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Lutherans elect first openly gay bishop
The Rev. R. Guy Erwin was elected the first openly gay bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on May 31.
June 3rd, 2013
02:12 PM ET

Lutherans elect first openly gay bishop

By Dan Merica and Daniel Burke, CNN

(CNN)– For more than two decades, the Rev. R. Guy Erwin couldn't officially be a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. On Friday, he was elected a bishop.

Erwin's election signals a shift not only for the ELCA – the nation's seventh largest church – but also for American Christianity. Only one other mainline Protestant denomination, the Episcopal Church, has elected openly gay and lesbian bishops.

“In these days such milestones seem to be coming at an ever-faster rate," Erwin told CNN, "and eventually what seems revolutionary now will seem normal and predictable."

With more than 4 million members in 10,000 congregations, the ELCA is the largest of several Lutheran denominations in the United States. The ELCA's decision to allow gay clergy has strained ties between those denominations, some of whom have partnered for relief work.

"The ELCA is a church that belongs to Christ, and there is a place for all here," said church spokeswoman Melissa Ramirez Cooper. "The election of Pastor Erwin illustrates what many in the 4-million-member church believe - that God calls each of us by name.”

The ELCA lifted its ban on openly gay, partnered clergy in 2009, clearing the way for pastors like Erwin, but angering conservatives. By some estimates, some 600 congregations have since left the ELCA for more conservative churches.

The Rev. W. Stevens Shipman, director of the Lutheran Coalition for Renewal, said the ELCA is not keeping promises it made in 2009 to respect the views of churches and individuals who regard homosexuality as a sin.

"The promise was also made publicly that no congregation would be required to call a pastor in a same-sex partnership," Shipman said, "but now an entire synod has been forced to live under the authority of a bishop who is in such a relationship."

Erwin, a scholar at California Lutheran University, will serve a six-year term representing the Southwest California Synod, a five-county area that includes Los Angeles. His election took place an annual three-day assembly in Woodland Hills, California.

Erwin, who was ordained a pastor in 2011, played down his election as the ELCA's first openly gay bishop. But acknowledged that his very “existence” was a symbol for broader acceptance.

“The work of a bishop in our church is to lift up the church's message of grace and peace in the wider society, to administer the church's work in our area, and to teach and preach,” Erwin said in an e-mail to CNN. “In this regard, the sexual orientation of the bishop may not be very important.”

Still, the bishop-elect said, “The very fact I exist will be a signal to others that GLBT folks are respected and have a full place in our church.” Erwin is also part Osage Indian and is active in the Osage Indian Nation, according to the ELCA.

Erwin’s election symbolizes a noticeable change for a church that once banned clergy who were in same-sex relationships, said Ross Murray, director of news and Faith initiatives at GLAAD.

Prior to the 2009 change, “hundreds of gay and lesbian clergy were forced out of congregations or served under secrecy,” Murray said.

“Dr. Erwin demonstrates how far the ECLA has come with LGBT inclusion,” said Murray in an e-mail to CNN. “He could not have been ordained just four years ago, and now he is a leader for the church. It makes me proud as a gay man, and as a Lutheran.”

Although the ELCA church did not allow clergy in same-sex relationships while he was attending seminary, Erwin  said that he “always believed that this would someday be possible.”

Erwin also said the church's 2009 change in policy was more of a "culmination of God's work" than a "start of something new."

Erwin has long been a board member of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, a Lutheran group that advocates for the 130 openly gay Lutheran clergy who are members.

Amalia Vagts, the group’s executive director, said Erwin’s election was an “amazing day” for openly gay and lesbian Lutherans.

“This is a powerful message for LGBT people everywhere that the Lutheran church welcomes them,” Vagts said in an e-mail.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Lutheran

soundoff (1,122 Responses)
  1. truth truth truth 2013

    At first i use to say how can a entire organazation be led by the devil, but the BIBLE says in the last days Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; We are living in the last days and most of you are not going to believe, but the few have not hardened their heart seek JESUS for he is the GOSPEL of your salvation. JESUS is the only way and for those who dont believe you are missing out on eternal life and you will have only yourselves to blame. Parents please even if you are not a believer at least let you children go to a church who preach HOLYINESS and live right and live for GOD, in fact read ROMANS Chapter 12 verse 1, 2, 3,. and ask yourself are you apart of GODS Kingdom.

    June 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • midwest rail

      "...says in the last days..."
      Men have been predicting the end of days since the beginning of days. They were all wrong. So are you.

      June 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Hey look! I can say dumb sh!t too! blah blah blah... get on your knees .... blah blah blah ... suck off jesus...blah blah blah GOSPEL... blah blah blah TRUTH... blah blah blah...

      June 4, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      let me tell you something about the 'Last Days'....

      jesus is going to open his daddy's seven seals and murder 2/3 of the human population of earth (not to mention countless animals). he releases death, famine, war, pestilence, etc. many of those killed are babies, as things like 'famine' and 'pestilence' tend of have larger effects on children. as jesus says:

      Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34–39)

      yahweh is a monster, as is his supposedly all loving son. neither are worthy of worship.

      June 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      truth?
      You wish it was truth...since it cannot be proven, it is not truth. It is belief so stop lying.

      June 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Science

      Hey chadie look what Isabell found ..............chad is the king and queen of trolls.............the truth !

      An 'Extinct' Frog Makes a Comeback in Israel

      June 4, 2013 — The first amphibian to have been officially declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has been rediscovered in the north of Israel after some 60 years and turns out to be a unique "living fossil," without close relatives among other living frogs.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130604113437.htm

      June 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • sam stone

      the last days?

      "the sky is falling! the sky is falling!"

      June 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      BF,
      The sword is the word of God. What sets family members against one another is that some believe and some do not. The greatest commandment is love God above everything else. If you are in charge of your life, God is not. If you surrender control of your life to him you can have an abundant spiritual life now and for eternity.

      June 4, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      "If you are in charge of your life, God is not. If you surrender control of your life to him you can have an abundant spiritual life now and for eternity."

      Do you seriously desire eternal life?

      June 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • sam stone

      "The sword is the word of God"

      No, they are the translated, edited hearsay of iron age sheep mounters

      "If you are in charge of your life, God is not. If you surrender control of your life to him you can have an abundant spiritual life now and for eternity."

      All you have to do is take a good set of kneepads and be prepared to be a toady FOREVER

      June 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      truth truth truth sez:
      "JESUS is the only way and for those who dont believe you are missing out on eternal life"
      Ok .. couple things
      thing 1) How can it be eternal LIFE if you have to die to get it
      thing 2) Whether you go to heave or hell ... is it not eternal ?
      thing 3) IF you do not believe ... then you die ... and you don't get eternal life ... why would I care ?

      June 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  2. LinCA

    Hey everybody! Get ready for a Belief Blog article rehashing a piece on Time about a monument to atheism on public land. See:
    http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/06/04/americas-first-public-monument-to-atheism-will-go-up-near-florida-courthouse/?hpt=hp_t3

    June 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  3. Bootyfunk

    always good to see christians moving away from the evil of the bible.

    June 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      Do you know why God gave us the ten commandments?

      Because God demands obedience? So that you will be happy?

      Nope.

      Because God loves your neighbor and would prefer you not to steal from them or to sleep with their wives or husbands.

      It is all about relationship.

      Matthew 22:36-40

      “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

      Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

      Some of us are moving closer to what is revealed about God in the Bible.

      Love, not judgement.

      June 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      wrong.

      god didn't give us any commandments. we made them up. just like we made up god. there is no invisible sky fairy in the sky.

      "Because God loves your neighbor and would prefer you not to steal from them or to sleep with their wives or husbands."
      +++ now that's hilarious. god is all about love, is he? god drowned babies in his great flood, along with the elderly, infirm, physiclaly disabled, mentally challenged, etc. god punished the pharoah by murdering the first born sons of the egyptians. god killed babies when he outright destroyed sodom and ghamora. god is a baby-killer. how can you say a baby-killer is all loving? yahweh is disgusting. you can't see that because you are in a cult. cults teach you to turn off your brain.

      the bible supports slavery throughout. how can you follow such an evil book?

      June 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Water.
      You of course know you are viloating one of your commandments by your very name. Mars was the roman god of war who was worshipped long before your god was created. You name calls out to another god...shame on you.

      Also god did not reveal anything in the commandments. for one thing none of them arre exclusive to your religion, they are mens laws, inherent even in animal societies to a degree. Men thought they needed to be written into the bible when they created them. No gods required.
      And better change the name and stop violating commandment number one.

      June 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      "Do you know why God gave us the ten commandments?
      Because God demands obedience? So that you will be happy?"
      WRONG WRONG WRONG !!
      The true interpretation of the ten comandments specifically "Thou shall not kill" is that god wants man to be vegetarian.
      It is totally clear that eating meat is murder which equates to killing.
      Stop sinning against the father and pass the tofu.

      June 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Richard is exactly right. you don't get credit for saying "no murder". there has never been a society where murder was acceptable, nor stealing. even jesus' golden rule was actually confucious' golden rule first. the bible plagiarized from other societies/religions. basically, stop giving christianity credit where it's not due.

      June 4, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      I never said the 10 Commandments were new, exclusive or revolutionary. Or that we give Jews and Christians credit for saying murder is not right.

      It is just how God wants us to live.

      Sometimes it helps me think about this:

      Thou shall not steal. Thou shall not murder.

      can be:

      Love does not steal. Love does not murder.

      June 4, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      so you agree we don't need god since humans came up with the rules? Occam's razor.

      you keep giving credit where it's not due. god is not all about love. god has directly killed children. he is a monster incapable of real love and unworthy of worship. (and he doesn't really exist.)

      June 4, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      Bootyfunk

      @ so you agree we don't need god since humans came up with the rules?

      Well, we don't need God to make rules.

      @ he is a monster incapable of real love and unworthy of worship.

      God gets angry when we start to do things that will lead to our destruction.

      If my child stepped into oncoming traffic, she might perceive my reaction (screaming "No!" and yanking her out of harm's way) to be harsh and unloving. But in reality it would be an expression of our fiercest and purest love.

      Can that be what God is doing?

      The people in the flood were leading humans into destruction, so God allowed the flood to destroy them. But he did give an option for those who would listen to him – Noah's ark.

      You should read about Baxter Kruger and what he has to say about God's wrath...

      June 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      THE WRATH OF GOD, WHAT IS IT ?
      " The Father's passion is to get His children back and to bless us with all the treasures of heaven itself. Unto that end the Son was sent into our existence to undo OUR estrangement, NOT God's, and to convert our fallen human experience tro God. This love of God in action, this agonizing incarnation, suffering to convert humanity, is the wrath of God, the firey and complete opposition of God's love to our destruction. "

      June 4, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      The thing is – human beings may be headed to destruction.

      Not by God's doing – but our own.

      But God is offering you a way out. Because he loves you.

      If you didn't know that – I just told you about it. Know you do. Keep an open mind – it might come in handy.

      June 4, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • sam stone

      "But God is offering you a way out. Because he loves you. "

      Nonsense. if god is omniscient, he knows before you are born whether you will accept jeebus as a savior. For those he KNOWS will not, he allows them to be born anyway? For what end?

      "Keep an open mind – it might come in handy"

      Back atcha.

      June 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • sam stone

      "THE WRATH OF GOD, WHAT IS IT "

      An empty threat
      A bad joke
      A way for the pious to attempt to scare unbelievers, and keep believers in line

      June 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      "It is just how God wants us to live."

      Really? Another person pontificating on what god wants

      June 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      God has given us freedom to choose. It seems he has limited His power.

      Christians have a God in relationship (the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

      We are invited into this relationship.

      June 4, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Water on Mars,
      "If my child stepped into oncoming traffic, she might perceive my reaction (screaming "No!" and yanking her out of harm's way) to be harsh and unloving. But in reality it would be an expression of our fiercest and purest love."

      Your reaction and guidance to your dumb kid is sure and clear. You don't send a tornado to the next county to warn her about an oncoming car. And if she errs again, you don't toss her into the barbecue fire.

      That stupid god of yours is a rotten communicator.

      June 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      @ Your reaction and guidance to your dumb kid is sure and clear. You don't send a tornado to the next county to warn her about an oncoming car. And if she errs again, you don't toss her into the barbecue fire.

      @ That stupid god of yours is a rotten communicator.

      If she errs again, she probably dies on her own. No need to toss her into the fire.

      If humans keep following their appetytes for destruction – they perish.

      God wants to save those people who want to be saved.

      June 4, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Mars,
      "If she errs again, she probably dies on her own."

      Yeeesh, I'm glad you were not my parent!

      June 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  4. Kinghts Who Say...

    Scene 4

    [arg]
    [ugh]
    [hah]

    ARTHUR: You fight with the strength of many men, Sir knight.
    I am Arthur, King of the Britons.
    [pause]
    I seek the finest and the bravest knights in the land to join me
    in my Court of Camelot.
    [pause]
    You have proved yourself worthy; will you join me?
    [pause]
    You make me sad. So be it. Come, Patsy.
    BLACK KNIGHT: None shall pass.
    ARTHUR: What?
    BLACK KNIGHT: None shall pass.
    ARTHUR: I have no quarrel with you, good Sir knight, but I must
    cross this bridge.
    BLACK KNIGHT: Then you shall die.
    ARTHUR: I command you as King of the Britons to stand aside!
    BLACK KNIGHT: I move for no man.
    ARTHUR: So be it!
    [hah]
    [parry thrust]
    [ARTHUR chops the BLACK KNIGHT's left arm off]
    ARTHUR: Now stand aside, worthy adversary.
    BLACK KNIGHT: 'Tis but a scratch.
    ARTHUR: A scratch? Your arm's off!
    BLACK KNIGHT: No, it isn't.
    ARTHUR: Well, what's that then?
    BLACK KNIGHT: I've had worse.
    ARTHUR: You liar!
    BLACK KNIGHT: Come on you pansy!
    [hah]
    [parry thrust]
    [ARTHUR chops the BLACK KNIGHT's right arm off]
    ARTHUR: Victory is mine!
    [kneeling]
    We thank thee Lord, that in thy merc-
    [hah]
    BLACK KNIGHT: Come on then.
    ARTHUR: What?
    BLACK KNIGHT: Have at you!
    ARTHUR: You are indeed brave, Sir knight, but the fight is mine.
    BLACK KNIGHT: Oh, had enough, eh?
    ARTHUR: Look, you stupid b@stard, you've got no arms left.
    BLACK KNIGHT: Yes I have.
    ARTHUR: Look!
    BLACK KNIGHT: Just a flesh wound.
    [bang]
    ARTHUR: Look, stop that.
    BLACK KNIGHT: Chicken! Chicken!
    ARTHUR: Look, I'll have your leg. Right!
    [whop]
    BLACK KNIGHT: Right, I'll do you for that!
    ARTHUR: You'll what?
    BLACK KNIGHT: Come 'ere!
    ARTHUR: What are you going to do, bleed on me?
    BLACK KNIGHT: I'm invincible!
    ARTHUR: You're a loony.
    BLACK KNIGHT: The Black Knight always triumphs!
    Have at you! Come on then.
    [whop]
    [ARTHUR chops the BLACK KNIGHT's other leg off]
    BLACK KNIGHT: All right; we'll call it a draw.
    ARTHUR: Come, Patsy.
    BLACK KNIGHT: Oh, oh, I see, running away then. You yellow
    b@stards! Come back here and take what's coming to you.
    I'll bite your legs off!

    June 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  5. Huebert

    Bill

    I only use the one name, and I would prefer it if you would refrain from any comments about my wife, thank you.

    June 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • schitzo phrenic

      I use many names, but insulting someone's wife without having ever met her is so disgusting that only a catholic would be expected to do such a thing!

      June 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Huebert: He's just showing his true colors. He's the last person who should be judging you or anyone for that matter.

      June 4, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I've got what she craves, can I help it if she liked it?

      June 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Huebert

      @bill troll

      lame.

      June 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Your mom was better!

      June 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  6. bostontola

    Hypothesis 1: Man created all the gods and religious creeds/traditions of which many conflict with one another, except the one true god.

    Hypothesis 2 : Man created all the gods and religious creeds/traditions of which many conflict with one another.

    June 4, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Pay attention to # 16.

      2 Timothy 3:16

      1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

      2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

      3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

      4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

      5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

      6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

      7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

      8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

      9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all [men], as theirs also was.

      10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

      11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of [them] all the Lord delivered me.

      12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

      13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

      14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them];

      15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

      16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

      17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

      Amen.

      June 4, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • sam stone

      HS

      Pay attention to #1

      1. Saying it don't make it so

      June 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • What IF

      HeavenSent,
      "16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

      Bloviating Paul of Tarsus again.

      Would you care to know how many "scriptures" there are/have been in the world over the eons? Look here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_text#List_of_sacred_texts_of_various_religions

      Even Korea's Kim Jong Il has "scriptures".

      Your early Middle Eastern Hebrew "scriptures" are not proof of any god.

      June 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • bostontola

      HeavenSent,
      I presented 2 hypotheses. I didn't take a position. I assume you subscribe to H1. In that case you accept that man created all the other gods but yours. Of course, all the other people who subscribe to H1 (i.e. believers) that aren't in your sect think you believe in a false man made god.

      June 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      bostontola, if man created God the father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, don't you beleive they would have created it with a more pleasant outcome?

      June 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      @HS

      Of course this is the way man would have done it – it is much easier to exercise control the masses with a carrot AND a stick.

      June 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bostontola,

      Hypothesis 3: Satan created all the gods and religious creeds/traditions of which many conflict with one another, except the one true God.

      June 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Roger

      @HS:

      The man-made choice of outcomes falls perfectly in line with the obvious motives: fear and control.

      June 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  7. Knights Who Say...

    ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
    WOMAN: Order, eh - who does he think he is?
    ARTHUR: I am your king!
    WOMAN: Well, I didn't vote for you.
    ARTHUR: You don't vote for kings.
    WOMAN: Well, 'ow did you become king then?
    ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake,
    [angels sing]
    her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur
    from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I,
    Arthur, was to carry Excalibur.
    [singing stops]
    That is why I am your king!
    DENNIS: Listen - strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
    is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power
    derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical
    aquatic ceremony.

    June 4, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Akira

      Every day is a MP day.

      June 4, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Joey

      LAUNCELOT: We have the Holy Hand Grenade.
      ARTHUR: Yes, of course! The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch! ´Tis
      one of the sacred relics Brother Maynard carries with him! Brother
      Maynard! Bring up the Holy Hand Grenade!
      [singing]
      How does it, uh... how does it work?
      ???: I know not, my liege.
      ARTHUR: Consult the Book of Armaments!
      MAYNARD: Armaments, Chapter Two, Verses Nine to Twenty-One.
      BROTHER: "And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high,
      saying, ´Oh, Lord, bless this thy hand grenade that with it thou
      mayest blow thy enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.´ And the Lord
      did grin, and people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and
      carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and
      fruit bats, and large –"
      MAYNARD: Skip a bit, Brother.
      BROTHER: "And the Lord spake, saying, ´First shalt thou take out
      the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three, no more, no less.
      Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the
      counting shalt be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either
      count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is
      right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be
      reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards
      thou foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.´"
      MAYNARD: Amen.
      ALL: Amen.
      ARTHUR: Right! One... two... five!
      ???: Three, sir!
      ARTHUR: Three!
      [boom]

      June 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Akira
      No it isn't ( I thought you came here for an argument.)

      Knight...did you ever wonder why the Knights kept using the ja panese word for two?

      June 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Akira

      Richard: yes it is! And you're not arguing, you're just contradicting me!

      June 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Kinghts Who Say...

      NEE! I say again, NEE!

      June 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Alias

      This isn't arguements, this is insults.
      Arguements must be next door.

      June 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Akira
      An argument is a connected series of statement intended to establish a proposition. It isn't the automatic game saying of anything the other person says.

      June 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      alias
      I think next door they are teaching how to defend yourself if someone attacks you with a banana. The next door after that is the "being hit on the head" lessons.

      June 4, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Akira

      Richard: no, it's not.

      June 4, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Ohhhhhhhhmmmmmmmm

      BOOT TO THE HEAD!!

      June 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      ding...sorry times up,You only paid for a five minute argument...I'm not allowed to argue with you unless you pay.

      June 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Akira

      That hasn't been five minutes! There's no way that was five minutes!

      June 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Ssshhh Sshhh
      this is the scene I'm in

      June 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  8. Happy Atheist

    "Call him Alfred for all I care"

    I was under the impression that you believed I had to worship your God to save myself from the terror of heIIfire. If I can worship Alfred and get into heaven then I might start praying again "Please Alfred, help those in need and make sure the Batmobile is put away, i've got a date with Selina Kyle."

    June 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      sorry for the mis-post, this was for Bill D of course 🙂

      June 4, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Alias

      So, how do you know god didn't move your post to make you look stupid?

      He does it to me all the time -> PROOF!

      June 4, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The point being Happy that whether you refuse to spend eternity with Jehovah, Yahweh or Alfred, your denial of relationship with the infinite is described as hell. It is you who makes the choice, not Alfred, not Yaweh, not Christ. It is you.

      June 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  9. Making Love to Kathy Bates is Icky...

    Doesn't mean we should ban her from getting married...

    June 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  10. lol??

    hijack

    June 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  11. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Leviticus 20:13
    New International Version (NIV)
    13 “‘If a man has se xual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

    June 4, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Yawn

      Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's the holy code for Israel priests. It's why that book was given the title of Leviticus.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      The Leviticus laws were never intended by God to be the universal law for all people for all of time.

      And most experts (when they put that verse in context) believe that it speaks about temple prosttution. Married men paying for sx with young men.

      Followers of Jesus Christ are not expected to follow the laws of Leviticus.

      Jesus gave us new commandments.

      Matthew 22:36-40

      “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

      Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

      Love your neighbor (the hmosxual)

      June 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Since men do not have va g!nas, men cannot have $ex with a man as he would with a woman, so it is OK.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Marigold

      Does stealing someone's handle made you feel better about being a Christian? Coward.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Yawn.
      Even christ said that the OT is still the word of god and cannot be broken, so if the "christains" do not follow every word of the OT, they are not following in Christ"s teachings.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Yawn

      "Even christ said that the OT is still the word of god and cannot be broken, so if the "christains" do not follow every word of the OT, they are not following in Christ"s teachings."

      That is not what Leviticus is about. If you actually have read it you would note the many times it refers to the " the children of Israel" and the "the priests the sons of Aaron." That book was not meant for Christians.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      @ Richard

      I don't think you understand. If we could all just follow the laws perfectly, we wouldn't need Jesus.

      John 13:34
      "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

      This commandment was not part of the 10 commandments. Jesus gave his followers new commandments to follow.

      Jn 15:10-12
      "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love.

      "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

      "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I do understand..he confirmed the OT is still the word of god and cannot be broken...he just added more to it, did not take anything away.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      The Leviticus laws were never intended by God to be the universal law for all people for all of time.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Don

      Richard read Hebrews 7

      June 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      The Leviticus laws were never intended by God to be the universal law for all people for all of time.

      It was for people who were living 3,000 years ago as they were preparing to enter a new land.

      The laws show some of the things that these people were doing – like married men sleeping with young male prosttutes.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Now you think to know what god intended.
      Since it was all made up by men, including the god character, to follow any of it seems pretty silly when you realize how much of the bible has been proven wrong anyway.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm |

    • Over 40,000 sects

      June 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Are there any living people on this planet that are supposed to follow leviticus and kill anyone who does not? If yes, who are they and are there any actual examples of them carrying out the punishment and escaping murder charges. If not, why do believers use this part of The Babble to harass gays?

      June 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • What IF

      Water_On_Mars
      "The Leviticus laws were never intended by God to be the universal law for all people for all of time."

      What a stupid, incompetent god - to not make that clear.

      (It's almost like primitive Middle Eastern Hebrew men made 'him' up!)

      June 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Vic

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/11/my-take-gay-christian-is-not-an-oxymoron/comment-page-5/#comment-2337710

      June 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Water, Funny how christians select which parts of the bible they follow. And on the topic of abominations – eaten any shellfish?

      June 4, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Pete

      " If not, why do believers use this part of The Babble to harass gays?"

      Christians that use Leviticus against gays are just uneducated prejudice bigots who don't have a clue.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • IF

      Leviticus isn't meant for anyone other that Jewish priests, WHY is still included in the Bible today, and WHY is it the most widely used to condemn gays?
      Because that's what is used by bigots to do so. It's reprehensible. Bah!

      Yawn, Christians may not follow the laws of Leviticus, but it is CERTAINLY the go-to book of the Bible when they want to use it to justify their objection against gay people. "I don't mind gay people, but God said it's wrong; see Leviticus!"

      June 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • derp

      "Since men do not have va g!nas, men cannot have $ex with a man as he would with a woman, so it is OK."

      What about b l o w j o b s?

      June 4, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • The Difference

      "... as one does with a woman ..." is the Key in this Scripture. That is saying that if a Straight man has s ex with another man, that is the sin because he is attempting to have se x with him as he would with a woman. Therefore, that would be unnatural for the straight man. But this Scripture does not speak to one who is already Gay or Lesbian whose very nature is to show affection to one of the same gender. Therein lies the difference that all must know and understand!

      June 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Derp
      Don't forget what happened to poor Onan.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Pete

      "Gay or Lesbian whose very nature is to show affection to one of the same gender. Therein lies the difference that all must know and understand!"

      Christians can't comprehend that it's too complicated for them.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Vic

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/03/lutherans-elect-first-openly-gay-bishop/comment-page-3/#comment-2397413

      June 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      What about those that have affection for both genders? Do they get a free pass or a death warrant? And I still want to know if anyone has a license to kill and who they are if they do.

      June 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Barney

      RC: "Since men do not have va g!nas, men cannot have $ex with a man as he would with a woman, so it is OK."

      LOL – maybe that's what they meant. You are not supposed to try and remove your lover's penis with a stone for your gratification.

      June 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • compromises

      LGBT is a community, According to 'The Difference' L & G is ok? but not B & T?

      June 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Don
      If there is a point you want to make, make it....pointing someone to a random book of the bible makes no point.

      He Brews...is that where you can find the recipe for beer?

      June 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus said,

      Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

      Matthew 5:17

      Amen.

      June 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Pete

      HeavenSent proves their stupidity once again by taking a piece of scripture out of context.

      June 4, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      @What IF

      @"The Leviticus laws were never intended by God to be the universal law for all people for all of time."

      @What a stupid, incompetent god – to not make that clear.

      It is pretty clear that it was written 3,000 years ago to Israeli people and priests.

      Did you even bother reading it?

      June 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Duh

      @ Water_On_Mars
      There is a difference between ‘Israeli people’ and ‘Israelites’. Christianity is Judaism 2.0, so all Christians are inherently Israelites who believe that Jesus is the messiah.

      June 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      I can't follow them. Nobody but Jesus Christ has been able to.

      I can follow Jesus' new commandments.

      I'm a Christian. Not a Levite Priest from 3,000 years ago following ceremonial customs in attempt to keep myself pure for a Holy God.

      June 4, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  12. Science

    Hey CE chadie too !

    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Troll...... .........chad/Rachel ....vickietoo...........trolling does not work in the sand............will not catch fish that way !http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/14/vatican-swaps-old-masters-for-modernity-with-venice-biennale-debut/?replytocom=2343268#respondHey ...........kiddies................stuff bellow is the truth ...........no dino in the what chadie ?Scientists Find Oldest Dinosaur – Or Closest Relative YetDec. 5, 2012 — Researchers have discovered what may be the earliest dinosaur, a creature the size of a Labrador retriever, but with a five foot-long tail, that walked the Earth about 10 million years before more familiar dinosaurs like the small, swift-footed Eoraptor and
    Herrerasaurus.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205084421.htm

    Your request was successfully submitted.

    Bing will come and visit your site soon. To find out if your site is indexed and receiving traffic from Bing or to submit more URLs, sign up for a free account with

    Bing Webmaster Tools

    June 4, 2013 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/31/southern-baptists-to-urge-churches-and-members-to-cut-boy-scout-ties/#comments

    By the way your site it was submitted for is link below.

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/31/southern-baptists-to-urge-churches-and-members-to-cut-boy-scout-ties/#comments

    June 4, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  13. Colin

    The fact is, the Bible has specific scriptual prohibitions against ho.mo$exual conduct in it, both in Leviticus and in at least two of Paul's letters (Romans and Corintians). To the extent any Christian church accepts this prtactice, they are going against these admonitions, it is that simple.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the whole idea of looking to the Bible for anything is ridiculous and I am very happy that the Lutherans have done this, but they are going against scripture. It is that simple.

    June 4, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Water_On_Mars

      Somebody better tell Guy Erwin!

      I'm sure some smug atheist guy posting on the comment section of a Belief Blog on a story about Christianity knows more about it than a guy that has an article written about him on CNN.

      You pull for lines out of thousands of lines of scripture to make your point. You are a lot like some Christians I know.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      four!

      June 4, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      You're being very nice Colin. The bible says that ho mo se xuals are to be kiIIed. To all xtians out there, how many have you kiIIed today as your god commands you?

      June 4, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Wow

      In case no one knows a troll stole the real Collins handle to post their crap, the way you know is this pathetic troll can't spell and has bad grammar.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      Are you talking about the priestly holiness code? It doesn't command them to kill hmosxuals.

      It is a code for people who sign up for the deal. If a married man sleeps with a male prosttute in the bed he shares with his wife – he can be put to death. It is not good behavior for a married man who claims to be a man of God.

      The reason the law was made, was because it was happening. Temple prosttution.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Vic

      Apostle Paul had to pander to the Romans, Corinthians & others while dealing with cultural conditions and not necessarily dogmatic to Christianity in his pursuit to deliver the Good News of Jesus Christ & the Kingdom of Heaven. If you read through the Book of Romans, for example, you will see how he described sin and its wages leading up to the remedy which is Salvation of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ! Apostle Paul always concluded that we have redemption through the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as long as we believed in Him, regardless of our sins!

      June 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • science

      Hey Vickie....................your shins not mine.................seems like you have slinters everywhere.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Science

      Oops splinters.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Pete

      " Apostle Paul always concluded that we have redemption through the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as long as we believed in Him, regardless of our sins!"

      There is nothing in what was written in those books that should have brought so much condemnation and judgement on gays by Christians, which is why you're all a bunch of hypocrites.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Vic

      XY Vic here!

      June 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Fundie Makeovers!

      Slap a towel over "Vic"'s head and walla! – you've got a very dashing looking "ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION"!

      (Sheep-herders will be sheep-herders.)

      June 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  14. Ken

    Why you have to trust your own instincts instead of just blindly following the bible (which was somebody else's opinion anyway)

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkYAl_8kVBc&w=640&h=390]

    June 4, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Roger

      Lol, but excellent!

      June 4, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • james

      danger; satan af work.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Water_On_Mars

      What? You don't have some unique access to instincts. What if my instincts tell me there is a power at work behind this whole universe? And that power knows and loves me?

      June 4, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Roger

      Yes, I always avoid the alleged "fast" lane at the grocery store when Santana is manning it as well. He doesn't know how to use the multiplier key for cans of cat food for instance.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "danger; satan af work."

      Calling Matt Dillahunty Satan??? Funny! Matt was in seminary when a light shone bright and he realized how unrealistic christianity is.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Ken

      Water_On_Mars
      We're talking about moral instincts, not some general feeling that something greater than yourself exists. Being in awe at the vastness of the universe is a completely legitimate atheist feeling. Fitting that feeling into the definition of the Christian God requires you're being taught to see the world through that lens. If you were to take 50 kids and have them raised in a closed society without being taught about God how many of them do you think would come up with any concept much beyond that feeling of awe I described above?

      Atheism comes natural to people, especially children, but Christianity has to be taught, including that part about some power loving you, and, even then, there is a whole lot of it that you are simply told to "take on faith" because it frankly just doesn't make any sense, right?

      June 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Truth Prevails, still unwilling to give up your lust of the flesh? No matter how much you want to deny Jesus, He told us the truth about life and the hereafter. He created ALL, therefore, He knows and you ere therefore, still lost.

      June 4, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Marge

      I'm a vegetarian. I have no need for "lust of the flesh" nor religion.

      June 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • james

      I was not calling anyone by that name but was just telling what was going on with that show of demonic propaganda and who is in control of the situation today when the truth is slandered and that is what I saw in the video, no doubt about it.

      June 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
  15. Richard Cranium

    lol??
    No one needs scripture. Scripture only means that it is written down. Don't believe everything you read (especially the bible which is obviously false)

    June 4, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  16. LOL??

    I can't believe you people need scripture to understand this.
    Morons! All of you!

    June 4, 2013 at 11:29 am |
  17. Ken

    Icky like eating lobster and pork, I suppose? Maybe all the old Law was about some guys getting together and listing everything they found personally icky and telling their kids that they should find it icky too.

    June 4, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  18. Richard Cranium

    So the problem is with you and your perception....got it.

    June 4, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  19. OH GOD

    They don't do it.

    June 4, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Alias

      Yes, they do.
      and there are pictures all over the internet to prove it.

      June 4, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • OH GOD

      Arggh! Busted!

      June 4, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Oh God
      Yes there are a lot of pictures of women who are "busted" as well. ( and yes there is more than one meaning to the word "busted")

      June 4, 2013 at 11:41 am |
  20. Ken

    Kiss Hank's Ass, a great illustration of how evangelicals sound to atheists. 🙂

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3PtvZ2snXk&w=640&h=390]

    June 4, 2013 at 11:23 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.