UPDATED: 12:50 p.m. ET, Dec. 15, 2020 —
Criticism of Joel Osteen‘s treatment of Hurricane Harvey victims was being renewed Tuesday after it was reported the televangelist’s megachurch in Houston was the recipient of a multi-million dollar Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan from the government.
Osteen’s latest scandal was not because Lakewood Church got the reported $4.4 million in financial relief. Rather, the report from the Houston Chronicle exposed Osteen’s now-months old lie that Lakewood had not applied for the federal loan granted to the nation’s small businesses that have been ravaged by the coronavirus.
Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church received a $4.4 million loan through the Paycheck Protection Program
Earlier this year, Lakewood officials said that they had not applied for a loan through the PPPhttps://t.co/xe6L8HIyl3
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) December 15, 2020
It was in that context that Osteen’s critics were remembering how he shut his doors to people seeking refuge in his 45,000-capacity megachurch while Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc to other parts of the Texas city.
Joel Osteen is the same scumbag who refused to let anyone into his fancy church during a disaster, so it's not surprising the grifter took millions of PPP he wasn't entitled to.
It's disgusting that he'll continue to get away with it.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) December 15, 2020
Adding insult to literal injury, Osteen allowed far-right rapper Kanye West to come inside while shunning those who were less fortunate — the very kind of people to whom Osteen purports to tailor his ministries.
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) December 15, 2020
Notably, Black and brown small business owners have suggested they were being largely excluded from the government’s apparently selective efforts to keep employees on companies’ payrolls during the pandemic.
In case you wonder why I am against organized religion
Joel Osteen accepted 4.4 million in PPP loans
Lied about it
And lives in this house pic.twitter.com/qp15OaTDaP
— William Buecker (@wcbuecker) December 15, 2020
Original story from Nov. 12, 2019:
According to TMZ, West is set to visit Osteen’s mega Lakewood Church on Sunday. A source tells TMZ that West and Osteen have been talking on a regular basis recently, so much that they’ve become friends. Sources say that Kanye is expected to show up at Joel’s 11 A.M. service in Houston on Sunday. West will then make his way to the pulpit to have a conversation with Joel that’s expected to last between 20 and 30 minutes.
2005: Kanye West blames the White House for slow response to Hurricane Katrina: "George Bush doesn't care about black people."— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 12, 2019
2019: Kanye West teams up with Joel Osteen, the pastor who locked the doors of his church during Hurricane Harvey.https://t.co/zGwu8A2ghj
Joel Osteen will open his doors to people that just want to go see Kanye but not people that had their houses flood https://t.co/sLwqLjLrcX— ash (@a15saenzz) November 12, 2019
i see Joel Osteen is trending. cool. fuck Joel Osteen and every other megachurch grifter piece of shit 😘— Beth (@bourgeoisalien) November 12, 2019
Joel Osteen when he saw Kanye West doing church shit 😂 pic.twitter.com/pYOoSxCqJk— Spike (@DripToMyLou) November 12, 2019
Q: What denomination is Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church?— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) November 12, 2019
A: They prefer ten’s and twenty’s