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Joel Osteen: Being Gay is a Sin, But I'm Not a Gay Basher - VIDEO

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Megapastor Joel Osteen told FOX News' Chris Wallace on Sunday that he believes being gay is a sin but that he isn't a gay basher:

"I believe the Scripture says that being gay is a sin. But, you know, every time I say that, Chris, I get people say, well, you are a gay hater and you're a gay basher. I'm not. I don't -- I don't dislike anybody. Gays are some of the nicest, kindest, most loving people in the world. But my faith is based on what I believe the Scripture says and that's the way I read the Scripture. I think we should discriminate against anybody. So, I think -- yes, I don't think there is an issue where somebody couldn't go visit a gay loved one in the hospital. I don't think that's right. They love each other. "So, I think there should be some. I'm not for gay marriage, but I'm not for discriminating against people.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. @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.

    Posted by: Tim NC | Apr 30, 2012 9:38:05 AM


  2. "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.

    Posted by: BobN | Apr 30, 2012 9:43:05 AM


  3. @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).

    Posted by: Brian | Apr 30, 2012 9:51:26 AM


  4. We as society have got to stop caring what these money grabbing pirates think about anything at all!

    Posted by: VDUFFORD | Apr 30, 2012 9:56:46 AM


  5. @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.

    Posted by: Paul Keckonen | Apr 30, 2012 10:02:44 AM


  6. @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.

    Posted by: Brian | Apr 30, 2012 10:14:31 AM


  7. 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.

    Posted by: Jim | Apr 30, 2012 10:21:05 AM


  8. 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.

    Posted by: TooBoot | Apr 30, 2012 10:23:58 AM


  9. @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.

    Posted by: Brian | Apr 30, 2012 10:24:36 AM


  10. @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?

    Posted by: Tim NC | Apr 30, 2012 10:43:09 AM


  11. @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?

    Posted by: Tim NC | Apr 30, 2012 10:43:10 AM


  12. How much money did he make. and how many book did he sell with this. Time for church tax, and they would move on and get a real job.

    Posted by: cb | Apr 30, 2012 10:44:48 AM


  13. Why should we take seriously people who worship a flesh-eating zombie and insist that all morality proceeds from fealty to said zombie?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Apr 30, 2012 10:53:32 AM


  14. @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.

    Posted by: Brian | Apr 30, 2012 10:54:16 AM


  15. even the catholics don't think being gay is a sin, just acting on the gay

    Posted by: t | Apr 30, 2012 11:13:50 AM


  16. 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.

    Posted by: Vint | Apr 30, 2012 11:17:17 AM


  17. "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.

    Posted by: Jordan | Apr 30, 2012 11:22:40 AM


  18. I have heard from several sources that he has a gay brother who frequents adult book stores in the Houston area.

    Posted by: Abel | Apr 30, 2012 11:54:49 AM


  19. 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.

    Posted by: Ted | Apr 30, 2012 12:00:53 PM


  20. 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.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Apr 30, 2012 12:21:15 PM


  21. 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.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Apr 30, 2012 12:49:17 PM


  22. T, that catholic belief is just as stupi, and essentially same the same thing.

    Posted by: nikko | Apr 30, 2012 2:39:50 PM


  23. 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.

    Posted by: wtf | Apr 30, 2012 3:15:29 PM


  24. 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.

    Posted by: ty | Apr 30, 2012 3:21:51 PM


  25. 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?

    Posted by: Georgiaguy | Apr 30, 2012 3:26:07 PM


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