Monday 31 May 2010

Uganda’s Ministry of Education: Tough on Holiday teaching, Soft on Corporal punishment in schools

Uganda’s Ministry of Education: Tough on Holiday teaching, Soft on Corporal punishment in schools

This month, the media has been awash with stories of schools which were closed because of teaching pupils during the holidays. The Ministry of education even instructed the police to ensure that those schools do not open until they are cleared by ministry. This is a positive step however, if the ministry is so much concerned about children’s rights, how comes it is virtually silent and non-pro-active as regards dealing with the culprits of corporal punishment in schools.

Corporal punishment is a cancer that is slowly but steadily eating Uganda’s education system. At one time, we thought that it was only practiced in primary schools, but as we speak now, it is the order of the day in many secondary schools especially in private ones. Can you imagine that we live in a country where senior four students receives stokes of the Cain for failing mathematics??

Can you imagine that we live in a country where senior six students are severely flogged for failing History? What kind of Ugandans are we training? Can you believe that this is happening in a country that is bragging of having domesticated the Convention on the rights of the child (CRC) under the so called Children Act, 1996? Corporal punishment in Ugandan schools is torture, cruel and degrading treatment and punishments and is therefore violation of fundament human rights.

It has become so much accepted that even civil society organization do not seem to be bothered by it. Do you know that even some university lecturers slap students and go away it? We are training a generation of violent fathers and mothers in this country. We have allowed the abused-abuser syndrome to eat our society. This is a fatal time bomb. I urge the pupils and students reading this to challenge the ministry by taking their abusers to the Uganda Human rights Commission on Buganda road or seek the help of human rights NGOs such as Foundation for Human Rights initiative in Nsabya. I urge the Ministry to come out clearly on corporal punishment in schools. Silence and lip service implementation will not take us far.

Kizito Michael George

Sunday 30 May 2010

Public Outrage as Ugandan Legislator slaps beggar over child abuse

FIRST READ: Don’t Karimojong children have rights too?

Hon. Winifred Kiiza’s behavoiur is a mockery of parliamentary integrity and the formal justice system

This week, newspapers have been awash with the story of Hon. Winifred Kiiza’s who slapped a Karamojong child abuse suspect amidst the ululations of police and certain sections of the media fraternity. Worse still, the Hon. MP was non apologetic about her action and the general public was in support of her conduct. One Ugandan compared her to Jesus who flogged the money changers in the temple.Can you, Imagine!

As if, this was not enough, the police head of the crime desk at the Kampala Central Police Station, Johnson Agaba has hypocritically summoned the MP to informally record a statement, and the Police spokesperson, Henry Kalulu has categorically said, “I did not see her beat the woman; may be she attempted’’There is also no complainant and the incident is not recorded in the Police files.” (The New Vision, Thursday, 27th May, 2010) .

How can a legislator take the law in her hands with impunity and the police simply react with hypocrisy and judicial gymnastics? Surely, the ‘’gods in this country are not just crazy, they have simply gone bizarre!!’’ How can a suspect be assaulted at a police station and police tells us, we did not see and there is no complaint. Does the police have any moral authority to attack the judge whom they accuse of letting Kajubi off the hook?

Hon. Winifred Kiiza’s conduct was unprofessional at least and pathetic at most. Her anger is understandable however she shouldn’t have allowed emotions to take precedence over reason, integrity and civility. Supposing it is later discovered that the slapped Karamogong woman was of unsound mind, What will the Hon. MP tell us? The MPs conduct and the police reaction are indicative of the uncivilized peasant mentality explicit in even the elites- a mentality which prefers doing things informally in a formal milieu.

How different is the Hon.MP’s conduct from the peasant mob justice brigades that storm police stations to kill chicken thieves? Take or leave it, the conduct of the Hon.MP and the police reaction has sent a message to the common Ugandan that the formal justice system is a gimmick. This is a very dangerous precedent. Although, there are many loopholes in Uganda’s formal justice system, we must respect it and guard jealously because it is far much better than informal justice.

Kizito Michael George

Legislator slaps beggar over child abuse

Monday, 24th May, 2010

Kizza slapping the Karimojong woman for allegedly torturing the child she is carrying
By Patrick Jaramogi

THERE was drama at the Kampala Central Police Station (CPS) yesterday when the Kasese Woman MP Winifred Kiiza slapped a Karimojong beggar during a press briefing.

Kiiza was at the Police station to report a case against Edward Smith, alias Ali Mubarak, over attempting to con her of sh50m in a fake gold deal.

But she turned her attention on Lukiyo Agino, a 23-year-old Karimojong girl, who was arrested over child abuse.

The drama unfolded when the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Henry Kalulu, dragged in Lukiyo along with a malnourished two-year-old child she was using as bait to get money from sympathisers.

“This lady has been arrested in connection with torturing this innocent child. She has been using this child to solicit cash in the streets. This is child abuse,” said Kalulu. “And the worst part of it all is that the child is not even hers,” Kalulu explained

The child belongs to Lokwere Mongesi, another Karimojong woman who was already under Police custody.

The MP, who was seated next to Kalulu during the press briefing, walked towards Lukiyo who was seated about three metres away.

“Why do you subject this child to such acts?” asked Kiiza.

The legislator demanded to know whether Lukiyo knew the pains of childbirth.

Lukiyo, who apparently did not understand the question, laughed instead, angering the MP further. This prompted her to swing a slap into her face, sending the journalists into laughter.

”Mwongere (slap her more),” some journalists shouted.

Lukiyo started crying as the furious MP added another slap before she was blocked from landing another whack.

Lukiyo was then whisked away by the Police to another room.

Kalulu declined to state whether Kiiza would be reprimanded for assaulting a suspect in Police custody. He instead said the two Karimojong women would face charges of child neglect.

Several Karimojong children beg on various streets in the city. Efforts to take them off the streets have so far failed. When the city council rounds them up, they somehow reappear after a few weeks. The council says the children are ferried back by “unfriendly” people.

Meanwhile, the Police are holding the Asian man over trying to extort money from the Woman MP. Edward Smith was nabbed in Parliament just as he was to about rip Kiiza of $25,000 (sh50m).

He had allegedly promised the MP ‘gold’ worth sh50m, which she would sell for about sh70m and make a profit of sh20m.

Smith, whom the Police showed to journalists yesterday, reportedly belongs to a city gang carrying out “intellectual robbery.”

Smith’s mother is Egyptian, while the father is from Yemen but the son says he is a Ugandan of Asian origin, the Police disclosed.

The gang, according to Kalulu, has been engaged in extortion rackets, targeting leading businessmen and politicians.

“We have a case of a leading businessman who was conned of sh1b early this year by this ‘muzungu’ after he promised him gold. The businessman (name withheld) had to sell his prime land and get bank loans to sustain his business,” said Kalulu.

Also arrested were three other people over trying to con Geoffrey Anouk, a city businessman, of sh36m. John Mugisa, Daniel Okot from Gulu and Abubaker Masaba from Busia were arrested from Quality Super Market in Old Kampala.

“They tricked Anouk that they had brought him gold. But when he checked the polythene bag, it contained a packet of glucose biscuits and juice,” Kalulu said.

In the same swoop, George William Kasirivu, the manager of a Kasirex Company Limited, was also arresrted. Kasirivu, who once worked in Iraq as a guard, is allegedly behind the theft of money from over 300 Ugandans who were working in Iraq.

“He was smart and evaded the Police like Osama Bin Laden does. He doesn’t board cars and walks between midnight and 5:00am. But we finally pounced on him,” said Kalulu.

Kasirivu, dressed in a dark blue suit, looked composed as journalists took his picture. He even smiled during the interaction.

He is accused of obtaining sh750m from the Ugandans, promising them jobs in Afghanistan.

“He was smart. He personally called these innocent boys from Iraq and sent them e-mails. The boys were earning $700 (sh1.4m in Iraq) but he promised them $3,000 (sh6m) for jobs in Afghanistan. The boys saw this as a lucrative deal and abandoned their Iraq jobs,” explained Kalulu.

He said once they jetted into the country, Kasirivu asked his “prey” to deposit sh2.5m into his Stanbic Bank in Lugogo.

“After getting their money, he engaged a cat-and-mouse game, shifting offices daily from Mengo, Kajjansi, Ntinda, Lugazi, Natete and Nsambya,” said

Kasirivu’s lack ran out when some of his new clients called him, promising him more money on Saturday.

“As he rushed to pick the money, his older clients had mobilised and handed him over to the Police,” he said.

Kasirivu faces up to seven years in prison if convicted of obtaining money by false pretence. The Police have urged people who were promised jobs in Iraq by Kasirivu to report to CPS.

I Do Not Regret Slapping Beggar – MP

Milton Olupot

The New vision, 25 May 201

Kampala — The Kasese Woman MP, Winfred Kiiza, who slapped a beggar at the Kampala Central Police Station on Monday, has said she does not regret her action.
Kiiza, who said she regularly gave alms to the Karimojong children in the city, explained that she did not know that the children were being exploited.

"When I was told the story of women planting the children on the streets and going into hiding, I was disgusted. I was hurt when I saw the poor health of the child and realised that the children are not the direct beneficiaries of the money collected," she said.

Lukiyo Agino, 23, had been arrested over allegations of child abuse. The two-year-old child, used as bait to get money from sympathisers, was malnourished. The child belongs to Lokwere Mongesi, who is also under Police custody.

"That is total abuse of the rights of the children. The people who are saying I did bad are murderers. They want to see the children dead. Let those who are saying I took the law into my hands, take me to court," she argued.
The MP called for attention to be shifted to finding ways of getting the children off the streets.

Achia Terrance, the MP for Bokora County in Karamoja, also had no sympathies for Agino.

"It is unfortunate but I can't also blame the MP for slapping her. Some of the women were transported back to Karamoja but that one belongs to a group that hid in Kampala," he said.

However, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Henry Kalulu, denied seeing the legislator slapping the beggar.
"I did not see the MP beating her. Maybe she attempted to, but there is no complainant. Therefore, the incident is not recorded anywhere in the Police files," he said.

The Uganda Women's Network executive director, Rita Aciro, however, condemned the MP's action.
"An MP has no jurisdiction in a Police station to start beating people. Even if this woman was a criminal, the MP did not have the right to beat her up.
"Some women leaders purport to be advocating for the rights of women, but what message are we sending out when we are seen beating the same women?" she asked.
Aciro called for a study on the behaviour of people.

"We have to get to the roots to understand people like this woman. Condemnation does not yield anything," she said.

The organisation is an advocacy and lobbying coalition of National Women's Non-governmental Organisations, institutions and individuals in Uganda. It was founded in 1993.

MP did wrong to slap the beggar

Thursday, 27th May, 2010
Vivian E. AsedriKasese Woman MP Winfred Kiiza disgraced herself and Parliament by assaulting a homeless Karimojong woman.

The woman was a suspect in police custody at Kampala Central Police Station (CPS) .

One wonders if the MP’s despicable act should not prompt the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to prefer charges of torturing a suspect in custody.

Being an MP or VIP for that matter, does not in any way warrant anybody to assume the role of executioner of the law the way Kiiza did.

The MP should be knowledgeable of the Constitution and international human rights instruments such as the United Nations convention against torture, to which Uganda is a signatory.

Moreover every suspect is innocent until proven otherwise by the due process of the law.
The influx of children and women beggars on Kampala streets is a symptom of a breakdown in safety-nets. It is also a sign of lack of social programmes that would have otherwise ameliorate the problem.

The sole reason these women beggars use their children as baits to solicit alms is hunger.

If anything, instead of the MP reacting with such rage, she should have used the opportunity to rally her colleagues in Parliament to challenge Kampala City Council, Ministry for Karamoja and the Government to expeditiously address the root cause of the eyesore.

The fact that the Karimojong women and children keep popping up in Kampala and other major towns is proof that they see a better lifestyle beyond their nomadic living.

The Government should, therefore, take advantage of this change in the Karimojong’s mindset.

It should set up a marshall investment of social services like clean water, emergency free housing for resettlement and sustainable food distribution in Karamoja resettlement centres.

The writer is a medical information technologist, San Diego, California, US

MP denies slapping Karimojong beggar

Sunday, 30th May, 2010
By Eddie Ssejjoba

KASESE Woman MP Winfred Kiiza has denied slapping a Karimojong beggar who was in Police custody.

The MP had earlier declined to report to the Kampala Central Police Station, saying she had not informed her boss, the Speaker of Parliament, for clearance. She later recorded a statement on Friday evening.

The deputy Police spokesman for Kampala Metropolitan, Henry Kalulu, yesterday said Kiiza recorded a statement on Friday and denied slapping Lukiya Agino, who had been arrested over using a malnourished baby to beg on the Kampala streets.

“She said as a mother and women leader, she was annoyed and saddened to see someone abusing a malnourished baby, moreover not hers, to get money on the streets,” Kalulu said.

A day after the incident, Kiiza said she did not regret slapping Agino, saying she was “disgusted” by the practice of exploiting children. Asked whether she was still unrepentant, she stated: “Wait for me to record the statement.”

But in her Friday statement, Kiiza told the Police that she tried to slap the woman but restrained herself when she realised that the suspect was not in sound mind.

The MP was angered by the fact that the suspect was drunk at the time of her arrest and kept on laughing, Kalulu explained.

The incident at the central Police station last Monday, attracted wide media coverage, with most people rebuking the legislator for taking the law in her hands.

Agino, Kalulu said, was rescued by the Police from a mob on Entebbe Road after people realised that the baby she was using to beg was about to die.
He said Agino will today appear in court on charges of child abuse.

The child has since been admitted in the Mwana Mugimu Nutrition Ward at Mulago Hospital, where it is being nursed by her mother, Angelina Akwaro.

Resty Birungi, a nursing officer, said the baby had regained appetite and was improving. The embattled MP visited them on Friday.

Speaking in Swahili, Akwaro, who is pregnant, said she had entrusted the child with her sister Agino but was not aware that she was using her to beg.

She said she occasionally begs on the streets because her husband used to assault her whenever she asked for money to look after the baby. The husband abandoned her and returned to Moroto.

Police defend MP for slapping beggar

By Isaac Khisa

Posted Thursday, May 27 2010 at 00:00
The Kasese Woman MP who slapped a beggar has no charges to answer, the Police have said. The Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Mr Henry Kalulu, told Daily Monitor on Tuesday that he did not see Ms Winnifred Kiiza slapping the beggar. “No one has reported the case to the police. And so unless someone complains, we as police cannot do much,” Mr Kalulu.

Ms Kiiza was on Monday at Central Police Station to report a case against Edward Smith, who allegedly attempted to con her of Shs50 million in a fake gold deal. But she turned her attention on Ms Lukiyo Agino, 23, who was arrested over child abuse.
The situation changed when Mr Kalulu, dragged Ms Lukiyo in a news conference together with a malnourished two-year-old child, whom she was using as bait to get money from sympathisers. The child belonged to Ms Lokwere Mongesi, another Karimojong woman, who was already under police custody.
Demanding explanation

The MP, who was seated next to Mr Kalulu during the press briefing, reportedly walked towards Ms Lukiyo and demanded an explanation on whether she knew the pains of childbirth. But Ms Lukiyo, just reportedly laughed, angering the MP further, who then slapped her.

Women activists, however, on Wednesday condemned the act, saying it was unfair for the MP to slap the beggar without finding out the root cause of the problem. “It is very unfortunate that a woman can slap a fellow woman, which does not even help,” the Uganda Women’s Networks Coordinator, Ms Rita Aciro Lakor, said. However, Mr Kalulu said whatever the circumstances, it was unfair and intolerable for Ms Lukiyo to mistreat the child.

Mr Anselm Wandega, the programme coordinator at African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect, said: “It is the responsibility of the police to effectively implement the Trafficking of Persons Act.” He said there’s need for the government to improve the livelihood of people living in Karamoja to stop them from coming to beg in the city.

Ugandan legislator assaults a woman in police custody: who will check mob justice?

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 22:31 Rosebell Kagumire
The New Vision front page story; Legislator slaps beggar over child abuse raises many questions. The woman legislator from Kasese Winifred Kiiza had been to the Police station for a totally different case of attempted conning if i may call it that.

Then along the way she took time to take the law into her own hands at a place where suspects are supposed to be in safe custody, to slap one Lukiyo Agino, a 23-year-old Karimojong girl, who was had been arrested over child abuse.

The story goes Lukiyo was fronting a malnourished child from her friend to people on the streets trying to get money. Lukiyo’s child abuse story is not too intriguing. The problem of Karamoja is a well documented one. It’s one place with a harsh climate that relies on food aid throughout the year. Government has almost kept alive the long held notion of we shall not wait for Karamoja to develop by not helping it to develop even when the First lady is the minister in charge of that region. Most of what we see about Karamoja is about guns and disarmament.

It’s women who suffer most in that part of the country where one has to walk miles to access water. This is a place with about one hospital for about 10,000 people and many have run away to the streets of kampala with their children. While Lukiyo’s alleged act of child abuse is inexcusable, the source of such cases is not these poor women on the streets. And you would expect a legislator to be fully cautious before putting her judgment on such women.

Kiiza’s behavior is only a glimpse into the mob justice culture in Uganda. A person elected to represent a district is the same person to commit crimes right at police station.

The story goes on to say the woman had smiled when the MP asked her if she new the pains of childbirth. What a question to a woman from who probably has never stepped in a school. And even if the question was in Luganda i doubt she has good understanding language BUT above all who’s Kiiza at the Police station?
The most unethical of all acts in this story is journalists geering and asking the MP to give more beating to the woman saying “Mwongere”

This is shameful but it shows how much Ugandans are into mob justice. Even those who are supposed to watch it are involved in it. The story ends with a no comment from a Police officer declining to state if the legislator would face any charges. Of course people like Kiiza understand the workings of our police force. They too practice such violence on suspects so how can they rescue one from a politician who has a district they represent.

This harassment of a suspect by a legislator right before the eyes of the police tells a much bigger story about justice in Uganda. Kiiza must be brought to book for use of violence and if our parliament is worth its name should take such a case seriously. Torture and harrasment are not part of a job of a legislator and If Kayihura still insists that the force doesn’t brutalise civilians he must answer why a suspect would be beaten up at a police station and no action taken.

DEBATE: Should Kasese Woman MP have slapped a beggar?

The Mp was out of bounds to slap the beggar

written by Birungi Andrew , May 26, 2010

In a serious law-abiding society, the MP would have been charged with physical assault for slapping the beggar.

The beggar was already in the hands of the custody of the police who were to take whatever was or is appropriate action against her. The MP is a legislator not a law-enforcer or punisher.

She was out of line to slap the beggar. That is why the police who are the custodian of the law are pretending they did not witness it. MPs should be setting examples to the rest of the citizens. In this they should be law abiding.

written by Rev Amos Kasibante , May 26, 2010

The sentence (question) reads like one of those sentences we were given in English exams at Secondary School that we had to complete. So here goes:

'Should Kasese Woman MP have slapped a beggar who was in police custody at the police station in full view of the police thus leaving incontrovertible evidence and yet not be arrested and charged with assault and other offences considering that the woman assaulted was under police custody and did not even understand the language the woman MP was speaking?'

Should Kasese Woman MP have slapped a beggar?
written by Daniel Kabogoza , May 26, 2010

As a firm believer in the rule of law, I found it so obnoxious, to watch and read the story of the honourable taking the law in her own hands.

Yes the sight of a strange woman allegedly abusing another woman’s child is so abhorrent, but the MP should have known better not to cross that invisible judicial line.

We have had so many examples of might is right in our mother land and time has come for civilized people to step up and say, yes, let the law take it’s course.

Remember, this woman was already in police custody. Now, what example was this law maker dishing out? Venting out her anger in such a way before the police was unacceptable. I pray that in future, the MP will find some comfort in taking anger management classes before she is called upon to investigate police brutality. She is a law maker and NOT the law.

I am sure there is a possibility of the prey turning around and biting the predator, for violation of civil rights if she gets a good lawyer.

Shame upon the police and the irate MP?
written by Kasule , May 27, 2010

However much the truth is twisted, ASSAULT is a criminal offence and the law is not discriminative on this. I wonder what the legislator will now debate when it comes to debating in parliament on people taking the law in their own hands. If I was coming from her constituency I would be very ashamed of her. The other day the head of the police investigations department of police crimes was very keen on punishing officers who neglect their duties…. how about investigating those police officers who witnessed the crime of assault and fearful as they are from the "orders from above" cannot themselves be complainants…..who then is the custodian of the law. Their boss also agrees with his colleagues well knowing that the illiterate Karimojong woman who does not know a thing about her constitutional rights will not place any charges. We all get mad at one time or the other but God forbid it does not warrant that kind of behaviour for a woman of that caliber and alas "a crime is crime" that require a due process. The police should get that woman MP to answer the ASSAULT charges like the police is doing to the Karimojong woman, if not then the police should let the woman go as the woman MP has already acted as the complainant, prosecutor, judge and hangman. Otherwise I am very fearful that they are setting a very bad precedent.

There's a Case!!
written by joramjojo , May 27, 2010

Member of parliament carried out torture on a citizen of Uganda that was already under police custody!!

The Beggar should sue and take both the MP and the state to the cleaners!!

written by Joseph , May 27, 2010

It is still difficult for me to agree with the reality that an mp slapped a civilian under police custody!

How can this Kasese girl do this? By the way is this Mp married and staying with a man? I guess no, because the man would be at it everyday.

Anyway,all Ugandans are equal before the law therefore let the police stop covering up this mp and make a case against this Mp. Or let the selfclaimed human right activist Nuwagaba Vicent take on this Mp on behalf of this helpless Karimajon woman.

written by Tsaile , May 27, 2010

For a person to stand by the roadside and beg, that person needs help. The police should not arrest such a person but lead her or him to an office or institution that can help.

Civilized countries have social offices where people can go and ask for help when they are hungry or have no place to sleep. For that reason taxes are collected. The police and so called MP should have asked the Karamojong woman why she was in Kampala begging.

We should remember that our consititution allows Ugandans, including Karamojong to live and enjoy themselves in any part of Uganda.

An MP who assaults another citizen just because the other is poor and hungry is not worth to be called honourable. A sensible MP should have asked from the minister in charge of social services why there were hungry citizens with malnourished babies on the streets of our towns and given that Karamojong girl as an example.

Driving citizens out of their city with panda gari is not a solution to ending poverty. Educate Karamojong people and build industries in Karamoja and you will never see them come to dirty Kampala. Robbing the Karamojong of their gold and marble stones is driving them to the streets of Kampala.

Shame upon the silly MP.

Punish violent Parliamentarians

KASESE Woman Member of Parliament Winifred Kiiza is in the spotlight for slapping a female Karimojong beggar, Likyo Agino, 23, during a press briefing at Kampala Central Police Station.

According to the laws of this country, this is assault and the Police must take the necessary steps to charge the lawmaker for breaking the law.

While it was very wrong for the Karimojong beggar to use an emaciated child as a bait to get money from sympathetic members of the public, the legislator should have known better than assault a suspect in lawful police custody.

By assaulting the beggar, the MP appropriated to herself the roles of judge and prosecutor, which was very wrong. Two wrongs have never made a right.

As a Member of Parliament, honourable Kiiza’s role is to come up with appropriate laws to, first, protect vulnerable children from abuse and exploitation by selfish people and, secondly, ensure that the conditions that forced these Karimojong women and children out of their homes to beg on the streets of Kampala are addressed.

Instead of assaulting her, the MP should have sat down with the Karimojong beggar to find out how she and many others ended up as beggars on the streets of Kampala, using malnourished children as baits to get sympathy.

It is very wrong for our leaders to take the law into their hands; it sends a wrong signal to the ordinary person on the street, who might interpret it as a thumbs up signal to mob justice. The incident also puts to question the Police’s capacity to provide security to suspects under their custody.

If the Police is really committed to stamping out the culture of mob justice from our society, then they should charge honourable Kiiza for assaulting the Karimojong beggar.
Published on: Saturday, 29th May, 2010

Dishonourable Kiiza must be made to regret her slap

By Bernard Tabaire

Posted Saturday, May 29 2010 at 00:00

In Summary

MP Kiiza’s behaviour is variously offensive and the police must not protect her. Police chief Kale Kayihura must declare publicly that he will punish any of his officers seeking to protect this politically, morally, and intellectually crude MP.

A young woman uses another woman’s malnourished child, said to be two years old, to pull in some coins off Kampala’s streets. The police arrest her for alleged child abuse. While at the Central Police Station, a woman MP encounters her being paraded (a strange but persistent practice by our enlightened police force) before journalists. The MP, Ms Winifred Kiiza of Kasese, unleashes not one but two hot slaps across the 23-year-old beggar’s face while accusing her of exploiting a child. A sharp photojournalist captures the dramatic moment. That is Monday.

The next day, a police spokesman who paraded the woman claims he saw nothing and therefore the MP could not be charged for common assault. Besides, no complaint had been registered. It did not matter that journalists saw and captured it all unfold. Indeed, some of the journalists, feeling stupidly superior, encouraged the MP to slap the beggar some more. After all, what is she doing begging on our cute streets, coming all the way as she does from that backwater that is Karamoja.

Back to sharp-eyed spokesman Henry Kalulu. This officer’s point is that the beggar is actively conscious of her rights she must first file a complaint before she can be protected from the hypocritical wrath of her assailant. That beggars belief. Otherwise Mr Kalulu could have been trying, carefully, to protect the MP and avoid embarrassment that someone could openly abuse police authority by assaulting another in front of police officers and reporters inside a powerful police station. How else to explain the fact that the following day the police reversed itself and summoned the MP who, by the way, already said she has nothing to regret or apologise for?
MP Kiiza’s behaviour is variously offensive and the police must not protect her. Police chief Kale Kayihura must declare publicly that he will punish any of his officers seeking to protect this politically, morally, and intellectually crude MP. If anything, the police must be incensed that their authority was blatantly challenged by the MP taking the law into her hands to assault another person, however disturbing that person’s behaviour toward an innocent, who already was in police custody.

But let us examine the MP’s motivations and source of outrage. The MP seems to feel for children, as all “normal” people do and should. She likes to see happy and healthy children everywhere. In seeing an emaciated and exploited child off the street, she felt angry enough to punish the person who took advantage of the infant. This honourable woman and mother thinks that two wrongs make a right. That is a shame.

She also thinks that there must be something wicked about people who end on the streets of Kampala begging her, and others like her, for alms. Our good MP seems blissfully incapable of making any connection between the policies of the government, including the Parliament she serves that is charged with making laws (not taking them in own hands), and begging on the streets. Her thinking is unsurprisingly not different from that of her colleague, Mr Terrance Achia of Bokora in Karamoja. “It is unfortunate but I can’t also blame the MP for slapping her,” he said. “Some of the women were transported back to Karamoja but that one belongs to a group that hid in Kampala.” Would it not be better to tell us how these undesirables hide, and who aids them in their evil scheme if anyone? Also, it would be helpful for Winifred & Co to use their energies to understand why anyone goes to the street to beg with a view to addressing the matter. We elect leaders to work through things like that, not to beat us up. Even if we have (dodgy) leaders we deserve, we always hold out hope that they will surprise us once in while.
“When I was told the story of women planting the children on the streets and going into hiding, I was disgusted,” MP Kiiza said. “I was hurt when I saw the poor health of the child and realised that the children are not the direct beneficiaries of the money collected.” Her problem is not even that there is begging at all, but that the beggars divert the begged money. What logic!

The least that can be done, however, is that on top of robust police action, Parliament must reprimand Ms Winifred Kiiza, even if symbolically, for further muddying up the legislature’s name. For it is highly unlikely that Ms Kiiza would have acted the way she did if she did not feel she had power over the beggar (just like some men do their women), and even the police officers present. Her feeling of supreme importance emanated directly from her being an MP. Being the leader she is, or is supposed to be, we must judge her conduct on a much higher standard. Over to police and Parliament.

Mr Tabaire is a media trainer and consultant with the African Centre for Media Excellence

Thursday 27 May 2010

Obama Sides with Vatican in Abuse Lawsuit

Obama Sides with Vatican in Abuse Lawsui

Wednesday May 26, 2010

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Obama administration has made a rare foray into the Catholic sexual abuse crisis, backing the Vatican's claim it is immune to lawsuits in the U.S. because it is a sovereign nation.

In a brief filed on Friday (May 21) before the Supreme Court, the acting solicitor general argued an appellate court erred in 2009 when it ruled the Vatican could be held liable for the alleged sexual abuse of a Seattle-area man in the 1960s.

The Supreme Court is considering the Vatican's appeal of "Holy See v. John V. Doe." Lawyers from the Department of State and Department of Justice joined the acting solicitor general's brief, which asks the high court to send the case back to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Lawyers for the unnamed man argue that the Vatican transferred the allegedly abusive priest from Ireland to the U.S., despite knowing of accusations against him.

But with limited exceptions, the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act of 1976 protects foreign governments from being sued in U.S. courts.

"Improperly subjecting a foreign state to suit can in some circumstances raise foreign relations and reciprocity concerns," the Obama administration's brief argues.

In 2005, the Bush administration successfully urged a Texas court to dismiss a suit against Pope Benedict XVI because he enjoys immunity as the Holy See's head of state. The government filed a similar motion in 1994 in a suit against the late Pope John Paul II.

In an separate case ongoing in Kentucky, the Vatican is arguing it is not responsible for bishops who transferred abusive priests because the bishops are not Vatican employees.

Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of Abused Priests, called John Doe's suit an "uphill struggle," but said "we're glad this brave victim still has a chance to expose Vatican complicity in horrific child sex crimes."

-- Daniel Burke

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Malawi gay wedding couple jailed 14 years

Malawi gay wedding couple jailed 14 years

20/05/2010 00:00:00 by AFP

A MALAWI court on Thursday sentenced a gay couple who staged an illegal same-sex wedding to 14 years in prison with hard labour, the maximum term.
Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza were arrested on December 28 after their symbolic wedding and accused of violating "the order of nature". They have been in jail ever since.

Homosexuality is illegal in Malawi and many other African countries.
"I sentence you to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour each. That's the maximum under the penal code," magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa told the two men in a courtroom in the capital Blantyre.

"I will give you a scaring sentence so that the public be protected from people like you so that we are not tempted to emulate this horrendous example," the judge added.
"Malawi is not ready to see its sons getting married to its sons."

The couple looked subdued when the sentence was handed down and were quickly rushed out of the packed courtroom.
As they were escorted away under heavy police guard, hundreds of curious onlookers outside the court shouted at them, with one woman yelling, "Malawi should never allow homosexuality at any cost."

The sentence could be appealed at the high court, said the judge.
The men's lawyer, Mauya Msuku, said he would consult with his clients on filing an appeal.

The judge Tuesday convicted both men of engaging in gay sex.
In unusually graphic language, Usiwa Usiwa convicted Monjeza of "having carnal knowledge of Tiwonge through the anus, which is against the order of nature."
Chimbalanga was found guilty of "permitting buggery", which the judge said was similarly contrary to the natural order.

Human rights organisations said the sentence was a blow for human rights and minority groups and the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Undule Mwakasungura, director of the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, said the sentence would drive gays into hiding.

"Malawi needs to sit down and tackle the issue of gays," he said.
"We have many of them who need to publicly access information and HIV and AIDS medical care. It's a big let-down."

Richard Bridgen of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre said the sentencing was a "real tragedy for Malawian society."
"The deep point is that they have the right to be different... the right to live the life they choose," said Bridgen.

Malawi gay couple sentenced to 14 years in jail

(Reuters) - A Malawi gay couple was sentenced on Thursday to 14 years each in jail after being convicted on sodomy and indecency charges, and Washington swiftly condemned the court decision as "unconscionable."

The couple, Steven Monjeza, 26, and 20-year-old Tiwonge Chimbalanga, were arrested after they got engaged in a traditional ceremony in late December. They were tried and found guilty earlier this week in a trial viewed as a test case for gay rights in the southern African country.

"I sentence these two ... to a maximum sentence because I want us to stop Malawian sons and daughters from copying the same sex marriages which are un-Malawian and not in our culture and religious beliefs," Chief Resident Magistrate Nyakwawa Uisiwausiwa said.

"This is the first case of its kind in Malawi ... this is the worst case of its kind," he added.

Major donors to aid-dependent Malawi have condemned what they called the abuse of human rights in the southern African nation, particularly a crackdown on gay rights, and warned that abuses could affect budget support.

"The United States strongly condemns the conviction and harsh sentencing," Robert Gibbs, U.S. President Barack Obama's press secretary said in a statement.

"The criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity is unconscionable, and this case mars the human rights record of Malawi," he said. "We urge Malawi and all countries to stop using sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for arrest, detention, or execution."

Rights group Amnesty International on Tuesday called for the immediate and unconditional release of the couple, saying their human rights have been flagrantly violated.

Malawi gay activist Udule Mwakasungura said the sentence may dent the country's image.

"Malawi is a signatory to treaties that protect minority rights and this sentence is unfortunate and may affect our global standing on human rights," he said.

Homosexuality in Africa has become a contentious issue in recent months after a Ugandan lawmaker proposed a bill including the death penalty for some acts, the arrest of the Malawian couple, and a police raid on a gay wedding in Kenya earlier this year.

Dozens of people packed the court to hear the sentencing. Police closed roads around the building and a nearby bank was closed as more than a thousand people descended on the court.

Tiwonge was calm as the judge pronounced the sentence, which includes hard labor, but Monjeza was visibly shaking at the prospect of going to jail. Police whisked the two away in armed vehicles shortly after the sentencing.

Mauya Msuku, the couple's lawyer said he would appeal the ruling pending a consultation with his clients.


FIRST READ: The seed of Faith that made BIG MONEY – The Story and legacy of Oral Ro

America-nized Christianity, ‘Another Gospel’ To Africa

'Man Control', The End-time Implications

Evangelist Oral Roberts dead at 91

December 16, 2009 -- Updated 1658 GMT (0058 HKT)

(CNN) -- Evangelist Oral Roberts, founder of the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Oral Roberts University, died Tuesday from complications of pneumonia in Newport Beach, California, his spokeswoman said. He was 91.
Roberts' son, Richard, and daughter Roberta were at his side, spokeswoman Melany Ethridge said in a statement.

Roberts was hospitalized Monday following a fall on Saturday, in which he suffered broken bones, Ethridge said earlier, adding he was being treated for pneumonia.
There will be a private interment, the statement said. Arrangements for a public memorial service in Tulsa, Oklahoma, are pending.

"Oral Roberts was a man of God, and a great friend in ministry," the Rev. Billy Graham said in a statement Tuesday. "I loved him as a brother. We had many quiet conversations over the years."

Granville Oral Roberts was born into poverty in Bebee, Oklahoma, on January 24, 1918, according to a brief biography released by Ethridge. His Christian ministry began with what he described as his own miracle healing of tuberculosis at age 17.
Roberts pastored churches in Oklahoma and Georgia and preached at revivals around the country while studying at Oklahoma Baptist University and Phillips University in Oklahoma, according to the biography.

In 1947, he founded the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association in Tulsa, "and began conducting crusades across America and around the world, attracting crowds of thousands -- many who were sick and dying and in search of healing," the biography said. "Through the years, he conducted more than 300 crusades on six continents" and "laid hands" on an estimated 2 million people, according to association officials.
In 1954, he brought television cameras into services, providing what he liked to call a "front-row seat to miracles" to viewers, the biography said. He later began a television program, initially called "Oral Roberts Presents." The ministry's daily program, now called "The Place for Miracles," can be seen on more than 100 television stations, multiple cable and satellite networks and the Internet, Ethridge said.

"If God had not in his sovereign will raised up the ministry of Oral Roberts, the entire charismatic movement might not have occurred," said Jack Hayford, president of the California-based International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, in the statement. "Oral shook the landscape with the inescapable reality and practicality of Jesus' whole ministry. His teaching and concepts were foundational to the renewal that swept through the whole church."

Roberts founded the Abundant Life Prayer Group in 1958 "to address the around-the-clock needs of those suffering and requesting prayer," according to the biography. Today, prayer partners at Abundant Life continue to receive calls 24 hours a day. The group has received more than 23 million phone calls for prayer, the biography said.

Oral Roberts University was founded in 1963, built on 500 acres in Tulsa and dedicated four years later by Graham, according to the biography. Graduate schools including medicine, nursing, dentistry, law, education and theology were later added. Roberts served as school president until 1993 but remained a chancellor until his death.

He remained involved in his evangelistic association as much as his health allowed, Ethridge said Monday. His son, Richard Roberts, currently serves as president.
In 1977, Roberts said he had a vision of a 900-foot-tall Jesus, who told him to found the City of Faith Medical and Research Center. The biography said the center was aimed at "merging the healing power of medicine and prayer."

In 1986, Roberts announced that God would "call him home" unless he raised $8 million to send medical missionaries from the center -- an announcement that was widely publicized. He wound up raising $9.1 million, but the center closed in 1989. However, the biography said, it left "a lasting impact on the understanding by many medical professionals of the importance of treating the whole person -- body, mind and spirit."

In addition, Roberts wrote more than 130 books, the biography said. "His book 'The Miracle of Seed Faith' has more than 8 million copies in circulation. This book's key principles -- God is your source, sow your seed out of your need, and expect a miracle harvest -- formed a fundamental part of Roberts' ministry and legacy," the biography said.

Before his death, Roberts said, "After I'm gone, others will have to judge how well I've obeyed God's command not to be an echo but to be a voice like Jesus," the statement said. "As far as my own conviction is concerned, I've tried to be that voice with every fiber of my being, regardless of the cost."

Responding to news of Roberts' death, Graham said Tuesday: "Just three weeks ago, I was privileged to talk to Oral on the telephone. During the short conversation, he said to me that he was near the end of his life's journey. I look forward to the day that I will see Oral and Evelyn Roberts again in heaven -- our eternal home."
Roberts wife, Evelyn, died in 2005 after the couple had been married more than 66 years. Roberts is survived by his son and daughter and their spouses, along with 12 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren, Ethridge said.

The Legacy of Oral Roberts

An Excerpt from "The Fleecing of Christianity"

by Jackie Alnor

TBN’s September, 1999 newsletter tells the story. "The first glimmer came one night after a PRAISE THE LORD program," wrote Paul Crouch to his supporters. "Pastor John Hinkle, of Christ Church in Los Angeles (who went to be with the Lord a few weeks ago), had been our guest1. . . . John told us that while he was driving home after the program that night, the Lord spoke to him so powerfully he literally had to pull his car to the side of the freeway and stop. The heavens lit up and he saw in a vision the words, "100 TV STATIONS." We rejoiced to hear of this revelation."2 (emphasis in original)

"The next great revelation came some years later," Crouch continued, "as Jan and I were hosting a PRAISE THE LORD program at one of the great Oral Roberts’ campmeetings. . . As he began to speak, a strange new expression came over his face. He paused for several seconds as he looked heavenward and said, ‘Paul, the Lord says, ‘The day will come when you will see ONE THOUSAND TV STATIONS -- and MORE before the Lord returns.’ Jan and I sat there, stunned and transfixed for several moments before we could even speak."3

Yet, contrast this newsletter’s proclamation with that of a TBN newsletter 10 years earlier. The January 1989 TBN newsletter noted, "The Lord is still speaking through His Prophets to His people TODAY! . . . Brother Oral Roberts gave us a prophetic Word from the Lord -- that the TBN Network would grow to be 100 STATIONS and, yes, surpass even that! The Lord also revealed this to Pastor John Hinkle . . . at a time when TBN was only one station!"4

So with Oral Roberts it was both 100 and then 1,000 stations. Yet Oral Roberts, according to Paul Crouch’s statement at a 1984 camp meeting at Melodyland, the prophesied 100 stations would "usher in the coming of Jesus Christ."5 And, today TBN has over 5,000 television stations6 and over 33 satellites. So what might have looked like a valid prophecy at one time is invalidated by Roberts’ time frame into which it was locked.

Oral Roberts is still touted by the Crouches as some great prophet/healer. They do this even though his record as both is very poor. His hearing of audible voices has proven to be false so that even if anything he predicts comes true it cannot be thought of as coming from God. But as noted earlier, the Crouches have Roberts to thank for giving them the key to the viewer’s wallets -- the seed-faith heresy. Christian media expert Al Dager, of Media Spotlight, gave a very accurate summary of Oral Roberts’ ability to hear from the Lord in his own prophetic record.7
• "1960: Roberts claimed that God had told him to make His healing power known throughout the earth.

• 1977: Roberts said he had received a vision from God telling him to build the City of Faith. He later claimed to have seen a 900-foot-tall Jesus who told him that the vision would soon be realized and that the hospital would be a success. The City of Faith opened in 1981.

• 1983: Roberts announced that Jesus had appeared to him in person and commissioned him to find a cure for cancer (Time, July 4, 1983).
• 1986: Roberts said God had told him, ‘I want you to use the ORU medical school to put My medical presence in the earth. I want you to get this going in one year or I will call you home. It will cost $8 million and I want you to believe you can raise it.’ (Abundant Life, Jan/Feb. 1987).

• January 1987: Roberts said God had told him . . . he had to raise $8 million by March 1 or God would take him home. Roberts said the money would be used to provide full scholarships for medical missionaries who would be sent to Third World countries. . . He said $3.5 million had been raised and all he needed was $4.5 million before March 1 that year.

• April 1, 1987: Roberts announced that he had raised $9.1 million -- $1.1 million more than needed. Of the money raised, $1.3 million was given by a dog track owner, Jerry Collins.

• November 1987: Roberts announced that the City of Faith medical clinic will close in three months.

• January 1988: Roberts canceled the university’s free medical tuition program despite his claim that God had told him to make the medical school a world outreach program.

• March 1988: The medical scholarship fund went bankrupt. Students were required to repay scholarship funds at 18 percent annual interest if they transferred to another school rather than stay at ORU medical school and start paying the high tuition.
• September 1989: Roberts decided to close the medical school and the City of Faith hospital to pay off debts."

"When Oral Roberts says that God told him that he was going to take him home if he didn't get 8 million dollars, he lied to the public," noted the late Bible Answer-man Walter Martin. "God never told him that at all. Don't you get the feeling that something's going wrong? It is and it's found for you in scripture. We're told in scripture to reprove, rebuke, and exhort . . . for the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine . . . It's here."8

This makes Oral Roberts a certified false prophet, false teacher, and lying wolf in sheep’s clothing. And his son Richard Roberts, the current president of Oral Roberts University (ORU), is following in his father’s footsteps. On Richard and Lindsey Roberts’ show, "Something Good Tonight," that aired in March, 2000, Richard Roberts spoke to the ORU students in the chapel service and claimed that God said "’I want you to get my university out of debt.’ Students, I prophesy and I’m not a man that prophesies very often unless God gives me a word. I prophesy to you. . . I prophesy that we are very near to the day when this university is going to be totally debt-free. . . Every one of you who are sowing seed. . . Students, if you’ve not been sowing seed you don’t have a right to this prayer. God is not going to multiply what you don’t sow. But if you have been sowing seed then I want you to lay your hands on my hands… we’re going to break the spirit of debt off of you who are giving."

Of course, none of these students were part of the now defunct medical program at ORU, but were merely liberal arts students, many of whom gave up their spending money so that the Roberts family could get ORU out of its reported 33 million dollar debt.9 False prophesying worked for his father, so no doubt it would work for the younger one as well. The biggest losers in the deal were those struggling ORU students.

None of this should come to any surprise. Richard Roberts made it quite clear that his policy was to work the same tricks as his dad taught him. He often brags "when you see me, you've seen my father."

1Note that Paul Crouch still endorsed John Hinkle after it was already shown that he was a false prophet. Crouch would never want to acknowledge he was wrong -- that would be too humbling.

2Paul Crouch, TBN newsletter, September, 1999, Vol. XXV, No. IX.
4TBN Newsletter, January 1989, Vol. XVI, No. I.
5Paul Crouch, Vintage 1984 Camp Meeting at Melodyland, video on file.
7Al Dager, quoted in O Timothy magazine, Vol. 7, Issue 3, 1990.
8Walter Martin, audio tape "Schismatic Sheep"--pt. 2, tape on file.
9Per Oral Roberts at the ICBM Conference 6/20/2000, video tape on file.

Doctrines of Oral Roberts

Oral Roberts began his career as a tent evangelist in the late 1940's, appearing at rallies and evangelical crusades throughout the United States and the world. He was at his peak of popularity as an evangelist in the 1950's and 1960's. His meetings were popularized by his fiery and rapid-fire style of delivery, and the ever present lines of people hoping to obtain their healings.

In a time in which air conditioning was not used, his shirt-sleeve look, ever-present handkerchief to wipe his brow and his receiving of prospects for healing while seated on a folding chair made a great impression on his audience.

In the late 1970's, Oral Roberts' career began to take a different course as he founded the university that bears his name and began to move away from the crusades and concentrate on the medium of television. His folksy, homespun style and fatherly character made him a popular personality, and his television programs expanded throughout the country.

Oral Roberts' television program, books and university have all become a central distribution point for the health and wealth gospel and his promotion of the "seed faith" doctrine has brought in untold millions to his organization.

While still maintaining the control in the background, the aging Oral Roberts has stepped down from the presidency of his university, turning the position over to his son, Richard Roberts. Richard Roberts has his own television program originating from Oral Roberts University called, "Something Good Tonight, The Hour Of Healing", but it is produced under the umbrella of Oral Roberts himself.
The following doctrinal errors are part of Oral Roberts' teaching:
1. He teaches that God wants all believers to be wealthy, healthy and happy.
2. He teaches that God gives him continuing direct revelations that direct his life, his ministry and command believers to support him.
3. He teaches that the Bible reveals the doctrine of "Seed Faith" which he originated, also known as the doctrine of "Giving and Receiving" whereby God will return a multiplication of money to a person who gives money in faith, believing that they will receive a monetary reward, primarily for donating to the ministry of Oral Roberts.
4. He teaches and embraces many and various charismatic doctrines and practices that are not Biblical, including support for the "Toronto Blessing" and its high guru and spokesman the "Holy Spirit Bartender", Rodney Howard-Browne.
5. He teaches that he and other like ministers and believers can "bind the devil".
6. He teaches that he has healed many people and continues to do so.
He has never presented proof that he has ever healed any individual and has never healed a visible disease. He has never caused a missing arm or leg to appear, caused a congenitally deformed individual to become whole, healed a Down's syndrome individual or caused a quadriplegic to walk. All of his claimed healings are of the mystery type, those that cannot be seen or verified, i.e., cancer inside the body, headaches and other ailments that cannot be proven to exist. The supposed healings that occur during his crusades were paraded across the platforms, while those in the wheelchairs, the blind, the terminally ill and those with missing body parts never saw the great man perform his miracles on them.

Oral Roberts has made his claims about healing for over fifty years, and the Christian church is still gullible and without discernment regarding his failures and absolute inability to heal. He was unable to heal, even with the help of Kenneth Hagin, his grandchild when he died two days after birth.
Over fifty years of false claims, and the Christian world still holds Oral Roberts in esteem, considering him a great man of God.
• 1977
Oral Roberts claimed that he received a vision, or revelation, from God. In the vision he claimed that God told him to build the City of Faith Medical Center. He also claimed that he saw a 900 foot tall Jesus, who said that the City of Faith would be successful. Four years later, in 1981, he opened the City of Faith.
• 1983
Oral Roberts: said that Jesus Christ appeared to him in person (not a vision) and told him to find a cure for cancer. So far, he has not found that cure.
• 1986
Oral Roberts said that God told him the following:
"I want you to use the ORU medical school to put My medical presence in the earth. I want you to get this going in one year or I will call you home. It will cost $8 million and I want you to believe you can raise it."
• 1987
In January Oral Roberts said that God spoke to him and told him that he had not sent out any medical missionaries from the university or City of Faith. God instructed him to raise $8 million by March of the same year or God would take him home (presumably God would kill Oral Roberts or translate him to heaven like Enoch).
The money raised was to provide full scholastic scholarships for medical missionaries who would be sent to other countries.
He claimed that $3.5 million had already been raised, but he needed $4.5 million more by March 1, in order to get the full $8 million and prevent God from taking him home.
• 1987
On April 1 Oral Roberts said that he had received $9.1 million which was $1.1 million more that was required by God.
• 1987
In November, Oral Roberts announced that the City of Faith would be closing down.
• 1988
In January, Oral Roberts discontinued the medical scholarships. Apparently he was no longer afraid that God was going to take him home.
• 1988
In March, the medical scholarship fund went bankrupt. If any students wished to transfer to any other institution, they were required to repay their scholarships at 18% interest.
• 1989
In September, Oral Roberts closed the City of Faith.
How does Oral Roberts claim that God would kill him if he failed to raise 8 million dollars for the City of Faith, which at the time was failing because of a lack of funding. Since when is failure to raise a specific amount of money part of a capital offense in the law of God? That is not found in the Scripture. How convenient is it to receive a revelation just when the funds were needed the most? In his original claims, Oral Roberts said that God wanted the 8 million dollars to be used in order to send medical missionaries throughout the world. The money was used to keep the City of Faith operational in the face of failure, instead of being used as God had wished.

But the real question is in relation to Oral & Richard Roberts' support of the City of Faith and the claims that were made about it. Oral Roberts stated that he received a revelation from God (when he claimed to have seen the 900 foot tall Jesus Christ), and that Jesus Christ specifically told him to build the City of Faith and that it would be successful. The revelation was received in 1977 and by 1989 the City of Faith was closed as a financial failure. Employees and students were dismissed and the entire facility (never completed or completely occupied) was abandoned.

Oral Roberts claims to serve the God and Jesus Christ of the Bible, but if he received a revelation from God and Jesus Christ that the City of Faith would be successful, then his claims about Them make Them out to be liars. Since it is impossible for God or Jesus Christ to lie (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18), then either Oral Roberts lied about receiving a revelation or he was mentally impaired or deceived by a vision from Satan and did not know the difference. In any case, he is denied credibility as a prophet or revelator.

Oral Roberts also said that God told him to find a cure for cancer, through the research facilities of the City of Faith, but the cure was never found before the City of Faith failed and was abandoned. How is it that God told Oral Roberts to find a cure for cancer when He knew that the cure would not be found?

In the face of the failure of the City of Faith, Oral Roberts had to find a reason to explain the result, and far from the failure being the fault of Oral Roberts, amazingly he received a revelation from God, in which God stated that He had precipitated the failure as a testimony to all people of the world, that "this concept of merging My healing streams [is] to be known to all people and to go into all future generations."

"I had you build the City of Faith large enough to capture the imagination of the entire world, about the merging of My healing streams of prayer and medicine. I did not want this revelation localized in Tulsa, however, and the time has come when I want this concept of merging My healing streams to be known to all people and to go into all future generations,"
--- Claimed words of God given to Oral Roberts in a revelation

"It is clearly in my spirit, as I have ever heard Him, the Lord gave me an impression, 'You and your partners have merged prayer and medicine for the entire world, for the church world and for all generations.' And then He said, 'It is done.' And then I asked, 'Is that why after eight years you are having us close the hospital and after eleven years the medical school?' And God said, 'Yes, the mission has been accomplished in the same way that after three years of public ministry, my Son said on the cross, ""Father, it is finished!""'"
--- Oral Roberts

Oral Roberts claimed that God told him that the demise of the City of Faith is equated to be on the same level of importance as the finish of the ministry of Jesus Christ and his statement on the cross, "It is finished." That is simply an outrageous statement to make by Oral Roberts, because it equates his buildings and medical training center as being of the same value as the atonement accomplished on the cross by the death of Jesus Christ.

Failure and success are redefined by Oral Roberts to mean just the opposite of what they actually are, and the building of hospitals, training centers and research centers is for a much different reason than their stated purpose. Oral Roberts' claim is that God's definition of success is failure and the merging of His "healing streams" into the world is to build and then close down hospitals, medical training and research centers. God's command to send out medical missionaries is to send out none and his command to find a cure for cancer is to abandon the search. And then it is claimed that the secular world is to be impressed? The secular world was not impressed and laughed at the impudence of Oral Roberts. It was only the undiscerning religious world who gave their millions to the City of Faith, only to see it squandered on a failed speculation and finally lost to history by the demise of the project. Still, the undiscerning numbers believe the backward reasoning provided by Oral Roberts and ignore the reality that the god of Oral Roberts fails to keep his promises and uses the avenue of the lie in order to obtain money for his failed projects.


When Jim Bakker fell from his position of prominence, due to illegal and immoral activities, he originally had the support of Oral Roberts. Oral Roberts claimed direct revelation from God regarding Jim Bakker's innocence, in relation to words he gave in his defense of Jim Bakker against the Assemblies of God denomination, Jimmy Swaggart (before his two-time falls), and the Charlotte Observer newspaper who were involved in the disclosure of Jim Bakker's illegal financial dealings. This is what Oral Roberts said:
"And the Word of the Lord in my mouth is to you, my brother [Swaggart], whom we all love, you're sowing discord. And the Lord said, 'Discord will come back to you.' Flee my brother, the Lord is saying to those people in the headquarters of that denomination (Assemblies of God], where Jim out of graciousness turned in his ordination papers because they wanted him to, and you've not accepted it. You've said, 'No we're gonna strip him. We're gonna crush him,'. . . The Word of the Lord is coming to you from Oral Roberts' mouth today, if you strip Jim Bakker, you've touched God's anointed, you've harmed God's prophet. And the Word of the Lord says, 'Touch not my anointed, do no harm to my prophets.'. . . I beg you, headquarters of a great denomination, one that we respect and love, desist, move back, and treat Jim Bakker as what he is, an anointed man, a prophet of God. And the hand of the Lord will not fall upon you. But the Lord will bless you. And to the great newspaper [Charlotte Observer]. You seem so immune to what our God can do. You've come into an unholy alliance with these others in the name of religion and morality. You've set yourself up to be a standard of morality, when you're not. The Word of the Lord comes unto you from my mouth. And the Lord says that He'll create a great dissension in your ranks. You'll have such dissension in your ranks. You'll have such dissension that it'll spread across the news media of America and you will not know what you're doing. There' be much falling out and falling apart, anger among yourselves. And you'll wonder why this has happened."
--- Oral Roberts, live broadcast, March 1987
How is it that God, who knows the beginning from the ending, was confused as to Jim Bakker's guilt, and provided Oral Roberts with a revelation defending Jim Bakker against the charges of illegal actions and then condemned those who revealed the illegal actions? How is it that Oral Roberts claimed that Jim Bakker was one of God's anointed (cf. 1 Chronicles 16:22) and used an erroneous interpretation of that verse in order to support his claims? Jim Bakker was not anointed, he was a criminal and an adulterer, and Oral Roberts claimed a revelation from God supporting that conduct. Again, Oral Roberts made God into a liar by claiming that God proclaimed Jim Bakker's innocence, when the reality was that he was guilty, not only of violations of the law resulting in a prison sentence, but of moral violations as well. Oral Roberts claimed a revelation that he did not receive and disgraced the character and integrity of God in the process.

This was unconscionable conduct on the part of Oral Roberts, and the end result of those claims, proved, by his own words, that he is unable to prophecy accurately. The test of a prophet is that what he says is true and comes to pass in every instance (Deuteronomy 18:22:). Oral Roberts fails the Biblical test of a prophet, therefore he is a false prophet.

Then the Lord said to me, "the prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or anointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and delusions of their own minds. Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, 'No sword or famine will touch this land.' Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine. and the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them or their wives, their sons or their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve."
The Holy Bible, Jeremiah 14:14-16
Oral Roberts continually associates himself with the radical and spectacular elements of the Charismatic movement. His university granted an honorary doctorate to Morris Cerullo, whose theology is heretical and whose financial activities are questionable at the very best. He approves and supports, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Marilyn Hickey, Joyce Meyer (who also received an honorary doctorate from ORU), Rodney Howard-Browne, Toronto Blessing (Laughing Spirit) and multitudes of other charismatic teachers and organizations with aberrant religious beliefs.

When Oral Roberts turned over the presidency of Oral Roberts University to his son, Richard Roberts, he left a legacy of a $40 million dollar debt. This is very difficult to understand in light of his teaching about expecting a miracle and his preoccupation with "seed faith" in which God is claimed to return up to a hundred fold any money given in faith. If Oral Roberts can't turn his own monetary gifts to God into enough money to pay off the debts that he has incurred, then how does he dare to claim that all Christians can accomplish the task.

Like other personalities of his type, Oral Roberts claims that Christians are supposed to obtain wealth through their monetary gifts. However, in this teaching, Oral Roberts is the beneficiary of the gifts of Christians to him, instead of he being the beneficiary of his own "seed faith" gifts to God. Christians pay off the debts that Oral Roberts has incurred, in the name of God and Jesus Christ, hoping that in their giving by "seed faith" they will become rich or have their own debts paid off in some miraculous manner. The sad aspect of this situation is that Christians continue to fall for this twisted teaching because of their own greed.

This is an ongoing problem in the Christian world, as Christians continue to support individuals and "ministries" which spend funds in a questionable manner, continue to beg for more money, claiming that God has revealed new vistas to conquer. Even when those individuals and "ministries" show all the hallmarks of being false, Christians continue to give support, refusing to apply any measure of Biblical discernment in regards to legitimacy.

Oral Roberts and his family have made a career and business out of the donations of Christians, ostensibly given for the work of God, for over fifty years. Has Oral Roberts been a good steward of the money he has collected over the years? How much of that money, given for the work of God, has been used for the personal benefit of Oral Roberts and his family?

The Bible does not have any provision that places a restraint on the payment of a salary to a minister. The minister who is diligent in his office is worthy of being paid by his congregation (1 Corinthians 9). Oral Roberts, as a minister, is not exempt from the provision that he should be paid for doing the work of a minister. But, what is he paid and what are the benefits that he receives that come from the donations by Christians to God's work? Are Oral Roberts' salary and benefits, that are supported by donations, commensurate with guidelines of good stewardship or are there excesses that have gone out of control, resulting in a misuse of the funds designated for the work of the Lord?
Roberts and his son Richard were sued for $11.5 million by Ruth Creech of Cincinnati who claimed she was "lured" into the City of Faith Hospital by Robert's promises of healing made on his TV shows. The suit claimed $55,000 of unnecessary, crippling operations. Roberts claimed that it was not his fault, but her lack of faith that brought about the failures. He was adjudged guilty by the court.
Andrew L.J. Jones, "The Right to Hope," Christianity and Crisis, Sep 26, 1988.
Oral Roberts could not heal his grandchild, even with the help of Kenneth Hagin.
"Within a few hours after his birth, doctors discovered the child was having difficulty breathing. The news, Evelyn recalled, `just tore Oral to pieces.' For over thirty hours, while doctors fought to save the baby, Oral, Richard, and others prayed. Lindsay was wheeled up to the baby's side to pray; Kenneth Hagin and his wife, and other ministers, came to pray for healing. When Richard Oral finally died, on January 19, it `devastated Oral.' He called it the worst tragedy of his scarred life. `I think' Evelyn reflected, `because he felt there was so much healing power in that room that they could have healed a thousand people ... But he said there was something in that baby and he got it as far as the head and it would not leave ... Some obstacle would not leave. It was stubborn.'"
Oral Roberts: An American Life, by David Edwin Harrell, Jr., Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press

Oral Roberts could Not heal himself.
Religion Today (3-2-99) reported the following.
Oral Roberts is recuperating from a mild heart attack. The Tulsa, Okla.-based evangelist has been at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, Calif., since having an angioplasty procedure to clear a primary artery two weeks ago, the Associated Press said. "We hope he will be up and going soon," his family said in a Feb. 28 statement. The family did not release news of his illness earlier because they wanted Roberts to be able to recuperate in peace. "He has been inundated with personal phone calls," a hospital spokesperson said.
SOURCE: Plains Baptist Challenger, Tabernacle Baptist Church,

Oral Roberts could Not heal himself again.
Oral Roberts Falls, fractures his hip
University founder and evangelist Oral Boberts fell and broke his hip at his home near Palm Springs, Oral Roberts University officials said Friday.
Roberts, 88, broke his right hip Thursday night while on the way to the kitchen at his home. He was watching the NCAA basketball tournament, according to a statement released by the university.
Roberts was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was expected to undergo surgery Friday.
His son, Richard Roberts, was informed by a physician that the hip injury was a clean break and a full recovery was expected, the realease said.
— Associated Press
The Daily News, Saturday, March 25, 2006

RESOURCES: Additional information regarding the doctrines taught by Oral Roberts: un-Quotable Quotes
by Gary A. Hand
On Doctrine


The following report is from the Digging in the Walls section of O Timothy magazine, Volume 7, Issue 3, 1990. and is a review of the book "Oral Roberts: An American Life", by David Edwin Harrell, Jr., Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press 47405. The review appeared in Christian News December 9, 1985. We want to print this now because of the events which have happened recently in regard to Roberts. In spite of his supposed visions in which Christ appeared to him and told him to build the City of Faith medical center and told him that from this center would flow a healing stream throughout the world, Roberts is in the process of closing it down. It should be obvious now even to the gullible that Roberts is a phony. We print this review to show that he has always been a liar and a phony. It isn't something new! The fact that Roberts has been acclaimed and accepted as a great man of God by the charismatic movement is itself evidence of the spiritual bankruptcy of pentecostalism.]
The publisher says on this book's jacket:
"Millions of people throughout the world consider Oral Roberts a prophet of God. Millions more believe him to be a charlatan. While his ministry has been stormy and controversial, few would question its huge impact on America and the world. For nearly forty years the name Oral Roberts has been synonymous with religious healing. He is the leader produced by the Pentecostal and charismatic world.
"A pentecostal spokesman in the 1980s claimed that fifty million people throughout the world had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and predicted that by the end of the century, half of the world's Protestants would be pentecostal.
"Of course, the pentecostal and charismatic movements were not the creations of Oral Roberts. The pentecostal churches, the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International, and among individuals, David du Plessis played catalytic roles in the spread of spirit-filled religion. But Roberts stands nearer the head of the amorphous movement than any other man, commanding respect throughout it." (page vii)
[Editor: Before we reprint the review of Harrell's book from Christian News, we give a summary of the first half of Roberts' life as published in an article in the St. Petersburg Times, September 7, 1985:]
"Roberts [left] high school, [and his] formal education, from that time on consisted of the equivalent of about two years of college work, all taken in part-time study at Bible schools in Oklahoma. He and his father laborer-preachers populating the fringes of the pentecostal movement.'
"Roberts has spent the rest of his life trying to change that image. At his side has been his wife, also the daughter of a pentecostal preacher. Evelyn Lutman Fahnestock, a school teacher whom he met while both were playing guitars and singing at a camp meeting, was just as determined as Oral to escape poverty ... Mrs. Roberts has since acknowledged, just as her husband has, that she `yearned for respectability and resented poverty.'
"But the first 10 years of their marriage offered no such escape. They were tied to a denomination that taught that `you had to be poor to be a Christian.' Roberts had traveled the evangelistic circuit for five years and held four brief pastorates before he found justification for their suppressed desires in a biblical passage and in another `audible' message from God.
"The awakening began in the spring of 1947 when, discouraged by the lack of enthusiasm in his congregation in Enid, Okla., Roberts prayed desperately for help. He says the Lord responded first by leading him to a passage in III John 2: `I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.'
"Roberts considered it a revelation. Mrs. Roberts has described it since as their `point of embarkation' and their `liberation.' Shortly afterward, they bought their first new car, a Buick, which Roberts said became `a symbol to me of what a man could do if he would believe in God.'
"A month later, Roberts say, he had his second encounter with the voice of God. He was in his church study, praying for direction to his ministry, when the voice told him to get into his car and drive home to the parsonage. On the way, the voice told him to concentrate his ministry on healing. `You will have the power to pray for the sick and cast out devils,' Roberts says the voice told him.
"In April, he began holding healing services in his church on Sunday afternoons. His first healing was a woman whose hand had been crippled for 38 years. Word of the healing spread. By May, the crowds were so large that he rented facilities in a large downtown Enid building. In June, he announced to his congregation that he had received invitations to conduct healing services in eight states and had decided to resign his pastorate.
His climb since then has been steady. In 1949, he began a series of radio programs. By 1950, he was traveling the country with an 18,000-seat tent simultaneous broadcast on 63 stations. Within two years, his radio and television programs were being broadcast on 400 stations in the United States, Canada, Alaska and Hawaii and by short-wave to listeners around the world.
"In 1957, his evangelistic association contended that his programs on radio and television were reaching an audience of `almost one billion persons'--probably an exaggeration, but one that not many of his colleagues in evangelism were willing to dispute."
[Now we continue with the Christian News review of Oral Roberts: An American Life by David Harrell:]
The author notes that Roberts' early prayer cloths were imprinted with this message:
"I prayed over this cloth for God to deliver you--use as a point of contact (Acts 19:11-12). Oral Roberts, Tulsa 2, Okla. It is not necessary to wear the cloth unless you feel you should. It can be used more than once or for more than one person. If you wish to request more, I will be glad to send them to you. The important thing is to use the cloth as a point of contact for the body ... I have prayed over this cloth in the name of Jesus of Nazareth and asked Him to heal you when you apply it to your body."
By 1949 the number of prayer cloths mailed numbered nearly 100,000 a year.
Oral Roberts praised such fellow faith healers as Jack Coe. He said that "Jack has faith." Coe and other faith healers defended by Roberts have been exposed as phonies.
Harrell writes: "He was repeatedly taunted about his failures--the Amarillo storm, the death of persons in his meetings, his admission that not all in his healing lines were helped--and challenged to deliver a miracle on demand. In perhaps the harshest charge made against him, a widely distributed tract accused Oral of "payola":
"I offered to appear before the Senate Investigating Committee in Washington and present evidence that Oral Roberts was guilty of `payola' on his TV Healing program. Among other things, I had evidence to prove that a person had `performed' on the Roberts healing TV program, claiming that he was healed as a `cripple,; but it was all a fake and he was paid by them to `fake' the healing. The person who faked the healing offered to testify."
"Probably the most damaging religious attack on Oral ever published appeared in the Presbyterian Outlook in 1955. The article, written by Carroll R. Stegall, Jr., pastor of the Pryor Street Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia, was later republished in a widely circulated tract. It was Stegall's tract which preceded Oral to Australia and fanned opposition to him.
"Stegall's curiosity was piqued by the March 1952 issue of Healing Waters, which featured a cover picture of `three great medical doctors congratulating Oral Roberts.' Stegall and Donald Grey Barnhouse, noted conservative Presbyterian pastor in Philadelphia, addressed an inquiry to the American Medical Association that `brought the answer from their bureau of investigation that not one of the men mentioned ... could be identified as doctors of medicine ... One of the three men was found operating in Phoenix as a `naturopathic physician' [meaning he was not a licensed medical doctor]. No organization headed by `Dr. J.H. Miller, outstanding medical doctor and president of a medial society of over 20,000 physicians,' was discovered.'
"Stegall later attended a number of campaigns, interviewed Oral, and did some follow-up interviews with those who had passed through the healing line. He concluded that Oral was not `as bad as some others in the miracle business,' but found no basis to support his claims. `I have never seen a vestige of change. I challenge any honest investigator to follow my technique and see whether his findings do not agree with mine.' Stegall concluded: `So far from glorifying God with this they (the healing evangelists) cause His name to be blasphemed by the world by their excesses. So far from curing, they often kill. Far from blessing, their arrival in a city is rather a curse, a misery, a racket, a destruction of faith in simple people.'" (pp. 163,164)
According to Harrell:
"The negative assessments were exacerbated by the morbid fascination of the press with the periodic tragedies which struck the crusades. In 1951, an Alabama businessman died while attending a Roberts campaign in Atlanta.
"Such tragedies struck with some regularity during the 1950s and were generally accompanied by flurries of bad publicity.
"In 1955, the death of an elderly Indian, Jonas Rider, during Oral's campaign in Calgary, Alberta, occurred according to the local press `in the evangelist's tent surrounded by converts and followers of the cult.' A prominent `Southern Alberta physician' condemned the campaign as `ridiculous,' no more than `mass hypnotism.'
"The following January, Mary Ida Buddington Vondersher, who had appeared the year before on Oral's television program in the healing line, returned to testify of her healing of cancer, but she died in her California home only twelve hours after her testimony was aired.
"The year 1959 was particularly beset by tragedy. In January, a sixty- four-old California man died of a heart attack during a campaign in Oakland Auditorium. Then, in May, death struck twice in a campaign in Fayeteville, North Carolina. First, a three-year-old girl died under the tent in her parents' arms while waiting for the service to begin." (pp. 164,165)
Harrell tells about Billy Graham's endorsement beginning in 1950 of Oral Roberts:
"As they left their Portland hotel to catch a taxi to the crusade, Billy was just leaving. The ever-gracious Graham grabbed Oral's hand and requested that he and Evelyn ride with him. Oral demurred, but Billy insisted: inside the taxi he told Oral that he expected him to sit on the platform and lead the evening prayer. Oral protested: `Billy you can't afford to have me pray.' As they rode, Billy told Oral that he and Cliff Barrows had visited a Roberts campaign in Florida a few months before, slipping in and out unnoticed, and they had been blessed by it. He also revealed that his wife's sister had experienced a healing in a pentecostal setting; he was not ashamed to be identified with Oral Roberts. Oral offered the evening prayer, and that evening, after he and Evelyn returned to the hotel coffee shop, Billy and Ruth Graham insisted that they join them for a snack.
"The meeting had been brief, casual, and mostly unplanned. But for Oral it was loaded with meaning. His appearance on Graham's platform was unprecedented recognition for a pentecostal to receive from an evangelical ministry--especially from Billy Graham. Graham's personal kindness, his glad and wholesome embrace of a fellow Christian, placed Oral momentarily in a larger, more respectable, world than he had ever imagined he could be a part of. He had glimpsed a vision which Graham would open to him more clearly sixteen years later" (p. 179)
When Oral Roberts University was opened in 1965, "Carl F.H. Henry wrote Oral a `letter of congratulations' at the time, along with the note: `Billy Graham and I are hopeful that you will be at the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin ... and I know that an invitation will be forthcoming in the months ahead.'
"Oral was coy but `tickled as a little kid' to be invited to dine with Billy and a circle of conference dignitaries. As the dinner closed, Billy told Oral that he wanted him to lead prayer before one of the plenary sessions of the congress, and Oral `quietly declined.' As Billy greeted each guest as he left, he asked Oral, `Oral when are you going to invite me to speak at your campus?' Oral seizing the opportunity, replied, `How would you like to come to the campus not only to speak but to dedicate the University?' `I'd be honored to do it,' replied Graham, making a commitment which placed his own ministry in some jeopardy." (p. 201) ...
Graham introduced Roberts at the World Congress on Evangelism:
"Our prayer is going to be led by a man that I have come to love and appreciate in the ministry of evangelism. He has just built, and is in the process of building, a great university. He is known throughout the world through his radio and television work, and millions of people listen to him. They read what he writes and they thank God for his ministry. I am speaking of Dr. Oral Roberts, and I'm going to ask him to say a word of greeting to us before he leads the prayer."
The author says that "Oral's rapport with the audience was magical" (pg. 203). After Roberts concluded, Harrell quotes Calvin Thielman as saying, "pandemonium broke loose, they jumped up from every angle and applauded and applauded."
"Oral's prayer, many felt, moved the entire Congress." Leighton Ford tracked down Calvin Thielman and asked for an introduction to Oral; others clamored to meet him. as the delegates returned home, many filtered through Montreat [North Carolina] to talk with Billy, and Calvin reported that `every word I heard about Oral Roberts was one of great commendation. People deeply appreciated the contribution which he made to the Congress. He made an impression on all of us that was good.' The Christianity Today report on the conference emphasized the good will Oral had won in the evangelical community:
"Evangelist Oral Roberts won a significant measure of new respect through the congress. He made a host of friends among delegates who were openly impressed with his candor and humility."
"It was Oral who had been most deeply changed by the congress. `What it did, in effect,' surmised Calvin Thielman, `was to open a new ... circle of friends to him.'" (p. 205) ...
"Robert's friendship with Billy Graham--highlighted by Oral's presence in Berlin and Graham's dedication address at ORU--did much to lessen tensions between charismatics and evangelicals. The spread of the charismatic movement into the main-stream churches, bringing unexpected acceptance to the pentecostal experience of speaking in tongues, and Oral's discovery of the evangelical world and welcome into it were, in Calvin Thielman's words, `a happy combination of events.' ... In the years following the Berlin congress, Oral Roberts University hosted a procession of noncharismatic evangelical speakers, including Leighton Ford, F.F. Bruce, Josh McDowell and Hal Lindsey." (p. 291)
Roberts joined the Methodist church in 1968, leaving the Pentecostal Holiness church. The Methodist church is a member of the National Council of Churches. Roberts was content to be a member of the Methodist Church even though a scientific survey taken at that time showed that only about 50 percent of the Methodist clergy accepted the resurrection of Christ as a historical fact.
Harrell says that:
"The most compelling attraction of the Methodist Church was its latitude. Oral was increasingly cramped by pentecostal theology and his church's moral prudishness; both restraints would have hindered his new television format." (p. 298)
Harrell says that: "The Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International proved to be an extraordinarily effective tool for spreading the pentecostal message to the American middle class. By 1975 it had 1,650 chapters, in every state and in fifty-two foreign countries ... But the relationship between Oral Roberts and the FGBMFI remained constant--he was the organization's high priest and most coveted friend. The members of the fellowship were probably the most important reservoir of funds in the building of Oral Roberts University; Shakarian and Roberts never faltered in their belief that each was specially raised up to spread the baptism and the Holy Spirit to the wider world." (pp. 288,289)
Harrell mentions Roberts' great respect for Miss Kathryn Kuhlman. "She has long admired Oral; he believed that `she represented the finest of the healing ministry of Jesus.' Kuhlman made frequent visits to Tulsa in the last years of her life, giving the baccalaureate address at ORU in 1972 and receiving the university's first honorary doctorate the same year. The flamboyant evangelist signed on as `head cheerleader' for the university and was a warm friend of the Roberts family at the time of her death in 1976."
Kuhlman has been exposed as a phony healer by a medical doctor who formerly supported her. She broke up a family when she married a man she later divorced without any scriptural reason. Charismatics generally reject what the Bible teaches about divorce. Roberts excused the unscriptural divorce of "Miss" Kathryn Kuhlman and like most charismatics rejects what the Bible teaches about women leading public worship services.
The author observes that one of Oral's most enthusiastic supporters was Jenkin Lloyd Jones, a unitarian editor of the Tulsa Tribune.
The last two decades have been marked by tragedy in the Roberts family. His daughter Rebecca and her husband Marshall Nash were killed in an airplane crash in 1977. His son Richard and daughter-in-law Patti, who were being groomed to take over the ministry, were divorced in 1979. Three years later, his rebellious older son Ronnie committed suicide. And last year [1984], his 10th grandchild--the son of Richard and his second wife Lindsay and the only heir to be named after him--died two days after birth.
Harrell describes the death of the grandchild:
"Within a few hours after his birth, doctors discovered the child was having difficulty breathing. The news, Evelyn recalled, `just tore Oral to pieces.' For over thirty hours, while doctors fought to save the baby, Oral, Richard, and others prayed. Lindsay was wheeled up to the baby's side to pray; Kenneth Hagin and his wife, and other ministers, came to pray for healing. When Richard Oral finally died, on January 19, it `devastated Oral.' He called it the worst tragedy of his scarred life. `I think' Evelyn reflected, `because he felt there was so much healing power in that room that they could have healed a thousand people ... But he said there was something in that baby and he got it as far as the head and it would not leave ... Some obstacle would not leave. It was stubborn.'
"The family once again faced misfortune bravely, searching for meaning in the death. They immediately announced the addition of an obstetrics suite in the City of Faith Medical Center in memory of Richard Oral Roberts." (p. 347, 348)
Harrell writes:
"Roberts' two California homes, partly for security reasons, were not much discussed by the ministry. Oral also remained sensitive about press criticism of his lifestyle. His house in Palm Springs, purchased for $285,000 and financed by a Tulsa bank, was his only privately owned home. In 1982 ORU endowment funds were used to purchase a $2,400,000 house in a high-security development in Beverly Hills. Considered a potentially profitable investment, the house served as Oral's West Coast office and residence." (p. 355)
"Oral's homes in California inevitably kept alive the old questions about his personal wealth and lifestyle. While probably not as probing as the press had been fifteen years earlier, reporters still took a keen interest in Oral's financial affairs. In 1981, the Associated Press published Roberts' personal income figures for the preceding five years--ranging from $70,000 in 1976 to $178,000 in 1978.
"In addition to his healthy income, derived mostly from book royalties, Oral continued to enjoy generous expense accounts: `The Robertses wear expensive clothes and jewelry and travel in a company-owned eight-passenger fanjet.'
Patti Roberts' book [following her divorce from Oral's son, Robert] and an earlier expose written by Jerry Sholes, renewed curiosity about the family's financial affairs, although Patti confessed that her own `extravagance' while she was Richard's wife had `blunted' her protest.
Tax records indicate that Oral's partners donated in excess of $38,000,000 in the fiscal year 1977-78, "surpassing every other religious association in the nation." (p. 389)
In 1979 a book was published by Jerry Sholes, a former employee of Oral Robert ministries, which detailed deep deception and hypocrisy:
"Here is a portrait of the real Oral Roberts, the man not too many of his admirers know. He dresses in Brioni suits that cost $500 to $1000; walks in $100 shoes; lives in a $250,000 house in Tulsa and has a million dollar home in Palm Springs; wears diamond rings and solid gold bracelets employees `airbrush' out of his publicity photos; drives $25,000 automobiles which are replaced every 6 months; flies around the country in a $2 million fanjet falcon; has membership, as does his son Richard, in `the most prestigious and elite country club in Tulsa,' the Southern Hills (the membership fee alone was $18,000 for each, with $130 monthly dues) and in `the ultra-posh Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California' (both father and son joined when memberships were $20,000 each--they are now $25,000); and plays games of financial hanky-panky that have made him and his family members independently wealthy (millionaires) for life. (When his daughter and son-in-law were killed, they left a $10 million estate!)" (Evangelist R.L. Sumner's review of Give Me that Prime- time Religion by Jerry Sholes)
"By the mid-1980s, Oral Roberts had come to be the chief executive officer of an organization that employed about 2,300 people and did an annual business of about 110 million dollars, about 60 percent of which was raised through contributions." (p. 485)
Roberts describes a vision he received from God:
"He said to me: `Son, you cannot put the vision I have given you into a place where My full healing power is not freely accepted. It must not be in a place defeated by lack of faith in My miraculous power. You must build a new and different medical center for Me. The healing streams of prayer and medicine must merge through what I will have you build. ...
"There rising before me were the details of the buildings. Immediately I was led to read the two chapters in the Bible, Revelation 21,22. There I saw the City of God, the New Jerusalem, with its River of Life and its broad avenues. ...
"`I saw the City of God as a reflection of God himself bringing healing and health to those who entered there. Suddenly God gave me a new name for the Health Care and Research Center I am to build in His name.
"`You shall call it the City of Faith.'
"I thought my heart would burst with joy. The City of Faith. What a name! I knew only God could give a name like that to the Health Care and Research Center He wanted me to build.'" (p. 333)
By late 1984 Oral's City of Faith hospital had only opened about 130 of its 294 beds and the projected figure of 777 operational beds seemed a remote goal (p. 391).
"In a dramatic announcement in July 1984, he reported that Jesus had once again visited him and an `angel of the Lord' had been placed at his disposal. Oral `dispatched' the angel to bring the `poor, needy and the sick' to the City of Faith, opening the hospital to indigent patients. In the fall of 1984, the occupancy rate at the hospital seemed to be rising" (p. 391). [The rise in the rate of occupancy at the City of Faith was only temporary.]
The twenty-story medical research center also developed more slowly than anticipated. By 1984 only three floors of the research center were in use.
The most promising connection explored in the early 1980s appeared to be a cautious alliance struck with Bill Bright, founder and leader of Campus Crusade. After talking to Bright in April 1982, Oral excitedly spoke of the potential of a link with Campus Crusade:
"Right now this very second the global aspects of the outreach of this university are shaping up. I've got off the phone from one of the most influential men in the world. A spiritual leader who has more people over the world in 150 nations and the Lord spoke to him several months ago that he was to work with us and with our students. While he and I have been friends for thirty years, there was always a difference in the charismatic area and we never fell out or anything like that ... We were friends sides. We have a working relationship that will begin this summer and it probably (will be) one of the ... two or three most important things that has ever happened to his university."
"Bright came to the ORU campus in November 1982, received a warm reception, and agreed for a City of Faith physician to spend two months in a Campus Crusade hospital in Swaziland. It was a trial union between two very powerful and independent organizations; the Roberts ministry felt, at least, that there was `a good promising area there.'" (pp. 394,395)
Many Bible believing Christians have been skeptical about the visions Roberts claims to receive when he needs money and the fact that he says God talks directly to him. Orthodox Christians maintain that God speaks to man today only through His Word, Holy Scripture.
"The partner letter which triggered the most resounding outburst of public ridicule and criticism [to that time] was a September 1980 description of Oral's vision of a 900-foot-tall Jesus. Roberts reported that late on the afternoon of May 25, he stood looking at the unfinished skeleton of the City of Faith, distraught over his financial difficulties, when `suddenly an unusual feeling swept over me':
"`I felt an overwhelming holy presence all around me. When I opened my eyes, there He stood ... some 900 feet tall, looking at me ... He stood a full 300 feet taller than the 600-foot-tall City of Faith. There I was face to face with Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. I have only seen Jesus once before, but here I was face to face with the King of kings. He reached down, put his Hands under the City of Faith, lifted it, and said to me, "See how easy it is for Me to lift it!"'"
"Oral recalled that his eyes filled with tears, and Jesus assured him that He would speak to the ministry's part ners and that the City of Faith would be finished." (p. 415)
Oral Roberts has enthusiastically endorsed the Reader's Digest Bible, a Bible which, like the RSV, eliminates the deity of Christ in its translation of such key passages as Philippians 2:6 and Romans 9:5. It translates the Hebrew "almah" in Isaiah 7:14 as "young woman" rather than "virgin." It eliminates Christ from various important messianic passages as Genesis 22:18.
Harrell writes:
"In spite of his literalistic faith in the Bible, it was quite true, as Jim Buskirk observed, that Oral was `not fundamentalist,' but rather he spanned `the Bible in his theology. He thinks of it wholistically.' Roberts was not rigid or legalistic; he did not, in fact, have a systematic theology. When Reader's Digest published a condensed version of the Bible in 1982, fundamentalists uniformly denounced the project, but Oral endorsed it. Whereas the Bible became a static, verbally inspired book to nineteenth-century evangelicals, to pentecostals it was a living revelation to be perceived by experience" (p. 441).
O Timothy Editor: Since the publication of Oral Roberts--An American Life by David Harrell in 1985, Roberts has claimed to have had more strange visions. In January 1987, he told his television audience that God had appeared to him in March of 1986 and had told him that he must raise $8 million within the next 12 months or he would die. The money was supposed to provide scholarships for medical students who attend Oral Roberts University. In the January broadcasts, Roberts claimed he has raised $3.5 million but he must have another $4.5 million before March 31--or he would die! Apparently the gimmick worked, because in April Roberts announced that he had received the $8 million.
Now it has become clear that the medical college will be closed due to financial troubles and no scholarships will be distributed.
It is obvious that Roberts is a deceiver and a false prophet. His prophecies have been proven wrong time and time again. Sadly, he has deceived multitudes with his lying words and false promises, and has robbed God's people of hundreds of millions of dollars. And in spite of all the evidence which proves Roberts' hypocrisy, he is still regarded as a great Christian leader in charismatic circles and is still promoted as a man of God. This is another evidence of the spiritual bankruptcy of the pentecostal movement.
[This report is from the Digging in the Walls section of O Timothy magazine, Volume 7, Issue 3, 1990. O Timothy is a monthly magazine. David W. Cloud, Editor. Annual subscription is US$20 FOR THE UNITED STATES. Send to Way of Life Literature, Bible Baptist Church, 1219 N. Harns Road, Oak Harbor, Washington 98277. FOR CANADA the subscription is $20 Canadian. Send to Bethel Baptist Church, P.O. Box 9075, London, Ontario N6E 1V0.]