Big-business religion


Corporations and parishioners are increasingly coming together to spread the word of God and make money. All across the country, churches — once intimate places of spiritual interconnectedness — have been replaced by stadiums of worship that utilize advanced technological innovations to awe, edify and rip off those in attendance.

The jig goes something like this: Corporations underwrite the construction of vast religious complexes that awe people into regular attendance. The preacher's image is projected onto a big screen. His calm baritone is beamed out by state-of-the-art speakers. From all sides, his voice fills the room. The seats shake as he gives expression to the word of God.

It's a rousing experience, to be sure, and one that is increasingly paid for by corporations. In return for their funding, the churches circulate corporate promotional calendars and fliers and, if the corporation is really lucky, broadcast an endorsement straight from the pulpit. Trusting the pastor's judgment, the flock simply surrenders its money to whatever service the corporation is hawking. In such a manner, countless Christians are fleeced every year.

Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 169, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside.