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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. Dana

    Don't let them get married in your church if you don't like it.

    March 26, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Saraswati

      I think they're afraid their kids won't want to get married if they see those icky ho_mose_xuals are doing it. Little do these folks (too lazy to read the national surveys) realize that the odds are that their kids already think modern marriage is a joke precisely because it excludes people.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  2. Live4Him

    @Hall : "You are rejecting Jesus himself. ... Just go ahead and make up your own religion."

    When you walk away from the teachings of Jesus Christ, you are making up your own religion. That said, Jesus said that He didn't come to change the Law or the Prophets. Since the Law condemns homosexuality, then those advocating homosexual have created their own religion that is separate from the Teachings of Christ.

    March 26, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Thai Researchers Discover 100-Million-Year-Old Crocodile Fossile

      The fairy in the sky a fossil yet ?

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwD_hjq_V7U&w=640&h=360]

      March 26, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • clarity

      One poster asked what kind of evidence would be sufficient for proving the historical Jesus that is reflected as the Christ character in the Bible.

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

      March 26, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • History Channel's "The Bible" Parts 3 & 4 - In Under 11 Minutes!

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTRn28iZD_g&w=640&h=360]

      March 26, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Prehistoric shark captured on film

      Chomp Chomp Chomp says the fish .

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

      March 26, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Live4Him

      @clarity : One poster asked what kind of evidence would be sufficient for proving the historical Jesus that is reflected as the Christ character in the Bible.

      1) 99.9% accurate transmission of the NT manuscripts over the last 1940 years.
      2) The NT Manuscripts were treated as authentic by the earliest church leaders, to whom they were sent.
      3) Today's canon were complied from previous canons created by the earliest church leaders.
      4) All attributes of Christ predate any and all similar attributes that were post-attributed to existing pagan deities.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:47 am |
  3. That's just crazy talk

    Of course this entire debate is a matter of faith in what you believe God is; that God would have entrusted a message in the hands of man to begin with. It's all conjecture folks, even if it's 2000 year old conjecture.

    March 26, 2013 at 11:04 am |
  4. Dana

    What would Zeus do?

    March 26, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • That's just crazy talk

      Turn into the person of interests soul mate and get the horizontal mambo going.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  5. Nordenfeldt

    God is all seeing, all knowing and all powerful. he created all people knowing every decidion they would ever make until the day thety died, given his omniscience. There is, as such, no free will. he created gays, with the full knowledge that they would be gay. Then condemned them for sin he knew they were going to perform.

    This is why your god makes no sense whatsoever.

    March 26, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • TiredODaCrap

      Just as He created kids who murder children in baby strollers, corrupt Presidents who ruin countries, etc, etc, etc. All of these things take place based on choice – you are not walked around and moved like an action figure – no one is!.
      Your choice (there's that word again) not to believe, does not prove He does not exist. It's just further proof of an Almighty that loves you enough to create you and let you make up your own mind. Don't hate Him or others because of choices you (or others) make.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Seth

      Your severe lack of knowledge of God and his will is sad, especially considering the fact hat he sent his onw son to die on the cross so that mankind would have a choice. In return for his love, mankind lines up to spit in the face of God. Rest assured your words will be matched by the judgment you shall receive.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  6. dl

    If I was God, I think I'd hide until it's over.

    March 26, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Seth

      When the end day comes, men will hide in caves and beg the stones to fall upon them to escap God's wrath. For man to think he can put himself on the level as and relate to God is foolish. To think you are in a positon to question or admonish God is arrogance! Unless you turn your life around, you should make the most of your human time here on earth because it is all that remains to you. Please read Job where God puts 'Man' in his place. There's a lot you might learn in that test.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:14 am |
  7. WASP

    for all those out there in internet land, same gender marriage is protected by the founding docu.ment of these 50 states.
    it reads as follows:
    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are inst.ituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"

    1) the whole "their creator" part simply implies your parents, not some supernatural fairy. your parents contributed DNA to create you.
    2) it said ALL MEN, now being blunt this meant all white males when this paperwork was written since then it has been adjusted to include all humans.
    3) the government secures these rights, not the church or any other "group"; strictly the government.
    4) the people of this country give the government their power to pass laws that are infavor of what the population of america wants; seeing how trends have changed over time, this country is accepting of alternative lifestyles..........well except for the fringe crazies. 🙂

    March 26, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      WASP ... I don't know who you are but given your body of work, I know that the country would be a lot better place if you sat on the Supreme Court. You have my vote.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  8. Pontifex Maximus

    Which god?

    March 26, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  9. Thomas Jefferson

    [If] the nature of... government [were] a subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, I [would] consider it as desperate for long years to come. Their steady habits [will] exclude the advances of information, and they [will] seem exactly where they [have always been]. And there [the] clergy will always keep them if they can. [They] will follow the bark of liberty only by the help of a tow-rope.

    March 26, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Thomas Jefferson

      "Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people [blacks] are to be free. Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them."

      March 26, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Thomas Jefferson

      “Brought from their infancy without necessity for thought or forecast, [blacks] are by their habits rendered as incapable as children of taking care of themselves, and are extinguished promptly wherever industry is necessary for raising young. In the mean time they are pests in society by their idleness, and the depredations to which this leads them.”

      March 26, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • John Adams

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

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

      March 26, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Thomas Paine

      I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Ben Franklin

      Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of the sermons which had been preached at Boyle’s Lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them. For the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to be much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • John Adams

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

      March 26, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • James Madison

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

      March 26, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Thomas Jefferson

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

      March 26, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  10. Dyslexic doG

    Dear Supreme Court:

    God Here.

    First, I do not exist. If I did, I would hate you for being so stupid. I would probably smite you. The concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the thoughts and actions of the 7 billion human beings on this planet is ludicrous.

    Second, if I did, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was compiled with certain writings included and others excluded, nor how it has been edited over the centuries, yet you cite it for the most extraordinary of supernatural claims.

    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who elected to withhold all evidence of my existence in the first place.

    Fifthly, in the same vein, I would not make about 5% of the human population gay, then punish them for being that way. In fact, I wouldn’t care about how humans have $ex at all, given that I created all of the millions of millions of species on the planet, all of whom are furiously reproducing all the time. Human $ex would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Has it ever occurred to you that your obsession with making rules around human $ex is an entirely human affair?

    Sixth, I would have smited all you Christian activists, and all evangelicals and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric for me to even contemplate).

    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

    Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

    Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

    Move on – get over me. I did.

    God

    March 26, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Peach

      You are a very sad human being......

      March 26, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Peter

      Peach, you are a judgmental fool.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Russ

      Very good essay. I agree with you totally. Those that don't see it this way, have let themselves be brainwashed and filled with myths and nonsense.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • sonny chapman

      Sooo, how did this all come to be. Many stars in many Solar Systems with several planets each. Only one, Earth, covered with 3/4 water. The complexity of even the simplest life. The complexity of a creature capable of playing musical instruments. Molecules combined of atoms, made up of rotating matter. Lots of things circling in some sort of order. Intelligent Design or just luck ?

      March 26, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • WASP

      HERCULES! HERCULES! hey everyone else can have imaginary friends, i pick the original version...........atleast he could kick ass. lmfao

      March 26, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @Peach: I am very happy actually. See me smile ... 🙂

      This smile comes from living in the real world and not being shackled by a mass delusion.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Science

      Hey peach

      Scientists Find Genes Linked to Human Neurological Disorders in Sea Lamprey Genome

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130224142915.htm

      Peace

      March 26, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Rochester

      Bravo! Well said.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • WASP

      @sonny: just your everyday dumb luck. 🙂 see simple. lol

      March 26, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • The Lord

      couldn't have said it better myself... good job...

      March 26, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @ Sonny ... We are here in our present form thanks to sheer probability. Given the basic building blocks of the universe (which has always been here), and the sheer number of stars and planets, we were inevitable.

      If you're stuck on the idea that everything has to be created, then who created God? If you say God has always been, then there goes your argument.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • clarity

      Excellent, doG.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Ra

      I've been around just as long but didn't even get a mention

      March 26, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Larry L

      Great essay! It should be required reading in school!

      March 26, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  11. EB

    I think I'm going to leave work early and go home to make love to my wife!!! Yes, I'm a male and she is a female.

    March 26, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • David

      I am going to go home early and love my husband, yes he's male and so am I!

      March 26, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Russ

      I hope she's home, and expecting you, and not banging the guy down the street, as usual.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • ME II

      Good for you! EB and David, both.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  12. us_1776

    Who's on god's side?

    It's called separation of church and state.

    God doesn't have a side in this debate.

    .

    March 26, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • The REAL Truth...

      Oh, I'm sure he does according to many. However, I wouldn't hold out much chance of him showing up to testify for either side.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Jim

      Please show me where, in exact wording, "separation of church and state" exist in the U.S. Constitution.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • StevenR

      FYI:
      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ....

      So if we make a law based on YOUR religion that doesn't jive with ANOTHER religion, it favors a SPECIFIC RELIGION. So NO LAWS may be made respecting an establishment of religion. This is a PERFECT example of this. By ACCEPTING the religious right's biblical interpretation, we FAVOR THEM.

      Any questions?

      March 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  13. Peach

    Once again, the GOVERNMENT should have NO say in this matter. It is not a popular opinion, but gay marriage is a perversion and is wrong. Not my rules--you are either going to ACKNOWLEDGE God's rules or you are not. If you are NOT, then there will be consequences. Just saying

    March 26, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Andy_Anderson

      Prove it.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • James

      "but gay marriage is a perversion and is wrong. Not my rules–you are either going to ACKNOWLEDGE God's rules or you are not."

      The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Alex

      Your a great follower.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • James Madison

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

      Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

      The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State.

      (4th POTUS, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights)

      March 26, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • kent

      what's the consequences peach? how do you know all this? how do you know what happens after death? why would you be any different than all the people the world has seen before you? nobody knows there's an afterlife. it's high improbable as i see it. spew your garbage to someone who cares. most on this site don't care what you or your invisible all knowing supernatural (found only between your ears) think. your ego stinks.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • tallulah13

      If god wishes to impose his will on the laws of this secular nation, perhaps he should speak up instead of letting his followers make empty threats that amount to little more than "you'll be sorry when you're dead."

      Until such time as your god makes his presence known this nation should continue on it's course of equality and fairness. Small-minded people pretending to speak for their god should not influence the laws that effect all of us.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • clarity

      Keep your God out civil law. The U.S. is not a theocracy.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Saraswati

      'If god wishes to impose his will on the laws of this secular nation, perhaps he should speak up instead of letting his followers make empty threats that amount to little more than "you'll be sorry when you're dead." '

      In addition to being a bit of a jerk, the Christian god is apparently as lazy as some of his followers.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • ME II

      @Peach,
      Supernatural threats aside, I vote "Not".

      March 26, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • AthensGuy

      you do know that what is being debated is the right of two people to enter into a legally binding contract called marriage, dont you? This is not a church matter... "Onto Caesar..."

      March 26, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Libertarian

      Peach, when your kind inevitably fades away, history will look back with mostly disgust at the way religions tore apart humanity. You will be on the wrong side of history.

      March 26, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  14. Philip

    Leviticus 20:13. King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    March 26, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • frank

      Yeah it says kill all the children in there as well; it's full of hateful rubbish.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Tim

      Your ignorance of the bible Phillip shows you are not a true Christian. Leviticus deals with priestly functions (hence the name) commanded by God to be carried out for a purpose, Christians don't follow it.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • HenryB

      Well, if that is what people want to do, let them. It is their damnation and not yours. Just don't make it your business. Live in your world of the bible and let other people live the way they want to. By gay people marrying they do not impact YOU or ME. Just leave them alone to go to hell all by themselves. They don't want you meddling in their business.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      why do you think that quoting a phrase from a bronze age story book gives any credibility to your twisted opinions?

      Without Honey BooBoo or the Kardashians to watch 2,000 years ago, people had to make stuff up to entertain themselves. The Bible is just a collection of the best of those stories. It's like America's Funniest Home Videos from the bronze age. 🙂

      March 26, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • AthensGuy

      I think "Mr. Leviticus" was living in the closet... At any rate, if one choses to "commit an abomination" and then "go to he11", why does that bother you? Why do we need to church to approve of it? How about non-christians, wont we "burn in he11" already? If so, what is another sin, huh?

      March 26, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Libertarian

      Deuteronomy – Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woolen and linen together.

      You really can't make this garbage up. How many different fabrics are you wearing right now? SINNER! Lmao

      March 26, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  15. Charlotte, NC

    Marriage is between a MAN and WOMAN. God made distinctions at creation. He distinctively made man a man and woman a woman. Just because one may have more characteristics than the other, it still does not justify being gay. But go ahead and believe what you want to believe. Because if you will reject this basic fundamental principle of life, then you have all ready been turned over to a reprobate mind.

    March 26, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Charlotte, NC", but "God" is an element of mythology, therefore your assertion is unfounded.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • sam stone

      "...it still does not justify being gay"

      Doi you seriously believe orientation is a choice? if so, at what age did you make yours? if not, why do you think others would make this choice?

      "But go ahead and believe what you want to believe."

      Back atcha.

      "Because if you will reject this basic fundamental principle of life, then you have all ready been turned over to a reprobate mind"

      "reprobate mind" do you actually talk like this, or do you have a bible shoved up your gash?

      "already" is one word

      March 26, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • John

      "Marriage is between a MAN and WOMAN. God made distinctions at creation."

      Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

      Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

      There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

      Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

      1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

      Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

      Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

      That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • redundant

      halbot!

      March 26, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Madtown

      it still does not justify being gay
      ----
      You're criticizing God's creation? You've got a problem with the way God does things? Not sure God is cool with your critique, you may want to rethink.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • ME II

      "He distinctively made man a man and woman a woman."

      ... and apparently made some men desire other men and some women desire other women. If you want to dispute God's will, go ahead.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Paul

      Since Eve was essentially a clone made from Adam's rib, I would argue that god made two men.

      March 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  16. sonny chapman

    Hey Mr. Gagnon, maybe those who try to follow the Teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the Four Gospels would be better off by starting our own Religion. The existing Christian Faiths are not without their flaws. ANYTHING Man-Made, like Organized Religion, is not infallible. As a young Catholic, I was taught to follow CONSCIENCE. Maybe that's the route to go.

    March 26, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • sam stone

      if they start their own religion, how would that not be man made?

      March 26, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • sonny chapman

      Sam, agreed. Religion is Man's attempt to understand a Creator. Those Faith's that begin to take on a aura of Divinity, insult the Creator. Like Adam & Eve wanting the Fruit. P.S.- Sam Stone; John Prine fame ?

      March 26, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • StevenR

      Four Gospels. You mean the Gospel of Mary, The Gospel of Judas, The Gospel of Peter and the Gospel of Timothy? You DO realize that NONE of the Christian Gospels were written while either Jesus or the people who's names are associated with them were alive, don't you?

      The whole Christian religion thing is a total corruption of the true teachings of Jesus. It became a way for old men to control women and children (as virtually ALL religions are at their heart), not a reflection of the golden rule.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
  17. flatbushfred

    Tradition and reason????? At one time, the same could have been the arguement for slavery or banning interracial marriage, or denying women the right to vote.

    March 26, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • M

      Exactly... Conservatives have been on the wrong side of our social history for hundreds of years. It's their nature.

      Notice that I say "Conservatives" and not "Republicans". The latter is a political party. The former is an ideology that can cut across party lines. It's also an ideology that has been losing social battles since before the civil war.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:39 am |
  18. sheesh

    I hate when people complain about the subject or headline of an article but this one really is truly preposterously bad.

    March 26, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  19. ChicagoLoop

    "Who is on God's Side in the Marriage Debate?"

    Obviously, that would be everyone, considering that those who believe in God claim that he has created ALL THINGS.

    March 26, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  20. Reality

    Dear Judges of the SCOTUS:

    o "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    1. The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

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

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

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

      Now if you want to leave god and Abrahamics out of your consideration.

      From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual differences.

      Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

      Obviously, there are basic biological differences in gay unions vs. heterose-xual marriage. Government benefits are the same in both but making the distinction is important for census data and for social responses with respect to potential issues with disease, divorce and family interactions.

      For example at http://www.census.gov/dmd/www/pdf/d61a.pdf , there is a check box for "unmarried partner" under Person #2. There of course is also a check box for "husband/wife".

      Suggested check boxes for the next census should be "unionized" partner, "non-unionized" partner along with the normal "husband/wife" check boxes for married couples.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • frespech

      The facts you are presenting are unfounded- for years scientists claimed it was a gay gene. I challenge you to find any article today that suggests that there is any such thing as a gay gene.In Noahs day there were 8 people in the entire inhabited earth on Gods side of social issues so if you are suggesting that majority support of moral issues puts you on the right side of History, you may want to reconsider your position.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Paul

      Anybody who thinks the Noah story actually happened should be removed from the gene pool.

      March 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Reality

      As noted previously:

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

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

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

      The opening paragraph:

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

      It

      March 26, 2013 at 1:04 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.