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I just recently learned of this, but evidently on February 21, 2005 Dr. Gene Scott passed away after suffering a stroke. He was 75 years old.
Most of you have never heard of him so let me give you some information on this colorful character: He was a tv preacher like none other. I have to admit I watched him mainly because he was so damned entertaining. How many Christian preachers do you know who smoke cigars while teaching and throwing in an occasional curse word while breaking down the Bible like a university professor? It's incredibly ironic that Doc passed away a day after Hunter S. Thompson. If Hunter was Gonzo journalism then Doc was Gonzo faith.
The first, most obvious thing you noticed when you watched him: this man was wildly entertaining. If you were flipping the channel and he was on you were sure to stay there to at least check him out. Typically if you were like me you were hanging with your buds late at night, searching the channels you would find yourself coming to rest at the sight of a very intense man with shaggy grey hair, assorted headwear, sometimes smoking a cigar and delivering occasional rants sitting in a recliner on a sound stage with no in-house audience but the camera crew and engineers- he was a sight to behold. He was also a damned good religious scholar with a PHD from Stanford University. He knew his shit. He was also said to have possessed the largest private collection of Bibles in the world.
Occasionaly he would have musical interludes and you would hear world class blues and jazz music. Among the tunes Scott occasionally had played was "Kill a Pissant for Jesus."
Here are a few quotes from and about him & at the end I left a couple of video links for you so you can see him for yourself:
"He's unpredictable, entertaining, ridiculous and brilliantly inspired. There he is again: puffing a cigar, harassing a visibly shaken staff, delivering [rousing] missives against the FCC. He ... crack(s) jokes with impeccable timing and delivery. Everything about him is immaculately watchable, and there's no denying he's smart and ... funny. His tight, thin-lipped sneer and shocking blue eyes make you wonder if you personally aren't his next target."
"Dr. Scott spends weeks and months at a time on marvelously conspiratorial topics: the Pyramids, Atlantis, Roswell UFO's, Stonehenge, the Amityville poltergeists - even the Philadelphia Experiment. During Sunday sermons, Scott admonishes his congregation not to seek God's blessing from a priest, the Pope or a place of worship. And you're sure not going to get it from a motel with Jimmy Swaggart."
Scott's sermons did not condemn homosexuality, abortion or other hot-topic sexual issues, the AP reported. Scott considered those issues to be personal choices.
"I don't ask you to change when you come here," the AP reported he told the congregation, according to a 1994 Los Angeles Times article. "I take you as you are, as God takes me as I am."
Scott, who wrote more than 20 books, earned a Ph.D.in philosophies of education from Stanford University in 1957.
The following is a classic Doc rant.. Before watching you must understand that Dr. Scott absolutely hated being referred to as a televangelist. He did raise money sometimes and was a Christian so he was probably technically one but that's where the similarity ends. "I'm not selling forty-pound Bibles, or water from Jordan, or 4,000 plastic crosses made by the Japanese and sold to Arabs. I don't send out 'healing cloths' or tear up my shirt. I say: what's what I've done worth? Whatever the meal I've fed you is worth, pay up. I'm not trying to save anybody. I think if you reject Christianity, you should do it intelligently."
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