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.