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January 18th, 2011
07:58 AM ET

Christian B&B owners discriminated against gays, UK court finds

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

A Christian couple who refused a room in their bed and  breakfast to a gay couple broke British equality law, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Peter and Hazel Bull who run a bed and breakfast in Cornwall in western  England denied being anti-gay, saying they refuse double rooms to any unmarried  couple.

"The Bulls made it clear that they did not hold any hostility towards  homosexuals and applied their policy of 'only giving double rooms to married  couples' equally to both homosexual and heterosexual guests alike," the  Christian Legal Centre said in their defense.

But Judge Andrew Rutherford ruled the Bulls had discriminated against  Martyn Hall and Steve Preddy on the ground of sexual orientation and awarded  them 1,800 pounds (about $2,900) each, according to Britain's Equality and  Human Rights Commission, which supported the gay couple.

Hall and Preddy said they were extremely pleased with the outcome.

"When we booked this hotel ... we checked that (it) would allow us to  bring our dog, but it didn't even cross our minds that in 2008 we would have to  check whether we would be welcome ourselves," they said in a statement released by the commission.

They are civil partners, and they said they were "really pleased" that  the ruling confirmed "our civil partnership has the same status in law as a  marriage between a man and a woman, and that regardless of each person's  religious beliefs, no one is above the law."

The ruling was one of the first under a 2007 British law banning  discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, the commission said.

The British gay-rights group Stonewall is "delighted" with the outcome,  its chief executive Ben Summerskill said.

"You can't turn away people from a hotel because they're black or Jewish  and in 2011 you shouldn't be able to demean them by turning them away because  they're gay either," he said, adding: "Religious freedom shouldn't be used as a  cloak for prejudice."

But the director  of the Christian Legal Centre said the court had  "decided to override the freedoms of Mr. and Mrs. Bull.

"Today's judgment is yet further evidence that the so-called 'equality'  legislation, which was intended to protect Christians along with many others in  society, is treating some more equally than others and leaving Christians  marginalized," Andrea Williams of the Legal Centre said.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Faith • Homosexuality • United Kingdom

soundoff (261 Responses)
  1. MM

    Well I suppose all the B&B have to do now is not be a public B&B and then they can make their own laws.

    Gay people are just like Muslims. Constantly pushing their way of life on others who don't agree with them. Everyone have a right to live as they please and no one should want enforce their ways on another person or group of people. It is just down right wrong!

    January 18, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Anna

      Someone is pressuring you to be gay, or Muslim?

      January 18, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @MM
      Don't Christians try to force people into their lifestyle all the time, throughout the religion's entire history?
      What you're espousing is segretation. What of the folk who fall between the cracks?
      Into which ghetto would you put a gay jew?
      Would each ghetto be further subdivided? Slavic caucasians in one building, irish/scottish/english in another, for example?
      Would each sect have the right to make their own laws?

      January 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Amused

      I agree! No One, including B&B owners, should be able to tell you how to believe, live and think! That is WHY DISCRIMINATION is illegal! DUH.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @MM

      Well, I have to agree with -Anna, -Doc, and -Amuzed.

      What is making me crazy here, is where you talk about pushing on others, etc... However, 'everyone' should have the right to live as they please...

      What the heck are ya' talking about...?

      Peace...

      January 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • scott

      or are they pressuring you to be a gay muslim? Again, someone making so little sense they are barely even insulting

      January 19, 2011 at 7:46 am |
  2. John

    I don't think many Christians realize how much their behavior sets back the cause of Christ. Like it or not, Christians serve as role models and the world watches closely.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Anna

      Non-Christian here, but agree. I believe that like all great prophets, Jesus loved and welcomed ALL. The hatred spewed by many so-called Christians is mind-boggling. That said, I believe that love will ultimately prevail. "The arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice." Rev. MLK Jr.

      January 18, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  3. Adrian

    Romans 1
    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Adrian
      It seems that you're implying that you'd like to see a long list of people executed – including sassy children and everybody involved in the military industrial complex(inventors of evil things).
      Well, put your money where your mouth is! Gather up a posse of like minded Christians, grab your pitch forks and torches and go storm the Pentagon. Let us know how that goes.

      January 18, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • CW

      @ Adrian,

      Good post.....it does talk that in Romans....FORGOT THAT THANKS FOR THE WRITTING IT!!!!

      @ DOC,

      PLEASE READ ADRIAN'S POST.....THAT IS WHAT GOD DOES TO THOSE THAT WON'T FOLLOW HIM....PLEASE READ IT. ONCE AGAIN YOU HAVE NO PROOF THAT BEING G-A-Y IS ACCEPTABLE IN THE BIBLE...PERIOD!!!...THANK YOU VERY MUCH

      January 18, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Cuttingtorch

      @Adrian: Don't need proof by your standards. If religion was rational, religion wouldn't exist. The point made was that christians are intolerant so therefore they are treated with intolerance.

      January 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Cuttingtorch

      @CW
      Noone says "god" said it was acceptable. When jesus supposedly showed up, he came to bring the covenant to the people but he didn't preach bigotry. Please stop trying to pick and choose what passages out of the bible you want to "enforce". Let's not forget the "Shrimp Amendment", "Menstruation Amendment" and the "Cloth Amendment". They're all in Leviticus as well but I don't see anyone protesting those. (FYI: Abomination in biblical era meant "unorthodox" not "Oh, My God! Kill It!!!")

      January 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Frog hater

      Adrian, right on. Go brother. Doc hasn't a clue, unfortunantly.

      January 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  4. Hugo

    What the article is somewhat mischievously de-emphasizing is that the couple were offering the service in THEIR OWN HOME, NOT AN EXTERNAL HOTEL/MOTEL.

    What about the religious rights of the house's tenants?

    Can they not make rules as to what is allowed IN THEIR OWN HOME? They didn't ask the gay couple to turn straight. They just don't want all that in their home.

    And that should be a protected right.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Anna

      No, Hugo, they cannot. It's a B & B, open to the public. If they don't want to run a business, they can have whomever they want, or not, over as their personal GUESTS. It's a business, though, and therefore subject to the law.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  5. Reality

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay se-xual activity, unionized are not is still always mutual ma-sturbation caused by one or more complex se-xual defects. Some defects are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell. Of course not all having these abnormal tendencies, show it outwardly. So call it what gay unions what they are. They are not marriages!!!

    So what causes these differences between heter-o-se-xuals and h-omo-o-se-xuals?

    "No simple cause for se-xual orientation has been co-nclusively demonstrated, and there is no scientific co-nsensus as to whether the contributing factors are primarily biological or environmental. Many think both play complex roles.[1][2] The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psy-chological As-sociation have both stated that se-xual orientation probably has multiple causes.[3][4] Research has identified several biological factors which may be related to the development of a heteros-exual, ho-mos-exual or bise-xual orientation. These include genes, prenatal hormones, and brain structure. Conclusive proof of a biological cause of s-exual orientation would have significant political and cultural implications. [5]"

    And this:

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

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

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

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

    January 18, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • scott

      what you just typed makes so little sense it's barely even insulting

      January 19, 2011 at 7:41 am |
    • OldSchool

      Again: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination.(Leviticus 18:22 KJV)

      January 19, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • scott

      what you just said makes so little sense it's barely even insulting

      January 19, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • Reality

      Scott,

      Obviously, you are challenged in the fields of biology and psychology. A definition to help you:

      mutural masturbation:

      Mutual ma-sturbation is a se-xual act where two gay people stimulate themselves se-xually, usually with the hands or s-ex toys.

      January 19, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • QS

      LMFAO!!! You should really not use the name Reality!

      And Oldschool....regardless of how many times you post it, it still means nothing.

      January 19, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  6. Ed

    I don't care if you are Christian, atheist, gay, or just particular. The b-n-b owners have a right to refuse service to anyone at any time for any reason. If you don't like it, don't go there. If enough people don't like it, they'll either change their tune or go out of business.
    The courts should have told these guys to sit down and shut up and left the proprietors alone to operate their business according to their conscience.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Anna

      Uh, Ed...NO they do not have the right to discriminate in violation of the law. That's the whole point. It's the same as keeping out someone who is a different race. It's ILLEGAL.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Phil

      Illegal is a sick bird.......................

      January 18, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Ed

      That may or may not be true. However, when they stated their reasons..."Non-married" couples can't sleep in the same room, it appears, they violated the law, as apparently 'civil unions' are considered = to marriage in England.

      Peace...

      January 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • scott

      They obviously do not have that right. Hence society having the right to outlaw certain forms of discrimination. And this they'll go out of business bullsh&* is just that BS. That's why we've had to have laws about this kind of thing, because the money may have a loud voice, but it speaks with the majority only.

      January 19, 2011 at 7:39 am |
  7. Frank

    To my humble opinion, the hotel owners are right and in this particular instance, the law has got it wrong! yes, you may say no one is above the law but remember, that very law was written by fallible human beings and once again here is were they got it wrong!

    January 18, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Frank

      Hi Frank...

      Curious, as to your humble opinion, ... what do you mean exactly...?

      Peace...

      January 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • claybigsby

      @Fran: Fran said: "...you may say no one is above the law but remember, that very law was written by fallible human beings... "

      Lol its funny you say that fran, considering the bible was also written by fallible human beings.

      January 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • scott

      i hate to break it to you frank but flawed humans have written everyhting that has ever been written on the planet earth with the exception of the cat that wrote that book 'the silent meow' but even that's a little iffy. And if you start thinking about going off about how God inspired that writing you might want to google the question as to how many ludicrous nutjobs on the verge of a massacre wrote things down that they thought came from divinity. It won't scroll off the screen but it's enough to prove my point beyond a reasonable doubt. Inspiration is not authorship.

      January 19, 2011 at 7:36 am |
  8. Rabia Diluvio

    Oh for pity's sake..two gay men are about to be stoned to death in Iran. Not being able to have crumpets and jam at your favorite B&B is not what I would call a hardship.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Anna

      It's not about degree of hardship, it's about equality. Equality means EQUALITY, period.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Rabia Diluvio

      Anna: the policy was applied equally as far as I can tell. They weren't turned away at the door.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Anna

      If Civil Partnership is the equivalent of marriage, they didn't apply the policy equality. They are required by law to treat married and "civilly partnered" people the same. They did not.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • John Dale

      On the contrary Rabia, they were turned away at the door.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Rabia Diluvio

      I'm with -Anna on her assertions on this... and, to use the example of 2 men getting ready to be stoned in Iran, just makes our point. It is about equality, and we need to root out inequality 'anywhere' in the world, whether it is a gay/lesbian couple getting discriminated against, or someone being put to death for being gay.

      All of it is just 'not' or O.K, nor should we tolerate basically any form of it.

      Peace...

      January 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  9. Tyler

    Bravo!!!! If you own a business which is open to the PUBLIC.... You forego your personal beliefs. You can't be racist or discriminatory and Welcome the public.
    Public means: EVERYONE!!!!

    January 18, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Anna

      Good point. If you run a SECULAR business, you must follow the law. Tough noogies if you don't like it.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Frog hater

      How naive. You must be what? 7

      January 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Don

      Nonsense! It's your business; you get to decide whom you want to have patronize it. Eliminate your self-absorbed I-am-special-look-at-me mantra and consider that property rights means property rights. Having a business open to the public does not mean open to everyone. The law can say contrariwise, but the law then violates the rights of the business owners.

      Remember: just because someone has a belief contrary to yours doesn't mean you get to force them to do with their property what you want them to do. You're no better than they are if you try. In fact: you're worse.

      January 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  10. JenS

    Just to add a bit more info to this story (I live in the UK), the owners would have offered them two single rooms – just as they would have offered two single rooms to an unmarried man and woman. They weren't denying them a room or blocking them at the door. They simply told them that they could not stay in a room together.

    Also, the week before this incident took place, the gay rights group Stonewall called the hotel to warn the owners about the new Equality laws. The hotel owners then testified that the man booking the room a week later asked for a room for himself and a "Mrs." The whole thing sounds like a set-up. The judge agreed, in part, and ruled that the hotel owners can appeal the decision.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • conradshull

      Thanks for the added information, information surely known to the CNN reporter, but deliberately left out for ideological reasons. CNN pulls this crap all the time, so does FOX. I'm not sure if there is any news source these days that doesn't. Sigh.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Anna

      Well Jen, the point is, I think, that they ARE married, if in fact Civil Partnership is equivalent to marriage. It either is, or it isn't. If it is, what they did was discriminatory. If it's not, I disagree with their actions morally, but not legally.

      Who cares if it's a "set-up?" The law is the law. "Set-ups" happen all the time, to test laws.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Anna

      Well said. Agreed.

      Peace...

      January 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • val

      Jen, the judge has dismissed the set-up theory (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8266422/Gay-couple-awarded-damages-judge-denies-allegations-the-Christian-hotel-owners-were-set-up.html)

      January 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • scott

      @ anna.. good f*(&ing point.

      January 19, 2011 at 7:32 am |
  11. Ce

    While I believe there is some kind of higher power, I don't believe the torah, bible or quran are more than a guide for life based upon the societal views of the time period in which they were written. They are not the word of God for they were written by men who were fallible and could've very well lied about their experiences in life.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Ce

      Very good observation. I agree with you. However, being an 'agnostic' in order for me to be intellectually honest, I need to keep open the possibility that what the Christians, etc... say... 'may' be true. Posssible, yes...?

      Now, the 'probability' factor on the other hand... that is a totally different matter.

      Peace...

      January 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  12. conradshull

    Bet if the B&B couple had been Muslim, the ruling would have gone the other way.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Rabia Diluvio

      agreed

      January 18, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Anna

      Why? The same reasoning applies. Are you contending that the ruling is "Christian bashing?"

      January 18, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • John Dale

      Fatwa-envy is always so endearing in a Xtian.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @conradshull

      Why is that -conrad...? Discrimination is discrimination in that sense. Unless, you know of some law in England that makes it O.K to 'not' allow Muslim's to stay in B & B's...?

      Yeah, i'm also with @Anna here, in that you 'seem' to be asserting or inferring 'Christian bashing' for lack of a better term coming to my mind at the moment.

      Peace...

      January 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • conradshull

      Very wrong Peace2All. My point is that the "moral sensibilities" of religious Muslims would probably be given more consideration than those of Christians. You can infer any reasons you like for that. I'm with the majority here that believes that if the couple, any couple, is open for business, private home or not, they must live by the law of the land.

      January 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @conradshull

      O.K...I am always open to being wrong. And it seems that, not only me, but several of us posting under your original post, are 'not getting your point.'

      I'm still not sure that I am now, even after your reply above.

      You Said: My point is that the "moral sensibilities" of Muslims would be given more consideration than those of Christians."

      That is mere speculation and unproven 'opinion' on your part. You 'may' be correct, but you are making the claim, so I would love to see your references to cite your opinions as fact. And, maybe even a better question is... what the heck do you mean...?

      And... isn't one of the main arguments here from the Bible believers 'is' that the gay's are being given more consideration over the Christians here in this article...?

      Please help, -Conrad... we are all interested to know, where we are misunderstanding your 'point.'

      Curious in California...

      Peace...

      January 19, 2011 at 2:57 am |
    • scott

      and if they werwe muslim the ruling would've been different? Well folks, we found another troll!!

      January 19, 2011 at 7:30 am |
  13. cjane1953

    All of this bible-based Christian judgment makes me sick. Who gave you this right? Certainly not Christ.

    Full disclosure: I'm not religious, but I am a Christian. I have two sons who are equally successful but in very different careers. My oldest son loves living in the country; his younger brother prefers city life. My youngest son could eat sushi every night, but his older brother hates the stuff. My oldest son prefers jeans and t-shirts afterhours; his younger brother could live in his scrubs. Both boys love dogs and don't care much for cats.

    One of my sons happens to be gay. Which one?

    January 18, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Peace2All

      @cjane1953

      You Said: "Full disclosure... I am 'not' religious, but I am a Christian."

      What do you mean exactly with that one...?

      As for the rest of your post, I am presuming that you are not in step with a lot of the bigotry and discrimination that flows from the bible and threw the actions of a lot of Christians...?

      Peace...

      January 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  14. Randy

    Nothing has really been proven here. Some money was awarded but that is a shallow victory, it does not change the fundamental beliefs of anyone involved. In fact, for many, this award only reinforces some of the characteristics that are applied to gays by non-gays. The Bull's did nothing wrong. They held to their beliefs and principles, what's the big deal? They didn't insult anyone, didn't hurt anyone and didn't try to push their beliefs onto anyone. To answer the sarcastic "Aren't Christians lovely people" comment, they are as lovely as everyone else is.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Carlos Marin

      Of course they did something wrong. They discriminated against a gay couple. They had a lame excuse but fortunately, the judge didn't buy it.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Randy

      You Said: "What's the big deal...? They didn't insult anyone, etc..."

      Really, so much for your bigotry discrimination radar. The big deal is... that gays are one of the few often marginalized and demonized people in our society, who are not allowed equal rights... and often are not considered humans by (some-maybe even a lot of Christians... oh.. and the Muslim's too.).

      That is just one of the reasons why it 'is' a big deal.

      Peace...

      January 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • OldSchool

      Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination.(Leviticus 18:22 KJV)

      January 19, 2011 at 7:31 am |
    • Ken

      "gays are one of the few often marginalized and demonized people in our society, who are not allowed equal rights.." Your comment would indicate that they should have equal rights. But you fail or ignore that this is an abnormality or disorder. With your reasoning, you would also want to offer pedophiles equal rights because that is how they are? Or alcoholics should be allowed to drink themselves to death since it is their right? Think it though instead of falling for the current line of PC Bu!!sh!t that makes it acceptable.

      January 19, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Ken

      You Said to me: "Your comment would indicate that they (should) have equal rights."

      Yes, that is correct... they absolutely should.

      You Said: "But you fail or ignore that this is an abnormality or disorder. With your reasoning, you would also want to offer pedophiles equal rights because that is how they are?"

      No, I want pedophiles and murderers to be incarcerated, as they hurt little children and other people. This is undeniable.

      As for gays and lesbians, well, the A.M.A.,(American Medical Association) the A.P.A, (American Psychological Association)(American Psychiatry Association) etc... and many, many other medical and mental health organizations and groups ... have concluded being gay/lesbian. etc... it is not a 'disorder' nor is it wrong nor harmful. Nor, needs to be... 'treated' as if it is a 'disease' or something. Interesting... the ones that see it as a disorder...? Typically the religious, i.e... Christians, Muslims, etc... What a shocker !

      But where you really seem to blatantly fail here -Ken, is you are assuming that... gay/lesbian = murderers, pedophiles, etc... yes...? Wow...! The insanity of your statement says it all.

      These are people living their lives, causing 'no' tangible nor provable harm to themselves, nor anyone else(like the murderers and pedophiles). Yes, of course there are some 'bad' gay/lesbians, just like there are 'bad' straight people, correct...?

      There was a time when 'blacks' were absolutely considered to be less than... not of God, nor worthy of 'equal rights' as they were 'animals'...not humans. And were treated like less thans... or animals !

      And, our world has and hopefully will continue to as-sert equal rights for different races... and different genders, and of course... different se-xual orientations.

      -Ken, to 'try' and equate and put differing se-xual orientations on the same level of ...pedophiles, or murderers(who these individuals cause 'direct' 'tangible' and 'verifiable' damage and harm to others), is just plain ignorant, and from your posting, with no other context to go on about you(other than your post), that you are a 'bigot,'... of the absolute worse kind.

      And that is partly what this article is about... bigotry and discrimination.

      So, unless you can bring me hard data and facts that gays and lesbians somehow deserve to be treated as less than human or they should be put in the same category of murderers and pedophiles, etc... Then, I'm going to have to conclude that you are absolutely wrong, and... blindly so.

      Peace...

      January 20, 2011 at 3:41 am |
  15. frink

    At first god created the universe in 7 days.
    Then he killed everyone but Noahs family in 40 days.
    Then he had to have his favorite son brutally murdered, so he could forgive our sins.
    Now he only shows up in tortillas, tree trunks, and stains on overpasses.
    "God" seems to be losing his touch. Alzheimers?

    January 18, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  16. Jezmundberserker

    I'm as liberal as a person could be. I once tried to check into a hotel with my girlfriend and was not allowed to do so due to a similar rule they had (i.e. no unmarried couples). I don't see much discrimination here although the fact that the owners were defended by the Christian Legal Centre is kind of odd. I think they applied their own admission policy correctly. What I found strange is that these morons used this case to get some cash instead of using it to push for full marriage rights (as in, "hey, we would have been admitted to this B&B had we had the chance to legally marry.")

    January 18, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • claybigsby

      "They are civil partners, and they said they were "really pleased" that the ruling confirmed "our civil partnership has the same status in law as a marriage between a man and a woman, and that regardless of each person's religious beliefs, no one is above the law."

      In England, civil partnership has the same status as marriage. obviously reading comprehension is not a strong suit of yours.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • pattikerr

      I wanted to point out that Civil Partnership is the equivalent of marriage in the UK for gays but Claybigsby beat me to it. The couple didn't sue for money that was awarded by the court. The hotel was run as a business with all relevant tax benefits so they can't argue its their home to try to avoid the anti discrimination laws that exist in the UK. If they want to apply their deep felt christian principles at home fine but they can't under the law apply it in their business.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • mkjp

      I guess the problem really becomes that since gay couples cannot be legally married, no gay couple could ever stay in this B&B. Not because they have not opted to get married, but because they legally cannot. So by this couple not recognizing the civil partnership as essentially a marriage, they are extending the bias of the no marriage law to their business. No gay couple would every be able to stay there by virtue of being gay. When brought to the lowest common denominator, it is discrimination. But that doesn't mean the couple intentionally discriminated against these men because they are gay.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  17. Phil

    If God really wanted to prove beyond a doubt then he would end all pain,poverty and wrongs in the world. Instead "he" sits back and says its all "freewill". If ever there was proof of a non existent God, there is your answer

    January 18, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Steve

      Phil . . . I understand where you might have that view of God. My feeling is that if God solved all pain, poverty and wrongs in the world then we would be nothing more than puppets no a string being manipulated. God's desire is for us to choose Him, just like in any other relationship that we have on earth. It is a choice to develop a personal relationship with someone. The same with God. Believing in God doesn't take all the ills of the world away but it does give you comfort in knowing that you will have eternal life with a God. It is sin that gets us into trouble. The person who drinks too much and kills someone while driving didn't single out the person that he killed. It was his sin that caused the problem and yes, innocent people get hurt and even die. In my opinion God does exist . . . just by observing nature is a wonder in itself . . . how can that just happen. When you look at a wrist watch, don't you just know that someone had to design it? All the parts just couldn't manufacture themselves and then through some mystery find themselves all together and start keeping track of time. Bless you . .

      January 18, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Steve,
      "God's desire is for us to choose Him, just like in any other relationship that we have on earth. "
      Other relationships are not coerced by the threat of eternal pain and torture.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Phil

      The whole country threw God out of the picture – you don't him in our schools, not on our money, not in our courts. Now suffer for he has plans for.

      January 18, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Steve

      At least in this post you seem to come across more that your assertions, are not necessarily facts... but 'what you feel' or 'what you believe.' Your belief in 'creationism' a.k.a...'watch maker=must be a designer' is one of the oldest arguments around.

      No problem with your beliefs, as long as you don't try to push them into law, schools, government, stem cell research, or deny people(such as gays) equal rights.

      Peace...

      January 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • John

      Hey Steve,
      What about the young innocent children who die of cancer? What "sin" are they dying for? I respect your decision to believe what you believe, but my problem is that in my experiences, it's the religious folks that cause the most hatred, anger, mistrust, etc.
      In this particular case, I cannot imagine why two "Christians" feel it is better to insult and discriminate against two strangers in the name of their belief system, than to just be "Good Christians" and welcome them, as any other, into their establishment!? Why treat them as you may treat criminals? Funny thing is, these "Christians" WOULD sooner be nicer to a life-long criminal, if the criminal "found God". To me, this is backwards and absurd. No disrespect.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Marina

      @Nomimus: There is no evidence of a "hell" in the Bible as depicted by most Christain churches today.

      Those that are not known by God (Jesus) will be thrown into a fire and destroyed. Not tortured forever, destroyed, dead forever. And don't quote that the "smoke will rise forever" scripture because it says the same thing about Sodom. This is a symbolic smoke, in that it will never be forgotten...not that they will be tortured forever.
      The idea of an eternal hell contradicts all of the characterics of a loving God that we see in the Bible.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Marina,
      I'm not a biblical scholar but Christians in general seem to state quite often that those who don't believe will burn for eternity and a quick search seems, to me, to back that up.

      "In Hades, where he was in torment...." Luke 16:23 (Hell, Hades, whichever...)
      "...others to shame and everlasting contempt." Daniel 12:2
      "'Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.'" Matthew 25:46
      "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him." John 3:36

      January 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Marina,
      "The idea of an eternal hell contradicts all of the characterics of a loving God that we see in the Bible."
      The idea of a loving God contradicts the characteristics of the God that we see in the Bible.

      January 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      John,

      Atheists believe in no God! Yet children still die of cancer. Sadly dying is what humans do! That would include the little ones. God Never said He would spare us from pain! He did say He would be with us throught it!

      January 18, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Marina

      You Said: "Those that are not known by God (Jesus) will be thrown into a fire and destroyed. Not tortured forever, destroyed, dead forever. The idea of an eternal hell contradicts all of the characterics of a loving God that we see in the Bible."

      So, ....I should be glad that this loving God, beyond measure will basically, destroy me...forever, or in other words, put me out of my misery, so I don't have to suffer eternal damnation forever, just because I didn't 'believe' in him.

      Gosh, I have seen the light... you're right, He is an amazingly incredible loving God. How in the heck did I miss those 'characteristics of this loving God that we see in the bible'...?

      Peace...

      January 19, 2011 at 2:39 am |
  18. NKP

    Not sure why Gay discussions have to do with God. Thats why ancient Hindu and Vaishnav religions are so advanced. We believe that the goal of life is to serve god. No matter what "material" body you are in.. black, white, straight, gay, american, indian, tall, short, christian, muslim.. does not matter. Just love god and serve him, chant his names.

    The simple answer to why some one is born as prince william and someone is dying in somalia is "karma" and "reincarnation".. Its logical to think that the child does not know where he or she is when its in the womb.. something might have happened before..

    The vaishnav philosophy (Bhagvad Gita) explains that we are not the body .. the body dies.. but we are the soul.. which is eternal and based on our Karmas and past deeds we get certain bodies.. like humans or animals and the goal of life is to get out of this cycle of birth, death, disease and old age..

    January 18, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • azblam

      Wrong!!
      There is only ONE way. Jesus.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Keith

      That is what Christianity used to teach before the Calvinist and Fundamentalist got hold of the religion.

      A fundamentalist of any sort is dangerous. You have them in your religion too.

      Peace

      January 18, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • Thomas

      Azblam,

      And this is why you will never learn.

      You need to recognize the difference between what you choose to believe and what others choose to believe. Naturally, you would feel that your belief is the "right one". That is only human nature. But more mature thinkers can think outside their own beliefs and accept that others may not agree with what you, strongly, believe is "right".

      January 18, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Peace2All

      @azblam

      ...according to you, based on your 'beliefs' which are not necessarily facts.

      Peace...

      January 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Scott

      Azblam, and before Jesus there was........?

      January 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Sam

      @Scott

      And before Jesus there was... NOTHING!

      "In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made...The (same) Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." – John 1,3,14

      January 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  19. David Johnson

    Question for my fundies:

    God cares about humans and answers their prayers. Yes?

    Why are there so many starving people in the world?

    Why would god be worried about you getting that promotion etc. while at the same time, ignoring the starving, dying people's prayers?

    God wants these children to suffer and die, for some mysterious reason?

    The starvation is man's fault, for not sharing the world's abundance. It is because god gave humans freewill?

    January 18, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • qazqazqaz

      David Johnson wrote: "Why are there so many starving people in the world?"

      I don't believe in G*d, but my friends who do have often answered that question thus: "When you are walking with your father and you fall, was it his will you fell? Did he cause you to fall?" Makes sense to me.

      My answer is G*d or no, we are endowed with free will and those of us who bring children into the world without the potential for feeding/housing/clothing or providing health care for them are the reason there are so many hungry in the world. Do we not remove the shoots from our azaleas rather than let them grow indiscriminately?

      January 18, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Nonimus

      My father didn't create the ground and gravity as God is supposed to have done. He didn't create a universe where pain and suffering are not just possible, but unavoidable, as God is supposed to have done.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Steve

      The reason there are starving people in the world? It is because we haven't distributed the food properly. There IS enough food but developed nations such as the US, Canada, Western Europe haven't made the surpluses available to those in need.

      God does not WANT people to starve and die but there is sin in the world and sin leads to death. Sometimes not directly. If God came in and made everything right then we wouldn't have free will to chose Him. God's love, grace and mercy are free. Decide to follow Him and acknowledge that He is Lord and Savoir and you will have eternal life. Choosing Him doesn't mean your life on earth becomes perfect without problems. It is having the assurance of eternal life that is calming. Knowing that He IS in control and Sovereign gives me peace. I hope this helps.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • azblam

      The answers to your questions are in the bible.
      Evidently you haven't read it.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Johnnyb52

      "God wants these children to suffer and die, for some mysterious reason?" Seriously?
      The problem seems to be most people just don't know God. God feeds the whole world, yet, when he warns us over and over that we need to so our part because of evil in the hearts of some greedy people who take , our world is corrupt. We need to step up and fill the gap made by greedy people and leaders who refuse to feed and take care of their own people. God has already proven himself countless. The pain and suffering will end with Christ, believe it or not, I suggest believe.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • LJ

      It's called greed. It's funny that many Christians will point to that but do nothing about it. Christians have to take the same blame as the greedy. Look at the elaborate churches that are built while there are still homeless sitting outside them. If Christians truly wanted to help the starving they would stop supporting their pastors and start putting the money into systems that get the food to where it needs to go. Christians can continue to point the finger at others but the bottom line is they are just as guilty. I am always amazed that people will support a pastor that lives in a million dollar home, pay thousands of dollars to send their children to private Christian schools without realizing they are part of the problem. Greed as crept into everyone’s hearts which is why our world is being exploited, animals are being driven to extinction and many Christians sit idly by surrounded by their TV’s, smartphones, Xboxes, over sized homes pointing their fingers at Wall Street. It’s time to realize you are part of the problem too.

      January 18, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Dave

      You have fundies?

      January 18, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Steve

      Mere speculation based off what you 'believe' to be what God does or does not do or desire.

      Peace...

      January 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • David Johnson

      It appears all your answers are based on my two suppositions. Let's look at them:

      1) God wants these children to suffer and die, for some mysterious reason.

      Original sin causes this suffering? Oddly, the suffering is felt most in poor nations. Wouldn't an all good god, spread the hurt around more? If an all good god exists, I mean.

      God did not create sickness of people and crops? God does not allow/cause floods, earthquakes and other hurtful events?

      Humans did not create this suffering. God did. If He exists. Or they are natural occurrences and have no root in god.

      These people are praying to the wrong god. Only Jesus can feed the mult_itude.

      So, I guess no Christian ever died of starvation, having asked god for a sandwich? Pfui!

      2) The starvation is man's fault, for not sharing the world's abundance. It is because god gave humans freewill.

      But I ask, where is the starving people's free will? Did they choose to starve? Free will appears to be most abundant in the strong. Why is that? Why isn't everyone allowed to choose?

      Why is there so much pain and suffering in the world, if god is all good and all powerful?

      It would appear, that god is evil, or he does not exist.

      Cheers!

      January 18, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      The basic question is this: What does God respond to? The answer is not need but fiath!
      2. Is there a human cause behind this? A greedy government official or even group of them, perhaps? I would think so. Sometimes the innocent get hurt based upon what other humans do! Stop blaming God
      3. Human suffering is the opportunity to mobilize and help OR you can just blame God!
      4. Last time I checked blaming God fed no one, clothed no one, taught no one!
      5. Understand a ton of charities in the country are CHRISTIAN BASED and are serving! te needy and NOT just talking about it or assigning blame!

      January 18, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Enoch

      Because the Boss of this world we live in is Satan

      January 18, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
  20. David Johnson

    Aren't Christians lovely people? LOL

    January 18, 2011 at 8:30 am |
    • Mike Mazzla

      So welcoming lol

      January 18, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • Johnnyb52

      True Christians are.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • Scott

      No, for the most part, they're not.

      January 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Frog hater

      Yes we are.... When everyone is jumping off the bridge, will you be one of the first in line? Don't you know when you are being forced to accept an agenda, but if we tried that......

      January 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Diana Lake

      As a Christian, I do not agree with the B&B owners who turned away a gay couple. I do not think we have the right to dictate to anyone else what their behaviour should be. God gives us free will, so who are we to think we can expect people who don't share our point of view to conform to it. If people ask me my views on subjects I am not afraid to say my morality is based on the Bible, but if someone else doesn't base their's on Biblical principles then we are bound to have different standards. If this couple don't want to be confronted with other people's behaviour they don't approve of, then perhaps they are in the wrong business.

      January 19, 2011 at 5:21 am |
    • joe

      gays sound wonderful. force their way into your house, demand service and then make you pay $2000. Im atheist but Im sorry I dont hate christians enough to pay these sorts of people on the back

      January 19, 2011 at 5:49 am |
    • Doug

      Not so much !

      January 19, 2011 at 6:04 am |
    • Doug

      And to the moron who actually thinks calling my love for my partner "behavior" get some lessons in life, since your mother never taught you anything I will.. Are you serious, do you really think you are hip by calling a gay coupe "behavior" ? Omg, you bigoted pig !

      January 19, 2011 at 6:08 am |
    • Simple Analysis

      The simple fact that "each" were awarded $2,900, separately and individually, punctuates the fact the the court doesn't quite see them as a couple either! Note Mr. and Mrs. Bull have to pay jointly to each of them separately.

      The undertone whether intentional or not is actually pretty interesting.

      January 19, 2011 at 7:04 am |
    • Paolo

      Christianity is the biggest lie ever told. Most Christians are just sheep with no mind of their own. I fear them.

      January 19, 2011 at 7:52 am |
    • chris

      @Paolo, don't fear us sheep, fear the Shepherd who is coming to judge the world.

      January 19, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • Meh

      I fear only Santa.

      January 20, 2011 at 3:09 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.