My Take: Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality?
June 21st, 2011
10:10 AM ET

My Take: Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality?

Editor's Note: Jonathan Dudley is the author of Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics.

By Jonathan Dudley, Special to CNN

Growing up in the evangelical community, I learned the Bible’s stance on homosexuality is clear-cut. God condemns it, I was taught, and those who disagree just haven’t read their Bibles closely enough.

Having recently graduated from Yale Divinity School, I can say that my childhood community’s approach to gay rights—though well intentioned—is riddled with self-serving double standards.

I don’t doubt that the one New Testament author who wrote on the subject of male-male intercourse thought it a sin. In Romans 1, the only passage in the Bible where a reason is explicitly given for opposing same-sex relations, the Apostle Paul calls them “unnatural.”

Problem is, Paul’s only other moral argument from nature is the following: “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?” (1 Corinthians 11:14-15).

Few Christians would answer that question with a “yes.”

In short, Paul objects to two things as unnatural: one is male-male sex and the other is long hair on men and short hair on women. The community opposed to gay marriage takes one condemnation as timeless and universal and the other as culturally relative.

I also don’t doubt that those who advocate gay marriage are advocating a revision of the Christian tradition.

But the community opposed to gay marriage has itself revised the Christian tradition in a host of ways. For the first 1500 years of Christianity, for example, marriage was deemed morally inferior to celibacy. When a theologian named Jovinian challenged that hierarchy in 390 A.D. — merely by suggesting that marriage and celibacy might be equally worthwhile endeavors — he was deemed a heretic and excommunicated from the church.

How does that sit with “family values” activism today?

Yale New Testament professor Dale B. Martin has noted that today’s "pro-family" activism, despite its pretense to be representing traditional Christian values, would have been considered “heresy” for most of the church’s history.

The community opposed to gay marriage has also departed from the Christian tradition on another issue at the heart of its social agenda: abortion.

Unbeknownst to most lay Christians, the vast majority of Christian theologians and saints throughout history have not believed life begins at conception.

Although he admitted some uncertainty on the matter, the hugely influential 4th and 5th century Christian thinker Saint Augustine wrote, “it could not be said that there was a living soul in [a] body” if it is “not yet endowed with senses.”

Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic saint and a giant of mediaeval theology, argued: “before the body has organs in any way whatever, it cannot be receptive of the soul.”

American evangelicals, meanwhile, widely opposed the idea that life begins at conception until the 1970s, with some even advocating looser abortion laws based on their reading of the Bible before then.

It won’t do to oppose gay marriage because it’s not traditional while advocating other positions that are not traditional.

And then there’s the topic of divorce. Although there is only one uncontested reference to same-sex relations in the New Testament, divorce is condemned throughout, both by Jesus and Paul. To quote Jesus from the Gospel of Mark: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.”

A possible exception is made only for unfaithfulness.

The community most opposed to gay marriage usually reads these condemnations very leniently. A 2007 issue of Christianity Today, for example, featured a story on its cover about divorce that concluded that Christians should permit divorce for “adultery,” “emotional and physical neglect” and “abandonment and abuse.”

The author emphasizes how impractical it would be to apply a strict interpretation of Jesus on this matter: “It is difficult to believe the Bible can be as impractical as this interpretation implies.”

Indeed it is.

On the other hand, it’s not at all difficult for a community of Christian leaders, who are almost exclusively white, heterosexual men, to advocate interpretations that can be very impractical for a historically oppressed minority to which they do not belong – homosexuals.

Whether the topic is hair length, celibacy, when life begins, or divorce, time and again, the leaders most opposed to gay marriage have demonstrated an incredible willingness to consider nuances and complicating considerations when their own interests are at stake.

Since graduating from seminary, I no longer identify with the evangelical community of my youth. The community gave me many fond memories and sound values but it also taught me to take the very human perspectives of its leaders and attribute them to God.

So let’s stop the charade and be honest.

Opponents of gay marriage aren’t defending the Bible’s values. They’re using the Bible to defend their own.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jonathan Dudley.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Homosexuality • Opinion

soundoff (6,474 Responses)
  1. mak

    It is really a sad day that anyone can write what they want , in order to create pages and pages of discussion or sell or promote
    their agenda.
    Young man, the only way you are getting away with this kind of B.S. because there are so many non Christians out there that you can get away with this. It is only through the Christians tolerance that you can get away with this BS.

    June 21, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Jacob Cayo

      AMEN! shoddy journalism and pushing his own agenda on CNN is what it is.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • LOL!

      "AMEN! shoddy journalism and pushing his own agenda on CNN is what it is."

      Hypocrite your pushing your agenda through your comments. What an idiot.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Jon (not Dudley)

      You mean like the way you can write what you want in this comment of yours?

      June 21, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Jacob Cayo

      Its funny, the ignorant ones resort to name calling while he knowledgeable ones tell the truth bodly. hypocrite? bigot? so you dont accept my opinion but im a bigot? LOL nice one

      June 21, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • excuse me?

      So what you're saying is once you build up your army of fanatic, uneducated believers you will do away with the gays and then with journalists who point out the fallacy in your logic?

      June 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Jacob Cayo

      I ever said I would "do away" with anyone. where would you get that? and I respect journalists for what they do, or try to at least. I never even said I hated, or didnt love the person who is sinning.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  2. Lairbear

    I'm beginning to think the ancient Egyptians, ca. 3500BC, may have had it right in regards to Gods.
    There were many gods during this time, around 80+ I believe. Amun-Ra, Osirus at the top and the other Gods were to follow.
    Their belief system lasted for many years without backlash, until the Christian/Judeo beliefs became the main "attraction," 1500BC to present time. Don’t forget Islam took control of Egypt ca 650BC.
    Perhaps the bible is a take from the ancient Egyptian beliefs?

    June 21, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • airwx

      Small point of history... Islam arrived in Eygpt ca. 650 A.D. not B.C...

      June 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      they certainly were quite advanced for their time. Eqypt was an interesting civilization

      June 21, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  3. TC

    Thanks Dud for your concrete knowledge and wisdom on such complex issues – you have in your immature youth managed to thumb your nose at millenia of thought and accused Body of Christ as a whole for using the Bible for thier own purposes. Much to learn young seminarian and that's OK – its' how we learn. I just wish I could talk to you again in 20 years assuming you kept pursuing the faith the whole time.

    June 21, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So you're saying that people of faith don't use the bible to promote their own causes? I think this kid understands religion better than you do.

      June 21, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
  4. swohio

    Nice try, Mr. Dudley. But I'll continue to defer to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church for guidance regarding matters of faith and morals.

    June 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • TC

      I second that – I'll take 2000 years of thousands of people's collective study and revealtions over one person's thought but that is just how most evangelical protestants operate – they have no problem believing in what just one guy preaches. Scary.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Good luck with that.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • tallulah13

      My favorite story about the catholic church is the one where the 9-year old girl in Brazil was ra-ped by her step father and became pregnant with twins. The 80-pound girl's life was at risk, so her mother and her doctors decided an abortion was the best option. The mother and doctors were excommunicated. The ra-pist is still in good standing in the church because ra-ping a child is somehow more excusable than saving that child's life. Frankly, I think that's evil and about as immoral as it gets.

      Here's a link to the story, if you doubt the truth of it.


      June 21, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      So how many angels CAN dance on the head of a pin ?

      June 21, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  5. Someone Somewhere

    So glad Mr. Dudley has boiled all that down for us. Such wisdom. Is this guy 17 years old?

    June 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  6. facepalm

    You know, the bible never says anything about lesbians, or "women who lie with women." So I guess they're OK then huh? as long as they don't have short hair, right?

    June 21, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • jonathan

      You're wrong facepalm. the bible does speak against it.Romans 1:26-27 for this cause God gave them up to vile affections :for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature..the men also leaving the natural use of the woman burned in lust one toward another.: men with men working that which is unseemly ...
      glad to be of help 🙂

      June 21, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, it only talks about "natural use". If you are a les-bian, being with other women IS natural. See? No problem.

      June 21, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Eric G

      Well, I can't (and won't) speak for the church, but I am totally fine with it.

      Probably because I agree with both of them.

      Leave these people alone.

      June 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  7. James

    1 Corinthians 6:9  What! Do YOU not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men, That's pretty clear I think. If he has read the Bible all the way through he would see more than the quote in Romans.

    June 21, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Duh

      Dude pick up a history book that is about paganism worshiping a pagan god using s-ex and male prost-itution, it has nothing to do with ho-mo-se-xuals as we know and understand it today.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • jonathan

      duh get saved then we can talk about what the bible means 🙂

      June 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Glenna Jones Kachtik

      James – since he is a graduate of DIVINITY school – (meaning he is a minister of some sort) – I would think he has made a pretty thorough study of the bible. You on the other hand – proved his point. You cherry pick some things to say are abominations – because you & those who are like minded BELIEVE these to be so. Other things like long hair on guys, eating shellfish etc you leave in the passage. There you go, bible quote to back up your assertion...superior in your knowledge – but are you really??? You presume to speak for GOD???

      June 21, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • TC

      Getting saved is more than speaking some words – it's living a life that sincerely tries to live a Christ like life, IE your words should bear fruit

      June 21, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Stupid non-believer

      God's kingdome is a ghetto, with God being the supreme slum lord. I certainly hope I don't inherit it.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • Jimmy

      James, lest us not forget Corinthians 1:14 – He who blesseth upon the hither of the zither is cast among the shadows of wailing and gnashing of teeth. The river flows to hither thine zither into and upon us by Gods love, the ONE true and shadowy love, of zithers.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • Duh


      duh get saved then we can talk about what the bible means


      I know what the bible means, it's you who is stuck in the dark.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • dwordisclear

      Non-beliver, your wish will come true if that is truly what you want. However, it doesn't have to be that way.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • TC

      @ Jimmy. And how does that clarify this issue?

      June 21, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Jimmy

      It must be so easy to answer everything with "Duh. It's in the bible." You're like the religious version of Charlie Sheen.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Eric G

      "nor men kept for unnatural purposes"?

      Why would they even need to put that in there? What kind of freaks were these early Christians?

      June 21, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  8. Pastafarian

    It's just a dumb book written by people to control other people, yet we as a society waste incredible amounts of time disecting it as if the words have any current significance. Even worse, using the words as if they represent any type of proof whatsoever in the existence of god! I seriously just don't get it.

    Is it because the indoctination when we are so young is that hard to break when we learn to think for ourselves???

    June 21, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      As has been pointed out by others, a child's religious beliefs are almost entirely determined by which geography and parents they have the (mis)fortune of being born in/to. If in "the west", one of 30,000+ christian cults, if in the middle east, the cult of judaism or islam, if in ...

      June 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • airwx

      Your posit intriques me...

      Since I grew up living in a land of Budhists and Shintos, raised by parents who didn't give damm about anything religious...how do scientifically explain my choice of faith as an adult? Is it that you use loaded words and pseudo-scientific studies to conceal your simple disdain for authority?

      June 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @airwx He said ALMOST entirely determined. And don't worry, atheists and other non-believers know all about bucking trends. We buck the cultural trends of our societies and often buck very strong religious trends in our own families. There were quite a few Evangelicals in my own family, but I did have the good fortune to have other family members who were more open minded, even if they didn't end up exactly where I did.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • airwx

      @ John

      I agree with your point. My goal is to have everyone examine their own motivations;i.e. are you a believer/atheist because you believe or because something external to belief;/non-belief motivates you.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • jonathan

      I disagree..... it's a great book for dumb people.. 🙂

      June 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Exactly. These people never stopped believing in Santa Claus.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • dwordisclear

      Pastafarian, You will never get it until is your time to confront its author in person, unless you get to actually read it and accept it for what it is; God's way of redemption!

      June 21, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      One only needs to look at a map to see where the major religious populations, and understand that the age of world discovery and imperialism caused various religions to be exported to certain locales, coupled with statistics about religion including how many people convert (almost none) to conclude that the observation I reported (as in, did not come up with orginally but that I agree with) is largely true. Yes there are anomolies, such as you and I and John Richardson and several other in here, but for the most part, geography and parents dominate.

      June 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Platypus

      We are moulded and fashioned by our surroundings. Environment is a sculptor – a painter.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  9. AD

    Clearly this verse speaks out against abortion and while through the redemption we are not to give out the punishment it clearly states what God expects.

    Exodus 21 verse 22

    If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

    And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
    burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

    June 21, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  10. LinCA

    True story.

    God to her husband: Hey honey, remember that universe that I started a while ago? I think I saw something cute in there.
    Husband: What, babe?
    God: You know how all that matter, that was generated after the bang, has started to clump and form all these cool features, like stars and galaxies, and even clusters of galaxies?
    H: Yes.
    G: Well, in one of those of galaxies, there's one tiny little star that has a few planets circling around it.
    H: How is that cute? There are hundreds of billions of galaxies in that universe, each with billions of stars and planets.
    G: But on one of the planets circling this star, life occurred.
    H: That is cute. But how is that different from life on any of the other planets? And how did you find it? Were you looking for something?
    G: Nah, I wasn't. I kinda discarded that whole universe already because it doesn't seem to have enough mass. I stumbled upon it, because of an incessant buzzing in my ear.
    H: Buzzing?
    G: Yeah, one of the species of life has developed some primitive form of speech and they have started calling on me to intervene on their behalf.
    H: Huh?
    G: Yeah, they call it praying. They want me to do their dirty work. They want me to smite their enemies, help their sports teams win and do something to their food. All kinds of weird stuff.
    H: All of them at the same time?
    G: Yup, but not in unison, hence the buzzing. And what's kinda weird, they all seem to have a different view of who I am or what I do.
    H: How's that work?
    G: Over the few years since they've figured out how to write, they've been attributing all kinds of things and events that they've around them, to me. All these primitive writings are so confusing to them that nobody seems to understand what the authors meant. Now they've clustered into small groups that argue and war with each other over who's more right. It's kinda funny to see.
    H: They praying to any of our neighbors, too?
    G: A few. Allah seems to get quite a few. Zeus, Ra, Thor and a whole bunch of others don't seem to be in demand much anymore.
    H: And Bob?
    G: Bob? Oh you mean Bob the Magical Blue Sock. Nope, he seems to be called on mostly as an example of why none of us exist, just like Pink Unicorns and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
    H: So, what are you going to do about all those prayers?
    G: The same what I've been doing all along. Ignore them.
    H: So, you're not going to set them straight about who you are?
    G: Nah, eventually they may figure out that I don't really give a crap. If they don't kill each other and that whole planet first.
    H: That would be a shame.
    G: Don't worry. Planets are a dime-a-dozen.
    H: Oh, OK. Dinner is ready. Come eat.
    G: Thanks, hon. By the way, how was your day?
    H: Fine. I didn't have a whole lot to do so I started on cleaning out the garage.
    G: Oh, that is good. I may need some more space there. If that universe keeps growing, I'll have to take it off the book shelf and put it somewhere else.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Someone Somewhere

      Just say no to drugs. Seriously.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Glenna Jones Kachtik

      Loved this story!!! Sounds about as good as anything else...I guess some will call it blasphemy but I thought it was really creative.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • TC

      Looks like someone wasted a lto of typing time trying to convinve themsleves that God does not exist. Amazing how the universe just showed up! You beleive in mysterious and spontaneous creation of matter and I will believe in the mystery of God creating the matter

      June 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I quite enjoyed that! Thank you.

      June 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  11. Ariel

    O.K. Ask this very simple queastion. Theres three worlds, one all males, one all females, and one with both. Which one planet will still have people in 150yrs? Even thought all three have sin one will survive. I understand what hes trying to say but, survival has always been Gods plan. And Gods plan is to bring out the best in us.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      Do any of the worlds have scientists? Because if they do, then the technology for creating life is readily available...

      June 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • fuyuko

      eh, 'survival is gods' plan doesn't cut it. if that were true, old people, infertile people are not in gods plan. All people are in gods plan, and there is room for gays and everyone else or he wouldn't have made them.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Montana

      Very nice and well stated.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Uli

      If survival was gods plan then why did god introduce diseases, natural disasters and evil? Of course you will deny that your god introduced these things but did your god not make the fruit of good and evil to adam and eve? If there is nothing that occurs outside of gods plan then god did introduce the above stated a things.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • MAB

      So is it bad if two straight people get married and can't have kids it's wrong?

      June 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • airwx

      A small corr-ection ...science can only clone or modify life. No one has created a self-replicating organism.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • ScottK

      And how about if you said it this way – "O.K. Ask this very simple queastion. Theres one world with both males & females. These humans continue to procreate to the point where the one planet won't be able to produce enough food to support the population in 150yrs. What do you do? To protect the planet it's "God" add's certain gene's into humans so that they will be attracted to the same gender along with increasing violent storms and natural disasters thus reducing the ever increasing population levels. I understand what hes trying to say but, survival of the planet has always been Gods plan. And Gods plan is to bring out the best in us, even if the best isn't what Christians expect."

      June 21, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • martin

      If survival is god's plan, then why do bad things happen to good people.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Wow

      If survival was God's plan then why is the planet so over populated now and earth is going in the toilet by what we humans are doing to it! You would think Christians would be better shepherds of God's gift to them. LOL!

      June 21, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • airwx

      @ martin

      Your post should read something like this....

      Dear God...I'm upset that you didn't just hand us utopia.

      Dear Martin....If you lived in utopia you would already be with Me!

      June 21, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Profligate procreation is not a good thing at all.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Check out parthenogenisis. That would be reproduction without fertilization. It occurs in some species of insects and sharks.

      June 21, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • tallulah13

      whoops. Misspelled it. I mean parthenogenesis.

      June 21, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • Platypus

      Hey people! How do you know god’s plans, god’s directives, god’s tastes, god’s intentions, god's likes and dislikes, etc, etc…? Are you god’s advisor?

      July 6, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  12. Limbaugh is a liberal

    I love how CNN keeps many of my comments in perpetual 'moderation' mode. What's the matter? CNN too worried they might alienate a few right-wing nuts by allowing people tell the truth? That we write better arguments with better research than CNN's own writers?
    Stop pretending that the two sides of issues are always equal. Hatfeul, divisive Christianity is not HALF of the story. Loving, peaceful, tolerant Christianity is much, much larger! There are plenty of us who believe in God and Jesus without the need to force it onto others!
    CNN would actually get more viewers if they were more inclusive of the vast middle-ground of people who, while may not agree on everything, likes their fellow American, can live together without the need to start a shouting match and a hatefest because of superficial, insignificant disagreements.
    Hate and fear aren't the only things that sell!

    June 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • ScottK

      Get over yourself, no one from CNN read your posts. You likely put a "T" and an "i" and another "T" together somewhere ya boob.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Any cluster of letters that spell a potentially offensive word is an automatic "moderation", which means that particular missive will never be posted. There are no real moderators. It's just an automated system. Just go over your posts, and look for letter combinations like t.it or t.urd or generally anything that would offend a sensitive soul. It always makes me a little miffed when I have to break up "consti-tution" but you have to.

      No one is picking on you. You just haven't learned what to look out for.

      June 21, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  13. Jeff (Yale Divinity School Student)

    It seems quite possible to argue for an early Christian tradition of protecting nascent human life. For example, "you shall not abort a child or commit infanticide" (Didache 2.2, The Apostolic Fathers, Trans. Michael W. Holmes)

    June 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • dwordisclear

      Why would you want to use anyone outside of Scriptures to argue that point?

      June 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • crucified

      maybe the author of the article should of read josephus version of leviticus ...there would be no misinterpetation of the jewish view of gay.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Richard

      Hopefully you will turn out better than your fellow.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Jackson Stacey

      Well he doesn't say that no one in the past thought life begins at conception, just that most theologians in the past didn't. And if you read his book, as I have, he acknowledge that past theologians, even ones who didn't think life begins at conception, still condemned abortion before then but not because it was killing a person but because it is a form of contraception

      June 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • trace

      dwordisclear, the author also used non-Scriptural sources to argue this same point.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • dwordisclear

      Trace, Would you please tell me which Scripture supports abortion? Not even this Biblical Scholar, who is using this argument as a way to support his own tendencies without feeling guilty about it, couldn't find such Scripture.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Free

      Because these same Church Fathers were the ones who decided which books to include in the New Testament, based on what they believed in their time, hundreds of years after Jesus. Protestants then claim that this collection of books has authority over the very Church Fathers and other Christian authority that put it together in the first place. It would be funny if it didn't lead to such pain being caused.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Tom

      @dwordisclear Pro Abortion you ask. No problem. Several examples coming right up:

      Hosea 9:11-16 Hosea prays for God’s intervention. “Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer. Give them, 0 Lord: what wilt thou give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. . .Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.” Clearly Hosea desires that the people of Ephraim can no longer have children. God of course obeys by making all their unborn children miscarry. Is not terminating a pregnancy unnaturally “abortion”?

      Numbers 5:11-21 The description of a bizarre, brutal and abusive ritual to be performed on a wife SUSPECTED of adultery. This is considered to be an induced abortion to rid a woman of another man’s child.

      Numbers 31:17 (Moses) “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every women that hath known man by lying with him.” In other words: women that might be pregnant, which clearly is abortion for the fetus.

      Hosea 13:16 God promises to dash to pieces the infants of Samaria and the “their women with child shall be ripped up”. Once again this god kills the unborn, including their pregnant mothers.

      2 Kings 15:16 God allows the pregnant women of Tappuah (aka Tiphsah) to be “ripped open”. And the Christians have the audacity to say god is pro-life. How and the hell is it that Christians can read passages where God allows pregnant women to be murdered, yet still claim abortion is wrong?

      June 21, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Free

      With Josephus, like Paul, you have to wonder if it's his Jewish understanding of gay shining through, or his Roman, right?

      June 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • dwordisclear

      Tom, in all of these instances it was, in fact, God's decisions in order to achive His divine will, not men. After all, it is God who decides where all these children are going to end up eternally, right? In the other hand, He does condemme the consious adult's decision to kill not according to His own will, whom by the way, he also knows where their eternal destinies are. In Romans 1, Paul explains, that whenever we (humanity) started to do things on our own contrary to God's will, He let us loose; however, not meaning He actually condoned our actions. The fact is that prior to God's choosing of Abraham to initiate His master plan, it was irrelevant whether we were killed in the womb of our mothers or simply died after living a long life, since prior to that, humanity had no hope. Having said that, whatever happened between the choosing of Abraham and the death of Jesus on the cross, was in fact necessary for humanity to be able to be reconciled with God. And that, by the way, doesn't exclude you!

      June 21, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      if there is such a strong anti-abortion tradition among believers, why are 70% of the abortions in the USA had by believers? Or are they had by jews and muslims, but not christians? Actually, the stats say jews, muslims, christians and others, but I thought I would anticpate a christian "not us!" response.

      June 21, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
  14. MAB

    Its very interesting that users are telling him to read scriptures after he mentions a few in his article. It's the bible, people can quote for days on end – some of which probably contradict each other in ways. I'm guessing he has read the bible from front to back as he was a graduate of seminary school. The bible is one of the main teachings of a lot of things, both religious and life lesson related. He doesn't deny his teachings from seminary or his faith, just making a simple observation not just about marriage, but about other life related issues. After going through Catholic school and also confirming I left the Catholic church because I felt there were too many disagreements with my own personal belief and what they were teaching. I was also exposed to many other diverse religions and beliefs like Buddhism, Judaism, Baptist, etc. It's very hard to condemn others, especially my friends, when they are still worshipping the same God I believe in. Or at least a higher level. I remember asking my priest when I was 8 years old where the Egyptians went when they died. Did they go to heaven or hell? or did they just kinda wait around for Jesus Christ to come and die for their sins so they could go to heaven. They came ages before Jesus was even present on earth. Speaking of ages, um Dinosaurs? clearly there is no denying bones. I know this is off topic but it kinda makes you wonder if they were God's first project before scrapping that idea. Eh, who knows, maybe there is a Dino Heaven....

    June 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Richard

      Wow, you must be really bored.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  15. Pat in IL

    Thank you for a good, honest discussion, Johathan. I think that one of the most offensive acts a person can perform is that of using the words in the Bible to further their own social agenda. It's ridiculous, dangerous and certainly not a Christian act.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Richard

      Honest discussion? Wow! Good job Jonathan! Are you sure your degree wasn't in theater instead? You certainly played the part. You can't really believe "honest" sir, now can you?

      June 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • CP

      Totally agree. So many people who call themselves Christians are the least Christian people on the planet because they are hiding behind The Bible, which has been written and interpreted by man over the years.

      Jonathan nailed it with his closing comments....."So let’s stop the charade and be honest.

      Opponents of gay marriage aren’t defending the Bible’s values. They’re using the Bible to defend their own."

      One cannot pick and choose which Bible passages they are going to follow to the letter and which ones they are going to ignore or change.

      How does who two people in love marry matter one iota to anyone's life but their own?

      June 21, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  16. Point

    Timothy, Corinthians, Romans, Acts....

    Who y'all following, Christ or Paul?

    June 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Richard

      Well, well, well! Trying to usurp Scripture as your own words or what? Just kidding. But still, you know what I mean, you scholar you.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Ariel

      It should be Christ. Hint Christianity.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • crucified

      you forgot Jude, jesus brother, he wrote Jude 1:7 ...and you do follow the apostles of Jesus for they were given the spirit in acts...and have all the authority given to them by Jesus. but matthew is clear on this subject also, Jesus words "one man and one woman shall make one flesh" not man and man

      June 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Free

      "Jude 1:7"

      Don't you think that most gay people are just as repulsed by the thought of being rap.ed as you are? Those men were coming to force themselves on the angels, they weren't hammering on the door asking them out on a date, or to get married.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  17. Richard

    Fie! Fie! Fie upon it all! Well, not all, but a lot of it. Fie, I say! Fie.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  18. Fidei Coticula Crux

    "Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be CHEATED? No, you yourselves do wrong and CHEAT, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit THE KINGDOM OF GOD? DO NOT BE DECEIVED. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor ho-mose-xuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were WASHED, but you were SANCTIFIED, but you were JUSTIFIED in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:7-11, NKJV)

    CHEATED…CHEAT: In all of their bickering, the Corinthians made frivolous and even dishonest charges against one another. Paul suggested that it was better to be CHEATED by one of these dishonest people than to dishonor one’s Christian witness before pagans.

    THE KINGDOM OF GOD here seems to refer to a future time when God will rule the earth in righteousness (Matt. 6:10; Luke 11:2). DO NOT BE DECEIVED: Tragically, Christians sometimes deceive themselves into thinking that God does not require them to live righteously. Paul emphasizes that the kinds of people listed in these verses will not inherit or possess the kingdom of God.

    In verse 6:11, Paul uses three terms to describe the conversion of the Corinthians. The tense of all three verbs indicates an action in the past that is complete. WASHED means spiritually cleansed by God. SANCTIFIED means set apart as God’s people. JUSTIFIED means declared righteous by God because of Christ’s work on the Cross.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • AscentAmadeus

      Fidei, why do you write/talk so weird? Do you think G-d is working through you? Buddy, please go get a summer job.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux


      Shall I judge you as you have judged me?

      June 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Jonathan

      I think you should judge him. Given the way you write I doubt any of us will understand you though.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  19. AscentAmadeus

    Hey drop the keyboard, sun's out, go play. Man, we're gonna put up with this stupid ranting for two more months before you go back to school. Doesn't your mother know about parental controls on the computer and keep you out of adult based websites?

    June 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  20. Susan

    In addition- why is it only "your bible" that counts? Why can't we look to other books of religious people? Why don't you consider the bible to contain the Torah? Why is it only the New Testament? I think if you can't be all inclusive you better not sputter about anything at all.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • dwordisclear

      Susan, believe or not, you answer your own question. I, personally, don't care to look at the books of other religious people, simply, because they can't match God's book!

      June 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Ummmm

      "Susan, believe or not, you answer your own question. I, personally, don't care to look at the books of other religious people, simply, because they can't match God's book!"

      So the foundation of Christianity is ignorance, nice job!

      June 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • dwordisclear

      The foundation of Christianity is the very same Savior who saved me and who is also available for you.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Free

      What would you say to a child who just knows they won't like any new foods and refuses to even trying them?

      June 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Johann

      He is referring to the old testament and new testament as a whole- but I do think he should take the Leviticus quote into consideration when writing a piece on this topic.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • fuyuko

      personally, I think looking at text to find god is wrong. the only way one can know god is by knowing the natural world he/she created.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • dwordisclear

      Fuyuko, you are right, but in accordance with Romans 1, that didn't work (-;

      June 21, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      :dwordisclear: bah, just because the bible has something written in it doesn't make it the word of god.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:53 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.