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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. iHateTheStupids

    "Black hypocrisy?" Better try liberal hypocrisy. These same left-wing lunatics who gleefully attack anything remotely resembling white, socially conservative or Christian, are finding themselves mute when it comes to critcizing the Black Christian churches. Why? Because the white liberal elite believe black people are dumb spiritual people who are just useful idiots to be used as tools in the ballot box.

    May 14, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  2. donny

    •Lev. 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."1
    there u go .
    i rest my case so does god. amen

    May 14, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Kavika

      Donny ... do you also follow ALL the lessons and laws in Leviticus? Bet you don't!

      May 14, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • really

      Well I guess that settles it, then. Quoting a thousands year old man-made book apparently is enough of an argument for you.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • YeahRight

      "•Lev. 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."1
      there u go ."

      That's part of the holy code and doesn't apply to Christians today. So according to Lev a woman has to marry her rapist, you aren't allowed to eat shellfish, you aren't allowed to wear clothes made of different fibers. LMAO! You don't even understand your own bible. You are nothing like your Christ.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • C. Smith

      Learn what the Bible really says. There are two major sets of laws in Leviticus: moral laws and cleanliness laws. The moral laws say don't do it and if you do, here's how to pay for it (sometimes death). The cleanliness laws say don't do it and if you do, remove yourself from the population for X period of time and then be inspected by the priests.

      Hmm, sounds like quarantine to me. Ate some meat you weren't supposed to? Maybe you'll get sick and be contagious. Go into quarantine and, at the end, the people most experienced with disease and medicine (the priests) will examine you to determine if you're showing symptoms or not. Been exposed to a rotting corpse? Likewise.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Derek

      Not really, since the Bible is a work of fiction. You can say with a straight face that you believe a book that features talking snakes, men who live in the bellies of whales, where oceans are parted at will, where humans were formed from mud, where water is magically turned into wine, where Men walk on Water ... etc. etc. etc.

      And you mean to tell me with a straight face you take words from that book literally? Give me a break. If someone wrote a similar book and claimed it was Non Fiction in this day and age, they would be locked up in the looney bin.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Matt

      Got anything FROM THE WORDS OF CHRIST?

      May 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Patrick

      Try having your own thoughts for a change.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  3. DeeNYC

    All church's are hypocrites. they hate gays but support pedophiles, it's sick.

    May 14, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Eric

      What a dumb statement.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • C. Smith

      That claim is nothing but atheistic hatred fueled ignorance, and supports why so many religious folk hate atheists (I'm not saying it's right to do so, just why it happens). The truth is that pedophilia in the Church is vastly rarer than it is in the common population. That means that, even with all the Priest Pedophile stories out there, your pediatrician is more likely to be a pedophile than your local Catholic priest, or Baptist pastor, or whatever.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • YeahRight

      "That claim is nothing but atheistic hatred fueled ignorance"

      Oh you mean like the fact Christians continue to ignore all the experts on the subject of gays and lesbians. 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 14, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  4. Liam

    You really do have to love the people who use literal interpretations of the Bible. It's the best form of comedy. Christians who use their Bible of love as a reason to hate and torment anyone who doesn't agree with them. I've yet to hear anyone explain if everyone is a child of God and made in his image, why then would he ever create a gay man?

    May 14, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • C. Smith

      Why would he create people with Down's Syndrome, or Double Y Syndrome, or genetically predispositioned to be alcoholics? We all have our crosses to bear. Each one fits us perfectly, and no one else. If you follow Christ, you must turn your back on the wrongs of this world, even the really tempting ones. Sometimes that means avoiding something all-together.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "Why would he create people with Down's Syndrome, or Double Y Syndrome, or genetically predispositioned to be alcoholics?"

      Wow you are right....it really does not make much sense.

      Unless you discard the idea of a personal, christian god, than it does make perfect sense.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • YeahRight

      "We all have our crosses to bear. Each one fits us perfectly, and no one else. If you follow Christ, you must turn your back on the wrongs of this world, even the really tempting ones. Sometimes that means avoiding something all-together."

      Oh you mean like these abominations: Unclean things (Lev. 7:21) ; Cheating (Mic. 6:10) ; A proud look (Pro. 6:16-17) ; A lying tongue (Pro. 6:17; 12:22) ; Hands that shed innocent blood ((Pro. 6:17) ; A wicked scheming heart (Pro. 6:18) ; A false witness that speaks lies (Pro. 6:19) ; A sower of discord (Pro. 6:19) ; A false balance or scale (Pro. 11:1) ; The proud of heart (Pro. 16:5) ; Justifying the wicked (Pro. 17:15) ; Condemning the just (Pro. 17:15) ; Refusing to hear the law (Pro. 28:9) ; Wearing clothes of the opposite sex (Dt. 22:5) Re-marriage of former companions (Dt. 24:1-4) ; Cheating others (Dt. 25:13-16) ; Making images/idols (Dt. 27:15) ; Eating unclean things (Isa. 66:17) ; Robbery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Murder (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Adultery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Oppression of others, particularly the poor or vulnerable (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Violence (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Breaking vows (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lending with interest to a brother (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lying with a menstruous woman (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

      Yet you're not trying to deny the people who break these abominations their civil rights. What a hypocrite.

      By the way nowhere in your bible does your god condemn the saved loving respectful relationship of a gay couple.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  5. donny

    this church is standing up for god god will bless them big time..im for obama but not for what he said last week.i think it was for votes only. but i still stand for him on other things.

    May 14, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • D

      Donny...this same "god" also made them slaves not too long ago.

      Funny how quickly people forget what their "god" does and doesn't do.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • C. Smith

      God didn't make them slaved. Man made them slaves. God just asked them to live as Christian slaves (not the first people He's asked that of, btw).

      May 14, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  6. nolapearl3

    "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."
    Just one more reason why organized religion is just ridiculous. Control the masses and let's start with the women.

    May 14, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • C. Smith

      Ahh, its so fun to take things out of context and generalize them to an entire belief system, isn't it? If you bothered to look into it, you'd find that the ONLY church Paul tells to keep its women silent had a big problem with women gossiping so loud it was disrupting their worship. In other churches, Paul commends prophetesses and, in one, commends a woman who led the Church. Realize that each of Paul's letters were written to one specific group experiencing one specific set of problems. Understand those problems and you'll understand what Paul wrote. Refuse to and you'll only get confused and angry.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Ahh, its so fun to take things out of context and generalize them to an entire belief system, isn't it? I"

      Yeah, like what Christians do when trying to condemn gays when their condemnation isn't base on the real facts of today.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  7. areacode612

    This is not healthy.

    May 14, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • YeahRight

      Prejudice and bigotry has always been unhealthy for society especially when it's not founded on REAL facts.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • C. Smith

      YeahRight: So you support polygamy? I'm not arguing on it's behalf, but all the arguments used to support gay marriage apply just as well to polygamy.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  8. areacode612

    id you see the gay couple that had eggs implanted from one woman into both women, now they have quadruplets and the mothers only have rights to the children they birthed? My gosh people. Stop the madness!

    May 14, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  9. jefflazrn

    And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
    Luke 10:25-29
    I guess according to the black church Gay people are not our neighbors? That's not what Jesus said.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Howard

      More and more, churchmen are trying to use civil law to impose their religious values on those who are not part of their religion. We have long accepted that one doesn't need to be married by a religious official to be legally married; it happens in the courthouse. No one is saying that allowing gay and lesbian couples to obtain a legally valid marriage in a courthouse means they must also be married by religious officials who object to such marriages.

      Slowly, inexorably, the United States is becoming a Christian theocracy, and to h*ll with what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • C. Smith

      While I don't know exactly what these churches are preaching, there's a HUGE difference between loving your neighbor and letting him do something immoral and wrong. In fact, if you REALLY loved your neighbor as yourself, you'd try to talk him out of doing that wrong thing. Today, though, that's called hate speech by the left.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • YeahRight

      ", there's a HUGE difference between loving your neighbor and letting him do something immoral and wrong."

      It's prejudice like this that shows why Christianity continues to fuel the hatred of gays in our society. There are hundred of thousands of experts that have stated being gay isn't a choice, it's not a mental illness and it can't be voluntarily changed. They also proved that was written about gays in the past were done by bias and prejudice people, that includes your bible.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • jefflazrn

      C Smith: Love is never wrong. How could it be? God is love. How can you say two people loving each other is immoral. That's what "they" used to say about inter-racial couples. Immoral. Next you'll be writing an extreme example of sheep marrying goats. Please.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  10. annebeth

    Yesterday Mothers Day, my silly pastor said that we would not be having a Mothers Day sermon and proceeded to preach an anti-gay sermon. I was so MAD I was ready to get up and leave but my Mother would have been horrified if I stomped out of church. The funny thing is that our church is full of woman that have never been married and would like to be, but so few men are available for marriage. In the Black community 70% of black children are born out of wedlock, so it seemed really stupid that our pastor would have preached on gay marriage and not the REAL issues in the Black community.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Proud Atheist

      What vile hate would have to be spewed by your Satanic pastor before you WOULD stand up and walk out?

      While your thinking about that – think about when you would have stood up in Germany during WWII.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Patrick

      How old are you? I ask because if you're under 18 or still living at home then I'd understand not leaving for your mother's sake to avoid an argument. If you're on your own, though, you're an adult and can make your own decisions. Walk out of the church and explain rationally to your mother later why you did.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  11. Billy Jean

    Slavs weren't black. As a matter of fact, Eastern European and Jews weren't black. See, it baffles me when slave is thrown around like it's completely exclusive to blacks. Ever hear of the third crusades? Slaves may have been taken from Africa after the 1500s or so, but unfortunately that's not when the history of man began.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  12. John

    I fail to see any passage in the Bible where slavery is permitted. I do see passages in the Bible that describe the behavior in question as morally wrong and a sin. So the question is do you as a Pastor accept the Word of God, or do you not? What other parts of Holy Scripture will you choose to simply ignore because you don't agree with God?

    May 14, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • just me

      Well said!!!!!

      May 14, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • YeahRight

      "So the question is do you as a Pastor accept the Word of God, or do you not? What other parts of Holy Scripture will you choose to simply ignore because you don't agree with God?"

      The bible lists many things that are an "abomination": Unclean things (Lev. 7:21) ; Cheating (Mic. 6:10) ; A proud look (Pro. 6:16-17) ; A lying tongue (Pro. 6:17; 12:22) ; Hands that shed innocent blood ((Pro. 6:17) ; A wicked scheming heart (Pro. 6:18) ; A false witness that speaks lies (Pro. 6:19) ; A sower of discord (Pro. 6:19) ; A false balance or scale (Pro. 11:1) ; The proud of heart (Pro. 16:5) ; Justifying the wicked (Pro. 17:15) ; Condemning the just (Pro. 17:15) ; Refusing to hear the law (Pro. 28:9) ; Wearing clothes of the opposite sex (Dt. 22:5) Re-marriage of former companions (Dt. 24:1-4) ; Cheating others (Dt. 25:13-16) ; Making images/idols (Dt. 27:15) ; Eating unclean things (Isa. 66:17) ; Robbery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Murder (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Adultery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Oppression of others, particularly the poor or vulnerable (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Violence (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Breaking vows (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lending with interest to a brother (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lying with a menstruous woman (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

      Yet in all of your prejudices you're not denying the people who do these things their civil rights. What a bunch of hypocrites.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Kevin

      Unless you follow every single passage in the Bible literally, including all those other ones you conveniently ignore in Leviticus, then you don't get to claim that you're only doing what the Bible says by hating on gays. You are instead using a few passages, translated from language to language until it is finally interpreted in English, that you think somehow condemns gay people eternally. You see what you want to see and throw stones at everyone but yourselves because you choose hate over compassion and love.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Exodus 21:20-21 "And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money [property]."

      This passage says how much you are allowed to beat a slave. Since the bible says you can beat the obviously you can own them. Try actually reading the whole bible.

      Want to he about the rightous man Lot committing incest twice?

      May 14, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Jack

      John, you apparently have never read the bible. The old testatment is littered with chapters allowing slavery and selling of daughters into slavery. You really need to go back and read the bible page by page, cover to cover.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • C. Smith

      John, it depends on what you call 'slavery'. Slavery as it existed in the American South is expressly forbidden in the Old Testament and was illegal under Roman law in the New Testament, with the exception of criminal slaves.

      That being said, 'slavery' is accepted in both testaments, and laws are even set out by God establishing a system of 'slavery' in the OT. The reason I put it in quotes is because that slavery only lasted 7 years at most and, unless you were a prisoner of war, you had to willingly sell YOURSELF into slavery. Plus, the laws defined the rights of slaves and what a master could and couldn't do to them. Slaves weren't property, they were contracted servants.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      C Smith,

      You are wrong, the 7 years was ONLY for Jewish slaves and there was a loophole that if the slave owner provided a wife and the slave wanted to keep his wife he then had to agree to the slavery for LIFE and it was finalized by the slave owner driving a spike through the slaves ear. If you were a non-Jewish slave there was not a 7 year option.

      Regardless why does a moral god allow ANY person to own another person, slavery is wrong. The christian god is immoral as presented but luckly does not exist.

      May 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      If the Hebrew "God" wanted human rights and no people being owned by others, it would be in the 10 Commandments. Instead, the first 4 demand worship of this being and the rest are mainly to protect the lives and property of the tribal leaders who made them up (some benefit all of humanity, but this is simply collaterally).

      May 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  13. Shaneeda Quit

    I've said this once before, and will say it again:
    Why is it that blacks were never invited to help write the bible?

    May 14, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • C. Smith

      Umm, because the Bible was written by Jews (and a few Greeks in the NT, but mostly Jews). That being said, there is an argument that certain figures in the Bible may have been black. Israel certainly had contact with Africa, and it allowed converts to Judaism, so blacks becoming Jews, living as Jews, and having black Jewish children almost certainly happened. That being said, though, I don't think there's any proof that any authors of the Bible were black.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  14. kls817

    Appanently it's OK to be racist if you're gay. This article stereotypes African-Americans.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Tony

      No it doesn't, I'm black and I'll be the first to say that you are just upset because the truth was told.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  15. CNNuthin

    Can someone just go on TV, Report in the news and just flat out say what needs to be said? IF Gay Marriage is legalized, it does not mean the End times. It will not lead to incest. It will not lead to bestiality. They tried using that as reasons to not allow interracial marrying decades ago. It also does not mean that your Church will be required to host Gay Weddings. There are TWO main types of marriage. Religious Marriage and Legal Marriage. Since we live in this wonderful country of Separation of Church and State, the Government cannot mandate that Churches, Synagogues, or any other religious place must host a Gay Couple. What Gay Marriage means is that a couple can go down to a Government Register building, sign some paperwork and get the legal benefits of being married. Workplace benefits, credit protection, and all those nice perks of joining together and committing yourself to each other. Unless your Priest wants to host a ceremony, you don't have to worry about the Gays breaking down the doors to your church. (And lastly, any couple that makes a big deal and demands to be married in a church is not speaking for the entire community, they are just muck-raking morons, gay or straight. It is the Churches decision what happens in those walls and it is the Government's decision what happens outside of them.)

    May 14, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Jerome

      Well said. i have a feeling i am just as annoyed as you with all this rediculousness.

      Like you said, Let churches be churches, but if two people (who i have absolutely nothing to do with) want to "get married" in the eyes of the law...WHO CARES.... Let them, if they are happy, awsome, good for them. But this whole "God" thing...come on... Im fine with Churches refusing to marry them in the eyes of their religion, heck, most churches wouldn't marry me and I'm a straight white man!

      With so many things in the world to worry about, this is like unbelievable stupid to fight against. I'm not sure if people have noticed, but the devil has yet to curse us up here in Canada and we've been marrying all sorts of people for a while now... And i've yet to see any Canadians looking to marry animals or other inanimate objects.... Such stupid arguments based on fear and sterotypes.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Neo

      That was too easy. I think the media likes to muddle thru this And cause conflict, why......because it sells.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  16. jon

    I would cite this article for hypocrisy and for being bombastic. Comparing slavery with gay marriage? Gays are not slaves. They want something that does not exist: to have the idea of two men, or two women, declared a marriage. It's not a marriage. It's two gay people living together. They are, forgive the pun, trying to say white is black.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Ryan

      Hi jon–just curious. Would an infertile male/female couple qualify as a "marriage" to you? If so, what distinguishes such a couple from gay or lesbian couples?

      May 14, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Kevin

      How many gays have been killed just for being who they are? How many times are slurs hurled at them because of who they are? If you don't think some of the same racial bigotry is applied to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, then you need to open your eyes my friend!

      May 14, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Truth

      Then it's obvious your reading comprehension is quite limited. The debate is about if the bible bans gays and adultery, why are you so caught up about the gay part yet think of slavery like it's not condoned in several places. And the hypocrisy comes from people who denounce those based on their book but then don't live other parts of the book because they have reasoned themselves out of it saying "Those scriptures no longer apply, we can eat shellfish and pork, we can commit adultery, get divorced and get a mere slap on the hand, but men who lie with men are going to burn in heII for eternity!!"

      May 14, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  17. Tina

    I didn't read this whole article. Quite frankly, I think it's stupid to make such a broad generalization about blacks being anti-gay/lesbian in the first place. Secondly, that's not how you spell "hypocracy". Typo? or just Duh!?

    May 14, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • UhWhat

      "Quite frankly, I think it's stupid to make such a broad generalization about blacks being anti-gay/lesbian in the first place."
      Then we wouldn't be able to talk about large masses or communities right? It's alright to make generalizations provided they're supported statistically. What else are you going to do? Refer to each individual? Not talk about large masses or communities?

      "I didn't read this whole article."
      If you don't have the attention span or the care to read the whole article, why are you commenting about it? You have no problem not reading an article but you have a problem with the article not caring about individuals but generalizing against a community? Er what?

      'Secondly, that's not how you spell "hypocracy".'
      Actually it is. Your spelling is incorrect. Just because you know the spelling of "democracy" doesn't mean you know the spelling of "hypocrisy."

      May 14, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  18. Holly in CA

    It's outrageous, comparing sl av ery to hom ose xuality. The Bible is very clear that marriage is between men and women, and that ho mose xual relationships, and all relationships out of wedlock, are sinful. It has nothing to do with sl av ery.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Brad

      I see, so since slavery was a greater evil, I guess we can't compare it to a perceived lesser evil. Double standard much? The bible also says you shouldn't wear glasses, eat shellfish, and women are property. I think you need to get your priorities straight on what you will follow and what you wont.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • John

      "The Bible is very clear that marriage is between men and women, and that ho mose xual relationships, and all relationships out of wedlock, "

      Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

      Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

      There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

      Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

      1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

      Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

      Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

      That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex

      May 14, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • MJ Taylor

      You used Bible and "clear" in the same sentence, which is funny given it's a text written by humans merely offering their interpretation of things. You wouldn't take medicine of unknown origin, so why base your life on a text that is equally suspect?

      May 14, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • SkepticOne

      The bible also says it is good to enslave your enemies, and sell unruly children into slavery...

      May 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  19. CARLOS

    Answer this questions:

    1. Would you be willing to live under the law of "MY" one true God ?

    May 14, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  20. Observer974

    Do you want to know what I am looking forward to? The same Obama activists that, in turn, have attacked white working class and middle class families, gun owners, Catholics, Mormon's, Evangelicals, will now turn their toxic beady little eyes on black churches and church members. It's almost inevitable. When they find they can't win, these vipers turn on their former allies like a pack of rabid dogs. Those long suffering people have always had more in common with the Tea Party than Democrat's, anyways. We get to see if they have learned something in the last three years.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:46 am |
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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.