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Your Take: Rebuttals to rethinking the Bible on homosexuality
What does the Bible really say about homosexuality? Readers responded to a professor's views on the issue.
May 17th, 2012
02:10 PM ET

Your Take: Rebuttals to rethinking the Bible on homosexuality

The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality - and, by extension, same-sex marriage - right?

A guest "My Take" post we ran this week from a college psychology professor who has a background in religion (he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest, for instance) challenged that conventional wisdom.

The professor, Daniel A. Helminiak, argues that foes of same-sex marriage have assigned modern, ethics-laden meanings to biblical passages on homosexuality to make it seem like the Bible unequivocally condemns it. In fact, Helminiak proposes, the original meanings of such passages about gays are at the very least ambiguous.

The piece has generated an avalanche of response: 10,000 Facebook shares, 6,000 comments, 200 tweets and a couple of blog posts.  Giving the other side its say, here's a rebuttal roundup of critical reactions from across the Internet:

Kevin DeYoung, a conservative Christian blogger, calls Helminiak's piece "amazing for including so many bad arguments in so little space." DeYoung, who leads a Reformed Church in Michigan, challenges Helminiak's argument that the biblical tale of Sodom and Gomorrah doesn't condemn homosexuality per se.

"Jude 7 states that Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities 'indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire,' " DeYoung writes.

"Even the NRSV, translation of choice for the mainline (and the version Helminiak seems to be using), says 'pursued unnatural lust,' ” he continues, referring to the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

"Clearly, the sins of Sodom lived in infamy not simply because of violent aggression or the lack of hospitality, but because men pursued sex with other men."

DeYoung also takes issue with our guest blogger's argument that the Greek term the New Testament writer Paul uses when describing homosexuality, para physin, has been misconstrued by modern translators to mean "unnatural." Helminiak says that the original term does not contain ethical judgment and should be translated instead as "atypical" or "unusual."

Absurd, says DeYoung. "We know Paul considered same-sex intercourse an ethical violation, and not simply something uncommon. ... (N)otice what Paul goes on to say: 'Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error' (NRSV)."

DeYoung writes, "When you read the whole verse, Helminiak’s 'nonethical' argument becomes implausible. Paul thought homosexuality not just unusual, but wrong, a sinful error deserving of a 'due penalty.' '"

On Facebook, Helminiak’s piece, "My Take: What the Bible really says about homosexuality," provoked a mix of positive and negative response. Some of the latter was very, very negative.

"The following article appeared on the front page of CNN. ... I was so grieved and troubled, I had to respond to the writer," Vince Smith wrote on his Facebook page Thursday. "This is what is most tragic and terrifying about beliefs on homosexuality in this nation.

"When you take Scripture and twist it to 'reinterpet' what it means, and then teach others, you are literally playing with fire ... eternal fire," Smith continued. "I pray that The Lord has mercy on Mr. Helminiak."

Readers' comments on the piece included much criticism, too (although there was plenty of support for Helminiak’s argument).

"Daniel's argument misses the glaringly obvious condemnation of gay sex in the Bible," writes a commenter named Mike Blackadder. "Catholics believe it is a mortal sin when it is premarital, masturbatory, and when we deny the possibility of conceiving children (i.e., through the use of contraceptives).

"Unfortunately, the faith suggests that gay sex falls under the same category as these others and if we interpret differently for gays, then we must accept a new interpretation of these other acts for the same reason," Blackadder writes. "The corollary is that if your faith accepts hetero impurities (such as contraceptives or [masturbation]) but condemns gays, then you may be rightfully accused of hypocrisy."

Many commenters avoided quibbling with Helminiak’s logic, instead taking aim at the piece's very existence.

"Why can't gays leave other people's sacred things alone?" asks a commenter named iqueue120. "Instead of redefining 'marriage,' just call your pervert juncture 'pirripipirripi.' We will grant you and your 'pirripipirripi-other' all the 'rights' that you want.

"You can write your own sacred book, call it, for instance, 'Pirripipirripible,' and make it teach how awesome is 'pirripipirripi,'" this commenter continues. "... All we ask in exchange is that you leave 'marriage' and 'Holy Bible' as they are."

On Twitter, most RTs, or retweets, endorsed the piece, but not all. "Another pastor,"  tweeted @BarbRoyal "trying to pretend the ugly parts out of the Xtian (Christian) bible. ..."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Comments • Gay marriage

soundoff (3,580 Responses)
  1. Stephen

    Morality is not determined by a majority vote. DeYoung is right on.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Morality is actually "conformity to the rules of right conduct". That "right" conduct is determined by the society in which the conduct is undertaken. Society, by definition, represents the majority of its members unless such a society is a repressive one. Morality, in a relatively free society, is the majority rule. That's why it is so easy to deny civil rights to minorities. Our recent social history has evolved in such a way, however, that obtaining equal rights for minorities is part of our combined morality. The logical progression is to extend civil rights to the LGBT community. It WILL happen. It's just a matter of time.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Robairdo

      it is not determined by ignorant anti-Christians either.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • jungleboo

      O, I like your screen name.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Robairdo

      @jungleboo, do you know what it means?

      May 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • jungleboo

      It means "technophobe". It is eye catching!

      May 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  2. kroeme

    Interesting, but it actually doesn't matter what God or the bible have said, as this is not a Christian country. It is open to all religions or no religions. Federal law should recognize straight and gay marriages, but that shouldn't determine who can get married inside a church. Churches can decide for themselves whose marriages they wish to sanction, and that shouldn't determine federal law.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • JWT

      Well put,

      May 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • edwardo

      Agreed !! I have no desire to ever sit foot in one of those hate huts, people call churches. I just want my rights. I need my rights! I've earned my rights. A murderer in prison can get married... I can't. It's hard to comprehend.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Clear, concise and to the point. Thank you for your post. That is all anyone need know about this issue.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      While I agree with your basic sentiment, no significant strides in civil rights have happened in this country without federal action. Slavery, black and women's sufferage, minority rights under the law, all have been FEDERALLY crammed (rightly) down the throats of those who would deny those civil rights. The same is required here.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Robairdo

      Very well put, there is religious marriage and secular marriage the government should only be concerend with the latter and there is NO legal justification to deny it to gays.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      Great post!

      May 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • phoodphite

      Yes well put. And I agree with t3ch... Fundamentalists want to have their cake and eat it too on this one. It is a civil rights issue and it is an issue on separation of church and state. They would have you believe it is neither, and will argue from whatever side of the fence is the most convenient to persuade you to think things are historically and currently "correct".

      May 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  3. Mark

    To the rest of amaerica: don't examine Mormon beliefs it will make you barf. But after you die they will invade your cemetary and baptise you post death into the mormon church. Thanks mittens.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  4. Richard "BONEHEAD" Cheney

    The Bible whether anyone wants to admit it is the ultimate fictional tome ever written.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • momoya

      Yep, and like all great ideas, it's freaking obvious.. The more people that adopt this att.itude, the better off everybody is.. When someone tells you they believe in invisible diseases like sin and invisible body parts like souls, laugh in their face.. Religious nuttery needs to start acting like what it is-nuttery, stupidity, brain virus/meme.. It's something to be embarrassed about, not proud of.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • edwardo

      @Momoya – wow! You mentioned meme. That's the way I see it. It's like a human mind virus. It wants to infect other minds, so it lives on and on. You're one of few people who know what a meme / memeplex is.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  5. Truther

    ALL RELIGIONS ARE THE CAUSE OF THE WORLDS TROUBLES TODAY ! ! ! End ALL religions and lets move on with out these fables!!!

    May 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  6. DoNotWorry

    What about the fact that gayness didn't make the Top Ten Commandments... and each and every one of us violate the Top Ten? If it was that important, it would have made the top ten. Note that graven images DID make the Top Ten and every Christian Church just ignores that.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • kermit

      so you've been to every Christian church? impressive. i'm guessing if you ever go it's probably twice a year...on Easter on at Christmas and that's because your parents make you. how did you visit them all with such poor church attendance?

      May 17, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Observer

      Adultery by Christians and others makes the Ten Commandments.

      Gays are charged with an "abomination" like eating lobsters.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Humanist11

      @kermit......your response is a typical theist cop out tactic. Of course he didn't visit ALL the churches in the world and you know it. You don't want to answer the question/comment because you know he has a point. Come on. Man up.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • James PDX

      Kermit, good argument. /sarcsm

      May 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Robairdo

      your right it also wasn't very important to Jes us as he NEVER said anything about ga ys.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • edwardo

      @Humanist11 – EXCELLENT post !!! Xtians have a way of changing topics. When can I marry my sister, my dog, my cat? Their mantra uses the age old "change the subject, then an answer is not necessary".

      May 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • kermit

      The penman of half the NT, Paul, did mention it. As the greatest missionary and follower of Christ, I think his writings account for something. But what do I know, I'm sure you've studied it thoroughly, right?

      And just b/c it isn't mentioned in the 10 commandments doesn't mean it isn't a sin. Sin is sin. Little sins condemn your soul just as easily as the "big" ones.

      Manned up.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • edwardo

      @Kermit – I make sure I sin every day... that way he didn't die for nothing.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Observer

      kermit,

      The Bible said that people should not get divorced except for adultery. If your spouse beats you and your kids, you have to stay married as long as he/she doesn't cheat.

      But let's not talk about that. It's more fun to pick on gays.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • kermit

      @ eduardo, so you sin everyday and i try to lead a good life b/c I believe in Christ....got it.

      I'm sure you are a wonderful benefit to society.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • edwardo

      @Kermit – I am a computer programmer. I adopted 2 kids from druggie parents. I own my own home. I have the nicest home in the neighborhood. I work in healthcare. I"m hardly a bad person. I've never been arrested. But I do eat shrimp and lobster, so like you... I am a sinner. Yes, like you!

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

      kermit,

      You are on here criticizing gays so do you spend MUCH MORE TIME criticizing Christians who commit adultery by divorcing and remarrying since there are FAR FAR MORE Christina adulterers than gays?

      May 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • kermit

      @ ed, I am not an Orthodox Jew, so eating shrimp and what not doesn't really matter to me....o i bet you are one of those who doesn't comprehend the fact that a CHRISTIAN

      May 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • kermit

      ...believes on Jesus and not the Mosaic law of the old testament

      May 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • edwardo

      @Kermit – Eating shellfish is an abomination.. period !! Jews, Xtians... whomever. So put down that fork with the shrimp on it, and quit judging others. All those behaviors mean you'll burn with me.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Observer

      kermit,

      With the Old Testament just applying to Jews, who cares about the Ten Commandments?

      Jesus didn't put down gays like you do. So if you don't follow the Old Testament and don't follow what Jesus did, what are you?

      May 17, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • kermit

      @ed, how are you so sure, been studying your Bible lately? I'd probably leave the argument alone of shrimp is your platform

      and congratulations on being a good citizen, i'm sorry if i impied otherwise....but bragging about sinning everyday didn't conjure up thoughts of eating seafood

      May 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Robairdo

      I have studied it thorughly and Paul did not mention it in hs Gospel of Christ. The author of the original article makes some good argument about translations and interpretations from Greek to English. Finally Paul is NOT verified as the author of all the books in the NT. This is obvioys if you compare style and prose from Paul book to Paul book.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • edwardo

      @Kermit – why do Xtians always think someone "hasn't read their bible". My mom was a pentecostal preacher. I grew up on a church pew. Yes, I have ready the bible, numerous times. And the Torah as well. Everyone is a sinner... period! If you even cuss, watch TV (yes, the sin-box), smoke, drink... do anything human... you are a sinner.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • James PDX

      In reading Leviticus, it's amazing that anyone ever got anything done, what with all of the animals being ritually sacrificed and pretty much everything making you, everything you touch, and everyone who touches you or anything you touch, unclean. Seems as if all of the people would have spent their days either slaughtering and burning animals or bathing themselves and everything they touched.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Robairdo

      @Kermit if you don't believe in the OT you are right, but you say you believe in Christ, do you know that Christ NEVER said anything about hom ose ua1ity? Also do you understand what it means to "Live in Spirit with Jesus Christ"?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • kermit

      i never impied i wasn't a sinner...i am def one...but i don't think it's because of shrimp n grits

      May 17, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  7. Oh yeah?

    and also, I believe in evolution, I just believe God's hand was in it. You may not agree but at the very least you may realize that there are those who don't just believe what they are told. They actually thought through why they believe what they do.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      If you really "believe" in evolution, you should also "believe" in the natural processes behind it. Stop "believing" stuff. It's not good for your brain. Attempt to understand provable or disprovable hypotheses instead. Your concept of the universe needs to be maleable in order to appreciate its true greatness.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      Were you at the Big Bang? Is your faith in what the scientist told you? I have "faith" in God because of my personal experiences and God reveals himself in many ways. Let's call it an educated guess...I "guess" we'll both find out one day.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Humanist11

      Just think a little harder and you will make it all the way. Read the book "Cosmos" by Carl Sagan for a good start.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      True science begins with the recognition that we do not know something. We currently do not really know how the big bang happened. That doesn't mean we'll always not know. After we realize where the big bang came from, we'll wonder where the system that created the big bang came from. The big bang is being overused as a scientific terminus by those who wish to attribute divine attributes to the universe. The big bang is not an end of understanding, it's simply another step along the way.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Velk

      the Bible said there was no death before the Fall. therfore evolution could not have existed because nothing died.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      BTW Humanist11, I find your intellectual arrogance nauseating..You really have a blindspot for it...a truly "evolved" person would not be compelled to prove how smart they are and it seems that your knowledge is based on your on others research and ideas...I hope your "faith" in their knowledge is wisely placed...Just think a little harder and you might get there...

      May 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, yeah, you have yet to answer the question I posed to you. Why do assume that simply because we do not yet know or may never know how the universe began that "Goddidit"? Or are you finally grown up enough to acknowledge that it's simply what you believe?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  8. Observer

    @Oh yeah?,

    Even if intelligent design were true, it doesn't prove the existence of one God or millions.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Whose intelligence designed it? Bible says no number to gods army.maybe a trillion gods did it

      May 17, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • kermit

      just b/c God's army was made up of bajiliions doesn't mean they were all gods...there is only one General on the field my friend, the rest are soldiers

      May 17, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Observer

      So maybe a committee of a trillion gods did it. Isn't God going to be really mad that you believe in any other gods? Note: see the Bible about that

      May 17, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Robairdo

      Could be just a bunch of Aliens mucking around in our DNA.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      True. The Bible says he judges other gods

      May 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      No I don't put them before him. Read carefully

      May 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Poor designer

      I prefer the term "Unintelligent Design". Why do we still have the human organ the appendix, when its function is lost and all it does is infrequently explode, potentially killing people? Even myself, a lowly human, can see the problem with this. If we do in fact have an omnipotent designer, he either doesn't care about us anymore, or is just not very good at designing humans

      May 17, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Bible said sons of God mated with women created hybrids. Rob you might be right

      May 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • WobbleBob

      The universe was created by a purple talking dinosaur named Barney. Friendly guy, but prone to mistakes like the tailbone and the Holocaust and cancer.

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

      Robairdo...have you read Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis series? It is based on that premise. Very good series of books.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Robairdo

      @tnfree no I haven't read that, but I watch ancient aliens on scifi2 all the time. Great show, do you watch it?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      Robardo, no but I will check it out. You should try Butler. I think you would like that series.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  9. Oh yeah?

    Because intelligence breeds intelligence....If I stumbled across a complex machine that I didn't know what it was but has obvious signs that it was intelligently designed then it would be naive to assume it was a random event just because I didn't witness it being built.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Observer

      The existence of some intelligent design in NO WAY proves the existence of God. It could have come from a committee of zombies named Moe, Larry, and Curly for all we know.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Good one. DNA Co-founder said to complex to be freak accident

      May 17, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Seth

      Except humans, the Universe, or whatever you were referring to, don't have obvious signs of being designed. In fact they have no signs at all. You use the word random, yet I don't think you know what it means. Evolution isn't random, arguing otherwise is ignorant. Nor is the Universe random, its odd, and complex, but not random. Things function according to relatively understood laws.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      And yet the Miller-Urey experiment showed that complex amino acids (the base building blocks of life) are able to spontaneously create itself out of simple elements.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • kermit

      If the Universe started with a Big Bang, what exploded? And who created that which exploded? Please explain the Universe to me.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Like what laws

      May 17, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @kermit

      An explosion is a simplified term to what the Big Bang Theory actually states. Maybe you should actually do some research into the theory rather than a condescending little remark on a web blog.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      Yes, you are billions and billions of random electrical coincidences and feeling, emotions, and the fact that we are all even "self aware" are totally random. BTW, I do not argue evolution and I'm not your typical Christian. I

      May 17, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Seth

      @kermit
      Nothing exploded, it wasn't even an explosion in the typical sense. Think rapid expansion of Space-Time, and any number of things could have tipped it off.

      @BamaDaniel
      Basic kinematics, Newtonian physics for large objects, Einsteinian physics for fast ones, and Theoretical physics for small ones.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • kermit

      then what is the Big Bang theory? please explain...and don't leave out the part about something being created from nothing, without a "spark", i love that part

      May 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Seth

      @Oh yeah?
      Being self-aware isn't random. Its a byproduct of evolution. Its nothing supernatural, its how the brain works. As for this "electrical" comment you made, if you mean neurons, then thats not random, that too is the genius of evolution; if you mean atoms though, I think you're in over your head.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • kermit

      @ Seth...any number of things could have tipped it off? Like a Creator....whoa, now I bet I'm sounding crazy too you, right

      May 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      Seth, you obviously go a B+ in biology. I will never be as evolved as you and your offspring.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Observer

      kermit

      then what is the God story? please explain...and don't leave out the part about God existing from nothing and creating the world from nothing, i love that part

      May 17, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      @Observer...that's the point exactly...you believe unintelligent matter always existing and randomly exploded and over billions of years created life and intelligence...theist believe that there was an intelligent being that always existed and now here we all are...

      May 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      @ Seth are all physicist in agreement . Nasa just discovered sun moving slower than they thought no bow shock.someone had bad numbers.oops

      May 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Observer

      @Oh yeah?

      You are making the assumption that there are only two choices: God came from nothing or the universe come from nothing. People who find the idea of God (as described in the Bible) to be irrational, don't have to necessarily believe in the Big Bang Theory either. As an agnostic, I don't have any proof that either are right.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • reason anyone?

      Science has not yet been able to prove what triggered the big bang. Therefore, using magic, a sky fairy by the name of god willed it to occur. This is undoubtably the case, because science has never explained something that was supposed to be gods work (tides, earth being centre of universe)....../sarcasm

      May 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • kermit

      so you have "faith" in science, I have "faith" in God....we'll both die one day and find out whose faith pays off...but i'm betting on most people's death beds they don't call a scientist in to make them feel better

      May 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Humanist11

      @kermit........the theory of the big bang is supported by precise physical laws that have been know for over a century. It may have been a black hole that exploded. Read "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene. He explains all of your questions.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • edwardo

      @Kermit – your theory begs the age old question. Who created the creator? If it takes a god to make something from nothing, then it would take a god to make a god.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • kermit

      so you're Faith is based on Brian Greene, ok....I hope he's one smart dude

      May 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • WobbleBob

      Kermit, you idiot, faith is totally unnecessary to anyone but a believer in invisible friends.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      @WobbleBob the fact that an infinite amount of "coincidences" had to happen for any of us to be here "points" to a creator....after that it is up to the individual to seek God...If in fact he does exist an omnipotent/omniscient God should have the ability to reveal himself to that person..

      May 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      @Observer...so basically you're saying you don't know why you're here and/or you don't care? That is your "belief"? That you don't know and your not going to even bother? I can't prove God's existence just as much as scientist can't prove the big bang...there is evidence of both but to reach a conclusion takes faith...one side leaves hope and the other does not...maybe I'm agnostic too because I don't claim to know everything about why I'm here, I have to have faith...Honestly, I'm sick of the extremes on both sides...the conservative judgmental Christian, who never thought through things as to why the believe what they do (ie Dinosaurs, cavemen, evolution, etc.) and the intellectually arrogant atheist and humanists. Science and religion are not mutually exclusive...all Christians do not believe just what they are told and some actually think "work out their faith", and we all don't just blindly believe in a "sky fairy" blah, blah, blah, God is like believing in the Easter bunny, religion is just here to control you.....STUPID...do you know how much wisdom is in the bible? There are things that are hard to believe but the wisdom in how to live and the hope it gives is why people follow it...

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

      @ wobble

      you idiot, you have to have faith to believe in whatever it is you believe in, because you've never had an original thought in your life i'm sure

      faith is faith...whether you believe in what a scientist says or what the Bible says...so it's pretty important to everybody

      May 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Observer

      @Oh yeah?

      "@Observer...so basically you're saying you don't know why you're here and/or you don't care?"

      Not at all. Not knowing the meaning of life has got to be the most frustrating question there is.

      Yes, the Bible does contain many good morals. The real issue is how to seperate those from the errors, contradictions, hypocrisy and nonsense also in it. People need to accept that and quit being hypocrites who just use the Bible as an excuse.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      @Observer..agreed, there are many religious hypocrites and many atrocities committed in the name of religion...maybe your turnoff is the "religious" themselves. Jesus' was most turned off by the Pharisees and outwardly pious...with that said, we all are human and make mistakes and I for one am just as guilty of the same hypocrisy...

      May 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      BTW @Humanist11...It seems that your "faith" is in Brian Greene and Carl Sagan...how come you haven't evolved to the point of being able to write your own book?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, Yeah, you aren't able to articulate a single cogent idea. Your posts are drivel.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you the same moron who insisted that one must perform one's own experiments? That otherwise, a person is simply "having faith" that other researchers and scientists got the results they say they did? You idiot, didn't you learn anything the first time you tried to pull this crap?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It cracks me up that Oh yeah blathers about intelligence but hasn't managed to figure out the "your"/"you're" thing.

      What a tard.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son!!!!!!! ...I didn't know I was arguing with you, I was too busy responding to all my intelligent post that got a response...Man, pretty good for a moron.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      My cat's hairballs look bright next to you, dolt.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      and thank you for being the grammar police...their=possessive, they're=they are, there=yonder?, my bad, I was typing too fast, btw my wife is an english teacher so I will get tutoring from her....

      May 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son your insults will make me cry through the night...Why does Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son (aka alias of angry anonymous man) not like my comments? Why God?!??!!!? Why???!!!!?!! Oh wait, Tom said there is no God....NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @kermit

      Reducing everything down to "faith" is an attempt to invalidate another position. Basically an ad hominem attack. Why should I try to educate someone in the Big Bang Theory that isn't going to listen? Perhaps you should do your own research instead of being willfully ignorant.

      May 18, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Humanist11

      @kermit,

      I gave you that book reference because you were asking real questions about the big bang. Were you just trolling and not expecting honest answers? How is me giving you a book reference different than quoting the bible as a legitimate authority? I don't understand where you are trying to go with this.

      May 18, 2012 at 3:55 am |
  10. Wholly Mary

    B-O-R-I-N-G!!!

    May 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  11. Kevin

    Question. Since Jesus death got rid of the old laws, and the ten commandments are the original laws given to Abraham can I now have other gods?

    May 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      There are other gods.they sit on the council with El but he is head honcho its in the Bible

      May 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • kermit

      Jesus did say that "I am the way, the truth, and the life no man cometh to the Father but by me"

      so go ahead and believe whatever you want too, you're an adult...just don't think you'll be a follower of Jesus for worshiping another God...then again you don't strike me as the individual that would actually worship anything other than your own desires

      May 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Bible said God is head of the council he judges other gods

      May 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • kermit

      where in the Bible, i'd love to read that for myself

      May 17, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Oh yes you can

      ALL HAIL ZEUS!!!!

      May 17, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Robairdo

      No because Christ gave us a new covenant which included the ten commandments, law of god. He only got rid of the Law of Moses which is nearly all the laws outside the ten commandments.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Google this gods council Bible verse take right to it . Might also get verse in rev. About the elders on the
      council it gives exact number

      May 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • kermit

      no Bama, since you're such a Bible expert why don't you just tell me in your Bible where is states that...I'd rather not trust my faith to Google....be careful with that kiddo

      May 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  12. GetReal

    It's true that Jesus lived among sinners. We all do. And it's true those who connect with God, our Creator, were forgiven through Christ, and repented in a remorseful spirit. This is not an automatic process. It's a painful process, and one that is very often ridiculed by a small minority of our society. Thank God this gay marriage thing has not become the 'law of the land'. It is Obama's most drastic maneuver yet to retain his frightening power. In fact, his endorsement may well backfire. This country remains very strong in many ways. Critical issues like this will hopefully make us stronger.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Kevin

      Obama's frightening powers? He is one of the weakest persidents in modern times. It was Bush jr who welded frightening powers.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • edwardo

      Your handle is a misnomer! Really? You think gay marriage is the demise of our nation? You Xtians are always looking at the sky looking for the end to come. Ready to push the nuclear button, if any Arab threatens your god.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • netwallwarrior

      It saddened me that the President allowed his political ambitions to overshadow his stated beliefs. It shows me that his core is subject to change with the prevailing winds. At the end of the day it really doesn't matter, as the saying goes what will be will be. God has a plan for all of us. Some to glory, and others...to a different place. May God shine his light on America. God Bless America...

      May 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Robairdo

      Christ never said antyhing about hom ose xua1ity.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Observer

      netwallwarrior,

      Speaking of stated beliefs, do you support the Bible when it comes to slavery and the inferiority of women and discrimination against the handicapped?

      May 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  13. netwallwarrior

    Please point out where I condemned anyone.... we all are guilty of death... I'm no different. What I believe doesn't make me any more special then anyone else. It makes me more cognizant of my faults, and leads me to want to lead a better life.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • netwallwarrior

      It's been a long day... I meant to say live a better life... It's not easy, and it doesn't get any easier. But still it's a choice we make.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      "or continue on down this deluded path that we can solve the riddle of mankind"
      A judgement on the mental state of those who do not believe as you do.

      "We all have a choice, accept God or not. Many try to make their own rules up, and unfortunately will die in their sins"
      The concept of "sin" is completely religious, and saying that those who try to "make up their own rules" (not sure who really does this), will die in their own sins, is a condemnation of their life choices based in your religion.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • DoNotWorry

      You will die in your unrepented sins if you disobey the Second Commandment to make no graven images of heaven or earth. Gays didn't make the top ten.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  14. netwallwarrior

    I don't find it to my advantage to debate with anyone regarding what I believe. However, it is a choice that we all have to make for ourselves. We can simply believe, or do our own thing. We have a choice we can open ourselves up so God can reveal himself, or continue on down this deluded path that we can solve the riddle of mankind. We all have a choice, accept God or not. Many try to make their own rules up, and unfortunately will die in their sins.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      You know when you start condemning and judging others for their non-belief, while at the same time saying you won't debate any of your own, that's merely a cop-out and a cowardly one at that.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Observer

      Many try to find logic and sense in the words of the Bible, but many are deluded enough not to see if it makes any sense.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • p.y.

      one sentence for you
      'Thou shall not judge" It's from the bible is not it?

      May 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      You are aware that less than 1/8 of the people on Earth believe in Christ as the son of God, right? You're not going to have much company where you're going. And besides, what if the Mormons are right? You're sure screwed then, aren't you?

      May 17, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • JWT

      I follow my own way and have not sinned.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  15. Sifleut

    If it weren't for religion, we'd be more evolved and there would be less wars.

    May 17, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • p.y.

      Or we would kill each other long time ago.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  16. phoodphite

    I just sadly laugh when someone has to cite Paul to make a point. What I have learned from the Bible is that Jesus constantly had to tell his disciples they did not get his point, especially when it came to disenfranchisement of any individual or group. This is why I take most of the New Testament with a half a grain of salt when it comes to anything other than the words of Jesus – who, evidently, loved everyone.

    May 17, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • avdin

      yes jesus loved the sinners. however, he did say: go and sin no more.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Prove it's a sin.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • John

      Dear Phoodphite, What you are saying is completely out of context and will lead you down a "counterfit" path if you are not careful. True Jesus did have to correct his diciples on occasion but, Jesus acknowledged that the word of God as a whole was the ever living word and inspired by the Lord. All the scriptures live in harmony and directly relate to each other. So to call the New Testiment not being "true" then what you are saying is the whole Bible is not true and do not try to deny it! I pray for you and that God will wake you up and allow you to see the entire truth. The Bible teaches us "So as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man. This speaks to me that mens hearts will grow worse and worse and will be given up to believe a lie. So please, do not allow youself to become a part of this great decetion and lie of the devil. The Bibile is the unfalable word of truth and will never be able to be put down by man or the devil. I stand behind the word of God and trust in the turths that comes from the "Word", the Holy Bible both Old and New Testiments.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • phoodphite

      @John – please. It is quite obvious that the words of Paul and his followers since are a poor attempt to relay the teachings of Jesus forward. Twisted and abused for all kinds of evil disenfranchising purposes. And that's really the sad thing for Christianity is how even more than ever the loosely related stories and beliefs of various characters in the two testaments are somehow valued more than the words of Jesus himself. But it doesn't surprise me. It's too easy to believe in the tangible edicts of Paul than it is to follow Jesus one simple golden rule. He knew even knew ten commandments was too difficult to follow. Evidently just one was too difficult too.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Oh John, you really are on a high horse, aren't you. What would you do in the absence of your fantasy?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  17. OZZIE

    If you believe Jesus died for YOU and thus paid the ultimate price, your entry into heaven is a certainty. The rest of this stuff here on Earth is immaterial.

    May 17, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Throbert

      Okay, Jesus died for our sins, but he was immortal and he knew it, so he didn't die, he just slept in for three days that was actually two days. God meant him to die, so it was really a combination filicide/suicide, and don't bother asking why God had to put on this tacky little melodrama when he could have just done away with sin. It was a set-up to force you to be guilty before you were ever born, and to pretend that it all somehow justifies Gods big kill-fest finale.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • smh

      The biggest problem with Christianity: Jesus died for our sins so we can do whatever the hell we want because it is "immaterial" and not be punished for it.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  18. JimG45

    Sure your name isn't El Diablo?

    May 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  19. netwallwarrior

    I'm only writing hits in the hopes that just maybe one person might get it... There seems to be so much confusion surrounding this issue... I'm truly amazed at the comments, and the supposed scholars that spout such questionable theology. The Bible is clear and more importantly it is clear to those that as the Bible say's will be saved.
    In the beginning in Genesis it states that Adam and Eve became one flesh. Throughout the OLD Testament some claim that there's mixed messages and not a clear understanding. I strongly disagree. If we could zoom out at the fifty thousand foot level, we get a clearer picture of the process. God established a relationship with the Abram to set the stage for teaching the world about who he GOD is... This relationship is described as a physical union between a man and a woman. However, it becomes clear in the New Testament as revealed in Ephesians that this Spiritual relationship between God/Jesus described as a male, and the spiritual nation of Israel described as a female is important for guiding us into this revelation of the nature of God. It tells us in Ephesians that this is a key to the mystery of the Kingdom.
    This information is relevant for it teaches us many things. We've been coaxed into an argument that's unnecessary and clearly a matter of a sinful nature and open rebellion against God. Do we hate the individual or do we focus on what's really important. We can change laws, and we can agree to disagree, but marriage was designed by God for the express purpose of teaching us about his Kingdom.

    May 17, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Ben Dover, The Extra-Friendly Pirate

      In the future, you might not want to post right after your shock therapy session.

      May 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Observer

      The Bible also supports slavery and discrinimation against women and the handicapped.

      Let's just pretend that didn't happen and move on to picking on gays.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Kerusso

      I agree, the words in the Bible are clearly definitive of the matter involving the relationship between a man and women, likened to the relationship between God and mankind.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  20. El Lobo

    Thankfully enough of our country's founding fathers were smart enough to know that religion was a man-made creation used to control and enslave mankind while monopolizing power and profit.

    Shamefully more people haven't realized this. Instead they fall hook, line and sinker!

    May 17, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Peter Phalangist

      A large segment of the population is afraid of thinking and acting independantly. They must conform, find a group, then abandon all self to the group identity.

      May 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Kevin

      Agree, but you are wrong. Our founding fathers were afraid of gov't in religion not religion in gov't.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      Where did the dense ball of matter that exploded in the big bang and contained all elements for life as we know it come from? Did that big ball of matter always exist? Please, dazzle me with you vast wisdom and thinking skills.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why would you think that simply not yet, or ever, knowing how these events occurred translates into "Godidit"?

      May 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Ask the Catholic priest/astronomer who came up with the theory

      May 17, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • El Lobo

      Kevin: Read Thomas Paine ( known as The Founder of The American Revolution)!.....my statement is paraphrasing one of his most famous quotes.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • but of course

      We don't yet know where this dense ball of matter cam from. From this we must deduce a magic sky fairy by the name of god willed it to be

      May 17, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      I find that if I ask a question that sounds all sciencey I can pretend that I am all sciencey and stuff. I just ask a question that science is prevented from knowing due to barriers of time and distance, then pretend that it somehow means that the only possible explaination is an invisible all-powerful guy who pulls it out of his derriere while riding his unicorn and dividing the light into night and day before he invents the Sun and Earth, even though night and day only exist if there is a Sun and a rotating planet.

      The less you think about it, the more sense it makes!

      May 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Observer

      @oh Yeah?

      Did that God always exist? Please, dazzle me with your vast wisdom and thinking skills.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Oh yeah?

      It's chicken or the egg...ntelligence breeds intelligence....If I stumbled across a complex machine that I didn't know what it was but has obvious signs that it was intelligently designed then it would be naive to assume it was a random event just because I didn't witness it being built.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • WobbleBob

      What are those "obvious signs"? Be specific.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:47 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.