Lord only knows why, but Orange County attracts religious leaders who like to buy multiple mansions and travel by chauffeured limousine or private jet. In espousing their so-called “gospel of prosperity” during their 1990s heyday, Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Jan and Paul Crouch didn’t think twice about renting separate luxury hotel rooms for their two Maltese dogs. We thankfully celebrate the Reverend Dr. Paul Tellström, the senior minister at Irvine United Congregational Church, as a counterweight to the self-serving, televangelism embarrassments. Tellström believes aiding our community’s poor and marginalized is the noble mission of his church. During a late May sermon, standing in a historic hotbed of Christian conservatism, he challenged President Donald Trump’s budget proposal. Don’t kid yourself, he said; cutting health care, Meals On Wheels programs, education, environmental protections and assistance to nations struggling with famine in exchange for a larger stockpile of tanks and additional tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy is a lousy moral choice.
Irvine United Congregational Church, 4915 Alton Pkwy., Irvine, (949) 733-0220; iucc.org.