It’s a far cry from how Joel Osteen handled the 2017 Houston hurricane
As millions of Texans are currently without electricity and are freezing in their homes after an unprecedented winter storm and sub-zero temperatures, Joel Osteen announced that his church is opening its doors as a warming center to anyone in need of shelter and food. Compared to how he handled the last crisis in Texas, where he refused to let displaced members of his own community seek shelter in his church during the devastating 2017 hurricane in Houston, well — it’s proof that bullying him worked.
In a post to his social media accounts, Osteen claims once he was aware that the winter storm hitting Texas was going to be “huge,” he knew Lakewood could help. Uh-huh, sure buddy. Methinks the real storm he wanted to avoid was the PR shitstorm that would surely repeat itself if he didn’t open the doors to his church this time.
“We care about the city, we care about our neighbors and so we feel blessed to be able to open the building, provide warmth and shelter,” he said.
“Staff & volunteers are on site ready to help,” Osteen wrote on Twitter. “We have beds, blankets, a hot meal and supplies for those in need. Stay safe, continue to pray for Texas.”
When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston back in 2017, devastating the city and surrounding areas with flash floods and irreparable damage to many homes, it took several days for Lakewood Church to open its doors to hurricane victims.
Other temporary shelters were popping up all over the city, but Lakewood, which can hold up to 50,000 people for church services, remained closed until photos of the locked church popped up all over social media — and irate Houstonians shared their anger and hurt over such a large, wealthy church not helping its own community, that was very much in need.
Joel Osteen is one of the wealthiest pastors in the U.S. According to 2012 records, he and his wife and co-pastor, Victoria Osteen, have a calculated net worth of $55 million. The church itself draws in a revenue of over $70 million annually. If a massive corporation like that (and when a megachurch makes tens of millions of dollars and doesn’t pay its fair share in taxes, it’s a corporation) can’t help feed and house people to keep them from starving or freezing to death, then what’s the point of its existence outside of making the Osteens obscenely wealthy?
Many people were quick to highlight the fact that Osteen was helping out his fellow neighbors with a little more pep in his step this time.
No matter the motive or how we all collectively feel about Joel Osteen and the massive amount of money he accumulates while preaching the word of the biggest socialist in recorded history, here’s hoping plenty of Texans will get the warmth, shelter, and hot meals they desperately need during this time of crisis.