TV preachers with their McMansion style churches and homes, raking in millions of dollars every single year get under my skin. I’ve been very vocal about my personal distaste in plastic Christians and greedy preachers.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve watched ministers like Jim Bakker and Kenneth Copeland pass the plate and hold out their televised hand urging faithful Christians to tithe generously in exchange for God answering their prayers and bringing them prosperity.
Some of these ministers are living as if they are participating in a Nickelback video with their private jets, massive homes times 3, 4 and 5. They’re driving ultra expensive cars, taking elaborate vacations, all while some of the most impoverished, yet loyal, Christians are sending them the last dime they possibly can.
A couple of days ago, Inside Edition’s Lisa Guerrero caught up with one of the wealthiest Bible thumpers, Creflo Dollar, and put them on the spot asking, “How do you justify your million dollar mansions and private jets to your donors?” He of course had ‘no comment.’
My personal favorite portion of the segment was when Lisa caught up with Kenneth Copeland.
Did you know Copeland lives in an 18,000 square foot home outside Ft. Worth, Texas that’s valued at $6 million? And that he has a $20 million Cessna Citation jet, that happens to be the fastest private jet on the market? According to Copeland, he “needed it to better serve the Lord.” To show his appreciation, Copeland did a fly by for his flock of followers after church.
Isn’t that special?
As if that weren’t enough to raise my blood pressure to stroke levels, it was then disclosed that Copeland has an entire fleet of planes registered to the church and has The Kenneth Copeland Airport situated right next to his personal Copeland Palace.
Greed Greed Greed – Barf!
Apparently televangelism is a $2 to $3 BILLION industry that’s going untaxed, unregulated.
That’s just gross!
The segment goes on to mention Kristi Parker who, after the death of her mother, found diaries that revealed her mother had sent most of her life savings to Copeland hoping somehow those donations would help save her from the cancer that was claiming her life.
How, can a man who claims to be a man of the cloth, a man working in the service of God, do this to people and sleep at night?
Reading The Sociopath Next Door is actually helping me understand the HOW part – in 200 watt neon!
Several televangelists were subject to a Senate investigation. By law religious groups are exempt from federal taxes. They don’t have to report how much they take in and they don’t have to report how they spend it. Not to anyone!
That’s wrong! So wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
Of the evangelists being investigated by the Senate committee, the televangelists who did not provide full information included Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Bishop Eddie Long, Creflo and Taffi Dollar, and Randy and Paula White. Joyce Meyer, based in Missouri and Benny Hinn, based in California — told investigators that they have made changes in how they govern their ministries or set compensation.
Good for them!
I encourage you to take 4 minutes to watch the clip on this Inside Edition investigation and share your thoughts.
Personally, I believe the times of religious groups being exempt from taxes needs to come to an end. It makes sense if times were like they used to be, when churches actually ran hospitals, ran homeless shelters or took care of communities – but those days are gone.
These mega churches disgust me – we have homeless people needing shelter. We have American’s who are victims of natural disasters needing assistance, we have people who have lost their jobs, churches should be helping people, not building golden temples of worship.