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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. Steve

    Brilliant article, Jonathan! I've been saying the same thing for a long time!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  2. Joe Blow from Idaho

    A lot of sodomites think that if they can show that Christians are hypocrites then that justifies their existence. No, it shows no such thing. It just shows that Christians are hypocrites. It does not make their filthy lifestyle acceptable or moral.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Sodomy is defined as an-al or oral copulation.

      So, anyone who has ever enjoyed either, whether with someone of the same gender or the opposite gender, technically would be considered a sodomite to you, yes?

      And this law criminalizing this behavior would include ALL sodomy, without regard to genders involved?

      Good luck with that.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      In this circ.umstance I'm referring to bug.gery, or a particular f word that I'm sure that you are familiar with.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      @JoeBlow,

      I'm quoting the dictionary definition. I know many straight couples who enjoy what is text book sodomy. Yes, that include anal copulation. And the couple I'm thinking about is married.

      So. Is that a sin? Yes or no? And if it isn't, why does it suddenly become a sin if the two partners engaging in it are of the same gender? Just because you find it disgusting?

      July 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • LOL

      "And this law criminalizing this behavior would include ALL sodomy, without regard to genders involved?"

      Seriously how many men are going to want to give up BJs LOL!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      You know full well what the connotation of the word "sodomy" is. Don't feign ignorance. Do you really want to base your argument on semantics?

      July 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      This accidentally ended up in the wrong place,

      @Joe, my argument is based on simple equality. I'm just pointing out your ridiculous word usage.

      Sodomy is equal to anal or oral s.e.x. Without regard to the genders involved. You chose the word.

      I will also point out that if you are going to define it only as anal s-e-x with a partner of the same gender, then your argument against two women falls apart, as that is the least likely form of s-e-x to happen between two women.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • LOL

      "You know full well what the connotation of the word "sodomy" is. "

      LOL! Obviously you didn't know the true definition and believe you're prejudice preachers. The story was about ra-pe and if it truly was about gays then why did Lot offer his daughters up to a bunch of gays then.....oh that's right they weren't gay. Then when you factor in the fact that the daughters were suppose to get married...still not about gays. Oh...and then when you also factor in the word ho-mos-exual hadn't been invented yet...your argument becomes hilarious! LMAO! Time to pick up a history book and a dictionary so you can get the true meaning of the scriptures.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Ok. If you don't like sodomites we can switch to f@g**ts and remove all doubt.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      @Joe, of course, the word fa-gg-ot defines a piece of wood, so your word usage hasn't improved a great deal.

      Why can't you simply use the correct terms? There are several of them; hom-os-exual, gay, lesbian.

      Or would that imply too much respect for your fellow human being?

      July 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      I will never dignify someone whose behavior is filthy and sinful with any terms that try to put them in a positive light any more than I would call a thief a misappropriator.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      @Joe,

      You said, "I will never dignify someone whose behavior is filthy and sinful with any terms that try to put them in a positive light any more than I would call a thief a misappropriator."

      May the God of your understanding open your heart one day, Joe. May he not judge you with the same standards that you judge your fellow human beings.

      Love is never filthy or sinful. That is human perception based on faulty reasoning and reliance upon outdated cultural morality that does not apply to the world in which we live, but people such as yourself continue to try to force us to live by.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • LOL

      "I will never dignify someone whose behavior is filthy and sinful "

      Your spreading lies about these people, calling them names, your behavior would qualify as filthy and sinful.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  3. Joe Blow from Idaho

    Sodomites and their filthy lifestyle is a cancer on society.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • LOL

      That's why the experts in science and psychology have proven otherwise. LOL! 35 years of objective, well-designed scientific research has shown that ho-mo-se-xuality, in and itself, is not a-ssociated with mental disorders or emotional or social problems. Studies comparing groups of children raised by ho*mos*exual and by heteros*exual parents find no developmental differences between the two groups of children in four critical areas: their intelligence, psychological adjustment, social adjustment, and popularity with friends. It is also important to realize that a parent's s*exual orientation does not indicate their children's.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Since when do we pass laws solely on the basis of what "experts" say? Can they make the immoral moral? I think not.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • LOL

      "Since when do we pass laws solely on the basis of what "experts" say? Can they make the immoral moral? I think not."

      That's why we have laws and it's headed to the Supreme Court and your prejudice will be proven wrong and immoral. LOL! I'ts already lost twice in appeals. LOL!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      This is why we need a federal marriage amendment, and re-criminalizing sodomy as a part of it. That would end this debate once and for all.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • LOL

      "This is why we need a federal marriage amendment, and re-criminalizing sodomy as a part of it. That would end this debate once and for all."

      It' will be proven unconsti*tutional – you are clueless on this subject which explains your unfounded prejudice beliefs.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      How stupid are you? An amendment can never be unconst.itutional. It's part of the freakn' const.itution.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • LOL

      "An amendment can never be unconst.itutional. It's part of the freakn' const.itution."

      LOL! Won't happen chicken little.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Well, I guess we will see.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      We will see especially now since more new right-thinking Americans are poised to be swept into office in the next election. Many of whom are endorsed by organizations that I support.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • LOL

      "We will see especially now since more new right-thinking Americans are poised to be swept into office in the next election. Many of whom are endorsed by organizations that I support."

      So you support prejudice as part of what America stands for that's disgraceful! It just shows you haven't read any of the real research on this subject and you don't believe in equal civil rights. You are not a true American.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Are you prejudiced against murderers? In the eyes of God, the sodomite is no different from the murderer. Sin is sin.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      LMAO. Having a sodomite say that I'm not a true American is almost a badge of honor.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • LOL

      "LMAO. Having a sodomite say that I'm not a true American is almost a badge of honor."

      Your as-sumptions are showing how shallow you are when it comes to this subject. You're clueless, especially since many churches have gone on record stating being gay is not a sin, even the Pope. LMAO!

      If you think being a bigot is a badge of honor then you are truly not American.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      Thanks for the personal attacks. Ha! When you can't win try insulting the opponents intelligence.

      For the record, the Pope has said that ho.mo.se.xual orientation is not sinful. He most certainly did not say that buggery is not sinful. It's the behavior that is CHOSEN, and it's the behavior that is sinful.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • LOL

      "It's the behavior that is CHOSEN"

      Again keep showing how ignorant you are on this subject. Human beings cannot choose to be either gay or straight. For most people, s*exual orientation emerges in early adolescence without any prior s*exual experience. Psychologists do not consider s*exual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed. The reality is that ho*mo*se*xuality is not an illness. It does not require treatment and is not changeable.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      @Joe, my argument is based on simple equality. I'm just pointing out your ridiculous word usage.

      Sodomy is equal to anal or oral s.e.x. Without regard to the genders involved. You chose the word.

      I will also point out that if you are going to define it only as anal s-e-x with a partner of the same gender, then your argument against two women falls apart, as that is the least likely form of s-e-x to happen between two women.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @LOL

      You can insult me all you want, but it doesn't help your argument. A person may be born with a particular orientation but he/she CHOOSES whether to act on it or not. We are not animals. We have higher executive function and are not at the mercy of our base desires. Would you say that a person who commits adultery CHOSE to do so even though it is wrong? Or do you want to argue that adultery is not wrong?

      July 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @myweightinwords

      Now tell me exactly how does arguing a technicality help your cause?

      July 5, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • LOL

      "Would you say that a person who commits adultery CHOSE to do so even though it is wrong?"

      The flaw in your logic is being gay is NOT wrong. Duh. Se*xual orientation is different from s*ex*ual behavior because it refers to feelings and self-concept. Individuals may or may not express their se*xual orientation in their behaviors.
      Keep showing your clueless on this subject.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @LOL

      A qu33r orientation is not wrong, but qu33r s3xual behavior is most definitely wrong. This is where you and I will never see eye-to-eye. The only question is who is going to win the culture wars. I will do all in my power to see that you lose.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      @Joe, I am not arguing a technicality when I point out the faulty use of the english language. I'm a writer. I prefer exact words and definitions of those words, particularly when talking about a contentious issue. It helps avoid confusion.

      Besides, it seems to be the only thing you're actually willing to be open and talkative about.

      I won't argue religion with you, because I believe you are free to believe as you do, just as I am, and it is simple fact that no religion is law in this country. I won't argue your personal orientation, because that is between you and your partner. I can only address the way you express yourself and your desire to have hatred of what is different define how those who are different are treated.

      I can not, in all good conscience, allow hatred to overcome equality and freedom.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • LOL

      "he only question is who is going to win the culture wars. I will do all in my power to see that you lose."

      I have been quoting from a panel of experts made up of 154,000 scientist and psychologists. Plus the fact that your side keeps loosing in appeals courts. You don't have the power you think you have. LOL! God created gays it's been proven by the science he gave us, which is why your version of interpretation of the bible is so WRONG!

      July 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  4. Liberals don't progess

    Next time the pluming in your house needs to be fixed, the the plumber you want it done gay. He can't you male & female connections, one male to male. Everything is the same so you will be fine.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Liberals don't progess

      plumbing. oops. before you complain about my spelling

      July 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • LOL

      Trying to mask prejudice in a joke still makes you prejudice. Duh.Stop being so lazy and educate yourself.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  5. Metronomic

    Jesus was a total queen. And a power bottom.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Guest

      You're a queen. And you think you came from apes. How intellectual.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Guest

      "You're a queen. And you think you came from apes. How intellectual."

      Based on this stupid comment you definitely aren't intellectual. LOL!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Liberals don't progess

      How sad for you..... Why continue living your sad life, if there is nothing else.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Liberals don't progess

      Jesus did die and rise again even for those of you that don't believe. You will see him one day, either with a happy heart because you are saved or with fear because of the judgement you are about to get. Jesus, don't leave earth without him.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • GC Lee

      LOL @ Metronics....you've never read what Jesus said about himself! Only two conclusions: He is telling the truth, or he is a deluded maniac...no self-repecting intellectual would consider another alternative for this reason: the people of HIS DAY totally understood what he was saying about himself...<<>>>...I don't believe in the "Church" especially in its current USA form...a tax break and social club is more likely than not a perfect description of many "churches". Here's what else Paul said since you've more than likely never read the book:
      1 Corinthians 13

      The Way of Love

      1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

      So, in short if it isn't love, it isn't Christ....the rest of the chapter describes "love". OH, that doesn't describe a lot of loud Christians.....WOW I'M NOT SHOCKED! I'M APPALLED. 🙂

      July 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      The Scriptures declare that God is love.

      Jesus said that He came to declare the Father ,and to explain the invisible God

      HE said I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND LIFE

      So, considering those things, in the balance of those Scriptures AND the rest of God's word:

      Love without truth is lame, just as truth without love is lame

      So, if we love someone and not give them the truth, we can love them straight to the portals of hell.

      But if we give them the truth without presenting it with love which is as breath of Christ that gives life to the truth, the seed we plant will wither and die. The Word is powerful, but it is the Spirit of God that makes Word alive. One can not go without the other.

      Jesus is the Word made flesh, and the Spirit of God is the Spirit of Truth. They are inseparable!
      The problem with some who speak only of love is that they are accepting only one side of God, and disregarding the completenes of who He is. But these are the teachings what the apostate church is embracing, promoting and spreading around. And the apostate church is NOT what many Christians have been taught from there pulpits, people! There is much more to it!

      July 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Truth

      Prism do us all a favor and come out of the closet, you know you want too, stop repressing what a great gift God has given you.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  6. Metronomic

    Thankfully christianity iis a dying religion and loses more of it's grip on our society daily. People see the hypocrisy of the religion and the suffering it causes in the world and turn away. Rightly so. If they want to believe in their imaginary friend in the sky, that is their choice. However, when they try to dabble in politics and force their moral system on people not of their faith, this is where the line must be drawn. I would suggest starting with the revocation of their tax exempt status.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Guest

      Whatever. Atheists cause the most misery. Hitler, Marx, Lenin, Communists...all atheists and attempted to destroy 'religion' in order to push the 'greater good' euthanasia agenda. Atheists are the worst because human life loses value without God.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      So what if Christians are hypocrites? Does that make sodomy any less wrong?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Guest

      "Does that make sodomy any less wrong?"

      What two people do in their bedroom is their business if they want to have an*al or or*al copulation with a member of the opposite se*x that's private.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @Guest

      "What two people do in their bedroom is their business"

      Ok, if my wife and I want to smoke crack in our bedroom it's nobody's business but ours. Got it. If we make a murder-suicide pact then that's our business. Yeah, right.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Guest

      "Ok, if my wife and I want to smoke crack in our bedroom it's nobody's business but ours. Got it. If we make a murder-suicide pact then that's our business. Yeah, right."

      You're ignorance on this subject is really funny.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Laughing

      @ Joe Blow

      Equating two people having consenting se.x with smoking crack or a murder-suicide pact is pretty abhorrent. There are laws against murder-suicide and crack because they harm individuals (if you're a libertarian than these are also terrible laws, but that's a different matter). At what point do two people in the privacy of their own home, making love have any detrimental effect on them, you or society as a whole other than what your mixed up beliefs tell you?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • teddy

      Catholics are not a dying breed–we are 1.2 Billion strong worldwide–and many Christians out there, too! . You just believe what your boob tube tells you!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  7. davidthegnome333

    sassypants – Nothing you say is coherent whatsoever. Are you doing this on purpose? Is this an elaborate "troll" act going on here? Do you actually believe any of this crap that you're saying, or are you just purposely aiming to make people angry by being unreasonable?

    July 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  8. Roger

    Dudley, you are an idiot. Find a good lawyer and sue Yale for your mispent years there. While we are instructed to love the sinner and hate(unlike) the sin, acceptance is not required. As for abortion, and the origin of a life, where, boy genius, would you say in the geometric reproduction of cells would you call it a life?
    Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5

    why does society continue to try and justify abortion? If Gods word tells us that before we were formed He knew us and set us apart isnt that evidence that we all have a special call on our lives and deserve to live? why not give that same opportunity to an unborn child?

    Deuteronomy 30:15-20 KJV

    See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Metronomic

      See what you fail to "get" is that you dont have the right to force your moral agenda on those not of your faith. And you never will. Believe whatever backwards crap you want. When you try to force it on me, we are gonna have problems.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • total

      Roger, your the idiot. Religion is stupid, the people who wrote the bible died thousands of years ago, yet you defend like they are still here. The only thing religion does is cause stress, strife and loss of true freedom to all people. You can believe in some deity without reading a book that is completely outdated. I say do what you want, when you want as long as nothing or no one gets hurt. To each his/her own.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Genesis

      Metronomic is absolutely right we cannot force ourselves on anyone we must meet people at their need for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12) Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding but in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths. Jesus meets us at our needs, and that’s why we have to do for people as followers of Christ use every opportunity to plant a seed instead of wrestling with the dirt and the weeds that we feel need to be uprooted out of people’s lives, that NOT our call, everything and everyone takes time.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Mike from Maine

      I have a way we can test this question of who is right and who is wrong about God. If your faith is as strong as it you say it is, when you get sick you should go to church and pray to be healed. When I get sick I'll go to a doctor. Then we will see who lives longer. Good luck!

      July 6, 2011 at 6:33 am |
  9. Uniquitous

    How disturbing that a person attending divinity school should come to these assumptions. Lets dissect these. In the matter regarding hair on men and women, Paul does not make the claim having long hair on a man or short on a women is a sin. Rather it simply references their approval by society standards. Regarding abortion, society has difficulty determining the idea of life because science has developed so much further in the last years. I would suggest the desciption offered by Paul best addresses the understanding of the day in which a child existed. They had no idea of the workings within the womb as we do now. We see ultrasounds of babies with hiccups and sucking their thumbs. They react to sounds. Would you say then that these creations are without "organs" or "senses" as Paul describes? And without even reading the text of the verse, I would suggest that perhaps Paul's words are intended to satisfy the need of an otherwise inconsoleable parent that witnessed a miscarriage or a stillborn child. So many questions for those parents if they are Christians. I would suggest this author do a little more living in real life outside a classroom to see how God's word actually applies to His people. I commend him for his efforts to bring understanding to those that struggle with matters of faith vs politics. We should stop being silent for purposes of political correctness.

    July 5, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • H

      Regarding your comments on fetuses inside the womb, perhaps that would be true in the 2nd or 3rd trimesters, when abortions are usually only for mothers whose own health is at risk, but the first trimester, they cannot truly be considered alive.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • kumar

      I am not a christian yet i am not convinced with original post . Nowadays people try to get attention from other by doing things / action that are not natural or even ugly one's . it is just they want media attention .
      Sad part is they see pride in that ignoring other imprtant things that they can do and contribute to soceity

      July 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  10. sillyme17

    So where does Leviticus 18:22 stand with you? Sodom & Gemorrah, destroyed for what? We all have a moral obligation to follow and abide by the laws of the state and country we live in, its also scriptural (Romans 13:1-3). Just something to think about.......

    July 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Metronomic

      But you see, those are all myths. Your entire religion is a myth.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Sharon

      sillyme, Sodom and Gomorrah is about being proud and arrogant. They had fullness of bread, in other words they were self-indulgent. Abundance of idleness – they were lazy. They as-sumed NO responsibility for poor people, they had no social conscience. They were haughty – "stuck-up" with an att-itude of superiority, arrogant. Sound familiar it's very much what is happening to those claiming they are "christians" they have greed in their heart and arrogance about their interpretations of the scriptures. It had nothing to do with being gay, if it was there would have been other scriptures you could reference in Genesis and Judges.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Mike from Maine

      Hmmm, self-indulgent, have no social conscience, haughty, no help for the poor......... Sounds like a Republican to me!

      July 6, 2011 at 6:39 am |
  11. Platypus

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o&w=640&h=360]

    July 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Metronomic

      Right on!

      July 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  12. Platypus

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o&w=640&h=360]

    July 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  13. Platypus

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o&w=640&h=360]

    July 5, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  14. Jack Stacey

    Jesus and God were gay lovers.

    July 5, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  15. Muneef

    Row after India minister calls ho-mo$exuality a disease

    Mr Azad's remarks were made at a conference on HIV and Aids attended by high-level officials India's health minister has sparked a furious row over comments in which he described ho-mo$exuality as a "disease".

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14024774

    July 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  16. skigirl

    I am continuously amazed that people claim to be Christians then justify their hate with such ignorant posts.

    July 5, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • H

      I agree.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Luke

      @ skigirl – I am continuously amazed that people claim to be better than Christians, then justify their hate with such ignorant posts.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • LOL

      "@ skigirl – I am continuously amazed that people claim to be better than Christians, then justify their hate with such ignorant posts."

      Congratulation you just proved her right. LOL!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  17. PGC1

    You may have graduated from Yale, but you still don't understand the Bible. Back up to 1st Corinthians 11:10 and he tells you why a woman should have her head covered. It means with the knowledge of Christ, not actual hair "because of the angels" he means the fallen angels. For a man to have his head covered means an act of perversion. Because when the fallen angels return again and they will when they are kicked out for a short time if a man has long hair the fallen angels will go after them too. They don't care they will take men or women for the death of their souls. You need to study harder! Sounds like you wasted a lot of money if that's what they are teaching you!

    July 5, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • sassypants

      I agree!

      July 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Jack Stacey

      You don't know what you're talking about.

      July 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • GJC

      Neither do you! Yes, Jesus said to learn of Him, but whose the woman's head? I'll give it to you in order: God first. the MOG second and her husband (if she has one). Regarding the fallen angels. They never left the earth's atmosphere. I suppose you believe in the rapture too.

      July 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Ryan

      I'm sorry, but before you post your opinions you should make sure they are clearly communicated. Revisit your grammar and punctuation textbooks from middle school and people might believe you're an educated individual.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  18. Tim Robbin

    Is God gay??

    July 5, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  19. kd5757

    From a completely secular view, there are many mainstream organizations in our country that support some form of equality for LGBT people whether it be the right to marry, the right to adopt children, and/or that being gay is within the realm of normal human behavior. These organizations include the American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Sociological Association, American Anthropological Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Bar Association, American Medical Association, Child Welfare League of America, National Association of Social Workers, and the North American Council on Adoptable Children. I have yet to find one secular, research-based association that carries the weight of the medical, psychological, and psychiatric associations mentioned that opposes gay parenting, gay marriage, etc. There really are no rational reasons to deny gay people equal rights when it comes to marriage.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Jack Stacey

      I completely agree.... And yet organizations like NARTH still promote the idea that gays can change. Shame on them.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • sassypants

      The one thing that all of these organizations have in common is that they are secular and they make money. God is free and the blood of Jesus Christ does what the Bible says it can do. If these organizations can lead the masses to believe that what I am saying is not true then they make alot more money. Seek God out for yourself and He promises to reward those who diligently seek Him.

      July 5, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Guest

      Seriously. The only real reason a state will legalize gay marriage is for the revenue. It's nothing but tax dollars coming in.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Glen

      Perhaps that is because they threaten call them bigots hateful and take away their licenses if anyone happens to speak the truth in any of these organizations just try it and see what happens they will silence you. The truth being that a child thrives best in a God ordained household with a responsible mother and father, to be able to gown up stable and independant, no other formula will do.

      The most loving thing a person can do is tell the truth we dont' hate gay people we are willing to take a stand to tell the truth that you lifestyle will lead to death and destruction an empty shell of the real deal one man one woman they way God created us any other form is a perversion and goes against nature.

      Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life no man comes to the father except thru me. He said light has come into the world but men love the darkness and hate the truth and continues to live in sin but he who hears my voice will repent and follow me.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      The ONLY reason to deny equal marriage rights is religiously based. Once we understand that no one religion holds the rights to make law based on what they believe, all arguments become moot.

      It takes only ONE religion to stand up and say that their faith supports same gender marriage for the consti-tutionality of any law preventing same gender marriage to be challenged.

      July 5, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • kd5757

      Like I said...there really are no rational reasons for denying equal rights to gay people when it comes to marriage. People have a right to their views but you better offer more than just opinion if we are going to deny someone equal rights in our society. As I mentioned earlier, I have yet to find one research-based medical, psychological, or psychiatric organization that warns against gay people being allowed to marry, adopt, etc. By the way Glen, what did Jesus say specifically about condemning ho-mo$exuality? Turns out, he didn't say anything that was ever recorded in the Bible. This seems to be quite an oversight if ho-mo$exuality was such a big deal. You would think Jesus would want to be crystal clear on the matter if he felt it needed to be addressed. In the absence of an agreed upon objective standard for evaluating how the Bible should be interpreted, everybody believes their interpretations reflect the true intent of God. You certainly are not the first to use the Bible as a hammer against others (as has been seen throughout history) but you should at least try to learn from other's past mistakes.

      July 5, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • fred

      kd5757
      Jesus had no need to mention gay marriage as this was not even a remote problem with those he was addressing in the New Testament. Jesus did make it clear in Revelation when he said he hat es the practices of the Nicolaitans (taught that se x ual im morality was ok since Christ loves them as they are).

      July 5, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • fred

      Christ actually went one step furhter when he said if you even think a lustfull thought in your heart you are guilty of adultry. Now, back then that was punishible by stoning. Remember also he made it clear man cannot get his act together and for that reason we rely on His strength not our own. When we say there is not sin that is where we fall off the path

      July 5, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • kd5757

      Fred…while your interpretation on Jesus’ silence on ho-mo$exuality may be plausible, it is only one of many potentially plausible explanations. For example, if one were to assume that Jesus was the son of God, then one might also assume that Jesus was able to see into the future. Given this, one might also then assume Jesus did not care to clarify his position on ho-mo$exuality to us because it was a non-issue as opposed to the other important issues that he spoke about extensively. Is this interpretation correct? Who knows…but given that we don’t have an objective standard with which to judge the accuracy, this point of view is as valid as yours. You may feel with every fiber of your body that you are correct but others feel the same way in their differing beliefs. Personally, I don’t see how anyone could go wrong in interpreting any religion in a manner where they show kindness, acceptance, understanding, etc. to their fellow human beings. However, history is replete with horrifying examples of what happens when people interpret the Bible as giving them the green light to judge others and to exact justice on other groups. We can’t keep repeating our past mistakes.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • fred

      Kd5757
      I agree with you we really do not know 100% what Jesus meant when he blasted the practices of the Nicolaitans. What we know is the problem was the fatal compromise with se xu al immorality by the church (i.e. they condoned the behavior based on the theory God is loving and died for all sinners). The issue Jesus had was this leaning on grace to do what you please leads people away from the true God. Agreed, I would be guessing as to why Jesus did not specifically identify a known future problem with regards to ho mo $exuality. Given all Jesus said we know he found sin to be sin and with the exception of rejecting God all sin was equally bad. He also made it clear as people we are incapable of fixing the sin problem and only God can do this. The reason he died and rose again on the 3rd day was to finish the work of redeeming all believers. He prayed for us that we would not fall away and be enticed by the Prince of this world. As we pray and draw near to our Lord he promises to guide us in all things. I do not doubt for a moment that if you are His child you will hear His voice and your path will be clear.
      Sin separates us from God which is why Jesus was in perfect unity with the Father and we find it impossible to achieve that oneness. Regarding your interpretation the word non-issue is not correct. Sin is always an issue. Now the ability to identify sin and overcome sin issues rests with God. If you are a Christian then that strength comes through the Holy Spirit. If you have already accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior then He will finish the work He started in you (you have an active role in this it is not a passive role). If you have not then that is where you would begin by simply asking Jesus into your life.

      July 6, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • fred

      Kd5757
      You are correct in that using the Bible to judge or exact justice never works and Jesus did warn against that kind of behavior. We do have an objective standard. In the old testament Gods word through scripture was the plum line or standard. Now if you don’t believe God is who he says he is then you reject the standard and establish your own. If God is who he says he is what then? Well believers were given a living breathing example of the perfect standard in Jesus. There is no doubt about an objective standard to gauge what is or is not sin. In the days of Jesus you had the Greeks, the pagans and all manner of religious sects. Not a lot different than today. The perfect standard in Jesus was rejected as each preferred his own. Yes there were some kind understanding people about but, take a close look to see what man really thought of Gods standard. Rulers, religious leaders and common folk , mocked , spit, beat and enjoyed the blood fest. Jesus at his last said Father forgive them for they know not what they do. 2,000 years latter We still need forgiveness for we know not what we do.
      It does not matter what the se x ual sin Jesus made it clear with the woman caught in adultery. Jesus said I do not condemn you, go and sin no more. Notice that forgiveness was given because sin was acknowledged. That is the point Jesus made we need forgiveness and he provides that.

      July 6, 2011 at 2:05 am |
  20. Tim Robbin

    God loves gay people and God loves gay marriage too.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • sassypants

      I see the godless are out in force today.

      July 5, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • wildbynature

      I could say the same thing about the biblethumpers. The world isn't going to end if you let us get married. Get over it.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      @Tim

      You may have made up another addition to your "ring around the Rosy" type rhymes for yourself.... But you do NOT know God!!

      July 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Augie

      God loves Gay people, otherwise he wouldn't have made so many people gay. The self-righteous of the American Evangelical movement need a whole lot more quiet time.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Guest

      Only 2% of any population is gay. that's hardly 'many' in the grand scheme. next up: redefining 'family', right?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Guest

      It's more than 2% were are you getting your number from. In 2002 the Gallup poll had average estimates were that 21% of men are gay and 22% of women are lesbians. It's probably more than that now that people are coming out of the closet.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Liberals don't progess

      And Casey Anthoney didn't kill her kid.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Glen

      Yeah Tim the "god" of this world loves gays and gay marriages because he knows where it leads. Fortuantely the God of the Bible has a better way for us if we beleive and follow Him after all He created us and should know better what's best for us instead of us telling him what we think is best for us. We all saw how well that worked out the last time we told Him off !

      July 5, 2011 at 4:18 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.