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all God’s chillun got issues, part 2

November 23, 2012

Wikipedia lists 52 evangelical Christians involved in scandals, just enough errant flock

tenders to make a pack of playing cards.  It starts with Aimee Semple McPherson, who

pioneered the use of radio in the ’20’s and ’30’s to spread her gospel.  She was the second

woman to be granted a broadcasting license.


McPherson disappeared in May, 1926.  It was first thought that she had drowned in the

Pacific Ocean.  Two rescuers died looking for her.  About five weeks later she emerged

from the Sonoran Desert in Mexico, claiming to have been drugged, kidnapped, tortured

and held for ransom by “Steve” and “Mexicali Rose”.


Her story wasn’t convincing.  Rumours abounded.  A grand jury was convened.  McPherson

and her mother were charged with obstruction of justice, but all charges were dropped.

Folk singer Pete Seeger discounted the kidnapping story in a satirical song that noted a

hotel love nest showed “dents in the mattress fit Aimee’s caboose”.


The Wikipedia list then jumps to the ’70’s.  Apparently Christian fundamentalists behaved

themselves in the ’40’s, the ’50’s and even the ’60’s.  Lonnie Frisbee — known as “the hippie

evangelist” — changed all that, however, when he established the pattern of preachers con-

demning homosexuality in public and researching it in private.


The list really picks up steam (and steaminess) in the current century.  31 of the names on

it are from 2001 on.  Physical inappropriateness, extramarital affairs and financial irregu-

larities are popular themes.


Ergun Caner stands out in the crowd due to the creativity of his con.  He was raised in Ohio,

but after 9/11 he claimed he trained as a militant jihadist in Turkey and Egypt.  He and his

brother Emir wrote some books explaining Islam to evangelicals.


As his fame grew, though, his narrative crumbled under increased scrutiny.  Muslim and

Christian bloggers found evidence to counter Caner’s claims.  Sound clips of his preaching

revealed that his quotes in Arabic were mere gibberish.


Pastor Eddie Long was accused by four young men of sexual misconduct, one of whom

said Long essentially married him.  All the lawsuits were settled out of court.  Terms were

undisclosed.  Long was honest enough to admit “I’m not a perfect man”.


Long’s scandal got more coverage than most.  I remember him for his expensive wardrobe.

It reminded me of a bit comic David Frye did in the ’60’s.  Impersonating superevangelist

Billy Graham, he defended his expensive wardrobe by saying “them suits fell from the sky”.




These photos are wholly unrelated to the rest of the post, but I wanted to show them to you

and it’s unlikely they would ever relate to any other post I’d write.  This is what happens when

you put woodstove ashes in a plastic container before they lose all heat.  Kids, don’t do this

at home.  Or anywhere else.


  1. Joan permalink
    November 24, 2012 9:27 am

    THAT is how our neighbours house burned down!! Careful!

    • November 24, 2012 10:55 am

      Their house was burned down in a religious dispute?

  2. Brown Brother permalink
    November 26, 2012 8:03 am

    Not PLASTIC!! I thought we taught you better than that before you left Kansas!
    Check out
    We use a METAL can with a LID for ashes. Please be more careful, I would like to see you again, but not in a box!
    Hope you had a good T-Day!
    Brown Brother

    • November 28, 2012 4:08 pm

      I did learn my lesson. I have lost my edge from my Scouting days.

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