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. Geraldine Coleman

    Eric G

    @Geraldine Coleman: Hello! Thank you for joining the discussion!

    Your description was kind of basic, but.... yes.

    There was lots of physics, chemistry and celestial mechanics involved, but that is how it happened.

    I would be happy to provide references if you like.

    What do you mean it was basic? You say that physics, chemistry and celestial mechanics involved, but that is how it happened. And that's your answer. All of these planets according to the Big Bang Theory/Evolution claimed that suddenly matter exploded. Then why isn't all of the planets made with the same makeup materials and have different atmospheres. Who / What decided what would be the sun, the moon, the stars, comets,. On the earth why are we all different. Why are all the animals and plants different. Who or what part of the evolution pocess decided this. If everything exploded from the same matter then everything should look the same, feel the same, and be made the same, . THe seeds of the trees should be the same, If you plant an orange tree and replant it it comes up an orange tree. If you put an apple seed into the ground it comes up an apple tree. Looks like if it was created from the same matter then there would be one type of tree with one seed made from the matter of the explosion.

    May 23, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Eric G

      Wow! Lots of questions there Geraldine!

      Seeing that you are curious, I will do my best with what I know.

      After the Big Bang.......(about 8 billion years and two generations of stars that went supernova), a nebula of gas and other elements began to condense because of gravity. When enough hydrogen condenced, the pressure and heat from gravitational friction caused fusion to begin in the dense, hot cloud. That was the birth of our Sun. After the Sun began fusion, the remaining cloud of dust, elements and gas began to orbit around the sun. (try to think of it the way the rings look around Saturn, only much bigger and with more gas). The planets formed by the effect of gravity on the matter within the accretion disk. Eventually, the planets formed by collection and condensing the remaining matter in the solar system to form the planets we know today.

      May 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Eric G

      As for Evolution theory, your don't seem to have even a basic understanding of how it works or why. I would suggest starting with a basic biology course. Try your local library on Evolution theory when you have a grasp of biology. I would jump right into natural selection and genetic mutation, but I think it would be too much, based on the lack of education displayed by your questions.

      I applaud your desire for a greater understanding of our world and wish you all the best on your quest for knowledge. Please let me know if there is any way I can help you on your path from supersti-tion to scientific understanding.

      May 23, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • 1word

      And where did this Science come from of the Big Bang Theory? Was these Scientist there to experience this? LOL Such crap!

      May 23, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • Eric G

      Here is an easy one for you....

      How can you pick "1word" out in his 3rd grade class picture?

      Easy, he was 16.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • 1word

      Eric G I can be all that, but Gay is something I will never be!

      May 23, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • Jeff M

      And how, exactly, is choosing to imply that Eric G is 'g-ay' going to spread a Christ-like message?

      May 24, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • derp

      "only much bigger and with more gas"

      Kind of like a christian.

      May 24, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  2. Geraldine Coleman


    The devil doesn't make anyone do anything just like God doesn't. Poeple have free will. BUT the devil, like God, can influence you to make choices. It is up to the person to know what are GOOD or BAD choices to make.

    The devil is in no way EQUAL to GOD on any level. God doesent influence us he lets us choose our own choices. He hopes we will choose what is TRUE, RIGHTEOUS, AND PURE LIKE HE IS.

    May 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • 1word

      AMEN, it sickens me to hear people say why God let this or that happen. Who are they to question what God allows? He allowed Jesus to die to wash away our sins, and I thank him for that!

      May 23, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • allfaith

      There are those of us who believe that imperfection is part of perfection and that good and bad, or the devil and god are just two sides of the same coin. In fact it could be argued that the only use for such dialectics is to determine a point of balance.

      May 24, 2011 at 12:58 am |
  3. Rob

    Does anyone have the verse in the Bible which says, "Thou shalt be concerned with how other people, whom you don't even know, live their lives and condemn and judge their decisions with which you don't agree?" It's amazing how some people are deeply bothered by the way strangers go about their business. If it doesn't affect your personal well-being, who cares what someone else does?

    May 23, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • because

      It affects the laws that are passed in this country and infringes on the civil rights of others. Think about it.

      May 23, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Rob, this is the scripture you are looking for.

      For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

      John 3:16


      May 24, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  4. Artist


    Probably not Artist or they would have realized all the similarities to other religions of that time. Oh...but wait...those were pagan religions not Christianity. LOL!

    May 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    Eric G

    @Artist: SHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You will scare them all away!

    May 23, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • allfaith

      Yeh, it is amazing how Christ's birth is said to be about the time when pagans celebrated the lengthening of the days and how Christ miraculously died at the time when pagans celebrated the planting of the crops. It's a pretty good reason not to take the written word too literally.

      May 24, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Satan's a deceitful one. He takes 95% of Jesus' truth and blends his 5% of lies to make folks doubt Jesus' truth about life and the hereafter.

      Looks like it worked on you two.


      May 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  5. Marlene

    A child of 4 or 5 yrs old who is aware of their different view of gender orientation makes me ponder this point:
    Obviously God made them this way, and who are we to question one of God's creations?

    May 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Geraldine Coleman

      God does not make Gay people no more than it make murders or liars. We choose these sins.

      May 23, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • Yup

      God does make gay people. Scientists today agree that s-exual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors. In most people, s-exual orientation is shaped at an early age. There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's s-exuality

      May 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Yup, none of those people you love to follow are going to save you. Only Jesus saves.

      27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

      Mark 10:27


      May 24, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  6. J-MAN


    May 23, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Jeff M

      No worries...never sweat the small stuff!

      May 24, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  7. J-MAN


    May 23, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      1 Timothy 1:12-17

      Apostle Paul speaking,

      12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
      13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
      14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
      15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
      16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
      17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

      May 24, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  8. Eric G

    Sorry, I just had to post this one again......
    From a conversation with "1word" earlier.....

    "You have ten major Body Parts and we have 10 COMMANDMENTS. Why do we have 10 TOES? Why do we have 10 FINGERS? EVOLUTION? I THINK NOT!"

    Still makes me chuckle.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • 1word

      Explain them to me? Why not give us 4 fingers or 3? I believe the Apes and Monkeys was the blueprint in making man. Some men in the bayou can pass for cavemen.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • civiloutside

      5 is, to an extent, arbitrary. By whatever accident, the common ancestor of land animals ended up with a gene coding for 5 phalanges. Most land animals have the same number – it's just how they're arranged and shaped that makes the structures of their hands/feet. And 5 is "good enough" – there's not much evolutionary pressure to have more or less. There are lots of biological structures that are the way they are because it's "good enough" and there's no pressure to change it.

      We have "10 commandments" because 10 is a nice round number for illiterate tribesmen to count on their fingers and remember. Had we had four fingers on each hand, there'd probably have been 8 Commandments. Had we evolved with six fingers on each hand, there would probably have been 12 Commandments (and just to add to your confusion, we'd probably still have written it as "10" -who can tell me why?).

      We consider 10 a nice round number because we have 10 fingers, not the other way around.

      May 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • allfaith

      Ten penises? Sounds satanic.

      May 24, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • civiloutside

      "phalanges," not "phalluses." Ten of those would probably cause guys to black out every time they got aroused as blood rushed away from the brain!

      May 24, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

      John 14:6


      May 24, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • civiloutside

      In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sith down on or to eat: it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort.

      Tolkein, The Hobbit, Chapter 1, Paragraph 1

      I, too, can pull quotes from books that are completely irrelevant to the question of why we have 10 fingers and 10 toes. And while it amuses me, it doesn't contribute particularly to the conversation. I recognize, HS, that the Bible is the only book of relevance to you in this discussion, but I would like to respectfully request that you at least select quotes that have bearing on the thread you're responding to.

      May 24, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  9. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Creationists refuse to subject their "theories" to peer reviews, because they know they don't fit the facts. The creationist mindset is distorted by the concept of "good science" (creationism) vs. "bad science" (anything not in agreement with creationism). Creation "scientists" are biblical fundamentalists who can not accept anything contrary to their sectarian religioius beliefs.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  10. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Creationists argue that evolution is "only a theory and cannot be proven."

    As used in science, a theory is an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena.

    Any scientific theory must be based on a careful and rational examination of the facts. A clear distinction needs to be made between facts (things which can be observed and/or measured) and theories (explanations which correlate and interpret the facts.

    A fact is something that is supported by unmistakeable evidence. For example, the Grand Canyon cuts through layers of different kinds of rock, such as the Coconino sandstone, Hermit shale, and Redwall limestone. These rock layers often contain fossils that are found only in certain layers. Those are the facts.

    It is a fact is that fossil skulls have been found that are intermediate in appearance between humans and modern apes. It is a fact that fossils have been found that are clearly intermediate in appearance between dinosaurs and birds.

    Facts may be interpreted in different ways by different individuals, but that doesn't change the facts themselves.

    Theories may be good, bad, or indifferent. They may be well established by the factual evidence, or they may lack credibility. Before a theory is given any credence in the scientific community, it must be subjected to "peer review." This means that the proposed theory must be published in a legitimate scientific journal in order to provide the opportunity for other scientists to evaluate the relevant factual information and publish their conclusions.

    Creationists refuse to subject their "theories" to peer reviews, because they know they don't fit the facts. The creationist mindset is distorted by the concept of "good science" (creationism) vs. "bad science" (anything not in agreement with creationism). Creation "scientists" are biblical fundamentalists who can not accept anything contrary to their sectarian religioius beliefs.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • allfaith

      The theory of evolution is not fact just as books about prophets are not fact. Adaptation to environment is not necessarily a linear thing.

      May 24, 2011 at 1:10 am |
    • Jeff M

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
      "A fact is something that is supported by unmistakeable evidence. For example, the Grand Canyon cuts through layers of different kinds of rock, such as the Coconino sandstone, Hermit shale, and Redwall limestone. These rock layers often contain fossils that are found only in certain layers. Those are the facts."

      The elements and location are factual. The "fact" that the Grand Canyon cuts through these is an "observation". Another observation is that, at many points the fossil record in the Grand Canyon is interrupted. At these points, the fossils found in those locations are not in alignment with the accepted fossil record time-period for those specific fossils. The "observation" here is that there was some drastic shifting of the surface to cause the disruption.

      Prior to being accepted universally as fact, a theory must also be repeatable. So far no theory has been "repeatable"...hence the reason why all theories are still just theories. You cannot "repeat" God, so why should science bother trying? It does make logical sense why science has no use for God. Science can, however, attempt to repeat the Big Bang. Unfortunately repeatable events are not necessarily scalable. Just because you can recreate something in the LHD doesn't mean you can sustain it, nor recreate it at full-scale.

      May 24, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Hey Tommie Tom, Jesus spoke of himself when He said ...

      16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
      17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
      18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

      John 3:16-18

      May 24, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  11. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Theory: A theory is what one or more hypotheses become once they have been verified and accepted to be true. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. Unfortunately, even some scientists often use the term "theory" in a more colloquial sense, when they really mean to say "hypothesis." That makes its true meaning in science even more confusing to the general public.

    Since you couldn't manage to find it, Jeffey, this is just for you.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Jeff M

      I already replied, but it was stuck in moderation back on page 42:
      "@Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
      theory (taken from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theory):
      an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circ-umstances —often used in the phrase in theory"

      May 24, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Romans 3:23-26

      23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
      24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
      25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
      26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.


      May 24, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  12. Geraldine Coleman

    Eric G

    @HeavenSent: Are you sure there can be no other options? Are you so arrogant that you deny the possibility that there is no god? Doesn't your god sound a little self centered? Doesn't he sound like someone with low self esteem? Doesn't he sound violent and vindictive and jealous?

    Can you be open minded and adress these questions?

    I will ask you again to present any evidence to support your claims for verification. Please do not respond in your usual manner of threats.

    There is plenty of evidence that shows that our GOD exists. The systematic organization of the Earth and the Universe. The fact that there is orbit and rotation around the sun. Do you really think all of this just organized itself and then set itself into motion?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Geraldine Coleman: Hello! Thank you for joining the discussion!

      Your description was kind of basic, but.... yes.

      There was lots of physics, chemistry and celestial mechanics involved, but that is how it happened.

      I would be happy to provide references if you like.

      May 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Eric G

      Just a question for you to think about. If our universe is the evidence you require, you must have a standard to compare to.

      To know if our universe is the result of an intelligent design, you would need to compare it to one that is not designed.

      When you have finished your research, please submit on this blog for our review.

      Go get after it.....

      We will wait.......

      May 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Refresh my memory of what you are referring to Geraldine. I haven't been on this post for a good part of the day. I noticed that the phony heavensent has been having a field day.


      May 24, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • civiloutside

      "The systematic organization of the Earth and the Universe. The fact that there is orbit and rotation around the sun. Do you really think all of this just organized itself and then set itself into motion?"

      Technically, I believe that the going theory is that it was all set in motion by the Big Bang, and then physcial principles of gravitation and thermodynamcs caused it to organize itself.

      May 24, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  13. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    @Jeff M
    Not to interupt your conversation, but you have a flawed assumption that I think should probably be addressed. You stated that Carbon Dating was our only evidence for determining the Earth's age (which isn't true, any consistantly decaying radiological material will work) and that that was only good to a few thousand years. It is, in point of fact, measurable to over 50,000 years, many times your suggested timeline.
    And I don't want to put words in someone else's mouth, but I think why someone might assume you're kidding, is because you are making an argument that INTENTIONALLY either ignores or directly dissagrees with confirmed facts.
    We can observe rather convincing evidence that the universe is currently in an expanding state, and I could say that it was because of an "explosion" caused by the interactions between the forces that govern our universe, and you can say that a god came by and willed into creation all that we can now see and know, then gave it a pushed, and stepped back to watch; and we have to kind of call it a draw at that point until someone finds some new evidence (my money is on science).
    BUT, if I say radiocarbon dating shows that the world is well over 6500 years old (a laughably small number given the proven times), and someone else claims "no, it was formed as one no more than 6500 years ago" (I am in no way saying the bible says that or that it is a major belief, this is just two individuals), it's not a debate or a difference of opinion; one person is right, adn the other person is very wrong, for some strange reason on purpose since they've been teaching the facts of radiological dating in almost every low level earth science class (I learned about it in middle school) for decades now. That part just doesn't make any sense, and when someone is willing to believe that, if forces you to question the other things they say.


    Quite a good post. Why haven't you responded, Jeffey?

    May 23, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • .

      He did

      May 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Reply

      From Jeff
      No problem in my book, I like discussion that encourages thought. It's not flawed, it's under debate. "Pure" (aka Secular) science dictates that it's accurate to over 50,000 years, which is still but a fraction of the proposed age of the Earth. Creation science purports that Carbon Dating (specifically C-14) is only accurate to a few thousand years. Creation science also notes that Secular science intentionally chooses not to look at the effects global flooding (as claimed in the Bible) would have on the dating methods used currently.

      It's interesting that you can make the statement that I am "making an argument that INTENTIONALLY either ignores or directly dissagrees with confirmed facts." Then you proceed to mention the universe and it's "rather convincing evidence" of a state of expansion (which I am not actually debating against) is proof enough of Big Bang, and then make some statement about radioactive dating...I'll admit, you might need to go a bit slower on me...because I'm still trying to find "evidence" in any of this. It's all theory.

      May 23, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • BRC

      He did respond, here was my reply-
      Sorry about the delay. First I'll clarify one point, I actually didn't say that the evidence of the universe expanding (one of the most obvious and observable pieces being the "red shift" the is a measurable elongation of wavelengths of light and other electromagnetic signals due to the doppler effect, indicating that the sources are moving farther apart); I simply said that it was evidence that the universe was expanding. As of now I can no more prove that the big bang is the cause than someone else can prove that it was caused by a god (though I do believe at some point we will develop the proof one way or another and I personally am betting on science). So the only fact that I was asserting was that there is evidence that the universe was expanding (which I just provided), I asserted no conclusion from that evidence. SO, I have no problem saying that the 6500 year argument intentionally ignores facts.

      Which brings us to the next point, the validity of carbon dating. I was unaware that there were actually scientists claiming that carbon dating becomes "inaccurate" beyond a few thousand years. Without trying to turn this into a he said-they said, I can only point out that everything that has been observed radioisotope half-lives behave in EXTREMELY predictable patterns, as in there is no reason I have heard of that would cause the Carbon's breakdown to change over the course of its lifetime.

      As for the flood, with out going a bit over my head in trying to give a brief summary of how carbon decay works, it is a process that occurs at an atomic level, and that would be COMPLETELY unaffected by being immersed in water, even if if it was 40 years let alone 40 days (I feel the need to point out that before someone can claim that a global flood could change the decay patterns of carbon isotopes, they would have to provide some proof that there actually was a global flood, and up to this point I have never heard any that was convincing, or any at all really).

      The issue is really evidence. The points that I consider valid and important have actual empirically observed and proven foundations. The counter arguments are based on words, nothing more; and they aren't even words that can be backed up....except by more older words.

      May 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Jeff M

      Please understand, the accuracy to which Carbon Dating is effective is a point of speculation. Some scoff at this, others Google it and try to understand it further. The fact remains that each time an object is "observed", it does affect the determined date. When coming into contact with other objects, and changing the environment in which the object exists, it modifies the perceived age. The observed and proven foundations that your points stand on are theories. An "observed fact" standing on a theory does not make it fact. It's like putting a 200lb TV on top of an unsupported walking stick standing upright...sooner or later it will fall, it's just a matter of time. There have been numerous methods of dating objects in our world. Each method has been replaced by "newer and shinier" as we perceive that our methods of calculation become increasingly accurate. This is a bold assumption. Granted, I fully understand the reasoning behind it...but I believe it was best said by Socrates: "The more I learn, the more I learn how little I know". To believe that man's finite understanding will ever be able to grasp all that there is to know about the origins of our world, with absolute certainty, is (to me) arrogance.

      May 24, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • BRC

      I'll move past the carbon dating discussion, because I beleieve we're just going to keep coming to an impass. But you do give me another question I have to ask. You say that (paraphrasing) believing that we will one day be able to understand the observable universe with absolute certainty with our limited human minds is arrogance. I will give you that humans eyes are frequently bigger than their stomachs, but it can't be denied that at every turn of the human condition we have done things that our predecessors would all have considered wholly impossible; and learned things, to as close to a certainty as they can be known, that we would have never have believed to be understandable (you and I have a different deffinition of what a scientific theory is, remember those aerodynamic pressures that keep planes in the air were once theories, and have now been found to be scientific law). So, yes, a bit of arrogance and pride in our abilities as humans... but to some degree we've earned it.

      But you have to look at the other side. People who trully believe in religion (I'm not even really talking about whether or not there is or was a god or gods), specifically Christianity, believe in a book, penned by man, that has no indesputable corroborating evidence, that frequently goes against common sense, and that asks you to believe that anyone that defies it is wrong- no matter what. Is there a word that fits that better than arrogance? Perhaps stubbornness?

      If god appeared tomorrow, in the sky, and said "behold, I am real"; I would believe he existed. Would you ever be willing to think that maybe, just maybe, the bible got somehting wrong?

      May 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  14. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    I love seeing HS and jeffey post. Every time they do, they reinforce the fact that fundies are crazed.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Jeff M

      I'm glad you get such amusement from it.

      May 24, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, Tommie Tom ...

      For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

      John 3:16

      Amen, or for your comprehension Tommie Tom, Period.

      May 24, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  15. Reality

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

    To wit:

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

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

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

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

    And because of basic biology differences and Abrahamic and other religious traditions said mon-ogamous ventures should always be called same-s-ex unions not same-s-ex marriages++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    May 23, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  16. derp

    Jesus, at the pearly gates – "What in my name made you think it was ok to hate and descriminate gay people?"

    christians – "Well, it kind of said so in the book"

    Jesus – "What book?"

    christians – "The bible"

    Jesus – "I didn't write that!"

    christians – "Your apostles did"

    Jesus – "Let me get this straight, you think that I would want you to hate and descriminate against millions of people because of their natural innate orientation. Me, Jesus, the guy who is all about love and acceptance? You think I would want you to treat gay people that way?"

    christians – "Well yeah, I guess. It seemed like a good idea at the time."

    Jesus – "Doesn't hating and condemning people sound more like something Satan would have you do?"

    Christians – "Well yes, but the book says.."

    Jesus – (Interrupting) "For the last time, I did not write that book!"

    christians – "But we thought you did"

    Jesus – "Well it sure looks like you failed the test. I hope you enjoy the down escalator"

    May 23, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Peace2All


      LOL...! Not too bad, my friend.


      May 23, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • XWngLady

      Your comments assume that anyone who believes that Biblically, hom-ose-xuality is wrong, automatically hates and discriminates against g@y people themselves. I don't like it when people lie, and the bible is clear about the fact that lying is wrong. But everytime that I say that lying is wrong, it doesn't mean that I'm saying that I hate people who lie . Your gross generalizations do nothing to further the conversation or enlighten the debate. Its a lie against Christianis that tries to divert attention from the real issue which is the Biblical morality/immorality of ho-m-ose-xuality.

      May 24, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • derp

      "Your comments assume that anyone who believes that Biblically, hom-ose-xuality is wrong, automatically hates and discriminates against g@y people themselves."

      No, the point I was making is that all of this anti-hom-os-exual nonsense is the result of a stupid little book that Jesus himself did not even write.

      You dimwitted bible toters do not even realize that you are doing the work of satan. Good luck in the afterlife, I hope you like warm beer.

      May 24, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Jeff M

      Single-handedly the best summation of my perception...with a few minor differences. I doubt they'd get the "down elevator"...but rather (hopefully) a God-sized Gibbs smack (NCIS). Pretty easy: love the sinner, hate the sin.

      May 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Oops

      "Pretty easy: love the sinner, hate the sin."

      That is not in the bible dude – prove it.

      Oh, being gay is not a sin since God created them that way. DUH!

      May 24, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Romans 5:8-9

      8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
      9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.


      May 24, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
  17. maggie

    Being Christian means being Christ like.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  18. martin luther

    Every major human culture has a significant gay population. It is clearly an important part of our social function, and it doesn't take much logic to realize that cultures with a small percentage of gay people might have an advantage over those without....

    May 23, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • civiloutside

      I can see why, for example, a certain number of males who are not reproductive competi-tion within the tribe would be advantageous. Cuts down on squabbles over mates without reducing the hunting/fighting capacity of the tribe. Just throwing it out there...

      May 23, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Jeff M

      Isn't everyone significant?

      May 24, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  19. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Hey, Jeffey, have you figured it out yet? Or do you need a few more clues, muttonhead?

    May 23, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Ummm

      You have done nothing but prove you're a far lesser man than Jeff.

      May 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, good. That's because I'm a woman, you dolt.

      May 23, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Keep

      Hiding behind insults is a clear sign you have a hurting mind full of pain. Why don't you share with us so we can help you become a real adult.

      May 23, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Jeff M

      Oooh, oooh, I wanna be a real adult. Choose me, choose me!

      May 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  20. Jeff M

    I love being gay. It's the way I was born. And I know dam* well that earth is millions of years old. I'm just jerking your chains.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I like it too. Nothing I like more than some same plumbing hotness on a greased loveseat.


      May 23, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Having fun I see phony heavensent. Just remember John 3:16

      For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


      May 24, 2011 at 8:41 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.