Senate investigating 6 Televangelistic Ministries

Mengus22
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Senate investigating 6 Televangelistic Ministries

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/06/cbsnews_investigates/main3456977.shtml

From the article:

CBS News has learned Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is investigating six prominent televangelist ministries for possible financial misconduct.

Letters were sent Monday to the ministries demanding that financial statements and records be turned over to the committee by December 6th.

According to Grassley's office, the Iowa Republican is trying to determine whether or not these ministries are improperly using their tax-exempt status as churches to shield lavish lifestyles.

The six ministries identified as being under investigation by the committee are led by: Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn. Three of the six - Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar - also sit on the Board of Regents for the Oral Roberts University. 
 


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Good. I hope this isnt lip

Good. I hope this isnt lip service, I do hope something is actually done to stop all these con artists.

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Quote: According to

Quote:
According to Grassley's office, the Iowa Republican is trying to determine whether or not these ministries are improperly using their tax-exempt status as churches to shield lavish lifestyles.

We have a winner for the "Well, Duh" award of the day!

Sic em' Senator!

 

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And a Republican from Iowa

And a Republican from Iowa is investigating, no less. Can't get much more conservative than a Midwestern Republican.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

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Good fuck i can't believe

Good fuck i can't believe Grassley (i live in iowa) is ding this. Seem so anti-grassley imo.


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Given that Creflo Dollar's

Given that Creflo Dollar's World Changers mega-church is a local fixture (and blemish) of Atlanta, I'm glad to see this happening to him.  Most of his congregation are poor black people who are forced to make donation pledges and keep them up.  From what I've been told by former members the consequences of not sticking to your donation pledge every week/month is ostracisation for failing to support the faith.  Also frowned upon... not giving "enough" when you have the money to give.

This bastard fleeces the black community in Atlanta, draining savings, and preventing college funds starting or anything else that a person might do to better their families with some extra money.  All the while he drives around in shiny new cars, flies a jet to speaking engagements, wears the finest suits, owns multiple houses and mansions, and continues to preach the gospel of "God will provide prosperity to the faithful."

The only one being provided with prosperity is "Brother" Dollar, but by his people, not by god.

*rant mode off* I gets a little worked up by that prick.   I see the families that he rips off every day.  Thinking about what he's getting away with is like driving rage-nails into my skull.

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Nice to see these thieves

Nice to see these thieves are being investigated......


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Hey all - Please e-mail

Hey all -

Please e-mail your state's Senators - Dem and Repub - and ask them to support the investigation.

I've posted a how-to and a letter in Rational Activism.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/the_rational_response_squad_radio_show/rational_activism/11054

It should take you a grand total of 5 minutes.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

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I heard on CBS this morning

I heard on CBS this morning that one of the six being investigated spent 23,000 dollars on a toilet.

Nero(in response to a Youth pastor) wrote:

You are afraid and should be thus.  We look to eradicate your god from everything but history books.  We bring rationality and clear thought to those who choose lives of ignorance.  We are the blazing, incandescent brand that will leave an "A" so livid, so scarlet on your mind that you will not go an hour without reflecting on reality.


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geirj wrote: Please e-mail

geirj wrote:

Please e-mail your state's Senators - Dem and Repub - and ask them to support the investigation.

 

Done!  I'm actually moving states, so I emailed Senators from both states. 

This could actually be a big deal.  I know that more than six are guilty of this, and it would be nice to see the government actually regulate these crooks.   

"They always say the same thing; 'But evolution is only a theory!!' Which is true, I guess, and it's good they say that I think, it gives you hope that they feel the same about the theory of Gravity and they might just float the f**k away."


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As a theist, I'm as happy

Forums   Freethinking Anonymous A haven for those who are without a belief in god, to discuss theorize, think freely, and debate any issue. No taboo issue in here. NO THEISTS ALLOWED IN THIS FORUM. THEIST POSTS WILL BE DESTROYED.

We could really use another Crusade...


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Wes wrote: As a theist,

Wes wrote:

As a theist, I'm as happy about this as most of the rest of you guys are. I'm especially glad to see Paula White's name included. I lived in Tampa for a while and heard first hand stories of her (and her husband's) extravagant lifestyles, supported on the backs of some of Tampa's poorest residents. WOO HOO for investigations.

wes.

I am all for capitalism, but I am also for honesty. It is dishonest for any private business or private church, in any case to conduct a scam. I do believe in the privacy of concious free from government interferance, even for the believer.

But when it is blatantly obvious that people who make claims about helping society are really helping themselves claiming not to be capitalistic but live like they are and ARE behaiving like a busness, that makes them liers.

It is not the fact that they believe in fiction and want donation to suport that fiction. It is that they pretend and lie and say that they are not in it for the money, but have decadent houses and giant plasma screens in the churchs while those who allow them to do this send them their last buck when they could be buing themselves food or pay bills.

6 billion people are not all going to be atheists. But noone should put up with liers who propigate scams who live off the backs of the poor. 

Megga churches are in it for the money and political power. They are no different than McDonnalds or Macys. If you behaive like a business, you should be taxed like a business.

Christians will cry pursicution but they are full of shit. This post where this theist agrees with me SHOWS that both the atheist and theist agree that lying to make a buck in the name of religion is immoral.

 WE ARE NOT OUT TO OPRESS RELIGION via government force. Our position that a deity by any name is made up. is a position that we are confident can be debated and defended through the free market of ideas. 

I thank this theist for standing with us against con artists.  These modern scams are no different than the "endulgances" of the middle ages.

To the people that prop up these "Jesus Incorperated Fortune 500" companies, your mouths need to be feed and your electricity needs to be on and your car payments need to be made. You need to keep that money for yourself. And for those with the spare cash, insted of giving it to them to make them rich, give it directly to the people in need. Next time you see a psalm on that giant screen, ask yourself "How many people could the cost of that feed if they hadn't baught it?"

Oscar Shindler saved lives and is a real humanitarian. Pat Roberson cares about one thing and one thing only, lining his pockets and playing politics. These are nothing but CEO's pretending to be holy.

Once again, to this theist, dispite our dissagreement  on the existance of a diety(seperate subject) THANK YOU for showing other  theists (Christians especially) that they are being scamed.

 

 

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Wes
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Oh boy brian, you hit a

Forums   Freethinking Anonymous A haven for those who are without a belief in god, to discuss theorize, think freely, and debate any issue. No taboo issue in here. NO THEISTS ALLOWED IN THIS FORUM. THEIST POSTS WILL BE DESTROYED.

We could really use another Crusade...


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I once saw a documentary

I once saw a documentary about Benny Hinn, and there was a 10 second footage clip of his financial office in Grapevine, Texas.

 

Guess what, his office is on my street ! I couldn't believe that a famously scandalous televangelist did work less than 100 yards from my home. I ocassionally see his yellow lambourghini around town, and I ocassionally walk by his office to look at the huge mural of Jesus plastered in the front lobby. I can never enter the building though, because they have armed guards standing at the gates 24/7.


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update

It looks like some of the ppl. under investigation are testing the waters on the argumentthat examining their finances is an infringement of their religious rights:

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20071112/30056_Ministers_Question_Senate_Probe%2C_Defend_Prosperity.htm

Not surprising.  But I'd be even more surprised if these guys--with their expensive lawyers and accountants--violated any existing laws in any traceable ways.  I think everybody learned an important lesson about covering their assets from Jim Baker.   More likely, the investigators will find no wrongdoing, but the abuses will inspire new regulations.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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"Without a doubt, my life

"Without a doubt, my life is not average," Dollar said. "But I'd like to say, just because it is excessive doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong."

I'm practically speechless. The fact that a lightning bolt didn't come down from heaven and kill this guy where he stands is just about proof that God doesn't exist.

Kenneth Behr, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), says Grassley is being very careful in his inquiry, not going into doctrinal issues and whether the prosperity churches are doctrinally sound. Behr, who has dubbed the probe "The Grassley Six," says the government has the right to be able to look into churches and their financial records and that they are all held to the same standard as other nonprofit groups.

Held to the same standard, except for the fact that they aren't required to file tax returns every year with the IRS like almost every other non-profit is.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

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This is a particularly

This is a particularly egregious case of that phenomenon Dawkins and Dennett both point out of religions demanding impunity from any critical examination purely on the basis of the fact that they are religions.

The mixing of the doctrinal argument "God wants us to be wealthy" is especially insidious since it blurs the claim for normal accountability with an appeal to free exercise of religion.

But prosperity gospel in general doesn't seem to me to be a particularly "fit" meme in the marketplace of competing ideas. It really only appeals in the long term to a very small cross-section of people (rich people who are also active protestants and feel guilty about being rich). Unless it has some kind of mechanism for retaining a steady base of poorer and middle-class people, I think it's headed for extinction.

If the responses of the people on Christian Post are any indicator, it's already pretty unpopular.  These hearings might be the start of the socio-political immune system waking up to the infection.

[edit--added another thought] 

I mean, I can see how prosperity gospel appeals to working-class people in the short term.  Even Pat Robertson, not a PG guy, uses the old argument of "give us money and God will reward you with even more money," and the convention of testimonials from people who were bankrupt but kept up their tithes and were rewarded by getting rich.  So it appeals to the same psychological dynamic as lotteries and supersitious "insurance" behaviors. 

But over the long term, as people give more and more money and persist in not getting rich year after year, it seems like the fantasy would have to break down after a certain point, either necessitating some kind of periodic reward schedule or requiring a constant turnover of disillusioned people for new, clueless hopefuls.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Urm...why are we letting a

Urm...why are we letting a theist post in the "Freethinking Anonymous" section?


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Because he agrees with us?

Because he agrees with us? Laughing


Brian37
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Wes wrote:

Wes wrote:

Oh boy brian, you hit a nerve here and I'm almost a hundred percent with you.

brian37 wrote:
It is not the fact that they believe in fiction and want donation to suport that fiction. It is that they pretend and lie and say that they are not in it for the money, but have decadent houses and giant plasma screens in the churchs while those who allow them to do this send them their last buck when they could be buing themselves food or pay bills.

YEAH YEAH! If you're in religion for the money you should be shot. (I wonder if any abortion docs would want to be on the other end of the gun? If it weren't for that promise of 'do no harm'....) Any religious leader who has an income greater than the average congregation member should be subject to a great amount of scrutiny. What ever happened to the vow of poverty from back in the old days... That at least gave believers some credibility.

brian37 wrote:
Megga churches are in it for the money and political power. They are no different than McDonnalds or Macys. If you behaive like a business, you should be taxed like a business.

Ok, I agree as long as you insert the word 'most' at the beginning of this paragraph. You know as well as I do that you can't make absolute statements like that .

brian37 wrote:
Oscar Shindler saved lives and is a real humanitarian.

Someone who, as a nazi, would make a better spiritual leader in a religious organization than any of the 6 leaders mentioned. Is there a church of Shindler? I'm interested if there is...

Wes.

EDIT, missunderstood post......nevermind....nothing to see here.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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