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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. Habib

    Watch out Islamic Invasion. Open http://www.faithfreedom.org/ for more info.

    August 25, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  2. Chris

    Leviticus 20:13

    "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."

    This is but one of many verses in the Bible dealing with being gay. The author of this article is a "Liar". So the author is just as much a sinner as someone that is gay. Congratulations.

    It's not worth my time to look up the many, many verses dealing with the subject. All those who stand up and say "I'm proud to be gay" are an abomination to God. Now this verse above is taken from the Old Testament. I would surmise that Jesus would say to the sinner, turn from thy ways lest ye face the second death. That is eternal damnation in hell. Jesus would not be for stoning or in some other way killing gay people. He loves them just as much as he loves the liar, the murderer, the one who covets, the one who worships idols, the nonkeeper of the sabbath, the one who takes God's name in vain, the adulterer, the thief, and the false witnesses.

    Don't confuse God's love and willingness to forgive with the idea that just because God loves you, being Gay or doing any other sin is ok.

    August 25, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • LOL

      All the scriptures that you are holding onto to justify your personal prejudice is actually condoning male prostitution, rape and idolatry. It has nothing to do with how we now understand and know homosexuality. Part of reading the scriptures is to pickup a history book to understand the true context and stop taking it so literally, that's reading comprehension 101.

      August 27, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  3. Joshua

    Congratulations, you take one perceived "cultural relativity" and use it to question a very clear teaching in the bible. What is unclear about "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." (Lev 18:22). If you weren't tripping over yourself trying to point out that you are a Yale graduate in the second paragraph I might consider your discussion more seriously. As it stands it seems you feel stoking the fire on a heated subject and being controversial is the only way to get your writings published. I look forward to your next installment: "Bible wrong to condemn long hair: time to revisit "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" in cultural context?"

    August 25, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  4. Conservative Christians Need Jesus

    Conservative Christians hate the truth and hate justice. They are servants of Satan himself.

    August 25, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  5. hippypoet

    why can't peolpe love people? why can't people get over other people and there ideas? why must a belief foster a nation that preaches the sparation of church and state, yet has laws about sleeping around, which is only a law because its a part of the ten commandments...stupid... let ye love whoever they may, and let them love you for it.

    August 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • blair

      why can't peolpe spell?

      August 25, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  6. Chris

    God is about love.. unconditional love that meets anyone where they are. Scriptures are meant be taken in context. However, to believe that this lifestyle...yes lifestyle is natural to the order of the Family is incorrect. God has build the family unit as a Man and Women both bring a complete physical and spiritual wholeness when together and for their children. Does that mean this lifestyle can't build a Family? The issue goes deeper than rights and deeper than feelings and deeper than a movement. Many Christians just react but God calls all to respond in love and through love the truth will shine. Not a crusade for right or wrong but really understanding the heart of God.

    August 25, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Which is all fine and good, if you believe this.

      The US is a country built on freedom of religion. Religion is NOT to affect our laws.

      The issue at hand is rights and laws that infringe on the rights of our citizens.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • LOL

      "God has build the family unit as a Man and Women both bring a complete physical and spiritual wholeness when together and for their children."

      Well guess what that is all the same for a gay couple and the experts in science and psychology have proven children raised by gays and lesbians are just fine, especially with Lesbians. Sexual orientation has to do with how a person’s brain works, so when two gay people come together they complete each otherjust like straights. They have the same long term committed relationships as straights, they have children, they buy homes, the live in our communities and pay taxes just like straight people. Many in the Christian community are stuck on stereotypes that were created by bias and prejudice people of the past.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Chris

      Like I had said... it goes deeper than all these issues in the defense replies. No one said whether a person gay or not can pay taxes and I'm sure they love a child they adopt is very real.. However, a father and mother figure as naturally intended certainly helps mold a child if the parents are true! Sorry it causes you to laugh- LoL.

      August 25, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • LOL

      "However, a father and mother figure as naturally intended certainly helps mold a child if the parents are true! "

      The experts disagree with you. 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.

      Plus you do realize there are 2.1 million children being raised by single parents in this country and most are doing a good job.

      August 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  7. Mickey

    People get so wrapped up in the interpretation of the Bible that the true message of the Bible gets lost in arguements of who's interpretation is right and who is wrong, like what's going on here now. The message of the Bible is about God's love for us and the greatest gift you can ever receive, salvation. Once you allow Jesus Christ to become your personal Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit comes in and helps you to know what is wrong or right in your life.

    August 25, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • LOL

      Which is why there are christian gay couples that are married before God, because they now understand they are a creation of God and not the abominations as describe in the bible. Those abominations are male prostitution, rape and idolatry.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Mickey

      You have to be able to discern between if it's the Holy Spirit that is speaking to you about your life and how you live and act, or if it's your own feelings and emotions telling you how to live and act. There is a difference. The closer we get to God the better we will get to know Him. The better we will know His voice and that of the Holy Spirit. We will become more able to distinguish between how God wants us to live versus how we want to live.

      August 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • LOL

      Gays can do that exact same thing when they know they are a creation of God they do not sin when the marry their partners before god. There are thousands of Christian gays in this country married before God filled with the Holy Spirit. The problem is you can't see it because you are blinded by your personal prejudice.

      August 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • remoned

      The Bible is about God being a God of love, true enough, but it's also about God being a God of wrath. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life". There IS a consequence for wrong doing, God didn't just go around forgiving everyone all the time. He loves us all but in His love, like a parent disciplining a child, he WILL chastise us. And for the "Conservative", as with most apologizers, you miss the message. The bible isn't prejudiced against any people, it's prejudiced against their actions.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • LOL

      "the bible isn't prejudiced against any people, it's prejudiced against their actions."

      The actions that people are trying to use to condemn the gay community has nothing to do with them as we know and understand it today. The scriptures that do speak about actions are about male prostitution, rape, and idolatry. No where in the bible does God condemn the actions of the loving saved gay partnership. If you want to pick and choose scriptures you could use David and Ruth to show being gay is accepted.

      August 27, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  8. Jerrell

    Jonathan, all you seem to do is quote early church philosophers (perhaps out of context? I don't know the contexts) to try to demonstrate views that are inconsistant with modern evangelical views. This is a weak argument for many reasons, one of which is that the church philosophers are not authoritative. In the evangelical communities, only the Bible has authority. You cite only one biblical passage and you do not refute it. At best, you try to suggest the evangelicals hvae an inconsistant interpretation of Paul's use of the word unnatural. You can do better than this.

    August 25, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  9. Conservative Christians Need Jesus

    please pray for the salvation of conservative christians.

    August 25, 2011 at 6:51 am |
  10. doug

    Dear CNN, what is wrong with the word H0M0$EXU@L ?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:06 am |
    • Political Correctness is mandatory because we said so

      There are lots of words that are questionably banned from these blogs. If anything it brings attention to them instead of encouraging openness.

      August 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  11. doug

    Dear "Christians", you will never convince Gays that they are doing anything wrong.

    Dear Gays, you will never convince these "Christians" that they are not right.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:04 am |
  12. Douglas

    There is no condemnation in gay celibacy. Celibate gays/lesbians are not in conflict with the doctrine of scripture.
    This fact is clear and unambiguous. In Matthew 19, Jesus is abundantly clear in what he defines as the the standard for marriage protocol in the union of male and female. This should settle the issue for all concerned.
    Best Regards, Douglas

    August 25, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Except for how the only people that affects are those who ascribe any authority to your book.

      My gods have no issues with gay people, celibate or not.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • LOL

      Gays and Lesbians deserve to have intimate loving relationships as straight people. The bible states even straights should abstain from marrying and only marry if you give into your lusts. That should hold true with gay people. It's been proven gay people are born this way, they are a creation from God. The bible was written from a straight view point and by people who had no concept of what we now understand about gays. They deserve the same civil rights as straights, they are welcomed in the church and they get married before God.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  13. Kevin

    1. If you are going to quote the Word of God, make sure it is in context.
    2. You need to understand both it's original language as well as the time period in which it was written.
    3. How about you read it with a open mind. Just like you ask of me.

    August 24, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  14. At The End of The Day

    Instead of trying to prove the Bible wrong, I challenge those that oppose it to study and determine whether or not what was written has come to pass (The Last Days). We can all have our opinion, but the truth is there. The problem with the truth is. It does not discriminate or take sides. It is what it is. To the unbelievers: For God So Loved the World That He Gave His Son that whoever Believes In Him Shall Not Perish But Have Eternal Life (John 3:16) Just because God loves us does not mean he agrees with us or how we live. Please do not confuse God's Love with man's interpretation of what love is. Man's interpretation of God's love condones sinning (lifestyle) that’s not the love of God that is a trick from the adversary (Satan/Devil) to make people believe that God will accept anything. I think if we just stop and look around us and observe the calamity in the world and compare it to what was written in the Bible (prophesies) we would see that there are Truths written for us to observe. At The End of the Day- There is a Heaven and there is a Hell. We will spend eternity in one of these places. This is not a statement to condemn but to bring to reality that these two places have been forgotten about by both believers and non-believers.

    August 24, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Been there, done that. Studied and worked hard to understand it.

      Then I did and I had no choice but to walk away because with understanding came the truth...that the bible was a book written by men about their faith, not the inerrant, unshakable, undeniable word of god as it had been sold to me.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Duh

      That is YOUR interpretation NOT everyone else that's the whole point of this article. As you can see from the posts people don't agree with YOU. You are picking a choosing too what TRUTHS you want to believe in. You are entitled to your opinion but that is all you are entitled too. You are NOT entitled to stop two consenting adults from living their lives as they see fit.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Umm

      AMEN!!!

      August 25, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  15. David

    Many pastors, bishops, theologians and Churches all over the world support homosexuality, for they believe that homosexuality is not a sin but a lawful choice that man is free to make. Therefore, in their opinion, homosexuals who profess Jesus Christ and obedience to Him, are welcome to be or become full members of the Church. They must not be rebuked for their behaviour nor should they be urged to repent, rather they should be encouraged to remain homosexuals, for there is no harm in homosexuality. A Christian man can be a gay, while a Christian woman can be a lesbian, for God does not detest homosexuality.

    In 1988, the United Church of Canada, the largest Protestant denomination in Canada, passed a resolution which affirms ‘A) That all persons, regardless of their sexual orientation, who profess Jesus Christ and obedience to Him, are welcome to be or become full member of the Church. B) All members of the Church are eligible to be considered for the Ordered Ministry.’ Therefore, according to this resolution homosexuals are welcome in the church and the ministry.

    In 1994 more than 60 Italian protestant pastors and theologians signed a statement supporting the civil ‘marriage’ between homosexuals. Here is the statement: ‘We appreciate and welcome with interest the recommendation of the [European] Parliament in Strasbourg to recognize in the national legislations the rights of the permanent cohabitations between citizens who are homosexuals, by comparing them with the permanent cohabitations among heterosexuals, in order to assure both of them of equal rights and duties; we invite our society to have a confrontation of such proposal with serenity and a spirit of equity, developing an ethical reflection which takes note of the development of the custom which is going on in the western societies, safeguarding the respect of the people involved in their human specificity and their choices of life, and safeguarding together the times which are indispensable for a development and maturity of the consciences in the face of the changes which are going on; we hope that in this matter neither rigid positions nor preconceived condemnations will arise, even in the name of a Christian ethics which has been lived historically in different ways, and that the respect of the human being, created in the image of God and loved and redeemed by God, may remain in its centre; finally, in this context we suggest that the word ‘marriage’ (which has produced the sense of an unnecessary provocation) should be forsaken in favour of the words ‘permanent cohabitation’ or ‘civil union’, which are more suitable’ (NEV, 2 March, 1994, year XV, number 9, page 1). This declaration was signed by 33 Waldensian pastors, 17 Baptists, 7 Lutherans, 7 Methodists and a Reformed woman pastor. Among the signers we find Giorgio Bouchard (Waldensian, former President of the Italian Federation of Evangelical Churches); Sergio Aquilante (Methodist), Franco Scaramuccia and Massimo Aprile (Baptists); Hans Gerch Philippi (the Lutheran Doyen); Paolo Ricca, who is the Dean of the Waldensian Theological Faculty, and Bruno Corsani, Daniele Garrone and Ermanno Genre, who are teachers at the same faculty, as well as Giorgio Girardet, who is emeritus professor.

    In 1997 in the United States of America more than 60 pastors from the Madison, Wisconsin, area signed a statement supporting homosexuals. Following are some excerpts from this statement: – Madison Affirmation On Homosexuality and Christian Faith – "Jesus Christ calls us to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. As Christian clergy we embrace gay and lesbian persons as our neighbors. From our reading of scripture and from our pastoral experiences, we believe there is sufficient evidence to conclude that homosexuality is neither sickness nor sin. For too long, homosexual persons have been condemned and mistreated by the followers of Jesus Christ. Sadly, the Bible has been misused in support of this condemnation. This abuse of scripture must end. Heterosexual and homosexual persons are children of God, created in God's image. ... "We believe it is time to eliminate all policies and practices which create barriers and restrictions to the full participation of gay and lesbian Christians in all of the privileges and responsibilities of church membership. Recognizing that our churches still speak and act out of our longstanding prejudices: "We hope and pray that we will acknowledge our sin and be forgiven for our ignorance, fear, arrogance and self-righteousness; ... "We rejoice in the refusal of many gay and lesbian Christians to abandon or be forced out of their church homes; ... "We consider these sisters and brothers to be a unique, holy and precious gift to all of us who struggle to become the family of God" (Wisconsin State Journal, May 13, 1997). The statement was signed by "clergy" representing American Baptist, Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Quaker, Moravian, United Methodist, Presbyterian Church (USA), and United Church of Christ. Signers included the following - Paul Kittlaus, senior minister, First Congregational United Church of Christ; John Fetterman, rector of Grace Episcopal Church; Harvey Peters, pastor, Luther Memorial Church; David Lyons, pastor, First United Methodist Church; David Michael, pastor, Lake Edge United Church of Christ; Frederick Trost, minister of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ; Michael Schuler, pastor, First Unitarian Society.

    The United Reformed Church in Britain has agreed to accept "practising homosexuals" as ministers in churches which choose to elect them. The decision, labelled Motion 19, was made at the general assembly on July 9, 1997, by a vote of nearly two to one. It was part of a package of motions presented by a task force which had studied the question of "human sexuality" for more than two years. Motion 19 also allows churches to refuse to call homosexual pastors. The resolution also "provided that candidates for the URC ministry cannot be rejected for training purely on the grounds of being in a homosexual relationship" (ENI, July 9, 1997). Of the 513 Reformed churches which responded to an official survey, 48 stated they would accept a homosexual pastor.

    The Episcopal bishop of Chicago, William Persell, believes churches should formally bless homosexual unions. Persell, who was consecrated at a ceremony in Chicago in March, 1999, was dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1991 to the end of 1998. Persell says churches should honor homosexuals who have long-term relationships. "I think we’re in a time when we have to learn and accept each other. … Every church I have been in has had a large gay and lesbian membership. How do you say to people they’re second-class, even though God created them as gay and lesbian?" (Ecumenical News International, Jan. 15, 1999).

    In 2001, the Archbishop of York, David Hope, the second highest official in the Church of England, commissioned a new catechism that treats homosexuality as a blessing from God. This Anglican catechism says: "Homosexuality may well not be a condition to be regretted but to have divinely ordered and positive qualities. Homosexual believers should be encouraged to find in their sexual preferences such elements of moral beauty as may enhance their general understanding of Christ's calling."

    The Metropolitan Community Church is a Protestant denomination with churches throughout the United States with a mostly, but not exclusively, gay membership. Acceptance of homosexuality is an important part of its theology.

    The Uniting Church in Australia allows for the membership and ordination of homosexual people.

    August 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Cheryl

      Don't forget that 27 Disciples of Christ congregations have become certified by GLAD Alliance as “open and affirming” churches, the largest number since the program began. GLAD Alliance leaders say more than 300 churches have either inquired or begun the certification process. So it continues to grow as people start to get the message.

      August 24, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Jodi

      And the Omaha ones. More than 100 Omaha Christian ministers fed up with the stereotype that Christians are anti-LGBT have signed a proclamation calling for an end to religious and civil discrimination based on sexual orientation.

      The proclamation was started by Rev. Eric Elnes, minister at the 1,500 members strong Countryside Community Church. Leaders from Lutheran, Episcopalian, United Church of Christ, Methodist and Presbyterian churches are among those to have signed the document.

      "We believe homosexuality is not a sin," Elnes explained to KETV. "It’s not a birth defect or a choice. God created people this way. And if God created them this way, they need to be honored for who they are, and fully included in church life and wider society."

      August 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • ImINvincible

      I find it funny that people say 'stop living according to texts written by uneducated guys 2000 years ago"
      And yet the very democracy we serve is heavily based on the democracy of the Greeks and texts of people like Plato, who lived even longer ago than Jesus of Nazareth.

      Inconsistency much?

      August 24, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • blair

      That is quite a list of people who seem to re-write Scripture to fit their perverted lusts. Choose this day who you follow; as for me and my house we will serve the lord. This wicked nation has turned from God and now deserve His wrath. But the Lord gave us free will. Everything one needs to know to go to Heaven is in The Bible, but no where in those pages does it say anybody HAS to go. So if one does NOT want to go, and I know some who have said they don't, then don't go. But hey, dress lightly, you won't need the jacket!

      August 25, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • LOL

      "That is quite a list of people who seem to re-write Scripture to fit their perverted lusts. "

      Well you just showed you lack reading skills, those are pastors who don't have perverted lusts, that's you reading into it with you prejudices, just like you do with the scriptures.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  16. Sonny Ray

    Seminary has made you dummer,

    August 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • steve

      guess you didn't bother reading the comments they show the hypocrisy of christians.

      dummer isn't a word so we won't see you writing for CNN anytime soon.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Observer

      What makes people even "DUMMER"?

      August 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Bad Behavior

      Oh, you meant a "drummer"?
      I did not know seminar could be that fun!
      By the way, this article is great and Jonathan Dudley has all my support.
      God bless him for exposing (one more time) the stupidity and hipocrisy of American conservatives.

      August 24, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Conservative Christians Need Jesus

      you win the prize for the most ironic comment

      August 25, 2011 at 8:31 am |
  17. Lindsey

    There are many things that they Bible condemns, but poeple don't just look past those either. Divorce and abortion are still looked down upon by certain people, it is just that society as a whole looks over it and doesn't say much about it. Gay marriage is looked down upon because we were created as man and woman, not any other way. The Old Testament says many times that a man should be with a woman and nothing else, so why shouldn't christians look down upon gay marriage?

    August 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • steve

      Because being gay is natural too if you actually studied about it. But here's the thing about your marriage claim it actually says you are better off not marrying at all too, so it's not about a man or woman.

      BIBLICAL CONTRADICTIONS ON MARRIAGE
      He who finds a wife finds a good thing. (Proverbs 18:22)
      It is good for a man not to touch a woman. (1 Corinthians 7:1)
      A man shall marry his brother’s widow. (Deuteronomy 25:5)
      A marriage between a man and his brother’s widow is unclean. (Leviticus 20:21)
      It is better to be unmarried and a virgin, and live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. (Paul - 1 Corinthians 7:32-35)

      GOD ON RAPE AND MARRIAGE –
      Deuteronomy 22:28-29
      If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

      GOD ON DIVORCE – Deuteronomy 24:1-4 (NIV)
      If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled.

      JESUS ON MARRIAGE – Matthew 19:29
      "And every one who hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life."

      JESUS ON MARRIAGE – Luke 20:34-36 (KJV)
      "The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection."

      JESUS ON DIVORCE – Matthew 5:32 (NIV)
      "But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery."

      JESUS ON DIVORCE – Mark 10:11-12 (NIV)
      "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."

      JESUS ON DIVORCE – Luke 16:18 (NIV)
      "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery."

      PAUL ON MARRIAGE – 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 (KJV)
      "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband."

      PAUL ON MARRIAGE – 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 (NIV)
      "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."

      PAUL ON MARRIAGE & DIVORCE – 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 (NIV)
      "To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife."

      PAUL ON MARRIAGE & DIVORCE – 1 Corinthians 7:27 (NIV)
      "Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife."

      PAUL ON WOMEN – 1 Timothy 2:9
      "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shame-facedness and sobriety; not with broided [braided] hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array."

      PAUL ON WOMEN – 1 Corinthians 11:9-10
      "For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head."

      August 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Observer

      Lindsey,

      What EXACTLY does the Bible say about abortion? You really need to read it first before making wishful assumptions.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Enoch

      Steve you have done good research, but only half the work. To understand the Bible we should attempt to understand the context the verses have in relation to those before and after them. If not we could easily twist scripture to say anything we want and that isnt right. So I'd say take some time to actually read these verses in their context and figure out what is their role in the bible, their role to the Jews and early followers of Christ as well as us in a modern context. It's work but its fruitful even if you still end with the same conclusions, you will at least know what's really being said.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Observer

      Enoch,
      "as well as use in a modern context."
      Do you mean like how to handle slaves? Do you mean like how to deal with women who are all inferior?

      So please explain why all that nonsense is to be ignored, but it's still fine to pick on gays. Just go ahead and pick and choose whatever you want from the Bible.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  18. Cesar

    It is not natural and there is evidence that it is consequence of many factors during the childhood... see http://www.narth.org or read about the change of the ex activist of the gay movement Michael Glatze.

    August 24, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • LOL

      Obviously you haven't been reading the comments all the reputable psychological organization have proven that conversion therapy is wrong and doesn't work. That organization has been shown to be crap..

      August 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Erik

      “Reparative therapy,” also referred to as "conversion therapy," is a formal attempt to change a person's sexual orientation — typically from homosexuality to heterosexuality — or to convince or attempt to "reprogram" a person to stop engaging in same-sex behavior.

      No reliable evidence exists that conversion therapy is effective in changing a person's sexual orientation. All the major medical and psychological organizations have weighed in against conversion therapy and actively oppose its practice in the United States.

      "Clinical experience suggests that any person who seeks conversion therapy may be doing so because of social bias that has resulted in internalized homophobia, and that gay men and lesbians who have accepted their sexual orientation positively are better adjusted than those who have not done so."

      American Psychiatric Association
      "For nearly three decades, it has been known that homosexuality is not a mental illness. Medical and mental health professionals also now know that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be altered. Groups who try to change the sexual orientation of people through so-called 'conversion therapy' are misguided and run the risk of causing a great deal of psychological harm to those they say they are trying to help."

      American Psychological Association
      "Confusion about sexual orientation is not unusual during adolescence. Therapy directed at specifically changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation."

      American Academy of Pediatrics
      "Most of the emotional disturbance experienced by gay men and lesbians around their sexual identity is not based on physiological causes, but rather is due more to a sense of alienation in an unaccepting environment. For this reason, aversion therapy is no longer recommended for gay men and lesbians. Through psychotherapy, gay men and lesbians can become comfortable with their sexual orientation and understand the societal response to it."

      American Medical Association
      The American Counseling Association has adopted a resolution stating that it opposes portrayals of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation and that it supports the dissemination of accurate information about sexual orientation, mental health, and appropriate interventions in order to counteract bias that is based on ignorance or unfounded beliefs about same-gender sexual orientation. Further, at its 1999 World Conference, ACA adopted a position opposing the promotion of “reparative therapy” as a “cure” for individuals who are homosexual.

      The National Association of Social Workers, in its Policy Statement on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Issues endorses policies in both the public and private sectors that ensure nondiscrimination; that are sensitive to the health and mental health needs of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people; and that promote an understanding of lesbian, gay, and bisexual cultures. Social stigmatization of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people is widespread and is a primary motivating factor in leading some people to seek sexual orientation changes.

      Sexual orientation conversion therapies assume that homosexual orientation is both pathological and freely chosen. No data demonstrate that reparative or conversion therapies are effective, and in fact they may be harmful. NASW believes social workers have the responsibility to clients to explain the prevailing knowledge concerning sexual orientation and the lack of data reporting positive outcomes with reparative therapy. NASW discourages social workers from providing treatments designed to change sexual orientation or from referring practitioners or programs that claim to do so.

      August 24, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Observer

      Cesar,

      If you really cared about "natural", you wouldn't be using the unnatural Internet.

      August 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  19. Rigal Terra

    You're using the Bible to defend your beliefs. All religious people use their holy text to defend their personal beliefs.
    They are no more hypocritical than you.

    "So let’s stop the charade and be honest". Yes, stop believing ancient text written by bronze age men contain anything more than a few good sayings and a lot of nonsense.

    August 24, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Conservative Christians Need Jesus

      It's only hypocritical when those doing deny that they are. And the author doesn't use the Bible to support any position, he just points out the inconsistencies in how evangelicals use the Bible

      August 24, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • CltGrn55

      Ya know, I'll put in bluntly, why don't you non-believers just shut-up and quit denigrating my beliefs. It's open season on religion and I'm tired of it. Most everyone believes in the validity of a broken slab of ancient runics or hieroglyphics but a huge tome by multiple authors, written over many years is just a forgery, a fake or nonsensical. It's called FAITH-- try it sometime.

      August 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Conservative Christians Need Jesus

      CltGrn55: I will pray for you.

      August 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • John Petty

      CltGrn55: I'll make you a deal: I'll stop denigrating your nonsensical, bigoted religion when you stop trying to legislate the way other people may live their lives based on your official book of fairytales. Deal?

      August 24, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • expatADAM

      I'd like to praise the comments of John Petty. ......conservative Christians (CltGrn55, that's you) are the first to criticize, denigrate, and legislate against those persons whom they believe to be "sinning" or in fact anyone who is different. However, when their "FAITH" is confronted with fact and logic and they're pushed into a corner, their only choice is to then claim THEY ARE THE ONES BEING PERSECUTED!!! What unbelievable chutzpah!

      August 25, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  20. Conservative Christians Need Jesus

    Please pray that all those using the Bible to justify their prejudice against gay people will come to know Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior

    August 24, 2011 at 10:01 am |
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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.