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My Take: What the Bible really says about homosexuality
The author argues that the meaning of the Bible's passages on homosexuality have been lost in translation.
May 15th, 2012
05:39 PM ET

My Take: What the Bible really says about homosexuality

Editor's note: Daniel A. Helminiak, who was ordained a priest in Rome, is a theologian, psychotherapist and author of “What the Bible Really Says about homosexuality" and books on contemporary spirituality. He is a professor of psychology at the University of West Georgia.

By Daniel A. Helminiak, Special to CNN

President Barack Obama’s support of same-sex marriage, like blood in the water, has conservative sharks circling for a kill. In a nation that touts separation of religion and government, religious-based arguments command this battle. Lurking beneath anti-gay forays, you inevitably find religion and, above all, the Bible.

We now face religious jingoism, the imposition of personal beliefs on the whole pluralistic society. Worse still, these beliefs are irrational, just a fiction of blind conviction. Nowhere does the Bible actually oppose homosexuality.

In the past 60 years, we have learned more about sex, by far, than in preceding millennia. Is it likely that an ancient people, who thought the male was the basic biological model and the world flat, understood homosexuality as we do today? Could they have even addressed the questions about homosexuality that we grapple with today? Of course not.

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Hard evidence supports this commonsensical expectation. Taken on its own terms, read in the original languages, placed back into its historical context, the Bible is ho-hum on homosexuality, unless – as with heterosexuality – injustice and abuse are involved.

That, in fact, was the case among the Sodomites (Genesis 19), whose experience is frequently cited by modern anti-gay critics. The Sodomites wanted to rape the visitors whom Lot, the one just man in the city, welcomed in hospitality for the night.

The Bible itself is lucid on the sin of Sodom: pride, lack of concern for the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:48-49); hatred of strangers and cruelty to guests (Wisdom 19:13); arrogance (Sirach/Ecclesiaticus 16:8); evildoing, injustice, oppression of the widow and orphan (Isaiah 1:17); adultery (in those days, the use of another man’s property), and lying (Jeremiah 23:12).

But nowhere are same-sex acts named as the sin of Sodom. That intended gang rape only expressed the greater sin, condemned in the Bible from cover to cover: hatred, injustice, cruelty, lack of concern for others. Hence, Jesus says “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:19; Mark 12:31); and “By this will they know you are my disciples” (John 13:35).

How inverted these values have become! In the name of Jesus, evangelicals and Catholic bishops make sex the Christian litmus test and are willing to sacrifice the social safety net in return.

The longest biblical passage on male-male sex is Romans 1:26-27: "Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another."

The Greek term para physin has been translated unnatural; it should read atypical or unusual. In the technical sense, yes, the Stoic philosophers did use para physin to mean unnatural, but this term also had a widespread popular meaning. It is this latter meaning that informs Paul's writing. It carries no ethical condemnation.

Compare the passage on male-male sex to Romans 11:24. There, Paul applies the term para physin to God. God grafted the Gentiles into the Jewish people, a wild branch into a cultivated vine. Not your standard practice! An unusual thing to do — atypical, nothing more. The anti-gay "unnatural" hullabaloo rests on a mistranslation.

Besides, Paul used two other words to describe male-male sex: dishonorable (1:24, 26) and unseemly (1:27). But for Paul, neither carried ethical weight. In 2 Corinthians 6:8 and 11:21, Paul says that even he was held in dishonor — for preaching Christ. Clearly, these words merely indicate social disrepute, not truly unethical behavior.

In this passage Paul is referring to the ancient Jewish Law: Leviticus 18:22, the “abomination” of a man’s lying with another man. Paul sees male-male sex as an impurity, a taboo, uncleanness — in other words, “abomination.” Introducing this discussion in 1:24, he says so outright: "God gave them up … to impurity."

But Jesus taught lucidly that Jewish requirements for purity — varied cultural traditions — do not matter before God. What matters is purity of heart.

“It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles,” reads Matthew 15. “What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”

Or again, Jesus taught, “Everyone who looks at a women with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Jesus rejected the purity requirements of the Jewish Law.

In calling it unclean, Paul was not condemning male-male sex. He had terms to express condemnation. Before and after his section on sex, he used truly condemnatory terms: godless, evil, wicked or unjust, not to be done. But he never used ethical terms around that issue of sex.

As for marriage, again, the Bible is more liberal than we hear today. The Jewish patriarchs had many wives and concubines. David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi, and Daniel and the palace master were probably lovers.

The Bible’s Song of Songs is a paean to romantic love with no mention of children or a married couple. Jesus never mentioned same-sex behaviors, although he did heal the “servant” — pais, a Greek term for male lover — of the Roman Centurion.

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Paul discouraged marriage because he believed the world would soon end. Still, he encouraged people with sexual needs to marry, and he never linked sex and procreation.

Were God-given reason to prevail, rather than knee-jerk religion, we would not be having a heated debate over gay marriage. “Liberty and justice for all,” marvel at the diversity of creation, welcome for one another: these, alas, are true biblical values.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Daniel A. Helminiak.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Gay marriage • My Take • Opinion

soundoff (8,829 Responses)
  1. JP

    Is homosexuality a sin?

    Self-indulgence is a sin. But the relationship of two people of the same sex may or may not be self-indulgent.

    Abusing the neighbor is a sin. But the exploration of relationships among homosexuals as they search for partners, evaluate their existing formative relationships, and relate to each other may or may not be abusive.

    Disobeying what God commands in the Bible is a sin. But, we have biblically-derived criteria for assessing and applying specific commands by reading them against larger themes.
    Turning your back on God is a sin. Homosexuals are often among those who have turned their back on the church, and may be sinning because they also rejected the God they found in church. The church needs to be in mission to homosexuals with the message of Jesus and who God really is.

    Yielding to your passions, even celebrating them is a sin . Homosexuals do include those who have done this. But it is not an inherent aspect of being gay.

    Since we see people who have dedicated themselves to God, and for whom their gay sexual life is integrated into that decision and we see that their sexuality does not draw them away from church we must conclude that being and living gay is not a behavior in and of itself that produces pain to the neighbor and leads one away from God.

    By the criteria the scripture sets for us for what is godly life, and by the reasoning scripture asks us to employ, homosexuality cannot be described as against God’s law.

    If this seems like a rather quiet sort of justification for homosexuality, then perhaps it is because the grand clichés of this debate have been shouted at us for too long. But look at the Bible: it's demands and vision cut across all categories, not staying on the surface but penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, rejecting all forms of self-justification, all forms of attack on the "other" and all forms of escape from God's assessment of our behavior. How on earth could we have ever thought that a series of flat rules was all God wanted to tell us on morality?

    August 10, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  2. Matthew

    Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Any educated Christian would know that. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality. That’s why Jesus never mentions it as well. There is nothing immoral, wrong, or sinful about being gay. Jesus, however, clearly states he HATES hypocrites. If you preach goodness, then promote hate and twist the words of the Bible, you are a hypocrite, and will be judged and sent to hell. Homosexuals will not go to hell, hypocrites will. This is very similar to the religious bigots of the past, where they took Bible passages to condone slavery , keep women down, and used Bible passages to claim blacks as curses who should be enslaved by the white man. People used God to claim that blacks marrying whites was unnatural, and not of God's will.

    August 10, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  3. YeahRight

    "I don't care what any one says its as simple as Leviticus 20:13 read it and weep"

    There will be no weeping idiot. Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code, a ritual manual for Israel's priests..

    August 10, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  4. Melvin

    "Trending now.....GLBTQ CELIB@CY!"

    The Scriptures at no point deal with homosexuality as an authentic sexual orientation, a given condition of being. The remarkably few Scriptural references to "homosexuality" deal rather with homosexual acts, not with homosexual orientation. Those acts are labeled as wrong out of the context of the times in which the writers wrote and perceived those acts to be either nonmasculine, idolatrous, exploitative, or pagan. The kind of relationships between two consenting adults of the same sex demonstrably abounding among us - relationships that are responsible and mutual, affirming and fulfilling - are not dealt with in the Scriptures.

    August 10, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  5. pete

    I don't care what any one says its as simple as Leviticus 20:13 read it and weep. The Bible never steps on its self and never lies there u go.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:16 am |
    • Eric

      pete it isnt about just throwing scripture at people. We need to tell the truth in love.

      Yes it is a sin but, so is pride, adultry, lust, false witness...and countless others. we all deal with sin in one form or another.

      If Jesus was here today do you think he would be hanging in a chuch or with sinners. Look what he did when he was here.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Pete
      I take it this means you adhere to ALL the rules in Leviticus.
      How long are your sideburns?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      pete, do you wear permanent-press shirts? Check out the fabrics: they're forbidden by your god.

      Do you eat popcorn shrimp at Popeye's? That's a sin, too.

      How does gay marriage threaten your way of life, pete?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Rakesh

      Maxine was extremely knlawedgelboe and a great storyteller. She really kept our attention and brought even more meaning and impact to the memorial site and the events that took place there. I will certainly recommend her to anyone visiting Munich, and I hope to visit again and take another tour with her.Thankyou for a great experience!Devin Hartness Athens, Georgia, USA ( )

      September 9, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  6. Douglas

    Trending now.....GLBTQ CELIB@CY!
    Celib@cy Rocks!!

    Best, Douglas

    August 9, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Trending now.....GLBTQ CELIB@CY!
      Celib@cy Rocks!!"

      Prejudice and bigotry is a menace to our society! Grow up and get an education! Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. 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."

      August 10, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  7. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    @fred

    Jefferson or his designees largely plagiarized George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights when writing the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

    The Virginia Declaration of Rights says this on religious freedom:

    XVI That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.

    I find it telling that Jefferson avoided this model in the 1st amendment. There is no reference to 'creator' or 'Christian forbearance' in the Const.tution. This is deliberate. The Declaration of Independence is a declaration of intent.

    The Const.tution is the actual law.

    George Mason was an Anglican.

    August 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Reposted in the right spot below – sorry!

      August 9, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  8. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    I feel safe here. It's kind of quiet. Nice choice.

    August 9, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Bob

      So your not atheist either?? So let me get this straight out of the goodness of your heart you are doing this?? What is it dearie??

      August 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Bob

      Cant answer a question after all this??? Are you a atheist?????

      August 9, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Boob's so dumb he doesn't even recognize the troll who's impersonating both of us. What else is new?

      August 9, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Get lost, troll.

      August 9, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Bob

      And the answer to the question is???

      August 9, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's what I want to know, Boob. Maybe your sock-puppet can answer.

      August 9, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  9. Bob

    So your not atheist either?? So let me get this straight out of the goodness of your heart you are doing this?? actually you didnt tell me if you were atheist so are you???

    August 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why would it matter what my religious beliefs are, you fvckin' idiot?

      August 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  10. Bob

    So your not atheist either?? So let me get this straight out of the goodness of your heart you are doing this??

    August 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Idiot, it's YOU'RE. Doing what? Questioning your sanity? Supporting gay marriage?

      Yes, you fvckin' brain-dead idiot. Where have you been? I'm straight and married. Do you need a map drawn for you, ya stupid git?

      August 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  11. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    What's really satisfying about this little back-and-forth is that in the end, the Bobs of this world will be irrelevant. Gays will have the right to marry and the Bobs will just have to get over it or keel over from a heart attack. The universe will go on as it idid when women got the right to vote, when slaves were freed, when interracial marriage became legal, when the colonies rose up and overthrew the rule of England, when ... pretty much every shackle was broken.

    Bob, you can either get over it or just give up and die.

    August 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • midwest rail

      I've come to the conclusion that Bob's only human interaction is on these blogs. His insistence on rehashing every minuscule point, no matter how often it's been shown to be false, screams of loneliness. While it's true that the Bobs of the world are becoming gradually extinct, he is in some ways a sad little dinosaur.

      August 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Bob

      Wont give up to important and if I die that is gain because I will be with Jesus but why having no reason to be here are you still around dishing out bull?? Are you really that black hearted to use people this much??? I cant believe that anyone would want to get close to you knowing how you use people.

      August 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Too important? Why?

      What delusion leads you to imagine that gay marriage is "too important" when it doesn't affect you in any way, shape or form?

      If it did, you'd have articulated how by this time, BOOOB. That you can't is telling. Go ahead, prove me wrong.

      August 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Bob

      Tom why are you here I am because I'm a Christian but why are you here you have no reason to be here

      August 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How am I (or whomever you're addressing; it's always difficult to tell whether you're talking to yourself or someone else or a ghost or goblin, BOOB) "using people this much"? Why would I need to "use" anyone? I have no axe to grind; I'm not gay. I'm married. I'm straight. What purpose would i have to "use" people? And in what way would it benefit me to do so?

      Do you have a brain tumor? Or Alzheimer's?

      August 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I have "no reason to be here"? Why would you think so? Because I'm not gay? I'm not black, either, but I'm interested in civil rights for all.

      Why are YOU here? Why does gay marriage make your ancient little balls shrivel, boob?

      August 9, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Bob

      So if that's true what business do you have to be here??? Tommy girl

      August 9, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yup, I agree. Bob is a case of retarded social skills. He can't relate to people in real life so he has to get his frissons here.

      August 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Bob

      Are you atheist?? tommy

      August 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I just told you, you simpleton. Do you have a learning disability?

      August 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bob, are you completely mentally incompetent? Are you posting from the assisted living facility?

      What the fvck is wrong with you?

      August 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • fred

      Tom Tom
      Colonies rose up because 56 out of 56 of the most brilliant men knew what it took for a Nation to survive and become the greatest superpower known to man. Here is their declaration:
      It was self-evident that men were endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights !
      They did not appeal to science or the limitations of man for the power this country needed. Here is their closing to the Declaration;
      “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world……

      As to your nonsense regarding the Bobs of the world the light that came into this world stands and all the powers of man that came up against the Cross could not take it down. It is 2012 and the Cross stands. Your arguments are empty by what was and is self-evident.

      August 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Bob

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I have "no reason to be here"? Why would you think so? Because I'm not gay? I'm not black, either, but I'm interested in civil rights for all.

      Why are YOU here? Why does gay marriage make your ancient little balls shrivel, boob?

      Actually you asked a question and didn't answer the question so what is it???? I copied your reponse so you could see how you answered since you need help. Are you a atheist??? You know atheist??? Atheist???

      August 9, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sez freddy, the moron who can't distinguish between "turrets" and 'Tourette's". Yeah, I have all the respect in the world for YOUR opinion, you mental midget.

      August 9, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Boob, I asked the question. You didn't answer. Just as you haven't answered the dozen other times I asked. And now you (or your little sock puppets) are demanding that *I* answer *your* questions?

      August 9, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • fred

      Tom Tom
      Not my opinion. That is simple fact that you cannot twist to fit your world. Take your case to the 56 that found the Creator “self-evident”. Take your case to the 56 that appealed to the Supreme. Take your case to the 56 that stated in that declaration;
      “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes”
      It is your opinion founded on transient causes that are suspect not the foundation of truth.

      August 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Just more h0m0phobes quaking in fear of the gay apocalypse when gay marriage is legal everywhere and not a thing changes in anyone's daily lives, except for the new couples who will then have a measure of equality when they file tax returns or someone's partner is sick or dies.

      The Pew Forum July 2012 data on gay marriage was ...
      Favor ...... 48%
      Oppose ... 44%

      The tide has turned.

      August 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Fred dead head, take YOUR case to the SCOTUS. Go right ahead. If you can show any legal footing the DOI has, do so. Because otherwise, ya moron, you just reinforced my statement. You are an idiot.

      August 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Freddy's like a coc ker spaniel-cute but dumb as dirt.

      August 9, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @fred

      Jefferson or his designees largely plagiarized George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights when writing the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

      The Virginia Declaration of Rights says this on religious freedom:

      XVI That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.

      I find it telling that Jefferson avoided this model in the 1st amendment. There is no reference to 'creator' or 'Christian forbearance' in the Const.tution. This is deliberate. The Declaration of Independence is a declaration of intent.

      The Const.tution is the actual law.

      George Mason was an Anglican.

      August 9, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • fred

      Tom tom
      Just what do you not understand about self evident? As I said I did not write the Declaration this was a declaration by 56 men who laid the foundation for this nation. It is self-evident what the heart and soul of these men and this country was in 1776. The creator is always self-evident to men and nations that exhibit this heart and soul. When you say there is no God you simply admit God is not self-evident to you because your heart and soul is not that of these men.
      It is self-evident that communists and or atheists have not taken down the power of God. It is self-evident that science cannot comprehend the origin of life. It is self-evident that the Word of God has the power to transform lives.
      This is not my opinion simply the truth that is self-evident.

      August 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And what is it, dumb spaniel, that YOU don't understand about the fact that the DOI has NO bearing on law or rights? I knew you were dumb, fred, but really, are you THAT dumb?

      August 9, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • fred

      I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV
      I agree there was great disagreement among the different Christian views at the time.
      The use of “Supreme judge” and “Creator” rather than Christ or Jesus in the Declaration points to internal conflict. The people and the colonies needed a unifying power that all could agree upon. Each man sees God somewhat different as with anything else in life. Simply because they took the expedient rout of a politically correct Higher Authority does not change the Christian foundation of these men.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      fred, you are such an ignorant twit. It points to nothing of the sort. Why do you idiots have to resort to lies? If your beliefs had any merit, you wouldn't have to lie about history.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you going to continue to pretend that the DOI has any legal bearing whatsoever, freddie? Then show how. Back it up. Because your insistence that it's relevant is laughable to any student of history worth his salt.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • fred

      Tom tom
      These 56 had the Church of England shove their view of God down their throats. The last thing they wanted was a new government that could end up doing the same thing with some new State sponsored Church. It was not like they were oblivious to the nonsense church leaders were capable of. Certainly the const-itution would need safeguards against same while using language that did not offend the fundamentalists of the day.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @fred,

      don't make too many assumptions about the words in the Declaration of Independence. Fortunately Jefferson was a hoarder. He kept almost everything, including his drafts.

      The ‘versions’ are a reconstruction. These include strikeouts in ‘the rough draft’.

      Version 1
      We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent; that from that equal creation they derive in rights inherent & inalienable among which are the preservation of life & liberty & the pursuit of happiness;

      Version 2
      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, they are endowed by their creator with equal rights some of which are certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness;

      Version 3
      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness;

      The 'creator' wasn't there at the beginning. “Equal creation” sounds like deist Jefferson. The ‘rough draft’ was revised after consultation with the committee. So who wanted it changed? Did one of the other editors like John Adams ask Jefferson to include it and Jefferson appeased him, then went on to hate him for 50 years?

      You make big assumptions when you extrapolate from the word ‘creator’.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Way to avoid answering, you little wuss. The DOI is irrelevant as far as our laws are concerned. It means nothing at all when one is discussing rights or laws.

      What part of that do you not comprehend, you moron?

      August 9, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • fred

      Tom tom
      Thanks for the complement! Coming from you it means a lot. I assume you were referring to a Boykin Spaniel

      August 9, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's "compliment", you stupid ass.

      And no, the spaniel I refer to is the Co cker. Or in your case, the co ckless.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your ignorance of the English language and of history, freddy, makes you completely without any level of credibility.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • fred

      Tom tom
      I did answer in that the laws were established to protect against abuse of State sponsored religion yet retain individual freedom (i.e. the 56 all had different views of God so specific reference to God was not made in the Consti-tution).

      August 9, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • fred

      I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV
      Not much changes we still wrestle with words to pass laws that avoid trampling one belief over another.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then shut up about the DOI, you illiterate dolt. It has NOTHING to do with our laws or our rights. NOTHING.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @fred.

      the verbiage in Declaration of Independence is largely irrelevant anyway. The Constitution is the law. Given the times, it is astonishing that there is no reference to ‘God’ or ‘creator’ or ‘supreme being’ in the Constitution.

      This is very telling.

      Contemporary references to God were ubiquitous. King George III's title during the revolution was something like: George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and so forth.

      The fact that these were omitted AND the fact that they went as far as to say this in Article VI:
      but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

      Religious tests were normal at the time. Swearing on a bible for testimony, oaths of office etc, are examples of religious tests. You do know that Presidents are not required to say 'So help me God' at the end of the oath? Washington did, but many did not.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And not ONE WORD in either doc ument mentions marriage, freddy. When will you get it through your skull that the founders made it quite clear that the Con st itution was not intended to enumerate every right because some idiot like you was sure to come along and pretend that if it wasn't in the Con sti tution, it wasn't a right?

      August 9, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @fred,

      I'm glad you agree that there were 'differences' in beliefs amongst Christians in the 18th century. 121 years before the Declaration of Independence American 'Christians' were still literally killing each other over these 'heresies'. (Look up the Battle of the Severn if you don't believe me.)

      You said: "The people and the colonies needed a unifying power that all could agree upon.

      I agree with that sentiment 100%. They could never agree on a single religious belief – hence the establishment clause. The unifying power they created was the idea of the Federal government. It wasn't under God. It was of men – E Pluribus Unum – which was adopted in 1782.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @fred,

      furthermore, why do you say "These 56 had the Church of England shove their view of God down their throats.".

      Virginia was Anglican from founding. (Hardly shoved down their throats.) Washington was an Anglican Vestryman and Church Warden (though one could imagine that being 18th century social climbing).

      The established church of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was congregational. Maryland was founded as Catholic. Connecticut, New York and New Jersey were all founded as Dutch Reformed (by the Dutch, funnily enough). Rhode Island and Pennsylvania were religiously tolerant, (which is why Franklin fled Boston for Philadelphia).

      Massachusetts certainly had a lot of angst over Anglicanism. One of the reasons Massachusetts was so keen to revolt (apart from their century-old anti-monarchist hang-over related to the English Civil War and the subsquent Restoration) was not 'taxation without representation', but they were afraid that the Anglican Church would create a Bishopric for North America and that they would have to t.ithe to support a Bishop.

      Very harmonious ecu-menically minded Christians, I don't think.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • fred

      Tom tom
      It has everything to do with our laws and our rights because you cannot separate the character or belief from the men who wrote the laws. If the 56 were not aware of the need to unify under one God they would not have used a broad term such as “Supreme Judge of the World” in the Declaration. There would have been no need for the first amendment if there was unity among Christians or concern that States could be manipulated by or manipulate different religions that would eventually lead to abuse.
      Gay marriage is an excellent example of a const-itution amendment designed to prevent abuse by States manipulated by religion or manipulating religion. Gay marriage is not a question of civil rights only. Gay marriage is the State establishing the Bible as meaningless and intentionally marginalizing conservative Christian faiths while promoting liberal faiths. In short it is a declaration that the Supreme Judge of World is manmade and the Creator is not self-evident. The unifying cause of the greatest superpower is broken.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • tallulah13

      Fred: Our founding fathers deliberately separated church from state because they knew that allowing religion official recognition would open the doors to theistic bullies who would use their power to discriminate against minorities. This is not a christian nation, Fred. The majority of the population may be christian, but the const.itution protects all of us equally.

      If you can't accept that, I suggest you head to Iran, so you can see what happens when one religion has absolute power.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • fred

      I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV
      I was referring to the abuse of church and State towards non conforming religions when mentioning the Church of England prior to 1776 declaration. Those who wrote and approved the const-itution were creating the laws of men knowing full well these freedoms and rights were a blessing from the creator. This was all these men knew and thus the creator (God) was self-evident. Though they differed on the minor doctrines of faith on which they would not budge all was under the watchful eye of God.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • Bob

      George Washingtons farewell address pretty much says it all
      Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @fred,

      what "abuse of church and State towards non conforming religions when mentioning the Church of England"?

      You are talking about the 18th century right? I assume you talking about the whining Puritans in Massachusetts who had their own "established" Congregationalist church? There is no separation between Church and State in most of the 18th century North American colonies. More than not were Anglican. The whole 17th century history of the colonies is influenced by fallout from (or even participation in the) wars of the reformation – this is barely a generation out of living memory by the time of the revolution.

      Then you say "they differed on the minor doctrines of faith"

      Well you can't have it both ways.

      Either they had very serious differences in religious observance, such that issues with the Church of England were material (and then only in some places like Massachusetts) or they didn't, in which case your point about the Church of England was immaterial.

      If your premise is that the revolution was actually fueled by parochial religionism in Massachusetts, then I would agree with you 100%

      August 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bob,

      George Washington was a politician and a lifetime Anglican. He didn't write the Const.tution. He presided over the Const.tuional Convention, but he didn't write it.

      His only significant contribution to the Const.tution was regarding the size (in population) of Congressional districts.

      The fact that George Washington believed in God is interesting but nevertheless moot in terms of the laws of the United States.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @fred and bob,

      did you guys see that David Barton's book "The Jefferson Lies" just got yanked by the publisher for being (well let's be charitable) disingenuous.

      See: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/10/bartons-jefferson-lies-book-yanked/

      So much for redefinining Thomas Jefferson as a traditional believer. He was a deist.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  12. Bob

    What gives people the idea something is wrong? Isn't it moral standards? So if we lower the standards then theft is ok and peds are ok and hurting someone cause you feel like it is ok. The other persons feelings don't really matter if there is no moral standard. This is essentially what happened when gay were taken off the dsm. The standard was lowered not by any real point of science but because the standard was lowered because the ability to judge moral issues was given up by the APA.The Bible standard was also given up, so now you essentially have no standard just a set of laws telling people you can or cant do. There is still sin though, its just like everything else the secular people want any hint of God out of Society. But does this really get rid of sin just because we banish the Bible and God out of our lives? NO it doesn't there is still sin just as there was when Adam sinned that imparted to us the punishment for that sin. When the law of Moses came in it showed us that there was sin but didn't offer a real relief from that sin. When Jesus came there was real relief from the sin because He took all our sin upon Himself and died to it once and for all. The sin of Adam was broken. Does this mean that we keep sinning? no, for those that accepted Christ cannot keep sinning. So if we do then there will be no forgiveness and we will die with sin in our lives and suffer the fate of the condemned.
    Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, "You must not covet."
    Rom 7:8 But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power.
    Rom 7:9 At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life,
    Rom 7:10 and I died. So I discovered that the law's commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead.
    Rom 7:11 Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me.
    Rom 7:12 But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.
    Rom 7:13 But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God's good commands for its own evil purposes.
    Rom 7:14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.
    Rom 7:15 I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
    Rom 7:16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.
    Rom 7:17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

    August 9, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good grief. If there's a god, why did he curse you with stupidity? You've already been told why theft, ra-pe, and murder are wrong. You just refuse to learn.

      Oh, well. Your problem, not mine.

      August 9, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder what your teachers thought of you, Bob. They must have been laughing in the staff lounge about your inability to comprehend anything but the most simplistic of concepts. Either that, or they were tearing their hair out trying to figure out what was wrong with you.

      Murder is illegal because it infringes on the right of a person to live. Theft is illegal because it infringes on the rights of people to own their property.

      What infringement of rights does gay marriage involve?

      August 9, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • YeahRight

      LMAO – Hey look Bob is re-posting proving he's a hypocrite.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  13. Bob

    A pioneering h0m0 activist Frank Kameny celebrated by fellow h0m0 the world over and honored by big O and his adm-in says the God of the Bible is a sinful h0m0pho bigot who needs to repent of his sinful h0m0pho.He was integral in pressuring the APA to reclassify gay activities as normal,has written to a pro-family organization that he believes bestiality is fine,as long as the animal doesn't mind." yea its a good thing isn't it

    August 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      More bullsh!t from Boob. You're cooked, dude. If you have to resort to tabloid journalism, then you're busted, Bob.

      August 9, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Bob

      Truth hurts I can always post more of this article its really interesting

      August 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When you post some "truth", Boob, alert the media. You've done nothing but lie since the first time you posted here, you little turd.

      August 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "He was integral in pressuring the APA to reclassify gay activities as normal,has written to a pro-family organization that he believes bestiality is fine,as long as the animal doesn't mind." yea its a good thing isn't it"

      More lies from prejudice Bob. It's hysterical how desperate you are to try and justify your unfounded prejudice and willful ignorance toward the gay community.

      Bob is a great example of a homophobic bigot and why the saying prejudice is built of the foundation of ignorance. His hate is unfounded and he is a disgrace to the Christ in the bible.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  14. YeahRight

    "Civil unions have the same rights and since gays either male or female cant have children why should they have the right to marry??"

    Gays do have children moron. Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.

    The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

    A federal appeals court on May 31st ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies equal rights for legally married same-sex couples, making it likely that the Supreme Court will consider the politically divisive issue for the first time in its next term. This most likely will be decided in the courts and since most courts keep ruling in gays favor they should be able to over turn all the unconstitutional laws prejudice bigots have been trying to pass.

    August 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  15. YeahRight

    "If marriage was set up by God so we could procreate and have and raise kids in a sound environment then why should gays marry?? "

    Social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents—concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people—are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being.

    August 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  16. John

    Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. 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.

    August 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  17. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Give it up, Bob. Your "sources", such as they are, have been discredited. You've been exposed as a hom0phobe. You're frightened of gays and gay marriage, but you are too much of a coward to state your reasons for your fear and terror.

    You don't have a leg to stand on, Bob.

    Why don't you stop lying and start posting truth? Why don't you come clean about what's really bugging you? Why are you so afraid of gay marriage when such a small percentage of the US population is gay? What do you fear will occur if gay marriage is legalized? Have any of your fears been realized in the states in which it's ALREADY LEGAL? If so, cite them.

    August 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  18. Bob

    If marriage was set up by God so we could procreate and have and raise kids in a sound environment then why should gays marry?? Civil unions have the same rights and since gays either male or female cant have children why should they have the right to marry??

    August 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Bob, you delusional twit, by that logic then infertile couples should also be barred from marrying.

      August 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It WASN'T "set up by God". It existed long before it had ANY connection to religion. The church didn't even WANT to have marriage take place in the sanctuary! Why don't you already KNOW this, Bob?

      Furthermore, gays have been partnering for years now, and having families. And the studies, the VALID ones, not those you've chosen to cite, have found that the children of stable, committed gay partners are just as well adjusted as the children of straight couples.

      August 9, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bob, not one state requires ANY couple to commit to procreation in order to obtain a license to marry. NOT ONE. Women who are past menopause are not barred from marriage. Couples who are infertile or who have no desire to produce children are not barred from marrying.

      Do you have ANY REAL arguments? Or is this the best you can do? Because so far, every one of your points has been refuted repeatedly with facts and data. And you've produced neither to back up your opinions.

      August 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Bob

      How come no one is answering this question why when marriage was set up by God for the procreation of children is it important for gays to marry???? Well I am not surprised lying is your forte not truthfulness.

      August 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Bob

      Hi -Bob...

      " How come no one is answering this question why when marriage was set up by God for the procreation of children is it important for gays to marry???? "

      The way in which you're 'framing' your question, allows you to 'presuppose' or 'infer' as a potential 'fallacy of a-s-sumption' that 1)There 'is' a God, without question.
      2)Said God, "set up marriage" 3)Said God, "set up marriage" 'only' for *procreation.* etc...etc...

      So, only someone unaware would attempt to answer your question the way you 'framed' it, with your *unproven and speculative presuppositions.*

      Kind Regards,

      Peace...

      August 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's already BEEN answered, you stupid sh!t. Can't you read?

      Speaking of answering questions, BOOOB, why don't you answer the ones I've asked you? Too much of a coward?

      August 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yup, it's another version of "When did you stop beating your wife"?

      Too bad Bob's so dumb he doesn't get it.

      August 9, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  19. Bob

    con-sti- tution-al h0m0 ???? again great sounding words that mean nothing just like the rest

    August 9, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  20. Jeannine

    The Scriptures were written approximately 2000 or more years ago when there was no knowledge of constitutional homosexuality. The Scripture writers believed that all people were naturally heterosexual so that they viewed homosexuality activity as unnatural. Women today are pointing out that the inferiority of women expressed in the scriptures was a product of culture and the times in which the Bible was written; it should not be followed today; now that we are beginning to appreciate the natural and God-given equality of men and women.

    Similarly, as we know that homosexuality is just as natural and God-given as heterosexuality, we realize that the Biblical injunctions against homosexuality were conditioned by the attitudes and beliefs about this form of sexual expression which were held by people without benefit of centuries of scientific knowledge and understanding.

    It is unfair of us to expect or impose a twentieth century mentality and understanding about equality of genders, races and sexual orientations on the Biblical writers. We must be able to distinguish the eternal truths the Bible is meant to convey from the cultural forms and attitudes expressed there.

    August 9, 2012 at 12:17 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.