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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. John American

    The business of America is business. Those that don't adapt will be winnowed out.

    June 30, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • lol??

      And if you happen to accidentally eat some of that food we sell for biological and chemical warfare we'll fix ya right up with Viagra.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      That's one of America's greatest faults

      June 30, 2013 at 9:09 am |
  2. voiceofreason6

    What is amazing to me is the hate that is spewed towards those who oppose gay marriage. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean you have to hate them. I read more hate coming from the pro-gay marriage people than anyone else. I think what separates people is that no one understands the other. I think if people go off social media and message boards like this and started interacting with people, they would find that although we have many differences, we are all very similar in many regards. We all have good points and we all have shortcomings.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • Too Bad

      Define hate that Christians keep whining about, those that disagree can do so without hate. Shake your head, if you read the comments of some of the most fanatic believers you will see no difference in the amount of vile.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Jim

      The problem is that christians are again justifying the oppression of a minority based upon their beliefs. Segregationists and white supremacists are also the target of angry speech for exactly the same reason.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • rick

      disagreeing with gay marriage is one thing. trying to legislate it is another

      June 30, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Maybe we're not reading the same message board....? The hate being spewed is at least equal in both directions but it seems to me that more of it comes from the loving christians than from atheists. Atheists don't get their rocks off by threatening christians with eternal torture for one thing.

      June 30, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • Saraswati

      If you fell in love with someone, a wonderful art teacher who shared your religion and values and was from Pakistan, who you wanted to marry and spend the rest of your life with, but you were told you could not, how would you feel? No work visa available for the art teacher mind you, and let's assume you are a US civil servant. How do you feel about the people preventing your marriage and keeping you permanently apart? About the people doing this to your sister or brother?

      June 30, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
  3. No

    Welcome to the new America or should I say, Sodom and Gomorrah.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • lol??

      It's not exactly "new". The roots go back to the 19th century. You know, the thoughts that lead to the wunnerful socie idea of prohibition. Da woemen didn't like the hubbies stoppin' off at the saloons on the way home from work. When mama's not happy, nobody's happy.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • icarus

      You really don't think that having gay people invest in a relationship that supports the values of fidelity and life-long commitment takes us farther away from Sodom and Gomorrah? After all, they gay people are already there.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  4. Ima American

    Great! This evangelical wants to go down on the Jesus! Who's next? His father?

    June 30, 2013 at 8:59 am |
  5. L.Sanfod

    Why don' t these bigots or so called " Good Christians" crawl back into their 1950's cave and chill out?

    June 30, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • devin

      You could have said the same about POTUS a year and a half ago before he "evolved">

      June 30, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • lol??

      What?? Siberia is full up??

      June 30, 2013 at 9:16 am |
  6. janey

    Denying service because of that reason isn't standing up for God. We are suppose to love eachother. A gay asking you to join in what they do, then u can say no thanks. Lol.
    But why are some churches denying it? The entire religion should. Not seperate churches. There is one religion that follows a of the bible and stands together in every congregation. And doesnt ignore the simple scriptures. For example, men who lay with men will not inherit Gods kingdom.
    Do you love God enough to obey when its hard?

    June 30, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • Too Bad

      Jesus never made it into heaven, what a surprise.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:04 am |
  7. Faithmonger

    These comments reveal the truth of this issue. As I scroll through the mudslinging I see people who are frightened of the shift on one side, and people consumed by their hatred toward what is different on the other. Ironic that those who preach such tolerance are the worst offenders of the concept. The Christians who are frightened about the change are justifiably frightened. The world is seeking to shove them out because they are different. I think it should not bring such panic, though. God's truth will remain with or without support from public opinion. This comment will possibly sink into the sea of banter this morning, but this shall remain no less the truth.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • Damocles

      Ok, so let's talk, yes?

      What are they afraid of? Suddenly developing gay feelings? Worried that they won't be able to love their kids anymore should they decide they are gay?

      You can have your faith and get married to whatever consenting adult will have you and you have the right to not agree with what someone else does, but you can't discriminate against them.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Bonnie

      I am not frightened, but outraged, just as God is, that those who hate God are trying to force us to comply. But one thing is for certain, the world is speeding toward the end of this twisted and wicked generation. It won't be long now.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      "God's truth"?

      Oh, really?

      Which God?

      Which Truth?

      June 30, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • logan5

      No....the world is simply shoving Christianity aside because it's wrong!

      June 30, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  8. Nanners

    Christ's teachings:
    1: You are not here to judge, but be judged yourself.
    2: Be accepting to others.
    3: Do to others as you want them to do to you.
    4: Care for the poor.
    5: Offer the other cheek.
    6: Do not use the name of God to do evil.
    7: Do not put false Gods, such as MONEY, in front of God.

    These churches haven't followed Christ in a very long time.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • devin

      Funny, I thought i remembered him saying something about sin and holiness.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • svrhodes77

      Amen. I've been saying that for *years* now. It's one of the reasons I don't go to a specific church anymore. Christians today seem more interested in "hating both the sin AND the sinner",,,I suppose that's easier than doing what Christ taught. They seem only to want to revel in their "moral superiority". And the funny thing is, they have neither morals nor superiority.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • SoonToBe Majority

      "For a very long time"? You mean, they ever did?

      The very first church was founded over Jesus' dead body, wasn't it?

      June 30, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • counter

      Go and sin no more.

      Christ never modeled marriage in the context of gay marriage that is for sure. Always 1 man and 1 woman. You avoid that, huh?

      June 30, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Chris

      You are wrong about judging....If you read and understand the bible,it often instructs a Christian to judge...You are taking scriptures out of context or twisting them to have the meaning you are looking for.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Nanners

      Since this is a political topic as well. When was the last time you saw one of these "conservatives" say or do anything nice?

      June 30, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  9. Don

    I'm a conservative and see no dilemma. Whatever makes you happy. Yes it makes me cringe watching two men make out in public, but if that's what makes you happy then go be happy. I have no problem with it.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • devin

      Political conservative perhaps. Social conservative? Not so much.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • canesgal

      It makes me cringe seeing a man and a woman make out in public. Thank God and our beautiful country that two men can now celebrate a kiss sealing their love and commitment in marriage.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • hee hee

      This is an interesting admission, and one that I think most people aren't brave enough to make. Many people get involuntarily yucked out. You can't change that. This is an uncomfortable truth.

      But, bravo for not wanting to impose your aesthetics on someone else. Why is it so hard to separate aesthetics from morality? I mean, who freaking cares?

      June 30, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • Eileen A. Little

      I find it interesting that you would single out "two men kissing in public" as repulsive and not "two really hot women that I find attractive".

      This isn't a discussion on public affection but the equal right for people (in this case gay couples) to marry.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  10. yoshimoto

    If you want to stop people from being gay, which you can't, don't expect the government to do it.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  11. redjewel

    Why do church based religions get their undies in a knot about gay marriage? It has no affect on their lives, or families etc.
    No one cares about what you do or what goes on in your life, as you should not care what goes on in the lives of people that are gay. Gay marriage does nothing to your family or how you conduct your life. They do not marry in a house of worship, but in a town/city hall by a judge or other qualified notory public. Straight people still get married with no influance from the gay population
    and move on with their straight lives. All you florists and caterers, money is money no matter who pays the bill. I my self am straight, husband, 2.4 kids and 2.3 grandkids. What I do believe is everyone is equal, have the right to be happy, love with their heart whom they choose to love. Live good upstanding lives, good jobs, teach their kids well – good life skills-values of love happiness- kindness and EQUALITY. Isn't this what we all would like. They guy down the street has no influance on your "church" based lives, move on , get over it, Stop the hatred. Before you look down on others look in the mirror, really look, deep.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • SoonToBe Majority

      Everything else is fine as it is, but pray tell me: How in God's name did you manage having 2.4 kids and 2.3 grandkids?

      June 30, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • SoonToBe Majority

      I mean, how does one get four-tenths of a kid and three-tenths of a grandkid?

      June 30, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Devoted

      Why? Because it violates Biblical standards. If a Christian like Stutzman "gives up", then they believe and feel that they are ignoring, or worse, violating God's laws. It is a struggle that goes to the heart of what a person believes about how they should live their life and where they will spend eternity. Finally, many Christians believe, because of cases like Stutzman's that we will now be persecuted, and prosecuted, for following our religion and our hearts. We see our freedoms and being slowly eroded while things that used to be considered immoral and abhorrent becoming mainstream.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • Ruben

      From someone with a non-religious perspective on this issue. First off, I have zero ties with religion. As a matter of fact I can't stand religion. I have my reasons of why, but I won't get to those since this is about whether gays and lesbians should be allowed to wed. From my perspective I could careless what you people do. What I do mind is you flaunting your gayness as if you are rubbing something in on. Trust me, for us straight guys we find your actions as appalling as looking at someone taking a dump in the middle of the street. It's something we just don't want to see it. I really really don't care what you do to your bodies, I just think it's gross that's all. Just as you want people to respect your choices please be respectful to the ones that find yours on the side of gross. Why don't you all do what you do in the comfort of your own home. I guarantee you will not be persecuted there.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ ruben: And are you equally grossed out by public displays of affection from straight couples? Have you ever held a girl's hand in public? Ever kissed or hugged a girl in public? Ever danced with a girl in public?

      Being non-religious doesn't mean that you're not intolerant.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Damocles

      @ruben

      What do you do, constantly stare at a gay couple kissing on the street and say 'man, I really hate that' and then continue to stare? Look another way, yeah? Would you be all up on a hetero couple going 'man, that's hot, maybe they will let me join in'?

      June 30, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • SoonToBe Majority

      @Ruben:

      If you follow the story closely, you will realize that all they were trying to do at the florist's was to buy flowers, not make love.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • redjewel

      SoonToBe Majority.. do the "scientist or whom ever ,say the average family has 2.4 kids....just thought I'd throw that in there. 🙂 It seems to baffle folks when I say that. LOL But it is 2 and 2.

      June 30, 2013 at 10:06 am |
  12. Victor

    Prepare to be discriminated against for your discriminatory beliefs. You don't believe in gay marriage? Fine...then don't marry someone of the same gender. Why are you so opposed to someone else's happiness?

    June 30, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Matt

      We oppose gay marriage because it is contrary to the nature of God. Not because we hate anyone. If God says something is a sin and not to do it then we are opposed to it.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Devoted

      If we refuse to marry or serve gays because it is against our Biblical values, are we going to be sued like Stutzman?

      June 30, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Matt: So, a puny human such as yourself claims to know the "nature" of god? Wow – not too arrogant, are we, Matt?

      June 30, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • Devoted

      God's "nature" is described in the Bible. Matt's not claiming knowledge handed to him in a dream.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:22 am |
  13. tararan

    The problem is that you have never being faithful to Christ! To donations, and tax exemptions and a life of luxury yes, but faithful to Christ, I don't think so!

    June 30, 2013 at 8:52 am |
  14. Ryan

    This example demonstrates the problem with common evangelical thinking. It's perfectly OK for a church to choose not to officiate at a gay marriage. But if someone wants to buy flowers for a legal reason, it's none of their/her business what he/she says they're going to use them for – it's legal, and it's just flowers! This is why the term "conservative Christian" is becoming synonymous with "bigot" and more and more with "stupid", especially among younger people. She deserves to lose all her business until she gains some common sense.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • TiredODaCrap

      I am pretty that most states give any business the right to decline or refuse service for any reason.... Why should the beliefs of the customer be the ONLY thing that matters? If you're right, and the entire country is going in that direction, this florist will be out of business soon enough – and his beliefs to live with. The idea that he should be forced to provide a service to someone who has a life that goes against what he believes is ridiculous. I guess the local black music store owner is required to carry whatever hate rock the local KKK idiots enjoy, and sell it to them whenever they require....It's just money after all.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • SoonToBe Majority

      @TiredODaCrap:

      Perfect example of a bad analogy.

      The black local music store owner is not required to carry whatever hate rock the local KKK idiots enjoy. That is not discrimination.

      However, if he does choose to carry the said music, he cannot refuse to sell it to any customer who cares to buy it, based upon either his or the customer's ideology. That would be discrimination.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • Devoted

      I would say it would be more like a store that carried white sheets and rope. If a known KKK member came into the store and said he was going to turn the sheets into an outfit and use the rope to hang a noose on his truck, I think the store owner should be well within his or her rights to deny service to that person.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • hee hee

      @Devoted: so you think there is a moral equivalence between racially motivated homicide and a marriage? Seriously? Step outside your belief system for one minute. Can you see why your view point is becoming more and more marginalized?

      July 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
  15. THE TRUTH

    What will happen now when the new gay hotspot denies straight people for not looking fabulous enough or are not in their terms, stylish? Will that disgraced party goer sue? Same concept. I feel because religion is involved, it brings the mantra of bigotry. I hear my gay friends say some bigoted things too, but we have to accept that as them being blunt honest. What she did was dumb, cuz business is business no matter who gives you the business.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • hee hee

      Yes, there are hypocrites espousing opinion X, therefore opinion X is untenable.

      See if you can spot the problem! It's tricky, but I know you're up to it. Once you've done that, try to find the problem with your argument "there will be hypocrites espousing opinion X, I just know it because of my keen sense of irony! therefore opinion X is untenable".

      June 30, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • TiredODaCrap

      Cute one, hee hee. 10-20 years ago, the idea of the laws of the land changing as they have the last few days was unthinkable. Although you want to argue there is no slippery slope here, let's not pretend that it "can't" ever happen...

      June 30, 2013 at 9:05 am |
  16. Big Bird Johnson

    I'm a conservative and face no dilemma on this issue. Let's move on from the social policy.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • svrhodes77

      The problem is, the modern "conservative" movement can't do it. It's actually the reason I no longer identify with the Republican Party...even though I was a "Reagan Republican". It's like the Tea Party. If the Tea Party had stayed as a movement about tax reform and fiscal responsibility, I could have listened to that. But it's been radicalized to take over issues like anti gay-rights, guns for everyone, etc...and they've alienated a whole block of voters the GOP needs on a national level. Like me.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:06 am |
  17. Lori

    I have no problem if she refuses service to gay people because of her beliefs. I just wonder if she also refuses to sell to people getting married if they are not virgins, or if they are marrying for the 2nd or 3rd time? Does she only deny one sin or all of them?

    June 30, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • Greg

      Thank you Lori I wish they would have mentioned this part as it really hit the nail on the head!

      June 30, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • allenwoll

      .
      You are pointing to the "Elephant in the Room" !
      .

      June 30, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • JustJosh

      Yep, she should also deny her services to those who've committed other 'abominations' like eating shellfish, trimming facial hair, or wearing clothing of mixed fabrics. I seriously get a kick when they claim "we're not discriminating", but fail to apply the entirety of their flawed standard (i.e. – the Bible) to the situation. News flash: If you're cherry-picking which rules to follow, it *is* discrimination.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • shephrd01

      Lori, while may not be the best scenerio for marriage, speaking to a virgin, 2nd, 3rd or 4th marriage, it is still a lifestyle that is moral and in harmony with nature.

      Gays and lesbian acts are against nature and morally corrupt.

      This is the difference and there will be a large majority of people, until another decade or two of brainwashing our children in school, tv and media, that will continue to make a stand for such acts that attacking morality.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Chimchim

      @Lori you are the best post of the day! That was the exact same thing I was thinking. Thank you!

      June 30, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • justine

      @ shephrd01, you talk about morality, but whose morality. 50 years ago it was "moral" to prohibit different race marriages. 100 years ago, it was moral to treat women as chattel. 150 years ago, it was moral to have slaves (the bible actually allows a man to sell his own daughter). Is this the kind of morality you mean?

      June 30, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  18. Mark Yelka

    A sign in the window: We Cater to White Trade Only. That was back in 1938. Ignorant times, huh? How is this different that not wanting to fully serve gays?

    June 30, 2013 at 8:46 am |
    • lol??

      How 'bout that socie sign in the window that said..................

      We Only Put Jews in the Ovens (But will make Exceptions) ??

      June 30, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  19. Rainer Braendlein

    The broad acceptance of gay lifestyle in the Western societies is a clear indicator for the fact that we have forsaken our dwelling in God. The worst thing is not gayness in itself but the fact that the most of us have forsaken the God who has made heaven and earth. This God is Life, Love and Community in Himself (without God there would be no Life, no Love, and no Community). The reason why depression, lonelyness, madness, diseases of the soul and body, etc. spread so much amongst us is the fact that we have forsaken the Life which is God and submitted to the powers of death.

    Dwelling in God is not just a theoretical term but means something. When we are in God we are channels of his infinite love that means we love our neighbour even on the cost of our own well-being.

    God will not judge us at Judgement Day because we have not been in an just "imaginary" state (dwelling in God) but because we have not loved our neighbour who was in need, and were not ready to share our goods with our neighbour.

    At Judgement Day only the really evil people will get condemned. Yet not only murder or hate is evil but also the neglect of the neighbour.

    If we would still be in God we would perceive gayness as a confusion of se-xuality. Yet, we have forsaken him, and we are controled by the rulers of darkness or powers of death which give us ill, perverse thoughts so that we regard evil things as right.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    June 30, 2013 at 8:46 am |
    • midwest rail

      Trust me, it wasn't worth posting twice.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • Mark Yelka

      Folks spout this stuff as if it were really true. Amazing. Just like a kid defending the reality of Santa.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • nullhogarth

      If a god existed, you might have an argument, but since god is a fictional character, you don't.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • JesuswalkswithMe

      I see where you made your mistake – you think being gay is a lifestyle. Research has proven it's part of individuals' DNA so not a choice and proven to be a natural variation throughout mammals.

      Now that you know this, you can correct your mistaken views. It's important to be educated on this topic if you're going to hold an opinion.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • icarus

      I really object to people who don't know me and refuse to believe the weight of the scientific evidence on the issue telling me that they know more about my se xuality than I do, all on the basis of the belief that in a world where all kinds of horrible things happen every day, still, gay is the one mistake God wouldn't make. At least not in humans.
      (Sorry if repost)

      June 30, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  20. Rainer Braendlein

    The broad acceptance of gay lifestyle in the Western societies is a clear indicator for the fact that we have forsaken our dwelling in God. The worst thing is not gayness in itself but the fact that the most of us have forsaken the God who has made heaven and earth. This God is Life, Love and Community in Himself (without God there would be no Life, no Love, and no Community). The reason why depression, lonelyness, madness, diseases of the soul and body, etc. spread so much amongst us is the fact that we have forsaken the Life which is God and submitted to the powers of death.

    Dwelling in God is not just a theoretical term but means something. When we are in God we are channels of his infinite love that means we love our neighbour even on the cost of our own well-being.

    God will not judge us at Judgement Day because we have not been in an just "imaginary" state (dwelling in God) but because we have not loved our neighbour who was in need, and were not ready to share our goods with our neighbour.

    At Judgement Day only the really evil people will get condemned. Yet not only murder or hate is evil but also the neglect of the neighbour.

    If we would still be in God we would perceive gayness as a confusion of se-xuality. Yet, we have forsaken him, and we are controled by the rulers of darkness or powers of death which give us ill, perverse thoughts so that we regard evil things as right.

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

      Fine, but let God judge. Isn't that what good Christians are supposed to do? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Good Christians aren't supposed to judge others, so why don't you good Christians lay off the sinners and mind your own business.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • Too bad

      But Rainer most think that you are an evil thing and are never right. Strange don't you know.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • canesgal

      Rainer, get help for yourself and your hatred. Too much violence and bigotry has been born in the name of religion and the people at large are seeing it for what it is. As a straight American, I rejoiced on Thursday when this monumental statement of fairness and love was made on this historic day. I am happy I was alive to see it and cant wait to see how much greater we will become as this last bastion of bigotry is coming to a close.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:58 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.