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Not Scott-free

August 07, 1994

Regarding "Pay 'n' Save" (by Glenn F. Bunting, July 10): Right or wrong, praised or condemned, televangelist Gene Scott enjoys his notoriety and financial success because, like most celebrities, he has the capacity to give the masses a sense of meaning and direction to their often aimless, empty lives.

Countless souls in this world attach themselves to the famous and infamous alike, hoping to fill the void of tedium in their daily existence. Then along comes an eccentric like Scott, and hollow lives become suddenly transformed, even for a nominal fee.

But nominal fees can add up to millions of dollars, because opportunists like Scott provide inspiration, entertainment and insight, however unorthodox or trivial, for their adoring fans and followers. Like many of his contemporaries, he is aware that there are millions of Frank Andersons and Wes Parkers who will support his views and ante up the price to do so.

For Scott and his fellow performers, this is truly the land of opportunity.

LAWRENCE M. KATES

Los Angeles

Every month, our small business donates money, sometimes money we can't afford, to three charitable organizations that help save children dying as a result of poverty, apathy and terminal diseases.

Perhaps after Scott pays for his horses, mansions and security forces, he helps people in dire need. But until he discloses to the general public where his million-dollar donations go, I wouldn't trust him farther than I could throw one of his horses.

And lest he forget, it was Jesus who threw the money changers out of the temple.

MATT GIORGI

Brea

Bunting insinuates that there is something wrong with:

--A Christian believing in the Resurrection.

--A son showing gratitude to a hospital staff that has consistently extended itself in providing care for his parents.

--A pastor being successful in taking a church out of debt.

--Expecting a politician to keep his or her word.

--Behaving in a papal manner--that is, determining to whom he will or won't grant an audience, or living a luxurious lifestyle.

Your article exercised your right to free speech. But please allow those who believe that they have been called by God to support the Scott ministry to exercise their constitutional right of free religious expression.

MRS. ROBERT P. STANFORD

Apple Valley

The identifying mark of all Christians should be love. Scott, as a Christian minister, should be rated by his adherence, or lack of it, to God's standard of love.

Truth should not be a casualty of love.

KAREN J. CHAPMAN

Marina del Rey

An ingredient is missing from Scott's empire that is the whole sum of Christ's purpose, and that is love. Is it love to ignore your followers on a personal level? Is it love to use profanity? Is violence love? Jesus himself was said to have fits of anger but always in the context of a spiritual lesson.

Giving large sums of money to charities "for the community good" does not make one more loving or closer to God.

If the true purpose of a televangelist is to share the gospel and glorify Jesus Christ, but the messenger wallows in a self-made, egotistical manipulation machine, we should be warned. It is the exposing of yet another Pharisee.

JEFF AUSTIN

Panorama City

Here's a Bible lesson you won't hear Scott preach: Jesus resorted to violence only once. He directed his wrath toward those who made profit from religion.

STEPHEN MILLS

Glendale

With all the problems in Los Angeles--crime, illegal aliens and racial tensions--you choose to print a story on Gene Scott. What you don't like is that Scott will not humble himself to you or submit himself to you for approval.

If his church makes him as rich as the Catholic Church or the Mormons, who cares?

BRAD MARTZ

Whittier

The bottom line on Scott's method of teaching is that it may not be suitable for everyone, and that's OK. But at least what you see is always what you get.

DAVID G. HOVIK

City of Commerce

To allow Scott to quote Reinhold Neibuhr in a narrow, out-of-context phrase and give the false impression that somehow Scott deserves to be associated with a man of Neibuhr's stature is despicable.

Neibuhr was an intellectual giant, a Christian who applied his Christianity to his social conscience and developed a philosophy that transcends religion, one that this pagan/agnostic can, and does, easily embrace. Scott is not worthy of comparison to Neibuhr.

JOHN LEWIS

Perris

When I buy new jeans, I enjoy that my wardrobe has been improved. I don't dwell on how the chairman of the Gap uses my money for his yacht payment.

Those who give to a church should do so as an investment based on quality teaching and fellowship with others who believe as they do. If the quality decreases, they are free to invest elsewhere.

At least give University Cathedral's members credit for being smart enough to know that.

BRYAN BOWEN

Los Angeles

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