- (Photo: Fox News)
Texas megachurch pastor and author Joel Osteen suggested that Christians may be overreacting to the "war on Christmas" while speaking with "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace.
Osteen, who also discussed his new book, Breaking Out, admitted that although the holiday may not be celebrated the way it was 50 years ago, it was not something he was overly concerned about.
"I think there is always things coming against faith, and I don't think that's going to stop people of faith," Osteen, who pastors the 45,000-strong Lakewood Church, said. "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'll get brighter for the church or for believers. So it's just another way to let our life shine brightly."
Wallace followed up to Osteen's explanation by asking him if he thought there was a "conscious effort to try to take the religious meaning out of this holiday."
"Well, I think there are certain groups that would like to," said Osteen. "I mean I've seen the billboards in New York in different places. I think there are certain groups that would like to. But there's still millions and millions of people of faith, and if they took it out in their minds, or through the media, something else is not going to change the faith in our hearts. So I'm probably not as concerned about it as some others."
Wallace also asked Osteen if he saw those who insisted on saying "Happy Holidays" instead of Merry Christmas as "religious political correctness going overboard."
Osteen said that he was not personally offended by those wishing "Happy Holidays" and reminded the audience that many Americans are not Christians.
"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," said Osteen. "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."