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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. MASSIVE BALLS

    Here's what the bible says:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0xQcEH7Dqo&w=640&h=390]

    May 18, 2012 at 3:34 am |
  2. fred

    Cq
    I Timothy is not a ban on women teachers rather setting the order between man and women just as Christ is head over Man. I think you know this dates back to the Garden when Eve took it upon herself to bring the forbiden fruit to Adam. We can't let that happen again. Remaining quiet was a beautiful thing for a woman 2,000 years ago.
    Some churches do not allow women to teach (rare) so I suspect some would condemn gay. We are to preach the Gospel of Jesus which does not address gay issues specifically. Talking about sin in the Bible makes no sense if one rejects God.
    Gay marriage was not addressed in the Bible. The question is would gay marriage cause a new or weak child of God to lose faith in Christ or the Bible. I think so and thus the church must reject gay marriage. On the other hand can we show gay marriage would strengthen faith in Christ and the Bible or have no effect then there is no issue that I could think of.

    May 18, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • Cq

      fred
      "11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety." 1 Timothy 2:11-15

      Eve in the Garden serves the same mythical purpose as Pandora with the box of the world's woes; they establish the basis for male dominance through character assassination of women in general. What else wold you expect from a male dominated world where scripture and myth were written by men? Jesus was an exception in that he allowed women within his inner circle and their example seems to have inspired later women followers to feel free equal as well, but Paul was still a strict male Jew personally, so he would have none of that in his churches. Another example of his personal opinion shining through, perhaps?

      You say that the question is whether gay marriage would cause a new or weak child of God to lose faith in Christ or the Bible, right? Well, to liberal Christians it would likely strengthen their sense that the Church is all-inclusive and welcoming. In this modern climate that would increase their sense that the faith is good and just as well. Conservatives seem determined to fight this as they fought all social change. History has proven that this fight is futile. In a few decades gay marriage and the acceptance of their orientation will be as accepted as mixed and bi-racial marriages are today. Those Christians faith will only be strengthened by it too. It's just a matter of time.

      May 18, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • fred

      Cq
      "History has proven that this fight is futile. In a few decades gay marriage and the acceptance of their orientation "
      =>The Bible also concludes that End of Days will begin when wickedness of man reaches its peak. In that regard the fight is futiile. Until then the issue remains what should we be doing to save souls according to our faith.
      Acceptance of orientation I would hope is something all Christians work towards as it is clear from the Bible that a judgmental att-itude is sin and to look down upon another is the same as murder in Gods eyes.
      Gay marriage is not clear so I remain neutral until I get some clarity. I will consider your points as I have not resolved the impact on others that may be led away. The entire gay marriage issue brings into focus the matter of sin. There is a theme in the Bible which puts believers into a separated class. This group is a minority in the population of man that has their focus on Christ (God) and they are to be a shinning light which draws others to God. We are to correct anyone within this group that is living in sin not non-believers.
      As to Paul yes, his personality is out front for all to see.

      May 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Cq

      fred
      So, you're counting on the world ending before positive change can occur. It's been 2000 years, and a lot of change has happened to Christianity during that time. What makes you think this is a sign of something bad? It could be the beginning of a Christian Golden Age, where believers actually do treat everyone like their neighbors. Think about it!

      May 19, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • fred

      Cq
      Heaven on earth? That has not happened since the Garden, but it would be a welcome relief.

      May 19, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • Cq

      fred
      As a Christian, don't you expect an upcoming period when all the world worships God? How else is this to happen without allowances being made to accommodate everyone? Surely you don't see a time when everyone on the planet can accept conservative Christianity?

      May 19, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • fred

      Cq
      You have that right. There will come a time (in the new heaven and earth) when conservative christianity will be no more. Consider that the Bible says we will be like Him which means there is no sin.

      May 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  3. Douglas

    Gay, celibate and loving it! (A call for truth)

    May 18, 2012 at 1:31 am |
  4. IEH

    @ Martog The parents are being punished . Pay attention . Smoke another joint

    May 18, 2012 at 1:15 am |
  5. be

    Since hom o se x ual ity is not sinful and it is clearly evident that many gay people are saintly men and women, there really are only two logical conclusions: Either you agree with the tenants of this article or you accept that the Bible is not the Word of God. Since I do not accept the latter, I choose to accept the former.

    May 18, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Not natural

      May 18, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Primewonk

      Bama – it has been explained to you personally, and to all you fundiots, tens of thousands of times, that you are wrong. Being born gay is natural. Since it occurs throught and across nature, it is by definition natural.

      The big question is, why are you unable to understand this?

      May 18, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Cq

      be
      It's not so simple. If you agree with the tenants of this article then the Bible that you consider the Word of God is a mistranslation, which would make it something less than the intended "Word of God", right? It makes it the word of God twisted by human prejudices, right? Time then to seek out the better, more accurate translations made possible from scholars such as the author, yes?

      May 18, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  6. Reality

    Ho-mose-xuality in the 21st century:::::::

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS–-–>>>>

    "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  7. I rarely agree with belief blog article cnn carries

    I did'nt read the article and I am sure that is not what the Bible said.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Cq

      The underlining question is whether or not the Bible you've read has been translated correctly from the original languages. If it has not, then the Bible you've read represents a false teaching and, if you believe in such things, that really ought to be a major concern for you, right?

      May 18, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Bet

      You are typical of most christians. You didn't read the article and I'd wager you've never read the whole bible. You don't know what either the article or the bible says, since you've read neither. You're just assuming the article is wrong because some preacher told you what to think.

      May 18, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  8. i'm back!

    What is new under the sun?

    May 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Nike

      That people are having all kinds of sex and it is news these days!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  9. Tranquil

    Why do you need the Bible to justify your sinfulness???

    May 17, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • be

      Since hom o se x u ality is not sinful in the eyes of God, there are only two logical conclusions....either the Bible does not condemn hom o se xu ality as this article suggests or the Bible is not the Word of God. Since I do not believe the latter, I believe the former.

      May 18, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • Cq

      be
      That's tricky because, if the Bible has indeed been mistranslated to imply a bias against gays where none was intended, then the Bible you've read all these years was not the accurate "word of God" that you believed it to be, right?

      May 18, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • sam stone

      Why do you need it?

      May 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  10. 6999

    he he

    May 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  11. robertVA

    A devastating rebuttal of Helminiak's arguments are located here and worth reading:
    http://www.reformed.org/social/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/social/hodges_response_helminiak.html

    May 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      Dumping enough rubbage upon the dung heap such as Helminiak implies it, does not make the Biblical Truths of scriptured verses defaulted or wrong. Helminiak is wrong and so is hie convoluted literature. He places his writing above the teachings of Godliness. This world's LBGT crowds are going to bankrupt the social construct of sensual normalism. Such bankruptcies of sensualized normalism will destroy the commonwealths mediocracies of its' much needed moral soundnesses! Anyone or person such as Helminiak, can write a dissertation to confuse and blatantly confound people's weak minds. I can even do that!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      (S1) Scientific evidence shows that some people are born h.o.m.o.s.e.x.u.a.l; and, indeed, s.e.x.u.a.l orientation seems to be a trait akin to height, skin color, and gender.

      There are several problems with this argument, so the factual problems are addressed first, followed by the logical fallacies. We begin by questioning the factuality of the premise: (S1) is stated without proof. No references are given for its support. Remember, this premise makes the claim that there is a behavioral trait that is set by genetics in the same way that physical traits, such as eye color, are set. The boldness of this claim cannot be overstated. Surely we will need much more than Helminiak's word in order to ac.cept. this statement as true. Indeed, there are three possible options with regard to the relationship between genes and h.o.m.o.s.e.x.u.a.l behavior: (a) genes play no role in such behavior; (b) some people, based on genetics, have a higher propensity toward such behavior; or (c) genes determine such behavior in exactly the same way that they determine eye color. Ignoring option (a), we can note that if the scientific evidence shows any consistent pattern at all (an important "if"), it shows us that option (b) is a possibility. This, however, is a far cry from (c). Moreover, if (b) were indeed the case, this would, by itself, destroy Helminiak's argument. To use genetics at all, he needs to show that genes determine s.e.x.u.a.l behavior in the same way that they determine physical traits, not just that they influence such behavior in some way. He has not done this, nor has anyone else.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      Helminiak also made the claim that "there is no credible evidence that s.e.x.u.a.l orientation can be changed." How does he know this? The only way to prove a universal negative by empirical means is to know everything. For him to prove that there is "no credible evidence," he would have to have examined all the evidence. Has Helminiak really investigated each and every claim of renounced h.o.m.o.s.e.x.u.a.l.i.t.y? In addition what are we to make of the qualifier "credible?" By what theory of epistemology are we to distinguish the credible from the incredible? Without more information, this argument has no force.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Cq

      A Serpent's Thought
      What "evidence" do you have that left-handed people aren't actually just choosing not to use their right hand? Christians use to think this was the case, and they beat left-handed children into not preferring that hand, at least in public. Did this "cure" them any more than gays have been cured by church and psychiatric programs, or did the process merely instill enough negative reinforcement to compel them to hide their true nature?

      You might also want to check out the Scientific American article Can Psychiatrists Really "Cure" H0m0$exuality?
      Masters and Johnson claimed to convert gays to heter0$exuality in a 1979 book. But did they?

      May 18, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • John

      "No references are given for its support"

      * In 1993, the National Institute of Health’ Dean Hamer illustrated that homosexuality might be inherited from the mother by her sons through a specific region of the X chromosome (Xq28). Hamer demonstrated this by noting that 33 out of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers whom he studied showed the same variation in the tip of the chromosome.

      – Hamer DH, Hu S, Magnuson VL, Hu N. and Pattatucci AML. A linkage between DNA markers on the X chromosome and male sexual orientation. Science 1993; 261:320-326.

      * A June 2006 Canadian study published in the journal, “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” said that nature, instead of nurture, explains the origins of homosexuality. The study’ author, Prof. Anthony F. Bogaert, at Brock University in Ontario, explored the causes behind what is known as the fraternal birth order. The research showed a correlation between the number of biological older brothers a man has and his sexual orientation. Dividing his sample of more than 900 heterosexual and homosexual men into four groups, Bogaert examined the impact of all types of older brothers, including step and adopted siblings, and the amount of time brothers spent together while growing up.His research found that only the number of biological brothers had an impact on sexuality, regardless of whether the boys were raised together.

      – Bogaert, A.F. 2006. Biological versus nonbiological older brothers and men’s sexual orientation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103 July 11 2006.

      * A study released in May 2006 by Swedish scientists demonstrates that biology plays a key role in determining a person’ sexuality. The research shows that the portion of the brain that helps regulate sexuality — the hypothalamus – reacted the exact same way in straight women and gay men when exposed to male pheromones, which are chemicals designed to provoke a behavior, such as sexual arousal. The same area of the brain only became stimulated in heterosexual men when introduced to female pheromones.

      – by Ivanka Savic article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (PNAS) “Brain Response To Putative Pheromones In Homosexual Men,” (Vol. 102 No. 19) May 10, 2005.

      * In 2005, Dr. Brian Mustanski of the University of Illinois at Chicago published a study in the esteemed biomedical journal Human Genetics, claiming he identified three chromosomal regions linked to sexual orientation in men: 7q36, 8p12 and 10q26.

      – “A Genomewide Scan of Male Sexual Orientation”, Human Genetics, Vol. 116, No. 4, pp. 272-278, 2005.

      * In 2003, University of Texas psychoacoustics specialist Dennis McFadden found that when measuring the way the brain reacts to sound, lesbians fell in between heterosexual men and straight women, suggesting they might be exposed to higher than normal levels of male hormone in utero.

      – Loehlin, John C.; McFadden, David. “Otoacoustic emissions, auditory evoked potentials, and traits related to sex and sexual orientation”. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 1 April 2003.

      * In 2003, University of Liverpool biologist John T. Manning found that the lesbians whom he studied have a hand pattern that resembles a man’ more than a straight female’. Manning concluded from his study that this “strongly tells us that female homosexuals have had higher levels of exposure to testosterone before birth.”

      – Neave, N., Laing, S., Fink, B., Manning, J.T (2003) Second to fourth digit ratio, testosterone, and perceived male dominance. Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Lond), 270, 2167-2172.

      * A 1991 study by Dr. Simon LeVay found that a specific region of the hypothalamus is twice as large in heterosexual men as it is in women or gay men. This strongly points the role of biology in sexual orientation.

      – Levay, Simon “A difference in hypothalamic structure between homosexual and heterosexual men” Science. 1991 Volume 253, Issue 5023, pp. 1034-1037.

      * Another 1991 study by scientists Richard Pillard and John M. Baily studied homosexuality among brothers and found that 53 percent of identical twins were both gay. In adoptive brothers, 11 percent were both homosexual. Of non-twin biological siblings, 9 percent were gay. Again, this points to solid evidence that homosexuality is a matter of nature.

      – Bailey JM, Pillard RC (1991). A genetic study of male sexual orientation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 48, 1089-1096.

      May 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    May 17, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • volcano0201

      I believe a male with another male should not be allow due to the fact that they are risk of having Aids for playing around with a dirty hole while a women is ok because they are playing with a clean 1 ladies & gentlemens

      May 17, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Bet

      "Prayer changes things"

      It sure does. It dulls your mind and makes you into a sheep that blindly follows without question.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Baaaa

      May 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!*!

      May 18, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • sam stone

      volcano: not allowed? do you propose peeking in everybody's bedroom? how about the straight people who are doing what the gays do? are you going to stop them?

      May 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  13. Stephen Coughlin

    I've studied the bible in three languages, and the only thing I find constant about it is mistranslation and misinterpretation. We really have no idea what the bible says unless we are a native reader of the ancient language in which it was written. That's it!

    May 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Cq

      Everyone is also so far removed from the culture of that time today to really appreciate the impact of what was being said either. There is no getting to the original meaning as those people received it.

      May 18, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • danielwalldammit

      Mistranslation is of course precisely the point of modern literalism.

      May 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  14. Nii

    YR
    excellent choice of words, civil rights being denied! I think u've no idea what civil rights r! How is marriage a civil right? If gays waNt to die in war well why not? They can already vote! Not everyone can marry so I don't see y they need to! If its declared a right I'm suing 4 a free wedding!

    May 17, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      How is marriage a civil right? The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. But please do continue to wax on about how other people don't know anything about this topic.

      May 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • sam stone

      Nii: Again, you blather on with your bigotry. Equal protection under the law IS a civil right. As far as free weddings, you are just having brainlock (again).

      May 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  15. BamaDaniel

    To all gays marriage is a myth its in the Bible. Why whine about something thats not real.

    May 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • sam stone

      marriage is real, bama

      May 17, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      But they say the Bible is myth .

      May 17, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      first of all, you cannot say "they" about any large group.

      secondly, part of the bible IS a myth

      May 17, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Yes I can and I know,its sarcasm

      May 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Lol, marriage is a social construction with real-world consequences. It's presence in the Bible does NOT change that.

      May 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  16. ChristianByFaith

    What about the second greatest commandment...Love your neighbor as yourself that Jesus mentioned. And isn't Jesus the fulfillment of all promises. Why can't we believe our Father in heaven when promises has been kept and fullfilled.

    May 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Cq

      Yes, and gays are your neighbors too, right?

      May 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • MikeP

      The the Lord did sayeth "follow thee all of my commands, but in times when my commands seem contradictory thou must follow them in the order in which they shall be written down in this book, and if my commands do make thine life inconvenient now or times in the future, thou art commanded to reprioritize my commands such that they better mesh with what you already planned on doing and thinking anyway."

      Amen!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  17. Nii

    Types of love 101
    1)Charitable love
    2)Maternal love
    3)Parental love
    4)Sibling love
    5)Friendly love
    (arranged in order of magnitude)

    May 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • ME II

      Really, no romantic love? what kind of list is that?

      May 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Bet

      Isn't your mother also your parent? Also, who decided that this was the correct order of magnitude?

      May 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Cq

      Well, my sense of "charitable love" directs me to be as giving to gays as I am to everyone else, whereas many here seem to be far less charitable towards them. Hmmm...

      May 17, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • sam stone

      Nii: Your order of magnitude applies only to you.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Nii

      ME II
      I'M SO SORRY ABOUT THAT! HONEST MISTAKE. ROMANTIC LOVE COMES LAST BUT TWO TO LUST AND PHILIA. GOT SHORT OF SPACE. (caps on purpose)

      May 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Nebtastic

      Bet- Maternal love would be a mother's love for her children. Parental love could either be the love the parents have for their offspring, or the love the offspring have for their parents.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  18. Nii

    Joeboston
    Hatred n love r complex issues. In de Bible esp in de NT Greek uses several words which in English is translated love. To say I hate u cos I say u r doing something wrong is like saying me I hate u 4 telling u that running a red light is wrong. Its 4 ur benefit not mine n thats true love.

    May 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • ME II

      Bad analogy. It is more like saying making right hand turns are evil, you can choose to make them, but you will burn in hell for it.

      May 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Bet

      Why are you writing like a cross between Margaret Mitchell and a valley girl?

      May 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bet,
      Nii does all his posting from a phone, if I understand correctly and English is not his native language.
      I think he's communicating pretty darn well, given the situation, even though his position is way off.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Bet

      @ME II

      Thanks. That would explain it, I suppose. His earlier posts may have been done from a computer, they aren't as full of abbreviations.

      But the content is still ridiculous.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Cq

      Nii
      Calling running a red light wrong actually makes logical sense whereas calling h0m0$exuality wrong doesn't, not even in the slightest. At best, it's a superst.ition. You think that it's bad luck because you think that God will destroy something of our allowing the presence of active gays throughout the land. That makes about as much "sense" as being afraid of black cats, right?

      May 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • ME II

      Hey don't talk about black cats. They're down right evil, no joke.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • ME II

      ... of gods... can't remember which.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      Pompous preacher wannabe. You have no authority to speak for god.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Nii

      CQ
      I don't know why you are praising this Xtian so much for saying being gay is incurable. Right here on the article for gay Mormons at BYU statistics were given for reorientation of gaays into heteros. Selective memory! lol

      May 18, 2012 at 2:40 am |
    • Nii

      Bet
      do u think the Bible judges only gays as worthy of death! Read it well esp the Law(Gen-Deu). As Xtians mercy in the Law supersedes justice. The only punishment for unrepented sin is excommunication which is rarely done! We don't judge people who don't ask us to! If u want to know more ask!

      May 18, 2012 at 2:52 am |
    • Cq

      Nii
      The question is whether such programs actually "cure" gayness, or program gay people into suppressing their nature. The criticism is that these programs teach gays to see their inclinations not as something natural, but as something like an addiction that can be overcome through willpower and the desire to please their God, family and church. Even in their own docu.mentation the wording is not so much towards a "cure", but a management of gay impulses for they speak of the need to be wary of relapses, yes? Calling it a "cure" sounds better than calling it a treatment, that's all.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  19. Nii

    YR
    Don't weep buckets! De way most atheists go at it when we are not around is just plain silly to behold! I think just a little basic understanding of de Bible can help any man. I don't even reject any man cos he's gay lest I bcome a worse sinner than I'm already. Just love ur neighbor as urself

    May 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Just love ur neighbor as urself"

      Denying someone their basic civil rights in marriage when the experts have shown your relationship to be normal, is NOT love.

      May 17, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • sam stone

      Bigot with a bible. How original

      May 17, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Bet

      " Just love ur neighbor as urself"

      Unless your neighbor is gay. Then the bible says to kill them.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      ...except no.

      May 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  20. joeboston30

    Does anyone know of a translation of the Bible that undertakes a modern approach? I'm legitimately asking because I would like to read it instead of the book that is used for hate.

    May 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Bet

      There really isn't a bible that takes a modern approach as far as its teachings and doctrine. It was written thousands of years ago and other than revisions that kings and rulers made to make it more suitable for their own purposes, it still teaches hate and delusion.

      If you are talking about ease of reading as far as language goes, here's a link explaining the different versions. http://www.firstpresb.org/translations.htm

      May 17, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Joeboston,

      Yep, there are many of them. Go to one of the "emergent" churches, they use them....
      They'll fill you in! They will have many smooth words to tell you, and build your fallen human nature up , and loving you they'll soothe all your anxieties! But they will be the impostors, pretenders of the true shepherds who care for your soul, leading you straight to the portals of Hell!

      May 17, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Jason

      This is what I read:

      The Apologetics Study Bible: Understand Why You Believe [Book]
      Ted Cabal

      May 17, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Cq

      Depends on what you mean by a "modern approach". All that rapture nonsense is actually a far more modern approach than the beginnings of higher criticism, the approach that the author uses.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      The hate is all man made

      May 17, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Bet

      "The hate is all man made"

      Just like the bible and god.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      modern approach to what? translation? politics?

      May 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.