I was going to take a break from my festival writings, and post a long, enthusiastic entry about the recent controversies surrounding several prominent televangelists (sheesh, that feels so 1988). First, Paul Crouch (of Trinity Broadcasting Network fame) gets caught up in a gay sex scandal, which has led to a fairly indepth set of articles (registration required) on the Los Angeles Times about the so-called “prosperity gospel” that Crouch and Co. espouse.
And then Jimmy Swaggart causes yet another uproar with his comments concerning gay marriage, even going so far as to threaten any potential suitors:
I’m trying to find a correct name for it. This utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men. I’ve never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I’m gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I’m gonna kill him and tell God he died.
Click here to see it for yourself. Just keep in mind that he’s knocking the legislators, not “the poor homosexual”(requires Windows Media Player).
However, others have already written far more thoughtful articles, so I’ll just point to them.
Yesterday, ChristianityToday’s Ted Olsen posted a feature that looks at the Times’ coverage, as well as some of the issues surrounding “prosperity” theology.
And Christian History & Biography has an interesting article that tries to figure out why Pentacostal ministers (which include Crouch and Swaggart, more or less) seem especially prone to sex scandals and whatnot — the article touches on Romanticism and its impact on evangelicalism, and is a pretty fascinating read.