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.
I am a christian. I am also a sinner. My religion asks me to ask for forgiveness of my sins. I ask forgiveness every day when I pray, knowing full well I am not perfect. However the morality that has been instilled into me by christian parents, the bible and my church has played a major role in decided what is right and what is wrong. According to the bible, being gay is a sin. However, is it worse than any other sin? I will leave that one to God to decide. But the fact remains that being gay is a sin. I am not a bigot because I believe gay behavior is a choice, one that which is like other immoral choices people make. So I pray for sinners, however you can't make me say that the behavior is acceptable and that I should support it. If your gay, I will treat you fairly, and with love. But I will not hold my tongue when you try to tell me that your lifestyle is acceptable. By condoning your behavior, I myself sin. Just the same as if I condoned adultry. And lastly, being gay is not like being black, latino, white, or what ever race someone is. You have no control over your race. However you do have control as to whether you give into the "desires" that make you gay. You do have a choice in that. Just the same as a person has the choice to commit adultry. And that is why I do not see this as a civil rights issue.
Spot on Jason!
You have a poor understanding of the issue.. Let everyone have the freedom to marry who they wish.. If you don't want to be gay or be around gays or have gay s3x than don't.. It's pretty simple.. But YOUR opinions don't dictate how the law should be fair.. You christians don't get special privileges.. If you want to live in a society where religion reigns supreme, may I suggest Iran?
Jason, get an education or at least do some reading please.
You may not see it as a civil rights issue, but that is exactly what it is. A few minutes with a high school civics text will clear it up for you.
I was brought up in loving Christian family , went to church and sunday school. Asked awkward questions and only got some really illogical and impossible answers. Became agnostic by 14 and an assertive atheist following the last two tsunamis.
Why didn't you use the brain god supposedly gave you to fathom things out?
Being gay is not a choice.
Like others have told you, get an education.
No, people do not have a choice as to whether they are gay, regardless of what you have come to believe for utterly illogical and unscientific reasons. That makes them a legitimate sociological subgrouping who should have access to the same civil rights, including civil marriage, as anyone else. They pay federal taxes to support your marriage and are not allowed to marry and receive those benefits themselves. That is out and out wrong, regardless of what some 2,000 year-old book says.
I don't know any of your personally and will get no personal gain out of this. But while you attack me as being uneducated, I will pray for you. I encourage you to read the bible and find out for yourself who God is and what his son Jesus Christ has done for all mankind.
"I am not a bigot because I believe gay behavior is a choice, one that which is like other immoral choices people make"
I'll just let the irony of that one speak for itself.
Being Gay is not a CHOICE that is then turned into a lifestyle. It is what comes with birth, no choice has been given. Sorry that your facts are wrong.
Jason, instead of praying for those who find you uneducated, why not better get educated?
There is overwhelming evidence that being gay is NOT voluntary. Regardless of it being inborn or environmantal, something involuntary can NOT be a sin.
Why don't men get to wear those pretty low-cut tops?
God gave us a free will, we are all free to do everything..but at the end of our life here on earth, we will all be accountable for all our deeds before God...
Except you have the free-will to destroy others free will before they get any chance to use it. How free is it for them? Nothing to be judged on.
Christians say both that God has given everyone freewill, and that God is omniscient and has already planned out your life. How do you reconcile this particular paradox?
We will never ever fathom what's in God's mind. That's why we call Him God- the Almighty..
It is so vast that we are just a grain of sand compare to it..my dear...
You can believe that nonsense if you wish. I don't. Can't. It makes no sense whatever to me. If you want to live by that sort of balderdash, you go right ahead. You have no right to insist that others live their lives by it. None.
Gay marriage is coming. Get over it. No one needs your approval anymore than anyone needed the approval of the 'majority' to abolish slavery.
If you can't understand the mind of god, then what the fvck are you on about?
Love your enemies????
Why are you crying?
poorsoul is going straight to hell for being especially disgusting.
I didn't give you free will and you don't know me and I don't know you. You will be cast out into the outer darkness where you will weep and gnash your teeth, except you won't have teeth after I kick the sh.t out of you.
Hahahahahahaha!!!! Is that where you are right now? No wonder because you are using the name of God in vain..
I love you, anyway..hahhah!!!
Hahahah! Hahaha! Hahahhahhhhhaaa! Hahaahhahhahhahhahhahahhhhhhahahhahhahahhahaha! Hahhhahhhhhaahhahhahhahhaahhahhahhahhahahhahahhahhahhahhhahahhahhahhahhhah! hahahhahhahhhahahhahHahahah! Hahaha! Hahahhahhhhhaaa! Hahaahhahhahhahhahhahahhhhhhahahhahhahahhahaha! Hahhhahhhhhaahhahhahhahhaahhahhahhahhahahhahahhahhahhahhhahahhahhahhahhhah! hahahhahhahhhahahhahHahahah! Hahaha! Hahahhahhhhhaaa! Hahaahhahhahhahhahhahahhhhhhahahhahhahahhahaha! Hahhhahhhhhaahhahhahhahhaahhahhahhahhahahhahahhahhahhahhhahahhahhahhahhhah! Hahahah! Hahaha! Hahahhahhhhhaaa! Hahaahhahhahhahhahhahahhhhhhahahhahhahahhahaha! Hahhhahhhhhaahhahhahhahhaahhahhahhahhahahhahahhahhahhahhhahahhahhahhahhhah! hahahhahhahhhahahhah~~
How can we claim any one religion is the correct one when we have so many? One's religion depends on where on earth they are born – too many people don't even bother to learn about any other religion, so how can they possibly make an informed decision? How can God's word have so many interpretations and how can we as a society choose whose interpretation we should live by – that's why we need to separate religion from government.
Finally, someone with a brain, well half a brain (if you believe in a god).
Human beings have been around for, give or take, 200,000 years. Ever wondered why all of the so called "great prophets – Moses, Mohammed, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mahavira, Zoroaster, Mani, Lao Tsu ALL lived within about 1,000 years of each other and all in the strip of land from the Miditteranean to India and South-Western China?
Perhaps we as a species were just starting to answer the big questions (that science would eventually answer) rather than there being a plethora of gods in the heavens beaming down their respective terrestrial emissaries at, roughly, the same time in h.omo sapien's history.
Well, God is what we cannot explain – we explain what we can't understand with God -
"Well, God is what we cannot explain – we explain what we can't understand with God -"
Us humans don't like to say "I don't know" 'when we aren't capable yet of understanding how things work. Today we can't fully explain the universe(s). Theoretical physicists like Dr. Kaku have theories, however not many people can grasp them since they don't understand theoretical physics or they are not interested in them. It is just so much easier for some to say God created it all.
Colin, I agree, science will eventually explain it all. Even if this means some of the holy books' stories may be proven to be true. Because I think these stories maybe telling some historical events from the eyes of a primitive civilization making contact with an advanced civilization. There are megalithic structures on our planet we don't yet know who built them – such as Puma Punku, Baalbek, Gobekli Tepe, great pyramid of giza, pyramids in Mexico – the list is endless... These cultures all say in their scriptures that gods either built these structures or gods helped them build them. And, almost all of them expect their gods to return some day..
Obama's Christianity is evolving
I should hope so!!
Why would you hope so?
Because he has some stupid religious beliefs and he needs to grow out of them.
Romney changes positions so frequently that he doesn't have time to evolve.
You mean the stuff he learned from Rev Wright?
Could you guys please make up your minds? Which is it? Is he a communist? Is he a Muslim? Is he a United Church of Christ racist? Is that the CHOICE for this week?
Don't ANY of you know that all are mutually exclusive? Ooops, didn't think about that.
I suspect Obama is actually not much of a believer, but he has to play the game to meet the religious litmus test of the Jesus-obsessed American voters.
Praise God! I'm thoroughly enjoying watching the Book of Romans unfold right before me eyes! Good news Mark Osler, Jesus will soon return and you can make your case before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords instead of having to create your own faith!
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?
Umm.. you have a virus eating up your brain, dear.
Why are you alive and brain dead at the same time?
are you still using that line? do you know how many millions are helped and supported by followers of Christ every year? no, you wouldn't because cnn would never put that up as a news story.
haha ... the self-proclaimed 'voice of reason' ... bold claim ... perhaps i should stop listening to God and start listening to you ... no wait, you'll be standing 'with' me before God someday, think it would be wiser to keep things as is
If you're hearing voices you need to go get some medical help.. And VoR would be much better to listen to than a sick sadistic torturer like biblegod..
When you are faced with reason and logic you wither like a dying flower with no water.
"are you still using that line? do you know how many millions are helped and supported by followers of Christ every year?"'
Yes. I haven't got ONE REPLY yet. I just keep hearing from people who claim that all their charity work is for ENEMIES.
i'm kind of curious ... are you an obama supporter?
you're prob not hearing much from true followers of Christ because they would never claim to be perfect and two we're kind of not encouraged – by Christ, to proclaim to the world the good that is done
so 'voice' please indulge me ... give me reason and fact ... btw, i do believe in truth because all truth is God's
jmac, your every post simply reinforces my assessment of you.
tom, i would absoluetely love to hear your assesment of me ... i'm sure you believe you have me pegged ... does this mean you don't want therapy with me?
"so 'voice' please indulge me ... give me reason and fact ... btw, i do believe in truth because all truth is God's"
No, you indulge me, prove your claims! You don't have any proof of any god, you are delusional.
not sure why so many followers of Christ are overly bothered or suprised ... satan has been mocking God and Christ – and anything that was from Him from the beginning, but it is He who has had the final word
... it doesn't matter what the government decides, for it is God who honours and blesses marriages – not people ... also, we should take courage as believers, as historically when the church is persecuted and 'pretenders' fall away, the true church of Christ thrives!
Blah, blah, blah.
i missed you ... ready for that session now?
Where then do you say the Kingdom of Gd is? Are civilizations' man-made churches of God' Kingdom NOPE! Ten where is the Kingdom of God? SEE Luke 17:21 for the right conclusion!
Post your credentials, you turd. You aren't qualified to analyze a hairball.
Why don't men get to wear all those low cut tops?
from the beginning a serpent has been trying to twist, distort and confuse things ... even scripture
would you feel better if i did post them? is turd an improvement over moron?
@ Observer...Obama came out for one reason...money.
There aren't many Democrats surprised by this. Only Republicans couldn't see it coming.
The precious voting blacks were slightly blindsided eh?
It took guts to announce that you are with the 38% in North Carolina and not jump on the 62% bandwagon like Romney would do.
Yes we we're blindsided but not knocked out
Romans 1:18 KJV For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Isaiah 5:20 KJV Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Why are you quoting Romans when it's highly likely you don't believe it all?
Where is your mind?
Is this the same book that has talking snakes and donkeys and mass zombie outbreaks and invisible body parts (soul) and invisible diseases (sin) that get passed down from father to son so god had to sacrifice himself to himself to appease himself so that he doesn't torture 100% of his creation for all eternity in a pit of fire but only 99.99% of his creation.. Because I don't give a sh!t what that book says.
The problem with all those who believe in condemning others is; who gets to decide what is righteous & unrighteous? The New Testament Bible (what Christians are suppose to be going by) makes two things VERY clear.
1) Love one another
2) Do NOT judge others
What part of those do so many Christians just not get! Have they forgotten what being a Christian even means? Being a Christian is being a follower of Jesus Christ & His teachings! NOT someone with a political or historical view point that they feel obsessed with pushing on others.
And what does this have to do with CIVIL Marriage Equality? Oh yeah – nothing! Nothing at all.
This is a weak argument. In order to make a case from the Bible it should be consistent and comprehensive. This is neither! Gay marriage is not supported in the Bible and should not be supported by humanists either. It is contrary to Christian and human interests. It is not even holistic. It is exclusive! And a death culture from an anthropological viewpoint!
Twisted world view you have there!
A 'death culture"? Are you brain-dead? Gays are a small percentage of the population, dingus. Do you really, really, really, think that mankind will cease to exist, become extinct, because of GAY MARRIAGE?
Good Lord, are you that dumb? How do you earn enough dough to buy a computer and the electricity to run it?
How many people have the male/male or female/female model to thank for their existence?
No humans have been brought into this world by any of these. They rely on the male/female model.
Gays cannot survive one generation. They must rely on the male female model for their existence. So they are a subculture of death.
"No humans have been brought into this world by any of these. They rely on the male/female model."
What is your point?
Gays and lesbians can reproduce. Basic Biology 101.
When there are only 2 people left on the earth and they are the same s-x, then your statement will become important.
eddie, dear, gays have existed since the dawn of mankind. Get over it. They don't need to reproduce; heteros3xual couples produce gay children ALL THE TIME, you moron.
What is wrong with you, that you are so stupid?
The male/female model of reproduction will remain.
Ho.mos.exuals are probably less than 5% of the population.
Do you think that they are pushing for *everyone* to turn?! Get real.
Stop using the word "anthropology.". You clearly have no idea about that discipline.
You are assuming that people are born gay. I repeat Gays – meaning the male/male and female/female model cannot reproduce. They rely on the male/female model and must recruit partners from their offspring. No one born into this world has gay parents to thank.
On the other hand ... everyone born into this world is here because of the male/female model. I can't believe I am having to explain this it is so simple.
No shi*t sherlock! But what is your point?
Observer. They cannot reproduce and never will reproduce. their's is a sub-culture of death that must proselytize from those who can reproduce – the male/female model. They are a death culture and even when they adopt they are demonstrating to children what is necessary to stop the wheel of life from turning.
Good god. I hope YOU don't reproduce. Your lack of intelligence should be bred out of the gene pool as soon as possible. You're an idiot. Gays have been here since the dawn of the human race. Are we endangered? Hardly.
Really, dude, grow a brain cell or two.
If you still don't get it. Supporting gay marriage is anti-human because it does not support the continuance of the human race. You are supporting the decay of the human race. You are saying it okay for people drop out of human survival and be fruitless.
You have been here because you are a parasitic sub-culture feeding on the offspring of the male/female model.
Yup. That is what I'm saying. It's perfectly okay for ANY couple, gay or straight, to decide not to reproduce.
If you have a problem with that, guess what? No one gives a crap. Millions of couples who marry have no intention of having children. It isn't a requirement of marriage that they do so, you fVcking dips hit. It never HAS been. For ANY couple, gay OR straight.
This is so basic but overlooked by gays because they have thrown to the wind Basic Life 101. They don even know that to which they owe their existence and have turned their back on the fundamentals necessary to turn the wheel of life. They have lost their natural selves to the unnatural.
When you finally get to heaven.. Slap your god in the face as hard as you can for making you one of his stupidest representatives ever.. You do more for our side than for yours..
Jesus H. Fucking Christ! How dense can you get?
Whether or not gays can reproduce is entirely irrelevant. It makes no fucking difference. Your argument that, because they can't reproduce they shouldn't be allowed to marry, is moronic beyond compare.
Marriage is not required for reproduction, and reproduction is not required for marriage. If this were the case there would be no single mothers and no childless marriages.
Eddie, dear, I say this in the nicest possible way: you are AN IDIOT. Gays have existed since the beginning of mankind. Are people in danger of extinction as a result, you fvcking moron? No. They aren't. In fact, we're endangering every OTHER species on earth because of our rapid rate of reproduction.
What color is the sky on your planet, nimrod?
I can't believe someone this brain-dead can remember to breathe.
Why then should anyone interested in supporting what does turn the wheel of life support something that clearly does not support turning the wheel of life? It is a radical shift in the human paradigm.
I hope the "wheel of life" runs over your larynx.
I don't recall saying that anyone must reproduce. If anyone chooses not to reproduce it does not take away from the fact that every living person owes their existence to those who do. And so there should be no ambiguity on the part of law that the male/female model should be protected from those who want to obscure that fundamental axiom of life.
Again, eddie, in all sincerity and with love: YOU ARE AN IDIOT.
There is no need to protect a "male/female model", you friggin' doofus. The human race isn't in danger of extinction. Straights are in the majority; many will have children. Mankind will continue.
What the hell is the matter with you? One can only wish your parents had ignored the mandate of the "male/female model" and failed to reproduce dimwits like you.
If something is so fundamental and basic to all of human life ... there should be a compelling reason to change it. Why then should we take marriage, something which in the past is so fundamental and basic to all of human life, and allow it to be changed into something that is not even remotely fundamental to any human life in existence?
I apologize for not personally attacking anyone to prove my intelligence!
Eddie, you're a troll. No one who possesses a brain would ask such a stupid question.
Why don't you just admit you're here to elicit emotional responses, and not to engage in any sort of intelligent discourse? Be honest, for once, and stop being such an azzhole.
My name is not eddie. Edmund Burkes was the father of conservatism.
And you aren't the father of anything but idiocy. Get over yourself and grow a fvcking brain, you sh1twit.
You've got me all wrong man, Engage the logic! Or surrender!
No, dear, I don't have you "all wrong". I have you exactly right. You'e a fraud.
B.A., B.S, M. Div., M.B.A., CHPA, CHSP, CPP My letters are longer than my real name. Do you want my resume?
That's exactly what I want. Post it right here, with your real name.
Otherwise, you're a lying sack of excrement.
Hurry up, little fake. Post your resume and your real name. You're the one who challenged me to ask for it. Now produce or admit you're a liar.
Sorry! Privacy is a concern here! You will have to settle for razor sharp logic!
When are you going to go buy some?
I'll offer as proof of my credentials that I haven't wasted my time trying to figure out how to get expletives passed the comment filter.
Simon/Peter (Cephas) was great but the Christ's true church is not built upon Peter but what God revealed through Peter: Jesus is the Christ and the son of the living God.
How in the world can you have a mind?
Oh bugger all this rot.
These biblical idiots should all be executed for sheer idiocy.
Why so much hatred?
"Why so much hatred?"
I think it is more anger than hatred. Anger is a good emotion as it promotes reason.
Was it "hatred" when god killed all the little boys and girls and kittens in the world-wide flood to fix his own fvck up?? Because it seems to me that Nrbelung is only suggesting what bible god already did quite a bit of in the OT, anyway.. If biblegod gets to do it, why not Narbelung?? Or is it not really "hate" when your god does it and it's not really "wrong" either–well.... because.. well.. he's "Gaw-ad" duh!
Unexpectedly president Obama dies (easy there secret service). At the gates of heaven he's asked.."can I help you?". Yes I'd like to see Muhammad..he's pointed to a ladder..next level up. Cool says Barry so he climbs the ladder. When he gets to the top he finds Moses. Moses asks..can I help you. Yes, I like to see Muhammad..he's pointed to a ladder..cool says Barry even higher up! He gets to the next level where he finds Christ...yes Barry, can I help you. Yes I like to see Muhammad....there's the ladder, next level up! Yeah..says Barry even higher up! He gets to the next level where God is waiting..you must be tired and thirsty from all the climbing Barry can I get you a coffee? Yes says Barry. God turns a round and claps his hands...Muhammad, two coffees!
Don't quite yer day job, Shecky.
Are there still Republicans who are so IGNORANT that they PRETEND President Obama is a Muslim after he came out in support of gay marriage? Are Republicans that DESPERATE?
@ Tom Tom...the beagle is in the hen house!...Oh..did you YouTube it?! Cool huh!
Does the Pope sh!t in the woods?
@ momoya do you want marriage for the legal issues,or for the symbol marriage brings
I've probably been married a few decades longer than you've been alive, so......
Probably but that wasn't the question.let me rephrase why did you get married
I got married because I loved the man. I wanted to spend my life with him.
What a stretch, I know!!
For the happiness and security of my spouse
Marriage is a word you had all you needed before you were married. I'm straight.me and my girl got two kids don't need it only benefits are legal issues. More married people sad than.happy. If you love you love.marriage just a word. My daddy on his third wife my momma was the first
"Marriage" is a LEGAL arrangement.. Buy yourself a clue.
Anyone ever wonder WHY we have those among us who "know" instinctively that their is something higher than ourselves and atheists who are adamant nothing else exists? For those of us who have that knowing feeling,it is impossible to believe that atheists just arent pulling out leg, or upset over something, that is NOT it, The distinction lies in a small thing, yet not so small called the soul or Gods 'image' if you will. Not all Humans carry a soul, in fact the vast majority do not, hence the need for organized govt to make harsh laws and churches to scare them with fire and brimestone. You can not sense the creator without one, and you would rightfully believe he did not exist, and for them he doesnt. This arguement really needs to end. both sides in the end result are correct.
Actually, you’ll find that most (ex-Christian) atheists don’t believe for one or more of the following reasons:
The concept of an immortal being makes no sense to us.
The concept of an all-powerful being makes no sense to us.
The concept of an all-knowing being makes no sense to us.
We tend to have a good working knowledge of the age, size and history of the Universe and the idea that a being would create the entire thing – with 400,000,000,000 galaxies, EACH with 100, 000,000,000 starts and even more planets, then sit back and wait 13,720,000,000 years for human beings to evolve on one planet so he could “love them” and send his son to talk about sheep and goats in Iron Age Palestine makes no sense to us.
The answers usually proffered for what we see as basic logical flaws in Christianity – “you have been blinded by your lack of faith” “God moves in mysterious ways” “God is outside the Universe” or “our minds are too small to understand the greatness of God” are never satisfying to us. We see a retreat to mysticism as the first refuge of the cornered fool.
The common argument, “well, what caused the Big Bang?” with the implication that, because we have only theories and no iron clad explanation for the Big Bang yet, [the Christian] god must have caused it – does not make sense to us. “I don’t know” does not equal “god” to us, much less the Judeo-Christian god. We feel the answers to such a question are much more likely to be found in Einstein’s equations, quantum physics, large particle accelerators and radio telescopes than in Genesis Chapters 1 through 20. We’re crazy aren’t we?
We do not see miracles in things like tornadoes missing a certain trailer in a trailer park, cancer going into remission or Tim Tebow winning a football game.
We understand that Christianity is one of many, many religions in the World, and we don’t think that we were lucky enough to have been born in the one part of the World that “got it right”.
We tend to have a basic knowledge of history and know that there is nothing magical or special about the supposed history of the Jews, gospels, letters, apocalyptic story (Revelations) and other materials that found their way into the Bible, in that they are largely indistinguishable from the other mythology and religious writings of the time and region.
Human beings are terrified of their own deaths and we see the various religious beliefs that try to “wish it away” such as reincarnation, living happily ever after in Heaven with Jesus, having your own Mormon planet etc. as nothing more than childish stories for the more naive, timid minds among us.
We do not see morality as predicated upon a belief in the supernatural. We accept that one can be moral without believing in the supernatural and that doing so is no guaranty that one will conform to the norms of society that people call “morality”.
“You can’t prove God doesn’t exist” is not a convincing argument to us, as in inability to disprove something is a far cry from it being true. We cannot prove that the Hindu gods Shiva or Vishnu do not exist either, nor Santa Claus for that matter, but that is hardly a reason to believe in them. It is almost always impossible to prove a negative in this sense.
When one looks at the various Christian beliefs that were once firmly believed – Adam and Eve, Noah’s flood, people living to be 700 or 900 years old, the Red Sea splitting, water turning into wine, talking snakes, a man living in a whale’s belly, people rising from the dead, Jesus driving demons out of people and into pigs – but which are now acknowledged by most thinking people to be mere mythology, it is pretty hard to give a lot of credibility to what’s left.
It is hard not to consider Christianity as based on circular reasoning. Most Christians believe in God because the Bible says so, then turn around and say they believe the Bible because it is the word of God. To draw an analogy, “I believe Obama is a great man because his biography says so, and the reason I believe his biography is that it is about Obama, who is a great man.”
In short, the more one comes to understand mother nature, the less reason there is to believe in a god and the more one understands human nature, the more one sees why so many of us still do.
Is that how your brain plays out? People who don't share your God concept have no souls? You're one messed up dude.
I personally don't know if anyone has a soul. Neither do you in any extrinsic way.
I'm a soul-less human. And so are you. Otherwise newborns would have religion without any human teaching. And it would be the same religion all over the World.
Colin, you are in luck. None of these are required to be a Christian.
This is esoteric in nature, and I am not trying to be cruel or mean. I just want to put an end to this secrecy. Mankind is advanced enough now to handle the truth. I may get called on the carpet, so be it. The time for secret societies to open up is well upon us. The Kabbala was released 40 years ago, its time for the next step. no hard feelings. if you have no soul, you dont. its no worries
Go get help, Lassie.
Truth is relative, not absolute. And "esoteric", meaning you're one of the select, chosen few to have a soul? Really? I don't know what bible you have on your shelf, but it's definitely not the King James version. Sounds more like the new age wacko version.
'scuse me Sir, Guardian Angel 5437122-56234-AB has a problem.
A nice lady here in some kind of relationship is wanting to bring a loved child into the world. So she had to use a male servant (as per your bible and handmaids) . But she needs to be married so the innocent child is not illegitimate. Now I know we get all uppity if someones says a merely conceived pre-born is suddenly terminated, because it's the loss of an innocent life. But should we object to the relationship if the consequence is only to harm the innocent child with stigma?
Wipe them off the face of the Earth immediately!!! Oh, wait, I can do that from here....please stand by while I transfer your call...
@ GOD..press one for English...
Gositinthecar you are condemned by your sin to everlasting HELL for being born. Don't bother getting up, I'm giving you cancer. Your useless and worthless blatherings will end with your death. Then comes the judgment which I already have here on a sticky note.
Yep, you're going straight to Hell. The horror of it should wash over you within 3 seconds of reading this post. Let me know if you don't feel anything and I'll give cancer to your friends and family just to make sure you are understanding my words to you.
Death is just the beginning for you. I have infinite torture waiting for you because you can't post anything worth reading.
Does that sound way out of proportion? Tough. Deal with it you stunted slime! >:(
Romans Chapter 1 verses 26-28
Romans (12:20) also says “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.”
Apples and oranges.
Keep the marriage bed pure...New Testament.
Adam and Eve...first marriage. Notice it is Adam and Eve, expressly for comfort for one another, and procreation. Old Testament. Not wiped out by anything in the New Testament.
Not too tough to figure out what it is that God blesses.
Have civil Unions. Why insist upon a church wedding when the church (Peter, the rock upon whom the church was built) does not ordain it?
Stop it, just stop it. Let people live in peace. You have yours, and I'll have mine. You do as you please, and stop trying to wipe out the meaning of the Bible.
Then again, the Bible clearly states that in the last days, men will only want to hear what tickles their ears, as well as a time that people will call good evil, and evil good.
Looks like we are rolling up on it.
Your opinion has been noted.. Fortunately, the law allows you to follow your own convictions.. Do so, and quit pretending that your belief is so special that everybody is wrong who doesn't agree with you.. You get to marry whom you want.. Let others do so as well and don't be a bigot about it.
Oh, and religion is utter bull sh!t.
The Bible supports slavery and discrimination against women and the handicapped.
The Bible was used to define marriage as being between people of the same race until recently.
What was your point?
great post ... many truths spoken by you
Also, as this article points out.....not all Christian Churches agree with your personal interpretation of the Bible or what Christianity believes.
People all only hear what they want to hear and have always. Nothing is special about today.
Civil unions are not marriage and are, in any case, not allowed in many states. Civil marriage is a civil right. Denying civil marriage is a civil rights violation.
Where does CNN find these guys who write these articles? Just another in a long line of people who pick and choose what parts of the Bible they like until they create a god in their own image.
Just say you don't accept God's viewpoint and let it go at that!
Priests don't have the luxury of claiming to be atheists.
There are people who would tell you that same thing if they read an essay of yours on how the bible "IS.".
You do realize that not one single believer can ever verify his intepretation of scripture is correct, don't you?. It's all jsut opinions.. That's why there a million fvcking denominations and other religions–nobody can prove they are right.
agreed, motrek. could not agree more.
momoya, not true. When I have had face to face encounters with people who leave out parts of the Bible it becomes pretty obvious where the error is. There seems to be a myth floating around that it is impossible to understand what the Bible is saying. The real problem is the lack of self discovery in which a person realizes that there are things he doesn't WANT to believe. We as humans are not nearly so smart and objective as we want to believe.
Funny that you make such a statement, Mo, when humans are the ones who wrote the Bible.
Dude, if there's no way to verify or falsify that an interpretation is correct, then you're cooked, bee-atch.. Yeah, you hang around with people who think of the bible in similar way to you.. Big shocker.. But even among your friends you have some small disagreemnts about the bible.. Nobody can prove the other wrong or themselves right, can they?. No.. It's just opinion.. Until you can measure and test something to find out what's true according to a reliable standard, you got your personal myth interpretations.. That's it.. Think about it.. Why do Muslim terrorist and Christian fundamentalists use the same math and chemistry, but disagree on god's nature and will?? Think about it for a few minutes.
Everyone picks what they want out of the Bible & uses it to defend what they personally want it to say! That's why we, Christians, have so many denominations. People disagree with others explanation of some verses so they split & make there own church. I was raised strong Southern Baptist, changed to Catholic for many years then joined 1st Christian church for a few years & now go to Unity Christian church. They all believe in the basics but choose to focus on different things. Some on being "saved", some on receiving communion, some on works, some on love... Personally I find the ones who focus on loving & helping others to be what Jesus' message was. Jesus did not teach to hate, fear, and deny people of anything. People need to stop nit-picking the Bible apart & look at the big picture of Jesus' teachings!
I don't care what the Christian case is for gay marriage. One is not required. Civil marriage is a civil right. To deny it is a civil rights violation. Legislate at the federal level; it's the only way marriage equality will exist.
Hard to break our tradition that's what it is the second oldest tradition reserved for a man and woman.some people want to change that. Change ain't always easy.takes time.
Traditionally, those changes that are "not easy" must be legislated at the federal level. All major civil rights gains to date in this country (abolition, women's sufferage, minority equality) have required federal intervention and prosecution of federal violators to prevent civil rights abuses. This case will likely prove to be no exception.
Agreed. This issue will almost certainly come before the SCOTUS and will be resolved then.
Civil marriage is a civil right only if it involves one man and one woman. Otherwise, marriage could be defined as any "civil" agreement between any person or persons (or whatever). This means that more and more people will start coming out of he woodwork to demand " their civil rights", including those who want unions with numerous partners, animals, children, etc. Why not? Don't say it can't happen. Once you redefine marriage, it will keep going down the slippery slope.
Lily, you are the one going down the slippery slope! Hell is where you're headed if you don't stop judging people!
Where does the law say that, Lily? Cite it.
Life begins at conception applies to all animals, fish, plants etc.
Lily – Your slippery slope argument if facile and, quite frankly, downright purile. Children and animals can't consent. Also, polygamous and polyandrous relationships were the norm for thousands of years, and are still practiced in many parts of the world, so, if they become legal (which to you would be truly anathema, I know) it won't change things very much.
GOD – I like your handle. Quite grandiose.
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.