C’mon, Joel, Swerve a Little Bit

Poor Joel Osteen. I’m not sure why he keeps going on national news and talk shows when he knows that, inevitably, he’ll get cornered on the gay question. It happened to him again when he appeared on CNN this week with Soledad O’Brien and a panel of guests including Deepak Chopra and Richard Socarides, an openly gay Democratic strategist.

Osteen offered his signature pained full-toothed smile as he explained, again, that homosexuality is like lying or pride, all sins but no worse than the others. O’Brien kept hammering the theme, though, that lying and pride are choices we can make, but homosexuality is not.

Finally, poor Osteen went to his fallback position, “Homosexuality is not God’s best.”

I found that phrase offensive, until I remembered who really was “God’s best” in the Bible. Let’s recap. Abraham, the patriarch of the religion had a child by a handmaid. Moses—a murderer. David—a philanderer and then murderer (since he sent Uriah,* his paramour’s husband off to the front lines to be killed). Lot—the guy who offered his daughters up to the angry crowd in Sodom to be raped and killed. The crowd refused, but it still says a lot about a guy if he’d willingly give up his daughters to such a fate.

That’s just a short, off-the-cuff, list of some of God’s “best,” the ones that God uses to set moral examples for the rest of us through the millennia—murderers, adulterers, child abusers, and polygamists. All behaviors that were chosen, by the way. I figure if these are some of God’s “best” and gay and lesbian people are not, perhaps it’s simply because we have a higher standard of morality than God’s “best.”

Indeed, I think the LGBT community has far more courage than Osteen, who simply wants to “stay in my lane” and preach the feel-good gospel that keeps the money rolling in.  

What makes God’s “best,” Joel, is not someone who hides behind a happy gospel, but he or she who is willing to take a stand for the honor and dignity of their fellow human beings, no matter who it offends, or how much money you may lose in the process. 


*Correction: Uriah was David’s paramour’s husband, not Uzziah as post originally stated.