RELIGION NEWS. Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart is in the news again. He likes a lot of attention, and like an unruly child, he would rather have negative attention than no attention at all.
Swaggart is back on television in some markets, evidently including Canada, where it is illegal to criticize homosexuals. It is a hate crime. I think you can condemn evangelists, as long as they are not homosexual.
In the broadcast, Swaggart said "I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry." This does not seem to be a problem, as there was no line outside the door. He also said "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."
This played well to the audience in Baton Rouge, which probably swallowed a large amount tobacco juice while laughing. However, in more, uh, sensitive Canada, they were offended. And, when you get down to it, it is not really what we want to say from the Christian pulpit, is it Jimbo? I mean, remember that deal preachers always use about hate the sin and love the sinner? Of course, that doesn’t get the laugh meter running.
When Sensitive Canadians complained, however, Swaggart back pedaled. He said "If it's an insult, I certainly didn't think it was, but if they are offended, then I certainly offer an apology." That is sort of like saying I’m sorry you let your feelings get hurt by what I said. And who could get offended by someone saying they'd kill you and tell God you died, anyway? Maybe we should change the words of Shakespeare to "first, let's kill all the t.v. evangelists".
Gay people are fussing about this all over America. That loud thump you heard was a collective stamping of the foot. But, what do you expect from a guy like this in Baton Rouge?
Swaggart does not mind women, however. His ministry is largely diminished because of his 1987 sex scandal with a prostitute in a motel in New Orleans. His staff would even drive him over there. A few years later, police in California pulled him over and found a prostitute in there with him. Maybe he was starting a collection. Or maybe she was protecting him against all the homosexual men who wanted to marry him.