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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. BC the Christian

    Old Testament
    Speaking to Men...

    Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination:....

    -...I didn't post the rest of that verse...but check it out....you have been forewarned ...-

    July 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Pam

      BC, Leviticus is the same section of the Christian Book of Nasty that tells in detail how we should kill animals and burn them as sacrifices to please god. So do you follow those parts too, or just the part that you picked?

      Examples:
      "Kill the bullock before the LORD ... bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar." 1:5

      "Flay the burnt offering; cut it into pieces." 1:6

      Lay ... the head, and the fat ... on the fire which is upon the altar: But his inwards and his legs ... burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice ... a sweet savour unto the LORD." 1:8-9

      "Kill ... before the Lord and ... sprinkle blood round about." 1:11

      "Cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat ... and burn it ... for a sweet savour unto the Lord." 1:12-13

      "If the burnt sacr-ifice ... be of fowls ... wring off his head, and burn it ... and the blood thereof shall be wrung out." 1:14-15

      "For a sweet savour unto the Lord." 1:17

      July 1, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • frank

      Your book is horseshit.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  2. BC the Christian

    Old Testament

    Deuteronomy 22:5
    5 A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  3. BC the Christian

    GAY IS NOT OK! And that's the bottom line. It's stated in the New and Old Testament multiple times so what is this author talking about. DO NOT ADD OR TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORD AS GOD STATED!

    July 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • crckhed

      if i was concerned with what's in the bible you might have a point...but I don't regard bible as a legitimate source of morality. Now what?

      July 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  4. blf83

    To PRISM1234: Drop the religiousese mantras and you have no argument. Open your mind to thinking rather than to simply repeat pat answers dictated in church. The mantras are man-made, and are the result of late 19th century millenialist "thinking" – expanded by the Millerites, who were following a snake-oil salesman, womanizing, embezzler. Nice track record for solid belief!

    July 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  5. blf83

    To TiredODaCrap: And your point is? Your argument is circular thinking, lacking all logic and reason.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  6. blf83

    To Doxiehund: You cite all sorts of "religiousese" language that is repeated a la mantra in many fundamentalist congregations, but you are obviously afraid that rational thought will invade your mind. I urge you to consider the possibility that others might be correct and that you might not be. You might still doubt others' conclusions, but it would be a step toward a more genuine understanding of the mantras you recite.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  7. blf83

    Well said. Those who "cherry-pick" Bible verses absolutely always discard those verses that do not seem practicable. The author is correct, "Why focus on one verse?" and ignore all the others. I believe that is called hypocrisy.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • TiredODaCrap

      Cute. So since they focus on the one verse – while speaking about the issue the verse is condeming, they are somehow 'throwing out' the rest of the bible? Seems to me that using one part of one piece of reference material when speaking about that topic, and staying away from the millions of other issues that refrence item addresses, is the right call. When you move on to another topic, they can move on to another verse. No reason to lump the entire bible into every argument.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • tferr

      IHypocrisy = pretending to be what one is not; extreme insincerety What you called hypocrisy, is not hypocrisy. You could call them stupid, narrowminded, whatever. Go ahead, be blunt. Fact of the matter is, this isn't going to be solved by arguing about what verses are correct and what verses are not. What would change it is Jesus changing someone's heart and knowing they love them no matter what they think or what they do. I know He loves me as much as I screwed up. Continue fighting, I guess.....

      July 1, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  8. Mike

    Let me attempt to illustrate the Authors point. Christians have a set of Ten Easy to follow rules called the "Ten Commandments". If we take them from top to bottom as the order of importance, "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy" is number four on the list ( Depending on your denomination ). That precedes, Not murdering, Not lying, & Not stealing. Unfortunately, in America today if you are interested in having or keeping your job you work on the Sabbath. The authors argument is that there is no action being taken against habitual offenders of one of the most basic rules of Christianity. Heres a great question, why isn't banning same s-ex inter-c0urse in this top ten list, while thought crime is, Coveting your neighbors wife, for instance? The argument I have gotten from PRISM 1234 in the past and many others is that a true Christian is only forgiven if he makes an honest attempts to not repeat the sin. This was referred to as sanctification. I was told there is no "get out of jail free card" by simply confessing their sin then continuing to repeat the sin. That that would suggest that the individual is not a "True Christian".

    To drive home the point here, I challenge anyone to shoe me the legions of Christians rising up to demand those that work on the Sabbath to renounce their faith and to leave the church. Can anyone show me Christians who protest at the funeral of "Sabbath Workers" and blame them for the decay of morality and ruining our society? You can't, there are none. This is true of every other sin in the bible. Being gay isn't even close to being the worst offense a Christian can commit yet it draws the most scorn. Why? Because, "people INESCAPABLY bring their prior beliefs to the Bible."

    We ignore those things in the Bible that don't resonate with modernity. Stoning your kids, working on the Sabbath, having long hair if your a man, eating certain foods and many, many others. These are the remnants of a bygone civilization as is your myopic view of same se-x relationships.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Doxiehund

      The Lord when finding, Adam and Eve had sinned and began to die,( all was based upon the fact of God saying dont eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil or you will surely die) came and confronted. The Creator the Lord of heaven asked for details of which he received, He then curses Satan and promised Adam there would be a crushing of Satans heel which simply meant, Jesus the Son of God, perfect and holy, would come and die for sins of mankind. This when accepted for ones sin, acknowledging Christ as Savior and accepting his death as payment for ones sin, provides life in his spirit once again. man as a believer now can live forever with God in heaven. Originally it was intended that man live forever in the garden, yet Satan hates God and wants all the glory so he tempts and ruins life on earth, a life that was intended to be perfect and holy.
      you see this is not about one particular act, its about God providing salvation through Christ Jesus, and providing this gift of Hiis Son, He states unequivocably, I love you man for I created you, yet to be what I intended, a perfect and just man characterized by peace, you come by my standards not your own for you see God is holy and cannot tolerate sin. We would be consumed if we were ushered into his presence as we are. Thank God for Jesus and His precious Spirit.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  9. The Voice of Reason

    I wonder if people realize that the the Bible is a book...written by MAN. Is it not possible that 'Stories' passed on from generation to generation could have been misinterpreted or lost in translation? Those writing the Bible censored what they didn't agree with? What about Dinosaurs or Aliens? Open your mind up to possibilities and dare to think or believe outside of the accepted norm. The shallow are thr ignorant. The ignorant are the uninformed. The uninformed are doomed to fail. Failure is on you!

    July 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Doxiehund

      Evidently you are the uninformed one. How do you know its just a book. Have you ever read it? I challenge you to read the whole book of John and then Revelation. Think long and hard Voice of Reason. If you have the inside scoop, then it should be a piece of cake.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • blf83

      To Voice of Reason: Thank you for a well-stated argument.
      To Doxiehund: YOU are the uninformed one. Yes, I have read the whole book – more than once. And Revelation, as interpreted by fundamentalist, right-wing Xians, is not about the future; it was a coded description of life under the Romans around 33 CE. Revelation was nearly left out of the Canon for it was clearly written over multiple time periods by different authors and is partly written in a rather uneducated style.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  10. Buddy R

    The person who wrote the article can lie all he wants to but the Bible plainly says marriage is between a man and a woman and that gay relations is sin.

    Jesus Christ said in the beginning God made male and female and that the husband is to leave the parents and cleave to his wife. One man. One woman. Two genders.

    The Apostle Peter confirmed that the writings of the Apostle Paul are Scripture and the wisdom of God (2Peter 3:15,16) so the article writer is incorrect that Paul's writings about same gender s_ex being sin is only his opinion. The Bible declares same gender relations to be sin before, during, and after the Mosaic Law.

    July 1, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • Buddy R

      Oh, I forgot to give the reference for the words of Jesus about marriage.

      Mat 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
      Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
      Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

      July 1, 2011 at 8:37 am |
  11. Zeflik

    You are correct. So?

    June 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  12. oonoquisin

    In preschool we learn that two wrongs don't make a right. What this author is suggesting is that since so many have strayed from the bible in other ways, why not stray from the bible on this issue? Why use the bible at all then? Every person who reads the bible will try to interpret it to be favorable to their own needs and desires. Advocating such a a position as acceptable deviation allows for everyone to pick and choose what to accept and what to disregard. In this way it negates the purpose of the bible altogether, which is, like many have point out, to guide one's life. What he should be advocating is a return to biblical principles rather than a further deviation. His points are at best misguided.

    June 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Tom Roberts

      I don't think you understand his argument. He said on CNN that people INESCAPABLY bring their prior beliefs to the Bible. It's impossible to just take it for what it says because it requires interpretation. He's pointing out that conservatives bring their own values to the Bible, that they're not just taking it for what it says. And it's fine for progressives to bring alternative values to the Bible.

      June 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • DMW

      Excellent suggestion, Oonoquisin... Will you lay out for us a set of instructions on how we can start selling our daughters into slavery, beating our wives for failing to submit, executing people for eating shrimp, cleansing people who accidentally touch a menstruating woman, taking multiple wives as King Solomon did, reconciling the current "focus on the family" with the Bible's teachings against marriage and in favor of celibate living, doing away with capitalism and adopting a true lifestyle where we all live together by "throwing in our lot" and "sharing a common purse" (i.e. adopting communism as our economic standard), execute anyone who seeks divorce for any reason other than the woman being unfaithful to the husband, cast out as heretics anyone who denies Baptism to anyone for any reason when water is available and the Holy Spirit is working even if that means it's an infant or a serial killer, begin grouping ALL churches together under the supervision of Bishops as prescribed in the Pastoral Epistles rather than having a bunch of separate autonomous churches like Baptists running around like the Lone Ranger, lay out a plan for us to return to being one single universal church (see John 17), and other Biblical mandates, please? When you have that ready, just let us k now and we'll jump on your "Biblical principles" bandwagon. Thanks ever so much! (We know in the NT people greeting each other with a kiss...unless that is too "gay" for you, in which case, just ignore it)

      June 30, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Epicurian

      Why use the bible at all? Says it all............

      June 30, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      What does man's opinion matter anyway? It is God who sets the Standard, He is the Lord !
      We live in times when every man does what's right in his own eyes, as in the times of Judges in Israel in Old Testament.....
      Man has become his own god. But goes even further then that.... man is making God to be a liar, ascribing to Him unrighteousness, saying that God created something HE calls abomination!
      But no one robs God of anything! His truth stands, is self sustaining, His Word proclaiming it, and His Spirit testifying of it! And does not depend on any man's opinion!

      I'm glad that this evil world full of corruption and abominable perversions will not go on and on! Even the earth itself is weeping for the evil that 's walking upon it...
      What a blessed day when the Lord will judge the evil that's in it, and those who love it, and HE will purify it. Even the rocks will cry out in praise!
      An the voices of proud , ungodly and of those who love unrighteousness will not be heard no more!
      My heart rejoices at this blessed hope!
      ! ! ! Maranatha ! ! ! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

      June 30, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      P.S. Just to make sure, to clarify...
      When I wrote " and He will purify it" , I meant the Earth, not the "evil"... Evil can not be purified!

      July 1, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  13. bud

    There were 2 Southern Baptist deacons in my office yesterday laughing about the last time they went to a casino. I asked them why they had "NO GAMBLING" signs in their yards back when it was on the ballot.

    June 30, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Epicurian

      Pretty two-faced wouldn't you say? Just like the rest of organized religion.

      June 30, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • blf83

      Love it! When I was growing up, the Baptist pastor in town went to neighboring towns to buy his liquor so that his parishoners would not see his car in front of the liquor store.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  14. Janice

    Wonderful article......

    June 30, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  15. CW

    Mr. Dudley,

    You are entirely wrong. The Bible IS THE guide on how to live your life. Not the other way around....as you propose. You are right about one thing...the bible is pretty clear on this subject...I want to add that what the bible states is that "acting upon" and living this way is wrong. Most say they are "born this way"...if so...that doesn't mean you have to "act on your fleshy desires. By the way....need to go back and take some more classes and read that bible a bit closer.

    June 30, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • JT

      The author's point is that people pick and choose what they want to uphold based on their own agendas. Unfortunately, many who seek to interpret the bible are lazy and do not study it within the cultural context in which it was written (or said as many started as oral histories and were written after the fact).

      If you truly believed that the bible IS THE guide for life then I assume you think it's right to stone the garbage men to death for picking up gargbage on a Saturday? Silly huh?

      June 30, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • DMW

      Perhaps, CW, it is YOU that needs to go to school and take some classes. Laity who feel they have the right and authority to question the education of clergy infuriate me to no end. If you are employed as an accountant, am I going to come into your office and start lecturing you on how my daddy or my granddaddy used to balance his checkbook and since how they did it doesn't match how you are doing it, you obviously need to go back to school because you didn't learn anything? The ARROGANCE of this kind of talk is un-Christian to your clergy, unfaithful to God who has chosen and called the clergy who serve you as ministers, and insulting from an academic standpoint. Grow up.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  16. Mike

    Seriously, my posts have been removed? For what? Someone at cnn, please explain this to me.

    June 30, 2011 at 6:25 am |
    • BC the Christian

      what did you write Mike?

      July 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  17. joe

    regarding your quotes of aquinas and augustine, they were referring to ensoulment, not the beginning of life, yet you seem to assert that they were referring to the "beginning of life".

    June 29, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • Tom Jacobs

      Ensoulment = the beginning of moral life, which is the only "beginning of life" that's relevant to the abortion question.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • DMW

      Joe, it may interest you to know (or since it goes against your purposes, perhaps not) that throughout history the Jewish faith (and others) has not considered the moment of conception to be the beginning of life but rather life begins when the image of God appears in the new child, which theologians estimate would be around the beginning of the second trimester of a pregnancy at the earliest. Aquinas and Augustine are simply using that view, which WAS the worldview at the time and continued to be until sometime in the mid-1900's. Your position is not backed up by historical understanding but rather by you bringing your own perspective and opinions and imposing those on the situation in question. Ask a minister to explain to you what "hermeneutics" means, particularly when it comes to understanding Biblical texts.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Girth

      So if ensoulment = beginning of moral life... how are you immoral in the woom? And don't give me that original sin crap! If god made us this way then he ought to accept some responsibility.

      Where do people have the right to judge others as sinners. You can't explain away that marriage is sanctioned by god and then get three divorces only to cast doubt on gays. If you truly care about the instution of marriage then harrass the adulturers and divorcees! I think that's where you'll be the most effective.

      However we all know nobody cares about marriage unless some gay guy gets it. It's the equivalent of placing the godly cart before the biblical horse to justify your moral and cultural comforts. Get over yourself... life is short and like the rest of us... you're not special.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  18. GodPot

    Here is the REAL reason so many "hetro's" have an issue with gay marriage. In a word, it's "Empathy".

    "Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings (such as sadness or happiness) that are being experienced by another sentient or semi-sentient being." Wiki

    When someone see's a gay couple holding hands or kissing or being intimate or getting married they experience (often unknowingly) empathy. Thats what creates the "Ick" factor, the turn of the stomach or possibly guilt for enjoying the empathized intamacy (The Confused Christian doth protest too much, methinks). This is what Christian's are fighting. This is why they think the gay community is trying to recruit them, it's that they can't help their own empathy and end up experiencing things in their minds that they have been told all their lives is an abomination and they feel guilty for it. And the only weapon they have is a 2000 year old compilation of many authors where two short passages out of 66 books condemn the act (not the attraction).

    June 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Charlie Richards

      Nice comment. I completely agree.

      June 29, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • MJ

      excellent conclusion

      July 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • blf83

      Amen!

      July 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  19. Kay

    Frankly, I don't think that people like @bachmanforprez would recognize the devil if he came up and shook their hand.

    June 29, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • KJM

      And surely she has

      June 30, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  20. Todd M

    You all miss the point, this is about a moral line in the sand! Not gay marriage.. I find it interesting that you can arbitrary move a moral line in the sand and say this! You old moral line is wrong, my new moral line is right and it includes these people and excludes these people bigamist, polygamist, people who want a husband and a wife, people who want to marry animals etc. My question would be this, who told you that your exclusive group was the correct one and anyone not agreeing with you was wrong?

    Step back and look at what you are doing, it is exactly the same thing you are fighting against! You have included and excluded based on your personal moral and belief system and you thing you are right, sad when you look at it objectively. Very sad & hypocritical....:(

    June 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Look, this really isn't that hard. The 14th amendment guarantees equal protection under the law. That all the gay community wants – the same protection under the law that straight couples have. No one can marry more than one person, so it doesn't apply. To marry, you need to be of age and knowingly enter into a legally binding agreement, so that gets rid of the incredibly ridiculous animal comment. The slippery slope argument is a ridiculous one.

      And if we should be drawing a line in the sand, then maybe we should go back and ban interracial marriages. People wanted to draw a line in the sand there, too.

      June 29, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Todd M

      The constitution protection of freedom of religion grants everyone but you, the freedom from your religion. You, of course, enjoy freedom from everyone else's religion. That freedom from religion includes the moral codes that come with them.

      If you don't like same sex marriage, you have the right not enter into one.

      June 29, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Sheesh!

      If you're gonna pull the 14th amendment card, then bigamists, polygamists, etc should have the same rights as any gay or straight person! I'm for or against any of this, but if anyone's gonna pull the "equality" card, you gotta consider other categories too. Yes, interracial marriage was once frowned upon, gay marriage is being fought for, and polygamist, bigamist, etc are all taboo. But if those are taboo and people are fighting so heavily for gay rights, then no one has the right to persecute polygamists, bigamists etc. But I DO agree that it is hypocritical for a people to redraw, if you will, their own morals to include those crying for "equality" while still excluding others. Just keep an open mind to everything!

      June 30, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Sheesh!

      correction: *I'm not saying I'm for or against any of this*

      June 30, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • LinCA

      @Sheesh!

      You said: "If you're gonna pull the 14th amendment card, then bigamists, polygamists, etc should have the same rights as any gay or straight person! I'm for or against any of this, but if anyone's gonna pull the "equality" card, you gotta consider other categories too. Yes, interracial marriage was once frowned upon, gay marriage is being fought for, and polygamist, bigamist, etc are all taboo. But if those are taboo and people are fighting so heavily for gay rights, then no one has the right to persecute polygamists, bigamists etc. But I DO agree that it is hypocritical for a people to redraw, if you will, their own morals to include those crying for "equality" while still excluding others. Just keep an open mind to everything!"

      Polygamy is most often a very unequal arrangement. It is almost always made up of multiple wives for a single husband. The women in polygamist marriages are very often forced into it. Wives in polygamist marriages almost always have a "pecking order". Outlawing polygamy protects these women from this abuse.

      If sufficient measures are taken to protect against abuses, polygamy should be legal. If three or more consenting adults wish to enter into a legal construct, they should be free to do so.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • SamfromWA

      Todd, you are too right.
      Firstly, I am a minister and I can attest to the fact that there are a LOT of things that go into Hermeneutics (the study of The bible). While he did have some good points that we should not just arbitrarily draw a line in the sand on one issue and exclude the rest. What the writer needs to do, as well as some of the more radical believers in Christianity today, is love the people regardless of what they do, and point them in the right direction. They do not and should not call what their interpretation of the bible pure truth. ALL HUMANS (except Jesus Christ himself.) are fallible, including leaders in the churches. Those who say otherwise are lying.

      June 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      @Sam
      You said :"They do not and should not call what their interpretation of the bible pure truth".
      There are some things in the Bible that are spelled out perfectly clear. So is the issue on h0m0-se-xuality! It's perfectly clear! But even if it were not, the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth, testifies of this truth, that h0m0-se-xuality is a perversion of God's order, His design, and nature itself which God created. It is a mockery of God's design, and it's the attempt of satan to degrade human beings which God has created in His own image.
      Those who practice it, endorse it, defend it and those who despise people who tell them the truth, can by no means know God, ecause those who know God, know His nature and His character.

      So it is not true that we, who know the Lord, don't really know the right "interpretation of the Bible" . Because there is only ONE true interpretation of the Bible: and it is the One that the Holy Spirit gives! There is a reason that we have so many voices out there, so many groups, so many doctrines... There is no mystery answer to the question "Why?"
      But here are the words of Christ Himself, given to those who know Him and follow Him, that confirm what I'm saying :

      “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for HE WILL TAKE OF WHAT IS MINE AND DECLARE IT TO YOU . All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you."(John 16:12-15)
      It is because many of professing Christians do not KNOW God, nor do they recognize the Spirit of Truth. But those who belong to the real Shepherd, recognize the voice of f their Shepherd! And thy will not follow the impostor! Our Lord said so!
      I hope you see what I'm saying and I hope you'll teach it to your congreagation!

      June 30, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • Doxiehund

      Come on Todd be clear. Stop compromising. Say who you are talking to. Is this against Christians or what?

      July 1, 2011 at 2:26 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.