UnderpantsWeevil,
@UnderpantsWeevil@lemmy.world avatar

People love to rip on Joel Osteen for pushing feel-good nothingburgers on an audience of the desperate and vulnerable. And they’re not entirely unfair in doing so. Dude is a shameless parasite who has crafted the illusion of charity over his empire of graft.

That said, his message and his politics are largely fluff. He’s the “Just Pray More” panacea guy, but he goes out of his way to be inoffensive in order to maximize his market share.

If you want to see a real freak, take a quick car ride over to the Houston Second Baptist Church. Ed Young is Houston’s own little Antichrist. He’s cultivating an audience of the most blood drenched reactionary psychos the state has to offer. He placates their egos by promising them a seat in God’s Kingdom in exchange for their ruthlessness, their brutality, and their bigotry. Where Joel is an empty suit, full of false hope and hollow cheer, Ed Young is a Drummer Boy of Mamon, urging his congregation onward to new heights of depraved cruelty.

If you want to know where the folks who want to roll coal and lock up pregnant women and torture LGBT folks straight and glass Palestine go to church, its not Lakewood.

hark,
@hark@lemmy.world avatar

Why is this legal?

dejected_warp_core,

The term we’re looking for here is “charismatic amoral sociopath.”

wolfeh,
@wolfeh@lemmy.world avatar

(“Mr. Popeil” plays in my head.)

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

Ron Popeil actually sold tangible things. And created them. You might give him 10% of your income, but you’d get actual objects back in return. While you were alive.

wolfeh,
@wolfeh@lemmy.world avatar

This is true!

Binthinkin,

I know people in his family and perhaps surprisingly his wife is a terrible rich bitch. Like she was the one who told Joel not to let people into the church when that natural disaster was happening. She lets her own flesh and blood starve. She wrote about one of her cousins in her book in an endearing way yet won’t give that same broke cousin a loan for a home.

They’re evil pieces of shit and con artists.

Maalus,

Fucking lol. There is a huge gap you just bridged there from “likes a cousin” to “won’t loan money to a cousin for a house”. That’s the main reason why lottery wins sometimes get ugly - when everyone in the family hears you have money and they try to guilttrip you into forking over cash.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

Lottery winners don’t get their money by claiming to speak for a guy who said sell all your possessions and give them to the poor…

Buddahriffic,

I don’t find that surprising in the slightest. Did you mean to type unsurprisingly?

baritone_edge,

Wish I was that con artist…

JoMiran,
@JoMiran@lemmy.ml avatar

I wish it was only income being scammed. The amount of blood that humans have spilled over fairy tales is staggering.

name_NULL111653,

And worse, they’re not always spilling the blood themselves… ever since the end of the crusades, their victims spill their own blood now… they abuse their non-conforming children until they either assimilate or die - and a few break through and trickle out into the world to show others what Christanity (or abusive religion in general) does to it’s own children… I would know. I have those scars on my arm. Two of us, in my homeschool cult-class of 8 people, have them. And many I’ve never met, because they aren’t around anymore to join us and see that there is life beyond the cult …

Dreizehn,
@Dreizehn@kbin.social avatar

I would not give a squirt of piss to the radical religious nutters and they should pay taxes!

FuglyDuck,
@FuglyDuck@lemmy.world avatar

I wonder if I could create a religious institution composed entirely of myself. Prime tenants are all assets are to be donated. But the “church of me” is obligated to provide housing, food, transportation and everything else I want, within the means of the “church of me”.

Infynis,
@Infynis@midwest.social avatar

You absolutely can. Making a religion is super easy

FuglyDuck,
@FuglyDuck@lemmy.world avatar

The real question is how long before the IRS figures it out.

ArtVandelay,
@ArtVandelay@lemmy.world avatar

If I recall, John Oliver actually did it

Infynis,
@Infynis@midwest.social avatar

Praise be to Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption

UnderpantsWeevil,
@UnderpantsWeevil@lemmy.world avatar

I wonder if I could create a religious institution composed entirely of myself.

Basically just Sovereign Citizenship. The law doesn’t really favor this approach in practice, but if you never have to stand before a judge and explain yourself, you can usually create a plausible sounding theory for why “I’m a church aktuly” means you get to live tax-free.

tipicaldik,

Nah… he ain’t special. His audience now… they are some kind of special. I live deep in the bible belt and have to listen to them talk and hear their opinions way more than I care to. Sometimes I just want to scream insults and call them all a bunch of suckers. What gets me the most is it’s not just 10% of their incomes, it’s also full access to their children.

name_NULL111653,

They don’t even need the preachers for that, they abuse their own children. Almost ever evangelical family has some sort of emotional abuse going on, at least in the homeschool groups. I’d know, I was one and my dataset includes hundreds from my cult campus. And I know that out of a class of 10 (we get put with the same small classes for life in the one I was raised in), three had severe depression for their entire childhood, two more intermittently. And of the remaining 8 come high-school (some switched campuses), two engaged in self-harm due to emotionally abusive parents, myself being one of them. And I can’t speak to the prominence of self harm in other classes, but the abuse was a campus wide problem, and 6 out of my class had emotionally abusive parents.

To sum it up, out of a dataset of 10 who I’ve known personally since we all were five…

Abuse rate: 75% [6/8] Depression (3+ months): 50% [5/10] Depression (around 5+ years): 33% [3/10] Self-harm: 25% [2/8]

This is not acceptable. This must end.

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