Fraudulent Televangelism: An Invention of Believers
The United States Society is rightly predicated on the conception of no state religion. This gives all persons and factions the liberty and ambivalence to either partake in or found and establish religious organizations and movements across the country (Shayne & Sinitiere 7).
The justification for this is found in the First Amendment whereby religious activities are cushioned from interference and meddling by the government or private citizens in any way whatsoever. In addition to these protections, Congress granted a mandatory tax exemption for any organization called a church. All these privileges exist in favor of religious entities, especially churches regardless of the fact that one can found a church expediently, with little moral and financial cost attached. This paper asserts that the prevalence of many fraudulent televangelists in recent days and the transformation of religion into a money-making enterprise has been greatly actuated by the very victims of the vice; desperate and easily gullible believers who fall prey to blatant lies without scrutinizing the real probative value of their actions.
The only tool that is anticipated to protect the general public from errant clergymen and televangelists is trust; a really weak weapon (Shayne & Sinitiere 21). It is envisaged that if people don’t trust the vicar, then they will discard the message and demands altogether; a very rare occasion in the modern religious world. Given the little potency of the corrective mechanisms assigned to errant behavior in church; it then follows that there are increased cases of unscrupulous televangelists, faking miracles and using every possible means in order to fleece even the very last penny from unsuspecting believers. In the ideal sense, the practice of many televangelists who hoax the congregation and audience would clearly fall within the purview of white collar crimes. It is a disgrace to the society that a few noble persons can repeatedly commit offences without being reprimanded by anyone. In fact, this fraudulent conduct can easily be said to be sanctioned by the congregation owing to their despondency and accession (David, 1996a). White collar crimes are crimes committed by persons of respectability and high social status during their day to day occupation. This definition was later refined and white collar crimes now comprised of Corporate Crimes on one hand and Occupational crimes on the other. These violations either exhibit defiance over moral and ethical codes or established legal provisions that govern the society. Recent trends in televangelism precisely fit in the definition of occupational white collar crimes because of the unscrupulous conduct of preachers and pastors who have ventured in the practice with a view of making a stipend out of it (Hunt 2). An occupation which was initially intended to be pro bono, to benefit the ‘good people of the Lord’; has now been reduced to a mega business establishment in which all tactics including treachery and bluffing have been employed. The most perplexing thing in all this confusion, is the fact that the same …