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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 • My Take • Opinion

soundoff (15,115 Responses)
  1. Lorraine

    All religions are pagan, and not of YHWH, and are manmade to control the masses. And gay marriage is a 'man's law' not of YHWH. It's ironic that atheist don't think that there is a higher power, 'spirit' of all 'life' King YHWH, but they do know what an ‘edomite’ is. It is defined greatly in the english encyclopida, and dictionary, and in the American history; in which all were written by ‘edomites’ today, and since THE 1st, 2nd centuries, who are now all called ‘jews’. (Note: not all jews are complicit to this dominance), prophesied in Genesis 27, Got cha! You are liars. Both, along with YHWH, are within this book of remembrance, which means to R e m e m b e r, and that does not predicate any ‘religion’ but is ‘ a law of righteousness’ to do 'right' in the so called OT. Just as in Deuteronomy 15, the American history used this same law towards having credit. You cannot have it both ways folks. PRAISE YHWH.

    November 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Wow you really are completely useless. 6 months and you still can't get over the fact that not all believers think like you. Your ridiculous posts are completely irrelevant to U.S. law, and all you're doing is showing the narrow minded bigotry that has led to genocides all through history.

      November 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Lorraine

      hawiiguestwhat?, can't handle the truth huh?, and as long as one has this man's law, what are you bickering about anyway, gee, this is a free speech democracy, ain't it? dang. Try to separate now, one is man's law, and one is the law of righteousness, King YHWH. We all can do what we want here ok?Its our own responsibility, so what's your problem?

      November 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      My problem is that you are so damn deluded that you think you're accomplishing something by spamming the same crap here for 6 months. My problem is that you think that spouting inane nonsense not supported by evidence should mean it's fact. Tell me Lorraine, are you in favor of legislating "biblical values"? If so, then that's another huge problem I have because I don't appreciate having religion forced on me by a government that is supposed to represent a diverse constituency, not just your mythology.

      November 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      hg, Lorraine is as nutty as a fruitcake.

      November 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Lorraine

      hawiiguestwhat again? this is a free site, you, nor anyone else are not the boss of me, and again what is your 'guilty' problem? Remember man's law, you have yours, and i have mine, a civil right, 'choices' does that intimidate you, well then you are in the wrong country brother/sister, whatever, judging by this topic. YHWH is King, His is the 'law of righteousness' do right.

      November 19, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Wow, talk about non-sensical gibberish. Go lie down for a while, then maybe you'll be able to actually address points in my post.

      November 19, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • We finally have located Lorraine's KING! She's saying YHWH, but she just couldn't hear the video clearly.

      November 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Lorraine

      hawiiguestwhat also? No your post are full of forked tongue lies,never will i address such double talk learned from the best of liars that's all it is. Maybe you need to lie down when it hits you, that you've been greatly cheated, nothing but coated half truths. Just as the lie in that video, these people go right along with this site doing PAGAN religions. YHWH is RIGHTEOUSNESS, you can't comprehend the concept of righteousness, can you? That's why you, and those like yourself, call it religion, the nerve, lol. And i know with the lies you learned 'right' is definitely an abstraction, you'd never get it, you've been rewarded to be vamboozelled, lol. YHWH BLESS.

      November 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Ok, that's all the crazy non-answers from Lorraine I can deal with. Bye Lorraine, good luck in trying for coherency.

      November 19, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Lorraine

      hawiiguester, I knew that would run your lying, forked tongue, double taking tail somewhere else, take that mess with you, and spread it to the ones who love, and breath lies, as long as it pays them, they're fine with lies. As if i, or no one else could see that you were lying about that video here on those pagan religions; i have no affiliation with people like this, paedophiles, you, and those of your kind may know some lol. YHWH BLESS.

      November 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Loopy, did you ever get a high school diploma? Where? You really should sue the school system that granted it. You've been sorely cheated of an education, dear. You're barely literate. And that's being generous. I doubt you could pass an English exam even if you were spotted ten points. You're an idiot.

      November 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  2. Bob

    . In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
    I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service-

    November 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Bob, What does that prove? Only that someone who prayed to the same god as the British was also deluded to attribute success to a mythical creature.

      November 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Really, Boob, is this the best you've got? So a speech is made. So an opinion is given. What of it? It's no more pertinent to law than anything YOU vomit here.

      Your idol's words have not a single thing to do with this issue. Not one.

      This is not a nation that is ruled by religious beliefs. It just isn't, and no matter how many times you post a speech, it won't change a thing. This will still be a nation of laws and not a theocracy, you moron.

      November 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Bob

      George Was-hing-ton was chosen Presi-dent of the con-ti-nen-tal Con-gress. While working to form a new Cons-ti-tu-tion, It was during this time that the oldest member of the con-ven-tion, Benj-amin Frank-lin, uttered these now famous words: To George Washington. I thought that since you guys knew what this country was founded on that you would have had no problem in identifying this speech

      November 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why in the world would you think this speech mattered?

      November 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  3. YeahRight

    "Homosexuals are not in a position to adequately protect themselves from the discriminatory wishes of the majoritarian public," wrote Dennis Jacobs, a conservative judge in New York.

    The Defense of Marriage (Act) unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples.

    November 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Bob

      Well we know that judge was full of feces and probably gay because look at what has happened.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • The Truth

      Methinks the Bob doth protest too much...

      November 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do tell us, Boob, what HAS happened? What dreadful consequences have come about as a result of the legalization of gay marriage? You've been asked this question repeatedly, and you're such a complete liar that you refuse to answer it.

      November 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "'Well we know that judge was full of feces and probably gay because look at what has happened."

      This is just more proof that the poster "Bob" is just a troll and not a christian on this blog. They go by many handles and spew anti-gay rhetoric.

      November 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  4. mama k

    Homophobic idiots like Bob and Douglas keep insisting the that U.S. is a Christian nation founded on the Bible.

    This is pure hogwash.

    Again, we are not a Christian nation and we never have been. The U.S. was not founded on Christianity nor the Bible. Washington's farewell address and the Mayflower Compact are not documents upon which the U.S. is founded. They have no impact on the laws that we live by today. The authors of the Constitution were A) Deistic Christians, and B) Sick and tired of Christians that were fighting with each other in their home states. So we wound up with a secular government, plain and simple.

    And I'll leave readers again with some Madison quotes (Madison was our 4th POTUS and chief architect of the Constitution):

    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)

    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)

    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.

    (Letter to Robert Walsh – 1819)

    =================
    and a John Adams quote:

    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. 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.

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

    November 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  5. Bob

    The President should have enforced DOMA instead of his own personal agenda

    November 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • mama k

      You can be assured that DOMA will be repealed very soon. Bill Clinton signed that into law and has since stated that is was a mistake. The tide is turning, Bob. Prepare yourself.

      November 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • YeahRight

      You're such an prejudice bigot. Eight federal courts have declared DOMA unconstitutional. Two of those courts are circuit courts, which are courts right below the Supreme Court in terms of hierarchy. But because our court system operates hierarchically, the Supreme Court does not need to agree with these lower courts. Ultimately, the Supreme Court only needs to follow the Constitution and its own former decisions, known as precedent. That means marriage is a civil right. 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 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Bob

      Actually the courts can say anything they want but Congress can have the last say.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • mama k

      The only way Congress can override a SC decision is if they call for a Const itutional Convention and change the Const itution or Amendment pertaining to their gripe. Let's see, that last happened in 1787. Those don't come around too frequently, lol. (Well, and indirectly Congress can affect decisions by effecting new SC members that could possibly overturn a previous decision.)

      November 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thank you, mama k. I was sure Bob was as full of sh!t as usual, but I appreciate the confirmation.

      November 19, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Bob

      Con-gress can amend the law in such a way that the Con-sti-tu-tional problem is solved. Tech-nic-ally, this is not "overriding" the decision, but it is one way Con-gress can make a law do its intended purpose

      November 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Bob

      No one has the authority in to spend money except Congress, even the pres dosent have the power to fund.

      November 19, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm scared sh!tless, Boob, that you will actually achieve anything. You can't write your way out of your own azz. You can't even figure out how the US government works. You have no clue as to what the balance of powers means. You're beyond stupid.

      You're completely irrelevant to any discussion of gay marriage or anything else that entails the processes of government.

      Really, dude. You're a joke.

      November 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  6. YeahRight

    "This is exactly what I am talking about they use the issue to push forward their agenda yet really don't care for anyone. "

    You're the one who doesn't really care, which is why you've been trolling this blog for so long. You are full of hate and prejudice and post lie after lie about the gay community. This is about civil rights. Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.

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

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

    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 19, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  7. 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 19, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  8. Brent

    " And let us with caution indulge the idea that morality can be maintained without religion."

    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 19, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  9. 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.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?1Jn 2:22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
    1Jn 2:23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.
    1Jn 2:24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
    1Jn 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;
    1Jn 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
    2Jn 1:6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.
    2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
    Act 4:7 When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?"
    Act 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people,
    Act 4:9 if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well,
    Act 4:10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead–by this name this man stands here before you in good health.
    Act 4:11 "He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.
    Act 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."
    This is a Christian there is NO other way and those that don't follow this are not really Christians, for you cannot have a love for someone and do contrary to what they say or deny them to other people. If you love someone you speak about them and try to do things to please them this is a Christian. For we follow not by compulsion or empty religion but out of love to someone who has done so much for us.

    November 19, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You can follow the Bible all you wish, Booby. You have no right to insist that anyone else do so. This country wasn't founded on Christianity and G. Washington's words are irrelevant. As are you.

      November 19, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The people's right to decide wasn't subverted in Maryland or Maine, Bob. The majority voted and they think people like you are wrong.

      November 19, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • mama k

      Bob: "This is exactly what I am talking about they use the issue to push forward their agenda yet really don't care for anyone."

      Bob your mastery of the English language is astounding. Lol.

      November 19, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • mama k

      Again, Bob – we are not a Christian nation and we never have been. The U.S. was not founded on Christianity, Bob. We've been over this before. Washington's farewell address and the Mayflower Compact are not documents upon which the U.S. is founded. They have no impact on the laws that we live by today. The authors of the Constitution were A) Deistic Christians, and B) Sick and tired of Christians that were fighting with each other in their home states. So we wound up with a secular government, Bob, whether you like it or not.

      And I'll leave readers again with some Madison quotes (Madison was our 4th POTUS and chief architect of the Constitution):

      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)

      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)

      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.

      (Letter to Robert Walsh – 1819)

      =================
      and a John Adams quote:

      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. 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.

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

      November 19, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Bob

      K your wrong but I dont really feel like giving you a history lesson right now. Have you found out why Tripoli was a bad example?? The most damning evidence of a non-Christian past is a humiliating 1797 treaty with the Barbary Pirates. President Adams sought to stem unremitting Muslim raids against Mediterranean shipping and protect American sailors from African slavery. This obscure treaty submitted, “The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.But diplomacy in North Africa through studied weakness proved as futile then as today, so Marines took action inspiring the snippet, “… to the shores of Tripoli.” By the 1800s, replete with a burgeoning navy, subsequent treaties contained no such obsequious bows to Islam. Still, the secularists rejoice. They compromised because the US did not have the resources to protect itself from Muslims.

      November 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • mama k

      Well I don't necessarily agree with your last post, but Bob – today I haven't said word one about Tripoli. Try to keep up, Bob. And you already tried to give me a history lesson, Bob. lol. We saw how that turned out. Do you really think you can convince others that the Mayflower Compact is more meaningful to us today than the Const itution or its authors? Tell us another joke, Bob.

      November 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  10. Don

    "You can't blend secular laws with Biblical laws."

    You don't know what you're talking about. 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".

    November 19, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  11. John

    " Bible because in the Bible there is no justification of gay marriage."

    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 19, 2012 at 8:05 am |
  12. Brent

    " gay marriage remains unacceptable from a Christian perspective."

    The term “traditional marriage” is a term employed by anti-gay religious groups and individuals to promote bigotry, prejudice, hostility and discrimination toward gay and lesbian citizens.

    The term is used to justify a social injustice both in terms of denying gay and lesbian individuals equal treatment guaranteed by our Constitution and also denying them human dignity. The use of the term is an action that promotes constitutional unfairness and human indignity and therefore one which is morally wrong.

    If a person of faith agrees that a practice that promotes looking upon a segment of society as inferior, unworthy and undeserving of that which we find as good in our lives, the use of the term “traditional marriage” therefore also must be sinful.

    Regardless of their particular faith, the person would be hard-pressed to say that love, compassion and wanting what is best in our lives for others around us are not the core principles of most religions. When a person of faith stands opposed to those principles, their attitude and actions stand opposed to the principles which they strive to uphold in the everyday interactions with those around them.

    There is also deceit involved in the use of the term “traditional marriage” because those who employ the term attempt to perpetrate an untruth and ulterior motives of hostility and prejudice.

    The untruth comes when “traditional marriage” is offered up as a term that defines a religious concept of a God-blessed union of a young man and woman who fall in love, get married with no prior sexual experience, have children and remain together into old age. They are implying that this is how God ordains marriage.

    If it is, it took him until just 50 years ago to arrive at that conclusion.

    The tradition of marriage in Old Testament times meant the man and his wife could have the same father.

    In the Bible, the patriarch of the Hebrew people, Abraham, and his wife, Sarah, couldn’t have children so Sarah put forth her slave Hagar for Abraham to have children by.

    In Old Testament times, it was normal, sometimes even required for a man to take multiple wives. A man having multiple wives was accepted by the church as late as the 5th Century, 500 years after the teachings set forth in the New Testament. The church for a very long time apparently did not interpret biblical teaching as an edict for one-man, one-woman marriage.

    The tradition of marital unions in the 1700s and 1800s in America doesn’t seem to measure up to God-ordained – especially from the female perspective.

    One third of brides were pregnant at the altar in Concord, Massachusetts during the 20 years prior to the American Revolution.

    In this quote from a wedding couple in 1855, we see that the church had no problem blessing a legal marriage that was considered by many – including this couple – as a violation of the woman’s dignity and civil rights:

    “We believe that personal independence and equal human rights can never be forfeited, except for crime; that marriage should be an equal and permanent partnership, and so recognized by law; that until it is so recognized, married partners should provide against the radical injustice of present laws, by every means in their power…”

    So we can look back and see that religious teachings which uphold the ideals of love, dignity, compassion and respect for each person within marital unions throughout history has taken a back seat.

    In other words, the definition of a God-ordained tradition of marriage has never been constant rather it has evolved.

    History shows us it’s the marital union that should be uplifted…not the evolving traditions of a social institution. In other words, it’s not about how we come together but why.

    Rev. Mark Gallagher, a Unitarian minister, in 2004 asked “what about a marriage could have that quality of spiritual beauty? What makes for sacredness in a marriage?” He names four things.

    “First and foremost, mutual love. A feeling of heightened affection, respect, concern, and appreciation between marital partners. It gives a certain sparkle to the time spent together, and potentially to the entire experience of life. The presence of love makes a marriage sacred.

    “Fidelity contributes to the sacredness of a marriage. Commitments fulfilled. Coming through. Hanging in. Placing the integrity of the relationship over personal preference and convenience. It builds a powerful trust. Fidelity makes a marriage sacred.

    “Intimacy brings sacredness in a marriage. When two people reveal themselves to one another over time, they cannot help but gain acquaintance with the deep regions of the human experience. They get to know one another, of course. But more importantly, they get to know themselves.

    Through relating intimately over time, deeper honesty and authenticity become possible. This is the spiritual journey to know and be known, behind the public charade, however subtle or crude that may be.

    “And forgiveness generates sacredness in a marriage. We all make mistakes and need forgiveness. Our spiritual liberation requires that we become masters of forgiveness letting go of resentment for slights and injuries. The prolonged togetherness of marriage will present myriad opportunities for the practice of forgiveness. When forgiveness flows freely, there is a palpable quality of gentleness and compassion.”

    Does the heterosexual couple uniting in marriage today lift up the union as characterized by love, fidelity, intimacy and forgiveness. We expect they do and we suspect those characteristics as Gallagher concluded in his sermon are what exude sacredness.

    We also know that gay and lesbian couples uphold those same characteristics for their unions. Why would they not? Why would a parent of a gay son or daughter not want their child to enjoy the happiness derived from a lifelong devotion to those characteristics? Why would a brother or sister with a gay sibling not want their brother or sister to enjoy the happiness derived from a lifelong devotion to those characteristics?

    Why would a person of faith not want the gay or lesbian individual to enjoy the happiness derived from the pursuit of marriage sanctity?

    Why would we as Americans not want our government and its laws to recognize that same marriage sanctity for gay and lesbian individuals in their pursuit of liberty and happiness?

    There can be only one reason and that is because many of us have been conditioned by years of misguided church teaching to look upon gay and lesbian individuals as morally inferior, unworthy and therefore undeserving of that which we uphold as good and sanctified in our lives.

    November 19, 2012 at 8:03 am |
  13. Bob

    Marriage as defined,, OK then go marry your sister its a civil right why aren't you fighting for this you bunch of bigots.

    November 19, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There are specific reasons for prohibiting close relatives from marrying, boob. No one is talking about legalizing incest, you idiot.

      November 19, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  14. YeahRight

    " Marriage, as defined "

    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.

    November 17, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Douglas

      YeahRight,

      You are mixing apples with oranges.

      You can't blend secular laws with Biblical laws.

      The state can legalize gay marriage, but gay marriage remains unacceptable from a Christian perspective.

      The Bible is not up for debate and amendment by the Congress or any state legislature. God's word is eternal.

      As Jesus said in Mark 12:17 – "And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him."

      November 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • mama k

      You are right, YeahRight. I think we just might see the case soon before the SC, because now that there is momentum, some people in these states that still have traditional marriage laws are mostly likely getting very impatient. I don't believe the SC would have any choice but to overturn such states laws, that in a civic capacity, treat gay couples and straight couples differently – with either complete restriction or a different set of advantages (such as benefits, tax advantages, etc.).

      And Doogie – the Bible and church-performed marriage may not be up for debate for the government (which is proper that those two don't mix), but it sure is up for debate among different kinds of churches. There are lots of accepting churches out there, and those moderate churches will be the ones that start growing the fastest to stay in touch with the ever-more gay-friendly general population.

      November 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      mama k,

      You da mama mama K! If you were running for office you would earn my vote(s) :-)

      November 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Bob

      Unfortunately in the fact that we have the courts deciding things for us and the represent-atives of the people, cong-ress sitting on their butts doing nothing of course we have more gay marriage. The fact that this is happening is a real show of how far the US has changed. The US was never supposed to be ruled by the courts that is why you have peti-tions in front of the current gov to Secceed from the fed. This is one issue at the heart of the matter and how people are having things pushed on them that they don't want. Just like the atheists have managed to stop the Nativity scene in Santa M Ca. Its nuts what people like these are being allowed to do. So before you talk about momentum you would be well advised to think about all the issues and know that people are getting fedup with the bs. Also while a couple of fringe churches may perform gay marriage its against the Bible because in the Bible there is no justification of gay marriage.

      November 19, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • YeahRight

      " This is one issue at the heart of the matter and how people are having things pushed on them that they don't want"

      Yeah, I am sure men felt this way when women got their rights and how members of the K K K feel that African Americans got their civil rights.

      November 19, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What, exactly, is being "pushed" on you, Boob? Are you being forced to marry a gay man? To have an abortion?

      The fact is that this IS a nation of laws, not one of religious beliefs, and if you don't know that, you should go back to school and try to graduate this time around instead of failing out. We are NOT governed by biblical law but by secular law. We are NOT bound by your beliefs but by laws that preserve our freedoms and protect our rights from those who would deny us what is rightfully ours. Go pound sand, Boob. Your day is over.

      November 19, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "So before you talk about momentum you would be well advised to think about all the issues and know that people are getting fedup with the bs."

      Sure, boob. That's why the Repubs did SO well in this election.

      November 19, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Also while a couple of fringe churches may perform gay marriage its against the Bible because in the Bible there is no justification of gay marriage."

      Then why are you so het up about it? If it's only a "couple of fringe churches," Boob, what possible effect does it have on you? So what if you don't approve? Who cares? The government is what counts as far as legal marriage is concerned. If the state issues a license, you have a legal marriage. What the church does is irrelevant to law and rights under law. If you don't like gay marriage, don't have one.

      November 19, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  15. 250 Ministers Proclamation

    "God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”"

    As Christian clergy we proclaim the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.

    In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:

    -to affirm that the essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;

    –to embrace the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;

    –to declare that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;

    –to celebrate the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;

    Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.

    November 17, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Douglas

      250,

      The Good News of the Gospels does not declare the acceptance of gay marriage.

      As ministers you know that you will be judged to a higher standard.

      By leading the flock astray with your own definition of marriage, contrary to Jesus' definition of one man and one woman, you bring condemnation to yourself and those you have led into destruction.

      Pray for guidance to lead you away from the abyss.

      November 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • John

      "contrary to Jesus' definition of one man and one woman,"

      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 19, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  16. Brent

    "Marriage, as defined by Jesus"

    The term “traditional marriage” is a term employed by anti-gay religious groups and individuals to promote bigotry, prejudice, hostility and discrimination toward gay and lesbian citizens.

    The term is used to justify a social injustice both in terms of denying gay and lesbian individuals equal treatment guaranteed by our Constitution and also denying them human dignity. The use of the term is an action that promotes constitutional unfairness and human indignity and therefore one which is morally wrong.

    If a person of faith agrees that a practice that promotes looking upon a segment of society as inferior, unworthy and undeserving of that which we find as good in our lives, the use of the term “traditional marriage” therefore also must be sinful.

    Regardless of their particular faith, the person would be hard-pressed to say that love, compassion and wanting what is best in our lives for others around us are not the core principles of most religions. When a person of faith stands opposed to those principles, their attitude and actions stand opposed to the principles which they strive to uphold in the everyday interactions with those around them.

    There is also deceit involved in the use of the term “traditional marriage” because those who employ the term attempt to perpetrate an untruth and ulterior motives of hostility and prejudice.

    The untruth comes when “traditional marriage” is offered up as a term that defines a religious concept of a God-blessed union of a young man and woman who fall in love, get married with no prior sexual experience, have children and remain together into old age. They are implying that this is how God ordains marriage.

    If it is, it took him until just 50 years ago to arrive at that conclusion.

    The tradition of marriage in Old Testament times meant the man and his wife could have the same father.

    In the Bible, the patriarch of the Hebrew people, Abraham, and his wife, Sarah, couldn’t have children so Sarah put forth her slave Hagar for Abraham to have children by.

    In Old Testament times, it was normal, sometimes even required for a man to take multiple wives. A man having multiple wives was accepted by the church as late as the 5th Century, 500 years after the teachings set forth in the New Testament. The church for a very long time apparently did not interpret biblical teaching as an edict for one-man, one-woman marriage.

    The tradition of marital unions in the 1700s and 1800s in America doesn’t seem to measure up to God-ordained – especially from the female perspective.

    One third of brides were pregnant at the altar in Concord, Massachusetts during the 20 years prior to the American Revolution.

    In this quote from a wedding couple in 1855, we see that the church had no problem blessing a legal marriage that was considered by many – including this couple – as a violation of the woman’s dignity and civil rights:

    “We believe that personal independence and equal human rights can never be forfeited, except for crime; that marriage should be an equal and permanent partnership, and so recognized by law; that until it is so recognized, married partners should provide against the radical injustice of present laws, by every means in their power…”

    So we can look back and see that religious teachings which uphold the ideals of love, dignity, compassion and respect for each person within marital unions throughout history has taken a back seat.

    In other words, the definition of a God-ordained tradition of marriage has never been constant rather it has evolved.

    History shows us it’s the marital union that should be uplifted…not the evolving traditions of a social institution. In other words, it’s not about how we come together but why.

    Rev. Mark Gallagher, a Unitarian minister, in 2004 asked “what about a marriage could have that quality of spiritual beauty? What makes for sacredness in a marriage?” He names four things.

    “First and foremost, mutual love. A feeling of heightened affection, respect, concern, and appreciation between marital partners. It gives a certain sparkle to the time spent together, and potentially to the entire experience of life. The presence of love makes a marriage sacred.

    “Fidelity contributes to the sacredness of a marriage. Commitments fulfilled. Coming through. Hanging in. Placing the integrity of the relationship over personal preference and convenience. It builds a powerful trust. Fidelity makes a marriage sacred.

    “Intimacy brings sacredness in a marriage. When two people reveal themselves to one another over time, they cannot help but gain acquaintance with the deep regions of the human experience. They get to know one another, of course. But more importantly, they get to know themselves.

    Through relating intimately over time, deeper honesty and authenticity become possible. This is the spiritual journey to know and be known, behind the public charade, however subtle or crude that may be.

    “And forgiveness generates sacredness in a marriage. We all make mistakes and need forgiveness. Our spiritual liberation requires that we become masters of forgiveness letting go of resentment for slights and injuries. The prolonged togetherness of marriage will present myriad opportunities for the practice of forgiveness. When forgiveness flows freely, there is a palpable quality of gentleness and compassion.”

    Does the heterosexual couple uniting in marriage today lift up the union as characterized by love, fidelity, intimacy and forgiveness. We expect they do and we suspect those characteristics as Gallagher concluded in his sermon are what exude sacredness.

    We also know that gay and lesbian couples uphold those same characteristics for their unions. Why would they not? Why would a parent of a gay son or daughter not want their child to enjoy the happiness derived from a lifelong devotion to those characteristics? Why would a brother or sister with a gay sibling not want their brother or sister to enjoy the happiness derived from a lifelong devotion to those characteristics?

    Why would a person of faith not want the gay or lesbian individual to enjoy the happiness derived from the pursuit of marriage sanctity?

    Why would we as Americans not want our government and its laws to recognize that same marriage sanctity for gay and lesbian individuals in their pursuit of liberty and happiness?

    There can be only one reason and that is because many of us have been conditioned by years of misguided church teaching to look upon gay and lesbian individuals as morally inferior, unworthy and therefore undeserving of that which we uphold as good and sanctified in our lives.

    November 17, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Douglas

      Brent,

      You have written 1090 words.

      Nothing counters Jesus' definition of marriage.

      Try again

      November 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • .

      Douglas = Bob = Hateful Troll.

      November 19, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • John

      "Nothing counters Jesus' definition of marriage."

      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 19, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  17. John

    "Marriage, as defined by Jesus in Matthew 19, is between one man and one woman."

    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 17, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  18. James

    "Yesterday I pointed out that LGBTQ Christians are bound by Biblical guidance to practice celibacy and that those not professing the Christian faith cannot be held to the Christian standard in terms of gay coitus and fornication."

    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 17, 2012 at 8:29 am |
  19. Lorraine

    It's ironic that atheist don't think that it is a higher power, 'spirit' of all 'life' King YHWH, but they do know what an edomite is. It is defined greatly in the english encyclopida, and dictionary, and american history, which were all written by edomites,who today since the 1st, 2nd centuries are called jews. Got cha! liars. Both are within this book of remembrance, the so called OT. You cannot have it both ways folks. PRAISE YHWH.

    November 17, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Damocles

      What?

      November 17, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Lorraine

      Damocles, you i expected not to know. Many Hebrew Israelites, oh, so called 'blacks, or darker complexion ones in the world, as the Palestinians' (Ephraim) don't know who they are, 'yet' it was prophesied in Isaiah 6:8-12, as their punishment from going astray from YHWH. Many, and The Palestinians, (Ephraim), will be brought back soon, in Zechariah 10.

      Those here all know what im saying, as critical, and vexed, as they've consistently been, and now not a word? Although he sneaks, and do wrong, Even the heathen fears YHWH, in Malachi 1:14, YHWHs name is dreadful among the heathen. One must read Genesis-Malachi, to learn the truth of what is really going on, taught to us in Deuteronomy 5, for in Deuteronomy 6:24,25, this law is for our, 'all nations' own good, of righteousness. Praise YHWH.

      November 17, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Complete nut-case.

      November 17, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You can't even write a coherent sentence, Loopy, and your videos are laughable. Comedy gold.

      November 17, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Simran

      Lorraine,
      I am just hoping you write such things only for fun, that you dont actually believe in it!
      My question is same as above: WHAT?????

      November 17, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Lorraine

      Now, they respond, see trying to justify their lie, they saw it there earlier, now they want to bicker after my reply to Damocles, so fake!! And i have no videos tom, you liar, forked tongue. Don't despise me for being accurate with the scriptures, i think that i do quite well, thanks to the praise unto YHWH.

      November 17, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "I think I do that quite well." That's because you're completely bonkers.

      November 17, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "It is defined greatly in the english encyclopedia."

      "Defined greatly?" Exactly what does defining something "greatly" entail, Loopy?

      November 17, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Lorraine

      Simran, i started to ignore your ignorance, but one thing i can't stand is for the pot to call the kettle 'black' this is as real as 'atheist' coming to a christian site, who's crazy now? look in the mirror before you speak, i mean 'think' lol. how ironic is that? boy, one's knowledge can certainly deceive, and pervert, them, written in Isaiah 47:10, from the King YHWH.

      It's as fun as imposed poverty, greed, hate, and adultery, USERY, stealing, and in difference, you selfish moron. Read the book, Genesis-Malachi, then one may understand, yes, this is our future at stake, know it alls, don't forget the majority of the underpriviledged world, who are being purposely oppressed, and afflicted from 'greed, and selfishness'. YHWH Bless.

      November 17, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Where does CNN say that this is a "Christian site," Loopy? Apparently, you can't read. If you have that much trouble figuring out what you're reading here, why should anyone pay attention to your thoughts on what you read elsewhere? Especially since you can't even convey those "thoughts" in any kind of understandable way?

      November 17, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Lorraine

      tom piper, no ignoranus, if you're so smart, do your own homework, 'atheist' i call it sophisticated ignorance to the highest power. Many have carnal eye, YET are blind as two bats. LOL. YHWH BLESS

      November 17, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So I've succeeded in embarrassing you. Good. You deserve it for making such an idiotic statement-this ISN'T a "christian site" and you don't have a clue what "irony" means.

      As I figured.

      November 17, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Lorraine

      tom dummy, every topic here on this site is related to religion, (belief), and or current news, and politics, you are a forked tongue looser, and you WISH you could embarrass me, you pion. Double talk to someone who's in your level would you please. I'll just ignor, your sophisticated ignorance for a while,that will teach you, you bickering sheboy. LOL. YHWH BLESS.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Lorraine

      tomdapiper, I'm not wasting my time with your slow butt,tompiper says "what does does defned greatly mean" ha! ha!, cracking me up, lol.

      November 17, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Loopy, dear? "Looser," "ignor," and "pion" are all misspelled. Good luck with your English lessons, honey.

      This isn't a Christian site. It's not even a religious site. It's a site that is related to "belief" of all kinds. Sorry to disabuse you of your fantasy.

      November 17, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Lorraine

      tom is apiper, You Wish, and don't worry about my skippng computer, Oh, and stop lying you forked tongue; take that double talk to you own kind. Lol, and reply to me again, and that proves you are a peon, lowclass,nitwit, lol, thats right! now watch how its done.

      November 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Jen

      Well since you have said many times you have no religion Lorraine, you don't belong on this 'Christian' site either. Is English your fourth language? My three year old could give you some English lessons.

      November 18, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Psst's understudy

      Lorraine, here's a little hint: "it's" is short for "it is." "Its" is a possessive.

      November 19, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Lorraine

      jen,psst, it's obvious that you are saving your little tiptoe through the tulips friend, lol, i knew that would get em!! ha!, and for that matter, my diction has no relevance here, im not applying for acceptance of any kind, you educated dummies,this my zeal for the true Creator YHWH, i can care less if anyone likes it, or not. And 'your knowledge has perverted, and deceived you all, ha, ha, ha,' Isaiah 47, lol, you all are so much fun here, you crack me up.

      Besides, regardless of how i spell, or phrase anything i post you asses respond to it, so it's apparent you know what im saying. Don't forget what knowledge any of you do have it was 'taken'and 'stolen' from the true ones who knew how to maintain it and ran a real civilization. Don't tell me that you were raised, or taught to think that this is what you are living in a civilization, trust me this society has done it all wrong, even with the original knowledge, because of their shallow, frivilous, selfish, and greedy ways this society has F*** up everything, look up the true history, and learn some right education for a change.

      Any indigenous people have the true history my friends, i hope you were not foolish enough to belive that this was all began by plato, and socrates, who are not bad, but 'no' they had no complete clue either; you lost generations. It won't be long, the true chosen ones, will be there for you gentiles soon, to help you get it 'right' and don't forget these are your own laws now, 'freedom of speech' i can stay on this site, as i like, its your rule, you silly ducks, lol. YHWH BLESS, and all Praise goes to YHWH.

      November 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  20. Douglas

    Brothers and Sisters,

    Yesterday I pointed out that LGBTQ Christians are bound by Biblical guidance to practice celibacy and that those not professing the Christian faith cannot be held to the Christian standard in terms of gay coitus and fornication.

    This is consistent with Paul's direction to the Corinthians in Chapter 5 when he declares,
    12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

    As Paul points out, God will judge the fornicators operating outside of the church. It is up to us inside the church to maintain the guidance given to us, through scripture, for straight Christians to remain abstinent until married and GLBTQ Christians to remain celibate for life. Marriage, as defined by Jesus in Matthew 19, is between one man and one woman.
    As Jesus said in Matthew 19, "Those who can accept this teaching...accept it."

    Best,
    Douglas

    November 16, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Richard

      Douglas, I love you and I want you.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Richard

      but your god is one hell of an ass hole.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Douglas

      Richard,
      Resist the temptation to fornicate. Pray for celibate thoughts and you will be healed.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Observer

      Douglas,

      You are trashing gays by claiming that they are somehow defective and must give up all natrural l s-xual activity. REAL professionals say you are wrong.

      If you want to do more good, convince Christians who have divorced and remarried that they should be celibate now since the Bible says they are adulterers unless they were previously married to adulterers.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Douglas

      Observer,

      No argument from me. Your point is valid, as is mine.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Melvin

      "God will judge the fornicators operating outside of the church. "

      When gays are married in their church before God they do not sin. 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 17, 2012 at 8:32 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.