After essentially being shamed into opening up its doors to Hurricane Harvey evacuees, Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church thought it would be a good idea to pass around collection plates during services on Wednesday, even though the audience was filled Texans who lost their homes and belongings.
It happens towards the end of the video, which is notable for being entirely dedicated to praying for those in the audience who were displaced by the storm.
The service opened with mention of the “several hundred” evacuees in the audience. It’s not like this was some crazy mix up. Lisa Osteen Comes spends a good three minutes preaching about the wonderful things to come for the evacuees, and then once that’s all over you can see people moving through the aisles passing out collection buckets.
It’s like Jesus said, “Help those in need, but only if the government tells you to, and make sure they give a little something because god hates freeloaders.”
It’s tough to figure out exactly how much money any particular person has, but estimates of Osteen’s net worth vary between around $40 to 70 million, so let’s very conservatively say the dude is worth at least $10 million. Feels like maybe you can skip a night of donations here and there, especially when you’re making a point to pray for people in your audience who may have just lost nearly everything they own in a historic flood. It seems pretty obvious that the people forced to take shelter in a church that only let them in as a last resort probably aren’t swimming in cash.
And despite what Lisa is saying, do not expect the recovery process to be “good” and “fast.” It will almost certainly be slow and, if past storms are any indication, terrible for the poorest among those affected.
This article was originally published on Death & Taxes.