East Of Eden
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...
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...
Jim And Tammy Faye Bakker in all their 1980s glory. (Image Source)
I started composing this post months ago. I stopped partially because my blogging, as a whole, slowed way down at the start of the schoolyear (Z is now in second grade, and homeschooling demands more and more time). But mainly, I didn't finish this particular post because reading up on Jim Bakker pulled me into some kind of weird online hole.
Really. Do a quick Google search, and you'll see what I mean.
Complicating things further, Jim is the first subject in this The Preachers series who is actually living (his ex-wife Tammy passed away a decade ago after a long battle with cancer). He's pushing 80, has been in some form of ministry for over half a century...
Note: This post first appeared on my old blog, Far Above Rubies, on March 9, 2012. ~Alisha
If you clicked on this post expecting a piece on platforms, sorry, not getting that. But stick around anyway, okay?
On Wednesday, as I rushed to grab a clean diaper for Z, I banged my heel against the side of our platform bed. I yelled out a rather loud, "Oww", which is much better than the four letter word I could've hollered.
I felt irritated. I leaned against Z's crib with my right arm and lifted the throbbing left heel to observe the damage. It was quickly turning red. "Augh...".
I put my foot back down and got the diaper. Even as I changed Z and continued on with my day, the thought of my banged up foot...
Aimee Semple McPherson, the Pentecostal Preacher who could've been a Silent Screen Star. (Image: Foursquare Church)
Aimee Semple McPherson was... so much. A Canadian missionary to China as a young newlywed; a widow with a sickly infant daughter a few years later; an acutely depressed and miserable mom of two and housewife in New England in marriage number two; and a traveling evangelist headlining packed tent revivals for Whites and Blacks, even in the segregated U.S. South. Oh yes, and that was all before she was 27 years old.
Thing is, when Aimee is remembered today (actually, if), she is reduced to the scandal that irrevocably altered her perception in the eyes of the public. She suddenly disappeared from a public beach in...
William Powell (JP Laffont / Sygma / Corbis)
In Harper's there's an interesting story about William Powell, who in 1971 at age 19, "published The Anarchist Cookbook, a guide to making bombs and drugs at home. He spent the next four decades fighting to take it out of print." (H/T: Micah Mattix)
Iraqi Christian women at church in June. (Source)
Over the last few days, things have grown dire for Christians in Mosul, a city in northern Iraq. From a July 18th New York Times story:
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