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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. Nii

    DC
    If I'm to continue I believe you do not know a lot about the fields of brain sciences and have no idea why the religious are on the whole not considered sick by doctors. I will not defend being gay but its someone's chouce for good or ill. I prefer to be he.te.ros.exual. Learn rather than talk!

    May 20, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  2. Michael Worley

    and another post saying black is white and good is evil and evil good. Anyone who thought ZJesus taught no-fault theology needs to go read the fine print.

    e.g.
    Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

    24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

    "If ye love me, keep my commandments"

    The issue is not what makes us feel good. The issues are
    1. what is God's law? Romans 1 and http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/official-statement/same-gender-attraction answer that question. http://www.lds.org/family/proclamation is the doctrinal basis for the family

    2. Are there rational reasons to support traditional marriage? Yes! The defense of religious freedom, and the encouragement marriage provides to fathers and mothers to have their own children, and not leave them to single mothers.
    3. What should be done? showing increased love to gays and lesbians, but not accepting their activities as equal to god-ordained marriage.

    May 20, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • TPN51

      So tell me Michael, have you adhered to Gods top ten list? If so, why aren't you roaming the earth preaching in sandals.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • momoya

      You don't have to accept it, and you don't have to like it, but you WILL allow gays to marry and have the same rights as you–to marry whom you will..

      Don't want to be gay?? don't be.. But you can't tell others not to be.. It's stupid and it's rude.. Stop.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Michael Worley

      TPN:

      All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

      I did serve a mission for my faith.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Michael Worley

      Momya: But what about the children? children have a right to their biological parents. You look at it from a couple; I look at the whole family.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Mike Blackadder

      momoya why don't you read the t-itle of this article. What qualifies as Christians minding their own business in your mind? Where is this tolerance for other people's opinions that you think Christians should adopt?

      May 20, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • TPN51

      I applaud you on the mission work but I have to disagree on the marriage views. Marriage was Gods law yes, but it was for the reason of stopping promiscuous activities out of wedlock. To me Gay and Straight indulge in this activity. These laws by the way are Mosaic Law over 3000 years old. Not modern, not today.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Darwi

      You scream for religious freedom and then turn around and say you are totally against it for other people.

      This is why we have a First Amendment. Your religious values have no place whatsoever in our laws.

      If you want to keep your freedom, keep your religion private and do not let it cause you to violate the religious freedoms of other Americans.

      Yet here you state that you think it's okay to violate the rights of other Americans because of your private beliefs.

      So you hate religious freedoms for others. Just follow the law, follow the First Amendment, and realize that as a Citizen in this country you are forced to respect the rights of others even if your beliefs say otherwise.

      Prison for people like you is just one solution to this problem.
      If that's where you want to go, just continue to violate the law. We'll get around to dealing with you sooner or later.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Michael Worley

      TPN: We disagree, and I believe God is the same Yesterday, today, and forever. I would invite you to read the links I gave and pray about if God cares about the family today.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • momoya

      @Michael

      Sometimes your god makes you explain death or cancer or other nastiness to children all the time.. About fifteen years ago, two children were driving a go cart in a park close by to where I lived.. They ran into a a strong metal wire strung across posts to make a "fence" that cars could not go past.. The children were de.ca.pitated right in front of about forty other small children.. Sometimes we just have to figure out a way to explian things to children that we don't wish to explain..

      You are allowed to marry whoever your like.. Just think if it were the opposite (and why not since we have about double the number of humans on this planet than we can feed in the next 50 years), just think if YOU were only allowed to marry someone of the opposite s3x.. Wouldn't be fair, would it?. No.

      You have your rights, don't deny others the exact same right.. It's fvcking arrogant beyond belief.. Get over yourself and do whats right.. You christians were wrong on sl a very, interracial marriage, and women and bl a cks voting.. You're wrong here too, and one day, people will look back on people like you exactly as they look back on s l a ve owners and bigots who didn't want blacks and women to vote.. It's fair, and you know it.. Stop acting like your opinion is sooo freaking awesome that other people can't disagree with you and go their own way.. YOU ARE BEING RUDE!!!!!!!

      May 20, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • TPN51

      Michael, out of all the Religions on the planet, Mormonism would be last on my list. Joseph Smith was a snake oil salesmen in my books, besides I'm in the big leagues (Catholic) don't play with the minor league stuff and trust me I've been to almost every religion over my life searching for answers, I have a library of Bibles, Reference Books from all denominations and they all are the same, no one has answers just more questions. Ultimately my feelings is that organized will be the demise of the human race since most of it is based on war and destruction. Good luck to you my friend.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Michael Worley

      Oh, we can disagree. Just don't fault me for asserting my opinion in the public square.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • momoya

      OH, and the whole "the hetero model family is better than the ho.mo model family" is as stupid as a box of con do m wrappers..

      About 50% of children from "hetero" families are living in a broken home.. When christians protest and march and get "divorce" made illegal–and then prove for a few decades that this change has positively benefited the family– THEN you can maybe start discussing whether or not you agree with gay marriage.. ONLY then.. Otherwise, you're as big a hypocrite as anyone can imagine.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Michael Worley

      My apologies for coming off as arrogant. My goal is to invite people to do as I have done and think critically about these issues, not simply from the couple point of view but from the family and religious point of view. people smarter than me disagree with me on this issue, and that's okay.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • TPN51

      Michael, there is a fine line between sharing an opinion and asserting an opinion. The Church of Latter Day Saints are notorious for exactly that, so are the Baptists. They do not share opinions they force feed them, NO THANKS.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Mike Blackadder

      momoya, good point. If a devoted gay couple wants to raise children together, then you'd think that the children would be better off than those from the single parent, divorced parents households that are common.

      I'm not sure that it would do good to create a law banning divorce. Rather I think that as a society we need to be less selfish as individuals and give more freely to our spouses and children. Gays supporting those principles would be a benefit to society as it exists today. Maybe they would put most hetero couples to shame. Let's root for them to do so.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • momoya

      I'd rather get rid of marriage completely.. All the kids being brought up today knows that it's meaningless..

      But you must allow people to "marry" whom they will.. That's the only fair thing.. Gay marriage should be a non-issue with christians if they really took stock of their poor behavior on that front.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      momoya, some kids probably do think little of marriage, but many kids do not. There are still good examples of marriage and kids who grow up in that environment perpetuate those values. It is evident from modern society that marriage and commitment are beneficial, both in terms of a stable environment for raising children and as a safe and relatively non-contentious arrangement for se-xual relationships. It would seem that the breakdown of the inst-itution of marriage over time is a problem evident in modern society, so abolishing marriage would be heading us in the wrong direction.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8mWXofb-fo&w=640&h=390]

      May 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  3. Karen

    I am an atheist. I grew up with religion forced down my throat. I have come to the conclusion in my forties that it was all a waste of time. I have this to say to people who get upset over the "hellfire and damnation" posts of so called Christians. If there really is a heaven, do you want to be there with THEM? What a horrible place that would be. I hate stupid people. They make me sick to my stomach, but rest assured, I do not believe I will burn in hell for it.

    May 20, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • TPN51

      I see you read the the book "How To Win Friends And Influence People" LOL

      May 20, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • momoya

      Fantastic, Karen.. I enjoy reading stories like yours that remind me of my own long, hard journey out of the brainwashing I endured.. This sides much, much, much easier to defend isn't it?? The sensible arguments almost fall in your lap, I've found.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • jungleboo

      Excellent, Karen. I am with you 100%

      May 20, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Mike Blackadder

      Karen, I hear from atheists here that they are happy and feel more secure in their beliefs.

      I have a question. Do you ever think that there is no objective reason for you to have ever been born?

      Being that you are now happy, I assume you are glad that you were born. Even if you hate religion and have good reason to think that it is all made up, do you not ever count yourself lucky that you actually were born? To what, if anything do you feel some grati-tude for your existence. Do you think that your existence is intrinsic, ie. you exist because you exist, or do you thank the nature of physics, randomness, chaos or whatever for the fact that are here? Or do you feel more secure as an atheist just not thinking about pointless stuff like this?

      May 20, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • momoya

      @Blackadder

      Do you really not understand that if a person was never born they couldn't possibly feel anything at all?. You can't be thankful if you were never born.. Duh.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Mike Blackadder

      momoya, that isn't an answer to the question.

      I didn't say that someone who was never born would or would not be thankful. This has nothing to do with the question.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • momoya

      I thought that I was answering the general tone of the post, not each individual question..

      Why in the world would anyone assume an "objective reason" to be born?? There's no evidence either way.. Oh yes, to feel more important about yourself, but what else?

      May 20, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Mike Blackadder

      momoya, so in other words you'd rather not think about 'irrelevant' stuff like that. Figures.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • momoya

      LOL!!!

      I just did "think about it" dipsh!t.. And I explained how stupid it is to assume if you don't have any evidence either way.. Is there a corral of unicorns frolicking in the center of the sun or not?? Whoah?!? You're too scared to thiink about it for too long?!!? Wow, what a weird idiot you are.. What's the matter?? The concept to uncomfortable for you??

      You stupid fvcker.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      momoya, you don't have an answer, so your answer is to avoid the question. I was asking Karen in any case, but since you decide to answer why not give an answer. Do you not ever contemplate that you are lucky to have been born, assuming that you are happy to exist? Your answer is to say that you dont contemplate that, but that's not a substi-tute for having contemplated this and having an answer. Is existence intrinsic to your being, do you think your existence is attributable to randomness, chaos, nothingness. Do you have an answer?

      May 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • momoya

      @Mike

      If you're too stupid to realize that I did think about your question and answer it, regardless of your lies, then you need to call 911 right now.. You may be having a stroke.

      May 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  4. Rainer Braendlein

    @Sanely Insane

    I belong to a Church, which is yet wonderful. I don't belong to the Roman Catholic Church, which is the wh-ore of the Revelation and about to get completely destroyed by the secular world.

    Nobody can calculate the point of time, when Christ returns. However, when the RCC is about to perish, Christ cannot be far off, according to the Revelation.

    Even historically seen it would be outrageous, if the RCC would perish after 1400 years of a corrupt existence far off from the Lord.

    May 20, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Why is that?All lil boys will raise their voice in joy and say thank you Jesus.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • snowboarder

      that will be a wait without end.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • JWT

      I hope for one that christ does come to eearth and takes all the christian bigots away and leaves the good christian people behind. All the rest of the people will of course stay here and be rid of theose particular bigots.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  5. Mrs Linder

    Take Religion Out. My believe is that Gay Marriage may be a bigger destruction for the female gender. As it is, black women have a more difficult time finding a marriage partner.Many other races including whites, will also have difficult times finding marriage partners. But when it comes to having children, women must make themselves available for gays and lesbians to be able to have a family with children. It is simply not a Win-Win for women. Don't ask me to have your children.

    May 20, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • ........

      If a guy is gay, what makes you think he'll marry a woman because he can't marry another gay guy? And why would a woman want to marry a gay guy anyway?

      May 20, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      What?

      May 20, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • mandarax

      What?! Are you saying that gays shouldn't marry because women should seek and settle for gay men just so they can get married and have babies?

      May 20, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Kaguwlo

      What a stupid argument. I don't want your children trust me. There are thousands of others who are in orphanages and foster homes who could use parents. If they would just let gay people ADOPT we could start putting a dent in the whole homeless children problem.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Mrs Linder

      I hope no woman marries a gay guy knowingly. But many gays, knowingly marry women to find themselves, to have a child or whatever personal agenda they carry. We have a lesbian/manly in our family. The partner is a beautiful woman.The previous partner was beautiful too but she ran off and got married to a man.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Mrs Linder

      Orphants and children in the foster system have enough problems to face the rest of their lives. A gay situation is not a place for these troubled children. They need reality not fantacy. Go make your own babies.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Kaguwlo

      Like you who can't even spell fantasy or orphans right. Lol. No need to worry there will be plenty of babies it will probably become a business for women to have children for gays. Also just because some people are messed up to enough to have a child with a woman and then leave her doesn't mean everyone is like that. Straight people do that to each other too.

      May 20, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      @Mrs Linder

      ignorant statements by someone who doesn't even know how to spell.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  6. ........

    And the Lord said unto Barack Obama, "Issue a statement in support of gay marriage. It'll help divert attention from your failed economic policies."

    And Obama said, "Not a bad idea, Lawdy!"

    And so it came to be that Obama was a one term president, as was Jimmy Carter.

    May 20, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • TPN51

      That's because Republicans are slow. It takes them two terms to screw up the US where it only takes the Dems one.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • ........

      We had 30 years of economic growth after Reagan showed the Jimmy Carter and the liberals how to really build an economy.

      And if the Democrats hadn't forced banks to make loans to people who couldn't afford them, the 2008 collapse would've never happened.

      And it was NOT the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression. That honor belongs strictly to the Jimmy Carter Depression, which is starting to look startlingly similar to Barack Obama's economy.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • ........

      And if you think this is off topic, shove it up your @$$. Because the whole gay thing is big diversion from this economy where 24 million people have lost all hope of finding work.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  7. DiedrichKyrian

    "It would be a nonsense, if someone, who burns, would douse himselfs with fuel and the same time he would cry that the people douse him with water."

    But there is no proof, only your belief and mine. Why are you right and I am wrong? Why cant you accept of what a person believes. IF they wish to join the Church, they will seek you out. We're just tired of being told we're on fire, we're here to put water on you.

    I was a Christian before, baptism, the whole nine yards. I left for a reason.

    May 20, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  8. Rainer Braendlein

    "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.", Osler keeps on spewing nonsense.

    At sacramental baptism we receive a new life, which is not in conflict with the law. However, before we get baptized the law concretely shows us our sinfulness. For example, an adulterer is directly hitten by the commandment. Assumed a fornicator wants to get baptized, it is clear that he should want to get set free from fornication by baptism into Christ. It would by a nonsense, if and adulterer would like to keep on committing adultery and to get baptized at the same time.

    It would be a nonsense, if someone, who burns, would douse himselfs with fuel and the same time he would cry that the people douse him with water.

    Baptism is the new circ-umcision of the human heart. At baptism we receive a new holy nature, which is stronger than our sinful nature and will overcome it in the course of time.

    Only someone, who wants to get released, should ask for baptism.

    May 20, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • jungleboo

      "Baptism is the circ.umcision of the human heart"...? Dear God in Heaven, what have you done to yourself?

      May 20, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • TPN51

      And what does this have to do with the subject matter? But thanks for the lesson on Baptism.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  9. BamaDaniel

    @dee cee talking parrots can throw their voice ,remember they were in the jungle

    May 20, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  10. DiedrichKyrian

    Sanely Insane

    I completely understand!! I feel you brother/sister!

    May 20, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  11. TPN51

    I see allot of posts here quoting the Old Testament on this subject. I do not understand why Christians are doing this since by definition they do not follow the Old Testament. So just for those who may be as confused as I here is the definition of Christian.
    1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
    2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.
    3. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
    4. Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
    5. Showing a loving concern for others; humane.

    May 20, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • summin

      So glad someone finally pointed that out. Christian. Not Old Testamentarian.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  12. DiedrichKyrian

    Rainer

    But you do. You do it through peer pressure, the "you need to be saved." At least with the Muslim Extremists, they're open about if you dont covert we'll kill you. This is more subtle and more insidious.

    Again, why not just go, I respect your beliefs and understand what you believe is your truth?

    PS:

    I have already the most precious good. :) Without the need of Church

    May 20, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  13. ORG99

    His bible evidently doesn't contain the first two chapters of Romans.

    May 20, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • EndThehate

      You mean Romans 2:1?
      1)You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • ORG99

      Would you like to debate context, or are you just interested in quoting sentences?

      May 20, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • ORG99

      Romans 2:1-3-

      Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.

      Rom 2:2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.

      Rom 2:3 Do you suppose, O man–you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself–that you will escape the judgment of God?

      May 20, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  14. DiedrichKyrian

    Rainer:

    Pagans do not need a redeemer. They have found their own truth and their own way. Why can you not allow them to believe and leave them in peace without trying to "Save" them?

    May 20, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      The Church forces nodody to join her and Christ, but merely offers the gospel of reconciliation with God.

      You cannot blame a store for offering goods. Nobody is forced to buy the goods of a store.

      The Church even gives the most precious good, which is the gospel, for free.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Sanely Insane

      Rainer, many from your Church have told me I am going to hell since I am a Pagan. Throughout history, your Church has killed people for not converting to its ways. The Church only offers the "gospel" for free to those that are willing to accept it. To the ones that aren't, it gets shoved in our faces, waved under our noses, and forced into our hands. And, when we still refuse it, we get hounded and badgered.

      If you are not one of those that do this, fantastic; I applaud you, sir/ma'dam. I also know not every Christian is like that.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • jungleboo

      @Rainer, "No one is forced to buy..."? You underestimate the chill you bring to the human experience. The ignorant and uneducated are your only fertile fields in which to plant your weeds. You are not to be trusted, for your viewpoint is against Life itself, and promises only a fortune teller's ruse. Babble.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • jungleboo

      Rainer, you don't think telling someone they are in store for "eternal damnation in Hell" is killing to the spirit of that person? How can you hold your head erect knowing that you inflict emotional pain on people by your crass statements about their spiritual health. You are a murderer of souls, for your own soul is a zombie.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      "Rainer", your "precious" gospel has been been used for many centuries to torture and kill countless innocent human beings throughout the world. Your "god" is the greatest mass murderer that ever lived or more appropriately, that was ever conceived. You trying to sell me your "precious" gospel is like your mythical "Satan" trying to sell me a used piece of garbage vehicle that no longer runs, as if it were a brand new car that I could not do without. Religion does one thing best, it divides humanity and causes human beings to believe that bigotry and division are pleasing to "gods".

      May 20, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Toni

      Yes, you should not be forced. You can not "force" love down someone's throat. Sorry for those of you who have experienced this kind of thing. If anything, that turns people off and makes them NOT want to believe.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  15. Rainer Braendlein

    "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 circu-mcision rules of Leviticus (which is also where we find a condemnation of ho-mose-xuality).", Osler further misinterprets the Bible.

    It is a nonsense to compare apples and oranges.

    Some Jews, which had become Christians, required that Gentiles had also to get circu-msised, in order to become Christians. That was a nonsense, because baptism was the new circu-mcision of the human heart, much better than the circu-mcision of a small human limb, which is not responsible for our inner decisions.

    Paganism and gayness have nothing to do with each other, excepted that both a pagan and a gay had to repent, before they got baptized. Both had to acknowledge their sinfulness and to ask for a redeemer, which they received at baptism.

    May 20, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • jungleboo

      Fortune telling in a turban with eyes closed, murmuring of the terror to come. Fundamentalists certainly do yearn for destruction. Never listen to a Pharisee.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • JWT

      as baptized though never a christian have i been.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • babs

      no one had to repent to you. Some Chirstians are so ful of self importance.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  16. DiedrichKyrian

    Truth:

    I can respect that. As long as you respect and allow me to practice my beliefs, I will do the samething for you. (This includes trying to convert me, or "save me" as some would say it.)

    May 20, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Darwi

      And if their religious beliefs cause them to murder someone? What will you say to them? That your excessive tolerance gave them a free pass and they took it with your permission?
      They do not respect the rule of law, despite saying they are following a "higher" law. Their religious laws are random, arbitrary, contradictory, dangerous, and insane.
      You may want to be tolerant, but they will never be tolerant, so your attempts at compromise are always going to be capitulation instead of compromise.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Truth

      I think Christians that are in true relationship with Christ will respect you. We understand that God loves in a way we could neer comprehend. However, he will always convict our actions that are not aligned with him

      Like in the book of Ezra it says Ezra 9:6 (NIV) "O my God, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens."

      Transparency is the key to understanding who we are and what we are before God.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Darwi

      "Truth", you could say those same words as you bend over the bloody remains of your victims and it would be just as morally bankrupt as it is now.
      You do not have the right to violate the rights of others in this country.
      Our Supreme Law is the Const!tution and it trumps your Bible, your religion, and your religious laws.
      You can tell us how unworthy you have been brainwashed into feeling while beating your breast and calling for murder, but you violate our laws by pushing your personal beliefs into the public square.
      You violate the very basis for the whole country when you seek to force your religious beliefs on everyone else.
      You also violate the First Amendment in doing so.
      Wailing that you are a sinner is your personal problem. When you do it after violating the rights of others, you show yourself to be morally bankrupt and dangerous to the public at large.
      We cannot trust you, for you do not follow anything that is rational. You wrap yourself in delusions and when you seek to brainwash others you are deliberately trying to ensnare them in your dangerous cult.
      Do not protest this, for what I say is true.
      Your religion has no place in our laws whatsoever. You violate this precept at your peril.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  17. Sanely Insane

    I see a lot of religious people quoting the Bible, saying that the Book says gay marriage is wrong. I see a lot of religious people say they are worried about someone stranger's soul and, so, support the ban. And I see some truly outrageous posts to explain away gay marriage as a sin. Here's my two cents:

    I favor gay marriage. I think the government has NO business in the personal lives of people; their job is regulating national issues between the states and dealing with foreign matters. The States and local municipalities, on the other hand, have the authority to make laws against it, but I don't think they should. I believe in equal rights. To clarify, I mean equal rights for EVERYONE. If this country supports equal rights, they can't split hairs; either go all the way or turn into China (in which case I will move).

    I also believe that NO ONE has the right to bar gay marriage, or the rights they deserve. If this is the Land of the Free, it has to be for everyone, not just the Christians whose faith has killed more people than the Civil War, the Vietnam Conflict, Korean War, and 9/11 ... combined.

    May 20, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      I agree with you except. . .if the government doesn't intervene when it comes to minorities' civil rights, what do you do when minorities' rights are being suppressed? In some cases, it's obvious the government's job is ALSO to protect the rights of citizens who happen to be in a minority group.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Sanely Insane

      You're right, after a fashion, DeeCee. When the rights of anyone are being subjugated, the States are the ones that can set it right. However, when they don't, the Judiciary Branch of the government, the Supreme Court, can step in and make a final ruling. The other two branches of government have no business in the issue; they need to be concerned with the bigger picture; foreign policies and matters, national economy, and disagreements between states on matters that affect national politics. Politicians should not, however, get involved with anything that impacts the private lives of individuals; that is not the reason the government was set up the way it was.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      So Abraham Lincoln did the wrong thing in freeing the slaves.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Sanely Insane

      That war had nothing to do with the slaves, contrary to popular belief. The Civil War actually was fought to keep the Union intact, to bring the Confederated States of America back into the United States and keep the country from being divided. It wasn't until about a year before the end of the War that it turned to a slavery issue.

      But, to answer your question, I think Lincoln was right to free the slaves; I just think he went about it the wrong way. The Southern economy depended on slaves; by removing them so quickly, the Southern economy nearly completely collapsed. It was decades before the South recovered economically.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • JWT

      But voters, apparently the older religious types have voted to deny people their civil rights. What states allow such a stupid vote is beyond reason. So the federal government must step in to safeguard those rights from the bigots. The governemtn is not interfering with peoples private lives they are allowing people to have their private lives.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Darwi

      Since when are our rights a state matter? Our rights as Americans is a FEDERAL matter and always will be!
      States do not get to violate our Federal rights as Citizens. That some people want to usurp this Federal jurisdiction is reprehensible and insane as well as treasonous.
      Those who seek "state's rights" over that of the Federal government are nothing more than the same bunch of traitors that started the Civil War. Racists and bigots. Tin-pot wannabe dictators who froth at the mouth at the mere thought of having their own little feudal kingdoms where all rights can be violated at will.
      They seek the destruction of the Union. They are traitors. This is nothing less than Civil War.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      You so stupid .it was about states rights.southern states wanted the right to keep SLAVES the govt.said no tried to leave got butt kicked.I can tell you educated down south

      May 20, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      "Sanely Insane", you believe Lincoln "went about it the wrong way". You're saying that having slaves is more important because the rich slave owners will suffer financially without them. It's hard to believe that a person living in today's America would think that way. . .but you do.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  18. TPN51

    Let's see, the best selling book of all time, The Bible, the best misinterpreted book of all time The Bible, the misquoted book of all time The Bible. Yet we get dressed up every Sunday to go hear the WORD. Catholics have it the best, they go to confession on Saturday, Mass on Sunday and sin like crazy Monday through Friday.

    May 20, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      And do lil boys,and let single man tell them how to run their families hahahaha

      May 20, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  19. Truth

    This by no means is a contradiction of what was previously posted... The truth of the matter is that no American regardless of believe should ever have his or her rights hindered at any point. To support that the government can/ must protect the rights of all its citiizens. To my fellow Christians, I understand where you are coming from. However, remember this is true.

    Galatians 6:7-8 says

    Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

    8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

    I don't act or think I have things figured out, I just hold to what the Lord teaches me. I know people will laugh and curse at what i'm writing but its OK. No, not being arrogant . Just as others are convinced that they ways are justified, I know that the Way of the Lord has been justified for me. We'll all see in the end!!!

    May 20, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Actually, yes, you do act and think you already know the "Truth" and your name says it all. From my perspective you're an ignorant fool who really does believe that he already knows what's right and what's saddest of all, you believe your "knowledge" that you've found in some 2000 yr old book of fairy tales should be forced on everybody else. Take your idiotic book and shove it not on everybody else, but up your a**hole.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  20. Nii

    The Bible is a solution to the natural moral dillemma of man. Some atheists insult xtians regularly that they are gay. If u insult a chinese for being a blackman how can u then say u love blacks. God will judge which of us loves his neighbor. Perfect love casts out fear and our joy is made full.

    May 20, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • JWT

      There is no insult to the christians – just butt out of things that are none of your business.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Oh, well since your "bible" is the answer. . . then by your logic slavery should be allowed then. Your silly book of "gods", talking snakes and myths was written for people in the bronze and iron ages. Don't you think it's time for you to move on? People like you seem like creatures that have been living under a rock with little or no knowledge of the last few hundred years. Go read something else besides your little book of fairy tales and actually use your brain to think. Your country and all of humanity will thank you for doing that.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Nii

      DC
      I'm a civil engineer. Seems like u don't know jack about science and the way you talk not a lot about character judgements either. I don't hate gays and neither does the Bible. If it hated gays then it hates all humans too cos they are not the only one it judges as sinners.( Rom 3:23)

      May 20, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      I know enough about science to realize your "bible" is a crock of s*it. And to begin with, your idiotic bible has nothing to do with my civil marriage. Your book of fairy tales clearly states that men sleeping with men should be stoned to death. Then again, it also clearly states that eating shellfish is an "abomination". Your book of idiocy and your mass murderer mythical "god" are way too evil for me to even consider having them as MY moral authority. Take your moral authority and shove it up your a**hole.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • summin

      It is a solution for SOME people. Other people find other moral solutions. I favor a philosophical approach about what is right and wrong, rather than a religious one. My right and wrong may not be the same as yours, but my right and wrong is not too concerned about what you believe as long as you aren't forcing me to live according to your beliefs.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
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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.