World's Youngest Preacher: Cute or Creepy?

News 2011/08/18 14:00:00
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It's always cute when kids do grown-up things, like flying planes, crossing the treacherous ocean by themselves on a sailboat and becoming mayor for a day so they can rename streets after cutie pop singers.

But preaching?

Check out Kanon Tipton, a four-year-old Mississippi preacher who has become a YouTube phenomenon and been dubbed the "world's youngest preacher." According to the "Today" show, he's brought congregations to their feet and enchanted audiences in person and online thanks to his energetic sermons.

His sermons have been seen more than four million times online and he's made his family proud, following in the righteous path sewn by his Pentecostal preacher grandfather and father. He starred in a National Geographic Channel special called "Pint-Sized Preachers" on Wednesday and father Damon said his son's gift is spontaneous, not manufactured.

“One word comes to mind, and I believe it’s ‘phenomenon,’’’ said Damon Tipton, who explained that Kanon doesn't preach on command, but only when the mood strikes him. “I really believe it’s a phenomenon in what Kanon does. It’s very unusual. I’ve never seen anything like it.’’

Talk about starting early. Kanon first wandered onto the pulpit at age 21 months when his grandfather was finishing a sermon, imitating a preacher's motions and speaking in baby talk. Quick-thinking mother Kandi videotaped the performance and posted it on a streaming website, which promptly crashed. They put a few more on YouTube just to give their friends a laugh, but the clips went viral and a star was born.

“The Lord is here tonight — and his name is Jesus!’’ he preaches in one clip. “There’s only one God.’’ Wearing a tiny suit, Kanon does it all: mop his brow with a handkerchief, tear off his little jacket and jump passionately up and down.

Asked if he's just mimicking his pops or really working up his own emotion, dad Damon said it's a bit of both. “Yes, children absorb whatever you put in front of them (and) all of his life thus far, he’s been around the ministry. Of course he is mimicking, but I do feel like the hand of God is on him in a special way," he said.
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Top Opinion

  • ladyfyre 2011/08/18 15:15:35
    At that age, preaching is being little more than a puppet for the adults who taught you to "perform" than anything truly spiritual or authentic. The adults who taught this should be ashamed of themselves, but frankly, probably aren't.

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  • Currdog 2012/05/27 13:24:59
    I doubt he has any clue what he is talking about.
  • Sean McDonald 2012/01/07 08:21:38
    Sean McDonald
    proof of religious brainwashing
  • Bocephus 2011/12/14 18:14:53
  • BostonAtheist 2011/11/11 09:01:06
    So creepy! The kid obviously has no idea what is going on. I can't decide what is worse, that fact that he is just yelling gibberish, or the "Adults" cheering him on, and some of them, probably most of them actually believe that their 'God' is speaking through him. *SIGH*
  • Nicholas DeShane 2011/11/03 11:53:02
    Nicholas DeShane
    There really needs to be a both option.
  • Carlos Carrillo 2011/09/27 18:36:29
    Carlos Carrillo
    Years ago there was a similar kid called Marjo Gortner. He also started at the age of 4. His parents made a ton of money off him. When he got to his teens he lost his faith partly because of all the BS surrounding him.
    He helped make the 1972 Academy Award winning documentary about his life and how he scammed people. He tried Rock n' Roll for awhile as I remember.

    So be careful, we may be looking at another exploited kid.

    Back in the 19th century when the State Church of Sweden forbade unauthorized preaching little kids began to head the revival. They wouldn't be thrown in jail.
  • caroline 2011/09/10 20:28:09
    proof of brainwashing
  • rusty 2011/09/09 00:35:05
    It makes more sense to dress him up as an adult film star and enter him in a pagent.
  • Dolly 2011/09/05 20:14:31
    Children deserve to be children and not pushed into being adults before their time. I think some religions press kids into adult service before their time, we don't need to see children preaching to adults or being turned into missionaries before they can really understand what they are doing.
  • Michaela 2011/09/01 11:51:56
    Sorry, but when I saw him do the whole 'preachie' thing, I was actually scared...

    Sure the kid might have some fun but the whole thing kinda creeps me out
  • YO 2011/08/31 08:02:02
    I hope some of the $ the kid makes for the church goes into a trust fund of some kind for the kid as he gets older. I thought there were laws about child labor.
  • TheeRockenbow 2011/08/31 00:27:23
    its cute but creepy lool
  • PBSnoThechannel 2011/08/29 16:28:00
    It's almost cute. Kids will be kids, and IMO that's all this one is doing, ironically as he gets older I bet he'll probably be disillusioned by organized religion. Anyway, what makes this creepy is all the attention he gets from these "rational" Christians who think they're God would bother to channel his message through a child
  • lynda 2011/08/29 00:46:54
    He can like only read a few words in the Bible. Another religious gimmick. When will ppl look into the Bible themselves and find out what's really happening? Make him the CEO of a large corporation instead of deciphering the Word of God.
  • Clare Marie 2011/08/28 14:27:22
    Clare Marie
    I think he should just stick in Sunday School and let the adults handle this one.
  • urwutuis 2011/08/28 13:08:31
  • capoeirakid 2011/08/27 17:57:50
    Way to go, Kanon. Religion is important.
  • coolslayer 2011/08/27 08:02:44
    Only a brainwashed "christian" would think this was "cute".
  • InFinIte NnTroPe 2011/08/27 06:15:40
    InFinIte NnTroPe
    @ all of you who said "Cute", you are ALL CREEPY
  • CodeBlonde 2011/08/25 20:57:50
    aww :) well, the way he's talking is is a little creepy when he whispers into the mic, but he just wants to be like his daddy, it's really sweet.

    I can see how someone could chalk it up to him being a great actor/mimicker, but he doesn't seem very outgoing in regular life situations. Maybe the Holy Spirit is truly moving him to get up there and bring joy to all the people in his life. An early start in becoming one of God's vessels and hopefully an admirable future preacher. :)
  • charles 2011/08/24 18:31:21
  • bettyboop 2011/08/24 14:45:02
    I think it is sweet that he is spreading the word.
  • coolslayer bettyboop 2011/08/27 08:00:47
    You mean the brainwashing.
  • bettyboop coolslayer 2011/08/31 14:49:25
    I do not see it as brainwashing.........but that is the beauty of being a human....each of us is entitled to our own opinion, ideals and beliefs.
  • coolslayer bettyboop 2011/09/12 14:12:28
    It's brainwashing.
  • AHopefulAgnostic 2011/08/24 14:20:06
    Indoctrinating young innocent minds with religious hogwash and having them regurgitate it perverts said innocent minds.
  • HBO 2011/08/24 01:46:36 (edited)
    I've not seen these videos, when I get home I'll look him up. But my first thought is that the only phenomenon here is his memory and his ability to mimic other ministers. That's pretty remarkable. But those words are way beyond a four year olds understanding and comprehension. I have a 3 & 5 year old and while theyre pretty smart and have really extensive vocabularies there's no way they could come up with a sermon off the top of their heads and have out make any type of.sense unless they were copying something from tv or a movie. Even then I would be really impressed if out were more than a few sentences.This kids probably just putting together bits and pieces of phrases he's heard his entire four years. So I'd say yah his memory is pretty incredible but I doubt he understands most of what hes saying. He might have a very successful acting career !
  • Get Bashed 2011/08/24 00:52:54
    Get Bashed
    CREEPY...people should just allow their children make there own decisions regarding religious beliefs. Shoving this down their throats is no different than the way Native Americans had to learn about God, Jesus Christ and all religion. If this is in the belief system of the parents, well so be it, but have some faith that the child will to choose the same and just leave them be.
  • Earthling 2011/08/23 21:02:28
    No way this four-year-old has any idea about what he's saying. Filling a child's head with this kind of nonsense is silly. Fortunately, most of the fairy tales kids like this learn are dispelled by the time they are 12 or so. Unfortunately, this particular fairy tale has a tendency to be perpetuated.
  • Van de velde Ben 2011/08/23 17:27:26
    Van de velde Ben
    This kid has probably been brain wasched. Amasing what parents can do with theire one children.
  • Dan Aptekar 2011/08/23 16:33:34
    Dan Aptekar
    Lets shove Jesus Down Everyone's throat so that they can't make their own decisions regarding god.
  • Nikki Jones 2011/08/23 14:41:18
    Nikki Jones
    this is disgusting
  • David 2011/08/23 03:31:09
    Not creepy but sad. As a child you soak everything up like a sponge and unfortunately some things just stick with you and are hard to get out.
  • coach k 2011/08/22 23:07:01
    coach k
    who's child is this they should be ashamed doing there kid this way.
  • SmileyGiraffe 2011/08/22 22:33:31
  • devilchild.ryan48 2011/08/22 21:50:02
  • mimi 2011/08/22 20:39:32
    It's cute but does he know what he's talking about or is he just mimicking.
  • David mimi 2011/08/23 03:27:11
    At his age he is just mimicking. Once he gets older he'll really start to think about what he's doing.
  • chas 2011/08/22 19:16:59
  • Super ludum 2011/08/22 17:00:51
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