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The Black Church: How Corporate Media & the Prosperity Gospel Make Legions of Ready Dupes

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by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

News reports are surfacing of more fraudulent financial advisors operating from the pulpits of black and white prosperity gospel megachurches. Federal lawmen are investigating, corporate news reporters and commentators bloviating. But are they asking the real questions, or missing the real story?

The Black Church: How Corporate Media & the Prosperity Gospel Make Legions of Ready Dupes

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Why are prosperity gospel churches such a fertile ground for retail financial fraud?”

Corporate media like ABC's Nightline this week briefly focused on an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission of a shady character that prosperity gospel churches foisted upon their credulous members as a “financial advisor” on a ministry that was called the “Building Wealth Tour.” In an all too common story, the so-called “wealth-building ministry” was a Ponzi scheme, a Bernie Madoff swindle in miniature..

The Nightline news report consisted of interviews with a couple of families who entrusted the financial advisor with their life savings, and saw them disappear. It included footage of the charlatan's employee, who recounted how he locked his office doors and hid from the church people whose money he took, and finally a statement from the crook's lawyer, interspersed with clips of complicit black and white prosperity gospel mega-preachers Joel Osteen and Bishop Eddie Long. The case is much mentioned too, in what pass for black sites on the internet, but the focus on Creflo Dollar style flashy pimp preachers and the rotating cast of crooks they allow to access their pulpits fails to ask what ought to be the real questions of the hour.

Why are prosperity gospel churches such a fertile ground for retail financial fraud? Why doesn't this kind of thing happen more often in non-prosperity gospel churches, or in other self-governing organizations like community groups, sororities or labor unions?

As long as our media, our leaders and our preachers educate us to be sheep, we will be preyed on by wolves...”

The obvious answer is that the peculiar kind of magical thinking embraced by these kinds of churches, and in lots of other places, like in the universe of Oprah, constantly maintains and manufacture a vast and ready supply of credulous marks and hopeful dupes, wooly headed little sheep eager to be sheared. Millions of us have been instructed, and now teach each other to “visualize” wealth, happiness and material comfort and that the power of this visualization will make them real, will bring them into being. Preachers of the prosperity gospel contrive various ways to award divine sanction to this nonsense, while advocates of the Oprah-style “secret” take their superstition straight with no chaser.

And that's the real story. Bernie Madoff was able to steal tens of billions over 20 years because investors and the general public all believed that financial magicians made profits out of hot air. Bernie Madoff is gone now, but there are still millions who still have faith in the magic, faith reinforced by the teachings of corporate media hucksters like Oprah, and shored up every Sunday by prosperity gospel preachers, black and white, across the country.

The African American church, which likes to imagine and promote itself as the leading institution in black America, is deeply infested with the disease of the prosperity gospel. As long as our media, our leaders and our preachers educate us to be sheep, we will be preyed on by wolves. It's really that simple.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report. He lives and works in Marietta GA, and is a member of the state committee of the Georgia Green Party. Contact him via this web site's contact page, or at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.

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A Gentle Criticism of Religion

Evolution has proven that the Abrahamic religions are pure bullshit.  Ovid's Metamorphosis makes more sense than the bible; and it's much more entertaining.  I like Athena better than the Virgin Bitch.

Evolution is solid.  As Dawkins shows in The Ancestor's Tale, it is proven by the fossil record, DNA, and triangulation.  So there was no Eden, no Adam, no Eve, no Fall, no original sin.  No reason for God to spawn a bastard son, and for that bastard son to die for anyone's sins.  Sins don't exist.  God doesn't exist. 

The whole concept of sin is lame as is the concept of a soul. The soul is the mind.  And the mind is what the brain does, as Stephen Pinker observes.

Black Churches, White Churches, Synogogues, Mosques are all sewers which contaminate the world with ignorance--with fairy tales from the Bronze Age; from a time when people knew nothing of microbes, cells, atoms, or molecules; from a time when people believed that everything was composed of the 4 elements--air, water, earth, and fire.  From a time when people believed a flat earth was the center of the universe.

Fuck all churches.  Fuck religion.  Fuck God, his son, his prophet, and his ignorant disciples.

Fossil Records Fail to Prove Darwinism_Often Contradicting It

This is not a defense of prosperity pimps posing as Ministers of God for the People, nor Euro-Christianity nor Religion Inc in general... BUT - The fact is the Fossil Record fails to prove Darwinism- in fact it often contradicts Darwin's theory of evolution. Plus Darwin was a racist eugenicist whose 1st cousin, Francis Galton, was the father of Eugenics [= Social Darwinism - Darwin & Galton shared a grandson, Charles Galton Darwin, who was the long-time head of UK's Eugenics Society]. Furthermore atheism is just as Euro-centric as Euro-Christianity [if not more so]! I defy you to name any significant African / Afro-Asiatic scholar, institution, or society pre-1500 ACE- that espoused atheism [IMO: it's hard to name any pre-1900]! So how any supposedly knowledgeable Black or Brown person claiming to challenge white-supremacist concepts & Euro-centric view points- can then proclaim Blind-Faith in Darwinism & atheism- is a bit astonishing!

Furthermore- I can tell you exactly where Eden was- geographically. And even genetics show that all Human males on the planet come from a single genetic African 'Adam', likewise all Human females come from a single genetic African 'Eve'!

And the fall of Adam & Eve had nothing to do w eating an apple, cherry nor a partidge [nor even a talking snake] in a pear-tree- Thats all Euro-Christian mythology [including the 'Virgin Birth Myth']!  

__________________________________________________________

I once had a previous debate here @ BAR w someone hyping Atheism & Darwinism, which prompted me to provide evidence of Darwin's Racist-Eugenicist [= Social Darwinism] tendencies & statements- to which the fellow, who considered himself a 'progressive & enlightened' Black, basically said- SO What... Some supposedly 'enlightened' Blacks advocating atheism act like white atheists can't be just as bigoted &/or racist as ole fashion 'Good Ole Boy' 'Dixie-land' white Evangelical Christian types. Well BAR did an article at the end of last yr [or the beginning of this yr] on just how bigoted [particularly RE: Muslims in the wake of the Bush / Cheney / NeoCON phony 'War on Terror'] avowed atheist & pseudo-intellectual- the recently deceased Chris Hitchens was [likewise for avowed atheist & anti-Muslim bigot Sam Harris].

This fellow then hyped French atheist Voltaire as someone to admire- Well lets Check if that's really so: From Wikipedia: Scientific Racism section on Voltaire- was a French 'Enlightenment' writer, historian and philosopher, who believed each race had separate origins because they were so racially diverse. Voltaire found Biblical monogenism laughable, as he expressed:

It is a serious question whether Africans are descended from monkeys or whether monkeys come from them. Our wise men have said that man was created in the image of God. Now here is a lovely image of the Divine Maker: a flat and black nose with Little IF ANY Intelligence. A time will doubtless come when THESE ANIMALS [tell us what you really think about Black people Voltaire] will learn how to cultivate land, beautify their houses and gardens, and know the paths of the stars: one needs time for everything.

When comparing Caucasians to Negros, Voltaire claimed they are both different species:

} 'The negro race is a species of men different from ours as the breed of spaniels is from that of greyhounds.' { 

 

THUS- Not only was so-called 'enlightened' atheist, Voltaire, a racist bigot- but he was also dead wrong about the origins of man- including RE: race. Genetics & paleontology has proven that man originated 'Eastward in Africa' near the sources of 2 mighty Rivers of antiquity [the White & Blue Nile] & that all of modern mankind's [regardless of race] ancestors can be traced to 2 Africans of antiquity called Genetic 'Adam' & Genetic 'Eve'. YET supposedly revolutionary enlightened Black atheists often cite white atheists / agnostics / so-called 'free-thinkers' [what exactly does that mean] IE: Darwin, Voltaire & avowed eugenicist-bigot Margaret Sanger as people to be admired -&- their ideas & theories to be embraced??!! I DON'T THINK SO!!!

Black Church: Corporate Dupes

The oringinator of the theory of evolution was a inventor who was not part of the nobility of Darwin's time. Darwin promised to publish the theory and give the inventor equal credit.  Darwin went back on the deal.

The scientist of Darwin's time did not accept Darwin's theory.  Some modern scientist also challenge Darwinism in that it may be true in only very limited circumstances.  Dr Emmauel Vilakovsky's "Worlds In Collsion" states that if there was evolution; it was cataclysmic, not gradual.  If you read Vilakosky's books you will find that we really don't know the true natural history of the planent we live on.

Have faith in God, not men; do good works, and pray often..

Eric



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