The Faithful Con

A video of an Evangelist being ambushed at an air strip by an Inside Edition reporter asking him about his luxurious lifestyle recently went viral. Apparently this was right after the pastor just purchased another private plane. It was quite entertaining how the religious leader was caught off guard and was obviously upset at the beginning but impressively held his tongue and slithered his way around the questions. The reporter’s questions were intended to point out the luxurious lifestyle the pastor which she implied is uncharacteristic for a religious leader. Implying that he is scamming or conning people out of their money.

Which begs the question. Who should be rich? Who do we think are worthy to live luxuriously? Who is deserving of all that wealth?

Actors? Sure, they are great at transporting us to another world to momentarily forget of our current reality. Most of them are indeed eye candies but aren’t most of it fake? From fake body parts to fake smiles and attitudes? So we pay them to basically lie to us?

If not actors, how about Rapper? Who preach sex, drugs and violence?

Or maybe athletes? People who can throw, shoot, hit or catch a ball better than most? Think about that, we pay millions to watch people play with a ball. Never mind the steroids and sex scandals.

We are comfortable to pay tremendous amounts of money to people who entertain us even for a moment just to take us out of our current situations. May it be to forget about our problems for the meantime, get some laughs or even be inspired. Bottom line, we pay these people so we could get that pleasant feeling of excitement, of dancing to the rhythm or watching professionals play while wishing we could be like them.

Does that mean we deem entertainment more important than education? We certainly don’t pay our teachers the same as entertainers. And these are the people to whom we entrust our children to everyday, not to mention their future.

How about the people that serve us and feed us? Rarely do cooks get the fame and fortune unless they move on to hosting or at least getting featured on a TV show.

How about the people who put their lives on the line every single day to protect us, such as firefighters and police. Now a days, not only are they not paid well, they are not even allowed to do their jobs because when they do they get criticized for it. They become political casualties to whatever agenda the current administration is pushing for.

And of course our soldiers who sacrifice their lives and their families in order to keep this great country free. Yet their pay can barely support the family they left behind and when they do comeback, there is not enough support for them to adapt back to civilian life.

Why do we not pay these service men and women as much as entertainers? Is it because their jobs are too real, too noble and not entertaining enough that we do not seem to think they deserve to get paid more?

However our current society justifies the difference in pay grade between entertainment people and service professionals is the same principle that applies to religious leaders and churches. That is why, a church service or ceremony is technically a show!

It may not be as exciting as a movie but there are plenty of fake people. It may not be the gangster rap but their music is pretty inspiring too and there may not be a ball that gets tossed around but they always encourage you people to cheer for their team, which is whatever denomination the church associates with.

That is why religion is a profitable show business. That same pleasantness we seek in entertainment venues can also be found in faith based organizations. We feel pleasant about what we are doing or what the church is doing for the community, so we want to be part of it and so we give our offerings. Unless you go to one of those organizations who still use the guilt factor for people to give donations. Those organizations who sentence their faithful followers to damnation if they don’t pay the required tithes or use the organization’s facility to bury their dead. Either tactic works, entertain or guild trip, the organization still gets their money. Just like Youtube, religious organizations have their built in followers to whom they can sell practically anything to. From books to funding a whole new property.

And heck if the whole belief system is based on saving the eternal soul then how much are you willing to pay to save yours?

So, as long as it is legal for preachers and churches spend their money, it is practically none of our business. If their followers are willing to give, that is their business? As long as they are not taking our money, what is it to us?

There is a saying, which loosely translates to, “there wouldn’t be tricksters if there are no fools.”

But come to think of it we are all just a bunch of fools cause we all at one time or another willingly gave money to at least one of these people who live luxurious lives.

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