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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. Stercus Tauri

    I don't have a take on it. The bible is 50% fairy tales and 50% barbarian history.

    May 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • YBP

      98% fairy tale.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • JWT

      A christian scholar that I know said that the bible is a collection of stores that were loosely based on the times and contained stories for the time in which they were written. Sort of like Aesops fables.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Frank

      Christians should stop thwarting the lives of gay people. Leave God's gay creatures alone. He made them. He knows what he is doing. Millions of gay people have told you again and again that they were born gay, that they have been gay ever since they can remember. Some as early as 4th grade. Are you calling all gay people liars? How is it that you could believe a 2,000 year old religious text but not the millions upon millions of gay people around the planet? Even when all of science comes rising over the mountains, Christians will be the only ones in denial.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Ted

      Who are these people that would actively work to beat down gay families for generations? Haven't they done enough harm? Why does your belief override my disbelief. I could never be so eat up with the possibility of everlasting life that I would proactively and without an ounce of reservation walk into a voting booth and vote to bring down the gay family next door. Who are these idiots?

      May 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Ted

      God forgot to give me the endorphins that go orgasmic when I hear the word Jesus.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      All those that think carnally are trying to decipher Jesus' spiritual truth. You folks couldn't be more ridiculous if you tried (LOL).

      May 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      @Ted, by definition gay families only last one generation. Real Christians believe in Love and Forgiveness, not hate and condemnation.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  2. PRISM 1234

    What does "my take" or "your take" matter, unless we align ourselves with the Word of God who created us, to whom we all will have to account for our lives?

    May 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Nowhere in your bible does your god condemn the saved loving respectful relationship of a gay couple as we know and understand it today.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Observer

      PRISM 1234,

      So should we bring slavery and discrimination against women and the handicapped back?

      May 17, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Areda

      Do Christians think that they will get brownie points in heaven for stopping gay people from enjoying the things Christians hold dearest in life. You do not have a monopoly of human feelings of love. You do however have a monopoly on hate and obsessive compulsive disorders. Leave gay people alone. Enjoy the people who give meaning to your life and I will enjoy the people who give meaning to my life. Live and Let Live!!!!!!!!!

      May 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • LibertyBell

      And for those who preaches, they are dual accountable before God. Every pastor/priest/preachers should be wary what they preach to their congregation. Yes love one another but make sure you preach according to the understanding of His Word and not your own interpretation so you can just make someone happy...

      May 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      @YeahRight, As a Christian and an American I have no objection to a loving respectful gay relationship with the same rights as the rest of us. Just don't call it Marriage.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • JWT

      One thing in life is certain I will never have to account for my life to your god.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Just don't call it Marriage."

      The Supreme Court is what defined marriage as a civil right. Marriage existed long before your bible, Christianity doesn't have a monopoly on that word or institution.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      YeahRight, you keep posting this "Nowhere in your bible does your god condemn the saved loving respectful relationship of a gay couple as we know and understand it today."

      Do you think those in S&G thought the same as you?

      May 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  3. Jesus Harold

    May each new generation continue to revile religion and set aside the absurdities of religious teachings with increasing regularity. Someday, any and all who believe in such drivel will be dismissed as fringe lunatics and babbling morons. It's obviously still too entrenched at present for eradication to occur in my lifetime, but I've seen progress in the three or so decades that I've been around; progress enough that I'm jealous of the humans who in a couple of hundred years or less will view Christianity, Islam and the rest with about as much reverence as we now view Greek myth. It'll all make a cute story or perhaps a silly cautionary tale for the utopian-dwellers of the future. Until then...sigh.

    May 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • LibertyBell

      May God forgive you, even using his name Atheist! I forgive you anyway. There is a measure of faith given to everyone who believes and so far, zilts on you. From age to age He is still the same. And one day, everyone will bow down before Him and He will judge the living and the dead. Then you will know either you are with Him or against Him. Hoping you will not see the lake of fire even the smartest on earth will not begin to understand.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Tammy

      Christians assume every person gives the same weight to the Bible. Most people I know take it with 15 billion grains of salt (if they take it at all). To me it is just a man made code of conduct using made up stories to prop up the madness.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Jesus Harold

      hey, libertybell....dong!!!!

      May 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Democritus

      Well said Harold. I couldn't agree with you more. Maybe one day these nuts will join us in the 21st century... probably not though.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Jezebel

      Why do Christians have children if they know that very few people get into heaven. If life is a test and few of us pass, then why breed and condemn at least half of your children to eternal Hell?

      May 17, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      Wish all you want, Atheists still only make up about 16% of the world's population and even less in the U.S. where 92% believe in God. That is double what it was 100 years ago. The numbers are just against you.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "even less in the U.S. where 92% believe in God"

      It's actually more like 80% and they don't all believe in the Christian god. Only 33% of the people on this planet believe in Christian god.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • KRHODES

      Well don't hold your breath..Christianity and the Bible has been under attack from folks like you and governments...it is still here and as strong as ever.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Harold, I can tell you haven't read Revelations yet. You are the end generation.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @HeavenSent

      People have been predicting end times from the bible since jesus himself. No reason to think you're any more right than they were.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  4. YBP

    Try removing all the gay people from your church, as well as everything they were responsible for, and see what you're left with.

    May 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  5. htc

    If I had two dogs wanting to live a life like that guess what ,a peace of lead between their eyes.

    May 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • The Lonely Grave Of Paula Schultz

      You are definitely a Christian.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Observer

      Well done as an example of Christianity. So much love. So much of the Golden Rule.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Zod

      So I take it you are admitiing to shooting your brothers when they came out of the closet then...

      May 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • The Lonely Grave Of Paula Schultz

      Yes, he shot his brothers as they came out of the closet. They were all shot in the back as they exited.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Tammy

      Another generation of Christians raising their ugly heads. Will it never end?

      May 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      You non-believers are so blatantly phony with your phony Christian posts.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • htc

      Just trying to say even animals do it right .

      May 17, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  6. SouthernCelt

    @Cedar Rapids, Gandalf was based on aspects of Jesus' life. So was Frodo. Jesus rose from the dead. More people witnessed that than those that witnessed the battles of Julius Caesar yet people would rather believe in war than peace and love. According to a Duke University study, 92% of Americans believe in God's existence. Are you right and 92% of the country is wrong? What is more likely? Are you truly happy so far from the mainstream? That's not an independent spirit, that is Pride, one of the 7 deadly sins.

    May 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • brian

      i agree.. also why do ppl say "oh my god" and "godddd" and "bless you" and they dont believe in god. its really ironic is it not?

      May 17, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • brian

      and dont forget "jesus christ!" "jeeze" "gosh" "golly" "goodness"

      May 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • No

      It isnt ironic at all.
      Are you stupid?

      May 17, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • YBP

      Gandalf's life is based on Jesus' what? Don't you realize that Jesus' life story, as first told by the author of Mark and re-written (and corrected in places) by the authors of Matthew, Luke, John and several others that we just learned about in the past 57 years, is based on numerous sources, like the lives of the Greek, Roman, Persian, and Egyptian gods and god-men? Why do believers know nothing about where their religion came from? How can you believe not knowing?

      May 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • JWT

      I do not believe in any of the gods. There is nothing wrong with those that do believe however. At least as long as they don't try to foist their particular religious beliefs on society. And there are many religions -not all of of agree on everything.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • YBP

      I guess if you knew, as I do, you wouldn't believe, like me.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • rohan

      So I am supposed to believe in that nonsense because a majority (even an overwhelming majority) of people believe it? centuries ago, the vast majority of europeans believed the earth was flat. Who cares if people believe it. Believing in something doesn't make it true. And living according to the dictates of the non-existent "god" of a bunch of bronze age nomads is pretty sad. It's time to grow up.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Dave

      Brian........because they were raised to say these things and it's a hard habit to break even though you know it's BS. Why doesn't anyone teach that Emperor Constantine chose what was to go in the bible? He combined stories and threw away what he didn't like. Some stories were written hundreds of years apart and people still read the bible like it's real.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Religion is not healthy for children and other living things

      Southern – You DO realize that there is not one single "eye-witness" account of ANYTHING anywhere in the gospels, don't you? So, I really don't see how you can honestly claim this statement of yours has any truth or value: "Jesus rose from the dead. More people witnessed that than those that witnessed the battles of Julius Caesar" We have NO first hand accounts of ANY of these alledged "miracles". I also find the Duke survey results claiming 92% of Americans to be believers is quite dubious as well!
      Good luck with your delusions – I hope they serve you well...

      May 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      @YBP,
      It is a fact that J.R.R. Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic and his faith guided his fictional writings. Gandalf is a fictional character. Jesus is real, was born of a Virgin, walked the Earth for 30+ years, was crucified by the Romans, suffered, died, and was buried, yet rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. Read the Nicene Creed for the rest.

      May 17, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      @Religion (the rest terminated to save bandwidth :-)). St. John and Our Lord's Mother witnessed the Crucifixion first hand, watched Him die, and buried in a garden Tomb nearby, guarded by two Roman Soldiers. Sunday Morning Mary of Magdala went to the Tomb, found the soldiers asleep and the Tomb empty, then saw Jesus walking and talking. Other Disciples also saw Him days later. The fact that it happened over two thousand years ago does not make it any less true. You can read the original account in the Latin Vulgate written about 400 years after it happened. Either you believe or you don't. I believe and have probably live with more Hope than you.

      May 17, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  7. brian

    slavery back then wasnt oppressive slavery. slaves were workers who were treated as family.
    women never were treated unfairly bc they were women. the bible says to respect women and love them and speaks of the law of your mother.

    May 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Observer

      brian,

      You ought to actually read the Bible sometime if you think you are following it.

      The Bible tells how badly you can injure your "beloved servant' without any punishment.

      It tells women not to teach men and to be silent in church.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Roger

      Please tell us you're joking. If not you really don't understand history.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Norman

      youre an idiot-women were forced to marry their rapists in deutoronomy-did you read the bible??

      May 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  8. brian

    No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him; – John 6:44

    the end.....

    May 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Observer

      Yep. Look at the billions of people God sent to hell because they had NEVER heard of Jesus. Nice guy.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      God never "sent" anyone to Hell, except maybe Satan and his minions. The other "billions' were killed by those He created. Whether or not they are in Hell is not up to you. That is His decision, not ours.

      May 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • zod

      the end... funny

      May 18, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  9. Lauren

    iqueue120 needs to go jump in oncoming traffic and save the world from his/her terrible, nonsensical argument that makes them somehow sound like they had a stroke while typing.

    May 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  10. SurelyUjest

    Wow finall jmac121 admits he does not pretend to know everything god says and does because he could not answer a staight forward question.

    May 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  11. Keith

    Regardless of what the Bible says, I find the argument relatively pointless. Why would we, as a modern, secular society, base our morality around a Bronze-era book written by people with the equivalent of a 3rd grade education? Let's not forget the other little "pearls of moral wisdom" in that tome, to include Moses stoning people to death for picking up stones on a Saturday. Regardless of how you interpret the Bible, it's a rediculous piece of rubbish. If there is a God, I think (s)he'd be pretty astonished at how primitive our beliefs about him/her are.

    May 17, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • chris

      .the Bible says we should stone adulterers.... And although this rule seems like it is well-deserved, I seem to remember Jesus himself stopping them from executing someone under that "marriage"-based law. So Jesus, himself, disobeyed God's law? it's not possible. There's gotta be some wiggling room in there somewhere, somewhere the rules of man crept into the rules handed down by God.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      God is most definitely male. That is why He is called Our Father. Why do you dwell in the Old Testament? The New Testament is far more uplifting (pun intended 🙂 )

      May 17, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  12. htc

    Call a spade a spade for crying out loud ,call yourselves sodomizers, because GOD has given them over to a reprobate mind .why call it marriage .repent AMARICA REPENT.

    May 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Observer

      Yep. Bring back slavery and discrimination against women and the handicapped, too!

      May 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • htc

      Willingly ignorant , what a pity.

      May 17, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, you certainly are, htc.

      May 17, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  13. David

    Leviticus 18:22 says very clearly that a man should not lay down with another man as he would a woman because it is an abomination.

    May 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • ME II

      but .... gay men wouldn't lay down with a woman, so they're ok, right?

      May 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Leviticus is part of the holiness code and Christians don't follow those scriptures anymore. So are you going to then force women to marry their rapist now? What about all the other parts to those scriptures. LMAO! It's hysterical to see Christians so brainwashed they don't even know their bible.

      So here's a list of abominations are you going to block the civil rights of people who fit into these categories too? Unclean things (Lev. 7:21) ; Cheating (Mic. 6:10) ; A proud look (Pro. 6:16-17) ; A lying tongue (Pro. 6:17; 12:22) ; Hands that shed innocent blood ((Pro. 6:17) ; A wicked scheming heart (Pro. 6:18) ; A false witness that speaks lies (Pro. 6:19) ; A sower of discord (Pro. 6:19) ; A false balance or scale (Pro. 11:1) ; The proud of heart (Pro. 16:5) ; Justifying the wicked (Pro. 17:15) ; Condemning the just (Pro. 17:15) ; Refusing to hear the law (Pro. 28:9) ; Wearing clothes of the opposite sex (Dt. 22:5) Re-marriage of former companions (Dt. 24:1-4) ; Cheating others (Dt. 25:13-16) ; Making images/idols (Dt. 27:15) ; Eating unclean things (Isa. 66:17) ; Robbery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Murder (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Adultery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Oppression of others, particularly the poor or vulnerable (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Violence (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Breaking vows (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lending with interest to a brother (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lying with a menstruous woman (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

      What a hypocrite.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Larry

      Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke [reason with] thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord." (Leviticus 19: 17-18)

      May 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • David

      You are obviously ignorant, because you're calling me a hypocrite before you even know my response to your questions.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Roger

      Leviticus 19:19 says, "Do not wear clothing of different kinds of material." But surely you have worn a polyester shirt before.

      Leviticus 19:27 says, "Do not cut your hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard." Have you ever cut your hair or shaved your beard?

      Leviticus 19:33 says, "When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born."

      Leviticus 21:13 says "The woman he (a man) marries must be a virgin. He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman...".

      Have you eaten pork? Have you eaten shellfish? Do you believe that a farmer who plants two crops in one field is going to hell? Have you ever thought something bad about your parents? The Bible says that the punishment for that is to put you to death in the center of the city.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      The New Testament also very clearly says to "Judge not lest ye be Judged", "Love Thy neighbor", and take the log out of your own eye before commenting on the speck in your neighbor's eye. Only by reading the New Testament will you understand the Old. You can't have one without the other, but you need one to understand the other.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Aaron

      And deuteronomy 22 13-21 states that if your wife is not pure or a virgin, you MOST take her to her fathers house and have the entire town stone her to dead. let me know when you do this to your wife so I can video it.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  14. R.

    The Bible, while a religious text, is still a book. All books are open to many interpretations, and yours is not more valid than anyone else's because you say God gave it to you. If we're going to go back to that system of belief, we might as well bring back divine right absolute monarchies next.

    May 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      The only way I will accept the idea of a divine right absolute monarchy, is if I am the Monarch :-).

      May 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  15. person no. 6,654,478,761

    Jesus was gay. It says so in the bible. So it must be true.

    May 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • David

      nowhere in the bible does it say Jesus is gay

      May 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Jesus Bloodsicles

      Here is absolutely indisputable proof about Adam and Eve

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IrXIPibnbY&w=640&h=360]

      The look on her face is priceless

      May 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • worktolive

      You, my friend, had better be careful where you tread-you will face Jesus one of these days.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • The Lonely Grave Of Paula Schultz

      Oooooooh spooky!!!! Ghosty Jesus gonna git ya fur yur mouthy mouthin stuff!

      May 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • person no. 6,654,478,761

      Read the gospel of John. It's pretty obvious he was having a relationship with one of his disciples. Jewish men in the first century did not get to the age of 33 without marrying. The vast majority of christians haven't even read the bible. They just blindly believe what their pastors/priests/ministers tell them. That's all I have to say. You have the floor. Enjoy it.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  16. ME II

    @Chance,
    "Based on what we do know this little blue planet was befitted by extreme precision; helping the argument of an intelligent designer."
    I disagree, lack of scientific knowledge does not increase the argument for an intelligent designer, that's a false dichotomy fallacy. You misunderstand me, what I'm saying is that your probability calculations are incorrect and therefore cannot, currently, support you hypothesis. In other words, the fact that we don't know how the universe formed or how life first began is *not* evidence supporting an intelligent designer, just as not understanding electricity and lightening 1000 years ago was not evidence for ID.
    There is no scientific evidence for an I.D.

    May 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • ME II

      Dang. misposted.

      May 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  17. Iceman6161

    Jesus was not real , read the 16 crucified saviours. These are Gods who came way before Jesus.

    May 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      yes, but only One was His Father and He's the only One (just like Tigger 🙂 ).

      May 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  18. MC in TX

    Anybody who truly believes the Bible is the literal word of God is beyond hope and there is no point in discussing with them. The Bible is a collection of stories by a variety of authors who individually believed that they knew what God wanted. There were many other writings that the Church leaders centuries ago decided not to include for various reasons. As an example of why we should be careful, none of the Gospels were contemporary accounts of Jesus' life and there has never been any convincing evidence that they were actually written by any of the original apostles (what we have today are copies of copies of copies whose origin cannot be proven). It conceivable even that the Gospels themselves could have originated from one person's account that was later retold in different ways by different authors and attributed to various apostles (a common practice in centuries past). The Old Testament for its part is known to have been an oral tradition that was passed down for centuries before it was permanently written down.

    There is a lot that we can learn about God from the Bible but taking it as a literal testament of God's will is horribly ignorant. That's even setting aside the complexities of translation.

    May 17, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      MC, not hammer,

      “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty”.

      1 Corinthians 1:27

      Amen.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Norman

      heavensent-the height of ignorance is using teh bible to prove the bible...tragic!

      May 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  19. tlb6432

    Matthew 19:1-6

    19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

    3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

    4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    May 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Observer

      It's all pick-and-choose hypocrisy. Christians hate to talk about that part of what the Bible says about marriage.

      May 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • chris

      So that means NO Divorce, either. Ever.
      And if you have to leave - for abuse, etc.... you absolutely cant remarry, you are still one flesh with the abuser... .so choose wisely, Christians.

      And if you can't abide by the no divorce rule, don't try to pick and choose the other marriage tenets of the Bible, because obviously, you think they are discretionary.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Actually, Observer, it's about the non-believers bad behaviors not wanting to be uncovered. Whine all you want, you've been written about years ago.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"It's all pick-and-choose hypocrisy. Christians hate to talk about that part of what the Bible says about marriage."

      Same pick and choose that Atheist do. We get scripture after scripture of negatives examples but when we have scriptures of peace, love, sacrifice and forgiveness... Atheist want to dismiss those text of the Bible and the Koran.

      Just another example how similar the two sides are.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Chris, everyone is judged when they meet Jesus.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Observer

      Mark from Middle River,

      Yes. No one believes every word of the Bible. EVERYONE just picks and chooses.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Observer

      HeavenSent,

      If you really cared about sin and sinners, you'd be out trashing all your fellow Christians who commit the Ten Commandment SIN of adultery by divorcing and remarrying. There are FAR FAR MORE Chistian adulterers than there are gays committing an "abomination" like eating lobster.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • QS

      I need no shepherd for I think and reason...and I am not a sheep,
      I shall want only what serves humanity best;
      I lie down in green pastures because I choose to, not because anything makes me.
      I swim in still waters, I need not be led beside them;
      If a soul exists it is mine and is for me to restore how I see fit.
      Paths of righteousness will never fail to lead a person astray…
      especially for His name’s sake.

      I will walk through many valleys, it’s called life;
      the shadow of death follows one and all, no matter where we walk.
      I fear evil;
      evil is created by man, which is to be feared far more than any of the countless versions of god;
      your rod and your staff do not comfort me as they are herding tools...and I am not a sheep.
      I would be arrogant to think goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, for I am human and we make mistakes.
      I shall not dwell in any house that believes me to be nothing more than an animal which must be told where to go and when.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  20. AMuslim'sView

    Agree with Potion4. God gave man free will and gave him guidance through scripture. People choose to be slaves to their desires. That's the eternel struggle. The danger lies in human beings putting words into God's mouth so to speak. Muhammad was given but one miracle, ie the Quran. The miracle in this scripture is that it will never be changed until God takes the guidance away before the Apoclypse. Until that time there will never be more than 1 version of the Quran becaues its protected by God himself. We can hate what God wants from us as human beings and chose to ridicule his message but the consequences are up to us. It matter not one iota to God if we defy him.

    May 17, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Huebert

      The quran is just as much fiction as the bible.

      May 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Mirosal

      you DO know your little prophet married a NINE year old girl, right. I have no use for the words and rantings of a needle-di'ck ped-o-phi-le like mohammed, may he rot for all eternity

      May 17, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Islam: The Religion That Goes BANG ! ! !

      Perfect Quran. BANG!!! The love of Allah! KA-BLAM!!! Islam is peace and love RAT-A-TAT-A-TAT-A-TAT-A-TAT-A-TAT-A-TAT!!!

      May 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • David

      I think most of what you said is true, but I think it does matter to God that we defy Him. I think it hurts His heart to see how ignorant we are when He gave us the Word to study so we can get to know Him. In the end, He doesn't want anybody to perish.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • nonconformist

      Hmmm, slave to their desires or slaves to a non-existent being propped up to support someone else's desire for power. Such a dilemma!

      May 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      Isn't it interesting that Muslims are generally tolerant of other religions, yet other religions don't listen to God's teachings?
      The Muslims I have known have been decent, educated, respectful people. They have their lunatic fringe just like the Christians and don't like them any more than we do so don't condemn the whole faith just because of a few.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.