Saturday, March 8, 2008

What Are The Odds on God?

Paul Crouch:
What Part of "Non-Profit" don't you understand?

"Accountability" is not in the lexicon of some televangelists. Oh, we know the ones targeted by the ongoing (and going on - and on - and on!) investigations, but just how many people know about the Crouch family and their lifestyle? They own TBN - Trinity Broadcasting Network.

How could Senator Grassley forget this one (from that wicked wikipedia!):

TBN generates nearly $190 million in revenue annually. The network does not make its finances available and Crouch family members control the boards of all Trinity network entities, which makes Trinity "ineligible to join" the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, an evangelical self-regulating group. It does not air commercials (excluding TBN Italy); rather, two-thirds of its revenue comes from viewer contributions and one-third from other televangelists' payments for running their programming. Its $120 million donation revenue is larger than any other television ministry. It has posted average annual surpluses since 1997 of about $60 million. It holds two week-long fundraising telethons per year, as well as numerous other solicitation drives. It maintains a direct mail database of 1.2 million names.

As of 2002, TBN boasted $583 million in assets, including $238 million in government-backed securities and $31 million in cash. Also among its assets are a $7.2 million Canadair Turbojet and thirty houses in California, Texas and Ohio with values ranging up to $8 million. The elder Crouches and their son Paul Jr. earn an estimated combined annual income of $900,000. In September 2004, the Los Angeles Times characterized their personal lifestyle as a "life of luxury." According to Charity Navigator, TBN earned $188,152,079 in 2007 and has a 2 out of 4 star rating (47%).

THIRTY houses? How many relatives do the Crouches have?

Of course, these guys are big in the "name it and claim it" circles. Just like Ken Copeland (who broadcasts on TBN), the Crouches tell viewers that giving to TBN will result in 100-fold returns. Better odds than the lottery for sure.
"if you have been healed or saved or blessed through TBN and have not contributed to (the) station, you are robbing God and will lose your reward in heaven."

And, like some Christian Casino gangster, Crouch lays odds on his connections with The Man:

"God, we proclaim death to anything or anyone that will lift a hand against this network and this ministry that belongs to You, God."

So is Paul Crouch the Godfather of Prosperity Theology? I don't know, but he's managed to evade the IRS and Senator Grassley so far. Will his luck ever run out?

Does Las Vegas look like Heaven or Is it the other way around?

Match 'em up!

One is the entrance to the casinos at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

The other is the entrance to the Sistine Chapel.

(Hint: the Pope wishes he could see "Phantom" but can't. Damn!)