Given Rod Parsley is a Religious Nut. A Right WingNut who hates Gays, Muslims, and the Federal Reserve. Rod Parsley has also endorsed John McCain, and McCain has elevated Parsley to the status of his "Spiritual Advisor". But beyond being a certifiable Christian Nutcase no one has really ventured to question further, to ask: What Kind of Christian is Rod Parsley?
What kind of doctrine underpins Rod Parsley's sweat-ridden sermons and also helps inform John McCain's view of the "Spiritual" World? Turns out the Christian Doctrine that motivates Parsley's ministry is the same thing thing motivated America's Other Great Pastor and Savior of Lost Souls, Gordon Gecko: money.
The Doctrine of Money. A doctrine that turns the Opiate of the Masses into an all-week cocaine binge of wishful thinking and ruined dreams.
A quick check of Rod Parsley's "ministry" on the independently run watchdog site Ministry Watch yields a big, fat "F" for Parsley's Breakthrough Ministry. An "F" earned for a lack of Financial Transparency and Reporting that would provide information on exactly how the contributions to Parsley's "Church" are being spent. As they put it:
Breakthrough Ministries has exhibited an utter disregard for transparency and accountability in its financial operations.
Ministry Watch does make an effort to at least address what kind of Church and Ministry Rod Parsley runs, and that assessment is equally damning:
When addressing the issues of financial contributions to Breakthrough, Parsley is unabashed: “I just love to talk about money; I just love to talk about your money. Let me be very clear – I want your money. I deserve it. This church deserves it”. And people do give. Perhaps they are encouraged by Parsley’s claims to personally control over the “spiritual forces of darkness” such as demons, disease and poverty. During one meeting, he told viewers that “I’m gonna put this shofar to my mouth and the moment I blow it every demon is coming off your shoulders, outta your mind, outta your finances.” For Parsley, the promise of the Gospel includes not only deliverance from sin and spiritual death, but also deliverance from sickness and poverty – if only we will name it and claim it.
People living in debt and/or poverty are particularly susceptible to these kinds of claims. Some of Breakthrough’s fund-raising letters contain stories of people burdened by debt who, upon giving a marginal sum to Breakthrough, found that there problems suddenly disappeared. At times, Parsley performs a kind of “priestly” rite whereby he invokes the debt-canceling power of God for people who give to his ministry. The following, excerpted from a Breakthrough fund-raising letter, exemplifies this tactic:
I [Parsley] am going to place your enclosed prayer form on our brazen altar at World harvest Church . . . during our ENOUGH IS ENOUGH DEBT BURNING SERVICE and burn the totality of your debt as a symbol of faith that God will Rebuke the Devourer on your behalf!
In a side bar adding:
Parsley’s teaching often appeals to Scripture passages taken out of context, so that the actual meaning of those passages is distorted. Parsley has publicly expressed his disdain for responsible Bible interpretation that is based upon logic, rules of grammar, syntax, literary genre and context.
So in other words Rod Parsley's ministry and the totality of his "Spiritual Advice" boils down to an age old simple con of someone who has The Magic Line to God who can make all your troubles go away if only you give him enough of your hard earned money to make the Connection. He is a huckster and a shill for a distorted view of the Bible and the Gospels that even fundamentalist Christians reject.
In Christian circles this form of Evangelism is often referred to as the "Prosperity Gospel". A gospel that tends to attract and prey on the financially strapped, emotionally bankrupt, and just plain feeble minded into a pyramid scheme of "Giving" and "Tithing" to The Lord. If there is a God I can guarantee you She never sees any of that money, and neither do the charities that those contributions were intended for. Like any good con man, con men like Parsley keep most of it to fund a lavish lifestyle.
And make no mistake, Parsley's lifestyle is excessive even by Republican Standards:
Parsley owns a gated 21-acre compound on which are built two homes, each valued at around $800,000. Parsley also owns a private jet costing over $500,000.
Meanwhile the members of Parsley's Church live on, conned out of their money, and believing that one day Jesus will come down and smite the Sheriff that is about changes the locks on their house. Or return their car from the Repo Company. Or perhaps heal a sick child who is dying for lack of health insurance.
Rod Parsley is the worst kind of person. A person that willfully preys on the hopes and fears of those naive enough to follow his Pied-Piper nonsense. And this man, this Con Man, is John McCain's Spiritual Advisor. And John McCain says nothing, happily accepting Rod Parsley's endorsement.
Much has been made about Barack Obama's "judgement" by John McCain. John McCain wants us to believe that Obama's judgement is flawed because of Reverend Wright, or William Ayers, or the Ice Cream Man he met when he was Eight in Hawaii. But what about John McCain's judgement? What does it say about a Presidential Candidate who willfully seeks and then accepts the endorsement of Rod Parsley?
A man who professes hatred of Gay and Muslims as he fleeces White Working Class voters for tax free contributions that he in turn uses to fund a Tax Free lifestyle of 21 Acre Manses and private jets while his congregants and parishioners sink underneath the weight of the Bush Recession.
What does it say about a Presidential Candidate who actively seeks and then accepts the endorsement of that kind of man, Senator McCain? What does that say about your own lack of judgement?
UPDATE: Just as I finished this diary and saved it to be published tomorrow (which is today) I read on the AP Wire that John McCain has also rejected the endorsement of Rod Parsley as well as John Hagee. I'm, however, going to let this diary stand as is.
Clearly John McCain bailed on Parsley and Hagee because he had to and not because he wanted to out of any greater ethical standard. If no one had bothered to dig up the clips of Parsley's and Hagee's insanity John McCain would've soldiered happily forward, one on each shoulder. The question of what kind of Presidential Candidate would seek out and then accept (only to be forced to reject) the endorsements of such dubious individuals is still a perfectly valid question, I think.