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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. sultana

    catholics if ur so much against gays . then y do u support the catholic church all the priests and vaticans r all a bunch of gay rapists . all they do is screw little boys never heard of them raping little girls . so u uptight catholics u still support gay ppl . u catholics suck get over it

    June 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Dana

      the gay lifestyle is an abomination so gay marriage is. If God is ok with it then let him OK it , but after they all are dead.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • nottolate

      @LOL Religion, "Your desperation is amusing, btw."

      Your lying not so much. Seeing as how we're discussing theology.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      LOL, now you cannot even manage to keep your replies in the right comment.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Golden retrievers look smart by comparison...

      June 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      dana: you do not speak for god. the iron age sheep mounters who wrote the bible do not speak for god.

      June 20, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Answer

      It is the believers of this world who are an abomination. Their silly god that they think they have – giving them their false premise and false excuses to hate, to blame and to distort the world to their own justifications and ludicrous satisfaction. It is the religious believers that should be utterly purged from every corner of the world.

      June 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  2. nottolate

    "Religions have been creating and recreating God in man's current image down through the entire history of man."

    Thats called idolatry and it is also blasphemy.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Well then it's not a good thing that it's been happening over and over throughout history then isn't it? Including with christian religions. I always find it hilarious that whatever god anyone worships, that god "just happens" to agree with them completely, independent of the denomination or holy book of whatever personl.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      You can be certain you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • nottolate

      @LOL Religion,

      Didn't you claim to be well versed in biblical things? Not with that comment you ain't. But we knew that anyway from your previous posts. For if you knew scripture then you'd know the authentic Christian being indwellt by God takes on the mind of God. Therefore, it stands to reason that the authentic Christian hates what God hates and not the other way around.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      I wasn't approaching this from a Biblical based view, nottolate, I was approaching it from a reality based one.

      Your desperation is amusing, btw.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @nottolate

      So then god is not all-loving then?

      June 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  3. Flashlight

    God is creation and life, Gays are destruction and end of life.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • igoryok

      Could have fooled me. Are we still talking about the same god who at least one one occasion wiped out all life on earth because of hurt pride? Or the guy who tortured the most faithful servant just to prove a point to Satan? You mean the deity that never actually procreated and therefore has no need for an actual gender but everyone seems to assume is a male? He sounds more like some mad scientist than an altruistic life force.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  4. Will

    I say let people believe what they want to believe. If you want to believe in Jesus, that's fine. Part of faith is believing in something without evidence. I choose not to do this, and everyone should make their own decisions.

    Where religion becomes dangerous is when it attempts to weasel its way into legislating morality. Many religions, especially Catholicism, have a long history of blunders with respect to this. Everything from slavery to inferiority of women was justified by either blind faith in the Church or selective reading of an arcane tome they call the bible. All this casts a shadow on all the good that many Catholics do, in terms of social justice and helping the less fortunate.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • igoryok

      One would think that people would pause and consider more often that procreation might have been a priory at a time there was a few million instead of 7 billion humans on this planet. Although forcing 2 people to populate the world is a cruel joke by an omnipotent being who could just as easily create a few thousand to begin with. What would Adam and Eve have done if they had all boys?

      June 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
  5. Lizzy10

    If you cannot question your religion, it is a cult. As a Catholic I can believe everything the hierarchy says or make my own decisions and work on changing what the hierarchy believes. Little old men in Italy do not understand Americans, especially the women. What would help is a progressive Pope which is something I will keep praying for.There is nothing wrong with gay marriage because marriage is between two people who love each other.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • igoryok

      Now how do you reconcile a faith based on a text over a millennium old with progressiveness. That's how you get stuck between the rock of your religion and the hard place of other faithful denying you are one of them. The correct choice was C all along.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  6. nottolate

    What's really alarming about these comments is the level of ignorance concerning the things of God. Its like watching first graders discuss quantum physics.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Actually, it's like first graders discussing Harry Potter, because it is equally based in reality.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Matthew

      "What's really alarming about these comments is the level of ignorance concerning the things of God. Its like watching first graders discuss quantum physics."

      Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Any educated Christian would know that. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality. That’s why Jesus never mentions it as well. There is nothing immoral, wrong, or sinful about being gay. Jesus, however, clearly states he HATES hypocrites. If you preach goodness, then promote hate and twist the words of the Bible, you are a hypocrite, and will be judged and sent to hell. Homosexuals will not go to hell, hypocrites will. This is very similar to the religious bigots of the past, where they took Bible passages to condone slavery, keep women down, and used Bible passages to claim blacks as curses who should be enslaved by the white man. People used God to claim that blacks marrying whites was unnatural, and not of God's will.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • igoryok

      Nonsense, you need at least 3 grades before personalized gods stop making any rational sense. At least quantum physics has predictive theories of accuracy no godly concept has ever achieved.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • nottolate

      @LOL Religion,

      I've read some of your post and it is really quite sad how you make no attempt to learn something. Your posts are nothing more than folly. You're ignorant of biblical things and like it that way.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Eric G

      Interesting analogy. Unfortunately, not a logical one. One can prove the existence and validity of quantum physics with verifiable evidencial support. To deny verifiable evidence is intellectually dishonest. Please provide verifiable evidence that your god exists before making claims about your ability to comprehend it's will. If you cannot, your claims of superiority are also dishonest.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Actually, I'm quite well versed in theology and know the history of the religion quite well, I've even read most of the holy books cover to cover – THAT'S part of the reason I'm an atheist.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's really alarming is that you, nottolate, have no credibility whatsoever. You've posted no facts, no statistics, nothing but opinion and most of that completely unsupported.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • igoryok

      I bet the whole bible is a test to weed out these who waste the gift of intellect from entering heaven where they get stuck for eternity whether they like it or not. Surely an omniscient being loathes ignorance. Who wants to be stuck in one place for an eternity with dunces?

      June 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • nottolate

      "Interesting analogy."

      So interesting you apparently missed it. The analogy is not in proving anything. The analogy is the ignorance of the people on the subject matter. UNBELIEVABLE!

      June 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • mandarax

      That could not be a less accurate analogy. Because there is no objective evidence or independent method of testing any religious idea, a third grader's opinion is just as valid as the most experienced theologian. Neither of their opinions can be tested, thus neither can be verified.

      While I doubt that you could write anything very sophisticated about quantum physics, any of us here can make whatever religious claims we want with exactly equal amounts (that is, zero) of validity.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • igoryok

      "UNBELIEVABLE!"

      Indeed, an omnipotent eternal being that somehow cares about petty and arbitrary prohibitions that could only have come from an inferior mind not even familiar with basic biology, physics, etc. For a being that shouldn't have a gender for lack of any need to procreate, he can't be that preachy about human hanky panky.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • jim

      "What's really alarming about these comments is the level of ignorance concerning the things of God." Hard to know how to answer that. How do you talk to someone so dumb he actually believes there are "things of God"

      June 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • nottolate

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      "You've posted no facts, no statistics, nothing but opinion and most of that completely unsupported."

      Actually I did. It apparently was deleted by CNNs moderators even though there was nothing vulgar or offensive in it except that which is offensive to liberal thought. That of course includes all conservative thought. Wouldn't want to the truth to get out now would we? When they do that liberals show themselves to not have an argument to stand on.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Mind, Heart, & Soul

      @ Mandarax
      "...any of us here can make whatever religious claims we want with exactly equal amounts (that is, zero) of validity."
      Actually, in the same way that historians make valid claims about people and events from the distant past (histori-critical analysis of written/oral tradition), theologians can make similar arguments about religious figures and events. Just as with history, not all claims in theology are "with exactly equal amounts (that is, zero) of validity." You are simply showing your limited understanding of the many analytical tools available to humans which allows us to better understand our world, the scientific method being only one avenue to "valid" understanding.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, sweet idiot, what it shows is that you're too friggin' stupid to figure out how the filters work. You morons think some invisible fairies are reading your drivel and deleting it, because you're completely insane and dumber than a bag of hair.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Sure, nottolate, it's an evil liberal conspiracy that you aren't bright enough to figure out CNN's automated web filter.

      You must have zero technical apti.tude.

      Care to guess why I put the extra period in apti.tude?

      June 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you kidding? That dimwit can't figure out how to use a fork!

      June 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • igoryok

      You know, for a person who is absolutely sure to know the exact nature of an eternal superbeing, you should at least be able to work an internet filter without resorting to paranoid claims. And to think there are clergymen on trial over an actual conspiracy to engage in a cover up.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • nottolate

      "No, sweet idiot, what it shows is that you're too friggin' stupid to figure out how the filters work. You morons think some invisible fairies are reading your drivel and deleting it, because you're completely insane and dumber than a bag of hair."

      Who's the idiot this ain't disqus where a program warns you its deleting your post. You don't even know where you are do you? Furthermore, you wouldn't dare insult anybody in that manner face to face. Shows you to be a coward.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Eric G

      Enough with the name calling.

      nottolate: You still have not provided any verifiable evidence that your god exists. Please stop ducking the request and provide your proof that your god exists. If you can do that, your position will then demand more respect. To make your claims without evidencial support is childlike and will be treated as such.

      Please provide your evidence for verifiacation.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      I gladly call you an idiot to your face, nottolate, just let me know the next time you are in Los Angeles.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      notalotabrains: I've never had a post blocked or deleted, you dolt. Neither have you. You're just too dumb to figure out how the filters work.

      Bozo looks bright next to you.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  7. I HOPE NORTH KOREA DESTROYS VATICAN CITY WITH NUCLEAR MISSILE LOL!!!!

    lol!

    June 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  8. toolate

    ...after thirty-five years – go ahead – let's all chant –

    June 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  9. MennoKnight

    All moral decisions are a choice.

    The problem is many people have no idea on what to base their choices on.
    People are tossed to a fro in the winds of moral relativity because they have no anchor.

    I choose to make my moral decisions based the New Testament because I believe that the New Testament is a historically accurate description of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
    It was written mainly by eyewitness of the events (Peter, Matthew, and John) or else those who got their information from eyewitnesses (Paul, Luke, and Mark)

    June 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "John"

      Everyone knows the story about Jesus and the woman about to be stoned by the mob. This account is only found in John 7:53-8:12. The mob asked Jesus whether they should stone the woman (the punishment required by the Old Testament) or show her mercy. Jesus doesn’t fall for this trap. Jesus allegedly states, let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her. The crowd dissipates out of shame. That story was not originally in the Gospel of John or in any of the Gospels. It was added by later scribes. The story is not found in the oldest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Nor does its writing style comport with the rest of John. Most serious textual critics state that this story should not be considered part of the Bible.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • igoryok

      Obviously a moral standard based on a 2000 year hearsay (eyewitnesses) or hearsay based on other hearsay (information from eyewitnesses) makes one a sound arbiter of morality. It's puzzling that such historical accuracy can't get people to accept a darker skinned Jesus or celebrate his supposed birthday at the right time.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Baruch

      How do you reconcile the many edits the new testament has gone through with the idea that it is historically accurate? Only if you are ignorant of the actual history of the bible...written centuries after the events described, edited and redacted for centuries more. Anyone who actually believes that the new testament (or old for that matter) are historically accurate is in deep deep denial of reality.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Howard of Alexandria

      There was a game we played as children. You get ten kids to stand in a row, then whisper something to the first kid and ask him to repeat it to the next, and so on. We all know how it turns out. The message the last kid got bore little resemblance to the original message.

      Now, what happens when people have a vested interest in getting you to believe what they're saying. They exaggerate. You know you've exaggerated to strengthen your stories; everyone does it. It's human nature.

      Here are the facts. The earliest gospel wasn't written until 30 or 40 YEARS after Jesus died (apparently it wasn't considered important enough for anyone to write about his incredible life while he was still living). And NONE of the gospels were written by their alleged authors. They were written down by people who heard from other people who heard it from other people ,,, and so on. This is hardly the basis for a factual and accurate account of what happened.

      Here's another fact. The "blessed trinity" didn't exist until the 4th Century A.D. It was invented by the Council of Nicea in an effort to blend the Christian dogma with the pre-existing Roman polytheistic dogma so Christianity could become the new state religion of Rome. Oh, and the Christian leaders sold out their own moral principles to gain that prize. They agreed that everyone in the Roman Empire would have to take an oath of allegiance to this new state religion ... under penalty of death! That oath is still recited today ... during every Roman Catholic mass. It's called, "The Apostles' Creed."

      But don't believe me. Do your own research ... provided you can stand the disappointment with what you'll discover.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      YeahRight, I am familial with what you wrote because what you wrote is in my Bible at the notes at exactly the point of the passage that you write. As is Mark 16:9. All modern translations (NIV, NLT) have this information very visible to anybody who wants to read it.
      This level of instinctual integrity only adds credibility to the scriptures.

      Howard of Alexandria,
      That is an overly simplistic straw-man view. The game Telephone is a child's game that is only fun when people purposefully mix up the stories so that they can laugh at them. Simple scholarly history shows that during the first 500 years of manuscripts show that variations between copies was extremely minimal.
      Look it up, it is a fact.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      igoryok,
      We have no idea when Jesus was born, it never mentions the date in scripture and it was most likely in spring due to that was when the lambing season was happening.

      How does one explain fragments from the 1st century if the New Testament was only written in the 2nd and 3rd century.
      Sorry, you guys are all basing your "research " on German theologians from the 1800's that have been proven wrong but because they meet your already preconceived notions that you believe you continue to believe them.

      The JDEP Theory is Dead my friends as is that silly Quest for the Historical Jesus Seminar from the 80's. Archaeology has killed them.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • igoryok

      According to the gospel of Luke Joseph and Mary journeyed to Bethlehem for the Roman census at the very close of the Jewish civil year in late Summer. There is some discrepancy as to whether census took place in the summer, but certainly not the winter date that held birth significance for so many pagan gods before Christianity.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      igoryok,
      I totally agree with you. As I previously mentioned there is no biblical reason why we celibate Jesus' birth date on Dec 25. Every good evangelical or Mennonite church will say the same thing.
      Christmas is a made up secular holiday much like Father's Day and Mother's day are secular made up holidays.

      Should we stop celebrating Christmas then? Not in my opinion, but we should definitely not make it as big of a deal as it we have made it into.

      You made all good points about Christmas.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  10. Eric G

    In short, I don't know if a "true Catholic" can support it, because the existence of a "true Catholic" has not been established.

    We will need to provide verifiable evidence showing what a "true Catholic" is, then provide verifiable evidence that one exists before we can make claims of knowledge of their abilities.

    Here is a hint........ please be careful fundies, this is a trap.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Eric G

      ...............no verifiable evidence, huh? Yep, that's what I thought.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  11. The truth is...

    Atheism is a religion, and their god is Ted Turner.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • kenny

      just like the sky is green, grass is yellow and you have more than half a brain....

      June 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Bobs

      Atheists are rational, intelligent people who don't believe in any gods, or haven't you ever looked it up in a dictionary? And, Ted Turner?!? Fail # 2!

      June 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Josh

      Don't you break the rules now! Only atheists are allowed to attempt witty insulting attacks like that here.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      kenny! They didn't kill you!

      June 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Baruch

      Ted Turner happens to be a born-again.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  12. revbates

    Let the Catholics live under the rules of the Vatican if they choose to do so, but let's not let the Vatican legislate their peculiar brand of morality into U.S. Law.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Bill

      Too late..they already have, if you grew up in north america over the last 100 years then you are already indoctrinated like it or not. In case you haven`t noticed Christian`s run this continent. Yes you have the right to freedom of religion,speech etc.....but not the right to freedom from thier religion. I was foerced to pray to a god I never believed in in both our schools and military. I was given opptions in school I could stand in the hallway alone or with the none christian hindus in my class who did do so, of course this choice made me the school paria at recess. In the military I hade the choice of stay at work to cover for a Christain, or sit in church and get free bread and wine...wich I did and I don`t really care if that was a sin in some peoples eyes...because to me its total B.S.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  13. Julie

    I would rather follow Jesus's teachings than that of the Catholic Church. Jesus said love everyone and treat people as you would like to be treated. The Catholic church is in conflict with what Jesus teaches, since they teach intolerance and superiority to other humans. I'll side with Jesus on this one thanks.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Madtown

      Well said. Me too.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Bobs

      And you believe that Jesus would be OK with gay marriage?

      June 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • jk105

      Jesus would not be welcome in this church. He would be banned, just like the nuns who help the poor as opposed to helping the Republican Party win elections.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Julie

      Bobs, I believe Jesus would be just fine with gay marriage. If there is love and respect and kindness, I just can't see Jesus being so asinine and petty to pull down someone pants to check their gender. He would rather concentrate on the IMPORTANT things... not the unimportant of certain pieces of flesh.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • nottolate

      Not that the Catholic Church is the authentic church of God, but the bible also teaches intolerance. For straight and narrow is the way and not the broad route which results in hell.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Bill

      All religions teach intolerance of each other. how many time have your heard of christian tolerance.....where is the christian acceptance?

      June 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Cq

      nottolate
      And the road to hell is paved with good intentions so, even if you honestly believe that gay marriage is wrong, whatever "good" intention you have in opposing it is likely corrupting your soul into something bigoted and ugly, right? The rhetoric being used by the anti-gay lobby is so crass and nasty taking up the struggle against gay marriage drags any good Christian down into the sewers. Is it worth that?

      June 21, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  14. commentusmaximus

    This is because most Catholics just attend mass every Sunday but do not know anything about their religion. Those against gay marriage took the time to read and understand the theology behind the catholic church's stand against gay marriage. Catholics that are for gay marriage just listened to media, their friends' and their relatives' comments regarding this. They may not be religious at all or may be religious but weak in spirit.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Jenna

      It was the weakest and smallest of men who gave us Don't Ask, Don't Tell and The Defense of Marriage Act.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Nick

      Fine if the Church is against gay marriage in the Church, but why on earth do they care about civil marriage? They are two distinct and separate things. No one is asking that the Church marry gay people.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Yeah, how unreasonable for them to defer to their own empathy, friend's opinions and societal trends rather than listen to a bunch of old virgin codgers in dresses and silly hats who claim to have a direct line to a magical sky wizard.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • jk105

      Are you talking about the weak in spirit Catholics who support capital punishment, support dismantling national healthcare, support tax policies that favor the rich–against the pope's statements against capital punishment, in support of national healthcare and in favor of more equitable tax policies?

      June 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Bobs

      Or those against gay marriage are just following party line, like evangelicals, without thinking about it's being a particularly Christian thing to do, or not.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • kenny

      it must really suuck when you know your wrong but just can't admit it and accept REALITY... ur bible was written by MEN to control other MEN... we ALL know religion is bs and you just can't accept the FACT ur existence will end FOREVER... no heaven, no heell, just nothing, like before you were born....

      June 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Commentmaxiumus..Why exactly then is gay marriage wrong and what harm does it do? You most likely have no idea but your men in frocks and pointy hats have..but what is it?

      June 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • rftallent

      Too bad they left out the theology against pedophilia.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  15. firebrand

    I also fail to see how it makes any sense for one to be dialoging with an ex-priest to determine any official Catholic stance or opinion. The guy is clearly in dis-union with what the Catholic Church teaches. His opinion really has little weight and no authority as a Catholic clergyman.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Father Chester Fondlebum

      Yes, common sense and common decency have no place in Catholicism.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Bobby

      Just as in China, the Catholic church will bop the head that pops up with an individual thought.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • firebrand

      Bobby, you misunderstand what the Church is all about. It's preserving the faith that Christ came to establish. Just because a thought is "individual" does not mean it is a) true, b) rational, c) useful, d) etc. When you are trying to preserve something that has been entrusted to you, realize that "new" things may not be in conformity with what was originally given. "New" does not always mean "better." If some Catholic were to say that God is Four Persons in the Trinity, that person's belief would also be condemned by the Catholic Church, because it blatantly contradicts what was established in the time of Christ.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Nick

      The fact that he's an ex-priest is sort of the whole basis for the article! Everyone knows the official Catholic view on this issue, so an article reiterating only that would hardly be news. An ex-priest, however, can offer a different perspective, hence the above article.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Bobs

      Father Chester Fondlebum

      Don't you mean that common sense and common decency have no place in conservative Christianity of any denomination?

      June 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Father Chester Fondlebum

      Yeah, that works fine too, but why stop there? You can keep going to include almost all religion, not just Christianity.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Firebrand..just because the church says something also also does not make it true..lets think of the CC and it insistence we were the centre of the universe..and was willing to kill and maim to preserve the myth. Opps they appear to have been wrong there.. The CC guesses at life as all other religions do and still has no deeper insights than our ancient ancestors did.. .

      June 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Bobs

      Father Chester Fondlebum
      Sure, but some religions hold crazier beliefs than others, well ... slightly crazier.

      June 21, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  16. kway

    No. Love the sinner. Hate the sin.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • jk105

      Which is why we love you, despite your sin of bigotry.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Zach

      There is not a single gay person who believes that it is a sin. Their relationships are as natural as spring water.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Love the believer, hate their ridiculous, bigoted religion.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Father Chester Fondlebum

      Sim is just a guilt trip, a manipulation of you into obedience.

      If you are Christian, and especially if you are Catholic, you are born guilty, you will always be guilty, and you will die guilty. Everything good that you do is God's work, and everything bad is you and only you. What king of sick being would come up with a system like that?

      Humans are sinful and evil. God created man in his own image. Therefore, God is sinful and evil. And he acts it in the Bible.

      It's just so obvious that religion is delusion.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • kway

      Put a hundred gay men on an island. How many generations will they last? It is not natural despite your attempts

      June 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Actually, kway, it's found in over 1000 animal species – that's the definition of natural.

      And so what if it wasn't natural? Why would that make it wrong?

      Driving a car and shaving aren't exactly natural, and I'm betting you do both those things.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • kway

      So what kind of animal are you

      June 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • kway

      By the way, you didn't answer the question. How many generations will they last?

      June 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      A human one, just like you.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      What difference does it make how long they would last in your fictional scenario? Why does the inability of gay s.ex to produce children make it immoral? Is s.ex between infertile hetero couples also immoral?

      And you haven't answered any of my questions either.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Alt2992

      0 generations.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Kway.. male sea horse gets pregnant and give birth..... Just when you think the world is the way that religions think it should be a long comes truth... bummer...

      June 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • kway

      So you are a male sea horse.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • tm

      @ kway – put 100 straight men on a island...how many generations would they last?

      June 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • sam

      kway – it's not natural to put 100 people of the same sex on an island, period. You're ridiculous. At least try and be partially amusing if you're going to be so dense.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Oz in OK

      A Christian quoting a Hindu (Gandhi) talking about 'Christians' who massacred Hindus in India... ironic.

      June 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  17. Q Bee

    A marriage license is a tax, just like a fishing license or a hunting license or a dog license. It has nothing to do with morality issues or religion, but everything to do with 'equal under the law'.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Edith

      Religion has never come to terms with "all men are created equal". This is a secular concept.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  18. ajoseph1234

    If you believe in evolution and you believe gay people are born this way, than by your thought process, evolution is responsible. But if this is true, the future looks pretty bleak for mankind as a species. Especially if evolution decides to turn everyone gay. Without the evolutionary desire to reproduce itself, mankind would soon become an evolutionary afterthought.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • QS

      LMAO!!

      June 20, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Dave

      God has eliminated your segment from the gene pool for good reason. Perhaps it is because of your collective low intelligence.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Thanks for demonstrating your utter ignorance of biology and evolution so succinctly.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • jim tom

      You need to go back to second grade science and learn what evolution is, buddy.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • raforrester

      Now, if you had said that maybe "God decides to turn everyone gay," then evolution would not be enough to prevent it. But evolution turned ants, bees, wasps, etc, into non-reproductive workers (except for a few queens and drones), which is really what gayness comes down to in evolution, and they seem to be doing just fine.

      Perhaps you should think a little harder about the idea that "evolution decides to turn everyone gay." Evolution is the force that would PREVENT that from happening. The fact that gayness persists in men even when it you would think that evolution should eliminate it very quickly indicates that there must be some kind of evolutionary advantage that is not obvious. That was why scientists studied what is really happening, and the studies show that mothers with gay sons actually had more grandchildren than mothers without gay sons. Not sure why, and not sure if the studies have been repeated or validated. But the genetics of gayness in men (not in women, as far as I know) is indirect. The environment of the womb is what determines the orientation of sons. It is the genetics of the mother that causes it, not the genetics of the actual gay son. It is an example of a form of genetics called "Maternal Effect Inheritance."

      June 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      AJ 1234...I feel sorry for you..if this is what you really think and is the level of your understand of evolution what else do you not understand?

      June 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • sam

      This planet should be so lucky.

      I'm still hoping for just the right asteroid to come along. That would be quicker.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm laughing, too. A fvckwit who can't figure out the difference between "then" and "than" is attempting to explain how evolution works? And using gays as an example?

      Ahhahhhahhhha!

      June 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Oz in OK

      Oh good grief...

      June 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Nope!

      You fellers talk about evolution as it were a concrete fact! You're so silly, being so serious about something so utterly absurd!
      What makes you so blind and unable to reason, that you can't see how stupid it is for you to hang on to such absurdity! And you say that we who believed in Intelligent Design(er) are not able to reason?! Duh! ....LOL!

      June 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  19. Diane

    To the rational mind... Blue eyes or black skin is a genetic trait..you only make yourself sound silly by compareing a fact to an opinion. You can look that one up.

    June 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • QS

      I assume you're a woman Diane – I as a man, having no firsthand experience with being a woman, would obviously defer to you when you tell me what it's like to be a woman. What is it that possibly convinces you that you are able to argue with somebody who is telling you from firsthand experience something you don't know?

      June 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  20. Smeagel4T

    Sure, it's easy. Since God is created in man's image, it's nothing more than creating a God that supports gay marriage. Or for that matter, just create a God that IS gay. What's the big deal? Religions have been creating and recreating God in man's current image down through the entire history of man. Look at all the zillions of religious sects who claim God fits their image and not the image created by all the other sects. Look at how the Pope has changed what God believes and what God doesn't believe down through the entire history of the Catholic Church. Just do what religions have always done. Change God to fit whatever mold you want God to fit in.

    See, problem fixed. You're welcome.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Evil does it

      Win. Religion pwnd.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.