Pastor Joel Osteen Talks Politics, Praying for Nation's Leaders

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While visiting New York City to promote his new book this week, famed evangelical Christian pastor Joel Osteen shared why he chooses not to discuss his political preferences.

"You start dividing yourself saying, 'I'm a Democrat,' 'Republican,' whatever, 50 percent immediately don't agree. And I want to throw a broad message of hope to everyone, not somebody turn me off because of my political preference," Osteen told "CBS This Morning" on Sept. 18.

Osteen continued the interview by saying that the most important thing a citizen can do is to show up to the voting polls on election day.

"We all have our views and people of faith -- I believe we all have faith, but some people see it different than others. So the main thing is vote," Osteen said.

"And then, I think once we vote, let's swallow the pride and support who is in office and pray for them and appreciate their service," he added.

Osteen has been known to take a more positive, easygoing approach to preaching, choosing not to preach strongly on sin, but rather to speak on how Christians may better their relationship with God.

Although Osteen has often been criticized for not addressing what some Christians consider more serious issues, he has defended himself, arguing that his focus is to let people know God cares about them.

"(Fifty) percent of the people don't agree, the country's usually divided, so I'm trying to reach everybody and say 'hey, God's here for you, He's got a plan for your life,' and that's my business," Osteen said in a June interview with Colorado news reporter Ron Zappalo.

Osteen is currently visiting New York City to promote his new book, I Declare: 31 Promises To Speak Over Your Life, which offers guiding affirmations to help Christians live better lives and a better relationship with Jesus Christ.

Osteen is the senior pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, which boasts a weekly attendance of 43,000 people.

(YouTube/"CBS This Morning")
Joel Osteen speaks about his new book "I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak over Your Life."