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.
It is immoral to impose your religious superstition on others.
You do not believe in religion because you honestly think it is true, you believe in it because you fear mortality or are seeking meaning in your life. It does not take a genius to figure out all religion is man made, so for humanity's sake, please stop lying to yourself.
Deluding yourself in religion does not change reality. Lying to yourself is probably the worst possible way to try to find meaning.
you believe in your religion because your parents did. religion is geographical. if you'd been born in the middle east, you'd be a muslim.
all religions are cults.
Based on what moral standard? All of these "moral" and "ethical" standards are arbitrary.
At least we believe in something. Sadly you believe in nothing...how's that working out? Keep bowing to your EGO see what ya get.
All knees will bow, like it or not
The Final Judgment
11 And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. 12 I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave[g] gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. 14 Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. 15 And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.
What a disgusting god?!?!?!? YUCK!!! No thanks.
yep, the "benevolent" god is going to murder almost everyone on earth at the end of the world. niiiiiiice!
Anyone in hell put themselves there. "For God so loved the world, that He gave us His only begotten Son (Jesus), That whoever believes in Him, shall not perish (will not go to hell), but will have eternal life ( in heaven)." Everyone has the choice where they will go and will be there according to their own choice.
You hate the LORD and His love for you.
You'll get your heart's desire. You'll be completely free from Him and His love and mercy, when you die.
Or, change your mind (repent).
I don't hate god for the same reason you no longer "like" Santa.. He doesn't exist
Oh, and whatever retard said that we put ourselves in hell, who cares.. God should never have made the place to begin with..
But what about the Mayans and the Aztecs and the Native Americans? Do they go to hell for not believing even though they are on the other side of the world when this was happening?
The bible is entirely null & void as it should be in our laws, customs and principles of this country. It was not written by God because you see, magic men up in the clouds are not authors able to put pen to paper. It was written by man in a time when there were too many questions and no answers; written by man to control you and you and you and the perversion of these religious into a psycho-frenzy is what keeps us back as a species. Good riddance, religious nutjobs!
Yeah. Now we have smart guys like you to tell us what's what. Big improvement...
throwing the bible away would be a GREAT improvement.
Fields if you could prove your god or the bible was anything more than fairy tale you'd be world-famous.. You believe in magic and spells and spo.oks and demons.. LOL!@!!!!~
JR did you forget YOUR meds today? The bible was written down due to fear, however the words were inspired. God doesn't claim authorship.
How do you have all this wonderful insight? Let me set the record straight. Just because you could not see all the galaxies out there before the Hubble telescope photographed them doesn't mean they didn't exist. Just because you don't see God, doesn't mean He doesn't exist. His Holy Spirit told men close to God exactly what to write down, and God claims that the Bible is His own word to mankind. It is truth revealed to men, because men don't know everything. That is why God explains things and reveals Himself and His love through the Bible.
The only liberal article I've seen that even comes close to accurately and fairly describing the common Christian position on this was on the NPR site. CNN's religion dept. chooses opinion writers who are way outside the most accepted Christian teaching and presents them as common.
guess you missed the articles about priests molesting children. that's real. that's true.
Bootyfunk those priests were gay. Oh but CNN won't tell you that.
CNN thinks it knows more about Christianity than the Pope.
being g.ay has nothing to do with pedophilia. get an education. if a man molests a little girl, does that mean being straight is evil?
Just like you missed that this has nothing to do with priests and children. Go to the article on that.
Within almost any subgroup, you have outliers. CNN presents the outliers as normal and common.
If the abused victims were almost exclusively boys then the perpetrators were sick and gay. The media wants to frame it as purely pedophilia even if the victims were mostly in their teens, we're not talking about 5 year olds. Nice try.
Sounds like the author is twisting and manipulating interpretations of the bible to fit his beliefs. We should love one another no matter what their beliefs but you are wrong if you don't think being gay is a sin. It is all over the bible as you have quoted above and pretty clearly wrong in God's eyes. Bottom line is we all sin and should repent from our sins. The hate for either side is a sin as well. The media plays on this hate and actually needs this hate to sell papers. Stop the hate and feeding the media.
How many eyes does your God have? Mine has like twenty! On tentacles!
For some reason my post did not take, but I said much the same.
God: Accept my son as savior and you will live and rule with me for eternity.
Mafia Don: Sign this contract you cannot refuse and you will never want for money and nobody will mess with you.
God: Reject my son and you go to Hell.
Mafia Don: Reject this contract and you end up in the bottom of the river in concrete shoes.
Which one is extortion?
All Hail the FSM!
@sybaris: Your life will be reviewed by God on judgment Day, and you will be punished only for the wrongs you have done. If you have not ever done anything wrong, you will not be punished. But if you have, you will pay the consequences of what you have chosen to do in your life. Of course everyone has done wrong, so God in His mercy and loves says that you may be acquitted by just believing in Jesus, who has already paid for your sins. If you decide not to take the acquittal and complete forgiveness of your sins, then you will go on ahead and pay for them in hell. So you have already earned condemnation. There is no extortion. There is only the offer to you of complete forgiveness. If you don't take it, well then, you are a fool. Hell is a burning fiery furnace, and is eternal, and you feel the excruciating pain that will never stop. The thing is, why don't people just accept God's offer of complete acquittal?? That is an extreme mystery to me.
Jesus is Lord,
There are far more Christian ADULTERERS who divorce and remarry and live in sin.
Why don't you care about the MUCH BIGGER problem?
jesus never existed.
Your Jesus guy was just an Essene priest with a savior complex. The David Koresh of his day, nothing more.
@ Observer – excellent point... and yet, that's kind of like saying to a kid: "you shouldn't play with knives. but it's ok to run with scissors since they're less common than knives."
Russ western society keeps men from having multi wives that would solve problem because they would try to outlast each other.
Well said by Shadowcandy below. How does other people's marriage (gay or otherwise) impacts your own marriage? What about all the adultery or divorce committed by so called Christians? what does marriage mean to them?
<– Christian here: Let the gays marry.
1. We are not called by Jesus to condem anyone, thats big daddy's job.
2. Love thy neighbor as thyself (speaks for itself)
3. Letting them marry won't have any affect on our lives whatsoever!
4. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. One day, I'm sure, we'll want some right and we'll probally turn to Gays for support (karma works like that)
Let them marry, love them because they are human even though we don't agree with them, and live our lives as Americans!
God day and God bless you all.
Jesus is so dissapointed with this nation right now...
An omniscient being is disappointed?
That doesn't even make sense......................... and neither does your belief in fairy tales.
jesus would be angry that we let the slaves go:
37 "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.
38 "Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.”
If suicide is a sin, and god allowed himself, in the form of his 'son' (how pedophilic and gay is that?) to die, isn't that a form of suicide? He could have saved himself in the blink of an eye, but chose not to.
I disagree. He knew the end of us before he formed space/time. He's spelled virtually everything out for us in exquisite detail, in the bible.
If you expect (He knows, He doesn't "expect", but it'll work for this argument's sake) again...if you expect people to do certain things and they do precisely those things, you're not really disapointed, are you?
I disagree. He knew the end of every one of us before He formed space/time. He's spelled virtually everything out for us in exquisite detail, in the bible.
These things must come to pass just as the Lord Jesus told us. The Father is preparing the earth and His enemies to be His footstool. Then He shall inherit His kingdom. They that mock Him are the ones who are living in a fairy tale.
I feel utter sorrow for my Father for what His creation has done to Him and the situation He is in. Imagine if you were a parent of two children, and one turned away from you and threatened the life of the other. Then you were placed in a situation where you would have to make a decision whether to take the life of the wayward child to save the devoted child -or- lose both of them. What would you do? Look at things from His perspective and not our own. Surely you have heard it spoken: Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”. My Father truly feels, and He is not a god without feelings. If I am saddened for the lives and souls of strangers that I do not know, then how much greater is His sadness at having to execute His judgment on all of His creation. I cry for Him, my Father and my Creator, much more than I cry for us, His creation! How selfish we are to not consider His feelings for He created us in His loving-kindness and pleasure. All He wanted us to do was to love Him and follow His wise counsel. We would not be nor would we have without Him who created us. For we, His creation, truly are lovers of self. Please Father forgive Your creation and have mercy on us! Why has the creation forsaken the Father and put Him in this situation? Has He not been a good Father full of grace, mercy, and loving-kindness to all? Surely you have heard it spoken: “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Yes I cry for my Father for He has emotions and gets no joy out of doing WHAT HE IS ABOUT TO DO but He must for He is a just god and will protect His devoted children.
This is the heart cry of every child of God who knows and loves his/her Father.
Blessings and peace to you, dear brother!
The Scripture explicitly says that when a man lies with a man as he would a woman, it is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Romans 1:27. The Bible, the inspired Word of God, does not mention the opinion of the author of this article. The Word of God says it, that settles it.
We all can choose to disagree with whatever we want to in His Word, and not to obey. No matter what we do, the only thing that will spare us His judgement is to repent and accept Christ as Savior.
It is in the pit of my heart that I hope and pray you all receive Him. May He bless you all. In His Love, Juanito
What it says doesn't make it a valid basis for passing discriminating laws in the US. You are stupid.
Wearing clothing made of two different fibers is an abomination, too. Check the label in your shirt, sinner!
Did you read this article at all? The author specifically addresses the scriptures which you mention in their historical context and compares the use of language in these passages to other parts of the Bible in which words of condemnation are used.
we gots a few problems goin on here.
#1. who wrote the 'bible'?
#2. is the original author the same as the ending author?
#3. did the concluding author have permission to take over where the initiating author ended?
#4. does the concluding author concur or conflict with the initiating author?
#5. have the authors ever met face to face?
#6. If the concluding author contradicts the initiating author, on what legal basis are such contradictions legitimised?
#7. Did the initiating author at any time conclude his work and refute any subsequent changes?
#8. Does the subsequent author- who concludes the work have permission from the initiating author?
#9. What permits the initiating author to undertake writing the 'bible'?
#10. Does the subsequent 'author' have equal or senior permission to conclude this body of work.
Once you have the answers to these questions, then you've got a basis upon which to place arguments.
The Word of God has been here longer than you or I have been here, and it will be here long after we are gone from this life. God and His Word do not need a simple man like myself to defend Him. He Is, always was, and will always be.
The answer to all your questions is better found in a question to you:
What is it that you are truly looking for?
I will be bold to say that your mind is restless because your questions are so well-thought out, and you want conviction.
If God revealed Himself to you, would you then believe in it all: everything, including the Resurrection of Christ, and the eternal damnation we face if we do not accept Him?
He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.
Explain that to your god.
sin = fun
@ bootyfunk: both sides of this debate believe pedophilia is a sin. do you call that fun?
wrong. pedophilia is evil, terrible and disgusting, but not a sin. there is no such thing as sin.
@ bootyfunk: so in your mind
"sin = fun"
"sin doesn't exist"
...so fun doesn't exist?
God will forgive us for the stones we cast.
boy, you don't understand a joke, do you?
sin = fun is a joke because there is no such thing as sin.
@ bootyfunk: oh, i got your joke – but I don't think you got mine.
calling something terrible when there's "no such thing as sin"... you & Deepak Chopra should hang out.
I'm listening to Phish's cover of Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name." Pretty interesting.
when peoples confused and start talking about ridiculous things, i.e. it is the sign of the end of the world!
What this author lists as the sins of Sodom sound just like the Republican party platform.
"We are all God's Children"
No, we all ARE NOT God's children!
The Word of God is clear about that.
We all are His creation. But we're not all His children. Those who through the love of the world, and pride in their hearts reject Him, and His Word, which is Christ Jesus, the LIVING WORD OF GOD, are NOT His children, but of THEIR father, the Devil.
Search the Scriptures, and see for yourself, because you have a wrong view of God, His nature and His character. The God you talk about is NOT the Father of Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit bears witness only to TRUE CHRIST, not one made up by likings and imaginations of men.
Stop listening to lying spirits and wolves in sheep clothing. Pray that God would open your eyes so you"ll have discernment of His Spirit. And He will give to you, IF your heart is totally sincere. But you'll never hear from Him with hiding your own motives in your heart. You will hear false shepherd, because he attaches himself to those in which he finds something of "himself"./ Then he establishes his fortress in their mind, and leads them into damnable heresy....You need to understand the danger of wrong motives, and where they'll lead you. It all comes down to this, what is in one's heart. The Word of God always exposes what is in human heart!
no such thing as god. next.
The Bible supports slavery and discrimination against women and discrimination against the handicapped.
It's no surprise it supports discrimination against gays.
Keep supporting it.
WHAT A NUT JOB
Yes, very good Prism 1234.
There are many people confused on that issue. I know several people who mistakenly believed that for the longest time. Fortunately, they came to understand what a child of God means and what is involved. And as you said, unbelievers are 'creations', not children of God. Big, big difference.
I think the author is a whole lot smarter. You just use Christianity as a mask for your own hatreds and evil intentions. You only fool yourself, not God.
1 John 3:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.
SO I guess we all FAMILY...GROUP HUG :)
Quote from above..." the imposition of personal beliefs on the whole pluralistic society"...I couldn't have said it better, that is exactly what the LGBT community is doing.
Bootyfunk you can't prove that god does not exist that must really frustrate you.
Ron, I think you may actually be reta.rded. How are gays forcing you to be gay or to have a gay marriage of your own? Idiot.
Ron, you accuse the LGBT community of trying to impose their beliefs on the churches. So what are you trying to do if not trying to impose your church's beliefs on the rest of us. Separation of church and state works both ways! Besides if your church does not want to recognize gay marriage, that's fine. We are not asking you to. The Catholic Church does not recognize the marriage of two divorced persons, but the state does–and that's what counts when it time for Social Security benefits, inheritance, hospital visitation rights, etc.. Not whether a church recognized the marriage, but whether the state does. Gay marriage should be the same way.
Think for a second about your position. Straights have a choice to marry or not. Gays don't have a choice to marry. Therefore if gays can marry, they are imposing marriage on straights, who already have that choice? The imposition comes from not having the choice, clearly.
If gays decided that straights couldn't marry, or marry only gays, then they would be imposing something. Clearly, that's not the case. Limited choice is limited freedom. Would your choice be affected by the freedom of others? No, only the lack of choice is an imposition.
Thanks for your comment. A good discussion, that freedom of speech (saying what you choose to) allows...
Thanks for clearing that up. It still has no place in our government. When churches start paying taxes and become people, like corporations, then they can have a voice.
Until then; Keep your church out of our government and we'll keep our government out of your church.
Corporations are people?
According to the Supreme Court and Mitt Romney they are.
Thing is deary, faithful don't need to find a voice in the 'world' and liken ourselves to 'corporations'. Our voices are already found ~ in the Kingdom of God.
then go THERE already dammit. Go and voice your opinion in Gods Kingdom.
Whether the bible is the word of god or man, it has served to bring some order to society and provide a moral and legal basis of civilization. Who ever provided the text is not important, however it's role in bringing rules to the human race, has probably saved mankind over and over again. The problem is that throughout history POLITICIANS have used their own interpretation of the words to suit their own needs. How quickly generations forget history, anyone remember Adolfo Hitler? Whether the bible condemns or condones gays really should not matter in a country that separates Church from State. But what we do know from the Bible is that gays were around when it was written and they are here today. During this election period, stop gay bashing. People who have religious hang ups keep them to yourselves, no one is interfering with your beliefs. Gay people don't impose your lifestyle on the rest of us and let's focus on the issues that effect the majority, and everyone reflect on history.
"however it's role in bringing rules to the human race, has probably saved mankind over and over again."
yeah, tell that to the victims of the crusades, witch burnings, inquisition, etc. and btw, hitler was a christian.
Agreed.. Gay people won't impose on the rest of us, so we can still get married; and we straight people won't impose on the gays, so that they can get married like we can.. Fair all around–nobody imposing on anyone.
seriously, the bible says to kill g.ays, non-virgin brides, disobedient children and people that work on the weekend. and you call that a "good" code to live by? anyone that actually followed the bible would be a serial killer/mass murderer.
Yeah, because all those pre-biblical societies had no rules whatsoever. Which is why they all murdered each other, eliminating humanity and we're really not here. Oh yeah, and all those remote societies in forests and deserts around the world that never heard of the bible are completely out-of-hand, too.
Actually, as soon as like-like marriages are legalized on the federal level, I am going to spread my eggs all over the Northeast! Watch out, Hoboken!
I believe in a higher power and gay was not part of the Devine plan when man was created "in our image" keyword our man and woman anything else is like screwing a dog
Gays, don't bother me until they get what normal people (What normal today?) dn't get! My son & his girl friend live together and can't be insured on her policy! Why? If your gay you can be put on your friends policy! I don't have a problem with gays but being equal is being equal? Get everybody on the same page and there wouldn't be this much trouble.
Over 2 million people are murdered in the bible and you think it was a good way to bring morality to society? Quiz how many people are killed in the Koran?.........4!
Tom it is called Domestic Partnership and my girlfriend uses it to get on my insurance. Stop whining and do some research instead.
Until I see Newt Gingrich ( Adulterer) or any other hypocrite being stoned in the middle of the town square I don't want to hear it Christians.
I would beat off to that.
Newt Gingrich has forsaken his sins. Gay people are living in sin.
I believe in the natural.gay ain't the way
jesus hung out with 12 dudes, no girlfriends. jesus was g.ay.
America is a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. The day I see gay people fully accepted in America is the day I know we are well on our way to the erosion of our freedoms and everything else that we hold dear. God bless this nation and bring it back to Christ the Savior who founded it!
Since Chiristians follow the bible, and the bible was based off of the Code of Hammurabi, as well as egyptian and pagan mythologies, then I guess we're a Hammurabi-Egypto-Pagan nation. Get it right!
Don't worry, Harry. Our new gay Army and Navy will protect us.
Hammurabi was from Babylon, mon.
Hahaha fields, gays have been in the military for centuries. Are you afraid that they dont have to hide who they are anymore?
Fields, it's not a "new" gay army. Gays have been in the military as long as there have been armies. We're just finally acknowledging them as the equals that they are.
Christ did not "find" America. Columbus did. Idiot.
Actually the Land was already found by Natives.
yes and bring back the slaves to sell like cattle, the take away the woman right to vote and to have a voice, and don't forget the kill off all the remaining native Indians you didn't get to kill the first time around. YA FOUNDING FOR-FATHERS! CHRISTIAN MORALS!!
Sit DOWN and SHUT UP
I practice my religion all the time. I never pull out.
Sometimes it's fun to be artistic
What is the benefit of "pulling out" of your own hand?
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.