Magazine article Insight on the News

A Morally Bankrupt Man of the Cloth

Magazine article Insight on the News

A Morally Bankrupt Man of the Cloth

Article excerpt

I feel your pain" takes on new meaning in light of the recent news about the right honorable Rev. Jesse Jackson having fathered an out-of-wedlock child, now age 2, whom we refuse to call illegitimate. It is not the innocent little girl but her rake-hell parents to whom any opprobrium belongs. One imagines Bill Clinton being counseled by Jackson in the presence of the preacher's pregnant mistress and guffawing that they should get away to Hooters instead of being stuck in the Oval Office. How Jackson and Clinton must have enjoyed swapping tales of their conquests and yukking it up before praying their wives and supporters would never get wise.

In an odd way, though, as news surfaces that Clinton cut a deal with Independent Counsel Robert Ray and admitted to lying under oath about other dalliances, Jackson stepped forward to take responsibility. Maybe the lucrative settlement he made with Karin Stanford was to keep the mistress from ratting him out to his wife and children, including Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., and his many supporters. At least he didn't send his mistress off to an abortion mill. Who knows, maybe she wouldn't go.

But as with other temptations, the devil is in the details. And this tawny Jim Bakker has yet to reveal how a humble preacher could manage to pay so much money over so long a period of time without his wife knowing about it. Then there are the still-secret legal documents used to shield the sordid affair. If, as reported, Jacqueline Jackson was outraged when she discovered the truth from reporters for the National Enquirer, and felt humiliated by it all as claimed, then this good woman who has stood by her husband through a long career of misbehavior did not know. This suggests that the Rev. Jackson did not make such payments from financial accounts that Mrs. Jackson is familiar with, such as family funds, let alone income that would have to be reported by the couple on their joint income-tax statements.

This is not an issue to pass over lightly given the amounts of "hush money" involved and the terms and conditions set up to provide for the child (and possibly the mother, too). Consider that the papers are reporting Jackson's mistress was paid $35,000 in relocation money, was set up in a $350,000 home and has received as much as $10,000 a month for the last two years or so.

By anyone's standards, that's a lot of money. But from where? If it was relocation money for the mistress to leave the Rainbow Coalition's offices on the East Coast to hide out in a new California office, did the Jackson entity pay for it? And, if so, is that a legal expenditure of organization funds, whether they derived from a tax-free, nonprofit or for-profit firm?

Those monthly payments amount to $36,000 to $110,000 per year. …

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