Words are a pale substitute for the live feed. But here we have a culmination of sorts. Here we have the power and expanse of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Founded by the Rev. Pat Robertson in 1960, CBN broadcast It’s Time to Pray, America!—a televised and amplified call to “seek God’s forgiveness and His mercy and favor”—on September 17, 1976. Part civil religion, part evangelical speech act, part promise to expose the mechanics of celebrity piety, “the soul-stirring radio-television special” invoked a God who blesses with fame and secures secular law by which fortune is accrued, a standard evangelical trope and one that begs the question of why anybody would bother to pray at all.

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