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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. Chad

    Question for you atheists:

    Define "morality"

    dont name call or dodge.. just define "morality"

    May 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • no

      go away, troll

      May 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • momoya

      Selecting the decision that causes the least harm possible.. What you got?. Might makes right and subjective morality just like your god uses?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Chad, are you unable to navigate to dictionary.com or m-w.com?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Google has plenty of textbook definitions... What is it that you want answered? To take only one epoch... were the Crusades "Moral" ??? Why?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • One one

      Morality is absolving the "sins" of the guilty by punishing the innocent, just like what happened with the crucifixion of Jesus–NOT !

      May 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Morality is woman on bottom man on top. Go from there.woman juice mmmmm.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "Selecting the decision that causes the least harm possible.."
      @Alien Orifice "are you unable to navigate to dictionary.com or m-w.com?"
      @PraiseTheLard "Google has plenty of textbook definitions"

      =>I find that atheists either a)attempt to redefine the word (momoya), or b) refuse to answer the question (Alien Orifice, PraiseTheLard )

      why is that?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      You fvcking liar.. I did exactly what you asked.. I defined morality.. What the FVCK are you on about because I got all night to slap around your stupid as sh!t ideas.. Bring it, silly christian.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      The definition is no doo doo digging

      May 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Cq

      Chad
      Morality is the distinction between right and wrong, or good and bad behavior. Where you get that distinction is the real question. Do you dogmatically follow a 2000+ year old set of rules that were written for another culture and group of sensibilities, or do you adjust what you see as right and wrong according to the rapidly changing society and level of our knowledge? Clearly, not everything that saw seen as OK 2000 years ago is still OK today. Some accommodation for modern values is clearly needed, otherwise we'd never have stopped enslaving people, burning witches, or treating the mentally ill as though they were possessed of devils.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Chad

      While you're trying to figure a better definition for morality than my 9-word summation..

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7xt5LtgsxQ&w=640&h=390]

      May 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      momoya, glue your stick self back together. You came undone.

      May 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • political advisor

      Given the opportunity to think for itself momoya chose instead to let media do its thinking for it.Having seen momoyas style it is better to go with the media as momoya has nothing to offer.

      May 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • momoya

      Oh my, it's the Myna that was only taught one phrase to repeat o'er and o'er:

      GWAKKK Vid –eeee –OO... GWAKKK Vid -eeee –OO.. GWAKKK!

      May 19, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Cq, the further man gets away from God, the further into perversion they dwell.

      For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

      Malachi 3:6

      Amen.

      May 19, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • political advisor

      Taunts do not remove your incompetence, momoya, they do show your childish ability off nicely though.

      May 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • momoya

      Then thank you for your concern.. I appreciate it.

      May 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • political advisor

      Put your thanks where the sun don't shine, you are exposed as a loud mouth fraud and small time bully. Go sodomize yourself.

      May 19, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Cq

      HeavenSent
      Aren't bigotry and hatred perversions?

      May 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • momoya

      Thanks for the excellent idea.. I appreciate it.. I'll be back in a few minutes.. Thanks again!

      May 19, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • One one

      The foundation of Christian doctrine, that the "sins" of the guilty can be absolved by punishing the innocent is both immoral and a perversion. All mankind must be punished for the "sins" of Adam & Eve. Jesus must be tortured and killed for the "sins" of all mankind. If this is bible morality, NO THANKS.

      May 19, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Observer

      "Morality" is following the principle of the "golden rule" which long pre-dated the Bible.

      May 19, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfGNk8azX1A&w=640&h=390]

      May 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Chad

      Looks like CQ was the only to really dare to say what morality really is, kudo's for that.

      no, I dont believe that right and wrong can be redefined as people see fit. I believe it was established a long time ago and hasnt change one bit.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad-
      You're not worthy of a thoughtful response, you slimy, deceitful, dishonest sack-o'-sheit.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @Observer ""Morality" is following the principle of the "golden rule" which long pre-dated the Bible."
      @Chad "indeed, I completely agree. God has written a knowledge of right and wrong in our minds, that is one of the strongest arguments for a creator.

      "They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them Romans 2

      May 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Rachel

      Chad

      Now that's just crazy talk. Why don't you take your head out of your ass? :)

      May 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Chad

      @One one "The foundation of Christian doctrine, that the "sins" of the guilty can be absolved by punishing the innocent is both immoral and a perversion."

      =>is it immoral if I pay for a speeding ticket my daughter can't afford?
      If it's the nature of Jesus torture/death, dont forget, He volunteered for it. How is that immoral?

      I can't imagine how you could even begin to make that case..

      May 19, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The Chard belches nonsense yet again.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rachel "Now that's just crazy talk"

      =>could you be a bit more specific about what exactly you feel is crazy, and why?

      May 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Rachel

      Kudos Chad! Your wit really put me in my place. ;)

      May 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Cq

      Chad
      If Christians kept to the word of the Bible what social progress would we have made? Slavery would still be inst.itued within our society and women would be as powerless as they were in Jesus' time, and these were things linked to biblical morality. It took brave Christians to step outside of the traditional, conservative reading of scripture to bring these changes about. You're saying that they were wrong-headed in doing this, aren't you?

      May 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @Cq "If Christians kept to the word of the Bible what social progress would we have made? Slavery would still be inst.itued within our society and women would be as powerless as they were in Jesus' time, and these were things linked to biblical morality"

      =>1) First and foremost you need to understand that the bible isnt a collection of "here's what you should be doing" scenarios, it isnt made up of mythical hero's gallantly being perfect, true and brave. The bible is the record of Gods interaction with flawed humanity. You are most certainly going to encounter a lot of flawed people, because people ARE flawed. If God only dealt with perfect humans, He wouldnt have dealt with a single one.

      =>2) It has been said a million times, yet atheists simply refuse to recognize that slavery in the NT is the practice of selling oneself into slavery for to satisfy a debt, or just to survive. It is not the practice of subjugating a person by force.

      As well, it was Christian leaders that lead the emancipation movement. You can't even try to argue that.

      =>3) regarding women, The New Testament record shows that already in the first century women were treated with respect unknown in the Jewish and pagan world of that day. They served as prophets (Acts 21:9), shared in teaching the Scriptures (Acts 18:26), prayed and spoke in meetings (1 Cor. 11:5), and held such important leadership roles that they were included with men in Paul's list of highly valued co-workers (Rom. 16:1-16). – Living Church

      =========
      @Cq ". It took brave Christians to step outside of the traditional, conservative reading of scripture to bring these changes about. You're saying that they were wrong-headed in doing this, aren't you?""
      =>as shown above, it took people willing to act according the Gods desires for Christians to LEAD the positive societal changes for women and racial equality.

      ‘Love the Lord your God:with all your heart and with all your *soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’

      May 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  2. HAHAHAHAHAHA

    hahahahahaha Christians believe in ghosts hahahaha how fucking stupid ARE these people, seriously?????????

    May 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • HisStoryPal

      There's a word to describe people like you.. Let's see...omniscient? Hmm... No. I think it's just arrogant.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • camp

      Ok so you have established that, so tell me what you believe in then?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • camp

      insulting me does not make your side more attractive,or more correct, so tell me what is it that science, etc does for you that makes your side far superior to mine?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Camp, it is not a superiority contest. But believing in fairy tales as an adult is stupid. Just a fact.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @camp

      Let's see, let's try reality to start with and then move on to reason and logic.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • camp

      A fact? What is the basis for that? In science facts need to be supported? Again you are telling me what is wrong with me, Tell me what is right and sucessful using a scientific approach?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • camp

      Ok VOR repecting your premise of using logic and reason to solve an issue tell me how logic and reason explain a natural diaster, for example the tornado that ripped through the midwest recently?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @camp

      You aren't serious are you? Try medicine as an example, would that work for scientific proof?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • One one

      @camp. Atheists believe in a lot of things. Like the technology that allows us to communicate like we are doing now. It's real, it's verifiable, it actually works. Religious beliefs, like prayer, exist only in people's minds. No one can demonstrate their existence beyond people's imagination.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Jen-doe

      Why do these people always have to go back 2000 years to try to figure out why an ancient group of people would have seen things? You are either for or against you don't need divine intervention for this.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • camp

      Semantics AO If I am stupid then the opposite of that is intelligent, so again I am asking give me an intelligent response and example of how reason and logic serve to answer the scenario of why did an environmental event a tornado kill people?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @camp

      A natural disaster has two elements to it, correct? Natural and disaster, right? The tornado is a product of certain weather conditions that make it perfect for that type of storm to occur, proven, it is natural. The disaster is subjective, what was the outcome of this natural occurrence in the affect it had on the ground?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • camp

      oK vor so I like the first part of the definition, so you are saying the death caused by this event is neither good or bad? I can't make a judgment on this event, based on my fellings, just the fact it happened?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • camp

      Ok so medicine, yes verfyable. So give me an example

      May 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @camp

      Who knows, maybe someday, science will be able to alter storm conditions and either lessen collateral damage or eliminate it. There lies the difference between science and religion. Science continually questions its findings and makes improvements. With intolerance to change nothing is achieved.
      The deaths and destruction brought on by a natural disaster is never a good thing but it will drive science to understand the origination, the expectation and eventual outcome. With that knowledge science has tangible proof and evidence to make reasonable and logical assumptions and possible solutions.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • camp

      @one one, thanks for the response, so your statement, "believe in a lot of things" still not giving me a practical apllication of how you respond to deaths caused by a tornado

      May 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @camp

      What about medicine, please expand.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • camp

      @VOR well said, thank you. I agree those kinds of tragedies do drive science, technology to learn and improve processes. I just don't know how that answers the question for my niece why that tornado killed people.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • camp medicine

      You responded "Try medicine" to my questioin about explaining natural diasters. I was just asking how does medicine answer that question? I do agree that medicine does answer other questions

      May 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @camp
      "I just don't know how that answers the question for my niece why that tornado killed people."

      Nature is an extremely powerful force. To comprehend nature and its underpinnings is a difficult mental task to say the very least. But with science we can begin to understand the reasoning behind the things that happen. The tornado being a perfect example.
      To answer your niece's dilemma about the why people get killed I think it would be disingenuous to tell her a god did it because they were bad people, that they were sinners or they aren't doing the lord's wishes. Children want the truth, they need the truth to make good decisions in their lives. Earthquakes, floods, tsunami's, hurricane's and all the rest of natural disasters are truly a wonderment of this natural world. They are not to be feared, they need to be understood and treated with respect, just like you would a horse. Take the fear out of these storms for your niece.

      May 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Alien Orifice, what gets me is that you have no clue you are being played and by whom is playing you as they stroke, stroke, stroke your egos to follow their sinful ways to keep you from our (yes, that's ALL of our) Lord. If you believe that your thoughts are all your own and that you weren't conditioned to be a non-believer in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior ... think again.

      May 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • camp medicine

      That is a noble dilemna to take the fear out of it for her. But a scientific defintion does not take the fear out of it for her. She clearly sees the destructive nature of the storms effects, but it offers her no comfort to say it is just a force of nature. Leaves her with this chaotic answer – what stops it from killing me?

      May 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • camp

      I actually see the earth not as a perfect system. So it is hard to tell her that the force and fury of natural disasters as wonderful, when she sees its end as destroying human lives. Not an easy question to answer...........

      May 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @camp

      It sounds like you are unsure why people get killed in storms?

      May 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • camp

      Again when I started this post I was asking for a reason and logic filled response to the answer based on your camp. I have my own thoughts, and not really interested in innane and insulting responses to what I believe I am genuinely interested in a well thought out answer from the other camp, and I thank you for the well reasoned responses you gave

      May 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @camp

      Insults not intended. Only wish you the best on your journey!

      May 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • camp

      Thank you VOR to you as well!

      May 19, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  3. Doni

    The bible is not a bunch of fairy tale. GOD IS REAL. IF YOU SAY HE DOES NOT EXIST IT does not make him any less GOD ALMIGHTY. Some day when you die you gonna have a long chat with him face to face and it will be too late. REPENT YOU VILE SINNERS AND TURN TO JESUS THAT YOU WILL BE SAVED FROM ETERNAL DEATH !

    May 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You claim there is a god then prove it or shut the f*uck up!

      May 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Observer

      Doni,

      Speaking of vile sinners, why aren't you criticizing the MUCH GREATER number of Christian adulterers?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      If you say god does exist, it doesn't make him any more real... see how this works? One cannot prove or disprove a negative. That's why in the real world, we deal with facts and evidence. Your search for truth is a good one. You shouldn't be ashamed of that. Just don't allow intellectual laziness to make you give up your search at the easy answer of "god."

      May 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Cq

      Doni
      How do you know God is real? There have been thousands of gods since the beginning of humanity, how can you know that yours is the only one that is actually real?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • One one

      Easy steps to starting a successful religion.

      First, the rules:

      Rule number 1: Believe or else
      Rule number 2: See rule number 1.
      Rule number 3: See rule number 1.

      NEXT: Convince vulnerable, prospective devotees that they are worthless trash; sinners, who are certain to burn in hell and suffer the brutality of their loving god's wrath because they deserve it.

      NEXT: After the vulnerable, prospective devotees have been sufficiently pounded down by indoctrination and fear of death, on top of life's other challenges, offer them a "get out of hell, go directly to heaven" pass.

      HINT: This last tactic is most successful if you play to the emotions of the vulnerable with a story full of drama, torture, blood, sacrifice and death. Tell them that it is moral and acceptable to absolve the "sins" of a guilty person by punishing another innocent person.

      NEXT: To obtain a " Get out of hell, go directly to heaven" pass, See rule number 1.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      @ one one don't forget no doo doo diggers

      May 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Fortune telling? Again? Turban on straight? Eyes closed? Murmuring?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Oh and jungle kush

      May 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • JWT

      I cannot repent for there is no god. Not for me anyway. If you want one go ahead it does not bother me any but keep it out of society.

      May 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Observer, if the adulterers get as whiny as the non-believers, you'll see their post next to yours.

      May 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  4. A Serpent's Thought

    I am a heteralist! And you are? I am a Christian! And you are? I do not swing from trees or vines? Do you? I am a woman's piece of meat! Who then is your piece of meat for? As a man, I love the women's bodies! As men, do you also love women or are you leaned to address anyone's butt hole(s)? What rights should be given to sodomites who can't seem to get right the true nature of S.e.x.?

    May 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      There you go again illustrating your perverted fascination of the anus.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Phos Phorus

      You really chose a bad name to use as your alias. Serpents represent wisdom, and I couldn't locate a spark of intelligence in anything you just typed.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Observer

      Since you love women's bodies, are you one of the MILLIONS of HETEROS who engage in sodomy with women?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Serpent, all your post does is suggest that IF there is a god (and there is no proof that there is) then god has really fuk'd up things. Dead Reckoning. Always lost.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • abloigo

      The reason your argument is wrong is based on the fact that 40% of straight couples practice so domy. This is not about a phy sical act; it's about rights under law for an oppressed minority. Let's stay on topic.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Take your meds and shut up

      mister self-confessed child molester

      May 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Not a this or a that,but I'm with you on the womans body part .new slogan .doo doo digging JUST SAY NO,were my Kush hahahaha

      May 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      @ Voice of Reason

      You must have an aversion with my use of "holed" innuendos! Are you sure your not a sodomite wanna be? Maybe your "style" does wrestle your needs? Maybe" Yes? No?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      So many responses to my post! I feel humo you who need to respond! Thank you all so very much!

      May 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @A Serpent's Thought

      I know you have heard it before but you really do need to get some psychiatric help.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • abloigo

      If you notice, when people are obviously wrong and uninformed on a subject, others tend to jump on them and post why they are wrong. You should not view this as a good thing. You need to educate up.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  5. Martin

    Sure. That smokin hole is still there as an example for something else. Not at all G_d's judgment on perversion.

    May 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Martin you are, as most Christians are, sadly mis-informed and uneducated. Gay s e x was never the issue in those myths and parables. It was about abuse, torture, murder and thievery. Any reference to h.o.mose.xuality had to do with r.a.p.e, which is a violent crime. Dead Reckoning. Always lost.

      Martin, you are stupid. I realize you are to stupid to know you are stupid, but sadly, it is a fact.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • abloigo

      I agree with the assessment that you lack education on these matters and that it has nothing to do with a physical act. It is about rights. Please educate yourself – especially on the scientific understanding of se xual variance in mammal species. Thank you.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  6. FBTruth

    I don't understand why it is so necessary to change the definition of marriage. States have no real purpose in regulating marriage other than for purposes of protecting children. And, in doing so, it creates an incentive because children are more likely to benefit society if they are raised by both a father and a mother (of course there are always the exceptions).

    May 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • momoya

      FBI You're using flawed logic.. Many gay couples would do much better raising children than many straight couples.. You overgeneralize.. That's a "sin" in my book.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • ME II

      Actually, I don't think many states, until recently, even had a definition on the books, which, I think, is why many state courts are finding excluding gays to be unconsti.tutional. This is why many states then pass laws defining marriage and or consti.tutional amendments.

      "...children are more likely to benefit society if they are raised by both a father and a mother..."
      Do you have any basis for this statement?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • FBTruth

      @momoya. The logic isn't flawed. As i mentioned, there are exceptions to the general rule. There are bad straight parents and there are good gay parents. However, States regulate based on the generalizations and cannot regulate to every exception. Research shows that at least on average children (and therefore society) are better off with both a father and mother, especially if they are raised in a home centered on Christ.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • momoya

      @FBI

      You're still using flawed logic.. It doesn't magically change to good logic just because it happens to be your opinion..

      If many gay couples are better parents than many straight couples, it's a matter that's best decided by other factors.. NOT s3xual orientation.. That's where your logic is fvcked..

      And please, by all means, cite the peer reviewed study that used proper scientific methods of testing that determined that straight couples are somehow magically better at parenting than gay couples.. Please.. I'd really like to give it a read to see exactly what measures and controls they used throughout..

      If you can't do at least that, then let go of your arrogance and actually try to think critically about the situation instead of only focusing on your own little personal "yuck factor.". Is that a plan?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • FBTruth

      @momoya. Read carefully....I never said straight couples are better parents than gay parents. I said children are better off on average being raised by both a father and a mother. We're talking orders of magnitutde here. You must know that in order for a child to be born, both a man and a woman is required. For that reason, states have a legitimate state interest in incentivizing that birth be within a home with both a father and a mother (as opposed to being born into a home with only one of the two). A child being born to a gay mother is a rare occurence as compared to being born to a straight mother. There is a significant difference between a child being raise by both a father and a mother and child being raised by two fathers or two mothers. There is really no legitimate purpose for the states to change the definition of marriage.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  7. Josh

    Leviticus 18:22 (KJV): "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind it is abomination."

    May 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Cq

      Which applies if you're a Jew following kosher rules, not a gentile Christian who doesn't avoid all the other things listed as abominations, like shellfish.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Martin

      High Five, Josh.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Martin

      It applies to YOU, CQ. Everyone before you and everyone who might follow.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Observer

      Leviticus also says (Lev. 20:9) "If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death”.

      What was your point, if any?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • momoya

      @Josh

      Are you curretnly in prison for following the other laws in Leviticus that tell you to kill disobedient children and those who work on the sabbath?? If you aren't, then why the hypocrisy?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Observer

      momoya,

      It's all pick-and-choose hypocrisy for Christians trying to use the Bible as an EXCUSE.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • abloigo

      I thought Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament and rendered it irrelevant. If not, you need to endorse slavery. Seriously. Do it right now. State that you think certain humans should be owned by other human beings. Do you wear more than one type of fabric? Death sentence.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Cq

      Martin
      Do you follow all the laws in Leviticus, or just the ones you like?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  8. markiejoe

    Mr. Osler better watch out. The very conservative Catholic University of St. Thomas will terminate him in a heartbeat for speaking out.

    May 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  9. Alien Orifice

    Martin you are, as most Christians are, sadly mis-informed and uneducated. Gay s e x was never the issue in those myths and parables. It was about abuse, torture, murder and thievery. Any reference to h.o.mose.xuality had to do with r.a.p.e, which is a violent crime. Dead Reckoning. Always lost.

    May 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  10. BralenX

    Perhaps I'm wrong though. I'll start reading the Bible.

    May 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  11. Jesus Is Clearly Gay

    What's the difference between a gay guy and a republican guy? Three beers.

    May 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • ME II

      Prejudiced toward Republicans and obviously wrong, but that's funny.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  12. god

    i am gay.

    May 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      God said you lieing on him.he watching sportscenter

      May 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  13. ME II

    Researcher apologizes for study of gay therapy:

    Spitzer wrote. "I also apologize to any gay person who wasted time and energy undergoing some form of reparative therapy because they believed that I had proven that reparative therapy works with some 'highly motivated' individuals."
    (http://news.yahoo.com/researcher-apologizes-study-gay-therapy-212541582.html)

    May 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  14. Alien Orifice

    Christians don't need to "approve" of same-s e x marriage. Nobody needs to "approve" of it. It should just be. Gay folks should have the same rights as everyone else plain and simple. They don't need anyone's "approval". Discrimination is wrong. Common sense. Screw Mark Osler and his opinions. Who cares?

    May 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Doo doo digging ain't right

      May 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • pervert alert

      In all of history it has never been and should never be. Perversion is not a right.

      May 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @pervert alert

      You truly are a freak of nature.

      May 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Hell no it ain't.woman juice mmmmmmm.

      May 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      You kids should go out a play and get off your parents computer.

      May 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Martin

      Perversion has NEVER been a Right except perhaps in Sodom and Gommorha. That is, until G_d had the last word regarding their "civil" Rights.

      May 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Martin

      It's always refreshing to see yet another expert on the supernatural BS that they know absolutely nothing about!

      May 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Martin, see new post above.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • huh?

      Marriage isn't a right.... If you're worried about rights then Civil Unions should be just fine. (I agree with Civil Unions) You get all of the "rights" of marriage. To fight over it is a joke. Marriage has religious meaning. As you see, everyone is worried about their RIGHTS. If that's the case then what the heck is wrong with CIVIL UNIONS???!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!??!?!

      Someone may have gay tendencies, but does it make it right? I guess since I have alcoholic tendencies it's acceptable to be an alcoholic? Where are all of the alcoholics out there saying they were BORN THAT WAY! Hurray now stop voicing your crappy and worthless opinion on any posts. These posts are a joke as well as the news. OH WOW a CHristian thinks GAY MARRIAGE isn't our decision to choose!!! I guess we shouldn't fight for anything then since it's not a Christian's job to choose and help form society. Ya.. that makes sense. You either have this fool or Westboro Baptist.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Sodom and Gommorha were warnings to future generations that sin would not be tolerated. Apparently there are those on this blog that are not bright enough to take the hint.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @pervert alert

      Intolerance makes you f*ucking stupid.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • pervert alert

      When confronted with Truth the qu-eer and the atheist always scream and whine about hate or intolerance or whatever hurts their little feelings. Guess what the other 99% of the people on earth really don't care and are wise to your bull sh it.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Cq

      pervert alert
      Sodom and Gomorrah was about r.a.p.e., and Lot's lovely offer for the crowd of men to have his daughters instead of his guests. Biblical morality!

      May 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • FBTruth

      @huh. Absolutely right! The words "gay" and "marriage" together is really a oxymoron. Marriage has always been religious in nature. Why the push to change it now, unless there is some underlying intent to undermine it.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • HisStoryPal

      Good point, huh?

      One could very well argue that their "all or nothing" quest is "over-the-top"

      May 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @pervert alert

      There are some truth's in this world that are absolute and the one thing for sure and absolute is that you are a typical f*ucking a.s.s.h.o.l.e.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Failing to dislodge Truth the typical qu-eer or atheist will turn vulgar and might slap with limp wrist or purse.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      If we give you legal rights of marriage but not call it marriage,you have to agree gay males won't show affection in public

      May 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      They like bull sh it

      May 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  15. Claude Slagenhop

    The state should get out of the marriage business for men/women or m/m w/w or m/o o/w. Make some standard law that applies generically to everyone- everyone may designate someone to make end of life decisions. Everyone may designate someone to share their social security with (or just change it so this doesn't apply since there are very few housewives these days- everyone gets their own) and any other "benefits" of marriage- just cancel them out. Since the invention of out-of-wedlock births and baby-daddy and the concept of child support, there is really no need for the state to "marry" people. You want to get married in a church- fine. If your church does not believe in ssm, fine- find another one. Vote Ron Paul

    May 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  16. BamaDaniel

    Caught you ,you power bottom. Hahahah. You are as gay as I used to be. I'm not anymore

    May 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Never was .don't poopadoop in the boo boo shute

      May 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Now you laughing like me too. Go get you some Kush squeeze on some woman tush,and when she get loose,drank you some woman juice

      May 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things. .

    May 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • abloigo

      I'm not an Atheist, but I know many raised in Atheist households and they are very good people with very strong ethical foundations. So, you are wrong. Please stop posting this nonsense.

      May 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • One one

      You have posted this message many times. Yet, you have never told us exactly what prayer changes. Would you please tell us what prayer changes ?

      BTW, Atheists don't tell children that god sends them to hell to be tortured forever if they don't follow their beliefs.

      May 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Prayer changes lives
      Proven
      Prayer really changes things

      May 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • just sayin

      @one one : You just did. God bless

      May 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

      James 5:16

      Amen

      May 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Observer

      Spamming nonsense will not fool God.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • just sayin

      Truth is never spam. God bless

      May 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Observer

      just sayin,

      Spamming is done by people lacking conviction to try to defend their comments.

      This spammer does it all the time.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • just sayin

      It does not matter how often it is repeated, TRUTH is NEVER spam. God bless

      May 19, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Cq

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things
      Evolution changes things, and we actually have the evidence to support it! What do you have?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • just sayin

      There is no credible evidence for evolution. God bless

      May 19, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Cq

      just sayin
      There is no credible evidence for prayer being a communication with something supernatural, but there is mountains of evidence for evolution. Dare to compare?

      May 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  18. Joel P.

    Thank you, Mr. Osler, for this article. Well said. Excellent analysis; hopefully, the many who dissect scripture for their own personal agendas will have an open mind regarding your teaching here, and maybe, just maybe, they will open their true hearts. I read these blogs regularly and am saddened by the bitterness that ensues by our people over this topic. However, it is a pleasant surprise to see a man of faith truly stand for humanity and the spiritual heart of man; unfortunately, we have a lot of work to do. There are still so many fascists and a fundamental fascism driving people's passions in America where so many people jump on the bandwagons of extremism, do not learn to think for themselves, and are not learning to be true to themselves. God, or whoever one might call It (Him, Her), is love. And, as MLK Jr. once said, "We will either learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."

    May 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Truth

      Joel,
      Mr. Osler is neither standing for humanity or the spiritual heart of men as you say. Mr. Osler is denying the veracity of scripture, in order to suit his own feelings. Why can we not read things as they are stated, in a straight forward manner? Why do we always twist things because of our feelings? God says he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This statement, means that he does not shift at every turning of the wind. When he says something, he means it. With that being said, scripture also says, that he is not a respecter of persons. In other words, we all have issues, sins, faults, etc...If you are going to be a Christian, truly a Christian, then we will recognize, what is wrong fundamentally with each of us, and set out to fix it, and to walk as Christ did. Do I say, because I am an ex-alcoholic, that I could have continued, and God should have excepted it, as long as I was hurting no one? Sin is sin. These bodies are temples. If we abuse these bodies in anyway that is contrary to the expressed will of God, then being Gay or Lesbian, is sin. It matters not how much one wants to twist in order to justify there position in life, regardless of the sin. This slippery slope, is what takes us further away from God, not closer. The opposite of being a rock, is exactly what America is doing now. It is no wonder, why his son must return to set things straight. With that being said Joel, I have no hate towards anyone, including those that except a lifestyle contrary to God. I am called to love all men, (which is a daily struggle) and as with myself, have a sincere hope and desire, that we will all look to ourselves and compare it to the perfect yardstick.....Jesus Christ.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus said in Matthew 23:27-28.

      Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees [Scribes were the "scholars" of the day.], hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

      Amen.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Cq

      HeavenSent
      "Scribes" were more like modern-day lawyers than scholars. Sorry, but that wasn't even a half decent try at discrediting modern scholars like the author.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    God touches His private parts and watches me when I po.op. Why would he do tha? Please God, stop watching me po.op.

    May 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Everybody po.ops.

      May 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things. Proof supplied by name thief who posts filth under a Truth, namely Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things.

      May 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      My atheist a.s.s poops in your face!

      May 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Cq

      Evolution changes things. Supported with evidence from multiple fields. Even Christianity is evolving. Young Christians are rejecting the anti-gay bias, so churches will either learn to accept gays, or risk extinction.

      May 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  20. DanielBama

    If being gay is not a choice how come I have given it up for 10 years. I chose to stop it.

    May 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Wrath of Zeus

      Your a lying tool who trolls the belief blog. That's all.

      May 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      @doo doo digger fake Bama use your own name ,don't mess mine up ,get a thicker skin

      May 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I was going to write something witty here, but yeah...you are just a lying troll.

      May 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • DanielBama

      Some troll has stolen my name and acts h.omophobic, but I can tell you being gay was really tough. It is a choice and I gave it up.

      May 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Truth

      Very well stated Daniel. Very well.

      May 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Hahahaha ask bootyfunk who the real Bama.damn sensitive doo doo digger

      May 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • just sayin

      As with any sin repentance and prayer and belief will set a captive free. God bless

      May 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Kneel Harmstrong

      I'm white, but I used to be attracted to black women. After many long hours of prayer and thousands of church groups I can now say, bi-racial attraction is a choice and I have overcome it thank the Lord Jesus, I am now very happy with my waif of a white wife with a bony ass, I never even give those luscious thick exotic booty's a second glance anymore...

      May 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Cq

      DanielBama
      Are you celibate, or have you forced yourself to have $ex with women? Perhaps you were bi-$exual, and you just gave up on one gender? Regardless, it would be foolish to assume that every gay person could just "switch" based on just your personal experience, right?

      May 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
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About this blog

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.