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

My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage

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

By Mark Osler, Special to CNN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Take: Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality

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

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

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

Your Take: Rethinking the Bible on homosexuality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Episcopal • Gay marriage • Opinion

soundoff (15,115 Responses)
  1. Erik

    "the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III)"

    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.

    August 9, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Bob

      Actually there are many gays already converted and that is in part what the APA was successful in doing that threatened the gay agenda so bs to your repost.

      August 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bob, stop lying. Why are you SO friggin' cowardly that you have to lie to make a point? If you had a valid argument you wouldn't need to lie about it.

      Why aren't you truthful?

      August 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Ross

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, it's true. There goes your militant political agenda.

      August 9, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then you should be able to cite your source, you bullish!tter. Go ahead. Be prepared for a lambasting if your "source" is some Christian propaganda site.

      August 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Actually there are many gays already converted and that is in part what the APA was successful in doing that threatened the gay agenda so bs to your repost."

      This just continues to prove that Bob is a prejudice liar. This is the REAL statement from the experts. 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 10, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  2. YeahRight

    "The third
    edition of the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) was responsible for this change. The paradigm shift in mental health diagnosis in the DSM-III was neither a product of growing scientific knowledge nor of increasing medicalization"

    This is how stupid this poster is this is from 2005! LMAO! Duh moron, most of the scientific studies were done after that. You are so desperate to try and justify your unfounded hate and prejudice of the gay community that it's hysterical. 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."

    August 9, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Bob

      So boomerang they took gays off the DSM BEFORE they did the studies you suggested Humm that would seem to go along all the reports saying it was merely political and subjective on one psychiatrists part. NO scientific study approved of it, that's really interesting and pretty much confirms it. Thanks for confirming it!!!!

      August 9, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are such a stupid git, Bob.
      The official battle over this issue began around 1970 when the American Psychiatric As sociation first began to consider whether ho mos3xuality should be listed as a mental disorder. After reviewing the data the APA found that there was no evidence to support labeling being gay a sickness. In 1973, the American Psychiatric A ssociation officially removed hom0s3xuality from list of mental disorders (DSM). The following year, the American Psychological A ssociation declas sified being gay as an illness; since then, every major medical and mental health organization has come to embrace this view.

      Angered by the new evidence-based scientific view, a handful of disgruntled therapists created a new organization to argue that hom0s3xuality was a choice and create the false impression that the issue remained up for debate. The National A ssociation for Research and Therapy of H0mos3xuality (NARTH) was co-founded by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi and Dr. Charles Socarides, who held the pseudoscientific view that “Hom0s3xuality is… a purple menace that is threatening the proper design of gender distinctions in society.

      Three years after the American Psychiatric Association made its historic decision, the fundamentalist Christian “ex-gay” organization Exodus International was founded. Shortly thereafter, Seventh Day Adventist minister Colin Cook founded another “ex-gay” organization, H0mos3xuals Anonymous, which is a twelve-step program for overcoming h0mos3xuality (there are actually fourteen steps in the HA program)

      Unfortunately, these groups seemed to prove the opposite of what they set out to show. Two of Exodus’ founders, Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper, left their wives and married each other. After appearing on the Phil Donahue show as a “cured” ex-gay, Colin Cook had to leave his ministry after having s3x with his male counseling clients.

      August 9, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When are you going to get it, Bob?

      More to the point, why are you SO threatened by gay marriage and by gays in general?

      You are such a coward you have refused to explain the reason for your hatred and fear though you've been asked many times. Why is that? What is the root of your absolute terror that gays may one day be able to marry?

      Why are you so afraid to explain?

      August 9, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  3. Bob

    The third
    edition of the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) was responsible for this change. The paradigm shift in mental health diagnosis in the DSM-III was neither a product of growing scientific knowledge nor of increasing medicalization. Instead, its symptom-based diagnoses reflect a growing
    standardization of psychiatric diagnoses. This standardization was the product of many
    factors, including: (1) professional politics within the mental health community, (2) increased
    gov involvement in mental health research and policymaking, (3) mounting
    pressure on psysts from health insurers to demonstrate the effectiveness of their
    practices,

    August 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Bob

      Alan Stone, president of the APA in 1976, concluded that social psy and social activism, “carrying psyc on a mission to change the world, had brought the profession to the edge of extinction” (Wilson, 1993, p. 402)

      August 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, Jesus Christ on a Triscuit, Boob. It's "psychiatrists", you fvckin' idiot. Why is it you can't learn? Why is it you think anyone should take you seriously when you're dumber than a bag of hammers? You don't have the first clue what is involved in psychiatry or much else, based on the stupidity of your posts.

      If you're so afraid of gay marriage, Boob, maybe you should consult a professional to find out why.

      August 8, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well there you are. Are you the quality troll or the scatology-fascinated one.

      August 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm not either. Too bad you are.

      August 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Anyone with a brain can spot you, troll. You're the one who doesn't quite grasp how to use a comma.

      If you're going to persist in your vain attempt, babykins, you'd better brush up your Shakespeare.

      August 8, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Or a question mark.

      August 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Shakespeare? Why is that important to you?

      August 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And of course, the baby doesn't get the reference.

      August 8, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Bob

      http://viralvideochart.unrulymedia.com/youtube/look_at_yourself_after_watching_thismp4?id=Gc4HGQHgeFE

      August 9, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  4. Lorraine

    yeahright, Well I do not expect any religion to follow what is right, as long as it conveniences them, especially these days, finding any excuses to refrain from righteousness. Even from when in the days of long ago, religion was considered as idolatry by Moses, prophesied for the future generations in Deuteronomy 32:17, and prophesied in Daniel 11:39-45, also for the future as well.

    For in Daniel 12:1-4, in vs.4, it says "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to, and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" Anyone in their right mind can see that this is referring to today, and the future, comparing to the days of Daniel.

    August 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  5. Jeannine

    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.

    August 8, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Jeannine, there is nothing inferior about Esther, Sarah, Deborah, nor Ruth, and I conclude that the writers of the scriptures then found that the way to procreate is to be fruitful, to replenish, and multiply the earth, simple as that, prophesied in Genesis 1:28. Anything else no doubt was considered weird, or just plain abomination, or not natural.

      And for those who claim that the woman's menstrual cycle was considered an abomination, well, it sure isn't the best of time to feel clean, or to be thought of as fresh, but we do what we have to. And in those days one should realize that there weren't many sanitary napkins going around, so it probably was abominably messy, most of the times, lol.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a friggin' idiot.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Oh, my mistake, how can I leave out Rebekah, the wife of Isaac in Genesis 25-27.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  6. Lorraine

    Jen, I have always said that all religions are pagan, and idolatry unto YHWH, He does not condone any of them, they are man made for either gain, or control, ruling this world, along with the corrupted governments. This is what is taught in the truth of the book of reembrance in the prophecies of Daniel 7, and in Daniel 11:39-45, and in Deuteronomy 32:17, of Moses, of the strange gods that are not known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the fathers of the covenant, of the law of righteousness, the 10 commandments.

    That is good that you, and your children give to those who do not have during the holidays, but as I said to another here at this site, if the imposed poverty, the greed, and the in difference, among other wrongs done to the majority of the poor, would not exist, then there would be no need for these handouts. I'm looking at this in a broader view of the whole world, who need to convert to doing what is right by one another, through giving, and caring, the togetherness, and the connection of life, for none of us know what tomorrow brings to us, and to do know that we all are as one is a most greatest gift to have. Praise YHWH, and YHWH Bless.

    August 8, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  7. Lorraine

    Tom,tom the piper, poor tom ranting on, and on about nothing that matters, get a real life tom, and pick on someone your own size, tiny, tiny torn tom.lol. Just let it go, all of that anger.

    August 8, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Aww, did I hurt your widdle feelings, Lorraine, dear?

      Why don't you take your own advice and scram? If the issue isn't "important" then why are you here instead of in school getting an education?

      August 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Tom, tom the piper, you have an incredible urge to repond to my post, that is so funny to me, lol, no, you go, (away that is), and get a grip on yourself.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, don't believe I will, honey. I'll continue to ridicule you as you so richly deserve. Anything I can do to discredit you and your lunatic beliefs is well worth it.

      Keep on LOLing, Loopy. It makes you look so bright.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • .

      "Tom, tom the piper, you have an incredible urge to repond to my post, that is so funny to me, lol, no, you go, (away that is), and get a grip on yourself."

      pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot

      August 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  8. Jackie

    The Levitical laws do not apply to Christians in light of Christ's fulfillment of the law. The other very few references to same-sex behavior are in a context very far removed from loving relationships. The statements you find in the Bible about homosexuality were written for a specific audience at a specific time and place and are not relatable to 21st century gays in committed relationships.

    August 8, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Lorraine

      Jackie, according to Isaiah 56, this law is for all people, all nations says YHWH.

      August 8, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • JWT

      This law is ONLY for those people that choose to accept it. It does not apply to any other people.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Lorraine

      JWT, that is exactly what this scripture in Isaiah 56 says, you must want to accept YHWH into your life.

      August 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Must"? Why? Because J just told you that the scripture you're referring to is meaningless?

      Are you really that stupid?

      August 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Jackie, according to Isaiah 56, this law is for all people, all nations says YHWH."

      Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code, a ritual manual for Israel's priests..

      August 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • JWT

      The day I get the slightest urge to believe in some faek god is the day I see a psychiatrist for a good helping of anti-psychotic drugs.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  9. JP

    Is homosexuality a sin?

    Self-indulgence is a sin. But the relationship of two people of the same sex may or may not be self-indulgent.

    Abusing the neighbor is a sin. But the exploration of relationships among homosexuals as they search for partners, evaluate their existing formative relationships, and relate to each other may or may not be abusive.

    Disobeying what God commands in the Bible is a sin. But, we have biblically-derived criteria for assessing and applying specific commands by reading them against larger themes.
    Turning your back on God is a sin. Homosexuals are often among those who have turned their back on the church, and may be sinning because they also rejected the God they found in church. The church needs to be in mission to homosexuals with the message of Jesus and who God really is.

    Yielding to your passions, even celebrating them is a sin. Homosexuals do include those who have done this. But it is not an inherent aspect of being gay.

    Since we see people who have dedicated themselves to God, and for whom their gay sexual life is integrated into that decision and we see that their sexuality does not draw them away from church we must conclude that being and living gay is not a behavior in and of itself that produces pain to the neighbor and leads one away from God.

    By the criteria the scripture sets for us for what is godly life, and by the reasoning scripture asks us to employ, homosexuality cannot be described as against God’s law.

    If this seems like a rather quiet sort of justification for homosexuality, then perhaps it is because the grand clichés of this debate have been shouted at us for too long. But look at the Bible: it's demands and vision cut across all categories, not staying on the surface but penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, rejecting all forms of self-justification, all forms of attack on the "other " and all forms of escape from God's assessment of our behavior. How on earth could we have ever thought that a series of flat rules was all God wanted to tell us on morality?

    August 8, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Huebert

      "Yielding to your passions, even celebrating them is a sin."

      Why is that a sin? Why do Christians insist that self denial is a virtue?

      August 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  10. 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.

    August 8, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  11. Matthew

    Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Any educated Christian would know that. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality. That’s why Jesus never mentions it as well. There is nothing immoral, wrong, or sinful about being gay. Jesus, however, clearly states he HATES hypocrites. If you preach goodness, then promote hate and twist the words of the Bible, you are a hypocrite, and will be judged and sent to hell. Homosexuals will not go to hell, hypocrites will. This is very similar to the religious bigots of the past, where they took Bible passages to condone slavery, keep women down, and used Bible passages to claim blacks as curses who should be enslaved by the white man. People used God to claim that blacks marrying whites was unnatural, and not of Gods will.

    August 8, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  12. Bob

    See the spider’s web, and behold in it a most suggestive picture of the hypocrite’s religion. It is meant to catch his prey: the spider fattens himself on flies, and the Pharisee has his reward. Foolish persons are easily entrapped by the loud professions of pretenders, and even the more judicious cannot always escape. Philip baptized Simon Magus, whose guileful declaration of faith was so soon exploded by the stern rebuke of Peter. Custom, reputation, praise, advancement, and other flies, are the small game which hypocrites take in their nets. A spider’s web is a marvel of skill: look at it and admire the cunning hunter’s wiles. Is not a deceiver’s religion equally wonderful? How does he make so barefaced a lie appear to be a truth? How can he make his tinsel answer so well the purpose of gold? A spider’s web comes all from the creature’s own bowels. The bee gathers her wax from flowers, the spider sucks no flowers, and yet she spins out her material to any length. Even so hypocrites find their trust and hope within themselves; their anchor was forged on their own anvil, and their cable twisted by their own hands. They lay their own foundation, and hew out the pillars of their own house, disdaining to be debtors to the sovereign grace of God. But a spider’s web is very frail. It is curiously wrought, but not enduringly manufactured. It is no match for the servant’s broom, or the traveller’s staff. The hypocrite needs no battery of Armstrongs to blow his hope to pieces, a mere puff of wind will do it. Hypocritical cobwebs will soon come down when the besom of destruction begins its purifying work. Which reminds us of one more thought, viz., that such cobwebs are not to be endured in the Lord’s house: he will see to it that they and those who spin them shall be destroyed for ever. O my soul, be thou resting on something better than a spider’s web. Be the Lord Jesus thine eternal hiding-place.

    August 8, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Cut and paste, Boob? I thought you disapproved of posting other people's words. Hypocrite.

      August 8, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • YeahRight

      "How does he make so barefaced a lie appear to be a truth?"

      Bob you choose this scripture because it really applies to yourself. You know that log in your eye concept. LOL! You've been proven a liar over and over again which is why you should practice what you posted hypocrite. The REAL truth is heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      August 8, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  13. Douglas

    The good book welcomes our GLBTQ brothers and sisters at the foot of the cross where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. As the move toward celib@cy gains momentum, more and more of our GLBTQ brotehrs and sisters will come back home and reap the rewards of salvation. Two lesbians, Julie and Amber, are out, proud, and celibate and are active members of our prayer group. Extend the hand of fellowship to our GLBTQ brothers and sisters and help them on to victory at the foot of the cross.

    Best,
    Douglas

    August 8, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • YeahRight

      "The good book welcomes our GLBTQ brothers and sisters at the foot of the cross where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. As the move toward celib@cy gains momentum, more and more of our GLBTQ brotehrs and sisters will come back home and reap the rewards of salvation"

      Bob I thought were against copying and pasting and using mulitple handles. LOL! Again idiot, gays are normal human beings and deserve to have loving long term intimate relationships. 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."

      August 8, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  14. Lorraine

    Tom, tom, piper, Holidays are plain selfish, and materialistic, they are not about everyone, just a select few. They would not let me post the proof of reason. Sorry for your lost, and Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.

    August 7, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wish they'd give you an IQ test you'd have to pass in order to post here, you moron. Holidays aren't all materialistic OR selfish, ding-bat. Furthermore, it's LOSS, not "LOST". "LOST" would be what you are-lost in ignorance.

      August 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I really wonder about your level of education, silly goose. What is "selfish" about Thanksgiving? There's very little commercialism involved at all. No gifts; no greeting cards. Mostly it's a family-centered affair and many of those who have much to be grateful for choose to invite friends who have no family to join with their own clans to give thanks for what they have. What's selfish about that, you simpleton?

      How about Christmas? I have friends who don't celebrate Christmas; they're not Christian. They spend Christmas Day at a soup kitchen in our city, feeding the homeless. I know of others who spend some holidays donating blood for the Red Cross.

      Really, Loopy Lorraine, you would find evil and selfishness everywhere, probably because YOU are selfish and self-centered and therefore find your own faults everywhere you look.

      August 7, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Tom,tom the piper, so a typo is your field day, enjoy that while you can, wow, oh, and good that your friends give during holidays, but lets be realistic, the poor of this world do get left out more than often, and it is mainly from imposed poverty, prejudice, hate, greed, and in difference, take these away, and they wouldn't need handouts, especially greed, and imposed poverty. Well, talk about education, do you even know the history of thanksgiving? and who it oppressed?, do i have to guide you to read the Fredrick Douglas 4th of July Speech, and the other holidays he expresses that do not represent the people who are being oppressed by them, and this country? The imposed poverty in world period, mainly of the minorities, or what's now called the undesirables, please you are in la, la, land. And, obviously a nerve was blown, with all of the name calling from you, so full of it, 'pride' Still YHWH Bless.

      August 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thank you, Loopy. You proved my point better than I ever could have.

      Brava, diva. Brava.

      August 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Tom,tom on the pipe, Stop lying, keep that fork tongue to yourself, that doesn't work in these times. Your desire to reply is overwhelming though. lol, Praise YHWH.

      August 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's a "forked" tongue, ya stupid tw@t.

      When are you going to figure out that you don't have a clue and get one, Loopy Doopy? I wonder, honey, what do you do to earn a living? Wait tables? Because you sure as hell don't have the education needed to do much else.

      August 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Loopy Doopy Dumbbell, by the way, your attempt to pretend that you made a typo is laughable in its dishonesty. You've made exactly the same error multiple times because you don't know the difference between "lost" and "loss".

      I love it when true "believers" lie about their errors and attempt to pretend they are just "typos".

      You know the baby Jesus cries when you lie, don't you, Loopy Doopy? Why is it you dopes can't ever just admit you made a mistake and didn't know it was "loss" and not "lost"?

      Why is that? My guess is that it would be caused by hubris. You think you're too good to be wrong.

      Guess again.

      August 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  15. 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 .

    August 7, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • just wondering

      "Cindi",

      Just wondering... why are you writing so many posts under different names? It's quite obvious that you are the same person as several other screen names.

      August 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • .

      "Just wondering... why are you writing so many posts under different names? It's quite obvious that you are the same person as several other screen names."

      pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot.

      August 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • just wondering

      .

      My screen names generally reflect the gists of my particular posts. I'm not trying to establish any kind of real-life, authoritative persona.

      August 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • .

      "My screen names generally reflect the gists of my particular posts. I'm not trying to establish any kind of real-life, authoritative persona."

      pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot

      August 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  16. 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.

    August 7, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  17. YeahRight

    "Is it where man boy copulation is accepted where no longer we can say what we want for fear of the atheists gays??"

    This is about civil rights Bob – DUH! 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 7, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  18. Bob

    MERRY CHRISTMAS wasn't that nice!!! I can remember before retailers wouldn't do MERRY CHRISTMAS the great joy in this time of year. Before it wasn't politically incorrect to say this and makes you feel like a villain just to wish everyone good cheer. Do you know who took this away??? Some of the very same people we see here! How about having to think before wishing someone just happiness maybe in a slightly Christian way now you cant do that. If you think that these people haven't been subversive why did the big O change his mind on gay marriage??? Yet they didn't do anything wrong did they??? they are not victims but the motivating force. when they got the Pres of the US to come out and endorse their policies yet a small company like Chick endorses the Boy Scouts its subversive. When are we going to wake up and see the damage that this supposed innocent pursuit is really costing us. What is the ultimate cost to this country?? Is it where man boy copulation is accepted where no longer we can say what we want for fear of the atheists gays?? Why do we let corporations tell us what is correct?? I can remember a time when we used to walk down the street and instead of hearing about pregnant teens, drug crazed thefts leaders caught in lies and how bad people are for having morals we would say MERRY CHRISTMAS and mean peace on earth goodwill to ALL.

    August 7, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • tallulah13

      Obviously you only wish for your own beliefs to be honored, Bob. I'm sorry that Americans no longer support the "traditional" bigotry you prefer, but the world has moved on. No one says you have to move with it, but no one has to allow you to drag it back.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Moron, no one prevents you from saying ANYTHING as long as your words don't incite violence. Stop lying, you bonehead. Retailers are responding to their customers. They ask their employees to say 'happy holidays' because there are numerous holidays in December, you idiot. Would you prefer it if a salesperson said "Happy New Year" to YOU on Rosh Hashanah?

      Grow the hell up, Bob, You sound more and more like Doddering Idiot with every post.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Judith

      Bigotry or prejudice in any form is more than a problem; it is a deep-seated evil within our society.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Lorraine

      Bob, holidays, and birthdays are not of the Creator YHWH. Do you need to be reminded by the book of JOB? Job's recalcitrant children were destroyed for being disobedient going against YHWH doing them anyway. YHWH changes not, in Malachi 3:6. Such hypocrites to celebrate 1 day out of a year smiling, and greeting on this one day, but life should be honored, and celebrated each day for all. We are suppose to love, care, and do for one another daily is what YHWH wants for us to all do.

      Many hypocrites do these pagan holidays with glee, and cheer, while ignoring those who can't even afford to do them, or have pains, deprivations, lost, and suffering, such selfish folly. On this past 4th of July so many death tolls, I wonder what will their loved ones do next year? Oh, yeah, remember this glorious 4th of July holiday, how good was it for them? No one truly cares see how this is? If we cared for each other daily these death tolls would not have ever happened, life would be humble, and cherished more.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, can it, Lorraine. There isn't a thing wrong with celebrating holidays whether they're religious or not. Not a single thing.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, and Lorraine? Did you have a wonderful August 6? Guess what? Thousands of Ja-panese families were obliterated on that day when the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Guess what? Ten years ago, I lost a loved one on that date.

      Were you happy and smiling yesterday? Then what's the difference between your sanctimonious self and people who celebrate Christmas or Yom Kippur or Easter or any other holiday?

      Get off it.

      August 7, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Jen

      I agree Tom Tom. I have relatives that are Jehovah's witnesses (don't get me started on that religion/cult), and they are very gracious when someone says merry x-mas. They just say thank you. Most people don't care. I put happy holidays on my cards because I have Jewish friends so want to be inclusive, but I'm sure they would not be offended if I had merry x-mas instead. Just like I don't get offended when someone says god bless you or tells me my kids are gifts from god. It comes from a good place so I'm not going to be offended by that.

      And Lorraine, while I agree there is a lot of commercialism in holidays, there is also a lot of special family moments and love as well. Of course my kids love visits from Santa, but they also love to drop off toys for tots, food bank donations and pet food for our local animal shelter. A lot of people give back during the holidays as well.

      August 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • 2Cents

      I like Kwanza myself.

      August 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Off-topic, but Jen, when is the baby due?

      August 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Jen

      Hi Tom,

      3 more months still. I already am saying I have three though because I've been so sick with this one that it is taking up more of my time than the other two (hence why I'm blogging again – bedridden again – this one is giving me a run for my money). Can't wait for he or she to be here so I don't ever have to be preggers again (I was in the hospital the other day and the nurse said it has to be a boy it's such a pain in the -ss – we will see :)

      Hoping the world will be a better place by the time he/she is older and this whole gay marriage thing is ancient history. Can't imagine having a child that is gay and has to put up with the type of people on this blog......

      August 8, 2012 at 8:04 am |
  19. Bob

    ALL BS ALL POSTED MANY TIMES BEFORE CAN YOU SAY DECEPTION??

    August 6, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Well since you have done the same thing what does that make you. LMAO ! What a liar.

      August 7, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  20. 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.'

    August 6, 2012 at 12:02 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.