March 3, 1988 |
Less than a week after admitting to an unspecified sexual sin, the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart spoke by telephone with his former colleague, the former reverend and current presidential candidate Pat Robertson. Robertson indicated that he hoped that Swaggart would soon return to the pulpit to continue his "ministry. " It is peculiar that Robertson, who so often railed against the consequences of sinful behavior on his television program, would suggest that a week of repentance and reflection by Swaggart ought to be enough to satisfy both God and man. Those who have "fallen" in politics and business don't rebound that quickly.
March 7, 1988 |
Beware, my father always used to say, of the morally obsessed. Their obsession with the behavior of others often masks their own dark compulsions. People who constantly condemn a particular form of misbehavior often are struggling against those very inclinations. Tragically, televangelist Jimmy Swaggart is the latest example of my father's theory of obsession as the mask of degradation. For several years, Swaggart condemned his colleagues Jim Bakker and Marvin Gorman for their alleged sinful digressions.
April 4, 1988 |
Jimmy Swaggart, the TV evangelist with a roving eye for lewd women, says he's going to return to preaching in a few weeks despite what his church elders say. They want him to hush up for at least a year and spend two years being counseled about straying from the path of righteousness. As you recall, he strayed all the way to those seedy motels. But Swaggart has decided that a year or two is too long for his flock to be deprived of his spiritual guidance. So he's going to get back to the pulpit in May. And I don't blame him. Why should he be singled out for sterner punishment than is meted out to others in his line of work?
February 26, 1988 |
It has the makings of a political bombshell - a high-level Washington mystery worthy of the best-seller list. The question: Did the forces of Vice President George Bush somehow arouse Jimmy Swaggart's libido, driving the TV preacher into the clutches of a harlot and public disgrace? No, this is not the product of my demented mind. It originated, more or less, with Pat Robertson, one of Bush's political rivals. Robertson suspects that it's far more than mere coincidence that Swaggart's sex capers became public knowledge shortly before the Super Tuesday primaries.
February 14, 1988 |
It was a remarkable sight, on several levels, as television preacher Jimmy Swaggart's bayou baritone boomed from a wall of loudspeakers erected in Plaza de la Revolucion Friday night. Here was a conservative evangelist, who oversees a high-tech television empire reaching 90 million people, preaching to 10,000 Nicaraguan evangelicals from a place called Revolution in a nation whose leaders are Marxist- Leninists. In a country where the simplest commodities can be scarce and electricity is severely rationed, the plaza was ablaze with floodlights, enabling a television camera to capture Swaggart's show and beam it back to the United States.
February 28, 1988 |
According to those who inhabit the seedy strip of no-tell motels along Airline Highway, where the neon lights flash adult movies, water beds and rooms by the hour, he pursued a secret life. At times, he wore hats, or sunglasses, or headbands, combing his blond hair down in front, "as if he were hiding," says a woman who has been registered for some time at Tony's Motel as Peggy Carrier. When checking in, he always "used the girls' names to register," never his own, according to "Mr. Mike," the owner of four cut-rate motels along the strip.
October 15, 1991 |
Jimmy Swaggart and his people maintained silence yesterday about his latest peccadillo, but a 20-year friend of the TV preacher said he would leave his ministry. "I fully expect him to resign," said the Rev. Don George of Irving, Texas, noting that he spoke with Swaggart's family Sunday. The evangelist's son, Donnie, told reporters that his father would make a statement today or tommorrow. Swaggart, 56, stopped by police Friday for minor traffic violations in India, Calif., was found to be riding with a self- acknowledged prostitute.
August 2, 1988 |
Jimmy Swaggart, with 350 followers, on a week's tour of the Holy Land, told Jewish settlers on the West Bank yesterday that God is on their side. But the disgraced preacher warned his audience that no one should put much stock in his endorsement because "I might do more harm than good. I'm a bit controversial. " Piped up a listener: "So are we. " Replied Swaggart: "That's why we're such good friends. " He cited the Old Testament prophet Amos as the authority for Jews' rights to the biblical lands.
April 2, 1987 |
The nation's No. 1 scandal, the Iran-Contra affair, seemed to set a standard for preposterousness that could not be duplicated. But the No. 2 contender, a holy mess in televised evangelism, is matching the front-runner in the large particulars in what could be called a miraculous way. In both cases, there is an idol whose feet of clay are showing because he has committed the transgression that is least easily forgiven. Reagan sold arms to the country that Americans hate most; Jim Bakker, the ideal husband, dallied, as we are all demurely putting it, with a 21-year-old church secretary.
March 24, 1988 |
More than 50 years ago, when Sister Marie Aquin was deciding to enter a convent, one thing she sought in an order was one that would allow her to live in a religious community and teach. "I think that even if I didn't enter a convent, I would have been a teacher," said Sister Aquin, a faculty member at Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill. Despite her 50 years as a teacher, her passion for her profession has not dimmed. And that has helped her earn the honor of the Philadelphia archdiocese's Distinguished Catholic Educator of the Year.