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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. 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 15, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Bob

      Yeah sure you take the Bible seriously as a joke what a waste of electrons. Atheists not gays don't know anything will post anything.

      August 15, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Atheists not gays don't know anything will post anything."

      More lies from Bob – this poster is obviously a Christian. LOL!

      August 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  2. YeahRight

    "2 Corinthians 4:3-4-"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.""

    The prejudice and bigotry toward the gay community proves that Christians don't understand the Bible. Next. Nowhere in your bible does your god condemn the saved loving long term relationship of a gay couple. When that couple gets married in their church, they do not sin. Now I get you probably have a reading comprehension issue so we all know you won't get this. LOL!

    August 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Bob

      Atheist having altruistic motives for gays what a load of feces

      August 15, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • YeahRight

      LMAO – Bob you must be gay.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  3. Child of GOD

    John 8:47-"He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."

    John 3:18-"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

    John 8:44-"You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

    Matthew 13:38-"The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one,

    John 3:16-"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

    2 Corinthians 4:3-4-"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

    It is very simple unbelievers do not belong to GOD. I know it sucks really really bad but this is the reality of truth. Now atheist you understand why it is impossible for you to believe, it is because you are already condemned. You are blinded by your father. You are not of GOD but of the devil, and the devil along with his seed shall perish forever according to the word of GOD Almighty.

    P.S. “I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.” Albert Camus

    August 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Bob

      Thank you for that It was helpful and right on I sometimes forget who we are really against here

      August 15, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • JWT

      It's true – unbelievers do not belong to god – an obvious point. We cannot belong to what does not exists. However this does make us lesser or greater persons. Your god is for you and that's cool. When you say we are condemned for not believing in your god – and more likely your version of your god you attempt to relegate us to 2nd class people. A point that cannot be accepted nor is it true.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:21 am |
  4. Erik

    "There is also no proof that its not a choice either so that goes out the window."

    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 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Bob

      Eric is a atheist propaganda thread can you imagine atheists knowing anything about the Bible.

      August 15, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Eric is a atheist propaganda thread can you imagine atheists knowing anything about the Bible."

      More lies from a poster who claims to be a Christian, keep showing the world you don't even understand the basics of the ten commandments. LOL!

      August 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, Bob, I imagine most atheists know more about religion and the Bible than you ever will. It's obvious you never studied anything past the high school level. If you didn't have a preacher telling you what he believed the bible said, you'd have no clue.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  5. YeahRight

    “There have been no new significant studies and some physcs do agree but some don't either so there is no basis to quote the scientific community on gays as normal.”

    This is a lie. 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."

    “With the new definition even peds will fit whats ok.”

    LMAO – So someone who is a predator of children fits the gay definition. What an idiot. Your prejudice and bigotry is not founded on facts. Duh!

    “There is also no proof that its not a choice either so that goes out the window”

    LMAO! They’ve shown that being gay has a biological component, it’s that component that can’t be changed. Duh!

    “As for where the gay agenda came from and what they have done that is a fact and one that all should know. It makes a difference in making a decision on gays.”

    Ok people let’s use this same pathetic logic against African Americans and women, they were both view as inferior by prejudice bigots similar to Bob. However, we all know better today now don’t we. Duh! That is what happens when fighting prejudice bigots like Bob when it comes to civil rights. They’ll

    “. Plus both being atheists what is your motive for being in this at all. I also would like what is wrong with the statement I made is it true or not??? and the age of yeah”

    This is why this person is so uneducated – they’re lazy with poor reading comprehension issues. A g a I n……just scroll back through the pages. Duh!

    August 15, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Bob

      OK so define what it says about gays if its not true.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "OK so define what it says about gays if its not true."

      Have some more to drink Bob you're prejudice is making you pathetic.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Bob

      No answers in your last part of the post about what was wrong with what I stated, your age or why are you in the fray. You are a echo or shadow thats it.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "No answers in your last part of the post about what was wrong with what I stated, your age or why are you in the fray. You are a echo or shadow thats it."

      Bob how old are you? It's a stupid question and not relevant. Duh! Come on show us you got guts tell how old you are. LMAO!

      August 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Bob

      Atheists need to be cured but gays already have physcs can treat gays so that they can carry on healthy hetro relationships.

      August 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • JWT

      That's pretty incredible to combine two absolutely wrong statements in one sentence.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Atheists need to be cured but gays already have physcs can treat gays so that they can carry on healthy hetro relationships."

      This is a lie. It's why the experts in this country put out this statement. Because of the aggressive promotion of efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy, a number of medical, health, and mental health professional organizations have issued public statements about the dangers of this approach. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      August 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  6. Bob

    Ok so one says gays are born that way the other is saying that it was biased that kept gays down before and now its not. So if you really believe this why not post just that. There have been no new significant studies and some physcs do agree but some don't either so there is no basis to quote the scientific community on gays as normal. The problem is they have changed the definition and not the diagnosis for gays. With the new definition even peds will fit whats ok. This is the DSM that all physhcs use so its not surprising that some say the same thing. There is also no proof that its not a choice either so that goes out the window. In fact there has been significant progress in gays living hetro lives. As for where the gay agenda came from and what they have done that is a fact and one that all should know. It makes a difference in making a decision on gays. Plus both being atheists what is your motive for being in this at all. I also would like what is wrong with the statement I made is it true or not??? and the age of yeah

    August 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • JWT

      The point to being an atheist and involved in these discussions is that for better or worse much of the country votes with some religion involved in their views. If the religious people who feel that gay marriage is wrong understood that that opinion applies onto the themselves and not to people who believe differently then there would be little interest in what religious people of any description believed in (as an example).

      On this particular topic as long as people who vote their religious belief against gay marriage then it benefits people who believe differently – for any reason to be involved in the discussions since it affects them directly or indirectly. We do not want to see laws passed that discriminate against people merely because some religious people think it's wrong or right, and that their religious views must be adhered to by the rest of society.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "There have been no new significant studies"

      Again it's all about your poor reading comprehension. The experts have stated 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.

      "several decades of research and clinical experience "

      So Bob do you comprehend what it means by decades of research.... LMAO!

      August 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Bob

      JWT so you are just all about altruistic motives HUH does it matter how you achieve them???

      August 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "JWT so you are just all about altruistic motives HUH does it matter how you achieve them???"

      Yeah people who belong to the k k k probably said the same thing during the civil rights movement or prejudice bigots toward women who wanted their civil rights too. You're prejudice isn't based on any real true facts and your morality is in the toilet. LMAO!

      August 15, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Bob

      So JWT cannot talk for himself or are you really JWt also

      August 15, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "So JWT cannot talk for himself or are you really JWt also"

      Yo moron, this is an open forum people make comments all the time. Grow up.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • JWT

      What do you mean " how do I achieve them" ?

      August 15, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  7. Bob

    How old are you???

    August 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • ?

      How old are you?

      August 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  8. Don

    The most beautiful word in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is "whosoever." All of God's promises are intended for every human being. This includes gay men and lesbians. How tragic it is that the Christian Church has excluded and persecuted people who are homosexual! We are all created with powerful needs for personal relationships. Our quality of life depends upon the love we share with others, whether family or friends, partners or peers. Yet, lesbians and gay men facing hostile attitudes in society often are denied access to healthy relationships. Jesus Christ calls us to find ultimate meaning in life through a personal relationship with our Creator. This important spiritual union can bring healing and strength to all of our human relationships

    Biblical Interpretation and Theology also change from time to time. Approximately 150 years ago in the United States, some Christian teaching held that there was a two-fold moral order: black and white. Whites were thought to be superior to blacks, therefore blacks were to be subservient and slavery was an institution ordained by God. Clergy who supported such an abhorrent idea claimed the authority of the Bible. The conflict over slavery led to divisions which gave birth to some major Christian denominations. These same denominations, of course, do not support slavery today. Did the Bible change? No, their interpretation of the Bible did!

    Genesis 19:1-25

    Some "televangelists" carelessly proclaim that God destroyed the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of "homosexuality." Although some theologians have equated the sin of Sodom with homosexuality, a careful look at Scripture corrects such ignorance. Announcing judgment on these cities in Genesis 18, God sends two angels to Sodom, where Abraham's nephew, Lot, persuades them to stay in his home. Genesis 19 records that "all the people from every quarter" surround Lot's house demanding the release of his visitors so "we might know them." The Hebrew word for "know" in this case, yadha, usually means "have thorough knowledge of." It could also express intent to examine the visitors' credentials, or on rare occasions the term implies sexual intercourse. If the latter was the author's intended meaning, it would have been a clear case of attempted gang rape. Several observations are important.

    First, the judgment on these cities for their wickedness had been announced prior to the alleged homosexual incident. Second, all of Sodom's people participated in the assault on Lot's house; in no culture has more than a small minority of the population been homosexual. Third, Lot's offer to release his daughters suggests he knew his neighbors to have heterosexual interests. Fourth, if the issue was sexual, why did God spare Lot, who immediately commits incest with his daughters? Most importantly, why do all the other passages of Scripture referring to this account fail to raise the issue of homosexuality?

    Romans 1:24-27

    Most New Testament books, including the four Gospels, are silent on same-sex acts, and Paul is the only author who makes any reference to the subject. The most negative statement by Paul regarding same-sex acts occurs in Romans 1:24-27 where, in the context of a larger argument on the need of all people for the gospel of Jesus Christ, certain homosexual behavior is given as an example of the "uncleanness" of idolatrous Gentiles.

    This raises the question: Does this passage refer to all homosexual acts, or to certain homosexual behavior known to Paul's readers? The book of Romans was written to Jewish and Gentile Christians in Rome, who would have been familiar with the infamous sexual excesses of their contemporaries, especially Roman emperors. They would also have been aware of tensions in the early Church regarding Gentiles and observance of the Jewish laws, as noted in Acts 15 and Paul's letter to the Galatians. Jewish laws in Leviticus mentioned male same-sex acts in the context of idolatry.

    The homosexual practices cited in Romans 1:24-27 were believed to result from idolatry and are associated with some very serious offenses as noted in Romans 1. Taken in this larger context, it should be obvious that such acts are significantly different from loving, responsible lesbian and gay relationships seen today.

    What is "Natural"?

    Significant to Paul's discussion is the fact that these "unclean" Gentiles exchanged that which was "natural" for them, physin, in the Greek text, for something "unnatural," para physin. In Romans 11:24, God acts in an "unnatural" way, para physin, to accept the Gentiles. "Unnatural" in these passages does not refer to violation of so-called laws of nature, but rather implies action contradicting one's own nature. In view of this, we should observe that it is "unnatural," para physin, for a person today with a lesbian or gay sexual orientation to attempt living a heterosexual lifestyle.

    I Corinthians 6:9

    Any consideration of New Testament statements on same-sex acts must carefully view the social context of the Greco-Roman culture in which Paul ministered. Prostitution and pederasty (sexual relationships of adult men with boys) were the most commonly known male same-sex acts. In I Corinthians 6:9, Paul condemns those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind," as translated in the King James version. Unfortunately, some new translations are worse, rendering these words "homosexuals." Recent scholarship unmasks the homophobia behind such mistranslations.

    The first word – malakos, in the Greek text-which has been translated "effeminate" or "soft," most likely refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control. The word is used elsewhere in the New Testament but never with reference to sexuality.

    The second word, Arsenokoitai, occurs once each in I Corinthians and I Timothy (1:10); but nowhere else in other literature of the period. It is derived from two Greek words, one meaning, "males" and the other "beds", a euphemism for sexual intercourse. Other Greek words were commonly used to describe homosexual behavior but do not appear here. The larger context of I Corinthians 6 shows Paul extremely concerned with prostitution, so it is very possible he was referring to male prostitutes. But many experts now attempting to translate these words have reached a simple conclusion: their precise meaning is uncertain. Scripture Study Conclusion…No Law Against Love

    The rarity with which Paul discusses any form of same-sex behavior and the ambiguity in references attributed to him make it extremely unsound to conclude any sure position in the New Testament on homosexuality, especially in the context of loving, responsible relationships. Since any arguments must be made from silence, it is much more reliable to turn to great principles of the Gospel taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Do not judge others, lest you be judged. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love . . . against such there is no law. One thing is abundantly clear, as Paul stated in Galatians 5:14: "...the whole Law is fulfilled in one statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself".

    August 15, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  9. YeahRight

    "The hoax about born “gay” was invented by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen."

    LMAO That's why there are hundred of thousands of experts stating that being gay is not a choice, it's not a mental illness and it can't be voluntarily changed. Oh and let's not forget all the other world organizations and the NAACP who are also fighting for the civil rights of gays. You're lies are hysterical and continues to show the world how unfounded prejudice and bigotry likes yours is toward the gay community. LMAO!

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

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

    August 15, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Bob

      You are a real azz this is the way the gay agenda went forward you can trace this is one there is a court case associated with it so you may not like it but its truth which I know you cant accept.

      August 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "You are a real azz this is the way the gay agenda went forward you can trace this is one there is a court case associated with it so you may not like it but its truth which I know you cant accept."

      LMAO -Poor baby you can't handle the truth. The experts in this country have come together as one to state that being gay is normal, which is why they are now fighting for their civil rights. Everything written in the past was proven to be bogus because it was written by bias and prejudice people who didn't understand sexual orientation. Duh! Keep trying to make up excuses but your uneducated hatred shows clearly to the world.

      August 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Bob

      NO I can handle the truth just not the crap you dish out you are the best argument for abortion that anyone has ever made. Short sighted just plain stupid and even this article what is not fact about it if you dare to answer.

      August 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "NO I can handle the truth just not the crap you dish out you are the best argument for abortion that anyone has ever made. Short sighted just plain stupid and even this article what is not fact about it if you dare to answer."

      I am not the one dishing out the crap I am quoting the experts. Duh! You're the one that can't handle the REAL truth about this issue and the more people become educated about the more they understand why gays deserve the same civil rights as straights. Even the NAACP is fighting for their civil rights now too. Keep showing the world your uneducated hatred is based on lies.

      August 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Bob

      So where is the lie in what I have posted and the naacp is destroying the US as we know it so answer the question fool

      August 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "So where is the lie in what I have posted and the naacp is destroying the US as we know it so answer the question fool"

      Every lie you've told I have stated it's a lie. Thanks for proving your poor reading comprehension skills once again. LMAO!

      August 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Bob

      You really are a jerk your opinion means nothing, If what was said is wrong what is your backup to prove its wrong or do I need to lead you by the hand and show you how to really disprove something. Until you do you are the liar and worse a bigoted fool because there is no backup to your personal opinion .

      August 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "You really are a jerk your opinion means nothing, If what was said is wrong what is your backup to prove its wrong or do I need to lead you by the hand and show you how to really disprove something. Until you do you are the liar and worse a bigoted fool because there is no backup to your personal opinion ."

      Scroll back through the pages people you'll see we've pointed out his lies over and over again. He's just to lazy to do his homework which is why is prejudice is based on unfounded uneducated hatred because he was too lazy to learn the real truth. That is the why hatred like his is so evil, it's all based on lies. Again since you have poor reading comprehension skills, I am quoting the experts so it's not my opinion. LMAO! LOL!

      August 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "the naacp is destroying the US"

      LMAO – Again another lie. The NAACP insures the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority groups and citizens; achieves equality of rights and eliminates race prejudice among the citizens of the United States; removes all barriers of racial discrimination through the democratic processes; seeks to enact and enforce federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights; informs the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination and seeks its elimination; educates persons as to their constitutional rights and to take all lawful action in furtherance of these principles.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Bob

      Post it here now because this is new info and something not posted before like most of your reposts so the old canned responses wont work.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Post it here now because this is new info and something not posted before like most of your reposts so the old canned responses wont work."

      LMAO! Poor baby is too lazy to do his homework. LOL!

      August 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Bob

      Just what I thought not a ounce of anything that makes up a person of quality and doesn't have anything to back himself up. How old are you by the way?? You have alot to learn but its not going to be on my dime. You are the exact reason that there is distrust and you cant believe what people say because you speak out of what other people say and it agrees with your personal agenda. Plus doesn't know how to deal with facts when presented with them that are contrary to what you have said. That is not a person of quality maybe some day you will learn.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • YeahRight

      “Just what I thought not a ounce of anything that makes up a person of quality and doesn't have anything to back himself up. How old are you by the way??”

      I have hundreds of thousands of experts backing up what I have been posting on this blog, all you have is your personal prejudice opinion. What you have presented has been proven to be bogus research.

      “You have alot to learn but its not going to be on my dime. You are the exact reason that there is distrust and you cant believe what people say because you speak out of what other people say and it agrees with your personal agenda.”

      No, I am quoting the experts on this subject that is being used to fight for the civil rights of people in this country. Facts that are used to show the prejudice agenda of some Christian groups made up of uneducated prejudice people like you.

      “Plus doesn't know how to deal with facts when presented with them that are contrary to what you have said. That is not a person of quality maybe some day you will learn.”

      No, you’re the one crying foul because you’ve been proven a liar over and over again with no REAL Facts to back yourself up. Your prejudice and bigotry toward the gay community has proven to be unfounded. The fight that is going on for the civil rights for gays is the same time of fight that happen with African Americans and women. Civil rights fights have always ended up in the court systems because too often the prejudice and hatred toward a minority group blinds people from being rational enough to understand the REAL facts. Duh! LMAO!

      August 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Bob

      So what was wrong with the statement that I made where is the problem with it you still didnt say

      August 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "So what was wrong with the statement that I made where is the problem with it you still didnt say"

      Ok people do you get now why he has such poor reading comprehension skills or what? LOL! LMAO!

      August 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Bob

      Actually you are the one that has been proven to be a liar a for not explaining where the statement I made was wrong. You use every tactic to deflect and accuse. So how old are you it might make sense to the childish way of not answering,

      August 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bob

      I find it interesting you call YeahRight's age into question. You've been posting conspiracy theory craziness on this article for how long now? Not to mention most of the time not even acknowledging when a point you've made i refuted, and just running away from a conversation, like when you posted that bogus study of gay couples a whil back.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Actually you are the one that has been proven to be a liar a for not explaining where the statement I made was wrong."

      Bob I've been doing it all along and it's not worth the effort. All you have to do is go back through the pages and look for the word lie or wrong. Can you comprehend that yet? Duh! LMAO!

      Oh gee wiz Bob come on now....... be man tell us how old you are? LMAO! LOL!

      August 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Bob

      As usual no answer just deflection I asked when called a liar to prove where I am wrong with the following statement
      1986 the pro-sod movement lost Bowers v. Hardwick; the US case which upheld the rights of individual states to criminalize sod. The loss was devastating. Desperate, angry, and galvanized pro-sod activists learned that if they could make a compelling case that they were born gay, they could become eligible for minority Status as a Suspect Class under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. If Minority Status were granted, it would force the overturn Bowers v. Hardwick, thus legalizing sod. The legalization of sod by way of minority Status is the secret to understanding why pro-sod activists adopted the strategy outlined in The Gay Agenda
      So I challenged to where this was wrong none of you have provided any proof that any of what you said is more than one quote on top of another. I too know what some phycs are saying which is what you capitalize on but its not the whole truth just a biased lie. So on this statement after being called a liar by a young punk that is not able to understand the basis of what they are posting I wanted to know why it was a lie. I still hold to that, You have consistently called the truth a lie so now put up or shut up. I dont have to provide any more info its all right in front of you. So are you saying this didn't happen?? or that the fact that your first reaction is calling everyone and everything lies that dont agree with you. I am happy that this post is pretty self explanatory that is why I picked this so that all could see the reaction to fact.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bob

      Once it was determined homosexuality is not a choice, nor a mental illness, it is automatic that they would be considered a minority group, and as such have certain protection. You can rant and scream and post whatever stupid conspiracy crap you want, the fact remains that it is not a choice, and the anti-sodomy laws only had a basis of religious conviction, and as such should have been overturned anyway as being unconstitutional. You continue to make the same claims over and over and over and over and over without any regard to the actual answers brought against you. Your answer to every hole poked in your blind assertions is (gay agenda, violence from gays, naacp is destroying us), and just tossing more and more conspiracy crap on top of what you've already spewed.
      In other words, you're being completely disingenuous. I don't expect you to even acknowledge this post, since that has been your MO for a while now.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • YeahRight

      “I too know what some phycs are saying which is what you capitalize on but its not the whole truth just a biased lie. So on this statement after being called a liar by a young punk that is not able to understand the basis of what they are posting I wanted to know why it was a lie. I still hold to that, You have consistently called the truth a lie so now put up or shut up. I dont have to provide any more info its all right in front of you. So are you saying this didn't happen?? or that the fact that your first reaction is calling everyone and everything lies that dont agree with you. I am happy that this post is pretty self explanatory that is why I picked this so that all could see the reaction to fact.”

      Well, Duh Bob, the point is exactly what the experts are saying today. What was done in the past both written and laws were done by bias and prejudice people! That’s the part you can’t comprehend, this is the same kind of fight that people went through when African Americans and women were fighting for their civil rights. What we are talking about today is the overwhelming proof that being gay isn’t a choice, it’s not a mental illness and it can’t be voluntarily changed. Hey if we use your pathetic logic then we should roll back slavery and women rights. Duh! What an idiot.

      What you've been posting about the gay community has been from bogus hate Christian groups who aren't using the facts of today. Duh! It's why there are thousands of churches welcoming gays into their churches and allowing them to marry. It's also why the courts continue to over turn prejudice and bigoted laws against the gay community. You're on the wrong side or morality and your ego can't handle that. Duh!

      August 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Bob

      The other point is Yeah that you have no knowledge of what you are talking about you are a echo of all the supposed authorities and you are not sure since you do nothing but quote and do no research to prove what they are saying is true. This also goes for the Bible your a atheist what could you possibly know about what is correct interpretations of the Bible.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Ha I called it. DOes that mean I'm a prophet? The FSM has granted powers with his Noodly Appendage! Prove me wrong!

      August 15, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The other point is Yeah that you have no knowledge of what you are talking about you are a echo of all the supposed authorities and you are not sure since you do nothing but quote and do no research to prove what they are saying is true. This also goes for the Bible your a atheist what could you possibly know about what is correct interpretations of the Bible."

      Well, gee duh Bob – it's the experts research that is being used to change the prejudice laws. Duh! You're assumptions that I haven't done research is hysterical. Is that because you actually haven't done yours which is why you are using the bogus hate groups propaganda. LMAO! Oh and yes Bob I have studied the bible too moron, again another assumption on your part. But this is about civil rights and what has been proven about being gay. It has nothing to do with your version of religion.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "This also goes for the Bible your a atheist what could you possibly know about what is correct interpretations of the Bible."

      Remember Bob people used the bible as justification for slavery and denying African American their civil rights and they were proven wrong too. Duh!

      August 15, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  10. Erik

    "The hoax about born “gay” was invented by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen."

    There is no hoax. 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 15, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  11. Lorraine

    Bob, yes the law was not met by the people, and therefore this is why they have been driven to strange lands, this is where we get the exile of the 10 tribes until this day who were scattered to the four corners of the earth, warned to the people in Deuteronomy 28-30, of the blessings, and then of the curses. This is where the Solomon Supplications prayer in I Kings 8,9, comes in at, 'if' we are scattered out of our land, we must do this prayer when there is found iniquity of us. This was the condition to turn back our ways unto YHWH by doing this prayer, and doing His law so nothing had changed here, for one must do YHWHs law of righteousness first, and foremost, of the statues, judgments, and ordinances; He is not changing a thing, we must return to Him, and His law, is what's final. As said in Isaiah 53, this servant must "find his 'seed', then offer his soul for sin, to 'prolong' his days (life), and the 'pleasure' of YHWH shall prosper in his hands, to be the intercessor," this means he must turn his life completely around to YHWHs law of righteousness. He was once one of them, "he bare the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Therefore, 'WE' must change, not YHWH, or His law.

    And, yes the sacrifices were suspended, stopped, YHWH will not accept them again until the new temples are built, as said in Daniel 12:11, in Malachi 1:6-1, and in Ezekiel 40-46, also in Jeremiah 31-37-40. In Ezekiel 34, YHWH will save His people, and bring them all back home from this captivity, is the prophecy of the covenant of YHWH, that is to come. YHWH Bless. For there is no change, only under the condition that we the people, all are accepted to return to YHWH fully, said in Isaiah 56, and do what YHWH wants first, His law of righteousness. Praise YHWH.

    August 15, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  12. Bob

    The hoax about born “gay” was invented by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Bob

      .The goal of The Gay Agenda was to force opponents of sod into a position where they would be seen as attacking the rights of so-called “gay” citizens, rather than opposing a specific deviant behavior.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your fascination with gay s3x is telling, Bob.

      Do you think about straight s3s with your wife as often as you post about gay s3x here?

      August 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder, Bob, what your kids or your wife might find on your computer if they searched your history. Gay p0rn sites? Chat rooms? Postings on Craigslist?

      August 14, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Jen

      Bob never mentions having a wife. I'm pretty sure she left him a long time ago. I certainly don't blame her.....

      August 14, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Bob

      In 1986 the pro-sod movement lost Bowers v. Hardwick; the US case which upheld the rights of individual states to criminalize sod. The loss was devastating. Desperate, angry, and galvanized pro-sod activists learned that if they could make a compelling case that they were born gay, they could become eligible for minority Status as a Suspect Class under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. If Minority Status were granted, it would force the overturn Bowers v. Hardwick, thus legalizing sod. The legalization of sod by way of minority Status is the secret to understanding why pro-sod activists adopted the strategy outlined in The Gay Agenda

      August 14, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Jen

      Bob, there is literally no doubt in my mind that you are gay. It's unfortunate you hate yourself so much for who you are. I almost feel sorry for you. Almost.....

      August 14, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Bob

      As a atheist you really don't have any business here Tommy girl

      August 14, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I think someone finally got under Bobs skin.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I believe I have hit a nerve. I have EVERY reason to be here, Boob, atheist or not.

      I think you spend more time here talking about gay s3x than you do thinking about or having straight s3x with a woman.

      You're gay.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jen, I wonder if he is divorced or separated. Maybe he's one of those men we used to call "confirmed bachelors".

      Maybe he was married, but his wife, or, perish the thought, one of his kids, checked on his computer and looked at the history of his posts. What do you suppose he/she found there? Anyone who spends THIS MUCH TIME on a site devoted to gay marriage while claiming to be completely opposed to it protests too much.

      Outed, Bob.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Bob

      Interesting I see Tommy that you spend just as much time here, and is this what you do with your free time that you could think of such a thing?? You usually accuse someone else of doing that which you are doing and know. Thats pretty disgusting but of course I would think your fully capable of that kind of behavior. You may write well but that is as far as it goes. Intelligence or any thing feminine is not your strong points. Are you overweight also maybe you would not do those type of things if you really had some self respect and knew how to be a woman.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Jen

      Bob,

      YOU seek out gay pride parades, YOU go to every gay bar you can find, YOU attend gay meetings (whatever those are). Heteros-xual people do not do that. I'm a married mother expecting my third child and have never done any of those things, or even THOUGHT about doing any of those things. Hate to break it to you but only homes-xual people do those things.

      August 15, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Bob

      I have many experiences in my life I was around in 73 when the newspapers announced the decision about the gays and didn't really know how it would affect society now I know. Another interesting fact you may not know Studio 54 was very close by the gay bar were it all started. Gays are not bad people atheists are the bottom feeders of society though they use whoever they can.

      August 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "I have many experiences in my life I was around in 73 when the newspapers announced the decision about the gays and didn't really know how it would affect society now I know. "

      You've proven over and over again you don't know the REAL truth about this issue. 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 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Bob

      There is nothing normal about h0m0s-.exual behavior

      August 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "There is nothing normal about h0m0s-.exual behavior"

      That's why hundred of thousands of experts around the world have proven this prejudice remark is WRONG! LMAO! LOL!

      August 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Bob

      The Decision was not made by any scientific study it was a personal decision that took H0m0s off the DSM and in turn since you cant seem to follow this the DSM is what most physcs use so in turn they like you parrot a view point so they also chime in that is how science works. But it was the decision of one physc and violence of the gay agenda that started this whole thing

      August 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The Decision was not made by any scientific study it was a personal decision that took H0m0s off the DSM and in turn since you cant seem to follow this the DSM is what most physcs use so in turn they like you parrot a view point so they also chime in that is how science works. But it was the decision of one physc and violence of the gay agenda that started this whole thing"

      That's a lie, you are taking that from your prejudice websites and we've shown that it was a bogus report you are using. Thanks for showing the world you are so clueless on the subjects. Plus Bob, your information is outdated, I am posting what the experts are stating now in 2012. Duh!

      August 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The Decision was not made by any scientific study it was a personal decision that took H0m0s off the DSM"

      This is a lie. The decision wasn't based on one person. LMAO! The APA Task Force on Nomenclature and Statistics agreed to meet with a group of gay activists who presented the scientific evidence to its members and convinced the Task Force to study the issue further. The subsequent research review led the Nomenclature Committee of the APA to propose that homosexuality be eliminated from the DSM. This proposal was approved by the APA's Council on Research and Development, its Reference Committee, and by the Assembly of District Branches before being accepted by the APA's Board of Trustees in December 1973. Other major mental health professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers, soon endorsed the APA action. The decision to declassify homosexuality was accompanied by the passage of an APA Position Statement, which supported the protection of the civil rights of homosexual persons.

      Those are all groups of people. Duh! Thanks for proving you have really poor reading comprehension skills. LMAO!

      August 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Jen

      I have many experiences as well, none of which relate to being obsessed with gay people. BUT, that's probably because I'm STRAIGHT.

      Maybe you should have considered extending your education past fourth grade when going through your life experiences. Just a thought.....

      August 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • JWT

      The only thing that accepting gayness as a normal function of life has done to society is give the bigots something to whine about.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  13. Douglas

    There are no provisions for "gay marriage" in the Holy Bible.
    If GLBTQ folks want to co-habitate, that is OK. However, a careful review
    of Biblical instructions mandates that celibacy be maintained in any same s@x
    Christian pairing.
    Jesus gently told the harlot to sin no more as he rescued her from the mob ready to stone her
    for selling her flesh. And so it is with our GLBTQ brothers and sisters..."go and sin no more".
    Go and be celibate!

    You have my support and prayers of goodwill to proceed.

    Best, Douglas

    August 14, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Douglas

      Your bible is not the basis of law in the U.S., so it doesn't really matter what the "biblical" definition of marriage was (polygamy, not monogamy).

      August 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Melvin

      "There are no provisions for "gay marriage" in the Holy Bible.
      If GLBTQ folks want to co-habitate, that is OK. However, a careful review
      of Biblical instructions mandates that celibacy be maintained in any same s@x
      Christian pairing."

      No it doesn't.

      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.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • YeahRight

      "There are no provisions for "gay marriage" in the Holy Bible.
      If GLBTQ folks want to co-habitate, that is OK. However, a careful review
      of Biblical instructions mandates that celibacy be maintained in any same s@x"

      Actually prejudice Douglas aka Bob is WRONG which is why there are now thousands of gay churches welcoming and marrying gays. It's prejudice bigots that twist the scriptures to try and justify their hatred. The writers of the Bible had no idea of sexual orientation and wrote it based on their straight view points. The experts have now proven that heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      We all know that prejudice bigots like Douglas aka Bob can't handle the REAL facts so they lie over and over again.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Amos 8:11-12

      11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

      12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. (KJV)

      Amen.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • YeahRight

      "12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. (KJV)"

      Which is why prejudice bigots like Bob aka Douglas can't handle the real truth and have such poor reading comprehension skills because they are so blinded by their deep hatred.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  14. Bob

    JS IS MAJOR BS AND ITS A REPOST BY BOOMERANG

    August 14, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  15. JS

    Christians are increasingly divided over the issue of the acceptance and inclusion of gay persons into the church. The debate itself is usually framed as essentially pitting the Bible, on one hand, against compassion and social justice on the other. Our Christian hearts, runs the (usually impassioned) argument, compel us to grant full moral and legal equality to gay and lesbian people; our Christian faith, comes the (usually impassioned) rebuttal, compels us to cleave, above all, to the word of God.

    Compassion for others is the fundamental cornerstone of Christian ethics; the Bible is the bedrock of the Christian faith. What Christian can possibly choose between the two?

    The answer is that no Christian is called upon to make that choice. The text of the Bible on one hand, and full equality for gay and lesbian people on the other, is a false dichotomy. God would not ask or expect Christians to ever choose between their heart and their faith.

    Reconciling the Bible with unqualified acceptance and equality for LGBT people does not necessitate discounting, recasting, deconstructing or reinterpreting the Bible. All it takes is reading those passages of the Bible wherein homosexuality is mentioned with the same care we would any other passage of the book.

    We can trust God; we can trust that God is loving.

    And we can trust that we can - and that we certainly should - take God, in this matter, as in all things, at his Word.

    If there is no clearly stated directive in the Bible to marginalize and ostracize gay people, then Christians continuing to do so is morally indefensible, and must cease.

    What cannot be denied is that Christians have caused a great deal of pain and suffering to gay persons, by:

    Banning their participation in the church, thus depriving them of the comforts and spiritual fruits of the church;

    Banning their participation in the sacrament of marriage, thus depriving them of the comforts and spiritual fruits of marriage;

    Damaging the bonds between gays and their straight family members, thus weakening the comforts and spiritual fruits of family life for both gays and their families; and

    Using their position within society as spokespersons for God to proclaim that all homosexual relations are disdained by God, thus knowingly contributing to the cruel persecution of a minority population.

    Christians do not deny that they have done these things. However, they contend that they have no choice but to do these things, based on what they say is a clear directive about homosexuals delivered to them by God through the Holy Bible. They say that the Bible defines all homosexual acts as sinful, instructs them to exclude from full participation in the church all non-repentant sinners (including gay people), and morally calls upon them to publicly (or at least resolutely) denounce homosexual acts.

    Without an explicit directive from God to exclude and condemn homosexuals, the Christian community's treatment of gay persons is in clear violation of what Jesus and the New Testament writers pointedly identified as the most important commandment from God: to love one's neighbor as one's self.

    The gay community has cried out for justice to Christians, who have a biblically mandated obligation to be just. Because the mistreatment of gay persons by Christians is so severe, the directive from God to marginalize and ostracize gay people must be clear and explicit in the Bible. If there is no such clearly stated directive, then the continued Christian mistreatment of gay and lesbian people is morally indefensible, and must cease.

    The Bible is not a contract, or a set of instructions, with each passage spelling out something clear and specific. It is not a rulebook for being Christian. It is instead a widely varying collection of poetry, history, proverbs, moral directives, parables, letters and wondrous visions. We would be foolish to fail to understand that not everything in the Bible is a commandment, and that Christians cannot take any small section of the Bible out of its own context, and still hope to gain a clear understanding of its meaning.

    We can be confident that Paul was not writing to, or about, gay people, because he simply could not have been, any more than he could have written about smart phones or iPads. We do not know what Paul might write or say today about gay people. All we know is that in the New Testament he wrote about promiscuous, predatory, non-consensual same-sex acts between heterosexuals.

    If we are to rely on the Bible, then we must take its text as it is. It does condemn homosexual (and heterosexual) sex that is excessive, exploitive and outside of marriage. It does not, however, address the state of homosexuality itself - much less the subject of homosexual acts between a married gay couple. Christians therefore have no Bible-based moral justification for themselves condemning such acts.

    Because there was no concept of gay marriage when the Bible was written, the Bible does not, and could not, address the sinfulness of homosexual acts done within the context of gay marriage.

    The Bible routinely, clearly and strongly classifies all sex acts outside of the bonds of marriage as sinful. But, because there was no concept of gay people when the Bible was written, the Bible does not, and could not, address the sinfulness of homosexual acts done within the context of marriage. Christians therefore have no biblical basis for themselves condemning such acts.

    In fact, by denying marriage equality to gay people, Christians are compelling gay couples to sin, because their intimacy must happen outside of marriage, and is therefore, by biblical definition, sinful.

    Being personally repelled by homosexual sex doesn't make homosexual sex a sin.

    Christians cite as additional evidence of the inherent sinfulness of homosexual acts their raw emotional response to such acts. It is understandable that many straight people find homosexual sex repugnant (just as many gay people find heterosexual sex repugnant). It is normal for any one of us to be viscerally repelled by the idea of sex between, or with, people for whom we personally have no sexual attraction. It may feel to a straight Christian that their instinctive negative reaction to homosexual sex arises out of the Bible. But all of us necessarily view the Bible through the lens of our own experiences and prejudices; and we must be very careful to ensure that lens does not distort our vision or understanding of God's sacrosanct word.

    "The greatest of these is love."

    The overriding message of Jesus was love. Jesus modeled love; Jesus preached love; Jesus was love. Christians desiring to do and live the will of Jesus are morally obliged to always err on the side of love.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  16. YeahRight

    "Gal 5:26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another."

    Yet Bob is doing this very thing. Keep showing you can't even follow you're own rule book, hypocrite. LOL!

    August 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  17. Bob

    Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
    Gal 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
    Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
    Gal 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
    Gal 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
    Gal 5:21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
    Gal 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
    Gal 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
    Gal 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
    Gal 5:26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  18. myfamilyneedsamiracle

    God bless you all. Please read our story and help if you can. I have a medically needy daughter and I don't know where else to turn.

    http://www.myfamilyneedsamiracle.wordpress.com

    August 14, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  19. Erik

    "GLBTQ fornication"

    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 14, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Bob

      So how many genes contribute to being gay since you said that many contribute, and while your at it tell us which ones? Actually it is in dispute about the possibility of change for gays and even the APA was doing just that before they were violently assaulted by gays and gave in and took them off the DSM.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "So how many genes contribute to being gay since you said that many contribute, and while your at it tell us which ones? Actually it is in dispute about the possibility of change for gays and even the APA was doing just that before they were violently assaulted by gays and gave in and took them off the DSM."

      More lies from the prejudice TROLL named Bob aka Douglas aka herbie aka.... LMAO – You can't even follow one of the basic ten commandments. By the way your poor reading comprehension is showing again. It's a lot more experts than just the APA – Duh! 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 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  20. YeahRight

    "The unintended consequence of these supportive actions have opened a virtual Pandora's box, revealing a smorgasboard of s@xu=al depravity that runs the gamut from NAMBLA"

    This just shows the deep prejudice and hatred that Douglas aka Bob has towards the gay community.The experts around the world have proven this prejudice view is 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."

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

    August 14, 2012 at 11:09 am |
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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.