October 6th, 2010
05:37 PM ET

Christian group pulls support for event challenging homosexuality

CNN's Dan Gilgoff filed this report:

A national Christian organization will stop sponsoring an annual event that encourages school students to "counter the promotion of homosexual behavior" because the event has become too divisive and confrontational, the group's president told CNN on Wednesday.

"All the recent attention to bullying helped us realize that we need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace while treating their neighbors as they'd like to be treated, whether they agree with them or not," said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, the group that sponsored the event this year.

Called the Day of Truth, the annual April event has been pushed by influential conservative Christian groups as a way to counter to the annual Day of Silence, an event promoted by gay rights advocates to highlight threats against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

The Day of Truth, held on the same day as the Day of Silence, "was established to counter the promotion of homosexual behavior and to express an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective," according to a manual for this year's event published by Exodus International.

On the Day of Silence, students take a "a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools," according to a web site run by the event's sponsor, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

The Day of Silence began in 1996. The Day of Truth started in 2005 and attracted the participation of 6,000 students nationwide this year, Chambers said.

"I thank Exodus for making this very important step," said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard on Wednesday after hearing of Exodus' decision. "The Day of Truth was an effort to push a very specific set of opinions about homosexuality into schools in a way that was inappropriate and divisive."

On the Day of Truth, middle and high school students are encouraged to wear Day of Truth T-shirts and to distribute cards that say "It's time for an honest conversation about the biblical truth for sexuality," according to Exodus' manual for this year's event.

"I don't think it's necessary anymore," Chambers said of the event on Wednesday. "We want to help the church to be respectful of all its neighbors, to help those who want help and to be compassionate toward people who may hold a different worldview from us."

Chambers said that Exodus International - which promotes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ," according to its website - has not changed its position on homosexuality but has reevaluated how best to communicate its message.

An expert in evangelical responses to homosexuality says Exodus' decision is likely to be criticized by some conservatives.

"This is a very significant move, a very real break," said Warren Throckmorton, an associate professor of psychology at Grove City College. "Some will say that simply naming sexual orientation provides legitimacy for homosexuality."

At least one major Christian group, Focus on the Family, stood by the Day of Truth on Wednesday.

"Without question, Day of Truth is a loving and redemptive way students of faith can express their views positively in response to GLSEN's Day of Silence which only presents one point of view," Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family, said in a statement.

"In contrast to the whole idea of 'silence,' Day of Truth has encouraged students to exercise their free speech rights and have an open dialogue while respectfully listening to others," Cushman said.

The Day of Truth was started by the conservative group Alliance Defense Fund, Chambers said, but the group transferred primary responsibility for the event to Exodus this year.

Chambers said he contacted Alliance Defense Fund last week about his decision and that it's unclear whether that group will continue to sponsor the Day of Truth.

"As the organization leading the event, Exodus International is free to make decisions they deem best regarding the event," the Alliance Defense Fund said in a statement Wednesday.

"Contrary to comments by GLSEN falsely labeling the Day of Truth as 'inappropriate and divisive,' the event was always about the right of students to peacefully express their point of view on the subject of homosexual behavior," the statement said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Culture wars • Homosexuality • Schools

soundoff (930 Responses)
  1. Zafrod

    While I may not agree with Project Exodus or the Day of Truth event, I applaud them for taking a very Christian stand for tolerance and brotherhood instead of divisiveness and bigotry. It is not easy for an organization to break so sharply from the perceived norm to do the right thing, and certainly it would have been easier for those involved to go along to get along. Their willingness to stand up for what is right gives me hope that their motives are good, if misguided, and there is room for open discussion and conciliation. Remember, a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit. Bullying, bigotry and suicide are evil fruits, and any movement that seeks to do good will work against these ends.

    October 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
    • John Foland

      "Although their motives are misguided"? Just what should their motives be, other than the tolerance and goodwill toward all that you spout with Loving Christianity? Get your crap together for once and admit that christians, as a religious, social and political body, have persecuted and even killed countless thousands of gays - in the name of god - for centuries. And you think this particular christian group is somehow "misguided"? I'm not asking, I'm telling you that you are a misguided nut.

      October 6, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
    • Bobbus

      The history of Christianity shows anything but tolerance; more people have died by their aweful beliefs than any other religion. Since Christians only read one history book, the Bible, and skip the violent acts perpetrated on other races in the Old Testament, they believe by harassing others they will "save" them with the love of Jesus. Christianity is a Middle Eastern religion and a brother of the Islam, so there should be no surprise it is intolerant to other world views.

      October 6, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  2. Robert

    I don't agree with groups ... they divide us.

    October 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  3. J

    Must be hard being Christian, believing everybody out to get you, paranoia running rampant through the church and all.

    October 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
    • McJesus

      Unfortunately it starts at childhood after the first molestation... it then just furballs from there.

      October 6, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  4. touvio

    Dear Mr. Chambers,

    I am not a practicing Christian nor am I gay. I'm no one really. But I am very proud of your organization and you for having the courage to pull out of this event. One can disagree without promoting devisiveness. I truly believe in God and think he is proud of your decision.

    October 6, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  5. Adam

    OK, let me get this STRAIGHT, without the belief in God we have an opportunity for loving and giving consenting adults to be happy and with God there's still reason to subject hatred towards our fellow man?

    October 6, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
    • Thij

      Yup, that seems like the long and short of it. If you lack dogma (and religious texts or any nature) you have fewer ridiculous things to base your opinions on. This much, in and of itself, would save us so much trouble. For some reason the faithful can't see past the book they love so much.

      October 6, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
  6. G. Christopher

    If this is indeed true, I have to say that RELIGION has been practiced as it should be — as a lesson of TOLERANCE, FAITH, PATIENCE, COMPASSION, DIGNITY, and HUMANITY. IF these people are genuine in their decision then those of you who
    are throwing hatred at them need to be willing to listen. Those of us on the receiving end of so much undo hatred know all to well what it is like to be told every day that you are not worthy of human respect. It's a truly devastating feeling to know that you could be murdered for WHO YOU ARE by someone who hates you without knowing anything about you. So, now it's time for everyone to stand up and be decent and help them to see their actions are better than the past.

    October 6, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  7. SurelyUjest

    I am pleased to see some of the radical right so called Christian groups are reviewing internally what Jesus's message was and how best to get that message out. If Christians would just finally let go of the old testament and leave it for the Jews and Arabs to fight over Christiantiy would finally achieve the separation that the new convenant suggested! I am not a Christian and find most evangelicals to be very offensive and shallow. I do pray that peace between people can be achieved and most likely it will be by the Christians, Muslims, Hindis, Jews, working together and using the positibe messages their faiths share in stead of dwelling on the devisive and dogmatic parts. I am a happy Wiccan I love all people and Animals and the Earth equally. I pray to the Goddess that all of us may become more understanding of each other.

    October 6, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
    • Caitlin

      actually, most christians embrace the new testament and the word of jesus, not the old testament. Im very tired of people reciting old now horrible (but acceptable back then, EVERYONE, not just christians were doing it, and testament bible verses and saying oh, all christians believe this

      October 6, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
    • dontbehatin'


      So which portions of the bible are we to ignore and which ones to follow?

      October 6, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
    • Mike in B-More

      Caitlin said:
      "actually, most christians embrace the new testament and the word of jesus,"

      What do you say about people who ignore what Jesus said, and parrot the words of someone who never met Jesus in real life? People such as Jim Jones? Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker? Father Coughlin? Paul, nee Saul the tax collector?

      In my experience, most who call themselves Christians are more familiar with what Paul said than what Christ said, and are very good at quoting certain selections from the book of Leviticus. In fact, they would hardly recognize anything from the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.

      October 6, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
    • guest

      an it harm none, do as ye will...8 words that would make this world alot better

      October 6, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  8. Ddubbya

    It's sad that the death of so many teens had to be an eye opener for these people. But, at least it's a start.

    Disagree with gay people all you like. That is your right. But tolerance and respect for PEOPLE is one of the main tenants of Christianity. It is nice to see such an organization speak out for this. I generally do not have nice things to say about this organization (mainly for my own personal experiences with their "conversion" therapies), but I will say "Good on ya".

    October 6, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
    • Unitarian

      That's why I became a Unitarian Universalist! We believe in the dignity and worth of every human being.

      October 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  9. Peacemaker


    October 6, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  10. Bcraigo

    Wow – I never thought I would be happy for something that Exodus ministries has done...but I am 🙂 Good job

    October 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  11. Alleygator

    "Day of Truth"? That's a lie right off the bat. Still, it's encouraging that these Christian hate groups are beginning to see that their actions have real consequences. Maybe a little more introspection on their part will bring their behavior a little closer to the real teachings of the man they purport to follow.

    October 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  12. Frozenyo

    There is no evidence for god or the authenticity of the bible. We should all live our lives as such.

    October 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
    • dalis

      Without authenticity?

      October 6, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
    • HeisGod

      What evidence do you have that it God isn't real or that the bible is of God?

      October 6, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
    • Perry

      What evidence do we have that the Easter Bunny and the Bogey Man aren't real?

      October 6, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
    • McJesus

      The Easter Bunny may not be real, but I once had a catholic priest show me his eggs.

      October 6, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
    • Perry

      Were they eggs Benedictine?

      October 6, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
    • sheppard

      OK Perry & McJesus – I don't agree with the beliefs of either one of you – THAT was funny! LOL !!!Eggs Benedict!!!

      October 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • msaprilr

      What does your comment have to do with this story? Troll

      October 6, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
    • Perry

      Perhaps it has something to do with the devolution of "Christianity" over more than 20 centuries and the absurdity it has become in the hands of it's current custodians.

      October 6, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
    • Eggs Ackley

      @ Perry


      October 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
    • Rico53

      No evidence ? Here is just 1 of many prophecies that have been correct .2000 years ago Jesus told his deciples to learn the parable of the fig tree , "when you see the olive tree bearing both good and bad fruit the day of the Lord is at hand ,that prophecy was fulfilled in 1948 when Israel became a nation again after 1500 years of exile in the world , when they took control of Jehrusalem and started living next to the Palastinians this was fulfilled .
      But you see just like mastering any skill ,understanding the Bible also takes some effort on the readers part.

      Did any of you even know that thousands of years before Christ was born ,in the book of Palms it foretells exactly what the Romans do to him ,it even fortold of how they would pierce his side, that 2 roman soldiers will ,at the feet of Jesus cast lots to see which of them gets his cloths when he dies. I dought very much those soldiers read the ancient hebrew manuscripts so they would know what to do.

      Want more evidence , Bible is full of prophecies that were correct .
      Modern archeology has uncovered the historical writing of other cultures that encountered the Hebrews and they tell the same account as the Bible.
      How about the great flood , other cultures have written about this also ,were they all liers.

      Another proof , why do you suppose the Pharoh of Egypt turned loose over 1 million people that did all their brute labor ,you know the people that really built Egypt, all that labor they now must do themselves ,or go enslave another race to do it for them, did he go nuts , well would seem so if you don`t believe the bilbe ,but no history does not say that.The Bible explains .it .
      So there you have just a few examples of proof.

      October 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • peace2all


      Anyone can notice 'patterns' to make them fit into history or reality. This is a very well-known ability of the brain. Lots of studies have been done on 'pattern creation and validation.' So, your bible assertions as fact don't hold water.

      And by the way..... It is not the book of ..."Palms" (that is what the Palm reader/psychics use to prophecy)... It is the book of "Psalms"


      October 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  13. susan

    Good to see a Christian group being Christian fro a change!

    October 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
    • HeisGod

      It's time for a change, susan, it's time for a change. Praise God!!!

      October 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  14. gerry

    its about time a group of christians started acting with the love of Christ rather then using Christ as a tool for intolerance and hatred.

    October 6, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • McJesus

      My invisible magical friend is better than yours.

      October 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  15. Trip

    "All the recent attention to bullying helped us realize that we need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace while treating their neighbors as they'd like to be treated, whether they agree with them or not,"
    Wow, what a concept, a Christian group realizing they need to actually follow the teachings of the bible.

    October 6, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
    • Rodney - Compton

      Right-on Trip

      October 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
    • D


      October 6, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
    • MIghty7

      'bout time. Good.

      October 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • Denizen Kate


      October 6, 2010 at 7:59 pm |
    • Sylvadine

      THIS. This is completely true. I couldn't agree more.

      October 6, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
    • Sue

      Two rules to live by both biblical in origin: love your neighbor as yourself, judge not lest ye be judged.
      enough said. If today's vocal christians just remembered that the world would be a much better place.

      October 6, 2010 at 9:28 pm |
    • Trip

      Sylvadine, my favorite teaching is 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone'

      October 6, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
    • Trip

      Oops, I meant Sue

      October 6, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
    • Rico53

      Yes Trip ,I agree Christians should live by the teachings of the bible. and here are those teachings :

      Lev 18: 22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind , this is an abomination.
      Lev 18: 29 For those who commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them ,shall be cut off from among their people.

      It does not say hate them , call them names , go to public protests and and carry signs of hatred , They are disobeying GODS law.
      It says ,that we ,GODS people are not to socialize with them ,thats all ,not to judge them ,and `i don`t, and out of obedience to my chosen faith i respectlfully refuse offers o f things like coming to dinner or to a party hosted by them ,thats it .

      Now if again you see this as intolerence , Lets all be very honest here , you know many , many of you reading this have had offers of coming over to a coworkers house or an offer of some social event and you respectfully turn it down because ...... now her it come be honest ,there was just something about that guy that rubs you the wrong way ,maybe something he said to you once or your wife dosn`t like the guy , is this intolerence ? NO you have the right to socialize with who ever you want without being called intolerent or a biggot and i dont have the right to tell you different ,and if you don`t want a particular person in your home because of the bad influence they may have on your family THAT IS YOUR RIGHT TO DO SO isn`t it .

      October 7, 2010 at 11:31 am |
    • peace2all


      I am always truly amazed at the fundamentalists' and their literal interpretation of the bible. Using OT verses, and then switching back and forth using the NT when it suits them. 'Cherry-picking' to suit your fancy, when it validates your beliefs.

      Wait, don't pay attention to the OT because it is all a bunch of stuff that was 'old law'... only pay attention to NT.

      So...... Do you REALLY want to hang on to your biased selection of chapter and verse from the OT....?

      If, so, I can cite chapter and verse of truly ridiculous and absurd passages from the OT, as well. You know... all about the slavery thing, and selling my virgin daughter, etc... And if you say, but wait... those verse 'really mean' this.... then you are opening yourself and the bible to everyone's interpretations. And then the question becomes... who's interpretation is the *right* one.

      So, please don't start quoting the bible, when this group...(Exodus International), apparently has taken some big steps to stop any kind of intolerance..(based on biblical understanding) as they say.

      But, to post stuff like that from the OT of the bible, does nothing to bring on harmony and peace.

      I understand not having people in your home that you don't get along with, etc.... But, is there some reason you don't get along with LGBT people....? Or, are you making a drastic over-generalization about them based on intolerance and misunderstanding, while attempting to back up your bias with OT verses....?


      October 7, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  16. LB

    It's about time somebody does something GOOD in the name of religion. People need to mind their business and take care of their own households and their noses out of other peoples

    October 6, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
    • Rico53

      Yes your right LB , Jesus gave a very good teaching on this very subject he said " how can you remove the splinter from your brothers eye when your have a plank in your own.

      October 7, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  17. Pumpkinhead

    Typical. The religious minded don't see the problems with their actions until the ____ hits the fan. Then you have to watch their pathetic back-pedaling.

    October 6, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
    • Chris

      This a positive thing and you turn it into a negative. You are the problem my friend. Let people take steps forward. Don't impede progress. Its never too late to do the right thing. So shut it.

      October 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • Guy Montag


      sorry, did you want a pat on the head for being less of a bigot?

      we'll pass.

      October 6, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
    • D

      Chris, he isn't the problem. Talking negatively is not the problem. Acting negatively, spreading negativity, and generally despising your fellow man because they do not believe what you believe is the problem.

      He's negative about them, your negative about him. Chicken or the egg Chris? Pot calling the kettle....

      October 6, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
    • PattiD

      Maybe, but it's always OK to realize that you've been wrong and start again. We all make mistakes, and everyone has a right to learn and move forward. Just as every politician and government official sometimes says stupid things–it's not a big deal, move on. Some president or senator is accused of flip-flopping when re-think something, and that's ridiculous. This is a good article, and I'm happy for the Christian group to realize that they have been mired in hatred. Lets move on.

      October 6, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
    • Dan

      So true Pumkinhead....and no need to shut it, I think it's the religious that need to learn to "shut it". Anyone who relies on believing in some mythical and non-existant diety to feel satisfied is pathetic anyway and needs to sit down, and shut up.

      October 6, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • self

      C'mon, the only reason you care about equality for gays so deeply here is because you're gay yourself, not because you're animated by strong desire to right a wrong. I wonder if you care about so deeply about inequality for blacks, Asian Americans, elderly, etc. in this country. So get off your high horse. Yes, many Christians are probably deeply misguided, but they come at this from their own perspective, just as you do yours. I applaud that this group is trying to move forward.

      October 6, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
    • I'm right dangit!

      @Chris and PattiD: Don't be mad because the comment is true. Just because someone is taking SMALL steps in the right direction doesn't mean they are free from criticism. When will people wake up and realize that religious fanatics that try to shove there beliefs down others' throats and then close their ears to debate creates many of the world's problems!

      October 6, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
    • Ted

      Yes, you are a pumpkinhead

      October 6, 2010 at 9:40 pm |
    • Guest

      While its great that this group has removed their support for the Day of Truth, I find it sad that it took several recent suicides to move them to this position. Their teachings and propoganda have directly inlfuenced a climate that made these suicides possible. What about an apology?

      October 6, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Chris: You are absolutely right! This organisation, no matter the harm they have done in the past is doing something good this time. We have to acknowledge their efforts even though we know there is more work to be done. It's a small step from our perspective, but it might be a huge one for them. We have to encourage the positive or risk hardening their hearts and moving back towards a negative stance. No one likes a sore winner either. Better to be gracious and welcoming to anyone who aids the cause of tolerance.

      October 7, 2010 at 10:11 am |
    • table

      Wisdom is too high for your comprehension and basic knowledge will confused you completely.

      October 10, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  18. B-Dog

    WOW! So finally figured out to live your life as best you can and MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS?!?! Now how about other groups follow you and realize that while you might not agree with Abortion, Stem cell research, and gay marriage, that WE as a people have bigger fish to fry!!!!!

    October 6, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
    • Carol from SoCal

      Sigh. No, I cannot agree. I am hopeful that someday all of human society will look back on the era of abortion as a horrific and unimaginable horror...much as we now do with the era that slavery found acceptance in the US. Abortion is the ending of a human life. I know that you cannot understand my way of thinking on this, but I cannot see that we have any bigger fish to fry – in fact, that anything can be more important than preventing this. We would be far better to be a less "progressive", less "wealthy" society...and have higher standards, higher expectations for ourselves.

      October 6, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
    • Liz

      Really Carol? We can't even feed and shelter the children we already have in this country but you don't think we have bigger fish to fry than worry about babies that were never even born? 3 million children live in households that experience hunger (either skipping meals or not eating enough each meal). And those are kids with homes! There are currently 123,000 children in foster care, which would only require less than 1% of the U.S. to stand up and adopt a child. Tell me, how many children have YOU adopted this year? Oh, wait. That's something JESUS would do.

      October 6, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • Nora

      Sorry Carol they will most likely look back on it as finally getting out from under the yoke of religious oppression! More murders have been committed in the name of one religion or another than any other cause... the 3 crusades, the incas, the aztecs, the mayan's, the protestant inquisition, the 30 year war, islamic jihads... I could go on but you probably get the idea. All of these cultures did so much killing out of religious furor and it still goes on today.

      October 6, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
    • Carol from SoCal

      Liz, we are actually on the waiting list. Adoption is a tedious, long process. 3 of our own, 1 adopted, and waiting for more. I understand your point – we certainly do have problems with hunger all around us. But life – life is too valuable to throw away based on economic theories. What if we had allowed the south to argue that slavery could not be ended because of the economic strife that would ensue? What if that argument had been allowed to go on for another ninety years – as it had since the time of our country's founding? Of course I want the children we "have" to be well fed and well loved. But using that as an excuse – which is just what it is – does not stand up to scrutiny.

      October 6, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
    • Jamie

      Carol – You come across as very genuine and thoughtful on the issue of abortion. Like you, I am more concerned with social issues rather than economic ones. I do, however, take an opposing stance on abortion – I have always supported a woman's right to choose. You mentioned that 'life is too valuable to throw away on economic theories'. Is it only human life that you value so highly? If so, why? I'll share my own thoughts if you'd like to hear them.

      October 6, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
    • Kevin

      Thats fine however 85 % of the women in prison have no father figure thus two women adopting children is a bad idea. I wish these issues did not effect everyone however they do. I can not support gay unions.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:26 am |
    • David

      Carol, if you shared that same zeal for the lives of children who are born to drug addicts, poverty stricken families, or to mothers who could just give a d***m. Start with those lives and when we have fixed that then maybe your caring of a fetus may carry some weight. It is easy to pray for a fetus because there is nothing to do.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:03 am |
    • Frogist

      @Carol: I approach the issue of abortion as respect for all life as well. And I am pro-choice. We are still in disagreement about when life begins for a fetus, but we are not in disagreement about the life, rights and fully functioning human being who is carrying the fetus. Her rights come first since we are not in dispute about her "aliveness". And any govt that strips away the rights of another human being by forcing them to use their body for a purpose against their will, is vastly overstepping their boundaries. I am not a fan of abortion either. But I understand that women cannot be forced to use their bodies in a way that someone else wants just because they are women. I think there is a middle ground where we can reduce abortions to the smallest amount possible while still honoring the rights and safety of women. I think that can only happen through comprehensive education about our s-exual lives.

      October 7, 2010 at 10:03 am |
    • Frogist

      @Kevin: Why?

      October 7, 2010 at 10:04 am |
    • peace2all


      Actually, according to at least one piece of very recent research showed that 2 women did just as well or even better in some cases as a man/wife couple in terms of their child being socially/intellectually/emotionally well-adjusted.

      Even more so.... There *is* a tremendous amount of LOVE found.

      So, I 'respectfully' disagree with your assertion.


      October 7, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
  19. HeisGod

    Who are any Group to challenge anyone for the sin they are in? We we not lost in darkness at one time? We are to bring others to Christ, not force them.

    October 6, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
    • dalis

      Everything I've ever read about conversion indicates that a change of heart, grace, the holy spirit, whatever you want to call it, comes from God and it comes with consent by the person. Human beings and especially human ego can take no credit for it.

      October 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
    • Joel

      No one is "lost." We are an evolving species. Some people are still catapillars and haven't become a butterfly yet – so to speak. A catapillar isn't a lost butterfly. using the lost and saved terminology a chiristan isn't any more "found" than an atheist. You both are the same. One doesn't make any better decisions than the other. One doesn't glow with "light" than another. One isn't more "blessed" than another.

      You are all the same...

      October 6, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
    • peace2all


      So, you are saying that 'humans' cannot take 'any' credit for any kind of change or conversion in their lives...?

      It is only because of god/holy spirit....? Really....? So, we are just pawns to be played by the whims of god who decides when it is o.k to change, oh, and of course... we have to concede to said changes...?

      Wow, I like to think that 'I' can and do take credit for making changes in my life... and... it seems to me that since we can't even prove that there is a god, it is all speculation anyway....and since we therefore are speculating, in my opinion, god would definitely want us to be empowered and to take credit in our lives for making changes.


      October 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
    • dalis

      I should be clearer; I mean OTHER people can't take the credit for converting you.

      October 6, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
    • JohnD

      While i respect your right to your religion, I strongly disagree with the notion that everyone must be "called to Christ", unless we take Christ to be that level of life that is the essence of all religions–Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. In that case, one is "called to Krishna" or "to Buddha" just as much as to any other son of God. Truth is one, the paths are many.

      October 6, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
    • Dan

      While you and many others in your religion feel that way, there are far to many so called "Christians" who are in fact no better than the Muslim Taliban. Sad thing is they are also false Patriots, always waving the flag and chanting about "freedom" while they try to strip it from anyone with other beliefs.

      October 6, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
    • God

      I made a bunch of winged monkeys for a miracle, but they all went hollywood on me.

      October 6, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • FedUp

      I have to chuckle a little here. People always talk about Christians shoving religion down everyone's throat – *chuckle*
      but in fact, it is the atheists/agnostics that are responsible for cries such as "take GOD off money" "remove GOD from our schools" "WE must seperate church and state" "no crosses should be displayed on public property" (just to name a few). By this, is it not those voices who are being heard the loudest? And why should Christians give up their faith because others don't believe. I believe the poster was LESLIE – well said to you, it's just too bad others dismiss your opinion because you have faith in something other than HUMAN EGO.

      October 6, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
    • Leslie

      Peace2all, I wish all people could or would be as insightful as you appear to be. If we had more people with open minds and love in their hearts it would be such a nice world to live in!

      October 6, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
    • peace2all


      Thank you for your kind compliment and sentiments...!

      I wish you peace....

      October 7, 2010 at 12:36 am |
    • Jessy

      @ HeisGod – You're right, we can bring others to Christ, but it will have to be under their own free will. I have my doubts that Christ would ever accept a new follower being forced into the faith simply because we threatened hellfire and damnation if they don't join the following.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:38 am |
    • Frogist

      @FedUp: The people advocating the separation of church and state are not atheists all. They are reasonable people who care about the principles of freedom and coexistence that our forefathers emphasised. The Christian God should not be sanctioned by our govt exclusively since we are not a Christian nation. And I would advise you to be grateful and gracious that we are not a religion-run state. Or you might just have to be commanded to follow baptist or catholic or mormon rule or some other flavor of christianity that you don't like. Because you may not have noticed, but there are a lot of Christians out there who are convinced that you are not a true christian either. So be careful what you wish for because you might not be the kind of Christian that would come to power in that situation.

      October 7, 2010 at 9:46 am |
    • table

      Truth will show people to follower the right road. Wisdom will teach you the difference between right and wrong. If no will show you the right direction it will be too late for you. Knowledge keeps a person from doing that which is wrong and makes the basic wisdom simple to understand.

      October 10, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  20. peace2all

    While I don't not agree with the Alliance Defense Fund, nor Exodus International in their faith and their policies and actions, I want to give 'credit' to Exodus Int'l for standing up and doing the right thing to help stop bigotry and hatred against people that are not like them, whether they are based on so-called biblical principles or not.

    Congratulations ,...Exodus... and thank you for being one of the first to take a stand against hate... and making a move towards tolerance, acceptance and peace.


    October 6, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
    • YBP

      By using the word 'so-called,' your comment is a bit back-handed and disingenuous. But I totally agree with you.

      October 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
    • peace2all


      Thank you....! I don't believe in the bible and I believe that I was very 'explicit' up-front and clear in my statements. I am not being disingenuous at all.... I don't care for christianity and its bible... and I am extremely happy that this group took a stand against bigotry, intolerance and hatred.

      Again, while I don't believe in their bible....I have no hate for them. I congratulate them again for stepping up and doing the right thing.


      October 6, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
    • Carla

      I agree. Although I do not worship their God, I do applaude their efforts to "do the right thing"

      October 6, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
    • Jimmy

      This is a good post which I completely agree with. Your "so-called" was not at all backhanded or disingenuous. Congratulations on a positive post.

      October 6, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
    • greenbird

      as a Christian, I applaud Exodus. their spokesman described true Christianity very succinctly in his statement at the beginning of this article.

      for real Christians, tolerance and unconditional LOVE are *key*, imperative.

      not acceptance of sins, but acceptance of people as human beings, who God loves, despite their troubles, sins, and compulsions.

      October 6, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
    • greenbird

      to correct myself: their president*, not their spokesman.

      October 6, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
    • phishman

      I thought you were supposed to turn the other cheek Leslie. Did Jesus say "screw people that offend you?"

      October 6, 2010 at 8:08 pm |
    • phishman

      What is "normalicy"? I don't think you are a normal person at all, but rather a bigoted idiot that believes in what some ancient person who didn't even know that germs existed wrote on a tablet.

      October 6, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
    • Michael

      Well said...

      October 6, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
    • BobN

      Exodus is among the last, but still it's good they came around on one issue.

      October 6, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
    • do.me.2.times

      Gotta give them credit for changing their evil ways.....

      October 6, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
    • Deedubya

      Is doing less of the wrong thing really the same as doing the right thing?

      October 6, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
    • Lisa

      Doing less of a wrong thing doesn't make it right but kudos for taking a tiny step in the right direction for a change. We can hope they will learn tolerance over time and that this is a baby step.

      October 6, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
    • aatami

      Give them credit all you want but they are still a bunch of lame brains who are destined for the same place in history that the dinosaurs now inhabit.

      October 6, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
    • Jude

      A Christian group is finally doing something in line with the spirit behind their teachings?!?!?! THE WORLD IS ABOUT TO END!!!

      But in all sincerity, it's nice to see.

      October 6, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
    • hal9thou

      Christianity is coming to an end, slowly but surely.

      October 6, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
    • Jon

      Applauding Exodus Int'l for "doing the right thing to help stop bigotry and hatred against people that are not like them..." Now if only GLSEN and CODE PINK and all those other gay advocacy groups would follow this example!

      But of course it isn't "DIVISIVE" to try and sneak books like "I HAVE TWO MOMMIES" into grade school reading curriculum. No, that is called TOLERANCE. That isn't narrow-minded or close-minded to other viewpoints at all.

      October 6, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
    • James

      Whoa, Leslie! A rather vitriolic response from someone who, well, you know... Just to set the record straight, you do not speak for all Christians. I am a Christian, and I agree with peace2all's use of the phrase "so-called biblical principals." Not all Christians use literal interpretations of the Bible to condemn gay people. I'm sure you're aware that if we interpreted the Bible literally, we'd be stoning non-virgin brides and not eating shellfish, among other ridiculous practices.

      October 6, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
    • Sonja

      I am so glad that Exodus is acting with love. I don't understand Leslie's idea that every time a non-Christian disagrees with a Christian position, that it is bashing Christianity. If that were true, then every time a Christian asserted that their god was the best of the religions, or even that their god exists, it would be bashing non Christians and atheists. If you count the 100s of times a day the non Christians and atheists are confronted with signals that a Christian god is the best o that a god exists (think driving by churches, billboards, posters, advertisements, church flyers in their mailboxes, mandatory Pledge for children, God Bless America on the radio, Christmas hymns on shop Muzak, school holidays built around Christmas and Good Friday, etc. etc.) and then compare that to the 2-3 times a day that most Christians might even notice that non Christians exist, the count gets high. But this is ridiculous, of course. An atheist saying a god does not exist or that the god-directed murders of hundreds of thousands of people in the Old Testament might (gasp!) be a little much for a loving god should be no more offensive to a Christian than a Christian's assertion that god exists is to an atheist, I think Leslie may have be too thin skinned to have survived in the times when Christians were actually persecuted, rather than when Christians have been the perpetrators of crimes against Jews, against Christian sects with which they disagreed, etc.

      October 6, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
    • Emma the Grey


      October 7, 2010 at 12:46 am |
    • Sense

      This debate really puts the shoe on the other foot. The people supporting gays that have been marginalized are "bashing" Christians. You can't condemn hate and use it as your weapon in this conversation. It is not hateful however to stand for your beliefs in opposition to what you believe is wrong. True, "he who is without sin can cast the 1st stone," but why can't you put up a shield when gay propoganda is penetrating schools, the media, and our reality with what most faiths disagree with. Its unfortunate that this convo can't be had without ppl calling others "bigots" or others telling gays to "go to hell." Am I wrong? Do you not correct your family if you believe they've done wrong? We can disagree with the promotion of a gay lifestyle while still loving gays as human beings.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:19 am |
    • Clark1b

      will you show tolerance when Christians continue to speak out against things they believe will hurt people with eternal consequences .... or will you always portray their words and actions as hate filled?

      October 7, 2010 at 1:38 am |
    • Jeshua Christos

      so blind, you will all walk of the end of creation and never know your true saviours. you are blind to the salvation that is happening to you and will rush to your next destruction.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:46 am |
    • Christine

      It's the hypocrisy of religion that pushed me away from it years ago. How can one love thy brother while at the same time hate them so vehemently. How can I believe in a loving God that espouses such hate for people.

      As long as I see such hate coming from the religious community I will never be on their side. I will stand as far away from them as possible so as I will not be contaminated with their vile.

      Love thy brother...yes I will and "God" has nothing to do with it.

      October 7, 2010 at 7:21 am |
    • nyeddie0715

      Good Lord , when oh when, are all these religous fanatics that want to impose their beliefs on all who disagree with them , going to learn that the bible is a fairy tale . And NO , there is NO proof that Jesus existed . Just think what a world this could have been if it wasnt for the existence of religion . It has done nothing but cause war , violence and haterd since its origins I wonder how many so called "christians "realize that the bible story is based the exact same story told in China more than 5000 years before the existance of "their story ". Although , there is one line in the bible that should be the law of the world . "Love thy neighbor as thy self " Its doesnt say , gay , or black , or asian or , female or , muslim , or .... etc , etc . Just NEIGHBOR . Wake up folks !

      October 7, 2010 at 7:37 am |
    • Natabby

      Why is it "hatred" and "bigotry" if someone opposes this lifestyle and their belief is based on Chritian principles??? I think people that use these words do so because they have nothing intelligent to articulate. It's the equivalent of always using the race card when someone oppseses a particular person or act by that person.

      October 7, 2010 at 7:37 am |
    • Marc

      I tip my hat to a progressive organization that sees errors in their ways and makes steps to correct these things. Good job Exodus. I am not in agreement with their stance but can respect their decision to bow out of something so very damaging to others that creates division amongst people by only pointing out the differences and not the things we share in common with one another. As for the Focus on the Family stuff. Dr. Dobson has and always will be one of those folks who lacks compassion for the human plight all the while telling you that his rhetoric is "out of love for humanity". Well, Dr. Dobson, Jesus did that and he did point out the errancy in peoples lives and the sin they commit...but, I think Jesus a far cry from you and your group. This quote- "In contrast to the whole idea of 'silence,' Day of Truth has encouraged students to exercise their free speech rights and have an open dialogue while respectfully listening to others," is complete nonsense. As an ex-christian who never developed good interactive listening skills especially when I was convinced I was "Right" in my mind does not breed open listening. I think all these statements do is gloss over what is very real in society today....fear that leads to judgment then hatred for what isn't familiar or different. Let's revisit this issue when both sides can sit unemotionally and exchange opinions and ideas. I am thinking this will never happen.

      October 7, 2010 at 7:59 am |
    • Jon O

      How can "so-called" be anything but deserved? It calls out the prevalent and blatant hypocrisy.

      The only time this would be anything but warranted would be if I could look around and see the majority of Christians representing the compassion, peace and love Jesus Christ – and that's not the case.

      October 7, 2010 at 8:26 am |
    • whodacares

      I can't applaud or be happy with these people at all. They're still promoting isolation and hate against gays, and will never change. Haven't they done enough damage already? I have no idea what moron came up with protest one single day where the lgbt gets to honor those in the community that have dealt with so much hate and aggression. The day is something our entire society should honor, no matter religious affiliation or not. Did they really think that they were going to magically "convert" the deviants to religion? Don't they realize their organization still promotes hate every day?? We know how well their conversion really works, by allowing people of the LGBT community feel more ashamed and promoting the self-hate that leads to further suicides. Can't they all just let us have one single day? Then again, CNN didn't even mention what day it was.

      October 7, 2010 at 8:30 am |
    • dparkernc

      Well said. This is a huge step toward stopping the hate.

      October 7, 2010 at 9:02 am |
    • Frogist

      @Sonja: I agree completely! Thank you for laying it out so accurately!

      October 7, 2010 at 9:31 am |
    • Frogist

      @Sense: What is the "promotion of a gay lifestyle"? They are asking not to be bullied or met with violence or intolerance for who they are. It's not like they're recruiting. Which is the opposite of why Christians preach their ridiculously false anti-gay agenda. Christians preach to recruit which is much more invasive than asking for tolerance.
      @natabby: "Why is it "hatred" and "bigotry" if someone opposes this lifestyle and their belief is based on Chritian principles???" Whether your belief is Christian or not is irrelevant. From the Merriam-Webster definition of "bigot" – someone "devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (racial or ethnic etc) with hatred and intolerance." So if you promote the intolerance of gays, you are a bigot.
      @whodacares: what day is it?

      October 7, 2010 at 9:32 am |
    • kay ojen

      2 min of the truth

      October 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
    • table

      No, you lack the wisdom to understand knowledge given to you or understand the simple basic wisdom. Because people who understand or comprehend wisdom don't speak as you do about such behavior being supported by a sound minded person. Such action as yours shows you lack the comprehension to understand truth from a lie.

      October 10, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
    • Outsidelknin

      greenbird wrote-

      "for real Christians, tolerance and unconditional LOVE are *key*, imperative. not acceptance of sins, but acceptance of people as human beings, who God loves, despite their troubles, sins, and compulsions."

      What an arrogant statement folded into the name of religion. How big of you. Deal with your own issues and spare others from your "love".

      October 19, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
    • Intolerant Tolerance

      I love how so many responses to this post call for tolerance of their worldview while in the same post being so intolerant of the Christian worldview. We need to educate ourselves on what tolerance means, and not just throw it around like a buzz word. Tolerance does not mean that we all agree. Tolerance is the willingness to tolerate a person's worldview that is different than your own while still treating the person with respect and dignity. What is there to tolerate if we all just agree. But we would rather throw insults at one another than have a careful, respectful and thoughtful dialogue.

      October 19, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.