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

My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage

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

By Mark Osler, Special to CNN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Take: Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality

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

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

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

Your Take: Rethinking the Bible on homosexuality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Episcopal • Gay marriage • Opinion

soundoff (15,115 Responses)
  1. 2Cents

    "Gay marriage is not a civil right"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    November 27, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  2. YeahRight

    "Gay marriage is not a civil right."

    Marriage was defined as a civil right by the supreme court idiot. The experts have proven that being gay is normal, it's not a choice and it can't be voluntarily changed. It's for that reason gays deserve the civil right to get married. 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 27, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  3. Bob

    You are right tom they are families but not dna line they are people who for what ever reason agreed to take care of kids. They are a new family not a regular family and not dna line. Ask any man or woman that has married into a family with kids and ask who's kid are you and they will tell you the answer as the spouse that has dna ties. Can they get along of course can they do things families do of course but its not dna. While I have known many families that have divorced then a new partner shows up as a parent by marriage and even being with the kids for along time they will never go with the one that is not the dna parent and usually the person that is in the family by marriage is usually gone for good. Maybe not in memory but certainly with any rights or even in the children's mind. That's the truth not the bs you want to serve up

    November 27, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • myweightinwords

      I have no idea what you're trying to say here, Bob.

      Are you implying that people who have are not the birth mother/father of a child can not love them and raise them?

      What has this got to do with gay marriage?

      November 27, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  4. lol??

    Troops, no need for fraggin’ the officers because they have eyes for your wives. After all, you’re not fighting for THEM, but for hearth and home. You can take comfort that when you have to divorce your cheating wife, they’ll have input in the custody of the children. They actually care about them.

    November 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  5. lol??

    marrying by da Beast. that'll work.

    November 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  6. Bob

    Gay marriage is not a civil right like freedom of speech, it has a set of rules and guidelines that have been established and set to argue as such cheapens it. That is what those seeking gay marriage want to do redefine it to whatever they want. But the argument is based in the same reasoning as freedom of speech. That is the slight of hand that they are doing to get it passed. Plus we all know that there is no justification for gay marriage in the Bible.

    November 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Still haven't found a life I see Bob.

      November 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's "sleight of hand" you stupid git.

      You're an illiterate dolt, Boob. You're gay as can be, as well.

      If you weren't, you wouldn't be going to the Castro all the time to play with the nudists.

      November 26, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      The law should be: You may only marry the person/s3x of your choice if you think it's okay for others to marry the person of their choice. You don't want others to be able to choose, you can't choose.

      November 26, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Hi Bob,

      Gay marriage is not a civil right like freedom of speech, it has a set of rules and guidelines that have been established and set to argue as such cheapens it.

      The US Supreme Court decided that marriage is a civil right and as such can not be denied to any American citizen. I am confident that when the same gender marriage argument is made before the Supreme Court, they will make it clear that denying any group's access to that civil right is unconstitutional.

      I'm not sure what you mean about the "set rules & guidelines" or how discussing those rules and guidelines cheapens anything.

      That is what those seeking gay marriage want to do redefine it to whatever they want.

      Nope. Marriage is marriage. It is the joining of two lives into a family. Gay marriage will not change that at all.

      But the argument is based in the same reasoning as freedom of speech.

      Because freedom of speech is a basic human right. So is marriage.

      That is the slight of hand that they are doing to get it passed. Plus we all know that there is no justification for gay marriage in the Bible.

      No slight of hand involved. Logic and common sense and equality. And, we all know that what the Bible has to say (or not say in this case) doesn't apply to the laws of the United States.

      November 27, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  7. YeahRight

    " To see the reality behind the ideal, that is what makes a visionary just like the founders of this country that we have strayed from. "

    No we are not, it's why this is about civil rights and the men that formed this country didn't think about it. This is about the same civil rights fight that Native Americans, African Americans and women all had to fight for in order to get equality. 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 26, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • WASP

      @yeah: along with section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment you also have the founding docu/ment of this great nation.
      yes none other than our delcaration of independence. proof is as follows:
      "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

      "by their creator" indicates your birthing parents as they both give half their genetic material to create life. problem solved. :)

      November 26, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • YeahRight

      ""by their creator" indicates your birthing parents as they both give half their genetic material to create life. problem solved. :)"

      Gays and lesbians have children which is why they need to have their civil rights in order to protect there families. These rights include:

      Tax Benefits
      -–Filing joint income tax returns with the I R S and state taxing authorities.
      -–Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.
      Estate Planning Benefits
      -–Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
      -–Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
      -–Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
      -–Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse – that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse's behalf.
      Government Benefits
      -–Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
      -–Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
      -–Receiving public assistance benefits.
      -–Employment Benefits
      -–Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
      -–Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
      -–Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
      -–Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse's close relatives dies.
      Medical Benefits
      -–Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
      -–Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.
      Death Benefits
      -–Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
      -–Making burial or other final arrangements.
      Family Benefits
      -–Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
      -–Applying for joint foster care rights.
      -–Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
      -–Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.
      Housing Benefits
      -–Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
      -–Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.
      Consumer Benefits
      -–Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
      -–Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
      -–Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
      -–Other Legal Benefits and Protections
      -–Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
      -–Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
      -–Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can't force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
      -–Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
      -–Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
      -–Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.

      November 26, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Bob

      Gays don't have families by copulation they buy or adopt but still buy their families.

      November 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So straight couples who adopt aren't "real parents", Boob?

      November 26, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Tom, Bob's isn't intelligent enough to get it, they are to full of hatred and bigotry toward the gay community. It's why they are a hateful troll on this thread.

      November 27, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  8. John

    " The road that leads to de-struc-tion is wide but the road to sal-va-tion is narrow so I will try with His help to speak the truth and to always walk down the street called straight."

    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 26, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  9. YeahRight

    " But preaches abstinence and self control rather than openly overt acts of deviant behavior. "

    The hundred of thousands of experts have proven it's not deviant behavior they have stated.

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

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

    November 26, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  10. lol??

    It's a grievous usurpation of power and delusion for Beasties to think they should have any say in the marriage of citizens. Tell the johnny come latelies to butt out. Find a new way to scratch the dirt.

    November 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
  11. kindness

    This is my experience... Thank you.

    MY personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    I Accepted Jesus christ as my lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
    We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith ....above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are by faith above reason in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

    Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door,
    And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
    The, looking in, I saw upon the floor
    Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
    “How many anvils have you had,” said I,
    “To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
    “Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
    “The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
    And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,
    For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
    Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
    The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.

    Truth is..exclusive

    November 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Knock off the spam, bot.

      November 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  12. Bob

    If God has formed this great country and has given us our rights then no man should be allowed to take those rights away. If these rights are bestowed on us by the gov then they can take away those rights. If indeed it is God that has established these rights that we see in the Bill of Rights and the Con-sti-tu-tion then we are obligated to follow His lead for the rules of His people. Its Gods laws and way that established these States so we should want to follow all He says is correct to do to allow His blessings in this country.

    November 22, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How many times do you have to be told that there is NO mention of "god" in the Const itution, Boob? God didn't give us any "laws" in this nation; men created laws based on the protection of rights.

      How are YOUR rights being infringed upon by the legalization of gay marriage, Boob?

      Never mind, you gutless wonder. I know you can't and won't answer. You'll just keep gibbering away like the moron you are. And states like Maryland, Maine, and Washington will allow gays to marry. As more people realize that gay marriage has no negative societal repercussions, more states will permit gays to marry. Nothing you say will matter one bit.

      November 23, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • mama k

      It's a good thing that the God of Abraham is something that ancient man dreamed up, because if he were real, I doubt he would have blessed the U.S. once the settlers arrived and started blowing away the natives.

      Fortunately for us today, our key founders were very Deistic. 18th century Deists believed:

      – Rejection of all religions based on books that claim to contain the revealed word of God.
      – Rejection of all religious dogma and demagogy.
      – Rejection of reports of miracles, prophecies and religious "mysteries".

      And although they believed in God, they believed God didn't intervene in the natural world in any way.

      Most of the key founders, the ones responsible for authoring our Constitution, were heavily influenced by Deism around the time our government was initially being implemented. This included James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin, and more.

      Bob mentions Thanksgiving. Well these key founders as well as presidents since have certainly echoed the sentiments of the majority Christian population, no doubt, for holidays, commemorative events, etc. One can claim if they want that Christianity shares some of the principles in the Constitution, but it important to note that our country was not founded on Christianity, nor the Bible, nor the God of Israel. Rather, because the key founders were Deistic and because they were trying to quell fighting amongst Christian sects in their home states, they knew their immediate task was to implement as secular a government as possible.

      James Madison, chief architect of our Constitution, and 4th POTUS reflected on our founding in letters to Edward Livingston and Robert Walsh:

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

      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.

      A very Deistic John Adams, our 2nd POTUS, reflected on our founding in his A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America [1787-1788]:

      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.

      November 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  13. Bob

    FOR AS MUCH as it is the Duty of all Men to adore the never ending love of God to acknowledge with thanks their duty to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of,And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the uncountable mercies of his common love but also to smile upon us in the going forward of a just and necessary W-ar, for the De-fen-se and Es-tab-lis-h-ment of our Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success: It is therefore recommended these US to set apart Thursday, for thanksgiving and praise That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and set apart themselves to the Service of their Divine provider and that, together with their sincere Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor and their humble and earnest requests that it may please GOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Gov of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole To inspire our leaders,

    November 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  14. Bob

    Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens", to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26. As a federal and popular holiday in the U.S., Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season. BUT MOST OF ALL HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL.

    November 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a friggin' hypocrite. You don't wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, you liar, only those who are just like you.

      November 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Bob

      Did you miss ALL????????

      November 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are a liar, Boob. You don't mean "all" just because you typed it, you sickening little bag of poop.

      November 23, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Bob

      Anyone been in the Castro section of San Fran lately?? The gays are all up in arms because they cannot sit nude outside at tables and be waited on,or parade down the street naked. So now I guess it will be confined to parades so that kids can be terrorized and perverted by any gay act that they want to do. If you want to see the ultimate goal of this agenda just look at the Castro section of San Fran and wonder why its not a good idea to pursue this agenda and the long term goals. Its the ultimate loosing of all moral codes on society so that anything goes. Like I said look at the Castro Section, or if you think that's wrong why are so many against Douglas who is gay and doesn't run into promiscuity? But preaches abstinence and self control rather than openly overt acts of deviant behavior. You think the occasional story now about Elmo or men performing acts in public bathrooms now is lurid and to many, just wait till the anything goes society is allowed to have free rein.

      November 24, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The REAL question, Boob, is this: WHY are YOU in the Castro? Why are YOU looking at what's going on there? Why are YOU the one who's got the real skinny on the action in San Francisco?

      I am rapidly reaching the conclusion that you are gay, a proponent of gay marriage, and are trolling these boards to post in opposition with the most ridiculous nonsense in order to provoke a reaction in favor of gay marriage.

      Yup. Nobody else would continue to post and re-post the tripe you do if he were truly as repulsed by gays and gay marriage as you claim to be. You describe gay s3x in detail, bray nonsensically about pedophilia and polygamy and bestiality, quote irrelevant speeches, ascribe to the Const itution words which don't appear there, and on and on.

      You're obsessed with the subject because you yourself are gay and only come here to pretend the opposite so you can provoke an opposing response.

      Get a life.

      November 24, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Bob

      I am not gay but seems you are more than likely not used to dealing with people that are learned in more than one area of life. Maybe you never really heard me when I said that I have explored many things in my life. Maybe even more so than yourself. That is why I will always be grateful for what the Father has done through His son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The road that leads to de-struc-tion is wide but the road to sal-va-tion is narrow so I will try with His help to speak the truth and to always walk down the street called straight.

      November 24, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Baloney. You're gay or you wouldn't be following events in Castro. You probably go slumming there on weekends. You're not going "straight" anywhere, Boob. You're a poe.

      November 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  15. Lorraine

    hawiig, and another thing, i am not trying to accomplish a thing here, this is my zeal for YHWH, and my freedom of speech, whether someone likes it or not, means nothing to me. Also, how is this forcing my views on others everyone is spewing their point of views here on this site.You are being paranoid here; or your conscious is bothering you, and again, this is a free site.

    As for the book of remembrance, the so called OT, of having evidential facts, it has, and as i've said before, you cannot have it both ways; our history uses much within the american history that is in the book of remembrance, the OT that cannot then be denied to justify lies. Cyrus the Great, Artexeres, many historical kings,and David, and Solomon. Read Genesis-Malachi for the truth of all of man's original history. PRAISE YHWH.

    November 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  16. Bob

    Yup everything is normal till its not, just like Elmo!! or just like the 10 guys arrested at the bathroom. How long has this been going on in this persons life? On the outward he seems ok. So we push for things on the outward appearance. Never understanding the consequences of our decisions. It must be terrible for people like tom who look at words and listen to the words so carefully but never have the depth and vision to see the truth, to see the real person behind the words. To see the reality behind the ideal, that is what makes a visionary just like the founders of this country that we have strayed from. But with these proclaiming new ways and new days hide in the cracks when the cost of that decision must be paid. Either in ruined lives or in destruction of the fabric of society but where are they to bear the consequences of their decisions? If this guy was in a study he would look normal but what is the truth behind the study? To hide so intently rather than reveal the magnitude of his perversion it cost him 135k. How many others are so bent at hiding the truth till the avalanche of conviction can no longer be swept away by money or hiding.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Hi Bob,

      Yup everything is normal till its not, just like Elmo!!

      What?

      or just like the 10 guys arrested at the bathroom.

      Again, what?

      How long has this been going on in this persons life?

      Which person? What has been going on? What are you talking about?

      On the outward he seems ok. So we push for things on the outward appearance.

      That is what society demands, that we hide who we are inside to be "polite" or to not offend someone. I shouldn't have to hide who I am to make you feel comfortable.

      Never understanding the consequences of our decisions.

      Not everyone goes through life with blinders on, Bob. Many of us think through our actions before we act.

      It must be terrible for people like tom who look at words and listen to the words so carefully but never have the depth and vision to see the truth, to see the real person behind the words.

      One could say the same to you, Bob. People have been trying to converse with you all along, but you refuse to hear.

      To see the reality behind the ideal, that is what makes a visionary just like the founders of this country that we have strayed from.

      Have we strayed? Or are we merely fulfilling their dream? I would argue the latter.

      But with these proclaiming new ways and new days hide in the cracks when the cost of that decision must be paid. Either in ruined lives or in destruction of the fabric of society but where are they to bear the consequences of their decisions?

      Two people having sex is going to destroy the fabric of society? If that were true, civilization would never have crawled out of the caves.

      If this guy was in a study he would look normal but what is the truth behind the study?

      What guy are you talking about?

      To hide so intently rather than reveal the magnitude of his perversion it cost him 135k. How many others are so bent at hiding the truth till the avalanche of conviction can no longer be swept away by money or hiding.

      I'm confused. Are you advocating for gays and lesbians to come out of the closet? So that you can assess their perversion?

      My sex life has no bearing on your life or the society at large. Period.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  17. myweightinwords

    What does unconditional love look like to you?

    November 20, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  18. YeahRight

    " I thought that since you guys knew what this country was founded on that you would have had no problem in identifying this speech"

    What we were founded on has nothing to do with what is happening today. You realize that during that time women, Native Americans and African Americans didn't have civil rights, you're only posting this crap to try and justify your unfounded prejudice and bigotry toward 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.

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

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

    November 20, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  19. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    It must really irk Boob that Maryland and Maine both voted in a general election to legalize gay marriage. Maryland has some of the wealthiest communities in the entire nation, and possesses some of the most well-educated communities in the country as well. Bob WISHES he lived here. He couldn't afford to buy a garage in MD.

    I doubt he could get a diploma from even the lowest ranking high school here.

    November 19, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Robert

      Washington State legalized it too.

      November 20, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  20. Lorraine

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ATAR1OQBi4&w=640&h=390]

    IT'S ABOUT THE 'RIGHTEOUSNESS' OF ALL PEOPLE. PRAISE YHWH.

    November 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You have crummy taste.

      November 19, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Plus you're completely mental, Loopy. Get meds. Get counseling. Stay away from children and helpless animals. You're a menace.

      November 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.