Saturday, April 19, 2014

Religious Profits

Easter is a time of religion (except when it is a time of bunnies laying colored eggs) when the great religious profits of our age rise in all their shiny glory. Note, I said "profit" not "prophet" because Easter is a time when the great churches shear their flock.

The Lakewood Church (pictured above) is, according to Forbes, the richest church in the United States. While nominally Christian the church really preaches from the gospel according to Gordon Gecko. The church bought a sports arena that once housed the NBA Houston Rockets and seats 16,800 suckers. Pastor Joel Osteen has used religion to become a multimillionaire living in a $10 million mansion.
God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us. ~ Joel Osteen
The second richest church in America is also located in Houston. While the church itself only seats 4,500 souls it has numerous other profit centers including a shopping mall and private school. Pastor Hector (Ed) Young harangues his parishioners into ponying up their income into his pocket.
There are many pastors who take million dollar salaries from their churches. One man who really enjoys the perks of a religious life is Kenneth Copeland (also Texas). In addition to a seven figure salary his church has bought him a $17 million private jet and a $6 million, 18,000 square foot mansion (above) with a private airport.

Not to be outdone by their Texas brethren, the Catholic Church in Orange County, California is spending $100 million to buy and refit the ostentatious Crystal Cathedral (above) from televangelist Robert Schuller's bankrupt ministry because the diocese's current cathedral is supposedly outdated at 50 years old. For perspective, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is 660 years old while the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City is 200 years old. But, you know, you can't spend that kind of money of the hungry, homeless, sick or elderly because what sort of message would that send God.

1 comment:

The Gust said...

I came across this doing searches for the Crystal Cathedral, and found a misconception here. The current Orange County cathedral is actually a regular parish church, which is bursting at the seems. The parish church was designated a Cathedral, because the newly-formed Diocese of Orange needed to have a place to put the bishop. In 1976, it was sufficient. But since 1976 the area's Catholic population has grown exponentially. The cost to buy the Crystal Cathedral and retrofit it was MUCH less than to build a new structure.

Also, regarding your point about the poor. The great thins about good church architecture is that it lifts up the dignity of every person who walks through the door, and makes them special. Where else can the poor experience beautiful architecture? People are not fed on bread alone. So, the purchase of the Crystal Cathedral is indeed serving the poor in numerous ways.