One thought on “What Has Televangelist Jim Bakker Been Doing These Days?

  1. I watched Anthony Bourdain’s 2015 Parts Unknown episode on New Jersey last night (really good), and at several points he comments on Trump’s (entirely regrettable at every level) impact on Atlantic City. At one point he and his brother are standing in front of the long-shuttered Trump Taj Mahal Casino. Bourdain comments, “that has got to be the most butt-ugly building ever. It is perfect, actually, if you think of Trump as carnival barker. His operation is designed to attract rubes, and it’s empty. Sort of a perfect metaphor here.”

    It wouldn’t be easy to get at with the tools of the historian, but an analysis of evangelicals’ propensity for rubishness–their attraction to the combined scams, sensationalism, tackiness, and so forth, represented so well by Bakker and his ilk–and its connection to their politics, would be an interesting exercise. Bakker and Trump are operating in the same (aesthetic, cultural) space. The fundamental ugliness of the Bakker-world is obvious, but usually goes unmentioned, because it comes off as just snobby disdain for the lumpen-bourgoisie (who, to be fair, have enough real problems without scholars nitpicking their interior-decorating faux pas). However, it may be more significant than we’re comfortable acknowledging.

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