Sunday, August 10, 2008

another post

For some time I've noticed that many (far too many) news articles -- especially those on the web -- have lame, super-obvious titles that don't say much (hence, my own useless title here). "Osteen's wife denies assaulting flight attendant" is the title this time. I thought she was going to change her mind and admit to the assault, after three years of denials (apparently, otherwise there probably wouldn't have been a trial).

Before a 2005 flight, Victoria Osteen asked to have a half-dollar stain on her armrest cleaned up. She made the request of a flight attendant, and from there the accounts vary. According to the flight attendant, Victoria answered rudely, saying "that isn't my job" and then assaulted her, and later tried to enter the cockpit. Victoria claims they talked and both sides seem to accept that Ms. Osteen cleaned up the stain herself. Both Victoria and her husband Joel (the famous Joel Osteen; otherwise we never would have heard of the case) left the plane and Victoria was fined $3,000 by the FAA.

One of the damages that the plaintiff is seeking is "loss of faith." She is seeking 10% of Victoria Osteen's net worth for psychological damages including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as having her faith questioned. The attorney for the Osteens say that there is no evidence of any of these damages, though the plaintiff has been in therapy. I'm not sure that "loss of faith" is a damage anyway -- maybe you now realize that most preachers are hucksters and can live life knowing precisely that.

I live in the heart of the Bible belt and one of my favorite verses from the Bible is one that is rarely mentioned by Bible thumpers and is one that is in any case absolutely ignored by them -- Matthew 6:5-6: "'When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites! They love to stand up and pray in the houses of worship and on the street corners, so that everyone will see them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. But when you pray, go to your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you."

I don't care if the airline stewardess wins the lawsuit or not; it is nice (again) to see "religious" people exposed as being bad people though. Whether Victoria did anything that warrants the loss of a good part of her private fortune, it is clear that she is hardly an exemplary person. So much for religion being a good thing, take 43,487.

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