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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.

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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.

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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. Ann

    "pushing a traditional Christian position outside the boundaries of acceptability"

    That has a tendency to happen when the traditional Christian position is one of hate and bigotry. Let's continue pushing.

    January 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  2. coriolana

    xians should remember that their mandate was "love one another", not beat the |]>¥ out of anyone different.

    January 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • niknak

      Yeah, but beating the snoot of of someone who is different is so much more fun for a fundie then loving someone.
      Better yet, is your their guns to shoot someone who is different then they are.
      Because notihng shows how much you love jeebus and follow his teachings then using your gun to kill something/someone.

      January 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  3. Clarke

    He stepped down or was ask to. Bottom line he won't be there, everyone one will need to deal with it, and move on.

    January 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  4. Jack Kieser

    Ha. Haha... HAHAHAHAHA! That's hilarious! This is such an asinine opinion piece. How do you think we Atheists feel when we're forced to watch prayers given at the Inauguration of our highest office? Marginalized? Like we've ALWAYS been?

    Oh, boo hoo, the poor old Christians aren't getting their way and aren't getting all of the national spotlight. Deal with it. America isn't in the business of preserving your majority. The government doesn't owe you a damn thing except the freedom to practice your religion IN PRIVATE. We (that is to say, those who don't believe what you believe) don't have to give you a damn thing else, ESPECIALLY not a public forum with which you can force your bigotry down our throats. If you don't like it, go to church, where you're free to persecute gays and lesbians as sinners all you want.

    Just don't expect us to put up with your hate speech on the national stage, because freedom of religion doesn't guarantee you a speaker at the Inauguration, especially in a nation with a SEPARATION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE.

    January 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Jim

      There is no wording in the US Constitution that contains "Separation of Church and State". The phrase was taken from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to Baptists from Connecticut. But in the 1st Amendment it clearly states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Many Americans have sadly forgotten this.

      January 14, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Jim,

      The Supreme Court has a long history of ruling in such a way as to keep church and state separate based on the 1st Amendment. Claiming there is no seperation because it is not phrased exactly as such is dishonest.

      January 14, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Jack Kieser

      Yes, "make no law", exactly what it did when it "affirmed" that the motto of the US is "In God We Trust" (which forces me to trust in God to be a patriot, which I will not do) and placed both that phrase and the phrase "Under God" on our currency and in our Pledge, respectively. The United States government has already, in the name of Protestant Christianity, made laws which infringe on my religious liberty. What Jefferson understood, and what you don't, is that religious liberty CANNOT truly exist in a country for all religious beliefs (or lack of beliefs) unless there is a separation of church and state, an argument which has never been rebuked. The fact that we have religious liberty in the 1st Amendment means, de facto, that we have a separation of church and state because one cannot exist without the other.

      January 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Jim

      Do you believe in the bible verbatum? Every single word?

      January 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  5. John Paul Jones

    True Spotimom. All we can do for those who refuse to belief in the truth of Christ, is pray for them. For we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. Forgive them, for they know not what they do. For those who are in defiance of God's only son Jesus, defiance of the Holy Spirit, and Scripture, their judge is in Heaven, not us.

    To you, the atheist(s), I will just have to believe for the both of us. I am commanded by Christ to forgive you, so I must.

    January 14, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm sure Jesus is thrilled with your obvious distaste for and dislike of atheists and your willingness to love them only because he says you must.

      January 14, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Mary

      That's why the divorce rate is highest among the Christians. That's why greed and gluttony fill the hearts of so many Christians in America. If you look at most of the people that are suppose to represent Christ, then they are doing a really terrible job.

      January 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      John Paul Johns,

      Beliefs are not choices, I don't "refuse" to believe in the christian god anymore than I "refuse" to believe in flying monkeys. Once you understand that you will understand what a house of cards christian dogma is.

      January 14, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Andy

      For a supposed christian, you're awfully arrogant.

      January 14, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Really??

      JPJ
      I checked with Zeus, and he's not really ahppy about your belief in that particular god. Odin didn't seem to have a problem with it but Ra is now out to get you.

      January 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • sam stone

      "For a supposed christian, you're awfully arrogant."

      That is their default setting

      January 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      I've done nothing to you that would warrant a need for your forgiveness, JPJ

      January 14, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • SkepticalOne

      You can continue to pray to your imaginary god and we will continue to laugh at you.

      January 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  6. The Truth

    "Christians have often been on the margins of societies rather than at the center." Ah, Christians playing the victim card even though they have been at the center of world affairs for nearly 1800 years. It would be sad if it weren't just so laughable.

    January 14, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • the colosseum is full

      hey! Christians ere at the center of the Roman Empire too in the very beginning ... they fed quite a bit of lions ; but now it's the other way around..Even when Europe was dominated by Christianity ..Christians were not really in the forefront...it was just the tradition that dominated...I hope you understand what I am trying to say...

      January 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  7. badskippy

    "Christians have often been on the margins of societies rather than at the center." Christians have LONG attempted and still try to highjack and dominate the political field in America. They point fingers and condemn and denounce and judge ANYONE that is not like them and call them sinners and heretics and MANY other names, but GOD FORBID you turn their hateful, oppressive words and ideas (and YES, they are hateful), back on them, they cry that they are abused and boo-hoo and claim intolerence. Conservative Christians are nothing more than America's Version of the Talaban! It's time we label them as a terrorist group.

    January 14, 2013 at 11:26 am |
  8. judy

    tired of people saying the are Christians and then telling other people how to live. Take care of your own house.

    January 14, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • the colosseum is full

      after you my dear...learn how to SPELL ! :)

      January 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  9. empresstrudy

    Note to liberals and Obamatrons. This guy was vetted by and agrees entirely with Obama's own belief system

    January 14, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • midwest rail

      Note to nitwits – Giglio himself opted out.

      January 14, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Why should anyone get to express supersti.tious garbage at gov't events?

      January 14, 2013 at 11:30 am |
  10. myweightinwords

    As a firm supporter of equality, and as part of the LGBT community myself, I found the uproar over the sermon 15 or more years ago to be ludicrous and uncalled for, especially when the reasons for Giglio's invitation were rooted in his work on the human trafficking problem.

    Fellow LGBT folks, it doesn't always have to be about us.

    That Giglio stepped aside of his own accord in an attempt to deflect the drama that unfolds whenever something like this blows up from derailing either the inauguration or his own work tells me more about the man than I might have otherwise known had there never been controversy and he'd spoken his prayer.

    Okay, he doesn't think being gay is a good thing. Nothing wrong with that. Millions of people think that way and don't actively engage in harming gay people, either through actual violence or working to deny us rights. They aren't monsters. They just believe differently than we do.

    That said, Giglio stepping aside also isn't a sign of persecution or that Christianity is being pushed out of the public square. It's a sign that he recognized his message wasn't going to be heard because vindictive people stuck on a sound bite from the past were too busy making the moment about them. Period.

    Yeah, it may not be the most popular opinion on the block. I'm okay with that. We need to stop turning everything into a war. When we do that, we lose our bearings and we forget ourselves, wear ourselves out and cast ourselves in the role of the victim, instead of choosing the right battle and forging the right victories.

    January 14, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I agree with your main point. I think however that when we stop giving false authority to leaders of supersti.tion at what should be secular events we will all be better off. The idea that any person can claim to know what s.e.xual actions are "allowed" by consenting adults is absurd.

      January 14, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • myweightinwords

      @Blessed, the President himself claims belief, it is his inauguration. If he chooses to have prayer, it is within his right. I have no issues with that...same as if I go to a friend's wedding and they believe and have prayer. It doesn't bother me.

      January 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Your friends wedding is a personal event. The inauguration is a gov't event, a gov't that should be neutral on the question of religion, or no religion. Also I am not saying he should not be allowed to have prayer, I am saying we will be all better off when prayer is not an expectation at the inauguration. As is now if any President did not have prayer, and specifically prayer to a christian god, there would be "wailing and gnashing of teeth". It is that "expectation", and the kowtowing to Christianity that does us all a disservice.

      January 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  11. Don

    The most beautiful word in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is "whosoever." All of God's promises are intended for every human being. This includes gay men and lesbians. How tragic it is that the Christian Church has excluded and persecuted people who are homosexual! We are all created with powerful needs for personal relationships. Our quality of life depends upon the love we share with others; whether family or friends, partners or peers. Yet, lesbians and gay men facing hostile attitudes in society often are denied access to healthy relationships. Jesus Christ calls us to find ultimate meaning in life through a personal relationship with our Creator. This important spiritual union can bring healing and strength to all of our human relationships

    Biblical Interpretation and Theology also change from time to time. Approximately 150 years ago in the United States, some Christian teaching held that there was a two-fold moral order: black and white. Whites were thought to be superior to blacks, therefore blacks were to be subservient and slavery was an institution ordained by God. Clergy who supported such an abhorrent idea claimed the authority of the Bible. The conflict over slavery led to divisions which gave birth to some major Christian denominations. These same denominations, of course, do not support slavery today. Did the Bible change? No, their interpretation of the Bible did!

    Genesis 19:1-25

    Some "televangelists" carelessly proclaim that God destroyed the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of "homosexuality." Although some theologians have equated the sin of Sodom with homosexuality, a careful look at Scripture corrects such ignorance. Announcing judgment on these cities in Genesis 18, God sends two angels to Sodom, where Abraham's nephew, Lot, persuades them to stay in his home. Genesis 19 records that "all the people from every quarter" surround Lot's house demanding the release of his visitors so "we might know them." The Hebrew word for "know" in this case, yadha, usually means "have thorough knowledge of." It could also express intent to examine the visitors' credentials, or on rare occasions the term implies sexual intercourse. If the latter was the author's intended meaning, it would have been a clear case of attempted gang rape. Several observations are important.

    First, the judgment on these cities for their wickedness had been announced prior to the alleged homosexual incident. Second, all of Sodom's people participated in the assault on Lot's house; in no culture has more than a small minority of the population been homosexual. Third, Lot's offer to release his daughters suggests he knew his neighbors to have heterosexual interests. Fourth, if the issue was sexual, why did God spare Lot, who immediately commits incest with his daughters? Most importantly, why do all the other passages of Scripture referring to this account fail to raise the issue of homosexuality?

    Romans 1:24-27

    Most New Testament books, including the four Gospels, are silent on same-sex acts, and Paul is the only author who makes any reference to the subject. The most negative statement by Paul regarding same-sex acts occurs in Romans 1:24-27 where, in the context of a larger argument on the need of all people for the gospel of Jesus Christ, certain homosexual behavior is given as an example of the "uncleanness" of idolatrous Gentiles.

    This raises the question: Does this passage refer to all homosexual acts, or to certain homosexual behavior known to Paul's readers? The book of Romans was written to Jewish and Gentile Christians in Rome, who would have been familiar with the infamous sexual excesses of their contemporaries, especially Roman emperors. They would also have been aware of tensions in the early Church regarding Gentiles and observance of the Jewish laws, as noted in Acts 15 and Paul's letter to the Galatians. Jewish laws in Leviticus mentioned male same-sex acts in the context of idolatry.

    The homosexual practices cited in Romans 1:24-27 were believed to result from idolatry and are associated with some very serious offenses as noted in Romans 1. Taken in this larger context, it should be obvious that such acts are significantly different from loving, responsible lesbian and gay relationships seen today.

    What is "Natural"?

    Significant to Paul's discussion is the fact that these "unclean" Gentiles exchanged that which was "natural" for them, physin, in the Greek text, for something "unnatural," para physin. In Romans 11:24, God acts in an "unnatural" way, para physin, to accept the Gentiles. "Unnatural" in these passages does not refer to violation of so-called laws of nature, but rather implies action contradicting one's own nature. In view of this, we should observe that it is "unnatural," para physin, for a person today with a lesbian or gay sexual orientation to attempt living a heterosexual lifestyle.

    I Corinthians 6:9

    Any consideration of New Testament statements on same-sex acts must carefully view the social context of the Greco-Roman culture in which Paul ministered. Prostitution and pederasty (sexual relationships of adult men with boys) were the most commonly known male same-sex acts. In I Corinthians 6:9, Paul condemns those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind," as translated in the King James version. Unfortunately, some new translations are worse, rendering these words "homosexuals." Recent scholarship unmasks the homophobia behind such mistranslations.

    The first word – malakos, in the Greek text-which has been translated "effeminate" or "soft," most likely refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control. The word is used elsewhere in the New Testament but never with reference to sexuality.

    The second word, Arsenokoitai, occurs once each in I Corinthians and I Timothy (1:10), but nowhere else in other literature of the period. It is derived from two Greek words, one meaning, "males" and the other "beds", a euphemism for sexual intercourse. Other Greek words were commonly used to describe homosexual behavior but do not appear here. The larger context of I Corinthians 6 shows Paul extremely concerned with prostitution, so it is very possible he was referring to male prostitutes. But many experts now attempting to translate these words have reached a simple conclusion: their precise meaning is uncertain. Scripture Study Conclusion…No Law Against Love

    The rarity with which Paul discusses any form of same-sex behavior and the ambiguity in references attributed to him make it extremely unsound to conclude any sure position in the New Testament on homosexuality, especially in the context of loving, responsible relationships. Since any arguments must be made from silence, it is much more reliable to turn to great principles of the Gospel taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Do not judge others, lest you be judged. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love . . . against such there is no law. One thing is abundantly clear, as Paul stated in Galatians 5:14: "...the whole Law is fulfilled in one statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself".

    January 14, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "All of God's promises are intended for every human being."

      Unless the person doesn't believe, then that person is excluded. So the god of the bible punishes "thought crimes" much like a dictator would.

      January 14, 2013 at 10:39 am |
  12. Ben Moushon

    Reblogged this on Thinking & Driving and commented:
    An excellent thought reminding Christians that our allegiance lies not of this world, and let us be engaged in this world while our passions are for a higher calling.

    January 14, 2013 at 6:44 am |
    • Andrew

      It's a nice gesture to think that we Christians have no allegiance to this world, but for some reason I see a lot of Christians with allegiance to the Republican Party (I work in a large church and see this constantly). It seems as though the moral "right" has left behind the sermon on the mount, which happens to be one of Jesus' greatest moral teaching pericopes.

      January 14, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Science

      @BM
      OLD NEWS
      None is OK Afterlife

      Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says – CNN ...
      religion.blogs.cnn.com/.../heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-ha...
      May 17, 2011 – By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen ...

      January 14, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • sam stone

      Ben: Why not skip this world? A tall building is the express train to Jesus

      January 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  13. Be Kind, Be grateful, Be Respectful

    Read the bible it will change your world to; love, joy, happiness, peace on earth to all mankind, respect to all and forgive those who have sin or do no know God!

    January 14, 2013 at 2:37 am |
    • niknak

      Then take you gun and go out and shoot someone with it.
      Jeebus just loves when you use your gun to kill things.
      Especially minorities and atheists and people who believe in different gods.

      January 14, 2013 at 5:28 am |
    • Science

      Afterlife aye OK NONE

      Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says – CNN ...
      religion.blogs.cnn.com/.../heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-ha...
      May 17, 2011 – By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen ...

      January 14, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • sam stone

      Nothing arrogant about that, is there Be Kind.....blah, blah, fvcking blah?

      January 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • SkepticalOne

      I read it. It was not all that.

      January 14, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  14. Douglas

    Rev. Giglio,

    Keep up the good work.
    Stay true to the Bible and its guidance on the sin of gay coitus.
    A price has been paid with AIDS making a strong comeback in gay enclaves
    worldwide as Paul predicted in Romans. (prophecy revealed)
    As they yearn for sinful coitus...they deepen the abyss that restricts their salvation.

    My gay gay friends...jettison fornication.

    Listen to the tough love of Rev. Giglio and just say no.

    Salvation is for eternity...the one night stand is just that...a one night stand.

    Why risk loss of salvation????

    January 13, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Signs you are in an abusive relationship
      - Monitors what you're doing all the time
      - Decides things for you that you should be allowed to decide (like what to wear or eat)
      - Threatens to hurt you, or your children if you don’t love him
      - Blames you for his or her violent outbursts or shortcomings
      -Being s.e.x.ually controlling
      - You have an impending sense of consequence that will come if you don't "obey."
      -Tells you that you are “nothing” without him and you don’t deserve his love

      January 13, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Douglas

      They call this type of controlling behavior "rough trade" in the gay underworld.

      Cheeseman...it is time to come out from fornication and reject that which will cost you eternal life.

      As you read the Bible your mind at heart will turn away from sin.

      You will be a new man in the morning!

      January 13, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ohh, poor Doogie, his mayan done smacked him around!

      Get a grip, honey.

      January 13, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Dougie,

      I am not gay, but my wife promised me head tonight does that count?

      January 13, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      And uummm Dougie....

      The abusive relationship signs were about you and your christian god.

      I think it is cute you know gay underwold terms though....you taught me something new.

      January 13, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • ???????

      @ douglas
      So stay true to the bible is the bible fact or fiction ?

      January 14, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • Science

      No afterlife

      January 14, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • James

      "Stay true to the Bible and its guidance on the sin of gay coitus."

      No, it doesn't only prejudice people read it that way. 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 14, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • myweightinwords

      They call this type of controlling behavior "rough trade" in the gay underworld.

      Um, no it isn't. It's called an abusive relationship, just like in the hetero world.

      Now, there is a subset of the BDSM world where some of these things are actually a part of a consensual relationship, but even then the submissive has rights and can end the relationship. However, while there are crossovers between the gay world and the BDSM world, one does not equal another.

      Perhaps if you weren't so adamant about repressing the very natural, very human aspects of sexuality, you might research a little, realize that people are people are people, and we all have a right to a full and fulfilling sex life.

      January 14, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • sam stone

      Douglas...free people do not need salvation

      January 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • sam stone

      Dougie: Do you think a lot about gay men having coitus?

      January 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Vic

      @Douglas

      Beware of falling into false witness/testimony about Salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ! Sin does not prevent Salvation if you (WHOEVER) BELIEVE!!!

      Here is the TRUE WITNESS/TESTIMONY:

      Matthew 12:31
      "31 Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven."

      John 3:16,17
      "16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."

      Romans 6:23
      "23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

      Romans 10:9
      "9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;"

      Romans 10:13
      "13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”"

      Ephesians 1:7
      "7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace"

      Ephesians 2:8,9
      "8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

      [Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible (NASB)]
      http://www.biblegateway.com

      January 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  15. Kate

    I don't think that Christians have been truly marginalized in the western public sphere since Constantine.

    January 13, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • lol??

      He did a bang up job, didn't he?

      January 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  16. Spotimom

    I'm not naive at all Suzie. The truth is just pretty simple. Some Christians make it a lot harder than it has to be. Jesus said it, not me.

    January 13, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • JOHN

      Humanism is now the new state religion, and Obama is one of her leaders. Christians rise up and retake this nation. A nation which was once a Christian nation. Fight in the courts as Hobby Lobby, our orphanges, hospitals, businesses are now doing. Read When A Nation Forgets God and see where we are going. Organize and push back. Possibly form a Christian political party.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • Observer

      JOHN,

      Yep. Support the Bible. Bring back slavery and discrimination against women and the handicapped.

      Well thought out.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      " Possibly form a Christian political party."

      Good luck with that. Do you seriously think that the varioius flavors of Christianity would be able to agree long enough to come up with a platform?

      January 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  17. His panic

    Not an important issue at all for me, like a spec of dust in the air, like a snowflake on the ground, like a drop of water in the ocean. Who cares!!

    January 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  18. Do It Do It

    Conservative christians are the dumbest hate group on the planet.

    January 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • JOHN

      Christ is the source of all wisdom and knowledge and we are dumb? The God we serve is love, and we hate? My friends we cannot argue with people like this. Debate often befuddles and angers them further. Pray much, understand and be capable of communicating the important issues. Organize... perhaps form a new political party. Read Daniel for it has come upon us. Read When a Nation Forgets God. Many of our Pastors are good men, but often intimidated and afraid to speak out. they know they have humanists in their churches and fear to lose some members. Better to lose some members then to sit back and do nothing while this nation turns away from God.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Gir

      @ JOHN Are you insinuating that religionists are even capable of rational debate? Just look at your first sentence.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Christ is the source of all wisdom and knowledge and we are dumb?"

      If you seriously believe the first part, then the second part applies

      January 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  19. GayAtheist

    Note To Christians: Not only am I without sin, I am better than your silly god character.
    Christians should be run out of the public discussion. Their views are useless and regressive.

    January 13, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • lol??

      OOoooeeeewwwwhhh, a Siberian tiger. Please wash up.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Suzie Creamcheese

      You know where you will be spending eternity, right? I certainly do, you per vert.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Vic

      Blasphemy/Unbelief is the only UNFORGIVABLE sin!

      Matthew 12:31
      "31 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven."

      January 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Vic,

      Beliefs are not choices, punishing or rewarding people based on "thoughts" is immoral, the god that would do that is an asshat.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • BU2B

      Blasphemy is a victimless "crime".

      January 14, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Unbelief is the only UNFORGIVABLE sin!"

      How do you expect people to believe something via threat?

      Come on, Vic....get off your knees and stop being a snivelling sycophant

      January 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • lol??

      Stonehead, threat? You ain't gonna be a tumbleweed dustball forever.

      January 14, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
  20. Spotimom

    I'm a Christian and hate seeing these posts. Jesus said not to judge others, it's not our job. We are all sinners, so no one needs to be casting that stone, remember? Also, Jesus rebuked the Jewish religious leaders for being so legalistic and missing the heart of God's message. He fulfilled the Law because no one could follow it perfectly. We have a new law/covenant. He said the most important thing is to love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself. Period...that means your gay neighbor too!
    Obama didn't reject Giglio, Giglio stepped down because he didn't want to distract from his real mission in his ministry.

    January 13, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Suzie Creamcheese

      You are incredibly naive. I'll pray for you, that your braincells increase. You need 'em.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Vic

      @Spotimom

      God bless you!!!

      You are a true Christian!!!

      January 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • John

      Spotimom you are SPOT on!!

      January 13, 2013 at 1:14 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.