Friday, August 24, 2007

Jedi Duplantis

I used to be an avid watcher of TBN, but I've become bored with it over time. Sure, pretty much everything on there is outrageous, but it's pretty much always outrageous in pretty much the same way. It gets old.

One notable exception is Jesse Duplantis. Because, besides spouting the anti-Christian theology and ethics which is part and parcel of every TBN broadcast, Jesse Duplantis is also batshit insane.

As I recall, the first Jesse Duplantis sermon I watched involved a commentary on the multiracial character of his congregation. He mentioned that on occasion some of the black members of his church get approached and asked why they go to a church with a white preacher (which is indeed fairly rare). In the mind of Jesse Duplantis, this line of questioning is completely wrong-headed—because he isn't actually white.

That's right. Don't let that there picture fool you. His explanation, as best as I can recall, went like this:

"I ain't white. See, I touch black skin, I turn black. I touch money, I turn green! I ain't white."

On another occasion, he was expounding upon the principle that you can have anything you want if you truly believe that God will give it to you--where "anything you want" means not just salvation (why settle for just salvation?), but also a better job, a new car, or maybe even a private jet. This is a standard idea on TBN, but Jesse had his own special way of explaining it (quoting as best as I can from memory):

"You don't have it? That's cuz you don't believe it. Even Yoda knew that! Remember when Luke's trying to get that ship out of that swamp, and he can't do it? Why not? Yoda says, cuz he don't believe it."

Perhaps not realizing that George Lucas's imagination can't actually function as a rationale for a theological claim, he continued to discourse on the mechanics of the Force in Star Wars for several more minutes. Unfortunately I can't comment much on the rest of what he said, since Dawn and I were too busy laughing at the time. But I did catch the finale of the sermon: Jesse looking straight into the camera and uttering the benediction, "May the Force be with you."

That's entertainment.

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