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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 (8,832 Responses)
  1. Joe Sixpack

    Blah, blah, blah, burning bush, floods, locusts, walk on water... whatever. A bunch of fables plagiarized from other dead religions.

    May 16, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  2. J.R.

    Notice Paul never said girl on girl action was an abomination.

    May 16, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  3. TJ Weber

    I'm not saying the religion should be the deciding factor on government issues. But please don't misrepresent the bible by not including the full verses. If you read Romans 1:25-28, it provides some context. Not to mention the author conveniently left out part of verse 27. The last sentence reads: "Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error." (NIV). This does imply some sort of "disapproval" or "unethical" behavior. This is more apparent in the New Living version.

    Once again, not saying this needs to dicate public policy ... but let's not misrepresent the bible for the sake of one side or the other.

    May 16, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Hawk

      You may say that it doesn't need to be the deciding factor – but I say that it doesn't even warrant consideration! Civil law, the law under which our government runs, should NOT be based on or beholden to ANY religion. If you want to believe something, fine. Believe in it and operate your church according to those rules. But keep those rules within your own life/church. Don't use them to dictate how others may act. Their beliefs may not agree with yours.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • JE

      The Bible says we have all fallen short of the glory of God.

      9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

      13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
      14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

      May 16, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • LinCA

      @TJ Weber

      You said, "I'm not saying the religion should be the deciding factor on government issues."
      I am stating, unequivocally, that the bible should be absolutely no factor in deciding government issues. Unless you are willing to accept interpretations of other "holy" books to be a factor in deciding government issues, I suggest you keep your to yourself.

      You said, "But please don't misrepresent the bible by not including the full verses. If you read ... blah, blah, blah .... does imply some sort of "disapproval" or "unethical" behavior. This is more apparent in the New Living version."
      You just pick your favorite interpretation, of your favorite version. Nothing new here.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  4. Kenrick Benjamin

    My Take- It is a scientific fact that God exist and his laws Govern all, whether you follow them or not.

    May 16, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Hawk

      It is?? Just what science are you basing this on? I have yet to see actual scientific facts that prove the existence of any god – so please provide me with the details. Oh, and please provide me with evidence that this god is the Christian god, and not, say, an Egyptian god, or one from the Norse pantheon.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • wolvver

      Woe unto you, nonbeliever Kenrick! It is not just scientific but demonstratable fact that Kryptx the Golden Unicorn created the universe and governs all! Thou riskest eternal damnation by following your pagan beliefs! Repent and worship Kryptx!

      May 16, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Satan

      Your a idiot. Scientific fact, no god.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • WhatNext

      Which God??? Who's God. A christian God or a Muslim God? Is there more than one God. How many people believe in what God? Why are there so many different religions? Why are there so many Christian factions? Who is right, YOU and nobody else? Where is the "fact" supported in evidence for any God?

      May 16, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • CosmicC

      The FSM has long supplanted the Golden Unicorn, wrapping his horn in golden strands of pasta. Ramen!

      May 16, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Hawk, Wolvver, Satan and What Next- The scientific evidience is everywhere, don't blame me if you are lacking in your Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Yep

      Ken, point out the scientific evidence instead of just claiming it's everywhere.

      Have you ever read "Stranger in a Strange Land"? It's got an interesting concept of a Fair Witness. Imagine a house off in the distance, and you can see a wall that is green. When asked what color the house is, you say green. A Fair Witness will say the side of the house that I can see is green. I know it won't make any difference to you but claiming that the existence of people is a proof of the existence of god, for example, would not quite fly with Fair Witnesses. Nor does it fly with any accepted variation of the words evidence or Science.

      May 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      Yep- I said everywhere because God created everything including absolute-nothing. How was this done, God was not created, he Came to be. All of science know that energy is neither created or distroyed, so in order to get absolute-nothing it has to be created. Now if God created Energy by way of it's properities (Motion, Heat and Light) and everything is created of Energy. God is LOVE and LIGHT do i need to say any more

      May 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  5. Slingblade

    What does the bible say about priests messing around with little boys?

    May 16, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • LarryB

      Apparently the Catholics have their own version that says there's nothing wrong with this, as long as the priest doesn't get caught.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Paul J

      It is a greater sin, causing many turn from God. I don't have the reference verse but I remember reading it before.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  6. Bob

    There are literally dozens of comments here suggesting that the traditional family needs to be "protected" from "destruction". Let me tell you people something; my marriage (which is traditional and includes two beautiful children) does not need to be "protected." Why? Because we aren't threatened by this, that's why.

    May 16, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • CosmicC

      I find that my marriage has been greatly diminished by this debate. Our gay and lesbian friends are unable to share our condition (happy or otherwise). This places us in unequal standing with them. This power divide makes every conversation, every meeting, every aspect of our friendship an incomplete one because of this wall of inequality and inequity. What gives those of narrow minds the right to divide those who would take the civilized path of uniting?

      May 16, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  7. can't all get along?

    I'm not gay and i'm from a very religious family, but honestly in a country where church and state are separated your only argument against why someone shouldn't be given the legal right to do something can't be your religion, for example, Jesus says turn the other cheek, so it's safe to say that after 9/11 Jesus would def not support invading countries looking for revenge. separation exist because often , religion will contradict with the way society works, honestly, if you believe that it is a sin, let God do the judging, last i Remember, Jesus said love your neighbor like yourself, that sure as heck doesn't fall under the horrible things i see christian say to gays. This is the downside of democracy, since majority rules, majority can vote & take the right of minorities.

    May 16, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • samuraikatana1

      What you say would be the ideal situation in a perfect world. I'm not saying that to be ugly or hateful, but I am being realistic. Religion is woven too deeply into our society, this argument is tied to the very base ways we live our lives. And as such, this is reflected in our government and our laws. This argument is not going away, it will continue to persist until one side wins. This is not a topic where we can "all get along", never has been and never will be. When you grant one group of people in this country the right to marry, but at the same time deny it to others based on religious beliefs, it's not like you can come to a compromise.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  8. BOBBY

    This article, this blog...all the counradicting arguments an dissagreements on one book prove once again that THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN BY MAN, and thus reflects all our imperfections in its lack of clerity. If the Bible were devinely inspired its meaning would be clear, irrefutable and understood universally as the truth BY ALL, ending 99% of the reasons we kill eachother on this planet.

    May 16, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • CdrDave

      Interesting, but there is a huge falsehood in your statement. If it was written by MAN and not divine inspiration, HOW could it be 100% accurate over 1000's of years with prophecy??? TODAY, the world conditions spoken of thousands of years ago (describing the end times generation) is in effect in amazing detail. ISRAEL is alive as a nation again an in her homeland as of May 14, 1948 (since A.D. 70). That alone is amazing!!! They also have J erusalem and it is definitely a 'burdensome stone' that has the whole world riled against her. Russia and I ran (Persia), which most scholars recognize make up "Gog and Magog" are allied / friends today and share a common hatred of I srael. I ran (Persia) has used the actual language of "wiping I srael off the map!" The E.U. (soon to be revived R oman Empire) is regathered and on the brink of financial collapse, which will have world-wide repercussions and almost demand a one-world currency. The U.S. is imploding by the second thanks to turning her back on her foundation (yes, in spite of our atheistic re-write of history) of C hris tianity, Travel and knowledge have advanced more in the last 50 years than in 1000's of years. There has never such a world-wide state of lies, deception, and immorality (advanced by instant world-wide communication and multimedia/tv/movies.) Natural disasters are most definitely on the increase in frequency and intensity. The list goes on and on and on and on. ALL of these were foretold to happen in the FINAL generation of mankind over 2000 years ago by G od as divinely inspired in his word, the B ible. Yes, it takes an amazing amount of faith to be an atheist (meaning non-C hristian.) There is only one G od, his name is J es us, and He has more than proven that to *anyone* who actually wants to know the truth. G od bless.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  9. Aaron

    Totally ignored 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – where is says that "Neither Fornicators, adulterers, idolaters, men kept for unnatural purposes, men who lie with men, thieves, greedy persons, drunkards, reilers and extortioners with inherit God's Kingdom."

    How does one explain that? Especially a "so called" man of God?

    May 16, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • wolvver

      Woe unto the reilers!

      May 16, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • momoya

      I'm not sure Aaron.. Do you follow all of your god's commandments?? Do you beat your slaves the right amount?? Do you kill people who work on the Sabbath?? Do you stone to death children who disobey??

      Or are you picking and choosing which verses of the bible to follow exactly like the person you judge?

      May 16, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Madtown

      Which of the many versions was that taken from? What about the fact that many of the versions say different things entirely, when comparing individual lines of scripture? Further, what about the FACT that it was all written by human beings anyway, and edited to say what they wanted it to say?

      May 16, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • larvadog

      Aaron – you do realize that you're reading a *translation*, right? And you're applying today's English language to the passage, with 21st century understanding. Did you even read the article? What part of "written in Greek 2,000 years ago" do you not understand?

      May 16, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Bob

      "Drunkards". Hmmm... guess a bunch of Catholic priests are gonna go downstairs instead of upstairs.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • JE

      Romans 1-2

      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%201-2&version=NIV

      2 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

      May 16, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • YeahRight

      That's because in the original Greek it was talking about male prostitution and NOT what we now know and understand about gays today. It's been shown that bias and prejudice scribes mistranslated that part of scripture.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • YeahRight

      Just for fun this is the KJV

      9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

      10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

      11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

      Don't you just love all the different translations.

      fornicator is defined as to have sex with someone who you are not married to – which is why when a gay couple gets married before your god, they do not sin and this scripture doesn't apply to them. ;-)

      May 16, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Ty

      Ah, but all those "sinners" listed in that verse can still get married...

      May 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  10. rjrock

    Bravo Professor Helminiak, Bravo.

    May 16, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  11. David

    "If a man also lies with a man, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." Leviticus 20:13. Admittedly, this is before the new covenant brought by Christ, but in the Bible nevertheless.

    May 16, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • James PDX

      Thou shalt not kill is also in there, yet God killed every single man, woman and child in Sodom and Gomorrah, which means he also aborted every single fetus in two large cities.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • momoya

      Bible god broke all of his own commandments and is the worst moral character in the entire bible.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Oz in OK

      Can you even quote any other verse in Leviticus? No of course not – all those laws that demand YOU be put to death for all the things you do – like eating shellfish, wearing clothing of mixed fabrics, planting different crops next to each other (Farmville, anyone) you'll just spin as 'not for today' or 'taken out of context'. In other words, you'll use gay-bashing verse because it doesn't affect you. Any verse that DOES affect you will just be ignored.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Madtown

      but in the Bible nevertheless
      ---–
      True, it's in the bible. Meaning, they are words written by men. The word of man.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Angel

      The new convenant did not change the law. It wrote the law upon the hearts of those who believe in Jesus Christ.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  12. Joel Peters

    I am not now or ever will persecute a person for his or her belief that is their own business but stay out of my bedroom, my government, and my belief system. Do not force your rules on me if you have such a wonderful christian life show me! I should see you dancing in the streets with joy because according to the bible YOU WIN! That's what the book of revelations says. You guys get the whole enchilada us non-believers will all be in hell and you guys will be in heaven enjoying our eternal torment. That in itself should bring a smile of satisfaction. Your christian life should be a beacon for the rest of us that draws us toward christianity. Your peace of mind, your success in life, your happy families, your joyful outlook on life,your acceptance and tolerance and above all your unconditional love for all

    May 16, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Wow

      Joel,

      This response is MUCH better than your last one was.

      Christians are not wanting to bother you in your bedroom and no matter what law is in place you will do as you wish not only in your bedroom but anything outside it as well. We have laws against murder but people do it EVERY day. It is not the law itself that stops the person it is the consiquenses that make that person think twice before committing what ever they do. For the law it may be life in prison or the death penalty. For Christians it may mean our salvation. So we are not telling you what to do but only proclaiming the gospil for the hope that others will turn to Jesus for their salvation.

      As for winning in the end, well I am already a winner now in my walk with God. I win here on earth and I win after I pass away to meet my Lord. You too have the choice to do the same. You may think being Gay is hard well being a Christian is no easy task.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Primewonk

      " Christians are not wanting to bother you in your bedroom... So we are not telling you what to do but only proclaiming the gospil"

      So why pass all these laws and amendments to legislate discrimination against gay folks? You fundiots ARE telling gays they cannot marry. And in several states now, you have gone so far as to say they can't have civil unions. Did you happen to catch what the first word in "civil union" is? It's CIVIL – nothing to do with a religious marriage at all. Yet the ignorant fundiots hate gay folks so much, they go to this extreme to discriminate against them. Why is this?

      May 16, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  13. A Serpent's Thought

    To the diddies a widdle,

    People of sodomy, the fruits within, are said to be unable to be "normal" and in such abnormalness, sodomites tend to do what is their abnormal desires in abnormally viewed by others Tv eyeing controversialisms! Too much abnormalities can cause the societal constructs' normality rates to become lowered or raised depending upon one's figurative choices and/or flexible stance! Being normal in a societal construct of many abnormalisms will ever have abnormality ratios in conjugating performances outside the normal barriers' ever-changing-perceivements! Hate sodomy and try to love the sodomites but in a brotherly/sisterly way! Remember well how the very young want to mimick those who their lives are touched/impressed by!

    May 16, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • wolvver

      You're making progress with your ESL lessons. Still very difficult to understand what you are saying but a great improvement.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Oz in OK

      'Normality rates'? Seriously? *snicker*

      May 16, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • James PDX

      God didn't love the sodomintes. He murdered them along with all of their children and aborted all of their fetuses. How can a perfect being hold Imperfect beings to a higher standard?

      May 16, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Primewonk

      Sodomy is simply non-pènile/vàginal sèx. The gender and orientation of the participants is irrelevant. 50% of us straights have had anàl sèx. 80% of us straights have oral sèx. Looks like the overwhelming majority of you christians are "sodomites".

      May 16, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  14. sabrina

    in the beginning got created adam from adam's rib he created eve for adam to have a mate not a tom or dick or harry get it

    May 16, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Oz in OK

      Oh yeah – Gay Marriage is WRONG but populating the world through incest is A-OK. /eyeroll

      May 16, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • James PDX

      If Eve was createdfrom Adam's rib, then they were genetically identical. That means that twin siblings were procreating in Eden. Which makes it less surprising that Noah's family restarted the entire human race through incest.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • LinCA

      ... and because they were genetically identical, they must both have been of the same sex. The christian god populated the world through homosexual sex.

      I wonder how modern man lost that ability.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  15. wolvver

    What about the far more important question – what does the High Council of Unicorns say about gay marriage?

    May 16, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  16. THE TRUTH

    HE FORGOT ONE SCRIPTURE!!

    Leviticus 20:13
    King James Version (KJV)
    13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    SURELY PUT TO DEATH!!!!!!!

    May 16, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • puckles

      He would find some way to reinterpret the word "death."

      May 16, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • YeahRight

      "13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

      Leviticus isn't followed by Christians today, it's part of the Holiness Code. So are you also going to uses Lev to enforce that a woman has to marry her rapist? Or how about you are not allowed to eat shellfish, etc.. etc.. Nice job cherry picking the bible. So now I'll play your game. Here is a list of other abominations in the bible so lets block the civil rights of all the people that commit this abominations: Unclean things (Lev. 7:21) ; Cheating (Mic. 6:10) ; A proud look (Pro. 6:16-17) ; A lying tongue (Pro. 6:17; 12:22) ; Hands that shed innocent blood ((Pro. 6:17) ; A wicked scheming heart (Pro. 6:18) ; A false witness that speaks lies (Pro. 6:19) ; A sower of discord (Pro. 6:19) ; A false balance or scale (Pro. 11:1) ; The proud of heart (Pro. 16:5) ; Justifying the wicked (Pro. 17:15) ; Condemning the just (Pro. 17:15) ; Refusing to hear the law (Pro. 28:9) ; Wearing clothes of the opposite sex (Dt. 22:5) Re-marriage of former companions (Dt. 24:1-4) ; Cheating others (Dt. 25:13-16) ; Making images/idols (Dt. 27:15) ; Eating unclean things (Isa. 66:17) ; Robbery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Murder (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Adultery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Oppression of others, particularly the poor or vulnerable (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Violence (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Breaking vows (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lending with interest to a brother (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lying with a menstruous woman (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

      Now if you look at the list you will realize the lame definition they have for the word abomination. LOL!

      May 16, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Oz in OK

      Killing Gays for Jesus? Yeah, *that* is 'Christian love', right? Oh, and how many other 'abominations' does Leviticus list as being worthy of death? Do you even know any other verses in Leviticus? Of course not – any verse that affects YOUR rights you'll just spin as 'being out of context'. Hypocrite.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Missing the big Picture

      Yes, but then again if you had a Cheeseburger, or were a woman and wore pants you should also be stoned. If being able to overcome Sin was attainable then why would Jesus need to die? Overcoming sin in of itself is not attainable in the flesh, to be absent from the Body is the be one with the Lord.

      2 Cor 5: 6-8
      6Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord

      May 16, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Madtown

      HE FORGOT ONE SCRIPTURE!!
      ----
      Ah yes, the poetic word of man. Kill all those who are different than we are. Sounds like human reasoning to me!

      May 16, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  17. Nii

    I thought child molesting priests were the only gays who deserved to be jailed!

    May 16, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • YeahRight

      "I thought child molesting priests were the only gays who deserved to be jailed!"

      You're clueless on this subject aren't you. Gays are not pedophiles, DUH! They are two separate things. What a moron.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Satan

      Pedophiles are not g ay.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Really?

      Pedophile does not equal Gay, just so you know.

      May 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  18. Heath

    I think ONE problem is that most so-called "Christians" use their "faith" as a vehicle for prejudice, ignorance and hatred disguised in a most cowardly fashion as "God's Will". The author here posts VERY VALID and fairly matter-of-fact, plus he does point out that Jewish and Christian "rules" also are different and in some cases not even "interchangeable"...soooo....the point here is that if you believe ANYTHING you are taught about God's M.O., you will keep in mind that He speaks to EVERYONE differently, and this man's views (as well as yours, mine, anyone's) are just as feasible and sound as those of anyone else. Not utilizing your free will to find your own path of reasoning that which NONE of us TRULY understand dishonors God and His gifts to you. So use your brain, and accept that we all have differing interpretations and relationships with God, and that you are no more "right" than he in the grand scheme. Truth is, we won't know till the end, and those who have wrongfully accused, punished and ostracized others in God's name will have to answer for that. So instead of making decisions for God based on your own preferences, do like the author did here and look at the undeniable FACTS, which in this case those facts represent very clear (or purposely dismissive) simple issues of INTERPRETATION of what's written in the ever-changing (somehow, which I don't understand) "good book", and how people have came to their own conclusions about what they represent when in fact, just like Jesus' teachings (aka: the whole point of it ALL, which most "Christians" sorely LACK), it's all pretty simple, straightforward and not really needing further personal interpretation. When one's PERSONAL opinions cloud that original message, you mock God, and you disgrace your faith in general. Everyone's viewpoint is valid, and truth is no one REALLY "knows" except God and possibly those who've moved on. Accept that you know nothing to achieve the wisdom that God wants you to eventually obtain. Ignorance is shameful, to God and for you.

    May 16, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  19. Dave

    For those against gay marriage, please tell me what law of God are they breaking:

    And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

    1) You shall have no other gods before me.

    2) You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

    3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

    4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

    5) Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

    6) You shall not murder.

    7) You shall not commit adultery.

    8) You shall not steal.

    9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

    10) You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

    Seems to me that God never said that gay marriage was against his wishes or laws. So why should you be?

    May 16, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Minh Tran

      According to the first chapter of the bible, God did not even know about gay, dinosaur or virus.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • sweebach

      yes, and if you are going to Leviticus for more law, then you also have to accept Leviticus 19:19 "Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material." . . . so anti-gay folks also need to break out their protest signs in front of the clothing store because of the cotton blends they carry

      May 16, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Oz in OK

      Sadly, there are plenty of 'Christians' who will happily break the 9th Commandment... '9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor' if they happen to be Gay or Lesbian. Lies, misinformation, 'junk science', using bash verse while making sure that any verses that affect their *own* rights are 'taken in context' – which means they get a free pass. Certainly these forum comments are full of that very sort of thing.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Russ

      @ Dave: the Hebrew term for the Law (Torah) refers to the whole Pentateuch (Genesis-Dueteronomy).

      May 16, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • wolvver

      Woe unto those wearing poly-cotton blends!!

      May 16, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • jacob

      He also said "to be fruitful and multiply"

      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+9:7&version=NIV

      May 16, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • James PDX

      jacob, there was no word for multipy in the source language. A more correct interpretation would be to go forth and be prosperous.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Jesus

      You need to re read your Bible and talk to a Preacher I'll pray for you

      May 16, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  20. J.W

    So according to many people the original translation of the Bible was a perversion, but the most current translations are pure and holy.

    May 16, 2012 at 10:45 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.