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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. Good Article

    Good article, Jonathan. No bible believing evangelical could disagree.

    June 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Andy

      I do. Just because we twist things around and do things we should not be doing, that does not make it ok to add ANOTHER thing to the list. Rather than growing the list of 'things the Bible says not to do buuuut we're going to do it anyway and explain it away and make it kind of ok,' we need to be taking things off the list...

      June 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  2. LION

    God is not an American, and Jesus Christ was not born in Hollywood. Stupidly enough most Americans seem to think that the person of God is subject to modern civilization. What a folly. Lets wait an see if your civiilization, and logic will pass a generation. Talking about abortion, it really doesn't matter what great main of God the writer can state. Life begins even before you are formed
    Psalm 139:16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
    I can cite many more that clearly show that Life in the eyes of God starts before we are even formed in the woman. Killing the body is denying life to the unborn child and is tantamount to murder.

    June 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Ugh

      Don't use the bible to support a position. Jeez.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • rainkettle

      Why are you commenting on an article you didn't even read?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Andy

      @UGH

      The author (scantly) uses the Bible to defend his position. Why can't another person do the same? Your statement is the biggest double-standard I have ever heard.

      If someone believes the Bible and believes that what it says is true, they will ALWAYS use the Bible. And they shouldn't use the Bible to defend their position (as the author of the article only slighty did), they should use the Bible to FORM their position (as the author of the article DID NOT do).

      June 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • With apologies

      Not to be a jerk but if all the days were ordained then doesn't that apply to days cut short as well? I am opposed to pretty much all the anti-life practices common in the world, from abortion to criminals to death sentences and wars, but I would read that Psalm as saying that when they happen it was known they would happen. Does not mean you don't struggle for what is right but it also does not allow that verse to be used as an argument against anything.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Andy (formerly Ugh)

      @Andy with the over-the-top double-standard statement...

      – The author used the bible to point out contradictions in conservative Christian theology.
      – @LION used the bible to make a claim about when life begins.

      The two are as different as you are dramatic.

      The Rational Andy

      June 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • fuyuko

      Doesn't god kill babies in the bible when he is mad at pharaoh? I agree abortion in most cases is wrong, but God seems to have no problem killing children himself. He doesn't exactly have the moral high ground.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Andy

      @ other Andy I AM NOT DRAMATIC.

      Anyway, you are correct to say that he used the Bible to point out contradictions in Christians today (which it should be used for). But what I gathered from the article is that he is simultanesouly making the argument that 'because they allow all that other stuff, they should allow this too.' Maybe he's not, but if he is that is very dangerous and does not jive with the Bible. I didn't get a clear answer from the article.

      @fuyuko – you are correct. But who are we to judge GOD? I know that is a copout answer, but if I believe that GOD made everything and wrote the Bible and created morality itself, I would trust His judgement over a bunch of people on a message board or the internet or anywhere else.

      Less of a copout answer, I also believe that GOD said "IF you don't let my people go, ____ will happen." GOD didn't just pull the trigger, He gave a clear warning. Pharroh refused to listen and because he neglected the clear instructions of GOD, Pharroh himself and his stubborness and pride is to blame for the death of those children, not GOD. We should both go read the story to be sure though...

      June 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • fuyuko

      @Andy: who do we have to be? IF we choose to worship a deity who kills babies doesn't that make him evil? Personally, I do not believe in the story of Pharaoh. But I CHOOSE not to believe or worship a god who would commit infanticide just because he is mad. Such a deity is evil and should be repudiated.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  3. D L

    Where does someone get the idea that Jesus had long hair?

    June 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Eric G

      From his album cover. No, wait, that was Frampton Comes Alive......... Sorry.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      ummmm...just Google Jesus:Images and take a look!

      June 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • fuyuko

      long hair was common back then. it looks good on men. Only Romans liked to cut their hair and jesus wasn't a roman.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  4. cykill

    someone using the bible to further thier own agenda...never heard of that before. bible gets hijacked more than aircraft

    June 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • fuyuko

      well true. but the bible itself furthers someone's agenda, so it makes logical sense that it would be PWNED again.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  5. stonedwhitetrash

    How come this article uses the term ---and I can not?

    June 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  6. John

    A sad commentary on Yale's Divinity School. This "graduate" obviously didn't learn God's Word and doesn't know Him (1 Cor 2).

    June 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • doug

      Lucky him.

      June 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Michael

      Religion is a drug that leads to minds that are slammed shut and cannot listen to, much less comprehend truths, facts, reality, logic. Keep your head buried deep in the sand, John. For God's sake, do not let anything in there that might conflict with your ignorant, deeply held beliefs.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • KC

      The more you argue your point with the use of the Bible, further reinforces the author's point...

      June 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  7. Up for discussion

    The current law of the land, via the Defense of Marriage Act, states that a marriage is between one man and one woman. Say this law changes to support the GLBT community, and that marriage should be based on love, not gender. Are there any boundaries to that love?

    June 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • CJ

      Of course there are boundaries to love. A man and a man cannot procreate which is the law of the universe. Ejaculating into another man's anus, rimming, felching, and the rest of the disgusting habits that gays indulge in is not love at all. It is lustful and destructive self indulgence that goes against the very laws of nature.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • JDT

      Consenting Adults. Who am I to tell someone else how to live their life so long as it is legal?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Michael

      If GLBTs win this one, could a man who loves his daughter marry her?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Phyrro

      Michael. Good old christians do that now in those thar hills of Tennesse. No offence to the rest of the great people in Tennesse.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Yo!

      "It is lustful and destructive self indulgence that goes against the very laws of nature."

      That's why there are over 1500 docu-ment species that have ho-mo-s-exual relationships and science proving gays are born this way. Your bigotry and prejudice is showing, Satan has your heart, not God.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Phyrro

      Oops I had a SM and left out the last "e" in "Tennessee". Should have use Alabamy as the example as it is much easier to spel corectly...

      June 21, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • AL

      Yo!

      As someone posted earlier, there is no proof that people are born gay:

      Directly from the American Psychological Association, you can find it on their website:

      There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterose.xual, bise.xual, gay, or les.bian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on se.xual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that se.xual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Yo!

      Al really the apa huh? Since this was on their site.

      Most scientists today agree that s-exual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors. In most people, s-exual orientation is shaped at an early age. There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's s-exuality.

      Now read the last sentence AL....

      June 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Frogist

      @CJ: Don't knock it till you try it! Besides are you also against mutual mastur-bation and cunn-ilingus too? Seems like the only objection most anti-gay people have is only to gay male se x... Isn't it a little hypocritical to not have as much angst about gay female se x? What is it about men doing each other that turns you off so?

      June 21, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  8. Gary

    Am I the only one who feels like CNN's 'Belief Blog' is a thin disguise for an assault on Christianity? Writer after writer assails the authority of scripture. Rejecting scripture because we disagree with it is the legitimate role of atheists, but picking and choosing what we like makes no sense in anyone's universe.

    If the Bible is reliable, then people should accept it instead of trying to explain it away. If it is not reliable, then Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have no basis. I have far more respect for the sincere atheist than for the Ivy League divinity school "theologian" who would impose his values on God.

    June 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • M

      Yes, I totally think there's a hidden agenda. At least present both sides, which is what the media is supposed to do.

      June 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • gayguy

      Dude, seriously, CNN itself is a thinly veiled attack on anyone with a different point of view from their own! lol

      June 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • John Blackadder

      I think the article makes valid points. And I don't think it goes far enough. Christ exhorts us to obey two commandements, yet most preachers pound on the Old Testament 10.
      The reality of the article is not an attack on Christianity per se, but on self-serving misinterpreters, trying to push their own control-focused agenda.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Jason

      Well put Gary. What most people don't realize out of ignorance "Divinity" school or the study of religion in college is very different than going to a semenary associated with a Christian church say the baptist semenary. I suspect that these schools or departments exist for the sole purpose of eroding the strength and truth of the Bible. This guys reasoning is based on what men have said or done. Clearly ALL men fall short of the Glory of God. We should aspire to be more like God than like any particular man. Also the author of this article seems to contradict the Bible by quoting a Catholic "Saint". Once again he is using the supposed opinion of a man in an attempt to deminish the word of God. May work for the ignorant but doesn't pass the smell test.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Katherine

      So, Gary, when is the last time you ate shrimp? What about that tweed jacket in your closet? Have you ever let your hair grow over your ears? Do you insist that your wives keep their hair long? Now, let's get to the real root of the matter. What are you so ashamed of? What are you repressing and projecting onto people with whom you do not agree? How about focusing inward a bit and leave others, whom you can't possibly understand, to their own lives?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Eakin

      Why don't you address the hypocrisy instead of change the subject to the politics of CNN ?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Platypus

      Theology is the study of human imagination about gods, it is a branch of human ignorance.
      And the babble is a farrago of palpable nonsense.
      The mythologies of the ancients make more interesting reading than the babble.
      All the planets and constellations are named after the gods and goddesses of the mythologies. And so are the days of the week.

      July 4, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  9. M

    How old is this kid and why is he writing on CNN?

    June 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • M

      Like, had this kid ever had a date in his life yet? Why is he writing on this site? What credibility and wisdom does he have to write about such a topic?

      June 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @M

      You asked: "How old is this kid and why is he writing on CNN?"

      Age doesn't equal wisdom. I know lots of older people who are idiots.

      The man makes some really good points. God bless him!

      Cheers!

      June 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Michael

      If the writer had been older, would you have believed him to have more credibility? Why not actually research the scripture that he cites and then decide if his argument has some validity. Age means nothing; intelligence and reason are everything.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  10. Toronto Guy

    attempting to live you life based on a book of fiction is absurd.

    attempting to impose your beliefs based on book of fiction to others is a sign of mental illness

    read your fairy tales at home if you wish, but please stop from trying to impose them on the rest of us, rational, logical people

    June 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Gary

      Thank you for visiting CNN's BELIEF BLOG, the voice of atheists and infidels everywhere.

      June 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Michael

      Hey Gary: Your response to Toronty Guy only tells everyone that you choose ignorance over facts and childish name-calling over intelligent debate. If you disagree with the writer of this piece or with some of the commentors, why not try to refute what they say with a reasoned response? Are you capable of that?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Gary

      Michael – My purpose was not name-calling, nor do I want to engage in an intractable debate. I was only trying to point out the irony that the CNN Belief Blog seems to be a haven for the anti-religious. I do apologize for my sarcastic tone.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • derp

      Gary, the only time I end up commenting on the belief blog is when the stories end up on the CNN front page. It's fair game at that point.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  11. Hypocritical

    If you want to live in a strictly religious society that goes nutso for religious text and tries to make everyone live the way you want them to ... why don't all you Bible thumpers move to the Middle East?

    I've heard you all REALLY like Jerusalem? How about if you don't like gay marriage you just move on back to your spiritual homeland? See ya!

    June 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  12. Orlando

    hmmm,
    Interpretations of perspective of the authers of particular books in the bible have thier positions, and many of them are morally acceptable while others are strategically mis-interpreted for thier own vanity or whatnot. This is unavoidable when dealing with such a strong voice as the bible. nevertheless, Both old and new testaments septuigant,torah and the other testimonials concerning God are consistant.
    While I applaud the effort made, the usage of the source scriptures are twisted to support his opinion, just like everyone else he's showed have performed. consistancy of corruption.

    June 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Michael

      It seems that everyone who quotes scripture carefully chooses the parts that support their firmly held beliefs. Sorry folks, but the bible is a fairy tale written by humans to sell their own programs. If it makes you feel good to hold it, read it, quote it, by all means do so. Try not, though, to hate those who live their lives in an honorable and moral way because that is the right way to live and who use their God given minds to sort out right from wrong.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      The bible is about the furthest thing from a "strong voice" as I can think of....

      June 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  13. Rich

    Yeah. The bible also endorses slavery, so what sane person would look to the bible for moral guidance?

    June 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Harry

      No it doesn't it.
      "servant" (the word that should be used)
      It is becasue of the Bible that slavery was done away with. Nice try though.

      June 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Johnny

      Rich, I would suggest you read the bible thoroughly to see whether bible actually endorses slavery or not. Yes the bible mentions slaves, but not as an act of endorsement. Rather, slavery was common during that time. The bible did teach people how to treat each other, including masters to slaves and slaves to masters within the context of an existing man-made slavery. In fact, you will see, if you actually had the decency to give time to read the bible, that societal hierarchies, including slaver, are the very things that Christian teaching overcomes to allow proper human relationships. Next time, save your terse comments after you've investigated it some more.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Ed Smith

      We hear this fiction so frequently, but it is pure fiction. The Bible never endorses slavery.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Jen5

      Yes, the ancient Israelites had a slavery arrangement but it was very unlike the practice of slavery that has existed in more recent times. When an individual found themselves financially indebted to another and unable to make payment, then they could become a slave (employee) of the owner (employer) until such time as the debt was paid off or after 7 years. Every seven years all slaves were set free. In some cases, the slave chose to stay because the master was very kind and made them feel like family. As with any situation in life, if it isn't carried out with love of fellow man in mind, it can turn into something wrong. The overwhelming message from the bible is to love our neighbor. Now, although we may disagree in our beliefs and outlooks on how others live, no human has been granted the authority to tell someone else what to believe or how to live. However, our Creator does have a definite opinion as to what is right and wrong. If a person cares to find out what he thinks and listen, then he will find His favor and be blessed. He too doesn't force us to obey or adopt his opinions, but you can be sure there will be consequences to not listening to Someone who knows what is best.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Michael

      Hello Harry, Rich, Johnny and Jen. During the shameful era of slavery in our own country, the priests, pastors, and ministers of the South taught the bible to their parisioners every Sunday and very few of them spoke out against this horrid aspect of southern life. In fact, many cited the bible as evidence that God was OK with slavery. Check it out.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Slave or servant. The word translated from the Hebrew and Greek vary from culture to culture. At the time of the Bible right through when John allegedly penned his Revelations, there were no servants in the modern term. If you were a man's servant, he owned you including the power of life and death over you. The particulars of Black Africans as slaves was justified from Genesis, with Noah's cursing of Ham and his descendants for daring to look upon his nakedness, and commended them to be the slaves/servants of his brothers. Now follow along and you will see that the descends of Ham are all the African nations and you can follow the misguided 16 century theory that justified African Slavery, all with the support of the Roman Catholic Church, and the agreement of the other colonizers of the Western Hemisphere.

      Among other items justified in the Bible:
      Drunkenness – Noah after the flood
      Incest – Lot and his daughters
      Human Sacrifice – Abraham and Isaac
      Adultery – too many instances to count, especially the story of Abraham and Hagar, and King David
      Ethnic Cleansing – Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua and Judges
      Wife and child beating – Leviticus

      But everyone who is opposed to abortion either cites the passage from Psalms cited in another posting, or the line from Jeremiah – "Before you were in the womb, I knew you" as their justification for opposition to abortion.

      Remember, folks, the Bible was the politically correct collection of writings agreed upon by the Church Fathers in the 4th Century to support the teachings of the "Orthodox" sects, as opposed to the Mannachians, Arianism, Monophysites, etc. While the writings were inspired by the Holy Spirit, it was men who determined what writings were to be included, and more importantly, which were to be excluded. Anything that did not agree with the Orthodox teachings were considered Apocryphal, and were to be excluded. Now add to that the most common used Bible Translation today (King James Version) was a translation of an earlier English Bible, translated from Vulgate Latin, Translated from earlier Latin, Translated from Greek, translated from Hebrew and Aramaic. Using newer translations (Jerusalem and NRSV) these went to the oldest known sources of the books, including the Hebrew texts that make up the Old Testament without the Septaugint Greek Translation, to give us a purer meaning of the original language without 15 centuries of interpretation by non-native speakers of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Johnny: So are you then saying there is cultural influence on the Bible that doesn't apply to us today? Or are you saying we should have the same type of slavery today because it is the unchanging word of God? I guess I'm having a hard time understanding that if the Bible doesn't endorse slavery, why does it give specific rules for dealing with your slaves? Why doesn't it instead say slavery is wrong?
      It seems Johnny, Harry, Ed and Jen are proving Rich's point.

      June 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  14. Dean

    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.”

    Watch a fetus react when undergoing an abortion and tell me it does not have senses.
    and for the other fool, a fetus does have organs or are all those doctors who listen to fetus heartbeats just doing so to fool us.

    June 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Dean

      You said: "Watch a fetus react when undergoing an abortion and tell me it does not have senses.
      and for the other fool, a fetus does have organs or are all those doctors who listen to fetus heartbeats just doing so to fool us."

      Nope, Dean. You are wrong.

      Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, consists of a review of studies conducted since 1997 on the neuroanatomical and physiological development of the fetus. It concludes that fetuses at the 24-week stage of development do not possess the wiring to transmit pain signals from the body to the brain's cortex. Even after 24 weeks, the fetus likely exists in a state of "continuous sleep-like unconsciousness or sedation," due to the presence of chemicals such as adenosine in the surrounding amniotic fluid.

      But, don't let facts get in the way with what you believe. LOL

      “Facts are the enemy of truth. ”
      Don Quixote quote

      Cheers!

      June 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Eric G

      @David Johnson: "But, don't let facts get in the way with what you believe. LOL"

      Three points for Mr Johnson. He is the new leader at the clubhouse turn.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Another side

      David Johnson –

      Also, you should look at the first hand account of Abby Johnson, previously of Planned Parenthood, who witnessed a 13 week old fetus coil and move to try to avoid an instrument used in an abor.tion, viewed through an ultrasound. Sure, your argument is compelling, but when put to action, well, the story reveals a different truth.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Frogist

      I hadn't heard about Abby Johnson so I took some time to look up some articles on her. She makes some outrageous claims, which she has no proof of. Sadly few people are targeting those claims but instead focusing on her personality. But that's hardly a shock since that is what she is using to sell her brand of anti-choice propaganda. Anyways, here's a really great interview I found with her.
      http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/259954/deadly-domino-effect-kathryn-jean-lopez
      It really gives you an idea of who she is. She seems very personable, but her conclusions seem prone to her own guilt from her own abortions and the comfort that towing the religious line provides. I do agree with her on certain things like the limitations of the terminology we use, and that the goal on both sides of the issue is to reduce the necessity for abortions. But the most interesting thing I found, which she spells out as clear as day, is the same old same old that pro-lifers drag out when discussing the topic. It's the usual falsehood that pro-lifers know what's best for women (because they care about their "whole lives" ie their family and their husbands in the long term) while pro-choicers care less about women as they only focus on the temporary, fleeting "now". The truth is no one knows what's best for women than the women themselves in the now or the later. Ignoring the importance of a woman's own input in this very intimate decision can never be in the best interest of the woman. It is sad for Abby, that she doesn't understand that.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  15. razor

    Only a gay person would write garbage like this

    June 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Harry

      you're not very nice. Stop talking.

      June 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • doug

      I don't think what you wrote is necessarily "garbage," but I'm glad to see you're taking a stand and coming out of the closet. Cudos to you!

      June 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Michael

      It fascinates me that those who claim to be the most dedicated and faithful Christians are so filled with hate. Did not Christ teach you to love your fellow man? Did he tell you instead to hate gays, atheists, communists, immigrants? Please tell me where it says that in the bible.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Don't assume

      Michael –

      You as.sume that razor is a Christian, though he/she mentioned nothing of their faith. Just because he/she decided to post that does not automatically default them to the Christian faith, and I would suggest the opposite.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  16. duke

    I've been in a committed monogamous relationship for eight years. Do you think God loves you for hating as much as you say God hates me for loving?

    June 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @duke

      There is no god to do any hating. All the hate you experience, comes from ignorance.

      Cheers!

      June 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  17. sealchan

    It would be simpler to say that Paul was dismissive of or prejudiced against h-y for some reason and consider his teaching wrong (not a first in the Bible) than to go through this sort of educated gymnastics.

    I am a Christian but I see in the stories of the Bible a truth beyond simple statements of morality. I believe that all Christians need to understand that the Bible is flawed as are the humans who wrote it. It takes serious (Bible) study to find the divinity behind it all and to find God as a living truth in your life.

    June 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Mike

      Everytime I see someone blaming a computer for malfunctioning, I usually joke around and say, "The computer is as only as smart as its user." Well, the same concept can be used with the Word. Maybe its not the Bible that is flawed; maybe it is its reader. Having the Holy Ghost is vital for a Christian to having when trying to interpret the Bible. Having the Comforter", as Jesus called it, will give a person the mind and spirit of Christ. I am sure having the mind of Christ will help in understanding his words. Have you spoken in tongues lately?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @sealchan

      You said: " It takes serious (Bible) study to find the divinity behind it all and to find God as a living truth in your life."

      Hmmm... There are about 34,000 different denominations of Christianity. All studied the bible and fasted and prayed, to come to the conclusion that they alone have found the "truth".

      But, you are special. I could tell that right away. You probably are the one human who knows the real truth. LOL

      Cheers!

      June 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Mike

      You said: "Everytime I see someone blaming a computer for malfunctioning, I usually joke around and say, "The computer is as only as smart as its user."

      No. The computer is only as smart as its programmer.

      Christians say their god is all powerful, all knowing, all good.

      Yet, god could not produce a bible that was not ambiguous. There are ~ 34,000 different denominations of Christianity. Many are contradictory. Many believe only their members will be saved. Each of these denominations can show you scripture that "proves" their interpretation is the correct one.

      You said: "Maybe its not the Bible that is flawed; maybe it is its reader. Having the Holy Ghost is vital for a Christian to having when trying to interpret the Bible. Having the Comforter", as Jesus called it, will give a person the mind and spirit of Christ. I am sure having the mind of Christ will help in understanding his words. "

      So, are you saying that if the other believers don't agree with you then they could not "have the Holy Ghost"? WoW! That is arrogant. And stupid.

      1. If the Christian god exists, He would want everyone to know His wants, without ambiguity.
      Otherwise, why would He have bothered supplying man with a book of His will?

      2. The bible god provided, is ambiguous.
      This fact is evidenced by there being 34,000 different denominations of Christianity.

      3. Therefore, the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      You asked: "Have you spoken in tongues lately?"

      No, and I haven't drooled down my chin lately either.

      Studies have shown, glossolalia is learned behavior. A true case of monkey see, monkey do. Believers reinforce and teach this to each other.

      Have you ever done snake handling? Or rolled on the floor? LOL, LOL 'tll my sides ache.

      Lame dude! Totally lame.

      Cheers!

      June 21, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Platypus

      "The inspiration of the Bible depends upon the ignorance of the person who reads it." -Robert Green Ingersoll

      July 4, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  18. Will

    I am also a former Evangelical. I was just having the same debate on Facebook with a conservative Christian. What they will always do is take the Biblical verses that reinforce the worldviews very literally, such as Romans 1, but if a verse seems upsetting to them, they will explain it away in some kind of historical or scholarly context. I am referring mainly to the verses of scripture that are anti-woman or pro-slavery. I also asked him why the Evangelical church expresses such loud outrage against gays, but doesn't look within, and shrugs away the staggering rates of divorce within the church. Well, my friend is not going to change his mind anytime soon. This debate must be waged for the sake of people who might be led astray by the literal fundamentalist argument and not realize they is a far more coherent way of looking at things

    June 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Will
      You said: "I am also a former Evangelical. I was just having the same debate on Facebook with a conservative Christian. What they will always do is take the Biblical verses that reinforce the worldviews very literally, such as Romans 1, but if a verse seems upsetting to them, they will explain it away in some kind of historical or scholarly context."

      Yep. You are exactly right. What they do is called: Theological Gymnastics

      Believer's Rule of Thumb: If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernable by humans; or is just plain magic.

      It is said that the last recourse of the Bible apologist is to fall back upon allegory. After all, when confronted with the many hundreds of biblical problems, allegory permits one to interpret anything however one might please.
      -Gene Kasmar, Minnesota Atheists

      Cheers!

      June 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Frogist

      My god, DJ! You are on fire! And I don't mean like hellfire either... DJ, kicking @ss and taking names.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  19. Marie Kidman

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=360]
    `

    June 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  20. jeff

    Very well said! I could not agree more. Those opposed to gay marriage have yet to put forth a sensible argument against it. All I have seen so far is far-right ranting about how "we" are better and more deserving than "them".

    June 21, 2011 at 2:49 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.