Is Joel Osteen the most dangerous man in America?

No, not Joel Osteen by himself, but every single, televangelist, and mega church leader. The gospel of wealth is everywhere. The mythical old man in the sky will highly favor you, if you believe in him enough. All you have to do is pray hard enough, have enough faith, and believe in what your evangelical pastor says, and you will be showered with personal wealth. After all, your personal god wants you to have personal wealth. According to Osteen this morning during his Sunday service, god has a “thousand blessings” in store for you, and all you have to do is ask hard enough, and you can get a “thousand blessings in one day.” 

Joel Osteen and other televangelists make their money, and I’m talking millions, by selling their books of revelatory, simplistic logic centered around a god who is akin to a Santa Claus for grown ups. If you’ve been a good boy and girl, god will give you everything you could ever imagine. How do you prove to go that you’ve been a good boy or girl? Why, it’s simple. You follow the televangelists program. You buy his or her books and DVDs, you study their manuals in Sunday school, and you give abundantly to the church. The more you give, the greater the church’s missions and the greater the blessings bestowed on you.

It is true that a fool and his money will soon be parted, but I am looking forward to the Richard Dawkins’ Foundations expose/documentary on how much wealth these criminals have taken from the easily confused and misled sheep who give them money. 

The only person who’s wealth is increasing is the televangelist’s. The congregation might feel better after a three-hour service, but the high is only temporary, and they have to return several times a week to hear the “good news” that god favors them, and wants them to be happy, wealthy and blessed in every way imaginable. 

Here is my wish:

I wish that in my life-time, religion will be relegated to the fringes of society.

Religion has no place in a rational society, and only hinders progress. We all suffer from laws imposed by religious fundamentalists. Religion has no place in politics, schools, the work place, and I’d go so far as saying that we should evolve past the need for a religion. 

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What is Fake Morality

There are numerous ways of explaining this, and more intelligent minds have done it with greater elegance than I probably can. Among those are Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and other great intellectuals of our time. However, for me this phrase elicits the moral high-ground espoused by religious zealots, and their obvious immoral actions and behavior. You can see it in the homophobic words by the Chick-Fil-A CEO, or the general hatred by the religious right of those who do not conform to their ideals, it’s all the same thing. 

It’s a morality of the religious, who do not understand the fundamental aspects of true moral and ethical behavior. Religion is at the root of all evil in this world, and always has been. I am fearful of speaking out in our society, and openly professing that I do not believe in the magic and hokum in Christian holy book. I fear not only being ostracized, but also putting my family and livelihood in jeopardy because I fundamentally disagree with the religio-conservative-political machinery. 

Are we living at a time where an even worse version of McCarthyism is seeing a resurgence. Instead of fighting the “reds” we allow politicians to fight us, the middle class, the poor, the needy. Why do people continue to vote for those who despise them? The quasi-religious, but wholly narcissistic political party, the Republicans, want one thing, a dumb and uninformed rabble. 

Their most ardent supporters of this party are rallied by fake pastors, who preach the gospel of wealth. This gospel of wealth is also evident in Mitt Romeny’s platform, it’s just not called a “gospel.” Just as the pastors are fake holy men, and their morality is a ruse, so is the political gospel of wealth. Wealth does not trickle down. Deregulation will lead to worse working conditions for the poorest and most uneducated in our society, and corporate profits will only rise. The wealthies will only increase their wealth, while the burden of keeping social networks afloat would fall to those who already struggle. The most convoluted component of all of this is the consumer driven economy. If consumers have less money, who’s driving the economy, but that’s just a sidebar on my part

Any religious leader who overtly pushes a political agenda to support a political candidate should lose their tax-free exemption. 

Am I angry at how this nation is being led by the nose, you bet your ass I am. Why do otherwise rational and intelligent people follow a shyster who promises earthly wealth from some mythical god? Why do people believe that manna will truly fall from heaving, because they are “most highly favored.” 

Why does god favor you over some other poor schmuck? 

This is why the belief in a personal god is the most ridiculous notion ever invented by mankind. There is no great man in the sky who watches your every move, and manipulates your life. It’s up to you, to work hard, to make the decisions which are best for you and your family. But it is also up to us to remove politicians from office who are deluded by their religion. 

Fake morality takes on so many guises, in large and small ways. This morning, at least for me, on a Sunday when every televangelist is on the air asking for your money, fake morality is about the morally bankrupt evangelists who give people false hope in some imaginary god, instead of helping these people to help themselves. 

It’s disgusting, harmful and deceitful. Why so many people flock to these “motivational preachers” is obvious. We are lazy as a western civilization. We want the easy fix, the magic bullet, the magic cure. But, alas, that does not exist. Everything in life is hard work, nothing comes easy, and nothing is gained from “feeling good” because some guy with big fake smile, tells you that god will take care of you, as long as you pray hard enough, and tithe enough. 

 

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