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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. tony

    Then collection plate is absolute proof of the non-existence of a god.

    March 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Like belief blog shows that Atheists do not exist in real life!

      March 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • tony

      If the god could manage to keep all the lesser animal species alive and flourishing for the thousands (millions) of years before priests came into being, you'd think he'd be able to aid the few most holy of the human race, without them needing continuous handouts from the rest of us. But then religious believers have a lot of trouble with thinking.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  2. John the Historian

    Jesus Christ never mentioned Gays or Lesbians. Gays are born Gay. You can be changed. Gay conversion therapy is proven to be false. How does Gay marriage affect straight marriage ? All Gays want is equal rights and not special rights. Gays want the same work, family, benefits, and freedom of want and violence like anyone else. Dogma is nothing without love, charity, compassion, toleration, and understanding.

    March 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      As we know from theb AIDS autopsies, there is a malfunction of the hypothalamus gland in gay men and is therefore a form of menatal retardation. There is no cure for this emotional arrest and it is part of God's creation.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Kyle C.

      John P. please show evidence to back up your statement

      March 30, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Kyle: He can't provide evidence because there simply isn't any to back him.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • woodstockwoody

      Dude, he has MS/PE after his name. He's obviously very important and knows what he's talking about. (Well at least in his own mind)

      March 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Gave Them Up

      Could be they were cowering in the closet and knew a mob wouldn't help their cause either.

      March 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
  3. Phaerisee

    Jesus didn't spend much time condemning or judging. In fact, he looked for the broken people mostly to do his will, not the righteous Pharisees.

    March 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  4. Bill Sanders

    THE RAINBOW

    Ironically the rainbow is God's promise that he will never flood the world again due to the sinfulness of mankind. The rainbow was God's covenant sign of love and mercy (outlined in Genesis). It was never meant to be a symbol of "pride" which ironically the essence of sin – pride in one self, pride in doing whatever we want. Putting self first above all. God loves ALL people and extends love and mercy to ALL. Does not mean God agrees that we can call the shots and change the rules.

    March 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Definition of Pride from OED:

      "a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired"

      The idea is simply to have a chance to feel good about the accomplishments of members of your group in the face of constant put-downs from the surrounding world. It is a chance to say "look how far we've come and what our predecessors accomplished on our behalf.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • JWT

      If god does not believe in the eqaulity of gay people then god is wrong.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Bill Sanders

      JWT – God is never wrong. How arrogant can one be? God created ALL. He loves ALL. He is for equality for ALL. He also has established rules. He is God. We are not. We will ALL answer to God at the end of the day. Are you ready or are you leaving it to chance?

      March 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Bill: Show that your god exists. A rainbow is a gift from god promising to never flood the earth again??? Where is this written?

      March 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • .

      the sin of rampant ho mose xuality probably contributed to the need to destroy all life by flood in the first place. imagine the aids epidemic unleashed on the people of this planet at that early time – there would have been no one left by today.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Nicholas Cage

      Great response!! Jesus showed tolerance to Mary and said "go and sin no more". He did not support the sin, he spoke against it. You show love and compassions for your children , but you dont accept or allow everything they do or would like to do.

      March 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  5. Atheist, me?

    I am an Anglican. We drink and smoke without anyone telling us it is a sin. However it is considered as such by most other Churches.

    March 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      Most of those churches are worshipping Ba'al and hating gays.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  6. Ricky

    I think God created us gays to teach tolerance in an intolerable world. Jesus was about human compassion, not intolerance.

    March 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Bill Sanders

      The true definition of "tolerance" is that we can discuss, argue and disagree WHILE still loving and respecting each other. Today the meaning of tolerance has been manipulated to say "if you don't agree with me you are a bigot and a hate monger". That is deceptive and manipulate. We should be able to have healthy discussion and debate. If we don't agree can still respect and tolerate each other.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Gave Them Up

      Christians are salt. Maybe you are a smoke detector.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Bill, tolerance was never meant to apply to all beliefs and ideas. Virtually no one thinks we should tolerate people who argue for legalizing child molestation or who want to re-impose slavery. The difference between you and others is that most in the US put anit-gay arguments in the same class while you do not.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
  7. tony

    When you have a college education based on the self-serving incredulousfantasy of religion, you gotta expect a few problems

    March 30, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • K from AZ

      “No one disbelieves the existence of God except he to whom God’s existence is not suitable”.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @K from AZ

      “No one disbelieves the existence of God except he to whom God’s existence is not suitable”.

      Or people who were raised in religions or secular environments without god, or who find the concept illogical or who think that "god" among the thousands of stories out there isn't even an interesting idea...

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

    GNN – the Gay News Network

    Once again, the daily push of pro-gay news articles. A disproportionate amount of biased gay articles when there are so many newsworthy items that deserve unbiased reporting. Way to keep up the daily quota GNN.

    March 30, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • dcwmt

      What's biased bout the article? Please provide detail, or else take your bigoted views to a neo-nazi site where they belong.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Saraswati

      There are two cases between the supreme court that could alter the lives of millions, and we're getting far fewer articles than we got for the changing of a pope that not even most Catholics cared about.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Greg

      Bill – just because this article is about the experience of gay college students does not make the article "pro-gay." The reporter has done a very good job of interviewing people from various perspectives and allows the voices to speak for themselves. Wheaton's Stan Jones is by no stretch "pro-gay," and the article did a good job of reporting how Christian college administrators are grappling with a very complex issue.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  9. Marie

    This is sad...when supposedly Christian colleges are affirming gay marriage, contrary to God's commandments in the Bible against it, is proof that we have lost our way on this issue. Love and acceptance of others is one thing, but to openly support something that is clearly sinful while calling yourself "Christian" is deplorable. I agree with Kappello"

    "if you call yourself a Christian College then you have to be clear as to what behavior is expected on campus, Christian behavior and you must stand by a solid conservative Biblical Worldview, or don't claim to be a Christian college."

    March 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      Marriage is one man and woman woman for a lifetime, for thew children. It is Christians who have devalued marriage, to the point where letting gays marry makes just as much sense.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • tony

      Teaching children nonsense, is a crime against all humanity.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • dcwmt

      How about that these people are treating gays like HUMAN BEINGS? Ever think of that? I din't think so....you're too busy hating.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Yeah, Marie, because your simplistic ideas about what it is to be Christian are the end word on the subject. You must having daily sit-downs with God.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Nicholas Cage

      Great response! I am not a Muslim, but I hold same moral values as you.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  10. redseca2

    Like Hutterites, Mennonites and Amish before, this generation of evangelicals will some day be a quaint microcosm that people on vacation on earth from their careers exploring the planets will take snapshots of. It is time to evolve.

    March 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      More to the poiint, will we ban the atheist religion of obsolete science from our public schools?

      March 30, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • woodstockwoody

      Since when is atheism a religion?

      March 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Gave Them Up

      HHHmmm, a prophet and false, too. False prophets turn people AWAY from the Lord of Glory.

      March 30, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
  11. GAW

    This is what true education is all about. You cant learn with your head in the sand.

    March 30, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Oh, but they try.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  12. Atheist, me?

    Unfortunately most Christians are not taught what sin is! Sin is transgression of the Law not the Ten Commandments or the Lord's Summary of the Law or smoking and drinking!
    This is why Christ said his disciples who are experts in the Law have double treasure.
    Its time more Christians learn the real thing rather than just accepting alter calls!

    March 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • John P. Tarver, MS/PE

      Jesus made wine and drank wine, so it can not be a sin/transgression.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  13. samikep

    I remember when I was a kid, Rainbows were something little girls would wear... Thanks for screwing that up for my daughter..

    March 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      For an African male who traditionally likes to hold hands with fellow males it was most shocking to find out only gays did that in the West now I just can't!

      March 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  14. John P. Tarver, MS/PE

    I do believe Catholic clergy is estimated to be 53% gay and therefore gays have always been in the church. In God's house of cedars, gays were in the house nearly half the entire time it stood. If gays begin burning infants in the name of Ba'al there would be that traditional conflict with the people of God.

    March 30, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  15. JM

    If they don't believe what the Bible says, they should find another college to go to. Wheaton, STAY WITH YOUR BIBLE BELIEVING STATEMENT, Or you will pay the price by God.

    March 30, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Kudos to them for being on the right side of history...not everyone wishes to remain in the dark ages!

      March 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  16. are122

    It doesn't seem to me too complex. If you are a Christian simply follow the teaching of the Bible. As a Christian one would think you would also realize the Bible says people will eventually turn away from God and even mock His teaching. Take a look around. Anyone mocking you for being a Christian??

    March 30, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • alice

      and who are you to say what the correct interpretation of the Bible is?

      March 30, 2013 at 3:09 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.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      William: Your interpretation is very flawed. There is no mention of the word marriage in that scripture and in fact marriage was around long before christianity was, so christianity does not get to take ownership of this. Do some research outside of your buybull to get a better grasp on reality and the LGBT community and attempt not be such a hateful bigot!

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

      How is this in anyway a hatful, bigoted statment? How are expressing ones views hateful. It was stated, more or less, that deterioration of the human condition is inevitable based of the teachings in the bible. And that Christians should not be shocked or surprised by what they see. Yes, this statement is open to debate, but is in no way bigoted. It is obvouseyou have let your own hate and emotions take control of your objectivity. This forum is for the purpose of exchanging ideas, hopefully in a civil manner. Seemingly too much to expect, huh?

      March 30, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  17. sqeptiq

    “Gay people are not uniquely broken,” he [Hill] said. “That’s a position we share with every other human who has ever lived or will live."
    I deny denounce, and abjure any notion that human beings are born broken or remain broken because of their humanity. If anyone is broken, it is because life has broken them. This idea that people are inherently in need of fixing by a savior is detestable and hateful. There are many people who have been damaged by life and need treatment or in some cases quarantine because the damage is so great, but most people are trying to be the best human they can be. I pity anyone who buys the original or inherent sin thesis of humanity.

    March 30, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  18. mark

    Gay lifestyle is filthy corruption of God's plan for humanity.

    March 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      You arrogant fool to think you know the mind of god.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Bigotry and ignorance rolled in to one...gotta love you 'loving' christians!

      March 30, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • c-did

      Truth Prevails is assuming that this person is a Christian just because he/she used the word God. This person could be Muslim for all you know. Why label him/her a Christian?

      March 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • cc3

      Ok, you got a rise out of people. Now what? Do you plan to follow with any sensible thinking, that includes some sort of credible reasoning?

      March 30, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      c-did: Okay would theist have been better? Who the hell cares if that is what I said??? Did it hurt your feelings??? Maybe step on your toes a little?? Truth hurt??? The bottom line is that this moron is using their belief to justify their hate and bigotry

      March 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
  19. kappello

    If you are going to call yourself a Christian College then you have to be clear as to what behavior is expected on campus, Christian behavior and you must stand by a solid conservative Biblical Worldview, or don't claim to be a Christian college. It should be made clear that all students are to be treated with kindness and agape love, empathy, but the principles of the Bible are to be adhered to, taught and not deviated from, as Jesus taught we of Christ are to be in, never of the world.

    March 30, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Just as has been happening for 2000 years, the definition of Christianity is evolving. In the dark ages it was believed that the less you bathed the closer you were too God. Would you like us to still be living in that reality?

      March 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  20. MagicPanties

    Belief in imaginary beings is such a waste of time and energy.
    So I'm asking my invisible pink unicorn to pray for ya'all.

    March 30, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Belief in imaginary beings seems to be part of a healthy human being so go figure!

      March 30, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      @Atheist, me: there's nothing healthy in belief in imaginary beings. Unless you are less than 8 years old.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Unfortunately the immaturity on display here tells me otherwise!
      You read someone who loves gays but not gay Catholic priests!
      Now how silly is that!

      March 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • cc3

      The idea that there are imaginary beings is not necessarily the point of religion. It is what you probably hear about most, but there is a sense of shared humanity that binds people together in search for the highest level of humanity and togetherness. That good, those aspirations are what we mean by God. The best faith is one that is willing to risk it all. So why you condemn shallow faith, don't be victim to the same narrowness you despise. There are so many layers to what religion is that it will undoubtedly shock you if you let it.

      March 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • cc3

      * "...so when you condemn shallow..."

      March 30, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
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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.