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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. atomD21

    While I wouldn't have chosen to pretend to be g@y to try and gain more understanding, I applaud his desire to understand a group he grew up maligning. It's a pretty small world to grow up in, where only the people in the same church building are the good guys. I was only too happy to leave that mess.

    December 7, 2012 at 4:34 am |
  2. David

    Conservative Christians are always judging, condemning and trying to legally harm gays. Gays are not wanting to prevent Christians from worshipping God. Who do you think Jesus would identify more with?

    Gays are better human beings than Conservative Christians – you know it, I know it, and God knows it.

    December 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  3. Nietodarwin

    He still says he's christian which is sad. Religion is mental illness, it's delusion. Google religion as an addiction, it explains why reason and logic don't get through to religious people. Giving children drugs is horrible and a crime.Forcing a child a child into a RELIGION IS CHILD ABUSE, but nobody stops that. All the religious nuts are victims themselves, brought up in "faith" by their parents, who were by their parents, etc. Religion is harmful to our country, and is the reason our test scores are low. Time to start confronting the religious on their harm to our society, instead of just shaking our heads in pity for someone deluded enough to believe in a god.

    December 6, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  4. ALAN FISCHER, SR.

    GAY IS GAY-The United States is going the way of ancient Rome–Gays recruiting young men

    December 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Delusional idiocy.

      December 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • End Religion

      Alan Fischer, Jr must be so ashamed of his old man....

      December 6, 2012 at 3:29 am |
    • Diz

      It's callous comments like yours that highlight the problem America faces today.. bigotry. Shame on you sir.

      December 6, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Erik

      "Gays recruiting young men"

      You can't choose to be gay so you can't convert someone. All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      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).

      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.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • kenchandammit

      How do you suppose a 'gay recruitment' seminar would unfold? Do they have guest speakers? Or do they just walk around the stage in tight jeans and smile at you?

      December 6, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  5. John the Historian

    Martin Niemoller said firsdt they came for the Jews and I said nothing because I was not Jewish, then they came for the Communists and I said nothing because I was not a Communist, then they came for the Trade Unionists and I was not a union member, then they came for the Catholics and I said nothing because I was not Catholic, and then they came for me and there was not one to speak for me. The Christian Right needs to get out of politics and stick to charity work. Theocracy doesn't work. Oliver Cromwell and Puritian Massachusetts did not work. The theocracy of Brigham Young didn't work. So glad Willard lost. The mormon theocracy would have been pretty bad. Willard the planet kolob awaits you.

    December 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  6. Richard

    As a gay male n S GA, I commend him 4 testing his faith & beliefs & coming 2 the realizations that he did

    December 5, 2012 at 4:30 am |
  7. John Pimani

    wow what an excuse this guy has made up and profited from to disguise the past year of his life going wild at gay bars and screwing dudes!! he should be ashamed!

    December 4, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • agentxyz

      so funny and so true

      December 5, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • sam stone

      the article said he did not screw dudes

      December 5, 2012 at 4:42 am |
    • Prilyam

      It's a good idea to read the article completely before you comment on it.

      December 6, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Peter

      Your mother should be ashamed that she produced such a worthless son :(

      December 6, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  8. Boing

    Hopefully the author is also pretending to be obese.

    December 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  9. mike

    Being gay for most gay people is in NO WAY connected to the photos shown in the article above. As a gay person I have been generally uncomfortable when occasionally going to massive gay pride events and with much of the outlandish characters on display there. Some gay people will say that I am not comfortable being gay because of this. I have been married to the same guy for 10 years and we have a 3 year old son. We could not be more "out" to the general public and all those we know. This writer and the "gay for a year" guy should just come have dinner with us at our typical suburban white picket fence house. For most gay people they simply go about their lives without the feather boas and wigs. I understand the point of the expressions these peopel display. It's about being whoever the hell they want which is fine....but it is in way the defination of what it means to be gay.

    December 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Observer

      mike,

      Thanks for your comments. Unfortunately those who need to read them the most will not do so or will ignore them. Lots of people can't handle the truth.

      December 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Pride cometh before the governances shall then do fall and lay wasted the lands once commonwealth pillars of plentiful abundances.

      December 4, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Observer

      Ixnay.

      December 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • GOD of the GAY

      IF this is not about the way they dress and carry themselves – then why does it make you uncomfortable WHY would you care what they dress like- what they do
      something is brewing in that gay mind of your's mikey...let it out...let it out of the closet

      December 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Mike, I think the photos used were a good choice for an audience that already knows they aren't typical, because it does show how far the author was willing to stretch himself. I agree, though, that for someone who's really unexposed to mainstream gay life this is going to be misleading. I guess it depends how savvy you think most of the audience is. I have to assume that most people in the US have gay and lebian friends and associates and know this isn't typical, but certainly reading comments here you get the impression there are still some pretty clueless people out there.

      December 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • sam stone

      looks like lionylamb has eaten his bible and now he is pooping up scripture

      December 5, 2012 at 4:45 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      sam stone, I am struck by the recurring circularity of The Babble as demonstrated by lionlylamb: eat sh!t, poop sh!t, repeat multiple times, no value added or excreted. The ultimate garbage in – garbage out machine!

      December 5, 2012 at 6:06 am |
    • saggyroy

      I lived in N. CA in the 80's and it seemed the gays were like the ones in the pic, especially in San Francisco. Went back last year and things have changed. They just grew up is. Like you said kids, jobs....and I hate to say: "Just like everyone else".

      December 5, 2012 at 6:43 am |
  10. lol??

    Another possible reason Lot put his daughters out could be that he recognized the Mayor and the ward boss, who he thought were friends that wouldn't really act so wickedly.

    December 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  11. Whitney's ghost

    do you guys remember how In a distant galaxy eons before the creation of the mythical planet known as Earth, vast civilizations have evolved, and ruling the galaxy is an interstellar Empire created from the ruins of an Old Republic that held sway for generations. It is a time of civil war, as solar systems have broken away from the Empire and are waging a war of rebellion. During a recent battle, technical schematics for a gigantic space station, code named the Death Star, have been unearthed by Rebel spies, and a young woman who is a dissident member of the Imperial Senate, under the cover of a diplomatic mission to the planet Alderaan, is trying to smuggle these plans to the Rebellion. But her spacecraft is attacked by a vast warship of the Empire and seized. The dissident Senator is captured, but the plans for the Death Star are nowhere to be found. While soldiers of the Empire search the nearby planet Tatooine, a series of incidents sweeps up a young desert farmer with dreams of being a fighter pilot in the Rebellion, as he winds up with the Death Star plans and also the assistance of an elderly hermit who once served as a warrior of an ancient order whose chosen weapons were powerful energy swords known as lightsabers. The pair recruit a cynical interstellar smuggler and his outsized alien copilot with an ancient freighter heavily modified for combat to help them reach Alderaan – but the planet is obliterated and now the foursome must rescue the young woman held prisoner by the Empire and lead an attack by the Rebellion against the Death Star before it can annihilate all hope of restoring freedom to the galaxy

    December 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • lol??

      Don't remember it.

      December 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • lol??

      I heard because modern jets are so computerized these days, the pilots have taken up the term drivers.

      December 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • wendy

      lol??
      I saw in a news show that they're paid about the same as bus drivers. Scary!

      December 5, 2012 at 12:21 am |
  12. Whitney's ghost

    As a carpenter do you think Jeezo ever made crosses?
    Also as a carepenter would he make the floats for the gay prode parades?

    December 4, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Jones

      I think you may have seen Jesus make crosses in the movie Last Temptation of Christ. Better moment that that stupid scene of him making a table in The Passion.

      December 5, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • tdcherry

      crosses are not hard to make, so they probably used roman soldiers as free labor. cheaper that way. gay floats are a relatively new innovation. life was more simple in the past, and most people spent their time making things they really needed. who is Jeezo? never heard of him.

      December 5, 2012 at 3:04 am |
  13. YeahRight

    "because sin hurts people this the truth"

    Being gay is not hurtful. The hundreds of thousands of experts in this country 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.

    December 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • lol??

      Experts? Experts at telling you what you want to hear.And charging you for it.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Pete

      "Experts at telling you what you want to hear.And charging you for it."

      Really, cite your source liar.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Rick

      @lol – Priests are telling you what you want to hear.And charging you for it.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • lol??

      You a strange one Petey Pan, but at least you haven't forgot the lies you luv.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Pete

      "You a strange one Petey Pan, but at least you haven't forgot the lies you luv."

      That' means you have nothing to back up your lies about the experts, typical.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • lol??

      No PP, I know you wouldn't listen. You already called me a liar which is typical for mob think. It'd be a waste.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Pete

      "No PP, I know you wouldn't listen. You already called me a liar which is typical for mob think. It'd be a waste."

      Cite your source or shut up. The more you keep babbling without citing your source only proves you're a liar. If you actually had proof you'd post it but you don't so you'll keep posting more babbling.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Good luck, Pete. lol?? is a liar and a coward who specializes in innuendo – he will deflect requests for proof of his assertions with delusional nonsense.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • lol??

      NO, mob boss. Don't you have any personal boundaries? Progressive lines keep on keeping on.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Pete

      @midwest rail you are correct.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Pete", but midwest rail's assertion is true. "lol??" is, in fact, a liar.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • lol??

      "1Jo 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."

      December 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • lol??

      "Rick
      @lol – Priests are telling you...." Christians have one high priest........"Hbr 9:11-12 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once........."

      December 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Observer

      As is frequently the case, Christians love to tell people how to run their lives but are completely incapable of answering any questions about what they said or offer any proof.

      December 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • hal 9001

      Your are correct, "Observer", "lol??" only seems able to attempt proof of his/her beliefs via self/circular-reference.

      December 4, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  14. Michael

    God does not hate people he hates sin because sin hurts people this the truth – you can receive it or not -

    December 4, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      There is no such thing as "sin".

      December 4, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • mama k

      Define God, truth, sin, hate, hurt & people. You won't get the same answer from anyone, especially among Christians.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • The Truth

      So you speak for the creator of the universe and know what he thinks about this subject? Here's a "straight"jacket in your size, i'll just help you in it and then you can bounce off the wall's of your padded room all you like...

      December 4, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      how does two loving adults in a monogomous relationship hurt people, michael?

      December 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • sam stone

      come on, mikey....support your bigotry

      December 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      mikey:
      god is omniscient, right?
      god knows who will accept his son/himself as savior, right?
      he created those who he knew would not be "saved", right?
      for what purpose other than to torture them?

      your god is a vindictive, petty pr!ck

      December 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • James

      "God does not hate people he hates sin because sin hurts people this the truth"

      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 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Observer

      Michael,

      So slavery and discrimination against women and the handicapped don't hurt people?

      Try to input at least a tiny bit of logic into your comments.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • sam stone

      Observer: Good luck with that

      December 4, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      So you admit your god is a hater! Thought he was "all love" or something I heard in a reggae song...One love? Nope, hater...

      December 4, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • GOD OF THE UNIVER-sity

      That figures that he hates the sin...that's the best part

      December 4, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • David

      Michael, you are correct – God hates sin. Judging others is a sin. So maybe God doesn't hate Conservative Christians – he just hates that they sin so much.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  15. karl-Heinz

    tadaa

    December 4, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  16. TheBarkingAtheist

    Reblogged this on TheBarkingAtheist.

    December 4, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Huebert

      No one reads your blog.

      December 4, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  17. bp

    One of the primary purposes of religion is to give people divine approval for their hatreds.

    December 4, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Lionel

      Amen

      December 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Chad

      "I contend we are both haters, I just hate one more societal behavior than you do. When you understand why you hate the societal behaviors you do (incest, polygamy, adult-child relationships), you will understand why I reject the one you endorse (same sex marriage)." – Rephen Stoberts

      December 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      Speaking of incest, the Bible opposes it, but God HYPOCRITICALLY used it TWICE as his preferred method to populate the earth. Oops. "Do as I say, NOT as I do".

      December 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      I disagree with some behaviors, like incest and adult-child relationships, because they hurt people.
      How does same-se.x marriage hurt anyone?

      December 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • mama k

      I will be interesting to see if Chad actually answers ME II's question before asking more questions of others.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I have asked Chad that same question many times. He just ignores those questions.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      mama k: he won't. chad, like topher and many of the other inbred jesus svckers here, is a coward

      December 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • The Truth

      "I contend we are both haters, I just hate one more societal behavior than you do. When you understand why you hate the societal behaviors you do (incest, polygamy, adult-child relationships), you will understand why I reject the one you endorse (same s.e.x marriage)."

      Okay Chad, so i've thought about it and I understand what and why I hate:

      incest – proven to increase risk of birth defects
      polygamy – not hurting anyone (as long as it's consenting adults and not child brides), though it would need to be regulated so that it was not just used as a tax dodge.
      adult/child relationships = R A P E
      gay – not hurting anyone

      So I understand that I hate r a p e and I hate increased birth defect risks and you enjoy hating people who are not hurting anyone.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Guy

      Chad, playing at your game.....
      Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life, if you accept ME otherwise you, my disciples, shall track down the heretics and torture and kill them and remenber to be good or hells awaiting. Yohnnie 14:6 Revised BS version.

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

      Chad another favorite misquote....
      So now faith, hope, and love abide, unless some are different from you, then intolerance, prejudice, and hate are just fine.
      1 Corny 13:13 Revised BS version.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      This argument was shot down yesterday. Why are you posting it again?

      December 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • PaulB

      Chad
      Invalid comparison.

      Athena, Odin, Baal == God
      (Apples) == (Apples)

      Incest, polygamy, adult-child relationships == gay marriage
      (Apples) == (Oranges)

      December 5, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Jones

      bp
      I think it's more about being able to do what you like and then claim "I was just following orders!"

      December 5, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • CMDM

      No, that's not the case. Religion is about acceptance, love, and non judgment. However, people forget about the non judgement part, and only love and accept those that are like them. However, it does not take religion to act this way. There are plenty of Godless people who judge christians as idiots who believe in a ghost in the sky. Nevermind that the message from the ghost is just to love and accept humanity. When God threw Adam and Eve out of the garden, he stated "everything your offspring touch will be tainted".... including the running of religion. Christians should not be so apt to hate those that are not like them, but so should agnostics, gays, and everyone else. Accept the differences between you and your neighbor, and accentuate the common ground. It is as simple as that.

      December 5, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • ME II

      @CMDM,
      "Religion is about acceptance, love, and non judgment."
      Perhaps your religion is about those things, but it is presumptuous and arrogant to claim that for all religions. Additionally, is not Christianity all about judgement? Perhaps not your judgement of other people, but your judgement of God's judgement of other people. Why else would there be heaven and hell?

      "Nevermind that the message from the ghost is just to love and accept humanity."
      Not certain what message you are referring to, but the Bible can easily be shown to promote hate, e.g. Fred Phelps.

      "Christians should not be so apt to hate those that are not like them, but so should agnostics, gays, and everyone else."
      That, I agree with. Well said. Although, I would point out that your statement implies that one doesn't need god(s) or religion to do this.

      December 5, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  18. vicki

    I can't believe this, I think he has always been gay and just wanted to see #1 how friends and family would react. #2 If he could live the life style. These remark is coming from experience, I did the same thing only I did not get credit for it.

    December 4, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • sam stone

      or, maybe he just wanted to grow spiritually

      December 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • PaulB

      or challenge what he was led to believe?

      December 5, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  19. ZeusDeusMaximus

    He still didn't learn that religion is bogus, period. Teaching supersti tion as fact is evil, no matter what.

    Wait til he figures out that I, Zeus, am the only TRUE god.....my existence is STILL NOT DISPROVEN after all these years...

    December 4, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Hera

      Zeus.
      Get back in here, you supper's getting cold. You can talk with your friends afterward.

      December 4, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      Yes dear....(we all know who the REAL boss is)....coming dear!

      December 4, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • John Stone

      No no Zeus you are not the one real God ! How do I know !?! Because I, Kumbaya, am the one true God!! Alright everybody sing it "Kumbaya my Lord Kumbayaaaaaaa......"

      December 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Thor

      Jesus had nails...I have a hammer.....any questions?

      December 4, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      @ Thor

      Another carpenter! Jesus was a carpenter. You know what carpentry leads to? Cannabis....

      Rock on Mighty Mighty THOR – someone needs to disprove the existence of THOR! Lionly? G.O.D?

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

      @ John Stone

      Aren't you the guy that did the carpentry on my house in the clouds? I thought so....Kumbayaa my Zeus, Kumbayaa.....

      'ear....

      December 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • PaulB

      Thor
      You use to ride around on a chariot pulled by ... goats! :-)

      December 4, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  20. Bring'em young

    Looking at some of the pictures in the article shows one thing...sometimes you CAN tell just by looking at them.

    December 4, 2012 at 10:36 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.