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February 27th, 2013
11:44 AM ET

Should celibacy end for priests?

(CNN)–Starting Point panel discusses a NY Times editorial suggesting the celibacy vow for Catholic priests is a bad idea.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (301 Responses)
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    261 Ministers Proclamation

    As Christian clergy we proclaim: the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.

    In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:

    -to affirm- that the essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;

    –to embrace- the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;

    –to declare- that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;

    –to celebrate- the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;

    Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.

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    YeahRight

    Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.

    The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

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    . Elaine
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    In Genesis 18, the story about the angels coming to Lot's house, we learn that the reason they were coming to destroy Sodom was because of the wickedness that ALREADY existed in the city. The exact form of wickedness is not mentioned in that story!

    Let's just reinforce this CRITICAL piece of information. In the story of Sodom, in Genesis 18, God had ALREADY decided to destroy the city BEFORE the attempted rape of the angels – which incidentally was perpetrated mainly by heterosexuals since ALL the men of the city were involved, and we know that throughout history, gays have only represented about 10% of the population. Also, if they were homosexuals, why would Lot suggest that they take his daughters instead? That just doesn't make sense if the men were gay.

    So just to get this straight, the event that took place at Sodom was an act of violence and rape, mainly by heterosexuals. It had nothing to do with a loving relationship between two people of the same sex, and homosexuality was NOT the sin of Sodom in whatever form. The story of Sodom in Genesis 18 was about violence and domination, the same type of event that takes place in prisons and occupied countries, but it was NOT the reason for God's decision to destroy the city, and to use this story as a basis for prejudice against homosexuality in general is like comparing rape to marriage. There is NO similarity!

    The aftermath of Sodom aside, let's take a look at other passages of Scripture that mention the sin of Sodom. Here are 14 references to Sodom and not one of them mentions homosexuality!!!!! The overwhelming themes are idolatry, immorality and inhospitality! To me, this indicates people like Bob and HeavenSent have taken things out of context!

    Deuteronomy 29:17-26 – the sin – idolatry and images to false gods – "Why has the Lord done this to the land? . . . It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord . . ."

    Deuteronomy 32:32-38 – the sin – idolatry – "He will say 'Now where are their gods?'"

    Isaiah 1:2-23 – the sin – idolatry, rebellion, injustice, murder, greed, theft, covetousness, mistreating the poor – "They have rebelled against Me."

    Isaiah 3:8-19 – the sin – idolatry, arrogance – "Their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying His glorious Presence"

    Jeremiah 23:10-14 – the sin – idolatry, adultery, lying by priests and prophets – "Both prophet and priest are godless. . . . They prophesied by Baal and led My people astray."

    Jeremiah 49:16-18 – the sin – idolatry, arrogance, oppression, pride of the heart – "The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived
    you. . ."

    Jeremiah 50:2-40 – the sin – idolatry, pride, false prophets – "Her images will be put to shame and her idols filled with terror. . . . . For she has defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. . . . . Their shepherds have led them astray."

    Lamentations 4:3-6 – the sin – cruelty and failure to care for the young and poor – "My people have become heartless."

    Ezekiel 16:49-50 – the sin – "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned: they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me."

    Amos 4:1-11 – the sin – idolatry, oppression, mistreating the poor – "I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom . . . . yet you have not returned to Me."

    Zephaniah 2:8-11 – the sin – idolatry, pride, mocking – "This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty. The Lord will be awesome to them when He destroys all the gods of the land."

    Luke 17:26-29 – Jesus speaking – No specific sins mentioned

    II Peter 2:1-22 – the sin – idolatry, living after ungodliness, lawlessness, arrogance, blaspheming, adultery, greed, corruption, depravity, boasting, lust – "But there were also false prophets among the people . . . . ."

    Jude 1:7-8 – the sin – sexual immorality and perversion, i.e fornication after strange flesh (angels, see Genesis 6:1) KJV

    The dictionary defines "perversion" as "a sexual practice regarded as abnormal". That means that a heterosexual practicing homosexual acts is perverted as in the case of ALL the men of Sodom wanting to engage with the angels (strange flesh). However, since sex with the same gender is normal for a gay person, there is no perversion associated merely by the sexual act.

    Note also that, while the word "abomination" has been used with reference to homosexuality, the biblical interpretation of the word "abomination" relates to any act of uncleanness as set out in the Holiness Code, such as eating shellfish, trimming your hair, touching the skin of a dead pig (should we stone the entire NFL?), wearing clothes of two kinds of material (polyester/cotton) – the list is long. How can we discuss one sin to the exclusion of all others?

    This is an enormous subject, which has been reduced to simplistic values. It is plain and simple prejudice to portray homosexuals as immoral just because of the gender to whom we are attracted. Of course there are immoral homosexuals, just as there are immoral heterosexuals, but simple orientation carries no implication of morality or immorality.

    Our sexuality is God-given. God made us the way we are. It follows naturally that He loves us exactly the way He made us. So long as we embrace marriage with the same standards as any monogamous, loving heterosexual relationship there should be no barrier against us.

    When gays are only asking to have their loving relationships acknowledged and respected, why is there so much fear and anger? To strengthen marriage, why not take a stand against divorce and separation, instead of opposing love and commitment? Jesus spoke of divorce, but he never mentioned homosexuality. I believe that was because homosexuality was not even an issue in His day. Love was love. Love IS Love!

    "Protect marriage? Puhlease. With a 50 percent divorce rate, rampant domestic violence, Las Vegas drive-through chapels, and I wanna-marry-a-really-rich-guy reality TV shows, there's no way gays could trash marriage the way straight people have."

    This letter only refers to the sin of Sodom. There are actually six "clobber verses" which are used against gays. Space does not permit an explanation of each one, but just as the sin of Sodom has been misrepresented, so have the other verses. There is an explanation for each one that clearly indicates that, just as slavery was condoned by Scripture for many years, ("Slaves obey your masters . . . . ." Eph. 6:5-8) and civil wars were fought to protect the ownership of people, we now know that Scripture was interpreted incorrectly, for God would not have people to be possessions.

    We now have a fuller understanding of Scripture with regard to slavery. It's time to accept a fuller understanding of homosexuality based on new research into language, concepts and customs when these words were written.

    So please choose acceptance and inclusiveness whether or not you understand fully. One of us is wrong. Many of you think it's me. I think it's you, based on solid research into Scripture from another perspective. Yes, God encourages us to question Scripture.

    "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, REPROOF and instruction in righteousness." II Tim. 3:16

    If there is even a chance that I could be right, do you want to take the eternal risk of rejecting some of God's children, and slamming the doors of your churches to those of us who wish to enter? That's what you're doing when you treat us as less than yourselves simply based on our orientation.

    If we have done the research, and it is our understanding that God loves us, including our orientation, then why not just let God be the judge? He will be in the end anyway. If one of us is to err, why not err on the side of love and acceptance? Now that was truly Jesus' example!

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    .YeahRight

    Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

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    .YeahRight

    Like their heterosexual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.

    Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples.

    A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-sex parents as it is for children of opposite-sex parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-sex parents as for children of opposite-sex parents.

    Assertions that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.

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    .John

    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.

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    YeahRight

    Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."
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    .Brent

    Religion-based bigotry is the foundation of anti-gay attitudes in our society and in the minds of a majority of Americans, particularly persons of faith. The term religion-based bigotry was coined because it best fits the description of the problem. The term religion-based bigotry encompasses the attitudes of prejudice, hostility or discrimination that are falsely justified by religious teachings or belief. We will never see full and equal rights unless we address the root of people’s anti-gay attitude.

    Religion-based bigotry is not synonymous with bigotry. It is a uniquely vile form of bigotry as the prejudice, hostility and discrimination behind the words are given a moral stamp of approval.

    Faith in America’s core message is that religious-based condemnation and rejection of LGBT people cause great harm to LGBT individuals and our society.

    We have learned that when we focus on the harms caused by religious hostility toward gay people – its destructive role in the lives of gay and lesbian Americans and explaining that being gay is not a lifestyle choice but is how you are born– persons of faith can understand why religion must no longer be misused to justify hostile attitudes and actions toward LGBT people.

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    .James
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    As usual, Bob is wrong again. 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.

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    .YeahRight

    Again, you're a proven liar, Bob. We've pointed out over and over again you are using reports from well-known hate groups that the experts in this country have proven are false. The experts have stated that heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    Like their heterosexual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.

    Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples.

    A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-sex parents as it is for children of opposite-sex parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-sex parents as for children of opposite-sex parents.

    Assertions that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.

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    Erik

    Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

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

    Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

    In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

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

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

    Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

    But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

    This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

    The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

    Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

    Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

    Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

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    .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".
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .Sarah

    Let me make one thing clear: being gay is not wrong. It is not unnatural. It isn’t immoral or gross or something that should provoke disgust. What is wrong, what is unnatural, what is immoral and what is gross is intolerance and discrimination against fellow human beings for their sexual orientation and active pursuit of preventing loving and committed homosexual couples from legally being married.

    I believe in God, and I identify as a Christian, and this identity as a Christian has provided me with the insight to know that people who oppose gay marriage based on “religious reasons” are just making excuses for their homophobia. The idea that homosexuality is sinful is a farce. The Bible never actually condemns homosexuality. You know what the Bible does condemn?

    Winking. “He who winks is plotting perversity.” Proverbs 16:30

    Rounded haircuts. “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.” Leviticus 19:17

    Tattoos. “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you.” Leviticus 19:28

    It is unacceptable that some modern Americans think it’s alright to toss rules like these aside and yet still vehemently oppose marriage rights for homosexual couples.

    As a Christian, I’ve been taught to love my neighbor. Somehow, active public discrimination against homosexuals and barring fellow human beings from marriage rights does not seem very loving or neighborly to me.

    Homosexuality isn’t a disease: it’s an innate way of being.

    Nobody is going to “catch” gay.

    Nobody is going to be “cured” of their homosexuality.

    Sexual orientation is personal and affects nobody but the individual and is absolutely not the business of anybody but the individual.

    The fact that people continue to suggest otherwise and perpetuate this idea that homosexuality is wrong and attempting to make outcasts of people who identify as gay is unbelievably disgusting and frightening and old-fashioned.

    It’s 2012, and we should have come much further than this by now.

    This matters. This is an issue that, if left unfixed, tacitly permits discrimination and harassment.

    The prevalence of anti-gay messages encourages bullying and hate crimes, and there are literally confused, hurt, frightened young people who actually kill themselves over issues like this — and yet people still insist upon calling homosexuality a sin.

    The cruelty and hypocrisy is infuriating and unacceptable.

    It needs to stop.

    Until marriage equality is legal in all fifty states, I hope Americans will have the courage to end hatred and homophobia.
    .

    March 1, 2013 at 8:16 am |
  2. Douglas

    Celibacy...it Works!

    Celibate priests are honorable pastors of thier flocks.

    Some demon possessed priests allow Satan to enter into their soul and they
    engage in devilish activities such as pedophelia and some descend further into
    the abyss of gay coitus where HIV, STDs and all manner of fornication have
    led many to an early death.

    Celibacy is a way to exert self control and jettison all desire to fornicate.

    Pray for all priests to fufill their responsibility to live modest and clean lives, setting
    an example for others to follow.

    In time they will find that celibacy rocks!

    March 1, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Doobs

      With Doogie, it's all gay coitus, all the time.

      March 1, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • sam stone

      Thoughts of gay coitus give Doogie that special feeling in the nether regions every day and night

      March 1, 2013 at 2:56 am |
    • End Religion

      He dreams compulsively of 24/7 gay sex.

      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/satyriasis

      March 1, 2013 at 3:05 am |
    • JMEF

      Hey Doogie
      Do you think I am the only one that believes you are a sterile impotent freak that is celibate by circu.mstance and not by choice? Have you ever had coitus with anything that was actually alive, male or female?

      March 1, 2013 at 7:14 am |
    • Science

      Opposing thumbs work for that doogie.

      March 1, 2013 at 7:21 am |
    • Science

      Chadie and Doogie sitting in the tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G !

      March 1, 2013 at 7:28 am |
  3. clarity

    Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain positions. It's ridiculous. Celibacy is unnatural and will continue to cause problems for the religious institutions that employ it.

    Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but don't understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease. Realistically, many abortions could be avoided if a morning-after pill would not is not viewed as such an evil option. Many of these same people bring children into the world at a high pace, and then would prefer that the rest of society take over and educate their children in their particular brand of religion when they don't plan well and don't want to violate their beliefs.

    In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of LCMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create divisions and more extremism as it goes.

    February 28, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
  4. Sara Howells

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcyW7rMYR7A&w=640&h=390]
    .

    February 28, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Garbage Alert

      This poster is here just to get hits for their youtube video. It's garbage, like all the others they have tried here.

      Click the report abuse link to get rid of this troll.

      February 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  5. truth be told

    Filthy ho mose xuals lied their way into the priesthood to victimize innocents. Allowing marriage will not stop that ho mose xual deception. The sad tragedy of life is that so many are willing to cast blame on the overwhelming majority of innocent leadership in the church to further the perverted agenda that is the problem in the first place.

    February 28, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I wish I could make up stuff like this, but you outstrip my imagination.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • truth be told

      The Truth comes as a shock to you wouldn't you say ?

      February 28, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Doobs

      The Truth comes as a shock to you wouldn't you say ?

      If the truth ever came out of you, that would be shocking.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Saraswati

      If people were looking to victimize innocents there would be a lot easier routes to take with more access to kids and lower educational requirements. I suspect most of these guys, where guilty, planned on sticking to the rules when they started and then changed their minds. Unfortunately, some may have seen this as a haven where they would be able to hid and repress their urges...a prime reason for opening the priesthood up to marriage.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      TBT

      ...yea....you are full of something other than truth....

      February 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • truth be told

      Filthy religitards lied their way into the priesthood to victimize innocents. Allowing marriage will not stop that religious deception. The sad tragedy of life is that so many are willing to cast blame on the overwhelming majority of innocent LGBT people to further the perverted agenda of the church that is the problem in the first place.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Akira

      Obviously, tbt still hasn't learned the difference between "gay" and "pedophile", but then, its troll posts wouldn't be nearly as effective, would they?
      Not that they are, in the first place; intelligent people can see tbt for what it is: anything but truthful.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • .

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Thinker23" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian..

      February 28, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      tubetop, the only thing that would shock me would be seeing a post under your byline that made any sense grammatically and was punctuated correctly.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
  6. TC

    I think it should only because it would greatly alleviate (not 100% solve it) the problem of gays and peds entering the priesthood. The stumbling block is divorce which Jesus is very clear about but even the RCC has created "annulments" to get around it and it already stands on shaky ground and would be highlighted more with married priests. Also, priests are much busier and much more engaged than protestant pastors and wives and children would not have near as much time with them

    February 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Priests are busier because they can't get recruits because of the whole celibacy thing. Change that and they'd all have a lot more time.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  7. EX catholic

    Well, yes so they can marry Mandy instead of having S E X with Handy.

    February 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  8. Sheila

    Yes, it should, but it brings about a tremendous financial question. If priests have wives and children (lots of children, per the church's ban on birth control), where do they live? How much do we pay? Etc. Right now, a few priests can share a house near the church, live as roommates. Low salary. But now, what if we need four houses for four priests, healthcare benefits for four priests and their families, salary to cover costs of a family, etc? And if priests can marry, then nuns can, too – and that means maternity care, etc, in addition to housing, etc. Can your dioscese afford this? The person who brought this to my attention was my priest, who is in favor of eliminating the celibacy requirement. He follows it, as it is one of the vows he took, but he wishes it were different. And with the money problem, he can't see how it can be different.

    February 28, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Doobs

      The RCC has enough money to accommodate this, but why would the top dogs give up their cushy lifestyles to fund the parish priests?

      Governments and businesses do the same thing. When they cut spending, it isn't the CEO's salary or bonus that suffers.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      The RCC DOES have enough money...they like to play 'broke' because it somehow reflects a holier mindset. They need to realize that s.ex isn't dirty and doesn't distract from ones 'calling' as a priest.

      IF they want to stay single and celebate...then fine..just don't touch the kids!!! But promoting it like its makes them 'holier' is a bunch of rubbish. The RCC is antiquated and needs to simmer the F down.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I suspect a lifting of the ban on birth control would follow pretty quickly.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Sheila,

      "And if priests can marry, then nuns can, too..."

      No, it doesn't mean that at all. Nuns in Catholicism are similar to monks, not priests. There is no female equivalent of a priest. Nuns and monks generally have taken a vow of poverty and live by rules particular to their order. Priests live in the world (as do some nuns and monks) and can acquire independent wealth. Northing that changes for a priests required lifestyle would impact the lifestyles of nuns or monks.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  9. Bootyfunk

    celibacy is unnatural. priests aren't allowed to have a normal adult relationship and they wonder why their minds become twisted and they go after children.

    February 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Alias

      @bootyfunm
      I think you are assuming they are normal when they enter the priesthood. I'm not so sure. There is a major lack of young priests – at least in America. I have to wonder what type of person would choose to become a priest in this day and age.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  10. Saraswati

    We aren't going to see a bunch of old men who sacrificed se x and family voting to give those things to a younger generation, essentially making a statement that their sacrifice was pointless. One way to get around this problem, however, is to create two classes of priesthood, one which remains celibate and another, initially given slightly less prestige, which allows marriage.

    February 28, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • K Kim

      Why not? Was celibacy for their own glory?

      February 28, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Doobs

      So your god create man with an innate sexuality, and then says we shouldn't share and enjoy it, so that he can be glorified? Sounds like the same bad logic that says god allows illness and suffering for his glory.

      Your god is an evil, amoral monster.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Akira

      Kim,
      <<

      >>

      Add parallel
      Deuteronomy 23 (NIV)

      23 No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the Lord.

      Although Saraswati is correct; chemical castration would get around this, but then again, why should anyone have to?

      February 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • K Kim

      Is the Pope Jewish? "Assembly of the Lord" refers to the Israelites who were on earth during the time that God physically dwelt with the Israelites. It does not mean that a disciple of Jesus cannot serve as a eunuch. "Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God[b] in heaven." Matt. 22:29-30.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • K Kim

      BTW, I am not suggesting that celibacy be mandatory. Jesus made it clear that only a few can accept this. What I am saying is that if you do take the vow of celibacy for Jesus, you should consider castration as a cost of service to our Lord. What you should not do as a discple of jesus, is to make a vow that you cannot keep and take it out on innocent children.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Kim K

      Matt. 22:29-30 refers to Jeebus' answer to the Sadducees regarding women as chattel.

      "On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Jesus and questioned Him, asking, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘if a man dies having no children, his brother as next of kin shall marry his wife, and raise up children for his brother.’

      “Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother; so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. “Last of all, the woman died. “In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.”

      That's when Jeebus spouted the bullshit about heaven and angels and such.

      It has nothing to do with celibacy.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • K Kim

      Doobs,

      God can forgive your blasphemous throughts and remarks and all of your deepest darkest sins, even your resentment and hatred of God (while at the same time you deny his very existence). Believe in his Son, Yeshua, and be saved. Your stumbling block to repentance and salvation is that you believe that you are good morally and otherwise.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • K Kim

      Dobbs,

      Let me clarify my point. Our physical body and our understanding of this world has no bearing on who we are when we are resurrected in the last days. In other words, just like the Sadducees, you (and Akira) do not understand the word of God (Deut. 23:1).

      February 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Kim Kardashian

      Pretty arrogant of you to assume you know what I understand or don't understand.

      You used a bible quote out of context to prove a point, and when you get called out, you change your story to another irrelevant point about transformed bodies in heaven.

      I understand that you don't know the bible as well as you think you do just fine. Either that, or you are deliberately using verses out of context and hoping no one will catch it.

      Nice try, but it still has nothing to do with celibacy.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Doobs

      BTW, Kim Kardashian, I was a catholic for 30 years and a fundie for 20 years, so again, you arrogantly assume that I have no experience with the myths of god, jesus and salvation.

      I don't hate or resent what I don't believe in.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • K Kim

      Doobs,

      I think you actually love the word of God. You could be one of the elect.
      Pray to God and ask him for true understanding.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Matt. 22:29-30 : Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven."
      @Doobs : Matt. 22:29-30 refers to Jeebus' answer to the Sadducees regarding women as chattel.

      And His answer WAS??? No one is 'chattel' in heaven. So, K Kim was correct.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Doobs : I was a catholic for 30 years and a fundie for 20 years, so again, you arrogantly assume that I have no experience

      So, what empirical evidence caused you to change your beliefs?

      February 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Kanye's Baby Momma

      LOL! One of the elect of what? Superheroes? Zombies? Flying Monkeys? They're just as plausible as anything in the bible.

      @ Live4Him

      No, she's not correct. We weren't discussing "women as chattel" we were discussing what the bible says about real life celibacy. Kim uses Matt. 22: 23-28 as an example in that discussion. I was simply pointing out that those verses are not celibacy, they are about a different issue entirely.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • sam

      The center of crazy appears to be right here on this thread, today.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Oy Vey

      Yet again, fundies who don't even know what their bible passages actually mean.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Lives4Him,

      So, what empirical evidence caused you to change your beliefs?

      Reading the bible for 50 years.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Akira

      K Kim,
      You asked for a verse. I provided it. Nothing more, nothing less.
      Speculating on my understanding of it is specious and self-serving; if you do not like the answer you may get, refrain from asking the question.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • K Kim

      Akira,

      My question to Alias was what passage says that you can't enter into heaven b/c castration and you quoted Deut 23:1. God cannot accept any defect – this is true (not uncovered poop, mold, mildew, dfects in sacrificial animals, and of course sin). That is why you have to be covered with the sacrificial blood of Jesus (the perfect sacrifice) and cannot spend eternity with God in our current form. One other point: a physical defect does not mean that the person with the defect is necessarily a sinner or that his soul/spirit is likewise defective. (Jews in Jesus' time mistakenly believed as so.) At the risk of over simplyfying things, the Torah (Genesis – Deut.) reveals the future that awaits the children of God – living with God in perfection in new form after the resurrection. The Law was not kept by the Israelites but was fulfilled in the Son.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • ..

      K Kim, you asked Alias for the verse concerning castration, and, since he apparently left the board, I provided the one he referred to, as he has used this particular verse before.
      You asked, I answered.
      Again, nothing more, nothing less.

      February 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • guest

      Ministers of other faiths do it,so why should it be such a finacial burden on Catholic preists or his parrish? Your preist was just handing you a line ,and you were taking it hook, line and skinker.

      February 28, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  11. K Kim

    Celibacy is admirable BUT there is only one way for fallible man to do this: castration.
    "For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” Matthew 19:12. Jesus also said: 6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire." Matt. 18:6-9.

    February 28, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Alias

      Won't work Kim.
      If a man doesn't have is little friend intact he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. The OT says so.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Alias, I suppose they could always use chemical castration; that ought to meet the requirements.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • K Kim

      Alias,

      Would you kindly point out the passage in the OT to which you refer. BTW some scholars believe that Daniel was a eunuch. In any event, I am not sure but I don't think OT EXPRESSLY and directly speaks of man entering the kingdom of heaven at all.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Wally, I'm worried about the Beiber

      Belief in god and obedience to dogma IS existential castration.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Reality

      Matt 19: 12 is a single attestation found no where else in the NT making it historically unreliable. See for example http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=377_Able_to_Receive. See also Professor Gerd Ludemann's analysis in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 208-209.

      Then there is this:

      JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

      Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

      Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

      So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

      February 28, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      celibacy is most certainly NOT admirable. it's unnatural. it's leads to mental disorders. it's why these men turn predator and abuse children.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Akira

      Celibacy is most certainly not admirable, your scenario of chemical castration as a qualifier for entry into the priesthood would likely not attract many adherents, Kim.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Akira

      Oops, placed the post wrong. Sorry.

      Kim,

      Deuteronomy 23 (NIV)

      23 No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the Lord.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      Castration!?? There is nothing natrual or holy about it. Se.xual desire is natural and should be satisfied. A man that is denied or constantly denying himself will mentally SNAP.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • K Kim

      I am not suggesting castration for every believer; only for those few who have taken up the cross of Jesus to serve Him by becoming a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven. Disciples of Jesus are those who have accepted the vow that the discipleship could cost everything (family, friends, jobs, even their life). Why would you think that what is "natural" ought to be the standard by which believers and even more so His diciples should live?

      February 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      @Kim

      Are you a disciple of Jesus?

      February 28, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Adding an interesting twist, eunichs appear to outlive other men:

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924142918.htm

      February 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  12. Alias

    Since I think my opinion is the most important one, I'm going to report what I said earlier.
    Keep in mind why the rule was put in place:
    When a man died, his land/wealth went to his wife & family. This was a problem for the church 1,000 years ago, because not all preists' had children who followed in their profession. So when priests stopped getting married, all the lands stayed with the church.
    It had nothing to do with anything else. Learn your history.

    February 28, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Saraswati

      Except that that isn't how it works. A priest today can leave his money to anyone. I personally know a family whereone son, a priest, was worth millions (priests don't get paid much, but also don't take a vow of poverty like monks do). This man left most of his money to his siblings. The case was bogged down in paperwork and turned out to be a bit of a scandal. In this particular case it would have been much smoother going to a spouse.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Alias

      @saraswati
      How ot works TODAY had nothing to do with how it worked 1,000 years ago. Back when they made the rule.
      They made the rule to fit the time they were living in.
      Again, we should all learn more/from history.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Alias, If your point is that they should make the rule fit the time we are living in, I agree.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:26 am |
  13. Live4Him

    Yes.

    February 28, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  14. SoldierOfConscience

    No

    February 28, 2013 at 9:36 am |
  15. William Demuth

    Anyone who supports this church is complicit in child buggery

    February 28, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      anybody who supports the government of USA is complicit in torture (because of abu ghreb)

      February 28, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • plausibus

      If he supported and defended pedophiles then yes, he was the right man for the job.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      I was being facetious in above statement. you cant generalize.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • sam stone

      You generalize all the time SOC

      February 28, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Wally, I'm worried about the Beiber

      SOC generalizes when it is convenient for him. It's wrong when it disagrees with him. It's part of that moral relativism Christians pretend they don't practice.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • sam stone

      SOC is such a fvcking drama queen.....

      March 1, 2013 at 6:29 am |
  16. Jody

    They should hang these preist up by their balls for what they do to the little boys!!! They misuse the trust the kids have in them for their own sick gain. They are child molesters thats all! But above the law. Nothing ever happens to them. I think the pope should be embarrassed and resign.

    February 28, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Jody,

      gross oversimplification. They should hang every coach's assistant too

      February 28, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • sam stone

      SOC: Jody did not say every priest was a molester

      February 28, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  17. SoldierOfConscience

    Just the way you cant tell scientists to do science in a different way, its not good to break traditions.

    like celibacy of priests
    like marriage as one man and one woman

    no wonder society is going to hell in a hand basket

    February 28, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You'll do your part to send society into decline if you shift all responsibility for making society work onto an imaginary God, and shift all blame for its problems onto imaginary sinners.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Saraswati

      Like treating diseases with mercury pills, like using human urine as a tooth whitener, like slavery...

      Traditions are good to keep when they are either neutral or beneficial, but they need to be evaluated to see if they really are what's right for society.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Tom, science only doesnt explain all the mysteries of creation

      Q1 -> how was universe created
      Q2 -> how did life come into being

      science cant answer either. I can. "God did".

      February 28, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      That's fine, SoC, if "God did it" is understood by all to be nothing more than a placeholder to be replaced later by a legitimate explanation that is falsifiable, logically consistent and supported by evidence.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Tom, as long as one is allowed to "teach the controversy" about the "legitimate explanation that is falsifiable, logically consistent and supported by evidence." without being made fun of.

      eg how evolution is riddled with holes, like irreducible complexity as Micheal Behe pointed out, whale evolution, etc.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • sam stone

      Science is self correcting, SOC, religion is not.

      As far as marriage goes, it is what the state says it is, since you need a state license to get married, but you do not need church approval

      February 28, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • lol??

      When the servants treat the masters like dogs it's appropriate to take another look. They are always bent on usurpin'.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • LinCA

      @SoldierOfConscience

      You said, "science cant answer either. I can. "God did"."
      Your answer is just as valid as "The Tooth Fairy did". Equal evidence means equal merit.

      You said, "as long as one is allowed to "teach the controversy" about the "legitimate explanation that is falsifiable, logically consistent and supported by evidence." without being made fun of."
      There is no controversy. Creationism is pseudo science, at best. It isn't falsifiable, logically consistent or supported by any evidence. It doesn't belong in public schools (other than perhaps in a comparative mythology class). It shouldn't be taught to children at all as it is tantamount to child abuse.

      But rest assured that as long as you claim there is a creature for which you have no more evidence that you have for the Tooth Fairy, expect to be made fun of. You're not 7 years old, are you?

      You said, "eg how evolution is riddled with holes, like irreducible complexity as Micheal Behe pointed out, whale evolution, etc."
      Behe is a fraud. Creationism is the ultimate argument from ignorance (that's why it plays so well with dimwitted believers). Anyone who is an "expert" in creationism knows full well that it is untenable. They simply hope to pull the wool over the eyes of enough sheep to bide their time until they can prove their imaginary friend exists. Not that that is likely to ever happen, but it's the best they can hope for. They are smart enough to realize (unlike most believers) that there isn't a shred of evidence for their "theory", but they cling to it because real science is chipping away at their dearly held delusion. The cognitive dissonance must be staggering.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Marriage isn't just for one man and one woman in Maryland, among other states, SOC.

      You're wrong. As usual.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Its obvious.

      Boy child learns models to be a man and how men relate to women by seeing his dad. He learns how women think and act by seeing his mom. He also learns what the appropriate gender role for men is.

      girl child learns models to be a woman and how women relate to men by seeing her mom. He learns how men think and act by seeing her dad. She also learns what the appropriate gender role for women is.

      A square peg cannot fit a round hole.

      No matter what so-called biased newfangled research says. Same s3x relationships can never be healthy for child in them.

      March 1, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  18. Irrational Exuberance

    When was there ever celibacy for priests?

    Did anyone tell the kids?

    February 28, 2013 at 5:45 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      buncha g@ys infiltrated the priesthood and did their thing. unfortunately they were not stopped.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • .

      "SoldierOfConscience" who degenerates to:
      "as always" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Thinker23" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian..

      February 28, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • His Holiness Bippy XVI, Roman squirrel emeritus

      Yeah, gay men have nothing better to do with their lives than join an organization that hates them and have their sex there.

      SOC is striving hard to be recognized as the dumbest person alive.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Akira

      Sigh. Look up the difference between "gay" and "pedophile", SOC. You know the difference, but still carry on with your bigoted agenda. Why?

      February 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, look, SOC is back again, after he said he was leaving. Quelle surprise.

      And as usual, he's trolling, pretending to espouse an extreme view just to bait.

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  19. Sara Howells

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcyW7rMYR7A&w=640&h=390]

    February 28, 2013 at 5:24 am |
    • Garbage Alert

      This poster is here just to get hits for their youtube video. It's garbage, like all the others they have tried here.

      Click the report abuse link to get rid of this troll.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  20. lol??

    Celebrity has always been a goal of PUblic Servants. Create a problem. Solve a problem. Blessed be US.

    February 28, 2013 at 4:23 am |
    • ..

      You are sofa king weird.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.