They will put on shows where they are speaking in tongues and faith healing and all kinds of things. All these things are supposedly Satanic, but in their context, it's okay (of course, it could be argued that they are not performing Satanic acts because it's all faked anyway. Therefore, you only think they are doing these things, they aren't really, so they're covered as far as that pesky "fire that burns but does not consume" thing goes). If you are wondering why I'm a freelance Christian, part of the reason is idiots like this.
Today, another celebrity passed, Oral Roberts. Roberts was one of the big guns during the 80's, when the Moral Majority (which, as I've pointed out before, is neither) rose to public prominence. Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Faye, Jerry Falwell, and the rest of them became knownto people who didn't even watch their shows, even as their hypocrisies became public from affairs to conspicuous consumption. It reminds me of a smartass comment I made to a Bible-banger -- "Okay, so a talking serpent in the Garden Of Eden is literal, but giving away all your money and living in poverty is metaphorical. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight."
Roberts is knows for the Cathode Cathedral and for his infamous stunt (lampooned expertly in Bloom County) where, if he didn't get a certain sum of money that was suspiciously close to the yearly operating budget of his university, God was going to call him home. I remember reports that a dog track owner came up with the final amount to put him over the top, but he said shortly thereafter that it still wasn't enough and he needed more.
I try not to be holier than thou. Really I do. I know that other people who are Christian, their faith is just as strong as mine, they just express it in more conventional ways while I went my own path. But when I see so many people willingly make themselves into suckers, giving things they should be keeping for themselves just to subsidize people who misrepresent supporting themselves as supporting God, it makes me angry. I want them to wake up, to understand faith is not about giving to someone just because they say you should. But I can't, and it's not their fault. When people realize they are doing something that puts their immortal souls on the line, they get nervous they are doing something that could damn them for all eternity. People like me that break away from the church but not from God are basically taking responsibility for ourselves and wagering that we're doing something right. Most people want security, the certainty that they are not screwing up. It's fear. It's human. Frustrating as it is, I can't bring myself to hate people for it.
But I am more that ready to hate those that exploit those fears, that have no remorse for their actions, for being the very thing Jesus fought against during His time on this earth. TV preachers used to be novel, but now, with the exception of the Pope, they aren't really a presence anymore. And hopefully, this cruel Establishment will fall away as their followers realize they are being had.
Then again, religions have been exploiting their followers from the days when it was first created. I ain't holding my breath.