Sunday, October 07, 2007

Then God Said...

Some time ago, God told Oral Roberts, a Southern evangelist, to build Him a university or else He'd kill him.

I never believed that.

Oral Roberts then allegedly built God a university. I don't believe that either. Why? Because it is called Oral Roberts University. It was named after it's creator. I don't see any mention of God in that name.

Now it appears that the Roberts family is proving that God had nothing to do with the inception of that institution or its current ownership.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Twenty years ago, televangelist Oral Roberts said he was reading a spy novel when God appeared to him and told him to raise $8 million for Roberts' university, or else he would be "called home."

Now, his son, Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts, says God is speaking again, telling him to deny lurid allegations in a lawsuit that threatens to engulf this 44-year-old Bible Belt college in scandal.

Richard Roberts is accused of illegal involvement in a local political campaign and lavish spending at donors' expense, including numerous home remodeling projects, use of the university jet for his daughter's senior trip to the Bahamas, and a red Mercedes convertible and a Lexus SUV for his wife, Lindsay.

She is accused of dropping tens of thousands of dollars on clothes, awarding nonacademic scholarships to friends of her children and sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to people described in the lawsuit as "underage males."

This can't be interpreted as a slur against the thousands of good people that work and attend school at ORU. But the end result is that the students, faculty and staff are distracted and the whole institution becomes an embarassment for Christians everywhere. Even if only a few of the accusations are proven, ORU should be run in a fashion "purer than Caesar's wife" to avoid any possibility of scandal. This is true for any organization that purports to represent the Creator.

Cornell Cross II, a senior from Burlington, Vt., said he is looking to transfer to another school because the scandal has "severely devalued and hurt the reputation of my degree."

"We have asked and asked and asked to see the finances of our school and what they're doing with our money, and we've been told no," said, Cross who is majoring in government. "Now we know why. As a student, I'm not going to stand for it any longer."

He shouldn't have put up with it from the get go.

Unfortunately, this is what can happen when there is no accountibility. If ORU is anxious to preserve its reputation as a Christian institution, some kind of financial disclosure should be available to those who require it.

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