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Gay rights activists see Mormons softening attitudes toward their community
Gay rights activists hold hands in protest in front of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, in July 2009.
April 17th, 2012
12:25 PM ET

Gay rights activists see Mormons softening attitudes toward their community

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) Kevin Kloosterman, a former Mormon bishop, said he “came out” last year just not in the way that many people associate with coming out.

“I came out and basically made a personal apology to (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) folks for really not understanding their issues, not really taking the time to understand their lives and really not doing my homework,” Kloosterman said in an interview with CNN.

Though not speaking on behalf of the church, the then-bishop stood in front of a crowd of gay and straight Mormons at a November conference on gay and lesbian issues in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered.

Donning a suit and tie, Kloosterman was visibly shaken, struggling to find the right words as tears welled up in his eyes.

“I’m sorry deeply, deeply sorry,” Kloosterman told the group in a speech that was captured on video. “The only thing I can say to those of you who have been so patient, and have gone through so much, is for you to watch and look for any small changes with your loved ones, with your wards (Mormon congregations), with your leaders. And encourage them in this repentance process.”

Kloosterman’s apology was just one example of what many Mormons and church watchers see as a recent shift in the Mormon community’s posture toward gays and lesbians, including by the official church itself.

Though the church’s doctrine condemning homosexuality has not changed, and the church remains opposed to same-sex marriage, many say the church is subtly but unmistakably growing friendlier toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, including voicing support for some gay rights.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Students at the church-owned Brigham Young University recently posted an “It Gets Better” video about the gay and lesbian community there, while a gay Mormon in San Francisco was selected last year for a church leadership position.

A new conference series on gay and lesbian Mormons the same one Kloosterman addressed last year is seeing an uptick in popularity.

Church spokesman Michael Purdy would not comment on whether church members are changing their stance toward gay and lesbian issues but said in an e-mail message: “In the Church, we strive to follow Jesus Christ who showed immense love and compassion towards all of God’s children.”

Purdy wrote, “If members are becoming more loving and Christ-like toward others then this can only be a positive development.”

‘It is definitely getting better’

The Brigham Young students who taped the pro-gay video this month were contributing to a popular video series meant to inspire hope in young people who are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality identity.

The video featured students telling stories of being gay at Brigham Young, sharing tales of heartache, loss and even suicide.

“It kind of is a very different world to be gay and Mormon because it feels like neither community accepts you completely,” said Bridey Jensen, a fifth-year senior and acting president of Understanding Same Gender Attraction, the group that posted the video.

Explain it to me: What’s Mormonism?

“We put out the message for youth that are going through this, and we want them to know that we were them a few years ago, and it gets better and there is a place for you,” she said.

Though chastity is a requirement at Brigham Young, gay and lesbian students say they are under more scrutiny. The school’s honor code says that “homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates” the code.

But Jensen said reaction to the video, which has been viewed almost 400,000 times on YouTube, has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

Carri Jenkins, an assistant to Brigham Young's president, told CNN that the production of the video is not a violation of the honor code and that the students will not be punished.

The honor code, Jenkins said, is “based on conduct, not on feeling and if same-gender attraction is only stated, that is not an honor code issue.”

Jensen said that while gay and lesbian Mormons face a tough road, she sees a shift toward greater acceptance. It is definitely getting better within the church, she said. “They are not so quick to judge. They understand that they don’t understand everything. I am glad I can be a little part of it.”

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Some scholars of Mormonism, such as Columbia University’s Richard Bushman, said they see the very existence of such a gay rights group at Brigham Young as a step toward greater acceptance of gays and lesbians.

“The last 10 years have been a huge sea change in terms of willingness to accept homosexuals,” Bushman said. “Gay kids are still going to have a tough time in the church, but this level of acceptance and acknowledgment that is really that last decade I would say.”

Most gay Mormons point to 2008’s push for Proposition 8 in California, which banned same-sex marriage in the state but has faced legal challenge in the courts, as a low point in the relationship between the church and gay and lesbian community.

Mormons make up 2% of California’s population, but they contributed half of the $40 million war chest used to defend Proposition 8, according to a Time magazine report.

The church’s Proposition 8 activism angered many gay rights groups around the country, with some labeling the church “bigoted,” “homophobic” and “anti-gay.”

But church officials pushed back against the perception that the Proposition 8 backlash has provoked a Mormon softening on gay and lesbian issues.

“Many positive relationships have come from the Church’s experience in supporting traditional marriage in California,” Purdy, the church spokesman, said in an e-mail exchange with CNN.

Purdy draws a distinction between being against same-sex marriage and against equality for gays and lesbians.

He reiterated that the church was “strongly on the record as supporting traditional marriage,” but he said its stance should never be used as justification for violence or unkindness.

“The Church’s doctrine has not changed but we certainly believe you can be Christ-like, loving and civil, while advocating a strongly held moral position such as supporting traditional marriage,” Purdy wrote in an e-mail message.

“We do not believe that strong support of traditional marriage is anti-gay,” he wrote. “We love and cherish our brothers and sisters who experience same gender attraction. They are children of God.”

Church doctrine says that sex outside marriage is a sin and can lead to excommunication. Since gay people cannot be married in the church, any sex for them would be premarital and, therefore, sinful.

“The distinction between feelings or inclinations on the one hand, and behavior on the other hand, is very clear,” the church’s website says. “It’s no sin to have inclinations that if yielded to would produce behavior that would be a transgression. The sin is in yielding to temptation. Temptation is not unique. Even the Savior was tempted.”

Openly gay and a church leader

Mitch Mayne seems to relish his role as a lightning rod.

Mayne, an openly gay Mormon who blogs about homosexuality and the church, received the calling a term Mormons use for being invited into a church position in August.

Mayne is now executive secretary in a San Francisco ward of the church.

“I view myself as gay and being completely whole as being gay,” Mayne said.

Many observers of Mormonism say Mayne’s calling marked a unique moment in church history. Purdy said that Mayne’s appointment is “not unique,” but it’s hard to find precedent for an outspokenly gay executive secretary.

Mayne said he sees his job as building bridges with the gay community in San Francisco and showing them “there are pockets in the Mormon Church where you can be yourself.”

The biggest obstacle toward building those bridges is the threat of excommunication, said Mayne, who told CNN that in some wards just being gay can lead to expulsion from the church.

According to church doctrine, a formal disciplinary council can be called at the request of church leader.

While the leaders of the church mandate councils called for murder, incest or apostasy, it has a long list of reasons to call a disciplinary council.

According to the church’s website, the list of reasons includes “abortion, transsexual operation, attempted murder, rape, forcible sexual abuse, intentionally inflicting serious physical injuries on others, adultery, fornication, homosexual relations. …”

Some wards are observing that guidance while others aren’t, Mayne said.

“Here in the Bay Area ... we are no longer seeking out LGBT members of the church and excommunicating them,” Mayne said. “Our role is to bring people closer to the Savior, so if we are routinely excommunicating people, then we are really not doing our job.”

Mayne said he believes the challenge is to convince church leaders that they don’t ever have to excommunicate gay members.

And he said the Proposition 8 campaign was the “least Christ-like thing we have ever done as a church.”

“Not only did we alienate gays and lesbians, but we alienated their parents, their friends, those who support them the ripple effect went way beyond the gay community, and I don’t think we were prepared for such a negative fallout,” Mayne said. “I think the church deserved the black eye they received.”

He added, “As a result of that really horrible time, I think we are entering a really good time to be a gay Mormon. It is getting better.”

‘Mormonism doesn’t simply wash off’

When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks, the City Council of Salt Lake City listens. At least the council seemed to in 2009 when it voted on an ordinance to make it illegal to discriminate against gay and transgendered residents in housing and employment.

"The church supports these ordinances because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage,” church spokesman Michael Otterson told the council.

Shortly after the church’s expression, the City Council approved the measure unanimously.

Many gay rights activists said they saw the move as an olive branch after the Proposition 8 debate.

“The tone and the culture is evolving, and the way the LGBT people are being treated is changing. I don’t think the church’s policy has caught up to that change in culture,” said Ross Murray, director of religion, faith and values at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. “The Mormon church hasn’t gotten nearly as politically involved as they had since 2009.”

Though Murray sees the church lobbying for anti-discrimination laws as a positive step, he said the church’s shift is more about style than substance.

“It is going to take a lot of intentional effort to actually prove they are different,” Murray said. “That burden, because of the really public nature of their support of Prop 8, falls harder on the Mormon church than others.”

Joanna Brooks, a popular Mormon blogger and president of Mormon Stories, a nonprofit group that facilitates conversations on Mormon issues, echoes Murray’s sentiments.

She said she sees the church’s stance as challenging gay Mormons to choose between the religion they most likely grew up with and their desire for romantic companionship.

“Mormonism doesn’t simply wash off,” she said, adding that the church can’t make it that “either you are gay or you are Mormon, or either you support gay rights or you support the church.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: California • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Mormonism • Utah

soundoff (1,904 Responses)
  1. babs

    Yeah, they're real butt buddies.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  2. Voice of Reason

    Religion is like social security. One day it will be gone and just a thought.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • mema

      One day you will be gone without a second thought.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @mema

      Truth will prevail and religion will die.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • mema

      VOR the thing you lack most is reason. You think it takes alot of forethought, research, study, inter self examination so on to choose to not believe in God? The opposite is true. You need not put any efffort into being athiest. You simply can not reason or use proper judgement. Its not all your fault, society in general has become more ignorant and just plain lazy. I shall pray for you all. Amen.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • YeahRight

      "VOR the thing you lack most is reason. You think it takes alot of forethought, research, study, inter self examination so on to choose to not believe in God? The opposite is true. You need not put any efffort into being athiest. You simply can not reason or use proper judgement. Its not all your fault, society in general has become more ignorant and just plain lazy. I shall pray for you all."

      Oh please what a load of crap. It's amazing the lies like this that Christians spew to justify their delusional state of mind in believing in something that isn't there. Many of the atheist posting here are former Christians, it takes great courage and strength to love yourself for who you are without having the need to believe in a god to make yourself feel special. Our society has brainwashed people into believing that we should all feel special and that this bogus deity in the sky loves you. All it has done is create greed along with an egotistical mind set. Your posts continue to prove that regardless of the various handles you use.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @mema

      I don't want or need your prayers as they are delusional. I have lived nearly 3/4 of a century, most of it believing that there was a higher power. My liberation to knowing there is no god has been the best experience and continues to be on a daily basis. I understand where you are but you don't know anything about where I am in terms of reality and reason. You keep ignorant by not trying to understand the world around you, the how and the why. You remain intolerant for the sake of intolerance. That is a characteristic that I find repulsive and frankly unacceptable. People like you are living for some make believe after life and forcing your crazy morality towards women and children. You and your type will die a slow death and it is happening right now as science and intellect fill in the gaps. It is just too bad that you will not open your mind and explore this wonderful universe.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • sam stone

      "You simply can not reason"

      Really? What "reasoning" led you to a belief that not only IS there a god, but that the christian god is it?

      April 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  3. Doc Vestibule

    A question for Mormons:
    Is it sinful for a married, straight couple to engage in sod.omy and/or fella.tio?

    April 18, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  4. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    When all believers pi.ss, non-believers surely get drowned.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  5. Voice of Reason

    It's all a scam. The mormons are merely using reverse psychology on the gays. They will welcome them and then try and force them to see morality their way.
    Frankly, I think all religions should be heavily taxed, somewhere around 99.99% unless they can prove that what they are proposing is not supernatural nonsense. Until them tax the churches and organizations that declare god as the supreme answer.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 18, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!.!.!

      April 18, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • RMB

      Just to reply to the individual who think prayer doesn't accomplish anything, just go to google scholar and type in "effects of prayer". You'll see there is ample empirical evidence that prayer improves the human condition in numerous ways.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Jesus

      "You'll see there is ample empirical evidence that prayer improves the human condition in numerous ways."

      No, it has to do with science and the brain, why don't you google that to find out it's all about your brain.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • RMB

      I agree, it is all about science and the brain. But the act of praying still makes a difference in peoples' lives.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Primewonk

      @ RMB – and if you read the STEP study, you will see that subjects who were undergoing CABG surgery and knew they were being prayed for had higher rates of complications post-op.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  7. Donna Brandes

    The Mormons are America's Taliban! Screw the middle east, let's do something about Utah!

    April 18, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • A Yook

      If we don't eradicate them, we too might be eating our bread with the butter side DOWN!

      What we need is a bitsy-big-boy-boomaroo to blow all those mormons clear to Salamagoo!

      April 18, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • RMB

      What exactly would you recommend doing about Utah? I'm so curious.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Dave

      Be careful. Your ignorance is showing.

      April 18, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  8. TommyTT

    It's hard to tell whether things are "getting better" or simply "not as bad as they used to be" for Mormon gays. Unfortunately, the religion-backed bigotry on this board suggests the latter.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  9. Reality

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS-–

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay se-xual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex, gene-related, se-xual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • TommyTT

      Who cares? None of the points you've made matter.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Primewonk

      Another ignorant fundiot who doesn't understand the difference between gender and orientation.

      Seriously – do any of you nutters ever crack open a science journal?

      April 18, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Reality

      ONLY FOR THE NEWBIES:

      "Abrahamics" believe that their god 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

      See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

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

      And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.

      April 18, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • tlunrine

      Apparently you haven't heard about strap-ons used by wives on husbands. Seems like that is making a Bit..h out of the man, and blows your theory.

      NoMormonInWhiteHouse

      April 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Reality

      Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  10. Rainer Braendlein

    Once in Israel lived some nasty people (John called them vipers), called Scribes and Pharisees. They presumed to judge, teach, educate and lead the ordinary people according to the law of the Torah (5 books of Moses), whereby they themselves did not keep it at all.

    These hypocrites got threatened with terrible punishment by the Lord God Jesus:

    Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

    In a word: Somebody who is angry with sinners, insults them and condems them will end up in prison and bankrupt.

    I offer the gospel to the sinners. I want to share the grace, which God gave me little sinner.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Reality

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immaculate conceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      April 18, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • momoya

      How stupid.. You end up in prison if the officials in your area decide to put you there for some reason.. How you feel about some imaginary disease (sin) affecting some magical, invisible body part (soul) has nothing to do with going to prison.. How dumb can you get?

      April 18, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      By the way, Jesus admonished his disciples with that above passage from Matthew 5.

      The problem is that even a reasonable Christian can become Scribelike or Phariseelike, if he is angry with people, which don't want to accept the gospel.

      The Scribes and the Pharisees were angry with the people, because they did not keep the law.

      Yet, it doesn't matter, if the object is the law or the gospel, nobody has the right to be angry with his neighbour or to insult him or to condemn him.

      Man should be always found in a state of unconditional love to his neighbours (workmates, relatives, classmates, etc.).

      April 18, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • momoya

      How stupid.. Anger makes a person much less rational, but it has no bearing on believing in imaginary forces and beings.. No philosophy or refutation of a philosophy uses anger as a driving force.. And how fvcking retarded is it to love yoru neighbors, relatives, and classmates who are hateful?!? You should love people based on factors other than proximity, and you should only love a few people–if you love everyone it becomes pointless..

      April 18, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  11. David Nelson

    The Left should expose Mormonism for the masonic, New Age fraud that it is. It masquerades as Christianity and I am sure most Mormon's don't know the difference, including those who participate in the masonic inspired Temple rituals. But wait! We have a Left Wing president endorsed by the New Age gatekeeper Oprah Winfrey. So the Left won't do it. If the Right tries to do it they are accused of hatred. So who is left to point out the obvious truth? Mormon's believe men can become Gods through obedience to all the Mormon doctrines, that that can learn how to become Gods. It is very similar to Freemasonry in that sense, right down to secret words and handshakes. Most people who have taken an indepth look at Mormonism know it is not Christian. Most people who have not studied the issue assume Mormons are a conservative christian denomination. I feel sorry for Mormons mostly. But, truth is truth, and they have embraced the lies of an obvious con man. No one who has studied the fraudulent origin of the Book of Abraham with an open mind could possibly believe Smith to be anything but a self serving, charismatic con man. The media is either clueless or complicit.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • *facepalm*

      See: No True Scottsman fallacy.

      As someone who isn't Christian but is well versed in Christian theology, that someone wouldn't consider mormons to be Christians is laughably delusional.

      Plus, why is New Age fraud worse than Bronze Age fraud?

      April 18, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • A Yook

      And do you know another reason why Mormons are evil, soulless frauds? They eat their bread with the butter side DOWN!!!! Every Mormon must be watched. They have kinks in their soul. That's why we need a Mormon watching patrol!

      April 18, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • David Nelson

      I never refered to Mormons as evil, souless frauds and you know it. What most of them are is deceived.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  12. MB

    Now I understand from where Romney gets his etch-a-sketch personality.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  13. Mary

    Rainer Brandlein is a closet queen.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • sam stone

      mary: that seems pretty obvious.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  14. DE

    Mormons spent millions to kill the gay marriage attempt in California and that is not "gay friendly".

    April 18, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • *facepalm*

      I don't get the typical christian response to homosexuality: people who are gay are sinner engaging in deplorable acts who will likely be tortured for all eternity because an all-loving god made them 'defective' ... but they love them. Riiiiiight.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  15. Burn the bible

    While you are on your knees praying let me un-zip.
    you idiots!

    April 18, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    What song should be sung while the ship sinks?
    How about:
    "Atheist Peace"

    Maybe it’s too late for an intellectual debate,
    but a residue of confusion remains.

    Changing with the times,
    and developmentally tortured minds
    are the average citizen's sources of pain.

    Tell me what we’re fighting for—
    I don’t remember anymore,
    only temporary reprieve

    And the world might cease
    if we fail to tame the beast
    from the faith that you release
    comes an atheist peace.

    Atheist peace.

    Political forces rent
    bitter cold winds of discontent
    and the modern age emerged triumphantly.
    But now it seems we've stalled
    And it’s time to de-evolve
    and relive the dark chapters of history

    Tell me what we’re fighting for—
    No progress ever came from war,
    only a false sense of increase

    and the world won’t wait
    for the truth upon a plate
    but we’re ready now to feast on an atheist peace.

    Atheist peace

    April 18, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  17. lds mom

    You people that believe that god is pretend...I'll pray for you!

    April 18, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      And I'll think for you.

      April 18, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • sam stone

      Cool, so being on your knees is something you are used to?

      April 18, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Can we pick the God to whom you'll pray for us?

      April 18, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • catholic engineer

      @Jacque before you offer to think for Ids mom, make d@mned certain that you are up to the job. For all we know, you can't even think for yourself.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • catholic engineer

      @Ids mom You have offered to pay for some people. This is a simple and cheritable thing to do. Now look at the comments to your post. There are many people in the world who hate anything good and will do what they can to drag it down and sully it. THey cannot stand to look upon goodness.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Mary

      "catholic" and "engineer" should never be coupled. You might as well say "thinking-impaired, irrational engineer", and you should be paid less as a result of your sub-standard engineering and reasoning abilities.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • catholic engineer

      Hi Doc "Can we pick the God to whom you'll pray for us?" This will be easier than finding an atheist who can not only brag about his reasoning prowess, but can actually reason.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Mary

      CE, answer Doc's question, you coward.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Donna Brandes

      And I'll pray for you to be forgiven for your self-righteousness!

      April 18, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • rocketscientist

      Mary,""catholic" and "engineer" should never be coupled. You might as well say "thinking-impaired, irrational engineer", and you should be paid less as a result of your sub-standard engineering and reasoning abilities."
      Well, I'm a catholic aerospace engineer, so you've got another one here. I really hope you didn't actually mean what you said here, because if you did, that's definitely extremely wrong and/or extremely bigoted. They're are many religious people in scientific technical fields, i.e. engineering and physics. If we were all "thinking-impaired" we obviously wouldn't have college degrees, jobs, security-clearances, etc. And rational thinking is kind of a fundamental requirement of engineering.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Jack

      @ catholic engineer, I'll pray specifficaly to Allah for you.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • your god is irreducibly complex

      Rocketscientist,
      Ok, then please HONESTLY apply your rational thinking towards your faith.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • your god is irreducibly complex

      Ids mom,
      If you want to "pray" for us, that's fine go right ahead. Talking to yourself will not affect me in any way. Just don't make my kids do that in school and it's all good.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • sam stone

      catholicengineer: it was a sanctiminonious comment.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • TR6

      “You people that believe that god is pretend”

      No I do not need to“believe that god is pretend” . I have piles of evidence that it does not exist.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • sam stone

      catholicengineer: since you seem to be patting yourself on the back over your reasoning ability, please tell us how "creator" is synonymous with "god".

      April 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • rocketscientist

      "Rocketscientist,
      Ok, then please HONESTLY apply your rational thinking towards your faith."

      I do that all the time. I admit, it's a struggle. Faith is a hard road, maybe moreso to someone with a significant physics education (I've got a PhD). There are some thoughts and tenets I have regarding faith and science, but I honestly don't have the time, inclination, or really, a good forum on a MB for a discussion like this with you, no offense. If there was a better venue and I had the time and civility and mutual respect was observed, I'd be up for chatting about these subjects, but it just can't really happen here, sorry. I hope you understand that.

      Dr. H

      April 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  18. lastofall

    The writer speaks as though it is already concluded that Christianity apart from Mormonism has accepted or endorsed living in deliberate sin, which it has not. As for so-called churches which have accepted and endorse sin, they do not in any wise represent the Lord Jesus Christ, but rather the world, for they are still of the world, otherwise they would not have accommodated sin.

    April 18, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      Have you ever desired something somebody else had? Whether it be a tv, house, car? Then you are guilty of coveting which is in the 10 commandments. Those are the most serious commandments. Sinner!

      April 18, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • burn the bible

      Oh shut up!

      April 18, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • sam stone

      so, lasttofall, you feel that something that is not a choice can be a sin? how about eye color? left handedness?

      April 18, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @lastofall

      Which church do you belong to?

      Here in Germany the German Evangelical Church ordains gays pastors and the RCC molests children.

      Advice would be welcomed, where to join.

      April 18, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @sam stone

      Hi!

      What song will you sing, when you or the whole ship sinks?

      April 18, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • sam stone

      "What song will you sing, when you or the whole ship sinks?"

      More Chicken Little Hyperbole from the closet queen.

      Answer the question, if it doesn't indict you..

      April 18, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • YeahRight

      "The writer speaks as though it is already concluded that Christianity apart from Mormonism has accepted or endorsed living in deliberate sin"

      Yo all Christians live in sin according to your bible, you ALL choose to deliberately live in sin every day, with your greed, adultery, gluttony, lying, etc... etc... it does NOT give you the right to deny people their civil rights!

      April 18, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  19. Rainer Braendlein

    Dear gay brothers sing the following song, before the world sinks like once the little ship.

    Nearer, My God, to Thee

    Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
    E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me;
    Still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to Thee,

    Chorus:

    Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
    Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
    Darkness be over me, my rest a stone;
    Yet in my dreams I'd be nearer, my God, to Thee,

    Chorus

    There let the way appear steps unto heav'n;
    All that Thou sendest me in mercy giv'n;
    Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee,

    Chorus

    Then with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
    Out of my stony griefs Bethel I'll raise;
    So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee,

    Chorus

    Or if on joyful wing, cleaving the sky,
    Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upwards I fly,
    Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee,

    A sixth verse was later added to the hymn by Ed­ward H. Bick­er­steth, Jr. as follows:

    There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest,
    There in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest;
    Age after age to be, nearer my God to Thee.

    Chorus

    April 18, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Primewonk

      Dear fundamentalist îdiot brothers and sisters sing the following song

      In a gadda da vida, baby
      (In the Garden of Eden)
      In a gadda da vida, honey
      Don't you know that I'm lovin' you

      Oh, won't you come with me
      And take my hand
      Oh, won't you come with me
      And walk this land
      Please take my hand

      In a gadda da vida, honey
      Don't you know that I'm lovin' you
      In a gadda da vida, baby
      Don't you know that I'll always be true

      Oh, won't you come with me
      And take my hand
      Oh, won't you come with me
      And walk this land
      Please take my hand

      In a gadda da vida, honey
      Don't you know that I'm lovin' you
      In a gadda da vida, baby
      Don't you know that I'll always be true

      Oh, won't you come with me
      And take my hand
      Oh, won't you come with me
      And walk this land
      Please take my hand

      In a gadda da vida, baby
      (In the Garden of Eden)
      In a gadda da vida, honey
      Don't you know that I'm lovin' you

      Oh, won't you come with me
      And take my hand
      Oh, won't you come with me
      And walk this land
      Please take my hand

      April 18, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Primewonk

      Delusional!

      April 18, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • sam stone

      You got some gall calling others delusional. Get back in your closet, queen

      April 18, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  20. Rainer Braendlein

    I don't hate and judge gays, but offer the gospel towards them. Some brothers on this CNN blog asked me, where the Bible calls gayness a sin. There are several passages in the Bible about gayness. I have chosen only one of Romans, in order to avoid a lengthy text, which would overchallenge habitual TV watchers.

    Epistle to the Romans by St. Paul (a book of the New Testament, which is a part of the Bible), Chapter 1:

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    I myself am a Protestant, which tries to keep the genuine doctrine of the Early Church.

    I don't hate and judge gays outside the church (even inside the church I don't hate them, but there they need a special treatment). It is only, if they want to join the Christian Church, they have to repent before.

    Assumed my workmate, relative, neighbour, etc. would be a gay, I would treat him friendly nevertheless. Only if he would go to church, I would admonish him privatly and tell him he should repent.

    Why should a gay church member repent?

    Gayness is one of many sins, which is an indicator for our alienation from the Lord, the eternal God, which has made heaven and earth. Inside the Church there should stay only people, which are reconciled with God.

    A church, which wants to be connected with the genuine Early Church, has to keep this.

    A church, which tolerates gayness in her midst is no Christian Church, but has apostated from her Lord.

    I repeat, I don't refer to gays outside the church, but inside the church.

    Gays, outside the church, I shall not admonish, but treat kindly (however, if a talk about Jesus develops, I may confess the truth, that God, the Father, delivered his Son for our sins and raised him from the dead for our justification, in oder to set us free form every sin and give us a life of love and righteousness).

    Everybody, who hates and judges gays, should ask himself, if he is sinless and consider that even the sinless Jesus did not judge the sinners, but offered the gospel of deliverance, in oder to set them free:

    Romans 1:

    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    Dear gays, Christ died for your sins and suffered a horrible death for you, furthermore he resurrected for you, in order to set you free. Can you remain gay regarding Christ's atonement for you?

    April 18, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • your god is irreducibly complex

      It's hard to believe that, in 2012, there are still so many that believe in a personal "god" who felt like "he" needed to sacrafice "his" son, in order to forgive the beings that "he" created. Time to wake up and face reality: your god is just pretend.

      April 18, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Frank

      “Dear gays, Christ died for your sins and suffered a horrible death for you, furthermore he resurrected for you, in order to set you free. Can you remain gay regarding Christ's atonement for you?”

      Dear chistians, If jesus ever existed in the first place, he didn’t die for anyone’s sins, and most certainly didn’t rise from the dead to set anyone free, or for any other reason. The myths you use to justify your bigotry are stolen from older myths that even you don’t believe. Why then does this particular collection of myths seem so plausible to you when you scoff at the others?

      April 18, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • sam stone

      Gee, Rainy, you can post scripture until the cows come home, but you cannot answer a simple question with a yes or a no. What is your problem? Get back in the closet

      April 18, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • sam stone

      "Dear gays, Christ died for your sins and suffered a horrible death for you, furthermore he resurrected for you, in order to set you free. Can you remain gay regarding Christ's atonement for you?"

      Yep, without the guilt trip, Christianity is dead in the water. This closet queen is just another data point supporting that hypothesis.

      April 18, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @sam stone (which state is your home?)

      Hi!

      What song will you sing, when you or the whole ship sinks?

      April 18, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • sam stone

      My home state is Michigan.

      Your inability to answer a simple "yes" or "no" question says lots about you, queenie.

      Looking forward to eternity on your knees in front of Jesus?

      April 18, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • sam stone

      Rainy: Do you have tall buildings where you live? Jesus is only one high step away....eternity with god....and you are here bloviating on the internet....seems a shame since you and The Savior (TM) are best buds.

      April 18, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • YeahRight

      "23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: "

      It always amazes me that Christians like Rainer skip over this part of that scriptures...they were worshiping a pagan god using sex that was part of Roman culture, it has NOTHING to do with the Christian gay partnership as we know and understand it today. The people doing it were straight former Christians who switched over to that religion. Now you have to ask yourself is your judgment against gays using this scripture telling them their sinners still a just reason NOT to give them their civil rights. NO it is NOT! ! There are worse sinners in the Christian communities but you're not blocking their civil rights now are you! What a hypocrite!

      April 18, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • sam stone

      YeahRight: Rainy is a self-loathing closet queen, with a bible up his a$$.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:12 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.