Christian TV network airs sermons from child predator and cult leader Tony Alamo
The Word Network is airing sermons from one of the most despicable Christian televangelists in U.S. history
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In 2008, state and federal cops raided the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries in Arkansas and took into custody six children—girls between the ages of 12 and 14. Tony Alamo (pronounced uh-LAH-mo) himself was a convicted tax evader who spent four years in jail and accused of running a cult that preyed on children. The known polygamist denied any wrongdoing at the time but also justified hypothetical child marriages by citing the Bible: “God impregnated Mary when she was about 11 years old. So the government idiots… [would] 'cuff him and send him to prison for statutory rape." He later added: “Consent is puberty.”
In 2009, a jury convicted Alamo on 10 federal counts of “taking minors across state lines for sex.” The 74-year-old Alamo was going to spend the rest of his life in prison. All that came in addition to a separate civil trial in which Alamo was found liable—and ordered to pay $30 million—for beating, starving, and denying education to two men who were raised in his cult.
He eventually died behind bars in 2017 having only served seven years out of his 175-year sentence.
The point is: Tony Alamo was an undeniably horrible person. Whatever preaching he did prior to his convictions is meaningless given what we later came to learn about him.
And yet The Word Network, which describes itself as “the largest African-American religious network in the world” and claims to reach nearly 93 million homes through cable and satellite operators, is currently airing Alamo’s preaching as part of its lineup:
For a channel that promotes plenty of liars and hucksters, this is a uniquely horrible decision. But given the channel, maybe it’s not all that surprising as the Trinity Foundation notes:
Word Network Church—Kevin Adell’s purported “Christian” TV network has faced its own legal troubles. Its tax-exemption was revoked by the IRS in March 2015 retroactive to 2007. Adell was paid an average yearly salary of $5.4 million from 2008 to 2011. When the TV network realized it was in trouble in 2013, they created a backup plan that went into effect as soon as the revocation took effect—they became a church… Church of the Word, a/k/a Word Network Church—the perfect vehicle to hide its profit motives.
In other words, a shady TV network catering to Christians will broadcast the sermons of a cult leader and convicted child rapist in order to fill out its schedule. What message are they hoping to send to viewers?
I was hoping to ask that question to The Word Network, but they did not respond to a request for comment I made earlier this week.
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