Barking Pumpkin, 1989.
- Iron Maiden, "Holy Smoke", "No Prayer for the Dying", Barnyard Studios, 1990.
- Depeche Mode, "Personal Jesus", Violator, Mute Records, 1989.
 Further reading
- Morris, James, The Preachers, St. Martin's Press, 1973.
- Randi, James, The Faith Healers, Prometheus Books, 1989.
- Bakker, Jim, I Was Wrong, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996. (In which Bakker explicitly renounces the "Prosperity Gospel" theology)
- ↑ Bradford, Kenneth, "Televangelists Say They Need Private Jets Because ‘Demons Fly Commercial’(Not The Onion), Bipartisan Report 1.1.2016.
- ↑ http://casa.colorado.edu/~dduncan/pseudoscience/PeterPopoff.htm
- ↑ Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: "Televangelists"