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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. Leftcoastrocky

    Is discriminating against gays a good thing or a bad thing?

    March 26, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Rev. Twisty Turnover

      Here in Jesusstan we view all of our repression and intolerance as "love".

      Bigotry is righteous if it is in the Bible.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • sam stone

      Rev. Twisty: I think it is okay, since the citizens of Jesustan are god's official spokespeople

      March 26, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
  2. Paris Hilton's Fashionable Zombie Apocalypse

    Well, based on comments by the justices, Prop 8 will go down, but they may chicken out and limit it to California on a technicality. I do hope they have the courage to do the right thing, but the Roberts court has been a strange one, and a narrow decision that solves nothing is quite possible.

    Ever since the Roberts court decided corporations can pour as much money as they like on the political process, I have not had much respect for them. They have the integrity of a bowling team of used car salesmen from Lincoln, Nebraska.

    March 26, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • EJR17

      Prop 8 and DOMA are two different things.
      Anything that violates the civil rights of any citizen in the United States should be struck down.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Paris Hilton's Fashionable Zombie Apocalypse

      They don't hear DOMA until tomorrow. They spent a lot of time discussing the legal standing of the ban supporter in the case, which may mean they will cop out and turn aside the case without comment, making it a California-only legalization. They should have the courage to take a real stand, but this particular court has been pretty weaselly in the past.

      Hopefully the DOMA case makes it unavoidable for them.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  3. Arcy

    GAY people currently have the exact same rights as those of us who are straight. I cannot marry another person of the same gender either. You want a special right, that's wrong.

    March 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Saraswati

      No, the right is being able to marry the one person you love. You have it, gay people in this country don't (on a federal level).

      March 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Leftcoastrocky

      Why is that so-called "special right" wrong?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • LIVE 4 REALITY

      YOU DO NOT HAVE THE OPTION THEREFORE YOUR RIGHTS ARE LIMITED SO YOU SHOULD FIGHT FOR THAT RIGHT SO YOU CAN FINALLY BE WHO YOU ARE IN THE OPEN

      March 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • sam

      It's equal rights. You have to be a poe.

      btw, what sort of 'activities' do you get up to, that I'll have to pay more in health care costs for? Why don't you share with the class?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Arcy

      Historically, societies that have allowed for unnatural unions eventually collapsed. Check it out. It's a fact. Let the attacks on this post begin. HA!

      March 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • ME II

      @Arcy,
      "You want a special right, that's wrong."

      By your logic that wouldn't be a special right, because then you too would be able to marry a person of the same gender. Congrats!

      March 26, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Arcy

      You have the same rights that I do and we both are prohibited from certain things that are illegal, which make for a good and healthy society. By your logic, you want a law that says we can break the speed limit.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • sam

      Unnatural, huh? Good luck with that dinosaur opinion.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Historically,

      "societies that have allowed for unnatural unions eventually collapsed."

      I'm not sure what unions you're calling unnatural, but historically all societies collapsed except those that are still here. I feel silly even having to write something so obvious.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Abraham

      @Arcy LOL now I'm certain you're just a troll. Nobody capable of operating a computer could actually believe something so stupid.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You are what is wrong with this country.

      March 26, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • ME II

      @Arcy,
      "By your logic, you want a law that says we can break the speed limit."

      I assume that was intended for me.
      No, by the logic I used in the comment, if you, by law, change the speed limit, then everyone can drive faster without breaking the law.

      In actuality, however, the speed limit doesn't even need to change. It's just that everyone has been driving below the speed limit because that was tradition. (and a few places lowered the limit to match tradition)

      March 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • sam stone

      arcy: when same gender marriage is legal, are you going to do the world a big favor and eat your sidearm?

      March 26, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • sam stone

      all societies eventually collapse, d-bag

      March 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  4. John Adams

    The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

    Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.

    (from A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America [1787-1788])

    March 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • The Non Believer

      Well done!

      March 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  5. William

    I kind of think God said what it wanted to say when it designed the way humans procreate. Marriage is a human creation and God has no need to get involved. God tends to allow us to make our beds and sleep in them. Then again, I cannot imagine we are less fun to watch than a bowl of fish.

    March 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • mzh

      My humble advise to you is to study from different books and think which make sense and which does not... it may take long time but please do not limit yourself to study other books like the message in Quran...

      Just do it to learn to increase your knowledge database... no harm on that...

      March 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  6. The Non Believer

    What about all the gender ambiguious people? Humans aren't always XX and XY, there are shades af grey in between. I hope the supreme court allows them to marry as well.

    March 26, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  7. Fundies Gone Wild! They are panicking!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0-04VDrCbM
    .

    March 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm |

  8. [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSQQK2Vuf9Q&w=640&h=360]

    March 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  9. LIVE 4 REALITY

    SOMEONE FOR THE SAKE OF THOR ANSWER MY QUESTION

    WHO WROTE THE GOSPELS

    IF YOU CAN SAY THAT YOU KNOW THAT SOME PRINCESS WITH A BEARD PUKED OUT THE UNIVERSE AND CLAIM ALL THIS OTHER CRAP THEN SURELY YOU CAN TELL ME WHO WROTE THE GOSPELS SINCE YOU KNOW EVERYTHING

    March 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @LIVE 4 REALITY : WHO WROTE THE GOSPELS

      Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • LIVE 4 REALITY

      NO THEY DID NOT

      TRY AGAIN

      March 26, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • mzh

      Thats a great question... i guess most of us do not want to know the reality... as catholics are not allowed to read their bible in catholic church but to listen to what the priest preaches.... but no one dares to go and read it ownself... this is very unfortunate...
      I think we should all find times to study all the books we have around us and then put the msg in a line from each one and then by using the brain, chose which one is truth but not better... its not that i am better then other but i should know the truth... and how do i do that? have to think of the teaching of these books whether they are referring to any creation or only to The Creator...

      March 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Live4Him", but that is an unfounded answer. Please try again, "Live4Him".

      March 26, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Sly

      Sorry dude, but I work in San Francisco, and if 4 guys named 'Matthew, Mark, Luke and John' are there, I know I'm in the wrong bar.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • mzh

      There are many contradictions discussion among the Christian Scholars...

      I found following... there may be others which i do not know... but wouldn't mind to know...
      – someone wrote and used the names of what we see today
      – first book was written atleast 60 years after Jesus was gone from this earth
      – on the early 3rd century constentinople added the concept of trinity
      – there was a time when the head of the state was the head of the church, now you can think of what could head of the state would do in order to please him or his desire i.e. the time of crusedos and so on...
      – even the content of the gospels contradicts itself if you pay attention very carefully
      – i do bible study with few of my christian friends and talk about those contradicts info but its seems like they are waiting for holy spirit to come to their hearts and tell them the truth which i m not sure is possible
      – and so on....

      March 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • the AnViL™

      live4him – what research have you conducted concerning the authorship of the "gospels"?

      also

      how many of the authors of the "gospels" were eye-witnesses of the alleged jebus???

      let me answer for you: none and none.

      the truth: it cuts like a knife.

      lol

      March 26, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  10. mzh

    do not hate the committer but hate the actions... as we all be responsible for our own actions... every single thing is created by The Lord Almighty... and human is given the free will to chose what they want to do in this life but hereafter there will be no choice or no counselor will be talking on behalf of anyone... we do not leave this earthly life with any propety that we will be offering someone to pay on that day... so one should ask himself/herself about his/her own actions...

    there is a proverb: do not hate the sinner but the sins...

    March 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • JWT

      Better think again. I exist on this earth but was not created by your version of a god.

      March 26, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • mzh

      To JWT:
      where were you before you came out of your mothers womb... how did you grow from a new born baby to a child and then a youth and then young and then old and then you are gone from this earth... why do you go to sleep... can u find a single human who does not sleep... how is a child is being taken care when the child is inside of the mom's womb? does mom has access to the child other than feeding herself... there are lot more questions...

      if you do not have any answer then you should think twice about what you said... i am hopping one day you would as i met lot of ppl who changed their thought in decades... so don't be surprised if you find yourself with diff opinion that what you have now... 🙂

      March 26, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • JWT

      Before i was in my mother's womb my atoms existed as parts of the planet. In food, the air, water etc. No god required then or in the 50 years since.

      March 26, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
  11. Robbi

    Rev. Gary Hall has obviously not read his Scriptures or simply refuses to accept them. Yes, GOD does love...HE also has rules. The Scriptures don't change just because the media and "entertainment" industries are pushing an agenda. And the Scriptures don't change just because a person or group of persons find them inconvenient, confining, or not comfy-feely enough. So if the U.S. justice system grants equal inheritance rights, tax breaks, etc. to "gay" couples, then that is a legal issue. But marriage is a religious issue, and the Scriptures say that marriage is between a man and a woman.

    March 26, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      given that you cannot be legally married unless you get a government license, marriage is whatever the government says it is. god is not necessary

      March 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

      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.

      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.

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

      March 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      Also, do youi serioiusly believe that the scriptures have not been edited throughout history?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • sftommy

      My faith in God comes before my faith in dusty books written by mere men thousands of years ago...His justice is clear in every blessing he bestows on gays and lesbian entering into Holy Matrimony. Thank you Lord!

      March 26, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • lvsingleton

      Finally, someone who gets it. I can call a fork an elephant all day long....that doesn't mean it is an elephant.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Marriage is a secular issue, that's why we recognize marriages even from nations that have official religions that are secular, atheist or Buddhist. That's why we accept marriages performed by non-religious judges and other government officials. You can talk about "church marriage" but that is something else altogether. Most, but not all, societies have had marriage, and those marriages have throughout history had little to do with the Christian god.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • sam

      Another starry-eyed god fan, watch out.

      Marriage existed long before christianity did. It was usually about property and political gain, not love, not god, not religion. I know what you were taught in church is stuck hard in your head, but it's wrong.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • sam

      @lvsingleton – yes, congrats. Someone else who shares your delusion. Enjoy.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  12. 431 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.

    March 26, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Arcy

      Utter foolishness.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • sftommy

      Praise the Lord!

      March 26, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • ..

      Arcy "utter foolishness".
      Does a gay person impact your life in any way or prevent you from practicing your religion? No? Then shut up.
      Your approval is not necessary.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Marie

      Yes, I'd say from that summary that many Christians are foolish.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      yes arcy...it is utter foolishness to give people equal civil rights....(sarcasm)

      March 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • albert yester

      431, you are apostate. The Devil has you completely deceived. You had better repent before it's too late.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • sam

      Arcy has trouble grasping things outside his/her worldview.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  13. Arcy

    Ever notice that when faced with reason for faith, atheists generally take the discussion to the ridiculous? The Christian knows by what power and by who the universe was created, but the atheist believes nothing created everything. The electronic device (desktop, laptop or hand-held) you are using to view and post on this forum just....assembled all of its parts and pieces and actually works and it's not the result of any intelligent being have made it. Yeah, rigggggght!

    March 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Live4Him

      You nailed it! 🙂

      March 26, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • sftommy

      Atheist aside, I don't believe in the modern pseudo-Christian teachings of the limits to God's love and compassion and then trying to enforce that view of God's limits on the rest of us. Thank you no. I'll love God as He makes it clear to me how He wants me to, same as He teaches me to love others according to His will not men's.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Saraswati

      You have no idea what "atheists" believe about the creation of the universe anymore than you know what "a-unicornists" believe. Atheists just don't believe in god – they could be Buddhists for all you know. If you were too ignorant to realize this you might want to step back and consider how vastly ignorant you might be about everything else.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • BikerMiker

      Let's see, 'the Christian knows by what power and by who the universe was created' – WOW! So, your 'God' created this universe with billions and billions of galaxies, etc and she has time to worry about who gets married to whom on this little spec of dust??? Talk about absurd reasoning.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Arcy, stop lying..you are just as bad as you other other self Lie4him

      Atheists will often say we do not know as the answer to things we do not know. It is the religious that think they know the answers to things they cannot possibly know and it is that arrogance that makes atheists stand up and say prove it or admit you do not know.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • LIVE 4 REALITY

      THIS ISNT A FORUM

      BY THE WAY WHO WROTE YOUR GOSPELS

      March 26, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • BRC

      Arcy,
      Not exactly a realistic comparison. A computer is an innanimate object, incabale of assembling or repairing itself. It has there are no known physical forces that would cause the required components to come together in the correct cofiguration to creat a working computer. The same is not true for all things. Certain materials are drawn to each other through forces such as magnatism and molecular cohesion. Living creatures have an internal sense of what they need for survival and reflexively seek it out (because the things without those instincts died). Yes, a person has to build a laptop, but nobody has to build a flower. Pollen from one plant germinates a seed on another, with finds its way to a fertile growing site and in the right conditions flourishes. No outside influence needed. So, where is the need for "God" in this?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • The Non Believer

      I'd point out talking snakes and virgin births but I'm sure Arcy would feek attacked.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Arcy

      @ Saraswati. I absolutely know what they believe. I've read their statements. They believe that everything originated from nothing.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Arcy

      @BRC How did those first particles which combine to form living things originate? Everything that exists must have a cause. Please tell me how those very first particles or cells or gases came to exist?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      strawman argument: no one believes that "nothing" created everything.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Arcy, no, you know what a very few people who's post you've read and bothered to absorb said. First, most atheists are not on this board and second, most here say outright that they don't know. Certainly a few believe as you say, but you are focusing on a simplified version of one position just to make your own position seem easier.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • BRC

      @Arcy,
      I don't know yet. For what I do understand of the current Quantum Physics and Theoretical Physics landscape, is that they are working towards isolating and observing atomic subparts that actually have the ability to shift and bridge the gap between being in a stat of energy and a state of physical existence as matter. It's a very interesting field, of course then the question of "well where did the energy come from will come up), and that is going to be a very very difficult discovery to make.

      Your turn. Where did "God" come from?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Paul

      Since you think that everything that exists must have a cause, who or what created god, or does he not exist?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • ..

      Hey, wanna give the citation that all atheists think that way, Arcy, or are you just making up stupid things as you go along? That's like saying all Christians believe in gay marriage because as the 461 proclamation above says, some of them do. Want to reassert your BS in a different way?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @BRC : I don't know yet.

      So you agree that there currently isn't a natural explanation for the existence of life.

      @BRC : Your turn. Where did "God" come from?

      This is known as the logic fallacy of Argumentum Infinitum – arguing that an infinite series of beginning is possible.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Arcy
      We do not believe that everything came from nothing.

      You do though, where did your god come from?....nothing, right.

      No again, atheists will tell you we do not know.

      Stop lying.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • sam

      Oh Arcy, such a sad troll. Keep at it, maybe it'll get you a gold star with Jesus.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • LIVE 4 REALITY

      SURELY YOU KNOW GOD HAD TO BE CREATED BY SOMETHING SINCE YOU KNOW EVERYTHING

      BY THE WAY THE CREATION OF A MYTH IS OBSERVABLE BECAUSE ALL YOU NEED IS PEN AND PAPER

      THE UNIVERSE ON THE OTHER HAND PROVIDES EVIDENCE

      JUST LIKE PEOPLE TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO DID NOT HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY TO SEE INTO DEEP HARD SPACE WE JUST DO NOT HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY TO EXPLAIN EVERY SCIENTIFIC THEORY BUT AT LEAST WE HAVE A CHANCE YOU DO NOT

      BESIDE THERE IS A THEORY ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF MATTER SCIENTIST SAY SOMETHING CAN COME FROM NADA AND NO GOD IS NEEDED SO I GUESS THE NEED FOR PRINCESS WHITEBEARD IS VOIDED LIKE YOUR CAR WARRANTY

      March 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • ===>

      L4h
      Whether you are male or female you have obviously had too many balls slammed into your chin and I hope you paid all your taxes on the income, the Christian thing to do.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Autologous

      @Arcy – If everything that exists must have a cause, then where did God come from?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Lie4Him, Your interpretation of Argumentum Infinitum is not correct. Also you're presuming that your god is the starting point, logically that is not valid. A priori n'est pas?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Paul

      Besides, L4H, it is Christians who make that mistake when they claim that god created everything, and that everything has to have a cause.

      March 26, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • BRC

      Live4Him,
      You asked first. Probably shouldn't ask a question you're not at least prepared to respond to. I don't know the answer to the beginning of the universe, but I know that people are working on it and have evidence to start building hypotheses.

      What does religion have to offer in the way of evidence or proof? Does it have anything other than conjecture?

      March 26, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
  14. Live4Him

    Question: Should homosexuals be required to pay their fair share of taxes?

    March 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Sly

      No! God does not like gays, and they are NOT allowed to pay taxes.

      Give em an inch and they think they can take a mile. Typical liberals ...

      March 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • ===>

      L4H
      Did you claim all your income for tax purposes when you were turning tricks whether gay or straight? Answer a stupid question with an equally stupid question?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Arcy

      Well, we know health care costs are typically more expensive for them. Treating aids and the volume of other infections created by their activities often falls on the taxpayer. They often miss work more often as well due to "family" squabbles.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • ===>

      L4H
      Did you claim all your income for tax purposes when you were turning tri-cks whether gay or straight? Answer a stupid question with an equally stupid question?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Sly

      Gay Christians who turn tricks with other gay Christians are required to pay taxes. God does not tolerate lies.

      But Arcy is right about the 'family squabbles'. And 'bad hair days' often cause work disturbances as well ...

      March 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Live4Him

      ===> : Answer a stupid question with an equally stupid question?

      The issue of gay marriage hinges on the recognition of gay unions for tax purposes. This is why they are fighting for this rather than civil unions. Being granted a 'marriage' will automatically give them a tax break. Since the marriage tax break is to encourage stable families in order to raise the next generation of society, and since almost all gays don't have children in their homes, then they are attempting to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • ..

      Question: should churches be requied to pay their fair shre of taxes?

      What kind of retarded question is that? Every citizen who is qualified to pay taxes pays them! Why yet ANOTHER marginalization by a zelidiot??

      Arcy: proof of your family sqabble BS or shut the hell up. Domestic violebce is MUCH smaller in the gay community due to there being less of them. Grow the hell up, bigot.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • LIVE 4 REALITY

      THEY ADOPT THE KIDS THE TAX PAYING HETEROS THROW IN THE TRASH

      March 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @.. : Question: should churches be requied to pay their fair shre of taxes?

      They already do.

      @.. : Every citizen who is qualified to pay taxes pays them!

      They why the debate on getting the "rich to pay their fair share of taxes"?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • ..

      So? Married couples get tax breaks. And....so? Why the HELL should that change because gay people become able to be married? Why should the tax code change at ALL? It won't. What a ridiculous, self-serving argument.

      Answer this, Live4Him, does gay marriage infinge on your religious liberties? How will gay marriage prevent you from practicing you faith??

      March 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • sam

      Arcy, you're a delusional asshole. The reason people call you names (stop whining about it) is because you're awful. I'm hoping you're a poe, because the idea what someone like you is wandering around allowed to vote or breed is terrifying.

      More heteros than homos have aids this days, pumpkin. Go cry to your church group.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • EJR17

      And where does the debate of the rich paying their fair share of taxes enter into the discussion of gay people paying their fair share? This seems to be misdirection, unless you posit that all gay people are rich.
      As a poster said above, the tax codes would give the same tax benefits to ALL married couples. And before the subject comes up, elderly and sterile couples are given the same tax benefits. Children are not a prerequisite for marriage, so don't try that misdirection.
      There is simply no reason to deny same gendered couples the right to marry.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Lie4Him
      The issue of gay marriage does not hinge upon the recognition of gay unions for tax purposes.
      Are you suggesting that the tax deduction only be available to couples who have children?
      Are you suggesting that marriage is a tax-avoidance scheme?

      March 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "Are you suggesting that the tax deduction only be available to couples who have children?"

      The last two times L4H was asked this question he/she moved to a new thread...let's see what happens...

      March 26, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  15. Live4Him

    @At any rate : Jesus was silent on the issue of homosexuality.

    The Law condemns homosexuality and Jesus supported the Law ("I didn't come to change the Law or the Prophets").

    March 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Saraswati

      LOL, L4H new threads it again!

      March 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • LIVE 4 REALITY

      BUT WHO WROTE THE GOSPELS

      March 26, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Paul

      That is what L4H does when faced with a question that he can't make up an answer for, or when faced with an answer that makes him look like a complete fool. He just runs to the next page and tries to start a new discussion.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • BRC

      Live4Him,
      Figured I shoudl bring this one up here where you can see it. The point is to acutally NOT spend time trying to get into the minutia of how someone may or may not have interpreted an ancient Greek word;l but instead distill the the message and what it would really mean in the world. If you believe that all fo the passages are Jesus discussing his acention to Heaven, then no worries, supposedly that's where he is, you can be happy that he's there. BUT, if you believe that ANY of those passages discuss his impending return, and put it on a timeline with the life of the people who heard him say it (and many public interpretations do just that), then there is a problem. The world still exists, the sinners and non-believers haven't all been cast down, and Heaven doesn't reign on Earth, so at least some of those passages would be wrong. Do you see the point I'm making?

      For the sake of compromise, we'll sue this one-
      Mark 9:1 And Jesus was saying to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
      DO you think this was ascention, or heaven coming to Earth?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  16. BikerMiker

    Before you can even ask this question, you need to first define 'which God' , there are many of them out there. And, of course, if you say the 'Christian God', even that doesn't help a lot. Are we talking about the Catholics, the Pentacostals, the Mennonites, the Mormons – just exactly whose definition would you like to use? As has already been pointed out – it's an absurd question. This is about human rights – period.

    March 26, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  17. truthbringsfreedom

    What is God's side? If he thinks it's important, he can appear and tell us. Does anyone deny that he is capable of speaking for himself? Until then, keep your uninformed opinion of what God's side is to yourself and leave it to him to tell us directly. Oh, and please don't quote the koran or bible; neither have a very good provenance. If anyone's god wants to express his opinion the entire world will gladly listen whenever he's willing to appear.

    March 26, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  18. MandoZink

    Possibly about as relevant as asking whose side is Batman on.

    March 26, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  19. Sly

    Athiests are foolish: There must be thousands of gorgeous teenage virgin chicks in heaven. And no laws. No wives. No football. (And, the Big Guy likes a little hanky-panky – see Adam/Eve, verse 12:15:1).

    Stop all the anti-religious talk, join me, and together we can create a contest up there: First one who breaks Wilt the Stilts famous '10000' record get's treated to a nice dinner of fish and chips.

    March 26, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • LIVE 4 REALITY

      I HATE FISH AND CHIPS

      March 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Saraswati

      You might want to check "Dirk Quigby's Guide to the Afterlife: All You Need to Know to Choose the Right Heaven Plus a Five-Star Rating System for Music, Food, Drink, and Accommodations"...that way you can find the best heaven for you with an appropriate ease of entry level.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Sly

      Typical athiest comment Live4. Fish is the food of Heaven. And you WILL eat it. And LIKE it! Or ... no more chasing Wilt ... (oops, I mean, his record – we chase the chicks.)

      (Wait, is Wilt in Heaven? Do they let blacks into Heaven yet? If so ... I imagine the record is closer to 100,000 now ... so we'll need a few more months ...)

      March 26, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • sftommy

      Virgins in heaven, isn't that what Islam promises suicide bombers?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Sly

      Yes, the Muslims are smart enough to recognize the obvious, but they limit themselves to 79 virgins.

      We have an eternity up there. That is a long time. 79 may get one through the first week or two, but I would hope the good Christians and Jew's and other folks in heaven are a bit more ambitious.

      I know Wilts 10000 will take awhile ... but heck, we've got time on our side.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • The Non Believer

      Do same s3x relations count?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Sly

      At the time of this writing, same s@x relationships only count as tie-breakers.

      There is a formal appeal in front of God right now about this, and He indicated He is undecided, and reviewing more literature on the subject. He has also hired a guy named Bruce who is some sort of local expert ...

      March 26, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • The Non Believer

      Oooh, and what about relations with the seraphim and arch angels?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • The Non Believer

      AND what about the big guy? Is that an automatic win?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  20. ItSoNlYmE

    Who believes "god" is on any side in such a silly human scale debate? It's not as if the fate of the world hinges on this decision. The same people who believed "god" was on their side when they enacted Jim Crow laws undoubtedly believe some fantasy creator-god (old white guy with a beard and white robes sitting up in the sky) is on their side here too. This is a silly thing to even be arguing about. You marry whom you want to marry, and let me marry whom I want to marry. For the record, by far the happiest 'old married couples' I know are gay and lesbian couples.

    March 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.