I’m a contributing editor for The Door, but I’ve not yet had the privilege of meeting Ole Anthony, who (in his role as the head of the Trinity Foundation) serves as the magazine’s publisher. Ole is a thorn in the side of televangelists, investigating their various abuses and pecadillos, sometimes at the request of various foreign and domestic news organizations.
Ole was on the MSNBC show “Scarborough Country” tonight, debating the issue of TV evangelists with J.C. Joyce, an attorney who represents some and has represented others. There were two other guests, but the primary conflict was between Ole and Mr. Joyce. Scarborough Country, which I’ve never seen before, is normally hosted by former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough, but he is ill and Pat Buchanan guest-hosted tonight. Say what you will about Pat Buchanan (and I certainly haven’t agreed with some of his arguments and positions), he did an even-handed and pro-active job as moderator tonight. In fact, although I agreed with pretty much everything Ole had to say, there were a couple of times where I don’t think Ole directly answered a fair question that Buchanan was asking him.
By the way, if you think TV evangelists are a purely-American concern, Ole told Buchanan that most of the recent work Trinity Foundation has done for news organizations has been for the foriegn press, since America’s TV evangelists are seen by satellite in many foreign countries.
But I can take that a step further. When I was in Kenya in August, one of the top news stories — perhaps the top story — was about Gilbert Deya, a native Kenyan who moved to the UK and has a TV ministry based there. Deya claimed that some of his followers were having “miracle babies” after having been infertile; in reality, say Kenyan officials, the babies were being smuggled out of Kenya.
Here’s a more recent update: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4006945.stm