Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.
By R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN
(CNN)–Cultural upheavals often occur in the most surprising contexts. Who expected that a clash between sexuality and religious liberty would be focused on a restaurant company mainly known for its chicken sandwiches?
And yet the controversy over Chick-fil-A is a clear sign that religious liberty is at risk and that this nation has reached the brink of tyrannical intolerance from at least some of our elected leaders.
The controversy ignited when Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, son of the company’s legendary founder, Truett Cathy, told a Baptist newspaper that he and his company “operate on biblical principles” and “are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.”
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Defining Chick-fil-A as “a family business,” Cathy went on to say that “We intend to stay the course. … We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
Media attention to Cathy’s comments revealed a radio interview he had given a few weeks earlier in which he commented that “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at (God) and say, ‘We know better than You what constitutes a marriage.'
“I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think we would have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about,” he said.
Within days, elected officials in Chicago, Boston and New York were pledging to deny the company access to their cities.
“Because of (Dan Cathy’s) ignorance, I will deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward,” Chicago Alderman Proco Moreno said, in a threat echoed by
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was just as blunt: “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” he said. “We’re an open city. We’re a city at the forefront of inclusion.”
But the kind of inclusion he had in mind would evidently exclude Chick-fil-A.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who just recently married her lesbian partner, called upon New York University to kick Chick-fil-A off its campus.
9 religious companies (besides Chick-fil-A)
Echoing the Boston mayor’s lack of irony, she also called for exclusion in the name of inclusion: “We are a city that believes our diversity is our greatest strength, and we will fight anything and anyone that runs counter to that.”
Within days, Moreno, Emanuel and Menino had qualified their statements somewhat, promising to operate within the law and constitutional limits. Those clarifications became necessary when legal authorities quickly recognized threatened violations of First Amendment rights.
To his credit, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an ardent supporter of same-sex marriage, warned, “You can’t have a test for what the owner’s personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in the city.”
Note carefully that Chick-fil-A was not charged with discrimination in hiring or service but simply with the fact that its president and chief operating officer supports traditional marriage.
Note something else: Dan Cathy’s statements were explicitly religious. He made his comments to the religious press, including a Baptist newspaper. His comments were infused with his Christian convictions, the same convictions that have led the company to close for business every Sunday.
The threats made against Chick-fil-A betray the principle of religious liberty that is enshrined within the U.S. Constitution. Civic officials in some of the nation’s largest and most powerful cities have openly threatened to oppose Chick-fil-A for the singular reason that its president openly spoke of his Christian convictions concerning marriage.
When Quinn, one of the most powerful officials in New York, announces, “I do not want establishments in my city that hold such discriminatory views,” is she also threatening the Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Jewish synagogues and Islamic mosques?
They, along with evangelical Christian denominations, openly oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage. Cathy’s statements are completely consistent with his own denomination’s statement of faith and official declarations. He was speaking as a Christian and as a Southern Baptist, and he was speaking as a man who does his best to live and speak as he believes.
Christian groups allege threats to religious freedom in anti-Chick-fil-A campaigns
When Emanuel and Moreno tell Chick-fil-A to stay out of Chicago, are they audacious enough to deliver that same message to the churches, mosques and synagogues of their city that also oppose same-sex marriage? What do they do with the fact that their own state does not allow same-sex marriages?
This country is deeply divided over the issue of same-sex marriage, and the controversy over Chick-fil-A is an ominous sign that many of the proponents of same-sex marriage are quite willing to violate religious liberty and to use any and all means to silence and punish any individual or organization that holds the contrary view – a view sustained by the voters in 29 states by constitutional amendments.
Addressing the intersection of same-sex marriage and religious liberty, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley has warned that the government must not be “viewed as unfairly trying to pre-determine the debate or harass one side.”
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That is exactly what some elected officials have just shown themselves ready to do. It will not stop with Chick-fil-A. Who will be next to be told to get out of town?
I know Dan and Truett Cathy and other members of the Cathy family. Truett has spoken on our campus. I have prayed at the opening of multiple Chick-fil-A locations. I serve on the board of directors of Focus on the Family, which has been supported by Chick-fil-A. My son, Christopher, is a part-time service employee of a local Chick-fil-A restaurant in Louisville. I have not communicated with Chick-fil-A about this column.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of R. Albert Mohler Jr.
"GOD created 2 se'xes for a reason,"
Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.
Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.
There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.
Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.
Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?
Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).
That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex.
why are you quoting a story book to prove a point? None of that actually happened. It is just 2000 years of priests writing stories to better control their flocks.
Well done John! If people would really read and put things into context, they would have a different view. Much of the predjudice comes from fear of the unknown and rejection of anyone different.
"You cannot pass!" – Gandalf
clearly you failed every single science class you've ever taken, if any at all
Much of the prejudice also comes from defining one's morals by a selective reading of a highly immoral and ancient text.
I guessing then that he created a whole spectrum of se.xuality for a reason, too.
"You cannot pass!" – Gandalf
If you read it in the original, it actually translates as 'You shall not walk by', which is completely different as it does not exclude flight.
"However he does punishish us for our choices"
All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.
The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.
On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"
The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.
Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).
There are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.
Don't be silly. We Northerners actually OWN most of your beloved farm land.
Plus with the addition of the 10 million or so Mexicans, the truth is we no longer need you guys at all.
Get with the program or you will be replaced.
Really? Do you believe there was a King Herod, Paul, King David, Moses, King Xerxes, Solomon, Pontious Pilate, Peter, Jesus Christ, a Roman Empire or where these people made up in your opinion? I believe the bible in historically accurate and true...
"I believe the bible in historically accurate and true..."
The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).
It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.
Christian beliefs are based on nothing more than a collection of Bronze and Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology, much of it discredited, that was cobbled together into a book called the “Bible” by people we know virtually nothing about, before the Dark Ages.
The stories of Christianity are not even original. They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Horus and Dionysus (including virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).
William, was that before or after the curve?
Unfortunately the same argument for an unnatural relationship between two people can be made for anything else. Example:
Via wiki: "Marriageable age (or marriage age) is the age at which a person is allowed to marry, either as a right or subject to parental or other forms of consent. Age and other requirements vary between countries, but generally is set at 18, although most jurisdictions allow marriage at slightly younger ages with parental and/or judicial approval, or in case of pregnancy. The marriage age should not be confused with the age of majority or the age of consent, or the actual age at first marriage in a particular society."
Everything can be questioned if there is no sense of morality. Young with old same se.x relations or even bestiality could very well be in an article like this 50 years from now.
Please read these(2) passages from the Bible to understand a biblical worldview (and before you reply to my post): http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%201:18-32&version=NLT
The good news for everyone is that God made a way for us through Jesus Christ (please read!):
Unfortunately if you do not believe in God then these verses from the Bible do not matter. I would never be able to convince you of the fact that there is a God more than God has already done Himself.
"Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It's like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God." – C.S. Lewis
"or even bestiality could very well be in an article like this 50 years from now."
Ever hear of consent? Wow.....
You realize that the exact same arguments were made 50 years ago to prevent interracial marriages, right? Do you think that those arguments were correct? Is racism ok as long as it hides behind the bible?
Let's guess with your prejudice mind set you just skipped over 23 which shows they were worshiping a pagan god using sex. That has NOTHING to do with the loving long term relationship of a gay couple as we know and understand it today. Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."
"Young with old same se.x relations or even bestiality could very well be in an article like this 50 years from now."
There is a simple and effective line which precludes your slippery slope logic, consent. Only those capable of informed consent can marry. This easily excludes bestiality, as animals cannot consent and it also excludes marriage under certain ages. I will grant that the age of consent is less defined, but society has been working with that issue for millenia.
"But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true?" – C.S. Lewis as quoted by Er
Essentially, if ones thinking works. In other words, if, to use the example, splashing milk consistently produces a map of London, then perhaps it would be reasonable to carry a bottle of milk when driving in London. Or, in this case, to think when trying to navigate reality, because rational thought has consistently, though not continuously, given a better understanding of reality than any other method.
History shows Christians and the church have always been resistant to free thought and liberties here in the USA and prior in Europe. Christ does not remotely represent liberty or freedom, rather submission and penalty of suffering. It is not good enough that Christians are free to believe as they wish, they wish to gain power and impose their morality onto others. Christians are a greater threat to our freedoms than the Taliban in the ME.
Many people are amazed with awe and wonder when King Tut's ancient exhibits come to their city, but will reject God's word and the visible archeology that the Israelis dig up. And will dismiss it as myth and fairytales even though the historical evidence still stands today or they will easily dismiss the historical events of the bible as untrue. They are in denial of the truth contained in God's word. But these same folks do not question their American history books or it's editors, why?
So, because Egyptian mythology contains actual historical events, does that mean Ra exists?
Epic Logic Fail.
Christians don't apply the same logic from their "biases" to other things. Keeping a closed mind to everything BUT the bible makes life much easier for them. lol
From p.3 in case you missed it:
The owner of Chick-fil-A as does R. Albert Mohler Jr suffer from the Three B Syndrome, Bred, Born and Brainwashed in red-neck Christianity. Will sufferers therefore stop going to Christian churches because of this Syndrome? No, but we should try to cure all those who are suffering which effects about 30% of the human race.
The Cure in less time than it takes to eat a chicken sandwich:
SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS FROM THE THREE B SYNDROME:
THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY.
Added details available at no extra charge.
Submission of chosen targets (American Indians, Muslims, blacks, gay, females of every race, mexicans, etc.) are gradual as they adopt the Talmudic concepts as being Christian, thus producing a J.ewish society. It is what Rabbi Martin Siegel call, "the J.udaization of Christianity.")
Curing the Three B Syndrome (Bred, Born and Brainwashed in your religion) Affecting the Followers of Judaism:
origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.
New Torah For Modern Minds
“Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.
Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.
The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."
Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.
"If your god is truly omnipotent, then why can't it produce a book that is readily, universally understood, without any need for translation. And why can't god produce its own modern website, or do some tweets?
The answer, of course, is that your god does not exist, just like all the others that humans have invented in their mental laziness."
My guess Clara, is that by the condition of the hearts of the people on this thread, that if God revealed himself to any and all of you, you'd reject him just like he was rejected 2000 years ago, for the same reason.....
He called us all sinners, and we needed to repent, and we hate him for that. He told us he was God, and they killed him. You really think it would be any different today??
Way to not answer the question in the least there, @Romans.
Deflect, deflect, deflect. Are you capable of anything else? Can you actually respond to the question? Why are there 40k+ different flavors of xtianity? Why is your book so contradictory? And how do YOU know what context passages should be taken in? Such pride, egotism, and hubris.
and here come all the Christians replying with reasons why God doesn't reveal himself ... even though he sure did a lot of that in the bible ... but now he doesn't ... except his image on toast and things like that ...
I wasn't answering her questions. I was using her quote to make a point about the condition of the human heart. Is it just me, or do you talk AND type with a smarmy tone?? Don't be arrogant, life's too short...
@facepalm – Romans' sect, whatever that is, is of course the only correct one. You know better!
"My guess Clara, is that by the condition of the hearts of the people on this thread, that if God revealed himself to any and all of you, you'd reject him just like he was rejected 2000 years ago, for the same reason....."
So what God is afraid of rejection? And how in the world were we able to kill a supernatural, immortal deity? And would it matter if we "killed" him?
Need some serious proof for a statement like that.Care to share any or are you gonna leave that as an opinion not a fact?
Atheism=Making a claim like religion without proof to support it.Pretty much sums it up ;)
Ransom: being religiouos = giving up all rights to using the word "proof"
The battle is a cultural one.
If we permit them to use modernity for profit, they shall never pass into history.
We are keeping antiquated absurdities alive with our tax dollars.
Cut federal welfare for the red necks. It's time to throw the chicks out of the nest for their own good.
We can nary afford permitting this cancer on our future any longer.
Religious liberty is not the issue here. Sending conflicting messages is.
CFA made a statement that it does not discriminate and treast everyone the same, yet it uses company money to support groups that are on the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate group list...groups that their objective is to discrinate. There is a big disconnect with what the company claims to be policy, yet they use money earned from the public to engable those that do discrimate.
Dan Cathy has handled this situation horribly and his brand approval rating is suffering as a result, according to a report put out this morning. Further, if his objective is to be a model for Christianity, he wouldn't harden the hearts of many who truly need Jesus in their lives by appearing to be bigotted...saying the company's policy is to not discrimate, yet use company money to support groups that promote hate. Would Jesus donate to a group that promotes discrimation?
If he wants to support hate groups, then he should do so with his private money and not the company's money so that what the company does aligns with its non-discrimination policy.
I support his right to do that. I also support his right to state his beliefs. As a Gay Christian who has many conservative friends, I understand why he believes as he does and don't harbor bad feelings toward him for that. The issue I have is the double messages he is sending. To put water on the fire, Cathy should admit that he has created ill will among those that he says he does not discriminate against because of the way he communicated his message and that he won't contribute corporate funds to groups that are "for" or "against" any group of people going forward. He should also say, that he still stands behind his beliefs on the matter, yet he does not believe people should be discriminated against, period. Cathy needs to do this, not his PR staff.
He can then donate from his own pocket to any organization he wants without risking the corporate reputation. Honestly, I wish all companies would do this. Corporate donations should focus on humanitarian issues, not politics or groups that discrimate.
>>If he wants to support hate groups, then he should do so with his private money and not the company's money so that what the company does aligns with its non-discrimination policy.<<
That's a very good point. He can do whatever he wishes as a private citizen...but he ended up using his business as a podium. He basically muddied his own waters.
Christians don't give a damn about the oft quoted "religious liberty". It's only christian liberty they care about. Christans are intolerant of other religions, convinced that they are wrong and telling them that they will burn in hell unless they believe what christians believe! Don't whine about "religious liberty" when you want nothing of the sort!
Wait, are you saying that Christians are not ok with Muslim extremists killing them? How dare they restrict the liberty of fundamentalist muslim extremists who actually have the audacity to follow what their book says to do instead of only cherry-picking the convenient parts.
'Religious liberty' = "only us" and "we're not getting our way."
Anyone using the term religious liberty is not interested in that same liberty for other religions. The fool writing this article seems to believe a privately owned business is equal to a church and they're an instant from getting run out of town. Hysterical BS.
What did Jesus mean when He says in John 14:6 that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, that no one can come to the Father except through Him? Can you spiritualize that?
facepalm ... what are you saying?
correctlycenter: why are you quoting a bronze age story book as if you think any of these things actually happened? I remember when the deatheaters railed against muggle lifestyles ... it's just like that too, eh?
Many in today's self-centered, anything goes PC society think it's OK to live their "lifestyle" without any consideration whether it's in contrast to the LORD's instructions for us. The prophet Isaiah had it right many thousands of years ago when the Holy Spirit told him that good would be considered evil and evil considered good. Hello...
why are you quoting a bronze age story book as if you think any of these things actually happened? I remember when the deatheaters railed against muggle lifestyles ... it's just like that too, eh?
Hey – keep your lord over there, with you. Not all of us believe what you believe. You need to get that through your head. Many of us are not going to live by your laws. If your god doesn't like it, if he exists, we'll talk about it sometime, I'm sure. Until then, bug off.
Many don't like your 'lifestyle'.
Are you following the Lord's instruction? Stoned any rape victims lately?
Maybe if any fundies out there could come up with one single reason why gay marriage is a bad idea that didn't rely on an ancient immoral text, the rest of us would be a little more willing to engage in a dialogue.
He is a fabrication, a lie, nothing more than the echo in an idiots head.
He shall fade away just as the last three thousand bogus dieties we humans have already thrown under the bus have.
In 1000 years, Jesus will be the name of a SUV, just like Saturn is today. And you will be remembered as a bigot who discriminated based on instructions from an SUV.
Sheesh, would you try and grow up, just a little?
Relax, Mohler, nobody's preventing Chick-Fil-A from opening stores just based on their owner's religious views. And you can keep on speaking out against the rights of gays and lesbians. And we can keep on speaking out against what you stand for.
My comment makes it sound like I'm gay. That's kind of...uninteresting.
Last week, a handful of mayors urged Chick-fil-A to stay out of their cities after the chain’s president, Dan Cathy, weighed in on same-s-ex marriage by saying his company backs the traditional family unit.
"Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago values,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat, said last week. “They're not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members."
San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee tweeted last week: "Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer."
did the mayors say they would enact legistlation that would bar any business? No, they discouraged a bigoted organization from expanding its business where it's not wanted. Do mayors not have a right to freedom of speech? If you live their and you don't like it, then speak with your vote.
Urging the company to stay away and actually preventing them from doing business are significantly different items. Unless you mean that said mayors are not allowed an opinion....
Backing a traditional Family Unit is now Bigoted?
Backing a Per-verted Life Style is Good?
@ Leo – how exactly is that a response to either of the posts rebutting yours ?
How is it that you define 'traditional family unit'. If you're using the bible, then I hope you're including polygamy, concubines, and sex slaves.
And if you're using the bible to determine what is perverted, then I hope you're including anyone who wears poly-cotton blends.
Leo – ugly. Just ugly. There's no such thing as traditional family unit – feel free to check the divorce rate in your area. And perverted? Really? That's silly. Did mommy and daddy tell you it's never ok to touch your no-no place? That's about the level you're on, here.
Sam look up what perv-erted means, and then tell my that pocking the bung hole is the natural use for the penis and the poop shoot.
Sorry, but that is per-verted!!
@Leo, then do you classify straight families who engage in anal sex to be perverted?
And do you also not consider lesbian relationships to be perverted?
Or, perhaps, should you just get over your sexual hangups and stop discriminating on the basis of people's genetics.
There seems to be a mistaken opinion that ALL religious beliefs should be accepted and tolerated and that is not the case. Religious beliefs which cause harm to others should absolutely NOT be tolerated or accepted. Case in point...hypothetical example, what if someone declared its their religious belief that Christians are an abomination and that they should not be able to marry, is that something society would tolerate or accept as a protected religious belief? Or a more extreme real example, if someone commits adultery, they should be stoned to death. In our western society, I don't think the hypothetical example I cited would be tolerated and the latter example which is part of some religious beliefs is most definitely not tolerated in our western society.
Using ones religion as the basis to cause harm be it physical harm or societal harm to someone else is quite simply wrong. That marriage is only between a man and a woman is not a universally held Christian belief either....its a belief that is held by SOME Christians, not all of them.
The Christian Bible is filled with many passages that mainstream Christianity simply disregards, as they are archaic and no longer relevant. The Leviticus passage that's often cited as the basis for the anti-gay sentiment is one of those that is quite simply disregarded by many Christians today. The only ones who heed it are people like Mr. Cathy, and others who view gay people as abmominations and deserving of such discrimination. It's not all of Christian beliefs that being criticized here...its just the belief system held by SOME Christians which forms the basis of discrimination against gay people.
GOD created 2 se'xes for a reason, if we were ment to be g'ay we would have one.
Eric, you can't go to heaven until you learn about apostrophes.
You said, "GOD created 2 se'xes for a reason, if we were ment to be g'ay we would have one."
Are you referring to Adam and Eve?
Your Adam and Eve myth shows that your god was pretty open minded about sexuality. Since Eve is said to have been crafted from Adam's rib, she is genetically a man. She (and so nice of christians to be all-inclusive and calling her "she") and Adam formed the first transgender marriage. Maybe what christians call "traditional marriage", isn't so traditional after all.
Put there intentionally been having issues with this sites profanity filter...
That makes absolutely no sense. Even if taken litteraly ADAM was male and Eve was female. GOD did not create Bob and Frank.
@eric: due to your comment, i have to say please show me anything other than the bible that shows "god" or any "god" created anything at all.
taken from a logical stand point and viewing what is here on earth, evolution is the most likely answer to our "creation" and our collective views on right and wrong, accepted and unaccepted have changed throughout our recorded history. so stating that "god did it" proves nothing other than your dedication to your choice of religion.
o "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the gay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore gays are gay 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. "
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.
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.
You said, "That makes absolutely no sense. Even if taken litteraly ADAM was male and Eve was female."
Clueless about basic biology? Now why am I unsurprised?
You said, "GOD did not create Bob and Frank."
So where did they come from? Incest?
I agree the GOD did it responce bothers me too. Yes the universe has obserable laws and qualities. Yes our theories my be getting clooser to correct. Everything from the big bang to evolution. Even if all these theories are 100% correct right now it still does not take anything away from GOD. He created the universe and set up the laws of nature that we currently obseve. There is not 1 shed of evidence to the opposite.
:D I never thought about that before.
@LinCA we do not have all the answers for right now we only know in part. Out of the story of Adam and Eve comes better question. After Cain kills Able he was removed from the garden. He was in fear the other people would kill him.... Where did the others come from, were Adam and Eve the only 2 or maybe were there more....
Lin, why are you so concerned about incest, but not Sodomy?
According to the Godless Atheist's why would anything be wrong?
Richard Dawkins was asked about ra-pe during an interview:
Justin Brierley (JB): If we had evolved into a society where ra-pe was considered fine, would that mean that ra-pe is fine?
Richard Dawkins (RD): I, I wouldn’t, I don’t want to answer that question. It, it, it’s enough for me to say that we live in a society where it’s not considered fine. We live in a society where uhm, selfishness, where failure to pay your debts, failure to reciprocate favors is, is, is regarded askance. That is the society in which we live. I’m very glad, that’s a value judgment, I’m very glad that I live in such a society.
JB: When you make a value judgment don’t you immediately step yourself outside of this evolutionary process and say that the reason this is good is that it’s good. And you don’t have any way to stand on that statement.
RD: My value judgment itself could come from my evolutionary past.
JB: So therefore it’s just as random in a sense as any product of evolution.
RD: You could say that, it doesn’t in any case, nothing about it makes it more probable that there is anything supernatural.
JB: Ultimately, your belief that ra-pe is wrong is as arbitrary as the fact that we’ve evolved five fingers rather than six.
RD: You could say that, yeah.
For what reason did your god create for us an unnecessary organ with little-to-no beneficial value that occasionally kills? Does he just have a sick sense of humor?
I like Adam and Steve better than Bob and Frank, It has a much nicer ring to it.
@LinCA we do not have all the answers for right now we only know in part. Out of the story of Adam and Eve comes better question. After Cain kills Able he was removed from the garden. He was in fear the other people would kill him.... Where did the others come from, were Adam and Eve the only 2 or maybe were there more....
Keep asking those questions Eric. You're amlost there. A couple more steps and you'll see that the whole thing is a bunch of horse crap.
Hey Leo – how about consent? How about purposeful harm? That's the difference.
Are you truly that willfully ignorant? It must take great effort. You must be exhausted.
You said, "@LinCA we do not have all the answers for right now we only know in part."
Of course. We will probably never have all the answers. But can we start by discarding the ones that really aren't? The story of Adam and Steve (later to be named Eve after her successful gender reassignment) is so full of holes that it is completely ridiculous that any adults still take it as true.
You said, "Out of the story of Adam and Eve comes better question. After Cain kills Able he was removed from the garden. He was in fear the other people would kill him.... Where did the others come from, were Adam and Eve the only 2 or maybe were there more...."
Not really hard to answer that question, now is it? It simply means that the entire story is complete and utter bullshit. Just get over it already. There are far more believable narratives available (I'll give you a hint: They are supported by evidence).
You said, "Lin, why are you so concerned about incest, but not Sodomy?"
It's not about my concerns about incest as I reject the story about Adam and Steve out of hand as complete and utter bullshit. The question should be why christians apparently don't have any issues with it.
But to answer your question. The only concern I have with incest is the risk for birth defects associated with it. I really couldn't care less who you have sex with.
You said, "According to the Godless Atheist's why would anything be wrong?"
Morality evolved as a consequence of humans being social animals. Humans have the ability to weigh the pros and cons of the decisions they make. They have the ability to put the benefit of the group they belong to ahead of their own immediate needs. The ability to recognize that the good of the group is intertwined with the good of the individual will lead to a set of morals.
Their sense of morality appears to be mostly limited by who they consider part of their group, or their potential to provide benefits in return. In more primitive societies, women are often seen as beneficial to have around (mostly for sex and housekeeping, I guess), but not necessarily as part of the core group. The acceptable behavior (morals) towards women reflects that relationship.
Those that are seen as not belonging to the group at all, are fair game. Differences in religion, or nationality may cause people to accept some of the most horrendous atrocities. Certain groups of christians appear to have similar "morals" towards gays.
Religion is not required for morals. It may even be detrimental.
On a side note. You appear to imply that you have morals because you believe. The flip side of that is that, without that belief you would have no morals. Right? You seem to confess that you have no sense of right and wrong. You implicitly say that you are a murderer, kept in check by your belief alone.
Do us all a favor, and keep believing the nonsense you so obviously believe.
You said, "Richard Dawkins was asked about ra-pe during an interview:"
I've seen you post this one before. Do you have any links to the source material?
who did create bob and frank if god didn't create them?
All of the good Christians need to mobilize and stop the hate mongers from ruining your religion. Start a god loves gays group.
GOD does love g'ays same as he loves believers. There is nothing we can do to make GOD love us more or less. However he does punishish us for our choices, like you would your children. GOD does not want us to sin in anyway.
Sorry i wouldn't kill my kids or let them burn because i disagree with their choices.
People do have kids, having full knowlage that one day they will die. They will suffer great pain, but we still choose to have them...
Why do you speak of gays and believers as if they are mutually exclusive? There are many Christians who are gay.
My children's lives will be and and have been filled with happiness. If they tell me they are gay that will not change. The evil belief that if they don't abide by some silly book and some stupid rules will never harm my children. And if they meet idiots like you who tell them that god loves them if they deny themselves their true feelings in the name of some silly Sky Fairy I will tell them that you are a moron.
You are right I am sorry for that you can believe and be G'ay We all commit some form of sin and still believe.. Thank you for correcting me.
Bad things begin when hate speech is embraced as a freedom.
If our culture were mature, we might reject in mass such talk, but essentially we are not one culture.
Theology, and perhaps geography have "decoupled" large swathes of this country from other parts.
We are at risk of becoming "Balkanized".
Perhaps we need to consider economic sanctions against Red States who refuse to modernize?
Most of these enclaves of religious zealots are known parasite states who take far more from the Union than they return.
If we boot them from the dole, perhaps a few generations of hard times might soften their rhetoric a bit?
I could just imagine two separate countries. One that is open minded and willing to advance. And one that defends their silly storybook and goes nowhere.
@ William Demuth:
If your first sentence is the standard, your following 5 sentences fail your own standard.
How is it hate speach? The only hate speach I have noticed is comming from the g'ay community. Or a better way to put it a small percentage of them. I am perplexed by what was said that is hateful. Could someone educate me, there most be something sine you say so.
Its not hate if its gods law.
You do have some admirable qualities William Demuth. Too bad.
God's law is not the law of this land. Nor should it be. Those of you who think you know what that is, feel free to follow it; but you will not be successful upholding legislation forcing the rest of us to follow it.
The question remains.
Why do the Blue States subsidise the Red?
If the Redheads can't be self sufficient, is it because they are lazy and ignorant?
Cut the subsidies, and soon enough they wont have much to say, they will be to busy starving to death.
We may need to tolerate ignorance, but we shouldn't have to subsidize it!
@ William Demuth: yes, the question remains. You said hate speech should not be covered as a freedom – and yet what are you giving the red states?
You subsidize the red states because we are the farming states. So you blue states would most likely be the starving ones. Also, don't as.sume that everyone in a red state is a republican christard.
Eric and Russ.
You both misunderstand. I believe the conflict would be desirable.
The last time the hill billies wanted to discriminate and enslave people, we marched down and burnt your civilization to the ground.
Your God was no excuse then and is no excuse now. I believe a refresher is in order. Treat people with respect, or be prepared to pay the price.
@ William Demuth: help me out. How is your logic here any different than Hitler or Stalin?
Logic? How is a proponent of religion suddenly embracing logic?
It is the logic of history. One group dominates.
It is the logic of a ghetto cupboard. If your neighbor has roaches in his, you will soon have them in yours. You either clean up their filth or you live in it as well.
@ William Demuth: so if you disagree with someone, you can jettison ethics?
And your roach analogy... now you are virtually quoting Hitler, if not directly embracing his tactics.
We j.ews have dominated all of society from the beginning of time. We are the minigods, that cry loudly that we have been wronged, when in reality, it is us that wrongs all others.
@ Russ #2: while I don't have a patent on my handle, co-opting it does make having an intelligent conversation almost impossible. are you conceding you have nothing better to offer here than to misrepresent me? or do you have something substantive to add to the conversation?
and for the record, I am not Jewish. I'm a Christian.
Religious bigotry under threat. Sounds like a good thing to me.
One of these days religion, will be appropriately known only in a history book. BUT, until then.......... the torture continues.
Can't wait. Hope I'm here to see it. Unfortunately ignorance takes along time to fix.
J.ews are the atheists as they lie to everyone, always playing the victim card, when in reality, they have always been the predators to destroy every country. They believe their lies of the Talmud that they will be the gods.
@AverageJoe – it's like Joseph heard a dog whistle or something.
@Joseph – Look man, I know you didn't get a great part in the Bible an' all, with you not getting any from Mary before God knocked her up...... then raising a child that's basically your father....... But you gotta let that whole 'anti-semetic' thing go pal.... just breathe (whew!)
Religious retards hate it when you fight back.
True. It's much more satisfying to have the atheist filth on the ground with my boot on its neck.
Its not fighting back. Its being forced to think.
The toad wants to be seen as the upperhand winner. LOL
Only in your fantasies.. that why you have those fantasies. But never in reality.
@toad. Wake up. Stop fighting your own reason. You know that your holding on to a dream.
toad, spoken like a true Christian. You exemplify your disease well.
toad: Wow, you are proof of how dangerous some christards can be...please locate the number for your local asylum and seek immediate assistance for your mental illness.. You do not belong in free society!
Your imagination is feeble, filth. Do you think you are unopposed?
Toad your imagination is running wild.
TruthPrevails – I like that. cristards is an appropriate name and doesn't dirty up the good name of true retards.
Toad wanders in here every so often with this grandiose little tough guy internet persona, trolls around a while, then vanishes. The sooner the last part happens, the better.
So, an analogous question to consider would be: if a person stands on a public road and yells racial slurs (at no one in particular), and people try to stop him, does he get to complain that his freedom of speech is getting threatened?
Perhaps. That person may be in violation of codes against incitement of a riot, but that's the domain of law enforcement, not citizens who might try to stop him.
Let him yell. He's still an idiot. We can only hope that more idiots don't join him.
how is it inciting a riot when he is simply stating his opinion.. it is the problem of people if they take it the wrong way, isn't it.. just like religious people state their position is based on their teaching of what sin is.. and it is the sinner's problem that they want to take it the wrong way and continue their sinful ways..
Inciting a riot? I didn't imagine a friendly group of people trying to stop him, but maybe so.
If it's his "opinion" that something ought to be "done about" people of other races, then he would be stirring up the crowd and inciting violence, right?
@dave – haha, yeah, a small mob will come offer hugs to the yeller.
He does. Didn't you hear all about how Hank Williams' right to free speech was being taken away?
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.