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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. Shiloh

    I know my god is *real* and I can prove it. I had this dream where I was driving in a nearby town and my truck engine started knocking really bad. Then, after one last choke and an awful smell it just konked out. I didn't know what to do because it was late and dark and I was in a bad area of that town. Just then a bird called, and I heard a voice that said "with me you will not be afraid, fear not". Then I woke up and as I woke up, I farted a little. The smell was just like in my dream when the car choked! I got up and ran outside and checked out my truck and it was perfectly fine! I wrote down this dream right away because I knew it was special and would help me understand His ways.

    June 29, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Blatant sarcasm will get you nowhere.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Dippy

      I liked it!

      June 29, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      comedians often make their living on blatant sarcasm.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Complaint withdrawn, sorry.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  2. Bootyfunk

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

    yes, you are discriminating. no difference if an asian guy and you refused to sell him flowers. you can make excuses that your religion commands you be ignorant and prejudice, but that doesn't make it okay. it just means you follow a hateful religion that promotes discrimination.

    too bad conservatives, despite your crying and complaining, lgbt couples are on the road to equality. does it hurt?

    June 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Saraswati

      A lot of Southern Christians used to argue that their religions demanded segregation. Some Hindus, Christians and members of other religions and sects still do. Do we want to live in a society where anything goes for discrimination?

      June 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
  3. truth is

    birth does not make you a qu eer, practicing sin makes you a qu eer

    June 29, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Is that first hand knowledge (pun intended)?

      June 29, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      truth is
      at troll please do not feed.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • truth is

      when confronted by Truth claim it to be trolling and warn others to avoid. failing that deny all freedom of speech. failing that impersonate the anonymous moniker and post filth under it

      June 29, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • truth is

      to bostonola
      no it is common sense a quality lost to qu eers and atheists (Truth intended)

      June 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      truth is a hypocrite for using a computer!

      June 29, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Bostontola

      truth is,
      I disagree. Ho.mos.exuality could be a born trait or a choice. Scientific tests could be run to determine the answer. All the science points to the fact that many cases are born trait.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Sorry

      June 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Sorry I fed the troll.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • truth is

      when unable to destroy Truth revert to your safety measures accusing, denying, lying. Secular humanism at work in Ohio.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      truth is,

      Gays and the people "championing" the gays will some day soon (hopefully) be able to pick and choose their children and their sexual orientation via genetic coding. If one wants only a hetero child, genetic coding will tell if its going to be born gay or hetero leaving the hetero couple to choose their child's gender and 'if' they want a hetero child or a gay child. My best guess will be on the side of a couple wanting hetero children and they will most likely abort any gay embryo. Se la vie!

      June 29, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • oOo

      Good thing LL's best guess is as good as some Neanderthal's best guess.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      oOo,

      Neanderthals? How quaint! Have you ever met one?

      June 29, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • oOo

      Nope, but given the time period, I would expect as much and nothing more from them.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Studies show that homosexuality is likely determined in the womb by the amounts and types of hormones the fetus is exposed to. Just a chemical reaction, but apparently one with such power that christians fear and hate it. Religion really hasn't evolved with the rest of humanity, has it?

      June 29, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • Dippy

      I don't think religion is allowed to evolve, is it? That's one of its basic tenets.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • rick

      LL: It's C'est La Vie

      imbecile

      June 29, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
  4. truth is

    birth does not make you a Jew, belief makes you a Jew.

    June 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  5. Secular Humanist from Ohio

    LOL!!!

    June 29, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
  6. Bostontola

    truth is,
    Rough estimate, what percent of the people believe in the one true god?

    June 29, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • truth is

      over the centuries? as many as the stars in the sky

      June 29, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Bostontola

      truth is,
      I'm afraid not my friend, there are more than a billion billion stars. I asked percentage not number. What percent?

      June 29, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • truth is

      no one knows but God

      June 29, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • Bostontola

      truth is,
      No one knows exactly, I agree. No religion is the majority in the world, that means that less than half can believe in e one true god. Pretty poor performance by god if he loves us.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • truth is

      there is no if with God, those God loves He chooses not all are chosen. many choose to deny God and exclude themselves from Gods love. That is their choice not His. God does not require your approval

      June 29, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Bostontola

      truth is,
      God doesn't want all people to know and love him? Why is he choosing?

      June 29, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • truth is

      God is not willing that any should perish the lost are lost because they chose to deny God. God does not force you to accept Him.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Bostontola

      truth is,
      Your words, not mine:
      " those God loves He chooses not all are chosen"

      June 29, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
  7. Bostontola

    I just saw the movie Superman today so I reprised this post:
    Which of the following stories is more believable?

    Story 1 – Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, performed miracles, founded the Church, died sacrificially by crucifixion to achieve atonement, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, from which he will return.

    Story 2 – Kal-El was born on the planet Krypton, rocketed to Earth as an infant moments before Krypton's destruction. Discovered and adopted by a Kansas farmer and his wife, the child is raised as Clark Kent. Has superhuman abilities, which he resolved to use for the benefit of humanity.

    June 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • factchecker.com

      the one that actually happened.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Factchecker,
      The bible 1.0 (I.e. Old Testament), said the son of the virgin birth's name would be Immanuel, not Jesus. Check it.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • truth is

      immanuel is Jesus

      June 29, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • Bostontola

      If Immanuel is Jesus, then can Mary be Sarah?

      June 29, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • truth is

      why do you ask do you have someone in mind to sarah ?

      June 29, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • Bostontola

      truth is,
      No one in mind, I was just pointing out how silly any text would be if names were interchangeable.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • truth is

      a name in Hebrew is not always the same in Greek or Aramaic or English. Often names do not translate the same from English to French or Italian and they are all Latin based languages. Why would you expect the same name in ancient languages?

      June 29, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Bostontola

      truth,
      There is no connection between Immanuel and Jesus in any language transfer. If it was Jesus and Joshua, you would have a point.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
  8. Secular Humanist from Ohio

    I can tell a hawk from a handsaw.

    June 29, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
  9. Bostontola

    Science is practiced around the world. When scientists test hypotheses the answer comes out the same when the test is done well. The products of science, technology, medicine, etc., have indisputably improved dramatically over time.

    Religion is practiced around the world. Every religion is different with different truths. Each religion splinters and the various sects have different truths. Quite a mess.

    June 29, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • truth is

      there is one God but many false gods

      June 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      When science finds without doubt the genetics that creates a gay embryo, it will be up to the hetero couple to abort or not. Want to place odds on whether the hetero couple will abort the gay embryo? Se la vi !

      June 29, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Bostontola

      "there is one God but many false gods", truth is,
      Rough estimate, what percent of the people believe in the one true god?

      June 29, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Colin

      Being qu eer is a sin choice not a birth defect.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      The fundies are back. Sorry, I've run out of quarters!

      June 29, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Maze

      Science = study of God's creation

      Religion = man's attempt to understand God

      The 2 can compliment each other. By nature, they do not have to disagree with each other.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Akira

      LL, are those parents Christian or not? Well, most women getting abortions are Christian, so...
      Most LOVING parents wouldn't.

      Colin: nonsense. Guess we know what you'd do if you were a woman.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Colin,
      I understand why you must believe that. You believe ho.mose.xuality is a sin. If it was a trait of birth, it couldn't be a sin, therefore you have to declare it is a choice. Otherwise, your bible would be wrong, and that is not allowed in your thinking.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Colin,

      According to science gayness is a genetic algorithm and is detectable thru their reading of DNA. Soon hetero couples will be able to decide their embryonic child's fate especially if and thru DNA analysis it is to become gay. I will place odds that the hetero couples who find their soon to be child will be born gay will likely abort the embryo in effect stopping any gay child from being born. Se la vie!

      June 29, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • truth is

      the fairy scientists are wrong

      June 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Science Doesn't Lead to Atheism

      “It may seem bizarre, but in my opinion science offers a surer path to God than religion.”

      –Physicist Paul Davies, the winner of the 2001 Kelvin Medal issued by the Inst.tute of Physics and the winner of the 2002 Faraday Prize issued by the Royal Society (amongst other awards), as cited in his book God and the New Physics.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Science Doesn't Lead to Atheism

      “Both religion and science require a belief in God. For believers, God is in the beginning, and for physicists He is at the end of all considerations… To the former He is the foundation, to the latter, the crown of the edifice of every generalized world view.”

      “There can never be any real opposition between religion and science; for the one is the complement of the other. Every serious and reflective person realizes, I think, that the religious element in his nature must be recognized and cultivated if all the powers of the human soul are to act together in perfect balance and harmony. And indeed it was not by accident that the greatest thinkers of all ages were deeply religious souls.”

      –Max Planck, (the Nobel Prize winning physicist considered to be the founder of quantum theory, and one of the most important physicists of the 20th century, indeed of all time).

      June 29, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Science Doesn't Lead to Atheism

      “Those who say that the study of science makes a man an atheist must be rather silly.”

      “Something which is against natural laws seems to me rather out of the question because it would be a depressive idea about God. It would make God smaller than he must be assumed. When he stated that these laws hold, then they hold, and he wouldn’t make exceptions. This is too human an idea. Humans do such things, but not God.”

      –Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Born, who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Who said science leads to atheism?

      June 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • Science Doesn't Lead to Atheism

      “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. Science brings men nearer to God.”

      “In good philosophy, the word cause ought to be reserved to the single Divine impulse that has formed the universe.”

      “Little science takes you away from God but more of it takes you to Him.”

      –Louis Pasteur, the founder of microbiology and immunology.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Newton believed in alchemy.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Akira,

      Most 'loving parents' are hetero couples and it is yes their choices to abort an unwanted gay child from being born. Se la vie!

      June 29, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      What if science leads to atheism? How is that immoral? So there's no god. God forbid.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • Science Doesn't Lead to Atheism

      I'm just posting quotes from people who know a lot about science. I thought it might be helpful to see accepting God does not mean ignoring science.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Science leads to atheism. So what.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • Science Doesn't Lead to Atheism

      The OP brought up science for some reason.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Science doesn't lead atheism,
      I never said science leads to atheism. I said science is consistent and convergent. I also said religion is inconsistent and divergent. I don't get your point.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Science Doesn't Lead to Atheism

      I still ask, so what?

      June 29, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Akira

      Then those parents aren't loving at all, lionly. And it's c'est la vie.
      Of course, I can totally see you being on board with that. Anything to get rid of gay folks, right? Mengele would approve.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Science Doesn't Lead to Atheism

      My apologies. I run across a lot of atheists on here, the poster "Science" for example, whom seem to think that science is some kind of kryptonite to Christians. And that Christians are delusional and ignorant. Yet there are way too many brilliant minds from the Christian community to take such a point of view seriously.

      Your OP seemed to be of a science vs religion point of view.

      I provided points of view that science = study of God's creation.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Akira

      And I also asked you if those parents were Christian, a question you avoided answering, ll.
      Would YOU make your SO abort if the fetus was found to be gay?

      June 29, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
  10. Akira

    Sarcasm is a great teaching tool, however, I doubt the audience you are speaking about will recognize themselves.

    June 29, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
  11. Bostontola

    I thought the bible was perfect fact. God promised to make Isaac's descendents as numerous as "the stars of heaven", which, of course, never happened. The Jews have always been a small minority.

    June 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Do not feed the troll.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Sorry, wrong spot.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • truth is

      God adopts children of Abraham from all over the world. Can you tell me how many Christians there have been since the first century A.D.?

      June 29, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • oOo

      "Was the earth created in seven days? No. For those of you who believe it was, I've got to tell you that you do not understand the Jewish people. We Jewish people understand that it did not take place in seven days because we know what we're good at... and what we're really good at is bullshit. This is a wonderful story told to people in the desert in order to distract them from the fact that they did not have air-conditioning!!" – Lewis Black, 2006

      June 29, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • as always

      lewis is wrong

      June 29, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • factchecker.org

      "as always" is always, in fact, without facts!

      June 29, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
  12. Salero21

    Same s-ex marriage is a filthy aberration.

    June 29, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Akira

      Okay, then don't marry a gay person, then.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Salero 21, get a clue, no one is buying.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Do not feed the troll.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • factchecker.com

      Salerno is 100% accurate

      June 29, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • factchecker.org

      who is salerno? Anyway, the .com factchecker has no facts! Salero21 also has no facts!

      June 29, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • Colin

      Looks like Salerno has an accurate fact to me.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • factchecker.org

      Who is salerno? Reading comprehension issues? Probably, given that you're consistently without facts!

      June 29, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
  13. Bostontola

    Almost every religious person on this blog talks about truth. The problem is, truth is different for each of them. All these personalized truths makes one question whether an omnipotent being would want that much variety of truth. A simpler explanation would be truth originates in each persons mind.

    I fully expect the religious people to say, "there's only 1 truth". That's the problem, right on this blog truth is different for each person. If you believe in heaven, there must be room for many truths.

    June 29, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • mama k

      Exactly. It's so, so obvious.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      How about, religion appeals to humanity's meanness, solipsism, and masochism?

      June 29, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • mama k

      Speaking of masochristic apologetcis, I wonder what the Chardonian is up to.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
  14. Vic

    [
    "Researchers looking for a genetic signature of h o m o s e x u a l i t y have been barking up the wrong tree, according to a trio of researchers in the United States and Sweden. Instead, the scientists posit, epigenetic influences acting on androgen signaling in the brain may underlie s e x u a l orientation."

    "The scientists offer their model to explain both the tendency of h o m o s e x u a l i t y to run in families, and the fact that so far no “h o m o s e x u a l gene” has been identified."

    "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 6:33 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Oh! A whole argument form italics!

      June 29, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Dippy

      Thats an improvement. Humanist. He usually goes totally berserk with the HTML tags.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • mama k

      What has been learned from studies in epigenetics oddly lines up with what psychologists have been saying, and also, when viewed against older non-human studies, it is not surprising at all. Aphids are fascinating little creatures – read how they reproduce and how quickly genetic factors can be changed just before birth. Epigenetics also makes sense in light of the phenomenon that gay offspring often appear to skip generations.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Thankyou Dippy, I know. It's one of Vic's most forceful arguments.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Random Emphasis Man

      A trio means three, which is not exactly a majority in the field. I think you need to quit grasping at straws at why you are so dead against people you will never know, and whose lives will never impact yours at all. Give it up. You look desperate.

      It is illegal to discriminate against people based on race, creed, gender, or gender. Preference. Get a clue.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Vic

      Read the Previous Post & Replies

      Also, I am a proud born again Christian Protestant.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Vic, I challenge you to post something without italics or bolding.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Withdrawn, obviously no real Vic.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Science

      Hey Vic.................that big word is in there too.................but it is simple...........death for US = depleted carbon ...truth.

      Is It Alive or Dead? How to Measure the Thermal Signatures of Single Cells and Assess Their Biological Activity

      June 28, 2013 — To the ancients, probing the philosophical question of how to distinguish the living from the dead centered on the "mystery of the vital heat."

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130628102927.htm

      June 29, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Akira

      "Also, I am a proud born again Christian Protestant."

      Isn't pride one of the Big Seven?

      June 29, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Akira,

      "Vic

      Read the Previous Post & Replies

      Also, I am a proud born again Christian Protestant."

      This is an imposter.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Akira

      Secular Humanist, it's getting harder to tell anymore; I suspect that is one of the things that gets the imposter off.
      What is the point?
      My goodness, people are juvenile.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Akira, agreed, mind fvcking has no integrity. Spotting imposters takes experience and you have to think (god forbid).

      June 29, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • Akira

      Secular Humanist, I can usually spot imposters pretty well...Vic is a new one for me. Name-stealers are low. Period.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
  15. mama k

    I see from some of the comments and questions that some still don't have a basic education about homosexuality. Muslims lead the way as having the most uneducated, disenfranchising stance toward gays. But many Christians are not far behind. Not long ago, CNN reported some gays being arrested in Zambia which is a predominantly Christian nation.

    Christianity has always been conflicted on social issues, but this current hot topic really highlights the extremism within Christianity. One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one (over four million members) in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage. Thomas Jefferson hit the nail on the head over 200 years ago:

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    (from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)

    Some claim that Christianity and science are not incompatible, yet we find many who continue to ignore current scientific knowledge on the issue of homosexuality. Is the problem poor education, steadfastness to one's own flavor of biblical interpretation, or both?

    Whatever your religion, whatever your belief, with gay marriage coming quickly to the U.S., now is the time to at least have a basic education about homosexuality. If you choose to remain ignorant about it, then you will quickly become irrelevant in this rapidly-changing yet connected information age.

    The following is long, but note the quote from Professor MIchael King below in the section on psychology.
    =========================================================
    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."

    ====================================
    ====================================

    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. ]
    =========================================================

    June 29, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  16. Adam

    If I were a liberal atheist I'd be pretty unhappy too.

    You know, maybe it's a good thing we have all the guns on our side of he aisle.

    June 29, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Troll.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      "You have the watches, we have the time"

      June 29, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • truth is

      If you were a liberal anything, you'd be on the side of humanity. And I own a gun, tough guy. You rednecks don't hold the patent on owning firearms, dimwit.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • truth is

      there is greater power in God than any firearm ever conceived

      June 29, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
  17. Adam

    I absolutely love getting you leftie hippies in a twist. It's even funnier because you wittle libbies hate us so much more than we hate you.

    June 29, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Faith-Healing Churches Linked to 2 Dozen Child Deaths in Pennsylvania. Dam.n right I'm in a twist.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • J.W

      I bet you wont be saying that once you can't own a gun anymore.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I just love laughing at jokers like Adam who think they're important enough to be offensive.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  18. Books of Creationism and Intelligent Design are banned from public schools

    Because children deserve genuine scientific knowledge not religious nonsense.

    June 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • truth is

      Without God there would be no science

      June 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Dippy

      Without fools there would be no god.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • HWB

      Dippy, confused aren't you? The quote is actually "Without God there would be no fools". That especially includes you.

      Have a Dippy Dappy Day

      June 29, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Dippy

      That wasn't anyone's quote, you idiot. It was my comment.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Apparently HWB confuses his/her own ignorance with wit. Poor thing.

      June 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    June 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      I am losing my mind. Praying not helping. Please help me , please.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Science

      Red mass you know.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Evolution changes things.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

      I love your glittering, blanket statement that has no basis in fact whatsoever. Keep up the good work!

      June 29, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • truth is

      evolution remains an unproven theory

      June 29, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • truth is

      when you have to steal a moniker to make your point on an anonymous blog you must be up against incredible Truths

      June 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      truth is,

      Why on earth are you using a computer?

      June 29, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • truth is

      you can't cure stupid.
      Immanuel is Jesus
      Joshua is Jesus
      and many other names are Jesus but I see that is all lost to you.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Science

      Hey Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things...... fruitcake from xmas past take the test and f

      ind out where.

      DNA tests reveal Prince William's Indian ancestry

      By Peter Wilkinson, CNN

      updated 12:48 PM EDT, Fri June 14, 2013

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/14/world/europe/britain-prince-william-india/?iref=obnetwork

      June 29, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Dippy

      Why does Jeebus need so many aliases?

      June 29, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • truth is

      Read the book and ask Him

      June 29, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • Dippy

      Read the book and ask him? I'm stumped for a comment.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
  20. Alicia

    The essential message from Christ was to love one another.....nothing about picking and choosing..

    June 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      That is the message my Mother believed in but it's not the message too many christians here portray. I'd have no issue with the belief if it wasn't being used to try to dictate how others should live, you don't see Pagan's, Hindu's, etc trying to dictate...it's the christians who are the loudest.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • HWB

      So Alicia, when are you going to marry your donkey? Oh I forgot I should not pick and chose, even if it is against the law or nature's law for that matter. It is a slippery slope that will never end with the left loons.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Dippy

      HWB, it's choose, not chose. Go back to school. And don't drop out this time.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Agreed Dippy, HWB is ignorant and needs an education. The purpose of an education is not to validate ignorance but to overcome it.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • LiarPrefails :-}

      i really don't have a mother i evolved

      June 29, 2013 at 7:21 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.