Without meaning to show disrespect to those recently departed, I could not help providing a section of the interview with Tammy Faye Messner NPR’s Fresh Air just rebroadcast. This seems to me indicative of the way many evangelicals look at talking about God. In fact, this is philosophy is not at all much different from that which brought us all the mutations and distortions of Christian worship seen among American evangelicals.
Terri Gross: In your book you say that Jim Bakker used to watch the Johnny Carson Show and felt that Christians needed their own talk show. Why?
TFM: Well, because of we needed to talk about god just like Johnny Carson needed to talk about the things of the world, and so he asked Pat Robertson is the children’s show became something that was going somewhere and really helping if we could someday do a Johnny Carson-type show and when we had done the children’s show for about two years, Pat finally let Jim do the first 700 Club—that’s what they named it.
Terri Gross: It’s almost like talking about god the way Johnny Carson talked about celebrities, because that’s what he really talked about was celebrities.
TFM: Well, who’s the greatest celebrity? God. It was wonderful. We talked about god as a real person, not as god up in the sky, or god somewhere else around. He was god here with us; that’s what Christians believe, that he is right there with us, part of our lives everyday, and that was what our talk show about, and we talked with other people–we have Christians celebrities too, that of course bought into the picture.