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At evangelical colleges, a shifting attitude toward gay students
A group of Wheaton College alumni formed OneWheaton to offer an alternative view on sexuality from the evangelical school.
March 30th, 2013
09:15 AM ET

At evangelical colleges, a shifting attitude toward gay students

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey, For CNN

Wheaton, Illinois (CNN)– Combing through prayer requests in a Wheaton College chapel in 2010, then-junior Benjamin Matthews decided to do something “absurdly unsafe.”

He posted a letter on a public forum bulletin board near students' post office boxes. In the letter, he came out as gay and encouraged fellow gay Christian students - some of whom had anonymously expressed suicidal plans in a pile of the prayer requests - to contact him if they needed help.

In a student body of 2,400 undergraduates in the suburbs of Chicago, at what is sometimes called the Harvard of evangelical schools, Matthews said that 15 male students came out to him. Other students seemed somewhat ambivalent about his coming out, he said.

No one told him he was wrong or needed to change, Matthews said some students were obviously uncomfortable with someone who would come out as gay and remain a Christian.

“I don’t think most Wheaton students knew what to do because they've been given ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ rhetoric, but they don't know how that plays out in real life,” said Matthews, who graduated in 2011. “They would mostly just listen, nod and say, ‘Yeah man, that’s hard.’”

As is the case at many evangelical colleges, Wheaton students sign an agreement to not have sex outside of marriage, including "the use of pornography ... premarital sex, adultery, homosexual behavior and all other sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage."

On campus, the college created an official group in February for students to explore questions of gender identity and sexual orientation. The group is intended as a “safe place for students who have questions about their sexual orientation or gender identity,” where students may self-identify as LGBTQ.

But cultural and political changes have created tensions for the academic and student life environment. As more mainline denominations ordain openly gay clergy and more states pass same-sex laws, some gay evangelicals – and their allies - are openly deviating from Wheaton’s official and long-held positions. Well-known Christian author Rob Bell, a graduate of Wheaton, came out in favor of gay marriage in mid-March.

OneWheaton, a group unaffiliated with the college, wants to offer an alternative view on homosexuality from that of the evangelical school. The group, which is not explicitly religious, wants GLBT students to feel affirmed in their sexuality, acting as a support network for students struggling with their sexual identity, whether they choose to be openly gay or whether they choose to remain celibate. But leaders of the group say that gay Christians do not need to be celibate to retain their religious identify.

“For those of you feeling alienated, it gets better,” says OneWheaton’s founding statement, signed by about 700 GLBT and straight, alumni, echoing Dan Savage’s national “It Gets Better” campaign for gay youth. “Your desire for companionship, intimacy and love is not shameful. It is to be affirmed and celebrated just as you are to be affirmed and celebrated.”

A widespread question

Wheaton is hardly the only evangelical college that’s seeing a growing spectrum of responses toward homosexuality among students, alumni and staff.

Last year, a group at Biola University in southern California came out with posters and a website called Biola Queer Underground. The group describes itself as “like-minded LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) students and allies who have formed a private underground community in which we share our life struggles, as well as our love and support for one another.” Biola then issued a “statement on human sexuality” saying, "God’s design for marriage and sexuality is the foundational reason for viewing acts of sexual intimacy between a man and a woman outside of marriage, and any act of sexual intimacy between two person of the same sex, as illegitimate moral options for the confessing Christian.”

Groups from at least two Christian schools, Eastern University in Pennsylvania and George Fox University in Oregon, have formed OneEastern and OneGeorgeFox, which launched public websites in 2012.

About 200 LGBT and straight alumni from California’s evangelical Westmont College co-signed a letter to the student newspaper suggesting they experienced "doubt, loneliness and fear due to the college's stance on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues."

Many Christian schools have different regional, historical and denominational ties that keep issues related to sexuality complex and keep these institutions from responding monolithically.

Wheaton’s well-known alumni include evangelist Billy Graham, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and former George W. Bush speechwriter Mike Gerson. To come out at the college, OneWheaton’s organizers say, is to risk losing a network of fellow-minded alumni.

“Part of OneWheaton is showing that while people are risking their networks, they'll have people they can turn to,” said OneWheaton spokeswoman Kristin Winn, who came out six months after graduating in 2007.

The married-sex-only agreement that Wheaton students and faculty sign is part of the college’s Community Covenant, which says that students agree the Bible condemns “sexual immorality, such as the use of pornography, premarital sex, adultery, homosexual behavior and all other sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage between a man and woman.” Few students self-identify as gay, and if they do, it has different implications based on their expressed beliefs and behavior. Students can self-identify as gay, but college officials consider each student on a case-by-case basis if it comes into question.

Members of OneWheaton attend an athletic event on campus.

“What matters is the moral understanding of the person and how that matches with our institutional identity and the moral behavior that flows from the understanding. There’s no formula to how this gets applied," said Wheaton's Provost Stan Jones, a psychologist who has written several books on sexuality.

Students who openly deviate from or openly advocate for deviation from the covenant may be dismissed from the school, Jones said.

Alumni say some gay students have been asked to leave or been counseled to leave Wheaton. No member of Wheaton would be asked or counseled to leave this institution on the basis of sexual orientation alone, Jones said, and he is not aware of any cases where people were dismissed only because of sexual orientation.

Jones said it would be difficult to say whether a student who signed OneWheaton’s statement would be in open disagreement with the covenant, though he is not aware of any student who has left or been dismissed over involvement with the group. “We’re not in a rush to show people the door,” Jones said. “We want Wheaton College to be a community where people can wrestle with these issues.”

The balance, college officials say, is between preserving the theological integrity of the school while leaving room for questions.

“Articulating orthodox Christian theological beliefs and moral convictions itself is and ought to be an expression of grace,” said Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton, explaining the college's stance on sexual behavior in response to OneWheaton's emergence. “Those theological principles and moral guidelines are an expression of God’s character and the best way to live.”

Homosexuality is not a focus at Wheaton more than any other college, said Ryken, but culture places a priority on sex. The college does not keep track of the number of students who leave over homosexuality, he said. “There are a variety of challenges that different Christian colleges and universities face from people advocating homosexuality,” Ryken said in an interview in his campus office. “OneWheaton has been clear in saying they’re not interested in changing the college, but it remains to be seen what kind of influence they desire and may seek to have.”

A growing trend

Evangelical colleges likely face generational differences in attitudes toward sexuality as younger evangelicals develop friendships with people who are gay, says David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, a Christian market research firm.

“There has been a shift from rightness to fairness,” Kinnaman said. “There’s a real sense in which their institutional loyalty and their loyalty to theoretical morals and ethical choices are trumped by their peer relationships.”

About 40% of evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 29 are likely to say homosexuality should be accepted by society, compared to 24% of evangelicals who are older than 30, according to the 2007 religious landscape survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. But there is still less acceptance of homosexuality by evangelicals than by other young people. The same Pew poll found that 63% of Americans age 18 to 29 say homosexuality should be accepted by society, as do about half of Americans ages 30 to 64.

As a younger demographic is less opposed to gay marriage, they are also are more likely than before to identify as pro-life. Forty-one percent consider themselves "pro-choice," a record low since Gallup began asking the question.

“During the last five to seven years, there has been a definite uptick in interest [in homosexuality],” says Michael Hamilton, a history professor at Seattle Pacific. “As evangelicals and the main currency of American culture converge, an increasing number of gay students are going to say, ‘Wait a minute. I don't see a problem.’”

Last year, students at Seattle Pacific University received student support and a faculty letter backing a group’s desire to discuss being gay. Its administration approved the request but declined to give it official status. In 2010, Abilene Christian University declined to grant official status to a gay-straight alliance.

Michael Lindsay, president of Gordon College in Massachusetts, said that homosexuality is just one of a basket of issues that evangelical schools are dealing with now for the first time.

“Any moral issue dealing with the body gets a visceral response,” said Lindsay, who said future important issues will include bioethics, disability and other questions dealing with life. “Because sex is tied in with the body, naturally it’s one of those issues folks will have highly charged responses.”

Facing alternative views

The Wheaton alumni group, OneWheaton, was initially a private Facebook network that went public partly in reaction to an April 2011 chapel service at Wheaton featuring Wesley Hill, a gay Wheaton alumnus who says he chooses to be celibate, a path that some gay students and alumni take. Hill wrote the 2010 book “Washed and Waiting,” about being gay, Christian, and celibate, and told students how he came to his position that sex is between man and a woman in marriage.

“I found myself convinced of the position the church has held with almost totally unanimity throughout the ages, that although many people find themselves, through no fault of their own, to have sexual desires for members of their own sex, this is not something to be affirmed and celebrated, but is a sign that we’re broken, in need of redemption and recreation,” Hill told students.

“Gay people are not uniquely broken,” he said. “That’s a position we share with every other human who has ever lived or will live. But we are, nonetheless, broken. And following Jesus means turning our back on a life of sexual sin, just as it does for every other Christian.”

According to a survey conducted by the Wheaton student newspaper in 2008, about 5% of students (mostly male) reported having "had a homosexual experience." About 56% of students agree or strongly agree that homosexuals are not welcome at Wheaton, the survey reported.

OneWheaton is working to change that in some in-your-face ways. During one homecoming weekend, the group held a concert featuring Jennifer Knapp, a former contemporary Christian Music musician who came out as a lesbian in 2010. “Although I disagree with painting sexual orientation and gender identity as a biblical sin, Wheaton has a right to that interpretation,” Knapp said. “But I don’t know how you can be welcoming but not affirming.”

Knapp questions whether colleges such as Wheaton present alternative theological positions.

“Whether it’s alcohol or premarital sex, is Wheaton an academic institution willing to present both sides, or is it wanting to churn out soldiers that believe exactly the same things they do?” said Knapp, who used to identify as evangelical but now disassociates herself from the movement.

The college does not typically host speakers who espouse theology that affirms same-sex behavior, but it does not forbid such discussion from taking place. Administrators say they know that students might end up differing with the college theologically.

“This is not a place of indoctrination,” said Jones. “This is an educational community. We need to have a high level of patience and tolerance for students working through those issues.”

In many ways, Jones said, students need to be thoughtfully engaging the issues.

“Many students have only heard about homosexuality in the context of ‘Those bad people who we must oppose,’” he said. “There are many in our student body who want to engage these issues sympathetically, but there are others who are prone to thoughtless speech that can lean in the direction of incivility.”

At the same time, he said, Christian colleges are facing outside professional and political pressure on gay issues. Wheaton administrators spent several months preparing for a 2006 visit from Soulforce, a group aiming to change religious leaders' minds on gay issues that was co-founded by Mel White, who was a ghost writer for some evangelical leaders, including Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell.

Soulforce members had been arrested at other Christian campuses that ban same-sex behavior, but the group had a cordial gathering at Wheaton and visited again last year.

In 2009, the American Philosophical Association adopted a procedure to “flag” ads from employers that ban same-sex sexual conduct.

“I find that extraordinarily ironic for a discipline that prides itself on spirited debate about fundamental issues,” Jones said. “You are inviting the erosion of your distinctions if you don’t draw some boundaries.”

Administrators also are carefully watching court cases related to federal funding and hiring practices, where the government could pull funding if an institution is deemed discriminatory.

Faculty are expected to sign the same covenant as students, and those who advocate for something contrary to the stated beliefs would be called into question, Jones said.

“If a person disagreed with a clear assertion of the covenant, that has implications regardless of their status, even for those who have tenure,” Jones said. In faculty applications, he would consider where a professor stands on sexual intimacy as between a man and a woman in marriage, though questions about whether gay marriage should be legal at a state level would not necessarily come up. “We don’t ask about their civic views of gay marriage,” he said. “I would not be looking for their policies on a governmental policy voting.”

On the “Day of Silence” in April 2012, about 90 students wearing white T-shirts printed with "break the silence" attended a campus-hosted discussion about homosexuality, such as whether Wheaton can be considered a "safe place" for gay students. “You are telling LGBTQ students that no matter where they end up on their journey of identity, you care for them, respect them, and will remain their friend,” OneWheaton leaders wrote on a sign-up form for students who wanted to wear T-shirts. One alumnus came out to the rest of the group.

Matthews, the student who came out at Wheaton in 2010 – he now teaches middle school science in Connecticut - wrestles with whether the group OneWheaton will be an effective network since its views are far from the college’s stance on sexuality. He said he followed Wheaton’s agreement to refrain from premarital sex during school, but his personal views on the morality of homosexuality have shifted.

Matthews was attracted to men when he began college but hoped he would begin liking women.

He considered sexual orientation conversion therapy, which some evangelical Christians embrace but which the American Psychological Association has said is ineffective and could be damaging. After the Episcopal Church ordained its second openly gay bishop in 2010, Matthews began reading more and eventually embraced a theology that suggests gay Christians do not need to be celibate. At one point, he considered becoming an Episcopal priest.

Matthews said Wheaton was a safe place to come out because he could work through both being gay and being a Christian. If he had gone to another college, he said he might have stayed closeted because people might suggest abandoning his faith, something he wasn't willing to relinquish.

“Quite ironically, had I not gone to Wheaton, I might not have come out,” Matthews said. “They weren’t going to say what I presumed people at other colleges would tell me, which is, ‘If you have conflict between your faith and sexuality, drop the faith.’ No one at Wheaton was going to tell me that.”

Editor's Note: Sarah Pulliam Bailey is managing editor for Odyssey Networks.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (1,024 Responses)
  1. Shay

    Excellent. Perhaps I my go to a church again. For so long church people have taught hate, and more hate, yet no hope. Perhaps it is time to teach hope, it is stronger to teach, but hope is so much better then hate.

    March 30, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Gave Them Up

      Won't work if you choose an INC'd one. They bow down to the beast.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • biggles

      Amen shay, my preacher preaches hate every other Sunday. On the other Sundays he's out about town murdering all them people we all hate, so he won't have to preach hate no mor

      March 31, 2013 at 3:36 am |
    • biggles

      I know an atheist who wants to marry herself

      March 31, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • biggles

      Never work. She's impossible to live with

      March 31, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  2. Grinning Libber

    Anyone who pays to go to these fundie schools is a fool.

    March 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Gave Them Up

      You fund plenty of Greekster schools, fool. BTW, Aristotle was into evolution. Must be a religion because he had NO SCIENCE to back him up.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • birch please

      Gave,
      Just observing nature it is obvious it evolved/changed over time. So much so that the early human writers/story tellers of the biblical stories just about got the right order in genesis.

      April 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  3. sbk

    That place must be whiter than fresh mountaintop snow.

    March 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  4. Gave Them Up

    When martial law is declared do you really think El Kapitan will care what SCOTUS said?

    March 30, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Wow

      There might be a little martial law needed after all – to put your paranoid, deluded ass in the nearest state mental hospital.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  5. Gave Them Up

    Do you really want Scarabs in charge of housing? How did that work out with Barney Frank or Elmo?

    March 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Wow

      lol??, Salero21, ghhh by any other name is still a troll.

      March 30, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Gave Them Up

      Sticks and stones..........

      March 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • .

      What the hell are you talking about, scarabs? Are you ill, or just suffer from cognitive dissonance? My God, you're a freak.

      March 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Gave Them Up

      C'mon dot, get with the program. UNHOLY ROLLERS

      March 30, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  6. 437 Ministers Proclamation

    As Christian clergy we proclaim: the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.

    In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:

    -to affirm that the essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;

    –to embrace the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;

    –to declare that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;

    –to celebrate the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;

    Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.

    March 30, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Seth

      You claim to be speaking for the Holy Spirit and yet quote no verses of the Bible.

      "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is NO light in them" (Isaiah 8:20).

      You're preaching a false gospel of tolerance and inclusiveness rather than the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the sins of the world. Rather than make Jesus and His Holy Spirit into those who accept sin, how about turn from your sin and trust the Holiness of Jesus Christ to save you from that sin?

      March 30, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • R Leinen

      To the 437 "Self Proclaimed Ministers" – If you read and interpret the Bible under the influence of the Holy Spirit you will find that your stance does not please the God whom you claim to represent – but instead you promote sin. And for that, God is not pleased, and someday you will give an account to Him for blaspheming His name and His Word.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • William

      Our LORD & Savior Jesus Christ was clear on marriage when he said: “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark {10:6-9} That's very clear and doesn't need to be interpreted. These are the words of Christ himself. So, no other man can change what God said.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • William

      Also our LORD warned us of false teachers when he said: "For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect." Mark {13:22}

      March 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Steve

      Excuse me...THE CHURCH? Certainly not my church I attend. There is no bowing down to the devil in our church. We still stand against sin and sodomy, still believe in Holiness and truth. Thank God we do...

      March 30, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  7. Steven Leong

    I had fought being Gay for most of my lift. In 1988, I accepted myself as the Gay man God created me to be in 1988. Previous to that my life was drugs, alcohol, and party ... I didn't care if I lived or died ... I felt like an outcast stuck in a fake life. After accepting, and thanking God for creating me Gay, my life changed. I have been showered with blessings. I have a wonderful boyfriend for 17 years, live in a beautiful State, in a beautiful house, and have 2 wonderful accepting and supportive families.

    The condescending, holier than thou, preaching, condemning, discriminating, so called Christians, who judge others with acid words, DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO GOD! Gays need only take a seat at the table, to see that they are, and always have been invited guests. God created Gays for a reason, curb the world's over population, find loving parents for children abandoned by straights, we need to have faith in God's plan. We can ALL work together to find solutions for hunger, poverty, and homelessness in our nation and the world. Putting obscene amounts of time and money into initiatives to protect/destroy Gay rights, while ignoring the bigger problems of the world ...IS a sin.

    March 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Geesh

      I respectfully ask, please cite the verse that supports your position

      March 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • ghhh

      God did not create sin. God is the remedy for your sin that you lie about being a birth right. Resurrection power is freedom from sin. Do you reject this for habitual sin? You worship yourself as God and exalt sin.

      March 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • ghhh

      ho.mose.xuals are no different than people who sit around and mas.turbate. You get off in a demented, sinful, perverted way. This is baal worship.

      March 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • jeremy

      Cute story bro....its fun to play pretend ehh

      March 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Seth

      So you're telling me to reject what the Bible teaches and believe your gospel? I don't think so. You say those who disagree with you are "holier than thou" and yet you call us sinners for disagreeing with you? Hypocrisy coming from someone who preaches tolerance. Why not tolerate that Bible believing Christians disagree with you? Why can't you tolerate that?

      March 30, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Seth,

      Tolerance has limits. You cannot be asked to tolerate those who do not tolerate you – it only works when it's a two way street.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Forgiveness and Grace

      I support your interpretation of the Scripture, and prey that those who condem you to read Romans 12:16-20, so that we may all "live at peace with everyone."

      March 30, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  8. SAAB

    all religions have been, secretly, but accepting gays for centuries.

    March 30, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  9. John Stefanyszyn

    To summarize...freedom of rights first...Christ second as a " religion".

    But it is Only Christ that will rule with the Will of the One God...and not man's will.

    March 30, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Zombie Jesus Has Arisen from the Grave, and He Wants Brains! (Christians, being brainless, are safe)

      In your fantasy make-believe world maybe.

      March 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • rick

      perhaps you should lube up your hand before you have these fantasies, johnnie

      March 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  10. nojinx

    Glad to see even the Evangelical Schools are making progress.

    March 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Geesh

      Yep I guess everyone can do what they think is right in their own eyes....

      March 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  11. Atheism is the natural state of all living things

    To believe in something without evidence you have to be taught and convinced. Indoctrination may be required.

    March 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  12. Colin

    Eavngelical higher education? Isn't that an oxymoron?

    "So students, today will will study biology and the origins of life on Earth. Please open your Bibles......"

    March 30, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Grinning Libber

      Exactly. What pharma company would hirfe a "biologist" from these places??? NONE!

      March 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  13. Cover of Time: "Gay Marriage Wins - The Supreme Court Hasn't Made Up Its Mind, But America Has"

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wv2w6o05u8&w=640&h=390]

    March 30, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Time for Change

      "And I think that's right, I don't care what this court does with this particular ruling, Proposition 8. I think the inertia is clearly moving in the direction that there is going to be gay marriage at some point nationwide." –Rush Limbaugh

      LOL – the tide is so great that some idiots are already fearful for their jobs, ther "cred". I would say let the flip-flopping begin, but if Rush is saying this, then most of the flippers must have already flipped.

      March 30, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • SAAB

      nice heading just above the heads of kissing guys and girls: "The Unseen Earth"

      March 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Zombie Jesus Has Arisen from the Grave, and He Wants Brains! (Christians, being brainless, are safe)

      Fundies are getting served yet again.

      Religion has consistently been on the wrong side of every social equality and fairness issue this country has ever known.

      March 30, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • ghhh

      This is fvking disgusting. This news station is putrid. The news is putrid. The market is rotten. And the media sells trash. Fvck you sick fatherless vermin
      .

      March 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • .

      Oooh...says the good little Christbot ghhh as it gargles.

      March 30, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • ziggydoda

      Wow, talk about judging other people's sins and you curse like a sailor spouting hatred from your heart. Yep,like Gandhi said I like your Christ but not your christians.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  14. God's word

    Be ye salt and light of the world.

    March 30, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • blakey's translation

      Be ye marihuana and uv rays of this world

      March 30, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • rick

      go forth and kush

      March 30, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  15. Blakey's dream

    Agape love and erotic love are one and the same

    March 30, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Do they accommodate and recognize?

      Bi sexuals

      March 30, 2013 at 9:56 am |
  16. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    It is just as well that the administrations of these odd little colleges look at the standing of their students and faculty (even tenured faculty) on ideas that may put them at odds with the covenants on which the schools were founded. Better yet, they are open about it and openly act to suppress such ideas and, if they feel inclined to do so, rid themselves of the ones who hold them. It makes it easier to know what we're dealing with. I know not to ever recommend a student to such an institution, and not to ever bring someone who has been a student or faculty member at one into my group without careful scrutiny. It's just that I want them to be house-broken before I ask them to do serious collaborative work with our flying-circus of mathematicians, theoretical biologists, bioinformaticians and computer scientists who come from all over the world with only talent in common.

    March 30, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • Cristina

      I'm a student at a Christian college, and it saddens me to think that you would distrust my collaborative ability based on the fact that I attend a school that has a specific set of moral principles. I wouldn't want to work for someone that close-minded anyway, but it's still a shocking thought to encounter.

      March 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Cristina, It depends on the college but most people with any scientific background wouldn't take a graduate seriously who had chosen to go to a college that denied evolution. That would be a serious red flag about that person's ability to think logically and clearly. Additionally, I wouldn't trust someone who chose to attend a college that looked down on gay people to work with gay comrades any more than I would trust someone who chose to attend a racist college to work with people of the scorned race. The reality is that when making a hiring decision you have a lot of options and you look at a big picture. Someone from one of these schools would have to go a long way to prove him or herself.

      March 30, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Grinning Libber

      As a scientist I would never you Christina. Moral is one thing – crank science is quite another.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • birch please

      Second the rest. Your choice to go to a religious school reflects more than morals to a potential employer.

      April 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  17. Blakey boy

    I am proud of Christians that don't believe in sins.
    Rebrand!!!

    March 30, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • Joel Oilsheen

      Thanks for the check, Blakey. Keep the dough coming. Grease is expensive.

      March 30, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • .

      me to hell will be full of them.

      March 30, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  18. Bob

    Another "shifting attitude". Funny how the unchanging guidance from their "god" shifts with social trends and mores. Yet more demonstration that the Christian doctrine is purely man-made dogma and that the Christian sky fairy doesn't exist.

    March 30, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • .

      Naw the best ati tude towards qu eers has always been to deny them air to breathe. Qu eers what a waste of time and space, changing ati tude – throw heavier rocks at greater velocity and stand far enough back to avoid the splatter of diseased fluids.

      March 30, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • midwest rail

      Always a good day when c.a./pervert/t.b.t. chimes in and hallucinates in public.

      March 30, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • .

      Hey midwest – wrong thread ass hole.

      March 30, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • midwest rail

      See previous reply.

      March 30, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • c.a./pervert/t.b.t.

      that is an insult to ass holes everywhere. midwest rail would need years of training to rise to the level of ass hole.

      March 30, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • midwest rail

      True that – still, see previous reply.

      March 30, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      The Easiest Way to find out if God is real or not is to love your neighbor as yourself and show compassion.

      March 30, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Kyle C.

      This article just goes to show. Christianity's boat is shrinking and they are fighting tooth and nail to bring people in to try and keep the boat afloat and bring people or keep people on board

      March 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • birch please

      Its funny how so many christians deny evolution but can see memetic evolution right in their own organizations.

      April 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  19. Be ye..

    Conformed of this world and follow your peers.

    March 30, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • I am a Christian and

      sin never convicts me. What sin are you talking about?!?!

      March 30, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 30, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      March 30, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Really?

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      That's why the data, has shown that atheists have happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. Your post is built on a lie!

      March 30, 2013 at 10:13 am |
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About this blog

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