Joel Osteen vs. Oprah Winfrey

In a chapter from Einstein’s book Brands of Faith she focuses on televangelists. I wasn’t really sure exactly what that was so I decided to look it up and according to Merriam-Webster dictionary it is an evangelist who conducts regularly televised religious programs; hence the word put together televangelist (television and evangelist.) The two people she mentions in the chapter are Joel Osteen and Oprah Winfrey.

I’ve heard of Oprah all over the place, she’s created a name for herself which people heavily rely on and turned herself into a billion dollar brand. From her own talk show, to a magazine, books, clothing etc. Oprah has become a successful icon for many people around the world especially women, and uses that advantage to profit from. Her famous story is of rags-to-riches and she uses God as a way to interact with these people.

Joel Osteen on the other hand, I never knew much about until I took this class. I visited his website and it seems as though he has his own ministry, the biggest in the world. In the section which tells you what the website is about, it focuses on helping people and giving them what they need. Everywhere you look it is about other people rather than himself but you can tell by the website url alone ( that it is about him as well.

Both of these people have become religious idols around the world who help people and use God as a way to do so. They are looked at as icons and people feed into their stories and purchase their items. Both of these people make a large profit from what they do and by helping people is how they make their money. It seems to me like they are good people in disguise. They use the word of God to spread to people and help them with their own problems but are quick to take their money and profit from it.

I like what Einstein mentions in her book “What is not good is the false belief that Joel or Oprah is your friend or your pastor, who will be there beside you at the hardest times.” I agree with this because although you rely on these two for many answers to your problems, they are never going to be there with you personally through it all. Yes they may provide good advice and you may watch them religiously, for some hope. But there is a difference between someone reaching out to you personally and helping you go through your problems and someone who is reaching out to the rest of the world with advice.

To be honest after learning about Joel and from my previous knowledge about Oprah, I am not too fancy of either person. I understand they have good intentions for the world, but I believe their intentions are mainly profit driven. The more people they get to interact with them, the more money they will receive.

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One Response to “Joel Osteen vs. Oprah Winfrey”

  1. Says:

    Religion and Popular Culture » Blog Archive » Joel Osteen vs. Oprah Winfrey

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