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.
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.
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.”
“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullSPIT"
_ Richard Pryor
If god created man in his own image, how come I'm not invisible?”
_ David Powers
OH goodness me, the muslims in yemen have beheaded a woman and are parading her severed head through the street. They chopped of a man's arm Oh, those muslims are just so mentally ill and evil. christians are GOOD, we don't behead women, we burn them. OUR religion is a good one. WE are doing good when we kill for OUR god, the muslims are bad. WE say 'Praise be to god" and they say "god is great." WHAT CRAP. ALL RELIGION IS MENTAL ILLNESS. XSTIANS AND MUSLIMS ARE THE CHAMPS AT MURDER
To say their is no choice is a lie.-– all my sins are by choice - i will never be perfict so i pick my sins and i can count them on on hand - have a choice thats if i can see the sin!(((((((
The way people are BORN is not a sin. Get real.
Being gay is not a choice. Right vs wrong is not determined via a book, it is determined via societal standard of moral ethics (murder is wrong, harming another person in any way is wrong, etc) and thus the reason we have laws.
I was very happy to figure out that Santa was a myth, a lie, when I was a child. (I was a bit peeved at having been deceived as well.) My parents tried to prevent me from sharing this information with my little sister, but to no avail. TO SAY THERE IS A GOD IS ALSO A LIE. I was much more angry at having been told that lie all my life, when I finally figured out that lie because I learned some history and science. You can get help for your religious delusion. You can take a class at a college. You can start seeking out other atheists. The comment below about atheists growing in number is not false. The comment below about our ability to speak logic, reason, and truth without fear of being murdered is true. The news from the Yemen today is just the same as all the murder and horror done in the name of christianity over the centuries. Islam and christianity are pretty much the same. So YES, YOU DO HAVE A CHOICE.
Nieto: In order for it to be a lie, those claiming must believe otherwise. Are you claiming that believers don't really believe?
I think there are two broad categories of believers:
Those that truly believe the unsupported BS of supernatural gods and religion. This group is delusional and mentally ill.
Those that know religion is BS but lie about their true beliefs due to societal pressures or for financial or other gain.
I put Romney in the first group and Obama, and most believers, in the second.
I also allow for a third – those that are too young and too afraid to reject their parent's cult.
Sin is a crime against your god
Your god does not exist
Sin is not real
Years ago, ignorant fundiot nutters, such as yourself, claimed that being born left-handed was a sign of the devil – and they tried beating the left-handedness out of kids.
Years ago, ignorant fundiot nutters, such as yourself, claimed that being black was the mark of Cain. They used this to justify owning, beating, and killing black folks.
You fucking nutters were wrong then. You fucking nutters are wrong now. You fucking nutters will be wrong the next time you pick out a group of people to hate.
"To say their is no choice is a lie."
Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.
All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.
Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.
In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.
The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.
On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"
Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"
But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.
This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.
The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.
Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).
Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.
Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.
God created us all equal..God created man in His own image and gave a beautiful woman to the first man created..God did not create another man for the first man.what am trying to arrive at is GAY/LESBIANISM is a SIN..
If it is not a choice, how can it be a sin?
i guess i was mistaken. here, i thought that god created everything.....but you apparently know better......
Also, putting your drivel in caps does not make it any less drivel.
god made man in his own image
man is imperfect
ergo, god is imperfect
So is greed yet all across America Christians celebrate the pursuit of wealth and destroy their bodies through gluttony.
It was amusing seeing the pictures of the Chik-fil-A when that controversy erupted. All the tubbies showing their support by getting fatter and fatter. But their bodies are temples. Like many other mega-temples, they are ever expanding.....
"Being gays is unnatural.....pass me another bucket of chicken (woof, woof, woof)"
I love your handle. You obviously have not read the Bible. In that book, God plays the villain.
Sin only exists within the bible. Studies have shown that being gay is as natural as being straight. Given that your book can't be used in forming laws of the land, what your book says doesn't matter in the real world. Equality is what matters most in this world.
Your book also states that it is okay to stone disobedient children and own slaves; that it is okay to sell your daughter and beat your wife...do you adhere to that also?
If god created all, and a man is born gay, did not god create him that way?
And if god did not mean for that man to be born gay, did god make a mistake?
How then is it a sin to be that which you were born to be?
".God created man in His own image and gave a beautiful woman "
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.
But I will say this the Radical Christian Church has had some of the greatest impacts on the U.S. and the western world. It was sincere/radical Christians that challenged slavery (i.e. William Wilberforce and John Wesley) and it was Martin Luther King Jr. and Billy Graham who took a stand for the Civil Rights movement. There were others but for that I am glad for those men. And no the church is not to blame for slavery and racism but they did struggle over that issue for a while but praise God they finally started getting it right and led the way. So don't assume the Radical Christian Church is "evil" because we would not have made it through that without them. Shoot if you go back into history is was 5th century St. Patrick who fought for the ending of slavery and civil rights of the Irish during oppression of the governmental leaders of Britain. It was the Church that had one of the biggest roles in this nations positive history (not saying all) but it cannot be said vice versa, though they did/do have there issues.
Finally concerning atheism, if belief in a god/diety or whatever is so wrong and the athiests are so enlightened then how come you are so vastly outnumbered by all humanity throughout human history? Just curious... Surely it could not have taken us until the 21st century to realize this supposed truth out of the earth's six thousand year life or one billion year life whatever you may believe...I know atheism has been around for centuries to even thousands of years in some cultures but the numbers greatly are against you. Whether you believe in YHWH, Allah, Buddha, Jesus, Zeus, a forest god in some south american tribe or one of the thousands of gods in India the idea that they are all completely off and the select few atheists throughout history are the enlightened ones just seems odd. I find little logic in the math... Anyways that is just my thought as I ponder religion verses atheism.
Anyways I am not open for a debate or argument or for reading any rants but I am open to dialogue.
We're outnumbered and always have been due to the fact that admitting to not believing in very much shunned in most of society. Most of us were raised with a belief, indoctrinated from birth.
That said, with the huge onset of the social media revolution (so to speak), we have finally found an outlet where we no longer fear retribution for not believing. We have done our research and have been able to put two and two together to the best of our ability. We have taken the time to open our minds to what there is peer-reviewed studies and evidence for and what evidence is lacking. We see no reason to accept your version of god based simply off one book. We see a different side of things because we can no longer plug all of our unanswered questions with 'god'. We've looked at the bible stories and the history of the book. Most of us see a vast need for equality all across this world and we do this due to not having fear of punishment from a god that can't be proven to exist outside of the bible (ie; we support gays but for a christian to do that might mean to them that they are sinning and thus risk ending up in hell) . We look outside the box.
You should do some research in to the number of clergy who no longer believe. Our numbers are probably a lot higher but due to what can come with denying belief, it is somethings just as easy to remain silent and follow the crowd.
Oh I am quite aware of the ones who do not believe. So please do not assume that I am ignorant of that. That does not help. I do not assume that you are dumb. However I am open to questions like: "What do you think about this increase of clergy who don't believe?" or "Are you aware of said clergy." And I would consider most of them either doubters (if that is their case) or unbelievers which then means they are not truly a member of their religious faith. I have done much research in certain fields. I wont claim all of them but then again I doubt there is one person out there that is that well learned, nor one who has the time. That is why specific people take on one field. But of course we hopefully all know that. So I cannot answer every question. I cannot answer for science...because I am not a seasoned scientist. Save that for the 40+ scientists to ask questions and debate.
I have become a huge fan of Socrates as of late because of his desire to ask lots of questions and his desire to see the answers. I honor and respect the questions of the people of this generation but trust me the answers are there. You just have to go to the ones who have taken the time to get the answers and even scrutinize them to make sure. And don't get offended when the one you have gone to has not studied out that topic. I wont get offended at an atheist historian cause he can't answer my questions about science or vica versa. Christianity has answered them. No offense to the uneducated Christians out there but I so wish you would stop trying to answer the questions you have not taken the time to learn the answers to.
Also you say "we" which made me happy that you did not say "I". But what are your questions? Have you personally sought them out and taken the time to ask the question and even seek it out? I hear the same rants over and over "You don't answer out questions!!!" "The answer is God!!!" blah blah blah...it is old. What are the questions?
"Finally concerning atheism, if belief in a god/diety or whatever is so wrong and the athiests are so enlightened then how come you are so vastly outnumbered by all humanity throughout human history?"
that is an "argument from popularity" and is a logical fallacy. History is full of the majority of people believing things that are false or unfounded.
Religious people do good all the time, that is not my argument. My argument is christianity (and many other religions) are immoral in their concept. All the good that is done in the world by the religious could be done without religion, it is unnecessary.
True there are bad religious groups that do bad things. just as there are many non religious that do terrible things. So one cannot assume all religions are good and all non are bad. That is poor stereotyping. Just as you cannot assume that all who go to church and put christian on their Facebook are actually christian. Sadly not all who are leaders in the church are actually Christians. These are legit facts.
Again to the nitty-gritty:
From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.
Heterose-xual se-x is basically intercourse.( intercourse: co-pulation between male and female).
Bottom line: gay unions and heteros-exual marriages. Now everything is correct biologically and physically and should be noted this way in laws and government regulations to include census forms and requirements.
Regarding gayness: once again:
o "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.
1. The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:
“ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice. "
2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8
3. See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”
Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.
"Without men following God, we wouldn't have a const–itution."
FACT: God is NEVER mentioned in the const-itution. God isn't even mentioned in the preamble which gives the reasons for its existence. Read it.
I actually have read it, many times over. Every man involved in it had God in his heart. God is freedom. God gives freedom. God gifted people with free will, to choose whether or not to love Him, whether or not to even believe in Him. He gave you and me both that choice, and we chose opposing sides of that free will. When you look at the truth of God (freedom, love, acceptance, forgiveness), you will also see the essence of the const–i–tution
Words that NEVER appear in our Declaration of Independence and Consti-tution:
God. Jesus. Christ. Christian.
Words that never appear in the consti–tution: Atheist. Atheism. Black. Arab. Hispanic.
I can play those games, too.
YOU were the one making the claims. Try again.
"The highest glory of the American Revolution was this – that it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity." – John Quincy Adams
"The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty. A student's perusal of the sacred volume will make him a better citizen, a better father, a better husband." – Thomas Jefferson
"The Bible is the rock on which our Republic rests." – Andrew Jackson
Shall I go on?
Shall I give a long list of quotes from our forefathers about what a farce religion is? Want to hear from Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Monroe, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, etc?
The bibles has historically been used to repress more freedom than it ever was to grant it.
The bright men who formed our nation were given a unique opportunity to create the best possible nation from scratch.
They designed one where RELIGION and GOVERNMENT were kept apart.
what you would be "showing" are lies that communist Atheists created to attempt to discredit the purely positive impact Christ has had on our society. There isn't a thing that concretely substantiates the myth that the founders were "atheists," and in fact, there are many, many concrete examples that the founders were devout Christians.
@Blessed: imperfect man can use anything to do anything. It's called perversion. Perversion is going against the nature of something. Imperfect man has perverted the bible, yes. Imperfect man has always perverted everything. Imperfect man has always changed good things to do bad things. That's just the nature of the human beast. It's when you rise above doing the bad things, that you can really see what good things can be done.
Well why would your all knowing god use us, his imperfect creations, to get is message across in such a way when he knew we would pervert his word? Your god must be an idiot or is complete fiction. Answer: B
Oh, horseshit! That crap would have gone over well in the Puritan era, but this the 21st century. We've outgrown mythology (well, at least some of us have). You need to chuck those silly beliefs and join the logical world.
"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved - the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prosti-tutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history. "
– John Adams in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816
GodsPeople: "Every man involved in it had God in his heart. "
Well it certainly is difficult for I nor you to know what is in a person's heart. But the key founders were very influenced by Deism around the time the government was being founded.
Listen to James Madison, POTUS #4, and the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution:
During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.
(A Remonstrance . . to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785.)
Listen to John Adams, POTUS #2:
The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.
Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.
(from A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America [1787-1788])
Listen to Ben Franklin:
Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of the sermons which had been preached at Boyle’s Lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them. For the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to be much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.
(from his Autobiography)
And of course Thomas Paine was very Deistic.
And of course Thomas Jefferson had his own Deistic version of the Bible.
Of course Deism holds to the belief of God as the creator of the universe. But many Deists also believed that God did not interfere with the lives of his creation. And many Deists disbelieved in all of the "magic" in the Bible – some of them refuting the Bible completely.
I'm sure that many of those very Deistic key founders would argue with GodsPeople that God is not freedom. It is also quite obvious, especially because of the fighting between Christian sects around the time of the government's founding, that the key founders knew the only way to enforce freedom of religion was to keep it out of the government as much as possible.
Mama k: second sentence: "you or me" not "I nor you". Otherwise I agree.
And in case you don't believe my last statement from my previous post, here's a bit more from James Madison:
Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.
The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State.
(from letters to Edward Livingston and Robert Walsh)
Ah – of course. Thanks, Dippy.
GodsPeople: "Atheists created to attempt to discredit the purely positive impact Christ has had on our society."
Well that's a laugh. It's not Christ we worry about – it's extremist Christians – and their impact has been anything but positive.
Imperfect man has perverted the bible,
The Bible is perverted. Finally, there is something that we can all agree on.
"Perversion is going against the nature of something."
How do you know it is not within THEIR own nature?
Do you have the authority to speak for god?
" Every man involved in it had God in his heart. God is freedom. God gives freedom."
LOL please explain how god can be for freedom yet promote slavery at the same time?
This isn't about religion, it's about hate. It just so happens that most people who consider themselves religions are hateful people. They use religion to justify their disgusting and unacceptable world view. They will only go away when society opens it's eyes and sees religious people for what they really are, small minded, hateful and delusional. Religion is a mental disease and needs to be treated as such.
Actually, liberalism is the mental disorder. Without men following God, we wouldn't have a const–itution. The Soviet (Atheist) Union was the most horrible place to live in the world, with people starving to death and being killed by the state for speaking against the atheistic state viewpoint. In Communist China, Christians are killed just for holding bibles and speaking of faith in Christ. Even now, in Europe, Christians are being killed by muslims on a daily basis for not following Sharia law, instead following God's law.
We hate the sin, not the sinner.
@GP, you're aware 'bearing false witness' is a sin, right? One of the top 10 extra naughty ones... might want to go ask forgiveness now.
if he was trying to change his beliefs, then he is not really a Christian, and will never have God's grace until he repents his acceptance of sin.
What is "god's grace?" And why should we want it?
God's grace is forgiveness of sin and acceptance into the Holy Kingdom, life of the spirit after death of the body. Why wouldn't you want to be in the Kingdom, and eternally happy?
There is no such thing as sin.
@Blessed: Prove it.
@GodsPeople I mean not to use your own words against you, but can you prove that there is Sin. I do not mean to ask you to simply say sin is evil, sin is all the wrong in the world. But how do you know what to label sin because it is not, unfortunately, all there for us to read in the good book.
Sin is a misbehavior. It's defined in the Catholic Church as a "mistake," which is why it CAN be forgiven. I can prove there is sin by a few different methods. One is that, when you do something wrong, you feel bad about it. Where do you think your conscience fits in?
Godspeople: Since there is no god or heaven, none of what you're saying makes any sense. How could you allow yourself to become so deluded? Can't you think for yourself and use plain old common sense?
Sin only exists if a personal god exists......hence no sin.
I would recommend reflecting on those thoughts. I used to think the same way.
What changed you?
Well then you used to be right.
If a sin is a mistake (something that requires a choice) then unfortunately for you being gay cannot be defined as a sin as no choice is involved. Gay people do not chose to be born as such, there are very complicated factors that go into molding a person's se.xuality and choice is not one of them. You obviously have never really gotten to know anyone who is anything but straight which is why your views reflect your stone age dogma. I had the same views as you until my best friend came out as bise.xual. I was shocked and admittedly tried "converting" him. Then I got to know more about how this whole thing works right from someone who has experienced it first hand. He never made a choice... It just happened. Now the real question is why didn't your almighty "god" turn him straight when he prayed for years incessantly? Is "god" too weak or does he just not care? Or does he not exist at all? Unfortunately for you one of the three has to be true. I will let you argue which one.
Why wouldn't you want to be in the Kingdom, and eternally happy?
Spending an eternity at church sounds more like hell. Read Mark Twain's "Letters from the Earth".
Sin is what GodsPeople did when he said...
"Actually, liberalism is the mental disorder. Without men following God, we wouldn't have a const–itution. The Soviet (Atheist) Union was the most horrible place to live in the world, with people starving to death and being killed by the state for speaking against the atheistic state viewpoint. In Communist China, Christians are killed just for holding bibles and speaking of faith in Christ. Even now, in Europe, Christians are being killed by muslims on a daily basis for not following Sharia law, instead following God's law. We hate the sin, not the sinner."
He lied @8 times. That's a lot of forgiveness to ask for!
maybe he was trying to challenge his beliefs and grow spiritually
speaking for god, are you GP?
1) Teaching supersti tion as fact is evil, period. You advocate teaching superst ition as fact, ipso facto you are evil. See how easy that is? Stop it! Stop teaching supersti tion as fact. Stop being evil!
2) The USSR and Commie China were atheist only in that the leaders were throwing off ALL past authority insti tutions in order to consolidate their power and control the minds of their people, not because atheism was some kind of rational reaction to the superst ition-mongers. So don't use that example to sow fear of atheism because it is non-contextual. Instead, use western Europe's high standard of living and continuing rejection of superst ition-based governance. That would be more contextually correct.
3) Most people, you included, believe superst itious claptrap out of fear inculcated in you from birth. Just rationally work to destroy that fear first, then you can move on to becoming a contributing member of society instead of being a manipulative fear-monger. Really, it's both hard and easy. Hard cuz it's been driven into your brain by people who should have been trustworthy, ie parents; easy because there is so much science and rationality available to you in the 21st century that to continue to espouse supersti tion more and more shows you to be WILLINGLY ignorant. Therefore a proponent of evil.
4) I, ZEUS, am the only correct god to worship. Disprove it....disprove my existence...
Have any of you from the GLBT community who are dissing this book actually READ it??? As a gay man, I found it very touching that he would even try to change his evangelical Christian beliefs and open his heart to his fellow man. I'm not offended at all that he "lied and deceived" our community for this little experiement. I personally think EVERY self-proclaiming Christian should buy a copy and read it. It might actually open some minds!
"It might actually open some minds"
It is much more likely to open some sphincters.
There are many moderate Christians who are fully accepting of gays. And then there are the extreme nutcases like John Thomas Tolbert just below who are some of the most bigoted people on the planet. This disparity among Christians is nothing new. As a religion, Christianity is conflicted to its core; from its beginnings. Christians are constantly telling each other "you're not a good Christian". This kind of conflict between Christians has always been with us in the U.S. It's what caused one Christian to say:
to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785. And that moderate Christian (heavily influenced by Deism) was James Madison, the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution, and our 4th POTUS.
Quote from the article: “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."
I think he went wrong by assuming that they were all HIV positive. They are in fact perverts and many are pedophiles.
When there are no heteros who are perverts, then you will begin to have some crediblity.
Until then, it's all HYPOCRISY.
I would consider cleaning up the rampant ped...ophila in the church before throwing stones at a group of people in which you have no evidence of your statement.
I deleted Udontgetthepoint's posts. We can't have any of that goody-goody God crap on this site. Get it? Stop posting holy stuff. It makes my armpits chafe.
Those are NOT your armpits.
sounds like a personal & disgusting matter to attend to.
Too many articles about f@ggotry on CNN. They know that this is offensive to the majority of christians yet they keep posting them anyway.
I know, I'm all for it, also! Yay for pizzing off christards!!
They are trying give ignorant bigots an education.
Obviously you feel some connection to them, you keep reading the stories.
It's important to have someplace for Evangelicals to wax rhapsodic about anal se'x.
JTT: It is not offensive to Christians, it's offensive to bigots. There is some overlap, for sure, but there is a difference
“I am trying to figure out what place in the body of Christ I fit in,” he said."
Certainly not the bunshole.
I'm still waiting for the "You and me baby ain't nothing but mammals so let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel" biography...
Why waste energy on hating in either direction? Silly, really. I am sure there are better uses of time than coming up with quick cut-downs and smears. Let's get back to the real world and do some good.
You're here and you want to tell others to get back to the world... ya sure. The word hypocrite rings real loud.
And give up pot shooting at the fundies? No way, they make such easy targets. It' like bobbing for apples in a shot glass.
Well, looky there! Chad finally shut his pie hole! There ARE miracles!
God destroyed Sodom because of GREED. Like I said, Christians actually need to read the Bible.
I'd bet that's part of it. I'm running off but I just did a quick search of greed in gen. "Sorry! The word "greed" doesn't occur in 'Gen' of the KJV." another description?
Jud 1:5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
Jud 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Jud 1:8 Likewise also these [filthy] dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
- Ezekiel 16:49 “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”
No wonder religious Republicans are worried now.
@was blind, but now I see,
Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of the same sins as any city. They weren't even as bad as the people of Jerusalem. Sodom was destroyed because of greed, not because of gays.
Eze 16:50 And they were haughty 1361 , and committed 6213 abomination 8441 before 6440 me: therefore I took them away 5493 as I saw 7200 [good].
Strong's H8441 – tow`ebah תּוֹעֵבָה
Part of Speech
Root Word (Etymology)
Act part of תָּעַב (H8581)
Outline of Biblical Usage 1) a disgusting thing, abomination, abominable
a) in ritual sense (of unclean food, idols, mixed marriages)
b) in ethical sense (of wickedness etc)
Yep. It wasn't BECAUSE they were gay.
The same Hebrew word (8441) is used here:
Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie 7901 with mankind 2145, as with 4904 womankind 802: it [is] abomination8441.
Leviticus also says (Lev. 20:9) "If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death”.
So why should anyone care what Leviticus says about anything?
Gen 19:4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, [even] the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the men from every quarter:
Gen 19:5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
Gen 19:6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
Gen 19:7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
Yes. Like I keep saying, it wasn't BECAUSE they were gay.
@Observer "So why should anyone care what Leviticus says about anything?"
So then, according to your own "logic", why should anybody care what your postings said? I'm sure I can twist them and take them out of context to get them to support my own persoonal opinions just as well as your ilk.
Then what is the context of that passage that makes it ok to kill someone if they curse their parents?
You are D E N S E !
The *MEN* of the city...*ALL* of the men....came and surrounded the *MEN* and demanded to know (H3045) them......
Same word (H3045):
Gen 4:17 And Cain 7014 knew3045 his wife 802; and she conceived 2029 , and bare 3205 Enoch 2585:
Gen 4:25 And Adam 120 knew3045 his wife 802 again 5750; and she bare 3205 a son 1121, and called 7121 his name 8034 Seth 8352:
Well..if you believe in curses.....and you curse your parent(s).....you are effectively cursing yourself. That's what it's talking about.
So why should we pick on gays based on Leviticus?
Is it because you/we should believe EVERYTHING in it?
Is it because you/we should follow EVERYTHING in it?
Is it because Leviticus is perfect?
How about an answer why we should care what Leviticus says since you support it?
"Well..if you believe in curses.....and you curse your parent(s).....you are effectively cursing yourself."
Most ridiculous, pathetic excuse of the day.
Try again and do much better next time.
"A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."
LOL now that's some spin. "he shall be put to death" apparently means "oh he's cursing himself so he'll die as well". Wow that is some major mental gymnastics you pulled there.
still blind. Do you eat shellfish? Abomination. You're going to hell.
And apparently, not even cursing himself directly. Supposedly, you can look at "he shall be put to death" and even get as in depth as the person cursing himself by proxy. Pathetic.
When you are truly ready to listen, just ask away. Until then, I have better ways of spending my time.......
Awww bye bye little apologist. Maybe next time you'll come up with something less pathetic, although it most likely won't be any more valid.
So you're still stumped and will therefore run away, right?
hawaiiguest "@was blind. LOL now that's some spin. "he shall be put to death" apparently means "oh he's cursing himself so he'll die as well". Wow that is some major mental gymnastics you pulled there."
OH how these christians blaspheme. They insist their god is so stupid he doesn't know the difference between "put to death" and "cursing himself". As if an omnipotent and omniscient god would not be able to get a simple sentence right
@was blind, but now I see,
So just to be clear, having s3x with your kids... a-okay in the bible. Brothers and sisters having s3x... no problem. Women having s3x with women... go ahead. A man giving oral pleasure to another man... also okay (because he's not doing anything on the guy that he could also do on a woman). Basically, as long as he doesn't "lie" with a man the way he does with womenkind then he's good to go. Correct?
Don't you find it a bit odd tha the only man deemed righteous enough to be saved from God's wrath at Sodom was quite happy to throw his vir/gin daughters over to a ravenous mob to be ra/ped? Or that shortly thereafter, he had a drunken, incestuous or/gy with those same daughters?
Com' on Doc, that's just good ol' Babble Belt fun!
It's really too bad Jerusalem wasn't hit by a meteor instead of Sodom and Gomorrah
Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed by a vengeful deity around 2100 BCE. They were destroyed by the remnants of a very large meteor that entered the earths atmosphere over the Pacific ocean, traveled over India, the Indian ocean, Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean sea, finally exploding over Europe. The vast majority of the meteor's particulate matter was thrown back along its trajectory and impacted the earth in the area of the eastern part of the dead sea. The passage of the meteor was observed by astronomers in Mesopotamia who recorded the event. The evidence of the meteorites passing has been seen and confirmed as far away as South America. No deity is needed to explain the destruction of the cities on the southeastern side of the dead sea.
Ok that will make that bozo's head spin, they can't actually handle the real truth.
You might say, "The timing is out of this world!"
Or it is more likely the story was put together as an explanation for the event after the fact.
Who says God cannot use a meteor?
Yeah, they didn't record Lot saying, "Whew, that was a close one!"
What's so miraculous about using a meteor, especially when God must have known that later generations would know what they actually were?
It's more important that Christians actually read the Bible to find out that the destruction of Sodom had NOTHING to do with gays. It's time to end their ignorance.
Observer, from what perspective? Are you Christian? A very good case can be that it was an indictment on mob gubmints VS Abraham's family version of life on this planet. Layers, dude.
Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed by a meteorite, the egyptians pursing the Israelites were drowned by a ocean surge, the Jordan was dammed up by a rock slide, the walls of Jericho were brought down by an earthquake.
The part that requires the God of Israel, is knowing of those events beforehand so that he could get Lot out, have Moses get the Israelite across, get the nation of Israel across with dry feet and have Israel complete their 7 days of marching around right on schedule.
Nope, all that takes is a time traveler with a twisted sense of humor. The god of the bible is demonstrably stupid if you but read the book.
And then your god lets them roam around in the desert for 40 years...he is such a trickster
@Moby Schtick "Nope, all that takes is a time traveler with a twisted sense of humor. "
A. You think a time traveler is a viable explanation?
B. Time traveler would know in advance that those things were happening, however that person would also have to have orchestrated the events to get Israel, Lot, Joshua et. al, in those positions..
Time travel is no more unlikely than the existence of some invisible man in the sky.
So Lot survived the destruction of the town by the comet. Then he, or other drama queens, conjured the oh-so-exciting, supernatural scenario for his escape.
I read a story recently by a girl who survived being attacked and pulled under the water by an alligator. She described her experience, including, "while I was down there, being dragged around by the gator, "God" just told that beast to spit me out!"
Little more difficult to make the "I survived X so that means God did it" theory when you're talking about Israelites being pursued, marching around Jericho, Noah and the ark, Gideons fleece, crossing the Jordan with dry feet, , and on.. and on.. and on...
being told to do something based upon a coming natural event is way different than mistakenly ascribing a natural event to a deity.
Where's the proof that he was "told" anything? Got any evidence, other than the Bible?
Ah, there's Chad. Have you worked out your problems with male deities and other male authority figures? I'd guess not since you're still on about the God of Israel and the assorted fables that go along with it.
Chad, sounds like your god is quite the vengeant, bigoted jerk. No thanks. You can keep your disgusting Christian myths and your intolerance. To yourself. Silently, please.
And the verification that the stories were not written after the fact are.....?
No, I don't think time travel is a viable explanation; the point is that it does not take "the god of Israel" to do the things you claim. It merely takes a time traveler. What seems most likely is that a few interesting tales got handed down over a few generations with bits added on here and there, then transferred into other cultures with other bits added or taken away-–the same as any myth. Besides, if jews were ever in Egypt in the numbers claimed by the bible, Egyptology would have verified at least that, but it doesn't. Bible fail.
Can you prove that these things actually were predicted beforehand, and didn't just serve as starting points to anchor stories that the Israelites invented?
1. If you dont think it's an explanation, why do you present it as an option??
2. How many Israelites does the bible say were in Egypt?
#2 is a trick question. Egypt didn't have electricity. There were no lites.
Why wouldn't your omnipotent god of Isreal who knew all about these supernatural events, conjure up a film crew to record all these events and leave evidence that these things really happened? After all HE would already know that doubters would come along and declare the stories BS? Intresting the only evidence of the stories about god, jesus and the holy spirit are the lame stories found in the bible, all of which are based on heresay, far short of any standard of proof. Faith and belief were all that Zeus had, but it didn't last, neither will your "guy".
@Guy "Why wouldn't your omnipotent god of Isreal who knew all about these supernatural events, conjure up a film crew to record all these events and leave evidence that these things really happened?"
A. He DID prepare the nation of Israel and sent His Son to this earth at a time when history was recorded. Remember, the bible is a collection of independent accounts by over 40 different authors over the course of ~2000 years. So we have a written record from the eyewitnesses.
B. If you think a film would be accepted as incontrovertible evidence, you have never seen ET.
C. God HAS manifested Himself in nature (origin of the universe, fine tuning of the universe , origin of life, fossil record.
D. The evidence is there for those who are open to it, but not so much that it would be coercive
Willing to appear openly to those who seek him with all their heart, and to be hidden from those who flee from him with all their heart, God so regulates the knowledge of himself that he has given indications of himself which are visible to those who seek him and not to those who do not seek him. There is enough light for those to see who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition. Blaise Pascal
@Chaz: "A. He DID prepare the nation of Israel and sent His Son to this earth at a time when history was recorded."
No he didn't. Neither jesus nor god ever existed. If you had proof he sent his son you'd show it every time you post. But you don't/ You have a dusty old fabricated book you cling to, nothing more.
"Remember, the bible is a collection of independent accounts by over 40 different authors over the course of ~2000 years. So we have a written record from the eyewitnesses."
No, we have scammers, zealots and idiots wanting attention. There never has been a single eyewitness of any type of miracle.
"God HAS manifested Himself in nature (origin of the universe, fine tuning of the universe , origin of life, fossil record."
God is no where to be found in nature. He certainly has not manifested anywhere or you'd have proof. You have nothing. If your argument is that he created the universe, why would an inerrant god need to fine tune something he created? It makes zero sense. Now, after countless years of fighting the fossil record, nutters have nearly given up, meaning the only tactic left is to incorporate what they cannot overcome. You will see nutters like Chad more and more embrace the fossil record as "proof" of some divinity. All it means is they got tired of losing.
"The evidence is there for those who are open to it, but not so much that it would be coercive"
There isn't the tiniest fraction of proof. You realize lying is a sin, right? Better pack a flame retardant swim suit!
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.