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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. mzh

    One of the signs that God The Almighty created men and He created his wife from him so that he feels peace/tranquility towards her or when he looks at her and vice versa... no where in the Quran or even in bible has any statement that a man and man or a woman and woman were created for each other... here is a beautiful verse from Quran (chapter rum and verse 21):

    And among His Signs is this, that He created for you, from yourselves your wives, so that you may find tranquility in them (wives), and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect. (Al Quran 30:21)

    I know not all will think but i hope may be few of us will take it seriously and will change the life style... i am not here to say who is better than whom but the important things is what is the truth... i hope all will see the truth and get out of the delusion that they are in... i respect and love all men and women as I do my own brothers and sisters from same father and mother and also as we all are from the same parents...

    But i draw my line only when it comes to practicing my faith otherwise i could be a good neighbor to anyone, will help if needed with anything i have ability and do not hate anyone or spread the word of hatred...

    Now what choice an individual makes to live this life depends on him/her and we all will be standing in front of our The Creator and we have to ask ourselves are we preparing ourselves for that day? and how and how? O our Lord, please judge us with Your mercy and not Your justice...

    March 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • loveforall

      Yeeeaaaahhhhh, kinda doesn't answer my question.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • JWT

      I'll be standing in front of one of my creators's in a month or so when I go see my mom. Worth while doing every now and then.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • mzh

      To Dear JWT:
      Who created your mom and her mom and her? did you and our mom do more than feeding herself and keeping her healthy so that we inside of her gets nutrition? did she has any control on us while we were inside of her? that does not mean that i disrespect my mom... do you know how many children comes to this earth with disabilities and so on? if everything in mothers hand then why these disable kids comes? why she did not fix it before she delivered the baby? the point here is to respect your mom regardless but do not put her in a equivelent to The Creator of the Entire Universe who has no partner and does not need an associate to run the universe....

      Quran teaches 'do not say ooff word in reply of ur mom any behave', listen to her even if she is not a muslim but she carried you and lot more....

      March 27, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • zzh

      mzh, so why your "perfect" god not fix the disabled babies?

      God not perfect and not exist. Duh!

      March 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • JWT

      You make an extreme presumption saying that your creator is the same as mine. I know we are not brothers. Why do you presume that your version of a religion/spirituality must be the same as mine. Obviously it is not. I know I have no god and never had one. Life is as it is, no god has anythign to do with it. You of course can believe that of yourself – that you have a god creator but I do not. You do not speak for me nor does your version of a god.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • mzh

      To dear zzh: that you have to ask The Creator… there are knowledge revealed to mankind and there are knowledge has not been revealed to the mankind… but as a mother, she loves her child regardless… and her child remains as a child no matter how old the child becomes… this is an example of mercy…
      Do you have control on yourself? I give u the answer is NO… how long can u go without sleep or food, do you have access to ur body even, do you have any control on any of the systems running inside you like respiratory system, blood circulatory and so on… no… how many times do you hear doctors give up and tells the relative of a patient to pray and out of their hand? And so on… there is a Creator who is so merciful than we can imagine… because of His mercy human denies Him… have you seen anyone is being punished because he says that there is no Creator? No… why… be of the mercy of The Almighty… who is perfect as HE is not in need of anything but we as a human are in need of him…

      To dear JWT: I believe that there is only One Creator who owns the entire universe and there is nothing own by other than HIM… not even an atom amount… I will give u an example… a father has lets say 5 children and out of them 1 is out of order, the father would never abandon his child… but the child could abandon the father but father never does… what you are saying is also because of the mercy of The Creator you are saying what you are saying… the version of the religion are you talking about… is the one who is out of control and goes away and makes his own ways to live… that does not mean the father will cut the relationship as long the father can…
      Every human created with a gift given to him/her, do you know what it is? Its called ‘Free Will’ the freedom of speech… whether you believe in Him as unseen or you believe that He is not exist, or you believe some creature including human is His associates or like Him… its all because of the use of ‘free will’… if there was no ‘free will’ there will not be thousands of faiths or ways but only one way… and there will be no corruptions and evil things will take place among the mankind… then if there is no free will, there is no need of justice… the justice will be done for this ‘free will’… how this ‘free will’ being used… but in this life I can say whatever I want… nothing will happen…
      The other thing is: there is can’t 2 truth… the truth is only one… now you have to figure out what is the truth… it may take a day or decades for you or anyone else to recognize the truth dear JWT…
      Again I am not here to disrespect to what you believe or what you practice… I am just here to let you know that there is a knowledge which may have not come to you but it will who know… how many times we discover that I wish I knew it long time before but just discovered it now… so please just be patient… 🙂

      March 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • mzh

      Also dear zzh: the medical technology that is being given to mankind and being used to some cure of the disabilities… don’t you think if there was no disabilities there is no need of knowledge of advance technologies?

      March 27, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • JWT

      I know my thruth and you know yours. Keep yours away from mine and the law and we can all be happy.

      March 27, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • mzh

      To Dear JWT: I am happy to see your comments… we can be a very good friend or neighbor to live a same society… what you just said is nothing but a verse from Quran… ‘for you is your religion, and for me is my religion’ – 109:6 and live with peace…
      You know one of your father was not what you follow today, if you go back to the time prior to the Indus Valley Civilization and you will find you father prior to that teaching was something else… I will let you discover what he was… the same applies to mine as well… I think its always good to study… you never know what you would discover tomorrow which not known to us today…
      I am glad that we had this conversation... 🙂

      March 27, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  2. loveforall

    I don't even understand why religion is getting involved. Marriage is about the coming together of two people because they love each other and want to commit to each other for the rest of their lives. I mean, for some people, marriage is about money, boredom, the fear of dying alone, saving face because you "accidentally" got pregnant. Do the bible thumpers have issues with these marriages or are they acceptable because they are between a man and a woman? And that's not a rhetorical queation, I'm actually interested in hearing some feed back. Is a loveless marriage between a man and a woman OK while a loving marriage between two men/women is not?

    March 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Wally

      Christians sin all the freaking time, and yet they believe it's okay as long as you accept Jesus. So actually following the rules is totally optional for them, but they run around demanding others obey the rules, even though as non-believers those rules don't apply to them.

      Religious people are obsesses with the will to tyranny. It's hilarious to see them claim America is a Christian country, for there are few groups less agreeable to freedom of speech and diversity and choice.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • sam stone

      They speak of "god's justice" and "god's mercy", totally ignoring the idea that mercy is the suspension of justice

      March 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Akira

      There is no official religion of the United States, and there are very good reasons for that.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Saraswati

      If you read through pages and pages on these boards you'll notice they rarely ever actually answer the question of what it is they are afraid of. If you get one of these people in a room you'll find that they really just don't like the idea of hom'os'exuality and hope that they can legalize it away so they don't have to think about it going on next door. In a few cases they are genuinely ignorant about se'xuality and think that their kids will suddenly "choose gay" if it's too acceptable.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  3. Live4Him

    @Akira : how does gay marriage ... impact your daily existence?

    By raising my taxes when gays don't pay their fair share of taxes.

    March 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Akita

      And how do you figure that?

      March 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Akira

      And answer my first question: how does it infringe on your religious liberty?

      March 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Akita : And how do you figure that?

      1) Currently, the marriage tax break is given to those who will most likely provide a stable environment to raise the next generation. This reduces governmental expenses since these people tend to become stable contributors to the government's revenue base, rather than expenses in the form of crime, etc.

      2) Currently, gay relationships tend to be unstable, rarely lasting more than 10 years. If there are any children raised by such a relationship, the children would likely be unstable as well.

      3) Currently, gay relationships rarely raise any children.

      Therefore, there is no benefit for the government to provide a tax break to gay couples, which means these types of couples are not paying their fair share of taxes. If they don't pay their fair share, those who are paying taxes (i.e. myself included) would need to pay more taxes to cover the government's revenue loss granted by gay marriage.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      They will pay their fair share as much as other married people.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Currently, the marriage tax break is given to those who will most likely provide a stable environment to raise the next generation."

      Nonsense. The marriage tax break is given to people who are married

      "Currently, gay relationships tend to be unstable, rarely lasting more than 10 years"

      Perhaps that is due to their not having the same legal rights and tax breaks as married people

      "If there are any children raised by such a relationship, the children would likely be unstable as well."

      Pure conjecture

      "Currently, gay relationships rarely raise any children."

      That will change when they can get married and legally adopt

      Live4Him, you are a bigot. Not only that, you are a pious bigot. Go meet jeebus

      March 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Akira

      Currently, MOST marriages last less than 10 years.
      In the words of EJR17:

      The procreation argument cannot be taken seriously. States do not inquire whether straight couples intend to bear children, or have the capacity to have children, before they are allowed to marry. We permit marriage by the elderly, by prison inmates, and by persons who have no intention of having children.
      There simply is no reason not to allow gay couples the equal rights they deserve under the 14th. No reason not to allow them to be legally wed.

      It seems you want to deny a segment of society the basic right of marriage on the premise that gay marriage will raise your taxes? Nice.
      Sam is correct. The taxes will be the same as straight couples being married. And divorced.
      Your objection is not based on money, no matter how you wish to whitewash it.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      akira: i think Live4Him is just using this to justify his pious bigotry

      March 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      L4H: Hetero couples don't always pay their taxes. So should hetero marriages be banned also for this same reason?

      March 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Akira

      I was unaware that there is a question asking "expected length of marriage" on the application of a marriage license, and if there are any progeny expected/wanted.

      Sam stone, nicely stated.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Saraswati

      An official in Ja'pan recently suggested women who hadn't produced children should be denied social security – sounds like L4H's kind of place.

      But for L4H's tax concern, the simple answer would be getting breaks only when you actually have children...end story.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Akira : Currently, MOST marriages last less than 10 years.

      Not according to the CDC. More than 75% last more than 10 years, and more than 50% last 20 years.

      @Akira : States do not inquire whether straight couples intend to bear children, or have the capacity to have children, before they are allowed to marry.

      Regardless of whether a given couple has children, society has recognized that most marriages result in children. Gay relationships rarely have children (even with outside help).

      @Akira : There simply is no reason not to allow gay couples the equal rights they deserve under the 14th.

      They don't want EQUAL rights, but SPECIAL rights. They want to change their rights to include more rights than afforded to others.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Akira

      I have never heard of a more ridiculous reason to deny gay marriage...bigots are more honest.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • sam stone

      What rights do they want not afforded to others?

      March 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      Akira: That implies that L4H is not a bigot.

      L4H. The Supreme Court said that marriage is a right. You want to deny gays a right that you currently have. This makes you a bigot.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Saraswati

      An elderly couple, one from the US, on from Ja'pan meet while both on holiday in London. If opposite se'x they can live together in the US, if same se'x they cannot ever live together (no longer working so no work visa possible and they will obviously have no kids). That's good with you too?

      Question for you L4H: A couple chooses not to have children (or can't) and the man dies leaving his wife 10 million. She pays nothing in taxes and keeps it all. I die and leave my partner the same amount and pay about 2 million in taxes (best case scenario). This is good with you?

      March 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "They don't want EQUAL rights, but SPECIAL rights. They want to change their rights to include more rights than afforded to others."

      Please explain what these "special" rights are because I honestly have no idea.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Saraswati : the simple answer would be getting breaks only when you actually have children.

      Most soon-to-be families need a little help before they can financially afford children. So, there is a small tax break for married couples and larger tax breaks for those with children – as it should be.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live

      Procreation is not a requirement of marriage, nor is there any law that makes that a requirement. You've made this claim a few days ago, and did not answer when asked to provide a citation of the law.
      I call lie on your CDC citation for the length of a marriage, because marriage has nothing to do with the Center for Disease Control.
      Your claim about children being more likely to be unstable is not supported by the current data either.

      You can make claims until you're blue in the face, but without anything to back it up, it's useless.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • sam stone

      L4H: What of the married gays who intend on adopting children, shoiuld they get tax breaks?

      March 27, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Akira

      And what special rights do you think they want?
      And I wholly do not care what the CDC. As you well know, gay marriage hasn't been around enough to do a comprehensive study on it. And please don't use a co-habitaton study, because up to this time, this is all they had.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      hawaii: i don't think L4H is interested in supporting his statements. I think L4H just wants to bloviate and try to rationalize his bigotry

      March 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Saraswati : Please explain what these "special" rights are because I honestly have no idea.

      1) They want a newly defined tax break for being in a relationship with no intention of having children.
      2) They want to deny heterosexual couples in similar relationships (i.e. "open-relationship without children") these same benefits.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Akira

      There are thousands of children waiting to be adopted in foster care and orphanages. Seems the gay couples are willing to pick up the slack when the straight couples won't.
      All of this rationalization in your mind will not change the fact that there simply isn't a valid reason to deny a segment of society equal civil rights.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      1) They want a newly defined tax break for being in a relationship with no intention of having children.

      This already exists for man/woman married couples.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "open-relationship without children"

      What on earth is this supposed to mean? There's nothing stopping man/woman couples from doing this now or with marriage equality introduced.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Akira

      They want the same exact things that hetero couples are entitled to. Nothing more, nothing less.
      The. Same. Exact. Benefits. Period.
      My gosh, where are people getting these ridiculous ideas from? Infowars.com? Alex Jones?

      March 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @hawaiiguest : I call lie on your CDC citation for the length of a marriage, because marriage has nothing to do with the Center for Disease Control.

      A 2001 National Center for Health Statistics study on marriage and divorce statistics reported that 66 percent of first marriages last ten years or longer, with fifty percent lasting twenty years or longer.
      Matthew D. Bramlett and William D. Mosher, "First Marriage Dissolution, Divorce and Remarriage: United States," Advance Data, National Center for Health Statistics (May 31, 2001)
      Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2001)

      A 2002 U.S. Census Bureau study reported similar results, with 70.7 percent of women married between 1970 and 1974 reaching their tenth anniversary and 57.7 percent staying married for twenty years or longer.
      Rose M. Kreider and Jason M. Fields, "Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 1996" Current Population Reports, P70-80, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, D.C. (February 2002)
      Source: Current Population Reports: U.S. Census Bureau (2002)

      The 2003-2004 Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census surveyed the lifestyles of 7,862 homosexuals. Of those involved in a "current relationship," only 15 percent describe their current relationship as having lasted twelve years or longer, with five percent lasting more than twenty years
      Source: Largest Gay Study Examines 2004 Relationships, GayWire Latest Breaking Releases, http://www.glcensus.org

      Now, be mature and apologize for your false accusation.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live

      "1) They want a newly defined tax break for being in a relationship with no intention of having children.
      2) They want to deny heterosexual couples in similar relationships (i.e. "open-relationship without children") these same benefits."

      Citations? Evidence? You don't have any? That's probably because you're lying.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live

      None of your citations are from the CDC, and all but the last are more than 10 years old, and the last "study" is an online census about only gay/lesbian relationships, not marriages, while you were talking about marriage.

      My statement still stands.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      To be fair your statistics are on "first" marriages, not "all" marriages.

      Additionally, comparing hetero first marriages to ho.mo current relationship is grossly misleading.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Paul

      Live4Him's argument boils down to this:

      Gay people are icky, and therefore they shouldn't be allowed to get married because it might make me uncomfortable.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Paul

      According to what I can find 45% of all marriages end in divorce.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      L4H: Be mature and apologize your your bigotry

      March 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • sam stone

      Lie4Him is doing so to justify his pompous, pious bigotry.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      All marriages end in divorce or death.

      As a couple you get to pick the ending.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV : This already exists for man/woman married couples.

      If it already exists, then nothing needs to change.

      Akira : They want the same exact things that hetero couples are entitled to.

      Then they should marry someone of the opposite sex.

      Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2001)
      @hawaiiguest : None of your citations are from the CDC

      Try reading it again.

      @hawaiiguest : all but the last are more than 10 years old

      Now, you're adding new qualifications to avoid doing the responsible action.

      @hawaiiguest : My statement still stands.

      I should have known.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • sam stone

      L4H: Marriage equality is coming, whether or not you like it. Choke on it, b1tch

      March 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • sam stone

      The 14th amendment will take down the prohibition on same gender marriage the same way it took down the prohibition on interracial marriage. Bigots like L4H will scream bloody murder and will claim that Lucifer has taken over. Luckily, punks like him are getting more and more scarce

      March 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live

      The Center for Health Statistics seems at most a subsidiary of the CDC. Now, did the CDC gather statistics about marriage length and compile them into anything? Nope, probably not. At most they probably provided funding to one of the many branches that are distinctly different.
      It would be like me saying that "Pepsi makes Lay's chips". Pepsi owns Lay's, but doesn't make their chips. Lay's does.
      I would also point out that you're not actually giving source citations. Provide links. I thought that was obvious but apparently not.
      Time matters with statistics. Would you accept numbers of religious people from 2000? or 1990? It makes no sense to, because it's not reflective of the current time.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • loveforall

      OK, So Live, are you gay?

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

      God, there are no hipwaders high enough to deal with this level of bullshit.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • sam stone

      L4H: Do you consider people marrying those to whom they are not attracted to be a "responsible" thing to do for families and for society?

      March 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Akira

      1) They want a newly defined tax break for being in a relationship with no intention of having children.

      This already exists for man/woman married couples.

      "Then they shouldn't change that."

      Based upon civil laws, if that is what you are going by, slavery would still be legal. After all, they had to change a whole amendment for that.

      What you mean by newly-defined means changing the language of the tax code? That's your special privilege? How does this take away from anybody already enjoying that privilege? It doesn't.

      Sorry. Gay people are not trying to change anything. They are not asking for special privileges.
      The want the same exact rights afforded to every citizen in the united States, regardless of gender preference.
      Your claims are baseless, and built upon nothing more than your own personal biases.

      Be honest enough with yourself to admit that.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • ME II

      @hawaiiguest,
      The report is on the CDC site (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad323.pdf) and uses the CDC logo on the report and it is from 2001. I haven't read it completely, so don't know if @Live4Him quotes it correctly, but your issue with the report as a source seems weak to me.

      However, I think @Live4Him was incorrect when addressing all marriages when the quote used only pertains to "first" marriages.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Akira

      Sam, isn't it the biggest pile of self-justified self-righteous bullshit you've ever seen? This is nearly as silly as the UPC codes being the mark of the beast.
      I cannot fathom why anyone's marriage would be anyone else's business...no one cares if L4H is married or not, what they do in the bedroom, or what ridiculous tax status they check on their W-2...yeesh.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • ME II

      P.S.
      I must add that I think using "stability" as a reason to deny someone rights is completely bogus, even if it were supported by evidence, which has not been shown.
      If "stability" were a criteria, then one could argue against interracial marriages, marriage under 25 or 30 years old, interfaith marriages, or just outlaw divorce altogether.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • sam

      @Akira – it's pitiful, it's the last frantic gasp of a losing argument.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      I think loveforall is onto something. Perhaps L4H is an old bitter closet queen

      March 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • ..

      How is asking to be included in a tax code, one marriage equality is granted, asking for special privileges? Would it make you feel better to implement a gay marriage tax, Live4Him? Who would be asking for special privileges THEN?? Bigot much?

      March 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @ME II

      From the site you provided (thanks BTW)

      "The life- table estimates are based on a nationally representative
      sample of women 15–44 years of age in the United States in 1995 from the
      National Survey of Family Growth, Cycle 5."

      The CDC did not compile the data. They merely took the data from a 6 year old survey in 2001. So those numbers are actually more than 15 years old. So that survey is the actual source. I'm wondering why in the world the CDC would bother to compile a 6 year old survey. That really makes no sense to me.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • ME II

      @hawaiiguest,
      "I'm wondering why in the world the CDC would bother to compile a 6 year old survey."

      Good question.

      March 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @L4H,

      @Saraswati : Please explain what these "special" rights are because I honestly have no idea.

      @L4H: "1) They want a newly defined tax break for being in a relationship with no intention of having children."

      We already have a tax break for heterose’xual couples (including the elderly) with no intention of having children (I know several) so no difference.

      @L4H: "2) They want to deny heterose’xual couples in similar relationships (i.e. "open-relationship without children") these same benefits."

      What the heck is an "open relationship" in this context? And if you just mean married hetero couples without kids, who the heck has said those "special rights" they now get (that I am my spouse do not) should be removed? I'm willing to bet I know a heck of a lot more gay and lesbian couples than you do and I can tell you the answer is no one. We just want the same rights that the heterose’xuals already have as special rights.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @L4H,

      You answered one of my questions but it looks like you missed this one:

      An elderly couple, one from the US, on from Ja'pan meet while both on holiday in London. If opposite se'x they can live together in the US, if same se'x they cannot ever live together (no longer working so no work visa possible and they will obviously have no kids). That's good with you too?

      Question for you L4H: A couple chooses not to have children (or can't) and the man dies leaving his wife 10 million. She pays nothing in taxes and keeps it all. I die and leave my partner the same amount and pay about 2 million in taxes (best case scenario). This is good with you?

      March 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      March 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
  4. Christian Heaven: Eternal elevator muzak and endless ass-kissing of the boss

    Religion is going to lose at SCOTUS. The only question is how badly.

    March 27, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • PaulH

      Wrong, everyone knows that heaven is a place of eternal bliss. Like a non-stop LSD trip.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Which God?

      Well, when you decide to trip the light fandangle, you better hope it is a good trip, and not one that can send you off the wrong way.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  5. Fundies Gone Wild! They are panicking!

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

    = = = = = =

    March 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm |

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

      March 27, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  6. Everyone will be disappointed.

    Well, once again the Supreme Court justices went waffley on their comments. Expect Prop 8 to be turned aside without comment, which makes gay marriage legal in California but does not address the issue nationally, and they will

    Expect wimpy narrow rulings that leave it a state-by-state mess. It will be tepid progress for the gay community, but nobody is going to be happy with the rulings. They will not take a clear stand.

    I wonder how the justices are able to walk around without spines?

    March 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • ME II

      One person's "spine" is another's "activism".

      March 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Everyone will be disappointed

      So the Equal Protections Clause is activism to you? Forcing every state to deal with the years-long Supreme Court process on the same issue makes sense to you?

      March 27, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • .

      Dropping it isn't an option for the people involved in the civil rights fight.
      Should Loving been dropped? The "separate but equal" debacle? Etc. Etc.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • ME II

      "So the Equal Protections Clause is activism to you? "

      I was just making an observation on how different people view things. I was not claiming that it would be activism, just that some would see it that way.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think that is what Justice Kennedy was alluding to in his "new territory" comment. That it is a bit beyond the scope of the SCOTUS to make definitive judgments at this point.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Or was that Alito?

      March 27, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon.
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. So you have not commented on the media coverage of Franky as opposed to media coverage of the crimes of the church, no opinion?

      March 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Dr. Gonzo III

      It's beyond the scope of the Supreme Court to make definitive decisions? You are unclear on the whole Supreme Court concept. That's their job.

      And saying "not quite yet" is ridiculous: it is Constitutional, or it isn't. Saying that timing somehow plays into it is a dereliction of duty.

      Based on what they actually said, here is what will be announced in June: DOMA is dead. Prop 8 is also, but the decision to allow gay marriage will remain with the states – they will only decide California in particular and not all the other bans, even though they violate the Equal Protections clause as well.

      But gay marriage in all states is inevitable. The Supreme Court just doesn't have the cajones to rule as they should.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  7. loveforall

    If you don't like the concept of gay marriage, then don't YOU go and marry someone of your same gender. What other people want to do is not your problem. As long as both parties are consenting adults, just stay out of it.

    Why is that people are arguing that everything started with the bible? There's a reason we have the term B.C. it refers to the huge amount of time that occured before Jesus. And yeah, people got married back then.

    As far as the "people would have called them on their lies" comment; people to this day are still constantly lying about Jesus and no one in the Vatican is going around fixing these lies.

    Lie #1: He wasn't some chestnut haired white guy. He was born in the middle east, so guess what kids, he's brown. Yet ALL the pictures for the past 2000 years depict him as a white boy.

    Lie #2: We celebrate his birthday in Decemeber, why? From what I am told, dude was born in the Spring.

    Not all people are Christians and there for should not be subjected to the Christian by laws.

    PS, doesn't the Bible also say love thy neighbor. I'm assuming that includes gay neighbors because the bible doesn't seem to specify.

    March 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      If you don't like gay marriage, don't have one
      If you don't like abortion don't get one
      If you don't like guns, don't buy one
      If you don't like someone, don't hire them

      Not sure you thought it through

      March 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Salero21

      Shut up, Bill, you simpering apologist puss

      March 27, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. If you don't like someone, don't hire them. Billy if you do not like someone because of their gender, race, religion or s8xual preference and you deny them employment is that not bigotry, Billy? Love thy neighbour and all, turn the other cheek Billy, you know you have to forgive me.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  8. Bill

    I have a pretty simple litmus test for the g a y marriage debate.

    I'll just take the opposite side of the argument that Islam has and be comfortable in my choice.

    March 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  9. Rocket

    The liberals are out to screw up American families. That's ok little Johnny grew up with no father figure because he was raised by lesbians. Or, little Suzy grew up with no motherly figure because she was raised by two gay guys.

    March 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Akira

      Um, no. Try again. If you do not think that there are conservative gay people who wish to wed, you aren't really thinking.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • WASP

      @rocket: i seriously doubt we could screw up "american families" any worse than the christians have already.
      1) absent fathers/mothers
      2) abandoned children found in dumpsters, garbage bins, high school locker rooms, subway platforms, the list goes on and on
      3) years of psychology bills due to abuse from christian "parents"
      4) more years of psychology bills from watching "daddy" beat mommy..................or vice verse.
      5) fear of torment or neglect due to being different or not conforming to "parents" ideals of how they should be. i.e. gay
      6) just plain old neglect from emotionally stunted christian parents

      i think 6 points is enough to show how great the american christian family is............ 🙂

      March 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • You must shop at Bigots R Us

      Hysterical much?

      March 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      American families have no trouble screwing themselves up. Doesn't matter what $exual prefernce the people involved are. The evidence actually shows that same $ex couples have a lower dicorce rate and there is no damage to children due to their same $ex relationships. Rocket you are just wrong.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Tim

      Better to grow up with no father figure at all than to have a bad one thanks to some stupid concept that a marriage, even a very abusive one, should never be terminated.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Bill

      I'd rather of had two women as parents than you and anyone.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • pksm112

      Wasn't there a time when it was illegal in America for a black & white person to get married? For a coloured person to sit or travel in the same bus as a white person? I can list various discriminating and prejudice situations that were implemented as the"LAW". Since these "laws" didn't come from the bible and they were implemented anyway (based on ignorance and prejudism), what does 2 happy, loving people who wants to get married has anything to do with the Bible? It's funny how we can pull GOD and the good book ONLY when it suits our selfish needs 🙂

      March 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  10. End Religion

    How did you loons lose even Bill O'Reilly on this debate?
    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/27/oreilly-blasts-same-%5Binsert 's']ex-marriage-critics/

    March 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • PaulH

      Bill's not against the Bible thumpers, he's just saying that they will lose the debate because all they can bring are worn out Bible quotes.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  11. Vic

    Where the concept of Marriage came from:

    Genesis 2:18
    "18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”"

    Genesis 2:21-24
    "21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said,

    “This is now bone of my bones,
    And flesh of my flesh;
    She shall be called Woman,
    Because she was taken out of Man.”

    24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh."

    It skips people that the concept of Marriage was passed on to us by Adam & Eve throughout generations!

    Scripture Is From The New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    http://www.biblegateway.com

    March 27, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • HotAirAce

      So, nobody ever, any where, got married before marriage was mentioned in The Babble?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Akira

      Marriage pre-dates the Bible, and pre-dates the OT. Try again.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • BRC

      I'm with Ace, your explanation seems to ignore the fact that we know people were getting married before the bible was written, in time perdiods earlier than the bible accounts for, and in places on earth that the bible didn't even acknowledge as existing... so how could it possibly be the origin of marriage?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Abraham

      How many wives did Solomon have again?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Gave Them Up : The oral history went all the way to the beginning, simpleton. Moses wasn't there at the beginning.

      Moses compiled Genesis from existing tablets, rather than using oral traditions. These tablets can be seen by the breaks of "This is the account of ..." throughout Genesis.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • End Religion

      bethany, try to construct your sentences in a way that makes sense so people can respond. You know the bible is a fraud and Moses didn't exist, right?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Vic

      I can't believe people are missing this!!

      I said:

      "It skips people that the concept of Marriage was passed on to us by Adam & Eve throughout generations!"

      That means in simple terms that Adam & Eve are the ORIGIN of MARRIAGE!!!

      March 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Gave Them Up

      God is the potter. They were the clay. It was His idea.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "The oral history went all the way to the beginning, simpleton."

      You believe this based on what? The oral history itself?

      @Vic,

      I'm not familiar with the phrase "It skips people", however, were Adam and Eve ever actually married?

      March 27, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • SeilnoigileR

      Of course you just blithely gloss over the fact that 2 members of a species could never be the progenitors of billions of humans, or that in order to populate the earth, they'd have to have engaged in incest to do so. Besides, I've always thought that story sounds more like an alien abduction than something 'divine'. Also, where's the term 'marriage' mentioned? Why were all the men polygamists in the OT? Fail, fail, fail.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Vic

      The word "Marriage" was coined in languages to describe joining "a Man and a Woman" for the PURPOSE of PROCREATION!!!

      March 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Bill

      "That means in simple terms that Adam & Eve are the ORIGIN of MARRIAGE!!!"

      Except that Adam and Eve were never married.

      Oh, and marriage has been around in asian, african and native american cultures for thousands of years before moses, the OT, or any other judeo christian nonsense.

      Fail

      March 27, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " The word "Marriage" was coined in languages to describe joining "a Man and a Woman" for the PURPOSE of PROCREATION!!! "
      Vic, may we assume then that you oppose heterose-xual marriages that are unable to produce offspring ?

      March 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      vic
      You are flat out wrong. Marriage has been around far longer than your bible. In this country, many native american tribes have been accepting same $ex couples and marrying them as well...this has been happening ifor thousands of years.
      also, by your flawed thinking, no one can be married if the don't know the bible, and that is just silly.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Vic

      Before Medical Science people could not know about Sterility beforehand, plus it come with the territory! The word "Marriage" was coined in languages before Medical Science!

      March 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • EJR17

      Vic, marriage is not a prerequisite for procreation, as evidenced by the large amounts of babies being born out of wedlock every year.
      The procreation argument cannot be taken seriously. States do not inquire whether straight couples intend to bear children, or have the capacity to have children, before they are allowed to marry. We permit marriage by the elderly, by prison inmates, and by persons who have no intention of having children.
      There simply is no reason not to allow gay couples the equal rights they deserve under the 14th. No reason not to allow them to be legally wed.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Tim

      Vic
      "Marriage" was invented to establish ownership over women in societies where compet.ition over females often caused strife.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Vic

      Before Medical Science people could not know about Sterility beforehand, plus it comes with the territory!

      The word "Marriage" was coined in languages before Medical Science! And, actually, it is "testimonial" for that the word "Marriage" is in fact for H e t e r o s e x u a l i t y!!!

      March 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Vic, your reply in no way addressed the question that was asked.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Vic
      You do not know what you are talking about, so what you are doing is a lie of ignorance. Please get some education before posting things that are flat out untrue.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Vic

      Before Medical Science people could not know about Sterility beforehand, plus it comes with the territory!

      The word "Marriage" was coined in languages before Medical Science! And, actually, it is "testimonial" for that the word "Marriage" is in fact for H e t e r o s e x u a l i t y!!!

      From the above, I conclude that the word "Marriage" is for H E T E R O S E X U A L couples even if they are sterile!

      March 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • ME II

      @Vic,
      "And, actually, it is "testimonial" for that the word "Marriage" is in fact for H e t e r o s e x u a l i t y!!!"

      I don't understand what this means. Please, explain how you are using "testimonial" and how that relates to heteros.exuality.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      vic
      a dose of reality

      Gay marriage is rare in history—but not unknown. The Roman emperor Nero, who ruled from A.D. 54 to 68, twice married men in formal wedding ceremonies, and forced the Imperial Court to treat them as his wives. In second- and third-century Rome, ho0m0$exual weddings became common enough that it worried the social commentator Juvenal, says Marilyn Yalom in A History of the Wife. “Look—a man of family and fortune—being wed to a man!” Juvenal wrote. “Such things, before we’re very much older, will be done in public.” He mocked such unions, saying that male “brides” would never be able to “hold their husbands by having a baby.” The Romans outlawed formal h0m0$exual unions in the year 342. But Yale history professor John Boswell says he’s found scattered evidence of h0m0$exual unions after that time, including some that were recognized by Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches. In one 13th-century Greek Orthodox ceremony, the “Order for Solemnisation of Same $ex Union,” the celebrant asked God to grant the participants “grace to love one another and to abide unhated and not a cause of scandal all the days of their lives, with the help of the Holy Mother of God and all thy saints.”

      furthermore, marriage wasn't even formally addressed by the catholic church until the 1500's

      As the Roman Catholic Church became a powerful inst!tution in Europe, the blessings of a priest became a necessary step for a marriage to be legally recognized. By the eighth century, marriage was widely accepted in the Catholic church as a sacrament, or a ceremony to bestow God’s grace. At the Council of Trent in 1563, the sacramental nature of marriage was written into canon law.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Akira

      I am the simpleton, GTU?
      How many times do you have to be told your Bible has zero to do with the secular laws of the United States?
      You just don't get it, do you?
      Your Bible will not be codified into the laws in the US, no matter how much your blood pressure rises at the thought of gay people getting married.

      Tell me this, GTU: how does gay marriage infringe on your religious liberty, and how does it impact your daily existence?
      Instead of name-calling, answer that, please.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Vic

      [

      Before Medical Science people could not know about Sterility beforehand, plus it comes with the territory!

      The word "Marriage" was coined in languages before Medical Science! And, actually, it is "testimonial" for that the word "Marriage" is in fact for H e t e r o s e x u a l i t y!!!

      From the above, I conclude that the word "Marriage" is for H E T E R O S E X U A L couples even if they are sterile!

      ]

      Well, since the word "Marriage" was coined in languages for the PURPOSE of PROCREATION, it is AUTOMATICALLY for H E T E R O S E X U A L couples!!!

      March 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Akira

      Vic, you may certainly read into your Bible definition you care to.
      The fact remains, the Bible is not the authority on marriage, it's just YOUR authority.
      It remains irrelevant to the laws of the United States.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Vic: Your argument is weak. First you are using the bible and given that the bible can't be used in the making of any laws, it is a moot point. Second, Not every couple that marries can have children and not every couple that gets married wishes to have children. Menopausal woman can't have children...should they be denied the right to marry??
      Given that there is no evidence supporting that Adam and Eve ever existed, that point is also moot.
      Given that the church does not issue a marriage license and the state does, the definition of marriage does not fall on the biblical side at all.
      In the grand scheme of it, it doesn't matter. It is a secular country and everyone deserves equal rights and to be happy.
      I would like to know how a gay couple getting married directly affects you...are you going to have to pay their way in this world? Are you going to be forced to support their children? If all you have to back your argument for marriage being between a man and a woman is your belief, then your stance fails. So set aside your belief for a brief moment and give a personal reason.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • TC

      Um, marriage was happening long before the Bible was written.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • BRC

      Vic,
      Nothing I have ever seen or heard of says that marraige was originally tied to procreation. All definitions I have ever seen deal with resources adn property ownership. Can you provide a source that actually says "marriage was originally defined for procreation"? Woth noting that the bible doesn't say those exact words either.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Live4Him : [The oral history went all the way to the beginning, simpleton.]
      @ME II : You believe this based on what? The oral history itself?

      Re read my post. I was quoting 'Gave Them Up'. You should know I wouldn't disparage others so blatantly.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Vic

      The United States of America was FOUNDED by FAITH/BELIEF in the Almighty High, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior!!!

      !!!God Bless The United States of America!!!

      March 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Vic: No, you're quite wrong. It is a Secular country and it makes this abundantly clear in the Constitution....thus the reason for separation of church and state; freedom of and from religion. Nothing from the bible is mentioned within the Constitution...no mention of god, of jesus, of heaven or hell. Most of the founding fathers were deist and not christian.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Vic

      The United States of America was FOUNDED on/by FAITH/BELIEF (NOT RELIGION/LAW) in the Almighty High, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior!!!

      !!!God Bless The United States of America!!!

      March 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "I was quoting 'Gave Them Up'."

      My apologies, I don't know how I missed that. Please disregard that comment.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • PaulH

      Vic
      The USA was founded on a lot of things, including taking land away from indians and slavery. Thankfully, we've evolved a lot since then, eh?

      March 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Vic: Once again you are wrong. If it was founded on christian belief, there would not be the need for separation of church and state. Rather sad when you don't know a damn thing about your own founding fathers or what they intended for the country...are you sure you're even a true American?

      March 27, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • ME II

      Vic
      "The United States of America was FOUNDED on/by FAITH/BELIEF (NOT RELIGION/LAW) in the Almighty High, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior!!!"

      The founding docu.ment of the USA, the Consti.tution, begins with the words:

      We the people...

      March 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Tim

      Gave Them Up
      "No, the father had paid the bills in bringing the girl to adulthood..."
      How's anything you said any different than getting a puppy, for instance? Somebody pays the bills for a puppy until it's ready to be adopted out. If the new owner ends up not liking the puppy they can be returned, or sent to a shelter. Wives were a commodity, and marriage was a legal means of making the sale and establishing the legal rights of resulting children.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:18 am |
  12. Doc Vestibule

    @Nancy
    Ancient Greece, most assuredly not a Christian culture, deemed marriage so important that they considered making it compulsory and in fact excluded bachelors from many important positions. Unamarried adults were treated as second class citizens. Despite the fact that Spartan warriors were actively encouraged to engage in ho/mose/xuality, they were required to marry and produce offspring.

    Ancient Rome had multiple forms of marriage – the simplest of which we would call "common-law" today. If a couple co-habitated for a year, they were considered married, no ceremony, papers or clergy required. If a couple so chose, they could have a formal ceremony (marriage by coemptio) with witnesses, clergy etc.
    Note that neither Greeks nor Romans had any issues with ho/mose/xuality.

    March 27, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • midwest rail

      Christians never raised the spectre of "government in the marriage business" til marriage equality became an issue. They happily applied for marriage licenses, and followed all the rules secure in the knowledge that only str8 folks could even apply for said license. Now that the possibility exists that their status quo may change, suddenly they want government out. What a shock.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Akira

      @midwest rail: noticed that too, have you?
      Yes, of COURSE they want to government to bow out; that way, religion gets to decide who to discriminate against, which is wholly why it will never happen.
      Somebody has to protect religions from hiding their bigotry behind a Bible.

      GTU: pssst: your misogyny and bigotry is showing. Might want to put them away, or even better, give them up.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Akira

      GTU: sorry, but this is a secular nation, and the laws reflect that.
      Cry and lament, weep and gnash your teeth all you wish; that's not going to change.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Doc Vestibule : Note that neither Greeks nor Romans had any issues with ho/mose/xuality.

      This is not accurate. Homosexuality was considered a crime in first century Rome. It was looked down upon in both Ancient (prior to Christ) Rome and Greek societies when the both members of the relationship were adults, and as such it was very rare. However, it was considered "respectable" when one of the partners was a male between the ages of 12-17 and the other was an adult (i.e. ephebic love). Are you advocating such a relationship now?

      Indecency (the passive relationship with another man) is a crime for a free man (Seneca, Controversiae, 4 praef. 10)

      March 27, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • midwest rail

      " Christians are quite aware of a suicidal secular culture. " Given the rates of divorce, adultery, and abortion, it would appear that they are not only aware, but revel in it quite successfully on their own.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • .

      GTU, this country has been secular from the start. Time you realized that and moved on.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      While an older male being the recipient in a ho/mo relationship was subject to ridicule, hom.ose.xuality was not restricted to pederasty in ancient Greece. We k now this from ancient texts, vases and other artwork.
      The poet Theognis, for example, complains about his lover's fickleness and promiscuity.
      We have unearthed vases that show young men with an erect pe.nis. Even when he pretends to shy away, he does not protest and does not obstruct his lover's attempt to court him.
      It also appears that the difference in age did not really matter. Not youth, but beauty was important.
      There are many pictures of boys courting boys, boys playing se.xual games, and adult men having intercourse.
      In Athens, the port of Piraeus and the cemeteries outside the city seem to have been popular "cruising areas" where men picked up other men.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  13. Topher

    "He (Jesus) answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh."

    March 27, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Prove what you posted actually happened.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Topher

      Eyewitnesses. LOTS of them.

      Now, show it didn't happen.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • clarity

      Prove there were eyewitnesses.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Topher. Same old nonsense. What eyewitnesses. Do you have their names and sworn testimony? Can we verify their credibility?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • ..

      And this still has nothing to do with marriage in a secular society. None. Zero. Zippo. Nada. Nyet.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • myweightinwords

      This country's laws are not based on what some person who may or may not have lived 2000 years ago in the Middle East may or may not have said.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Your response is clearly inadequate due to lack of precision and specificity.

      You made the claim, the onus is on you to defend it, but I will play your game. . .

      The true origin of The Babble is unknown and the supernatural events in it have never been proven therefore it should be considered a work of fiction. In addition, the Smithsonian has determined that The Babble is not a historical doc.ument.

      In summary, while there may be the occasional historical fact in The Babble, such as place names, most of The Babble, especially the alleged conversations, should not be taken literally.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      Who cares if it happened or not? The babbling of some delusional carpenter who supposedly lived 2000 years ago carry no weight whatsoever.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Topher

      Names are in the Bible. We have authors who were eyewitnesses writing the books during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. If the authors had lied or even stretched the truth, those second group of eyewitnesses would have called them on it. Automatic baloney detector.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Topher

      myweightinwords

      If Jesus was God as He claimed, nothing matters more.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • HotAirAce

      So primary and secondary eyewitnesses are always 100% reliable? What about tertiary and beyond – exactly where does the "telephone game" break down?

      Topher, you have no factual basis for your beliefs and cannot escape from the cult you are in. You are mentally ill and need help.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Topher,

      That is a very big IF, not to mention the IFs that it presumes. But even if it were proven true, it also remains true that our country's laws are NOT based on anything he supposedly said.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Huge "if" Topher! No one, and especially not you, has even come close to making a case for a divine jesus, or even reducing much doubt. In fact, your unwavering, unthinking devotion to the divine jesus myth is a great argument against.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Topher

      myweightinwords

      So if you KNEW Jesus Christ is God and KNEW He did say these things ... how would you vote on gay marriage?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • HotAirAce

      How do you KNOW these things?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Topher

      HotAirAce

      How does my "unwavering" and "devotion to the divine jesus " make an argument against? I believe He's God. Of course then I'm "unwavering" and "devoted" to Him.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Douglas

      Jesus is not defining marriage in that passage. Why is your reading comprehension so bad? Oh, right. Because it's the bible and you can make it say whatever you want.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Topher

      Douglas

      He's not? Then what is He talking about?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • WASP

      @CHRIS-topher:
      please prove the following:
      1) the bible can be trusted to have been unedited for the 2000years it was in circulation.
      2) please which version of the "single god book" is the correct one; torah, bible, quran, etc etc etc
      3) where can i find "proof" outside the bible that these "authurs" were truly doing as "god" said and not what their leaders wanted them to say?
      4) please explain why he bible was written nearly 300 years after "jesus" was dead.
      5) please explain how you "seem" to know more than people that spent years studying biblical history while you were pooping your diaper?
      6) please prove how adam and eve had cain and able, then cain killed able; thus three humans, now prove how three humans could make a population that would be genetically viable?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • DamianKnight

      HotAirAce,

      To play the Devil's advocate, what evidence do you want? These are events that took place where there were no cell phones, video tapes, etc. Most people were illiterate, and most assuredly most of the people that Jesus hung out with were. The only ones who were really literate were those of a certain profession (i.e. Luke was a doctor, Matthew was a tax collector, the high priests and the Roman government, etc)

      Now, the high priests obviously had a problem with Jesus. They were the ones that brought him before the Roman government to be executed. They called him a blasphemer. Of course, they're not writing long, detailed accounts of him.

      The Romans just viewed him as someone who was stirring up trouble. He was just another criminal to them. They didn't write detailed accounts about him either.

      All we have are witness accounts and what they wrote. I work in the business of auto insurance. If I have a witness whose testimony is disfavorable, I have to prove that their testimony isn't valid. For instance, "From where you say you were standing, there is no way you could have seen that driver X was texting while driving. Therefore, I am going to discredit that testimony."

      So, the onus falls on those who disbelieve the witness testimony. Why do you discredit their statements? Simply because what is claimed was supernatural? The disbelief in the supernatural is as powerful as the belief in the supernatural.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Topher: Those apparent eye witness claims would mean that the bible is not the word of god...so which is it?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      March 27, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • HotAirAce

      DK, there are plenty of historical events from and prior to the jesus era that are much better duc.mented than those claimed in The Babble. Other than The Babble, there is nothing to support a divine jesus. Your modern day example fails because you are not relying purely on stories. You are using your understanding of physics (sight lines) to discredit a claim about a recent event.

      Nothing short of a verifiable personal visitation and miracle will convince me of a divine being.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      DK,

      "The disbelief in the supernatural is as powerful as the belief in the supernatural."

      But our experience does not include supernatural. There has been no evidence of the supernatural. Only in fiction do we see it. In your insurance claim analogy it would like the witnesses saying that the car grew legs and ran away. You wouldn't find that testimony credible.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Here's the problem. If jesus really did what was written about him, there would have been more detailed accounts of him from the disbelievers than we currently have. It would be different if jesus was only a prophet claiming to know gods will, that's something that religious leaders would brush aside and the romans would call foolishness, but if Jesus could really walk on water, turn water into wine, get ressurected, etc.... you better believe that even the most cynical would at least have written something more than what the Romans basically did write, which didn't directly relate to jesus, but the followers of him.

      Yeah, back in those times, verifying claims was way more difficult without our current technology, but this was supposed to transcend those limitations.

      It may be unreasonable of an atheist to expect someone to prove jesus's actions more than any other ancient person, but none of them were ascribed to have the powers that jesus did. The extraordinary claim demands to have just has extraordinary evidence.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Paul

      Eye witness testimony is fairly unreliable.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Topher

      WASP

      Dude, you can call me Christopher if you want to.

      "1) the bible can be trusted to have been unedited for the 2000years it was in circulation."

      Depends on what you consider "unedited." Because we have early copies of the texts, we know that what we have no is what they had then. Now, were there some changes? Yes. But it's stuff like breaking some books into two, adding chapter and verse numbers. And of course there's misspellings and other copy errors. But again, since we have those early copies, we know what they are.

      "2) please which version of the "single god book" is the correct one; torah, bible, quran, etc etc etc"

      The Bible.

      "3) where can i find "proof" outside the bible that these "authurs" were truly doing as "god" said and not what their leaders wanted them to say?"

      Because if they knew it was a lie, they wouldn't have went to their deaths over it.

      "4) please explain why he bible was written nearly 300 years after "jesus" was dead."

      It wasn't. It was compiled into one volume that long after, but we know all of the books were written and being circulated within 60 years of Jesus' death.

      "5) please explain how you "seem" to know more than people that spent years studying biblical history while you were pooping your diaper?"

      I don't believe I've ever said that.

      "6) please prove how adam and eve had cain and able, then cain killed able; thus three humans, now prove how three humans could make a population that would be genetically viable?"

      "The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters." Genesis 5:4

      When you live that long, it's safe to say Adam had LOTS of children beside the three named in the Bible.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Topher

      Truth Prevails 🙂

      "Those apparent eye witness claims would mean that the bible is not the word of god...so which is it?"

      How?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Topher, I would vote for equality. Always. Every time.

      Why?

      Because it is right. Which means, yes, even if you could prove your god and your Jesus and everything you believe, I would still think it is wrong to deny anyone equal rights, I would still think it was wrong to punish anyone infinitely for something that they do not control or for any finite action.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Abraham

      Topher, by your reasoning here, every religious text, so long as it contains supposed eyewitness accounts, is factual.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Topher, the followers of David Koresh, those at Jonestown, and those looking for a ride on (a spaceship hiding behind) Hale Bopp all went to their deaths believing their cult's teachings. Do you agree that their beliefs are 100% true? If not, why not?

      And you are a great promoter of atheism because you so often and repeatedly start discussions about your cult and have not ever prevailed. You are a mindless, indoctrinated religious robot, apparently incapable of learning.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • DamianKnight

      @HotAir:

      "DK, there are plenty of historical events from and prior to the jesus era that are much better duc.mented than those claimed in The Babble."

      Agreed. And I have explained this. The literate people were not a fan of Jesus. They wanted him dead. Doesn't that seem, at least, a plausible reason that you do not see any other testimony? At the time of Jesus, Rome was basically the capital of the world. Christianity was considered by the Romans to be a sect of Judaism. The Jewish people were basically dogs and a people who were subjegated by the Romans. So Rome didn't really pay much attention to the Jewish people other than make sure that they were following the laws of Rome. Remember, Pilate asks the Jewish leaders why they didn't just deal with Jesus? And what did they respond? They had no authority to kill him. Pilate eventually had Jesus killed 1) Because tradition dictated they released one prisoner and 2) He didn't want a Jewish uprising. So, the two major literate groups (in the area) were the Romans and the Jewish leaders. Both sides despised Jesus and thought him of nothing more than a criminal and a heretic.

      "Other than The Babble, there is nothing to support a divine jesus. Your modern day example fails because you are not relying purely on stories. You are using your understanding of physics (sight lines) to discredit a claim about a recent event."

      Ah! But here is where the issue comes about. If I have nothing to discredit the witness' account (i.e. line of sight, physics, etc) then I have to accept their testimony. Do you have proof that the witnesses who wrote the scriptures did not, in fact, see these miracles?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Topher

      myweightinwords

      So you would reject God even if you KNEW He was who He claimed to be?

      Also, you do realize that if the God of the Bible is real, then He gets to set the moral standard? If He says gay marriage is bad, then it's bad. When He says it's better to live this way, then it is.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Topher

      Abraham

      Is there another one that makes that claim?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Topher

      HotAirAce

      "Topher, the followers of David Koresh, those at Jonestown, and those looking for a ride on (a spaceship hiding behind) Hale Bopp all went to their deaths believing their cult's teachings. Do you agree that their beliefs are 100% true? If not, why not?"

      I believe that they believed it, yes. But the fact the rest of us are still here and having this conversation proves their beliefs were wrong. So what?

      March 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Topher

      DamianKnight, HotAir

      As to your conversation, please also remember that there's at least 10 secular (though I've heard it argued 13) sources from the time that mention Jesus and what was believed about Him from the people at the time. While it doesn't prove His divinity, it certainly shows this stuff was indeed going on.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Abraham

      Topher
      Don't they all? Isn't a religious text sort of powerless without making a similar claim?

      March 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • End Religion

      "made them male and female"
      So the bible clearly states god made people as hermaphrodites. Good thing there isn't an actual eyewitness to any of it. Keep dancing, Gopher.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Topher

      Abraham

      " Don't they all? Isn't a religious text sort of powerless without making a similar claim?"

      I'd agree in that anything you say to be true is only more reliable when there are other eyewitnesses. But to the best of my knowledge, none of the other religions claim that. But I could be wrong.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      So you would reject God even if you KNEW He was who He claimed to be?

      If he is who the bible claims he is? Very much so. The god of the bible is a blood thirsty tyrant with a very twisted idea of mercy, a disgusting need for adoration, and no sense of justice.

      Also, you do realize that if the God of the Bible is real, then He gets to set the moral standard? If He says gay marriage is bad, then it's bad. When He says it's better to live this way, then it is.

      So, if you found yourself living under a dictator who outlawed bread because he said bread was bad, you would just accept that it's true and never have another sandwich?

      Arbitrary rules based in a culture that is so far removed from our own that it is inconceivable, do not and should not dictate the morality of our country.

      Why should I follow a god who, if he were a human being we would consider a serial murderer and warlord?

      I'm sorry, but I hold that any gods worthy of my time and devotion must, in every way, be BETTER than a human being. Not represent all of the worst traits of one.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Topher: If the bible is the word of god, then it is god's words being written down and therefore not the words of the people who believers claim witnessed those things.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      "Why should I follow a god who, if he were a human being we would consider a serial murderer and warlord?"

      Here's the crux of your statement. He's not a human being. He is so far removed from being a human being that you cannot apply the same standards, anymoreso than you can apply a human sense of justice to a lion in the savannah which mauls and kills a gazelle.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Who ya gonna call? Sophistbusters!

      Eyewitnesses? The Bible gives no indication at all that it is from eyewitnesses. The resurrection tales would have needed to be in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, which of course doesn't exist. And the four accounts are radically different. No, the Gospels at very best are hearsay, tales passed by mouth down person to person for decades before being written down. That explains why they are so different. Two come from the same previous source and are close, while the other two are very different.

      Show it didn't happen? You know how disingenuous and dishonest that statement is, Topher. You are well aware of the impossibility of disproving a negative, yet you go sleazy and demand it. This is why people consider you dishonest.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Damian, I can hold a higher being to being a higher being.

      Which means his behavior needs to be more moral than that of the lesser beings he is supposedly ruling over. If it isn't, if, for example, he requires blood shed for forgiveness of even the tiniest transgressions? He is not a higher being. Only a bully.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Topher

      myweightinwords

      "If he is who the bible claims he is? Very much so. The god of the bible is a blood thirsty tyrant with a very twisted idea of mercy, a disgusting need for adoration, and no sense of justice."

      There's so much wrong with this statement ... but "no sense of justice"? It's called Hell. And it's where He sends lawbreakers. A "disgusting need for adoration"? He died taking the punishment you and I deserve. How is that not the ultimate act of love? And what is wrong for expecting adoration because of it?

      "So, if you found yourself living under a dictator who outlawed bread because he said bread was bad, you would just accept that it's true and never have another sandwich?"

      We're not talking about a man-made law from a dictator/man. We're talking about God — the Creator of Heaven and Earth. And you. This isn't a logical comparison.

      "Why should I follow a god who, if he were a human being we would consider a serial murderer and warlord?"

      As creator He gives life and can take it away. It wouldn't be murder.

      "I'm sorry, but I hold that any gods worthy of my time and devotion must, in every way, be BETTER than a human being. Not represent all of the worst traits of one."

      I reject that God has ANY bad traits.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      So you're saying that since god is not human, it's perfectly acceptable for him to slaughter humans in droves for his twisted sense of justice?

      Can we blame the lion that eats the gazelle? No, do we shoot the lion that kills a human? Absolutely. We have a right to protect ourselves, so why should we worship a god, human or not, that kills us all the time for some perceived insult?

      March 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Topher

      Truth Prevails 🙂

      "Topher: If the bible is the word of god, then it is god's words being written down and therefore not the words of the people who believers claim witnessed those things."

      If it's the Word of God (thus true) and God says in that word that there were eyewitnesses, then there were indeed eyewitnesses.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles
      @Weightywords

      See, here's the problem. You are applying *human*standards to an *inhuman* being. You have to think beyond your own perceptions and your own rationales and realize that God does not adhere to your standards. He is neither obligated to or obliged to. That's one of the perks of being God.

      Chuckles, he doesn't kill you for every perceived insult or anyone else. If He did, many of the atheists who post on this board would only post once. 🙂

      March 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Oh how very circular Topher! If the words in the eyewitness accounts come from God, then the words are not the own eyewitness account. If the words are the evangelists own personal account, then the words are not God’s words. The two claims are incompatible: either all words in the Bible are from God (and there are no eyewitness accounts), or the Bible contains eyewitness accounts which are not God’s words.
      You can't use the Bible to defend the Bible.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      DK, There's no evidence that a god exists, and especially no evidence that it would be your god. So how do you know its capabilities and attributes. Only from the bible which is derived from local myth seen in the writings of earlier cultures modified to suit those in control of the religion. Christians denigrate Islam and Mormonism and yet have the same origin story as Christianity – a new flavor based upon earlier religions/beliefs.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • BRC

      @DamianKnight,
      True, if there is a "God", or even gods, they have no obligation to adhere to human rules, or our concepts of morality, humanity, and civilization. But at the same time, if they do not play by our rules, we have no reason or obligation to follow, love, or even aknowledge them. Creating a living being does not make you its owner, it makes you its creator. If a child is born to abussive parents it doesn't ahve to love and obey them for teh rest of its probably short life, in fact the child should do all that it can to excape the situation and survive. "God" supposedly gave us free will, no being with free will should choose to follow an abusive power, that is simply foolish (that would of course be based on the the bible being accurate, there could be gods out there who are perfectly fair and reasonable, care nothing about our worlds religions and just want to see the highly evolved primates live good lives and treat each other well).

      And one last point, "God" absolutely killed people for slighting him. There was a large portion of tribe that was killed in what the bible described as a fiery calamity because they came to close to the tent of the altar without his express permission; and the people that he killed in a different calamity because they didn't want to go to war and slaughter a neighboring people. I would consider both of those the act of a blood thirsty being.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Tim

      DamianKnight
      If God doesn't adhere to human standards then how do Christians know that he means the same thing as they do when it comes to "Love", for example? You might be thinking "Love, like a parent feels" and he might be thinking "Love, like a tasty hamburger".

      In short, how can Christians use God's alien quality as a defence against human understanding God's motivations and still be able to claim that they do understand him?

      March 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      The real issue I take is not understanding the "why" of it, that's immaterial. Even if I did know the "why" part of gods actions, I would still find them monstrous, he's killing too many people to not only write it off, but be told I should respect and love the thing that's doing it. If cows grew sentient enough to understand why we killed them en masse, would you expect them not to only accept it, but worship us for it?

      We also go back to applying human thinking to our plight because we're human and according to the bible, we're made that way. Why wouldn't we look at an action and anthropomorphisize it? The lion that killed that intern in the zoo a couple of weeks ago, we know the lion didn't didn't do it with malicious intent or with malaforethought, and yet we still but it down because as humans, we protect our own.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Topher,

      There's so much wrong with this statement ... but "no sense of justice"? It's called Hell. And it's where He sends lawbreakers.

      That isn't justice, Topher. Eternal suffering for the thought crime of not believing something that nothing in your life has led you to believe? For loving someone you weren't "supposed to"? That is the epitome of injustice.

      A "disgusting need for adoration"? He died taking the punishment you and I deserve. How is that not the ultimate act of love? And what is wrong for expecting adoration because of it?

      I don't deserve punishment, and if I did, I certainly don't want someone else taking it for me. I expect for my transgression to be explained, my punishment to fit the crime and the opportunity to do better next time. That is how we learn to be better people.

      So yes, desiring adoration for some lunatic system to get forgiveness for being the person I was born to be is disgusting.

      We're not talking about a man-made law from a dictator/man. We're talking about God — the Creator of Heaven and Earth. And you. This isn't a logical comparison.

      Sure it is. If the rules are arbitrary, if the punishment for breaking them is outlandish, it isn't any different. If I found myself under a human dictator who ruled that way, I would be part of the revolution to overthrow him. How much more true should that be for a god who rules this way?

      As creator He gives life and can take it away. It wouldn't be murder.

      Yes. It is. If a father kills his child, it is murder and he goes to jail. Any god worthy of any amount of adoration HAS to be better than a human being. HAS TO BE.

      I reject that God has ANY bad traits.

      Which is why you are a Christian and I am not. 🙂

      March 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      @Damian,

      See, here's the problem. You are applying *human*standards to an *inhuman* being. You have to think beyond your own perceptions and your own rationales and realize that God does not adhere to your standards. He is neither obligated to or obliged to. That's one of the perks of being God.

      I will repeat myself. Any god who is worthy of my adoration will be MORE moral than I am, not less. And yes, I am judging that based on human standards because as a human being those are the standards with which I am capable of judging.

      If I can forgive someone for committing a heinous act upon me without requiring shed blood, then any god worth asking for forgiveness can do the same for the mere thought crime of not believing in his existence.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Topher

      myweightinwords

      "That isn't justice, Topher. Eternal suffering for the thought crime of not believing something that nothing in your life has led you to believe? For loving someone you weren't "supposed to"? That is the epitome of injustice."

      Complain about the law or the punishment if you want. Because God is just, He must punish lawbreakers.

      "I don't deserve punishment, and if I did, I certainly don't want someone else taking it for me."

      You've never broken any of the 10 Commandments? Have you ever told a lie? Stolen? Used God's name as a curse word? Looked with lust? I know I'm guilty of these. In fact, I'm guilty of them all. And as for paying for your own punishment, God will certainly let you. But, as you know, it's eternal punishment.

      " I expect for my transgression to be explained, my punishment to fit the crime and the opportunity to do better next time. That is how we learn to be better people."

      That's all fine in a man-made court for a crime against a man. But what we're talking about here is crimes against God ... who has a much higher standard than man.

      "So yes, desiring adoration for some lunatic system to get forgiveness for being the person I was born to be is disgusting."

      What's lunatic about it? It's free. All you have to do is repent and trust Him. That's far better than anything man offers.

      "Sure it is. If the rules are arbitrary, if the punishment for breaking them is outlandish, it isn't any different. If I found myself under a human dictator who ruled that way, I would be part of the revolution to overthrow him. How much more true should that be for a god who rules this way?"

      So you want to overthrow God? Wow. You realize that's exactly Satan's plan? You sure you want to align with him?

      March 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Santa:

      "DK, There's no evidence that a god exists, and especially no evidence that it would be your god." Correction. There is no evidence that you accept as valid.

      "So how do you know its capabilities and attributes. Only from the bible which is derived from local myth seen in the writings of earlier cultures modified to suit those in control of the religion." I use the Bible as a means to tell me about God's character of just and righteousness, not human righteousness and justice, but His. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. But I do not believe that I am and thus, the essence of faith. If you are looking to see God under a microscope, well you are going to be sadly disappointed. As for your discussion about the origin story by Islam and Mormonism, there's a simple explanation for both of these. Mormonism is based on Christianity, and as far as I know, it's a different sect with some different belief than standardized Christianity, but I am willing to admit, I am woefully ignorant to the beliefs of Mormonism so cannot really comment. As for Islam, Abraham had two sons Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael was banished from the tribe and the followers of Islam are decendants of him. Hence the reason that Islam, Judaism and Christianity share similar stories.

      @BRC

      "True, if there is a "God", or even gods, they have no obligation to adhere to human rules, or our concepts of morality, humanity, and civilization. But at the same time, if they do not play by our rules, we have no reason or obligation to follow, love, or even aknowledge them. Creating a living being does not make you its owner, it makes you its creator. If a child is born to abussive parents it doesn't ahve to love and obey them for teh rest of its probably short life, in fact the child should do all that it can to excape the situation and survive. "God" supposedly gave us free will, no being with free will should choose to follow an abusive power, that is simply foolish (that would of course be based on the the bible being accurate, there could be gods out there who are perfectly fair and reasonable, care nothing about our worlds religions and just want to see the highly evolved primates live good lives and treat each other well)."

      You are pretty much correct in all of this except in your perception. You do have the free will to deny God. This comes down to obedience through trust. You can apply your own standards to God all you like, but as we have both agreed, He is under no obligation to live up to them. The question essentially comes down to, do you trust God? The answer is a simple yes or no. If the answer is yes, you are content that He knows what He is doing and His ways are just and righteous. If you do not, then you have no obligation to follow him. There are consequences to either decision and as long as every person is content to accept those consequences, then all is fine.

      As to your comment about God striking down people who disobeyed Him, yes, He did when they were living under the Law. But since the coming of Christ, His grace abounds. We are justified through Christ which causes God to withhold His judgment. And God extends that grace to unbelievers as well in hopes they will turn back to Him.

      If God doesn't adhere to human standards then how do Christians know that he means the same thing as they do when it comes to "Love", for example? – Because Jesus demonstrated it.

      "The real issue I take is not understanding the "why" of it, that's immaterial. Even if I did know the "why" part of gods actions, I would still find them monstrous, he's killing too many people to not only write it off, but be told I should respect and love the thing that's doing it. If cows grew sentient enough to understand why we killed them en masse, would you expect them not to only accept it, but worship us for it?" – Once again, Chuckles, you apply a human standard to Him. *You* find them monstrous, but do you know the whole story? Do you know everything God does? Are you capable of being as just as He is? Or are you re-acting from the perspective of someone viewing the incident from a thousand years later?

      "We also go back to applying human thinking to our plight because we're human and according to the bible, we're made that way." – to an extent, yes. That's where the trust in God is paramount. Does He know what He's doing or do you know better than Him? That's the question you need to ask.

      "Why wouldn't we look at an action and anthropomorphisize it? The lion that killed that intern in the zoo a couple of weeks ago, we know the lion didn't didn't do it with malicious intent or with malaforethought, and yet we still but it down because as humans, we protect our own." – I'm not sure how to respond to this. I don't understand what you are alluding to. Are you referring to rebelling against God because you don't agree with his actions?

      March 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • PaulH

      Eyewitness testimony is also the main evidence for Bigfoot, alien abduction, elves, and even Santa. What you have in the Bible aren't even eyewitness accounts, but stories of eyewitness accounts. Mere hearsay, nothing more.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Excellent point Paul, but they can't see the similarity. If they look and really see it, the whole house of cards falls.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "Complain about the law or the punishment if you want. Because God is just, He must punish lawbreakers."

      Is the law 'just' because it God says so or is it law because it is 'just'.
      If the former, then it is arbitrary and hardly a reason to follow it?
      If the latter, then why appeal to God, it is 'just' or not by itself?

      March 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      "Once again, Chuckles, you apply a human standard to Him. *You* find them monstrous, but do you know the whole story? Do you know everything God does? Are you capable of being as just as He is? Or are you re-acting from the perspective of someone viewing the incident from a thousand years later?"
      - I can only react to the facts presented before me. If someone keeps telling me they're loving but keeps committing acts that are against the definition of love, I can't just as.sume there's more to the story and keep believing the person who is supposedly loving. In terms of being able to be as "just" as god. That's a loaded question. No I cannot, but I am also in no position to dole out justice the way god can. If I was ascribed limitless powers, then it might be a different story. As for my reaction, there's no other to react. I can attempt to put myself in a persons shoes 5000 years ago but I wouldn't know where to begin. Here's the problem though, if god's message is supposed to stand for all time, then his actions should be justifiable regardless of the time period right? If god has the wherewithall to know what will happen in the future, to craft a perfect message of love and compassion, then annihilating entire communities for the sake of vanity seems like a complete mis-step. Sure I can't understand this god's mind, but judging by the action alone why the heck should I love a being that kills to solve a problem instead of using the enourmous powers at his disposal to think of a different way?

      "to an extent, yes. That's where the trust in God is paramount. Does He know what He's doing or do you know better than Him? That's the question you need to ask."
      –That's the problem, how can I trust a god who's proven to be untrustworthy? Not only does he supposedly preach love and then do the opposite, what about the trials of Job? A man who trusted god gets tossed into a bet with satan and goes through misery just so god can gloat? Furthermore we now live in a world where there is so much death and misery that god, with his crazy powers, could fix and chooses not to. Why should I trust such an impotent or unwilling god?

      "I'm not sure how to respond to this. I don't understand what you are alluding to. Are you referring to rebelling against God because you don't agree with his actions?"
      –Sorry if my last part was muddled. First, to rebel against something I think the other side has to exist. I'm not choosing to "rebel" at all. Second, what I was saying was regardless of the lion's intention of killing the intern at the zoo, we killed the lion. If the time comes for a choice to choose another being over my own kind, I'll choose humanity every time. It's in my DNA. If a god is going around killing masses of people, I choose to defend the people rather than hope the god has a plan, is doing it out of love and blaming the numerous people on assumed actions.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • BRC

      @DamianKnight,
      Agree, it's all a matter of what a person is willing to trust, or take on faith. as long as we let one another believe our own things, I've got no issues .

      @Topher,
      An interesting take on what you like to say, that Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins. Even if I did believe the Bible was true, he really didn't pay the ultimate price, because he didn't pay the price that we pay. He returned to Heaven (and being "God"). So, if before Jesus came along, a human committed a sin, they went to hel (unless they appeased "God" with a sacrifice). Jesus came and went, and now, if a human commits a sin, they go to hel (unless they repent and thank Jesus for dying). No big difference there. As for Jesus, he came to earth as a human, supposedly died for our sins, then returns to rule in eternal paradise. How exactly is sacrificing anything for humans? He didn't even have to live out a full human life, he just had to spend 30 years walking around having divine powers and a mass of followers. Then he dies, un-dies, and goes to heaven? How exactly is that something that we should be grateful for? If it was truly intended to be a sacrifice to take on all mans sin, then in theory Jesus, that portion of "God" that he sent to Earth to be a representative of himself, would be in Hel.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Topher

      ME II

      I'm sure you won't be surprised when I say I think it is both.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      "If He says gay marriage is bad, then it's bad. When He says it's better to live this way, then it is."
      Congratulations, you believe in subjective morality.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher
      "I'm sure you won't be surprised when I say I think it is both."

      True, I'm not surprised, even though that seems logically impossible.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Complain about the law or the punishment if you want. Because God is just, He must punish lawbreakers.

      And you call that justice? The same punishment for all supposed crimes? So you would support the death penalty for jaywalking?

      As I said, that isn't justice and any god who governs that way will not receive anything resembling adoration from me.

      You've never broken any of the 10 Commandments? Have you ever told a lie? Stolen? Used God's name as a curse word? Looked with lust?

      Why is it that any time a non-Christian points out the fact that they have done nothing worthy of eternal damnation you immediately jump to the 10 Commandments?

      1) We don't believe in your god or your book of rules.
      2) Every one of those 10 rules can be shown to have moral exceptions, except coveting
      3) Any system where any tiny transgression requires an eternity of torment as punishment fails as a system of justice.

      I know I'm guilty of these. In fact, I'm guilty of them all. And as for paying for your own punishment, God will certainly let you. But, as you know, it's eternal punishment.

      Thankfully, I'm not concerned. I live a good life. I am a moral and responsible person. I'm not sure I believe an after life exists at all, but if one does, I'm hoping for a chance to learn from any mistakes I may have made this time around and maybe possibly another chance to get it more right.

      That's all fine in a man-made court for a crime against a man. But what we're talking about here is crimes against God ... who has a much higher standard than man.

      And I maintain that if god is not better than man, he is no god.

      What's lunatic about it? It's free. All you have to do is repent and trust Him. That's far better than anything man offers.

      The entire thing is ludicrous. Blood sacrifice for forgiveness? I don't need to curry favor. Let my life speak for itself. If there is a Divine Being, yours, mine or something else entirely, will not condemn me for it. If I am condemned, I go to my punishment knowing I was a more moral person than my judge.

      So you want to overthrow God? Wow. You realize that's exactly Satan's plan? You sure you want to align with him?

      Did I say that? No. I don't believe in him, so why would I want to overthrow him? Or maybe I already did when I walked away from Christianity. My point was that the behavior demonstrated by the god of the bible is deplorable and were it to be exhibited by a man, we would certainly over throw that man. We would rise up and demand justice.

      How then, if we could not abide such behavior in a being who was our equal can we blindly accept it in a being that would be our god?

      March 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      DK, and others, you have constructed an argument for some god by stating (assuming) that every god is beyond human detection. I do not accept that. There is no evidence for any god. You cannot prove the existence of any god. Most likely, given no evidence and the length and depth of search for a god, there are no gods, not even just one.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Topher

      myweightinwords

      "And you call that justice? The same punishment for all supposed crimes? So you would support the death penalty for jaywalking?"

      Yes, I do call it justice. You break the law, you should be punished. Now, as for the "same punishment" ... well, sort of. True, it does all result in eternity in Hell, but there does seem to be evidence that there are degrees of punishment there. And no, I don't agree to the death penalty for jaywalking. But again you're making the mistake of using man's standards to justify your objections. God's standards are so far above ours there isn't a comparison. It's like comparing baseball players from different eras. You just can't do it.

      "Why is it that any time a non-Christian points out the fact that they have done nothing worthy of eternal damnation you immediately jump to the 10 Commandments? "

      Because that's the standard God is going to judge by ... His moral laws. So if you've broken any of them, you'll be in big trouble on Judgment Day. And I tell you about it because I don't want that to happen to you.

      "And I maintain that if god is not better than man, he is no god."

      Agreed. Good thing God is who He says He is.

      "I don't need to curry favor. Let my life speak for itself"

      It does. And it says you've broken His laws.

      "If there is a Divine Being, yours, mine or something else entirely, will not condemn me for it."

      What makes you so sure? If the God of the Bible is true, condemnation is exactly what you will get if you don't have forgiveness of your sins.

      "If I am condemned, I go to my punishment knowing I was a more moral person than my judge."

      Wow. That's a whole lot of self-righteousness.

      "Did I say that?"

      Yeah, you kinda did.

      March 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      I thought you didn't think morality was subjective.
      Will you be ignoring me again?
      Why is that? Are you afraid, self-righteous, what?

      March 27, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @HotAirAce,

      And I ask you again. This is a man who lived and spoke 2,000 years ago. What evidence would you like us to produce? We have testimony of witnesses, you refute those witnesses with no reason as to why.

      Here is something to consider. Pilate was the governor of the area from 26 AD to 36 AD. This is confirmed by Roman scribes. So most historians put Christ's death somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-36 AD.

      Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul, was a real figure. We know this. There are records of him and we have his own writings. Now, Saul of Tarsus *hated* Christians and was responsible for putting them to death. He was a Roman citizen and a Pharisee and confesses that he persecuted the Christian church "beyond measure." Now, Saul has a transformation on the road to Damascus. This is somewhere in the realm of between 33 and 36 AD. Within about three years of Jesus' death.

      Now, there is no record of whether Saul met Jesus when Jesus was alive, but somewhat unlikely because Tarsus is roughly 355 miles away from Jerusalem.

      My question becomes, what causes a person who hates and persecutes Christians to become one of the foremost writers of the New Testament and spend the next 20+ years establishing churches? What causes a person to give up a life and job of wealth and power to become a poor, wandering person for 20 years?

      March 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And I say again, there is nothing to support the basic foundation of christianity – nothing to support the existence of your god and a divine jesus except The Babble. I cannot explain the behavior of one man, never mind many, who believes what is clear nonsense to me, but my inability to do that is not evidence for those beliefs. You are building a case to maintain the status quo, without actually being able to advance a factual case for your god or a divine jesus. You have no facts on your side.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      And for the third time, I ask, what evidence do you want?

      March 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Damian

      There is no evidence that has been demonstrably reliable other than empirical evidence.

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

      From way above:

      "Nothing short of a verifiable personal visitation and miracle will convince me of a divine being."

      March 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Ah, so what you need is a time machine then so you can go back and witness Jesus performing his miracles? 🙂 Maybe someday George Carlin will show up with a phone booth, but until that day, I guess some of us will just have to rely on faith.

      Thanks for the discussion.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      No, I'm available to meet with your jesus any time and am prepared to witness a true, lasting miracle performed while we meet. In the past, I have suggested instantaneously and permanently eliminating global childhood hunger – this shouldn't be too hard for a true loving supernatural being.

      March 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Couple of things. First I reject the testimony because it describes things that are impossible. I have yet to see or hear about a natural law being broken. Until that happens, logic dictates that these testimonies are exageration, hyperbole, lies or deceptions rather than the whole truth

      Second, AD literally means After Death, Jesus's death would at year 0.

      "My question becomes, what causes a person who hates and persecutes Christians to become one of the foremost writers of the New Testament and spend the next 20+ years establishing churches? What causes a person to give up a life and job of wealth and power to become a poor, wandering person for 20 years?"
      - You could ask any American turned jihadist terrorist, or anyone that's joined a cult. A person's actions, however out of character they may be, are not indicative of the reasons for that change being true.

      March 27, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      Oh ye of little faith. 🙂

      Actually A.D. means "Anno Domini" Latin for "Year of Our Lord." Jesus didn't die in 0 A.D. because there is no "0 A.D." It goes 2 B.C., 1 B.C., 1 A.D. If A.D. represented "After Death", it would mean that the 30+ years between Christ's birth and death would not be represented in the A.D./B.C. timeline. 🙂

      As for your last statement, it would be more like a Navy Seal Anti-Terrorist team leader, on a mission, claiming to get a message from Allah, then suddenly on said mission siding with Al-Qaeda and then going about destroying America for the next 20 years. It's a lot bigger comparison than what you are stating.

      March 27, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Jim

      Time for chuckles to go back to the 3rd grade (holding up 4 fingers). He just got schooled.......lol

      March 28, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      @Damian

      Aren't I always of little faith? 🙂

      I also thought that was why we also have BCE, because those years aren't represented. I admit I could be wrong though.

      As for your comparison I don't think that's accurate. Paul wasn't really in the front lines in Jerusalem, he never met jesus in person. The point I'm trying to make however is that it's not so crazy that someone like Saul of Tarsus would convert, and his conversion can't be used as "evidence" of the truth of the bible.

      I read a similar story in an antrhopology class a couple of years ago. An antrhopologist went to go live with a tribe in Africa and study their customs. This specific African tribe believed in witches, sourcery and the like and obviously coming from the west, the american antrhopologist believed in none of these things.

      By the end of his book however, he had witnessed someone have a curse put on them, fall ill and come near to death until they did a series of rituals, banned a person the village they claimed was a witch and then the man got better. He headed back to America telling his anthropologist buddies how magic was indeed real and he was a convert.

      What do you make of that story? Does this prove anything about the religion in that specific part of Africa? If it got one extremely skeptical convert, does that mean it has some legs?

      March 28, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      No, Paul's conversion isn't evidence of the truth of the Bible. Saul was actually quite powerful, being that he was a Pharisee and a Roman citizen and he used to be instrumental in the torture and killing of Christians. He, himself, confesses to persecuting Christians "beyond measure.". But he gave all of that up, allowed himself to be tortured multiple times and then eventually killed. Paul never met Christ as far as we are aware, however, he certainly knew about Him (enough to torture and kill his followers, at least) and Paul's conversion is set within about three years of Jesus' death. But you're right, it does not prove that the Bible is truth.

      As for your story about the anthropologist, it doesn't surprise me. Of course, I believe in magic (believing that it is an alliance with spirits) so a curse doesn't shock me. As to whether the man was well and truly healed through a ritual? I'm skeptical. Both sides fall under witchcraft which is strictly forbidden in the Bible because it relies on other spirits and does not put one's faith in God. It's a form of idolatry. I believe that ouija boards, tea leaves, voodoo and all of that has actual power. I do not doubt the anthropologist's experience though.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Well this is where we hit a snag, and this is in part because of our different views on the bible itself. You believe all these facts about Paul to be true because his life is written in the Ep.istles and Acts correct? My view is different because I agree with the some of the skeptics who believe the Paul in Acts is actually quite fictional, or at least the accounts describing him to be emb.ell.shed. We are also aware that people in his own family were converts to christianity before he was, which could explain some of his conversion.

      My whole point is that The letters and acts a.ttri.buted to Paul are susp.icious at best so I guess, in large part, my skepticism (of course) stems from my mistrust of the bible. Did a Saul of Tarsus who became Paul exist? Sure, was a feverent Jewish convert, probably. Anymore than that however and we start getting more into conjecture.

      As for the person in Africa. I wasn't doubting his experience either, but the reasons behind it are iffy at best. Call me a cynic but the whole illness and being cured part seems to have 0 relation to the scapegoating of a random woman in the village, but the Antrhopoligist seemed to think so.

      I guess my next question has to be, why do you believe in magic? I mean honestly, when have you ever witnessed some magic done to make you think that it actually exists? Moreover why do Ouija boards (pagan), voodoo dolls (Voodooism) and tea leaves (Wicca) all have power and yet are all in different religions? Are you saying that all religions stem from the same magic but the god of the bible is the only one who does good magic where as a good witch practicing Wicca is actually using bad magic?

      March 28, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      So if Paul was a fictional person, who wrote the letters that were sent to the various churches? Sorry, I think a healthy level of skepticism is normal and in fact healthy. But people who deny that these people existed (even as historical figures) are pretty out there. I mean, Paul identifies himself in these letters as the author of the letters. He writes about his own testimony. I knew Paul's sister was a Christian, but I haven't seen any data that talks about his other family being Christian, especially considering his father was a Pharisee. If you have a source, I'd love to read it. I am also not so far as to say that perhaps his family became converts after his conversion. I more base my opinion on the Epistles because Paul was actually writing them. Some of the letters are worthy of suspect if he wrote them (1st Timothy) because the writing style is different. But in the other letters, the writing style was pretty consistant. Also, it was well-known that Paul was nearly blind at a certain point, so he had to use a scribe to write for him.

      I firmly believe in what we would call "magic." I more refer to it as witchcraft. The Bible frequently references that Satan wanted to be God. And he mimics God. So where as God sends down divine blessing, it all turns back to Him. When Jesus was doing all of His works, everything pointed back to God. He gave glory to God whenever the miraculous happened and frequently told people to go and pray.

      Witchcraft, however, points to the user. "I cast a spell and caused X to happen." It is my belief that Satan and his cronies are at work on the Earth and it is quite possible through sheer force of belief that one can get a spirit's (or demon's, if you prefer) attention and gain some power through this. The Revelation talks about that Satan will give the false prophet and others power to perform miraculous signs and wonders to convince others of the antichrist's divinity. However, Satan's power always comes at a price. He is not a loving a spirit which wants the user or recepient to prosper. He wants to corrupt and turn both the user and recepient away from God.

      Have I seen this? A few times. It would take too long to write out about the experience, but yes, I have seen the ill affects of someone utilizing witchcraft.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Sorry if I was unclear. I never meant to say Paul was a fictional person, but the Paul in acts might have been if you understand what I mean. Paul was most likely a very real person, I don't deny that, nor do I deny that he wrote a majority of the letters at.tributed to him. The actions attributed to him in Acts however might be fiction and that's what I'm getting at. His fervor and zealousness might have been embell.ished in order to make him a more powerful figure. There's nothing better for morale or conversion than listening to a story about a a ha.rdcore person who believes in a single idea being converted completely to the opposite side.

      I do want to make it clear though, Paul most likely did exist and was a jewish person named Saul until he converted to christianity and wrote and laid out what modern christianity looks like to this day.

      "Have I seen this? A few times. It would take too long to write out about the experience, but yes, I have seen the ill affects of someone utilizing witchcraft."
      –Damian, I gotta know, what exactly have you seen to convince you that magic and witchcraft are real. You seem like a resonable person and I never expected you to believe that magic exists so I'm very interested to know what makes a semi-reasonable person like you believe that through sheer force of will I can conjure a demon to help me gain supernatural powers that will in turn corrupt my soul? If this were honestly the case, how have evil people on the street not used this power to gain control of different parts and wre.ck hav.oc? Give me the short short version if you have to.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  14. Gave Them Up

    When your servants treat you like a dog you are in big trouble in your house.

    March 27, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  15. Gave Them Up

    Licenses are for dogs.

    March 27, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • midwest rail

      Do you have a driver's license ?

      March 27, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • ..

      And hay is for horses. Got a point?

      March 27, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Christian Heaven: Eternal elevator muzak and endless ass-kissing of the boss

      At least dogs don't get naked and drive pick-up trucks through churches.

      March 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    If Christians were really that concerned with the "sancti/ty" of marriage, they would make it illegal for divorcees to re-marry.

    March 27, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Or they would behave differently to prevent marital discord and would not seek divorces. Just like abortion, the various cults and their beliefs don't seem to be able to control their members very effectively.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • ..

      It's amazing how GIU wants to insert itself into every aspect of another's life. File that under "nunya".
      Wish you gave posting on this forum up.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • .

      Oh, was King David rapped? Davey could have capped it before he tapped it. Funny how the testosterone went to his head. Must have forgotten lamb gut is the best...had to have had some laying around after ritual sacrifices...dummy.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  17. Nancy

    Clarity, Why do you use choose to use Wikipedia as your source for foundational definition/truth? How do you know it's accurate and factual?

    March 27, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • clarity

      I don't always choose wikipedia as a source; but I didn't see anything that I would disagree with under the History section on their page on marriage as it stands there now.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • clarity

      It does of course, show the different forms that have existed throughout history, including polygamy, group, same-sex, etc, etc.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • ..

      Marriage pre-dates the Bible. The Bible isn't the authority to define marriage, especially in the secular United States. Try again.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • clarity

      And since you asked about "when and how you believe marriage was originally defined", I figured you needed some basics to start with.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Douglas

      Nancy, why do you keep asking vapid, leading questions? Say whatever the hell is on your mind and get it done.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Larry of Nazareth

      For all the bad-mouthing, Wikipedia is actually reasonably accurate, and it is a ready source of information for debates like this. It is weakest on the biographies of living people, who tend to edit out the bad stuff. But controversial stories now have things in place to limit the ability of people to mar the content.

      March 27, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
  18. Nancy

    Clarity,

    Why do you use choose to use Wikipedia as your source for foundational definition/truth? How do you know it's accurate and factual?

    March 27, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Science

      Was a marriage license needed back then Nancy ?

      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 10:14 am |
    • Abraham

      It is, at worst, a better source than the Christian Bible.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  19. Salty Bob

    you + imaginary god = Jesus on a stick and witches on the stake of fire. (Oh and a burning bush). no gods + freethinkers= Fair and just world.

    March 27, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  20. mzh

    Its like the nation or i would say nations are moving toward the time of 'the nation of Lot' where he offered his own beautiful daughter to the men but what they refused... and then we all know what happened next... i wouldn't be surprised if i see something happens like that... as a matter of fact the small things are already happening... and He The Almighty knows best... O our Lord guide us all...

    March 27, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • sam stone

      beats thinkig for yourself, eh?

      March 27, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • clarity

      Didn't Lot's daughters seduce him after God supposedly saved them when he destroyed S&G. It's got to be one of the Kinkiest stories in the Bible.

      March 27, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Lot is one of my favourite Bible stories.
      A man deemed by God Himself to be righteous enough to be spared a fiery death becuase he's willing to toss his vir/gin daughters over to a ravenous mob to be gang ra/ped.
      While fleeing the destruction of their former home, his wife is turned into a condiment for having the gall to look over her shoulder.
      Then, homeless and widowed, Lot proceeds to have a drunken, incestuous or/gy with his daughters.
      A righteous man indeed.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • clarity

      lol. Thanks, doc – I forgot about all those details. I'm sure this was one of my moments in my Christian education where I stopped and wondered what the hell God's agenda was.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • mzh

      TO clarity: The stroy you are reffering to is from OT and you will be amazed if you study the preserve of OT by Jews before it got merged with NT and its also a interesting subject to study the NT history, i think as an individual we shold all spare sometime to think what i believe in rather than blindly follow something... this stor is in the book of hebrew... now if you want to know the detail of the book of hebrew, you will find that there is no info about who wrote it and when was it written... and this is known to all christian scholars... unfortunately no one pays attention that if someone is sent as a prophet to guide the community and how come he performs this action... its totally unhuman thing having physical relationship btwn father and daughters... like we have in our society now at this time... but i think those women are being opressed but few of them comes to news... i know its a long conversation and it can't be explained in few words... you have to study more... it will not come over night... i could only advise you to study this story from Quran and i will let you decide which one make sense to you...

      March 27, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • mzh

      Also you read Hebrew that Jacob had fight with God and he (Jacob) won over Him... how can you belive it... if someone believe this then i would say that he/she has no idea what is the definition of God The Almighty... there are lot more... i suggest you spare 15 minutes a week to study what you beleive in and then extend ur study to others... then use ur brain and think which make sense and which not...

      March 27, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Akira

      "Doc, you are as-suming they were virgins. Why? They were hanging out with a cycle gang. They share their women."
      He said nothing about Lot's daughter's being virgins.
      You assume quite a bit yourself, don't you, GTU?
      Tell me, do you think ALL woen are bad, or just he ones in the Bible?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Gave Them Up
      Why do I think they were vir/gins?
      Becuase Lot said:
      "Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them."
      – Genesis 19:8 (NIV)

      Since Lot has been established as a "righteous" man, he wouldn't lie about something like that, would he?

      March 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @GaveThemUp
      Regardless of what God might think, I'll protect my daughter over a couple of strangers who came to my door. But that's just me.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:57 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.