1960s rocker Janis Joplin once sang in a comic blues song, “Oh, Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz . . .?”
Far as I can recall, the Lord never bought her one. Maybe she didn’t pray hard enough?
Still, there may be hope for modes of transportation decreed by God. For example, take the case of New Orleans-based televangelist Jesse Duplantis. Recently, he announced God told him he needs a Dassault Falcon 7X three-engine private jet.
Duplantis, who has had many conversations with God, said the latest is “one of the greatest statements the Lord ever told me.”
Here is how the conversation went, according to Duplantis, with God talking in a kind of Louisiana alligator-swamp lingo, the way “just-folks” Jesse talks to his true believers.
“Jesse, you wanna come up where I’m at?” God asked.
“And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ ”
“I want you to believe in me for a Falcon 7-X,” He said.
“So I said, ‘OK.’ But the first thing I thought of (was) ‘Well, how am I gonna pay for it?’ ”
Just then, Duplantis, a long-time purveyor of what’s called “Prosperity Gospel,” had a divine flashback. He recalled something God had told him way back in 1978.
“Jesse,” God had said to him, “I didn’t ask you to PAY for it. I asked you to BELIEVE for it.”
Duplantis has a lot of believing to do; the Falcon 7-X has a price tag of $45 million.
Duplantis Ministries already owns three jets. So why does God want him to have such a new, expensive one? Well, there’s lots of reasons, as the televangelist explained to his followers on video. The new one will fly faster and farther with no time-wasting fuel stops; thus, it will allow Duplantis to spread the Word of God quicker to more people worldwide.
Besides, Duplantis ain’t gettin’ any younger. No sirree!
“I can’t live long enough to travel by car, or by ship, or by train, but I can do it by an airplane.”
And besides, Duplantis added, “If Jesus was physically on the Earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey.”
Well, of course not. He’d be flying in a jet, quite possibly Duplantis’ very own Jet of Jets, the brand-new Falcon 7-X.
But wait, there’s more: Having a spiffy jet would guarantee Duplantis wouldn’t have to fly with pestering riff-raff. Three years ago, Duplantis and another televangelist, Kenneth Copeland, shot the breeze about their pet jets in a conversation on video. Being famous on a commercial airplane is a real pain, Copeland said, because people recognize him and then pester him to pray for them.
“You can’t manage that today,” Copeland said. “(Not in) This dope-filled world, and get in a long tube with a bunch of demons. And it’s deadly.”
Duplantis responded: “And it works on your heart. It really does.”
Poor Duplantis and his poor old heart. I sure do hope his followers send him enough nickels and dimes so he can order that Falcon 7-X soon. Time’s a-wastin.’
Maybe God will soon talk to me, too. Like Jesse, I ain’t gettin’ any younger. Will God tell me I need a brand-new baby-blue Cadillac? Well, I better start prayin.’ Meantime, Lordy Lordy, my faded, dented, arthritic 2001 Dodge Stratus is just gonna have to do.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.