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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. Frank

    How many times will CNN run this type of opinion piece? (and call it "news") This is the 2nd time this week! Does CNN have an agenda? NO!! No way!! Anyone who believes that the Bible isn't anti-gay can type up a couple of hundred words and get it seen by a national audience on CNN, I guess. I don't really think it's going to change a lot of people's minds, one way or the other, though.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Duh

      A little angry there Frank? Faith not strong enough? Will a 3rd article help you see the light?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • ME II

      Who called it "news"? It's in the "Belief Blog" and there's "Your take:" in the ti.tle.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      perhaps you should refrain from reading the Opinions sections of your news. That will make the problem go away.

      May 18, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  2. IsaacNewton

    If God wanted it just for man and woman, why are there hermaphrodites ? And other mixtures of male and female?

    May 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Duh

      hermaphrodites ? The missing link between straight & gay?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • MrLowe

      i dunno...why is there down syndrome? or any other defect of reproduction?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Jim

      So are you calling gay people disabled or disabled persons gay?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • IsaacNewton

      JIM: No I didn't say that. I don't think I even used the word Gay. I was just questioning religions take on similar matter. How does the church handle such matters. How is that explained by preachers and the like. If we are divided by man and woman in the churches eyes, how are mixed gender people accepted by the church. Religion , is , in my view, one of the greatest scourges on humanity. If you believe in God, don't let religion get in the way.

      May 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Sh! ...let's not talk about them!

      May 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  3. Truth7

    The mark of the beast:

    Those who try to take belief in God away from others.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Those who try to take belief in God away from others."

      No people choose not to believe you don't take it away from them Yet being gay isn't a choice. 😉

      May 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Huebert

      It's Impossible to take anyone's belief. All that atheist can do is encourage people to think critically.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • ME II

      'taking belief'
      Is there a mark for that now?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Amitola76

      The truth has spoken! I agree with you... Religion is a very powerful weapon that Satan takes advantage of too many ppl turning their backs on GOD because all they hear is GOD hates you your going to hell if u do this or that it's nonsense Just remember GOD loves YOU FOR YOU! These people that are hiding under their "Christian" mask spitting venom of hate are doing Satan's work and the scarey part is they really think they are helping I leave EVERYTHING up to GOD....I don't judge ANYONE I spread the love:D

      May 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • halhefner

      The mark of a fool, one who can't form their own opinions based on their own experiences. Why can't you people who are supposed to be "kind" Christians, just let other people be who and what they are? Why do you have to concern yourselves with other people's lives? How does that have any bearing on your belief system and the facts concerning, where you believe you're going when you die? Who cares if Dick wants to marry Harry! Let them be! Don't you get that your actions are mean and in turn evil, just like the "beast" you claim to be fighting in Satan. Hatred, bigotry and fear are all marks of Satan are they not?

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

      Take, huh? Just like you are trying to TAKE inherent rights away from others.

      May 18, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • danielwalldammit

      Lol, there are disagreements, and then there are demons trying to rip your soul from the reach of God. how much easier the decisions must be in the latter case!

      May 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  4. teesoepke

    who cares? the bible is NOT the word of god. it's an amalgamation of "books" compiled by people with an agenda that first appeared in 367 AD. i would, however, like to know what drug "John" was on when he had his apocalyptic dream. Yow!

    May 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • just me

      your an idiot !!!!!!

      May 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Cyle

      *you're

      May 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "your an idiot !!!!!!"

      Very christian of you...instead of throwing insults why not research the validity of his claims. you might learn something.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • hendricks

      Funny when people call others idiots and have no clue how written English works in turn making them an idiot. The lord works in mysterious ways, eh Just Me??

      May 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Amitola76

      U have points...Roman Emporer Constantine commision the first publication of it in or around 325 A.D so trust that things have been misquoted

      May 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  5. Anon E. Mous

    The problem is that the Bible is a consortium of several books, each with conflicting viewpoints and statements.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Truth7

      So says evil. Why are you listening to that which WANTS to take you away from God?

      The sign of a smart man is one who goes straight to the source for the answer. If you want to know if God is real, just ask God directly, with an honest heart.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • @Truth7

      I did. He said that he wasn't.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "The sign of a smart man is one who goes straight to the source for the answer. If you want to know if God is real, just ask God directly, with an honest heart."

      LOL yeah ask all you want, you wont get an answer. the real sign of a smart man is one who can come up with his own conclusions about life and the universe based on life experience and common sense, not what some preacher or ancient book written by a bunch of men with an agenda tell you.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Huebert

      "The sign of a smart man is one who goes straight to the source for the answer. If you want to know if God is real, just ask God directly, with an honest heart."

      Did that years ago. Still haven't gotten an answer. Therefor, by your own logic, god isn't real.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Coug9

      The Bible is nore than "a couple" of books...quite a few books in fact. Have you ever actually read it? I encourage you to do so. Your argument is a common one......that the Bible is nothing more then random books, that chance could have played a role in which books got selected vs. those that did not. However, you are missing the big picture..........G-O-D. If God is, who is supposed to be, then the arrangement of the Bible to the EXACT specifications of his design, really wouldnt be that difficult for him. Its called "Faith". We have faith in God. This is why we know the Bible to be true.

      May 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      truth....if god is speaking to you, please seek medical help and make sure there is always a sane person present when you are around children.

      May 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      Coug....it is your opinion (uninformed) that the bible is true.

      May 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      coug9, sounds like circular logic.......the bible is how it is because god wanted it that way and we know god wanted it that way because of the bible.

      May 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • rae

      to Coug9
      By your logic I could say the same thing about a book of cartoons. You are using a fallacy; (Circulus in probando)
      1-A mistaken belief, esp. one based on unsound argument.
      2-A failure in reasoning that renders an argument invalid.

      May 18, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Henry77

      I disagree with your thoughts that the Bible is conflicting; there is much wisdom in the Bible and answers to life's many questions. It may be confusing for non-believers, but without Spirit of God to decipher the words, it will be. You may say what wisdom and truth? Atheists and agnostics think science is on their side and they believe the Bible is full of fairy tales. Preachers. pastors, ministers, Bible scholars for hundreds of years have teaching about a place(s) we cannot see or touch called Heaven and Hell. They call them spiritual places a vast unknown parts of our universe. Your probably saying "exactly, these are the fairy tales!" Wait, didn't science just prove the possibility (with mathematical models) of 12 extra dimensions in "string theory"? Can I prove they exists? no but that why Christians need FAITH. "Faith comes hearing and hearing by the Word of God." Romans 10:17

      What about slavery in the Bible? What they don't talk about is the historical truths during the period; there were NO welfare programs at that time and many people would even choose slavery over starvation. Some could even acquired citizenship by being a slave. Was it wrong? yes, but God accepts men's law (Matt 18:18). voluntary slavery (or self-sale); in ancient times this was a common way for impoverished people to provide subsistence for themselves or their family and provision was made for this in law. For example, the code of Hammurabi stated that, "besides being able to borrow on personal security, an individual might sell himself or a family member into slavery." See the term "Manumission" – The difference between Roman slavery and its more modern variety was manumission – the ability of slaves to be freed. Roman owners freed their slaves in considerable numbers: some freed them outright, while others allowed them to buy their own freedom. The prospect of possible freedom through manumission encouraged most slaves to be obedient and hard working. Formal manumission was performed by a magistrate and gave freed men full Roman citizenship.

      Hasn't religions caused many of man's conflicts in history? Yes and Jesus would agree also; If you have read any of the New Testament, you would find that Jesus was the true rebel. He came into this world and declared himself the the Son of God. The ironic thing about it was most people believed who saw him, except the religious leaders. In fact they were the ones who wanted him killed, because he was that independent-minded rebel, always stirring up trouble among the masses. That crazy Jesus saying he was the only true Messiah and Son of God! He was the rebel with a cause, YOU.

      May 18, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  6. RJ Smith

    New Revised Standard Version of the Bible – shouldn't THAT be enough said?!?!?! New Revised?!?!?! How many times and how many mistakes?

    May 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • CMH

      I like the Thomas Jefferson revision where he takes out all the fake 'divinity' crap and leaves in the wisdom of Jesus.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • RGOne

      How can the bible be revised when christians say it's the word of god? So, if you revise it then that means god got it wrong the first time?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  7. Anon

    Who cares what the bible says? This book of myths shouldn't be taken any more seriously than any other mythological stories. Keep your religion to yourself!!!

    May 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • jayayseeohbee

      You know this is a blog right? you can express your own opinions here too.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • MATEHW

      you have to mind what bible saying other wise you will pay for it,REMEMBER, DON'T PLAY WITH FIRE

      May 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  8. James

    People seem to only follow some verses and not others....

    "But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you." (Leviticus 11:10)

    Do you follow that one?

    "They (shellfish) shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination." (Leviticus 11:11)

    Do you follow that one?

    "Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales; that shall be an abomination to you." (Leviticus 11:12)

    Do you follow that one?

    "For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him." (Leviticus 20:9)

    Do you follow that one?

    "If a man lies with a woman during her sickness and uncovers her nakedness, he has discovered her flow, and she has uncovered the flow of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from her people." (Leviticus 20:18)

    Do you follow that one?

    "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property." (Leviticus 25:44-45)

    Do you follow that one?

    "Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard." (Leviticus 19:27)

    Do you follow that one?

    "...and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you." (Leviticus 11:7)

    Do you follow that one?

    "...do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear material woven of two kinds of material." (Leviticus 19:19)

    Do you follow that one?

    You are cherry picking the Bible to cover your own intolerance. Jesus taught love without fear, and that was not limited to opposite genders.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Sean

      @James – no...that was the law, specifically given to the Jews for how to conduct their society. There was a reason an purpose for that all. If there was an understanding of the context of history and what God's plan was, you would not be asking those questions. It is not mysterious, just look at the context of who the laws were given to. That is all.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • jmac121

      Talk about 'cherry picking' ... Jesus did speak of love, he also spoke of judgment and hell ... he walked in both love and truth – neither at the expense of the other.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Haskeli

      Yes I do follow all of those. There are a bunch of us who do - we are called Jews. And by the way, you are missing a more important quote from Leviticus. One that Greek translations are irrelevant for because it was written in Hebrew.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • G

      Someone really did not like clams.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • MrLowe

      James,

      Even though you quoted the Old Testament book of Leviticus...which is mostly full of religious practices now made obsolete by Christ, you illustrated a great point....two actually.

      1. Hypocrisy in the church
      2. Overuse of Old Testament law versus New Testament grace, love and mercy (not by you, per se...but the constant use of verses from Leviticus to condemn gays)

      May 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Jamie

      @MrLowe – Do you believe the entire old testament is made irrelevant by christ or just parts of it? If it is just parts, then who picks the parts? I keep hearing christians make this argument about the old testament, only to see them fight to get the ten commandments displayed everywhere.

      May 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  9. sybaris

    Religion..........the ultimate ponzi scheme

    May 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • History Student

      There is no cure for ignorance and the current arguments are just tweaked versions of old ones that claim Biblical intents.

      In 1958 a judge ruled two people guilty of violating the marriage laws of Virginia, stating "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

      It took seven years and the Supreme Court to allow Mildred and Richard Loving, to raise their family in peace and to toss out the laws of 41 states that prohibited interracial marriage. The basis for all those laws, was the bible.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Palmetto 1977

      I guarantee that you, sybaris, have never faced a life threatening illness or the business end of a Soviet made AK-47 with an idiotic statement like that.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Palmetto 1977

      I guarantee that you, sybaris, have never faced a life threatening illness or the business end of a Soviet made AK-47 with an silly statement like that.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, so because you got scared and lost your investment, you prayed to God? And you believe in him because he 'rescued' you? And you therefore assume everyone else is just like you?

      May 17, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  10. leo

    I love how bible thumpers think if you stand up for equal rights you are somehow squashing their religious freedom but they think nothing of using their religious doctrine to undermine the freedom of others. It's sickening that people will twist religion into such a fashion as to discriminate against others. Nothing new here, happened with the civil rights movement, with women's suffrage, with the end of slavery, with integration of the military, with immigration...the list goes on and on. Too bad people have such a low impression and set such a low standard for their God.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you haven't read the bible. the bible very clearly supports slavery. there are rules for beating your slaves, selling your own daughter into slavery and how much to pay for slaves. stop making excuses for the bible. that book is disgusting.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Sean

      Bootyfunk...are you reading the same book? Cite examples of your accusations.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      god is OK with slavery. all men are created equal but some more equal than others

      May 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • ME II

      "immigration" ?
      How is that related? Isn't the law supposed to be applied equally?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      Leviticus 25:44 says, “As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you.”

      May 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • jamest

      You go start taking it in the A$$ and we will see if you get past the gates to Gods after life.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Palmetto 1977

      I'm sure the thought of the afterlife is scary for the non-believer. They will try to conjure up any and all justtifications for how their behavior is acceptible. My faith is smiple. Either you believe Jesus Christ died for your sins or you don't. If you do believe, there is a place awaiting you; if you don't, there is a place for you as well. No Christian should criticize another persons behavior; we are all sinful. Be the best person you can be. Love people- not their actions and let God take care of the rest.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Palmetto 1977

      I'm sure the thought of the afterlife is scary for the non-believer. They will try to conjure up any and all justtifications for how their behavior is acceptible. My faith is simple. Either you believe Jesus Christ died for your sins or you don't. If you do believe, there is a place awaiting you; if you don't, there is a place for you as well. No Christian should criticize another persons behavior; we are all sinful and no one sin is greater than another. Be the best person you can be. Love people- not their actions and let God take care of the rest.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Howard

      You're absolutely right Leo. I remember a post from someone who was claiming that by fighting for equal rights for Gay people, we were "stomping on his rights". The religious have an arrogance and selfishness about them.
      They make it about them and how other people's rights are somehow hurting them.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Christian should criticize another persons behavior; we are all sinful. Be the best person you can be. Love people- not their actions and let God take care of the rest."

      That's why Christians are trying to use the sin argument to deny gays their civil rights. You are all sinners and adultery is a repeated topic in your book, yet you are not denying those people their civil rights now are, see the hypocrisy.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • ME II

      @Palmetto 1977,
      "I'm sure the thought of the afterlife is scary for the non-believer."
      Why would it be scary? It means nothing to a non-believer. Do you fear being reincarnated as a palmetto bug?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      wrong. the afterlife is also a myth. non-believers are afraid of things that don't exist, like god and hell.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Sean – beating your slaves – When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.  If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.  Exodus 21:20-21

      Selling your daughter – When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again Exodus 21:7

      May 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      Palmetto 1977- You just condemned everybody that was born before Jesus to hell, you all condemned the majority of people living. we are not afraid of death like you are. you need to make up fairy tales because you can not handle that this life is all you get. i feel sorry for people like you that live in a world of such beauty but can only look at what happens after. we atheist appreciate thing more, the time we spend with people, and the affects we have on each other because we know this is it. i sorry you are wasting your life on false promises that have to bases in reality besides some guy thousands of years ago said so. i hope someday you will live your life the way its supposed to be, that every moment is precious, may the flying spaghetti monster save you. also if i am wrong and live a god live helping others and god wants to punish me for ever, i am better off than being with that egotistical @hole

      May 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • I am I

      @Palmetto 1977, I do not believe in Christ or any other god or god-like figure, also I don't believe in an afterlife, yet I do not fear death, it is an inevitable end to life, and I accept that, I enjoy the life I have for it might/ could be the only one I get. If there turns out to be an afterlife of some sort, so be it, but I will not know till it happens, nobody does. Single beliefs (Christianity, Islam, Taoism, etc...) limit my/your life, simply treat others as you would be treated, including calling all people who don't believe that Christ is a savoir "scared" maybe a few of us are, but definitely not all of us.

      May 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  11. Sean

    In reading all the posts here, I am truly grieved by the opinions held of Christianity, the Christian, and God. Most of those opinions are formed by the observation of the lives of people who are imperfect...or who have decided to use the religion of Christianity improperly. For that, I apologize. However, for all of us, it comes down to what we hold to as truth. I do believe that God created everything and that He created Man and Woman wth free will. That is hard to grasp as to why and cannot be explained here. But for God's relationship to man and man's to God, Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7 explain what that should be. I challenge all you who want to respond to read those first. And while there is no one who has lived up to that in its entirety...I ask why that should not be a kind of life to strive for. We all want to be treated well...and in working that out we treat each other well.

    If you respond with derision...then that is proof of what I am saying. Many have given the message a bad rap because they misunderstand. It does not change the message...it just was all a bad example of the outworking of the message. Don't let the ignorance and immaturity of those who did not understand cloud your pursuit of the truth. Start with finding the answer to what truth is...then work out the other things.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      want the truth? god doesn't exist.

      the bible is full of errors, ignorance and cruelty. stop making excuses for that disgusting book and face facts.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • James

      Sean, I dont' think that anyone is arguing against bible verses (like those you listed) that timelessly relate moral messages. However, the same can be said for Aesop's fables, for example.

      My question to you is – have you read the entire bible and do you support it completely? If you believe it is all the word of god then you have to believe that god supports slavery and a whole bunch of other things that, thankfully, do not timelessly relate moral messages.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Duh

      "Most of those opinions are formed by the observation of the lives of people who are imperfect...or who have decided to use the religion of Christianity improperly."

      So basically you are saying don't look at the past negative examples of Dictators to form your opinion of dictatorships, because you just haven't tried our Dictator in Christ yet.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Sean

      Yes the bible does contain some wonderful passages about truth and love. However the bible is a work of fiction. Therefor It cannot be used to justify the persecution of a group of people, in this case h.omos.exuals.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  12. Heather

    A psychology professor will say anything to justify human behaviors.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • jimbo

      And a pastor will say anything to promote their ignorant backward way of thinking to justify their bigotry and hatred of humanity and life.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "A psychology professor will say anything to justify human behaviors."

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

      May 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  13. Honey Badger Dont Care

    When religious people use the words "fact" or "Truth" (notice the capitalization) what they are really saying is OPINION.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      christians hate facts.

      fact.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • BarringtonLegend

      I agree.....just because someone has been telling you something your entire life doesnt mean that its true. But most of us have been taking UNFACTUAL opinions and interpretations and deeming them as law. You know your parents and grandparents lived and died by this so you think that its right simply because YOU DONT KNOW ANY BETTER. Well guess what? THEY DIDNT KNOW ANY BETTER EITHER! As the cycle continues. Now imagine how you would feel once you found out that it was all a horrible lie. Would you go crazy? Ignore it? Or break this cycle? Recognize the deception...

      May 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Dano

      Reason is the enemy of faith.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  14. Marcnj

    CNN, stop feeding the trolls.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • ME II

      LOL, you tell 'em!

      May 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  15. Not All Docs Play Golf

    The Bible also says a guy named Noah built an ark 300 cubits by 90 cubits and loaded 2 of every known microbial organisms at his home (in what is now Turkey) (including polar bears and arctic wolves and pinguins, I suppose) when God got angry and flooded "the whole world", killing innocents including those unborn in the wombs. So, really, why are we referencing this bronze age book?

    May 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      And in only 150 years after the flood subsided the Earth had been repopulated enough to have built ALL OF THE PYRAMIDS IN EGYPT!

      May 17, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      did you know Noah live to be 950 years old? lol.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • jayayseeohbee

      That is because the calendar of the OLD TESTAMENT was different from what it was in the NEW TESTAMENT

      May 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  16. LostinSLC

    Face it, people will interpret the Bible as they see it with their own eyes.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • halhefner

      AND don't forget they will use that to impose their own agenda.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  17. sam

    Removing "religion" from the equation, taking a complete athiest, scientific perspective, it is unnatural to human nature for a man to be with a man and woman with a woman. Plain and simple.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      You obviously failed biology then....ho....mo...se...xu...al..ity has been proven to run rampant throughout nature.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Observer

      The Internet does not occur naturally. Try again.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Marcnj

      removing religion doesn't necessarily remove love, which can easily defy science.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      how do you know whats natural? if you want to take a completely science perspective maybe it is an evolutionary reaction due to us over populating the planet? maybe its a natural way for us to thin the herd.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • greeneyes

      @ SAM, you couldnt of said it any plainer.... taking religiion away, bottom line, two men or two women having relations is not natural... it does not FIT...the body parts dont even fit... not getting to graphic here, but come on, the womens body is equipped to be with a man, the womans body is NOT equipped to be with a woman,... dah, we all have the same parts... same with men, men's anatomy is certaintly not equipped to be with another man.... ya cant put a camel head thru a needle!!!! why do you think so many wound up in the ER.... go figure!

      May 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • JB

      HEY SAM THATS MY WHOLE POINT AND I AM A CHRISTIAN! IT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL!

      May 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Both have been documented in many different cultures and historical eras. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      also medicine is unnatural should we think its bad and wrong?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      there are examples of h.omos.exual behavior throughout the animal world. here's an article about it:

      http://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/10/23/20718.aspx
      1,500 animal species practice h.omos.exuality. H.omos.exuality is quite common in the animal kingdom, especially among herding animals. Many animals solve conflicts by practicing same gender s.ex.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Dano

      You cannot go against nature, because when you do, go against nature, it's part of nature too.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Sam – your post shows that you have chosen to be purposefully ignorant about science.

      Why do you post lies like this?

      May 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • I am I

      Who are you to think you know what is "Natural" or "Unnatural"? Technically speaking all human creation (cities, cars, technology etc...) is "UN-natural", so unless you live in a cave with no man-created items of any sort (apparently with internet). YOU ARE UN-NATURAL

      May 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  18. James

    The author falls into the same trap as many christians by trying to put fairy tales into context.

    You simply can't be a defender of christianity and admit that any part of the bible is not literal and factual because if you admit to one error you admit to the possibility of others. We'd be better served by an article written by a true believe that defends slavery, etc. so we can have a real debate. The fact that very few christians (kkk aside) are willing to stand up and defend their bible in its entirety speaks volumes about the religion...

    Can any christian please provide a reasoned rebuttal to the fact that the bible got slavery wrong (or have the courage to defend the bible, and slavery with it)?

    May 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Truth7

      ALL of God's people went into slavery, all of them.

      As to "slavery" among the tribes, among the brothers, it was a contract of employment for six years, then you were freed on the seventh year. And, ALL debts were cancelled during the seventh year as well, so no one could make you a debtor for life. What do we have now? Companies who fire your butt if you sneeze and we are slaves to debt for life!!!

      The slavery in this country was done by EVIL men. The Bible contains snares for just those people.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Barry

      The answer to your question is yes. Search for books on "Slavery in the Bible" at Amazon for a listing of many books of various critical biblical perspectives on slavery. So there are (attempts at least) to answer your question that would agree with you that slavery is indeed wrong biblically and that there are many caricatures of thought on this issue out there which are simply wrong.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Palmetto 1977

      Christianity does not promote slavery; in fact, it is very much against it. Keep in mind, the slavery references mentioned above are primarily referenced in the Old Testament. God uses "situations" like slavery to see how his people (Jews in the Old; Christians in the New) his people resppnded to him.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • James

      @Barry – Thanks. I did read "Is Slavery Sanctioned by the Bible" before, but I'll look for something more recent. If the argument is similar (not chattel slavery) then my statement still stands. Even if you are to go along with this argument, I don't believe anyone would consider the re-definition it moral by today's standards. Would we be fine with forcing Afghans to do hard labor for us because we conquered their nation?

      However, I do like these types of books because they help prove the larger point. They are saying that the bible was translated incorrectly. If people can become intellectually curious about how that could happen, then it will start them on a path there is no returning from.

      May 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ Truth7
      When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.  If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.  Exodus 21:20-21

      When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again Exodus 21:7

      May 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • James

      @Palmetto 1977, I would suggest you read the bible again. It clearly supports slavery. You can argue that it isn't the kind of slavery we had in early america, but it is slavery non-the-less. There are rules for how you can beat your slave, etc. If you can produce a logical argument on how our society should follow ALL of the rules set in the bible, then I'd love to hear it (slavery, polygamy, the sabbath, shell fish, etc.).

      BTW, you mention that the references are primarily in the old testament. Does that mean you are willing to throw the old testament away, including the ten commandments? Or are you just saying you'd like to cherry pick from it?

      May 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  19. SoFunny

    Yes, if you really understand the bible, then only believe maybe 30% or 40% of it. The bible and it quotes are oftend miss-interpeted. EXAMPLE: God did not ask the various religions to create a temple of wood, concrete, mud, gold, mosque or any other temple to honor him. The temple of the lord resides in your heart, that's what he was talking about, duh!

    May 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      but god did say in the bible that it was ok to have slaves, pillage cities, discriminate against gays, beat women and children, stoning, murder and also condemned planting different plants in the same field or wearing clothing made of more than one substance.

      The fact is your god never wrote anything in that bible. a bunch of men wrote it over a long period of time then edited it to fit their agenda.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Truth7

      Yes. As Jesus stated, He had "no place to lay His head".

      Big clue...they laid it among a thorn of crowns (evil) and hung Him on a Roman croos.

      Get OUT of Babylon my friends. YOU are the temple, not a bulding filled with false prophets and teachers. The BEAST. As Jesus also stated "they are to TAUGHT BY GOD". Notice, He didn't say MAN.

      Both God and Jesus said "ALL men's hearts are evil". If you can't "hear" what He is saying, then you have been lead astray.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "Both God and Jesus said "ALL men's hearts are evil". If you can't "hear" what He is saying, then you have been lead astray."

      A bunch of men wrote those words. You have already been led astray by man if you believe that book as the word of god.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  20. Too Much

    Talk about beating a dead horse....come on cnn.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • jmac121

      My thoughts exactly ... they are certainly getting lots of mileage out of this whole thing! I guess its 'news' only to 5% of the population ... and to the 'right'.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Cyle

      CNN is an entertainment network. they stopped being about "news" once they started selling ad-time.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
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About this blog

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