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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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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. Erik

    "increasing effectiveness in treating same-s attraction threatened the movement"

    Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

    All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

    Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

    In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

    The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

    On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

    Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

    But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

    This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

    The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

    Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

    Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

    Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

    July 23, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  2. YeahRight

    "In the morning, the Stonewall bar was a burned-out wreck and four police were injured"

    Of course this idiot took this from a bogus website and actually believed it. LMAO! It just shows you how desperate these prejudice bigots are. Too funny! 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."

    July 23, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  3. Lorraine

    As far as I'm concerned Solomon has said it all in a nut shell,'bravo' to him, or her, and I'm getting quite board of this whole subject, and will presume to move to another concerning matter on this site. Take care, and YHWH bless all, and remember that no one who are made of flesh, and blood, can judge anyone else who are made of flesh, and blood. Respect each other is the key, and all will go well.

    July 22, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Peter

      "As far as I'm concerned Solomon has said it all in a nut shell,'bravo' to him, or her, and I'm getting quite board of this whole subject"

      What he is quoting has been proven to be outdated, poorly research and failed logic. So now you look like an ass too.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  4. Lorraine

    jwt, whats the matter? its a taste of your own medicine, see how silly it is, a best lesson to learn is how to take what you dish out in life, this is why i advocate righteousness, it teaches us to treat each other how we like to be treated. The law of life of the ten commandments YHWH helps us to do this exactly.]

    July 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • JWT

      You do a real lot of insulting lorraine – btw – your god does not exist so none of your religious rant sapply to me, and would not even if your god did exists., that is the simple and exact truth.

      Some of what you post is delusionsal and that is not an insult.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Get Real

      Lorraine,

      The Golden Rule philosophy predates the Middle Eastern Hebrew culture.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule#Antiquity

      July 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Lorraine

      jwt, get real, again the response to your latest comment was booted out, it was too much to handle for this site, the misinformed protect their own, from the truth that is, and bs rules. Oh, hopefully I can say, and post that again I have no religion, they are all pagan, idolatry. And saying a taste of your own medicine is not an insult, its a fact. Hebrew, well there is no pure language today, I could give the facts, but they won't let it post, in order to bs the mislead.

      July 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • JWT

      No one kicked you relies lorraine- and you know that perfectly well.

      As far as your version of god is concerned – that is all yours and you are welcome to it. None of it matters to me and never has and never will. If you believe for any reason that i need to believe in what you do then it is you who need to get real and understand that you are 100% wrong in that point of view.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Lorraine

      jwt, First of all don't you think that I would know the difference between the post that are posting, and the ones that will not? Don't be in denial, it is evident that the ones that I tried to respond to the subject in question with the truth, and facts that i have reproved, then it gets booted out man, or woman. And, secondly I am not trying to convenience anyone of YHWH, for in many scriptures He tells us that He will do this Himself in His own time. Besides, as I've said before, 'everyone has to be responsible for their own righteousness, it is not for me to persuade anyone to awaken, as prophesied in Ezekiel 14:14-21. It does not matter to me, do, and believe what one wants to, this is the right to choice. Personally, I have no problem with that. I apologize if you felt this way as being forced to see things the way I see them, oh no, I'm not selfish. I give the scriptures as I see them written in the book of remembrance, and the paraphrases, it is right there before us in black, and white, so what do you want from me, I'm only quoting from the book here.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • Merlin

      Lorraine: "... it is evident that the ones that I tried to respond to the subject in question with the truth, and facts that i have reproved, then it gets booted out man, or woman."

      It is magic, Lorraine. You must ask YHWH - Odnlemgn owwemtnd toqeyuhtm?

      July 23, 2012 at 2:40 am |
    • Lorraine

      Peter, Merlin, I doubt if these are true names let along believe what any of you say, first off, if one is going along with the mainstream reports, this to me is just as the old saying goes, many will see, but only a few will actually 'KNOW' I don't flow with what they 'say' was proven just to fit in (be accepted), to receive rewards, or attention, this is all selfishness among the few elite. I have all I need, and that is YHWH the King. Praise YHWH, and to whom this is concerned, I don't have to ask YHWH anything, it is obviously booted out, to hide the truth, it was not allowed to be posted, there was no swearing, no wrong dictation, so what was it?, the obvious truth was not to be allowed to keep many blind, and mislead, is what it is. And that is the continual control, and the gain of this society of the people as always, and will be until their end, and fall of those in control. And, it is apparent that nothing is getting any better around here in the U.S. either guys, hold on to that 'pride,' I hope it helps when the time of the truth comes for everyone who is haughty to see as is prophesied in Isaiah 60. How is it going over there in Iran, with the so called chosen in Israel? We have not seen nothing yet, wait for it, though it tarry it will come, as prophesied in Habakkuk 2:1-3.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Helpful Hints (not from YHWH)

      Lorraine, Your paranoia is ridiculous, as are the majority of your ramblings...

      YHWH should have led you to this list, which has been posted around a thousand times on these blogs:

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ---
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-nthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sn-atch
      sp-ank
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-oon
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      July 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Lorraine

      The reason that there is so much controversy about being gay whether it is a right, or a wrong thing to do is that much of the truth is not being told to people about YHWH the King. First, the ones who rewrote this book of remembrance, the so called OT, the obvious truth, around 200bce, 'look it up' they took the name of YHWH out of this book 6800 times, so that many will not know who YHWH is, and this is why most people today are all giving the praise to other idols, keeping people away from His righteousness, peace, and real truth, and bringing the anger, and wrath upon us prophesied in Jeremiah 25:13-16,26-38, until this day of the in difference, greed, imposed poverty, hate, war, adultery, stealing, perversion, etc.

      There is not to be only one ruler upon the throne from the seed of David, there is to be a number that cannot be counted as of the sands, this will be the Branch, the arm of YHWH, and it is called YHWH 'transliteration'(Lord) Our Righteousness, prophesied in Jeremiah 33:14-22. And also in Jeremiah 23:1-8.

      With these pastors, priest, popes, and elders all lying to the people, misleading the flocks, as was prophesied they would in Ezekiel 20, Malachi 2, Jeremiah 23:1-5, we are all a lost generation of pestilence, greed, and poverty, and this is not old people, as taught to us in Isaiah 43:11,13-19; that this book gives us the past, present, and future of what is going on, then, and now, it's juxtapose, meaning one must 'compare' what is going on today with what went on long ago, for it has not changed any, not a bit from how people went astray then, full of pride, and are doing the same thing now, calling it good, or right, prophesied in Malachi 3:13-15.

      This is why we have so much confusion of what are the right things to do from not doing the law of righteousness, the 10 commandments, and other statues, ordinances, and judgments, they are not being taught to the people as is prophesied, and proclaimed in Ezekiel 34, because of greed, control, and gain prophesied in Daniel 11 that these governments, and false religions will do in the future days, as in Deut.32:17, doing idols not of YHWH

      July 25, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  5. Solomon

    In the morning, the Stonewall bar was a burned-out wreck and four police were injured. Pro-sod leaders declared the violence a success. Interestingly, the anniversary of this event is known today as “Gay Pride Day” and features parades and other events most notable for their public felacio acts It is ironic that the very activists who emerged from this new environment developed the strategy of claiming victim status through the use of such symbols as the pink triangle.

    July 22, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Solomon

      Following the Stonewall acts the Mattachine Action group called for organized resistance but control of the movement was taken out of their hands by a still more radical group Enter, the “Gay Lib Front” At the heart of this new circle of power was Herbert Marcuse a long time Socialist who had learned this and perhaps sod in pre-Nazi Germany

      July 22, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Solomon

      In the wake of the Stonewall riots, “Gay Liberation Fronts” sprang up across the country, using methods of intimidation and coercion to achieve political gains. Immediately they targeted the medical community, whose increasing effectiveness in treating same-s attraction threatened the movement Gay Liberation Fronts, writes Adam, “stormed San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago conventions of psy med and behavior modification,” shouting down speakers and terrorizing audience members

      July 22, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Solomon

      Planned Parenthood is in France directly associated with the French Movement for Family Planning it is of course a militant movement. In the first issues of "Libération", in those times an openly extreme leftist newspaper, Planned Parenthood appears in all the campaigns of the extreme left. Particularly it appeared behind the campaign aimed at imposing abortion.

      July 22, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Solomon

      Planned parenthood" creation in France, in the 50's, is reported in the chapter "Une histoire de femme" ("A woman's history..."). Here we will approach the profile of the movement´s founder in the USA and the spirit of the movement itself. Therefore, we choose to use the terms P.P.F.A. (Planned Parenthood Federation of America) and I.P.P.F. (International Planned Parenthood Federation).The P.P.F.A. was created in 1942, the year of the launching of the Final Solution in the nazi Germany, which is by no means a coincidence.The I.P.P.F was created in 1952 and it gathers all the planned parenthood associations sharing the same principles; among which the M.P.P.F (French Movement for Family Planning).

      July 22, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Solomon

      today black people amount for 11% of the United States population, and for 32 to 43% of abortions Is this just "coincidence"?
      Sometimes the intentions show on: "Each country will have to decide its own way of coercion, and it shall determine when and how it should be employed. At present, the means are compulsory sterilization and abortion. Perhaps one day it will be possible to impose birth control" Unfortunately sometimes these intentions become true: compulsory abortion in socialist China is an example.Marketing genius On the advice of a counselor in public relations, the movement accepted to abandon the term "birth control". The American Birth Control League, called since 1939, American Birth Control Federation became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, for the American opinion began to feel touched by the concentration camps and anti-Semitism, and so the eugenicist, racist, anti-Semitic and revolutionary praise was abandoned and replaced by a new project:

      July 22, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Solomon

      Socialism any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. Democratic Socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.The following points represent the key ideas of agreement of the Socialist Party USA. We encourage you to read and discuss them, and if you agree consider joining the Socialist Party :
      1) The Socialist Party is a democratic socialist organization. We see socialism as a new social and economic order in which workers and consumers control production and community residents control their neighborhoods, homes and school and the production of society is used for the benefit of all humanity, not the private profit of a few.. WAKE UP PEOPLE YOU ARE BEING USED

      July 22, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Solomon

      The book Hitler's Secret Conversations, contains definitive proof of Hitler's real views. Hitler lied to gain the support of the German people, 90% of whom where professing Christians..National Socialism and Chrisitanity cannot exist together...

      July 22, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Solomon

      Through his Media Matters organization, Soros is dumping pro-UN gun control propaganda into the mainstream media to coincide with the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty being held in New York July 2–27.Is Obama’s federal government getting ready to put a huge red X mark on the Hoover Dam, which supplies most of the American West with its life-sustaining waterHaving this scenario play out is quite plausible as Barack Obama’s Executive Order # 13547 in support of the global Law of the Sea Treaty (L.O.S.T.) seeks to take control of our water in any form of precipitation, from sky to ocean! There are international efforts to move central control of the Internet from the United States to a United Nations group.

      July 22, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Lorraine

      Solomon, Thank you for this informative guide of communicative forum of gay, and social rights. Violence, and forced social control is not an example of true freedom, and the right to live, and choose. Or not to be given the proper consumption of nutrition of our food, and water products distributed. For people should be told the absolute truth about what they are being supplied. Also, an adult individual should have the right to live, and be as they please without being discriminated against, or hated about what relations they have with other adults, or who they want to marry, or love without being persecuted. The judgment is not ours, only the Almighty YHWH has the perfect right to judge us in the end. No one is more special than another in the sight of the Creator YHWH of His righteousness. I find it difficult to learn what is the nutrition facts about soybean, I was told that it is harmful for our health, and bodies, yet they put soybean oil, or bean, in almost everything that we consume , so my question is how safe, or nutritious is it? I learned that if it is not fermented it is not safe to be consumed. When I try to consult the distributors about this matter, there is always a run around, and I never get an answer, therefore, I don't do any soy product.

      July 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "In the wake of the Stonewall riots, “Gay Liberation Fronts” sprang up across the country"

      Yo moron, it might help if you actually came into 2012 and NOT 2006. LMAO! It's because of stupidity like this that all the major professional organizations released this statement. Because of the aggressive promotion of efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy, a number of medical, health, and mental health professional organizations have issued public statements about the dangers of this approach. 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." ~ 2012

      LMAO! LOL! LOL! What an idiot. LOL!

      July 23, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Peter

      Solomon, Sorba's research has been proven to be flawed and not up to date, you might want to check your facts better so you don't come out looking like such an ass.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  6. Lorraine

    jwt, what does your name oh yeah, right, just white trash

    July 22, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • JWT

      Being insulting today Lorriane ?

      July 22, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  7. Lorraine

    zero goodness, whatever, what more mockery? something you're juvenile character is so good at.

    July 22, 2012 at 1:22 am |
  8. Lorraine

    OG, your knowledge has surely perverted you, Isaiah 47:10, as YHWH knew it would being all haughty, and stiff necked as many are in the daughter of Babylon, the U.S. in many places where they are privileged from the vast imposed poverty, and or prosperous; but alas, this is the sign of truth, the fear brings out much criticism, and mockery. But, again in the book of remembrance, in many books, the act of a man laying with another, as a woman is not acceptable, just as the act of fornication is not either.

    July 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      It's 0G – not OG...

      More jibberish. Maybe one of your fellow cult members can translate it into English. In the meantime, please seek the help of a mental health professional.

      July 21, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • JWT

      Se x is just wayyy too much fun.

      July 21, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  9. Lorraine

    OG-Intellects don't want to know the truth about YHWH, but many fear Him just the same, the smart ones. You are one angry fellow, bring it down, try smiling sometimes. Who's persecuted, now that's delusional, I've told you before, I am not christian, nor a jew, nor islam, these are all idolatry, and all religions are, I don't do them they are not of the Creator YHWH, who is the righteousness of peace, and love for all peoples. Praise YHWH, and YHWH Bless.

    July 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yahweh=Yawn.

      July 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      What is it with believers thinking they are Kreskin...

      I am not angry. I am smiling and laughing as I type – at you!

      I do apologize for calling you a christian – that was uncalled for.

      July 21, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  10. Lorraine

    Get real, they did it again trying to respond to your post in question of the evidence, lol. bs=fake.Ha!

    July 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Another delusional believer who can't get past a simple world fragment filter...

      Lorraine, you are too fucking stupid to be taken seriously. Noone cares enough about what you or your imaginary friends might say to waste time censoring you. You are not special – just delusional with a persecution complex.

      July 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  11. Lorraine

    This site advocates free speech, so I thought, but if one gets too close to heart on truth, then you, and your speech is exiled, and not allowed on the premisses, plainly stated, you are booted out. Well, thats not intellectual forum in my opinion, this only confirms bs, is allowed. As long as you submit a bunch of fancy words, rotating around maybe, and might, then one is alright. Who here is afraid of a little truth, and facts substantiated, and if one is promoting truth, many times only a few understand it anyway, so what is all the fuss about? Guaranteeing, this site won't loose a thing from its ratio of members by analysis of the average folk, usually follow suit to one another regardless, of truth that is.

    July 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Get Real

      Lorraine,
      "but if one gets too close to heart on truth, then you, and your speech is exiled, and not allowed on the premisses, plainly stated, you are booted out."

      And your evidence for this is...?

      July 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • JWT

      Still waiting to hear any truth from lorraine.

      July 21, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  12. Lorraine

    Hello, and it is a work in progress.

    July 21, 2012 at 6:37 am |
  13. Melvin

    "Genesis 2:24, 18:22 to 19:29, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Ezekiel 16:49&50 Jesus in Matthew and Mark, Romans 1:21 to 32, 1st Corinthians 6:9, 1st Timothy 1:9 and 10, 2nd Timothy 3:1 to 3, Jude 7, and even Revelation 21:8"

    The Scriptures at no point deal with homosexuality as an authentic sexual orientation, a given condition of being. The remarkably few Scriptural references to "homosexuality" deal rather with homosexual acts, not with homosexual orientation. Those acts are labeled as wrong out of the context of the times in which the writers wrote and perceived those acts to be either nonmasculine, idolatrous, exploitative, or pagan. The kind of relationships between two consenting adults of the same sex demonstrably abounding among us - relationships that are responsible and mutual, affirming and fulfilling - are not dealt with in the Scriptures.

    July 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Swam

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      November 10, 2012 at 2:36 am |
  14. Jeannine

    "See: Genesis 2:24, 18:22 to 19:29, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Ezekiel 16:49&50 Jesus in Matthew and Mark, Romans 1:21 to 32, 1st Corinthians 6:9, 1st Timothy 1:9 and 10, 2nd Timothy 3:1 to 3, Jude 7, and even Revelation 21:8"

    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.

    July 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  15. Bob

    ANOTHER REPOST BELOW, The person who posted below doesn't have enough intelligence and language skills to post their own stuff they have to plagiarize everyone else's what a waste of skin

    July 20, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      It is called PUNCTUATION, Bob.
      Or is your literary diarrea coming out so quickly you can't use it?

      July 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Seems to me "waste of skin" also applies to those not intelligent enough to see that all religion is bullshit. Go ahead, Bob, prove me wrong – show us how your beliefs are your own and firmly based in reality.

      July 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Chad

      Again Bob, you're the one with the issues. The effects of prejudice and racism are all around–constant fighting in Israel and Palestine, wars in the Middle East because of religion and killings in big cities and small towns all over the world because of the color of someone's skin or sexual orientation. This affects mankind deeply and can lead to cynicism and hopelessness. Unfortunately, many people misinterpret the Bible and use it to support their violence and prejudice against others. They take portions of verses and use them out of context so they can feel better about the horrible way they treat others. You really need to apologize for your gross injudiciousness and prejudice.

      July 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Bob

      So out of all these cut and paste posts you only have something to say to me??? What a bunch of lame azzes. If you were really concerned you would tell your buddies to look intelligent and come up with some new material their making you guys really look bad like thats all you guys have you shot your load and now come up blank what good work

      July 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  16. Shawn

    Let me start this off with a quote from a famous lesbian, Lynn Lavner:

    "There are 6 admonishments in the Bible concerning homosexual activity, and our enemies are always throwing them up to us – usually in a vicious way and very much out of context.

    What they don't want us to remember is that there are 362 admonishments in the Bible concerning heterosexual activity. I don't mean to imply by this that God doesn't love straight people, only that they seem to require a great deal more supervision."

    I am going to attempt to keep this short and simple, so here we go.

    Some claim that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 clearly say that homosexual sex is an abomination. In fact, it merits death. Isn't it obvious that God hates homosexuality?

    Yes, depending on which translation you are using, Leviticus does say, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it's an abomination." However, a few points must be made about this statement:

    a) It appears in Leviticus, which was given to preserve the distinctive characteristics of the religion and culture of Israel. However, as stated in Galatians 3:22-55, Christians are no longer bound by these Jewish laws. Even if you, for some reason, argue that these "laws" are still important, then you surely follow all of them, right?

    It is interesting that people who use Leviticus against the gay community forget the part that talks about religious sacrifices, making women sleep in tents outside during their period, the dietary restrictions placed on them and how to cleanse a leper, all of which appear in Leviticus.

    The laws of Leviticus are completely obsolete for today's Christian; however, even if you do claim to live by the laws of Leviticus, it is not fair to pick and choose which laws you are going to live by, or condemn a people by, if you are not going to follow the others. You should not need any more convincing evidence than this; but if you do, be my guest.

    b) The word that was in the original work, "to'ebah," which was translated into Greek as "bdglygma" actually means "ritual impurity" rather than abomination (or enormous sin). These passages in Leviticus can be translated to not mean homosexual sex generally, but only limiting homosexual sex in Pagan temples.

    c) This passage does not denounce homosexual behavior as a whole, but just the specific act of anal sex. This was meant for the prevention of disease. It was ruled unclean because it was physically unclean; however, hygiene has made wonderful advances since that time.

    d) These passages in Leviticus can be interpreted in many ways. I have seen it interpreted by scholars and priests to mean: "don't have sex with another man in your wife's bed;" "don't have sex with another man in the temple;" and "don't have sex with another man and pretend he is a woman," just to name a few.

    I have never seen an interpretation in any Bible, or from any scholar, that specifically says to never have sex with a man.

    Some claim the Bible simply does not support gay marriage. Chapter two of Genesis defines marriage as a holy union between a man and a woman. And later, in Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus himself reiterates the traits of a traditional marriage. How can you argue that anything other than celibacy is honorable for gay and lesbian people?

    Yes, marriage is a holy union. However, in these passages, while Jesus reiterates (but does not require) the traditional marriage, he also provides an exception for eunuchs (castrated men – or otherwise impotent men, in today's terms), and allowed them to be married, saying that this law is given to those to whom it applies.

    Because these eunuchs were born sexless, God made an exception for them because it was natural. The same applies to the Gay community today. Science has proven homosexuality is completely natural, so it seems God would allow for homosexual marriages.

    In Matthew 19: 4-5, Jesus encourages a traditional path, but does not discourage alternatives, except in the case of divorce.

    Jesus did stress purity of marriage, but not in regard to the sexes of the people within it. It can be seen that the reason that churches are against homosexual marriage is not because it is explicitly said by God, but because of a lack of instruction to specifically allow it.

    In the time that the Bible was written it would have been impossible to foresee the future to be able to specifically allow or forbid homosexual marriage.

    Some claim, in Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he lists homosexuals amongst the many sinners who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Doesn't that make God's position on this vice very clear?

    If we look at the other types of people listed in this passage, we can understand what it is actually talking about. Law breakers, thieves, adulterers and drunks are specifically mentioned. The word "homosexual" was not found until the 1890s, so it would have been impossible for it to be in the original version.

    What actually appears in the original is Paul condemning those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind." In this context, the original Greek word, "malakos," is translated into effeminate, or soft, which, more than likely, refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control.

    In this passage, when Paul condemns "abusers of themselves with mankind," he is speaking of male prostitutes.

    Then there are the people who claim that, even though science has proven that people don't choose their sexual orientation, the fact remains that homosexuality is unnatural. Romans 1:26-27 tells us that humans have a sinful nature, and therefore commit sins against God. Certain people are predisposed to be alcoholics and pedophiles, but that doesn't make their actions any less immoral. God tells us to "tear out your eye" if it makes you stumble. Why can't you just accept homosexuality as the part of your nature you must deny?

    Because the Bible has gone through so many translations, and through the hands of many people (some being non-believers), it is not surprising that the meaning has become a little fuzzy in parts.

    Homosexuality is normal. The phrase "para physin" appears in the original text for this verse. This term is often translated to mean "unnatural;" however, more accurate translation would be unconventional.

    Proof for this can be found in 1 Corinthians 11:14 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to men with long hair (unconventional, not unnatural) and in Romans 11:24 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to the positive action God made to bring together the Jews and Gentiles.

    All in all; homosexuality is obviously not a sin, unless you take passages from the Bible and add your own words or you just try really hard to interpret it that way. Let's just remember Galatians 5:14, where Paul stated, "the whole Law is fulfilled in one Statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

    July 20, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • DAJ

      Matthew 24:4&5 "Jesus answered and said to them: Pay attention, so no man deceives you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many."
      "I am the Lord: I do not change."
      "God is not the author of confusion."
      For Jesus to take a neutral stance on what was commanded of His followers would have been hypocrisy.

      2nd Timothy 3;16 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness."

      I know some think claiming 'Biblical misinterpretations' is better than calling the Word of God 'hate speech', but all of us are accountable for deliberate misinformation; that's why we must judge for ourselves.

      See: Genesis 2:24, 18:22 to 19:29, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Ezekiel 16:49&50 Jesus in Matthew and Mark, Romans 1:21 to 32, 1st Corinthians 6:9, 1st Timothy 1:9 and 10, 2nd Timothy 3:1 to 3, Jude 7, and even Revelation 21:8

      July 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • DAJ

      Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9, that is. Jesus is not a God of 'loopholes'.

      July 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • James

      The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however: are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

      July 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  17. YeahRight

    "They have their own agenda no one else s don't bother with them, they could care less for the gays and marriage they use the gays and the Bible and anyone they can. "

    You are nothing but a LIAR and have been proven as such. You are only on here to try to spread your unfounded hatred and prejudice toward the gay community. You have NO facts to back yourself up. 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."

    Social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents—concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people—are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being.

    July 20, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  18. Bob

    They have their own agenda no one else s don't bother with them, they could care less for the gays and marriage they use the gays and the Bible and anyone they can. They have no credibility and no scruples so if you wonder about the posts don't worry they are all bogus and reposts. This includes John another bogus repost.

    July 20, 2012 at 6:37 am |
    • Who invited me?

      pretty sure it is you who have the agenda and no credibility bob

      July 20, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Chad

      Bob, you are part of the problem. Tthe effects of prejudice and racism are all around–constant fighting in Israel and Palestine, wars in the Middle East because of religion and killings in big cities and small towns all over the world because of the color of someone's skin or sexual orientation. This affects mankind deeply and can lead to cynicism and hopelessness. Unfortunately, many people misinterpret the Bible and use it to support their violence and prejudice against others. They take portions of verses and use them out of context so they can feel better about the horrible way they treat others. You really need to apologize for your gross injudiciousness and prejudice.

      July 20, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Bob

      Chad
      Get a life you may find out some amazing things like how stupid you are then you may decide to really grow up and begin to want to understand the world then you may be able to be a real person for a change

      July 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  19. John

    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.

    July 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  20. Hindsiight

    This is by far the greatest argument–supported by religion and the faith that normally tries to destroy it–that I have ever read. I normally can rant praises about something for paragraphs, but this is so amazing it has left me speechless. Bravo.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:24 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.