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Is the black church guilty of spiritual hypocrisy in same-sex marriage debate?
Delman Coates at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church is among a minority of black ministers in Maryland who have endorsed gay rights.
May 12th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Is the black church guilty of spiritual hypocrisy in same-sex marriage debate?

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - Some people wonder if the black church will punish President Barack Obama for announcing support for same-sex marriage.

Here’s another question:

Why would the black church cite scripture to exclude gays when a similar approach to the Bible was used to enslave their ancestors?

“It’s so unfortunate,” says James Cone, one the nation’s most influential black theologians and author of “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.”

“The literal approach to scripture was used to enslave black people,” he says. “I’ve said many times in black churches that the black church is on the wrong side of history on this. It’s so sad because they were on the right side of history in their own struggle.”

Call it historical irony: Black church leaders arguing against same-sex marriage are making some of the same arguments that supporters of slavery made in the 18th and 19th centuries, some historians say. Both groups adopted a literal reading of the Bible to justify withholding basic rights from a particular group.

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

Opposition to gay rights is not the standard position of all black churches. Still, while several predominately white mainline denominations have officially accepted gays and lesbians in various forms, the vast majority of black churches still consider homosexuality a sin.

Black church leaders recently helped lead a successful drive to amend North Carolina’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The Rev. Fred Robinson, a black pastor in Charlotte, says most black churchgoers aren’t hypocrites. They take scripture, and sin, seriously.

“Black people are not confused,” Robinson says. “If you look at the scriptures that oppose homosexuality, Old and New Testament, they are clearer cut than the ones people used to justify slavery.”

Yet there are other factors beyond the Bible that shape the black church’s resistance to same-sex marriage.

“It’s more than scripture – it’s history, culture, how we were raised,” says the Rev. Tim McDonald, founder of the African American Ministers Leadership Council.

Some black church leaders are still fighting hard just to persuade straight black couples to marry. Accepting same-sex marriage when so many black households lack a husband and wife makes McDonald uneasy.

“I am not comfortable performing a wedding ceremony of the same sex,” says McDonald, an Obama supporter. “That’s just where I am.”

Some black pastors, however, embrace a literal approach to the Bible not just to exclude gays but to get rid of competition, says Edward Blum, a San Diego State University historian.

Some black pastors cite New Testament passages such as Paul’s demand that women keep silent in churches to argue against black women in the pulpit.

That argument is harder to make when black women’s energy and donations form the backbone of the black church, Blum says, but some still get away with it.

“The biblical literalist reading has kept male leadership in power in a church that is hugely female,” Blum says. “It keeps power in men’s hands.”

The one book that mattered

Black churches also embrace a literal reading of the scripture because of its unique history, says Blum, author of “W.E.B. DuBois, American Prophet.”

During slavery and segregation, many blacks saw the Bible as the one document they could trust. The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, state and local laws – all found some way to ignore their humanity, Blum says.

The Bible, though, was one book that told them that they weren’t slaves or three-fifths of a person, Blum says.

It said they were children of God.

“Throughout the 18th and 19th century, what document could they trust?” Blum says. “When the Bible says it’s so, it’s something that black people believed they could trust.”

Their enemies, though, used that same veneration of the Bible against them. Slaveholders had a simple but powerful argument when critics challenged them: Trust the Bible.

They cited scriptures such as Ephesians 6:5. (“Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling. ...”) And they said Jesus preached against many sins, but never against slavery.

Since the Bible is infallible, and scripture sanctions slavery, it must be part of God’s order, slaveholders concluded.

“Slavery is everywhere in the Bible,” Blum says. “When Americans who were in favor of slavery defended it with the Bible, they had a treasure trove of clear biblical passages that accepted enslavement.”

Blum says abolitionists found it difficult to mount an effective counterargument. They couldn’t just say trust the Bible. They preached another approach to scriptures.

They said you couldn’t enslave people based on the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do to you. (Obama cited the Golden Rule and his Christian faith in supporting same-sex marriage).

“The abolitionist turned to the ethics and spirit of the Bible,” Blum says. “They were theological modernists before modernism.”

And what are black clergy and churchgoers today when they cite the Bible to oppose same-sex marriage?

Robinson, the North Carolina pastor, says they’re not homophobes.

“It says in the Bible that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God,” he says. “How do you explain that one away? A lot of honest Christians are not trying to hate homosexuals. They’re saying that if I take the Bible seriously, I’m not sure I can say it’s right.”

Robinson says that some opposition to homosexuality is actually based in compassion:

“If I’m concerned about your soul, I have to tell you the truth in love.”

Cone, who teaches at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, says black churchgoers opposed to same-sex marriage are instead mimicking their ancestors’ oppressors.

“I tell some people, ‘These people were against you.’ They would have lynched you. How are you going to now join them and help them lynch somebody else?’”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity • Culture wars • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Politics

soundoff (4,348 Responses)
  1. John Lennon

    Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try
    No people below us, above it's only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today

    Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do
    No need to kill or die for and no religions too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace

    May 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      Who cares what he thought.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • saopaco

      The Beatles were more popular than Jesus – didn't you know?

      May 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • phoenix

      @Doobie, ironically that's exactly what the rest of the educated world (outside of the US) feel about Christians. I mean 40-50% of this country still believes the world is 6000 years old. Really?!?!?!

      May 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      @phoenix

      I'm educated. So is my priest. He's a professor and takes no pay for his service as our parish priest. Education isn't limited to atheists. That's pretty bigoted don't you think?

      May 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • camp

      and sadly all his imagining did not save him from being murdered

      May 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • camp

      "You gotta serve somebody" Lyrics by Bob Dylan

      May 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • phoenix

      @Doobie, you may be educated, but that doesn't mean you can think. I used to stand idly with those who are religious, thinking to each his own and such – you don't affect me, I don't affect you. However, it is not the case. Religion is actively shaping policy. It's denying real people of their rights. It's causing some people to go to war, or fly planes into buildings. I don't believe I can stand idly in inaction while those who are religious anymore, because religion is a blight to this world.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      @phoenix

      Why pigeon hole all religious into the same category? I can say the same thing for atheism you know. They almost destroyed the Orthodox Church in Russia. They killed thousands of priests and religious folk. Also, our secular government is trying to impose it's own agenda on the roman catholic church as well. I'm not RC, but they shouldn't be forced to provide a particular type of health care that goes against their beliefs.

      I personally think this whole gay marriage thing is a joke and can be easily fixed if it weren't for the zealots on both sides.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  2. abqTim

    Call it gay union or whatever just don't mess with the laws that currently govern what my loving wife and my family have. Cuz once lawyers start screwing with laws that have perfectly fine for all these years you know they will mess it up for the rest. So just create a new law thats all. Isn't the good enough? One for straights and for gays just don't amend the current marriage laws...I just don't trust lawyers. They can be practically the same, but just worded for gay folks.

    May 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • phoenix

      No. Either extend the same laws to all, or nobody gets it. (I'm a proponent of the second part)

      May 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Andres Conde

      And why is that you bigot. You think you are better than us? We are asking for the same rights, nothing more, or less. Nothing would change and we dont mess with you or viceversa.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • saopaco

      "Separate but Equal" doesn't work. Why not just mind your own business and not worry about what other people are doing?

      May 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • abqTim

      Why are you folks so trusting of how the Lawyers will screw it all up and prolong things. Wouldn't it be better to have laws that specifically addressed the needs of gays? Why all the name calling? Why can't there be 2 separate laws that take into account the unique situation of gays and straights? Why do you want to force simulation when clearly there are differences that are unique to each group?

      May 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  3. ramsaxon

    "Those who have religion are more likely to be those who fear the dark." Hawking, Galactic Scientist!

    May 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • jumpinjezebel

      Fear of the Dark and most everything else. It's built on fear and ego. Man couldn't possibly be just as dead as the dogs and frogs – he must be able to live after death because we're SO important in the scheme of all things in the Universe. What a delusion we have foisted upon ourselves and trying to force the rest of the world to do as we say to avoid REAL death – do what I say (and give me money). LOL

      May 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Danny Denton

      Mr. Blake,

      When Satan came to tempt Jesus, the main weapon he used was a twisted view of scripture. You have followed his lead. I will not argue the fact that Southerners used a twisted view of scripture to support slavery, but how in good conscious can you forget to mention that slavery was ended primarily because of the work of true Christians who had the correct view of scripture. The movement which was started in England by William Wilberforce and his supporters who were largely members of the clergy was transplanted to the United States. Ever wonder why South Carolina seceded even though Lincoln said he would not emancipate the slaves? It was because they had seen what had happened in Britain and they were afraid that it was about to happen here. Read the lyrics of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic". This song summarizes the spirit of the Christian Abolitionists and correctly prophesied the coming of God's wrath against the evils of slavery. I am sure you know all this Mr. Blake. Given that, how could you write such a twisted account? Nazi propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, another follower of Satan, would be proud of your report.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  4. tabgotreat

    When did worshiping a collection of books compiled and voted on by a council centuries after Christ lived become the foundation of his teachings?

    May 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      EXTREMELY broad version of history don't you think?

      May 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • tabgotreat

      I don't know what you mean by that doobie, but what I said is accurate. There was no Bible when Christ was alive. He didn't write any of it. At least Muhammad wrote the Qur'an so there's a direct link to his teachings.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Tim William

      This shows a profound misunderstanding of the canonization process. The leading book on the subject is "The Biblical Canon" by Lee McDonald.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • tabgotreat

      Tim Williams – Perhaps a better understanding of history would serve you well. Yes, the Bible was compiled over centuries but it was the Council of Nicene in 325AD that first attempted to compile all of the various factions of Christianity into some agreed upon assessment of who Jesus was and what was his relationship to God. It was very political and none of the teachings thereafter should be used as a basis for understanding Christ's true teachings.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      Muhammad didn't write anything. He was illiterate. The gospels are attributed to an apostle or someone with him. They've been read from since the beginning. Come on man. They didn't get written at Nicea. In fact, they weren't even talked about.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Tim William

      "Council of Nicaea" actually had nothing to do with the canon, and the process was in flux until the 1500's and the council of Trent (today churches still disagree on the canon). Nicaea had more to do with Christology, the Pneumatological (trinitarian) stance not being completed until about 6 decades later at Constantinople. But there was much more agreement than you are assuming, cf. the Muratorian fragment (or Athanasius). I'm mainly objecting to your insinuation of a mass conspiracy. It seems like you have an axe to grind, maybe you should check your constructed history.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  5. mrjetsondc

    B/c blacks are self-destructive. They will eventually kill each other to the point that only educated blacks will be left.

    May 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • camp

      typical definition of survival of the fittest I guess

      May 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  6. augustghost

    here we go again

    May 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  7. kendallpeak

    A literal interpretation of the bible also prohibits murder. Just because a misinterpretation of the bible was used to enforce 18th century slavery, a concept totally alien to Hebrew slavery of 2000 years ago, does not justify throwing out all the teachings of the bible. Unless of course you are someone with an agenda, and could care less about biblical teachings.

    May 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      So when God called for genocide he was just playing a prank?

      May 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Polygamy is a biblical form of marriage, why would anyone who supports a literal interpretation of the bible be against it?

      Also, a literal interpretation of the bible instructs us to stone disobedient children and adulterers, to marry a r.ape victim to her attacker, to not eat shellfish, wear mixed fiber clothing, and for women to wear their hair long. Shall we start writing up THAT legislation?

      May 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Tom B

      Just move to North Carolina with the rest of the racist bigots so the rest of us can progress forward in keeping this country one of equality as was meant to be.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  8. stormsun

    Civil rights issues are not limited to skin color; persecution of one group is persecution of all of us. Unfortunately, the GOP seems to be on the wrong side of virtually every civil rights issue these days.

    May 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • saopaco

      Hear, hear!

      May 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  9. Godoflunaticscreation

    We need to follow the bible. Bring slavery back, promote pedophilia and r@pe and genocide. Then we will be real christians.

    May 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Ronin

      And burning people. Don't forget that one.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      Nice interpretation. I think I'll go to my priest for the meaning of scripture thank you.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • mrjetsondc

      If the Bible ran the world, we'd all be dead

      May 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      You mean you go to a heathen priest! The bible clearly states that Genocide,r@pe, pedophilia is God's will.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      More than his will. He commands it! Crystal clearly stated in the bible. But go into your heathen church and follow your watered down religion that bears no resemblance to actual Christianity.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Joe

      I strongly believe that North Carolina was wrong in their decision. However the ped ofile remark is what makes us how defend it sound like idiots.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • saopaco

      @doobie – why not try reading it for yourself? That is a problem that I have with the faithful, they are too willing to let others do the thinking for them.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      @saopaco

      I do read it for myself. My problem is with people who like to use biblical one liners and don't consider them in the context in which they were written.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  10. Felix El Gato

    All it takes is one gay child to turn a family around. Look at Dick Cheney and Illeana Ros-Lehtinen.

    May 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  11. Rainer Braendlein

    Gayness should not be promoted and legalized by permission of gay marriage. Yet, I don't hate gays or hinder them in any way. It is only that they have to stay outside Church, because inside Church are delivered people. A delivered man cannot be gay or at least should be on a way of healing.

    Every sin is an act against the principle of love towards God and the neighbour. Actually God has predetermined a certain wife for nearly every man. A single pious man should wait for his predetermined wife in abstinence up to the day, when he encounters his wife and marries her. A gay man is a man, which has totally lost the control of his body. A gay man is a man, which is totally controlled by the lust of his body to this extent that he even desires men. This is the total denial of the love to his future wife, which God actually wanted to give him and the total denial of the belief in God's love, who wanted to support him with a wife. If we answer God's love with total lechery, we sin. Sin is the opposite of love towards God and the neighbour. Yet, dear gay, exactly for such a sinner like you God delivered his beloved Son. Should not this convince you of God's love, who wants to take care of you and to give you a wife and everthing else, which you need?

    The verses of the Bible against ho-mos-exuality are meant verbatim. Yet today in the concrete handling of certain cases patience must be applied.

    We can imply that yet at Moses' time a gay man was not stoned immediately, but exhorted several times, before he was punished. If someone repented, he was forgiven and admitted again into the community of God's Chosen People.

    The equivalent of stoning at Moses' time is the exclusion from the Church (the Church is the successor of God's Chosen People) today, if a church member is not ready to repent from a heavy sin. The exclusion takes place first after at least three attempts of rebuke (by a singel church member, by several church members and by the whole congregation). Like stoning the exclusion from the Church can lead to the total destruction of the body of the church member in the worst case. A church member outside the Church has got no protection against evil powers.

    Basically a ho-mose-xual person can not remain in the Church. If he or she wants to remain in the Church, he or she has to repent. The Church is a place, where sinners can be cured from their maladies or where are people, which are already cured.

    Every true Christian is always aware of his own sinfulness and knows that he overcomes his sinful body only by God's Grace in Jesus. Hence, a Christian will not judge sinners, but offer the gospel of restoration towards them. In the Church there are people (sinners), which have accepted God's salutary Grace. If someone rejects God's offer of healing, he should stay outside the Church.

    If my workmate, classmate, neighbour, etc. outside the Church is a gay, I don't have to judge him, but treat him friendly offering the gospel by word and practical love.

    The only problem is, when gays want to be church members, without abandoning their sin by the releasing Grace of Jesus. This cannot be accepted, because the Church is the proper place, where are people, which are reconciled with God. Someone, who keeps on sinning, is not reconciled with God and doesn't belong to the Church.

    May 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • jim

      You are in need of serious therapy and/or medication!

      May 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • phoenix

      If you don't want to promote gay rights, perhaps straight people should stop having gay babies then.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • pat carr

      "This cannot be accepted, because the Church is the proper place, where are people, which are reconciled with God"

      The "church" is a place for lunatics to howl and wave their hands in the air to an invisible made up being.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Vic

      Ranier – interesting thoughts and insight – thank you for sharing.
      WWJD – love the sinner not the sin.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Tom B

      yawnnnnnnnnnnnnn. God is love, nothing less.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • tabgotreat

      What level of education have you attained? You seem to lack basic skills of critical analysis to see the lack of logic in your arguments.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
      • Rainer Braendlein

        Faith is sometimes beyond reason and therefore you are not capable to follow my deep thoughts.

        May 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      You are batfish crazy.
      Seek help.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Brad

      That one night you had in college isn't the same kind of ho-mos-exuality that true gay people have.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • peter

      Yep, perfect speech. It summarizes VERY nicely the problem with religion.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Bob in MN

      You seem to be saying that there is no place in church for sinners. If that were the case, churches would be empty, in fact churches wouldn't even exist. Only one perfect person ever walked this earth.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
      • Rainer Braendlein

        Sorry, you got me wrong.

        Of course, the Church is a resting place for sinners, but they should have the will to be cured by God's Grace in Jesus.

        I myself am a sinner, but seek God's Grace nearly daily, in oder to overcome the lust of my body. I daily invite Jesus to use my sinful body as tool of righteousness, so that I appear as righteous bottom line.

        The key for spiritual experiences is the faith and sacramental baptism.

        May 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  12. Meme

    As for slavery, history shows us slaves were all colors and all races. Slaves could be interpreted as employee, worker, hand, laborer, etc.

    May 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • tabgotreat

      No they can't. Slave is specifically someone who is owned by another person.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Can an employee be beaten? Biblically, slaves were allowed to be beaten, so long as it wasn't to death.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  13. kids

    just don't let them adopt children

    May 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      Yes.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • saopaco

      Christians?

      May 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      Agreed. Christians shouldn't be allowed to adopt, work in Scientific fields or medicine. They are hypocrites if they do because the power of prayer and belief in Jesus is all you need to be healthy.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      I agree.
      Christians should not be allowed to adopt children
      and brainwash them.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  14. Doobie Doobie Doo

    How about the government just calls all contracted couples a civil union. Leave marriage to the Churches.
    I'd be fine with that. If gays want to get "married" in their own ceremonies then so be it. Problem solved.

    May 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • saopaco

      All marriages are civil matters. You get a license from the state, not the church.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • everlast

      Sounds civil

      May 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      @saopaco

      In my Church, marriage is a sacrament. It's the only validation I really care about.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • phoenix

      How about... the state backs off from having anything to do with marriage altogether?

      May 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • saopaco

      @doobie. Good for you. Not everyone feels the same way. Why not let adults marry whom they choose and not sweat it? They are all going to "hell" anyway, right?

      May 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      In my religion, marriage is a matter between the couple and their deity, witnessed with joy by their community.

      We don't care what gender the couple is. It is a sacred moment. We've been marrying gay couples in religious ceremonies for quite some time. It's time the government recognizes those marriages the same way they do hetero ones.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      @saopaco

      I don't get to judge who goes to heaven or hell. My personal opinion is that it's the same spot. All will be in the presence of God. Whether we like it or not is a different story.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  15. n8362

    It is immoral to impose your religious superstition on others.

    You do not believe in religion because you honestly think it is true, you believe in it because you fear mortality or are seeking meaning in your life. It does not take a genius to figure out all religion is man made, so for humanity's sake, please stop lying to yourself.

    Deluding yourself in religion does not change reality. Lying to yourself is probably the worst possible way to try to find meaning.

    May 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  16. jim

    What is CNN's preoccupation with what blacks think about EVERYTHING? Should they maybe change CNN to NNN?

    May 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • tabgotreat

      Nice News Network? I don't think you would be their target demographic.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      What is CNN's preoccupation with what WHITES think about EVERYTHING?

      Works both ways, dont it.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • DJ

      NNN? Wow. You're a pig. What's your last name, Jim? I'm gonna guess... Crow.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  17. Wowthathurt

    CNN YOU ARE MOST IGNORANT ORGANIZATION PERIOD!!!!

    May 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • n8362

      The article made sense.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • DJ

      Sorry, but you have no business using the word "ignorant" against anyone.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • JohnQInCrazyFlorida

      Please consult a dictionary ... ignoramus!

      May 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  18. nru

    If you want to follow the bible (see Leviticus 25:44-46) then slavery is still allowed – can't pick and choose??? These zealots need to refrain, and they had better never remarry (no divorce is allowed in the bible either, and penalty is death for adultery)

    May 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • bsm1923

      also can't touch or eat pigs, Sonny's BBQ and the NFL must close up shop!!! Can't have it both ways people!

      May 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  19. Wowthathurt

    There Ancestors? CNN..............WHERE DOES IT SAY IN THE BIBLE that it was the black peoples ancestors? I hate how CNN does articles like this and spews ignorance!

    May 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • tabgotreat

      We're all descended from the same ancestors, regardless of race. I don't see ignorance in that statement.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Allen

      You're an idiot. "Their ancestors" refers to slaves in the American colonies in the 1700's. Talk about lack of reading comprehension, geez. I was going to tell you to go and read the Bible so you could see the part where it advocates for the use of slaves, but that appears to be a moot point now.

      May 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  20. Meme

    I am not with those people who lynched me, I am with GOD!

    May 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • everlast

      Amen

      May 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • jim

      So were the people who lynched you!

      May 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • everlast

      That's what they thought jim

      May 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Andres Conde

      Because God told you so himself, not through the words of men? Please, waked up from your denial, you are no better than your ancestors en-slavers.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • DJ

      No, you're with the bigots who wrote those things 3000 years ago. There was no obvious presence of God then, just like now. HUMANS wrote those words, not God. I find it incredible that people are willing to oppress others based on the words of some bigot who has been dead for 3000 years. The same book suggested endless attrocities, like stoning women to death for adultery, and we've evolved past that. Again, written by humans, not some giant in a robe and sandals. I've always kept quiet about religion because I think they can believe what they want to believe. UNTIL it turns into something like this, which is persecution of a significant segment of the human race. Please, pleople, stop taking that book so literally. It has some good lessons (and many, many terrible ones).

      May 12, 2012 at 1:34 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.