Another crazed maverick dies
"You ever meet Christians? You wish you could shove a pipe in their mouth. Anything to shut them up."

-- Dr. Gene Scott

I just learned that my favorite eccentric televangelist has died:

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Gene Scott, the shaggy-haired, cigar-smoking televangelist whose eccentric religious broadcasts were beamed around the world, has died, a family spokesman said. He was 75.

Scott died Monday after suffering a stroke, said the spokesman, Robert Emmers.

The longtime pastor of Los Angeles University Cathedral began hosting a nightly television broadcast of Bible teaching in the mid-1970s. His University Network eventually aired a nightly talk show and Sunday morning church services on radio and television stations in about 180 countries.

Scott's church, a Protestant congregation of more than 15,000 members, raised millions of dollars through round-the-clock Internet and satellite TV broadcasts, where he would demand of viewers: ``Get on the telephone!'' to donate.

In some of his speeches, Scott would deliver complex lectures on Biblical languages to make points about the meaning of faith. But he also spoke on current events, sometimes lacing his sermons with profanity.

He supported the war in Iraq. ``Iraq is a threat to the world,'' he said in a 2003 speech posted on his Web site. ``So kick the hell out of 'em, George.''

Recognizable by his mane of white hair and scruffy beard, Scott never stuck to a conventional format in his talk show. He sometimes smoked on the show and once wore glasses with eyes pasted on them.

Unlike other televangelists, Scott's sermons did not condemn homosexuality, abortion or other hot-topic sexual issues. He argued such issues were a personal choice.

I always enjoyed watching Gene Scott, and I'm sorry to see him go. He wasn't popular with other televangelists, though -- mainly because they hated his refusal to condemn people for their lifestyles. The following remark pretty well sums up his philosophy:
"I don't ask you to change when you come here," he instructs the congregation. "I take you as you are, as God takes me as I am."
Doubtless some of his critics would go so far as to maintain that Scott wasn't a "real" Christian. (Where do they get the idea that the guy they claim to be following left them in charge of the label bearing his name?)

posted by Eric on 02.22.05 at 11:14 AM







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Drudge this morning links to this report that Gene Scott died yesterday. I find it kind of interesting that Drudge chose to link the story. Scott has always been an interesting figure though. I've never known quite what to make of him except that he... [Read More]
Tracked on February 22, 2005 1:34 PM



Comments

Sounds like my kind of man! Sounds like he had style! Why didn't I hear of him before?

This guy was the man. I watched him quite a bit... he took the bible back to it's original languages and earliest translations - hebrew, greek, syriac and ethiopic - and told you what it actually said (apparently the KJV is way off).

As he saw it, salvation isn't about do this, don't do that, about following a bunch of rules (I agree, in terms of salvation, but a functioning society is a different matter). By faith alone is man saved.

Hey, maybe the other televangelists really hated him because he refused to sell God through an 800 number.

Joćo   ·  February 22, 2005 7:04 PM

Reminds me of Robert Farrar Capon, my favorite Christian writer.

I have watched him on and off over the years. He certainly had an unusual style, but aside from salvation by faith, hardly a novel or maverick idea in Christianity, I just used to like the linguistic acrobatics and the cigars and the curmudgeonism. I never really could tell what his point was...which is maybe just as well!

EssEm   ·  February 23, 2005 11:49 AM

I forgot to mention... the big ass american flag behind him was a nice touch.

Joćo   ·  February 23, 2005 12:48 PM

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