Back in March of 2015, Televangelist Creflo Dollar had the acquisition of a $65 million, highly coveted G650 private jet in his prayers. To make it happen, Dollar turned to his following: he launched the “Project G650” fundraising campaign, hoping his following of roughly 200,000 people would sponsor the effort to “spread the gospel around the world.” After months of backlash and mockery, Creflo Dollar Industries announced they would go ahead and buy the luxury private jet anyway, to continue to further the mission—because, after all, it’s what God would want.
Dollar preaches a movement known as ‘prosperity gospel’, the belief that God will reward the righteous with material wealth. “Prosperity gospel is a strain of theological practice where these individuals believe that god wants them to be prosperous, that god want them to succeed, and a direct correlation of their personal piety, of their personal righteousness in their prayer life, is that god allows them to thrive,” Reverend Emmett G. Price III said in an interview with Boston Public Radio. “In essence, it almost dictates that those of us who are not thriving aren’t doing something right.”
“It’s a level of introspection, it forces you to look in; ‘what am I doing that doesn’t allow me to become prosperous?’” Monroe said. “What it doesn’t do is that it doesn’t look at the structural problems as to why individual people are poor. It again doesn’t advocate for social change, it advocates for personal change. You can navel-gaze and never get to that answer.”