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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. chrism

    Mark Osler takes a very bad and dangerous step when he labels his own pride "faith.". His arguments are unChristian and anti-Christian as they run contrary to the sound teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. God made marriage for man and wife as is stated in the bible. Just as no one has the authority to deny Gid's gift to those God has chosen, most certainly neither does anyone have the authority to impose a false facade against and over God's authority, and worse yet falsely label it as coming from God. Woe to those who call good evil and evil good. Mark has written sheer pride and willful arrogance and ignorance.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure, because we should all believe YOUR interpretation of the Bible, right?

      Why?

      May 20, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • chrism

      There's no need to obfuscate by claiming "interpretations" differ. Jesus Christ did not teach that we are to bend His words to suit our own agendas. Put aside your own agenda, and look at the plain and obvious verses in the bible. God made them male and female, Jesus affirms, and for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. Yes, I understand these verses correctly and it is no boast. They are stated in a manner that anyone can understand.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Observer

      Chrism,

      Speaking of false facades, you do try to hide the Bible's support of slavery?

      May 20, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      i agree. he is no a true christian. true christians kill g.ays, non-virgin brides, disobedient children and people that work on the weekend.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • chrism

      Observer, why do you beat up little kids? I'm not going to engage in a pointless argument with you. The old testament laws applied only to the Jews. Someone in debt could voluntarily become a servant to another and was freed after 7 years. No where does the bible justify what existed in the US. To the contrary Jesus came to set all free.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      WHat a little sh1t you are, Chrissy. You have no more idea what anyone named Jesus really said than anyone else does, and your idea of the meaning of his supposed words is no more valid than any other.

      You little dweeb, you're nobody.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • Observer

      chrism,

      Just some questions:

      Is that the SAME God in both testaments? Did God actually make those laws?

      Why did God save all the nonsensical laws for the Jews?

      Why do Christians care at all about the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament?

      May 20, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      This should be interesting...

      May 20, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      jesus himself said you cannot drop a single letter from the OT. it still applies. the NT doesn't replace the OT - it adds to it. i know, christians are embarrassed by the OT, but you don't get out of it, sowwy.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • Observer

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      Were you expecting to see a reply?

      May 20, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Observer, hope springs eternal...

      May 20, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Observer

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      Looks like hope sprung.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Looks like. Sad, ain't it?

      May 20, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Observer

      Lots of people love to preach the Bible to tell you how to run your life, but have to run away before answering any questions.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Lucky that this isn't a theocracy, lucky their say-so is so much dreck, lucky people are free to do as they choose without legal repercussions. The issue of gay marriage won't be decided by such anencephalics, but by the courts. Too bad the fundies will have to eat crow.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • Observer

      Tom, Tom,

      Some of your "fans" are probably wishing the states had a chance to vote now on women's suffrage.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Small "c" christian

      Chrism- if Jesus was all-inclusive in his teachings, how can any man thus deny salvation to any other man or woman?

      Maybe you can explain that to us. Oh wait- you left, didn't you?

      May 20, 2012 at 2:22 am |
    • Straight Up

      As you can see by the responses to my original comment, when someone talks with truth then there is really nothing nobody else can say. This is really not a complicated issue, however they have done a really good job confusing the weak with all the trash that is posted on CNN, TV, and all the fake priests who want a spot in Obamas white house. Can I get a witness up in here.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  2. BamaDaniel

    @booty what up boyee

    May 20, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      how's it, bamadaniel?

      May 20, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Late here did you know Ezekiel saw a spaceship

      May 20, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      wonder what kind of LSD he was on

      May 20, 2012 at 12:51 am |
  3. TMAC

    A lot of these comments show the lack of biblical teaching and understanding of scripture in the home, of course its hard to teach biblical truth when the home is run by to men.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's pretty hard to teach or learn anything from posts like yours. Care to translate your spew into English?

      May 20, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • TMAC

      TOM TOM , my point is made

      May 20, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      i agree. the christians show a definite lack of biblical knowledge.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      study after study shows atheists know more about the bible than christians. sowwy.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, dearie, you made my point when you failed to even comprehend your own error. Thanks for playing.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Most church goers just listen to the preacher they know he only speaks the truth

      May 20, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • objecttothis

      Booty, that's a pretty interesting finding. Would you mind posting references to these studies? I'd like to see where a statement like that gains credibility. Im not trying to say that there aren't many Christians that don't know what the bible says or atheists who actually read the bible but it would surprise me if atheists knew more of the Bible than Christians who were actually Christians.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/09/28/130191248/atheists-and-agnostics-know-more-about-bible-than-religious

      May 20, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTIBKZH3kzg&w=640&h=390]

      May 20, 2012 at 5:19 am |
  4. Petraul

    BamaDaniel – because they were there when the universe was created right? You seem to place such importance on visual evidence, yet no one alive on this earth was there when it was created. Nor were they there when the dinosaurs existed. What you speak of is faith. As for me, I have faith in Jesus Christ, who was, who is, and who will come again.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Typo I meant not in 100% agreement if that's the post you're referring to.not visual proof .I can put 2&2 together and get 4

      May 20, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Andrew

      We do, however, have evidence for all those sorts of things, while your book lacks the same level of evidence.

      Call it "faith" that I believe multiple lines of evidence which yield consistent results, but your "faith" would fail to even match that criteria. If we have a video of a murder, and a gunshot victim with wounds that match the video, and have recovered both the bullets and the gun with matching ballistics then, even if we were not there, could we say we have reasonable evidence to believe that a man was shot and killed based on what we do have? Cause that is more or less how science works. I mean, the CMB lets us know the universe is 13.7 billion years old by essentially giving us a photographic snapshot of the universe at that time. All claims must be treated with scrutiny, and judged according to available evidence. That's science. You can call it "faith" in that methodology, but clearly it works, since you are typing on a computer.

      You have a "testimony" at best of some old guys from 2000 years ago. That's not very robust evidence, and there's nothing physical to link that to your god. Excuse me for putting a higher standard on what I choose to have faith in than you, I prefer evidence to unsupported claims. If both are "faith", they are certainly not the same degrees of blindness.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      you seem to place no value on evidence

      May 20, 2012 at 12:42 am |
  5. Hebel

    Romans 1: 18-32

    May 20, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Observer

      Quit the spamming. If you really believed it, you'd stick around and answer questions.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:12 am |
  6. Rachel

    "God, through the Holy Spirit......"

    WHAT is this guys trip??? God IS the Holy Spirit!!!!

    May 20, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      no such thing as god.

      next.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  7. SteadfastTruth

    Bonnie didn't author the Bible. Your problem is with the God who created the universe. He also created all living things.
    Biologically speaking He did a great job. Man + Man = 2 Men. Man + Woman = New Life. God knows what He is doing. Nuff said.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I have observed that whenever some bozo posts drivel that concludes with such pronouncements as: wake up, people; case closed; nuff said, and the like, the content of said posts is most likely bullsh1t. Except that bullsh1t is more attractive and useful than said content.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      god created man right after man created god

      May 20, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • Andrew

      Well, man+woman=new life if they choose to have it and aren't sterile or infertile and haven't gone through menopause.

      Incidentally, I can't think of a single reason why menopause should exist from a god so concerned about "man+woman=new life". It seems a strange thing to happen. Now, there are some possible conjectures from an evolutionary perspective, such as how child birth at greater age gives risk to mothers, but those who cannot conceive at later age can take care of grandchildren, but if a god could, you know, make things so perfect... why couldn't god make it so giving birth to children isn't such a dangerous process for humans in particular? "To punish women for eve's temptation"? Ok, well if the pain of childbirth is the punishment, why give women a biological cutoff? Or why make them unable to survive the process well in later age rather than have them be able to endure that pain throughout their life?

      "Intelligent design" seems a bogus concept if, for no other reason, god seems to be a very poor engineer. For all this talk of "he made things so perfect", it's not very difficult to conceive of ways to improve the world and biology if you had unlimited powers as a god and all.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      I love how these bible thumper put "ENOUGH SAID" at the end..... Like that means something

      MAKES ME GIGGLE

      Shut up and sit down now clown

      May 20, 2012 at 5:24 am |
  8. Guy

    Hey, here's a thought. How about somebody proves that Jesus or any other god acutally exists before we go on devoting so much time and energy worrying over how the gods want us to behave down here on Earth?

    Seems to me that's the obvious first step.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, one would think. Too bad the nut-job Christards are in charge of running the country.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  9. Straight Up

    This is simple if you want to participate in a holy sacrament then you must turn away from your sin. Just like when Jesus came upon the lady that was married five times and was living in sin with a man who wasn't her husband. He told her to turn away from her sin. The story of Peter is a very very bad example. Please stick to your law books and defending the guilty. Also I have a question to the public, if this becomes the "legal" then should we also allow people to have more than one wife or husband since it makes them happy and they are not bothering society? After we legalize that whats next? hmmm

    May 20, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      *yawn*

      May 20, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Hemp.and yes multiple wives for any fool that wants more problems

      May 20, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Small "c" christian

      Just about the first time I've head St Peter called a "poor example"...

      May 20, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      what's next? burning ALL the BIBLES!

      May 20, 2012 at 5:25 am |
    • Straight Up

      As you can see by the responses to my original comment, when someone talks with truth then there is really nothing nobody else can say. This is really not a complicated issue, however they have done a really good job confusing the weak with all the trash that is posted on CNN, TV, and all the fake priests who want a spot in Obamas white house.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  10. Nate M.

    He's right in that we have no say whose going to heaven or hell because we're not god, so don't make his decisions for him.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Cq

      I get the feeling that some of our more vocal Christians here wouldn't be very happy with God if they ended up in a heaven that they had to share with people they just KNEW were sinners in life. A few of them would probably challenge God on it and leave. Sound like some other character you've heard of? Wasn't it Satan who supposedly claimed to know better than God? Hmmm...

      May 20, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Heaven means sky

      May 20, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good point, Cq. Conversely, were I admitted to heaven (not likely, as I don't believe there's any such thing), I'd be horrified to think I'd have to spend eternity with idiots like Chard.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Heaven is the sky Tom. God is in heaven because spaceships fly in the sky(Ezekiel 1)

      May 20, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • Straight Up

      Well if you are a "true" Christian" then the bible is tells you what is right and what is wrong. We are suppose to hold accountable our brothers in Christ and not let them jump of the mountain. Not the show Glee or Prez Obama.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you even conscious?

      May 20, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • objecttothis

      You're right, we don't have say but God does and clearly both. parts of the Bible clearly consider it sin. This is not a spiritual buffet. You can't just tale what suits your view and ignore the rest any more than you can put cheese in the oven without pizza crust because you don't like crust and expect to get anything like pizza.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      I get a giggle every time I hear these bible thumpers talk like they are going to go to their Heaven...Boy are they gonna have a big wake-up call when that day comes.....hopefully sooner rather than later.

      May 20, 2012 at 5:28 am |
  11. Steve the Goat

    What would be easier is if you just accepted your holy book is a fairy tale.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Tom Paine

      It would be just as easy to accept that many people never will do this and you co-inhabit a world with people of faith and mocking them is not the way to build up a dialogue.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Neither is denying others the rights you enjoy. Neither is calling others sodomites.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      @Tom Tom you right

      May 20, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hell just froze over.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Tom Paine

      Tom, Tom, you are assuming that any person of faith commenting here is opposed to gay marriage and that they call gays sodomites. I know many people of faith who support gay rights and consider using the word "sodomite" to be on par with using racial epitaphs.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Nope hurricane season got going early .may need some help this year.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Cq

      Tom Paine
      I find that nothing ruins dialogue faster then when a complete stranger insists that I deserve eternal torture just because I don't believe the same things they do.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're assuming that I assume something I don't assume, Tom Paine. Stop doing that.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, and Tom? I'm guessing you meant "epithets", not "epitaphs". Unless you plan on killing off and burying the opposite in some graveyard behind your house.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Tom Paine

      CQ, I agree! But just remember there are many many people of faith who do not think that way.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • Tom Paine

      lol....Tom Tom, you are right I meant epithets, it is late and it has been a long day. I simply read the belief blog to look for interesting comments and find it disappointing going the ever going (and rather simplistic) battle between fundamentalist people of faith and rather smug atheists going back and forth. There is another way. All the best folks and goodnight.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Another way? Might you be the Piddler by any other name?

      What a shame if so.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  12. dennis

    A number of years ago a catholic priest refused my mother communion because she was not catholic. My elderly mothers reaction was to shake her finger in his face and tell him that it was Gods communion, not his, and he was simply Gods waiter.
    You cannot deny Gods gifts to anyone.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • J

      Very true you can not deny Gods gifts to anyone. Well put.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:41 am |
  13. n8263

    Christians think Sharia Law is immoral but impose their own Sharia Law in America.
    It is immoral to impose your religious superstition on others no matter what version it is.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • n8263

      @Mike, Obama is not imposing gay marriage on anyone. It is a civil right, not a requirement.
      If you do not want to marry the same gender then do not.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  14. Voice of Reason

    If a believer has cancer is it because their god gave it to them because they were bad people or is it to test their faith in their god? Just curious.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      None of the above. People get cancer. They die. End of story.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Environmental poisoning

      May 20, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Tom Paine

      The really amazing thing to consider is that people have gotten cancer and other deadly diseases since the dawn of time and this has not shaken people's faith over the eons.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Cancer is new

      May 20, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • TMAC

      SCRIPTURE TEACHES WE ARE ALL BAD EPHESIANS CHAPTER 2 TELLS US WE ARE DEAD IN ARE SIN, BUT GOD WHO IS RICH IN MERCY WHILE WE were still sinners Christ died for the ungodly.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Tom Paine

      Bama, cancer diagnoses might be new. Cancer is not. Smoke 2,000 years ago (as those we call native Americans did) and you'd get lung cancer. There were many cancers active in ancient times. People just didn't understand it as such back then.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Tom prove it .cancer wasn't around because people are organic.native Americans smoked hemp cancer fighter.that's why they loved so long.until you know who came

      May 20, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Uh, what? Did you have a point before you passed out?

      May 20, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Cq

      Tom Paine
      Except, thousands of years ago, people sacrificed some animal to YHWH, Zeus, Baal, Thor, or some other god, and they probably ended up feeling just as reassured that they did everything they could to affect a good outcome as people do when they pray nowadays. The only difference from the pagan days is that one god has become the most popular to pray to, and that killing animals has been partly replaced with helping your pastor buy a new Bentley.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Rachel

      Though many of us a blind to the actual reasoning, it is as simple as this: THE CHOICE OF NATURAL SELECTION

      May 20, 2012 at 12:34 am |
  15. TMAC

    SOLA GRATIA!
    SOLA FIDE!
    SOLUS CHRISTUS!
    SOLA SCRIPTURA!
    SOLI DEO GLORIA!
    HERE I STAND

    May 20, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  16. Hebel

    Romans Chapter 1 Verses 18-32.

    May 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • GOD

      You're going straight to hell. I damn you to hell for wasting my time. Plus, I'm giving you cancer. Enjoy your hell.

      May 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  17. Colin

    Bonnie, The "end is nigh" nonsense is actually the Jewish answer to the failure of their covenant belief. This quintessential Jewish doctrine held that held that god had chosen the Jews as his favorite people and would look after them if he kept his law – circu.mcising boys, not working on the Sabbath etc. After a few hundred years of keeping the law, but being overrun by everybody except the Australian Aboriginals, the Jews naturally started to question where their god was and why he wasn’t keeping his end of the deal.

    By about 200 BC, two schools had developed to explain why they were experiencing exactly what one would expect if there were no god. First, the “we’re being punished for our sins” school arose, that taught that the Jews were not living according to their sky-god’s law and that the sky-god was punishing them. This worked for a while, until they started to realize that those who TOTALLY ignored his law (i.e. gentiles) were doing much better than the Jews.

    So, once again they had to explain why they were experiencing exactly what one would expect if there were no god. Shazam, the apocalyptic school was born. This school taught that, while the gentiles were doing better NOW, the day would come when they would get their comeuppance. The Jews were suffering because of Satan (invented for this purpose and appearing nowhere in earlier Jewish literature) but God would return and defeat Satan in an epic battle. THEN the Jews would get their just rewards and the evil would be punished.

    This view was perfect, because you never had to deliver. You could just keep putting off the issue by answering any skeptic with the “any day now” response. It was (and is) perfect to explain why they were experiencing exactly what one would expect if there were no god.

    The Palestinians do the same thing with Allah, claiming the Jews will get their comeuppance “one day…one day, you mark my words”. So do Christians, in a sense, with the “he’ll burn in hell for that” response they proffer when they feel somebody has gotten away with something they don’t like. So do the Chicago Cubs.

    As you point out, Jesus himself believed this as did St. Paul. But, they expected the second coming in their lifetime. They were wrong, as has every apocalyptic prophet since then to and including Koresh, Camping, the idiot Christian Evangelicals and the 21 December 2012 nuts.

    No Bonnie, when you, me and most reading this post die, it will likely be in a bed, riddled with cancer or other age-based disease. No horses, no goblins, just morphine, long days and bored younger relatives.

    May 19, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • GOD

      tl;dr
      Bonnie can't read anything like that unless you whip her into a frenzy of frothing fanaticism first.
      She's going straight to hell. She's been on the list for a long long time.

      May 19, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      @Colin NASA warns once in a lifetime solar storm coming 2012 _ 2013 says it will take us back to the 1800s. They estimate most of America dead in a year lack of good clean water.layoff us 2012ers (google NASA solar storm warning only take a second

      May 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
  18. momoya

    t-e–s-t post.

    May 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • momoya

      t–i–t

      May 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • momoya

      t>>e<<st

      May 19, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • momoya

      t-e-st

      May 19, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • momoya

      god dam it!

      May 19, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @momonya-

      Too many coc.ktails?

      May 19, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      You alright

      May 19, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • momoya

      Trying to figure out how some people swear without the spaces.

      May 19, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Okay, this is the best laugh I've had all night. I have no idea what's going on, but this series of posts is hilarious.

      May 19, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • LinCA

      consti<b></b>tution

      May 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • momoya

      tit

      How horrible!! The collapse of civilization!! Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!!

      May 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • GOD

      constitution

      May 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • momoya

      LinCA is badazz!!

      May 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Are those b's boobs

      May 19, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • mandarax

      Motherfucker! It works! Thanks, momoya and LinCA.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      Can I have what you're having tonight

      LOL

      SH IT looks good

      May 20, 2012 at 5:33 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      SH­IT

      May 20, 2012 at 5:35 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      hahah I got it

      sh­it
      a­s­s­h­o­l­e

      May 20, 2012 at 5:36 am |
  19. sybaris

    All this debate really does is help christians alienate themselves from youth and further erode their numbers. Kids today are much more accepting and exposed to same se.x couples. The more christards whine and spout their silliness the less relevant they become.

    May 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • momoya

      Dam good point!

      May 19, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Kathleen

      Spot on. Those Christianists are ghettoizing themselves into a small bigoted fringe. This is a good thing –they need to be marginalized and for the world to leave their gutter religion in the dustbin.

      May 19, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I agree, but I fear what may occur is more divisiveness.

      May 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Cq

      The religious environment is changing, and conservative Christianity will have to adapt, or face extinction. All things evolve, even fundamentalists. It's a sweet irony. ;-)

      May 20, 2012 at 12:38 am |
  20. Bonnie

    "But on the day that Lot came out of Sodom it rained fire and sulphur from heaven and destroyed them all, The same way it will be on that day when the Son of man is to be revealed." ~ Jesus Christ. Yes, people, we are engaged in spiritual warfare, better known as Armageddon, and the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah is a warning for all who mock and disobey God. When Jesus returns, no one will be laughing. Please read the teachings of Jesus in the book of John in the Bible and get the truth now.

    May 19, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Bonnie

      Found at Luke 17:29 & 30.

      May 19, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Meteor impact. Happens sometimes

      May 19, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • momoya

      What a sick and disgusting freak your god is!!! If you can spend all eternity giving your god blow j o b s while he tortures people forever and ever in his private fire pit, then go for it.. And just remember I said "fvck you too!"

      May 19, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Found at meteor crater NASA tracking a mumber of neo's

      May 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @BamaDaniel-

      What language are you speaking?

      May 19, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • yikes

      Mark is an embarrassment to his family for defending the sodomites

      mom

      May 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Hawaiians used to worship volcanoes

      May 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • sybaris

      Bonnie, you are truly a delusional person and illustrate perfectly what a disgusting, filthy disease of the mind religion is.

      I feel sorry for you.

      May 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Hey Bonnie! Can you hear me? Go F*UCK YOURSELF!

      May 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @yikes: I'll bet you're an embarrassment to your family. Period.

      May 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      @really Sodom was destroyed by natural event meteor strike .that's why NASA has a program for tracking near earth objects(neo).meteor crater in Arizona is proof it happens not gods wrath

      May 19, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • TPN51

      Some of the stories from the Bible remind me of Aesop's Fables. Bonnie let me ask you. Moses led his people to the promise land, but was not allowed to enter. They say he was buried out side of it but no proof. Noah builds this enormous ark and again no proof of it, Jesus, the single most important person in religious history was crucified, places in a tomb rapped in cloth and again no proof if it. You would think at some point something would be revealed of the true existence of these people. Instead we are taught to have faith, look to our heart. We have found dinosaur bones millions of years old, proof of their existence and science has insurmountable evidence of the creation of the universe. If religion is so bent on selling us a bill of goods, they need to deliver the proof, otherwise it's just Aesop's Fables.

      May 19, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Astronomers and astrophysicist are in 100% agreement in how the universe was created

      May 20, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Cq

      If a mob of men come to my door to r.a.p.e my male guests I would consider that an immoral act, because $exual assault is harmful to the victims. Too bad Lot didn't consider this when he offered his daughters to the mob to be r.a.p.e.d instead. If he was the MOST moral man in that city then it was truly an evil place.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      the TRUTH is that you are F­U­C­K­E­D in the head. Ya we already knew that one

      NEXT!

      May 20, 2012 at 5:39 am |
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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.