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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. Observer

    Bottom line: no one believes every word of the Bible. They just pick and choose whatever agrees with their own feelings. That's why you NEVER hear Christians reference the Golden Rule while trashing on gays and you NEVER hear them equally trashing Christians who are part of a MUCH MUCH BIGGER amount of sinners who commit adultery (see Ten Commandments) by divorcing and remarring.

    July 11, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • shimsham

      That's why few churches have real Christians within their walls. Just because you believe in God or believe there is a God or that Jesus did die for the sin of the world, that doesn't make you Christian if you're still sinning in the same way. A real change has to come over the heart and life of the person who gets good old fashioned conviction and determines to live the way God wants.

      July 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  2. Jason

    I bet Jonathan Dudley is gay. And if so, that completely invalidates his argument.

    July 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • OK

      If you are a Christian it completely invalidates your argument.

      July 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Rach26

      I don't think so. If he is gay, which I don't think is right to assume, then he may just be more passionate about the issue then another. If I was poor and I spoke out for the poor, would that make my passion invalid? No, it often takes one being a certain way or facing certain challenges to know the truth. I'm straight and a Christian, and I also agree with what he's saying, He uses the Bible to back up his sources...he's not merely speaking his mind. So, I disagree with your comment.

      July 11, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Mike from Maine

      Really? So I guess yours is invalid as well since I am assuming your straight. Wake up!

      July 12, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • myweightinwords

      How does the man's se-xual orientation (whether or not he's gay) invalidate his very rational, researched and well expressed argument?

      July 12, 2011 at 10:51 am |
  3. Jessica

    How can you compare two consenting adults with pedophilia?

    July 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Tammy

      because they don't know the difference since they need to justify their prejudice belief system.

      July 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  4. Jessica

    If you think gay marriage is wrong, don't do it. It's pretty simple, but what right does anyone have to determine what rights can be exercised by anyone else. It's none of our business.

    July 11, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • m

      do you think it is ok for a adult to sleep with a child. because i don't, and I would stop that from happenning. what would you do nothing because it dose not involve you?

      July 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • WOBH

      m

      The discussion is about what consenting adults do. Children can't consent neither can animals. Anti-gay marriage folks always seem to bring in these red herrings knowing full well the answer is that children (and animals) can't enter into a consentual relationship.

      So we go back to Jessica's point, if you believe gay marriage is wrong (between consenting adults) then don't do it... otherwise it's not your concern.

      July 11, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  5. Observer

    Yes, Paul put down gays. Paul also said (I Corinthians 7:1-2) "It is good for a man not to have s-xual relations with a woman. But because of the temptation to s-xual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”

    Let's pretend he didn't trash marriage like that. Let's pretend he didn't write in support of the inequality of women. Let's pretend he didn't write in support of slavery.

    Good. Now we can use him as a reliable source to trash gays.

    July 11, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  6. Jarrod

    As soon as he said he had graduated from Yale Divinity School, I knew every sentance thereafter would be false and full of biblical misinterpretations with a modern, worldly, crooked, and perverted generation liberlistic "if it feels good do it" flavor.

    The LAST person I would consult for biblical interpretation is a theologian. I'd rather read the bible myself, and when I receive fellowship and teaching concerning the biblical truths, their interpretation and their application I prefer to consider the person it comes from and whether or not they themselves are pursuing the Lord according to the divine revelation as revealed in the holy scriptures.

    July 11, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Jason

      Ignorance is bliss, isn't it?

      July 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Peter

      "I prefer to consider the person it comes from and whether or not they themselves are pursuing the Lord according to the divine revelation as revealed in the holy scriptures."

      Yeah you would rather listen to bias preachers who support intolerance or priest who molest children.

      July 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Paul Bennett

      Jarod, I agree with what you are saying. Most of these so called HOT SHOT PROFESSORS have never even read the Bible or if they have it's from a TEXTBOOK standpoint. They are not Born Again and don't have the Holy Spirit living inside of them like all these people that are responding here. All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. We're all sinners & we need to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior. Jesus took yours and my sins away & God offers Jesus as a pardon to all men and women. All they have to do is confess with their mouth Lord Jesus & believe in the heart that God raised Him on the 3rd Day and they will have Eternal Life. If they don't then they will be Judged by God for their Works here on earth at the Great White Throne Judgement.

      July 11, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • John

      the word is "sentence" not sentance.

      July 11, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • BL

      I agree with you, Jude 1:7 &18. Interpretting the Bible the wrong way is only going to lead to trouble and not reading the whole Bible, God hates sin, plain and simple, nothing more black and white than, that!

      July 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • LOL

      I hope you realize since gays are born this way they do not sin nor do the qualify to using s-ex to worship a pagan god, male prost-itution or ra-pe.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  7. AJ

    Seriously??? If you find a way to make Paul's words in Romans mean something other than h o mo se xu ality, than you can also transform the Communist Manifesto into a grocery list. Have words and sentences ceased to convey any objective, fixed meaning? Or is their meaning COMPLETELY contingent on the hearer's opinions & interpretations? If that is the case, then I can legitimately say that Casey Anthony's words to the police actually DID tell the police that she knew where her daughter was.

    July 11, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Arizona observer

      I couldn't have said it better, AJ.

      July 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • LOL

      Pick up a history book AJ then you would stop taking the text so literally and put it into context. It's about pagan rituals using s-ex to worship a pagan god it has nothing to do with what we now know about gays today.

      July 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • BL

      LOL, really makes me laugh, look at 2 Peter 3:3-8, nothing has changed since sin entered into the world, sin is still sin, from
      the 1st day of sin to the last. There is nothing new about being gay, it is all man made, ignorance.

      July 11, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • LOL

      'There is nothing new about being gay, it is all man made, ignorance."

      The only ignorance is yours about the facts regarding gays obviously you didn't do your research if you had you would know: that it's not choice, it can't be voluntarily changed and it's not a mental illness. The fact gays are born this way means God created them, or did you not know that before making your comment.....

      July 11, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  8. gerald

    gerald

    Mr. Dudley fails to consider the nature of h o m o s e x u a l i t y. First of all nature is an abundance of life. Natural unions give life. HS is non life giving, therefore unnatural. Men and women complement eachother. Men and men do not. Therefore HS is against nature. Man's biology complements the womans and vice versa. They are amazing when put together. Men and men together is just master bation. Paul had it right.

    July 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Stevie7

      So, even if that's true (we'll ignore the fact that other animals have this behavior)... what do you care? Why not let other people live their own life? Why do you want get involved in other people's bedrooms? Why do you want to deny people the civil rights that you enjoy?

      July 11, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Arizona observer

      In response to Stevie7, you're playing with semantics when you call "gay marriage" a civil right. A lot of people like to play with semantics to justify their cause–it's a great way to change the way society views the subject. For instance, those who are pro-choice will often call those who disagree with them "anti-choice." At the same time, those who declare themselves "pro-life" can often be heard calling their opposition "anti-life." Words are a powerful way to tamper with the way people view something. But forgive those of us who feel you have commandeered an idea incongruous with what you are trying to justify.

      July 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Arizona observer

      One more thing for Stevie7 to think about–since when do we turn to animals to justify our actions? I see no sense in turning to animals to justify what is acceptable behavior. I've seen dogs eat vomit, but that doesn't mean I'll follow suit.

      July 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • LOL

      "In response to Stevie7, you're playing with semantics when you call "gay marriage" a civil right."

      It's been shown that gays are born this way, that it's not mental illness, it's not a choice and can't be voluntarily changed and they are fit parents. Did you even bother to look at the definition of civil rights or are you just to lazy. It's of, relating to, or promoting equality in social, economic, and political rights. Gay partnerships deserve the same social and economic rights as straights so this is a civil rights issue. Duh....

      July 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • LOL

      "One more thing for Stevie7 to think about–since when do we turn to animals to justify our actions? I see no sense in turning to animals to justify what is acceptable behavior. I've seen dogs eat vomit, but that doesn't mean I'll follow suit."

      The point is that many Christians try to claim being gay is unnatural but it's not since it's been shown they are born this way and it is found throughout other species. Keep trying to justify your prejudice.

      July 11, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  9. gerald

    Here we have another bible "scholar" claiming to know what the bible says with the true basis as what he wants it to say and so he makes it say it. With exegesis like his we just as well throw the Bible away.

    July 11, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • GodPot

      "Here we have another bible "scholar" claiming to know what the bible says with the true basis as what he wants it to say and so he makes it say it. With exegesis like his we just as well throw the Bible away." – gerald

      "Especially speaking in the context of slavery that you are thinking of. There was a type of slavery called "indentured servitude" that was allowable in the Bible. It was the economic system of the time. But the Bible never promotes enslavement of men for the sake of slavery and the economic gain of another." – gerald

      Anyone else find this funny?

      July 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Jaime

      YES! Not only do I find it funny, but I feel bad for Gerald, because he is obviously very confused and misguided. How can he claim that his interpretation of the bible is better or even remotely correct when he clearly does not "love thy neighbor. As thyself"?

      July 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      so gerald, what is the bible promoting here:
      Exodus 21:20-21 says: Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.
      care to explain? remember these words are supposedly inspired by god.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  10. Botha

    The Bible also says it's okay to keep slaves – however I don't see (m)any Christians standing up for slavery rights. No doubt if I said I hwanted to keep slaves, I'd be condemned by the church... so why the double standard?

    July 11, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • gerald

      Where does the bible say "it is okay to keep slaves". Especially speaking in the context of slavery that you are thinking of. There was a type of slavery called "indentured servitude" that was allowable in the Bible. It was the economic system of the time. But the Bible never promotes enslavement of men for the sake of slavery and the economic gain of another. Especially race based slavery as is known to us. Show me the chapter and verse and prove me wrong.

      July 11, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • gerald

      Mr. Dudley fails to consider the nature of h o m o s e x u a l i t y. First of all nature is an abundance of life. Natural unions give life. HS is non life giving, therefore unnatural. Men and women complement eachother. Men and men do not. Therefore HS is against nature. Man's biology complements the womans and vice versa. They are amazing when put together. Men and men together is just master bation.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Peter

      "HS is non life giving, therefore unnatural. "

      There are many unions other than HS that can't give life too so their unnatural as well by your limited definition and prejudice.

      July 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Where does the bible say "it is okay to keep slaves". Especially speaking in the context of slavery that you are thinking of. There was a type of slavery called "indentured servitude" that was allowable in the Bible."

      The bible goes out of the way to condemn mixed textiles. If god thought that slavery (or indentured servitude, or whatever word you want to use for this obvious immoral system) was bad, why not mention that along with the several other hundred things he says are bad?

      And if indentured servitude is ok because of the economic system of the time, then god practices moral relativism. If that's the case, then just because god thought that hom ose xuality was bad 2000 years ago, maybe that was just because of the culture of the time.

      You can't have your cake and eat it too.

      July 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Observer

      gerald,
      "Natural unions give life. HS is non life giving, therefore unnatural."

      Basic Biology 101: gays and lesbians can have children. Don't bother looking for biology and science in the Bible.

      July 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @gerald
      Indentured servitude was only for fellow Jews.
      "If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom."
      Exodus 21:2

      Anyone else was considered property to do with as you please.
      "However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way." Leviticus 25:44-46
      And just to further clarify exactly how one should treat those foreign slaves:
      "Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property." Exodus 21:20

      So, the Bible doesn't just give slavery tacit approval, it actually provides guidelines on how to be a "moral" slave owner.

      July 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  11. Dana

    Bravo! I love this guy. To be able to be brought up in a very religious setting of strict beliefs and readings/interpretations of the bible and grow into an adult who can still hold so tightly to his faith but not use that belief system to condemn others is so refreshing.

    July 11, 2011 at 10:51 am |
  12. Observer

    Cris,

    If h0m0ph0bic Christians REALLY cared about reducing sin, they would trash the FAR FAR GREATER number of Christians that commit adultery by divorcing and remarrying than there are people who are gay. It's "pick and choose" hypocrisy for most.

    July 11, 2011 at 1:14 am |
    • LinCA

      @AvdBerg

      You said "@Observer
      If you get yourself involved in a discussion, the first prerequisite is that you familiarize yourself with the topic, e.g.: what does it mean to be a sinner. For this we invite you to read the article What is Sin? listed on our website
      "
      Observer seems to have a pretty good grasp on what this article and discussion are about. You, on the other hand, seem to be lacking.

      The article and discussion are mainly about interpretation of the bible, and what is emphasized. They don't center on what constitutes a "sinner", or what it means to be one. Observer's point is a very valid one. You should answer it, if you can.

      You said "Now we know that you do not like us to promote our website but if you know of a better way to reach out with a message of truth please do contact us. We have provided a Contact Page on the website for that purpose."
      You are damn right that I don't care for your blatant self promotion. You site doesn't contain any truth. It is merely filled with you interpretations and opinions of you book of fables.

      But to answer your question, the best way for anyone to learn the truth is to stop indoctrinating them with religious bullshit and give them an education in science.

      You said "Perhaps you can get CNN to post the article on their Belief Blog, since there is so much futile discussion about sin."
      The futility of discussing sin stems entirely from it being a violation of religious law. To be a sinner, you first have to subscribe to the religion that wrote the law that you didn't follow.

      It is hypocritical to call anything done by anybody who isn't a member of your particular cult, a sin. Your cult's rules don't apply to anyone else.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • LinCA

      @AvdBerg

      You said "– The Bible is not to be interpreted (2 Peter 1:20)."
      Then how do you explain over 34,000 different christian denominations that all claim to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, based on the same book of fairy tales?

      If there was no interpretation done, there would be only one.

      You said "– Unless you Repent (change spirit – Acts 26:18) you are not able to understand the Bible as the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are follishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spirtually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14)."
      Repenting is for sinners. Since I don't belong to your sect/cult, I am not subject to its laws. Therefore I'm not a sinner and don't need to repent.

      I understand the bible just fine. I just don't believe it holds anything worthwhile.

      You said "– He that is spiritual judgeth (discerneth) all things, yet he himself is judged of no man (1 Cor. 2:15).
      – We are members of the Body of Christ (His True Church) and you are correct the people of this world call it a "Cult" as they cannot accept the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17) as they rather follow after darkness and a deception (John 3:19; Rev. 12:9).
      "
      Your church is a prison of your own choosing. The doors of that prison and the shackles that bind you, aren't locked but by your own mind. Open your mind to reason and you will be set free.

      July 11, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  13. a vet

    2 Peter 3:16: He (Paul) writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

    July 11, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Observer

      Yes, like when he says people shouldn't marry and that they should only marry if they can't control their lust. Some people would even take that as uncomplementary to marriage.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:39 am |
  14. Paul Bennett

    OK Johnathan; Leviticus 18:22-23 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. 23 Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.

    Like I said, either you believe the Bible is God's breath or you will believe all those HOT SHOT COLLEGE PROFFESSORS AT YALE!!!!!! It's up to you Jonathan! I'm only one Born Again Christian! See ya & Good Luck!

    July 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Observer

      Anyone certainly doesn't need to be one of those "HOT SHOT COLLEGE PROFFESSORS AT YALE!!!!!" to read the rest of Leviticus and see all the NONSENSE it contains.

      You might want to actually read ALL of your source before blindly using it as expert advice.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • Cynic

      Leviticus 11 indicates that eating the wrong thing is also an abomination, so I suppose that you never eat pork or shellfish.

      Too many Christians say that they believe every word of the Bible is God's word, but it seems to me that they only pick and choose the passages that support their own prejudices. (They also seem ignorant of the facts that Man's fingerprints are all over the Bible.)

      Christianity would be a beautiful religion, if Christians actually followed the teachings of the One they claim to be their Savior. I find, however, that many Christians avoid quoting the Gospel because they prefer the caprices of the Jewish God in the Old Testament and the prejudices and phobias of Paul in the New Testament.

      So, who's your Savior? Jesus or Paul? Most Christians appear to prefer Paul.

      July 11, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • Mary

      "Like I said, either you believe the Bible is God's breath or you will believe all those HOT SHOT COLLEGE PROFFESSORS AT YALE!!!!!!"

      No, Paul. What I am going to believe is what my GOD-GIVEN REASON tells me. And it tells me that too many men through the centuries have touched the Bible (copying it, translating it, deciding what books it should include and what books should be excluded, etc.) for it to be "God's breath."

      Yes, I know. You and many other Christians would "explain" to me that each person touching the Bible through the centuries was guided by the Holy Spirit. (I can be a Christian and still not fall for that nonsense.)

      July 11, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • Madtown

      Paul Bennett
      OK Johnathan; Leviticus 18:22-23 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. 23 Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.
      ---
      Which of the hundreds of versions of the bible are you quoting from? Which of the hundreds of translations and interpretations have these exact quotes? I suppose you'll answer, "the right one".

      July 11, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  15. Simon

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

    Exactly. As they did to oppose women's rights and to support slavery and apartheid. The Bible is a pre-scientific collection of stories from many ancient cultures. Taking it as literal history or a deity's opinion is beyond foolish.

    July 10, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Cris

      You should get to know what Christians believe before speaking for them. There are none that believe like you say they do. Talk about who is foolish now.

      July 11, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • Mary

      Cris, it seems to me that you are the one who is foolish. You didn't even bother to address the points that Simon made.

      Christians say that they follow Jesus. Why is it, then, that they avoid quoting from the Gospel? Maybe it's because they really don't think that Jesus' teachings are important enough to follow. Jesus tried to teach us how to live a godly life, but all that is important to most Christians is His death. This is why we Christians have failed to win over the world with our message: the world hears that Christ is our Savior, but it sees that what we really pedal is our intolerance and hatred for others (certainly not the teachings of the Prince of Peace).

      July 11, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  16. Michael

    Because its a sin that can be transferred from one to another, like a belief you see you may want it –as most sins you become numb to after a time then it no-longer is a sin its a way of life! Freedom is good for good Freedom is bad for bad! If you expose a child to this sin day in day out the chances of that child to become infected are 90% greater then the child had never seen it! Bad spirit!

    July 10, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • nimitta

      Not one thing you said was true.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Observer

      Michael,

      Exposing a child to a particular point of view can definitely influence them. That's why they shouldn't be exposed to bigotry and ignorance.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Mike from Maine

      Michael, Just so you know, gay isn't contagious. Exposure to gays doesn't make you gay. Does exposure to women make you a woman?

      July 11, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • LOL

      Michael you obviously didn't do any research on this subject and your ignorance proves that. 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.

      Notice the last sentence....

      July 11, 2011 at 8:39 am |
  17. Howard

    The Bible Thumpers have become masters at the art of copy & pasting! They simply copy and paste what suits them and edit out the rest that doesn't!

    July 10, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Madtown

      Kind of like the Bible itself!

      July 11, 2011 at 9:41 am |
  18. Ben

    Mr. Dudley I would like to encourage you to reread the Bible. Ask God to grant you understanding, the Bible does not contradict itself.

    July 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Observer

      Ben,

      You might want to read more of the Bible yourself. Of course the Bible contradicts itself frequently. For instance, God says "thou shalt not kill" and then gives a long list of sins we must kill people for. To top it off, God also says that anyone killing anyone should be killed.

      July 10, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • jonathan

      I agree with you observer, which is why I long ago took the bibles' advice and studied to show myself approved unto God a workman that rightly divides the word of truth.. 🙂

      July 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Madtown

      Ben
      Mr. Dudley I would like to encourage you to reread the Bible. Ask God to grant you understanding, the Bible does not contradict itself.
      ----
      Hilarious! Either a blatant troll, or a blatant imbecile. Either way, funny!

      July 11, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  19. Thinking Southerner

    Xian hate seems to have evolved over the years. First, it was the Jews, then [after slavery was abolished] blacks became the new Satan. Now, many, but by no means all, xians accept blacks but they must have someone to hate. Enter; gay hate! Of course its already slowly moving away from gays to Muslims. Xians will always find someone to hate. Of course, atheists will always be high on their hate list. Of course if the xian is an evangelical the answer is; All of the above.

    July 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • jonathan

      🙂 Why, I'm Christian evangelical pentecostal thingy type, I've not hated anything but the devil and sin..and by sin I mean my own sinful nature.. 🙂 The Love of God is shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost, I hate it that people have to go to hell because of their sins, which is why Jesus came to save sinners..We, Jesus and I and all Christians of the good ground class as in the (parable of the sower) love everybody..We don't hate athiests...I in fact believe that the new world, ie the United states of America in particular was reserved for Christianity to recover that which was lost from those original Christians which was served as fodder for the lions in Rome...They are the people whom Jesus speaks to in Revelation 6:9-11 , actually before they were become Christians.. 🙂

      July 10, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • jonathan

      I should also have added that I have not always led a Christian life though I was brought up a Christian in our Christian dominated society,,.actually technicly I did not become a Christian until I was twenty four years old..There are many people like that in our Christian dominated society...in fact there are so many that they do not even know that they are not Christian....These are the people whom most persons would likely have a problem with...they are frustrated with not haviing the fruit of hte Spirit which is a comforter to those who truly know Him.. 🙂 but the real enemy is Satan himself who Paul identifies as the god of this world whose work is to blind the minds of them who believe not.. whose only solution is the light of the gospel...the light of the gospel is Jesus Christ risen from the dead and given to them who believe .... nothing else can save you from the devil...if any man be in Christ he is a new creature old things are passed away behold all things are become new...that happened to me in May,1978 .. 🙂

      July 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  20. Jason

    What if Jonathan Dudley is gay??????????????

    July 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Ralph

      So what.

      July 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Jason

      Wouldn't that invalidate his argument???

      July 10, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • nimitta

      Jason, you're right...but only if you're being straight invalidates your argument. So, no, not at all.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • Aidan

      Well, Jason, if being gay makes this author's education in theology and his multiple readings of the Bible invalid, then I guess we can discount every Christian's opinions on the Bible as well, considering they would be biased towards their church's beliefs the same as a gay man might be biased towards beliefs regarding gays. So let's let all the non-Christian, straight people read the Bible and they can interpret the number of contradictions it contains or the fact that gay-hating Christians make the choice to ignore lots of other sins in order to focus on one that they particularly dislike. Something tells me, though, that those non-Christian straights would come out with a view much closer to the one taken by gays than the one taken by Christians.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Mike from Maine

      Jason, I know some gay people that believe that 2+2=4..... do you believe that too? Does that make 4 a "gay biased" number?

      July 11, 2011 at 8:34 am |
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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.