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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. Phil

    while the writer of this article claims to have studied the bible he has never understood it, he is defending his own personal obvious choice.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Richard

      Well, I've just got one thing to say. You are ........... R I G H T ! How does it feel??? Mmmmmmm, good.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Brian

      Actually, he made a completely logical point. He presented evidence supporting his claim, making it an entirely viable argument. However, with no evidence, you went ahead and dismissed everything he said. Good job, sir. Logic for the win.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Ron

      Phil,
      thanks for proving the authors point.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Phil

      Actually he made a well informed and reserched point. And your opinon is based on...?

      June 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Rick

      Phil. I couldn't agree more. Dudley do nothing sure wasted a bunch money at Yale. What is wrong with the world today?! Even my wife is getting into that crazy mindset. She was having her period and wanted to leave the house before the two week time limit. No matter how many times I show her the rules in the Bible she tries to disobey me. Can you believe it?!

      June 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @Rick
      hahaha!

      July 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  2. C.

    Sodom and Gomorrah

    June 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Richard

      How could you know that? You didn't read the bible, did you? Shh, I won't tell anyone either. What were you just reading, the comics? Oh, yeah, me too, ha ha, yep, that Green Lantern, he's good! Shhh.....

      June 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • JW

      The Bible does not actually say that the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah was due specifically to ho-mos-exuality.

      July 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  3. May

    Bottom line. Jesus' last commandment was: " love one another as I have loved you." In His love, He corrected those who were wrong, that they might be cleansed and spend eternity with He, God our Father and The Holy Spirit. We cannot and must not let heresy prevail. Sorry Johathan, but this sounds too much like heresy. Love one another as Jesus has loved us. Love one another enough to point out the wrongs that will lead others to sin and away from God. I think you were stretching as much as you could to 'try' and find somewhere in the Bible that justifies your opinion. Reread and original version of the Bible, read it from cover to cover and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Until then, please refrain from trying to mislead even one more person. Just as the crime of a policeman for stealing is much graver than a punk 13 year old, so is misinformation regarding sin, a much graver issue coming from someone who went through seminary, albet it was a liberal seminary. Liberal being new age, progressive, which always takes the next generation further from the Blessed Trinity.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Bruce

      The original version of the Bible–the one written in Koine Greek, which quoted things said as translations from the "original" Aramaic?

      Where did I place my dead sea scrolls...

      June 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Mindlayr

      I love how you Christians have found a way to pick and choose what you will follow from the Bible but are going to call heresy on this guy for showing you how misguided you are being. What a hypocrite you are.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • kenney

      blah blah blah....evangelical-speak for "I am in a cult".

      June 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Qwinne

      The "original" version of the bible? Sure, have fun with that one.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  4. William Demuth

    Your post sounds like Mr T. cursing off a gay preacher!

    June 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  5. jimsim

    Matthew 7:6 – Christians, you are wasting your time here. If someone does not want to hear the truth, they will not receive it when it is offered. Move on to people who realize that they are in need.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • RJ

      The "truth", or what you're selling? There is a difference.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  6. David M

    The Bible says what it says and its meaning has not changed, nor will it ever change. One's interpretation does not make scripture true or false. The Bible speaks for itself. It's interesting that the points that seem to cause controversy are the ones people like to twist to fit their agenda.

    It sounds like this (very) young man had one view of scripture, then went to Yale and got another. What makes him think Yale is correct?? Just read it for yourself. You don't need a liberal professor to tell you what it means. His article here does not change my view of scripture.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Steve

      Sigh.. the whole "X speaks for itself" is actually the worst argument I have ever heard. Text is always open to interpretation. The book itself cannot and i repeat CANNOT clarify its stance on what it means because its words on a page. Any book can be intepreted differently by other people and its up to those people to decide.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Dan

      Exactly! God created the universe in seven days, a guy lived in the belly of a whale for a month and some guy built a bot big enough to hold a few hundred million animals on it! Sounds perfectly reasonable to me! All the explanations are there! Just read it!

      June 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Bruce

      "Just read it for yourself."

      I did, and you are wrong. See what I did there? I refuted your entire religion by doing exactly what you said to do and coming up with a different answer!

      You should probably come up with something better than "Just read it for yourself."

      June 21, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • RJ

      "The Bible says what it says and its meaning has not changed, nor will it ever change."

      Right, which is why today Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Baptists, Lutherans, the Coptic Church, Mormons, etc., etc. all believe the same thing...they just like different names. And let's not bring up history. It hasn't changed...except when you actually look at what's happened in the last 2,000 years.

      Laughable!

      June 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Rhonda

      @David M
      Be careful that youn do not disrespect the writer because he is "(very) young"; 1 Tim 4:12. It is a mark of maturity to own your convictions by testing them as you grow.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  7. MomOf3

    @dagwud – the basis of the laws of the US are not from the Bible, but from cultures that predate the Bilbe by thousand's of years. If you want to say our foundations should be reflected in our laws, then according to our current laws, we should be a polytheistic society, worshipping gods from Sumaria, Greece and ancient Rome. I specify ancient Rome so you don't confuse this with the Rome that currently houses the Roman Catholic Church... 🙂

    June 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Richard

      You missed, but I'll give you another try.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  8. HiddenShadows

    I am no one. I expect no one to listen to anything I say and rightly so. Why should any of us listen to anyone who has not proved their credability. Sorry I got off on a side issue just to make a point.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • santosaint

      The mere fact that you posted a comment tells a different story. Goes to show you WORDS don't have any meaning in this society. Too many people say one thing and mean another.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • HiddenShadows

      True very true.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  9. Jeff

    As long as lesbianism is still OK, I'm happy.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Biohazard42

      Depends on the lesbians....Rosie O'donnell on Ellen is just as gross a thought! : )

      June 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Q

      Why? They don't want you...

      June 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  10. Christianwoman26

    Notice how many times he quotes "theological thinkers" and not the Bible. I don't want to know what the priest said 1000 years ago, it's about what the Bible says, not what they think. The author states that "For the first 1500 years of Christianity, for example, marriage was deemed morally inferior to celibacy" but that's not the Bible says. Paul says that it is easier to serve the Lord and not be married because your time is not divided. It says nothing about one being any more moral than the other. As it pertains to abortion, again the author is quoting scholars, not the Bible. The Bible says " Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee: and before thou cames forth out of the womb I sanctified thee..." Jeremiah 1:5. This scripture clearly proves when life starts, according to God.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • fuyuko

      it is ok to challenge religious thought and belief. that is why god gave us brains.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Dog Boy

      Right, his article is about the theologians, that's why he quotes them.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Richard

      You are totally right, holy woman. Would that this author would turn into a woman like you. It would be better than him trying to deny his manhood.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • festeiam

      Believe what you want, just keep your religion off my civil and human rights.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Richard

      To festeiam. Oh come on. Keep your.... off my ... ; give me a kit kat bar, I mean, a break; right is right and wrong is wrong; grow up little woman.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Dog Boy

      Yep, let's attack someone for their physical appearance. That proves they're wrong! And, if it's his age that bothers you, how old was jesus when he lectured to the pharisees?

      June 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Q

      So, than by what you are saying, you totally disregard your pastor right??

      June 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • DJL

      Well said, festeiam. Why do conservative christians mistakenly believe they have the right to enforce their beliefs on anyone else?!? Especially in a country with separation of church and state.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • needNewGov

      Using the bible as a guide, you would conclude that if God knew someone while in the womb and if God santified he/she then it would seem that God is ok if that little zygot was Gay.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Christianwoman27

      @DJL...show me in what law book it says there has to be a separation of church and state...

      June 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Yo!

      "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee: and before thou cames forth out of the womb I sanctified thee..."

      That why God created gay people, it's being shown their born this way, they are God's creation!

      June 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • RJ

      "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee: and before thou cames forth out of the womb I sanctified thee..." Jeremiah 1:5."

      How is that not god (or the author writing the text) recognizing the IDEA of a child or reproducing, or possibly embracing the commitment to have and raise a child? How do you conclude that "scripture clearly proves when life starts, according to God"? Seems like very little that isn't left to interpretation. Heck, if it was that important for God to convey his intent, he'd could have at least provided as much as an instruction manual from Ikea or maybe a 5th grade text book instead of another nebulous account of the thoughts of desert-dwelling goat herders.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  11. Mel Lessedme

    For crying out loud. CNN personal vendetta against Christianity is ongonig. This child writing (or at least he looks like a child – or maybe a transgender female) issue is just that – he/she is a graduate of "Yale Divinity School". Yale isn't what it used to be. It used to be a devoutly Christian, but now is a bunch of blowhards for the most part. Their heads can't fit through a door way. Clearly there is a propaganda machine going forth in its attempt to abolish Christianity and the faithful. Nothing new here – Hiltler tried too.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Eric G

      Hitler tried too? Please explain.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • festeiam

      and religion never killed or tortured anyone through the centuries. Religion is the opiate of the masses. You never have to use your brain, just have faith and treat people like dirt.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Rob

      Too bad you aren't able to articulate anything of substance behind your rant. A mind is a terrible thing to waste...

      June 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • 3lwood

      Those poor oppressed Christians.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Mel Lessedme

      @fest – atheism is the greatest destroyer of human life and Islam is catching up quickly. Mao, Stalin and others whose regime revolves around nothing close to Christianity.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Mel, my dippy indoctrinated freind

      HITLER WAS CHRISTIAN. HE KILLED JEWS BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT CHRISTIANS.

      The Christian Church was in Rome, which was an Axis power, and the church signed pacts directly with Hitler.

      Hell, Reinhard Heidrich had a Christmas tree in his damn office.

      What part of history did you miss

      June 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Lance

      Yes, you don't even know recent history. Just ask Dietrich Bonhoeffer...

      June 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • RJ

      That's laughable! But I have no doubt you really believe that.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Rick

      I agree with you on Yale. It gave us "W".

      June 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Scott

      Hitler's claims of Christianity are nothing but hypocritical. If Hitler was a Christian, why did Christians like Bonhoffer oppose him, to their death? Hitler's ramblings are void and hollow of any remote understanding of Christian doctrine, let alone basic historical fact, like how Christ was Jewish. Hitler thought he was Aryan. I don't know anyone who would 1. call themselves a Christian and 2. live like a Christian that believes anything but that Jesus was Jewish. Hitler hated Jews, period. True Christianity had nothing to do with it. For the most part, the church in Germany was weak. A few did stand up. like Bonhoffer, and paid with their lives. Many Christians are the biggest supporters of Israel (a jewish state). Hitler was more concerned about how he could form Christianity to support his Thousand Year Reich then why Christ's death (and resurrection) are necessary for all mankind's salvation. If you want to argue your lack of belief in God because He hasn't placed himself in a test tube for you, that's fine. Saying that Hitler followed Him is a fallacious postion.

      July 13, 2011 at 1:47 am |
  12. Tal

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” -Gandhi

    The bible is a decent book if you ignore every single word in it except for a few sentences directly attributed to Jesus. Of course nearly all Christians seem to just ignore those few good bits instead.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Richard

      Ghandi didn't have a brain.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Dog Boy

      @ Richard – now there's a well thought out comment. You forgot to write, "Neener-neener!"

      June 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • needNewGov

      It's a sad fact that most Christians are only wearing the costume. Heaven will never come to this place until we all love one another the way God/Christ wants us to live.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  13. D. North

    The writer misses God's original creation point in which he make a Man and a Woman. 1 of each and instructs them to go and multiply. Since he is using the Bible as a reference point, how about we start with original intent. After the Fall, then everything goes sideways and sin enters and, all Hell break free...literally. Murder, Stealing, Lying, Unnatural affection...the whole works. I think he needs to get a refund from divinity school.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • PallasAthene

      Okay, if your god made man and woman...and all the animals, and being gay is bad for humans, why did he program it into so many other animals....that he created. Look up Bonobos. Enlightening, but I doubt it will change your mind.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • tommas

      Yeah except that we evolved from fish/lizards which have hermaphrodite capabilities.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Yo!

      "The writer misses God's original creation point in which he make a Man and a Woman. 1 of each and instructs them to go and multiply."

      So you support incest over gays, nice job!

      June 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • justme

      many seem to overlook the point that the original couple rejected their creator in favor of" the original serpent" who is satan and since they chose their god they have been allowed for a limited time, still ongoing in the time of Jesus, to worship him whether known or not (he doesn't care) even Jesus called him the "ruler of the world" "god of this system" etc. so all of your comments about god need to be clarified until the creator takes his time to show how foolish all of this is. and it's coming. go ahead and scoff and have your fun, your days are numbered.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  14. HiddenShadows

    Why should I listen to what Jonathan Dudley says anyway? Just another opinion from someone I never heard of.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Richard

      Excellent point! By the way, who are you?

      June 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Q

      BAM!!

      June 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • needNewGov

      HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!!!!!!!!! Perfect come back, congrats.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  15. Why can't I Hear Him?

    "is god willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.

    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.

    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?

    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him god?"
    -Epicurus (341 – 271 BCE)

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

      One of the greats.

      I have this one hanging over my sons bed, in three different languages.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Bruce

      FYI, if anyone reads how God is depicted in what is known as the "Bible," they will never (unless they wanted to in the first place and just skipped the whole reading part) come away with the idea that God is benevolent or omnipotent (or omniscient for that matter).

      So, Epicurus does not apply to the "God" referred to in this article.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • festeiam

      KEEP YOUR RELIGION OFF MY CIVIL RIGHTS !! THIS ISN'T SAUDI ARABIA

      June 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So Brucie

      God is NOT omnipotent now? You hillbillies can't keep dogma straight can you!

      Inconsistency is the hallmark of Christianity (oh yeah, the child buggering preachers are ALSO a hallmark)

      June 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Bruce

      William: God, at least as described in what people call "the Bible," is not depicted as omnipotent, omniscient, nor omnibenevolent.

      I'm not sure why people keep using Epicurus in this context. What he says simply does not apply to the God found in "the Bible."

      June 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Bruce

      Then it seems you have invented a new religion!

      The primary Christian churches ALL claim Yahveh, the original God from the old testament is omnipotent. Now perhaps you reject the trinity (logic says you should) but otherwise, the three sides being one, and the one side being divine, makes ALL sides divine.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Bruce

      William: Please pay attention. My remarks are about the "God" one can find described in "the Bible." The "God" described by various religions is a completely different animal.

      While the article does touch on orthodoxy, the main thrust of the article is about people who don't care one whit about orthodoxy, people who are so heterodox they are a religion of one (the "just read the Bible yourself" crowd).

      June 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  16. John Reed

    I would ask – so is the point of your article to criticize those who condemn gay marriage, or to say that gay marriage should not be banned? I would agree with you on the former, but if you are using this for the second point – then you are excusing bad behavior with other bad behavior. Just because it has become normative in our modern Sodomite America, does not mean it is clean in God's eye. Men who are clean cut are typically more in tune with proper appearance, and this shows respect for themselves and the company they meet. Do not use the foolishness of human leaders to get around the morality of the Bible – and get a hair cut.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • BD

      Eh, are you so proper...or just pompous? You wouldn't be the first person in history to ascribe your own notions of propriety to general righteousness. This is exactly what he is writing about, but your arrogance keeps you from even considering it.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Dog Boy

      It's a pity you had to resort to the hair comment. Up to that, you made a sound and rational arguement.

      I know and work with a lot of people who have nice haircuts and wear suits and ties and I can tell you their souls are as black as hell. The first thing the devil does to ensnare someone is to take on a pleasing shape. For you conservatives who believe appearance is all that matters, most democratic politicians were suits and ties and keep their hair short – do you think they are good people based on that?

      June 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      My Mormon Detector is blinking Red White and Blue...

      June 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  17. Bryan

    Mr. Dudley – Clearly you are still 'green' Let me teach you something they clearly didn't teach you at your liberal 'theology' school. You can't pick and choose or 'focus' on one sin. We're all sinners and every sin is equal in God's eyes. If you are ready to make a political statement or jump on the C.N.N. bandwagon that is fine and your right as an American. But don't drag the Bible or Christ into this conversation and drag it through the mud.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • May

      Good point.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • 3lwood

      Look, you can't have it both ways. Either condemn gays or don't. It's that simple. Dudley sounds like a Christian. You sound like a Christian. That's the problem. Y-O-U-R M-E-S-S-A-G-E I-S I-N-C-O-N-S-I-S-T-E-N-T. Sorry if it looks as though I'm spelling that out for you.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Bryan, you may not be green. But you ARE illiterate. Your ostensible point was precisely Dudley's point!

      June 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Rick

      @ Bryan. You are stating Dudley's exact point much more simply than he did. Good for you. If all sins are equal in God's eyes, then why do Christians make such a big deal out of gays and not haircuts? I have yet to see a single story on FoxNews about those disgraceful longed-haired, so-called "Jesus" followers. As for me, should I get a high-and-tight or will my normal "keep it a bit above the ears" be sufficient in God's view. I gotta do right by God.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  18. JJ

    What if the author is wrong about this? Consider the consequences.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Bruce

      Thousands of gay men trapped in mediocre relationships based on poorly thought out cultural models, refusing to divorce lest they lose their hard-fought rights in some rhetorical battle over divorce rates...

      Yeah, that's pretty scary consequences, if you are a gay man thinking about getting married to another gay man!

      June 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      What consequences?

      June 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  19. Brad

    "I don’t doubt that the one New Testament author who wrote on the subject of male-male intercourse thought it a sin."

    They should take back your degree right now. But why am I not surprised that someone who graduated a liberal university won't acknowledge that the Bible's true and only author is God Himself. The fact you think it was just some dude proves beyond any doubt of your ignorance of Biblical teachings. You are a disgrace to all Christians.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Bruce

      Paul was God? Interesting.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Dog Boy

      Really? So god wrote all those contradictions in the bible? I really like how his style changed throughout the stories, even in mid-story.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Douglas

      So God thinks long hair degrades a man?

      June 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Joseph

      GOD didn't write the Bible. Man did.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • 777

      The author of this article is one of millions of victims of higher education.(brain washing)
      I feel sorry for him, Clearly he does not know what he is talking about.
      God's word is extremely clear on this topic.
      God even refers to result of thier actions, and we all know what that is Aid*.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Actually....

      Hey, Brad? That quote is from 1 Corinthians, which is the first epistle (letter) from St. Paul to the Corinthians. This was indeed written by a mortal giving his opinions and explanations about Christianity to the people of Corinth.

      Also, there is no need to be nasty, and please don't presume to speak for all Christians.

      Matthew 7:3-5 "And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye? Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam in thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

      June 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Maryam

      Dear Mrs. Rollston,I have just recently gisedned our website and haven't yet learned how to set up online registration. I have forms here in the office if you could stop by sometime Monday we can get that done for you.Thank you for your interest in our VBS.Blessings,Deborah Pevler[church secretary]

      April 4, 2012 at 2:43 am |
  20. May

    Jonathan Dudley, your article is timely, there is much in the news these days regarding gay marriage. Unfortunately we have entered into an era of true Hedonism, just looking for self gratification where ever we can find it. That is not God's way. Until we all spend more time on our knees in prayer as Jesus did, we will struggle with all the sins in our daily lives. A sin separates us from God. Do we really want to be separated for eternity? Isn't it better to deny oneself for this short life here on earth, than to be separated from God for eternity. Each soul that the devil can convince to do something against God, is one more soul to suffer with him for eternity.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Shane

      Actually, I think it should be up to the individual. Just because you think gay marriage is a sin, doesn't mean it is for everyone. Just because I think that something is a sin doesn't mean that EVERYONE MUST. I think that EVERYONE has the right to be happy. If you want to talk about the abomination of gay marriage, I want to talk about the abomination of divorce. How about we all just agree that just because your religion thinks something is wrong, doesn't mean that everyone else has to suffer for it.

      You need to come to your senses and realize that even if you believe that your god is the one true god, everyone that is a different religion than you are believes the same thing... so someone's gotta be wrong... Live & Let Live

      June 21, 2011 at 4:29 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.