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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. Nietodarwin

    This is the beginning of the end of the bible thumpers. You can't keep killing all us non'believers , we are too many. You have all been brainwashed by your parents.

    it is a telling fact that, the world over, the vast majority of children follow the religion of their parents rather than any of the other available religions.
    Richard Dawkins

    December 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  2. Leapin Lizards

    As these blogs prove, religious people are the best recruiters for atheism.

    Get out on those street corners and howl your threats of eternal torture! We need more atheists!

    December 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      that's only true if people think about what they read

      December 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      100% agree.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops.
      Richard Dawkins

      Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.
      Isaac Asimov

      December 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • BurningMan

      God knows they are helping me in that direction...

      December 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • 1WORD

      We can only speak truth to a dieing world. You can believe what you want but know this everyone will die, everyone will see him and bow to him.

      Isaiah 45:23
      I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      "everyone will see him and bow to him"

      That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. I dismiss your silly threats.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Know What

      " unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."

      That sounds much more like something that your "Satan" character would say...

      December 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      1word. f you and your empty proxy threats

      December 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • BurningMan

      "every knee shall bow and tongue confess..."

      So much for free will...

      December 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  3. SCOTTA.

    when i look at the picture with all the guys with their arms around each other. IT MAKES ME WANT TO HURL -EARL!!!

    December 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  4. hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

    hindu Mithra ism, racist savior ism labeled as Christianity is handy work of hindu Jew's, criminal secular s, nothing new, hindu gay ism, filthy hind love ism has always been a holy tradition of hindu Mithra ism, filthy savior ism, hinduism incest to be another holy tradition of hinduism, racism, religions of hindu sanatans, filthy goons, such as Plato etc.

    December 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Well, it's about time! I was wondering when our favorite pet nut-ism bar-ism would be showing up to put in his two cents-ism.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      troll

      December 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  5. DJones

    The attempt by some to try and justify the gay life style and claim it is "Christian" is sick. The Bible doesn't leave any wiggle room on this. Scripture clearly states that it is sin along with a whole lot of other sins. Does it ever occur to anyone who tries such things that no one is required or forced to be a Christian? If you don't like the Bible or the God of the Bible what can you possibly hope to gain by twisting the words of scripture and pretending you are following God? No one who knows the Bible is impressed or fooled by these things so do you really think God is going to be fooled? Such behavior only makes sense if the person doing them honestly believes that God doesn't exist and that religion is just a club set up by people to which they would like to join but don't want to change to do so. I personally couldn't be bothered with such silly game playing. If I want to live without Biblical restraint then I would just do so.

    December 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Melvin

      "The attempt by some to try and justify the gay life style and claim it is "Christian" is sick. The Bible doesn't leave any wiggle room on this. Scripture clearly states that it is sin along with a whole lot of other sins"

      No it doesn't. The Scriptures at no point deal with homosexuality as an authentic sexual orientation, a given condition of being. The remarkably few Scriptural references to "homosexuality" deal rather with homosexual acts, not with homosexual orientation. Those acts are labeled as wrong out of the context of the times in which the writers wrote and perceived those acts to be either nonmasculine, idolatrous, exploitative, or pagan. The kind of relationships between two consenting adults of the same sex demonstrably abounding among us - relationships that are responsible and mutual, affirming and fulfilling - are not dealt with in the Scriptures.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • poopmeister

      So what if a person is gay by nature but never follows through with a gay act? The person is still gay, correct? So it's a sin just to be born for these people, but I thought God created us all? Oh and don't give us the horsecrap that it's a choice....because that's been disproven.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      DJones,

      "All have sinned" and therefore "All will die" in this world that "is not the kingdom of God!" for the kingdom domain(s) of God lay inside us upon a scale and relativity barely now known of and hardly ever reconciled by the average joes!

      December 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ DJones – and your precious book of scripture also condones and commands murder, r-ape, slavery, and genocide. Are you saying that those acts are not only okay, but required by your god?

      December 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      Every Christian picks and chooses which parts of the Bible he wants to follow. Humans have an innate sense of morality, and when the Bible does agree with that sense, they ignore the Bible. You do it too.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • travis1223

      i hope your not wearing any bright colors on your clothing.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Jenna

      Most of you claiming to be good Christians and condemning this man are a bunch of hypocrites. You sit on your high horse patting yourselves on the back telling yourselves how great you are. What a joke. You're the biggest fakes of them all.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • mama k

      DJones: "The attempt by some to try and justify the gay life style and claim it is "Christian" is sick."

      Let me correct that statement for you:

      The attempt by any Christian to agree with another Christian on what it means to be a good Christian IS FUTILE.
      Why? Because Christianity is not only unfounded, but is conflicted TO THE CORE, TO ITS BEGINNINGS, as evident by its followers.

      December 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  6. lionlylamb

    Society wants rules while the humanities want freedoms. Socialisms declare relevancies to be rationed yet nevertheless rules to be adhered toward and upon the classes potentials to be so governed. The humaneness of humanities cohesive abundances will ever be the trails for mankind's people to follow. Humanities desires for s e x u a l I s t I c indemnifications are the resurrections of times long forgotten and nowadays in preambles of dichotomies torn while the complacency of generations passing thru time be the abolitionists arbitrary routes to be lingered upon.

    December 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  7. Just call me Lucifer

    He is " trying to figure out which place in the body of christ" he fits in. I know exactly which part. The sphincter.
    I'm the devil, and I approve this message.

    December 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  8. 1WORD

    Anyone with half of a brain would look at their body to say there must be a creator. I believe that's why God gave us all the different animals. If you will claim that everything came from a big bang wouldn't everything created from it be the same. Take a box of soap and make some bubbles, I guarantee you all the bubble will be the same. God created this world to make fools of those who claims the World came from a Big Bang. God is the Big Bang!

    December 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Thomas

      That's true of anyone with half a brain, but those of us with whole brains recognize that as total bullshit.

      Thanks for representing the people with half a brain, though.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • 1WORD

      Thomas, you have the name of the disciple that doubted Jesus rose from the dead. lol HUGE SIGN! God loves you bro.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Well struck, Thomas! Well struck indeed!

      December 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • 1WORD

      John 20:27

      King James Version (KJV)

      27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "God loves you bro"

      but he will burn you if you don't change you mind.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • 1WORD

      You will burn yourself, God is trying to save you by sending people to convince you to seek him. If you choose to do other wise, you chose to burn right?

      December 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Patrick

      So if the universe as we know it originated with the big bang that would mean that all life must look alike and be the same? WHAT??????

      So if God created it. Why did He give men ni pp les? What are they for???

      December 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      How nice... your god "blessed" you with half a brain. Now if you could only get your head out of your a$$ and try to use it, you'll see that there are no gods to be found anywhere.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Leapin Lizards

      "If you will claim that everything came from a big bang wouldn't everything created from it be the same?"

      No. That's incredibly ridiculous.

      The origin of the universe is like a box of soap? WOW! Your home schooling is not going well.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Patrick

      If you think Garbage like this is the "Word of God" you're nuts:

      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 4:27 pm |
    • Patrick

      ooopse, sorry, i didn't mean that. That was a good verse. Here's what I was referring to:

      Leviticus 25:44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Exodus 21:20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

      Genesis 19:33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

      34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

      36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father.

      Deuteronomy 22:28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and r@pes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

      Genesis 19:8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

      1 Timothy 2:11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

      1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

      34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

      Matthew 19: (Jesus Speaking) 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for $ ex ual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

      1 Corinthians 7:10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

      Numbers 31: (Moses Speaking) 15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the LORD in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the LORD’s people. 17 Now ki11 all the boys. And ki11 every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      2 Kings 6:27 The king replied, “If the LORD does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?” 28 Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?”

      She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ 29 So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”

      FORGIVE ME CHRISTIANS IF I'VE TAKEN SOMETHING OUT OF CONTEXT. PLEASE EXPLAIN THE CORRECT CONTEXT AND HOPEFULLY, IF THE HOLY SPIRIT GUIDES YOUR EXPLANATION, YOU WILL DRAW SOME SOULS TOWARDS CHRIST. (THIS SHOULD CLEAR OUT THE FORUM)

      December 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      No I won't burn myself, I didn't set up the rules or the torture chamber. Do you blame those who are tortured because they "chose" not to cooperate with their captures?

      Your argument is pathetic.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • 1WORD

      Leapin Lizards
      It's just as ridiculous as how you claim the Universe was formed. We're talking about creation, when you mix the soap with water you create the bubbles. All bubbles are the same in appearance, but we have humans, insects, reptiles, all types of things from one explosion. Yeah Right!

      December 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • 1WORD

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      No I won't burn myself, I didn't set up the rules or the torture chamber. Do you blame those who are tortured because they "chose" not to cooperate with their captures?

      Your argument is pathetic.

      LOL God is giving everyone a choice. Everyone here will hear the gospel and have a choice to make. You can choose death, I choose life. As a Born again believer who has experienced Gods Grace, I am here to help you choose right. God Bless!

      December 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Leapin Lizards

      The origins of the universe is exactly like playing with soap in water. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

      I am really enjoying your attempts at logic. You are VERY funny!

      December 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So If someone holds a gun to my head and tells me to make a choice, it is my fault if I choose wrong. What a petty god you have. I would not worship that even if I thought it was real.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Your filtered view

      I believe there is a creator however, what makes you think God left a divine message in the hands of a man committed to paper unadulterated of personal interests?

      I believe God is amorphic, that all of man’s endeavors to describe what God is severely deficient guess work. I believe God is self-revealing in all the creation around us, communicating using metaphor as example of how things are. I believe not one facet of humanity adequately describes God’s context, purpose, or plan.

      I believe man and its many cultures however have spent a great deal of time trying to find ways to claim advantage over another by trying to prove it has God’s advantage. More than that; it is a means for people to attempt to control the one moment in life they have no control over, death, so they put their faith in words of men who claim to have transcribed the inspired words of God. I have more faith than that, I have faith I’ll leave this world as humbly as I entered it and what should unfold afterwards is as it should be.

      Religion is referred to as a faith for a reason; you must have faith the very ancient text you are reading is Gods transcribed word in the absence of irrefutable proof. People who claim science attempts to replace God are foolish in my opinion, science carefully studies Gods’ creations. I can’t think of a better way to pay homage to our creator than devoting one’s life to understanding a facet of our creation.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      1word.....you are a pompous fool. if you are soooo sure that jesus is waiting, what are you doing here? you could be on your knees in front of the savior in no time. do you have tall buildings where you live? perhaps a sidearm?

      December 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • mama k

      Rubbish.

      December 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  9. 261 Ministers Proclamation

    "Maybe those so-called Christians who are defending gays should ask themselves this question – If the scriptures are true and if gays end up in hell, then where do they think they're going to end up for defending them?..."

    As Christian clergy we proclaim the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.

    In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:

    -to affirm that the essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;

    –to embrace the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;

    –to declare that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;

    –to celebrate the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;

    Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.

    December 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      As a member of the clergy you promote an abusive relationship with your god.

      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 4:21 pm |
  10. 1WORD

    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 4:14 pm |
    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      Boasting is a sin.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • 1WORD

      Not if you are Boasting in the Lord!

      December 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      I think the Torah and the Quran do this as well.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Biggus Dikkus

      I have a fwiend in Wome, you know. His name is Jupiter, King of the Gods. He is the one true god. Well, except for all of the other gods in the Pantheon

      December 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      You should give the Quran a read. It's even more boastful than the Bible, if that's possible.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • mama k

      There is not one shred of evidence to support anything you said.

      December 2, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  11. PerfectTruth

    Know this…

    James 4:4 – Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

    Being gay is an abomination before God. Therefore gays are the enemies of God. If your'e a friend of gays then you are an enemy of God. It cannot be otherwise. And all enemies of God shall be cast into the lake…

    Any Christian who would even consider siding up with gays is not truly a Christian in the first place. They're of the devil. And only the devil would side with gays….

    Maybe those so-called Christians who are defending gays should ask themselves this question – If the scriptures are true and if gays end up in hell, then where do they think they're going to end up for defending them?...

    December 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • James

      "Being gay is an abomination before God."

      No, it's not. The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      If the Scriptures are "true" then bats are birds, insects go about on all fours, and hares chew their cud. Read Leviticus.

      Clearly and unequivocally, that portion of the Bible is wrong. If one part of the Bible is wrong, then any other part of the Bible can be wrong, including the crap you are spouting.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Brent

      "Any Christian who would even consider siding up with gays is not truly a Christian in the first place"

      Religion-based bigotry use religious teachings to justify discrimination against Native Americans, African Americans, minority religious groups, woman and interracial couples.

      Connecting the dots between historical bigotry against other groups and the attitudes of some people today toward homosexuality is one of the most effective ways to educate people about the denial of equal rights to the LGBT community.

      Most people know that, historically, religion has been used to justify discrimination against women, religious minorities and people of color. Putting anti-gay religious beliefs in this historical context can be a powerful tool in connecting discrimination that most Americans today accept as morally wrong and the discrimination faced by LGBT people. By citing historical instances of religion-based bigotry and prejudice, you allow people to be more comfortable with attitudinal change – they realize they are not stepping out alone against a commonly accepted viewpoint but rather following historical progress toward justice and equality.

      When talking about the misuse of religion to justify discrimination in the past, it is important not to say that the LGBT community’s struggle with discrimination is exactly the same as the Civil Rights Movement. Rather, the point is that religion-based bigotry has been a common denominator of injustice toward many groups in American society’s past. When given a chance, many people will see the underlying historical pattern of using religious teachings and beliefs to justify harmful discrimination.

      There is another benefit to citing other times in the past when religious teachings have been used to justify discrimination. Many times, when people of faith are challenged about their anti-gay views, they cite biblical verses or other religious texts as a safe haven when they are unable to articulate why they hold prejudiced attitudes toward LGBT people. Instead of telling people that their interpretation is wrong, you can remind them that other religious texts have been used in the past to justify attitudes and laws that are recognized today as morally wrong and unjust – such as discrimination against women, people of color and religious minorities.

      History provides the moral judgment, and we do not have to be theologians engaged in scriptural debates to point people to the judgment rendered by history.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Sam Yaza (the actaul eanemy Of the tyrant god)

      Death to Yahweh

      December 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      "There shall in that time be rumours, of things going astray. Ehm...and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are. And nobody will really know where lieth those little things wi...with a sort of rackey work base, that has an attachment. At this time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer, and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers, that their fathers put there only just the night before, 'bout eight o'clock." (Monty 3:27-13)

      December 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      Children that mouth off to their parents are an abomination before God as well. If you don't kill your child for mouthing off as God commands, you are of the devil.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • DJones

      @James. You are dead wrong, the Bible is very exact and careful in it's wording and it absolutely concludes that ALL gay activity and relationships are sin. Your argument is like trying to say that adultery isn't wrong if it is done in a loving committed way. Sorry to break it to you, but sin is sin no matter how you try to dress it up.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Don

      "ALL gay activity and relationships are sin."

      Biblical Interpretation and Theology also change from time to time. Approximately 150 years ago in the United States, some Christian teaching held that there was a two-fold moral order: black and white. Whites were thought to be superior to blacks, therefore blacks were to be subservient and slavery was an institution ordained by God. Clergy who supported such an abhorrent idea claimed the authority of the Bible. The conflict over slavery led to divisions which gave birth to some major Christian denominations. These same denominations, of course, do not support slavery today. Did the Bible change? No, their interpretation of the Bible did!

      Genesis 19:1-25

      Some "televangelists" carelessly proclaim that God destroyed the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of "homosexuality." Although some theologians have equated the sin of Sodom with homosexuality, a careful look at Scripture corrects such ignorance. Announcing judgment on these cities in Genesis 18, God sends two angels to Sodom, where Abraham's nephew, Lot, persuades them to stay in his home. Genesis 19 records that "all the people from every quarter" surround Lot's house demanding the release of his visitors so "we might know them." The Hebrew word for "know" in this case, yadha, usually means "have thorough knowledge of." It could also express intent to examine the visitors' credentials, or on rare occasions the term implies sexual intercourse. If the latter was the author's intended meaning, it would have been a clear case of attempted gang rape. Several observations are important.

      First, the judgment on these cities for their wickedness had been announced prior to the alleged homosexual incident. Second, all of Sodom's people participated in the assault on Lot's house; in no culture has more than a small minority of the population been homosexual. Third, Lot's offer to release his daughters suggests he knew his neighbors to have heterosexual interests. Fourth, if the issue was sexual, why did God spare Lot, who immediately commits incest with his daughters? Most importantly, why do all the other passages of Scripture referring to this account fail to raise the issue of homosexuality?

      Romans 1:24-27

      Most New Testament books, including the four Gospels, are silent on same-sex acts, and Paul is the only author who makes any reference to the subject. The most negative statement by Paul regarding same-sex acts occurs in Romans 1:24-27 where, in the context of a larger argument on the need of all people for the gospel of Jesus Christ, certain homosexual behavior is given as an example of the "uncleanness" of idolatrous Gentiles.

      This raises the question: Does this passage refer to all homosexual acts, or to certain homosexual behavior known to Paul's readers? The book of Romans was written to Jewish and Gentile Christians in Rome, who would have been familiar with the infamous sexual excesses of their contemporaries, especially Roman emperors. They would also have been aware of tensions in the early Church regarding Gentiles and observance of the Jewish laws, as noted in Acts 15 and Paul's letter to the Galatians. Jewish laws in Leviticus mentioned male same-sex acts in the context of idolatry.

      The homosexual practices cited in Romans 1:24-27 were believed to result from idolatry and are associated with some very serious offenses as noted in Romans 1. Taken in this larger context, it should be obvious that such acts are significantly different from loving, responsible lesbian and gay relationships seen today.

      What is "Natural"?

      Significant to Paul's discussion is the fact that these "unclean" Gentiles exchanged that which was "natural" for them, physin, in the Greek text, for something "unnatural," para physin. In Romans 11:24, God acts in an "unnatural" way, para physin, to accept the Gentiles. "Unnatural" in these passages does not refer to violation of so-called laws of nature, but rather implies action contradicting one's own nature. In view of this, we should observe that it is "unnatural," para physin, for a person today with a lesbian or gay sexual orientation to attempt living a heterosexual lifestyle.

      I Corinthians 6:9

      Any consideration of New Testament statements on same-sex acts must carefully view the social context of the Greco-Roman culture in which Paul ministered. Prostitution and pederasty (sexual relationships of adult men with boys) were the most commonly known male same-sex acts. In I Corinthians 6:9, Paul condemns those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind," as translated in the King James version. Unfortunately, some new translations are worse, rendering these words "homosexuals." Recent scholarship unmasks the homophobia behind such mistranslations.

      The first word – malakos, in the Greek text-which has been translated "effeminate" or "soft," most likely refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control. The word is used elsewhere in the New Testament but never with reference to sexuality.

      The second word, Arsenokoitai, occurs once each in I Corinthians and I Timothy (1:10), but nowhere else in other literature of the period. It is derived from two Greek words, one meaning, "males" and the other "beds", a euphemism for sexual intercourse. Other Greek words were commonly used to describe homosexual behavior but do not appear here. The larger context of I Corinthians 6 shows Paul extremely concerned with prostitution, so it is very possible he was referring to male prostitutes. But many experts now attempting to translate these words have reached a simple conclusion: their precise meaning is uncertain. Scripture Study Conclusion…No Law Against Love

      The rarity with which Paul discusses any form of same-sex behavior and the ambiguity in references attributed to him make it extremely unsound to conclude any sure position in the New Testament on homosexuality, especially in the context of loving, responsible relationships. Since any arguments must be made from silence, it is much more reliable to turn to great principles of the Gospel taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Do not judge others, lest you be judged. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love . . . against such there is no law. One thing is abundantly clear, as Paul stated in Galatians 5:14: "...the whole Law is fulfilled in one statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself".

      December 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • John

      "but sin is sin no matter how you try to dress it up."

      Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

      Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

      There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

      Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

      1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

      Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

      Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

      That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Adam

      Being straight is an abomination before Dog, my preferred make believe magic sky wizard. Unfortunately, I am an abomination. But thats ok. I know my chosen sky wizard is fake, so I can live with that.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • BurningMan

      It's such a curiosity how Christians expand the Great Commission from "making disciples" to becoming obsessed with their sin and declaring the final judgement of sinners and fellow Christians who "defend them." (Didn't God and John say something about adding or taking away from his commands?).

      Jesus said nothing of holding one accountable for their "sin" or condemning them for it...But befriending and, should someone choose to convert, discipling someone is far too boring and time consuming...much more envigorating to be bitter and angry.

      Jesus was, however, quite clear that you comply with Matthew 25:31ff...and yet, you are here...

      The non-existence of the Christian god is confirmed in the daily lives of ones such as you...thanks for that.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • TimTripod

      The Bible specifically calls hom.ose.xual acts wrong. It doesn't mention anything about ancient rituals. In Romans, it condemns female hom.ose.xuality... can you point to any source that talks about ritual le.sbi.anism? We have no record of such a thing in Greco-Roman culture. The Bible also mentions that being drunk with wine is wrong... did it just not understand psychological tendencies that we understand today? The Bible condemns ho.mos.exual acts in more places than it does bestiality or incest. Does this mean those things aren't really wrong, since they're condemned even less than ho.mos.exuality? Resist your side's tendency to cry "slippery slope!" and recognize that you are putting your own wishful thinking into the Bible and not reading it for what it really says.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • YeahRight

      " It doesn't mention anything about ancient rituals"

      Part of reading comprehension 101 is putting the scriptures into historical context. The writers of the bible didn't understand human sexuality because it wasn't even studied to the 19th century. Duh! You're trying to cherry pick the bible to justify your prejudice and bigotry doesn't mean you're right.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • rbud

      Your interpretation and application of the James passage doesn't even make sense. If God is so opposed to the world such that anyone who befriends the world is an enemy of God, why would God go to so much trouble to reclaim the world? You are an extremely hateful, belligerent and angry person. I am glad that I don't know your god, and glad I don't have to depend upon you as a friend.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  12. TimTripod

    So, a "Christian" decides to lie for a whole year to pretty much every single person he meets? A lot of people interpret the Bible's passages on hom.ose.xuality differently, but I have never met anyone who denied that the Bible says lying is a sin/wrong. And he says living the year as a g.ay man jaded his views on religion? In order to commit to lying for an entire year, one HAS to deaden themselves to what God has commanded– how could that not mess up your faith? If I were a health enthusiast, who ate healthy foods all the time, and then I decided to commit to take a year to eat unhealthily, constantly resisting convictions about the proper way to eat, of COURSE I wouldn't wanna go back to carrot sticks after the year was over when potatato chips are around. What this guy did was wrong, no matter how you look at it.

    December 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      Haven't you seen "Supersize Me", where Morgan Spurlock goes on a McDonalds binge for a month and gets 'scared straight' by the horrible results?

      December 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • TimTripod

      The key difference being that the SuperSize guy was indulging in a completely irrational lifestyle, not just an alternate one.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  13. DJones

    Articles like this one and conclusions like the ones the drawn are always based on the concept that in reality there is no God and that all religion is just "conviction and tradition". If there really is a God then every experience, changes of convictions, or conclusions become utterly meaningless. The only opinion then that counts is God's.

    December 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Yep, but he's so good at playing invisible that he may as well not exist.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  14. lionlylamb

    TRUTH BE TOLD wrote to me on December 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm, writing, "How do you know that EVERYONE has accepted the "kingdom of God" within them?"

    I 'feel' that very so few people literally believe that the 'real' kingdom domain(s) are truly inside all manifested cellular life formed from stardust! One's brain-fields are but tangled and messed up to such degrees of revealing dichotomies that it will take us forever and beyond to make a revealing societal stand upon the truths foretold as I once again tell of.

    Mathew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God!" will be a forever-ness beyond many so variations upon a myriad of future generations passing ever onward and thru the godliness trails ever seeking and searching for the crumbs of Godly fortuitousness.

    Luke 17:21, "The kingdom of God is inside you!" will hardly ever be rightly rationalized but for a few who do so righteously believe in literal fondness of God and his families and his servants and other godliness brethren's living deeply seeded inside all mannerisms of celestially based Life and life formations aplenty yet never filled up by God's kingdom's brethren!

    John 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world!" does ever let one and all know very factually that our kingdom is not God's kingdom!

    1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!" is the brunt of the issues I have with the Christian traditionalists who do dare to make such Word out to be but a fettered disposition of parabola meant to curve mankind's assimilative naturalisms ever so gently thru timely passing subjective rationalisms without much bitter derailments as seems the issues within our histories trails.

    December 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • lionylamb

      Mommy? Did you make my bowl of Cocoa Puffs yet? I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  15. Yarah

    Why do Gays and Lesbians hide in the closet and pretend to be straight and then complain about what this guy did?

    December 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      They hide because they don't want to get their azz kicked by Bible-thumpers.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Yarah

      Is that the best you could come up with? "Bible Thumpers"? Give me a break. It's the NonChristiand and the skinheads that do the beating up.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • ShannonCT

      Atheists have no reason to beat up gay people. By all measures, atheists are the most moral Americans.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  16. Backslider

    When I see videos of people dressing as another race, wearing minority religion clothing or fat suits and then recording the reaction of people around them I think to myself "You are so arrogant that you can't believe people when they tell you there is bias in the world...you literally have to film yourself being part of it, in a reversible way, and then brag about your big revelation of "WOW that does suck to have these stares and I was cut out!! O my goodness!" The hardest part is them going on and on about how much they learned with their experience. "O gee...they're right, that is hard, I totally get it now!" NO, you don't get it. Admit is, and grow up and leave others alone. Pathetic.

    December 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Backslider

      bonus to who ever catches all my typos!

      December 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • BackDoorMan

      I personally don't believe that someone doing what he claimed wsould have done it for a year. A few weeks maybe, but a whole year of deception?

      December 2, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  17. Chad

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

    @YeahRight "None of what you listed has anything to do with hom.os.exuality. 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 g.ay is not. Duh!"

    =>it is amazingly hypocritical for someone to claim that same se.x marriage is an equal rights issue, while simultaneously claiming that denying marriage to polygamists, adults with consenting children, consenting siblings se.x for money between consenting persons is not.

    there is just zero coherency to that stance. if you are going to claim that anything goes between two consenting adults, then anything goes. If you are going to claim that any group doesnt have the right to impose their morality on another group, then atheists dont either.

    December 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Chad

      should be "anything goes between two consenting persons"

      after all, what gives the atheist the right to decide at what age a person can make their own decisions?

      December 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "adults with consenting children"

      This just shows what an idiot you are on this subject. LOL!

      December 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • YeahRight

      " If you are going to claim that any group doesnt have the right to impose their morality on another group, then atheists dont either."

      I am sure members of the K K K and other well known hate groups have the same mentality as you.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Wow

      Gosh you are stupid. Children and animals are unable to give informed consent.

      Nice try on the "Slippery Slope" fallacy.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      We're the ones making the rules, Chad. If two consenting adults who happen to be hetero can choose to marry, then two consenting adults who happen to be h0m0 can choose to marry. Why do you want other people not to have the choice that you yourself enjoy? Nobody's telling you that you can't marry the consenting adult of your choice, yet you want to have this power over others? Grow up and play fair.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Bob

      "while simultaneously claiming that denying marriage to polygamists, adults with consenting children, consenting siblings se.x for money between consenting persons is not."

      Chad's so dumb he doesn't realize all the things he has listed are illegal. Having a loving gay relationship isn't illegal. ;-)

      December 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @YeahRight, @Wow, @Bob, so you cant explain the coherency of your position.. ok, got it.

      @Moby, if "we make the rules" as you say, I"m sure you then recognize that maintaining the existing definition of marriage as between a man and a women is just that, the majority opinion.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Bob

      "@YeahRight, @Wow, @Bob, so you cant explain the coherency of your position.. ok, got it."

      The fact you are too dumb to know they were all illegal demonstrates you have no position, now your turn to get it. It's always fun to see you try to switch the subject when you have no facts to back yourself up, you're so good at running away.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Chad

      oh and Bob.. why should they remain illegal?

      are you saying that the majority gets to determine what is and what is not accepted behavior?

      December 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Bob

      "oh and Bob.. why should they remain illegal?

      are you saying that the majority gets to determine what is and what is not accepted behavior?"

      No, idiot because it's been shown to bring harm, now be a good idiot and use google now. Come on now find a way to keep switching the subject instead of dealing with the facts about gays and lesbians.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • midwest rail

      What is amazingly hypocritical is the continued attempt by people like Chad to link being gay with pedophilia. Good grief, what the he!l is a "consenting child" anyway ? Doesn't exist in the legal realm. Talk about disingenuous.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Chad

      "been shown to bring harm"

      ????

      how do you figure? what right do you have to determine that two loving siblings cant marry?? Or a loving father and his daughter??? or a woman that shares a deep relationship with a 10year old boy?

      prost.itution is "the victimless crime".

      who does it hurt if I want to drop LSD??

      what right do you think you have? Sitting on your high horse, spouting your self-righteous invective.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Bob

      "Or a loving father and his daughter???" – It's illegal right now.

      "or a woman that shares a deep relationship with a 10year old boy?" –- It's illegal right now and is considered rape.

      "prost.itution is "the victimless crime"." – It's illegal right now.

      "who does it hurt if I want to drop LSD??" – Go ahead it might help your stupidity.

      Keep showing you can't stick to the subject but instead try to use deflective tatics because you have no facts about the subject of gays and lesbians.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Chad: "Or a loving father and his daughter??? or a woman that shares a deep relationship with a 10year old boy?"

      Wow. Just wow. Not only are you stupid, but clearly you are both evil and dangerous, condoning the se-xual assault of children. Please get some counseling, and I can only hope (because I don't pray to your non-existent god) that you don't ever have children.

      Sick Fukk.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Chad

      Bob, you still havent explained why you feel they should be illegal??

      what right do you think you have to deny the right of another person to engage in the behavior they want to engage in?? What kind of twisted self righteous morality do you have??

      December 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Bob

      "Bob, you still havent explained why you feel they should be illegal??"

      I don't have to they are illegal right now, look up the law idiot. That's the point moron, now get back to the subject of gays and lesbians and why you feel they don't deserve their civil rights, cause being gay isn't illegal.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Chad

      Bob!! I still dont understand,, WHY DO YOU FEEL THEY SHOULD ILLEGAL????

      what kind of a twister person are you that you feel it is ok for society to tell someone what they can and cant do????

      December 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Bob

      "Bob!! I still dont understand,, WHY DO YOU FEEL THEY SHOULD ILLEGAL????"

      More deflection by the troll Chad, come on now they are illegal today, look at the law idiot. Now why do you feel gays shouldn't have their civil rights.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Chad

      wait

      BOB

      I had a flash of insight just now..

      you DONT want them to be illegal..

      You are perfectly fine with denying some people the legal right to engage in certain behaviors you dont feel should be legal.

      well.. THAT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING.. except..for one thing.. why do you persist on casting same se.x marriage as a "civil rights" issue? I'm sure you agree that it isnt, it just happens to be a behavior you agree with, amongst the many you dont.

      but.. bob.. that makes you a terrible hypocritic...right?

      December 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Chad

      should be "you DONT want them to be Legal.."

      December 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "except..for one thing.. why do you persist on casting same se.x marriage as a "civil rights" issue? I'm sure you agree that it isnt, it just happens to be a behavior you agree with, amongst the many you dont."

      It's is about civil rights. Hundred of thousands of experts have shown that 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."

      Like their heterosexual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.

      Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples.

      A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-sex parents as it is for children of opposite-sex parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-sex parents as for children of opposite-sex parents.

      Assertions that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.

      It's about civil rights because gays and lesbians want to get married and marriage is a civil right. Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.

      The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:

      No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

      December 2, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Bob

      "You are perfectly fine with denying some people the legal right to engage in certain behaviors you dont feel should be legal."

      They are illegal today, being gay is not. Keep deflecting from the reality of today, time to take your LSD.

      December 2, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " I had a flash of insight just now...." No, no you didn't.

      December 2, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Bob

      YeahRight thanks but Chad is going to just deflect it since he can't get it that what he is trying to compare it to is still illegal today. ;-)

      December 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad wants to equate illegal acts with legal ones in order to keep others from having the same choices he does--and then he has the nerve to call other people hypocrites?!?!?!!?

      December 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • mama k

      Again Chad you show yourself to be amazingly stupid on this issue. The gay marriage rights issue is about affording benefits and rights equally across the board for couples regardless of gender. And we've been through this before, so you should know better than to bring your silly argument about how it doesn't differ than say rights for incestuous couples (as one of your examples). That's not what is being sought. What is being sought is a relaxation of the current law to not be specific about gender. That means that other aspects about such redefinition of marriage remain in place (such as no incestuous couples).

      Now if you are saying on what grounds in this country do we determine what we can fight for regarding rights – really the sky's the limit – if the U.S. society via our representation and legal and executive systems doesn't like what you're trying to achieve – it will be obvious. But it's pretty obvious, Chad, that gay marriage rights are not unrealistic. Many people are seeing that gay couples, as heads of households, for instance, should be afforded the same benefits and other legal advantages as their straight counterparts. You have your opinion, you have your vote and I have mine.

      So with this statement: [Chad:] "If you are going to claim that any group doesnt have the right to impose their morality on another group, then atheists dont either."

      you again, for the hundredth time, miss the boat, Chad. What people don't have the right to do is impose their morality on law in this country other than through their vote. And even then, the courts can override the states to keep laws from infringing on rights (Example – 1963 ruling that mandated Bible readings in public schools is unconstitutional.)

      The business of affording benefits and advantages for couples termed and defined as "married" in this country is done so as a legal civic function therefore should be subject to equal application for whatever the voting population says meets the definition of marriage – and we see that is changing, Chad. So you need to take some of your silly ideas and for starters, consider them against states that have already moved forward and afforded gay couples those rights.

      December 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Just one question, Chard: when are you going to grow up?

      December 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Chad

      @YeahRight "It's is about civil rights..."

      =>oh absolutely!!

      that's why I simply can not understand why you persist in maintaining this holier-than-thou att.itude that you have. What right do you have to determine that two loving siblings cant marry?? Or a loving father and his daughter??? or a woman that shares a deep relationship with a 10year old boy? prost.itution is "the victimless crime". who does it hurt if I want to drop LSD??

      I contend we are both conservatives, I just believe that one fewer societal behavior is proper than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible societal behaviors as being legitimate , you will understand why I dismiss yours pet one." – Rephen Soberts

      December 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So the answer to my question is "Never."

      You're an adolescent, Chard.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Bob

      "that's why I simply can not understand why you persist in maintaining this holier-than-thou att.itude that you have. What right do you have to determine that two loving siblings cant marry?? Or a loving father and his daughter??? or a woman that shares a deep relationship with a 10year old boy? prost.itution is "the victimless crime". who does it hurt if I want to drop LSD??"

      This has been answered (several times) but Chady can't handle the truth about it so he keeps using the same lame argument instead of sticking with the argument about gays. Grow up dude.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad: Why M, but not N, O, P, and Q?
      Reasonable poster: Because N, O, P, and Q are illegal and M isn't.
      Chad: Yeah, but why?
      Rp: Because M isn't illegal, and N, O, P and Q are illegal.
      Chad: But why not N, O, P, and Q?
      Rp: Ummm..... M isn't illegal, and the other are
      Chad: Yeah, but why not N, O, P, and Q?

      and on and on...

      December 2, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Chad

      Incest, bestiality and polygamy arent illegal/prosecuted in all states..

      should they be allowed to marry?

      December 2, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  18. John P. Tarver

    I find men attractive, and it bothers me.

    December 2, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Patrick

      You're out of prison, celly???

      December 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Nut, nut, nut! I'm a nut, nut, nut!

      December 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • lionylamb

      You could do my cat if you want. That cat is the best lay I even had.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Patrick

      I think that's really you, Stretch.

      December 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  19. Mark

    Nice people did not like the truth so mu posts were removed. Typical.

    December 2, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Larry

      Mark: there is no human moderator. Your posts had a hidden naughty word in it, like Consti.tution has a ti.t in it.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • CNN moderator

      Yes, we're out to get you. :)

      Are you sure your post just didn't have a 'naughty' letter combo, like t.it in const.itution?

      December 2, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Mark, Ah, and "typical" paranoia from you, eh?

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ---
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      crac-ker…
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      inf-orms us…
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sn-atch
      sp-ank
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      December 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Splovengates

      What happened to my posts? Did I offend anyone?

      December 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Self-important, arrogant idiot and bigot

      WHAT THE FVCK, CNN?!?? WHAT, AM I TELLING TOO MUCH TRUTH FOR YOU TO HANDLE?! I GUESS SO, HUH? WOW, YOU GOTTA DELETE MY POSTS BECAUSE YOU CAN'T DEAL WITH ALL THE TRUTH I PROVIDE!! SUCK ON THIS, CNN!

      December 2, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  20. John P. Tarver

    Predators always kill the ones that are different and that is nature at work.

    December 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Peter

      "Predators always kill the ones that are different and that is nature at work."

      That's why the Christians killed most of the Native Americans.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bingo

      Well that explains the Spanish Inquisition, and the witch burnings, and the religious wars, and all that.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Patrick

      "Predators always kill the ones that are different and that is nature at work"

      It's why Hitler tried to kill all the Jews and gays, Hitler was Catholic.

      December 2, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Nut, nut, nut! I'm a nut, nut, nut!

      December 2, 2012 at 4:03 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.