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.
No, I use real actual logic that makes real actual sense instead taking the easy way out and simply covering my own ignorance up by insulting people.
Could we actually see some of this logic you reference?
Two men don't make a baby
You can thank me after you watch it.
Two men never made a baby
this only accounts for the "i dont know" point of you. It would be interesting to see a similar argument from the person who makes the claim "there is no God". as the claim maker then they would own the burden of proof.
No.. The burden of proof still falls to the person claiming something exists.. If I say "unicorns don't exist," and you have no evidence to prove otherwise, it simply stands as the most logical position.. If you can't prove something exists (say, leprechauns) then any doubter is within their right to state that they don't exist.. You are welcome to dismiss that claim, since it stands without evidence, but if you turn around and claim that leprechauns do exist, you're again in the position of having to provide evidence for you stance because it claims an actual, literal component..
Zero_Upstairs, let me remind you that we've covered this ground before. Remember, I said you could come over and ride the unicorns after you explained your logic.
What about the part in the bible where Jesus is tag-teamed by those cuban sailors?
I'm so sorry for you Mr professor. U have automatically turn the word of God upside. The bible is the simplest,easiest and clearest book Repent and say the truth or God ll use this ur speech against u on the judgement day. Ungodly people have succeded destroying earth now facing themselves.
Then why so many denominations? Why do so many very intelligent people not find the bible believable.?
Yep. The Bible says how important the Golden Rule is, but let's IGNOR that so we can pick on an "abomination" like eating lobster.
Or doo doo digging
What's funny is I seem to remember the economy being in the toliet befor Obama even took office...
The lawdy lawdy lawdy part. Sounds southern.
And Jesus said to Obama, "Say you support gay marriage. It'll help people forget what a shambles you have made of the American economic recovery."
And Obama said, "Lawdy Lawdy! Thank ya, Lawdy!"
And thus it came to be known that Obama would be a one-term president, as was Jimmy Carter.
This is the word of the Lord.
Shows how little you know about the Bible.
Is your racism endearing where you live? Where I live it would be perceived as ignorant, so I'm just wondering if this is just a cultural difference.
Here's a good question, why do we believe our ancestors knew more then we did? Religions that do not have some ancient root are dismissed as non sense or cults. I mean look at Mormons and scientologists, there's seems to be a consensus from all of our species that our ancestors knew something we did not. This has also been proven to be false but the phenomenon still persists.
They knew how to survive off nature.how many of doo doo diggers would die if the electricity went out for a year
Actually I'm quite handy when it comes to survival and woodlore, a year without electricity would be a lot of fun.
so was doodoo diggers supposed to be referring to gays? If it is I misunderstood your post but I'm sure there are gay survivalists out there.
The hell you say I live in hurricane ally no fun.by the way who taught you woodlore was it passed down in your family. Who had the knowledge to teach you
Well I have learned through a lot of different ways, mostly from friends who knew more then me. I learned how to make sinew bows online. There was a informative park ranger once who pointed out many edible plants to me. A LOT of trial and error out in the woods. A lot of books to teach me to become a master at identifying mushrooms. There wasn't really one source but a culmination of experiences and sources over the course of my life.
But mostly previous knowledge right
You're not aloud to post the word:
Why not? Maybe CNN knows it's a mental disorder?
CNN knows bettter, but you don't.
I don't think there's any other explanation..
Is also forbidden on here. Are we to assume you believe skin co lor to be a disorder as well?
The word is "allowed." By the time you finish third grade you'll know it.
The only thing prayer changes is you. There has been scientific studies that show biological changes while praying, no matter your religion. This also goes for meditation.
Prayer changes things **
Spamming doesn't fool God into brownie points.
Like what, for instance?
"changes things" is a very ambiguous and indefensible argument. Your copying-and-pasting that tired old post changed something on a molecular level. So, expand upon your argument. We know the scientific impact of prayer and meditation, but that has nothing to do with Atheism as much as the power of positive thoughts. Make your defense, my child.
If that were true, I would have won the Lotto already...
Prayer changes things
Prayer changes lives
Prayer has brought you all here
Prayer changes things
Prayer changed me! Oh wait.....that was just indigestion.
Or all that man juice you swallowing
Lol... momoya running around here talking about how Christians are arrogant. Meanwhile, he/she/it is chiming in on almost every single post. Christians may seem arrogant to you, but, you seem awfully arrogant, and, sadly, hopelessly gay (and atheist).
I appreciate your concern.. thanks.
Lol, today's false equivalence brought to you by...
El Giblet.... clever handle!
It's not every kid who can strike out at T-ball..
Just the degenerates
@bama dolphons second only to man in intelligence prefer hom ose xual relations and only ever mate with the opposite gender to procreate.
You're an idiot. Nothing could be further from the truth.
How'd you get so dumb?
Doo doo digging
gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gagay gay gay gay gay gay gagay gay gay gay gay gay gagay gay gay gay gay gay gagay gay gay gay gay gay gagay gay gay gay gay gay gagay gay gay gay gay gay gagay gay gay gay gay gay gagay gay gay gay gay gay gagay gay gay gay gay gay gay
25 million people are out of work.
gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gaygay gay gay gay gay gay gaygay gay gay gay gay gay gaygay gay gay gay gay gay gaygay gay gay gay gay gay gaygay gay gay gay gay gay gaygay gay gay gay gay gay gaygay gay gay gay gay gay gaygay gay gay gay gay gay gaygay gay gay gay gay gay gaygay gay gay gay gay gay gaygay gay gay gay gay gay gaygay gay gay gay gay gay gay
Legalize gay marriage and it'll mean much more work for lawyers and wedding planner and the like.
Screw gay marriage. It's the economy, stupid - or lack thereof.
Terrible what Bush and the Republicans and all those sleazy conservative Wall Street bankers did to the economy.
Legalize gay marriage and there will be a lot more divorces... and that's usually good for the economy.
Gay people marry and buy things, decorate their place, spend money. It seems that the more they do this the better for the economy. One more thing to blame the republicans for.
That guy must be really happy.
I like that one haterade, I think I will use it.
CNN seems to continue to promote a false understanding of the bible with these "opinions." Its my opinion that its untrue that the bible endorses gay marriage. Read the gospels, romans, and corinthians. All of these books are in the New Testament of the bible. When attempting to apply truth found in the bible to your life you have to take it in comprehensibly, not cherry pick the parts you want to apply and disregard the points you don't. You also have to understand that there is a new and old testament. Jesus didn't come to abolish the old testament and the law but to further it. I would ask anyone commenting to be respectful of those opinions shared but due take the time to read what you claim to know about the bible.
If Leviticus is so important why do christians eat unclean animals? Why have they stopped the required offerings? There's more to Leviticus then just hating gays.
Completely wrong Jesus did end the Law of Moses which only ever applied to the Jew. He gave us a new covenant. Also on Romans and Corinthians first have you read the original Greek? It doesn't read that way. Second neither Romans or Corinthians is part of the new Covenant that is law to Jew & Gentile alike.
You said, "CNN seems to continue to promote a false understanding of the bible with these "opinions.""
Don't you mean "different"? There are thousands of interpretation of what the bible means. They are all opinions.
You said, "Its my opinion that its untrue that the bible endorses gay marriage."
One thing is absolutely true. If your interpretation causes you to discriminate, or try to cause others to change their behavior, your interpretation is wrong.
By your logic, you would have to support slavery, subjugation of women, never eat seafood, and never wear more than one type of fabric. Do you adhere to all these values or, perhaps, are you yourself cherry picking so as to justify an underlying bias you hold? Christ never taught us to idolize a book.
Marriage is said to be between one man and one woman. Sodomy is nowadays raising its' heads above the crowds of people and many folks are climbing on board! It really is sad to see civilization following the ways of perverse sensualisms. So very very sad it is!
The NT bases all of the hatred of gays on the OT. Jesus had NOTHING to say about it which tells me, it matters not at all. He did gave us 2 commandments even the OT gave us the others. 1 Love God 2 Love others as one self. This is most difficult to do for evangelicals and so called present day Christians. Look, just follow Jesus and quit all the bigotry.
One should take into account that the majority of the NT can be attributed to one writer, Paul. People assume that because something appears in the NT that Christ said it, when it can be more accurately stated that much of what appears in the NT are Paul's interpretations of Christ's teachings. There is a difference.
"Wolfy" – it's just as Jesus said to the false teachers at that time; they have no spiritual understanding of what the laws EVEN mean. Do you realize that "animals" also represent people, as well as trees??? He tells us it's not about the "physical" things we eat..it's about the "spiritual" things. They then go into the heart and that results in bad then emanating from the heart to the outside. Let' use seafood as an example. You can eat all the things with fins, things that "swim" in the water. We are represented as "fish" by Jesus. In the law, you can't then eat crabs and shellfish. Why? Because they live on the bottom of the sea. The "abyss" is in the sea. All spiritual. Jesus came to give us the ability to get a teacher (God) who will teach us the real spiritual meaning.
"Robairdo" – Jesus is clear: "those who DO God's commandments and have faith in Jesus Christ". Can you hear the word "Do?" See above.
Dont care what bible says.nature says marriage is about Trying to continue life. Man on man marriages can't even try.
WRONG! Marriage is about love, it is a man made thing. Animals don't marry yet they procreate all the time. Procreation is about continuing the species, NOT marriage.
It's also not natural for people to wear glasses. I declare that glasses are sin!
It's also NOT natural for people to get vaccinations. I demand that all babies stop getting vaccinations!
You said, "nature says marriage is about Trying to continue life."
Marriage is a human construct. It is entirely separate from "continuing life". Marriage is not required to procreate, and procreation is not mandatory for married people. If they were linked in that fashion, we wouldn't have single parents, or childless marriages.
Just think of how many things aren't "natural.". Your computer, for one.. How about air conditioning?. Modern clothing.. shoes.. pens.. sheetrock.. electrical wire..
So should we all burrow into little mud huts with no modern conveniences just so gays can't marry?
Old people have no business marrying either. They know they can't procreate, so let's outlaw all marriage for women past menopause and old men who can no longer–ahem–perform.
Doves are known to mate for life one does the other will stop mating.that's why they're called love birds
Hair dye is NOT natural. Imprison all stylists!
There is no marriage in nature. Marriage is a artificial concept invented by humans. Animals do not marry.
DRIVING A CAR IS SIN!!!! Cars aren't natural!! Ban them!!
Each of your posts reveals more of the depths of your ignorance. Quit before you condemn yourself to < 5th percentile of intelligence...approaching fast.
This is the most tired argument ever. Do you forbid infertile people from marrying because, well, why even try? The arguments against marriage equality are so profoundly weak.
Cars are more natural than qu-eers
I'd like to see you respond to everybody's destruction of your argument. Do you support banning people past the age of, say, 50 from marrying because they cannot procreate? Do you support government mandating that restriction? Please either refute these arguments or admit your ignorance.
Lol, nature doesn't say a damned thing about marriage. Nothing at all.
@a sergpent. Just your twisted view.
Calm down. Go @#$# your boyfriend's d*$##@k.
You'll feel better about yourself.
Let Gay people alone and let them marry if they wish. It is not my business or yours if there are 2 consenting adults and they are not hurting anyone else. Gay haters have an over active imagination. The fear is in your own mind.
Maybe your own imagination /fantasies are what you hate and fear.
Nope .when I'm out in public with my sons and they say daddy why those men holding hands I have to tell them they're doo doo diggers.do you think lil kids should have to see doo doo diggers showing affection in public.
Yes, BamaDaniel. It would do them good to see the diversity of life on this planet.
Do you believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, leprechuans, and unicorns? They are as believable as Jesus, God, and the Holy Ghost of your Christian Bible.
I see you spent a lot of time on your idiotic, juvenile arguement. Wake up to the truth and get out of your fairy tales, the time is short.
Zero_Up, you are right. Everything I mentioned is myth & fairy tale.
Duh. . . .I say that I believe in Unicorns to prove a point. I don't actually believe in Unicorns, silly.
Same verse same as the last verse. Put some thought into it. I'm sure you can come up with something more creative.
Your syllogism seems to be this:
A) I don't believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, leprechauns and unicorns
B) They are not real
C) Therefore, anything I don't believe is obviously not real
Where's the logic in that?
No, he was saying that the beings are equally believable or unbelievable since we have no proof of any of them.. You struggle with the whole logic thing, I take it?
Momoya, prove through science and logic alone, without covering your ignorance with insults, that these things don't exist.
Really?? You're THAT stupid?
You can't prove something doesn't exist.. I may as well ask you disprove an invisible unicorn colony living in the plasma at the center of our sun.. Can't disprove it?? They must be having fun frolicking in the fusion, huh?
YOU are attempting to show that YOUR god that can't be tested or verified exists.. I'm the skeptic.. I'm saying, "No, you need to prove to me that you own that bridge before I consider buying it from you at 20 cents a mile.". Prove that the bridge exists and that you own it, and I'll consider your price.. You can't expect me to buy the thing by telling me I can't disprove it's your bridge to sell..
Seriously, as I said, go look into proper logical argumentation.. It'll save you from this sort of embarrassment.
Nasa says advanced civilization could live in blackhole
I think the author makes some great points. Should we deny certain rights to people who believe differently than we do? If so, where do we draw the line? If I don't believe in dieting because I think people should eat the right foods and exercise regularly without paying money to organizations, should Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig be denied their business rights? Who should decide where the line lands?
I also think many of you need to look at your own comments and ask yourselves, would Jesus have written this?
Holy Sh!t I hope not!!
:) I don't think my last question would apply to you:)
Please don't be a hypocrite. You cannot try to invoke Jesus then go against God's Word.
God defines right and wrong, not MAN.
Well of course you can.. God doesn't stop it, just like he doesn't stop anyone from preaching any ole thing that they want to about his nature.. God doesn't care if you lie in his name, and he's mocked all the time.. What a useless git, he is!
Your analogy makes no sense. Find one that's a reasonable comparison.
LGBT's are nothing but perverted animals all looking for attention to get their jollies be it physically or verbally for they care not but for their own self and others of like ilk!
Ouch, that stings! Been drinking the Haterade? Live and let live, my faux friend. I let others be themselves and expect the same in return. Judge not, lest ye be judged. Love thy neighbor as thyself.
And what makes you such an authority on such things?? Do you know anyone in the 'lifestyle'? Do you drink, smoke, have tattoos, eat shellfish? Then you are perverted..disobeying the laws of God..try walking in others shoes before you promote hatred, buddy...
Yawwwwwwwn. . . .haters like "A Serpent's Thought" are so old. You would think they'd get tired of repeating the same thing over and over like parrots with a mental condition. They're like senseless idiots who keep reading the same book over and over, year after year never learning anything really except how to memorize senseless mythical gibberish so they can repeat it over and over again like brainwashed cult members.
Don't most people who are oppressed by bigots look out for their own self interest to eliminate the oppression? I mean, women drove the suffrage movement. Blacks drove the civil rights movement. Nobody wants to be treated as second class citizens for simply being who they are.
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.