home
RSS
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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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. 2Cents

    Well the won't have the NAACP behind them.

    The NAACP has passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right, putting it stamp on an issue that has divided the black community.

    The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's board voted at a leadership retreat in Miami on Saturday to back a resolution supporting marriage equality, calling the position consistent with the equal protection provision of the US constitution.

    "The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people," board chairwoman Roslyn M Brock said in a statement. "We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law."

    Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia, but 31 states have passed amendments to ban it.

    The NAACP vote came about two weeks after President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage, setting off a flurry of political activity in a number of states. Obama's announcement followed vice-president Joe Biden's declaration in a television interview that he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay couples marrying.

    "Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP's support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the fourteenth amendment of the United States constitution and equal protection of all people" said NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous, a strong backer of gay rights.

    Gay marriage has divided the black community, with many religious leaders opposing it. In California, exit polls showed about 70% of black people opposed same-sex marriage in 2008. In Maryland, black religious leaders helped derail a gay marriage bill last year. But state lawmakers passed a gay marriage bill this year.

    Pew Research Center polls have found that African Americans have become more supportive of same-sex marriage in recent years, but remain less supportive than other groups. A poll conducted in April showed 39% of African-Americans favor gay marriage, compared with 47% of white people. The poll showed 49% of black people and 43% of white people are opposed.

    The Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights advocacy group, applauded the NAACP's step.

    "We could not be more pleased with the NAACP's history-making vote – which is yet another example of the traction marriage equality continues to gain in every community," HRC president Joe Solmonese said in a statement.

    August 1, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  2. Bob

    Remember Thursday is chick fil a day

    August 1, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, I will. Won't be going there.

      Too bad you'll be clogging your arteries, Boob. It's obvious you don't get much blood going to your brain as it is now.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  3. Douglas

    As CNN reported, a coalition of Black pastors, representing various denominations, has emerged to challenge President Obama's pro-gay policies. The ministers are providing leadership and inspiration not only for Black Americans but for the rest of us as they defend the Christian faith against the heresy of Obama. Obama's policies for the gays are an invitation for every Republican/Independent to get out and vote. The NAACP does not represent mainstream values. With AIDS spiraling out of control in the ghettos the last thing Blacks need is to encourage activities that spread the disease, particularly to Black women who are tricked by men posing as straight but living in sin with other men and depositing their deadly AIDS virus into the bodies of innocent, unsuspecting women and hapless men.

    The Bible is unambiguous about the sin of s-o-d-o-my!

    Thank you Black ministers for taking charge of your flock and leading them and us away from the wolves of S-o-d-o-m!

    Best, Douglas

    August 1, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • YeahRight

      "As CNN reported, a coalition of Black pastors, representing various denominations, has emerged to challenge President Obama's pro-gay policies."

      It doesn't matter many prejudice church's are on the wrong side of this issue. Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.

      The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:

      No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

      A federal appeals court on May 31st ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies equal rights for legally married same-sex couples, making it likely that the Supreme Court will consider the politically divisive issue for the first time in its next term. This most likely will be decided in the courts and since most courts keep ruling in gays favor they should be able to over turn all the unconstitutional laws prejudice bigots have been trying to pass.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • JWT

      Douglas the entreis of your version of the bible are meant for you and people that believe like you do. They are not inteneded for anyone else and do not apply to anyone else.

      August 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  4. Lorraine

    JWT, get a grip, that's your choice, what is your need to comment on any of my post if this is so? Are you maybe curious to know the truth? Then just read Genesis – Malachi, and pray, and do the law of the 10 commandments, and the truth should bring you to the light out of the dark.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      If you can't learn to use the reply button (to keep a thread intact) you should be ignored. Stupid delusion bitch!

      August 1, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • JWT

      I know the truth lorraine, I know it very well. You keep insinuating that your god covers all people – and it does not.

      August 1, 2012 at 6:51 am |
  5. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    So this where the wackiest of The Babble Thumprs are hanging out...

    You idiots don't have a single bit of evidence for your delusional beliefs. You are mentally ill. You should be spending time with a mentall health professional rather working to deny gays their civil rights.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Chick A.

      This is what the voice of tolerance sounds like. NOT! P.S. There are NO gay rights!!! If YOU spent some time with a mental health professional, you woudn't entertain the thought!!!

      August 1, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Lorraine

      Og-no blabb,blabb,and also to you, JWT, What is the matter, such vulgar words used, is it that maybe I hit a nerve, a 'truth' nerve at that. They say that the truth hurts, I guess this is one of those examples of this. You know they also say, if you can't handle the heat, then get out of the kitchen.

      YHWH is the strength, and essence of His spirituality of all life of His righteousness, connected to one another; we all are affected to what goes on with each other in this world. This is why He taught us to use His law of righteousness, the 10 commandments, to live by so that we may avoid these tragedies like the one in Aurora. To learn to live humble together, but we chose to selfishly do our thing in this society, this world, and this calamity is our own fault as a human race.

      We live in fear, greed, and anxiety, imposed poverty, in difference, and hate, what else do you think will be the results of such living?

      August 1, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Chick A(ss), you need to learn to read. I didn't say there are "gay rights" -I said believers are denying gays their civil rights – the same rights everyone else has.

      Lorraine: you are sick. Give us some proof for the existence of your, or any, god, or Fuck off!

      August 2, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • JWT

      belief in some god, any god, will not stop mental illness or its effects.

      August 2, 2012 at 7:20 am |
  6. Bob

    Well presented with the truth you just cant accept it ?? I guess to you guys lying is a way of life when you want to get your way. I have heard you say that its normal,, you cant change,,, and that everyone agrees ,,,well this out of the DSM says you guys are liars!!!!
    Similarly, by no longer listing it as a psy disorder we are not saying that it is "normal" or as valuable as hetero.
    Modern methods of treatment enable a significant proportion of h0m0 who wish to change their orientation to do so. At the same time, h0mo who are bothered by or in conflict with their S feelings but who are either uninterested in changing, or unable to change, their S orientation can be helped to accept themselves as they are and to rid themselves of self-hatred.
    Its purpose is
    not to list and describe all of the forms of human psyc functioning which are judged by the profession or
    some members of the profession as less than optimal. Nor is its purpose to imply certainty about the nature of
    conditions when there is,,,, not a consensus in the profession.,,,,,,
    What will be the effect of carrying out such a proposal? No doubt,,,,,,, h0m0 activist groups will claim that
    psyc has at last recognized that h0m0 is as "normal" as hetero They will be wrong. In
    removing h0m0 per se from the nomenclature we are only recognizing that by itself h0m0 does
    not meet the criteria for being considered a psychiatric disorder. We will in no way be aligning ourselves with any
    particular viewpoint regarding the etiology or desirability of h0m0 behavior
    22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination.
    Leviticus 18:22 (ASV) | In Context | Whole Chapter

    22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
    Leviticus 18:22 (AMP) | In Context | Whole Chapter
    Know the truth and the truth will set you free!!!

    July 31, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bob

      Biblical verses mean absolutely nothing.
      Link to the online copy of the DSM and the edition for your quote that wasn't in quotes.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Boob, where does anyone cite heteros3xuality as "valuable"?

      You're truly delusional, you bozo.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Similarly, by no longer listing it as a psy disorder we are not saying that it is "normal" or as valuable as hetero.
      Modern methods of treatment enable a significant proportion of h0m0 who wish to change their orientation to do so'

      This is how clueless of the truth this posters and what a liar he is. 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."

      August 1, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • YeahRight

      "22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
      Leviticus 18:22 (AMP) |"

      This is how stupid this poster is. Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code, a ritual manual for Israel's priests.. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 1, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  7. Lorraine

    What is known is this, all life is precious unto YHWH, there are no exceptions to the rules, we must follow His law of righteousness in order to have peace among us. We do this by doing the 10 commandments, the sabbath, and all are expected to do this prophesied in Isaiah 56, and the passover in Exodus 12, these are not so bad. It's just respecting one another, and being honest..oops, that is kind of hard I know, but we must do this to follow the law to prolong our days, as taught in Deuteronomy 30, and 32:45-57.

    Therefore, no matter how you live your life, we are all responsible for our own righteousness as taught in Ezekiel 14;14-21. And we all must pray, and do, and read this book ourselves from Genesis – Malachi. YHWH Bless, and Praise YHWH, His righteousness is near prophesied in Isaiah 51:5. For He is our only Savior, and Redeemer, as He teaches us in Isaiah 49:26, and Isaiah 60:16, again in Isaiah 43:11, and He says in Isaiah 43:13, that no man can be delivered from out of His hands.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Bob, If YHWH the Creator of all life says that He is the only Savior, and Redeemer, in Isaiah 49:26, and that no man can be delivered from out of His hands in Isaiah 43:13, then why would I give this praise of proclamation to another?

      In Isaiah 44:24, YHWH teaches us that He does it all alone, by Himself, and in verse 22, He says that our sins have been blotted out, forgotten, and only ask us to return unto Him by doing the law, for YHWH changes not, taught in Malachi 3:6. The people have all been mislead by priest, popes, pastors, and elders, read in Malachi 2, Ezekiel 20, Jeremiah 23:1-5, and in Ezekiel 34, YHWH will save His flocks from these lies soon.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • JWT

      Just remember that your god does not apply to me.

      July 31, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  8. Robert

    Douglas and Bob

    Psalm 101:7

    No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.

    July 31, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Bob

      Wow that is great you found a passage in the Bible, see it wasn't so bad to start to look in it. Now if you would start to read you really may find some good things. Congratulations.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Robert

      Bob, your deceitful ways makes you a bad representative of our faith. I have read the bible and I am Christian. Please go see you pastor and ask for guidance on what the scriptures really mean.

      July 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Bob

      Robert gay are you?? I would like to hear anything that you might find wrong with my statements. As for going to my Pastor its not necessary actually. You see I know quite a few Pastors and there is no disagreement on this issue. Lets see some of the Episcopal Pastors condone gay marriage and when they did that there was a split and most of the congregates left and most churches across the US share my view on this issue and you want me to talk to my Pastor. Curious,, why don't you speak and lets see what you have to say. I am also curious why you picked me to zero in on with the fact that these atheists socialists gays are leading the people astray over the truth of the Bible doesn't that bother you??

      July 31, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "I know quite a few pastors." Yeah, no doubt. Boob. I'll bet most of them dread conversing with you. They probably talk about you behind your back and laugh.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • James

      hahahaha – Bob could find agreement with any pastor who does not endorse gay marriage!!! You guys pretending to know what pastors find acceptable is just plain hilarious. Bob is quoting scripture in proper context, grow up

      August 2, 2012 at 12:08 am |
  9. 2cents

    The NAACP has passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right, putting it stamp on an issue that has divided the black community.
    The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's board voted at a leadership retreat in Miami on Saturday to back a resolution supporting marriage equality, calling the position consistent with the equal protection provision of the US constitution.
    "The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people," board chairwoman Roslyn M Brock said in a statement. "We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law."
    Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia, but 31 states have passed amendments to ban it.
    The NAACP vote came about two weeks after President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage, setting off a flurry of political activity in a number of states. Obama's announcement followed vice-president Joe Biden's declaration in a television interview that he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay couples marrying.
    "Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP's support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the fourteenth amendment of the United States constitution and equal protection of all people" said NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous, a strong backer of gay rights.
    Gay marriage has divided the black community, with many religious leaders opposing it. In California, exit polls showed about 70% of black people opposed same-sex marriage in 2008. In Maryland, black religious leaders helped derail a gay marriage bill last year. But state lawmakers passed a gay marriage bill this year.
    Pew Research Center polls have found that African Americans have become more supportive of same-sex marriage in recent years, but remain less supportive than other groups. A poll conducted in April showed 39% of African-Americans favor gay marriage, compared with 47% of white people. The poll showed 49% of black people and 43% of white people are opposed.
    The Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights advocacy group, applauded the NAACP's step.
    "We could not be more pleased with the NAACP's history-making vote – which is yet another example of the traction marriage equality continues to gain in every community," HRC president Joe Solmonese said in a statement.

    July 31, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Bob

      The government has no business overriding the peoples will on this

      July 31, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Andy

      "The government has no business overriding the peoples will on this"

      Dude seriously get an education on how this country works. What a dumb comment.

      July 31, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Bob

      This country is a REPUBLIC maybe you had better find out what that means

      July 31, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  10. Lorraine

    Bob, and who would invite you? Yes, Josephus was a Roman Jewish historian, of the 1st century. Do you realize that this book was written much earlier than that? As far back as the 8th, and 9th centuries, and truly earlier, it was from the Hebrews, the 'original writing' beginning with Moses from YHWH.

    They the Hebrews were all in captivity by 161bce, until this day, not talked about anymore, and I'll say this by the 1st, and 2nd centuries, this book began it's rewriting by the Hellenistic Roman Jews of 200ad, and another 200bce, making it 400 years of rewriting this book, by these roman men.

    It was later when Christianity was legalized, actually (forced)by Constantine, a Roman by 311ce, changing this book from its original writing, under the Council of Nicaea.

    And, I'll say again these men, David, Solomon, and Cyrus the Great, and represented their anointment from YHWH which were written in the book of remembrance, the so called OT, therefore, what part of them, and YHWH don't atheist get? This is the reason for the separation of this book to an OT, and to a NT, instead of it's true name the 'book of remembrance, taught in Malachi 3:16.

    In which YHWH allowed these foolish, cunning men to do this, and this is how He will magnify Himself by . For His righteousness is near as prophesied in Isaiah 51:5. YHWH also says in Ezekiel 36:22,23, that He will sanctify His name from the profanity of it from these men as well, taking His name out of this book 6800 times, and in this day of His vengeance, as said in Isaiah 34:8, He will take care of these lies.

    July 30, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  11. Douglas

    Ben, a gay man who has successfully practiced celib@te living, is working with our teen group, Pastor Moore and Elder Duncan, to familarize GLBTQ and straight youth with the value of celib@te living. Ben is STD free and wants to stay that way. Ben has lots of friends but knows where to draw the line. We are grateful to have Ben on our team. Out, proud and celib@te! A great role model for GLBTQ and straight youth weary of being pressured to break the rules and descend into the abyss of sin. Champion celib@cy and save GLBTQ lives. Reach out and lift up the sinner, we all have fallen short of the mark. Be an ally for hope!

    Hi YeahRight (Melvin?)

    Best, Douglas

    July 30, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Jen

      Or wear a condom which will have the same effect. Humans were not meant to be celibate....

      July 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Ben, a gay man who has successfully practiced celib@te living, "

      Yo moron, you need to read your bible, your Christ even says straights should be celibate and if they can't be they should get married. It's why gays deserve the same equal civil rights as straights. By the way Churches are marrying gay couples so they don't live in sin. Only prejudice bigots like Bob aka Douglas spew this nonsense with total disregard for the fact that gays deserve to have the same loving caring families as straights. It's time to let go of your hate because you are nothing like your Christ.

      July 31, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  12. Lorraine

    Saying that there is no Creator YHWH, is like saying that there was never a Nebuchadnezzar, no Solomon, no David, and that there was no Cyrus the Great the Persian, all who are wrote into our own world history, as well as in this book of remembrance, the so called OT, also called the bible. Things that make you go, hummm.

    July 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      It is not like saying that at all. God was created by men, while some of the people you mentioned actually may have existed...see the difference, real people vs. man=made myth.

      July 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Bob

      Lorraine have you ever read Josephus?
      Jesus existed do you believe that?

      July 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  13. Susan

    1. Is being gay a sin?

    No. Sins are acts that separate us from God and keep us from loving our neighbors as ourselves. Being gay is not a sin. Bullying is a sin. Being hateful to other people is a sin. Putting yourself in the place of God to judge others is a sin. Being gay is not.

    2. What did Jesus say about gay people?

    Jesus said the same thing about gay people as he said about all people: God loves you beyond your wildest imagining and calls you to walk in love with God and with each other. He also said a whole lot about loving your neighbor, welcoming the stranger, embracing the outcast and ministering to the marginalized.

    3. Does the Bible really condemn homosexuality?

    The short answer is no; no it does not. The handful of passages in the Old and New Testaments that talk about God condemning specific sexual acts have nothing whatsoever to do with sexual orientation and everything to do with contexts such as cultic prostitution or gang rape. To put it another way, using the Bible as a handbook on human sexuality makes as much sense as using it as a handbook on astronomy. Just as those who wrote the Biblical texts had no concept of the science that would prove the earth actually revolves around the sun, so they had no concept of homosexuality (which wasn't defined until the 19th century.)

    4. How do I respond when people say "God hates "f–s"?

    First of all, God's nature is to love, not to hate. We believe that what God cares about is not our sexual orientation but our theological orientation - and that the question that matters is not "who do you love?" but "do you love?" Recognizing that homophobia causes some folks to project onto God their own fears, prejudices and biases against LGBT people, sometimes the best response is simply no response. It can be a challenge, but getting triggered by hate-mongers prevents us from being the change we want to see.

    5. I thought gay men and women weren't allowed to be priests?

    The Episcopal Church has been ordaining women to the priesthood since 1974 and we have women deacons, priests and bishops throughout the church - including two women bishops here in the Diocese of Los Angeles. When it comes to gay men in the priesthood, the issue is not homosexuality - it is honesty. The church has ordained gay men for centuries but finally the Episcopal Church added "sexual orientation" in the non-discrimination list in 1994 - ending our version of "don't ask/don't tell." Because the Episcopal Church allows for diversity of practice, the leadership of "out" LGBT and women clergy is more prevalent in some places than others. But the Diocese of Los Angeles is proud to have been in the forefront of inclusion.

    6. Can I still receive Communion in your church if I am gay?

    Of course you can. In many of our churches you will hear a variation on the invitation "whoever you are and wherever you find yourself on the journey of faith there is a place for you here." God's love is radically inclusive and so is the Episcopal Church.

    7. Despite what is happening legislatively, can my partner and I be married in the Episcopal Church yet?

    The only accurate answer to this question is "that depends." It depends on which diocese you're in and whether you're in a state that has civil marriage equality. For example, New York State is a marriage equality state. In four of the six dioceses clergy can both solemnize and bless a civil marriage and in one of them clergy can bless but not solemnize (a judge or justice of the peace has to do the civil marriage part). Here in Los Angeles clergy both blessed and solemnized same-sex marriages in 2008 when it was legal and our bishops have been in the forefront of working to overturn Prop 8 and get marriage equality back. As Facebook might put it: "it's complicated."

    8. What do I tell people when they say being gay is a sin and a choice?

    Tell them that Jesus said absolutely nothing about being gay but he said a lot of things about judging other people. Then tell them that while there is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation there IS consensus that sexuality is a continuum. So the "choice" is not to be gay, straight or somewhere in between - the "choice" is to build our own healthy relationships ... and give other people the grace to build theirs.

    9. Should I try to "pray away the gay?"

    No. If you need to pray away something, pray away homophobia. Homosexuality doesn't need healing. Homophobia does.

    10. How do I respond when politicians condemn my sexuality, citing their belief in the Bible?

    Remind them that the First Amendment protects them in believing whatever they want to about what God does or does not bless but it also prohibits them from using those beliefs to decide who the Constitution protects or doesn't protect. Tell them to stop confusing their theology with our democracy. And then campaign for and donate to their opponent in the next election cycle.

    July 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Carla

      Susan.....you do not know the bible. You are inventing a new doctrine here..so that makes you an occultist. The bible clearly states new testament and old that this is a sin and unatural. Jesus loves every soul, but He also made very clear distinctions about sin. Pull your head out of the sand and stop twisting scripture to suit your desires.....just say you don't agree with the bible

      July 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The bible clearly states new testament and old that this is a sin and unatural."

      The experts have proven it's totally natural, so you're wrong. Which proves the writers had no clue about sexuality. Duh! LOL! 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 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Bob

      Carla thanks for the truth keep going they need to hear it from more than me and that article is repost

      July 30, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Carla thanks for the truth keep going they need to hear it from more than me and that article is repost"

      Here's Bob lying again, really it's a repost, prove what other page on this particular thread is it on? LMAO You have no clue what the real truth is because you are so blinded by your prejudice and hate. 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 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Bob

      Yeah is another repost

      July 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Yeah is another repost"

      You were claiming Susan's was a repost on this thread, prove it liar.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  14. Michael

    This one goes out to all you fundamentalist Christians out there. Selah! I may be too narrow addressing this to just the fundamentalists. Many traditional Christians also fit the bill. Really, it’s anyone who believes that homosexuality is a sin, and that somehow God, infinite and eternal creator and sustainer of the very Universe; is ‘against’ a tiny human behavior that harms no one. So, in other words, uneducated and ridiculous people everywhere.

    Officially, the majority of Christian churches say that homosexual behavior is a sin, thus proving that the theologians behind those churches don’t understand their own Bible. There are a whole bunch of goofball laws written down in the Old Testament that everyone ignores. Why is being bigoted toward homosexuals the one people latch onto?

    The various Christian brands go through the Old Testament, picking and choosing the parts they consider cool. No one accepts the whole thing. No one. I mean, when was the last time a cheating spouse was actually put to death in keeping with the commandments of the Bible?

    Using the Old Testament to determine if something is a sin is simply a matter of human and not godly opinion. It’s meaningless and certainly not ‘the word of God’. His teachings aren’t some basket of fruit for you to pick over. You either have to accept the old law in its entirety and start killing lots and lots of people or reject it in its entirety. Hand-picking the stuff you like is bogus, especially when you only pick the stuff that seems to legitimize your meanness to other people.

    So the Old Testament is out.

    Before we all start playing REM’s “Losing My Religion,” consider this denying someone the right to marry is not Christian, and certainly not American.

    The people who are opposed to gay marriage, and by extension, gayness itself have no excuse. They are bigots and bigots alone. They can’t use their special book to justify their hate, even according to the special book itself. They have no one to thank but themselves. They take the Lord’s name in vain and feel righteous about it

    Yes, they take the Lord’s name in vain. Most people believe incorrectly that this commandment is about cussing, but it’s not. It’s about using God for yourself, for your own vain (personal) ends. They hold the Bible in the air and use it like a bitch to bolster their own prejudices and bigotry and hate and that is vanity, all is vanity.

    The teachings of Christ are plain enough: love and forgiveness, tolerance and healing, acceptance and rebellion. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing more needed. Add what you will to it, it still won’t be from the Christ. It will come from your own (black?) heart.

    Jesus Christ is the origin of the word ‘Christian’. Perhaps we should pray about that a bit more.

    Today’s Christians tend to be followers, accepting of the notion that religion is just a box built by someone else into which they must stuff their spirit. They are naive and willingly line up like lemmings wherever told. They have a casual ignorance that tells them the Beast will come in the obvious guise of science or secularism or liberality. They cannot conceive of the Father of Lies actually lying to them.

    Sinclair Lewis said that when fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying the cross. When the Beast comes to the world, you can bet your sweet ass he will be thumping the Bible and preaching a hate disguised as love.

    July 30, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Bob

      reposted lie kinda,, like old fish or like a smug atheist it still stinks

      July 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "reposted lie kinda,, like old fish or like a smug atheist it still stinks"

      LOL This just proves Bob's poor reading comprehension skills and just a plain liar. The poster is obviously a Christians when they wrote "Jesus Christ is the origin of the word ‘Christian’. Perhaps we should pray about that a bit more."

      Poor Bob, you should seek help for your bad reading habits. LMAO!

      July 30, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  15. 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 30, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Bob

      Another smelly repost no truth no life just the reposted rantings of a atheist

      July 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Another smelly repost no truth no life just the reposted rantings of a atheist"

      Another lie from Bob since the poster is obviously a Christian. The one not speaking any truth here is Bob all he does is lie.

      July 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  16. John

    "than to attempt – to put your own spin on scripture and call it good. God loves everyone on this planet – but He does NOT love all that we do...especially twisting His word."

    No one is twisting His word; we are merely speaking the truth. 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 30, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Spoc

      .....says scarey Bishop Frankenstein!!! You are partners with the liar of all time – very sad

      July 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "says scarey Bishop Frankenstein!!! You are partners with the liar of all time – very sad"

      This is a great example of an uneducated prejudice bigot, pathetic isn't it.

      July 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Bob

      Article is a smelly repost kinda like baby diapers.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Article is a smelly repost kinda like baby diapers."

      Since you have re-posted several times, then that applies to you as well, hypocrite.

      July 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  17. YeahRight

    “ABOUT this time the Sodomites grew proud, on account of their riches and great wealth; they became unjust towards men, and impious towards God, insomuch that they did not call to mind the advantages they received from him: they hated strangers, and abused themselves with Sodomitical practices. God was therefore much displeased at them, and determined to punish them for their pride, and to overthrow their city, and to lay waste their country, until there should neither plant nor fruit grow out of it. “

    Seriously bozo you need to look up the definition of rape, when people are trying to force themselves on another person, it’s rape. It has absolutely nothing to do with the long term loving relationship of a gay couple as we know and understand it today. 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."

    “Do you see what they are doing that a man that wants to run a business the way he wants has a terror gay organization trying to limit his free speech as well as the city of Chicago wanting to limit him on business permits and saying he cant get a license to run his business and falsely stop a business from going forward.

    That’s a lie, they told him he couldn’t discriminated against gays and they didn’t deny him the permit because it’s the law moron. This is about gays having their civil right to get married.

    “Start to take a active role otherwise Christians will not be able to voice the truth we are the persecuted ones not the gays. “

    Again idiot, this is about civil rights. Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.

    The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

    “The president of Chick only said he was against gay marriage nothing else and this is what happens. What happens to free speech and us being able to speak our mind without ridicule”

    Because it’s about civil rights, the same thing was happening when African Americans and women were fighting for their civil rights. Bigots like you have always been on the wrong side of the law. Duh!
    “We see a attacks here and there is no logic no caring no truth.”

    That’s why hundreds of thousands of experts have proven you wrong. 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 30, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  18. Bob

    ABOUT this time the Sodomites grew proud, on account of their riches and great wealth; they became unjust towards men, and impious towards God, insomuch that they did not call to mind the advantages they received from him: they hated strangers, and abused themselves with Sodomitical practices. God was therefore much displeased at them, and determined to punish them for their pride, and to overthrow their city, and to lay waste their country, until there should neither plant nor fruit grow out of it.

    Chick-fil-A spokesman dies amid furor over same-S e marriage Do you see what they are doing that a man that wants to run a business the way he wants has a terror gay organization trying to limit his free speech as well as the city of Chicago wanting to limit him on business permits and saying he cant get a license to run his business and falsely stop a business from going forward. Merry Christmas has been taken away how much more is everyone going to let these losers limit the majority and those who know the truth. Its not only about gays but about socialism about the very same people we see here wanting to change the very fabric of society and not giving a dam about anyone else. wake up start voicing your opinion. They are not afraid to get up and insult us but we cannot do the same. Start to take a active role otherwise Christians will not be able to voice the truth we are the persecuted ones not the gays. The president of Chick only said he was against gay marriage nothing else and this is what happens. What happens to free speech and us being able to speak our mind without ridicule. If intimidation wont work as in San Fransisco and with Chick then we will lie then subvert the Bible if that doesn't work we will do what ever is necessary to achieve our goals. Start by going to this business and supporting all those that are against this use the tactics they use. We see a attacks here and there is no logic no caring no truth.

    22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination.
    Leviticus 18:22 (ASV) | In Context | Whole Chapter

    22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
    Leviticus 18:22 (AMP) | In Context | Whole Chapter

    22 You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination.
    Leviticus 18:22 (CEB) | In Context | Whole Chapter

    22 You must not have s intercourse with a man as you would with a woman; it is a detestable practice.
    Leviticus 18:22 (CJB) | In Context | Whole Chapter

    July 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Good to see they took the ankle monitor off, Bob.

      July 28, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • JWT

      People have the right to spend their money and speak as they choose. We also ave the right to do the same. Down with chick a fil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 28, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Douglas

      Bob,

      Good work. They can't keep up with you.
      You are the heavyweight champ here.
      With the Bible on your side, you can't lose to the GLBTQ apologists.
      Best, Douglas

      July 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • YeahRight

      This is a great example of Bob's really poor reading comprehension issues. Duh! Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code, a ritual manual for Israel's priests..

      July 30, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Good work. They can't keep up with you.
      You are the heavyweight champ here.
      With the Bible on your side, you can't lose to the GLBTQ apologists.
      Best, Douglas"

      Douglas = Bob, it just so how desperate this poster is! LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 30, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Spoc

      Bob is the heavy weight champ of this blog....Scripture wins – it is the word of the living God!!! One day all of this will be clear to the whole world....there is a God and HIs intents and purposes for mankind will be known. He never intended anything negative when He created man and woman, and family.....He does not have to answer to His creation either or apologize....He is God.

      July 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "He never intended anything negative when He created man and woman, and family"

      LMAO – Bob aka Spoc have been proven wrong over and over again on this blog. By the way gays have families too. What an idiot.

      July 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  19. Cindi

    LIKE YOU, I TAKE THE BIBLE SERIOUSLY! Many good people build their case against homosexuality almost entirely on the Bible. These folks value Scripture, and are serious about seeking its guidance in their lives. Unfortunately, many of them have never really studied what the Bible does and doesn’t say about homosexuality.

    We gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians take the Bible seriously, too. Personally, I’ve spent more than 50 years reading, studying, memorizing, preaching, and teaching from the sacred texts. I earned my master’s and doctoral degrees at a conservative biblical seminary to better equip myself to “rightly divide the word of truth.” I learned Hebrew and Greek to gain a better understanding of the original words of the biblical texts. I studied the lives and times of the biblical authors to help me know what they were saying in their day so I could better apply it to my own.

    We must be open to new truth from Scripture.

    Even heroes of the Christian faith have changed their minds about the meaning of various biblical texts.

    It took a blinding light and a voice from heaven to help the apostle Paul change his mind about certain Hebrew texts. A sheet lowered from the sky filled with all kinds of animals helped the apostle Peter gain new insights into Jewish law.

    Jerry Falwell believed the Bible supported segregation in the church until a black shoeshine man asked him, “When will someone like me be allowed to become a member of your congregation?” Through those simple words, the Holy Spirit spoke new truth about the ancient biblical texts to the Rev. Falwell, and in obedience he ended segregation at Thomas Road Baptist Church.

    Even when we believe the Scriptures are “infallible” or “without error,” it’s terribly dangerous to think that our understanding of every biblical text is also without error. We are human. We are fallible. And we can misunderstand and misinterpret these ancient words — with tragic results.

    What if someone asked you, “Is there a chance you could be wrong about the way you’ve interpreted the biblical texts sometimes used to condemn homosexual orientation?” How would you respond? What does it say about you if you answer, “No, I could NOT be wrong”? I am asking you to re-examine these texts — carefully and prayerfully. Lives hang in the balance.

    If heroes of the Christian faith could change their minds about the meaning of certain biblical texts, shouldn’t we be prepared to reconsider our own interpretations of these ancient words when the Holy Spirit opens our minds and hearts to new truth? That’s why we study the Bible prayerfully, seeking the Spirit of Truth, God’s loving Spirit, to help us understand and apply these words to our lives.

    On the night he was betrayed, Jesus told his disciples he was going away from them for a while, but that the Father would send them a “Comforter,” an “Advocate,” the “Holy Spirit” who would “teach them all things.”

    I believe with all my heart that the Holy Spirit is still teaching us. When we reconsider the texts that are used by some people to condemn God’s gay children, we must fervently seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance, or we risk being misled by our own prejudices.

    The Bible is a book about God – not a book about human sexuality.

    The Bible is the story of God’s love for the world and the people of the world. It tells the history of God’s love at work rescuing, renewing, and empowering humankind. It was never intended to be a book about human sexuality. Certainly, you will agree.

    In fact, the Bible accepts sexual practices that we condemn and condemns sexual practices that we accept. Lots of them! Here are a few examples.

    DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21
    If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.

    DEUTERONOMY 22:22
    If a married person has sex with someone else’s husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.

    MARK 10:1-12
    Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced.

    LEVITICUS 18:19
    The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman’s period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.

    MARK 12:18-27
    If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.

    DEUTERONOMY 25:11-12
    If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy’s genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her.

    I’m certain you don’t agree with these teachings from the Bible about sex. And you shouldn’t. The list goes on: The Bible says clearly that sex with a prostitute is acceptable for the husband but not for the wife. Polygamy (more than one wife) is acceptable, as is a king’s having many concubines. (Solomon, the wisest king of all, had 1,000 concubines.) Slavery and sex with slaves, marriage of girls aged 11-13, and treatment of women as property are all accepted practices in the Scriptures. On the other hand, there are strict prohibitions against interracial marriage, birth control, discussing or even naming a sexual organ, and seeing one’s parents nude.

    Over the centuries the Holy Spirit has taught us that certain Bible verses should not be understood as God’s law for all time periods. Some verses are specific to the culture and time they were written, and are no longer viewed as appropriate, wise, or just.

    Often, the Holy Spirit uses science to teach us why those ancient words no longer apply to our modern times. During the last three decades, for example, organizations representing 1.5 million U.S. health professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and educators) have stated definitively that homosexual orientation is as natural as heterosexual orientation, that sexual orientation is determined by a combination of yet unknown pre- and post-natal influences, and that it is dangerous and inappropriate to tell a homosexual that he or she could or should attempt to change his or her sexual orientation.

    While there are some people now living in heterosexual marriages who once perceived themselves to be gay, there are millions of gay and lesbian persons who have accepted their sexual orientation as a gift from God and live productive and deeply spiritual lives. The evidence from science and from the personal experience of gay and lesbian Christians demands that we at least consider whether the passages cited to condemn homosexual behavior should be reconsidered, just as other Bible verses that speak of certain sexual practices are no longer understood as God’s law for us in this day.

    July 28, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Lorraine

      Cindi, my sentiments exactly, for YHWH is love for all, and I have mentioned before that many of these high priest used to take these laws into their own convenience to use, changing them. I practice the sabbath day, and to think that because one went out of the house on Saturday if there is an emergency, they will be put to death is crazy, something is definitely wrong with this law. It was changed I'm sure. This is how they the high priest went astray, abusing their authority, leaving the Creator YHWH, and His true Word changing, and doing things not of YHWH. And what began the tumult of suffering in the first place.

      They these priest had a responsibility to all the nations, to all the people on the earth as taught in Isaiah 56, and this they did not do as taught to us in Malachi 2, of the Levites then, and unbelievably they are here now. This responsibility was not done, and now there is much to discern about this book of remembrance, of it's laws, if they are the true ones or not? This is a question to us all, and is why YHWH gave us a scripture to consult, and it is in Micah 7, to teach us to not trust in just anything, or anyone. YHWH says to us that He never changes in Malachi 3:6, so that we are not consumed.

      Besides, no one here on this earth made of flesh, and blood, can judge anyone else, this kind of judging has to stop. For this is for YHWH to do in the end, not for man to do. Until then we are all the children of the most high, all. He loves us, and will guide us, when we seek Him with all of our hearts, His doors will open for any of us.

      July 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Bob

      Lev 18:21 "Do not permit any of your children to be offered as a sacrifice to Molech, for you must not bring shame on the name of your God. I am the LORD.
      Lev 18:22 "Do not practice h0m0 , having s-.x with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.
      Lev 18:23 "A man must not defile himself by having S-.x with an animal. And a woman must not offer herself to a male animal to have intercourse with it. This is a perverse act.

      Eze 23:45 But righteous people will judge these sister cities for what they really are—adulterers and murderers.

      1Co 6:3 Don't you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life.

      Deu 1:15 So I took the wise and respected men you had selected from your tribes and appointed them to serve as judges and officials over you. Some were responsible for a thousand people, some for a hundred, some for fifty, and some for ten.

      July 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • spoc

      Cindi = very deceived. It is better to say that you are for gay rights and are not a christian – than to attempt – to put your own spin on scripture and call it good. God loves everyone on this planet – but He does NOT love all that we do...especially twisting His word.

      July 30, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • YeahRight

      "It is better to say that you are for gay rights and are not a christian – than to attempt – to put your own spin on scripture and call it good. God loves everyone on this planet – but He does NOT love all that we do...especially twisting His word."

      The only one twisting the scriptures is prejudice bigots like you. Nowhere in the bible does your god condemn the saved loving long term relationship of a gay couple. 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 30, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Lev 18:22 "Do not practice h0m0 , having s-.x with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin."

      This is how uneducated this poster is the word homosexual wasn't invented till the 19th century so a prejudice scribe added it to the text. Plus Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code, a ritual manual for Israel's priests. Duh!

      LMAO!

      July 30, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Spoc

      Yeahright....since you are pretending to know scripture, I'll give you a clue....it is in many more places than Lev, and the description of it as a sin in the New Testament as well.....just say you don't agree – its much easier and then you don't look so dumb

      July 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "'ll give you a clue....it is in many more places than Lev, and the description of it as a sin in the New Testament as well.....just say you don't agree – its much easier and then you don't look so dumb"

      All you are doing Spoc aka Bob is showing how much you don't know about reading comprehension 101 because when the scriptures are put into historical context, nowhere does it condemn the saved loving long term relationship of a gay couple as we know and understand it today. By the way idiot, your Christ doesn't allow prejudice bigots into his kingdom. Duh!

      July 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • spoc

      Now you are in the deep end of the pool....painfully dumb, bitter, unstable, fantasy problems.....poor Yeahright

      July 30, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ Spoc

      I think YeahRight has a difficult time understanding that not everyone is buying into the political "Flavor of the day". The Bible does not support gay marriage. He will tell you otherwise, and usually in a most disagreeable way...

      July 30, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The Bible does not support gay marriage. He will tell you otherwise, and usually in a most disagreeable way..."

      Actually on prejudice bigots say such a stupid statement. You sound just like the people in the dark ages did when they were against civil rights for African Americans and women, you're the one on the wrong side of the moral debate with no facts to back yourselves up. It's hysterical. Bob aka ILU aka spoc aka Douglas aka junior aka just sayin aka herbie...etc...etc... LMAO! LOL! LOL!

      July 31, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  20. Melvin

    "There is hope and deliverance through the practice of GLBTQ celib@cy.
    The Bible provides no other alternatives."

    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 28, 2012 at 10:45 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

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