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My Take: Overcoming the black church’s tradition of homophobia
June 15th, 2011
05:02 PM ET

My Take: Overcoming the black church’s tradition of homophobia

Editor's Note: Carlton Pearson is spiritual leader and author of the The Gospel of inclusion.

By Bishop Carlton Pearson, Special to CNN

Homophobia is hardly unique to the African-American community. It’s a social malady that's due largely to the influence of fear based-theologies, particularly fundamentalist Christianity, Islam and Judaism, all of which grow out of the Abrahamic tradition.

When something or someone is perceived as being despised by someone’s God, the worshippers of that God tend to despise and hate that person or thing as well. When given the opportunity, adherents act out against them with the same violence they presume God would use. That can happen through literal violence or in other ways - including the use of comedy.

I'm referring to Tracy Morgan’s reported an anti-gay rant at a recent show, during which he said“he'd stab his son to death if he said he was gay." Morgan has apologized for the rant and this week phoned a major gay rights group, vowing to return to Tennessee to apologize to those who heard it.

Preachers, too, often issue vicious denunciations of homosexuality.

African-Americans have always viewed male homosexuality as more of a sign of weakness than evil. This stems back to slave times, when male and female slaves were randomly abused sexually, usually by men.

I heard statements from my grandfather as far back as I could remember that homosexual practices were something the "white man" taught us and that it was a sign of weakness and weirdness in their culture. He spoke of how the white man sought to humiliate strong black slaves through sexual submission and subversion. It was the white man’s perverted way of exerting power over us, my grandfather said.

The same slave owners evangelized the slaves into Christian moral codes and dogmas that insisted slaves renounce their native spiritual traditions.

In some West African traditions, particularly in the Dagara tribes of Burkina Faso, certain Shamanistic spiritual leaders - sometimes called witch doctors by Westerners - were known to be of homosexual or bisexual orientation.

They were considered to have a higher vibrational level that enabled them to be guardians of the gateways to the spirit world. They were marginalized but not demonized. Similar traditions are known to other faith traditions, even if they’re not widely discussed.

African-Americans in particular should be sensitive to the violent injustices humans can perpetrate on other humans because of fear, ignorance and hatred. The African-American church has traditionally used a kind of "don't ask don't tell" approach toward homosexuality. But once someone’s homosexuality becomes public, the denunciations begin.

Such denunciations, exemplified in Morgan's comments, can send young people into depression and even drive them to suicide.

In more than 30 years of pastoring and dealing with pastors, I have observed that often when a public figure, secular or religious, shouts out in anger about or against a particular subject, it’s usually a sign of the inner turmoil of the person crying out around that very issue. I’ve discovered that many who angrily denounce homosexuality have latent homosexual tendencies or fantasies themselves and fear them - or are actually quite conflicted about the issue.

The most troubling aspect of Tracy Morgan's remarks is the bodily harm he said he’d inflict on his own child if he were to be seen acting in an effeminate manner.

Acts of violence against perceived unacceptable behavior, particularly if the behavior isn't harmful to self and others, is a sign of the deterioration of conscience.

What we fear, including homosexuality, we tend to amplify and exaggerate. There was a time when the "white man" feared black people and were threatened by our presence. We suffered horribly because of it. How quickly we forget. What we make the issue we make the idol.

Homosexuals and homosexuality are not going away. The sooner we recognize and accept that, the sooner the society will move forward.  I encourage the African-American community and church to reconsider ways to address the presence of gay people.

We don't have to go along to get along. We can mind many of the same things without necessarily having the same mind about everything.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bishop Carlton Pearson.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • Opinion

soundoff (609 Responses)
  1. Mildred the Mouth

    @Zelda
    My my girl. You've gone from "A" to "Z" !

    June 17, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  2. Zelda

    Church doesn't need to overcome ho-mo-pho-bia. America needs to give up perversion!

    June 16, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Ok Ms Westburo 🙂

      There are so many perversions that Americans should give up. From Smoking to high fat foods. I think the Father in Heaven is also concerned with the things we eat and digest.

      Think of it this way, how many Gay and Lesbians are there in the country? Now compare that to how many of us... me included ... are over weight. I did not check CNN but Foxnews had a article about how Americans are falling behind in life expectency and for African Americans its even worst.

      That is a issue, one that I believe that the African American Churches would be better to tackle and stomp out. As much as believe that there should not be laws against what a company sells I would have rather seen Eddie Long marching on a McDonalds or one of the soul food restaurants and liquire stores in the urban African American community.

      June 16, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
  3. Zelda

    Ho-mo-pho-bia is innate in human nature. Don't supress it. Christians supernaturally protect all life.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • Seriously...

      LOL! gayness is part of nature moron. There are over 1500 species that have been doc*umented having gay relationships.

      Hatred and prejudice is innate in Christianity.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  4. Daniel

    Thank you, Reverend Pearson. Calling out the black Evangelical movement on this issue isn't something whites can or should do. I have not walked in their shoes, and in any case it is a realization that must come from within. But to know that african-american communities and churches are having this conversation is encouraging.

    June 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  5. Beastly

    Does nobody get the joke that threatening to do your child in is a foundational aspect of judeo-chrislam? Abraham did it, if Morgan wants to do it because his interpretation of his 'holy' book requires it, well then, by all means. If one requires further proof that religion is not a reliable source of ethical behavior simply refer to its literature.

    June 16, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  6. Jazz

    Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2Cor 12:7-10

    June 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Jazz

      We don't bow to Satan's power and give in to his will. Though you may have a weakness you dont become that weakness. Conquer it and let it make you stronger.

      June 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      You Do know that some scholars think THAT was Paul's "coming out" !

      June 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  7. JohnQuest

    Mark from Middle River, you make some very interesting points (although it sounds like you are speaking from the outside). I have been to many Black Churches and most vilify hom-ose-xuality (when they speak of it at all). I agree with you, the Black Church adopted a don't ask don't tell policy. But to be openly gay or worse to be in an openly gay committed relationship, most black churches wouldn't tolerate it. Mr. Morgan is just an example of the type of person that comes out of the Black Church.

    June 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      JohnQ. I have been a part of one of the oldest if not the oldest African American church in the states. I still fail to make the Tracy Morgan connection to the church. Maybe if he made the joke on a Sunday during a altar call, but for now the only connection that Morgan has to the African American church is that he, just like me, is African American. I do not believe that he was like, say Little Richard, who had a well known involvement with the African American church.

      I guess Bishop Pearson's article just bugged me because there are many churches that have a issue with LGBTs. In his article he seemed to take aim at the African American churches why, because for some reason we should feel differently than other denominations? I guess it was the singling out of this branch of Christianity that irked me. I could see if he pointed to Mormons, Catholics, and various others and said that there are parts of Christianity that has issues they need to overcome. Also, with the persecutions in the past against denominations such as the Mormons, Catholics I do not see why the flame should not be held to their feet as well as the African American churches.

      To single out our churches, I felt was him stating that many African American churches somehow do not process the right to be the same as the white churches. My church was founded when a group of African Americans refused to continue to be segregated in their home church, which was white. They branched out and formed our church. God has blessed us and it has continued to grow. The Gay and Lesbian church that I visited did the same thing. They broke from their home churches and founded their own church.

      You are right, ho'mose'xuality is really the third rail in the African American churches but I feel it is the same in many other houses of worship on Sunday mornings. What this article I feel is just the Libs on the left upset that the church continues to have more influence on the African American Community then they do. The battle ground for the total control of the majority of the African American community, it appears to be for them , is who can control the churches.

      June 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Sayin Stuff

      I think Mark doesn't like his bigoted church being called out on their intolerance.
      Hay Mark, try saying all that without sounding like a hypocrite.
      Betcha can't!

      June 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Sayin- So when I said :

      "You are right, ho'mose'xuality is really the third rail in the African American churches but I feel it is the same in many other houses of worship on Sunday mornings. "

      That is sorta what I did mean. 🙂 Just like no organization or group is perfect I never said ours was on many subjects and issues. Not sure how much more I can be more direct than "third rail".

      The issue of focusing on just the African American churches just because someone feels that we should be different than other churches that have been persecuted ... yeah that does irked the snot out of me. If a debate on all churches and LGBT comes up I am willing to discuss the issue as a whole but to focus on one branch is wrong if not lazy.

      As I said, there were many insti'tutes of Faith that suffered persecution but wake me for a LGBT debate the day they talk about Gay Rabbis, Cardinals, and Imans. 🙂

      June 16, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • Sayin Stuff

      Well that wasn't very hypocritical, dammit. Okay, you win the bet. I'll think of something better for next time. ||||

      June 17, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Mark from Middle River, I think the AME has done a lot for Brothers and Sisters but I truly believe that it has outlived its usefulness (along with every other church in our community). I don't think it is necessary to believe in the unbelievable, granted it helped to focus us at a time when we had no other hope.

      Consider the following, we learned our virtues from the same people that enslaved us, they used their church and our innate belief in the supernatural to keep us in our place. We are still slaves, the shackles are now in our minds and souls.

      Have you taken any time to study African religions? if you haven't please, for your sake and mine, spend a few hours looking into what we believed before we were compromised by another religion.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  8. Mark from Middle River

    Hey JohnR. This article, just as a few other articles on the Belief Blog, is sorta all over the place.

    Now the writer, Bishop Pearson, had a choice on who to focus his “one shot” CNN blog glory on. In his choices, he had basically two. He could talk about the African American church and Rev Eddie Long who just settled out of court after declaring he was going to fight charges he had inappropriate relationships with a few young men in his congregation. All this after years of marching against the Gay community.

    Now Bishop Person could have chosen this story to detail how the African American churches have a continual issue with LGBT lifestyles. No, instead he chooses to write with Tracy Morgan... who is not a member of the clergy, as his focus.

    W.T.Flip Wilson. 🙂

    So we need to address a comedian, alone a comedian that some would say caters more towards white audiences than African American ones...when dealing with being Gay and Christian. How did another CNN Prothero type of writer once again get to the editor that publishes this Blog. An author that finds more focus in a comedian than a pastor?

    While I do agree with some of what Bishop Pearson writes, I fear that he has come to the plate and choked. He could have seen the true story of being Gay in the African American church in the Eddie Long saga, but he failed.

    Being Gay in the African American community is just like in society. Until they shake the Jerry Springer types of Gays then they will continue to face an uphill battle.

    Basically, until they find more Will Trumans and less Jack McFarlands...then some of closed minds will continue to be closed.

    Yes there are African American Gays in the churches. One person I heard joked that if its a male choir director then there is very good chance that he is Gay. I will finish, for now with this:

    “The African-American church has traditionally used a kind of "don't ask don't tell" approach toward ho'mos'exuality. But once someone’s ho'mos'exuality becomes public, the denunciations begin.”

    Bishop Pearson, if the church is at “Don't Ask Don't tell”, then it is already at the “public” stage. It means that pretty much everyone knows the person is Gay. Many I feel would base more of their denunciations on if the person was a Jack McFarland or a Will Truman.

    June 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Sorry about where this was placed. I was stuck in a "waiting for moderation" mode. Was supposed to be down in a lower section.

      June 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • JohnR

      @MarkfMR To be fair, the Eddie Long thing is getting to be somewhat old news and has had a lot of coverage over the months, whereas the Tracy Morgan incident was fresh and more than a little alarming. What I myself would like to see more of is more analysis of why att-itudes are the way they are in the African American community in general and churches in particular. It's easier to criticize than it is to understand, but if you want to PERSUADE, it helps to know what you are really dealing with.

      June 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      JohnR – Respectfully even with the Eddie Long story being old, where do you make the leap from a comedian's performance to a issue of the church? I mean besides Morgan being African American. Ok, now I will sound like a Atheist... All issues that deal with the African American community do not always have something to do with the African American church.

      June 16, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • JohnR

      @MarkfMR Yeah, I guess he just plugged the Tracey Morgan stuff in to make it seem more topical. But the issue is out there.

      June 17, 2011 at 9:49 am |
  9. kierra

    For those who still choose to not hold themselves accountable for their thoughts and behaviors by hiding behind scriptures in The Greatest Storybook Ever Composed" try reading Plato's "Analogy of the Cave" and Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery."

    If you are unable to comprehend those stories, visit this website: http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

    June 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      What if one reads both of those books and still holds on to their views, what would be your thoughts.

      Also, if a person that vocally holds a different view than you recommended about three or four books, that they felt would change your view or philosophy.... would you rush out to the store and buy them or take the time to get each book at your local library?

      June 16, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  10. FairGarden

    Under God's law everybody has the right to be hom o se x ual.

    June 16, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  11. Rainer Braendlein

    Continuous gayness is not compatible with Christianity, according to St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans. However, the Christian Church offers the releasing gospel also to the gay people. Everybody, who wants to repent, is welcome in the House of God. The Church doesn't hate the gay people, but offers the gospel.

    June 16, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Peace2All

      Hallo Rainer...

      I'm fairly sure that what you just wrote is accurate 'within' the context of the writings of your Bible as you understand it.

      As for doing anything or real world service to alleviate bias and help with putting gays/lesbians as equals with equal rights as humans of the often bigotry and hatred that is continually directed at gays/lesbians etc... Not So Much.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      June 16, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • myweightinwords

      There are many who would disagree, of course.

      Personally, I will fault no one for their choice in religion, only in whether or not they use that religion as a weapon to separate others from their rights.

      June 16, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Peace2All

      Hi,

      My comment was not about the behaviour of the society, regarding gay people, but about the behaviour of the Christian Church. Nobody is forced to join the Christian Church, but someone who joins, is supposed to accept the rules within the House of God. I don't know, how the secular society should behave, regarding gay people.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Rainer Braendlein

      Hi Rainer...

      Yes, I understand your comment, as I pointed out, makes sense to you within the 'context' of your holy book.

      My point was and is... that your "House of God", your holy book and it's 'followers', do very little to alleviate the hatred and marginalizing of gays and lesbians that go on in society.

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      June 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @myweightinwords

      Well said.

      Peace...

      June 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Rainer Braendlein, I would guess that the majority of Christians (and all other religions) were forced to join. Not many children have a choice if their parents are religious, even if the child is gay and the belief system of the parents vilifies them for being gay.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hey John.

      The forced to join part is interesting. Many kids are told to be in things and groups and when they get to be young adults they make the choice to leave or disassociate themselves from the groups or stay with the groups. The Faith are in some ways not that much different. Your problem is that you need to find out what keeps the people in the church. Part of me wants to believe that you will not choose the “they have weak minds” argument. Just because someone sees or believes different does not mean that they have the weak mind. Every time I hear someone say such I want to ask them, maybe it is you with the weak mind.

      Also, I have visited a LGBT type of Christian church so your argument of :

      “even if the child is gay and the belief system of the parents vilifies them for being gay.”

      What you fail to understand is that is that every person does not interpret the scripture the same and while one Gay child's parent might read that it is not ok to be gay the kid across the street might have a parent that says that it is ok to be Christian and Gay. We have LGBT churches, Gay and Lesbian Bishops and Ministers. So that should tell you that there is a difference in what some Christians believe. Which is way there are how many denominations and sects. 🙂

      June 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • GayAllTheWay

      My husband and I are welcomed in our church, we were married there and plan to bring our child there to be baptized. God created gay people we now know this, which is why my relationship with him is so great. It's time to stop the hate, the bigotry, the prejudice so that the children who are gay don't have to suffer like we did. The bullying, the beatings from total strangers, the kids committing suicide from the hatred they feel towards them. Yes, there are people who claim to be Christian yet continue to fuel the hatred, it's time to stop.

      June 16, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  12. myweightinwords

    I will admit that I haven't sought out the whole story about Tracy Morgan's words, however the little bit I have seen is disgusting to me.

    It goes well beyond the blatant hatred of hom-os-exuals. He threatened bodily violence. To his own child. Over something as small as his se-xual identi-ty.

    That alone is enough for me to never, ever again spend any time or money on ANYTHING the man touches.

    June 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
  13. jimtanker

    This is not about the "Black Churches". This is about the christian religion as a whole. It is biggoted and evil and has far outlived it's usefullness, if it even ever had one.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • myweightinwords

      I know many christians who are not bigoted and who do not use their religion as a weapon against others.

      This author is rightly pointing out an issue he sees within his own faith.

      June 16, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      You talk like the Nazi Alfred Rosenberg, who got a death sentence in Nuremberg.

      June 16, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • myweightinwords

      @Ranier, to whom was your comment directed?

      June 16, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @myweightinwords

      My comment was directed to jimtanker, of course.

      June 16, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Jim, this is about the African American churches. For many on the left this is a very big deal because the African American community is always expected to "tow" the Liberal left's party line or philosophy. That they are NOT and refusing to go along the lines, those on the Left take this as a serious problem. The church holds sway over many folks but some on the Left they are insulted that the church continues to hold more influence over the African American community than the Liberal or Democrats powers.

      All this article is the Liberals saying: "You blacks are ours ...your votes are ours ..... How dare you step out of line and vote the way we do not want you to vote. Do all of you African Americans know that your votes are for what we want and not what the church wants? "

      June 16, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Mark from Middle River

      Hello Mark...

      I certainly can't speak for liberals or republicans as to what they 'all' believe about this.

      IMO, your -over generalized- comment about liberals however is coming across as if that 'this'( i.e... is all about the votes,etc...) is 'gospel' about the liberals/democrats.

      Maybe that is true for 'some'...?

      However, for me personally, this whole issue is not about any 'votes'... its about the overall mindset and treatment of gays.

      If this article was written from the 'klan' perspective, I would be just as bothered about what I consider to be beliefs that flow into actions against people that are often marginalized and demonized in our society, due to words written in a book that claims to be the words of a Deity.

      I'm not o.k. with that.

      Regards -Mark. I hope that you are doing well...? BTW- How did your classes go...?

      Peace brother...

      June 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hi Peace, classes went well. One class the grade was not what I expected but the other was way over what I expected 🙂

      It's not speaking to all Liberals and maybe I should have used "some" more often. Recently, I have been able to listen to talk radio that comes from a Black college close to where I live. Their "trashing" of Obama was ...shocking. I bring this up because one of the over stated themes that they presented was that they expected Obama to do more for the African American community, and he has not. They felt the votes of the African American community were being taken for granted. They felt that the Dems only cared about the solid block of African American voters at election time.

      I wrote this because in the LGBT community there have been online articles that are mirroring the same statements. It is unbelievable that with Obama as president and a Democratically control Congress that more issues that were beneficial to the LGBT community were "rocketed" through. The only thing that tops that was that when "Don't Ask Don't Tell" was over turned it was the Gay Republicans that did it.

      How does that look to the LGBT community when Dems sit on their hands for two years and then a group of Republicans come in and make a national change in policy?

      It may not be you Peace but there is something in the higher powers in the Liberal camps that really only want to keep minorities and women down so that they will always feel that they need the Democratic party to "save" and "protect" them.

      All we have to do is look towards Africa. Decades of sending oats, rice, and peace corp students to dig village wells ..with the images of African children being happy to have a bucket of water .... China comes in and says... we will build you a Dam, we will build power stations ...we will help to employ your people. In other words, "we will not give you bags of grain, we will help you build, even if it is to benefit us it will bring your African country forward.." Do you know NPR had some Berkley Liberal on the radio declaring that this was "destroying" the African tribal goat herding and spear hunting way of life?

      On that, I say let it be destroyed. I think that the majority of the Liberals mean well but without the downtrodden I do not think they will have that much of a purpose in their lives.

      Thanks for commenting Peace and have a great day 🙂

      June 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • JohnR

      @Mark from Middle River I actually agree with some of what you say about the left. Some can be quite paternalistic and others (and there is an intersection) do take the votes of certain sectors of the electorate, including African Americans and the LGBT community, for granted. But this article is a thought piece about basic human rights. The author is challenging the African American community to view the struggles of the LGBT community for acceptance as a fundamental civil rights struggle. There is nothing condescending or presumptuous about this that I can see.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Mark from Middle River

      Hey Mark... Glad to hear that school is good for you. Keep it up !!

      You know, as for your response... I do understand and certainly do see some of what you are suggesting here as far as vote pandering. And you're right to a certain extent. And... as we also both know, the GOP does it's own version of this, yes...?

      I think you know where I'm coming from on this. I'm with JohnR. here too, that this is an human rights issue, at least for me, IMO.

      And that's really what my point was all about.

      Back at ya' Mark on having a great day !

      Peace brother...

      June 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  14. Doc Vestibule

    o GOD HATES THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO BE LEFT HANDED
    "A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left."
    – Ecclesiastes 10:2
    "The right hand of the lord doeth valiantly, the right hand of the lord is exalted."
    – Psalm 118 vv15,16
    Those who know and follow the true word of Christ will be laughing from up in heaven while you lefties fry forever.

    June 16, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  15. Doc Vestibule

    When the American south was forced to rescind the Jim Crow laws and accept racial integration, it was fundamentalist Christians who most strongly opposed equality.
    Wallie Criswell, an extremely popular and influential minister famously said "Let them integrate! Let them sit up there in their dirty shirts and make all their fine speeches. But they are all a bunch of infidels, dying from the neck up."
    Scarcely half a century later, the zeitgeist has shifted so radically that such open racism is considered abhorrent to the very same Christians that spouted scripture to justify insti.tutionalized bigotry.
    I fervently hope that the prevailing condemnation of ho.mose.xuality will soon be viewed with the same sense of shame that the memory of segragation elicits.

    June 16, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • Peace2All

      Well Said Doc !

      Peace...

      June 16, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  16. CW

    Let me guess mr bishop Pearson,

    you are apart of that "Its ok to act and live a lifestyle as a g-ay person and call yourself a true christian" crowd. Let me ask...what part of the bible's verses that speak against this do you not understand when it says that this lifestyle is wrong? You need examples...first there is the Old testament and more importantly there are verses in the new testament such as 1 Corinthians 6:9 or Romans chapter 1. Go back to your bible reading and when your done then talk.

    By the way....I'm a happily married (to a wonderful woman) so you don't think I fall into that crowd you speek of.

    June 16, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • Roman

      You're the crowd that are too lazy to pick up a history book and put the scriptures into historical perspective to understand what the writer was seeing. Oh, that's right paganism and idolatry....not the lies you are telling. The prejudice and hatred you have for someone who is different than you is why cowards like you keep holding onto bias viewpoints.

      June 16, 2011 at 8:44 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Many people read the same scriptures you do and come to different opinions than you do.

      I certainly did.

      June 16, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • CW

      @ Roman,

      Same thing over and over...misinte.rpretation, Judging, or some other rant. Like I said before "what part of 1 corinthians 6:9 do you not understand? Better yet...let me break out Leviticus as well...I'm sure you'll point to cotton fibers or k.illing your children.....another rant as usual.

      The point is this...if you have a problem with it..take it up with God..I didn't write it...God used man to write his perfect word. I and everyone else is commanded to follow his word no matter how hard it is.

      @ myweightinwords,

      I ask you the same...what part of 1 Corinthians 6:9 do you not understand?

      June 16, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Then Leviticus should apply, and you should not be eating pork or shellfish. Or maybe gods word isn't quite so perfect. Or maybe its a bunch of fables made up by men for whatever reason that people cling to for a variety of reasons.

      Since there are many thousands of interpretations of the bible, and since many would argue that you're taking Corinthians WAY out of context, what gives you the audacity to think that your interpretation is the correct one?

      June 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      I think it's best to keep in mind what Jesus had to say, paraphrasing: worry about your own personal problems before concerning yourself with other ppl's problems.

      June 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Roman

      "The point is this...if you have a problem with it..take it up with God..I didn't write it...God used man to write his perfect word. I and everyone else is commanded to follow his word no matter how hard it is."

      They were writing about paganism and idolatry, keep showing you don't have a clue about history.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Yo!

      "I ask you the same...what part of 1 Corinthians 6:9 do you not understand?"

      If Paul wanted to refer to ho-mos-exual behavior, he would have used the word "paideras-ste." That was the standard Greek term at the time for s-exual behavior between males.

      The second term is "ar-senokoitai" in Greek. The exact meaning of this word is lost. It seems to have been a term created by Paul for this verse. "Ar-sen" means "man" in Greek. So there is no way that "ar-senokoitai" could refer to both male and female ho-mos-exuals. It seems that the English translators gave in to the temptation to widen Paul's condemnation to include lesbians as well as gay males.

      Oh not men of God BIAS translators and it's been proven over and over again until recently that what people knew about gays was done by bias researchers too! CW you are a work of Satan.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  17. Elle

    We are all here for such a relatively short time, oftem plagued with poverty, illness and fear. Why inflict unhappiness and guilt on another person, why add to the sum total of human misery? If somebody feels that they are gay, why make it harder and unhappier for them while they are on this planet? We need to support one another and try to lessen each others' pain. Religion started out to comfort, I am sure, but instead all too often, it condemns. Not a one of us knows for certain what happens after death, but we can try to ease the burden of being alive and not add to it. To me, that is what God would want, if there were a God, which I do not know.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:43 am |
    • Hugs to Elle!

      Love your post!

      June 16, 2011 at 7:03 am |
  18. John Richardson

    I like those blue choir robes, btw!

    June 16, 2011 at 6:25 am |
  19. SLAP-A-GAY & LESBIAN TODAY

    god didnt make man to lust after another mans sweaty stankin @$$!

    god didnt make man for man or woman for woman!

    June 16, 2011 at 4:53 am |
    • Blink

      So what you're saying is you like women to lust after your "sweaty stankin @$$." But what's okay for you isn't okay for someone else? Interesting.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:06 am |
    • Cyphonix

      In Tracy Morgan's case, do you think that when he was having the orgasm with the woman that bore the poor, kid he prayed: "Please God, don't make my kid gay or I'm going to have to kill him". That's the kind of ignorant thinking you're screen name suggest. Also, I know Jesus and his Father, and they do not agree with you whatsoever. So when you see them shortly, you will remember my message.

      June 16, 2011 at 6:42 am |
    • My Take: Group identity is the problem, not the DNA. by Thomas Vilderboort for CNN

      We each have individual genetic characteristics.
      This translates into all the ways in which variations (individuals) within a particular species develop throughout their individual lifespan.
      So: everyone's different. Yet we all want to indentify with a group of some sort. This is basically hard-wired into our brains.
      Also hard-wired into our brains are all the concomitant parts dealing with sexual function, instincts, and other stuff our bodies have encoded within our DNA.
      Yet we share many generalities, mostly dealing with the essential structures and cell production of the body.
      We are not often asked to define what makes us different as individuals as opposed to similarities. Most people do not have the time or inclination to worry about these things and simply go about their lives, functioning as they are most likely to do based on their individual physiology.
      We can see a lot of variations in any "group", whether physiological or psychological. No two people are exactly alike.
      Our instinctual reactions are pretty much beyond our control. We have bodies that do things automatically, and that includes brain functions. We cannot control much of our physical functioning.
      Anyone who says the wide variety of sexual instincts and reactions are under a person's control are not basing their opinion on facts. We can sometimes influence how they are expressed, but our reproductive instincts are very strong in most people. There are many variations. The sexual polarities in Terrestrial flora and fauna evolved that way. There can be anything that the DNA can be encoded for.
      We are evolved from creatures that cared for one another and attacked one another. Our instincts involving our desire for group identity are a very strong motivating influence on how we perceive and interact with the universe and each other.
      It is not "perversion" when the DNA grew their bodies and brains that way.
      We are descended from animals that also had these variations surrounding the reproductive instincts We see the variations in behavior in other species as well. This is just normal variations. The instincts are not tied to the sexual characteristics of the individual.
      Let me repeat that in a different way.
      The sexual variation in the body is not related to any of the possible variations in how the brain is wired to handle these organs.
      All the brain deals with is electrochemical impulses. There is no automatic correllation between the shape of an individual's sex organs and their genetically hard-wired instincts that deal with reproductive-related motivations.
      In fact, there are so many variations possible, that one could argue that having two sexes at the "reproductive poles" virtually guarantees that there will be reaction-sets of every possible sort.
      All it takes is the DNA.
      It is your group identity that causes you to view those you perceive as outsiders as "bad".
      These sorts of "group-identity-think" are responsible for much of what we call sociology.
      And again, there are many variations on the numbers and types of groups an individual can identify with.
      I don't think there's all that much "free will" involved in a lot of it. Our genetic structure has more to do with it than our personal decisions. No matter how strongly you feel, it's not the same as thinking. We have emotional instincts.
      We have variations.
      We have proof that all this "anti-gay" hysteria is just loud primate hooting noises to drive away those perceived to be "outsiders."
      This hysteria is not based on facts, truth, or anything but the irrational reactions of those who feel that way.

      June 16, 2011 at 6:52 am |
    • David Johnson

      @SLAP-A-GAY & LESBIAN TODAY

      Genesis 2 18:20:
      18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”
      19 So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one.
      20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.

      OMG! If Adam had found affection for a sheep or a hot chicken, the fundies would be running around claiming god created Adam and Cluck,Cluck!

      How can you fundies believe this stuff? There isn't enough faith in all the world!

      Cheers!

      June 16, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      @ David Johnson
      Speaking of Adam and Cluck Cluck....
      Seems it came very close to that . In one of the versions, (The New American Bible, ((Catholic)), it says :
      Genesis 2:20 : "The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none "proved" to be the suitable partner for the man".
      Sounds to me that they all had a "try-out" session.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Bucky B.

      LOL 😀

      Peace...

      June 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Southern Christians ask "Are Ewe My Fa-a-a-a-ther?"

      Would you be surprised to know that the try-out period is still going on throughout the Bible Belt?

      June 16, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Bucky the Insufferabe Know-it-all Winner of the Spelling Bee

      @Southern
      .....fooled ya didn't I ? Just 😈

      June 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  20. cbr

    Churches are not helping the situation when they denounce gays, lesbians, or any other groups they decide are not worthy. Yes, they absolutely have the right to preach but when did religions become so intolerant.

    June 16, 2011 at 4:30 am |
    • iamall

      That is sooo true

      June 16, 2011 at 4:39 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.