Pastor Joel Osteen, the famous Texas Evangelical megachurch televangelist, told Fox News that he doesn’t hate gay people, but given the way he interprets his Bible, he is forced to believe that homosexuality is a sin — but that doesn’t mean he is a “gay hater” or a “gay basher.” That said, Osteen claims he doesn’t think anyone should be discriminated against, but marriage can only be one-man, one-woman.
“‘I believe the Scripture says that being gay is a sin,’ the pastor of Houston’s Lakewood Church told host Chris Wallace on ‘Fox New Sunday’ when asked to clarify his position on the issue,” The Daily Caller reports:
“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.”
Osteen added that certain rights and privileges should be afforded to gay couples, but he stopped short of saying that gays should have the right to marry.
“I think we shouldn’t discriminate against anybody,” he said.
“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.”
Last year, Joel Osteen suggested that homosexuals are not whole persons, and that if they are loved enough they will stop being gay, and that he didn’t believe homosexuality is “God’s best” for a person’s life.
Just to be clear, using the Bible to discriminate against gay people is discrimination. The same excuses were used for centuries when the topic was interracial marriage: “the Bible says.”
America is not a society that looks to the Bible for our laws — we are a secular society that is comprised of people of faith and people who are not of faith. And there are a great many in both camps who believe in marriage equality. In fact, in poll after poll after poll for several years now, the majority of Americans support same-sex marriage equality.
Pastor Joel Osteen can take his anti-gay, anti-equality message wherever he likes, but the vast majority of Americans do not agree with him. In time, he will be viewed as his forefathers today are viewed. The question is, will he change or will he be relegated to the dustbins of history?
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