Moral Oral in Trouble

(2 pm – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Moral Orel is a really snarky cartoon on Adult Swim that chronicles the faith contradictions of Orel Puffington, son of an evangelical Christian family in the town of Moralton in Statesasota.

Orel’s name was probably taken from Oral Roberts, one of the first and most famous of the televangelists.  Roberts, 89, is still alive; but one of his most enduring legacies, Oral Roberts University, is in considerable difficulty.

ORU is an interesting place.  Having been to Tulsa several times for training, I can tell you from first hand experience it dominates an otherwise declining city; the main tourist attraction in a harsh landscape of boarded up storefronts and empty streets.  Like Liberty (Falwell) and Regent (RobertSON) it is a monument to the fundraising power of its founder.

In fact what most people may remember about Oral Roberts the man is his famous fundraising appeal in 1987 where he demanded $8 million from his followers “Or God will call me home.”

“Call me home!” below-

He exceeded his fundraising goal by a million so we were spared the sight of his televised seppuku, but even at the time he was busy turning over control of his empire to his son Richard Roberts.

Like so many dynasties the son was not half the man his father was and early this month on Larry King Live some of the problems in the “management” of the Roberts empire came out-

  • Roberts had remodeled their home eleven times in 14 years with University money
  • He and his wife Lindsay bankrolled a daughters’ $29,411 trip to the Bahamas with school funds
  • Lindsay Roberts had spent the night in an O.R.U. guest-house with an underage male nine times

Time Magazine

In new developments also reported by Time, Richard has taken a leave of absence and the zombie ghost of Ronald Reagan Oral himself has come back to take the reigns as president.

The article goes on to detail some of the serious structural problems with the house of cards Oral built including an over ambitious athletic program (lots of colleges have those), a failed Law School (since purchased by… wait for it… Pat RobertSON), and the City of Faith Medical Center– “a combination physical and spiritual healing facility.

That’s what Oral was raising money for in ’87 and despite the fundraising drive it closed it’s doors in 1989.

Even today the University is losing millions of dollars a year, and the zombie ghost of Ronald Reagan Oral is only back as a figure head “co-president”.

But what I really found funny was this part at the end-

Of course, a religious university doesn’t have to be charismatic to have money problems. Liberty University, Jerry Falwell’s academy in Lynchburg, VA., was between $20 and $25 million in debt until this year. But When God called Jerry Falwell home last May, it turned out that he had a $34 million insurance policy. It was used to bail out his school.


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  1. Screwed that up.

    Oh well, I’ll just promote it at 2 then.

  2. They always turn out to have a taste for really kinky sex–or expensive handbags.

  3. What about his long-lost brother Anal? 😉

  4. Mr.T and Nancy down the page!

    Even if it is with a story about Oral!

  5. I think most progressives don’t realize is that if we really wanted to play havoc with the theocrats, you could do so by exploiting their differences with one another.

    For example, my family are of the Jerry Falwell variety and they see the Oral Roberts side as infidels.

    This kind of division is inherant with folks who believe there is “one true way” and only their sect know the truth.

    For example, I once witnessed a heated discussion amongst my family members about the “correct” interpretation of the order of events prophesied for the end times. They thought anyone who didn’t agree with their timeline was an apostate.

    Kinda funny if they weren’t so scarry.

  6. Roberts began as an old-line tent evangelist faith healer — the original Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show. My oldest brother worked his way through college as a shill for Roberts’ faith healing circus. He would regale us with the various diseases and conditions he immitated as they travelled from town to town “healing” those who gave enough money.

    A cousin who lived in Tulsa worked for OR Ministries in the mail room. They had to strip every day and put on a smock with no pockets before they were allowed into the room where the mail was opened. And they were searched every evening before they were allowed to leave. It seems the faithful had a penchant for sending cash and OR was makin’ sure none of it walked out with the help.

    Several years ago, I went to a Conference on implementation of the American’s with Disabilities Act on campuses. The representative from ORU actually stood up and said they should be exempt because….(get ready for this)…. if the cripples were repentant they would be healed and wouldn’t need accomodations and if they weren’t healed they weren’t repentant, so ORU shouldn’t have to accept them as students. Voila — no need for ADA compliance. You can imagine the stunned silence in the audience, which included at least 20 individuals in wheelchairs. Apparently the HHS rep had heard it before, though. He simply said “No compliance, no government money, no student loans, no grants, nothing.” Good thing it was before shrub’s “faith-based” approach.

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