From The Huffington Post:
From church closings and foreclosures of houses of worship across the nation to the limited number of clergy jobs for new rabbis, imams and pastors, the recession has hit religious Americans just as it has affected the tens of millions of the country’s jobless.
Even before the recession, most spiritual leaders of small towns and big cities across the United States earned meager salaries, with annual pay for Catholic priests and imams ranging from $25,000 to $30,000and the average Protestant pastor making $40,000 a year, according to a recent survey.
Yet, even in difficult times, some churches and pastors are soaring. While not a definitive guide, HuffPost Religion has has compiled a slideshow of some of the best paid pastors in America. For several, their high income comes not only from employment as pastors, but also from TV appearances, book sales and charity management.
For the lucky few, being a pastor can mean being a multi-millionaire.
These guys are showman preying (lol pun) on an entire culture that is ready made for them.
It’s sad that there’s so many people out there who are willing to listen to charlatans like this, and sad ever more so that they are willing to donate money to fill the bank accounts of those essentially using religion as a means to become rich.
Formerly apolitical preachers in states like Iowa, backed by astute organizers and big donors, are mobilizing congregations for the election.
Reporting from Ames, Iowa—
For most of his two decades as a preacher, Iowa pastor Mike Demastus eschewed partisanship, telling colleagues and congregants that “religion and politics don’t mix.”
But there he was last month in Ames, making his way across the festive grounds of the Republican presidential straw poll, mingling with political operatives and candidates as he spoke openly about his preference for Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
He wasn’t alone. The straw poll drew a slew of previously apolitical Iowa pastors — a constituency increasingly heeding a call to speak out on politics.
“There is a concerted assault on everything that we consider sacred — and we pastors need to move to the forefront of the battle,” saidDemastus, wearing a T-shirt and shorts for the Saturday event.
Demastus is part of a growing movement of evangelical pastors who are jumping into the electoral fray as never before, preaching political engagement from the pulpit as they mobilize for the 2012 election.
This new activism has substantial muscle behind it: a cadre of experienced Christian organizers and some of the conservative movement’s most generous donors, who are setting up technologically sophisticated operations to reach pastors and their congregations in battleground states.