Televangelist and senior pastor of Houston’s Lakewood Church Joel Osteen explained on Fox News Channel’s “Huckabee” over the weekend that President Barack Obama reached out to Osteen and Lakewood.
“He has reached out to us,” Osteen said. “And we have done some of the leadership things there at the White House with him and been able to pray with him — just simple things like that. And he’s been very kind and friendly to our ministry.”
A number of Americans still have questions about Obama’s religious beliefs. Whether it is due to his 20 year attendance at the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church, polls indicating that 12 percent of Americans still believe that he is a Muslim, or the first family’s decision to not regularly attend church, the president’s Christian faith has not been an easy issue for the White House.
Earlier in the segment, host Mike Huckabee delved into Osteen’s thoughts on if Obama should attend church more regularly. Osteen was forgiving.
“You know I think it would be great. You know, I am probably too full of mercy and to say, you know, maybe all the things that come with the presidency, the security and all that — maybe that plays into it,” Osteen said. “But I believe he loves the Lord and things. I don’t know. But in the ideal world, yes [he would attend regularly].”
Obama explained in 2010 that he will not be joining a church while president because it is too disruptive.
In 2010, Osteen attended Obama’s Easter breakfast at the White House.
Known for trying to stay out of partisan politics, Osteen has also spoken highly of — and hosted — a number of Republicans at his Lakewood church, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry.