Victoria Osteen Prays for a Parking Space

The Huffington Post did an interview with Victoria Osteen, wife and partner-in-fraud of megapreacher Joel Osteen, who sells feel-good bullshit along with religious bullshit, and she explained how she prays to God to find a parking space. Because apparently that’s way more important than, like, keeping a kid from getting brain cancer or something.

Does praying for a material goal “dumb down” the idea of prayer?

Victoria Osteen, the co-pastor of the Lakewood megachurch with her husband Joel Osteen, spoke to HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill about the spiritual benefits of fasting and addressed the kind of prayer that she does in her daily life.

“Even if I’m going to drop my kids off, or I need to park somewhere, I’m like, ‘OK God, you know I’m in this parking lot, you know any place you can open up for me would be great!'” she said. “I just have this relationship- I’m not dumbing down prayer. What I’m doing- it’s just part of my life.”

Well, prayer is pre-dumbed down, but especially so when you’re asking for something so utterly trivial. Seriously, we have a world in which hundreds of millions of people, at the least, don’t have access to clean water and therefore cannot live healthy lives. We’ve got hundreds of millions of people suffering from starvation and malnutrition, millions of refugees from war, persecution and tyranny around the globe. And she’s praying for a fucking parking space? Even if she was right and there is a God who answers prayer, it’s trivializing to demand that God do something to make your life momentarily easier rather than help those who are in need.

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  • alanb

    Because apparently that’s way more important than, like, keeping a kid from getting brain cancer or something.

    Don’t forget football games. They’re really important to God. Like how Tim Tebow always got a little extra help.

  • grumpyoldfart

    I prayed there would be no parking spaces and I still found one!

  • sunsangnim

    Now there’s a good way to make money off of stupid people: combine “The Secret” and mainstream Xianity!

  • illdoittomorrow

    Actually, if there was an all-powerful, omni-everything god, it would be worthwhile to ask for a parking spot or whatever else you want. You wouldn’t be wasting its time or effort, since it has infinite abilities.

    Demands like this reveal a lot about the person making them, though. Namely how her laziness and incompetence at thinking completely pervade every aspect and detail of her life, right down to preferring wishful thinking to circling the lot like the rest of us.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    To make matters worse, every time God grants her prayer that means some poor shmuck comes back to the parking lot only to find his car has vanished and Ms. Osteen’s car is there in its stead. Ms. Osteen and her God are both giant asshats.

  • Mr Ed

    Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

    My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.

    Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,

    So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

    Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV ?

    Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me.

    I wait for delivery each day until three,

    So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV ?

  • Michael Heath

    illdoittomorrow writes:

    Actually, if there was an all-powerful, omni-everything god, it would be worthwhile to ask for a parking spot or whatever else you want. You wouldn’t be wasting its [God’s] time or effort, since it has infinite abilities.

    Demands like this reveal a lot about the person making them, though. Namely how her laziness and incompetence at thinking completely pervade every aspect and detail of her life, right down to preferring wishful thinking to circling the lot like the rest of us.

    [Emphasis Heath’s]

    Your conclusion in the 2nd paragraph is spot-on. However to Ed’s point, Ms. Osteen reveals a lack of character spending her own time asking God for a parking spot when that time could have instead been spent pleading that God help those who are suffering. So Ed’s point wasn’t about wasting God’s time, but instead one’s own time.

  • DonDueed

    grumpyoldfart: Sometimes the answer is “no”.

  • Al Dente

    We’ve got hundreds of millions of people suffering from starvation and malnutrition, millions of refugees from war, persecution and tyranny around the globe. And she’s praying for a fucking parking space?

    Obviously Osteen’s god concerns himself only with First World problems. Some starving kid in Burundi is beneath Osteen’s god’s notice but helping Osteen find her house keys is high priority.

  • caseloweraz

    I’m repeating myself here, but it seems like a good place to post the clip of Woody Allen’s cross-bound quest for a parking space.

  • anubisprime

    The Lawd’s’ own minions appear to be somewhat on the shallow side!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002686842900 ChristineRose

    What bothers me about this is that if you pray for something really important (like a spontaneous remission of your cancer) and don’t get it, you’ll be told that it’s not part of God’s grand plan. If you test something like this (send a bunch of Christians and heathens to the mall on Black Friday and see who gets the best spaces) you’ll be told not to test God.

    It’s also worth noting that in Mark (oldest) you get everything you pray for, that in Matthew you only get it if you have faith, in Luke you need multiple Christians to agree with you, and that in John you get everything again, but in 1 John (by a different John) you only get it it was God’s plan to give it to you in the first place.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    I don’t see what she’s so happy about. God must really not like her. She hasn’t even been blessed with a driver.

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    I read a book years ago about conservative US Christians. I can’t remember much else about it, but I do remember the author found that some of them prayed about everything. One example was someone who prayed to God about whether they should buy a specific camping tent or not.

  • blf

    Victoria Osteen Prays for a Parking Space

    When a person is injured, some people will pray for that person to recover.

    What was the parking space’s injury, a pothole?

  • Abdul Alhazred

    Victoria Osteen, the co-pastor of the Lakewood megachurch with her husband Joel Osteen …

    There’s the trouble right there. A female “co-pastor”, therefore necessarily a heretic.

    Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak

    1 Corinthians 14:34

    :)

  • sugarfrosted

    Funny, you could have done more good by sabotaging the store or hell, not participating in Black Friday and shaming people for participating.

  • sugarfrosted

    My reading comprehension is off. I thought this was about her praying for parking spaces on black Friday

  • Sastra

    “Praying for a parking spot” holds a particularly vivid place in my memory because of not just one, but two specific encounters with adherents.

    Once was when I was working at an atheist booth at the State Fair and a very articulate, smooth-talking Christian (radio show maybe?) started loudly describing a personal encounter with the miraculous just that very morning as he was driving towards the crowded fairgrounds and the voice of the Lord TOLD him “turn left, go half a block, turn right, and look for a spot halfway down” (or something similar.) And there it was. How, he demanded, how could an atheist explain THAT???

    I started tentatively describing how, from the neurological standpoint, expectation and desire can effect the brain blah blah blah and the Christian continued to work the crowd and then — as I recall — I said “Well, now we all know where God was during 9-11. He was helping you find a parking spot!” That made people laugh. It also made me realize that talking points ought to be snappy.

    My second encounter with the Magic Parking Spot Concept was with a good friend who is a New Ager and once taught classes in the 1970’s on New Thought creative visualization (the precursor to The Secret and the Law of Attraction.) She says she used to have them drive around and practice visualizing parking spaces into existence. ESP? No, creating actual spots to park in. When I asked her what she thought was happening — were people suddenly getting up and driving away or was land literally stretching out? — she told me that she hadn’t wondered about that. Apparently none of her students were curious and went that far.

    Victoria Osteen, the loud Christian, and my wishful friend all seem to be entrenched in the Playpen Theory of Reality, where everything is focused on helping you learn how insignificant the ways of the material world is when compared to the Higher Forces. So there’s no way this is arrogant because first you must feel very, very small and very, very humble — like a child. The big picture involves letting go of your dependence on reason and the physical (which is about control) and letting Spiritual Truth take over and guide you. So they wear their meekness like an impregnable armor.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Sastra “Once was when I was working at an atheist booth…”

    What’s an Athiest booth filled with? Nothing?

  • Owlmirror

    Sastra “Once was when I was working at an atheist booth…”

    What’s an Athiest booth filled with? Nothing?

    Are Christian booths filled with Jesus?

  • Crimson Clupeidae

    Modus: Atheist booth babes…..

  • mistertwo

    @ #6 Mr. Ed,

    I always love that reference. I grew up in Port Arthur, Janis Joplin’s hometown. I was too little to know who she was (my parents didn’t listen to her music), but I certainly remember John Garner and Dialing for Dollars on channel 4 — my grandmother watched it every day! (Had to be watching and know the amount to win.) I suppose there was a Dialing for Dollars in every city, but I expect Janis had this one in mind when she wrote her little ditty.

    Back on topic, if you’re going to believe in the power of prayer, you’re going to need an overwhelming about of confirmation bias to be able to ignore the failures of prayer. Since a parking space will always eventually open up, it’s a great thing to pray for. If it’s especially crowded and it’s going to take a few minutes and several passes around the lot to find one, that’s even better because the spot has to open up right in front of you for you to get it… confirmation! If you never pray for one, you remember how long it took. If you pray, you remember the spot becoming available. But it’s that daily confirmation that allows a person to continue to believe in prayer.

    That’s one reason (among many) that Christianity is such a successful meme. Over the years it has developed many ways to confirm magic in the minds of the believers, and it also has plenty of fear going for it, fear over trivial things like believing the wrong thing regarding trivial matters. (If you think you were saved before you were baptized, your baptism doesn’t count and you’re going to Hell! No! If you think you weren’t saved until you were baptized, you believe in a works salvation and you’re going to Hell!)

    A person doesn’t have to be shallow to be captured by the ideas, but it helps.

  • doublereed

    The hell does “dumbing down prayer” even mean? Or trivializing prayer? That’s what prayer is, and has always been. That’s the whole point, as far as I can see.