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.
How much money did you donate last year or even this year tommy and not to gay causes either? How much time have you given to people who needed a hand up? afraid to answer?
Oh, Blobby. Do you REALLY think I'm going to reveal such information on a public forum? How stupid ARE you? Oh..wait..never mind. No need to answer that.
If you want such information, then you'll have to ante up first, honey. You're the one who claims to be the great Christian.
I make no such claims.
Guess the ball's are in your scrotum, dear.
I thought so. How many people have trusted you enough to give you cars and money to help others in need? Anyone? Words are great but pale in comparison to action and putting ones money time and effort where ones mouth is. Have you given anything at all?
Guess that answers that, Blob. You had an opportunity to show what you've done and you baled.
Now everyone knows just how much you've done for others. Nada. Zilch. Zero.
Why does it matter how much others give? Shouldn't your eye be on your own charity?
I donate time, money and goods year round to various causes, but I don't keep track of it because I don't do it for some reward, not even the recognition of others.
I support Heifer International, Kiva.org, RAINN and various local battered women's, homeless and animal shelters with money.
I support local food banks with non-perishable goods several times per year.
I support local several local Angel Tree type organizations every Christmas.
I crochet hats, scarves, blankets, etc that we donate every winter to the area homeless shelters and hats for premature infants donated to the neo-natal units at area hospitals several times per year, plus this year we added hats for cancer patients delivered to a local cancer clinic.
Those are all of my non-religion based charities. I also donate my time to several Pagan and LGBT causes every year.
Do you feel better for knowing that?
"Gays no more will have a say. Straights again will rule the day.'
Yeah, Blob just loves those good old-time hymns.
Apparently, the BLOB thinks that the amount of money one donates to certain causes absolves one of the sin of pride. He believes that his having given some beater car away as a tax exemption is a plus in the column of good in God's ledger.
I wonder, Blob, have you ever given a brand-new car to someone? Or just some heap of rust?
Blob must be feeling something akin to guilt, or he wouldn't be here. He's finally aware that his behavior toward gays is sinful and wrong.
I wonder what Blob prays for when he gets on his knees. I'll bet he doesn't bother to pray for world peace or an end to hunger and poverty. I'll bet he prays that the US will become a theocracy, execute or oust all unbelievers, murder every gay person, force all women to give up contraceptives and become chattel, and insti t ute the teaching of creationism and intelligent design along with forced prayer in the public schools.
Blob's favorite Christmas song: All I want for Christmas is a theocracy, a theocracy, a theocracy. Gee, if I could only have a theocracy, then I could have a Merry Christmas!
How much money did you donate last year or even this year tommy and not to gay causes either? How much time have you given to people who needed a hand up? Have you prayed for anyone ever? Have you ever given anything like a car to anyone you really didnt know? How many of your neighbors do you know or have even helped?
Oooh, looks like I hit a nerve. How very invigorating.
I do believe I've gotten Blob's goat. Good for me.
Nothing you do for anyone will absolve you of your hateful behavior toward those you deem inferior, Blob. Nothing. God will still be ashamed of you.
Blob's second-favorite carol: "Hark, the herald right-wings sing, "Glory to the right-wing's King! Boehner we adore thy name!"
If socies were really serious they'd have science do this experiment with volunteers and I'll be a volunteer, too:Find 3 nearly identical islands that can handle about a 50,000 pop each. One island gets all female gays. One gets male gays. The last gets heteros. Once in you have to honor your commitment to stay. Supplies will be air dropped. The scientists can make their observations to watch how the civilizations evolve. After say, 75 years, they can report their findings.
And that will prove what?
The population on the island with gay girls will decline. The population on the island with gay boys will decline. The population on the island may increase, with about 10% of the children being born there being gay.
Are you suggesting some other outcome?
It made ZERO difference if the 2 islands were populated by hetero girls and hetero guys. Bringing gays into the story made your comment POINTLESS. Well done.
Standard fantasy nonsense from our Land of Oz resident, the absurd lol??. Already exposed as the Cowardly Liar, he now takes a turn as the Scarecrow. If he only had a brain...
Hello LOL Merry Christmas to you its that time of year again.
Nice, Blob. You are such a hypocrite. You pretend you're this exemplary Christian who follows the teachings of Jesus, and proceed to spew your venom everywhere about all the people you hate, then wish your sock puppet a Merry Christmas.
What an azz.
Yes, "its that time of year again." and Christian children are really excited. They know that Santa Claus will bring them gifts and the older ones hope they will receive all the presents they want. Yep.
If the ability to reproduce is the only criteria you use to evaluate a population, then fertile gays are already a step above a straight infertile person.
I'm sure tom that when Jesus went into the temple and overturned the tables and said you have made my house a den of thieves they thought the same thing. Even the apostles they came out in the morning speaking in tongues and the people thought they were drunk you would have no idea the proper way to act so Merry Christmas even to you.
Oh, gee, Blob. Do tell everyone here the "proper way to act," you hypocritical sh!t.
If there is a god and if Jesus was his son, they must be so embarrassed by people like you, Blob. You're completely without humility. You have no compassion for anyone. You're a hateful, mean, little man.
If anyone should go to that hell you describe, it should be people like you.
Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
Evolved is right, fred. It's pretty clear that you haven't read much about the development of human society. There was a Nat Geo special not long ago that credited the transition of humans from nomadic hunter/gatherers to farming and communal living to the domestication of the dog. It's not some "made-up" story, you nincompoop.
December 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm
Well it's been a week and the Socie Scientists have proven just what kind of science they like. No interest in data. They like to study sharks at the aquarium. Much valuable data could be collected by studying them in the wild but they already have drawn their conclusions. H0m0 h0m0 saps could be much better understood in a natural environment instead of the cage of civilization, but as always the Socialists already have their mind made up. Same ol' same ol'.
A celibate lesbian couple filled out one of the visitor cards and was
welcomed by the congregation this morning.
Support celibate LGBTQ Christians.
And of course you can verify they're celibate, can't you? And you can give us the address or the church where this occurred, right?
Visitor cards???. I've been to plenty of different churches (none of which I was a member of since I'm not religious), and I've never seen any visitor cards. And this visitor card asks you what your s-xual orientation is and whether you're currently having s-x???? Does it ask for your medical history and your bank records too????
lol – funny.
Jen, you crack me up. Doogie, dear, how is it that a lesbian couple filled out a visitor card THIS MORNING and was welcomed THIS MORNING by the congregation as a "celibate gay couple?" What do you nitwits do-read the visitor cards out loud during the service and have the celibate couple stand up in front of the entire congregation?? Do you explain to the children in the church what it means to be "celibate?"
You are such a fraud.
"A celibate lesbian couple filled out one of the visitor cards and was
welcomed by the congregation this morning.
Support 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.
Hey, Blob, where's your sock puppet, Doogie? Why is it he can't manage to defend his posts without your (inept, ineffectual) help?
Why is it neither of you is willing to show your credentials as Biblical scholars? Hmmm? Maybe because you are completely incapable of putting together a cogent argument or a grammatical sentence? You don't have the brains or the education to know what is meant by the Bible.
We don't need no stinkin badges...we have the Bible for our credential.
There is no case for gay marriage in the Chrisitian faith.
Jesus defines marriage in Matthew 19 as the union of one man and one woman.
So then... are you saying Jesus is "out of touch" with his definition of marriage?
Will you accept his word as his credentials?
So you don't have any degrees that qualify you as the authority on what Jesus actually said or what it meant. Thanks for playing, Dooog.
"Jesus defines marriage in Matthew 19 as the union of one man and one woman."
The term “traditional marriage” is a term employed by anti-gay religious groups and individuals to promote bigotry, prejudice, hostility and discrimination toward gay and lesbian citizens.
The term is used to justify a social injustice both in terms of denying gay and lesbian individuals equal treatment guaranteed by our Constitution and also denying them human dignity. The use of the term is an action that promotes constitutional unfairness and human indignity and therefore one which is morally wrong.
If a person of faith agrees that a practice that promotes looking upon a segment of society as inferior, unworthy and undeserving of that which we find as good in our lives, the use of the term “traditional marriage” therefore also must be sinful.
Regardless of their particular faith, the person would be hard-pressed to say that love, compassion and wanting what is best in our lives for others around us are not the core principles of most religions. When a person of faith stands opposed to those principles, their attitude and actions stand opposed to the principles which they strive to uphold in the everyday interactions with those around them.
There is also deceit involved in the use of the term “traditional marriage” because those who employ the term attempt to perpetrate an untruth and ulterior motives of hostility and prejudice.
The untruth comes when “traditional marriage” is offered up as a term that defines a religious concept of a God-blessed union of a young man and woman who fall in love, get married with no prior sexual experience, have children and remain together into old age. They are implying that this is how God ordains marriage.
If it is, it took him until just 50 years ago to arrive at that conclusion.
The tradition of marriage in Old Testament times meant the man and his wife could have the same father.
In the Bible, the patriarch of the Hebrew people, Abraham, and his wife, Sarah, couldn’t have children so Sarah put forth her slave Hagar for Abraham to have children by.
In Old Testament times, it was normal, sometimes even required for a man to take multiple wives. A man having multiple wives was accepted by the church as late as the 5th Century, 500 years after the teachings set forth in the New Testament. The church for a very long time apparently did not interpret biblical teaching as an edict for one-man, one-woman marriage.
The tradition of marital unions in the 1700s and 1800s in America doesn’t seem to measure up to God-ordained – especially from the female perspective.
One third of brides were pregnant at the altar in Concord, Massachusetts during the 20 years prior to the American Revolution.
In this quote from a wedding couple in 1855, we see that the church had no problem blessing a legal marriage that was considered by many – including this couple – as a violation of the woman’s dignity and civil rights:
“We believe that personal independence and equal human rights can never be forfeited, except for crime; that marriage should be an equal and permanent partnership, and so recognized by law; that until it is so recognized, married partners should provide against the radical injustice of present laws, by every means in their power…”
So we can look back and see that religious teachings which uphold the ideals of love, dignity, compassion and respect for each person within marital unions throughout history has taken a back seat.
In other words, the definition of a God-ordained tradition of marriage has never been constant rather it has evolved.
History shows us it’s the marital union that should be uplifted…not the evolving traditions of a social institution. In other words, it’s not about how we come together but why.
Rev. Mark Gallagher, a Unitarian minister, in 2004 asked “what about a marriage could have that quality of spiritual beauty? What makes for sacredness in a marriage?” He names four things.
“First and foremost, mutual love. A feeling of heightened affection, respect, concern, and appreciation between marital partners. It gives a certain sparkle to the time spent together, and potentially to the entire experience of life. The presence of love makes a marriage sacred.
“Fidelity contributes to the sacredness of a marriage. Commitments fulfilled. Coming through. Hanging in. Placing the integrity of the relationship over personal preference and convenience. It builds a powerful trust. Fidelity makes a marriage sacred.
“Intimacy brings sacredness in a marriage. When two people reveal themselves to one another over time, they cannot help but gain acquaintance with the deep regions of the human experience. They get to know one another, of course. But more importantly, they get to know themselves.
Through relating intimately over time, deeper honesty and authenticity become possible. This is the spiritual journey to know and be known, behind the public charade, however subtle or crude that may be.
“And forgiveness generates sacredness in a marriage. We all make mistakes and need forgiveness. Our spiritual liberation requires that we become masters of forgiveness letting go of resentment for slights and injuries. The prolonged togetherness of marriage will present myriad opportunities for the practice of forgiveness. When forgiveness flows freely, there is a palpable quality of gentleness and compassion.”
Does the heterosexual couple uniting in marriage today lift up the union as characterized by love, fidelity, intimacy and forgiveness. We expect they do and we suspect those characteristics as Gallagher concluded in his sermon are what exude sacredness.
We also know that gay and lesbian couples uphold those same characteristics for their unions. Why would they not? Why would a parent of a gay son or daughter not want their child to enjoy the happiness derived from a lifelong devotion to those characteristics? Why would a brother or sister with a gay sibling not want their brother or sister to enjoy the happiness derived from a lifelong devotion to those characteristics?
Why would a person of faith not want the gay or lesbian individual to enjoy the happiness derived from the pursuit of marriage sanctity?
Why would we as Americans not want our government and its laws to recognize that same marriage sanctity for gay and lesbian individuals in their pursuit of liberty and happiness?
There can be only one reason and that is because many of us have been conditioned by years of misguided church teaching to look upon gay and lesbian individuals as morally inferior, unworthy and therefore undeserving of that which we uphold as good and sanctified in our lives.
Well this is interesting. The results from the latest "Intelligence Squared" debates.
This past debate's subject was "Science Refutes God". You can watch the debate online at:
You know, I believe it was Moby who mentioned this a couple of days ago when responding to Chard. Chard couldn't seem to find the link to the debate site. He's so bright, you know.
I watched the debate "live" via Internet streaming. Dinesh should take up standup comedy – very pathetic arguments, only slightly worse that his partner's.
I much prefer this
You can march with the ones that had the monkey trial that now may have to recant their story, especially with all the dna testing proving things. It very interesting that science is sure till its not.
LOL. that's not a debate, Bob. That's a sermon in the guise of self-validating creationist claim. Idiotic.
I'll bet you "prefer it." The human genome mapping doesn't prove there's a creator, you moron.
When are you going to admit that you are a LIAR?
So what was Eve's vote on marriage? Wait, wait, she wasn't a member of a mob. Illegal, huh? So the socies accuse God of promoting fornication! Sickos.
Eve from Gullible's Fables? Or possibly Mitochodrial Eve? Hmm – who are we talking about here?
Of course Mitochondrial Eve lived some ~200,000 years ago. Oops! There goes that creationism theory.
Bob, you are on the wrong side of history and you are now merely pathetic. Legal gay marriage is a reality and support for it is growing. Stop wasting your time posting your hate and bigotry towards a group that likely has done you no harm, and try to get on with your life. Try taking up a hobby; you need one, given the amount of time that you spend spewing your hate here.
Denise you know the future huh? The only ones I know that profess to know the future other than Gods appointed are atheists. I do also actually have a hobby telling the truth of Gods word in combating the lies of the atheists. I find it rewarding, fulfilling and its a real help to people who want to know the truth and not just be sheep that the atheist would want them to be. So I would suggest you save your breath for someone who cares.
Another socie who thinks she's "in charge". Watch out for socie bullies. They kill. babies, even. It's legal, even. They hate, even. It's all about being a member of the mob. Even.
But because there are many other Christians who do not interpret the Bible as Bob does – is proof that Bob makes assumptions. Too many assumptions – as in claiming to know God's thoughts. That's a sure sign of an extremist in any religion.
Regardless, Denise is correct. Legal gay marriage is a reality and growing. I think more moderate churches will join the ranks of those who already are performing gay marriages. For example the United Church of Christ.
The new cult-ural color for their wedding dresses is BLACK in honor of their daddies on the court. How goth!
Looks like lol?? is racist in addition to being homophobic. Anyone want to bet he's a fat, old, white guy living in a trailer below the Mason-Dixon Line with The Babble in one hand and a gun in the other?
The bridal party is gothic trench coated flashers line dancin' down the isle on the narrow path to the alter.
Be sure and catch the condom at the reception! Hopefully it's still packaged.
Booby, Denise is simply reporting facts. The percentage of voters who believe gay marriage should be legal has grown to over 50%. You're in the minority, Blob.
I have visions now of angry Southerners blocking gay couples from entering the courthouses to marry just as they did with blacks who wanted to vote. It may well once again take the national guard to drag the South kicking and screaming into the modern era.
Daddy to his 3rd grader, "Why are you cryin', Cupcake?"........... Moonbeam, "Daddy, you know I always cry at weddings. I wanna be the groom but I guess I'll have to be a bride in my starter marriage. You know about nest eggs, Dad."
Saraswati, you really didn't say "drag", did you, queenie ol' chap?
Bob, don't be so grouchy your religion is withering away. You can always go into the closet with it where gays used to be. I'm sure the rent is cheap.
oberserv That is actually true but the other parts to that are that God allowed Moses to give people a certificate of divorce. What is also interesting is you picked this because the deeper meaning is that Jesus was trying to make the apostles understand is that the law not only addressed what we see but the spirit and in the spirit which we all have and will live on. We have actually put ourselves in bondage if we are a believer. This also addresses gay marriage in that God views them as one flesh man and woman not man and man. God never joined 2 men or women together. If you divorce your wife or husband its because of the hardness of their heart. What Douglas professes is also true if you read the last lines. God is in the middle of a Godly marriage able to heal the minds and hearts of those that will listen. Many seek divorce first instead of seeking Him first and listening and allow Him to do the work in each in that relationship that needs to be done. When we marry have we really sought Gods approval of our partner? Why did we marry? Are we ready to marry? If we get into trouble in our marriage do we hear God sufficiently to understand what has to be done to heal the marriage. If God says our partner is not right for us are we willing to part ways? Both partners in a marriage have to be in agreement to seek God for their marriage and to pray together and individually to strengthen their marriage. Then when God says to change to allow Him to help change us to remove or do the things He says we need to. This is a Godly marriage nothing else and why so many do get divorces. A Godly marriage puts God first even over our emotions and desires and trusts Him to make things right. Gay marriage does not have God in the middle it is a religious emotional show that's it. Gay marriage cannot conform to what the Bible professes to have a successful marriage. Because first and foremost it doesn't have Gods blessing, He wont look at male and male, the spiritual laws of a successful marriage will not work and that about sums it up.
Mat 19:4 And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,
Mat 19:5 and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'?
Mat 19:6 "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."
Mat 19:7 They *said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?"
Mat 19:8 He *said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.
Mat 19:9 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."
Mat 19:10 The disciples *said to Him, "If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry."
Mat 19:11 But He said to them, "Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given.
Here was my original questions and comment:
So why are you here picking on gays when there are FAR FAR MORE Christian ADULTERERS than there are total gays? Why not help all these Christians headed for hell? They all can LEGALLY marry into ADULTERY, but you only talk about gay marriage.
Any answer other than HYPOCRISY?
– – – –
So your answer was HYPOCRISY.
What better example than your own quote: Mat 19:6 "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, LET NO MAN SEPARATE."
It's all pick-and-choose HYPOCRISY. Pick on gays because you don't like them. Ignor Christian adulterers because you do.
""Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,"
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.
Just wanted to pop in and say we're big fans of Bob!
Even though I am no longer religious, I would urge anyone looking for a church that accepts gay couples completely for who they are, no strings attached, to check out the following and other similar organizations before falling for the bigoted "come worship with us, but be celibate" garbage that Bob and Douglas are trying to sell here.
For those interested, the following faiths perform same-sex marriage:
-United Church of Christ: The United Church of Christ was the first mainstream Christian church to fully support same-sex marriage and perform marriage ceremonies.
-Jewish: Reform Judaism embraces same-sex marriage and rabbis can perform ceremonies.
-Quaker: The willingness to perform gay marriages varies by meetinghouse, but there is some acceptance and performance of same-sex marriages among Quakers.
-Metropolitan Community Church
and I'm confident that more mainstream faiths in the U.S. will join that list as DOMA is repealed and more states join the list of those that have already legalized gay marriage.
Also, for those interested, check out these gay-friendly organizations if looking for a church – many of these churches are fully accepting of gay couples even if they are currently not performing gay marriages – I am sure that many of them will join in the ranks of those above once gay marriage has been legalized in more states:
And I'm sure there are more associations as well – do your research. Don't buy into the Bobigotry!
Thank you K for being honest
Ted Haggard and a few former Catholic Priests say thanky you. Sneakie, sneakie, sneakIE. Latin flavor.
Tom why is it you cannot comprehend what is written and follow the thought pattern?
"I don't like the fact that you hold up a few fringe churches and synagogs as the norm but I wouldn't expect anything different. that is in response to this below made by K
2. In a similar manner, Bob makes assumptions about other Christians that are simply not true. Of course this is no surprise in light of #1 above. There are, in fact, many Christian churches who fully accept gay couples for who they are, some of them performing marriages of gays. That these churches are not acceptable to Bob is evidence of the conflict between different Christians.
She is lying and holding up a few churches and saying many there are no proliferation of churches flocking to approve gay marriage and in fact are running the other way like when the Pres made health care mandatory and churches are being forced to provided birth control but are now fighting it in court. So it will be with gay marriage. You are forcing gay marriage on us not the other way around it is the gay agenda that has gone to court to change the status quo so wake up get it right moron.
So most churches are huddles of homophobes. Big deal. What the churches say is becoming less relevant every day.
Marriage is a LEGAL matter with optional religious involvement. If your church doesn't want to perform gay marriages, nothng has changed.
And Christians, as always, can continue to get married in drive thru churches in services performed by Elvis impersonators.
LOL @Observer. Yeah – I wouldn't be surprised if Bob's church specialized in that.
With the laws in effect now it may not be a matter of choice if the church does not want to marry gays. It will be discrimination and they can get fined. Just like quoting the Bible in what it says about gays in Canada can get a Pastor in jail. Don't look now but your ignorance is showing.
"if the church does not want to marry gays. It will be discrimination and they can get fined."
Nonsense. Not a fact. In states with gay marriage, that is NOT the law. Quit making things up.
You idiotic assumptions are astounding, Bob. No on is advocating breaking the law.
Your idiotic . . .
As usual, Bob is astoundingly misinformed (again). I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked.
More "rederick" from Bob!
Dale McAlpine was charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” after a h0m0 police community support officer (PCSO) overheard him reciting a number of “sins” referred to in the Bible, including blasphemy, drunkenness and same s relationships. In jail for preaching the Bible now who is misinformed azz
Boob, you're the moron. NOBODY is forcing churches in the US to perform gay marriages. MANY churches ARE welcoming gays to their membership, and it is unlikely if the SCOTUS rules that gay marriage is legal that said churches would refuse to per form gay weddings.
Your ignorance is astounding. You don't have a clue what your are talking about. How can anyone force you to have a gay marriage? No one is forcing ANYTHING on you, moron. YOU are attempting to tell an entire group of people that they are lesser beings than you because your religious beliefs say so. That doesn't work in a secular society with secular laws, ass hole.
A Miami pastor is fighting back after the head of the Miami-Dade school district threatened to evict his church, which rents space on Sunday in one of the district’s schools, because of the pastor’s public stand against h0m0
Affirming America’s rich spiritual heritage
Co-chairmen of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, Congressman Forbes and Congressman McIntyre, reintroduced legislation to recognize our nation’s religious history. H.Res.253, America’s Spiritual Heritage Resolution, affirms the rich spiritual and diverse religious history of our nation’s founding and subsequent history, and designates the first week in May as America’s Spiritual Heritage Week.
In an interview with National Public Radio, Torpy voiced his opinion that it is inappropriate for military personnel to pray with fellow soldiers before going out on missions. The atheist leader discussed an incident he personally experienced in 2003 or 2004 when, as CNS News reports, he claims a commander gathered his team together to pray before a mission. At the time, he was deployed in Iraq, serving in the Army’s 1st Armored Division.
Bob, you delusional twit, NEITHER of the examples you just gave relate in ANY way to gay marriage, which was your original assertion. You can't keep your own story straight because you are easily the most consistently wrong, most consistently misinformed , and most dishonest poster on this site. Try again. So far this morning, you're still an epic failure.
Middy Neither was correct but the first one should have done the trick not to mention atheists such as yourself and Tom are the ones pushing for the banning of any expression of faith that includes the pushing of the gay agenda. They are not separate at all so either you are purposely not seeing the big picture because it shows the malicious intent of the atheists or you are just blind.
Painfully false, but you already knew that. Pigeon chess misdirection from the Grand Master. You deflect from the topic at hand because you know your original assertion is wrong. Your examples prove nothing regarding said assertion. Epic failure.
So now you have to LIE about what I've written to make your case, Blob? When did I say that any expression of faith should be illegal, you lying sack of excrement?
Do you think your god approves of LYING?
@boob: "Dale McAlpine was charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” after a h0m0 police community support officer (PCSO) overheard him reciting a number of “sins” referred to in the Bible, including blasphemy, drunkenness and same s relationships."
First of all, the preacher should have been locked in the stocks and made to suffer people throwing rotten tomatoes at his face as public embarrassment for his stupidity alone. Second, just because you feel your book allows you to abuse others doesn't make it so. The preacher broke a UK "Public Order Act," was warned and then did it again. If you don't like it, move to the UK and change the laws. It is only free speech until you impinge upon others. Apparently someone felt impinged upon and the case is going to court for a ruling.
LOL@bob, so scared of his own homosexuality.
The Miami case is hilarious! That pastor gave sermons harassing gays as sinners and then himself cried harassment after being threatened with loss of his lease in a PUBLIC SCHOOL BUILDING. My goodness you religious people are incalculably dim. The superintendent didn't even blame it on policy, he simply did the right thing! LOL! He did what religion should be doing, you unfathomable idiot! How can you not see you are preaching love yet practicing hate?
"I am making this decision not on the basis of policy or politics, but as a rejection of prejudice and intolerance,"
"A Miami preacher is fighting back"???? Think about what you're saying. He's fighting for bigotry!
Bob, Grand Master of Ad Hoc Hypothesis
"I contend we are both conservatives, I just believe that one fewer societal behavior is proper than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible societal behaviors as being legitimate , you will understand why I dismiss your pet one(same sex marriage)." -Anon.
Shove it, Vegetable.
Gay marriage has nothing to do with anything except the right of two consenting adults to marry.
It works in other countries where it's been legal for years. It is working in states where it's legal.
Unless you can show otherwise, you're simply putting up another strawman.
"you dismiss all the other possible societal behaviors as being legitimate"
You're so dumb you don't even recognize your own error.
"When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible societal behaviors as being legitimate"
Why do you post the same thing over and over and OVER again? I have no problem with any relationship between consenting adults (which pulls out pedophilia and bestiality). I have no issues with polygamy as long as the wives are old enough to consent, or even incest as long as it does not or ever has involved pedophilia or s-xual abuse. Heck without incest there wouldn't be anyone living in the south and Chad wouldn't be here to share his simple visions of science and the world.
Well, look at that. Crickets chirping from Doogie. Guess only his sock puppet the Boobster is able to respond with yet another evasion. Neither Booby nor Doogie are qualified to render a valid interpretation of Scripture, or they'd be jumping at the chance to cite their degrees and educational background. Too bad they never made it past 10th grade.
The two of them don't have more than 3 brain cells between them.
You wouldn't know a valid interpretation of scripture, if you did we would have been in agreement, but what more would I expect from a atheist that talks crap all the time. I hope your not a teacher.
lol@valid interpretation of scripture... either every word of the bible is the inerrant word of god, or it's open to interpretation. If it's open, then it's open to anyone, and every interpretation is equally valid. We should begin a campaign to have libraries file bibles under fiction, or at least change the "religion" section name to "cults."
It's 'you're' Bob, not your. Why is it so hard for you to distinguish between the two? Clearly you have never actually ever been around a teacher as you don't even have a basic grasp of English.
Jen, because he's dumb as box of hair. Blob thinks his god hates h0m0s#xuality, but lying about others, calling what they've written "crap" and misrepresenting the truth is perfectly okey-dokey. Blob is a moron.
Tom since you seem to know the scholars that would disagree with Doug why don't you tell us their names and show us some writings. Oh the one that knows how to refute people or maybe like everything you say its all bravado and no substance.
Don't even bother, boob. You have been told over and over that it's the one making the claim that has the burden of proof. You and your butt-buddy Doogie are the ones who have made claims. You are the ones who need to present your qualifications as biblical scholars.
Have at it, twit. You don't even qualify as literate.
Toiletry Tommie is up to her bags of aloofness and sorrows to lay waste upon the lessor of. Pay her no mind Bob. She only wants to incite others to get her jollies. :-(
Another babbling idiot heard from. Funny how you hate the idea of gay marriage, LL, when you seemed to enjoy the behavior yourself. Or was that only when you could use a kid for such activities?
Drunk again are we Toiletry Thomasine? You know they say about drunkard women don't you?
Nope. Stone cold sober. Funny that you seem quite capable of writing something readable when you're angry, honey.
My hat comes off to you, you devilish lady of ill reputes for not drinking but nevertheless your addictions to "procastranate" others is your doobie doobie do! When will you act out like a lady and stop your wants in acting like the tramp?
My hat comes off to you, you devilish lady of ill reputes for not drinking but nevertheless your wanting to "procastranate" others is your doobie doobie do! When will you act out like a lady and stop your wants in acting like the tramp?
Well look at that, the cowardly lion, the word whore has paid us a visit. Dam fool was reading Thoreau and got bit by a rabid dog. Now he thinks he's a lion.
Hey Lamb, should gay Jews be allowed to marry?
This Sunday, extend the hand of fellowship to celibate LGBTQ Christians.
Let them know they are welcome to join the congregation.
While there is no case for gay marriage found in scripture, LGBTQ Christians can
take heart in the many blessings coming their way.
In Isaiah 56 we read:
For this is what the Lord says:
And let no eunuch complain,
“I am only a dry tree.”
“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
who choose what pleases me
and hold fast to my covenant—
5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls
a memorial and a name
better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
that will endure forever.
What a beautiful and lasting tribute to celibate, LGBTQ Christians!
It has finally come to this. Douglas now compares gay folk to eunuchs. What an arrogant, condescending twit. Though I'm sure it was said with all the contemporary Christian "love" he could muster. ( eye roll )
Dougie, dear, suppose someone else told you that you were required to be celibate. That you could not have s3x with your wife or any other woman. That you must live out your life without ever having coitus with any person, ever, or be damned to hell upon death.
Would YOU renounce s3x? Would YOU love a deity that demanded such a sacrifice from you, after having created you with the desire for s3x?
Why should someone else do so, just because you are of the opinion, based on nothing but YOUR interpretation of god's word? You're not an authority. There are many scholars far more learned than you could hope to be who disagree with your beliefs. Why would you think your opinion is more valid, or valid at all? What are your qualifications as a religious scholar? Have a degree? In what, and from where? What post-graduate work have you done? Are you considered an authority by your peers? Then list them and prove you're some sort of respected, knowledgeable source of information.
Because otherwise, you're a nobody and a nothing. You're an anonymous twerp sitting on your butt behind a computer screen, blabbering your opinion, which isn't worth the bandwidth it requires to post.
When you start picking on divorced and remarried Christian adulterers, you will BEGIN to have some crediblity.
Until then, it's all HYPOCRISY. Pick on your own first since there are MANY MANY MORE of them.
If you want to quote scripture, quote the one that most Christians ignore: the Golden Rule.
Tom Tom, I think you assume too much – I doubt Doug has found anyone that wants to have s-x with him. That is why he urges others to be celibate. Makes him feel better about being a middle aged virgin.
Jen, you may be right. How are you?
I'm good. How are you? Enjoying my new little baby boy. I was having a bad day the other day and so I popped on the blog for a sec and saw you telling someone to get bent – made me smile :)
Nothing says love and tolerance quite like treating gay folks as second class citizens. Good move, Doug!
Looking at Bob's last post below, we can summarize and debunk the following points:
1. Bob, like many extreme fundamental Christians, makes the assumption that he knows what his god thinks and that only his specific version of his god is right. An interesting point of view in a religion comprised of many denominations. Of course this goes hand-in-hand with the notion that only Bob's interpretation of the Bible is correct. We know Christianity is very conflicted because of the wide disparity of tenets and views about the meaning and importance on different parts and even individual passages and words of the Bible. Therefore, for someone to make the kind of claims Bob makes here, we can only view those claims as self-centered and self-serving, and not helpful to society at large.
2. In a similar manner, Bob makes assumptions about other Christians that are simply not true. Of course this is no surprise in light of #1 above. There are, in fact, many Christian churches who fully accept gay couples for who they are, some of them performing marriages of gays. That these churches are not acceptable to Bob is evidence of the conflict between different Christians.
3. Bob assumes that atheists are not educated in religion. I would contend that many atheists are atheists because they have studied religion extensively.
4. On this issue, Bob assumes that the courts may wind up harming and not representing the prevailing general public opinion. I would contend that Constitutional decisions are rarely popular. But their involvement often comes in light of changing public opinion. SCOTUS simply needs to uphold the Constitution in ensuring rights and as a check against unconstitutional laws. And on this issue, we see that there is an issue of equal rights at stake. We do see that laws need to be overturned that are hampering the equal rights and advantages afforded to couples, as a civic function of states' governments, based on gender. Not only does Bob not seem to understand the courts' duties, but he seems to ignore that public opinion on this issue is in fact changing more rapidly day by day. That three more states have legalized gay marriage by ballot measures in just one year should be a clear indication that this issue is not going away. And it should be no surprise to anyone that SCOTUS is being called to weigh in on the unconstitutionality of traditional marriage laws in light of this ever-increasing change in public opinion. A call that they have answered.
We don't usually hear from people who talk with God unless they have been arrested for running naked down a street after decapitating their kids because God told them to.
K what are the differences in the Denominations since you bring that up, and I would really like a answer, but none of the differences has to do with gay marriage though. I wish that it was only assumption that caused you to think wrongly about the Christian faith but I believe it is done with malicious intent. You assume so many things since you don't know the truth of what makes a Christian or what we believe. God is not unclear in scripture about the truth and what He requires from us. Your limited knowledge of Christians is done in viewing those close to you. Most I would venture to say are people who cannot conform or understand the true meaning as to what the Bible says a Christian is or does yet want to belong to a religion This gives a poor frame of reference so you speak from a poor example and no knowledge. Education in religious text does not give you a relationship with God it gives you knowledge not even understanding of the deeper things of the Bible. People read the Bible and get nothing out of it while others read it and the world opens to them. Jesus even answered this in talking in parables so hearing they would not hear and seeing they would not see. I don't like the fact that you hold up a few fringe churches and synagogs as the norm but I wouldn't expect anything different. I also don't like the fact that you bring down the Christian faith and ultimately say God is not able to talk to His people this I believe is done because unless you can destroy the reputation of the church then you cannot get your own way. Again I say all the words you have spoken are done without knowledge yet they sound to the unknowing like they have some value. But as a dress on a pig is pointless your arguments are the same.
Bob – you're just making a lot of silly assumptions. That proves the point I made about you. You assume to know what you got thinks. You assume you know what is best for everyone else. You assume to know the religious background and experience is for people posting and responding here. And it's quite obvious from the other responders that you represent the dark edge of Christian thinking; the dark edge of extremist thought against the moderates of our day. All you have done is prove the points I made by being judgmental, divisive and a know-it-all who really doesn't know much at all about people.
You are the person James Madison was talking about when he said:
During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.
"I don't like the fact that you hold up a few fringe churches and synagogs as the norm but I wouldn't expect anything different. I also don't like the fact that you bring down the Christian faith and ultimately say God is not able to talk to His people this I believe is done because unless you can destroy the reputation of the church then you cannot get your own way."
What utter manure. No one here is attempting to take away your right to believe whatever nonsense you want, you idiot. They simply don't want you to use your beliefs to control others who don't share those beliefs. Who cares what you "don't like"?
Lap-lustered deisms denials do forlorn the flagellum of the peasant ridiculer in "bemoaning laments" reprisals within the base commoners lewd tribulations of tried and still trying lack-lustered piteous nuances. We are all as peas in the pods of life's abundances in the cosmologic cellular matrix of life-living measures meant to reasonably prove or deny the bustles and hustles toward twain fidelities of margined society’s needlessly but nevertheless becoming pottage mal-aligned accruals lying wasted within. God forbade as we do deny and still yet we are. Where then does justifiable will become an averaged domicile of cursed acquittals for the ills of generalist meanderings sake?
Tom you made this statement to Doug so back it up... You're not an authority. There are many scholars far more learned than you could hope to be who disagree with your beliefs. Why would you think your opinion is more valid, or valid at all? What are your qualifications as a religious scholar? Have a degree? In what, and from where? What post-graduate work have you done? Are you considered an authority by your peers? Then list them and prove you're some sort of respected, knowledgeable source of information. Why don't you do the same that you asked Doug to do low life
K I don't assume anything you do just answer the question what is the differences in the denominations and like I said it will not be on the idea of gay marriage.
@bob: you believe in imaginary creatures who control the universe. When it comes to reality, your opinions definitely are not valid.
End Well maybe but yours are of no value or not valid either then.
Readers it doesn't take a rocket scientist to scan through the pages of this article and see who's uneducated, who's bigoted, and who's as backwards as the day is long. So take your time and scan back through here as notice all the responders refuting the same idiot over and over. Dr. Boob and his little hunchback helper Douglas. They are precisely the kind of Christians that have given Christianity a really bad rap these days – pretending to know their god's every thought. But don't despair. Once DOMA is overturned as well as traditional marriage state laws, more and more churches, than already exist, will open their doors to gay couples with no strings attached. Whether Bob likes it or not, he doesn't have the last word on Christianity. There are many out there that already disagree with his bigoted stance. Whether Bob likes it or not, the Christian case for gay marriage has already been made.
And do your own homework, Boob. My previous posts show denominations already performing gay marriages or that are fully accepting of gay couples. You should have been paying attention.
And for my reader fans, here is a beautiful Deistic quote from John Adams:
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.
(from A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America [1787-1788])
K sorry that's it, no firm answer from you just crap, and ,rederick, talk about sock puppet. So you know basic Christian belief Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we could have the relationship with Him that He always wanted us to have. That includes hearing from Him but I don't have the will to go further. Except to say sin separates us from God so to pursue sin is to walk away from God gay marriage is a sin so there cannot be a relationship with God in fullness if we peruse gay marriage. That is basic church doctrine in any church that you would want to be a part of with the exception of the synagogue of satan which you are more than likely part of.
The Bible says anyone divorcing and remarrying is committing adultery unless the previous spouse already was an adulterer.
So why are you here picking on gays when there are FAR FAR MORE Christian ADULTERERS than there are total gays? Why not help all these Christians headed for hell? They all can LEGALLY get into ADULTERY, but you only talk about gay marriage.
Any answer other than HYPOCRISY?
Oh, Observer – this is where Bob is likely to put on his little "come all ye sheep" hat and claim that everyone is welcome to his church – even gays as long as they are celibate. He simply represents the most harmful, dangerous kind of radical Christian there is – fork tongued – ready at an instant to wage war or give love – even on the same damn side of an argument if it is "politically" advantageous for his to do so. Hypocrisy indeed.
This actually may be the point where Bob decides he needs to leave to check the air pressure in his car tires or to see if it's too dark to mow his lawn.
Booby, it's already BEEN backed up, you idiot. Numerous posters here have cited scholars who believe that the bible does not condemn hom0s3xuality; you simply choose to believe fundy preachers who say it does. And if those fundies are as stupid as you are (rederick–what a laugh), then their interpretations are not likely to be based on actual knowledge of Scripture.
My word, but you either a poe or you're too stupid for words.
And we shouldn't forget about the 700,000+ believers that have abortions each year in the USA. Aren't they supposed to be stoned, excommunicated or otherwise punished as their cult's god(s) demand? Don't hear much about that happening.
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.