Soledad O’Brien, Richard Socarides Confront Joel Osteen Over His Stance On Homosexuality

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Televangelist and pastor Joel Osteen stopped by CNN’s Starting Point Thursday morning, where host Soledad O’Brien asked him about his thoughts on homosexuality, describing something of a split between the uplifting tone of Osteen’s sermons and his characterization of homosexuals as sinners.

Osteen appeared unwilling to talk about the matter at length, saying that it is something he doesn’t really “focus on,” and is more something that he’s asked about in interviews. Plus, he said, there are so many things that are sins — including “being negative” — and homosexuality is only one of them

Panelist and NewYorker.com writer Richard Socarides asked whether, since we’re all sinners somehow anyway, “homosexuality isn’t so bad.” Later, he asked Osteen whether he “chose” to be straight.

Osteen replied that “I know I have not chosen to be straight. I just feel like that’s who I am.”

He also said his success is due in part to “staying in my lane” and focusing more on uplifting scripture.

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