Honestly, what are the odds? No sooner had I blogged about one Jesse when another one turns up.
Allow me to introduce you to Pastor Jesse Duplantis. Despite the jazz hands or maybe his attempt at a Tommy Cooper impersonation, he's apparently what they call an Evangelical Charismatic Christian minister. Yep, that's a new one on me, too.
Far as I can tell, he's one of those dingbats who stretches the palm of his hand out to the camera while urging bewildered, that's to say gullible, members of his congregation to place the flat of their hand on the screen while he bellows 'Heeeal! Heeeal in the name of Jesus!' at the top of his voice.
Based in New Orleans, Louisiana - where else? - he's the founder of the Jesse Duplantis Ministries. He is, according to Wikipedia (so it must be true?) strongly identified with preaching a prosperity and abundance message, sometimes referred to as 'prosperity gospel', and yes, that description has passed me by as well. I surely do lead a sheltered life.
Unlike Pastor Duplantis, it seems, who, last week, in the interests of prosperity - namely his own, asked his followers, by way of the idiot box in the corner (how apt) and videos posted on his ministry website, to donate money in order for him to purchase a $70 million private jet. I swear to...er, God, that I am not making this up.
He's quoted as saying: “Now, some people believe that preachers shouldn’t have jets. I really believe that preachers ought to go on every available voice, every available outlet, to get this gospel preached to the world.”
But it turns out he's not the only one. His appeal comes only months after another televangelist, Kenneth Copeland, brought a new Gulfstream V jet “debt free” for “the Lord’s work.”
I'm obviously in the wrong bloody job.
Any road, my contribution to the rev's transport fund is a bit of advice. I refer him to the lyrics of that country and western classic Convoy by the great CW McCall, in particular the 3rd verse:
'An' eleven long-haired Friends a' Jesus In a chartreuse micra-bus'.
Way cheaper than a Dassault Falcon 7X. Hell (there I go again...), he could probably pick one up dirt cheap on eBay. The other $69,999,500 he could donate to good causes.
Just a thought...