Want To Feel Good? Avoid The Liberal Media.
I love gospel music. I’ve been listening to gospel since the movie theater near my home in Washington, D.C. presented a monthly ‘gospel caravan’ which was a group of Black singers and musicians who toured around the country performing to African-American audiences here, there, and everywhere.
Some of the singers, like Ruth Brown and Little Melvin, also did some rock-n-roll records that even got into the White record stores. But this was the 1950’s, when Motown didn’t yet exist and there was White music and Black music and the two would rarely meet.
Be that as it may, I still catch gospel every weekend on one of the many cable-TV stations which carry religious shows, and my favorite is the performances which come out of the Family Worship Center in Baton Rouge. And who is the evangelist whose presence at the Family Worship Center is the reason that this church often draws a standing-room only crowd? None other than Jimmy Swaggart, who continues to find himself embroiled in all kinds of legal and financial trouble since he was defrocked by the Assemblies of God for soliciting prostitutes back in 1988.
As far as I’m concerned, I could care less about Swaggart’s financial and legal scams, ditto whether he’s a ‘man of God’ or not. Take my word for it, he’s a wonderful gospel musician and when it comes to belting out rhythms, his band is second to none.
But what really gets me going when I watch Swaggart’s gospel shows is how the audience gets involved in the music – dancing, jumping, clapping – the folks in their seats are as lively and bouncy as what you see on the stage.
But more interesting, and here is what I really want to emphasize, is the degree to which Swaggart seems to attract not only a crowd which is intent on having a very good time, but is also remarkably diverse, considering that Swaggart’s church is located in Baton Rouge.
This audience is not what you expect to see in most Evangelical congregations, which tend to be either all White or all Black. Want to spend several hours each Sunday in what is usually the most segregated public space in the United States? Walk into an Evangelical church and look around the place.
If I had a nickel for every fake news story about how ‘divided’ this country has become, I wouldn’t have to go down to Connecticut next week and test a bunch of local cops to see if they can pull out their guns and hit the broad side of the barn. This idea that the country has become irrevocably split over issues like race has gotten to the point that a numbskull like Marjorie Taylor Greene and a scam-artist like Steve Bannon actually get press notices when they talk about a national ‘divorce’ between blue and red states.
What’s really happening is the frantic search for website clicks has created yet another phony issue promoted by fake news. Because, after all, if the country starts to split apart at the seams and maybe another Fort Sumter is about to occur, that’s going to get better ratings than a story about how some lost dog or cat came home after wandering around the neighborhood for a couple of days.
I would be willing to bet that the average adult spends 90% of his/her time working, eating, watching a bit of TV, and then sleeping until the next day starts up again. Which means there isn’t much time left over just to do something that will make you feel good.
But I can guarantee you that the congregants at Jimmy Swaggart’s Family Worship Center are present in his church because jumping, dancing, clapping and a few ‘hallelujahs’ will make them feel good. You can see it in the body language. You can see it on their faces. You can see it as they come down the aisle to drop a buck or two in the collection plate.
But that’s not what the fake news media wants you to believe. The (failing) New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and MS-NBC would much rather have their readers, viewers and subscribers thinking that the worst is yet to come. After all, didn’t Donald Trump create a whole, so-called ‘base’ by appealing to people who are always pissed off?