By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com April 30 2012 3:29 PM ET
Megachurch pastor Joel Osteen says being gay is a sin, but claims that belief doesn’t make him a “gay hater” or a “gay basher.”
Appearing yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Osteen told host Chris Wallace, “I believe the Scripture says that being gay is a sin. But, you know, every time I say that, Chris … people say, well, you are a gay hater and you’re a gay basher. I’m not. I don’t -- I don’t dislike anybody. Gays are some of the nicest, kindest, most loving people in the world. But my faith is based on what I believe the Scripture says, and that’s the way I read the Scripture.”
When Wallace asked about marriage rights or other forms of relationship recognition for gay couples, Osteen said he had no problem with limited rights, such as allowing for hospital visitation. “I think there should be some,” he said. “I’m not for gay marriage, but I’m not for discriminating against people.” Here, watch Wallace’s interview with Osteen and his wife, Victoria, copastor of Lakewood Church in Houston.
Meanwhile, a new study provides evidence that analytical thinking can undercut religious belief. Researchers at the University of British Columbia gave participants tasks to perform, then asked them about their degree of religious devotion. The researchers found that belief levels decreased among subjects who had worked on analytical projects.
“Our findings suggest that activating the ‘analytic’ cognitive system in the brain can undermine the ‘intuitive’ support for religious belief, at least temporarily,” said study coathor Ara Norenzayan, a psychology professor at the university, according to ScienceDaily. The study was published in the April 27 edition of the journal Science.