condescending twatbags, religion, stupid people, TV

Jim Bakker NEEDS your money or they’ll cancel his show!

I remember back in the 1980s, when televangelists were all over the news for various scandals involving sex and fleecing their flocks. Jim Bakker was, in those days, a charismatic leader of the PTL network. He, along with his ex wife, the late Tammy Faye Bakker, had a vision to create a Christian utopia in Heritage USA, a Christian theme park and housing development that never quite came to fruition.

Bakker was later busted by the feds for defrauding his followers. I clearly recall how he went into a fetal position and had to be committed for a psych evaluation while he was on trial for fraud. He was originally sentenced to 45 years in prison, but the sentence was later reduced to eight years. He was paroled on December 1, 1994, after serving almost five years in a minimum security prison in Georgia. A few years later, he met his second wife, Lori. By 2003, he and Lori were back in the televangelism game, having launched a new program, which still runs today.

You’d think people would be wise to Jim Bakker, after his very public sex scandal and fraud case in the late 1980s. But no, he’s still got a platform, and he’s still peddling shit to the gullible. I don’t make a point of keeping up with what he’s doing, although I have to admit, he’s kind of a fascinating character. Below is a very disturbing video, complete with hilarious music, that shows Jim Bakker combining talk of the apocalypse, championing Donald Trump, and selling buckets of slop that can double as toilets or furniture.

You have to see it to believe it. What a fucking charlatan!

In the 1980s, I was kind of dimly aware of what was going on, since I was a teenager at the time. I avoided religion like the plague. But I do remember that Jim Bakker wasn’t the only daring televangelist in those days. In 1987, televangelist Oral Roberts told his followers that he was going to begin an intense prayer and fasting vigil that would last until he raised $8 million for a medical scholarship program. In a letter he sent to his flock, Roberts wrote that God had ordered him to raise the money by the end of March 1987, or he would die. According to an article from the Washington Post dated February 28, 1987:

The evangelist wrote that he will ascend the Prayer Tower at Oral Roberts University to begin praying and fasting.

“If I go from there to Jesus, I will see you in heaven. But I believe that won’t happen, because I believe our God will do this mighty thing and at the end of March, you and I will know the miracle has happened and the Gospel will go to the nations,” he said.

In the end, Roberts managed to raise $9.1 million. He died on December 15, 2009. At least Oral Roberts was raising money for a decent cause, even if the way he did it was highly manipulative and controversial.

Jim Bakker, like Oral Roberts before him, is also looking to raise a lot of money. This week, he told his followers in a panicky tone of voice that his show would be canceled if he didn’t pay what he owes his network. He says that he owes about a million dollars. According to DEADState, Bakker said:

“We’ve lost millions in finances due to the legal battles we’ve fought, losing our ability to receive donations by credit cards for over a year — has left us in a desperate state… But what the Devil has tried to do is silence our voice.”

Bakker continued,

“I’m asking you as a friend and longtime supporter of this ministry, valued partners, will you help us? Turn this wolf away from our door.”

Oh dear! What will we do without Jim Bakker’s show?

Regardless of what I think of Jim Bakker and his sleazy fundraising tactics, I’ve got to admit the man has a lot of moxie. And even though I think he’s a swindler, he does have charisma and a knack for appealing to a certain segment of the population. He’s even entertaining as he pulls the wool over people’s eyes. One of the funniest parts of Vic Berger’s Best of Jim Bakker YouTube video, posted above, is when Bakker tries to convince people that the slop in the bucket is delicious. He’s definitely game for peddling bullshit, and there’s something to be said for that. A lot of fortunes have been made by people who can sell ice to Eskimos.

I think televangelists are a fascinating lot. So many of them push the prosperity gospel, selling the idea that personal wealth is a sign of God’s favor. The whole lot of these evangelists wear expensive clothes, have coiffed hair (or in the case of the late Ernest Angley, outrageous wigs), and wear jewelry. They live in fancy homes, drive pricey cars, and never flinch as they demand “love gifts” for their bogus ministries. So many people buy into the fantasy that all they have to do is pray and send money and they will somehow be “blessed”. Mark Knopfler even wrote a fabulous song about this phenomenon, which his band Dire Straits recorded in 1991…

A beautiful song by Dire Straits… but people often miss the real meaning of this song and take the lyrics seriously. This song is sarcastic, and it’s about evangelists who rip off the gullible. People think that by sending money, they’re buying a “Ticket to Heaven”.

Here are the lyrics to “Ticket to Heaven”

I can see what you’re looking to find
In the smile on my face
In my peace of mind
In my state of grace

I send what I can
To the man from the ministry
He’s a part of heaven’s plan
And he talks to me

Now I send what I can to the man
With the diamond ring
He’s a part of heaven’s plan
And he sure can sing

Now it’s all I can afford
But the Lord has sent me eternity
It’s to save the little children
In a poor country

I got my ticket to heaven
And everlasting life
I got a ride all the way to paradise
I got my ticket to heaven
And everlasting life
All the way to paradise

Now there’s nothing left for luxuries
Nothing left to pay my heating bill
But the good Lord will provide
I know he will

So send what you can
To the man with the diamond ring
They’re tuning in across the land
To hear him sing

I got my ticket to heaven
And everlasting life
Got a ride all the way to paradise
I got my ticket to heaven
And everlasting life
All the way to paradise

As far as I’m concerned, Mark Knopfler is a god. I would much sooner follow him than Jim Bakker. What’s especially funny, though, is that a lot of people think “Ticket to Heaven” is a beautiful song that is literally about going to Heaven. It’s not. It’s an indictment against people like Jim Bakker and his ilk, cheating poor, ignorant, lonely, God fearing, people out of their money. When you think about it, Jim Bakker has a lot in common with Donald Trump. In fact, he is one of Trump’s admirers.


I only watch televangelists to ridicule them and be mildly entertained by their antics. Sadly, a lot of people think these so-called religion peddlers can help them. It’ll be interesting to see if Jim Bakker manages to save his show from oblivion. It’s kind of inspired that Jim Bakker peddles buckets of food and shovels to prepare for the apocalypse… they make handy receptacles for all the bullshit he shovels. We really should start taxing these fake religious motherfuckers.


Frat boys who still need their mommies…

I recently received an email from one of my relatives. It was actually a forward, written by her 20 year old son, who is, naturally, also one of my relatives. The young man is in college and has joined a fraternity. Like all members of Greek organizations, he’s involved in fundraising. Unlike all college aged students, he’s enlisted his mother to help him fundraise by having her mass email her friends and relatives. Much to my surprise, his mom is willingly cooperating with this.

I am extremely familiar with how my relative was raised because she and I are sisters. We’ve had the same parents. I know for a fact that if either of us had asked our parents to help us with a fundraising project, particularly for a sorority, we would have been laughed out the door. Our dad likely would have been somewhat more willing to help us than our mom would have, but still, I can’t see either of them hitting up friends and relatives on behalf of any of their adult daughters, unless, for some reason, their adult daughters were somehow physically or logistically incapable of doing the work themselves. Even then, their help would have probably been given very grudgingly.

Our dad would have been more willing to help if it was a cause he believed in himself. For instance, when I was in Armenia, serving in the Peace Corps, he did manage to organize a donation of textbooks for my school. I hadn’t really asked him to do it. I told him it was a project I was working on and he took the initiative to hit up all of the local teachers he knew. They sent a nice donation of old English textbooks, some of which were used when I was a student. I got a kick out of looking at the lists of names in the front of the books, especially since I knew some of the people whose names had been written there. Helping me get books for my school was nice of him. However, I can’t see him sending out mass emails for me, mainly because he never learned how to email (despite many, many, many frustrating and fruitless lessons)… and when I was in my 20s, I wasn’t really using the Internet. And also, sending out emails is such an easy thing to do, particularly when you’re presumably sending them to your “warm market” (aka friends and family who know and love you).

I’ve been known to donate to causes when I have the money. I recently gave $100 to a guy I don’t even know because I know he and his daughter experienced a tremendous loss last year when his wife and her mother died of cancer (we have a mutual friend). I donated $200 to a friend’s son who was tasked with burying his mother when she’d suddenly died of a stroke and had no life insurance. I donated at least $200 to a guy I knew in college who was down on his luck and trying to support his ailing, elderly aunt. Sadly, the college friend died suddenly a couple of years ago. I donated $100 to another college friend’s fundraiser for his then infant daughter, whose mother had died of cancer before she’d turned a year old. I even paid for a whole year of SingSnap gold access for an online friend who didn’t have the money to pay for a subscription.

I might have happily donated to my nephew’s cause if he’d taken the time to ask me personally. Instead, he got his mommy to send out a mass email to her many well off contacts. Maybe I’m being oversensitive again, but a request directly from my nephew instead of his mother seems like a small thing to ask. I’m his aunt, and he couldn’t even be arsed to send me a friendly email about what, and how, he’s doing, along with a pitch for a donation to his fraternity’s philanthropy. I know he’s in college and he’s busy, but hell, even if he’d just sent a mass email himself, I would have considered donating. I found the mass email from my sister sent on his behalf lazy, insulting, and impersonal. Moreover, he’s an adult, and perfectly capable of sending his own fundraising emails. So, I decided to ignore the request for funds at this time.

It would be nice if my nephew bought a ticket for the clue train…

I don’t understand why my sister is doing this. She is a high achiever. She finished high school early by correspondence, because when we were living in England, she was accepted to the Royal Ballet School. After a year of that, she went back to Virginia and attended the College of William & Mary, arranging for everything by herself. She was in the Peace Corps, and has both a master’s and doctoral degree, earned from Johns Hopkins University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, respectively. All three of her alma maters are highly selective, prestigious schools. She’s lived in several exotic countries and speaks several languages. She achieved a lot of this stuff entirely on her own, and she used to lecture me about not working hard enough and “getting by on my talent”. Why isn’t she insisting that her 20 year old son do his own emailing?

I suppose I could email my sister and tell her this, but she’s 13 years older than I am and doesn’t really take me seriously. I don’t wish to deal with more drama, especially over something like this. It’s just as easy for me to simply ignore the email and vent about it on my little read blog. So that’s what I’m doing. I hope no one minds.

On the other hand, I guess I could also send my nephew an email, letting him know that it’s disappointing to get “forwards” via his mother when he’s the one asking for donations. I think it’s very weak, and this attitude will not serve him well after he finishes college. Maybe this is the way of things nowadays, but I can’t imagine anyone in my generation doing this… certainly not at age 20 (mainly because the Internet was still in its infancy).