Joel Osteen | News | Richard Socarides

Socarides To Osteen: 'You Think You Choose To Be Straight?' VIDEO


Host Soledad O'Brien was admirably tenacious in asking conservative pastor Joel Osteen to explain condemnation of homosexuality on CNN's Starting Point this morning. She was particularly intrigued as to how the mega-pastor can claim to be "lifting people up" while also telling thousands of followers, many of whom may be gay, that same-sex love is a sin. Osteen, predictably, claims his views are based on scripture.

Later, New Yorker writer and former Bill Clinton advisor Richard Socarides to wonder whether Osteen would tell a gay teenager to do what feels comfortable and whether Osteen believes people choose to be gay — or straight, for that matter.

"You think you choose to be straight," Socarides asks, to which Osteen replies, "I know I have not chosen to be straight. I just feel like that’s who I am.” Perhaps realizing he's opened the door to affirming homosexuality's intrinsic nature, Osteen says, "I stick to issues I understand."

According to him, he'd rather focus on the things he's an expert in, rather than clarifying or defending his offensive and hurtful remarks about LGBT people.

Watch Osteen try to explain himself AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. "this debate about 'choice' v. 'born this way' is a dead end and really should stop"

    Probably not in our lifetime. The Religious Right have "evidence" that it's a choice - and that's not going to go away any time soon. This is one of the issues why they think the SPLC is guilty of spreading misinformation about the LGBT community - hence, should be labeled a hate group.

    On the other hand, I'm glad straight people are being asked if they chose to be straight.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Sep 20, 2012 3:36:12 PM

  2. "I stick to issues I understand."

    Fleecing the sheep and high-yield investments?

    Posted by: BobN | Sep 20, 2012 4:03:54 PM

  3. Anyone who says Olsteen is straight must be deaf, dumb and blind. He is arguably the gayest guy walksng the planet. His lisp makes Cindy Brady look clean and crisp.

    And stick to things he understands??? Like if he didn't condemn gay people then we couldn't be part of his money making sideshow?

    These preachers have turned God into the ultimate money table.

    Posted by: Michael | Sep 20, 2012 6:26:03 PM

  4. He's a business man that happens to sell religion. Mitt's cousin. BTW, does this mean that all white people are opposed to gay rights? If this guy were black or latino I can only imagine the "those people" comments coming from the likes of Jason, Markus, Anon, etc.

    Posted by: court jester | Sep 20, 2012 8:05:17 PM

  5. ugghhhh..... gag. Beyond his views on "the gay condition" or whatever, he's a guy who preaches that you're only blessed by God if you're wealthy and successful. Complete contradiction of everything Jesus taught.

    Posted by: scott | Sep 20, 2012 11:22:47 PM

  6. This is the idiot who goes on TV and tells people to pray for a new car or a bigger house. He is not a Christian. Christianity is not about praying for material possessions - that's called capitalism. They are very different.

    This guy is mega rich and he has done it by getting all those mentally weak, brainwashed sheep to send him money or pay to hear him speak. That is not a good example of Christianity either. He is just a right wing, profit-making businessman who pays NO TAXES on his income because he is a religious worker.

    It's time ALL religions paid their share of income taxes.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Sep 21, 2012 1:13:00 AM

  7. Olsteen is an expert on mythology, the bible, and he makes a ton of money at it. Why give up a good gig?

    Posted by: Andrew | Sep 21, 2012 2:47:53 AM

  8. "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
    MATTHEW 24:24

    Posted by: FunMe | Sep 21, 2012 3:47:15 AM

  9. We forget that it hasn't been very long since we've come into into the mainstream. Joel Osteen is a man who has been taught in the ways of the bible and by not taking a stance, he is trying to be cautious not to offend anyone - something you should appreciate and respect yourselves. I mean there is more acceptance of the LGTB community and still all I ever see is so much hatred towards straights who don't share the same feeling. I say live and let live and know many straights that may not understand my preference but they aren't anymore bigoted and mean than some gay people I know. I go to a church that isn't neccesarily gayfriendly but everyone knows I am and accepts me as I am. I just wish others could be less intolerant towards straights that aren't there yet. Stop the anger and the bashing of christians in particular.

    Posted by: GIA | Dec 20, 2012 2:54:29 PM

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