For the last few months, local radio has advertised a “Get Motivated” seminar to be held in Hartford (CT) in the 9th of September. Well, the seminar was held … and was successful … but it turned to have been in disguise, as the Hartford Courant reports (locally-cached article):

Laura Bush, Rudy Giuliani, Colin Powell and Joe Montana didn’t come to the XL Center Wednesday to pitch products or services. They just told stories.

But the celebrities — along with cheap ticket prices — helped draw an overflow crowd for “Get Motivated!,” a one-day event billed as a business seminar that, unbeknown to many attendees beforehand, doubled as a sales pitch for costly investment seminars and other products, and for Christian evangelism. …

Not everyone who attended the event, which flooded downtown Hartford with about 19,000 people, cared for the overt religious proselytizing.

“To be perfectly honest with you, it pissed me off,” said Bill White of Westfield, Mass., who helps manage a CVS store in Bloomfield. “I have my own beliefs and I don’t like it when somebody tries to shove it down my throat.”

White said he felt misled by the event’s advertisements, which emphasize business skill development, increasing profits and overcoming challenges, but make no mention at all of religion. “I almost feel like I’ve been lied to,” he said.

Event officials declined to discuss the event’s religious aspect.

That’s odd, because one of the event’s organizers said something else:

“The real superstar is Jesus Christ,” intoned Tamara Lowe, who with her husband, Peter, runs Get Motivated! Seminars Inc., the Florida company behind Wednesday’s event and similar events throughout the country.

If the real star of your shows is Jesus, Ms Lowe, why would you not have mentioned that in your ads? And why would your organization now be clamming up about the event’s religiosity?

Look, if you want to hold a revival service, fine. Hold one. It’s a free country. Have at it! Just don’t package it as something else, reel people in, then shovel a whole lot of religious propaganda at them. Deception isn’t very Christian!

I’m surprised to hear that Rudy Giuliani, of all people, would be involved with a scheme like this. He had once been the front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2008 … but his campaign had been torpedoed by the Religious Right, e.g. James Dobson, then head of Focus on the Family and commander-in-chief of the Protestant evangelical movement, who said he was unacceptable as a candidate. I would not have thought Giuliani would get involved in religiosity of this kind.

But he did anyway.

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