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. Ron

    The learned take the truth to be hard. They make themselves gods and revel in their learning and wisdom. Fools!

    June 28, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  2. Buddy R

    Mr Dudley, Jesus taught about marriage. Maybe you should read the Bible. In Matthew chapter 19 Jesus said in the beginning God made male and female and that a husband is to leave his parents and cleave to his wife. One man. One woman. Also, Jesus chose apostles and his Spirit inspired them to write the New Testament. You claim that Paul's writings about g_ay relations was only his opinion but the Apostle Peter clearly stated Paul's writings are Scripture and are the wisdom of God. Read 2Peter 3:15-16. The Bible also speaks about unborn children being persons in many places. Did you ever read about what happened when the pregnant Elizabeth met the pregnant Mary? Sir, I think you should demand your money back from the seminary you went to.

    June 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Josh Jakes

      Agreed. Also, Dudley refers to Paul's comment about 'unnaturalism'. Excuse me, one greater than Paul said marriage is between one male and one female.

      June 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Yo!

      So you support incest if you cling to God only created Adam and Eve in the beginning. Funny but I thought it started out God created humanity and eventually named one of the Adam and then created Eve but that wasn't the only ones he created otherwise it's INCEST! God created gays and it's only now that we have an open mind and the science to prove it. It's been shown everything we knew about this subject till recently was tainted by bias and prejudice people. Stop being so brainwashed and come into this century!

      June 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Malkntnt

      These are your beliefs. They are your beliefs because you were raised as a Christian or some other orthodox religion. It is your belief that you are right about God, The Bible and the Will of God, etc. What you fail to realize it that this is all just a product of your upbringing.

      People in other countries have other beliefs. buddhists, Muslims, Islam, Pagans, Judaism, Sikhism, Santeria, and Atheism all have differing views. Are all these other religions WRONG? Of course not! If they were (Heathens!) over 9/10 of the population of the WORLD would be going to HELL.

      PLEASE try an be more open minded. The rest of the world is laughing at us over this issue.

      What are you people going to do in a few years when the Catholic POPE tell you that gay people are NOT an affront to God and that they were made by Him and are as much to the Glory of God as any other human? Will you still deny? It's going to happen, because it is inevitable. It's called progressiveness and it always wins out in the end.

      June 28, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Malkntnt

      By the way, I'd also like to remind some of you that EVE was Adams SECOND wife! Yep, that's right! Lillith was his FIRST wife. Where is that in YOUR Bible? There is all kinds of other stuff just like this missing from the Catholic Bible. You have been lied to for a couple of thousand years.

      June 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Terri

      Buddy you miss the point of the article. Christians are willing to accept some change but only the ones that suit their own personal needs and not the needs of anyone who thinks differently than they do. I will add to this that the Bible has no place in governing the people of a free nation. There are many religions in this nation, if you prefer to live in one ruled by the Bible I am sure you can find one more suited to you. In the US of A, we are a nation that respects differences (or claim to).

      June 28, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • PR

      @Yo! - God created a perfect and flawless Adam. Then God created Eve from Adam. They were the only two people on the planet and their bodies were perfect. How else could it have started? It's Biblical. God didn't create gays. Man's sinful nature has passed down that sin from generation to generation. I find it sad that we would trust a flawed science over a loving and perfect God. This is what's wrong with the world...

      June 29, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • PR

      @Malkntnt- I wasn't raised any of these ways, but I read the Bible and Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to salvation. Anything else is false doctrine because it contradicts the Bible. It turns my stomach to hear the "be more open minded"...NO NO NO NO!!! I will NOT because God is NOT "open minded" for people to create their own belief system and their own idea of what is right and wrong. Only GOD'S ways are absolutely PERFECT and anything outside of that is flawed thinking and man's pride trying to create their own idea of what's right and wrong. Yes sadly, 9/10 of the population probably will go to Hell. Anyone who rejects Jesus Christ and chooses not to follow Him make a choice to go to Hell. If the Pope decides being gay is fine, then he will have to answer to God for that and he will be judged accordingly. The Pope is no more special than me and you. He's a human being who sins just like everyone else and he needs Jesus Christ just as much as all of us. Progressiveness sadly does "win" if you're idea of winning is getting further away from God.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • LetsThink123

      god did not create a perfect adam, infact adam and eve is a myth and they never existed. ur knowledge is lacking, cause u dont read science books and just a work of fiction (the bible).
      So lets remember that u said god created adam to be perfect. 1st question: Do u know what vestigial organs r? they r organs that r not used by the animal. Human beings have a useless organ: the appendix. sometimes its swells and is very painful to remove. Now why would god created adam perfectly as u say, and put in a useless organ? lol, please explain that one.
      2nd question: Do u know what mendelian genetics r? one of its functions is to define the minimum gene pool required for a species to survive. Current day example: the indian bengali tigers will go extinct in 2 decades, and there r only 250 of them left. But u say (with no scientific knowledge), 'hey with 250 we only need 2 of them (male/female) and they will survive!' WRONG! the genetic threshold for his species is 500. so they dont have enough genetic diversity with 250 odd remaining to have enough variance in the gene pool. this is a fact. Saying that adam and eve alone had enough genetic variance to populate the ENTIRE PLANET is completely ridiculous. Adam and eve is a myth. Lets stop talking about it.

      August 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  3. person

    we should focus on everything...then you'll learn in bible world, everyone deserves to die.

    June 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • PR

      This is an actual Biblical fact! We do all deserve to die. I think when I realized this point and understood it, that it was a turning point for me. I really don't deserve good because I'm not good. No one is. Well said person 🙂

      June 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  4. PR

    @ Tim- Yes Jesus gave the commandment to love one another, but that's not the ONLY commandment he gave. That's picking and choosing what he said. God is love, yes. He is PERFECT love. His wrath is also justified and perfect. He is perfectly FAIR. Love one another is a great commandment to keep, but that commandment can't contradict God's perfect word in any other place in the Bible.

    June 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Daniel

      Man – I just wish I had a time machine and go get on Noah's ark. That must of been awesome. Getting hammered with Noah and his son's and petting all the animals.. including dinosaurs. The dinosaurs that many Christian theologists are now twisting scripture to say were present on the ark. The bigger problem is.. I think if I did take a time machine back to Noah's ark, I'd land in a big empty field.. instead of Noah's ark it would be "No..ah.. where's the ark?"

      June 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Josh Jakes

      Sorry about your 'blindness' Daniel. There would certainly be an ark. Further dinosaurs are described in the book of Job (at least). It describes a behemoth and a leviathan. The descriptions are hard to fit with 'normal' sized creatures we are familiar with. As for being ON the ark, out of my scope to comment on.

      June 28, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • PR

      @Daniel- Are you commenting on what I said or just taking a shot at humor?

      June 28, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • tom

      Daniel - the number of people who believe there was a real Ark is a very very very tiny number

      You want to hear some thing really dumb ask a scientist about string theory and the 11 alternate unicverses that exist all at once

      June 28, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • PR

      @tom- I disagree. Most Christians believe there was an actual ark. If God's word said that there was, then why would we believe any different?

      June 29, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Duh

      Why do grown men and women still believe in fai-ry tales today just because they are told that "god" said it?

      There is a very simple way to solve most (if not all) of the arguments in the comment section of this article. Ready? God wasn't real. Jesus wasn't his son. Anything that anyone claims either of them said holds no more weight than if I were to have said it.

      June 29, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • GodPot

      @Duh – "Why do grown men and women still believe in fai-ry tales today just because they are told that "god" said it?"

      Because to do otherwise would be calling their parents and grandparents who indoctrinated them either stupid or liars.

      June 29, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      haha, noah's ark again (another mythical story copied from the epic of gilgamesh which was written 200 yrs before the bible).
      If noah's ark is true, then please logically (not with magical answers) answer these questions:
      1. How can noah build such a large cruiseliner to hold ALL the animals of the earth with primitive tools?
      2. How can noah accommodate a lion and a zebra on the same ship without the lion having his zebra for lunch?
      3. How can noah (who thought that where he lived in his little part of the world was actually the entire world) save the indian bengali tigers, australian kangaroo, polar bears, penguins that he doesn't even know exist because he's a primitive man????
      4. From no 3, IF noah did bring polar bears and penguins onto his ship, did he build a special refrigerator to keep them from dying (cause u know they cant survive in warm climates)
      5. If this supposed flood did occur, why can't scientists find a plethora of fossils from that point in time of all the dead animals? did god use special water in the flood that dissolved all the bones of the animals?
      6. In order to flood the whole planet, you would need 3 times the amount of water that already exists on this planet, and you would essentially destroy the planet. And where did all that extra water go? It just disappeared or evaporated??

      If the believers can (logically) answer these questions, i will concede that noah's ark is true.

      August 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  5. Glades2

    As the Bible states, God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and those who twist the Lord's words to fit their own lifestyle better realize that the judgement He gave to Sodom will be the same kind of judgement to those of the 21st Century – He has not and will not change to suit the times...

    June 28, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Tim

      It may be that you're making the very point the article is raising. Making your point with biblical references like that ignores the ones which related to Jesus' giving a new commandment to the world – to love one another – and his description of the reasons for laying down the OT law (you were unteachable) compared to the NT commandment which, in itself, must imply that the commandments and therefore the divine reaction to them must change with the times.

      June 28, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • PR

      This is Biblical and true. Thank you.

      June 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Malkntnt

      @ Glades2 – God is NOT the same "yesterday, today and forever" he has changed. He was a Wrathful God and is now a Loving God after Jesus' sacrifice for our sins. Please use your brain!!! Even if you understand NOTHING else today, understand this point. If God is Perfect, in His love, why would he make someone who is gay from birth, if he was so against it? That's like setting someone up for failure. If that's the case, one of two things is true 1). God could not care less about gays or 2). God is not perfect. I prefer to believe point #1.

      The Bible also says "Judge not, lest you yourself be Judged." and "God is the only Judge" – so why all the hate? God will sort them out on the end and you need not worry your pretty little heads about it anymore.

      June 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  6. Timmy

    Just a quick note of hope for you. It IS possible to come out of sodomy! While in the NAVY I was able to lead a sailor to Christ. This fellow repented of his sodomy and I was able to take him to a fundamentalist church where he was helped and mentored. I was also able to teach him how to dress manly and walk like a man too. (He used to walk swinging his hips like a girl.)
    Goodsearch this: Exodus International and read of MANY who now lead a happy, safe, godly, fulfilled life.
    I'll be praying for you. P.S. Don't mention to others that you graduated from Yale Divinity School. It went bad years ago.


    June 28, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Your Navy Buddy

      Timmy, Timmy! How I've missed you you since you "made" me into YOUR man. Call me!

      June 28, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Jim

      I hope your disgusting demeanor of self-righteousness is a sarcastic joke.

      June 28, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Yo!

      Your bias towards gays is disgusting. I bet you didn't even look at the definition of sodomy in the dictionary did you. It's the an-al or or-al copul-ation with a member of the opposite se-x. What is pitiful is you are so brainwashed you don't even realize it. It's time to rid yourself of your personal prejudice and bigotry. You need to repent so you can fully understand Christs love. If you need help we can teach you how to act with less mal-ace and hatred in your heart.

      June 28, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  7. Timmy

    Hello Jonathon!

    June 28, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  8. AnnieCee

    He's arguing against Catholic CHURCH doctrine, not the Bible. It's not the same thing. Keep the arguments to Scriptures only and it would make a better impression perhaps. Much of what he's saying here would only make sense to Catholics, the rest of us don't believe those doctrines or even know about them. So the arguments aren't relevant.

    June 28, 2011 at 8:13 am |
  9. RonRon

    Jesus condemned religion the most, just because someone claims to believe the Bible doesn't mean they are correct.

    Luke 13: 22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

    He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’

    “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

    26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’

    27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

    28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

    Fornication is rampant and the cross people seems to have forgotten that too.

    June 28, 2011 at 1:24 am |
  10. Robby

    Inform yourself with the opposition view: http://knowitstrue.com/?p=680

    June 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  11. brad

    I've been a Catholic in the Bible belt for nearly six decades. In the church I've never been taught to hate anyone. H**m**o6uality was never even mentioned from pulpit or class room. While a straight person, I had a gay college roommate. We were good friends. But I can think of one good reason to focus on Biblical condemnation of this lifestyle; the intense FOCUS of the movies and media on the subject! I've never hated or persecuted a gay person. Yet whenever I turn on the tube, I'm having the wonders of gayness forced down my throat. Empasizing the Bible is a response in kind to popular culture.

    June 27, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • TripleStonic1

      Well said Brad.

      June 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Vinod

      Why do you feel like it's forced down your throat? Did you loose your remote control?

      June 28, 2011 at 2:48 am |
    • Kaiser-Machead

      You are fully in control of the media you consume. Perhaps it's time to get over it.

      June 28, 2011 at 2:59 am |
  12. HFC

    Ever notice that when Biblically inspired points are used to argue against "Christian" arguments, that person's Christianity is always called into question? If the Pope made the same arguments as this young man, would people question him?

    June 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said: "Ever notice that when Biblically inspired points are used to argue against "Christian" arguments, that person's Christianity is always called into question? If the Pope made the same arguments as this young man, would people question him?"
      Yes, without a doubt.

      June 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • mjts993

      Yes... and IF my aunt had balls ... she'd be my uncle.

      June 28, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  13. Chuck

    I have to disagree with the author that, " those who advocate gay marriage are advocating a revision of the Christian tradition." Marriage is not a christian exclusive. My wife and I are married and were married by a notary in a ceremony devoid of god in any way. I am a reverend of non-christian beliefs and am preforming two weddings this summer and they have absolutely nothing to do with god or christ or the bible so where is the revision to christian tradition? The christians do not own the words marriage or wedding.

    June 27, 2011 at 8:17 am |
    • Chloe

      I understand what you mean. The author should have clarified that Christians "who advocate gay marriage are advocating a revision of the Christian tradition." Either way- this article relates to Christian values and beliefs so I think it goes without saying that this is what he means. I am Jewish and support gay marriage so I may be advocating a revision of Jewish tradition. Either way, the message is the same and it is just nit picky if you agree with the rest of the sentiment to comment on this.

      June 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  14. jeru0455

    Does anyone else love how all the proponents of gay marriage have really clear, concise, and logical arguments; while all the opponents of gay marriage defend their position with hopelessly circular, and in many cases specious, reasoning.

    June 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • jeru0455

      Things that I have read on this blog: "the bible is true because it says so," and "gay marriage is unnatural therefore it should be illegal." If I were to develop analogies they would be "well that guy didn't commit the crime because he said he didn't," and "what's with this television thing? there's never been a television before one was invented, therefore we should outlaw it."

      June 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  15. Granger

    Please CNN take this imbecile from your ranks as he's embarrassing himself. There's so much incorrect presumptions it's hard to know where to begin. First and foremost – he's gay thus not a Christian as being raised a Christian and going to a divinity school isn't what's required to be a Christian. Secondly, his long hair issue right off the bat is all wrong. Many denominations, schools and parachurch organizations forbid men to have long hair and I personally don't allow it with my son because it is a disgrace. Besides – define long which may explain the "relative" part. I'm not going to tear the rest of this kid's article apart because it's too easy...but Yale products can do better.

    June 26, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Jstout724

      I couldn't agree with you moe, and hopefully alot more people feel the same.

      June 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Scott

      Granger: You remind me a lot of my mother. She didn't allow long hair either and brought me up in a very strict christian home where I felt very baddy treated; but, now that I;m an adult, with a child of my own. Every mothers day go out to visit her grave and pee on it.

      June 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Granger

      Strict Christian? Ummm, doesn't sound like a strict christian to me because she must have beat you causing you brain damage which is what must of happened to you for you to go pee on a grave site. Get some help.

      June 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Christiana

      Are you kidding me? You have no idea how God is judging or going to judge someone and the actions they take. God does not need any pointers from us on how to judge people.

      June 26, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      You said "You have no idea how God is judging or going to judge someone and the actions they take. God does not need any pointers from us on how to judge people".
      Oh, but yes, we do! God is not secretfull, He spells it clearly in His Word, and those who honor Him, love Him and belong to him, know Him by His Word and by His Spirit who testifies of the truth of His Word. And you've got it right, He does not need pointers from us, but He gives us His word to proclaim His truth. He is the Lord, and all flesh is indebted to him. Who is man to boast himself against the Almighty God?! But so many do, as fools, not knowing what awaits them at the end of their road!

      In another post you say "Why do you get to decide what is right and what is wrong"..... It's not I or anyone else that sets the Standard, it is God who set it. And He has put the knowledge of His laws in every human heart, the knowledge of right an wrong, so that no man will have any excuse. But those who oppose themselves do so because of the love of sin that's in their hearts.

      See here what Jesus said "God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
      He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (found in Holy Bible, John Ch.3) These verses should explain to you what I was saiyng...

      June 27, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • Chuck

      The authors point about hair length is simply that the church doesn't lead campaigns against men with long hair in the general public.

      June 27, 2011 at 8:13 am |
    • RMac

      Granger, it never ceases to amaze me how the points you made are so obvious, and yet so many people are not able to understand what you are saying. After many years of seeing this and experiencing this with some others I have visited with, I have concluded that they really think they want to know the truth, but are unwilling to acknowledge that truth only comes from God in his Holy Word. Then, it comes from a careful study of God's Word and not just a glance or out of context. Very frustrating and very sad.

      June 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • nonChristian

      Your son is gonna pee on your grave 😀 😀 😀

      June 28, 2011 at 1:18 am |
    • Vinod

      Well, you certainly showed him by practicing core Christian values like forgiveness, and being non-judgmental.

      June 28, 2011 at 2:54 am |
    • Kaiser-Machead

      "Please CNN take this imbecile from your ranks as he's embarrassing himself."

      Good thing you didn't debase your Christian beliefs by pointlessly namecalling.

      June 28, 2011 at 3:07 am |
    • David

      Based on your low level of education response and telling the world that you decide even what length of hair your son has, you have no right to comment on Yale. Your ignorance raises the question of "what online university did you get your degree from?" That is of course if you even went to any school other than reading your bible full of fiction. Good for you. I hope your son survives your household. I will say an extra pray for him.

      June 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Chloe

      I agree that the author should not use his credentials so forcefully because it is honestly his opinion that he wants to preach. But please, enlighten me, what does make a true Christian? What is the rubric for grading how good of a Christian you are? How can you say that any gay man or woman is not Christian? Many of them have a truer understanding of the Bible, go to church more often, and are kinder to their neighbors than Christians. The Old and New Testament is about love. How can you spew your hate and claim to be a Christian or Jew?

      June 28, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • steve

      @ David
      Way to talk about education then go and misspell the word prayer. Really shows the results of your degree. Does someone need a degree to be capable of discerning truth?

      June 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  16. JH

    ...is this supposed to be some type of revelation? This is THE inherent problem with ALL religions. I wish aliens would finally drop in and set everyone straight.

    June 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
  17. studdmuffins

    Basically, those who profess to be regular church attendees and faithful to their religion like to pick and choose. They ignore the Big X (Moses...tablets...you know them, we all do) while concurrently quoting other passages. It's the 10 that are important folks! All the rest are just words and stories. Good words and good stories but not to be interpreted by any one of us.

    The Hangover was a remake. Think guys, wine, Nicaea around 1700 years ago...

    June 26, 2011 at 6:42 am |
  18. PRISM 1234

    You know, all one needs to do is to look at the picture accompanying the above article to see that it is nothing short of a MOCKERY!
    I don't say this with intent to debase anyone, but one can not speak the truth in this case, and sugarcoat it for fear to offend someone....To speak out on behalf of some truths, it just requires a raw, boldfaced honesty!

    And to see that some of those who claim to be Christians are in support of what is obviously a mockery and perversion of what even barbarians honor as sacred, that is even more mind boggling.... If any one claims to be a Christian, and denies that what this picture portrays to be is a mockery, they are lying to themselves.... But it is because of things which are hidden in their heart, or else they would see in the picture above the same, exact thing, which is the ultimate mockery of the intent of design of God who created us, who putting in our human consciences the witness and natural knowledge of what is normal, did not leave us in ignorance, unless we willfully deny what he has put in us! And I believe that's the case: the willful denial of what they KNOW !
    I have seen in the past the pictures of people who are tran-svest-ites, and they have reflected the same spirit of mockery written all over them.... There are much more deeper things that could be said about that subject, but this is not the place and time....
    But it is a sad thing to see that those who are continually rallying to be "liberated" by their "rights to be accepted as normal", they are pronouncing mockery against their own persons, and if they hand understanding that goes beyond their attempts to push their agenda, they would see what I'm saying about the picture above, and in it recognizing their own condition .
    We, human beings are not to mess around with what we are originally intended to be!
    These are truly sad times we're living in, seeing how low and depraved human race has become, in spite of the science and tech advancements human kind has achieved in our age. That in itself says a lot!

    June 25, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • frank

      You poison the light of the sun. Take your sniveling hatred and your foul stench and return to Mordor!!!!

      June 25, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Now, the poison that bars your vision of the sun , and the stench you talk about is your own! In fact even the earth is groaning and weeping for the wickedness and perversions that's walking upon it, and it testifies of the words I wrote, which you hate, and therefore it will testify AGAINST YOU on the day of YOUR reckoning, buster!
      You hurl your insults at those who speak the truth, and hate them with hatered full of violence in your heart. and IT SHOWS! ....But the truth will not change! And you, buster, will have to own up to it! That appointment you will NOT miss!

      June 26, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Scott

      Look at the most repre$$ive, hate_ful, c0ntr0lling and joyless insti_tutions in the world, like

      June 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Scott

      Look at the most repre$$ive, hate_ful, c0ntr0lling and joyless insti¬_tutions in the world, like North Korea, Al Qaida, Islamic fundamentalists, Nazis, communists and the KKK.... The one thing they will attack you for fastest and kill you the most painfully for is.... MOCKERY.

      June 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Scott

      MOCKERY is the solvent that washes away pretense and shows the emperor’s new clothes for what they really are

      June 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • jeru0455


      Seriously, what are you talking about?

      June 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Well , seriously ..... as if you had no clue!

      June 26, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Christiana

      Why do you get to decide what is right and what is wrong?

      June 26, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Calvin

      Wow! After reading Prism's post, is it any wonder why the Founding Fathers put up an impenetrable wall between Church and State? When one can take 5 or 6 passages from the bible, remove them from their historical and sociological context, then use them as a cudjel to deny an American fundamental right to its citizens, one ends up with the inevitable conclusion that freedom means nothing if it is merely replaced with ecclesiastical condemnation. I shudder to think what this country would look like if the christo-fascists had won the day in 1776.


      June 28, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  19. Phil

    Why should we care what the bible says in the first place? It's just a book, written long ago by people who completely lacked our modern understanding of physics, astronomy, biology, medicine and many other topics. Not only does it contain many horrific stories, internal contradictions and dubious, even barbaric theories of sociology but many of its factual assertions, such as the age of the earth, the manner of its formation and the development of life, are flatly disproven by the evidence of the natural world all around us.

    The bible now functions primarily as a Rorschach blot in which readers can perceive support for almost any position they already want to take. You feel uncomfortable around gays? There's no need to overcome that and work on accepting them as ordinary human beings who are just a little different from you. Just point to Leviticus and say that god hates them too!

    The bible is a cop-out. There's no need to justify your prejudices with facts and logic; just thump your bible. Nor do you have to spent the time and effort in scientific study of the natural world when everything you need to know is already in the bible.

    June 25, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • BroNate

      Your assertion about the Bible being a Rorschach blot is accurate – in the Civil War the Bible was frequently cited to support the claims of both sides. But at the same time, the reason we're talking about the Bible is that it's the blot that so many millions of people are looking at. One needs only watch the vehemence of academic arguments over anything to know that EVERY book can be interpreted in a thousand different ways. And this exercise also reminds us that no one person ever won one of those academic arguments by suddenly announcing his realization that "You know guys, this is a really dumb thing to be arguing about in the first place."

      From my standpoint I'd agree that it isn't much of an argument. Opposed to gay marriage? Don't marry one. But since when does one person's religion allow them to deny civil rights to another person?

      June 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  20. Muneef

    Islamic Hadiths;
    Supposed to be violent and aggressive to non believers are told by many ;
    In English;

    In international languages;

    June 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Hey, Muneef, Glad to see youre here and hope all is well with you and yours in your "neck of the woods'! 🙂

      June 25, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Muneef

      PRISM 1234.

      Hi friend am fine my kids are fine although going through final year exams but suffering no petrol available to use our cars or find taxies. My investment in mix horticulture and dairy farm is suffering a month now with out diesel for pumps to irrigate trees and the live stock feed green crops...my office and staff in the dark from time to time although improved than before but still it does and no diesel to generate power.. Day after day situation worsening in the "To be or not to be question". Gangsters multiplying and operate under the "Clothes Hanger" of AlQida having found it handy with situation...they have stolen, caused destructions of several cities and became as pirates in the high ways of the oil companies projects supplies.
      What is left for us only God knows although we try hard to be optimistic and have patience awaiting the darkness to glow to lightness to come to us with better times than that we had and not worse. Amen.
      Thank you for asking friend this is our "Judgment and Faith" this is our "Tsunami or Floods or Cyclone or Earthquake or Volcino Eruption" this was for mistakes and misjudgments many made now they are to pay the prices of their acts...the innocents along side with them will be tested....If that would be God's wish no one or nations can stop it from happening either to the better or to the worse... Bye...

      June 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Hello, Muneef
      Thank you for sharing your feelings and your fears when you answered to my post... It almost brought tears to my eyes. One feels so helpless in such situations. There is so much suffeing, and so much injustice in this world. And so much pain is inflicted on those who have not done anything to cause the situation they are in..... It is hard to find words to say... I pray for you, and for your people. I have not forgotten what I told you in one of my past posts.
      Seek the Lord, Muneef, and let no one take this freedom from you. You and God alone, where no man can enter to intervene. And when you are in the shadow o of th Almighty, no harm will come to you. I have here a beautiful psalm for you out of my Scriptures. I think it will touch your heart in times such as these.

      The LORD is my light and my salvation;
      Whom shall I fear?
      The LORD is the strength of my life;
      Of whom shall I be afraid?
      When the wicked came against me
      To eat up my flesh,
      My enemies and foes,
      They stumbled and fell.
      Though an army may encamp against me,
      My heart shall not fear;
      Though war may rise against me,
      In this I will be confident.

      One thing I have desired of the LORD,
      That will I seek:
      That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
      All the days of my life,
      To behold the beauty of the LORD,
      And to inquire in His temple.
      For in the time of trouble
      He shall hide me in His pavilion;
      In the secret place of His tabernacle
      He shall hide me;
      He shall set me high upon a rock.

      And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
      Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
      I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.

      Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
      Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
      When You said, “Seek My face,”
      My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”
      Do not hide Your face from me;
      Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
      You have been my help;
      Do not leave me nor forsake me,
      O God of my salvation.
      When my father and my mother forsake me,
      Then the LORD will take care of me.

      Teach me Your way, O LORD,
      And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
      Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
      For false witnesses have risen against me,
      And such as breathe out violence.
      I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
      That I would see the goodness of the LORD
      In the land of the living.

      Wait on the LORD;
      Be of good courage,
      And He shall strengthen your heart;
      Wait, I say, on the LORD!
      (Psalm 27)
      I will keep you in my prayers....
      Your friend!

      June 29, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • Muneef

      PRISM 1234.

      Really do not know what to say you have been very considerate and this you gave me today from your scripture I consider was the best gift any body could could have given to another in good faith and intentions.

      Assure you that I will print it out and read it as my charm then keep it in my wallet as an amulet after all the words are all prayers to the Lord and my Lord is God the Creator who has all the beautiful names...
      I wish I can gather for you similar prayers from the Quran or from the "Duaa" which means prayers as well...surely will look for some and as said it is all about prayers to our God our Lord of the universe.
      Thanking you and kindest regards friend,

      July 3, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Muneef

      [2:216] Fighting may be imposed on you, even though you dislike it. But you may dislike something which is good for you, and you may like something which is bad for you. GOD knows while you do not know.

      July 3, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Muneef, THANK YOU for your response. I truly mean those words! It is amazing how OG d touches our hearts. But it is in humility and even in pain that we can feel His presence the most. And when words fail you, like it often happens to us when things are falling apart around us and we feel helpless, and you can't stop tears from filling your eyes, just remember that TEARS ARE A LANGUAGE THAT GOD UNDERSTANDS!

      Peace be to you and your family!

      July 5, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      "It is amazing how "OG d" touches our hearts".

      I must correct the misspelled word " God "

      It is amazing how God touches our hearts.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79
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.