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Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions
Pope Francis speaks at St Peter's square on December 11, 2013.
March 5th, 2014
10:04 AM ET

Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage on Wednesday, but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions.

The Pope reiterated the church's longstanding teaching that "marriage is between a man and a woman." However, he said, "We have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety."

States, for instance, justify civil unions as a way to provide economic security to cohabitating couples, the Pope said in a wide-ranging interview published Wednesday in Corriere della Seraan Italian daily. State-sanctioned unions are thus driven by the need to ensure rights like access to health care, Francis added.

A number of Catholic bishops have supported civil unions for same-sex couples as an alternative to marriage, including Pope Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 2010, according to reports in National Catholic Reporter and The New York Times.

Behind closed doors, pope supported civil unions in Argentina, activist says

But Wednesday's comments are "the first time a Pope has indicated even tentative acceptance of civil unions," according to Catholic News Service.

Later on Wednesday, a Vatican spokesman sought to clarify the Pope's remarks.

"The Pope did not choose to enter into debates about the delicate matter of gay civil unions," said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant to the Vatican press office.

"In his response to the interviewer, he emphasized the natural characteristic of marriage between one man and one woman, and on the other hand, he also spoke about the obligation of the state to fulfill its responsibilities towards its citizens."

"We should not try to read more into the Pope’s words than what has been stated in very general terms," Rosica added.

Pope Francis, who marks his first year in office on March 13, has sought to set a more tolerant tone for his 1 billion-member church and suggested that a broad range of topics are at least open for discussion.

In January, the Pope recalled a little girl in Buenos Aires who told her teacher that she was sad because "my mother's girlfriend doesn't like me."

"The situation in which we live now provides us with new challenges which sometimes are difficult for us to understand," the Pope told leaders of religious orders, adding that the church "must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them."

The Vatican later denied that those comments signaled an opening toward same-sex unions.

Last June, Francis famously refused to judge gay priests in comments that ricocheted around the world. He has also said that the church should not "interfere" in the spiritual lives of gays and lesbians.

Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

Support of same-sex unions of any type is fiercely contested by many Catholic church leaders.

In Wednesday's interview, Francis also addressed several other controversial issues, including the Catholic Church's ban on contraception, the role of women and the devastating clergy sexual abuse scandal.

On contraception, the Pope praised Pope Paul VI for having the "courage" to "go against the majority" when restating the ban in 1968. But, Francis said, the church must also be "merciful" and "attentive to concrete situations."

Contraception and church's ban on divorced Catholics receiving holy communion, will likely be addressed at major meetings of Catholic bishops in Rome in 2014 and 2015.

“We must give a response. But to do so, we must reflect much in depth,” the Pope said Wednesday.

On the role of women in the church, an issue of particular concern to Catholics in the United States, the Pope hinted that changes could be in the works.

"Women must be present in all of the places where decisions are taken," Francis said in the newspaper interview, but the church must consider more than "functional" roles for women. To that end, Catholic leaders are engaged in "deep reflection" on women's role in the church, he said.

On the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, a scandal that has rocked the church in the United States, the Pope said the abuse has left "very deep wounds" on victims.

In response, the church has done more than other institutions to be open and transparent about sexual abuse by its employees, Francis said. “But the Church is the only one to be attacked."

A United Nations panel criticized Catholic leaders last month in a hard-hitting report on clergy sexual abuse.

The report said the Vatican "has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators.”

The Vatican said it would study the U.N. report.

Kick out those who sexually abuse children, U.N. panel tells Vatican

On Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who has surprised church-watchers with public appearances after saying he would live a cloistered life in retirement, Francis said he considers his predecessor a "wise grandfather."

"The Pope Emeritus is not a statue in a museum," Pope Francis said. Rather, the two men have decided that Benedict should participate in the church's public life rather than live a shuttered life.

"I thought about grandparents who with their wisdom, their advice, strengthen families and don't deserve to end up in an old folks home," Francis said.

Finally, he may sometimes wear a cape, but don't call Pope Francis a Superman, the popular pontiff said.

"To paint the Pope as a sort of Superman, a kind of star, seems offensive to me," Francis told Corriere della Sera. "The Pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps soundly and has friends like everyone else. A normal person."

Earlier this year, graffiti depicting a muscle-bound and flying Francis appeared on walls near Vatican City, but the Pope said Wednesday that he doesn't like the "mythology" surrounding his papacy, which marks its first anniversary on March 13.

For instance, Francis debunked the idea that he sneaks out of the Vatican at night to feed the homeless.

"It never occurred to me," he said.

(CNN's Delia Gallagher assisted in translating Pope Francis' remarks from the Italian.) 

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture wars • Discrimination • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (3,591 Responses)
  1. 123savetheplant

    Reblogged this on Literature Unbound.

    April 14, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
  2. Doris

    The blind trying to lead the blind. That's what we have with beliefs and outdated science trying to ignore current obvious science.

    @PeaceAdvocate. Your definitions are ridiculous. Homosexuality is not an illness. It has been around for as long as we know, and now we are understanding why. Before birth – resistant to change. Your argument is like that of the disbelievers of Galileo who threw him into jail rather than try to understand that the earth was not the center of the universe.

    March 20, 2014 at 9:23 am |
    • wilburw7

      Christians, and not atheists, mathematically proved the earth revolved around the sun. Remember that.

      March 20, 2014 at 9:26 am |
      • igaftr

        Why does that matter. So what if it was believers proved what the bible says was wrong? Why "remember that", when it has nothing to do with any gods?
        By the way, just because someone claims belief, you do not know what they actually believe. Many claim belief to not be ostricized, but question the belief behind closed doors.

        March 20, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • wilburw7

          OK. What about Isaac Newton? He wrote things he knew would only be read after he died. He knew the church doctrine because he attended church every week of his life. What he wrote directly disagreed with church doctrine and clearly would have been heresy 100s of times worse than anything Galileo ever said. Newton wrote over 7,000 pages of hand written notes about the bible that would anger the church if they ever read it. Why would he write it if the didn't believe it? Newton was wealthy and had control over his estate and was even knighted by the queen. No one would ever go into Newton's house and read the papers before his death. My conclusion is the obvious one: they were his own personal thoughts.

          March 20, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • igaftr

          wilbur
          Fair enough, but how does his opinion validate belief? His opinion changed nothing, just proved the bible is wrong.

          March 20, 2014 at 10:18 am |
        • Doris

          " they were his own personal thoughts."

          Yes, well the human mind is a complex thing. One can certainly be a brilliant scientist and a believer of sorts at the same time – a sect of one even for many, often is disagreement with many other "sects of one". It's estimated that there are over 41,000 named sects of Christianity. A lottttta inner conflict and disagreement there. I wonder what all that schism stems from... probably a big lack of good information at the base of Christianity I suspect. Paul & his bud Luke – what a pair...

          March 20, 2014 at 10:21 am |
    • wilburw7

      Nicolaus Copernicus
      1473-1543 Astronomer-Mathematician Catholic Cleric . Mathematically proved the heliocentric theory of the solar system said: "The Universe has been wrought for us by a supremely good and orderly Creator"

      Galileo Galilei
      1564-1642 Italian Physicist, kinematics, heliocentric system
      "Both the Holy Scriptures and Nature proceed from the Divine Word.."

      Johannes Kepler:
      1571-1630 German Astronomer
      (planetary orbits, optics, mathematical language of science)
      The 3 laws of planetary motion. Advanced Copernicus' heliocentric theory.
      "I believe only and alone in the service of Jesus Christ. In him is all refuge and solace."

      March 20, 2014 at 9:34 am |
      • igaftr

        wilbur
        They speak of belief. Nothing they did or said verified any of the religious claims.
        That does nothing to show any validity to belief.

        March 20, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • wilburw7

          Nicolaus Copernicus became a Catholic cleric. How is that not doing something?

          March 20, 2014 at 10:08 am |
        • igaftr

          wlibur
          How is someone becoming a cleric, any kind of validating belief? So he believes, so what, still nothing showing the belief is valid.

          March 20, 2014 at 10:17 am |
    • Doris

      Well certainly many scientists were followers of Christ and still are. But as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson points out, throughout history many of the great minds give virtually no mention to any god for their discoveries and explanations. (Ptolemy, Isaac Newton, Laplace, Huygens, Galileo.) That is, until they reach the problem they feel they cannot and will never fully tackle.

      Perhaps that is all God has ever been – a placeholder for discomfort or frustration over the unknown; an excuse of last resort when, for one reason or another, one gives up investigation. It is at that point of discomfort over the unknown when one should remember what humanity has already witnessed: that today's scientific explanations were often yesterday's gods.

      What is the effect when man relies solely on his gap-filling gods (for which he can't avoid defining for himself)?

      We see some who refuse medical care for their children for instance.

      We see some who promote the spread of disease because of an unrealistic stance on contraception.

      And there are many other examples..

      "God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that's getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time goes on"
      –Neil deGrasse Tyson

      March 20, 2014 at 9:55 am |
      • wilburw7

        "Science does not know how life started on earth" - Neil deGrasse Tyson 2014

        March 20, 2014 at 11:00 am |
        • igaftr

          That is true, we do not know. And neither does any religion. It is speculation at this point.
          What is your point?

          March 20, 2014 at 11:09 am |
  3. His Panic

    I think the man is suffering from job related anxiety. Now, really is that a real job?

    Anyways those who really Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son WILL NOT Panic. I saw in the news this morning that there was an stampede in a stadium in some country in Africa. People became anxious, fell victims to Ma$$ hysteria, Panicked and stampede.

    That is nothing new, it has happened hundreds maybe even thousands of times through History. That's because people do not Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son.

    Now, Idolaters are not Trusting in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son. They place their trust in the work of their hands, the Idols. If they really were placing their Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son they would not be practicing Idolatry. Neither having to deal with that issue of the HO.MIS. in their churchiness like that.

    Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son and your WILL NOT Panic like the people in Nigeria or in ALL the other places. Neither will have to deal with the HOMIS like the pope.

    March 16, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
  4. Peaceadvocate2014

    Mywieightinwords,

    Your post:

    Our thread got a little long in the tooth and difficult to navigate. Perhaps we can start again? You want to focus in on your main point. Let's start by specifying that clearly so that it can be addressed.

    It seems you are concerned somehow that children are being abused and given this illness? Is that your point? Can you articulate it a little bit better?

    My reply:

    I do not think the issue is articulation. The issue is we do not have the same belief. Like a scientist explaining creation to a believer and a believer explaining the bible to a scientist.

    First order of discussion. Medical science findings regarding the uniqueness of each individuals. True. Some boys have feminine qualities, some girls have masculine qualities. It does not mean a child at birth would know it is attracted or have s.exual preference to the same s.ex or is a h0mos.exual.

    ABUSE. If the findings in medical science is interpreted that a child at birth is a h0mos.exual. A guardian, parent like you or me could abuse a child knowingly or unknowingly to impose our perception that a child is h0mos.exual.

    ILLNESS. H0mos.exuallity is an illness brought about by mistakes by some (noted above) and society. Our society would treat a boy who has feminine qualities (vice versa with a girl) as an outcast, thus, making the boy seek a place where he is accepted.

    CURE. There are two perpetrators I indicated above, may be more. For us, look at ourselves to see if we are abusing a child, if so, repent and stop it. For society, show tolerance and compassion to a boy who has feminine qualities (vise verse for a girl) in order for the boy to be inclusive of our society without prejudice. One world. Teachings of God.

    We could discuss other illness, such as divorce, death penalty, s.ex acts, contraception, heteros.exually, transgender if you like. I am more than happy to share my view. Your response to my post will decide that.

    I will always be your brother. Peace.

    March 16, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
    • observer

      Peaceadvocate2014,

      Like many Christians, you are so unfamiliar with a dictionary that you invent your own definitions for common words in order to justify what the Bible says.

      Please list your educational and professional experience in psychology or psychiatry to show that you know what you are talking about and that possibly all experts in these areas are wrong.

      March 16, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
      • Peaceadvocate2014

        Thanks for reading. Peace be with you my brother.

        March 16, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
      • Peaceadvocate2014

        Does anyone really have the expertise? Just want to be heard.

        March 16, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
      • observer

        Peaceadvocate2014

        "Does anyone really have the expertise?"

        APA, with TENS of THOUSANDS of PROFESSIONALS, say it is not an illness.

        With your apparent total LACK of educational and professional experience in the area, you are just making a fool of yourself.

        Are prejudice, bigotry, and ignorance also "illnesses" according to your dictionary?

        March 16, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Do not attack the messenger. Argue the message.

          March 16, 2014 at 11:17 pm |
        • observer

          Peaceadvocate2014

          "Argue the message."

          I am arguing the IGNORANT message that is NOT SUPPORTED by PROFESSIONALS who know what they are saying.

          March 16, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Observe,

          And what are these profesionals saying? Is it something to make us feel better. Relieive of any blame why we beleive them.

          What is these professionals say that at birth a child is attracted or have s.exual preference to a goat? Would you believe them?

          I have told you before and I'll say it again, maximus ignoramous is when you deny the possibility that a childs attaction or s.exual preference to the same s.ex could be influenced by its environment or us.

          March 17, 2014 at 10:20 am |
  5. hearthetruthonline2014

    http://www.Hear-The-Truth.com

    http://HearTheTruth.imgur.com

    March 15, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
    • observer

      Are you unable to state anything in your own words?

      Sure looks so.

      March 15, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
  6. Salero21

    Atheism and Idolatry both being Total stupidity, as it has been Clearly Established long ago by the Scriptures. It is of no surprise at all, to men of reason and reasonable men that both ideologies, will/are to be Friendly toward Perversions like Hom.ose.xua.lity and bestiality.

    March 15, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
    • Akira

      The biggest surprise for me is that as the good Christian you claim to be, you won't answer the simple question of Chapter and Verse where Jesus said anything about homosexuals at all.

      Why not?

      March 15, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
  7. Salero21

    Is no surprise that atheists always flock like to the RCC like flies swarm to a corpse.

    In taking sides with Idolaters and hom.ose.xuals the atheists show their true nature as the devils children. That's why I Must keep reminding them that atheism is Total stupidity. Atheists are extremely hypocritical, compulsive and pathological liars. Which is one big chunk of Evidence for the Total stupidity of atheism.

    Hom.ose.xua.lity like bestiality are gross, abnormal and anti-natural PERVERSIONS.

    March 14, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
  8. Doris

    Why is it that many Christians ignore science?

    Why do some evangelists travel to other places and incite violence against other people?

    Why do some Christians promote the jailing of people or remain complacent about their fellow Christians who do the same?

    Why does the Anglican Communion demote the one person who tried to quell the violence against people in Uganda?

    Why are they not listening to people from the National Institutes of Health?

    Why do they ignore biologists?

    === for instance =====================================

    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 [Dec, 2012] 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 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."

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

    Whenever... preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put [their congregation] off with a discourse on the Copernican system, on chemical affinities, on the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art of science. –Thomas Jefferson

    March 14, 2014 at 8:41 am |
    • myweightinwords

      If I may, why do you keep posting these?

      I mean no offense, and please do not think I'm telling you what to post...but i agree with them and I still find it highly annoying.

      If we berate others who do nothing but copy and paste long prose that very few will take the time to actually read, and do so repeatedly, should we not heed our own advice?

      I doubt anyone who actually needs the information is going to read anything this lengthy. Especially not when it's posted two or three times a day. All it does is make users have to scroll past it all the time.

      March 14, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
      • observer

        myweightinwords,

        Amen.

        Spam is spam.

        The likelihood of anyone reading a comment is usually INVERSELY PROPORTIONAL to its length. There's little chance that many people have read the whole thing regardless of its validity.

        March 14, 2014 at 9:55 pm |
    • believerfred

      The nasty Greeks of old loved their pederasty. Should the church have remained silent?

      March 14, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
      • observer

        believerfred,

        Why not? The Bible never condemns child molesting per se.

        March 14, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
        • believerfred

          If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

          March 14, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
        • observer

          believerfred,

          Yes. NOTHING there about child molesters.

          March 15, 2014 at 1:31 am |
        • dandintac

          You are correct. There is no specific condemnation against child molestation. No guidelines for appropriate ages and conduct. We are able to recognize today that child abuse and molestation is one of the greatest immoralities, yet it is somehow absent from the ten commandments, as are genocide, human sacrifice, ra-pe, and torture. I cannot find anywhere in the Bible where these crimes are specifically condemned by God or Jesus. In fact, there are places in the Bible where these sorts of actions are specifically commanded by God.

          The best Christians can do is reference va-gue passages that can be interpreted many different ways.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Are you a Levite priest, fred ? how much of the Holiness Code do you adhere to ? And if you are morally consistent, how many gay people have you killed ?

          March 15, 2014 at 9:55 am |
  9. Doris

    National Geographic video from 2008

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H831wTEkSFE&w=640&h=390]

    March 14, 2014 at 8:38 am |
  10. Doris

    Why do some Christian scientists tell two different stories about dating methods, even selling both to try to both remain relevant, but also satisfy the beliefs of young-earth creationists?

    One only need search for "young earth geology" on youtube to get a plethora of videos from a Dr Snelling who was referenced a few times by Ham in the recent Ham-Nye debate. But what story is this Dr Snelling telling? Another geologist, Dr Alex Ritchie has some interesting insight.
    ==========

    Will the Real Dr Snelling Please Stand Up?

    Dr Alex Ritchie, The Skeptic, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp 12-15

    Dr Alex Ritchie received his BSc. (Hons) in Geology and a Ph.D at the University of Edinburgh. He worked as a palaeontologist at the Australian Museum from 1968 to 1995 where he is currently a Research Fellow.

    For several years, Australian creationists, representing the Creation Science Foundation Ltd, [now Answers in Genesis] have been publishing articles and addressing school and public groups on the topic of the age of the Earth. The theme of these articles and talks is that there is scientific evidence that the geological features of Australia are explicable within the context of an Earth which is only some 6-10,000 years old and that most such features can be attributed to a world-wide flood which occurred more recently still. The author of these claims made them with the authority of a BSc (Hons) in Geology and a PhD. However, in a recently published paper, this same author makes some very different claims about the age of geological features of the Australian landscape.

    These remarkably contradictory, and unexplained, claims by one of the very few Australian creation 'scientists' who has genuine scientific qualifications, calls into question whether anything said by this group on the subject can be taken seriously.

    Dr Alex Ritchie, palaeontologist at the Australian Museum, takes up the story.

    There appear to be two geologists living, working and publishing in Australia under the name of Dr Andrew A Snelling. Both have impressive (and identical) scientific qualifications – a BSc (Hons), in Geology (University of NSW) and a PhD, for research in uranium mineralisation (University of Sydney).

    Curiously, both Drs Snelling use the same address (PO Box 302, Sunnybank, Qld, 4109), which they share with an organisation called the Creation Science Foundation (CSF), the coordinating centre for fundamentalist creationism in Australia.

    But the really strange thing about this is that the views of these two Drs Snelling, on matters such as the age of the earth and its geological strata, are diametrically opposed. This article, the result of my extensive searches through the literature, highlights this remarkable coincidence and poses some serious questions of credibility for the Creation Science Foundation and for either or both of the Drs Andrew A Snelling.

    For convenience I refer to them below as follows:

    (a) Dr A A Snelling 1 – creationist geologist, a director of CSF and regular contributor to, and sometime editor of, the CSF's quarterly magazine, Ex Nihilo (now CREATION ex nihilo).

    (b) Dr A A Snelling 2 – consulting geologist who works on uranium mineralisation and publishes in refereed scientific journals.

    Snelling 1 seldom, if ever, cites articles written by Snelling 2 and Snelling 2 never cites articles written by Snelling 1.
    Snelling 1

    For the past ten years Dr Andrew Snelling BSc, PhD, the CSF's geological spokesman, has been the only prominent Australian creationist with geological qualifications. His credentials are not in question here, only his influence on science education in Australia.

    Snelling 1 writes articles for creationist journals and lectures throughout the country in schools, public meetings and churches. Although his geological credentials are usually highlighted in creationist publications it would be more accurate to describe Snelling 1 as a Protestant evangelist, not as a geologist. Some CSF literature openly refers to him as a 'missionary'.

    Why should Snelling 1's activities concern the scientific and educational communities? To appreciate this, one needs to analyse his published articles to see how geological data and discoveries are misused and reinterpreted from a Biblical perspective.

    CSF members subscribe to a lengthy, very specific Statement of Faith. Apart from purely religious clauses, not relevant here, several clauses carry serious implications for those in scientific and educational circles, especially for those in the Earth (and other historical) sciences. As the extracts below reveal, to a dedicated creationist, scientific evidence is always subservient to Biblical authority.

    "(A) PRIORITIES

    1. The scientific aspects of creation are important but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator and Redeemer.

    (B) BASICS

    3. The account of origins presented in Genesis is a simple but factual presentation of actual events and therefore provides a reliable framework for scientific research into the question of the origin and history of life.

    5. The great flood of Genesis was an actual historical event, worldwide in its extent and effect.

    (D) GENERAL

    The following attitudes are held by members of the Board to be either consistent with Scripture or implied by Scripture

    (i) The scripture teaches a recent origin for man and for the whole creation.

    (ii) The days in Genesis do not correspond to Geological ages, but are six
    (6) consecutive twenty-four (24) hour days of creation.

    (iii) The Noachian flood was a significant geological event and much (but not all) fossiliferous sediment originated at that time.

    (iv) The chronology of secular world history must conform to that of Biblical world history."

    These statements reveal 'creation science' to be an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms, based on religious dogma (and a simple minded dogma at that). Despite its name, 'creation science' has little to do with real science and, in fact, represents the antithesis of science.

    Everything in his creationist writings and activities indicates that Snelling 1 subscribes fully to CSF's Statement of Faith. Where this clashes with scientific evidence, the latter is always secondary to the former and his message, although often cloaked in scientific jargon, is simple and unequivocal; indeed one of his favourite lecture topics is "Why, as a Geologist, I Believe in Noah's Flood".

    From the Gospel according to Snelling 1, the Earth is geologically young, created ex nihilo ("from nothing") by a supernatural being, during a short, well defined construction period of only six days. This miraculous creation event, usually dated some 6000 years ago (around 4004 BC), is not the end of the story. The Earth we live on today is not the same as the original created model, which was almost totally destroyed and remodelled some 1,600 years later (around 2345 BC) by an irate Creator who conjured up an unique, world-wide Flood to do the job.

    This Flood, lasting just over one year, tore down all previous land surfaces, rearranged the continents and thrust up all existing mountain chains. It also destroyed all pre-existing life forms, plant and animal – except for a chosen few saved on Noah's Ark. Thus all of the remarkably complex geology of the present day Earth's crust formed during the one year of Noah's Flood and all the innumerable fossil remains of former animals and plants were all buried and preserved by the same Flood.

    Snelling 1 (1983a) presented his views on Flood chronology in an article, Creationist Geology: The Precambrian. After reviewing mainstream views on geology and evolution, he remarked:

    "On the other hand, creationists interpret the majority of the fossiliferous sedimentary rocks of the Earth's crust as testimony to Noah's flood....Creationists do this because they regard the Genesis record as implying that there was no rain before Noah's flood, therefore no major erosion, and hence no significant sedimentation or fossilisation."

    "However the flood was global, erosional and its purpose was destruction. Therefore the first major fossilisation commenced at this time, and the majority of the fossils are regarded as having been formed rapidly during this event. Creationists therefore regard sedimentary strata as needing to be classified into those formed during the time of creation week, pre-flood, flood (early, middle and late), post-flood and recent" (p. 42)

    Snelling 1 then quoted one J C Dillow, a creationist writing on the Earth's supposed pre-Flood "vapour canopy":

    "It should be obvious that if the Earth is only 6000 years old, then all the geological designations are meaningless within that framework, and it is deceptive to continue to use them. If, as many creationist geologists believe, the majority of the geological column represents flood sediments and post-flood geophysical activity, then the mammoth, dinosaur and all humans existed simultaneously .... Some limited attempts have been made by creationist geologists to reclassify the entire geological column within this framework, but the task is immense." (Dillow 1981, "The Waters Above". Moody Press, 405-6)

    Snelling 1 criticised Dillow and other creationists for restricting Flood strata to Phanerozoic rocks (Cambrian and younger) and claimed that most Precambrian rocks are also Flood deposits:

    "It is my contention that those who do this have failed to study carefully the evidence for the flood deposition of many Precambrian strata and have therefore unwittingly fallen into the trap of lumping together the Precambrian strata to the creation week. The usual reason for doing this is that the evolutionists regard Precambrian as so different, so devoid of life in comparison with other rocks, that creationists have simply borrowed their description." (1983, 42).

    Snelling 1 thus pushes the earliest limits of Flood strata far back into the Early Precambrian (early Archaean) times , before even the first appearance of fossils resembling blue-green algae:

    "What I am contending here is that fossils, whether they be microscopic or macroscopic, plant or animal and the fossil counterpart of organic matter, along with its metamorphosed equivalent graphite, are the primary evidence which should distinguish flood rocks from pre-flood rocks, regardless of the evolutionary 'age'." (1983, 45).

    Lest there remain any doubt, Snelling 1 (1983, 42) stated:

    "For creationists to be consistent the implications are clear; Precambrian sediments containing fossils and organic remains were laid down during Noah's flood. Creationist geologists need to completely abandon the evolutionist's geological column and associated terminology. It is necessary to start again, using the presence of fossils or organic matter as a classification criterion in the task of rebuilding our understanding of geological history within the Biblical framework."

    It is difficult to believe that the writer of the foregoing article has a BSc (Hons) and PhD in geology! However an examination of other articles by the same author in Ex Nihilo reveals that, to Snelling 1, everything geological (Ayers Rock, Mt Isa ore deposits, Bass Strait oil and gas, Queensland coal deposits, Great Barrier Reef, etc.,) can be explained as the result of Noah's year-long Flood.

    DOOLAN, ROBERT & ANDREW A SNELLING, 1987. Limestone caves ...a result of Noah's Flood? Limestone caves... a result of Noah's Flood? (4), 10-13.
    READ, PETER & ANDREW A SNELLING, 1985. How Old is Australia's Great Barrier Reef? Creation Ex Nihilo. 8(1), 6-9.
    SNELLING, ANDREW A 1982. The Recent Origin of Bass Strait Oil and Gas. Ex Nihilo 5 (2) 43-46.
    SNELLING, ANDREW A 1983. Creationist Geology: The Precambrian. Ex Nihilo 6 (1), 42-46.
    SNELLING, ANDREW A 1983. What about Continental Drift? Have the continents really moved apart? Ex Nihilo 6 (2), 14-16.
    SNELLING, ANDREW A 1984. The recent, rapid formation of the Mt Isa orebodies during Noah's Flood. Ex Nihilo 6 (3) 40-46 (cf. also abstract 17-18).
    SNELLING, ANDREW A 1984. The Origin of Ayers Rock. Creation Ex Nihilo 7 (1).
    SNELLING, ANDREW A 1986. Coal Beds and Noah's Flood. Creation Ex Nihilo 8 (3), 20-21.
    SNELLING, ANDREW A 1989. Is the Sun Shrinking? Creation Ex Nihilo (pt. 1) 11 (1), 14-19. (pt. 2) 11 (2), 30-34. – The Debate Continues. (pt. 3) 11 (3), 40-43 – The Unresolved Question.
    SNELLING, ANDREW A & John Mackay 1984. Coal, Volcanism and Noah's Flood. Ex Nihilo Tech. J. 1, 11-29.
    SNELLING 2

    If we now turn to the scientific articles published by the other Dr A A Snelling, consulting geologist (also from PO Box 302, Sunnybank QLD, 4109), we find a remarkable contrast, both in approach and content. None of them mention the Creation or Creation Week, Flood geology or the need to revamp the classic geological timescale.

    The latest paper by Snelling 2 (1990, 807 -812) is a detailed technical account of the "Koongarra Uranium Deposits" in the Northern Territory. It appears in an authoritative two volume work on "Geology of the Mineral Deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea" (ed. F E Hughes), published by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Melbourne. The references list eight earlier papers by Snelling 2 in refereed journals (or symposium volumes) on aspects of uranium mineralisation; three as sole author and five as junior co-author.

    In discussing the regional geology (p. 807) and age (p. 811) of the Koongarra uranium deposits, Snelling 2 describes their geological history in fairly technical terms, however, to avoid the charge we lay against the creationists, of taking quotations out of context, I will quote Snelling 2 verbatim from the paper (p. 807):

    "The Archaean basement consists of domes of granitoids and granitic gneisses (the Nanambu Complex), the nearest outcrop being 5 km to the north. Some of the lowermost overlying Proterozoic metasediments were accreted to these domes during amphibolite grade regional metamorphism (5 to 8 kb and 550° to 630° C) at 1870 to 1800 Myr. Multiple isoclinal recumbent folding accompanied metamorphism."

    For the benefit of lay readers, this statement is summarised and simplified here:

    "The oldest rocks in the Koongarra area, domes of granitoids and granitic gneiss, are of Archaean age (ie to geologists this means they are older than 2500 million years). The Archaean rocks are mantled by Lower Proterozoic (younger than 2500 million years) metasediments: all were later buried deeply, heavily folded and, between 1870 and 1800 million years ago, were subjected to regional metamorphism at considerable temperatures and pressures."

    There is no question here of "abandoning the geological column and its associated terminology", and the term Myr refers unequivocally to millions of years.

    One further quotation (p.807), "A 150 Myr period of weathering and erosion followed metamorphism.", is self explanatory.

    There are several further references to ages of millions and thousands of millions of years, and to commonly accepted geological terminology, throughout the paper but, to spare the lay reader, I will only summarise them here:

    1. During Early Proterozoic times (from 1688-1600 million years ago) the area was covered by thick, flat-lying sandstones.

    2. At some later date (but after the reverse faulting) the Koongarra uranium mineral deposit forms, perhaps in several stages, first between 1650-1550 million years ago, and later around 870 and 420 million years.

    3. The last stage, the weathering of the primary ore to produce the secondary dispersion fan above the No 1 orebody seems to have begun only in the last 1-3 million years.

    Nowhere in this, or in any other article by Snelling 2 is there any reference to the creation week, to Noah's Flood or to a young age for the Earth. Nor is there any disclaimer, or the slightest hint, that this Dr Snelling has any reservations about using the standard geological column or time scale, accepted world-wide. The references above to hundreds and thousands of million of years are not interpolated by me. They appear in Dr Snelling 2's paper.

    The problem is obvious – the two Drs A A Snelling BSc (Hons), PhD (with the same address as the Creation Science Foundation) publish articles in separate journals and never cite each other's papers. Their views on earth history are diametrically opposed and quite incompatible.

    One Dr Snelling is a young-earth creationist missionary who follows the CSF's Statement of Faith to the letter. The other Dr Snelling writes scientific articles on rocks at least hundreds or thousand of millions of years old and openly contradicting the Statement of Faith. The CSF clearly has a credibility problem. Are they aware they have an apostate in their midst and have they informed their members?

    Of course there may well be a simple explanation, eg that the two Drs Snelling are one and the same. Perhaps the Board of the CSF has given Andrew Snelling a special dispensation to break his Statement of Faith. Why would they do this? Well, every creation 'scientist' needs to gain scientific credibility by publishing papers in refereed scientific journals and books and the sort of nonsense Dr Snelling publishes in Creation Ex Nihilo is unlikely to be accepted in any credible scientific journal.

    I think that both Dr Snelling and the CSF owe us all an explanation. WILL THE REAL DR ANDREW SNELLING PLEASE STAND UP?

    POSTSCRIPT

    Several years ago, in the Sydney Morning Herald, as one geologist to another, I publicly challenged Dr Snelling (the young-earth creationist version) to a public debate, before our geological peers, on a subject close to his heart – Noah's Flood – The Geological Case For and Against.

    I've repeated the challenge several times since then and it still stands.

    For reasons best known only to himself, Dr Snelling has declined to defend the creationist cause.

    In the light of the above I suggest the reason is obvious. In his heart, and as a trained geologist, he knows that the young-earth model is a load of old codswallop and is totally indefensible.

    March 14, 2014 at 8:21 am |
  11. Reality

    Dear Francis et. al.,

    o "Abrahamics" like yourself believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore gays are gay because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    1. 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 heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    3. See also the From the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”
    "Most scientists who study human se-xuality agree that gay people are born that way. But that consensus raises an evolutionary puzzle: How do genes associated with h-omose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?"
    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/evolution/Gay-gene-deconstructed.html

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    March 14, 2014 at 7:34 am |
  12. Salero21

    Hom.ose.xua.lity like bestiality are abnormal, anti-natural and Very PERVERSE behavior/practices.

    In the ancient Hebrew language in which the OT was written, words like Hom-ose-xual or gay did not exist. These terms/words are of relatively modern acquisitions ca. the XIV and XIX centuries, from the Latin and French. Therefore it was the custom of the culture as reflected by the Biblical writers. To use as Euphemisms, epithets, metaphors and similes, to describe human se.xual relations. Euphemisms such as; "to know, knowing-her/him". Another term/word used for the same purpose was "to lie, lie down or lying down".

    In order to understand that the men of Sodom were in Fact Hom-ose-xuals the use of these euphemisms MUST be taken into account. In addition to the whole Context of the Bible, the book, the chapter, the narrative of the events and the totality of the Biblical teachings and doctrines. That's how we know, that the men of Sodom were Hom.ose.xuals. They wanted to "know" the 2 angels who appeared as men.

    In a clear reference to the way male dogs greet other male dogs. "Dogs" was used as a simile to illustrate the practice of these men. This was also done in the NT.

    When Israel apostatized that's what they did. They made and worshiped Idols and committed the detestable acts, as was customary of the Nations that lived in and around them. Back then and to this day, Idolatry, immorality and se.xual PERVERSIONS have been and are closely linked.

    March 14, 2014 at 2:07 am |
    • Salero21

      4th Paragraph above should say instead: In a clear reference to the way male dogs greet other male dogs. "Dogs" was used as a simile to describe these men. This was also done in the NT.

      Much in the same way as Jesus used it when He called Herod a "Fox", unbelievers Swine and Wolves. However Jesus calls His disciples "sheep" to emphasize His role as the Great Shepherd. ;-)

      March 14, 2014 at 2:13 am |
      • kudlak

        Salero21
        Since you're on this kick about the meanings of animal relationships, sheep are not the pets of shepherds, right? Shepherds protect sheep only to keep them for their own use, as either meat, or wool producers who ultimately are eaten anyway when they grow too old. It's more of a hunter/prey relationship. Is this really how you see Jesus, as someone only keeping his flock safe so that he can use them only until they outlive their use?

        March 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • Salero21

          Your supine ignorance of Scripture is obvious. You lack of understanding is due to unbelief. The use of all these analogies, metaphor, similes, parables etc. is to illustrate a Truth, to point out a similarity and to teach a doctrine.

          It was never the intent of the speakers or of the writes to make an accurate, detailed much less a lenghty description of a subject matter, things, persons or groups of people.

          This why atheism like Idolatry is Total stupidity.

          March 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
    • Salero21

      Pardon the 2nd. entry of the post. Page jumped and did not see that was posted or was under moderation and posted before I noticed the first posting in the page. So sorry! ;-)

      March 14, 2014 at 2:19 am |
      • SeaVik

        You should apologize for posting this nonsense in the first place.

        March 14, 2014 at 9:10 am |
        • Salero21

          No joke!! Only in your best dreams and in my worst nightmares.

          Atheism and Idolatry are both Total stupidity.

          Hom.ose.xua.lity and bestiality are gross, abnormal and anti-natural PERVERSIONS.

          The Bible says so, God says so, The Law says so, the Prophets said so, the apostles said so and Jesus Christ said so!!

          March 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • Akira

          "[...Ho.mo.se.xua.lity[...] Jesus Christ said so!!"

          Where?

          March 14, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      You uneducated fool!!
      There's no need to explain how stupid you sound, it has been stated many times over. However, if you don't like the things Atheists have given you I suggest giving up your computer (please) because an Atheist had a big hand in inventing it. Bill Gates and his wife are Secular; Steve Jobs was not christian-without either of them in this present day you pretty much don't have a computer.
      Grow up and start living in the 21st century!

      March 14, 2014 at 5:17 am |
      • Salero21

        HAHAHA :-D :-D :-P Whaaat!! More gigantic Evidence of the Total stupidity of atheism and you are just a prime example of it. You may actually be the Paradigm of an Ignorant atheist. No wonder even in a place like Hollywood atheist are not the center of attention anymore. Are your really that ignorant?

        March 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
    • Akira

      Thanks for your interpretation. Interesting.

      Chapter and verse where Jesus said anything on gay people, using the word eventually used and translated for homosexual. Referring to them specifically.
      He said a lot about heteros. Seems he was much more concerned with those dogs.

      March 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
      • Salero21

        The Lord Jesus Christ later in and from Heaven in His Revelation to John said this: Rev. 22:15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

        March 14, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • Akira

          Okay. Thank you for that verse from Revelation that still didn't mention hosexuals in it.
          Can you give me the chapter and versed where he did?

          March 14, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
        • Akira

          *homosexuals

          March 14, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
        • Salero21

          :-D :-D Your head is too thick to understand that Hom.ose.xual is a word ca. XIX c. from the Latin HO.MO = Man and SE.XUAL = S.EX is a Specific Epithet in Latin.

          The Bible was written originally in ancient Hebrew for the OT & Greek for the NT. Latin was just the second European language to which the OT was Translated into, the first being Greek, which is also the language of the NT.

          Dog/dogs was used as an epithet to refer to them in both the OT & the NT. It probably was also the epithet used in other civilizations/cultures for the same. Actually if I remember well, until a a couple of decades ago in some countries, the epithet was still being used sometimes. Though my memory betrays me at this point. Gay is old English ca. XIV c.

          That's why some newer updated versions like the NASB use the word while older versions don't. But as a hypocritical atheists you will always find it impossible to understand, and will always find a way around to deny what is obvious to anyone who can read. Is a waste of time to even think you can be anything else than an extreme hypocrite and a pathological liar. You can go back now to the hard work at Vivid studios.

          March 14, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
        • Akira

          I don't work at Vivid Studios; I've never even heard of them. What are they?
          And I told you many times I'm not an atheist , so stop lying about that, mmmkay?

          You seem to be having a little problem with my question. I asked you were Jesus said anything specific about homosexuals.
          Not dogs. Not euphemisms. Not what you think He meant, but irrefutable evidence that he said anything about
          homosexuals at all.

          You are such a good Christian; and you take great delight in telling people how ignorant they are of the Bible; Chapter and Verse where Jesus said anything specially about homosexuals.

          Surely they had a word for that in Greek that translated directly to that behavior; you gave the etymology for the English word, surely you can find the Greek word for it...after all, they had no trouble translating 'dog' from Greek.

          So I will ask you again, and it's okay for you to admit you don't know: Chapter and Verse from Jesus about homosexuals themselves. Forbidding it and what not. Saying they're fabulous! or whatever.

          March 15, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
  13. Doris

    “The problem with religion, because it's been sheltered from criticism, is that it allows people to believe en masse what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.” –Sam Harris

    “If you think that it would be impossible to improve upon the Ten Commandments as a statement of morality, you really owe it to yourself to read some other scriptures. Once again, we need look no further than the Jains: Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Bible with a single sentence: "Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being." Imagine how different our world might be if the Bible contained this as its central precept. Christians have abused, oppressed, enslaved, insulted, tormented, tortured, and killed people in the name of God for centuries, on the basis of a theologically defensible reading of the Bible. ” –Sam Harris

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i3mX0YRrjM&w=640&h=390]

    March 14, 2014 at 1:34 am |
    • Salero21

      :-D :-D :-P So... then Sam Harris is an Idolater, a worshiper of Hindu gods. :-P Really, really!! This is why I keep saying that Idolatry like atheism are Total stupidity. Atheists Demonstrate every day in the Blog their extreme hypocrisy, their compulsive pathological lying and complete Ignorance of the Bible. Which in a very Phony way they "quote" though they don't believe it. So then; Should I also say that atheists are phonies, because funny they are NOT.

      March 14, 2014 at 2:31 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        You moron, you are the idolator...you idolize the most vicious vindictive god ever imagined by man!
        I still do not understand how you live with yourself having so much hate, what a miserable life it must be!

        March 14, 2014 at 5:13 am |
      • sam stone

        One click, Salero, you could be on your knees in front of the savior......

        March 14, 2014 at 6:19 am |
        • dandintac

          Sam, I wish you wouldn't do this–even with fools like Salero.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • hotairace

          I thought by one click, Sam meant Salero could click on the truth at a website. . .

          March 15, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
      • Woody

        Salero21

        The "21" in your name must be significant. Is that your IQ or the number of your working brain cells? For the 987th time, atheism (A -Theism) is simply the lack of belief in theism, nothing more. You just don't seem to get it. You call atheism "total stupidity". Yet YOU are the one that believes in the supernatural hogwash that has no evidence, whatsoever, to support it's goofy claims. That to me, and obviously a lot of other people, is REALLY "total stupidity".

        March 14, 2014 at 10:03 am |
      • Akira

        Speaking of supposed ignorance of the Bible, chapter and verse where Jesus mentions gay people. (Or whatever word later translated to that?)
        Jesus's own words. Specifically. Please.

        You would fancy yourself the harbinger of truth. Start there.

        I've read the Bible in context. Don't try that false defense, please.

        Thanks.

        March 14, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
      • Salero21

        So... there is that one lunatic in a video.

        In the most ignorant way, trying hypocritically to say that a Hindu religion/guru/maxim is superior to the 10 Commandments, just because he says so.

        Really, really!! :-P This is just one more demonstration that atheism is a Cult like system and Total stupidity.

        Because to even think that religions from a country that is full of poverty, misery, social castes and stratification, illiteracy and whatever human misery you can think of. All of them the product and by products of their Gross Idolatry. Can be better or above the 10 Commandments is such. That only an ignorant, extremely hypocritical and compulsive lying atheist can imagine such a thing.

        Really people!! :-P

        March 14, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
  14. Salero21

    Hom-ose-xua-lity like bestiality are abnormal, anti-natural and PERVERSE behavior/practices.

    Just like atheism and it's parent system Idolatry are Total stupidity. Both systems reduce mankind to levels below that of animals. Evolution is a pseudo-scientific absurd called a theory spouse by both atheists and idolaters alike. Atheists in particular are extremely hypocritical, compulsive and pathological liars.

    In the Bible especially in the OT.
    The epithet used to reference hom-ose-xuals was "dogs". In a very clear reference to male dogs way of greeting other male dogs. It is still the term used in the NT.

    In ancient Israel, the term used as an euphemism for having relations was, "know or knowing" her, him etc. That in addition to the Context of the passages, the narrative of the events, the whole of Scriptural teachings and doctrines. Is why we can tell that the men of Sodom were hom-ose-xuals.

    When they wanted to "know" the 2 angels who appeared as men. As per the euphemism used, as it was the literary custom of the Biblical writers. What they wanted was to have S.E.X with the men. The other euphemism used to indicate having se.xual relations was more often to "lie" or "lying down" with, whoever. Used frequently to forbid/prohibit what we now call Incest

    All of theses abnormal, anti-natural, PERVERSE and Sinful practices do carry in and within themselves serious Consequences, eg AIDS, several other VD's and damaged traits to the gene pool of entire families and groups of peoples.

    All of these PERVERSIONS and anti-natural behavior/practices were common among many if not most ancient nations around the land of Canaan. Which God gave to Israel to this day. When Israel apostatized and rebelled against God, that's what they did. They turn to worship Idols called then Baals and committed ALL of these PERVERTED Acts.

    March 14, 2014 at 1:21 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      First off, your blatant ignorance of reality is very obvious.
      Second, Riddle me this: The topic you keep bringing up is how we Atheists are the horrible ones, yet we're not sitting back using a book to guide us in this world or to tell us to deny equal rights to others or spewing bigotry and false equivocations (ie: comparing homosexuality to bestiality) . How is it again that you're so much better than us?? Do you think for one second that you sound like a decent person? If you, Austin, Peace, Vic, Robert Brown are representative of christians than I am extremely happy not to be part of it and even more thankful that I let my wonderful Pagan child make her own decision...the brainwashing you received at the hands of your parents is child abuse-at least in the extreme done to you.

      March 14, 2014 at 7:31 am |
      • Salero21

        BLAH BLAH BLAH!! :-P BOO HOO BOO HOO BOO HOO

        March 14, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          So you're not competent enough to answer questions...not at all surprising considering how miserable you seem to be.

          March 15, 2014 at 5:50 am |
        • Salero21

          BLAH BLAH BLAH BOO HOO BOO HOO BOO HOO. Extremely hypocritical and compulsive lying atheist thinks that her/his delirious ignorant and prejudice rants are questions worth answering!!
          That's why I keep saying that atheism is Total stupidity, because indeed it is!!

          March 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
  15. Vic

    ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰ ♰ ♰

    This what the Lord Jesus Christ did for us:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZ6kQCrPBmo&w=640&h=390]

    The Passion Of The Lord Jesus Christ

    March 14, 2014 at 12:00 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Torture P.orn

      March 14, 2014 at 1:40 am |
      • sam stone

        That's how folks like Vic get off. They spill their seed while thinking about the ripped, sweaty savior on the cross

        March 14, 2014 at 6:32 am |
    • sam stone

      wow....jeebus had a bad weekend for your sins.....

      back on your knees, vic

      March 14, 2014 at 6:22 am |
    • kudlak

      Vic
      How many thousands of people died in a very similar way? How do you know that his death was somehow more meaningful than any of their's?

      March 14, 2014 at 11:53 am |
  16. Reality

    Putting Francis in terms of the 21st century:

    Only for the new members-

    The Apostles' Creed 2014 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    March 13, 2014 at 11:58 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.