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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.

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.

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.

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 response to those claims, NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson secured nearly half a billion dollars for minority and women-owned businesses that missed out on the PPP loans.


Original story from Nov. 12, 2019:


Kanye West is continuing to stir up controversy with his supposedly new sanctified life, and now folks are slamming him and mega pastor Joel Osteen for an equally controversial arrangement.

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.

Joel Osteen’s $4.4M PPP Lie Reminds Of When He Shut Church Doors To Hurricane Harvey Victims  was originally published on