Oral Roberts was the first televangelist and one of the most recognizable leaders for religious fundamentalism in the United States. The worldwide audience for his TV show was in the hundreds of millions. His followers claimed he was more famous than the Pope.
As a faith healer, Roberts banned from his church those whom he couldn’t cure, citing lack of faith.
At one point Roberts demanded $8 million to continue his ministry, saying he was going to hang out in his holy tower, a huge cross he had constructed, until he got the money or God was going to bring him home. At the last moment he got paid.Today were are joined by Randy Roberts Potts, the good-looking grandson of the late Oral Roberts who recently came out as gay. With the recent attention paid to youths dealing with bullying and suicide, Randy wanted to tell his story not just for himself but for his uncle, Ronnie, Oral Robert’s own son who committed suicide in 1982 because he was struggling with being gay himself.
Randy feels a strong bond with his deceased uncle because they share much of the same experiences- growing up in a evangelical family, getting married and having children at a young age and then coming out as gay later in life.
Listen as Randy takes us inside one of America’s most famous religious families.
What drove his uncle to suicide and what inspires him to write letters in his memory.
Meeting Tammy Faye Bakker for the first time.
Why many gay men in Dallas love First Lady Laura Bush, despite her husband’s anti-gay politics.
And did Oral Roberts ever hear the famous joke about the “two gay guys named Bob?”
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[Originally posted on 08.01.11]