Monday, October 08, 2007

The Voice

Amidst the tumult Roberts heard as from afar
Ancestral voices demanding denial of all charges

-with apologies to Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Back in the 1980s, Oral Roberts once told his viewers that God would strike him down if his supporters did not send him $8 million bucks within a year. As with so many evangelistic rock stars, it seems the Roberts' have a thing about money. Of course that the money appeared for Oral and that God has yet to destroy the 89 year old retiree, proves to the great irrational masses that God does keep his promises.

Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart were brought low however and no doubt because despite their promises, they had spent the hundreds of millions they made on prostitutes, the low life and shady investments rather than paying protection money to God. Bakker was sentenced to 45 years for fraud, although God's voice told Swaggart that none of this was our business and after a few setbacks, he continues to rake in the money of the poor.

Pat Robertson had his problems with money too, the feds having suggested that using his many millions to invest in gold mining operations with some of Africa's worst dictators wasn't kosher, so to speak. The late Jerry Falwell, who took over the Bakker family racket after Bakker's arrest, milked what was left of the organization into bankruptcy and in 1989 dissolved his Moral Majority "ministry," as well.

Falwell's Liberty University, the school that has supplied so many morally bankrupt graduates to the Bush administration's justice department, was also milked, bilked and skimmed into a $110,000,000 debt and eventual bankruptcy. It shouldn't be a big surprise then that Richard Roberts, heir to the Roberts' money machine and ministry has now heard the same voice his father heard demanding money, only this time the Voice says "deny the allegations."

Those allegations of lavish and unrestrained use of university funds to finance a life style appropriate to the richer and holier than all of us can be written off, says Roberts to our "litigious" [pronouncing it wrong] society and to intimidation, blackmail and extortion. That's not quite the same as saying he didn't steal the money.

The allegations come from three professors, fired, as they claim, for blowing the whistle on Robert's illegal involvement in a political contest. Other accusations include special relationships between Mrs. Roberts and a number of underage male students who received cell phones at the schools expense which phones frequently received late night text messages to the tune of $800 per month.

The list of the Roberts family expenses, which would be enough to make Caligula's accountant faint, is a long one, and at first glance would seem singularly offensive considering his holier than God attitude and his tax exempt status, but perhaps if he can scrape together another 8 million bucks, or whatever the street price for salvation is these days, God will wash it away.

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