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February 7th, 2011
07:39 AM ET

Gay parenting takes off in the Bible Belt

By Rich Phillips, Senior Producer

Jacksonville, Florida (CNN) – Latisha Bines and Misty Gray cheered like any other parents at a recent middle school soccer game.

They're the two soccer moms in 13-year-old Darion Bines’ life. The women and all three of Latisha’s children operate as a family. And they've turned to their church for support, suggesting a changing face of the Bible Belt.

Data from the most recent U.S. Census shows that the South has the largest share of gay parents in the country.

“There are more of us coming out,” Bines said. “We’re feeling more comfortable about who we are. I guess it gives us more of a chance than back in the '80s, when you had to stay in the closet because you were ridiculed.”

Bines came out after having three children. She and Misty were joined as life partners in 2010 commitment ceremony. They live in part of the conservative Deep South, where many communities have not been receptive to so-called gay families.

“Gay and lesbian people tend to come out later in life, in those areas, which means they are more likely to have children from a previous relationship earlier in their lives,” said Gary Gates, a demographer with the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.

Gates analyzed the data from the American Community Survey from 2005-09, which is administered by the Census Bureau. His analysis also showed that across the country, gay parents are more likely to be black or Hispanic than they are to be white.

According to the survey, San Antonio, Texas, leads the country in gay parenting, with 34% of same-sex couples raising children. That's followed by Jacksonville, Florida at 32%.

Read more about gay adoption in Florida.

Bines and Gray have lived in Jacksonville all their lives.

They say they’ve found that their sexual orientation and spirituality can come together and be welcomed in gay-friendly Jacksonville area churches that were once off limits.

“It was welcome. It was comfortable,” Bines said. “We’re lesbian, but our God still loves us, no matter what.”

Bines sings in the choir at the nondenominational St. Luke’s Community Church, which was firebombed three times in the 1980s, apparently because of its policy of welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender congregants.

The church's pastor, Valerie Williams, is a gay activist. She says church policy all about family acceptance, especially for children.

The goal is “acceptance of their parents and being able to be around other children who have the same makeup of families that they have,” she said. "God is love and that’s the God that we serve here.”

Some local congregations challenge Williams' approach. When word of Jacksonville’s gay parent ranking in the census began to spread, one pastor asked for everyone to pray.

Pastor Vaughn McLaughlin, of the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship, told CNN that the Bible does not teach or encourage gay relationships, which he says confuse children.

“A lifestyle of open, same-sex relationships, that can’t regenerate, that can’t produce, that can’t do anything,"  said McLaughlin, who leads a megachurch. "I find it to be over and against what I actually have found the truth of the Bible to be.”

“Marriage is between a man and a woman," he continued. "That’s the biblical premise for what we believe, for what we teach, and we’re gonna hold on to that.”

But at St. Luke’s, Williams defended the rights of gay people and their families to worship.

“The children are able to serve God , with their families, and not being judged by the person sitting in the pew in front of them… snickering, like, ‘Why do they have kids? Why are they here?’”

Williams has started a support group for the children of gay parents. There, kids can talk about problems they're dealing with, including discrimination, over a hot dog or spaghetti dinner and review their report cards with Williams, who is known by congregants as Pastor Val.

And for Bines and Gray, the church has been a welcome addition to their lives.

“It’s brought us together, structurally as a family,” Gray said. “And because of the recent death rates, the suicide rates for kids being bullied, it’s extremely strong for the church to be a factor in the kids lives.”

Gates, the demographer, and Williams said they believe a cultural or religious support system might allow people to be more honest about their sexual orientation on a government survey.

“People are more willing to indicate on these government surveys that they are part of a same-sex couple, even in the more conservative parts of the country,” said Gates. “It’s a sign of progress.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Florida • Gay marriage • Homosexuality • Houses of worship • United States

soundoff (1,055 Responses)
  1. johnson

    you atheists are the biggest hypocrites haha I swear. You argue that God doesn't exist and that evolution and natural processes are the reason everything came to exist, yet you support this crap??? Tell me, what natural human reproductive process could take place that would cause 2 women acting alone to bring about a human child? Nothing can. If you believe that humans evolved this far, then supporting this type of unnatural child-rearing is hypocritical because obviously you know that humans evolved to have a mother and father and since our species has managed to exceed a population of 6 billion individuals, THEN IT'S PROBABLY THE NATURALLY SELECTED METHOD OF PROCREATION AND CHILD-REARING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This gay stuff is unnatural and bad for the species.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Observer

      If you want to talk about hypocrisy, then tell us about all the Christians you have ever condemned for committing adultery? The Bible says that anyone divorcing and remarrying commits adultery. There are FAR more Christians guilty of ADULTERY than there are gays. Talk about hypocrisy!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Maybe

      johnson,

      Your big guy supposedly also created and still creates hermaphroditic humans and sterile ones... what's up with that?

      February 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • KinNYC

      Will all real "Christians" please adopt ALL the children in the orphanages. Start here in the states. Then move on to ALL the children being sold into slavery in Africa and Asia. Then come back to the states and sponsor ALL battered women and her children. Then go to Africa and campaign against Sharia laws. While in Africa, help build wells and schools. Then come back to the US and complain about two loving gay parents raising children and teaching them about God. I know I posted this before but thought it needed to be said again.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Eric

      Apparently you don't understand the concept of natural selection. In a very small nut shell, natural selection is the process of passing on genes that work to improve the species and survive. If gay people can't reproduce then they don't pass on their genes and their bloodline stops. There's nothing unnatural about that, in fact it is completely natural. 99% of all species that ever lived are extincted. A bad analogy but, look at the pandas that they're always trying to breed without success because they don't want to, maybe it's just time where the panda has come to the end of its evolutionary arch and doesn't have the time to evolve into an effective species in the world at this point. Humans will eventually hit an evolutionary wall or a drained planet and we will become extinct and life will go on. Though not for long, the sun will start to expand towards its death in 5 million years or so, so we're fortunately enough to have come along in the first place since it took 4.5 billion years to get us here.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • johnson

      I love how all the people replying maliciously to my comment can't refute that what I'm saying is right. This gay stuff, whether it be marriage or adoption, is just unnatural and not beneficial to us as a species as it only creates a schema of an intimate relationship that is detrimental to the adopted child. If children grow up thinking that boys are supposed to like boys and girls are supposed to like girls then our species won't be around much longer.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You have no proof of these assertions whatsoever. If being gay is harmful, explain how? What makes you think that being gay has anything to do with "acting like a girl" or "acting like a boy?" Did you know that recently there was a story about a decorated soldier, a graduate of West Point, who was gay and married. When he died, his husband spoke with authorities concerning interment at Arlington. They had no issues at all with his burial there and it's pretty obvious this guy wasn't "acting like a girl". It was also quite clear that he was in a very loving, long-term marriage.

      What is wrong with you people?

      February 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • notmyrealname

      Funny, johnson, but our species seems to be thriving, and people have been gay since they existed. How DO you explain that?

      February 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • notmyrealname

      Why hasn't hom os e xuality disappeared through evolution? Why has it existed in both humans and animals as long as both have been here? Why are gay children born to straight couples? How are he tero s e xual couples who are in fe rtile able to have children? How is any of this "bad for our species?" Why has the percentage of gays in the population remained relatively stable?

      Since when is our species in decline?

      February 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  2. Dave

    What does the Bible say about marriage? The Patriarchs all practiced polygamy. Cain and Abel were obviously married off to their sisters. Lot's daughters seduced him and had him impregnate them. That's what the Bible says about marriage and coupling. But nowhere does it say people of the same gender can't get married.

    It also defines a fetus as a piece of property and NOT a person. But I guess we'll deal with just one lie from religious leaders at a time.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Jay

      Yes the bible does mention those things. But the bible NEVER says anywhere that God condoned OR insti-tuted those things. Those were systems that man made... God did not ALWAYS intervene in human affairs. His purpose continues forward despite anything man does

      February 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Dave

      Dude: Abraham taking a second wife WAS GOD'S IDEA! And obvious God did condone Cain and Abel marrying their sisters, otherwise He would have created a second couple to complement Adam and Eve.

      It doesn't matter anyway, Jay. You're either the world's worst debater, or you're simply too dense to even understand my point. Ultimately, the Bible simply does not contain language promoting your point of view on gay marriage. You're imagining that, as you're seeking a higher power to justify your own prejudice.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • SteveInMI

      ...ah, the Patriarchs. Don't forget King David, that icon of virtue: he had eight wives, numerous concubines, and one hot boyfriend whom he loved about all others.

      "Bible-based marriage" isn't.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  3. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Jay sezz:
    Heres the bottom line for ALL GAY PEOPLE who CLAIM to be "christians". You CANNOT worship God in your own way!!!!
    ---–
    Yeah, actually we can, and do. Too bad if you disapprove. You're not God, last I checked.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Jay

      No im not God... but ive read his word. And clearly it says MEN WHO LIE WITH MEN WILL NOT INHERIT GODS KINGDOM.

      NOW, i may not be God, but His word clearly states what is acceptable to Him and WHATS NOT ACCEPTABLE to HIm

      February 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Notmyrealname

      It's not his word. It was written by fallible men, translated by other fallible men, and interpreted by the most fallible of men: you.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Jay

      Hey.. we all have free will right? Bottom line. Gods word is CLEAR. You cant call yourself a christian and then openly live a non christian lifestyle. End of story...

      Thats like a fake doctor telling everyone hes Harvard med with a degree he made on his computer... It doesnt make it true.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Jay

      Im not here to discuss atheists.... if you call yourself a christian and live a life that is contrary to what Gods word says.. YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Notmyrealname

      You don't get to decide who is or is not a "Christian" or who is or isn't "saved". Pompous windbag.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Jay

      Youre right.. i dont. God is the one who reads hearts. He is the only one.. WHAT I DO KNOW....

      1 Corinthians 6:9-10

      "WHAT! Do you not know that unrighteous person WILL NOT inherit Gods kingdom? DO NOT BE MISLED. Neither, fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, NOR MEN WHO LIE WITH MEN, nor thieves, nor greedy person, nor revilers nor extortioners will inherit Gods kingdom."

      THATS WHAT I KNOW. What does YOUR BIBLE say???????

      February 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Mine says I am not to judge. Does yours say something different?

      February 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • LJ

      @Jay what you are not doing is putting the text into context when reading it. What you are describing is pagan rituals worshiping a pagan god it has nothing to do with the facts we now know about ho-mo-s3x-uality. The word ho-mo-s3x-ual was added later to Cor by prejudice translators.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Chapstik Lez

      @Jay – you do realize that if you sin you are not living in God's way. So basically if you are a sinner you are not a Christian. Now if I am not mistake Jesus died for our sins, correct? He did this knowing mankind were/are sinful creatures. Sooooo long story short by your definition you are not a Christian bc you are mankind and mankind are sinners and if you are a sinner you are not a Christian. So as crazy as this sounds, it in turn shows how crazy you are. JUST SAYIN.... now if that is an elaborated interpretation of what you are trying to say then you can be rational and objective enough to understand that you and others could (and are) interpreting the bibles words into an elaborate interpretation that supports your feelings about gay people.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Bucky

      @Jay
      You're right, people have free will, so they use that free will to chose to believe in a religion where there are some people who condemn them and their lives. These are true Christians, besides "the meek will inherit the earth" so all they have to do is put up with people like you, who tell them that God's all embracing love falls short of them. Also my bible says "Don't be a dick."

      February 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  4. Jay

    Gay false christians will always listen to people who water down Gods word. But, the bible APTLY foretold these people.

    2 TIMOTHY 4:3-4

    "For there will be a time when they will not put up with the heathful teaching, but, IN ACCORD WITH THEIR OWN DESIRES, they will acc-umulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled, and they will turn their ear AWAY FROM THE TRUTH, whereas they will be turned aside to false stories."

    February 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • John

      Isn't it convenient that your god hates all the same people that your hate?

      February 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      John, I love this post. I plan to use it frequently, with your permission.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • what???

      you are absolutely right, churches and priest speaks about things that are not even in the bible, things like repeating same boring nonsense prayers, so people are like zombies with out a clue on what god required from us, or what this world is heading to.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Jay

      Im sorry... when did i say anything about hating anyone. MY BROTHER IS GAY and i love him very much. i have no hate toward Gay People. Never have and never will.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Notmyrealname

      But you're repulsed and disgusted by his very existence. Yeah, right, you love him.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Jay

      Well that statement right there just shows how shortsighted and ignorant YOU ARE. Very childish. I love my brother very much and he doesnt repulse me in the slightest. Glad to see you know my family oh so well....

      Assuming you DID know us... Youd probably know what the bible says too... CLEARLY YOU DONT.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Chapstik Lez

      @Jay I think the beginning of your post that reads "gay false christians" probably lead to the responses that you have received. the way it reads is that IF your brother claims to be christian then he is not a real christian just a "false" one. If this is not how you intended your post to be read then maybe you should take a little time to proofread. just passing on some friendly advice.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Jay

      My brother DOES NOT CLAIM to be a christian. He has officially rREJECTED all organized religion and i dont hate him or think badly of him for his views. I still love my brother very much.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  5. TheTruth72

    These people are taking God and molding Him into what they think He should be rather than keeping true to what He says in the Bible. The Bible is clear on what God states is Holy and what is sinful. God is still the same God as he was when back in the days of Moses as He is today. He will never change His opinion on sin and what he thinks is an abomination.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Colin

      Probably 99% of the stories in the bible never happened and the chances of their being a god are so remote as to be discounted. We create our gods and give them the personalities we want.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Anna

      That is your OPINION. Keep that in mind.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      @Colin Listen to yourself. By your standards, anyone living before your lifetime was a story. According to you, George Washington never lived and was just a story. Hmmm. I guess Charles Darwin was a story. Go read the Bible because you clearly haven't and don't understand anything in it or about it and then go do some research on it. I also suggest you look at the book of Revelations and just see where the world these days stands in terms of One World Government/Religion/Economy/Currency.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • IceT

      The bible itself is a molding of God into what humans want/need God to be. Seriously, read some history books on the birth of theism and the subsequent evolution of monotheism. True verifiable history cannot be ignored.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Dave

      Which passage in the Bible says people of the same gender can't get married?

      Oh that's right...that passage doesn't exist. You made it up. How dare you accuse others of turning God into what they want? You're the one doing that, you're justifying your hatred by saying God told you so when you know He didn't! As a man who believes in the Supreme Being, your words offend me.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Chapstik Lez

      You must be a member of Rev. Fred Phelps church. Do you protest funerals of dead little girls too....?

      February 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Jay

      No... I think those West Boro people are whack jobs and kooks and what they do is horrible and definitely NOT CHRISTIAN.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • dontbehatin'

      Congratulations! You are superior to gay people. You've won this argument (at least in your own mind) so please take your red ribbon, go home and stop bothering the rest of us with your biblical justification for hating us.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  6. Spencer

    Filthy. Just absolutely horrible. What on earth is this world coming to? God help us.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes Spencer, I agree. It disgusts me to see people still going to church in the 21st Century

      February 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • IceT

      God hasn't "helped" so far. I'd take that as a sign.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Dave

      Parents raising a child together equals "filth?"

      February 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Chapstik Lez

      I know right. All this violence! Murdering people, people starving, children committing suicide, etc.... I mean those are meaningless when compared to the monstrosity that is GAY PEOPLE. Really you are an idiot.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • LJ

      Yeah, it's scary that prejudice like yours spencer still exists in this world, it would help if you educate yourself on this subject.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  7. Mark

    Just read the research and you will see that this type of parenting can be destructive for a child. As far a God goes, one of these days you will be confronted with a choice and what you decide will impact you future. Whether you believe in God or not he still exists. Our life is as vapor, look away and it's gone.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What "research" shows that? Go ahead and cite it.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Anna

      Mark, I think YOU need to read the research.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Dave

      You're a liar. The scientific research says the EXACT OPPOSITE.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • JustSomeGuy

      Umm, what research? You would make a terrible debater. You can’t just use the word ‘research’ without citing where the **** you got it from. ‘Destructive for a child…’ In what way? Maybe you should look actual events that have taken place with straight people raising children. I refer you to one of my earlier posts.

      Ahhh, it feels good to have opinions, doesn’t it? It is also nice that we live in a country where we can express them. Just remember that opinions are NOT fact. And what do you mean by ‘types of parenting?’ Are you saying you have an OPINION of what the right type is? I am a fact person. Scroll through some of the most recent news articles. Straight couples haven’t exactly been a pillar of encouraging inspiration to raising children. Ethan Stacy and countless other examples of neglect, abuse and molestation come to mind; some of which came from self proclaimed ‘religious’ families. What about all those struggling single parents out there? Does that fit into your ‘type of parenting?’I was raised by two gay men, I am straight and I don’t have any debilitating psychological problems… that I am aware of . So tell us, fountain of all knowledge, what is the perfect way to raise a child? You will never be able to answer that question because it is has no answer. All we have are opinions. Food for thought.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Robert

      .....and wether or not you believe in unicorns, they exist! and wether or not you believe in aliens, they exist! and wether or not you believe that Oprah Winfrey can save you from the invisible flames or not, SHE CAN!!! Lol, what a putz......

      February 7, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • LJ

      Studies comparing groups of children raised by ho-mo-s3xual and by hetero-s3xual parents find no developmental differences between the two groups of children in four critical areas: their intelligence, psychological adjustment, social adjustment, and popularity with friends. It is also important to realize that a parent's s3xual orientation does not indicate their children's.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Vegas Jennifer

      Let me guess... You are citing "research" done by The Heritage Foundation or The Family Research Council..? Try again. Please cite research done by unbiased organizations...

      February 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • LJ

      @Vegas it's from apa a group of scientist and psychologist that is the largest group worldwide.

      February 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  8. Jay

    Heres the bottom line for ALL GAY PEOPLE who CLAIM to be "christians". You CANNOT worship God in your own way!!!!

    HE HAS STANDARDS!!! Granted no one is PERFECT, But why bother with calling yourself a "christian" If you CLEARLY are living a life condemned in your "religion".... Sounds like youre wasting your time.... OR could it be that you are the ones spoken of at 2 TIMOTHY 4:3-4

    "For there will be a time when they will not put up with the heathful teaching, but, IN ACCORD WITH THEIR OWN DESIRES, they will acc-umulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled, and they will turn their ear AWAY FROM THE TRUTH, whereas they will be turned aside to false stories."

    Sounds like ALL the people who claim a "new moral-ity" thinking they can tell God how theyre going to worship and He'll just accept that. Keep deluding yourselves false christians. Christ has already said,

    "Truly I will say to them, "GET AWAY FROM ME, I NEVER KNEW YOU, YOU WORKERS OF LAWLESSNESS"

    February 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Sy2502

      You do know that god doesn't exist, right?

      February 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Jay

      Sorry but i oppose that viewpoint. I put faith in God. But i wont belittle you if you dont.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Ian Kempton

      God will never find anyone if he's that picky. . .

      February 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • SteveInMI

      @Jay, we're reminded in John 13:35 that all people will be able to recognize Jesus' followers by their love. The same metric helps us identify your beliefs as well.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • kat

      I've always felt it's a bit presumptuous to decide and tell other people what God feels about us. Especially considering the Bible was written by fallible and failed humans full of sin, who therefore may have been unable to tell exactly what God was thinking or feeling or wanting, I think the message may have gotten a bit garbled in the human interpretation. It's like having a cracked megaphone that distorts what the announcer is saying. You can't deny that it is possible that what God wants has gotten muddled among the lines of human sins, confusion, corruption, greed and selfishness.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • really?

      according to the bible, the Pharisees thought they were speaking the word of God, too. so who's to say you're not like them?

      oh, and by the way... since you take the bible so literally... do you follow each and every rule in there? including the ones about stoning people, sending bleeding women outside the city limits, returning your women (yes, plural intended) to their families for a refund when you're tired of them, and killing people who sin ? i bet even YOU don't follow this book to the extreme standard you're saying other should.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  9. Sy2502

    It's truly puzzling to me when gays cling onto a religion that hates and condemns them. It sounds like some form of "battered wife syndrome".

    February 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Jay

      Agreed, Its truly a waste of time to insist on being accepted when youre living a lifestyle CONDEMNED. Whether a person is Atheist or not, its stupid to demand to belong somewhere where your lifestyle is rejected....

      February 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Chapstik Lez

      Because Jesus loves me NO MATTER what YOU say!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  10. Sara

    It is called parenting period. Not gay parenting. CNN sometimes I wonder about your headlines, they are so misleading.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Ian Kempton

      Congratulations, you just won the internet and the respect of people.

      Go Go Open-mindedness!

      February 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  11. Christian

    I hope the state steps in and rescues these kids from these deviants. These kids have no chances of leading a normal life unless we step in. We must do this as soon as possible before they are converted into the gay lifestyle, by then it will be too late.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Colin

      That's right " Christian" you can save them by teaching them that an invisible, infinitely-old, never-dying, all-knowing super-being, powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, has a personal interest in your life. This being reads your mind and intervenes in human affairs to satisfy your needs (or "answers your prayers") as you put it. It does so simultaneously with millions of people all over the World. And, when you die, you actually don't, you go to a place called "heaven" to live happily ever after.

      Oh, and just to really round things out, don't foget to teach them that the entire Universe is only 6,000 years old and started with one man, one woman and a talking snake. They will make great gardeners or hamburger-flippers one day.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • NS Indiana

      Yes, because we all know that gays only come from gay parents! You do realize your ridiculous, insulting comment makes Christians look bad everywhere?

      February 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Have you ever read the stats on how children of gay parents are doing? One study showed that the children of les bian couples did better in reading than those of straight couples. How do you explain that?

      Really, don't be ridiculous. Many gay parents will probably do a better job than you would.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • LJ

      The experts in the field of psychology disagree with you. I hope you realize that your hatred is based on nothing and not the truth.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • KinNYC

      Will all real "Christians" please adopt ALL the children in the orphanages. Start here in the states. Then move on to ALL the children being sold into slavery in Africa and Asia. Then come back to the states and sponsor ALL battered women and her children. Then go to Africa and campaign against Sharia laws. While in Africa, help build wells and schools. Then come back to the US and complain about two loving gay parents raising children and teaching them about God.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Chapstik Lez

      you are ridiculous, please please please educate yourself.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Fooled you

      Wow, you all fell for this post. I thought it was hysterical. Good one, "Christian".

      February 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • really?

      most gay people have STRAIGHT parents.

      and why not have the state step in and save the kids from those who seek to brainwash them into hatred and blind, non-thinking-ness?

      February 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  12. Dan

    There is no such thing as a gay Christian. You can't have it both ways. Either you love and obey God or you don't. To be a Christian is to repent of your sins and follow Jesus.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Jesus

      Baloney.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Colin

      To be a Christian is to believe the most implausible of Iron Age myths cobbled together in a book during the Dark Ages to support antiquated moral views.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Anglican

      Dan. Are you without sin? If so, cast your stone, if not, hold your stone. Peace

      February 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • LJ

      What you are not understanding is that there are Churches, pastors and Christians that do not believe ho-mo-s3x-uality is a sin. The reason they reached this conclusion is they put the scriptures into historical context to get the true meaning. The other fact is that it has come to light that people of the past wrote reports based on personal bias and prejudice. The truth has come out that ho-mo-s3x-uality is not a mental disorder, it can't be voluntarily changed and it is not a choice. God gave us science to understand further his creations, we now know the truth about ho-mo-s3x-uality. It's too bad the bias translators that added the word ho-mo-s3x-ual to Cor. didn't understand that and didn't realize the lasting impact. It's even sadder is its impact for some who called themselves Christian to continue to use it to validate their personal hate.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Chapstik Lez

      You obviously need to touch up on your bible and the definition of sin, until you do so you should probably keep your thoughts to yourself. Opinions are fine but do not try to pass them as fact.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • MeInBham

      @Dan – WRONG! I am both: Gay & Christian. I DID NOT choose to be GAY! I DID choose to be Christian! Read John 3:16. I'm the whosoever that JESUS talked about!

      February 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  13. IceT

    History has proven the origins & evolution of God(s) to be a fluid concept of Man's creation, ever changing to meet the needs of each society it's introduced to. What we're seeing here is just more religious evolution.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  14. Jay

    Ill never understand lesbians who like women who look like guys..... that just doesnt make any sense to me....

    February 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • SKSK

      Agreed.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • bonnie

      It's called comfort Jay. All that make-up , long hair and dresses are are alot of work to maintain and uncomfortable. If you are a straight woman trying to catch a man, then it's worth it, I guess? YOU would be truly surprised at how many Butch looking women [myself included] are actually passive flat backers. The look does does NOT equal manly or aggressive, only comfort.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Chapstik Lez

      because we do not care what the outside looks like we only care about the inside. If my partner is comfortable with loose jeans, a t shirt/polo, and short hair that's her preference.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Vegas Jennifer

      It's not for you to understand. To each his/her own.. you included.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  15. Eitan

    I just do not agree with this type of "parenting".

    February 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • nonesuch

      I don't agree with YOUR type of parenting. How's that feel? Do you care? Think I do?

      February 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • NS Indiana

      Well then don't become a gay parent. Just because you don't agree with a certain type of parenting does not mean that it is any less functional or should be prohibited. There was once a time when many people didn't believe that inter-racial couples were functional or that women should be in the workforce. Luckily, those embarrassing times are behind us. It takes time for people to become educated enough to see through bigotry,hate, and intolerance. As we have seen from past situations, ignorance is usually shown to be the wrong viewpoint, as will be with this issue. It just takes time.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • IceT

      Keep asking yourself "why" you don't agree until you get to the true root of why you don't agree. If you're honest with yourself you'll be surprised at the truth. My guess is fear, lack of understanding and training from birth, but that's up to you to discover. If you don't seek the truth of your reasoning, you're just blindly floating through life.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • JustSomeGuy

      Ahhh, it feels good to have opinions, doesn’t it? It is also nice that we live in a country where we can express them. Just remember that opinions are NOT fact. And what do you mean by ‘types of parenting?’ Are you saying you have an OPINION of what the right type is? I am a fact person. Scroll through some of the most recent news articles. Straight couples haven’t exactly been a pillar of encouraging inspiration to raising children. Ethan Stacy and countless other examples of neglect, abuse and molestation come to mind; some of which came from self proclaimed ‘religious’ families. What about all those struggling single parents out there? Does that fit into your ‘type of parenting?’I was raised by two gay men, I am straight and I don’t have any debilitating psychological problems… that I am aware of :). So tell us, fountain of all knowledge, what is the perfect way to raise a child? You will never be able to answer that question because it is has no answer. All we have are opinions. Food for thought.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Religions are a scam

      'I just do not agree with this type of "parenting".'

      Who gives a fakk about whether you beat off or touch yourself? If you don't like this type of parenting, don't do it.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • SC

      That's a shame Eitan. I'm sure everyone was hoping you would become a great gay parent some day.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  16. Religious Sects

    I'm much more concerned about their religious beliefs harming these children than their life partnership ever could.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Anna

      Amen.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Vegas Jennifer

      Exactly

      February 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  17. Religions are a scam

    When will we free ourselves from the shackles of religion?

    Religions are the subjugation of self AND others; no more, no less.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  18. Colin

    Christianity is the belief that an invisible, infinitely-old, all-knowing super-being, powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, has a personal interest in my $ex life.

    Atheism is the belief that the above belief is silly.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • CS

      Amen to that!!
      God is just an imaginary friend people make up so they can feel better about the world.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • michael

      tell me Colin and CS, what happens when you die?

      February 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Colin

      You die. No part of you continues.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Anna

      Michael...the truthful answer for me, and most others, is "I don't know."

      February 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • richDres

      It's not as simple as that Colin. See, to most people it is only question of whether the conventional idea of god exists or not. The key term here is conventional. I don't believe in an Abrahamic god, because my inner voice tells me it is bunk. But at the same time atheism is just as bunk to me. For example, you went ahead and stated that when you die, no part of you continues.
      Can you back that statement up with something scientific? no, you can't. The same way I can't 'prove' to you that consciousness continues beyond death of the illusive physical world. Let's just admit that it is not as simple as theism vs atheism.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Maybe

      michael

      "... what happens when you die?"

      We do not know.

      If it makes you feel better to create happy/sad scenarios (or believe those that others have made up), fine... just don't claim it as fact.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Robert

      Nobody knows and if we did then none of us would be having this conversation. What a stupid question anyway. I mean seriously, did you think the world was keeping some big secret from you and those two were the ones that were going to let it out?!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • A 3rd party commentator

      I love how atheists think so highly of themselves and proclaim themselves to be so wise and intelligent for trusting in science, yet they don't realize that they themselves are guilty of what they charge christians with: believing in something they CANNOT DEFINITIVELY PROVE. To atheists and theists alike, it's ok to not have all the answers. That's called being human. Pretending to have all the answers and explanations, well that's called being stupid. So please, all of you, shut up and get a life. Stop wasting your time at your job debating this, and get back to work so we can turn this economy around.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Ian

      Michael: yep. There's no reason to believe that any part of you continues after death. No one in history has been able to prove such a thing. (The bible isn't history) Sure you can't prove otherwise, but I see no reason to believe a claim made without evidence of any kind. Otherwise I could make up any silly, undisprovable claim, and believe it wholeheartedly.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Ian

      Actually, it's religion that claims to have all the answers. Only theists say that science claims to have all the answers. Science is constantly searching for truth and will quickly change its beliefs when presented with new evidence. Religion claims to have all the answers to the big questions in an ancient book. I agree that we're fools if we think we know it all, so I choose the more humble option: science.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Jessica

      Apparently Colin that is what the bible thumpers want you to believe. Of course the all knowing God just can't seem to manage his money. He always needs more and more and more...

      February 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  19. Eric

    Considering that we have evidence that, contrary to the bible, the earth is definitely more than 6000 years old and that evolution is a fact and that our species first appears in Africa about 170,000 years ago. And Neanderthals only went extincted 12,000 years ago, some due to inter-breeding with humans in northern Europe. So how people take any stock into a book made up over other books that are thousands of years old in some case and then some that were written about people 100s of years after they die if they existed at all (anyone play telephone in grade school, oral history, even 30 seconds old, isn't exactly a spitting image of accuracy.). Plus there are a few hundred books missing from the bible. Bit of selective editing by the humans who made it all up looks like to me.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Eitan

      Your understanding about the age of earth vis-a-vis the Bible is totally incorrect.

      Evolution is merely observing. You do not take into account the introduction of time into the equation, which is an illusion. The Bible is the word of God. You just don't understand it, that's all.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Colin

      Compare the intelligence of Eric with the babbling of Eitan if you want a good snapshot of why we atheists find it so hard to respect the religious views of you believers.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Really?

      There is so much incorrect information in your post that it's impossible to know where to start. I just have to shake my head and sigh at the lack of education. Truly sad, and no, I will not get into a debate with you. Just not worth my time.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Wow

      Yeah, I agree with Eitan. Eric, you don't know what you're talking about. Regurgitating arguments that other people have made against the Bible doesn't make you look smart, especially when the arguments aren't valid in the first place.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • john jay

      Eric you're not well-educated. Science can't prove anything to be fact, a man much smarter than you said that, his name was Albert Einstein. Even Charles Darwin believed that there was a God, and he proposed the theory of evolution.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Brad

      I am a believer of Evolution to a point, but not enough to call it a fact. The Facts are, evolution is a theory, not a fact. There is verrrry stong evidence for evolution, but no one has actually seen evolution happen. As for the guy that said you are simply repeating what you've heard other people say, well, what do you think religion is, every person in the world today is being told what another person said, so what is your point? If it is truth, what does it matter where he got the info from? If you are going to argue for your religion, try to be intelligent about it.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • grist

      Funny how those attacking Eric do not present any arguments against what he said. Actually, sad that they don't understand that a debate involves logical arguments not simply stating that the other side is wrong. Everything that Eric stated is a fact. Evolution is a fact as sure as gravity is a fact. There are no better explanations to explain the observatons.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It is a scientific theory. Why don't you look up the definition of 'theory' as it applies to science. It doesn't mean what you think it means. The force of gravity is a 'theory', too.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Derek

      Where does the bible say 'Oh, the earth is 6,000 years old'.... it doesn't. The genealogoy of Adam and the declining ages is likely poetic, just as Genesis 1 is hebrew poetry. Don't think fundamentalists represent every Christian

      February 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • grist, PhD

      Brad,
      You state that we have not observed evolution. Well, that is wrong. We have actually observed speciazation. Just google it and you can find the answers. I have read the scientific literature. And that some people say Science can never fully prove something, that is true. But when a theory has been repeatedly tested and all observations and studies are in agreement, and when we directly observe something, then it essentially becomes a fact. Once an hypothesis becomes a scientific theory, it is so well accepted to be considered a fact.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Robert

      I love how the three of you get on here and all you can say is the Eric is "wrong" and "incorrect information", blah blah blah you're all full of it!! None of you can defend what you believe in and you've all proven it with your comments. To tail off of Colin, that is why most atheists don't have any respect for your point of view. Watch Bill Mahers Religulous and see the ludacrous responses your brethern (anyone who is religious, not a specific religion) give to justify their faith and God. And as far as Erics comment goes I think it was well put together obviously thought out unlike the rest of the comments. If you're going to say that he's wrong and there's incorrect information in his post, then go find out what the correct answer is!! And sorry, no fact getting from your bibles either. We want facts, not fairytales!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Eric

      Einstein believed in god in the sense of some type of force that started the whole thing not a personal god. Darwin was an agnostic. Theory has a few different definitions but when taken in a scientific context can be interchanged with fact. Just like the Theory of Gravity. Unless you believe we're stuck to the earth some other way.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • T. Lee

      First – there is nothing about the "creation in 7 days" account that says anything about them being a literal 24 hour day each.

      Secondly – one of the keys to understanding the time frame involved in the length of each creative-day is the argument Paul puts forth in Hebrews 4:4-7.

      If God entered "into a day of rest" (the last and seventh day) and if that "day" (of rest) was STILL going on in Paul's time – and the termination of the 7th day was not described even then as ending – then each creative-"DAY" had to have been longer than 24 hours but also longer of a length still not known to man.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Eric

      If there was not the mention that god created two great lights, one to rule the day and one to rule the night (which is actually 1 great like, the moon does not produce its own light) and same thing that the days were separated by darkness and then light. So does god have a super light bulb out there that he turned off between "days". Plus god said let there be light and then there was light before he created the sun and the stars, so he must have a huge work light out there that he was using for the first couple days. But because of the change of dark and light to signify "days" I can't concede there being implications that a day wasn't an earthly day.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Religions are a scam

      god existence is irrelevant. People who tries to make it to be is one big pile of dung!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • dorcas

      "no one has ever seen evolution happen"

      I have. In fact, evolution is something that is shown in biology labs all the time. We can see it happen in nature, and we can see it happen in test tubes. I saw it happen in a plant population, where certain variants were under natural selection. I've also seen it happen in bacterial populations in the lab. You can see it happen in your own internal bacterial populations, if you use antibiotics improperly. Evolution is defined very simply, as change in the genetic makeup of a population. It happens constantly, is measurable, and is observable. The leap from change in bacterial biochemistry to the having a wing instead of a hand seems like a fairly large one. However, I have friends who watch speciation IN NATURE, and if the earth is old, which is suggested by every shred of physical evidence we find, there has been much more time for those changes to happen. We also have the ability to look at evidence left behind by past evolution, in the form of genetics and fossils. We can measure how much and what kinds of selection have affected regions of genetic material over several thousands of years.

      It's true that such evidence could have been manufactured by an omnipotent god, but that god did an awfully good job of putting in all sorts of things that just don't make sense in the context of DESIGN. Why do you have wisdom teeth when they don't do you any good and often cause problems, sometimes even death? The evolutionary theory suggests it's because your ancestors had longer jaws than you do–they could fit the extra teeth in the back of their mouths. When the length of the jaw shortened over evolutionary history, the extra teeth didn't cause ENOUGH problems to be selected against strongly, and the changes to the genetic material that would have resulted in loss were complex enough that chance just didn't provide the right variants to eliminate wisdom teeth. Is it more likely that some god stuck those wisdom teeth in just to trick us? Are they there to torture us and remind us of our sinful nature? Did God just make a mistake in the design of those designed in His image? Oops.

      In any case, I would like to also point out that GRAVITY is a theory. Just try not believing in that because it's not a "fact". The "theory" of evolution explains HOW it happened and is happening, not WHETHER it did. This is just like we have a theory about HOW gravity works, not WHETHER it does. Scientists debate the finer points of HOW all the time, but we don't debate the facts of whether an apple will fall to the ground when dropped, or whether changes in biological populations over time have led to the diversity of living organisms we see today.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Eric

      I agree with Religions are a Scam that the existence of god is irrelevant, or at least it should be. But it's the belief in the existence of god that oppress people's rights in the name of said non-existent god. There should be no reason why others morals should be levied against other people in matter that don't actually affect them in the first place. Gay people having the right to be legally married has NO bearing on anyone else's life other than the externalizing of some deep seeded reason of believing that they are a threat of some kind. Why do you care if they're going to hell? if that was the case more room for you when you get to your reserved parking space next to the J Man.

      And before they head to the argument of without religion you can have no morals, which is again BS. Pretty much all my morals are from things I wouldn't want done to make. Who likes to have their things stolen? Not me, and probably no one on the face of the planet does. So from that reasoning I think that stealing is wrong. Who wants to be murdered? Not me. Again, I think that is wrong. No one is forcing YOU to marry someone against your will so because the act does not involve you, you should not be able to set your morals around it.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • MikeMazzla

      Umm to the bonehead who said that Darwin believed i God.. you may want to amend your comment..
      http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aig/darwin.html And this is from a slightly skewed Christian article...
      So basically he was a religious mand as was his family but as he educated himself and got smarter he eventually realized that there probably was no god.
      I only hope the rest of you "believers" educate yourselves

      February 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Nathan

      While I agree with your main point, there could still be some truths in old wisdom. Belief in a creator that isn't indifferent to sentient life, and the idea that we are supposed to try to be more like God and less like animals are two things I believe in. However, I do not believe Jesus rose from the dead. It is much more likely that someone lied about it and wrote it down than someone actually did that. I get the whole "take it on Faith thing," but I find most religions contain some good things (values, etc) while at the same time having a load of crap that you have to believe in as well.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • T. Lee

      Eric – you are not considering that "time" to God is not measured in terms of "light" and "dark".

      "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." (2 Peter 3.8)

      So again – if the "day of rest" God entered into was still in process at the time the Apostle Paul wrote what he did (quoted from Hebrews previously) – then a "creative-day" of which the seventh day of rest was one – then they were all more than a 24 hour period.

      February 7, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  20. alan

    Once the local Taliban find out there will be hell to pay! The Taliban can not read either, no mater what kind of signs you post they keep coming.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Religions are a scam

      Love is love.

      Religions are nothing but the subjugation of self AND others! There is nothing humbling about religions - only hypocrisy.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.