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Who is on God's side of the marriage debate?
March 25th, 2013
11:00 PM ET

Who is on God's side of the marriage debate?

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – As the Supreme Court considers two major same-sex marriage cases that could change marriage in the United States, religious leaders on both sides of the debate believe they are on God's side of the contentious issue.

In the months leading up to this week's Supreme Court hearings, religious leaders from across the country have held prayer vigils and rallies for their respective causes.

At each event, even those with diametrically opposed views, leaders cite biblical principles as the foundation for their beliefs.

"I believe I am on God's side," Dr. Richard Land, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and and opponent of same-sex marriage, told CNN. "I have no question in what God says marriage is."

"I do think we are on God's side because my idea of God is someone that is loving," said the Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral and a proponent of same-sex marriage. "My understanding is that kind of God that loves everyone and wants everyone to live a joyful life."

This week, the Supreme Court will hear two cases. One will examine the constitutionality of Proposition 8, a law that prohibited same-sex marriage in California, and the other will test the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 legislation that forbids the recognition of same-sex marriages nationwide and bars married gay and lesbian couples from receiving federal benefits.

Marriage and the Supreme Court: Five things to watch

Land and Hall each have actively worked on his side of this debate.

Hall, after taking the reins at the National Cathedral in 2012, decided to marry same-sex couples in the historic church. Land, who has counseled Republican presidents and members of Congress, has written and spoken at length about why same-sex marriage goes against biblical principles.

And although they both believe in the Bible, their opinions on how the text views same-sex marriage are shaped by their views on how literally to read the holy book.

"I come from a tradition that looks at the big story," said Hall, an Episcopalian. "The image of Jesus in the Bible is of someone who really makes everyone welcome, and it is from that perspective that I operate."

Hall acknowledges, however, that the Bible isn't the only guide for this belief.

"Our argument is not entirely scriptural-based," Hall said, after acknowledging passages of the holy book that define marriage as being between a man and a woman. "There is no place in the Bible that I can point to that says Jesus performed a same-sex marriage or anything like that."

In addition to scripture, Hall said, "tradition and reason" anchor his belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to wed. There are about 2 million Episcopalians in the United States.

CNN Belief: My Take: Will gay rights infringe on religious liberty?

Land, on the other hand, cites the chapters and verses that guide his views on same-sex marriage.

"The people who take a more conservative view of the Bible and believe that they are under the authority of scripture almost universally oppose same-sex marriage," Land said about people who agree with him.

For Land, this view is not only consistent but  also roots his belief in "traditional values" and his disgust with "moral relativism."

Land, a Southern Baptist, continued: "The people who are religious and support same-sex marriage tend to take a Dalmatian view of scripture. They believe the Bible is divine in spots, and they think they can spot the spots."

If the Supreme Court decides in favor of same-sex marriage, Land said, the decision would be on par with the court's 1973 decision on Roe v. Wade, which affirmed a woman's right to an abortion.

"I think it will evoke a similar reaction," Land said.

Southern Baptists count 16 million members in the United States.

CNN Poll: 'Rob Portman effect' fuels support for same-sex marriage

This split over the biblical reasoning behind each side of the marriage debate extends beyond just Land and Hall, however. Churches around the country have been divided on the issue, with some choosing to allow same-sex marriage and others to forbid it.

The Rev. Jacqui Lewis, the senior minister at Middle Collegiate Church in New York who has worked with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation on same-sex marriage, comes down in favor of same-sex marriage.

She uses the Bible - and civil rights - in her reasoning.

"I don't think that people who are supporting gay marriage need to distance themselves from the Bible in needing to find support," Lewis said. When asked about how the Bible anchors her beliefs, she cited Mark 12:31: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

On the other side of the argument is Robert Gagnon, a biblical scholar at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary who has worked with the Family Research Council on the issue.

"Only a woman is a true sexual compliment to a man and vice versa," said Gagnon, citing Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24, along with the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, as the reasoning behind his view on same-sex marriage.

"That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh," reads Genesis 2:24.

As for how he feels about people such as Hall who use the Bible to defend their position in support of same-sex marriage: "You are rejecting Jesus himself. ... Just go ahead and make up your own religion."

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Gay marriage • Politics

soundoff (2,640 Responses)
  1. Veritas

    Q: "Who is on God's side of the marriage debate?"
    A: The delusional

    March 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  2. Arcy

    Why are so many atheists bothering to comment on an article about faith? What's really revealing is their intolerance for people who don't subscribe to their ideas. Instead of asking questions of those they disagree with, they launch ad hominem attacks on people. Why do they think it possible to win people to their positions with such hatred?

    March 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Look at the post below yours and tell me how to "reason" with that kind of thinking.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • capnmike

      Maybe it's because us Atheists don't want our lives run by your RIDICULOUS FAIRY TALES!

      March 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Abraham

      BECAUSE YOUR FAITH, WHICH IS NOT SHARED BY EVERYONE, IS ATTEMPTING TO DICTATE HOW WE ALL MUST CONDUCT OUR LIVES. As soon as any religion is used to limit the rights of anybody but the followers of that religion, it becomes everybody's problem.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • JWT

      People that think gay marriage is wrong because their version of god said so have to realize that that concept only applies to them and people that beieve the same thing. The religious concepts do not apply to other people. Since the country is made of of many different religious vies, and no religious views, then there is no reason to bar gay marriage just because one groups says it's wrong for them to do.

      It is important for all people to fight when some people want to enfore their own personal religious views on everyone.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Thoth

      @Arcy – ok, here's a question for 'ya.

      Can you provide a non-prejudiced, non-religious basis for denying individual freedom to enter a legal contract with someone of the same gender?

      March 26, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • sam

      Sorry, Arcy. No one means to trample on your right to deny gay people theirs. We'll try to be quieter.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • sam

      ps – sorry for posting on a faith article. Only the faithful should post opinions on faith articles.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  3. fiftyfive55

    What comes next ? man-boy love because they think that's normal too ? will legalized incense be legalized also,where does forcing people to believe something that is wrong is actually right draw the line to say no ? These are the pandora's boxes that will be opened because after this,it will be impossible to say no to any perversity.

    March 26, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Typical nonsense. Children cannot give legal consent to the arrangement you so disingenuously raise.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Abraham

      Idiotic argument. We are talking about consenting adults here.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • sam

      Human sacrifice, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria!!!!

      Idiot.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Paul

      You must be a pedophile or something, I mean why else would you make such an argument?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      Wrong. First, it is not fair to say at this point that we know being gay is a lifestyle. Secondly, consensus and ruling on this particular issue does not invalidate other law that American society already has law on, like laws regarding age of consent. Each concept is considered and decided separately between representation and interpretation of the Constitution.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Thoth

      You are jumping from same s e x consenting adults (victimless) to an adult/child relationship where the child cannot consent, therefore is a victim, therefore illegal. Incest for reproduction has clear genetic hazards, but more importantly, most all cases involve a victim, not consent.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Veritas

      55, is that your IQ?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • dakotaboy

      Really... Church and state are supposed to be separated in this country. Yet all of you religious people can prevent anyone who you don't believe is equal the same rights as you. Then you have the child molesting priests who are not held to the same laws because they are the Church and they are separate from the state... Greedy Much??

      March 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      but these are the same types of points gays use to get their gay point across...so you folks somehow think people wont cross those lines when the time comes ? the gays are crossing those lines now and we straights feel the same way about what they want as what child abusers want,where do we stop ?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Googly

      I am opposed to legalized incense. Surely you can get a better smell from a Glade plug in

      March 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Veritas". Apparently you are correct. "55" must be "fiftyfive55"'s IQ.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " so you folks somehow think people wont cross those lines when the time comes ? "
      They cross those lines already and are rightly prosecuted for child abuse. Next.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • dakotaboy

      fiftyfive55 you are so delusional... instead of focusing on everyone else's business, why don't you try to worry about your own.... Unless of course you're perfect, then by all means...

      March 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      you gay guys just cant stand when someone uses the same type arguments as you have been doing,how do you like it ? I just turn the tables back onyou to disprove your very weak justification for gay marriage, which is basically as abhorrent as child abusers and rapists so dont tell me that your ugly lifestyles are okay when they aren't.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • sam

      Hey 55, when you say 'we straights', you need to count the rest of us out. I don't want to be in any club you're in.

      Anyway, I have a feeling you're not that straight. Think about the gays a lot? Maybe kind of hoping there really is a slippery slope, so you can get slippery with that one farm animal you've had your eye on?

      March 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      @fiftyfive55
      Wrong. First, it is not fair to say at this point that we know being gay is a lifestyle. Secondly, consensus and ruling on this particular issue does not invalidate other law that American society already has law on, like laws regarding age of consent. Each concept is considered and decided separately between representation and interpretation of the Constitution.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • sam

      55, I've never known a gay person half as abhorrent as you.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " I just turn the tables back onyou to disprove your very weak justification for gay marriage, "
      You've done nothing of the kind. What you have done is carefully construct a straw man, which makes it conveniently easy for you to knock down. Next.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Paul

      55 I'm straight, and I don't feel they are crossing any lines.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  4. strgzer585

    I absolutely despise people like Land, who, by his own admission, thinks that only taking certain parts of the Bible at face value is wrong. I would be willing to bet everything I will ever possess that he does the exact same thing. These people don't use the Bible to spread the word of God, they use it to further their own agendas.

    March 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • mykroft

      Everybody believer cherry picks the Bible. Do you avoid wearing clothing with mixed fibers because the Bible says so?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  5. fiftyfive55

    If this law allowing gays to marry,then anything anybody deems a lifestyle will have to be allowed since,in gays words,we dont care if you dont like it,we do so it's okay....does anybody follow my point,or is my point invalid because I'm not gay ?

    March 26, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Paul

      No, you are wrong, and it has nothing to do with the fact that you are not gay. Do you believe that letting two adults of the same gender get married means we have to allow pedophiles to r.ape children? If you do it is probably because you are a pedophile.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • pirate

      Your argument is invalid. I like tacos. Just because I like tacos all mayhem will ensue. All kinds of Mexican food for all!

      You lack rational logic.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      Wrong. First, it is not fair to say at this point that we know being gay is a lifestyle. Secondly, consensus and ruling on this particular issue does not invalidate other law that American society already has law on, like laws regarding age of consent. Each concept is considered and decided separately between representation and interpretation of the Constitution.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Why Doyouneedtoknow

      You oversimplify the issue. Its not simply that one group says and therefore they should be allowed to do it. Rather, it is a case where one group of people is legally permitted to do it and another group wants to have the same legal right.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Chuckles

      How does that even make a modicu.m of sense to you? This isn't allowing all sorts of marriages, whether its polygamy, beastiality, necrophelia, etc... this is about recognizing the marriage between 2 people of the same gender. This in no way sets precedence for other marriage pairings to be recognized by the state.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      @Paul-what I said was the next step will be... and you seem to think this will stop after gays get married but it only opens the doors for more perversion...or cant you see that ?

      March 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      @Pirate-what are you talking about ?

      March 26, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • BRC

      fiftyfive55,
      Your point is invalid because it's innacurate. those who want marriage equality wan tmarriage to be allowed between any "two consenting adults". it is a clear deliniation with reasoned and practical boundaries. Can't marry animals or children, they can't consent. It's only between 2 people, because it's a contract, and contract disputes between multiple parties is a pain. If someone developes a system that can clearly and easy deal with division of money/property/resources and the care of children, then yeah sure, there is no reason to prevent multi-partner marriages either.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      @whyyouneedtoknow-HTANK YOU for making my point exactly,one thing leads to another,can you not see that ?

      March 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      @BRC-Do you read what you post ?

      March 26, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      @fiftyfive55
      Wrong. First, it is not fair to say at this point that we know being gay is a lifestyle. Secondly, consensus and ruling on this particular issue does not invalidate other law that American society already has law on, like laws regarding age of consent. Each concept is considered and decided separately between representation and interpretation of the Constitution.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • BRC

      fiftyfive55,
      Usually, though I don't catch as many typos as I would like, I'm generally "grading for content". Why? Did I miss something? Or do you disagree with some part of my post?

      March 26, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • sam

      You apparently *want* certain things to lead to other certain things. However, this only exists in your mind. Sooner or later, gay marriage will happen. There always have been, and always will be, gay people. Get used to it.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
  6. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    Some believe the Pope is the Anti-Christ. Some believe Obama is the Anti-Christ.

    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 were 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.

    In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of Lutheran CMS 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.

    =================================================
    Has anything improved with Christianity since 200+ years ago?

    Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

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

    John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

    If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

    Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    March 26, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  7. Gave Them Up

    Faithful Catholics and Jews would exercise recusion at the court.

    March 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • ME II

      Do you mean that they should recuse themselves?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Gave Them Up

      No, they should fly a kite. Sheeeesh.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  8. Democritus

    Who is on God's side of the marriage debate?

    Which god do you mean? Odin, Zeus, Allah, Jupiter, Toutatis, Ikenga?

    March 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Andres Bosch

      That would be another good point given the very diverse US that we have nowadays.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  9. Arcy

    This question of who is on God's side is an easy one....those who honor His word.

    March 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Abraham

      Which version?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Since the only thing people claim is "gods word" was written by men, no one can know what "gods word" is, or if any of the thousands of gods men have created exist.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
  10. Salero21

    Jesus called Herod a fox. That's because Herod was smart and conniving like a fox, but he also was a brutal murderer like a carnivorous animal. Jesus called other people dogs, goats and swine.

    OK atheists start barking! Or do you prefer squealing and screeching or naah?

    March 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Quest ion

      How do goats go?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • ME II

      Dehumanizing your opponent? how Christian of you.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • mykroft

      Actually, we prefer debates based on reason and facts. Animal noises don't really lend much gravitas to a reasoned argument.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Deeply Religious

      Are you sure he didn't call him a fox because he was strongly attracted to him? It is king of strange how Jesus never married, isn't it? I personally think he walked a little lightly in those sandals.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  11. Reality

    A very important study and review:

    As noted previously:

    See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    To make it easy to access the review, simply copy and paste the following website in your browser address window.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/evolution/Gay-gene-deconstructed.html

    The opening paragraph:

    "Most scientists who study human s-exuality agree that gay people are born that way. But that consensus raises an evolutionary puzzle: How do genes associated with h-omose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?"

    March 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  12. CarlWstCoast

    Think of the person whose politics, ethics, etc. are most at odds with your own. Now embrace the fact that Christ died for this person. If you can't do that, if you're too busy declaring how and why the person is wrong, you need to go back and read the good news, and try to come to an understanding of the role of grace in our lives.

    That said, I believe the court will end up walking a fine line to ensure that the rights, protections, and benefits of a civil union between two people are available across the board, and will do so without feeling it necessary to make use of the word "marriage".

    March 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Abraham

      Not a fact. That's part of the reason we can't have a mature discourse.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Thoth

      "embrace the fact that Christ died for this person."

      This is a FACT?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Akira

      To do that, the SCOTUS will have to declare secular marriages between straight people "civil unions" also, or it will still be using discriminatory language.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  13. atheistguy

    What a dumb question!!!!

    March 26, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Ben Johnson

      i'm more curious about who has the tooth fairy on their side.
      this is supposed to be a NEWS site, for the love of pete.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  14. God is My Savior

    Marriage is between a man and a women period end of argument!

    March 26, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • atheistguy

      LOL, that is pretty silly of you to say. Your facts for this are probably as reliable as your punctuation.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Why?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • skytag

      People who say "period, end of argument" are trying to cut off discussion because they can't support their position with any real argument.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • kippyafd

      I agree!!!

      March 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • ed dugan

      God is your what? The next time you talk to hin thank him for me that idiots like you are a dying breed.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • gustavo alvallero

      you're ignorant!

      March 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • sam

      Well, if that's the end, I guess you can go now. Thanks for stopping by.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Did you just say man and WOMEN?

      Was is not a man and a woman?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • BD70

      If anyone believes in reincarnation how does that fit in? Is it not possible to be born into the wrong body? Its just as valid as believing in God.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      marriage is what the state says it is. god is not necessary. end of argument

      March 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  15. Live4Him

    @Rap is not music : I'm not sure how you think it changes the fact that the scriptures show that jesus made false claims and never followed through with them.

    You posted references, and advanced the claim that He made false statements. Yet, you never provided any evidence to support that claim.

    @Rap is not music : You are implying that the apostles saw him coming, when he was actually GOING

    The Greek word used in the passages is 'erchomai', which means to come or to go. It can be translated as coming or arriving. So, I'm simply using the word in its proper meaning: Jesus arrived in His kingdom before the eyes of His apostles.

    @Rap is not music : BIG difference there.

    Only for those who don't understand Greek.

    @Rap is not music : As for the destruction of the temple, it wasn't completely destroyed as he claimed it would be. Part of it still exists today.

    Ummm.... The RETAINING wall for the Temple grounds survived, but the Temple itself was destroyed.

    @Rap is not music : Also, the ONLY accounts of jesus are from the bible.

    Three strikes and you're OUT! Ever hear of Josephus? There were several historians who mentioned Jesus and His miraculous deeds.

    @Rap is not music : Thus far, every account outside of this collection of tales has been proven to be a forgery.

    Do you have any empirical evidence to support this claim? I didn't think so.

    March 26, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • clarity

      Don't need empirical evidence, Gullible4Him, for the whole thing to be very, very fishy.

      Reasonable evidence would certainly have to be something beyond what has been demonstrated so far. Anonymously written gospels don't help. When the historical writings ABOUT the anonymously-written gospels appear to have been tampered with, THAT certainly doesn't help solidify anything about the Christian claim. When early Christian apologists themselves charged that the devil had disseminated earlier fake stories before the "real" gospels ('diabolical mimicry'), THAT doesn't help validate the Christian claim either.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • BRC

      Live4Him,
      Okay, let's clarify something. The prevailing believe that I've ever heard is that the second coming of Jesus would usher in the "end of days", the wicked would be punished, and the Kingdom of Heaven would be established on Earth, with all of us filthy sinners and heathens burning down in hell. In the passages you listed, when Jesus discusses his coming, and the fact that it would happen while some who were assembled there were still alive. Do you believe he meant something else? What is your interpretation?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • ed dugan

      I know its illegal but could you possibly get me some of that stuff you're smoking? I promise not to write any comments while I'm under the influence. You should take note of that, or maybe try some serious therapy.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Paul

      Clarity, according to Live4Him those pagan stories never existed, which leaves the question of why did early Christians have to defend against them if they never existed?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Rap is not music

      I provided the evidence. The bible contradicts itself on multiple occasions. Multiple occasions within the alleged quotes from jesus alone. Checkmate.

      Jesus claimed EVERY STONE in the destruction of the temple. The wall still remains. Checkmate.

      Josephus? You mean that guy who was born AFTER jesus' alleged death, and could not have possibly written any first-hand accounts? Yes. I've heard of him. Checkmate.

      Coming/Going just doesn't work, does it? Let us then end the foolishness with this:
      Matthew 24:30. In fact, read the entire chapter. The jesus wasn't talking about some distant future. You claim that his prophecy did come true in that they saw him coming and going at the same time? Then why did nothing else happen? After all, the entire 24th chapter of Matthew addresses that specific time frame (which you so agreeingly believe since you attempted to argue over a translation). Once again proving, that jesus did in FACT, lie. If he existed in the first place. And Josephus doesn't prove anything. Scholars don't believe all of his alleged writings to be fully authentic. Check. Mate.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • skytag

      Do you have any empirical evidence to support your beliefs about the divine nature of Jesus or the existence of God? I didn't think so.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • ..

      And, as people previously noted, Josephus wrote about Hercules and his miraculous deeds; Josephus made no claims as to what he wrote about was actually true or not.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Rap is not music

      Oh and, By the way.... jesus claimed multiple times he would return. Obviously because he knew when he'd return. Yet in chapter 24, verse 36, he contradicts himself....

      "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

      In other words, jesus LIED.

      Once again, Checkmate. The end. Amen. Bye bye then.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • LIVE 4 REALITY

      HISTORIANS WROTE ABOUT GREEK MYTHOLOGY TOO. DOES THAT ALL THE SUDDEN MAKE ZEUS REAL? JOSEPHUS OR WHATEVER DID NOT MEAT JESUS AND WAS NOT ALIVE WHEN HE WAS SO THAT GUY WAS WRITING ABOUT WHAT HE READ. HOW IS THAT EVEN A TESTIMONY? HE BELIEVED THAT ZEUS WAS GOD

      March 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Goodfealla

      Rap of course is right. If the bible is the word of god/jesus, he/they were lying their asses off. Only a brainwashed rational person would believe the tall tales or in L4H's case a complete nutter that has his whole life consumed by the fantasy.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  16. palintwit

    Tea Party Patriots believe that same- s e x marriage is the equivalent of bestiality. But they have no problem boinking their sisters and cousins every Sunday after church.

    March 26, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • kippyafd

      grow up

      March 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  17. Fundies Gone Wild! They are Panicking!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0-04VDrCbM&w=640&h=360]
    . . . . .

    March 26, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  18. Jay Athey

    When someone tells you DO NOT DO THAT...guess what you do it...What if being Gay was just a way to rebel against Gods Rules...and now if we say being Gay is Ok, it's like every other sin, would it still be fashionable to be Gay...just sayin...

    March 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • skytag

      What nonsense. I can't think of one rational reason anyone would chose to be gay and suffer the persecution gays have suffered throughout time. Trust me, if you told me it was a sin to be attracted to fat ugly women I wouldn't become attracted to fat ugly women just to be rebellious.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • sam

      Just talkin out yer ass.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      Do you seriously think that people are gay as a way of being fashionable?

      March 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  19. dee

    Rationalize it all you want, deep down I think we all know who is on God's side in this.

    March 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Ben Johnson

      the hateful bigots, right?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • skytag

      God is on the same side as Santa Claus and leprechauns. Deep down I think we all know this.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  20. myallroad

    Perhaps God's response to this debate would be something like Treebeard's response to Merry and Pippen asking what side the Ents are on...

    March 26, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Rachel

      myallroad: best response ever

      March 26, 2013 at 2:42 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.