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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. mama k

    For the benefit of Rainer, lol??, and others who choose to ignore science in favor of concepts from some brand of mythology:

    BIOLOGY

    The following is from the article:
    ==================
    Homosexuality ultimately a result of gene regulation, researchers find (12/11/2012 – LiveScience)

    [ The search for a "gay gene" may be off-target, new research finds. Another process called epigenetics that switches genes on and off may explain why homosexuality runs in families.

    Epigenetics are heritable changes caused by factors other than DNA. Instead of traits getting passed down through the genes, epigenetic change happens because of the way genes are regulated, or turned on and off.

    These genetic regulators may be the reason homosexuality persists in nature despite the fact that gay people are less likely to reproduce, suggests the new study published in the journal The Quarterly Review of Biology.

    "These things have evolved because they're good for the parents, but they sometimes, not [with] high frequency, but sometimes carry over" into offspring, study researcher William Rice, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told LiveScience. In a male fetus, Rice and his colleagues write, an epigenetic change that benefited the mother may lead to "feminization" of sexual preference — homo- or bisexuality. The same may be true for epigenetic changes passed down by dad to a female fetus. (The terms feminization and masculinization of sexual preference refer to sexual orientation only — not to physical or personality traits of the offspring.)

    The findings add to past research suggesting gay men haven't died out, because female relatives of gay men tend to have more children on average than other females. The study researchers specifically found that two genes passed on through the maternal line could produce this effect.

    Hormones, epigenetics and orientation

    Rice and his colleagues focused on epi-marks, which are molecular changes that act like temporary "switches" to turn genes on and off. If a gene is a blueprint, the epi-mark is the construction foreman who makes sure the product gets built. An epi-mark also determines when, where and how much a gene is expressed, according to the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.

    These molecular switches are usually erased very early in the developmental process, but they can be passed down from generation to generation, too, Rice said.

    Some epi-marks are particularly important during fetal development, when they promote normal physical development in the sexes despite natural variations in testosterone during pregnancy. Researchers know that fetal exposure to too much testosterone can masculinize the genitals, brain or behavior of a genetically female fetus. Likewise, too little testosterone can make a genetically male fetus more feminized.

    But here's the catch: There's lots of overlap between the levels of testosterone male and female fetuses get exposed to. That means there must be another side to the story, Rice and his colleagues wrote.

    That side appears to be epigenetics, Rice said.

    "Early in development, we think these epi-marks are laid down so that girl fetuses will be relatively insensitive to testosterone and male fetuses will be relatively sensitive to testosterone," Rice said.

    Biological behavior

    Thus, if an epi-mark that kept a mother from getting exposed to high testosterone in development gets passed on to her son — the opposite sex — it could desensitize him to testosterone, contributing to his sexual preference for men. Similarly, if a male-specific epi-mark from dad gets passed to a daughter, it could "masculinize" her sexual preference, making her more interested in women.

    These findings could explain why twin studies show that homosexuality runs in families, but no "gay gene" can be found, Rice said. In identical twins, there's about a 20 percent chance that if one twin is gay, the other will be too. If genetic change were responsible for homosexuality, you'd expect a much higher match, Rice said. Epigenetics, however, can explain the heritability without the need for a specific genetic change.

    The hypothesis could be tested by examining epigenetic marks in parents of kids with gay versus straight offspring, Rice said. There are, of course, concerns that this knowledge could be used by parents who want to avoid gay offspring, Rice said, but that concern already exists around certain hormonal conditions in utero, which are known to contribute to an increased chance of offspring being lesbians.

    "That cat's already out of the bag," Rice said. He added that an understanding of the biological underpinnings of homosexuality could help emphasize that same-sex behavior is not "unnatural."

    "In fact, it's a major part of the natural world," Rice said. Fourteen percent of Western gulls raise chicks in female-female pairs, he pointed out. And 8 percent of male sheep show zero interest in fertile ewes, but get sexually excited by other rams. ]
    ==================

    PSYCHOLOGY

    The latest research on epigenetics also happens to support what we hear coming from the field of psychology:

    The American Psychological Association states "there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people", and says most people's sexual orientation is determined at an early age. Research into how sexual orientation in males may be determined by genetic or other prenatal factors plays a role in political and social debates about homosexuality, and also raises concerns about genetic profiling and prenatal testing."

    Professor Michael King states: "The conclusion reached by scientists who have investigated the origins and stability of sexual orientation is that it is a human characteristic that is formed early in life, and is resistant to change. Scientific evidence on the origins of homosexuality is considered relevant to theological and social debate because it undermines suggestions that sexual orientation is a choice."

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

    "Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person's fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice."

    June 29, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • mama k

      (What the article on epigenetics is summarizing comes from the December, 2012 issue of the Quarterly Review of Biology.)

      June 29, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      mama k you are wiser than the fundies who deny science yet use computers.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Vic

      [
      "The notion that epigenetics, rather than genetics, is the primary force promoting h o m o s e x u a l i t y sprang from several observations, explained Rice."

      http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/33773/t i t l e/Can-Epigenetics-Explain-H o m o s e x u a l i t y-/
      ]

      Previous Post:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/11/my-take-gay-christian-is-not-an-oxymoron/comment-page-17/#comment-2340253

      June 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  2. Jack

    I love this "I don't discriminate. I told him the names of other flower shops..." Hmm. That's the same thing blacks heard for years in the South. A shop owner would not sell to a black person but would recommend someone who would and then consider themselves good Christians people who don't discriminate. It's the 21st Century. It's leaving the station. Get on board. .

    June 29, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Dippy

      And leave the fundies behind.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Same as when Rose Parks was told there was a seat at the back of the bus.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Rosa

      June 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • lol??

      It could be worse and most likely will get worse when they are Forced to buy the flowers, like with Obama Healthscare. Socies have all the answers.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  3. lionlylamb

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMYBl2uzXEw&w=640&h=390]

    June 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      marriage was originally about economics, we an procreate without marriage. saying what he is saying is like marriage is a necessity for procreation, its false.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  4. yeppie

    Don't you mean more like revelations?

    June 29, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  5. Jerry

    I am an atheist. If I close my eyes I am invisible.

    June 29, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  6. STFU

    government who forces people to think differently by forming new laws is not a government.

    June 29, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Trinka

      You are not asked to think differently. You are asked not to discriminate based on race, creed, gender and gender preference. If you cannot do that, the law will do it for you.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • bk1024

      What a dumb (and totally wrong) comment

      June 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • NSL

      If you're argument had any validity at all, which it does not, aren't these new laws forcing a particular religious view on women who want to decide for themselves about health concerns about their body, instead of have the government intruding into their doctor's office with them the same thing.

      You can't have it both ways, and that's the problem with conservatives today. Conservatives want the government out of their lives, but they want the government controlling everyone else's life who doesn't agree with their religious point of view. Talk about hypocritical!!!

      June 29, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  7. Rainer Braendlein

    The very first commandment of God was that Adam should not eat from the tree of knowledge that meant that he should not scrutinize too much. Before the Fall, in God's presence, Adam had actually everything, he could be very happy and glad; this was a state of health, peace and joy. Yet, seemingly Adam had a problem with God's invisibility, and therefore God gave him the animals and Eve as friends and proof of His infinite love. Nevertheless Adam continued to scrutinize, and finally ate from the tree of knowlede seduced by the powers of death.

    Maybe gayness seems to be compelling but God who seeks our well-being tells us that it is a way of death and destruction. We should not repeat Adam's fall by testing gayness but abstain from which what God has designated as a way of death and destruction. God only seeks our well-being. He wants to preserve us from depression, diseases, madness. and death.

    Let us stay in God or return to him through the Gospel of Jesus and enjoy life, peace, love, joy, etc. Let us be contented when we are simply in God. There is no state which is more favourable than to be "in God"; that means to be in the spiritual paradise which will become visible once.

    June 29, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      here's a quarter for your cup dear.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Carole

      Hope you're not eating shellfish, meat from an animal with cloven hooves, or laying with a woman during her monthly cycle, and I hope you're making your burnt offerings, because the Old Testament includes all that too. How sad that you conservative, so-called Christians are stuck in the fire and brimstone of Leviticus instead of the loving words of Jesus.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Randy Garner

      You know I could say something mean but I'm not going to. You have to understand, to an Atheist like myself that sounds like the biggest load of bull I have ever heard. You know why we don't use outhouses anymore? Because we came up with something better. Well, it took man thousands of years but he has come up with a better alternative to religion, better for all mankind. It is called Atheism, and we like it.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • NSL

      Randy, I'm not an atheist and it sound like a load of dung to me. It's been a long time since I've read anything that preposterous.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
  8. Rainer Braendlein

    The very first commandment of God was that Adam should not eat from the tree of knowledge that meant that he should not scrutinize to much. Before the Fall, in God's presence, Adam had actually everything, he could be very happy and glad; this was a state of health, peace and joy. Yet, seemingly Adam had a problem with God's invisibility, and therefore God gave him the animals and Eve as friends and prove of His inifnite love. Nevertheless Adam continued to scrutinize, and finally ate from the tree of knowlede seduced by the powers of death.

    Maybe gayness seems to be compelling but God tells us that it is a way of death. We should not repeat Adam's fall by testing gayness but abstain from which what God has designated as a way of death and destruction. God only seeks our well-being. He wants to preserve us from depression, diseases, madness. and death.

    Let us stay in God or return to him through the Gospel of Jesus and enjoy life, peace, love, joy, etc. Let us be contended when we are simply in God. There is no state which is more favourable than to be "in God"; that means to be in the spiritual paradise which will become visible once.

    June 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Sandi

      Why did God put that tree there? He didn't need to. It was some sort of bully test, which He knew A&E would fail. He ordained *everything*, remember? He created perfect beings, and then he broke them. Nice.
      I have also seen you on here smearing other denominations, Rainer. To what avail? To spam your website. Just stop. You are far from the follower Jesus envisioned. Cherry picked bigotry. What group are you going to go after next with your brand of "love?"

      June 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • mama k

      RainBrain, get yourself a copy of last December's Quarterly Review of Biology. Then see how that lines up with what psychologists have been saying for quite some time. Then see how that lines up with what we know about homosexuality in many other species. Read about epigenetics in aphids and other creatures.

      Once you are current with current science, then you'll see how foolish your post is. You'll then understand more why young folk are not buying the BS. Earlier you spoke about a way out. You and fundies like you are the only ones who need a way out – a way out of absurdity. If you choose to stay in your cave, so be it. But just know that soon you will simply be a lonely fool who doesn't understand any of the world or people around you; who, in all respects, is just out-of-date.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • lol??

      Freud was a fraud, big mama. Why don't you quote yer point??

      June 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Dippy

      And why can't you spell "your"?

      June 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Sandi

      Archie Bunker, she stated her pont in the first sentence.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • lol??

      A reference without a quote is like a musician without a song.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • mama k

      Who said anything about Freud? Leave it to the Lollipop dufus to try some side-stepping dance.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • lol??

      mama, you brought the profession up, ".................with what psychologists have been saying................."

      June 29, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • don keller

      god is a myth
      Adam never existed,
      there was no tree,
      If you think people shouldn't be able to marry the person they love,
      Don't marry the person you love..

      June 29, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • mama k

      And you're side-stepping because it wasn't just psychology, there also was biology. Now, I've made a new post just for you.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
  9. Bostontola

    Christianity is in decline in countries with educated people. They are making gains in the third world. Once the third world catches up educationally, Christianity will be in trouble world wide. It could get ugly, I don't expect they will go away peacefully.

    June 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • truth is

      You'd be wrong. As sin permeates this world the Christians will be removed to allow the judgement of God to be applied to the unrepentant sinners. Left to their own devices the wicked of this world will kill each other at an alarming rate while disease war and pestilence rain down upon them. Ho mose xuals are ushering in their own penalty for their sins.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • joseph

      Im pretty sure your last sentence is exactly the kind of crap the horsemen will be making examples of people for.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  10. Vic

    Wow..you can't be too careful, I guess! Malware and spyware messed up my computer pretty good! I missed a lot of responses!

    Was that CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor Daniel Burke for real?!

    June 29, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • God

      Vic, I have inundated your computer with malware because you use too much html formatting in senseless places and because you play with yourself too much.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Satan

      There he goes taking all the credit. Are you going to sit there and let them think you got through that sticky network all on your own, God?

      June 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Vic

      😆 Is that one of SNL's Digital Shorts?! 😆

      Anyway, no offense intended here, but Atheists are who try to give all the credit to inanimate matter and deny God!

      June 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Dippy

      It's easy and perfectly natural to deny something that has absolutely no proof of its existence.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  11. factchecker.org

    Rainer says "To every single human being God offers a way out".

    But, in fact, we are out. We are at one with the universe and nature and the facts of nature. Make-believe can be fun, but don't let it spoil your day be creating a nasty, evil, control-freak to "watch over you".

    June 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • mama k

      Well, factchecker, don't forget that Rainman also makes it sound like we are in some way captive. Don't pay him any mind. He ignores current science and like other fundies, that will cause him to shrink away to his "island" while the rest of the world moves on.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • lol??

      So yer a Hindu A&A................from wiki,

      ".......This is similar to the Cyclical Universe Theory in physical cosmology. The Big Bang is described as the birth of the universe (Brahma), the life of the universe then follows (Vishnu), and the Big Crunch would be described as the destruction of the universe (Shiva)..............."

      Nuthin' new or hip here. In fact, that's a lot of gods wantin' to be one, errr one god, just one.

      "Jhn 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?"

      June 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Akira

      Who os going to be demonized and discriminated against next? Women and gays call "not it".
      I see. Atheists.
      Same as it ever was.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • factchecker.org

      Nope. Not Hindu. Still no facts? Still stumped?

      June 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • lol??

      Oh, OK, then yer like the guy at the bar that blew the last of his paycheck buyin' the last round at last call. Still broke??

      June 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  12. Rainer Braendlein

    I am not so upset about the gayness of people because I myself am a sinner. I only want to ascertain that God has ever punished nations which established too much gayness as a common, ususal lifestyle.

    To every single human being God offers a way out: The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Gayness is not the only sin of man. In the same passage of Romans 1 where Paul condemns gayness he also condemns the following sins:

    29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    We all need God's redemption and forgiveness. Gayness only seems to be extremly destructive, nearly a crime which should not be tolerated, not even by secular states for the sake of their own well-being.

    June 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • truth is

      all those sins are part of the ho mose xual lifestyle

      June 29, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • truth is

      all those sins are also part of the hetersexual lifestyle.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Agnostickids,

      Socializing the cultural demeanors of individualistic lopsidedness gives homosexuality the room they need to rant and rave out loud and boisterously proclaim sexual profaneness within all of Godliness.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • truth is

      Ho mose xuality is a deadly sin

      June 29, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • truth is

      "deadly sin . . ."

      and that's why the Bible is melting, like the wicked witch of the west.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • factchecker.org

      HeavenSent: "Gays murder any children they could have/should have had if they weren't so full of pride and were fruitful to multiply."

      That is not only, in fact, devoid of facts, it's just plain insane! LOL, in fact!

      June 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  13. Bootyfunk

    hahaha! wooot! too bad, conservatives h.omophobes! equality is here whether you like it or not.

    my fiance and i are straight against hate. we fully support our lgbt brothers and sisters!

    June 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • truth is

      There is no hate in Truth, ho mose xuality is a vicious and deadly sin.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      truth is you do not know what truth is...capitalizing it doesn't make it truth. The bible is not truth, as much of it has been disproven, claiming it to be truth is the same as lying.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Dippy

      How is being gay deadly, Truth is?

      June 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Akira

      How is being gay vicious? I don't see it being any more "vicious" than being hetero is.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • truth is

      ho mose xuality is not "gay" it is a disease ridden sin

      June 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • truth is

      you don't find spreading AIDS to the innocent vicious?

      June 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Dippy

      AIDS is also spread through normal sex. Does that mean normal sex is sinning?

      June 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • citizentobe

      Happily bound to hell

      June 29, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Carole

      Don't feed the troll. He or she is probably writing from a prison library, where he or she conveniently converted to Christianity after murdering several people. Or a burnt out, gang infested building on the West Side of Chicago.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    June 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Jesus The Christ

      20 THOUSAND children will die TODAY because of starvation and you think GOD (my father) will answer YOUR prayers?????

      REALLY?????

      June 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • truth is

      Jesus left instruction for mankind to look after the starving not pray about it, that issue has already been settled, the failure is the sin of man not the communication with God and yes those that God loves God talks with them.
      P.S. Jesus IS God

      June 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • factchecker.org

      Both the moniker and what it says, in fact, are not facts!

      June 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      evolution changes things.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  15. factchecker.org

    For Rainer Braendlein's benefit, mama k earlier wrote a fact from Deutsche Welle on 6/28/13:

    "Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, has voted overwhelmingly in favor of tax equality for same-sex unions. A ruling by the country's top court in favor of gay couples had forced the parliamentary vote."

    Looks like gay marriage is coming soon to Germany!

    June 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • factchecker.com

      where Truth gathers mama k is unknown

      June 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Jesus The Christ

      YES! And soon gay marriage will be legal around the world and christians will be a frightened minority, secluded to a tiny island where they can worship their dead god in peace.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      GUAB, it's time to come out of LALA land and come into the world of financial responsibility that the tax payers had to pick up the tab for you not being legally attached.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • factchecker.org

      Watch out for the fake factchecker. That .com, in fact, has no facts!

      June 29, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • factchecker.org

      HeavenSent continues to have no facts! No surprise here!

      June 29, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      factchecker, denying truth that I post is not going to change it from being true.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • factchecker.org

      Except, HS, that you are, in fact, delusional and without facts! So, although is may seem like truth is withing your reach, the fact is, you simply are not capable of knowing any truth even if it were in front of your face.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  16. Rainer Braendlein

    St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 1:

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    Watch a marvelous sunset or sunrise, and remember your Creator who made heaven and earth and every living being. Pray that this God may reveal himself to you, and after that you may meet Christians who tell you the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can utterly persuade us of God's Love towards us.

    The Gospel: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has borne our sins, when he died for us on the cross. He has resurrected for the sake of our justification (he gives us the power to live a righteous life). Or God, the Father, delivered God, the Son, Jesus, for our sins, and raised him from the dead for our justification.

    Believe that and get sacramentally baptized, or remember your infant baptism.

    Of course, God's marvelous Creation should be reason enough to believe in his infinite love but we are so degenerated through Adam's Fall that we need a much higher proof of His love, and this is that He gave his precious Son for us, or He gave Himself for us, because the Father and the Son are united in the Godhead together with the Holy Spirit.

    June 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • factchecker.org

      It is, in fact, a story with warm fuzzy parts, and evil mean parts as well. But no facts, of course.

      Enjoy the fairy tales. Just don't think they are going to stop gay marriage from from being legalized in Germany soon!

      June 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Sandi

      If God is responsible for Man, God is also responsible for creating Man's sexuality. God shouldn't have done it if he doesn't like the consequences. After all, didn't He know people before they were born? Uh huh. So He knows what gender preference a kid is going to be born with, and doesn't do anything? Uh huh.

      June 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        He is giving you an opportunity to learn to love all people and all colors and all faiths and all forms with all aflictions.

        July 18, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Sandi

      Gayness is an abuse of the good se-xuality which God has given us. If we would be in God like Adam before the Fall we had absolutely no oroblem to control our se-xuality, and to use is in a good way. Yet, regretably, beginning with Adam we have left God's life-preserving presence, and joined the powers of death. Gayness is a confusion which is caused through the subversive powers of death and the absence of life which is God himself. In contrast to Adam who forsake a blissful state we are yet born as sinful beings. No natural man can know the state of Adam before his Fall. We all have biologically inherited the degenerated nature of the fallen Adam.

      Joy: Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can get a second new nature which helps us to overcome the lust of our body who represents our degenerated nature which we have by birth. God doesn't violate our will. Day by day we can voluntarily facilitate the new nature more and more, and if we do this constantly, we will come through at Judgement Day.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "Gayness is an abuse of the good se-xuality which God has given us."

      Absolute nonsense. How is anyone that uneducated?

      June 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Sandi

      Discrimination against gay people is on its way out.

      If God is the creator of human sexulality, He is responsible for gay people, also. There must be a reason why.
      The only abuse of sexuality are those who steadfastly deny that being gay isn't a choice. It is part and parcel with who they are, as being hetero is part and parcel of weho you are. You didn't CHOOSE one way or another.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Sandi,

      For my people [is] foolish, they have not known me; they [are] sottish children, and they have none understanding: they [are] wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

      Jeremiah 4:22

      Amen.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Sandi

      HeavenSent, I know that you are one of those who deny the mechanics of human sexuality, so you quote a book instead of trying to learn. I get it. I do.
      Understanding human nature will never be your strong suit. Quoting the Bible is.

      It's a good thing, a very good thing, that religious bigotry cannot be codified into law.
      Our FF were wise.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Carole

      I bet you're a real blast at a party.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
  17. Jesus The Christ

    "I don't think christians are going to give up the fight, they are more energized now, than ever."

    The above words quoted from a christian. So...I (Jesus) told my followers NOT to fight, but to turn the other cheek.

    And why attack gay people? Are they hurting you? Did I (Jesus) every say, "Hate and fight gay people?"

    So really, all that's been accomplished with this article is the renewed knowledge that as gay folk, we'll take our business elsewhere if we're not welcome and as a christian fanatic, you can go out of business.

    Amen.

    June 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • alex

      Thank you Jesus - you're right about that. Thank you GOD.

      June 29, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • the law

      is not based on hate but Truth and justice. Jesus is the author of the law that says the penalty for the sin of ho mose xuality is death.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      the law
      It is from the OT that you speak of the penalty and since I know you do not follow the OT as you should, using this one part to discriminate is just plain hypocritical and disingenuous.
      Jesus never condemned h0m0$exuals, but he did claim that the OT is still in play, every word of it, so when is the last time you stoned your children for talking back to you, or make your daughter marry her rapist?

      June 29, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • truth is

      The entire Bible both Old and New Testaments are the inspired word of God, Jesus is God, Jesus in the law said the penalty for ho mose xuality is death.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        having read the bible through many times,I can tell you that he never said what you accuse him of.He told us to love all people. He didn't single out anyone.

        July 18, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      truth is not
      if it is the inspired word of god, why is so much of it incorrect? Is your god so weak that he could make the men who wrote the bible even get close to reality?

      June 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • truth is

      there is no incorrect your own misinterpretations will lead to your own destruction as a moth is drawn to a flame.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      truth is not
      How about the FACT that DNA proves that humans did not come from one set of genetic material, and the FACT that all humans have neanderthal DNA in the genes, something that is impossible if the bible is correct?

      June 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        Why is it impossible?

        July 18, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Dippy

      Actually, neanderthal DNA is not found in Africans. The neanderthals never made it to Africa. But it definitely is found in Europeans.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Dippy
      I stand corrected, the sub sahara africans are the most likley not to have it, but with so much interbreeding, it is rare to find one with pure DNA, mainly in isolated tribes.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Dippy

      Agreed. Someday everyone will have it. In any event, it certainly disproves the biblical nonsense of our origins.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Lee McBride

      Richard "Cranium" – Regarding Jesus and the Bible: I guess you just invent stuff as you go.....kind of like President Obama. Anyway, yes, don't let the truth get in the way of any wishful thinking. Unfortunately for you, ignorance is not bliss, at least not forever. You can only fool yourself for so long whether you like it or not. You can laugh and mock (I would be disappointed if you didn't), but your current "trajectory" will not have a very pleasant ending.

      June 29, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Lee McB
      What are you talking about? I didn't invent the DNA evidence that disproves the silly Adam and Eve story, or Noah's Ark. The ones who just made stuff up are the ones who wrote the bible. Do some research and see exactly where your jesus story comes from. It was taken from previous cultures, and was nothing new. Men created your bible, and they are the ones who made stuff up. Scienc has shown it to be wrong, just plain wrong. Get over it. I have the same end coming as everyone else, heaven and hell are just made up places like never, neverland.

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

        If you keep looking and keep asking you will someday find answers but sometimes you need to change your perspective in order to get a better look.

        July 18, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  18. Really-O?

    Am I alone in noticing the sweet brilliance (and irony) of Barronelle Stutzman's own words, which serve well as a 21st century slogan for Evangelicalism?

    ...and I quote...

    "...go down for Christ..."

    June 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Jesus The Christ

      OFFENSIVE COMMENT DELETED

      June 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Akira

      I especially love the patronizing tone she used when talking about her gay employees.
      When she's hit in the pocketbook enough times, she will realize that gay people's money is the same as Christian money...and perhaps going down for Christ isn't going to pay her bills.

      But I get what you're saying; her terminology is...odd.

      June 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • tallulah13

      She's a saucy old broad. I'll give her that.

      June 29, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • factchecker.org

      Trolls like HeavenSent will lie like there is no tomorrow for their sweet spirit-daddy, so 'going down' for him should be no tall task I would think.

      June 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      How do we spell ridiculous? U N B E L I E V E R S.

      June 29, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Dippy

      Was that supposed to be funny?

      June 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      ROTFLOL.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  19. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    American Law, is based on La, limit of truth absolute 360*, not on divide of truth absolute by hindu secular ism, criminal self center ism of hindu HOTO S, crook self proclaimed man gods, One has to follow every matter to its constant, truth absolute, other wise it violates consti tution of USA, foundation of America.

    June 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • STFU

      why muslim fundies are so obsessed with American laws, and constỉtution?

      June 29, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    June 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • factchecker.org

      Both claims are false!

      June 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Ron

      Factcheck, better check your facts again. You seem very negative, oh, are you atheist? lol

      June 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Ron, it seems apparent that you don't know the meaning of the word "fact."

      June 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Jesus The Christ

      20 THOUSAND children will die TODAY because of starvation and you think GOD (my father) will answer YOUR prayers?????

      REALLY????

      June 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
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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.