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Faith and finances find a home on television

July 26, 2005|By: HUMBERTO CASPA

The effects of the recent terrorist attacks in London are being felt

throughout the world and here at home.

For those trying to have a memorable time at the Orange County

Fair or shopping in overcrowded malls, it might have been difficult

to ignore the shocking images on television.

Many of us wouldn't want to admit it, but the terrorists have

altered the way we live. The federal government has set

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upantiterrorist agencies and created tough new laws. In many ways,

the power of the state has increased significantly at the expense of

the people's rights and liberties.

And people have become more religious.

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, many people across

the country -- and around the world -- returned to their roots to

seek spiritual guidance, joining local houses of worship and making

themselves open to the word of God.

And for those who can't attend church services, a new group of

entrepreneurs has taken religion into their homes.

One of the entrepreneurs is Marcus Lamb, president and CEO of

Daystar Television Network, which is now engaged in a battle to buy

KOCE-TV from the Coast Community College District.

As one of Lamb's viewers explained, "We can't (physically) go to

church, but we can (attend services) with Daystar."

People can hear the word of God from their television sets as they

lie on their couches, drinking cola and munching hot dogs and potato

chips.

Thus the presumed reason behind Lamb's fight to come to Orange

County and gain more viewers here. In the fight over KOCE-TV Channel

50, Lamb's lawyer is charging religious discrimination by college

district officials and is seeking monetary damages.

Since nothing is free in this world, Daystar encourages its

viewers to pledge money over the telephone and through the Internet

to support the church. According to Lamb, God will return every

dollar the viewers pledge. "Sow your seed (money) with an expected

result! Sow your seed with expected reaction! Sow your seed with an

expected harvest," Lamb said during Daystar's "Share-A-Thon."

If there is a business sector filling up its coffers with dollars

after every terrorist attack -- other than the oil industry, that is

-- it would have to be Christian networks.

Daystar pledged to pay $40 million in cash for KOCE-TV. If they

were publicly traded, I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to buy the

stock of Daystar or its rival, Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting

Network.

Today both of them compete for the same market. TBN is ahead, but

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