Did you catch John Oliver’s piece critiquing televangelists the other day?
Then take a look…
I’ve seen a lot of friends on social media posting it and so I thought I’d pen just a brief post to suggest that we see Oliver as data instead of cheering along with him. For Oliver — who I get a real kick out of, don’t get me wrong — clearly is taking sides in a theological debate concerning what is legitimately religious and what authentic church work ought to look like or accomplish.
After all, he’s not criticizing religion per se. Just one form of it which he basically likens to selling snake oil. He’s free to do this, of course — after all, he’s not a scholar of religion, is he?
So, in the midst of watching the segment, be sure to think about Steven Ramey’s thoughts on how we, as scholars of religion, must carefully avoid taking sides in the debates that are best left to the people whom we study. For we’re not here to pick winners and losers but, instead, to study the workings of that game itself.