Cloaked in religion, these money-grubbing televangelists are only in it for the money.
Right Wing Watch posted a story the other day about host Jim Bakker and his guest, evangelist Billye Brim, saying women who attended the Women’s March the day after the inauguration were “driven by demons.” Meanwhile, they were effusive in their praise for Trump.
Reading that made me recall so many things I’ve seen over the years regarding the hypocrisy of these so-called servants of God. I think my favorite was Jimmy Swaggart, because he was just SO emotive! But the one that stands out above all of them – for me at least – is a personal experience I had.
Back in the day, I was living in Los Angeles and was, not to put too fine a point on it – hot! Ah, those were the days. But I digress. I was also broke and in search of a job. So I went to an employment agency. One of the jobs on which I was sent out for an interview was for a prominent televangelist. I don’t remember which one it was, because I’ve never been into televangelists, except to laugh at them when they are exposed for the charlatans they are. But I do remember the offices were located in Culver City.
So I show up at this rather innocuous building in an office park and walk through the door into what seemed to be another dimension. The place had marble walls, marble floors and buffed to a blinding finish antique automobiles placed strategically throughout the cavernous lobby. It was like a freakin’ movie set of some millionaire’s wet dream. I was greeted by the receptionist and asked to wait for Mr. Whoever It Was to come get me. In a few moments, the Man of God made his entrance, resplendent in a suit worth more than my car, diamond rings twinkling on several fingers – and I’m talking ROCKS, not diamond chips – and the requisite heavily sprayed swept-back hairstyle favored by the religious hucksters of the 1980s.
He ushered me into his office, and it was difficult not to notice how he was eying me up and down and liking what he saw. It was kind of icky; but, you know, I needed a job. So he sits me down and launches into a description of what my job responsibilities would be if I snagged the position. Shorthand? Not necessary! Typing? 30 words a minute would be fine. Oh yes, and there is a private jet, so from time to time I would have to travel with him. Not to mention the chef on board who, when he wasn’t aloft, was in the kitchen at the facility (I think it may have been a broadcast studio, but it’s been a long time and I don’t recall) preparing gourmet meals for all employees, so no need to bother bringing lunch. Meanwhile, he was creeping me out with every word he spoke.
I needed a job, but there’s this thing about me. I can’t stand jerks, and this guy was a JERK in neon flashing letters. I had recently converted to Judaism – that’s a whole other story, and I am no longer affiliated with any religion – and despite needing to secure a position, I knew I could never work for that guy.
So I said, “That sounds great! But I think there’s something you should know before we go any further.”
Leaning into me, he smiled his smarmy smile and inquired what that could be.
“I’m Jewish,” I said.
The look on his face! And then he said – wait for it – “That’s fine. Some of my best friends are Jewish.”
He then went on to revise those job requirements. Shorthand: 100 words per minute minimum. Typing: 60 words per minute minimum. No special lunches, better brown-bag it. And (mercifully in my estimation) no trips on the private jet.
Needless to say, I didn’t get the job; and, had I been invited, I would have refused. I did make sure to tell the woman at the employment agency, who just happened to be Jewish, all about my rather illuminating experience.
There are a lot of good preachers, ministers, priests, and other religious people out there. Some of them are even on television. I may not share their views on a lot of things, but I do realize they serve a higher purpose and are of great value to the people of faith in our country. But I do not include money-grubbing, hate-spewing televangelists among their number. You can be in it for the money or in it for God, but you can’t be in it for both. One thing is for certain: You can’t trust some guy (or woman) dripping in diamonds and swathed in silk whose sole purpose in life is to part you from your money to advise you on the merits of someone like Donald Trump as president.
Ann Werner is the author of thrillers and other things.
Visit her at Ann Werner on the Web