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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. PRINTMAN

    PRIMEWONK, THAT'S BECAUSE THE DEVIL ALREADY HAVE YOU AND ALL OF THE NON BELIEVERS, HE'S AFTER GOD CHILDREN.

    May 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  2. NorthropP61

    Once blacks had adopted the religion of their owners - classic Stockholm Syndrome - it was only a matter of time before some of the men used the Bible that was used as an excuse to keep them enslaved to keep black women "in their place" and raise themselves above others in the congregation. Just the typical wolves in sheep's clothing white males do but the black ministers - with the evidence of their history - should know better.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Gigi

      There should be an open debate about the biblical passages discussing slavery - always translated as free "servant" whenever the issue came up in services that I have attended. Is the bible to be interpreted literally or not?

      May 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Lupe

      This is not about religion, it is about politics. When they wanted to stone the woman for adultery, I think Jesus said "let him that is without fault cast the first stone". Candidates never get involved with the good moral stuff like "Thou shall not bear false witness", "Thou shall not commit adultery", "Thou shall not steal", etc. In fact, Americans want these removed from public places. How can we embrace all of this? So, "behold the mote that is in thine own eye".

      May 15, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • warzone

      I'd be really interested in this guy's perspective on Obama's economic enslavement of black Americans.
      If Bush was bad, Obama must be worse.
      Uncle Tom was trying to help his people too.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:41 am |
  3. Gigi

    People who talk about the "Black Church" clearly don't understand religion. There is no "Black Church." There are predominately black or all black Christian congregations, but they are interpreting and trying to live in obedience to the same bible, King James, NIV, whatever translation as every other Christian church does. In protestant churches of most if not all denominations, some preachers (regardless of race) are more educated, experienced and therefore, perhaps, more open minded than others. But the bottom line is that they are all trying to teach the bible to the best of their ability and with no "agenda" other than being in obedience to God.

    So it is not only unhelpful, it is inaccurate and unjust to say that "black churches" are being hypocritical in their approach to the issue of traditional marriage. Church leaders are being honest about their interpretation of scripture and if their interpretation is in error, it would be a lot more constructive to address that issue rather than name-calling or trying to trash their faith. Faith is all that many blacks have had to rely on in this uncertain world for generations and there is no shaking that.

    For that reason, many devout blacks will literally be AFRAID to defy God by supporting a leader who favors gay marriage. They won't place politics over faith. My cousin worked on BO's campaign in 2008. When I asked her for her reaction to his announcement regarding gay marriage, she said that she was "saddened." Not only will she not be working on his campaign, but she will not be voting. She has gay children whom she loves, so her decision doesn't come from a place of hatred. It comes from a deep and abiding belief in what she has been taught about the bible. She loves her children, but not their lifestyle. They still speak, but relations are strained and she is crushed right now because she feels that they need guidance, not encouragement. I don't know what to say. I believe that God made us creatures of free will and that it's not my place to judge anyone else. I believe in civil rights for all. But I'm just a member of the congregation, not a minister as she is...what do I know?

    May 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Lupe

      You can't change a man or woman's heart with a vote. There are other issues going on in this country, that impact people much, much more than what is going on inside someone's bedroom. There is hunger, people have lost their homes, people have lost their jobs, people are being murdered daily, we still have troops in Afghanistan, hate is rampant, serial killers on the loose, a bad economy, the wealthy are becoming more wealthy while the middle class is being pushed into poverty, retirements under fire, and the list goes on. It is so sad that someone cannot see or hear any of this, or turns a deaf ear because their mind is stuck on what is going on at someone else's house behind closed and locked doors.

      May 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
  4. CafeConservative

    So three articles by CNN on the gay marriage issue introduced by President Obama. One implies blacks are hypocrites. Another says, "no, really, the Bible is OK with gay marriage." The third say blacks might "punish" the President. CNN, you couldn't be more transparent. Minorities, WAKE UP. If you don't follow in lock step, you are no longer considered useful. CNN Is telling you here that you better support the President or you're an attacker or a hypocrite or you're not following the Bible. Liberals will throw you under the bus if you're no longer useful.

    Hispanics were always of the "brown" group until a man named Zimmerman with both black and hispanic background decided to not rely on big government for defense of his life and use a gun to protect himself. Suddenly traditionally "brown" hispanics are now considered white hispanics.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
  5. Get Real

    You can't choose what race you will be. You can, however, choose what you do with your "body" once you are here. The Creator himself allows us to make that choice but as with any choice, there will always be consequences. The Creator, being a designer, has a specific intent for us, his creation, but in order for us to be truly free we have to be able to go against that intent. I can choose to pass my hand through the fire for fun, but I can never, ever, blame the Creator if I get burnt. "Do as thou wilt" was never the letter of the Creator's law.

    May 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  6. doodlebug81

    Should it really be a suprise that black christians are being hypocrites? Nearly all christians behave in a similar manner.

    May 15, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Lupe

      You will find more liars, and haters in this country than you will gays. Liars and haters have done more damage to mankind than the gays have. So for all of you righteous people, go read your Bibles and see what the scripture says about haters and liars. Don't forget that Christ told the disciples to "pay the taxes" and "give to the poor". So a man that hides his money offshore to avoid paying taxes is not abiding by the Bible. A very wealthy man hiding money offshore so he does not have to pay his share of taxes apparently does not respect his fellow Americans, nor does his actions indicate that he even like this country.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  7. dontdow

    Another article designed to ploy blacks into voting for gay marriage. Sad cnn sad.

    May 15, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Lupe

      Obama supports freedom. Isn't that what America pretend to believe in?

      May 15, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  8. David

    "THE" Black Church.

    Basically we're back to using black people like some kind of tool to further some other agenda.

    May 15, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • logan5

      Uh no, the author simply stated a fact. There are Christian denominations that were either started by or adopted by black culture and are adhered to and better related to by blacks. And what do you mean when you say this was meant as a way to use blacks as tools for an agenda?? What agenda? This article simply shed light on a simple truth, that BLACK churches do ignore that at one time the very belief system they fear and zealously promote was once used to justify the brutal enslavement of their ancestors. Agenda......??

      May 15, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Gigi

      Logan. You don't know what you're talking about. There are black congregations in every christian denomination...including catholic and they study from the same bible that all congregations do.

      People can discuss and try to ridicule Black people of faith all they want. They're wasting their time. The only opinion that people of faith care about is God's opinion.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  9. findsolutionsfindpeace

    “It’s more than scripture – it’s history, culture, how we were raised,” - Anyone who says this should realize this is exactly what southern slave-holders and their supporters always said. 'It's our way of live, it's how we were brought up, we and our slaves always lived this way...' So sad that so many are missing the train to freedom and equality as it continues on its trip.

    May 15, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Lupe

      Have you ever heard of "freedom of religion"? A lot of black Christians go to churches that are diversified and have white pastors. A lot of blacks are strong TBN supporters, and TBN has ministers of all races and denominations. A lot of blacks are not Christian or any other other religion. Some Blacks follow other religions (Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc). The article and most of the comments are based on ignorance of Black people. So to set the record straight, all blacks do not look alike, and all blacks do not think alike.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Lupe

      A lot of black Christians go to churches that are diversified and have white pastors. A lot of blacks are strong TBN supporters, and TBN has ministers of all races and denominations. A lot of blacks are not Christian or any other other religion. Some Blacks follow other religions (Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc). The article and most of the comments are based on ignorance of Black people. So to set the record straight, all blacks do not look alike, and all blacks do not think alike.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  10. trod2009

    I wish people would remember that the bible is a book of reference as many other books. It was written by men 30 plus years after the death of jesus. With that amount of time passing, one could conclude that the bible is a book of oral stories. We all know that oral stories change with each telling and with each language translation. Religious people should stop trying to force their beliefs onto others. Believe what you will and live how you will, but don't condemn those who choose to live and believe differently. This ammendment should not have even been on the table. All legislation and ammendments based upon religious beliefs should be removed, including the "in God we trust" on money. We live in a democracy. BTW, divorce is ill spoken of in the bible, yet we all know religious folks are divorcing at an equal or greater rate than others. Fornication is ill spoken of in the bible as well, but we know teenage pregnancy is quite high. The bible is full of killing and war too. These are stories people. Take from the principles and stories what you will, but don't force your views onto everyone. People have a right to choose what/if to believe and who to love.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  11. Samdromeda

    Primewonk.. you worship at the alter of your own mind. That disqualifies you from being an atheist. It make you an idolater subject to demonic doctrines and influences.

    May 15, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • myweightinwords

      An atheist is someone who does not believe in god.

      Worship is a religious hang up, a particularly Christian one in my experience.

      Unless you're implying that Primewonk thinks his mind is God, your statement is false. And, even if you are implying that, I'm betting Primewonk does not in fact think that his mind is God, thus your statement is still false.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Fosterakahunter

      You are full of complete nonsense. Why would you put total faith in a tome that has been retouched and revised by so many, often to push their own or another's agenda. The bible is a dead book of an old way of life, at best, and full of outdated analogies and outright fairie tales, at worst.

      May 15, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Primewonk

      First of all, thank you myweightinwords.

      Now, Sam – apparently you took umbrage with me pointing out that your god is scientificallly illiterate, as were the nomadic, bronze-age shepherds who were making up stories about what they thought your god wanted. I wonder why?

      But, I couldn't help but notice, that you had no rebuttal, other than to attempt to insult me.

      May 15, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  12. STARR

    SOLOMAN HAD 700 WIVES AND 300 CONCUBINES

    May 15, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Oneforall777

      And he was punished because of it! Your point?

      May 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  13. SoapBoxOffice

    The question should be "will Blacks punish themselves because of the President's comments and option?" Don't let your short memory and self richieousness let you forget that this same distraction was used by George Bush in 2004. And while you self-righteous holy rollers where judging other (which is God’s job, not yours) and trying to control other people, the Bush administration was holy hypnotizing you dump a$$es with one hand and taking your homes, jobs, benefits, and education with the other hand. No ww hand a President that is pulling out of this MESS that you self richious rollers contributed too, but now you want to jugde him, YOU HYPOCRITE! Fast forward to 2012, here we go again and you are falling into the same trap , if you do, you desire whatever happens and it won’t be to the benefit on the middle class and minorities. Even more so, Blacks are in no position, considering the position we are in, to judge anybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 15, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  14. Samdromeda

    Scripture cannot be broken. It says what it means and means what it says. By virtue of creative design God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep and God took a rib and built Eve. God is reproducing Himself and the matrix takes a man and a woman. Anything else is an abomination. It is not good to tinker with God's purpose. If you do you always wind up opposing yourself. There is only one judge and the laws, statutes and ordinances are clearly stated in the bible. A firm understanding have all they who do the commandments. To function any other way is to be cut off from God. By this you can tell who are Satan's ministers and who are God's ministers. Social Spiritual engineering is usually outside of God's law and God's protection. Spiritual deception is smooth and seductive but always ends in chaos and destruction. What is the effect? Check the history as it does not lie about the outcome of a society that becomes altogether like Sodom and Gomorrah. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. There is nothing new under the sun.

    May 15, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Primewonk

      Your version of a god was totally scientifically ignorant. Or maybe it was the nomadic bronze-age shepherds who put your bible together who were totally ignorant.

      Your god, and his minions didn't understand the concept of X and Y chromosomes and the difference between nuclear DNA and mitochondrial DNA. If your god cloned Eve from a rib from Adam, she would have been a man.

      You have every right to be as ignorant as you want. But don't, for a minute, assume that the rest of us choose to be ignorant.

      You also fail to understand that the US is not a theocracy. Your version of a god has no legal standing in our secular nation.

      Sorry.

      May 15, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • myweightinwords

      1) We are not a theocracy, therefore biblical laws have no bearing on our country.
      2) We are not a Christian nation, but a nation made up of many kinds of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Pagans, Buddhist, Hindus, Atheists and more.
      3) Our consti.tution guarantees that no laws may be passed that will establish any one religion, favor any one religion.
      4) Historically we have, as a nation, fought progress toward equality, but ultimately equality wins.
      5) Equal rights, equal responsibility, equal representation. Nothing more. Nothing less. You'll find it has absolutely nothing to do with religion.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Cq

      Samdromeda
      But what DOES scripture mean to say? A dozen people can look at the exact same passage and read a dozen different meanings into it. Maybe it all once had a clear meaning, back in Jesus' time and before, but they also had priests and rabbis to interpret it for the common people, right? What makes so many protestants presume to be able to interpret scripture all by themselves when it was never meant to be interpreted without aid?

      Luke 16:15 is the only time Jesus mentions something being an "abomination", and he was talking about the love of money. If you look at the celebrity preachers and other Christian spokespeople against gay marriage, most of them could be accused of loving their riches, riches actually made through their opposition to such things which speaks to their actual motives, doesn't it? Being a Christian firebrand is very profitable. What would they use to generate their money next if this issue went away?

      May 15, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Which God?

      @somdromeda, you said, "God is reproducing Himself and the matrix takes a man...." So your saying that god screws himself and has his own conception? Gay god. Intelligent design for sure.

      May 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  15. SHAME

    Really is a shame, when we look back in History books this will be a huge black mark on the Black church for it's inability to see the simularities between how they were denied rights and how gays are being denied rights now. People used to say it was unnatural and against god for two different races to marry – bad for the children and society. Were they wrong? YES THEY WERE!! Once again the religious right will be recorded in history as being ONCE AGAIN ON THE WRONG SIDE!

    May 15, 2012 at 5:47 am |
    • Samdromeda

      Do not mistake the oppression of misapplied scripture as an open door to the corrupting of the social fabric of the nation. Social Deviancy is an indication of a dying nation. There is a subtle demonic indoctrination taking place. It is pervasive and progressive. To those who believe their own rhetoric it is a delusional reality to which they have adapted. They are the proverbial frog that is boiled to death with nearly negligible increases in temperature over a prolonged period of time. Death is immanent and so it is with America over this issue. People will do what they will but to force the communal mind to go against God is wrong. But if the communal mind and will is weak and separated from God...regulate but do not mandate.

      May 15, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  16. Lee Bennet

    Hypocrites. They've chosen their Black savior Obama over Jesus Christ.

    May 14, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nope. They've chosen humanity over hypocrisy, you jitwad.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Samdromeda

      Christ will come back and take over the planet shortly. But this false religion pimple will need to be popped.If you fall on Him you will be broken. If he falls on you you will be ground to powder. Democracy will be pulverized and removed from the earth. The earth will be ruled by the gods, better known as the saints, under Jesus Christ who rules under God The Father. The earth will be ruled by the Family of God. God's laws will be enforced and the earth will be happy and productive. He is not called The Prince of Peace for nothing.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Samdummy, does "soon" mean 2 hours, 2 days, 2 months, 2 years, 2 decades, 2 centuries, etc. Seems you believers have been spouting the same crap, with each generation thinking the dude in the jesus myth will be showing up in their lifetime, for about 2,000 years. Are believers very patient or very stupid? I'm thinking the latter, but you might have some evidence to justify the former.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • rashaam gillam

      wow.... where did that come from..... he is or president like ever one before him was...WOW I wish peace for you chill

      May 15, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  17. Humanist11

    I have been away for a while and I would have thought you all would have figured it out by now and everyone would be on the same sheet of music. Why can't we all just agree to bible is severely flawed and just do what naturally seems right? That would be clear to most people. Good night.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • i see dumb people

      Humanist-do everyone a favor and stay gone next time.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • n8263

      @Humanist, that is good advice.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • Evolution is a lack of logic

      This country is a democracy like it or not and the people have spoken! Enough said.

      May 15, 2012 at 5:38 am |
    • Tom, Tom the Piper's Son

      @Humanist11
      Biblical historians and historians in general have already come to that very conclusion. It’s simple the uneducated, willfully ignorant masses that still buy that the Bible is the word of god. I’d also like to point out that the rest of your statement is a very Christian perspective. Well.. the Christian they claim to be not the Christians they are. See – I see dumb peoples response for an example.

      May 15, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Tom, Tom the Piper's Son

      @Evolution is a lack of logic
      Actually this country is a REPUBLIC. Now.. if you were wrong about that.. what else could you be wrong about?

      May 15, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Samdromeda

      What ever it is do it to keep you satisfied. Are we satisfied yet? Good morning.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  18. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Any idiot that brays that being gay is a choice is beyond dim.

    Really, you idiots, who'd CHOOSE to be gay?

    Morons.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom the Piper's Son

      Poorly said but true none the less.

      May 15, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  19. n8263

    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 14, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • speak the tru

      Copy and paste; copy and paste; copy and paste

      May 15, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • n8263

      Can you ellaborate?

      May 15, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • speak the tru

      N8263....your posts are all day and night as I typically scan the posts. They are exactly the same, word for word. So I post..copy and paste because thats what it is. Dont take that personally as all the atheist do exactlly the same thing. Its day in day out..cpy and paste! Its seems you either ONE: have no life TWO: are not nearly as happy and content as you claim to be as atheist THREE: you are everything you speak against ie..haters and judgers which makes you FOUR: the worst Hypocrite offenders that post. You and the others can deny these all day long but the truth is in the posts. Pathetic really because it is EVERY.faith story

      May 15, 2012 at 4:45 am |
    • Gigi

      That is merely your opinion. You don't understand and therefore don't value what you haven't experienced. You're one of those flat earth types. I believe in God. I also believe that he made us creatures of free will and told us not to judge others, so I support all civil choice - so long as it doesn't interfere with public safety. I don't appreciate being judged by preachers or by athiests.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  20. MATT in NH

    If marriage is so sacred, why do more than half of them end in divorce??? Religion = Ignorance and Gulability

    May 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Samdromeda

      Religion is taking care of the widow and orphan in their time of need. Propaganda is ignorance and gullibility. We have forgotten how to properly establish marriages and that is why they are flying apart at the speed of whiplash. The lawyers opened the door with no fault divorce. I remember the add "Life is too short so get a divorce." It is big business. Mutual selfishness does not build a stable family. The equation goes...A man seeks a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favor from God. This is not religion. It is reality. A God centered marriage is virtually unbreakable like a three strand chord. Both members will have God's character and their children will benefit from it.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Primewonk

      Sam wrote, " We have forgotten how to properly establish marriages and that is why they are flying apart at the speed of whiplash. "

      Then apparently you ignorant theists need to learn from us atheists. Our rates of divorce are lower than theists in general, and much lower than fundiot theists.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • DB

      A high divorce rate doesn't change the sacredness of marriage. It just means we are flawed and have a hard time living up to the high standards that sacredness demands.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:02 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.