It was on this date, February 21, 1988, America’s then-leading television evangelist, Jimmy Swaggart, resigning from his ministry in a tearful, televised confession. Swaggart was found to have solicited a prostitute for sex, after exposing a similar indiscretion by his rival televangelist, Jim Bakker. Sexual hypocrisy is hardly new to the religion industry, especially among evangelists who preach purity. The list is seemingly endless, and this is not to mention the sexual scandals involving Roman Catholic priests with the children in their charge. Three years after the original scandal blew up, Swaggart was again implicated in a sex scandal involving a prostitute. No longer trusted with a large congregation, Swaggart is currently a freelance preacher.
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Originally published February 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
The Japanese “accept our material civilization, but they reject our creeds,” wrote Lowell. “At most, Christianity succeeds only in making them doubters of what lies beyond this life.”