by James Andrew Dunn, 3 hours ago:
Once upon a time in the 1980s, “television evangelists” were part of the American landscape. To their credit, they and their pentecostal congregations were reliable conservatives who voted the right way and, while they not-so-secretly despised the Catholic Church, they were awkward allies in staving off dangerous legislation that would have brought on America’s demise much, much earlier. What does this have to do with the subject of Mark’s post here? Consider the following…1. The television evangelists of that time (Jim Baker, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swaggert, Robert Tilton, etc.) gained their audiences with the (protestant/pentecostal) Bible and its teachings. But… in no time at all, they all evolved quickly into 90% fundraising operations. Every time you tuned in, the message increasingly was “give us money, give us money, give us money.” In the case of Oral Roberts he even said God would “call him home” if he didn’t raise X amount of funds by a certain date. Sadly, a lot of people did not see the warning signs and gave away much of their hard-earned funds to these charlatans.
2. One by one starting around 1987 or so, scandals broke and so did their (fake) ministries. Those who contributed financially to these scoundrels had no return on their investment and were betrayed. But that was not the worst of it…
3. After the aforementioned pentecostal megachurches and their television evangelists fell from grace, there emerged a new force to replace them… If I may borrow from Ann Barnhardt, the “super-fun rockband church.” The difference was that the focus of these new “churches” was and is to this day, not-so focused on Christianity but rather on feeling good, social justice and coming together on Sunday in the auditorium to listen to some electrical guitars and keyboard perform against light shows and in-between motivational speeches. The former pentecostal mega-church people flocked here in droves. They did not come into the Holy Catholic Church (not that anyone bothered to try and convert them but that’s another topic).
4. Today the “moral majority” is all but dead. We had eight years of Barack Hussein Obama and the most anti-Christian administration that was elected and re-elected by the children of those former evangelists who flocked in record numbers to vote for Ronald Reagan. Socialism is favored by an increasing number of clueless young and old alike in this nation, many of whom have been raised as atheist or agnostic by their former Bible-thumping parents and grandparents. I could go on and on but you see how this country has changed both morally and spiritually since the end of the 1980s.
Bringing this into a Catholic perspective for 2020, I will say BEWARE of any Catholic news outlet, blog, etc. where “donate now” messages pop up immediately after login and you get stalked by them to donate via email or engagement in any sort of way. Also BEWARE of Catholic lay “media celebrities” who focus their ministries on themselves rather than Christ. BEWARE of any Catholic whatever group who militantly expresses a venomous desire to destroy the SSPX. Lastly BEWARE of people who are addicted to social media and especially Facebook and Twitter which do nothing but breed anger, narcissism and stupidity. YOUR CATHOLIC FAITH IS IN DANGER if you allow yourselves to be hooked by such people.