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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. George

    What if I enjoy having the freedom to discriminate?
    America was built on freedom.

    July 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      Well I did raise the point that maybe discrimination should only be actionable when the plaintiff can show actual harm. For example, a gas station that is the only gas station in a 50 mile area shouldn’t be able to discriminate but a gas station in a town with many gas stations should be able to.

      But this type of change to existing law would to too complex to enforce. I would only want this type of law as a way to ‘out’ the bigots in my community since a business would have to get a permit to discriminate and hang this permit in their store.

      So you’re right that one doesn’t have the right to discriminate against protected classes, but this has been the law for decades now.

      July 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
      • Susan StoHelit

        Yeah, greeeat idea. Let people discriminate – so when you are black, you pull up to the gas station – and you can be told, get lost, go to another one – and if that one discriminates too..... Why on earth would we allow this? It's wrong. You want a business license, you serve everyone.

        July 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Rollo Tomasi

      You are free to be a slave too. Go for it. Nobody expects you to be humane or intelligent.

      July 14, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
  2. Michael

    This is how she treats a longtime customer? Sickening. Hopefully she lost him and many other customers permanently over this. He wasn't asking her to attend or endorse the wedding just to sell him some flowers. Just because she SAYS she isn't discriminating doesn't make it so, nor does the fact that she uses her religion to justify her antipathy.

    July 14, 2013 at 3:18 am |
  3. faith

    Verse 22. Thus did Noah] He prepared the ark; and during one hundred and twenty years
    preached righteousness to that sinful generation, #2Pe 2:5. And this we are informed, #1Pe 3:18,
    19, &c., he did by the Spirit of Christ; for it was only through him that the doctrine of repentance
    could ever be successfully preached. The people in Noah's time are represented as shut up in
    prison-arrested and condemned by God's justice, but graciously allowed the space of one hundred
    and twenty years to repent in. This respite was an act of great mercy; and no doubt thousands who
    died in the interim availed themselves of it, and believed to the saving of their souls. But the great
    majority of the people did not, else the flood had never come. adam clarke

    July 14, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • faith

      god gave noah's gang 120 years to repent. those who chose to go down with ship, they and their children, are the good guys. god is the bad guy cause he killed them. chronic juvenile offenders reason this way.

      that homeowner didn't have to shoot me. i was just robbing him at gunpoint. if he hadn't threatened me, i wouldn't have had to start the gun battle. he is the guilty one here, for shooting a dude that never done nothin to him

      July 14, 2013 at 8:01 am |
  4. Felix Sinclair

    They just don't know what to do now that their feigned piety isn't fooling everyone anymore. "God hates this!" "Jesus requires that!" So what? Your invisible friends aren't US citizens.

    July 14, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • lol??

      Public Servants hating the Masters ain't gonna work out. From a parable,

      "Luk 19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this [man] to reign over us." Commie, socie, revolutions ain't nuthin' new.

      July 14, 2013 at 7:51 am |
  5. Just Call Me Lucifer

    Going down on Christ? I guess you didn't know that Jesus is gay. Why do you think he never hooked up with Mary? He was always hangin' out with the boys, "fishing". Thats what they called it anyway.

    July 14, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • Dude

      CNN pretty much gave you that one.

      July 14, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
  6. faith

    the ugly, stupid and the overweight need legal protection from discrimination, too

    July 13, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Reasonable Approximation

      You're just saying that so you can claim benefits under the "stupid" provision.

      July 14, 2013 at 3:45 am |
    • sam stone

      wow, feeling a bit put upon, faith?

      July 14, 2013 at 7:31 am |
  7. Harry

    Conservatives should brace for minding their own freaking business. They would find that it doesn't affect them at all.

    July 13, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • lol??

      Churches don't marry people. Beasts don't marry people. MYOB, true!

      July 14, 2013 at 7:44 am |
  8. considerthis

    She has a right to practice her religion without being fined so long as she is not hurting anyone. End of story, she is not hurting anyone therefore she should be left alone. This country was founded in part by people fleeing religious persecution, not stuff like this is happening.

    July 13, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • JOhn

      that might be true if it was a one time customer but it wasn't, it was a repeat customer whom she decided to not serve because of her views thus the discrimination. If she wants to name her shop Glory to Jesus Flowers then she should do that and then agnostics etc. will know to patronize another shop, she can't have her cake and eat it too.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
      • Liv4God

        "that might be true if it was a one time customer but it wasn't, it was a repeat customer whom she decided to not serve because of her views thus the discrimination."

        What?!? What possible legal statute would justify your claim that "one time" customers can be turned away for any reason, but "repeat" customers have some sort of special protection under the law. I have seen a lot of hate filled comments against Christians on this site, but your comment was the most idiotic. If she doesn't want to serve customers for religious reasons, that is her right. If people don't want to patronize her shop because of this, that is their right. Although this particular course of action backfired against the gay community when they tried it with Chik Fil A. But go right ahead.

        July 15, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Shostakovicz

      No, you're right. She absolutely DOES have the right to practice her religion. Completely agree with this. She has the right to refuse to serve people in her business for whatever reason she chooses.

      And all those people that disagree with her, have the right to do so, and have the right to take their business elsewhere. It's her choice. As she said, "If you have to go down for Christ, what better person to go down for." If she chooses to express her religious beliefs in the way she does business, then people have the right to take their money elsewhere. And if she goes out of business because of that, she has NO right to claim that SHE was discriminated against because she's Christian. If she can choose not to serve people, people can choose not to do business with her.

      July 14, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  9. geekgirl42

    I find it infuriating that this woman has decided to spit in the face of a paying customer and then has the nerve to play the martyr card, saying that she's "going down for Christ." I can't stand these martyr types who pick a fight with someone and then play the victim. She should sell the flowers to whomever wants to buy them. Period.

    July 13, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Liv4God

      She didn't pick the fight. The ACLU picked the fight. And she didn't spit in anyone's face, proverbial or otherwise. When you have your own business, you can run it anyway you like...unless of course someone gets offended, then all bets are off. That is the REAL tragedy of this situation.

      July 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  10. George

    Discrimination should be decriminalized.
    Discrimination should be OK if it is done equally.

    July 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Jane

      I agree, everyone should be discriminated against equally so that no one misses out.

      July 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • lol??

      EEOPL

      Equaly Equal Oppurtunity Povertie Lives!!

      July 12, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
  11. George

    Why is discrimination wrong?
    Why shouldn't there be a right to discriminate?

    July 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Jane

      Maybe we could divide everyone into groups of four.

      July 12, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • Athy

      Ooh! That would really hurt!

      July 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • Boutros

      I think it's because people don't like it. Wouldn't it suck if you were hungry and went to a restaurant and the host said in front of everyone, "Sorry, we don't serve old racist white men." and she led you to the door? Wouldn't that hurt your feelings?

      July 13, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • George

      No, not at all.
      I would spend my money at a restaurant that caters to my niche.
      Gays can do the same.

      July 14, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • George

      No, not at all.
      Let the free market decide.
      I would spend my money at a restaurant that caters to my niche.
      Gays can do the same.

      July 14, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And what happens when there are no essential services available to a minority – is that ok? And what is the limit – in your world, does a person's "right" to discriminate take precedence over a business owner's or a public service provider? Would a firefighter be able to legally say "Sorry, I know this home is owned by a gay, so no water for them!"

      July 14, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
  12. MIlo

    "Going down for Christ." Doing something bad in Christ's name, how is that even Christian?

    July 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      There's no way to know if a particular action or behavior is "Christian" or not because there is no practical measurement that would determine the veracity of such a hypothesis. For example, is it Christian to "kill during war for your country?" You'll find Christians on both sides of the issues, and all will have verses and interpretations and counter interpretation in abundance.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Jane

      "Christian" is the most overused word I've ever seen. Not a real one, is one, isn't one, used to be one, just became one, married one, divorced one, thought they were one but were mistaken, thought someone else was one but wwere mistaken...and so on.

      July 12, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • faith

      we don't follow a rule book. we walk in friendship with god almighty and rely on him for the guidance we need, using the new testament as our guide. the letter kills. the spirit gives life. if following rules was enough, we wouldn't need god

      loving someone serves as motivation to please him/her

      July 13, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      good for you, faith. now, get back on your knees, it's time to please jeebus again

      July 14, 2013 at 8:01 am |
  13. jazzguitarman

    Saraswati
    You have a very negative view of Americans as it relates to equality. You assume that IF there were not laws that prevented discrimination against certain classes that the USA would return to what it was like 100 years ago. You have no evidence to back that up and I think you’re way too cynical about your fellow Americans.

    Just look at the progress made in only a few years with regards to acceptance of gay rights. Look at what happened to Paula Deen; multiple corporations like Wal-Mart dropped her because of the hint of racism. The change in the Boy Scouts’ policy. To me this shows that in most of America IF there weren’t anti-discrimination laws only a few would still discriminate and it would mostly be confined to certain areas of the country.

    Anyhow, I support these laws and understand why we need them. But as an agnostic all I ask is that liberals like us admit that we are denying the rights of others to decide who they associate with for religious reasons and that exceptions for religious reasons will be struck down by the courts.

    Thus the point of this article that religious people will have to change is on target. Yes, I understand you don’t care about their rights.

    July 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • krhodes

      "Thus the point of this article that religious people will have to change is on target. Yes, I understand you don’t care about their rights."

      Now explain why religious people will have to change?

      July 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Everybody is going to have to change for the new reality. Religious people will no longer be able to claim religious freedom to justify any discrimination, assuming they did so in the past.

      July 12, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • krhodes

      HotAirAce
      "Everybody is going to have to change for the new reality. Religious people will no longer be able to claim religious freedom to justify any discrimination, assuming they did so in the past."

      What discrimination are you talking about? I'm sure i'll be waiting a while on that one.

      July 12, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Observer

      krhodes,

      The Bible discriminates against slaves, gays, women and the handicapped.

      Have you ever read it?

      July 12, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • krhodes

      Observer
      "krhodes,

      The Bible discriminates against slaves, gays, women and the handicapped.

      Have you ever read it?"

      Really...how do you figure? Have you ever read it; probably not.

      July 12, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • Observer

      krhodes,

      The Bible discriminates against gays for being born the way God supposedly created them.
      The Bible says women are not to teach men.
      The Bble says slaves can be beaten with NO PUNISHMENT.
      The Bible says God doesn't want disfigured people in his church including men with crushed testicles.

      Haven't you read ANY of the Bible? Get serious.

      July 12, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • krhodes

      Observer
      "krhodes,

      The Bible discriminates against gays for being born the way God supposedly created them.
      The Bible says women are not to teach men.
      The Bble says slaves can be beaten with NO PUNISHMENT.
      The Bible says God doesn't want disfigured people in his church including men with crushed testicles.

      Haven't you read ANY of the Bible? Get serious."

      You are pretty good at accusations...i sure did not see any facts. The Bible does not discriminate against those born with a particular proclivity, but the act. If you will read the Bible you claim to know it is clear the act is what is prohibited. As far as slaves...Are Christians commanded to have slaves? You simply wrong about slavery. Women are not to teach men...so what? Perhaps you can post the reference material where you get the idea about " disfigured people?"

      July 13, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • HotAirAce

      krhrodes, this lady allegedly discriminated against someone because of her cult's beliefs. I did generalize in my answer, but notice the "if" part. I am not claiming all religious cult members discrimates and duck behind their myths as an excise.

      July 14, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Sorry, should have wrote "assume" part above.

      July 14, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • HotAirAce

      krhodes, you chastised another poster for a lack of facts. Please provide factual, independent, verifiable and objective evidence for your god and a divine jesus. If you cannot, you should preamble all your claims based on The Babble with something like "Despite not being able to prove the foundations of our beliefs, our cult believes. . ." Given that no believer to date has provided such evidence, I suspect I will be waiting a very long time for your definitive evidence.

      July 14, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Observer

      krhodes

      "The Bible discriminates against gays for being born the way God supposedly created them.
      The Bible says women are not to teach men.
      The Bble says slaves can be beaten with NO PUNISHMENT.
      The Bible says God doesn't want disfigured people in his church including men with crushed testicles.
      You are pretty good at accusations...i sure did not see any facts."

      Do you have reading comprehension problems?
      Fact: God doesn't want disfigured people in his church including men with crushed testicles.
      Fact: The Bble says slaves can be beaten with NO PUNISHMENT.

      Haven't you read any of it?

      July 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
  14. krhodes

    You know you should change name of this blog...it should be the anti-religion blog. You will let atheist folks say whatever they want and then remove the actual religious comments....weird huh?

    July 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      It is the Belief Blog. Atheists have beliefs just the same as anyone else.

      If you're looking only for people who agree with you, try a religion specific blog.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      If you're looking for a place to blindly accept propaganda, go to a fox news blog.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Bob

      krhodes, the primary weirdness is how far your post is from reality.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • krhodes

      myweightinwords
      "It is the Belief Blog. Atheists have beliefs just the same as anyone else.

      If you're looking only for people who agree with you, try a religion specific blog."

      Exactly...so not allowing the religious to post comments is in fact not allowing dissenting ideas, but hey...that is liberalism. Silence the opposition.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • krhodes

      Ken Margo
      "If you're looking for a place to blindly accept propaganda, go to a fox news blog."

      Evidently you did not comprehend my comment.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • krhodes

      Bob
      "krhodes, the primary weirdness is how far your post is from reality."

      No...they are selective with what comments they allow. They simply do not want an argument from the other side to give the impression there are few dissenting people. That is classic liberalism.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      The wide variety of comments on this blog expressing all sorts of different ideas and beliefs prove your assumption false. Poor logic at work. Pull your head out of your azz.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • krhodes

      Cpt. Obvious
      'The wide variety of comments on this blog expressing all sorts of different ideas and beliefs prove your assumption false. Poor logic at work. Pull your head out of your azz."

      Yeah...they publish what they want and if you notice there are very few dissenting comments...i wonder why?

      July 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      You are ignorant of the facts when you don't have to be. Perhaps you should leave and try another site that you do not feel the need to ignorantly criticize.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Athy

      Maybe there are fewer dissenters? Duh?

      July 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • krhodes

      Cpt. Obvious
      "You are ignorant of the facts when you don't have to be. Perhaps you should leave and try another site that you do not feel the need to ignorantly criticize."

      Well i think one could scroll through the pages and there would certainly be more pro comments...you really think that is because there are fewer dissenters? Of course not.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " Well i think one could scroll ...."
      As soon as you typed the 2nd and 3rd words, you were wrong.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • krhodes

      midwest rail
      " Well i think one could scroll ...."
      As soon as you typed the 2nd and 3rd words, you were wrong.

      really...now how do you figure that?

      July 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  15. lol??

    It was quite troubling when Hillary and Monica made up.

    July 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  16. krhodes

    sam stone
    "i am arguing that every citizen have equal rights under the law.

    to argue otherwise is to be a bigot

    those who look to their scripture as support of it are merely pious bigots

    but bigots nevertheless"

    Evidently you do not understand what a bigot is and apparently do not know you practice it.

    July 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      you want to deny a portion of the population equal rights. i think i recognize bigotry

      July 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  17. krhodes

    I suppose cnn belief blog just does not like to post opposing comments.

    July 11, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • rick

      perhaps if they made sense, they would be posted

      July 12, 2013 at 7:28 am |
    • krhodes

      Well for anyone who argues for the inherently wrong idea of g.a-y marriage...anything would make sense.

      July 12, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • sam stone

      luckily for citizens of the united states, our const-i-tution trumps your idea of what is "inherently wrong"

      same gender marriage is here. choke on it

      July 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      i am arguing that every citizen have equal rights under the law.

      to argue otherwise is to be a bigot

      those who look to their scripture as support of it are merely pious bigots

      but bigots nevertheless

      July 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • sam stone

      in case my prior statement was misunderstood, i was referring to those who parrot scripture to support the denial of equal rights.

      July 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • krhodes

      sam stone
      "luckily for citizens of the united states, our const-i-tution trumps your idea of what is "inherently wrong"

      same gender marriage is here. choke on it"

      Legalizing something does not make that thing correct, true, or even moral now does it?

      July 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • sam stone

      well, krhodes, watcha got to say?

      July 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • sam stone

      we are talking about equality under the law, not (your version of) morality

      July 12, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • sam stone

      while we are at it, how is denying people equal rights "moral"?

      July 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • krhodes

      sam stone
      "well, krhodes, watcha got to say?"

      belief blog will not post my comments...so i am not wasting more time.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • sam stone

      run, coward.....

      July 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • krhodes

      sam stone
      run, coward.....

      As i said...they keep blocking my comments...you are simply lucky you are on a biased site. You "arguments" are fallacious.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • krhodes

      sam stone
      "while we are at it, how is denying people equal rights "moral"?"

      we are not talking about equal rights, but special rights.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Athy

      They're not blocking your comments, krhodes. Either you don't know how to post or you're using a forbidden letter sequence in one of your words.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • krhodes

      g-marr i age implies one must be g to marr-y the same gender. The government is supposed to be blind to such a thing.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • krhodes

      Athy
      "They're not blocking your comments, krhodes. Either you don't know how to post or you're using a forbidden letter sequence in one of your words."

      So your side can call people names and run them down, but i cannot use the g word or the h word. Now that makes perfect sense right?

      July 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Gay is not blocked. Ho.mos3xual is because of "ho.mo" and "s3x."

      Clever people know how to get around the filter: homosexual.

      Believers, especially christians, assume they're being persecuted when in fact there is nothing special about members of the dead jew zombie vampire cannibal death cult.

      July 12, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Athy

      CNN's bad-word filter doesn't discriminate. Learn to avoid the forbidden sequences, break them up with spaces or other characters, or, as many of the more intelligent posters do (generally the atheists), use HTML tricks to evade the filter. What you shouldn't do is claim you're being singled out because you're a believer. In other words, don't be a whiner.

      July 12, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      More of this "special rights" bullspit from krhodes. Not special rights, equal rights. And, it is coming. Choke on it

      July 13, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
  18. krhodes

    l

    July 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  19. mzh

    O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you. – 4:1

    July 11, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Is there any point to your post?

      July 11, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • mzh

      To let others know the truth which has been revealed to the mankind… and not a story tale that was written by human imagination or vision... every single thing that we have now discovered by our scientists are actually sourced to this book...
      Here are few:
      – the universe is being expanded every moment
      – the life stages of human, starting prior to the acquainted of sperm and ovum inside the mother
      – the salt and sweet water does not mix up between seas
      – the mountains are firmed so that the earth is balanced
      – the laws of inheritance, laws or divorce, laws of natures
      – and lot more

      July 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      No, mzh. Your book may have sections that are COMPATIBLE with science, but it provides no testable theories or measurable hypotheses with a.s.sociated data and evidence. There is no special knowledge in any holy book that is not a reasonable a.s.sumption for the time period in which it was written.

      July 11, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • mzh

      Dear Cpt. Obvious
      Would you talk to a kinder garden student about what you teach in high school or college or universities? Obviously the answer is NO and why because they have not ability to take it. So the time when the Quran was being revealed were not as technical as it is now. Now we have an aircraft parked in our drive way and that time it was a camel parked in their home to use as a vehicle. This also does not make any sense to give something that you are not able to take it. So the knowledge that we have discovered now is nothing but sourced to this book…
      Let me give you an example of Galileo, we all know that he was poisoned or not being treated nicely with the Christians when he says that the earth is moving around the sun where Christian used to believe that the earth is flat and this information is given to Quran that every thing in the universe is in move including the earth…
      About the human life cycle – please read this verse 22:5 and you will see the lifestyle exactly as it is discovered now, may be the diff is you can see it by putting a camera to watch a fetus.
      Fyi. That does not mean that I do not appreciate the discoveries of our scientists today… and I believe that the One who created the human and the entire universe, He knows the appropriate time for anything to be discovered to the mankind and He only He lets the human to discover it to serve the mankind but sometimes human misuse it by being greedy of power.
      Peace!!!

      July 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      mzh

      That is a very clever excuse for why holy books do not contain any scientific knowledge beyond what could be ascertained or guessed at the time of authorship. Do you ever wonder why mathematics and chemistry are the same the world over and are continually proven and refined according to practical application, but people all over the world can believe anything at all about god? hmmm.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • mzh

      Dear Cpt. Obvious
      I think we are talking about two things here in my opinion. The books (Quran, Injeel (Gospel given to Jesus), Torah given to Moses) that have been sent down to the mankind to believe in One God and Submit to Himself and do not associate any partners with Him, meaning do not say that God has begotten a son or daughter or a partner or any other associations and believe in the messenger that the book sent to.
      And the mathematic, chemistry or any other subjects that we study to live this life has nothing to do with the guidance to the straight path that was being shown by every prophets to their community. Like Moses was sent to pharaoh to save Children of Israel who were slaved for centuries, Jesus was sent to the Children of Israel with new laws and Muhammad was sent to the mankind to guide to the straight path.
      Now, regardless of my expertise i.e. physicist, mathematicians, chemist, astronauts or anything, if I do not follow the guidance to believe in Oneness of The Creator then I am not in the straight path. I am discovering greater things but when it comes to accept the Oneness of The Creator – I am being failed. How this greater thing without oneness of The Creator is going to help me on that day? Or when it comes to believe in The Creator, I do and submit myself to a human either dead or alive, a cow, a tree, an idol made of mud or any metals… I have no sense? That these can’t be my God that I should submit myself to…

      July 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  20. jazzguitarman

    Ken, you duck the question. Often when one is punished the amount of the fine relates to the damages they caused. In this specific case I hope we can both see that there were no actual damages. All that occurred was that someone's feelings were hurt.

    Yes, it was a violation of WA civil right law. Thus the women should be fined. But again, if you were the judge how much would you fine her?

    How much would you fine the black owner of a sewing shop that refused to provide services to KKK members? (Assuming these KKK members could fine another sewing shop in the same area willing to do the work at a similar price).

    In both cases if I was the judge the fine would be less than $10.

    July 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Athy

      The judge probably has little to say in the amount of the fine. The punishment for breaking a law is generally specified (typically over some min/max range) in the statute itself. Of course he can always just dismiss the case, but that's a different matter.

      July 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      Athy; If I understand you correctly, you're saying that if there were actual damages (e.g. say she decided at the last minute to NOT supply flowers and the couple had to get flowers at the last second at twice the cost), that this would be a civil case.

      The charges against this women if found to be valid, would just result in a fixed, pre-determined fine. Well that would be easier for the judge.

      July 10, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Athy

      Well, I'm not a lawyer but that's way I think it works. If damages were incurred, that would be a separate civil matter and the one damaged could sue. That's probably not an issue here since no damages appear to have been incurred. Otherwise, it's just a fine (possibly waived, but with a probationary period), sort of like spitting on the sidewalk, or committing vandalism.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • Saraswati

      You continue to assume some nice little world where this will only ever happen to people once or twice in a lifetime, not the reality we've seen in the past where unpopular groups are turned away on a daily bases and can't find arestaurant to eat at or a home to buy. Spoiled 20 year olds who grew up seeing only the world held together by policies others gave their lives for, college kids too lazy to pick up a history book, will pick idiotic policies that will return this country back 100 years. If you think progress is a one way path of improvement you are too naive for help. Real people are affected by these issues, and until you've sat in a restaurant fearing you'll be turned out and refused the right to try on clothes based on your race you have no fr!ggin idea. I really think some of youfolks are beyond help when I see the lack of learning in a discussion like this.

      July 11, 2013 at 7:38 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.