Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Human Interest

Preachers behaving badly

PREACHERS BEHAVING BADLY

This month a Miami man will be sentenced for trying to sell faked versions of paintings by well-known British artist Damien Hirst. Hirst produces "spot" paintings, which are geometrically precise pastel spots and "spin" paintings, that, you guessed it, look like paint has spun to the edges of a circular canvas. Kevin Sutherland bought what he thought were a couple of examples of Hirst's signature themes and then tried to unload them through the auction house Sotheby's in New York. Sotheby's flagged them as possibly fake, but Sutherland persisted. When an undercover officer posing as a buyer asked Sutherland if there were any problems with the provenance, Sutherland said no. What's interesting, given the deception, is that Sutherland is a pastor of the nondenominational Mosaic Miami Church, which has a nice artsy name.

We call this to your attention because pastors selling unlikely commodities seems to be a meme in the making. This year, a Polk County pastor and his wife pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false statements to obtain and smuggle firearms, specifically AK-47 rifles, that ultimately ended up in the possession of Mexican drug cartels. The couple bought dozens of weapons from various gun dealers in Polk, each time signing documents averring they were the "real buyer." Instead they turned around and sold the weapons to someone they knew as "Juan," who sold them again. Nine of the assault rifles were seized from drug cartels in Mexico.

If you know of another example of pastors pretending (to be ethical) to their flocks, please let us know. Don't bother with the sex-related stuff, because that's just too common to comment.

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