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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 • Opinion

soundoff (8,831 Responses)
  1. Lorraine

    someone, you are absolutely correct, these doctors are front men getting paid; and it sounds good but not good enough James, and Les, but no matter how you change it it is not right by YHWH, and romans is not the best of book, for that matter the NT is not a guide to follow, it comes, and goes, just like christian s using what is convenient to them only to excuse the wrong. Example: romans 4:15 stating that the 'law of YHWH is wrath, going against righteousness of the Creator, misleading the people, then in vs. 16, changing the word of YHWH to 'faith' is all one needs, NO, we must do the law of righteousness, the 10 commandments as said in Deut.5, this did not change. Then in romans:7:4, YHWH did not say this, its a lie, then in roman 7:9, one dies when you do the law, another lie for in Deut.32:45-47 the law is our 'life' the NT(not true), it does not fulfill the OT, it is then obsolete to the word of YHWH, and YHWH changes not in Malachi 3:6. Christ, which only means anointed, nor anyone, cannot say, or change the law without the prophecy of YHWH through His prophets taught in Amos 3:7. As Malachi 2:11 teaches not to marry into the daughter of a strange god, yet the nt does it anyway, just like christians do, take the flocks away from the truth, the true law, changing it.

    YHWH is not contrary, the people are; as in Ezekiel 14:14-23, no man can die for another man's sin, we are all responsible for our own righteousness, and YHWH would not say this then put a man in the NT to die for us is a lie on Him for He changes not, this is why He left this book to learn it, and a man laying with another man is not the law of righteousness, no matter how one tries to dress it up. Praise YHWH.

    September 21, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Loopy, when you're diagnosed with cancer, make sure you don't go to one of those "front men" those of us who are sane call "doctors". You just pray to Yahweh and he'll heal you.

      You're such a joke.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  2. Douglas

    The Bible condemns gay coitus.
    Case closed.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The Bible condemns gay coitus.
      Case closed."

      No, it doesn't and you've been proven wrong over and over again.

      September 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  3. YeahRight

    "instigating wars, famine,in difference, hate, prejudice, perversion, greed, etc. etc., wake up son.. and calling it all good "

    Actually the experts on our country are the one stating being gay is normal.

    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.

    September 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • someone

      so because one firm says one thing its true... we are talking about the words from God not a Study. I believe there are many Science beliefs that are "studies" that are lies and untrue. they are saying those things to not recieve ridicule. science has no back bone to stand with

      September 21, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "so because one firm says one thing its true... we are talking about the words from God not a Study."

      It's not one firm idiot, it's many and all over the world, get an education.

      September 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      How ironic that you doubt scientific evidence that has passed stringent scrutiny, yet believe every word in a book of Middle-eastern mythology, despite the fact that it's filled with unsubstantiated supernatural events. Prove that your god even exists. Then prove that the bible is that god's word. Then you maybe your doubt of science will be anything more than a foolish attempt to cling to a comforting lie.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Someone, I doubt you've ever passed a high school-level science class in your life, not to mention an English class.

      You're probably one of those idiots who says sh!t like "Evolution is JUST a theory."

      September 23, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  4. Lorraine

    Michael Michael, this so called civilization has, and is killing lots, and lots of people only by subtlety,and flattering, as prophesied the sword carrier in Genesis 27, would do, in the book Daniel 11:20-45, instigating wars, famine,in difference, hate, prejudice, perversion, greed, etc. etc., wake up son.. and calling it all good as prophesied the enemy would in Malachi 3:13-15. Because people are under the 'good spell,' the (gospel) in a trance of tricks. YHWH the King.

    September 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  5. Atheism is Great for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and lets them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago. (Yes, charlatan folklore and spam started long before the Bible; what would make you think they hadn't?) And they need to be taught that other things, like God, we really don't know a damn thing about.

    Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Many religious folk have the best intentions. But too often, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). And too often, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!

    Although there are many religious folk with good intentions – some selflessly helping others, religions and religious organizations are, as a whole, just big old clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division (often disguised as love) along the way. The problem is that people too easily buy into religion and don't realize how unfounded it all is. And when they buy into it, they buy into a lot of really old, really weird tenets that are nothing but harmful for the human species.

    Take Christianity, for instance. Just look at all the things that Christians argue about amongst themselves today – abortion, men's and women's roles in the church, celibacy, contraception, acceptance of gays, etc. Most of these issues have their roots in the conflicted, unfounded tenets of early Christianity. Non-Mormons harp on Joseph Smith these days. But we really don't have any more proof at all to believe that Paul, the self-proclaimed "apostle" was anything more than an ordinary man who needed to make up religious "sales literature" to survive and spread his own personal beliefs. And yet a good chunk of the NT is attributed to Paul and accepted by many Christians. And a lot of what he wrote about has to do with many of the issues I mentioned above that have Christians fighting amongst themselves hundreds of years later. It's way too unfounded to argue over.

    Get a good cup of tea, and sit down and collect your thoughts. If you find it helpful to pray to a god (something you know nothing about), fine. But it is really healthier for the mind to leave behind all the characters that people over the centuries have invented or given powers to, for which there is little or no foundation. Because with those invented characters and powers – that's where division and hate join the little party in your mind. That's where, in your mind, you are inheriting the division and hate from ordinary politicians, lobbyists and salesmen from long ago. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    September 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  6. Maggots

    Implying any gay person uses the bible as a valid reference.

    September 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  7. YeahRight

    "This is because it is in conflict with the laws of God and nature."

    That's why it's been documented in over 1500 other species because it is part of nature, which is why the experts have stated: 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."

    September 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Douglas

      Grown, gay men who parade around without clothes in front of an elementary school are not sane.

      They are extremely disturbed with the reprobate mind of a fornicator

      It is time to prune the vineyard and take in the good harvest.

      The whole world is watching!

      September 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Grown, gay men who parade around without clothes in front of an elementary school are not sane."

      LMAO! LOL! LOL! LOL! Only prejudice bigots like you would believe this stupid crap. LOL! LOL!

      September 18, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Douglas

      I detect nervous laughter trying to cover up the fornication of sinful gay men.

      There is nothing funny about gay men parading around without clothes in front of elementary school children.

      The story is right here:

      http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Castro-naked-guys-have-gone-too-far-3867094.php

      Promote celibacy and dignity to help gay men stop sinning in front of children and families!

      Best,
      Douglas

      September 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • YeahrRight

      "I detect nervous laughter trying to cover up the fornication of sinful gay men.

      There is nothing funny about gay men parading around without clothes in front of elementary school children.

      The story is right here:"

      LMAO – oh you want to play this game huh? So I should google how many straight men have jacked off or exposed themselves around school children and then blame all straight men for this horrible stupidity. Duh! Thanks for proving me correct that you are too blinded by your prejudice and bigotry to see the truth. Oh, I know lets show all those straight men that get drunk, paint their bodies, wear ridiculous colored wigs while holding finger puppets, twirling their towels around screaming and cheering for other men in tight see threw pants throwing around a pig skin ball. Yeah, that's really good for our children to learn as a behavior. Duh!

      September 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Douglas

      Nice try...but no cigar.

      There is no equivalency to fornicating behavior by straights, because in the case of the gay men walking around with no clothes in front of the elementary school and using "skid mark" sheets to keep their fecal matter off of public benches, (Yuck!) the whole process is facilitated by the gay community and their allies in the city government to promote "tolerance"!

      No such free pass is given to straight fornicators by the community, nor would I expect or want them to.

      Celibacy and dignity are lacking in this community that has turned its back on the Bible. The only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ. Jesus defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. There are no provisions for gay marriage in the Holy Bible. GLBTQ celibacy is the path to righteousness for those who can resist the temptation to dwell in a life of sin.

      Best,
      Douglas

      September 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Lorraine

      To the smart pants here, what does BC, AD, BCE, CE all mean, and don't tell me the before christ line, for Simon bar Kokhbar was also called the messiah in 135bce, after the so called day of christ. Furthermore when was the date of the birth of christ? Does anyone know jc's date of birth? Take a pick is it 6bc, 8bc or 4be? While your at it look up Horus and Isis, the other sun-gods and notice how closely related that their story is to jesus, born of a virgin, son of God blah blah, and there were other sun-gods with the same description.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • YeahRight

      Douglas your nothing more than a prejudice bigot because that town is a well known nudist colony, that includes straight people or where you to lazy again to do your homework. There are other nudist colonies in the states that include straight people too. You're an idiot.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Robert

      Here, I'll help.

      naturist dot com
      aanr dot com

      September 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  8. Shawn

    Let me start this off with a quote from a famous lesbian, Lynn Lavner:

    "There are 6 admonishments in the Bible concerning homosexual activity, and our enemies are always throwing them up to us – usually in a vicious way and very much out of context.

    What they don't want us to remember is that there are 362 admonishments in the Bible concerning heterosexual activity. I don't mean to imply by this that God doesn't love straight people, only that they seem to require a great deal more supervision."

    I am going to attempt to keep this short and simple, so here we go.

    Some claim that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 clearly say that homosexual sex is an abomination. In fact, it merits death. Isn't it obvious that God hates homosexuality?

    Yes, depending on which translation you are using, Leviticus does say, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it's an abomination." However, a few points must be made about this statement:

    a) It appears in Leviticus, which was given to preserve the distinctive characteristics of the religion and culture of Israel. However, as stated in Galatians 3:22-55, Christians are no longer bound by these Jewish laws. Even if you, for some reason, argue that these "laws" are still important, then you surely follow all of them, right?

    It is interesting that people who use Leviticus against the gay community forget the part that talks about religious sacrifices, making women sleep in tents outside during their period, the dietary restrictions placed on them and how to cleanse a leper, all of which appear in Leviticus.

    The laws of Leviticus are completely obsolete for today's Christian; however, even if you do claim to live by the laws of Leviticus, it is not fair to pick and choose which laws you are going to live by, or condemn a people by, if you are not going to follow the others. You should not need any more convincing evidence than this; but if you do, be my guest.

    b) The word that was in the original work, "to'ebah," which was translated into Greek as "bdglygma" actually means "ritual impurity" rather than abomination (or enormous sin). These passages in Leviticus can be translated to not mean homosexual sex generally, but only limiting homosexual sex in Pagan temples.

    c) This passage does not denounce homosexual behavior as a whole, but just the specific act of anal sex. This was meant for the prevention of disease. It was ruled unclean because it was physically unclean; however, hygiene has made wonderful advances since that time.

    d) These passages in Leviticus can be interpreted in many ways. I have seen it interpreted by scholars and priests to mean: "don't have sex with another man in your wife's bed;" "don't have sex with another man in the temple;" and "don't have sex with another man and pretend he is a woman," just to name a few.

    I have never seen an interpretation in any Bible, or from any scholar, that specifically says to never have sex with a man.

    Some claim the Bible simply does not support gay marriage. Chapter two of Genesis defines marriage as a holy union between a man and a woman. And later, in Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus himself reiterates the traits of a traditional marriage. How can you argue that anything other than celibacy is honorable for gay and lesbian people?

    Yes, marriage is a holy union. However, in these passages, while Jesus reiterates (but does not require) the traditional marriage, he also provides an exception for eunuchs (castrated men – or otherwise impotent men, in today's terms), and allowed them to be married, saying that this law is given to those to whom it applies.

    Because these eunuchs were born sexless, God made an exception for them because it was natural. The same applies to the Gay community today. Science has proven homosexuality is completely natural, so it seems God would allow for homosexual marriages.

    In Matthew 19:4–5, Jesus encourages a traditional path, but does not discourage alternatives, except in the case of divorce.

    Jesus did stress purity of marriage, but not in regard to the sexes of the people within it. It can be seen that the reason that churches are against homosexual marriage is not because it is explicitly said by God, but because of a lack of instruction to specifically allow it.

    In the time that the Bible was written it would have been impossible to foresee the future to be able to specifically allow or forbid homosexual marriage.

    Some claim, in Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he lists homosexuals amongst the many sinners who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Doesn't that make God's position on this vice very clear?

    If we look at the other types of people listed in this passage, we can understand what it is actually talking about. Law breakers, thieves, adulterers and drunks are specifically mentioned. The word "homosexual" was not found until the 1890s, so it would have been impossible for it to be in the original version.

    What actually appears in the original is Paul condemning those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind." In this context, the original Greek word, "malakos," is translated into effeminate, or soft, which, more than likely, refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control.

    In this passage, when Paul condemns "abusers of themselves with mankind," he is speaking of male prostitutes.

    Then there are the people who claim that, even though science has proven that people don't choose their sexual orientation, the fact remains that homosexuality is unnatural. Romans 1:26-27 tells us that humans have a sinful nature, and therefore commit sins against God. Certain people are predisposed to be alcoholics and pedophiles, but that doesn't make their actions any less immoral. God tells us to "tear out your eye" if it makes you stumble. Why can't you just accept homosexuality as the part of your nature you must deny?

    Because the Bible has gone through so many translations, and through the hands of many people (some being non-believers), it is not surprising that the meaning has become a little fuzzy in parts.

    Homosexuality is normal. The phrase "para physin" appears in the original text for this verse. This term is often translated to mean "unnatural;" however, more accurate translation would be unconventional.

    Proof for this can be found in 1 Corinthians 11:14 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to men with long hair (unconventional, not unnatural) and in Romans 11:24 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to the positive action God made to bring together the Jews and Gentiles.

    All in all, homosexuality is obviously not a sin, unless you take passages from the Bible and add your own words or you just try really hard to interpret it that way. Let's just remember Galatians 5:14, where Paul stated, "the whole Law is fulfilled in one Statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

    September 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Shawn, I take it that you are an atheist, or maybe not, but anyhow, following what christian s believe is a bad influence to adopt, or 'believe' in, for none of the law of righteousness can change, or it should not have changed, for in Deuteronomy 4 it specifically states that nothing is to be added, or diminished with this law, and yet the christian s did it anyway, and is also why we are in the wrath of the sword, in Jeremiah 25, and Isaiah 24, all of us on this earth until this day, going away from YHWH, and His law of righteousness. And in Isaiah 56, it teaches us that this law is not just for the chosen Israel, it's for the every nation. I don't care how one tries to change it, they are wrong, and are going against the word of YHWH. YHWH(God), changes not, in Malachi 3:6. All Praise goes to YHWH.

      P.S. and to add, the only son that YHWH has mentioned in this book is in Exodus 4:22,23, as His son, and even His 'firstborn', and it is 'ISRAEL' the chosen people, there cannot be two firstborns. YHWH Bless.

      September 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  9. Bob

    Douglas you are very correct in what you said about the Ambassador and reasons he was sodomized.

    September 15, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Brainless, you haven't a single report from any reliable, mainstream source that any such thing occurred, you nanny-goat.

      September 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Douglas

      Bob,

      Thanks for the shout out.

      Gay coitus is universally condemned by all of the major religions of the world.
      This is because it is in conflict with the laws of God and nature.
      The terrorists who sodomized Ambassador Stevens are truly beyond sick...they are depraved and given over to a reprobate mind.
      In San Francisco, gay men in the Castro (heart of the gay enclave) are now walking around sans clothing.
      They do this right in front of an elementary school...truly a reprobate mind at work.
      Check out the story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

      It is truly disgusting, as is the practice of gay coitus.

      Keep up the good work Bob!

      Yours in Christ,
      Douglas

      September 15, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Douglas

      Here is a link to the filth in San Francisco.

      http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Castro-naked-guys-have-gone-too-far-3867094.php

      September 16, 2012 at 12:27 am |
  10. Bob

    YEAH RIGHT IS THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE SHAWN,JEANNINE,MATTHEW,JP,JOHN,250MINISTERS,DON,ERIK,JS. So if you see these posts please avoid them or look in the past posts thanks. He may take on other personas so please be aware that you are not answering a real person even if you answer a post by him.

    September 15, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You should get psychiatric treatment, Bob. You're obsessed with this topic.

      September 15, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Bob is a well known liar on this blog and a hypocrite, he has posted under several alias on this blog which is why he is accusing others of doing it. He copies and paste from well known hate groups and they aren't based on any real facts of today. Duh!

      September 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  11. mama kindless

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and lets them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago**; and that other things, like god, we really don't know a damn thing about.

    Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Sometimes, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). Sometimes, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!

    Religions are just big old evil clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division along the way (disguised as love).

    So instead of praying to make-believe people, get a good cup of tea and go on and sit down and collect your damn thoughts. My goodness.

    ** (yes, charlatan spam started long before the Bible; what would make you think it hadn't?)

    mama kindless

    September 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  12. Michael

    This one goes out to all you fundamentalist Christians out there. Selah! I may be too narrow addressing this to just the fundamentalists. Many traditional Christians also fit the bill. Really, it’s anyone who believes that homosexuality is a sin, and that somehow God, infinite and eternal creator and sustainer of the very Universe, is ‘against’ a tiny human behavior that harms no one. So, in other words, uneducated and ridiculous people everywhere.

    Officially, the majority of Christian churches say that homosexual behavior is a sin, thus proving that the theologians behind those churches don’t understand their own Bible. There are a whole bunch of goofball laws written down in the Old Testament that everyone ignores. Why is being bigoted toward homosexuals the one people latch onto?

    The various Christian brands go through the Old Testament, picking and choosing the parts they consider cool. No one accepts the whole thing. No one. I mean, when was the last time a cheating spouse was actually put to death in keeping with the commandments of the Bible?

    Using the Old Testament to determine if something is a sin is simply a matter of human and not godly opinion. It’s meaningless and certainly not ‘the word of God’. His teachings aren’t some basket of fruit for you to pick over. You either have to accept the old law in its entirety and start killing lots and lots of people or reject it in its entirety. Hand-picking the stuff you like is bogus, especially when you only pick the stuff that seems to legitimize your meanness to other people.

    So the Old Testament is out.

    Before we all start playing REM’s “Losing My Religion,” consider this denying someone the right to marry is not Christian, and certainly not American.

    The people who are opposed to gay marriage, and by extension, gayness itself have no excuse. They are bigots and bigots alone. They can’t use their special book to justify their hate, even according to the special book itself. They have no one to thank but themselves. They take the Lord’s name in vain and feel righteous about it

    Yes, they take the Lord’s name in vain. Most people believe incorrectly that this commandment is about cussing, but it’s not. It’s about using God for yourself, for your own vain (personal) ends. They hold the Bible in the air and use it like a bitch to bolster their own prejudices and bigotry and hate and that is vanity, all is vanity.

    The teachings of Christ are plain enough: love and forgiveness, tolerance and healing, acceptance and rebellion. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing more needed. Add what you will to it, it still won’t be from the Christ. It will come from your own (black?) heart.

    Jesus Christ is the origin of the word ‘'Christian'’. Perhaps we should pray about that a bit more.

    Today’s Christians tend to be followers, accepting of the notion that religion is just a box built by someone else into which they must stuff their spirit. They are naive and willingly line up like lemmings wherever told. They have a casual ignorance that tells them the Beast will come in the obvious guise of science or secularism or liberality. They cannot conceive of the Father of Lies actually lying to them.

    Sinclair Lewis said that when fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying the cross. When the Beast comes to the world, you can bet your sweet ass he will be thumping the Bible and preaching a hate disguised as love.

    September 14, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Douglas

      Michael says, "So the Old Testament is out."

      Well then, what about all of the prohibitions against gay coitus in the New Testament?

      Best,
      Douglas

      September 14, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • old ben

      Re: "Douglas"'s reply. The only things from the NT are from that idiot Paul, you know, the self-proclaimed "apostle" – the one that's primarily responsible for the bible being so conflicted with itself (and why we have so many forked-tongued xtians). I am seeing now that this "Douglas" is one of the lemmings that doesn't really want to learn anything.

      September 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Michael dear, you know better than that, you can't just exclude the beginning of a book, the NT should fulfill the OT, and according to the OT the book of remembrance, YHWH changes nothing of His law in Malachi 3:6, and in Isaiah 24, YHWH expresses His anger of this change in which He specifically said in Deuteronomy 4 do not add, or diminish nothing from this 'law of righteousness.' So, know we are under the sword, the wrath of YHWH in Jeremiah 25, the whole earth is, and until we all return to the law of YHWH in Malachi 3:7, then we will be a cursed with this so called civilization we're in. This is for all nations as taught in Isaiah 56. As prophesied in Daniel 12, were are running to, and fro with increased knowledge, but blind as a bat, in gross darkness.

      By the way the NT does not fulfill the OT making it obsolete from the truth, for if YHWH says He changes Not in Malachi 3:6, and He says that He does nothing without His prophets in Amos 3:7, and none of this is in the NT, then it is not of YHWH, YHWH did not say it, the King, and the creator of Adam, and Eve, of all life. All praise goes to YHWH.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Lorraine

      Michael Michael, this so called civilization has, and is killing lots, and lots of people only by subtlety, flattering, as prophesied the sword carrier in Genesis 27, would do in Daniel 11:20-45, instigating wars, famine,in difference, hate, prejudice, perversion, greed, etc. etc., wake up son.. YHWH(God) Bless.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  13. YeahRight

    "The terrorists used sodomy as a humiliating insult because in Judaism, Islam and Christianity the act of gay coitus is seen as a filthy, sinful perversion, which it is. "

    No idiiot, it's called rape and has NOTHING to do with the loving long term relationship of a gay couple. Only prejudice bigots like you would equate the two. Duh!

    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."

    September 14, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  14. Melvin

    "A cursory review of scripture reveals a plethora of warnings and cautions regarding participation in
    and acceptance of gay coitus.

    We are working with GLBTQ youth and young adults to help clarify the path to salvation and the pitfalls
    that are ever present when a person backslides into fornicational behavior."

    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.

    September 14, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  15. icon design

    Yes, really. All above told the truth. Let's discuss this question. Here or in PM.

    P.S. Please review our icons for Windows and windows12icons.

    September 14, 2012 at 2:27 am |
  16. Douglas

    Reports coming out of Libya indicate that the late Ambassador Stevens was sodomized, similar to the way Libyan strongman Ghadaffy was, before he was killed. The terrorists used sodomy as a humiliating insult because in Judaism, Islam and Christianity the act of gay coitus is seen as a filthy, sinful perversion, which it is. The terrorists who treated both Ghadaffy and Stevens in this way are sinners for participating in these disgusting perversions.

    In the West we must stand up agianst the evil of gay coitus. The whole world is watching!

    Repent and be saved! Celibacy is the answer for GLBTQ folk!

    September 13, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • YeahRight

      This just proves this posters reading comprehension issues and why they can't even understand the bible, they don't know the difference between rape and being gay. LMAO!

      September 14, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • old ben

      Douglas – you are truly a bigoted tard. Get out of your hole once in a while.

      September 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Douglas, the amount of time you spend thinking about, dreaming about, and discussing gay s3x says quite a lot about your life.

      September 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  17. Douglas

    Gay coitus is inconsistent with Biblical instruction.

    A cursory review of scripture reveals a plethora of warnings and cautions regarding participation in
    and acceptance of gay coitus.

    We are working with GLBTQ youth and young adults to help clarify the path to salvation and the pitfalls
    that are ever present when a person backslides into fornicational behavior.

    As fate would have it, after a thorough review of scripture, GLBTQ youth and young adults find acceptance,
    encouragement and affirmation as they strive toward celibate partnerships.

    Reach out to GLBTQ celibates at your place of worship. There is plenty of room at the foot of the cross
    for sinners to repent.

    Heaven rejoices when a sinner is saved! Support GLBTQ celibates on the road to salvation!

    September 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • YeahRight

      This poster is only a prejudice bigot trying to justify their own hate. The experts have stated 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."

      September 14, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  18. James

    "Romans 1:26-27 is a part of a list of things that are detestable to God. For your convenience, I've have taking the liberty of posting a little before and after Romans 1:26-27 "

    The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

    September 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  19. Les

    Wow, talk about taking verbiage out of context, Romans 1:26-27 is a part of a list of things that are detestable to God. For your convenience, I've have taking the liberty of posting a little before and after Romans 1:26-27 so you may all understand exactly what the bible says with respect to this issue. Everyone who has an opnion on it should read the bible in its entirety before making false comments about what the bible has to say about it. That's what I did. I read it for myself to see how much of what I've heard during my lifetime was biblical or not. John 9:25 – .....I once was blind but now I see.....

    Romans:
    16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
    17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
    18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
    20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
    26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
    28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  20. 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?

    September 12, 2012 at 11:03 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.