Satan Is My Copilot
Even those who avoid the Trinity Broadcasting Network got a nice whiff of bullshit when a segment from Kenneth Copeland’s Believer’s Voice of Victory recently went viral. Copeland, truly one of today’s most repugnant holy rollers, sat down with fellow fork-tongue Jesse Duplantis to discuss why tax-free private jets are a church must: Televangelists need to be able to unbuckle their seatbelts, stand up and talk to God. Can’t do that on commercial, Copeland points out (even though you totally can, so long as God waits for the pilot to turn off the “Fasten Seat Belt” sign; Copeland’s reasoning would make more sense if God wanted them to demonstrate their faith by lighting a fatty mid-flight or snorting lines off their tray tables during a steep descent, both things that actually are easier to get away with on a private plane). More to the point, the preachers explained that having their own jets means they don’t have to stand around in public airports where “agitating spirits” might want to say hi or even, God forbid, ask for prayers. “Get in a long tube with a bunch of demons and it is deadly,” lamented Copeland. ^We get it. Being at the airport can totally harsh your mellow. So does paying taxes. Television evangelicals have been wiping their asses with 501(c)(3), an IRS code that allows churches to be exempt from taxes, for years. The worst offenders are “prosperity gospel” shills like Copeland, who tell their followers that wealth is a sign of God’s favor. Send them your money, and if your lot in life doesn’t improve, it’s because you didn’t send enough. That kind of pretzel logic makes these preachers scumbags among scumbags—and filthy fucking rich. Back in 2007, WFAA news reporter Brett Shipp obtained Copeland’s flight records and proved that he used his tax-free plane regularly for personal family vacations. “That’s none of your bidness,” Copeland said when confronted. You’d think it would be the IRS’s “bidness,” but they haven’t been auditing churches since 2009, when a court ruling specified that a “high-ranking Treasury official” had to sign off on demands for church records. The IRS hasn’t decided who that person should be, so no audits. Two words: Jesus Christ! He could totally do it, plus he probably wouldn’t mind flying coach.