Yeah, that's right, I used to watch TBN all the time. I was in grad school, and it was a sometimes entertaining way to spend time avoiding the dissertation or course work. Where else could you see such odd characters. Paul and Jan Crouch? I am afraid to say it, but Jan has had a lot of work done, and not just above the neck. The set looks (or used to) like a Victorian whore house without the charm. And you never knew who would be on. Chuck Norris, Deion Sanders, and Whatshisname Holyfield. I think Gary Busey was on for a bit. That was kind of funny.
Besides the kitsch factor, I kind of liked watching the televangelists speak. They all have their little bits: some bounce on their toes, some bob and cry, some shout and some scream. One guy, Dwight Someone had this move where he would cock his head as if he were adjusting his collar. Then he would sometimes place his cordless mike in his big shirt pocket. It was great theater. I saw Rod Parsely there before he was one of Ohio's Patriot Pastors. Rod likes to wipe the sweat off his face and glare at his congregation. I found it fascinating to observe how these people manipulate a crowd. Some of them were quite impressive. Impressive in a scary as shit way, but impressive.
It was here that I ran across John Hagee's little shit storm. And it really is. Sorry to anyone who likes the man, but he is really unbelievable. He has this annoying habit of forcing his congregation to repeat after him--seems like a bit of a control freak. I still remember staring at the tv as the fat freak described the role that sex plays in marriage. As I recall, he said that for a wife, sex is like rent--that is the price she has to pay to staying the marriage. I also remember him saying that wives couldn't withhold from their husbands, you know, because of the rent. I actually wrote Promise Keepers asking them if they knew they had invited a speaker who defended marital rape. I would have really loved to see the face on the other end, but in retrospect, they probably got a lot of complaint letters when the Stadiums were filled with Men.
Having never been a fan of the marital rape, I have never been to interested in "theology" like Hagee's. Of course, this theology includes berating the poor for being poor and telling his followers that if they aren't "prospering, they aren't giving." Giving, of course, to Fatty himself.
"Taken together, his payment package, $842,005 in compensation and $414,485 in benefits, was one of the highest, if not the highest, pay package for a nonprofit director in the San Antonio area in 2001."
I guess not bad work if you can get it.
I shouldn't make fun of his girth, though it is massive, and might explain his need for a million dollar wage. Not sure you can buy those suits off the rack. But something just clicked the other day when I heard that people see him as some kind of "end times" guru. His version of Christianity leaves me cold and shivering in a fetal position.
And that, by the way, is why I no longer watch TBN. Even boob jobs can't save that station.