Grassley’s megachurch probe was BS

Published January 10th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson



Senator Grassley of Iowa’s Evangelical Finance Probe was released this week.  A lot of us were hoping these megachurches would be scrutinized for their most flagrant abuses: the obscene salaries, the private jets and luxury cars, the politicking.  Most of us are shocked these sham broadcast ministries can exist as tax exempt non-profit organizations in the first place, but it is stunning that because they’re religious institutions they don’t have to file detailed financial disclosure reports to the IRS.  So we were glad that Grassley and team were investigating.

Well now the report is out and we know what they were doing the last three years and investigating was not it.  Out of the six broadcast ministries looked at only two cooperated, and *zero* subpoenas were issued by investigators.  What a scam. 

Grassley offered this statement, which I have been trying to parse for a while but I’m having trouble because it’s such bullshit:

The staff review sets the stage for a comprehensive discussion among churches and religious organizations.  I look forward to helping facilitate this dialogue and fostering an environment for self-reform within the community.

Translation: we will ask churches to be good.  Hey if that doesn’t work, perhaps another three year investigation in which nothing is investigated is in order.  You sir, Senator Grassley, are a fraud.

Here are some depressing articles about this mess:

CNN’s take

Huffington Post

66 Responses to “Grassley’s megachurch probe was BS”

  1. Pastor De Grano Duro says:

    These evangelists make a fortune here in Australia too. I would assume, since that type of church also gets a tax free lifestyle here, that the imports would be relieved of the burden too.

    Benny Hinn Ministries is probably the most popular of these. I am still astounded at the gullibility of those who fall for this trash. The funniest thing about this fraud by far is the people writhing on the ground in healing and ‘anointing’. We get it about 5am in the morning and it makes for pissfunny breakfast viewing.

    What isn’t pissfunny however is how much these obscene ministries make, and the fact that all these churches are getting away with a tax free lifestyle is disgusting in the extreme. I get especially annoyed at the fact that most evangelist organisations provide little or no help to needy people, something that Xtianity in general proclaims to be a basis for its’ existence. At least the older churches, despite the fact that they are still, in my opinion anyway, deluded in their beliefs provide assistance to the needy, such as St Vincent de Paul, a catholic group, and Anglicare, from the Church of England. So, they’re giving something back to the society that supports their existence.

    Extreme as this may sound, I doubt if I’d have any genuine problem at all finding a bullet for both Dollar and Hinn. They have leached off society, especially in the U.S for a very long time. There isn’t too many words I can actually drum up for this type of Xtianity and those that I can are at the absolute bottom of the English vocabulary.

    I know He is far too kind for this and He may not approve, but May His Noodly Appendages strangle the life out of these people, purify their souls and reincarnate them as pirates.

    • zeliasgrand says:

      I have not seen Benny Hinn for quite some time now but what I have always wondered is what keeps his HAIR in that odd configuration? I always wondered if Hinn’s hairstyle was evidence of the hand of the Divine Hairstylist. He and Donald Trump must have some secret brotherhood of the superlative hair mousse that keeps them in shape. I can believe in that about as readily as I can believe that God and Benny Hinn have some special relationship. I have always thought that poor God is not served well by the people who self-select has his appointed representatives on earth!

  2. Jim M. says:

    Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if Grassley was “on the take” himself. I’m sure all those people (Hinn and the rest) all get together and have a party celebrating how much money they scam out of hard-working gullible Christians. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had their own “secret society” with politicians and other “old white men” including Grassley himself. How else do you think they’ve gotten away with it for so long and continue to do so?


    -Pastafarian Jim

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  7. Inna Spaghetti Davita says:

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about. We used the same self-regulatory approach to the oil industry. Fair is fair.

  8. matt says:

    Atheism is also a belief system, the only difference is we look for evidence. Instead of getting angry about churches not paying taxes, use the same loophole to avoid your own taxes. It is just a little paperwork. The Supreme Court has already ruled that: “One person may not be considered more of an expert on god than another.” To do so would violate the separation of church and state. So don’t hate the churches start your own.

    • Thomas L. Nielsen says:

      “Atheism is also a belief system”. No! No! And I’ll say it for a third time: No! Atheism is the absence of a (religious) belief system.

      If your attitude is “I believe that there is no deity” then, in my book, you are not atheist, you are anti-theist. The proper atheist attitude, again according to The Book of Thomas, is “I do not believe in a deity. Period”.

      Regards & all

      Thomas L. Nielsen
      Editor-in-Chief, The Book of Thomas

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