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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/11/13

In These Days of Elmer Gantry

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Message Bob Alexander
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Through the power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, Christian Crusader and Faith Healer Kathryn Kuhlman cured my father-in-law twice from liver cancer ... before he died of liver cancer. I do not hold Jesus responsible for the death of my father-in-law. I'd say Jesus' role in the whole affair was pretty much nonexistent because at the time He, The Son of Gawd, had been dead for almost two millennia. You can't blame Him if His batteries were running a little low.

My father-in-law was a very pragmatic, no-nonsense, Richard Nixon-Republican, until his doctors told him he was Going To Die. Fearing for his life he drove down to the Shrine Civic Auditorium in Los Angeles and joined the thousands of disciples, the desperate, and the doomed. He went onstage, Kathryn Kuhlman simply touched him, and filled with the Holy Spirit, he keeled right over. When he got to his feet he was cured. Later his doctors continued to tell him Very Bad News about his liver so he went back to LA for a Holy Spirit Booster Shot. That cure worked as well as the first one did. Soon after my father-in-law continued along the 5-step Kubler-Ross path, regained his dignity, and died about as well as anyone could.

Kathryn Kuhlman raked in millions of dollars per year until she died after open-heart surgery in 1976. Now this won't surprise sane people " but the lady was a fake. Dr. William A. Nolen conducted a study of 23 people who claimed to have been cured during Kuhlman's services. Nolen's long-term follow-ups concluded there were no cures. One woman supposedly cured of spinal cancer threw away her brace and ran across the stage at Kuhlman's command. Her spine collapsed the next day and she died four months later.

Kuhlman had a weekly TV program in the 1960s and 1970s called I Believe In Miracles. I do too. I think it is abso-freakin'-lutely miraculous that people like her don't go to jail for bilking their True Believers out of every last nickel and dime. I think it's a miracle that their ill-gotten gains are ill-gotten tax-free gains. And I think it's a miracle that people continue to fall for this despicable timeworn con game. It doesn't seem to make any difference when these crooks are caught with their pants down, or their hands in the till, or both. As it turns out P.T. Barnum vastly underestimated the sucker birth rate among the Christian Faithful. 
Jimmy Swaggart, and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker may have publicly imploded and lost their Christian-funded empires but the money that used to pour into the PTL Club has simply been diverted into the river of cash that keeps Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network pumping Jesus' distorted message into the homes of the True Believers.

You don't have to be a Good Christian to get suckered out of your money. It sure helps -- but it's not an absolute requirement. I still regularly get emails from some guy in Nigeria promising me millions if I'll just help him get his money out of the country. The "Nigerian Scam" pulled down over $100 million ... in 1997. The reason those emails continue to get sent out 16 years later is ... they still work! There are still people who believe that if Something is Too Good To Be True ... It Must Be True! And as long as that's the case ... con men and women will continue to churn through the populace offering millions in bank account payouts, recoveries from fatal diseases, and Life Everlasting at the Right Hand of the Father.

Last year we saw a new wrinkle in the scam. Hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars were flimflammed from the True Believers. They were promised that if they dug deep, I mean really really deep, Democrats would be banished from the halls of Congress forever! And the bonehead billionaire and multi-millionaire morons fell for it.

Ten people ... just ten not-very-smart-people ... accounted for over $176 million (that we know about) spent to drive out the heathen non-Republicans. These ten ultra-rich yahoos put their money where their brains used to be ... because they believed ... that's right Brothers and Sisters ... they believed. They believed Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, and the other con artists who raised and spent roughly $1 billion on last November's elections. They sweet-talked the rich twits out of their money by telling them of a world just around the corner where their wildest dreams would all come true. The only Black Man in the White House would be the houseboy serving the drinks to the Rich White Men who were once again steering the Ship of State where they wanted it to go.

Poof. Dream over. Wake up and smell the concrete.

Sometimes dreams don't come true. Let me rephrase that. Dreams spun by con men never come true. They're not in the Dream Fulfillment business. They're in the separating you from your money business. And they're really good at it. The fact that they're all psychopaths gives them an almost unbeatable edge when it comes to dealing with normal human beings. But when the psychopaths zero in on a group of folks who aren't necessarily known for being all that bright ... y'know ... Born-Again Christians, Republicans, FOX news-hounds ... Hoo-Boy! Ring the bell, blood's in the water, and here come the sharks a'cruisin' because it's Dinner Time!

Now you'd think that after the dismal results of the 2012 elections, Karl Rove should wake up with severed horse-heads in his bed every morning and after every afternoon nap. He should be afraid to answer his phone because of the creepy voice that -- when he puts the phone up to his sweaty ear -- repeatedly asks, "Where's The Money Karl?"  But I guess that's not the case. Crazy Stupid people have notoriously bad memories. And there are always plenty of issues to dump dumb people money on.

Obama is going to try for a third term! The government is coming after your guns! Christians will be persecuted starting any minute now! We are at an historic crossroad! The future of everything we hold dear is at stake! We must win the elections in 2014 or everything will be lost! If we want to reach the Promised Land ... if we want to live in New Zion by 2016 ... we have got to believe!

All it takes is the willingness to believe and the ability to write a check.

As Sinclair Lewis said through his character Elmer Gantry in 1926...
"Let me count this day, Lord, as the beginning of a new and more vigorous life, as the beginning of a crusade for complete morality and the domination of the Christian church through all the land. Dear Lord, thy work is but begun! We shall yet make these United States a moral nation!"
From that platform they will continue to fleece the flock until the end of days.
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Some 45 years ago I became aware of the fact that the government of The United States was trying to kill me. I wasn't paranoid or anything. I mean I knew the government wasn't out to kill me personally. They just wanted to kill as many Vietnamese (more...)
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