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January 5th, 2013
09:34 AM ET

Priests in same-sex relationships may become Anglican Bishops

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

(CNN) - Men in a civil union will now be allowed to become bishops in the Church of England, but they are not allowed to have sex.

Intercourse between two men - or two women - remains a sin.

"Homosexual genital acts fall short of the Christian ideal and are to be met with a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion," according to Anglican doctrine.

Men and women in same-sex unions were already allowed to serve as priests in the Church of England, but there was a moratorium on advancement to the episcopate - becoming a bishop - while the church considered the issue.

The church announced Friday that if men in celibate civil unions may be priests, then there is no reason for them not to be bishops, as long as they are "living in accordance with the teaching of the Church on human sexuality."

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Anglican • Christianity • Church and state • Homosexuality • United Kingdom

soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. lol??

    "2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"

    January 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  2. lol??

    Tts 1:6-7 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;" ................Trouble here in River City. The pollution is someone else's problem downstream.

    January 8, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  3. lol??

    "Jer 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD."

    January 8, 2013 at 3:27 am |
    • Merlin

      Suuuuuuuure he did... that chatty ol' LORD.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:47 am |
  4. Sizzlebeans

    Jesus don't like no faqqots.

    January 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Paul

      Jesus was actually silent on the subject.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Boiled down to its essence, there you have the contemporary Christian – arrogant, condescending, and hateful.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Akira

      My God, JR, don't you ever get tired of being a pathetic fvck?

      January 7, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
  5. lol??

    Why would a church want to follow GUO's? (gave up ones)

    January 7, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • .

      Just accept the fact that your gay and come out of the closet already!

      January 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • lol??

      And you're paralyzed from the neck up.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Observer

      The church doesn't follow the Bible when it comes to supporting slavery.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  6. ObservantHistorian

    If there is god with the vision and power to create the wonder and vastness of the universe, I don't think it is awfully concerned with whether some of the creatures inhabiting this insignificant piece of dust are touching someone else's wiener. Religion is man-made idiocy, and has little enough to do with searching for the fundamental truths of existence.

    January 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  7. { ! }

    "Hom*seckshual genital acts fall short of the Christian ideal and are to be met with a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion," according to Anglican doctrine. This statement will make gay people feel "singled out" for criticism. More of the story: in the Catholic church, self gratification is also sinful regardless of one's orientation. We get the feeling that sekshuality is nothing more than genital euphoria. Aside from any church doctrine, nature itself has arranged things so that human sekshuality includes the possibility of procreation. This happens between two people of opposite orientation. Apparently, nature is quite norrow minded and biggoted.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Observer

      Gays and lesbians can reproduce. Basic Biology beginner's course.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What do you expect from a moron who can't spell "bigoted'?

      January 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Saraswati

      This is Anglican church, not the Catholic church. Unless the Anglican church were also banning infertile Bishops from having se'x with their spouses (not happening) this would not be equivalent.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  8. Banjo Ferret

    Hmm, some progress for narrow minded delusional ninnies. This pleases Tim the Destroyer of Worlds, even if it is under the umbrella of a false religion. Ferretianism is the one true religion. Repent!

    http://www.banjoferret.com

    January 7, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • PrimeNumber

      Ferretianism ? The atheists make sport of all the many different religions. You've added another. You must be a religious person of some kind.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Banjo Ferret

      Why yes my friend, I am very religious indeed. I welcome Tim the Destroyer of Worlds into my heart. For he loves me and I fear him. And you should too! Repent! Believe or perish! The end is nigh!

      January 10, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  9. niknak

    More fundie rules and regulations that make no sense.
    Like their god.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • Saraswati

      What's odd here, though, is that the Anglican church isn't normally considered fundamentalist. In the UK many priests don't even believe in god. What has happened is that the churches in several developing countries, particularly in Africa, threatened to pull out over the issue.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Caroline

      @saraswati – that's a sad statement. Why would they continue as part of clergy if they didn't believe in a God? Good for the African churches for lighting the way.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Caroline, As I understand it they see God as a metaphor for love or a non-conscious universal ent'ity. I think it's just one end of a spectrum on which most Christian groups see some parts of the Bible as metaphorical.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Caroline

      @ Saraswati – Actually, I haven't ever met a Christian who doesn't believe in God. We have differences of opinion as to how much of the Bible is parable, metaphorical, historical, prophetic...but never a denial of God. Again, that's sad. Better that CofE clergy simply join a non-religious charitable organization than dilute the Church. Thank you for your answer.

      January 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  10. realbuckyball

    Oh great. They get to wear a fish-lips helmet .. a head thing from the temple of Dagon. Just don't touch a pee-pee, or they will take it away. And these are adults. Hahaha.

    January 7, 2013 at 1:10 am |
  11. Douglas

    The Anglican Church had no other choice but to follow the rules of scriptural guidance.

    Gay coitus is a sin as defined in both the Old and New Testaments.

    We don't hate the person...we hate the sin...fornication or adultery...it is wrong in the eyes of God.

    January 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Observer

      Skip the hypocrisy. The Bible says having a tattoo is a sin, but don't expect Christians to make an issue of that. Same for eating lobsters and Alaskan crablegs. It's all pick-and-choose HYPOCRISY.

      January 6, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Douglas

      You obviously have not read scripture.

      The ban on eating shellfish was lifted in the New TEstament.

      The ban on gay coitus was not.

      we are the ones being consistent.

      You want to change the Bible to suit your desire for fornication.

      That is un-Christian

      January 6, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • Observer

      Douglas,

      Try again. The prohibiltion on seafood came directly from GOD not Moses.

      Where did Jesus say that gays are sinners?

      Since you just believe in the New Testament, you obviously must like slavery and discrimination against women.

      Get real.

      January 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • Akira

      The various churches may dictate whatever they like; it has nothing to do with gay people being married outside of the church...as they absolutely should be allowed to.

      January 6, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • Douglas

      Akira,

      Good point!

      You actually reflect the position of Saint Paul from the Bible in 1 Corinthians 5:12.
      Paul was asked what should be done with a Christian who was openly
      fornicating with his mother. Paul said he should be put out of the church for his sin
      becausese it is the duty of Christians to police their own house.

      "What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?"

      Similarly gay marriage and gay coitus have NO PLACE in a Christian church. and that is why the
      Anglican Church made the right call and demanded celibacy from openly gay clergy.

      What gays do outside of a Christian church IS their business...I may not agree with it...but I won't stop them.

      I have the right to draw the line at the doors of the Christian church and I have the right to defend my Christian
      faith based on Biblical guidance. This is what Paul taught us in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Doogie, what part of nobody gives a ripe sh!t what you do in your church? No one needs your church's say-so to be legally married.

      You can yip like the little poodle you are but gay marriage is already legal and there's not sh!t-all you an do about it.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Observer

      Douglas,

      Still stumped?

      January 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Observer, I believe Doogie has run away with his little tail between his legs...oh, wait. THAT'S not a tail.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Well supposedly you are freed from the Old Law, so you can skip the sh1t from the OT. The ONLY reason it's a "sin" there, is because it was not seen as correct in the culture of the writers of the Torah. Many scholars have explained why Leviticus put it there. As far as the delusional Paul goes, he was a guilt ridden gay himself, so I guess it's time for humans to start thinking for themselves, instead of reading 2000 year old books for their morals.

      January 7, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • frank

      Tom Tom: "Observer, I believe Doogie has run away with his little tail between his legs...oh, wait. THAT'S not a tail."

      Yeah – it looks more like when they clipped it – they went a little too short.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • Akira

      Douglas, whatever; you (and your church) do not have the right to try and get your beliefs legislated into law.
      Keep your church out of the bedroom of people who do not believe the same way you do.
      Those people will stay out of yours, too, I promise.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Akira

      And incest seems to have been fairly common in the Bible; after all, it was used to populate the world at least twice..Lot boinked his daughters...that guy you just referred to and his mother...all of which is abominable,(unless God commands it, apparently) but has zero to do with gay marriage laws in the secular United States.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • James

      "Gay coitus is a sin as defined in both the Old and New Testaments."

      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.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • { ! }

      "The Anglican Church had no other choice but to follow the rules of scriptural guidance." The church didn't even have to refer to scripture. Nature itself is massively in favor of hetero orientation. Nature "selected" this orientation to keep the species going.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So? H0m0s3xual behavior occurs in about 1500 species. All "natural."

      It's so amusing that people like you make statements about the small percentage of h0m0s3xuals in nature. Why are you so worried about them if they are a minority?

      January 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • lol??

      For dominance, a model for Sodom and Gomorrah.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Caroline

      Thank you Douglas for clearly stating the issue. I can't reply to your subsequent postings, but agree with them and give you encouragement.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Huh?

      "We don't hate the person...we hate the sin"

      Gandhi said that, it's not in the bible.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Janet

      The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is based on human ignorance, suspicion of those who are different, and an overwhelming concern for ensuring the survival of the people. Since the Bible regards homosexuality as a capital crime, it clearly assumes that homosexuality is a matter of free choice, a deliberate rebellion against God. We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Observer

      @lol??,

      The sin of Sodom was greed. Read the Bible sometime.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • lol??

      Observer, are you a Christian?

      January 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Observer

      @lol??,

      I am an agnostic. Are you a Christian? Do you read the Bible?

      January 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • lol??

      Well, no wonder you're so arrogant. You live in a culture tailor made just for you with the gubmint god and all that sort of thing. Do you NOT see the irony of fully leavened churches existing that are untrustworthy and you, an agnostic, giving me Bible lessons? BBBbbbwwwwaaahhahahaha......"1Jo 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."

      January 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Observer

      @lol??,

      If you actually read the Bible you'd know that the sin of Sodom was greed not being gay. Oops.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • lol??

      You must have a groove in ye ol' noodle. From your culture club.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Observer

      @lol??,

      Rather than spend time on silly insults, why not spend more time reading the Bible so you'll know more about it and make fewer statements showingyour lack of knowledge of the Bible?

      January 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • lol??

      What part of "......need not that any man teach you..........." do you not understand, aggie.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • lol??

      "1Ki 14:24 And there were also sodomites in the land: [and] they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel."

      January 7, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • frank

      Believers and hard-line atheists alike seem to be more afraid of agnostics than anything else. Once that silly argument over what is provable is removed, then things get very real. Of course, the religious zealots lose out right away, since they can never come up with anything "knowable" for their beliefs. So in this particular instance, "lol??" is the obvious fool.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • Observer

      @lol??,

      What part of God saying that the sin of Sodom was greed don't you understand or don't you read the Bible?

      Let's see if you've read this: Did God say anyone was worse than the people of Sodom and Gomorrah?

      Stumped again?

      January 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  12. Observer

    This time of year is the height of hypocrisy for the Christians who criticize gays. The revered Three Kings are praised for bringing gold and the two ABOMINATIONS of myrrh and frankencense to baby Jesus. As God said, incense is an abomination to him.

    Amen for HYPOCRISY!

    January 6, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  13. Answer

    Look at that ...

    How fickle that these religions can change so instantly -to just try to gain acceptance- in the modern world.

    January 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  14. Saraswati

    Haha...can't wait to see how many takers they have on that generous offer!

    January 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  15. Get Real

    Man created god in his own image.

    January 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  16. CrappyAuthor

    What the...?

    January 6, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  17. What!?

    This has got to be one of the funniest decisions made by a church. Talk about fear. You can share expenses but no, no touchy the naughty parts. What intelligent human being could possibly believe in all this organized religion hooey.

    January 6, 2013 at 8:42 am |
  18. carol

    I haven't seen anything created on this earth without an inventor. How can anyone look up at the galaxies,stars etc. and say there is no God. How foolish man is. So if there is a God then we need to find Him and live by His rules. He owns and runs everything. Yes religion is man made but that doesn't mean there isn't a loving God who created and cares for us. Man has twisted everything until it looks so uninviting but God wants a personal relationship with us and He will prove Himself to the one who will seek Him.

    January 6, 2013 at 7:13 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Carol, that's called "god of the gaps". You have no other explanation, so you invent a god. Some day there will be a better explanation. You will be wrong.

      "Men in a civil union will now be allowed to become bishops in the Church of England, but they are not allowed to have se'x."
      Hahahaha

      January 6, 2013 at 7:36 am |
    • realbuckyball

      You tell the parents in CT just how much (s)he cares for their little kids. How ridiculous.

      January 6, 2013 at 7:37 am |
    • sam stone

      carol: how do you make the logical leap from creator to "god"?

      January 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Perry Keener

      I'm with you Carol, Amen! You said it very well, my thoughts exactly. I read the Bible a lot, because I got so sick of sin and sin around me. I strive for purity and there's not a thing wrong with that. I like God's ways. They're truth and the best way to go.

      January 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So that means you can force others to live by your beliefs? Prevent them from having the same rights and privileges as others because you think they're committing sin?

      Shove it.

      January 6, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Akira

      Perry, you may certainly strive for your own purity; it is not your right to strive for other's purity, however.
      That falls under the 'nunya' category.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Caroline

      @realbuckyball – God of the gaps is a neat trick to try to deflect, but learning more about creation does not detract from an awesome creator in the first place. Increasing understanding of HOW God did things does not mean He didn't do them.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      "God of the gaps is a neat trick to try to deflect, but learning more about creation does not detract from an awesome creator in the first place. Increasing understanding of HOW God did things does not mean He didn't do them."

      The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I take no issue with your choice explain things with a god. I do however object when you are disproportionately convinced of the correctness of your chosen answer. Unless you leave room that you may be wrong, you are creating a dangerous inflexible reality which cannot change and cannot allow for others. This goes for both god-believers and those without a god.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Caroline

      @ TomTom and Akira – actually laws are made by representatives and the majority view will prevail in the end. This article is about RELIGIOUS rules and for that a "members only" decision is quite adequate. Nobody is shoving anything down anybody's throats, except of course for the prohibitions against murder, theft, and the like. So glad we have the background of Judeo/Christianity as a basis for morality as opposed to maurauding bands of barbarians where might makes right and taking slavery as booty was encouraged. And please don't get into the Bible condones slavery rant. The Bible accepts slavery as the reality of the time, but provided a higher ideal for slave treatment. People were not created slaves, they were made slaves by humanity.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Caroline

      @saraswati – If I wasn't fully convinced my God is real, why would I even bother having a faith? I can intellectually concede for sake of discussion that I am wrong, but my faith in actuality is 100% strong. This influences my world view of right and wrong, and so my choices of legislative representation. This is my right. It is also the right of others to follow their consciences. So if we have a law that you disagree with, it is obvious then that the majority view disagrees with yours. Not that you're wrong...that's not the point, only that you're in the minority.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post by 'carol' is an instance of the Appeal To Ignorance fallacy.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      January 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Recent post by 'Caroline' contains instances of the Poisoning the Well fallacy and the Begging The Question fallacy, along with other basic fallacies.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      January 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • William

      Thank you, Professor 101.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Caroline,

      "If I wasn't fully convinced my God is real, why would I even bother having a faith?"

      We have to act all the time on things of which we aren't 100% convinced. Most medicines are intially only considered to have a high probability of being effective, yet we put our "faith" in them. Modern nutritional theories aren't 100% accurate yet we use them as a basis for our decisions. We don't really know the earth will last out the week, yet we believe it will and act accordingly. You don't need to believe 100% to believe.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • Akira

      Actually, Caroline, laws discriminating against a segment of our citizens are begging to be overturned...and they will be.
      And actually, Caroline, I have indicated in my posts that I am fully aware of the difference between church laws and secular laws, and actually, Caroline, the laws that are discriminating against a certain segment of our citizens, are violating said citizen's civil rights and deserve to be thrown out.
      It can't happen soon enough.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Caroline

      @ saraswati – True, except I am not compelled or even encouraged to accept God, so I am free to accept or reject with no identifiable earthly consequence. So even if I accept with 50% faith chemoradiation for cancer, I accept with 100% God of the NT.

      January 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Caroline

      Akira, it will happen when enough people believe it should.

      January 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Pete

      "it will happen when enough people believe it should."

      No, it doesn't work like that it's in the courts because prejudice Christians are too blind to the harm they are bringing to a minority group.

      January 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  19. Bob

    Christianity is for the gays.

    January 6, 2013 at 1:10 am |
    • carol

      I think you may change your mind when you meet Him face to face. The Holy Scriptures say "It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgement". However know this that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. "The wages of sin is eternal death BUT the gift of God is eternal life. As many as receive Him He gives power to become a son of God."
      I trust you start a search for the living God. If you do you will find a Savior, a Friend and one who will walk and talk with you all your life.

      January 6, 2013 at 7:05 am |
    • JWT

      I will never fear meeting your god face to face for it does not exist/

      January 6, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • sam stone

      carol: your god is a vindictive, petty pr1ck

      January 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Rabidmob

      Christianity is for everyone. So that includes the gays, so in such your statement is correct.

      January 6, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Humans wrote your "scripture". They knew nothing you and I do not know. They made it all up. It's bunk. Too bad. So sad.

      January 7, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • Caroline

      You betcha. Jesus came to redeem all humanity, and we are all sinners...including me! I'm not gay, but I am a sinner nonetheless. Jesus has already washed away all sin, it is now up to each individual to recognize this and accept it. So in this regard, you and I are on the same page.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Bob

      Caroline, this whole premise of Christianity that the death of the son of god would have been any kind of "sacrifice" and was required to deal with "sin" is utter nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are discussing. Christians, think this through a bit: how come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that supposed saving without the loony son sacrifice bit? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there. Give that some thought and maybe it will help you leave your delusions behind. You will remain a laughingstock otherwise, and the more you dwell in your silly delusion and ancient myths, instead of keeping up with advances in medicine and technology, the more America slips downward relative to the rest of the world in science and other fields.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      January 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Caroline

      Bob, Jesus is not the "son" of God in the way that B is the son of A here. He is God incarnate. He has no need to recreate a son. Jesus is alive still and his task has been accomplished, that of redeeming a sinful world. And a sacrifice WAS needed. To turn from God (sin) is to turn from life, i.e. the wages of sin is death. It is not a death punishment meted out so much as our refusal to accept life. God will not force us to accept Him. Since death is the result of turning from God (turning from life), a compensatory sacrifice HAD to be made, His death for yours. Believe it if you will, it matters not to me. I wish the whole world could believe, but it won't. But for me, it is truth and life.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Bob

      Caroline, you contradicted your claim of not caring by doing your post. Read this again, but do try to comprehend it before you post again.

      This whole premise of Christianity that the death of the son of god would have been any kind of "sacrifice" and was required to deal with "sin" is utter nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are discussing. Christians, think this through a bit: how come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that supposed saving without the loony son sacrifice bit? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there. Give that some thought and maybe it will help you leave your delusions behind. You will remain a laughingstock otherwise, and the more you dwell in your silly delusion and ancient myths, instead of keeping up with advances in medicine and technology, the more America slips downward relative to the rest of the world in science and other fields.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      January 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Caroline

      Well Bob, I stand by my answer. You don't see things the way I do. That's fine. When I say I don't care personally if you believe it or not, it is true...I really don't. But I'm having a discussion. I could say the same about you....you don't care to believe in god but are on a religious forum. No running circles around me my boy.

      January 8, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  20. Douglas

    Out, Proud and Celibate!...a declaration of hope and freedom for LGBTQ Christians!

    January 5, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I'm so sorry for you, Douglas. I'm sure there's a special someone out there for you. You just need to put Christianity in perspective. It's an anachronistic set of ideas by which strange people try to impose their sense of right and wrong on you. Think of them as the Ejaculation Control Committee (Neal Stephenson). They say they are trying to help you save your soul (you don't have one, no one does) but really they're more interested in your "genital acts".

      January 6, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Douglas

      Tom,

      Happy New Year to you and your Hubby!

      The Anglican Church is following Biblical guidance on marriage as Jesus defined
      the rite of matrimony in Matthew 19.

      There is no place for Gay Marriage for Christians.

      Celibate gay couples can enter into domestic partnerships..but a Christian wedding is out of bounds.

      January 6, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • Akira

      Why should gays be denied the right to wed, especially if they do not desire Holy Matrimony?
      Bigotry, plain and simple.

      January 6, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Christian cults are free to make whatever rules they like for their members. They should remain silent about other cults' and nonbelievers' marriages lest they bring too much attention to their own silliness.

      January 6, 2013 at 12:52 am |
    • End Religion

      It will be fun to watch the congregations dwindle until Doug, the feckless dweeb, is ranting to 3 other nose-picking adherents in a dank cellar about which type of linen is righteous.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:27 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Fricking delusional.

      January 7, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • Caroline

      So "End Religion," Douglas makes his points succinctly and articulately, yet you resort to name calling. Good job. Proud now?

      January 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • John

      "There is no place for Gay Marriage for Christians."

      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.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Brent

      "Celibate gay couples can enter into domestic partnerships..but a Christian wedding is out of bounds."

      The term “traditional marriage” is a term employed by anti-gay religious groups and individuals to promote bigotry, prejudice, hostility and discrimination toward gay and lesbian citizens.

      The term is used to justify a social injustice both in terms of denying gay and lesbian individuals equal treatment guaranteed by our Constitution and also denying them human dignity. The use of the term is an action that promotes constitutional unfairness and human indignity and therefore one which is morally wrong.

      If a person of faith agrees that a practice that promotes looking upon a segment of society as inferior, unworthy and undeserving of that which we find as good in our lives, the use of the term “traditional marriage” therefore also must be sinful.

      Regardless of their particular faith, the person would be hard-pressed to say that love, compassion and wanting what is best in our lives for others around us are not the core principles of most religions. When a person of faith stands opposed to those principles, their attitude and actions stand opposed to the principles which they strive to uphold in the everyday interactions with those around them.

      There is also deceit involved in the use of the term “traditional marriage” because those who employ the term attempt to perpetrate an untruth and ulterior motives of hostility and prejudice.

      The untruth comes when “traditional marriage” is offered up as a term that defines a religious concept of a God-blessed union of a young man and woman who fall in love, get married with no prior sexual experience, have children and remain together into old age. They are implying that this is how God ordains marriage.

      If it is, it took him until just 50 years ago to arrive at that conclusion.

      The tradition of marriage in Old Testament times meant the man and his wife could have the same father.

      In the Bible, the patriarch of the Hebrew people, Abraham, and his wife, Sarah, couldn’t have children so Sarah put forth her slave Hagar for Abraham to have children by.

      In Old Testament times, it was normal, sometimes even required for a man to take multiple wives. A man having multiple wives was accepted by the church as late as the 5th Century, 500 years after the teachings set forth in the New Testament. The church for a very long time apparently did not interpret biblical teaching as an edict for one-man, one-woman marriage.

      The tradition of marital unions in the 1700s and 1800s in America doesn’t seem to measure up to God-ordained – especially from the female perspective.

      One third of brides were pregnant at the altar in Concord, Massachusetts during the 20 years prior to the American Revolution.

      In this quote from a wedding couple in 1855, we see that the church had no problem blessing a legal marriage that was considered by many – including this couple – as a violation of the woman’s dignity and civil rights:

      “We believe that personal independence and equal human rights can never be forfeited, except for crime; that marriage should be an equal and permanent partnership, and so recognized by law; that until it is so recognized, married partners should provide against the radical injustice of present laws, by every means in their power…”

      So we can look back and see that religious teachings which uphold the ideals of love, dignity, compassion and respect for each person within marital unions throughout history has taken a back seat.

      In other words, the definition of a God-ordained tradition of marriage has never been constant rather it has evolved.

      History shows us it’s the marital union that should be uplifted…not the evolving traditions of a social institution. In other words, it’s not about how we come together but why.

      Rev. Mark Gallagher, a Unitarian minister, in 2004 asked “what about a marriage could have that quality of spiritual beauty? What makes for sacredness in a marriage?” He names four things.

      “First and foremost, mutual love. A feeling of heightened affection, respect, concern, and appreciation between marital partners. It gives a certain sparkle to the time spent together, and potentially to the entire experience of life. The presence of love makes a marriage sacred.

      “Fidelity contributes to the sacredness of a marriage. Commitments fulfilled. Coming through. Hanging in. Placing the integrity of the relationship over personal preference and convenience. It builds a powerful trust. Fidelity makes a marriage sacred.

      “Intimacy brings sacredness in a marriage. When two people reveal themselves to one another over time, they cannot help but gain acquaintance with the deep regions of the human experience. They get to know one another, of course. But more importantly, they get to know themselves.

      Through relating intimately over time, deeper honesty and authenticity become possible. This is the spiritual journey to know and be known, behind the public charade, however subtle or crude that may be.

      “And forgiveness generates sacredness in a marriage. We all make mistakes and need forgiveness. Our spiritual liberation requires that we become masters of forgiveness letting go of resentment for slights and injuries. The prolonged togetherness of marriage will present myriad opportunities for the practice of forgiveness. When forgiveness flows freely, there is a palpable quality of gentleness and compassion.”

      Does the heterosexual couple uniting in marriage today lift up the union as characterized by love, fidelity, intimacy and forgiveness. We expect they do and we suspect those characteristics as Gallagher concluded in his sermon are what exude sacredness.

      We also know that gay and lesbian couples uphold those same characteristics for their unions. Why would they not? Why would a parent of a gay son or daughter not want their child to enjoy the happiness derived from a lifelong devotion to those characteristics? Why would a brother or sister with a gay sibling not want their brother or sister to enjoy the happiness derived from a lifelong devotion to those characteristics?

      Why would a person of faith not want the gay or lesbian individual to enjoy the happiness derived from the pursuit of marriage sanctity?

      Why would we as Americans not want our government and its laws to recognize that same marriage sanctity for gay and lesbian individuals in their pursuit of liberty and happiness?

      There can be only one reason and that is because many of us have been conditioned by years of misguided church teaching to look upon gay and lesbian individuals as morally inferior, unworthy and therefore undeserving of that which we uphold as good and sanctified in our lives.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Akira

      John, Brent: fantastic posts.
      Thank you!

      January 7, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.