(Above: caution - death metal musical sounds and strange surreal religious imagery of a demented kind. Light wick and stand well clear).
It being a quiet Saturday on the pond, the news to rock the pond didn't involve Tiger Woods and his apology for sundry flings, but Suzanne Hinn filing for divorce from televangelist Benny Hinn.
Ever since watching the absolutely beguiling Burt Lancaster in Elmer Gantry - what a 'park the shoes under the bed' hunk he was - I've had a soft spot for evangelism of a quintessentially American kind, and Hinn was probably one of the top televangelists going round. Sure, a few people get upset about what they consider an outrageous scam, what with the faith healing, and the disappearing funds and the IRS issues, and the rich imagining they've got a better chance than a camel to get through the eye of the needle, but hey, it's a circus and an entertainment, and while some people like to fling a buck James Cameron's way, others think they can buy a ticket to heaven by giving Hinn a taste of the sweet life.
Talk about a hustler who failed to reach Elmer Gantry's elevated understanding of life in the final scene of that movie - when I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, when I became a man I put away childish things. St Paul, 1st Corinthians, 13 11
Why it now seems that when you become a woman you can also put away childish things.
Of course the keenest speculation revolves around why Suzanne Hinn is seeking a divorce after thirty years or so of marriage. Just what are the 'irreconcilable differences' involved and will they come out in the wash? As the divorce is happening in Orange County, why not head over to the LA Times for Wife of prosperity gospel televangelist Benny Hinn files for divorce in California?
Hinn has been a lightning rod for all kinds of discontent, as he's gone showboating around the world - how did you guess Uganda was on the list - indulging in a lavish lifestyle and preaching a prosperity gospel.
He's one of the stadium rock preachers who know how to indulge in mass hypnosis, and he makes for plenty of good reading on the intertubes. Why not start here with the wiki, which tells how the sheep can get shorn of $200m a year, not to mention the wherewithal for a handsome Gulfstream G4SP jet (US$36 million and a little loose change for running costs). If only Christ had had this kind of modern technology available, the Muslims wouldn't have stood a chance ...
Well the days of the snake oil salesman have surely changed since Burt Lancaster did his thing, and now I almost feel nostalgic for the good old days.
And sadly there's no chance of Christ coming back to evict the money takers from the temples. Oh well, time for a singalong: