President Donald Trump’s spiritual advisor, Paula White, claims credit for converting Trump to Christianity. In exchange, she has been awarded exclusive access to the White House where she advises Trump on everything from legislative priorities to judicial appointments as chair of the Evangelical Advisory Council.
White is not an ordinary pastor. She is a Prosperity Gospel adherent who believes that God’s plan for her is a luxurious, consumerist lifestyle. White has spent decades exploiting her followers who are mostly poor and working class people of color.
Pastor White demands that her congregation members donate huge portions of their incomes to her church which leaves them poor and allows her and her husband to live in a mansion stocked with designer clothes and luxury cars. When her congregation members have no money to give, she insists that they put jewelry and other valuables in the offering collection.
Now, the most grotesque of all White’s excesses has been revealed by Pastor Hector Gomez who worked for 8 years at White’s church in the 1990s: White was so greedy that she stole from the Sunday offering plates.
One day, [Gomez] said, he watched in horror as Paula White sifted through the collection plate after church, picking out the jewelry that looked valuable.
White told him to take the less valuable collections to a jeweler who bought second-hand pieces to resell or melt down, he said; he watched her lock up the more valuable jewelry in her desk, and he never saw it again.
Gomez’s own wife was duped into giving a bracelet he gave her just after their wedding. Gomez says of the incident, “It wasn’t worth much. t was a nice little bracelet. But it has sentimental value. I was so grieved. I was like, ‘This [other jewelry] belongs to the people in the church. They worked very hard.'”
Gomez quit the church as Paula White’s egregious exploitation and defrauding of her congregation became increasingly apparent to him. He had he was “disgusted” by White’s unethical behavior.
White’s ‘theology’ is nothing more than a get-rich-quick scheme. The Bible is clear on the subject of wealth. In Matthew 19, Jesus tells his followers,
“If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. … I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
The Bible also urges people to care for the poor, not exploit them to buy more designer outfits. White’s congregation members thought they were donating to fund the church’s efforts to do God’s work in the world. Instead, White was stealing from them and from the church they cared deeply about.
White’s greed and total lack of empathy is on par with Trump’s. No wonder the only person who was able to convert Trump to a religion was the person who exalts wealth and thinks exploitation of marginalized Americans is a worthy pursuit.
White is just another corrupt person in an Administration stocked with capitalist cronies and incompetent family members seeking power.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.