Televangelist and Professional Con Artist Joel Osteen only opened his church doors to use as a refuge for Hurricane Harvey victims after a vast public outcry. After he did, he first said he couldn’t because of the flooding, and then, when someone proved that to be a lie, said it was the city of Houston’s fault for not making him open the doors sooner. Even when he finally did open his doors, he immediately began asking for donations to his church instead of to Hurricane relief. But Osteen must be on a mission to make the entire country aware of his hypocrisy, this time having his sister, Lisa Osteen Comes, do his dirty work.
In a video from a Saturday service at Lakewood Church, Comes asks for the Hurricane Harvey survivors to stand up so that people could “touch” and “lay hands” on them. Before she does that though, she sends the ushers into the auditorium to start passing around collection plates. As they do, she throws out false words of comfort and carefully avoids ever telling these poor people that the church would help them. Instead, she keeps saying that
God will. In an impressively long sentence, Comes starts by saying:
“All these people who stood tonight, they have needs, and financial needs, and you know, I just feel like we should pray for them that God is going to bless them with unprecedented favor in the next coming days and the next coming weeks and the next coming months because you know they have a lot of calls to make, they have a lot of work to get done, and their lives were so interrupted, but you know what we can trust God that it will go smoother than anyone could ever imagine.”
She then called for the congregation to “touch them, hold hands with them…let’s touch them, let’s just let them know we’re praying for them and let’s believe right now that God is going to move supernaturally in their favor.”
She even, at one point, claims that the “spirit” told her that some of the victims would actually have better houses when God decides to work his mojo. They’re also suggesting to the vulnerable survivors that if they give money, God will reward them with even better luxuries than they had before the flood–a fraudulent practice that John Oliver exposed on Last Week Tonight.
The church is collecting money and literally telling them to rely on divine intervention and supernatural magic—but refuse to say that they will help in any way. Comes certainly gives the impression that the church might help, but her entire speech sounds like a legal document proving that they never made any promises to help.
In one of Jesus’s most famous stories, he sees that the Temple priests are using a place of worship to make themselves rich, and he wreaks havoc on some tables. Osteen is worth between $40 and $70 million, and asked for more money when he just tried to close his doors to people in need. Osteen better pray there isn’t an afterlife because if there is, Jesus is going to have some unpleasant words for him.
Watch the 3-minute call for money here:
And the close up showing the collection plates: