A journalist's confrontation with a televangelist has gone viral, bringing televangelism and its most prosperous preachers under public scrutiny once again.
Texas televangelist Kenneth Copeland came under fire this weekend for viral statements defending his lifestyle, including his ownership of three private jets.
Upon their first interaction in Branson, Missouri, Lisa Guerrero, an investigative journalist for news magazine Inside Edition, asked Copeland about his planes.
"That's really none of your business," he told her.
Copeland then justified his jet-setting by arguing that he would not be able to preach globally without them.
"If I flew commercial, I'd have to stop 65% of what I'm doing," he told her.
Among Copeland's collection is a plane purchased from producer and filmmaker Tyler Perry last year, which Copeland added in the interview was "so cheap to buy, I couldn't have not bought it."
Copeland also owns an airport close to his ministry in Fort Worth, Texas.
The viral moment arrived when Copeland seemed visibly angry after being pressed about a statement in 2015, where he described flying commercial as getting "in a long tube with a bunch of demons" to fellow televangelist Jesse Duplantis.
"Do you really believe that human beings are demons?" Guerrero asked.
"No, I do not, and don't you ever say that I did," he responded, pointing a finger at the journalist.
Duplantis himself has been scrutinized for telling his followers to fund a new jet, which he says was ordained by God himself.
After Copeland boasted about his wealth — including his wardrobe and his natural gas-filled properties — Guerrero asked for a response to critics who believe that preachers shouldn't live so lavishly.
"They're wrong," Copeland responded, invoking his mentor Oral Roberts' teachings of the prosperity gospel. "Do you think the Jewish people believed you should be broke?"
“Are you saying that Jewish people appreciate money more?” Guerrero asked.
“They believe in wealth,” Copeland said, to which she replied, “Some people would find that offensive."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'None of your business': A televangelist defending his private jets goes viral