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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. Nancy

    Clarity, I would respectfully ask for your point of view on when and how you believe marriage was originally defined?

    March 27, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Saraswati

      Are you talking about world history or US law?

      March 27, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Bob

      "I would respectfully ask for" – so why not just ask? You aren't being more polite with the extra verbage.

      March 27, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • clarity

      I've briefly scanned through the wiki page on marriage. I don't see anything out of place there, so check that out and if you see a problem with anything, get back to me.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage

      March 27, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • mzh

      The marriage law has been defined since the first human created on the face of earth and we all 7+ billions human are offspring of them…

      O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you. (Al Quran 4:1)

      The word here ‘mate’ translated from Arabic word which is ‘zawja’ refers to married person either husband or wife… rest I would like you to discover…

      March 27, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • HotAirAce

      So it is a religious definition which should be ignored by a secular government.

      March 27, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • clarity

      True, HAA.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • ..

      This is from the Wiki page:
      "From the early Christian era (30 to 325 CE), marriage was thought of as primarily a private matter, with no uniform religious or other ceremony being required."

      And guess what? It should REMAIN a private matter........

      March 27, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • SeilnoigileR

      Oh Nancy, over the course of human history many cultures have defined 'marriage' in many different ways. Predating both the bible and the koran. Your 2000 year old book of whisper down the lane is not the be-all and end-all of human history. It is barely a sliver and yet you claim it to be the only version that matters. Ignorance can be corrected, but willful ignorance is deplorable. Educate thyself or stop posting rubbish.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  2. John

    "The words of Jesus also define marriage as one man and one woman."

    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.

    March 27, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • fred

      John
      You have confused so many points of doctrine and translation of Hebrew or Greek it is difficult to know where to begin. I like to start with the beginning “In the beginning God”. Those on this board that do not know God cannot understand the Word of God. This is because as the Apostle John clarified “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God….In him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

      You have taken the Word of God and twisted it to applaud homosexuality. This is far from the truth as God has never given a round of applause to homosexuality. Does homosexuality bring glory to God and lead people in the way (the path to eternal life) as so clearly modeled by Christ (Jesus)? The answer is a resounding NO as current political and economic pressure brought upon Christians and the reliable authority of the Bible by the homosexual community is same pattern of chipping away at the foundation of faith we have seen with the assault on the Church.

      The major doctrinal error of you post is linking Gods commandments and laws that were summarized by Jesus with homosexual love. You could not be further from the truth. Jesus summarized the law of God and the Prophets into “love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself”. Love for God and your neighbor is never rooted in lust as that is from the evil one. Seek first the Kingdom of God and all else will be granted to you. A love for God keeps your heart predisposed to seeking the Kingdom of God. When you do this your perspective changed to that of God and you will see the truth flow from the Word of God. Now, you can love your neighbor your neighbor as yourself which means we do not condemn homosexuals or the homosexual community. Out of love we should bring the truth into the community to bring people to salvation in Christ. You on the other hand promote homosexuality which leads to death and leads innocent vulnerable children into a lifestyle that is riddled with disease, lust and other desires of the flesh. I am not picking on the homosexual here as the rest of the world follows the same pattern by luring children into lifestyles filled with disease, lust and other desires of the flesh.

      This is the truth; you attempt to blind the innocent and are not even aware of what you have done.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      More bullshit I see. All you ever have is unjustified assertions with no meaning. "Think like the church masters tell you to, then the bible will make sense".
      Your foundation is so flimsy and fallacious that if you weren't such an intellectually dishonest, immoral tool, you wouldn't be a believer.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Fred you are being dishonest with yourselt by saying it IS THE truth. In REALITY you believe it to be the truth written from the hands of men. You have no evidence and all you have is your faith in writings of men. Your perspective and faith in men all the way to your grave. Fear, supersti tion and casting judgement based on the writings of men is what you offer. To some you look quite foolish...like a 3rd world medicine man jumping around threatening with curses from his god or gods. You drink the blood of your god and eat his body....*rolling eyes and laughing*

      March 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaiiguest
      “All you ever have is unjustified assertions with no meaning.”
      =>these are not unjustified assertions, simply a summary of doctrine in two areas. I do not expect you get any meaning from anything that is based upon the truth of God. When I began the post I made it clear that if “in the beginning God” is not comprehendible the Bible certainly will not be comprehendible. I understand you derive your meaning from something else. My concern is that you miss the beauty of the sunrise in the presence of God which is in stark contrast with a godless sunrise based on the scientific verifiable wavelength of light as it is defused through the atmosphere.

      "Think like the church masters tell you to, then the bible will make sense".
      =>no, trust but verify works for nuclear treaties as well as church rhetoric.

      “Your foundation is so flimsy and fallacious”
      =>see the beginning.

      “if you weren't such an intellectually dishonest”
      =>this you have yet to prove. If I believe in the Bible as authoritative then at worst I am sadly mistaken

      “ immoral tool, you wouldn't be a believer”
      =>even based on your reliance on relative morality I am not immoral.
      On who has been redeemed by Christ should be moving towards a state of goodness rather than a state of immorality. I gauge my walk with God as to desire to seek His will over my will. In God’s will, there should be no immorality or evil in my life and on a good day I sometimes approach that goal.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      So once again the only defense you come up with is:

      "I'm right because I say so and the bible says so and the bibles right because I say so and the bible says so too..."
      And just repeat that over and over and over.
      I wonder if you'll ever realize that you base every assertion you make off of a circular reasoning.
      Then again, I used to wonder if you'd ever back up your assertions, but months of dishonesty from you have cured me of that pipe-dream.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • fred

      Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness
      “you are being dishonest with yourselt by saying it IS THE truth. In REALITY you believe it to be the truth written from the hands of men.”
      =>no, I believe the Holy Spirit has revealed all truth to me as Jesus said would be the case. This is the foundation of my belief. I was not a believer then suddenly in an instant I not only believed in the Word of God I knew it with my mind and soul to be true.
      Yes, you are correct written by man yet where is the overreaching inspiration and direction that made prophecy hundreds of years before the event actually materialized?

      “You have no evidence and all you have is your faith in writings of men.”
      =>correct, my evidence is rooted in faith and the inspired Word of God recorded by men. Do not confuse the Word of God with what you see written by men. Men are touched by their view and the world they have experienced when they begin to write. The Holy Spirit reveals the Word of God that reveals itself through their writing. Take for example Noah who found favor in the eyes of the Lord which brought him and his family into the will of God. The desert Noah built the ark in never saw rain yet he built an ark. Do you think the truth of God is in the global flood or local flood? Do you think the truth of God is in the mechanics of getting a giraffe and lion into the boat? well I don't, because its not.

      “Fear, supersti tion and casting judgement based on the writings of men is what you offer.”
      =>sad just how far that is from the truth. Superstition and judgment are warned against by the Bible as sin which brings about no good for man.

      “You drink the blood of your god and eat his body....*rolling eyes and laughing*”
      =>This is not in the Bible is not the truth. When gathering in the past bread and wine was the Starbucks of the day. When we drink the wine think of the Blood Jesus shed for us. When we eat the bread think of the body Jesus sacrificed for us. Jesus said “Do this in remembrance of me”. That is what Jesus said just remember me whenever you get together and the finished work on the Cross for the salvation of all. Different religions have added to the remembrance but the important thing is never forget.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      I do not have the time to back up the doctrine of the law of the Proophets and the law of God and how they can be summarized into love God and others.
      Pick one item you want me to support and perhaps I could find for that.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Like I've said so many times before. Unless you can even give evidence of A god, then your bible isn't even in the cards.

      March 27, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      And to pre-empt what will probably happen.
      You will point to 98% of the population believing in something supernatural
      I will point out that you give no citations of those numbers, and that it's completely irrelevant and not evidence of anything.
      You will reassert yourself a bunch of times.
      I will once again point out your complete dishonesty
      Eventually you will run like a coward.

      March 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      I am not sure where you faith is. If is that of an atheist your faith is stronger than mine because I rely upon that which I can see through the power of the Holy Spirit. An atheist relies upon the faith that the unknown or unknowable can be understood and it will reveal no God needed. It is in faith that our beliefs are grounded and the atheist belief is that the unknowable is knowable is contradiction in itself. Based upon that faith the atheists’ confirmatory bias causes him or her to be intellectually dishonest because there is no evidence against the possibility of God.
      My confirmatory bias on the other hand is an honest attempt to reveal what God has shown in a way that is understandable. Problem is that given the beliefs and faith demonstrated by atheists this is not possible.
      In order to understand the evidence presented you must actually admit to the possibility that “In the beginning God”. That is all. No big philosophical list of demands that require rules of logic be enforced even though they have no place in the Kingdom of God

      March 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • fred is a moron™

      another day another spin cycle

      March 27, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      fred, You're the ones claiming a god, you're the ones that should provide evidence to support that. Also what evidence do you have that Zeus does not exist or that Odin does not exist, etc. etc.

      March 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • fred

      Does your job at the laundrymat pay minimum wage or a living wage?

      March 27, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • fred is a moron™

      minimum wage but i make it up writing speeches for sarah palin

      March 27, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • fred

      In Santa we trust
      “You're the ones claiming a god, you're the ones that should provide evidence to support that.”
      =>The atheist claims no God needed. It is the atheist making the claim. When I claim there is God I present the evidence that supports God as revealed. I do not present evidence that has not been revealed. This is a difference between the evidence presented by the atheist and evidence presented by me. If the atheist was intellectually honest the correct statement is we do not know anything about the origin of life, we do not know anything about the reason for our existence given the fine tuning of the universe and intelligent life. Last but not least we do not know the purpose of life.

      =>drop the Zeus or Odin arguments as even the priests of the Temple of Zeus acknowledged their man made gods were of corruptible material whereas the Living God transcends all and is not formed of man.

      March 27, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      fred, where is this evidence? Seems to me you have been forced several times to admit that you have no factual, verifiable, objective and independent evidence for your god, that you cannot prove its existence. Do you have new evidence, or are you bullsh!tting again?

      March 27, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • fred

      fred is a moron™
      Don’t give up your day job. You business will be booming when we come to launder our profits from ObamaCare.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And you must have your ears plugged, or more likely are lying, to say that atheists do not say "we don't know" to the questions you posed. "We don't know." is a far superior answer to "Some god did it." especially given that there is no credible evidence for any god.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • clarity

      fred: "=>The atheist claims no God needed. It is the atheist making the claim. "

      fred, you are cutting out possibilities here by claiming to understand the generic atheist claim. I would bet that most atheists would not say "The atheist claims no God needed" even if they happened to believe that to the best of their knowledge, no deities (including God) exist based on evidence so far. That's because, for many atheists, they may be open to the idea that a higher power could have been involved in creation, etc., but we have yet to gain knowledge about such a being through empirical evidence before it could be believed. As you can see, this encompasses quite a number of other possibilities besides someone saying "no God needed". For many the claim for the existence of the Abrahamic God has already been evaluated and does not pass muster. The believer in the Abrahamic God makes the claim for the existence of that god, and to date, no credible evidence has been brought forth that proves that claim.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      fred
      We aren't born believing in a god. So the ones claiming a god, are the ones that should provide evidence to support that.
      The atheist says there is no evidence of a god needed. Atheist are refuting your claim; science provides an explanation for the creation myths of the bible. You have presented no evidence that supports a god.
      We don't know the origin of life, but that doesn't mean a god did it. There have been several experiments that have produced amino acids from the elements available around that time; species would have evolved from that. There probably isn't a purpose to life.
      The fact that we cannot explain evrything doesn't mean a god did it. The ancients didn't know what caused earthquakes, eclipses, storms, etc.; we know what causes them and no god is required.

      The point about Zeus etc is that there are thousands of gods and you reject all but one. How did you prove to yourself that those gods do not exist and that yours is the one? The point is you cannot disprove any of them (as I cannot yours) but you can discount them as invalid – you're effectively atheist when it comes to those gods. I just believe in one fewer god than you.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • fred

      HotAirAce

      As I said our problem with evidence is that there can be no evidence from man that overcomes the confirmation bias of an atheist. It is not simply the fault of the atheist’s belief in naturalism or personal sin that blocks the possibility of God. In many cases it is biological or neurological conditions that inhibit abstract thought.
      Are you open to the possibility of God as declared in the first words of the Bible “In the beginning God”?

      March 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      So you fall back on your original tactics of spouting a rambling, irrelevant pile of shit instead of trying to lie your way into being right.
      You're a pathetic coward.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • fred

      Clarity
      True, I agree with that assessment as I have found it impossible to present evidence if one cannot accept the possibility of God. If God cannot be presented as a living God with us as revealed there is no sense discussing other gods simply because the evidence for God is much greater than the eviednce for gods.

      That said, the evidence for God as presented still does not rise above the requirements set by non believers. We are told by Jesus that proof demanded for belief will not be given. The reason for this is rooted in the same that had Jesus present truth in parables. What we have is our testimony just as the Apostles had. This is where we have failed.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I have repeatedly stated there is a non-zero probability of one or more gods existing. I have no reason to believe your god of The Babble exists or that the stories therein are true.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      fred
      "the evidence for God is much greater than the eviednce for gods"

      There is no evidence for any gods, so how did you determine that there is more evidence for yours? It's impossible.
      Are you this trusting when buying property, insurance, investments, etc.? I doubt that you are so why do you accept the bible when the available evidence is overwhelmingly contrary to its veracity?

      March 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      "When I claim there is God I present the evidence that supports God as revealed."

      You're a fucking liar.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • clarity

      fred: "True, I agree with that assessment as I have found it impossible to present evidence if one cannot accept the possibility of God. "

      Fred, you'll never understand the different types of atheists by repeating yourself. This is exactly the point I made a minute ago. You are leaving out cases. What would be better is if you had said,

      "True, I agree with the assessment as I have found it impossible to present evidence if one cannot accept the possibility of God AND I have found it impossible to present evidence to those who may accept the possibility if evidence were presented."

      See the difference? and for the second case there, I wouldn't even mind if you added "so far", because who knows, you might convince someone someday. But catch all the cases because there are all different types of atheists.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • fred

      clarity
      Ok, well said- thanks

      March 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      "You're a fucking liar."

      =>not so well said.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      But true nonetheless for what I was talking about.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • fred

      In Santa we Trust
      "There is no evidence for any gods, so how did you determine that there is more evidence for yours? It's impossible."

      =>“In the beginning God” -A good example would be the Bible reflects the substance and matter of God as not known or knowable to man. The next word “In the beginning God created” not only reflects a personal God but that the creation was brought out that which did not previously exist. Most of your other gods come out created things, either matter or energy or unique birth involving organic and inorganic matter. In short the Bible makes clear distinction between created things and the preexistent nature of the creator. Easy picking for Saul of Tarsus pointing out the manmade nature of idols.

      God is not of this space and time dimension while most of the manmade gods are or at least they fail to account for their localized presence. Throughout the Bible God is couched in terms of looked like, had the appearance of, or had the appearance of the appearance of. This because God is and does not have form known to us.

      The Bible itself tells a horrid story of the just how bad, immoral and ungodly the chosen ones are. To make matters worse these were often autobiographies of what violent unfaithful people we are. Other holy books do not show themselves in bad light.

      March 27, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      I present God as revealed. I have made some grand stumbles over the years. Those errors are quickly pointed out which is (for me) evidence the Holy Spirit is working in my life bringing me to greater truth as my faith grows deeper.

      March 27, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      No, you don't present any evidence. You present constant irrelevant bullshit and assertions upon assertions to support your assertions on your interpretation of a book that those who don't accept as any kind of authority have any reason to take seriously. You merely assert that what you're presenting is a revealed will of god. You give no evidence. Keep lying for Jesus, Martin Luther would be so proud of you.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • fred

      What comes to mind is I recall a man that approached me one time late at night. For an unknown reason to me at that moment I said “Jesus sent me”. I heard a click and looked to my left and knife had closed. His reply was why would he send you. The conversation went on from there.
      Just yesterday I hit a corner to hard on a steep inside corner and the bike miraculously righted itself and was able to recover.
      How could I ever prove to another it was the hand of God? For me it was evidence and proof that God still has plans for me and is my security. Every day I return from a ride or a race I thank God for all the unknown blessings and miracles as well as those I know about.
      On a bad day I rewind all the times god has presented himself and after a while my faith is reassured. God is still giving me evidence of His Power not to mention a view of existence I could never have dreamed about. Expressing that to others in a way it seems real is a challenge.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      fred, I used to think the way you do. You just see the good tings in your life as "god.' I did the same thing for several decades. Now the same good things happen and the same bad things happen. It's just life and coincidence.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      fred

      hawaiiguest
      "You're a fu c king liar."

      =>not so well said.
      .
      Aside from our difference of opinion...that was simple and sweet and made me chuc kle after a long day at work. thank you

      Okay back to calling you crazy

      March 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Moby Schtick

      fred, I used to think the way you do. You just see the good tings in your life as "god.' I did the same thing for several decades. Now the same good things happen and the same bad things happen. It's just life and coincidence.
      .
      Bingo! same goes for me. Perspective is an amazing thing.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • fred

      Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness
      Moby Schtick
      All the great men of the Bible took steps and attributed their success and failures to God. Cyrus a non believer may not even have known at the time he was fulfilling prophecy helping the Chosen Ones when he freed them from Babylonian captivity. The Bible makes it clear it rains on the righteous and the wicked. In the Old Testament we see a fuzzy image of Christ and how the crucifixion ties in. Then Jesus speaks in parables so only those with eyes can see and ears can hear.
      If not for a sudden textbook conversion experience I would remain an unbeliever. Why would God touch my heart? How did that touch open a perspective that brought a talking serpent to life and vision of Christ on the Cross reflecting what sin looks and feels like to God? I hope I do not lose that perspective.

      I am actually not particularly concerned if there turns out to be no God (I have those times and thoughts). What I do know is that if fail to stay devoted in meditation, Bible reading, prayer and looking for the presence of God doubt creeps in ever so slow. Like any other personal relationship if you ignore it the love starts to fade.

      Looks like the evidence I have is just for me and impossible to validate.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Thank you for another shining example of exactly what I said. Irrelevant bullshit, assertions, and utter stupidity.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      hawaiiguest, every time I decide to cut fred a little slack, I regret it but. . .

      fred appears to be making progress in extricating himself from the jesus death cult. He readily admits his has no objective, independent, verifiable or factual evidence for god, and he admits that he occasionally has doubts about the existence of god.

      I suspect that he has just had a temporary lucid moment, but hope that he continues to make progress.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      It looks like fred has "lost" another thread where he has shown to be a moron. How convenient.

      March 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
  3. midwest rail

    Not all str8 couples have the ability to procreate, yet their union is still called a marriage.

    March 27, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • clarity

      True.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • midwest rail

      Need more coffee – should be a reply at bottom of page

      March 27, 2013 at 8:38 am |
  4. Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

    From the 80's Glasgow band Aztec Camera, it's the love song "Stray":

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uj3bKokEZA&w=640&h=360]

    March 27, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      This is the title track to their 1990 album.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:22 am |
  5. marsally

    What was it Lincoln said about God and sides?

    March 27, 2013 at 7:13 am |
  6. Colin

    As far as I can tell, there is one consistent thing in every debate about what God thinks or wants in a political, social or moral debate. And that is that we never hear from him. You know, it's almost as if he doesn't exist.......

    March 27, 2013 at 5:24 am |
  7. Colin

    Have you ever heard anybody, in any political or social debate anywhere in the World say, "You know, God's on the other guy's side." We create or gods and project onto them the personalities we have.

    Ever noticed that God loves al lthe same things you do, hates all the same things you do and has an idential moral outlook as you?

    March 27, 2013 at 5:22 am |
  8. Mercury

    Boo.

    March 27, 2013 at 4:37 am |
  9. krehator

    Ever notice how God rarely does anything? Yet people still try to convince others that they are doing things for God. The biggest con game in town.

    March 27, 2013 at 3:00 am |
    • Paris Hilton's Zombie Apocalypse and Spring Fashion Show

      The vigilante urge runs strong in the Jesustanis

      March 27, 2013 at 3:06 am |
  10. HotAirAce

    Anyone that claims they are on (some) god's side, or has (some) god on their side, is mentally ill. Unless of course, the can prove some god exists.

    March 27, 2013 at 2:11 am |
    • Robert

      Does that mean you are mentally ill too, because you claim God does not exist and yet you can't prove your claim? I love how easy it is to defeat atheism with logic. There is nothing rational underlying the atheist religion at all.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:19 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I did not claim no god exists above. I believe that there is no objective, factual, independent, verifiable evidence for any god and therefore the probability of any god existing is very low, but I do not completely rule out the existence of some god, somewhere.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:23 am |
    • John

      HAA you expect everyone to be luney tunes if they interact with God, so by default, no one can ever have interacted with God that is outside that interaction. You've locked yourself into denial of God. For you, that has become the norm because it is what you wanted.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:02 am |
    • Paris Hilton's Zombie Apocalypse and Spring Fashion Show

      If you are the same John who obsesses about locked-in triangles of days and actual hair on the sun, you have already proven the truth of the insanity of Christians.

      Sometimes I think John and Austin are one in the same, but maybe I just want to be in denial of the possibility that there are more than one totally psycho Christians out there.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:08 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I am not locked into a denial of all gods. I am locked into demanding evidence before I believe in a god.

      John, you previously claimed that you had done a statistical assessment for some god, and that this assessment, which you refused to provide, indicated some god exists. What was the status cal probability that your god exists? Was it 100%?

      March 27, 2013 at 5:14 am |
    • Saraswati

      You're really redefining mental illness to the point of uselessness here. The majority of the earth's people have believed in either spirits or gods or other supernatural ent'ities since our brains evolved that power of imagination. It has often aided survival. Most definitions of mental illness will at the very least require a condition to be maladaptive if not outside the norm. While some forms of religion are certainly maladaptive to our world today, it would be very hard to prove this for god beliefs in general or to meet the many other requirements of mental illness.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:31 am |
    • sam stone

      Delusions of grandeur, Robert. You did not defeat atheism and you would not know logic if it were presented to you. Get back on your knees.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:39 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Saraswati, you are probably correct but only because of today's norm. As has been done with many things, it's time to change the norm, in my opinion, of course.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:53 am |
    • Science

      To HotAirAce

      It would be NICE......... but

      Maybe they should not have created the wedge !!!
      The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Insti-tute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Insti-tute manifesto known as the Wedge Docu-ment,[1] which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda who

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

      March 27, 2013 at 6:30 am |
    • Science

      Hey HotAirAce

      Still waiting for bible thumpers and creationists answer for this one ?

      Was the bible around back then ?

      Human Y Chromosome Much Older

      Than Previously Thought

      Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145821.htm

      March 27, 2013 at 7:00 am |
  11. Robert

    Human beings are a two gender race. Male and female. It is a FACT that males were designed for females and females for males and to say otherwise is silly in my opinion. You can debate whether God designed us or nature designed us, but it is an absolute fact that males and females were made for each other. In no way can a ho-mos-exual "couple" be equated with a male-female couple. It is against nature.

    I could care less how much se_x anyone has with someone of the same gender. It is not my business. But such a couple can never be considered to be the equivalent of a male-female couple.

    March 27, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • Janni

      Actually, homosexual behavior has been noted in many species in nature.

      Science or God: both are just thin wrappers over your bigotry.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • End Religion

      humans weren't designed. You fail out of the gate.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:35 am |
    • Salero69

      "Blah blah blah, blah blah nothing blah." Thanks Robert

      March 27, 2013 at 4:19 am |
    • Saraswati

      Gods may "design" but nature does nothing of the sort. Nature evolves and changes in response to conditions. Perhaps if you understood biology better you'd understand how silly your position is.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:23 am |
    • sam stonein

      Wow, Robert, putting the word "fact" in caps makes it soooo much more powerful. Since the creator (god or nature) designs things down to the most minor detail, how can you now allow that perhaps this creator made some people gay as a control on the population? Does it disagree with your bigotry?

      March 27, 2013 at 5:47 am |
    • myweightinwords

      If a man's anal cavity were not meant to be a part of his sexuality, why is the prostate located there and why does stimulating the prostate produce intense sexual experience?

      And, male and female are not our only default settings. There are those born with aspects of both genders. There are those born physically one gender but emotionally and mentally another. It isn't so much a duality as it is a wide spectrum of gender and gender identity.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  12. Paris Hilton's Zombie Apocalypse and Spring Fashion Show

    Based on questions and comments made by Supreme Court justices, Prop 8 will definitely fall, but it is quite possible the court will wimp out and effectively limit their ruling to California.

    Comments in tomorrow's DOMA case will be very interesting.

    It's looking bad for the Jesustanis.

    March 27, 2013 at 12:18 am |
  13. Douglas when he's cruisin the neighborhood

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuet7GRv7Bo

    March 26, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Salero69

      Nooooooooo NOOOOOOOOOOOO !!

      March 26, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
  14. Lola Bunch

    I see Douglas has evaded my questions.
    Oh, well.
    Typical.

    March 26, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Nobody puts Baby in a corner. They put her in the microwave.

      He's too busy obsessing about gay sex in his closet.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:23 am |
  15. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    mohammad is with secular s gay folks, followers of truth absolute Tin Allah, 360*,

    March 26, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • YOU SHAME PAKISTAN

      YAKOBI

      MOHAMMAD A. DAR NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU THINK

      اپ حاملہ سکچانا کتوں خراب رد

      March 26, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • YOU SHAME PAKISTAN

      نان نیٹو اتحادیوں کے بیٹے کتوں کی وطن لجاؤ
      REPENT TO ALLAH

      March 26, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • It's a Shame

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIpuKY88MFc&w=640&h=360]

      March 26, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
  16. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    See 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 11:35 pm |
  17. Douglas' Church

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

    . . . . . .

    March 26, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • Douglas' tin hat

      This must be why Douglas is such a shit-obsessed little bitch; some child fondling preacher smacked him on both ends.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Douglas when he's cruisin the neighborhood

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuet7GRv7Bo

      . .

      March 26, 2013 at 11:53 pm |

    • [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuet7GRv7Bo&w=640&h=360]

      .

      March 26, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
  18. chris

    funny the fellow that talks about people in defense of gay marriage are picking spots of the bible, does that men he is living it up 100% by going kosher, not blending fabrics, staying away from menstruating women....oh yeah, the words of Jesus also speak pretty clearly against war and most rich folk

    March 26, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • Douglas

      The words of Jesus also define marriage as one man and one woman.

      You can read it in Matthew 19.

      Read it and get back to us.

      Thanks!

      March 26, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Salero21

      Douglas

      That's not what it says

      I hope you get over the butt flu soon!

      March 26, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • clarity

      Who wrote the gospel of Matthew Douglas?

      March 26, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Lola Bunch

      And what does the bible have to do with our secular laws withing the United States? Oh, that's right. Nothing.
      This will be decided on equal protection and rights under the 14th Amendment, not the Bible.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • Reality

      Matt 19: 12 " For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven."

      Not the way to go in my opinion and not a good reference for promoting celibacy.

      Definition of a eunuch:

      1. A castrated man employed as a harem attendant or as a functionary in certain Asian courts.
      2. A man or boy whose testes are nonfunctioning or have been removed.
      3. Informal. An ineffectual, powerless, or unmasculine man.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Douglas, The bible mentions many polygamous marriages, so another fail for you.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • Nancy

      Chris,

      Do you know how much GOD loves you? HE created you in HIS image and you are wonderfully and fearfully made!

      March 27, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • clarity

      That's BS, Nancy. Prove it.

      March 27, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Nancy, Does your god have a navel?

      March 27, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Douglas

      Nancy

      How many licks does it take to get to the center of zombie Jesus?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:20 am |
  19. Douglas

    @ Salero21 (fake)

    When a person is infected with poliovirus, the virus resides in the intestinal tract and mucus in the nose and throat. Poliovirus transmission most often occurs through contact with stool of this infected person (known as fecal-oral transmission). Less frequently, polio transmission can occur through contact with infected respiratory secretions or saliva (oral-oral transmission).

    Your behavior puts you at risk Salero21 (fake)

    As I said...the @nus is not a play place!

    Wake up...or risk becoming a host!

    March 26, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • Lola Bunch

      Then don't play there, Douglas.
      $4th time asking:
      How does gay marriage infringe on your right to religious freedom, and how would it impact your everyday life?

      Why are you avoiding this?

      March 26, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • Salero21

      So Douglas that time I put my tongue in your butt, did you give me the butt flu?? I will not forgive you.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Douglas' tin hat

      Shut up. Douglas. You have zero idea of what you're talking about except that you've confirmed some very kinky fantasies. Where'd you get it – family research council? You're a sick bastard. Stop pretending it's research and enjoy your scat fetish.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • End Religion

      Doug, have you been tested to see if you're retarded?

      March 27, 2013 at 1:51 am |
    • BSinSB

      @douglas, fecal-oral does not mean what you wish it to mean.
      It is transmitted through tainted water, usually; the same with cholera.
      In fact, I could not find ONE documented case of polio being transmitted through anal sex, leading me to believe you used polio as an example for the hysteria effect.
      Grow up. Your spreading of misinformation is reprehensible.

      March 27, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • clarity

      Not only does Douglas spread misinformation, but I believe I've heard him, when he gets on his celibacy kick, refer to 'our clients' which, crazy as it sounds, hints that he may have found some way to make some cash scaring people.

      March 27, 2013 at 9:19 am |
  20. Bostontola

    Why to believers in god worry about atheists when they can't agree with other believers in god on most issues?

    March 26, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Tim

      That's right. The real fight here isn't Christians vs atheists, it's Christians against gay marriage vs Christians who are OK with it.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Lola Bunch

      Too true.
      I cannot fathom why gay marriage would bother anyone any more than straight marriage would...it's really nunya, yanno?

      March 26, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • Nancy

      Since marriage is distinctly defined as a man and a woman who have the ability to procreate, how can two men and/or two women who can't procreate have that same definition? Why not have a distinct definition of their own such as Civil Union?

      March 27, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Nancy, thanks for the clarification. I wasn't aware that the infertile and elderly were banned from marrying.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • clarity

      Marriage hasn't always been defined that way, Nancy. Think of it, like many things, as being a changing, breathing organism.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Nancy, where is that definition to be found and who defined marriage as such? Assuming it is a valid definition, not something the no side has conjured up just to continue to deny others their rights, why should that definition be unchangeable?

      March 27, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • Douglas

      Nancy

      Your agenda is showing

      March 27, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Why should the delusional religious successfully claim the word marriage? Why can't they come up with words, such as religious or cultish union to describe there unique traditions, and leave marriage to the general public?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:26 am |
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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.