Thursday, April 24, 2008

Yeah, You're Gonna Need a Shovel for This

DIG! Thus, according to televangelist Paula White, said Jesus. No matter the obstacle: government cheese, bad credit or failed marriage, so long's you got yourself a shovel, you can dig your way out of anything.

And no, stupid, Paula's not talking about a real shovel like the one she's wielding on stage in the clip above. A shovel, in times of adversity, is faith in God and his word, the Bible.

All of that sounds fine and good, and hey, Tyra is a fan, so if it's good enough for TB...

But what's interesting/frightening to me is the control these televangelists exert over people. The throngs of people waving around little plastic shovels in this clip is scary - it's one thing to encourage people to see a light at the end of the tunnel and to have faith that things will get better, but homegirl's sermon is nearly an hour of screaming, hyperventilating, tears and an exhortation to, well, dig.

And if you've read my blog before you know how I feel about throngs of aimless, hopeful people.

The fluffernutter sandwich that is religion today makes it possible for someone like Paula White to become a millionaire and that doesn't sit well with me. I'm almost OK with the self-help industry, but when it teters into profiteering from the Bible and Christianity, it becomes a business that is, by nature, corrupted by the negativity of all human pursuits.

What's even more offensive is that these lady preachers are so glammed up and fabulous that it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Ivana Trump had a revelation and started speaking in tongues and formed a church. Check out these ladies below on Trinity Broadcasting Network, it's like the B-version of The View. They're not talking about Jesus, they're promoting themselves in the most bawdy, tacky way - preening couldnt-make-it-in-Hollywood-types who have found an outlet for their personalities.

Don't get me wrong: I love me some bawdy women in high heels and diamonds, but I prefer to keep the bragging and hyperbole raunchy, not spiritual.

Maybe I'm old school in what I expect Christianity to be: humble, long suffering, temperate. That's what I learned in the church I eventually left, but it wasn't some bitter, twisted departure. I'd probably have stayed were it not for the gay thing.

On the flip side, and in defense of the ladies of the Lord, I do give them props for keeping their game classy. With all of the influences young girls have today, I guess I wouldn't mind if my daughter took a cue from Paula White instead of Hannah Montana.

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