Wow. There’s so much going on right now I can’t keep up with it all. It could just be that I’ve expanded my readership to a few other online outlets, but I’m seeing the same stories everywhere.
Today it was announced that they’ve seated a jury in the civil lawsuit trial against Victoria Osteen. She’s the wife of superchurch preacher Joel Osteen (for those unfamiliar with Houston, Joel is the son of the late Steve Osteen, who led Lakewood Church to superstardom in Texas in the first place). Back in 2005, the Osteen family was on a flight from Houston to Vail (yep, the ski resort–where else would a rich superpreacher go for vacation?) when Victoria asked a stewardess to clean a spot on the armrest of her first-class seat. The Stewardess, busy seating other passengers, called for maintenance and continued in her duties. Victoria grabbed another stewardess, who went to the cabin. Apparently furious, Victoria followed her and ran into a third stewardess, whom she reportedly shoved and elbowed in the left breast.
The Osteen family voluntarily left the plane as they were about to be removed, delaying the flight over two hours. The FAA, after an investigation, fined Victoria $3000 smackeroos for her behavior. But the stewardess she assaulted is now suing for medical expenses–plus ten percent of Victoria’s net worth. That’s quite a pile of moolah.
Okay…if the FAA found that the incident warranted a fine, then yes, Victoria should pay, and she apparently has. Does it surprise me that the outburst occurred? No. My family was heavily involved in another Houston megachurch, where youth pastor Randy Woolstrum and head pastor Steve Riggle regularly showed their true colors. Suffice to say it does not surprise me in the least when a member of a prominent mega-ministry family does something that is, shall we say, un-Christ-like.
But according to the report, the “assault” was little more than a shove and an elbow in the boob. In a compact little space like an airplane, that’s not assault, it’s a fact of life. It’s something I’m sure that stewardess was quite used to. I don’t just seriously doubt her claim that she needed counseling after the incident…I outright refuse to believe it. And I sure as hell can’t comprehend why she would need so much money for it.
The only reason for this lawsuit is that the Osteens have money. It’s that simple. I don’t like megachurches or those who lead them, but I like those who file lawsuits over stuff like this far less. This is silly. I hope she not only loses, but is required to pay the Osteen’s legal fees.