“Prosperity Gospel” Hasn’t Earned Congressional Blessing

31 03 2008

Churches that preach wealth as an essential part of Christian faith are under political review . . .

‘Prosperity Gospel’ Churches’ Spending Reports Due

Listen Now [5 min 32 sec]

Morning Edition, March 31, 2008 · Monday is the deadline for some popular mega-churches to report to Congress on how they spend their money. These churches all preach wealth as an essential part of faith.

Steve Inskeep speaks with religion professor Anthea Butler about “prosperity gospel.”

US News & World Report writes about “prosperity gospel” here.

Time Magazine does the same here:

Some see Grassley’s acts as a religious vendetta, launched by a white-bread Evangelical who doesn’t get the group’s view of rich pastors as a sign of divine grace. Grassley has hinted that his purpose may be to revamp tax laws to keep up with rapacious preachers.

Remarks Charles Haynes, senior scholar with the First Amendment Center: “I’m worried that [the six] might be used to push for stringent transparency regulations that would affect all religious groups. They are extreme, and extreme cases can lead to bad law.”

Grassley rejects the criticism. “We’re not looking at doctrine. I don’t know much about the words Prosperity gospel,” he says. But he acknowledges that religious-freedom concerns may make an investigation a “little more difficult to defend.”