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May 8th, 2012
02:02 PM ET

Pastor who sparked outrage over hitting gay children speaks out

By David Mattingly and Eric Marrapodi, CNN

Fayetteville, North Carolina (CNN)– A pastor who advocated hitting boys who display effeminate qualities is expressing regret for the sermon he delivered in the midst of a controversial marriage amendment battle.

"Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist," Sean Harris, the pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, told his congregants in his sermon on April 28. He continued, "Man up, give them a good punch, OK. 'You're not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you're going to be a male.'"

This week Harris said, "I was telling them in strong words that were not careful. What did I learn this week? Be more careful with your words."

Harris' comments came in a heated environment in the Tarheel State. On Tuesday, voters will cast ballots on Amendment One, which would amend the state constitution to say that "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."

While North Carolina already has a law banning same-sex marriage, the passage of the amendment would effectively ban same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships.

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

Churches across the state have taken opposing sides on the issue. George Reed, the head of the North Carolina Council of Churches, which is opposing the amendment, says the support breaks along traditional battle lines. He says many Catholic and independent evangelical churches support the amendment and many mainline churches oppose it.

On Sunday, a full-page advertisement from the world's most famous evangelist, long-time North Carolina resident Billy Graham, ran in 14 newspapers across the state.

The ad featured the 93-year-old evangelist's picture and read, "I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage." It continued, "The Bible is clear - God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the marriage amendment on Tuesday, May 8. God bless you as you vote.”

Graham has shied away from other hot-button political issues in the past. His spokesman, A. Larry Ross, noted he had kept silent when similar ballot issues appeared in 30 other states but felt compelled to speak up this time because the debate was raging in his home state.

“For him it’s a timeless message, not a timely issue. He’s preached this for 60 years. He was reinforcing the positive message he has been preaching," Ross said. “For him it’s not a political issue, it’s a moral issue.”

Harris' controversial sermon was focused on the amendment debate and he is encouraging his members to vote for the marriage amendment.

Harris said he preaches a biblical interpretation at the Berean Baptist Church - that homosexuality is a choice and that the Bible teaches it is sinful behavior.

The church is an independent congregation that began in 1967 after members left Grace Baptist church "in reaction to the liberal influence in the Southern Baptist Convention," its website says.

When Harris' sermon hit the Internet, it became a flashpoint for the statewide debate. Harris says he became the target of angry, hateful messages filled with profanity and multiple death threats after telling parents how to deal with children and effeminate behavior.

"You know, it's amazing how 'punch' has been equated to inciting violence against gay youth. That's not what I meant," the pastor said.

Instead, he said, the reference should be interpreted differently: "A shove, an affirmation. You see coaches give their players a good punch, a good slug. It's a way of affirming the gender distinctions between a male and a female," he said.

Anyone looking for a sweeping apology will be disappointed.

"I was apologizing for failing to say the right thing, for failing to be more careful, to make sure that no one thinks that Sean Harris is suggesting, as was said - although I never said this - ... 'Beat the gay outta children.' Those weren't my words, I didn't even believe there is such a thing as gay children. So I wasn't saying that. I was dealing with effeminate behavior, and instructing parents to affirm the manhood or the womanhood in their children," he said.

Congregants have stood by and supported their pastor. Prior to the service on Sunday, Harris received a standing ovation. Police kept watch outside the church. Demonstrators were kept at a distance.

"He always has a little levity into it and that's why we all laughed. We know our pastor," one member said.

Harris said he won't apologize for for what he called doing his job.

"No, I don't think that I need to apologize for preaching to my people what the word of God says. That's my responsibility."

See the full interview with Harris on Tuesday on "AC360."

Watch Anderson Cooper 360° weeknights 8pm ET. For the latest from AC360° click here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Billy Graham • Christianity • Church and state • TV-Anderson Cooper 360

soundoff (1,109 Responses)
  1. Andrew

    The pastor is not apologizing for anything here. He is merely attempting to conduct some damage control. He "regrets" his "strong words" because they hurt his image, not because such sentiments hurt gay children. Would he have moderated his demeanour had he not been subjected to such public scrutiny? I wouldn't count on it. In his mind, he's right no matter what anyone says. His fanatical, unrelenting view of the world is a danger to the well-being of children raised by his mindless congregation.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  2. wes

    all this hatred over religious views of freedoms is pointless. people are people no matter who they choose to love, the only thing wrong is the negative actions that other people take toward those who they believe are wrong because of what they think a god would want.
    if not god, you people are all crazy about what marriage should be, and how sacred it is, well the majority sure doesnt feel that way with divorces, cheating, and beatings at an ever growing rate.
    you people fear and hate what you dont understand, look into their lives outside your beliefs and look at yourselves and what your projecting to the world. Being different and loving is not wrong, hating for a religious cause is.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • gays are a plague on society

      Wes you take it in the bung hoe? You find it difficult to make it all the way to toilet? You feeling a bit sore in the derrier? Dude your so gross. An infection on society. I dont thing people should misstreat gay folk just let them go extinct. Put them on their own island until their no more. I mean youll make yourselves go extinct without procreation. Easy solution. Youll have your own laws and marry all you want. Then POOF youll soon be gone. Win win situation!

      May 8, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
  3. Lisa

    How long before these so-called Christians read the OTHER parts of the Bible? And decide they had better stop judging others?

    May 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Wanda

      and wearing multi blended fabrics

      May 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And trimming their beard hair.

      May 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  4. Why?

    What is wrong with people here? It's mind boggling the hate that is spewed on these boards.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  5. Rev. Sean "Fists of Jesus" Harris

    Did you ever notice the cross looks like a penis? Every time I see my son kneels before the cross, it looks like he is trying to give Jesus a hummer, so I man up and gently stomp him into a bloody pulp! Gotta toughen these pansy kids up!

    I punch, softly at first, then harder and harder, faster and faster, I throb punches onto him until OH MY LOVING JESUS I explode in a climax of self-righteous pummeling!!!

    It's good for me.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Why?

      Why do you post such hateful rhetoric solely to get a rise out of people? Don't you think it's the people like you that are wrong with society? The kind of people who are filled with hate no matter which direction it's pointed.

      I'd love to hear a legitimate response, although judging by your post I don't expect one.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Rev. Sean "Fists of Jesus" Harris

      1. Satire.

      2. Nope. We cause no real harm, no oppressing or beating of gays, none of the evil things religion does. We are just trying to use satire to brighten peoples' days and illuminate the absurdity of people like Harris.

      You look at a guy who encourages people to actually hit their children when any supposedly gay stereotype behavior is perceived and you think it's people who mock that sick behavior who have the hate problem? Really?

      So when Saturday Night Live makes fun of Charles Manson, you think they are haters?

      Thanks for the laugh!

      May 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  6. Have Any Friends?

    @yeahright

    How many hours a day are you on these boards? I see comments from you in the early morning all the way to night, and i checked older articles and that's the same.....You must not have much to do.

    The same also applies to tom, tom, the pipers son.........I kinda pity you all if you're on these boards day in and day out.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Mirror mirror

      The obvious irony and hypocrisy of this statement is just way too funny!!!

      May 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • mema

      No actually he is right. No irony or hyprocrisy here. I am disabled and come on here a couple times a day. Then I see post from the same people over and over on every religous blog here and all day and night. Its sad really. If your atheist and say how happy you are to be so and then spend your whole of existence on a religious blog to spread your hate. You can not be as happy at all as you profess to be. So pathetic!

      May 8, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Wondering Kenny McDivot

      Can you help me with something please, mema? Why is it that people like you see some people post all day long, but only perceive that it is the atheists who do that? Why do people like you see hate only from atheists when the religious people say some astoundingly horrific things.

      I think your point would be legitimate if you notice that individuals on both sides do it, but when you only see that the side you don't agree with does it and happily ignore all the filth people on your side churn out, well, it doesn't impress me.

      Do you even notice how one-sided and unfair you are being?

      May 8, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  7. The 666 Club

    "Congregants have stood by and supported their pastor."
    This more than anything says volumes about the people who believe in this BS and why I have no patience or tolerance for them anymore.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • shltbrains you are

      Try to do something about it then shlthead...I dare you. You f.cuktards do nothing other than act all big and bad on the internet. You're nothin but a bunch of fookin losers in real life.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  8. JOSE0311USMC

    GIVE GAYS AND WOMEN ONE INCH AND THEY LATER WANT A MILE...GAYS THINK THAT THEY CAN WALK FREELY ON THE STREETS HUGGING AND KISSING....A BAD MISTAKE .

    May 8, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • momoya

      Ummm.. They don't "think" that they can show affection in public; they CAN show affection in public.. Do you really "think" you're adding anything to this discussion.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Fab

      They can, and its not a mistake. Welcome to America, where we have this thing called "freedom". If you don't like it, move to Saudi Arabia. Unless of course, you aren't a muslim who can't eat pork or beer.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • The 666 Club

      You are NOT a marine you worthless troll

      May 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • reasonableone

      Thank you, Jose, for defending my right to walk around in the street hugging and kissing my gay partner. Your service is honored.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  9. christianfaith

    i doubt a gay man could die by being hit. ok. maybe in like 0.000001 percent of cases if you hit a guy he could die. so the pastor is supporting murdering 0.000001 percent of gays. that is so extremely low that even jesus would find that statistically negligible and would support murder in that instance.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • momoya

      Do you have a Ph.D. in stupid?!? The pastor was advocating parents using violence to deal with a "problem" that isn't one at all.. Fvck him and fvck his Jesus, too.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • One one

      Are you serious? Or is this comment supposed to be sarcastic.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • One one

      So according to your rational beating gay boys into submission is OK, even if a few die from the beatings since its all for a "greater good." And Jesus would fully approve.

      So, let's hear it from all the Christians out there. Do you agree with "christianfaith" ?

      May 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • One one

      "So, let's hear it from all the Christians out there. Do you agree with "christianfaith" ?". .........................

      I didn't think so.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  10. JOSE0311USMC

    BLEND IN WITH THE ENEMY ...

    May 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • preacherman

      Is that why you pretend to be a Marine, you high-heel wearing pansy?

      May 8, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  11. JOSE0311USMC

    DO PARENTS TELL GAY KIDS TO LOOK AND ACT GAY ???? WE WOULD NOT HAVE ALL THESE PROBLEMS IF IT WASN'T FOR OBAMA BANNING DON'T ASK-DON'T TELL.

    May 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Wow are you clueless on this subject, being gay isn't a choice. You can't teach someone to be gay. Duh!! By the way typing in all caps is bad etiquette and makes you look desperate.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      Do you find it difficult to be in the Marines when you don't speak English?

      May 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "THESE PROBLEMS IF IT WASN'T FOR OBAMA BANNING DON'T ASK-DON'T TELL."

      Duh! It's about equal civil rights wow are you a disgrace to our country.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      JOHNY BLAMMO-–THE BEST MARINES , ARE JUST HIGH SCHOOL GRAD...WE PUT OUR LIVE ON THE LINE SO IDIOTS LIKE YOU CAN BE FREE TO BAD MOUTH US..

      May 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Sue

      JOSE0311USMC, you are a disgrace to the Marines (if indeed you are one; I kind of doubt it) and to our country.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  12. larry5

    It's interesting. People in the public eye say what they think and feel. Then when it turns out up popular or might cost them their job they then say what the public wants to hear. Obama takes the short cut version of this and never says what he thinks and always says what the group in front of him wants to hear. This guy could take a lesson from Obama. When one is not guided by leadership and principals Obama's method is the only way to fly.

    May 8, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, nonsense. Obama hasn't changed his views on gay marriage, even though some in his administration have spoken in favor of it. He could pander to the more liberal Democrats by saying he is in favor of it, but he hasn't. He says his views are evolving, which is fine by me.

      You'll have to find another way to hate the guy. Oh, yeah, and his "principals" (sic).

      May 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • mema

      You obviously know nothing about leadership skills and training. One in these position are trained how to not attack or defend a contraversial issue head one. Its is in no way unique to Obama. All high profile or leadership and management persons are trained in this art. It is nothing new and practiced along both political lines.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Truth

      You want the truth about Obama and why his views are "evolving?" They aren't evolving, the guys a liberal. Fine by me, is what it is, heck I'll probably even be voting for him this election because Romney is a clown as well.

      The truth is that he's not going to come out and openly support gay marriage right now because the black and hispanic community is largely against gay marriage and their votes are HUGE. Their votes very well could be the decisive factor in the election and since they overwhelmingly support Democrats but are largely anti gay marriage, Obama has no choice but to try and remain quiet on the issue. The gay people will largely vote for Obama regardless because a conservative as a President is tantamount to their anti-Christ.

      That's the plain ole simple truth.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  13. One one

    Easy steps to starting a successful religion.

    First, the rules:

    Rule number 1: Believe or else
    Rule number 2: See rule number 1.
    Rule number 3: See rule number 1.

    NEXT: Convince vulnerable, prospective devotees that they are worthless trash; sinners, who are certain to burn in hell and suffer the brutality of their loving god's wrath because they deserve it.

    NEXT: After the vulnerable prospective devotees have been sufficiently pounded down by indoctrination, fear of death, and life's other challenges, offer them a "get out of hell, go directly to heaven" pass.

    TO OBTAIN "GET OUT OF HELL, GO DIRECTLY TO HEAVEN" PASS: See rule number 1.

    May 8, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  14. JOSE0311USMC

    I'M A MARINE....WE DON'T HATE GAY PEOPLE.....ALL WE ASK KEEP IT IN THE CLOSET....GAYS NOW THAT THE LAW IS ON THEIR SIDE WANT TO COME OUT IN THE OPEN.....AMERICANS DO NOT WANT GAYS KISSING IN PUBLIC AND CONFUSING THEIR KIDS......MOM I SEE TWO MEN KISSING , IS THAT NORMAL ??? I SEE TWO WOMEN KISSING, IS THAT NORMAL...AMERICA DON'T WANT TO SEE THAT GARBAGE ON THE STREETS.....NONE GAY PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO SEE IT ON THE BASE EITHER.

    May 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Your a disgrace to our society. The experts around the world have proven that being gay is a normal part of human seuality. They deserve the same civil rights as everyone else. Why don't you put your prejudice and hatred in the closet!

      The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      May 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Okey Dokey

      So does the Marine Corps issue you the meth, or do you get it on the side?

      May 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Wanda

      speak for yourself. I have no problem with gays kissing in public.

      May 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  15. Liberals are racist too

    "You cannot go into a 7-11 or Dunkin Donuts unless you have an Indian accent"
    – Joe Biden

    May 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Blasphemy Billy

      Does he advocate manning up and hitting children who display Indian accents?

      May 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      I'M A HISPANIC GUY, I AGREE WITH BIDEN...MOST 711 STORES --GAS STATIONS ARE OWN BY PEOPLE FROM INDIA...IS A FACT....I CAN'T UNDERSTAND THEM.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • longshot

      yes, according to 'baggers when we call out the racists for their hatred, that makes us racist in return because we're intolerant of their views

      May 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  16. .r.j.

    THAT IS ONE SICK PREACHER!

    May 8, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  17. Colin

    Gay Teenager: 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.

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

    Gay Teen: But God, the Christians are telling me I am a sinner and will burn in hell. The pastor I used to respect at my church just advised my father to bash me! I am truly frightened. You made me this way, so I think you owe me an explanation.

    God: I was moving in mysterious ways.

    Gay Teen: 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 children. Then, when you die, I can send you to burn forever. Pretty mysterious, hey?

    Gay Teen. 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 Teen: 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 Teen: 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.

    Gay Teen: Ok. I have to go now. My father, pastor, Christian friends and teachers 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

    May 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Wow

      Did you really just spend time creating a conversation with yourself to prove a point to yourself? Dude you really are an idiot.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Blasphemy Billy

      God: "And for your evil, Adam and Eve, I will throw you out of Eden and condemn all your descendants forever for the atrocity of eating an apple."

      Eve: "That's a bit unjust, don't you think? Permanent guilt by association seems very cruel."

      God: "Silence, woman! You and all your female descendants will be inferior forever."

      Adam: "If I can ask, Why are we being punished at all? You made us, and design flaws are the fault of the designer, not the design. And you knew what would happen when you made us. You must have wanted it to be this way. I feel like I was set up. How could you not know and then get mad when you already knew? How can a perfect being botch the job? How can you think it is reasonable to punish us and all humans forever for your faulty design?"

      God: "Uh, I work in mysterioous ways?'

      Ev: "Idiotic ways is more like it."

      God: "Silence inferior female thing! I'm punishing you because I am God and I don't have to be fair and you can't do anything about it and nya nya nya!!"

      Adam (whispering to Eve): "He acts like a spoiled little 4th grader."

      May 8, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Colin

      BB- that's pretty good.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • momoya

      Witty, Colin! thx

      May 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    May 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • 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!.~.`

      May 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • One one

      Atheists don't tell children that god sends them to hell to be tortured forever if they don't follow their beliefs.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • One one

      You have posted this message many times. Yet, you have never told us exactly what prayer changes. Would you please tell us what prayer changes ?

      May 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      prayer changes live

      May 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • just sayin

      @oneone
      You just did. God bless (answer to first comment.)
      Prayer created America
      Prayer ended slavery
      Prayer began a world wide missions program
      Prayer changed the course of human history
      Prayer enabled the vast increase of knowledge over the last century
      Prayer deposed tyrants
      Prayer restored Israel after 2000 years
      Prayer changes lives
      Just a few of the things prayer has changed in response to your second comment. God bless

      May 8, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Fab

      @Justsaying
      You just did. God bless (answer to first comment.)
      Revolutionaries created America
      Hardworking abolistionists ended slavery
      Christians began a world wide missions program
      Everyone with a Wikipedia article changed the course of human history
      Science enabled the vast increase of knowledge over the last century
      Rebels deposed tyrants
      Zionist Pigs restored Israel after 2000 years
      Knowledge changes lives
      Just a few of the things prayer has changed in response to your second comment. God bless

      You seemed to have a few spelling mistakes. I fixed them 🙂

      May 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • just sayin

      @fab
      You can be wrong if you want to be. I will never need your help. God bless

      May 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • JohnnyJay

      Really?? Hmmmmmm.. Well I don't break the law, I don't do drugs, I respect others including their beliefs and how they were born..Oh I'm obtaining my Masters in Child Psychology, I plan on rescuing children when I work with CPS..I also Volunteer on Saturdays and deliver food boxes to families in need and with homeless youth who have been ostracized by their families for being gay (that's the "Christian Thing" to do) and I'm an Atheist and as you can see my life is pretty healthy and positive. You don't need religion to have a moral compass..my views on religion is that it causes war, separation, closed-mindedness, bigotry, and violence. It's a man made invention! When someone can't handle the fact that the world is diverse with people who have different beliefs, they are usually the ones who aren't mature enough to handle their own faith.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  19. Critical Thinker

    Our world is going to heII in a handbasket. The end times are certainly drawing near.

    I'm not even saying that because of the gay issue, I'm saying this because of the false teachers, the hate abound (just look at the comments section), the selfishness among the "me" generation, etc.....the list is never ending.

    May God have mercy on us all.

    May 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "I'm saying this because of the false teachers, the hate abound (just look at the comments section), the selfishness among the "me" generation, etc.....the list is never ending."

      This comment section is nothing to the hate that the Christian community is spreading about this minority group. This pastor and those that cheered him on are a great example of it. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      May 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      First off: You have no basis to judge others as false teachers, since you can't even prove your own beliefs in a god.
      Second: People have been predicting the end times as being upon us since the supposed days of Jesus, so why the hell should we take anyone saying that kind of crap seriously in the least?

      May 8, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Critical Thinker

      Time will tell and we all will see....

      May 8, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • a person of the Name

      The question one should be asking, is what is soon in the eyes of God?

      May 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • beau

      If you're a mormon:
      You believe in a man named Joseph Smith that declared himself a general against the American Government and then said he would create a Theocratic Monarchy with himself at its head.
      You also believe in a man named Joseph Smith that married a 14 year old girl – even though he already had plural wives – because he told the child's family they would receive instant eternal salvation if they gave her to him (Smith).
      You also believe in becoming a god after this life if you have committed to and followed all of your temple rituals sincerely and without deviance.
      You also believe that anyone that is not a mormon will NOT be allow to be with Jesus Christ or God, no matter how good they are, if they do not accept your gospel (religion) to be the only true church. For example. Mother Teresa will not be in heaven if she does not accept a posthumous baptism in the after life.
      You also believe that you must take on secret temple names, wear garments (underwear) that has secret symbols that are used in secret rituals in the temple as well as a blood oath that began in 1843, but ended in 1990 when there was a general uproar amongst non-mormons that found out about this particular ritual.
      You also believe Blacks and Native Americans were marked with dark skin for being evil in the pre-life or because they just displeased god.
      You believe that once you are a god of your own world, you with your heavenly wife will create spirit children that will then fill the earthly bodies of human on your own particular planet that you rule over...meaning that you are already (in certain terms) better than the God that created this planet.
      You do believe that Lucifer and Jesus were and are brothers. Sign A TRUE Conservative Republican."

      May 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      JESUS -–PICKED A MAN AND A WOMAN, NAME ADAM ANS EVE, WHY ?????? JESUS COULD OF PICKED 2 MEN--OR-2 WOMEN , BUT HE PICKED A MAN AND A WOMAN ??? WHY ????? I REST MY CASE, JESUS DO NOT APPROVE OF GAY MARRIAGE.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @JOSE0311USMC

      CAPS LOCK DOESN'T MAKE YOUR CLAIM ANY MORE CREDIBLE IDIOT.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • JohnnyJay

      JOSE0311usmc- .IN THE MARINES WE HAVE A SAYING, FIT IN WITH THE ENEMY..BLEND IN WITH THE ENEMY.. LOL Thats a good one, I'm gonna use that close-minded stupidity in my next comedy blog! Gays are here to stay and NOTHING will change that. The US will just become more and more excepting over time and the extremely small percentage who are bigots will dwindle as time goes on. Im set!

      May 8, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  20. Colin

    To any gay kid out there reading this, I say the following. Ignore the Christians, there is nothing wrong with you. I know it is hard to see it now, but one day these small minded people and the tormenting they inflict upon you will be as irrelevant to your life as the kids who called "fat face" and the like at pre-school.

    To the Christians, I would ask you to please back off and leave these kids alone. Can you even imagine how tough it is growing up gay in the Bible Belt to begin with? Having to hide those emerging feelings we hetero$exuals got to be proud of and enjoy? These poor kids must feel horrible. For once, please subordinate your silly supernatural nonsense to the greater good of slightly alleviating an already tormenting time for these young kids.

    May 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • mandarax

      Well said and much appreciated.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Disney Presents "Hitler's Last Days In The Bunker On Ice!!"

      Colin, that was well written, thoughtful, compassionate, reasonable, and intelligent. You will be hated for it.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • great intellect my ass

      For those not into kissing up to Colin and into Truth, Colin posts are total bull sh it.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Nice post Colin but we will see the Christian response of hate and lies to prove you right.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Truth

      @Colin

      As a Christian I have no problem with what you wrote (aside from the false generalization). I also don't ridicule or advocate against h.omos.exuality either so please don't lump all Christians into a single basket. Guess you didn't read in the article where it said many of the mainline churches are actually opposed to this amendment.

      I always find it comical when atheists talk about the hate that's about to come from Christians but it never produces. @Yeahright is a perfect example of those kind of people.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • George

      Colin, I can only tell you that you have been deceived. True Christians do not hate gay people. As the pastor said, being gay is a choice. True Christians do feel sympathy for those that are gay. Nobody should ever inflict torment on you, however, don't ask true Christians to tell you that what gays are doing is right. That's not going to happen. That's no different that telling a thief that its ok to be a thief or a murderer that its ok to be a murderer. True Christians will never tell you that it is ok to break the laws of God. God is never to be compared to supernatural nonsense. You have no idea about what God has to offer you. God loves the murderer, He loves the thief and He loves the gay person. He does not condone any of those actions, but He loves them. Now if someone continues to practice such; the Bible says none of them will enter into Heaven. True Christians warn those that have strayed, we do not abuse or torment. I hope that one day all the world would realize that and not base their opinions on those that look at the actions of those that call themselves Christians but do not live and act like Christians.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Colin

      Truth, I agree that many Christians do not have an issue with gays. However, if you look at the public campaign to ban SSM, the dollars funding it, the original authors of the amendment and the support it gets at the ballot box, I think you will quickly find this is an initiative driven almost exclusively by Christians.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "@Yeahright is a perfect example of those kind of people."

      LOL! I am not a Christian idiot. LOL! Just read the posts about gays on other blogs here you'll see what I am talking about. 😉

      LMAO!

      May 8, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • great intellect my ass

      Truth is not hate.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Colin

      George, I'm sorry, but the fact that you think a person's fundamental $ex drive is a "choice" tells me you are either stunningly ignorant or wilfully blind. The fact that you would compare gays to murderers and thieves strongly suggests the former.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Truth is not hate."

      LOL! Truth masked in lies is. It's why Christians ignore all the experts that prove them wrong. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      May 8, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Erik

      "As the pastor said, being gay is a choice"

      Being gay is not a choice. I hate to burst any bubbles, but science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

      All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

      Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

      In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

      But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

      This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

      This is not an issue in dispute. According to modern science: gays are born this way.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Truth

      @yearight

      No kidding dude, I never said you were. I said you were the type of atheist who claims Christians are about to respond with hate and they don't. So who again is the idiot?

      May 8, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Colin

      Erik- great, well articulated post.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Now if someone continues to practice such; the Bible says none of them will enter into Heaven"

      Actually there are many churches, pastors, rabbis, nuns that have stated that gays as we know and understand it today don't not sin and will go to heaven. Nowhere in your bible does your god condemn the saved loving respectful relationship of a gay couple.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "I said you were the type of atheist who claims Christians are about to respond with hate and they don't. So who again is the idiot?"

      Again, go back through the three threads in most recent and read the posts from many of the Christians posting here. That is what I am referring to.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Truth

      @yeahright

      Care to apologize to me for calling me an idiot when in fact you misread and/or twisted what was said?

      May 8, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • a person of the Name

      The funny thing is I know gay ppl who went straight and straight ppl who went gay.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Care to apologize to me for calling me an idiot when in fact you misread and/or twisted what was said?"

      You first.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "he funny thing is I know gay ppl who went straight and straight ppl who went gay."

      That's called a bisexual. Duh!

      May 8, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      KIDS WHO ARE GAY ?? DON'T ACT GAY-DON'T DRESS LIKE A GAY PERSON AND NO ONE WILL BOTHER YOU...BUT IF YOU WALK AROUND TALKING LIKE A WOMAN--DRESS LIKE GAY PEOPLE ? YOU ARE ASKING FOR IT........IN THE MARINES WE HAVE A SAYING, FIT IN WITH THE ENEMY..BLEND IN WITH THE ENEMY...

      May 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • SEMPER BI

      IN THE MARINES WE HAVE A SAYING, BUT ENGLISH ME GOOD NO, UNDERSTAND NOT, SOUND LIKE "BITE THE WAX TADPOLE" TO ME ..... IN MARINES NO QUESTION JUST DO, SO I MAKE TADPOLE WAX AND BITE

      May 8, 2012 at 7:06 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.