Colorado Springs, Colorado, land of the “New Life” mega-church and Focus on the Family. Every city has one of them, an awe-inspiring church that almost resembles an NBA arena. It is beautiful that these buildings exist, right? Their construction serves as a monument to American citizens’ loyal devotion to God, yes? In my opinion, a Church is only as awe-inspiring as the capacity of its caretakers’ will to do good. It should not serve as a profit center for its leaders. This brings me to the story of Kanye West and Joel Osteen. I have always been curious about Osteen’s net-worth. We all know Kanye is a multi-millionaire, very close to being a billionaire. It is necessary to examine the true motives of these individuals and their recent alliance, as they have become vocal leaders in the conservative political culture. Furthermore, it is also necessary to examine the culture of organized religion and their leadership and whether or not they are truly helping the communities where they reside.
Any time a musician, athlete, or actor suddenly makes headlines for a certain event or action they are involved with, I immediately question the timing of the announcement and their intentions. I can give you a few examples of these folks doing something to gain attention in order to promote a movie or an album. Most choose to simply go on a talk show to promote their new creation. Some go one step further. Let’s take a look at a few notable cries for attention among the Hollywood elite:
- Kim Kardashian / Kardashian family. Kim made a sex tape that “leaked” with her then singer boyfriend Ray J. The video gained her nationwide attention, and she ultimately built her entire career off of it. Let’s not forget that her mother was also friends with Nicole Brown, the alleged murder victim of O.J. Simpson. They have always been intertwined in a culture of narcissism. Now, she is married to Kanye West, the supposed reborn Christian.
- Hollywood’s addiction to sex tape “leaks.” Kim K. is not the only Hollywood diva to have photos accidentally released to promote their brand. Paris Hilton did the same exact thing to garner attention.
- Shia LeBeouf’s publicity stunts. Whether it was his “he will not divide us” live anti-Trump video feed, or his trip hitchhiking across the country, Shia has always tried to get the cameras to focus on him in the weirdest ways. I actually consider Shia to be a great actor, and most of his stunts are harmless. Yet, one only needs to look at his most recent film which is essentially a self-made autobiography, to see Shia’s narcissistic tendencies.
- The Green Movement and Hollywood. Nothing says narcissistic like pretending to save the world. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar victory speech placed sole focus on the threat of global warming. He is known to fly on his private jets to speak at the U.N. to preach to us all about how WE are destroying the environment. Of course, his lifestyle is exempt from scrutiny.
- The “Me Too” Movement, Gone Wild. What started as a focus on the culture of pedophilia among child actors with Corey Feldman’s allegations, the “Me Too” movement was immediately hijacked by actresses claiming there is a prominent sexual quid pro quo environment in Hollywood. Many of these allegations are true, however, many feel that some of these allegations are fraudulent. In a world that places victimhood on a pedestal, it is not a mystery as to why Hollywood would join in on the chaos.
Those were just a few examples of Hollywood’s desperate attempts to remain relevant in the era of the ten-second news cycle. We must use previous behavior to predict future behavior.
Joel Osteen was raised in a family of Christian evangelical pastors. His father was a pastor, and always told him that he should preach sermons as well. I am not going to examine the semantics of what is spoken in his sermons. However, I find it notable that Osteen’s reported net worth in 2017 was approximately $40-60 million. Should those supposedly speaking the word of god be worth this much when there are so many people that are homeless and starving in America? Have these mega-churches done anything to subvert the intentions of the globalist warmongers that run America? I have yet to see a definitive outcry from these super-pastors against the constant U.S. involvement in wars across the world. I have yet to see these folks demand less government involvement in anything. In fact, most 501c3 churches that I have attended always promote taxation as “spreading the wealth to do good.” The sizes of these churches are absolutely ridiculous. Every time I see them, I wonder: “how many beds could fit in these churches 6 days out of the week?” These are some of the questions we SHOULD be asking for those that are profiting off of the word of God.
When I heard Kanye West’s next album was titled “Jesus is King,” I immediately said to myself, “Well, I hope he is making this album free, or to simply pay for the expenses of the album.” Surely enough, we know now that is not the case. His “Sunday Sermon tour” tickets sold for a low $10.00/ticket, and the proceeds were supposedly all donated to charity. What charity that is, I have yet to find a source on. Vox reported that Kim’s mom Kris Jenner created the “California Community Church,” which requires a $1000 monthly donation from all members. Vox immediately labeled the church as a “tax shelter.” Without a doubt, this is the likely true intention of Kanye’s new album and tour. Not only does he continue to set himself apart as a cultural and musical icon, but he is also able to move funds in a creative way with this venture. We find this behavior in the majority of all churches, where pastors get rich, and institutions have a tax haven. In fact, non-profit organizations are typically target #1 for fraud investigators.
I think it is great that Kanye chose to promote Christianity through the use of pop-culture. It is not the first time that he did this, with “Jesus Walks” being the first example. I am a huge fan of his music; however, it would be disingenuous for me to claim that he has not strayed from the path. We all have, and we are all sinners. Yet, Kanye, like most Hollywood elitists, made his way to the top through the use of grandiose hyperbole, publicity stunts, and by promoting sex, drugs, adultery, and other actions surely forbid by the Bible. Is he realizing the error in his previous ways?
In a paradoxical world based on dualism, we must accept this situation for what it is. In reality, it was likely an egotistical publicity stunt to promote one’s self, rather than the word of God. However, the end result in this situation still places focus on Christianity, its benefits, its beauty, and its reverence for the good. As an audience, we can see this objectively for what it is, instead of promoting it as something that it is not. Kanye West is not our spiritual savior, nor is he a political one. He is an Icon. If we continue to promote our own values, the Icon usually follows suit, as he is dependent on our thirsts and desires. In reality, Kanye making an album about Jesus says less about him, and more about us. While his actions should be celebrated, they should also be scrutinized.
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