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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. Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

    People claim that atheism was the reason for the murderous regimes of Hitler (who was not atheist so who knows why he gets lumped in), Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao. These people didn't kill people because they didn't have God. They killed people because they thought they WERE God. They did a great job following the example set by God in the OT. They were brutal, war-mongering, and set up stupid laws (which many times resulted in capital punishment) and views of their ways being the utmost way to live. Sounds sort of like the God in the OT. I mean c'mon, the God of the OT killed a dozens of kids because they called a prophet a "bald-head". And this is the God you worship?

    May 18, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      OT? overtime? actually Hitler was a great christian, he followed all the rules he didn't drink or smoke and was a vegetarian. he didn't care much for Jews and gypsies though

      May 18, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • jmx

      Yeah, lets not forget that this same god killed a child becuase his favorite David decided to sleep with a married woman and then got her pregnant, then David sends the husband out to the front lines of battle to be killed in order to deal with the situation. God kills Bathsheba's child as punishment. Does anyone else think there is something wrong with this?

      May 18, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Go get 'em, Jock! You are right.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • political advisor

      Besides being an idiot,as noted by the name you use, we find you know next to nothing about history. What are you actually able to do?

      May 18, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      All had two things in common ... they were human and all had learned about religion, so one could argue that it was that introduction to religion that made them who they were. BTW .. Stalin was born & raised in orthodox christian belief then educated in an orthodox christian college where he studied, of all things, theology.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      political advisor, please tell me where I am wrong so you can adequately question my knowledge of history (which is actually pretty good).

      They did view themselves as God and so did the people under their iron fist. Ever heard of a thing called cult of personality?

      May 18, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • chris

      jmx

      The problem is that well – as humans, see through a glass half dimly ... we should be humble in the fact that we don't know much about this universe and the way it works ... how God uses/allows justice/consequences ... scripture says God disciplines those he loves [I discipline my children to motivate them to act kindly and justly] ...

      the other problem is when we rip passages out of context – like you have done with the story of David ... David took this woman and they had an affair ... David then used his power to kill an innocent man ... what should have happened in your 'all knowing mind'? BTW, the child is not dead but with God.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • just sayin

      Long since proven fact that Hitler was an atheist as were all those others you mentioned. Atheism was directly responsible for those tyrants ability to murder more people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries. Atheism followed to its logical conclusion results in mass murder. Historical facts. God bless

      May 18, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • jmx

      Chris, I simply stated a summation of part of the story. Can you explain how I took it out of context? Also, isn't there some commandment in there about not killing and not envying what others have and not sleeping with another mans wife? Oh and by the way, the child died and it is explained in the text that it was david's punishment for his actions.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Imagine

      Chris- you are spot on. Atheist will always take the Bible out of context to make their point. Man is a fallen creature who sins. We see this each and everyday. Still, we try to find excuses for our bad behavior by blaming God. It truly is sad, yet the Bible is clear that many will be blind to see God's love. What kind of god would create us, have a plan for forgiveness and die for us? A god who gives us free will to chose, upholds His laws yet forgave us through His own death on the cross. It really is so simple, yet man twists things and messes it all up just we do everything else. We star wars, we suffer the consequences of "our" actions. We have a choice and most of us simply choose the road well travelled vs. the straight and narrow. That is why our world is so messed up and never changes.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Hitler was not an atheist but okay. just sayin, I would think you liked those guys. They follow the example of the God of the OT pretty good. Spot on. Don't you love God? You would have to love the stuff he did in the OT too, which is eerily similar to the acts of murderous rulers.
      Did you also consider that the reason so many people died in this century is the increase of weapon technologies and type of warfare that took place? Look at the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and how they were ordered by a Christian. I guess you forgot that the Ja-panese were not atheist. Did you ever hear of the Ra-pe of Nanking?

      May 18, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • just sayin

      just saying, and yet Christianity killed off every living person on the planet except for Noah's incestuous family. I'd say that Christianity takes the cake when it comes to murder.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  2. SpongeBob SquarePunts

    For all of you out there with "faith" in Jesus Christ and God; what if you had been born to a Muslim family, or maybe to a remote tribe in South America? You would have either been taught about another religion or not have heard about God at all. Where would your required faith be then? I suppose you'd be damned to eternity in Hell per God's new covenant just like people in Asia were for centuries, or aboriginees in Australia, or native North and South Americans before the Christians came and stole their land and killed many of them off with chicken pox. Should eternal salvation be based on geography? How are you a better person just because you were born in America instead of the Amazon Rainforest?

    There are situations like I mentioned above where people have no opportunity for faith in Jesus. Then there are also people who just aren't able to believe in things without adequate proof. They just aren't created that way. And people can't just decide to believe. Either they do or they don't, and any true god would know the difference if they just said they believed to hedge their bets. The entire faith system is flawed and arbitrary, which is something you would expect from a human being, not a perfect being. Are you really worshipping because you love a god of anger, jealousy and murder, or because you were taught to, or just because you're afraid not to? How could anybody read Leviticus and Deuteronomy and still love the god of Christianity? If a human being had committed the same hypocritical acts that God allegedly did, you would be screaming to have them locked away for life and be confident they would end up for eternity in Hell.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Exactly right, Sponge Man! Well said.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Imagine

      Sponge you bring up very good questions, but it is man who is the murderous one, not God. In the Old Testament, God time and again pointed man in the right direction. He even revealed Himself and the "jews" followed Him. Then, like always, they went back to "their" old ways. They chose not to follow God. If God were a murderous vengful god He would not have come back time and again to steer man back on course. You simply are looking at this from man's point of view. God did create a perfect world, but man, given free will, chose not to follow. Would a loving God simply give us everything "we" wanted with no consequnces if we do bad things. Would he simply shower us with everything we wanted to make us happy. As I recall, this is precisely the lifestyle so many celebrities want and get from their sychophants and the wealth they have to "buy" happiness. Yet, time and again we find these people live hollow lives filled with drug use etc. Why? because having everything and getting everything is not the answer. that is why spoiled children often become terrible adults. God, like any parent, needs to disipline to teach us how to live a right life. Kids that are given limits are much more civil, patient and caring than those that are let to run free and wild. God gave us rules to live a good life. We chose not to listen. just like a judge, God has to be just. If we break the "law" there has to be consequnces, if not we have chaos. He gave us free will. We chose to behave bad and therefore we face the consequnces brought on by our choices, not by God. Time and again God was patient with man, yet time and again man turned away from God. Still, God wanted reconciliation, and paid for "our" sin by His son's death on the cross. Again, God is just and a penalty has to be paid just like justice is upheld in any civil society. yet, he chose to pay that price and give us mercy free. It is called grace- undeserved mercy. When one accepts christ's payment for "our" sin we are forgiven, not condemned. here is the clincher though, when one does truly, TRULY accept this gift of salvation one's haert is transformed, not physically, but spiritually to change behaior and follow God. We do not become perfect, but we are forgiven and it is in our hearts desire not to sin and do the best we can to follow God's path for ourselves, vs. our own selfish ways. We still stumble and make mistakes, but we do not do it intentionally or spitefully. We also thank Him for forgiving us again. To a non-believer this would be a trump card to commit all kinds of sin and simply ask forgiveness. Sorry, it doesn't work that way, as that person truly has not accepted God's forgeveness and truned from his or her selfish ways. Sponge, you simply are looking at God from a very worldy view just as man did in biblical times. The Bible is very clear that man will be blinded to the truth, but that the truth will set you free. It is all about forgiveness, not condemnation.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  3. Evian Bidet

    the book is just a book. it was written by straight men to sell a story. jesus... get over yourselves.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • PrimeNumber

      "... a book is only a book." And an opinion is only an opinion. Don't take yours too seriously.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Evian Bidet

      if you need a 2000 year old book to teach you morality, good for you. if it keeps you from stealing from me, great. if it keeps you from cheating on your wife with your neighbors wife, great. but you shouldn't need it.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Flatpicker

      Evian Bidet – You are partly correct. God did instill values in us when he created us. But when you get away from him and his word, the morality of mankind seeks to a much lower level. The worst part is they don't even see how low they are sinking.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  4. Hadenuffyet

    A biological abberation...unable to reproduce if true to their belief , and therefore a self remedying issue. Nature provides a resolution.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      and yet "nature" is giving straight people the ability to produce gay children .. guess natures remedy is a placebo.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Fred Darwin

      A queen bee produces offspring that are only to be guards of the hive and have no ability to reproduce and yet nature does not remedy them from being re-produced. It is part of the natural evolutionary process.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • SpongeBob SquarePunts

      The world is overpopulated and cannot sustain the numbers we already have. Yet you're crying because some people who can't make babies want to have relationships? What remedy is there for the planet and the human race for people who just keep making more and more abies they can't feed?

      May 18, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Sydaixel

      And yet there has been and always will be gay people. Looks like nothing is being 'remedied'. What about straight people who are unable to have children, barren women, etc? Are they being remedied?

      May 18, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Flatpicker

      Fred Darwin -A queen bee produces offspring. So true, except the guards do not want to be the queen and adopt baby bee's and then become preachers at the local beehive church. They are just guards.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  5. God

    At what point in the Bible does it say "Talk down to people that might not believe what you believe."

    I'm still looking for this line or something similar?

    May 18, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      Hi God ... psychologically "belief" gives people unshakeable confidence in their own selfrighteousness.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Flatpicker

      When you are say talk down to are you referring to not agreeing with their lifestyle ? Is that called Gay bashing when Christians don't agree with their lifestyle ? I would not treat a gay person any different than anyone else. It seems that it is the Gay person that freaks out when someone doesn't support with what they are doing.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Imagine

      The Bible does not say that. Perhaps you should not only readi it sometime, but study it before making such assertions. the Bible does say, however that we should listen to what God says. If God did create the universe and everything in it, He created all the physical laws as well. If there is only the physical laws then there is no moral law and therefore "right vs. wrong". God did create His 10 Commandments to show us how we are to live. He did create us, yet gave us free will to choose. What happens to children who are not given clear direction by their parents and are just let free to run wild? They are spoiled kids who most often turn into selfish adults. We see this everyday throughout time. Without a "compass" to guide us, man screws everything up. Yet, like the High School kids we all use to be, we think "we" know best. That is why insurance for young drivers is so expensive, because we do not and often make bad decisions. As we grow older, we tend to grow more conservative in our views simply because we understand the world is not "perfect". We tend to settle back to those "standards" we were lectured about when young. It is usually at the end of an atheist life that the person starts to realise that maybe, just maybe they were wrong. Then, it is too late. That person lived for "their' purpose and not their Creators. The Bible is really a love story about a God with just laws, who still wants us to have free will to chose Him, not be forced into a relationship with Him. He also had a plan to redeem us, as He is just and therefore must follow His own Law. A judge in court would not be right to let his guilty son or daughter go free just because it is his child. he has to be just otherwise he is corrupt. God gave us His law for our good. We can follow or reject it. We will never live up to God's standards and that is fine, He died on the cross to pay the penalty for "our" sin. That is why it is called grace- underserved forgiveness. Still, the world rejects His love. It really is amazing, but the Bible clearly stated that this will happen.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  6. Peteyroo

    If God truly existed (he/she doesn't but for the sake of argument), he would be absolutely disgusted by his minions who go out of their way to be so hateful and intolerant of others.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Evian Bidet

      the devil is the hater... he is the one responsible for the famines, the floods, the earthquakes, the ethnic cleansings, and the war.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • sam stone

      Right. The devil is the one causing all the bad stuff. Seek professional help, or heavy medication

      May 18, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      Christians are so bad that they made their own god kill himself

      May 18, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Evian Bidet, get a grip! Ethnic cleansing is manmade–by very religious people. Satan/the devil are as real as leprechauns & unicorns.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • BRC

      @Evian,
      "God" created the devil. If I am meant to credit "God" with giving me my life even though he didn't, my parents did, then you can imply that your religion believes that all creation adn all that happens is the work of "God". The devil was "God's" creation, his evils are "God'd" fault.

      If you actually believe in this stuff.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • just sayin

      Truth is neither hateful or intolerant. Love tells everyone ho mo se xuality is a sin and must be dealt with as all sin is dealt with. God bless

      May 18, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • SpongeBob SquarePunts

      So who made the devil, allowed him unsupervised access to the newly created Adam & Eve, and then allowed him access to all of mankind? You cannot blame the devil for anything he does, because Christianity is proof that Lucifer only does what God intended in his master plan which he works through his mysterious ways. A perfect being does not create imperfection on accident. Actually, a perfect being, by its very nature, does not create imperfection at all.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • tannim

      But if God created all things, then he created the devil, and is therefore responsible for those things anyway.

      Sorry, but a god that creates us and then puts us through torment and punishes us for not following him to me is a fickle god not worth believing in. I'd rather have a god that loves us and guides us to Do The Right Thing and helps to remove suffering and torment from our lives.

      That and I don't need people getting biblical references and cathechisms mixed up, bibles lost in translations, and organized religion trying to impose its fallible interpretation on people as if they can't use their free will to decide for themselves.

      And, BTW, I'm a happily-married striaght guy, grandson of a Protestant minister, so any haters can go screw themselves. I'm quite comfortable with my personal spiritual relationship with the gods, thank you.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  7. Jesus... love.

    what word goes inbetween there. is it "hates gay" or "is" or what?
    Me? I don't care. But if your god hates people, then I have no time for him. You can rationalize it into any meaning, but nooooooo thanks.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Hadenuffyet

      The issue isn't that a God hates people , it's that he hates what some people do.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Jesus... love.

      the distinction is irrelevent to me... if this god sends people to eternal damnation for what they do... that's the same outcome as if he were hating them. Again.. no time for that god, nor your god, if it applies.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Gary

      You clearly do not have a grasp of the Bible or God. God does not hate anyone. He hate is with impure actions and his is willing to forgive those if you will only recognize the wrong actions accept Jesus as your savior and ask him for forgiveness of your sins. And No this doesn't mean you can keep on sinning and still be forgiven.
      I would strongly recommend spending more time reading the Bible and less time condeming God until you have a better understanding. i know I have been reading the bible for 40 yrs. and still at age 60 learn from it daily.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • chris

      God doesn't hate people but like the most of us is saddened by what we do to hurt each other. God is life ... if we choose [out of free will to reject God], then we are choosing death ... it's not on God but on us.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • BRC

      @Gary,
      So the bible is the word of "God", an all powerful all knowing being, sent down to man so that we may come to know him; yet it is so poorly written that even after 40 years you still don't clearly understand it, and after 3000 years of its various books existence generations of scholars can't even firmly agree on the meanings. Either your "God" is quite literally the worst communicator in the universe, or it was written by men, has no deeper meaning, and it is easy to take at face value, but people don't want to accept the simple interpretation because it is at many points awful adn they truly hope that it is a good book. It's not. The fact that after all this time noone really "understands" it doens't make it good, it shows just how bad it is.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Flatpicker

      Gary – Very well said. God does not hate anyone. God hates sin. God will forgive anyone. People choose to go to hell. God created people to think for themselves. They have a choice to serve him or not serve him.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • chris

      BRC

      Wondering why you believe the Bible is so poorly written?

      God's communication is not the problem ... it is us the listeners who have the problem ... Jesus said that there is nothing more wicked than the human heart and the problem is that we tend to justify ourselves and hear what we want to hear. The Bible is very clear on lots of issues ... we just don't want to hear what it has to say

      May 18, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Flatpicker

      BRC – If you seek God the bible makes perfect sense. If your purpose is to ridicule it, it may not make as much sense to you. There has never been a book like it and there will never be another like it.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • BRC

      Chris,
      Probably because of its inconsistent use of language, needless repeating, contradictory messages and poor fact checking. Not to mention its frequent sanctioning of atrocious acts. Genocide is never right. "God" calls for it repeatedly. That is a problem. Yes, the bible is clear on many issue, and many times it is clearly wrong.

      Flatpicker,
      I am trying to read the bible (as stated it's not well written so it's a painful process), and while yes it may make "perfect sense" in some places, that doesn't make its message right. AS for its uniqueness, wrong. There are many books like it. For format, look at any ancient book (such as the works of Homer which GREATLY pre-date the bible; either book) that was a written form of word of mouth stories. They all contain frequent, sometimes painful, repeating; especially when it comes to minor details used to identify significant characters, because when it isn't written down you have to have a way to make sure people are thinking of the right person. It makes for clunky reading. AS for content, any other sacred text (many of which are as old or older), hold pretty similar messages, parables, and collections of divine law.

      To both,
      Old does not equal right. Just because books from the bible have been around for a long time doesn't make them divine, and doesn't mean they are due any more weight than any other old book. AS for my saying the book wasn't easy to understand, YOUR side started that. IF the bible was written well, guided by an all knowing "God", I should be able to read it in a day and understand clearly what he wants me to do. But people who are certain of the value of the bible will note that people are still learning, still reading, still trying to grasp its real meanings, and most of those people can't agree. I'm not the only one who says the bible is poorly written, your thousands of different variations of Christianity say that far louder and clearer than I ever could.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  8. BRC

    One of the points I found most interesting in this article is the discussion someone had about Paul. I've always wondered, who cares what Paul (not his real name) said about anything? he never new Jesus, he claims he had a vision of him (so does John Smith), he was a mysoginist, he was disliked by his own people, and rightly so as he historically plays out as more than a little bit of a d1ck, and he basically shifted his major world/spiritual beliefs as it suited him (and it isn't hard to make the case that he did it for his own gain and benefit).

    Paul was a tool, why anyone cares what he says is beyond me. I don't believe in the divinity of Jesus, but I believe he was a genuinely good man, that more should have probably listened to. Point out the parts where people who were supposedly alive at the same time heard Jesus codemn gays (you'd still be making a bigotted argument, but I don't think it exists).

    May 18, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Amen!

      May 18, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      As far as I see it Paul was an opportunist. He used to persecute the Christians, then he became one. In my honest opinion he probably sought to move the Christians in the direction that he wanted them to go. He saw a chance to become a leader and he went for it.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • AKR

      *Joseph Smith. Unless you are talking about the husband of Pocahontas.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • BRC

      @AKR,
      Thanks meant that one. Too many J. Smiths in history.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Flatpicker

      If you don't believe in what the bible says, why do you obviously care so much as to what it says ?

      May 18, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      FlatPicker, for a few reasons.
      1) People are trying to take what it says and put it into law.
      2) In order to accurately debunk something, you have to know a lot about it.
      3) I don't take The Lord of the Rings as real but I still read it.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • BRC

      @Flatpicker,
      Because people try to use it as a basis for legislation, and that is unconsttutional and wrong. More importantly because humans who should be free-thinking reasoning beings, who have access to the incredibly powerful human mind allow a collection of stories with no provable basis in reality written by power hungry men thousands of years ago to rule every aspect of their lives. Those who evangelize say it is their duty to warn all people about the dangers of hell, and about the wonders of heaven and the love of "God". While I am not a fan of proselytizing, maybe every once in a while it pains me to watch people throw away their own ability to think so they can follow the words of men who were clearly wrong, without thought and without question. Maybe it's because I think more of my fellow man that "God" does, and I really wish we would all relize that you can believe in whatever god makes you happy, and dream of whatever afterlife you hope for most, but we can and should just do away with religion.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  9. rebuttal?

    CNN.. the other side gets millions of rebuttals. The pretense of fairness is fox-esque.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  10. Don Lee

    http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/jesusteachingonhell.html

    May 18, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Can't speak for yourself, Don?

      May 18, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  11. Brad

    Here's the bottom line. Who is this Paul guy? I know – I know, he was Jesus' boy – great! So he had a problem with being gay – so what? Why do god-fearing Christians hang on every word in the bible when everything that was supposed to be in the bible never made it? Simple answer: there lives are empty if this whole bible thing is some made up story. Empty. So in the mean time, let's bash the gays, say evolution doesn't exist, deny that priests (of all people) are pedophiles, that the church protects these perverts and that the pearly gates are in fact up there!!! YAHOOOOO!!!! Good luck people. Oh and by the way, marriage is a made up thing, MAN MADE, just like the bible. MAN MADE. MAN WRITTEN. Better yet we don't know who these people really were or what they believe. Jesus didn't even write the thing!!! News Flash – Jesus didn't give a crap about the definition of marriage. God certainly didn't/doesn't. Who cares???

    May 18, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      That's the point I'm constantly trying to make. Christians follow everything but the teachings of Christ. They should call themselves Paulians. They care more about what Paul said than Jesus. Paul was almost as bad as the Pharisees.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • BRC

      Very much agreed.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Flatpicker

      So if we don't agree with their lifestyle we are GAY bashers ? That is getting so old. I don't get it, why does a Gay person want to change what the meaning of the bible. If they don't believe it, why do they care what it means. Maybe the bible is true and there is just a little conviction in what they are doing.... Makes sense to me. If not, it wouldn't matter what the bible said.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • @flatpicker

      Everyone is always "changing" the meaning of the Bible from the very first time it was written down. To imagine that beliefs and words have not been change from their sacred writing is really to ignore humanity. If gays and allies can't make their own interpretation, then you are REALLY discriminating since evereyone else gets to.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • sam stone

      flatpicker: they are not seeking to change the meaning of the bible. they are seeking equal rights

      May 18, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Flatpicker

      the bible is 99.9 percent accurate the dead sea scrolls proved that. It has not been changed to fit my lifestyle. Gay people can have the Christian bible. But you take all of it. You don't leave out the parts that say you can't be gay and a christian at the same time. Christ preaches forgiveness all through the new testament. But after forgiveness he says go and sin no more.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Flatpicker

      sam stone – No Sam, I am sorry to say that is not what they are seeking. They are seeking to change the meaning of the word marriage. They are seeking for everyone to acknowledge that they are married. The are seeking to be preachers in churches. I don't see why they can't the same benefits as anyone else. Obviously this is not what they want.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      FlatPicker, Jesus never said anything about gays. If you are going to take everything it says (as you just said), you had best never shave and you had best never eat shellfish/pork. No more shrimp or burgers for you!

      May 18, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Also FlatPicker, the Bible did not invent marriage. Why would it define it?

      May 18, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Flatpicker

      Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler – Please stop quoting Leviticus. You obviously have no clue what the Levitical Law is. Christians are free from the Law and live under grace. You really don't understand the bible. The bible is a collection of God Inspired books. Some of the books are on History, Creation, Prophecies, Salvation and so on. You should really understand what you are quoting before you just throw a verse out there.

      May 18, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  12. Peteyroo

    Unicorns, leprechauns, the Easter Bunny, the Toolth Fairy, Santa Claus, Jesus, God–the list goes on.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • LinCA

      @Peteyroo

      You said, "Unicorns, leprechauns, the Easter Bunny, the Toolth Fairy, Santa Claus, Jesus, God–the list goes on."
      Santa is modeled on an actual person. You shouldn't lump him in with the others.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  13. If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

    What is the point of going to heaven? To spend all eternity in blissfull happiness in the worship of God(s)? To what end, why .. what would be the point of that existence anyway? At least here & now living has a point and meaning, we pass on our knowledge to the next generation to better humankind & expand our knowledge and grow as a species.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Russ

      @ horses: heaven is not about 'getting stuff.' it's about being with the One we were made for.
      the question you're asking is like saying "what's the point of love?"
      purely evolutionary atheists say it's just about optimization of the DNA pool for propagation of the species.
      Christians say: God has been love from all eternity. Heaven is about being with our greatest Lover (Hosea, Song of Songs, Eph.5:23-32, etc.).
      And notably – it's not simply a place we to which we "escape" from here. at the end of time, heaven comes down to a redeemed earth (Rev.21-22).

      May 18, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • sam stone

      Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company

      May 18, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      Russ .. if you don't have an answer, you need to ask yourself the question again. You rambled on but gave no reason at all, even trying to change the question to avoid answering it. It's a simple question.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Madtown

      at the end of time, heaven comes down to a redeemed earth (Rev.21-22).
      -----
      Russ, for people born into this world in a culture that doesn't practice christianity, do you believe they will come to "be with the one we were made for". You quote bible verses, as if that is the only way that can lead someone to salvation. There are a great many people on this planet who will never even know what the bible is, through no fault of their own. They are no different than you, in terms of human value. So, you think someone like yourself alone has the key to salvation?

      May 18, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • jmx

      I'd like to ask the early Hebrews that questions too since the idea of heaven, hell and afterlife didn't come around until they borrowed it from the Greeks. Hmmmm.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • notatall

      All this love stuff...the truth is the modern "Christian cult" is full of hate. Otherwise, they would leave politics and gays alone.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • LeopoldStotch

      Can you imagine being alive in biblical times? Life expectancy was in the 20's. Many if not most of peoples children died as infants. Finding food was a constant battle. Medicine was non-existent, so excruciating pain was a fact of daily life. It's not hard to imagine how the concept of heaven developed. The question should be, why do people today, when we know the world is not flat, and that there is no heaven in the sky and hell beneath our feet, still believe in such an ancient, anachronistic belief system? Simple, because it still brings them the same comfort it did back then.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Russ

      @ horses: pointblank – the point of going to heaven is to be with God. Biblically, it's to recover Eden. But more than that, the difference b/t Eden & the end of Revelation is that the garden has become a Garden City.

      May 18, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Russ

      @ madtown: "through no fault of their own." that's not biblically true. Rom.1: all men are without excuse. it is our fault we have turned our backs on God.

      and in anticipation of your "because you were born there" argument – my ancestors used to paint their faces blue & eat one another. Until Christianity came to Europe, it was no different than any other group you'd say "what about those people." It's the reason we believe in missions.

      May 18, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      So Russ ... the point is to be with God? What is the point of that? Why doesn't God just put us with him if that's what God wants?

      May 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Russ

      @ horses: now we're talking. what's the problem? it's the Matrix "splinter in the brain." It's the problem of evil. It's what religion calls 'sin.' It's what some simply label entropy (that everything is falling apart).

      If God is perfect, bringing us directly into his presence means compromising his perfection – unless he does something to perfect us. Magically waving a wand sounds nice, but if he's a God who defines justice, he chooses not to compromise his character. How would he reveal himself to be just (correcting injustice) & merciful (forgiving & healing) without compromising who he is (both traits)?

      The cross. The place of justice (the place we most clearly see what we deserve) becomes the place of mercy (Jesus voluntarily takes the justice we deserve on himself as the only truly innocent human being ever).

      May 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  14. stac123

    The bible is cut and dry it is a sin .stop twisting everything into what ignorant people want to hear because they want to do what they want to do – live how they want. Man cannot remake the words of GOD to say what they want it to ..Jeses came to save not judge however people will choose the path they want to live but the second they die their spirit will be aware of the death and they will have to stay on the path they choose which shall lead to hell.. Sin will seperate us from God..Our flesh will die but the spirit shall not .. I would prefer to live like there is a God then find out there wasnt at the the least instead of vica versa ....,, This is real talk and People are just stupid and want to do what they want when they want ,, and think they know it all ..., they shall see one day ... Its sad but u cant make people understand

    May 18, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Yeah Go Do it

      Well stated. Amen.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Peteyroo

      You and Yeah Go Do It are delusional.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      I see mankind still has some way to go it seems.
      Maybe one day.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • sam stone

      "Man cannot remake the words of GOD to say what they want it to"

      How many different Christian churches are there?

      May 18, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Primewonk

      Why did the SBC form?

      That church formed because those Christian religious racist îdiots were just positive that their god wanted them to own black people. Why did they think that way? Because that is how they spun certain verses in your bible.

      In 1959, the original trial judge in Loving v. Virginia wrote in his decision, " 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 marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." Why did he write that? He wrote it because of how he choose to spin verses in his bible.

      Today, unless you are a republican in places like Mississippi, most Christians find that behavior reprehensible.

      You, and all the other ignorant, hômophobic, fundiots, are doing the exact same things. Hopefully in 50 years your grandchildren will see you for the ignorant bigots you are.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Um, yeah

      Gay marriage is not a civil right. Acts of immorality are completely different from color of skin.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Are you kidding me?

      You are missing one main point: who cares what the bible says? Religion is irrelevant to politics. If you think it's a sin to be gay, the don't be gay but stop trying to dictate what the rest of the country does.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • UncleM

      Sorry – it's all made up this god stuff.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • sam stone

      um yeah: equal treatment under the law is a civil right. morality has nothing to do with it

      May 18, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Flatpicker

      Primewonk – And what verse did they use as reference to all the races were created on different continents ? If someone is going to do something based on the bible they better have scripture to back up what they are doing. There are evil people in this world that will use religion as a ways to do horrible things. That does not make the bible or christians horrible. That just shows how evil man is.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  15. Yeah Go Do it

    Keith

    I have a feeling that the Christians are going to have a lot to answer for on Judgement day.

    Yeah........We Christians will all have to answer for our actions......But ....we'll be with GOD and you'll be.......elsewhere....and I guarantee you'll NOT be laughing and mocking the Christians.......

    May 18, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Oh yes I will!

      May 18, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Here you are judging... just like a good Christian. Please, I'm trying to remember the verse where Jesus says you should be judging other people. Can you find it for me? I've looked and looked but it must be in a page that fell out of my Bible.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Yeah Go Do it

      Peteyroo

      Oh yes I will!

      Ok....try this.......Turn on your stove.....when it's glowing RED HOT......Lay your hand down...or better yet....have several people hold it down...where you can't pull it off.......then try to laugh.......or better yet......I want to hear you mock Christianity.....Try to reason it out NOW........while you have a chance.....

      May 18, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • SpongeBob SquarePunts

      Usually a guarantee comes with some kind of compensation when it is not met. What are you going to give me when you're wrong? I suppose you'll have to leave it to me in your will since you'll just be dead.

      I'm going to go now and slaughter and sacrifice a whole bunch of animals to God because he likes that. Then I'm going to have to clean this entire city, top to bottom, because about 1 in 4 women are likely on their periods and therefore they, everything they touch, and everyone who touches anything they touch are unclean. I'm then going reward myself by raping a beautiful young Christian virgin and fully expect her father to force her to marry me, because that's God's law. Yes, gonna be a busy day today.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • sam stone

      You have no authority to make this guarantee.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Um, yeah

      Christians will have to answer for why so many sat back and allowed people to turn immorality into morality within a few short decades.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • UncleM

      They say heaven is best for the weather, but go to hell for the company.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • sam stone

      um yeah: you sure are right. they will have to answer for letting darkies marry white women....

      May 18, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • S.M.

      @Yeah Go Do it
      So what you're saying is that your version of god has to threaten people with pain and suffering to scare them into believing in him and following his rules?
      Sorry, if he was truely a kind and loving god he wouldn't have to threaten with fire and brimstone.... people would turn to him because he is a truely good and loving being not because of the threat that your either in heaven by following his rules your you're doomed..

      May 18, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • oh, lord...

      NA NA na na NA NA

      May 18, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  16. Pascal's Wager

    Can we please lay Pascal's Wager to rest? For those who do not know it is the totally irrational idea of believing in Christianity "just in case," because you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and if you do not believe then you have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

    Here is a sampling of the many responses these comments get back:

    ME II: That's Pascal's Wager and do you really think God wants you to 'play the odds' on eternity?

    n8263: What if it turns out Islam is true? You better hope you did not pick the wrong god!

    scott: ...and I worry about YOU choosing a religion of convenience (Christianity) based on where you were born and raised. Clearly, the one true religion is Hinduism. Prove me wrong.

    Cedar Rapids: yeah, as someone said...better hope that the god you worship is the right one else you will be just as much out of luck, maybe you should worship them all to cover your bases

    sam stone: Gee, you must think that god is pretty stupid for not seeing that you are just playing the odds.

    Kevin: It is an outrage for a fellow Christian to justify their faith by essentially saying it is a safety net ... either you believe or you don't ... you are only doing yourself and everyone else a disservice by saying that you believe just in case there is a heaven you want to make sure you get in.

    n8263: What are the odds the one true religion is even around right now? Maybe it already died out, or is yet to be established. Today's major religions including Christianity have been around for less than 1% of human history. The world has seen thousands of gods come and go. You might have been born at the wrong time.

    rAmen: um, what if you're wrong and Gandalf is the real god?

    HawaiiGuest: If I am wrong, and specifically the christian bible is correct, then that god is not worthy of worship, or devotion. The god the bible paints is a vain, jealous, sadistic, and really a very inefficient god.

    If horses had Gods: I would also give a God(s) credit for being smarter than that. Don't you think a God(s) knows you're just playing along to hedge your bets ... God may not play dice with the universe but God is also likely not to like people playing a hand at poker with their suppossed "belief".

    Me: What you are referring to is called "Pascal's Wager" but a HUGE possibility is missed in that...what if the God/ afterlife you are worshipping/ awaiting is the wrong one? Pascal's Wager is putting all the "Eggs" in one "Basket", aka the christian god, so you are taking just as big a gamble, if not a bigger one, in believing in one of the many possibilities, instead of all or none of the

    Marcus Aurelius: Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  17. Keith

    There would be no Devil if the Christians would quit fighting with him.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Yeah Go Do it

      Wrong. DEAD wrong.

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

        What?

        May 18, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • SpongeBob SquarePunts

      I love well thought out rebuttals.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:33 am |
      • Keith

        Me too, I spent twenty years studying Theology in order to heal myself from being raised by Fundamentalist Christians. I don't care what they believe because they don't understand what they believe.

        I didn't end up an Atheist like many that have had to heal over their "Christianity". I have a God and I am happy with the person I am without a "Church"

        May 18, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  18. Atheistic reality is psychologically healthy for people and all living things

    Crossing you fingers changes things

    Proven

    May 18, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • SpongeBob SquarePunts

      I'm not sure if it changes things, but I certainly have a lot more faith in it than prayer.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  19. blf83

    The author's views are at least better thought out than those of many right-wing pseudo-Christians who simply parrot the translations of translations of translations – many of which have no truly original source.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Russ

      @ blf83: you are parroting a false soundbite. here's a brief overview of the actual scholarship. there is no other ancient doc.ument so well-attested.

      http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/03/21/an-interview-with-daniel-b-wallace-on-the-new-testament-manuscripts/

      May 18, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Madtown

      there is no other ancient doc.ument so well-attested.
      ----
      I'm sure that website you reference is completely bias-free. The bible is still the creation of mankind.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Primewonk

      Russ – why is your professor more "right" than this professor?

      May 18, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Russ

      @ Primewonk: because Daniel Wallace is actually giving you the evidence. Go check the link. The article is not "hey, here's what I think." He stating what factual evidence we have (#s of doc.uments, proximity to source, etc.).

      May 18, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Russ

      @ Madtown: it'd help if you actually look at the link first. It's not about bias – even the most liberal scholars recognize there is no other ancient doc.ument with anywhere close to the same wealth of available resources & attestations.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Madtown

      @ Madtown: it'd help if you actually look at the link first
      -----
      I didn't look at the link. I don't have to, my statement was simply that the bible was written by men. That's not really an arguable point.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Russ

      @ madtown: that was one of your points – and honestly, one that the Bible addresses, agrees with, and yet takes a step father (1 Thess.2:13; 2 Tim.3:16). But as I said, it doesn't seem like you want to engage content, just dismiss.

      secondly, you quoted me on a scientifically verifiable fact, as shown on the link – but simply dismissed the idea.. again, do you want to engage the actual content or just dismiss?

      May 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  20. Justin

    I love how conservative Christians go out of their way to find obscure old testament passages to condemn gays and lesbians, but wholeheartedly support capital punishment, which Jesus (a victim of capital punishment) so clearly condemns. The bible gives a clear roadmap to Christians–judge not lest you be judged. In other words, live and let live and leave it to God to judge. Period. Any other approach is inconsistent with the teaching. Consider the two most important commandments (per Jesus): love God and love your neighbor as yourself. You cannot condemn others if you are loving them as yourself. And, consider this: the old testament should not (and was not meant to) be taken literally. Look at the big picture people.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      There is plenty of instances of capital punishment in the Bible. There is even an instance in the NT. Can't remember exactly but I believe it involved a husband and wife stealing from the congregation and God struck them dead.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Russ

      @ Jacques: Acts 5, Ananias & Saphira. But the most definitive use is Jesus himself as a subst.itute for Christians.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Why do you think that speaking the truth about what's right and what is wrong is "judging" ? According to what you say, the writers of New Testament, and the prophets of God in the Old Testament were all "judging" ....
      The whole thing in the nutshell is, people of this world who love their sin and want to keep them hate the Word of God, which is, which upholds His standard of righteousness, which His people preach and are commanded to do so!

      There is no point to hide behind any pretense, because God already spelled out WHY don't they come to Him: and it is becaue they loved darkness rather then light! (John3:19-21).
      Take heed that in your zeal to be "fair and unbiased" do not compromise and find yourself in the camp of the ungodly, working against God instead for Him!

      May 18, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Whobawhat

      Last I checked Romans 1 was in the new testament.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      PRISM, leave it up to God (if there is one) to do the judging. The Bible was written by men. You claim divinity (with no proof besides the fact that the Bible says it) is in it but remember that the Pharisees claimed divinity too in imposing harsh laws and judgements. Jesus was well aware of this so he pretty much said quit judging. Leave it up to God. Love people.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • austex

      A superficial reading of a complex text necessary to rationalize your position does not make your observation true. Judging another person and holding another person accountable for their choices/actions are not even close to the same thing. Try reading the entire Bible with an open mind. Try reading the Bible in search of the truth instead of reading it to rationalize your position. Not once does Jesus say that anyone should not be held accountable for their choices/actions. What you are advocating (Christians should not hold anyone accountable for their choices/actions) is pure anarchy and the Bible is so clearly against that, that it sees even bad government as being better than no government. The Bible has a warning for those who choose to reject wisdom in favor of folly. Read Isaish 5:20, study it, and try with all your might to never forget it.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • jmx

      Justin, I couldn't have said it better myself. Why is it that a group of believers feels it necessarily to push their ideals on others as state law. It is fine to have beliefs and to enforce those beliefs amongst your group but please leave the rest of us out of it. A lot of Christians tend to forget the turn the other cheek philosophy and become overly zealous to the point that they tread on others beliefs. The definition of marriage in Your religion may be between one man and one woman but how does it make sense to make it law when there will be others effected who don't belong to that faith or believe in that definition?

      May 18, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Russ

      @ Justin: keep reading! you're quoting Mt.7:2. Read the next 3 verses. Jesus says to get the log out of your own eye, THEN help your brother take the splinter out of his. The point is NOT "don't judge" but "be consistent in HOW you judge." The way you're reading it, no one would ever take the log out of his eye.

      And you're wrong on the OT – Jesus himself argued that nothing would pass away (Mt.5:17) & even used a singular word in arguing with the Pharisees (Mt.22:44). Moreover, he said it was ALL about him (Lk.24:27, 44). If the OT is all about Jesus, too, then you can't read the NT without reading the OT as well.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • notatall

      Yes, Justin, back to the basics. If all Christians tried harder to be like Jesus Christ we wouldn't be having this conversation. There would be no "Christian cult" that is trying to take over the US government. People would be more loving and forgiving (and happy) and this country would be a less critical, hateful, greedy, selfish country. Too bad the US can't truly be a "Christian" country. Sadly, people want it in politics and other people, but not themselves.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:06 am |
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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.