home
RSS
My Take: Christians ought to shrug off inaugural pastor rejection
Rev. Louie Giglio withdrew from the inauguration last week.
January 12th, 2013
10:42 AM ET

My Take: Christians ought to shrug off inaugural pastor rejection

Editor’s Note: Matthew Lee Anderson is the Lead Writer at Mere Orthodoxy and the author of Earthen Vessels:  Why our Bodies Matter to our FaithHe is studying for an M.Phil. at Oxford University.

By Matthew Lee Anderson, Special to CNN

(CNN) – The news that Louie Giglio is no longer going to give the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration sent shock waves around the conservative Christian world.

Conservative Christians are right to be concerned about what these events mean for their welcome in the public square. But as Christians we shouldn’t be surprised nor even overly upset. Given the history of our founder, such marginalization is what we can expect.

Giglio is a pastor and runs the Passion Conferences, where some 60,000 college students gather to hear teaching and participate in activist causes.  Giglio has been one of the leading voices in the surge of evangelical opposition to human trafficking, which was originally why Obama picked him.

Over a decade ago, Giglio gave a sermon that prompted gay and lesbian advocates to denounce him as “anti-gay.”  Controversy ensued, a petition was started to replace him, and Thursday he announced he was no longer going to attend so as to not be a distraction.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

Giglio’s sermon on homosexuality was in an entirely different league than Charles Worley’s, who momentarily became famous last year for ludicrously suggesting that gays and lesbians should be fenced off.

Indeed, Giglio’s defenders have been quick to point out that his position on the question comfortably fits the main currents of what Christianity has always taught about homosexuality, and does so with a gracious, cordial tone.

Which is why the news that he was no longer speaking was so stunning to many conservative Christians.

Russell Moore, a leading Southern Baptist voice, suggested that the decision represented the establishment of a new “state church,” one that is hostile to traditional Christian teachings about sexuality. Albert Mohler denounced the new “moral McCarthyism,” suggesting that there is nowhere for conservatives to hide given the social pressure to conform to the new sexual orthodoxy.

They are right to be concerned.

Inaugurations are rare moments of unity in the American political order.  They express something about who we are and what kind of people we want to be, together.

That doesn’t mean that every demographic needs to be on stage. But pushing a traditional Christian position outside the boundaries of acceptability inevitably makes those who hold it more concerned that their freedom to speak will be curtailed in other ways.

In such moments, conservative Christians have been ready and quick to demonstrate their ample supply of passion for the truth.

The last imbroglio about homosexuality in our country was the Chick-Fil-A affair, which resulted in long lines of socially conservative people cheerfully waiting to eat their chicken sandwiches.  This time, the response has already been more strictly rhetorical, but just as swift and as strongly worded.  Russell Moore’s website crashed because of the massive amount of traffic, he wrote.

It is somewhat ironic that Giglio, the founder of Passion, stepped so quietly from the stage given the cacophony all around him.  His statement was gracious without changing his stance.  It did not denounce the White House or those seeking to dismiss him.

In fact, this sort of political dispassion is precisely what we could all use a lot more of, and conservative Christians have better reasons than most to lead the way.

In a political environment where passions are at their highest, every word and action takes on a heightened significance, which makes our communications with each other much more fragile.  Every aspect of our public figures’ lives is scrutinized with a moral rigor that we rarely apply to ourselves.

Preachers stand at a unique disadvantage in this regard: Sermons have been recorded and broadcast from the earliest moment possible. But if any of us were recorded with that regularity on the issue some 20 or 30 years ago, I suspect infelicities would be easy to find.  Hostilities toward gays and lesbians weren’t limited to the devoutly religious in American history, after all.  Among imperfect people, those intent not on exchanging reasons for their positions, but delegitimizing their opponents, will always have material to work with.

But when one of their leaders is pushed aside again, religious conservatives might consider instead meeting our rejection with something nearer indifference, rather than angry denunciation.

In the Bible, St. Paul suggests that as Christians “our citizenship is in heaven.”  While we can and should be loyal Americans, our concern for justice must primarily be a concern for justice for othersOur desire for our own justice is often deferred until heaven.

When we don’t receive justice ourselves, that is our opportunity to model the sort of political engagement Jesus enacted at his trial and on the cross.  The Gospel of Matthew suggests that when asked to defend himself, he said nothing (27:11-14).  His next words would be a cry of forgiveness, a cry that is as powerful as any he could utter.

Conservative Christians should not confuse my suggestion of a political dispassion with inactivity or a lack of involvement, with accepting “defeat” in the culture wars.  I am saying nothing of the kind.

Let Christians give their sermons, and let them be recorded and scrutinized.  Let us proclaim the Christian teaching about sin and salvation with respect to sexuality.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

But when our positions are not recognized publicly or welcomed at the inauguration, let us also remember that we were lucky to have ever had the opportunity to be present in such moments at all.  Christians have often been on the margins of societies rather than at the center.

By taking this approach, conservative Christians can model for our American political order precisely the sort of patient longsuffering that is required for justice to take root not merely in our legal code, but in our social structures.  And we can hold out the promise of reasonable discourse and communication with those who do not see the world as we do.  Which if this grand American experiment of religious freedom is to endure, we all need a lot more of.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Matthew Lee Anderson.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Homosexuality • My Take • Politics

soundoff (335 Responses)
  1. jbazingo

    I really view this from the lens of what Obama wants / believes. If Obama wants center / tradional Christian pastors there, he can have them speak. If he rejects them for another brand, that's his call. It's his inauguration. He can do what's HE wants. This is not about Giglio's theology. This is about Obama's theology. Our Dear Leader is wants to define God in his own image or vision of man (that represents the most votes).

    January 13, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • midwest rail

      Nonsense. Obama chose Giiglio and Giglio himself opted out. Reading comprehension is a skill.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • sam stone

      "Our Dear Leader is wants to define God in his own image or vision of man (that represents the most votes)."

      Man defines god in his own image

      January 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • SImran

      If dinosaurs had the intellect of man, what would have god looked like?

      January 14, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  2. pervert alert

    Rather than give voice to a diseased gang of pillow biters the pastor used good judgement and opted out. No problem there. Qu eers are the problem, qu eers the people that gave the world AIDS.

    January 13, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • End Religion

      hi, truth be told, still in your closet i see. Is Doug in there with you?

      January 13, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • .

      "qu eers the people that gave the world AIDS."

      Until recently, the origins of the HIV-2 virus had remained relatively unexplored. HIV-2 is thought to come from the SIV in Sooty Mangabeys rather than chimpanzees, but the crossover to humans is believed to have happened in a similar way (i.e. through the butchering and consumption of monkey meat). It is far rarer, significantly less infectious and progresses more slowly to AIDS than HIV-1. As a result, it infects far fewer people, and is mainly confined to a few countries in West Africa.

      In May 2003, a group of Belgian researchers published a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. By analysing samples of the two different subtypes of HIV-2 (A and B) taken from infected individuals and SIV samples taken from sooty mangabeys, Dr Vandamme concluded that subtype A had passed into humans around 1940 and subtype B in 1945 (plus or minus 16 years or so). Her team of researchers also discovered that the virus had originated in Guinea-Bissau and that its spread was most likely precipitated by the independence war that took place in the country between 1963 and 1974 (Guinea-Bissau is a former Portuguese colony). Her theory was backed up by the fact that the first European cases of HIV-2 were discovered among Portuguese veterans of the war, many of whom had received blood transfusions or unsterile injections following injury, or had possibly had relationships with local women.

      Given the evidence we have already looked at, it seems highly likely that Africa was indeed the continent where the transfer of HIV to humans first occurred (monkeys from Asia and South America have never been found to have SIVs that could cause HIV in humans). In May 2006, the same group of researchers who first identified the Pan troglodytes troglodytes strain of SIVcpz, announced that they had narrowed down the location of this particular strain to wild chimpanzees found in the forests of Southern Cameroon . By analysing 599 samples of chimp droppings (P. T. troglodytes are a highly endangered and thus protected species that cannot be killed or captured for testing), the researchers were able to obtain 34 specimens that reacted to a standard HIV DNA test, 12 of which gave results that were virtually indistinguishable from the reactions created by human HIV. The researchers therefore concluded that the chimpanzees found in this area were highly likely the origin of both the pandemic Group M of HIV-1 and of the far rarer Group N. The exact origins of Group O however remain unknown.

      HIV Group N principally affects people living in South-central Cameroon, so it is not difficult to see how this outbreak started. Group M, the group that has caused the worldwide pandemic, was however first identified in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Repub lic of Con go. It is not entirely clear how it transferred from Cameroon to Kinshasa, but the most likely explanation is that an infected individual travelled south down the San gha river that runs through Southern Cam eroon to the River Con go and then on to Kin shasa, where the Group M epidemic probably began.

      Just as we do not know exactly who spread the virus from Cam eroon to Kin shasa, how the virus spread from Africa to America is also not entirely clear. However, recent evidence suggests that the virus may have arrived via the Cari bbean island of H aiti.

      January 14, 2013 at 10:16 am |
  3. Mike

    Obama has publicly declared the US is not a Christian nation. So, why would he want a Christian pastor and a copy of the Holy Bible to be a part of his swearing in, to start with. That's like making a promise while keeping your fingers crossed behind your back.

    January 13, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • midwest rail

      There is a significant difference between being a "Christian nation" and being a secular nation with a predominantly Christian population.

      January 13, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  4. Bootyfunk

    "ndeed, Giglio’s defenders have been quick to point out that his position on the question comfortably fits the main currents of what Christianity has always taught about h.omos.exuality, and does so with a gracious, cordial tone."
    *** how sweet. telling someone they will burn in hell for all eternity, but in a gracious, cordial tone telling g.ays their life is a quagmire of sin and evil, but in a gracious, cordial tone. wow, what a swell guy.

    January 12, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • RLF

      Yawn. Man... you guys must be really bored and/or need to get a life.

      January 12, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Tim

      I would challenge you to listen to Louis' sermon. He doesn't denounce gays, he denounces sin which will send all to hell. Isn't his gracious warnings truly loving those he believes are headed for destruction? Wouldn't you want to know the road you are speeding on is out ahead?

      January 14, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • sam stone

      "He doesn't denounce gays, he denounces sin which will send all to hell. Isn't his gracious warnings truly loving those he believes are headed for destruction?"

      He has no authority to issue those warnings

      January 14, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  5. 2357

    Sin is sin because God is holy, not because God likes traditional culture. He hates all sin equally, period. Feeling self righteous and proud, is as damnable as acts that we consider unacceptable or scandalous.

    January 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Yeah because no Christians are self righteous and proud.

      January 12, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • billy

      Yeah because no man had anything to do with saying what is good or bad. right.

      January 12, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      lol. replace the word 'god' with 'tooth fairy". still just as funny...

      January 12, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • 2357

      Needing a savior cancels out the pride of self righteousness.

      January 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I love it when people claim to know what god wants and likes....

      jk...it is actually irritating

      January 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Needing a savior cancels out the pride of self righteousness."

      No it doesn't....just the opposite really.

      January 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      jesus was just a nutty cult leader, like david koresh or any other. they always mix in messages of 'love' with 'worship me'. silly christians.

      January 12, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • Origin of life

      @2357
      Origin of life

      Simple blood test will tell you what % of Neanderthal is in your DNA

      Origin of Life no religions needed.

      They just want $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and votes

      NOVA: Decoding Neanderthals – PBS Pressroom
      pressroom.pbs.org/.../n/NOVA/4002-Decoding-Neanderthals.aspx
      NOVA: Decoding Neanderthals. Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET. Check your local listings. Decoding Neanderthals Ep Main. Find out what

      January 13, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • sam stone

      2357. Holy? Your god is a petty, vindictive pr1ck

      January 14, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  6. Hello?

    "Christians have often been on the margins of societies rather than at the center."
    ?Isn't this the same group that INSISTS this country was founded on christ and the bible? But now they claim to be marginalized??

    January 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      If there is one thing christians are really good at...it's changing their argument to fit the situation.

      January 12, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  7. Misread this article

    For a minute I thought it said: Christians ought to shrug off inaugural astral projection

    January 12, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
  8. It is Called

    Courts Agree Seperation of Church and State

    New science standards created by a majority of 26 states for 2013. CNN has article. Stem Standards

    According to courts can't teach ID/creationism in public schools in US as fact.

    NOVA | Intelligent Design on Trial
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html
    Nov 13, 2007 – Featuring trial reenactments based on court transcripts and interviews with key participants, including expert scientists and Dover parents,

    January 12, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • lol??

      Why did you capitalize "church"? Athena and the educratists teach you that?

      January 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  9. Leah

    Nicely written article,well done!

    January 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Yeah, very well written apart from the main premise being bogus.

      January 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
  10. Zuke

    Pastor rejection? WHAT? He decided to not do it...how is that in any way rejection?? His own mouth caught up with him. Obama didn't tell him to leave-he left on his own! This author is a twit!

    January 12, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  11. Live4Him

    @Observer – You seem to be totally heartless in addition to clueless. What SIN did the victim commit?

    Sigh... I never said that she committed a sin. Sin was committed upon her. However, we live in a fallen world – where sin abounds. Christians have to live in this world when bad things are done to them. As Christ said - Turn the other cheek.

    January 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Warren

      Your Christian guilt trip is not even amusing. However, you should feel very guilty for continuing to propagate the standard Christian self-contradicting dogma, with no evidence to support it.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • It is Called

      Glad you are NOT my DAD OR MOM !!! or Grandpa/Grandma

      January 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Zuke

      So that may have justified that horrendous action over 2000 years ago, but I cannot condone that beastly behavior now, and if you do, you're a pathetic person. I hope you never get r aped. I also hope you never have children...you would likely be like mother from the movie "Carrie". And if you're a guy, you're a misogynist. Women deserve better than you!!

      January 12, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Zuke : So that may have justified that horrendous action over 2000 years ago, but I cannot condone that beastly behavior now

      Not at all! Jacob's sons addressed the issue head on – they killed the entire village when it happened to their sister.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • It is Called

      Likes to forget facts

      Courts Agree

      New science standards created by a majority of 26 states for 2013. CNN has article. Stem Standards

      According to courts can't teach ID/creationism in public schools in US as fact.
      NOVA | Intelligent Design on Trial
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html
      Nov 13, 2007 – Featuring trial reenactments based on court transcripts and interviews with key participants, including expert scientists and Dover parents,

      January 12, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Zuke

      "Not at all! Jacob's sons addressed the issue head on – they killed the entire village when it happened to their sister."
      So they killed a buch of women and children who had nothing to do with the crime???? That's just as beastly! And you APPLAUD that?? Vicious little thing, aren't you?

      January 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      christians live in a world where bad things are done to them? LOL. as if bad things don't happen to buddhists, atheists, hindus, wiccans, etc? play the victim more. boohoohoo....

      January 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
  12. God. Yes, THE God, and I am an ANGRY GOD!

    Okay, you earthlings are really messing up. I send hurricanes and floods and kindergarten mass-murderers and tornadoes and genocides and plagues and droughts, and you still don't freaking get the goddamn . . . uh, me-damn message!

    Where are the foreskins ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    These fast food places never get the order right.

    January 12, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
  13. All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

    As the issue of Biblically sanctioned marriage confuses some people, I have asked Betty to clarify things for you:

    January 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  14. mama k

    In what appears to be from some cnn interview, Family Research Council's Tony Perkins reacted with:

    “Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, and Orthodox churches all actively proclaim that sexual intimacy within the marriage of one man and one woman is the only biblically-sanctioned human sexual behavior. Are the scores of millions of Americans who affirm these teachings no longer welcome at the inauguration of our president?"

    Dear Mr. Perkins:

    1. The first statement from your quote above is incorrect. More and more Protestant churches are becoming more inclusive. And this includes the 4.6 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). So guess what, you don't speak for them. Neither do you speak for the United Church of Christ which has supported same-dex marriage since 2005 (1.3 million members then). Neither do you speak for the Episcopal church which will soon perform same sex marriages at Washington's National Cathedral. And there are many other across a number of denominations that may not yet support same sex marriage, but that already are inclusive of gays as couples.

    2. Don't be a whiner. No one is preventing anyone from attending an inauguration.

    It would just be better if they eliminate the religious component of an inauguration. It should be all about upholding the Constitution and the office of the Presidency.

    ========================

    James Madison, 4th POTUS, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights:

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly)

    Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

    The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State.

    (from letters to Edward Livingston and Robert Walsh)

    Madison as president vetoed two bills that he believed would violate the separation of church and state. He also came to oppose the long-established practice of employing chaplains at public expense in the House of Representatives and Senate on the grounds that it violated the separation of church and state and the principles of religious freedom. (Library of Congress – James Madison Papers – Detached memorandum, ca. 1823.)

    January 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • malcolm

      Tony Perkins speaks the truth. I'm happy to call him a friend. The key phrase in his quote is "biblically-sanctioned." Many other religions are submitting to the pressures of the anti-Christian agenda...and have sadly abandoned the true teachings of Jesus.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Tony Perkins is a self-absorbed twit who wouldn't recognize "truth" if it bit him.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Observer

      Malcom,

      "s-xual intimacy within the marriage of one man and one woman is the only biblically-sanctioned human s-xual behavior"

      Nonsense. Solomon was praised by the Bible as the epiitome of a wise person and he had a thousand wives and concubines..

      January 12, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • mama k

      Speaking of "biblically-sanctioned", can we discuss slavery in biblical times, malcolm? Of course, for starters, we would have to both acknowledge that, during biblical times (including when the Bible was written and assembled), slavery existed and was as normal a way of life then as walking was a mode of transportation. (I have to specify that understanding as a basis for discussion, because, you know, there are some people who still don't think we've landed on the moon.)

      January 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • It is called

      Agree Seperation of Church and State means out of POLITICS !

      January 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Observer : Solomon was praised by the Bible as the epiitome of a wise person and he had a thousand wives and concubines

      It's also widely recognized that Solomon only served God half-heartedly, as his foreign wives led him astray in his latter years.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • fred

      Observer
      Let’s see Solomon also drank all the wine he could and ate all the best food he could before concluding it is all vanity. I suppose you will claim the Bible praised him for this also?

      January 12, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      If God decreed that there should only be ONLY ONE wife/lover and Solomon blew it by ONE THOUSAND, then God certainly should be humiliated to endorse such a terrible example of what to be.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Observer : God certainly should be humiliated to endorse such a terrible example of what to be

      God gave him wisdom, not robotic-control. So, Solomon was free to do with that wisdom as HE choose to use it.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • It Is Called

      Bow wow the Rover has landed on Mars.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • fred

      Observer
      God allows all manner of stuff good and bad. What is clear is that behavior that pleases God is stated as such. God does not state anywhere that 750 wives is pleasing and worthy of praise

      January 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Observer

      - I Kings 4:29-31 “And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the Sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men”

      - I Kings 11:3 “(Solomon) Seven hundred of his wives were daughters of kings, but he also married three hundred other women.”

      January 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Mary from Rochester NY

      "That's right. He said nothing about this [sin} that was (or almost) non-existant in Biblical Israel."
      If it didn't exist, how can it be considered as in? Truth is, Jesus said nothing about it. Yake a page out of his book that you supposedly pattern your life after and shut up about it, too. It's none of your business what two consenting adults do.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • It is Called

      Courts Agree

      New science standards created by a majority of 26 states for 2013. CNN has article. Stem Standards

      According to courts can't teach ID/creationism in public schools in US as fact.
      NOVA | Intelligent Design on Trial
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html
      Nov 13, 2007 – Featuring trial reenactments based on court transcripts and interviews with key participants, including expert scientists and Dover parents,

      January 12, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Mary from Rochester NY: If it didn't exist, how can it be considered as in?

      I didn't say that it didn't exist in the world, but in Israel.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • The Babble

      The Bible sanctions the mandatory execution of a betrothed woman if she does not cry out while being raped.

      If you make a list of the things that are Biblically-sanctioned, the result will not be anything anyone wants.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Mary from Rochester NY

      The Bible also says that a woman should be perfectly happy to marry her r.apist. Women around the world who have been r.aped wouldn't find those words comforting.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Mary from Rochester NY : The Bible also says that a woman should be perfectly happy to marry her r.apist.

      I'll call you on this statement. What book, chapter and verse? BTW – I've studied the entire Bible. It's not in there. While the woman may need to marry him, there's nothing in there about her state of happiness.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • midwest rail

      "......may need to marry him." Why, exactly ?

      January 12, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Observer

      Live4Him,

      You are probably right. God knows that she already has been through hell and will be even more miserable and still FORCES her to marry her rapist. Nice guy. Great way to treat a r-pe victim. So much for love and compassion from God.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @midwest rail : "......may need to marry him." Why, exactly ?

      In those days, a woman was dependent upon a man for her livelihood. Once this happened to her, her prospects of marriage went to almost zero – even though it wasn't her fault.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Really now . . .

      Doesn't the "need to marry your rapist" thing kinda strike you as a teensy-weensy ever-so-slightly bit psochotic and unjust? Can you imagine a scenario where being forced to marry your rapist would make you happy?

      Interesting that the secular world is easily able to come up with laws that are far more just and humane than God can. Indeed, God's laws look a whole lot like the kind of thing you would expect as laws in a backwards iron age peasant culture, and not like the work of an super-intelligent all-knowing just god of love.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Observer : So much for love and compassion from God.

      Would you prefer that she starve to death?

      January 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • fred

      mama k
      Biblically sanctioned slavery would be misleading terminology due the preconceived notions about slavery. Biblically slaves must be treated with love and kindness. Mistreatment would be a sin and the owner held accountable. The Israelites were thus Biblically sanctioned to rescue abused people from the brutality of the Moabites and Amorites bringing them into their homes where they received a lifetime of protection and security.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Mary from Rochester NY

      Okay, you're right. It doesn't say that she would be perfectly happy. Which makes it all the more worse to be forced to marry her r.apist in the first place, after paying her father off.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • fred

      The Babble?
      What verse are you referring to?

      January 12, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Observer

      Live4Him

      "Would you prefer that she starve to death?"

      I have seen some really mindless and pathetic attempts to make excuses for the actions of God, but yours is one of the most heartless and disgusting I have ever seen.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Observer : I have seen some really mindless and pathetic attempts to make excuses for the actions of God

      Ahhh.... You just don't understand the culture in those days. Get an education on the history then. God didn't create this imperfect world. He created a perfect world, and we corrupted it. Now, God is trying to guide us through our mess. If the ra.pi.st followed God's teachings, it wouldn't have happened. But, those who reject God will justify anything that they see to their benefit.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Observer

      fred

      "Biblically slaves must be treated with love and kindness"

      The Bible gives instructions on how BADLY you can beat your slaves WITHOUT PUNISHMENT.

      If you haven't read the Bible, why not do it now?

      January 12, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • mama k

      You're jumping ahead, fred. This was Bill Deacon's mistake yesterday. For the basis of discussion, without reference to treatment or judgment of people in those times, I asked if slavery as defined this way (I'll snip from yesterday's post):

      "such as we once had in the U.S., where people are commodities that can be legally bought/sold/inherited, but also throughout history (including the present) where anyone is forced to work for another."

      existed or not in biblical times.

      After a period of almost four hours, but with nine replies to me, Bill wound up not wanting to answer that question. Maybe if I had left of the part about "as we once had in the U.S." he might have replied differently. What was obvious to me was that he was uncomfortable with the question (first reply); and he immediately wanted to redefine slavery as "slavery of the flesh" – I don't know why he responded at all if he didn't want to address my question.

      If you don't like that definition, then use Webster's. How can anyone discussion slavery in the bible if they won't even agree up front that it existed or not. Heck – even "no" is an answer!!

      January 12, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Observer

      Live4Him,

      You seem to be totally heartless in addition to clueless. What SIN did the victim commit?

      If you had a daughter who was ra-ped, would you think it was a good idea to force her rapist to marry her?

      Grow up.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @fred – Biblically sanctioned slavery would be misleading terminology

      Don't forget, we are ALL enslaved to sin. People today just don't want to call it as such. When was the last time you didn't have to work to pay off your debts? The Bible calls this slavery too. Can't control your lust? Slavery. Always want more money? Slavery. Always want more respect? Slavery.

      Just be calm and don't disparage your opponent. Too many Christians start acting like the atheist on the forums. Live for Christ! Keep up the good work!

      January 12, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Observer

      Live4Him,

      Still CLUELESS. The slavery talked about in the Bible had NOTHING to do with your examples unless you claim that your boss has the right to beat you.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • BacBac

      observer-

      honestly, do you understand context? if you do, I will assume you forgot about it for a few posts.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • ???????

      When was the last time you didn't have to work to pay off your debts?
      When we both retired about 10 years ago i am 55 my wife is 60.
      with 3 adult chilren in college
      House paid off.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Observer

      BacBac,

      Live4Him is trying to justify God's totally heartless actions by pretending it's the same as the other examples. The pathetic attempt to try to pretend that slavery in the Bible is not what it was is fooling no one.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Observer : Live4Him is trying to justify God's totally heartless actions

      BacBac is right. You being totally over-emotional about the topic. You don't like what is posted, so you rant and rave. If you were calm about it, you could take the passages in context (quoting them instead of claiming what they say).

      January 12, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @??????? : When we both retired about 10 years ago i am 55 my wife is 60.

      Oh, so you don't pay your taxes?

      January 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • BacBac

      Nothing God does is heartless so you lost me. God does things and he allows things but there is a plan that you or I can't fully know. To ask why is common but really silly at the same time. We don't know why, we can't.

      Do you have it all figured out? your existence, God, why, the existence of the universe, etc...?

      If so, please tell us. If not, show some humility.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Observer

      Live4Him,

      "You don't like what is posted, "

      Yes. I find support for the rapist like you have done to be heartless and mindless. But then again, I'm not a Christian like you who thinks marrying a rapist is good.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • fred

      Observer
      No, it establishes a penalty for specific behavior. If you are charged with manslaughter for drunk driving and maiming someone does that establish how someone should drink and drive?

      January 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Observer : I find support for the rapist like you have done to be heartless and mindless.

      Yes, you'd rather the victim starve to death. Real compassionate, aren't you?

      January 12, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • mama k

      Disagreement over biblical interpretation has always been an issue in Christianity. As much so, if not more between Chrisitians as with non-Christians. Case in point, scroll back up and ready my first James Madison quote. Madison, Mason, Jefferson, Washington and Paine all witnessed persecution between feuding fundamental Christian sects in their home states.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • mama k

      ( read, not ready )

      January 12, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @mama k : Disagreement over biblical interpretation has always been an issue in Christianity.

      Yes, mankind always seeks to corrupt His teachings.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Terry

      Since when is taxes considered slavery?? If this is what L4 thinks slavery is, no WONDER she considers marrying a r.apist and beating slaves is normal! Is eating slavery? Breathing? LEARN WHAT THE TERM MEANS, FOOL!!!!

      January 12, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • mama k

      Well I'll tell you what, Live4Him, if you can get a hold of Him, let Him know that people have been treating each other like garbage because of their own preconceived notions about what shit means in His sloppy-ass Gullible's Travels.

      January 12, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • BacBac

      mama k-

      God is present. You can speak with him if you wish.

      The more you seek him the more he will reveal himself to you.

      Be patient and if you truly want to find him, you will.

      January 12, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • mama k

      Well at least fred did say "biblical slaves" so I'll give him credit for that as an acknowledgement that slavery did exist in biblical times. But my, I don't remember any of my Christian friends having so much trouble with answering that type of question. No thank you very much, BacBac, been there, done that for decades. I'm a comfy agnostic atheist now.

      January 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • BacBac

      Mama-
      For some reason I sense you are not 100% comfy…? You still have hope in your heart (and brain) that you will find the truth.

      January 12, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • mama k

      Well who is 100% comfy, BacBac? No, I'm quite content.

      January 12, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • Observer

      Live4Him

      "Yes, you'd rather the victim starve to death. Real compassionate, aren't you?"

      And why in your world, would a r-ape victim have to starve to death?

      January 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • My goodness but you're stupid. Have you even read the bible?

      Fred ' Biblically slaves must be treated with love and kindness. Mistreatment would be a sin and the owner held accountable.

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

      January 12, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • End Religion

      live4him's argument sounds similar to fred's right before fred helped prove god doesn't exist...

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/06/college-students-raise-funds-to-fight-slavery/comment-page-6

      January 12, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
  15. malcolm

    Making the distinction of "conservative" Christian is redundant. People need to read the words of Christ before calling themselves a Christian or trying to twist Jesus' words to excuse their actions.

    January 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Observer

      Jesus said NOTHING bad about gays. It's time that hypocritical Christians acknowledge that.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • J.W

      So are you saying Jesus was conservative?

      January 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Jesus was the archetypal liberal.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Observer : Jesus said NOTHING bad about gays.

      That's right. He said nothing about this sin that was (or almost) non-existant in Biblical Israel.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • J.W

      It wasn't necessarily non-existent. It was known to be practiced as a pagan ritual. That is probably why it was considered bad.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @J.W : It wasn't necessarily non-existent. It was known to be practiced as a pagan ritual.

      Not in Biblical Israel.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      And Jesus hung around with twelve guys and supposedly didn't have a wife. Go figure, there was some major butt piracy going on there.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Rational Libertarian

      I would respond, but I've seen previously that you start posting gibberish. Since this is on the verge of that gibberish, I'll ignore it.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Mary from Rochester NY

      Posted in wrong spot.

      "That's right. He said nothing about this [sin] that was (or almost) non-existant in Biblical Israel."
      If it didn't exist, how can it be considered a sin? Truth is, Jesus said nothing about it. Take a page out of his book that you supposedly pattern your life after and shut up about it, too. It's none of your business what two consenting adults do.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Mary from Rochester NY: If it didn't exist, how can it be considered as in?

      I didn't say that it didn't exist in the world, but in Israel. (copied to both posts)

      January 12, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Mary from Rochester NY

      Well, then, who called it sin if it's not the word of Jesus? Live by it.

      January 12, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Mary from Rochester NY : Well, then, who called it sin if it's not the word of Jesus? Live by it.

      Huh? I don't understand your post. I do acknowledge that it is called sin in the Bible and I accept it as such. So, what's your point here?

      January 12, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Mary from Rochester NY

      Ah, the Bible says so. Okay. BUT, "Jesus said NOTHING bad about gays. It's time that hypocritical Christians acknowledge that."
      Don't bring up Jesus in every conversation if one is not going to abide by His teachings. And DON'T bring up the OT, which applauds incest, r.ape, slavery, and other abominations much worse than two people who love each other that happen to be the same s.ex. The Bible has been misused to support every bigoted thought process ever. It's time that stops, unless Christianity wants to be rendered as inconsequential as every other religion that has existed over the last 4000 years or so.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Beth

      Gay marriage is now a reality in many states, and will be so elsewhere soon too. Yet again, Christianity shows itself as an obsolete set of fictions and absurd, arbitrary dictates of a less progressive society. Christianity will decay and be diluted away to near nothing in the coming decades, and that is great news for the world.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Mary from Rochester NY : Don't bring up Jesus in every conversation if one is not going to abide by His teachings.

      I do abide by them. Unlike some, I abhor all the sins mentioned in the Bible (like God). You seem to want to blame man's actions upon God. Why? Can't you accept responsibility for the decisions you make? If you do what is best for you in your eyes, then why shouldn't other – including if they do the sins you detest? Why not applaude them for freeing themselves from God's rules?

      January 12, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Mary from Rochester

      No. No, I don't. But I am wise enough to know that there is a separation of church and state, and I am wise enough to know that the founding fathers had it right when they thought that there is no way that laws based on religion should be passed. I take responsibility for my own actions, as everyone should.

      Marginalizing a segment of society based on what YOU think, when the Son of God didn't even comment on it AT ALL, is taking your personal feelings towards it and trying to justify in as being what Jesus said; he said nothing about it one way or another.

      You are responsible for your own salvation. Keep your nose out of other people's.

      If you can't differentiate the two, you are not doing the Lord any favors.

      January 12, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • End Religion

      @RL: "turn the other cheek" is likely a pick-up line jesus used when asking disciples for sex.

      January 12, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • My goodness but you're pompous

      Live4Him "I do abide by them. Unlike some, I abhor all the sins mentioned in the Bible"
      Like the sin of wearing blended fabric, or the sin of eating shrimp, or clams?

      January 12, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
  16. truth be told

    The so called atheist represents all lies all the time.

    January 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Excellent parody, tbt.

      January 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Observer

      truth be told,

      Impossible factless nonsense. Grow up.

      January 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Truth be told is alway right!

      (I am an atheist)

      January 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
  17. Origin of Life

    NOVA: Decoding Neanderthals – PBS Pressroom
    pressroom.pbs.org/.../n/NOVA/4002-Decoding-Neanderthals.aspx
    NOVA: Decoding Neanderthals. Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET. Check your local listings. Decoding Neanderthals Ep Main. Find out what

    January 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Edna Pepperpot

      Oh I remember those bloody Neanderthals. Ruined the neighborhood, they did. Darn good thing they wandered off and became Christians.

      January 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • origin of Life

      DNA is cool it is on NOW

      January 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • A Cross

      M-y wife and I recently signed up for National Geogrphic 2.0 which analyzes a sample of ones DNA. It is useful for identifying potential health risks, and tracing an.cestry. My own ancestry, through the genes, was mun.dane My wife had a remarkable ge.netic make up, which includes 3percent gen.etic material which is N-eanderthal. She is Ja-panese, with Sp-anish, French, Sl-avic, and South American na-tive (think Inca) background. But several thousand years ago (note this; it must have occurred well before 8000 years ago which creationists believe was about the time that g-od created man), a very distant ancestor of hers m-ated with a N-eanderthal. I know this is hard to believe, it is hard for me to believe, but this is true, and should cause some of you to think, as it has caused me to do. For those who wonder what this cross looks like – she is beautiful

      January 12, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Predictable Conservative Response

      PBS IZ A SOSHALIST KONSPEERASEA!!!!!!

      January 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Oket Dokey

      3 percent neanderthal? That means that a relative of hers mated with a neanderthal six generations back, roughly sometime in the mid ninteenth century.

      Are you sure it was 3% and not, say, .03%

      January 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Origin of Life

      Simple blood test will give you the % of Neanderthal you are ! go figure.

      January 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • A Cross

      Oops .03 it is.

      January 12, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Origin of Life

      The test cost 199 dollars

      January 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Okey Dokey

      3% Neanderthal would be large, hairy, and stupid . . . wait a minute, that's my ex-wife!

      Well doesn't THAT explain everything!

      January 12, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Could Neanderthals breed with H.omo Sapians?

      January 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      Okey Dokey
      "... large, hairy, and stupid . . . wait a minute, that's my ex-wife!"

      Careful, friend, *you* chose her!

      (unless you had an arranged marriage?)

      January 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  18. A.S.

    I'm a Christian and I don't need society to give me a privileged position. This man said bigoted things and therefore cannot be assumed to be instantly absolved of his words, especially considering he didn't even express a change of heart. He's not being oppressed because he's a Christian. He's being disliked because he's a bigot. Which caused him to step down on his own free will.

    January 12, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • lol??

      In what way are you using bigot?

      January 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Merriam Webster

      Bigot: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as in gays) with hatred and intolerance

      January 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • lol??

      Hit and run false brethren.

      January 14, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • ed

      poor cowardly lol??

      January 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  19. Jonathan

    Boo-hoo. They're pushing my discriminatory views outside of mainstream American thinking.

    January 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • lol??

      You talkin' 'bout that creek with no paddle?

      January 12, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  20. heliocracy

    Besides the fact that not speaking at the presidential inauguration in no way violates one's freedom of religion, nor should it, as the author states, make "those who hold it more concerned that their freedom to speak will be curtailed in other ways," It's actually the last paragraph that gets at the heart of the real problem. It starts by stating that the goal of Christians is to infuse religious dogma into law and social structures, then claims that religious freedom will be the result. The exact opposite is true. It's just another indication that for conservative Christians, freedom of religion means merely freedom to be Christian without any backtalk or dissent.

    January 12, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
1 2 3 4

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

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.