Okay, I have a confession to make.
I OD’ed on Tea Party Senator Marco Rubio over the weekend—he did, after all, set a Milky Way record for most appearances on Sunday talk shows—and I am not allowed, under orders of my shrink, Dr. Keith Stone, to talk politics today.
As Dr. Stone instructed me, I wandered away from politics for some spiritual nourishment because politics these days, what with Republicans resisting even the mildest of common sense and nation-building legislation, can be a soul-sapping sport.
And in my quest for something solid to put my soul-teeth into, I went to, where else, the Inspiration Network on cable. That network was originally founded by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, he a former televangelist and convicted felon and she, well, if you don’t know who she is and what she was about I don’t have time to tell ya here.
In any case, jonesing for some good news from the Almighty, I tuned into the Inspiration Network and I found this guy:
Now, I didn’t bother to find out just who the guy is. I don’t know his name. And to be quite honest, it doesn’t matter who he is. It matters what he is and what he is doing.
See that graphic? “Sow Your$310 Seed And Receive A Breakthrough In Your Finances.”
That’s a fairly specific claim. Give this guy $310 and—and—receive a breakthrough in your finances. A breakthrough. Here are some other graphics accompanying this particular plea for plenty:
At one point during the sales pitch, and before the obligatory it’s-my-fault-I’m-such-a-loser “prayer,” the guy says,
Get in a place of surrender.
Yeah, surrender. That’s exactly what he wants you and me to do, at least as far as surrendering that 310 bucks.
In our country, under the First Amendment, folks can pretty much practice any religion they want. If you are so inclined, you can worship goats or other things, both living and dead. Or you can worship nothing at all. Or like the guy above, you can have some kind of theological love affair with other people’s money, so long as you have the rhetorical skills to get them to share it with you.
But I think—and please don’t tell Dr. Keith Stone that I’m thinking about politics today—but I think when a person is asking you to give him money and is promising in exchange for that money something specific like “a harvest” or a “breakthrough in your finances,” then, by God, there had better be a harvest or a breakthrough after you write the check, First Amendment or no First Amendment.
A dissatisfied giver ought to be able to bring a lawsuit against this guy and demand restitution, plus compensation for the pain and suffering for expecting a miracle and receiving instead the realization that you were an idiot for sending in that $310. In fact, some enterprising lawyer ought to get rich by bringing a class action lawsuit against all the preachers, on television and radio and elsewhere, who ask people for money and promise them something real, something in the here and now, in return.
There, I feel better. And remember, don’t tell the always smooth Dr. Keith Stone. I’m meeting up with him again later tonight and I don’t want to hear him tell me how dumb it was for me to get back into politics so soon after my Rubio overdose this weekend.