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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. Bob

    Gays should not be allowed to marry civil unions are good enough not to mention there is no justification for gay marriage in the Bible and gay copulation is not normal.

    December 2, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why shouldn't gays be allowed the same rights you have?

      December 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  2. Don

    " blind you truly are."

    You're the one that is blind. 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".

    December 2, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  3. 261 Ministers Proclamation

    "asking God to bless sin"

    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.

    December 2, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  4. Bob

    The whole premise of Christianity that the death of the son of god would have been any kind of "sacrifice" and was required to deal with "sin" is utter nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are discussing. Christians, think this through a bit: how come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that supposed saving without the loony son sacrifice bit? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there. Give that some thought and maybe it will help you leave your delusions behind. You will remain a laughingstock otherwise, and the more you dwell in your silly delusion and ancient myths, instead of keeping up with advances in medicine and technology, the more America slips downward relative to the rest of the world in science and other fields.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    December 2, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  5. Bob

    Christianity, at least that practiced by fundamentalists, and certain other mainstream religions, are not only anti-gay. They are anti-American. They are anti-capitalism since they oppose a free market and optimal pricing of goods, and they are anti-free speech. True conservatives should oppose Christianity, as should reasoning liberals. Christianity is also racist and bigoted, given that it presents a "chosen race" and is unfair to women, among other reasons.

    Christianity, particularly that flagrantly practiced and grossly over-preached by evangelists, is also anti-science and is therefore putting our young people and our future workforce at a disadvantage relative to competing nations that now have better science education without religious bias and without the ancient supersti-tions that block modern understanding and technological and medical progress.

    Therefore, if we want to keep our great country the greatest in the world, a status that is increasingly questionable and under threat, Americans need to overthrow the power that Christianity has in the US, and ultimately get past religion entirely. We need to take our freedom back from the power-holders and practitioners of Christianity, and push back hard against the idiocies that religion represents.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    December 2, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  6. Bob

    Gay Christians can get married in a church but it has nothing to do with God or maybe we should say it has everything to do with god. They might just as well go to the gov and allow them to marry them it is the same thing. Oh I’m sorry it’s not the same thing actually they are cursing themselves by doing this and asking God to bless sin. God bestows His blessings on what He says IS RIGHT that's it. Man cannot bend Gods will to bless what He says is NOT RIGHT. Douglas as usual is correct and states the truth. AS for JWT a atheist telling us what the church is what a freaking laugh your opinion on this topic is a waste, null and void and a lie just like all your atheist friends and anyone who would believe you is dumber than a rock. You who has no spiritual understanding. But what really is a shame is the ones that are seeking Gods blessings by marring in a gay church are really deceived and according to what that Bible says will go to hell. God cannot be intimidated to bend to what you think is correct so you can put the dog and pony show on all you want but you will not get the gold ring. I also wonder how these will be judged that contort the word of God to say that this is even acceptable. Why don't you just build buildings that look like church and have their own made up Bible so that you wouldn't be asking God to bless sin and then reap the penalty for it. OH I almost forgot this is exactly what is happening but just a bit of a problem they still ask God to bless that which is sin. You atheists have made a form of godliness but without any power or presence of the Lord that is all you understand and know. It has nothing, like a house of cards then people wonder where is the real blessings and you cant guide them, I wonder why? You who pull down that which is good to make it condemned like yourselves is only a example of how twisted and blind you truly are.

    December 2, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  7. Bob

    Because the truth of the matter is there is no justification for gay marriage in the Bible NONE AT ALL. Since all of you atheists are complicit in this course of action you have also said that there is no meaningful discussion either.

    December 2, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  8. Melvin

    "Because the truth of the matter is there is no justification for gay marriage in the Bible NONE AT ALL."

    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.

    December 2, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  9. Bob

    Also yeah with all your quotes there is not one explanation as to why civil unions wont work as long as they have all the rights. Cut the feces

    December 2, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • YeahRight

      Another great example of "Bob" poor reading comprehension skills. LOL!

      December 2, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  10. Bob

    Ok we have yeah back so all meaningful discussion goes back to re posts. All you are really a waste to allow a azz like this to stop all meaning full discussions. One line would have been sufficient to say all that he has taken most of this to do. Because the truth of the matter is there is no justification for gay marriage in the Bible NONE AT ALL.

    December 2, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  11. YeahRight

    "Like they say ignorance is bliss"

    That's why you hold onto your unfounded prejudice and bigotry toward the gay community that isn't based on the real facts of today. 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."

    Like their heterosexual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.

    Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples.

    A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-sex parents as it is for children of opposite-sex parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-sex parents as for children of opposite-sex parents.

    Assertions that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.

    December 2, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  12. John

    "They say that the Bible says nothing about gay marriage...a complete lie."

    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.

    December 2, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  13. YeahRight

    "So why does this matter a civil union in city hall should be ok right as long as it has all the rights correct?"

    They tried that with African Americans, separate but equal crap and it proved that it doesn't work. This is about equal 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.

    December 2, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  14. Bob

    We have not heard any reason that the gay community wants to have marriage other than the rights that go along with it. So why not have civil unions with all the rights? Actually we have not heard from the atheists why, the gays want to have marriage, all I hear is its supposed to be a civil right, now that's better. So why does this matter a civil union in city hall should be ok right as long as it has all the rights correct?

    December 2, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why should they accept a civil union? Why shouldn't they be accorded the same rights as you have? Using your usual excuses, Boob, won't work. Straight people don't have to abide by your beliefs in order to be legally married. Why should gays? Your side has already lost, Booby. Gays are getting legally married and there's not one thing you or your god can do about it.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  15. Douglas

    Bobby dearest, let's come out together. You can be first out of the closet and then I'll come from behind, just like I usually do.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  16. Clara Spence

    Bob, your god sounds like quite the malignant, meanspirited, punishing jerk. So, no thanks. You can keep your iron age superstitions. Society is moving on and leaving ignorant folk like you behind to die off with your disgusting delusions about your brutal BOMITS.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Bob

      Actually My God is very loving but wait someday you will get to see the god you have worshiped and by that time it will be to late. Like they say ignorance is bliss

      December 1, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post 'Bob' by is a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      December 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Bob' is a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      December 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  17. Rick Warren

    Bob, will you come out together with me? We could hold hands and kiss and even...

    December 1, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Bob

      Never really like Rick Warren thought he was a bit two faced so at least you picked him

      December 1, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Bob

      Rick loves to come out in my face.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  18. Bob

    Yup,, gay Christians can get married in a church but it has nothing to do with God or maybe we should say it has everything to do with god. They might just as well go to the gov and allow them to marry them it is the same thing. Oh I’m sorry it’s not the same thing actually they are cursing themselves by doing this and asking God to bless sin. God bestows His blessings on what He says IS RIGHT that's it. Man cannot bend Gods will to bless what He says is NOT RIGHT. Douglas as usual is correct and states the truth. AS for JWT a atheist telling us what the church is what a freaking laugh your opinion on this topic is a waste, null and void and a lie just like all your atheist friends and anyone who would believe you is dumber than a rock. You who has no spiritual understanding. But what really is a shame is the ones that are seeking Gods blessings by marring in a gay church are really deceived and according to what that Bible says will go to hell. God cannot be intimidated to bend to what you think is correct so you can put the dog and pony show on all you want but you will not get the gold ring. I also wonder how these will be judged that contort the word of God to say that this is even acceptable. Why don't you just build buildings that look like church and have their own made up Bible so that you wouldn't be asking God to bless sin and then reap the penalty for it. OH I almost forgot this is exactly what is happening but just a bit of a problem they still ask God to bless that which is sin. You atheists have made a form of godliness but without any power or presence of the Lord that is all you understand and know. It has nothing, like a house of cards then people wonder where is the real blessings and you cant guide them, I wonder why? You who pull down that which is good to make it condemned like yourselves is only a example of how twisted and blind you truly are.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • JWT

      There is more than one view of god and more than one view of christianity. Just because a church puts a stronger emphasis on some poarts of the bible than the other oes not make them any less christian. Each person will see what they will of the bible and make up their own mind as to what it says to them. This is what you do, what I do and what everyone does.

      To those chirstians that I know the church and the word of their lord was meant to inclusive of all. They find a reason to include people in their beliefs not to exclude them. They see a very different bible and god than you do and in my opinion are far better people for it.

      Douglas has one thing right though. The church can marry whomsoever it pleases. The real question here is for society to accept gay marriage as a part of both civil rights and good humanity. The churches will in time make their own choices about they will do internally on the topic. People will accept their church or they will leave and find achurch that has it right in their opinion/ The way it should be.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Douglas

      Bob,

      Excellent analysis.

      The atheists and LGBTQ apologists on this blog repeatedly lie.
      They say that the Bible says nothing about gay marriage...a complete lie.

      1. In Matthew 19, Jesus defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
      Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus define marriage in any other way.

      2. The atheists and LGBTQ apologists, contrary to what they claim, are trying to force
      a revision of the Bible into mainstream Christian belief. They claim that the Bible "accepts"
      "loving gay couples". This is a crock since the Bible condemns gay/lesbian coitus repeatedly.

      Celibacy is the only alternative for a "gay christian". Anything else is living in a world of sin and condemnation.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dougie, if you keep kissing Boob's azz, he's going to have trouble being a celibate, closeted gay.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Douglas

      Hi Ms. Tom,

      Sorry can't take your bait.
      I'm a straight Christian.

      Not that there is anything wrong with being gay...they just can't get married in a
      Christian church. It is a sin against God's teaching in the Bible.

      Celibate gay couples are NOT under condemnation.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gay couples are getting married in Christian churches even as we speak.

      They're married in the eyes of the law and in the view of the god they love.

      Your approval and acceptance aren't required.

      We all know you and Boob are one and the same.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Bob

      God is a spirit, we worship God in spirit and in truth, Jesus died on the cross to absolve us of our sin so that we could have a one on one relationship to the Father. So we could go boldly into the throne room of God without sin. spot or wrinkle and speak with God directly. We could have the good gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Truth that will teach us all things that God says to us. What spiritual law are you being a atheist going to interpret for us. It is not what is seen that is important but that which is not seen for that which is seen is NO SALVATION it is purely by the spirit and laws of God NOT BY ANY CHURCH THAT WE ARE MADE WHOLE. The rights, rituals mans made alters are all nothing just man made works this is what the world sees this is what the advocates of gay marriage see and aspire to. This is what gay churches are and nothing more. If you break one law of God you have broken them all and only by the atoning power of the Blood of Jesus with the spiritual laws that it allows us we walk. When we marry we are one person in Gods eyes, joined together forever. These are all spiritual laws dictated by God set in motion by God and what God says is the way He accepts us as His children. So you want to have gay churches go ahead they will just like the Bible says have the form of Godliness but have none of His presence or power. IT IS A DEAD ALTER MADE FOR MAN ALONE. This is what you are fighting for this is what you will receive and while you can lie and badger men into approving the gay agenda God is not one that will be persuaded. So while you inherent the the things you have worked so hard to achieve don't drag people with you. This is the real problem. God set the way and we are to follow and it is not open to interpretation of man but by the spirit only and what one of you atheists are going to tell us what the spirit is saying today?? 2Ti 3:5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 2Ti 3:6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,2Ti 3:7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.Rom 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, Rom 1:19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Rom 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Rom 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. Rom 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Boob/Doogie says: BLAHBLAHBLAH!! I KNOW because BLAH be DEE Blah! The bible says BLAHHH< BLAHH< blah blah BLAH! ANd therefore, Blahahhha, blah, blah--blah, blahs, blah, blah BLAH! So BLAH! Blah, blah, blah BLAHbby blah. Blah, blah, blah, drool, blah, vomit, blah, blahs, blah, blah BLAH! So BLAH! Blah, blah, blah BLAHbby blah. Blah, blah, blah, drool, blah, vomit, blah, blahs, blah, blah BLAH! So BLAH! Blah, blah, blah BLAHbby blah. Blah, blah, blah, drool, blah, vomit, because BLAH be DEE Blah! The bible says BLAHHH< BLAHH< blah blahbecause BLAH be DEE Blah! The bible says BLAHHH< BLAHH< blah blahANd therefore, Blahahhha, blah, blah, blah--blah, blahs, blah, blah BLAH! So BLAH! Blah, blah, blah BLAHbby blah. Blah, blah, blah, drool, blah, vomit, blah, blahs, blah, blah BLAH! So BLAH! Blah, blah, blah BLAHbby blah. Blah, blah, blah, drool, blah, vomit, blah, blahs, blah, blah BLAH! So BLAH! Blah, blah, blah BLAHbby blah. Blah, blah, blah, drool, blah, vomit, because BLAH be DEE Blah! The bible says BLAHHH< blah, blah--blah, blahs, blah, blah BLAH! So BLAH! Blah, blah, blah BLAHbby blah. Blah, blah, blah, drool, blah, vomit, blah, blahs, blah, blah BLAH! So BLAH! Blah, blah, blah BLAHbby blah. Blah, blah, blah, drool, blah, vomit, blah, blahs, blah, blah BLAH! So BLAH! Blah, blah, blah BLAHbby blah. Blah, blah, blah, drool, blah, vomit, because BLAH be DEE Blah! The bible says BLAHHH< BLAHH< blah blahbecause BLAH be DEE Blah! The bible says BLAHHH< BLAHH< blah blahANd therefore, Blahahhha, blah, blah< blah blahbecause BLAH be DEE Blah! The bible says BLAHHH< BLAHH< blah blahANd therefore, Blahahhha, blah, blah

      December 1, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Clara Spence

      Bob, your god sounds like quite the malignant, vicious meanspirited, punishing jerk. So, no thanks. You can keep your iron age superstitions. Society is moving on and leaving ignorant folk like you behind to die off with your disgusting delusions about your brutal BOMITS.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Damocles

      @doug

      So because gays that have no s-ex are acceptable, your argument boils down to 'butt secks is icky'.

      @bob

      Learn to be a bit more concise when you post.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Phil

      "Celibacy is the only alternative for a "gay christian"

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

      December 2, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  19. JWT

    Gay christians can get married in a christian church. Your statement otherwise is perfectly false.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:39 am |
  20. Douglas

    The Bible is abundantly clear.

    There is no case for "gay marriage".

    In civil court gays can get married, but in a Christian church
    gay marriage is out of bounds.

    As Jesus said in Matthew 19..."those who can accept this teaching, accept it!"

    Happiness for LGBTQ Christian couples may be found in celibate relationships
    that reject fornication and lust.

    Encourage your pastor and church leadership council to begin an outreach program to
    support celibate LGBTQ Christian couples. It's a win/win for everyone concerned.

    December 1, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gays are being married in Christian churches already. Sorry, Doogie, but those churches are just as truly Christian as yours, and they saw no need to ask your permission to marry gay couples.

      You're an idiot.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • James

      "There is no case for "gay marriage"."

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

      December 2, 2012 at 9:08 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.