Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Jim Bakker Selling Potato Soup

Remember televangelist Jim Bakker? In the 1980's his ministry raised millions of dollars and became wealthy and powerful. But Bakker would be convicted of fraud in 1989 and went on to serve eight years in prison, effectively destroying his organization. Today Bakker is back on the air, with a show that peddles to the doomsday prepper crowd. The video above shows his selling giant tubs of potato soup, which is a far cry from the days of private jets and villas in Tahiti.

“I know you don’t wanna hear this,” Bakker said while lifting a one of the nearly 50-pound buckets. “You’re gonna dream Jim Bakker on TV telling you ‘get ready,’ and you’ll [say] ‘Oh my God, why didn’t I order something?'”

Bakker went so far as to take an awkward sip from one of the six-gallon buckets, which was promoted with an on-screen graphic saying they held 323 servings. He can be seen coughing after tasting the soup, before insisting, “It’s so good.”

Footage from the program also shows him offering a package of seven years’ worth of “tasty new foods” with a $3,500 donation. The package includes macaroni and cheese and chocolate pudding, which Bakker said would allow survivors of the undefined conflict to continue celebrating birthdays.

“You put that chocolate on top, you can have parties when the world is coming apart,” he gushed.

And he makes the end of the world sound like so much fun!

To Bakker's credit, he claims that he read the entire Bible while in prison and came to the realization that the "prosperity Gospel" of which he had been a proponent was wrong and that many of the passages that are often used to support it are taken out of context. That, at least, shows some insight on his part, because prosperity theology is a complete mess.

Still, to go from raising millions to hawking potato soup is pretty huge step down for the once powerful and hugely influential Bakker. Maybe the real lesson here is that God hates fraudsters, especially when they rip people off in his name. I know that if I were the Christian God, such folks would be at the top of my shit list.

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