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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. Jesus was gay

    Jesus not only loves gay people. Jesus himself was gay.

    August 22, 2011 at 9:28 am |
  2. hippypoet

    all the priests are losers, all the believers are losers, and you all will die and go to the same place we all do after we die, THE GROUND... to be eaten by all the other creatures that your fake religion has forgotten... GET OVER IT, STOP LIVING LIKE A CHILD WITH ALL THESE FANTASIES, GROW THE "HELL" UP!!! time to let people love people, and if anyone has a problem with that then they must hate people.

    August 22, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • Nate

      The message Christ came to communicate is that everyone is separated from God by their own sin. If you don't believe in personal sin, then I guess you wouldn't need someone, like Jesus, to take that burden from you and give you freedom from sin.

      Speaking of love, the Bible teaches that the ultimate display of love is Christ dying on the cross for the sins of the world. But again, if you don't think sin exists, then you can't really see that as a very good example of love – it's very different from 'letting people love people.'

      You might want to look into what the Bible teaches concerning love. It may help you understand people that are following this so called 'fake religion.'

      August 23, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  3. Antichrist

    Religion is a persistent primitive plague on mankind, science and philosophy are the cure. Can we all please evolve for once.

    August 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • matt

      The article was so full of half-truths, distortions and outright lies. For example, the debate about when the soul enters the body does not have anything to do with the Church's supposed doubt about abortion. Historically, Christianity has stood four-square in opposition to abortion since its beginning. No Christian body in 1900+ years ever accepted abortion as legitimate. Only 50 years ago did the first so-called "Christian" denomination accept it as legitimate.

      August 21, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Observer

      Matt,

      The BIBLE offers more support in favor of abortion than against it.

      August 21, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • Chris Marsh

      Simply because every abortion and miscarriage goes to Heaven by default does not mean God's will is for us to be miscarried and never see the light of day.

      August 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  4. Observer

    This story is all about HYPOCRISY. If h0mophobic Christians ACTUALLY cared about sins, they'd pick on the FAR FAR GREATER number of Christians who commit adultery than there are people who are gay.

    – Matthew 19:3-6 “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." (Jesus)
    – Luke 16:18 "Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.”

    August 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Lindsey

      Not all Christians are hypocrits. they are human just like anyone else, so they will make mistakes and sin. And I'm sorry to say but i think that you are misusing the matthew verse. it doesn't mean that man should be with man it means that don't go against what God put together.

      August 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  5. Not God

    I'm glad we humans have it all figured out. Nothing is beyond our understanding. If we don't know an answer, we'll make one up.

    Snap out of it. Want to live with true freedom? Ask yourself this question, Que sais-je (What do I know)? You'll realize not much.

    August 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  6. The Truth

    Christians, Muslims, and Jews kill their God everyday with their hate and insecurities. If you are a true believer, keep it to yourself. Stop trying to get people to confirm your belief system. True believers don't need likeminded individuals.

    August 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  7. Chloe

    haha that's rich... someone who believes in a big sky daddy and a talking snake who feeds apples to gullible women demanding proof of anything from someone else! hahahaha omg you guys are better than TV!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHaVUjjH3EI&w=640&h=360]

    August 21, 2011 at 5:22 am |
  8. Cheryl

    The reasoning here is confusing. Man's thoughts and opinions mean nothing – doesn't matter where they are from, which church, which age, etc. The only thing that matters is what God says. And, God says quite a few things about this. He hates it. The root of the matter is sin – and that sin is the reason a person is given over to this lifestyle (and thereby given over to satan to be harassed and hurt). I've know enough people that were bi, gay, etc to know that they are horribly unsettled in mind and spirit and life because of it. They have to take anxiety pills to get through their days. The only answer is to repent and turn from it – just like all sin. Only the Lord Jesus Christ's blood can save us from the wrath of God, which every single person in the world will pay for if they do not have redemption by Christ.

    August 21, 2011 at 3:07 am |
    • TImothy

      You state that a gay life style is the cause of your gay friends depression but It more like the stigma that christians place on them due to thier ignorence-is the real cause of that depression.

      August 21, 2011 at 4:14 am |
    • zeta zion

      –Cheryl wrote

      –The reasoning here is confusing. Man's thoughts and opinions mean nothing – doesn't matter where they are from, which church, which age, etc. The only thing that matters is what God says.

      yes cheryl, when you have such a small small view of the world and can not open your mind to any other thought, i am sure the world is a very confusing place. if you really believe that "...the only thing that matters is what god says..." then why oh why are you reading web pages instead of your bible (which if you would read history it also was written by men.)

      August 21, 2011 at 8:29 am |
    • Observer

      Sadly, the premise here is that it doesn't matter if you are the world's nicest, kindest, most compassionate, most generous, most loving, and most helpful person. If you don't believe in something that can't be proved, you are deemed to be so disgusting that you deserve to burn in fire forever.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • William

      Obviously, Cheryl the gay people you know, you must only know them as acquaintances. I really do not care what you believe because I was born gay and did not choose to be gay but I am. It does not define who I am nor what I believe. I am a Christian, an Episcopalian, to be exact. I believe in God and I know that Christ died to save me from my sins.
      So, I wish that you and the other holier than thou Christians would just worry about being saved from your own sins. I do not need or want your help.
      In fact, I'll bet you would not know Jesus Christ if he were standing in line in front of you at Wal Mart.

      August 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Observer

      William

      Cheryl said "Man's thoughts and opinions mean nothing", so follow her own advice on everything she said.

      August 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  9. flyingfish

    Observer which ones were married and which were not?

    from your example: "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."

    What are their names?

    August 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Observer

      They were the disciples. Sorry, I thought you had read the Bible.

      August 20, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  10. Ron B

    Christianity exists because of hatred and an agenda that promotes hatred, fear and punishment. Live you life on the possibility that they did not tick god off enough that they will be sent to hell....... Kill those who disagree with you and torture anyone who dares say the church is not correct on all things. This is the legacy of the christian church....... the leaders of the church know that they can't get people excited about all the "abominations" spelled out in the bible so they focus on the one "men loving men".....

    August 20, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Cheryl

      Actually, that was the legacy of the Roman Catholic Church, not the Christian church.

      August 21, 2011 at 3:10 am |
    • John N

      Excellently put Ron B. 

      There has been evidence of this throughout history! The church is about power, fear and above all hate. Love between any human cannot be denounced as unnatural or wrong. To be able to give love and to receive love in the message the church should be sending!

      August 21, 2011 at 4:55 am |
  11. The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar

    If one wants my 2 bits worth of palpatations, Let 'em alone and try not to let them teach such morbidity dribblationisms in "public" schools,,,,,,,,Oh I forgot,,,,,,, Publicity draws more flies and the sweetness of storytelling ho-m-oAgin-louses are a far better thing then run-of-the-mill he-terol-isms' stories to tell the very young and still yet innocent,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 😦

    August 19, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  12. JD

    Life DOES begin at conception. Ensoulment most likely occurs after. Regardless, Thomas Aquinas thought it was ever WORSE to end a human life before ensoulment because you are robbing that human of even the possibility of a human soul.

    August 19, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • No so much

      He opposed it before ensoulment because he opposed contraception. It was morally equivalent to using a condom for him.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Observer

      LIFE does NOT begin at conception. It begins before that. Without a LIVE sperm and a LIVE egg, there is no conception.

      August 19, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  13. Lairbear

    Jonathan Dudley,

    Nicely written even when some will still disagree.

    August 19, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  14. Demand a Refund

    Mr. Dudley, If the hermenutic Yale Div. taught you didn't enable you to distinguish the contextual differences between Rom. 1 and 1 Cor. 11 I'd seriously be wanting a refund. That's first year seminary stuff. I'm embarrassed for you.

    M.Div.'s Rule!

    August 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Duh

      The comments to this article proves the author is correct. Christians like you pick and choose which scriptures to follow and which ones you don't.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Demand a Refund

      Dear Duh, Based on your reply I'm assuming you have no formal theological training. We're not talking about hillbilly snake handling Christian nonsense. We're talking hermenutics 101. Like the difference between prose and poetry stuff. This is NOT COMPLICATED and it's got nothing to do with whether one is "evangelical" or not. If you found Mr. Dudley's argument compelling I'd suggest "How to Read a Book" which is completely not religious by J. Mortimer Adler. He talks about the basics like the difference between prose and poetry. You might want to buy a copy for Mr. Dudley as well.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • No so much

      If your seminary taught you that the difference between romans and 1 corithians is that one is prose and the other is poetry, then you're the one who should be demanding a refund. Most likely it gave you the false impression that hermeneutics is an objective, scientific enterprise when in reality, as Dudley brilliantly illustrates and as most of the best scholars acknowledge, it is an intensely value-laden one. Even many conservative scholars concede that the 1 cor reference Dudley brings up poses a problem for appropriating Paul's theology of nature in romans 1. no doubt, it's easier for you to just dismiss dudley's argument off-hand, but your comments reflect both an ignorance about the nature of hermeneutics and about current scholarship on both passages.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • Demand a Refund

      @Not so much–Yes, the prose/poetry analogy was an oversimplification of a quasi-complex issue to put in layman's terms what any semi-serious Bible reader should be able to pick up on and that is that there are fundamental contextual differences between the two letters. As you probably should be aware hermenutics is both an art and science. However, modern scholarship for the most part conveniently attempts to strip any objectivity from the hermenutical process by obfuscating the issues to the degree that everything is so obscure that you can make any pericope mean what you want it to mean which is what Mr. Dudley has done here, but then again, you already knew that. You should be aware of the hermenutical circle and the principle that scripture interprets scripture. That said, Rom. 1 is not the only place were Paul talks about this issue. He is in fact quite clear about it. (cf. 1 Tim. 1 et al) Since we're talking about Pauline theology, Paul's words, "For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." is most appropriate.

      August 19, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  15. John in Texas

    Bravo Mr Dudley.

    August 19, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  16. GodPot

    I've seen the argument many times now on this blog that "God made Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve so that should make it obvious that humans aren't meant to be gay and/or aren't born gay." Without going into the whole "Did a real Adam & Eve exist" debate, ask yourself this: If you believe that God does all things for a purpose and that he is always right in his design then why...

    do we have extrinsic ear muscles (allows some to wiggle their ears)?
    do we have a subclavius muscle under our shoulders (only helps if walking on all fours)?
    do males have n i p p l e s?
    do we have e r e c t o r pili (goose bumps) which allows animals to puff up their fur for insulation but humans do not need?
    do males have facial hair?
    do we have a plantaris muscle (only useful for grasping things with feet)?
    do many males have a male uterus (a remnant of an undeveloped female reproductive o r g a n that hangs off the male prostate gland)?
    do women have a female vas deferens or e p o ophoron (what might have become sp e rm ducts in males become the e p o o phoron in females, a cluster of useless dead-end tubules near the ovaries)?
    do we have a coccyx (the fused vertebrae is all that's left of the tail that most other mammals still use for balance and communication)?

    You can hide behind the "God is a mystery" defense if you wish, but that seems like a lot of things to add if we weren't meant to use them. And not to mention the remnants of other gender tissues showing that gender is not a s s igned as fast as many think it might be in the womb, and sometimes not even until after birth when the doctor has to step in and flip a coin or ask the parent which gender they would prefer, then a snip snip and poof, a baby girl! Doesn't seem like any religiously predetermined path of life being chosen by God.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • fred

      Sorry, God would never make anyone that smart so they could figure it all out. Why? Just look at the ingenious, wicked, nasty, horrifying evil man has devised with the little brain he was given. The more gifted God makes a man the greater the evil possible as well as good.
      A close look and you will see our entire existence hangs on thread here on Earth. To this date we have not found another earth throughout the known universe that supports life. We don’t need to run the numbers you know the perfection.
      Why do you assume God would not use an evolutionary process to refine life when that is all the evidence we have. (i.e. that we evolved explains most of your problems above.) Can you conceive of a better way to construct man. Even the culture and intellect is still evolving in man.
      Forget the Adam and Steve thing that is a joke. Fast forward to 30AD when Jesus told you everything you need to know if you are the least bit interested in the next phase of our spiritual evolution. What are you stuck in the physical world of what you can see, touch, smell, taste and hear. Those are the senses the Neanderthal used. Will you forever be backwards and stuck in the things of man tied down by some ropes science has constructed ? You are 2,000 years behind the times perhaps even as far back as the bronze age. You want to use space craft made of steel so you are secure in a known womb of your own creation to explore the unknown.
      Common GodPot it is not that hard give it a try. I have not know of one person Jesus has turned down when they honestly asked “Jesus help me I don’t believe” . You want to believe but darn it I will not fall for that kid stuff………….well GodPot if you want to see Jesus you must approach God as a child……………..i.e. Mr. brainy Pants gets in the way.

      August 19, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Observer

      It's fascinating to hear that God designed people to not be intelligent. Not much of an endorsement for believers, is it?

      August 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      Thats right, the A bomb would like a fire craker. The rack, water boarding and palm shoots under the finger nails would be childs play. Thats just the evil side. The pleasure side would start where Sodom leff off, we are talking about things San Francisco city council would outlaw.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      If you keep insisting that God wants Christians to be ignorant, you've gone a long way to unite believers, atheists, and agnostics to all agree on something.

      August 19, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • flyingfish

      Let me ask you something GodPot – What is the design of your protrusion made for?
      Anything else is an affront to nature and God.

      August 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Observer

      flyingfish,

      "What is the design of your protrusion made for?'

      Gays and lebians can have children. Biology 101. Take the course.

      August 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • loverboy

      You Go Godpot speak your mind, show everyone how millions of years of evalutions and mistakes made you smart. Let me ask you can you produce a child without the womb. So when did evolution decide that the womb was necessary. Ops you need the tubes to deliver the eggs to the womb were they created at the same time or before the womb. If we evolved from a pool of slim you can't explain how we developed, even science can make the slim just not life. There are many beliefs out there did you know that the Gnostics belived in many god each contributing a piece of the body and putting it together? There is a belief that Erich Von Daniken has spawned that God may be aliens. However the belief and what you believe in is because of the free will that was given to all man to use and be able to make the right choices. Do not think you are right because man taught you and you used man's education to formulate a decision about God. I ask you study God in all the beliefs and when you are finished use science to disprove God. Science hasn't been able to yet, so I think you will. fail, but I have been known to be wrong But I just ask you have a full knowledge of both sides before you make your final decision. Last 12/21/2011 may not be the destruction everyone is thinking about. It could be that man maybe moving into an age of spirtuality, moving from the physical. It order to do that you have have to be open to the spirit. This has nothing to do with God, he just created us, it about evolution and the next step in mankind, which by the way if you study God will find out has been written in many cultures not just the Bible. What will havppen to those who are not, well we will have to wait and see.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • GodPot

      @fred – "I have not know of one person Jesus has turned down when they honestly asked “Jesus help me I don’t believe”

      And I have not known of one person that logical people don't think is crazy that claims Jesus speaks to them. If I closed my eyes and wished and prayed to believe in something, like Jesus or Unicorns, then your right, i'm likely going to believe it. Why? Because I WANT to, not because there is any truth behind my wish and prayer. I do believe in the power of mind over matter and there is even some scientific evidence that supports a belief that our brains can have a greater influence over unseen things, like thoughts, telepathic messages and images. Some refer to this as ESP. There is far more evidence that ESP is real than there is any sort of deity that we can interact with.

      @loverboy – "I ask you study God in all the beliefs and when you are finished use science to disprove God. Science hasn't been able to yet, so I think you will."

      I ask you study God in all the beliefs and when you are finished use your books or faith to prove God. Religion hasn't been able to yet, so I think you will also fail.

      Why do people try to make a point by saying "go study your bible" as if that will be some cure all for a lack of faith in your imaginary deity. I have read the bible over three times, the first time as a staunch believer, the second as a well thought of pastor, the third time as an attempt to dispell my doubts, but that ended up confirming them instead. The bible is a book written by many authors over a very long period of ancient history and reflects several cultural deities from the God of Moses and the Exodus, to the God of the Judges which was the war God killing women and children, then there is the God of the Kings granting magical wisdom or punishing David by killing his baby then forgiving him. Then you have the God of the established Israel that uses other nations like Babylon to punish his own people with enslavement. Then a cloud parts and we have a new God, one that turns the other cheek and hangs out with tax collectors and prost-itutes and let's himself be murdered right at the height of his popularity knowing he will become a martyr for his cause. And after that he sends John a vision of wild beasts and great dragons and all sorts of things you might expect to see in a Hunter S. Thompson LSD induced nightmare. Then it ends on the high note of "And God's tent is with mankind" and all is wonderful for the believers but very very terrible for those who dismissed this demonic hallucination as what it likely was, John tripping ballz from some Salvia while reading old testement scripture.

      August 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  17. Dave

    read this

    August 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  18. Jesus

    Hey guys,

    Just wanted to let you know that I'm cool with gay marriage, okay? So, um, if you could like stop saying my dad and I are against it that'd be really cool.

    Peace out,

    Jesus (Christ)

    August 19, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • Common Sense

      Yahweh and Yahshua are against the whole abomination of being with a man as with a woman.

      August 19, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • LOL

      No, what is the abomination is male protitution, rape and idolatry. There is nothing in the Bible that condemns the saved loving married before God gay couple.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • fred

      Lol
      There are clear statements in the Bible regarding the sin of immorality. As to a loving gay couple keep in mind very few marriages bring glory to God as people just refuse to follow simple guides on how to please God or bring glory to God. Jesus blood covers believers that do not bring glory to God and so it is possible that Jesus would save gay lovers just as he saved me. These things are not possible by man but only God.

      To get married as a Gay couple does not bring glory to God. To perform a gay marriage in Christ is meaningless. Those that are married (gay or not) can still come to Chist and together we continue our journey to be one with God in Christ. Where that leads is up to Jesus not us because no man can judge such matters in perfect justice. We can second guess forever what Sod.om was really about or the other verses that relate to immorality.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • LOL

      The point is Fred it is between Christ and the gay couple but it is NOT okay that the Christian community continues to fuel the hatred and prejudice toward this group. What we now know and understand about gays does not fit any of the definitions of homosexualty people are trying to apply to the Bible. Plus when you factor in that people in the past that reference the bible never applied the homosexualty as the definition for the stories that Christians are using today. It changed over time by bias and prejudice people that didn’t understand the truth about this minority group. We have been shown gays are born this way, are a creation of God, none of the writers of the bible knew or understood that. When you put the bible into historical context and look at what was actually being condemned its male prostitution, rape and idoltry.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Observer

      Almost 50% of all hetero couples do not "bring glory to God" by divorcing, but don't expect h-mophobic Chistians on here quoting about that from the Bible. It's all pick and choose.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      Your numbers are way off. Jesus said the road is narrow that leads to salvation. He further said the Gate is narrow and few find it. My guess is 99.999% of all marriages fall short. I see about 32 marriages in the Bible out of 2 billion people that would qualify during the testament years. The number approaches 100% of all marriages fall short.
      Your gay couple is in good company so thank God for mercy and grace.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      With 99.999% of hetero marriages "falling short", why in the world do you care about a .001% increase for gays? Don't you have far bigger sins by your fellow Christians to worry about?

      August 20, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • flyingfish

      playing god again – idolizing and edifying – yourself – again.
      portraying yourself as Jesus – really?

      August 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Observer

      flyingfish,

      "playing god again – idolizing and edifying – yourself – again. portraying yourself as Jesus – really?"

      What is this nonsense all about and who are you directing it towards?

      August 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • flyingfish

      Pangs of guilt Observer?

      August 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  19. Ryan Casey

    Religious literacy is necessary.
    http://ryanwaller.blogspot.com/

    August 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • GodPot

      Agreed, if more people read the books they think they believe in, there would likely be less people believing in them.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  20. Tim

    "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

    We live in such a free-spirit kind of world today where almost anything is acceptable. I don't hate gay people, but I don't think it's right. People today want to make their own religion which is just odd and bizarre. "Well yes i believe in the Bible, but not that particular part". People make it what they want today.

    August 18, 2011 at 8:10 am |
    • LOL

      So do you think women should be home taking care of their man, in the kitchen cooking him dinner? It's not going to happen which is why you have to put the bible into historical context to get the true meaning of what the author was writing about. If we took everything literally then a woman would have to marry her rapist and we know today that is not OK. That is the point, people are choosing the scriptures to justify their personal prejudices while ignoring the truth of today, that people are born gay.

      August 18, 2011 at 8:36 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      Of GOD, God and god we are neither, for we are godly men and godly women. To think one other than what I have written is pure nonesense and does indemnify one's own character in self-as*sasin*ation of principalities.

      August 18, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      @ LOL and all,,,,,, You LOL did post, "So do you think women should be home taking care of their man, in the kitchen cooking him dinner?"

      If a husband and his wife do work outside their home and both have an income then, should not the home chores be split each individual doing that chore and this work in agreements concerns? Such are the Liliths of our Day and yet there are those of Eve's constraints who allow their husband to be the family provider and these "Eves" do the home chores as should be in re-affirmations of intertwined liables.

      August 18, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      Religion be it of the many types, oh Tim, may well be of today's ascertainments and propered alignments within a world of so many self-righteous and godly people be they man or woman or as a child. 🙂

      August 18, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • GodPot

      "Well yes i believe in the Bible, but not that particular part".

      The whole point of this article is that every Christian out there does this to some extent, not worrying about wearing clothes woven of two fabrics, not worrying about men cutting their beards or women cutting their hair, not worrying about eating of shellfish or pork, having a few to many drinks, over eating, lying, divorce, taking the lords name in vain, making idol's and more, but when it come's to two people who happen to be the same gender that love each other out comes the bible with it's condemnation.

      And to the Christians who try to obfuscate the truth of their hypocrisy with excuses like "Well, we don't have to do all that old stuff from the hebrew sciptures because Christ came and the greek scriptures were written and they don't contain all that stuff" I ask you, which God wrote the first half of your book and which God wrote the last half, and if you claim it was the same God, why did he change his mind on so many things? Did he see the error of his prior law's so he decided to ditch them? Did he magicly cleanse all the animals he claimed were unclean to eat? When he was on earth did he wear a robe of different fabric's and say "Hey, this aint so bad, cross that law off the list".

      August 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • J.W

      Ultimately the Bible was written by humans. They were inspired by God, probably giving their interpretation of what God was. When the people of Israel fought in wars with other peoples, they felt like God was watching over them. The viewed God as this powerful being that if you were against him you would get punished for it. At least that is my interpretation. When Jesus came God was basically working through him, and at that point it was a more peaceful God.

      August 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • flyingfish

      LOL are you still spouting lies and claims you cant back up?
      "...ignoring the truth of today, that people are born gay"
      Prove it!
      we should be ignoring you

      August 20, 2011 at 1:57 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 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • flyingfish

      You're regular PHD ain't Qbserver ol boy
      cept piled high and deep doesn't count

      August 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Observer

      flyingfish,

      Don'tworry about it. I knew you couldn't answer the question. That's always a sure sign that someone can't support their claims with facts.

      August 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • flyingfish

      Observer

      You are right – now we're agreeing "its all in their minds"

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

      flyingfish,
      Since you were afraid to answer the last question, let's try different one. You have talked about scientific proof, so:

      Can you offer any SCIENTIFIC PROOF at all that you weren't born gay? You insist gays produce evidence they were born that way, so where is your proof that you were born the way you claim you are? Answer, this time?

      August 20, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • flyingfish

      Observer – i'm not quoting or claiming science, I am simply asking you to produce the any credible proof people are born gay. If you cant, stop claiming it as so. YOU CANT, you haven't; therefore this discussion is inane, a moot point. I grow tired of jousting with you who would rather posture and try and out-quip the other than honestly discuss an important topic – The issue at hand is not whether hom•os choose or not, Its that its sin as listed, implied and revealed by God in His infallible Word, that has stood for three + millennia. So unless you can produce some crumb, something valid as proof to your claims (and thats all they are) to add to this conversation – why not simply Observe, listen and learn.

      August 20, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Observer

      flyingfish,
      Credible proof: likely MILLIONS of gays who actually experienced their lives (as opposed to you who can only fantasize about what their lives were like) insist they were born that way.

      You apparently have: ZERO degrees related to psychology; ZERO professional experience in dealing with psychology: ZERO proven ability to read minds; ZERO facts to back you up; ZERO willingness to answer questions; and ZERO "scientific evidence" (your words) that you weren't born gay.

      Millions to zero. No contest. Can you offer ANY "scientific evidence" that you weren't born gay?

      August 20, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
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About this blog

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