Disclaimer: This is just a bit of fun. I’m not really as much of a jerk as I’m portraying here.
On July 26, Houston’s Lakewood Church, led by the rich and famous Joel Osteen, announced its women’s ministry. It tries to include housewives as well as women who have corporate careers, promising to teach them how they can make whatever they do all about Yahweh rather than the people in their lives. Seriously, there is so much wrong with this, it’s hard to know where to begin.
- Tickets to the League of Professional Women event are $10
They’re charging women to hear about how to think about Yahweh while they do more important things. It’s a church that gets so many donations, they bought out a stadium, and the pastor is rich, yet they are charging people to tell them how to worship better. What if someone doesn’t have the money and they’re not doing all they can to make Yawheh feel like a big man? Maybe they’re trying to cover costs, or maybe they are just greedy.
- Gods should not be the center of your life even if they do exist.
Humans are social animals. That means that we owe our success on this planet to our ability to cultivate relationships with each other. What Joel wants women to do is put their imaginary friend first. If any gods really did exist and they wanted everyone to put them before everything else in their lives, they wouldn’t be worth worshiping. If you want people to give you thanks and praise, do something to deserve it. Loving people isn’t enough, especially if you have the power to do anything. If you have the power to do anything and you do nothing, then you are a crummy god, and asking people to care about you at all, let alone put you first in everything, is a crummy thing to do.
- The bible is horrible to women.
Deuteronomy 22:28-29 says that a virgin woman who is not already promised to someone (it would be without her consent anyway) and is raped has to marry her rapist.
Deuteronomy 22:23-24 says that if a woman who has been promised to be married to a man is raped in the city, both the woman and her rapist are to be murdered. The rapist is punished for raping (obviously) and the woman is punished for not crying out for help. This also means that girls in the bible have no say at all in who they have sex with. It’s all up to the men.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35 says that women are supposed to be silent and submissive in church. Other passages talk about how women should be submissive all the time, but this one specifically says they’re not allowed to ask questions about what was said in church. They have to ask their husbands at home later if they have any questions.
So if Joel Osteen really thinks that it’s important for people to follow what’s in the bible and for women to do their part, then he is advocating some really bad treatment.