Check this out: Chicago scalpers asking $190 for tickets to hear TV preacher By ABP staff CHICAGO (ABP) -- Tickets to hear popular TV preacher Joel Osteen in a Chicago arena reportedly are commanding a scalper's markup that rivals rock superstars U2. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, $10 tickets to the Houston pastor's May 5-6 "Worship Tour" appearances at the Allstate Arena in suburban Rosemont, Ill., are selling on popular Internet concert-ticket sites for as much as $190 -- almost 20 times their face value. U2 will also appear in Chicago in May, and the $49.50 tickets are going on the same ticket sites for $400 and more. The youthful-looking and dynamic Osteen, 41, has built a considerable national following via television broadcasts of his sermons from Houston's charismatic Lakewood Church. In the few years since he took over the pulpit previously occupied by his late father, Lakewood has grown into one of the nation's largest churches, with an average about 25,000 in attendance. "Have these people no morals? No conscience?" one reader said in an indignant note to the Sun-Times religion writer. "They are selling $10 tickets for an event dedicated to God and prayer for a hundred bucks or more!! Truly sinful." Osteen spokesman Don Iloff said the church started selling tickets at the request of sold-out arenas worried about crowd control. "It's not a moneymaker for us," Iloff told reporter Cathleen Falsani. "It costs $750,000 to put on the event. Do the math. Even at $10 apiece it doesn't begin to cover it." The newspaper noted $10 tickets are still available, despite the Internet scalping. For her part, Falsani said she viewed the scalping differently than did her reader. "The sold-out arenas and ticket scalping -- legal or otherwise -- means thousands of people are willing to sacrifice their hard-earned money to listen to the gospel message," she wrote. "And that, in supposedly secular 2005, is a scandal of a different kind."