Jesus Wept
April 23, 2019

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told a town hall audience in Cherokee, Iowa, on Tuesday that being censured by his colleagues in the House for making racist remarks gave him "better insight" into what Jesus Christ "went through for us."

King, who is Catholic, didn't just come right out and compare himself to Jesus — The Sioux City Journal reports he was responding to an audience member, Rev. Pinky Person, who told King she believes Christians are being persecuted in the United States.

King has a long history of making inflammatory statements, and earlier this year, he was removed from all congressional committee assignments after asking during a New York Times interview when the terms "white nationalist," "white supremacist," and "Western civilization" became "offensive." The House voted 421-1 to rebuke King, and he referred to his colleagues on Tuesday night as his "accusers." He doesn't want anyone to worry about him, though; King told the audience he's "at a certain peace, and it is because of a lot of prayers for me." Catherine Garcia

May 30, 2018

A prosperity gospel televangelist who already owned three private planes said God told him he needs a Falcon 7X, and he's holding out for his supporters to give him the $54 million necessary to add a fourth jet to his fleet.

Jesse Duplantis is based in Destrehen, Louisiana. In a video posted online last week, CBS News reports, Duplantis urged his followers to "pray about becoming a partner," saying that if he had the three-engine jet, he could fly "anywhere in the world in one stop," easily spreading his message. "I really believe that if the Lord Jesus Christ was physically on the Earth today, he wouldn't be riding a donkey," he said. "He'd be in an airplane flying all over the world."

Most believers in the prosperity gospel say that God rewards those who have faith and rain financial blessings on their church. CBS News could not reach Duplantis, so it's unclear how close the televangelist is to buying his fourth modern-day equivalent of a biblical donkey. Catherine Garcia

October 15, 2014

The board of an Alabama church, Shiloh Missionary Baptist, has filed a lawsuit against its pastor, Juan McFarland, who is refusing to step down despite having confessed to using drugs and having sex with church members after contracting AIDS. Board members, who have already voted to oust McFarland, are accusing McFarland of changing the locks at the Montgomery church and putting its bank accounts in his name. McFarland has given no public comment on the case. Read more at the New York Daily News. Harold Maass

October 9, 2014

A pastor in Alabama is refusing to step down after confessing to having AIDS, sleeping with church members without telling them about his HIV infection, taking drugs, and misusing funds.

Rev. Juan Demetrius McFarland has been at Montgomery's Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church for 21 years. In Sunday sermons starting Sept. 14, McFarland admitted his health status, then his misdeeds, the pastor and members of his flock told WSFA 12 News. The church membership voted 80-1 to remove McFarland on Oct. 5, but he will not leave.

A lawyer representing deacons in the church said McFarland and a supporter would not let them on the premises, telling deacons trying to change the locks they would face "castle law" if they tried to come to services. "They're worried if they show up to church, they could get shot," Kenneth Shinbaum said. "Unless the pastor steps down voluntarily, this may very well end up in court." McFarland may turn up in court for another reason: In Alabama, spreading a sexually transmitted disease is a Class C misdemeanor; since nobody has filed a complaint, McFarland isn't under investigation at the moment.

The announcement stunned parishioners, who at first were worried about McFarland's health, and then were upset by the rest of his revelations. "Who does this to people, and you are the leader?" one congregation member told WSFA 12 News. "Who does this?" Catherine Garcia

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