Friday, December 18, 2009

Law Is the Devil

The Devil. It’s always the Devil’s fault.

It seems appropriate that in the same week that we bid good riddance to religious huckster supreme Oral Roberts that one of his followers makes the kind of base plea for cash that would have made ol’ Oral smile. Remember, he demanded millions in 1987 lest he be “called home” by the Lord.

Rod Parsley runs a megaministry in Columbus, one that is firmly in the “how intense I pray depends on how much you pay” school. You know the kind:

Turns out that Rod’s bottom line isn’t too good, leading him to beg for money on the air (via Ed and Pam, who both have the video):

The Rev. Rod Parsley has issued a desperate plea for money, telling his flock that he is facing a 'demonically inspired financial attack' that is threatening his ministry.
Parsley is asking for donations by Dec. 31, calling that date an 'unavoidable deadline' during an episode of Breakthrough posted yesterday on Breakthrough is Parsley's television show.

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The headline of the appeal for donations reads: 'Will you help me take back what the devil stole?'

When asked to comment yesterday, Parsley's World Harvest Church issued a statement saying the recession caused a decline in member giving in 2009, which has led to a fourth-quarter deficit of $3 million despite a 30 percent reduction in the budget.
Now, $3 million is a pretty specific request. I wonder what the Devil did to cause Pastor Rod to part with his hard earned money?
This year, the church settled for $3.1 million with a family whose son was spanked at its day-care center in 2006, to the point his buttocks and legs were covered with welts and abrasions.

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The [plaintiffs] said the payment was made this year. During yesterday's Breakthrough broadcast, Parsley referred to a $3 million check he had to write from the ministry.
Aha! So by “Devil” what Pastor Rod actually means is “the law” and by “stole” he means “awarded by a jury after a trial.” More appropriately, what he means is “one of my poorly supervised underlings who beat up a toddler and I’ve got to pay for it!” I’ll admit, that’s damned evil, but no Devil required. Sadly, it’s firmly within the scope of ordinary human behavior. Why is it that the religious base of the “party of personal responsibility” always tries to blame their sins on somebody else?

Of course, to be completely fair to Rod, the $3.1 he paid out was at one time collected from the gullible souls who bought into his earlier pitches for salvation by the dollar. It’s only natural that he’d go back to the well for another dip. Nobody ever said you’d go broke playing on the faith of the gullible religious.

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