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. Someone

    Nope, it won't work, so just Google it. And no, what I am saying is parallel to the Church, and that is why this quotation is very pertinent to the topic.

    August 18, 2011 at 1:21 am |
  2. Someone

    What are you talking about twisting the bible??!! Did God make Eve a man? No, I don't think so. "This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and they become one flesh." Genesis 2: 24. Moses doesn't write that the man becomes attached to his husband, nor the wife to her wife!

    August 17, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Observer

      You left out the part that Jesus said man should not separate them.

      So do you believe that no one should be allowed to divorce (except for adultery)?

      August 17, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Someone

      @ observer

      Yes, that's not what I implied... however, I do believe that people should not be divorced.

      August 17, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Observer

      So people should follow Jesus' word and not divorce, regardless of mental or physical cruelty. Or do you choose to ignor what Jesus said there?

      August 18, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • Someone

      You know there is such thing as an annulment, which is perfectly fine. However, the amount of divorces resulted from physical and mental cruelty are minute in comparison to divorces resulted from someone who doesn't 'love' the other person anymore.

      August 18, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • Observer

      Someone,

      Annulments are absolute jokes. Why should anyone think there is any honesty in PRETENDING that you were not married when you were?
      Since there are only "minute" cases of physical and mental cruelty, are you saying that the victims should be forced to stay with the abusers?

      August 18, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • Someone

      catechism 2383

      August 18, 2011 at 12:57 am |
    • Someone

      Since CNN isn't allowing me to reply the actual quotation.

      August 18, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • Observer

      Someone,

      Could you please think for yourself and answer the question?

      August 18, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • Observer

      Someone,

      Say what you want. Just remember that certain words or letter combinations are automatically censored. Use dashes, etc. like in "S-X"

      August 18, 2011 at 1:01 am |
    • Someone

      If divorce is the only way of ensuring legal rights, care of the children, or protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and is not a moral offense.

      August 18, 2011 at 1:24 am |
    • Someone

      And in case you didn't catch the other comment, what I am saying is parallel to the Church, and that is why this quotation is very pertinent to the topic.

      August 18, 2011 at 1:25 am |
    • Observer

      Someone,

      Like most people, you CHOOSE to ignor Christ's words "What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate."

      August 18, 2011 at 1:34 am |
    • tallulah13

      So someone, you can decide what god means? It always amazes me when chrisitans put words in gods mouth. It's like god answers to them instead of the other way around.

      August 18, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • LOL

      "Moses doesn't write that the man becomes attached to his husband, nor the wife to her wife!"

      So when Moses was writing that do you think he even understood or knew about gays and lesbians. Do you think he knew all the stuff we know about them today when he wrote that line. Or was he writing it from a straight mans perspective. Why did God give us science so we would come to understand that people are born gay....

      August 18, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Jerome

      "Moses doesn't write that the man becomes attached to his husband, nor the wife to her wife!"

      Huh...And here I was taught in Sunday School that one of the profound emphases of the New Testament, especially the epistles of Paul, is that Christians are no longer under the rule of the Mosaic law. This truth is stated in no uncertain terms and in various ways see Rom. 6:14; 7:1-14; Gal. 3:10-13, 24-25; 4:21; 5:1, 13; 2 Cor. 3:7-18.

      August 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • fred

      Lol
      You said”Moses was writing that do you think he even understood or knew about gays and lesbians.”
      -Common sense alone says yes he did. He was raised in the pharaohs home with the best education. In the desert; nomads, sheep and goats nature was easy to observe. Witnessed Baal
      You said” Do you think he knew all the stuff we know about them”
      -does not matter if it is DNA or just a play day outward immorality can be observed
      “was he writing it from a straight mans perspective”
      -Of course yet even worse as he saw a holy God and held back the wrath of God against a wicked immoral people
      “Why did God give us science so we would come to understand that people are born gay....”
      Nothing to do with gay per say. Science is a by-product of the image of God He breathed into man on creation. That image is made us different than any other animal, we cry from emotion which no other animal does, we have conscience / awareness that makes us ask ; who am I, what is dark matter, what is life, who is God & where is God. Yes, God wired us to seek him out.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Observer

      Jesus said nothing bad about gays and he certainly must have known about them. He hung around with a dozen guys who were not married in almost every case.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • LOL

      "You said”Moses was writing that do you think he even understood or knew about gays and lesbians.”
      -Common sense alone says yes he did. He was raised in the pharaohs home with the best education. In the desert; nomads, sheep and goats nature was easy to observe. Witnessed Baal"

      The point I am trying to make is gays can have the same loving intimate relationship as straight people but unfortunately prejudice is blinding people to seeing that, everyone is focused on the sex part. I am sure Moses knew nothing about how we see gays today. Especially since the word homosexual hadn't been invented yet.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  3. Jerry Bush

    You all should read about Sodom and Gomorrah. God certainly did not act approvingly. It was a biblical lesson for us all. Please read Genesis Chapter 19.

    August 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Observer

      Same question for you:

      What did the Bible say was the sin of Sodom and her daughters?

      August 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • LOL

      “You all should read about Sodom and Gomorrah.”

      You need to pick up a dictionary sodomy is anal and oral copulation with a member of the opposite sex. So have you ever got a blow job? If so you are sinning according to that scripture. The scripture you are trying to use against gays is about rape, it’s not about a loving saved partnership.

      August 18, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      God saved but one family from destruction that terrible day.
      Only Lot was rigteous enough to be spared a fiery death.
      God knew he was righteous because he was more than willing to throw his two virgin daughters into a mob to be gang ra.ped.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • flyingfish

      LOL
      Once again you misquote, misrepresent and cherrypick for your own purposes.
      The issue is not rap•e in so far as it being the pinnacle of depravity in a scene set with God descending upon Sodom to destroy it for its Unrighteousness and Abraham trying to save those inhabitants in Genesis 18 (YOU Know the back-story – the CONTEXT) when the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

      Well it was and your example justifying sin against man and God with Hom•ose•xcua•lity and sodom•y as rap•e are the undeniable sins – so perverted in all its contexts and ramifications as to warrant complete destruction.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Jerome

      “the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous”

      Since the Middle Ages, many Christian theologians have viewed this story as a blanket condemnation of homosexuality. They have perpetuated the idea that Sodom was destroyed for its sexual wickedness and that the proof of this wickedness was the desire of the men of Sodom to have homosexual sex. Let’s test this interpretation against both the facts relayed in Genesis 19 and the interpretation of the story by later authors of the Bible. First, let’s examine the facts.

      The text of the story tells us that “the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man” gathered at Lot’s door and demanded that his guests be brought out to them. This language is important because it makes clear that the group at Lot’s door was comprised of either all the people of the city (men and women) or, at a minimum, all the males of the city, both boys and men. This is a telling fact.

      This point is reinforced by another fact recounted in the story. We are told that Lot, in a last-ditch effort to save his guests, offered his virgin daughters to the men at the door. Although Lot’s offer is reprehensible, it does yield another important interpretive clue. Suppose you were hosting a dinner party, when suddenly a group of men that you knew to be homosexual began angrily beating on the door, demanding that you send out a male guest from your house. Would it make any sense to offer them a beautiful woman instead? Of course not! If the men were motivated by homosexual desire, offering them heterosexual sex instead would be nonsensical. Lot knew the men of Sodom much better than any of today’s fundamentalist preachers do. And it’s obvious he believed the crowd outside his door was predominantly heterosexual. Why else would he offer his daughters?

      Although it might be simpler to blame what took place in Genesis 19 on homosexuals, the facts indicate that something far more encompassing and complex was taking place. But what? If the motivation for the attack was not homosexual desire, then what was it?

      Consider an example from modern times. On August 9, 1997 in New York City, two white police officers were strip-searching a black Haitian immigrant named Abner Louima and grew angry with him. They dragged him into a bathroom and, while one officer held him down, the other repeatedly rammed a broken broom up Louima’s rectum. While they did this, the officers reportedly yelled things like, “We’re gonna teach you n****rs to respect police officers!” In the aftermath of this terrible incident, nobody has suggested the assault was motivated by homosexual desire. Intuitively, we recognize the two officers were motivated by hatred and fear of people like Abner Louima. In their minds, there was no better way to demean and humiliate an “enemy” than to sexually violate him.

      On pages 130 and 147 of The Construction of Homosexuality (University of Chicago Press, 1988), David F. Greenberg discusses the use of sexual intercourse as a form of humiliation. Martti Nissinen in Homoeroticism in the Biblical World (Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1998) says, “Homosexual rape has been a traditional way of establishing the relationship with captured enemies and foes”

      From archeological records, we know it was also a common practice in the Near East during ancient times for soldiers to use homosexual rape as a way of humiliating their enemies. When victorious soldiers wanted to break the spirit of their defeated enemies, they would “treat them like women” by rapinng them. The practice was not driven by sexual desire, but by brutality and hatred toward the enemy.

      The motivation to sexually abuse those we hate is, sadly, part of the general human experience (even if it is not part of each of our personal experiences). And it is this motivation, not homosexual desire, which stands behind the sin of Sodom. Perhaps the men of that city feared the two angelic strangers were spies. Perhaps the fact that Lot (a recent immigrant) had taken them in served to heighten their suspicion. Whatever caused their panic, a mob mentality took over, and before long the people of Sodom were at Lot’s house clamoring to brutalize the strangers. This is a story about attempted mob violence, not homosexual desire.

      To test this proposition, let’s ask a simple question. Suppose the two angels in the story had been women, but the story otherwise unfolded exactly the same: The men of Sodom clamored to have sex with the two female angels and God destroyed the city. Do you think anyone would conclude this story was a blanket condemnation of heterosexuality? Of course not! Instead, we all would conclude (correctly) that the wickedness of Sodom was shown by their desire to sexually violate two strangers in their midst.

      Likewise, Jewish scholars did not associate the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah with homosexuality until Philo in the first century AD and not with any measure of consistency until the sixth century.

      In fact, this is the way other authors of the Bible interpreted this story. There are about twenty references to the story of Sodom in the Bible, and none of them says homosexuality was the sin of Sodom. One of the most extensive references to Sodom is found in Ezekiel, which says, “This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it.” It is clear from this passage that the abomination of Sodom, according to the Old Testament prophets, was that they behaved with callous indifference toward the weak and vulnerable — the poor, orphans, widows, and strangers in their midst.

      Why then do some Christians interpret this story as condemning all homosexual behavior? We would submit that their interpretation is driven by anti-gay prejudice. Many Christians only know the stereotypes they learned in childhood. They buy into the idea that all gay men are predators and that loving relationships between inherently homosexual people do not exist. So they read the story of Sodom and see a stereotype of what they think all gay people are like. They then assume the story must be a sweeping condemnation of homosexuality, because they assume all homosexuality takes the form shown in this story. In truth, this story is at most a condemnation of homosexual rape. And, as other Scriptures affirm, it is more generally a condemnation of the mistreatment of those who are most vulnerable, including strangers. It is ironic that the story of Sodom is now used by Christians to justify hatred toward another vulnerable group — gay people.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Janet

      The difficulty of interpretation is that the "sins" of Sodom and Gomorrah simply are not specified in the Bible. Christians with no linguistic expertise assume that "know" means "engage in coitus." But the term for "know" — yadha — is used in the sexual sense only 10 times in the Old Testament and all of these cases are heterosexual. Yadha is used in the sense of "get acquainted with" 924 times. Thus the odds against the homosexual usage of this term are nearly 1000-to-1, and many modern Biblical scholars have now abandoned this theory.

      The interpretation now accepted by many Biblical scholars (excluding the most evangelical sects) is as follows: Lot was a ger, a sojourner, a resident alien in Sodom. He had certain civic obligations in return for the protection which the city offered him, and there are indications that he was unpopular in the city. He did not have a right to open his house to foreigners, and the citizens of Sodom were merely demanding to see the credentials of these two foreigners, that is, to "know" whence they came and their intentions. Lot had to refuse, however, because he himself was under the obligations of the Jewish code of hospitality to his guests. He offered the Sodomites his daughters as the first appeasement that came to his mind, not as a heterosexual substitute for a homosexual demand. The cities were then destroyed for not recognizing the obligations of hospitality, and the whole story is a moral allegory on the dire effects of inhospitality.

      The sins of the Sodomites may have been great and grievous in the eyes of a wrathful god, but the Bible does not cite homosexuality as one of them (cf. Genesis 13.13, 18.20). Jeremiah 23.14 suggests adultery and lying, and Ezekiel 16.49-50 suggests pride and sloth and idolatry. Since the word for "idolatry" is to-ebhah, and one form of it could have been homosexual temple prostitution, it is remotely possible that homosexuality was included, but it must be emphasized how remote this possibility is. If it was believed to be an example of homosexuality, it is remarkable to the point of being an inconceivable omission that Sodom is never mentioned in any of the Biblical condemnations of homosexuality.. The Apocrypha demonstrates the standard interpretation: "Whereas the men of Sodom received not the strangers when they came among them, so the Egyptians made slaves of the guests who were their benefactors" (Wisdom 19.13-14, Ecclesiastes 16.8).

      August 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  4. Dr J

    It's always interesting to see how people think they know the mind of God. God knows what He likes and dislikes and how anybody feels about it does not changs a thing because it is not up for decussion where God is concerned. The Bible says that His Word is settled in heaven which means it's settled on earth. He has already made His decision and place it in a book for all to see and to those who accept His way, to understand. He sent a teacher which the world can not receive accoriding to God because they don't know God, but those that receive Him, he would teach and reveal things. Jesus said that not everyone who says unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter enter the Kingdom of Heaven: but he who does the Will of my Father which is in Heaven. What people think or how they feel means nothing when it comes to God's word. The Bible says His Word changeth not. You can come up with whatever excuse you will and it does not change a thing. God said it stinks in His nostrils. Now if that does not mean that He hates something you tell me what does. God destroyed the city of Sodom because of what they were doing and that's one you can't dance around. Now understand, God does not hate His creations just the sin they commit and He does not tolorate it. God's Grace is the only reason man get's by with things so long, in His desire that man change God's mercy stands strong. So you see, do what you will but don't try to pretend like God said it alright or that He is in agreement with it. He does not partnership with sin and He decides what is sin.

    August 17, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Observer

      "God destroyed the city of Sodom because of what they were doing and that's one you can't dance around."

      What did the Bible say was the sin of Sodom and her daughters?

      August 17, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • LOL

      “God destroyed the city of Sodom because of what they were doing and that's one you can't dance around.”

      You need to pick up a dictionary sodomy is anal and oral copulation with a member of the opposite sex. So have you ever got a blow job? If so you are sinning according to that scripture. The scripture you are trying to use against gays is about rape, it’s not about a loving saved partnership. Then ask yourself why would Lot offer his daughters to a bunch of gay guys if that is what God was implying by that scripture. DUH….

      August 18, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  5. *frank*

    IT'S JUST A FUCKING BOOK!!!

    August 17, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Observer

      Grow up and pretend you are an adult.

      August 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • *frank*

      No can do, kind sir.

      August 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Jerry Bush

      I am going to pray for you Frank.

      August 17, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • *frank*

      Thank you.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  6. James

    This issue is too important for the conversation to be carried poorly. One-sided, myopic takes do a disservice to the dialog. I am a recent graduate from a distinguished seminary as well, so I am speaking with context and experience. Dismantling other arguments without positing one of your own? Refusing to present a balanced, thorough view of other significant viewpoints? Surely Yale demands higher standards. My seminary certainly does. Submit this paper for close, balanced professorial critique, my brother, and receive the comments with humility.

    August 17, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • LOL

      That's funny his argument is so absrudly wrong because almost all of the arguments he makes have been made in print in some form by tenured professors at top seminaries.

      August 17, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • LOL

      So Joe still playing this childish gaming of stealing a handle to leave childish message. The proof of the author's argument is plain to see in the pages of comments. Since you keep stealing you just keep proving you are NOT a Christian, nice job!

      August 18, 2011 at 8:30 am |
  7. aneta

    This has been an interesting read from the article all the way through the comments. Let me throw in one more thought for you all to chew on ~ as Christians we are taught that God calls a person to be a minister. So if God calls a gay persont to be a minister what right do we have to say he (or she) can't preach in our church

    August 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  8. Observer

    flyingfish,

    The Pauline epistles say (I Corinthians 7:1-2) "It is good for a man not to have s-xual relations with a woman."

    Do you CHOOSE to ignor that?

    August 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Tim

      Wow, you say read verses 1-2 but then quote only verse 1!! Take your own advice, and read verse 2 (and 3 through 5 while you are at it). Talk about an intentionally mis-leading post!!

      August 17, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Observer

      Tim,
      So did the Pauline epistles say this? Yes or no?

      "“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.” “Here is my advice for people who have never been married and for widows. You should stay single, just as I am. But if you don't have enough self-control, then go ahead and get married. After all, it is better to marry than to burn with desire”

      August 17, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Observer

      Tim,
      You are correct that my reference was (unintentionally) incomplete. Here's the verses I mentioned. It's sure not much of an endorsement for marriage, is it?

      – 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.”

      August 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • fred

      Observer
      I give up what are you trying to do? You are quoting Paul who was rephrasing a question sent to him. He answered that question down in v 26 of the same chapter. Chapter 7 must be read as a whole.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,
      Here's your reference verse 26 (thru 28). And you think this supports you?

      "Times are hard for you right now. So I think it's good for you to stay as you are. Are you married? Then don't get a divorce. Are you single? Then don't look for a wife. But if you get married, you have not sinned. And if a virgin gets married, she has not sinned. But those who get married will have many troubles in this life. I want to save you from that."

      Christians are always talking about how hard the times are now. Guess not much has changed.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  9. Damian

    What an interesting well written article! I love the closing "Opponents of gay marriage aren’t defending the Bible’s values. They’re using the Bible to defend their own."

    August 17, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  10. M. newman

    Excellent article. It shouldn't matter whether people believe in it or not, that is something that matters for what you will teach your children, but when it comes to government recognition and protections, as tax paying citizens, my partner and I should be allowed to file taxes together, like our next door neighbors who pay the same taxes. Our families raise children and have to pay for school supplies and diapers too. Also, g.ay soliders, policemen and women, firefighters, all put their lives on the lines equally, yet if they have a non traditional relationship, they are placed on a lower rung in society. Marriage in government isn't even about religion anymore, when you file for the marriage certificate and file taxes, it's about money and property, which is the exact same issues that affect any relationship, regardless of gender or orientation. I think that two consenting adults who wish to enter into a legal union together and receive benefits and protections by the government as to their money and property, that's where the seperation of church and state should come in. If you don't agree with it, then don't get one! Freedom of religion also means that I have the freedom from being forced to abide by your beliefs and rules. I don't know why people care so much about what doesn't affect them. G.ay people have been having relationships and building families for decades, and will continue to whether or not they get the legal protections. The problem is that denying these kinds of families the same protections inherent with "traditional" marriage, creates problems for these people where they shouldn't have to face these problems just because they are in a nontraditional relationship, especially when it comes to their children. It's absolutely insane how many hoops h.omo.s.exual couples have to jump through just to enjoy similar things that straight people receive automatically. Seriously, if it doesn't directly affect your family, get your nose out of it. I don't think your God would appreciate your hypocrasy either.

    August 17, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Damian

      Well put Newman!!!

      August 17, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  11. jason

    If God created everything, as Christians believe, then he created people of all persuasions. The concept that God is infallible, yet created a fallible creation is philosophically incompatible. Of course "Free Will" is invoked as the repudiation of my stance, but a truly perfect Creator is only capable of producing a perfect creation who will make perfect decisions and choices. Period.

    August 17, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • Anthony

      Well, this world is most certainly NOT perfect–explanation??

      August 17, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  12. Observer

    fred,
    You seem to try to be honest, so please answer this question which contains something I have said before:

    At this very moment, gay troops are risking their lives to keep you free. At this very moment, gay policemen and gay firemen are risking their lives to keep you safe. Now you sit there safe and free and advocate that these heroes are not worthy of the same rights you have. Does this bother you AT ALL?

    August 16, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      I hope I did not imply someone gay is ent-itled to less than one who is straight. This applies whether one believes in God or not. As to the Bible gays and straights are also in the same boat. My issue is with all the other stuff that gets tossed around. Sorry, I was a boy scout it used to be a good thing. Now all I get is statistics that show a gay scoutmaster will do just fine left alone with a bunch of boys in the shower room yet you find no such statistics that a young strapping straight will do just fine left along with a bunch of high school cheerleaders in the shower room. Why do we apply common sense in one case yet mathmatical probability and a bell curve to another? This country is in overdrive to find a new direction and purpose. What did you think would happen when God was tossed under the bus. A country that had an everlasting purpose now after one generation away from God finds itself without direction. Everyone to themselves. Something happens to a people that do not stop at least one day a week to give thanks. Something happens to a people that put God in the closet and chase after lust, money and power in the public square.

      August 16, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      Are you saying that in spite of your opposition to h-mos-xuality including religious convictions, that you believe that gays should be allowed to get married and have equal rights?

      August 16, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      You are asking me to take a big step, let me stew on that. As to equal rights yeah, the state can issue whatever liscense it wants.

      August 16, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      No one is asking you to necessarily "approve" of gays, but just give them the respect and rights that everyone else has. You certainly don't "approve" of other religions and certainly couldn't support sports teams that you consider hated rivals, but you are likely in support of equal rights for them. That's all this is. As Americans, we certainly don't all support the same things, but we usually agree that even those who have different perspectives should have equal rights as long as they aren't hurting anyone. Please consider that.

      August 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      As to respect you know the answer to that one. Jesus made it clear we are not to think of ourselves above anyone else. Jesus put all of us sinners in the same boat and sin is sin ( with the exception of rejecting God). Jesus stepped it up another notch in that to judge or look down upon a gay will subject me to like response on judgment day. In helping my friends through their trials I developed great sympathy for the struggles faced by gays. If there is any fault it is that I see a broken spirit and a tormented soul for those attempting to reconcile with God. This sometimes gives the appearance of a condescending att-itude.
      As to marriage this is no different as most people do not conduct themselves in marriage as is commanded. To that end I see no difference in the offense to a holy God from such a hetro or gay marriage.
      Now, the question is can a gay marriage ever meet the conditions that bring glory to God? God looks to the heart and I believe it is possible to have hearts filled with love for God regardless of orientation. I do not however, believe gay marriage brings glory to God. Since it does not then a civil union is the same as many other civil marriages and civil rights should be equal. As Christians we are not to cause another to stumble and this is why gay marriage presents a problem. I fear open Christian gay marriage gives a signal that $exual warnings in the bible are all outdated. This opens the gate and there will certainly come another taboo that needs breaking as the justification for many of those are even weaker than against ho mo $exuality. For this pastors that perform gay marriage are in serious do do

      August 17, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • Observer

      fred,

      Where does it say that the point of marriage is to bring glory to God? Paul said marriage was just for those too weak to resist lust. That's certainly not the same. Hetero marriage is fine with Christians. They never ask if it was performed by an Elvis impersonator at a drive-thru chapel.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • fred

      Observer,
      This is the prime directive from Star Fleet Control. Wherever you go what ever you do it should bring glory to God. Check out 1 corinthians 10:31-33 refrence to glory and not causing any to stumble. All that Christ did was to bring glory to God (our example). 2 corinthians 3:18 we reflect the Lords glory being refined in His likeness.
      In marriage the two become one, thus together the marriage is to reflect the Lords glory bringing glory to God. Union of man an woman glorified God in many ways and provided as a base to bring children up that honored their parents and God. The purpose of marriage and union in Christ was far more than just a way to avoid fornication.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:50 am |
    • LOL

      “The purpose of marriage and union in Christ was far more than just a way to avoid fornication.”

      The Christians gay and lesbian couples I know have happy healthy loving relationships, believe in God, are saved, are raising their children to believe in God and are outstanding members of our communities. One of them is a business owner that provides jobs for 1/3 of our town, he’s an honest man, giving a honest wage and that companies has given money to our schools. I believe they do bring Glory to God in their relationships and to the community as a whole. I think the problem with this issue is people get focused on the sex part and forget that we are talking about loving human beings. I do believe the children in these relationships deserve to be protected and I believe the partners deserve to be treated with respect if something happens to their loved one. They deserve the same civil rights as straights. I would be outraged if I am at a hospital and couldn’t get to my wife because I was not considered her immediate family member. That is why the Christian community needs to develop empathy on this issue. I also believe based on the facts presented by the scientific and psychological community that God created gay people. I am more sadden by the hatred and prejudice the Christian community has been portrayed with on this issue, that is definitely not bring Glory to God.

      August 17, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Observer

      fred,
      "The purpose of marriage and union in Christ was far more than just a way to avoid fornication."

      Should we pick and choose your quotes from Corinthians and ignor the other Corinthians quotes from Paul?

      – 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 Corinthians 7:8-9 “Here is my advice for people who have never been married and for widows. You should stay single, just as I am. But if you don't have enough self-control, then go ahead and get married. After all, it is better to marry than to burn with desire”

      August 17, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • fred

      lol,
      There are many different denominations around and some specific gay churches. I hang on tight to what I know from what God has given me simply because that is the only anchor I have in life. I have no problem in hospitals visiting people and the staff just assumes I am family. Other friends go to the trouble of lying claiming to be spouse. There are legal ways to do this available and even a spouse must use legal ways in most situations that require consent. You are asking that it be more convenient but I have never experienced a partner being rejected.
      The only problem I have encountered is when a new partner tangles with family members. How is that different from a boyfriend/ fiancée trying to override a parents’ wishes. Go get married (which is not a problem) in another state, government employees never check, hospitals never check, pension plans never check. Now from a legal standpoint do the paperwork right on the important stuff just like I advise clients to do. Don’t like "civil union" that is being picky call it marriage.
      As to God "what God has joined together let no man separate" case closed. I am not about to make a guess as to what has joined together . I am not aware God requires the states approval but Christians are to follow the law.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • fred

      observer,
      Should we pick and choose quotes? When it fits with the truth and presents a truthful representation of God and the Bible there should be no issue. Your reference to Corinthians 7 fit well with giving glory to God.
      As to the last sentence “better to marry than burn with desire” there is no guarantee that marriage stops such sin (desire / lust of flesh). But, a marriage that is to the glory of God does not have such sin (totally different heart att-itude in a union that loves God vs. one that does not).
      Both verses you quote argue against Christian gay marriage not for it. We can argue over what is a man and a woman but it would not change the outcome. Do you not think God capable of sorting out that rare occasion where a man is really in a womans body. God is Big much bigger than we can imagine.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      The entire point of this article is that everyone just picks and chooses from the Bible what they want to support their position. Everyone THINKS the verses they chose are the TRUE ones. You have picked the ones you agree with and dismiss those you don't agree with. Everyone does. You are just verifying the truth of the author's comments.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • LOL

      Fred, I was using the hospital as an example I have listed the long list of legal privileges that come with marriage. It all comes down to your interpretation of the scriptures. I am putting it into historical context to understand what the meaning is; others are simply taking it literally. It actually wasn’t until recently that people even read the scriptures as condemning gays, they read it as specific things straights should not engage in, it never had to do with sexual orientation. Unfortunately, the literalists have fueled tremendous hatred and prejudice against this minority group. God knows what is in my heart, your heart and the hearts of gays and lesbians; I say it’s between him and them. At this moment we are being shown that being gay is not a choice and they are born gay it’s because of that I believe its ok for them to learn what love and intimacy is through marriage.. Just like, I am entitled to do.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      No ! Big difference the author of this article misrepresented the apostle Paul in his view of the passage. That is misleading and was done intentionally. It is one thing to select verses that fit your view it is another to twist a verse to tell a lie. Truth is truth.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      Here's Paul's words: “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.” “Here is my advice for people who have never been married and for widows. You should stay single, just as I am. But if you don't have enough self-control, then go ahead and get married. After all, it is better to marry than to burn with desire”

      Do you SUPPORT these words from the New Testament? Yes or no? Do you CHOOSE not to?

      August 17, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      You have pulled out a verse where Paul was quoting a question posed by the Corinthians. Paul spent the rest of 7 addressing this question. His conclusion was v26 "I think that it is good for you to remain as you are..........in undivided devotion to the Lord"
      So I agree with the verse in context only i.e. single people devoted to Christ is best. Marriage will cause distraction from the Lord. "v38 he who marries does right and he who does not marry does even better."

      August 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  13. LinCA

    It is really quite simple. I'm surprised that it is apparently so hard to grasp for so many. The issues at hand are interpretation and jurisdiction and not, contrary to popular belief, homosexuality.

    Whether or not the bible approves or disapproves of homosexuality, or anything else, is only relevant for those that consider the bible to have any value and follow it. The US and all civilized nations have a strict freedom of religion. That means that religions or their associated writings, laws and restrictions only apply to those that choose to follow that particular religion.

    In other words, the bible has no jurisdiction over those that are not christian. Just as the Qur'an has no jurisdiction over those that are not muslim.

    For those that claim to be christian, the bible may, but doesn't necessarily have to, have jurisdiction. Again, freedom of religion allows everyone to freely choose what religion to follow, and how to follow it.

    That, of course, also means that your religious beliefs have no bearing on anyone else. Your beliefs can never determine anything anybody else does, or doesn't do. Your beliefs may only affect your behavior. Attempting to impose restrictions or behaviors on anyone else, solely based on your religion, is bigotry.

    So, if you feel that, based on how you interpret your bible, homosexuality is wrong, then you should refrain from engaging in it. You are free to not participate in any homosexual activity. If someone invites you, you have the option to simply decline. You have no right to attempt to restrict anyone else from freely choosing to participate.

    The discussion on the above article is merely one about various interpretations of the bible. But as stated above, you have the freedom to interpret it as you see fit. There is no absolute right or wrong way to interpret it, only personal choices.

    Whether homosexuality is a choice or if it is an inherent part of someones personality or something else completely, is entirely irrelevant. Even if it is a choice, you don't have the right to question that choice.

    You don't have to like homosexuality. You don't have to like gays. Your church is free to shun them. Your church is free to decline to marry them. That too, is part of freedom of religion.

    If you choose to hate, that is your choice. You will have to look at yourself in the mirror. You will have to live with yourself.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • doug

      very true and accurate comment, the problem is all the hard core religious nuts who believe their religion does have jurisdiction over you, me and everyone else who ever walked, are walking and have yet to walk on this earth

      August 17, 2011 at 4:48 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Hear, Hear.

      August 17, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  14. Recovering Republican

    If you are going to follow the Bible literally, then follow ALL of it literally. Republicans often cherry pick the Bible for items to be used as a tool to gain power over others. They then do the same with the Federal Tax Codes. By cherry picking things that do not personally affect us, you are not getting closer to God, but rather only getting closer to personal hypocrisy. I am not gay, but do not care if others are. I do not watch NASCAR, but don't mind if others do. I don't like clogging, break dancing, or sand sculpting, but again do not mind of others do.
    If you want to improve global morality, begin with your own.

    August 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Meghan

      Its worth noting that Dudley does give any historical context around the verses discussed. All other arguments aside, it's superficial to deem a verse impratical/practical based on present-day standards. Unless you can understand the focus of the New Testament writers and their respective audiences, I don't believe any conclusions one devises are worthy of interpretation– whether they serve the Evangelical's interests or not.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  15. Robert

    Romans 1:24-28, "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves, who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly (shameful), and receiving in themselves the recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient."

    August 16, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Observer

      So what did the Bible say was the "sin of Sodom and her daughters"?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Richard

      That is about roman cult worship using sex. the people being talked about in Romans one created gods in the form of statutes, birds, four footed animals and reptiles and they used these false gods during worship services that involved sexual acts. The sexual acts were both strongly against their natural inclinations and damaging to their bodies. Studies of pagan worship services, many times, show highly charged music, intoxication, sensuous dancing, orgiastic sex and fever pitches of emotion and trance like states when people would engage in various acts, sex or initiations. They were, in a word, riotous. Mutilations were done to the men's bodies during these worship services was something that is described as “meet” meaning it was obvious by the acts that they were damaging their bodies. Damaging the body could and did affect reproduction – the ultimate Jewish taboo due to the Prime Directive. God “gave them over”, not because they had same sex attraction, but because they KNEW God and made a choice to leave him and worship idols in sex cult worship services. During these services they would go against their nature, abandon their natural inclinations and damage their bodies. These people also encouraged others that were already doing these same practices to continue doing them.

      Something to consider. if you replace homosexual references in Romans one with heterosexual references, would you assume Romans one was condemning ALL heterosexuals or a SUBSET of heterosexuals that have transgressed into wrongful, harmful sex practices? It is the dangerous, idolatrous and abusive ACTS being condemned and it was condemned for ALL people whatever your sexual attractions.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • flyingfish

      Observer
      God has come; healed the lame, blind and possessed.raised the dead. changed the world...
      The proof is in me, the before and after...A girl was healed of a disabling physical condition By Jesus when i laid hands on her and called upon Jesus by name. I have the proof – she is a witness. What more I was led by His abiding Holy Spirit to do it. AND this is small potatoes compared to others have done in Jesus name. He is Real and Alive right now, as real as the air you breathe by the power of His Holy Spirit. Seek the proof! Ask Him to come into your life. Ask Him to save you.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  16. YourPreacher

    So much for Yale Divinity School..... I guess they teach stupid there.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Observer

      Obviously they teach how to recognize hypocrisy. I'd guess you didn't go to Yale.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • YourPreacher

      Observer.... Right I didn't go to Yale but I can still recognize an Imbecile or Imbecilic Thought and Reasoning.....Yes I've been reading your posts and you fit the definition..... LOL... Imbecile is a term for moderate to severe mental retardation, as well as for a type of criminal. It arises from the Latin word imbecillus, meaning weak, or weak-minded. "Imbecile" was once applied to people with an IQ of 26-50, between "moron" (IQ of 51-70) and "idiot" (IQ of 0-25).
      The term was further refined into mental and moral imbecility.[1][2] The concepts of "moral insanity," "moral idiocy," and "moral imbecility," led to the emerging field of Yale Divinity Students and their "Observers"..... forgive the hypocrisy....

      August 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Richard

      YourPreacher you realize that someone would never get into Yale with moderate to severe mental retardation. Therefore, imbecile would not apply to this author.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Observer

      YourPreacher,

      Why not grow up? Your juvenile factless name-calling just proves you didn't get a degree as good as one from Yale.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • YourPreacher

      Someone please look up the definition of fornication and be done with these inane discussions and justifcations..... quite boring

      August 16, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • LOL

      Again, gays do not qualify under the definition of fortification if they are saved and married by a pastor before God. Our pastor marries gay people. If you are so concerned about it then why aren't you also condemning straight people who do this all the time...that is this authors exact point.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      So, rather than argue the points, you're going to stand there and call people names?

      Nice. Mature. My twelve year old nephew debates with better skill. Care to actually attempt to address the issues raised? Or is name calling all you have?

      August 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Re: "the definition of fortification" – are we playing Risk now?

      August 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • YourPreacher

      LOL.... got that name right... Laugh at "fortification'" ? ROFL..... let's go back to Imbecile..... "moral insanity" or "moral idiocy".... this discussion is pointless as the rhetoric and deception is right out of "the Liar's" playbook......

      August 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • LOL

      "this discussion is pointless as the rhetoric and deception is right out of "the Liar's" playbook"

      There is no lying, science has shown gays are born this way, they are God's creation and as long as they are saved and married before God, they do not fit the definition or are you using your own definition as this author has been implying….. Again what is condemned in the bible is male protitution, rape and idolatry. It's time you actually picked up a history book instead of trying to play the definition game because let's face it you suck at it.

      August 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • LOL

      "this discussion is pointless as the rhetoric and deception is right out of "the Liar's" playbook"

      There is no lying, science has shown gays are born this way, which means they are God's creation and as long as they are saved and married before God, they do not fit the definition or are you using your own definition as this author has been implying….. Again what is condemned in the bible is male protitution, rape and idolatry. It's time you actually picked up a history book instead of trying to play the definition game because let's face it you suck at it.

      August 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • LOL

      OK I tried stopping the first post but it still posted, to bad there is not an edit button. LOL!

      August 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • flyingfish

      Definition:
      fornication (ˌfɔːnɪˈkeɪʃən)

      — n
      1. voluntary s•exual inter•course outside marriage
      2. law; voluntary s•exual inter•course between two persons of the opposite s•ex, where one is or both are unmarried
      3. Bible; s•exual immorality in general, esp adultery

      August 16, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • LOL

      That is why flyingfish when gays are married they don't fornicate and why they deserve the same equal rights as straights.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  17. Rob

    Just because some Christians misapply the prohibition on marriage doesn't mean they should do the same with Gay sin. The Bible says what it says. Trying to justify your behavior, which is against the Bible, is pointless. Just accept that you fall short.... like everyone else.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Or chose a religion that doesn't condemn you for being who you were born to be.

      August 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Lauren

      Agreed. Christians have a horrible rep for condemning and not giving GRACE. Grace is the focal point of Christianity!

      August 17, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • flyingfish

      Weight and Lauren
      and pagans create there own gods and play god, and atheist deny God with no proof while both idolize themselves. That really does drive God to desperate measures. God truly abhors this.

      August 18, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Observer

      flyingfish,

      "atheist deny God with no proof".
      Believer say God exists with no proof.
      What is your point? If either side could PROVE anything, this wouldn't be in dispute. All it would take is five seconds for God to make an announcement to the world. Problem resolved. Billions of people saved. Apparently, too much to ask for.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • flyingfish

      Observer

      psoted to wrong place
      flyingfish

      Observer
      God has come; healed the lame, blind and possessed.raised the dead. changed the world...
      The proof is in me, the before and after...A girl was healed of a disabling physical condition By Jesus when i laid hands on her and called upon Jesus by name. I have the proof – she is a witness. What more I was led by His abiding Holy Spirit to do it. AND this is small potatoes compared to others have done in Jesus name. He is Real and Alive right now, as real as the air you breathe by the power of His Holy Spirit. Seek the proof! Ask Him to come into your life. Ask Him to save you.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • AGuest9

      Yes, and look at how many have killed in "his" name...

      August 19, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  18. Curious

    Instead of arguing about what's in bible, why can't we just go to God with our questions and arguments? God has the answer and He will show you right from wrong.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Uriah

      Not everyone have the same father. Or: not children of God.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • tallulah13

      Before you can ask god, you'll have to find him. Considering how clever he's been at hiding himself for pretty much the entirety of history, that's going to be difficult.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Uriah

      Because you view God as a servant. You will never find him. God respects no man. You have to want to have a relationship with Jesus through obedience and at least read the bible to begin to understand God that he is of love and peace.

      Jhn 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

      Jhn 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

      Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find [me], when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

      Jer 29:14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      I have talked to my gods. They don't have an issue with hom-o-s-exuality. It's all good.

      Glad we have that settled.

      August 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • flyingfish

      to myweightinwords

      You checked with your gods? your own personal gods? – Its all good? yeah those cultures with polytheistic cultures are in bondage to themselves – your gods? the same gods under your control – self creation – your idols – your world – narcissism or skitzo – You you ain't God as much as you would like to be. AH! remember that was Lucifer's problem – an Archangel who wanted to be like God – who has convinced you of the same and has you enlisted, deceived, – the reason for lakes of fire and places called hades and hell. You manipulate the created, the earthly spirit world and thumb you nose at the Creator. You say there is no sin – what is murder? child sacrifice, the pagan practices of Baal who raised God's ire. These are the roots to your gods. worshiping the created in moons, stars and solstices, meditation and chakra, grounded for astral projection, nearly Jezebel, but not quite dark enough in places you have no control over that will eat you up. Read Steyne's – Gods of Power. You think you have extra-spiritual power and a specialist knowledge, others, especially Christians just do not get – God wrote the book – you are just too scared or self absorbed to read it. "There is nothing new under the sun" – phrase search that on Biblegateway.com. You will never be able to tap into the true source as long as parlay with pagans. and promote darkness veiled as light – satan is portrayed as an angel of light... seek refuge in Christ. He will meet you there. These simple words are all you need – Be gone in the name of Jesus Christ! He defeated you on the cross, where He is I will be. Continue with – I am washed clean by His sacrificial blood and covered by His Holy Spirit.

      August 18, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • flyingfish

      to MyWeightInWords
      Please understand your very practices and the deities you conjure, consult, cavort with; preach and promote are what brought about God's (YHWH) repeated wrath against Israel and any other civilization who did so. God will let us go and walk away from His favor, but do not look to Him when tragedy strikes and you cause hell to break loose, because you chose to away from His grace, His heart of love written down we debate the voracity of carelessly here.

      August 18, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • flyingfish

      Correction:
      do not look to Him [to blame] when tragedy strikes [after] you [have] cause hell to break loose, because you chose [to]
      This is of the most serious of matters.

      August 18, 2011 at 8:59 am |
  19. sister truth

    First of all stop trying to justify this arguement with others, the bible states clearly that all sin is an abomination to GOD, but that certain sins are punishable by death, like blasphemy against the HOLY SPIRIT, and being gay . So no matter what you think or what you argue, if you don't repent of your sins, and stop being gay then when you die you will go to hell, because only holiness, righteousness, and cleanliness shall ca enter into heaven , and the kingdom to come. so yes all gay people are going into hell.

    August 16, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • LOL

      God created gay people therefore they are not an abomination nor are they going to hell. What is an abomination is male prostitution, rape and idolatry. You are doing exactly what the author is talking about. Stop taking the scriptures literally and pick up a history book.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • tallulah13

      People are born gay. There have been gay people longer than there have been christians. There will be gay people as long as there are people. Were you aware that statistics prove that the more older brothers a boy has, the greater the odds are that he will be gay? If a god made people, that god made gay people, too. The true abomination is a book of bronze age myths that teaches people to hate out of fear that they'll be punished forever.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Maranatha

      Yes sister truth , the Bible is the truth .. if we follow the Lord and His words we will be safe .....

      August 16, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Uriah

      Jhn 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

      We all are born as sinners. But must accept Jesus to be changed. If you think you were born gay then maybe you were, Its called a generational curse.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • tallulah13

      It's very sad to see (presumably) adults trying to justify hatred because they are afraid of the boogeyman.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Dwight

      Sister, you might want to step back a moment and review God's Word about this. As Robert quotes Romans, it is not their sin but their lack of repentance that condems them. In Biblical context all sin result in the same thing if PRACTICED long enought and that is spiritual death or hell. I think the more germane point is why all the fuss about this one sin? Let's focus on those who live apart from Christ, period. As an example, "tallulah13" who has been indoctrinated into the religion of the world. I wonder how many 'original' thoughts he or she has come up with? If you want to know the truth you have to investigate the data yourself not listen to any dogmatic preachers of any "religion". In the end you decide what, or who, your faith will be focused on. I think atheists have the most faith of all but, I chose life and life more abundantly.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • LOL

      “But must accept Jesus to be changed. If you think you were born gay then maybe you were, Its called a generational curse.”

      Being gay is not a curse. The reality is that homosexuality is not an illness. It does not require treatment and is not changeable. 35 years of objective, well-designed scientific research has shown that homosexuality, in and itself, is not associated with mental disorders or emotional or social problems. Homosexuality was once thought to be a mental illness because mental health professionals and society had biased information.

      The curse you speak of is people being brainwashed for generations by bias and prejudice information that has now to been shown to be completely false and continuing to discriminate against this group in our society.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • LOL

      “Sister, you might want to step back a moment and review God's Word about this. As Robert quotes Romans, it is not their sin but their lack of repentance that condems them. In Biblical context all sin result in the same thing if PRACTICED long enought and that is spiritual death or hell.”

      What you don’t get is being gay is not a sin so there is no need for repentance. There are saved gay Christians who love god and are married before god to their partners. God does not condemn the loving saved homosexual marriage.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Dwight

      Really LOL? You really want to quote research? Then quote ALL of it. There is now no definitive proof that has stood up to peer review that proves one way or the other. There are no twins studies (the cadillac of all such studies) and much of the results on either side are disputed (usually due to the researcher skewing the study to support their belief). The fact is, most of science, especially psychology (sociology is absolutely and totally unproveable using the scientfiic method) is THEORY no matter which view it supports. And one last point, please don't try and interpret the Bible for believers. You haven't a clue what the Word is saying unless you have a relationship with The Word. It isn't scientific, it's faith, just like you have in your own intelligence. One has influenced the world and the other...?

      August 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Observer

      Dwight,

      So it's faith vs. intelligence. Seems accurate.

      August 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • J.W

      OK sister truth I need to see if I have this straight. So the only two sins I will go to hell for are blasphemy and being gay? I dont claim to be God and I am not gay. So I guess I can do whatever I want, because there are no consequences for me.

      August 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • fred

      sister truth
      Sorry that's not right with the exception that if you reject God with your last dying breath there is a good chance you will get just what you have wanted in this life and eternity – a Godless eternity with simular souls.
      As to ho mo $exuality it is sin to the believer just as any other sin would be to the believer. Paul who wrote the verses concerning ho mo $exuality in the New Testament also made it clear those who are busy condeming sinful behavior in others are themselves condemed. Jesus is the judge as only He can be impartial and know all that is just and right on that final day.

      August 16, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Observer

      Here's what Paul also said:
      – I Corinthians 7:8-9 “Here is my advice for people who have never been married and for widows. You should stay single, just as I am. But if you don't have enough self-control, then go ahead and get married. After all, it is better to marry than to burn with desire”

      So marriage is not the best thing, but it's okay if you are weak and can't control your desire. Good idea for gay marriages, too.

      August 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • LOL

      "Really LOL? You really want to quote research? Then quote ALL of it. There is now no definitive proof that has stood up to peer review that proves one way or the other. There are no twins studies (the cadillac of all such studies) and much of the results on either side are disputed (usually due to the researcher skewing the study to support their belief)."

      Well Dwight guess what there are twin studies and other scientific research to boot. It just shows you don't know what you're talking about. What it does prove is this author is correct in his observation. It's because of that research that all the organization listed on this thread have gone on record stating that being gay is not a choice.

      August 16, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • fred

      lol,
      The exact wording from the American Psychological Association is: "Most scientists today agree that $exual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors."
      They further go on to say that how you choose to act out your orientation is a choice.

      August 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • fred

      lol,
      Saying the devil made me do it is a cop out as well as saying my DNA made me do it. Each person on earth is given a set of playing cards and a card table. The way they play out their hand is what reveals the true nature of a man. Whether you believe God aranged it all or everything just somehow came together by random chance your up. Don't tell me some pastor told you to draw to an inside straight, when the game is over it is over. Now if I come by and give you a couple of stiff drinks leading you make a bad decision I am held accountable for that or if you hit the inside straight that pastor my just get some reward. House rules always trump.

      August 16, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • Observer

      "how you choose to act out your orientation is a choice."

      Read your own words. Notice the word "ACT". It's not the same as choosing an orientation. You can ACT gay if you want. Does that make you gay? Don't misinterpret what it says.

      August 16, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • LOL

      Keep reading fred show us you can read the whole thing. Human beings cannot choose to be either gay or straight. & Psychologists do not consider se/b>xual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed."

      That is why gays deserve to marry and have intimate relationships just like straight people. The bible says it's better to be celibate that is a choice but if you are going to give into the lust then it's better to marry...gay or straight. Did you choose to be straight, no, just like a gay person didn't choose to be born gay.

      August 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • fred

      observer,
      Following is the exact quote which is what I thought I said :"Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider $exual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed"

      August 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • fred

      lol,
      In the process of reading up I stumbled across another statistic. 85% of adolesents with behaviour problems come from fatherless homes. That is a significat study with large populations over a long peiod of time. Common sense tells me if lack of a father causes such problems your stat that hetro couples and ho mo $exual couples do equally as well in raising a child is suspect. Where ever I look I see no hard numbers with proper research behind them.

      August 16, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • flyingfish

      well said Fred – environment, culture, coercion and choice!

      LOL says: "Human beings cannot choose to be either gay or straight. & Psychologists do not consider se/b>xual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed."

      SHOW US THE PROOF!

      YOU provide some kind of credible source !

      August 16, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Observer

      flyingfish,

      What are your credentials that show you know more than the thousands of professionals at APA?

      August 17, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • flyingfish

      to Observer
      produce the report – – actual relevant scientific proof.

      August 17, 2011 at 8:20 am |
    • LOL

      “85% of adolescents with behaviour problems come from fatherless homes”

      I would be curious to know when that study was done because just recently it was shown that children raised by lesbian mothers — whether the mother was partnered or single — scored very similarly to children raised by heterosexual parents on measures of development and social behavior. These findings were expected, the authors said; however, they were surprised to discover that children in lesbian homes scored higher than kids in straight families on some psychological measures of self-esteem and confidence, did better academically and were less likely to have behavioral problems, such as rule-breaking and aggression.

      When it comes to gay parenting 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 17, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • LOL

      "produce the report – – actual relevant scientific proof."

      It's been provided on this thread several times and the organizations have been listed you just don't want to believe the hundred of thousands of people who make up those organizations. That is your choice, but being gay is not.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • J.W

      I would say that the list of scientific organizations that claim that it is not a choice are all credible sources. Flyingfish why cant you go and read the reports for yourself?

      August 17, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • fred

      LOL,
      I am only aware of biased studies that show mommy and mommy raise the worlds best kids. Please stop for one moment and use common sense. If you can actually say your gut tells you mommy and mommy raise tommy up the same or better than June and Wally Cleaver you are kidding yourself. Common just where is tommy going to get a male role model and how will tommy ever know how a man and women relate. Tommy may have straight DNA but his life experiences that form his base character are forever impacted. Now this wonderful experiment using guinne pig tommy may just produce something this world has desparatly needed. Are you conducting this experiment as a scientest or just using tommy for personal reasons (no offense intended just cannot think of better wording). There will never be a scientific study that will show what tommy could have been because his life experiences are never the same again and there is only one tommy.

      August 17, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • LOL

      “Common just where is tommy going to get a male role model and how will tommy ever know how a man and women relate.”

      I do believe children thrive better when there are two loving parents razing the child regardless of the se xual orientation of the parents. This also does not take away from the millions of single parents out there doing the best job they can. There are 13.7 million single parents in the United States today, and those parents are responsible for raising 21.8 million children. Based on the facts that children do just fine in a gay household as well straights shows that a male role figure is not needed, what is needed is to show that long term loving committed relationships are possible. I also think two people raising a child is less stressful than it is for a single parent doing it all by themselves. Again, I am not saying a single parent can’t raise the child and do a great job. I come from a single parent household so I know things can be fine. That actual studies have shown that your theory of needing a role model for each se x in the raising of a child is not necessary.

      August 17, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Observer

      flyingfish,

      The APA is the largest organization of professionals dealing with psychological issues.

      What are your credentials that show you know more than the thousands of professionals at APA?

      August 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • fred

      LOL
      I was raised in a violent home and had to learn what love was from the Bible at an older age. Early in life I learned morals from the boy scouts where a male role model stepped in. I still guard against my early negative life experiences that try and stage a come back. A committed mommy and mommy healthy home would have produced a different me. A committed daddy and daddy healthy home would have also produced a different me. Given that my best man and many of my close friends ended up gay I suspect my DNA would have had a hard time keeping me on the straight and narrow.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Jerome

      Observer, it is based in Washington, D.C., and is a scientific and professional organization that represents psychology in the United States. With more than 154,000 members, APA is the largest association of psychologists worldwide, but watch this flyingfish will still try to say it's not true.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • LOL

      “I suspect my DNA would have had a hard time keeping me on the straight and narrow.”

      The reports are done by experts have shown that children raised by gays develop equally as straights. I work with children from abused homes, I know the dark side of humanity and what an adult is capable of doing to a child, it’s truly sad. I can tell you from a personal experience and years of doing this, not one of those homes were of a gay or lesbian couple but straight couples with a father figure that failed the child. We can go round and round on this but the bottom line is the welfare of the child and we can’t control everything parents will do to that child. I am just a supporter of allowing the gays and lesbians to go ahead and adopt the children straight parents don’t want too.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • fred

      lol,
      Iam with you on that !

      August 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • flyingfish

      Observer, Jerome, LOL, etc – you still have not produced any proof – you just keep saying APA – well show me the scientific evidence – you are the experts here, or at least the proponents – SO show me the proof! ...the real credible scientific proof! o far you are just hot air – jabber mouths who cant back up what their arguments.

      August 18, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Observer

      flyingfish,

      There are 150,000 professionals that probably ALL have degrees that you do not have and ALL 150,000 have FAR MORE experience in the area of psychology than you likely do. Now tell us what makes your word on the topic more KNOWLEDGEABLE than theirs. Answer please. What are YOUR qualifications that you know more than they do?

      August 18, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • flyingfish

      Esp Observer and Talulah13
      You do have any proof – you have still not shown evidence of from ANY source other than your perverted perspectives. jabber jabber – yada yada! You say you have 150,000 profleshonels backin you up – than find one who is a credible scientist with a definitive report. real Proof!

      August 18, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • LOL

      fyingfish, you have to deny that the proof exists so you can hold onto your prejudice mind set. If you weren't so lazy you would know that there are twin studies, womb studies, brain scan studies as well as years and years of psychological studies. That is what the hundred of thousand professional used to make the determination that people are born gay and it's not a mental illness. What is very apparent is that the saying hatred is built on the foundation of ignorance certainly applies to you. So what is your PhD in?

      August 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Observer

      flyingfish,
      150,000 people with degrees in pyschology, which you apparently DON'T HAVE and each with FAR FAR more experience in treating psychological problems than you likely will EVER have, have reached a consensus.

      You, without ANY degree or professional experience apparently, think you know more than they do. How can you pretend that you have ANY credibility? Why not talk to members of APA. They can tell you all about delusions.

      August 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • flyingfish

      Observer and LOL

      Just Jabber – proof! not a quote from someone else about some group somewhere. You cant! and that is why i keep asking for it. It does not exist – Its a lie and you have been fooled into believing it. Its not your fault, but understand; There is no proof and to argue so is foolish nonsense.

      This being the case, we can work from a position of truth, not in condemnation, but understanding – ho•m•o•s•ex•ual•s have chosen, whether on their own or as a result of coercion, a perverted sense of self and a distorted view of love to believe they are meant for the same s•ex. This is a lie directly from the chairman of the pit of hell and this dear friends is where we must apply ourselves.

      Now how can we love them and provide a safe environment which does not persecute them, but provides an opportunity for developing healthy relationships?

      August 18, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • Observer

      flyingfish,

      Millions of gays say they were born that way. APA says it is not a pure choice. You have ZERO proof otherwise and apparently ZERO degrees and ZERO professional experience to dispute it.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:48 am |
    • LOL

      "This being the case, we can work from a position of truth, not in condemnation, but understanding – ho•m•o•s•ex•ual•s have chosen, whether on their own or as a result of coercion, a perverted sense of self and a distorted view of love to believe they are meant for the same s•ex."

      No, 35 years of scientific research has shown that being gay is not a mental illness, it's not a choice and it can't be voluntarily changed. They have also shown that conversion therapies do NOT work. Just because you are too lazy to look at all the research assciations provide doesn't mean it's false. The issue is you are NOT a true Christians with all your derogatory judgements about gays with no facts to back it up. Everything you have said is a lie about them and the scientific and psychological community has proven that.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • flyingfish

      Millions of ho•mo•se•x•u•als say they are born that way and millions more, Like You, say that its true (you still have not produced any proof – there is no gene), still more social scientist agree there a a number of contributing factors (falling off their horse just short of genetic proof).

      This is a comfort to all – relinquishing all responsibility to the obvious fact of dysfunction with Hom•os•s•exual perversion at the pinnacle of our failure as humanity, parents, deviants, churches. schools, teachers, governments: aka society globally and the point of God's gift of His Son Christ and His coming.

      "And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them" (Matthew 21:14) Then and now!

      You see if its unknown: It cant be their choice, that would be deviant; It cant be our fault, this would mean there is something wrong with us; It cant be the church, so they discount Scripture, (which has stood for millennia til all knowing now) because they have failed to do what God has mandated them to do – embrace these lost effectively.

      The list goes on – Its something as old as Abraham – scapegoats – this time science, but here we are pilfering the minutia of the others eyes under the veil of the scientific unknown and leaving it there – when the monkey of truth is squarely on our backs so big it won't fit as lumber in OUR eyes. Its easier this way.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • LOL

      Why are you so stuck on the genetic proof, the proof is their brain scans, the womb, etc. The proof is there you just don’t want to acknowledge it because that would mean you are wrong, your ego can’t handle that. The scientific and psychological experts have proven your prejudice rant wrong. That’s the bottom line, you just don’t want to let go of your hatred and prejudice Gay sare born gay, they are a creation of God, it’s time for you to drop your hate and prejudice and allow Christ to fill your heart with love

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

      flyingfish,

      Apparently you have no degree in psychology and no professional experience in psychology. The only thing left for you is to claim that you are a mind-reader. So can you read the minds of millions of people who say they were born gay and tell us that you know that they are lying based on knowing what goes on in their minds? Answer please. It's likely your last chance to show if you know what you are talking about.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  20. Pamelia

    Thanks for the great article. Well said. I wish the news-shows would point this kind of information out every time some politico makes that baseless matter of faith defense of their own bigotry!

    August 16, 2011 at 9:17 am |
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.