Houston televangelist and pastor at the Lakewood megachurch Joel Osteen has been largely MIA from the response to Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Southeast Texas over the weekend.
He’s come under fire for shuttering his taxpayer-funded, former NBA arena church to those seeking refuge, dubiously using “flooding” as an excuse — even though plenty of images show otherwise — and is already seeking donations for his church and a shady partner organization run by fellow controversial evangelist Franklin Graham (Osteen’s* net worth is more than $56 million and fundraising is a large component of Lakewood Church) to provide unspecified aid.
Meanwhile, local Muslims and Muslim civic associations are out in the community providing aid to those in need, fundraising via a legitimate international disaster relief organization and several mosques have opened as public shelters.
— MuslimYouthUSA (@MuslimYouthUSA) August 28, 2017
Human rights activist, author and Muslim educator Qasim Rashid noted the juxtaposition.
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) August 28, 2017
For reference, this is the inside of Osteen’s church, which would be a suitable counterpart to the Superdome’s function as a shelter in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Joel Osteen has a HUGE church in Houston that would make a great shelter. pic.twitter.com/byqHxXrHQn
— Brasilmagic (@Brasilmagic) August 28, 2017
Rashid also noted that when Osteen’s church posted a list on social media of public shelters in the area affected by the massive storm, it left out all of the designated mosques — a move that does not seem to be unintentional.
•1st 3 pics—Public Houston shelters posted by @lakewoodch
•Last pic—Public Houston Shelters in mosques that Lakewood accidentally left out
Given that the country’s fifth richest pastor didn’t welcome into his church those seeking shelter from a storm that has displaced thousands as the death toll continues to rise — which seats more than 16,000 — Osteen shouldn’t be keeping vulnerable citizens from knowing where their nearest shelter might be.
The Muslim Mosques in Houston have opened their hearts, doors,& donations to HELP THOSE IN NEED.Shame on you Joel Osteen.#whatwouldJesusdo?
— LM Oliver (@fiverlo) August 28, 2017
This articles was published on reverepress.com