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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. myweightinwords

    I know a handful of formerly Mormon LGBT folk. To hear them talk about life as a gay Mormon, I'm not sure it's a battle I'd want to be involved in, but if this man thinks he can serve his community and his faith, more power to him.

    Change can only come from within.

    September 26, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Kristin

      I dated a Mormon and I'm hetero. Being straight is hard enough in the Mormon church. I cannot imagine what he must be going through. I am so grateful I dodged that bullet. "Conversion" became the topic of every conversation after a while. Thank you, no.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  2. Richard S Kaiser

    The Gaydumbness revolutionary aspects of pridelessness toward rightmindedness' values of moral quantifications leaves an unwanted stench coming from those who abhor the Gayish diminutive that seemingly ever arise to embellish longevity within the limelights of periodicalisms' adgendaships. The patented brothers in arms' anti-magnanimous politicalized felicitousness will one day depart from society's delusioned mainstreams to become latter day subjectives and not saints. To stand righteous in the eye of socialisms worldwide, leaves the other eye despondent and without due recourse. One might as well be blind in both eyes and callow as an imbiber of solemness virtuosos without charisma-made manifestations' entrails.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Observer

      Why not skip the pompous language and answer questions? You have tried to give a scientific justification of a book that talks about unicorns and refuse to address that.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Translation:
      .
      .
      .
      .
      Makes about as much sense.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Go and read some tawdry books that embellish intelligent quandries of high-minded-ness or,,,,,,,,, Become literate and understand what many words do entail and their subjectives conjure,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 🙂

      "I shall not be tempted off my paradigm just because otherly folk fail in their comprehensiveness to understand me"

      September 26, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Observer

      2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

      Therefore observer, I care to not be tempted by your continual obfuscations,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      September 26, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Observer

      Marilyn Vos Savant is FAR more intelligent than you or I. She certainly is never insecure enough that she has to use phony airs to convince anyone of her intelligence. It's not working for you. Your inability to answer simple questions raises issues of whether you might just be someone needing a prepared script of vocabulary words to fake an answer.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, stop babbling. Your posts say less than nothing, you dolt.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And it's "quandaries", not "quandries", Einstein.

      I've come to believe you are nothing but a troll who gets on here and posts inanities about nothing just to 'reach out and touch someone'. Too bad you have no life, Richard.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Observer the pompous did write on Monday, September 26, 2011 at 10:33 am, declaring, "Why not skip the pompous language and answer questions? You have tried to give a scientific justification of a book that talks about unicorns and refuse to address that."

      Do not tempt the Lord your god by God of GOD with assinine gestations of bigotrousness,,,,,,,,,, I never knew you and only in your words are spoken pompousness and shallowedness ingratiating the crowd rather than the individual, of which I am.

      Again I quote scripture stating,,,, 2Ti 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

      September 26, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Observer

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      Yes, possibly a kid with a vocabulary list to play with. They shouldn't allow children on here.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Observer

      Richard,

      Since the topic here is s3xual matters in the Bible, here's another quote from the Bible:

      – Deuteronomy 22: 28 “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and r@pes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels (about 1¼ pounds) of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.”

      September 26, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Observer makes her/his view known on Monday, September 26, 2011 at 10:56 am, declaring, "Marilyn Vos Savant is FAR more intelligent than you or I. She certainly is never insecure enough that she has to use phony airs to convince anyone of her intelligence. It's not working for you. Your inability to answer simple questions raises issues of whether you might just be someone needing a prepared script of vocabulary words to fake an answer."

      Call my "airs" as being "phony" are you? If you could only see thru the veils of my word(s). I care little toward nothing about the worldly savants that the likes of you do idolize and stumble upon in passaged steps. Being a god by God of GOD, I would watch your step when you dilate against me and my Word,,,,,,,,,,,

      September 26, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Observer

      Richard,

      I am not surprised at all that you aren't impressed with the smartest person in the world. I would expect that. She is not the least bit pretentious. She actually answers questions unlike you who just dodges them in the futile belief that no one will notice that you have no answers.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Observer, I agree. This chucklehead just strings together multi-syllabic word combinations; they're not even sentences. He's a pimple-faced little dweeb.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The chucklehead says: "assinine gestations of bigotrousness". How does an 'asinine' (not assinine) gestate? "Bigotrousness" is not a word. And more of the same, piled higher and deeper: "when you dilate against me and my Word". How does one "dilate against" anything?

      This is just some dufus.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • duh

      Richard's bombastic posts don’t actually contain facts only grandiloquent nonsense.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Pete

      "Richard's bombastic posts don’t actually contain facts only grandiloquent nonsense."

      On the internet they are known as a pseudo-intellectual. 😉

      September 26, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, if Richard 'skipped the pompous language" as Observer suggests, there would be nothing but a lot of blank spaces in his posts, interrupted by the occasional "if", "but", "or" and "and".

      September 26, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  3. hippypoet

    mormonism was once about people having more then one wife... this country started out saying that we preach religious tolerence, but then we went after the only christ based religion i would have followed because they could marry more then one.... baised much! jeasouly can be a b1tch.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:46 am |
  4. myklds

    Everybody is equal in the eyes of God. It only matters how they obey and honor God

    September 26, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • NOo..oON

      So true. And God tells me to ignore Him and live an honest and rational life. I shall obey.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • your_kids_are_stupid_and_so_are_you

      Uh, so your uber-kind, omnipotent being needs our honour and to be "obeyed" why again?

      Fsck, you're stupid to believe that cr-ap.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • YessKidsseY

      Obviuosly, you don't agree the poster, you must rather agree with the poster below.

      September 27, 2011 at 4:06 am |
  5. TrUthnwritten

    In the seventh day when God rested from his labours. Satan took a sneak peek over God's creations. There he saw Adam and Eve, he find them so magnificient that he was so amazed. Envy has gotten all over his nerves that made swear to create one of his own.

    And then he saw the two in a full squat position. Then a few moments later the woman stands up but the man took a while. After the man finally stood and left, satan go near to check what they were doing. Then he saw a file of popooh and leaves filled with pee.

    There goes the knowledge power satan. He was so certain that those waste that came from man and woman contained their respective DNA. So he collected those waste materials.

    But satan's ambition gone way too far that he wanted to exceed what God has created. He wanted to create an ultimate man that could do what both man and woman could do.

    So he decided to genetically engineer his creation. He mix a little amount of pee with the large amount of popooh and gave him oxygen to breath. And there goes Amanda.

    But satan just couldn't get enough of his creation that he created by mixing the waste materials that is left. Then there goes Steve.

    Amanda and Steve, satan's greatest creation through Science.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:27 am |
  6. Jay

    There are many gay and lesbian Mormons who have a lot to offer who could be better welcomed and integrated into the church. Even the church says about gay issues "we do not know" regarding the whys and hows and the next life. The church is admitting that people can be born gay so there needs to be a better path for them.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  7. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    It would be miraculous if anyone could diagnose, treat, and cure ignorance like Muneef's. What a freakin' idiot.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • tallulah13

      Tom, Looking into the mirror much lately? Be careful before you call the kettly black reflects on you!

      September 26, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Any bonehead who thinks being gay is a handicap and that it's a choice is fair game for the handle, dear. If you don't like it, stuff it, honey.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Tal, let me know when you get around to translating "Be careful before you call the kettly black reflects on you." Thanks in advance.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • tallulah13

      You stuff it wherever you want you pinhead.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, thanks, I don't want to catch anything from you.

      I wonder if you were drunk when you responded to Muneef last night. Don't you recall telling him he "wasn't a good person"?

      September 26, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Here it is, in case you 'forgot': tallulah13
      Muneef, it's truly a shame you choose to be ignorant. Real people are being hurt, sometimes killed, simply because of the way they were born. If you find that acceptable, then you are truly not a good person.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • tallulah13

      Shut up idiot.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nope. Last time I checked, you weren't the moderator of this forum, and I'll say what I choose. If you don't like it, don't read it. I won't notice or care.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • tallulah13

      oh please don't ignore me, can't bear your spurning. Am sure we can make some hot noises elsewhere.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I do think it's interesting that you didn't address the fact that you called Muneef "ignorant" and told him his beliefs made him "not a good person", yet you are throwing stones from your glass house at others. Apparently the "kettly black", whatever that is, reflects on you-badly.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Hot noises"? Not likely. I'm female and married.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You'll just have to troll elsewhere for your "hot noises" partner.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • tallulah13

      Tom, female, male I don't care. I am sure we can make some noises in our unitarian garb pretending to take the roles appropriately to strike out as needed fooling as we are doing now.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not unless you learn to speak English.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • tallulah13

      Oh dear,we both speak the same language laced with rants, it takes one to spot another, we are both one of the same kind.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Just so.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • tallulah13

      Hey, what do you know? Someone stole my name. Tom, that wasn't me. I do try to check my spelling and grammar.

      Fake Tallulah, don't you have a name of your own to use? If you have something to say, use your own voice. Don't be a coward.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • tallulah13

      Also, Tom, you'll find that I am a supporter of gay rights. I tried to comment on Muneef's use of "handicapped" but the post wouldn't go through. It wasn't the bad word problem. Sometimes CNN simply gets a glitch.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • tallulah13

      Do you have anything of value add? No, since you do not ,you are the coward.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • tallulah13

      Finally the useless rambling of a pinhead comes out.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, 'fake tallulah', what's your problem? Too cowardly to use your usual handle? It's okay-I can spot you a mile away, Addled. No one else writes as poorly as you do.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      To the genuine tallulah, I know you support gay rights. I should have known it was Addled. Poor little thing.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Addled says: "Do you have anything of value add".

      Wow, Addled, you're babbling more manure than usual. Too much to drink last night, honey?

      September 26, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • tallulah13

      No one else rambles like you . One can spot the pathetic exchange between your handles as ones spots the BPD.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • tallulah13

      one more try...
      tallulah13

      False Tallulah, this has been my name for as long as I have been posting on the internet. Not on just these boards. I will not let a coward like you take it. You are too cowardly use a name of your own, even protected by the anonymity of the internet. You must steal mine and use it to try to destroy what I say. But you will grow weary of the game and move on to something else and I will continue to speak as I see fit. You are nothing but an hollow little troll with nothing of your own to offer.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • tallulah13

      You are an obvious wimp that hides behind these handles.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  8. Fractal Fairy Tales

    Richard wrote

    >Mandelbrot's idiology sees but in one or two dimensionalized shifts and are parodies unlike
    >three dimensional endowments such as atomized nebulas and their "big brother" a stellar nebula.

    >Both Feigenbaum constant numbers are rather declaring the a one or even a two dimensioned field
    >of relativity and does in no way shape or form follow along three dimensional relavencies of which
    > like I stated above regarding atomized nebulas and stellar nebulations cannot be attributed to such
    >numbers' constants.

    The rest was obviously just copy and pasted from some source on the net!

    I find Mandelbrot and Feigerbaum to be old schooled theorists and are unworthy to follow except if one thinks in perspectives of one or two dimensional paradigms,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    September 26, 2011 at 7:56 am |
    • Fractal Fairy Tales

      Whoops, the last couple of lines were Richard's as well.

      You can tell the body of his text on Feigenbaum and Mandelbrot weren't by him because the were written in comprehensible English without Richard's usual wacky neologisms and rampant hypernominalizations. But he can't resist adding his own bits. And only an idiot like Richard would make a fuss about the number of dimensions, call anything by Mandelbrot an "ideology" (which he misspells as 'idiology'), let alone "parodies", which doesn't even make sense, of course.

      September 26, 2011 at 8:04 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ FFT,,,,,

      If my called, "copy and paste" did offend thee then, I am at a loss to parlor to your subjectives' willingness wants to obfuscate in candor. You called me out to bring info regarding two "old School" Theorists whose teachings and hyperbole were mainly about computer accolades and two dimensional shiftings within a computer program meant to soothingly assimilate the peasantries of non-linguistics of barbarisms' tokens.

      GOD’s Love

      I Love GOD because “I am“.
      I am living because of GOD
      I am learning because of GOD
      I am seeing my faults because of GOD
      I am repentant because of GOD.
      GOD’s Love allows me to be what "I am".

      You ought Love GOD because “You are”.
      You are living because of GOD.
      You are learning because of GOD.
      You are seeing your faults because of GOD.
      You are repentant because of GOD.
      GOD’s Love allows you to be what “You are”.

      We need to Love GOD because “We are”.
      We are living because of GOD.
      We are learning because of GOD.
      We are seeing our faults because of GOD.
      We are repentant because of GOD.
      GOD’s Love allows us to be as “We are”.

      September 26, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • Observer

      Richard S Kaiser,

      We are still waiting to hear your support of talking serpents and unicorns.

      Also, please explain the physics involved in immediately stopping a world spinning at 1,000 miles per hour.

      Thank you.

      September 26, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Fractal Fairy Tales

      Your cut and paste job didn't offend me. It just confirmed that you can't even write about some of the most famous figures, events, numbers and concepts in the field whose banner you are trying to fly over your loony theology.

      September 26, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  9. Wayne Frese

    Mormonism is truly a male dominated religion! Women are given nothing but menial work! Gay and lesbian Mormons should have absolute freedom and recognition in the church. Thanks for Unitarianism!!!

    September 26, 2011 at 3:53 am |
  10. Wayne Frese

    Mormons should think more like Unitarians!!!

    September 26, 2011 at 3:49 am |
  11. D-man5005

    I've asked this question before in this comment section, but still never got a very valid reply about what is so bad about the religion right now. I did get a reply about an incident back in the 1800's, but it did not answer my question. So I'll ask again.

    I can't understand what is so bad about the LDS religion. Let's assume that the religion is FOR SURE false. Assume. Who really cares if they are believing in something that's totally false. I've never met a Mormon wanting to blow up anybody or who wanted to ruin others lives in the name of their religion. I can't understand what is so bad in their teachings. Right now, as in this year, I would like to see something so terrible that makes the religion something to get rid of. (And if the religion is completely true, well then that's great, but it doesn't change anything about the members actions)

    September 26, 2011 at 3:27 am |
    • Genevieve

      D-man: Because I am part of the LGBT community, my father has gone after me, my partner, and our family with lies, legal means, and ostracization. I appealed to his bishop urge him to stop, but the bishop merely replied "He has to fight for what he believes in."

      Translation: most church leadership is still just fine with members being complete jerks to LGBT people because they think their God tells them to.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How about the fact that they raise their children to believe that GLBT people are to be shunned? Seems like that should be enough.

      September 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  12. Hopeful

    Let there be hope....

    September 26, 2011 at 3:20 am |
  13. EvolvedDNA

    Richard..do you actually know what you have written.....

    September 26, 2011 at 12:42 am |
  14. ItsHopeless

    Based on the comments I've read on this blog, I can only come to this conclusion:

    Atheists are all worthless, arrogant b-tards, who only think they actually know anything. And all "believers" are psychopathic zealots who can only spout ignorant dogma....

    There is actually no hope for America or the western world.... *sigh* guess I better go start learning Mandarin... it's only a matter of time... 😉

    September 26, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • Observer

      Consider agnosticism. Both atheists and believers could be wrong. Maybe there is a God, but it is much more like Jesus in the Bible than the often vain, arrogant, mass-killing God of the Bible.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • ItsHopeless

      A very good point, on all accounts! (actually I AM more or less agnostic.) I too, am willing to bet, that if there is a God, he's more the generous "-signed Anonymous" type.

      Sorry I just had a thought... you know what would be funny? Is if our ancient, pagan, shamanistic ancestors were right all along! LOL I bet our "ancestor spirits" would be shaking their heads at all of us right now!

      September 26, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • tallulah13

      So do you know every atheist and every christian? Or are you just being blindly judgmental?

      September 26, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • ItsHopeless

      I did say "based on what I read" didn't I? 🙂 I never claimed to know anyone, all I have to go on is what is presented here. (Which isn't very promising I might add.) But you're right, I'll correct myself: "Most Atheists" and "most 'Believers' " Is that better? =)

      No, seriously though, I've got awesome friends on both sides. My comment was aimed at the stupidity of people's postings. I don't think they're showing their sides very well.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Tallulah – Hey, I'll hold “Hopeless” and you can get him 🙂

      Then maybe we can get Observer …. Being Agnostic is like being “bi-se'xual”... its just being greedy 😀

      Just kidding folks but Hopeless, there is hope. Most of us here, both Atheist and those of Faith know that the CNN Belief Blog comments do not represent all of those in society. I would dare to say that most in society do not care. You just stumbled into debating arena that does not represent all of American Society with the same level of intensity.

      Hopeless, I wrote this a few months ago. I am not saying that I am reading folks 100% but it what I feel about why folks come here and post with the voracity that they do:

      -
      Often times someone just expressing their views and beliefs on either side is enough to be offensive to someone on the other side. Sorta, folks saying that for someone to openly and proudly express a view contrary to their own alone is enough to be highly offensive.
      The thing is Tallulah is that these folks are in NO WAY SAD or UNHAPPY.. 🙂 Most of the folks in here are beyond happy because they can vent and get feedback from folks that hold opposing views or beliefs.... while at the same time not having to worry about hurting feelings. Maybe its Atheist brother or Aunt.... maybe its a Christian or Muslim son or Mother-in-Law. Maybe its the Pagan Boss or the Jewish boss.
      They want to rip into them every time they meet them but for the more meaningful peace in their outside life they hold their tongues. That builds up, they come to the Belief Blog and find it filled with a target filled environment. So, I do not believe these folks are sad or unhappy.
      In some ways, I believe that some might be grateful to the Atheist or a Religious person that they find here on the blog. They can explode and crap all over the person(s) because they can't do the same to, maybe their wife or husband.
      Additionally, this might be the only form of meaningful communication that some might get in their day. A day of a 9 to 5, minivans, kids soccer game, … and let us be realistic, a world that is full of people who really do not care what others believe and would not waste two minutes arguing anything dealing with faith or Atheism.
      --
      So, maybe think of the post here on both sides maybe what is needed to keep the peace and avoid another November 9 and 10, 1938.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • ItsHopeless

      Actually Mark, that is probably the most thought-out comment I've read. Kudos!

      September 26, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • Observer

      Mark,

      Good insight.

      September 26, 2011 at 2:15 am |
  15. Reality

    Gay or straight, Mormonism is still a business cult fronting as a religion !!! And it was founded by one of the great con artists of all time, one Joe Smith with his mythical horn-blowing friend Moroni.

    Next topic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 26, 2011 at 12:21 am |
  16. Gavin Ford

    Most gay people I know that come from Mormonism have wisely left the cult. It's not hard to do when it's all a bunch of easily debunkable nonsense.

    September 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  17. Muneef

    I want out of such sick subjects..not worth it ...bye.

    September 25, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good riddance, moron.

      September 26, 2011 at 9:03 am |
  18. Muneef

    Aren't there any new posts to comment on other than Gay issues or are they promoting being gay ....! Well done America hatching more gays into the world in every form from Army to Church...is this the freedom that makes you proud of your self? No wonder that you have all natural disasters in the world visiting you too often....!! So after having spoilt all the Girls on your land where no virgin can any longer be found, now the turn became on Boys to be spoilt and become all gays...!! Sad really to see the Hulk that one day stood proudly as "John Wyen" now become some freaking country full of lust...!

    September 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • Observer

      "Well done America hatching more gays into the world in every form from Army to Church...is this the freedom that makes you proud of your self?"

      Gays are born to heteros ALL over the world. There is no reason to believe that more are born here than other places. Do some research next time.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • Muneef

      Observer.
      What are you saying gays are born gays? How is that possible....? I might have seen and met few men who were soft spoken as a female but that was not from birth,rather it was by environment since might have been brought up by or among females...that is fine but not seen they were doing as understand gays would do $exualy...!! Guess who brought up this DNA issue must have been a Gay and needed a way out of the situation where he had to bring up this DNA story about people born gays attracted to the same $ex...!

      September 25, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • *frank*

      I for one, welcome our gay overlords.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Observer

      Muneef,

      Over and over and over gays say they were born that way. Unless you can read their minds, you have NOTHING to prove they are lying. Pay attention to all the gays who say that if it was a choice, they would never choose to have a life made miserable by ignorant bigots.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Reality

      "Abrahamics" (that includes Muslims) believe that their god/allah created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

      To wit:

      o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

      “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

      "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

      Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • Yet another Steve

      "Hatching"? Like snakes from eggs? Careful; your hatred is showing. I'm shocked. Not. I picture so many of the people on here foaming at the mouth with their eyes bugging out, ranting like lunatics. Perhaps not literally....although it wouldn't surprise me.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Muneef

      Observer.
      Another one for you at "Pastor comes out as a derby girl"...

      Any way if you ask a Prost-i-tute why are you selling your flesh a common answer would not be DNA but rather will say she needed the money to support her baby or elder mother... So it seems women are more open to admit their problem than men hiding behind DNA mask... Those who become as soft as females due some DNA issue will not end up as $exqual gays but will rather live a normal mans life as single or married of the opposite $ex although much softly and delcatly...
      $equal gayness comes from child molesting and not DNA...
      The DNA effects comes differently as a physical appearance,body shape,parts....but nothing to do with feelings or mentality..

      September 26, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • Observer

      Muneef,

      Please tell me your credentials as a mind reader. Please explain when possibly millions of gays say they have been that way since their earliest memories, that you can read their minds and know they are lying.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:31 am |
    • Muneef

      Observer.

      I can't get it...? Are you saying that it could be that way but because you can't read their minds to prove them liars??
      Any way let me tell you with all due respect I really do not care how they became like that was it DNA or Molesting or 50/50 no more or less...main thing they are not to bring all that consequences which such thing has brought to many in the for of AID-S and not to promote uneffected DNA children in to making further gays

      September 26, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • Muneef

      beside they have to show some mercy and reduce their competing with females since another form of gays are not happy with their manly appearance and change it for a female appearance,towards which many men were cheated  when finding out they ended in bed with a male rather than a female...!!  

      September 26, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • Observer

      Muneef,

      If I said that you were born gay and decided later to be straight, you'd tell me I was out of my mind and that there's no way I know the truth about what experiences you went through. Don't be ignorant if the situation was reversed.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:57 am |
    • Muneef

      Observer.
      Listen thank GOD I was not born gay nor was molested...and since this type of issue is not a familiar thing where I live so am not sure what you are talking about when claiming that children are born gays rather than being spoiled at latter age...so please kindly count me out of this subject..

      September 26, 2011 at 1:04 am |
    • tallulah13

      Muneef, it's truly a shame you choose to be ignorant. Real people are being hurt, sometimes killed, simply because of the way they were born. If you find that acceptable, then you are truly not a good person.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:17 am |
    • Muneef

      Talulah13.

      Just have said it before a time would come where only Gays would be considered civilized...if that the case then let me remain ignorant...but now that you say people are hurt or killed for that being a reason makes me wonder where could that happen...if they kept their handicap as discreet as possible about it...and not be openly gay attracting attention....every body has a private life or personal life that they try to keep confidential for which they are respected and might be of higher Gvt ranks as well...but to go out openly and clearly showing your handicap with out a slightest shame or privacy...well then I wouldn't be surprised if those normal did not tolerate such thing and reacted towards it... By the way your certification does not really bother me...and if you want to chat then kindly chat with-- "BO"--– who has been waiting for you with interest but you seem to ignore racing towards me to call me ignorant...thanks for all.

      September 26, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • Muneef

      Talulah13.

      Yep --"BO"-- is waiting for you at "Pastor comes out as a derby girl"....

      September 26, 2011 at 1:43 am |
    • Reality

      Keep in mind that Muneef suffers from a severe case of the Three B Syndrome i.e. he was Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Islam but he can be saved:

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
      alone."
      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      September 26, 2011 at 8:15 am |
  19. Observer

    No one believes every word of the Bible. They just pick and choose whatever agrees with their own feelings. That's why you find h0mophobic Christians pulling "abomination" quotes from the Bible, rather than the Golden Rule, which they could have CHOSEN.

    September 25, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Al

      You simply pick the verse that supports your prejudice. That's the way it's always been done. It's such a "good" book.

      September 26, 2011 at 2:25 am |
  20. Muneef

    Why do I have that feeling telling me "herbert juarez" is "HeavenSent" after some modifications although his nasty comments still exists...!

    September 25, 2011 at 11:26 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.