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My Take: Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality?
June 21st, 2011
10:10 AM ET

My Take: Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality?

Editor's Note: Jonathan Dudley is the author of Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics.

By Jonathan Dudley, Special to CNN

Growing up in the evangelical community, I learned the Bible’s stance on homosexuality is clear-cut. God condemns it, I was taught, and those who disagree just haven’t read their Bibles closely enough.

Having recently graduated from Yale Divinity School, I can say that my childhood community’s approach to gay rights—though well intentioned—is riddled with self-serving double standards.

I don’t doubt that the one New Testament author who wrote on the subject of male-male intercourse thought it a sin. In Romans 1, the only passage in the Bible where a reason is explicitly given for opposing same-sex relations, the Apostle Paul calls them “unnatural.”

Problem is, Paul’s only other moral argument from nature is the following: “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?” (1 Corinthians 11:14-15).

Few Christians would answer that question with a “yes.”

In short, Paul objects to two things as unnatural: one is male-male sex and the other is long hair on men and short hair on women. The community opposed to gay marriage takes one condemnation as timeless and universal and the other as culturally relative.

I also don’t doubt that those who advocate gay marriage are advocating a revision of the Christian tradition.

But the community opposed to gay marriage has itself revised the Christian tradition in a host of ways. For the first 1500 years of Christianity, for example, marriage was deemed morally inferior to celibacy. When a theologian named Jovinian challenged that hierarchy in 390 A.D. — merely by suggesting that marriage and celibacy might be equally worthwhile endeavors — he was deemed a heretic and excommunicated from the church.

How does that sit with “family values” activism today?

Yale New Testament professor Dale B. Martin has noted that today’s "pro-family" activism, despite its pretense to be representing traditional Christian values, would have been considered “heresy” for most of the church’s history.

The community opposed to gay marriage has also departed from the Christian tradition on another issue at the heart of its social agenda: abortion.

Unbeknownst to most lay Christians, the vast majority of Christian theologians and saints throughout history have not believed life begins at conception.

Although he admitted some uncertainty on the matter, the hugely influential 4th and 5th century Christian thinker Saint Augustine wrote, “it could not be said that there was a living soul in [a] body” if it is “not yet endowed with senses.”

Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic saint and a giant of mediaeval theology, argued: “before the body has organs in any way whatever, it cannot be receptive of the soul.”

American evangelicals, meanwhile, widely opposed the idea that life begins at conception until the 1970s, with some even advocating looser abortion laws based on their reading of the Bible before then.

It won’t do to oppose gay marriage because it’s not traditional while advocating other positions that are not traditional.

And then there’s the topic of divorce. Although there is only one uncontested reference to same-sex relations in the New Testament, divorce is condemned throughout, both by Jesus and Paul. To quote Jesus from the Gospel of Mark: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.”

A possible exception is made only for unfaithfulness.

The community most opposed to gay marriage usually reads these condemnations very leniently. A 2007 issue of Christianity Today, for example, featured a story on its cover about divorce that concluded that Christians should permit divorce for “adultery,” “emotional and physical neglect” and “abandonment and abuse.”

The author emphasizes how impractical it would be to apply a strict interpretation of Jesus on this matter: “It is difficult to believe the Bible can be as impractical as this interpretation implies.”

Indeed it is.

On the other hand, it’s not at all difficult for a community of Christian leaders, who are almost exclusively white, heterosexual men, to advocate interpretations that can be very impractical for a historically oppressed minority to which they do not belong – homosexuals.

Whether the topic is hair length, celibacy, when life begins, or divorce, time and again, the leaders most opposed to gay marriage have demonstrated an incredible willingness to consider nuances and complicating considerations when their own interests are at stake.

Since graduating from seminary, I no longer identify with the evangelical community of my youth. The community gave me many fond memories and sound values but it also taught me to take the very human perspectives of its leaders and attribute them to God.

So let’s stop the charade and be honest.

Opponents of gay marriage aren’t defending the Bible’s values. They’re using the Bible to defend their own.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jonathan Dudley.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Homosexuality • Opinion

soundoff (6,474 Responses)
  1. momof4inny

    He conveniently left out the word woman when quoting this Gospel of Mark "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another {woman} commits adultery.” here is the second part of that same verse: "12 And if SHE divorces her husband and marries another man, SHE commits adultery."
    Another verse that clearly indicates marriage is between a man and a woman..." Old Testament: MAL 2:14 You ask, "Why?" It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with HER (clearly female), though SHE(again female) is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. There are many others but you get the point.
    Sorry...if you actually STUDY the Bible, it is pretty clear that marriage is between a man and a woman.

    The Bible also says this: "1TI 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the
    faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons."

    We all need to guard our hearts and minds, and live as God has commanded "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself."...this includes correcting your neighbor when they are wrong.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Kimberly

      Well said

      June 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Bruce

      Wow, if what you say is true, momof4inny, it would be better for a man not to marry at all!

      June 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • hello

      I agree....& for those who don't read bible, let use our common sense that they are not allowed simple the don't produce LIFE!!!! peace \m/.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Studying the Bible?

      No wonder our kids are dumb as tree stumps.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  2. Superman

    comments "not pre-screened before they post"?!?????? BS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  3. Ryan

    "I like your Christ. I don't like your Christians. They are so unlike Christ," 'Mahatma' Gandhi.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Richard

      Ghandi was a bonehead

      June 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • jennifer

      @Richard. If that is your best argument, then you have proven yourself to be the bonehead.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • rachel

      So true, just observe them. They feel superior when they walk out of that building with the T on top. I was brought up in that surrounding, it was the most hypocritical, judgmental, intolerant group of people ever. It was like a soap opera where everyone pretended to be good, but in fact, once they walked out of there, the real them came out!!

      I love Ghandi and his quotes, beliefs, etc. ... love is never a sin, never!!

      June 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  4. Jonathan

    Yale helped you figure all of this out, did it, Jonathan? Well, from one Jonathan to another, I will pray for you. When we all shuffle off of this mortal coil and stand before Him, I'm not going to be clinging to words, or arguing over who interpreted what...I'm going to be clinging to The Word. He loves us, but His patience is not infinite. We will have to answer for what we believe, and this concept that we and our actions will be judged by anyone, even God, is what bothers us the most, isn't it? I don't judge you, but God will.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • knowledge2power

      Amen brother!

      June 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • JEBUW

      Wow, way to proof his point. Nicely done.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • god? Judge?

      The great myth in the sky doesn't judge. How can he tell us not to judge if he isn't leading by example? You are afraid of death and afraid for what you have done with your time on earth. There really is no other reason to believe.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Keith

      don't pray for him. If you aren't judging, then what are you praying for? What would you pray for . . . consistency in the writer's life? Or you think he lost his way? Therefore praying that God forgives him, because you have judged him to be "less" than you in some way or another?

      June 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Belief should not motivated by fear; if it is, it is on a sandy foundation. We love God because He first loved us, and gave Himself up for us. We all have a God-shaped hole in us; to deny it is to deny the One who made us.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Keith

      God is actually a Golden Terrapin. We can all just say stuff. You can talk too. Not everything needs to be said through God. If he does exist, he granted us with free will. I can still light a building on fire regardless of what HE wants or expects. So please, say something that's original or from yourself.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Jonathan

      No question, we have free will; the freedom to believe, or the freedom not to believe. What I would encourage you to do is to seek Him, not man. Read the Bible, read His Word. It might just change your life...

      June 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  5. gj

    This article is riddled with lies, half-truths and misquotes. The author obviously is bending the truth to fit his argument. Psalm 139, for instance, clearly states that life begins at conception. Not in so many words, but the Psalmist acknowledges God's involvement in the conception process. Also, the author relies much too much on people's interpretation through the ages, which is a flawed approach. If you take all your claims back to scripture, you will not be able to find the author's claims substantiated.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  6. Joshua

    I perssonaly just find it disgusting.....Weather we we were created by god, Or evolved from apes, There is absloltly no reason for Gays to exsists! Give me one reason its benificial in any way shape or form to be gay.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Sam

      Maybe you should start with reading a dictionary.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • ac

      yo I totally agree with you just the thought of it, is nasty wow how can they do it nasty and this is why I don't hate them but I cannot mingle with them.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Twm

      One reason ? to keep very stupid people from reproducing?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Where's the Party

      Joshua, ac and Twm my mom said the basement is off limits tonight for our slip and slide party. Guess we are just gonna have to skype this swellin' party. Later haters!! XOXO

      June 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • jc

      Dude, Hate the Sin, but Love the sinner....Remember God Love you TOO

      June 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • frink

      freedom

      June 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Jalile

      Joshua,
      You can't help your hate anymore than I can help loving another man. That's just the ignorance and fear in you talking, not a true loving human being. I feel really sorry for you that you cannot understand the concept of love. I hope you find peace.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • InPittsburgh

      Why is it beneficial to be White? Or Asian? Or a man? There's no specific benefit to being any of these things, but it's a part of who people are that they can't change.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  7. William Demuth

    Why focus on it? To make sure the evangelicals don't get enough power to have all the gays put in a camp and gassed.

    Religion is a sickness that permits it followers to commit all types of abominations.

    Hatred is quite real, and to ignore it is to put ones life in peril.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  8. pug

    Great article! In response to Eric G's question – I think it was Paul – that opinion is mostly influenced by a section of a book written by John Shelby Sponge(Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism)..........he talks about the reasons he believes Paul might have been gay and it is very logical and somewhat convincing......definitely an interesting spin on it all.......

    June 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  9. Vulpes

    Well done.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  10. IT'SATRAP

    What a lot of you people keep forgetting is that GOD never told us to hate 'PEOPLE' in general. You can dislike/hate their immorality which mean you don't have to the same thing they are doing. So this biblical war is just as childish as the politicans complaining about more money inside their pockets!

    June 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  11. james

    I remember when I was a child that I pined for loving parents and a perfect world. My family was dysfunctional and the world was politics, civil rights, Vietnam and smog. Now in this late time in my life, physically and emotionally scarred, I pine for a perfect father and a perfect world. The Bible supercedes all men, even the writers. The Word of God is life to those who wholly chose it and death to the otherwise.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Dysfunctional family? Yup, that explains it!

      Get therapy, and get over it. Hiding behind your imaginary sky freind wont do you a damn bit of good.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Randy M

      Preach on James

      June 21, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  12. Sam

    Just watch the Ancient Aliens series. And learn. It will be made clear.

    The Gods we think we know are just aliens who came to our ancestors long ago and our ancestors believed them to be Gods.

    Just my 2 cents.

    But whatever you believe, stand in judgement of others.

    Live and let live. And try to be a good person. Don't worry about what someone else is doing or thinking.

    Talk. Don't argue.

    Love. Don't hate.

    Think. Don't be closed minded.

    But......each to his own.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • CallHim Jmmanuel

      its a good start, those things we call angels actually = messengers, why were angels/messengers associated with wings? because those messengers came from the sky.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Sam

      Don't stand in judgement of others is what I meant to say.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • OurGodsRAliens

      I agree with you completely.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Andy 666

      LOL !

      June 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I went to Newark once, and told all the kids I was God.

      Then I took their lunch money.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  13. coder

    honesty has no place in modern religion – where religion is now used as a means for developing income, restructuring local and federal laws – honesty gives way to selfish points of view and personal gain

    June 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Randy M

      That statement while true is why Christianity took the Western world by storm 2000 years ago. All the other religions of the time worshiped hand made objects and used basic science to produce magical effects. They would then fleece the flock to make their own life easier. The Christians at that time were honest, and truly loved others. The fact that Christians aren't universally that way now is a big reason for the rise in Atheism. At the heart of Atheism is the fact that so many Christians are not really Christian except that they go to a church that claims to be christian. Many Christian leaders believe that 50 to 70 percent of active church members are not truly Christian. To many like the author of this article, Christianity is an intellectual pursuit, but with no understanding of the nature of God himself. So since they do not know the nature of God all they have to go on is the written word that has been translated form Hebrew and Greek and written from a perspective of an ancient culture. It is a bit like a engineer trying to describe a piece of art to an accountant. His arguments are unconvincing and full of doubt. Because he knows he doesn't understand and he is unable to increase his understanding to his own satisfaction. God has given us the ability to know him in a personal way. That way even the uneducated, illiterate can know and understand who God is and to worship him in the way he wants to be worshiped.

      Truly, Atheism is the belief in the God Science. Science is the only thing that matters everything else is conjecture. But they fail to realize that Science is young and there are many errors in it and many things that cannot be explained by the God Science. I don't think science is bad by any means, but perspective is needed here. There are many things that cannot be explained by Science. The Bible predicts the explosion of knowledge and the falling away from the worship of the Creator. But in the time line of humanity knowledge is merely the latest religious fad.

      There is still only one creator, and he has given us all the information we need to make a choice. So you must simply decide. Do you believe in the Creator and the Son of the Creator or do you believe in some other God, be it Science, Buddah or even Allah. But make your choice carefully as eternity awaits us all after this life and we will spend it somewhere. Heaven is available to all but only if you decide to follow the Creator and to worship him the way he wants to be worshiped.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  14. Rob

    So let’s stop the charade and be honest.
    Ok. Is it about marriage or equal rights? I do not think that the government should be telling people what to do. How about a change that makes a union between two adults a civil union, with all of the current legal rights of a married couple today. Let the church decide who it will marry or not marry, recognize or not recognize. Time and time again you hear the LGBT community say it is not just about legal rights, its about being able to be married. So, Is it about marriage or equal rights?

    June 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Let the church decide?

      HAHAHHAHHAHA!

      They have screwed us up for thousands of years, and now THEY decide.

      Here is a better idea. Tax them, imprison the molestors and jail the con men.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Rob: Here's the simplest version I can think of to explain why "marriage" is so important.
      You've heard the phrase, "A rose is a rose." Right? Is it still a rose if you call it a daisy? No. But that's what people are advocating. A "separate but equal" situation which is never really equal. People want to call a loving relationship between people a different name simply because they don't like who the two loving people are. And that's not fair. And it certainly isn't equal.

      June 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  15. justaguy

    What we need is someone like Moses, who can go to God and get the answer to the same-gender marriage question. Now there's a novel concept. Wonder if there is such a thing on the earth today: a prophet called, recognized and directed by God. Boy, that would sure make a lot of things easier for us.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • SimpleTruth

      I believe those messengers are out there–but, just as in Moses' time, the general populice refuses to heed their message.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  16. Rich in LA

    I gave my partner a birthday card today that said in my hand, " I will love you with out end, you are my love, my soulmate and my reason for living"
    You know what inspired me to write that? GOD! I felt the love of GOD in my heart when I gave those words to my man!
    I don't care what the bible, the quran or the torah say.. I follow my head and heart.. God is my inspiration for all that I do and yet, I AM PROUD TO BE GAY!!

    June 21, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • HB

      Yes, Rich, you are a beloved child of God, my brother in Christ. Keep following your head and your heart because they are clearly led by the Spirit. Please wish your partner a very happy birthday.

      – An Episcopalian

      June 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • jc

      Rich, God is Love...in that while we were still sinners, God sent his Son....That is true Love

      June 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Twm

      I sincerely hope you find a psychologist that could "straighten" you out. Being gay is an abomination to God's plan.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • joe

      good for you. from my hetero viewpoint, i can say the same thing to my wife, and none of the words are inspired from God, or any god, for that matter. Not in my mind, and Im okay with that, and yours, too.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Phyrro

      JC, Rich, "God is Love...in that while we were still sinners, God sent his Son....That is true Love". JC it is easy for God to send his son aftyer all in your eyes God is all powerful and thus with a snap of his fingers can resurrect his son. What is "true love' is the love of those fathers and mothers who have lost their sons and daughters in defending this nation.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  17. TheyNotHim

    "Having recently graduated from Yale Divinity School, I can say that my childhood community’s approach to gay rights—though well intentioned—is riddled with self-serving double standards."

    What, exactly, is "well intentioned" about depriving a whole segment of our society of their basic human rights?

    June 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • jc

      it is not a basic right...it's your want, there is a way that seems right in the eye's of man but lead to death....and death is not my want for you.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • William Demuth

      My gut tells me JC's pecidillos don't meet with the standards set by his religion.

      Most folks don't!

      June 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Randy M

      It is not a basic human right to marry anything or anybody. Should we marry our dog? Of course not, but who knows in 20 years maybe people will think that is ok too.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Yo!

      "It is not a basic human right to marry anything or anybody. Should we marry our dog? "

      Your ignorance on this subject is appalling stop being lazy and do some research.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Randy M

      Yo, you must explain yourself. I think I get it you just don't agree with me. It not really complicated.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Randy and jc: It is a basic human right to have equality under the law. Gays do not have this because marriage and everything that goes with it is being witheld on the basis of their se xual orientation.

      June 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  18. Doug

    And he's gay.. Same ol story, new writer !

    June 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Doug's Man-Friend

      Honey!! I'm so happy that you are commenting on this article as well. See...we are perfect for each other because we enjoy the same things!! See you tonight!!

      June 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Doug's other man-friend

      Hey, hands of my fella !!

      June 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • DOUG'S PREIST

      Hey, both of you, "hands off my man". God has told me it's okay to be gay if they're really, really young.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  19. kenney

    To all the nattering naybobs of Biblical truth, God, etc...shut up already. I'm a spiritual, converted Catholic (and trained scientist) that does NOT believe in the utter infallibility of the Bible not the utter fallacy of it either. The wisdom and truth of the Bible takes intense research, as does any scientific or scholarly undertaking. Those of you who just PFFFT away the spiritual realm because you have a laptop that produces articles on the Hubble telescope are just as ignorant and in denial of TRUTH as the fundamentalists. Anyone that's ever lived in a haunted house knows there are other dimensions, so take your ignorant arrogance and put them somewhere as dark and damp as your outlook on life.

    GREAT article, Jonathan. You killed it.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I have never lived in a haunted house, but I have worked in one.

      I guess that qualifies me to preach.

      Your need for the spiritual is your own affair, but do NOT impose your weakness on others.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Adnimistrator

      You lost me at haunted houses and other dimensions.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I lived in a house where certain odd events were prone to happen and the people who lived there next had some way freaky experiences. But you can't go from odd events to proof that a whole elaborate theology is the one and only correct one, let alone to "God's opinion" in the affairs of the day.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • andy 666

      It's not enough to claim "truth". I can claim "truth" and don't you dare ignore me. See, now we're even. Instead, show some scientific proof of your supernnatural claims, you know, peer-reviewed studies.. Got any? One? Anything??

      June 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  20. Eric G

    A recent study at UCLA estimates that 3.5% of the population is gay. There were 12 apostles. These statistics show that there was a 42% chance that at least one of the apostles was gay. That is virtually a coin flip.

    To the believers and non believers alike, which of the apostles do you think was gay and why?

    June 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • William Demuth

      All of them, Mary was a lawn mower if ya follow.

      Christ himself seemed like prefered young ones

      June 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Bruce

      Check your math. 1 – (1 – 3.5%)^12 = ~35%, not 42%. You don't simply multiply 3.5% by 12 to get 42%. Probability doesn't work that way.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Ryan

      Half of the world is female. Therefore half of the apostles are female. Oh, stats don't work that way? Who'd have thunk it?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Eric G

      @William Demuth: Interesting..........
      You know how they say that the people who most strongly deny that they are gay are often gay themselves? Do you think that is why the church takes such a anti-gay stance? Are they hiding the fact that their church is founded on the gay lifestyle? 12 guys in sandals, all wearing robes all the time........Hmmmmmmmm......

      Now, to all you believers, remember what they say about strong denial..................

      June 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Ryan

      "You know how they say that the people who most strongly deny that they are gay are often gay themselves?"

      Does that mean that those who most strongly deny the truth in the Bible are most likely to follow its instruction?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Bruce: Nice catch! Being gay doesn't work that way either. Any group of people tends to gravitate socially to others of a like mind. Thus, if one were gay, chances are good that others were too.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Ryan: Sorry, logical foul! You claim that their are truths in the bible that originated there. You will need to provide evidence to support your claim.

      2 minute penalty for argument from as-sumption.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Keith

      While that math is wrong, I have maintained for years the Jesus, himself was gay. Marry God not women, don't mate, only men become priests – the whole point of existence is to prolong a race. He was probably a little strange for his time, what better way to deflect any possible hate than to scare the hell out of people saying your father created and can destroy all of them. Jesus was a brilliant man, son of God? I question that.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • joe

      bruce is right dude, your math is off, assuming the 3.5% were right. the .42 would represent how many people out of 12 were gay e.g. less than half a person, meaning simply 12 is not a big enough of a group to say whether one was or was not gay to any degree. For example, 350 = 100% at least one gay. at 175, 50% chance one is gay, at 87.5, 25%, 43 = 12.5%, 21 = ~6%, so with 12, there is just over a 3% chance one is gay, pretty slim odds indeed.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • fuyuko

      The only one I ever heard speculated about was the Apostle Paul.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Randy M

      This is really for Keith but there is no reply button for him. You cannot think Jesus was brilliant and then say he was not the Son of God. He himself is quoted many times as saying and there are dozens of miracles performed by him and witnessed by many. There are 4 books in the Bible the quote him and plainly witness the events of Jesus public life. Jesus cannot possibly be a great guy or a brilliant man. He is either a lunatic or the Son of God. Any other conclusion cannot be drawn from the Bible.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
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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.