My Faith: How I learned to stop 'praying away the gay'
Don Lemon with his grandmother on his third birthday.
May 22nd, 2011
01:00 AM ET

My Faith: How I learned to stop 'praying away the gay'

Editor's Note: Don Lemon is a CNN anchor and author of Transparent, a memoir .

By Don Lemon, CNN

"School day, time to get up, sleepy head. School day."

Although she's been gone since 1998, my grandmother's words ring in my head just about every morning of my life. That's how MaMe, as I called her, got me out of bed and off to my Catholic school when I was growing up and in her care.

But before I shuffled my way to the bathroom to begin my morning routine, I had to hit the floor on my knees to pray, just as I had the night before.

It was usually The Lord's Prayer ("Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name...") followed by asking God to watch and guide me through my day until I returned to the safety of my home that evening.

But MaMe (pronounced MAH-me) didn't know that at a very early age her favorite grandson had begun to pray, silently, that God would change him from being different, from having crushes on boys, from being more curious about boys than girls.

By age four or five, I was too young to sexualize my infatuations but I knew that everyone else, including my family and friends, would think it was wrong.

Perhaps it was the conversations I overheard from adults around my hometown of Port Allen, Louisiana, who'd mimic gay people, calling them "funny" or "sissy" or "fagots."

Perhaps it was Sunday mornings at our Baptist church, where preachers taught that liking someone of the same sex was a direct and swift path to hell. And that if that person would just turn to the Lord and confess his sin, then God would change him back into the person He wanted him to be - a person who only had crushes on the opposite sex.

All of which meant that, from a very early age, I began to think I was dirty and that I was going to hell. Can you imagine what that feels like for a kid who was just learning to read and perform basic arithmetic? It was awful.

And talk about guilt - I was a Baptist attending Catholic school!

I prayed the silent prayer for God to change me every chance I got until I started attending college in New York. That's when common sense began to take hold and I realized that no amount of prayer would change me into something that wasn't natural to me.

With my religious upbringing, I'd had the opportunity to study religious doctrine. But I learned from different perspectives, from Catholic Mass on Fridays to Baptist services on Sundays to vacation Bible school in the summer to Bible study with a Jehovah's Witness as a teenager.

As I got older I began to realize that all these people and institutions interpreted the Bible somewhat differently. I had a sort of epiphany: the Bible was about the lessons you learned, not about the events or words.

When I became old enough, intelligent enough and logical enough to discern the difference between metaphor and reality, everything changed. I realized that Jonah living in the belly of a whale was a parable written in the same vein as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saying that he had "been to the mountaintop."

Neither Jonah nor King had actually been to those places. They were metaphors for lessons for those of us who cared to absorb them.

So many of us, especially in the black community and in churches, tend to think that religious teachings happened word for word as they were written in Scripture. I think that's naïve, even dangerous.

That type of thinking - or non-thinking - keeps many religious people enslaved to beliefs that they haven't truly stepped back from and examined.

That type of thinking causes people who are otherwise good to shun and ostracize young gay people.

It causes people to want to control and change people who aren't like them. And who wants to be like someone else?

Imagine if we had allowed Christian doctrines and teachings that supported slavery, segregation and the subjugation of women to pervade our society all the way up until the current moment. What kind of world would that be?

Instead, we got on our knees, just as I did as a little boy, and prayed that slavery, segregation and the subjugation of women would end. In the United States, at least, those prayers have largely been realized.

I'm no longer the member of any church but I do believe in a higher power.

It's time for us, especially black people, to stop trying to pray the gay away and to get on our knees and start praying that the discrimination of gay people ends.

What we're doing to our young gay people now is child abuse. It's plain old bigotry and hatred. And if African-Americans don't know what that feels like in America, I don't know who does.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Don Lemon.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (4,733 Responses)
  1. Human Being

    it's funny how 2 of my posts were not published by CNN. Hmmmmm...Interesting. very interesting. Anyway, this is what my wife had to say about the whole thing. maybe you will publish this;

    "The whole issue comes down to people thinking that the bible is not literal… or that the bible was written by man with many flaws. The bible is literal and it is GOD inspired.

    People cannot fathom that because:
    A. It’s too mystical for them
    B. They want to justify their sin by configuring the bible to support their lifestyle."

    May 23, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Todd

      Fine, then kill your children if they talk back to you. Kill anyone who wears mixed fabrics. Kill your wife if she wasn't a virgin when you married. Kill anyone you see working on the Sabbath or who is took close to a woman who is menstrating. Kill anyone whose hair is too short or too long. Kill anyone who touches a pig or pig products.

      All that was in the bible too. Try reading the entire thing first, then get back to me.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Todd

      and another thing. Harold Camping is obviously a false prophet. Kill him too.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • blf83

      Open your eyes (ears, and mind while you're at it!) that you may see. The Bible IS NOT LITERAL. If so – which creation story is the correct one; which version of the 10 commandments is the true on. Contradictions abound in the Bible. And you do not know the meaning of "mystical."

      May 23, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • razmataz

      The only reason people say the bible is god-inspired is because some of the guys that write it said they were god-inspired. sorry, but that wouldn't even hold up in court; strictly hearsay.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Lisa

      Well said. I know that I know.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Prove that god wrote the bible. Go ahead. Tag, you're it.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Todd, if you keep taking scriptures out of context, you will never comprehend the lesson(s) Jesus is teachings. You lost (or never had) the subject matter to what you are complaining about.

      Typical non-believer. You all go onto websites to get your nonsense to post on these sites without figuring out the answers before you posts your nonsense taken from other non-believers. It's old. Get some new material that you came up with.


      May 24, 2011 at 7:49 am |
  2. watchoutmomshome

    Recounting the personal pain and putting it in the context of our collective experience is a great gift.

    May 23, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  3. aginghippy

    I wonder if I'll live long enough to see "awaiting moderation" removed from my comment. Censor$hip is alive and well on CNN.com.

    May 23, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • geekgirl42

      Do you really think a person is reading your posts and censoring them? It's a computer program that filters what you type looking for "banned" words. Then again, if I have to explain this, you're not going to get it.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • aginghippy

      geekgirl42, I'm well aware of filters being used by websites such as this. I made absolutely sure that I used no word that wasn't already included in the comments posted by others. Any word that I thought might have even a slight chance of being filtered was altered to insert a symbol for a letter. All of that being said, and ignoring your decision to reply with unprovoked hostility, any attempt by "moderators", be they live human beings or a program written by human beings, to control what you and others can read, is CENSORSHIP. Who are "they" to decide which words are allowed and which are not?

      May 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Give it a rest geekgirl42. CNN has more heathens working for their organization than most. Hey, it's the way of the world today.


      May 24, 2011 at 7:51 am |
  4. sisi

    Great article. I hope more people would have this understanding.

    May 23, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  5. ngozi

    Mr. Lemon, That you work for CNN does not give you or anyone the right to twist the gospel. The bible makes it clear that gay life style is sin and infact a curse. I am not condemning you but the bible condemns that lifestyle. I must also say that you have a right to choose any life style you want but you should certainly stop using your position as CNN staff to educate the world on gay lifestyle. We are not interested in what you do in your bedroom. That is your business. I think it is the guilt you feel within that is making you to write all these things. If you are comfortable, then keep it to yourself.


    May 23, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • 1word

      I agree! Keep what happens in the dark in the dark, no need to fill us in on that.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • Nonimus

      He didn't write anything that any heterose.xual wouldn't have written. The author has every right to discuss his viewpoint and based on some responses here it is a good thing that he has. It's brought out many people with the same experiences and many people with ongoing Bible-based prejudices.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Nonimus

      ps If you want to keep something in the dark, behind closed doors, keep your religion there.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • HPNIII

      "If you are comfortable keep it to yourself", what an ignorant statement.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Gimme a break

      So true. And when will people learn that people in the military are also cursed; for Leviticus 19:27 clearly states "Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard." Lest we also not forget that football players are also doomed to eternal damnation for violating Leviticus 11:7-8 "And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. 8 You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you." We should also never forget that anyone that has used birth control must count themselves lucky that God did not strike them down and also pray for their very soul for not heeding the warning given in Genesis 38:9-10 which states: 9 But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so the LORD put him to death also.
      And of course all those seafood lovers who are bringing down our culture with their sinful eating of shrimp and scallops in DIRECT violation of God's will as listed in Leviticus 11:10. "10But whatsoever hath not fins and scales, of those things that move and live in the waters, shall be an abomination to you."
      Remember: this is the perfect word of a perfect being.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • YaThink

      "The bible makes it clear that gay life style is sin and infact a curse"

      No it doesn't only hate filled Christians twist it into that and yes you are one of them. The bible is talking about pagan rituals and male prost*itution not gays. It might help if you pick up a history book and study that time period since you're clueless!

      May 23, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • razmataz

      Well, you were certainly INTERESTED enough to read the article and make a comment. If what you typed was true you would have read the headline an dmoved on to the next. Christians, hypocrites and liars, kinda hard to tell the difference sometimes.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Gimme a break, too, too, funny. Those are health laws being broken. God created man (meaning women too) so He knows what is good for our bodies. He told us not to eat scavengers ... do not consume them. God made scavengers for a reason. To clean the waste from the earth and the seas. None of those passages pertain to sins against God. Too funny.


      May 24, 2011 at 7:59 am |
    • teddy

      This comment is right on the money!

      May 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  6. Jimi

    Chris if you are not filled with the Holy Spirit then you are incapable of interpeting the scriptures correctly. They are spritual discerened.

    May 23, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Nonimus

      Nice self-reinforcing there.
      If you disagree with someone then they must not be filled with the spirit, but perhaps you are not filled with the spirit. How does someone tell the difference?

      May 23, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Gina Thomas

      Well said my brother, you are absolutely correct. People think that because they work in the media that they have the right to distort the infallible word of God... Not So – True discernment comes with the Holy Spirit who will not dwell in lies and unclean vessels.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Gina Thomas,
      "People think that because they work in the media that they have the right to distort the infallible word of God..."
      Exactly which version of the "word of God" is the "infallible" one?

      May 23, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Mike

      i thought we were all unclean vessels?

      May 23, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Nonimus, that's easy. Read Jesus' truth with your ego shelved and you too can acquire the Holy spirit. As long as you smugly read His scriptures, they are just words on a page for the likes of you (meaning anyone who's ego is butting heads with Jesus' truth).


      May 24, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  7. garrak

    1 Samuel 18:1-3 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.

    May 23, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • 1word

      That does not mean David and Saul was GAY, Saul loved David but then tried to KILL David.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • 1word

      My bad, that doesn't mean David and Jonathan was Gay.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      WERE gay, you bozo.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  8. Kate.

    Don't let the bizarre religious zealots replying to this article get you down. As the white mother of white kids, black kids and I believe one gay kid, this is my rule. Whoever dies happiest wins.- Kate.

    May 23, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Well Kate. With that incorrect way of thinking ... enjoy this life because there will be no eternity for you if you don't ask Jesus for forgiveness ... then sin no more.

      You are a perfect example of how one gets lead astray for not reading and comprehending Jesus' truth in the Bible.


      May 23, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • GoForIt

      Way to go Kate. Couldn't agree with you more. I applaud you on being such an accepting role model to your children. Please continue following your heart, Don. One cannot interpret the stories of the Scripture literally, but instead must live by the lessons they were intended to teach. God made you and love you as is - he just requires you (and each one of us) to be a good person.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Gina Thomas

      And if they all die without Christ, then the Devil wins...Jesus came that we all might have the right to the life... Parents need to understand that the children that they have don't belong to them, they belong to God and when we don't train them right and say whatever will be, we are accountable...

      May 23, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Todd

      HSent, and I suppose Santa Claus is a real immoral dude who flies around on a sleigh all over the Earth in one night. You believe in fairy tails way too much for your own good.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Nonimus

      Children don't *belong* to anyone, especially some alleged deity. Children are a responsibility until they grow up and then are people just like anyone else and not owned by anyone.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Hey Todd, keep believing your own big ego (sin of the flesh by the way) that Jesus isn't real. I'll wave to you from the right side of the divide (gulf) when we both get to paradise.


      May 24, 2011 at 8:16 am |
  9. tmichelle72

    Alyssa....ummm baldnes IS a hairstyle. LOL Men shave their heads all the time for fashion. Good try though. HA!

    May 23, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  10. Kelly

    What an amazing article. I too grew up attening many different churches. I even was one of Jehovah's Witnesses for 10 years. I too believe in a higher power. I do not believe in hell in any form because I do not believe that our loving "father" would ever deliver us to a torture like that. I do not believe in organized religion because in my opinion it is all a bunch of hypocracy and people trying to fit others in a box they themselves do not live in. I will answer to the Higher Power I believe in and noone else. Why would I be born this way if in the end it was just so i could be punished? Woould we do that to our own children? Why believe He would?

    May 23, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • 1word

      Kelly you have to anwer for yourself. None of us will be there when you get the hand to the face.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • HeavenSent

      That's what you get for listening to man and being too lazy to pick the Bible up and read His wisdom for yourself. Evil will be blotted out. No eternity for anyone that follows the evil ways of satan.


      May 23, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No soup for you! /religion Nazi HS

      May 23, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Tommie Tom finally got "No eternity for you".


      May 24, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  11. atypical

    love, the article, particularly because of how the author described his ability to let go of all preconceived ideas and notions about what is right and wrong. too many people, for way too long, have fashioned a "god" in their own judgmental, fear- based, image, and it's time for us to break down the walls of illusion and the barriers to a higher frequency of intelligence.
    the bible has the potential to be of constructive benefit, but I certainly would not look to i t as the benchmark of higher truths.
    nunti sunya–to an ever evolving world of transparency, expansion and higher truths

    May 23, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • HeavenSent

      atypical. Jesus teaches us the truth about life and the hereafter.


      May 23, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, please. You are a clown, HS.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Gina Thomas

      Atypical – whether you look at the bible as true or not does not change who God is and what He said. And as sure as you name yourself atypical, is as sure as God is bringing the Bible to past, day by day. I heard a tape of some of the people who were stranded in the tornado and they were crying out to Jesus and God for help......this was this morning...If He created the Storm, then He is the only one who will bring you out...Those are truths.....

      May 23, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Why don't you give it a rest Tommie Tom with that bad behavior of yours. At least Christians read the Bible to be on the same page of righteousness taught to us by Jesus Christ. All you non-believers are all over the place. It's a crap shoot what you will or won't do. But, you give everyone lip service. "We're good, we're righteous, we just don't need some fairy tale telling us what to do and what not to do". YOU KNOW NOTHING and none of you can be trusted. At least with a Christian we have a higher percentage that the wisdom taught by Jesus will follow through in life with Jesus' teachings. I can't say that for a non-believer because you can't even get your egos in check.


      May 24, 2011 at 8:25 am |
  12. NM

    I can accept the fact that you feel the way you do Mr. Lemon, but I can't accept your remarks on the Bible. If Jonah being in the whale was a metaphor, does that mean the Crucifixion was also a metaphor? Or if you strictly look at the Old Testament, what about the Passover, or the plagues in Egypt? Also, as a Believer, you should know that Jesus taught that miracles are possible with faith in God, just as he healed people from blindness & disease – if those things are metaphors or parables, what about Jesus Christ do you truly believe? Just because you can't fathom some of the miracles in the Bible really happening in this day, that does not mean they can't or didn't happen. When you release your mind & spirit to faith, you will see that the impossible can be made possible.

    May 23, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Terry

      "When you release your mind & spirit to faith, you will see that the impossible can be made possible."

      Yeah, you can believe just about anything! Sorry, NM comet Hail Bop left a few years ago.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • Alyssa

      When you release your mind from religion and the brainwashing it instills you can see that impossible things will always be impossible. But also that not nearly all of the amount of things we think are impossible actually are, and that it is science that opens the doors.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Phil in Akron

      Very well said! Amen and Amen!

      May 23, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • buzbeech

      Jonah stands for a narrow and vindictive mentality, all too common among the Jews of that period. (wouldn't you way the same thing about today's society)

      May 23, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Sweetzybitz

      I agree with you concerning the Bible. Remember " The LORD had prepared a big fish to swallow up Jonah". Nothing is impossible with God.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Don Lemon may have spent many hours in church but his mind was not on the teachings of Jesus but on the ways of the world. Flesh is sinful and fools many, obviously, Don included. This is why Jesus said,

      15 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

      16 For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

      17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

      1 John 2:15-17


      May 23, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • KEJ


      May 23, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • MisoBeliever

      Yes, the crucifixion of Jesus is a metaphor. The miracles are unimportant, next to the teachings of Jesus. Jesus' love and God's breath are in you; do not use them to try and deny love to others. Shed thy pride, and put on love – that is what accepting Jesus as one's Savior means.

      May 23, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  13. tmichelle72

    People you have FREE WILL. Why do you get on here an argue. If you want to be an atheist (which is a belief system by the way) or if you want to subscribe to any religion you can, its okay. What is NOT okay is to sit in the seat of judgement for anyone's choices, you do NOT have that right. We just all have to face the fact that what we chose in life will direct the way that our life goes. If you don't believe in an afterlife does not mean there is not one. I personally believe that Jesus is Lord and I believe the Bible word for word. I don't just to force people to live the way I do but I do tell them about it if they ask and when I believe there is a need to share. Live how you want everyone, just know that all choices have consequences good or bad and the knowlege and access of God, His Word, Love and way of thinking is all available to you if your heart so desires to know Him.

    May 23, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Alyssa

      Atheism is a belief system as much as baldness is a hair style.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Mike

      so let me get this straight, nobody should sit in judgement of anyone else, except religious idiots while they tell everyone in a passive aggressive way (as you just did) that they will pay for not believing in god?

      May 23, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Mike, obviously you don't know that Judging (Christians discern and tell others Jesus' truth) 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).

      "For the wicked [man without God] boasts of his heart's desire; he blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts."

      Psalm 10:3-4


      May 23, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  14. Terry

    Excellent commentary. Though I am a straight man, having been raised in a similar way (very loving home but under strict religious dogma and ideology), I can somewhat relate this struggle to other areas of my life growing up. I sense the compassionate tone in the article and it moves me. Thanks!

    May 23, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  15. Observer

    Here's what the Bible says about marriage. It's not exactly a glowing endorsement:

    – I Corinthians 7:1-2 "It is good for a man not to have s3xual relations with a woman. But because of the
    temptation to s3xual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”
    – I Corinthians 7:8-9 “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But
    if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

    May 23, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • JJ

      Completely out of context without any proper understanding of why Paul states this. Go on and share what the passage in which Paul is speaking about is in reference to.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Observer


      Share with us why these words don't mean what they say.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • watchman on the wall

      The Lord Jesus Christ speaks directly to sodomites in (Romans chapter 1 verses 26-32) and also in (1st Corinthans chapter 6 verse 9). Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate nor abusers of themselves with mankind. These are the Words Of Jesus Writen by man. For the Bible is the Word of God, not mans word. Men like Moses and Paul only wrote down what God Amighty told them.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  16. HenryO

    I wish Mr. Lemon well, but nhis understanding of the Scriptures and God is severely twisted. He definitely needs to continue to pray the gay away and encourage others to do the same. God is a miracle worker and can do all things. No one wants a situation in which one of every five gay men has HIV and 20 years less of life span.

    May 23, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Nonimus

      So pray for God to stop His own 'created' HIV virus.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • MeMonday

      Your statement is grossly ignorant, and it is obviously you know nothing about other people around you. "Pray the gay away"? Seriously? This is what causes people to be "messed up". And your "God", if he really hated gays or didn't want gays around (or was even real to start with), then ALL the religious gays (and yes, there are plenty) wouldn't be gay, now would they?
      I was raised in a southern Pentecostal church. I was heavily involved with everything they did from the time I was born, until I was 18 years old. By the age of 13, I knew I liked other girls. I felt evil, wrong, dirty. I prayed, I prayed, and I prayed again. Did "God" make me straight? No he did not. Even when I DID believe i was wrong, prayed daily, begged to be "normal", it never happened. Eventually I grew up, realized that while its okay to have a religious point of view, its not okay to tell others they are "evil" because of something they, nor some "God", can control.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • UnwrittenUntold

      One thats utter crap. You should look at actual statistic for HIV and stop looking at the factor of just "gay men". I honestly think if your gay, you have more balls and guts then anyone. Don't "pray the gay away" thats conforming to something that you arn't, and thats unjustice. The world is filled with DIFFERENT people, this isn't the BC or AC era, where it is just men and women; Adam and Eve. Gay men and women are still human beings, not some aliens. And how can "god" love all his children is being gay is a sin? Yet "god" made us the way we were? You people have ink printed pages stuck in your mind and you don't think logically.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Nonimus, HIV is lab created. Do you folks read anything prior to 1990?


      May 23, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • HeavenSent

      MeMonday, you like Don Lemon and others that are focused on the lust of the flesh were not focused on Jesus' truth but the ways of the world. If I were you, I'd keep focusing on His truth in the Bible. The more you focus on Jesus' truth, the more the evil ways of the world fall to the wayside.

      God Bless you.


      May 23, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Isabelle

      "No one wants a situation in which one of every five gay men has HIV and 20 years less of life span."

      Wow are you ignorant.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:51 am |
  17. watchman on the wall

    The Lord Jesus Christ rebuke you Satan and your little mouth-piece cnn. What a hypocritical news organization taking off truthful comments that you disagree with. Sodomy is a sin and all sodomites along with those that condone it shall burn in the Lake of fire along with you master Satan.

    May 23, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Chris

      Im starting to think the devil and god are the same person. Enjoy

      May 23, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Observer


      Why not actually read the Bible before commenting? Jesus says NOTHING at all about sodomy, but plenty about heteros and much of it is not good.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  18. Chris

    "It's time for us, especially black people, to stop trying to pray the gay away...."

    Why do black people always have to mention their race? This isn't a racial issue. Iv seen whites do the same thing. Even going as far as having "camps" they send you to.

    May 23, 2011 at 9:53 am |
  19. A

    Awesome article!!!

    May 23, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • JJ

      Why is this awesome?

      May 23, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • A

      It takes courage to publicly share an emotional part of your past. Just skimming the comments can give one a headache with how charged the issue is. I'm a firm believer in human rights and the more people learn about this the better. There will be people who will hate till the day they die but it's important to reach people who genuinely want to learn and understand the diversity that is apart of this country.

      May 23, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  20. TG

    Mr Don Lemon has erred in several areas:

    (1) He has said that the account concerning Jonah is a metaphor, a parable, as a lesson. Jonah's being swallowed by "a great fish" (Jonah 1:17) some 900 years before Jesus arrived on the earth, during the reign of Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:23-25), was established as happening by Jesus Christ, telling the arrogant Pharisees that "a wicked and adulterous generation keeps on seeking for a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jo´nah the prophet. For just as Jo´nah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so the Son of man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights."(Matt 12:39, 40)

    (2) That of being gay as acceptable, that our Creator will bend his laws to accommodate a person's personal wishes. When speaking with the haughty Pharisees again, who tried to distort God's arrangement of marriage, Jesus established God's original marital union, quoting from Genesis 2:24, saying: "Did you not read that he who created them from [the] beginning made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh’?"(Matt 19:4, 5)

    That this is a violation of God's universal laws, the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes (such as a pederast or catamite), nor men who lie with men.......will inherit God’s kingdom.(Gen 19:5) And yet that is what some of you were. But you have been washed clean."(1 Cor 6:9-11)

    Those who want God's approval, which will result in living forever if kept, whether in heaven as "kings and priests"(Rev 1:6) or on the earth in a paradise (Ps 37:11, 29) has to make the needed changes morally.

    May 23, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Chris

      Quit quoting the bible before I start pulling other old testament quotes that will make you blush......

      May 23, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Chris


      Theres about a million more of these btw...

      May 23, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Jimi


      May 23, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Josh D

      If you're unable to see the impossibility of a perfect being who literally embodies love, but is then able to create an imperfect being that it could punish for the sole crime of acting in the way it was created, then perhaps you should get off the computer and take a course in basic logic.

      Since you claim the Bible as absolutely veracious, without presenting credible evidence, then I will claim with equal certainty that anyone who believes in a deity that renders infinite punishment for a finite 'crime' (a crime it designed into that being in the first place, and that it KNEW its creation would undertake [omniscience]) is mentally challenged.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Jeff

      Those quotes from angelfire are taken out of context. Context is not equivalent to a single verse, but to the entire book and having a foundation of Biblical knowledge so that you understand what has happened.

      The God of the Bible never said that he wasn't a jealous God, or one that simply sat on the sidelines while His Creation ran amuck. Quite the opposite. Otherwise...why have a Hell? Just as in life, there are consequences for the actions we choose to commit...many of them are ETERNAL consequences.

      The funny thing is...this is where many "of the world" like to start saying "but why would a LOVING God ever do that?...." There is a vast difference between grace, love, and law/justice. If I intentionally kill someone, I deserve death. However, while in prison/jail I have the chance of parole and even furthering my education! This is GRACE. I didn't deserve it. God is no different. He wants us to have every chance possible, while on earth, to have a relationship with Him and to hopefully help others that are "lost". Why can't we see that as Grace as well? For some reason that completely escapes me, we like to see that we "deserve" this second chance... How screwed up are we?

      May 23, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • RV

      Finally a real answer, not an opinion. People who do wrong always try to give reasons of their wrongdoings with baseless answers.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • maggie

      Well said brother. Jehovah's moral standard will never change but the world's moral standard keep on getting lower and lower, and lower every day.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Chris, give your ego a rest. You non- believers pull out so many scriptures and think you're making a point. The only point you non-believers make is that you don't know the subject heading, contents, nor lessons being taught by Jesus in any of His scriptures.


      May 24, 2011 at 8:39 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.