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Thread: Oral Roberts leaves a complex legacy

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    Oral Roberts leaves a complex legacy

    Evangelist Oral Roberts leaves a complex legacy

    Oral Roberts University was the fulfillment of one of Roberts' greatest ambitions, founded in 1963 at a time when Pentecostals "were considered to be ignorant hillbillies," Synan said. The school boasted a world-class faculty, mandatory chapel attendance, body-fat measurements and citations for public displays of affection. Students still sign an honor code pledging not to lie, steal, curse, drink or smoke.

    The campus is a landmark, with its spaceship-like steel and glass prayer tower and 60-foot bronze sculpture of praying hands, modeled on Roberts' own. Alumni include prosperity preacher Kenneth Copeland, Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and fallen evangelical leader Ted Haggard.

    Roberts' career also was marked by failures and embarrassments.

    He said he felt called to an enormous hospital complex that was to marry prayer and medicine, anchored by a 60-story tower. The project collapsed in the late 1980s and left the school with staggering debt.

    Then there was Roberts' widely ridiculed proclamation that God would "call me home" if he failed to meet a fundraising goal of $8 million.

    The school is recovering from a more recent setback the 2007 resignation of Roberts' son, Richard, as ORU president after he was accused of using university money on spending sprees and other luxuries.
    More on Roberts...

    Roberts' fundraising was controversial. In January 1987, during a fundraising drive, Roberts announced to a television audience that unless he raised $8 million by that March, God would "call him home."[13][14] Some were fearful that he was referring to suicide, given the impassioned pleas and tears that accompanied his statement. He raised $9.1 million.[15] Later that year, he announced that God had raised the dead through Roberts' ministry.[16] Some of Roberts' fundraising letters were written by Gene Ewing, who heads a business writing donation letters for other evangelicals such as Don Stewart and Robert Tilton.[17]


    He stirred up controversy when Time reported in 1987 that his son Richard Roberts claimed that he had seen his father raise a child from the dead.[18] That year, the Bloom County comic strip recast its character Bill the Cat as a satirized televangelist, "Fundamentally Oral Bill." In 1987 Time stated that he was "re-emphasizing faith healing and [is] reaching for his old-time constituency."[18] However, his income continued to decrease (from $88 million in 1980 to $55 million in 1986, according to the Tulsa Tribune) and his largely vacant City of Faith Medical Center continued to lose money.[18]
    Harry McNevin said that in 1988 the ORU Board of Regents "rubber-stamped" the "use of millions in endowment money to buy a Beverly Hills property so that Oral Roberts could have a West Coast office and house."[19] In addition, he said a country club membership was purchased for the Robertses' home. The lavish expenses led to McNevin's resignation from the Board.

    Richard Roberts resigned from the presidency of ORU on November 23, 2007 after being named as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging improper use of university funds for political and personal purposes, and improper use of university resources.[20][21] The university was given a donation of $8 million by entrepreneur Mart Green, and although the lawsuit is still in process, the school has submitted to an outside audit, and with a good report will be given an additional $62 million by Green. [22] Oral Roberts announced he would return to once again help fulfill his administrative role along with Billy Joe Daugherty, who was named as the executive regent to assume administrative responsibilities of the Office of the President by the ORU Board of Regents.[23]

    Roberts' daughter Rebecca Nash died in an airplane crash on February 11, 1977 with her husband, businessman Marshall Nash.[24] Roberts' eldest son Ronald committed suicide in June 1982, five months after receiving a court order to undergo counseling at a drug treatment center.[25] The other two Roberts children are still living: son Richard, a well-known evangelist and former president of Oral Roberts University (ORU), and daughter Roberta Potts, an attorney.
    The guy was an asshole who preyed on the weak-minded to raise millions of dollars. If there is a hell, he's in it.

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    Re: Oral Roberts leaves a complex legacy

    I'll never forget that appeal to raise the money for his university. It made him a laughing stock. He may have been sincere, but I think he was a mass manipulator. A rabid anti-Catholic too, I hear.

    NPR had a good interview of Pat Robertson yesterday about the passing of Oral Roberts. He indicated that Roberts regreted that ridiculous appeal. Here's a link to the transcript of the interview which you can also listen too.

    Pat Robertson Remembers Evangelist Oral Roberts : NPR

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    Re: Oral Roberts leaves a complex legacy

    Some of my opinions about Oral:

    Thief. Liar. Manipulator. Spreader of Hate. Con-man. Sheister. Scum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    I believe there was surely some rejoicing when that took place when Kennedy died and there will be even more when Byrd and especially Obama go, but I don't believe it is something normal civilized people should be doing.

    Oral Roberts became a joke and his failings were many as are the failings of every man and the party of hate would do well to respect the dead no matter how much the hated him for believing in God.
    I have precisely as much respect for Oral Roberts as I did for Ted Kennedy, which is to say, ZERO. Dead people are entitled to the respect they earned by their deeds. In the case of Oral Roberts, he made God a laughingstock and corrupted the faith into "send your money to me and God will heal you and make you rich." Screw that.
    Last edited by Catz Part Deux; 12-16-09 at 10:00 AM.

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    Re: Oral Roberts leaves a complex legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    The guy was an asshole who preyed on the weak-minded to raise millions of dollars. If there is a hell, he's in it.
    Lots of people prey on the stupid. I think for the most part, people deserve it for being stupid. But it doesn't remove the fact that the guy is an asshole. I suppose he should be thanking his lucky stars that there is no afterlife. I'm sure hell would suck.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: Oral Roberts leaves a complex legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    I suppose he should be thanking his lucky stars that there is no afterlife. I'm sure hell would suck.
    I hope he's sharing a room with the late Senator Edward Kennedy.

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    Re: Oral Roberts leaves a complex legacy

    Senator Kennedy is not allowed in hell....he's too flammable.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: Oral Roberts leaves a complex legacy

    I forgot about the gin fumes.

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    Re: Oral Roberts leaves a complex legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    I forgot about the gin fumes.
    A deadly mistake.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: Oral Roberts leaves a complex legacy

    In honor of Oral's death, did you know that Oral Roberts had his own comic book series?

    http://www.christiancomicsinternatio..._oroberts.html

    True story.
    Last edited by Catz Part Deux; 12-16-09 at 11:57 AM.

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    Re: Oral Roberts leaves a complex legacy

    Did he smite heathens at the speed of Jesus?
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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