Joel Osteen And President Trump, Birds Of A Feather

Someone representing Pastor Joel Osteen said early in the flood his building would not be opened for Houston’s flood victims.  Osteen tweeted a cheery, “God’s got this”, instead of addressing the tragedy.

Osteen preaches the “prosperity gospel”. It says God wants you to be prosperous. Go forward in this positive light. President Trump’s religious background is similar. He has spoken admiringly of Norman Vincent Peale (The Power of Positive Thinking), a prosperity preacher who officiated one of Trump’s weddings.

Both Trump and Osteen have struggled with how to handle the Houston flood. Natural disaster does not fit the narrative of the prosperity gospel, “Have a good attitude because God wants to reward you.” Having a good attitude and believing God wants good things for provides you absolutely nothing.

Actually, the prosperity gospel is no more dishonest than the “correct gospel.” The latter promises a happy life in heaven. The prosperity gospel promises a happy life on earth. This happy earth life promise causes a problem.

Anyone can see the prosperity gospel does not deliver a reward to the faithful. Look at Houston. The “correct gospel” tells people their rewards are in the afterlife. So far as we know, it also delivers nothing. The two are equal. The only difference is one’s dishonesty is visible, the other invisible.

Soon things will be right again. Bulldozers will clean up the debris and new houses again will sprout up in the flood plain.

Osteen and Trump will promise great things to all who build there.



8 Responses

  1. Henry

    Jon:“Soon things will be right again. Bulldozers will clean up the debris and new houses again will sprout up in the flood plain.”

    Let’s not condemn them too much for building in a flood plain. All of Fargo is in a flood plain. Des Moines has a little river action and lowland going on as well. I noted a land developer trying to sell some very low property on the west end of Grande Avenue. It was barely fit for farmland with its apparent low elevation. Now, someone will be living there in a couple years.

    There was a mayor in Fargo that could have done a little more to keep the far south swampy reaches of Fargo from becoming my and every one else’s liability. Now we are stuck with paying lawyers, engineer’s, and bondsmen in the diversion to correct the original mistake. The big diversion project gets people’s mindsets into yearly special assessments being the norm. I have another $400 in specials this year from some pipe that neither supplies me nor takes my outflow. This is a yearly occurrence whether it is a chipseal, pipe project, or sidewalk work. The engineers for the projects are very persuasive and can clearly argue the need for the projects. Now, I just got a notice for the Park District, the Fargo Public School District, and some other district. The mill levy for the three entities is proposed to go up between 4%-6% each. In addition they automatically jack the property valuation I believe 3% after it went up 50% the previous year. Then on top of that, the ND State property tax subsidy to the City of Fargo disappeared. When they first enacted that, Fargo basically pocketed the money instead of passing it on to the property owner, about $350 per year for an average house. They did this trick through increased valuations. The subsidy basically offset the increased tax liability so no one noticed at the time. People’s mindsets are now geared toward accepting these multifold increases, and it is very normal. Very little reporting on all this. We currently have a very popular mayor. He is a nice guy, very friendly, but a bleeding heart liberal. Anything he advocates must be good, right? Hint: Moorhead is the next growth area. Too expensive in Fargo. It is relegating itself to the likes of high taxation cities like Detroit.

    1. Henry 8:47 Good comment. There was a Mayor some decades ago who approved building in a flood plain in South Fargo. It was such a mistake the houses were removed 20 some years later. That Mayor was me.

      Developers read the flood plain map and insurance requirements. The raised the foundations and roads to meet those specs. It was really a stupid place to build houses but there were no grounds upon which to say NO. To say, “I don’t think that is a good idea” just puts someone else in office who says YES.

      Perhaps things are moving in the right direction with the self funded flood insurance. Probably it would be better if the was a law that the Federal Government could not help flooded communities in any way whatsoever–no trips by Presidents who say, “We’re here to help you.” As I recall, a house w/o flood insurance get about $30,000 from FMA if a disaster is declared. That is next to nothing for lots of areas today and I hope is not increased.

      What is the largest rainfall you can remember? I’m recalling there were three times is rained about 7 inches in 12 hours or less in 45 years. With the new climate it looks like bigger events are on the way. What if there were 7 inches on top of a rapid snow melt? Maybe we are just beginning to see big floods. The only solution would be home on hills and apartment towers. (I think I’m OK at 40 feet off the ground.)

      1. Henry

        Jon:“What is the largest rainfall you can remember?”
        I remember the deluge from 2000 in Fargo. I did not have damage. Many did. The diversion would be useless against this deluge. That is according to the experts.

        Yet, we are buying engineers, lawyers, and bondsmen and the actual diversion is just a little bit more, almost free. What a deal, but still floodable.

        Jon:“With the new climate it looks like bigger events are on the way.”

        Nothing new under the sun. When the great hurricane that hit Galveston in 1899, there were several Cat 4s and 5s within that following decade that creamed Texas. I am curious what the anthropogenic global warming inputs were in 1899? Maybe a coal boiler in a steam train somewhere.

        1. Henry 3:05 A bit of trivia about the Galveston flood of 1899. Following that flood, the business/political leaders got together and said, “Galveston needs a city government that rebuilds at record speed. Let’s reorganize things from the Mayor/Council system modeled after state governments and elect businessmen with powers to both make the laws and administer them. They invented the City Commission. It went across the country rapidly including North Dakota. It was abandoned eventually by most cities by still used in Fargo and several other ND cities.

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