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Has Your Preacher Jumped the Shark? September 26, 2008

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Religion.
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First, Fonzie jumped over a shark in that fateful episode of Happy Days, and the show lost it’s following and whatever credibility it might have had with its audience as something worth watching. Since then, the digerati have begun referring to the phenomenon of fading into irrelevance as “Jumping the Shark.” Here’s a way to tell if this has happened to your preacher. From today’s New York Times:

“I would say endorsement is a strong word,” he said. “I’m planning to make a recommendation. I’m going to evaluate each candidate’s positions in light of Scripture and make a recommendation to my congregation as to which candidate aligns more so.”

Let me be clear. I have no problem with anyone publicly endorsing a candidate for any office, and doing everything in their power to influence others to support that candidate.

Pat Robertson Jumping the Shark

Jumping the Shark from the Pulpit

My first problem is someone wanting all the benefits that come with being a 501(3)(c), but also wanting to be a political entity. The purpose of the existing law was to ensure that political influence didn’t make its way through the financial channels of a charitable organization. Granted, you can argue that even with the existing law, a huge number of organizations, both on the left and the right, have successfully circumvented this law. That hardly suggests that preachers should take advantage of that fact. (more…)