Televangelist and best-selling author, Joel Osteen, right, and his wife, Victoria, left, celebrate the grand opening of the new home for the Lakewood Church, formerly the Compaq Center, Saturday, July 16, 2005, in Houston. (AP Photo/Jessica Kourkounis)


Megachurch pastors Joel and Victoria Osteen take heat online for using ‘Hook ‘Em’ gesture at son’s graduation

Posted May 22nd, 2017


Thousands of students graduated this past weekend from the University of Texas at Austin, flooding social media with photos of proud new alumni and their families. For most parents, documenting the occasion with a photo means throwing up the ol’ “Hook ’em Horns” hand sign, too, usually without much fuss. But when your parents are the first couple of televangelism, a spirited hand gesture can take on a whole other meaning.

Joel Osteen and his wife, Victoria, draw thousands to their massive sermons every week at Houston’s Lakewood Church, and millions tune in from across the globe to watch. The pair also head a massive multi-million dollar empire stemming from book deals and tours. Their son, Jonathan, recently graduated from UT, and he posed with each of his parents for a pretty common photo taken during commencement weekend: the graduate and his mom and dad both making the “Hook ’em Horns” hand sign.

Not everyone thought the hand sign, which has alternate meanings in other cultures, was something to smile about. Read more social reaction to the Osteens’ school pride at

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