High Court rejects pastor's ballot initiative to overturn same-sex marriage
January 18th, 2011
02:02 PM ET

High Court rejects pastor's ballot initiative to overturn same-sex marriage

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

The United States Supreme Court denied an appeal Tuesday from Bishop Harry Jackson to hold a ballot initiative in the District of Columbia that would, if approved, have overturned the District's same-sex marriage policy.

In May 2009, the city council approved a measure that amended the city's marriage act and said the city would recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.

Jackson and other religious leaders challenged the city on the measure saying the matter should be put to District voters in a ballot initiative. There initiative wanted to amend the law to say, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid in the District of Columbia." If that initiative had passed it would have effectively overturned the city's legal recognition of gay marriage.

The DC Board of Elections denied the request for a ballot initiative saying it would violate the city's 1973 Human Right Act, which prevents discriminatory ballot initiatives. They said the proposed ballot initiative would be discriminatory to gay and lesbian citizens.

Then in March 2010, the District passed the Marriage Equality Act which expanded the city's definition of marriage to say, "Any person may enter into marriage in the District of Columbia with another person, regardless of gender, unless the marriage is expressly prohibited by law."

Jackson and others challenged the Board of Elections in court over the denied ballot initiative.

Jackson is the pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, but has residency in the District. He joined with a number of other DC residents on the case but was the lead plaintiff in Jackson v District of Columbia Board of Elections.

In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a 5-4 ruling saying the DC Board of Elections acted lawfully in denying the initiative and the Human Rights Acts was also legally valid.

It was that ruling Jackson and others had appealed to the Supreme Court. The court was silent in issuing it's ruling. It only listed Jackson's case among many others as "Certiorari Denied," meaning the justices would not hear arguments on the case and the ruling of the lower court would stand.

DC based Human Rights Campaign, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered civil rights group, lauded the court's decision. HRC President Joe Solmonese said in a statement, "The DC Council and Mayor courageously made marriage equality a reality last year, and the courts have since upheld the rights of DC residents to govern ourselves and take the necessary steps to eliminate discrimination in our community."

"We knew this direction was a long shot," Bishop Jackson told CNN of the legal route to the Supreme Court. "The answer now is for us, return to the political process. All is not lost at the Supreme Court level, in that there still will no doubt be a case from Massachusetts or California that will reach the Supreme Court and get some direction on the issue of marriage."

Jackson pointed out there are several cases moving through the legal system that deal with those states' definition of marriage as well.

Jackson said legally his supporters move into the position of wait and see. "I'm confident that Massachusetts or California will eventually wind up in the Supreme Court and there, this thing will have another kind of viewing. [The court] may have been saying we're not going to let your DC case be the defining issue on who can and can't be married," he said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Courts • DC • Gay marriage • Pastors • United States

soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. Ron

    It is not necessary to write paragraphs on this issue. The 1st amendment allows the religious to have their beliefs, but note it does not require the government to impose those beliefs on others. The 14th amendment provides equal protection, even when the majority's opinion is based solely on the their biblical interpretation.

    January 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • dolores cordell

      The reason the radical right wing wants to modify those Amendments.

      January 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  2. Daniel

    It is a crying shame, in this week when we honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to see that black churches, which were the backbone of the Civil Rights movement, have turned about to lead the fight to deprive others of their civil rights. And it is a scandal that the LGBT community, which is overwhelmingly opposed to racial discrimination, meets with this kind of slap in the face from those with whom they wish only to make common cause. Discrimination is wrong. End of discussion.

    January 18, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • dolores cordell

      Particularly shameful in view of the fact that one of the earliest and most courageous fighters for civil rights was Bayard Rustin – who was gay.

      January 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  3. Eric G.

    How do you know your god is man-made? Because he hates all the same people you do. Your god does not hate gays. He does not hate ho-mose-xuality. If you say your god does hate these things, I will ask you again to provide verifiable evidence that your god exists. Please provide this verifiable evidence or admit that it is your hatred and fear that you use your unsubstantiated belief to justify. Those are your two options. Pick one and go with it.

    January 18, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • Victoria

      G-a-ys= People
      Giod = Love
      God Loves People Thus God Loves G-a-ys

      Hom-os-e-xuality + Sin
      What does God say?
      Lev. 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."

      Lev. 20:13, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them" God hates sin. The wages of sin is death.

      1 Cor. 6:9-10, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adu-lterers, nor ef[fe[minate, nor hom[os=e=xuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drun[kards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
      That covers alot of people in sinful states. Guess what? God said if you broke one of the laws, you are guilty of breaking them all! That is why we are told not to judge.

      Good News! Jesus died for your sins. You can ask his forgiveness for your sins, (by the grace of God) and accept that his blo[od will cover your sins, forever.
      Be Baptised and the Holy Spirit will dwell with in you, and lead you into all Gods truth and Love.

      Even if you are still in your sin, just as simple as asking forgiveness, as outlined above.
      Be sincere, he said "come as you are..and he truns no one away.

      If your choice is not to do that, then unfortunately, you are guilty in his eyes. Lets face it people, in the end, we will all pay for our choices.
      Its not about fear, as Heaven is your promise.
      Hell is the alternative. That is where the fear would come in, but not for believers in Jesus Christ.
      It is strange, every time I here an unbeliever tell a Christian, he "fears" where he is going.
      He does not have no fear. Jesus took care of that as well.
      It is also not an "excuse" for why we come to Jesus, by the grace of God.
      It is because we love him and want to live in his will. I never seen anything that Jesus has offered that I would not want to

      January 21, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  4. GoodGrief

    LJ, Judging Is Believing.

    Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? (Luke 12:57)

    What is right?

    The statutes of the Lord are right (Psalm 19:8).

    False Christians (and others) often tell us it is not right to judge. Some fools hypocritically condemn us for judging (Luke 6:37), and they all hypocritically judge that we judge. When we identify preachers as false teachers leading both themselves and those who follow them to hell, when we declare others as on their way to hell, and especially when we warn them they are lost, we often hear these words (or the equivalent), "Judge not" (Matthew 7:1). Yet, these words are exactly why we judge aka discern.

    Jesus said,

    Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (Matthew 7:1-2).

    Jesus also said,

    Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. (Luke 6:37).

    Christians take these words very seriously. They literally scare us. In fact, we are terrified of them (Psalm 119:120; Isaiah 66:2). We do not want to be judged by our "measure" as Christ warns in Matthew 7:1-2, because we know we fall short (Romans 3:23); and our measure is guaranteed to be faulty (Psalm 16:2).

    Moreover, we desire not to be judged as the Lord says in Luke 6:37. We also desire not to be condemned as Jesus promises in Luke 6:37. Therefore, we strive, in the fear of God, to be certain to never judge and never condemn anyone.

    This is why we have chosen to write and speak solely in accordance with God's judgments and Yehvah's condemnations, as it is written,

    With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth. (Psalm 119:13).

    Everyone judges. No matter who you are, you make judgments every day. The most complacent judge there is nothing to be concerned about (Zephaniah 1:12). The most paranoid judge there is trouble everywhere (Proverbs 28:1). Everyone judges and makes judgments concerning their surroundings and those around them. Those with the mind of Christ judge according to Christ (1 Corinthians 2:15-16).3 Those with a mind of their own (Isaiah 65:2) judge according to their own and are among those described in Isaiah 5:20-21.

    Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

    Keep it up LJ, keep twisting God's truth for your lies, for His truth as is written will beat out your lies and dellusions every time.


    January 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • LJ

      Oh, please keep judging me I am absolutely loving it. Keep going now…don’t disappoint us. The faults you find in others are the faults you have within yourself so your posts are revealing a great deal about you. Especially the one prior to this post. Emotional Maturity is defined as: the ability to express one’s own feelings and convictions balanced with consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others.

      January 19, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  5. Muneef

    In the past when Islam sha-ria was the law if a man found and witnessed to do a man, it was the law then to thr-ow them from the high-est point of a mountain to face their death...being against the laws of God who made man and woman for each other with no acceptations what's so ever..only such acts speed up the last hour making it even earlier than it would have been...only allowing such acts has driven the nation to cr-azi-ness after flesh not minding being and infent or a child of youth,that has driven up mol-est-ing and ra-pe-s and so on...the dec-line is on the increase every time a law of God is being bro-ken..

    January 18, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • civiloutside

      Should we take it from this post that you believe it is appropriate to kill people over being gay?

      January 19, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • CatholicMom

      This is what the Church has to say about hom0s3xuals….

      January 19, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • HisOwn

      Muneef, We don't have the right to kill. How does your religion justify this in light of the 10 Commandments?

      January 21, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  6. tallulah13

    Somebody mentioned being confused about the condemnation of Adam and Eve. I've always been mystified by the Judas thing. He sort of HAD to betray Christ, otherwise no crucifixion, no christian afterlife party. So shouldn't Judas be a hero to the same people who go to theme parks to blissfully watch reenactments of the brutal human-sacrifice-by-torture of Christ?

    Did Judas actually have a choice? Somebody had to betray Christ, which means god intended that someone be damned. I've always felt bad for Judas, because he got set up by the almighty himself.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • dolores cordell

      Correct. This is one of the weird ironies in Christian theology: Without Judas' "betrayal" there would not have been a cruxifiction; without the cruxifiction there would be no resurrection; without the resurrection there would be no Christianity.

      Ditto for the role of the Jews in the cruxfiction – which Xians have used to persecute Jews for 2 millenia. Of course, the weirdest part is that it was the ROMANS who killed Jesus, not the Jews. So the Romans are "honored" by calling the first church the ROMAN Catholic Church?

      These folks are so inconsistent and irrational a 6 year old could see the contradictions.

      January 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      You are judging souls and that is not your job. How do you know that Judas did not confess his sin and repent the moment before his death? Only God knew what was in his heart at the moment of death….none of us know.

      January 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Maybe


      Yes, and maybe Judas just crossed his fingers behind his back when he lied. It is well known that doing that negates the act. 😉

      "We don't know" is the only valid thing you said.

      Your superst!tion knows no bounds...

      January 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • ItalyRules

      Judas was a willing participant in what he did..it was his choice. Remember what the disciple spoke of Judas
      The Apostle John discloses to us the fact that all along Judas was a thief, stealing money from the common purse (see John 12:1-6)

      Foreknowledge and predestination are vastly different concepts. God always knew what Judas would do with the free will God had given him (but did not influence Judas' actions). Therefore, Jesus knew that one of His disciples would betray Him due to sharing God's foreknowledge.
      Why did Jesus, knowing what Judas would do, allow Judas to turn Him over? . In truth, God's plan in the matter was to allow Judas to carry this out, i.e., Christ must die in order to serve as sacrifice for our sins, Judas (willfully) had plans to betray Jesus to death, Jesus needs to die to fulfill His role as sacrifice,
      Jesus also knew that Judas had plans to decieve him, and he could have stopped him, but that would have been inferring with judas free will and choice. So, he allowed it.
      For any that will say, Yes, but Jesus had to die.
      Jesus would have died anyway, because the Jews rebelleld against God, and thus the Gentiles were offered Salvation tru Jesus Christ shed blood on the cross.
      If Judas would have changed his mind about betraying Jesus for money, then he would have probably just been sleeping as the other disciples were, when the Centurions arrested Jesus.
      In conclusion, Judas choose to sin against God of his own choice.

      January 21, 2011 at 11:01 am |
  7. Muneef

    What has brought those spoken about above other than the decline of morals and love of Flesh rather than any other thing.....Unverse and creations tell us that God has made male and female for each other we see it in animals and birds. But to start a family you need to have a blessed marriAge officially registered at court register or religous register or at both some times....

    January 18, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  8. Muneef

    A man of a live conscience is in the straight path of righteous and the straight path of righteous is the path of men of God who love and fear their God most in every decision or action or words been said and committed ....!!
    Man of God and God fearing is what is counted for a man to represent a mixed culture and beliefs nation for which he has to be aware of those cultures and beliefs of those other nations in order to be able to plant respects to become between those mixed cultures and beliefs as such gives the assurance of mutual understanding between the nation with other overseas nations or even with those within the country of mixed cultures and beliefs...!
    Some how it's felt that values,morals,virtues are not there in a secular world only faceless solid lifeless laws of men rather than what has been relayed by Holy books that calls for good deeds and reject bad deeds and to build a faithful societies,communities,nations since communications among nations or even among the nations of mixed cultures and beliefs... Laws or God and universe are to be prepared by some thing that is equivalent to UN but built on nations beliefs to achieve the code of understanding among nations but as can see now it is build on groundless bases if not of words of God to faiths...in addition to those non spiritual secular beliefs to make decisions of faith but at the moment the secular world make and take the decisions while the beliefs and faiths has to pay for it when it becomes a war between all faiths or religions outside your world ,it would become back into your inside among the mixed culture and beliefs of the nation or nations under one country flag...!
    Today's world man has become with no value other than his organs if sold or stolen....so what is happening only proves that we are imposing marketing the wrongs against the rights....cultures and beliefs are going down the drain with all those values, morals,virtues some how turning into commotion among cultures and beliefs turning against each other misunderstanding each other or unaware of cultures way of living and beliefs to ease communication mutual understanding as a nation of mankind and a nation of faiths. As i believe we should not bleach wash cultures and faiths in to one but am with keeping all cultures and faiths which make a colorful painting rather than one blank single colored...!?
    Wa Salam,Peace,Shalom...


    His Excellency Abdallah Bin Abdul Muhsin At-Turki, Secretary General of the World Muslim League  
    "Our appeal, clear-cut and strong in its arguments and realism, is welcomed by the nations that have gone through unsuccessful attempts to ensure peace, safety and stability, which ignored the diversity of cultures and civilisations traditional for previous generations in the human development".

    Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople Orthodox Church  
    "Let the high ideals for the sake of which we have worked in concord and love these days, become the strong reality in the name of world peace and happiness of peoples. Praying to God inspired".

    His Eminence Cardinal Josef Tomco, Head of the Delegation of the Holy See
    "I thank Almighty God for bringing us together in this country to reflect and pray for peace as men and women of peace... ".

    Jona Metsger, Leader of the Judaic Delegation, Chief Rabbi of Israel  
    "The love and patience, desire to live in the world, reigning around this negotiating table, will be embodied during a life".

    Jamyang Luosangjiumei Tudanquejinima, Deputy Chairman of the Buddhist Association of China  
    "Today's world is far from tranquil, as regional conflicts triggered by ethnical, religious and territorial factors keep cropping up, Religion advocates peace and justice. Religion has been made use of from time to time, just like the strings of a harp being plucked, to trigger and foment conflicts, separation, hatred and upheaval. This has aroused the common concern of the religious leaders across the globe".

    Well say few had words spoken from the heart and some shown less concern...
    Can see there are no more efforts seriously made since not sure if those represent all branches of each faith which means their should be a congress for each faith listing all their recognized branches..and the president of each congress is then the speaker of this world congress..

    Unfortunately I am not seeing any speaker for Pagans and who made partners with God..to say some thing about how life and respect should be?
    Sure will be happy to see a speaker for the Atheist congress after all it is faith to claim God and devil do not exist..?!

    It is those who should be making codes for culture and religions and faiths living together completing each other rather than against each other...God has allowed diversity of religions and faiths out of easiness for his creatures mankind to make choices and where he will punish or give to mankind judging his inner soul (heart&mind)...and not on which religion he was...!!? Submission can be achieved through all religions or faiths and not only to what God had said but as well to what is best for the communities as to morals,values,virtues and all of that stuff that make any nations as angels on earth...? A valuable words I heard during my childhood that ( Nations are not but Morals and their Morals Go they Go with it)...!? And noted the difference between then when there were Morals and our Present time when there are non left...!?
    Then only we will be able to greet each other as Wa Salam,Peace,Shalom... 


    January 18, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Reality

      Now for the real Islam:

      Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      January 19, 2011 at 9:08 am |
  9. Ryan

    Wow, there's a BIG error in this story: "In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a 5-4 ruling saying the DC Board of Elections acted lawfully."

    It was the DC Court of Appeals, DC's equivalent of a state supreme cout, not the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, which is the federal intermediate appellate court

    January 18, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  10. GoodGrief

    Another Christian on this site is right Tallulha13. You simply boggle my mind how so many fools like you believe the propaganda of lies of this world and never get off your duff to seek His truth. Your terror is being spiritually dead while you suck up oxygen and you don't even know it. You know the basics about life. There is more to 1 plus 1 equals 2. Stop being lazy and do your own research without searching the net to what appeases the fact that you want to remain LAZY in life. Do some homework and pick up the Bible and READ His truth. No excuses. Jesus' truth is so simply explained even a five year old gets it. Once you understand His message, you too can be smarter than a 5th grader.

    His truth will set you free.


    January 18, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Good grief, You can call me lazy for thinking for myself. You can call me "spiritually dead" for observing the world around me and making my own choices based on those observations. You can say anything you want about me. What you can't do is make me respect your opinion, which appears to be based not on reality, but on a single, man-made book and various man-made interpretations of said book.

      Enjoy your fear and fear-mongering.You can even enjoy your hatred, as long as you don't hurt others with it. But when you try to legislate myth-based bigotry, expect a fight.

      January 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Red

      Reality check; Christianity IS NOT THE ONLY RELIGION in this country

      People have a RIGHT to live their lives in peace WITHOUT interference from arrogant, self-proclaimed 'Christian' or otherwise religious people who DARE invoke the name of God as an excuse to deny basic rights to other people. I view that as not taking personal responsibility for your OWN thoughts and actions and instead pushing them on God.

      January 19, 2011 at 3:40 am |
  11. tallulah13

    It simply disgusts me that some people are STILL trying to discriminate based on their personal terror of what happens to them after they die. Live your life, experience the world and learn about people from their actions, not from what someone tells you about them. Adults shouldn't need a supernatural parent to tell them how to treat others. It's a simple thing to treat people as you would be treated yourself. No higher power needed.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • ItalyRules


      Fear of where thier going in the afterlife?

      Who would fear going to Heaven? If they are saved and baptised they are going to Heaven!

      January 21, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • ItalyRules

      So, you believe in reaping and sowing?
      Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you?
      Where did your ability to reason come from?

      January 21, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  12. HeavenSent

    P.S. Bob. Anyone can read the Bible. It's when a person HUMBLES THEMSELVES ... which means, stop believing what you think you know and listen to Jesus' truth. When you comprehend His truth then you abide in His truth.

    It's easy to be lazy. CALL it any name you want. You are being lazy and staying in the carnal way of thinking.

    Humble yourself to learn Jesus SPIRITUAL TEACHINGS. The truth will set you free.


    P.S.S. It takes a lifetime to read His truth.

    That's truth versus lies man (meaning women too) lives when he/she wants to stay CARNAL.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • NL

      Are you "humble" enough to admit that you may be wrong, or is you "EGO" too big to allow that? 😉

      January 18, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Carol

      Are you Catholic?

      January 19, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • David Johnson


      You said to Bob: "Anyone can read the Bible. It's when a person HUMBLES THEMSELVES ... which means, stop believing what you think you know and listen to Jesus' truth. When you comprehend His truth then you abide in His truth."

      Do you understand that what you are really saying to Bob, is to suspend his critical thinking? You would have him to just have faith and believe all that he reads in your bible and accept it as truth, in spite all the evidence to the contrary.

      Belief without evidence is why I refer to fundies as non-thinking sheep.

      I could ask you to do the same thing, to believe without evidence / in spite of evidence to the contrary, that I have a family of fairies living in my left shoe. All that is required of you, is that you stop thinking and just believe.

      There have been thousands of gods throughout man's history. All of these gods were animated, by man's belief and faith. The ancient gods now lie silent. They died from neglect. But, any one of them would instantly spring to life, apparently answering prayers and ruling lives, if people once again worshiped them. The current batch of gods would fall silent, if believers stopped believing in them.

      Man gives god(s) His life. We are HIs alpha and omega.

      Love and Prayers!

      January 20, 2011 at 8:30 am |
  13. HeavenSent

    Bob, stop being LAZY and conveniently listening to non-believers propaganda to stay lazy too. Read Jesus' truth in the Bible for yourself. Easier yet, tune in to Pastor Murry at Sheperdschapel.com teach God's truth book by book, scripture by scripture.

    If you have satellite TV, you can view him from 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. channel 224 or you can find him on cable. I don't have cable so I can't tell you what station he's on, but you can listen to him on the .com I listed above.

    Christians are tired of listening to lazies debate their side of staying/being lazy. We get it. You are LAZY and refusing to learn wisdom.


    January 18, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • LJ

      Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. I think you got lazy and are forgetting one of the most important lessons.

      January 18, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • dolores cordell

      Dear Heaven: Please innumerate the "truths" found in the Bible. Love your neighbor? Don't eat shellfish? Is EVERYTHING in the Bible "the truth"? If you claim it is, then do you dispute the scientific evidence for evolution? If not, then how do you distinguish between what is true and what is poetry or myth or analogy?

      Have the guts to support your assertions.

      January 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      LJ and Dolores cordell,

      No one should be judging souls here. That is only for God to do. No one can condemn another either…each person can do that for themselves. We must look at actions, words, and inaction to determine if this is a path to take or not for ourselves. To ignore everything in society is ridiculous…to accept or reject something is what we have to do. Who says, ‘I do not have an opinion on abortion’, for instance? Choosing life is not condemning or judging another’s soul….some may feel they are being judged or condemned but that is just their conscience speaking to them. No one has the ability to condemn another but we do have to decide what actions to take ourselves by examining actions when they are available to examine.

      Yes, loving your neighbor is BIG in the Bible. How do you love your neighbor…agree with every action he tells you he is going to do when you hear your own conscience say to yourself, “How foolish, I’d never do that!” Or do you have a conversation with your neighbor, pointing out the pit falls that you know of for that action?

      It isn’t what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, it is what comes out of it.

      The Church loves science! Whenever a theory becomes fact, She rejoices as another Truth has the fullness revealed which is what Jesus Christ promised the Paraclete would bring as we can bear it.

      January 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  14. HeavenSent

    Luke, stop babbling and learn your history. Our laws, as are the laws of Europe and Canada come from God's truth in the Old testament or if you will, the Torah.

    Get a life will ya.


    January 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Luke

      In what way is my comment "babble?" It's a fact of governmental law that civil rights issues do not go to the ballot. What in the F are you talking about? Also, I didn't realize securities fraud, for example, was a law outlined in the bible. Can you explain other laws, such as copyright law, international trade law, commerce clauses, patent cases and doctor/patient confidentiality laws were explained in the bible. Can you direct me to the passages? Can you also show me where other laws, both inside the States and in other developed nations, are located in the bible. I'm really curious about where countries such as Sweden, where 80% of the population is atheist, also got their biblical laws. Get started.

      January 18, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Red

      Marriage is NOT a religious concept, or atheists couldn't marry. It has now and ALWAYS been abotu property rights, possessions and inheritance.

      And even if it was a religious concept, then WHY should they receive things like tax breaks, automatic power of attorney, health benefits, SSI benifits, etc.?

      Your religion is irrelevant. We are talking about a social contract that has existed for thousands of years BEFORE the Bible ever came into being. Who are YOU to impose YOUR religious values on the population? Consenting adults have the right to legally marry. They do NOT require your permission.

      January 19, 2011 at 3:36 am |
    • CatholicMom


      Call it a ‘social contract’ then, not marriage, and work to have the bennies apply, but don’t try to use the Sacrament of Matrimony to achieve those secular goals.

      Why do gays want to get married in a church with readings from the Bible at the ceremony anyway? Don’t they know what the Bible says about such things? And why want to call it a ‘Christian’ marriage? Christian Churches do not marry gay people. If they say they do, they go against what the Bible says which then shows they are not really Christian.

      There will probably always be an ecclesial community somewhere that will ‘forget’ that part of the Bible and invite gays to come and be married in them. But gay people are not dumb…why would they go there to get married if they want a Christian marriage? Can they ‘pretend’ that it is a Christian marriage and pretend that it is blessed by God when they know it can’t be so?

      God inst!tuted the Sacrament of Matrimony for a man and a woman. They join in a covenant with God and promise to be open to life. This cannot happen in gay unions…they cannot co-operate with God in His Sacrament of Matrimony to be open to life...God's part in it; it was not inst!tuted to leave God out of it.

      Furthermore, the gift of s3x is for the married man and woman, no one else. Sorry, it wasn’t my idea, though it is a wise one.

      January 20, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Once again confusing biblical law with human law. Allowing gay marriage does not force a church to perform the ceremony. Also Matrimony is not strictly a Chistian/religious concept. How come all of the non-religious and OTHER religion believers can call it a marriage even though it is not a covenant with your god or any other particular god at all? Personally, I do not care what you call my marriage, but it is equal to everyone elses'.
      Marriage in this country is 100% secular except to the extent that the couple wishes it represent more in their own lives. The government treats your marriage and mine equally and they should treat gay marriage the same.

      January 20, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Mike, not me


      "Allowing g-ay marriage does not force a church to perform the ceremony."

      but it does

      "It comes after a Government drive to outlaw bias against minority groups such as hom-ose-xuals in the Equality Bill. "

      you can google it. Can copy the link.

      January 20, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • CatholicMom


      Maybe the government treats all marriages the same….so why choose ‘the Christian Sacrament of Matrimony’ which goes by the Bible in its beliefs? The Bible states that same s3x unions are not holy; why not choose something that does not desecrate a Sacrament...piling sin upon sin? If you want your marriage to represent something ‘more’ it won’t do that with Christianity….it will represent something ‘less’. It is just the way true Christianity is; granted there are ecclesial communities which do not follow the Bible to the letter and so you can ‘get by’ with them, but is that the kind of Truth you are looking for in your life?

      January 20, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • MarkinFL

      What equality bill are you talking about? Massachusetts recent bill specifically states that no religious inst itution could be forced to perform any marriage it does not wish too. Any attempt to force a church to perform a ceremony would be shot down on Con st itu tional grounds. I keep reposting with variations to get past fil ters.

      January 20, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  15. HeavenSent

    Doc Vestibule, you are ANGRY with the wrong group of people. Christians do NOT violate your rights, we just tell you truth versus the lies you wish to believe, hence to live.

    Humble yourself enough to read Jesus' truth. One can't comprehend His truth while viewing it from a BIG ego.

    Bye the way. EGO means to Erase God Out of the way you live life. The sin of Pride does this to a person.


    January 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Bob

      That's right. Christians don't violate your rights, they try to indirectly take your rights away.

      Heaven, the truth is that the bible is a huge scam. You're just not mentally strong enough to consider the possibility. You look to demonize people by saying "He's angry!" so that you can ignore what he has to say.

      The truth is that it really doesn't matter what you or I believe, reality is reality. The point is that I can prove that faith is unrelable and is in fact wrong. But unfortunately the truth is that you won't consider it.

      You assume that people haven't read the bible. That's not true. The reason I am an atheist is because I have read the bible. ALL OF IT. FOUR TIMES. It's funny, it seems like the people who believe in the bible are the people who haven't bothered to read the whole thing, just cherry picked segments.


      January 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I have read and pondered the Bible.
      In fact, I keep a copy on my IPod.
      My bookshelf at home has, amongst other things – the King James Bible, the Torah, The Koran, a guide to Buddhist beliefs, B'Hai scripture, The Book of Morman, Revelation X from the Subgenius foundation, the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, The Iliad, Beowulf, The Epic of Gilgamesh, an encyclopedia of Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Norse, and Mayan mythology, Hubbard's Dianetics, Dawkins "God Delusion", Origin of Species, etc. Each of these are fascinating in their own ways and provide invaluable insight into the ways of thinking of their respective societies.
      I am trying hard not to brainwash my child with my own prejudices. The best way I know how is by exposing her to as many different perspectives as possible so that she can make up her own mind when old enough.
      I wonder, were you offered the same opportunity when young, or were you fed only Christian theology?

      January 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
  16. HeavenSent

    Bob, it's really simple. God gave us (and the angels too, for which Lucifer is one of the highest of angels ... aka a cherubim) FREE WILL.

    Free will to love and follow Him.

    Because Lucifer's ego (aka PRIDE ... oh, just like ALL the PRIDE of gay folks, bi-folks, you name it folks today, notice how you use the words GAY PRIDE????) got the better of him. Lucifer then rejected God because Lucifer's ego wanted to be bigger and better than God. Imagine that? Just like the gays today, believing in Satan's lies that God is just a fairy tale, make believe ... etc. so you can do what you want, when you want, any time you want. Who cares, God really isn't watching. There really isn't a book of life with your name written next to the evil deeds you do. ALL LIES FROM SATAN. Why does Satan lie to you? He wants you to fry in the internal fires with him. Satan doesn't want to fry alone. That's why!

    Back to Lucifer's story ... Lucifer wanted to be bigger and better than God ... so Lucifer convinced 1/3 of the angels to reject God too. How did Lucifer do this? Lies, lies and more lies. It's easy to believe Satan's lies instead of learning God's Truth. Meaning, it's easy to do and live a life with no restrictions, no right from wrong, anything goes ... all evil than have the courage to live a life of TRUTH and restrictions.

    God destroyed the first earth age when the angels and dinosaurs roamed. We are now in the 2nd earth age due to be born of woman. God erased our memories of the angel's rebellion. Allowed us to be born in human form to experience life on earth. God gave us free will to love and follow Him or to love and follow Lucifer (aka Satan).

    It's the same story through the history (His story) of mankind. Different generations, same God's truth versus satan's lies.

    We all have a choice. Always did, always will.

    I suggest you choose wisely because this is it, there is NO second choices, NO reincarnation and all that other nonsense. One life to live ....


    January 18, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Bob

      > I've always wondered how Adam and Eve could be condemned for wrong-doing before they had knowledge of good and evil.

      He could not have. He created our minds knowing what we'd do. He created the environment knowing how it would affect us. He tailored our DNA and indirectly our minds to be sinners. He knows what you will do even before you know it. And your actions are determined by his will.

      An omnipotent and omniscient God cannot allow for free will. The same way a God cannot both exist and not exist at the same time.

      God is responsible for every action humans have taken. That's the reality you have to accept if he is the creator of the universe and all knowing. Denying this is to ignore logic.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Bob

      Didn't copy correctly, I was quoting the following:

      > Bob, it's really simple. God gave us (and the angels too, for which Lucifer is one of the highest of angels ... aka a cherubim) FREE WILL.

      Not the adam and eve thing.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • NL

      Romans 8:29-30 (King James Version)
      "29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

      Sorry, but in the Bible God writes what our role will be. He picks who will believe in him and who will be saved. People have no choice in the matter.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Bob

      Sorry, quoting the bible to prove a point is sorta like quoting James T. Kirik from Star Trek to prove a point. Or how about Dexter. He has some interesting things to say.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • NL

      The Bible mentions a war in heaven at the end of time, but Christians generally have come to think of it as happening in the beginning because of Milton's Paradice Lost. You're whole muddled story about Satan isn't in the Bible. It's Christian myth.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Luke

      So your god forced free will upon humans? That's an oxymoron.

      January 18, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • ldf

      Sell it to Disney. The public isn't buying the fairy tales from a 'bible.'

      January 19, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "I suggest you choose wisely because this is it, there is NO second choices, NO reincarnation and all that other nonsense. One life to live ...."

      On this I agree with you wholeheartedly.
      We've a short span of time on this Earth and we must live the best way we can. I don't beleive that spending my life in fear of posthumous reprisal is teh best way, however.
      I lump heaven/hell/purgatory/limbo theology in with "all that other nonsense".

      January 19, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • CatholicMom

      You said, ‘Just like the gays today, believing in Satan's lies that God is just a fairy tale, make believe ... etc.
      Not all gays believe God is a fairytale…. not all straight people believe God is fairytale….
      This is what the Church has to say about hom0s3xuals….

      You said, ‘Just like the gays today, believing in Satan's lies that God is just a fairy tale, make believe ... etc.

      Not all gays believe God is a fairytale…. not all straight people believe God is fairytale….

      This is what the Church has to say about hom0s3xuals….


      January 19, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  17. customartist

    Slavery isn't ALL that the Southern Baptist Evangelicals would impose onto others if they could get away with it.

    Jum DeMint and the likes would have no pregnant women teaching school – for God's sake – pun intended!

    January 18, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  18. Luke

    Too bad for the pastor matters of civil rights do not get to go to a ballot vote. If that were the case, backwards towns in the South could litterally vote to reinstate slavery. I really fail to see what's so hard to understand here. We are not a theocracy and faith based beliefs do not translate into law in this country. They never will, indeed.

    January 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  19. customartist

    Harry Jackson, Rick Warren, Jerry Falwell, Anita Bryant, Jesse Jackson, Strom Thurmon, etc...

    All work feverishly to opress consenting adults, while ignoring Child Molestation in the Catholic Church, Hunger, Homelessness, etc...

    Ugly Christians!

    January 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  20. Bob

    And again we see the bigotry and arrogance of religious belief. It's fine if you believe in a giant invisible sky daddy who loves you and who won't let you die. It really is.

    But when you start imposing your beliefs on others and start to dictate how they should live, then we have a problem.

    You don't like gay marriage, fine, don't like it. You don't have the right to deny anyone else a reasonable life because of your dislike, whether founded on reality or not.

    January 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Hopefully all can see the contridiction in bob's statement

      "But when you start imposing your beliefs on others and start to dictate how they should live, then we have a problem."

      But by saying that he is imposing his beliefs about imposing beliefs on his readers.

      Also find his comments and change in tone in the story when a gay couple imposed their beliefs on a B&B who would only rent doubles to married couples.

      January 19, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Daniel

      @ Mike not me: The British people with the B&B violated EXISTING LAW requiring nondiscrimination – legislated in a democratic nation that actually DOES have an established Christian church, which teaches that it is WRONG, it is a SIN to discriminate against your fellow human beings on the grounds of their orientation. It is un-Christ-like.

      Bishop Jackson is trying to TAKE AWAY the civil rights legally recognized in the District of Columbia to apply equally to ho-mose-xual citizens as to all others: the right to marry. Britain only allows civil unions – which the B&B couple refuse to recognize as equivalent to marriage.

      We are offered civil unions as a compromise by Christian political lobbies, being told it will be "equal in all but name". But it won't be. Not until we have the name, too, and the guarantee that everywhere marriage is acknowleged as a legal condition that the state owes recognintion and consideration, alike for all citizens, will we be seeing Christ's teachings respected – that we love our neighbor.

      January 19, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Mike, not me

      Hello Mike...

      Since, my fellow blogger -Bob, has not responded yet, I felt inspired to have a chat with you regarding your posting to -Bob.

      You Said: "Hopefully all can see the contridiction(contradiction) in bob's statement"

      You know, I think I understand where you are coming from. However, why don't we just cut through the all the logical levels, and jump to ...'Theocracies.' Think, Iran, etc... and a lot of the rest of the Muslim world. They 'do' impose their beliefs... and... you are required to believe, or face possible torture and execution. This is very extreme...yes...? And you wouldn't want that to happen to you... right...?

      Well, their are quite a number of 'very' vocal and mobilized Christian zealots in our country, the U.S., and their 'soul' intention is to turn the U.S. into a Theocracy. And... you know this is very,very true.

      They(the extreme religious Christian zealots) would like to 'take away' a lot of rights of citizens and make the U.S. a Christian Nation, not just in #'s or in % of population, but to make Christianity 'the' only recognized religion of the U.S. Along with: Putting mandatory prayers in schools...and not so much on praying to Allah, Buddha, Brahman, Vishnu, etc... but to "Jesus Only."

      They want to put 'Creationism' in the science books...as a matter of fact, a lot of the zealots are already attempting to do that... and some have succeeded, instead of putting creationism in a world religion or philosophy class, where it belongs. Because... creationism is 'not' science. Never has been, nor ever will.

      To Stem Cell research... you zealots take away life saving opportunities for 'real alive functioning' Human beings, instead, you want to put the rights of cells, that you can't even see in a petri dish without having to use(exaggeration a bit here for a point) an "electron microscope."

      To, of course...the subject of this article which is....? Someone(a christian zealot) attempting to 'take away' equal and civil rights of other humans because they are 'gay.'

      So, now do you kinda' understand -Mike why we agnostics and atheists and -Bob... and heck, even some of your own fellow believers are on our side about Freedoms, and equality for our fellow man, and why we get pretty damn pis-sed off about it, at times...?

      -Mike, not me... we have had a few discussions and always have seemed to be pretty civil. So, while I respect your right to believe, please don't attempt to take away the rest of the people's rights to not only believe what they want, but to take away their civil liberties, yes...?

      See the difference...? NO Christian Theocracy... nor any other Religion being a Theocracy here in the U.S.

      Anyways, -Mike, not me...good chatting at ya' !


      January 20, 2011 at 2:34 am |
    • Mike, not me

      Daniel, As I read the story the B&B refused to book rooms to any unmarried couple regardless of s-exual ori-anta-tion.

      So what was the discrimination, and what text are you coming out of when you say that "It is un-Christ-like."?

      Why is marriage a right?

      Who told you that "being told it will be "equal in all but name". "

      Ah yes the famous "if you don't let me do what I want it's not love"
      Well if you are a parent go let your kid play in the street and tell people you love her, or let her play with a pitbull and tell people well she loves dogs so much and we just don't want to restrict her.

      BTW what does any of your comment have to do with the thread of
      "But by saying that he is imposing his beliefs about imposing beliefs on his readers."

      January 20, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • Mike, not me

      >"And you wouldn't want that to happen to you... right...?"
      You're absolutely right, we are constantly reminded that when we try to "make this a Christian nation" that it very well can also be made to be an "anti-Christian" nation so I do thank God for our freedoms that we do have and live in a nation that lets me currently publicly share my faith, even though people complain they are being taken away. Hopefully you did see my post about the cross about two weeks ago?

      >"…And... you know this is very,very true."
      Again right, but you would also have to concede there are a lot of non-Christian zealots also pushing their agenda trying to remove certain other freedoms.

      Here is where we agree
      >"please don't attempt to take away the rest of the people's rights to not only believe what they want,"
      But, unfortunately, to do that we must let the Bishop share his beliefs in the public square. We must allow people to be able to say I believe the Bible as the correct course of action and I am making this decision on my beliefs in the public square. Otherwise your statement is still correct except “the rest of the people” are now Christian and the non-Christian are the removing.
      It is Bob, and everyone else’s mind set that says, “Christians and only Christians should keep their belief at home, that is my belief”. And why the {insert here} doesn't have to? And the reason they don't have to is because it is impossible to not make a decision based on your beliefs.

      You hopefully do see how Bob's comment is in contradiction with the "please don't attempt to take away the rest of the people's rights to not only believe what they want,"

      I just felt the need to point it out to passer-byes who may not at first see the contradiction.

      January 20, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Mike, not me

      Hey Mike...

      I am glad, if I am interpreting your re: post to me, that we are 'mainly' in agreement, yes...?

      You Quoted me here by saying -Peace,
      >"And you wouldn't want that to happen to you... right...?"
      You're absolutely right, we are constantly reminded that when we try to "make this a Christian nation" that it very well can also be made to be an "anti-Christian" nation so I do thank God for our freedoms that we do have and live in a nation that lets me currently publicly share my faith, even though people complain they are being taken away. Hopefully you did see my post about the cross about two weeks ago?


      1)We 'both' (don't) want to see this great country of ours, the U.S,. turn into a 'Theocracy'... Christian, Muslim, or any other religion, yes...?
      I think we are in agreement that 'all' should be able to 'believe' or...'not' believe, or anything in between... as they wish. When theocracies exist, by virtue of there very systemic 'imbalance' of power, beliefs and authority... the people in power tend to take away, basic civil rights... and often torture and kill people that don't 'believe' like you believe, yes...?

      Ergo... in order to be able to keep our full freedoms and civil liberties, there has to be some semblance of socio-political kind of balancing of power and authority, especially where our secular laws and government are concerned, yes...?

      As for your post about the 'cross' 2 weeks ago... i may have seen it, but can't swear to it. As you well know, sooooooo many articles and postings... can't remember them all. If you can send me a link to the particular article and your post, I would be happy to look at it.

      2)You Also Quoted me here: -Peace>"…And... you know this is very,very true."
      You Said: "Again right, but you would also have to concede there are a lot of non-Christian zealots also pushing their agenda trying to remove certain other freedoms."

      ME-I am not quite sure where you are going with this. If you wouldn't mind giving me some specific examples concerning 'non-Christian zealots'...? And to what agendas are they pushing...? And, what freedoms in particular are said groups, trying to 'remove.'...?

      Again, we may be in agreement here 'too', but would love to have further information.

      3)You Said: "Here is where we (agree)... "

      Seems as though we were in agreement already with the other issues, so do I assume that we also (agree) here... too, or as well...? Is that what you meant to say...?

      You Quoted Me here again: >"please don't attempt to take away the rest of the people's rights to not only believe what they want,"
      You Said: "But, unfortunately, to do that we must let the Bishop share his beliefs in the public square."

      Me-I don't think that anyone is saying or trying to stop the Bishop from believing or sharing his beliefs. But, attempting to turn 'religious' view into secular laws, which again, here we go... 'take away' the civil rights and liberties of others, is wrong. Again, see separation of Church and Government.

      You Said: "We must allow people to be able to say I believe the Bible as the correct course of action and I am making this decision on my beliefs in the public square."

      ME-No problem... just don't try and 'take away' anyones freedoms or civil liberties. In other words, I don't mind you believing whatever you want to believe, however, when your beliefs cause you to believe that you need to remove civil liberties of others and make them...'less than,' and not afforded the same rights as others, then you will get a fight from a lot of people.

      I've read a lot of your posts, and we typically have civil discussions, and maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think that 'you' are the 'fringe Christian zealot' type that wants to 'take away' just simple freedoms of others, am I correct on this assessment of you...?

      As for the rest of your posting... I believe I understand you, and where you are coming from... and 'why' you posted what you did to -Bob.

      So, sorry for the long post, but if you get back here...and care to reply... I am sincerely interested to see if my assessment was right, that in concept-in general, we are, in fact, in... agreement.


      January 20, 2011 at 7:19 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.