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My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage
The author backs same-sex marriage because of his faith, not in spite of it.
May 19th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage

Editor's Note: Mark Osler is a Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

By Mark Osler, Special to CNN

I am a Christian, and I am in favor of gay marriage. The reason I am for gay marriage is because of my faith.

What I see in the Bible’s accounts of Jesus and his followers is an insistence that we don’t have the moral authority to deny others the blessing of holy institutions like baptism, communion, and marriage. God, through the Holy Spirit, infuses those moments with life, and it is not ours to either give or deny to others.

A clear instruction on this comes from Simon Peter, the “rock” on whom the church is built. Peter is a captivating figure in the Christian story. Jesus plucks him out of a fishing boat to become a disciple, and time and again he represents us all in learning at the feet of Christ.

During their time together, Peter is often naïve and clueless – he is a follower, constantly learning.

After Jesus is crucified, though, a different Peter emerges, one who is forceful and bold. This is the Peter we see in the Acts of the Apostles, during a fevered debate over whether or not Gentiles should be baptized. Peter was harshly criticized for even eating a meal with those who were uncircumcised; that is, those who did not follow the commands of the Old Testament.

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Peter, though, is strong in confronting those who would deny the sacrament of baptism to the Gentiles, and argues for an acceptance of believers who do not follow the circumcision rules of Leviticus (which is also where we find a condemnation of homosexuality).

His challenge is stark and stunning: Before ordering that the Gentiles be baptized Peter asks “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”

None of us, Peter says, has the moral authority to deny baptism to those who seek it, even if they do not follow the ancient laws. It is the flooding love of the Holy Spirit, which fell over that entire crowd, sinners and saints alike, that directs otherwise.

My Take: Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality

It is not our place, it seems, to sort out who should be denied a bond with God and the Holy Spirit of the kind that we find through baptism, communion, and marriage. The water will flow where it will.

Intriguingly, this rule will apply whether we see homosexuality as a sin or not. The water is for all of us. We see the same thing at the Last Supper, as Jesus gives the bread and wine to all who are there—even to Peter, who Jesus said would deny him, and to Judas, who would betray him.

The question before us now is not whether homosexuality is a sin, but whether being gay should be a bar to baptism or communion or marriage.

Your Take: Rethinking the Bible on homosexuality

The answer is in the Bible. Peter and Jesus offer a strikingly inclusive form of love and engagement. They hold out the symbols of Gods’ love to all. How arrogant that we think it is ours to parse out stingily!

I worship at St. Stephens, an Episcopal church in Edina, Minnesota. There is a river that flows around the back and side of that church with a delightful name: Minnehaha Creek. That is where we do baptisms.

The Rector stands in the creek in his robes, the cool water coursing by his feet, and takes an infant into his arms and baptizes her with that same cool water. The congregation sits on the grassy bank and watches, a gentle army.

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At the bottom of the creek, in exactly that spot, is a floor of smooth pebbles. The water rushing by has rubbed off the rough edges, bit by bit, day by day. The pebbles have been transformed by that water into something new.

I suppose that, as Peter put it, someone could try to withhold the waters of baptism there. They could try to stop the river, to keep the water from some of the stones, like a child in the gutter building a barrier against the stream.

It won’t last, though. I would say this to those who would withhold the water of baptism, the joy of worship, or the bonds of marriage: You are less strong than the water, which will flow around you, find its path, and gently erode each wall you try to erect.

The redeeming power of that creek, and of the Holy Spirit, is relentless, making us all into something better and new.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Osler.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Episcopal • Gay marriage • Opinion

soundoff (15,115 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Se transmission of some of these is so rare in the exclusively straight population as to be virtually unknown. Others, while found among straight and gay are clearly predominated by those involved in gay activity. Syp. for example is found among straight and gay But in 1999, King County, Washington reported that 85 percent of syp.hilis cases were among self-identified gay. And as noted above, syp. among gay men is now at epidemic levels in San Francisco.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:01 am |
  2. Dr

    So far to this date, there is no data that can verify that gay persons are born this way. There are studies that are happening, but no concrete evidence so far. Much confusion on this blog, this issue is more in the ethics department than DNA at this point in time

    June 20, 2012 at 2:24 am |
  3. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Bob
    I will and will post it on other boards too even under your alias
    ---
    STILL WAITING, BOOB.

    June 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      Please study how to use the reply button while waiting.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  4. Bob

    A sod law is a law that defines certain sx acts as crimes. The precise sx acts meant by the term sod are rarely spelled out in the law, but are typically understood by courts to include any sx act deemed unnatural. It also has a range of similar euphemisms. These acts typically include oral , anal bestiality; in practice such laws have rarely been enforced against het couples
    Sod laws can be found around the world. Today, consensual homi acts between adults are illegal in about 70 out of the 195 countries of the world (approximately 36%); in 40 of these, only male-male sx is outlawed.
    I knew and it fits maybe you didn't that's why I posted the whole definition and threw in the countries as a bounus

    June 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, go svck your own dick.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No one else will. Why would anyone want to?

      June 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  5. Jeannine

    "Anytime a scientific organization endorses sod,"

    Of course Bod doesn't even know the true definition of so</bdomy. LMAO! Sod</bomy = an</bal or oral copulation with a member of the opposite sex.

    June 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bob is a moron.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  6. Bob

    If you could read of did read the article you would find the author is one of your own and the her name and book listed. She tells of the threats and violence used to make the physcs do what they want. As for the Bible your not qualified to know what a Christian is and certainly not the moderator on this board.

    June 19, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How can anyone look at your posts and not laugh themselves silly?

      June 19, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • relish

      Bob is the only one we ARE listening to on this blog silly

      June 20, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • Jane

      Actually the only ones who are presenting real facts are the people who support gay marriage. Most of Bob's posts are full of lies and twisting of the scriptures.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • relish

      The ones who support gay marriage are missing most of the facts and have no vision of the future.....

      June 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  7. Jeannine

    "In actuality with what we have seen here and the actions of the gay movement it should be classified as a terrorist organization"

    That is not true there are many Christians that support the civil rights of homoseoxuals. The Scriptures were written approximately 2000 or more years ago when there was no knowledge of constitutional homosexuality. The Scripture writers believed that all people were naturally heterosexual so that they viewed homosexuality activity as unnatural. Women today are pointing out that the inferiority of women expressed in the scriptures was a product of culture and the times in which the Bible was written; it should not be followed today, now that we are beginning to appreciate the natural and God-given equality of men and women.

    Similarly, as we know that homosexuality is just as natural and God-given as heterosexuality, we realize that the Biblical injunctions against homosexuality were conditioned by the attitudes and beliefs about this form of sexual expression which were held by people without benefit of centuries of scientific knowledge and understanding.

    It is unfair of us to expect or impose a twentieth century mentality and understanding about equality of genders, races and sexual orientations on the Biblical writers. We must be able to distinguish the eternal truths the Bible is meant to convey from the cultural forms and attitudes expressed there.

    June 19, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Bob

      Ti 1:9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers
      1Ti 1:10 and immoral men and homi and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
      Co 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homi
      1Co 6:10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
      Gen 3:16 To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you."
      Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
      Rom 1:27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
      Rom 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
      Rom 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
      Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
      Rom 1:31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
      Rom 1:32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty
      If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their sin is upon them.
      Rom_1:27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
      How many more would you like?

      June 19, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How many more can you produce, boob? It won't matter, since laws here don't kowtow to your God or your idiotic beliefs.

      But do go on. You're a hoot.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  8. YeahRight

    "Kay Lahusen and Barbara Gittings know what really happened to the A.P.A. In the book Making History they are quite open about the reality."

    Bob can't handle the fact that hundred of thousand of experts have proven that his prejudice is unfounded and not based on real facts so he posts lies after lies. What the experts have shown is heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    June 19, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bob can't handle a can-opener.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • George

      I have been following this blog just to see what Bob is writing to you maniacs.....He does not call names, nor insult you, and yet you continue to be vulgar. Bob you the most sane person on this blog, keep up the good work

      June 20, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Shut your pie-hole, George-Boob-troll.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      George: "I have been following.."

      Ahahhaha. Sure, you have.

      And angels have been trumpeting out of your butt, too.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  9. YeahRight

    "In actuality with what we have seen here and the actions of the gay movement it should be classified as a terrorist organization." Bob is lying proving he is not a Christian and further posts should not be trusted sin it goes against the basic teachings of the bible.

    The lies the deceit the violence at meetings and teaching young kids sodo,my that should be outlawed. Bob is lying proving he is not a Christian and further posts should not be trusted sin it goes against the basic teachings of the bible.

    Thanks Bob for ruining an credibility you had on your posts, now the Christian community will realize when the REAL facts come out idiots like you are nothing more than a menace to our society because of your unfounded prejudice and bigotry towards the gay community.

    June 19, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • YeahRight

      ok sin = since, proving rushing in your replies causes errors. LOL!

      June 19, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  10. YeahRight

    "Kay Lahusen and Barbara Gittings know what really happened to the A.P.A. In the book Making History they are quite open about the reality.Kay: This was always more of a political decision than a medical decision Barbara: It never was a medical decision and thats why I think the action came so fast. After all, it was only three years from the time that femi and gays first zapped the APA at a behavior therapy session to the time that the Board of Trustees voted in 1973 to approve removing homi from the list of mental disorders. It was a political move.The APA was thoroughly intimidated. In 1974, after the APAs vote, "

    More lies proving this Bob poster is truly not a Christian because the studies are what are changing the laws in this country. It's also why the world organizations around the world have stated that heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    Bob doesn't want the real facts and studies about gays to be posted because he has no proof to prove the studies about gays have proven that being gay is NOT a mental illness, it's NOT a choice and it CAN'T be voluntarily changed. Everything Bob has posted is out dated or proven wrong by hundred of thousands of experts.

    June 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  11. Bob

    In actuality with what we have seen here and the actions of the gay movement it should be classified as a terrorist organization. The lies the deceit the violence at meetings and teaching young kids sodo,my that should be outlawed. By the way the studies have come in from other countries with the stats showing a increase in out of wedlock birth rates.

    June 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I guess bob doesn't like replying to people asking for his sources. I wonder what that says about his position.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • JWT

      Bon has clearly stated that he takes the position of hom-ophobia. Somewhere way way out beyond the left-field fence.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Jen

      'The violence at the meetings'......Bob you just admitted you attend 'gay' meetings (whatever those might be)....

      June 19, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, that's nothing. Bob admitted that he attended drag queen shows in South Beach.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How can gay marriage result in "out of wedlock" births, Boob? I think perhaps you have a God of the gaps in your s3x education, honey.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  12. Bob

    The oly reason gays came off the DSM because a dr decided to take it off after threats from the homi community not because of any scientific evidence. I think they should not allow it go back to the original studies and when the completed new studies come out then revise it.

    June 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      And where are your cited sources for that assertion?

      June 19, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "And where are your cited sources for that assertion?"

      He can't since all his posts are based on lies.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  13. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    HERE ARE THE REASONS IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE.....NOT YOU OR ANYONE CAN SAY WHAT THE LONG TERM AFFECTS WILL BE ON SOCIETY!!!!!! DUH

    --

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    You want to deny rights you enjoy to others because you're a scared little rabbit.

    Good to know.

    Why do I suspect you are well over 40 and unmarried, lonely, and childless?

    June 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Whitney

      You asked for someone to explain to you on several pages....how all of this will affect us. You were given an answer, and a fairly generic one at that. Now you are insulting everyone again. I lead a fantastic life traveling the world, just got back from Egypt and Israel:) I get paid a fortune and have tons of people in my life. The best part is the people I get to work with and help. There is a special man in my life who loves me more than anyone could. We have not decided whether to have kids or adopt some orphans....life is just swell!!!! xo

      June 20, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bwhahahhhahhahhahhhahhahhah!

      What a friggin' dweeb.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are such a scab, Whitless. If you had such a fabulous existence, you wouldn't be so exercised about gays having the right to the same life you have. You're a loser who doesn't have a life and you would like to deny anyone else a chance to have what you can't get.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • Whitney

      Some of us are just passionate about this great nation Tom. I wish I could get a sense about why you are so passionate about your feelings on this topic. Though you are nasty and mean, you obviously feel very strongly about this. We all want to be a part of a great nation...now and in the future – that is all of our common ground

      June 20, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      OOOhhh. now the boob is invoking phony patriotism! Envision it if you can: Whitless the Dim, fake tears at the ready, saluting the flag with her upturned boob, ni p ple erect. It's a stirring sight, ain't it?

      June 20, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • Whitney

      At least there is one patriot between us and it isn't you. Just as I suspected.....not a bone in your body that cares for your nation. Just your own selfish needs ruling you. No suprises with you tommmmy. I have seen how you write to people on other blogs – I really feel sorry for you. Some people are sarcastic, but you are mean and angry....seriously get some help

      June 20, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • Jen

      Whitney gets paid a lot to work at a daycare???? That is hilarious! Daycare workers get paid like crap! They make teachers look like they make decent money.

      Well at least I give Whitney credit for coming up with a real name rather than a condiment this time (Salt, Pepper, Relish – the theme makes it pretty easy – by the way – I love how relish agrees with salt – gives salt more credibility). Unfortunately, our favorite condiments gave themselves away when the posted the exact same work history as Whitney.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Jen

      'they posted'

      June 20, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Whitney

      Poor Jen never gets out to see the world......I left daycare and special needs work eight years ago!! I now manage a resort on the ocean and do missions work all over the world. Thanks for your concern Jen :):)

      June 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • George

      Someone said on this blog that Jen and Tom Tom are married, boy it sure sounds like it!!!!!

      June 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Jen

      Hmmm let's see....relish posts at 12:06 pm (railing about Bishop John just like Salt), Whitney posts at 12:10 pm, and then the mysterious new 'George' posts at 12:12 pm (who apparently has been following this blog minute by minute and has suddenly come out of the woodwork and is relish's identical twin)......

      Changing gender...I was really fooled there for a second salt/pepper/relish/Whitney/George :) Here is where your back story falls down. You claim that you have went to bible college, college for early education for children with special needs, worked for 15 years in childcare, and 8 years if managing resorts)....yet you are still trying to decide whether to have kids. Seems most women of your age (if you have all the stuff you claim to) would know that your ovaries stopped working a long time ago.

      Then you had to make the outrageous claim that all the gay parents you have met have abused their children. This means one of two things: 1) you have met one, possibly two sets of gay parents total (which I might actually believe because statistically you could not have come across that many gay parents) and that you certainly don't have enough information to make ANY conclusion on gay parents based on the few that you have met, or 2) you are lying by claiming you have met many gay parents (statistically a low probability), and that they are ALL abusers (a statistical improbability).

      You ran a daycare for 9 years. Tell me, why would gay parents keep their kids in your care when you think they are immoral, don't deserve rights and are child abusers? That's like black people dropping their kids off with a member of the KKK.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Jen

      '8 years of managing resorts' – no bracket – whoops

      June 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Whitney

      This is so much fun, and I am helping others at the same time!!! Poor Jen has nothing to do all day.....now she can spend time trying to figure out who I am and when I have written!!! Hey poor Jen....I have six siblings – how old are they and how old am I??? Come on you can solve this!! Use your super sleuth powers!!!!! Oh and where do I live? Remember I live by the ocean.....come Jen, you've got all day to figure this out.......Way to go Jen!!!!!!

      June 21, 2012 at 2:48 am |
  14. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    What's really telling is the lies these little trolls are compelled to post. Why do you have to lie, "Whitless/Po0per"? Why do you find it necessary to post falsehoods? Scared? Poor thing. Doesn't your "jee bus" protect you?

    I guess he doesn't when you lie.

    June 19, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  15. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    And here you have it from the mouth of the horse's azz: Whitless says "NOT YOU OR ANYONE CAN SAY WHAT THE LONG TERM AFFECTS WILL BE ON SOCIETY!!!!!! DUH"

    Duh is right, you idjit. You have NO evidence whatsoever that the long term EFFECTS (moron, it's not "AFFECTS") will be. There is no reason, based on the results of the legalization of gay marriage in numerous countries and states, to insist that there will be ANY negative effects whatsoever. You've been outed as nothing more than a hom0phobe, Whitless. Every study done thus far has shown that the children of gay couples are no different than those of straight couples. Put that in your pipe and suck it, Whitless.

    June 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  16. Bob

    Anytime a scientific organization endorses sod, remember Gittings words: They are running scared.Pro-sod activists have learned that intimidation and strategic alliances work, and they are never hesitant about using intimidation and psyc manipulation to reach the goals of their radical agenda.Adopting terrorism as a means, pro-sod activists set their vicious sights on D.r. David Reuben, one of the best-known psyc in the area of human sxu in 1974. Unbeknownst to Dr. Reuben, pro-sod activists were lying in wait outside one of his lectures and his physical safety was at risk. Pro-sod author Leigh Rutledge describes the attack in her book The Gay Decades, June 16, A fist fight broke out at a Philadelphia playhouse when ten gay activists interrupted a lecture by D.r. David Rueben and denounced him as a criminal for his views on male gay. One policeman and a protestor are injured in the melee.On that same page, the book tells us that, The Centers for Disease Control estimate that gay or bise men account for as much as one-third of the cases of syphilis

    June 19, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  17. Bob

    Kay Lahusen and Barbara Gittings know what really happened to the A.P.A. In the book Making History they are quite open about the reality.Kay: This was always more of a political decision than a medical decision Barbara: It never was a medical decision and thats why I think the action came so fast. After all, it was only three years from the time that femi and gays first zapped the APA at a behavior therapy session to the time that the Board of Trustees voted in 1973 to approve removing homi from the list of mental disorders. It was a political move.The APA was thoroughly intimidated. In 1974, after the APAs vote, Gittings was interviewed by pro-sod movement historian Jonathan Ned Katz. Gittings brags, Thats how far weve come in ten years. Now we even have the American Psy Association running scared

    June 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • YeahRight

      In case anyone is interested Bob is getting his lies from a conservative website that is anti-gay and most of what they are posting on that trash website has been proven false. It's it hysterical how far this prejudice bigot will go. LMAO!

      June 20, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  18. John

    ".and this proof actually agrees with the bible because its sin – not mental illness"

    Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

    Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

    There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

    Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

    Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

    Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

    That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex

    June 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • relish

      More of Bishop Frankenstein.....ewww creepy

      June 19, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Lord Ramsley

      Sorry these are the rantings of a very confused individual. If you are a bishop, you are a bad one. You are misleading people with your position. Which is really anti Christian in every way, but you are wearing a collar at the same time....so you are a deceiver of the worst kind. You should find a belief that actually goes with your nutty assertions

      June 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Bob

      The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was not no hospitality this is totally bogus, in fact their sin was the very same thing we see today that's why he cant see clearly that they were sinners before the Lord exceedingly, guilty of the most notorious crimes, and addicted to the most scandalous and unnatural lusts that can be thought of; and these they committed openly and publicly in the sight of God, in the most daring and impudent manner, and in defiance of him, without any fear or shame. The Targum of Jonathan reckons up many of their sins, as defrauding of one another in their substance, sinning in their bodies, unclean copulation, shedding of innocent blood, worshiping of idols, and rebelling against the name of the Lord.Jud 1:7 And don't forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of x perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God's judgment.
      2Pe 2:7 But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him.
      2Pe 2:8 Yes, Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day.
      2Pe 2:9 So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment.
      2Pe 2:10 He is especially hard on those who follow their own twisted xual desire, and who despise authority. These people are proud and arrogant, daring even to scoff at supernatural beings without so much as trembling.
      Gen 19:5 They shouted to Lot, "Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can copulate with them!"

      June 19, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Bob

      Paul lets look into this real man of God born in Tarsus, Paul was raised in Jerusalem at the feet of Gamaliel a leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the mid 1st century AD Gamaliel once gave some advice to the Sanhedrin in Acts to refrain from slaying the disciples of Jesus. Paul or Saul same person was a Roman citizen a Pharisee of pharisees and he prosecuted Christians until he had a encounter with Jesus. He was educated in the finest religious traditions and the Sanhedrin was the assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel. He also had a miraculous encounter with Jesus that changed his life. This is the man that John is calling prejudice and unscientific. Fourteen epistles in the New Testament are traditionally attributed to Paul. His authorship of seven of the fourteen is questioned by modern scholars. Augustine of Hippo developed Paul's idea that salvation is based on faith and not "works of the law".Martin Luther's interpretation of Paul's writings heavily influenced Luther's doctrine of sola fide.So John who is into credentials is not respecting the credentials of Saint John.With Paul's upbringing and teachings he would not even think it was ok to be gay and might be the one to kill you if you were. he did kill many Christians.Saying that paul would not approve of gay behavior is a drastic understatement. He also was spiritually apprised and had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and was anointed a Apostle by Jesus. Paul understood from God and Jesus the meaning of relations it went far beyond the physical side and when you have relations with someone you are joining yourself with that person. This scripture explains it.
      Do you not know that the one who joins himself to a woman for hire is one body with her? For He says, "THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH." But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. Do you remember that God said I made them man and woman this is the spiritual side of marriage God looks at us in marriage as one person. So if God condemned gays and He created man and woman to be fruitful and multiply and He considers us one person and we are made in His image how many tenants of God does gay marriage violate?
      Interesting in Johns post he makes mention of Leviticus that the word abomination and says its the same Greek word for menstruation. Abomination in Hebrew is actually three distinct words, and are rendered in the English Bible by "abomination," or "abominable thing. It would be good if these words could be distinguished in translation, as they denote different degrees of abhorrence or loathsomeness. Everything akin to magic or divination is likewise an abomination to¯?e¯bha¯h; as are relational transgressions , especially relations between family and other unnatural offenses. This is the most severe form of abhorrence and it is used to describe gay relations, the abomination of desolation and diviners and mediums. This is the meaning in the Bible where it talks about a man laying with a man. John does not mention this in his research and actually glosses over it. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thy house and thus become a thing set apart like unto it, thou shalt utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is a thing set apart To¯?e¯bha¯h is even used as synonymous with “idol” or heathen deity,

      June 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Poor Boob. He must be feeling really traumatized. Can't even form paragraphs, poor little thing.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  19. YeahRight

    "Why did they take gays off the dsm without any of these studies that you quoted being done at the time they were removed in 1973? Or is it they took a stance that if your ok with being gay and having gay copulation then everything is ok. You do know that the did ruffle quite a few feathers already taking the ped off the DSM right?"

    The fact that Bob doesn't know proves that they were to lazy to do their homework on this subject because he doesn't know the studies used to prove that being gay is NOT a mental disorder. Plus the fact that he continually uses a pedophile with gays shows how clueless he is and can't comprehend the difference between two consenting adults and a pedophile that rapes children Duh!

    Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    June 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • bear

      blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah......you are exhausting. No one cares that its not a mental illness. Get over it

      June 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you're "exhausted", boob, go away. No one asked you to exercise those two lonely brain cells.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  20. YeahRight

    "Why did they take gays off the dsm without any of these studies that you quoted being done at the time they were removed in 1973? Or is it they took a stance that if your ok with being gay and having gay copulation then everything is ok. You do know that the did ruffle quite a few feathers already taking the ped off the DSM right?"

    Poor Bob is grasping at straws because he was too lazy to do his homework on this subject to know about the studies that showed being gay is NOT a mental disorder that changed the experts opinions. Then to further prove the point he can't comprehend the difference between two consenting adults having a loving relationship and a pedophile that rapes children. LMAO!

    Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    June 19, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't bother, YeahRight. Bob is a troll. He's just here to get you to react. Ignore the ignorance and stupidity. The more responses he gets, the more he'll post. Just leave him to stew in his stye.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Nah it's great that he is showing his stupidity because there are many like him in the Christian community. It's very entertaining to see the excuses and stupid remarks he comes up with that aren't based on real facts. It just proves the experts right in that prejudice is based on ignorance and fear. He is probably a coward in real life which is why he is trolling and making up lies about the gay community.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • George

      This is cutting edge – its not a mental illness anymore!!!! Hurah!!! And there is proof.....and this proof actually agrees with the bible because its sin – not mental illness......oh ya

      June 19, 2012 at 6:31 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.