Televangelist Paul Crouch Leaves a Dirty Legacy; Evangelical Christians Look the Other Way

Paul Crouch died of heart failure on Saturday, at 79. Forty years ago, he founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network, now the country’s most successful religious TV enterprise. In a good year, TBN takes in close to $100,000,000 in tax-exempt donations, mostly from lower-income Americans.

If you’re not familiar with Crouch and his wife Janice, they are the Jim and Tammy Faye that time forgot.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="499"]Paul and Jan Crouch[/caption]

Here‘s a little flavor:

Janice Crouch, called “Mama” on the air, is known for her pink-tinged wigs, which look like huge swirls of cotton candy, and for talking emotionally about the Lord’s blessings. Mr. Crouch, or “Papa,” is relentlessly upbeat as he quotes flurries of Bible verses on signature programs like “Praise the Lord.”

The New York Times published an exposé of the Crouches’ financial tricks last year. It tells you volumes about how the darling duo spent all that revenue from donations, TV rights, and investments.

For instance:

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Atheist Sign Goes Up in Illinois Capitol Building

On Saturday, the Freedom From Religion Foundation placed a Winter Solstice sign in the Illinois Capitol building in Springfield:



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Imagine No Religion 4 to Take Place This May

The 4th annual Imagine No Religion conference will take place this May in Kamloops, British Columbia and I’m thrilled to say I’ll be speaking there alongside some pretty awesome people.

If you’re in the area or able to come there May 16-18, you’ll want to get your tickets now!

You can catch the talks from last year right here.

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Ebenezer Scrooge, the Televangelist…

Bob Seidensticker, one of my fellow bloggers at Patheos, has written a really neat alternative version of Charles DickensA Christmas Carol with an atheist twist. His novella features a televangelist (Nathan) who gets visited in the night by ghosts that take him through his past, present and future to show him the problems with his message and the consequences that await him if he keeps pushing it.

In the excerpt below, Nathan and Bill (the “Ghost of Christmas Present”) look in on an old couple watching Nathan’s show on TV:

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A Visual Representation of Sam Harris’ ‘Morality and the Christian God’

A month ago, Sam Harris posted on his website an audio excerpt from one of his debates. It’s a popular excerpt, where he talks about the flimsy morality of God. Harris gave his readers permission to turn that excerpt into a video and Devon Tracey came through with this very nice visual representation of a powerful speech:

(Thanks to Brian for the link!)

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