Roberts has the Big Guy on his side
God’s been asked to do somebody else’s dirty work — again.
Seems Richard Roberts, son of televangelist Oral Roberts and president of the university his father built, has called on God to help him fight allegations of extravagant spending at the university.
Actually, as Roberts tells it, the Lord came to him — presumably with clenched fists and fire in HIS (HER?) eyes.
God, after all, has a big dog in this fight, or so Roberts thinks. HE (God, that is) wouldn’t want Oral Roberts University to go down the toilet. Would HE?
The allegations are contained in a lawsuit filed Oct. 2 by three former professors, the Associated Press reported. The professors sued ORU and Roberts, alleging they were wrongfully dismissed after reporting the school’s involvement in a local political race.
The odious contentions threaten to defile the 44-year-old Bible Belt college, thus demoralizing the “God R Us” crowd like nothing since … well, a certain homophobic Idaho senator allegedly tapped gay Morse code to an undercover cop.
According to the AP, “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.”
Lindsay is accused of, among other things, dropping tens of thousands of dollars on clothes — $39,000 alone at one Chico’s clothing store in less than a year — awarding non-academic scholarships to friends of her children, and sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to people described in the lawsuit as “underage males.”
But Lindsay didn’t disturb the youngsters’ class time, because the messages reportedly were sent between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.
The willowy brunette probably was up reading her personally autographed, gold-embossed Bible and simply wanted to spiritually guide her young charges — as she slowly slipped the straps off her … well, nevermind.
In a later AP report, Lindsay said she gives her cell phone to her daughter when the daughter’s is broken and routinely sends a cell phone home with her daughters’ visitors to ensure the visitors get home safely.
In the same report, Richard denies the rest of the professors’ allegations.
And with God on his side, he might just pull though.
But I’m dubious.
I figure God’s pretty busy these days trying to undo the latest catastrophic human idiocy without undue worrying over pampered televangelists: Think Iraq war, Darfur genocide, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran threats, and so on.
The fact HE’s agreed to help Roberts tread holy water amid all this other international turmoil is impressive. Roberts must have laid it on thick:
God: “Hello, who’s this?”
Roberts: “Hi Huge One. This is Dick.”
God: “That’s for sure.”
Roberts: “I have a problem. Seems Lindsay’s buying shoes again. And dresses. And other stuff. And she can barely fit all of it into her Mercedes. It’s horrible.”
God: “Hmmmm. That is bad. Just a sec, Dick, got another call … What’s that? A hundred more Iraqis killed by a car bomb? That’s disastrous. How can I …”
Roberts: “Big Guy! Pay attention! I’ve got REAL problems down here. In addition to this wardrobe thing, those rotten ghouls also accuse me of coercing a professor to use students and ORU stuff so I could get a county commissioner elected Tulsa mayor. They’re saying 50 students worked on the campaign. Gee whiz, I only asked for 35.”
God: “Yikes. Who would WANT to be mayor of Tulsa? You SHOULD be punished for pushing that one.”
Roberts: “That’s not nice, Exalted One. Look: Are you going to help me beat these lying rascals?”
God: “Sure, sure, Dick. Don’t get your pants in a wad. Hold on … another call: A 16-year-old just murdered 12 of his high school classmates because he was cut from the football team? Goodness, what’s my world coming to? Send condolences to the families, and I’ll hear their prayers when …”
Roberts: “Full Beard! Keep your priorities straight! We’ve got problems right here on Route 66! Lindsay’s clothes, remember?”
God: “Yeah, yeah, Dick. I remember everything.
— Paul Dunn is editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He can be reached at (530) 542-8047 and firstname.lastname@example.org.