Thursday, September 23, 2004

This Week's
Of The
Bell Curve


Not So Reverent Reverend

Jimmy Swaggart

The homicidal sermon

Jimmy Swaggart disgraces himself in saying he’d kill a gay man over a lusty look.

In debate, there ought to be a place to draw the line, a time where opponents and supporters can agree that someone has gone too far, a point at which they can all recognize an outrage.

Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart provides an example.

During a sermon last week, Swaggart expressed his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment and, in the course of that sermon, also advanced a sentiment that ought to make him an outcast among supporters of a constitutional ban on gay marriages.

Swaggart said he’d kill a gay man for looking at him the wrong way.

Take A Closer Look

Swaggart surely expected gay groups to complain, but when über-conservative editorial boards started calling for him to be cast out, there was only one thing left to do...


Sort of.

Jimmy Swaggart apologizes after remark about 'killing' gay man

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Christian evangelist Jimmy Swaggart apologized Wednesday for saying in a televised worship service that he would kill any gay man who looked at him romantically.

"And I'm going to be blunt and plain: If one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died," Swaggart says, to laughter and applause from the congregation.

On Wednesday, Swaggart said he's jokingly used the expression "killing someone and telling God he died" thousands of times, about all sorts of people. He said the expression is figurative, and not meant to harm.

"It's a humorous statement that doesn't mean anything. You can't lie to God — it's ridiculous," Swaggart told The Associated Press. "If it's an insult, I certainly didn't think it was, but if they are offended, then I certainly offer an apology."

Take A Closer Look

How many half-assed apologies does
The God Of Abraham allow you, Jimmy?


He [Swaggart] took great joy in 1986 for defrocking fellow Assemblies of God minister Marvin Gorman. Gorman had conducted an extramarital affair with one of his parishioners. And then the next year, when the PTL Ministry collapsed in around Jim Bakker, Swaggart was ecstatic. It was almost too good to believe. He went on CNN and told Larry King that Bakker was a "cancer in the body of Christ."

But if watching other people in misery was Swaggart's favorite thing, then his next favorite was probably looking at pornography and f*%king $35-per-hour prostitutes in cheap motels. When the rumors started flying, Jimmy was doomed. Ironically, it was Marvin Gorman who nailed him.

Take A Closer Look

Remember what Jimmy did then?

He apologized.

Sort of.

From The History Channel:

"To my lord, my savior, I have sinned against you, my lord." (February 21, 1988)

On February 21, 1988, televangelist Jimmy Swaggart admitted in a tearful, Sunday-morning sermon that he had engaged in improprieties with a prostitute. In addition to adultery, Swaggart was guilty of hypocrisy, for in 1987 he had scathingly denounced fellow Assemblies of God televangelist Jim Bakker and Marvin Gorman for their extramarital affairs. It was Gorman who hired the private detective that snapped photographs of Swaggart entering a seedy motel outside of New Orleans in the company of a known prostitute. These incriminating photos were then handed over to the Assemblies of God, forcing Swaggart's public apology and temporary departure from the pulpit. Jimmy Swaggart, the most popular television preacher of his day, was born in 1935 and grew up in the small town of Ferriday, Louisiana. His first cousins were Jerry Lee Lewis, an early rock-and-roll star, and Mickey Gilley, who became a country-western singer. Like Lewis and Gilley, Swaggart was musically gifted, but he found an outlet in the Pentecostal faith and traveled the South, performing gospel music and preaching in tent meetings. He soon was preaching on television, and by the 1980s his Swaggart Ministries was drawing in close to $100 million a year. He returned to preaching soon after his downfall in 1988, but his fortunes were seriously diminished.

Listen To
Swaggart's Apology

When asked for a comment, The God Of Abraham referred me to his public writings, on file in most motel bedside table drawers:

"Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." Luke 12:1.

"Ye hypocrites well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoreth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me." Matt. 15:7, 8.

"For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother... But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of hone effect by your tradition." Matt. 15:4-6.

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward." Matt. 6:5.

"A hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbor." Prov. 11:9.

"So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite's hope shall perish." Job 8:13.

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." James 3:17

The Lord Jesus (AKA Christ) had a few choice words for Swaggart:

"Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." Matt. 7:5.

"And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matt. 24:51.

Heavy sigh.


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