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. Adrianna The Deamon says:

    @ Inna Spaghetti Davita – The difference is that oil exists.

  2. nunya biz says:

    Some1 here said do not hate th churches, start ur own…my spouse & i were observing the long fought battle for legalizing pot. We do not partake, but a friend in her 80s once requested she b helped 2 obtain, some, if her cancer came back…i am not against it, if she could obtain relief no other way…which in itself somewhat debatable, esp considering th carcinogenic qualities of mj…anyway, if some1 were 2 start a religion with this as a focal point- dont c how itd b contested. Have heard enough proponents speak out, about it…whom many seem set on its use if legal or not, doesnt seem 2 have gone anywhere…mayb those interested in legalising it in usa
    ought take a different tact. Just a thought…having no investment in the outcome per se, just seems enough will have this as continued part of practices either way…we had also predicted when it legalizes, th tobacco cos would take over jurisdicting…which serms wrong, if tobacco @ all contributes 2 conditions & suffering persons end up seeking relief for…here we have cause and cure from same place…
    …a religion is already kind of in place, a subculture. We dont have any investment in seeing it become legal personally, but it seems hypocritical that there r no or little protections 4 persons interested…like th person mentioned, in her 80s- if some1 cares 2 explore that as option, should have it available. Am not suggesting church of fsm adopt this cause, just pointing out…@ religious rites, there is wine being ingested as is, varied religions…how much a stretch this would,b not much…anyway just a conversation. Take it 4 what is worth.

    • Steve says:

      Please use english if you want anyone to read this. I gave up after three sentances. Might be easier to type but it is rubbish to read.

    • Vic says:

      Agreed. Might be a good point in there somewhere, but it was a total chore to read after a line or two. Don’t use numbers, take a moment and type out “to”.

    • Miranda says:

      tried to read this, really did. really did. but it was all “@ 2 c 4 b …. … … th serms”

    • Adrian says:

      Yes. I would also like to bring forward the infmoration that it takes more energy to reach up to the number keys is proportionally similar to the amount of time you ‘waste’ by typing out a full (short) word. In addtion to spreading the word of the FSM, we should also spread the word about correct grammar… May His noodly Appendage guide us…

      • Adrian says:

        Okay… I typed that before I had read it out… but you get the idea.

    • Christopher says:

      I 4 1 h8 lm froe fer r th stupid ant w8 nn mp vids rewqwerqeewqrqw slam vrrr n’t Cthulhu. Nairobi.

    • Mahalo says:

      All right, I read it because I could tell you really put some heart into this, and I respect that, but… all I’m really picking up is that you are neutral to the point of legalizing pot and don’t support the idea that the FSM Church should do something with tobacco because it controls our judgement?

      It sounds like you’re talking about Rastafarians in the first paragraph, but I can’t figure out the context…

      Wait, I think I have an idea. Are you talking about how all religions sin in some way? Is that it? That all religions sin, so starting your own would be fruitless?

    • Olio says:


      Ron Paul was quoted as saying something along the lines of prohibition of anything does not work out. This is not advocating use, just supporting rational attitudes on the subject. Medicinal use is not even mentioned, but would be a given consideration.

      • Olio says:

        I assume this is okay to post on this page, since the topic is Grass(ley).

    • Ryan says:

      Did R2D2 type this?

      • Keith says:

        No: too many bells and not enough whistles.

  3. Mik says:

    Wow! Politicians fail at actually treating religious excuses the same as any other excuse!

    Colour me surprised.

  4. lil doopy says:

    Grassley makes me sad to be an Iowan.

    • Olio says:

      Why should you be sad to be from anywhere just because a person made the news in a negative way there. You might as well say you are sad to be from planet earth. I’ve not been to Iowa. But certainly there’s more to Iowa than this news story.

  5. ORAXX says:

    Anyone who paid attention to the health care debate saw Charles Grassley reveal himself to be one the least intelligent people to ever sit in the U.S. Senate. Grassley has been closely linked the the “C Street” group known as “The Family” and any investigation he conducts into big time organized religion, simply cannot be trusted.

  6. Jesus Zamora Bonilla says:

    My definition proposal for “atheist”, in Wiki Portal:

  7. Rip Ragged says:

    Please do not judge senator Grassley. Pray to al dente divine that his sauce will be hot and his cheese always melted.

  8. Jim Larsen says:

    Indiscriminate oversight of churches in the USA by the IRS would definitely reduce the amount of corruption inherent in “moral” lobbyist groups, not to mention cutting down on the ease of laundering money through religious affiliates or through churches directly.

    The oversight would possibly create two immediate political problems.

    1. The IRS would need very clear legal guidelines guidelines on what does and does not constitute a “church organization.” These guidelines would need to be enforced.

    2. This idea of enforced oversight could lend power to the factually and logically erronious– but politically viable populism-based argument that somehow all churches would be hindered by the oversight, which could be interpreted a violation of the first amendment.

    Would this be discrimination against churches? In my opinion; no. In the opinion of vested monetary interests; yes. No church would be favored above any other church- but in general churches would indeed be held liable for their financial activities.

    At this point the entire subject breaks down into philosophy, as the concept of “liability” is compared to responsibility, and then to risk. The pro-accountability group makes the argument for enforcing responsibility, which in effect encourages responsibility. The pro-priveleges group then argues that the liability is an added risk, and in effect–a hindrance to the general practice of religion.

    I work in a mental hospital, so I don’t always look for sanity as a human motivator. R’amen.

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