Oral Roberts died today at age 91, from pneumonia complications. Atheist bitch that I am, my first thought was “good.”
That’s probably enough to get me sent to hell, according to some folks’ beliefs, but it’s debatable, since I don’t believe in hell.
I grew up in Oklahoma, where Oral pulled all his shenanigans, along with pulling the wool over the eyes of the illiterate and gullible. I have an extremely low opinion of faith healers, believing as I do that they are all charlatans out to fleece their own flocks. They tell their congregations exactly what they want the congregations to hear and believe, and the congregations oblige. I’m at a loss, frankly, to understand the willingness of these people to give over themselves, their lives, and their money to such preachers. Roberts would stoop to anything to get the money he wanted for his church and university, and at one point back in the ’80s actually told parishioners that if they didn’t ante up more money, he’d be called to heaven.
These evangelists always come across as pretenders, bad actors with a big dollop of sleaze, literally crying to their congregations about sin and redemption while at the same time passing the collection plate. They’re in it for the money. They aren’t healers; they’re charlatans, con men, and bad actors, working really hard to separate parishioners from their cash.
That Roberts actually built his own university to suck in more gullible young people and crank out more li’l Orals to spread the word really saddens me.
There’s a lot of talk these days about hoaxes, and this one has been flourishing under our noses for years. I wish I could believe Roberts’ death will be the end of it, but it won’t be. His son is following in his footsteps. That whole ORU set-up generates far too much income to just walk away from it.