While the committee tasked with providing entertainment for Donald Trump’s inauguration has struggled mightily to find acts willing to perform for the president-elect, there is no shortage of religious leaders willing to show up and say a prayer for the new leader of the free world in return for a little face-time on TV.
Among them is a so-called “prosperity gospel” pastor from Florida whose relationship with Trump dates back over a decade.
As reported by Betsy Woodruff at The Daily Beast, Paula White, who is listed as the Senior Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida, will be making an appeal to God despite having been previously investigated by the U.S. Senate for running a scam ministry.
White is a practitioner of what is known as the “prosperity gospel”, which, in it’s simplest terms, means followers give the church money based upon the belief that God will somehow return that investment many times over. That offering is known as “seed.”
According to the Beast, White’s website makes a pitch for seed money with the promise, “When we receive your seed we have a very powerful Word from the Lord that we will send to you.We want to show our Gratitude to you and to help you grow in your Attitude of Gratitude.”
In return, the supplicant is gifted with a internet download from the church, although a higher donation will net the sender a set of inspirational DVD’s.
As noted by Woodruff, in 2007 White was one of a few pastors who were being investigated by the Senate Finance Committee, when Trump praised her in an interview, saying, ““Paula White is not only a beautiful person, both inside and out, she has a significant message to offer anyone who will tune in and pay attention. She has amazing insight, the ability to deliver that message clearly, as well as powerfully.”
Prosperity gospel was memorably mocked by HBO host John Oliver who created his own scam-worthy Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption.