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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. Sunday School teacher

    We are studing about how God made earth,animals and man.. I teacher 8years old. A young boy raised his hand and said
    he was ashamed of the president because he quoted the golden rule as being in the bible. He said God made Adam and Eve
    not Adam and Adam or Eve and Eve.... Out of the mouths of babe!!!

    May 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Colin

      And are you proud about inculcating small children with Bronze Age mythologyin lieu of science at an age when they are incapable of knowing you are a fvcking moron?

      May 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Observer

      "he was ashamed of the president because he quoted the golden rule as being in the bible"

      Huh? An 8-year-old that is "ashamed" of the president has sadly been brain-washed into saying something he really knows NOTHING about.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • *frank*

      Are the pipes in your home made of lead, by chance?

      May 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Make sure you do a good job indoctrinating those kids into your cult, deforming their sense or reality and destroying their natural sense of wonder at the natural world. You are a criminal.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • cleareye1

      A good reason to make Sunday school illegal. It is a form of intellectual and emotional molestation.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Hmmmm, another Christian drive-by. Sunday School teacher has no rubuttals.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Sane Person

      I can think of some other things you should probably be studing[sic] instead. (And, isnt the golden rule 'Do unto others...' pretty sure adam and eve, shreck, bambi, Pan the satyr, or any other mythic critters werent involved)

      May 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  2. Colin

    I would not be surprised if the Supreme Court took a gay marriage case next session. I would also not be surprised if it struck down bans on gay marriage under the 14th Amendment. This was the provision used to knock out “separate but equal” in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education. The way it works is that, if a state wishes to deny a benefit (in this case, a marriage license) to a distinct segment of society (in this case, gay people) it has to articulate a legitimate non-religious reason for singling them out.

    I cannot think of any. Virtually all arguments for maintaining a ban on gay marriage are religious based.

    May 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Exactly. Luckily, since "god said so" fails to rise to the legal standard as proof of anything except possibly the preachers legal competence, we can expect a rather quick decision and much jaw gnashing and slavering on the right when it is read.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I agree, Colin, and I think that eventually this issue will come before the SCOTUS. It should not be a matter of referendum state-by-state, but a matter of equal rights under law.

      Just a matter of time.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  3. Alien Orifice

    I am going to re-post this as I have not had a single response that addresses my questions:

    Maybe one of you geniuses can explain this to me. Ok, God is Jesus, Jesus is God. God wanted (needed?) to have a physical manifestation of himself on Earth and though he created the heavens and the Earth, Adam and Eve, he couldn't manage a “Jesus” so he knocked up a virgin by proxy who then gave birth to Himself and then he waited for himself to grow up so that he could preach the "truth" to those who would listen.

    Then he set up his own death (suicide) so that he could suffer on a pole to "die" (even thought he can't die) for the sins of all the many billions of people who would be born who had not yet committed any sins but for whom he has a plan and that plan includes sinning for some unknown reason so he needed to die for them. Then he becomes a ghost, takes a little trip to Hades to hang with the red guy and then he "rises" and walks about frightening people and then disappears after telling everyone he would return (an apparent lie) and never shows his face again.

    So my question would be, why?

    And I would offer up this counter possibility. Mary got knocked up by the blacksmith. Jesus was a cult leader. Jesus broke the law and was punished and died.

    May 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • gypsy1953

      No need to ask 'why?' It didn't happen...

      May 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Gypsy, I ask why because I am curious why / how they can believe it. Let's give them a chance to explain.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Colin

      AO- what they will do is the "conman's last resort" – a retreat to mysticism. "We can never understand God's motives" "God is beyond understanding" or "our mind is too small to understand the greatness of God"

      In other words, they have no answer because there is no answer. The whole fundamental idea of Christianity is completely inane.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Agreed Colin, but dammit I just want one flippin' Christian to say that God has and enormous wang or that he is actaully into S and M, hence the fascination with sin, or that he just wanted to be a "real" boy....something....anything!!

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

      Possibly the reason you are getting no response is that your question is just stupid. If you put some thought into it ( I realize that thinking is difficult for the average atheist but it might be a pleasant change ) you just might come up with something which demonstrates an honest attempt at meaningful discourse rather than the brain dead drivel you seem to spew.

      May 20, 2012 at 2:34 am |
  4. grandma8

    First of all I concider myself to be a Christian, I believe that God is my Savior and died for my sins and everyday I find that I will fall alittle and pick myself back up and tell God that I am sorry and I will do my best tomorrow, because he knows my heart he know that it is real, so i'm not saying go out everyday purposely committing sin and believing that you can just come home and say "God I'm sorry for all those sins I did today" and do it again tomorrow...Many of you know what I mean.....The only perfect christian was Jesus......I don't believe that we can ever be perfect, but God/Jesus is and all you can do is try to be as close like him as you possiably can........I don't hate Gays, I have a nephew that is Gay, I love him very much and always will, I will pray for him and pray that he has a personal relationshiop with God before it's to late.....It's between him and God as to where his soul will go......But I will not support him in a gay marriage if he chooses! That is very sacred between a man and a woman and that is God's words!! The problem with much of humanity is that they want to do what they want to do to make themselves happy, no matter who it hurts down the road.....so to justify that. They go to God's words and proceed to change what they persieve to be the true meaning.......You can do that as much as you like, but only the true christians of God know what it means and stand up for God and his word everyday! True, I don't believe in people standing on street corners yelling hate back and forth at each other in the name of Love they claim! Well, God does love all of us, even the sinners which most of us are at somepoint daily......The differance is.....Pray to God for the Clairity to reach peoples minds and hearts.......I do have to say that one of my problems in understanding Gay rights thinking as far as the bible goes is If God meant for man to be with man and woman to be with woman, then why did he not give each of us male and female parts????? I know, it makes no sense right? My point exactually! God could have made each of us anyway he wanted, and he did! Men with male parts and woman with female parts to be together as man and woman........I also believe that unknown to us, there are problems at birth that may cause autism , birth defects and many other situations that we need to learn to over come through our faith. So to my point, I think I believe that some gays have something that they were born with that makes them that way, simuliar to autisum or such.......they kind of all talk alike, walk alike, act alike.........then there are those that look and act perfectally natural compared to the rest of the people, but at some point in their lives decide......I don't like the heart ache I get from a woman, or the reverse, so I'm going to just love a man instead, after all a man should understand a man better and a woman should understand a woman better. Not how God had planned us tho! We can tell ourselves and convince ourselves of anything we want if we are not happy with the past or present, to try and make our futures happier.......Their are many that claimed to have been gay after being straight then suddenly years later, they aren't gay feeling anymore, they are straight again. I'm just pointing out the obvious.......Let's just wait and see who we see in heaven to know who was right........Do you want to take that chance???? To the ones that make it congrats on passing God's test and reading and understanding the true meaning of his words......To those that didn't make it, well....................Sorry for you that there are no second chances once you've left this place. God gave many an opportunity to make it right with him and yourself while here on earth and you chose to push the down button........ Love and Peace to all and if you don't know God personally, I pray that someday you do. And I'm already prayed up for the hate comments to come pouring in, so have at it and God Bless :0)

    May 19, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When you wrote this epistle, did you really think "exactually" was a word?

      May 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • momoya

      No hate from one grandma to another, but Pascal's Wager is STUPID!!

      May 19, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • TPN51

      I thought Jesus was the Savior? GOD, All that church and I learned nothing. Guess I missed the day they crucified God.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Grandma, I am sorry I couldn't read that whole thing but I skimmed it pretty good. Try to work in some paragraphs, makes it easier to read. Now, with all due respect, you are clearly a bigot and and religious extremest. There is nothing on this Earth worst than discrimitation. There is nothing worse than you. Now you can go back to your knitting. Oh, and when you die, the worms will feed on your corpse just like everyone else.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Seth

      TL;DR

      May 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • *frank*

      "First of all I concider myself to be a Christian, I believe that God is my Savior and died for my sins and everyday I find that I will fall alittle and pick myself back up and tell God that I am sorry and I will do my best tomorrow, because he knows my heart he know that it is real, so i'm not saying go out everyday purposely committing sin and believing that you can just come home and say "God I'm sorry for all those sins I did today" and do it again tomorrow...Many of you know what I mean.....The only perfect christian was Jesus......I don't believe that we can ever be perfect, but God/Jesus is and all you can do is try to be as close like him as you possiably can........I don't hate Gays, I have a nephew that is Gay, I love him very much and always will, I will pray for him and pray that he has a personal relationshiop with God before it's to late.....It's between him and God as to where his soul will go......But I will not support him in a gay marriage if he chooses! That is very sacred between a man and a woman and that is God's words!! The problem with much of humanity is that they want to do what they want to do to make themselves happy, no matter who it hurts down the road.....so to justify that. They go to God's words and proceed to change what they persieve to be the true meaning.......You can do that as much as you like, but only the true christians of God know what it means and stand up for God and his word everyday! True, I don't believe in people standing on street corners yelling hate back and forth at each other in the name of Love they claim! Well, God does love all of us, even the sinners which most of us are at somepoint daily......The differance is.....Pray to God for the Clairity to reach peoples minds and hearts.......I do have to say that one of my problems in understanding Gay rights thinking as far as the bible goes is If God meant for man to be with man and woman to be with woman, then why did he not give each of us male and female parts????? I know, it makes no sense right? My point exactually! God could have made each of us anyway he wanted, and he did! Men with male parts and woman with female parts to be together as man and woman........I also believe that unknown to us, there are problems at birth that may cause autism , birth defects and many other situations that we need to learn to over come through our faith. So to my point, I think I believe that some gays have something that they were born with that makes them that way, simuliar to autisum or such.......they kind of all talk alike, walk alike, act alike.........then there are those that look and act perfectally natural compared to the rest of the people, but at some point in their lives decide......I don't like the heart ache I get from a woman, or the reverse, so I'm going to just love a man instead, after all a man should understand a man better and a woman should understand a woman better. Not how God had planned us tho! We can tell ourselves and convince ourselves of anything we want if we are not happy with the past or present, to try and make our futures happier.......Their are many that claimed to have been gay after being straight then suddenly years later, they aren't gay feeling anymore, they are straight again. I'm just pointing out the obvious.......Let's just wait and see who we see in heaven to know who was right........Do you want to take that chance???? To the ones that make it congrats on passing God's test and reading and understanding the true meaning of his words......To those that didn't make it, well....................Sorry for you that there are no second chances once you've left this place. God gave many an opportunity to make it right with him and yourself while here on earth and you chose to push the down button........ Love and Peace to all and if you don't know God personally, I pray that someday you do. And I'm already prayed up for the hate comments to come pouring in, so have at it and God Bless :0"
      .
      .
      fuck off.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Amen, frank.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      pascal's wager has sooooooooo many holes in it.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • jmac121

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I love when the only thing someone has is to critique is someone's grammar and not their thought ... get a life

      May 19, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • jmac121

      It also funny to me that the one's who are supposed to be the civilized and educated ones – the left – also tend to be the one's who resort to childish name calling and unintelligent responses

      May 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • John

      I too, was raised a Christian, and the way I read it, you are simply going to have to burn in H e l l for eternity. As much as I love you and pray fervently for your hate-filled, condemned soul, it is up to you to reach out to your Savior and prostrate yourself while begging for His Forgiveness. You have spat in His eye with your vile hatred for His lambs. The hottest places in H e l l are reserved for those who harm His special lambs who grow up become ewe-loving ewes, or ram-raming rams. He protects them with a vengeance and a fury that I pray you elude, but I fear you listen to the Dark Angel and thusly shall burn, and burn and burn.......Still, I love you.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      jmac121
      Shut up poo poo brain.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      @booty what it do? Y'all fighting tradition . tradition takes time to change.marriage has been a certain status.symbol for a long time eons. You got a fight on your hands

      May 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oooh, whatever will I DOOOO? Wahhhh! You don't like it when I criticize an idiot for posting like one! Ooooooh, I am bereft.

      You moron, do you really think grammar is the only thing that sucks in that post? Did you READ it? The twit is brainless.

      The grammar is just icing on the cake of dreck.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And really, it's a hoot that the bozo who's all put out by my post can't even figure out how to make a noun plural. Here's a hint, ya dolt: it doesn't require an apostrophe.

      What a sh!twit.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • jmac121

      wow ... didn't take long to support my claim .... thank-you, Alien Orifice

      May 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      jmac, you're as dumb as granny. Get a clue. The ninny posted nothing but nonsense. The fact that you defend it is telling.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • jmac121

      you are a class act 'Tom' ... good way of showing your character

      May 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And you're an illiterate moron. Great way you have of proving it.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • jmac121

      btw ... i didn't say i defended anything ... but you're upset by the way people judge and treat others .... why don't you look in the mirror – hypocrite

      May 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Silly jmac121, calling you poo poo brain is a compliment! ADVENTURE TIME!!

      May 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gee, gosh, do you think I care about your opinion, Mr. or Ms. Too Dumb to Figure Out Plurals?

      May 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • jmac121

      illiterate? really, how do you know what i am or what i've read ... you are quite ignorant in the truest sense of that word

      May 19, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • jmac121

      wow .... i think you do care – which is kind of funny ... i'd recommend some anger management for a few of you ... btw, i don't really care bout grammar too much on a dumb post site ... silly me i guess

      May 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      All I know of you is what you post, and if you have that much difficulty figuring out that "one's" and "ones" aren't the same, you're close enough to illiterate for jazz. If you'd ever read anything or studied anything of merit you'd have no trouble writing simple English.

      The fact that you can't and then attempt to pretend it isn't indicative of your educational background is laughable.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      It's a rare occurrence, but I actually agree with momoya's comment.

      gran, God doesn't give to all of us equally does He? I imagine it takes a certain amount of grace for someone like your nephew to accept that. I do believe in prayer myself.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • jmac121

      again ... kind of funny you care so much about grammar on a site like this ... so you want to compare education? huh, is this just your sneaky way of trying to get me to show you my 'manhood'?

      May 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your "manhood"? I'm female, you moron. I couldn't care less about your little hot dog. You're a dimwitted fundie. Your views are idiotic and your writing is execrable. Get a GED, dear.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • jmac121

      you're really to easy to get going ... therapy might be a good route for you ... want my card?

      now, what was the post about?

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

      Yeah, you'd make a great therapist-for another moron, perhaps. Good luck finding one with health insurance, dearie.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Well, granny never came back. Another Christian drive by.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Probably a sock puppet for jmc.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • jmac121

      'alien' ... why would she want to come back ... pretty evident few of you actaully wanted to 'discuss' anything ... i'm pretty sure she's ok with it though, as Christ was first mocked and ridiculed

      'tom' ... hey, you don't need health insurance, i'd work with you for free ... so, let's start with your grammar fixation ...

      May 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Produce proof you have a license to "work" as anything other than a ditch-digger. No psychiatrist or psychologist worth a sh!t would be unable to figure out the simplest rules of grammar.

      Your inability to write doesn't faze me in the slightest. I simply consider it proof that you're a lying sack who never got past a third-tier college BS.

      May 19, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • jmac121

      so, it kind of sounds like your frustrated right now? would it make you feel better if i started using proper grammar on this cnn opinion blog? why do you think it matters so much to you how i choose to type?

      May 19, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • jmac121

      looks like 'alien' and 'tom' are gone ... what was that about a drive by, alien?

      May 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      if ANYONE has actually read this please note that providing paragraphs does help. This was just too much info to be crammed all together.

      thanks

      May 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  5. CNN COMEDY CHANNEL

    ANYTIME i need a good laugh,i just click on to the CNN COMEDY CHANNEL. i dont ever get offended when a (RELIGIOUS) writer for cnn puts in thier two cents worth about GOD,JESUS,the HOLY SPIRIT. and where the AMERICAN PEOPLE, or CHRISTIANS should be accepting of or who. CNN you would doing a better service to the public if you stick to reporting the NEWS. instead of trying to rewrite american history and the BIBLE. you can kill EVERY CHRISTIAN, and burn the BIBLE. the TRUTH WILL ALWAYS REMAIN AND PREVAIL. GOD is just. we can all live together, and get along with one another. but please cnn. quit trying to rewrite the BIBLE.(YOURE WASTING YOUR TIME).

    May 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Sane Person

      You can believe in any fiction collection you want. Just do not try to legislate it to others.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Jesus Is Gay No Really He is

      Good for you! Now go pray into one hand and drop a deuce in the other and report back which one fills up first.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  6. Nii

    The Bible is not the one saying gay s.ex is not a healthy use of the digestive system and reproductive system. Its something all Biology texts will tell you.

    May 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Drew

      wow really? That's news to me, which ones?

      May 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Observer

      Nii,

      Since HETEROS engage in an-l s-x, do you have any point here?

      May 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • momoya

      I know some folks that are "married" and gay and they rarely have s3x at all.. A few times a year, they say is all they need.. I'm sure there's a few hundred thousand heteros who have but s3x WAAAAAYYYYY more than they do.. Are the heteros more "gay" than the gay couple?!?!?!?!

      We're having some serious breakdowns of logic on this thread.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • momoya

      By the way, most of our friends are of similar age, so that might have something to do with the minimal in.ter.course.. It's more about "closeness" at our age! :)

      May 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Making things up only works on the playground.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • mandarax

      Seriously, Nii. That kind of fabricated BS really annoys me. Please answer Drew: What biology textbooks say that?

      May 19, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      This is Nii's stock in trade: he makes up chit all the time with no citation, no proof, no source. Posts it and then goes blithely on his way, casting turds right and left and writing like Buckwheat.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Buckwheat is a cinematic legend

      May 19, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Nii

      TOM TOM/DREW
      I wish u well watching Buckwheat's exploits. However I said Biology texts. Thats as good a reference as any other. You want proof? IS THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM PART OF THE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM??? We do a lot of things wrong. That does not make it normal otherwise murder will be by now!

      May 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Sane Person

      That is not proof. Toyota is not hurricane either. That statement, while true, does not change the value of your original statement any more than your latest revelation. No biology textbooks make the claim you've said they do. You can not cite sources, because there arent any. Additional exclamation points or pointing out that pi doesnt equal warm toast, will not prove your argument.

      May 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  7. Alien Orifice

    Sheila,
    You aren't related to Bill O'Reilly are you? He is the only person I can think of dumber or at lease as dumb as you....and a few on this blog but still, are you?

    May 19, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Observer

      Alien,

      You aren't being fair to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Lay off rush

      May 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Observer,
      My bad.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  8. Nii

    OBSERVER
    The Bible offers 3 legitimate grounds women can use to divorce their husbands. Only one for women. Where are those hatred of women coming from? I think you are just being bigotted to promote your religion. Most likely you are Bhuddhist Atheist who thinks he can meditate without divinity.lol

    May 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Observer

      Nii,

      GUESS again. Christ said the only reason for a divorce is that one of them has already commited adultery.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Women hardheaded gotta keep em in check

      May 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Nii

      OBSERVER
      You really do not study the Bible. A woman can divorce her husband for neglecting her material needs, refusing her s.ex and abusing her physically. Fornication ie premarital s.ex which was not declared to the man b4 marriage is the only legitimate grounds for him to divorce her.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Observer

      Nii,

      – Matthew 5:32 “But I [Jesus] say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchast-ity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

      Is there another language that you could understand?

      May 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Nii

      Adultery in Christ day was between a married woman and another man other than her husband. A husband did not commit adultery for having another woman only he had to stay away from married/betrothed women.
      However if u touched a woman she became ur concubine with marital rights. She must be cared for

      May 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Observer

      "What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate."
      – Jesus

      May 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Nii

      OBSERVER
      Indeed if a woman isnt divorced on legal grounds as Christ pointed out she cudn't b de concubine or wife of another man. The Law determines this. If u were unmarried n not bethrothed u cud choose a man but if u do u stick 2 him n he must treat u as his wife. Study it rather than opinions!

      May 19, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Nii

      OBSERVER
      De Bible is made up of 4 sections de main ones being de Law n de Gospel. De Law defines sin. The Gospel shows how to obey de Law. De rest help us 2 understand both better. Jesus clarified divorce law 4 men since de Mosaic Law seemed 2 b loose on that. He referred 2 de Adamic Law for that.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Observer

      "What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate."

      – Jesus' OPINION according to Nii.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Nii

      OBSERVER
      Now that u've been reduced to single lines, I can see u r stuck.
      I said Jesus referred to the Adamic Law that God did not intend for men to divorce their wives at the drop of a hat.
      "What God has put together...." is a quote from the Adamic Law not an original statement by Christ.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Anonymous

      You can't be an atheist if you are a Buddhist. Everyone who isn't a Christian cannot be grouped into one category.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Nii

      OBSERVER
      I hate 2 break it 2 u but de Bible is silent on lesbianism. De illustration in de Article is misleading. Sin is transgression of de Law n where there is no law there is no sin. Lesbianism is included with being gay to make it more acceptable. Its a form of masturbation which isn't a sin!

      May 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  9. Colin

    The next time a Bible-cuddler says to me “why do you atheists care if people believe?” I am going to point to this article. Here we are in the 21st Century, in one of the most advanced nations on Earth, arguing the propriety of two consenting adults making a financial commitment to one another, based on various interpretations of Iron Age Palestinian mythology. Any alien visiting this planet would be mortified.

    May 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Marriage isn't a financial commitment it's symbol

      May 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • mandarax

      They might be quite pleased to find us so credulous and easily divided.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • momoya

      That's a damn good point.. A few pages ago a poster (seemed like a younger girl maybe?) just sort of summed it up very neatly in about 35 words or so.. Something about keeping your nose out of other people's bedrooms and private life while you follow your own convictions privately as well.. The sheer simplicity of it made me stop in my tracks and think about just how fvcking obvious is the right thing in this case.. It's just not that hard-unless you're brainwashed and have a leach inside your philosophy sucking every bit of critical thought and sensibility right out of your imagination..

      May 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      “Why do you atheists care if people believe?” No, really why? :-(

      May 19, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Colin

      A symbol of what BD?

      May 19, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • momoya

      @Serpent

      Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm...... Did you um...... READ what Colin wrote?

      @ Everybody

      See what I meant in my post?

      May 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Observer

      A Serpent's Thought,

      No one cares what you do for religion in your home or place of worship if you'd just respect other people enough to let them live their lives without denying them equal rights or trying to force your religious beliefs on them.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Colin

      Serpent, have a quick read down this list of current controversial issues in the USA at the moment.

      (i) the perennial issue of a woman’s right to an abortion;
      (iii) medical immunization of teen girls (and boys) against HPV;
      (iv) assisted suicide;
      (v) accepting the reality of global warming and reacting to mitigate its effects;
      (vi) gay marriage;
      (vii) my right to view art and theatre deemed “offensive,” “blasphemous” or “obscene” by theists;
      (viii) basic se.x education for older school children;
      (ix) treating drug abuse as principally a medical issue;
      (x) population control;
      (xi) buying alcohol on a Sunday in many places;
      (xii) use of condoms and other contraceptives;
      (xiii) embryonic stem cell research;
      (xiv) gays serving openly in the military

      I happen to support each one. Those who oppose them are, by and large, in no small part motivated by religion. I am utterly convinced there is no god and that we err as a species in creating gods and then adopting social positions as a reaction to the perceived wishes our own make-believe creation.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Colin, mandarax, momoya-
      While it is frustrating that this is still an issue in the 21st century and witnessing the ignorance and irrationality of those bent on bigotry can be infuriating, remember that those who currently oppose this fundamental civil right will loose...and in twenty years they will have conveniently forgotten that they were on the wrong side.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Truth7

      If you think you are so smart, why are you listening to MEN instead of God? One day when the Truth is revealed, you'll be referred back to the words you wrote here, and YOU will be mortified that you didn't recognize that you had a Creator.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      @ momoya, "Something about keeping your nose out of other people's bedrooms and private life while you follow your own convictions privately as well."

      Then keep your "private life fvcking private" and don't make a scene out of your bedroom eyes for Christ's sake! Do you read about "heteralists" speaking about their bedroom antics? BTW, marriage is for heteralists and not for those who just want to fool around and Act unnaturally AND as God intended people to so do! Fvcking sodomites are heteralists heretics!

      May 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      @Colin tradition don't want to give it up.like xmas in June.fight for civil unions first make the change easier.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...on a side note, other than when the discussion finds it's way to evolution, I have never seen a larger gap between "sides" when it comes to reason, command of the language, and, dare I say, intelligence. Something about ho.mose.xuality has them crawling-out from under rocks.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Colin

      Serpent- by now u would have read enough of Truth7's posts. Can you imagine him/her with political power? The more people we can convince to confront personal, social and political issues based on logic, science and reason, rather than on pipe-dreams, the less of a threat there is harmful errors.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      @ Colin

      I tend to agree with your statements Colin. I though am against the all out openness of sodomy being viewed by the less fortunate children whose minds are still yet impressionable and not fully endowed with righteousness of civilities and moralities as many commoners today are found without. I see children of today becoming the civilization of tomorrow. Yes, they are in need of guidance but what type? Sodomy? S.e.x.u.a.l perversenesses? Illegal drugs? Alcoholic drunkedness? Thievery? Killing? Murder? How does one raise up their child(ren) in a world full of sickening vileness and evil wickedries? I've seen a marked increase in teenagers here where I live who are doing the very things I stated! Where des gay union begin and sodomy end?

      May 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Colin

      There is no causal connection between crime or exposing children to s.ex at an early age and gay marriage!

      May 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  10. Helena Hanbaskit

    Religion poisons everything.

    May 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Pc4un

      I have enjoyed my Christian beliefs. I find comfort in Jesus. I am gay. I don't hate those who hate me but I am also not a door mat. I will simply live happily with those in my life and will walk away from those who dislike my lifestyle, for they mean nothing to me.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  11. Nii

    Your alternative is as bad as the rest of your submission. You cannot summarise four gospels in a blogpost without telling fibs.

    May 19, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then why do you do pretty much the same thing all the time, Nii?

      May 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  12. Hebel

    Romans chapter 1 verses18-32

    May 19, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Larry

      Luigi Chapter 3:23
      In your face!

      May 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Observer

      Romans (12:20) also says “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.”

      Do you believe and practice EVERYTHING that Romans says or just pick-and-choose?

      May 19, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • sybaris

      Quoting bible verses as if they have some magical power to provide a convincing argument is like telling Neil Armstrong the moon is made of cheese.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  13. Alien Orifice

    Maybe one of you geniuses can explain this to me. Ok, God is Jesus, Jesus is God. God wanted (needed?) to have a physical manifestation of himself on Earth and though he created the heavens and the Earth, Adam and Eve, he couldn't manage a “Jesus” so he knocked up a virgin by proxy who then gave birth to Himself and then he waited for himself to grow up so that he could preach the "truth" to those who would listen.

    Then he set up his own death (suicide) so that he could suffer on a pole to "die" (even thought he can't die) for the sins of all the many billions of people who would be born who had not yet committed any sins but for whom he has a plan and that plan includes sinning for some unknown reason so he needed to die for them. Then he becomes a ghost, takes a little trip to Hades to hang with the red guy and then he "rises" and walks about frightening people and then disappears after telling everyone he would return (an apparent lie) and never shows his face again.

    So my question would be, why?

    And I would offer up this counter possibility. Mary got knocked up by the blacksmith. Jesus was a cult leader. Jesus broke the law and was punished and died.

    May 19, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Sons of God had physical relationships with earthly women

      May 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • momoya

      Well, it's so easy for us humans to forgive that sometimes we forget that god can't do it without a few impossible floods and a couple dozen genocides and some child sacrifices thrown in the mix for fun.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Any Christians care to set me straight on this??

      May 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Nichollas

      The reason for Mary is actually pretty simple. In order to die for the sins of mankind, God who knows no sin nor will commit sin became flesh. Had he created a man he would have been without sin and therefore could not die on the cross (bearing our sins), for we are born into sin. Jesus coming from Mary allowed that bridge, it also allowed HIM to fulfill the law, hence "It is finished" that was spoken as HE was on the cross.

      Little more simplistic, if you are to find a cure you have to have a subject that is infected. Jesus Christ is the cure for the human condition, sin...

      Hope that helps.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Michael Pace

      You are not really searching for an answer, you just want to be a pr**k.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Truth7

      "The LORD is my ROCK, my fortress and my deliverer. My God is my ROCK..."
      Psalm 18:2

      This author does not even know WHO the rock is in the Bible. It's certainly not Peter. Therefore, everything he says is suspect and should be considered as false teachings.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Dee Snider

      @Truth7

      I WANNA ROCK!

      May 19, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Nichollas
      No I am sorry, that did not help at all. Thank you for the effort though. It is still completely absurd and you did not answer the large majority of my questions. Why did God create sin. If didn't, none of this would have been necessary. Sorry, no logic there. Oh, and just so you know, in the world of reality, girls have to fuk to get pregnant and people don't rise form the dead.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • momoya

      Please do, Dee.. I see you've been acting on Broadway.. So cool! :)

      May 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Michael Pace
      Wow, you didn't even try. I assume because you too can see how riduculous it is. I am still listening if you want to try to explain it though.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • dav id

      See even God give you the freedom to say what you want to say. Know that even if you live in a country where True Judgment is something that people don't want even t hear about, know that there is a day where that will come from the Same Jesus who you are talking about. Words are meaningless God the Savior is the only reason to live, anything else, meaningless l" like the artile about" for instance....

      May 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      dav id
      1. You are incorrect.
      2. You addressed nothing in my post so thanks for nothing.
      3. Were you raised by wolves? Your grammar is atrocious.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • redeemed

      God does not need you. You need Him. He loves you. Everything He did, He did because He loves you. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. Your intelligence cannot decipher all there is to know about Him. An understanding of God can only come from faith. God allows us to have free will, which allows us to sin. God is not a puppet master. He wants us to love Him and love each other. We all know you cannot force someone to love you. It has to be your genuine decision. God was born, lived, suffered, and died for you-for everyone so that you can live in the hope that there is something to live and die for and something to look forward to after death-eternal life.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      redeemed
      You are a funny. My intelligence can't "decipher" him at all! There is nothing there to decipher. No proof, no evidence, nothing. What is there to decipher??

      May 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  14. Jeff

    I am a believer in God, the Bible, Jesus Christ. I am fine with people believing what they choose to. We were given that ability from God (if you believe in God) and if you don't believe in God then it is an ability period. The guy that wrote this I do have a problem with. The Bible is clear on its teachings. It is not some "mystery". Twisting words around as he does wil not change a thing. So what I am saying is if a person does not like what the Bible says, then don't believe it and go another route, but don't tell me it says something contrary to what it says. Also it is not hate for God to have "boundries" for humans. We live with numerous boundries in our moral lives. It is just that man wants to change those boundries to suit our desires..........and that was the problem with the adversary in the beginning.

    May 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Observer

      The Bible set boundaries like support of slavery and discrimination against women and the handicapped.

      If we didn't realize how mindless those boundaries were, we'd still believe in them.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Truth7

      observer – you have absolutely NO idea God's stance on women because you cannot "hear" what He is really saying. Go back to Adam and Eve and see if you can spot WHO was actually thrown out of Eden......Eve's real name was LIFE, because "SHE would be the mother of ALL LIVING".

      May 19, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, please. If your fairy godfather cared whether his word was understood, he'd have done a better job dictating it to his sycophants.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Observer

      Truth7,

      Read the Bible sometime. Women are told not to talk in church or instruct men.

      It's so bad that when a women is intentionally injured and has a miscarriage, the guilty party should pay a fine NOT to the injured woman, but to her HUSBAND. Pathetic!

      Read the Bible.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  15. Hebel

    Im not against gay marriage but I cant help but think of the writings of Paul in Romans chapter 1 verses 26 on down to the end of the chapter. Actually if you start at verse 18 and read on you will get some thought provoking information. Romans chapter 1 verses 18-32.

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

      People don't believe ALL of Romans so it doesn't matter what they PICK.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • sybaris

      Paul?!

      Really?!

      The guy who had an alleged vision of an alleged Jesus?

      Right

      I have some ocean front property in Arizona for sale, cheap too.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Franky4finger

      Bible verses aren't "information"...... any moreso than I find information in a comic book.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  16. BamaDaniel

    Tradition don't change easy. Need more time. It would be easier to change xmas to June ,and make it about a womans birth.

    May 19, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  17. Tim S

    No matter what anyone, or CNN likes to promote, true followers of Jesus do not promote, believe or condone gay marriage. Those that do are deceived and foolish, Simple as that. The truth doesn't always please people, but it is what is best in the long run.

    May 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • momoya

      That's what the muslim terrorists say..

      May 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Observer

      The TRUTH is that hypocritical Christians pick-and-choose what they like from the Bible and ignor the rest. That's why they pick on gays and ignor the MUCH GREATER NUMBER of Christian adulterers.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • JWT

      Funny time – I know a lot of true believers and they all support gay marriage.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Two of the most ardent believers I know are gay and married. Too bad for you that you don't get out of your apartment much.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      @observer

      that's because if they were to put the effort into bring to the attention that adultery is a sin, they wouldn't know what to say and find another topic to focus on

      May 19, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
  18. Observer

    The Bible's position:

    On being gay: it's an "abomination"

    On child molesters: No comment.

    May 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Patrick

      You noticed that too?

      May 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Truth7

      If one needs God to tell you about hurting children in that fashion, then that person will be the first person in the lake of fire.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • matt

      false.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      For what it is worh, that is a mistranslation. The word "obomination" is being used incorrectily. The original word simply meant "unusual". There was no moral stigma attached to it. Why do Athiest always have to correct Christians. Have you ever even read the Bible?

      May 19, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Observer

      Truth7,

      It takes the Bible to tell Christians that they "should not kill".

      May 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Alien Orifice-
      I notice you conveniently neglected to address Observer's assertion regarding the bible being mum on child molestation. Why is that?

      May 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Alien Orifice-
      I misinterpreted your post...sorry dude.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • cleareye1

      Wrong.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Truth7

      Observer – "Thou shalt not murder" is the "6th" commandment and the spiritual meaning – taking someone away from God – is part of the "mark".

      May 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  19. Bill the Cat

    No... just... no.

    May 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  20. Sheila

    For so many people to be anti-God, you sure don't sound very "happy". So how is non-belief working out for you ?

    May 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      ***VERY HAPPY RIGHT HERE ****

      It's working out great. Thanks for asking.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Jesus Is Gay No Really He is

      Just geat! It's very liberating not living under the threat of endless suffering if I make a mistake. How is your slavery to your delusion working out for you?

      May 19, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Sheila

      You said, "For so many people to be anti-God, you sure don't sound very "happy"."
      I'm not anti-god. It's hard to be against something that doesn't exist. I'm generally pretty happy even though there are plenty of morons that still believe in fairy tales that try to make life miserable.

      You said, "So how is non-belief working out for you ?"
      Very well. You should try it sometimes.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • momoya

      I guess I could be happier somehow, but I keep telling my family over the last four years or so that I feel like I'm in paradise.. I'm not being funny.. I really do tell them that, because my loved ones are soooooo incredible and fulfilling.. Plus I got my work and my hobbies.. Life's a blast!! Come join in.

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

      Freethinkers are indeed frustrated by the fact that delusional people are largely running the country. I know that I am more bitter here interacting with faithheads than I am in day to day life. I'm quite happy and fulfilled. I mostly work with very highly educated people, so it follows that I am not surrounded by many "believers" from day to day.

      May 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Truth7

      Mandarax...they may be intelligent, but they must not be highly evolved. Jesus said to "overcome the earth", realize you are a spirit and are not of this world.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Truth7-
      Stand in the passing lane during rush-hour traffic and see if you can "overcome the earth" and are "a spirit and are not of this world". What will you find...that you're personal evolution will have come to an end.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      In other words, "Go play in traffic, Truth7."

      May 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Leave it to Tom, Tom to cut to the chase. Thank you ma'am.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • cleareye1

      Hard to be happier. No guilt, no enemies (worthwhile, that is), live in the best place in the world, meet new people everyday, a beautiful woman as a companion, healthy at 74. What' not to be happy about?

      May 19, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • cleareye1

      ps/ And I don't need gods.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Answer

      Atheism is true happiness. I want it all for myself frankly and deny it for those faithheads. Why? Because I like to see them continue onwards to suffer in their delusions.

      It's an added bonus to the truth that I personally take pleasure in.

      May 19, 2012 at 10:03 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.