In case you haven't heard, the Senate is pulling a "kick doe" (in letter form) on six prominent Christian televangelists. They are looking into complaints that these preachers, or pulpit pimps as many like to call them, are misusing the tax exempt money they generate through "love offerings" and other avenues of income.
When I heard about this story this morning, a couple thoughts ran through my head. The first being, what was the government going to do with the information they compiled? Where they going to cut the churchgoers and donators checks with messages reading "Yeah, we caught those pulpit pimps in the act, here is your money back...one hunnid." I doubt that. They're gonna do exactly the same thing they do when they confiscate money from drug traffickers, keep it. Or as the movie American Gangster implied, use it to buy more dope to flood the streets with.
The second thought that ran through my head is, what exactly are they looking for? Frankly, I don't really care what preachers do with the money they generate. If they want to buy a jet, go ahead. If they want the new Range Rover go ahead. It makes me no difference really. If I'm donating money in church, I'm doing it because I want to, not because I have an agenda. Much like how when I give money to bums on the street, I give because I want to. If they go spend it on crack and beer instead of food and shelter, that's on them, my heart was in the right place. So when I choose to give money in church, I'm not trying to buy a ticket to heaven, I'm giving because my heart is in the right place. How they use or abuse it is between them and God.
I myself attend one of the churches under investigation frequently and for every car that I see the preacher pull up in, I see a church member pull up in one better. For every new suit I see the preacher in, I see the church donate clothes to the homeless. For every book I see the preacher hawking, I see the church helping an ex-con or homeless person get a job. So, I do see at least some of the money going to good causes. That's not to say that I don't find fault in some of their actions, but I do at least see some good being done with the money.
The third thought I had was, damn, don't these folks read or watch the news? If so, they would know that flashy people are always the first to get fucked with by the government. Especially, if you making money that they can't touch--legally. Like I just said, I see some churches doing good with the money they generate, but they do have their faults too. There have been times when I honestly couldn't tell the difference between the a preacher standing in the pulpit and a rapper standing on stage:
-Both had the latest fashions and expensive jewelry on
-Neither really allow women to shine alongside them (yeah, females aren't allowed to be pastors at most churches)
-Was selling something instead of teaching something
-Always talking about the "Feds investigation on me."
I swear, in theory, sometimes the same things I heard in the preacher's "prosperity message," I heard on Trap Or Die.
Maybe that's why the government is starting to fuck with the preachers, because just like rappers and their record labels, they see that they make alot of money and have the power of influence. Thus, getting the urge to put them in check. Looking at all of this, these preachers could stand to learn something from the very rappers they enjoy attacking and blaming for societal ills.
They can learn that if you live too lavishly, the Feds will be coming for your ass. We should all know by now that the government are the biggest and baddest extortionists on the block. You can't broadcast everything you're doing, practice discreet. You remember what the Feds said when they ran up in the Apphiliates' offices: "wow, these guys were selling this stuff on the internet!" Which you really aren't supposed to do if its FOR PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY.
I mean, Creflo Dollar and Eddie Long are hopping in videos with Jermaine Dupri and doing songs with Ludacris. Perhaps Creflo could ask J.D. "say man, how is that IRS problem you had a couple of years ago going? Because, they are on my ass now! I could use some advice." Or Eddie could ask Luda "say brah, how is it that you manage to stay out of the public's scornful eye? You make all this money, but yet the only time your name comes up in the news, its because Oprah or Bill O'Reilly is hating on you, how do you do it?"
I would say they should give Big Suge or Irv Gotti a call, but I don't think these churches are getting built off drug money or beating up studio engineers for rewinding tapes too far.