Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Making big bucks for Jesus. Or for somebody.Investigative reporting isn't dead, fortunately for the public. Bob Smietana reports on his investigation of the financial management of Jay Sekulow, one of the most prominent figures in the Christian Right, in Christian crusaders cash in: Sekulow's family, firm collect millions The Tennessean 09/04/2011. Sekulow heads the Christian Right's main legal bulldog organization, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and another, less famous one called Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE).
I suppose this could be a case of "doing well but doing good," if you think ACLJ's rightwing political causes are good:
Along with its spiritual benefits, Sekulow's new calling has come with significant financial benefits.Contributors to charities and nonprofits need to pay attention to the evaluations they receive from independent watchdogs like the American Institute of Philanthropy. Religious charities often have problematic ethical practices, especially ones not associated directly with major denominations.
This is a telling part of Smietana's story:
In a phone call, Ronn Torossian, a public relations executive serving as ACLJ’s spokesman, portrayed Sekulow as a great lawyer getting by on modest pay.Maybe the $263K one is small. So it would be true that Sekelow "owns a very small home." So I suppose that Torossian's statement is technically not a departure from Christian honesty.
Robert Parham comments on Smietana's story in Conservative Evangelical Turns Nonprofits into Lucrative Family Business Ethics Daily 09/04/2011. One of the bad ethical signs of Sekelow's operations is the prominent role family members play in governing the charities. Parham notes that Sekelow is not unique among conservative evangelical nonprofits in that practice, which he calls "a disturbing problem within some high-visibility quarters of the evangelical and Pentecostal community."
Faith can become a family business ...Tags: christian right, jay sekulow
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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