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. Terry

    Justin.... your comment on....PS: The Bible is also pretty clear on Incest too. Remember Lot and his daughters? According to the bible it is totally morally permissible to sleep with and become impregnated by your father so long as you get him drunk in a cave. Some morality you've got there, bible thumper.

    Generations after Generations on the fathers side has had many problems since then. Read the Bible. It was wrong for that to happen.

    March 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  2. devout FSM believer

    I was brought up Christian and read the Bible cover to cover a couple of times. Like many others here, reading and re-reading turned me into an agnostic because I found it did not resemble what I was being told to believe in church. I'm still appalled the Old Testament is included in the Bible. There is more killing and cruelty – and in the name of God – than any action movie Hollywood has produced. For example, have you ever read the story of David and the 200 foreskins? Tell me what lesson there is in killing 200 men and cutting off their foreskins for the sole purpose of giving them as a gift to Saul for his daughter's hand in marriage? I doubt Jesus would have condoned that behavior so why do Christians so quickly point out some passages in the Old Testament to convince others of what is morally right or wrong? The Bible, like most holy books, contains valuable lessons and stories on being a good person, but to follow it blindly is pure folly.
    A question I like to ask Christians trying to save my soul is, "If an illiterate goat herder from the Middle East asked you to give them all of your money and possession so they could invest it, would you do it? Of course you wouldn't entrust them with everything you own. So why do your run your life and entrust your immortal soul to the beliefs and laws of illiterate goat herders from over 2,000 years ago?"

    March 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  3. jrat

    ...seriously, who cares! The bible got slavery wrong, therefore is automatically disqualified for any source of moral insight. Besides, had you been born in ancient greece you'd be praising apollo...etc. Why can't people see it's all just a bunch of crap written by charlatans? It is insulting to human intellect!!

    March 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  4. A Believer

    My response is directed to the many atheists who have posted. I always find it interesting that reading the Bible causes a person to not believe in God, as is claimed above. If the Bible is a fairy tale, then by what agreement did we decide that there is no God? Many other religions have sacred texts that claim God exists. Shouldn't you also read all of those before you make your decision? And what about the testimony of history's greatest thinkers. Socrates, Newton, Lincoln, Einstein, all believed in God to name only a very small handful. Were they deceived and duped or are you just smarter than them? The current generation always believes it is the most enlightened, but I know enough to recognize that I'm nothing compared to these intellectual heavyweights that believed in God. But you can't stop there. To complete your proof that God does not exist you must search the entirety of the universe to show that he is nowhere, and no dimension of time or space. Obviously this cannot be done, yet from reading the Bible and pointing out contracdictions this is proof enough that there is no God. This is greater faith than I have.

    As a believer in God, I have it much easier. I have the witness of the Bible and many other books of sacred text, the witness of some of history's greatest minds and thinkers, and most importantly my own impressions. I can't prove to you that God exists, but to me, your task is much more difficult to prove that God does not exist.

    March 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • devout FSM believer

      You are correct. Science has never proven beyond all doubt that God, or any other deity, does not exist. Science has not proven that the Sun god Ra, the Greek god Zeus, or the Viking god Thor do not exist...but how many believers do they have today? The burden of proof is on the believer, not the disbeliever.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • David

      I find it strange that you ask people to prove a negative which is impossible. Perhaps you need to prove that there is a god. I have never seen any evidence that supports this. Worship of a god does not make one real.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • A Believer

      @devoutFSMbeliever you make my point for you. The lack of believers in the Gods you mention is evidence - evidence that those Gods were probably created in man's mind. If God does exist, then doesn't he have an interest in seeing that his believers continue to follow him throughout time? Did Ra just take a vacation? I don't know, but I believe hasn't given up on us. You can also make this claim about Dragons, fairies, and ogres. Are they real? I doubt it, but I feel that I'm in good company here. With my God, I know that others, much smarter than I, have believed in him. I also know that my God has been followed since what we believe is the Fall of Adam to the present day. He's still around.

      @David, you also make my point. You cannot prove a negative. I agree. Thus an atheist cannot show that God does not exist. Don't you find it hard to follow atheism (I directed my remarks to athesits, but I'm not sure if you are one from your comments) where its underlying premise is something that cannot be proven - ever. It actually means that atheism requires faith just like believing in God. Regarding the burden of proof, I think God has given plenty of hints that he does exist or at least enough that we have good reason to believe in him. But let's suppose that we could prove, absolutely, that he does exist? Then what? Would you change? Does God know that proof of his existence is not going to change behavior. I think so. God wants us to love him and to love our neighbor (the two great commandments). Forcing us to believe in him doesn't accomplish either of those objectives. So I don't see why God would prove to you that he exists. He wants you to love him. But just to get you thinking I'll give you a few things that that hint to me of his existence, but don't "prove" his existence (food for thought). Look at your face in a mirror. Why is it so symetrical? Why was it made this way? A roll of the cosmic dice? Examine the folds in your ear. Why do you have two eyes opposite each other above your nose and over your mouth? Is this just survival of fittest? But why does survival of the fittest need symetry and order? It makes me wonder how this happened and whether God was behind it. It makes me think, but I understand that I'm different from you. Newton thought the existence of a thumb was enough to prove that there was a creator. I don't think it proves his existence, but Newton was quite smart. Why did it make him think that way? I can't just dismiss a man like Newton.

      March 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  5. Nick

    Christians are so stupid...it's just sad.

    March 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Rebecca Liss

      If we were born in G-d's image, then why would it be bad for us to do something "wrong." Also, He created us, so why would he make us "not perfect" in any way, like being gay. That does not make any sense to me. It is also the 21st century. We all have the right to love. I do not understand what the big deal is if someone is gay. Isn't it the same thing as being antisemetic or racist?

      March 3, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  6. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Eh, this is an opinion. Not a fact. There are just as many theologians who disagree and interpret the words of the Bible differently. They're not wrong, just because some people don't like what they say. Why should we assume this guy knows all the answers?

    March 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  7. Terry

    I am YOUR Samurai Cowboy... you must not understand how the Holy Spirit works?

    March 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  8. Seriously

    I can't believe people are still arguing for a 2000 year old book that contains genocide, Slavery and other horrible things and still regarding this as a moral authority. Seriously people think for your self, if you need a book to tell you right from wrong then you need to step back and seriously examine your life.

    March 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  9. moron

    im too weak to follow what the bible says. and everything i do should be considered right. i spoke to god already, had a one to one and he told me that i'm saved. he told me all i had to do was tell everyone that I believe in Jesus and that should do it. im just too lazy to be good. so i became a pusssy....i mean atheist.

    March 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  10. Justin

    Well hey, I guess it's a good thing that the bible is a work of fiction then isn't it? There are A LOT of "morals" in that book that christians commonly overlooked because they don't jive with our modern view of morality such as issues of gender equality, slavery, animal cruelty, genocide. Nobody takes a second look at these. There are two strategies christians commonly use to justify their confused state of affairs. 1) Deliberately distinguish between the Old and New testament only when it serves the purpose of ignoring rules and moral teachings they don't agree with. 2) Declare passages as "symbolic" when it suits their goals while taking other passages literally.

    PS: The Bible is also pretty clear on Incest too. Remember Lot and his daughters? According to the bible it is totally morally permissible to sleep with and become impregnated by your father so long as you get him drunk in a cave. Some morality you've got there, bible thumper.

    PPS: In the words of Ricky Gervais, "Thank you God for making me an athiest."

    March 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Flora

      The only reason Lot sleeping with his daughters was remotely permissible was because he was literally the last man on Earth. Do all of you atheists lack the ability to read in context, or is that just a special skill of yours? And before you ven answer this, make sure you come back with another example where incest is permissible by God, and the people have some other option and/or are not horribly killed in the end.

      Just because it's in the Bible, doesn't make it okay.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  11. I am YOUR Samurai Cowboy

    Christianity, Judaism and Islam are phony, made up religion which have absolutely no basis of any kind of provable, historic fact. The religions were created as a way to keep the masses of the great unlettered and unwashed in line by threatening terrible retributions from an Invisible Man in The Sky
    The Holy Books, written by men, is are a complete and total work work of fiction comprised of myths, legends and outright lies. Nothing that takes place in these books can be proven to have ever happened.

    March 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  12. amazed

    It's amazing how the atheists and non Christians have such strong feels for a book they don't believe in, and even though they say it doesn't matter to their lives. As the bible says, (paraphrasing) 'the word God is condemnation and death to the unbeliever, and forgiveness and life to the unbeliever.' For a book of fairtales and lies, it seems to have at least that truth in it, as evident in these posts.
    One other thing. There are not 20 different 'versions' of the bible they are translations, and while some have different wording it all says the same thing: God created man, and put him in charge of the world. Man sinned after he was tempted by Satan. The curse of his sin is death. Because man ruled over the world, death spread down from him to the rest of creation. God, loving man created a plan to save the world, so he sent His only begotten Son, Jesus as a sacrifice for our sin. Jesus' was sinless, because he was not the son of Adam, but the Son of God. His death at the hands of man provided retribution for our sin. By His resurrection He defeated death. Now when man believes on Him man is given the Holy Spirit, which was sent after Jesus ascended to heaven, and by His Spirit we are made new, into a New Man. Jesus promised to return to destroy physical death, and when he does the New Man, who are now adopted sons and daughters of God will take their rightful place as rulers of Earth, and ALL will be restored as it was before the fall. This is the good news Christians are ment to tell, not the condemnation of Hell a lot of Christians preach.

    March 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • ThisGuy

      The darkness hates the light.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • ThisGuy

      By the way, if everyone is already saved, why preach the Gospel, and why must we accept Jesus into our hearts if we're saved anyway?

      March 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • amazed

      Hey ThisGuy, I think you may have miss read my post. 🙂 I did clarify by stating: 'Now when man believes on Him man is given the Holy Spirit'. You need to believe and ask for His forgiveness in order to receive the Holy Spirit and adoption of God. Unless a man is 'sealed' with the Holy Spirit (Eph 2) he is not saved. Man must be reborn by the Spirit to be called a child of God, and be recreated into a new man. The only way this is possible is by accepting who Jesus Christ is and the gift of forgiveness He provides.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  13. Jolnir

    It's astounding to those of us who believe in elves, faeries, multiple gods, and a beautiful Earth that the so-called "People of the Book" spend so much of their lives arguing about how to love each other – and then in the greatest of ironies claim that they are the only ones with an "instruction manual" to teach them HOW to love. Well, the rest of us find the whole exercise risible and we wish you the best of luck.

    March 3, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  14. Mary Weaver

    The Bible or any other religious text has no place in EVERY AMERICANS right to "Life, LIBERTY and the pursuit of Happiness."

    Noun /ˈlibərtē/ Synonyms: noun: freedom, license, licence, independence

    The state of being free within society from OPPRESSIVE RESTRICTIONS imposed by authority ON ONE's WAY OF LIFE behavior, or political views.

    March 3, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Josh

      Mary, I'll agree with that. But what I have a problem with is when "The Bible or any other religious text has no place in EVERY AMERICANS right ..." becomes "The Bible or any other religious text has no place in ANY Americans right...". I agree that no person should have anything forced on them. That includes not being able to study the Bible or practice your religion either at work or school because of fear of persecution. The fact remains that people are affraid to say Mery Christmas because they may get fired if someone complains. Isn't that giving you the right to not be exposed to something by taking away my right to express it? What if society said, ok you can be gay, but you cannot express it in front of others or you may be fired. What is the difference?

      March 3, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • godsman

      @Mary Weaver

      "The state of being free within society from OPPRESSIVE RESTRICTIONS imposed by authority ON ONE's WAY OF LIFE behavior, or political views."

      So...if I was of the opinion that taking your car was OK, and that there should not be a nasty OPPRESSIVE RESTRICTION about stealing, you would agree with me, right? You probably would just shrug your shoulders and move onto the next car, right?

      March 3, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Tim

      It is precisely within the right that you mention that we are guaranteed the opportunity to pursue a deeper knowledge of the Bible. If one chooses a different religious text, or no religious text, that too is protected within that right.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  15. Josh

    I am naturally a sceptic, but have found two thoughts regarding the Bible that make it hard to pass off as a Fairy Tale.
    1. Name one other book written by multiple authors, in multiple locations, speaking multiple languages, over hundreds or thousands of years that contains factual historical events referring to the same master creator. Just seems to me there has to be some sort of truth to what they are preaching.
    2. I may have never met Jesus in person, but many of the early apostles, including Peter and Paul, either knew Jesus or just knew people who knew Jesus. These people were willing to be imprisoned, punished, threatened with death, had everything taken from them just so they could share the teachings of Jesus with others. Seems to me if what they saw in the resurrection was not real or if the Jesus they knew was a con they wouldn't have stuck to their guns so hard.

    March 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • JohnR

      It's the norm for mythologies to spawn sequences of storiesover time. It has happened in all extant religions (cf the long history of Hindu sacred writing and the centuries, even millenia long discussion of Brahma and Indra and Krishna and Vishnu et al) and also happened in the case of the mostly moribund European pagan religions, whose gods are known from a long sequence of sources.

      Every modern guru has a stable of true believers. Why should it have been different in antiquity? But even so, we don't for the most part know much about what Jesus's disciples had to say, only what later authors said they had to say – end then modern exegeses of that.

      You need to hone your skepticism a bit!

      March 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  16. Athiest

    Keep your Jesus crap in your churches and out of my life. If you wish to use your "bible", riddled with discrepancies and ignormance, to continuously find ways to outcast, judge people, and promote hatred and war, do it in your churchs. Keep your filthy opinions and judgements to your own kind. We don't need nor want you in our lives. We choose to live peaceful, full lives. Know Jesus – Know War / No Jesus – No War.

    March 3, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • ThisGuy

      You should have joined the Soviet Union and all their peaceful, just, and loving atheists.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • crucified

      Guess you did not get a ticket.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • WDinDallas

      It seems to me that only people that are scared to be judged by their actions or inactions are athiests. Or claim to be. That way they do not have to answer to their lack of morals. Either a fear of a higher being, or sometimes just narcisstic.

      Am I pretty much dead on there buddy?

      March 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • godsman


      "Keep your Jesus crap in your churches and out of my life."

      Seems funny to me that you would be cruising a BELIEF blog to look for someone to tell this to. It appears to me that it was your choice to peruse here.....just sayin'!

      March 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Fitzy

      You do realize that wars existed before Jesus, right? You do get that?

      March 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • KJB

      Mr. Atheist, look in the mirror, for you are projecting on others the very vices you condemn. And pithy slogans do not an argument make.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • A teacher

      ATHEIST is spelled this way. If it is the system of disbelief you follow at least spell it correctly.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Zeus

      we should make like the chinese and burn the stupid book. that shi huangdi guy had it right.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • The word

      the few replies to atheist show folks have learned nothin from reading the bible. Talk the talk but can't walk the walk.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Learn from life

      Man, are you in for a surprise!

      March 3, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Craig

      I find that it's the alleged believers that are more concerned about death and hanging onto life. As fellow atheist I'm quite relaxed about death. Also contrary to belief, atheists as moral as theists. What sort of God would say "you murdered 10 people but asked forgiveness and repented and believed in me – here is your spot in heaven" and "you did great selfless deeds, but you didn't believe in me. go to hell"? Your God, I guess.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • jrat

      @this guy. I'm assuming you're referring to Stalin being an Atheist, therefore he murdered millions of citizens? Well he had a mustache too, correlation is not causation. Don't think Sam Elliot will be murdering millions of people any time soon.

      @wdindalls are you telling me that you go to church and pray and be nice because you want to? or because you want a nice comfy spot in heaven? religion makes good people good for bad reasons. as if humans were ok with murder, theft and adultery until moses came a long and finally we could know right from wrong. what an insult to humanity!

      @godsman he was probably here for the same reason i was, looking for news. low and behold another damn religion debate is flooding out. religions are all the same in that they can yell and preach the "gospel" as much as they want but as soon as people start trying to get them to keep it to themselves we're "hunting them down".

      @fitzy yes they have but the difference is a few decades later and i know of my german and jewish friends that are close. religion mandates you and your descendants MUST hate someone forever. example: Israel and Palestine.

      lastly, believing in god so that you will be sure just in case if you die you wont go to hell is a joke. you think if there is a god he won't know "oh he was just believing to be safe" and drop the proverbial hammer on you?

      March 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  17. G-Txs

    The concern I have about all the posts is the context of which all are written. We all have free agency to decide, read, think, and ponder our thoughts and beliefs. If tomorrow a big article came out about gays, athiests, agnostics, or any group. If everyone started looking for the wrongs and failures of the article would our opinions be a fair assessment of the article or organization that is being written about. The problem I have with all the groups mentioned is they do not gain equal rights, freedoms, or respect from their actions or true beliefs. They all have to run to the ACLU, or antreligion groups to get support. If any of the groups mentioned were so right or doing what GOD had intended for us to do here on this earth; why don't they send their message in a respectful manner to all who will listen.

    March 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  18. Jay

    The bible makes one think crystal clear (at least to me). ALL have sinned. Everyone. You, me, everybody. You are born predisposed to sin and evil. If you are Gay, it's wrong by God's standards. If you are not, you're probably doing something wrong by God's standards. The 10 Commandments were not given to man to tell them how to live but rather to SHOW them they CAN"T live a perfect life. Faith in Jesus is the only way to be saved. If you're choosing to be gay, that is your choice. Jesus did not come here to tell ANYONE they MUST be perfect. He came to be PERFECT FOR THEM...gay people included. I will never live as the bible tells me I should. It DOES give me a guide for me to try but nowhere am I instructed to condemn anyone because of how they wish to live. I can only speak for myself when I say I am just as guilty as somebody who is gay, or a murderer, or any other evil according to the bible. BUT...I have been forgiven and, according to that book, I am saved. That, for me, is enough. For those who do not see this or think I'm a religious fanatic, answer a simple question. When you die, what will happen to you?

    March 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Michael

      one small error in your post which a lot of people seem to make, no one CHOOSES to be gay! Once you and everyone else realize that life for all will be better.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Kashia

      Hey man,

      You need to really pick a side. You said you're not going to live by what the Bible tells you how to, you're gonna sit there and tell people to make the right choice, but at the same time you also say the bible doesnt tell you to condemn anyone? The bible is used to rebuke people. Here it is,

      2nd Timothy 4:2

      2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

      It's clearly written that we should rebuke and encourage. So take a side, either you're Christian or not, don' tell people to worry about seeing God when they die, if you're not going to live by the word. I am a Christian and if you tried to convert me, it would be very misleading, just sayin man.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Smitty

      Michael. Are you 100% sure of that? Or is that just what your believe or have heard from your culture?

      March 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • dave rable

      My response to Mike is this, and this is my opinion, so you can ignore it if you wish.

      Some people are born gay, some are influenced in ways that they become gay. Many of these people choose to live a straight lifestyle, most choose what is in their nature, which is the gay lifestyle. So, while people don't choose to be gay, they may choose to live gay.

      I've got my flameproof pants on, so go ahead.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Anna

      1. I don't think he's saying you choose to be gay, but people choose to act on it. We all have tendencies and desires that can be considered wrong, but if we think they are right and act on it, it is a different story.
      2. Also, He also isn't saying that he isn't going to live by the bible, he's saying that he can't because no one is perfect, but we should all strive for that. Also, we can rebuke (as anyone should do if they see someone following the wrong path), but that doesn't mean we should tell people they are going to hell (which is to condemn)

      March 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  19. ThisGuy

    Some of these comments show just how depraved our world is. You can make all your cases for "but all that stuff is B.S.!" when you are standing before your Maker Himself. At least you'll finally understand why you're wrong before you are cast aside, though I hope you change your mind before then.

    Kudos to this guy for getting the truth out into the media.

    March 3, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Justin

      The Athiest reciprocal of this statement isn't as rewarding but here goes...

      You'll have no time to regret how you've wasted your life in devotion to a mythical sky god when you'll die because your consciousness will cease to be with the biological death of your brain.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • PeterVN

      ThisGuy, the content of your post is essentlally Pascal's Wager, a well known set of logical fallacies. It fails miserably as an argument for the existence of the Christian god.

      So what makes you think that your "god" is the right one to bet on, vs. the thousands of other "gods" that humans have invented throughout history? Especially when the storybook that your god stories are told in is so loaded with errors and contradictions.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Crust

      Justin and PeterVN are Dumb.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  20. Mike

    Finnally someone who makes sense and I have learned what I innately knew. Thank you for an excellent article I can agree with.

    March 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Seenen

      Is that what you do? Wait for someone to write what you already believe so that you can agree with it and ignore everything else? Sounds like a conservative to me.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Ernest

      First of all it doesnt really matter what it says. Theres more evidence that the bible is a work of fiction then fact. Second even if it is and all the bible thumpers want to use this article as ammo against gay marriage allow me to point a view things out. Seperation of Church and State. Laws cant be made based on religious principles simply because there are too many beleifs. A wise move yet one that Republicans tend to ignore in their gay bashing campaigns. And if you dont agree with that fine...your so called bible even says that God gave man free will...freedom of choice to beleive or not beleive in him and too live as he chooses. It also says its not mans place to judge..that right alone belongs to god. So shut up let the gays live their live and stop trying change people. Your bible does say spread the word....not force feed it down someones throat

      March 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • PascalWager

      To Earnest: Who is force feeding you anything? You don't have the read this article, or post on this site, you choose to. Christian have alway known that the message of the bible will be disputed as it has been for centuries. Today is nothing new.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • your mother

      is that what YOU do? wait for someone to comment that they believe in what was written and then reply to their comment saying that all they do is wait for someone to write what they already believe in so that they can agree with it, while ignoring the fact that you're coming off like a soccer mom that uses the term "safety huddle" while rounding up the 4 year olds at a field trip to board the bus and go back to school so you can blog about how dumb it sounds for ppl to agree with a comment because let's face it: you couldn't come up with a better comment so you decided to bash someone else? Sounds like a sarah palin to me. are you sara palin?

      March 3, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Crust

      Ernest is a looser.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • evoc

      You may agree with the article...the article is wrong. Key words 'the earliest interpreters', interpretation is still subjective.
      Besides, 'earthling' suggests someone created from/on this planet, likely by extra-terrestrial genetic experimenters.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:37 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.