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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. Tish

    Lynn, then why did Jesus go out and throw out the money changers and other selling good inside the Temple? Why did Paul and other apostles go and tell of the coming Kingdom and to repent from their sins. Please read your Bible Lynn. When I came to Christ 12 years ago someone preached to me and I understood – of course it is the Holy Spirit that convicts us, but we are God's messengers also.

    August 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Observer

      Tish,

      This story is all about HYPOCRISY. Why are you here talking about gays when there are FAR FAR more Christians who commited adultery than there are total gays? Don't you care as much about those sinners? What about the Golden Rule?

      It's all pick and choose. Read the story.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • LOL

      That's why God is speaking through science and psychologist using the holy spirit to show the Christians community that gays are his creation. They are born this way scientists today agree that s-exual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors. In most people, s-exual orientation is shaped at an early age. There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's s-exuality.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • LOL

      By the way it is worth noting that many medical and scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person's sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • LOL

      Sorry the above got posted in the wrong spot.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  2. Lynn

    Can people please stop even refering to the Bible, if you have not recieved the gift of the HOLY spirit to give revelation to the word of God! Please know that some sins God simply calls and "..abomination"! As long as you continue in this type of sin, God can't even consider forgiveness and salvation on your soul! How can you consider forgiveness from God if you have not even realized you are SINING!! Forgiveness come from God through repentance! No repentance, no forgiveness, no Salvation! Simple! That is ALL SIN! Help us all HOLY SPIRIT!!!!

    August 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • LOL

      How many handles are you going to post with, you're typos give you away. Being gay is not a sin, that's why gays are being welcomed into churches and hundreds of ministers and pastors are going on record stating it and apologizing for their prejudice behavior. The evidence is in, being gay is not a choice, it's not a mental illness, it can't be voluntarily changed, they can raise children fine just like straights. They are God's creation.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Rev. Trina

      Correction: forgiveness comes from our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ who died on the cross so we may be forgiven by God the Father. God the Father only sees us through the eyes of Jesus-He is our propitiation. Jesus is our intercessor. Otherwise God the Father does not even consider us.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • J.W

      That is not true Lynn. Sometimes we may sin but not realize it, but God will forgive our sins, known and unknown.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Regan Dean Testerman

      Do you know you spelled sinning incorrectly, Lynn? You must be poorly educated.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  3. Tish

    Interesting how CNN trys to seem like they are giving different point of view on reiligion and trying to pacify the true followers of Christ, but when we try to quote the word of God more than once they don't submit the comments. Very obvious CNN! God will judge – can't wait to see CNN executives at the White Throne of Judgement!

    August 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • LOL

      It has nothing to do with that, this is controlled by word press, they have filters on to stop words from coming through. It's funny but you just jumped to a false judgment.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  4. Michael

    Your Take is twisted Mr. Dudley and a denial of the God-breathed Scriptures which you quote from. Denying the Word, you deny the God who Authored it. Do not call evil "good". Those who call good "evil" and evil "good" will not go unpunished. Even for this alone, you will be brought into judgement. The condemnation is upon you already. You are a sinner under the wrath of God.

    August 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Barbara

      So are you – you hypocrite!

      August 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Michael

      @ Barbara: So am I what? A sinner? I know that in my flesh dwells no good thing. But I am also a new creation, by the creative act of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. There is sin dwelling in me, but I do not love it. I hate and despise it, since my sins put my Lord Jesus on the Cross, when He suffered for me that I may go free. I agree with the God-breathed Scriptures even when they speak against me. This is not my doing, but I am what I am by the grace of God. To God be all the glory and praise. To side against God is where sinners do err. All are confined under sin. And to side with sin is to side against God. By nature all are sinners and dead in sins. But the grace of God has appeared in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, to open the eyes of the blind, to proclaim liberty to the captives, to set the prisoners free. The human will is bound in sin, and the sinner will not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But the Lord Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death for His people. There is a fountain which is open for sin and for uncleanness. The precious blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin. Sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Yawn

      More religious nonsense about a god that doesn't exist, grow up Michael and stop blaming the boogie man for your prejudices and bigotry. You can't change what you are not willing to acknowledge.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  5. jovonp

    Uhh, Mr. Observer? The majority of HETRO's engange in sodomy????? Really?

    August 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • LOL

      uhh....duh....oral sex....come on now....you know you do it.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Observer

      Sodomy is oral and anal s-x. Check a dictionary.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Barbara

      I can tell you I saw a woman doing it to a guy going down the highway, you could see her pig tail bobbing up and down. The guy almost drove off the road! It was sinful in broad daylight like that!

      August 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Omar

      Barbara, did it give you the urge to want to be doing it to?

      August 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Barbara

      "Barbara, did it give you the urge to want to be doing it to?"

      Did it give you the urge to get one? My soft warm luscious lips slowly sucking your shaft, as it gets harder and more erect. Slowly I work my way up and down, up and down, up and down. Moistening my lips in each stroke...... Com'n on baby...com'n on baby...you know you want it.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  6. LOL

    It's NOT a choice? Wow....that's the best justification yet!

    August 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • LOL

      Joe are you playing this stupid game again because you can't win the argument you stoop to childish tactics of stealing another person's handle. Thanks for proving what an immature jerk you are, nice job! The scientific and psychological community are stating that, it's been proven by 35 years of research.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  7. Tish

    Yes, sin is sin in God's eye's, but a man sticking his penis in another man's anus is sodomy and against God's plan for creation – period.

    August 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • LOL

      You keep posting as other people with the same lame comment. It's time to buy a dictionary dude. It's anal or oral copulation with a member of the opposite sex. Hope you never got a blow job.

      It’s funny how you are always so focused on the sex part of the relationship, there is more than just sex to an intimate loving relationship

      August 15, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Observer

      Tish,

      The majority of HETEROS likely engage in sodomy. What is your point?

      August 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • theheath

      hahaha, says what the word of god is, and ends it with "period." End of story eh? And once we take god out of the picture? God doesn't have an eye, or anything else. People have worshiped cats. People have worshiped snakes. People have worshiped birds. You worship something you cannot see, and you think the people that worshiped the cats, snakes, and birds were all stupid or misguided. They believed in it. They would pray to those creatures. What you believe in is equally misplaced, misguided, and from an outside perspective, stupid. Stick that in your gods eye.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Omar

      "the heathen", people would rather worship the created rather than the Creator. Life needs other life to sustain it. The bee can not live without the flower as the flower can not survive without the bee. It was created simutaneously by plan, by your Creator, God.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • BeFaithful

      From my perspective, God's plan for creation did not include a whole host of things human beings are doing to destroy that very same creation - not the least of which is over population. Seems to me, we can do with a whole lot less copulation for the sakes of procreation.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • LOL

      "Life needs other life to sustain it. The bee can not live without the flower as the flower can not survive without the bee. It was created simutaneously by plan, by your Creator, God."

      That's why gays and lesbians have children that aren't adopted.... I'll leave you to figure it out. LOL

      August 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  8. @LOL

    Thanks for the list, now I see why I have to have sympathy for people who feel it's their right to step on MY Beliefs on traditional marriage.

    August 15, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • LOL

      I am sure white supremacists felt the same way when interracial marriages started happening. Just because you don’t agree with it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same equal civil rights. It’s been proven that being gay is not a mental illness, it’s not a choice, it can’t be voluntarily, and laws have been changing because the truth is out. Gays deserve to have the same loving partnerships that straights.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • fred

      lol,
      I take issue with our list. I could also make a list of the financial cost of aids to society ($618,000 each) and the gay community is the largest single group in that population. How about you give some thanks to the white supremists that pay for what they did not do.
      Show me some statistics on what % of gays would marry and remain in a committed relationship if such laws were passed.
      Stop putting your stuff on the black population, you are the new face of the gay supremist trying to put our plight in the same box as $exual preference. AIDs spread by cold calus unprotected $ex not by committed relationships. Please do not lecture the Black community on morals. Please do not care for foster kids or adopt until you can show control over your lusts

      August 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      You don't need statistics on how many gays would marry. Common sense says that marriage reduces promiscuity. The statistics on gay transmitted diseases is a great argument FOR gay marriage. Good job.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • LOL

      “Show me some statistics on what % of gays would marry and remain in a committed relationship if such laws were passed.”

      Show me a statistics that straights will do that? They can’t which is also a sin but you forgot to mention that.

      “Stop putting your stuff on the black population, you are the new face of the gay supremist trying to put our plight in the same box as $exual preference.”

      It’s about civil rights, which is what you are not acknowledging. Nice twisting job, you keep proving this author right.

      “Please do not care for foster kids or adopt until you can show control over your lusts”

      Studies comparing groups of children raised by homosexual and by heterosexual 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 sexual orientation does not indicate their children's.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      agreed, but why would gays suddenly become more committed? I don't see straights becoming any more committed. You forget we have done a good job trashing whatever good God created marriage for.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Observer

      "I don't see straights becoming any more committed."

      C'mon fred, you actually think single guys have the same number of s-x partners as married men? Get serious.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • fred

      LOL,
      Now you are making stuff up. You expect me to believe I would act the same and have the same character if my dad Bob and mom Bob were playing kissy face in the kitchen and grab as s down the hall. At a minimum I would be desenseatized to the french kissing and think nothing of giving it a whirl. I would be more inclined to experiment. The statistics are biased that say parent have no effect. What bunk, the soviets did this, putting kids in camps in order to elevate the state and reduce the role of god an parent. They did this by design.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Observer

      "my dad Bob and mom Bob were playing kissy face in the kitchen and grab as s down the hall"

      So is that what staight parents do?

      August 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • LOL

      "Now you are making stuff up. You expect me to believe I would act the same and have the same character if my dad Bob and mom Bob were playing kissy face in the kitchen and grab as s down the hall."

      The experts have proven you WRONG! Your prejudice and bigotry is what is making you say stupid things, nothing more especially since you're to lazy to do actual research on this subject. It's why the laws in this country are changing.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      No, I see straights in a committed long term relationship actually being more faithful than married people (or guys are lying to me). But, yeah your right on single men not in a committed relationship.
      Here is a stat for you: "A study on short-term same-$ex registered partnerships in Norway and Sweden found that divorce rates were higher for same-$ex couples than opposite-$ex marriages, and that unions of les-bians are considerably less stable, or more dynamic, than unions of gay men"

      August 15, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      Yeah, they were frisky and when your young its not so bad but when your older it is not pretty.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      The divorce rates for heteros is awful. Even if it was worse for gays, there is no question that marriage would reduce overall promiscuity for gays and that is a big positive, even ignoring the equal rights argument.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • LOL

      "A study on short-term same-$ex registered partnerships in Norway and Sweden found that divorce rates were higher for same-$ex couples than opposite-$ex marriages, and that unions of les-bians are considerably less stable, or more dynamic, than unions of gay men"

      Wiki is not one of the best resources for information. But it's funny how you didn't finish this paragraph. On the other hand, as of 1997, the same-sex partnership divorce rate was significantly lower than that of heterosexual couples in Denmark.[

      August 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • fred

      lol,
      no, the laws in this country is changing because we are all tired of the constant rainbow in face. Laws are changing because the old guard is dying and the new voter block watched friends, modern family, murphy brown, Simpsons etc. Our media has hammered home immoral (i.e. dress how you want, do what you want, no truth, no god, my opinion is as good as anyone else etc.) is good and moral (old fashion christian, bible, republicans, Pope, church etc.) is bad.
      Just look at how the Pope is viewed today verses 15 years ago. It all has to do with parents failure to instil the principles of God whether you bellieve in God or not. We are just beginning to see the end result of a godless society.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      Your arguments are basically thousands of years old. Even in Jesus times, it was thought that the world might end soon because of sins. Back in the 1950's, the end of the world was foreseen because of the influence of rock and roll. Nothing new at all. Every generation says the same thing.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • LOL

      Fred, you are stating the same old story that each generation feels about the younger generations. It’s just like when women started working, voting, that was breaking the rules in the Bible, blacks became free and no longer slaves, etc…etc…etc… Science has proven that gays are God’s creation and it’s time to stop fueling the hatred and bigotry towards this minority and give them their civil rights..

      August 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      Gods chosen people were put thru great loss and captivity on many occassions over 4,000 years each time they reached the peak of their unbelief. This is a proven track record. Now, the US is following the same pattern. Yes, it has been observed as happening, and is happening now. Each generation says that is old bunk and will never happen to us because we are now smarter. I did not mention the flood story or the garden of eden story but same basic line -fall away from God and there are severe consequenses.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      The U.S. just had a president who said he talks to God all the time. Sure sounds like an optimum condition for believers. So what did we get from their relationship? We got some of the worst natural disasters in our history, two wars (one optional), the worst attack on our soil ever and an economy that plunged. With a leader with a direct line to God, you would have expected much more than that.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • fred

      LOL,
      Gay is not God's creation. We must split off here as I have not looked over those statistics and if I get a chance tonight I will check it out. What I can say from personal experience is that it is very hard for one that is attracted to the same $ex to deal with the reality of their attraction. Having buried friends that have passed we were fortunate to reconcile with God prior to the final days. This does not mean I have a solid fix on what God is up to on the gay issue but at least I am currently comfortable with it.
      Jesus did not address the issue directly however, it is clear Christians are not to rake gays over the coals. One cannot address sin if they do not have a relationship with God. Sin is an affront to a Holy God and must be delt with. Based on history sin has been and will continue to be delt with very harshly. Now, to anyone that does not have a relationship with God it make no sense to discuss sin. We can discuss things such as morals or laws as now customary in the society or community we live. If that community / society wants to have civil marriage or civil unions go for it.
      What we do as a society does not change who God is or what He created us for. If God created Gay my guess is it would be along the lines of why He created Cyrus. But, who am I to guess and if that guess or my actions cause harm to the gay community then I will be held accountable.
      I am held accountable for what I know based on the lifetime experiences God has allowed for me. If I have offended then please accept my apologies. I will look to see what it is that was offensive so as not to repeat the same. I will ask for forgiveness if I have offended a Holy God and repent. I do know I am supposed to be helpfull and caring providing for those that cannot provide for themselves. I should probably get back to doing that.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      To whom much is given much is expected. Bush started out with good intentions and a good heart then his handlers quickly muzzled his born again believer ideas. Bush began to listen to man over the advice of God. Bush asked for a national day of prayer before making a desision on Iraq. Congress shut that down. He should have just said to the people today I ask every man and women of this country to pray with me and fast with me asking God to bless this country. Pray for me and your leaders as we discern what course of action we should take. If any do not believe in God then please simply meditate or act in whatever way your heart directs you in thought for our country its people and its response.

      I know things would have been different, and I do not think we would have been in Iraq as God does answer the prayer of a sincere heart.

      As to Katrina, the crash of 2008 and the rest we can see how God has responded over 6,000 years and can see His hand today. Remember, people seem to learn their deepest lessons from suffering and pain. To the extent we learn nothing or glean a new relationship with God is up to us. That is all that matters. If there is a God then we have been given His plan which is clear. We were created by God for a relationship with Him. That is what the Bible is....a running history of God redeeming a people for himself.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • LOL

      "Gay is not God's creation."

      Gays are born gay, that is the fact you can not deal with. Has it ever crossed your mind that God gave us science to show us that the Christian community is persecuting his creation, that they deserve to have loving relationships and equality that you enjoy.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  9. @Tom

    I highly doubt you are a christian, everything you state is completely the opposite of a Believer...yes, you probably believe in god...Yourself.

    August 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Alex

      secondo me cos .offrono tutti solo giochi che si tanrvoo pure nell'altra consolle .pochissime esclusive .e poi all'uscita e anche di recente il sistema della 360 incasinato e pieno di bug poi anche la wii ha mostrato un difetto che una testina che si sporca troppo facilmente e legge male i dual layer per solo quello

      April 1, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  10. Tom

    Who says you have to believe in religion to believe in God? Who is to say that the Bible is the word? We are just taking the word of people who have passed it down from generation to generation. My parents actually taught me to use my brian. I may be a Christian but I question everything. I dont just take your word for it. That is why I am done with religion. I pray all the time. I dont need a church to do that. And I dont need to try to convert everyone I see. I have friends who are Athiests and Agnostics and we dont talk about religion. Why do people who are against gay marriage care? If you are against gay marriage then dont marry a man. Same thing as abortion. Dont have one. I cant stand people who use religion to justify their bigotry. I know some of you will agree with me, but for those who dont. I DONT CARE.

    August 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Stacy

      Hear hear!

      August 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  11. @Mark

    I totally agree with you! Jonathan Dudley, I feel sorry for you and will remember you in my prayers.

    August 15, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Observer

      Please also pray that h- mophobic Christians will realize their hypocrisy and remember the Golden Rule.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  12. Baloney

    When has a marriage certificate ever stop a gay couple from caressing in public, living together, flaunting their lifestyle to the public etc etc? Gays want "equal" rights as everyone else..their FREEDOM to do and say things as they want has NOT been taken away..so what's the big deal about getting married? Nowadays..insurance, benefits, etc already give the insurer the option to add their "partner". If you want your "partner" to have your estate when you're gone, write a will!

    August 15, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • LOL

      They deserve the save civil rights as straights.

      In case you don't know these are the benefits you get when you're legally married.

      Tax Benefits
      -–Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
      -–Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.

      Estate Planning Benefits
      -–Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
      -–Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
      -–Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
      -–Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse – that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse's behalf.

      Government Benefits
      -–Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
      -–Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
      -–Receiving public as-sistance benefits.
      -–Employment Benefits
      -–Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
      -–Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
      -–Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
      -–Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse's close relatives dies.

      Medical Benefits
      -–Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
      -–Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.

      Death Benefits
      -–Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
      -–Making burial or other final arrangements.

      Family Benefits
      -–Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
      -–Applying for joint foster care rights.
      -–Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
      -–Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.

      Housing Benefits
      -–Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
      -–Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.

      Consumer Benefits
      -–Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
      -–Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
      -–Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
      -–Other Legal Benefits and Protections
      -–Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
      -–Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
      -–Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can't force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
      -–Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
      -–Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
      -–Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  13. Thom

    You analysis is sophmoric at best and relies mostly on man's/human concepts of God's intentions/meanings rather than scriptural interpretation. Because man's of the curch's interpretation is sliding sideways or backwards has absolutely no effect on the absolute. I'm surprised you failed to mention the slavery issue? At any rate, like spped limits, rules are rules and laws are laws. We are free to misinterpret them or ignore them but they still apply. If God sis not sttop Adam and Eve from sinning in The Garden of Eden then who are we to play God with marriage. We are free moral characters. To allow something is different than supporting it!

    August 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • LOL

      “At any rate, like spped limits, rules are rules and laws are laws. We are free to misinterpret them or ignore them but they still apply”

      That’s why laws have been changed throughout history especially when it goes against the civil rights of a minority group. It’s only bias and prejudice people who hang onto the idea that laws can’t be changed.It's been proven that gays are born being gay, it's not a mental illness, it's not a choice and it can't be voluntarily changed. Or are you using a grade school analogy since you were to lazy to do any research.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  14. Mark

    After further reading. I conclude this guy is not very smart. Entry into Yale divinity must be easy.

    August 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Virgil

      I bet you couldn't get in especially after such a stupid comment.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Observer

      Please tell us about your degree that is superior to that of one from Yale.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  15. james hotz

    And Jesus said , "let them be damned in Hell"

    August 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • GodPot

      Actually, thats not in the Bible.

      August 15, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Virgil

      That's why Christians are such morons they twist everything to fit their personal prejudice beliefs by saying it's coming from their god, while in the same breath trying to convince you it's a loving god. You go to hell james.

      August 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Observer

      James,

      You might try to actually read a Bible. Jesus did not condemn gays, but he sure had a lot to say about the MUCH GREATER number of hetero believers who commit adultery. Check out a Bible sometime so you don't have to make things up.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  16. Jeff B.

    You know..perhaps, JUST perhaps, you should, as a theology student, look to the "OLD" Testament – you know..the one JESUS practiced and preached. It is unequivocal.
    AND, before you haters out there accuse ME of hatred, I am nothing of the kind. Since this "author" is using the Bible, I am only responding in kind. I am NOT stating a preference.

    August 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Umm

      No, you're just proving the author correct.

      August 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Jeff B.

      In what way, "umm"?

      August 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • GodPot

      The authors point is not that the bible doesn't condemn gay s e x, it does, but he is asking the question, why focus on that sin when the bible is full of things it calls abominations. Where do you stand on wearing clothing woven of two fabrics? Ever eat any shellfish? Do you observe sabbath? Have you every eaten way to much at Thanksgiving? Do you often drink alcohol? Ever tell a lie? Any Christians ever cheat on their spouses or their taxes? Any of you ever break Ceasars law by speeding? How gnats a$$ do you want to get with the bible? That is his point.

      August 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Hudu

      yay for finishing tucsom quilt this moth!! And I hope one of those paintings you paint will be for me ;P LOL Love you!!!! You did fantastic on your goals!!! 🙂 I should do some!!xoxo,Lindsay

      April 4, 2012 at 1:49 am |
  17. diver91

    huh

    August 14, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • Buzz

      diver91 – the writers problem is one of age and education. To young and inexperienced to understand the knowledge crammed into his head. He also grew up in a time when deviant behavior is held up as healthy and normal. That kind of behavior worked out really well for greece, egypt, rome, prerevolutionary france etc didnt it.

      August 15, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  18. mike

    One of the most interesting things that I have ever done was to participate in a bible study about Romans on one evening and a bible study about Ezekiel on another night. What was interesting was that I learned that the message from the new testament and the old testament arer really the same. Because of language issues and differneces in cultures it was not clear to me how the two testaments dovetailed together. God is telling us that he created us to be in a relationship but our selfishness and our self reliance get in the way. If we accept that we all have selfishness / pride and a haughty spirit and that Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sin we can then begin to be thankful for God's grace and start asking the question, God how do you want me to live my life? This will start our conversations off on the positive God focused and not on our own selfish desires, what ever they may be.

    August 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  19. LonelyLoner

    "is riddled with self-serving double standards."

    And there-in lies the problem. It isn't that religion itself is completely wrong, it's that it's interpreted to fit ones needs so one can use it to defend their beliefs.

    August 14, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • jms

      Gay Couples shouldnt be allowed to adopt? http://www.ufeud.com/debate.aspx?ID=77

      August 14, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  20. AlfredHusseinNeuman

    Apparently there is no sin except not being a liberal.

    August 14, 2011 at 9:18 am |
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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.