My Take: The Bible really does condemn homosexuality
March 3rd, 2011
01:25 PM ET

My Take: The Bible really does condemn homosexuality

By Robert A. J. Gagnon, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D., is associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and author of The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics and (with Dan Via) Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views.

In her recent CNN Belief Blog post “The Bible’s surprisingly mixed messages on sexuality,” Jennifer Wright Knust claims that Christians can’t appeal to the Bible to justify opposition to homosexual practice because the Bible provides no clear witness on the subject and is too flawed to serve as a moral guide.

As a scholar who has written books and articles on the Bible and homosexual practice, I can say that the reality is the opposite of her claim. It’s shocking that in her editorial and even her book, "Unprotected Texts," Knust ignores a mountain of evidence against her positions.

It raises a serious question: does the Left read significant works that disagree with pro-gay interpretations of Scripture and choose to simply ignore them?

Owing to space limitations I will focus on her two key arguments: the ideal of gender-neutral humanity and slavery arguments.

Knust's lead argument is that sexual differentiation in Genesis, Jesus and Paul is nothing more than an "afterthought" because "God's original intention for humanity was androgyny."

It’s true that Genesis presents the first human (Hebrew adam, from adamah, ground: “earthling”) as originally sexually undifferentiated. But what Knust misses is that once something is “taken from” the human to form a woman, the human, now differentiated as a man, finds his sexual other half in that missing element, a woman.

That’s why Genesis speaks of the woman as a “counterpart” or “complement,” using a Hebrew expression neged, which means both “corresponding to” and “opposite.” She is similar as regards humanity but different in terms of gender. If sexual relations are to be had, they are to be had with a sexual counterpart or complement.

Knust cites the apostle Paul’s remark about “no ‘male and female’” in Galatians. Yet Paul applies this dictum to establishing the equal worth of men and women before God, not to eliminating a male-female prerequisite for sex.

Applied to sexual relations, the phrase means “no sex,” not “acceptance of homosexual practice,” as is evident both from the consensus of the earliest interpreters of this phrase and from Jesus' own sayings about marriage in this age and the next.

All the earliest interpreters agreed that "no 'male and female,'" applied to sexual relations, meant "no sex."

That included Paul and the ascetic believers at Corinth in the mid-first century; and the church fathers and gnostics of the second to fourth centuries. Where they disagreed is over whether to postpone mandatory celibacy until the resurrection (the orthodox view) or to begin insisting on it now (the heretical view).

Jesus’ view

According to Jesus, “when (people) rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels” (Mark 12:25). Sexual relations and differentiation had only penultimate significance. The unmediated access to God that resurrection bodies bring would make sex look dull by comparison.

At the same time Jesus regarded the male-female paradigm as essential if sexual relations were to be had in this present age.

In rejecting a revolving door of divorce-and-remarriage and, implicitly, polygamy Jesus cited Genesis: “From the beginning of creation, ‘male and female he made them.’ ‘For this reason a man …will be joined to his woman and the two shall become one flesh’” (Mark 10:2-12; Matthew 19:3-12).

Jesus’ point was that God’s limiting of persons in a sexual union to two is evident in his creation of two (and only two) primary sexes: male and female, man and woman. The union of male and female completes the sexual spectrum, rendering a third partner both unnecessary and undesirable.

The sectarian Jewish group known as the Essenes similarly rejected polygamy on the grounds that God made us “male and female,” two sexual complements designed for a union consisting only of two.

Knust insinuates that Jesus wouldn’t have opposed homosexual relationships. Yet Jesus’ interpretation of Genesis demonstrates that he regarded a male-female prerequisite for marriage as the foundation on which other sexual standards could be predicated, including monogamy. Obviously the foundation is more important than anything predicated on it.

Jesus developed a principle of interpretation that Knust ignores: God’s “from the beginning” creation of “male and female” trumps some sexual behaviors permitted in the Old Testament. So there’s nothing unorthodox about recognizing change in Scripture’s sexual ethics. But note the direction of the change: toward less sexual license and greater conformity to the logic of the male-female requirement in Genesis. Knust is traveling in the opposite direction.

Knust’s slavery analogy and avoidance of closer analogies

Knust argues that an appeal to the Bible for opposing homosexual practice is as morally unjustifiable as pre-Civil War appeals to the Bible for supporting slavery. The analogy is a bad one.

The best analogy will be the comparison that shares the most points of substantive correspondence with the item being compared. How much does the Bible’s treatment of slavery resemble its treatment of homosexual practice? Very little.

Scripture shows no vested interest in preserving the institution of slavery but it does show a strong vested interest from Genesis to Revelation in preserving a male-female prerequisite. Unlike its treatment of the institution of slavery, Scripture treats a male-female prerequisite for sex as a pre-Fall structure.

The Bible accommodates to social systems where sometimes the only alternative to starvation is enslavement. But it clearly shows a critical edge by specifying mandatory release dates and the right of kinship buyback; requiring that Israelites not be treated as slaves; and reminding Israelites that God had redeemed them from slavery in Egypt.

Paul urged enslaved believers to use an opportunity for freedom to maximize service to God and encouraged a Christian master (Philemon) to free his slave (Onesimus).

How can changing up on the Bible’s male-female prerequisite for sex be analogous to the church’s revision of the slavery issue if the Bible encourages critique of slavery but discourages critique of a male-female paradigm for sex?

Much closer analogies to the Bible’s rejection of homosexual practice are the Bible’s rejection of incest and the New Testament’s rejection of polyamory (polygamy).

Homosexual practice, incest, and polyamory are all (1) forms of sexual behavior (2) able to be conducted as adult-committed relationships but (3) strongly proscribed because (4) they violate creation structures or natural law.

Like same-sex intercourse, incest is sex between persons too much structurally alike, here as regards kinship rather than gender. Polyamory is a violation of the foundational “twoness” of the sexes.

The fact that Knust chooses a distant analogue (slavery) over more proximate analogues (incest, polyamory) shows that her analogical reasoning is driven more by ideological biases than by fair use of analogies.

Knust’s other arguments are riddled with holes.

In claiming that David and Jonathan had a homosexual relationship she confuses kinship affection with erotic love. Her claim that “from the perspective of the New Testament” the Sodom story was about “the near rape of angels, not sex between men” makes an "either-or" out of Jude 7’s "both-and."

Her canard that only a few Bible texts reject homosexual practice overlooks other relevant texts and the fact that infrequent mention is often a sign of significance. It is disturbing to read what passes nowadays for expert “liberal” reflections on what the Bible says about homosexual practice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Robert A. J. Gagnon.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Homosexuality

soundoff (4,272 Responses)
  1. Jake

    Wow. Talk about grasping at straws.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • kev

      good call

      March 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Psalms 9:15-17

      Psalms 9:15

      Psalms 9:16 .

      Psalms 9:17

      Jeremiah 5:4

      Proverbs 1:7

      Exodus 4:21

      Exodus 7:3

      Romans 9:17

      Revelation 12:9

      Romans 11:36

      Exodus 10:1

      Exodus 14:4, 8; Psalm 136:15

      Exodus 7:14-15:21

      Exodus 14:16-18

      Joshua 11:20,

      and just as He does with ...

      Isaiah 66:24; Matthew 7:13-14; Romans 9:18-22; Revelation 21:8.

      March 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  2. CH

    Its also written in the 1st amendment that one shouldn't be subjected to anothers religion. Gays should be allowed to marry because this is a free nation. No matter what religion certain members of congress chose to follow in thier private lives. But they can't, because they are victims of a christian attack.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Cas

      That's the whole point these people don't seem to understand. This is America, not some Theocracy. Who cares what this guy is saying? He can believe anything he wants to believe, and gay people can believe what they want to believe, etc.
      This guy assumes everyone listens to the Christian Bible. People like this are inherently racist or culturalist or religionist or whatever you want to call it.
      People like this are completely against America and oppose what it means to be American.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Mike

      No, the 1st Amendment says nothing about whether we can make laws based on religious beliefs. It just says that the government can't establish an official church, and it says the government can't restrict people from practicing their religion. There's nothing in the 1st Amendment preventing anyone from proposing or voting on a law against this or that behavior based on one's religious beliefs, science-based beliefs, self-developed philosophical beliefs, or any other kind of beliefs. If you think something is wrong and you have garnered enough votes to prohibit it, then regardless of the basis for your thinking that particular thing is wrong, as long as there isn't already a law saying that you can't prohibit it, you can prohibit it.

      March 3, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Our fathers understood the concept of unenalienable rights. That means rights that can NOT be revoked by the whim of the majority.

      March 4, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I do believe you have that backwards. Christians don't attack non-believers. It's non-believers attacking us and we in turn, are telling you. Too bad if you have no eyes to see, nor, ears to hear. Not our problems after we tell you His truth. God handles the rest.


      March 4, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • hillbilleter

      @CH: The 1st Amendment prevents the government from setting up or favoring one religion, as was common in other countries at that time. Government monies cannot fund a particular church. England still has it's own state religion, the Anglican Church. The citizens of this country are allowed to be as religious as they want, as long as it takes no one else's rights away from them.

      March 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Tracy

      "The citizens of this country are allowed to be as religious as they want, as long as it takes no one else's rights away from them." LOL That's why gays do not have the same civil rights as everyone else and religion has a lot to do with it. LOL!

      March 4, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  3. Nocturnal

    What people always forget is the bible is "human-written"... there's nothing divine about it in any way shape or form. Question authority, think for yourself.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Castro

      Good point, but don't you find it interesting that the bible is hated by so many people but yet it is the most sold book ever. Or the fact that there is no error in its historical accounts. Could the most famous book ever written actaully be written by random poor people or could it actually be inspired by a God.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • stejo

      did you know that the 2nd best selling book of all time was Mao's Little Red Book? True.

      March 3, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • leonid7

      castro, there are errors in the book. The story of noah, or the account of slavery in egypt, or disingenuous authorship, all contain some rather glaring errors and omissions. And as far as something random being followed by millions, think of all the UFO believers in the world.

      March 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Castro I really wonder how many bibles have been bought by people who were neither required to buy it nor planned to foist a bulk buy onto others, like the people killed by pirates recently were doing. I need to see some very carefully audited sales figures. If some group buys 10,000 bibles to burden some poor kids in Africa with, that means what exactly?

      March 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Approximately 30 chosen men wrote the scriptures, divinely inspired by God so that His truth can be heard/read, by all men (meaning women too).


      March 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • hillbilleter

      @Nocturnal: Inner-city gangs and drug cartels are doing exactly as you suggest. Feel better?

      March 4, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Jeff

      Bible never claims to not be human written. The debate is over inspiration. You are using a "strawman" argument with the text however. You say think to yourself as thinking independent thinker. But no human thinking is truly independent. It has all been built upon those who have "gone before". If you were truly an independent thinker you would have been left as a babe to figure out the world on your own. You weren't. You have been shaped and nutured. The goal is to think critically. In the best form of the word. But regardling the Scripture, interpretation and ethics, your reasoning is lacking the critical thinking. It's just an easy out to not have to struggle with difficult issues. And they are difficult!

      March 4, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  4. RubberDucky

    Pentacostal, Evangelical, Jihadist, they are all the same. Extremism with no tolerance of another's view. The Bible is folklore. I can interpret it my way and and you can your way and neither is more right or wrong.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • DLJR60

      you don't seem to tolerate any view but your own. So are you some type of damgerous extremist?

      March 3, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Another one that hasn't read Romans 11.


      March 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Sergio

      Thats the problem with the bible , we have another testament of jesuscrist and prophets today, and we have no problem.....

      March 5, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Neckbreaker

      You assume the bible is bogus. Let's assume the opposite for a moment. The bible is true. There is right, there is wrong. There are people who do right, there are people who do wrong. There are people who have accepted Christ as their savior, and those who haven't. There are people who will be safe in heaven, and people who will burn in hell. Which is safer? Believing... or not. You decide. It's your eternity after all.

      March 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  5. Mythought

    Shadyjade- You are so funny, but I see your point..If you don't know god in your heart like I do, I see why you would think that way, but I know better.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  6. EZ

    I'm sorry, but i didnt know that the united states of america was driven by a book of laws called the bible. I thought we had our own set of rules.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • dr.whizgig

      here! here! kudos to you sir! 🙂

      March 3, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I guess you use credit cards and haven't seen the U.S. currency. If you get your hands on any of our currency, read that it says "In God we Trust".


      March 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Tracy

      The people who founded this country knew religion was a problem which is why there is the separation of church and state. It has nothing to do with the currency.

      March 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • hillbilleter

      Yes, and those rules include: Do not murder, do not steal, do not lie as a witness, do not sleep with someone else's spouse, etc. Where do you think the rules originated?

      March 4, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Religion in general, ostracizes, condemns, and generally behaves badly towards human beings.

    Precisely why religion is such a curse to modern man.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Same to you ... What a man thinks is projected onto Jesus. If you want to know what God wants for you and from you. Read His truth written in the Bible.


      March 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • hillbilleter

      Why do you have such a poor self image? You seem to be projecting. Or at least expecting ill treatment from others. Why is that? People will treat you as you treat yourself and others. Carry yourself with grace and good will and you will receive that back. It's probably not religion that is your problem.

      March 4, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  8. Observer

    Mabye atheists and believers are both wrong. Maybe there is a God, but he is far more like Jesus in the Bible than the often vain, arrogant mass-killing God portrayed in the Bible.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • RealisticHumanist_986487563

      There is a god, his name is Physics.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      What a man thinks is projected onto Jesus. If you want to know what God wants for you and from you. Read His truth written in the Bible.


      March 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • ashmine

      Jesus is God, a part of the Trinity. God is not arrogant and he killed/kills people that deserve to die. He doesnt just allow people to do as they please, ie evil things.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  9. alex

    life would be a lot easier if everyone would just convert to atheism.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Castro

      haha what you are actually saying to someone who is a christian is. Why dont you choose to go to hell and live a meaning less life. Why live in paradise when you can burn in agony. But at least we would all go to hell together.....um no thank you I think i perfer God but thanks for the offer alex

      March 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Devout

      Life would be alot easier if we all accepted each others beliefs and did not fight over which is best.

      March 3, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      So, many ... Jeremiah 5:4.

      March 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • hillbilleter

      @alex: You mean life would be a lot easier for the people who no longer worried about killing, stealing, lying and destroying property? Without religion, these things are only illegal. No fear, dude.

      March 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Neckbreaker

      Amen Heavensent!! I would advise you all to look up that verse!

      March 6, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  10. bdb

    Yes, base your moral judgement of others on fiction written 2k years ago. That will help. How about trying to think for yourselves?

    March 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jeremiah 5:4

      March 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Jeff

      No one thinks in a vacuum. Whether we like it or not our greatest moral pride is taken in values which are in the Bible. You may think for yourself, but your assumptions are rooted in presuppositions. My fear is that people are taking a half year of religion in a Junior College and now think they are enlightened (you need to watch that South Park episode- so funny). You didn't come up with what is right or wrong on your own man. You are right to think critically. But you came into this world as a little blob of a baby, who had to learn "right". You have some good instincts I'm sure, but to throw out the Bible completely as irrelevant is to throw out your own paradigm for how you reason.

      March 4, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  11. justice3688


    March 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Devout


      March 3, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
  12. Denizen Kate

    Mr. Gagnon seems to be an intelligent, articulate person, so why does he insist on using the "rules" in an ancient set of writings to govern today's human behavior? It isn't relevant. I realize this is the Belief blog, and that most people believe in god in one form or another, but please keep your religious beliefs and practices out of my life and the lives of others who may not agree with you. If two people want to marry and form a family, let them. Who is hurt by it? What is everyone so afraid of when in comes to this topic?

    March 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • SHRIKE

      because his doctorate is in religious fiction

      March 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • HeavenSent


      Matthew 27.


      March 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • hillbilleter

      So, why are you reading this section, and why are you bothering to post? And, you will notice that more and more people are choosing to kill their own family members for "freedom" and profit, now that they are no longer taught that murder is wrong. It's only illegal.

      March 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  13. The Dude

    It also tells you to stone your children to death if they do not obey you,

    March 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • DLJR60

      where do you stoning your children that in the Bible? Please provide the scripture in proper context.

      March 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Devout

      And it tells you to only proclaim scripture if you fully understand its meaning and live it yourself 0_o

      March 3, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • CBinKY

      Making them smoke cannibis until they die? I guess that would do it!

      March 4, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • HeavenSent

      We are all children of God. With that said, if God's children (does not tell you the age of the child e.g. adult child of God) refuses to read, comprehend and apply His truth to their life, they most likely will conduct evil and evil as you know, are sitting in our prisons on death row which is applicable to said scriptures of stoning.


      March 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Tracy

      Evil is sitting in prison is equal to stoning, seriously. Evil is also immoral like those that brought down wall street. Evil is the WBC protesting at funerals. Evil is millions of Christians holding onto their greed while many children are starving in the world. Evil is a child left in foster care without a loving home because Christians are too lazy to go there and save them. Evil is the greed of surrounding yourself in material greed while walking by the homeless. Notice none of those examples have anything to do with prison!

      March 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tracy, I wonder what people will think of your slang today ... e.g. that's so bad, means the opposite. Crib, doesn't mean a large overstuffed baby bed for the individual that just left their parents roof. Slap me five, doesn't mean you are assaulting a person. I can go on and on, but I hope you have eyes to see, and gray matter that ticks.

      March 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Tracy

      HeavenSent, you lost your eyes to see a long time ago you believe you are intellectual when all you are proving is you are completely lost within yourself. The gray matter in your head is pickled in arrogance.

      March 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • hillbilleter

      Many ancient societies had laws about people being responsible for killing their own children/teens if those children became so uncontrollably violent and lawless that they posed a danger to others in the tribe/social unit. It was a brutal era and required brutal answers to some of society's problems. If the parents did not take care of the matter, the burden fell upon the larger social unit, but the violent criminal would be taken down by those closest to him. They could not afford to feed and house a lot of criminals, so the solution was often a final one. Mental illness was not something that was very well understood until the last century, either, and the solution was often much the same as for a deliberate criminal.

      March 4, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Jeff

      The Dude,
      You are right that there is some hard hitting teaching and passages! You are, however, misinterpreting the Scripture and thus using a “straw man” argument. There was civic law, ceremonial law and moral law in the Old Testament. It is very easy to tell the difference in Scripture. Israel was originally a people who had agreed to enter into a covenant (promise) with God to live differently. There are civic laws for that particular nation which had consequences (this is where we get our governmental laws against murder, manslaughter, theft, private property, etc.). These civic laws were not assumed to all apply to all people. However, the moral law was true no matter where you find yourself. So the punishment might be different for stealing (civic law), but the act of stealing is still morally wrong (moral law). Trying to kill your parents is punishable by death (civic law), wanting to kill and then killing your parents is evil (moral law). Do you get the difference?

      March 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • donhildenbrand

      @DLJ... that would be Lev 20:9
      "'If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head." NIV The context is a listing of offenses for which people should be killed....

      March 21, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  14. Grant

    The bible also says that a man lived in the belly of a whale for 3 days and 3 nights, God flooded the entire earth and a single boat carried 2 of every animal on earth, and it also says that Moses talked to a burning bush; when are people going to realize the content is not as important as the message: Love everyone! I can't believe this article appears on a internationally viewed website, it's hate speech, and therefore ignorant. And to reiterate earlier points, the Bible is not the law of the land; morality is a personal realm, and this is an abuse of power by the writer. Pontificating these asinine statements from your sheltered position does not make you someone with a valuable opinion; rather, it makes you appear to be a narrow-minded bigot. Give some credit to your education, use your brain.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Manolo

      Actually, the Bible reads that Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as you would love yourself." As far as the rest of your rambling diatribe, I'm not sure how you can make such bold assertions about a person who is clearly learned in his area of expertise and can articulate a scholarly viewpoint.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • aww Grant

      So Grant, you much rather believe u were formed from an ape, that came in a liquid gel from space... ooooh that's sooo much less fantasy than the bible. at least you can back track the bible, historically... or give up to people *you* think are smarter than you when the toss the any age more than a million years ago. Sure Grant, a million years ago this liquid gel formed life and has allowed some of us to fly, some to swim, some to create an advanced civilization and some like you who thankfully learnt how to use a computer.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • leonid7

      awww Grant, perhaps learns something about science before you try to critique or use it to prove a point.

      March 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • leonid7

      And btw, if god wants us to believe the bible literally, he has a funny knack for leaving tons of evidence around that contradicts it. If the earth was less than 10000 years old, we would not be able to see most of our own galaxy.

      March 3, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Timmy

      But I LIKE pontificating from my sheltered position! How else am I going to speak freely? Get real.

      March 4, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • HeavenSent

      The Bible is the Truth about life and the hereafter. Only man living in his ego sees contradictions (aka butting Heads with Jesus' wisdom). Jesus told us to stay humble, just for this reason. Scriptures explains what has/is happening to those of us that were born of woman to come back and our souls experience life. Genesis explains that this earth age is about 14,000 years old. The Bible also explains the foundation of the world, the beginning, which is millions upon millions of years old, before God created man to live on the earth after He destroyed the 1st earth age, like he will do this earth age if you don't repent, Have Jesus forgive you of your sins, so you can resides with Him in the 3rd earth age that has no evil for eternity. Anyone that mocks Jesus, well let's say, I wouldn't want to be standing in the line with you waiting to speak with God when we die.


      March 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • hillbilleter

      @Grant: Study of ancient texts and societies is not hate speech. If you get a burr under your saddle every time someone mentions ancient civilisations' practices, then maybe you shouldn't be in the library at all. Next, you'll criticize the cultural study of the Tao. Lighten up.

      March 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Robert

      The content IS the message. Jonah in the fish's belly, the global flood that wiped out all life except what was on Noah's ark, the burning bush, these are all miracles of a supernatural being (a being that is outside of and greater than the natural world). By the way, the ark was huge and nowhere does the Bible say that every animal on it was full-grown, only male and female.

      Your concept of what hate speech is is itself ignorant. Morality is not personal, but you make a personal decision whether to abide by morality as defined by the being or beings you worship, or ethics which are secular laws which happen to be grown out of the morals of the nation the laws govern. In short, in one short wall of text you make yourself look like an idiot.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:24 am |
  15. Paul

    More fine Americans trying to turn the US into Christian versions of Iran.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • justice3688

      funny you share a name with the best missionary of all time besides Jesus. He was a murderer and a slanderer named Saul and then Jesus saved him and named him Paul.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Manolo

      That's funny, I've read the Bible through and through many, many times and I've never read a single sentence in it estabishing that adherents of Christianity or Judaeism force anyone to believe. That's one of the primary points of all 66 of the Bible's texts: you are free to choose to believe or not.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Devout

      Wow, thats a troll...


      March 3, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • Devout

      Hmmm, look at the first amendment

      March 3, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Mmmhhhh, these scriptures come to mind ...

      Isaiah 43:10-11 (Isaiah 44: 6-8, 24; 45:5-10, 18, 21-22)

      1 John 4:6

      John 8:47 (Ephesians 4:3-6, 1 Cor 1:10)

      Psalm 139:21-22

      2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (Ephesians 5:11)

      2 Timothy 3:1-2 (Luke 9:23, Proverbs 28:26)

      Romans 3:10-18 (John 6:44)

      Psalm 10:3-4

      Jude 4


      March 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  16. Servant of G*d

    Oh my Lord my G*d you dwell amongs your people! The Christconscience is a reality because he who finds the Force finds Amen and his Son Jesus Christ divine Brother of his people and mine. Lightworkers of light that are not from here but are here for the changes help us remove the void, as I shall One day have satan and his traitors 4 breakfast behold satan Im coming for you. Roar, I am a young Lyon and I am hungry for your hyde, all fallen ones will pay in the spiritworld. thy will be done in Amens Holy Name and his Beloved and Begotten Son Jesus Holy CHrist King of kings the ALmighty and the Most High Higher than Orion and beyond....God is Power of the Cosmos!

    March 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • justice3688

      what Bible are you reading??

      March 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • SHRIKE

      some lithium would cure those mouth spasms right up

      March 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • RealisticHumanist_986487563

      ...wow! Have some Thorazine, dude.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Bill

      Dude – you've got it upside down. Turn it around....

      March 3, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • manyfaucets

      Thank you for your wisdow O sanctimonious tartoufian blow hard.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Devout

      Who is G*d?

      March 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • Devout

      Um, thats wrong.

      Before you judge anything, read it for yourself. Look into it, and don't look at sites made by trolls that are against christianity.

      Wikipedia is a good place to start 😀

      March 3, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, the ways of the world ...

      Matthew 27.


      March 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  17. JMissal

    Good thing we're not a theocracy then.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Isaiah 64:6
      Isaiah 66:24
      Proverbs 17:11
      Proverbs 21:10
      Psalm 10:3-4
      Psalm 53:1
      Romans 3: 11-12
      Romans 1:29
      Ecclesiastes 9:3
      Romans 1:16-32;
      Romans 1:25
      Romans 1:28-32
      Romans 1:18
      Romans 11:36; 1:18
      Romans 16:18
      Romans 3:10-18
      Ephesians 2:2
      John 6:44
      John 3:19-21
      Luke 13:1-3
      Deuteronomy 32:39
      1 Samuel 2:6
      Isaiah 45:7
      Lamentations 3:37-38
      Amos 3:6
      2 Peter 2:17-18
      2 Timothy 4:3

      If they don’t Luke 13:1-5

      March 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • PeterVN

      Since Heaven's Stinker is buy-bull dumping again from her book of horrors, let's have a look at the fine material of Leviticus

      # God gives detailed instructions for performing ritualistic animal sacrifices. such bloody rituals must be important to God, judging from the number of times that he repeats their instructions. Indeed the entire first nine chapters of Leviticus can be summarized as follows: Get an animal, kill it, sprinkle the blood around, cut the dead animal into pieces, and burn it for a "sweet savor unto the Lord." Chapters 1 – 9

      # "Kill the bullock before the LORD ... bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar." 1:5

      # "Flay the burnt offering; cut it into pieces." 1:6

      # Lay ... the head, and the fat ... on the fire which is upon the altar: But his inwards and his legs ... burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice ... a sweet savour unto the LORD." 1:8-9

      # "Kill ... before the Lord and ... sprinkle blood round about." 1:11

      # "Cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat ... and burn it ... for a sweet savour unto the Lord." 1:12-13

      # "If the burnt sacrifice ... be of fowls ... wring off his head, and burn it ... and the blood thereof shall be wrung out." 1:14-15

      # "For a sweet savour unto the Lord." 1:17

      # "Part it in pieces... it is a meat offering." 2:6

      # "It is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire." 2:10

      # "He shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it ... and .... sprinkle the blood ... round about." 3:2

      # "The fat that covereth the inwards ... and the two kidneys ... and the caul above the liver.... It is ... a sweet savour unto the Lord." 3:3-5

      # "He shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it ... and .... sprinkle the blood ... round about." 3:8

      # "The fat ... the whole rump ... the inwards ... the two kidneys ... burn it upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire unto the LORD." 3:9-11

      # "If his offering be a goat ... he shall lay his hand upon the head ... and kill it ... and ... sprinkle the blood ... round about." 3:12-13

      # "The fat that covereth the inwards ... the two kidneys ... and the caul above the liver ... burn them upon the altar; it is the food of the ooffering made by fire for a sweet savour." 3:14-16

      # "All the fat is the Lord's."
      When you do your burnt offerings, remember that "all the fat is the Lord's." (And he doesn't like to share!) 3:16

      # "Kill the bullock before the Lord and take of the bullock's blood." 4:4

      # "The priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle the blood seven times before the Lord." 4:6

      # "Put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar ... and ... pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar." 4:7

      # "Take ... all the fat of the bullock for the sin offering; the fat that covereth the inwards ... the two kidneys ... and the caul above the liver ... and ... burn them upon the altar of the burnt offering." 4:8-10

      March 18, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  18. ItSOnLyME

    Who really cares? The Bible is a fantasy story written 2000+ years ago. What relevance does that have to modern life? It also, by the way, condones stoning, slavery, and other pleasant practices. You can't pick and choose. It's also interesting that it's banned for some animals (humans) but not for all the rest that "god" "created". So which is it?

    March 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Servant of G*d

      Behold ITsoNlyme the Bible is more than you can handle, God is the unseen and the All seeing Eye, he who speaks blasphemous about the bible is only inheriting bad Karma; God is slow to anger and he loves many although he shall caste to Hell, all traitors that are evil beyond imagine. Hell belongs to God not satan that fart in the wind is full of pride and he will get more than he can handle, hell will freeze !!!! Behold the Kingdom of Heaven is Full of Love and Compasion, Love is the key. The void shall be vanquished!

      March 3, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Manolo

      You state that "you can't pick and choose," yet that's exactly what you're doing. Regarding slavery, the Bible does not speak specifically to the practice except in limited ways to illustrate servanthood. First, erase the mindset that all slaves were tortured, were unhappy, or were chattel. In the era of the Bible, slave ownership in the Judaen, Greek and Roman cultures carried great responsibility. Slaves were actually under contracts that would be vacated after a set period. In most instances, slavery was entered into willingly. After their service was through, the slave then had the opportunity to continue their service or take their services elsewhere. They could also join with their master for life. This was signified by taking placing one's ear against a post in the primary public area (the "square") and with their own hand piercing the ear lobe with a spike and affixing it to the post. This declared a slave's willingness to serve their master for life. The master would then unpin the slave, consumating the deal and entering into a public covenant to care for the slave as a brother. The apostle Paul, a Roman Jew having freedom by birthright, used the example of himself being pierced to post for Christ.

      Context, friend, is everything. One can only learn the proper context by undertaking study of the subject from a scholarly, unpresuming viewpoint and the arrive at one's own conclusions.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Astounded

      If, as you say, God is "God is the unseen and the All seeing Eye", then why is he so bad with money? All I ever hear from so-called pastors, priests, bishops, nuns, televangelists, etc. is how much the church is suffering and needs my money. If God is all the things you say, then wouldn't the path to fortune be more evident to these supposed conduits of God? Just asking.

      March 3, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • farmboymn

      @manolo Holy Crap! Slaves were NOT indentured servants in the time of Jesus and the Roman Empire. They were slaves in the truest sense of the word. Brutalized, tortured, crucified, moved thousands of miles from the villages where everyone was wiped out. Good (god), read a book once in while that doesn't have Old English script in it.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Devout

      2 billion people care...

      March 3, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • Devout

      What you are saying isn't true.

      Christians believe in violence if it is the only option. Besides the Icelanders, they are extremists

      March 3, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Matthew 27.


      March 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Pumbaa

      There is still one religion that likes to practice stoning, slavery, and making women second class citizens.

      March 5, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  19. boo

    The Bible is fiction. You may as well argue about what Captian Kirk thinks about legalizing marijuana.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Castro

      You say the bible is fiction. What facts have lead you to that conclusion? or better yet can you give me an example of the bible beinng fiction.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Anon

      Sure, here is an example: The Ark flying around in front of David and his army killing every man, woman, child and beast in every village.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Castro

      That was a poor example kid. First of all nowhere is the ark flying around like some sort of kite. Second what point are you trying to make with that example. It fails to deny the accuracy of the bible

      March 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Gaucho420

      I got tons. The entire thing. Adam & Eve? The Ark? Johan and the Whale? Jesus walking on water? Sure, you can choose to beleive these things, as well as beleiving in Zombies coming back from the dead to save humanity, the easter bunny, the Sun god Ra, Zeus, Buddha, and every other silly non-sense humans come up with to explain things they cannot yet explain.

      To say which party of the bible is fiction is truly laughable.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Ravak

      It takes more faith to say "there is no God" and to not believe what the Bible says than it does to believe in the God the Bible speaks of.

      March 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Manolo

      The Ark of the Covenant was carried before the Israelites. It didn't "fly around," as you say. The Hebrew and Greek words used for ark (as in boat) are not the same words use for the Ark of the Covenant (as in the vessel that carried the law given to the the Israelites). In every instance of the Old Testament where God orders the Israelites to kill it was for specific purposes, including to demonstrate to them that they are his chosen people, that he was keeping the Abrahamic covenant with them, to punish them, and more.

      The Bible is a compendium of 66 books of history, poetry, guidance, law, history, prophecy, eyewitness testimony, and rhetorical argument. A lot of lay readers pick and choose one-liners out of it and get information in it confused, like the fact that there were at least four different King Herods, who the "wise men" were, who the authors of the books were, the timeframes they were written, and even the simple fact that the Bible is not chronological. An open-minded study of it is needed to gain a better understanding of its contents. Most people would rather just point to a sentence in it and use juvenile logic and rhetoric like, "Who was Cain's wife," "Did Eve have a belly button," or "Where are the bones of Jesus?"

      March 3, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Manolo


      It takes more faith to say "there is no God" and to not believe what the Bible says than it does to believe in the God the Bible speaks of.

      For one to have faith, one must believe in the supernatural, not just the natural. It takes no faith to believe in what one can see, touch or experience. It takes no faith to believe in gravity, apples, water, DNA, viruses, etc.

      March 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Pete

      Castro...can you offer any proof that its true?

      March 3, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • chyrd

      @Castro – No No No... the burden of proof is yours my friend. If you are going to say that there was a talking snake, a virgin birth, walking on water, and resurrection, the onus is on you to provide evidence for it being true. I'm betting you can't

      March 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • chyrd

      @ Manalo – It takes more faith to NOT believe in a god? How much faith does it take you NOT to believe in Pixies or dragons? Hmmm?

      March 3, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Kay

      Sorry, Manolo, but you claim "The Bible is a compendium of 66 books". Well, that's not actually true. The Protestant Bible has 66 books, while the Roman Catholic Bible...compiled first...has 73 books.

      So what you're *really* saying is that *YOUR* Bible has 66 books in it. And, apparently, that you don't believe those other 7 books belong in the Bible...meaning that you yourself are rejecting part of the Bible. Hmmmm.

      March 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • 1trueGod

      evolution is fiction

      March 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • 1trueGod

      God loves all humans reguardless of their sin

      March 3, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Jared

      I guess some people would rather argue over stupid stuff and go to hell. I really hate it for you guys that are gonna miss out on heaven!

      March 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • manyfaucets

      How about "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin".

      March 3, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Misfitsoda

      What if we said there was an infinite number of ways it all began; the way existence began. Youre saying you KNOW the Christian story is how it began. Ok, that's one out of an infinite number. Me saying Im pretty sure that's not how it began, odds are stacked a little bit in my favor.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • dr.whizgig

      @Jared It's to bad that you don't practice my religion. Your totally going to have to poop on a giant rock for all of eternity while the rest of us drink yager bombs in candy land.

      March 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • Vic

      Have you studied the accurancy of the prophecies of the bible? Do other book has hundreds of prophecy that has been fulfilled? Koran has only one prophecy? You may want to do a little research! No, No, No other book has its track record because it is God's Word who created all things and knows all things! You place your faith in evolution that you once was a tadpole and then a monkey.....I place my faith in God and his Word!

      March 3, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Catholic MOM and Wife

      which parts do you believe are fiction?

      March 3, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Catholic MOM and Wife

      Why are you takking parables and trying to match them to real life occurances? Do you even know what a parable is? It's a story told on a leve even a child could understand. Perhaps you should read them again, you might learn something from them. 🙂

      March 3, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • Timmy

      Yager bombs? Really?

      March 4, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • RdclCntrst

      I still request– along with all of my brothers and sisters in Sauce– that the views of Pastafarianism be taught in public schools, along with the Christian creation story and evolution. It isn't fair to teach one unproveable theory and not teach them all. Any one person's saying that the Bible is the word of a god doesn't make it so (nor does that god saying it in that same book). And there are thousands of followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster who created us all; just because there are more followers of the crucified zombie doesn't make your beliefs any more valid than ours. Faith is faith; any one isn't more valid than any other, by any rational comparison. By His Noodly Appendages, R'Amen.

      March 4, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • HeavenSent

      manyfaucets, Jesus gave man/woman life. Therefore, intellectual thought is a gift from Him. He asked that you use it wisely by comprehending and applying His truth to your lives so your soul can flourish on earth, as it is in Heaven.


      March 4, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Tracy

      God also gave gays life too!

      March 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tracy, What part of the sin of PRIDE and the sin of LUST blinding the person(s) do you not comprehend?

      March 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • David

      For the record a proper Atheist doesn't reject the possibility of God absolutely. One can not say that god absolutely does not exists, we can only say it is very unlikely as based on our understanding of the universe it appears that the universe is an emergent feature of very basic natural laws. Science allows us to quantify the and define things that were once both mysterious and apparently supernatural. I point you to the celestial teapot and the flying spaghetti monster. These things are just as "likely" as god, and just as unprovable in either direction. They can't be proven or dis-proven. An atheist, like you rejects the absolute belief in thousands and perhaps even hundreds of thousands of ancient and long forgotten gods, goddesses and spirits. Atheists just take it one god further.

      March 5, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • ashmine

      the bible is just as ficticious as your existence.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • PeterVN

      @HeavenSent, which poor animal did you bloodily sacrifice to your sky fairy today, as your buy-bull commands you to?

      And how are your slaves progressing at harvesting from those mustard trees?

      It's all there in your evil book of fiction, the buy-bull.

      March 18, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Frank

      Hey RaVAK,

      Then what do you have faith in?

      March 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Frank


      Can you offer proof that it's not?

      March 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Freddo

      @ Castro and firends..do you really believe in Dragons? They never existed...isn't that proof enough. There tons of evidence of how the Universe as we know it came to existence and very little that it was created in 6-7 days, only, what 6 thousand years ago. I like to keep and open mind, and accept people's religious beliefs. But you have to admit, this one sounds kind of improbable.

      March 29, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  20. amy

    FOX NEWS (yuck!) and the BIBLE are about on the same level for me.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • nobama

      So you worship Obamamessiah, MSNBC and sacrifice your unborn in Liberal abortion rituals?

      March 4, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • Mandi

      amy maybe you are yuck to some popele too

      March 4, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Freddo

      @ amy...I totally agree...YUCK.....FAUX News and the Bible...Lies to fix the news and reality.

      March 29, 2011 at 10:48 am |
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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.