home
RSS
When Christians become a 'hated minority'
Evangelical Christians say they are the new victims of intolerance - they're persecuted for condemning homosexuality.
May 5th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

When Christians become a 'hated minority'

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - When Peter Sprigg speaks publicly about his opposition to homosexuality, something odd often happens.

During his speeches, people raise their hands to challenge his assertions that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but no Christians speak out to defend him.

“But after it is over, they will come over to talk to me and whisper in my ear, ‘I agree with everything you said,’" says Sprigg, a spokesman for The Family Research Council, a powerful, conservative Christian lobbying group.

We’ve heard of the “down-low” gay person who keeps his or her sexual identity secret for fear of public scorn. But Sprigg and other evangelicals say changing attitudes toward homosexuality have created a new victim: closeted Christians who believe the Bible condemns homosexuality but will not say so publicly for fear of being labeled a hateful bigot.

As proof, Sprigg points to the backlash that ESPN commentator Chris Broussard sparked recently. Broussard was called a bigot and a purveyor of hate speech when he said an NBA player who had come out as gay was living in “open rebellion to God.” Broussard said the player, Jason Collins, was “living in unrepentant sin” because the Bible condemns homosexuality.

“In the current culture, it takes more courage for someone like Chris Broussard to speak out than for someone like Jason Collins to come out,” says Sprigg, a former pastor. “The media will hail someone who comes out of the closet as gay, but someone who simply expresses their personal religious views about homosexual conduct is attacked.”

When is disagreement hate?

Bryan Litfin, a theology professor at Moody Bible Institute in Illinois, says Christians should be able to publicly say that God designed sex to take place within a marriage between a man and a woman.

“That isn’t so outrageous,” Litfin says. “Nobody is expressing hate toward homosexuals by saying that. Since when is disagreement the same as hate?”

But quoting the Bible doesn't inoculate anyone from becoming a bigot or hater, some scholars say. There's a point at which a Christian's opposition to homosexuality can become bigotry, and even hate speech, they say.

Crossing such a line has happened many times in history.

A literal reading of the Bible was used to justify all sorts of hatred: slavery, the subjugation of women and anti-Semitism, scholars and pastors say.

“Truly damaging speech cannot be excused just because it expresses genuine religious belief,” says Mark D. Jordan, author of “Recruiting Young Love: How Christians Talk about Homosexuality.”

“Some religious beliefs, sincerely held, are detestable. They cannot be spoken without disrupting social peace,” says Jordan, a professor at the John Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

The point where religious speech becomes hate speech is difficult to define, though, scholars and activists say.

The Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama is a nonprofit civil rights group that combats and monitors hate groups. Three years ago, it designated the Family Research Council, the group that Sprigg represents, as a hate group - a characterization the group stridently rejects.

Mark Potok,  a center spokesman, says there’s no shared definition of what constitutes hate speech.

“There is no legal meaning. It’s just a phrase,” Potok says. “Hate speech is in the ear of the beholder.”

'One of the most hated minorities?'

Intolerance may be difficult to define, but some evangelicals say they have become victims of intolerance because of their reverence for the Bible.

The conservative media culture is filled with stories about evangelicals being labeled as “extremists” for their belief that homosexuality is a sin.

Their sense of persecution goes beyond their stance on homosexuality. There are stories circulating of evangelical students being suspended for opposing homosexuality, a teacher fired for giving a Bible to a curious student, and the rise of anti-Christian bigotry.

A blogger at The American Dream asked in one essay:

“Are evangelical Christians rapidly becoming one of the most hated minorities in America?”

The reluctance of evangelicals to speak out against homosexuality is often cited as proof they are being forced into the closet.

Joe Carter, editor for The Gospel Coalition, an online evangelical magazine, wrote a blog post entitled “Debatable: Is the Christian Church a ‘Hate Group’?" He warned that young people will abandon “orthodox” Christian churches that teach that homosexuality is a sin for fear of being called haters.

“Faux civility, embarrassment, prudishness and a fear of expressing an unpopular opinion has caused many Christians to refrain from explaining how homosexual conduct destroys lives,” Carter wrote.

Some Christians fear that opposing homosexuality could cause them to lose their jobs and “haunt them forever,” Carter says.

“It’s easier to just go along,” says Carter, who is also author of “How to Argue Like Jesus.” “You don’t want to be lumped in with the bigots. That’s a powerful word."

Edward Johnson, a communication professor at Campbell University in North Carolina, says we are now living in a "postmodern" era where everything is relative and there is no universally accepted truth. It's an environment in which anyone who says "this is right" and "that is wrong" is labeled intolerant, he says.

There was a time when a person could publicly say homosexuality was wrong and people could consider the statement without anger, he says. Today, people have reverted to an intellectual tribalism where they are only willing to consider the perspective of their own tribe.

“They are incapable of comprehending that someone may have a view different than theirs,” Johnson says. “For them anyone who dares to question the dogma of the tribe can only be doing so out of hatred.”

Sprigg, from the Family Research Council, says his condemnation of homosexual conduct does not spring from intolerance but a desire to protect gays from harmful conduct, he says.

Sprigg, a senior fellow for policy studies at the council, wrote in a council pamphlet that homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are straight men. He also wrote that gay men are also afflicted with a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases and mental illness as well.

Sprigg says he does not believe homosexuality is a choice and that “personal testimonies" and "clinical experience” show that some people “can and do change from gay to straight.”

“Maybe we need to do a better job of showing that we are motivated by Christian love,” Sprigg says. “Love is wanting the best for someone, and acting to bring that about.”

'That's a lie'

Potok, from the Southern Poverty Law Center, has little use for the love Sprigg talks about.

He calls it hatred, and his voice rose in anger when he talked about the claims by Sprigg and other Christian groups that gay men are more predisposed to molest children and that homosexual behavior is inherently harmful.

He says the Southern Poverty Law Center didn’t designate the Family Research Group a hate group because they view homosexuality as a sin or oppose same-sex marriage, Potok says. There are plenty of Christian groups who hold those beliefs but are not hate groups, he says.

A group becomes a hate group when it attacks and maligns an entire class of people for their “immutable characteristics,” Potok says. The Family Research Council spreads known falsehoods about gays and lesbians, he says, such as the contention that gay men are predisposed to abuse children.

“That’s a lie,” Potok says. “These guys are engaging in straight-up defamation of a very large group of people. There are not many things much worse than you can say in America about somebody than they are a child molester.”

Potok scoffed at Spriggs’ claim that the council and other evangelical anti-gay groups are victims of intolerance.

“That’s whining on the part of people who spend their days and nights attacking gay people and then some people criticize them and they don’t like it,” he says. “That’s pathetic. It reminds me of slave owners complaining that people are saying ugly things about them.”

What the Bible says

What about the popular evangelical claim, “We don’t hate the sinner, just the sin” – is that seen as intolerance or hate speech when it comes to homosexuality?

There are those who say you can’t hate the sin and love the sinner because being gay or lesbian is defined by one’s sexual behavior; it’s who someone is.

“Most people who identify as gay and lesbian would say that this is not an action I’m choosing to do; this is who I am,” says Timothy Beal, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book.”

Beal, a religion professor at Case Western University in Ohio, says it should be difficult for any Christian to unequivocally declare that the Bible opposes homosexuality because the Bible doesn’t take a single position on the topic. It's an assertion that many scholars and mainline Protestant pastors would agree with.

Some people cite Old Testament scriptures as condemning homosexuality, such as  Leviticus 18:22 - “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” But other Christians counter by saying they are not bound by the Old Testament.

There are those who also cite New Testament scriptures like Romans 1:26-27 - “… Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men. …”

Beal, however, says Jesus said little about sex. And the Apostle Paul, who wrote Romans, was probably referring to male prostitution and men having sexual relations with boys, a practice in the Greco-Roman world.

“Paul does not understand genetics and sexual orientation the way we understand it now as something much more than a choice,” says Beal.

Some evangelicals say Christians can’t change their view of biblical truth just because times change. But some scholars reply:

Sure you can. Christians do it all the time.

Denying a woman’s ability to preach in church was justified by scriptures like 1 Timothy 2:11-12 - “… I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” But many churches have abandoned that teaching - and some scholars say a woman preached the first Christian sermon, when Mary Magdalene proclaimed that Jesus had risen.

Slaveholders in 19th century America justified slavery through a literal reading of the Bible, quoting Titus 2:9-10 – “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything. …” And anti-Semitism was justified by the claims that Jews killed Jesus, such as Matthew 27: 25-26 - “Let his blood be on us and on our children.”

Litfin, from Moody Bible Institute, acknowledged that the Bible once sanctioned slavery, but he said that practice was a “cultural expression” that changed over time. Evangelicals who oppose same-sex marriage by citing the Bible are on more solid ground, he says.

“Marriage is a universal and timeless institution that God set up for maximum human flourishing. He set it up in the first book of the Bible with the story of Adam and Eve. It is consistent throughout the whole Bible. … Marriage is in a different category than those cultural things.”

Public jousts over the Bible's stance on homosexuality rarely change people’s minds. What changes is when people get to know gay and lesbian people as friends and hear their story, says Beal, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Bible.”

“If you open up to that other person genuinely, you basically come to a point where you have to sacrifice them to your ideology or crack open your ideology to make a hospitable place for them,” Beal says.

One Christian pastor who is gay says the uproar over the ESPN commentator’s comments can actually be good,  because debates help settle moral disputes.

“What appears to us as antiquated and prejudicial now was once a disputed issue that required debate,” says the Rev. Richard McCarty, a minister in the United Church of Christ and a religious studies professor at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania.

Until the debate over homosexuality is settled - if it ever is - there may be plenty of evangelical Christians who feel as if they are now being forced to stay in the closet.

Carter, the evangelical blogger, says he foresees a day when any church that preaches against homosexuality will be marginalized. Just as many churches now accept divorce, they will accept sexual practices once considered sinful.

“It’s getting to the point,” he says, “where churches are not going to say that any sexual activity is wrong.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Culture wars • Protest • Sex • Sexuality • Sports

soundoff (10,982 Responses)
  1. faith

    "heretic
    I hear god takes it from behind."

    report little fatty sammy.

    May 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    quotes from the Bible. The book every Christian must Obey. The book that is the word of God:

    Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. – Isaiah 13

    Or this:

    Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open. – Hosea 13

    Or this:

    Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. – Numbers 31

    So Christians, you just keep telling yourselves this isn't just a book written by bronze age barbarians... your loving God wrote this book.

    What a joke.

    May 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    quote:

    If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father and mother, who does not heed them when they discipline him, then his father and his mother shall ... say to the elders of his town, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death.
    – Deut 21

    Get to work on your teenagers Christians. Every word of the Bible must be obeyed right?

    What a joke!

    May 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    quote:

    If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
    – Matthew 18:7-9

    Get to work on yourselves Christians. Every word of the Bible must be obeyed right? Every word Matthew wrote was a true quote from Jesus' lips right?

    What a joke!

    May 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      dog, that scripture means that anyone that doesn't believe God's truth, throw them out/don't have them around you (everyone/anyone that believes).

      May 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  5. Dyslexic doG

    quote:

    Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. – 1 Corinthians 14

    Know your place Christian women. Every word of the Bible must be obeyed right?

    What a joke!

    May 8, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      That scripture means everyone is to be silent, so as, to hear God's truth.

      May 8, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • sam

      So, HS, 'everyone' was mistranslated as 'women'? Uh oh.

      May 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      sam, all souls are male in spiritual form. God created women for this earth age (the 2nd one we live in today) for the purpose of helping men stay faithful to His truth and to be fruitful and multiply (giving birth) to bring children into the world to love and follow Jesus' truth. God put the spiritually stronger souls into female form.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • sam

      Holy shit. I got nothing.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      sam, Wisdom and Justice are women too.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
  6. Bible Clown©

    What I'm taking away from this discussion is that Christians don't seem to mind being seen as angry and insulting, since they "know they are right." They must read a different Bible from the ones I've seen.

    May 8, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • lol??

      You can't read it with a dawg's eyes.

      May 8, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      You're used to listening to satan's lies that when you hear Jesus' truth, it is foreign to you. Hence, why you want to shoot the messengers. I'm guilty of fighting ego with ego ... so you'd hear your own language.

      May 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • sam

      HS is only nuttycakes because she's trying to counter satan's lies. LOL

      May 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      sam, if you read the Bible you'd know that Jesus wins and satan is, always was, a lying loser.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    quote:

    If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods …do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him.
    - Deut 13:7-12

    Get to work Christians. Every word of the Bible must be obeyed right?

    What a joke!

    May 8, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  8. lol??

    If there was more than one human race, Jesus would have to die on the cross more than once to save em. But God said, "Nah, once is enuff for those dawgs. This isn't fun a'tall!"

    May 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  9. Huebert

    Right wing evangelical groups are victims of intolerance in the same way that the Klan is.

    May 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
  10. Heretic

    Hold on... I think hes about to strike me down.... nope just gas, I think your god is a wussy.

    May 8, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Yeah. The old testament god was a bad azz. This updated new testament version has no balls.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Heretic

      I feel some bible verses coming...

      May 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      There shall in that time be rumors of things going astray, erm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things with the sort of raffia-work base, that has an attachment. At that time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer, and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before, about eight o'clock.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus spoke in parables. As He said to His disciples,

      To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them. (Mark 4:11-12)

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  11. lamb of dog

    Yes it is possible. But I doubt it. I know plenty of religious people that are borderline crazy.
    So your argument is he was using god to make himself look good?

    May 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  12. Dyslexic doG

    Let's all talk about Horus from 3000 BC (Jesus is a copy of Horus), or Attis from 1500 BC (Jesus is a copy of Attis), or Mithra from 1200BC (Jesus is a copy of Mithra), or Krishna from 900BC (Jesus is a copy of Krishna), or Dionysus from 500 BC (Jesus is a copy of Dionysus) .... or any of the DOZENS of other gods predating the bronze age book character Jesus who were born of a virgin on Dec 25, traveled as a teacher, had 12 disciples, performed miracles, was killed and lay dead for 3 days and was resurrected.

    You Christians are not even original! What a joke!

    May 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      :-)

      May 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @HeavenSent: there you go quoting from that bronze age storybook again. What is it you think that proves? Do you not have any original thoughts?

      May 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • derp

      http://zeitgeistchallenge.com/

      have at it dawg. what have you got to lose?

      May 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  13. faith

    "Dyslexic doG
    what sort of loving god lets 3 young Cleveland girls spend TEN YEARS subjected to terror and torment at the hands of the Christian Castro brothers?"

    good question. very important question. no one has any ideas?

    the answer is the sort of god that allows that is the same god who allows people to mock him and spit in his face, and whip him and punch him and nail spikes into his legs and arms and allows his mother to watch helplessly as he is pinned on a wooden frame like that for the rest of his life.

    May 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • faith

      he is the sort of god that has not yet cast little fatty sammy into the lake of fire

      May 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • faith

      he is the sort of god that taught corrie in the midst of hell on earth in ravensbruck, “There is no pit so deep, that God's love is not deeper still.”
      ― Corrie ten Boom

      May 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • faith

      he's the sort of god who endured hell so that don't have to

      May 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Heretic

      I hear god takes it from behind.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • faith

      the same god that wept over the grief his friends were feeling over the death of their friend

      May 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • faith

      the same sort of god who bled and died naked for people who hate him

      May 8, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • faith

      the same sort of god who freed the korn man welch from the bondage of hard drugs

      May 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Great post faith. The lost, that refuse to believe and love Jesus, ensure satan's evil thrives. "For the wicked [man without God] boasts of his heart's desire; he blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts." Psalm 10:3-4 (i.e. no God-shaped void)

      "For the wrath of God IS revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. . ." (Romans 1:18-32)

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • faith

      the same sort of god who lets thousands of children die daily from starvation

      May 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Heretic

      No he doesnt.... im still here

      May 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @HeavenSent: there you are quoting from that bronze age storybook again. What is it you think that proves? Do you not have any original thoughts?

      May 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • faith

      the same sort of god who created the African eye worm that only infects human eyes

      May 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • faith

      the sort of god who spoke to the winds and the waves and they obeyed him

      May 8, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      dog,

      Mark 8:15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and [of] the leaven of Herod.

      Mark 8:16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, [It is] because we have no bread.

      Mark 8:17 And when Jesus knew [it], he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?

      Mark 8:18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      faith ".. god who spoke to the winds and the waves and they obeyed him"
      Any evidence for that (apart from the sky fairy handbook).

      May 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • ..

      The same God millions of good Nazis worshiped.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • faith

      the sort of god Dylan, jethro tull's Anderson, b.j. Thomas, johnny cash gave their hearts to. along with football players reggie white, deon sanders, randall cuningham. coaches dan reeves and vince Lombardi credited whatever success they achieved to him. so did jimmy carter and Ronald reagan

      May 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • faith

      the sort of god that the delusional can really get behind

      May 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • ..

      The same God that let millions of Jewish people die in the ovens of Auschwitz. The same God that let 6 million other people die in those same camps.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • faith

      he is the sort of god that has not yet cast little fatty sammy into the lake of fire, nor anvil face, dodo, or the others here who hate and mock him day and night 365.

      he loves them and he hung by spikes until he bled and died for them

      choosing to hate him is his gift to them

      and even though they are miserable, he doesn't force them to do anything. it is up to them

      May 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • faith

      the one who let's rich wealthy influential americans do nothing while children starve to death. my mother witnessed children starving to death

      May 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      santa, Jesus spoke in parables. As He said to His disciples,

      To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them. (Mark 4:11-12)

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      HS. Any evidence for a god or that it moved wind and waves (apart from the sky fairy handbook).

      May 8, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • faith

      HeavenSent
      Great post faith. The lost, that refuse to believe and love Jesus, ensure satan's evil thrives. "For the wicked [man without God] boasts of his heart's desire; he blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts." Psalm 10:3-4 (i.e. no God-shaped void)
      "For the wrath of God IS revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. . ." (Romans 1:18-32)
      Amen.

      your posts are dynamite

      these losers r the funniest idiots i have ever seen. aren't they hysterical? they know almost nothing. they repeat the same useless arguments. and you get the sense that they honestly believe they are smart. it is a riot. the one or two who post as god-hating nazi fascists love to pretend they post as numerous morons to look superior in numbers and thus more powerful in their positions. we aren't supposed to be able to figure that out. so one or two idiots races around posting away like they r on meth and i think she is and it is hysterical cause she thinks she's foolin everybody. i never realized people so average and so depressed could be so funny

      May 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • sam

      faith, you psycho.

      May 8, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      faith, most of the unbelievers on this site are the same person using multiple handles.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Then faith should feel like part of the majority, HS.

      You are an idiot.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Santa, Jesus' truth is all. All man made stuff is vanity.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Hep, the worst thing about Mel Gibson's movie is that he mocks Christ's suffering by making Christ an iron superman capable of enduring incredible torture. It cheapens the whole thing, and Gibson's supposedly a believer.

      May 9, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • @chad


      what sort of loving god lets 3 young Cleveland girls spend TEN YEARS subjected to terror and torment at the hands of the Christian Castro brothers?

      In an interview, the father of one of these girls went on and on about god, and how good he is. All I could think of the whole time, was if your god is so good, then why the fuck did he allow those girls to be abducted in the first place. What kind of monster does that?

      May 9, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Just waiting for one of the dead jew zombie death cult aka christians to explain how free will plays here. . .

      May 9, 2013 at 8:37 am |
  14. Dyslexic doG

    glad to see WASP back ...

    May 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • lol??

      Doesn't take much to make a dawg glad.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I wag as often as I can ...

      May 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  15. lamb of dog

    Dear Family Research Council.
    You have a lot to say about gay people being more likely to have mental problems. But I would argue its the other way around. The people of faith are more likely to be crazy. Just look at the last facebook post from the Cleveland kidnapper.

    'Miracles really do happen, God is good :)'

    May 8, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts." Psalm 10:3-4 (i.e. no God-shaped void)

      There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

      Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      HeavenSent....get help
      .
      Hallucinations – the person has invisible friends who (s)he insists are real, and to whom (s)he speaks daily, even though nobody can actually see or hear
      these friends.

      Delusions – the patient believes that the invisible friends have magical powers to make them rich, cure cancer, bring about world peace, and will do so eventually if asked.

      Denial/Inability to learn – though the requests for world peace remain unanswered, even after hundreds of years, the patients persist with the praying behaviour, each time expecting different results.

      Inability to distinguish fantasy from reality – the beliefs are contingent upon ancient mythology being accepted as historical fact.

      Paranoia – the belief that anyone who does not share their supernatural concept of reality is "evil," "the devil," "an agent of Satan".

      May 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Russ

      @ lamb: so your argument is...
      this guy who was obviously living about as HUGE a fake front to society as possible...
      was somehow being *consistent & forthcoming* on Facebook?

      May 8, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • lol??

      Dawg, how much DNA do you share with the Castro boyz??

      May 8, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Akira

      Lamb, that's really what he wrote on FB? Wow. Sick.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Ted,

      There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

      "For the wicked [man without God] boasts of his heart's desire; he blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts." Psalm 10:3-4 (i.e. no God-shaped void)

      "For the wrath of God IS revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. . ." (Romans 1:18-32)

      ALL WILL BE JUDGED ... "God. . .commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31)

      ". . .who 'will render to each one according to his deeds': eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but unrighteousness-indignation and wrath." (Romans 2:6-7, John 5:28-29, 2 Corinthians 5:10)

      Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      That's what he wrote on May 2.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      dog still blames others for not seeing nor hearing His truth.

      Mark 8:15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and [of] the leaven of Herod.

      Mark 8:16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, [It is] because we have no bread.

      Mark 8:17 And when Jesus knew [it], he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?

      Mark 8:18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      I am not blaming anyone. I am just pointing out that religion is not the answer to the questions mankind faces.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Furthermore I believe that religion is often used as an excuse for immoral behavior. I have seen the truth.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Russ

      @ lamb: yes, religion is sometimes misused.
      but just like planes being flown into buildings, it is not the purpose for which it was designed.
      are you going to stop flying because planes are sometimes misused?

      May 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Planes are real.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Russ. No I have family all over the world that I like to visit.
      But ever since a bunch of religious fanatics decided to fly a plane into some building we have increased security dramatically. Maybe you should increase your level of skepticism.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Russ

      @ lamb: i have skeptical inclinations... that have led me to be very skeptical of skeptics.
      i've noticed this classic inconsistency in skeptics: a distrust of virtually everything except themselves.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      dog, Jesus spoke in parables. As He said to His disciples,

      To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them. (Mark 4:11-12)

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      But you are the only thing that you can know 100%. So you are skeptical of people that are aware of that fact?

      May 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Russ
      What do you know better than yourself?

      May 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Also I would not say that it is a distrust. Its just a lack of assumption.

      May 8, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Russ

      @ lamb: you know yourself 100%? i think that claim itself is the sign of being self-deceived.
      have you never 'surprised' yourself in what you did/thought/etc.?
      have you never been stunned to realize something about yourself that you'd missed for years?

      no, it is much more honest to realize we DON'T know ourselves 100%.
      which – again – invites the question: why do skeptics put so much trust in their own faculties?

      May 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Russ
      I have spent many hours meditating about my life. I understand that a vast majority of people choose to ignore their thoughts and feelings. I however have delved deep inside my subconscious.
      Even if I don't know myself 100%. I still know myself better than I do anything else.

      May 8, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      And if you don't trust your own facilities what can you trust?

      May 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Bob

      Russ, you coward, how's that evidence for your sky fairy coming along? Still have none that you can present? Thought so.

      Let's see what your dodge of the moment is, Russ the coward.

      May 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Russ

      as I posted on the next page...

      @ Bob: how many times do we have to cover this? I gave you two great, scholarly books on these topics. that's over 1700 pages of your requested *evidence.* yet you continue to ask for evidence... while it's clear you haven't even read a critical review of those works, much less actually read the primary material.

      once again...
      Richard Bauckham's "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses"
      NT Wright's "The Resurrection of the Son of God"

      May 9, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Russ

      @ lamb: I'm not saying 'never trust your own faculties.' i'm calling out over-confidence in one's own faculties... or in particular: a less skeptical inclination toward oneself than toward others. it's inconsistent.

      secondly: if you admit you don't even know yourself 100%, how can you be so confident about what is *NOT* out there beyond you?

      May 9, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Russ

      Anecdotal evidence, specifically of that sort, is not evidence. Further consideration of the context and other facts in hand demand that a critical thinker view such puported "evidence" as pure conjecture and biased propaganda.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Russ

      @ Cpt. Obvious: thank you for being Exhibit B. yet again, it is *obvious* that you didn't read even a basic review of those works.

      far from anecdotal, these are rather exhaustive treatments of most of the key available evidence. and – worthy of note – even the scholars on the far opposite end of the spectrum from these authors recognize the evidence IS germane.

      take for example the fact that Paul writes within the lifetime of eyewitnesses of Jesus. NO ONE contests that. And Paul is claiming in 1 Cor.15 that MANY people (still living!) saw Jesus risen from the dead – even appearing to over 500 at once. He names names. What is he doing? inviting fact checking.

      Christianity would not have gotten off the ground if there was no basis for these claims. NOTE: unlike every other major religion, Jesus was not pointing to a system of ethics or teachings (or WAY for us to live to 'get in/favor/heaven/etc.'), he was claiming to BE the Way/God/etc. Christianity did not come primarily proclaiming a philosophy: but NEWS – namely: God has done for you what you couldn't do for yourself. That's what evangelism is: literally, sharing "good news." to think no one would check the sources (as if they were somehow just gullible) is both historically inaccurate & ethnocentric. the same Hellenized that CREATED cynicism would come to be dominated by Christianity within the next 250 years.

      May 9, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  16. Reality

    Dear Family Research Council,

    First things, first !!!

    Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:
    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, the resurrection con, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    May 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • .

      Current problems: Reality thinks he is a scholar. Reality bites.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Hepcat

      Well, this post of his is sort of lame. Reality's got some bits of grey matter left, don't worry. Enough to toss you on your butt, easily enough, I'm sure.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

      Galatians 1:8

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      HS: Stop calling 1-800-buy-bull, it's destroying your brain.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I am letting His Truth prevail.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      “I'm going to keep going until I succeed — or die. Don't think I don't know how this might end. I've known it for years.”
      ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

      May 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      +

      The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts." Psalm 10:3-4 (i.e. no God-shaped void)

      There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

      Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      Hallucinations – the person has invisible friends who (s)he insists are real, and to whom (s)he speaks daily, even though nobody can actually see or hear
      these friends.

      Delusions – the patient believes that the invisible friends have magical powers to make them rich, cure cancer, bring about world peace, and will do so eventually if asked.

      Denial/Inability to learn – though the requests for world peace remain unanswered, even after hundreds of years, the patients persist with the praying behaviour, each time expecting different results.

      Inability to distinguish fantasy from reality – the beliefs are contingent upon ancient mythology being accepted as historical fact.

      Paranoia – the belief that anyone who does not share their supernatural concept of reality is "evil," "the devil," "an agent of Satan".

      May 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      HS: What truth? Your vindictive prick of a god allowed 3 young women to be held captive for a decade. If your god is all knowing and all loving, why did he allow this? Why did he allow the captor to rape an innocent girl? Why did he allow Andrea Yates to drown her innocent children? The god you believe is is nothing more than a worthless myth made up to control the weak minded fools like you.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      "For the wicked [man without God] boasts of his heart's desire; he blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts." Psalm 10:3-4 (i.e. no God-shaped void)

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Hepcat

      Truth Prevails, I think that is the fake HS troll trying to sound legit. Dinna fash yerself.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus warned,

      Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13)

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Translation:
      Jesus said "My daddy made a lot of people but most of them are going to hell"

      May 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      dog, how many times do I need to post this for you to understand?

      This is why Jesus spoke in parables. As He said to His disciples,

      To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them. (Mark 4:11-12)

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      lamb of dog, you posted "Translation: Jesus said "My daddy made a lot of people but most of them are going to hell"

      Answer: You send yourself to hell. Jesus will oblige you of your wishes. It's your ego that blocks His truth out of your life. EGO means to Erase God Out. Meaning, humble yourself and shelve your ego so that your eyes will see and your ears will hear His truth.

      May 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      HS
      I believe that I know very little about the mysteries of life.
      I would argue that people of faith are the ones with the large EGO.
      I simply refuse to take someone else's belief.(who also has no idea)

      May 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      In fact HS. I bet if we put it to a vote most people would agree your EGO dwarfs mine. You are the one who KNOWS the TRUTH.

      May 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Reality

      In rebuttal, a confession of faith:

      The Apostles' Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      May 8, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, Jesus resides in a different dimension than those of us on earth. You'll realize this truth when it's your time to go back to Him.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • The real Tom

      HS babbles, "Ego means Erase God Out."

      That's just priceless. The only thing bigger than your ego, HS, is your butt.

      May 8, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, find out when these scriptures prophesying Jesus Christ being crucified was scribed.

      Isaiah 53:1-12

      1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

      2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.

      3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

      4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

      5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

      6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

      7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

      8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

      9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither [was any] deceit in his mouth.

      10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

      11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

      12 Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom,

      O ye sons of men, how long [will ye turn] my glory into shame? [how long] will ye love vanity, [and] seek after leasing? Selah.

      Psalms 4:2

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Yeah, I keep asking those same questions about you, you self-satisfied doofus.

      May 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
  17. lamb of dog

    So much for morals coming from religion.
    In the words of Ariel Castro:
    'Miracles really do happen, God is good :)'

    May 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Sorry I kept getting a duplicate message.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry [with the wicked] every day.

      Psalms 7:11

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Heretic

      In other words...

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K08OKQJIwYw&w=640&h=390]

      May 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      In other words you can be a terrible person if you believe in god or not.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      It's a free pass. No pain or anything negative matters in this life because in the end they will pray it away and in doing so they think all is well and their imaginary friend will accept them with open arms.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

      Revelation 20:10

      Amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Heaven's Tent

      And then the Devil went down to Georgia, yea, verily, and vo de o doe. Coochy coochy. O Lord, do I ever love to quote stuff, amen.

      May 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Heaven's Tent

      God blessed him with three fine women and a fine child, and now he's famous! Praise God from whom all blessings flow. See? Prayer changes things!!

      May 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  18. lamb of dog

    In the words of Ariel Castro:
    'Miracles really do happen, God is good :)'
    So much for morals coming from religion.

    May 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  19. lamb of dog

    In the words of Ariel Castro:
    'Miracles really do happen, God is good :)'

    May 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • lol??

      Commie dawg, can't come up with any socie jokes??

      May 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
  20. Heretic

    "When women are kidnapped as children, held hostage, and abused for a decade and you thank god for their rescue, it's time to sit down and objectively evaluate your belief system."

    May 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      When people are crawling out of the wreckage that was their home before the tornado, they thank god they are alive....they don't think that god just tried to kill them and barely missed.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      The crazy part is the kidnapper was thanking god for his victims.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • lol??

      No abortion jokes?? They're only pieces of tissue. Don't be sad, be happy.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
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.