Freud Has Been Shod

Mr. Schadenfreude

(Image from The Rut)

I just read this over at OneNewsNow. I don’t really have any comments about it, but I am enjoying it!

Televangelism Empire in Chaos over Family Split

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — Once one of the nation’s most popular televangelists, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller is watching his life’s work crumble.

His son and recent successor, the Rev. Robert A. Schuller, has abruptly resigned as senior pastor of the Crystal Cathedral. The shimmering, glass-walled megachurch is home to the “Hour of Power” broadcast, an evangelism staple that’s been on the air for more than three decades.
The church is in financial turmoil: It plans to sell more than $65 million worth of its Orange County property to pay off debt.…
The Crystal Cathedral blames the recession for its woes. But it’s clear that the elder Schuller’s carefully orchestrated leadership transition, planned over a decade, has stumbled badly.
It’s a problem common to personality driven ministries. Most have collapsed or been greatly diminished after their founders left the pulpit or died. Members often tie their donations to the pastor, not the institution, said Nancy Ammerman, a sociologist of religion at Boston University. Schuller, with a style that blends pop psychology and theology, has a particularly devoted following, she said.
Today’s increasingly fragmented media landscape is also to blame, said Quentin Schultze, a Calvin College professor who specializes in Christian media.
“I don’t see a scenario for maintaining a TV-based megachurch anymore. The days of doing that in the models of Schuller and Jimmy Swaggart and Oral Roberts are over,” Schultze said. “It’s amazing to me that the ‘Hour of Power’ was able to keep going as long as it did.”
The Schullers consider the church a family business and the younger Schuller’s 2006 appointment was sanctioned by the Crystal Cathedral’s parent denomination, the Reformed Church in America. [emphasis added]
On the church Web site, concerned members and TV fans have posted hundreds of comments protesting the upheaval, with some indicating they have stopped giving or will leave altogether.
Others said they felt betrayed that the Schullers couldn’t put God before their family spat.

11 Responses to “Freud Has Been Shod”

  1. ericsan Says:

    So, talking about televangelists and shadenfreude, did you miss the Ted Haggard special on HBO? That’s where you lean that he’s not gay, he’s “heterosexual with homosexual attachments.”

    I think that’s churchspeak for what us in the mental health industry call “batshit crazy.”

  2. Ron Britton Says:

    did you miss the Ted Haggard special on HBO?

    I actually don’t have cable at all anymore. I’m getting a lot more done these days now that the demon has been exorcised from my life. I can watch Battlestar Galactica on the SciFi website, so what more do I need?

    I did talk a bit about Ted Haggard’s wonderful new life in the second half of “Stop the (re)Presses!

  3. Brian Says:

    I haven’t seen the Ted Haggard piece, either, but I just wanted to give a hearty “second!” to your BSG shout-out.

    I like the emphasis added to the line about it being their “family business”. Someone just spoke an accidental truth. Really, all evangelism is is a moneymaking racket at which some are better than others, and some are downright hilarious. I’m thinking Benny Hinn and Robert Tilton as two of the more buffoonish types of telepreachers. Ted Haggard has fallen, in an almost Shakespearean fashion, into this category. I do feel some measure of sympathy for his wife and children (and him, too, to be honest) because apart from the religious nonsense, they are people with real feelings, and none of this can be easy.

    On the other hand, they’ve made their bones demonizing gays and in the process have indoctrinated their children, perhaps irrevocably, into their madness. I might have had a twinge of sympathy due this all being played out on the national stage, but I’m sure Ted Haggard wouldn’t agree to all the cameras unless there was some financial compensation.

    All of which serves an abject lesson to anyone with the wits to learn it: religion fraks up everything it touches, and you are better off without it. So say we all.

  4. Parrotlover77 Says:

    So say we all.

    I hope they bulldoze the crystal cathedral. Large reflective windows frak with some birds’ ability to visually determine there is a solid object in front of them until it is, all too often, tragically too late. Seen from the ground, it looks like the birds must be pretty dumb to not notice the windows, but when you are eye level in the air with the windows, heading 50 mph toward them, only more blue sky is reflected from that angle, and your vision is not that keen (not all birds have “eagle eyes”), you can see how they can make that mistake.

    Good riddance.

  5. Ron Britton Says:

    not all birds have “eagle eyes”

    I thought all birds had good vision. It’s a result of living in a 3D environment. Humans and other primates have excellent vision, because we used to swing from the trees.

  6. ericsan Says:

    Oh no! Not all birds have eagle eyes? Therefore, they would be ill equipped to fight predators so the principle of natural selection is not true, which implies the theory of evolution is false, and it follows that creationism is true. Yai!

    Just kidding 🙂

    BTW, I found this by accident and thought it was sortof interesting.

  7. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Yes, but windows and mirrors didn’t exist until relatively recently, so some birds have trouble distinguishing between the open air and a reflection of the open air. 🙂 Interestingly, clear windows don’t seem to really confuse them.

  8. ericsan Says:

    Ha! Wouldn’t this be a good example of how creationists don’t mind taking shortcuts to the conclusion they want to reach.

    And thanks for fixing the link, Ron!

  9. Ron Britton Says:

    And thanks for fixing the link, Ron!

    I had to. You broke my margins!

  10. Jeff Eyges Says:

    I’ve been bothered for some time by the fact that televangelists have turned their ministries into family businesses. It perpetuates the insanity; it isn’t over when they die. Jerry Falwell’s kid is preaching now. When the kids are losers or just not interested, they enlist their grandchildren. The Copelands and Jimmy Swaggart are doing that now. They can’t simply let go.

    I never thought Schuller was so bad, though. He doesn’t think we’re all going to hell – or, at least, he doesn’t go on and on about it. And his message was always a positive one; he doesn’t think humans are all depraved sinners. I always felt he was the best of a bad lot.

  11. Jeff Eyges Says:

    I just read this in the LA Times online:

    Rick Mysse, a pastor with the Schullers denomination, the Reformed Church of America… oversees the Crystal Cathedral and some 60 other churches in Southern California… Mysse said there are 25 pastors lined up to speak on “Hour of Power,” a handful of whom have already recorded shows, including Lee Strobel and Bill Hybels.

    If the denomination is taking over because Schuller is too old, that’s one thing. But, if Schuller is on broad with having Strobel preach – bulldoze the place.