Comments

  1. kit says

    “I’m not for gay marriage, but I’m not for discriminating against people.” So he is in favor of getting rid of straight marriage, too? Lordy, he’s willing to destroy all marriages just to keep loving gay couples from marrying. He’s a liar and a bigot.

  2. DannyEastVillage says

    funny how in one breath he says being gay is a sin and in the next that “they love each other.”

    wonder how he reconciles calling love a sin.

  3. Bart says

    First and foremost, who cares. He believes in Scriptures, which means he believes in stoning to death women who are not virgins on their wedding days. He believes that Red Lobster restuarants are houses of sin. He believes in animal sacrifices. He believes that children who curse their parents should be killed. He doesn’t believe that women should speak in church.

    What? What you say, he doesn’t believe any of that? But…but…but it’s Scripture!

    Joel Olsteen’s not a hater…he just plays one on TV.

  4. DannyEastVillage says

    Right on the mark, StevenElliot: This is a wolf in mighty expensive sheep’s clothing–one of the many Jesus warned about who would “come in my name.”

    I imagine he likes being a power-guy since he dresses so much like one.

  5. Tim NC says

    @Paul…… No one can disagree with “being” gay. Gay isn’t a choice. He could disagree with a gay person being sexually active. But, he can’t disagree with them “being” gay.

  6. kelehe says

    “Just because someone disagrees with being gay doesn’t mean [he] is against us.”

    Sexual orientation is not a behavior, it is intrinsic. Can you disagree with someone for having blue eyes? Or only disagree with them if they choose to use them to see?

  7. Peter M. says

    The smiling bigot. He thinks that when he smiles while saying something hateful makes it all right. Well, I got news for him: it doesn’t, it’s still hateful.

    And to Paul: someone who “disagrees” with being gay is clearly anti-gay. How can you disagree with an innate, immutable characteristic of a person. Have you ever heard someone “disagreeing” with being a left-hander or that being left-handed is a sin? It’s stupid and hateful.

  8. Brian says

    This is going to be a weak comment because I’m not even sure what my point is. But there’s something that bothers me whenever there’s a post about religion, and we all gather ’round and attack. And it has nothing to do with sacredness of beliefs etc, as I find religion laughably silly. But from a tactical standpoint, I wonder if there’s a better way to approach these people. There’s certainly a wide spectrum of religious leaders, and I think there might be some benefit to addressing that. Certainly this guy’s attitude has almost nothing in common with the Westboro Baptist Church, yet we heap equal derision on both.

    We have to realize that most Americans are going to be religious, and attracted to/swayed by preachers. There are some mainstream Protestant churches that have no problem with gays or gay marriage, but I think most Christian leaders will always struggle with the leviticus sentence, which, let’s face it, is fairly straightforward. (I know there are ways to read it in original language that makes it easier to work with, but let’s ignore that for now since very few people will go through the trouble of researching that).

    By now I’m sure nobody’s reading this, but the reason I started this comment is thinking that there may be a way to work with a guy like Joel and his more moderate ilk. Laugh at him all you want, but having someone of his stature talk about what loving, caring people we are is bound to be helpful. I wouldn’t write him off just because he opposes gay marriage. I’d rather try to nudge him along closer to our side, rather than write him off completely. He will always oppose gay marriage because of that scripture, but I doubt he opposes civil unions. And I wonder if he’d go further, along the lines we often use here, that leviticus etc condemns so many ridiculous things that we just ignore, so yes, homosexuality is one of thousands of things condemned by the bible, but it’s a tiny percentage of the bible itself and should take up a tiny percentage of a church’s time as well. And in that vein, could he say that his church wouldn’t perform gay marriages, but he sees no reason why the government couldn’t, which is all we’re ever asking for anyway?

    I just think while we understand perfectly well why gay marriage is a no brainer, we don’t have a messenger to reach the huge christian bloc. And getting some moderate christians closer to us rather than repelling them, is probably a good strategy.

  9. Matt26 says

    @Peter M, agree, hateful words with a smile is hateful words.
    The “problem” with JO is his church is a money machine and he needs and wants lots of people watching it. So every message comes out with smiles and words such as love, happiness, wealth etc. People are clapping every two minutes. It feels like Watch us! Donate money! His church is political in many ways.
    I’ve watched his show (as I call his ceremonies) few times and it is really a show on stage. It looks and sounds theatrical and dramatic.

  10. Peter says

    He said, “god was not having a good day when he made gay people”. I say he was not having a good day when he made idiot-grin moron preachers like him and his ilk.

  11. AJ says

    I was about to write a big long post about not condemning this guy. He’s a Christian “leader” on Fox News saying better things than most on that side about us, don’t crucify him. However, Brian said it much better than I ever could have, so thank you!

  12. Michaelandfred says

    “I have nothing against colored people, but the bible clearly states we’re not all the same. So I have no problem with them riding on the bus with me, as long as they sit in the back. Where’s the problem? The don’t haver to walk and get there the same time as everyone else, right? They are very nice people, but the bible says…..”

  13. Tim NC says

    @Brian….. I don’t see this man as moderate at all. He said “BEING GAY” is a sin. He did not say that engaging in gay behavior is a sin. He said just our existence (being) is a sin.

    Gays who are celibate are still sinners in this man’s mind. So, he is worse than most of the Christians who claim that it’s only the homosexual behavior (sexual activity) that is a sin.

    Sorry, I don’t see much to work with in this guy especially when there are so many preachers who actually accept gays and gay sexual activity.

  14. Tim NC says

    @Brian….. I don’t see this man as moderate at all. He said “BEING GAY” is a sin. He did not say that engaging in gay behavior is a sin. He said just our existence (being) is a sin.

    Gays who are celibate are still sinners in this man’s mind. So, he is worse than most of the Christians who claim that it’s only the homosexual behavior (sexual activity) that is a sin.

    Sorry, I don’t see much to work with in this guy especially when there are so many preachers who actually accept gays and gay sexual activity.

  15. BobN says

    “but I doubt he opposes civil unions”

    I’m sorry, but you’re just engaging in wishful thinking. If he favored civil unions he would have said so. It’s not like gay rights just popped up unexpectedly and he has had time to consider it.

    Someday, when it’s beneficial to him, probably after same-sex relationships are legalized one way or the other, he’ll make a calculation — quite literally — and changed his mind. When it’s in HIS benefit to do so. Why America respects its charlatans so much is beyond me.

  16. Brian says

    @Tim,

    just two things:

    1. You may be right, but I sort of like his approach. It’s much more refreshing than the “hate the sin, love the sinner” that you seem to think is moderate. To me, that’s just a fundie preaching hate but trying to dress it up a bit. for most people, being gay includes gay sex. I just think his approach was to say sure, the bible says homosexuality is a sin, but it says that about lots of stuff and I don’t much care about it. That’s why I thought he seemed moderate.

    2. I know next to nothing about this guy except he’s famous. If you know of other preachers who can reach these people who are equally prominent, then we should try to coopt them. I’ve never come across them (again I don’t mean a Unitarian or UCC minister, or Bishop Robinson. I’m talking about trying to reach conservative christians).

  17. Paul Keckonen says

    @Brian, correct me if I am wrong, but are you saying that people should not post their comments on this blog if they are extreme? And how exactly can we “nudge” him along? I sincerely doubt that he would change his belief even if a child of his came out…unless he thought he could make some big bucks off of his road to Damascus moment of revelation that he now embraces all people (now that he has a gay son or daughter)
    While I absolutely do not believe that name calling and mudslinging is appropriate – or adult – whenever I read comments saying that we should be more polite and less “offensive” I have to wonder if those authors also have posters of unicorns on their bedroom walls, or pictures of cute little kittens.
    And when activists rant about “our cause” I immediately picture Mrs. Meade from GWTW shaking her finger at Scarlett and babbling with the same indignant furor.

  18. Brian says

    @Paul, Yes, you’ve misunderstood what is admittedly a rambling post. But I reread my ramblings, and your criticisms are wide of the mark. First, I couldn’t care less what people say on a blog (except I really hate the racist crap and wish Andy would censor that). I specifically say “laugh all you want at him”, so I really don’t care about the tenor of the comments. I wanted to focus on the deeper reality, which is that we tend to label all religious people as the enemy. And I think we need to be more aware of the differences and try to work with some of the more level-headed ones.

    Second, I assume the Mrs Meade thing was a dig at me, but I went back and I’m pretty sure I didn’t use the phrase you detest, “our cause”. I’m also not an activist, although I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

  19. Jim says

    Money means more to these people than preaching the TRUE love of Jesus Christ. I wait for the day when one of these “mega” minsters has the balls to come out and support gays. But that will be a long time coming… because then they wouldn’t be “mega” anymore.

  20. TooBoot says

    Rather than trying to pander to religious leaders for influence over their flocks, I much prefer the Dan Savage tactic of consistently challanging the cognitive dissonance employed in order to justify their treatment of us through texts that have proven to be of little use both morally and scientifically or even socially for that matter.
    The more we appeal to logical, analysis of what their beliefs actually mean in the real world, the more we will “win over” their followers.

  21. Brian says

    @Paul,

    I forgot one response. I don’t think we can change how he feels, since he’s never going to abandon the bible and it says what it says. But he seems like the kind of guy who doesn’t really care about this issue, so without changing his beliefs, he can still say what I said above, ie homosexuality is not a focus of his, and that, while his church wouldn’t perform a gay marriage, he’s not affected by the government issuing gay marriage licenses.

  22. Tim NC says

    @Brian, yes, I believe it is more moderate (and still stupid) to claim being gay is not a sin, but acting on it is.

    And, the bible may say what it says about gays. But, it also says what it says about slavery and about women. But, Osteen has certainly changed his view on those issues. So, why shouldn’t he change his views on LGBT issues as well?

  23. Tim NC says

    @Brian, yes, I believe it is more moderate (and still stupid) to claim being gay is not a sin, but acting on it is.

    And, the bible may say what it says about gays. But, it also says what it says about slavery and about women. But, Osteen has certainly changed his view on those issues. So, why shouldn’t he change his views on LGBT issues as well?

  24. Brian says

    @Tim

    We’ll have to disagree on the first point; I don’t see a distinction, so I think how the person views homosexuality (as people and acts) is more important than the semantic hair splitting.

    And as an atheist, I can’t reply to your second paragraph. Nothing about religious people makes sense to me. As I said in my previous comments, I don’t think it should be too much of a leap to move along those lines, saying the bible has all sorts of stuff in it so why obsess about homosexuality. You’re going one step further, which is to say the bible is wrong about homosexuality, just like it was about slavery (and many other things). It just feels like that pushes him into the liberal protestant camp at that point, and I can’t see him going there. It seems like the sentences about sex have acquired an immutable character in fundie minds that the rest of the bible hasn’t. I can’t explain it but it seems like we’re stuck with it, and I’m just tyring to make the best of a bad situation.

  25. Vint says

    Sorry, Joel, but you don’t get points for acting like a person who hates gays without actually “feeling” the hate. If anything, you lose points for insincerity, cold-bloodedness, and willingness to exploit the powerless for your own gain.

  26. Jordan says

    “I’m not for gay marriage, but I’m not for discriminating against people.”

    The outright contradiction in this sentence blows me away every time someone says it. Drawing lines between types of marriage is the very act of ‘discrimination’ – differentiating/making distinctions. Not all discriminating actions are morally wrong; this one happens to be. But, regardless, OF COURSE it’s discriminatory.

  27. Ted says

    There is nothing in Christian scripture that says being gay is a sin. Do not discuss until you have read the assignment.

    But you also seriously misuderstand The Word. Christ requires that you use the gospel for the liberation and inclusion of ALL people. If you don’t understand that, then you need to study again.

    Some of us understand that the Christ was (and since he is risen, IS) Gay. The message of his entire life is that no one can separate us from the Spirit – not even straight men. Not even straight men.

  28. SFshawn says

    It’s 2012 already so it’s OK to come out of the closet Joel. No need to continue the charade of being a self-loathing closet case anymore promoting extreme violence and hatred,bigotry,discrimination and death on your fellow GLBT brothers and sisters,mothers and fathers,sons and daughters and all those who you condem with your internalized homophobia and hate filled ‘pulpit speech’.
    Come out,Come out and start telling the ‘truth’ for once in your life.

  29. UFFDA says

    D EHRENSTEIN – a “flesh eating zombie”? Now that’s the bottom of the barrell…where things reverberate for a while. I’m laughing…but really! Sign yourself Mephistopheles.

  30. wtf says

    Brian, if you really believe that this is anything BUT ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ then you’re delusional. It’s just got a pretty shiny package on it. IT’S EXACTLY THE SAME. Don’t fall for the spin. He’s no friend of ours; he’s too busy making millions off the ignorance, hate and fear of his supporters, aka, “good christians” including very moderate ones who do fall for his BS. Don’t be one of them. I’m certain that what is perceived as “christian-bashing” on gay websites is merely the backlash of being abused and bullied by the far christian right. What do you expect? If you keep kicking a dog and calling it bad, don’t be surprised if that dog bites you or anyone that is perceived to be like you. And on a personal note, it’s pretty hard to put up with people’s CHOSEN beliefs systems that in the light of day are pretty silly compared to the discrimination we face as LGBT people for just being WHO WE ARE. So yeah, we’re sick of ‘christians’ and their apologists. Too bad. Suck it up. We’ve had to for a long time. Your turn.

  31. ty says

    Christians waste so much time on social issues because that’s all they got. Prayer doesn’t work, the bible is getting older and less relevant, and when we are destroyed by an asteroid, they will wonder why they spent so much time hating us.

  32. Georgiaguy says

    It’s a sin to be so vain about your looks Joel Osteen. It looks like he had botox or a major facelift and what’s with the 700 dollar haircut?

  33. Brian says

    @WTF

    I think before you reply in such a hostile way you should at least read what I’ve written. I am not a christian falling for him, I am an atheist who finds the whole christian thing bizarre. And feel free to kick away at the Christian right; I can’t stand them. But your response is typical of the way most gay people react to all things religious, like waving a red flag at a bull.

    My only point was entirely tactical. The christian right controls a huge percentage of the voting public, and all I was saying is we may want to consider peeling off the more moderate segment of this population. We’ve made great progress in getting increased acceptance for gay rights, but we will soon hit a wall unless we figure out a way to address the conservative christians.

    I think this guy falls into the more moderate wing of the conservative fundie movement. I may be wrong, in which case let’s find some others. But from his positions, I was speculating that over time we could get him, not to support gay marriage,but to get out of the fight, say it’s not an important issue, and that governments can go issue marriage licenses without affecting his flock. But people like you don’t read the comments, you just do a quick scan and lump me in with the westboro baptist church crowd, and launch the usual attacks. It may make us feel better but it won’t win us any votes.

  34. Matt says

    Talking for God, like you know what God wants, is Pride, and that is the biggest sin ever. Tell that to a Christian, and watch them fess up that they make it up as they go along.

  35. jack says

    Ask Joel if we should kill people who work on the Sabbath, committ adultery, curse their parents, worship gods other than yahweh? Ask him if he believes slavery is Okay? How about the subjugation of women? If he answers no to any of these questions, he is a homophobe. These bible “believing” bigots throw out most of what the bible teaches, but hang on to their hatred for homosexuals.

  36. jim says

    The poor dear seems confused. Very, very confused, and simply unable to put together clear thoughts, and then communicate them. He seems good with half-thoughts tho.

    But I think it’s nice that he says it’s ok to go visit a gay loved one in the hospital. (WTF??) That’s nice to know, one can get very lonely when one is in the hospital.

    Obviously the only time he opens the closet door is to pull out a suit. Perhaps one day…

  37. shadow_man says

    We need to get the word out to religious communities that anti-gay people are twisting God’s words to suit their agenda.

    Homosexuality is not a sin. The Bible is constantly being taken out of context to support anti-gay views. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, Greek temple sex worship, prostitution, pederasty with teen boys, and rape, not homosexuality or two loving consenting adults.

    http://www.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm
    http://www.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html
    http://www.christchapel.com/reclaiming.html
    http://www.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php
    http://www.gaychristian101.com/
    http://www.mccchurch.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Resources&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2121
    http://www.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence.html
    http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian
    http://www.goodhopemcc.org/spirituality/sexuality-and-bible/homosexuality-not-a-sin-not-a-sickness.html

  38. shadow_man says

    This is the perfect example of how anti-gay people change the bible’s words for their anti-gay agenda.

    Corinthians 6:9-11
    Let us examine that very closely.

    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [malakoi], nor homosexual offenders [arsenokoites], nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    First of all, before we address this line, let us consider one thing. Supposedly taken from a 2000+ year old book, understand that the word “homosexual” was not coined until 1869 by Austrian-born novelist Karl-Maria Kertbeny. So how it happens to be included in a true reading of the particular biblical passage should make you ponder how accurate the interpretation actually is. So man changing the words of the Bible to conveniently spread their anti-gay agenda?

    Absolutely.

  39. shadow_man says

    For those of you claiming homosexuality is a “lifestyle”, that is a false and ignorant statement. Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don’t choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.

    http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
    http://www.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
    Gay, Straight Men’s Brain Responses Differ
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html
    http://www.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/w27453600k586276/
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2008/06/16/172/

    There is overwhelming scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. Sexual orientation is generally a biological trait that is determined pre-natally, although there is no one certain thing that explains all of the cases. “Nurture” may have some effect, but for the most part it is biological.

    And it should also be noted that:
    “It is worth noting that many medical and scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person’s sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association.”

  40. shadow_man says

    This was taken from another poster that shows why we need to legalize gay marriage. If you don’t feel for this person after reading it, you simply aren’t human.

    “I am not sure what our President thinks of this dicission but coming from a poor family and knowing what discrimination is all about I would assume he would not care if “Gays” have equal rights. The whole reason why they are asking for rights to be considered married is from the same reason why I would be for it. My own life partner commited suicide in our home with a gun to his heart. After a 28 year union I was deprived to even go his funeral. We had two plots next to each other. But because we did not have a marriage cirtificate “(Legal Document)” of our union his mother had him cremated and his ashes taken back to Missouri where we came from. That is only one example how painful it is. His suicide tramatized me so much and her disregard for my feelings only added to my heartach. That happened on March 21 of 2007 and I still cannot type this without crying for the trauma I have to endure each day. Oh did I mention I am in an electric wheelchair for life? Yes I am and it is very diffacult to find another mate when you are 58 and in a wheelchair. “

  41. jack says

    @ Shadow-man: Stop trying to spin the bible. It is a collection of primitive B.S. Who cares what interpretation one or another person gives? It is like getting into a discussion about some of the statements or stories in the writings of Homer. It’s all myth. Move on. We live in the 21st century. Why do you care what people who thought the earth was flat and that diseases were caused by evil demons believed?

  42. jhr459 says

    SFSHAWN – you have obviously never seen one of his sermons – he doesn’t do any of the things you have outlined.I am certainly not in favor of Christians or anyoe denigrating us, but telling BS about them doesn’t work for me either.

  43. Linda Dial says

    Your not supost to hate no one for what they do but you are supost to preach against it GAYS it is wrong Mormons do not believe in the way GOD does watch Kirk Cameron he is brave enough to stand up for what he believs and most important what GOD believes you do not half to hate them you do half to hate what they do GODS returning soon do you want to be left behind maybe miss heaven if not preach the true word of GOD not what you want every one starting to wonder about you being a preacher or are you guiding them the wrong way straight to Hell and you half to answer to GOD for this. AMEN

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