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After gay marriage successes, activists look to build on new faith outreach techniques
Faith-based activists in Minnesota helped defeat a proposed gay marriage ban there this month.
November 30th, 2012
06:00 AM ET

After gay marriage successes, activists look to build on new faith outreach techniques

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) – It may not sound very powerful, but gay rights activist Debra Peevey said that a two-inch green button played a major role in convincing voters to legalize gay marriage this month in her home state of Washington.

“Another Person of Faith Approves R. 74,” said the button, which refers to the ballot initiative that wound up legalizing gay marriage in Washington.

As faith director for the statewide pro-gay marriage campaign, Washington United for Marriage, Peevey and her team distributed 5,000 of the buttons. They were conversation starters, she said, ways of letting people know they could relate to one another on the intimate level of religion. And that being religious didn’t meant you had to oppose gay marriage.

“We had people clamoring for the buttons,” Peevey said. “People of faith all over the state wore them. It amplified that perspective that people of faith do, in fact, support marriage equality.”

This year, voters in Washington State were joined by those in Maryland, Maine and Minnesota in handing big victories to the gay rights movement. In the first three states, voters legalized gay marriage. In Minnesota, they rejected a measure that would have banned same-sex marriage.

After watching dozens of states adopt gay marriage bans in recent years, gay rights activists hope this month’s victories mark a national turning point. And to help push other states to follow suit, they are holding up efforts like Peevey’s as a blueprint for how to successfully incorporate faith into future gay rights campaigns.

Some same-sex marriage proponents think their fight may move to Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Oregon or some combination of those states. Wherever the effort goes, gay rights activists say, faith will be a part of the mix.

“Faith became part of the solution and not just the problem in all four states” where gay marriage was on the ballot this year, said Sharon Groves, director of the religion and faith program at the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group. “We will never do a campaign moving forward where engaging people of faith will not be central part of that work.”

‘Be who you are, not something you are not’

For Grant Stevensen, a Lutheran pastor in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the faith director for the campaign opposing a gay marriage ban in the state, engaging faith communities depended on framing the debate the right way.

In past gay rights ballot fights, Stevensen said, the same-sex marriage movement put “a big emphasis on civil rights language and connection to the civil rights movement.” But the messaging didn’t work, he said, with many people rejecting the idea of a link between civil rights for minorities and marriage rights for gays.

Instead, Stevensen and his team used words like “love,” “marriage” and “commitment,” in their messaging about opposing a gay marriage ban, words that he said strike at the heart of Christian beliefs about marriage. “Our goal for the whole campaign was to emphasize those themes and talk specifically about gay people,” he said, “as opposed to making this another civil rights movement.”

Similar campaigns in other states took different approaches.

For instance in Maryland, gay rights activists emphasized outreach to African-American churches and played up civil rights arguments.

In Maine and Washington State, enormous effort went into mobilizing lay Catholics, even if their hierarchy actively opposed the gay marriage campaigns. Stevensen’s Minnesota campaign, meanwhile, targeted the state’s many Lutherans.

“Be who you are, not something you are not,” the pastor said, encouraging other gay rights activists to combat the stereotype that all Christians “are opposed to gay people.”

The right conversation

In past ballot fights, which resulted in gay marriage bans in more than 30 states, forces opposed to same-sex marriage had dominated the faith conversation.

A faithful same-sex marriage supporter was seen as an outlier.

When Ross Murray, director of religion, faith and values at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), was asked by his bosses to be one of the lead liaisons between the four state-based gay campaigns and the national gay rights organization, he knew more emphasis than ever was going to be put on religion.

Murray advised the campaigns to ask “people to vote the value that they have been taught” and “make sure that you can reach within all religious groups and get those who have passion and have them reach their friends, neighbors and co-congregants.”

That’s what Stevens tried to do in Minnesota: “We were going to either own this conversation about faith and if we can’t own it, no one is going to own it.”

Stevensen and his eight-person faith staff trained 2,500 "conversationalists," religious people who were taught how to have conversations about gay marriage with other people of faith. They were instructed to discuss same-sex marriage in terms of their religious beliefs. The campaign offered similar training sessions to more than 500 clergy.

The two-hour-long training sessions also focused on people telling their own faith stories. If someone had once been opposed to same-sex marriage because of their religious beliefs, they were encouraged to talk about that, too.

More than anything, said Stevensen, the conversationalists were encouraged to listen.

“People have their reasons to think what they do. [We taught how to] draw people out and make sure they are heard,” he said. “All of us like to be listened to.”

The Human Rights Campaign’s Groves said she was impressed by the lengths these campaigns went to reach deep into faith communities. As a veteran of the same-sex marriage fight, Graves was there when the movement struggled with this sort of outreach.

“It makes sense that we would have made some mistakes around that,” Groves said. “LGBT people have been harmed by the church.”

Perhaps the biggest mistake was around the gay marriage ban in California, known as Proposition 8.

Prop 8 mistakes

Debra Peevey was faith-based field organizer in Southern California during the fight against the Proposition 8 ballot initiative in 2008.

One reason she and her fellow gay rights activists lost that campaign was the way the religious conversation played out. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, along with the Roman Catholic Church actively campaigned for Prop 8. That framed the fight as one between secularists and believers.

“There was a resistance in engaging faith community,” Groves said. “We kind of let the religious right define the space for us and that was a real learning that we got from that.”

While religious organizations were pouring in money and manpower, said GLAAD’s Murray, anti-Prop. 8 opponents were apprehensive in reaching out to religious allies and ineffective at building enthusiasm from sympathetic religious communities and leaders.

Both Murray and Groves describe the post-Prop 8 reflection period as a “turning point” for the gay-rights community that gave rise to this year’s intense faith-based organizing.

Now, Peevey said, there’s no going back: “I can’t imagine that we will ever have a LGBT campaign where faith was not a part of the team.”

Moving forward

At pro-same-sex marriage organizations like GLAAD, Murray said conversations are turning to where the next gay marriage fights will happen.

“It is really hard to tell where this is going to come up again,” said Murray, adding that the next attempts to block or legalize gay marriage may happen legislatively in some states, as opposed to via ballot initiative.

He said gay rights groups want to tap into the Lutheran networks in Colorado, Illinois and Oregon early, to ensure that their LGBT outreach is well established by the time any ballot initiative or legislative efforts formally get under way.

By the time that happens, the gay rights community has learned, it may already be too late to frame the faith conversation around gay marriage.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Politics • Same-sex marriage • Sexuality • United States

soundoff (1,674 Responses)
  1. Bootyfunk

    marriage is for legal rights - it has nothing to do with religion. you can add religious ritual to wedding ceremonies, but they are completely unnecessary. want proof?

    surround yourself with holy men from every religious denomination, have them all pronounce you married according to their religious practices - but don't include a legal marriage license, guess what? you're not married.

    now go down to city hall, don't bring any priests, pastors, preachers, etc. - but fill out your legally binding marriage license. guess what? you ARE married.

    so if all you christian h.omophobes should get your nose out of other people's business. not right in the eyes of god? well i have bad news for you - too bad.

    December 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Answer

      Marriage license = Old age security, Government assistance (Pensions 65+ retirement)..etc.

      Show your marriage license to any ole church and you'll get squat for benefits.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  2. Sam Yaza (Wolfy Deer)

    Christians don't hate?... you Christians are breaking Jesus is heart by not listing to his words

    If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. luke 14:26 NaIVe

    December 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you forgot the first part of jesus' "loving" message:

      Mathew 10:34-36
      34 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
      35 "For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
      36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household."

      yes, the prince of peace... LOL.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (Wolfy Deer)

      if we find one more we can say with out a fact god hates families

      "Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father. But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."8:21-22

      i guess Jesus hates families

      December 1, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Bob

      In addition:

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yep, "compassionate" jesus telling him to let his dead father bury himself, you have to preach the gospel. wow, pretty cruel.

      and step 2:
      61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
      62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

      yep, jesus says don't take the time to say goodbye to your family - or you'll go won't go to heaven.

      jesus was just a crazy cult leader, no different from david koresh or any other.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  3. lionlylamb

    What many people seem to be misplacing in regards to the gods and goddesses is that they all are the sons and daughters of God Almighty! We are not gods and goddesses! God’s Holy Spirit is the vast seas of the nothingness regions that reach ever so far away in the celestial domains cosmos and spirals ever inward towards the inner domains of atomic clusters! We all live in a semi-lucid state of constant micrometric fluctuations in ever diminishing states of rationed luxation’s containments in randomized soulful fulgurations ever pulsating intermittencies and really never are at a true resting mode due to particle physics law of thermal dynamics regarding sub-quantum flexing. Can you fathom this angular Occidentalism dichotomy or?

    December 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      only one problem with everything your wrote: god does not exist. he is a fairy tale, similar to santa claus and the easter bunny. you don't believe in zeus, ra or odin, correct? so you're actually almost an atheist - you just have one more god to go...

      December 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Bootyfunk,

      I do so believe in the histories of long ago sons and daughters of God who were quite insolent for their wants to take upon them the dethroning of God Almighty being the very first God of all his sons and daughters of which we have hardly any records of to make sound doctrine of!

      For you to imply there being no such thing as God Almighty are making up lies to feed other of little held faith and unsound emotional brevities!

      December 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      lion, look up "run-on sentence."

      there is no god. get over it. cry in your pillow if you need to, then turn your brain on and try thinking for yourself.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Bootyfunk,

      So then, pleasing to your pallet insinuations are your meagerness ways? God either is or isn't. For my ideals God is and for your ideals God isn't. Thus we have a standoff. Only after one dies will Truth be revealed! Enjoy yourself in the great seas of eternal nothingness if you want! As for me and my kinfolk, we seek Christ's forgiving "nature" to be given a place deep inside our ongoing generations body being the True Kingdom Domains of God Almighty! It is there inside our ongoing generations where True Life does begin again!

      Luke 17:21, "The kingdom of God is inside you!"

      1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!"

      I stand firmly upon these scriptures as there being quite literal and beyond reproach by atheistic naysayers!

      December 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  4. Bootyfunk

    one church... now if we can only get the other million to stop their message of bigotry and h.omophobia...

    the ONLY ones fighting against g.ays marrying are the religious who want to force their beliefs on everyone else. the bible says quite clearly to kill g.ays. it also says to kill non-virgin brides, disobedient children and anyone working the weekend. the bible also supports slavery throughout. the 'all-loving' god of the bible drowned babies in his great flood. read that again: BABIES. only a disgusting monster could fill a child's lungs with water and call it divine justice. the bible is repulsive.

    December 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Evangelical

      Ho.mos.exuals are repulsive, not the Bible.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      if you agree the horrendous hate in the bible, you're repulsive too.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • mama k

      I think I'm repulsed by the stupidity that Evangleical's posts have shown in the past more than anything else. And that should cover the bases, because somewhere in that stupidity grows the homophobia.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • mama k

      (Well and this post by Evangelical is no exception.)

      December 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (Wolfy Deer)

      no the bible is pretty repulsive

      December 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Atheists get out

      your a damned liar! take yourself and all the other f@ggots and get the hell out of my country! go to saudi where they know how to deal with vomit like you.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Bootyfunk,

      2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

      Why do you atheists always tend to make sorry allegations of unsoundness never to not rightly divide the Word of Truth by saying this part is a once was and this here other part was a goodly teaching?

      December 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (Wolfy Deer)

      yo ago

      this country was founded by Pagans,atheist and christens and my family was one of the first settlers. if you don't like something don't tell it to go away you leave because the problem lies with you

      so why don't you live in a Christian nation like Uganda

      December 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      lol, sorry, bud, but the country is changing without you. invent a time machine and take yourself back to the days of segregation. and btw, i'm straight against hate, as is my fiance. we want a more loving world - you obviously enjoy hate.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Damocles

      @atheists get out

      You are so darn cute when your little pug face gets all scrunched up when you get into one of your little pouting fits. Now stomp your feet and walk away in a huff.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • mama k

      @Atheists get out – "my country"??? LOL LOL. Good luck with that.
      (This must be Dr. Evangelical's little hunchback "helper".)

      December 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      lion, please stop trying to sound educated. everything you write is a vocabulary mess. what are you trying to say? type simply - stop using polysyllabic words when it's obvious you don't even know what they mean. have a question or comment - say it succinctly.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Damocles

      @mama

      You mean Mini-me? Oh... wait... you said Dr. Evangelical, I thought you said Dr. Evil, my bad.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Atheists get out

      round up all the f@ggots and give them the option to leave or be killed period

      December 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @Evangelical

      According to you, god put blind hairless rats on the Earth too and find them repulsive, but they are good and belong. Not my call.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (Wolfy Deer)

      i wasn't going to be the one to say that; but yes i agree booty

      December 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (Wolfy Deer)

      @Ago

      nothing changed since the holocaust for you has it

      December 1, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Damocles

      @ago

      Awww... who's a cute cranky kid? You are! Yes you are! Even with your oddly shaped noggin from a lifetime of being dropped on your head.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • mama k

      Evan is such a wonderful example of Jesus' teaching: "love one another as I have loved you".

      December 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  5. Evangelical

    I think we should ask Rev. Graham his take on this.

    December 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Kenny

      Which one, the nazi or the senile old coot?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  6. lionlylamb

    We, as being but microbiology’s god-built buildings, do labor tenuously together with the godly and in equal measures; do we find fundamental struggles with God and all his generations so being his family members and servants and other godly brethren living inside our body-like buildings of sub-micro-cosmological wonders! 1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!" Luke 17:21, "The kingdom of God is inside you!"

    The questions when asked about the ages of spatial nebulas, galaxy clusters and solar systems should be considered in Godly Time verses our construed understandings of earth based time. For God's Timeframe might only be as short seasons that has lapsed by and says a few billion years have thusly lapsed by earth time. Within the gospel is written, Psalms 90:4 "For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and [as] a watch in the night."

    I see nothing wrong in understandings toward our science's coming of aged understandings theories. In fact I stand resolute and in favor of it. Likewise the theories of inward inter-cosmological paradigms and outward paradigms of cosmological comparisons is truly what quantum science physicists should consider and bible based theologians should also.

    December 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (Wolfy Deer)

      quantum physics is a pseudoscience, its all just theory and no more factual then the bible

      December 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Sam Yaza (Wolfy Deer),

      What then are we to lean upon if not the Gospels of Christ and quantum physicality?

      Have the vesper pottages of amassed humanisms become complacently illiterate nowadays? Where then do the root-commodities of religious socialisms truly matter and riotous societal materialization made scalar upon the divested spattering of values regarding irrational causations? I do shudder in the crowds' revolting laments, for of crowned sarcasms does lay the tutors of sarcastic indemnifications' coverings leaving no more the fruited generosities of the lividness' racial trees of multi-faceted societal generalists.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (Wolfy Deer)

      What then are we to lean upon?

      he ask me

      how about you fellow Humans or even the spirits of nature. or how about standing upright and strong.?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "I see nothing wrong in understandings toward our science's coming of aged understandings theories."
      seriously, lion, do you just make s.hit up? are you on LSD or something? his real hard in the head as a kid...?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  7. mama k

    Chad: [ @mama k "In my first statement I'm saying that because religion is so unfounded it doesn't deserve the weight with which it has imposed its view on society in general."
    @Chad "AHHHHH
    ok, now I get it. You will allow a person their own opinion so long as the person holds the same atheistic belief system as you do.
    You do NOT allow Christians to express their opinions at the ballot. That would be allowing them to impose their judgmentalism on others. ]

    What? Gosh, Chad, get a cup of coffee and wake up. My first statement above that you clipped is my opinion – get it?
    You are always allowed your opinion and your voting rights. We all need that.
    So no, your last statement is bogus because I have not spoken about taking rights away from anyone, I have only given an opinion about what I perceive as a negative influence.

    December 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • mama k

      Oh – i will relocate – this is a reply to go below.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  8. hypatia

    xians just thrive on hate and death. if they cannot find enough of it, they make it up as they go.

    December 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      hypatia,

      Christians do not hate although they are bitter and angry about many issues regarding social civilities does not give anyone the right to suggest hatred as being a Christians levered ways. Atheists are really the ones who cannot get by their hatred ways leavened upon one or many Christian enthusiasts who only want to be left in peace! Where for art thou your haters in Christ's clothes?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @Hypatia...were you drooling as you wrote that post?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Jones

      I've noticed that they do always like to play the martyr underdog, even in locations where they are the majority and hold the power. Poor, always being attacked Christians. Just their way of distracting members from their own, internal problems, I suppose?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Akira

      VanHagar, were you drooling when you read it?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (Wolfy Deer)

      1 Betty 1 1-3
      blessed is the christian who criticizes others faith, for we call this love.
      cursed are those who return the favor, for we call this persecution

      December 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Sam

      I like that, may I borrow it?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Lion wrote:
      "Christians do not hate"

      LOL!!! that's just about the funniest thing i've ever seen on this blog. hahahaha!

      December 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (Wolfy Deer)

      Damo
      ask Betty
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFkeKKszXTw&w=640&h=390]

      December 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Damocles

      @sam

      Wow, that's awesome. I laughed till I cried.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  9. Chad

    I have heard many atheists claim that marriage isnt currently defined as between a man and a woman.

    if that is true, why do we need to pass laws legalizing same sex marriage?

    December 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • rick

      As usual, Chad, you are lying.

      Marriage IS currrently defined as a man and a woman. The definition is changing. If it disturbs pious such as yourself, too bad....put on your big boy pants and deal with it

      December 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Actually, the legal definition of marriage (the only one that counts in a secular society) is different in different states; some do define it as between a man and a woman, and some now define it more broadly, most recently, Washington and Maryland and Maine. "The times they are a changing."

      December 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      American Christian culture defines it between a man and a woman. how ever this is oppressive in a multicultural society: especially one that prizes freedom of religion. (because many religions differ upon the definition of this religious inst.itution we as a society need to adopt an anthropological definition of marriage: in order to be fair and equal to all humans that definition is:

      a union between two or more people, for the purpose of raising kids and economic and emotional stability.

      my definition:
      a union between two or more consenting adults, for the purpose of raising kids and economic and emotional stability.
      this is my personal view; not my view as a Shinto-Pagan or as a LGBT member.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Evangelical

      sqeptiq wrote "The times they are a changing."

      Yes, America is sliding more and more down into the moral sewer. Not all change is good or desired.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Damocles

      @evan

      While that may be true, you regard any change as bad.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • PaulB

      The accepted definition of marriage has changed over time. Not to long ago interracial marriages were seen as unbiblical and even legislated against. Some people still feel this way. Not too long ago men commonly married girls as young as fourteen, but the law has changed here too. Why is it so incomprehensible for some people today to see how the laws can be changed again to allow same se x marriage?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (Wolfy Deer)

      you see evangelical i would say they are becoming more and more Moral.

      But then again look who i am (Google it)

      morality is subjective and based one individual points of view
      what evil to you is good to another and vice-versa

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0CYJNw9YJQ&w=640&h=390]

      December 1, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (Wolfy Deer)

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0CYJNw9YJQ&w=640&h=390]

      December 1, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @PaulB

      Because ho.mos.exuality is an abomination.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Damocles

      @evan

      Oh geez, just say it's icky and be done with it.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      chad, you're exactly wrong. states have to pass special laws to keep g.ays from marrying. if they don't, g.ays CAN marry. dummy.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (Wolfy Deer)

      "While that may be true, you regard any change as bad."

      of course they do change is my game. revolution is what i. do Yahweh just wants everything to stop moving. to me that just not life.

      he is Peace
      I am change
      he is order
      i am chaos
      he is tyranny
      i am Freedom

      Revolution my rebels

      December 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • mama k

      Evangelical's an abomination.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  10. Tom, Tom the Piper's Son

    Who am I? How can I post at all hours of the day and night on every Belief Blog article? How can I possibly do that and hold down a job? Am I indpendently wealthy and without a life? Am I a good for nothing know it all? Am I a troll? Do I often post under other names as well with posts that sound almost identical? Do I belong to an online group of atheists who call each other over to these articles when I am getting pounded? Am I really as smart as I claim in spite of my many vulgarities? I am a big bag of mysteries wrapped in an enigma.

    December 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Fozzy

      Yeah? You mean like the Chick-fil A thing?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      Goo goo gah joo goo goo gah joo gah joob

      December 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Damocles

      Here let me translate that for you:

      *clears throat* Tom took me behind the wood shed and beat me like a pinata so now I'm all butt hurt about it and have to resort to posting under her name like a child. I feel ashamed to walk outside when the sun is up because I am covered with open sores that drip pus at approximately the same rate that my lips and fingers drip ignorance. I am a drain on my parents and siblings but they can't bring themselves to put me out of their misery because they have grown used to my smell, which has been likened to the combined odors of sour milk, urine, an open cesspool, fear and self-loathing. I try to be clever by saying other people are on here all the time, yet here I sit in my own filth desperately pretending to be one of those people because I secretely want to be like them, yet can't bring myself to admit it. I try to accuse others of posting under different names when it as plain as the weeping sores on my face that I am doing exactly that.

      My name is uh, dogzilla and a shrieking host of others. We (I) am legion.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • mama k

      The real Tom does not post all hours of the day and night.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • mama k

      And there is someone who enjoys stealing Tom's name from time to time.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Roger that

      Tom, Tom will be happy to know that she's had such an effect on you. At least Tom, Tom can write a complete sentence. Something you can't say for "Atheism is not healthy...".

      December 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Roger that

      affect

      December 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Guy

      mama k
      I wonder if the Chad would steal Tom, Tom's handle, probably not, but you never know, enigma,hmmm.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      No Roger, effect was correct.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Jen

      The only way you could possibly know how much Tom Tom posts is if you are also always on here....pot...meet kettle

      At least Tom posts under her own handle.....

      December 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So funny. At 12:21, I was driving my cat to the vet; after that my husband and I ran errands, dropped off dry-cleaning, bought Christmas decorations, had lunch, and picked up groceries. Now we're going to get ready to attend a party.

      Poor DUH/Brophy/Clown question/pervertalert. It must really infuriate you that you are impotent in every way. Damocles nails it.

      December 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • mama k

      Hope the cat's OK, Tom.

      December 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The little stinker is doing well, mama. This was just a blood draw to see if his meds need to be adjusted. He's gained weight and was very well-behaved. Thanks for asking!

      December 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  11. MagicPanties

    My invisible pink unicorn created the universe.
    You can't prove that she does not exist.
    Therefore, she must.
    Oh yeah, and she supports gay marriage.

    December 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Your pink unicorn is a she? Mine is a raging stallion. They should get together.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  12. Kevin7Harris

    @Cheesemakers, You're right. The arguments I mentioned generally argue for a more generic Theism. To argue for Christian Theism would include various Christian evidences, all of which would hold up in court (e.g. the historical evidence for Christ's life, death, and resurrection pass accepted criteria for historicity).

    December 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Damocles

      So then any deity that has been written about is equally valid because the book validates the deity validates the book.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      You are wrong, not one of the evidences for the life of Jesus or anything that happened during his life would be allowed in court. It is all hearsay evidence of the worst kind and any judge would never even allow a jury to hear it. Jesus would be "not guilty" of existing due to lack of evidence.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      My invisible pink unicorn validates leprechauns which validates tooth fairy which validates easter bunny which validates santa claus which validates zeus.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Simran

      Kevin,
      So, when you say "generic theism", you are willing to include polytheism, pantheism, deism and autotheism as well?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Kevin7Harris

      @simran, No. Theism excludes those other worldviews.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Kevin7Harris

      Damocles, No, a writing or book can only be judged as a potential evidence for a view (which may or may not validate the view). I would consider the Bible as part of a category of Christian evidences.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Simran

      @ Kevin,
      You might want to recheck the definition of theism again.
      "Belief in the existence of a god or gods, specifically of a creator who intervenes in the universe: there are many different forms of theism"
      What you refer to is MONOTHEISM!

      December 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Kevin7Harris

      @Cheesemakers, if a court of law considered historical evidence for a person life, the court would be held to criteria of whether something is historical. What we know about Alexander the Great comes 200-500, and 1,000 years after his life. So would the court uphold the evidence or not? You sound like you are ignorant of the historical method.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Simran

      Now, when you support monotheism, can you please explain why there is evil in a world created by a omnibenevolent deity?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Kevin7Harris

      Simran, again, I agree there are views of Theism which include Mono Theism, Trinitarian, Unitarian, etc. But those generally go under Theism. Anything involving multiple gods, impersonal deities, etc do not. You apparently want me to be more specific and that's fine. I argue for Christian Trinitarian Theism. I think the view is true and makes the most sense of the data of life and the universe.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • mama k

      You're being ridiculous Kev, arguing from that angle. No court would argue the "magic" in the Bible. And they wouldn't because it has never made its case to begin with. Of course it seems "validated" within Christianity. That's self-validation, circular validation. There has never been any credible evidence for any of the "magic" in the Bible, nor for the God of Israel, who was based on ancient fable.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Simran

      @ Kevin,
      Christian Trinitarian Theism – makes sense to whom???

      December 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Damocles

      The book is all you really have.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Simran

      Now Trinity raises another important issue – explain trinity? And why only Christian trinity? Why not accept the Hindu trinity?

      Oh, and the question of EVIL still needs addressing?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • rick

      kevin....nonsense....edited, translated hearsay would not be allowed in a court of law

      December 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Kevin7Harris

      @Mama, I wouldn't argue for "magic", I think the term falls short of supernatural acts of God. But don't you agree that for legal questions, legal criteria and arguments are used (for example in a court of law), and for historical questions, historical arguments and criteria are used?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Kevin,

      The reason the court would hear evidence for Alexander the Great is because there are contemporary accounts of his life. There are historians that wrote about him AT THE TIME HE LIVED, both within his empire AND outside of his empire and the information can be croos referenced......without the contempoary evidence of Alexander the Great the non-contemporary evidence would be meaningless and would not be allowed as evidence. We have NONE of that with Jesus. The bible cannot be used because it was written after the fact, not to mention it contradicts its own historical account. The writtings of historians outside of the bible were also written after the fact (hearsay) and do not reference anything relative to Christian dogma. It would all fail to get into a court of law. You sound like you are trying to expand the historical method beyond what scholars allow to fit your argument and belief.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Autotheism? What's that, the worship of automobiles? I once saw a photo of a Hispano-Suiza J12 that looked pretty awesome. I could worship that.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Kevin7Harris

      Cheese, I do not want to offend you but I do want you to know you couldn't be more mistaken about the accounts of Alexander and Christ. Read the atheist Bart Ehrman's book on the historicity of Christ! There is more evidence, better preserved, in earlier accounts, from both Christian and non-Christian accounts, for Christ than any other person from the ancient world!

      December 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Damocles

      @kev

      This evidence you speak of, isn't it odd that it really only springs forth from the area where it started? Are there any Aboriginal or Native American texts or histories that describe your deity BEFORE it was introduced to them?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Akira

      Kevin: " There is more evidence, better preserved, in earlier accounts, from both Christian and non-Christian accounts, for Christ than any other person from the ancient world!"

      Question: why didn't any of this make it into the Bible, then?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Kevin,

      Please give one contemporary (written at the time Jesus LIVED) historical acoount. One! Bart Ehrman aslo writes about how the bible cannot be trusted in any way as a historical doc.ument. And other respected scholars do not agree with that conclusion at all. Richard Carrier as an example. And even if I did agree that Jesus existed it does not follw that the claims of divinity were in any way accurate.

      December 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  13. Brampt

    God opinion on Sodom:
    Consequently Jehovah said: “The cry of complaint about Sod′om and Go‧mor′rah, yes, it is loud, and their sin, yes, it is very heavy.
    For we are bringing this place to ruin, because the outcry against them has grown loud before Jehovah, so that Jehovah sent us to bring the city to ruin.”14Hence Lot went on out and began to speak to his sons‐in‐law who were to take his daughters, and he kept on saying: “Get up! Get out of this place, because Jehovah is bringing the city to ruin!” But in the eyes of his sons‐in‐law he seemed like a man who was joking.
    The sun had gone forth over the land when Lot arrived at Zo′ar.24Then Jehovah made it rain sulphur and fire from Jehovah, from the heavens, upon Sod′om and upon Go‧mor′rah

    December 1, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Damocles

      Long story short: murder the ones you love. the end.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      And then Lot went to a cave, got drunk, and had incestuous s.e.x with his daughters for 2 days....

      December 1, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • So What?

      Here is the deal, Based on the Bible it was only in the OT and THAT dealt with Jews only. In comes Jesus and he NEVER EVER said a word about gays or abortion. All he said was Love God and treat others well. That means EVERYONE! Hatred of gays and abortion is mainly the GOP religion ruin amok.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Fox News hates gays

      We approve this message.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Akira

      And it is still not right to legislate any civil law based on religion.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Hot Diggity

      So what, read Romans. The NT does condemn it.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So What?

      Jesus said he did not come to overturn the law but fullfill it, sounds to me like he approved of the Old Testament.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • mama k

      Thankfully, in the U.S. our law is not the Bible, that book of conflict that has left so many people not only delusional, but at conflict with themselves.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  14. Andrew

    Left wing churches have as much evidence for their invisible and silent god as right wing churches do – none.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Kevin7Harris

      To claim there is no evidence for God ignores centuries of study on the subject. Of course there is evidence for God! You may not agree with it or find it personally convincing but you cannot deny that the various cosmological, teleological, moral, contingency, and historical arguments for Theism are in fact evidence for God.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Simran

      Kevin,
      Just one simple question –
      If there is a God who is omnipoten and omnibenevolent, why is there evil and suffering?

      December 1, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Roger that

      Kevin7Harris,

      You referring to the Bible not a god. The Bible has been studied for centuries. Yes we all agree that the Bible exists. Happy?

      December 1, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Damocles

      So I've been studying the fact that any dryer I have tends to come up one sock short from time to time. I will now take this as proof positive that sock gremlins do indeed exist.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Kevin,

      The problem is that the arguments for your go could be made for ANY god, not to mention the arguments are full of logical fallacies.

      I would be interested in one piece of evidence for your god that would be allowed to be heard in a U.S. court of law.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • mama k

      Kev: "To claim there is no evidence for God ignores centuries of study on the subject."

      All that centuries old study has proved nothing and left us with nothing but a huge mess of people who disagree with each other as much as non-believers. And they want to push their stupid self-conflicted "way of life" onto everyone else.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Kevin7Harris

      @Simran, the Problem of Evil is difficult! But it cannot be used as an argument against God. God could have sufficient reasons for allowing evil to exist (due to the importance of free will, etc.) and is destroying evil via the only feasible process. This may not be the Best of All Possible Worlds, but the best *way* to the Best of All Possible Worlds.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Kevin7Harris

      @Roger That, no, I'm referring to evidences for Theism. The Bible is an argument for Theism but particularly Christian Theism.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Kevin7Harris

      @Damocles. If I were to argue a God of the Gaps argument you would have a point. I don't argue GOTG.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Roger that

      Okay Theism exists. That proves nothing. Believing that the sun is a god doesn't make it so.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Damocles

      @kevin

      You seem to be at an impasse... your deity allows evil yet wants to get rid of it? If it uses evil as a cattle prod it certainly does not want to get rid of it.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Simran

      @ Kevin,
      When people start an argument saying "This is difficult" and "God may have sufficient reasons" – well, what can I say about that!

      Exactly my point Kevin, what is the reason for God to put people on earth, give them free will (which again begs the question – how does one decide what is predestined and what is free will) – and then let them kill each other, and then seek him (or is it her, it or they???) and Oh! at the end of it all – embrace them with his grace or commit them to an eternal hell?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • McCall

      Thats funny because a few days ago I heard how that a printing press exploded and a dictionary was created from it.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Kevin7Harris

      @mama K I understand. But whether people impose their view on you has nothing to do with whether God exists or if Christianity is true.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Damocles

      @mac

      Are you suggesting that all books and magazines have been prayed into existence? Seems your deity approves of some pretty racy and violent stuff.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • mama k

      Kev, what exactly outside of ancient writings base on rehashed fable do you have for evidence for the god of Israel? Of course, among all the possibilities? I would challenge whatever possibility you have is so remote, so it certainly doesn't warrant the degree of importance that man has blindly put on it.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • mama k

      that it certainly doesn't

      December 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • mama k

      and that it certainly doesn't warrant any group of people credibility for being judgmental against any other group of people based on said remote possibility.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k "and that it certainly doesn't warrant any group of people credibility for being judgmental against any other group of people based on said remote possibility."

      =>so, since you are so against "being judgmental" , certainly you support polygamy, adults marrying consenting persons under the age of 18 and sex between consenting adults for money (prost.itution)

      December 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Damocles

      @chad

      Can you please stop using the same tired arguments? -consenting adults- what is so freakin hard about those two words?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @Damocles "consenting adults- what is so freakin hard about those two words?"
      @Chad
      1. Who are you to judge at what age I can make my own decisions, what gives you the right to deny me that???
      2. So, you support polygamy, prost.itution, and legalizing all forms of drug use..

      December 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • mama k

      Yes, those same tired arguments Chad. Our society dictates what is permissible or not. It's a breathing, growing consciousness unlike conflicted, unfounded religion that only keeps mankind stale. Society is starting to get a handle more and more that gay couple relationship is a natural occurrence and deserving of the same rights afforded to traditional couple relationship.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Chad

      Now I'm REALLY confused.. how do you reconcile these 2 statements??

      @mama k "and that it certainly doesn't warrant any group of people credibility for being judgmental against any other group of people based on said remote possibility."

      @mama k "Our society dictates what is permissible or not"

      the first says we CANT be judgmental, the second says we MUST be.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • mama k

      And Chad – I do not deny your opinion – I just obviously reserve the right to express my own opinion. And we do so at the polls, don't we. Because I support gay marriage, doesn't mean I support incest. If you can only either support both of those concepts together or not support them together, then that is your right, but be prepared to face quite a number of opposing opinions.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • mama k

      chad: [ Now I'm REALLY confused.. how do you reconcile these 2 statements??
      @mama k "and that it certainly doesn't warrant any group of people credibility for being judgmental against any other group of people based on said remote possibility."
      @mama k "Our society dictates what is permissible or not"
      the first says we CANT be judgmental, the second says we MUST be." ]

      Chad – OK, I'll clarify – In my first statement I'm saying that because religion is so unfounded it doesn't deserve the weight with which it has imposed its view on society in general.

      In the second statement, I mean the civil laws that we live by. (And I should have used those words and not society, so I can see how that is confusing.)

      December 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Damocles

      @chad

      You keep missing the point. I think you do it intentionally.

      Yes, I am ok with polygamy, legal prosti-tution and I am up in the air about legalized drugs. Just because I am for these things does not mean I'm going to rush out and do them. Do I want multiple wives? Hell no. Am I going to run into the arms of a lady of the evening simply because it is legal? Nope. I lean more towards no on the drug issue simply because I would not want a dentist that was high drilling into my teeth anymore than I'd want a drunk one to.

      If society says X years is the age that a person is considered an adult, then so be it. That person has the rights and duties of an adult. Do some younger people act more mature? Yes. Do some adults act like kids? Yes.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Chad

      this is why dialoguing with atheists is such an interesting and daunting task.. it is just so difficult to get a handle on exactly how their position is coherent...

      @mama k "and that it certainly doesn't warrant any group of people credibility for being judgmental against any other group of people based on said remote possibility."

      @mama k "I do not deny your opinion – I just obviously reserve the right to express my own opinion"

      @mama k "Our society dictates what is permissible or not"

      if you dont deny my right to have an express an opinion, how can you possibly say that a group cant be judgmental???

      I'm sure GOPer will be along at any moment to eviscerate you for playing the "judgemental" card when it works for a position you agree with, then immediately discarding it and appealing to the right of society to determine what it determines to be acceptable behavior for a position you disagree with.
      :-)

      December 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • mama k

      And same thing here Chad to clear up my meaning – when I said:

      "Our society dictates what is permissible or not. It's a breathing, growing consciousness unlike conflicted, unfounded religion that only keeps mankind stale. Society is starting to get a handle more and more that gay couple relationship is a natural occurrence and deserving of the same rights afforded to traditional couple relationship."

      again, I am speaking about our American society as a reflection of our current laws.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @Damocles "If society says X years is the age that a person is considered an adult, then so be it."

      =>you were consistent in a position that says "anyone can do whatever they want" right up to then.. what right do you have to tell me when I can make my own decisions?????

      December 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Damocles

      @chad

      No person is actually restrained from doing whatever the hell they want. Acts and consequences, we talked about these before.

      You want someone to say 'hey, I think people should be able to do whatever they want' so you can thump your chest and proudly proclaim that this is how all atheists feel.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k "In my first statement I'm saying that because religion is so unfounded it doesn't deserve the weight with which it has imposed its view on society in general."

      @Chad "AHHHHH
      ok, now I get it. You will allow a person their own opinion so long as the person holds the same atheistic belief system as you do.
      You do NOT allow Christians to express their opinions at the ballot. That would be allowing them to impose their judgmentalism on others.

      thanks for clearing that up!!

      December 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad: [ @mama k "and that it certainly doesn't warrant any group of people credibility for being judgmental against any other group of people based on said remote possibility."
      @mama k "I do not deny your opinion – I just obviously reserve the right to express my own opinion"
      @mama k "Our society dictates what is permissible or not"
      if you dont deny my right to have an express an opinion, how can you possibly say that a group cant be judgmental??? ]

      Again, you missed my clarification of my third line where I said here I'm talking about our laws. OK that should be clear by now.
      And yes I do not deny your opinion, but I certainly will come back with my own, and I will express my opinion as you do yours at the polls, Chad. And we see that the tide is turning on the gay marriage issue.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Damocles

      @chad

      Give me one non-biblical reason why you, chad, feel people of the same se-x should not be allowed to marry.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Chad

      @Damocles "Give me one non-biblical reason why you, chad, feel people of the same se-x should not be allowed to marry."

      =>right, we've established your reasoning..
      You will allow a person their own opinion so long as the person holds the same atheistic belief system as you do.
      You do NOT allow Christians to express their opinions at the ballot. That would be allowing them to impose their judgmentalism on others.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad: [ @mama k "In my first statement I'm saying that because religion is so unfounded it doesn't deserve the weight with which it has imposed its view on society in general."
      @Chad "AHHHHH
      ok, now I get it. You will allow a person their own opinion so long as the person holds the same atheistic belief system as you do.
      You do NOT allow Christians to express their opinions at the ballot. That would be allowing them to impose their judgmentalism on others. ]

      What? Gosh, Chad, get a cup of coffee and wake up. My first statement above that you clipped is my opinion – get it?
      You are always allowed your opinion and your voting rights. We all need that.
      So no, your last statement is bogus because I have not spoken about taking rights away from anyone, I have only given an opinion about what I perceive as a negative influence.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k "So no, your last statement is bogus because I have not spoken about taking rights away from anyone, I have only given an opinion about what I perceive as a negative influence."

      really?

      @mama k "and that it certainly doesn't warrant any group of people credibility for being judgmental against any other group of people based on said remote possibility"

      hmm...
      the problem with the blogs is, you arent allowed to go back and edit earlier posts to achieve consistency when you story changes :-)

      December 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Damocles

      @chad

      Right, so your only real reason is 'I think gay se-x is icky and I wouldn't do it so therefor it's wrong'.

      They can and do express their opinions all day long, chad. If there was a sound argument against it, I might listen, but there isn't. It all amounts to proxy threats of 'oh you are going to hell'.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Guy

      Chad
      As usual your arguements take everyone elses out of context. Free will in a free coubtry allows everyone to express their opinions, if those opinions are so radical that they elevate to hate speach, we as a society have laws to prevent that. Your opinion is as valid as any atheistic opposing opinion, no one is preventing you from posting on this site for example. Who prevents christians from expressing their opinions at the ballot? That is also against the law, please give an example of christians being prevented from voting? You have made a few sweeping statements please back them up with evidence.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad: [ @mama k "So no, your last statement is bogus because I have not spoken about taking rights away from anyone, I have only given an opinion about what I perceive as a negative influence."
      really?
      @mama k "and that it certainly doesn't warrant any group of people credibility for being judgmental against any other group of people based on said remote possibility"
      hmm...
      the problem with the blogs is, you arent allowed to go back and edit earlier posts to achieve consistency when you story changes :-) ]

      The story isn't changing, Chad. I only had to clarify is that when I was speaking of society in one sense (regarding what governs what's permissible), I was speaking about our laws. Further clarification was to try to explain confusion YOU had that I doubt others would have had. And again, you missed the boat, because when I said:

      "So no, your last statement is bogus because I have not spoken about taking rights away from anyone, I have only given an opinion about what I perceive as a negative influence." . . . to answer you're:
      "You do NOT allow Christians to express their opinions at the ballot. That would be allowing them to impose their judgmentalism on others."

      . . . I am saying it was bogus because you, as you frequently do, take things out of context, try to put words in the mouths of your adversaries, and make wild assumptions.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Guy

      Chad who restricts you from expressing your opinion on this blog, just because people do not agree with you it doesn't deny your right to comment. Please state who restricts the catholic bishop's congress from publishing their opinions, no one that I know of? Because atheists have a contrary view and express that view does not restrict you at all, includng at the ballot box. If any group interferes with an individuals rights they are christians that haras* females from seeking family planning, you have heard of such instances?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Guy

      mama k
      Looks like Chad maybe stumped for a time or he may have to do a shift picketing a family planning clinic.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  15. Nietodarwin

    These are good things happening, religion losing its iron grip on everything. People still go to church in England, but most of them don't take the religion that seriously, it 's more like a social event. All you people out there that are kind of "stuck" in the routine of going to church could find that happy medium. You can still go, but half as often, still give some money, but less, and FOR SURE DON'T DRAG YOUR KIDS INTO THAT HELL OF RELIGION LIKE YOU WERE. Forcing a child into a RELIGION IS CHILD ABUSE. It will be nearly impossible (for now) to make it illegal to drag kids into church, but the brainwashing of our young, (and resulting LOW TEST SCORES ) by religion must stop. What I'm saying is "Hey , Holy Roller" you ain't holy, keep on rolling. Pink Floyd ALMOST GOT IT RIGHT The should have sung "Hey PREACHER, LEAVE THOSE KIDS ALONE."

    December 1, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • spacegravity4me

      you. sound. insane. Leave people alone.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  16. Dogzilla

    Dang boyz, teamin up or trollin up on Uh because you're gettin blasted? LOL. Theyz comin out in force now to deal with this threat.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh? Why don't you help him out, then, Einstein?

      December 1, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Damocles

      Wait, is this the part where you take uh into your hot sweaty embrace and tell him everything is going to be ok?

      December 1, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  17. MagicPanties

    My invisible pink unicorn supports gay rights and is praying that the "people of faith" get a clue.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Kevin7Harris

      Just so you know, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, the Flying Spaghetti Monster and such are not valid comparisons to the God of classical Theism. Neither the IPU not the FSM would be ontologically ulitmate. They would be contingent with the universe rather than transcendent. They would be localized, spatial, and subject to time, etc. If you say the IPU and FSM are indeed ontologically ultimate and transcendent and has the omni-attributes, then you've just described God! "A rose by any other name...."

      December 1, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Simran

      @Kevin
      God, if he exists, cannot be the enforcer of consequences. Because the motives of an enforcer God would be either egoistic or altruistic. Now, God's motives cannot be as.sumed to be altruistic because an altruistic God would not create a world so full of suffering. If his motives are as.sumed to be egoistic, then God must be thought to have desire, as agency or authority cannot be established in the absence of desire. However, as.suming that God has desire would contradict God's eternal freedom which necessitates no compulsion in actions.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Kevin7Harris

      @Simran, a loving God can give free will (which allows for love) knowing potential evil will become actual evil. Yet, holding free will as of ultimate importance, God allows the resulting evil. You are assuming there is a possible world in which free will can be given, yet evil will not actualize.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Damocles

      @kevin

      Yes, strange that an all powerful deity could not think up a way to have free will and no evil. Is it impossible for a deity to do this?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Kevin7Harris

      @Damocles, as philosophers like Alvin Plantinga have shown, this may be the only possible world feasible for God. The omni-attributes of God extend only to what is actually logically possible or feasible. God gives the good gift of free will. The good gift of free will creates the potential for evil. Evil actualizes. God, knowing that from all eternity, allows evil and defeats it while allowing it "run its course". While this may not answer all of the Problem of Evil, it does show that God cannot be disproven via the Problem of Evil. That is my point.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Damocles

      @kev

      Did evil exist before your deity?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Saraswati

      What I find funny is watching even atheists talk about a concept of free will that makes less sense than that of a god existing.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Kevin7Harris

      Damocles, There is no "prior" to something which never had a beginning.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Damocles

      @kev

      HA! Sorry, made me laugh. So the gift of free will is more neutral as opposed to good or evil.

      What did your deity make first, evil or humans?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Kevin7Harris

      Evil cannot exist in an of itself. Evil is parasitic on something else (tin rust cannot exist without tin, tree rot does not exist apart from a tree, etc.). So, the creation of personal beings who are finite, limited, contingent, and possess free will allows for the potential for evil. Further, God created the *fact* of freedom, humans perform the *acts* of freedom.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Simran

      So Kevin, what you are saying is that God has given free will to man to convert POTENTIAL EVIL to REAL EVIL? What purpose does that serve? And how does it not contradict God's role of omnibenevolence?

      A child is born with a birth defect, he is yet to commit a sin or exercise any free will – yet he suffers throughout his lifetime (whatever there may be of it). What does free will have to do with it?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Simran

      "Evil is parasitic on something else"

      Now you sound like those who say "Mutants of God"!
      Now Kevin, you believe in a monotheistic God, and everything was his creation. Nothing exists beyond him. So, how did evil exist if god didnot want it to exist?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Damocles

      @kev

      Yeah, rust and rot aren't evil, they are processes. If we go by what you say, growing old is evil.

      Again I'll ask, what did your deity make first? Evil or humans?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Simran

      @ Kevin : "God, knowing that from all eternity, allows evil and defeats it while allowing it "run its course" "

      So, god is an egoistic being, who feels the need to allow evil to grow and then be able to defeat it? Or else, he would not allow evil to be there in the first place!

      December 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Kevin7Harris

      Simran, you are bringing up good points but I cannot navigate this forum. I would like to discuss this further. Do you have a forum or email, etc. where we can continue this?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Simran

      Why not here Kevin?
      Oh, who is bothering you here?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Simran

      Okay, let me help you. If you want one line of conversation going, without having to keep fishing for it through the blog, just open it in one window and refresh it often. You can open the blog on another window as well if you want to still read rest of the pages.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  18. Nietodarwin

    I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.
    Bertrand Russell

    Religion. It`s given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.
    Charlie Chaplin

    December 1, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Roger that

      Religion. It`s given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.
      Charlie Chaplin

      I have not heard that one. I like it. A little like this toast.

      Here's to alcohol, the cause and solution to all of life's problems.

      Homer Simpson.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  19. Nietodarwin

    I can understand this article from a political strategy point of view. Getting the people of "faith" to vote for you is still the way to get a candidate into office, or a law passed. I just don't understand LGBT people who say they believe in god, (well OK they've been brainwashed since childhood just like everybody else,) but believe in god AND actually go to church, donate money and time, etc. It reminds me of that skit on the Chappell show where he's black, he's blind, and he's in the KKK. (Since they wear the sheets, they don't know he's black either.) VERY FUNNY STUFF.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Absolutely agree, I have seen interviews with gay christians who line up politically with their religion in church/state seperation issues....it is one of the most bizarre things I have seen. And your analogy with the Dave Chappell skit is spot on, that was one of the funniest skits I have ever seen.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Akira

      I don't care if one believes in God or not, I really don't.
      People have always cherry-picked from the Bible to support whatever they're against, anyway.
      There are atheists who are against gay marriage also, simply because of the "yuck" factor. (That doesn't prevent them from watching two women going at it, because, you know, it's "Hot".)
      Neither religion or someone's personal "yuck" factor are valid reasons for prohibiting civil rights to a segment of the population.

      That Chappell episode was spot-on, though, and one of the funniest things I have seen about bigotry in my life!

      December 1, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • JayNYC

      Why are you suggesting that believing in G-d and supporting marriage equality or LGBT rights are mutually exclusive. Plenty of G-d-believing religions/sects of religions support LGBTs even from the leadership.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  20. Steve

    This is a classic case of the difference between religion and Christianity.

    December 1, 2012 at 11:03 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.