osteen.jpgPastor’ Words Hurtful and Disappointing, says TWO

NEW YORK — Truth Wins Out called on mega-church televangelist Joel Osteen to apologize to gay and lesbian Americans for saying that they need “help” and comparing their love to drug addiction. The ignorant and offensive comments took place in an interview with reporter John King on CNN’ “Anderson Cooper 360.”

“We call on Joel Osteen to immediately apologize for his insulting remarks about gay and lesbian people,” said Truth Wins Out’ Executive Director Wayne Besen. “We are here to offer him help in kicking his addiction to cynically raising money off the backs of gay people. While there is nothing wrong with gay and lesbian Americans, there is something insidious about masking anti-gay prejudice under the cloak of religion.”

According to the transcript:

JOHN KING: Some would say if you look at the Bible, homosexuality is wrong. Some use the term evil. You say gays are welcome in your church, even though you might not agree with their lifestyle. How do you deal with that as a person and as a minister and someone who many in your community look to for guidance?

JOEL OSTEEN: “Well, the way I would – I would deal with that is that I think the worst thing we could do is say, “Well, this group can’t come, because they don’t believe exactly like me.” I want them to come to be able to receive help. That would be like saying that somebody has a drug addiction. You know what? I don’t believe that’ right. I believe that’ harming your body. But you know what? Come to our church. I want to give you help. I want to give you encouragement.

Osteen is a televangelist who runs a Christian church out of a former Houston basketball stadium. His Jesus wants you to be rich philosophy has made him one of the most successful preachers in America. He is not known as a rabidly anti-gay preacher — so his remarks were hurtful and disappointing, says Truth Wins Out.

Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the “ex-gay” myth and educates America about gay life. For more information, visit www.TruthWinsOut.org.
– 30 –