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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. Observer

    Nearly every area of the world in conflict today involves RELIGIOUS differences. Same for terrorism.

    July 5, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • Gerry from Bayonne

      That's because normal god-fearing folks have already deposed most of the atheist regimes, who killed more than all the religions combined!

      July 5, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • Observer

      When God got done with his TORTUROUS DROWNING killing spree, there were only 8 people left.

      Atheists never did anything REMOTELY close.

      Try again. Or don't you consider the Bible a RELIABLE source?

      July 5, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
  2. In Santa we trust

    Gerry, Did you read to the end – where it said

    April Fool.
    The news article is real but it actually refers to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, not the American Atheists

    July 5, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
  3. Leigh Anne

    Quote-“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.”

    "Christ" is a theological term...and theology made by men is what the church has been faithful to.

    It is too bad that they has NOT had the same faithfulness in following the teachings of Jesus like the commands to love.

    July 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • tb63

      You got that right! Have you seen what they've been up to in Uganda?

      July 5, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
  4. Observer

    Douglas

    "Jesus came to set the captives free...healed numerous handicapped and made women a centrerpiece of his ministry."

    lol. Have you actually read a Bible? Tell me where Jesus condemns slavery. Slavery is condoned in the NEW TESTAMENT as well as discrimination against women. Don't reference a Bible if you haven't read it.

    "You remain clueless"

    July 5, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
  5. Gerry from Bayonne

    @Obsrv

    Why do you quote from a fable you don't believe in? Why not comment on observable facts, like the 10s of millions killed by atheists under the approving blind eye of the Western intelligencia

    July 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
  6. Douglas

    Observer,

    You remain clueless and a Christianphobe.

    Jesus came to set the captives free...healed numerous handicapped
    and made women a centrerpiece of his ministry.

    Your bigotry toward Christians and celibate gay Christians is obvious.

    Repent now before you join others in the abyss.

    July 5, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
  7. Observer

    Speaking of genocide, the Bible says that when God got done TORTUROUSLY DROWNING people, there were only EIGHT people left on the face of the earth.

    July 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
  8. Gerry from Bayonne

    100,000,000 killed by atheist/liberal heroes in the 20th C.

    Billions more enslaved by communism and behind the Iron Curtain. Nice

    July 5, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
  9. Gerry from Bayonne

    @Observer

    Perhaps it's not on their platform, but genocide is, just like the enemies of Israel in the Bible

    July 5, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
  10. Observer

    Fun Fact; Most atheists don't support slavery and discrimination against women and the handicapped like the Bible does.

    July 5, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
  11. Gerry from Bayonne

    It's a good thing there is no "man in the sky" telling them what to do or not to do. They concoct their own insanity and demise.

    July 5, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
  12. jazzguitarman

    Saraswati \ Cpt Obvious: Read your comments and the two of you took the conversation in the direction I have been trying to move it all long. A very intelligent one BTY. One point I see is that in the case of a religious objection (the flower women) or a racial one (the sewing shop KKK), the primary reason for refusing service would be feelings. I.e. no monetary harm is caused to either party other. The refusal is based only on feelings.

    If one feels the law shouldn’t care that the flower women’s feelings are ‘hurt’, why should that same law care that the sewing shop women’s feelings are hurt. Like the both of you I understand why one would like to allow the sewing shop women to refuse service, but I don’t see how that would be equality under the law (in this case the KKK members seeking equality under the law).

    July 5, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Hmm.. I was actually trying to bring light to the issue that many atheists are just as hypocritical and shrill and self-serving and reactionary as many Christians are and that if the KKK article had been posted instead of the florist article many atheists would have the opposite opinion and not have a second thought as to the consequences of their thinking in the case of the florist, now.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      @Cpt. O – you say on previous page "My guess is that about 80%-90% of the same atheists and "rational thinkers" on this site would have the OPPOSITE opinion and be speaking out just as loudly that business owners should HAVE the right to refuse service to that group of people public opinion is against."

      I just disagree, I think there would be those who would but the numbers would be much much lower. I for one have no problem with the law that say's we cannot discriminate. That is why the KKK get a parade in some town's even though there might be a majority who would vote against it. It's the founding principle of this country. We must fight to protect all beliefs or we ourselves become what we dislike most, hypocrites. The members of the KKK should have every right to believe what they want, they just better not be denying a sale from their public store to someone of color. Now if that KKK persons beliefs are so strong that they do not even want to deal with a black person, then they should either quit working at a public store or get another employee to help the customer, but to close the business to the person based on skin color just cannot be allowed. The flower shop owner should have said "My assistant will be doing the flowers and delivering them as I have a personal religious belief that will not allow me personally to participate." and if she has no one else working with her she could have said "Since my personal belief limits me from participating I have brought in a temporary hire to assist them with all of their needs".

      July 5, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Obvious, I agree with Just that you seem to be overestimating the reaction, but we can't know without a survey. As for those who would like to see a difference legally, I suspect that a large number would have some arguments behind that decision, while others would simply be inconsistent or have not thought out the implications fully yet.

      July 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      This isn't my first merry go round. I've seen it in practice too many times and I believe that the average atheist is just as "religious" in his opinions and just as prejudiced against those that disagree with him as the average Christian. People lie on surveys. I'm stating that if the KKK story had come out instead of the florist's story, most atheists would not be giving it a second thought that they supported the freedom of the business owner to choose what clientele she prefers to serve.

      Oh, there'd be one or two atheists like Me II and I'm Sorry Dave I can't Let You Do That who would bring up the opposite opinion, but it wouldn't be but one or two. And I think the reaction to those posters would be about the same as here. The same folks would be saying the opposite thing: "Well, that's the breaks. The law shouldn't force this little old black lady to sew costumes for Klansman and so it shouldn't force a fundie to serve gays either."

      Maybe I'm being too cynical, but it's bothersome how quickly most atheists jumped into the discussion as if there was nothing worth considering on the other hand. And I've seen almost as much hypocrisy from atheists as from Christians, and to be honest, atheists are MORE likely to bully and castigate and deride individuals who disagree with their viewpoint. I value my commitments to my non hypocritical Christian acquaintances far more than my commitments to my hypocritical atheist acquaintances. Many atheists are just as blind as many Christians when it comes to their own biases and preconceptions.

      July 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Sexual orientation is not a choice. Racism is a choice. Even if a person may have been raised in a culture where there are no other options, the can still be educated to a point where their mind is changed. The same cannot be said for sexuality.

      It's apples and oranges.

      July 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Why in the fvck are you co.mparing racism and s3x.ual orientation????????

      The race you are is not a choice.
      The s3xuality you have is not a choice.
      You were born with both.

      Racism may not be a choice for someone raised in a very racist environment.
      Di.scrimination against h0.m0.s3.xuality may not be a choice for someone raised in a very bi.g.o.ted environment.
      Both are products of nurture and experience.

      Your comparison only confuses the issue, which is the pro.p.e.nsity for both atheists and Christians to shrilly jump to the conclusion that SEEMS right from the general pers.p.e.ctive and the prop.e.nsity for both atheists and Christians to "other" those who don't agree with them. I find that atheist are about as quick to prematurely judge a situation and use co.n.f.irm.ation bias and s.u.c.c.u.mb to hypocrisy as the Christians are.......and when pressed on these issues, to ob.f.u.s.c.ate and back-peddle in about the same manner.

      July 5, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      I think the larger point i'm making that is being overlooked is the difference between a public business that went and applied for a public business license like "Arlene’s Flowers" and an individual like Barronelle Stutzman. She may have been the one to go get the license but it was for a public business not for an individual. The individual can believe anything they want and are not forced to do anything they don't want to other than to obey the law and to pay their taxes. The law does not say if you are an individual you personally must like and serve black people or gay people, it does say that if you are a business open to the public with a business license granted to you by your local government then you cannot discriminate against a person because of their gender, age, race or s exual preferences.

      This is a very large distinction that is being largely ignored but is really the crux of the issue. Individually we can hate all we want, and we can harbor that hate forever if we choose to, no law against that. But when it comes to setting up a public business that must abide by many laws and ordinances like how large signage can be or what color awning you can have, then no, you do not get to discriminate against anyone you choose as you did as an individual.

      This is also why I disagree with the citizens united ruling allowing corporations to be considered people when it comes to campaign donations. A corporation is not a person, it get special tax exemptions that are different than an individual and has different requirements on it than does an individual. There are clear and real differences between what individual rights and a corporation or businesses rights which are (and rightly so) limited under the law.

      July 5, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "Racism may not be a choice for someone raised in a very racist environment.
      Di.scrimination against h0.m0.s3.xuality may not be a choice for someone raised in a very bi.g.o.ted environment.
      Both are products of nurture and experience. "

      So what you are saying is that THEY ARE NOT BORN that way as are people of color or with different s exual preferences, but are CREATED by racist parents who are attempting to continue a cycle of abuse. This means that the damage is likely not permanant and thus they can benefit from a "Pray the Racism Away" program.

      July 5, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Akira

      Look, there is a huge difference between refusing a service you already provide based on discrimination, such as this flower lady, and forcing someone to provide a service that she never had before, such as sewing KKK costumes.
      All she has to do is say, "I'm sorry, I don't provide those services". As in, to anyone.
      Now there may be sticky problems if she sews costumes for other people, or whatnot, but walking into any seamstresses store and demanding a service she has never previously provided is like walking into a shoestore and demanding they shoe your horse.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Just the facts man,

      You're so far off on your own red herring trail, you're not even arguing the point under review. I'm saying that if the one article never came out, but the article about a costume maker being forced by the federal government to make costumes she finds extremely offensive against her race, many atheist would be on the opposite side of the same issue as here. I'm convinced that if somebody with enough courage to bring up the alternate point (such as a hypothetical that looked like the actual story reported here with the florist) those same shrill, religious, reactionary atheists would say that would be tough luck for the h0m0s3xual wedding customer. Of course we can't know this because the story about the discriminatory florist came out instead of the hypothetical one.

      My point is that athiests are just as reactionary, shrill, and bigoted against those that disagree with them in ways that are often just as hypocritical. And none of the responses I've read, here, seem to alter my theory on that point.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • Akira

      This whole "what if" is silly.
      If anyone is discriminated against, refused services, no matter who or how odious they are, the business owner should be prosecuted.

      I said this a few pages back. I stand by that.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "My point is that athiests are just as reactionary, shrill, and bigoted against those that disagree with them in ways that are often just as hypocritical. And none of the responses I've read, here, seem to alter my theory on that point."

      I would agree with you if you would just add "My point is that SOME athiests are" I do think that it would not be a majority of the ones I have read which seem to be far more sensible and less reactionary then SOME of their Christian counterparts. I was simply trying to point out that SOME atheists like myself don't have a problem with the current laws against discrimination and I do think that whether it's a Christian who refuses to sell flowers to gays or a black woman who refuses to sell flowers to whites or a member of the KKK that they should be required to provide the services they say they offer to all persons.

      July 5, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Akira, your remark about how long someone has been in business is irrelevant, and I've already shown you that. You could just as easily have assumed that both have been in the same business for the same amount of time and the services were somewhat typically offered on a day to day business.

      July 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
  13. Jason

    It's eatin' time, so I'm off to lunch.
    Thanks for agreeing with me on something!

    July 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  14. Jason

    Calling someone a hypocrite is ad hominem, mud-slinging, and name-calling because it is a charged word with a negative connotation. Name calling is not an argument. Even if the name-calling is true, it is still irrelevant. For example: if an alcoholic says 2+2=4, the fact that he is an alocholic, and was called an alcoholic by a rival, is irrelevant to the fact two plus two equals four.

    Calling someone a hypocrite is a red herring because it draws attention away from the merits of the topic at hand. It is beside the point. A distraction.

    Calling someone a hypocrite is ipse dixit because calling someone something does not make that someone that something, if there is a rational explanation as to why that someone is not that something. For example: calling someone an elephant does not make that someone an elephant, and a DNA test can be done to prove this.

    I suppose it's more fun to call people hypocrites than it is to understand why they are not, just like once upon a time it was more fun to burn witches than it was to defend them.

    July 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      No.

      You do not demonstrate an understanding of what makes a logical fallacy. Calling someone a name is not always ad hominem. Calling someone a hypocrite is not always ad hominem or a logical fallacy.Calling someone a hypocrite is not always a red herring and on and on and on.. For a fallacy to be a fallacy, it has to have a very defined relationship to the argument being put forth or rebutted.

      More research required on your part.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Jason

      It seemed reasonable to me.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      If the alcoholic was saying "2+2= 4 and the way I live is better than the way you live" then it would be quite right to respond "Yes, 2+2=4 but you are an alcoholic so I will not be following any other advice from you about living."

      You are trying to make the point that no matter how hypocritical a Christian might be about claiming to just be following scripture when it comes to gays but then ignores so many other scriptures that are inconvenient for them, their message about gays is valid somehow. That is the definition of hypocrisy. To call someone a hypocrite is not using it as a slur when they are hypocrites, they are just stating a fact as unpleasant as the fact may be for the hypocrite.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Perhaps this is the real problem, then, Jason. You find information that appears at first glance to back up your preformed opinions and you go with the rationalization of "it seems reasonable to me."

      I know for a fact that most Christians do this when it comes to interpretation of biblical passages. They already have a preformed opinion about god and what a person should do to please god, and so when they run up against something troubling (research "cognitive dissonance") in the bible or in reality, they find any old interpretation of any old phrase or verse in the bible and.........well...... it's good enough for me, for now, for this situation. And that's all the thinking they'll do on the matter. It's not rigorous enough for the disciplined and courageous critical thinker.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Akira

      The lying, adulterous man decrying SS marriage and actively trying to legislate against it because it isn't "Biblical", all the while breaking Biblical commandments concerning his own marriage, is indeed a hypocrite.
      Sorry.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Jason, I would like to recommend two things to you:

      1. Get a good book on critical thinking/logical argumentation and really study it carefully (make sure it does not espouse any particular agenda, philosophy, or religion or any other viewpoint-it should just be about logical construction and critical thinking)
      2. Print out the post above by "Just the Facts, Mom" and read it every day for about two weeks. Put it on your mirror or something.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Observer

      Jason,

      "Even if the name-calling is true, it is still irrelevant.'

      Classic! So is someone is a liar, that is "irrelevent".

      July 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Observer

      Typo. Obviously should say "So if someone is a liar, that is "irrelevent".

      July 5, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  15. Jason

    Thank you for being reasonable and agreeing with me.

    "Now you'll have to change your opinion (and become incorrect on the issue) to keep from agreeing with a person you consider to be oblivious."

    No, I can just say sorry about that Captain Oblvious thing.
    If you can give me the rare agreement, I can give you the rare apology.

    July 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  16. Jason

    If a smoker tells you that you should not smoke because it is bad for your health, his message is still true, even though it sounds hypocrticial coming from a smoker. Just because someone's words seem hypocritical doesn't mean they are not true.

    July 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "Just because someone's words seem hypocritical doesn't mean they are not true." That is correct, you can have a hypocrite give you accurate information, but that doesn't mean they are not a hypocrite.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Agreed. You are correct, Jason.

      Too bad you've labeled be "oblivious" or you could feel good about me agreeing with you. Now you'll have to change your opinion (and become incorrect on the issue) to keep from agreeing with a person you consider to be oblivious.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I agree, hypocrite as an accusation of debate is rarely to the point.

      July 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Observer

      Saraswati,

      Hypocrisy is significant when people use an international forum to tell people, in effect, that they are such lowlifes that they deserve to spend eternity burning in hell for not believing all of a book that they don't believe all of themselves.

      July 5, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • marine1

      @ observer
      Still hating? My Du.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Observer

      marine1

      "@ observer Still hating?"

      Yep. Still hating bigotry, discrimination, and hypocrisy.

      July 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • marine1

      @ Observer
      Just mess in with you.

      July 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
  17. Jason

    Changing ones mind is not hyprocrisy.

    July 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Hypocrite: 1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion 2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

      I think that is quite a complete definition of most Christians I know. They talk a big game but fall apart where the rubber meets the road. I know dozens and dozens of Christians who have no problems lying and cheating on their taxes (they reason all sorts of things to make it work in their heads) or their wives (can always just ask for forgiveness, right?), but they are just disgusting hypocrites. My father was one of the biggest hypocrites i've ever known as a pastor of a local Congregation in a Columbus suburb, always telling people how to live but never following his own advice in private. I got to see behind the curtain and was groomed to be the next leader but just couldnt stomach the level of deceipt needed to run a congregation or any Church for that matter. Anyone who has been on the inside of operations of any Church large or small will know what I mean, the rest of you will likely remain floating blissful ignorance of what is going on behind the closed doors of your religion.

      July 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  18. Jason

    It's a fallacy to call people hyprocrites (or witches, for that matter) when it can be shown they are not.

    July 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Not necessarily. Not all "lies" are fallacies. In order for a falsehood to be a logical fallacy it must be constructed in a certain way and have a certain bearing on the argument being presented. You don't know much about logical reasoning and logical fallacies, do you?

      July 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  19. Jason

    Just pointing out fallacies, that's all.
    It's what everyone else does.
    An I not allowed to do what everyone else does?

    July 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      What fallacy? YOu simply made an observation about someone's writing style.

      July 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Jason

      Some things that are called hyprocrisy can be shown not to be.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      So what? You made a comment about somebody's style of writing. That's not pointing out a fallacy. Do you always non sequitur this badly?

      July 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Jason

      Captain Oblvious is more like it.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Jason

      Captain Oblivious is more like it.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Actually, you are not pointing anything out. You asked a question "Is Observer even operating under satisfactory and rational definitions of what "hyprocrite" and "hypocrisy" are?" and the answer is a resounding "No." He is hitting the proverbial nail on the head, it's just that you don't like being hit on the head with rational thinking.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      after re-reading your question I see there is no double negative so I have to change the answer to a resounding "Yes." 🙂

      July 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      So wait, are you a Christian, Jason? I ask because of your knee-jerk response to my obvious corrections of your obvious mistakes.

      You simply voiced your opinion that someone was using a word too much. (I noted your action and defined it)
      You acted as if your observation on writing style was exposing a "fallacy." (I noted that you were not exposing a fallacy but comenting on writing style)
      You said that many things claimed to be hypocrisy really aren't (I noted that there was a good reason many Christians are called out on hypocrisy).
      You call me "oblivious."

      Since I've corrected you on several rather silly and obvious mistakes, it doesn't seem that I'm the oblivious one here, does it?

      July 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      You'd think an all-powerful god would be able to muster up a few followers with better command of logic and proper argumentation.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Jason

      For some reason, my lengthy explanation didn't get posted.
      That wasn't evidence of absence.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Jason,

      Maybe you ran into the tricky word filter.

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN Belief Blog/WordPress automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      -
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      crac-ker…
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      inf-orms us…
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      ni-gra…as in deni-grate
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sn-atch
      sp-ank
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!
      x.xx…

      July 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  20. Jason

    Is Observer even operating under satisfactory and rational definitions of what "hyprocrite" and "hypocrisy" are?
    Or has he just been conditioned like a dog to use such terms in a mindless, knee-jerk way when dealing with Christians?

    July 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      Fine, Jason, and we eagerly await your equal-time criticisms of the conditioned, knee-jerk responses from Christians (unless you are an umm, errr ...?)

      July 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Christians tend to be very hypocritical on such boards as these because they are usually outspoken about something their god or bible "commands." However, the bible says so many weird and contradictory things, that usually that outspoken Christian is not paying attention to other parts of their bible or their belief that directly contradict their opinion that they so loudly share. Other Christians or atheist are right to call such bl.o.wh.a.rds out on their stupidity which also happens to highlight their hypocrisy.

      July 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
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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.