home
RSS
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. frank

    Muneef, you sure are fixated with this topic. Do you like movies about gladiators?

    June 25, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Muneef

      frank.
      You are playing with words and not being Frank, the first part you are saying some thing s-us-pici-ous but the second part is to mislead me from to first part otherwise there is no con-nec-tion ?

      Any way you will find me where there is wrong to be corrected...as for movies for gladiators or any thing else I stopped watching long time ago since had to first worry about my living then about following with the CNN Blief Blogs and later followed by the "MidEast Spring" and then Yemen news...
      Think those are more than enough for me and already taking me from dear moments with all my family members and friends... Thanks

      June 25, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |

      June 25, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Muneef

      frank.

      Misunderstood you but now I just got the idea about the gladiator movies you mentioned...although I would look upon it as free innocent debate rather than being wrestling.... Be fine....bye.

      July 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  2. Padre

    "When it turns out that God despises, rejects, or hates the same people you do, you can be pretty sure you have created God in your own image."

    June 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  3. Mr Wollman

    he forgot about Sodem and Gomorrah. Gays will burn in Hell. That's a fact.

    June 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Muneef

      Not those who repent and do good deeds....God is best judge of all.

      June 25, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  4. Mr Wollman

    he forgot about Sodem an d Gomorrah. Gays will burn in Hell. That's a fact.

    June 25, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Scott

      YES! that is exactly what that book says. Interestingly if you read it to end you discover that God is completely supportive of multiple father daughter ince$t and pregnancy out of wedlock. Don't believe me? look it up Genesis, Chapter 19, Verses 30-38.

      June 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Muneef

      Lut (Lot)
      Description of the People of Sodom
      http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/Prophet/lut.htm

      In Christian and Islamic traditions, Sodom and Gomorrah have become synonymous with impenitent sin, and their fall with a proverbial manifestation of God's wrath.[Jude 1:7][1] Sodom and Gomorrah have also been used as metaphors for vice and h-omo$exuality viewed as a deviation. The story has therefore given rise to words in several languages, including the English word "so-do-my", used in so-called so-do-my laws to describe $exual acts deemed unnatural.[2]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodom_and_Gomorrah

      June 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  5. gmh

    The Bible is used and abused by most of us. The Bible was written for each of us to use as a guide for our journey in life. Each of us has a different set of problems, fears and disappointments. However, people especially Evangelicals, use the Bible to condemn, point their finger at, and win arguments. Almost like a self assusrance they are better that the rest of the world. Use the Bible to look after your own soul and leave the judgement of others to the One who created them. And I might add, keep Chruch and State seperate.

    June 25, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Muneef

      gmh.

      Hi there allow me to comment,
      Your say ; "use the Bible to condemn, point their finger at, and win arguments.".

      My say; This is what we call in Islam "Sharia" meaning in reference to the laws of "The Holy Bible or The Holy Quran".
      --
      Your say; "Almost like a self assusrance they are better that the rest of the world".

      My say; This is the self esteem and confidance God has given to believers through the knowledge of their rights and wrongs as per their Holy Book "Sharia" and the laws of the legal system completing each other in the court hearings...
      -–
      Your say; "Use the Bible to look after your own soul and leave the judgement of others to the One who created them".

      My say; The use of the Holy Books is as "Spiritual for the Soul" and as a "Legal System for those who follow it...in settling their disputes in gaining wisdom and close knowlege of their rights among their com-m-unities....About judgment guess we have on Earth "Courts of Justice" whether "Secular or Sharia" or of Both....But the heavenly afterlife judgment is by God for things that mankind has made and not paid for on Earth in belief or disbelief...
      --–
      Your say; "And I might add, keep Chruch and State seperate".

      My say; that this story is much bigger than we can imagine, you see the united states became united nations,now as it seems those united nations would become united Religions,Faiths and Beliefs.. You see the myth of the land being Christian dominant majority is over and can not impose it on all who follow it or not.. Therefore maybe those Multi religions should sit drafting a law by which the secular system can rule the masses chosen system of living in respect to each others beliefs condemning faiths & Beliefs based violences....

      Mankind laws were based out of the Teachings of the Holy Books from time those messengers came before Noah and messengers came after Noah through which they lived by...!? And now you tell me that the Secular Laws are not Religious based as if Secularity  existed before Religion...!?

      Thanks and peace2all

      June 27, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  6. djc

    And pardon me, all Christian leaders are white men? Hmm...don't get BET, Jonathan? Half the programs on Sunday (even weekday) mornings are either co-hosted or lead by a female pastor. EWTN (the Catholic channel) was founded by a woman! Your ignorance of the landscape of Christian leadership is more backward than the people you're attacking. How much research (just by channel surfing) would help you understand?

    June 24, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Tom Jacobs

      Actually, almost all religious right leaders, especially in the evangelical community, are indeed white. Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, Chuck Colson, the list goes on and on. His statement is 100% correct that most of the leaders opposed to gay marriage, at least in the evangelical community, are men, in part because most of those in this community think women shouldn't be in positions of Christian leadership.

      June 25, 2011 at 7:38 am |
    • Muneef

      What it matters is where justice is found and  where colors are found....!?

      Women supposed to be half the man it equals two to make one...as witnesses or as inheritors or religious....said she Eve came out as of Adam made her half then mentally because she judge by. The heart and her compassion rather than mind and logic then finally because she has the "The Monthly Periods" which are considered dirty and reduces the pure clean of holiness...after all the most delicate and fragile women are from evil is during the impurity and cleanse women are during their monthly periods where they are even not allowed to pray or touch or hold the Holy Quran or Bible...!!

      Women can not become "Imam's or Pope's or Rabbi's" but that does not make them any less in any other leadership such as in civil,public,army leadership after all they "Mothers" are considered to be the real school for any true generations...we are told that "The Paradise is under mothers' feet"...!!
      http://english.bayynat.org.lb/Issues/mothersday.htm

      June 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Muneef

      Only Islam can save those women from being killed as iIslam saved them from the Pagan Arabs before;

      http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article460890.ece

      June 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • Muneef

      Why hijab for women;

      http://www.islamswomen.com/hijab/why_she_wont_wear_hijab.php

      June 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • Muneef

      Surely women are suffering because in only this religion where women families are supposed to pay dowry for getting her a husband while in Islam men are to pay dowry for becoming married....in Islam widows get dower settlement while in theirs widow is burned buried with her dead husband....!!!
      Avery living attacking Islam although been just to Muslims but no one attacks theirs with all it's faults but rather call their system as the most de-mo-cra-tic system in the world ??!

      Only Islam can save those women from being killed as had Islam saved them from the Pagan Arabs before;
      http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article460890.ece

      June 27, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  7. djc

    Why focus on the Bible? The Koran condemns gays too.

    June 24, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • zorg

      @djc, your argument that a divinity school graduate should concentrate on the Koran instead of the Book he has been studying all these years is analogous to saying "You've beome a nutritionist, concerned with people's health, so shouldn't you also become an epidemiologist, since they are also concerned with people's health? How dare speak on nutrition until you're an expert on this other subject, too?"

      June 25, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • mark patterson

      THE MUSLIMS FOLLOW ALLOT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, HELLO,HELLO MR.DJC,ARE YA LISTENING MAN,ALSO IN OLD TESTAMENT,IF YOUR CHILD DISGRACES YOU,YOU MAY KILL THEM,YES,KILL YOUR CHILDREN,DO YOU BELIEVE IN THAT SIR,IT'S THERE.THERE IS NO ABORTION IN THE BIBLE,BUT IN BATTLE WITH BABYLONIANS,THERE IS THE QUOTE ""THEY(JEWS),RIPPED THE BABIES FROM THE MOTHERS WOMBS",SO THERE,ABORTION IS IN THE BIBLE,AND IT'S LEGAL(WITH ASSYRIANS),SO BELIEVE CORRUPT SNAKE AND FRUIT CURSED GODS FRUIT OF LIFE FOR ETERNITY,SOUR,AND WRONG,ALSO IN GENESIS,""LIFE" BEGINS IN FIRST PAGE,AS """THE BREATH ,IN THE NOSTRILS",SO A BABY IS BORN,LIVES OUTSIDE THE MOTHER,IT IS HERS TILL IT BREATHS,RIGHT,THAT'S "GOD" SPEAKING IN GENESIS,RIGHT???

      June 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Muneef

      Rather should say condemned by all the holy heavenly religious books and by all men book of all faiths and beliefs whether theist or atheist I should say...any of those latter say otherwise then you should know and easily recognize that it is Satanic just like a poisonous Snake "Serpent" trying to fool Adam and Eve to go for the forbidden fruit tree...if any of you is a believer should keep that in mind although I know you got the rope tied to your necks by certain freedoms that to God are acts of the transgressors that bring curses of God to the land and other innocents since they kept quiet and allowed such not discreetly as forbidden but rather openly as if God permits....!!

      June 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  8. R7

    Whether it is the issue of gay marriage or any other decision which may offend some morals, it is really based upon the current culture's alteration of the concept of democracy, from freedom from British rule to freedom from God's Rule. Up until fairly recently, many people based their frame of reference upon the Bible, the Torah or other scriptural doctrines representing God's Holy Word. Now, the American culture has decided that freedom actually means freedom to abandon a concept of right and wrong or base it upon man's written law, which may be adjusted with opinion. This is a fatal error which is already having a drastic effect upon the population. I will not expound upon it here, but anyone who is interested can see for themselves what is happening with the increase in violent crime, war and other negative effects.

    June 24, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  9. Marie Kidman

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=360]
    |

    June 24, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
  10. peddiebill

    I am impressed with this post because it provides a much needed balance to the tired old rants. May I have your permission to post the essay under the Invited essays section of my blog – because I suggest we might have different readership and it will give your article more exposure. (Can I suggest you check out my blog at http://billpeddie.wordpress.com first and make sure you are comfortable being associated with my site)

    June 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Tom Jacobs

      Everyone else is doing this (as a quick google search will reveal) so I don't see why you couldn't.

      June 24, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  11. Shawn

    THE FOLLOWING IS MY RESPONSE TO A FRIEND THAT EMAILED ME THIS ARTICLE ASKING QUESTIONS.

    I read the article earlier. The author raises several interesting issues, however, these issues are not new. This said the fundamental question is this: How does one read the Bible? The answers to this question will reveal how one interprets the Bible. For example, much of the Wall Street Journal is read literally while Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings requires additional methods of interpretation that include allegory (allegory = one object attempts to represent another object).

    All of this said, Evangelicals read the Bible literally. In doing so they run into apparent contradictions, as the author points out. In order to get around these contradictions presuppositions and theology are imposed upon the Bible. The fact of the matter is this; ALL readers of the Bible come with presuppositions and a theology that are imposed on the text. Now allow me to directly address this article.

    First, the author uses the examples of gay marriage (Rom. 1) and men's hair (1 Corinthians 11:14-15). The author says that both are "moral" arguments made by Paul. I completely disagree. Romans 1 is a moral argument (consistent with Genesis 2-3 and the creation of Adam and Even) while 1 Corinthians 11:14-15 is an argument based upon his culture. If there are moral implications it clearly does not transcend time like Romans 1 does by connecting the creation account in Genesis 2-3. We deal with cultural issues everyday and it would be wise to follow them. For example, today I wore a tie and shirt today, not cut off jeans and a ratty t-shirt. The author attempts to juxtapose these two passages while, upon further reflection, they are actually a nonsequetor.

    Second, allow me to address his concern regarding abortion from an Evangelical perspective. The Bible clearly displays God's concern for human life while the baby is in the mother’s womb (read Psalm 139). "Conception," as far as I know, is not used in the Bible. However, a straightforward reading brings you to the conclusion that God values life before birth. It's now up to science to tell us when life begins before birth. This said, the author criticizes the pro-life position from a historical perspective. As an Evangelical my concern is primarily what the Bible says and history becomes secondary. So, it does not bother me that Christian's botched this position in the past. Further, the evidence from Science was not available to the degree that it is today.

    I will end my dissertation by simply responding to one more issue. The author says," Opponents of gay marriage aren’t defending the Bible’s values. They’re using the Bible to defend their own." Again, this goes back to what I initially wrote. The presuppositions and theological points that you impose on the Bible results in how you interpret the Bible. The author, who is disingenuous on this point, is no exception.

    Cheers,

    Shawn

    June 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • A Being in Nothingness

      I want the last 2 minutes of my life back, Shawn. What a palpably ambiguous response to a point seemingly larger than your grasp of the prose. The ultimate 'non sequitur', so to scribe. Just sayin'.

      June 24, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • TruthStudent

      ^^ dear Being in Nothingness ~ palpably ambiguous? Shawn was pretty binary in his views when he expressed the idea that historical precedent of Christians is subsidiary to the Bible itself. Furthermore, his demonstration of the improper pairing of two different scriptural references is entirely accurate with respect to the sense of two similar but different Greek words. Physikos, and physis, the first (romans one) being a definitive reference to governing laws of nature, the second, a softer reference which can imply a mode of feeling and acting which by long habit has become nature. (my source is Strong's Greek dictionary)
      I feel that, with all respect, perhaps it is you who should read Shawn's statement again, and refrain from making a knee jerk reaction and using some pithy but vacuous criticism.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:42 am |
  12. Steve

    Dear blogger – Being gay is a topic of focus because it is one of the few disorders that is actually trumpted as a good thing (possibly the only one). I get the feeling though that the blogger does not agree that it is a disorder so of course he would not understand this.

    also, comments such as this "Unbeknownst to most lay Christians, the vast majority of Christian theologians and saints throughout history have not believed life begins at conception." are solid proof of someone with a misunderstanding of the Catholic church. He's trying to say that the above quote is "Christian Tradition"... very faulty. What he quoted was one mans beleif and has nothing to do with the Catechism of the church. Nowhere, ever in an official church capacity has life ever begun anywhere but at conception.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Tom Jacobs

      " Nowhere, ever in an official church capacity has life ever begun anywhere but at conception."

      Completely wrong. Aquinas's view was the official view of the Catholic Church until the mid-1800s.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Steve

      Tom – you said it yourself. It was TA's view. What would you have me read to show it was the church's view?

      June 24, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  13. Fuyuko

    "Why focus on S3xuality?"Haven't you noticed that religious people, being somewhat controlling are kind of obsessed with shagging and taboos? Many of the s3xual taboos come from the beliefs of the peoples at the time. In Rome. It was okay to be gay in Rome, as long as you weren't the passive participant. Controlling people and uniting them to do whatever the 'church' wants, (whether it is to raise Stonehenge, or a temple) is sort of what religion is about. Uniting people. Controlling behavior through taboos is just part of that.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Steve

      You are wrong to think that the impetus behind a the actions of a person of faith is because the like control or enjoy controlling or cannot help but control other people.

      It is out of compassion for others that fight sin/evil/disorders/wrong doings. I could just as easily call you controlling if you tried to stop a man from taking an old lady's purse. But you were only trying to fight a "bad" thing.

      That is very short-sighted of you to think that religious people are just plain old "control freaks".

      June 24, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      I don't agree. I NEVER ask a religious person for their religious advice, but they feel compelled to tell me or guide me in the ways of their religion. Who is being controlling? If I ask for your advice, and you tell me, no harm, no foul. But I don't ask, and religious people still feel the desire to teach or control what their book tells them. What you consider compassionate guidance and love, I perceive as irritating sanctimony. If you study history at all, you will see that religions aren't always benevolent. Religion serves a purpose to unite a community in common cause and are subject to corruption by their priests. The bible even acknowledges this in the case of the worshipers of Molech. I am not sayin Christianity is all bad- but not acknowledging the purpose of religion is partially to control the thoughts and minds of others is denying the reality of what religion psychologically does.

      June 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Muneef

      You mean during Alex-and-er the Great time and the Romans time men free or en-sla-ved were taken and for-c-ed into becoming gays,actually they had their private parts taken off into becoming a third kind...heard many others if were not ra-p-ed they will have their private part taken off to live with out,for serving in the name of religions the worship houses or the rulers palaces...

      June 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Muneef

      Guess no one would think to became as gay if was not abused during childhood either by elders or the dominant ones at his age in the neighborhood... There is always a reason for that act and no way related to genetical reasons unless the body was deformed...! Many cases we heard of males had their private parts into the inside and thought of as females,brought up as females, only found out when no pregnancy signs were shown and scanned at hospitals to find out being a male...

      Another case was a male who had a stomach pain when taken to hospital it was found out he was a female having a period pain...although she had a small private part as of a male pointing out...as a he she was married to another female and has children... So had to divorce and marry a man after having had an operation...!?!  What we call those who unintentionally had been mistaken for?? Can we call it genetically cases and are excused..

      June 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Muneef

      But now it became a fashion as understand in Far East&S.E.Asia that males have their private part taken off and made as a female with a female breast....so many of them until it became hard to tell which is a female and which is a male!? 

      Am sure non of us non gays would want to get married to find out being married to a male or as you say it be laid by a male rather than a true female and not artificial female....!!!

      June 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      No wonder that the world is filled with unmarried single females it is because males are busy looking for males rather than females..adding to that the Polygamy and Divorce laws imposed by some Religions and Countries has deprived those females the chance while married males are left stuck with one female whether there is love and respect between them or not but just because of children or religious ties..!!

      These acts of tyranny has driven married males and females to fall for adultry for their needs...same as well for single females having not found a legitimate male partners,had to seek pleasure by falling into adultery....

      Isn't there some thing wrong with the formula adopted that drives all into adultery and gayness for both $exs...? So where are the human rights they tell us about's when many suffer because of those in this world...it is only for those cases you see people become as good as the "Three Wise Monkeys"...?!  

      June 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Muneef

      [6:159] Those who divide themselves into sects do not belong with you. Their judgment rests with GOD, then He will inform them of everything they had done.

      [6:160] Whoever does a righteous work receives the reward for ten, and the one who commits a sin is requited for only one. No one suffers the slightest injustice.

      [6:161] Say, "My Lord has guided me in a straight path – the perfect religion of Abraham, monotheism. He never was an idol worshiper."

      [6:162] Say, "My Contact Prayers (Salat), my worship practices, my life and my death, are all devoted absolutely to GOD alone, the Lord of the universe.

      [6:163] "He has no partner. This is what I am commanded to believe, and I am the first to submit."

      [6:164] Say, "Shall I seek other than GOD as a lord, when He is the Lord of all things? No soul benefits except from its own works, and none bears the burden of another. Ultimately, you return to your Lord, then He informs you regarding all your disputes."

      [6:165] He is the One who made you inheritors of the earth, and He raised some of you above others in rank, in order to test you in accordance with what He has given you. Surely, your Lord is efficient in enforcing retribution, and He is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

      June 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      Muneef: sadly the moderator has witheld my two responses to you, but my comment about Rome merely meant that the attiudes in bible and other religious texts, reflect the viewpoints of the people at the time. I am not condoning the practices that you mention, which are indeed terrible. merely saying that the viewpoints of those writing the religious texts would reflect the values at the time.

      June 24, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Muneef

      Fuyuko.
      I know you did not say that but some how it inspired me to write what I have written...

      June 24, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  14. Gene

    "Four of the fallacies are Red-herrings, references to topics that do not contribute to the fundamental arguments of the topic at hand. The writer discusses divorce, celibacy, hair length and abortion. These are 100% red-herrings."

    I respectfully disagree.

    They are analogies. They discuss not the topic itself, certainly, but rather modes of reasoning about the topic that are reflected in other subjects.

    June 24, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  15. JeremiahA

    Taking scripture out of context does not an argument make.

    There are ambiguous scriptures in the Bible. However, the ones referred to here by the writer are not.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:04 am |
  16. brianporzio

    I found six logical fallacies in this article:

    Four of the fallacies are Red-herrings, references to topics that do not contribute to the fundamental arguments of the topic at hand. The writer discusses divorce, celibacy, hair length and abortion. These are 100% red-herrings.

    The fifth is your classic Straw-Man fallacy, setting up the evangelical view as being guided by the defense of one's own interests. In doing this, the author is not criticizing the true philosophical or theological stance of the evangelical community. He trivialized it by attempting to undermine the position, then attacking that version of it.

    The sixth and final fallacy is his use of Ad Hominem rhetoric. Most of the article has nothing to do with a philosophical or theological approach to the issue. Instead, he attempts to expose the hypocrisy and duplicity of the evangelical world that he deems as defending their own stances. But it is a logical fallacy to attack the people/persons representing the stance and not critiquing the true arguments of that same stance.

    As a very rational and logical individual, I am not able to give very much scholastic credit to this article for these reasons.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • Tom Jacobs

      I don't see the argument as ad hominem at all. In fact, he says evangelicals themselves are well intentioned, but that the belief system they subscribe to around this matter has contradictions and inconsistencies. It's not ad hominem to attack a belief system while acknowledging the good intentions of those who hold it.

      June 24, 2011 at 8:25 am |
    • Tiffany

      hahaha!!! Did you just read "Being Logical" for some community college class or something?

      June 24, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      The bible itself sort of defends its own interests. writers always manage to justify 'killing them heathens' as being their just deserts for not being like them.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • AndyB

      Basically none of what you said is true. Those are not red herrings, there is no ad hominem and you don't correctly define what a strawman is.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  17. T.C.

    "Opponents of gay marriage aren’t defending the Bible’s values. They’re using the Bible to defend their own." It's so sad that someone of your intelligence would say this. Your explanation on Paul's arguments of moral law from nature are not fair in the least. He is clearly addressing two different topics. One is concerning church conduct and the other moral sins.

    June 24, 2011 at 12:51 am |
  18. Kimberly

    "Unbeknownst to most lay Christians, the vast majority of Christian theologians and saints throughout history have not believed life begins at conception." that's a rather null & void argument at best – How long did it take humans to figure out the world wasn't flat??? What Christians and everyone is forgetting is that LOVE covers all... If we LOVE then we are not able to condemn anyone for anything... Judge not lest we be judged, etc. As for me and my house... We choose LOVE 🙂

    June 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • xenophilius

      And it is not loving to lead someone on the right path, to show them that what they are doing is wrong and here is the right?

      June 24, 2011 at 4:11 am |
    • Believer

      Xenophilius! You have it all backward! It is not loving to let someone go on the wrong path. Your parents loved you and condemn you when you were doing wrong, and punished you when you disobeyed. Why? Because they loved you. They knew doing wrong could hurt you or destroy you, They loved you too much to allow that to happen. That's true love!

      June 24, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • Fuyuko

      I guess who decides what is the 'wrong path' what may be wrong for you may be right for someone else. At some point a loving parent, needs to let their children find their own path, instead of controlling every detail.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Believer

      Fuyuko! I don't know if you have any children, but let's take a child as an example. If you had a son that you think could be stealing, you would not say anything to him? You would just stand by and watch, without warning him the danger of doing that? Of course you know stealing is wrong. And you know he is going down the wrong path. He could end up in prison or dead. Who would be hurt if that happen? Both you and him (if he end up alive). To say nothing makes you just as guilty as him because you knew better, That would be the price you, as a Father, pay for not trying to encourage him for doing the right thing which could save him from destruction of his life and others.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  19. Muneef

    Consumption of swine-flesh reduces the feeling of shame and as such the standard of modesty.

    Consumption of swine-flesh creates lo-wli-ness in character and destroys moral and spiritual faculties in a man.

    Those nations, which consume pork habitually, have a low standard of morality with the result that vi-rg-in-ity, ch-ast-ity and bas-h-fulness are becoming a thing of the past.

    http://www.zamha.com/announce/halaal%20articles/That%20Filthy%20Swine.pdf
    ------

    When You Feel No Shame, Then Do As You Wish; What Does This Mean?

    http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=7&ID=4540&CATE=120

    http://www.pureislam.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=280&Itemid=32

    June 23, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • zrock

      Pork is the staple meat and protein for the people of Tibet who happen to have the highest gross national happiness in the world... Yea... (and I'm vegan so I don't support the consumption of any animal products whatsoever) the problem with the world is not the consumption of pork.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Muneef

      It could be or could be not but have to find out yourself;

      http://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/57074/1/Brophy_umn_0130E_10733.pdf

      http://www.textlibrary.com/download/ruins.txt

      June 24, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • Muneef

      "You are what you eat" – Native American proverb

      In folklore terms, eating the meat of the pig is said to contribute to lack of morality and shame, plus greed for wealth, laziness, indulgence, dirtiness and gluttony. We insult a person by calling him or her a "Pig" when they demonstrate these characteristics. Muslims are forbidden by God to eat the meat of the pig (pork).

      http://www.themodernreligion.com/misc/hh/pork.html

      http://www.mesmarty.com/2009/01/19/harms-of-eating-pork-according-to-modern-research/

      Guess if you would disbelieve every thing that you read then there will be nothing that will make you believe what you do not want to believe...!

      June 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      If you are what you eat, pigs are far smarter than any other human animals eat. 'just saying.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Muneef

      Fuyuko.

      Am sorry for that but it was mentioned being a native American saying ...beside God knows if the mean smartness or all over?

      June 24, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      Muneef: I am impressed by your enthusaism. No need to apologize.

      June 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Muneef

      Fuyuko.
      Just do not want you to misunderstand me...

      June 24, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  20. Muneef

    Turkey as an Islamic model
    Giving Islamists more political space within a democratic framework has produced interesting results. http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=190784

    June 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      What does this have to do with the topic at hand?

      June 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Muneef

      Fuyuko.
       Don't really know but maybe a thought about giving more space for the sharia laws to come and clean the mess they got them selves into with too much secular and atheism that is corrupting life on the planet earth;

      [2:204] Among the people, one may impress you with his utterances concerning this life, and may even call upon GOD to witness his innermost thoughts, while he is a most ardent opponent.

      [2:205] As soon as he leaves, he roams the earth corruptingly, destroying properties and lives. GOD does not love corruption.
      ------

      [26:151] "Do not obey the transgressors.

      [26:152] "Who commit evil, not good works."
      -----

      [28:83] We reserve the abode of the Hereafter for those who do not seek exaltation on earth, nor corruption. The ultimate victory belongs to the righteous.

      [28:84] Whoever works righteousness receives a far better reward. As for those who commit sins, the retribution for their sins is precisely equivalent to their works.

      [28:85] Surely, the One who decreed the Quran for you will summon you to a predetermined appointment. Say, "My Lord is fully aware of those who uphold the guidance, and those who have gone astray."

      [28:86] You never expected this scripture to come your way; but this is a mercy from your Lord. Therefore, you shall not side with the disbelievers.

      [28:87] Nor shall you be diverted from GOD's revelations, after they have come to you, and invite the others to your Lord. And do not ever fall into idol worship.

      [28:88] You shall not worship beside GOD any other god. There is no other god beside Him. Everything perishes except His presence. To Him belongs all sovereignty, and to Him you will be returned.
      -----

      June 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      Sorry, no sharia law for me. I prefer freedom, thanks.

      June 24, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Muneef

      Fuyuko.

      Haha got you worried...just hope you are not telling me it is right what is happening and aware about the consequences of that spreading worldwide in the long run...

      June 24, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      Muneef:Gays are a reality. I have no problem with gay activity between consenting adults. I am not sure what you are concerned about spreading- gays exist in all countries of the globe.

      June 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Muneef

      Di-s-creet relations are not a problem but to be so open about it and become to demand to be come legal-iz-ed is the problem, it will become as a base for ca-n-cer to grow in the nation attracting and wasting more...
      Meanning why should two men or two women living together need to obtain wedding cer-t-if-i-cate to do so? If it is about some financial arrangments then there are other do-cu-ments to replace a marriage cert-if-i-cate...

      Why would some men need to wear women dress or try to look like a woman?? When he knows he is't one! Why do you need people to know any such relation or declare it publicly? There is no need but rather intended to drag more people to lowliness...just as Satan once dragged Adam and Eve into eating from the forbidden fruit tree....!

      June 25, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      God loves gays Muneef as he created them. I do not believe in Adam and Eve, but I do believe God would not create a person gay and then punish them for being so. I think it is better for gays to be with gays than to be in fake marriages with straight people which was happening for centuries. Gays are a small percentage of the population, so I do not see this alarming spreading of gayness throughout the world. I operate under the 10% rule which means that I dont' really worry or fret about things that are less than 10%. Gays are even fewer in number than 10%. Probably closer to 5%. Gay marriage is coming whether people like it or not. Best to move on and enjoy the other things life has to offer.

      June 25, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Muneef

      Fuyuko.

      What ever you say dear...never mind...but please ask them not to spread their diseases around to the innocents since many had to pay their healths,life and lost children for the Aids and the other related venerael diseases....their diseases has already been taken and used as weapon of war by evilish powers that contaminated bloods and instruments in hospitals...just we heard many cases of in many countries of the third world...

      June 26, 2011 at 7:43 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79
Advertisement
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.