Archive for February 3, 2009

OK, here we go…

change-this-tooIt was a source of contention during the presidental campaign, right up to the election: Is Barack Obama a Muslim or a Christian?

ANSWER: Christian, with a Muslim heritage. It’s not like his surname is “Washington” or something.

However, if he keeps tiptoeing around stories like this in USA Today, that heated debate is going catch ablaze again.

As Barack Obama begins his tenure as the first U.S. president with Muslim ancestry (though he is a Christian), a group of 300 young Muslim activists from 76 countries has asked him to promote policies that can help peacefully curtail religious extremism.

I get it. 9-11 changed the world, specifically the world’s perception of Muslims. It’s not fair – at all.

Segments of global populations get blamed for the actions of a diabolical few, and the good guys get snubbed because of the bad ones. I know, that’s life unfortunately.

Don’t believe me? When was the last time someone accused you of being like “those televangelists on TBN”? Good-hearted Muslims get the same bad rap, only minus the megalomania, bad hair cuts and dripping in other people’ser, hard-earned cash. Carry on.

The Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, a grassroots movement aiming to foster a new generation of civic engagement, issued the open letter after convening the group’s first international conference last weekend in Doha, Qatar.

So, this group decides to cash in on a last name and writes the president a letter. Guess what? This would not have even made the news if said correspondence wasn’t read. Now, it’s America – a land rich in opportunity and chock full o’ folk – and the BarackStar represents them too. But, this is one of those gray areas where perception is reality.

Regretfully, if he doesn’t want to be painted with that broad brush of bigotry, he may have to create an act of Congress against all religious extremism and just hope this rubs off on this group. It’s a small world, after all. Don’t you think?

Meet Patty Brisben of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Why? She has a unique story according to the Globe & Mail. Patty is a dedicated mother of four, involved in her church and even the community and even has a quirky nickname based on her job and work ethic – “Dildo Lady.”

Honey, is that an ichthus on your Bible or are you just happy to see me?

Honey, is that an ichthus on your Bible or are you just happy to see me?

Um, I’m sorry?!

Patty Brisben is a churchgoing mother of four who has made millions selling sex toys at private in-home gatherings not unlike Tupperware parties.

I have read a few newspapers, so – in case you have missed it – the economy isn’t doing that well.

But in lieu of the fledgling stock market, the aptly dubbed seller of leather, lace and lasciviousness will get a hand-up for her hand… outs.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Ms. Brisben will star in Mother Knows Sex, a TLC reality show about Pure Romance, her Cincinnati-based family business that now employs 30,000 consultants across the United States.

Capitalism at it’s finest.

And what’s even more amazing about this “church lady” is she gets the whole family involved. It turns out her son is the president of this multi-million dollar organization. Her husband? He “does all the defectives, in case something comes back broken.” Um… questions? Please?

  1. I think what is most important is just how involved can you be in a Bible-believing church when this is your profession? Oh sure, your tithe must be off the chain, but are you an effective witness when you are selling… those?!
  2. Is “dildo lady” on your business card… with the ichthus, no less?
  3. How does Dad figure out if an arousal cream or a battery-operated friend is defective? You know, never mind. I don’t want to know.
  4. How do you surmise the stones to ask your SON to head this empire?
  5. Now this is serious: Is what she doing completely wrong? Is it porn, or assisting married couples in the “marriage bed,” which is undefiled?

What the famed prayer sculpture could look like now

What the famed prayer sculpture could look like now

Oral Roberts University has been going through the ringer lately. You know, having a president with a case of self-entitlement the size of this hair gel account and him bringing along a wife who has a hankering for cute co-eds and some text messaging will do that for a college. OMG!

Now, the lineage is gone (as is the endowment… allegedly), the frisky woman and her hot flashes have vanished, the debt is still an anchor around its academic neck and no leadership in sight… until now.

So, did they learn from their lesson, find a real academic and leave the TBN crowd behind? According to this story from the Tulsa World, um, kinda.

A pastor and missionary who turned a small Christian college into a recognized liberal arts university was named Wednesday as the candidate for president of Oral Roberts University... Mark Rutland is the author of 13 books and has a 30-minute syndicated daily radio program, “Herald of Joy.” He has also founded ministries in Ghana and Thailand.

So, we have a radio preacher here with a sterling reputation for hooking up megachurches to not pay its taxes?! Hrm.

ORU revealed in 2007 it was $55 million in debt, but a fundraising campaign has cut that amount to about $16 million.  A 2006 article in the Tampa Tribune referred to Rutland as a “turnaround man” based on his success in saving a megachurch in Florida that was $15 million in debt.

Multiply that kerfuffle by four and you have the trouble brewing at the Oral Roberts University. Rutland is an educator, but has been a missionary all his life. Trust me, this is a field to sow some seeds of accountability, deliverance, redemption and trust. Those are his lost children and the angst of public perception will be his persecution.

“I believe that the first thing that needs to happen is, at the wider constituencies at Oral Roberts, trust has to be restored,” he said. “The kind of balanced and thoughtful leadership has to happen there that can restore the goodwill of their constituencies and restore the confidence of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the world.”

Well, he’s off to a great start. He agrees with me. Good times and keep your eyes peeled, Wall Watchers.