By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com January 09 2012 6:05 PM ET
Among LGBT people and allies, those of us who believe in heaven generally don’t doubt that we’ll be admitted there, no matter what the fundamentalist Christians say. But now one of them — megachurch pastor Joel Osteen — says he thinks we can get there too.
Osteen, appearing last night on Oprah’s Next Chapter, told Oprah Winfrey, “I believe that homosexuality is shown as a sin in the Scripture,” but he doesn’t think anyone can become totally free of sin, so he believes gays will be accepted into heaven. He also said, “I would encourage people to be willing to change and grow” — for gays, ostensibly this means to become straight.
The Houston-based Osteen may be less strident than many fundamentalist preachers, but his theology, asserting that the entire Bible is the inerrant word of God, certainly falls into the fundamentalist category. He also has made some notably antigay statements in the past, such as “I don’t believe homosexuality is God’s best for a person’s life.”
Watch a clip of his interview with Winfrey below.