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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. jmac121

    Excerpt from Romans 1 [NASB – most would agree closest translation going] .... pretty clear why things are as they are:

    "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

    For even though they knew God, they did not [n]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [o]crawling creatures.

    Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for [p]a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed [q]forever. Amen.

    For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [r]unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing [s]indecent acts and receiving in [t]their own persons the due penalty of their error."

    May 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • The True Word Of God!!!

      Here is the scriptural quotation that proves everything:

      "And happy Mr. JumpyBunny hopped happily down the trail flicking his tail to fetch the mail. Mr. JumpyBunny realized he was God and that all warthogs are evil. From then on, all will proclaim him God or they will burn forever in the Great Lava Lamp Of Doom. Mr. JumpyBunny reminds you all that he is the one and only true God, and that any belief in other gods and ZINGO! Off to the Lava Lamp Of Doom!"

      There it is – divinely inspired scripture that proves the true God and proclaims him king. I sure wouldn't risk the Lava Lamp Of Doom like you misguided Christians are doing!

      All tongues will bow! All knees will confess!

      Be afraid! Obey! Send money now – operators are standing by!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • jmac121

      The True Word Of God

      I feel sad for you, but stil have hope and believe your heart will soften to Him ... you know deep down that He is your Creator and Heavenly Father.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • brian

      thats right !

      ever since man sinned (adam n eve) we become imperfect. fell under sin and death. also satan and his demons have been running the show on earth and making life hard for a true christian and easy for those against God. this is y its so easy to do bad and so hard to do good. also in route, man has destroyed the earth and eachother.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Observer

      jmac,

      Romans (12:20) also says “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.”

      Do you believe and practice EVERYTHING that Romans says or just pick-and-choose?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • The True Word Of God!!!

      You are pissing off Mr. JumpyBunny, jmac! I feel very very sorry for you! I will pray for your doomed soul!

      Defy the divinely-inspired scriptures at your own risk! Worship your false god at your own peril!

      May 17, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • jmac121

      Observer

      No, I wish I did ... I want to, but I don't always ... thank God for Christ! Also, I am not tring to justify my wrong-doing [sin] ... I have struggles but not trying to excuse them.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • jmac121

      "The True Word Of God!!

      I am sorry someone probably from a church hurt you and misrepresented God to you ... I know that God will reveal Himself to you ... maybe tonight while your looking at your ceiling while you are sleeping wondering about life??? Jesus mocked Christ too, but he love them and asked God to forgive them for they didn't really understand

      May 17, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Observer

      jmac121,

      The term for someone who uses a source to pick on other people, but don't believe it all themselves is "HYPOCRITE".

      May 17, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • The True Word Of God!!!

      Uh, when I am asleep, I don't look at the ceiling and wonder about life . . . because I am asleep.

      Jesus mocked Christ too? Really?

      May 17, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • jmac121

      hm, a hypocrite is someone who says they've done nothing wrong [and judged others] ... not someone who is striving to live a right life, realizing they need Christ ... like the apostle Paul, I understand my sin and struggles – make no excuse for them, accept God's grace and try to move forward

      'WOG'

      See, i make mistakes too lol ... people mocked christ too

      May 17, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • jmac121

      'True Word ...'

      You know, when Christ was on the cross, he had two people on either side of him who had done wrong [like all of us] ... one on them mocked Christ, the other asked Christ for salvation – which Christ promised .... don't be the mocking guy.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  2. Pravda4uToday

    How come gays get their own churches? What about the liars? Cheaters? Murderers? How many Luster Churches are out there now? I just don't get it....

    May 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Beep Beep

      Being gay and joining a church is like being a Jew and joining the gestapo. Makes sense!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Jacob

      Pravda, you're right. You just don't get it.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  3. brian

    This is the question then for those who doubt the bible, God, or both.

    Seeing as people are getting smarter, and we are, and technology is advancing so rapidly, which it has ( last 100yrs) , and we are supposedly honestly trying to solve the problems of mankind such as disease, famine, pollution, homelessness, VIOLENCE etc etc....
    Why then, with all these "advancements" , has life become worse? why are we going backwards? we have more knowledge, more technology at our disposal, but still we have more sicknesses emerging, even things we have supposedly erradicated measles, mumps and others but they are re-emerging. we have increased our ability to feed people, which originally the thought was we could not feed this many ppl (7 billion and counting) yet still every few seconds someone dies from hunger and OVER 950 MILLION ppl are currently mal nourished. we even are more "eco friendly" the earth is being destroyed more and more every day..and homelessness, need i even elaborate? Violence! Violence Violence! Runs rampant, the earth is full of violence from actual wars to entertainment, in the streets, even in our own homes in the family.. I mean face it, EVERYTHING is getting worse. So why? the question is why? Who can answer for this?

    May 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Beep Beep

      Overpopulation, that's why.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Colin

      The only thing that has mitigated all the woes you cite is science. Modern medicine and technology has made our lives what they are.

      Religion has done exactly zero toward advancing our lives. It is nothing more than false hopes for the comically stupid notion of life after death.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Personal gain . I live in hurricane ally I'm a witness to the goodness of man when the chips are down for every one

      May 17, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • kebos

      Who says life has gotten worse except you? I beg to differ. Living is much easier than 100 years ago. That I can assure you. There will always be strife, poverty, death in parts of our world.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • brian

      so for those who actually are honest and wise enough to admit the increasing issues, what is the answer to mans ills ?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Joel

      Overpopulation.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Get Real

      brian,

      Yes, overpopulation... and the access to information.

      Do you think that the Maoris of New Zealand knew about the mass slaughter of American Indians in the early U.S.?

      Do you think that the Incas of Peru knew about the 30-60 percent death rate in Europe from the Black Death in the 1300s?

      There is no verified evidence that magically, mystically, darkly and supernaturally sinister happenings are going on now (or ever).

      May 17, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • brian

      so the answer to all our problems is kill eachother? stop re producing? will that reverse all these things? i mean really guys..
      so what about when we die? whats the answer to death? or is death not an issue ?

      May 17, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • brian

      so your saying theres no evil in the world today? really?

      May 17, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      So, why , why, why?
      Because man is a fallen creature, and can not govern himself apart from God who created him. Every attempt to do so ends up in futility. Even our own celebrated democracy... it has proven to be a miserable failure. The wealthy rule through their position of power , the poor are undesirable and castaways, especially the sick, who die for lack of health care... And we are bombarded with lies 24/7 by the media who ar no more then hired puppets of Big Mafia Corp's. The leaders we have have saturated themselves with greed and become corrupted, from the first to the last ! So you see, these are the ways of Man.
      But friend, take heart.,, Christ Jesus is the Lord God almighty, and He has a plan which no demon of Hell, nor force of Earth will thwart.
      If you in your heart can pray, My Father, who art in heaven , glorified be your name, Your Kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven"... if you can pray this prayer, with longing heart for God, and humbly admit your poverty and need for His healing of your soul, and ask Christ to come and make you a new creation in Him, He will reveal Himself to you, and you will KNOW that Christ has risen from the dead, that HE is the LORD of all.
      The people of this world who reject God and proudly declare their independence from Him will sink into deeper and deeper darkness, and as the time progresses, we will see more of evil manifesting itself. But these are the things Christ said must take place before the End.
      But blessed are those whose eyes are fixed on Him, and they long for His comming. Their hope and expectation will not be in vain. I hope to see you in His Presence on the blessed day when our Lord returns.

      You friend, Have a blessed and peaceful night!

      May 17, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  4. BamaDaniel

    @beep let's put all gay on one side and all straight on the other build a wall .only people born in their community can stay only people born in our community can stay and let's see who's around in 200yrs since you're apart of nature

    May 17, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Beep Beep

      And no turkey basting!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • KCTX

      Your ignorance astounds me... please stop saying things on CNN, isn't there some FOX News story you can comment on instead?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      What will you do with the LGBT children born on the straight side? And will the gay side have to give up their straight children?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  5. Beep Beep

    Gay Social Engineering Manifest Motto: Manipulate, Deceive and Influence.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Pork a man

      May 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  6. REPENT

    Judgement is coming upon the earth. Woe, it is already here. Bow down to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Atheists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists will all give an account. The Lord says!! No one can argue with the Lord of Lords, for all will be without excuse in his presence. REPENT REPENT REPENT! THE TIME IS AT HAND!!

    May 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • LinCA

      Time to double up on your medication.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • brian

      But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you also look down on your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written: “‘As I live,’ says Jehovah, ‘to me every knee will bend down, and every tongue will make open acknowledgment to God.’” 12 So, then, each of us will render an account for himself to God.
      romans 14:10-12
      there ya have it

      May 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Observer

      REPENT,

      Did you just get this news flash from 2,000 years ago?

      May 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Jacob

      Actually what he said is that they would not taste death. Guess what. They did.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  7. Rebel4Christ

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTVpyUOR_fI&w=640&h=360]

    We are in the end days and Christians need to start caring about the lost people!

    May 17, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Beep Beep

      In the long run, we are all dead! John Maynard Keynes

      May 17, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Observer

      Was that a news flash from 2,000 years ago?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      I promise this video is worth watching!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Give me a bloody break

      End days – spooky! Cue the scary organ music! Flicker the lights!

      Actually, Jesus said the end of times, including the rapture, would occur within the lifetimes of some of his listeners. That means about 70-80 AD at the latest. Jesus was wrong. What makes your prediction right? Nothing.

      Not the end of times.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Boop

      Actually, Jesus wasn't saying that it would end in their lifetimes.

      He was saying that the generation which saw the signs he was, at the moment, talking about, would also see the end.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
  8. Pravda4uToday

    The bible is very clear about the gay lifestyle choice and the consequences. If you don't like it, just create your own Bible. You already have "gay" churches, just re-write the bible and take out those nasty parts that you don't like. Call it the National Gay Standard Version....

    May 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Jacob

      That's pretty much what the NIV writers did.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Beep Beep

      We know the gassing doesn't work. Someone has already tried that!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Damn

      May 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Pravda4uToday

      Actually the NIV is more accurate than the KJV. It was written more closely to the original Greek...

      May 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • LinCA

      Or we can all just grow up and toss the fairy tales in the trash. Your bible has no business in a civilized society.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Jacob

      The NIV editors removed a number of verses that didn't fit with their pro-evangelical views. Not that it's uncommon to edit the Bible. The Jews created their version. The Catholics added to it. The Protestants removed a few books. The Mormon's added a few more and all along the way each group created their own interpretation of every last line.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Pravda4uToday

      Yup, Love you neighbor as yourself, take care of the orphans and widows, visit the sick, and teachings about some silly guy named Jesus who went around rebuking the religious and healing the sick and demonized. Yup, this world could do with a whole lot less of that kind of fairy tale beliefs!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • KCTX

      Why is religion an argument? Seperation of church and state, if you don't like that then move to a country that bases laws soley on religion. Who I marry should be no one's chooice but my own, as long as I am not hurting anyone (such as a child, because I know someone will use the pedophile excuse). If your marriage fails then that is your fault and if you raise your children with strong beliefs then you don't have to worry about them seeing gay married couples. It is not your place or your right to judge who I marry, so please stop!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Pravda4uToday

      Never seen that, got the Greek/niv/kjv side by side and the NIV is usually much closer to the original text...

      May 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Observer

      Pravda4uToday,

      "Love you neighbor as yourself"

      Ooops. You're not supposed to mention the Golden Rule if you are trashing gays.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      linCA-

      Your SIN has no business in a God ruled WORLD!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Jacob

      "Never seen that, got the Greek/niv/kjv side by side and the NIV is usually much closer to the original text..."

      Doubt you've ever done that.

      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2017:21&version=NKJV
      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2017:21&version=NIV
      http://biblos.com/matthew/17-21.htm

      How is deleting it completely more accurate?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Rebel4Christ

      You said, "Your SIN has no business in a God ruled WORLD!"
      I'm incapable of sin. Sin is a violation of a religious rule or law. Religious rules and laws only apply to those that follow that religion. I don't, therefor I don't sin.

      And good luck finding a world ruled by any god, let alone yours.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Pravda4uToday

      Actually I have taken ancient Greek in bible college, so I think I have... There are some verses in the Bible that are contestable that they could have been added at a later time, Mt 17:21 is one of them, there are a few more. I have an NIV that includes them.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Jacob

      Pravda, are you claiming that in BIble College you examined every verse in the Bible to see how the KJV and NIV compared to the original Greek?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Pravda4uToday

      Nope, I have read the three in parallel for years, NIV is almost always the closest to the Greek Interlinear. Which is much more accurate than the KJV and more accurate than the NASV.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      Might as well "re-write" and "take out the nasty parts"...Christians have been doing it for centuries. But believe as you wish, just don't infringe on a person's civil rights based on your religious beliefs.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Jacob

      And yet you never noticed all the missing verses in the NIV? Interesting. Musta been a substandard Bible school.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Pravda4uToday

      LOL! Wow, you are clueless. I already said that my NIV has them. Their is a footnote in my NIV that says that the earliest texts and manuscripts DONT include them, but they included them for reference. KJV is one of the most inaccurate versions that there is...

      May 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Jacob

      Pravda, you're an amusing lad. How old are you? Your NIV doesn't have them. And there's no legitimate Bible scholar in the world who views the NIV as anything other than a watered down people's version of the BIble. (Psssst.....this atheist graduated from Bible college too.)

      May 17, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Pravda4uToday

      I'd see if you could get your money back. And obviously it was a very religious, legalistic college, as it had no spiritual meaning to you, if came out and became an atheist.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Jacob

      You're sorta out of your league here kid. Still waiting for you to demonstrate some of that intellectual prowess you profess.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Pravda4uToday

      ROFL, can't have a battle of the mind with an unarmed person...

      May 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  9. Beep Beep

    The aversion to gays is innate (we have evolved that way, for a reason). Of course, instincts can be over-ridden, legally and socially. It will be interesting to see if this social engineering will continue or die.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  10. Beep Beep

    Accept it. If you are "different" and have "different" needs, therefore you need to be dealt with "differently". What's so hard to understand about that?

    May 17, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      True .different as in ugghh

      May 17, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Beep Beep

      If you are ugly or have ugly habits, or just don't fit in, you invite rejection. That's just the way it works in nature – it's called selection of the fittest, and if you mess with that, you will have serious, negative consequences. It doesn't take religion to figure that out!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Observer

      We are trying to eliminate bigotry through education and progress is being made.

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

      Observer, get some education and stop being a bigot!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  11. RichardSRussell

    So we're STILL looking to the bloodthirsty, misogynistic, slave-beating child rap¡sts who wrote the Old Testament for moral guidance lo these 30 centuries later? Unbelievable!

    May 17, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Isn't it.I prefer native American way of doing things

      May 17, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Pravda4uToday

      It was written so clueless, uneducated atheists who know nothing about the times that the Old Testament was written in could completely take it out of context and show their ignorance. But hey, if it works for you, go with it...

      May 17, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Jacob

      Spoken like a true intellectual Pravda. Tell us, what was Adam's favorite dinosaur?

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

      Pravda4uToday,

      Speaking of clueless and uneducated, a recent poll/test showed that the average atheist and average agnostic knows more about the Bible than the average Christian and had higher educations.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Don Camp

      I look to Jesus who spoke of marriage being between a man and a woman: “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?

      Men and women are by God's design made for one another. Need it be said not man for man or woman for woman. That seems self-evident BTW.

      Accordingly, anything contrary to God's design is sin. That's all the rest of the passages being quoted in the article say.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Don Camp

      fascinating question, Jacob. I'd say it was a crocodile.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      T Rex

      May 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Pravda4uToday

      Observer,

      I haven't met one yet, at least not on the CNN forums. It's like they all take how to bash bible atheist course 101, but are completely clueless about the times that the Old Testament refers too.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Observer

      Pravda4uToday,

      The study found: For example, it's not evangelicals or Catholics who did best – it's atheists and agnostics.
      It's not Bible-belt Southerners who scored highest – they came at the bottom.
      Those who believe the Bible is the literal word of God did slightly worse than average, while those who say it is not the word of God scored slightly better.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Pravda4uToday

      Yes, but when only atheists are included in the poll of course they would do better. I have yet run into one that has even the most basic understanding of the old testament and the times that surrounded it. Seeming most Atheists try to trash the bible based on the OT, they should at least do some history research to see what was going on in all the lands at that time. The levitical law was to keep a nation that was in slavery for several hundred years in a heathen nation from the diseases that were rampant at the time and the evil customs of the times. Look up what Baal worshipers did... Educate yourself so you can try to make valid points when you argue.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Observer

      Pravda4uToday,

      Speaking of getting an education so you'll make more intelligent comments, tell us how you can pretend you know more than the poll.

      LOL.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Jacob

      Pravda can you prove your intellectual prowess by offering something more intellectual than tiresome ad hominem?

      May 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  12. Scott Holloway

    If the Bible, as its theme, concerns the deliverance of humanity, and if the deliverer is God, personified by Jesus, consider the following:
    Contentious subjects in Jesus' time, as items of debate or discussion, typically had to do with adultery (a "capital offense" by Moses), paying taxes (which might be tough in a theocracy), and divorce. Jesus often answered such questions by taking the side of the underdog with grace and kindness. He ignored, much of the time, rules and customs such as washing hands (ceremonially) before eating, or Not doing tasks on the Sabbath day. He often put things in their best perspective ("the Sabbath was made for Man, not vice versa".) He would say to us today, likely, that we should relax about making laws about how folks that are different from us might be allowed to have legal standing such as marriage would provide. He would probably rebuke those who look for reasons to ostracize others. In my opinion, the Lord is far more displeased with those who hate, than with those who love in ways that are different than we believe they should. God bless any person who would marry the one he or she loves. Jesus loves you, and wants you in his kingdom.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  13. TimJordan

    Every time I see nonsense like this I thank Jeebus I'm an atheist.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Scott Holloway

      Before we jump to a conclusion that life is better without a belief in a God, remember that it is all in the definition. Life is, for me, wonderful, knowing that my mom loves me. I know she is my mom, not because I witnessed my own birth, or was convinced by examining our similar DNA. (scientific evidence). She is my mom because she has illustrated her love over time. I am convinced of this. It is the same with our Father, see? How many times and ways has the Lord stepped in and delivered his people? Please reconsider, friend.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  14. PrettyClear

    Leviticus 18:22: "Thou shalt not lie with another man, as with a woman: it is abomination."
    Leviticus 20:13: "And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."
    This is in the Old Testament so the Jewish people believe this too.
    Finally, God(aka Jesus) forgives.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, but isn't Leviticus in the OLD TESTAMENT??? Didn't some other clown tell everyone that all those old laws are no longer relevant? Really, people, even you thumpers don't agree with each other, except that you all hate the same people.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Beep Beep

      Just whack their gonads off!

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

      Leviticus also says (Lev. 20:9) "If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death”.

      So what was your point, if any?

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

      The Bible...a nice collection of overrated fairy tails.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Izzat what happened to you, poor little Bo Beep? I guess that explains why you are singing soprano in the church choir these days.

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

      List of artifacts significant to the Bible
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      List is pretty long, check it out if you dare..............

      May 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Get Real

      Ray,

      The fact that places mentioned in the Bible have been verified archeologically has no bearing on the veracity of the supernatural stories put forth in that book.

      Mount Olympus (and many other places mentioned in their legends and myths) really exists in Greece. Does that mean that 12 gods really live there? Dickens' "The Christmas Carol" fairly accurately portrays the places and conditions of 19th century England. Does that mean that the supernatural visits of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come were real? All sorts of fiction and fantasy stories are set in real places.

      The Bible is a book which includes *some* history of primitive Hebrew culture, and *some* good advice for practical, beneficial human behavior, but a great deal of it is a compilation of ancient Middle Eastern historical fiction, myth, legend, superst.ition and fantasy.

      There is not a whit of verified evidence for any of the supernatural beings or supernatural events in that book.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Ray

      Get Real
      I'll be praying for ya!

      Bible Myth: Is the Bible a Myth?

      IS THE BIBLE MYTH?- IntroductionIf I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a million times, “You can’t take the Bible literally.” You often hear people say that although it may be inspirational, it’s also full of myths and fables. Well, is this really true?

      IS THE BIBLE MYTH?- Not a Fable!If the Bible is really full of myths and fables, it would certainly be appropriate to read it as such. However, the simple fact is that the Bible certainly doesn’t fit that category.

      IS THE BIBLE MYTH?- Denial of Teaching MythologyFor one thing, the biblical writers flatly denied teaching mythology. For example, Peter said, “We didn’t follow cleverly devised tales when we told you about the power and coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His Majesty” (2 Pet. 1:16). In fact, the Apostle Paul urged Timothy to teach his congregation to disregard mythology (1 Tim. 1:4). He warned that a time was coming when people would “turn away their ears from the truth and turn aside to mythology” (2 Tim. 4:4).

      IS THE BIBLE MYTH?- Stories vs. HistoryBesides all of this, the myths of the ancient world were never based on solid historical fact. They were stories invented to explain such recurring phenomena like the changing of the seasons or the motion of the stars. The events recorded in the Scripture, on the other hand, are firmly rooted in history. By way of illustration, it is an accepted historical fact that Israel became a nation after the exodus from Egypt. Later, Israel became a monarchy, David and Solomon really lived, and on and on and on. It is also a historical fact that Jesus was a Jew who preached about God the Father, who claimed to be God, worked miracles, and was crucified during Pilate’s reign. All of this is, in fact, literal history.

      IS THE BIBLE MYTH?- ConclusionIn addition, the supernatural aspects of Scripture are presented just as matter-of-factly as the rest. And indeed, the most stupendous miracle recorded in the Bible, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, has been authenticated by numerous scholarly studies including the late great Dr. Simon Greenleaf. Dr. Greenleaf was the Royal Professor of Legal Evidences at Harvard University. He was goaded by his students into looking at the evidences for the resurrection. After a thorough examination he came back and said, “There is not a single unbiased juror in the world who would ever look at the evidence and deny it. Dr. Simon Greenleaf became a Christian. The Bible is not mythology and was never meant to be read as such.
      All credit goes Hank Hanegraaff

      May 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  15. 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, need comfort or are seeking 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 10:10 pm |
    • Beep Beep

      the SSM is just as stupid, irrational and illogical.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, well. Tough toenails for you, Beep. No one requires your approval.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Beep Beep

      Go back to your closet, creep.

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

      No closet required, you poor little thing. I'm straight.

      You'll have to troll for a date elsewhere.

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

      I am not religious, however, I believe your statement doesn't make sense. In a way, atheism is its own religion, for it has a belief (if you will) on ultimate truth. Naturally, those beliefs collide with what we consider traditional religious beliefs, neither of which we can prove. I believe people can but into agnostism, atheism, apathy, etc outta of insecurities as well.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • n8263

      @McMichael, it does not make sense to consider atheism, agnosticism or any other non-religious view to be a religion.
      The statements above would not apply to those views.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  16. immobee

    "if you torture something long enough, you can get it to say whatever you want" -me

    May 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • ddrew78

      Torture gains you nothing. It gets someone to say whatever they think you want to hear. The real power is in the fear of torture. Make someone think you're getting ready to torture them, and they'll sing like a bird

      May 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      No dangle carrot in front of them works every time

      May 17, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • immobee

      that is to say that I believe the bible is the word of God. people twist it to make it fit whatever they want

      May 17, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  17. ddrew78

    I had already posted this as a response to someone else, but feel it should also be put up on its own.

    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 10:03 pm |
    • Beep Beep

      So, the pedophiles should be free to marry underage children? All that is needed is some top-down law.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      All Catholic priest gay

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

      Do you have trouble tying your shoes, Beep?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • PS

      "So, the pedophiles should be free to marry underage children? All that is needed is some top-down law."

      Except that we are not talking about pedophiles. Or people marrying animals. Changing the subject is a tactic immature adults and children use. It won't work here.

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

      Man on man is animalistic

      May 17, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • ddrew78

      BamaDaniel,

      You are correct. Man on man is animalistic. That's why you can observe it in so many animal species.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      @dd all dogs lick themselves,monkeys eat parasites off each other, doesn't mean it's for people

      May 17, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  18. Beep Beep

    Feeling of disgust toward gays is normal, natural, innate, and instinctive. It's a normal evolutionary reaction. That's why it's the same regardless of nation, race, culture, location, or time span. It's a universal human feeling, and it won't change.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, so now you can predict the future? Got a crystal ball?

      You have no idea what will or won't happen in the future. What an arrogant bozo.

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

      Change? It would be like trying to turn a cow into a meat eating predator!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Observer

      The majority of people now support gay marriage, not that you'd do any research.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you think so, Beep. You're so stupid you probably think that people have always approved of interracial marriage and of women having the right to vote.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Beep Beep

      Actully, the majority doesn't support gay marriage. A lot of people got skillfully brainwashed into believing nonsense.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you say so, Beep. Then again, what the majority support won't matter if civil rights are involved, anymore than it mattered when Jim Crow laws were abolished.

      How sad for you.

      How's that crystal ball doing? Maybe you should get a refund.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Observer

      Beep Beep,

      "A lot of people got skillfully brainwashed into believing nonsense."

      Are you trashing religion?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Beep Beep

      Under pressure, people believed nonsense like Communism and Nazism. Now SSM. How gross.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • ur

      32 states have voted NO to gay marriage A MAJORITY

      May 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Observer wins!

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

      Beep please tell me you like woman juice as much as I do . Oh evolution say a horse can become a duck

      May 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Beep is an idiot.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Observer

      ur,

      Recent polls show that the majority of Americans now support gay marriage. There has been a large change recently.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Not in Alabama

      May 17, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • ur

      or North Carolina

      May 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  19. Richxx

    It's all irrelevant since the bible is the word of man and not God. The bible is full of errors, thousands of them! God would not have his word put on paper with thousands of errors and then allow the originals to be lost to boot. As an example. Matthew 2:22 has Joseph fleeing Bethlehem to Egypt to avoid Herod. But Luke gives a contradictory story of Joseph taking his family to Jerusalem. These types of errors are common yet Christian's and Jews continue to worship this book. Why do otherwise intelligent people turn off their brain when they open the bible?

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

      and the Qu'ran is written by ONE man who had slaves, mureded and that other thing with children

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

      Why? Endorphins. It's a drug-like addiction.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Butters

      @ur
      Many important people in the bible also had slaves. The bible even allowed it and had a set of rules for it. Also didn't God murder every firstborn Egyptian son?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Observer

      ur,

      The Bible says that at one point God torturously murdered virtually every person on the face of the earth including every pregnant woman, child, baby and fetus.

      What was your point, if any?

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

      yes, fear the lord yoor god and let my people go

      May 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Roy

      Perhaps my friend, before accusing the Bible of inaccuracies, you could be a bit better versed in what the accounts actually say. It is very likely that Herod's attack and the family fleeing happened when Jesus was closer to 2 years old (since Herod seeks to slay all the children under 2 years of age based on the accounts of the wise men). The New Testament has been around for almost 2,000 years, and significant scholarship has been done on it, even by people who actually believe it. I don't think you're going to come up with a theory that's going to overthrow all that. The real miracle is how such an ancient text, written by such varied writers, can be so consistent.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Observer

      “Whoever does any work on a holy day: put to death”
      “anyone who blasphemes: stone him.”
      “worship other gods: stone the guilty ones to death”
      “stubborn and rebellious son: stone him to death.”
      “man is found lying with a married woman: both of them shall die”
      “virgin engaged to another man and he lies with her: stone them to death”
      “Whoever strikes his father or his mother: put to death”
      "Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother: put to death.”
      “anyone who curses his father or his mother: put to death”
      “man who commits adultery with another man's wife: they shall be put to death.”
      "man or woman who is a medium or a fortune-teller: stone them to death"

      From the Quran? Nope. From the Bible

      May 17, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Jacob

      Consistent? The Gospel writers can't even come to agreement on what the last words of their Christ was before he gave up the ghost. They can't figure out how many generations existed between David and Jesus or what his grandfather's name was. They can't figure out who saw the risen Christ first. And tell us how exactly did Judas die?

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

      It's curious that you believe what God would do or not do – How do you come to the conclusion that you know with such certainty that you could claim it as if it were perfectly true? And if your idea that God is perfect and he would not allow imperfections in His Bible, then you have not looked around the planet that much – His entire creation is full of imperfections.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      @observer they were tainted by the fallen had to go

      May 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • LevelHeaded

      I have checked up on many of these so called errors and have found that most are not errors at all. If one would take the time to read the entire chapter or context of the passage, they would find there is no error. Yes, there are some minor errors in things like, the number of horses Solomon had. Before the printing press was invented Scribes were tasked with copying scriptural text verbatim, and so there are errors, but those do not affect the meaning or point of the particular passages. All too often, people who don't won't to believe the Bible in the first place, repeat what they have heard regarding errors, and never attempt to gain an understanding by looking into it for themselves.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Jacob

      People who don't want to believe the BIble don't care if there are contradictions. Most books don't contradict themselves. That doesn't make them holy. Just makes them better literature than the Bible. Those of us who don't believe the fairy tales in the Bible don't draw that conclusion based on the vast amount of internal errors. We base it on the fact that it's just simply too ridiculous for any reasonable person to believe.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Observer

      LevelHeaded,

      Few statements in the Bible can be verified. The most reliable verifier is mathematics. When the Bible can't even get math right, it's in trouble.

      The Bible says that the ratio pi is equal to 3.0. Care to try to spin that?

      May 17, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • T42

      That example is not an error. Go back and do a closer reading. Herod was dead by the time of Matt 2:22. It was his son Archelaus. Jesus was taken to Jerusalem after purification (Lev 12:1-7) by Joseph and Mary "to present him to the Lord" not to flee to Egypt. The Magi did not visit the child until long after his birth since Herod "gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi." You are correct when you say God would not put His word on paper with thousands of error. You are insulting God by not taking Him for God with the power and ability to protect his communication with His creation. Go back and re-think this. God created us, makes sense that He would want to say something to us, but failed to communicate with us by allowing His word to be corrupted so that you can't trust it? This is nothing but another lie, that the Bible is full of errors, and comes from the deceiver and men like yourself continue to fall for it.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  20. ur

    sure is a lot of persicution of christians here and hatred as well – and these folks call christians hatefull and biggoted and intolerant – lets see if they treat the muslims this way so they can get beheaded

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

      Persecution? Sort of gives the phrase "truth hurts" a whole new meaning.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.