Jim Bakker is one of the worst people in the world. That has been apparent for some time. After all, the man who was once the poster child for televangelist excess has reinvented himself as perhaps the loudest cheerleader on the religious right for Donald Trump.
In case you missed it, Bakker claims that those who oppose Trump are being driven by demons, and the Women’s March was one of the largest manifestations of such supposed demonic activity. He has also warned us that the opposition to Trump is on the payroll of both Islamic terrorists and the devil, and has threatened to launch a Christianist civil war if Trump is impeached. This actually started before Trump took office, when he warned that any county that voted for Hillary Clinton should brace for the wrath of God.
But on Monday, Bakker may have hit a new low, even by his standards. How do you get worse than bullying people into bowing down to Trump? Quite easily, as it turns out–by blaming the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing for bringing their ordeal on themselves.
In the midst of a tirade over Trump getting more respect abroad then at home, Bakker fired off a low blow at those who were affected by last week’s bombing in Manchester. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
At around the 39-minute mark of Monday’s show, Bakker railed about how Americans were being “smart-aleck” to Trump. He was particularly outraged at young people who walked out on Vice President Mike Pence during Notre Dame’s graduation, suggesting that it was time to teach them some “manners.”
Just when it looked like we were about to see another pro-Trump ramp from Bakker, he and his wife, Lori, started discussing the Manchester bombing. Lori said that the attack at an Ariana Grande concert represented “a new level, a new low.” Sounded like Jim and Lori were about to ask the audience to pray for the victims, right? Nope.
Out of nowhere, Bakker asked about the name of the concert. When he was told it was “Dangerous Woman,” Bakker went off the deep end.
“If we could tell you what we know, and we don’t have time today, but we’re going to talk about some of those things. They literally invited these kinds of things to happen. They almost cursed themselves with this concert. I tell you what, God’s not going to put up with mockery. ‘Be not deceived, God is not mocked.'”
Sadly, we knew that it would only be a matter of time before some nut job preacher blamed the victims. It’s been a common occurrence since Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson blamed the September 11 attacks on abortion and gay rights.
It was bad enough that Bakker kicked the victims and their families in the teeth, rather than do what any pastor worth his salt should have done–pray for them and their families. But it was even worse that he didn’t seem to have the guts to tell us why he made such a degrading statement. Unless I’m very wrong, he didn’t go into any specifics during Tuesday’s show.
It’s possible Bakker’s ire may have had something to do with Grande’s spiritual path. She renounced Catholicism because she felt the church was telling her “everything I loved and believed in is wrong”–such as Spongebob Squarepants, Harry Potter, and working women. She was also outraged at Pope Benedict’s uncompromising stand against LGBT rights. This was personal for her; her half-brother, Frankie Grande, is openly gay. Sounds like something you’d hear during the 1980s, when the likes of Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson slammed secular music as Satanic.
Regardless, there is no excuse for anyone to trash victims of such a tragedy in this way. And for a supposed pastor to do it is outrageous–and disqualifying. It’s one thing to use the Bible to tell people to bow down to Trump. But attacking innocent people and their families in this way is beyond the pale.And on top of it, he didn’t have the guts to tell us why he felt he had to say something this degrading. Um, Jim? If you’re going to play this brand of ball, you’d better step up to the plate.
Bakker’s audience comes from a host of Christian broadcasters, such as Daystar, Christian Television Network, Word Network, and World Harvest Television. Under the circumstances, it’s only fair to ask–do the stations who air Bakker’s show find this acceptable? Perhaps we should ask them ourselves–politely, of course. From where I’m sitting, though, any station that condones this is not really Christian at all.
Here’s contact information for some of Bakker’s broadcast partners.
- Daystar: Facebook, Twitter, Web
- CTN: Facebook, Twitter, Web
- Word Network: Facebook, Twitter, Web
- GEB America: Facebook, Twitter, Web
- World Harvest Television (LeSea Broadcasting): Facebook, Web
(featured image courtesy Bakker’s Facebook)