East Of Eden

"A curious mix of the relevant and reverential"


The Preachers: Jim & Tammy Faye: Part 4.


Jim Bakker in screen captures from his current show, "The Jim Bakker Show". (Google Images)

 

This has been one long, crazy story. Nearly unbelievable, except, very true. Sadly true. As a Christian, especially as one with roots in Pentecostalism, I felt shame and anger while reading about the exploits of Jim Bakker. Yes, I know I personally have nothing to do with the man or his ministry. But the greed, lies, and corruption is reflected back on the entirety of the Body of Christ. We all look awful to the very world to which we are called to be salt and light.

While reading for this series, I swung by the library and picked up Tammy Faye's 1996 autobiography, Tammy: Telling It My Way. Published in the decade after PTL's fall and about...

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Even in my sleep.

 

"Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart,
until, in our own despair,
against our will,
comes wisdom
through the awful grace of God."

-Aeschylus

 

 

...
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The Preachers: Jim and Tammy Faye: Part 3.

Image and caption from PTL.

 

When PTL fell apart, I was just 5. I didn't know about the sex scandals, but I do remember my parents discussing the Bakkers' outsized lifestyle. The mansions, the cars, the blingy lifestyle- it came up repeatedly. What stuck in my mind, besides how disappointed my mom was (she was a SAHM of 3 and Pentecostal; of course she watched the Bakkers), had to be the air conditioned dog house. We didn't even have AC in our house. We depended on a series of electric fans for three more years, and that little yellow Cape Cod got very hot during the summer months. Yet, their dog chilled in cool comfort. Yup, decades later, I still remember that.

The lobby of the Heritage Grand Hotel. (Photo Credit: Robin...

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The Preachers: Jim & Tammy Faye: Part 2.

 

Jim and Tammy Faye (Image Source)

 

It was thirty years ago that the tremendous house of cards that Jim Bakker had constructed out of TV ministry, millions in donations, and a Christian theme park, collapsed. It was a tremendous and precipitous fall, and when the dust settled, the ministry was gone, Jim was behind bars, and Tammy divorced him, ending their more thirty year marriage. 

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. With the end of Part 1, the Bakkers and PTL was just beginning to get huge. It was the late '70s, and America was primed for some religiosity. The 1960s, that decade of hippies, an ever-burgeoning American middle class, and the collapse of Jim Crow was simultaneously a decade of assasinations, political...

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Come Clean: 90s Music Videos Had Me Wanting to Go to a Carnival. Or the Shore.


Jordon Knight gave it to us back in '99- the baggy cargos, the long sleeve turtle kneck sweater, the racially-mixed back up dancers.

Seriously, besides a love of belly shirts, glittery eye shadow, and overly large (but super comfy) pants, 90s singers loved them some amusement park backdrops (or at least the music video directors hired to make it appear that way).

Mariah Carey rollerbladed in daisy dukes, serenading us about her "Fantasy" of rollercoaster rides and on BET and urban radio, rapper O.D.B.

Mya snuck out of her overprotective father's house to canoodle with her bad boy... on a giant ferris wheel.

...
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