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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Preachers and Politicians…it must be nice!

I’ve always cast a jaundiced eye towards both wealthy preachers and wealthy politicians.  I know millions are loyal followers of both groups but it just never made any sense to me.  I mean whether you’re a politician or preacher, the idea is that you serve the public in some capacity.  If you’re serving the public, what’s up with all that wealth and the lavish lifestyle?

Recently both Bishop Eddie Long and Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain are two individuals from these groups who have recently been in the news.

Long is (was?) the head of a 20,000+ seat megachurch, drove a $350,000 Bentley, bought a $1.1 million home in 2005 and favors a lot of bling (gold necklaces and Rolex watches.)

And that guy wants you to tithe 10% of your income to the church?

Bishop Long has plenty of company: T.D. Jakes of the Potter’s House, wears tailored suits, drives a brand new Mercedes. Both he and his wife Serita are regularly sporting stunning jewelry. His West Virginia home includes an indoor swimming pool and a bowling alley.

If we go ‘old school’ there are many other wealthy preachers such as Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Oral Roberts, Reverend Ike and Father Divine – I can’t knock the hustle. After all, P.T. Barnum gave us ‘heads up’ a long time ago.

And what about the aforementioned Herman Cain?

A week or two ago there was a rally for Herman Cain. He announced that he was suspending his political campaign. Personally I can hardly believe anybody showed up. I don’t get it.  Where do these folks come from? Don’t we all understand the foolishness of the political game by now?

This man is a multi-millionaire and we’re to believe that he’s got nothing better to do than run for a super-stressful position that pays about $400K annually? Even if you discount his ‘alleged’ affairs the whole setup makes very little sense.

And Cain is hardly alone: Mitt Romney has a net worth of $200M, Newt Gingrich has a net worth of $6.7M, and Rick Perry comes in with a net worth of $1 to $3M.

I’ve never trusted wealthy politicians or preachers.  I have no problem with wealth. I'd love to have a chunk of it myself; it’s just that my vision of both is that of a public servant. These days, it’s obvious that way too many politicians / preachers have made a career of serving themselves.

Like my friend said the other day, it’s as if the rich are driving a car and they’ve got the rest of us locked in the trunk.  The most galling thing of all is that we’ve been willing victims for the most part.

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