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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. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    If the SCOTUS upholds a ban on gay marriage, it will be for Const itutional reasons, not religious ones.

    I hope the Justices will do the right thing and make marriage between two consenting adults legal regardless of their gender.

    And I hope that will shut up ass holes like Bob for good.

    December 8, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Unfortunately, I don't think the assholes or even many moderate believers are going to go away quietly. I expect the various believer cults are going to get together with the GOP and take a very right wing approach to the next election.

      December 8, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then they'll fail. They aren't in the majority any more.

      December 8, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  2. Bob

    Actually Douglas said a good portion of what I would have said and I am happy that they will put this issue to bed. It will not change anything as far as public opinion and I hope they uphold prop 8 and Doma. But the real issue here is no matter what happens there will always be a stigma about gay marriage. It will never be just as good as a marriage between a man and a woman. Thats because it still will not be accepted by most churches and more importantly it will not be accepted by Gods laws. Just like Christians that the atheists hold up you can have all the appearances but none of the blessings. It in reality is a dog and pony show and that's about it. I have found it very interesting that the decision of basically one man influenced by the gays back in 73 has lead us to this point. I wonder if they do approve gay marriage how many challenges to it will we see and the next step is to force all who dont share the acceptance of gay marriage to choke it down peoples throats. The courts have not been a friend to the people and I hope in this case they do the right thing. With the new hate laws on the books putting gays in a class above all legally it can be very sticky to stand up for what you believe if passed. As atheists eternity is not in their hearts and there is no spirit so they can live like hell today and think that the price will not be paid tomorrow. There is one right way no matter what the appearance looks like. As always I know that God has all things in His hands and we were told what the end times will look like.I also look forward to what God has for all because it says in these times He will pour His spirit out even more on all.

    December 8, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Churches aren't required for a marriage to be legal. If you want to pretend that your god is necessary for legal marriage, then YOU'RE the one forcing something down others' throats, you moronic twit.

      December 8, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What is it you think gays do that is "perverted"? Are the same s3xual practices "perverted" when straight couples engage in them? Why?

      December 8, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  3. James

    "That doesn't affect the condemnation of gay marriage in the Christian church."

    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 8, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Bob

      There is No Justification of gay marriage in the Bible. Why would you as a believer listen to a atheist or someone in error rather that ask God yourself? The author of this article is deceived and is dim in his understanding.

      December 8, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure, Boob. And you are able to interpret the Bible better than someone who can actually write grammatically and present a cogent argument? Not likely. Not even remotely plausible.

      December 8, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  4. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Well, well. Looks the SCOTUS is going to make the decision. Regardless of the outcome, you can bet it won't involve what the bible says. Bad news for Booby.

    December 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ooooh. Looks like that made Booby shut his pie-hole right quick!

      December 7, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Douglas

      The SCOTUS may very well declare gay marriage legal.
      That doesn't affect the condemnation of gay marriage in the Christian church.
      The SCOTUS can change the law as it pleases, but the SCOTUS cannot amend the Bible.

      LGBTQ coitus and gay marriage remain off limits for practicing Christians.

      Celibate LGBTQ Christians are welcome to fellowship with the congregation.
      Will some LGBTQ Chrisitians backslide occasionally into fornication?

      Yes...it's possible. But they can pray for forgiveness and the strength to reject
      and jettison the old bad self and renew their commitment to salvation.

      The SCOTUS may say no also. This is because when the Pandora's box of gay marriage
      is opened on the premise of two consenting adults...why not three, four, five, or six?

      The SCOTUS will have to take this slippery slope into consideration.

      This is why Jesus' directive of one man and one woman in Matthew 19 continues
      to serve as the model for marriage.

      –Douglas

      December 7, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do you really think anyone who's gay gives a ripe fvck what you think the bible says? Get a clue, Doogie. If the SCOTUS decides in favor of gay marriage, you and your entire premise will be even more of a laughing stock than you are now.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Phil

      "Celibate LGBTQ Christians are welcome to fellowship with the congregation."

      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 8, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder, Doogie/Booby, how do you enforce celibacy among same-s3x couples? Do you go sit in their bedrooms every night and make sure they have a blanket in between them?

      What a moron.

      December 8, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Bob

      Tom sheds light on her wishes and fears when she says how are you going to enforce celibacy? The world and this law is about taking the gov out of control of the bedroom. The idea that there is sin and conscience is alien to them so the idea of self restraint is not in their vocabulary. To them there is no reason not to do some perverted act so again we are talking a moral non issue to them. No penalty no problem that's it.

      December 8, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Answer the question, boob.

      December 8, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You really are funny, boob. "Self-restraint" isn't in my vocabulary? You dumbazz, I've been faithful to my husband for our entire married lives. He's been faithful to me. No god required.

      Why are you denying other couples the opportunity to establish the same kind of faithful, monogamous relationship with the same benefits you enjoy?

      December 8, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  5. myweightinwords

    Bob,

    Weight There are no gays on this board only atheists and Christians, why do you not see that?

    Wrong. I'm not either atheist or Christian. I am part of the LGBT community. There are others who post on the Belief blog who are neither atheist or Christian as well. There are others who post on the Belief Blog who are a part of the LGBT community. You are blinded by your anger and hatred.

    This is not a battle for gay marriage and what the Bible says this is a battle to take any kind of God out of the US.

    Wrong again. This is a battle for the equality promised by the constitution of the United States. Nothing more. Nothing less. This is the same struggle that began our quest for independence from England. "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."

    All men are created equal. All men are endowed with certain unalienable rights, including the right to life, the right to liberty and the right to happiness.

    That, my friend, is what this fight is about.

    So you may have to rethink your idea.

    I have, and I do. I stand by what I said.

    If you look at the original post above you will note that its one mans idea that the Bible supports gay marriage, do you really think atheists know what the Bible says or are they just pulling things from what others say?

    1) Yes, I know that's what the original article was about, and many, many Christians agree with him. I know many gay Christians even.
    2) In my experience, a great number of atheists know the bible as well, or better, than many Christians do. This is because they have studied it, either in an effort to understand the lure of the religion, or in search of something they wanted. They merely found it lacking in what it is they were looking for. In other words, they disagree with you about what it MEANS, not what it says.

    They are not going to be convinced by anything I say they are only here to bludgeon.

    You are not here to be convincing, Bob. If you were, you would actually debate, engage in conversation. Instead, you bludgeon anyone and everyone with your opinions and already de-bunked arguments as though you are blind and deaf to anything anyone tells you.

    I also would like you to look at this post this post who do you think wrote it? Do I not have the right to address some of the misconceptions?

    First off, why would you bring something that was written in another blog, not a part of this site, into discussion HERE? Most blogs have the option for you to comment on them.

    Secondly, how am I supposed to "know" who wrote this when you don't include links to the original post, and why would you copy and paste it here?

    I'm not going to let you drag me into some war between you and another poster. I don't take sides.

    What I will say, is I did not see you refuting any of these statements. I saw you take the fact that the original poster has a daughter and use that as a weapon. That is NOT okay. Ever.

    December 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Bob

      OK, we have one gay person and the rest atheists, don't ever say that I didn't correct myself. And of course there is no justification for gay marriage in the Bible. Thanks and have a nice day
      .
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      Now back to spam and atheist central the place to go for lies about life, 'the Bible and anything that is good and wholesome take it away Yeah john elvis chad jan toby tomas chad phil james or just call him yeah.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  6. John

    "OF COURSE ANY CHRISTIAN WOULD KNOW THAT,,,,, WAIT FOR IT ,,,,,,,,WAIT ......
    THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION OF GAY MARRIAGE IN THE BIBLE"

    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 7, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  7. YeahRight

    "THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION OF GAY MARRIAGE IN THE BIBLE"

    It doesn't matter. 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.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  8. Bob

    OF COURSE ANY CHRISTIAN WOULD KNOW THAT,,,,, WAIT FOR IT ,,,,,,,,WAIT .....
    .,
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    THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION OF GAY MARRIAGE IN THE BIBLE
    .
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    Now back to our regularly scheduled spam take it away yeah or Norman or Chad or John or oh well who ever you call yourself now

    December 7, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • midwest rail

      For those of you who don't speak "dolt" , a translation :
      " Anyone other than Bob or Douglas who posts is a spammer. I think gay people are icky, so I'm going to throw a tantrum til my religious views are codified thru civil legislation."
      You're welcome.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  9. Matthew

    Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Any educated Christian would know that. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality: These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality. That’s why Jesus never mentions it as well. There is nothing immoral, wrong, or sinful about being gay. Jesus, however, clearly states he HATES hypocrites. If you preach goodness, then promote hate and twist the words of the Bible, you are a hypocrite, and will be judged and sent to hell. Homosexuals will not go to hell, hypocrites will. This is very similar to the religious bigots of the past, where they took Bible passages to condone slavery, keep women down, and used Bible passages to claim blacks as curses who should be enslaved by the white man. People used God to claim that blacks marrying whites was unnatural, and not of God's will

    December 7, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  10. Melvin

    " But if you are a Christian and dont take the Bible literally then why are you a Christian? "

    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 7, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  11. YeahRight

    "The Congress must, then, take the needed steps to correct serious problem."

    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.

    December 7, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  12. Douglas

    Honor celibate LGBTQ Christians for the leadership they provide in the community.

    Open the doors of your church this Sunday and let celibate LGBTQ Chrisitans know they are welcome.

    Extend the hand of fellowship to celibate LGBTQ Christians.

    It is not easy to reject and jettison fornication when false prophets encourage your to wallow in sin.
    Let them know you support their efforts to remain pure with their faces set like a flint toward God and salvaiton..

    December 7, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • James

      "Honor celibate LGBTQ Christians for the leadership they provide in the community."

      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 7, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Phil

      "Extend the hand of fellowship to celibate LGBTQ Christians."

      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 7, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Saraswati

      Yep, because religiously enforced celibacy has worked so well in the past.

      December 7, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  13. End Religion

    http://www.change.org/petitions/citibank-and-barclays-condemn-uganda-s-kill-the-gays-bill
    sign the petition against Ugandan "kill the gays" bill.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  14. mama k

    You know they just started issuing marriage licenses to gays in a couple of the states that have now approved ballot measures. And I'm sure soon to follow will be Christian churches in those states wanting to start accommodating the many couples that have already wed and the ones yet to come. So really, regardless of your position, the Christian case for gay marriage has already been made!

    December 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yep, it has. Maryland started issuing licenses today; marriages can begin taking place in January, if I recall correctly.

      Boob, you're irrelevant. There's not a thing you can do to stop the tide from turning.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • midwest rail

      And so ends another evening of our resident Pigeon Chess Grand Master getting his @ss handed to him. No one is so consistently wrong, so consistently incoherent, yet so stubbornly determined to score at least one point – someday. It would be cute were it not so sad.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Mid, what's truly beyond the pale is the Boob's incredible inability to even write coherently about his convictions. The idiot couldn't manage to get a GED based on his performance here. He seems to be completely unaware of his shortcomings and uninterested in doing anything to ameliorate them-he sees no reason to get any further education or even consider other viewpoints on the issue. He cannot seem to grasp the fact that his "reasons" for rejecting gay marriage aren't valid when seen in the context of secular law.

      He HAS to be a poe.

      December 6, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  15. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Boob, do you EVER use your head for anything other than a hat-rack? You are so incredibly dim that I cannot believe you're for real. No one as stupid as you appear to be here could survive, keep a job, stay married, and avoid drowning while gazing at the sky during a rainstorm.

    December 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  16. Bob

    Because the Court does not seem to be disposed to correct this serious error, it is put upon the Congress of the US to perform its duty to support and defend the Con-sti-tu-tion of the US, by the use of its authority to apply checks and balances to other branches of the gov, when abuses of power and the exercise of excesses of power are evident. The Congress must, then, take the needed steps to correct serious problem.

    December 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Correct serious problem"? He spoke with forked tongue, then?

      December 6, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  17. Observer

    NO ONE believes every word of the Bible. It's all pick-and-choose what you like, That's why there are so many Christian hypocrites who choose passages to put gays down and ignor the MUCH GREATER number of fellow Christian hypocrites who are divorced and remarried ADULTERERS.

    It's all HYPOCRISY for them.

    December 6, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Bob

      Well we agree on one thing there are indeed quite a few that dont walk the walk but talk the talk but for that I remember Jesus own words, why do you call me good there is no one good but the Father. if you take your eyes off Jesus you can truly become upset with in the world. I have seen through prayer the hardest of hearts change and marriages put back together but God does not violate mans will it is each mans choosing to what he will do. Either through faith accomplish good works or through looking at the world become hard and bitter and never live to his full potential. But if you are a Christian and dont take the Bible literally then why are you a Christian? We will not be able to say I did that because I saw them do it we will each answer for our decisions.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • mama k

      " quite a few that dont walk the walk but talk the talk "
      "But if you are a Christian and dont take the Bible literally then why are you a Christian? "

      Precisely what the next Christian would say about you. Because they are likely to have a different interpretation of the "literal" words, Bobby. That's the nature of Christianity – conflicted interpretation based on conflicted tenets based on conflicted words based on conflicted fable.

      December 6, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
  18. Bob

    Justice Joseph Story, considered the Father of American law, stated in his Com-men-tar-ies on the Con-sti-tu-tion The real object of the First Amendment was not to cou-nte-na-nce, much less to advance Judaism or infidelity by prostrating Christianity but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment which should give to a hierarchy a den-om-in-at-ion-al council the exclusive patronage of the national gov Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Con-st-it-u-tion of the US

    December 6, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  19. Bob

    George Mason, a member of the Con-sti-tu-tion-al Convention and recognized as The Father of the Bill of Rights submitted this proposal for the wording of the First Amendment All men have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience and that no particular sect or society of Christians ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others. Kate Mason Rowland, The Life of George Mason New York

    December 6, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • End Religion

      does god have a vestigial tail?

      December 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • mama k

      Well you know, Bob, everyone comes up with a bad idea at the meeting. That's why they have the meeting. To weed out the ridiculous stuff and come up with something sensible that everyone agrees on. Take our secular Constitution for instance, Bob. Oh wait, I forgot, you turn a blind eye to the reality of the Constitution; a blind eye towards the reflections of those who crafted it that said things like:

      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.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Bob

      K same quotes different day not impressed.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Boob, I'd say "Pot, meet kettle," but that would be so far over your empty skull it isn't worth the trouble. My friggin' Aunt Fannie, you are stupid.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • mama k

      I'm not here to impress. Bobigot. I'm here to demonstrate to others the poor assumptions you make and the clear evidence you choose to ignore. It's important for others to know even if you remain locked in your own cage of delusion.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
  20. Bob

    Jefferson was neither the author of nor a coauthor of the First Amendment. He cannot be considered as a source of legal authority on this subject. The Court, if it had wished to rely upon Jefferson to determine the true and original intent of the First Amendment, could have served themselves and the American people well by referring to Jefferson's warning to Judge William Johnson regarding the de-ter-min-ation of the original intent of a statute or a con-st-itu-tion On every question of con-struc-tion, carry ourselves back to the time when the Con-st-itu-tion was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.' (Thomas Jefferson, Memoir, Correspondence, and Miscellanies, From the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, OK so he said GO BACK TO WHAT THE ORIGINAL FRAMERS HAD IN MIND that was Jefferson himself gee that's going to put a cramp on all your arguments.

    December 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Observer

      Since Jefferson thought the Bible contained so much nonsense that he edited his own, there's nothing that indicated he wanted any religious involvement in government.

      December 6, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Bob

      Observer so you would contradict Jeffersons own words? He actually cut out all the words that Jesus spoke and that is how he made his own Bible it was not all words he made up.

      December 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Observer

      Bob,

      When Jefferson got done cutting the nonsense out of the Bible, he had less than 50 pages left.

      December 6, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • mama k

      Maybe you're learning a little bit about it, Bob. The primary framer for the 1st Amendment was Madison, who also was the key framer in much of the first ten Amendments. You know, Bob, the one who said:

      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.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:15 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.