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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. Allan

    It is a shame that someone has to deceive not only his own family, but those in the LGBT community he mixed with to reach his conclusion, no matter how 'noble' Mr. Kurek's intentions were. Somehow, I don't think his conclusions were worth the deceptions and betrayls he caused.

    All he had to do is go to his friend who he let down and apologized to her and asked her to allow him to interact with her and her friends and observed them without deception and he would have found out the LGBT community is like all other communities, not deviants and perverts.

    December 2, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  2. jp

    1. This guy was NOT pretending 2. This "belief" series by CNN is beyond stupid 3. Religion is ALL fraud and deceit (everyone sitting in a "church" on Sunday morning singing and praying to imaginary friends, as if it mattered an any way)

    This guy is a con man and liar and is in the closet

    December 2, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  3. Blasphemy

    What does "pretending to be gay" entail?

    People who act gay are annoying. The key word is ACT. Or in many cases over act. It is no less annoying than people who "act redneck." or any other kind of act.

    December 2, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • DJPelletier

      Just like people who "Act" like they know everything...

      December 2, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Sparky

      Acting Straight because someone else so or because of the brain washing from society is not only annoying but really unhealthy

      December 2, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  4. Linda Antonioli

    He walked in another's person's shoes and grew from the experience. His personal evolution and resulting acceptance of others has made him a better man. Mission accomplished.

    December 2, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  5. Marcus

    CNN,
    I have not read this article (I don't have time right now) so I do not know if there is anything controversial in it or not. I once again request you change the day you post your religious blog postings. By posting it on Sunday, you make it more difficult for Christians (pastors and church attendees) to join in the debate that happens on this message board. If you are going to make public assertions about Christianity, the Bible or Christians, it would be more fair if you do it on a day different from Sunday so that Christians have more opportunity to participate in a discussion about the religion they believe in.

    December 2, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • rick

      the board is open 24/7

      December 2, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • jp

      Stop wasting Sundays on a charade that is meaningless in the extreme; do something useful. At least the religious zealots have stopped sacrificing virgins, and stoning people (oh wait there still doing that)

      December 2, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Sparky

      So the world is supposed to change to suit your particular set of beliefs?

      You want to deny others while you can still access 24/7 ?

      How about if you think about other people as much as you do yourself ? We all have rights and freedom – not just you.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Damocles

      @marcus

      I think that in the time it took you to write this, you could have read at least a sentence or two of the story.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • deadlyserious

      Pretty much every day is the sabbath for someone. Suck it up, buttercup.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • poopmeister

      I actually think that churches should get a little more progressive and maybe read an article like this during church. At least this way church goers could put their brains to work and put themselves in the outside world. The reason this guy had the views that he had is because he was so sheltered behind the church's beiefs. I think every community should be as diverse as possible, this way kids can grow up developing their own view points instead of them being force fed beliefs.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  6. achepotle

    I think the best thing to do would be to set up some reeducation centres...larger, camp like areas...perhaps run by FEMA...and start sending Christians on courses to learn about how to live with others...the courses would be perhaps 3 years long, and at the end, former Christians could be reintegrated with normal society.

    December 2, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Marcus

      Are you serious? This comment is unloving and hateful. To generalize about all Christians like that is wrong. Get to know people personally and judge everyone on their own merits.

      December 2, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • ex catholic

      Ha Ha Ha love it.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Sparky

      Thats a wonderful idea,...

      Perhaps the Christians can actually learn something.

      And to those of you who are Christians – you do realize most of us had to go through an experience which evolved what we were taught as children – and pretty much all of us feel better for it. Open your minds – go meet someone who is gay. You might expand your views on the world too – and you might evolve to a more worldly view

      December 2, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • poopmeister

      Marcus, it's actually not a bad idea to have re-education camp but it should be geared more towards the young kids to keep them from going down the "hate road". Adults can reformulate their own opinions but children need to be shown every type of lifestyles. I grew up lutheran but later in life found Buddhism; I wish I knew about different avenues earlier in life and I might have been a happier person a lot sooner.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  7. James Buchanan

    Even if he hadn't "come out", figuratively speaking, just living with them, getting to know them, and just facing prejudice that comes with being straight and supporting their efforts can be eye opening.

    That he chose this path, whether you wish to question his integrity, given he did have gay assistance in maintaining his cover, is simply a measure of his dedication.

    It's no more evil to me than "Undercover Boss". He walked away from his previous life, spent a year living that life. Just to note, people praise various mayors for spending a WEEK living on food stamps to understand poverty, and even that is enough to open their eyes.

    Right, wrong, or whatever, this guy bellyflopped into the pool of social opinion, and he made some massive waves. Good for him.

    December 2, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  8. tekctrl

    For Many people, the way to fight something that they personally abhor is to demonize "the others". They embody the old saying of "don't confuse me with the facts". Once someone is demonized, it's So much easier to exclude and ostracize them. This is as true in the social arena as it is in the political arena. The only way to fight this demonization is to do as this young man did and shine a bright light on it. Yes, he lived a lie for a year. Yes, he misrepresented himself to the LGBT community. Given his efforts to expose the facts and 'de-demonize' the LGBT community, I think he should be commended and not condemned. Good Job!

    December 2, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  9. GetReal

    So in order to see what the gay experience is all about, he lied for a year to everyone he knew...and then claims to have had some kind of spiritual experience and breakthrough during it. This is about as sick an experiment as I have heard in quite a while. Lie to your family, Lie to your friends and then convince a friend to go along in the lie with you. Lie to the new gay friends you make. Lie to your church.

    And then celebrate by writing a book. I hope it flops hugely because it is a total lie!

    December 2, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Sparky

      Perhaps there is a different view... He chose to no longer be Blinded by Doctrine He decided to see what was real and what was propaganda. Good for him He learning was that the ones telling the lies were the evangelics. Maybe there is something in there which deserves others to open their eyes and maybe there is something to learn from all of that ?
      or you can put your head back in the sand and be blindly obedient to doctrine

      December 2, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  10. Complutensian Polyglot

    All you need to know about what it's like to be in someone else's shoes:

    Tootsie
    Soul Man
    The Exorcist

    December 2, 2012 at 8:50 am |
  11. dasea

    hahahahahaha nice cover, so you had to go under cover as a gay person for a year to find out more about the gay lifestyle for Christ. I can barely wait for the next story. Very straight Christian man decides to go back in to get PHD in gay lifestyle.

    December 2, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  12. cpc65

    "Pretending"? Sure he is. Just be who you are. Anything else is a lie. To quote Frank Zappa, "You are what you are, and you is what you is".

    December 2, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  13. jason

    i think this guy made a very courageous and difficult choice to help him grow and learn and in turn my help other religious nuts learn something from it . so i applaud him . i don't think it should have taken him that long to learn that prejudice is wrong and religion is wacky but , some people have to work harder at figuring things out.

    December 2, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • GetReal

      When has lying become courageous?

      December 2, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • MormonChristian

      I agree with the first part of your comment but why the "wacky" label? Could you not respect and be friends with a person of faith?

      December 2, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • SuperReal

      GetReal, easy answer. Since the authors of the bible did it by saying they knew God's will and God's mind. When God fearing people tell you God spoke to them and told them what to do and pays special attention to them. The list is endless. That is what makes lying courageous, a cultural history of lies. Get real.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • poopmeister

      Get Real, you might want to get real. If he was gonna go into the gay community, what was his small talk going to be....."So I'm Christian, and we hate you people; how about those Yankees?" He had to lie to pull it off. There has never been experiments that didn't have some form of danger associated with them. This is a guy that was willing to get his hands dirty and should be applauded. Lying is nothing, most gay people feel the need to lie because of bigots in this world. He was just adding that aspect into his experiment. Sure he wrote a book but at least he is donating proceeds to the gay community. Thank God he didn't mention any proceeds going to the church, he shouldn't give a red cent to the Christian community!

      December 2, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  14. DJPelletier

    I don't understand all the condemnation about what Kurek did! He wanted to understand completely what it was like "to be a second class citizen in his own country" and to understand what it was like to be, somewhat, of a gay man. If we condemned every journalist that went "undercover" how would we find out about things we don't understand or even know about. He wanted the truth and he got it. He is a different and BETTER person for it!

    As a gay man myself, I appreciate the lengths and extremes he went to so that he could understand a lifestyle different than his own and what he went through! Come on people, give the man a break for trying be a better human. I say that if that's what it takes, let every radically religious fanatic out there walk a mile/year in our shoes!

    December 2, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Drock

      Ur gay

      December 2, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • DougW

      I think one of the problems people have with what Kurek did is that he positions the LGBT community as 'other' and then pretends to 'join them'. That is not solving teh problem, only identifying it. This problem will only be solved when people admit that there really is no significant difference between the 'straight' and 'gay' members of society, any more than there is a difference between blonde and brunette, left-handed and right-handed, black and white, etc. In fact that is a great way to consider what he did. What would happen in each of the other cases. Had Kurek dyed his hair for a year, people would think he is stupid, since itmakes no real difference. Had he gone around in blackface for a year, however, the reaction might have been pretty harsh. What is the difference? Well, no one is actually being seriously discriminated against for being blonde. No one subject to that 'blonde' discrimination is spending a great deal of their energy fighting against the hatred and bigotry they feel. Perhaps that is the issue. Perhaps the people who actually are gay, and who can't 'stop the experiment' at any time feel that Kurek is somehow minimalizing their plight and their struggle.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Blasphemy

      They can't walk a mile in your shoes.

      Funny how everyone wants the franchise on victinhood. You want more understanding from others try to find some understanding of others first. We will have to meet somewhere on middle ground. Because we can't become each other.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  15. A C.Y.

    Pool on how long before he comes out, for real? (NOT that there is anything wrong with that)

    December 2, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  16. Truth

    At least gay people actually exist. I'd be more embarrassed coming out as believing in some phony religion.

    December 2, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Fnordz

      Wouldn't that be akin to saying you live in a dry desert?

      December 2, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • MormonChristian

      You should not be so hypocritical. Religious people exist too. They can also be gay, asian, straight, whatever. Let's just accept others without ripping on who they are or what they believe. For me, that was the point of the article.

      December 2, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • ghastly

      RAMEN!

      December 2, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  17. simplyjer

    Hats off to this guy! If we all could put ourselves in the shoes of someone we don't understand....we would all learn to be better people.

    December 2, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  18. James

    This story is gay.

    December 2, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Me

      and so are YOU......... perfect fit!

      December 2, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  19. Patrick

    This reminds me so much of this: Black Like Me is a nonfiction book by journalist John Howard Griffin first published in 1961. Griffin was a white native of Dallas, Texas and the book describes his six-week experience travelling on Greyhound buses (occasionally hitchhiking) throughout the racially segregated states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia passing as a black man. Sepia Magazine financed the project in exchange for the right to print the account first as a series of articles.
    Griffin kept a journal of his experiences; the 188-page diary was the genesis of the book.
    In 1959, at the time of the book's writing, race relations were particularly strained in America; Griffin's aim was to explain the difficulties facing black people in certain areas. Under the care of a doctor, Griffin artificially darkened his skin to pass as a black man.
    In 1964, a film version of Black Like Me starring James Whitmore was produced

    December 2, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • observer

      Thank You Patrick! I have long wanted to refer to this book during the recent elections when there was so much hatred and misunderstandings about the social issues being discussed. I first read this book in high school and have always used it as an example in my personal life as a guide to try and understand other views – just try to imagine myself in their shoes to have a basic understanding of what they are facing.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  20. Colin

    Dear Gay Focused Christians:

    God here.

    First, I do not exist. The concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the thoughts and actions of the 7 billion human beings on this planet is ludicrous.

    Second, if I did exist, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was compiled with certain writings included and others excluded, nor how it has been edited over the centuries, yet you cite it for the most extraordinary of supernatural claims.

    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who elected to withhold all evidence of my existence in the first place.

    Fifthly, in the same vein, I would not make about 5% of the human population gay, then punish them for being that way. In fact, I wouldn’t care about how humans have $ex at all, given that I created all of the millions of millions of species on the planet, all of whom are furiously reproducing all the time. Human $ex would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Has it ever occurred to you that your obsession with making rules around human $ex is an entirely human affair?

    Sixth, I would have smitten all you Christian activists, and all evangelicals and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric even for a sick, sadistic bast.ard like me to contemplate).

    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

    Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

    Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you cringed in fear during the Dark Ages and thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

    Move on – get over me. I did.

    God

    December 2, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Steve

      I'm sorry but if you want to describe Christians as narrow minded or God as not existing, this response has undermined your whole argument! I could spend a lot of time debating your response Biblically, philosophically, evidentially and scientifically but it's probably not worth it. I'm sorry you seem to have been hurt by church, hurt by Christians and that you feel this way generally. It seems you have quite a lot of bitterness inside you which will ultimately only hurt you! I'd say if you disagree with Christians or that God exists, that's fine. But maybe you need to move on too?

      December 2, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • sixin

      I just wanted to let you know that your post is too long (this is a comment forum, I think you submitted your book report to the wrong place) and started out condescending so I didn't read it. Have a nice day.

      December 2, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Helen

      Love it

      December 2, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Mirosal

      I'd like to know what scientific and evidentiary things Steve has that says HIS "god" is any more real than ...say.. Zeus?

      December 2, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Laura

      You are spot on! Excellent post.

      December 2, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Bill

      I absolutely love this.

      December 2, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Oh No You Didn't

      Hey Colin, I hope you like barbecue ... Your beliefs doom you to an eternity being one.
      Why are the faithless so determined to try and refute those who believe?
      It has nothing to do with you or your life.
      Got a problem with anothers faith? Tough. We STILL have th right to worhip as we wish ... The progressive socialists running America have not stolen that yet.
      Therefore, live your live, get over it, and prayerfully some time in your life, you will discover the truth and and give your life to God.

      December 2, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Fnordz

      @Steve: No, you can't. You can't debate philosophically, evidentially and scientifically. You can only debate "biblically", whatever that means.

      December 2, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Colin

      @oh no you didn't. I love it when a Christian scorns me with the admonition that I will "go to hell" .

      Out of all the silly superst.itious beliefs of the Christians, I think the myth of hell is my favorite. Think it through. I don't have to kill, I don't have to steal, hell, I don't even have to litter. All I have to do is have a reasonable, honest and rational disbelief in the Christian god and he will inflict a grotesque penalty upon me an infinite times worse than the death penalty. And he loves me.

      It is Dark Ages nonsense meant to frighten the illiterate. The only interesting thing is that it still works on so many simpletons today.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Fank

      Is that really you God? becouse I swear that sounds like the devil talking.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • The0racle

      Dear God, for someone (something) that does not exist, you certainly can blather on and on. This diatribe is certainly bad news for the Higgs boson particle. If you DO exist, perhaps you can re-write the Bible and the Koran and store it in the Cloud which seems to have more knowledge and wisdom than has been offered here today

      December 2, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • ken Wiser

      Brilliant, well played, excellent responce, most likely to be ignored by the sheep.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Ron

      While many of your statements make a lot of sense. I cannot hold my future wrapped around these ideas. I can't believe the masses around us were created by a big bang out in the universe and that this planet that was perfectly suited for life was just put together on accident. I relate to throwing a 1000 piece puzzle up in the air and it falling to the ground fully assembled. It just isn't likely to happen.

      A more baffling question to me is how everything came to be. Of God created the universe then who created God. He has always been around though and you can't put that in to human relations because we believe in a beginning and an end.

      Whether or not my God exists or yours does not is our views to hold. Don't come on here and try to push all your points to others who might be sitting on the edge of believing. Maybe they want to believe because it gives them hope. Even if I am wrong and there is no God and everything around us happened by accident, religion when used properly is about love and hope for humanity. So let them have their hope and teachings to learn how to live others and you do your thing.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Me

      The highly educated scientific minded physician and faithful Christian in me wants to debate every point you just made. I like a good intellectual debate and I'm guessing you do as well, but then the book which you feel is foolish came to mind and it points out that without some faith, all of this crazy God and Christian stuff does justy seem silly, ridiculous, nonsense...

      Quoting 1st Corithians 1

      20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Albert

      ...said the village idiot.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Just Me

      I think I'll hedge my bets. What is the down side to believing in God? Thankfully my God is loving kind and gives me strength. Actually I could care less who does and doesn't believe in God. Can we just be kind to each other?

      December 2, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • TRUTH BE TOLD

      FOOL, you just contradicted yourself by say there is no God and God is speaking on this useless long comment.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • DougW

      @Ron, The problem with the 'religious' point of view that you espouse is that it ALWAYS comes with laws and rules for EVERYONE to live by, not just the people who believe. If you really want to believe that 'something' created all of us, great, we have no problem with that concept. In fact many of us (we call is agnosticism) also believe that. But when you get into this territory that virtually all of today's 'religions' move into, where 'God' speaks to one or two individuals and reveals to them his gramd plans, and lays out 'rules' for how they should live, and "oh, by the way, God told me you are supposed to send me money and recruit more people to do likewise".... well, you can see where we have a problem. The arguemnt is much less around whtehr there is 'a creator' than it is that he doesn't want you to eat meat on some Friday's.....

      December 2, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Oh No You Didn't

      Sorry Colin, but that is the deal ... Good works will avail you not without accepting Jesus the Christ as your saviour.
      I am not condemning you to hell ... YOU ARE.
      Hope you figure that out before your final judgement buddy!

      December 2, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Damocles

      @ron

      How is the earth perfectly suited for life? Can you live at the bottom of the ocean? Can a shark live on land? Are there polar bears in the jungle?

      December 2, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Colin

      @oh no you didn't. You might as well threaten me with the adominition that I am destined for "MonsterLand." I don't believe the childish cr.ap of Christianity with its sky-fairies, magic "happy ever after" kingdom of heaven, immortal humans, evil devils who want to lead me astray and saints who read minds (or "hear prayers" if you see any difference).

      It is all superst.itious garbage. I'm not 11 any more.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Sparky

      Excellent post!!!!!!

      The only thing I might ad is....

      If you really look at the evidence.. "God" and the tales in the bible can be attributed to Aliens visiting earth

      Now don't laugh.. There is a lot of evidence to suggest this is plausible

      I won't make this posting long as all one needs to do is an Internet search for Evidence of Aliens – especially on Cave walls

      The Pyramids were build in Egypt, Central America an China (aliens)
      ALL religions look to the sky (aliens)
      Cave drawings with odd shapes look similar globally (aliens)
      An entire city underground in Turkey (aliens fighting battle over earth)
      Ancient civilizations pre-dating the bible with advanced technology to cut straight lines (aliens)
      and the list could go on....
      For those who dismiss this concept – do some research first then explain all the evidence.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Andrew

      That was a well written little diatribe. While I don't agree with your content I can't argue with either your grammar or sentence structure. Its refreshing to see someone utilize their Bachelor of Arts Degree.
      While I also possess a variety of degrees and am familiar with the trite and easily manipulated theories of analytical psychology I do have one thing you do not currently possess. Faith.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Rich

      tl;dnr

      I'm sure it was very witty.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:59 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.