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Christian’s year of living 'gay' leads to dramatic change, sparks controversy
December 2nd, 2012
06:45 AM ET

Christian’s year of living 'gay' leads to dramatic change, sparks controversy

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Timothy Kurek’s motivation to spend a year pretending to be gay can be boiled down to a simple conviction: it takes drastic change to alter deeply held religious beliefs.

The experiment began after a lesbian friend opened up to Kurek about being excommunicated by her family. All Kurek, an avowed evangelical Christian, could think about, he says, “was trying to convert her.”

He was quickly disgusted by his own feelings, more pious than humane.

In fact, Kurek was so disgusted by his response to his friend that he decided to do something drastic. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, he would pretend to be gay for a year. The experiment began on the first day of 2009; Kurek came out to his family, got a job as a barista at a gay café and enlisted the help of a friend to act as his boyfriend in public.

The experience – which stopped short of Kurek getting physically intimate with other men - is documented in Kurek’s recent book “The Cross in the Closet,” which has received international attention, landed him on ABC’s "The View" and elicited some biting criticism.

The book is the latest entry on a growing list of experiential tomes revolving around religion. They include Rachel Held Evans’ recent “A Year of Biblical Womanhood,” in which the author follows the Bible’s instructions on women’s behavior and Ed Dobson’s “The Year of Living Like Jesus,” which had the author “eat as Jesus ate. Pray as Jesus prayed. Observe the Sabbath as Jesus observed.”

For Kurek, his year as a gay man radically changed his view of faith and religion, while also teaching him “what it meant to be a second class citizen in this country.”

A yearlong lie

For years, Kurek says, the only life he had was “his church life.” Being an evangelical Christian was his identity.

He was home-schooled until seventh grade, almost all of his friends were from church and his social life was a nightly string of faith-based events, from church sports to a Christian Cub Scout troop. “It was the only thing I was used to doing,” said Kurek, who attended Liberty University, the largest evangelical university in the world, before dropping out after freshman year.

Kurek grew up in an “independent Baptist church.” “We were evangelical,” he said, “but we were more conservative than evangelical, too.”

His churchy lifestyle led to some deeply held views about homosexuality. Most evangelical churches condemn homosexuality as sinful. Many rail against certain gay rights, like gay marriage.

“I had been taught to be wary of gays,” Kurek writes of his beliefs pre-experiment. “They were all HIV positive, perverts and liberal pedophiles.”

Those views began to be challenged in 2004, when he first encountered Soulforce, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, on Liberty’s campus. The group made the school an important stop on its cross-country tour targeting colleges that they alleged treated LGBT people unfairly.

Kurek was struck by what he had in common with the protesters at Liberty. “It really impressed me that people who were coming to push their agenda were able to do it and be so nice about it,” he said.

His doubt about Christianity’s condemnation of homosexuality, Kurek writes, was “perfected” in 2008, when a close friend recounted the story of coming out to her family and being disowned.

“I betrayed her, then,” writes Kurek. “It was a subtle betrayal, but a cruel one: I was silent.”

His recognition of that betrayal, he writes, led him to believe that “I needed to come out of the closet as a gay man.”

“I believe in total immersion,” Kurek says in an interview. “If you are going to walk in other people’s shoes, then you are going to need to walk in your shoes.”

To ensure the purity of his project, Kurek says, he had to lie to his deeply religious family about being gay, something that troubled him throughout the year.

“I felt like they loved me but they didn’t know how to deal with me,” he says. “They didn’t understand how to handle having a gay brother or sibling.”

In the book, Kurek recounts learning that his mother wrote in her journal that she would rather have been diagnosed with cancer than have a gay son. That experience and others left Kurek feeling outcast by people he loved, confused about his new life and conflicted about past religious beliefs.

Kurek was living a lie. And even though he was conflicted by his family’s reaction to his new lifestyle, he was longing to be honest with them.

The response

It’s no surprise that the “The Cross in the Closet,” has spurred strong reaction, especially from the LGBT community.

“I feel for the gay community of Nashville, and for every person who trusted Kurek enough to flirt with him, hang out with him, and confide in him about their lives,” wrote Amy Lieberman on the blog Feministing. “If I were in that community, I would feel so betrayed right now.”

In a Huffington Post blog post titled “Pretending To Be Gay Isn’t The Answer,” Emily Timbol, a religion blogger, expressed a similar opinion: “What's sad is that every interaction Timothy had during his year pretending was fake.”

“He was welcomed under false pretenses, acting like someone who understood the struggle that his LGBT friends faced,” she wrote. “He did not.”

But Kurek says that that was not his aim. “This isn't a book about being gay, I could not write that book, I am not qualified,” he writes. “What this is about is the label of gay and how that label affected me personally.”

Throughout the book, Kurek emphasizes that distinction. While much of “The Cross in the Closet” is about the struggle to understand the gay community, which he tries to address by enlisting a friend to act as his boyfriend, much of it addresses how his former church’s community – and family – reacted to his new lifestyle.

“I am actually not friends or in contact at all with 99.99% of the people that I grew up with or the churches that I grew up with,” Kurek says.

Kurek says he isn’t opposed to interacting with people from his "former" life. When he has run into members of his old church, he said he generally has quick, cordial conversations and moves on.

But some of the new distance is by choice. When Kurek’s mother told a friend in her church that her son was gay, the person said Kurek’s sexuality could jeopardize his mother's standing in the church.

The evangelical community has remained fairly mum throughout much of the reaction; most responses have come from Christians who are in some way connected to the LGBT community.

The change

Though Kurek goes to church less now, primarily because he has yet to find one that feels like “home,” he says he feels more religious “in the biblical definition of religion.” He still considers himself a Christian, although no longer evangelical, and says he is interested in attending the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in the future.

Kurek quotes James 1:27 from the New Testament: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

There’s no mention of organized religion in passages like that, and Kurek says it’s the institutions of religion that worry him most today. He talks about his once robust church life as a distant memory.

Living as a gay man jaded him to religion, he says, though he has not surrendered all of his former beliefs. Yes, Kurek says, he is struggling with certain points of his theology, but he has been looking for the right church. “I am trying to figure out what place in the body of Christ I fit in,” he said.

As for his original goal, to radically change who he was, Kurek says mission accomplished. He says he has conquered his prejudices of the LGBT community and is happy with the person he has become.

“If anybody had told me back then who I would be or what I would believe now,” Kurek said, “I would have thought they were completely insane.”

For example, Kurek now thinks homosexuality is completely acceptable.

His family is happy to know that he is not gay, says Kurek. He has a new set of friends. And he lives in Portland, Oregon, where he moved shortly after finishing his experimental year.

The author plans to donate part of the proceeds from his book to help LGBT homeless youth who have been rejected by their families.

He is now at work on a book proposal for a follow-up to “The Cross in the Closet.” The book will be about the years after his experiment, transitioning back to honest living while continuing to engage the LGBT community.

“I want to tell more stories,” he says “and humanize the people who Christians always want to look at as labels.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Faith • Homosexuality • Sexuality • Uncategorized

soundoff (3,659 Responses)
  1. It'll be a million seller . . . hundred seller . . . uh . . . it'll be in the Guiness Books for "least copies ever sold"

    Okay, faker guy writes a book that the LGBT community would touch because it is the work of a phony who lied his way into their midst, and religious people won't touch it because he supports gay and denounces religious people.

    So who is actually going to buy this book?

    December 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Mark

      Good point : )

      December 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      All of the Christians who are on the fence about the issue. When support for gay marriage goes from 50% to 70% in a generation, it will because moderate Christians started ignoring more of the Bible's prohibition on victimless "sins".

      December 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I don't know anyone in the LGBT community who has issues with this. Obviously some have to be found and quoted for this, but no one really considers it a big deal. That's hardly the target market, though, every college freshman with a dream of doing urban ethnographies for anthro class is going to be buying this. I wouldn't worry about his sales.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • It'll be a million seller . . . hundred seller . . . uh . . . it'll be in the Guiness Books for "least copies ever sold"

      "every college freshman with a dream of doing urban ethnographies for anthro class is going to be buying this"

      Well that's one. Any others?

      December 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • BurningMan

      Um, let's see...a quick check of amazon.com:

      Kurek's book rates 4800 or so on amazon best seller rank...and at least 142 have read it (based on the reviews).

      Now, a quick check of the NIV study bible and the KJV study bible and they are at 9000 and 10,000 or so, respectively...

      So, there's a couple more than "one."

      Now, a quick check of how well you and Mark are doing on your books....

      um....um....

      December 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  2. Brian

    Why, for God's sake, does one need a church and organized religion? Why not be more like Jefferson and establish a personal relationship with your God, rather than wasting your money to permit America's mega-church "leaders" to suck off millions intended for the poor and helpless?

    December 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      How would a Deist establish a personal relationship with God?

      December 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Nice one

      Jefferson? The guy who was so sure Jesus was a human philosopher and not a god that he cut out all references to miracles from his own version? The guy who called Paul "the first corrupter of religion"?

      December 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I could be wrong, but I suspect this poster didn't mean "personal relationship"in the was that born again christians mean it.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      I suspect Jefferson would have been an atheist if it wouldn't have effectively disqualified him from holding office. Oh, how far this country hasn't come...

      December 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Say Wha?

      What other kind of relationship is there with a guy who died 1750 years before? Do you have a relationship with Plato?

      December 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (The Truth, The Love, and The Knife)

      Jefferson was a deist and an anti christian

      December 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • JK

      Many years ago, a very brave man undermined his health by turning himself into a black man and going out into their community so he could report on their experience and experience it himself. HIs book, "Black Like Me" was a wonderful offering to the rest of the country on what it was doing to underprivileged, and especially black, people. I doubt this Christian man did it "just to sell books," and I find it hard to believe that the gay community doesn't thank him instead of being resentful. It involves quite a sacrifice, even though not a physical one in the latter case, to put oneself in such unfamiliar and stressful situations. I commend him.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Dr. Zeus

      The "Black Like Me" guy was undercover three weeks. This guy was a whole year.

      The "Black Like Me" guy was an established journalist with a place to tell the story. This guy just up and does it, no journalism experience and probably no idea of writing a book when he starts it? For a year?

      I don't buy it.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  3. Mark

    I am a deeply committed Christian and this fellow and his little trick to sell books is offensive. Lie after lie to sell a book. Why not just interview the people? He became an offense to his mother and family and, regardless of your view, deeply offended them. What a cruel and sad act this man did to all those involved.

    People this is not real Christianity don't look at these stories and think all Christians are like this or the way the media portrays us as its not like that at all. We hold strong convictions based on our faith just as much as others do. But it is our right to do so just as it is with others.

    Think of this for a moment if you have any reasoning in you, its not so much that people are gay that upsets us (people will be people WE can't change that) its that LGBT community (which is very small across the country by the way less than 1%) is trying to force a lifestyle on us as "acceptable." Your not going to convince us that it is acceptable with God or His followers just not going to happen. So if your that way that on you, but do not try and shove it off as normal or something to be protected by the help of the government. What if the government of the US made it law that everyone had to accept going to Church every Sunday? Many would not like ti why? Because it goes against what they hold as deep convictions.

    See? Got it? Good

    Have a nice day :)

    December 2, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Um, the LGBT community is forcing nothing upon you. Your righteousness is forcing your puritanism upon them.

      See? Got it? Good.

      Have a nice day.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • ME II

      @Mark,
      The "LGBT community ... is trying to force a lifestyle on us as 'acceptable.'"

      What lifestyle is being forced on anyone? You don't have to become gay or live as a gay person does. In fact, you don't have to do anything different than you did before. How is that wrong?

      December 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      If you don't like gay marriage, then you don't have to marry a gay person. Giving gay people the same rights as straight people does not compel you to engage in any sort of gay behavior. The fact that you can compare equal rights to forced church attendance shows how thoroughly you have been brainwashed by the religious right.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Christians are often good people. the religion however is an immoral concept.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • SB

      You said: "its not so much that people are gay that upsets us (people will be people WE can't change that) its that LGBT community (which is very small across the country by the way less than 1%) is trying to force a lifestyle on us as "acceptable."

      No one is trying to force anything ON YOU. No one is trying to make you gay. But you religious types are trying to force YOUR will on THEM, by telling them that the fact of their existence is "unacceptable". Why don't you understand that?

      December 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Edwin

      You totally misunderstand the man. He could have interviewed gay and lesbian people, but he did not want to do so. He wanted to feel what it was like to live their lives. That could not be achieved unless he embraced the lifestyle publicly - otherwise he would never feel the ostracism, disdain, and open ridicule that MANY non-gay people have for gays.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • puzzled

      I would LOVE to see one christian make a single point that makes a lick of sense,on this board.ONE.Do it without quoting or referring to an ancient out- dated text .ONE !

      December 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • poopmeister

      Hey, I'm pretty sure that the LBGT isn't looking for your acceptance, they probably just want you guys to leave them alone and stop trying to prevent them from getting married. Also, hello, the state and local governments were trying to inject religious rites into our schools but thank God that didn't go over so well. And we are talking about people being part of a community and you are talking about beliefs being forced onto the community....big difference. The LBGT community just wants to live and be recognized as part of the community, so no skin off your back. Forcing everyone to go to church takes away people's time, unless there was compensation...then count me in because I could just sit there, not listen and collect my money.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Brian

      Mark - why is it you feel you must impose your moral view on everyone and force them to live life as you demand? Can you note any similarities to the Taliban?

      December 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Jason B.

      And what a cruel and sad act that his family and "friends" could so suddenly turn his back on him. How sad that members of his former church could turn to his mother and say "Well because of who you know we're willing to kick you to the curb." From Matthew 25:40, "...whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

      I, for one, am impressed with the journey he took. He truly walked a mile in their shoes, opened his mind and his heart, and became a better, more caring person.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @mark, your comparision to a law that forces one to go to church is off t he mark. No one in the gay community (best estimated at 3-5% as a community) is trying to force you to DO anything. It's more similar to the situation inwhich the government currently allows us to go to church if we want. If the government restricted our right to go to church (forbidding it) that would be the equivalent of depriving a gay person of the legal protections and rights of marriage.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Just a guy

      @puzzled

      MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN

      December 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (The Truth, The Love, and The Knife)

      its actually about 10 % Gay lesbian, 48% experienced some bisexual tendencies, and that just people who are honest about them selves. think of all the people in the closet.

      bisexuality is the only moral choice, it loving some one regardless of gender.

      we can use the curve if you like

      the two extremes are

      Ga\y 10%

      December 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • W. R. Martin

      Ah, the old "not real Christianity" ploy.
      Very clever, Mark. Very clever.
      With you being the one and only True Christian(tm), please tell us what to do and when.
      LOL

      December 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (The Truth, The Love, and The Knife)

      ops let me finish

      the laffer curve
      gay= 10%
      Bi = 80%
      strait= 10%

      December 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (The Truth, The Love, and The Knife)

      so another words the reason why you confuse Homosexuality as a choice, is because we as a specie are predominantly Bisexual

      Bisexuality is
      natural and moral

      December 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • BurningMan

      @Mark... "I'm a deeply co mmitted Christian"...:0)

      I'm always susp icious of someone who presents his credentials and qualifications without being asked...

      and does so with those adverbs and adjectives that counter the supposed humility that Christians are infused with in the "life transforming work of the holy spirit"...

      When one spends time with Evangelicals, one learns that their "spiritual" lives are mere co mpensation for their personal inadequacies...

      Sad

      December 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      "the laffer curve"

      What does orientation have to do with tax revenue?

      December 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Mark

      Of course supporters of LGBT would respond in they way you all did. LGBT is forcing something on all of us to accept a lifestyle that is not normal. Would you all accept incest, polygamy, pedophiles, bestiality, or someone wanting the right to marry their car for the sake of equal rights? If so that is not common sense. That is twisted thinking and a mind that is askew. How far will you go? Where do you draw the line? what is acceptable and not acceptable to you for we all have those boundaries.

      Again, the point many of you miss is, that to make something by its very nature and common sense abnormal or taboo and to attempt to make it acceptable as a norm is wrong. One would think that by the very nature of the polemic of the issue it would raise a flag. LGBT have the same human rights as we do but to scream and cry to receive "special rights" as they do is not right.

      You cannot make a leopard change its spots.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (The Truth, The Love, and The Knife)

      sorry i meant bell curveor the Gaussian function; regardless in a spiritual sense, souls don't have , so how o you know if you soul mate might be the same sex and if hats the case you are violating "gods" design by not being open to the possibility.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Mark

      @Sam Yaza (The Truth, The Love, and The Knife)

      There is no such thing as "soul mates."

      December 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (The Truth, The Love, and The Knife)

      Marky-kun
      that's a non-sequitur

      were only giving two consenting adults equal rights.

      how ever personal I'm for polygamy and polyandry

      its not my place to say what adults do in the private life

      December 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (The Truth, The Love, and The Knife)

      Marky-kun

      your so unromantic, i pity the person that gets stuck with you

      December 2, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • BurningMan

      Mark says: "A leopard can't change its spots"...

      Interesting take on your theology....

      December 2, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Udontgetthepoint

      Amen Mark, Amen.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "LGBT is forcing something on all of us to accept a lifestyle that is not normal"

      The hundreds of thousands of expert in this country have proven you wrong. 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."

      December 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      "Would you all accept incest, polygamy, pedophiles, bestiality, or someone wanting the right to marry their car for the sake of equal rights?"

      To equate the relationship between two consenting gay adults to bestiality and pedophilia is insulting and absurd. Animals can't consent to marrying a human. And children aren't given the right to enter into contracts or consent to s3x because we assume that a child hasn't developed the mental faculties to make such serious decisions.

      Polygamy should be legal as far as I'm concerned, and to be consistent with the concept of informed consent. If adults want to enter into a relationship with multiple persons, that's their business. Incest between consenting adults is a grey area, because it begs the question whether there was abuse that precipitated the incest. There's also the higher risk of incest resulting in offspring that will be forced to suffer from various genetic maladies, so incest has a higher chance of producing a victim than non-incestuous relations.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Would you all accept incest, polygamy, pedophiles, bestiality, or someone wanting the right to marry their car for the sake of equal rights"

      None of what you listed has anything to do with homosexuality. Obviously, you were to lazy to do your homework on this subject. Pedophiles, harm children and children can't consent. Bestiality harms animals and they can't consent. Plus everything you listed is illegal, being gay is not. Duh!

      December 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      " to make something by its very nature and common sense abnormal or taboo and to attempt to make it acceptable as a norm is wrong"

      Like interracial marriage? Voting rights for minorities and women? Rejecting the belief in gods? Muslim women getting an education and being allowed to show their face and hair?

      December 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      "Plus everything you listed is illegal, being gay is not."

      That's not a defensible argument. "We shouldn't allow something because it's illegal." Gay relations used to be illegal in many states until the Supreme Court overturned those laws. Every law we have should be able to stand up to our current understanding of the world.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  4. Reasonably

    Wow. So brave! So humane! So...ridiculous.

    The author could have, instead, not bought into the bigoted message of his god and book in the first place.

    But at least he got a clue.

    December 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Edwin

      It was brave. And just because you think HIS religion is ridiculous does not mean you should condemn it - unless you think it is totally okay that people from his religion condemn OTHER people's lifestyles, too.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • SB

      "He was home-schooled until seventh grade, almost all of his friends were from church and his social life was a nightly string of faith-based events, from church sports to a Christian Cub Scout troop."

      Indoctrination and total immersion in the cult begin shortly after birth; the first ritual is performed when one is still a baby. By the time you're old enough to ask questions you're already brain-deep in the holy water.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  5. John Diomitron

    @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    I see that you are still here spewing your father's lies as usual. I know who your daddy is. He is the one who thought he was greater than my Father, but he was wrong and has been cast down. He and I will battle, and I look forward to it! THE FIGHT IS ON!

    I am NOT your typical meek Christian for my destiny requires me to prophesy as a lion and not as a lamb. Likewise, my Lord Jesus Christ, the Lion of Judah, the One I prepare a way for, will soon return in all His glory and power upon the clouds of heaven. It is time for His other hand, the hand of judgment, to be outstretched for He is the Righteous Judge. HALLELUJAH! Come, Lord Jesus!

    TO ALL: Do not stand in my way! I, John, must prophesy!

    December 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      Those things that are asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. You worship a complete fiction. No one here is afraid of your Bronze Age death-cult.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • ME II

      meh

      December 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Patrick

      Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

      37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

      40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

      41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

      44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

      45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

      46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

      December 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      John, or else?
      You can go on with your rants as much as you like, but don't expect to be treated as a reasonable individual. You don't have much that distinguishes you from schizophrenics and sociopaths.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Threats of eternal punishment betrays a weak argument.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • mama k

      Oh shut it, puss face.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Ahhhhhh

      John Diomitron,

      Ahhhhhhh! Was it good for you?

      These godgasms are a little inappropriate in public.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Zzzzz.

      Your tinfoil hat chaffing today? Or are your magic undies in a bunch?

      December 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      Patrick – Thank you for showing us why the Bible is a poor source of morality. The scriptures you quoted can be summarized as: "be good to people or I'll give you eternal punishment". An act performed at the barrel of a gun cannot be considered moral or immoral.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • BurningMan

      John's ego fancies itself, apparently, to be the modern John the baptist preparing the way for the second co ming...for an entertaining look at John, please go to youtube and just enter

      "Elijah again? Our prophecy speaks of two witnesses..."

      Disregard the video but SCROLL DOWN and read "John Diomitron" comments...

      December 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • BurningMan

      @ John...

      If posting on CNN Belief Blog is what your god promised when he spoke to you in 2010...how you would be "destined for greatness," I'd ask him for your money back.

      Just sayin'...

      December 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  6. 1WORD

    Allow God to renew your mind and he will change your behavior.

    December 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      So he'll turn me from a decent human being into a slave-holding, genocidal rapist?

      December 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Loki

      Yes, allow Thor to renew your mind!

      December 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • 1WORD

      The renewing of your mind in Gods Word will show you true power. Give God the chance, you continue to give Satan a chance to keep you from your true inheritance.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      Satan is a fictional character created to rule over the fictional hell.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      if you abandon your crazy beliefs I guarantee you'll change too, and for the better.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • mama k

      Maybe, as long as no idiot here on earth is going to interpret "His" word for me.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Edwin

      1word: if I understand you correctly, you say 'if you are willing to believe in my God and you will believe in my God.'

      Did I get that right?

      December 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • 1WORD

      Edwin, God is one God! There is only ONE TRUE God, no other book boast the things the Bible does. I know how it feels to be Born again, so I know Gods Word is True.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  7. EnoughAlready

    He isn't the first, nor the last, person to try this. There's even a movie, Gentleman's Agreement, which is about the same sort of processes. It takes a measure of courage to live as the other, not merely sign up for the guided tour. That said, as Pulp's "Common People" points out "But still you'll never get it right 'Cause when you're laid in bed at night Watching roaches climb the wall If you called your dad he could stop it all."

    December 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Joshua

      Next he should try living for 1 year as a Jew, but do it in Saudi Arabia or Ramallah, and let's see if he lives to write a book about it.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Edwin

      Joshua: there are Jews who live well in Saudi Arabia. Try researching before writing.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I'd forgotten about Gentleman's Agreement. That was a good movie. It also involved his family and touched on some similar issues.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  8. Wisdom4U2

    Well, it's been real..... God loves the gays, the straight, the crooked and all the imperfects....otherwise we wouldn't need Jesus. Have a great Sunday.

    December 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      "otherwise we wouldn't need Jesus" lol

      December 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • uoıƃılǝɹ ɟo plɹoʍ uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɥʇ

      God loves them so much he is going to perpetually torture them for the rest of eternity.

      poƃ 'ʎnƃ pɹıǝʍ

      December 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      You have it backwards, if he actually did love us we wouldn't need Jesus....the concept that he requires us to accept his "gift" in order to avoid a consequence shows he is a fiend.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Heat Monger

      "God loves us, otherwise we wouldn't need Jesus"

      So, you're saying that we needed god to offer a blood sacrifice to himself, of himself, to pay for the flaws in his original design? And that the key to getting the full meal deal on the blood sacrifice is mandatory loving of the sacrifice? Bizarre stuff man.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • mama k

      Well the problem is that God of Abraham comes across anywhere from loving to damning nearly everyone depending on which human being is that god's emissary at any given moment.

      In other words – "God has not gone anywhere that man didn't take him".

      December 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Vic

      That's the true Christianity!!!

      God bless you!!!

      December 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Vic

      @Wisdom4U2

      That's the true Christianity!!!

      God bless you!!!

      December 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  9. Rolph

    CNN ran this same story a month ago. Why are they running it again? Isn't this guy's lame book selling enough?

    December 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  10. texaspatty

    I am a woman who has a gay son and was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. I would rather have 100 children who are gay than to have cancer. Kurek's mother is an idiot.

    December 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • 1WORD

      May God Bless you with healing and comfort to your soul during your time of need.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • 1Word

      And nevermind that God invented cancer and gave it too you.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Thank you for sharing your experience; I think it's a truth people need to hear. My thoughts and best wishes are with you. It sounds like you son has a great mother.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • RebelTexasDemocrat

      My twin sister is gay, and my 22-year-old daughter just came out 2 weeks ago. The hatred, discrimination and misery that they have been subjected to, mostly from their "Christian" friends, acquaintances & etc. has motived us to reject Christianity forever. I'd rather have 100 gay kids AND have cancer than be associated with, identified with or as or otherwise have any contact with any "Christian." Christianity is based on hatred of anybody who is different. Organized religion has no place in a CIVILIZED society, and Christians are the worst of the lot, and organized Christianity is evil.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Edwin

      texaspatty: I am so very sorry. But I don't really think you needed to convince us - pretty much every reader understood how truly idiotic his mom's statement was.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  11. Rolph

    So christian-boy lied to his family and friends, and he lied to the gays he was with. Lie lie lie, all lies, and now he is cashing in with a book.

    Lies and greed and vanity. I have come to expect expect nothing less from those "moral" Christians.

    December 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • jesse

      Did you even read the article, dummy?

      December 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • ME II

      Sorry, but what did Rolph say that was inaccurate?

      December 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Mark

      "those "moral" Christians." Be careful here.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • puzzled

      Curious-why did you feel you had to include the insult at the end of your question?

      December 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • puzzled

      to jesse. why?

      December 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Why does this shock you? It's all about the Benjamin's.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  12. Dman5005

    I think it's easy to look at the comments and think that both sides of this issue have mental cases (which is true to an extent) but you have to realize that a good majority of those people on here are people who are posing in order to make the other side look bad. Just keep that in mind.

    December 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Saraswati

      There are also a lot of other characteristics that make this a non- representative sample. People here are more likely to care strongly about the issue, many are here for sport (because arguing can be fun), others feel they learn the most when they are in a fight, but then get sucked into a vortex where they lose the objectivity. I hope noone on any side of an argument here thinks their 'oponent' is typical.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • I'm Garbage

      Oh we definitely will, thank you for the wisdom, Dbag5005

      December 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  13. John Diomitron

    @Bootyfunk stated "sin is a disgusting device made up by the church to instill fear and guilt in its followers. the idea of sin has caused untold psychological damage to society. there is no god. grow up. think for yourself"

    Psalm 14:1 – "The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works,
    There is none who does good."

    Isaiah 29:13-15 – The LORD says: “These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.” Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?”

    Who can hide from the Most High? No one can! He sees all, hears all, knows all, and nothing is hidden from Him. The darkness can not hide from the eternal Light…not even in the deepest recesses of ones feeble mind. He is holy, righteous, and just…AND HE DOES NOT CHANGE!

    Now! Now! Bootyfunk and those who believeth not...Many of you just had a thought go through your feeble minds as you read this post. You think you can hide it from YOUR Creator. He heard what you thought! REPENT!

    Elijah is back to restore all things! I, John, must prophesy! My other name is Diomitron. (Brothers and Sisters in Christ...To him who overcomes, a new name is given that only he knows. Read Revelation and be blessed! What I say is in the Word.)

    THE FIGHT IS ON! My brother and I shall stand against the father, the devil, of those who think there is no God! Once more, mankind will see the powers and wonders of the LORD God. REPENT! The great and dreadful Day of the LORD quickly approaches!

    December 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      John,

      Signs you are in an abusive relationship
      – Monitors what you're doing all the time
      – Decides things for you that you should be allowed to decide (like what to wear or eat)
      – Threatens to hurt you, or your children if you don’t love him
      – Blames you for his or her violent outbursts or shortcomings
      -Being s.e.xually controlling
      – You have an impending sense of consequence that will come if you don't "obey."
      -Tells you that you are “nothing” without him and you don’t deserve his love

      December 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Who cares? Your stupid myth is dying.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • poopmeister

      Wait, wait, wait...you replied to Booty with scripture, Christians wrote the Bible. I'm sure I could come up with a million reasons why I shouldn't shop at Walmart but if I worked for them, I'm sure their employee handbook encourages that they shop there. He was disagreeing with the religious culture in a whole, so using scripture is kinda stupid...of course the Bible will disagree with anyone speaking against it's inate structure, it's easy to find those passages. Try finding the passages that state how God is bad and not to listen to the teachings of Jesus, then we'll talk.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • texaspatty

      You have to believe in the Bible in order to be scared by it. My God is a loving God. He loves everyone regardless of sin. We are here to love and take care of one another. Our afterlife is guaranteed by how much He loves us. Your hate is sad, but it will not affect me.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      John, you assume that what you get from your scripture is true and you assume that your god exists
      the bible doesn't prove that a god exists at all

      December 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • w murderface

      Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him." (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)
      Keep your primitive hateful evil religion away from me.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • puzzled

      You sick freaks can hardly wait to see the end of days eh?Sad,troubled bunch of brain-dead zombie lovers.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Dec 21st is coming soon so get your Xmas shopping done early!

      December 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  14. Patines

    This tells how much we have evolved as collective society, no much. If an orange tree only grows sweet oranges, it'll be a perfect tree, then why is it that being different from the rest of the world is upsetting for some people, Jesus knew and he was not talking to strangers, he was talking to his own people, that's assuming that he really walked among us, "throwing the stone and the speck". I WAS a christian evangelical by choice for seven years, grew up in a christian environment, and today I can say it with 100% conviction, there isn't any other religious group more hypocritical than evangelical. The amount of corruption inside those christian groups is disgusting.

    December 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Patines,

      I was born with parents who did not attend church. I did though at a very young age go with my grandmother to RC church and their bible studies for kids. I quit attending such functions due my one day at church hearing the elders gossip negatively regarding others in the church.

      My parents did love to play cards and gamble their income away leaving little money for our welfare sakes. Mom would seldom lose but dad would drink while playing cards and did lose with regularity. They both worked and mom did take care of the bills. I was an only child till age ten and my life changed! I was granted a brother! Too young was he though and in 8 more years, I joined the U.S. Army. I was a lousy soldier yet was given a good job working with a bunch of civilians at a photo-lab developing and printing photos.

      I guess what I am trying to lead up to is, "I never knew Christ Jesus" in my early years, yet as I aged I began to understand Christ's Truths which by the way are much different then church going believers ways. I believe quite literally that the kingdom domains of God are being INSIDE us all upon a level of smallness no person can get there unless one literally dies and becomes REBORN back into the kingdom domains of God! Is s e x I s t fundamentalism a variability of many socialized universalisms? I do so believe it to be a Truth.

      Although my life's dealings with the gay crowds is fleeting and of negative issues, s e x is s e x u a l and thru s e x u a l i t I e s anyone will find favor with that which one finds pleasing to their soul. God will no more disenfranchise one for their s e x u a l faith then a person wanting to love and someday and someway marry the kitty cat.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Moby Schtick,

      IN God all things are made possible! Even the marriages to one's animals! :-) :-( :-)

      December 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  15. lionlylamb

    Question, What is the average age of someone who "comes out of the woodwork"? Another question, What does it take for someone to know their "s e x I s t I d e n t I t y"?

    Societal relationships seems to me to be the bark of one's tree so to say. Today's societal relationship(s) encounters seem to be traversing all avenues of s e.x u a l i s m. Are people not just wanting to be a part of cynics' socialist movements whom the prospective newcomer to any group(s) of advent s e .x u a l redundancies seems to be of lamely reputability and subjected diasporas upon the glowing embers' social landscapes?

    Deniability of ones natural consecrations seems to me to be and become an antisocialists bread and butter in all social venues irregular dispensations. Sure, after some time of outspokenness upon the scenes of social discourses any grouped mob will gain in a venue of wanting societal recognition.

    My love affair with my kitty cat though platonic, can no more be a physical relationship yet I do so love him and let him roam free outside! He always returns and comes in the house regularly for food and water and sometimes he lays on my lap wanting to be petted. My love for kitty is real. Should I want to demand from society a right to marry my kitty cat? Where then does sciatica relativities of mankind's socialistic venues lines be so drawn?

    December 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Delusional nonsense – get back to us when your cat can give informed, legal consent. Absent that, your post is just another lame attempt to link being gay with bestiality.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      midwest rail,

      Does your mommy and daddy know your playing with their "lap" tops? Silly weenie; d I c k s are for chicks!

      December 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Bob

      "Silly weenie; d I c k s are for chicks!"

      Prejudice people are so immature.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Akira

      Ll: you know your story about your first love yesterday?
      Remember?
      If you had that same, exact feeling for a member of the same gender.
      Noit all that hard.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      consenting adults should be able to marry, but I don't care if you want to say that you are married to your cat. Feel free.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Bob,

      Calling ones ideas as being prejudice is but an aloofness's prejudicial sciatica beyond your grunting fan fairing ways of s e x I s m s trials and erring will. Silly Bob bunny you are so very funny!

      December 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Akira,

      In my Army days, I was barrack's bound and another who also was barrack bound became good friends with me. He was really good in his playing the guitar and I did buy one. He taught me how to play it quite well I might add! Somewhere along the way, he asked me if I wouldn't mind having a s e x u a l relationship with him. I declined his offer. We remained close friends until I was transferred to another company. Akira, I don't hate the gay crowds, I just want to intelligently understand them for Christ's sake!

      December 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  16. Wisdom4U2

    @Tom, Tom, the Mailman's Son ~~~~ You know.... Jesus loves you, but err'body else thinks you're an ass hole. Just saying.....

    December 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Bob

      The one being an azzhole is you. Tom Tom is a great contributor to this blog.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's "err-body"? Did you forget how to use "reply?"

      Why don't you explain what "fulfilled the Old Testament" means? Or admit you can't? Apparently being "Christian" means being a liar.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Wisdom4U2

      Right Bob, that's cause you're up his hole, mole.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Bob

      "Right Bob, that's cause you're up his hole, mole."

      So you're just a troll and not a real christian. Prejudice people are so immature.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't be too hard on him, Bob. He's just another dishonest fundie. He can't even explain what he says, probably because he doesn't understand it.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Wisdom4U2

      LOL, of course I know how to use 'reply', but because you're a freaking control freak, I just freaked you out by not using it. Ha-ha-ha... You and your but buddy Bob are so mental.... and 'err'body' knows it. LOL :-)

      December 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nah. You just suffer from small-dick syndrome.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Webster

      Tom, Tom,

      @Bob seems to respect you. Can you please tell him that it's "prejudiced people", not "prejudice people".

      (He has been informed about this at least 20 times today, but he's being a bone head)

      December 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Bob

      "but he's being a bone head)"

      Prejudice people like you are just immature. Grow up.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No. Inform him yourself. Or spend your time fixing dumbs!ts like Wizzer.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Bob

      "@Bob seems to respect you. Can you please tell him that it's "prejudiced people", not "prejudice people".

      (He has been informed about this at least 20 times today, but he's being a bone head)"

      More proof of the troll that uses multiple handles to post their immature prejudice rants.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Webster

      Wisdom4U2,

      You must be the new one on these blogs... if you don't even know that @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son is a female.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Wisdom4U2

      Poor lil' Bob, he's just a follower, but I can't believe he/it chose to follow a moronic bozo like Tom,Tom. And isn't it amazing how these clowns will spout out anti-Christians comments until you call their true nature out? Then all of a sudden, 'you're not a real Christian'. Yeah, well, y'all can kiss this one's ashy foot.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Wisdom4U2

      @Webster ~~~~ Seriously? Do you think I really care? You don't even know if it's big foot or not. lol What an idiot.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  17. The Mockingjay

    These people, hom os exuals, are ruining our country! I, personally, believe the Tornadoes, hurricanes, and other catastrophes besetting our nation are direct retribution from a just God for these and other who redoms and wic kedness. Think you have rights to live the way you want? Oh, sure, and the rest of us pay the price!

    December 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Joe

      I am sure all tornadoes and hurricanes would immediately cease if there were no gay people in the U.S.

      Do you know how ridiculous you sound?

      December 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Peter

      "These people, hom os exuals, are ruining our country! "

      They only make up 10% of the population. If anything is ruining this country it's prejudice christians like you.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • poopmeister

      Thank God we have you to save us from the tornados and hurricanes that your evil God has set upon ALL OF US. Please don't let the twisters take us away because those darn gays have suddenly transcended us. You are the type of person that makes religious people look silly to the rest of us.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Sam

      So ...God created people who are gay and then created hurricanes and tornadoes to punish us for the people he created who are gay?

      What an aszhole your god is...

      December 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Thaddeus

      God sure was angry at the continent, because he has been causing natural disasters since before anyone got here.

      Weird guy, god.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So not only do you know natural events are really messages from your god but you can actually "read" the meassage and know what your god is saying. I little arrogant.... to say the least.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • malaina

      if your "just" god was sending natural disasters to punish people for being gay, why do they also hurt, maim, and kill the good christians? tornado alley goes straight through the most religious places in the country, and yet thousands of good, god-fearing christians have died from storms sent there by god. why does he only want to get rid of the gay people? he doesn't have any issue with the pedophiles, rapists, or murderers? that doesn't sound very "just" to me.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • mama k

      Whoa – call in the men in white coats for this one. The Mockingjay is quite the embarrassment to human kind.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  18. Henry

    Interesting. It is very revealing about how evangelicals think. I am glad he tried to understand the LGBTQ community but lying to them and the rest of the world isn't really the same thing as true understanding.

    December 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Steve

      Any attempt at this point was great. I do agree that lying was not a good thing.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  19. Ann Carpenter

    Having been raised in the same background, I can fully understand what he went through. I was exactly as he described. I was into apologetics deeply at the time, studying cults. When I read books about cults that Christians published, I found the info was copied from other authors alot, or was from only one source – usually an ex cult member. Not really good reliability or accuracy. So, I actually met with cult leaders and got their info directly from them. Also found libraries of past publications from the groups. That made my effectiveness and credibility much better when conversing with people in cults.

    Conservative Christians, I found, pretty much always live very cloistered lives, full of fear of the unknown. Jesus said many things about love, but I see fear coming from them to such a degree that I can no longer be around them. I also, will not be around 99.99% of those I grew up with and went to church with. I don't want my life dominated by fear. Every time I see a "Now" sticker with the cross in it, all I see is fear of the future.

    I'm sorry he offended the LGBT community the way he did. I can relate, having done research one on one like that, but not quite as extreme. I am a member of the LGBT community here in southern California, and very active in it, and would greet him with open arms.

    And no, I'm not going to hell. I have a very, very close and loving relationship with my creator!

    December 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Really

      Unless you are talking about mom and dad, you have a close personal relationship with your imagination.

      There is no god. It's you talking to yourself and pretending it is a deity.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  20. karla katz

    Oh, girlfriend! I pretended to be straight for 3 hours; had a ball (actually, two), and loved it (tastes just like chicken)

    December 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.