Friday, October 5, 2007

Oral Roberts Scandal

I was a very young kid when Oral Roberts (the man, not the university) was telling everyone that God told him to raise millions of dollars for this and that, including himself. I actually remember seeing him on TV from time to time. Probably because my dad was very irritated with his false religious claims. Sadly, gullible people handed in the dough and he often raised his millions. He and other televangelists such as Jimmy Bakker, helped blacken the eye of Christianity in general, because of their blatant thirst for money.

Now Oral Roberts University, and his son are embroiled in scandal again. Behind the scandal again is money, and this time the misuse of such funds for many personal and political benefits. Stories like this really irritate me because often this is the only view people see of religious people. Many naysayers will point to these men, and the scandals behind them as proof there is no God and so on. This is the beginning of this particular scandal, and time will tell if many of the allegations are true. However, people will use this to boost their skepticism.

Here are some of the allegations in a lawsuit filed:
• 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.


N said...


N said...

Andrew, this is Nathanael. I am not sure that you will read this since it is based on an older entry on your page. I enjoy your candor and the freedom you seem to exhibit with sharing your views on whatever topic. I think I largely agree with you (on all thus far, as in the last month of your entries--which is all that I have read to this point).

It is unfortunate that Christians make the news most often when they commit sins, huh? Perhaps it is a representation of the state of Christianity today. The question is, what part of Christianity am I presenting to others?