Hobby Lobby bails out ORU

With no comment, except to say that I’ve never felt comfortable shopping in Hobby Lobby:

[Mart Green is giving] $70 million of his family’s fortune to rescue Oral Roberts University, the evangelical Christian school engulfed in a spending scandal and burdened with tens of millions of dollars in debt.

In return for the donation, Green becomes chairman of the university’s new board of trustees, and hopes to restore the public’s trust in the 5,700-student institution.

The wealth comes in part from Hobby Lobby, the company Green’s father, David, founded in his living room with a $600 loan and built into a $1.8 billion craft supply giant with nearly 400 stores in the U.S. The money also comes from Mardel, the Christian bookstore and office supply chain that Mart Green started when he was 19.

Green announced the donation in November, five days after televangelist Richard Roberts stepped down as president amid accusations he misspent school funds to live in luxury.

The rest of the story is here.


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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  1. Well, Wright, we all know the rules have always been different for Fellow Believers. Adult, loving, caring gay couples are horrible sinners who are ruining civilization and deserve to rot in hell, but if you're a priest molesting little boys? You've just made a mistake and deserve christly forgiveness and the church's protection.

    Nice compartmentalization indeed. I've never understood how these people can claim to be against moral relativism with a straight face.

    So much for my hope that ORU would collapse from this mess.

  2. The exact quote is "We believe if you give God his 10 percent, that he can do more with the 90 percent than the 100 percent that you keep."

    Try as I might, I cannot successfully parse this sentence.

  3. So all that prayin' and praisin' the Lord didn't do them much good. The cognitive dissonance will fade, however – the new infusion of money will be regarded as a miracle, and no doubt Satan played a role in all the difficulties…

    I wouldn't care, except that I grew up in East Texas, and knew several people who went to ORU up in Tulsa. What a fraud.

  4. Lots of churches and religious groups gather a list of businesses run by the faithful and urge their members to patronize those places.

    I would love to have a list of companies that refuse to support religious charities .

  5. Nice compartmentalization he’s got: a businessman saying that 90% is greater than 100%. If he truly applied that reasoning to all aspects of his life, he wouldn’t be in the top 4 million wealthiest people in the U.S.

    And the careful phrasing. The Bakker’s “situation”?
    The Catholic priests’ “situation”?? Apparently “financial and moral bankruptcy” translates as “situation” when applied to fellow Big-Tent Belieeevers…

  6. Never mind the alleged personal misdirection of funds by Roberts, how does a supposedly moral organisation with presumably fairly steady income and outgoings end up getting tens of millions of dollars in debt?

    If someone hadn't stepped in and the university had gone bust, how many other honest people and businesses would they have taken down with them (or is it OK to go recklessly in debt if you know you're Right, or the End Times are just around the corner)?

  7. I've never been to a "Hobby Lobby," but something tells me that they won't have a very extensive role-playing game section like most of the hobby shops I've went to as a child.

  8. OK, a quick Google search turns out that this outfit is more of a fundy-run Michael's (i.e. arts/crafts, floral arrangement, scrapbooking) than the hobby shops I frequented (i.e plastic model kits, model rocketry, RC cars/planes, model railroads, role-playing and specialty games, etc.)

  9. Something tells me that the only place where an ORU diploma means anything when looking for a job, is in a business owned or run by an ORU alumni.

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