I recently returned from leave in Texas where I was introduced to an alarming concept, the Megachurch. I was invited to attend the ceremony by a long time friend and although I had no interest given that I am an atheist, I thought it might be a way to kill a Sunday morning with a friend who I hadn’t seen in quite some time and I felt obliged to indulge his fantasy that I might convert from a godless heathen to a Evangelical “Warrior of Jesus”.
Anyway, after the ceremony was through and I said goodbye to my friend, I went to the first Barnes & Noble to see if I could find anything about the Megachurch. Although I was frightened by the experience, and possibly scarred, I was still intrigued. The commercialism of McDonald’s, the casual attire of the GAP crowd, the sheer mass of the audience both worried and confused me. As it turns out, I was able to find a hilarious book by Robert Lanham called, appropriately enough, “The Sinner’s Guide to The Evangelical Right”. I casually read a few pages, had a laugh or two, and thought it would be a good read for the long flight home to Sicily.
Well, after I finished reading and washing the remaining bile from my mouth (I laughed so hard I puked), I began thinking, “why hasn’t anyone said something before?” Finally, it dawned on me, no one cared. Well, to be more precise, it wasn’t that no one cared, it was that no one cared enough. Well, for some time now I’ve been looking for something I could do to make my mark on society. Something I could really work at and try and better both myself and those around me, and I found the answer in a non-profit. For years now, Megachurches have flourished under the shelter of tax-exemption. They’ve raked in millions per year without giving back to their respective communities and have enjoyed the endorsement of both the IRS and the Federal Government in lavishing their leadership with six-figure-salaries and homes worth millions.
For instance, Creflo Dollar of the Christian World Changers Ministries in Georgia flies to New York on a weekly basis in his private jet to seek donations from his congregation. To add insult to injury, the majority of his congregation comes from the poorest of the five burrows and his Ministry’s Outreach programs in the region are practically non-existent. As the head of the church and its five divisions, including Arrow Records, Dollar stands to gain from every penny donated to the church. Were this an isolated incident, it would be criminal, given that in Texas alone there are over 150 such Megachurches, and that Rick Warren’s Ministry in California took in a record 7 million in donations during a single Sunday, all while enjoying tax exemption, this is fraud of the worst variety.
With that in mind, several associates of mine and I have begun work on a non-profit organization, and I hate to pander, but given the nature of the SEB Community, I thought it best to appeal for support here first. Consider this a compliment. As for my request, I would appreciate any advice or expertise in web design, marketing, and research in the fields of tax law (including exemption), and the so-called “Megachurch Society”.
Surmise to say, several associates of mine and I are currently forming a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to expose the Megachurches of the United States for what they truly are; corporations operating under a thin veneer of religious imagery in order to exploit their congregations and the tax exemption laws of the United States. We’ve managed to secure a website which will be forthcoming as soon as our design is finalized and we hope to secure our status as a non-profit should the need arise. However, we lack a support network. We have recruited several volunteers willing to help us in marketing and research as well as staff writers, a photographer, webmaster, and legal aid. Given their voluntary status, however, we still need the support of anyone willing to help. If you would like more information, or should you have any advice or expertise you are willing to lend, please feel free to e-mail myself at .