As reported by Right Wing Watch, televangelist Jim Bakker spent most of his show this Monday warning his viewers that opposition to Trump is bringing about the Last Days, which provides him the perfect selling point for his disaster-ready food buckets.
“The news is crazy,” Bakker said. “Evil, evil, evil, and how they’re trying to destroy the president and his family, God is speaking to me about it. What he is saying is he is going to send judgment and he’s going to judge some people.”
“There is coming a time when the Bible says there will be no food to eat,” he continued. “And if you do get any food, you have to sign over to the Antichrist; that means you’ve sold your soul to the devil.”
Bakker’s tactic here couldn’t be any more blatant: the message is, ‘My food buckets are the only thing you’ll be able to find that’s Jesus-approved. Any other food source will result in eternal damnation.’
“Half of America wants to destroy the president because he’s standing up to save babies, that he stands up for religious freedom and they’re making him out as the Antichrist, as an evil person,” he added.
“It’s time to be prepared because there’s coming a time when it will be too late to get ready and that’s going to be a hellish 42 months on planet Earth,” Bakker said. “The only thing that you are going to want when these times come is going to food to eat and that’s why we’ve spent our ministry, for the last years, putting together this food for survival.”
This form of Trump spiritual blackmail was also on full display during his show last Wednesday, when Bakker warned that those who oppose Trump’s agenda are flirting with God’s judgement. While pushing the book “The Trump Prophecies” which purports to reveal “new prophecies about what’s going to happen next with Trump,” Bakker exclaimed that “God is doing something, God is speaking, God is taking over” by way of the Trump presidency.
“And I’ll tell you what,” he continued. “You better be careful, because I want to tell you, there is going to be judgement come is America turns its back in what God’s trying to do — because God is trying to save America.”
In 1994, Bakker was released from prison after serving a 4-year stint on 24 counts of mail and wire fraud. This was after he resigned from his ministry when it was revealed he had an affair with then-church secretary Jessica Hahn, who he tried to bribe in order to keep her quiet. Before his downfall, Bakker lived a life that fit the description of a corrupt and money-hoarding televangelist. According to a 1987 report from the New York Times, at the height of his former ministry, Bakker and his then-wife Tammy Faye “drove matching Rolls-Royces, purchased a $375,000 condominium in Florida and spent $60,000 more equipping it with gold plumbing fixtures, and vacationed on an ocean-going cruiser.”
It was a lifestyle that Bakker apparently had no intention of giving up. In 2003, he launched The Jim Bakker Show with his new wife, Lori. The show’s main purpose is to warn to viewers of the impending End Times and the return of Jesus Christ and their need to be prepared. Fifteen years later, the ‘survivalist’ tone of his show is the same, but now the presidency of Donald Trump takes center stage in his apocalyptic rhetoric.
To those who make his new scam possible, Bakker’s past is simply dismissed as a “moral indiscretion” and his most loyal fans have never wavered throughout the tumultuous times of his scandals. According to a May report from BuzzFeed, his show doesn’t make money through advertisers; it depends on the open wallets of his viewers, and Trump’s victory and the resulting political divide helps him keep those wallets open and much as possible.
“I think I helped in this election. Trump thinks I did, because he called and thanked me,” Bakker said on his show in December, “I’m not political about it. I want to save America from the things that are coming.” Bakker said in a later show that the “spirit of God came” to Washington, D.C. for Trump’s inauguration.
Just because Trump is president, Bakker warns, does not mean that Americans are safe. Christ is coming back, but there is still turmoil to prepare for.
If Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election, Bakker would no doubt be pushing the same fear-mongering scam but with the added kick of having a villain in the White House. With the end of Barack Obama’s presidency, Bakker’s “Antichrist” rhetoric still needed relevancy now that Trump was elected, and the broad resistance to Trump provided a perfect catalyst. With the Antichrist’s helper gone, he still needs a message that will get his food buckets into the storage closets of his loyal followers.
“People have stopped storing food, and I’m concerned about it,” Bakker said. “People feel like because Trump was elected, good times are here again. But I’ll tell you what: America is fighting like never before. There are thousands of people who would kill our president if they could … that’s how evil the world is. Something big is going to happen soon.”
The End Times: any day now for the last 2,000 years, but it always helps when a new demigod can kick the can down the road a little longer.
Featured image via screen grab