Houston fits the mould

RELIGION:

A Queensland academic specialising in church scandals says he is not surprised at the news of Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston’s resignation after admitting to inappropriate behaviour towards two women.

Professor Evan Gelical, head of religious studies at Griffith University in Brisbane, said he had spent his career researching sex scandals in the ranks of senior officials of so-called “happy clapping” churches around the world such as Hillsong.

“I did start off by including traditional churches such as the Catholic Church but realised my university tenure would need to stretch to 2095 if I were to do a job that met the required standards of academic rigour,” Professor Gelical said.

“So I have focussed my work only on the so-called ‘happy clapping’ churches – the Pentecostals and charismatics that usually run like a profit-making business and preach a form of prosperity doctrine.

“At the moment I am working on synthesising and quantifying the findings I have assembled over many decades of a variety of Australian and international research projects.”

Professor Gelical said Brian Houston would no doubt now follow a well-worn path.

“Of course he’ll seek God’s forgiveness and naturally God will give it, or at least Mr Houston will say God has spoken to him directly and forgiven him,” he said.

“So then he’ll return to his Hillsong position or, if not, maybe even start up a new company, I mean church.”

Prof. Gelical provided The Bug with an exclusive look at one of the charts he had developed based on his research to be published soon. (main picture)

“My overall findings can be expressed in a pie chart breaking down all happy-clapping church officials,” he said.

“Brian Houston falls into the yellow wedge representing 12.5% of church officials who have been exposed publicly in sexual shit storms.”

When asked about the remaining green portion of pie chart, Prof Gelical explained: “That represents the ones who just haven’t been caught yet.

“Basically my findings can be summed up very simply. Among happy-clapping churches, those in senior ranks who have spent their careers telling others how to live pure and sin-free lives, are invariably exposed as hypocrites, sex pests, adulterers, kiddie-fiddlers, or goat fuckers.

“I just need to find some high-falutin academic terms to express that before I polish off my latest paper for peer review,” Professor Gelical said.