Pope Francis isn’t the only lecturing busybody religious leader who sets a separate double standard for himself when it comes to opening his doors to others. He’s not big on sharing his own accommodations to help those in need of a place to stay but a big fan of telling everyone else, particularly Western societies how they should open their own doors to dangerous conquering invaders.
Following in the Papal NIMBY model, another hypocritical “religious leader” is the mega-rich, self-absorbed mega-pastor, Joel Osteen. His huge mega-church seats over 16,000 and is on a high and dry patch of land in otherwise flooded out Houston. He’s not holding services this weekend because of the hurricane, so there wouldn’t be any conflict if he opened up the doors to those who have been left stranded with no place to stay by Hurricane Harvey. Nobody’s using the building, what a great way to show what a giving and caring individual he truly is. Except… he’s not planning on opening the doors.
Those in the city of Houston who have nowhere to stay, not even a vehicle to take refuge in, can’t get into his church either. There’s a few vehicles in the parking lot, probably those of employees or volunteers soliciting donations or selling prayers on the phone. Otherwise it’s a ghost town at Lakewood Church and staying that way.
Osteen wrote on the church website, “Due to the weather impact of Hurricane Harvey and concern for the safety of our members, all Lakewood Church worship services for this weekend, Saturday, Aug. 26th and Sunday, Aug. 27th have been canceled. Although we will not be having a live service, we will be streaming a previous Lakewood Church service and message by Pastor Joel Osteen titled ‘Pray For Others’ at LakewoodChurch.com, the Lakewood Church mobile app and SiriusXM channel 128. Our Spanish Pastor, Danilo Montero, and Young Adults Pastor, Nick Nilson, will also be ministering via previously streamed messages at each of their respective services as well.”
The post added: “We here at Lakewood are praying for your safety during this time…,” but they’re not offering to take anyone in who’s in need of a place to stay. They pray someone else offers you and your kids a safe and dry place out of the rain and floodwaters.
He would like to help, but some of those people are so dirty, with all of that flood water on them and stuff. Otherwise, if they were clean, he’d be glad to help, maybe. He’d find room for a couple somewhere. Next to the riding lawnmowers shed there’s space. No, the string trimmer’s there now. He means well, though, honest he does.
Sending thoughts and prayers to Houston’s most famous evangelical preacher, Joel Osteen. Hopefully the Lord will spare his modest home. pic.twitter.com/HbYw59C3Sk
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) August 28, 2017
In what they recognized as a public relations disaster almost on the scale of Hurricane Harvey itself, Houston’s Lakewood Church has issued a statement regarding its response to the emergency after being roundly accused on Twitter and other social media for refusing to open its doors to evacuees. Osteen’s PR people are now “clarifying” their position, and sent out the following damage control update:
“We have never closed our doors,” Senior Pastor Joel Osteen said in a statement quoted by ABC and the Atlanta Journal-Constitutution. “We will continue to be a distribution center to those in need. We are prepared to house people once shelters reach capacity. Lakewood will be a value to the community in the aftermath of this storm.”
Of course America and Houston believe you Joel. You just forgot to mention it when you were going to be open when you were talking about the building being shut for the weekend and all. It’s a hectic time. We understand. The Vatican’s on the phone – they’re impressed with how you handled things.
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