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Church leadership post for an openly gay Mormon
Mitch Mayne, who is openly gay, hopes his newly assumed Mormon leadership position will increase understanding.
September 24th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Church leadership post for an openly gay Mormon

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - Early on in life, Mitch Mayne knew exactly who he was.

He would race home from school to watch reruns of “Star Trek” and swoon over his crush, Captain Kirk. At 8, after his parents converted, he was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a faith he embraced. Even after he drifted away from the LDS Church following his parents’ divorce, he came back to Mormonism on his own in his mid-20s.

It is where he feels spiritually at home, irrespective of the fact that, for the past 10 years, he’s been openly gay.

“I’m a man that lives in two worlds that a lot of people don’t think intersect,” Mayne said. “Both sides of myself exist in me. It’s part of my DNA, part of my makeup.”

Actively Mormon and openly gay: It's the sort of combo that might leave people wondering. After all, the LDS Church teaches that homosexuality, specifically if same-sex attractions are acted upon, is a sin. And the church has actively backed measures to ban same-sex marriages.

Now, Mayne finds himself in the spotlight as he embarks on a journey he says “belongs to all of us.” In mid-August he was selected, or called (as Mormons say) by local church officials to serve in an LDS Church leadership position in San Francisco.

Mayne’s appointment may have generated attention, but he’s not the first gay Mormon to assume a leadership role in the church.

In Seattle, Washington, and Oakland, California, gay men have reportedly served in LDS Church leadership roles, Peggy Fletcher Stack wrote in her piece about Mayne in The Salt Lake Tribune. What makes Mayne unique, Stack said, is that he "may be the first local LDS leader to announce his orientation over the pulpit.”

Late last month, from the pulpit, Mayne revealed - to anyone who didn't already know - who he is:

"I am a gay Latter-day Saint.

"I don't want pity. To pity me is to make me a victim. I want understanding. To understand me is to love me as an equal.

"I don't want tolerance. If I am tolerated, I am disliked in some way. I want respect as a fellow striving child of God - an equal in his eyes.

"I don't want acceptance. To accept me is to graciously grant me the favor of your company. To accept me is to marginalize me with the assumption that I am less than you. I am your peer. I am neither above you nor below you."

Mayne shared these words during a farewell address to the Oakland ward he long attended, amid an announcement that he would be leaving because he had been named the executive secretary to the bishop of the Bay Ward. It is a role in which he'll offer administrative help but also take part in shaping congregational work.

“While that’s not a big accomplishment in and of itself,” Mayne said, “it is a remarkable accomplishment for the simple fact that maybe for the first time, a man was called to a priesthood leadership position not in spite of the fact that he is gay, but partly because he is gay.”

For those unfamiliar with LDS Church vernacular, a ward is essentially a congregation or, to use Catholic terminology, a parish. Various wards fall under the auspices of a stake, the rough equivalent of a diocese. In this case, the Bay Ward is one of three wards that make up the San Francisco Stake.

The LDS Church, which entrusts local leaders to determine local callings, does not pay clergy, nor does it send would-be bishops to seminary. So Mayne, like the bishop who called him to serve, is a volunteer who works for the church on top of his full-time corporate communications job.

Don Fletcher, an ophthalmologist, said that when he was called last month to serve as the bishop and leader of the Bay Ward he wanted to make sure every Latter-day Saint in his ward knew they were welcome, including the vast majority who weren't showing up. Of the 950 members on the books, only 150 were appearing in the pews.

Because the Bay Ward serves a geographic area in San Francisco that includes the famously gay, rainbow-flag-waving Castro neighborhood, it stands to reason that a segment of those not attending church are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Among those who have been absent are members who grew up steeped in Mormonism, faithfully served as missionaries and have families still active in the church. For Fletcher, making members of the LGBT community feel comfortable enough to walk through his congregation's doors is personal.

Fletcher has a gay family member with AIDS and says he has seen firsthand how isolating that can be in the Mormon world.

“I love my church and have a lot of faith, but culturally we haven’t done a good job in dealing with people who are gay when they face life challenges,” whether that be coming out, depression or struggles with suicide or illness, Fletcher said. “I wanted to address it in the ward I live in.”

The response in his ward, and from other Mormons he has heard from, has been nothing but positive, "uniformly, no exception," the bishop said. And, he added with a laugh, in the past month he’s broadened his own knowledge – or, rather, his lingo base - learning about “the ‘Moho community,' Mormons who are homosexual. That was a new one to me.”

The LDS Church's top leadership, and by extension many Mormons sitting in pews, heavily supported the campaign behind Proposition 8, the 2008 California initiative to ban same-sex marriage, which is currently tied up in the state’s high court.

Church doctrine says members should avoid sexual relations until marriage, which only can exist between a man and a woman. But the church’s involvement in the Prop 8 battle, and the Mormons who financially fueled the effort, created rifts in wards, spawned protests outside LDS temples and pushed some members, likely already on the churchgoing fence, out the door.

The Oakland First Ward, which Mayne attended for more than a decade, held a series of meetings to help heal those post-Prop 8 wounds. He said he sees his new church position in San Francisco’s Bay Ward as an extension of such bridge-building and a positive evolution from where he once was. The appointment will allow him to do extensive outreach in the LGBT and Mormon communities.

“It’s been hard to be a gay Mormon,” Mayne said. In the course of his life, he said he came out "no less than three times to bishops and stake presidents, and each time I was pushed back into the closet. … This is an opportunity to take my own pain and challenges and make it an opportunity to help. How can I not do that?”

He and Fletcher have already seen dividends from Mayne's calling. On a recent Sunday, Fletcher said he looked out to see seven formerly absent members take their seats in the pews because Mayne is there.

“I talked to a couple that hadn’t been to church in 20 years,” Fletcher said. “I’m not reinventing doctrine. I’m just trying to put in place what Jesus Christ would have us doing. … Even if you’re in a gay relationship and have no interest in living all the commandments, you’re still welcome in church, by all means.”

The development has stirred up discussion far beyond California. In one week, Mayne said, his personal website, which links to a blog in which he writes openly about who he is, received 30,000 views from 67 countries.

“I’m not a lone wolf on this,” he said. “I just happen to be a face of it. … There is a place for everyone at our savior’s table.”

But not everyone is as confident that Mayne’s calling will make a difference.

“I’m conflicted about this,” said Eric Ethington of Salt Lake City, the founder of the LGBT blog PRIDEinUtah.

“On the one hand, I view this as a positive step forward for the church, a church that has a history of extreme persecutions against the LGBT community,” he said. “But on the other hand,  I worry about LGBT people … because the church teaches you that you cannot reach your full potential and have full acceptance in the church unless you marry someone of the opposite sex.”

Ethington was raised in the LDS Church and says he was kicked out of the house when he came out at 17. He later closeted himself and married a woman in an LDS temple, only to divorce a couple of years later after realizing he was kidding himself.

“I can’t share (Mitch’s) optimism, but I share his hope,” he said. “Whether the church is ever going to change its policies, that’s a question for (LDS Church President) Thomas Monson. But one thing I hope the church will do, and maybe Mitch can help with this, is educate local leadership. Some kids are gay. … And that’s OK.”

Ethington pointed out, though, that Mayne, who was in a longtime monogamous relationship until a year ago, was only able to get his church calling because he’s not currently with someone.

“If he falls in love again and wants to be with that man, he won’t be allowed to serve,” he said.

Matt Mosman, a high councilor with the San Francisco Stake, said that if Mayne were to find himself in another romantic relationship, there would be an expectation that he would step down.

But the expectation that Mayne will abstain from premarital sex while in a leadership role, Mosman added, is no different from what would be expected of a single man who is not gay.

“The idea that a gay man who is not currently active in a gay relationship could serve actively in a high-ranking calling – that is a policy in the Mormon church that you could argue has been around since the church’s inception,” said Mosman, who works in corporate development.

For now, Mayne looks forward to his service and to promoting conversations and understanding. He will not, however, commit to a life of celibacy and hopes, “for all my gay brothers and sisters,” that same-sex marriage will someday be an option.

“I’m not saying I have an intent to go out and sin,” he said. “Here’s where I am; I am able and willing to serve. But I don’t have a crystal ball and don’t know what the future holds.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Homosexuality • Mormonism • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (1,700 Responses)
  1. steve g

    here's a general thought for anyone who's commenting that feels "this story is a waste of time" "gay story everyday" or anything along those similar lines......you realize the more of you that click the link for this story and comment in the comments section are only creating more statistics and views and ratings for CNN and their whatever clickable story you choose to click.

    September 25, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • React Quick!

      Everyone, please take this gay conversation to some thread about religious people doing good things in society. Hurry. Mix CNN up! Make them think that everyone cares more about people doing good stuff than about gay people coming out!

      September 25, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  2. Mike

    LDS Lame D.i.ck Syndrome

    September 25, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Brian

      http://prideinutah.com/?p=11093 Yet here is another story of a Gay Mormon killing themselves. Please, if you are gay & a mormon reach out for help. Teens (or anyone) call The Trevor Project http://www.thetrevorproject.org 866-4 U trevor. I grew up Mormon and went on a mission. It has taken me years to get past the harm this religion did to me by telling I was a "abomination"

      September 25, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  3. James

    I do not understand why anyone would not like this article. Maybe it's not perfect, but it seems like a step in the right direction. Christian persons should want to do more to help their gay members and gays and lesbians should support any progress that church's or organizations make. It would appear that more steps will be made which is great for gay and lesbian Mormon's as these steps may influence their Mormon families, friends, and communities and maybe whole states such as Idaho and Utah.

    September 25, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • GodIsReal

      The only steps they'll be taking in the afterlife will be in hell, forever....apostates!

      September 25, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  4. northman76

    Crazy.. you make a choice.. your own sinful desires or God's desire, you can't have both and the bible is very clear about that fact. No wonder so many are turning from the church when you put crap like this as an article of interest on CNN

    September 25, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Observer

      Why do we NEVER hear about the far greater number of Christians who commit adultery by remarrying? The Bible is clear.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • steve g

      "sinful desires"? last i checked he doesnt commit physically. and if this were a point of issue the head of the LDS Church would have made a statement, which obviously he doesn't have an issue with or this article wouldn't exist. ta-da.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Colin

      Christianity is the belief that an immortal being, powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, has a personal interest in my $ex life.

      Atheism is the belief that the above belief is ludicrous.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Peace2All

      @northman76

      Yes, of course... now 'that' is why people are turning from the church. LOL !

      You've got to be kidding me !

      Peace...

      September 25, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  5. Tom

    Stockholm Syndrome.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Dennis

      Now I just feel bad.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Mike

      THE MORON RELIGION.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  6. Lori In La Mesa

    Enough already.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • JF

      Right, Lori. So tired of seeing clowns waving their twisted flag – like they're something special!

      September 25, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  7. Scott

    And this is headline news?

    September 25, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Dennis

      On a Sunday...I guess Football could be there instead.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  8. Aaron

    If the guy didn't get shunned, he must have some serious money.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • GodIsReal

      Aaron how did you come up with word "shunned"? That's a big word. Why mention money? must need some.....the topic is about God and gay perversion, shove the cuecard dude.

      September 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  9. Veritas

    People are weird. Gay and mormon? And has any mormon actually read the "book of mormon"? It's a bunch of crap of how Joesph "the con man" Smith, found some gold tablets in his backyard and had to interpret them while wearing "seer stones" on his head and special spectacles; then they magically disappeared; and so Jesus came to Missouri; and native Americans became red skinned because they fought on the side of the devil and against god; and so it goes on... Utter and complete fairy tale nonsense. It is so mind boggling that so many people believe in religions like Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Mormonism (all derived from each other).

    September 25, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Mike

      All religion should be BANNED from the EARTH!!!

      September 25, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • kimsland

      I agree with Veritas and Mike.

      I also have a big concern for a god that allows babies to be born that he knows fully will be burned for eternity once they're dead (after they perform sins like not going to stupid church)

      This whole religious stuff is ludicrous. Keep your children away from religion, and try to laugh at religious people they are truly a joke to normal intelligence and common sense.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Worse yet is atheism

      Yeah, yeah! The only thing worse than religion is atheism. What utter morons could believe in nothing, no God(s), no good, no bad, no morality, no immorality, the utter pointless nonsense of life. Who made that crazy story up anyway?

      September 25, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Susn

      Veritas, I'm an ex-Mormon and I've read the Book of Mormon many times. You, however, obviously never have. Your statements are either false (the part about the seer stones, etc. is not IN the Book of Mormon) or inaccurate (Jesus didn't supposedly visit Missouri after Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon). At least if you're going to accuse people of never having read it, don't try to sound like you've read it yourself.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Splaticon

      Yes I am a "mormon" and I have read the Book of Mormon many times. Responding to your criticisms in a secular fashion there are many evidences that the peoples of the Book of Mormon existed in the Americas leaving vast networks of cities and roads and temples that are spoken of in the Book of Mormon. Archaelogists have found writings from those peoples on several different types of ores, including gold. There were more than 20 witnesses who themselves saw the plates that Joseph Smith translated and testified that they were of God, some who later left the church but never recanted on that testimony. On a religious level the teachings in the book back up those true teachings in the Bible, but also clarify some that the Bible does not. They teach about following the example of Jesus Christ by loving your neighbor, fixing the wrongs in your life, and always seeking to do good. The history shown in the Book of Mormon shows what happened to a people when they didn't do those things and is eerily similar to what the world is looking like now. I have asked God in prayer if the Book is true and received an answer that it is, therefore I follow its precepts. And I will always stand up for what is good and worthy of praise, even if others choose to denegrate and call it "fairy tales".

      September 25, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Veritas

      @Splaticon: "I have asked God in prayer if the Book is true and received an answer that it is" 😀 So you asked yourself if it is true and you answered that it is. Mental illness defined.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Veritas

      @Susn: I could never get myself to read such a book in its entirety, but I have seen excerpts from it. The part about Joseph Smith and his "seer stones" is true but may not be in the book of mormon. Obviously it's all hogwash anyway. One good read is Jon Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven".

      September 25, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Veritas

      @Worse yet is atheism: You have misunderstood life and agnosticism/atheism. It is just as easy or difficult to live a moral life if you are religious as if you are not, it's all personal choices. I guess you may think it is easier if you have a fairy tale rule book to go by, but morality is really just how you relate to other people. A good read about non-religious morality is Sam Harris' "The Moral Landscape".

      September 25, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Deddy

      @ Veritas. Wow. You must have failed reading comprehension on the SAT or you haven't read this book. The Book of Mormon is a record of ancient civilizations that lived in the Americas, not what your interpretation is. Please know what you are talking about before you post ignorant comments like this. Yes, I have read it (multiple times in multiple languages) and yes, I am a member of the LDS faith. Thank you @ splaticon for helping clean up the inaccuracies of veritas' description.

      I don't understand the usefulness or reasons for belittling and mocking others' beliefs. What a kind, nice thing to do to other human beings right? Wrong. I await your reply attempting to make fun of me and/or my beliefs. Have a wonderful day.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • GodIsReal

      KIMSLAND, you think hat depriving your children of hearing about Jesus is good for them? The bible says it would be better for you to have a giant millstone wrapped around your neck, and you be thrown into the bottom of the sea. Now since you don't believe in Jesus, then that wouldn't matter to you. Unfortunately you unbelievers won't realize the horror of help until you're the, forever, where there will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. The Bible also says that worms like magnets will eat at your spiritual corpse for eternity. It says "your worm will not die". Yes all children should be deprived of God so they can go there after living a filthy lifestyle of sin and debauchery, while mommy and daddy raised a monster. You heathens!

      September 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • GodIsReal

      SPELLCHECK. KIMSLAND, you think hat depriving your children of hearing about Jesus is good for them? The bible says it would be better for you to have a giant millstone wrapped around your neck, and you be thrown into the bottom of the sea. Now since you don't believe in Jesus, then that wouldn't matter to you. Unfortunately you unbelievers won't realize the horror of HELL until you're there forever, where there will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. The Bible also says that worms like maggots will eat at your spiritual corpse for eternity. It says "your worm will not die". Yes all children should be deprived of God so they can go there after living a filthy lifestyle of sin and debauchery, while mommy and daddy raised a monster. You heathens! I AM SICK OF LIVING SINFULLY, YOU AREN'T?

      September 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • GodIsReal

      Most churches these days don't even have REAL Christian pastors, so yeah keep the kids away from those sac-religious cows...read the Bible at home with your kids. Too many wolves in sheep's clothing at these "churches" lately, its all part of the last days of earth. Heathens like KIMSLAND are polluting Gods sinuses, raising people to be digusting, vile, evil, sinful adults. Stay home, you'd still be a sinner in a building anyways....

      September 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • tallulah13

      GodisReal, there has never been a shred of proof that any god, any heaven or any hell has ever existed. Humanity has existed considerably longer than christianity, or even judaism. Hinduism is the oldest religion that is still practiced, however there have been thousands of gods worshiped by humans at some point in history. You have pinned your hopes on just the latest in a long, long string of supersti-tions.

      September 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Godisreal, please provide proof that lives of "sin and debauchery" are caused by lack of belief in god. Most atheists are just normal people. The only difference between them and christians is the belief in god. If you are living sinfully, then stop. And while you're at it, stop accusing others of your own failings.

      September 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • GodIsReal

      tallulah13....The Bible talks about about all those false gods throughout history, God does say for Christians to close our eyes to all those anti-christ gods, or tools...so yes, my eyes are closed to all stupid doctrines, including the garbage this story is based on. God views gay as sin, sinners are supposed to stop sinning with Gods help, not indulge in it like a demonic heathen pig!

      September 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • GodIsReal

      tallulah13...this article is about a demonic Mormon, not an atheist. I'm not gay, I try to control my sinful desires, and I confess to God when I fail. I'm glad to hear your're a perfect heathen success! In HELL you'll ponder your hatred for God, forever....

      September 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Smite You

      @GodIsReal,

      If ever there was a hateful demon... it is you! Blech!

      September 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Godisreal: It's sad that you need an imaginary friend to survive in this world. It horrible that your imaginary friend tells you it's okay to hate other people. And it's disgusting how much joy you get out of your delusional belief that people who aren't just like you are going to suffer for eternity.

      The truth is you have no proof of your god, your heaven or your hell. You just need these delusions to give your life meaning. How sad is that.

      September 25, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • GodIsReal

      SMITE YOU..Thank you that proves youre a sinner and have a murderous heart, and you too would've smitten Jesus. Dont ever say you didn't crucifiy Him, you'dve joined right in. And speaking of hate, all I see is you people hating Christians because they understand the consequences of sin, .which is death, and your soul knows it, but subdues it. You have the knowledge of good and evil thanks to sin. You would betray anyone for your precious disease "sin", even your Creator. Notice how these debates get more hateful when "sin" is mentioned. You h8 the truth, and so do devil worshipers:..oooh

      September 26, 2011 at 6:08 am |
  10. Rainer Braendlein

    The Gospel of Jesus Christ:

    Jesus Christ (the eternal Son of God and a person of the Holy Trinity) has borne our sins on the cross. Believe it and get baptized (if you have yet received infant baptism, you mustn't get baptized again. Your infant baptism is fully valid. Just refer to your infant baptism.). At baptism the releasing power of Jesus death and resurrection is dedicated to you. Your old man of sin dies and you resurrect together with Jesus (this is all reality, but spiritual). God makes you righteous, when you simply believe in Jesus Christ and get baptized. God's righteousness is a cost-free present for you. God enables you to live a life of Christian love (you become able to love God and your neighbour).

    Read the Epistle to the Romans by St. Paul, Chapter 6 (this is a book of the New Testament or the Holy Bible).

    September 25, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Veritas

      What kind of cr@p is that? How can you actually believe in that nonsense? Or is it a joke?

      September 25, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Marie

      So, if Hitler had been baptized as a child, but Ghandi had not, Hitler would be in heaven and Ghandi would be in hell? That is not a system I want any part of.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • tallulah13

      What an utterly useless religion and a horrible, selfish god. I think that any eternity spent worshiping such an omnipotent sociopath would be a greater punishment than a pit of fire.

      September 25, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Fred1

      Don’t bother reading that Epistle stuff it’s just early Christian PR. For a much better insight into the Christian god look in Exodus or Numbers where you will find such things as

      And Moses said unto them “Have ye saved all the women alive?... Now therefore Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known a man by lying with him, but all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves” Num 31:1-2, 9-11, 14-18

      September 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  11. Dennis

    all these religion profiles should open with, "I'm SO dumb..."

    September 25, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  12. Eric

    Gays are seeking equal rights from the government, not from religion or any individual person (though that would be welcome). Gays should be given equal civil rights, and people and groups can continue to dislike them, if that is their choice.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Dennis

      Religions are dragged kicking a screaming into a modern world.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • More like

      Religions are dragged deeper into the mucky mire of wordly immorality.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • GodIsReal

      Dennis your correct. Religions are rotting here. Jesus isn't religious however. Real children of God belong in heaven where its peaceful and where people love each other and God. Yes, Christians are aliens here, that's in the Bible if you read it.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  13. GodIsReal

    God is real and Living...get over it...you can't mask your sin forever...saying God isn't real is your way of trying to stay comfortable wallowing In your sin. It does'nt work...God is real, not fake Christians. Fight the fleshly lusts of this rotting planet, soon to be destroyed by God and a cosmic sweeping of the galaxy He created....Jesus has the keys to hell....

    September 25, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Veritas

      Seek psychiatric help and you will feel better.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • tesul98

      prove it

      September 25, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • GodIsReal

      I will pray that God reveals Himself to you personally. He will prove it...

      September 25, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Veritas

      @GodIsReal: If you don't realize how insane that sounds then it is truly sad. Seek help from mental health professionals.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • GodIsReal

      Veritas, the Bible says that the message of Jesus' salvation is foolishness.to the world. If you're not spiritually discerning, then of course its madness to you. I however think that all secular theories avaible that try to explain why we are here, are even more absurd, and pure crap. We did not explode into existence, nor are we glorified apes (how did they get here anyway), nor did robots create us. All your worldly theories need SERIOUS psych counseling. What's next, we were made from fish that made themselves? Yes, therapy for days......

      September 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Flash

      GodIsReal,

      How about "We don't know (yet)"? I know that it hurts your pride not to know it all.... tough. Quit making stuff up.

      You wouldn't buy a used donkey from those primitive Hebrews who came up with this version of "God", who oh-so-conveniently chose *them* as "His People". Get real.

      September 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • GodIsReal

      FLASH.....I don't know it all, I just believe in Jesus, that's why I'm called a believer. Quit trying to convert believers into atheists. God does "know it all". Only Him.

      September 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Yet another Steve

      Do you get off when you write of the righteous destruction of all us sinners? Oh...and god only created THIS galaxy? Ok, so who created the rest of them.....?

      September 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Fred1

      Considering the behavior of televangelists and mega church leaders it seems that being “comfortable wallowing In your sin” is a very Christian practice

      September 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  14. Colin

    It really is a disgusting lifestyle. I don't know how people can bring themselves to live like that.

    Oh yeah, and he's gay, too.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Observer

      And you or your wife or your mother can't think of ANY heteros s-xual practices that are disgusting? Just hypocrisy.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Colin

      I think you might have missed the sarcasm, Observer.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Observer

      Sorry.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Trixibelle

      For an observer, you certainly failed to see the point.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  15. JF

    Like I give a flying crap that this guy is gay! Why does this nonsense have to be continually force-fed to us?!?!? Is it newsworthy – NO.
    You'd think being gay was something special – well, it isn't. CNN, stop filling your site with this BS! We;ve all had enough of it!

    September 25, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • steve g

      force-fed?? JF, last i checked.....this story was a CLICKABLE link.....as in you could choose NOT to click it.....yeah, it feels so forced...

      September 25, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Yes Force-Fed

      A big ful-l fron-tal page CNN story that assaults the eyes as soon as one is done typing cnn.com into the browser bar. Yes, force fed.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • steve g

      maybe the headline was forced.....but you still had the freedom to choose to click anything else out of the dozens of links on that page. and yet chose to click this particular one despite your disdain from it...

      September 25, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • John Richardson

      Notice how many anti-gay people have all these fantasies about gay things being FORCED on them? No one is forcing anything on me. So what are these mental r-ape fantasies REALLY all about?

      September 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  16. Ben

    As a gay Mormon who grew up all around Mormons, I like this article. It is progress. The church needs to better help it's gay youth, especially in areas where is wields huge influence.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  17. Fairness

    It's interesting that there are so many people on here clearly ripping on a religion they do not understand and repeating lines of thinking they've heard from others. As a Christian, I pose this question: Would Christ truly attack the religious beliefs of a group that does strive to be better people and have happy families? Or is He more accepting of those who are under the pretense of being Christian while living extremely worldly lives of pleasure? Everyone has a thorn in their side, and as the Savior said pull yours out before you worry about someone else.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Dennis

      Would an imaginary figure...never mind.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Veritas

      All these churches want is your money in exchange for nurturing your stupidity.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Humbug

      Yes, all churches want your money! ...to turn right around and give it away to charity. Last time I checked, there are a whole bunch of poor priests and pastors in the world.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Veritas

      @Humbug: There are some that give to charity so they get brownie points from "god". Many others simply hoard money and power.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Fred1

      “Would Christ truly attack the religious beliefs of a group that does strive to be better people and have happy families”. Well he did say he was t here only to take care of Jews. But if you look at the first 5 books of the bible you will notice that god looks rather disparagingly on other religions (in fact genocidaly)

      September 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  18. Colin

    What a disgusting lifestyle. I can't believe people live this way in the 21st Century.

    Oh yeah, and he's gay, too.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Observer

      Although dying out due to education, bigotry is still alive.

      "I can't believe people live this way in the 21st Century."

      September 25, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  19. Alan

    Once you realize your religious beliefs are the result of brainwashing since birth, you can overcome them and enjoy life.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • buddy1437

      you're assumption of brainwashing since birth is incorrect, most of the mormon membership actually comes from people joining the church when they're older. So it can't be brainwashing since birth

      September 25, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Brian

      And secular humanism is such a great replacement for religion. Just look at all the utopias it has created.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Veritas

      @Brian: The Scandinavian countries like Sweden can be characterized as nations now built on secular humanism and are ranked very high in international surveys on quality of life.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  20. Truth

    @Charles. Did u r3eally say islam is older than chrustianity, charles u might not be the brightest branch on the tree but your history is very poor.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Charles

      I guess I stand corrected

      September 25, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • tallulah13

      Hinduism is older than judaism, so it is older than christianity and islam both.

      September 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Yet another Steve

      Call the grammar police! Mixed metaphor alert!

      September 25, 2011 at 7:05 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.