To be honest, I haven't really followed the whole Jerry Johnston scandal. As I noted previously, Just Cara did an awesome job compiling links and adding more informed commentary than mine on the subject.
Thing is . . . I don't really like talking about religion in relation to hypocrisy and what not because I've always thought there was no way to tell what's in a person's heart and I think the reasons why I'm going to Hell are far more interesting than merely giving people of faith a hassle.
But then today I learned that Johnston's radio show was canceled and I figured this might be my last chance to join the pile on of the pay-per-pastor.
First, it's important to note that while the guy operates in and around Kansas City, I don't really consider him part of KC's culture. Especially in midtown, where people go to commit a great deal of sin and condo dwellers set up camp to behave like nobody is watching . . . I've always thought that best parts of Kansas City were completely Godless. Couple this with the fact that this area has an openly lesbian representative in the State House and I think it's safe to say that the wrath of the Almighty is the last thing on anyone's mind in KC Proper. You may disagree but I've always thought that the (mostly poor) folks who subscribe to Johnston's brand of religion were mostly from the outskirts of the city and really not representative of this town's ultra liberal (read: heathen) attitudes.
So at first I was a little bit skeptical about The Star's take down efforts.
But the fact that the campaign against Johnston seems to have worked so effectively assures me that God isn't on his side (as He never associates with losers of any battle) and the guy probably deserves all of the scorn that this town can cast his way along with stones and insights about faith and what not.
For me . . . As always . . . It comes down to a question of race and culture. I'm actually not surprised that the white folks who were conned into Johnston's alleged get rich scheme were taken advantage of . . . People looking for answers (especially women) are always easy prey . . . However, what's worth noting is that those folks would rather throw their money upward toward the heavens and into Johnston's pocket rather than share or give any of it to local darkies. Lack of investment on this city's Eastside doesn't just mean tax or development money but it also points to the fact that most of us wouldn't cross Troost if our lives depended on it (they do) and anything other than slumming at the Arthur Bryant's off Brooklyn is out of the question.
So in the end, I can't get all pious about Johnston having gully homes and credit cards for his "work" on behalf of the our Lord and Savior. It seems that people lame enough to give money without knowing where it's going would probably have lost their cash anyway. In the name of Jesus or the State lottery . . . It doesn't really matter once it leaves the hand of the faithful.
Still, in the end this scandal strengthens my faith. As a Cath-o-holic I'm comforted to know that any money I might (but usually don't) give the Church will be used to upkeep the sacred statues that my people worship along with ensuring that Santa Claus gets his cuts and continues to skip over Israel during his magical journey around the world on X-mas eve. Also, let's not forget hush money for sex scandals . . . Which has caused some people to lose faith but I hear that in the next few years everyone is going to abandon religion all together and just start worshiping Oprah. It's not even a secret anymore . . . As the beginning chapters of her new bible have been selected by her book club and Dr. Phil is already her greatest apostle.