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Conservatives brace for `marriage revolution'
Conservative Christians say their churches have been unprepared for cultural shifts on same-sex marriage.
June 28th, 2013
06:19 PM ET

Conservatives brace for `marriage revolution'

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - With its ivy-covered entrance and Teddy Bear bouquets, Arlene’s Flowers seems an unlikely spot to trigger a culture-war skirmish.

Until recently, the Richland, Washington, shop was better known for its artistic arrangements than its stance on same-sex marriage.

But in March, Barronelle Stutzman, the shop’s 68-year-old proprietress, refused to provide wedding flowers for a longtime customer who was marrying his partner. Washington state legalized same-sex marriage in December.

An ardent evangelical, Stutzman said she agonized over the decision but couldn’t support a wedding that her faith forbids.

“I was not discriminating at all,” she said. “I never told him he couldn’t get married. I gave him recommendations for other flower shops.”

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson disagreed, and filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers. The ACLU also sued on behalf of the customer, Robert Ingersoll, who has said Stutzman’s refusal “really hurt, because it was someone I knew.”

Among conservative Christians, Stutzman has become a byword - part cautionary tale and part cause celebre.

Websites call her a freedom fighter. Tributes fill Arlene’s Facebook page. Donations to her legal defense fund pour in from as far away as Texas and Arkansas.

“For some reason, her case has made a lot of people of faith worry,” said Stutzman’s lawyer, Dale Schowengerdt of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group.

Those anxieties have only increased, conservative Christians say, since the Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and opened the door to gay marriage in California.

Taking a line from Justice Antonin Scalia's sharp dissent, Southern Baptist scholar Albert Mohler said it’s only a matter of time "before the other shoe drops" – and the high court legalizes same-sex marriage from coast to coast.

“Christians will have to think hard — and fast — about these issues and our proper response,” Mohler wrote on Wednesday.

“We will have to learn an entire new set of missional skills as we seek to remain faithful to Christ in this fast-changing culture.”

His fellow Southern Baptist Russell Moore put the matter more succinctly.

“Same-sex marriage is coming to your community.”

`The debate is over'

Well before the Supreme Court’s rulings, many conservative Christians said they saw the writing - or the poll numbers - on the wall.

Survey after survey shows increasing support for same-sex marriage, especially among young Americans. That includes many religious believers.

Most Catholics and mainline Protestants, not to mention many Jews, support same-sex relationships, according to surveys. The bells of Washington National Cathedral pealed in celebration on Thursday.

Even among those who oppose gay marriage, many think it’s a losing battle.

Seventy percent of white evangelicals believe that legal recognition for gay nuptials is inevitable, according to a June poll by the Pew Research Center, though just 22 percent favor it.

“The gay marriage debate is over,” said Jonathan Merritt, an evangelical writer on faith and culture. “Statistically, all the numbers move in one direction.”

Young Christians have grown up in a far more diverse culture than their forebears, Merritt noted, and many have befriended gays and lesbians.

Pew found that more than 90 percent of Americans overall personally know someone who is gay or lesbian, a 30 percent increase since 1993.

“It’s far easier to wage war against an agenda than it is to battle a friend,” Merritt said.

At the same time, many conservative young Christians say they’re weary of the culture wars, and of seeing their communities labeled “judgmental.”

When Christian researchers at the Barna Group asked Americans aged 16-29 what words best describe Christianity, the top response was “anti-homosexual.” That was true of more than 90 percent of non-Christians and 80 percent of churchgoers, according to Barna.

Tired of being told the country is slouching toward Gomorrah, many young Christians have simply tuned out the angry prophets of earlier generations, evangelical leaders say.

“The shrill angry voices of retrenchment are no longer getting a broad hearing either in the culture at large or in the evangelical community,” Merritt said.

But the battle over same-sex marriage is far from over, said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage.

“I don’t believe most Christians are going to give up the fight,” said Brown, who is Catholic. He said his movement includes many young evangelical and Orthodox Christians.

“And they are more energized than ever.”

Love thy gay neighbors

Energized or not, conservative Christians must prepare for the moral dilemmas posed by the country’s growing acceptance of same-sex marriage, said Moore, the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

“Is Your Church Ready for the Marriage Revolution?” Moore asked, while promoting a special session on homosexuality at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Houston in June.

Many evangelical pastors have seen homosexuality as a distant culture-war battle that’s fought far from the doors of the churches, Moore said.

Now, it’s as close as their front pews.

“I think it’s not so much that churches haven’t wanted to talk about it,” he said, “but they haven’t recognized how much the culture has changed around them.”

The first step, said Moore, is learning to defend traditional marriage without demonizing gays and lesbians.

Walking through Washington’s Union Station last Thursday, Moore said he saw several lesbian couples kissing in celebration of the Supreme Court rulings.

“If we can’t empathize with what’s going on in their hearts and minds, we’re not going to be able to love and respect them.”

Then come a host of secondary questions: How should conservative pastors minister to same-sex couples? Should Christians attend same-sex weddings? Should florists like Barronelle Stutzman's agree to work with gay couples?

`Don't give in' 

Florist Barronelle Stutzman.

In the 17 years she’s owned Arlene’s Flowers, Stutzman said, she’s worked with a number of gay colleagues.

“It really didn’t matter if they were gay, or blue or green, if they were creative and could do the job,” she said.

Stutzman suspects that some of her eight children privately don’t agree with her on homosexuality, even as they publicly support her decision.

Online, Stutzman has been called a bigot, and worse.

She said she’s lost at least two weddings because of her refusal to provide services for the same-sex marriage.

Conservative activists say her case is the first of what will surely be many more, as gay marriage spreads across the country.

As she gets ready to face a judge, the silver-haired florist offered some advice for fellow evangelicals.

“Don’t give in. If you have to go down for Christ, what better person to go down for?”

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Discrimination • Faith • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Politics • Religious liberty • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (5,210 Responses)
  1. Jack

    Does her faith allow the consumption of alcohol? Or does she refuse service to those that drink? Or possibly, is she cherry picking her sins to stand against?

    June 30, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Viper

      If you ever read the bible, you would know the Christ's first recorded miracle was turning water into wine. So yes drinks would be ok.

      This is just the first step to legalizing marriage to 8 year olds.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Damocles

      @viper

      Where do you get that gay marriage is equal to marrying an eight year old?

      June 30, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Viper

      When you open a door, you never know who's going to walk in.

      Everything's "genetic" remember?

      June 30, 2013 at 8:48 am |
  2. Scott

    I intend to go back into business and I will send my legal items to anyone who wants them. I do not care if you are gay or straight republican, democrat, American, foriegn, old, young, fat, skinny, tall or short. I don't care if you are Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Wiccan, Toaist, etc... business is about business. If you want to sell to only Christians then don't have a public business. If you want to discriminate it will cost you in legal fees, court time and loss of business from the public. Pretty stupid in these tight times. Welcome to America the land of individual freedom. Thank God!

    June 30, 2013 at 8:22 am |
  3. Truth Is Pain

    Some people in the Old Testament did have multiple wives, but NONE were of the same gender. This is the point.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • sybaris

      and 3000 year old fairy tales have any relevance to me how?

      June 30, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      The bible is not and will not ever be the source that we define anything with. It belongs in the garbage, not in any hall of legislation.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • Truth Is Pain

      If you don't believe in the Bible and it's a fairy tale to you, then why are you here even talking, arguing, debating about it. The Trekkies are next door.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      It's a belief blog, not a christian blog....why are you here if you don't agree with other beliefs?

      June 30, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • Mark Yelka

      Because religion is powerful and can negatively impact non-believers, it is important to rail against religion. If only religion were content to do it's own thing in private, it would be one thing. But, religion includes hurting other people who are not of their faith. This should not be allowed.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • Truth Is Pain

      I know it's a belief blog. Aren't a lot of folks here discussing how this gay marriage issue is relevant to the Bible?

      June 30, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • Damocles

      @tip

      Because it's worth fighting against ignorance. I'd hope you would be against this woman if she said 'welllll, I like black people, don't get me wrong, I'll even let them work for me, but I won't sell them flowers because I don't think they should be getting married'. You have every right to be ignorant and I mean 'you' in a general sense, not you personally and you have the right to not agree with someone's choices in life, but you are running a business, suck it up and take their money and provide the service they are asking for.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Mark Yelka

      The relevance is not regarding any religious book, but of how people can do things in the name of religion that hurt other people.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Truth Is Pain

      Is the Bible out to hurt people? It basically has a set of standards to live by if you want to do Gods will. It's merely a choice and we have free will to follow or not. Nobody will be burning in a so-called Hell. King James' scholars got that a bit off translation. You just won't be living forever on a restored paradise earth. (See Isaiah) But for the ignorant ones who carry their religion on their shoulder, just ignore and feel more sorrow than anger for them. They are clearly mislead.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:49 am |
  4. JakeF

    Is this any different than a supermarket checker who refuses to bag alcohol or pork products? Or the cabbie that won't transport customers that are carrying booze with them? Or the person who insists on covering their face while posing for a state issued driver's license? Why is refusing to provide flowers to a customer because you don't agree with their choice of mate any different?

    The sword cuts both ways. You can't expect others to accept your belief system while discriminating against theirs.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • M

      Good points.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "Is this any different than a supermarket checker who refuses to bag alcohol or pork products?" Yes, it is different. In one case you have a person who is refusing to work with a certain product based on their religious belief, in the other you have a person refusing to work with a human based on who that human is and how they were born.

      "Or the cabbie that won't transport customers that are carrying booze with them?" Again, you have a product that is discriminated against, not a human, if the human leaves the booze they can ride regardless of what religion or skin color or s exual preference.

      "Or the person who insists on covering their face while posing for a state issued driver's license?" Not sure what this one is doing in here as no one is being denied anything here.

      To equate discrimination against food or products to the discrimination against a class of people that you refuse to serve from a public business is about as ignorant as you can get.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:24 am |
  5. mike

    its getting bad in the last 10 years... if you go on chat rooms online you will see so many confussed kids . half of them not knowing what gender they are.. and you have 12 year olds saying they are gay.....hmmm it sure seems to be alot of them lately....i think the only reason the goverment is ok with being gay now is because like ciggerettes and alcohol its a great form of population control..

    June 30, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • JakeF

      Why are you going into those chat rooms? Please provide us with your vast knowledge of such topics. After all, you seem well versed into what is happening for these "confussed" kids.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      mike
      I'm more concerned about you hanging out in chat rooms with 12 year olds.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • Selah

      Ignorance is bliss

      June 30, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • pete

      All these gay 12 year old kids sounds like wishful thinking on Mike's part.

      July 2, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Saraswati

      Few developed countries' governments are trying to reduce fertility. Like most countries, the US population in general (black, white and asian demographics included) have a fertility under maintenance which impacts the tax collection for all of our retirements. While environmentally I think this a worthwhile trade-off, I can guarantee you most in government do not. People who accept themselves as gay are, btw, skewed toward the higher incomes, so you aren't even talking about a potential plot to reduce the poor classes or anything devious like that. This would make no sense at all. I'd recommend a different conspiracy theory if you feel so inclined.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Saraswati

      Btw, you don't conduct a survey by visiting chat rooms. That would tell you nothing of use about changing demographic. The actual research is published if you take a few minutes to google it.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • myweightinwords

      mike,

      its getting bad in the last 10 years...

      What is getting bad in the last 10 years?

      if you go on chat rooms online you will see so many confussed kids .

      What are you doing in a chat room with kids? I think you mean confused, and really, what kid isn't confused? They're kids. Thought processes are still forming, knowledge is still being acquired. Being confused is kind of what kids are meant to be.

      half of them not knowing what gender they are..

      Are you mistaking those that say they are not the same gender as their physical bodies don't actually know what gender they are for "not knowing"? Trust me, they know very well. Their bodies just disagree.

      and you have 12 year olds saying they are gay.....

      When did you know you liked girls? Right about the time puberty struck? Which was what? Twelve, thirteen? So yeah, right around there is when most gay folk REALLY understand that they like same gendered people. What is the problem?

      hmmm it sure seems to be alot of them lately....

      Not really. Scientifically it is reasonable to assume that the same percentage of people are gay today as ten, fifteen, a hundred years ago. However, a couple of things you may mistake for some phenomenon here include: a) there are a lot more people than there was 10, 20, 100 years ago, so the number of gay people have increased; b) more and more LGBT folks feel safer and come out sooner; c) The internet is the great equalizer. Teenagers can explore how they will be accepted without fear of reprisal when they are annonymous.

      i think the only reason the goverment is ok with being gay now is because like ciggerettes and alcohol its a great form of population control..

      I think the reason the government is "ok" with "being gay" is because gay people are people and citizens of the US and based on our constitution, they have the same rights and privileges that the rest of us do. Not to mention that whole "by the people, for the people" aspect of our government. Public opinion polls indicate across the board that more than half of the country supports same gender marriage.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "you have 12 year olds saying they are gay.....hmmm it sure seems to be alot of them lately..."

      So either Mike is a child predator trolling kid's sites and asking them if they are gay or he's just another Christian liar. I'm thinking it's the latter.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:16 am |
  6. Bonnie

    Matthew 24:12-13, "And because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off. But he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved." How very important these words of Jesus are today! Please read all of Matthew chapter 24, Luke 21 and 2nd Timothy chapter 3, verses 1-5. Stay strong, you who belong to God.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Quoting the buybull only proves your inability to think for yourself.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Andy

      I suggest you throw your bible in the trash bin. You'll find life much brighter and more worthwhile.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • Daedsidog

      Let the morals of the barely civilized tribesmen of the past govern your modern lives. By that logic you should be able to stone your neighbor for wearing garments of more than one fabric

      June 30, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • CAT

      Bonnie, the article is right, we are on the verge of a revolution. I'll be upfront, I'm not a Christian, I am a Jew. Coming from a group who has been denied all sorts of rights over the centuries, my viewpoint is a bit different. I hope you will take a couple of moments to consider it. 1) I agree with the anti-semite voltaire, who said I may not agree with what you have to say but I will defend to the death your right to say it. I take this one step further and change say to believe, I may not agree with what you believe but I will defend to the death your right to believe it. This, to me, is the essence of being a free American. 2) There is a separate quality to personal interactions between people, and non-personal interactions between people, between who my friends are and who I do business with. Because these two categories of interaction are fundamentally different, I must use different sets of criteria to determine what is proper and ethical in these situations. My religious beliefs shape and form my view towards my personal life, my friends and family. For non-personal my civil considerations come into play. Is this person an American who has the same rights to believe whatever he or she wants? 3) Using my religious views in the public sphere will inevitably cause me to hurt people and infringe on their rights as Americans. Just some thoughts.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:42 am |
  7. Kelly51

    Seriously? You think your comment is compassionate in any way? If you choose to be a mud dauber go right ahead, but don't bring the rest of us down with you when you go.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:15 am |
  8. a dose of reality

    Dear Christians:
    God here.
    To the extent any of you died for your faith, I am afraid you threw your life away. Because, you see, I do not exist. The concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the actions and thoughts of the 7 billion human beings on this planet is ludicrous.
    Second, if I did exist, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was compiled with certain writings included and others excluded, nor how it has been edited over the centuries, yet you cite it for the most extraordinary of supernatural claims.
    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.
    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who elected to withhold all evidence of my existence in the first place.
    Fifthly, in the same vein, I would not make about 5% of the human population gay, then punish them for being that way. In fact, I wouldn’t care about how humans have $ex at all, given that I created all of the millions of millions of species on the planet, all of whom are furiously reproducing all the time. Human $ex would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Has it ever occurred to you that your obsession with making rules around human $ex is an entirely human affair?
    Sixth, I would have smitten all you Christian activists, and all evangelicals and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric even for a sick, sadistic bast.ard like me to contemplate).
    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.
    Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.
    Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?
    Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you cringed in fear during the Dark Ages and thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.
    Move on – get over me. I did.
    God

    June 30, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • gg

      God is.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • devin

      I was right with you, until after "Dear Christians:>

      June 30, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • cadiwampus

      God here: "The fool has said in his heart there is not God."

      June 30, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • logicnothuff

      The Bible says the fool says in his heart there is no god.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • M

      As an atheist, this post offends me. Although the logic is persuasive, it comes across as rude, inconsiderate, impatient and mocking. Let the power of your arguments speak for themselves, and remember that different people move toward ultimate truths at different paces. It's as simple as honey and vinegar.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Paul

      This is probably one of the best write ups I've read. Thanks for that.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • JimmyAlex777

      DUMB

      June 30, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • Amadea

      If God doesn't exist how could He write a letter? How lame.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • sybaris

      I love this, "The Bible says the fool says in his heart there is no god."

      What is that quote supposed to be, kryptonite for Atheists?

      Dear Christians, you do realize that quoting from your Bible book means absolutely nothing to those that don't believe in it.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • richunix

      The Bible say's a lot of thing and the majority of them are made-up or twisted so the believers think they are real. Sorry Bible dudes' no one (BAR NONE) has ever been turn to salt, raise form the dead (after three days) accended to heaven, part any sea, rivers or even a pond. The story about Jesus are nice, considering the only facts we do know is he was a criminal condemned to death for treason against the state (Rome), much like the modern David Korsh of Texas. Keep on believing. The Question of the Day (these are taken from the Bible) which god was senior? Yahweh and his wife Aswher , Baal or El? Remember kiddies these gods are in the Bible along with the 1st commandment "Thou shalt have only one God" which means "multiple gods". The plot tickens

      June 30, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • JamborieHardHat

      Awesome post! Nice to see the absurdity of Christianity (and all like-minded religions) laid bare so eloquently.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Marc

      Finally, a God I can follow. One that doesn't exist or micro-manage.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • fleurdelys

      LOL! Great speech for a god who does not exist. True that politics were involved in writing and compiling the new testament and many writers wrote the old one. However, the article glorifies this so called revolution and attacks this honest woman who wishes to follow her belief. If gays want to create a marriage contract, it should not bother the churches, but is this woman refuses to do business with any of the them IT IS HER RIGHT. The so called liberals in the US and the NWO are nothing else bust fascist. the world is facing a new fascistic ideology suppressing the individual who is refusing to accept the new way of thinking. Live and let live.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • Jeff Dauber

      I loved this post, but would still caution you that only a total fool could be certain one way or another.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:37 am |
  9. John

    The supreme court decision gave the green light to many young Americans to destroy the definition of Family. This decision caused great damage to American values. As the percentage of divorced families increases and as the number of upnormal and immoral marriage increases, the society will be weaker and weaker. The society will be stronger if we will have stronger tied families. If family structure is not important to establish healthy nation, so will gay marriage will be? When gays marry, who acts as a wife and who acts as a husband?
    Feel so sad and worry about my children

    June 30, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • get over it

      If my son brings home Bobby instead of Suzie in 20 years we will still love and support him. Can you say the same?

      June 30, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • sybaris

      Family is what you make it.

      Obviously you let others live in your head rent free and allow them to dictate your perceptions of society. THAT is sad.

      Get over it, all that you wrote was said about Black people 50 years ago.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      They didn't change the definition of family. It is YOUR definition of family that needs to be adjusted. What could possibly make you think that two people in love getting married is immoral? Don';t tell me, let me guess...that silly book that teaches you that it is somehow moral to allow someone else to take your just punishment. Christians do not have any moral ground to stand on. It is you that needs to change, and start accepting people for who they are. Try joining us in the 21st century, and get yourself out of the 1st century.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Studies have been done that prove that children who are raised by same gender couples do as well if not better in some areas than those raised by hetero couples. Children with same gender parents are not children who come to be by a simple 'oops-the-condom-broke', these children are yearned for in the same sense a hetero couple plans for one.
      By your logic single parents should not be parenting either.
      Before sounding like an ignorant bigot you might want to do some research and see what the studies say.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Mike Breen

      I gotta ask, what's an "upnormal" marriage ?

      June 30, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • Tulsa,Ok.TUGrad

      I agree with Rich here. It is your definition of marriage that needs to change. More importantly, though, it is not these so called
      "immoral" marriages that destroy and weaken society, it is the hate generated and expressed from people like you. Jesus preached time and time again, love for thy neighbor, love for thy enemy, treat them as you wished to be treated, do not judge them as this is not your duty, it is only God's; I, and an increasing number of Christians, believe that God does love and accept gay people just the same, It is you who will have to answer for your hatred of innocent others at the gates, God would not send someone to hell for loving another!

      June 30, 2013 at 8:34 am |
  10. John

    "We will have to learn an entire new set of missional skills as we seek to remain faithful to Christ,"

    "A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." – John 13:34

    June 30, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • John

      How about THAT new skill?

      June 30, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • Name*john

      We are to contend for the faith not fight against any movement. It is sad when Christians are not lifting up Jesus but some kind of sign against something. The Word of God converts the soul not hate signs. Jesus bore all sins on the cross even you who think you are doing God a favor. I dont condone nor condem. The speak the purpose of the cross and why Jesus came. Christians get it together. God is not willing that any should perish...your approach is not biblical.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:41 am |
  11. Wright

    "Don't give in. If you have to go down for Christ, What better person to go down for."

    I'm sure that's how all the Islamic suicide bombers feel too.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:11 am |
  12. Guest

    Obama just promised Africa 7 billion dollars of our borrowed dollars.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Daedsidog

      nothing, thats what you comment has to do with this story. Put on your tinfoil hat and go back to the blaze

      June 30, 2013 at 8:17 am |
  13. Seymour Hiney

    Stupid MF'r \ MF'rs. The religious freaks don't realize that the religion of their little bubble worlds has little bearing with or on outside reality. This apply's to Christians, Jews, Muslims etc...

    June 30, 2013 at 8:09 am |
  14. OCCUPY WALLSTREET FOR CONGRESS

    Problem is conservatives pick and choose what moral dilemmas they want to support. And they usually choose the ones on gay marriage and abortion as top priorities while ignoring things like healthcare, free trade, and other financial issues that cause food prices to skyrocket.

    That's why I'll never take conservatives seriously.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:09 am |
  15. bb

    How do conservatives claim any high ground when they systematically eliminate just about every demographic from having a vote, a place in their houses of worship, being excluded from the TEACHINGS in their approach from their places of worship, and ensuring that the poor get poorer and the sick get sicker. As a Christian, now former-life long Conservative....I haven't seen any moral high ground on the part of conservatives in decades...Took me that long to see them for what they are – nothing but organized hypocrites.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • gg

      You are not telling the truth.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Daedsidog

      i think gg has been spending too much time in the magical fantasy book of hate. It's a scary new world for Christians, imagine how it will be in 20 years.... Systemic religious bigotry will be the marginalized

      June 30, 2013 at 8:22 am |
  16. Mike

    What about the diseases that they spread? Just look at the meningitis that they were spreading back in spring of this year. Just think of how much they will spread in 10 years. This will be a disgusting country to live in when all people must receive antidotes because we "felt sorry for the gays"

    June 30, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • bb

      Get real. As if straight don't spread a whole slew of diseases.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Mike: Ignorance is bliss. Gays no more spread diseases than hetero's do. You sound like an under educated bigot. Not surprising really considering you have an imaginary friend and only base your opinion off of one book that can be shown time and time again to be full of fallacies (that might be too big of word for you, so to explain in terms children like you understand...the book is fully of lies).

      June 30, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • pete

      It seems to me that allowing two people to get married might actually slow the spread of disease, but what do I know?

      July 1, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  17. Joe416

    So, if we follow Stutzman, a Jewish butcher should not sell his/her kosher beef to people who eat pork?

    June 30, 2013 at 8:08 am |
  18. Guest

    oh gosh, it's so darn NASTY.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • bb

      The straight divorce rate?

      June 30, 2013 at 8:09 am |
  19. Jesus Christ

    GAY UNION IS WRONG, STRAIGHT UNION IS RIGHT END OF STORY

    June 30, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • bb

      If God didn't want gays to exist or love or want to commit to a family....he'd stop making them.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Shouting to make a point is sooooo intelligent, not.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • JesuswalkswithMe

      I believe your idolotry of a book has mislead you. Jesus never said anything like that. Those flawed humans who voted and rewrote the Bible used such ideas, like promoting slavery and subjugation of women, because of their cultural norms of the Bronze Age.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Jesus Christ

      BB you are stupid, GOD doesn't make GAYS for 1
      PARENTS bad parenting and Backward parenting makes GAYS
      Our backward Society makes GAYS, NOT GOD.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • Jesus Christ

      If it was intended for gay people to get married dont you think God would have gave 2 men or 2 women the ability to make a baby???? When this is possible then I think we can say it is acceptable to GOD!!

      June 30, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • JesuswalkswithMe

      If marriage were just about procreation, then childless couples should be forbidden from staying marriage. Fight that battle rather than gays if reproduction is your primary concern.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      An all-knowing, all-perfect, all-powerful god created everything, and it was good, including gays.
      Some other perfectly created things by this perfect god includes, but not limited to,
      1) Satan, remember a perfect god perfectly created everything
      2)Infectious viruses
      3)Bacterial infections
      3)Genetic disorders
      4)Mental disorders, 5) much much more

      June 30, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Jesus Christ

      JesuswalkswithMe my only request is that they don't adopt we don't need anymore confusion amongst our young in this world that it's ok to have 2 dad's or 2 mom's 🙂

      June 30, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • Damocles

      @jc

      So it is also seemingly perfectly acceptable to your deity that untold billions of possible kids have been miscarried over the years? That men and women, no matter who they are interested in, remain unable to have kids for a variety of reasons?

      June 30, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Jesus Christ

      ElmerGantry God did not make GAYS as stated before our twisted society did
      You saying God made GAYS is like saying God made Murderers, Rapists, Child molesters, The KKK, Drug Addicts.
      He doesnt make them its a choice due to a screwed up society that turns to other things but GOD.
      No body loves me for me ill be GAY, instead of turning to GOD 🙂 Do you get it now little minded man?

      June 30, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • Jesus Christ

      Yes Damocles, 2 MEN or 2 WOMAN should not be able to have kids to corrupt.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • Lyn

      How can you deny love? "Jesus loves me this I know, cause the bible tells me so" Is there a little asterisk on the bottom of this lyric that says "does not apply to gays"?

      June 30, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Damocles

      @jc

      Well, if you believe that your deity created everything then, yes, you would have to believe it created all those things. You, like so many other believers, subscribe to some weird deity buffet.... ohhh it created everything, except that, and that, and oh I hate those people so it didn't make those. Funny how your deity mirrors your hate.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:50 am |
  20. Juan Mercado

    The problem I have with this issue is that it is becoming a civil rights issue rather than a states right's issue. Being defined as a civil rights issue, we are saying that as Americans, we all have the right to marry whoever we want, it's about love right? If so, I live in Utah, and I feel that this ruling will open the door to legalizing polygamy, and eventually lowering the age of consent, neither of which I think will be beneficial to our society.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • pollyann

      republicans choose to turn a private issue into a supreme court decision and they oit burn't for it

      June 30, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • Damocles

      @juan

      You, and a lot of other people, are missing the point. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you HAVE TO do something. So what if polygamy becomes legal? Are you going to rush right out and pick up a few more spouses? 'Ohhhh, honey, polygamy just became legal, go ahead and give me a list of your hot friends'. C'mon.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:23 am |
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About this blog

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