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Joel Osteen’s gay problem: The religious right is history if he can’t solve it

Joel Osteen has a problem, one that all Evangelicals in the U.S. are facing. The anti-gay position of mainstream Christianity has fallen out of favor with the public. Every reputable poll currently shows uncontested majority support for gay marriage. And the cultural shift happened more quickly than the churches can follow.

The Huffington Post’s Josh Zepps recently asked Osteen about this passage from his new book, “Break Out: 5 Keys to Go Beyond Your Barrier and Live an Extraordinary Life”: "It doesn't matter who likes you or doesn't like you, all that matters is that God likes you. He accepts you, he approves of you."

Zepps wanted to know if this included gay folks. “Absolutely,” Osteen offered without missing a beat. Evangelicals are notoriously tricky on the subject. It's common theology to claim that God accepts absolutely everyone because being gay is viewed as an affliction, not an identity. What makes Osteen's statement so unusual is his claim that God “approves” of gay folks.

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