God Speaks against Frivolous Lawsuits

God backs Richard Roberts on financial mismanagement allegation; John Hagee to investigate

Left Behind Games (and others), take note: Richard Roberts, son of legendary evangelist Oral Roberts, has just received a message from the Almighty, which he passed on at a recent campus chapel service:

“We live in a litigious society. Anyone can get mad and file a lawsuit against another person whether they have a legitimate case or not.”

Well, we all know that – but God was apparently moved to remind Roberts of the fact because he (Roberts) is facing a lawsuit over alleged financial abuses:

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.

One allegation is particularly weird:

Mrs. Roberts – who is a member of the board of regents and is referred to as ORU’s “first lady” on the university’s Web site – frequently had cell-phone bills of more than $800 per month, with hundreds of text messages sent between 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. to “underage males who had been provided phones at university expense.”

The claims came to light after a confidential internal report prepared by Richard Roberts’s sister-in-law was found by a student and passed to a professor. A group of professors then handed the document to the board of regents, and they complain they were consequently dismissed. According to God, though, as revealed to Roberts:

“This lawsuit…is about intimidation, blackmail and extortion”.

The AP also tells us that

San Antonio televangelist John Hagee, a member of the ORU board of regents, said the university’s executive board “is conducting a full and thorough investigation.”

Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath there – Hagee has himself been a target for criticisms over his very generous remuneration.  The San Antonio Express-News reported in 2003:

According to income tax statements that GETV [Global Evangelism Television] filed with the Internal Revenue Service, the nonprofit organization drew $18.3 million in revenue in 2001, the most recent year the organization submitted a return to the IRS. That year, Hagee’s total compensation package amounted to more than $1.25 million.

“I’m amazed at the income,” said Pamela Smith, an accounting professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio…Smith said she wasn’t aware of any nonprofit director in San Antonio who earned more than Hagee.

Critics complained that because Hagee family members were appointed as ministry officers, there was a “conflict of interest”, since  they could all “determine their own salaries, benefits and other forms of compensation.” Another conflict was that Hagee enjoyed royalty payments on products promoted through the donation-funded GETV – a practice specifically forbidden by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

(Hat tip: Pharyngula)

2 Responses

  1. […] recently forced to resign from the presidency of Oral Roberts University over claims of financial mismanagement. Reid himself has long-standing links with Oral Roberts and […]

  2. […] that includes a video; cf.  http://barthsnotes.com/2007/10/06/god-speaks-against-frivolous-lawsuits/ cp. The investigator, John Hagee, received a lavish salary for his “investigation” of […]

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