Gospel musician Kirk Franklin addresses character, calls out televangelist for greed & former Oklahoma student for racist rant

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, |
Levi Pettit, one of the students involved in the racist video featuring Sigma Alpha Epsilon members chanting racists remarks apologizes at a news conference on Wednesday March 25. Pettit's parents previously released a statement stating their son made a mistake that did not reflect the depth of his character. | WFAA news Screenshot

ATLANTA (Christian Examiner) --A round table talk among entertainment leaders last week discussed the topic of character and led Gospel musician Kirk Franklin to challenge tomorrow's leaders and question some of today's.

"When a pastor wants people to buy him a private plane while a missionary in Somalia bathes children with sores, that's a shortage of character," Franklin wrote in a post titled The High Cost of Character on Patheos.com.

Franklin's comment is an obvious reference to pastor and televangelist Creflo Dollar who recently drew national attention after launching a $65 million campaign to replace his ministry's 30-year-old private jet.

Dollar's campaign reportedly sought 200,000 people to donate $300 to "help achieve our goal to purchase the G650 airplane," according to CNN.

"When I camouflage my "greeds" to look like "needs," that's a shortage of character," Franklin wrote and warned his readers to be leery of success that comes too easy or comprises moral integrity.

"I agree you cannot legislate morality in our culture, but you cannot avoid holding people accountable. You can't let people slide by just because they are charismatic," Franklin said.

The seven-time Grammy award winner also made reference to University of Oklahoma's Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter whose members surfaced in a racist video chant that went viral.

"When young students are comfortable enough to sing racial slurs on a bus while furthering their education to someday lead a corporation that may have minorities apply for jobs, that's a shortage of character," Franklin said.

The examples served to his point that character--or a lack there of-- "cost what it costs."

Shortly after the media blasted Creflo Dollar Ministries for the private jet campaign, the online campaign was halted altogether. Dollar has refrained from comment on the matter.

At least one student, Levi Pettit, was expelled for the racist video that also resulted in the fraternity closing its University of Oklahoma chapter. Pettit addressed the media with an apology for his actions Wednesday afternoon.