impressions on my mind coasting through life's journey...

Of Preachers and scams... and Faith

As long as people believe in God & religion, there will always be someone to make them part with their money because of it.

For centuries there have been Godmen (real or phony) & their followers who flock to them in the hope that these godmen will turnaround their lives, translate their dreams into reality. The people who are most vulnerable are always the one's with no hope, beseiged with all possible problems life offers such as poverty or a terminal illness, hoping for a miracle to better their lives.

In India a land of countless godmen, we have seen the case of the "99 Roll Royces" Rajneesh who caused a lot of the rich & famous to join his following not only in India, but also in the US, especially.

The American landscape has always been home to evangelism, after all this is where it gave the world another invention of the 20th century the "TV Evangelist". In fact, Time magazine has a whole collection .

Controversies abound around these preachers such as Benny Hinn,
who visited India recently. Another recent entry into this circus is Bro. Paul, né Anand Kilari, who is from Andhra Pradesh, India (yep as someone said evangelism 'outsourced') currently based in Houston.

In fact, the life styles of these men/women of God rival that of the rich & famous. Here's a compilation of some of the most incredible statements they continue to make.

This is not to say that all preachers are fake. But it sure makes everyone a little more suspect.
So then,there will be the faithful and their sceptics, each with their own point of view, I guess it's whatever works for the individual and what their faith tells them to believe.

All this brings to mind a beautiful film, Leap of Faith , ( the story ) that was released some years ago, starring Steve Martin and Debra Winger.
Martin plays a scam artist who becomes a preacher crossing the Bible belt, ripping the faithful of whatever money he can. He stops by a town that has hopes his prayers can bring them rain. He tries to catch the attention of a local girl who supports a crippled brother. The brother belives the preacher can heal him even though the preacher knows he can't and tries ignoring the boy.
Fast forward to the end of the movie, which pretty much sums up, I think, the issues of faith & religion.

The film has a beautiful ending where in the boy through his faith gets healed and everyone thinks the preacher did it, but preacher knows he did not and for once in his life begins to believe that there is a divine force, so powerful, that it can traverse the most unlikeliest of settings to heal someone with faith.
This makes him decide to give it all up and as he begins to hitchhike his way out of town, it begins to rain, showing that his change of heart has met with approval from above.

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