Televangelists Explain To The Faithful Why They Need Private Jets To Avoid “Demons” And Allow Them To Talk To God

I had to share the videotape below of two leading televangelists, Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis, as they explain why flying private jets is not just personally enjoyable but actually biblically required. It turns out that the luxury jets not only place them closer to God and allow to them speak directly with him but avoid “a long tube with a bunch of demons.”

When Duplantis starts to tell a story about speaking with God in his private plane, Copeland seems to immediately realize that the image of televangelists flying around in luxury jets might not sit well with the flock (or critics who regularly write about multi-millionaire televangelist and their mansions and expensive lifestyles). Copland interrupts to explain that this is all part of the spiritual mission and that ministers really cannot talk to God on commercial planes.

“You couldn’t have done that on an airliner. Stand up and say “What’d you say, Lord? Okay? No? Yeah? And the guy sitting over there, saying, “What the hell does he think he’s doing?” You can’t do that! No, no…”

They then go on to explain that their flying around in private jets “protects the anointing” in this “dope-filled world.” Copeland emphasized the horror of their having to take a seat and commune with God “in a long tube with a bunch of demons.”

What is amazing is that I think many would understand if these millionaires just said “Look I have the money and flying in private jets is a lot easier and nicer.” No demons. No private calls from God. Just convenience.

I was personally disappointed that they did not expressly deal with the legroom needed to speak to God but I will assume that that personal pet peeve of mine was subsumed in the stories of having to jump up and speak with God.

Of course, TWA used to have the slogan: “They have just one mission . . . yours.” That is a bit better than the old Braniff slogan “When you’ve got it, flaunt it.”

40 thoughts on “Televangelists Explain To The Faithful Why They Need Private Jets To Avoid “Demons” And Allow Them To Talk To God”

  1. More reasons why I avoid organized religion. My faith is fine without all of the disingenuous rationalizing of the relatively few greedy and ostentatious clergy. It is the clergy that we mostly don’t hear about that have my respect.

  2. Congress, in their infinite wisdom, has made it difficult for the IRS to audit the tax returns of a church. See section 7611 of the Code. For “regular” taxpayers, IRS can audit their tax returns for almost any reason. In fact, the IRS does a small number of “research” audits where all items on a tax return are audited. The results of those audits are used to develop a statistical formula which the IRS uses to select other returns for audit.

    But IRS is restricted from auditing returns of churches unless certain criteria are met. I think these restrictions make it easier for churches to not follow the rules, I.e., they foster non-compliance.

    Regarding Scientology, IRS made a tactical error when it decided to fight them on the question of whether Scietology was a “church. ” IRS should not be in the business of deciding whether an organization is or is not a church. If the organization claims to be a church, IRS should not challenge that claim. They should, however, make sure that the organization follows the rules. Which why section 7611 is not a good idea in my book.

    On section 501(c)(4) organizations (think Lois Lerner), I am going to be somewhat circumspect in my comments for professional reasons that I’m not in a position to explain here. But I will say that the comments on this blog on this topic generally display ignorance of the real problems with the law and with the way the IRS administered the law. If the Republicans had been interested in finding out what really happened, they would have granted immunity to Lois Lerner, allowing her to testify about the facts. But they did not do that, probably because the answers Lerner would have provided would not have fit the Republicans’ narrative. (Even though the answers likely would have revealed problems in the way the IRS administered the law. )

  3. The IRS like to pick on people and groups w/o the power to fight back. The cult, Scientology, unleashed their attorney goons and demanded they be called a church. Their empire would have been crippled w/o church status. The IRS granted them tax exempt status in 1993 and the rest is history!

  4. You’re welcome PhillyT

    I didn’t listen to the video. I don’t think I could stand it without wanting to hit my computer screen.

    However, stupid the idea is to have segregated transportation (I thought we were over that decades ago) if they are using their very own money to do it and are not scamming the tax code, I suppose they can go ahead.

    But….if it appears that they are using church money, skimming from church donations or otherwise illegally using funds that should be for religious purposes, they should not only lose their 501-c-3 status, they should be subject to prosecution and for IRS fraud.

    Veteran’s Ministry (thank you!) also clarifies more about the tax exemption and donation deduction rules. It is really quite complex and important that ALL entities play fairly by the same rules.

  5. I care less about their planes then where they go and what they do.
    I hear they take a lot of Junkets to Occupied Palestine where the Israeli government plies them with favors and tries to keep the stupid republican sheeple in the Amen Corner.
    I am against war, especially unjust war, and these fools support them.
    That’s a worse sin than being rich by far.
    Who doesn’t detest flying coach? Wow you are sick if you don’t hate it.
    That and the feckless TSA. They’re demons alright.

  6. As Sam points out, its quite interesting the free pass those who believe in god get compared to other irrational beliefs.

  7. Thanks for the info DBQ. Learned something new today!

    So how does a con man like Joel Osteen get away with building himself a $20M mansion? I think maybe the IRS is afraid of getting in trouble for auditing these grifters, but god knows I wish they would.

  8. Nick – so sorry about your sister. Your poor mom. There is no greater pain for a parent than to outlive a child.

  9. Sounds like these con men would feel right at home in Congress.

    DBQ – always enjoy your perspective on tax issues and finance. 🙂

  10. Ahhh those &@$%#€£¥% Taxes…again somewhat misleading assertions.

    Yes a “church” is a 501-3c charitable entity. Yes, donations are deductible (exceptions to deductibility: can’t give with specificity e.g. for a person or political purposes). If clergy are provided expensive houses, the amount is subject to SSI/MC up to fair market rental value —not actual costs.. Reimbursables such as mileage, phone and meals have to be submitted for pmt. Allowances are taxed if not accounted for. For lay (secular) employees, L&I, 1/2 the SSI/MC, and Unemployment are paid by the church at regular rates.

    However (with very few exceptions) all clergy pay SSI/MC on total income as self-employed then IRS on stipend. In very few cases do churches not pay all the other taxes and fees you and I do, with the exception of strictly real estate taxes (all the other utilities, fees and assessments are paid.) There is no sales tax exemption for utilities, goods and services. The moment a church actually rents out a facility, that facility is liable for real estate taxes and possibly with a look back. That’s why we only (infrequently) ask for donations, although facility costs reimbursements by non-church entities are requested. The facilities are usually open to other non-profit groups such as AA and BSUSA & GSUS w/o reimbursement requirements.

    A church can’t own property not being used for religious purposes without paying full real estate taxes. Got hit for a vacant lot and several years’ back taxes (ignorance was not bliss).

    So yes…churches don’t pay (real estate) taxes and they certainly don’t turn a profit although funds may accrue (if lucky) but are not paid out as share dividends etc. For the most part, 501-3c keeps costs down but, except for real estate, others still pay the taxes. If for profit then all the depreciation and other schedules kick in and we still wouldn’t pay much if anything more than now….oops…not true…we would employ a CPA … at least another deductible expense but also middle class employment.

  11. Natalie…while it is understated (Billy Graham) I have nothing but admiration for his personal Godly work. But, the structure and the feeders of those crusades were …well…..not to my liking at all. The follow up was just a card sent to a church…that’s where the real work was done. As for being the only one?? Remember the old fable about the king and his new clothes? It (reluctance or blindness of others) applies to organizations too, may be even more so. I think that “the experience” is an unstated factor in the length of time between such major crusades. New blood and faded memories.

    Billy was one who kept a close council (never an unseemly situation presented itself as they ensured no untoward groupie could not get close) and never touched the money and lived on a salary.

  12. DBQ, Your intelligence, knowledge and sense of humor are always appreciated.

  13. The biggest question is are the stewards and stewardesses on the private christian jet heavy set or not? in order to determine what type of snacks you might be able to expect, this is important information.

  14. There are 29 classifications of 501-c entities. The class defines the tax treatment of the donations as well as the conduct allowed by the 501-c entity.

    Thats just the 501-c entities. Then you have 501-d e f k n a etc etc etc.

    Plus the 527’s which are the political super PACs

    Fun stuff for a financial planner.

  15. I would love to see the tax laws revised for churches and other charities so that only the money they spend ACTUALLY helping people would be tax free.

    @ PhillyT

    That IS how the tax laws for 501-c-3 charities, which is what a church is classified as, ARE written now. The funds must be used for the charity’s purpose or else the entity loses the tax exempt status. There is no need to revise the laws. If the church is breaking the laws, then they can certainly lose their tax exemption…..and should.

    501-c-3 = Religious, Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary, Testing for Public Safety, to Foster National or International Amateur Sports Competition, or Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals Organizations

    For instance a library which is non profit can use the funds and donations to further their library and set up literacy programs, buy computers for the library’s use, maintain the building, etc etc. As long as the purpose is for the library’s function. They can’t start a taxi service that makes money and declare that income tax exempt.

    The library could start a taxi service and then treat it just like any other business. There is no restriction on that…..setting up a side business. They just can’t make tax exempt income from the taxi service and they cannot take donations, for the taxi service< that would then give the donor a tax exemption either. The tax exemption for the donor is only if the money is used to further the 501-c-3 purpose OR if the donation is pertinent to the function of the charity.

    For example if the entity is an animal shelter and the donation is a million dollar painting….say the Mona Lisa….the shelter can certainly sell the painting and use those funds tax exempt IF they use them for the shelter's charitable purpose…HOWEVER …… the donor doesn't get a tax deduction because the Mona Lisa isn't integral to the function. If the donor gave a million dollars in fencing and supplies that will be used to build more shelter. A tax credit/deduction is available. The donor's CPA and lawyers generally will make this advice and determination.

    The donor should give the Mona Lisa to a museum or college of the arts. That would most likely be a qualified donation for the charitable deduction. 🙂

    It isn't just black and white.

    Note: THIS is what I did for a living for over 20 years as a financial advisor and as an investment counselor. I know what I am talking about 😉

  16. I have friends and relatives that practically live at their church. They give substantial amounts of money to the church and go on ‘missions’ around the world. It is a system, like many systems. There is an administrative cost and fees to join and participate. All in all they are pretty much locked into a world of their own and they do more good than bad, except when they accept the GOP rant hook line and sinker. It is a simpler world.

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