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Can 'true Catholics' support same-sex marriage?
Ex-priest Jim Smith, opponent of Minnesota's ballot to ban same-sex marriages, says these are difficult days to be Catholic.
June 20th, 2012
09:35 AM ET

Can 'true Catholics' support same-sex marriage?

By Chris Welch, CNN

Minneapolis (CNN) - Jim Smith is a former Roman Catholic priest who left his post with the church 10 years ago. He's an ex-priest for several reasons, he says, but one of his main concerns was the church's stance against same-sex marriage and other LGBT issues.

But Smith remains a Catholic - though he says being a Catholic who actively campaigns for legalized same-sex marriages can be difficult these days.

"I'd much rather this wasn't happening," Smith says of the division that the issue has created among Minnesota  Catholics. "But it does provide some real opportunities because it challenges us to talk to each other, Catholics talking to other Catholics."

Minnesota has become the newest epicenter in the same-sex marriage fight. This November, voters will decide whether they want an amendment added to the state's constitution that would ban marriage between members of the same sex.

Smith will be voting "no." And he has helped spearhead efforts in the state to persuade other Catholics to do the same.

A group he helped form,  Catholics for Marriage Equality-Minnesota, aims "to encourage Catholics to consider the profound sacredness of same-gender relationships and to defeat this marriage amendment," Smith says.

Vatican edicts against same-sex marriage often give Catholic same-sex marriage supporters the impression they're in the minority.

Related story: Same-sex marriage by the numbers 

But a recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) suggests 59% of American Catholics support rights allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry. One reason behind that statistic - says PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones - is because U.S. Catholics "overwhelmingly reject the idea that sexual orientation can be changed." A PRRI poll bears that out – with 69% of Catholics nationwide saying a person's sexual orientation cannot be changed.

In the Midwest alone, Catholics are evenly divided on the issue of same-sex marriage -– with 46% in favor, 47% against.

Opinion: GOP support for same-sex marriage growing

Related story: Both sides re-energized for upcoming same-sex marriage fight

Like Jim Smith, Michelle LaFrance is a Catholic who has also taken the bold step against the church in support of marriage equality.

"I remember thinking 'wow, maybe I shouldn't [remain a Catholic],' " LaFrance said. Ultimately they've remained with the Catholic faith, citing its many positive aspects including going to church. It's an important weekly ritual for LaFrance, her husband and their three kids.

"The Catholic Church, despite the media [attention] it typically gets, does a lot of great things, a lot of great social justice," LaFrance said. She noted the church "feeds the poor, houses the homeless, takes care of the abused."

The LaFrance family belongs to the Church of St. Margaret Mary in the Minneapolis suburb of Golden Valley, a congregation which LaFrance describes as fairly progressive. She says the majority of her fellow parishioners agree with her stance on same-sex marriage.

But when LaFrance hears the archdiocese telling people how they should think about it, she can't help but sometimes feel like less of a Catholic.

"I don't think anybody - whatever their religious denomination - whole-heartedly follows every single rule down to the letter."

Related story: U.S. history of same-sex marriage

On the other side of the debate stands Dave Deavel.

Although he agrees with LaFrance to an extent, he says he believes there are certain pillars of the Catholic faith that people should follow. One of those is the church stance that marriage should remain between one man and one woman.

"The whole point of what the church teaches is to form people's consciences," Deavel says.

For Deavel, his wife and their five children, attending church is so important they strive to go multiple times a week.

He's active with Minnesota for Marriage, which supports of the same-sex-marriage ban, and has written various blog posts on the topic for the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

Asked whether he believes a person can be "less of a Catholic" for disagreeing with the church, Deavel says the Vatican "doesn't really have a certain category for 'less of a Catholic.' "

"But they certainly don't represent what the church teaches," he said. "Is it a spiritual problem? I think yes."

Opinion: The secret gay agenda

In a written statement the MCC said groups such as Catholics for Marriage Equality "do not have any right to call their organizations 'Catholic.'"

In the past, the conference has issued statements accusing Catholics for Marriage Equality of trying "to confuse Catholics and the public about authentic church teaching" on marriage.

"Catholics for Marriage Equality MN attempts to convince Catholics that they can be in good standing with the church and oppose church teaching about human sexuality and marriage, which centers on the complementarity of the sexes and the mutual self-gift of loving spouses in marital union," said an MCC statement.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis declined CNN's request for an interview, but it agreed with sentiments expressed by the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

Does church doctrine make it impossible for same-sex marriage supporters to be true Catholics?

"There is no judgment intended about an individual's 'Catholicity' or 'Catholic-ness,' " says MCC spokeswoman Jessica Zittlow.

Minnesota's November ballot proposal to ban same-sex marriage isn't an amendment against LGBT individuals, say the MCC and the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese. Instead, they say it should strictly be viewed as an amendment supporting traditional marriage.

For ex-priest Jim Smith, grappling with the issue has been difficult - a personal struggle that extends to the heart of his faith.

The inner conflict between what Smith believes is right and his love for the church has pushed him to consider leaving the Catholic religion altogether.

In the end, Smith vows he will stay. "It's in my bones."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Catholic Church • Christianity • Faith • Minnesota • Politics • Polls • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (2,849 Responses)
  1. Doc Vestibule

    If one's conscience doesn't rile at the thought of supporting gay marriage, then by the Vatican's own rules, it is not contrary to God's will.

    " Moral conscience, present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges particular choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are evil. It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking."
    – The Catechism of the Catholic Church

    June 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Slappy_McGiggles

      Catholic male priests have been molesting young boys for years, you'd think they would be for gay marriage and make honest boys out of the ones they molest.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Bobs

      @Slappy_McGiggles
      Different issue. Children are not consenting adults, and gay marriage would be between consenting adults just like straight marriage is. I suspect you know this already, or you are a fool.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Context

      @Bobs But it isn't a different issue. The church would have us believe it is morally wrong for loving consenting adults to acknowledge before God and others the openness of their love but this same church has hidden, protected and defended child abusing priests. This is not different, this is all about morality and how we as flawed humans expect each other to be treated. WWJD, I don't know but I'm pretty sure the Catholic Church doesn't know either. BTW I'm a cradle catholic having a difficult time raising my daughters as catholics in this current version of the church.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • ajk68

      That is a massive misreading of Catholic doctrine. You can't just pick paragraphs out of context.
      You are obliged to follow a well-formed conscience or an inculpably erroneous conscience. You cannot follow a culpably erroneous conscience. That is, if you should know something is wrong, or have not taken the steps to know the truth about something that is wrong, you cannot follow your conscience.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  2. The Knight of God

    Denominations aside, I am talking to all the self-professed Christians. From one brother to another, how are you reconciling this with the Word of God? Has the Word have no value anymore?

    June 20, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Topher

      Sola Scriptura

      June 20, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Which words, specifically?
      In Romans 1:26, God is angered at the people's apostacy. Had it been a straight or/gy, God would still have been angry becuase those who purported to be Christian abandoned their faith.
      1 Corinthians 6:9s condemnation of gays depends on the translation. The Greek term "malakoi" was thought to mean "mas.turb.ators." until the Reformation in the 16th century and in Roman Catholicism until the 20th century.
      "Ar/senkotai" referred to male prosti.tutes for the Apostle Paul and Christians until the 4th century.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Huebert

      Not everyone, not even all Christians, believe that the bible is the word of god.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Which God??

      Knight. Never did. Word.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      prolapsed.net has clarification of Romans and the true word of God.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Rebel4Christ
      That website has more to do with Greek than Roman.
      *nudge nudge, wink wink*

      June 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • The Knight of God

      How is the Word of God up for debate in this matter? Romans 1 speaks on how man burned in l ust for one another and abandoned the natural use of the woman and did things that were unseemly and against nature. 1st Cor. 6:9 says those that practice that will not see the Kingdom of God... the Old testement speaks of how its an abomination... 2 Tim 3:16 explains how its the Word we Christians live by... unless you are not truly one of us in the faith. God's Word or no Word... pick... I have more respect for non christians... at least they can support that without twisting scripture, they don't care. But you who claim Christ speak as if Christ condones this... how are you Christ-like supporting sin? Romans 3:16 states that sin = death.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • The Knight of God

      Remember the story of Sodom and Gommorah... or have we forgotten that story... God's wrath for America will be great... we know the Word of God but yet we turn away... ignore it (2 Tim 3 1-5) In the last days God said this would happen however... and it is. People are turning further and further from His Word and turning to the doctrine of devils and men. Repent...

      June 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Which God??

      Knight Never did. Word.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      Romans 3:16 may state sin is equal to death. Obviously that is NOT the true word of our loving god. It had to be twisted by men. Check out bagslap.com, great website on how Gods word has been ruined by modern man.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • The Knight of God

      @Which God??? I know you are dying for a response... so here is my response:

      Hey man! what's up... look I am not going to respond to you because this is directed to those of the faith. Stop trying to be a troll :p

      June 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Jack

      "God's wrath for America will be great" God only rained down his wrath because Lot could not find 10 "righteous" people. Or did you forget the story. I assume you consider yourself "righteous", so go find 10 people like yourself and we'll be ok. Peddle your doomsday wares elsewhere. Don't you have a soldiers funeral to protest?

      June 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • The Knight of God

      @Rebel4Christ I am concerned by what you said. True God is loving... but is your god one of justice and righteousness? or does murderers, liars, cheaters, etc. Do all of them get to go into heaven free? Do I, being saved, get the right to sin as much as I want without worry of the Wrath of the Lamb that God promised in His Word?

      June 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Knight
      I most assuredly am not one of the faithful.
      However, that doesn't mean that I haven't studied the Bible along with various other holy texts.
      So you think that God's wrath in the Romans passage was strictly becuase they had a gay or/gy and not becuase of their apostacy? God would've been A-OK if they'd simply renounced Him and had some good old fashioned straight se.x?
      The Corinthians list is highly debatable since, as I pointed out, it all depends on the translation.
      AR.SENKOTAI – Has been translated as "abusers of themselves with mankind" (KJV), "se.xual per.verts" (RSV), "sodo.mites" (NKJV, NAB, JB, NRSV), "behaves like a hom.ose.xual" (CEV)
      MALAKOI – Literally means "soft" or "males who are soft". This word has been translated as "ef.feminate" (KJV), "corrupt" (Lamsa), "per.verts" (CEV), "catamites" which means call boys (JB), "those who are male prosti.tutes" (NCV), and "male prost.itutes." (NIV, NRSV). Only in the 20th century has it been understood as a reference to hom.ose.xuality.

      It's all well and good that the Old Testament condemns gays – but I sure hope you don't use that as your moral guide.
      The book of the vengegul, smitey God of the Jews is full of misogyny, slavery and genocide! Oh my!

      June 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • The Knight of God

      The God of the Old is the same as the one in the New. I am guessing you haven't read anything Jesus warned about, His first message being that of repentance. We are so busy trying to justify sin, I understand that people have feelings and they are no different than us just a different attraction. I am not in the business of making people feel good, just preaching what God told us to preach. Repentance and remission of sin Lk 24:26-28

      June 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Primewonk

      The Knight of God wrote, "Remember the story of Sodom and Gommorah"

      Let's see – Some folks in "Sodom" wanted to gang ràpe non-humans. Technically this is bestiality, not hômosèxuality. Also, why is it that "good christians" equate violent forceable gang ràpe with consensual sèx?

      BUT WAIT! – Lot then offers up his young teenage, nubile virgin daughters to be violently gang ràped. Apparently Lot was too ignorant to understand that if the folks of Sodom were "gay", that they wouldn't have an interest in his girls.

      BUT WAIT!! – Lot's hot, young, nubile, virgin girls then get daddy drunk and scrèw him, just to get preggers.

      And your putz of a god was just fine with all this.

      Did I get it right?

      Do I get one of your special cookies now?

      June 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • The Knight of God

      The lack of wisdom here is... disturbing. You profess yourself to be wise but are fools in the ultimate wisdom of God. Why call yourselves Christians when you don't believe in the Word? Makes no sense. Better off as atheists and being honest with yourselves

      June 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • m

      there is no such thing as sin
      your religion is a lie

      June 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      Knight of God: Blah, Blah, frigging Blah....god doesn't like this, god doesn't like that. Perhaps god doesn't like people speaking for "him".

      June 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • WOOF

      The Knight of God,
      "You profess yourself to be wise"

      And yet, I'll bet you think YOU are wise regarding your beliefs, huh?

      We're on Our Own Folks.

      Let's make it the best world that we can... real-ly.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • The Knight of God

      lol... now I am starting to see, although this fails in comparison. Socrates spokes against the city of Athens when they deemed things right when they weren't... they failed to listen. Prophets of the Old Testement warned them so they could avoid the Wrath of God... now I understand my generation is sensitive and they care about their self-esteem. God couldn't POSSIBLY be wrathful... ignoring all verses in scripture and applying their own meaning to it. I will no longer respond to the comments now... but I will say that 2nd Tim 3:1-9 makes it really clear:

      But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

      They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

      I pray that my ministry can reach at least a few because many will fall away from this Truth. I rather stand alone in Christ against an army than stand with a bunch of lukewarm, knot-kneed, false christians and feel right because they say it is... I'll stand with God on this and everything else. How am I able to say this? Because I am merely repeating what He says about these times and the people. He asked will He find anyone with real faith in the world... few... very few people.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • gerald

      Topher,

      Good to see you out here. With all due respect however Sola Scriptura has turned out to be the most divisive doctrine in the history of Christianity. That there are over 30,000 denominations, each teaching different things, yet claiming sola scriptura is proof of that. None of these denoms existed before Luther declared Sola Scriptura. That should tell you something.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, yeah. In a nutshell (which is where you belong), you think you're special. Whoopee for you! Wanna cookie?

      June 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Primewonk

      The Knight of God now threatens us with the good-old "end times" crap.

      He also states that because we won't believe in his make believe magical sky daddy, that he will take his bible and go home.

      I'm sorry Sparky, but you wacky nutters have been proclaiming end times for 2000 years. You'd think you fundiots would have learned your leason with the whole Harold Camping nonsense.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • The Knight of God

      2nd Peter 3:3-9
      Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

      8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • The Knight of God

      It makes no difference if Christ comes back now to the next 2000 years, you will meet him either now or 70 years from now. You will meet the Lord you've mocked for so long, just to realize you rebelled for no reason.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • J.W

      I do not think that that many denominations practice Sola Scriptura. Many do but certainly not 30000 of them. For those that do follow that basically they are following the Bible. So if Sola Scriptura is bad then that would have to mean the Bible is bad.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Topher

      Hi, Gerald ... I can't speak for all "denominations" because I bet what you and I call denominations vary greatly ... but as far as Protestant denominations, our differences are minor, nothing major. So in that case we can disagree and still be brothers. The major problems, as seen on these very boards, arise when we compromise on what the Bible says like whether Genesis is to be taken literally. I believe the Bible is indeed the word of God and so I believe everything it says.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • A scientist

      The Bible is pretty clear that it is wrong to worship other Gods. Does that mean that all true Christians should be against freedom of religion?

      An intelligent person can see the difference between their own moral code and the laws that they impose on others. Whether being a true Christian limits who you choose to marry is an entirely different question from whether it gives you the right to limit who other people marry.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • gerald

      topher – again forgive me but what authority do you have that says that what we differ on is minor. Jesus said for instance "unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood you shall not have life within you". How can that be minor? We differ greatly on it. Peter says "baptism now saves you". We differ on that issue. How can it be minor? Again by what authority do you say you have the right interpretation of those words and so what I believe is a minor difference? If I am correct it is far from minor.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Topher

      gerald

      Well, Protestants don't consider Catholics to be a denomination of Christianity. So we have MANY major issues separating us.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Jonathan

      @The Knight of God

      Stand fast, brother! You do not stand alone.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  3. Jay

    The catholic church is eating itself from the inside out... That will make it all the more easy for government to wipe them and all the other religions out.

    June 20, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • m

      it will be a long time before the right things are done

      June 20, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Drexel

      My God, Stalin would be proud of you.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • A Catholic

      Jay,

      You are a threat to America. Government to wipe them out? You mean like in contravention to the 1st Amendment? You sir need to leave this country and move to North Korea if you want an atheistic state where religion is "wiped out."

      June 20, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • An Atheist

      A Catholic,

      I am on your side on this one. Forcing people to believe something (thought control) is wrong. I would like people to stop pretending to know thing they don't know but that should not be forced.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • The Dog Delusion

      any beliefs that jay disagrees with should be illegal.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • WOOF

      No, the government need not and should not have anything to do with banning religions. They need to fade away and phase out by education about reality.

      Best scenario would be signs on churches someday saying, "Closed for lack of interest."

      We're on Our Own Folks.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • sam stone

      Worldwide communication will be the death knell of religion. Good riddance

      June 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • gerald

      Jay,

      And we wonder how Stalin killed tens of millions. He was an atheist like you.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • WOOF

      gerald,

      Stalin was a tyrannical, power-hungry dictator.

      There have been oodles of tyrannical, power-hungry dictators over the eons who believed that supernatural beings were behind them and were guiding them... even your "God" character.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • gerald

      WOOF what part of Jay's post did you not understand "it would be easier to wipe them out..."

      June 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • ME II

      While I think Jay is completely wrong, the 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, the comparison to Stalin is also wrong. Stalin committed his acts in the name of Communism, or more specifically Marxism-Leninism, not Atheism. Atheism is a lack of belief in god(s), which does not provide a justification for anything.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  4. Reality

    One more time:

    o "Abrahamics" like Catholics believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    1. The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    3. See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.

    To wit:

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

    As noted, there are basic biological differences in gay unions vs. heterose-xual marriage. Government benefits are the same in both but making the distinction is important for census data and for social responses with respect to potential issues with disease, divorce and family interactions.

    June 20, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  5. BRC

    I realize that my opinion won't count for much as an outsider, but if it helps, I think you can not be a good Catholic and still be a good Christian (my wife is an awful Catholic, I know more about her religion than she does, but she doesn't theoretically have her ticket to hell punched like I do). More importantly, I think you can be a very good person without being either, sometimes I even feel like it helps.

    June 20, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Topher

      Do you consider yourself to be a good person?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • BRC

      As I've said before, yes I do.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • m

      I do not consider Topher to be a good person.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Topher

      m

      "I do not consider Topher to be a good person."

      Good, 'cause I don't either.

      BRC

      We've been through this before. You've lied, right? Doesn't that make you a liar? Ever stolen anything? Taken the Lord's name in vain? Looked at someone with lust?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • m

      only an idiot would think that they are bad and then try to argue as if they had a clue on how to think clearly

      June 20, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Do you consider yourself to be a good person?"

      Religious people find it very annoying that people don't need God to be good, as science has now incontestably proved.

      For millennia, we've been brainwashed into believing that we needed the Almighty to redeem us from an essentially corrupt nature. Left to our own devices, people would quickly devolve into beasts, more violent, tactless, aggressive, and selfish, than we already are.

      Today, we know that this isn't true. With the discovery of mirror neurons by Italian neuroscientist Giaccomo Rizzolatti in the 1990s, we now have physiological proof of why - and how - our species became hard-wired for goodness. Mirror neurons are miraculous cells in the brain whose sole purpose is to harmonize us with our environments. By reflecting the outside world inward, we actually become each other - a little bit; neurologically changed by what is happening around us. Mirror neurons are the reason that we have empathy and can feel each other's pain. It is because of mirror neurons that you blush when you see someone else humiliated, flinch when someone else is struck, and can't resist the urge to laugh when seeing a group struck with the giggles. (Indeed, people who test for "contagious yawning" tend to be more empathic.) These tiny mirrors are the key to most things noble and good inside us.

      It is through mirror neurons - not God - that we redeem ourselves, achieve salvation, and are "reborn" in virtuous ways once co-opted by religions. Evolution knew what she was doing. A group of successful cooperators has a much higher chance of thriving than a population of selfish liars. In spite of what we read in the headlines, the ratio of bad to good deeds done on any given day across our planet holds at close to zero any day of the year. Although we are ethical works-in-progress, the vast majority of us are naturally positive creatures - meaning not harmful to our environments - most of the time in most of the ways that matter. And God has nothing to do with it.

      Spirituality does but God doesn't. Evolutionary psychologists tell us that our brains are hard-wired with a five-toned moral organ that focuses on a quintet of ethical values - one of which is purity, or sacredness. In a world that can sometimes be disgusting, we evolved an upper tier of emotional longing - the aspiration for purity - to keep us balanced in this satyricon of carnal delights (where animality beckons and frequently wins). Our need for sacredness is part of our ancient survival apparatus, and manifests in what we call faith, the need to connect with that sacred dimension. This has been the primary purpose of religion, of course - to congregate people for the Greater Good - but God has been, in fact, the divine carrot. The important part was communion, a context in which to transcend ourselves, if only for an hour on Sundays. Without this ability "to turn off the Me and turn on the We," moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt tells us, our species would still be wandering around as groups of nomads, unable to create a civilization.

      Aside from mirror neurons, there's oxytocin, the molecule of connection (also known as the molecule of love). It's fascinating to learn that the vagus nerve produces more oxytocin when we witness virtuous behavior in others that makes us want to be better people ourselves. We are wired by nature to be elevated at the sight of other people's goodness, mirror neurons and oxytocin conspiring to improve the species. Miraculous though it is, this natural human phenomenon has nothing to do with theology.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Topher

      m

      Are you a good person?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Huebert

      Topher

      I doubt anyone on this board believes that they are a bad person. Are you a bad person?

      June 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Topher

      Huebert

      I am a really bad person. I've lied and stolen and blasphemed and coveted ... in fact, I've broken all 10 Commandments. I'm a filthy, wretched sinner.

      How about you?

      June 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • m

      i am an ethical person, a sympathetic and empathetic person.
      morals are relative to the culture. I have better morals than your fake god.
      I am without sin and have plenty of stones to throw your way. beware.
      You are an unethical person who posts advice as if anyone would want to hear what you have to say.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Huebert

      Topher

      Of course I've broken commandments, it's impossible not to. Coveting is a reaction and can occur before cognition. Though I would not say that braking commandments makes someone a bad person. The commandments were written to be broken. A priest has no power over a good man thus they need everyone to be bad people.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Topher

      m

      "i am an ethical person, a sympathetic and empathetic person."

      In your whole life, how many lies have you told?

      "morals are relative to the culture. I have better morals than your fake god."

      By their very definition morals cannot be relative. Also, if you don't believe in God and do not have an ultimate authority, you can't talk about morals. That is a Christian concept.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Topher

      Huebert

      Right. We've all broken them, meaning we've sinned. So IF God were to judge you on Judgment Day (and I know you don't believe in God, just go with this for a minute) by the 10 Commandments, would you be found innocent or guilty?

      June 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, Topher, morality is not solely a religious concept.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Topher

      Hey, Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I think it is. If you are an atheist, and believe (for lack of a better phrase) that nothing created everything ... that we are some cosmic accident, then you have no supreme authority. If we're nothing more than molecules in motion everything we think is just your opinion against mine. You can't even tell me that torturing babies for fun is wrong. Just your opinion. So morality, which is nothing more than God's laws written on your heart, can only be created by God.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Huebert

      Topher

      I'll keep playing along. If god is as described in christian theology I am hell bound. This still does not mean that I am a bad or immoral person, it just means that I have broken gods rules. You equate following gods laws with being moral or good. I do not because I see no justice, rationality, or morality in many of the commandments. The only commandments I would regard as moral center on the idea of "do no harm". Commandments about blasphemy, and coveting, don't protect anyone from harm, they protect the priestly cast from inspection.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Topher, and I believe you're wrong.

      One doesn't need to believe in a god to have standards of ethics and morality. Look up the definition of the word. Not only isn't it "Christian", it isn't necessarily religious at all.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • m

      someone is showing their ignorance and it isn't me

      June 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Something came from nothing". Are you just the Chard under another handle? Just because we don't yet know how the universe began does not mean it must have been a god. And a belief in some supreme being is not necessary for moral or ethical behavior to ensue. You may not agree with my idea of morality; so what? I don't agree with yours. That's why we don't depend on morality in our society. We have laws that protect our rights. We don't enact laws to ensure moral behavior.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • just sayin

      Topher, all the Gods have answered the prayers of their followers. Belief is a perception, not a God. Man created morals by which to live by in their respective societies, not the Gods.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, m, it isn't. It's just another iteration of the same old, tired refrain from the religious. No one is moral if he or she is an atheist. If someone is an atheist, he or she thinks "something came from nothing." Blah, blah y blah.

      Convenient lies for believers. What else can they do? They have to rationalize their belief somehow. If they can manage it by pretending everyone who doesn't believe as they do is inherently "immoral", problem solved!

      June 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • WOOF

      Topher, "You can't even tell me that torturing babies for fun is wrong."

      Is that what YOU would do... without your book?

      We're on Our Own Folks.

      Let's make it the best world that we can – real-ly.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • m

      all morals are relative
      if you cannot face this fact then you are schizophrenic

      June 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • just sayin

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Topher follows assumption ignorance like most mythical believing people. No different than a half naked tribesman looking up to the sky. Mythical type people are emotionally retarded or handicapped. The fear and worship what they do not understand.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • m

      Hi Tom
      you cannot reason with crazy people
      there is no good reason why they should be allowed to spread their insanity

      June 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • just sayin

      Topher, inability to see outside of his small box defined by his bible handicaps him. As long as he defaults to the self learned assumptions he will go in circles in his church circle jerk. He can only understand the world through his rosey church glasses. Example look how he rationalizes atheists. If you do not believe in his God, therefore..............etc etc defualt mode. He has the emotional mind of a child

      June 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Topher

      Huebert

      By man's standards I'm sure you're a good person. But we need to look at how God sees us if we're talking about eternity. So if you're destined for Hell, doesn't that concern you? It should. No one wants to go there. Do you know what God did so you don't have to be punished?

      June 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "but we need to..." No, YOU may 'need' to, Topher. You don't get to speak for anyone else.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Topher

      "That's why we don't depend on morality in our society. We have laws that protect our rights. We don't enact laws to ensure moral behavior."

      We don't? Those very laws you just talked about are all judgments on morality.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, they are not. Your ignorance of both law and English are telling.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Topher

      "Man created morals by which to live by in their respective societies, not the Gods."

      So there's a society where it's ok to lie and to steal? The 10 Commandments are written on our hearts. We don't need to be taught these things are wrong.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • gerald

      Huebert, You say that if God is what Christianity says he is one would still not be bad if he did not follow God's laws. Can we agree that bad means negative consequences will occur if we violate some rule or norm or procedure. I.e. it is bad to speed because one will eventually get a ticket. Well now let's consider your comment from the aspect of an automobile. Now the creator of the automobile puts out a user's manual. Tell me, if you violate that user's manual and put gas where the oil goes and sugar in the gastank, then in fact there are bad consequences. God has even written his user's manual on our hearts. That is why an atheist knows not to kill or cheat on his wife. If God is what he says he is then in fact violation of they way he has created us must in fact be bad.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Topher

      m

      Call me names all you want. You atheists have proven very good at that. But morals are universal, not relative.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • just sayin

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, they are not. Your ignorance of both law and English are telling.

      >
      He has no concept of what you are talking about. He filters out what challenges him. Emmmmmmmmm like a child.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      'written on our hearts"? There's nothing written on your heart, Topher. And the Ten Commandments preceded Christianity by thousands of years. Furthermore, they aren't "laws". There's no law that requires anyone to honor his father and mother.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • m

      Topher reveals his schizophrenic ignorance and delusions for all the world to see.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, they aren't "universal", Topher, as you'd know if you got out of your little one-horse town every few years. There are cultures in which actions we consider taboo are perfectly acceptable.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Stealing is illegal because it infringes on others' rights to property. Murder is illegal because it infringes on others' rights to live.

      Suicide is not illegal in any state and it's not considered immoral in some other cultures. Neither is euthanasia.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      By the way, Toph, you said you'd broken every one of the commandments. Does that include the one that says "Thou shalt not murder"?

      You're a murderer?

      June 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • just sayin

      Tom,

      You do realize you are talking to the mind of a child?

      June 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • derp

      "Suicide is not illegal in any state"

      Well yeah, but even if it were, it would be kind of hard to prosecute.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • m

      if morals were absolute and universal, there would be no need for religion, no need for a bible, and no need to raise children at all among other things.
      really, topher, you do not seem able to grasp the simplest consequences that we would see if your 'absolute and universal' morals were a reality.
      they are not a reality.
      there is no god
      there is no absolute or universal morality
      there is no such thing as sin
      only ethics, empathy, and sympathy form the basis for anyone's morality.
      your god does not exist.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Topher

      Hey, now! We're proud of our one horse!

      June 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      derp, only if the person committing it is successful. Suicide was illegal in some states at one time, and in fact, it was not so very long ago that the last laws prohibiting it were removed.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ok, Topher, that was cute.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Topher

      "You're a murderer?"

      Unfortunately, yes, I am. Jesus said if you hate someone, you've committed murder in the heart. See how high God's standard is? He even knows your heart. It's no wonder you have a hard time understanding Him.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, brother. I don't have a hard time 'understanding' anything except your willful ignorance, Topher. There is no understanding involved in your zealous beliefs.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Call it whatever you want, but my beliefs are based on what God says. And because of that, I know I have forgiveness for my sins. What excuses will you have on Judgment Day?

      June 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • derp

      "derp, only if the person committing it is successful. Suicide was illegal in some states at one time, and in fact, it was not so very long ago that the last laws prohibiting it were removed"

      If they aren't successful, then it isn't suicide. You could try to prosecute them for "attempted suicide" but if someone commits suicide, they already have a death sentence.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • derp

      "What excuses will you have on Judgment Day?"

      On judgement day I'm going to kick god's puzzy a s s and take the place over. If this guy could not manage to control Adam, he has no shot of any influence over me.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • just sayin

      Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Call it whatever you want, but my beliefs are based on what God says
      >
      Exactly, your default mode does not allow you to go beyond or question the bible (which was written by men). As long as it fits in between the pages...it is okay. For this you have the mind of a child and is simply choosing to remain ignorant. Kind of like the church only signing off on science if it fit the bible. We see where that got us. There is history and a world prior to your bible and created God.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Huebert

      Topher

      Remember, if a person does not believe in god they don't believe in hell either, so the fact that i am hell bound according to your faith does not bother me in the least, and please don't attempt to turn a discussion into evangelizing. If I am considered good by human standards that is all i care about. I am a human so human standards are the ones I should be judged by.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ok, derp. I concede. It was attempted suicide that was illegal at one time.

      @Topher: If there's some judgment day, I have nothing to fear from it, should there be a just and merciful god. You can live your little life in fear if you want. If there's some great big genie waiting and it decides I'm unfit because I use my brain, do what I think will help others and make this a better world, it's a sh!tty genie and I wouldn't care to spend any more time with it, or you.

      By the way, what is the biggest challenge you've ever faced, Topher? How old are you? How much of life have you encountered?

      June 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • just sayin

      Topher

      Your belief is based on what men wrote. Your leap to a God talking is assumption and wishful thinking aka FAITH. Your faith is in physical man and his hand and that is a fact.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Topher

      Huebert

      " I am a human so human standards are the ones I should be judged by."

      That's fine. But, dude, you'd better be SURE there is no God. Because if there is, you'll be judged by His standards, not man's. Understand, I don't want you to go to Hell, so just be sure, OK?

      June 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Topher

      " If there's some judgment day, I have nothing to fear from it, should there be a just and merciful god."

      IF there's a God and He is just and you've broken His laws, you'd better fear. That is unless your fine has been paid already. If He didn't punish lawbreakers, He wouldn't be just.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Huebert

      Gerald

      That is a totally false analogy. Life is not a predictable machine nor is it a closed system like a car's engine. Also i take issue with your comments on an atheist morality. I am an atheist and i don't cheat on my wife because i love her and don't want to hurt her. I don't kill because I don't believe that i have the right, in all normal circu.mstances, to end the life of another person. None of my reasons require a supernatural being.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Topher

      "By the way, what is the biggest challenge you've ever faced, Topher? How old are you? How much of life have you encountered?"

      Well, I had a health scare just this week, but I'm OK. Also, a family member had a heart transplant a few months ago. That was scary as well. And I'm in my mid 30s.

      How about you?

      June 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nope, Topher. I don't fear a just god because one that's just wouldn't punish his own creation for its inherent flaws and weaknesses, nor would it consign it to an eternity in 'hell' for a transgression as innocuous as doubt. Your god isn't just. I don't believe in him. It's your hell, you burn in it.

      Now, why don't you answer the question: what's the biggest challenge you've faced in life thus far, and how old are you?

      June 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • just sayin

      "By the way, what is the biggest challenge you've ever faced, Topher? How old are you? How much of life have you encountered?"

      Well, I had a health scare just this week, but I'm OK. Also, a family member had a heart transplant a few months ago. That was scary as well. And I'm in my mid 30s.

      How about you?
      --–

      No offense but that is it?????????

      June 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What sort of 'health scare'? Cancer? ALS? Parkinson's? Alzheimer's?

      June 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Huebert

      Topher

      I'm just as certain about god's existence as I am about the existence of faeries, goblins, Santa Clause, and anything else involving magic.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • just sayin

      Tolpher I would say you are pretty sheltered.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      just sayin nails it.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Topher

      "What sort of 'health scare'?"

      If it's OK with you, that's kinda personal and I'd rather not talk about it. Let's just say it could have meant the end of me.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Topher, you've faced very little that might shake anyone's faith in a loving God.

      You seem to think you have some sort of wisdom to share with others, but you really don't. You haven't walked in their shoes and until you do, your faith is untested. And from what you write, it doesn't appear that you really think very deeply about it.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "it could have meant the end of me."

      Why would that be a 'scare', if you know you're ready to meet your maker?

      Is it hard for you to imagine a health crisis that's worse than the possible 'end of' you?

      June 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Topher

      "Topher, you've faced very little that might shake anyone's faith in a loving God."

      Maybe. No doubt I've been very blessed in my life. And you're talking to a guy who went from being an atheist to a fundamentalist. 🙂 But you're right, my faith is unwavering. It's kind of hard to explain, but it's more than belief. It's like knowledge.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Topher

      "Why would that be a 'scare', if you know you're ready to meet your maker?"

      The scariest part for me was leaving my wife. We've only been married a year and a half. I just wasn't ready to give that up yet. Granted we'd be reunited one day, but ... I think you understand. What happens in the afterlife wasn't a fear for me at all.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, Topher. Knowledge is based on fact. You believe. Fine for you. Your beliefs, however, are not the basis for law in this country and they don't mean a thing to those who don't blindly follow your particular brand of deity. Gay marriage isn't going to be decided by your god or your church or even by popular vote. It will be decided in the courts, as it should be in a secular nation.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • gerald

      Also I reject sola scriptura and sola fide, doctrines on which the reformation says the gospel stands or falls. Is that minor?

      June 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • just sayin

      Topher

      "What sort of 'health scare'?"

      If it's OK with you, that's kinda personal and I'd rather not talk about it. Let's just say it could have meant the end of me.

      ------–
      Um its not like we know you or where you live or who you know. lol I will give an example of normal people not sheltered experiencing the real world. ....... I was r ap ed and beat as a child, I woudl pray to God to kill me in my sleep when I was 8 years old, I nearly drowned 3 times as a child (apparently I wasn't a good swimmer), I watched cancer eat my grand mother to her death, I tried to com mit suicide at age 12, I served in the Marines and saw the effects of explosives and bullets on men, women and children, watched my sister turn into a near vegetable due to aneurysm and most recently watched cancer eat my mother to a skeleton before finally killing her while in pain 24/7 for 4 months (morphine was useless). She was a strong Christian women...in the end her God was nowhere to be found and a day before dying noted how I was right. As HeavenSent pointed out, I was in the fire as a child and still am. Apparently your God was testing me as a child *rolling eyes* This is life and the reality of it. Nothing special in my experience.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Topher

      just sayin

      I'm very sorry those things happened to you. I really am. But bad things happen to everybody, some more than others. It doesn't mean God doesn't love you or want to give you bliss in eternity. Did you know that the Bible teaches that in Heaven there won't be even any tears? I can't wait for that day. We go through sufferings in this life because of the curse. "The wages of sin is death."

      June 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Topher

      Yes, sola fide is a major issue. It's one of the biggest between Catholics and Protestants.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Huebert

      @just sayin

      D@mn...I don't think the experiences you just described are normal. It seems you have had a particularly ruff life. I've had to watch loved ones fight, and lose to, cancer, but the experiences you are describing seem especially awful, at least in america. But then again I am young and, so far, lucky.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "I'm very sorry those things happened to you. But bad things happen to everyone."

      Doesn't sound like much bad has ever happened to you, Topher, and your posts don't convey much empathy at all. When you've actually faced a real crisis, I hope you remember these posts and have the grace to be ashamed of yourself.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • just sayin

      Tolpher,

      I didn't mention this but I was also going to be a preacher. Yes I was born again, spoke in tongues....etc lol I am well aware what your book written by men states.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And just sayin, your experiences sound absolutely horrendous. I can only imagine enduring anything like them.

      I can't see how anyone with a brain can say that "God loves you" when he allowed you to be r a ped as a child.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Topher

      just sayin

      "I didn't mention this but I was also going to be a preacher. Yes I was born again, spoke in tongues....etc lol I am well aware what your book written by men states."

      So did you know God personally?

      June 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • just sayin

      Huebert

      Its the reality I know...some people have had less and some have had worse. Learn from it, shake it off the best you can and move on. I do find it funny people like Tolpher giving advice on matters they have no experience. I know his book quite well. Until he takes his blinders off and applies the same scrutiny to his God that he does others, he will continue to swim in ignorance. To truly understand faith, you must test the faith.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • just sayin

      Topher

      Personally...that can be a matter of perception. without going into great detail... I prayed, studied the Word, cried with tears of happiness and pain, laughed, felt the holy spirit guide me, spoke in tongues and saw things revealed to me. To not believe in man anymore was a process and not done over night. Tom, me or anybody else is not going to say something and you will listen. You must take the journey yourself to discover what true faith is.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Topher

      just sayin

      I ask because IF you knew God personally, then there must be a God to know. If you didn't know Him, then that means you were a false convert. I did this for more than 10 years.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • just sayin

      Topher

      just sayin

      I ask because IF you knew God personally, then there must be a God to know. If you didn't know Him, then that means you were a false convert. I did this for more than 10 years.
      --
      I understand what you are saying. That is why I said it is a matter of perception. When you say "then there must be" ...what you are saying is "I as sume". Your bias is not an absolute. Remember what I was saying about "defaulting". Your bias is not allowing you to hear or see the "whole picture" of what someone is talking about. Rather than see you simply default to the bible to dictate your response. Remember you can still have a discussion and not change your core views but you must learn to listen.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Topher

      Dude, I'm listening. I asked the question because I'm trying to understand the situation you were in.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • just sayin

      Topher

      Ah, got it...I am not listening lol

      June 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Topher

      just sayin

      Just for clarities' sake, you consider yourself an atheist, right?

      June 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • just sayin

      To answer your question. Yes. My perception was I did. It was quite real in my mind.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Topher

      Dude, I'd love to continue this discussion, but I've got to get to work. Gotta pay the bills, you know. Can I suggest to you that you check out livingwaters.com and listen to the audio for "True and False Conversion"? You might not agree with everything that is said there, but I think you'll find it very interesting.

      Have a great evening, everyone!

      June 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • just sayin

      I consider myself Agnostic. I have seen no reason to accept what men write about Gods. I see no evidence to believe in magical beings or primitive descriptions of things not understood. My journey about my faith wasn't about believing in Gods, it was about whether I had faith in certain men. One thing is for certain, there is evidence that WE or "other beings" were more advanced at one time on this Earth. There is a history prior to biblical that has been lost.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • just sayin

      The OT was written around 5th Cent BCE. The Sumerian started writing around 2200 BCE I believe. The Sumerian religion beleives the following:

      In the Sumerian story, Enki, the water god, and Ninhursag, the mother goddess, are supposed to have created the first man from clay, which they mixed with the blood of a rebellious god. Being angry with humans, they withheld all hope of immortality from them. The gods determined to destroy mankind with a flood, but saved a few so that they and their descendants could serve the immortals.

      In the Babylonian creation myth the primordial world had only the "two waters" (fresh and salt) until the birth of the gods. Marduk, king of the gods, defeated Tiamat, the goddess of chaos, split her in two, and then created heaven and earth from the two halves, and created humans from the blood of Tiamat’s monster. "Chaos" could be read as similar to the biblical "without form and void". Chaos also figures in Greek mythology as the material from which the earth was made, even before the creation of the gods.

      The fall of Adam is paralleled by a Persian myth in which Ahriman, or Angra Mainyu (the spirit of darkness and evil), acting through a serpent, causes the first man to fall into knowledge of good and evil. This story is also represented, with variations, in many myths of the Middle East. Babylonian carvings show a man, a woman, a serpent, and a tree. The "Tree of Knowledge" or "Tree of Life" is an almost universal element of Middle Eastern and North African mythology.
      .
      Evidence shows the Jews simply copied from around them. Also you might want to look at Cain going into the land of Nod to get himself a wife after killing his brother...there were people established on Earth prior to "Adam & Eve".

      June 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  6. WOW

    "true Catholic" "true Gay" way to go!!! Spin it!

    June 20, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • The Dog Delusion

      has to be intentional right? no "true journalist" would not recognize such an ironic use of a logical fallacy.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  7. SPA Knight

    An Ex-Priest for good reason. "He remains Catholic"? while working against the teachings of the church? How does that work? No wonder he is the source of a CNN story.

    June 20, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • A Catholic

      Rome need to start mass excommunications for some of these groups. This is getting out of hand and into open defiance of the Church.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • An Atheist

      A Catholic,

      I hope they do and by doing so more people examine the true root of their beliefs and why.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Primewonk

      I agree "A Catholic". I suggest that your church begin with excommunication for all Catholics who use or have used birth control.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  8. Rebel4Christ

    Check put my Christian website, bagslap.com. It has a chat board for all true believers. NO Catholics!

    June 20, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Truth

      DO NOT go to this website. It has p.ornogrphy on it. Really explicit, disgusting thigns, too.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Huebert

      @Truth

      The web address is "bagslap.com". What did you think that it would be?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Rebel4Christ

      Lies! My website is clean and in line with the values of Jesus! No nudity. Only the truths of God!

      June 20, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • sam

      You guys are killing me.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Guest

      Lier, or haven't you gone to your own web site lately!

      June 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  9. Adam

    – The Bibles requires us to destroy LGBT people.
    – Catholics hold that the Bible is the divine word of the Creator of the Universe.
    – Thus, Catholics can have no position other than capital punishment towards them.

    Any who do not hold this position are merely too fond of calling themselves Catholic to admit to themselves and to others that they don't actually believe what they say they believe.

    June 20, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • gerald

      Adam, why don't you try letting the Catholic Church tell you what it teaches. You are not very good at it. The Old Testament said "an eye of an eye", Christ the son of God abrogated that command and allowed mercy for the sinner.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  10. Colin

    Given that "true Catholics" believe that grocery store bread and wine magically becomes the flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because a priest does some hocus pocus over it in a Church, I guess they can be convinced to support anything.

    June 20, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Exactly,

      If I waved my hand over a pancake and said some latin words and then claimed that the pancake was now Elvis they would lock me up.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • HeavenSkunt

      I whacked my wang against the side of a milk carton and it turned into single malt scotch.

      I am the messaih!!!

      June 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • J

      It doesn't magically turn into his body and blood, it represents it.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      J,

      Don't know if your Catholic but if you are you need to check with your priest. It's called transubstantiation and yes the Catholic chuch does believe it magically turns into Jesus' body and blood.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • MN

      @J- you are incorrect. That may be true for some sects of Christianity, but Catholics specifically believe that it literally turns into the body and blood of "christ", as ridiculous as that is.

      June 20, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
  11. midwest rail

    The Big Lie as practiced by the modern faux Christian – " love the sinner, hate the sin ". Then they go on their merry way spewing hatred, bigotry, and ignorance.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • derp

      Love the believer, hate the belief.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  12. Andy

    Gay "marriage" is one of the non-negotiables for Catholics, and we should not support it. If you don't like it you can leave the Catholic Church and attend a church founded by a man.

    Woe be to the man who leads another away from salvation.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • sam stone

      Woe be to those who feel that they need salvation

      June 20, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Jen

      M-sturbation and birth control are also non-negotiables for your Church. Hope you have never dabbled in either one because if you have you can leave and find another Church.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Acting as if you know exactly what god allows and does not allow is a non-negotiable for me. I left the church and left all churches. Their arrogance is a stench I cannot bear.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Primewonk

      Geocentrism is one of the non-negotiables for Catholics, and we should support it. If you don't like it you can leave the Catholic Church.

      See how îdiotic that sounds?

      June 20, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • derp

      " If you don't like it you can leave the Catholic Church"

      Adios self righteous jac kas s. Dic kheads like you are the reason I left the Catholic church.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • HeavenSkunt

      "M-sturbation and birth control are also non-negotiables for your Church"

      So is oral s *x. I guess this windbag never got a bl*w job.

      It must really suck being a gas bag catholic who has to "pull and pray", can't rub one out, and has never gotten a hummer.

      Lights out, missionary position only.

      Being catholic sounds like an enormously depressing existence. No wonder they hate everything.

      Send your wife/girlfriend my way. I'll make her see your god in way that your silly fairy tale forbids you from ever doing.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Rebel4Christ

      Woe be the man who has never seen the true eye of God at prolapsed.net. Visit and be amazed by the power of our lord!

      June 20, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • J.W

      Church founded by a man? Oh yeah I suppose that the Catholic church is the only one founded by God. I am sure there is a verse that I missed that says, "Though shalt not be Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Mennonite, Pentacostal, or any other denomination besides Catholic."

      June 20, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • HeavenSent

      The Catholic Church against being gay????? But yet they support same s e x r a p e by their leadership. Strange church.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • WOOF

      "Strange church."

      That's what happens when you think that spirits talked to people once upon a time, or are talking to you now.

      We're on Our Own Folks.

      Let's make the best of it.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      "Strange church."

      Redundant statement.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  13. myweightinwords

    One of two things will happen with the Roman Catholic Church. Either those who have come to disagree with Church doctrine will stay and ultimate affect changes in the doctrine or the divide will grow wide enough for another split to happen.

    If every Catholic who supported same-gender marriage and birth control were to walk away, the RCC would be halved at best.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • myweightinwords

      That should be "ultimately affect"...need to proof read better!

      June 20, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Primewonk

      If every Catholic who uses or has used contraception left the church, their numbers would drop by 98%.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Prime, that is very true. But not all of those who have used it would necessarily support the church dropping the doctrine, or so I was assuming based on conversation I've had with Catholics over the years. It seems to be one of those dogmatic rules that they believe are true and right, but can not always commit to for themselves.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • J.W

      It always seems to me like myweightinwords is the most intelligent person on this blog.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  14. Jame Smite

    I'm a catholic and a true, QUE.ER!

    June 20, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      So you like belonging to a group of people who's most basic teachings say that you should be put to death? That is highly irrational behavior.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Jame Smite

      You don't read the article, do you?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "How is that hard to understand"? Aahhhhahahhah!

      And the earth was hatched by a giant turtle whose name is "Bingo."

      How is that hard to understand?

      June 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  15. Topher

    "I don't think anybody – whatever their religious denomination – whole-heartedly follows every single rule down to the letter."

    Ah, so it's ok to disobey because everyone else is doing it.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Huebert

      I read the argument as disobedience is acceptable because total obedience is nigh impossible.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Topher

      Hi, Huebert

      True, because we're all sinners. But the Bible (whether Catholic or Protestant) is clear on gay marriage. So they are choosing to go against it. There's a difference between falling into sin and diving into it.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Huebert

      The root of the disagreement is that one group of Catholics believes that the bible is the word of god and thus infallible, and the other believes that the bible is the work of men and thus subject to the thoughts and feelings of the time of its writing, and in need of periodic revision.

      Due to the inflexibility of the first opinion I believe that the Catholic church is heading for another schism.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Primewonk

      No, Topher, your bible most certainly is not clear. It's been explained and shown to you folks over and over and over that the verses you quote do not mean what you think they mean.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Topher

      Huebert

      That's just one more reason why it's so dire we not compromise on the Bible.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • LightBarer23

      It not okay to disobey because other are doing. True that every religion has its faults and the rules are not followed to the T and I to do wrong myself . But you have to try and correct your wrong, by lining it up with what's right.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Topher

      Huebert, are you Catholic?

      June 20, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Jeannine

      "But the Bible (whether Catholic or Protestant) is clear on gay marriage"

      The Scriptures were written approximately 2000 or more years ago when there was no knowledge of constitutional homosexuality. The Scripture writers believed that all people were naturally heterosexual so that they viewed homosexuality activity as unnatural. Women today are pointing out that the inferiority of women expressed in the scriptures was a product of culture and the times in which the Bible was written; it should not be followed today, now that we are beginning to appreciate the natural and God-given equality of men and women.

      Similarly, as we know that homosexuality is just as natural and God-given as heterosexuality, we realize that the Biblical injunctions against homosexuality were conditioned by the attitudes and beliefs about this form of sexual expression which were held by people without benefit of centuries of scientific knowledge and understanding.

      It is unfair of us to expect or impose a twentieth century mentality and understanding about equality of genders, races and sexual orientations on the Biblical writers. We must be able to distinguish the eternal truths the Bible is meant to convey from the cultural forms and attitudes expressed there.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Huebert

      @Topher

      No I'm an atheist. But I enjoy discussing religion. I like to explore other points of view, and i feel that it is beneficial for my understanding of western history to understand the Catholic church ant its views.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • sam

      Topher, do you strictly follow everything the bible is clear on?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Topher

      Jeannine

      Just curious ... do you believe the Bible is from the mind of God or of man?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Topher

      sam

      "Topher, do you strictly follow everything the bible is clear on?"

      I try to, but I'm not perfect. I'm sure you have something specific in mind, so which do you mean?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Topher

      "No I'm an atheist. But I enjoy discussing religion."

      Yeah, it's an interesting topic, isn't it?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • HeavenSkunt

      "There's a difference between falling into sin and diving into it"

      So a little bit of sinning is ok?

      Unbelievable how you christards can justify away anything you do that conflicts with your own teachings as long as you are not sucking another guys wang.

      And you wonder why we atheists think so little of you.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Huebert

      Topher

      My education is in psychology so I enjoy examining the structure of different religions in relation to their goals. In other words I try to figure out what the intent of each rule originally was.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Topher

      HeavenSkunt

      "So a little bit of sinning is ok?"

      No, it's not ok. But because we're sinful it happens even when we don't want it to. Christ's work on the cross takes care of our sins of the past, present and future.

      "Unbelievable how you christards can justify away anything you do that conflicts with your own teachings ..."

      Can we not have a conversation like an adult? Do you really need to start name calling?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • HeavenSkunt

      "Can we not have a conversation like an adult?"

      Sure, we can have an adult conversation. Lets talk about santa claus, or unicorns, or atlantis, or aliens, or bigfoot, or biblical jesus.

      Pick one, we will have nice civil adult conversation about things that have never existed. Then we can decide to condemn people to a life of eternal damnation because they don't accept and behave in a manner set forth in the "Bigfoot Doctrine".

      Yeah, let's do that.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Topher

      Heaven

      "Sure, we can have an adult conversation. Lets talk about santa claus, or unicorns, or atlantis, or aliens, or bigfoot, or biblical jesus."

      Good. I'm glad you agree.

      "Then we can decide to condemn people to a life of eternal damnation because they don't accept and behave in a manner set forth in the "Bigfoot Doctrine".

      Your doctrine is all messed up. I'm not condemning anyone anywhere. People are sent to Hell because they've sinned against God. Isn't "Bigfoot Doctrine" a show on NatGeo?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Janet

      "People are sent to Hell because they've sinned against God"

      The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is based on human ignorance, suspicion of those who are different, and an overwhelming concern for ensuring the survival of the people. Since the Bible regards homosexuality as a capital crime, it clearly assumes that homosexuality is a matter of free choice, a deliberate rebellion against God. We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Topher

      Janet

      Biblical condemnation of it is based on what God said about it. Not what man thinks.

      It would be a capital crime because it's a sin. But so is any "fun" before marriage even if between a man and a woman. I'll happily concede that it's not a choice. That's fine. The problem is when you willfully act on it (sleep with someone) where it becomes the problem.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • An Atheist

      "I'll happily concede that it's not a choice."

      Topher,

      So in your belief system god made them wired to be biologically attracted to the same s.e.x but if they act on it they burn.

      Your god is a complete jerk.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Topher

      An Atheist

      Will you defend child predators the same way?

      Like it or not, we live in a fallen world. People are born with all kinds of things wrong with them. God didn't create things that are bad. It is a result of the curse. We can't use excuses to do evil and justify ourselves. The fact is we all deserve Hell. But God provided a way out of that ...

      June 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • HeavenSkunt

      "Will you defend child predators the same way?"

      Typical and predictable idiot fundie response.

      When a child is capable of making an adult decision to engage in se xu al relationship with an adult, then this might be even remotely close to a valid comparison.

      Until then, this is just typical tripe from the christards who try to compare relationships between consenting adults to to those who would prey on children.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • HeavenSkunt

      "Like it or not, we live in a fallen world."

      No, you live in fallen world. I live in the myth free reality world.

      "People are born with all kinds of things wrong with them."

      Yes like blindness, downs syndrome, or cleft palate. However, every single credible scientist and medical professional has now accepted that human se xual ity, be it hetero, h om o, or bi, is part of the normally occurring se xu al development of humans.

      "God didn't create things that are bad"

      Hmm, that's funny, I thought the magic sky wizard created all of the heavens and earth in a mere six days. So when he rested on the seventh day, he wasn't done, and somebody else finished the job?

      "We can't use excuses to do evil and justify ourselves"

      There is nothing evil about normally occurring se xu al orientation, unless your god is a complete doosh bag.

      " The fact is we all deserve Hell"

      Well, in your case I'd agree.

      "But God provided a way out of that ..."

      Ah, the all powerful get out of jail free card. Yup, that fine christian morality. Here are the rules, don't break them. But when you do it's ok because you have the official jeebus get out of jail sinner express card.

      I can't believe that any rational 21st century human would buy this garbage.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • An Atheist

      "Will you defend child predators the same way?"

      Topher,

      No because child predators are harming someone else and specifically a child. They should be locked up.

      This is where you perception of morality is a mess. Morality is is about not causing needless harm to other people, but religion has perverted that to 'not offending god' and therefore religion has NOTHING to do with morality, it has to do with following the rules of ignorant superst.tious tribesman of 2000-3000 years ago.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Topher

      "Hmm, that's funny, I thought the magic sky wizard created all of the heavens and earth in a mere six days. So when he rested on the seventh day, he wasn't done, and somebody else finished the job?"

      Huh? When God finished the creation He said it was good. Meaning no death, disease or suffering. Then Adam caused sin to enter the world ... causing death, disease and suffering. How is this hard to understand? It's not God's fault.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Topher

      Heaven

      "When a child is capable of making an adult decision to engage in se xu al relationship with an adult, then this might be even remotely close to a valid comparison."

      This has nothing to do with the child consenting or not. The argument was that they are "born this way" and thus we should leave them alone. Again, if you have no moral authority it's just your opinion that what the predator was doing was bad.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Really?

      "Then Adam caused sin to enter the world"

      So how do you explain the sinful falling angels before Adam. Oh, that's right you're just making excuses for your dumb God.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "I'll happily concede that it's not a choice. That's fine. The problem is when you willfully act on it (sleep with someone) where it becomes the problem."

      This argument has no validity when it comes to the civil rights of marriage.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, that was not the argument, Topher. I can see you are right about breaking commandments. You lie.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • WOOF

      Topher,
      "Adam caused sin to enter the world"

      So "Adam" (or the "angels" before him) CREATED something that "God" was powerless over?

      June 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That is why we have laws that protect children, Topher. Not because your god says that having s3x with them is "wrong", but because in this country we agree that children are not capable of informed consent. We protect their rights. Gay adults are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves what they want to do. Children are not.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Topher, did your version of a god know, before he even created the universe, that Adam and Eve would sin?

      Did he then create them this way anyway?

      Seems like an îdiotic thing to do.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • HeavenSkunt

      "Then Adam caused sin to enter the world ... causing death, disease and suffering. How is this hard to understand? It's not God's fault"

      Didn't god create Adam?

      Isn't god all powerful?

      Looks like your god is spineless gimp incapable of even controlling the the only thing he had to worry about at the time. One freaking guy on earth and your incompetent magic sky wizard can;t even keep him in line. What a completely inept powerless buffoon your god is.

      God = fail

      June 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Topher

      Really?

      "So how do you explain the sinful falling angels before Adam. Oh, that's right you're just making excuses for your dumb God."

      Show me where it says the angels fell before Adam.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Topher

      "Didn't god create Adam?"

      Yes, He did. But Adam was created good. Since we also have free will, Adam made the decision to reject God and thus sinned.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • An Atheist

      "The argument was that they are "born this way"

      No Topher,

      The argument is your god made them that way and HE should leave them alone.

      I explained the difference between causing ACTUAL harm and 'offending your god' and how the first has to do with morality and the second has to do with superst.tion.

      Please explain why actions that 'offend' you god but don't harm other people should be considered 'immoral'?

      June 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Topher

      "Please explain why actions that 'offend' you god but don't harm other people should be considered 'immoral'?"

      Because He's not only the creator of morals but also of the universe and thus He gets to say what is right and wrong. Simple as that.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'll bet the biggest challenge Topher has ever had in his life involves who to ask to the big dance and whether or not he should sign up for advanced algebra.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Really?

      "Show me where it says the angels fell before Adam."

      Who do you think Satan is, the one that tempted Eve? The sin was there before Eve was tempted, by the way which your God should haven known when creating her that she would take the bite or it's not such a great God. That means your God created Eve knowing he would condemn her and allow disease, and all the horrible things into the world that your supposed God created. That is not such a great God but a dumb one.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gee, Wilikers! Those are some tough choices!

      June 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • An Atheist

      "Because He's not only the creator of morals but also of the universe and thus He gets to say what is right and wrong. Simple as that."

      Topher,

      It's not that simple, those are just your opinion and as such are completely subjective. You have no proof of a god and certainly no proof of your god. If I said my god allows r.a.p.e and he created the universe does that make it ok? No, because it still harms other people. If your god said that stoning unrulely children was right (which he did) is that moral? No it is not. You are arguing your god is right (moral) because he says so. Might does not make right. Anyone can claim their god does not like this action or that action, it is a claim without basis and there is nothing in you moral system that can prove Christians have 'true' morality and Hindu's or any other religious belief do not.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  16. Huebert

    What is the difference between a Catholic and a "true Catholic"?

    June 20, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      My mother is a true catholic as she follows all the BS. I am an apostate and therefore just a catholic. (sarcasim)

      June 20, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • HeavenSkunt

      "What is the difference between a Catholic and a "true Catholic"?"

      Dumb and dumber.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  17. Len

    Since there is no such thing as a "true Catholic" the answer would be "hey cnn, shut up and find something intelligent to post"

    June 20, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  18. Primewonk

    In the early 1600's you could not be a true Catholic if you didn't believe the sun revolved around the earth.

    June 20, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • QUARK

      And you can't be a scientist if you don't believe that atom is the smallest form of matter.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • QUARK

      And that was late 1900's already.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Primewonk

      Quark – no one in science EVER states that something is 100% proven. In science we don't prove things, we explain things.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Quark,

      In science they give you a prize if you can prove the other scientists wrong.

      In religion if you try to do the same, up until recently, they burn you.

      This is fun can we do more comparisons?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • derp

      How about this...

      Science gave us planes, religion flies them into buildings.

      June 20, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • QUARK

      @Primewonk

      My bad, atheism not Science claims absolute. That's why the two MUST be deemed mutually exclusive.

      @Just claims

      So, you mean to say that it was the reason why Darwin died in natural death (not by burning)? And Dawkins, Silverman and other atheists are not yet burned?

      Quit standing by with your moniker. Tell the TRUTH, NOT just Claims!

      @derp

      (Chuckles) but it would definitely be a good laugh if you've got something fresh. And just a piece of (unsolicited) advice, have a lil originality, dude!

      June 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • An Atheist

      Quark,

      Quit splitting hairs and throwing out red herrings, in a span of 2000 years 15th to 16th century can be considered recent.. My obvious point is questioning what is considered truth in science is encouraged.

      Questioning what is considered truth in religion is ANYTHING BUT encouraged.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • derp

      "So, you mean to say that it was the reason why Darwin died in natural death (not by burning)? And Dawkins, Silverman and other atheists are not yet burned"

      There are a bunch of women in Salem MA that would argue your point.

      Oh wait, they can't because you burned them.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • derp

      "(Chuckles) but it would definitely be a good laugh if you've got something fresh. And just a piece of (unsolicited) advice, have a lil originality, dude!"

      Translation – You are right about that, and since I don't have a valid response I'll just make a snide remark about originality.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • QUARK

      @derp

      It so disappointing to know that "women in Salem" are way much better and convincing when it comes to disproving religion compared to your great grandpa Darwin and contemporary atheists.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • QUARK

      @Just claim, I mean..An atheist or whatever.

      My not so obvious point was...nobody and nothing's perfect. Everybody and everything has it's own flaws and there's always a room for both errors and improvement and it wouldn't matter much whether it's open for any criticism and challenge or not. In short, there ALWAYS be POSSIBILITIES.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • A Theist

      Yes, witches are threat for us that's why we burned them. On the other hand, atheist are pretty LAME, that's why we let them live.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  19. HeavenSkunt

    "these are difficult days to be Catholic"

    Why yes, it's hard to justify 1st century mythical ignorance in 21st century secular America.

    June 20, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  20. Honey Badger Dont Care

    Simple answer is NO. Same to any real Christian.

    Firsties!!

    June 20, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Topher

      100 percent agree.

      Hey Badger, did you ever try out for the show?

      June 20, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      I never got a reply back from the producers so never knew where the audtions were going to be. I'm sure that it will bomb anyway. My group and I will challenge the overall winners of the show anytime.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Topher

      That's too bad. I was looking forward to saying, "Hey, I've talked with that guy!"

      I'd be surprised if we ever see it on the air.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:44 am |
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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.