God's Stimulus Package
Rev. Ike's passing and the financial crash of 2008 notwithstanding, the prosperity gospel rolls along, thanks to the likes of Rev. Kenneth Copeland and numerous others. Laurie Goodstein reports on this American perennial in today's NY Times. The nice conclusion to the piece:
“Any time a worried thought about money pops up in your mind,” Mr. Savelle continued, “the next thing you do is sow”: drop money, like seeds, in “good ground” like the preachers’ ministries. “Stop worrying, start sowing,” he added, his voice rising. “That’s God’s stimulus package for you.” At that, hundreds streamed down the aisles to the stage, laying envelopes, cash and coins on the carpeted steps.
Jon Walton calls the subjects of the piece "spiritual pickpockets." He also, in a separate piece, reports on the role of Kenneth Copeland and numerous other properity preachers in battling health care reform and spreading the urban myths about death panels and the like (something I can confirm after a survey of local AM radio here in the heartland of the libertarian/religious right, where our system of paying more and getting less apparently must be preserved, and the uninsured are the equivalent of the undeserving). That's one way to go viral, I guess. Jon points out the financial stake Copeland et all have in keeping their followers away from quality affordable health care:
But, then again, maybe Copeland’s own personal wealth is dependent on his follower’s bad health. If some of his “financial partners” had the privilege of receiving medical care for their illnesses, maybe they wouldn’t be as quick to put money at Copeland’s altar in hopes of their healing.