So let me see if I have this straight …
A televangelist from Georgia has promised the viewers of his television show that if they sleep with a picture of Jesus, then they will receive financial blessings.
Excuse me? Is this spiritual “leader” effectively calling his audience a bunch of whores? Wow, that’s callous, even for organized religion. Or perhaps it is something else, equally vulgar and just as insulting.
This divine process reportedly works as such: you request a free “holy handkerchief” in the mail, and with it, you get a picture of Jesus and a letter with instructions about sleeping with the picture, along with a promise of sending a miracle your way if you send back $41. So by sleeping with the picture of Jesus, you will receive ” a big financial blessing” at some point in your life.
Jeff Cirico, a reporter with the CBS Atlanta, investigated Reverend Jim Whittington’s claims. Cirico requested the handkercheif and he got it, along with the Jesus picture and the letter. Cirico then went and interviewed Whittington whom “became defensive” and doubtful that Cirico would receive any blessings because of his “attitude.” That actually makes sense, seeing as how this “holy” man has a rap sheet. It is all here in this very good bit of investigative reporting by Cirico.
I’ll just note that it’s generally not a good thing when the first sentence of your Wikipedia entry reads:
“Whittington is a televangelist and faith healer who spent 2 1/2 years in prison for money laundering, mail fraud, conspiracy, and interstate transportation of stolen property from his evangelist crusades and direct mail business in the 1980s.”
And kudos to Cirico for not asking Whittington if suggesting that his flock sleep with the picture of Jesus and the holy handkerchief nearby has any, shall I phrase, “nocturnal” overtones to it? There are just some questions that are best left unanswered.