As anyone who’s read me (or read my bio) knows — I’m not just an atheist, I’m a devout atheist. I’m not hostile toward religion — because that seems pointless to me — in part because it’s not religion that’s the problem, it’s the silly people who take it unquestioningly to their breasts. The moment you hang up your ability (or willingness or determination) to critically analyze everything before ‘consuming it’, they’ve got you.
‘Eat this because I say so and because I say it’s good for you,’ is a death sentence.
Among the things America has always been great for, it seems, is religious hucksterism. I guess that along with all the other people coming here to reinvent themselves there are and were the Religious Con Men. Not all of them know they’re con men but they are. They’re all pitching the same nonsensical con that has NOTHING whatsoever to do with Jesus or anything Jesus might have said (as opposed to all those AROUND Jesus — like Paul — who had their own motives and — boring in on Paul now — a towering ego).
Look at how many ‘Newfangled Religions’ have sprung from American minds: “Mormonism” & “Scientology” leap immediately to mind. Wonderful but fraudulent creations (hey — a ‘good story’s’ a good story — I may not like either story but other people have loved them so what the hell do I know?)
And even the way Americans ’embraced’ their Protestant Christianity was distinctly ‘Newfangled’. From Southern Baptists to Prosperity Gospel-ites — American Christians have taken Christianity to places Jesus never imagined. Cos Jesus wasn’t out to make a buck and rule the world.
And even among THAT group of phonies, liars, cheats and hypocrites, only a select few have risen to Bullshit’s Truest Heights. Guys (mostly but not exclusively) who pitch Bullshit with True Artistry. They are Grand Masters of Fraud. To this humble atheist’s mind — they are, in fact, ‘SuperSalesmen For Christ’.
Too bad the Christ they’re selling has ZERO to do with Jesus or anything Actual Jesus said. What they’re selling — and this is WHY I love them so — is their own ‘GODHEAD’. Each and every one of em, down deep, believes THEY are GOD and should be ‘WORSHIPED’ accordingly. Don’t believe me? Look at their houses and jets and offices and, worst of all, THEIR CHURCHES.
Those aren’t ‘Temples to Do Unto Others’, they’re Self-Perpetuating TITHING FACTORIES.
Hope you brought cash, Pilgrims — your check simply will not do. And we already know how your ‘credit’ is…
But, among Televangelists, several sit closest to the Fire inside my head. First — the Televangelist who ‘took my televangelist cherry’: The Long Gone but nowhere near forgotten (by me): KATHERYN KUHLMAN (1907 – 1976)…
Just watch the first 90 seconds. You’ll get it. You’ll get ‘her’.
Another Master — Of The ‘Healing’ Con. PT Barnumm-class Showmanship all mashed up with Bernie Madoff-class Corruption — BENNY HINN!
And then there’s THIS GUY — My Ultimate Favorite — Cos I actually empathize with the poor guy. In spite of EVERYTHING. I won’t go into it here but — I’ve been working on a Feature Script about this guy forever.
Yes, Jimmy Swaggart has been a hypocrite. Been caught at it spectacularly not once but TWICE. And yet risen, like a Phoenix, anew both times. It’s either the Power of Jesus (not buying it) or the Power of Ego. Yeah — I’m buying. Want my credit card # now?
Uh oh — seeing all those faces just gave me a flash of Divine Inspiration. I’m thinking TRADING CARDS! T-Shirts n Coffee Mugs!
How about that — I’m saved! Thank you, Jesus! Where did you say to send the check?