September 20th, 2012
01:41 PM ET

soundoff (795 Responses)
  1. fred

    Seriously, who cares what this greasy, sleazy oil-laced preacher-screacher Osteen has to say about anything at all? He and his Christian cult are swirling down the drain of history anyway.

    October 4, 2012 at 12:46 am |
  2. CraigRB

    People have opinions and it really doesn't matter what they say, think or feel. What matters is God's plan and since I learned to turn my will over to the care of God my life has become better in every respect.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • WOOO

      I tried that for YEARS. Turn it over to "God", and your problem just lies there flopping around. "God" doesn't do a dang thing.

      We're On Our Own. Sorry.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • fred

      Craig passing off your responsibilities to a tooth fairy like that is what cowards do.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  3. fred

    Seriously, who cares what this greasy, sleazy oil-laced preacher-screacher Osteen has to say about anything? He and his Christian cult are swirling down the drain of history anyway.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • fred

      fred, your comment is so far removed from the light of Christ I see only darkness in what you say. No need to say nasty things about a man you do not know. As to Christians fading away that is up to God. God can stir up new hearts filled with love any time God elects.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Chad

      fred got swirlies a lot as a child and he dreads the thought now.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • fred

      So did you Chad but you swallowed the brown floaters.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:49 am |
  4. Anybody know how to read?

    Rom 1:18-19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.'

    October 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Anybody give a crap what you or your Bible have to say?

      October 3, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  5. Anybody know how to read?

    CNN trollin' agin.

    October 3, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  6. Erik

    "Melvin: "...Those acts are labeled as wrong out of the context of the times...""

    Because the writers didn't understand that today all major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

    Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

    In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

    The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

    On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

    Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

    But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

    This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

    The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

    Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

    Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

    Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

    October 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      The mobster doctors don't mind other doctors killing babies, either.

      October 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who are the "mobster doctors?" And what "babies" did they "kill?" Or did you forget that there's difference legally between fetuses and infants, you moron?

      October 3, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      The mob is the AMA. The womb is created for the child's dwelling. He can't live without it. The woman can.

      October 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And you're an imbecile. Let me know when you grow a uterus and a brain to go with it.

      October 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I always wonder about azzholes like you. Why is it you think you have a say in what a woman does with her body, but you bear no responsibility for putting your dick inside her and creating the issue in the first place, you fvckwit?

      October 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      TT, you sure have a lot of cult-ural bias baggage.

      October 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'll bet you either never had s3x or, if you did, you never used a rub ber in your whole little life.

      That's the extent of your say-so, you know. If you decide to have s3x, and you do nothing to prevent a pregnancy, then you have NOTHING at all to say about what a woman does with your sorry-azz spawn.

      October 3, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Anybody give a sh!t, you surely are a fvckin' idiot.

      October 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're so god-dam dumb that it's a wonder someone doesn't have to set a timer to remember to water you, dimwit. When you grow a brain, and figure out what cultural bias REALLY is, do alert the media, you dweeb.

      October 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Don't believe the Big O's caring about your health, either. He already said he'd kill his OWN grandchild for convenience sake.

      October 3, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The facts are thus, Anybody needs to grow a god-dam brain: Women and doctors don't answer to azzholes like you. You couldn't get into a community college if you bribed someone for admission, much less get into a real school or medical school, you dumbazz. The day you actually have a clue as to the difference between your sorry azz and a hole in the ground, you can comment on something worthwhile. Until then, you're a joke.

      October 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, brother. You're too dumb to figure out that when you're in a hole, you ought to get a clue and stop digging, idiot. Obama said nothing of the sort, and you are insulting the intelligence of everyone when you make asinine claims like that. How desperate are you to get your buddy Romney into office? Desperate enough to lie? If you have to do that, how worthy is your candidate?

      Too bad for you, dear. My vote goes to the man who values MY rights above those of a blob of cells (even thought said blob is undoubtedly smarter than you are.)

      October 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I feel sorry for any woman who is so needy she is willing to settle for a loser like you, Anybody.

      What a sad case set of chromosomes you can offer the future.

      October 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Care to explain what "cultural bias" you imagine I have, you fvcktard? I doubt you have a clue what the words "cultural" and "bias" mean, considering you write like a middle school pothead.

      October 3, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  7. b4bigbang

    Melvin: "...Those acts are labeled as wrong out of the context of the times..."
    "...The kind of relationships between two consenting adults of the same s ex demonstrably abounding among us – relationships that are responsible and mutual, affirming and fulfilling – are not dealt with in the Scriptures."

    And your proof Melvin?

    October 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Jeannine

      @b4bigbang The Scriptures were written approximately 2000 or more years ago when there was no knowledge of constitutional homosexuality. The Scripture writers believed that all people were naturally heterosexual so that they viewed homosexuality activity as unnatural. Women today are pointing out that the inferiority of women expressed in the scriptures was a product of culture and the times in which the Bible was written; it should not be followed today, now that we are beginning to appreciate the natural and God-given equality of men and women.

      Similarly, as we know that homosexuality is just as natural and God-given as heterosexuality, we realize that the Biblical injunctions against homosexuality were conditioned by the attitudes and beliefs about this form of sexual expression which were held by people without benefit of centuries of scientific knowledge and understanding.

      It is unfair of us to expect or impose a twentieth century mentality and understanding about equality of genders, races and sexual orientations on the Biblical writers. We must be able to distinguish the eternal truths the Bible is meant to convey from the cultural forms and attitudes expressed there.

      October 3, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      And scientists may eventually discover that some criminality is caused or at least influenced by some kind of biologic process during fetal development, but that doesn't mean that it would be wise for a person who hopes to gain eternal life based upon classical Christianity to disregard the Scriptural warnings.

      There should be a great divide btw science and Christian faith, meaning that one should understand that he/she must sometimes choose btw following one or the other, and in matters of spiritual salvation it may be the discretion being the better part of valor to default to the Scriptures in matters relating to how to attain eternal life.

      October 3, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Since when is someone's s3xuality something to be denied? Why should someone who is gay subvert his/her self because you think that's what the bible says he/she "should" do?

      Suppose god said that straight s3x was "wrong" or "sinful"? Would you abstain then, b4? Forgo any loving relationship? A family? Children?

      No, you wouldn't. Why should anyone else?

      October 3, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      And he said to them all, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me".
      -Jesus Christ

      October 3, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      That's a lovely irrelevant quote that does absolutely nothing to address multiple points brought against you.

      October 3, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Everyone has his/her own cross to bear. With some it's h o m o s e x u a l i t y, with others it's straight s ex sins, with others it's greed, or gluttony, hatred, etc, etc.

      Choose ye this day – serve God or your fave vice/lifestyle.
      And later you reap the wages you earned in life, some to eternal life, some to death.

      October 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nice attempt at obfuscating, bigfart.

      October 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      @hawaiiguest and others: to him who has eyes to see, let him see.

      I know that you don't believe hawaiiguest.

      October 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      bigfart, why don't you grow up and realize that you don't have all the answers? That the bible doesn't have all the answers?

      Why didn't you answer my question? Or are you celibate because you can't get laid?

      October 3, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      ranslation of b4big:

      "Go with confirmatory bias".

      Please b4, at least try to participate in a discussion that you start. What you're doing is just making you look like a moron.

      October 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that bigfart is still a virgin.

      October 3, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Christian

      Sodom and Gomorrah

      October 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  8. ViperGuy

    It's plain and simple. The scriptures clearly state that men who lie with men will not inherit God's Kingdom, plain and simple. (Leviticus 18:22) (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

    October 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Melvin

      "It's plain and simple."

      The Scriptures at no point deal with homosexuality as an authentic sexual orientation, a given condition of being. The remarkably few Scriptural references to "homosexuality" deal rather with homosexual acts, not with homosexual orientation. Those acts are labeled as wrong out of the context of the times in which the writers wrote and perceived those acts to be either nonmasculine, idolatrous, exploitative, or pagan. The kind of relationships between two consenting adults of the same sex demonstrably abounding among us - relationships that are responsible and mutual, affirming and fulfilling - are not dealt with in the Scriptures.

      October 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • LOL!

      This show how much you don't understand your own bible, Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code.

      October 3, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • fred

      In the beginning God made a helper suitable for man. This helper was made out of Adams rib who named her woman as she from him. Now a specific command is given that they shall become one flesh. Take careful note that God had made man, formed man in the image of God. Genesis which opens the Bible lays out the purpose of creation and the creator. We were created to have perfect unity with God and given the necessary attributes to know and enjoy God. Making a helper for Adam was a model to us on proper relationships, order and unity. That model was with Christ as Christ is one with the Father yet servant and helper. Christ is often figured as the Bride the entry to eternal life a wedding feast.
      You are correct in that God is about relationships and Jesus summed it well with two commandments “love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself”. In order to love God with all your heart you must develop a long term intimate relationship with God. If you do that everything else falls in order. In all that you do you should bring your thoughts and actions into the light of God and ask God how are you glorifying God today and what will God have you do.

      Debating what the Bible says and does not say is useless without the presence of God in your heart and the transforming of your mind to radiate what Christ has shown.

      October 3, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • gord

      fred, in the beginning Odin made smart people. And then he fashioned dimwits to entertain them. You inherited chromosomes only from the dimwits.

      Seriously, there isn't a shred of evidence that supports your pathetic creation story.

      October 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • fred

      Oh, too bad atheists have no evidence to support the purpose or cause of our existence we could hang our hat on that. If you had evidence as to the origin of life I would hear you out. If you had evidence as to the purpose of our existence I would hear you out. In the meantime the Bible has done exactly what it was intended to do which is to reveal Gods purpose for our existence and guide us towards eternal life.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • Milton

      The Bible also says this: "However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way". (Leviticus 25:44-46). Plain and simple. Now go out and buy some foreigners and get some child slaves too. I love the Bible because it gives us great moral codes to live by! Where would I be without it? Walking around not owning slaves probably. Why live by today's rules when you can follow the superior moral stylings of Bronze age goat herders?

      October 4, 2012 at 5:41 am |
    • fred

      Were those passages addressing any culture or peoples other than the tribe they were given to? No.

      What form of reason do you use to take verses out of context and apply them to a different time and place? It is not reason but a form of mockery that simply reveals the condition of your heart. Sorry you are angry with God or the Bible but you cannot resolve your anger by mockery. It actually has the reverse effect which is to trap and lock you in negative destructive life style.
      Consider what Christians did in the days of Hitler to a group of people. It was flat out wrong and if you are a believer it was sin yet they were blinded by the darkness in their heart. It always starts out small so you cannot notice then soon enough you become a hateful person. The Bible uses the metaphor of yeast in little flour that if left will turn the entire loaf.

      October 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  9. DB


    I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU BELIEVE. It's none of my business what you preach. You could spend every single Sunday telling your flock that being gay is a sin, it would be none of my concern (although I know you wouldn't do this because it would get in the way of your message that being selfish and self-serving is living like Christ did).

    As long as you don't use your beliefs as an excuse to lead a political campaign to deny the rights of other people, what you believe is none of my business.

    October 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Beadles

      DB – couldn't have said it better myself. Well Done!!!

      October 3, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  10. Marie O'Brien

    What I see in this interview is that Joel Osteen is trying very hard not to judge people and I think that others find it hard not to judge. Mr. Osteen is trying to leave judgment to his God.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  11. Angela

    I was just standin' here and Joel Osteen locked himself in the closet....

    October 3, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • R. Kelly


      October 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  12. waf_98

    Richard Socarides is a pompous, self-righteous, condescending bully with an IQ not much higher than his shoe size. Then again, he's a writer for the New York Times. Makes sense after all.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  13. PJ

    If we start nailing Christians to crosses will they shut the f**** up already?

    October 3, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Angela


      October 3, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • jaggatorpm

      Would lower yourself to their level....probably not what you would want.....

      October 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  14. Janet

    wow, after watching this, when did Mr. Olsteen get a chance to explain ANYTHING! Geez, give the man a chance to speak, pitiful interview!

    October 3, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  15. Sandy

    Want to find the true God, seek for Him with your entire heart, mind and soul and you will find Him. The relationship is built upon by prayer, faith, and reading God's Word. It's about loving and forgiving. People hate God because their deeds are evil. Some who say they are christians are liars.. very few real Christians around these days. They don't judge, they don't hate, they don't want your money.. they love, they give, and they forgive ... over and over and over again. If you want to find God, don't look at the creation but look for the creator. We all have sinned and fall short, and yet God loved us enough to send His only son to give us salvation and hope. Except and be a child of God, live for him and find peace. Don't accept and live you life... the choice is yours.

    October 2, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Arlene


      I could not agree with you more. Love God. Love People. God Bless!

      October 3, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Betsy

      Amen Sister! From one true Christian to another, way to go Sandy. You hit the nail on the head. We are COMMANDED to love one another WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS. Leave the judging to God.

      October 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Garrett

      See you at the goat slaughtering tonight Sandy. You can't be a true Christian unless you do senseless slaughter of innocent animals and the occational human too. Jesus did say the old testament laws still apply, so get that sacrificial knife sharpened and do your duty or your hateful god will burn you forever.

      Or you can just put your silly Christian fables aside and join the modern, reasonable folk.

      October 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  16. OkayMan

    Now look ahere, I used to be gay and Joel Osteen does not strike me as being gay. Dude is just a very fortunate individual with a large group of people who like his message.

    October 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  17. Sandy

    I agree, let the guy answer without speaking over him. Give the guy a break

    October 2, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  18. JohnS

    Oh brother, give me a break. At the end of the day, this guy only cares about one thing... dollar signs. Anything he says (in any interview) is either happy and all sunshines, or like this one, he claims some odd neutrality and makes an excuse not to answer the question.

    What did Jesus say? It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man get into heaven?

    October 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Beadles

      JohnS – right on, it's all about the money he brings in. And, his wife is a piece of work. She is arrogant, rude and cruel to the little people (like flight attendants.) I'm not a believer; but, I do respect those of faith (any faith) – as long as their actions speak louder than their words. I can't say that about the Osteens.

      October 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  19. angel

    geesh they need to let him finish his sentences!!!! poor guy-

    October 2, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  20. maxmaxwell

    Oh my, don't be hating!! Hey before you people turn this into a mini riot, I was going to ask, anyone ever read the story Mission Earth? Uhhh you may find that series parallels pretty much what is going on today. (look beyond the immediate and into the back story). It is really laced with a lot of the truth. Remember it was written in the early eighties, and being not only funny it parodies exactly what is happening now.
    I like to listen to both sides of this argument, as I know deep down inside my heart both sides really believe they are right, and guess what? They both have good points, but the hatred and dissension need to stop. We are all learning from one another as our enlightenment increases, and we each need to understand the other . now stop hating. and yes, olsteen is an idiot plain and simple. hey his wife went tipper on a flight attendant, that is a bajesus nono there jeff, also you didn't start out with 6-8 million net worth, I always thought a man of god lived a life of poverty like bajesus? No? Oh I must have you confused with that Tom Cruise bunch. hey Jeff really, trolling for new members???

    October 2, 2012 at 7:07 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.