Once again proving my belief that organized religion is the root cause of many of today’s problems, one Christian televangelist after another has been outed by a site called MinistryWatch for bilking millions and millions of dollars from their faithful, but unsuspecting, flock of believers.
And, once again proving the power and reach of bloggers, the mainstream media has jumped on the bandwagon and is vilifying these Bible-toting financial vigilantes in a series of reports, documentaries and exposes.
Some of the transgressions are truly obscene and reinforce, in my mind, that too many fakes and fakirs use religion as a weapon to raise false hopes and empty pocketbooks. The preachers profiled in MinistryWatch live in palatial estates and cruise the highways in Rolls-Royces, yet implore their often downtrodden flocks to tithe more and more of their hard-earned money to the ministry.
I believe Christianity and Christian fundamentalism has been on the rise in recent years because it provides a seemingly ‘safe harbor’ in an increasingly brutal and uncertain world. And, while everyone is free to believe or not believe, I’ve been put off by the hard-charging proselytizers who point to the televangelists as guides who can and will lead me to a better and more fulfilling life.
Well, as is the case in business, sports, entertainment, politics and every other sector in society, people will tend to support those individuals and those institutions that are seen to be doing the right thing. And there is no way I would ever ‘buy’ into what the televangelists are peddling.
The Christian fundamentalist movement has been dealt a serious image and reputation crisis by its horde of money-grubbing, ‘do as I say, not as I do’ televangelists. It’s time for someone or something (a blue ribbon panel perhaps) to come in and, a la Jesus himself, throw out the moneychangers.
Interestingly, this is not materially different from something that was said by Martin Luther. “Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it has never come to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.” And then, “Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his reason.” And then, “Reason should be destroyed in all Christians.”
As Ben Franklin said…The Way to see by Faith, is to shut the Eye of Reason.