For-Profit Faith

By James Haught

Among sleazy occupations, is anything else worse than big-money evangelists with their personal jets, garish diamonds, piled-up hairdos and $5,000 fits?

A brand new e book, to be launched April 27, is PreachersNSneakers: Authenticity in an Age of For-Profit Faith and (Wannabe) Celebrities, It exposes TV pastors “who get rich off of preaching about Jesus.”

It’s written by means of Ben Kirby of Texas, a born-again Christian who watched gospel tv and spotted that many leaders flaunted outlandishly dear garments and sneakers designed for the super-wealthy. He posted his findings on Instagram and drew 200,000 audience. Now he has became it right into a e book.

A Washington Post record stated: “In 2019, Kirby posted a picture of Pastor John Gray wearing the coveted Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red Octobers, selling at the time on the resale market for more than $5,600.”

Astounding. What roughly narcissist can pay $5,600 for a couple of brogues? The Post added:

“Kirby has showcased Seattle pastor Judah Smith’s $3,600 Gucci jacket, Dallas pastor TD Jakes’s $1,250 Louboutin fanny pack and Miami pastor Guillermo Maldonado’s $2,541 Ricci crocodile belt. And he considers Paula White, President Donald Trump’s most trusted pastoral adviser who is often photographed in designer items, a PreachersNSneakers ‘content goldmine,’ posting a photo of her wearing $785 Stella McCartney sneakers.”

A record by means of London’s Guardian added:

“Pastor, author and religious personality John Gray appears in a recent post… sporting a Gucci sweater that costs more than $1,100. In another photo, Pastor Steven Furtick sports a pair of thousand-dollar Saint Laurent boots.”

More than a century in the past, sociologist Thorstein Veblen coined the time period “conspicuous consumption” for the flagrantly wealthy who paid evident sums to blow their own horns their wealth. It was a well-liked label of content material.

When preachers do it, there is a double reason why for contempt — as a result of evangelist cash comes from gullible believers who’re bought a fable of make-believe. The megachurch message says an invisible god will praise worshipers (donors) in an invisible heaven after loss of life — and burn others in hell. Intelligent, trained, fashionable other folks know this can be a fairy story. Religion is not true. Its purveyors dedicate a type of fraud.

I ask back: What’s extra sleazy than a sharpie dressed in $5,600 footwear paid for with cash from naïve believers?


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Image Credit: James Haught.

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