Joel Osteen Prays for Houston’s First Openly Gay Mayor

CHRISTIAN POST

Joel osteen

By Lillian Kwon

Globally recognized pastor Joel Osteen has been drawing some flak from the press and the public in the past few months over his comments on homosexuality.

His remarks last year on “The View” and “Larry King Live” that “homosexuality is not God’s best” drew fire from the gay rights community and from Christians for avoiding to identify the behavior as a sin.

More recently, his participation in the inauguration of Houston’s first openly gay mayor has also drawn some – but less fiery – attention.

Pastor of America’s largest church, Osteen was invited to offer the opening prayer at the inauguration of Houston’s elected city officials on Monday. While praying for the 14-member City Council, he also specifically thanked God for the new mayor, Annise Parker, a partnered lesbian.

“She’s our mayor. Joel doesn’t view Annise through a gay lens,” Don Iloff, Jr., spokesman for Lakewood Church in Houston, told The Christian Post. “He sees her as a person.”

Annise Parker, the newly-elected happens-to-be-lesbian mayor of Houston was sworn in Monday and the opening prayer was given by Rev. Joel Osteen.

And the Bible instructs believers to pray for and respect those who govern us, he added.

“If you ask Joel he’ll tell you ‘when I can pray at an event over government leaders and in Jesus’ name it’s hard to resist,'” Iloff said. Osteen prayed for the previous mayor, Bill White, at his inauguration.

The spokesman also pointed out that Parker has never pushed or highlighted any kind of gay agenda during her time in government and during her campaign.

“She’s an all business kind of gal,” he said.

During the swearing-in ceremony Monday, the former city controller addressed the economy, public safety and education. She also briefly addressed the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community saying, “I feel your excitement and your joy, your apprehension and your longing for acceptance. I will gladly carry you forward. But today is simply one step toward a tomorrow of greater justice,” according to the Houston Chronicle.

If Parker begins pushing a homosexual agenda, Iloff said Lakewood Church and Pastor Osteen are likely to distance themselves from her.

“Annise says she’s a believer. Let her stand before God; that’s kind of where Joel is,” Iloff noted. “He’s not going to tell homosexuals they can’t come to our church. If the Holy Spirit convicts them, then they’ll change.”

Osteen does not affirm homosexual behavior. Though the pastor himself has never specifically called it a “sin,” his spokesman Iloff says they believe homosexuality is a sin. But sin is sin and homosexuality is no worse a sin than others, such as adultery, Iloff pointed out.

Lakewood Church maintains good relations with city officials, some of whom attend the megachurch. Two of the City Council members are regular Lakewood attendees. Politicians, however, are not allowed to speak from the pulpit.

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Maine Voters Repeal Gay Marriage Law

CP

By Nathan Black

In this photo made Friday, Oct. 30, 2009, 'Yes on 1' campaign posters are seen at a corner in Portland, Maine. Maine voters go to the polls next Tuesday and will have the opportunity to become the first in the nation to approve gay marriage.

The majority of voters in Maine rejected a law on Tuesday that allowed gay and lesbian couples to wed.

After months of campaigning and millions of dollars in ads, traditional marriage supporters claimed victory at the ballot box with 53 percent of the vote.

“This has never been about gay rights,” said Marc Mutty, chairman of Stand for Marriage Maine, according to the Los Angeles Times. “It’s about marriage, and this is reaffirmation by the people of Maine that marriage between men and women is special and unique.”

The state law legalizing same-sex marriage was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. John Baldacci in May. Before the law could go into effect in September, opponents submitted enough signatures for a “people’s veto,” subjecting the measure to repeal.

While gay rights advocates were hoping to make history by affirming same-sex marriage by popular vote, their votes came up short on Tuesday.

“Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of Maine voters stood for equality, but in the end, it wasn’t enough,” said Jesse Connolly, campaign manager for No on 1/Protect Maine Equality.

He assured supporters that their efforts would not stop and that they were in this for the long haul “because in the end, this has always been about love and family and that will always be something worth fighting for.”

Whenever given the opportunity, U.S. voters have upheld the traditional definition of marriage. Constitutional amendments affirming marriage as between one man and one woman have been passed in 29 states in the past 10 years and statutes to the same effect have been adopted in another 15 states, according to the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

Recent polls have also shown that the majority of American voters continue to oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage. According to the Gallup Poll, 57 percent of Americans say marriages between same-sex couples should not be recognized by the law as valid while 40 percent say such marriages should be legal.

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in five states – Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa and New Hampshire – all of which passed the laws through legislation or court rulings.

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Christians arrested 7 times for signs declaring homosexuality a sin

WND

By Chelsea Schilling

Street preachers hold signs condemning homosexulaity on public sidewalk (photo: Chris Pettigrew)

Street preachers hold signs condemning homosexulaity on public sidewalk (photo: Chris Pettigrew)

A street preacher is accusing police of violating his constitutional rights after officers arrested him for not having a parade permit while he spoke out against homosexuality on a public sidewalk in Manchester, Ga.

Chris Pettigrew and Pastor Billy Ball and of Faith Baptist Church in Primrose, Ga., were arrested multiple times Aug 24 after they held signs on a public street corner telling people to repent and declaring homosexuality a sin.

They held signs that stated:
Repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mark 1:15
The sodomite lifestyle produces vile affections, ungodly lust, reprobates
Repent or burn
Three gay rights: AIDS, hell, salvation

“There were four of us to begin with. We weren’t preaching with any amplified sound,” Pettigrew told WND. “Basically, as soon as we got out of the cars and started toward the sidewalk, Manchester city police officers showed up and asked us if we had a parade permit.”

He continued, “We did not have a parade permit, and we informed them that we had no plans for obtaining a parade permit because we weren’t in a parade.”

Pettigrew said officers from the Manchester Police Department were initially cordial when they told him he must have a permit to stand on the sidewalk with his sign.

“We simply said, ‘We can’t do that. It’s our constitutional right to free speech. We’re not impeding any kind of traffic. We’re peaceably assembled, so we’re going to do what we came to do,'” he said.

At that moment, another officer arrived, joined the others and told the men they must obtain a permit to remain on the sidewalk.

Displeased with their answer, Pettigrew said, “they handcuffed us and took us to the city jail in Manchester.”

Later, while Pettigrew and his comrades remained in jail, Pastor Ball and another man arrived at the street corner to share his message.

So, police arrested Ball.

Meanwhile, officers issued Pettigrew a citation, returned his belongings and ushered him out of jail.

“So we went back to the corner because it’s America, and there was no sense in arresting us the first time,” Pettigrew said. “We weren’t going to let them bully us into going home.”

He continued, “By the end of the day, I had been arrested three times, and my pastor was arrested four times – simply because we wouldn’t go away.”

Police confront  Pettigrew's group while they hold signs

Police confront Pettigrew's group while they hold signs

By dark, his group had grown to 11 men – including four who had driven from North Carolina and South Carolina to stand on the sidewalk and support the original four who had been arrested.

“By that time they had ceased arresting us, with the exception of my pastor, who was arrested late in the evening,” Pettigrew said.

“We had some people who came down simply because we were being arrested.”

With a tone of frustration, Pettigrew said, “We’re sick and tired of people telling us what we can and can’t do. It’s not constitutional.”

Sheriff's department arrives

Sheriff's department arrives

When WND contacted Manchester police and asked why Pettigrew had been arrested, a lieutenant who would not provide his name replied, “I can’t make any comments on that over the phone.”

Pettigrew said one young man who was arrested with his group was contacted by the police department and told charges would be dropped if he brought the citation back.

He maintains that his group always obeys the law “as long as it doesn’t interfere with constitutional rights.” However, he believes authorities detained his small group based on its message against homosexuality.

“If I were holding a sign that said, ‘Two large pizzas for $5,’ I don’t think I would have gotten a second look from police. I firmly and adamantly believe we were singled out and arrested because of the content of our speech,” Pettigrew said.

“If they arrest us for proclaiming the word of God, what will they arrest us for next?” he asked. “We need to get the word out that the rights of the American people are quickly being taken away, and nobody even knows it.”

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