Beeb’s Newsnight Brings on Actress and Internet ‘Pastor’ to Promote May’s Brexit

More Tory bias from the Beeb, which is now angling to be the channel that hosts the debate between Tweezer and Jeremy Corbyn. On Monday, 26th November 2018, Newsnight held a studio debate over Brexit. Taking the government’s side was Lynn Hayter, wearing a dog collar, who, we were informed, was a vicar. She declared that she had been a Tory all her life, and believed the government was far better informed than we are, and so backed May.

However, the people on the Net, including Evolve Politics, soon found out that Hayter wasn’t quite what she appeared. She was an actress, who had appeared in various bit parts in EastEnders, Dickensian, The Dresser and The Chronicles.

As for being a vicar, well, no, she wasn’t. She was the Pastor of an internet church with a congregation of 69. The Rev Stevie pointed out that Pastor just meant that she was head of a church, which anyone can set up without any official registration or accreditation. And her church was ‘Seeds For Wealth Ministries’, which describes itself as a religious organization which can help people “realize, release and walk into your financial freedom in Christ. To Educate, Equip and Empower the saints.” Yes, it’s more Prosperity Gospel.

This is the name given to the type of theology which appeared in the 1980s, along with Thatcherism, Reaganomics, Yuppies and all-out corporate greed. It’s best described as a Gospel for the rich. In my experience, it’s mostly been pushed by the Evangelical, non-denominational churches. You know, the type whose members say they’re just ‘Christians’, as against all the other churches from Roman Catholics, the Orthodox churches, right down through Anglicanism, Methodism, Lutherans and the Reformed churches as all counterfeit. The idea is that if you’re a Christian, God will reward you with wealth and material goods. There’s also a New Age, pantheistic version, called Prosperity Consciousness, pushed by Deepak Chopra among other snake-oil merchants.

The Rev. Jim Bakker was also peddling this pernicious nonsense in the US before he got sent to the slammer for financial irregularities at his church. Apart from the fact that he was also having affairs with various female members of his congregation. Bakker was released from jail a few years ago, and wrote a book, denouncing Prosperity Gospel as a heresy. One of the priests at my local church here in Bristol had zero time for it. He was a prison chaplain, and he was disgusted with the way the Pastors preaching this stuff turned up, and promised the inmates that when they got out they’d have expensive cars, good housing and loads of money. But when the cons were release, they’d find there was no car, no fine house and no money waiting for them. And then somebody from the mainstream churches had to clean this psychological and theological mess up after these dodgy Pastors had done their pernicious work.

Christ doesn’t promise His followers wealth and possessions. He promises that the Lord will listen to their prayers, but He consistently condemns the rich for their greed and neglect of the poor, and champions the poor against them. As did the prophet Amos in the Old Testament/ Hebrew Bible. Other passages in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments also praise the poor against the rich, like this verse from the Psalms, which used to be recited during Evensong in the Book of Common Prayer.

He hath exalted the humble and meek
The rich he hath sent empty away.

Not a verse that would appeal to the Prosperity Gospelers, I would imagine. And some mainstream theologians will argue that Christ had very different intentions for His community and its moral life, which was at 180 degrees to the materialistic values of Roman society. As demonstrated by Christ Himself washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper, this was supposed to be a faithful community where indeed to be the first was to be the last, whose leaders were meant to serve their followers in humility, as against the kings and princes of the Roman world, who lorded it over their peoples. In fact the morals of the early Christian church were so different from that of the pagan Roman world that one Christian writer has talked about ‘the Christian Revolution’.

Back to Lynn Marina Hayter, Newsnight responded to these revelations by saying that

Claims that Lynn appeared on #newsnight as a paid actor are false. Lynn is a pastor and was a genuine participant of our Brexit debate. She carries out work as an extra using her middle name but this is not relevant to the capacity in which she appeared.

But Mike on his blog rightly described her as

So: Not a genuine priest, if by that we mean a member of a recognised church. But a genuine actor, and one known to the BBC. And the BBC is unlikely to admit trying to deceive us, so we have reason to doubt its claims.

And the internet made great sport of the fact that anyone can get themselves ordained as a Pastor over the Net, including George Galloway. Galloway described himself as ‘Monsignor’ George Galloway, parish of nowhere, diocese of Brigadoon. In this respect, Hayter’s credentials as a member of the clergy remind me of one of the characters in the Illuminatus! conspiracy novels by Michael Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, who sends out to people cards declaring that they are a genuine Pope or ‘Mome’, according to gender, and so should be treated right.

Tom Pride and others argued that such deception was a matter for resignation, and destroys any confidence that the Beeb is impartial. And Brexitshambles made the point that this was only one such incident. They said

Week after week we have a procession of scam artists appearing on @BBCNewsnight @bbcquestiontime and @SkyNews under the guise of audience participants or official commentators from opaquely funded lobbyists masquerading as educational charities….who checks these people out?

And Mike concluded his article about it by stating that following this, he doesn’t think the BBC will be at all impartial if it wins the decision to host the debate between Tweezer and Corbyn.

See: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2018/11/30/the-strange-tale-of-the-vicar-of-brexit-why-the-bbc-shouldnt-host-the-brexit-debate-part-1/

As for Prosperity Gospel, I would strongly advise anyone with a Christian faith, or feels a calling towards Christianity, to give this fraudulent theology a wide berth. It’s not traditional Christian doctrine and the churches pushing it are, in my experience, very right wing. They do want the welfare state destroyed and the NHS privatized. And I’d go so far as to say that the Pastors running this theology are scamming people.

For proper spiritual nourishment, go instead to one of the mainstream churches, like the Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists, Reformed, Quakers, whichever church, doctrinal theology and form of worship appeals to you. But make sure they teach the traditional Christianity doctrine of genuinely taking care of the poor. The Non-Denominational churches despise the traditional churches in my experience, saying that they teach ‘a social Gospel’. Well quite. This means that they hate them because they’re socially engaged, with a left-wing view of empowering the poor and minorities through state action.

If you go to a church that tries to tell you that joining them will make you rich, and you shouldn’t use the welfare resources of the state, walk out, and go to someone better.

There are plenty of churches, which are working to transform our world for the better, which haven’t swallowed and thoroughly reject this Thatcherite rubbish.

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6 Responses to “Beeb’s Newsnight Brings on Actress and Internet ‘Pastor’ to Promote May’s Brexit”

  1. sdbast Says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  2. Michelle Says:

    Hi Beastie,

    I also saw this on her Twitter stream yesterday:

    Relying on a wiki definition for her official pastor status!

    Jesus was very much concerned with the poor and the corrupt financial system in his day that oppressed people, that is read in so many of the scriptures plus there is this emphasis here:

    “Bible, Luke 4 reports that in the very first sermon that Jesus gave when he returned to Nazareth, he went to the synagogue and unrolled the scroll of Isaiah to verse 61 and said that like Isaiah, he had been sent to preach the Year of the Lord (aka the Jubilee Year) to the poor. He proclaimed “freedom for the captives, release for the prisoners, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, deror (a Clean Slate).”

    Most of Jesus’s parables concerned debt, yet this has all but been written out of history today.” Michael Hudson:

    https://inequality.org/research/debt-lessons-from-babylonia-for-student-crisis/

    • beastrabban Says:

      Thanks for this, Michelle. So Hayter has absolutely no theological qualifications, never attended a theological seminary, and hasn’t been ordained by anyone, but has decided to style herself ‘Pastor’ based on the Latin etymology. Plus the fact that she obviously wants to pass herself off as a real member of the clergy. She’s clearly a complete fraud, as the peeps on Twitter were very quick to point out.

      The passage on Inequality.org you linked to was very interesting indeed, especially as last evening I was at an Advent course led by one of the priests at our local church. He was talking about Jesus’ radically different idea of economics, that included bringing the excluded back into the community and caring for the environment. And he also mentioned that the Greek word that’s translated as ‘sin’ also means ‘debt’, and so when Levi the tax collector gives a feast for everyone as described in Mark’s Gospel, the guests described as ‘sinners’ were also ‘debtors’. And certainly the churches have been demanding Debt Jubilees to cancel the crippling debts of the countries of the Developing World.

      • Ctesias 62 Says:

        Michael Hudson also appears on Rwer blog with lots of heterodox economists.
        Re illuminatus trilogy the late Ken Campbell was on a repeated “good read” on r4extra recently! As for prosperity gospel/affluence theology. Hunt and the likes of Steve Baker (yuk) describe themselves as christians.

      • beastrabban Says:

        Thanks for this, Ctesias.

        Ken Campbell was also part of the cast of The Warp, a stage adaptation of the Illuminatus trilogy that went on for a ‘bum-numbing’ eight hours! Years ago the Fortean Times carried a review of the DVD version, which had just been released.

        As for Hunt and Baker, I can’t say I’m surprised. The Prosperity Gospel is all over politically Conservative Christianity like a nasty rash, quite apart from the fact that under Ian Duncan Smith, the DWP appears to have been stuffed with very right-wing Christians. But then, I’ve seen it argued very convincingly that Thatcherism was a political theology, rather than a straight political doctrine.

      • Michelle Says:

        Hi Beastie,

        That’s an interesting coincidence – re the advent course. If you have an interlinear bible you can see the word in Greek for debt, debtor, indebtedness. For example Matthew 6:12: ‘And forgive us our debts (opheilema) as we forgive our debtors (opheiletes).’

        The debt can mean that which is legally due and also metaphorically with sin as debt.

        In Mathew 18:32… ‘I forgave thee all that debt (opheile)’ i.e. all that is owed (in talents / money, therefore in the strict material sense).

        Like 11:4.. ‘for we also forgive everyone that is indebted (ophelio)’ likely morally and materially. These in a Vines concordance are keyed to the Strongs reference numbers 3781-3784. Hope that makes sense.

        On the character on Newsnight she has now switched her Tweets to private but I have a screenshot of her tweet to her wiki reference for pastor. I’ll email you it Beastie for your records 🙂

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