Sorry I've been so quiet this week. This past Friday my little monster turned 8, and I actually left the house for it. IHOP. And it turned out to be in the top 5 worst IHOP experiences I've ever had. Of course. But Jake loved it, even if my sweet cream cheese crepes had no fucking cream cheese. Then he opened all his presents, which was a bunch of Batman and Lego bedroom decor, Legos, and a shitton of books. Because he's my kid and I'm going to make sure he reads. He read all summer and excelled at the local library's program. So we bought him over $100 in chapter books. After cake, I went home and he stayed with his grandparents.
Now I'm fighting what we think is an internal infection. My incision is being a gross faucet and I keep getting a fever and chills. We thought it was withdrawals from the pain meds. Until I got a fever while on a pill. So I'm instructed to start a round of antibiotics today. I hope this helps. I was doing so well until Monday night. Then my leg started to hurt again, and the chills started up. I think the infection is swelling and pressing on my already damaged nerves. At this point my life of pain has become comical.
But let's get down to why I'm really here. Let's talk about false prophets and snake oil salesmen. Let's talk about Joel fucking Osteen.
I know a lot of you guys are agnostics or atheists. I'm a Chris-Wiccan. I come from a family of Sunday School teachers. My husband is Penticostal. I was actually born and raised Southern Baptist, which amused our pastor a few years back. "A Pentecostal married a Baptist? What was that wedding like?" But anyway, since I know some of you don't ascribe to the Bible much, and honestly, I don't either. (It's man made and we don't know what's been left out over the centuries. Not to mention it condones a lot, A LOT, of outdated beliefs. Marrying your rapist? Hello?) So I'm going to rant here for a minute about America's favorite prosperity gospel preacher.
What is "prosperity gospel"? In a nutshell, it's everything Jesus was against. PG teachers that by handing over your money, you will be blessed ten fold. Or a hundred fold. That by giving your money to that closeted weirdo, you will, basically, but your way into heaven. They get their Biblical ammunition from verses about "whatever you sow, so shall you reap". I know, my pastor did it every week, but he certainly never tried to convince me it would open the gates for me. PG also teaches if you're poor it's because God isn't happy with you. Seriously.
Joel fucking Osteen is the "pastor" of Lakewood Church in Houston. If you don't know that at this point, bless you. Lakewood is in the old Compaq Center, a 17k seat arena. An ARENA. Let that sink in. His book that I know most about is "Your Best Life Now", which again, goes against Jesus' teachings. Your best life will be in heaven, not here. So to tell people how to live this great, amazing life here on Earth without shoring up blessings for the afterlife is pretty shitty. But then again, it's what people WANT to hear. They don't want to hear that to be a good Christian you have to make sacrifices and work hard. They want to hear "be a little greedy, Jesus understands". It sells books. He lives in a $10m house, owns a jet, the church makes close to $70m a year tax free (another pet peeve of mine, and I'm a believer). Oh, and he's not even an ordained minister which is why I say "pastor". He hardly ever quotes the Bible when he "preaches". He's a glorified motivational speaker. There are dozens of stories floating thru Reddit now of people working at REAL Houston charities that would be handing out meals to homeless people and Joel and his stepford wife would roll up in their Cadillac with A CAMERA CREW, commodere the event for a full five minutes while they had their photos and videos taken, all unannounced, mind you. Then just leave. And the next Sunday they would proudly show those videos to their congregation, like they had been out there busting their asses all day long. Of course, then the collection plate gets passed.
He's, as the old term goes, a snake oil salesman. He's the Littlefinger of Houston. He is selling people golden tickets into heaven, which cannot be done.
And then Harvey happened. And Littlefinger, I mean Joel, literally locked his church and went to a rich assed Hotel in San Antonio to ride out the storm. The Convention Center filled to capacity, people died, others lost everything. When asked to open his megachurch they responded "It's inaccessible due to flooding". Well, Mattress Mack must be fucking Moses then because he's open and taking refugees. And he's only blocks away. Then it was "the building has flooded", because yeah, we debunked your flooded roads story. So the live video of people marching all around Lakewood appeared. There were puddles. Not to mention, doing research you learn the building is called The Summit. It's the highest freaking point for miles, higher than rhe interstate even. If it has flooded, Houston is fucking lost. Oh, and The Summit was designed to NOT FLOOD. At least not to the point of significant damage. It even has fucking flood gates.
So..... "can't get there because of water" and "water inside, not outside". Then when the videos went viral of how dry his precious building was, some members of the church (Joel) posted pics of the "flooding" to prove they weren't lying. 4 pics began to surface. 2 were of the underground parking garage, which I don't think anyone was asking to stay in. One was of a room that had already been gutted, so he's truly a man of God and found a contractor to unflood his church and get to work in...what....minutes? And the fourth was what really got me as "are you fucking for real?" It was their baptismal pool. They were literally showing us a pool of water inside the church that's SUPPOSED TO have water in it. It had gaurd rails to stepping down inside, ffs.
I guess we literally shamed him into being a good Christian because he finally agreed to open his church as a "distribution center" and would take refugees when the rest of the shelters filled. Again, really? They were having to fly them to Dallas already and he's still not letting people into his precious sports arena. And he only made this much of a change because he eviscerated him.
Now it gets interesting...i mean, he lies more. He went on TV to claim the church was never closed and anyone that was turned away was done so by mistake. He doesn't seem to understand video evidence exists that shows the doors are clearly locked, and that three people were told to leave. AND THEN he tells us well, Houston didn't ask him to open up as a shelter.
No, Joel, on JESUS did. It's fucking Christian 101. Help those in need. Jesus literally flipped over tables in the temple because people were gambling and profiting in a house of God. Jesus healed the sick and fed the hungry and even said to give up your possessions and walk with him. Jesus would have been out there waist deep in muddy water saving people. Joel wasn't even in the fucking city. And when shit got bad, he sent his brother to deal with it. They continued to lie. The photos the posted were proved to be from precious floods, not this one. He admits the building was never flooded. And he never STOPS FUCKING SMILING. People have died, you chucklehead. I will slap that grin off your face.
His lies hurt us all. Because when people see Christians, they see him. Or Joyce Meyer. I hate her, too. They see these rich assholes that don't do anything when push comes to shove. So then I get to hear thousands of people say insulting things about my "imaginary man in the sky". I don't insult your lack of belief, please don't insult me because I DO believe. God has done things in my life that have confirmed his existence. But, I also completely understand when someone feels that he isn't real, and I will never fault them for that. Why? Because I'm what Jesus wants us to be. I walk in love. I don't judge.
But with Joel, there's a difference. What's that? The Bible demands we call out false prophets. And that's what I'm doing. Did you know on his fucking website they already have a link where you can donate money to help pay for the upkeep of the 300 refugees he's being forced to deal with? His church makes $70m a year! Without taxes! And he already has his hand out! There's also those saying he had no supplies so we're all stupid for being angry. No, you are for blindly following this man. Most all churches have food pantries for the homeless. A MEGAchurch will have a MEGApantry. Not to mention, ALL PEOPLE WANTED WAS A FUCKING ROOF. Was it better for them to just go back to sitting in their flooded houses, or on TOP of their houses? Because Joel didn't have canned beans?
Debunked excuse number I Lost Count: Would you want people to force strangers into YOUR house?! Answer: it AIN'T HIS HOUSE. It's God's! And the whole point of a church is to HELP THE NEEDY! Again, they don't pay taxes. Pay taxes on all that fucking money and I won't bitch at you, you goddamn greedy motherfucker.
Debunked excuse number Whatever's next: Security, can't have another Superdome. Answer: yep, best to just let them all drown then. Fuck you.
And people are still defending this douchebag. My own friend said this was all a media hoax. Because she likes him. CBN, the Christian broadcast network, shot a piece about the "truth", because sure, that won't be biased. And they regurgitated the same excuses that have been proven lies. This isn't an attack on Christians. *I* am a Chris-Wiccan, a Christian with Wiccan beliefs. This is about stopping a toothy grinning nightmare charlatan from getting away with being a coward.
Now, since apparently I'm not allowed to hate an asshole without putting good into the world, I donated money to Team Rubicon.
If I lived in TX I would have my doors wide open. 21 mosques did. They didn't wait on the city to ask. It doesn't take much to be a decent fucking human being. And he failed. I hope people have woken up to him. Even other Megachurch pastors were calling him out. Dude, your own kind are turning on you. Not good.
Now that I've said my piece, I feel better. There's so much bullshit going around about him, and it's not correct. There's a lot i haven't even mentioned here, like his pay. But he is not what Jesus wanted in a disciple. He makes people like me look bad. I like to think I'm a good example of a Christian. I don't force it on anyone. I believe what I believe, and that's that. I love everyone. Most people find I'm easy to talk to because I don't immediately go to "let's pray about this". I'm sure if I always carried a collection plate i would be a lot richer with money, but nobody would like me.