Kenneth and Gloria Copeland and their all-star lineup of "prosperity gospel" preachers delighted the crowd with anecdotes about the luxurious lives they had attained by following the Word of God. Photo: Michael Stravato for The New York Times related Article: Believers Invest in the Gospel of Getting Rich ....... But while a band primed the crowd, Professor Walton called the prosperity preachers “spiritual pickpockets.” “To dismiss and ignore the harsh realities of this economic crisis,” he said. “is beyond irresponsible, to the point of reprehensible.” The Copelands refused an interview request, but one of their daughters, Kellie Copeland Swisher, and her husband, Steve Swisher, who both work in the ministry, spoke for them. Mrs. Swisher said the ministry gave away “a minimum of 10 percent of what comes in” to other charities. Her father’s current favorite, she said, is a Roman Catholic orphanage in Mexico. The ministry has resisted providing the Senate investigation with all the documents requested, she said, because the Copelands did not want to publicly reveal the names of the “partners.” The investigation, which could result in new laws, is continuing, a committee spokeswoman said. Among those being investigated is Creflo Dollar, one of the ministers at the Copelands’ convention. Mr. Swisher said that even in the economic downturn, the ministry’s income going into the convention was up 3 percent over last year. Asked if they had adjusted the message for the economy, Mrs. Swisher patted the worn Bible in her lap and said: “The message they preach is the Word of God. The Word doesn’t change.” ............ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/us/16gospel.html?scp=1&sq=copeland&st=cse Are these people doing anything any different, really, than what is done in any other church?