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

My Take: What the Bible really says about homosexuality

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

By Daniel A. Helminiak, Special to CNN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Gay marriage • Opinion

soundoff (8,831 Responses)
  1. DeeCee1000

    Timber Joey, hom o seksuality occurs throughout nature; in fact, there are well over 1500 animal species observed where hom o seksuality is in some ways normal among them just the way heter o seksuality is. There is plenty of information that comes from the science community if you're willing to educate yourself.

    May 22, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  2. Timber Joey

    Thank the fact that your mom and dad were not named "John and Dave" or "Mandy and Liz".

    We would not be here, or be able to share our opinions without sperm and egg mixed. Sperm and Sperm do not produce you or me. Egg and Egg do not produce you or me.

    I know this is 6th grade level education, but the fact is, it takes woman and man.

    May 22, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      So genius, in other words, you would like to make marriage accessible to only couples who plan on pro-creating? Are you also planning on making it illegal to be married if the married couple doesn't produce a child every time they engage in seks? You really have no idea how dumb your argument is in reality. PLUS, my civil marriage has nothing to do with your religious beliefs in the first place.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Timber Joey

      I had a feeling that would stir the pot a bit...

      no, in fact, what I am saying is; you, DEE CEE are here because you had a mom and a dad (sperm and egg, if you will) create you.

      Nowhere did I say it is wrong to not have children, or be in a gay relationship. I simply said, you have the choice to be who you are because you were created by a male sperm and female egg. Simple!

      May 22, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Primewonk

      Again, your point is irrelevant. Two gay men are not going to create a baby whether or not you let them get married. Letting them marry does nothing to alter this fact. The only thing not letting them marry accomplishes is to prevent them from having the same civil rights you have.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Timber Joey, so basically what you're saying is that str8 couples create gay people.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Timber Joey

      Why does everyone read something I have not said?

      Our Consitiution guarantees the pursuit of happiness. Equal rights are fine for all who live. I never stated they were not.

      Dee Cee brings up a valid discussion point; is being GL a choice or are you born with it? I subscribe to it being a choice, but that is an opine, not a fact. As is any other opinion.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Erik

      "is being GL a choice or are you born with it?"

      Being gay is not a choice science in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

      All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      There are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Timber Joey

      So, Scientific "facts" are now the god of choice...

      Science is a wonderful thing. But using it to "prove" something exists/does not exist is a slippery slope.

      If you ask a scientist to prove something, they will go looking for the proof. Rarely taking in the fact that it may not be true.

      I have a friend who can prove anything if I give him/her the thing I am trying to prove. Disproving it is the correct thing to do.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • YeahRight

      "I subscribe to it being a choice, but that is an opine, not a fact. As is any other opinion."

      The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      * 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 22, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • YeahRight

      "If you ask a scientist to prove something, they will go looking for the proof. Rarely taking in the fact that it may not be true."

      Uh...we're talking about hundreds of thousands of experts that are saying this and not just one scientist. LMAO!

      May 22, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Adam and Eve

      No doubt those of your "stricken" with the GL "gene" (LOL, are you kidding me?) are going to say it is not your choice. Therefore, you are a victim of your genetic makeup and will continue to be a victim the rest of your life.

      PLEASE, people, just take your choices and stand behind them.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Bet

      "So, Scientific "facts" are now the god of choice...

      Science is a wonderful thing. But using it to "prove" something exists/does not exist is a slippery slope.

      If you ask a scientist to prove something, they will go looking for the proof. Rarely taking in the fact that it may not be true.

      I have a friend who can prove anything if I give him/her the thing I am trying to prove. Disproving it is the correct thing to do."

      If you ask a scientist to prove something, he will analyze all possible data without expecting any one outcome. It's called the scientific method, Einstein.

      If disproving something is the correct thing to do, you christians should all be working overtime to prove your god doesn't exist. Instead you believe in a book that even you don't understand, that is full of contradictions, myths, imaginary creatures, talking animals, talking bushes, murder, ra pe, genocide and people who live to be 500 years old. Worse yet, you try to force everyone else to believe it too.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "No doubt those of your "stricken" with the GL "gene" (LOL, are you kidding me?) are going to say it is not your choice. Therefore, you are a victim of your genetic makeup and will continue to be a victim the rest of your life.

      PLEASE, people, just take your choices and stand behind them."

      Only prejudice bigots spew this kind of unfounded crap.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  3. John

    I wish I could round up all the minorities, gays, and atheists and kill them all. The Jewish and Christian people could finally live without persecution.

    May 22, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Adam and Eve

      Persecution is part of believing in God. Always has been.

      I do not wish any harm to those who oppose my belief. On the contrary, I pray that God (who is the One that really matters) forgives them for their lack of belief.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      How very christian of you John! I'm sure your god that doesn't exist would be proud of the hateful person you are. That's the advantage of being an Atheist, we don't wish such horrific things upon anyone based on a book of fiction. Our only wish is that you would put down the 2000 year old book that has never been updated and attempt to live in the 21st century with the evidence that we have, so that the world can finally live in peace. Bet your parents are so proud of you knowing they raised a child without morals!

      May 22, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Adam and Eve

      @Truth,

      Your suggestion is that if we denounce the Bible, everyone will live in peace? Interesting...

      The fact is, worldly culture has always been defiant of Jesus. It will be there until the rapture. Every solid believer I have ever met has been loving towards all people. Christians hold like-minded folks accountable, not holding the worldly accountable.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      "Adam and Eve", you might as well say, " I pray that everyone who doesn't believe in the god Horus is forgiven by him. . .and that those who do not believe the earth really is flat and the center of the universe are forgiven."

      In the last dying gasps of bigotry and discrimination against minorities, human beings who desperately try to keep the beast of bigotry alive become worse than a desperate wild rabid animal being hunted down and backed up into a corner. The rabid beast knows its life is in mortal danger and must do anything to ensure its own survival so it tries to fight back with all its strength until its final inevitable end.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Primewonk

      " Persecution is part of believing in God"

      Really? This is how you want to roll? You theists claim 90% of all Americans are Christian. You repeatedly (and erroneously) claim the US is a Christian nation. You own the White House, the Senate, the House, and the Supreme Court. You own 50 State Governorships, 50 State Legislaturees, and 50 State Supreme Courts.

      And you have the balls to come on here and proclaim you are persecuted?

      Cry me a freaking river!

      May 22, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Bet

      Spoken like a true christian. I'm right, you're wrong. Prepare to die.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • John C.

      TruthPrevails :-) – Another useless argument....getting rid of a book that is 1500 years old saying it needs to be updated... If it is correct...why would you update it? Gravity was discovered a very long time ago but the rules still apply today. It's the same with the Bible. I enjoy a good debate...but please...use arguments that make sense.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Bet

      What a load of donkey dung. Gravity is a physical phenomenon that has been proven to be true. The bible is a man made book of myths and legends that even the people who base their entire lives on can't agree about.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Elaine Roy

      John: Please do not talk about killing innocent people. That is just wrong, and I think you know that.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "It's the same with the Bible."

      The bible has be proven not to be an historical document. LOL!

      May 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  4. Evangelicals are Crazy

    The second the Jesus stepped on the scene, the old testament was moot. He came to show us Love and Compassion for ALL. He never denied any access to the Father regardless even the thief on the cross. His commandments: 1 Love God 2 Love others as yourself. These evangelicals mainly the Baptists are sick people. They are not following Jesus commands and constantly spew hatred and bigotry from their bully pulpits.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Bet

      You can't even prove Jesus existed. Your argument is moot.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • John C.

      @Bet You can't prove he doesn't exist. So your argument is also moot. The existance of Jesus is validated by an overwhelming proof of eye-witnesses. There are the original 12 Apostles all agreeing that he existed. That is a jury...12 people.... this case should be closed.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Bet

      And you talked to these 12 people?

      I don't have to prove something doesn't exist, because I'm not trying to deny anyone their civil rights. You can believe whatever you want, just don't force it on everyone else.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      John C.

      The apostles should be twelve of the most famous people in history. We're told they were hand picked by Jesus to witness his wondrous deeds, learn his sublime teachings, and take the good news of his kingdom to the ends of the earth.

      Which makes it all the more surprising that we know next to nothing about them. We can't even be sure of their names: the gospels list a collection of more than twenty names for the so-called twelve disciples – with Bartholomew sometimes showing up as Nathanael, Matthew as Levi and Jude as Thaddeus, Lebbaeus, or Daddaeus!

      It should be apparent that if the twelve were actual historical figures, with such an important role in the foundation and growth of the Church, it would be impossible to have such wild confusion over the basic question of who they really were.

      But what do we know about any of them?

      The fact is that for seven of the twelve, our only early source, the Gospels, say nothing about them at all. They are just names on a list.

      Isn't it a tad odd that such worthies, infused with the Holy Spirit and given powers to heal the sick and cast out demons, wrote nothing, or had nothing written for them or about them? Isn't it odd that men chosen to be eye-witnesses to the mighty deeds of Jesus, wrote no eye-witness statements, left no sermons, no memoirs, no letters, no teachings, no pithy words of encouragement?

      All that we have about "the twelve" are conflicting legends and fantastic stories from a much later date, tall stories about where they went, what they did and most especially how they died. Their deaths, it seems, have been recorded in loving and lurid detail. –http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/apostles.html

      May 22, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • John C

      @A Frayed Knot – This is a valid argument backed by data. Why all the Apostles are not as proclaimed as the others is a mystery to me. I believe it goes back to a flaw in all religions....they preach the parts they want because it fits what they are try to accomplish. Relegions would have us believe that there was an inner circle that is never mentioned or even alluded to in the Bible. I am a Christian and I belive the message of Jesus was Love, not hate or prejudice and therfore I am not against a civil union. If there is love in their hearts then I say go for it!!!! My only thing is that there is so much hate being portrayed in these posts and I am just pointing out the flaws in their thinking...on either side.

      May 23, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  5. brian

    What bible is dan getting his info from....(Wisdom 19:13), (Sirach/Ecclesiaticus 16:8), what?? Lets get real for a minute. Lets try John 3:16 "For God so love the world, that he gave his only begotton Son, that who ever believes in him should not perish,but have everlasting life" If you want to come to Christ that is your choice but if you accept him as your savior then you have been bought with a price.....That price was the death of his Son. You see, Jesus took my punisment. His blood was shed for me, I have been washed clean by the blood of the lamb, PRAISE GOD!!... I don't have the right to make the Word of God say what I want it to say.
    A slave to religon? Not at all. A Slave to Christ? You better believe it.
    If you don't want to accept him thats your choice. I hope someday you will.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:51 am |
  6. What is truth?

    Dude skipped Leviticus 18:22....it is an obama-nation. Not a lot of ambiguity in that verse. And to ensure it wasn't a typo it is repeated in 20:13. I dint think shell fish and mixed linens were listed as obama-nations.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Dude skipped Leviticus 18:22"

      Dude learn your bible Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code, a ritual manual for Israel's priests.. So are you going to tell women now they have to marry their rapists and all the other sins listed in that particular scriptures? Duh!

      May 22, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Bet

      A typo? God has a typewriter? He really should upgrade to a computer. Then he could auto correct himself.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  7. BigSkyHumanist

    Obviously people use the bible and quote sections that fit their biases. It doesn't seem very useful in determining what is moral if no one can agree how to "interpret" it's messages from a God who seems way too human for a supposed supernatural being. Join us, who reject the bible and fight against it's hold over our civil society. Get real

    May 22, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • John C.

      No...Join Us in the fight against Physics. So much can't be proved therfore it must not be real. Saying "we can see evidence that something is there...but can't actually see it" is no different than having faith that we are not freaks of nature and that there is a master plan providing hope for all humanity. After all...we have actual witnesses that Jesus existed....

      May 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Bet

      @ John C

      As I've said, you can believe in whatever imaginary friends or book of fantasy that you want. Just don't try to make the rest of us believe in it too, and don't try to deny someone their civil rights based on your religious beliefs.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  8. howard Dao

    If gays are such an abomination why hasn't the Almighty wiped them off the earth since at least 10000 years now ? I must conclude that the Almighty must be busy figuring how to rid the earth of the these FIRST: religious extremists, religious hypocrites, religious pedophiles, religious misogynists, lying war mongering politicians, greedy fat wall street bankers.

    May 21, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  9. DeeCee1000

    Google Pastor Charles L. Worley.

    May 21, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Adam and Eve

      I am sorry I followed your advice out of curiosity.

      These types of "Pastors" are the very reason Christians have a bad name. Wolves in sheep's clothing.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Bet

      Adam & Eve, then why don't you christians do something to get them out of your religion instead of persecuting people who aren't harming you?

      May 22, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • John C.

      OK... Just for the record...that guy is an idiot. His points are not valid and no one in their right mind should ever listen to him. Just sayin;'

      May 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  10. MC

    You really have to jump through a lot of hoops, Helminiak, to try to make the Bible say what you think it should say, instead of submitting to the unchanging truth of the Word.

    May 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • howard Dao

      Which version of the unchanging truth should I follows ? There are so many versions since the first Constantince/Nicean council ( around 300 AD) to the most recent International Bible.

      May 21, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • seebs

      Er. Just to be picky: "Word", capitalized, is a term used exclusively to refer to the person of Jesus, the third member of the Trinity. That's the Word, as in "In the beginning was the Word...". The Bible is not that, and calling the Bible the "Word" is a formal heresy, called bibliolatry.

      Suggestion: Before you worship it, know what it says, at least.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • tolerantchristian

      MC... even the 4 Gospels don't agree.... so which book are we to believe? If the bible were absolute in it's words, there would only be ONE version of Christianity... yet there are hundreds of versions, styles of worship, and interpretations. Gay marriage is a CIVIL matter, not a religious one. The church only blesses married folks.. at least, that's all they should be doing instead of teaching their flock how to hate others.

      May 22, 2012 at 5:52 am |
    • Bet

      Which of the hundreds of versions and translations of god's "unchanging" word should we be using? You christians can't even agree on what book to read, much less what it says, but you think you know best for everyone else.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • John C.

      Wow...people will mount an argument over the silliest things. Should Word be proper or not. That changes everything. I think now because of that capital W...I will go back and re-evaluate my whole existance. On the fact that teh Gospels don't agree shows that these are real people who see things different. That is being human.

      I do agree however that this whole issue is a civil matter not relegious. If 2 people want to form a union that why are we fighting it. It's amazing to me how so many people can stand on both sides a fence depending on the issue at hand.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  11. Tessema

    Actually we do not need to discuses man to man marriage which is adultery. Our evidence for this is to tell you that the origin of society is Adam and eve created by God (the woman that was from his side, not another man...That came from Adams side.) as my friend mentioned above. Tell me if this is false, then no further discussion is important Period.

    May 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Bry S

      I AM A DOCTOR, THERE ARE 12 RIBS ON BOTH MEN AND WOMEN. THERE STORY IS WRONG

      May 22, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Bry S

      and i can't spell. At least I'm not a hater. I hope you find happiness

      May 22, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Bet

      Adultery is when one member of a married couple has s e x with someone outside the marriage, you dolt.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • Evangelicals are Crazy

      Dude, if you knew the truth about Adam and Eve, you would not be so for all of these stories in the Bible. Religion is a manufactured thing for control. All of those stories can be traced back to other stories of other world religions. It can blow your mind.

      May 22, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Our evidence for this is to tell you that the origin of society is Adam and eve created by God"

      So then you support incest. LMAO!

      May 22, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • John C.

      Again we have a pointless argument. The Old Testaments are parables. Stories told to express a point.

      We all know that the ribs are equal in man and woman...but for the sake of the story..God took one of Adams rib and created woman. Nowhere does it state that all men after that will have one less rib. Pointless argument.

      @Evangelicals are Crazy – This is a proper argument.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  12. Abs

    I am a gay women who is accepted by my family. That is all i need. I am a good person, a wonderful aunt (and my niece adores me), and am a senior in college. In a year I will be a registered nurse because I love to help people. Which i have done for 10 years now as a CNA. I have worked with the elderly, mentally ill children, and everyday sick people. I believe that in the end of my life i will be judged for the good i have done. I will take my chances with God for he made me this way and do not find my love as a sin. Thank you Daniel for your views and opinions

    May 21, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • MC

      " I believe that in the end of my life i will be judged for the good i have done."

      So did the Pharisees

      May 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • chan

      What makes you believe that you will be judged by the good you do? Hitler thought he was doing "good" by destroying people. Ultimately, someone, somewhere has the power and authority to define good. I would not want to live on this earth if it were a human. I'm not saying the things you do aren't good, but I'm saying good, by your definition, is not good by God's definition. God wants you to believe in Jesus and believe that he sent his son for you. I am no worse of a sinner than you are, but you have to understand that you do not have the power to define good, and neither do I. THE ONLY way for you to go to heaven in the end is to confess Jesus as lord and believe that he was risen from the dead for everyones sins. Your sins, my sins, everyones! AS long as you believe in the name of Jesus, you WILL be saved. that is the only thing that will save you! Don't hold on to good works Pleaseeeeeeeee!!!!

      May 21, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      @Abs

      don't listen to these hypocrites...they just spit hate into the world but don't do anything to make it a better place.

      May 21, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Bet

      Let me guess. You're the one who defines what is good. You, your imaginary sky friend and your book of fairy tales.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • seebs

      Helping people because you want to help them, not to try to bribe God? You're in. See also Matthew 25.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • Evangelicals are Crazy

      Lady continue with your plan of service to others and ignore what some say. You are already ahead of them. Being gay has zero importance in the scheme of things.

      May 22, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • John C.

      I am happy for you Abs. You have found that balance in your life. The good you are doing is awesome and don't let these idiots tell you otherwise. It is clear that your motive for doing good is not to please God, but to make the world a littel better. God will bless you in his kingdom because Jesus brought to us the message that God is about Love and what you are doing is based on Love.

      The other aspects of your life seem to also be motivated by Love also.

      I would really like it if folks would not attack each other about beliefs. That is immature and usually pointless. I have been reading these posts and find so many useless points that it blows the mind. This goes for both sides of the argument.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  13. Conqui

    And, of course, you are the sole determiner whether or not someone else's viewpoints are "the way". How convenient!!

    May 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  14. citchus

    People are soo gullible now these days, it's easy to lie in face of the innocen whichmay not have hear nor have seen what God can and will do. Falsely witnessing the Spirit of truth by engaging in anti Christ society.Christ came to fulfill the law, not to destroy it, just remember about the definition Jesus gave concerning divorce, that it was NOT so in the beginning which proves society already has withdrawn itself from what used to be, there by what God joins together, Adam and eve(llthe woman that was from his side) not another man..that came from Adams side. These people are dangerous to our children's ears bearing false witness of what is actually meant to justify their own evil. Shame on you!

    May 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Bet

      You might want to take a class in grammar and sentence structure before you post again. No one can understand this babble.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • John C.

      @Bet – Grow up!! You are like the little kid that sticks his fingers in his ear and goes Nah, Nah, Nah until he hears something he likes. You have yet to make a valid point. You act like one of those people that fights against any kind of guidance and no matter what is said you will disagree.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Bet

      Oh. please. Spare me your ad hominem arguments. I'm not the one trying to deny civil rights to people who aren't doing anything wrong. I don't care what you want to believe. Just quit trying to force everyone else to believe it too.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  15. commentusmaximus

    Daniel used to be a priest, but was too weak and couldn't resist the temptation of the flesh. So he left priesthood and is now trying to twist bible words to justify his becoming gay instead of repenting for it. He is not working on God's side nowadays IMO.

    May 21, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Conqui

      And of course you are working on God's side by deciding why Daniel left the priesthood, with your incredible mind reading skills.

      May 21, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  16. n8263

    Christians think Sharia Law is immoral but impose their own Sharia Law here in America.
    No matter what version, it's immoral to impose your religion by denying others civil rights.

    May 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • MC

      Changing the definition of marriage is not a civil right. It's not Equal rights. It's a SPECIAL right that no one else in the history of history has had, and that you're trying to invent.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  17. thirmll

    No where in the Bible? see Leviticus Chapters 18, and 20; see Deuteronomy Chapter 22:5; see Luke 16;15; also for the record definition of abomination: destestible, disgusting, loathing. Which explains why society only cares about earthly laws and avoids acknowledging what is an abomination to God; hence they proclaim non-belief in Him and/or question Him; convenience to justify behavior. All have sinned and sin and fall short of His Glory. It is He we will answer to when this life is over for each as we leave it one by one, so beware while enjoying volition.

    May 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Bet

      You forgot about the verses that order you to kill your child if he is disobedient.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Which explains why society only cares about earthly laws and avoids acknowledging what is an abomination to God; "

      There is a whole lists of abominations in your bible are you going to deny all the people who fit into those abominations their civil rights too? LOL! 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).

      Oh that's right you are only cherry picking the bible to support your prejudices. What a hypocrite.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  18. Wes

    Funny how most liberal commentators avoid obvious verses in the Bible that solidify certain actions. He never discusses Jesus' statement about marriage in Mark which is very clearly pro traditional marriage. Usually you only get a half truth from these type of writers.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Ace

      And which is that?

      May 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Conqui

      During the time of Jesus, traditional marriage meant buying a woman as property and treating her as such. That is not how I interpret what Jesus was actually talking about. Half baked.

      May 21, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Bet

      Don't forget about the part that tells slaves to be happy and obedient little chattel.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:52 am |
  19. Hadenuffyet

    Paul discouraged marriage because he believed the world would soon end.......

    actually I read it as
    1. You marry , your going to have problems maintaining the relationship , whereas
    2. You cannot serve 2 masters , the marital relationship or the devotion to God.

    His reference to the world passing away is akin to verses of vanity telling people not to worry about the latest fashions. As these too , will pass.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  20. Steven

    And if Jesus was electrocuted instead of being crucified, we would all be wearing little electric chairs around our necks.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
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About this blog

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.