Confessions of a childish blasphemer

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Back in the 70s I was a fan of televised Christianity. Jim Bakker was still on the 700 Club when I could stomach it. Which prompts an aside into my childish blasphemous pleasures:

Reminiscent of a PBS begathon, they'd switch to the telephone operators who were talking to the fools who were calling in pledges. My roommate and I were calling them steadily saying I can't remember what heartless, nasty Christianophobic stuff. We quit when we got to see one operator blanch at whatever I said to her. To be an eighteen year old nitwit again

In the 80s Christians were acquiring lots of neglected. licenses for low wattage TV stations around the country. One began broadcasting here in Jesse Helms' home state. They were quite wonderful in their tacky way. Simpleminded backwoods Christianity in K-Mart polyester suits adorned with ties you wouldn't use to hang yourself. I was addicted.

Much of the air time was filled up with telephone conversations with the faithful. These dear, nave born-again folk didn't have the time delay mechanism in place common to almost all live TV and radio (think you've heard some evil words, just imagine what they've blanked out without ever letting you know). I'm sure I had a fair number of gin and tonics before I dialed. Too drunk to remember the exact words that were broadcast live to their minute viewing audience. It wasn't wit, likely I intoned something like "I am the Lord thy God and you should all take off your clothes and sodomize one another." My glee at their stunned dismay warms me even as I type this.

Inevitably they recovered enough to pray for me and later install a seven second delay. God did not seek to reward their piety and it now a 24 hour shopping channel.

Childish? You bet, some of the highlights of a life of a cheerful blasphemer.

Continued in Televangelist supreme, Doctor Gene Scott.


I like your prankish calls.

In the nineties, they suddenly had nbc here in germany, europe, on a cable tv channel.

Any sunday morning they would screen this crazy alien (for us secular europeans) sunday service with lots of cheering and “amen” and stuff.

It soon gained a cult status among my peers, we loved to watch it. We had never seen something like that, there had been rumours that religion was pretty whack in the US, but to actually see it… They quickly withdrew it, though, maybe they realized it was counter-productive.

Later, a german artist made a video, in which he films and is filmed sitting in a US (bornagain?) service, and the charismatic priest calls him in front of the congregation, in fact it was a coproduction with the church, the priest talks a lot about art and creativity, but first the artist walks up there, stands beside the priest, and suddenly falls down, like as struck by a lightning. And the priest goes like “there you are! what do we see here!” and so on, and it became a weird dada-performance for some seconds. It was so strange, i wish I remembered the name of the artist.

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