Houston Televangelist Joel Osteen said he and his wife are praying for those affected by Hurricane (and now Tropical Storm) Harvey as it ravages Southeastern Texas and parts of Louisiana, but apparently the Osteens didn’t want to do so in the company of anyone else.
Osteen canceled services on Sunday and the megachurch — an arena which seats more than 16,000 people — has remained shuttered since, under the pretense of flooding. But while much of Houston has been submerged under devastating floods, it was revealed on social media Monday afternoon that there was no flooding at or near Osteen’s Lakewood Church.
— Charles Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) August 28, 2017
Thousands of people have been displaced by the storm and many sought refuge inside of the church, which was formerly an NBA arena. But Osteen, who is the fifth richest pastor in the country, with a net worth of nearly $56 million, seems to prefer to run his church like a business.
Famed comedian, actor and radio host DL Hughley, who has also become known for his commentary on black culture in America, summed up the situation perfectly:
"First off Joel Osteen those aren't your doors to close..that is GOD's house. You selfish ass"- @RealDLHughley
— The DL Hughley Show (@DLHughleyRadio) August 28, 2017
Meanwhile, Dallas is preparing its convention center to host evacuees and during Hurricane Katrina, the Superdome in New Orleans opened its doors to more than 16,000 people.
It’s worth noting that in the aftermath of Katrina, hundreds of families — many of them black and poor — relocated from New Orleans to Houston in order to start over. Perhaps it’s more than coincidence that a rich white televangelist would keep his doors shut here, considering his rather passive remarks on the recent displays of racism and bigotry in Charlottesville this month.