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June 24th, 2010
09:02 AM ET

Reconciling homosexuality and Christianity

Gary Spino, left, and Tony Brown, right

 

Editor's Note: Tony Brown and his partner Gary Spino are featured in the upcoming CNN In America documentary "Gary and Tony Have a Baby," airing on CNN 8 p.m. ET Thursday.  Tony Brown submitted this blog post on the importance of his Christian faith:     

By Tony Brown, Special to CNN 

As a child I was taught to believe in myself, in family and in God.  To a confused adolescent struggling with his sexuality, that was easier said than done. 

Being the victim of constant and severe bullying due to my perceived sexuality, I developed a strong aversion to organized religion. After all, every religious voice I heard in my youth - whether it was from the pulpit or in the news - told me that I was evil and that there was something wrong with me. 

My heart said otherwise. As I later learned, so did God. 

 

After feeling uncomfortable with my Methodist upbringing, I searched for meaning in a Christian organization called Young Life. We met once a week during my high school years and I thought that I had found a way to love God and have friends that accepted me at the same time. 

But I wasn’t honest with them. Perhaps if I had told them that I was gay they would have accepted me, but I doubt it.  The rhetoric was clear:  if you weren’t heterosexual, you weren’t welcome. 

So I hid my truth until it became impossible to hide anymore. Love is an amazing thing. When I met my husband Gary, I finally accepted that there wasn’t anything wrong with me all along. As a matter of fact, God wanted me to be happy and to accept love into my life. 

What an awesome realization that was. For once I could simply be… No more pretenses or fear… 

I was able to love myself, and in doing so, I found a path to back to my own spirituality, which had been dormant and rejected for so long.  

That  rejection was the terrible result of certain organized religions’ misunderstanding of gay people.  And not just the exclusion that gay people often feel toward religion, but the rejection that their family members fell as well. 

It cannot be easy for a mother or father who loves their child and their church to be torn every Sunday by sermons or homilies railing against the inherent value of his or her own family member. 

We experienced this unfortunate dichotomy with my husband’s parent’s Catholic Church in Pennsylvania when they announced their support for an anti-marriage amendment to the state’s constitution. Gary’s mom and dad have always loved and respected my relationship with their son, but the conflict was there, and it was painful. 

The good news for Gary and me was that we found a congregation that honored our family. Our first visit to The Fourth Universalist Society, a Unitarian Universalist congregation on the Upper West Side of Manhattan was remarkable. Our minister, Rosemary, said a prayer of thanks for the Connecticut Supreme Court’s recent decision to stand up for marriage equality. 

Gary and I looked at each other and cried:  we had never before been in a church that prayed for our equality.   

We were home. 

As a parent, I realize the value of community, which is taught so beautifully in many churches. Gary’s parents’ Catholic Church - their stance on marriage aside - is a prime example of just how successful community outreach can be. Gary grew up with a deep sense of pride in community and he will pass that knowledge and appreciation onto our son, Nicholas. 

Our own church has many community outreach programs, including outreach to homeless gay youth, an often-overlooked population that needs community more than anyone I can imagine. 

Whatever God means to you, however you define or choose not to define it, having a sense of spirit in your life, I believe, is essential. 

I know that when I was without it, I was truly lost. When I found it again, my life took on a richer meaning that I hope and pray my husband and I will successfully be able to pass on to Nicholas. 

As for those who do not understand my family, or perhaps have heard from their own religious leaders that my family is somehow threatening to their peaceful way of life, I hope that they will learn something from our story.  

As my husband Gary says, people are far more similar than we are different. I believe that more and more every day. 

We have since baptized Nicholas at The Fourth Universalist Society in the presence of a couple hundred friends and family. What a beautiful moment it was when Rosemary touched a rose in purified water that had been collected from each and every church member, then touched the rose to Nicholas’ eyes for the things he would see, his lips for the words he would speak and his hands for the deeds he would do. 

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house and in that moment, Gary, Nicholas and I learned what my mother and father tried to teach me when I was a child: believe in yourself, in your family and in God.  

If you can do that, you can do anything.

- CNN.com Senior Producer

Filed under: Christianity • Gay marriage

soundoff (406 Responses)
  1. Annette

    Tony, thank you for this article! All people need to know that not all Christians oppose gay rights. I am proud to say that I'm your supporter. Unfortunately, it is an issue I have with my own Catholic church, I do go to church, however, when the prayers of intention are said and we respond, "Lord, Here Our Prayer", I do not resond when it has to do with the opposition of gay rights. There are other isses that I do not agree with the church either. God loves us no matter what or who we are. Everyday in the news we hear of parents killing their children, physicaly or emotionaly abusing them. Unfortunately, those are the people who should not have children! I have two sons and if either of them came to me to tell me they were gay I would not love them any less then I do now. You and Gary are both caring parents and I see that joy in both your eyes! You are a strong family with a lot of love to give Nicholas...and I know God has blessed your relationship and has not judged either of you. Keep your faith! It is unfortunate that we live in a world were there is still so much bigotry!

    June 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  2. JoeP

    Cindy – "People who truely accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior know that you cannot believe the Bible "as you see fit!!" The Bible IS NOT open to your own interpretation, it means ONE THING and ONE THING ONLY!!"

    So I take it that you leave your village for seven days when it's that time of the month, and that you stone your children to death when they're disrespectful?? It must be tough to live biblically in this day and age, I really respect your conviction and adherence to His unchanging Word.

    June 24, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • adrian

      All old tesatment talk to a rabi about that.

      June 24, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  3. ladyinfinity

    Why does the 'Gay community' get so mad when Christians tell them they're doing wrong? What are we supposed to do? Wash our hands of you and let you burn? Jesus is the Light, and He passed it on to Christians, then we are walking and talking in LIGHT. Are we all wrong? The Bible (and all other religious texts) says to put you to death.
    So who's wrong? Christians or gays? Why are you so blind? You're tossing out God's Holy Word and doing what YOU want to do. Think about it. We (and God) loves gay men and women as much as everyone else. Just practice abstenence and everything will work out A-OK.

    June 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
    • FamilyMan

      Please don't waste your time worrying about the "gay community". They will be just fine. You, on the other hand, need to pray for God's forgiveness for presuming to judge others. That is for God to do. I cannot believe people like you still exist.

      June 24, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
    • ladyinfinity

      Familyman – I know I opened myself up to condemnation with my remarks. That's why I usually qeep my mouth sht. But it is God's law, not mine.

      June 24, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • Michael

      the bible also say don't eat shell fish, and that we should sell our daughters as slaves, do not wear clothing made of two different materials, no divorce etc etc you can't pick and choose your verses you want to follow besides the bible was not written by Jesus just some men who recaptured stories. Sorry to say your definition of Christian does not fit Jesus;s A gay Christian here and proud of it.

      June 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
    • ladyinfinity

      Michael: I'm glad you're a Christian! We may agree to disagree about the trivialities of life, but we both agree that Jesus is the most awesome being in existence!! Gotta Love Him 🙂

      June 24, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • Brooklynny

      Who are you to judge? You are not god. Maybe christians should read the bible

      June 24, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • Shawn

      So, since I do not have any attraction to a woman whatsoever, have never had for as long as I can remember, I am supposed to life an empty life, alone, with no love, affection or companionship? I know in my heart that I was born gay – I have wrestled with this through the Methodist Church and through a charismatic, non-denominational church. I can remember being as young as thirteen and scared to death because I knew I was gay and everyone in the church made predictions of hellfire to gay people – not that I ever confided in any of them...why would I? I begged God to make this go away – how could he let me be gay? Well, guess what, I am now 39 and, yep, still gay. If God did not want this for me – if one of his children was begging to be free of it, why did that not happen? Wouldn't God take this away and not condemn me to a life of guilt, regret, depression, loneliness and fear because of something I did not choose? what more of a "hell" can there be? I didn't turn away from God, but didn't he turn his back on me? I just wish that every straight person could experience life as a gay person for just a moment to see what it feels like first hand. I hope one day that people can understand that we are just trying to live and make the best out of this life...same as everyone else.

      June 24, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • Wayne

      Please at least come up for air if you must bury your head in the sand. I guess we should still be stoning adulterers to death also correct? If so, the church would have become extinct centuries ago. Why are we practicing "some" selective scripture and glossing over others? I guess we should still be using the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth method also, correct? Unfortunately ladyinfinity, your screen name should aptly be ladyindenial.

      June 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
    • ladyinfinity

      Shawn: I used to be a regular little tra_p, looking for love (straight people sleeping around is sin too). I prayed about it and saod Enough! and it went away. I've been celibit over 30 years. I'm not depressed or lonely or suicidal anymore (as I was when looking for love in all the wrong places). We all commit little sins everyday, so why not do something about the big things we can control? No person (male or female) can make you happy – only God can do that from the inside. Good luck!

      June 24, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  4. Dan

    Its not that these people shouldn't be loved/accepted. I do not have a problem with them as humans, however i do not agree with them trying to make their lifestyle seem normal. What happens to the straight child that they raise? I cry for that child. They will make their lifestyle seem normal to that child.. There is a reason why two men/two women cannot conceive. IT IS NOT NORMAL...

    June 24, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • Kim

      Oh totally. We shouldn't let gay people care for children because those children might end up gay too.

      While we're at it, we should ban straight people from raising children because sometimes straight people raise gay children. too

      June 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  5. Steve

    Why is it that gay people say "God just wants them to be happy" and that living in a gay relationship is what makes them happy? I want to have sex with a lot of women, it would make me happy. Doesn't God want me to do that? Drinking until I pass out makes me happy, shouldn't I expect God to approve of that? Sorry, God does not want us to be happy in our own right, He calls us to obedience. How many people put God first? Not too many. I am so tired of reading this type of stuff. They did not "have" a child...they cannot. It is impossible for two men or two women to concieve a child. I applaud their efforts to adopt but it does not equal the God given miracle of a woman and a man giving life.

    June 24, 2010 at 11:57 am |
    • geekgirl

      Drinking until you pass out and sleeping with a lot of women might make you happy temporarily, but doing these things does not make you a complete or fulfilled person. If God made man in his image I would think he would want every person to realize their potential-to experience and give perfect, unconditional love to someone, to have a family if that's what you choose.

      It's impossible to put into words what it means to find that kind of love. When you find the person who completes you, who makes you a better person, who loves you, laughs with you, cries with you...the person who lights you up when they walk in the room. If you've never felt that, then you can't possibly understand. Some people find that with a person who happens to be of the same gender. It's not something you choose, and it's not just about the physical act of being intimate, although that is part of the expression of everyone's true self, gay or straight. There is nothing wrong with two adults falling in love. Unfortunately much of the perception of gay people is distorted because the church and anti-gay groups have focused attention on the negative aspects, trying to prove that all gay people are promiscuous, emotionally disturbed and depraved. You can certainly find members of the straight persuasion who are all those things, but it doesn't define what it means to be straight any more than it defines what "gay" is. Most of us are the boring people you don't see, the ones that go about their jobs, and pay their taxes. We're normal folks, and we're not out marching in parades or trying to "convert" anyone. We don't have an "agenda" except to have the same opportunities as everyone else. It's not about being "happy" it's about being the best person you can be.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • angela

      PREACH IT STEVE!!!! Not for OUR enjoyment and glory, but for HIS and HIS ONLY!!!

      June 27, 2010 at 12:48 am |
  6. Cindy

    People who truely accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior know that you cannot believe the Bible "as you see fit!!" The Bible IS NOT open to your own interpretation, it means ONE THING and ONE THING ONLY!! Sure, anyone can twist a verse to make it say what you want it to say, but those who do are only fooling themselves. Yes, God loves ALL of us, but he does not condone the sin that we do, and we are all sinners. The difference between Christians and others, is that we recognize and admit our sins. We repent and strive to sin no more. Not that we don't ever sin again, but we try not to. It clearly says in the Old and New Testaments that homosexuality is wrong, along with many other types of sexual sin. And no sin is greater than any other. As a parent, we set rules for our children, and they are punished when they disobey. Same thing that God does. Another misconception is that God will send up to hell if we do not follow his rules. No, we choose to go to hell when we choose not to follow him. God does not want anyone to perish, but we choose whether we perish or not. Simple as that. So, for those who choose to twist God's words to justify worng doing, you have chosen to go to hell for eternity, wherther or not you believe there is a hell. You will find out when you die. Believe this or not, it is your choice. Choose wisely, your eternity depends on it.

    June 24, 2010 at 11:45 am |
    • Bella Clark

      Exactly right Cindy...

      June 24, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
    • Curtis D.

      Cindy, I agree with most of what you say. One exception. There is one sin greater then any other. Matthew 12:32

      June 24, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • USN_Atheist

      Oh cool...so there are sins that are worse than one another??? Is that why I had to say two hail marys for one thing and 4 acts of contrition for something else?

      And who makes up these rules....let me let you in on a well known secret...man made these rules to control his fellow man. To scare him into doing what he wanted. Why do you think the leaders of the earth several thousands of years ago kept the priests and clergy so close to their side? To control the people with the fear of a burning hell if they did not do what "god"(the ruling class) wanted.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • gg

      Funny, I though the bible said if you accept Jesus as your lord and savior that all your sins, past and future, are paid for by his death on the cross. You could say that a gay person who becomes "saved" is then free from the debt of that sin and all others. But first, you have to believe that a loving, committed relationship between two adults of the same gender is sinful. That assumption in itself is subject to question. First, Jesus himself never addresses the issue in the New Testament. If it's such a big thing, why does he not address it personally? Second, many scholars have said that much of what is referenced from the bible on this subject is rife with mistranslation from the original text and is often taken out of context. The Bible, after all, was not originally written in English. It has been translated many times by men who had their own biases and motives.
      I am gay. I am also saved. And I am not going to hell for being with the person I love. Hell was trying to deny who I was to myself and everyone else for so many years. Now I am a complete person and I am finally at peace with myself because I know that I'm living the way I was meant to live. It's not for you to say that I'm going to hell. You don't live my life, and you don't know my truth, and you have no idea what it was like to get here.

      June 24, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
    • depp

      So Cindy, if i read a scripture and i interpret it one way and you another, who is right? Or are you following someone else's interpretation? Meaning you are not divining the word of Go for yourself. Meaning you are just a sheep waiting for someone to feed you. Which means youre probably hooked up with some cult like jim jones or david koresh waiting for your serving of punch.

      June 24, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  7. pam

    I am straight, married to the love of my life, and have been divorced twice. I was raised in a conservative, religious, church going family and was the first in my family to be divorced. They did not handle it well. My parents didn't invite me to family dinners at times because my siblings would be there with their mates and I would have been there alone. There wasn't much emotional or practical support and I was raising 3 kids with little ex-spousal involvement. I wanted to make things "right" for everybody so I married the 2nd time to a person I liked but didn't love. I didn't know him well enough and though he was not a bad person, he was not "marriage material". It was a disaster. I stayed in it way too long (12 years) because I didn't feel like I could "screw up" again. By the 2nd time I divorced, my brother's wife of 16 years "came out" and announced she wanted a divorce because she was in love with a woman. Her parents, who weren't even particularly religious but traditional nonetheless, pretty much disowned her. She was diagnosed with breast cancer about a year after she divorced my brother and at the end the only person she had in life was her partner, whom she had married in San Francisco. At the same time, I went through with my divorce, reconciled my friendship with my 2nd husband and apologized for having married him, and ended up marrying the man who had always been the love of my life. My family embraced him; he is wonderful. For me, all was "right" with the world. For my sister in law, she died alienated and lonely except for the love of her life. What's the difference? God "hates" divorce too but he doesn't hate divorced people. According to some fundamentalists, I am living in an "adulterous" marriage and will go to hell. I know God knows my heart and I finally have peace. I am living my life true to myself. It's amazing how much better my health is, my sleep, my friendships, everything. I don't "promote" divorce, or gay relationships, or anything else that isn't part of what I consider to be "God's perfect plan" for us. But I also don't judge it. You have to walk in someone's shoes. There are a lot of grey areas in life. Too many families have been created and damaged by people not being true to themselves. The only judge we need to answer to is God. He gave us a conscience and we must follow it. We are all sinners and fall short, that's why Christ paid with his life for our salvation. "Judge not, lest you be judged".

    June 24, 2010 at 11:43 am |
    • Sara

      I love that, Pam, thank you for sharing. It's what I feel in my heart too!

      June 24, 2010 at 11:48 am |
    • Michael

      well said Pam

      June 24, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
    • teresa, kent, ohio

      I agree, well said, words of wisdom.

      re: . "According to some fundamentalists, I am living in an "adulterous" marriage and will go to hell. I know God knows my heart and I finally have peace." while you are considered to be living in an adulterous situation, adultery is NOT the ONE UNPARDONABLE SIN, is it? I'm not so sure you will be going to hell.

      June 24, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
    • Jefe

      Amen.... Our only true judge is Jesus Christ himself. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Two great Christian rules to live by. We all sin.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  8. Austin

    i don't know many gay people. But i will watch this show because i love my kids. he seems to love his son and that is all god cares about.

    June 24, 2010 at 11:43 am |
    • Michael

      nicely said Austin and thanks for keeping an open mind. the world is better for it

      June 24, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  9. Sara

    Thank you for this article, Mr. Brown. All people need to know that not all Christians oppose gay rights. I am proud to say that I'm your supporter. Unfortunately it is an issue I have with my own church, and it's why I've never been a fan of organized religion either. I pray for you and your partner, and I know God has blessed your relationship 🙂

    June 24, 2010 at 11:42 am |
    • Bella Clark

      A true Christian is not for gay rights. This issue has nothing to do with organized religion Sara – it has to do with trusting the word of God and whathe says about gay rights. It is wrong.

      June 24, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
    • Wendy

      Bella is right on the money. I care less about criticism from non believers than I do about standing up for the Word.

      June 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
    • depp

      So Bella and Wendy I guess you arent for the Declaration of Independence which says "All men are created equal".... That's cool because since both of you aren't men it wasnt meant for you. You have no rights.

      June 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  10. Amy

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful post, Tony. Yours is a relationship founded on courage, strength, truth and love–your child will be the better for it. Wherever there is love, there is family.

    June 24, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  11. JSLB

    Well spoken. There is nothing more valuable to a child than a sense of spirit, family, community and love. You are sure to be fantastic parents. Bravo.

    June 24, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  12. SheilaB

    I find it hard to believe that people would be so threatened by two people who want to have a baby. Grow up!

    June 24, 2010 at 11:27 am |
    • Sondra

      Here's one for you: Let them have a baby the natural, GOD-GIVEN way. I DON'T THINK SO!!!!!

      June 24, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • RJ

      This is actually a response for Sondra who truly demonstrated how ignorant and offensive she really is. Go tell the parents world wide who want to adopt children because they can't conceive due to medical reasons they should "have a baby the natural, GOD-GIVEN way." It's easy for you to sit back and be judgemental because I would presume you have never lived in an orphanage or a foster home. It is REALLY easy to tell others how to parent and judge who should be parents if you weren't raised in that childhood environment. It's really easy to judge when you haven't wished night after night for a loving family to call your own. It's really easy to judge when you haven't prayed half of your life for a family of your own to belong to. You Sondra are a prime example of what a FABULOUS educational system we have in our great United States. You Sondra are a prime example of the fine citizenship I swore to protect when I promised to defend our country from all enemies foreign and domestic. You Sondra, are the domestic enemy. Congratulations on being so ignorant offensive. I'm glad I am able to protect your right to be so.

      June 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
    • depp

      Sondra, what do you tell a couple that is infertile how to have a baby?

      June 24, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  13. k brison

    There was a Ferengi who left STAT because he was gay and was dishonered by other so called enlightened species. He was welcomed into the company of Klingons where he gained great honor with an award at SHORE LEAVE . He knows who he is and Heghnach cvounts him as an honored companion in the house of P agh.

    June 24, 2010 at 11:20 am |
    • Sasha

      BROOKLYNNY- going to church alone does not make you a christian, though it is a necessary part of being a child of God-fellowship with other REAL christians. It's living your life according to Word of God and involving Him in all the decisions. I feel sorry and cry for all the people who think He doesn't exist. If He wouldn't exist, we wouldn't be having this conversation in the first place. Being gay and christian will never mix like water and oil.

      June 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  14. yar2010

    Many people are moved by feelings, few are moved by truth. The truth of the Gary-Tony story is that it is a perverted relationship in which a child, Nicholas, is ensnared. I don't doubt the feelings of Gary and Tony, I doubt, at bottom, there is any truth in them.

    June 24, 2010 at 11:18 am |
    • Brooklynny

      If going to church makes you christian, does standing in a parking lot make you a car?
      Keep your goddess/god to your self.

      June 24, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • depp

      two thumbs up brooklynny

      June 24, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  15. canadah

    Only in America is immorality considered normal and God given. In God we trust. In Satan we believe.

    June 24, 2010 at 11:17 am |
    • JPoP

      Canadah, sadly I have to agree with your statement. I'm an American and it's a shame what our government has continued to allow, such as legalized murder a.k.a abortion. We've done a great job in convincing ourselves things like these "should" be okay, but missing the fact that God NEVER changes so saying it's good doesn't make it good.

      June 24, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
    • mike

      It's not that abortion is morally or ethically OK. But the law's purpose is not to govern our morals or ethics. I'm a man and I am glad I do not have the chance of getting pregnant and having to make that decision. But the fact is it's a woman's body and she should be able to do what she wants. The possible moral consequences are hers and hers alone.

      June 24, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
    • Kenneth N.

      What is normal? And how does this affect you? It's a news story about a family in a unique position in America. It's information, do with it what you will. Judge it however you want. But it doesn't affect you. They are not your parents. It is not your god, it's everybody's god.

      If you're against gay marriage, don't marry any gays. We're not asking for your blessing, we're telling you to leave us alone. Isn't there an oil spill you should be worrying about? Not two men and a baby in a big city.

      June 24, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  16. Truth

    @Reality, what do you mean follow the dictates in the OT? Are we reading the same book? The NT was written until some hundreds years after the Messiah died, the only book he was follow was the TaNaK (Torah, Prophets, and Writings) The OT is still intact and the NT completes it, plain and simple. Truth of the matter, a Gay Christian is an Oxymoron. Its not just present in the OT but have you read Revelations lately...the time we living in fits itself perfectly.

    June 24, 2010 at 10:43 am |
    • Andrew

      First, it is the book of Revelation, not Revelation(s). Second, it has been accepted by most scholars, Christian and non-Christian alike, that the gospels were written between 50 and 80 A.D. (C.E. if you want to be modern), not "hundreds of years" after the death of Christ. Paul of Tarsus died in the 60s A.D., meaning any of the books that were actually written by him were written before 70, also certainly not "hundreds of years" after the death of Christ. To top that, nearly every generation, starting with the generation of Jesus have believed they were (and are) living in the end times, and the apocalypse is coming any day. Jesus himself said no one will know when the end comes, so saying our times matches the book of Revelation() perfectly is ridiculous.

      June 24, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
    • depp

      Revelation has fit perfectly for every society for the last 1500 years.

      June 24, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
    • HFS

      If a gay Christian is an oxymoron according to the New Testament.....then so is a divorced Christian...but you don't see anyone pointing fingers at them do you? In fact, the divorce rate is higher within the church versus secular statistics

      June 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
    • Reality

      How some very educated men described the Book of Revelation: Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[75] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he considered it as "merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [76] George Bernard Shaw described it as "a peculiar record of the visions of a drug addict".[77]

      June 28, 2010 at 12:16 am |
  17. Michael

    If you are a true Christian all you have to do is abide my the basic rules love your neighbor as yourself. The problem is these religious bigots can't do that because they don't love themselves. What would Jesus do certainly not discriminate and treat others as second class citizens. Don't judge others! Gary and Tony are model citizens caring loving people giving their child the love every child deserves. Hopefully some minds will be opened tonight and change their evil ways. I am an out gay person of faith and very involved in my accepting Christian church.

    June 24, 2010 at 10:39 am |
    • Sara

      Well said, Michael! Jesus teaches to love everyone, and love them well, not discriminate or treat others like they are beneath you. People's perception of Christians is so distorted because there are so many Christian's who believe homosexuality is wrong. I'm sorry but it's not evil and I know they don't have control over how they feel.

      June 24, 2010 at 11:45 am |
    • Alexander

      Most Christians don't really believe in God or in Jesus, but in Paul and a book written by ancient people full primitive ideas. That's the problem. They are idolaters who worship a book, they are modern day Pharisees. I dare say that they would nail Jesus to a cross all over again if he were around today.

      June 24, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • Max

      Very well said!

      June 24, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
    • Richard

      So how is being gay accepted by God when all through out the bible it talks about marraige being between a man and woman? "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh." (Matt 19 5-6)."Since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband" (1 Cor. 7:2)."Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church … this is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife…"(Ephesians 5: 25–33). No where in the bible does it justify gay marriage, it doesnt say anything about husband and husband or wife and wife. Yes, Jesus still loves people who are gay but He doesnt support their actions. Thus, gay marriage is a sin. We all sin everyday but we have to ask forgiveness of our sins and move forward and try not to continue to commit the same one. If we dont thats when we become unrepentant. Then we are not living as the bible states we should.

      June 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • Wendy

      Exactly. Hate the sin, love the sinner.

      June 24, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
    • Greg L

      I wish you can see that God is not pleased in your choice... just if I were to cheat on my wife he would be equally disappointed. Sin is Sin no big or little sin. I'm not speaking for GOD read his word and don't dismiss what it says because you don't agree. I pray that you find a church that teaches the BIBLE and not just a religion that accepts anything. God has Rules not to punish but to give us an abundant life... Not a life with not rules.

      June 24, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      We must judge actions, ours and others, but not our soul, not other’s soul, that judgment is for God alone. The Bible spells out sins and we must believe the whole Bible, not just the parts that suit our lifestyle. That is what a Christian does. Non-Christians may do things differently.
      I do hope that Nicholas had a true Baptism.
      We each have a cross to bear of one sort or another or at least we think we do. It may be pain and physical pain, it could be mental, it could be financial, and the crosses go on and on. Some people seem to have heavier crosses than others but then I believe all suffering is for a greater good. Jesus said if we wish to be His desciples we must take up our cross and follow Him. Jesus' cross was the greatest ever known to man and it brought about the greatest good. May we always be thankful for this gift of redemption.

      June 24, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
    • michele

      Michael, that was lovely and well-said. The bible also said 'women, be submissive to your husbands.' It was written by men. Haven't we gotten more than a few things wrong from God?

      June 25, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
    • Sasha

      People, WAKE UP, this is insane. Don't you read Bible? It clearly says this is a sin and you will go to hell. I get sick when people involve God and say "He supports them" or "He doesn't make mistakes", or "He's a loving God and will accept me the way I am" This is absurd. Nowhere in the Bible it says he supports being gay or lesbian. Being gay or lesbian IS A DECISION you make. So stop justifying your lust and sinful nature. At least, keep God out of it. He is the way, the truth, and and the life.

      June 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  18. Doug

    The world is becoming complicated because of different opions. People want to come to America for Freedom and to be free of persuqion(not sure if I spell correctly). I think many of the problems we have in the U.S. are different opions about the same thing. I have friends from different parts of the world that live in the U.S. that refuse to watch T.V. because they are concerned of the impact on their families. I know at one time we had guidelines that we refused to cross no matter what the consequences were. I know personally that I would not emberase (nssc) my country for hidlines(nssc). I realize that it's interesting to talk about, but hopefully the kids will be in bed ( I know mine will) by the time it comes on. I guess there is some reason for airing it at prime time. I watch CNN a lot and most of the programming I like however some of the different cultures disassociate themselves from us because they think we due not stand up for what we beleive in and some of our T.V. shows/commericials are shamefull and show no signs of respect. (JUST MY OPPION)

    Sorry I know that I misspelled (nssc) some of the words, but I rely on spell check and It was not available.

    June 24, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  19. Glenn

    I am so sick and tired of seeing the "plugs" for Gary and Tony have a baby that I guarantee that I will not watch the show. Why don't you keep your perversions to yourself rather than advertise it to the world?

    June 24, 2010 at 10:33 am |
    • Michael

      it might help if you had an open mind to educate yourself and watch it tonight you might learn something

      June 24, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • Krissy

      Perversion? Two adults who love each other decide to care for and love a baby.....in other news a father kills his baby and himself because his wife wants a divorce....okay, I can see how the perversion is 'Gary and Tony have a baby'.....NOT! Get an education!

      June 24, 2010 at 11:01 am |
    • Reality

      Glenn, These perversions unfortunately are very complex. See Wikipedia under "s-– orie--" for a quick update. The moderators again have their list of secret, blog-forbidden words that prevent us from posting said reviews.

      June 24, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • depp

      Hey glenn, i'm pretty sure if we dig deep enough we can find out what your perversions are. let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

      June 24, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
    • SICK

      The only reason to publicize your life is for the pursuit of $$$$$$$$$$$$$

      Further reading into this article revealed that the so called minister of their so called church is a woman. A woman leading a church is unbiblical. Have these two guys even read the bible? I can tell you that I've not read the entire thing and even I know everything about this is unbiblical. You would thing that someone brought up in a church would KNOW THIS.

      I am sick of this stuff. Please get it off the airwaves.

      June 24, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
    • gerald

      "open mind" – Translation, if you don't think like me you don't have an open mind.

      June 25, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
    • ellar flyingtortoise MD

      it pays to look at the issue a bit more objectively
      the family , the sacred family.
      80% of marriages between medical students and spouses end in divorce and 50% of all marriages.
      it is not the Gay's fault that marriages dont work. all of God's children are entitled to love and family.
      there are many single parent households in the country. a child does better with two parents. chances are the parents of a gay child were straight. Grow up. just because you don't like it doesn't mean it will go away. Diversity exists. Yours is not the only path though you may think it is.

      why do fundamentalists have to justify their , I WAS A DRUNK AND ABUSING SINNER but i found god and now i can tell you what you need to do to be sanctified. Why were you such a bad person before you found Jesus?
      the world is bad enough without more hate. Leave others alone in our Democracy.

      June 26, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  20. Reality

    Unfortunatel many orthodox Christians still follow the dictates of the OT to include those found in Leviticus.

    June 24, 2010 at 10:30 am |
    • gerald

      Why go to the Old Testament? Romans and Corinthians pretty much say the same thing. Homosexuality is gravely sinful. This topic is like saying reconciling stealing and Christianity. They are irreconcilable. Sorry.

      June 24, 2010 at 11:43 am |
    • Dan

      Its not that these people shouldn't be loved/accepted. I do not have a problem with them as humans, however i do not agree with them trying to make their lifestyle seem normal. What happens to the straight child that they raise? I cry for that child. They will make their lifestyle seem normal to that child.. There is a reason why two men/two women cannot conceive. IT IS NOT NORMAL.

      June 24, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
    • Austin

      Simply turn off the television. Satan is in everything and today's media and internet allow him to infiltrate our lives even more. I can simply do that. Please do not ask me though to become more tolerant or change my views. Last I checked, God hasn't changed his viewpoint on the subject. Just because we now live in the 21st century, people somehow think things should be acceptable.

      June 24, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
    • Kings

      I am sorry for the little child , but God will have His way and deliver the kid from these two confused men. If you think two men or women can make a marriage, I suggest you should starting eating from through your nose or ears. My hope is that God can still deliver all the gay people. God is able to do thru His son Jesus Christ. I am praying for you all.

      June 24, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
    • Greg L

      Sin is Sin weather you are so called- Gay or Straight. If you violate God's law you are committing Sin. God is not pleased as we continue to justify Sin. People are so wrapped up in their own pursuit of happiness they violate God's law on a daily basis. I think Christians miss the mark when they say they hate Gay's.. I hate the sin you commit but I can't hate the person. Remember Jesus ate with the sinners not the righteous. If you are Gay... God loves you but he has a better plan for your life than your immediate gratification. Don't get caught up in what hateful Christians tell you Find God then follow his direction and he will direct your path.

      June 24, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
    • mike

      I think human rights and life style often is mix when talking about this topic. Is not about hating anybody is about a life style that it is clearly against whats natural.

      June 24, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
    • Shame on you

      The one thing that Jesus said that so many people forget is to "Love thy neighbor as thyself". Why is there so much hatred in the world? Can't you see how much you hurt others? I know that fear has to be blamed but please don't quote scripture for an excuse.
      No one chooses to be gay. They just are. Why shouldn't they have the same rights to raise a family?
      Historically in the so called "normal" heterosexual family the woman has been subservient to the male.
      This is a terrible lesson to a child.

      June 24, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
    • Kendrick

      It's simple folks! Homosexuality is a sin. It is a sin and will never be accepted in the eyes of God. Stop trying to make it acceptable! We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, but making excuses for it doesn't make it ok to do. Stop letting the enemy (Satin) confuse your lust for the same sex as love. Love is God and God does not have confusing love! It's simple. Crack heads love crack, but they know its wrong and some try to get help. If you are gay or lesbian seek help through God and fellow saints. You can beat the lie the devil (Satin) has tricked you with by believing homosexuality is ok in your nature. Its not and immoral and should not and will not ever be accepted in society and as long as Christian values are still valued!

      June 25, 2010 at 1:43 am |
    • calon

      read Romans 1:26-28

      June 25, 2010 at 6:55 am |
    • Ryan

      Wake up people, there is no God, Devil, Haven, or Hell. So stop concerning yourselves with trivial affairs and help humanity prosper.

      June 25, 2010 at 10:23 am |
    • Steve

      gerald is right. Check Romans 1:26-33

      June 25, 2010 at 11:26 am |
    • Follower

      Keep in mind that we, as Christians, do not go after the sinner but the sin. Men with another men is a sin, like lying or kill. God will forgive that, however, it is not the way that he created us. God blesses the marriage with men and a woman, as it is in genesis, ephesians, all new testament. Pray that the Lord will open you eyes and more over, open your heart from the one that has unconditional, unmeasurable, forgiven love, Jesus Christ. Do not lean on your own understanding, ...and he will straighten your paths.....I am sure, if you really have a relationship with CHrist and our Heavenly father throu the holy spirit you will be a changed man just like your heavenly father plan to. The Bible is his word, lean on it. God Bless you always!

      June 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
    • Incompatible

      Tollerance, while fashionable is not necessarily a virtue as in this and certian other cases you cant reconcile the positions without undermining, comprimising, or denouncing the opposing position. Voices on both sides of the debate are in obvious tension, viewed ther as being intollerant for holding to their convictions (e.g. Christians are seen as intollerant for not comprimising, and the liberal community is seen as intollerant for meddeling in religious affairs). The author above complains about bullying, but himself commits a folly, attempting to venerate his own position. Why not read scipture for what says and respect it without trying to bend it for your own convenience?

      June 25, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
    • waitasec

      i guess the christian right is to dictate what is right or wrong regardless of the fact that this book was written by men with biases. In Leviticus it also says you cannot touch a women while she is menstruating and you can't eat shell fish because it is an abomination as well. This religion only attracts 2 types; the broken, who cannot see the power they have within, and pompous arrogant loud mouth know it alls that bud into other peoples business

      June 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
    • Ben

      The bible says this and says that. Who cares? You are basing your morality on the morality of the guys who wrote the bible centuries ago. You choose to believe it's the word of your god, but more likely it's the word of a bunch of old men who said that god spoke through them so they could control the supersticious society of the time. What people do with their lives is their business. Any child they choose to raise, and to abide by the law is one less child without a family. Isn't that more important than the views of a religion that you were indoctrinated into. Religion is dumb. Remember that if you would have been born an Aztec, you would have been worshiping the sun. Humanity needs to grow out of religion.

      June 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • Claudette

      bottom line..........God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and STEVE! you want to have a baby, then do it the way it's SUPPOSED TO BE DONE! GEEZE!

      June 26, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
    • waitasec

      Claudette
      are you going to deny hetero couples that can't have children the right to adopt as well? they can't concieve NATURALLY either...
      What ignorance? Where are you going to draw the line...what's wrong with you conservative biggots? Whatever happen to live and let live? What business is it of yours anyway?
      why all the fear of the unconventional family? Society cannot stagnate, change is a part of the ride. Living in fear will only stop the process of growth and maturity. Why live in a conservative bubble protecting you from your fears of the non customary approach to todays way of life...? How sad to live in fear and being robbed of an opportunity to make choices based on your own truth. We have been taught to fear the unknown and to rely on and fairy tales which only teach us to put the unorthodox with the deviant.

      June 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
    • ellar flyingtortoise MD

      this is no different than a straight couple who cant conceive using a surrogate and in vitro fertilization.

      i think christians who think it is an abomination should be smote for eating shellfish and pork also mentioned in the bible and stoning of adulterers among preachers and the flock.

      it is amazing how selectively all of these tenets are spoken of. Christianity is love but preaches amazing hate for many of gods children. if there is a god and he is in control of everything and knows your every move, why did he create people he cann deal with. if James Dobson and his ilk lose on this they will be shown to be as empty as they are.

      June 26, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
    • Richard

      No matter how much spin and justification of wrongdoing of heterosexual marriages by liberals can ever make the poison of homosexuality less deadly.

      Homosexual (not 'gay' or 'lesbian') behavior is a serious sexual sin like adultery and fornication. It not a lessor sin like theft, murder, lying, et cetera......

      The problem with sin is, as God describes it in the Bible, is that sin destroys the individual. Each person on this planet has been created to be in relationship with God first, then with each other. God said in his word that mankind a long time ago chose to live his/her life apart from God. Almost all of the problems we experience today are a result of that sin/separation. God has made provision for our sin, when Jesus stepped out of Heaven and spent 33 years on planet earth to show us who/what God is like. He died on the cross to be the sacrifice that God required for Sin, and was resurrected 3 days later and went back to heaven. Don’t take my word for this; read the book that the liberals, ACLU, and others have spent centuries trying to suppress this message: The Bible.

      June 27, 2010 at 1:02 am |
    • SteveDS

      Gay Christians are like most people. They pick and choose the parts of the bible they like but ignore the parts that they dont like.

      If this were not true, we would be stoning our children to death as soon as they talked back. There is also a part that talks about any wife not being a virgin should be killed in similar fashion. CAN you imagine how many people would be dead just because of these 2 rules clearly laid out in the old testament?

      Gay Christian is similar to Nazi Jew. Doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense to me.

      June 27, 2010 at 3:59 am |
    • dwight l moody

      It is sin, just like looking at pornography, just like lying, just like cheating. Different sins have different affects. i am sorry but don't call yourself Christian, if your openly gay, that lifestyle is completely anit-biblical, or ant-Christ, since its the Holy Spirit that illuminates Scripture, and convicts of sin. Liberal Christians, are not Christians, in the sense that they love God in the first place. They love their sin like the world, and want to continue in it. Homosexuality isn't a second class sin, it's a life that doesn't treasure Jesus Christ, or the Light He shines on the darkness of sin.

      June 28, 2010 at 8:40 am |
    • Samantha

      I am a born and raised Christian, and I understand where people come from when they talk about gays. I am a straight woman, but ended up falling in love with my best friend from college. We are very happy together, but very misunderstood. I am not even gay, and I get the same treatment the gay people do; it is very sad. People are just people. We learn, we love, and we die. Children of gay parents tend to be more socially active, psychologically stable, and over all happier. I see no reason to discourage people like myself simply because of who their spouse is. If the parents are happy, the children are generally happy; that is a fact with any couple, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual. And typically, homosexual couples have a stronger love than ANY heterosexual couple because each individual knows the struggles they have to face in the future and they're willing to face it together without ever giving up. Has anyone ever heard of a divorced gay couple? I sure haven't. And I happen to think we never will.

      June 28, 2010 at 9:08 am |
    • Swabia

      Reality, when you say "orthodox christians" do you merely mean the christians that follow the "orthodox" (traditional) protestant/fundamentalist views? Or do you mean the Orthodox Christians, who follow to Eastern Orthodox Church, which is particularly strong in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Ethiopia, and makes up the majority of Christians remaining in the Middle East? There's is a very big difference between the two.

      June 28, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
    • Carla

      It seems to me that the gay marriage and gay parenting issue began with the inception of IVF technology Being a senior citizen , I don't recall this being an issue 25 years ago. The medical community is resposible for allowing what I consider bizarre experiments on the human race, Gary and Tony, the octo Mom, the pregnant man. Instead of doing no harm, some doctors are looking to produce sensational results. What happened to medical ethics?

      June 30, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
    • Mark

      gerald: Romans and Corinthians was written by an apostle who would be rolling in his grave right now if he knew his letters were being held in the same esteem as the Torah. The letters are nothing more than opinion. Paul admits this himself. There are many who don't even consider anything beyond Acts as canon due to the amount of tap dancing that you need to do around a number of cultural prejudices held in those days in order to show the letters as the "word of god".

      July 12, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • Tim

      The next logical step is to do away with the need for imaginary friends (i.e.: gods).

      July 12, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
    • LetsBeReal

      Shame on you: You are perverting the Scriptures; no pun intended. Being a homosexual is definitely a choice, just like choosing to be an alcoholic, drug addict, etc. If you are a Christian, you are not a homosexual; if you are a homosexual, you are not a Christian, regardless of what you think. To be Christian is to be Christ like, and Christ was not like that nor did he condone that type of lifestyle. Read His comments about Sodom and Gomorrah. There are too many references in the Bible to get around this. It is not logical, healthy, or common sense. God is love, but God has rules just like any responsible parent. Homosexuality breaks His rules. You definitely have the wrong impression of what "Love thy neighbor" means.

      July 13, 2010 at 10:41 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.