900′-tall Jesus steps on Oral Roberts

And another one bites the dust. What a card that God is! He tells Oral that Oral will be summarily killed if the money isn’t raised to keep his faith healing center afloat. And so Oral gets the money, and then the center shuts down three years later anyway! Then God waits until the fellow is basically decades older than the average human life expectancy, and kills him then, without a warning or cash extortion attempt of any kind. God, you joker you!

Oh, well, actually, God was never involved in any part of it. Oral was just another huckster who struck it rich exploiting ignorance and gullibility, and enjoyed the sort of long and prosperous life that, if we lived in a just world, honest people would be more entitled to. But I suspect even Oral wasn’t as shady as the federally-investigated Kenneth Copeland, seen below administering a kind of Christian rolfing to the ORU patriarch. If you wish to commemorate Oral’s passing by captioning/LOLing this, we won’t stop you.



Addendum: Here’s mine. Forgive me. (In the event it gets flagged and taken down as “inappropriate,” I’ve taken a screenshot.)

DEAR LORD, GIVE UNTO THIS MAN A PITA BREAD SANDWICH

And another morally superior Christian goes down in disgrace…

Okay okay, the snark in the headline may have been overkill, since I do believe the whole discussion with Rhology about the presumed necessity of theism as a prerequisite for morality has reached its end. But it never ceases to fascinate me, that the people in our society who most frequently suffer humiliation and public disgrace are those whose public reputation for devout religiosity is most prominent.

Richard Roberts, whose every command God is reported to have told at least one ORU regent to obey without question, has resigned effective immediately from ORU’s presidency. The whole Roberts clan were exposed as having misappropriated university money for their own private use, living lavishly on the backs of their student body and faculty. Sleazy is as sleazy does. That a fundamentalist “university” has been exposed as just another money-making scam by those who subscribe to the “prosperity gospel” is, I suppose, not surprising. But it is depressing that, in the 21st century, religion still continues to hold human culture back from true enlightenment and progress, enabling venality and selfish excess under the justification that if you’re Godly, you’re forgiven already through Jesus’ “sacrifice” — so live it up!

And now, for an example of that superior Christian morality in action, we take you to ORU…

Okay, so we all remember the recent series of scandals that has rocked Oral Roberts University in recent weeks, do we not? You know, where Richard Roberts and his family are accused of all manner of financial improprieties, as well as such sleazy activity as having ORU staff do their daughter’s homework for her? Well, I thought this would be an excellent example to put Rhology’s claims (see previous post) that Christian morality has a bulletproof foundation in God’s word, whereas atheist morality has no basis to distinguish right from wrong at all, to the test. What, exactly, was God’s word to ORU regents while the Roberts clan was skimming the university piggy bank for all they could get? Well, according to Chairman George Pearson, God was evidently an accomodating kinda guy.

When George Pearsons accepted the position of chairman of the ORU regents in May, he said in an address to the board: “I am standing here today because the Lord clearly spoke to me and said, ‘Do whatever Richard Roberts asks you to do,’” according to a copy of the address.

Wow. Carte blanche to do whatever. What a sound system of morals that is! God says it, I do it, that settles it. So if Richard Roberts decided, oh, “Let’s fly my daughter and a bunch of her friends to Florida on an expensive senior trip, and charge the whole thing to the university,” then that’s okay by God. And if we picky atheists raise our hands and say anything like, “Uh, hey, isn’t that a little dishonest and unethical, and possibly also illegal?” …Well, what do we know? All we live by are our “personal preferences,” and why should anyone else have to follow those if they don’t want to?

Heh. It’s always fun to have some pompous Christian turn up proclaiming the moral superiority of all Christians based on an ancient holy book, only to have the wind taken out of his sails by the mendacious and disreputable behavior of some of the most prominent Christians in our culture.

It’s clear that in the real world, the only people rooting their moral behaviors in their “personal preferences” are the ones shouting their Christianity from the rooftops. They just tell themselves that anything they do is all pre-approved by God, and alakazam, wrong is right, war is peace, and freedom is slavery. And it’s not like God can come down and correct them when he only exists in their minds, created in their own image. Christianity’s “morality” is like getting a Visa card with no spending limit, and someone else paying the bills every month, so that you never have to learn to be responsible on your own.

I know, you’re shocked, aren’t you?

Word is getting around about the stupefying level of corruption and sleaze over at Oral Roberts “University”. You know old Oral. He’s the con man who told everyone God would kill him if he didn’t raise $8 million, and got the money, demonstrating conclusively that when it comes to getting filthy rich, there’s no sleaze so great it won’t sell. Well, the sleaze just got sleazier.

The internal document was prepared by Stephanie Cantese, Richard Roberts’ sister-in-law, according to the lawsuit. An ORU student repairing Cantese’s laptop discovered the document and later provided a copy to one of the professors. It details dozens of alleged instances of misconduct. Among them:

  • A longtime maintenance employee was fired so that an underage male friend of Mrs. Roberts could have his position.
  • Mrs. Roberts – who is a member of the board of regents and is referred to as ORU’s “first lady” on the university’s Web site – frequently had cell-phone bills of more than $800 per month, with hundreds of text messages sent between 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. to “underage males who had been provided phones at university expense.”
  • The university jet was used to take one daughter and several friends on a senior trip to Orlando, Fla., and the Bahamas. The $29,411 trip was billed to the ministry as an “evangelistic function of the president.”
  • Mrs. Roberts spent more than $39,000 at one Chico’s clothing store alone in less than a year, and had other accounts in Texas and California. She also repeatedly said, “As long as I wear it once on TV, we can charge it off.” The document cites inconsistencies in clothing purchases and actual usage on TV.
  • Mrs. Roberts was given a white Lexus SUV and a red Mercedes convertible by ministry donors.
  • University and ministry employees are regularly summoned to the Roberts’ home to do the daughters’ homework.
  • The university and ministry maintain a stable of horses for exclusive use by the Roberts’ children.
  • The Roberts’ home has been remodeled 11 times in the past 14 years.

Tim Brooker, one of the professors who sued, said he fears for the university’s survival if certain changes aren’t made.

It’s hard to imagine which of these is the most meretricious. That Mrs. Roberts appears to be a closet pederast? (What is she texting underage males in the middle of the night for, anyway? Football scores?) That the Roberts family shows their dedication to quality education at their “university” by forcing employees to do their own kids’ homework? That the place even has a “university jet”? Or, echoing the amusing remarks I’ve seen from women in other sites’ comment threads, why, if Mrs. Roberts was going to piss away 39 grand of misappropriated funds buying clothes, she’d do it at a place like Chico’s?

I personally hope Tim Brooker’s fears are realized, and that these revelations finally shut down the farcical ORU for good. Now if we could only unearth similarly scandalous behavior over at Liberty “University” and Bob Jones “University”, we could start to put a serious dent in the plague of fundamentalist miseducation and influence in this country once and for all.