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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. Dan

    Where does it state in the Bible that the world is 6000 years old.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Jacob

      I think it's mentioned in the second chapter of First Brontosaurus.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Observer

      Dan,

      Just follow the "A begot B who begot C who begot D, etc." and put a reasonable life expectancy on each.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Jacob

      Reasonable? Like Methuslah's 969 years?

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

      "Reason" is not The B's strong suit, nor it's adherents.

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

      Methuselah's 969 years is the result of a mistranslation of the ancient Hebrew words for 'month' and 'year', which are quite similar and may have meant the same thing ca. 3000 years ago. Thirteen months in a Hebrew year. 74 and a half years in our modern calendar. Seems like a more reasonable interpretation. Now only 318,594 mistranslations to go..

      May 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • jungleboo

      A friend of mine majored in Biblical translations, and desired to translate the Bible for 3rd world countries into their native tongue. This individual is not a messenger from God, just your normal everyday human being making a truckload of mistakes in everyday life. Can you imagine the kinds of errors that my friend will be making, trying to move between ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Mandarin or Swahili? The Eskimos have dozens of words for "snow", each referring to a particularly vivid aspect of the white stuff that we use only two or three words for. C's are myopic beyond belief, because they can no comprehend that their god did not reveal in their language. But they always have an excuse, and pound away on their book, saving souls and eradicating their victims at the same time.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  2. Bobs Friend

    JWT: So you never deviate from your own moral code? Is it written down or are you just "winging it". Most people retroactively approve what they do...
    If they do something that violates their conscience, they will develop a justification after the fact. That is not a moral code, it is just making excuses for your sins.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Jacob

      Sort of like when xtians dismiss the parts of the Bible they don't like by claiming it's part of the "Old Covenant" or claiming it was "taken out of context" or claiming by questioning the definition of "is".

      May 17, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Or say God said it because it says so right here .oh yeah a man in dress wrote it

      May 17, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      @ Jacob:
      So you agree then that all we humans are hypocrites who can't even abide by our own moral code let alone Gods Code?

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

      No Bob, I don't agree with the words you put in my mouth. Care to try again?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      @ Jacob
      All I can tell you is this: When you stand in the presence of God, He will not have to tell you that you are a sinner, His holiness will make it overwhelmingly obvious. Your arguments will not be happening, because you will be speechless.
      Jesus Christ Lived a life of Love and Holiness and finally Sacrifice, for you. He is indeed THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life. I know because I asked & He answered. God wants you to live a righteous life (the best you can), follow Jesus His Son by Loving God and Loving your neighbor.
      Sometimes loving your neighbor means guiding them away from sin & into righteousness. God Bless you!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • jungleboo

      So what a tangle you create when you adhere to the ludicrous idea that you must "lead your neighbor away." How about if your neighbor is trying to lead you away from your errors? That looks like a fist fight of the first order to me. Of course, your Bible is full of that hateful behavior, and you delight in reading about it and talking about it every day, so you do not view it as unusual and downright unpleasant. How about you don't try to lead me, no matter what your pastor tells you. I am not a sheep, even if you insist that you are. Your beatific calm can only be seen as menacing when it comes to my personal rights to live my life beautifully as I see fit. Stay in your church, and stay and out of government when you feel like you want to interfere with civil rights.

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

      Why would I deviate from it ? And no it is not written down – there is no need to.

      May 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  3. Christine

    Believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, pray that our heavenly Father draw each soul to His Son. Gd is Love, loves everyone and wants all to be saved. Ask our Heavenly Father to draw each LGBT person to Jesus, to heal them in mind, body and soul, to free/deliver them from Evil, to bring them to repentance, that they may be saved. Let us love them through our intercession.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • edwardo

      Your prayer has fallen on non-existent ears. I'm still gay honey! Keep praying, while I pound your boyfriend.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • JWT

      No LGBT person needs to be saved nor is evil or wrong in any way for being the way they are.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Jacob

      Nothing's more convincing than prayerful condescension.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Fritz Hohenheim

      hocuspocus abracadabra e pluribusumum mumbo jumbo I COMMEND YOU EVIL GAY DEMON TO LEAVE!!!!

      May 17, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • trueblue42

      @edwardo: Your post made my day, bro! Tell 'em!

      May 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Voxovreeson

      Next time maybe you should pray for a little wisdom, too...

      May 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Catherine

      Thank you for your comment. I totally agree. We all have problems and weaknesses, but the Lord makes it clear in the Bible that the behavior is wrong. He also makes it clear that He has ordained marriage between and man and a woman, and nothing else.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Catherine, when did you choose to be straight?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • edwardo

      @Catherine – actually, god doesn't want you to marry anyone! An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
      1 Corinthians 7:32b–35 NIV

      May 17, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Christine, you would not be telling god what to do, now would you? You can do that? How did you get that power? You believe in your idea that The Omnipotent Creative Energy would activate on your COMMAND (another word for "pray", as in "Pray, leave my house at once!") and extinguish a fire that burns brightly in another person's heart! How did you get to such a place? You have been sickened by religious types into believing that you are above anyone you disagree with. What good does that do you, except that you feel righteous, and wish your opponent were squashed.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  4. ur

    alot of biased editing going on

    May 17, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  5. robertVA

    Here's a devastating rebuttal of Helminiak's arguments:
    http://www.reformed.org/social/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/social/hodges_response_helminiak.html

    May 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Sodomite

      Hardly 'devastating' at all.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Voxovreeson

      A little cheeky to call it 'devastating'. More like debilitating. I know reading it certainly left me unable to keep my eyes open.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Unlike your bunghole

      May 17, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  6. stanyergroun

    Jesus never said one word on the subject, but he did like to spend a great deal of his time wandering around in the woods with his man friends. What can we learn from this?

    May 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Jesus was banging Mary mag. Church lies about it

      May 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      Actually, there is an interesting passage from Jesus as he was talking about eunuchs: (Castrated or effeminate men) He was talking about Old Testament Divorce Law, and began to speak about unmarried people:

      11Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

      May 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • jaz

      Jesus said, "Deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me." hmmmm, not much denial of self these days

      May 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • David Rudmin

      Of course Dan Brown is more credible than all the testimony of all the good people throughout A.D. History. We won't mention how much money he made, either.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Jacob

      What does Dan Brown's income have to do with anything?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  7. In His Noodly Name

    What does the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster have to say about this?

    May 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Oregon it's in there

      May 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Prego it's in there

      May 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  8. Bobs Friend

    I think the most relevant comment was regarding writing your own Bible. There is only one reason people use the Bible when they hate what is written in it, and that is to "steal, k*ill, and destroy".
    They could easily start from scratch and write their own theology book or start their own religion, but instead, they infiltrate churches, pervert the teachings, divide the congregations and the property, promote confusion, all the while being applauded by those who hate the truth taught in the Bible.
    They want to divide the church as much as possible, so they tell people "What their itching ears want to hear" .
    You don't like the Old Testament? Here is What the Apostle Paul (THE Apostle of GRACE) said in Romans:

    1:26 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

    Now all Christians sin, and certainly all Christians will struggle with sin until death. Heaven is filled with all sinners. But they are sinners who acknowledge they are sinners and acknowledge their sin. Many gay people will be in heaven, those who acknowledge that their desires that they were born with are sinful, just like so many of our desires we are born with are sinful. And they may struggle their whole life and never overcome it, all Christians have sin they they never overcome. And S*e*x*u*a*l desires are one of the hardest sins to overcome, no matter which way you swing the bat, so to speak.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Jacob

      No one needs to pervert the BIble. It's perverted enough as is. Just consider the story of Lot screwing his own daughters.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      The sky is full of sinners? Heaven=sky research it

      May 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • jungleboo

      coo coo

      May 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Faithless

      Prove that the Christian concept of sin exists. The entire Christian fantasy is based on the existence of sin and the existence of an afterlife. Give those ideas up, and you'll be free. Try it. Open your mind.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • JWT

      Ony christians who follow your particular brand of christiaity could be sinners. The rest are not.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • David Rudmin

      You doubt sin exists? The 3 root causes of sin are (1) The Lust of the Flesh [Physical], (2) The Lust of the Eyes [Sensate], and (3) the Pride of LIfe (egoism) [Rational]. They're self-evident! No one needs to prove it. Do you mean to tell me that you never feel, not even the slightest annoyance when someone displays over-weening self-centered egotism? So sin exists! It's all around you in peoples' personal failings and vices.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      @JWT:
      1 John:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

      We may be righteous in the sight of God because of the Sacrifice Jesus made, but nevertheless, we still sin: As the Apostle Paul said:
      Romans 7 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.c For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Jacob

      It's not self-evident that any of those things are sinful. In fact, they're the very things that perpetuates the species. Your religion is anti-life.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • JWT

      If you are questioning me then I say biblical sin does not exist, the first two things you mention are nto sinful in the least, 100% not. No proof needed. There are very few thing sin life that bother me other than bad drivers abnd religious believeres who though some fault of their own think I should be bound by their beliefs.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • JWT

      @ Bob's friend. That is a religious pov which does not apply to me in any way.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      JWT:
      I thought from your post that your were a Christian claiming that you did not sin. There are some Christians who actually believe that they become sinless in this life, but the Bible says they have deceived themselves. Every honest human being understands that we lack moral perfection.

      You may reject the WORD "sin" but everyone abides by some kind of moral code.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • JWT

      @Bob No I am not a christian, I have nothing against them and my parents are both christians. We each have our own moral code for sure. We pick and choose it from where we want. I live mine just fine thanks and do not stray from it.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      @JWT: Is murder wrong in your estimation? If someone murdered you or your family, would you just shrug your shoulders and walk away saying, "There is no right or wrong, this is just life"?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Jacob

      What a stupid question.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Observer

      Bobs Friend,

      Are you going to claim that Christians are so inherently ignorant that they would go around killing everyone if they didn't have a book to tell them it would be wrong?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • JWT

      Not sure what party of cuber space my reply went to.

      Killing people is generally but not always wrong. Sometimes it can be a corect thing to do but that depends on the individual involved.

      And no I would not care if someone murdered me.

      Not sure just how your read this into my reply.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      @ Observer:
      I was just trying to see if he is one of those ppl that don't believe in any moral code at all.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  9. Faithful

    All I am getting is attacks on my belief of what marriage should be and that the Bible is wrong and that God doesn't exist. Ok all I am getting is assertions with no proof behind it.
    Someone wanna prove that God doesn't exist?
    Or that h-o-mo-se-xua-lity isn't wrong?
    Or that the Bible is false?
    Because most of you keep taking the Bible out of context. See I have read these "problem" passages and they do not say what you say. Look in context of the verses please and then draw your conclusion. That would solve a lot of issues.
    But I will still stand as God be the only God. Jesus Christ being the only savior of the World. The Bible being 100% true for everyone and all times. And marriage being only between one man and one woman. God Bless.

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

      Faithful,

      As I said below, the Bible does contain many good morals, but it was written by man and so contains errors, contradictions, hypocrisy and nonsense, too.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Faithless

      Would you like to prove to me that God does exist? And what I mean by that is a proof that will withstand scientific rigor and review. You can't.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Faithful

      Observer,
      That is just your opinion of it. Give me verses that are not taken out of context of the chapter and such and then we can talk. So far you have given me verses that do not have to relate to Christians today, verses taken out of context, and just not what the Bible says.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Faithful

      Faithless,
      So that means you have to take it still by faith that God may not exist?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Observer I agree

      May 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Observer

      Faithful,

      You can't even tell me which Bible is correct.

      – II Chronicles 36:9 “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king” [English Standard version]
      – II Chronicles 36:9 “Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king” [New King James version]
      – II Chronicles 36:9 “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king” [New International Version]
      – II Chronicles 36:9 “Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king” [New American Standard version]
      – II Chronicles 36:9 “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king” [New Century version]
      – II Chronicles 36:9 “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king” [New Living Translation version]

      May 17, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Faithful

      Observer,
      From what I have studied on the different translations of the Bible, there are some good ones and some bad ones. The ones that are good that are word for word translations are the wones that are good to uses. (KJV, NKJV, ESV, NASB) The others are conceptual translations of the Bible. Those are the ones with more of translation mistakes in them.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • JWT

      Your bible does not apply to me. It never has and never will. That much is an absolute fact.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Observer

      Faithful,

      So using the "good" versions, how old was Jehoiachim when he became king?

      – II Chronicles 36:9 “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king” [English Standard version]
      – II Chronicles 36:9 “Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king” [New King James version]

      May 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Anyone who's going to attempt to debate an issue, Faithful, should know that one can't prove a negative. I can no more prove that god doesn't exist than I can prove leprechauns don't exist.

      Don't you people ever learn?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      Verses that do not have to relate to Christians today? Seriously? How can any intelligent person say the bible is 100% true, but only some parts have to relate to Christians today? Contradictions tend to indicate lies.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If god's word is truth, why are there so many versions of it? How do YOU know one is "good" and another "bad", Faithful? Who's the authority on context? You? I doubt it. Your preacher? Says who?

      If there were only one possible interpretation of scripture, there wouldn't be thousands of Biblical scholars who disagree with each other. And if your version of the Bible were the only correct one, there'd be proof of it. There is none. It is simply what you choose to believe.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Faithless

      If you knew anything about science, Faithful, you'd know that you can't prove a negative. God does not exist. Prove otherwise.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Voxovreeson

      Tom- no...they don't learn. That's why everything is so screwed up these days. There's no 'reasoning' in discussion; just 'I believe this' or 'I believe that' as though somehow that's a sound logical argument in and of itself. It's like talking to the Western Wall....all stone with a bunch of heads banging against it daily.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Madmax

      Prove to me that God does exist and that the Bible is his or her word! Why can't the word of Yahweh or Mohammed be the divine guidance? Since nobody in my circle has met anyone who has experienced the so-called after-life, I will assume it doesn't exist.

      Now, let's all grab a weapon and go kill someone in the name of religion.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • DFW Dann

      Prove to me God doesn't exist. I say prove to me you never opened that box. The standard is not proving a negative but proving a positive. Therefore the burden is on you to prove that God exists. We're waiting for the proof.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • ddrew78

      Faithful,

      As a Roman-Catholic, let me tell you that nobody is trying to attack your belief in what marriage should be. Nobody is asking any church to perform same-s.e.x. weddings. Nobody is even asking them to recognize them. What people are talking about is legal marriage. You know, as it pertains to the laws of the United States. The law should not discriminate against any group. The church can, and should, if it is against their beliefs.

      Also, there is such a thing as the first amendment, which is often misinterpreted. It is not meant to keep the Government out of the church. It is, in fact, meant to keep the church out of Government. The founders recognized the perils of having the church dictate what the Government should/could do in Europe, so they wanted to make sure that would not happen in the United States. However, that is increasingly what is happening.

      And, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm a 34-year old guy who's been happily married for 12 years.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, Faithful? Where are you? Still unable to grasp the concept that the burden of proof is on you?

      Same old crap from you dolts, every day.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Joey132

      Here's a problem Roman catholics are so perfect why then are there mafias who are italians they came over in the United States killing people over Bussinesses so they can take over the our country.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      ddrew, excellent post.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Allen

      tnfreethinker it is really very easy to understand. The old testament is made is made up of 39 books. 17 are the history of the Jewish people (Judism), 5 books of poetry or "wisdom," and 17 books of prophecy. The new testament is the story of Jesus. Jesus himself said that the old ways were of the past. That is why Christians say that the laws of Judism do not apply to Christians. They have never applied to Christians, as we are gentiles...

      May 17, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • What???

      Just because it is in the Bible doesn't mean it is from God. The Words of God are transformative and transcendent and cannot change just like the laws of physics do not change. They are perfect even in an imperfect world.

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

      Allen...Jesus believed that the Old Testament was divinely inspired, the veritable Word of God.

      ‘The Scripture cannot be broken’ (John 10:35).
      He said the scripture was ‘the commandment of God’ (Matthew 15:3) and was the ‘Word of God’ (Matthew 15:6).
      ‘Until Heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the law, until all is accomplished’ (Matthew 5:18).
      'Have you not read that which was spoken to you by God?’ (Matthew 22:31)

      Jesus quoted the old testament often and he trusted it completely. If a person believes in Jesus, he should be consistent and believe that the old testament and its accounts are correct.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Faithful

      To those who have brought up questions and concerns to me... look on page 25 of the blog comments. I put my answer to the questions there...

      May 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  10. edwardo

    What did God do during that eternity before he created everything? If God was all that existed back then, what disturbed the eternal equilibrium and compelled him to create? Was he bored? Was he lonely? God is supposed to be perfect. If something is perfect, it is complete–it needs nothing else. We humans engage in activities because we are pursuing that elusive perfection, because there is disequilibrium caused by a difference between what we are and what we want to be. If God is perfect, there can be no disequilibrium. There is nothing he needs, nothing he desires, and nothing he must or will do. A God who is perfect does nothing except exist. A perfect creator God is impossible.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • James PDX

      Oh, great, now you've made all of the Christians stick their fingers in their ears and run around in circles humming hymns.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      He was making other universes

      May 17, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • What???

      He planed the creation of man at the beginning of time for His good pleasure. He also gave man a free will to chose to love his Creator or not to love his Creator.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • What???

      I have one word for you James. NOT!!!!

      May 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • edwardo

      @What?? – His pleasure? The perfect creator desires pleasure? Why would a perfect being need pleasure? He had a plan? If he had a plan, then free will is not an option. If our lives are already planned, then we don't have free will. There are numerous scriptures anyway where god removed someone's free will.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Palmetto 1977

      Ed-
      This might be the stupidest post on here. Refer to the book of Genesis. God created things that were good...Adam, Eve, earth, etc. Why did God allow sin in? Who knows?!? But it is here. Do you really think that we, some of the smallest creatures on earth, have the brain capacity to understand the Creator? We bicker and argue over idiotic topic like whether a man can be with a man and whether or not there is an afterlife. Either you believe in a God or you don't. If you don't, why are you on a board about religions and their beliefs? If you do, then extend Him the faith that he deserves and quit questioning him.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • edwardo

      @What?? – God supposedly has freewill, and yet he does not make imperfect decisions. If humans are miniature images of God, our decisions should likewise be perfect. Also, the occupants of heaven, who presumably must have freewill to be happy, will never use that freewill to make imperfect decisions. Why would the originally perfect humans do differently?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      God likes pleasure.he made Beelzebub with perfect beauty

      May 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • edwardo

      @Palmetto – God is omniscient. When he created the universe, he saw the sufferings which humans would endure as a result of the sin of those original humans. He heard the screams of the damned. Surely he would have known that it would have been better for those humans to never have been born (in fact, the Bible says this very thing), and surely this all-compassionate deity would have foregone the creation of a universe destined to imperfection in which many of the humans were doomed to eternal suffering. A perfectly compassionate being who creates beings which he knows are doomed to suffer is impossible.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      God didn't bring sin in his first created did. No his only son was not Jesus

      May 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • What???

      God does not have free will because His will is perfect. However, man has a free will to do good or evil.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • What???

      edwardo, men are not miniture Gods. We are made in the image of God. That is we are created in 3 parts like God (the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost) that is man has a spirit, a soul and a body.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, please. Why would anyone listen to the interpretation of someone who thinks "miniture" is a word?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • What???

      So Tom you are a god now hence you are perfect. Now you are god?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Observer

      @What???,

      Any idea how God could watch as he torturously murdered virtually every person on the face of the earth, but can't handle the idea of two men or two women consenting to do things in private?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  11. Sheila

    How can we say the Bible preaches marriage as one man and one woman when David – a man after God's own heart, according to scripture – and others, like Solomon – had multiple wives and concubines?

    May 17, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • ur

      and God punished them for it

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

      That's the Christian part of the bible

      May 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Jacob

      Not to mention he had a rather "close" relationship with his pal Jonathan.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • just sayin

      Both David and Solomon, had multiple problems in life because of their multiple marriages.The Bible does not gloss over the problems but gives specific examples of the consequences of their sin. God bless

      May 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Observer

      just sayin,

      The Bible presented King Solomon as the EPITOME of WISDOM.

      – 1 Kings 11:2-3 “Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines.”

      May 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Jacob

      Soloman had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Who wouldn't have trouble? Just listening to them each talk about how fat they feel would be enough to make a guy head for the nearest ledge. But the OT never claims that having more than one wife is wrong.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • just sayin

      @observer
      That led him away from God in his later years. God bless

      May 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Solomon my boyeee

      May 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • What???

      There is a difference between something that is truly stated and a statement of truth. The exploits of men in the Bible may be communicated in the Bible but are not Biblical truths. Example: the Bible says in Job "the Lord gives and the Lord takes’ away” Job said that but it is not the truth. God said "My gifts and callings are without repentance" in other words what God gives you is for you and what you do with your gift or calling is up to you. So who has the power Job or God?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      God said Job was perfect

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

      Actually, Judaism does allow multiple wives. David and Solomon were Hebrews before the time of Jesus. Jesus is the one who said one man and one women.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  12. ur

    what does the Qu'ran say about it

    May 17, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Observer

      It's far more important what the Bible says since the Quran isn't used by people to pick candidates and set laws here.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Ha ha ha ha

      May 17, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • ur

      YES, Sharia Law does, lets start that discussion or are you afraid of that peaceful religion

      May 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Observer

      ur,

      Get serious. Christians are constantly screaming that this is a Christian country. Guess you didn't get the word.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • ME

      Your very mistaken if you think that the Quran isn't used in law. In most muslim countries the Quran runs everything.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
  13. God

    We need to return to the traditional version of marriage which is the transfer of property (a woman) from her father to her husband. The woman's sole purpose is to bear and raise children. She does not work outside the home. She does not vote. Her only duty is to obey her husband and raise his children.

    I command it.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Lilith

      God, you must be a southern baptist!

      May 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • n8263

      Thank God you are here to help us out!

      May 17, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • James PDX

      No, he's God. Are you even paying attention?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Lilith we let our women work.I want that cake cake cake cake

      May 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • n8263

      Ok, so thank You you are here to help us out!

      May 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Allen

      Last time I saw "God," he was getting his butt handed to him by the Hulk...

      May 17, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Modern Man

      I want my woman to work so she can double our income! I do not care if my children are raised by strangers who are teaching and doing God knows what! By the time we get finished paying for child care it eats up half her check but I don't care, half is better than none! I cant wait for our children to go to school and be socialized in to this godless society full of atrocious sin and death! Why would I want my children's mother nurturing them and teaching them one on one? We need to pay for our expensive plywood box on our spit of land! We need to pay for really nice cars and every frivilous desire screw the kids! Me and the wife are to busy commiting our own sins to worry about making sure our children have morals and are innocent!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  14. Evelyn Connaway

    Exodus Chapter 20: The original law the 'Ten Commandments' please read and note; God did not make a commandment about marriage or whom you could marry, only what you were to do as an individual, all of those 'THOU SHALL NOT's'. The Ten
    Commandments did not change in the New Testament. If we believe, as Christian's, that all are created uniquely equal to one another in the image of God, as we say we do, how can we be so self-absorbed to think that God makes straight people more perfect than gay people? Jesus said to his Disciples, 'A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another' as I have loved you, that you also love one another. Most things in the Book aren't true, as they were written by men who had a big ego, hated women and anyone different than they were. Read;St. Matthew, Ch. 12, vs. 31 & 32, about SIN and forgiveness. Reading the whole Bible has only confused the whole world.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • David Rudmin

      That's because the 10 commandments are the line in the sand, the ultimate limit, the fence at the edge of the cliff, which you must not violate and cross (Because those who do willfully violate them, drive the Holy Spirit–God–out of their soul, lose Sanctifying Grace, and merit Hell.). But within these ultimate boundaries, these absolute prohibitions, there's much more room for Freedom and Advice (not prohibution). Along comes the New Covenant, the Law of Love (rather than the Law of the Flesh), and within the freedom established by these absolute boundaries, establishes the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, and the 7 Sacraments through which we become United to that Body of Christ, of which, one is Marriage. Since this is a NEW thing, it has new laws by which it operates, regulated by the Church established by Jesus Christ, not by the Bible inspired by the Holy Spirit. Marriage itself and its laws don't contradict the 10 Commandments, then, because it is already existing within their boundaries, and is thus perfectly consistent with them. So of course you wouldn't expect to see all the little regulations of Marriage IN the 10 Commandments.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  15. kj

    According to christian churches god love everyone even those who kill people or those who sin, so if god forgives someone who kills someone I dont think god will have a problem with a good person who is gay. People need to stop judging other, in god's eyes were all equal.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • ur

      love and fogive the sinner but rebuke the sin

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

      According to the Bible, God will forgive killers and other sinners who recognize their sin, repent (which requires feeling true remorse), and ask His forgiveness. He doesn't just go around randomly forgiving everyone – so your argument contradicts what the Bible actually says about forgiveness.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

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

      Spamming doesn't fool God for brownie points.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • You know I'm right!

      Believe what you want, but prayer changes nothing. Billions will die praying. God is indifferent to death at best. Death And suffering are a part of life. God is at best indifferent to the world.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Lilith

      Look at me God, look what I'm doing for YOU. Look at me I want brownie points!

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

      Yes it changes things.... It has the exact same effect as wishing upon a star or throwing a coin into a magic wishing fountain. Its all psychosomatic. If you don't know what that means.... I'm not surprised.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Qu-eers can find a normal life through repentance and prayer. Many a qu-eer has been changed by prayer. Prayer does change lives.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • just sayin

      Truth is not spam. God bless

      May 17, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Observer

      just sayin,

      Mindless spam is not truth.

      Tell us how atheism is not healthy for plants. How many of them are Christians?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • just sayin

      All of them. God bless

      May 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Observer

      just sayin,

      Did you actually just claim that all plants are Christian?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • just sayin

      Christ is the head of Christianity. Christ is God. Christ created all things, Christ created all plants. All creation is Christian. God bless

      May 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Observer

      just sayin,

      You are creeping me out. I just had a chicken caesar salad and killed and ate a bunch of Christians.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  17. n8263

    It is immoral to impose your religious superstition on others.

    You do not believe in religion because you honestly think it is true, you believe in it because you fear mortality, seek comfort or are trying to find meaning in your life. It does not take a genius to figure out all religion is man made, so for humanity's sake, please stop lying to yourself.

    Deluding yourself in religion does not change reality. Lying to yourself is probably the worst possible way to try to find meaning.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • just sayin

      To become an atheist it is essential to lie to yourself. God bless

      May 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • n8263

      Can you explain?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • just sayin

      Yes. God bless

      May 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • n8263

      I doubt it.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  18. Clyde Farris

    Those from whom those biblical stores come were just as prejudiced, and probably more prejudiced, as people are prejudiced today. Basically, the Bible is more immoral than moral (Leviticus 20:10-27; Exodus 22:18; Judges 11:30-40; II Samuel 12:9-18; Numbers 31:17; Luke 19:22-31; and according to the myth, God, the creator and most powerful thing ever, let his son be killed when a simple "timeout" would have been sufficient), and we'll all be better off when the Christian/Jewish/Islamic gods and stories are viewed as myths, just as today we know Zeus, Apollo, Ra, Thor, Buddha, etc. are myths.

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

      Call them star visitors

      May 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  19. BamaDaniel

    @Seth psalms 82.1 read it.read more than one version.the other is in rev. Find it for you

    May 17, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  20. ur

    what

    May 17, 2012 at 8:51 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.