Pastor: “Stop Supporting Buffoonery In The Pulpit”

“The problem is”, the pastor said,
“We’re hip-deep in buffoons;
The public sees the ministry
As perverts, thugs, and goons.
To save ourselves, we’ve got to lose
The losers and the loons.”

He’s right, of course; the Christian church
Has standards to maintain;
The scandals and buffoonery
Take effort to explain
But once you take the crazies out…
Will anyone remain?

Context, after yon jumpage:

CNN’s “In America” blog features the Reverend DeForest “Buster” Soaries, reacting to all too many stories in the recent news.

The inappropriate antics of many clergy could easily cause one to wonder if there are any moral standards for those who preach and teach morality. We are all too familiar with the flaws among some Catholic priests and their highly publicized breaches of trust and sexual indiscretions with children. But Protestants have our share of disgraces in the pulpit, too. Homosexual bashing pastor Ted Haggard left his giant church in 2007 following a gay sex scandal. He later admitted to GQ, “I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual.” Prosperity preacher and television evangelist Robert Tilton was accused of throwing away prayer requests that he received from donors and television viewers without even reading them. And mega-church pastor Eddie Long settled lawsuits with four young males who accused him of coercing sex acts. It is time for a remedy within Protestant churches.

Soaries is, sadly, able to add a couple additional paragraphs of examples and details, and I’m sure that’s the edited-down version.

The remedy that can put a halt to this behavior is some form of formal accountability that protects the flocks from the wolves in sheep clothing. There are many congregations that understand that they, too, have a religious obligation. It is to demand excellence and integrity among the clergy. When people begin to eject fakes and frauds from the pulpits of our houses of worship, true religion can thrive and play an important role in society.

I agree. I do. I only want “true” religion, something that can stand up to withering skeptical analysis. Will Soaries help us clean house? Get rid of the “inappropriate antics” like claiming virgin birth, or original sin, or a privileged access to morality?


  1. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    While there are clergy whose main purpose is to preach “The Word&grade;” and minister to their congregations, there are a whole bunch of clergy who use their ministry for their own purposes. Oral Roberts held himself for ransom for $24 million so he could keep a home in Oklahoma and another in Florida and a private jet to go from one to the other.

  2. Cuttlefish says

    I had a student a couple of years ago whose family had, for generations, been psychics and fortune-tellers. She had never heard of Sylvia Browne, John Edward, or whatsisname Van Pragh, and was quite insulted to hear they were sullying the reputation of honest psychics like her family.

    That’s kind of the feeling I get with this story.

  3. says

    Good analogy—it does kind of feel that way doesn’t it…It is hard to clean something up, when the entire problem is that the whole thing needs to be swept up and taken out…

  4. oldebabe says

    #3. and #4 above, I’m glad you’ve said this: Why continue to accept cleaning up messes, when one should stop making the mess in the first place?

  5. rikitiki says

    Reminds me of something Lazarus Long, Robert A. Heinlein’s character said about having held many jobs in his long life except being a preacher: he said his conscience couldn’t stomach it and he couldn’t lie that much.

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