Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The Glass Roof Spiral

Today, out in public....it came that the Crystal Cathedral of California....one of the biggest megachurches in America and where "Hour of Power" started....filed for bankruptcy.

They owe a fair amount of money (around $43 million).

This was the 'toy' of Robert H. Schuller Sr.  'Dad' had kind of fired Junior a couple of years ago....a difference in opinion where the church should be going.  My impression was that Dad saw the church was big enough, and Junior wanted to grow the megachurch in a bigger and bolder operation.

The problem in the current economy is that megachurches require a substantial amount of captial to run weekly operations.  A family under a hostile economic umbrella....might have given $2k a year to their megachurch.  Today?  It might be $500 a year.

For the old fashioned churches?  I suspect that they have been hit to a degree, but they didn't have a piano player that they were paying $45k a year to, or a nursery-director that they were paying $55k a year to.  The small churches might have sent their minister and two deacons to a convention on $700 for the entire week.  They might have painted the whole interior of the church themselves with $80 of paint from the local hardware store.

Local churches will survive on.  Megachurches....if this economy rumbles on for another twelve months....will find few options and likely half of them will fold up by the end of 2011.

Course, if you were a true political player....you'd suggest a stimulus package where megachurches could get government welfare, and survive until the good ole days return.  But it was hard enough to convince folks to save GM and the banks.....now the megachurches?

Compare It to a 18-Year Old Car

About ten days ago.....a federal judge came out and said "don't ask, don't tell" simply wouldn't work for the military.  The Pentagon stood back and wasn't sure of their position anymore.  Finally, last week, the administration said it would fight judge's order.

This kind of confused folks.  The administration ordered the Pentagon to prepare for this moment about eight months ago that gays would be accepted.  They don't like it and have been trying to grasp how they could make it work.  The stance was appearing to shift, going for the gays.  Now?  A fight?

Imagine you bought a car eighteen years ago and knew from day one that you had problems with the car....your mechanic kinda denied issues.  Everyday, you drive the car and see these problems.  Nothing happens.  Then after eighteen years....somebody comes up and says something....then the mechanic agrees?  Something about this challenge and the judge....makes you scratch your head over this.  A federal judge now agrees of serious issues but the administration wants to fight on?

Here's the deal.  The President wants to walk into the 2011 period with five or six major issues that work against the Republican-controlled house, and a 49-member Republican Senate.  

The President will suggest that he can't fix this and needs the Republicans to fix it.  They will insist that it's not in their top twenty issues.  Then the Republicans will insist that the President or the Court can fix this.  So on through 2011 and 2012....we will watch this game unfold. 

By the end of 2011....I would speculate that the gays will start to ask stupid questions.  Doesn't the President have executive powers?  Doesn't the President agree on their problem with DADT?  But he'll keep coming back to an argument where he can use the gay supporters to his agenda.  

Disbelief?  Comical?  Hostility?  The real amusing part to this discussion is that the Log Cabin Republicans (the gay side of the party) are the ones who brought the case up with the right Federal judge.  This probably upsets alot of groups who were in the supporting wings of the administration....and having to explain to college kids why the President has to fight court rulings.   At some point, the college kids will ask what executive orders mean, and the comedy will go to the next level.