Pastor Joel Osteen visited Fox News Sunday today for a “special Christmas message.” Unfortunately for Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin, Gretchen Carlson and the rest of the “War on Christmas” victims, he suggested they were acting more like Christmas cry babies than Christmas crusaders.
During the interview, host Chris Wallace asked Osteen, “What do you think? Is there a war on Christmas?”
The following exchanges took place, as per the Fox News transcript:
OSTEEN: Well, you know, for one sense I see what people are saying. Again, Chris, I’m an optimist. I think there is always things coming against faith, and I don’t think that’s going to stop people of faith. I do think the society is changing. It’s not like it was when I was growing up. So, in one sense maybe there is, but those kind of things it doesn’t stop my faith, it doesn’t discourage me. Even the Scripture says it’s going to get darker in the world, but it’s going to get (inaudible), you know, for the church or for believers. So, it’s just another way to let our life shine brightly.
Wallace pushed for more.
WALLACE: Do you think that there is a conscious effort to try to take the religious meaning out of this holiday?
OSTEEN: Well, I think there are certain groups that would like to. I mean I’ve seen the billboards in New York in different places. I think there are certain groups that would like to. But, you know, there’s still millions and millions of people of faith, and if they, you know, took it out in their minds, or, you know, through the media, something else is not going to change the faith in our hearts. So, you know, I’m probably not as concerned about it as some others.
WALLACE: When people say “Happy Holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas,” do you view that as just people—religious political correctness going overboard?
OSTEEN: I think a little of both. It doesn’t bother me, though. I just—again, I try not to let surface type things like that bother me. I know it’s about Jesus and his birth, and also, I’m not offended by that. I think too, I realized traveling a lot, not everybody believes like me. They are not all—we’re not all Christians in this nation. Even some Christians believe differently, but I’m open to respect everyone, and it’s not going to offend me if when I pray in Jesus’ name, and somebody doesn’t. That doesn’t offend me.
But, hey, what would Osteen know about the real meaning of Christmas and what’s important in observing it?
The extents to which he’s trying to have his widespread double standard are interesting, but other than that, he’s just some TV holy man that has better onscreen charisma than a lot of his competition.