In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Pastor Joel Osteen of the Lakewood Church in Houston, TX became the subject of controversy for failing to respond quickly enough in assisting the many who were displaced by the storm. While several other churches, mosques, and temples mobilized quicker to provide shelter to many of the victims, the Lakewood Church facilities remained closed for days. Social media was inundated with memes that mocked the leader of one of the largest church facilities in America, including aerial photos of Osteen’s massive home. Osteen responded with differing explanations for their inaction, citing concerns about safety as well as stating the government never asked for their help. If you know anything about Joel Osteen, who also has a large Hispanic ministry, you probably know that his message has been characterized as part of the Prosperity Gospel movement – a label he prefers to avoid. Prosperity preachers promote the notion that material gain is a reward for pious Christians. Osteen’s books can be found in the self-help section of bookstores next to those of Tony Robbins and Robert Kiyosaki. I don’t know much about Osteen, and he seems like a pretty nice guy, but I believe that criticism from Harvey had more to do with the public disdain for prosperity theology than anything else. Personally, I think Osteen promotes a positive message that is devoutly followed by thousands, if not millions, of people. If Osteen wants to provide guidance on how to live a wealthier and more fulfilling life, that’s fine – but if he is going to do it under the auspice of Christianity, I think he needs to do more charity work – plain and simple. The Bible references very little about the importance of prosperity, but it speaks volumes about charity and giving. The Osteen memes during Hurricane Harvey may not have been fair, but the public’s expectation of our spiritual or Christian leaders to devote more time and resources to those who are in need, is reasonable.
Elon Musk dropped by the Real Time with Bill Maher show recently for an interview with the host. Maher, who considers himself a liberal is an obvious fan of the CEO of Tesla and Space X. The centerpiece of their conversation was their discussion regarding what Musk called the “woke mind virus” or what I prefer to call “cancel culture”.
Ye, the entertainer and fashion designer formally known as Kanye West had a disastrous week. Always outrageous, his recent antisemitic comments were apparently the last straw; prompting practically everyone to sever ties with him, from his bank, JP Morgan Chase, to his billion-dollar shoe partnership with Adidas.
Regardless of where you live you have probably heard about Nury Martinez and the circumstances that led to her resignation from Los Angeles City Council. The short story is Martinez, who was the first Latina to hold the position of president of the Los Angeles City Council was secretly recorded in a private conversation with other council members where she was heard making disparaging remarks about her colleagues and the two-year old...