The Jesus Tapes

by Lewis Loflin

Jesus clearly commanded that his followers give to the needy, the down trodden, and the unwanted. In December 1999, local charities both Christian and otherwise pleaded with the this community for donations to help the area's needy.


They were swamped with requests due to the large number of job loses in 1999 (1400 in December alone), and the poverty wage scales offered by most employers in the area.

Many fundamentalist churches didn't care about the poor and needy, they were too busy preparing for Y2K end of the world theology of Jerry Falwell and decided to make one last push to get others to listen to them.

Instead of helping the poor and needy whom they considered dammed anyway, they mailed out over 200,000 video tapes at a cost of $800,000. This poorly produced, and historically inaccurate tape, depicts one of the four Biblical versions of the death and resurrection of Jesus. (Luke?)

While few people ever went to church because of this tape, the money wasted on them would have made a real difference to those in need. $800,000 spent on those tapes would have purchased 8000, $100 food baskets for the needy. $4000 spent on a religious plaque for the Sullivan County Courthouse, just to attack the religious faiths of others, would have purchased 40 food baskets. $5 million spent on a new Baptist church in the Lynn Garden section of Kingsport, Tennessee would have purchased 50,000 food baskets!

What do the poor have to end up doing? They have to go to government agencies where they are harassed, degraded, or have their families broken up just for a few dollars in food stamps, substandard medical care, or a roach infested place to live. Even Christian writer Cal Thomas blasted churches for shunning the duties to the poor while meddling in politics or chasing money. Luxury cruises to the Holy Land, political plaques, and fancy cathedrals are not what Jesus preached!

Let's get government out of the charity business and get churches out of politics and off of Wall Street! I salute those churches that carry out their Christian duties and urge others to support them. Thomas Jefferson wrote of the "wall of separation" between church and state: let's not only protect that wall but get the government and churches on the correct side of that wall.

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