January 7, 2008

Theological superficiality--aka Joel Osteen--and other stuff

H/t to my friend Anglican for this Slate essay on Joel Osteen. Though calling Osteen superficial might be a bit kind. I love it when God causes rich people to get richer.
"For it turns out that the divine hand turns up everywhere, at least in Joel Osteen's life. God upgrades his reservations to first class on a long international flight; God spares his car in a water-planing wipeout on the Houston interstate; God allows Osteen and his wife/co-pastor, Victoria, to flip a property 'for twice as much as we paid for it' in a once-sketchy Houston neighborhood; God swings a critical vote on the Houston zoning board to permit Lakewood to move to its mammoth Compaq Center digs—and God even saw fit 35 years earlier to ensure the engineer who designed the ramps leading to the Compaq Center provided easy parking access for Lakewood. This is a long, long way down the road from the inscrutable, infant-damning theology of this country's Calvinist forebears—it is, rather, a just-in-time economy's vision of salvation, an eerily collapsible spiritual narcissism that downgrades the divine image into the job description for a lifestyle concierge."


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In what seems like an Onion headline, we learn that Bush seeks to restore America's tattered image by traveling? Yes, because the best antidote to Bush's creation of anti-American sentiment is, well, more Bush.

Sigh.

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Speaking of Bush's America, the economy continues to struggle, especially for those not blessed to be rich. Perhaps all of that legislation aimed at protecting the rich has unintended consequences after all, right?

4 comments:

Bitebark said...

I've always been a mega-fan of Joel Osteen. Not that I know anything about him other than he's in control of a small army of Osteenites and has brilliantly white and diamond hard dental work.

No, I see him on TV and his optimism is so relentless, so immovable, it's hard not to dig him. I also think that his smile is the cornerstone of his ministry. Look at him. There's no way I'd give that man my social security check if he smiled any less.

Imagine him frowning. His whole head would collapse. Talk about clearing the aisles. He'd be the ugliest Mega-Preacher out there.

Streak said...

Heh. His smile is something.

Mary said...

I think his appeal is that he could be Lyle Lovett's good-looking little brother.

Streak said...

Well, I am no judge of men, but I can sincerely say that while Osteen's voice makes me cringe. I can't say the same for Lyle Lovett.