Sex Scandals Pull Plug on TV Evangelists
IN RECENT times one United States TV evangelist after another has been exposed for sexual misconduct. It was revealed that a child of former evangelist Pat Robertson, a U.S. presidential candidate, had been conceived out of wedlock. And other evangelists, Jim Bakker being the most prominent, have been exposed as adulterers.
A later scandal, though, swirled around Jimmy Swaggart, the evangelist who criticized the sexual escapades of rival TV preachers Jim Bakker and Marvin Gorman. According to reports, Gorman, in turn, secured pictures of Swaggart with a prostitute. Examining the sordid mess, New York Post columnist Carl T. Rowan observed:
“The worst thing Swaggart has done, in my mind, was not his taking a prostitute into a motel. It was his hypocritical effort to destroy utterly the Rev. Jim Bakker after it became known that the head of the PTL Ministry had had a sordid sexual relationship with church secretary Jessica Hahn.
“Swaggart’s hypocritical attack on Bakker and the PTL was a clear attempt to bring to his empire the dollars the gullible were pouring into Bakker’s domain.
“The thing most comparable is of one drug-trade kingpin striking to wipe out another and take over his turf.
“The analogy is not farfetched,” says Rowan. “The Swaggarts, Bakkers, Gormans and others dispense a narcotic called religion, and in the process they give genuine religion a bad name.”