Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Bivangelists and how one thing leads to another
So I'm reading the Bill Bryson book I mentioned a few posts ago, and he tells the story of Billy James Hargis who was a kooky evangelist in the 1950s. It catches my eye that Hargis got kicked out of Ozark Bible College, which is in my hometown of Joplin these days but may have been in Bentonville, Arkansas back then. It goes on to say that Hargis spent his later years in "the flower box City" Neosho, Missouri, a quaint little town that, to me, was always populated by people who were tweaked a little. That's all just exposition. The curious part is that Hargis self-destructed by getting caught having sex with his congregation - both sides of the aisle, as it were, sopranos and basses from the choir, if you catch my drift. Even turns out he was exposed when two of his students confess on their wedding night that they are not virgins, and discover they both got it on with the Rev. Hargis. A busy man indeed. All this is ancient history, but sure seems familiar, don't it Cletus? Reminds me of a fella named Ted Haggard. So I'm wondering, what is it about the preaching that gets the hormones in such an uproar? Haggard is seen in Alexandra Pelosi's new documentary on HBO "Friends of God" talking about how much sex he has, and how all these devout folks are just randy as rabbits all the time. And apparently they get so lathered up they're ready to get down to business with you whether you're an innie or an outie. I have coined a new term for these guys (oversexed preachers seem to be guys, oversexed teachers seem to be gals) and the term is bivangelists.