Preacher Joel Osteen’s megachurch was once a hoops hallowed ground called The Summit.
HOUSTON — Joel Osteen, the moneychanger who runs his own Houston temple, was the subject of withering criticism after refusing to open his 16,800-seat Lakewood Megachurch to those seeking shelter from Hurricane Harvey. Now the doors are open, but it took several days of people wondering why this proponent of the “prosperity gospel” (aka “God loves you if you are rich”) was pulling up the drawbridge on his place of worship.
Less discussed — and Osteen must be relieved that this is the case — is how this televangelist got his hands on his megachurch arena in the first place. It’s a story that speaks to how our cities are unprepared for disasters like Harvey in part because of the way spending has been diverted into publicly funded stadiums; stadiums that become rotting carcasses or “white elephants” as soon as a billionaire wants a new one.