Wednesday, October 04, 2006
The Farting Preacher
When I'm feeling down, I know I can always turn to televangelist Rev. Robert Tilton to lift my sprits.
It's hard to explain how big Robert Tilton was here in Dallas in the 80's and early 90's. He seemed to be on the air 24/7, people spoke of him as if he were a great and decent man, and when there was some religious issue in the news, local TV news would actually seek him out for the "Christian" point of view. They were eager to play along with him and never spoke of the obvious fact that he was just vacuuming money in from suckers.
But there was an alternative perspective... the Pastor Gas tapes. Created by I-don't-know-who and circulated on nth generation VHS dubs. You can see two above.
Eventually Robert Tilton fell in a big way, but for a while he was an icon of the greed-gilded-with-righteousness that was Dallas back then.
Footnote: One saturday, back in the early '90's, I got a last minute call to a gig in an ensemble for an Easter Sunday church service. During a lull in the rehearsal some of the other musicians were talking about what they'd been up to and it turned out that all the brass players (except for me) had at one time or another been in the orchestra at Robert Tilton's mega-church in Farmer's Branch... and been fired from it. Usually for asking for a raise.