Oral Roberts is dead

December 15, 2009 • 3:54 pm

My whole life I watched the old sinner bilk his sheep for millions to finance his own deification and the construction of his empire.   Roberts once saw a 900-foot-tall Jesus who assured him that his City of Faith hospital would be built, if only Roberts would squeeze his acolytes for more bucks.  The hospital was built, and went bankrupt. It’s now an office complex.

In 1987 he raised the stakes of his importuning, saying that unless his viewers donated eight million dollars, God would “call him home”.  Last night I watched a clip of him begging those viewers, ” Please extend my life!”  The clip also showed him claiming that God, through Roberts’s ministry,  had brought several dead people back to life.

He was a man of Mammon, not of God.

Here he is “curing” polio. I couldn’t find any record of him curing amputees.

65 thoughts on “Oral Roberts is dead

  1. I remmeber when the Lord told him he must seek contributions for a hospital or some such, or else he would die.

    The next day somebody set up an organization. LORD. Let Oral Roberts Die.

    1. I wish those of you that did not agree with this man of God would please try and pay some respect for thedead. You evolutionists surely can do that without breaking a sweat can’t you? Your attitude is dispicable. If you can’t say anything good about someone then why don’t you learn the art of silence. We would enjoy hearing that from youf or a change instead of all this namecalling and berating..I for one loved and respected this man of God and I will not allow you to open your mouth and disgrace his name without standing up saying something. Leave the dead rest in peace.

      1. Janice F Howsare, go shove your righteousness down your own throat.
        Oral Roberts was a charlatan and a faker. He schemed and stole money. His name is disgraced by his disgusting actions.

        Oral Roberts deserves no respect, just scorn and ridicule while he was alive and after his death.

      2. My father was a minister. The only time we listened to Oral Roberts was by default on the car radio on vacation when nothing else was on. His insistence that listeners send in $1 for a pillow he had prayed over did not go down well with my father, who, besides the doubts over faith healing, regarded the introduction of the charge for the pillow to be a sure fire sign of a scam job. I can assure you that my father would have been very reluctant to term Roberts a “Man of God”.

      3. The dead really don’t care. Besides, Anal Roberts deserved no respect when he was alive; why should we venerate his carcass?

      4. And Janice deserves no respect either. She thinks highly of a crook. And the deferential respect that religious beliefs command allowed this crook to escape justice. And Janice disgustedly contributes to this atmosphere which supports such crooks. She is the one that needs to feel ashamed. Your attitude, Janice, is the one that is despicable.

        And yes, other religious believers can see through the travesty that Roberts was, but not our little immoral Janice.

      5. Janice, Falwell left a legacy on American society that should be addressed. The man was a fraud. Anti-education, anti-desegregation…

        Dig deep into your pockets and though shall be saved. The man helped dismantle the education system with his groups that spawned the likes of Comfort and Ham.

        We should be silent? No.

      6. Janice is correct, Oral was a man of god (whatever that is). We shouldn’t take that away from him just because he was more successful at that disgusting profession than most of the others are. The christian god ideas enabled the corruption that he delivered, he was a man of god.

      7. oral roberts was a con man. To hell with respecting a dead idiot.He claimed things that didn’t happen.If you believe that crap hesaid about “god calling him home” unless he raised 8 million dollars in 1 year,then you are just as much of an idiot as he was.He bought the Camelot Inn as soon as bilked the money out of unsuspecting people.The Camelot Inn deal was on the table with him for 8 million dollars the same day as he made those false claims. I for one am glad he is finally gone.Next up,all the rest of the liars.

    2. Janice,
      The guy was a despicable old fraud. Now he’s a dead, despicable old fraud. Why should anyone respect in death, someone they despised in life. The concept that death transforms an evil person to a saint is simply ridiculous.

      For those who want real disrespect take a look at the conversation over at pharyngula.

      1. I’d have a little more sympathy for the “speak no ill of the dead” position if it was matched by a “don’t lionize the dead” cultural norm. But it’s not. So what happens is that when a fraudulent scumbag like Roberts dies, his supporters want the media to run stories about what a wonderful, loving man of God he was, and for anyone with a contrary opinion to shut up. Out of “respect for the dead,” of course!

        I wouldn’t crash the man’s funeral or send letters to his family pointing out what a scumbag he was, but I don’t agree that “respect for the dead” requires one side of a public discussion to shut up.

      2. Janice F Howsare
        Posted December 15, 2009 at 4:13 pm | Permalink
        “I wish those of you that did not agree with this man of God would please try and pay some respect for thedead. You evolutionists surely can do that without breaking a sweat can’t you? Your attitude is dispicable.”

        If anyone’s attitude is despicable, it is YOURS! This creep spent his entire life fleecing the gullible. If this had involved only adults, then there would be no complaints from atheists. The fact is, as Jerry’s clip above shows, he enlisted children in his scam. Like all these faith ‘healers’, he never felt the need to produce one shred of evidence to back up any of his ridiculous, demonstrably bogus claims, and the reason why he was able to prey on children like that, was because of people LIKE YOU!

        Roberts was a crook alright, but his crookery is forgivable (after all, every cripple has his way of walking, and, in capitalism, every cripple gets trampled underfoot), but what isn’t forgivable is the fact that his crookery was predicated on the idiocy of people LIKE YOU. While there are people LIKE YOU around, in your feigned hour of grief, you can rest assured, Roberts isn’t dead.

    3. About 25 yrs ago I stayed in a hotel in Tampa near Busch Gardens. While walking around there was an oral roberts event at the hotel in a small meeting area. I was young at the time and decided to sit in for a few minutes.
      There was a bunch of really old people in the meeting. They were preaching to them and had brainwashed them to sign over their entire estates to Oral Roberts when they passed. I couldn’t believe what I saw! I’m sure the heirs/family weren’t involved. So there you have it – proof they are scam artists.

  2. I can see the Cityplex towers from my office window. The whole 900-foot-Jesus-is-gonna-call-me-home-if-I-don’t-raise-millions made him a laughing stock. I was in my teens at the time and I remember thinking how utterly ridiculous the whole thing was even then.

    We had another big-time preacher kick off recently too. Billy Joe Dougherty, founder of Tulsa’s Victory Christian Center, died after being diagnosed with cancer.

    And so close to the solstice.

    Good riddance, I say.

  3. I just wish that these religious hypocrites had a moment as they were dying where they realize that they really were wrong all those years and that they on the verge of simply not existing.

    That’s the problem with being a materialist; there’s no vindication.

    “See, I was right! I really don’t exist anymore!”

      1. But we know that there is no evidence for their beliefs. And that their beliefs are ridiculous, that is why they are mercilessly derided. Isn’t that enough? Just like reality is enough for us skeptics? We don’t need no stinking side dish of fantasy on the side.

        Get off on the fact that their worshiping stupidity allows skeptics to hone their critical thinking skills. Plus we get to see the rising stats of increasing non-religiousity in one of the most religious countries in the world, USA.

        I say instead so much vindication right here, in the here and now, it is a veritable feast. Let’s not get greedy now.

      2. We are able to say “See?” on so many other aspects of life, about the world around us, but let’s face it… it still does no good with these folks. Don’t think it’d be much different with the dying bit.

  4. Osama claimed that martyrdom meant instant entrance to paradise and claimed he was ready for martyrdom, yet has been extremely active in trying to avoid any contact with our forces. Roberts claimed to speak to God and that following his beliefs would lead one to heaven, yet based a major fund raising campaign on delaying his entrance to heaven. It is said that you can’t cheat an honest man, but that is not true; appeal to his religious or charitable instincts and you can take him for everything.

  5. 900-foot-tall Jesus, eh? Not 274.32m tall Jesus? Does god prefer Imperial to metric? Why not the same height expressed in Roman pedes, or passus, or even Roman or Babylonian or temple cubits, the common units of length of Jesus’ time?
    As Kenneth Galbraith noted, there is an uncommon measure of ignorance associated with deceit and arrogance in fraud.

  6. my dad used to turn the sound down on the TV when Oral and his ilk were on, let us watch the gesticulations and facial contortions for a while, and then say something like, “You don’t even have to hear the words! How can anyone take him seriously?”

    1. Apparently Janice did! And will continue to do so. Plus have the lack of decorum to call folks who can call a spade a spade indecorous. Without Janice types there would be Roberts’ type.

  7. Dear God,

    Thank you for calling home your faithful servant Oral “Man of God” Roberts. Frankly he had overstayed his welcome here.

    While you’re thinking about it, please don’t hesitate to pre-raptureize some of your other worthy servants: Peter Popoff and Morris Cerullo come to mind, both excellent candidates to sit at your right side, next to Jesus … I mean you … no wait, how does that work again? Anyways, just get them the hell out of here would you?

  8. Respect is earned, not demanded.

    No Janice, I can’t respect a fraud and a thief of honest people’s money (whether he is dead or not). Nor can I respect your silly demand for what you mistake for respect.

    What I can, and morally and practically must, is to offer tolerance.

    Yes, I can tolerate frauds and thieves (and still put them behind bars instead of throwing stones at them for doing what they do).

    Yes, I can tolerate dumb demands for “respect”, because some people don’t know what they do and ask for.

    And yes, I can tolerate freedom of religion, as I must. If just because of the laughs among the cries that silly believers and their fraudulent leaders gives the rest of humanity.

  9. BTW, is it just me, or are religious people learning to take offense by taking courses?

    Because I sure see ‘dispicable’ used more often than not.

    Sure, sure, the typical religious believer is less educated, statistics tell us so. But when they almost to a (wo)man use the same misspelling?

  10. Good riddance to the money grubbing, hypocritical, old fraud. About bloody time.

    Unfortunately he leaves behind a son to carry on the family business of bilking the unfortunate. Luckily that son has inherited little of Oral’s charisma.

    Which evangelist got to G.W.B.? If he’s still alive, he should die too (preferably in a fire).

  11. Well, I have a substantive reply to one of Janice’s questions.

    “If you can’t say anything good about someone then why don’t you learn the art of silence.”

    Because very often silence is the wrong response. Hitler is dead; that is no reason to be silent about what he did and what was wrong with it. The same goes for Stalin; Pol Pot; Milosevic; Pinochet; and so on. If Bernie Madoff dropped dead in his cell today, that would not be a reason to be silent about what he did. Oral Roberts did bad things of a representative kind, things that other people go on doing; it is well worth pointing out why it is bad to do things like that.

    It is bad to use people’s credulity about religion and its spokesmen (and they are nearly all men) to extort money from them.

    That does not become less true because one person who engaged in that activity dies at the age of 91.

    1. But – – the very first name you brought up in your example was the name of “that man”. The name that must no longer be spoken (or written). Does “Godwin’s Law” ring a bell?

  12. I was in the dentist office waiting room this morning and they had on MSNBC which showed a story covering Oral Robert. The coverage made me want to retch. Little was said about all the prejudiced and deceitful wrong doings of his.

  13. It’s easy to talk ugly about a dead man and it also shows a lack of grace and a dreadful lack of good manners and basic civility. Victorian essayist Henry Drummond once said that good manners are the habit of showing “love in the trifles.”

    Oral Roberts was a human being and had all the accompanying foibles and follies that go with this condition, but he accomplished a tremendous lot with his life, including founding a major university in Oklahoma. That’s a life well lived.

    How about we look at the good that he did, instead of examining his mistakes, and hope and pray that someone will do the same for us one day?


    1. This quote from Ezra Klein (on a different topic) seems apropos here:

      “Sometimes, reality is uncivil. But that does not mean it is uncivil to point it out.”

    2. The bad that Oral Roberts did far outweighed any good that he did.

      But even if it were the other way around, by your flawed reasoning, uglywomansguide, if someone did many good deeds but only murdered a young child once then we should mark that as a life well lived? Stop your useless praying and think again, or maybe for the first time.

    3. Oral Roberts founded a major university? Major in what sense? University in what sense?

      Are you really sure of your facts?

      If Osama bin Laden turned up dead, would you feel obliged to say he was a human being and had all the accompanying foibles and follies that go with this condition, but he accomplished a tremendous lot with his life? He did accomplish a tremendous lot, you know – he knocked down two major buildings and demolished four commercial airplanes.

    4. I’m glad Henry Drummond is dead as well. Then again, if he posted such nonsense here I’d have a grand time putting him down. It is such a pity though that the thieving lying bigoted Anal Roberts didn’t die much sooner.

    5. No no, uglywomansguide is exactly right, Oral Roberts just has the same foibles and follies as the rest of us. Why, just the other day, I was taking out the trash, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t just accidentally bilk a bunch of credulous poor people out of $8 million! Boy, was my face red…

      I’ve also noticed a lot of people saying bad things about Pol Pot recently. I mean, the man was a leader of an entire country for several years! That’s a life well lived.

  14. What a lot of empty nothings! Jerry, I reckon if you just leave any old post up, your addicts won’t be able to stop. They’ll keep commenting on their comments for a lack of anything else to do. Clearly many here just don’t have a life.

    1. No! You’re wrong! I do have a life. I spend hours each day thinking up smart-ass remarks for dozens of blogs just like this. And right now I’m waiting for PZ Myers to announce the winners in his mud wrestling essay contest. I bet you didn’t even know about that contest. You should get with the program, and see how much happier you are.

      1. See BengalT? See, now that was funny! If you’re going to stop by here and say nothing, at least try to be funny about it.

        Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to comment on one of my comments …

        PS, Damn, I can’t believe I missed out on PZ’s mud wrestling essay contest! Oh man, I would of nailed that one!

    2. And then there are people like BengalT who make comments that are completely devoid of any worth or humor or purpose.

    1. A few days ago Pharyngula was sent dozens of emails with the phrase “goats on fire” in them. No one on Pharyngula could come up with an interpretation. No clue as to where the words came from, or what they could mean. As an old man, maybe I can help. I seem to remember back in the 60’s. There was this Batman TV show, and in one episode the Joker had blown up a dairy farm. Robin said – “Holy goats on fire Batman! It’s udder destruction!” I bet that’s where it’s from.

  15. To my mind, Mr. Roberts was a fraud–like so many in his profession. The whole Roberts family must surely be one of the most bizarre chapters in American history–and that is saying a lot!

    For me, he represents the dark side of America. The people who took him seriously were gullible, uncritical, uneducated, unaware, probably unhappy, and conservative. I can’t help but feel that the kind of people who who took him seriously are the kind of people who would vote for Sarah Palin. What a sad state contemporary American “Christianity” is in–neither American nor Christian.

    For those interested in one interpretation of the symbolism of “goats,” Robert A. Johnson’s Ecstasy might be of interest.

  16. Good Riddance…

    But I have to ask…What does this have to do with “Why Evolution is True”?

    When I first saw the book (WEIT), I was pleased – I thought “Hey – somebody finally gets it: the arguments for evolution are so strong, you don’t need to refer to religion to make the case for it!”

    Alas, it was not to be….

    1. If you haven’t noticed the christians are trying to hijack evolution, claiming that their god idea “done it”. The christians have been consistent in walking on any who are silent.

    2. Labels ain’t definitions.

      The blogger is free to write about whatever he wants, whether it be kittens or fruitflies. If he chooses to do so under the heading of Parsnips’n’peacocks, that’s his choice.

  17. Thank GOD this man is dead…it didn’t happen soon enough. Now which crook will his “sheep” follow? He’s definitely with the devil. And what about that hair???

  18. One of the greatest comedians ever, Moms Mabley, said it best:

    “They say you shouldn’t say nothin’ about the dead unless it’s good. He’s dead. Good.”

  19. “The mold was broken when they made Oral Roberts.”

    I surely hope so. He was investigated by the Catholic Church for fraud. They concluded that nobody got a miracle cure from Oral Roberts.

    He had healthy people go up on stage after coaching them on how to act like a cripples. These actors were convincing when they walked off stage after Oral’s prayer and halleluiahs.

    Once I saw one of these actors stand up before Oral’s rousing theatrical accolade of healing. Oral ran over in front of him and sat him down. Guilty as charged. I guess the descendendants of Oral Roberts need to give back all the money he stole from innocent people. Class action suits might help keep the honest people from performing magic acts.

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