You remember Jim Bakker, don’t you? Sure you do. He’s the faux Christian who started the PTL (Praise the Lord) club and TV show in the 1980s. Or perhaps you remember his late first wife, Tammy Faye Bakker, who looked as if she had applied her makeup with a trowel. Maybe you thought Jim Bakker had faded from the public eye, but he’s back, and he’s saying things so crazy and offensive that it seems only fair to call him out for them.
On his new television show, where he peddles his millennial/survivalist tripe, Bakker was speaking with likely 2016 Republican candidate for President, Mike Huckabee. (Yeah, like he’s got a chance of winning outside his home state of Arkansas.) While discussing religious freedom and persecution, Bakker dug deep into his grabbag of moronic hyperbole and referenced Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame, who made disparaging comments about homosexuals and praised the Jim Crow South of his youth. Christians, Bakker declared, are now the victims of intolerance in the United States, and then he went a step too far: he compared the plight of Christians in America to the Jews who perished under Nazi persecution during the Holocaust. Specifically, Bakker said:
“If we all took a stand just like the Robertson family did, they can’t put us all in jail at the same time, unless they did something like they did to the Jews.”
I wonder if Jim Bakker has any idea how incredibly offensive his callous words are to Holocaust survivors and the memory of the 6 million who perished under the extreme cruelty of the Nazis. Both of my grandfathers served in World War II, and though I’m not Jewish, I find it offensive to their memories and service as well.
Now, I understand why Jim Bakker might suffer from persecution (more like prosecution) syndrome. After all, this is a man who, in 1988, was convicted on 15 counts of wire fraud, 8 counts of mail fraud, and one count of conspiracy. Yes, this is the same man who drugged and raped a woman who worked for him, embezzled millions of dollars from his “ministry,” and was originally sentenced to 45 years in federal prison. He appealed his sentence and eventually served five years behind bars. People with that much bad karma in their pasts cannot help but live in fear of what is around the corner or behind the door.
I have some news for Brother Bakker: I am a Christian. I attend church regularly. But I don’t feel the least bit persecuted or in fear that the government may come and toss me into a concentration camp. Personally, I think Jim should apologize, but I’m pretty sure he won’t. Because that would require him to admit that he’s wrong. And while the title of his autobiography is I Was Wrong, does anyone truly believe he means that? Like any hypocrite, he’s just sorry he got caught.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org