Growing up I surfed the channels on TV and would fall into the trap of religious broadcasting. It was the infamous Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. The dynamic duo of televangelism.
He, in his white suit, and Tammy Faye covered in three pounds of makeup and tarantula-like eyelashes. It was odd to see a man and woman cry on live TV. Streams of black mascara ran down Tammy Faye’s face and their following loved them.
It was unbelievable that religion was so easily commercialized with the broadcasting system. Televangelism was, and is, huge. Although Televangelism isn’t a religion, it is an extremely popular way to share “the word of God.” However, sharing the word of God seems to get lost amongst the agenda of “send us your money.”
Over time other televangelists entered the arena including the husband and wife act so similar to Jim and Tammy Faye that I thought it was the two reincarnated. Instead, it was Paul and Jan Crouch. His preaching, and her pink cotton candy hair, picked up where the Bakkers left off. Charisma, crying and excessive makeup were part of the religious scene. Their Trinity Broadcasting network poured in millions of dollars to create a life with many houses, private jets and $1000 dinners for their dogs.
These four commercially known religious leaders are not the only over paid, and highly sought out televangelists. Other religious figure heads make millions through broadcastings each year. For example, in 2012 Kenneth Copeland lived in a $6 million dollar home, while T.D. Jakes was worth $18 million. Joel Osteen was one of the wealthiest religious leaders in 2012 with a $10.5 million dollar home and an annual salary of 200,000. Although that’s a lower salary he made up for it with book deals and speaking appearances.
After seeing several of these men and women perform on television, I can not understand how anyone falls for this act. To actually send money, or sign up for tithing’s? Especially when they are already poor and hungry. Are we as a human race really just sheep? Millions of poor starving people send in a tithing each week, and pray to a man or woman who lives in a home that could buy hundreds of houses in their neighborhood.
I wish I could blame the televangelists for accepting money from millions of poor people, but it can not be laid solely at their feet. They took advantage of the situation and created empires for themselves. It’s called capitalism. However, the sheep should be at fault as well. Why would anyone send in their hard earned money to make them rich, when their returns are so little?