By Beverly Gates
Televangelist Jim Bakker says he has received a revelation from God telling him that former boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who died this weekend, is now in heaven.
“Even though Ali, was a heathen, satanic Muslim throughout his life, I believe he had a deathbed conversion to Christianity,” said Bakker on his television show. “God came to me in a dream and showed me Ali sparring with Jesus in heaven.”
Ali, who was a controversial figure because of his affiliation with the Nation of Islam and refusal to serve in Vietnam, was later embraced by mainstream America.
Jack Cashill, a columnist for far-right website World Net Daily, claimed Ali had been influenced by Christianity and was a Republican.
“He traces his hour of enlightenment to ‘around 1983,’” said Cashill. “Before this moment, he confesses to biographer Tom Hauser, ‘I thought I was a true believer, but I wasn’t. I fit my religion to do what I wanted. I did things that were wrong, and chased women all the time.’ Told honestly, these accounts should read like the ‘Confessions of St. Augustine’ or the ‘Autobiography of Malcolm X’ or even the George Foreman story. They should tell a story of a life that was largely squandered on race hatred and sexual exploitation until the protagonist is blinded by the light on his own personal road to Damascus.”
According to Cashill, Ali also supported Ronald Reagan and attended the Republican National Convention.