After lasting long enough to gain notoriety, comments on Joel Osteen Ministries’ Facebook page from a parody account known as “Joel Oldsteen Ministries” have stopped.
In addition to being flagrantly irreverent, the Oldsteen comments are absurd.
“Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but when I finish a great sermon, I feel like ripping the bible apart and smashing it on the stage,” Oldsteen tells a commenter named “Denise.”
Asked for a comment about the fake account, a Lakewood Church spokeswoman said it comes with the territory of having a lot of Facebook fans. With nearly 12 million “likes,” Joel Osteen Ministries has a huge following that’s bigger than Oprah Winfrey’s 10.8 million, for example, but nowhere near Cristiano Ronaldo’s 103.6 million, according to CNBC.
“When you achieve a certain level of influence in social media, parody accounts are a fact of life,” Lakewood spokeswoman Andrea Davis said by email. “Satire is a part of the American way.”
The idea of Osteen smashing a Bible on stage or biting “a rat’s head off like Ozzie Osbourne” is wildly at odds with his homespun image and constant smile.
Most of the fake posts have a financial theme, depicting the pastor as overly interested in money.
Although he stopped drawing a salary from the church in 2005, his net worth is estimated at $40 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. His books and related items generate about $55 million per year, the website states.
In response to a question from “Linda” about giving to the poor, “Oldsteen” says poor people will be fine if they buy his book “I Am” for $16.22. “For example, after they purchase they book, the could say ‘I am’ and then finish it with, ‘Out 16 dollars,’ ” Oldsteen stated in his response.
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SOURCE: The Houston Chronicle