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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. John

    In days gone by, it was reasonable for Christians not to question conventional wisdom about the Bible. Because everyone used the Bible to justify slavery, for instance, Christians were OK with believing that some of their fellow human beings were just another species of farm animal they rightfully owned. Later, we Christians were entirely comfortable using the Bible to justify the atrocious idea that women are second-class citizens too simple-minded to be trusted with the vote.

    And up until the Internet made readily available all kinds of previously inaccessible knowledge and information, we could be excused for believing that the Bible indisputably states that God considers homosexual love a moral abomination.

    Today, however, anyone who can read, or simply watch YouTube videos, is forced to acknowledge the absolute credibility of the universe of scholarship, and the reasoning based upon it which unequivocally proves that the Bible does not, in fact, oblige Christians to believe that homosexual love, in and of itself, is necessarily any less moral than is heterosexual love.

    That closet door is now swung wide open. The truth of the matter is now there for anyone to behold.

    Christians today who take seriously the search for truth must admit that the old axiom that homosexuality is a sin has been forever reduced in status from objective truth to subjective opinion. From fact to belief. From beyond question to unquestionably dubious.

    Believing that homosexual love is a condemnable sin, in other words, is now a choice one must make.

    And what Christian, what person at all? - would choose ignorant condemnation over enlightened love?

    November 14, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Bob

      The Bible has not changed and neither have people only technology so that means there is no justification for gay marriage in the Bible. Liars,deceivers, bend the truth they are not the ones who know what the Bible says or doesn't say and they don't know God so are you dumb enough to listen to their opinion when they know nothing?? Go to the source not the liar.

      November 14, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • James

      "no justification for gay marriage "

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

      November 14, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • End Religion

      "The Bible has not changed"
      Bob, use your head for something other than a hat rack. Before the bible was written down it was spread via word of mouth, and was originally based on previous myths. It changed plenty each time it was told, and then when written, was in a language that had to be translated a few times. the bible has changed over and over again until it was printed, and then it changed again into various languages and versions depending on which branch of the cult you subscribe to. The words you hold so dear and holy could not possibly be the original words.

      November 15, 2012 at 2:08 am |
  2. John

    "Let them know you are praying for their deliverance from sin."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    November 14, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  3. Bob

    My view of the rulings and history is consistent with the History and intent of the US yours is consistent with being a atheist and the failings that are now being shown. You would love to have us forget where we came from I would prefer to adhere and be faithful to the founding fathers and the US. A lie doesn't have to be big it only has to be given to those ignorant of the truth.

    November 14, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • midwest rail

      The Mayflower Compact has no bearing whatever on the intent of the founders. Next.

      November 14, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • Bob

      Middy ,blind as usual so the ones who started this country and why have no bearing on the country?? WTH?? You have no conception of establishing something and being faithful to that which was because you and your atheist friends are like a virus that take over the host and eventually terminate the very life that hosted them.

      November 14, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • midwest rail

      Nonsense.

      November 14, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • End Religion

      Hey Bob, guess what we're terminating next?

      November 15, 2012 at 2:12 am |
  4. Douglas

    The journey from fornication to celibacy is not easy for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters striving to live
    as Christians in an unforgiving world.
    Coming from a place of rejection, many LGBTQ folk find the acceptance and affirmation they have been seeking for years
    when they begin their quest for Christian living.
    In many of the roundtables I've facilitated over the years, I have witnessed the stunning transformation of LGBTQ folks from lives of fornication to lives of celibacy.
    Anything is possible through Christ. His grace is sufficient.

    Honor and respect LGBTQ celibates at your place of worship. Let them know you are praying for their deliverance from sin.

    With allies by their side, LGBTQ folk can transform their lives and jettison the excess baggage of fornication forever.

    Through the practive of celibacy souls will be delivered and saved.

    Start a celibacy support circle at your place of worship today!

    November 14, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Amy

      What you are suggesting is harmful. Many Christians are accepting of gays for who they are – ENTIRELY – with no restrictions place on them – that's what acceptance and inclusiveness is – anything short of that is just trying satisfy some deluded person's bigotry. Jesus was not about judging people that way. That's why he made things simple and commanded his followers to love one another. He demonstrated by his own actions that that was more important than anything else. If you're placing someone else's bigotry or ideas (including other people in the Bible) above Jesus, then you simply are not following Jesus' teaching. You've missed the point, as he had to tell even his closest followers. There are plenty of churches that will accept you fully the way you are – celibacy is not natural. We see the effects it has had on the Catholic church.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • Observer

      Douglas,

      Celibacy is not normal for most people. Don't tell people they aren't "normal" and then try to force them into something that isn't normal.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • William

      "Through the practive of celibacy souls will be delivered and saved."

      DEon't listen to ignorant people like this Douglas and those like him. Just as too much sexual activity can harm your prostate gland, no activity in your prostate gland can also cause serious health problems. Sex is a normal for overall well being and health. Douglas is coming from a place of ignorance, hatred and prejudice so please don't listen to anything he posts.

      November 14, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • James

      "Let them know you are praying for their deliverance from sin."

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

      November 14, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Phil

      "Start a celibacy support circle "

      This person is not someone who understands what real loving relationships are about. The belief that sex is not important is a dangerous and intimacy-eroding myth. Sex provides an important time-out from the pressures of our daily lives and allows us to experience a quality level of closeness, vulnerability and sharing with our partners. If your sex life is unfulfilled, it becomes a gigantic issue. People like Douglas are dangerous for our society and don't understand the fundamental of human intimacy, gays or lesbians.

      November 14, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Bob

      Wow now how liberal are these atheists that condemn the very one they are proclaiming to want to secure rights for??? This is exactly what I am talking about they use the issue to push forward their agenda yet really don't care for anyone. Who do you really want to run a government atheists that once they get their own way will be like Ceaser or Christians that have a constant reminder that God is watching them. I think it becomes abundantly clear. Douglas keep up the good work.

      November 14, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Wow now how liberal are these atheists that condemn the very one they are proclaiming to want to secure rights for??? "

      This is coming from a person who has posted lie after lie from well known hate groups and can't even follow one of the bibles basic's teaching. This poster is a troll on this thread and they are only here to try and spread their unfounded hate and bigotry toward the gay community. There are hundred of thousands of experts in this country that have proven this poster wrong but their ego can't handle the real facts.

      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."

      November 14, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Damocles

      @bob

      I have absolutely no problem with anyone wanting to remain celibate, but to try and coerce someone into it by saying they are going against a deity is wrong. Does Doug's church offer 'celibacy circles' for hetero people? Probably not, but even if it did, it'd still be wrong.

      November 14, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • End Religion

      I think the issue here is that Bob and Douglas have taken a shine to one another and are trying to grapple with their self-hatred.

      November 15, 2012 at 2:15 am |
  5. Ramon

    The other day I decided to take a break to watch Mythbu sters, one of my most DVR'd shows. Each episode, hosts Adam and Jamie and their team turn physics into fun by proving or disproving common urban legends and household myths. Can an alligator really travel up a toilet? Can ninjas run on water? Will your stomach explode if you eat Mentos and Diet Coke? The myths are endless and so are the old wives tales to which we model our habits.

    I watch with nerdy fascination as they blow things up and crush other things. I usually believe the scientific explanations given by Adam, Jamie and the other uber-geeks. But for some reason there was one myth-buster I had a difficult time believing. It was the legend that bullets that fly in the air can kill people on their way back down to Earth.

    No matter how many times Adam and Jamie proved that the impact of a bullet coming back down to Earth after being shot straight in the air is not fatal, I shook my head in disbelief. I've never experienced a gunshot, neither have I met a person who has been injured by a descending bullet. Yet, I still found it hard to believe Adam and Jamie. I believed every other mythbuster they presented. Why not this one?

    After probably too much thought, I realized that the reason why I refused to believe was because I fear gun and bullets. So no matter what proof was presented to me, my natural instinct was to gravitate towards what has always been ingrained in my head: Guns are bad and bullets kill. I had no proof, just fear. And that fear taught me to hold on to what I've always been told, without question.

    I'm not advocating for guns or the fun of physics; I'm showing you how easily we can revert back to what we've always been taught when a topic becomes too sensitive or causes great pain. This often happens when one is dealing with being gay and religious.

    I'm sure you've heard it all, especially being as devout as you are: Gay people are going to hell; homosexuality is an abomination; God hates gays... The list of sins and the interpretations are endless and so is your confusion.

    As I learned, seeing is not always believing; and believing is definitely not always seeing.

    I don't believe God would put a gay person on this Earth to be an "abomination." Being gay is not bad; it's who you are—a loving creation of God. I won't lie, there are many people in your faith that will try and convince you otherwise. All I can urge is that you trust yourself, your own feelings and your own relationship with God.

    Don't get caught in the religious hype that preaches of a hateful deity or a list of sins with no practical relevance. Bust the myth and trust in your own proof; Your love for God and his love for you.

    November 13, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  6. Lorraine

    UhOh, YOU WISH!!! JUST LIKE A WOMAN, I HAD TO HAVE THAT LAST WORD! LOL, WELL IM A TRUE GIRL.

    November 13, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  7. Lorraine

    WELL TAKE IT UP WITH THE BOSS, THE KING YHWH. BUT IF YOU NEED SOMEONE TO BOX WITH OK PICK ON ME, CAUSE YO ARMS ARE TOO SHORT TO BOX WITH YHWH, LOL HA HA! I WROTE BIG FOR THOSE WHO SEEM TO BE BLIND HERE, I AM PERFECTLY FINE DEARY.IM NOT STRICKING OUT, OR ATTACKING ANYONE. , PRAISE YHWH.

    November 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      You are either highly insecure in your own beliefs, or you're a very dedicated poe.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're off your gourd.

      Get a new act.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Lorraine

      hawiii, you stupid, as much as i've been posting here, insecure this shows your attention span, and competence level, lol. oooh, dang ya'll funny. The men here are like girls, they argue more than two women over a man, just saying. Jeremiah 50:37, in play!!!! YHWH BLESS.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Quite a change in writing style. So who is it that is using Lorraines name for this post.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • UhOh

      Hawii, you struck a nerve and Lorraine has been drinking too much based on that last post. Comon' girlfriend, drink some more so you can sound really stupid next time.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • TrollAlert

      Lorraine, is not herself, it must be a troll.

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "John 3:16" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" is the degenerate.

      This troll is not a christian.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Really, and i am not trying to be sarcastic or anything, the men are weak natured here, for the man i know wont argue, wont fret, just his silence alone, will make a woman beg on her knees for his forgiveness, and call ourselves wrong, oooh now that's a MAN. For he leaves the bickering to us women. lol sorry fellas, oh, and lady's i know a real man is hard to find, AND probably why many wemon, and men have changed partners, in these Jeremiah 50:37 days, i just had to say that, ya'll are fun, and funny, forgive me, where is my humbility, for THIS IS NOT RIGHT lol Ooh boy. YWHW BLESS.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Lorraine

      I meant HUMILITY, A TRULY STRONG MAN DOES NOT BICKER, HE KNOWS HOW TO GUIDE AND CALM.

      November 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • lol.

      "I meant HUMILITY"

      It might help if you actually knew what that really means, which by your posts you don't.

      –not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful. – which means you wouldn't be typing in all caps because obviously you are arrogant.

      –having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience – which you don't since you keep posting your same stupid posts over and over again.

      –courteously respectful – which you haven't been proven by your posts.

      November 13, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Lorraine

      lol, that is why i said where is it my humility ,see, righteousness is a process that's why i don't judge we are all in this sweetie, getting it right, admiting that you're wrong is a start. dang. YHWH BLESS.

      November 13, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Lorraine

      lol, and stop lying, don't try to fork tongue me; i am always courteous, i was just having a bit of fun for once, they are so funny here sometimes, lighten up.

      November 13, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  8. Melvin

    "God would recognize or bless gay-marriage"

    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.

    November 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  9. Saykin

    The funny thing here is that nothing this man references even comes close to supporting his ultimate argument that God would recognize or bless gay-marriage. He is simply inserting into this article what HE thinks is being conveyed and it's bunk. Beware guys, in my humble opinion this man is just one of many that exists or is yet to come whose sole purpose is to lead people astray in these end-times (only the true Christians know this is truly the end times we're living) and take note that it is the liberal websites like CNN that are complicit towards this endeavor. It only gives those here the right to spew false teaching and garbage at Christians

    November 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, for the love of Pete, you crazies have been yapping about the "end times" for 2000 years. Give it up, already.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "Saykin"degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" is a degenerate.

      This troll is not a christian.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • JWT

      There are quite a few christian churches that accept and perform gay marriages too. They are also true christians with a diffetent interpretation that yours of what the bible says.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • mama k

      True JWT – in fact there are entire umbrella religious associations of churches. I gave an example on the previous page. Regardless, it will matter not as the issue against gay marriage is soon found unconstitutional in the rest of the states. Civil rights is a hard one to pull off on people for very long once it gets rolling.

      Also, Saykin, when you said "only the true Christians", that was the end of my taking anything you had to say seriously. Many Christians like to think of themselves as the only ones who can interpret their conflicted book properly. That's because it is built right into the religion from the start. One can take any side of any argument and argue it from the conflicted rehashed folklore that is known as the Bible. So it is no surprise that we see Christians telling each other they are not Christians as much as we hear them say that to non-Christians.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • mama k

      End of my 1st paragraph should really say:

      Infringing on civil rights is a hard one to pull off on people for very long once it gets rolling.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  10. Erik

    "gays overwhelmingly believed their feelings and behavior were the result of social or environmental "

    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.

    November 13, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  11. YeahRight

    "hetero in the same study said that their references and behavior were learned"

    More lies posted from Bob who uses well known hate sites that have been proven their research is flawed. The hundred of thousands of experts in this country have stated that heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    November 13, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
  12. Bob

    Two large studies asked gays to explain the origins of their desires and behaviors, how they became gay. The first of these studies was conducted by Kinsey in the 1940s and involved 1700 gay. The second, in 1970, involved 979 gays. Both were conducted prior to the period when the gay rights, movement started to politicize the issue of gay origins. Both reported the same findings, gays overwhelmingly believed their feelings and behavior were the result of social or environmental influences. In a 1983 study conducted by the Family Research involving a random sample of 147 gay 35% said their desires were hereditary. Interestingly, almost 80% of the 3,400 hetero in the same study said that their references and behavior were learned

    November 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're citing studies done in the 40s and ones done by the friggin' Family Research Council? You moron. Don't insult the intelligence of those reading your asinine posts. If you can't cite something current that's been conducted by a RELIABLE, NEUTRAL researcher, then you should just give up, because you have nothing.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • EndTheHate

      Bob has to hang onto his false reports because he's to insecure to face his fears. He's a coward which is the backbone of those that belong to his religion.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I really wonder why Boob is so fixated on this issue. He must think about it day and night.

      Why is that, Boob?

      November 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Robert

      "I really wonder why Boob is so fixated on this issue. He must think about it day and night. "

      A series of studies recently published in the prestigious Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2012 found higher levels of homophobia in individuals with unacknowledged attractions to the same sex, particularly when they grew up with authoritarian parents who also held homophobic attitudes. In the university press release "Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves." In the same release "In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward."

      November 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • mama k

      I don't believe the results of those tests would be taken seriously by today's standards and understanding on the issue.

      Regardless, Bob, you are on the wrong side of a civil rights issue. Civil rights guaranteed by our Constitution. And although the basic rights our government has afforded has changed little, what has changed is laws and rulings that better and better uphold those basic principles. It's happened many times before, it will happen for this cause, and I'm sure it will continue to be applied in better ways in the future. So get ready, Bob. There is absolutely no stopping the gay marriage issue because, as others have pointed out, it is a civil rights issue and those state laws against it will all soon be found unconstitutional. And it matters not what's in the Bible (which I'm sure you've found many who disagree with you on that), because our country was not founded on what's in the Bible. In fact, the people who founded our country were pretty PO'd at organized religion at the time because of fighting between religious fanatics like yourself over various issues in their home states (and because they were a little high on Deism at the time).

      November 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • mama k

      Speaking of Deism, I guess I have to thank Chad for pushing me to find this quote from John Adams. Of course it's easy to find quotes from TJ and JM showing their resolve to establish a secular government and their Deistic views, but this one caught me off guard. So Deistic in nature I think:

      The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

      [..]

      Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.

      (John Adams – A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America [1787-1788])

      November 13, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Bob

      We are a Christian Nation founded on the Bible and in this George Washington’s farewell address he makes that perfectly clear. Our forefathers never wanted the judges to be the ones to rule public policy. These and gov should all be locked up for the act of subverting the peoples will on this issue of gay marriage. Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the idea that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular gov. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free gov. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

      November 13, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Brent

      "We are a Christian Nation founded on the Bible "

      Religion-based bigotry use religious teachings to justify discrimination against Native Americans, African Americans, minority religious groups, woman and interracial couples.

      Connecting the dots between historical bigotry against other groups and the attitudes of some people today toward homosexuality is one of the most effective ways to educate people about the denial of equal rights to the LGBT community.

      Most people know that, historically, religion has been used to justify discrimination against women, religious minorities and people of color. Putting anti-gay religious beliefs in this historical context can be a powerful tool in connecting discrimination that most Americans today accept as morally wrong and the discrimination faced by LGBT people. By citing historical instances of religion-based bigotry and prejudice, you allow people to be more comfortable with attitudinal change – they realize they are not stepping out alone against a commonly accepted viewpoint but rather following historical progress toward justice and equality.

      When talking about the misuse of religion to justify discrimination in the past, it is important not to say that the LGBT community’s struggle with discrimination is exactly the same as the Civil Rights Movement. Rather, the point is that religion-based bigotry has been a common denominator of injustice toward many groups in American society’s past. When given a chance, many people will see the underlying historical pattern of using religious teachings and beliefs to justify harmful discrimination.

      There is another benefit to citing other times in the past when religious teachings have been used to justify discrimination. Many times, when people of faith are challenged about their anti-gay views, they cite biblical verses or other religious texts as a safe haven when they are unable to articulate why they hold prejudiced attitudes toward LGBT people. Instead of telling people that their interpretation is wrong, you can remind them that other religious texts have been used in the past to justify attitudes and laws that are recognized today as morally wrong and unjust – such as discrimination against women, people of color and religious minorities.

      History provides the moral judgment, and we do not have to be theologians engaged in scriptural debates to point people to the judgment rendered by history.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • mama k

      Wow. Christian Nation? Founded on the Bible? You really want to do down that road with me, Bob? And all you have is a farewell address?

      Well, dear, Washington wasn't the chief architect of the Constitution & it's 1st Amendment that we live by today, was he? That fell to James Madison with a lot of input from Thomas Jefferson. They were highly affected by Deism at the time. They were also fed up with different Christian sects feuding in their home states at the time, enough so that Madison had this to say to the Virginia General Assembly:

      During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

      (A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785)

      ten years later, he said this:

      Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?

      (A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of VA, 1795)

      During his presidency, James Madison vetoed two bills that he believed would violate the separation of church and state. He also came to oppose the long-established practice of employing chaplains at public expense in the House of Representatives and Senate on the grounds that it violated the separation of church and state and the principles of religious freedom**.

      ** Library of Congress – James Madison Papers – Detached memorandum, ca. 1823.

      Finally, from a letter to Robert Walsh, March 2, 1819, Madison's view of the government is clear:

      It was the Universal opinion of the Century preceding the last, that Civil Govt could not stand without the prop of a Religious establishment, & that the Xn religion itself, would perish if not supported by a legal provision for its Clergy. The experience of Virginia conspicuously corroborates the disproof of both opinions. The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State..

      OK, I hope you're taking notes, Bob. Now we haven't even touched Thomas Jefferson, Treaty of Tripoli and some other things, but I didn't want to over-do.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Bob

      K your pride of your knowledge is unfounded I will be more than happy to go there with you. While Thomas Jefferson may have been classified as a deist he also had his own Bible that was quotes from Jesus own words. Jefferson also did more to fund the church from the government than almost any other President in history. He also mandated a Pastor to be paid for Congress by the gov and I can go on. Not to mention drop the bs of separation of church and state. It was one letter not even written to Congress but written to Baptists to guarantee that the gov would not mandate a religion. Also the first school books were the Bible. Even our supreme court ruled that the US was a Christian Nation. I will be more than happy to give all the info for you. But as I am sure that you already know this. Typical!

      November 13, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Veritas

      His bible was more a collection of passages c&p from the "standard" bibles that he felt were not too far off.

      November 13, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • redzoa

      Why do I suspect Bob's sources are either David Barton or others quoting David Barton?

      November 13, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • mama k

      Of course the founders were raised Christian, Bob, and yes, they also even helped their churches – James Madison helped establish the Anglicans in America as Episcopalians, but history shows that they, like many of the intellectual peers of their time were heavily influenced by Deism – more so as adults. Add to that the anger that they had over fighting Christians of their own kind and others that I mentioned above, and that resulted in the resolve and urgency for them to want and draft a Constitution and 1st Amendment that specified a secular government based on freedom. Chaplains was an oversight on their part, and what I already mentioned (Madison's detached papers) shows Madison expressed his views that it was a mistake. The important thing is that they laid out the Constitution and its Amendments with a clear intent for the government to do its primary work (legislation) in a secular manner, aside from any traditional, ceremonial prayer, proclamations, etc. That is what is stated in the 1st Amendment. Madison knew it would not be able to achieve the goals of the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment without removing religion as much as possible from the primary duties of the government. My last (previous post) above shows his satisfaction that this idea had progressed nicely. I would urge anyone reading this to research all the sources that I provided – I'm sure they would certainly would find that what I have written is not unfounded. (Actually, I wonder if anyone knows what Bob meant by "K your pride of your knowledge is unfounded" –that doesn't much make sense.)

      The Const<itution is the point. That's what we live by. That's the document, with its 1st Amendment upon which the Supreme Court ruled in 1962 and 1963 to say the mandated prayer and Bible readings in public schools is unconstitutional. You seem to see things a different way. I see that the current law we have reflects both those rulings and what Madison's intent was. Sure these men spouted off all kinds of religion – but mostly for ceremonial purposes. But when we begin to examine their writings about how government should work and see how it lead to the key documents, we see a clear intent for a secular government. So you can try your best to lay some Wall Builder/revisionism crap on me Bob, but be prepared. I'll put sources down for each quote I have talking about how they felt about government's objectives. So let's see, regarding that case, Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, which wasn't really about religion, the majority writer later wrote that it was a mistake to make that claim – he even did so in a book he wrote in 1905. So that's of little consequence especially in light of how the Constitution and the 1st Amendment and decisions upon the 1st Amendment have played out since (for cases actually pertaining to religion).

      I think, Bob, people could care less today that Jefferson/Madison carried a Bible and occasionally attended service as an adult. Or that he referenced God or prayed as a ceremonial component of government events. What is important to us today is Madison's view of how government should legislate with respect to religious involvement.

      Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

      (James Madison – Letter to Edward Livingston – 10 – Jul – 1822)

      Here is another quote from A Memorial Remonstrance:

      What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.

      (Jame Madison – A Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785, delivered to the Virginia General Assembly)

      And if it's a secular government and we have arrived more and more to that end as a result of the original intent of the key founders, then I think we can certainly say that we have never been a Christian nation and we were certainly not founded on the Bible.

      November 14, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • mama k

      I'm going to repeat this quote from John Adams from my earlier post since it shows that Deism reached even the more conservative of the key founders – it speaks of a government with no mention of religion as a component or as a cause or as a necessity:

      The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

      Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.

      (John Adams – A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America [1787-1788])

      November 14, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • Bob

      The Mayflower Compact is as follows In the name of God, Amen. We, Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith, and the honor, a voyage to plant the first colony in Virg-inia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another; covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid and by virtue hereof to enact,

      November 14, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • Bob

      Weather done out of self service or ignorance it would be good to study up on your history. To respect the US and those who made it instead of subverting it with personal views.

      November 14, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • midwest rail

      The Mayflower Compact was written in 1620, over 150 years before any of the founding docu-ments of our country. Deliberate misrepresentation is a sure sign of desperation. Next.

      November 14, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • mama k

      Mayflower Compact? Really, Bob? Which do we live more by today, Bob – the Constitution or the Mayflower Compact? You're the one who needs a history lesson, Bob. You and a lot of people. I can take weeks to show you the founders' intent using their own words, Bob, if you really need some basics in U.S. history. I've already given several quotes regarding the Madison's intent around the time of the founding. And you call that ignorance and personal views? I don't see anything from you refuting those quotes yet, Bob.

      Did you think when all the different kinds of Christians first populated the colonies that there was just peace everywhere? My goodness. Around the time of the founding, Quakers were being hung in Massachusetts, and there was terrible persecution between Christian sects in just about all the states (or soon to be states). Virginia was by far, no exception. Anglicans were persecuting Baptists. Madison became furious with his own kind because of that. That's why he sounded so angry in the quote I gave in my recent post above ("A Memorial and Remonstrance" to the VA General Assembly"), accusing his fellow Anglicans of bigotry and persecution. Guess who was there to witness all this persecution in Virginia around the time of the founding, Bob? Not only Madison. But Monroe, Mason, Washington, and Jefferson – all Virginian key founders that Madison consulted. They didn't agree on all issues, but they all agreed on the need to keep religion out of government's primary duties. And if they didn't they would not have pushed for the ratification of the Constitution.

      And maybe you missed the part, Bob, where I mentioned proclamations, ceremonial things. No one is arguing that early Christians used the name of their God. (Although it is interesting that we don't really see them using anything in our key documents that specifies Christianity nor a specific god, like the God of Israel or the God of Abraham – they knew to keep that part short.) That's not the point here when we are discussing people's rights and the laws we live by today. I don't argue with people, Bob who say the founders were Christians. I don't argue if they say the founders' core ideals for government reflect ideals that are also Christian. I don't argue if someone says we have mostly Christian population. But what is not helpful, Bob, is someone say we were founded on Christianity (or the Bible) or that we are a Christian nation, because those statements are not true – a serious distortion of U.S. history and where we stand today. The latter of course, being divisive for anyone that doesn't happen to be just like you.

      Finally, you wrote: "Weather done out of self service or ignorance it would be good to study up on your history."

      What the hell does the weather have to do with anything, Bob? Do we need some basic English before we come back to U.S. history?

      Again, so far, I've been showing, with quotes, intent on the part of Madison regarding founding principles for the government regarding religion. I like to start with him since he was the chief architect of the Constitution and its 1st Amendment. You've written a few things about Jefferson. You haven't heard from me on him – yet.

      I would urge others reading this to scan up, to previous pages if necessary, to see what I have provided in support of my opinion. These posts include quotes from our key founders.

      November 14, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  13. End Religion

    The Benefits of Swallowing – Drink of the Living Water
    Aside from swallowing semen as a measure to prevent the waste and spillage of seed, ingesting ejaculate can have spiritual benefits, as we will see. Although the Old Testament makes reference to the bitterness of semen (And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water. [Numbers 5:24]), the New Testament casts the act of consuming ejaculate in a much more affirming light, as in the following passage, where Jesus speaks to the woman of Samaria about the gift of 'living water':

    Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, "Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." 11 The woman said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?...15 The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water." 16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come back." (John 4:10-16)

    'Living water' in this context refers to semen, which literally is the liquid of life. As Christ indicates, drinking of the 'living water' provides a spiritual replenishment for the soul. When the woman asks Jesus where she can get this 'water', he tells her to fetch her husband, clearly with the intention of instructing her on how to fellate him and swallow his semen.

    November 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  14. End Religion

    The Necessity of Swallowing – The Sin of Spilling Seed
    Most of us are familiar with the Biblical story of Onan, whose sin against God was that of spilling his seed on the ground:

    And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also. (Genesis 38:9)
    This scriptural passage has traditionally been used as an injunction against masturbation. However, upon closer reading, it becomes apparent that this scenario has nothing to do with masturbation at all. Onan was not masturbating; he was copulating with his brother's wife (and there was a good reason for that, in God's plan). His sin was pulling out (coitus interruptus) and ejaculating on the ground rather than into the woman. He did so in order to avoid impregnating her. However, he could have easily avoided God's wrath (and the penalty of death), by simply having the woman fellate him and then swallow his semen. This would have kept him from impregnating her, as well as completely prevented the spilling of seed that was an offense in God's eyes.

    The extreme case of Onan aside, how bad is it in general to spill semen? The Old Testament ranks it with other acts of uncleanliness that meet with God's disapproval: And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even. 17 And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even. (Leviticus 15:16-17) Getting ejaculate on oneself or one's clothing results in uncleanness that requires extensive reparations and atonement. Obviously one simple way to prevent the spillage of semen is to have your partner perform fellatio and swallow the emission. In fact, in light of these scriptures, performing fellatio to completion and then spitting out the resulting emission seems almost unthinkable.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  15. End Religion

    'His Fruit Was Sweet to My Taste'
    In Christian discussions concerning oral sex, the Song of Solomon is most frequently cited as an example of scriptural allusion to the act: Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. In his shade I took great delight and sat down, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. (Song of Solomon 2:3)

    While the previous passage refers to fellatio, the following can be read as a metaphor for cunnilingus: Awake, O north wind, and come, wind of the south; make my garden breathe out fragrance, let its spices be wafted abroad. May my beloved come into his garden and eat its choice fruits! (Song of Solomon 4:16)

    And again, the Song of Solomon urges lovers to eat and drink freely of one another's bodies: I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved. (Song of Solomon 5:1) This reading of the scriptures portrays the act of oral sex as both natural, like eating, and a joyful expression of love, passion, and sexual sharing between a man and woman.

    In the New Testament, this passage directs partners to render 'benevolence' to one another, which can be extended to performing oral sex on each other as part of their duty to the Lord and one another: Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. (Corinthians 7:33) Not only does this passage imply that oral sex between a man and woman is acceptable and desirable, but as we shall see, the Bible also provides more specific edicts concerning the completion of the oral sex act, namely swallowing the male emission.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  16. End Religion

    The Good News About Oral Sex
    Like anal sex, oral sex is the subject of much confusion and disagreement among the faithful. There are those who say that oral sex is unnatural because God did not intend our mouths to be used in such a manner. Others associate oral-genital contact with the sexual depravities of Sodom and Gomorrah. As you will see in the Scripture, neither one of these views is supported. Not only that, but oral sex has benefits that are of particular importance to Christians: oral sex allows the natural prevention of unwanted pregnancy and is an alternative to premarital intercourse for those committed to preserving their chastity before marriage.

    There is nothing in the Bible that forbids engaging in acts of oral-genital contact. Oral sex has wrongly been grouped in with 'sodomy' and the sexual sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. As we have seen with anal sex, this argument does not hold water, because the sins of the Sodomites were specifically homosexual and/or nonconsensual in nature. There is no way this could be extrapolated to argue against a heterosexual act of oral sex for mutual pleasure. On the other hand, the Bible does contain some favorable references to oral sex, some in poetic language and some more explicit.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  17. Lorraine

    JWT, Well according to THE KING YHWH, yes it does, all nations, and the people period upon this earth, as said in Isaiah 56. But yes, there is a choice, so as i've said before, to each his own, we are all responsible for our own here dear, man can do his law, no judging from me, its THE WORD, THE LAW OF YHWH not mine. YHWH BLESS.

    November 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • End Religion

      judging again yet claiming you're not?

      November 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Lorraine

      End Religion, these are the scriptures not my words, i tried to give you the proof but they wont let it post.TOO BAD THEY KEEP MANY MISLED.

      I AGREE 'END RELIGION, FOR ALL RELIGIONS ARE IDOLATRY. THE KING YHWH IS A LAW OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND PEACE, THAT'S NOT RELIGION THAT IS JUST RIGHT, AND AS ISAIAH 59, SAYS 'PERVERSENESS' IS NOT OF YHWH, SO ORAL,ANAL WOULD BE WRONG TO YHWH, FOR IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PROCREATION. I CAN'T JUDGE, FOR I HAVE TO DO MY OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS JUST LIKE ALL OF US IS EXPECTED TO DO FROM YHWH. THESE ARE THE QUOTED WORDS OF THE ALMIGHTY KING YHWH. PRAISE YHWH.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • UhOh

      End of Religion you made her blow her top, now she's screaming thinking it will make her point, but we all know she is pointless and full of shit. Nice job dude!

      November 13, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • End Religion

      Lorraine, if you can't manage a CAPSLOCK key, why should Yahweh expect you to manage passing along his precious messages?

      November 13, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • JWT

      There are a lot of religions in this world and a lot of holy books. While yours may be special to you there is nothing that makes it special to anyone else. Why believe yours instead of somebody else's that says similar things about believe or else. In fact as someone put it why do you not choose to die in glorious battle to get to valhalla ?

      There is no evidence to suggest one belief over another is correct or even that no belief is correct. I have chosen my way which is correct for me. You have chosen a different way which is correct for you. Since you have chosen to threaten with your hell it has been decreed that you will spend eternity listening to george bush speeches.

      November 14, 2012 at 7:06 am |
  18. Saykin

    Does anyone know what Elmo and pedophiles have in common?

    November 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • .

      They are both members of the church. Funny how you're fixated on pedophiles, you should stay away from children freak.

      November 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Saykin, Sorry but this guy recanted his allegation of being a minor of 16, he confessed of being the legal age to consent, oh well yeah Elmo is saved!!! that's if one doesn't have any problem with two consenting males of course. oooh, i judge not, not my call here.

      November 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • End Religion

      Lorraine why does every single one of your posts judge people and then go on to claim you're not doing so? You do realize it isn't up to you to judge, and with the amount you've done you'll be going to hell? Don't you?

      November 13, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Saykin

      It's unclear why the accuser suddenly changed his story but sources close to the situation tell TMZ, the accuser's attorney had been meeting with Clash's attorney as recent as an hour ago, discussing a financial settlement and 6-figures were on the table.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • .

      "situation tell TMZ"

      You just proved you're really stupid. You're quoting a Celebrity Gossip and Entertainment News site, how old are you 5?

      November 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "oooh, i judge not, not my call here."

      Then why are you here, you hypocrite?

      November 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Lorraine

      End Religion, AGAIN: these are IN the scriptures, AND ARE not my words, i tried to give you the proof but they wont let it post.TOO BAD THEY KEEP MANY MISLED.

      I AGREE 'END RELIGION, FOR ALL RELIGIONS ARE IDOLATRY. THE KING YHWH IS A LAW OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND PEACE, THAT'S NOT RELIGION THAT IS JUST RIGHT, AND AS ISAIAH 59, SAYS 'PERVERSENESS' IS NOT OF YHWH, SO ORAL,ANAL WOULD BE WRONG TO YHWH, FOR IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PROCREATION. I CAN'T JUDGE, FOR I HAVE TO DO MY OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS JUST LIKE ALL OF US IS EXPECTED TO DO FROM YHWH. THESE ARE THE QUOTED WORDS OF THE ALMIGHTY KING YHWH. PRAISE YHWH.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • UhOh

      Loraine has blown her top, now she's screaming thinking it will make her point, but we all know she is pointless and full of shit.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • End Religion

      More judging from Lorraine, right hand of the imaginary Yahweh.

      November 13, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  19. Lorraine

    tompiper, & who ever cares; THE PREDICTIONS ARE IN JEREMIAH 50:37, MEN BECOMING AS WOMEN; MALACHI 3:13-15, OF THE PROUD DOING WHATEVER, AND HAPPY ABOUT IT, CALLING IT GOOD; AND ISAIAH 3:12, OF CHILDREN BEING OUR OPPRESSORS. ALL PREDICTED FOR OUR TIMES TODAY, THE SWORD IS UPON THE EARTH JEREMIAH 25, for the longest now (over 2000yrs), FROM DISOBEYING YHWH & HIS LAW. dang!! ya'll so blind. but in Isaiah 43:18-21, YHWH will avenge these iniquities soon, His righteousness is near in Isaiah 51:5. PRAISE KING YHWH.

    November 13, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • JWT

      Your god's righteousness has nothign to do with me, never has and never will. It has to do with you perhaps which is fine for you.

      November 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • End Religion

      judging again?

      November 13, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Lorraine

      END RELIGION, NO, THESE ARE THE SCRIPTURES, I HAVE THEM LISTED, AND NAMED, THESE WORDS DID NOT COME FROM MYSELF, DANG, WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME, IM JUST QUOTING HERE. I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM, I HAVE TO DO MY OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS. YHWH BLESS.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • UhOh

      Loraine has blown her top, now she's screaming thinking it will make her point, but we all know she is pointless and full of shit and a moron.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Lorraine

      FORGIVE ME KING YHWH, I HAVE THE SAME DUTY TO DO RIGHTEOUSNESS. PRAISE YHWH.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Lorraine

      Are you so insecure in your beliefs that you need to post the same dreck on this article for 6 months straight?

      November 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • mama k

      YHWH's a King?? Like that Eddie Long dude? You didn't tell me that, Lorraine. Let me see if that makes any difference – hold on – I'm crunching some numbers on my calculator... Nope, turns out YHWH is still a phoney, dear. Sorry.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Lorraine

      mama k, YOU WISH!! LOL. Eddie long was pick by man's law again. Man praises petophiles in this society, they either get honored, or slapped on the wrist, sounds of the wicked to me. ha, ha, he boy, lol. YHWH BLESS.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  20. YeahRight

    "The majority of the country knows that there is no justification in gay marriage and the country doesn't want it."

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

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

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

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

    November 13, 2012 at 10:55 am |
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About this blog

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