To the People

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

José Luis De Jesús Miranda is Latest Son of God

If you took some selected quotes from Pat Robertson, Jim Jones, Aerosmith, and Adam Ant and threw them in a blender, the result would come pretty close to pastor José Luis De Jesús Miranda's philosopy.
Pastors usually don't travel in armored vehicles, preach on a stage flanked by undercover guards, and spend $350,000 a year on security.

But José Luis De Jesús Miranda isn't just a pastor: He says he's Jesus Christ incarnate.

A round-faced, affable and youthful-looking 61-year-old from Puerto Rico, De Jesús has emerged as a powerful and deeply polarizing figure in a religious landscape dominated by charismatic televangelists and politically savvy megachurch pastors.

De Jesús is neither of those. He doesn't preach about helping the poor or aligning society with Christian values. Rather, he teaches that sin and the devil don't exist, and that his followers already are spiritually perfect.

'I don't deal with the flesh, I don't deal with `walk this way, dress this way, don't drink, don't smoke,' '' he said in an interview. ``Christianity doesn't prohibit anything.''

His congregants call him Apostle, Daddy, God, the Man Christ Jesus and, most recently, ''Antichrist,'' a title that De Jesús says he adopted to signify that he has replaced Jesus of Nazareth. Opponents call him an opportunist, a charlatan, a false prophet and even "the beast.''

Despite growing criticism from mainstream churches, De Jesús -- a one-time teenage heroin addict who claims thousands of followers in the United States and Latin America -- hasn't backed down from his quest to form ''God's government on Earth,'' one that would install him as universal head of state.

[Ellipsis]

De Jesús and his followers see such criticism as fulfillment of a biblical prophecy that the world would reject the second coming of Christ. They've responded with increasingly bellicose rhetoric. For example, De Jesús predicts natural disasters will strike countries that ban him.
President Bush, no doubt, is already trying to get Iran and North Korea to ban De Jesús. More here.

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