Almost everything wrong with American religion can be found in this story
An email sent out to members of the Crystal Cathedral congregation requesting meals for founder Robert H. Schuller's wife Arvella, who is ill with pneumonia, is creating mixed feelings of sadness and outrage among members.
According to longtime member Jim McDonald, an email was sent out by administrators to Bible study groups as well as church elders, asking that meals for the reverend's wife be dropped off at the cathedral's Tower of Hope where the Schullers' limo drivers will be waiting to pick them up at the designated time.
Member Bob Canfield says he was outraged when he got the message.
"These are millionaires who have limos and chauffeurs," he said. "Why in God's name would they want the congregants to deliver meals? It's ludicrous."
The email states that the Schullers do not want get-well cards sent because they would like to "keep her situation under the radar."
"However, they would appreciate meals over the next three to four weeks," the email states. "They are to be sent to the church in order to be transported to Arvella. The limo drivers could pick up the dinners or meet in the Tower Lobby around 4:30 p.m."
The message also requests that the meals be low in sodium and include items such as fruit, meats, soup and egg dishes such as quiches.
Well, I'm a lot more downscale that Robert Schuller. I'll take pasta and tomato sauce, some onions and maybe a few of those $1 chubs of ground turkey for the dog. We'll pick it up in our old Ford minivan that we bought from the post office.By the way
, Schuller's Crystal Cathedral is bankrupt, due (in part) to the the pastor's swankpot lifestyle.
The appeal comes weeks after a lawsuit charged that the founder of the Crystal Cathedral house of worship, Rev. Robert Schuller, and his family had been paying themselves lavish salaries and other benefits while the church was in financial straits.
There's another side to the story
. Part of the reason for the drop in church membership has been the takeover by Schuller's daughters, who have switched over to a Gospel music format. (The Crystal Cathedral, located in Orange County, used to offer the aural equivalent of Wonder Bread.) The choir members are required to sign a stupid document decrying gay marriage, as though that
has anything to do with singing. This ultraconservative stance annoyed paterfamilias Robert Schuller (now 84), who actually seems to be rather gay friendly: He hired an openly gay architect to build his cathedral.
Schuller was probably the least obnoxious of the televangelists who came to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s. Still, he should have heeded the observation of St. John Chrysostom, printed here just a couple of days ago:
Do you pay such honor to your excrements as to receive them into a silver chamber-pot when another man made in the image of God is perishing in the cold?