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September 30th, 2011
10:18 AM ET

Military chaplains to perform same-sex marriages

By Charley Keyes, CNN Senior National Security Producer

Washington (CNN) - Ten days after the military dumped its "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays and lesbians, the Pentagon has issued new rules allowing military chaplains to perform same-sex marriages, but only if allowed by law and the chaplain's beliefs.

"A military chaplain may participate in or officiate any private ceremony, whether on or off a military installation, provided that the ceremony is not prohibited by applicable state and local law," a memo released Friday says.

"Further a chaplain is not required to participate in or officiate a private ceremony if doing so would be in variance with the tenets of his or her religion."

The new policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military went into force September 20. In May, before the end of "don't ask, don't tell," the Navy was forced into an embarrassing about-face when if first OK'd and then changed its mind on marriages on military bases.

The new military rules on marriages must be in line with the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and local laws.

The latest two-paragraph memo, from Under Secretary of Defense Clifford Stanley, carefully stops short of fully embracing the idea of same-sex marriage, saying that "a military chaplain's participation in a private ceremony does not constitute an endorsement of the ceremony by DoD" (the Department of Defense).

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture wars • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Military • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (1,195 Responses)
  1. Jesus Is Lord

    Jesus is the answer. He is the ONLY way to the Father in Heaven. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, REPENT, obey and be saved!

    September 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Ray

      You're right. Someone better tell Israel.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Observer

      Jesus Is Lord,

      Here's you chance. Take the time to urge the FAR FAR greater number of Christians to repent for committing constant adultery by remarrying.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • kimsland

      Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HaHa Ha HaHa Ha HaHa Ha HaHa Ha HaHa Ha Ha

      September 30, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • CarrotCakeMan

      If your deity is so all-powerful, JIL, why does your deity want you to seek free advertizing for it on this article that has nothing to do with it?

      September 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • kimsland

      Because his 'god' is a fake, and we all know it.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • sybaris

      Uh, your omnipotent grand poobah created gays so now they have to repent for what it designed.

      Blame the "victim" much?

      September 30, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  2. Peter H.

    Sad that the Government uses the US Military as a Social Experiment.

    September 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • John N Florida

      Heard this same drivel in 1949.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Liz

      Sad the military was allowed to practice such bigotry all this time. Glad to see they've seen the error of their ways. you might want to see the error of your thinking, Peter. who would Jesus hate?

      September 30, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Observer

      Same argument made against integrating the military and allowing women. Not any more intelligent now.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Matt - Bethlehem, PA

      If you would join the 21st Century, it is no longer a social experiment, many other countries have successfully implemented a policy allowing gays to serve openly. Wake up and get your head out of your ass!

      September 30, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  3. CrazyTimes

    Our Military will be a beacon of hope for all who choose dev1ant life styles. Like children and Sheep? Enlist, soon you will be able to get married in the military too!

    September 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Observer

      The military has always had gays in it. So now you are just learning it.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • needNewGov

      If God created everyone then are you saying that God is a deviant?

      Perhaps you and all the other gayhaters should try and understand God a little more.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • UrAverageJoe

      Statements like those are made by people that would prefer to react than think.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Ceri

      I'm a straight male Christian. I didn't choose any of those things, it is just the way I am.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Sean

      @Ceri
      “I'm a straight male Christian. I didn't choose any of those things, it is just the way I am”

      I agree, you are basically the victim of geography. Had you been born in Iran you’d be Muslim. A sheep is a sheep regardless of where he was born. Don’t you have to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Is that not a choice?

      September 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  4. Bridget

    Sad, sad, sad

    September 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • kimsland

      Religion is sad, agreed

      September 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • RagingLiberal

      Kim it's thanks to preachy and angry internet atheists like you that your movement isn't taken seriously.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • fred

      Kimsland
      Wake up! Your hate for religion has darkend your soul. Best focus on how can I be a more loving and less hatefull person. You swallowed the poison pill of condemnation which will have greater consequenses on you than on those you hate

      September 30, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Balls McGhee

      Actually atheism is growing faster than Christianity. And for good reason!!

      September 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Marty

      Kimsland-not sure what religion you practice but mine is not sad at all

      September 30, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Ceri

      Could someone tell me what is so wonderful about being an atheist? I'm genuinely intrigued as it seems a rather pointless existence to me.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • BRC

      @Ceri,
      I can tell you why I enjoy it. I get to see the world and the people around me for what they are (their real definable qualities). I can except beauty for beauty, I don't ahve to try to fill things with deeper meaning. I don't have to say thank you to beings that I have no way of knowing if they actually exist, for things that I never asked for, for wrongs that I never committed, and for gifts that are unproven. I love the people I deem worthy, I live by a moral code that I know is right, and what matters most isn't some figure from a very old story, it's the people around me. I find true enjoyment in this life here and now, I don't care or worry about what happens after.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • fred

      BRC
      I have been with a just a few atheist or agnostics facing death and close to the end something grips them. Not sure what it is but looks like fear, anger or sudden realization. The profesional community says it is a natural expression. Last rights whether real or not seems to bring some comfort.

      September 30, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • BRC

      @fred,
      Mortality effects all people differently, but it has a powerful effect on the human psyche, no denying it. Most people would be comforted being told, things will be better, of course the same result can be seen when someone is holding the hand of a loved one. I'm not saying it can't provide comfort, and I've repeatedly endorsed that having military Chaplains to provide comfort is a good thing. But the experiences of some people doesnt't make the rule universal, when I die I will be upset that I am leaving my loved ones, and there are a few people I care about enough that I will be shaken when they die, but for the most part life is short, we live then we die, no sense getting all broken up about something we can't change. Enjoy the time we have.
      Of course none of that changes the original point of how an Atheist can have a fulfilling life.

      September 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Sean

      @RagingLiberal
      You assume Kim is an Atheist. I don’t know if he/she is or not.. but do a little reading there are other options that being a Theist or Atheist. So if its possible that this assumption is wrong.. how many other assumptions you have made might be wrong?

      @Fred
      Saying something is sad does not in itself imply hate. Get over your “I’m a victim’ perspective and we can talk more.

      @Ceri
      You have a need for a point, that itself is sad and shows your own personal insecurities. There is no point.. once you understand this you may begin to understand what Atheism is.

      September 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • fred

      Sean
      Kimsland on other posts was expressing hate towards religion. Her reference as to religion being sad was not an upsidedown have a happy day shirt.

      September 30, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  5. CrazyTimes

    Wow... Obama must really need supporters. If our politically correct military was not handcuffed enough, now our gay brigade with pink berets will really have them shaking in their boots...

    September 30, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • justsayin

      if you were in prison those gays would have you on a leash

      September 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • CrazyTimes

      ROFL! Good one!

      September 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • UrAverageJoe

      Justsayin – that was hysterical! Thanks for making me laugh!

      September 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • BRC

      @CrazyTimes,
      If you're going to be sterotypical and bigotted you could at least be funny and look at the bright side of it. We are currently engaged in molitple conflicts in prodominately Muslim areas, where there is a large degree of discomfort about women in the people we're fighting. I say we pull together a battalion of man hating biker chick lesbians, arm them to the teeth, and drop them on the front lines. The enemy will be paniced and scattered in a matter of minutes.

      Also, hopefully having openly gay men in the military will allow us to finally develop comfortable, practical uniforms, that also look good (we have gone through pleated pants and velcroed pockets that should NEVER have had velcro, not on their watch)

      In truth those are jokes, I don't care about the orientation of who serves, noone should be prevented from serving a country they love, and all who do so should be equally and fairly protected and rewarded. The Christian "God" supposedly hates killing anyway, so keep Christianity's vies out of the military.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  6. RagingLiberal

    History will look at us with confusion when they realize we offered right and bended over backwards to these people instead of treating them for the mental disorders they have.

    September 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      Just like history looks at interracial marriage? Sorry, but all current trends show that you are definitely wrong.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • kimsland

      Agreed that is VERY true about religious beliefs.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • RagingLiberal

      Being a different race isn't a mental disorder your comparison is stupid.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Balls McGhee

      neither is being gay, you idiot.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Seriously

      "we offered right and bended over backwards to these people instead of treating them for the mental disorders they have."

      Just keep showing you're a moron. The APA and other world organization have said it's not a mental disorder which is why the laws have been changed. DUH!

      September 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • fred

      Seriously
      Still afraid of that big bad book .........just can't open Proverbs or Solomon can you

      September 30, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • J.W

      RagingLiberal do you have a reliable source that says it is a mental disorder? Most psychologists would probably disagree with you.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • USMarineGuy

      I'll be glad when this debacle is over so we can get back to what's really important. I mean i sat thru this stupid DADT repeal class only to be told nothing is changing except now gays and lesbians can be open about their gayness. First, everyone i've met in my 12 years in the service that was gay was CLEARLY gay and I and all my comrads knew it. We knew it and didn't care. So this whole charade is just that, a liberal and agenda backed charade for your liberal representatives to say, "Hey look what we achieved" come election time, in hopes you will not remember all the things they have failed at. Second, since gays still don't rate the benefits that hetero married couples get they in actuality gained NOTHING. Like I said...charade.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @RagingLiberal

      By "these people" I assume you mean those that continue to believe in supernatural beings after childhood.

      September 30, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  7. Tom

    Christians repulse me. Their belief system is so laughable, that I question their intellect for accepting it. Based on my "belief," can I refrain from hiring them?

    September 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • kimsland

      They are crazy.
      So you could say that their intellect was not at a normal level for the position.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Colin

      It's odd Tom. you actually get some smart Christians. For some reason, in this one area of their intellect however, they will accept the most obvious of nonsense as true, or possible true – all powerful, immortal gods, people surviving their own phsical deaths, god reding minds (or " hearing prayers" as they call it) priests with magic/sacred powers to turn wine into blood – even, is extreme cases, a 6,000 year old world.

      I guess fear of death is a powerful intoxicant.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Faith and Peace

      All of them? Maybe if you didn't apply the anger you have towards a few bat-chit-crazy ones to all of them, you would be able to have more enjoyable existence and meet new people.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Ceri

      You obviously have no understanding of the 'Christian belief system'.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Balls McGhee

      Great point! also, dont forget to say you felt threatened by the words spoken in their old testament. just like the Koran, the Christian bible also references attacking other people who are the enemy. and because you didnt believe in their god, you thought they might kill you!!

      September 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • RagingLiberal

      Your comment is just as angry as intolerant as the way you Atheists portray religious people to be.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Balls McGhee

      Raging Liberal, not true. we atheists are very happy. but clearly you mistake cynicism for anger. Of course you mistake a lot of things, such as acts of science being acts of god, but we wont go there now will we?

      September 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Tom

      Hey Ceri – does this pretty much sum up the "Christian belief system?" The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • fred

      Tom
      You miss the best parts of the Story of a chosen peoples because of your hate. As Yoda would say the force is not with this one but dark I see only.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Tom

      Fred: Hate? I suggest you research the origin of the Christian vs. Secular fight. Who started the hate? And who is merely responding to it? And the end of the day, one side is right. And it's our side. Yours is merely a fantasy. Ours is reality.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • fred

      Tom
      Reality check: you said "Christians repulse me". Christians are to be followers of Christ. There is nothing in Christ but the expression of love and forgiveness. A desire to unite all in eternal glory which is that oneness in God as it was in the begining and will be in the end.
      Stop look and reflect on your state of being and that of Christ. Even if you do not believe anything of the Bible or God then look only at words. Compare your words with the words of truth and tell me of your reality. Which words are of darkness and which words are of light.
      More words for you "a mans mouth reveals that which is in his heart ....from a good heart flow words of love, peace, joy, beauty, excellence and admiration......."

      September 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  8. downinfront

    This is what differentiates our great country from the rest of the world. It's called freedom.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  9. Colin

    Gay Soldier: God, you made me gay. I can no longer deny the urges I am having. Why, oh Lord? I have been a good person all my life. My family and I have kept your commandments and attended church every Sunday, and I have served my country well.

    God: It’s all part of my “grand plan” for you. Your small mind cannot comprehend such matters.

    Gay Soldier: But God, the Christians are telling me I am a sinner and will burn in hell, but you made me this way. I cannot help it. I think you owe me an explanation. I am confused.

    God: I was moving in mysterious ways.

    Gay Soldier: What the hell does that mean?

    God: Well, I make thousands gays every day, just so I can wait until they get to puberty and crush their hopes for a normal life. My Christian followers on Earth complete the misery by tormenting these poor people and wanting to ruin your millitary careers. Then, when you die, I can send you to burn forever. Pretty mysterious, hey?

    Gay Soldier. I can’t believe what I’m hearing?

    God: Yeah, it’s pretty rare that I speak so frankly. Look, if it makes you feel any better, tell yourself it’s Satan’s work. Satan is trying to tempt you away from me.

    Gay Soldier: But you’re god!! You can stop Satan.

    God: Ok, you’ve got me there. Look kid, the truth is, I don’t exist. I never have. Wasn’t it obvious to you that you made me when I seemed to love all the same things you do and hate all the same things you do? Haven’t you noticed that those who disapprove of you say I disapprove of you and that those who support you say I support you? Every culture that has ever existed has had its own gods and they all seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Gay Soldier: That’s a shame, because I intended to give you a free pass. To still believe in you despite hating myself. I have been taught to believe in you and never to question it, and I accepted what they said when they told me it was wrong to doubt.

    God: Well, look at it from my perspective. How long would I last if I positively promoted healthy skepticism, independent thought and rational investigation? You people would see right through me in a minute. Ever noticed that there is not one passage in the Bible in support of healthy skepticism and intelligence, but literally hundreds in support of blind acceptance and gullibility?

    Gay Soldier: Ok. I have to go now. My commanders, Christian friends and family have all disowned me. I need to work out what to do.

    God: Good luck. I’ll say a prayer for you. Hey – even I need a god sometimes

    September 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Ray

      Awesome.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Jessica, NJ

      Ack, No like button, LIKE, LIKE, LIKE

      September 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Balls McGhee

      Hilarious!!!

      September 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Marty

      wow, what a sad life you must lead

      September 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Colin

      Marty, why is it the default position of theists that atheists are "sad" or "angry"? A failure to subscribe to Bronze Age mythology makes one neither.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • fred

      Colin my son how can you say I avoid skepticism and intellect did I not create you and those like you?
      Can you not even recognize your own fathers voice
      Can you not see I allow Gay Soldier to reveal the true character of his heart as I do yours
      I gift some with great intellect and they use it to tear apart my little ones
      I gift some with little intellect and they too are free to express their eternal soul
      Jesus said of him which much is given much is expected
      Those who love or spit on Gay Soldier all work together for the good I have planned
      You see Gay Soldier brings out the best or worst in man so man can judge himself in truth
      I have created the perfect environment for your full expression of self

      September 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  10. bob

    OBAMA Kissing A** and pandering to the gays

    September 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      Or upholding the consti.tution and not basing laws off of cherry-picked ancient texts.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Chris

      Your a backwoods moron bob....EVERYONE should have the same rights. EVERYONE.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Mike

      Our nation's enemies are enjoying what Obama is doing: Illegals are welcome. Abortions are OK. Socialist policies are OK. Gays are OK.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Mike

      Do you have a picture in your head of Boris Badinov chuckling to himself?
      "Look Natasha – the weak americans are building a social safety net for their underpriviledged – next they will become communist like us!"

      Or a round table of turban clad arabs ululating with joy at how the decadent west has allowed its people to publically admit to be ho.mose/xual without losing their jobs?
      "Achmed! Get the saryn gas pellets ready – the American president is letting the soldiers out of the closet!"

      September 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Aaron

      Mike when will people like you wake up. You are America's enemies...you. People like you who want to take away our freedoms and replace it with your own narrow religious belief system. Your exactly the same as a militant muslim who wants to instill sharia law. How can you not see this?

      September 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  11. kimsland

    This topic is gay

    September 30, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  12. DaveNYUSA

    By all means, let's see how many people we can get killed, and how badly we can destroy military morale for the sake of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • justsayin

      yeah because when im getting shot at im going to be distracted by making sure the gay guy doesnt grab my a$$

      September 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Joe

      There's no evidence it's "destroying morale", as you charge.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Eric

      How will letting gays into the military get people killed?

      September 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Eagle

      Honestly, it's hardly that big of a deal on most bases. It's more along the lines of people that aren't in the military claiming that it's hurting morale.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • markus

      what are you rambling about?!?!? this comment didnt even make sense.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Andrea

      they said the same about allowing women in the military, as well as black people. It would "distract" the men, and make our military weak. Doesn't really appear to be the case nowadays and I highly doubt it will happen here.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Hmmm

      Dave where the heck were you when the Pentagon studies this, I mean gee all those military experts who said allowing openly gay people to serve would not interfere with unit cohesion, overall moral, or military readiness really could have used your unsupported, bigotted opinion.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Matt - Bethlehem, PA

      DaveNYUSA your and a$$!

      The Department of Defense did a survey of only military personel and a large majority said they didn't care if DADT was lifted. The went through with the repeal because the military leaders asked the troops what they thought...Imagine that, they asked the people who would be directly affected by the change..who also approved it.

      So stop whining you civilian a$$!

      September 30, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  13. JCQueipo

    It was time we got that crisis out of the way and focus our attention on real stuff that affect everybody.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Joe

      No kidding. Although obvious a lot of people are upset that their political football got taken away from them.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  14. josh

    Our society's tolerance for a diversity of beliefs is now being greatly stressed due to fringe fanatic elements who,whether in speech or action, violently oppose anyone different from themselves. Certainly, these fringe reactions have been exacerbated by the threats from Islamic extremists, but the potential has always existed in unbalanced individuals driven by fear and hatred. And history has shown that fanatics from all religions have taken their turn threatening the world. But religion alone does not shoulder the balme for fanaticism. Many meglomaniacs have terrorized millions just because of their own unsatiable power needs – no religion needed. So it is time to spend a little more time thinking of others, caring about others and being content with what we have – and less time worrying about who has the right set of dogma, idiologies, skin color, accent, etc. Peace and love, it is not such a dated sentiment!

    September 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Reply

      Too long and nobody cares Josh.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • justsayin

      too long for someone with a 2nd grade reading level

      September 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  15. markus

    Conservatives crack me up. The comments on here reveal the crazy amount of paranoid, venom and outright hatred. It's frightening that alleged rational adults could be driven to such a degree of distraction.

    It's alright; time will reveal they are on the wrong side of history.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • SCAtheist

      Our logic scares them to the core. That's why all the nonsense in their pushback.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  16. 98 percentile

    It is amusing all the religious opposition being posted and the only substance is quoting inane and obscure biblical references. And I guess that validates your position to not believe, fine. As the saying goes "If you believe in nothing, you will fall for anything."
    Heaven forbid for people to expected to have character, self-respect, and diginity. In this generation, hell no, this the generation whose accomplishments are voting more for American Idol than the President, lowering the national IQ/education level to record lows, and wait for it. Bringing us the amazing achievement of reality tv and talk shows. Yeah check out Jerry Springer, that where most of you that condemn people of faith belong.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • kimsland

      Why, why are religious people so funny.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Rick

      What has orientation got to do with "character, self-respect and dignity"? Those that condemn those who do not share their faith belong back in their mobile home communities

      September 30, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • SCAtheist

      What substance. You said absolutely nothing. Jerry Springer is one of the last places you'll find thoughtful atheists. We don't go for conspiracy theories and fairy tales.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • sugartaste81

      Are you kidding me?90% of people on the JS spring are from the deep south..where religion reigns supreme.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Goldie

      Let's get real! Christian conservatives have elected vehemently anti-gay politicians for generations. They have done the dirty work for the Christian community. When their anti-gay strength began to wane, the "98 percentiles" came crawling out of the woodwork to take over the job.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • justsayin

      the holocaust.. brought to you by a fervant believer in christ

      September 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      "It is amusing all the religious opposition being posted and the only substance is quoting inane and obscure biblical references. "

      Like....say....Leviticus?

      September 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • BRC

      I believe that the universe was created by and functions according to observable and understandable physical laws, that life developed gradually from the occurance of ideal conditions and has continued to evolve and improve to survive in its surroundings since its first appearnance, that I am born of my parents and owe my existance to noone other than them. I believe these things because they are all around me and can be proven. I have a very strong personal moral code founded on the teachings from my family and what I have observed of the world around me, how I've seen people treated, how I want to be treated, and by what I feel is right. I believe these things, and because they are real, I have never fallen for a religion that would try to get me to ignore those real things and pledge thanks and obescience to a being with no real evidence or proof.

      So, I really kind of agree with you. Believe in something (yourself, your family, and the world around you), or fall for anything (ie. any religion that was made up hundreds/thousands of years ago and has 0 proof).

      September 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  17. Luke

    jmr apparently gets super excited at the thought of gays. Look at him bein' all loud and proud all over this thread. But he's totally right! Gay people will just make gay children. Just like straight people only make straight kids. Fight the good fight jmr!

    September 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Goldie

      Logic and Reason just left the building.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Joe

      jmr is a troll, and his very purpose is to bring out people like you. You just fell into his trap.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Seriously

      "But he's totally right! Gay people will just make gay children."

      More stupidity. The APA has stated that the sexual orientation of the parent doesn't determine the child's. Now think about it moron it's straight parents creating gay children. LMAO!

      September 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  18. Clay

    @kimsland
    Try to ask why more often. Maybe just ask more questions and open up your mind more.

    I never said all Atheists, I'm speaking to your extremists. We both have them: Christians who believe we should threaten people into believing, and Atheists who do hate.This is one of the things I've been talking so fervently about: Broad Brushing a group. Any group.
    I have asked why. I still do sometimes. I may have already said this somewhere here, but I tried Atheism. I don't believe your theories have enough truth for me to believe in, because that's the nature of a theory.
    @Melissa
    I'm for gay rights. And of course marriage existed before Christianity, but marriage was established under Judaism. And frankly, I don't think anyone knows when that actually started...

    I just want to finish this post by saying I don't challenge peoples beliefs. I just want everyone to understand the nature of their own beliefs. It's sad when someone blindly follows a crowd, for all they know they could be following it over a ledge.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • kimsland

      Again, atheists don't hate people, we still feel they can be saved.
      We just hate religious beliefs, or more accurately we find them ludicrous.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • SCAtheist

      The way I see it, most every time an atheist disagrees with a christian the christian calls it hate. I think christians are una.ble to have a logical debate out of fear.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      "but marriage was established under Judaism" Funny, I thought marriage existed in pretty much every religion, not just Judeo-Christian ones.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Oneironaut

      What arrogance to say that marriage was "established" under Judaism? Did no other religion or society establish religion before in the history of the world? Really?

      September 30, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Clay

      "I never said all Atheists, I'm speaking to your extremists."
      Some do. Watch their posts, the kind that come out with nothing but insults. Both of us have them, the uneducated but overly enthusiastic. I want to stress that I don't broad brush your beliefs, I'm saying some Atheists have lost priority and gone from attacking beliefs to attacking believers.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • kimsland

      Yes Clay, as I'm positive you are aware I myself have fallen into the extreme category at times.
      But I think you are speaking of the 'young' posters that come on. They are easily seen and ignored.
      By the way I am trying to settle more and more (myself) but it is hard with so many crazy comments at times.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Clay

      @SCAtheist
      The logical debate is fine with me, I love it. It's the weak-minded ones who think they can get somewhere with nothing but insults that I'm speaking to.

      @LivinginVA & Oneironaut
      Let me refrase that. In our Bible, it was formed under Judaism. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I'm just saying marriage is independent from the formation of Christianity. We do not claim to have invented it.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Observer

      Clay,

      Marriage is a LEGAL status with only optional religious involvement. Marriage counts when it is held in drive-in chapels presided over by Elvis impersonators. You would completely support those as marriages.

      When a marriage ends, it becomes obvious that it is strictly a LEGAL matter. No one runs back to the church in front of family and friends and stands at the altar saying to God that they lied when they swore to stay married "until death do us part". They go to see LAWYERS instead. Reality.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Robert

      @kimsland: you don't hate people? I think you need to go look at some of your posts and rethink that statement...

      September 30, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  19. SCAtheist

    why is it so important God is a male? Does he need to procreate with a female God?

    September 30, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Judgewell

      Actually, yes.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • kimsland

      Wait, jesus did say he loves all 'men'
      Hmm, maybe you're right, maybe he was gay.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  20. don't support Gay marriage

    A very sad day for the military and out country.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      Like when we legalized interracial marriage? Or because the 14 amendment is archaic?

      Fortunately, you're a dying breed.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • SCAtheist

      It's a great day for the military.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • BRC

      Can you tell us why it's a sad day? I really trully want to hear someone say why.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Melissa

      In your opinion...I am very proud of my country today!

      September 30, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Oneironaut

      It's not a sad day for gay servicemembers who can finally legally protect their relationships and households and still be proud patriots.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • EQUALITYNOW

      You obviously ignorant and cannot think for yourself. Do you make all your decisions based off what others tell you to believe? Since you have no qualms about trampling on the rights of others, let's just bring slavery back then. Why so much concern for who others choose to be with? It's none of your business what 2 consenting adults do and frankly it doesn't affect you in any way. I could care less whom you choose to be with, so get the hell out of my bedroom and I'll stay far away from yours. Divorce does more damage to society than a happy marriage of any kind.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • edge229

      You're all wrong. I'm in the Army, and believe you me, the vast majority of us do not give a damn about this issue either way. We have more important things to do. Maybe you lot should spend a little more time helping us with the war and a little less time bickering about irrelevant crap like gay marriage and abortion.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Rick

      Why is it a very sad day?

      September 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Kimmy

      What a great day for our country and our brave servicemen and women.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Mike

      Why it's a sad day? Because our nation is now condoning immoral behavior. And punishing those that don't go along.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • BRC

      @Mike,
      Being gay is not immoral, it is simply not in keeping with very strict interpretations of some religion's scripture. those are not the same thing. And who is being punished for not "going along" with gay couples being allowed to marry? How do you not "go along" with that?

      September 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
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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.