home
RSS
My Take: Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality?
June 21st, 2011
10:10 AM ET

My Take: Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality?

Editor's Note: Jonathan Dudley is the author of Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics.

By Jonathan Dudley, Special to CNN

Growing up in the evangelical community, I learned the Bible’s stance on homosexuality is clear-cut. God condemns it, I was taught, and those who disagree just haven’t read their Bibles closely enough.

Having recently graduated from Yale Divinity School, I can say that my childhood community’s approach to gay rights—though well intentioned—is riddled with self-serving double standards.

I don’t doubt that the one New Testament author who wrote on the subject of male-male intercourse thought it a sin. In Romans 1, the only passage in the Bible where a reason is explicitly given for opposing same-sex relations, the Apostle Paul calls them “unnatural.”

Problem is, Paul’s only other moral argument from nature is the following: “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?” (1 Corinthians 11:14-15).

Few Christians would answer that question with a “yes.”

In short, Paul objects to two things as unnatural: one is male-male sex and the other is long hair on men and short hair on women. The community opposed to gay marriage takes one condemnation as timeless and universal and the other as culturally relative.

I also don’t doubt that those who advocate gay marriage are advocating a revision of the Christian tradition.

But the community opposed to gay marriage has itself revised the Christian tradition in a host of ways. For the first 1500 years of Christianity, for example, marriage was deemed morally inferior to celibacy. When a theologian named Jovinian challenged that hierarchy in 390 A.D. — merely by suggesting that marriage and celibacy might be equally worthwhile endeavors — he was deemed a heretic and excommunicated from the church.

How does that sit with “family values” activism today?

Yale New Testament professor Dale B. Martin has noted that today’s "pro-family" activism, despite its pretense to be representing traditional Christian values, would have been considered “heresy” for most of the church’s history.

The community opposed to gay marriage has also departed from the Christian tradition on another issue at the heart of its social agenda: abortion.

Unbeknownst to most lay Christians, the vast majority of Christian theologians and saints throughout history have not believed life begins at conception.

Although he admitted some uncertainty on the matter, the hugely influential 4th and 5th century Christian thinker Saint Augustine wrote, “it could not be said that there was a living soul in [a] body” if it is “not yet endowed with senses.”

Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic saint and a giant of mediaeval theology, argued: “before the body has organs in any way whatever, it cannot be receptive of the soul.”

American evangelicals, meanwhile, widely opposed the idea that life begins at conception until the 1970s, with some even advocating looser abortion laws based on their reading of the Bible before then.

It won’t do to oppose gay marriage because it’s not traditional while advocating other positions that are not traditional.

And then there’s the topic of divorce. Although there is only one uncontested reference to same-sex relations in the New Testament, divorce is condemned throughout, both by Jesus and Paul. To quote Jesus from the Gospel of Mark: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.”

A possible exception is made only for unfaithfulness.

The community most opposed to gay marriage usually reads these condemnations very leniently. A 2007 issue of Christianity Today, for example, featured a story on its cover about divorce that concluded that Christians should permit divorce for “adultery,” “emotional and physical neglect” and “abandonment and abuse.”

The author emphasizes how impractical it would be to apply a strict interpretation of Jesus on this matter: “It is difficult to believe the Bible can be as impractical as this interpretation implies.”

Indeed it is.

On the other hand, it’s not at all difficult for a community of Christian leaders, who are almost exclusively white, heterosexual men, to advocate interpretations that can be very impractical for a historically oppressed minority to which they do not belong – homosexuals.

Whether the topic is hair length, celibacy, when life begins, or divorce, time and again, the leaders most opposed to gay marriage have demonstrated an incredible willingness to consider nuances and complicating considerations when their own interests are at stake.

Since graduating from seminary, I no longer identify with the evangelical community of my youth. The community gave me many fond memories and sound values but it also taught me to take the very human perspectives of its leaders and attribute them to God.

So let’s stop the charade and be honest.

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

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jonathan Dudley.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Homosexuality • Opinion

soundoff (6,474 Responses)
  1. zooompilot

    "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24. Yet the very preachers leading the evangelical mega churches are filthy rich. If would follow that if the preachers pick and choose what suits them, why can't everyone else. Religion itself is a hypocritical mess of self serving lemmings.

    July 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  2. ChildofGod6311

    Wha...

    AMEN!!! I could not have worded it better myself.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • tex1116

      I know I am late to the discussion and I'm sure someone has already commented on this, but Paul doesn't just say it's unnatural. He says it's shameful, lustful, sinful, not to mention degrading, and depraved. Oh and he lumps them in with all kinds of evil doers in the next few verses. I know gay marriage activists are salivating on the chance to find God give them the ok to continue in their lifestyle, but the truth is, and I say this unapologetically, it's sin and God will judge it as sin. The good news is, Jesus came to set the captive free. I too have struggled with sin in my life, but rather than try to find a verse in the bible to ease my conscience or make me feel ok, I confessed those sins to God, and He has forgiven me and broke the hold they had on me. I'm not perfect and I do slip up, and sin waits for me at every corner, but the more I humble myself and repent, the less of a draw that sin has on me. Don't look for ways around God's truth. Fall on the stone of repentence, before the stone falls on you.

      July 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Observer

      tex1116

      Paul also says men shouldn't touch women; marriage is just for those too weak to resist temptation and he writes in support of slavery and the inferiority of women.

      Why not read ALL of what he said before using him as an example?

      July 20, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • tex1116

      Really, quote them scriptures for us. Because he also says its not wrong for a man to take a virgin. What he was saying was the path he has been called to, one of celibacy, gives him full, undivided attention to minister to God's people. In essence saying, the relationships we have on this earth, though dear and to be treasured are nothing compared to leading people to the cross of calvary where they will enjoy eternal life through Christ Jesus. As far as slavery and inferiority to women. Slaves were those who could not pay their debts and became hired hands, in Deuteronomy the bible says to free everyone from their debts on the 7th and 49th year, whether they owed millions or pennies. The funny this is, it says some slaves chose to stay with their masters because they were treated so good and loved them so much. So don't compare the autraucity of the slave trade with african americans and others with the practices of the Hebrews. As far as women being treated as inferiors, this is something that I have prayed about often, and I can only quote Galatians 3:28 which says, There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus, and comment that there was a female apostle named Junia(Romans 16:7). Praise God for his unfailing word, and I pray you find that peace you are looking for.

      July 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Observer

      tex1116,
      According to the Pauline epistles:
      – I Corinthians 7:1-2 “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: ‘It is good for a man not to touch a woman.’ But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife and each woman is to have own husband.”

      – I Timothy 6:1 "All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor"

      – I Timothy 2:12 “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.”

      You really should check your sources before recommending them. Hopefully, you can find more intelligent sources.

      July 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  3. BetterDeadThanFed

    "...take the very human perspectives of its leaders and attribute them to God." is, at least to some degree, what is called the Humanist school of thought. This, too, is counter to scripture. While I agree with much of the author's arguments for the seeming (or blaring) inconsistencies in the behavior of man, man should NOT be the benchmark. And to say that because the Jones' did something, therefore, I can justify my behavior, is not wise.

    Redemption and forgiveness is our gift from God simply for the asking, but the behavior to be forgiven must be stopped. God and Jesus love everyone, but behaviors/actions of people can be target for condemnation. I, for one, am not willing to selectively live by some parts of scripture and disregard others.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Alyssa

      So you don't eat shellfish, or wear clothes made of multiple fabrics? Do you execute your children for disobedience?

      July 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • So

      Are you overweight? If so you are full of gluttony
      Pass by a homeless guy asking for help or money? If so, Jesus told you to give to them that ask.
      Have you adopted any of the children at your local orphanage? Jesus told you to take care of them.

      I think you get the picture... you are already selective it's why you see it in others.

      July 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  4. Dbev1987

    What a very ignorant article. I was fascinated by it.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  5. MJ

    I respect Christianity but the Bible's new & many versions make me wonder at times. I agree that somehow the Bible is amended according to current events.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • MNBrent

      The different version of the Bible are not meant, in almost all cases, to make the Bible fit with current events. The different translations try to present the mostly Greek and Hebrew in such a way that they will be understood to the reader of the respective language. The fact that there are multiple version of English is because of the different translations filters used. For example, some translations will replace the Greek words for English words, but this is rather hard to read because the sentence structure often differs from English conventions. Others will do more to take the meaning of the Greek sentence and put that into a form of English a current reader would understand. They don't change what the Bible says, however.

      July 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Observer

      Of course the different versions change what the Bible says. One version, for the same verse, can give a different age of a person in another version. One may give a different answer to which is greater: faith, hope, or charity. It's all pick and choose your favorite version.

      July 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  6. mbroadnax

    EXCELLENT!! I want to commend Jonathan Dudley on a well written, poignant, and profound article. Keep pressing forward to wards the mark of the Most High God!! Jesus reigns forever!

    July 20, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  7. ZeroEvidence

    All of you Christians are atheists in your own way.... Like me, I'm sure that none of you believe in Krishna, Allah, Zeus, or Thor.... which makes you an atheist in respect to THOSE gods. The only difference is, I have gone one god futher. Jesus is also on my list of make-believe gods. Criticizing atheists makes you disgustingly hypocritical.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • ameyers

      If there's such a small difference between Christians and atheists, doesn't criticizing Christians make you "disgustingly hypocrytical? And do Christians not criticize other religions?

      July 20, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Wha ...

      An Atheist is someone who doesn't believe that any God exists and has nothing at all to do with individual religions. I would ,however, say this, I am Christian and have never criticized an atheist. I don't actually believe atheists exist ... lol ... seriously ... to be an atheist would mean that you have transversed all life, planets, universes and dimensions and could scientifically and conclusively prove there is no God. Agnosticism is at least fairly honest is this regard. If someone truly believes there is a God and that He sent his son Jesus to cover our sins and makes us whole and ready for the afterlife with Him, they are obligated to share this with others or else they either (a.) don't really believe it themselves or (b.) they hate the rest of mankind. "I believe in heaven, but I am not willing to tell you how to get there" or I see that you are about to get hit by a bus, but i am not willing to push you out of the way to save you". Christianity is truly NOT about cleaning people up and making them nice little church people ... it is simply doing something with our believes instead of just claiming to believe and not doing anything with it. It is NOT about condemning anyone, but rather loving people enough to actually make our believes valid. I sincerely apologize for any Christian that has pushed his beliefs on you, or condemned you, or done anything but show the love that Christ exemplified while he was on this planet. What every parent knows and every leader knows and what every politician should know is this equation: Rules – Relationship = Rebellion. Our lives and interaction with the human community should always be the first testimony to the fact that Jesus is real. However, I am afraid, not many christians actually understand this. Do I condemn you for not believing in Jesus? Absolutely Not!! I would, however, encourage you to look at the facts surrounding His existence and claims in an honest approach with no bias and not from the example of many of His followers. Your conclusion is then your conclusion.

      July 20, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Observer

      ameyers,

      You completely missed the point.Having faith in zero gods is a huge way from having full faith in one god. Have you EVER heard a Christian say "I'm an atheist except for one god". That's the reality and where the one-sided hypocrisy comes in.

      July 20, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • LinCA

      @Wha ...

      I appreciate the moderate tone of your post but I do have some issues with it (and a few questions).

      You said "to be an atheist would mean that you have transversed all life, planets, universes and dimensions and could scientifically and conclusively prove there is no God."

      There you are wrong. The atheist position is the default scientific one. To assert without support of evidence that Pink Unicorns, or any other mythical beings, exist is not reasonable.

      The lack of evidence, both for or against the existence of gods, doesn't hamper both hypotheses equally. The one making the claim something exists has no merit until such evidence is provided. The other is undisputed (scientifically speaking) until evidence to the contrary is produced.

      You said "Agnosticism is at least fairly honest is this regard."

      All agnosticism says (in a nutshell) is "I don't know". There really isn't any arguing there.

      You said "If someone truly believes there is a God and that He sent his son Jesus to cover our sins and makes us whole and ready for the afterlife with Him, they are obligated to share this with others or else they either (a.) don't really believe it themselves or (b.) they hate the rest of mankind. "I believe in heaven, but I am not willing to tell you how to get there" or I see that you are about to get hit by a bus, but i am not willing to push you out of the way to save you". Christianity is truly NOT about cleaning people up and making them nice little church people ... it is simply doing something with our believes instead of just claiming to believe and not doing anything with it. It is NOT about condemning anyone, but rather loving people enough to actually make our believes valid."

      OK. So you've made your case. It is sorely lacking. Everything your religion claims hinges on the existence of your god. Your whole religion is a house of cards.

      There is no evidence that there is any god. Even more, the god as described by most christians is internally inconsistent. He has been claimed to have mutually exclusive traits and is therefor impossible to exist. Since your god doesn't exist, your religion is merely your fantasy

      You said "I sincerely apologize for any Christian that has pushed his beliefs on you, or condemned you, or done anything but show the love that Christ exemplified while he was on this planet."

      Apologies without corrective action are meaningless. So I trust that you are also advocating and lobbying to have the references to your god removed from our currency and the Pledge of Allegiance? You are actively trying to get the Congressional Charter for the Boyscouts of America withdrawn? Are you working to get our government out of the religion business?

      Are you working to get equal rights for everyone (repeal DOMA and DADT, allow same sex marriage)?

      You said "What every parent knows and every leader knows and what every politician should know is this equation: Rules – Relationship = Rebellion. Our lives and interaction with the human community should always be the first testimony to the fact that Jesus is real."

      If Jesus ever lived, he is now long dead. Even if he ever lived, he wasn't very special. Whatever you think you can learn from Jesus, you can learn through other means as well. No religion required.

      You said "However, I am afraid, not many christians actually understand this. Do I condemn you for not believing in Jesus? Absolutely Not!! I would, however, encourage you to look at the facts surrounding His existence and claims in an honest approach with no bias and not from the example of many of His followers. Your conclusion is then your conclusion."

      I looked at the facts. I also looked at what is often passed as "fact" by those that believe. The more I learn, the more it becomes obvious that all gods, yours included, and all religions, yours included, are entirely man-made.

      You can believe whatever you want. You can spread your message by whatever private means you have at your disposal. Just don't expect me to buy into it.

      July 20, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Observer

      LinCA,

      Neither believers nor atheists can prove that they are correct. It is possible that both are wrong. The problem comes with the fact that both sides consider that for God to exist, he must be like the one described in the Bible. You even used the Bible's descriptions of Jesus. Agnostics believe that it is possible for a god or gods to exist that we don't know about. There is NO PROOF either way. The Christians could be right that God exists and yet totally wrong about him. It's possible that God exists, but is far more like the far more peaceful Jesus of the Bible than the often vain, arrogant, mass-killing God of the Bible. No one KNOWS.

      July 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Observer

      You said "Neither believers nor atheists can prove that they are correct. It is possible that both are wrong. The problem comes with the fact that both sides consider that for God to exist, he must be like the one described in the Bible. You even used the Bible's descriptions of Jesus. Agnostics believe that it is possible for a god or gods to exist that we don't know about. There is NO PROOF either way. The Christians could be right that God exists and yet totally wrong about him. It's possible that God exists, but is far more like the far more peaceful Jesus of the Bible than the often vain, arrogant, mass-killing God of the Bible. No one KNOWS."

      You are correct that both sides can be wrong. We can establish without a shadow of a doubt that the christian god can't exist as he has mutually exclusive traits. Being both omnipotent and omniscient is impossible, ergo, as described, the christian god can't exist. Christians are most certainly incorrect.

      That does leave the possibility that some god exists, and with that two possible positions (other than the agnostic one). Position one: "There are no gods", and position two: "There is at least one god". The absence of evidence for either position doesn't mean that they have equal merit. Without scientific evidence, position one is the default position. For position two to have non-zero merit, evidence is required. Without verifiable evidence, it is no more rational to assume there are any gods as it is to assume there are Pink Unicorns.

      To be able to test for the existence of any god or Pink Unicorns, you would first have to establish what measurable attributes these creatures have. You can then devise a test to measure these attributes.

      Without any recorded phenomena that could be attributed to these creatures, it is reasonable to form a theory about them. Assign attributes based on this theory. Design and run your test(s). Your theory will have to show that these attributes can only belong to the creature of interest.

      One attribute most commonly assigned to gods is their ability and willingness to grant wishes. These wishes are typically sent in the form of prayer. If prayers can be shown to more often result in the desired change than can be expected from random chance, you will have found evidence for a force that you then can call god (or Pink Unicorn).

      Gods that do not interact with the universe as we experience it may technically exist, but are of no consequence and can be dismissed as irrelevant. My form of atheism doesn't concern potential gods that don't interact with our reality.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Observer

      LinCA,
      "My form of atheism doesn't concern potential gods that don't interact with our reality."
      So our "reality" is the true reality and so there can't be any gods affecting us? Your arguments completely ignor, for instance, that it's possible that we are all just robots run by some RoboGod. What you are saying appears to be that your version of atheism assumes that we correct about what reality is. Could you be wrong? Could there be a little bit of agnostic in you?

      There's no need for you to argue with me that atheists have more logic, science, math, geology, astronomy, physics, biology, etc. on their side. I agree. That still does not prove that God or gods don't exist and couldn't exist. Similarly, reading the Bible certainly doesn't prove that God exists. We just don't KNOW. That is the position of agnostics, but at least it unifies believers and atheists.

      Off on a tangent, I would be interested in your explanation of how being omniscient and omnipotent are mutually exclusive.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Observer

      You said "So our "reality" is the true reality and so there can't be any gods affecting us? Your arguments completely ignor, for instance, that it's possible that we are all just robots run by some RoboGod. What you are saying appears to be that your version of atheism assumes that we correct about what reality is."

      Whether our reality is "real" or merely how we experience it is largely irrelevant. From my perspective, we could all be simply actors in a dream of an organism that in that dream has me as it's embodiment (why it would have dreamed up me and not someone who is more successful, famous, pretty, etc. is beyond me, but whatever, I'm making this shit up as I go), while everything and everybody only "exists" when I interact with it/them. Who knows, you may cease to exist when I navigate to a different page and re-materialize when I come back to this one. I have no way of knowing. I also don't particularly care as it doesn't affect how I experience our shared reality.

      My flavor of atheism doesn't concern itself with gods that don't interact with our shared reality (whether real or imagined). I am also entirely atheistic to gods that exist solely in anyone else's personal reality (as in a reality that only they experience).

      You said "Could you be wrong? Could there be a little bit of agnostic in you?"

      Yes and yes. I don't dismiss the possibility that there are gods entirely, but I consider the likelihood so small that, for all intents and purposes, I'm an atheist.

      You said "We just don't KNOW. That is the position of agnostics, but at least it unifies believers and atheists."

      I accept that we just don't know (as in with 100% certainty), but I rather doubt that that unifies believers and atheists. Agnostics are a bit like the US independents. There are "unified" under a single banner, yet you'll be hard-pressed to find two that think alike. In my view (simplified here to keep this post somewhat on topic), agnostics range from being firm believers that just don't quite know what exactly they believe in, to atheists that don't quite dismiss all possibility of there being any gods, and anyone in between.

      You said "Off on a tangent, I would be interested in your explanation of how being omniscient and omnipotent are mutually exclusive."

      An omniscient being will know his own future actions and therefor not have the ability to change them, thus not be omnipotent. An omnipotent being can't know his own future actions, thus not be omniscient. It's one or the other, not both.

      Off a little more on that tangent, to be a god of any significance, you'd have to be omnipotent. What good is it to be a god and not have absolute power, right? If you're not the top dog, some other god may step in and take over. Before you know it, you're only doing the weather.

      Cheers.

      July 20, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  8. PRISM 1234

    To those of you who worked hard to remove my posts from page 33 .... you will face every word of them, and in that Day you won't be able to erase them! Somehow I feel in my spirit that it's NOT the atheists and unbelievers who have done that, but those who wear "sheep's clothing" but God says they are none of His!
    Your actions in themselves show WHO YOU ARE!

    July 20, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • Fred

      Your arrogance regarding your post shows who you are and it ain't pretty.

      July 20, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Well, Freddy-boy, we'll see what God has to say about that! And you won't miss your Appointment either!

      No further comment necessary!

      July 20, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Seriously?

      You just proved Fred correct. LOL!

      July 20, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  9. Observer

    Whatever,
    "I don't think there is nonsense in Leviticus"

    "If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death”.
    (Leviticus 25:44-46) “As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from amon the nations that are around you."
    (Leviticus 20:10) “If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”
    So you agree. Wow! I sure hope you are not a parent.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • yannaes

      The arguments keep on coming but in the end, when all the philosophy, semantics, and when we get to the age of the end of our mortal life, and the graying of the dawn appears..all the words, will be vain, and without form..and then we will meet our Creator and He will have the last word..We will not escape that road,,,none of us..so all of us that are socially, intellectually, misfits, keeping following our Creator forHe will have the last word.

      July 20, 2011 at 3:05 am |
  10. Jesus

    I don't have a problem with gay marriage. Just my 2 cents.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
  11. Burton

    So much for the soft-headedness of Yale "Divinity"–poor young fellow obviously got a good brain-washing there!

    July 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Tracy

      What a dumb counterargument. Everyone changes their minds over the course of education has been brainwashed. No wonder the evangelical community is intellectually bankrupt.

      July 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Observer

      You'd think that someone 64 years of age would have learned not to take advantage of the kindness of a free website to peddle their book. What if everyone did and this turned into a huge ad? Why should anyone think they don't have to care about abusing this service? Everyone has a different idea of being ethical and appreciative. Sometimes the least considerate are those hypocrites who try to hide behind the Bible.

      July 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  12. Elmer

    Let me see if I understand the author. Don't listen to Paul. He said something dumb about long hair and is therefore unreliable on moral matters. On the other hand, I went to Yale Divinity so you should listen to me instead.

    July 19, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • jean

      So you have difficulty with reading comprehension? Because if that is all you got out of that article, then you need to actually go back to second or third grade and work on your language skills.

      July 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • AlbusPWBD

      Stupid comment Elmer. You're not that bright are you?

      July 20, 2011 at 1:37 am |
  13. Carmen Delahoz

    Nice article! He said alot of true points.

    July 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  14. Carmen Delahoz

    Nice article. that points alot of true poins.

    July 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  15. Max

    Well said, well reasoned, well researched and (my prediction) soon to be well flamed. Kudos Sir.

    July 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  16. Tracy

    Great article!!!

    July 19, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • Tracy

      Oh, I wasn't talking to you I was talking to Jonathan Dudley. I thought your article was terrible.

      July 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      @Tracy

      Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me (Matthew 11:6).

      July 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  17. action74

    If your a Christian, stop quoting from Leviticus. Ephesians 2:14-15 " For he himself is our peace, who has made the two oneand has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his fles the law with its commandments and regulation"

    July 19, 2011 at 2:55 am |
    • Dan

      The moral law is still binding on the Christian - Council of Jeusalem, Acts 15.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  18. rsjacksonus

    As a fellow student working on their divinity degree...its easy to look backward and judge history. Sure, they argued over whether a child has a soul and what happens if that baby dies. However, there were things now they didn't know then. You, as a student of history, should remember that. You can not judge history based on 20/20 hindsight. You have to examine history in that moment. Nobody back then could see the formation of a child in the womb.

    But you mention marriage. We cringe at teenage mothers but Mary was a teenage mother. Mothers were teenagers throughout most of history because we have a short life span. We live in a day where we live longer, therefore we shouldn't have to have teenage mothers, so they can have at least a semblance of life and education. But to many it just looks barbaric but we have to examine history in context.

    The worst travesty of any historian is pronouncing judgment on history based on today's long look backward. You should learn from it, not condemn it. Sorry, but...you're wrong on this one.

    July 18, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Tracy

      Ummm.... huh? Your post doesn't make any sense!

      And in any case, great Op-Ed Jonathan Dudley!

      July 18, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Dj

      You dont need to see the formation of a baby to know that its alive..if something prevents a seed from living its murder or death..plain and simple.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:30 am |
    • james

      @DJ – It sounds like you're suggesting a baby dies every time a woman ovulates but doesn't carry through to birth. I'm not trying to be a smart###, just wondering at what point you believe the "seed" is actually alive.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • GodPot

      Just an FYI to the ignorant. An ultrasound does not, and has never shown a baby to have a soul. And neither has any of our modern technology. Doctors and law makers have come to a contentious line in the sand and agree'd that a child that is unable to live outside the womb on it own (with some tech assistance) is not a child and is a part of the woman carrying it and thus it is her right to choose whether to continue the pregnancy or not up to that point.

      The entirety of your argument rests on the unproven "soul" theory and is the same as sticking to the old belief that outer space is filled with mystical ether. (It's not btw)...

      July 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Clarence

      Actually, the law has been proven to define whether the fetus is a baby or not dependent on the desire of the mother. For example, 2 trimester abortion = legal and not murder, but killing a woman who is in the 2nd trimester of her pregnancy is considered a double homicide.

      July 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Clarence

      also, concerning the comment on space being made out of mystical ether, the truth is that everything we know about space (beyond what we have traveled) is pretty much a study of light. scientists use photographs from satellites that measure different frequencies of light to determine what could possibly be out there light years and light years away. with that, last i checked (i could be wrong) but studies of this light actually determined an "end" to space. because beyond that they couldn't see anything. what is beyond there, nobody really knows and honestly an "mystical ether" guess has about as much possibility as the next. =) not that i would believe it normally, but i wouldn't rule it out. there are just more questions than answers when it comes to that stuff.

      July 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  19. Fred

    Follow the money. Christians have announced that gay-bashing has been one of their best money-makers and mobilizers since the fall of the Soviet Union. Praise the Lord and pass the loot. Ain't hate great?

    July 18, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  20. Josiah

    Leviticus 20:13 'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
    Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

    July 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Observer

      Leviticus (20:9) also says “If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death”

      So much for its logic and credibility.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Josiah

      @Observer As stated before Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. In due time these things will happen. Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Bill

      Deuteronomy 22:11

      Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.

      Quoting the old testament is ridiculous. If it were up to zealots like you we'd be burning cities and sowing salt.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Tremor

      @ Bill,

      Call us zealots if you want, but God calls us "friend".

      Matthew 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" <– Jesus speaking pointing out that when God made us, it was male/female.

      @ Observer, your logic is flawed as Josiah pointed out. Death in the Bible can either mean physically or spiritually (damnation). Stoning is strictly physical but "surely die" can be either. I'm going to go with it's spiritualy because that's the same as what the serpent and God said to Eve in the garden. That they would "surely die" if they ate the fruit yet when they ate it, they were spiritually dying rather than physically died on the spot. So, if someone cursed their mother/father they are sinning and spiritually dying because of it.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • Observer

      Tremor,

      Pitiful excuse: "dead" means "alive". So after thousands of years, biblical scholars don't know the difference between "dead" meaning "dead" or meaning "spiritually dead". NONSENSE.

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

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.