EEW MAGAZINE NEWS
CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and many other interviewers are quite obsessed with asking pastors to defend their belief in the Bible’s position that homosexuality is categorized as a sin. So when Joel Osteen dropped by to promote his new book, “I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life,” the mega pastor had to navigate his way through an intense debate.
The tense exchange on CNN's "Starting Point," hosted by O’Brien began after she alluded to Osteen’s interview on Piers Morgan’s show in October 2011. “He asked you about homosexuality, Christianity and homosexuality,” she said, “and almost every time we’re on with a pastor, it’s a conversation we have.”
With that prefacing statement, she jumped right in by putting Osteen, who says he strives to uplift everyone, in the hot seat, by suggesting his stance against homosexuality must be the “opposite of uplifting” for the gay members of Lakewood Church.
“I don’t really focus on that. I only talk about that on the interviews,” Osteen explained that he doesn’t harp on sin in his sermons. “The other thing too is, seems like, in Christianity, sometimes we categorize sin. I mean, pride is a sin. Being critical is a sin. Being negative is a sin.”
O’Brien interjected, “Those are all things we can change,” suggesting that homosexuality is irreversible, since the widely accepted position is that gays are born that way.
That’s when Richard Socarides, a writer for The New Yorker, also on CNN’s interviewing panel, jumped in aggressively and asked, “So, don’t you think, though, with the country struggling with increasing acceptance of all its citizens and you’re for basic fairness for everybody, that, in situations where like we’re trying to pass these marriage equality bills in certain states now that you ought to—you have an important voice to lend to that, especially to kids who are maybe worried about who they are and where they fit in the community?”
Osteen answered Socarides’ loaded question by pointing out that he stays “in his lane,” which, according to him is “lifting people’s spirits,” and avoiding divisive debates.
Osteen reiterated his views on homosexuality. “When I read the scripture, I believe that scripture condemns it, or says that it is a sin, but it also says that lying is or being prideful is.”
Ultimately, the conversation ended with Osteen concluding, “I don’t understand all those issues” surrounding homosexuality. “You know, so I try to stick on the issues I do understand. And I know this. I’m for everybody. I’m not for pushing people down. I’m not… I don’t know where the fine line is, but I do try to stay in my lane.”
Watch the video below.