Wealthy televangelist defends using private aircraft in viral exchange

Wealthy televangelist defends using private aircraft in viral exchange

A prominent televangelist who has come under fire for his use of extravagant planes has reaffirmed his need for private jets, saying, “It’s a biblical thing.”

Kenneth Copeland, a Texas-based preacher, in 2015 defended his use of private planes, saying that you can’t “talk to God” while flying on a commercial airline.

He’s also said one “can’t manage that today, in this dope-filled world, get in a long tube with a bunch of demons.”

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Last month, in an exchange with a magazine reporter that’s since gone viral, Copeland was pressed on his past statements and asked if he really believed humans are demons, The Washington Post reports.

“No, I do not, and don’t you ever say I did,” Copeland told Inside Edition reporter Lisa Guerrero. “It’s a biblical thing, it’s a spiritual thing, it doesn’t have anything to do with people. People? I love people. Jesus loves people. But people get pushed in alcohol. Do you think that’s a good place for a preacher to be and prepare to preach?”

The questioning comes more than a year after Copeland said he’d bought a jet — one of three he reportedly owns — from Tyler Perry and has spurred additional questions surrounding the lavish lifestyles of many preachers.

“They’re wrong,” he told Guerrero. “It’s a misunderstanding of the Bible that ... if you go into the old covenant, do you think the Jewish people believe you should be broke?”

“But when you go back to the Bible, it’s full of wealth,” he added. “And it’s full of miracles and signs and wonders, and it’s full of goodness, and it’s full of meanness. It’s full of hell on earth. Those are the demons, not the people. I love the people.”