Monday, January 14, 2008

Big (Pulpit) Pimpin'

"The preacher is the most unique personality developed by the Negro on American soil."
- W.E.B. Du Bois

Let the church say Amen. I remember reading the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's profile on Bishop Eddie Long (pictured above) in 2005. Long was doing it big! He earned $1 million a year, lived in nine-bathroom mansion, and drove a $350,000 Bentley. Problem is, he didn't have a real job. No, living off the work of your congregation's donations (tithes) is not a job.

Preacher pimps beware, serious oversight into this hustle called "prosperity gospel" began last year and could be coming to a pulpit near you. Lord knows we'd welcome it in Louisville.

Read excerpt below, for full article click here:

"In November, [U.S. Sen. Charles E.] Grassley, who serves as ranking minority member on the Senate Finance Committee, ramped things up a bit. He announced that he is seeking detailed financial information from six mega-ministries, Long's among them.

The move sent shock waves through the evangelical community. Grassley is a conservative Republican whose votes on social issues usually please the Religious Right. (His 2006 rating from the Family Research Council was 87 percent.) But the senator has long had an interest in preserving the integrity of the tax laws and has in the past complained about secular non-profits violating the law.

In 2005-06, Grassley held a series of hearings on Capitol Hill that included testimony from large non-profit groups such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Red Cross. Now he's turning his sights to the religious sector.

Grassley's investigation focuses on six ministries, all of which preach the "prosperity gospel" -- the theological assertion that wealth is a reward from God."

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