I just saw a teaser on TV for Oprah Winfrey’s “Next Chapter” show on Sunday. It was evangelist Joel Osteen saying something like (paraphrasing): “I can’t be helpful to people if I’m all poor and depressed myself.”
Finally. The rationale for one getting rich off religion. I’ve always wondered how people like that justify getting stinking rich off those they are supposedly so concerned about helping. In my mind the most obvious offender has always been the Catholic Church. Such conspicuous wealth! And with millions of congregants around the world living in abject poverty. Does it never occur to Rome to share the wealth, to divest itself, to adhere to its own vows of humility and poverty? Ditto all the wealthy televangelists and megachurch pastors in this country.
Ah, but Osteen said it. You’re no good to anyone if you’re feeling all poor and depressed yourself. Of course. Why didn’t I think of that? So actually, he and those like him can better serve their congregations, tend their flocks, by enriching themselves.