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. Yolanda

    What a great Op-Ed! Pass it on!!!

    July 16, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  2. Observer

    Everyone justs picks and chooses from the Bible to support their feelings. Unfortunately, many Christians are unable to admit this to themselves.

    Those looking for positives from the Bible can point to many instances of love and the Golden Rule.
    Those looking for negatives from the Bible can point to God bragging about causing evil or God threatening to put feces on people's faces or God killing someone for accidentally touching a chest.

    People can choose love like in the Golden Rule or they can choose fostering hatred for their fellow man. Far too often, hypocritical Christians choose hatred.

    July 16, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Jesus reigns

      Hypocritical christians are the ones who killed Jesus. Why? One reason, because he was a God of love.

      Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

      July 17, 2011 at 6:07 am |
  3. Oneof7000

    While it is important to distinguish between sinful and righteous behavior, disciples of Christ realize that all (adults) have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We are all in need of God’s forgiveness. So, we pray, in love, that those living in rebellion against God–regardless of the sin—will someday turn to our Savior.

    July 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • christianmom

      well said.

      July 17, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • Abused Altar Boy

      Wow. You couldn't be more of a moron if you tried on purpose.
      I was NOT born with original sin and I do NOT need God's forgiveness. If I'm sorry for something God knows it and forgives me. If he doesn't then he doesn't deserve to be God. A being capable of creating the Universe is far beyond the petty need for worship. God hates nothing and loves everthing. God made gays, he made straights.

      For you to presume to question another person's worth in God's eyes is to presume you know better than God. Shame on you. Bad enough you eat Jesus and drink his blood, now you're going to presume to know who God loves and who God hates? Wow. No wonder you Christians are such a screwed up bunch.

      Love God and don't judge others. You have no right and no say.

      July 17, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Truth

      So, this is between God and each individual and therefore, does not involve anyone else. I was taught that Christianity was the pursuit of a personal relationship with God. If that is true, then why do so many people think they are supposed to go beyond the bounderies of their own relationship with God and dabble into the relationships of others? "Judge not lest ye be judged"..."pride goeth before a fall." If so many people claiming to be Christians are truly doing what they are supposed to be doing, then, how could a small minority like people who are gay be bringing the world down? Could it be the majority, who are Christians, who are not doing as they should...concentrating on their own relationships with God? Could this be causing society's "fall?"

      July 17, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Observer

      Abused Altar Boy,

      NEVER forget that those who criticize you are HYPOCRITES so you shouldn't care what they say. If they ACTUALLY cared about sin, they'd be picketing seafood restaurants and picking on their own for adultery, etc. Don't let their ignorance get to you.

      July 17, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • LetsThink123

      you said, "disciples of Christ realize that all (adults) have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
      The fall u say? might u be referring to the adam and eve story where they fell from gods glory because they committed original sin?
      well guess what, adam and eve never existed. i explained in an earlier post why this is true and how we cannot have come from just 2 people (incest), and there not being enough genetic diversity with just 2 people.
      so there was no fall, and we dont need gods forgiveness!

      August 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  4. Chelsea

    The vast majority of the people jumping in to attack the author don't seem to understand, at all, what the point of the article is.
    He's not saying that the bible says that G-ay Marriage is "Ok", he's saying that the book is against about 500 different things that most people just ignore. The bible is against men with long hair. what does every church-sanctioned depiction of Christ look like?

    That's the point, the point isn't that he's trying to tell you that the bible says that being g-ay is a-ok, he's trying to ask the question of: "Why do Christians ignore 75% of what the bible says about everything else, but jump on, and try to get laws passed about the things they were already personally against?"

    Case-in-Point. You see Christian Demonstrators on the street fighging against g-ay rights whenever there is a law that someone tries to pass to give them more rights (marrigage, DADT, etc). While the bible is Against ho-mo-se-xuality, it is not in the 10 comandments.
    However, there IS a comandment against Adultery. Why has no christian ever lobbied for a law to make proven adulterers unable to remarry? Why have christians never tried to pass a law to punish those who work on the Sabbath? Why do only the Anti-g-ay passages in the bible get people trying to fight for while the comandments don't?

    That's the question that's being asked here.

    July 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • J.W

      I agree

      July 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  5. chrisg510

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

    July 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  6. chrisg510

    You know, god also says that eating shellfish is a sin (Leviticus 11:10), and it is forbidden for women to hold jobs and
    speak in public (Timothy 2:11), and you're supposed to stone a woman for not being a virgin (Deuteronomy 22), and divorce is a sin (Luke 16:18), and you should cut the hands off of thieves (Mark 9:43), and... and... and.... (I could go on for hours, but hopefully you get the idea.) But somehow I get the feeling that you're going to ignore all of those
    inconvenient laws and only focus on the ones that suit you. (Oh and you might want to check out Matthew 7 as well.... unless of course you're too busy condemning others to actually read.

    July 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Bubba

      Luke 9:43 does not say that, check your sources. The biggest problem with Gay marriage is it not fair.

      July 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  7. Michael Knight

    It appears that I have to repeat what I said a few days ago about marriage. All 'gays' listen very carefully: The idea of marriage DID NOT originate with man; the idea of marriage started with God. When God Almighty created the human race, he had a perfect plan for his sons and daughters. God had the first word on marriage and you can buck on it that he will always have the last word on it......If you and God don't agree, then you're in trouble. Go ahead, I challenge you to ask God about gays hooking up.....He'll direct you to his word.

    July 16, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • John Roberts

      No one cares what you think about marriage.

      July 16, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Dan

      I care, John. And so do others. Believe it or not, people are allowed to disagree with you. That's how democracy works.

      July 16, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • John Roberts

      Let me clarify: No one who matters cares what you think.

      July 16, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Observer

      "When God Almighty created the human race, he had a perfect plan for his sons and daughters."

      Not exactly. God so badly misjudged how people would turn out that he killed nearly every human being and started over.

      July 16, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • chrisg510

      BS ; and you know it

      July 16, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • chrisg510

      BS meant for MK not anyone else

      July 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • JAberg123

      Did K.I.T. tell you that?

      July 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Michael Knight

      You said "It appears that I have to repeat what I said a few days ago about marriage."
      You can repeat that nonsense until the cows come home, but that doesn't make any more true.

      You said "All 'gays' listen very carefully: The idea of marriage DID NOT originate with man; the idea of marriage started with God."
      I call bullshit. There were marriages long before your god was invented.

      You said "When God Almighty created the human race, he had a perfect plan for his sons and daughters."
      Again, bullshit. Your god didn't create jack-shit. Your god was created by simpletons who didn't have a clue and "needed" an explanation for things they couldn't understand.

      You said "God had the first word on marriage and you can buck on it that he will always have the last word on it......If you and God don't agree, then you're in trouble. Go ahead, I challenge you to ask God about gays hooking up.....He'll direct you to his word."
      Your god doesn't exist. There is not a shred of evidence to be found anywhere to the contrary. He won't have the last word on anything. He doesn't get a vote in anything and therefor doesn't get to agree or disagree, or get anyone "in trouble". Asking the figment of your imagination anything isn't going to get you any answers than those that fit your bigoted views.

      July 17, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • tallulah13

      MK: Why should anyone listen to you? You seem to think that "all gays should listen to you," but you are just spewing the rather common hate and bigotry that many religious people spew. They've heard it all before and have decided that you and your beliefs aren't important to them. They're right. Your opinions are only important to you.

      You have no facts to back up your claims. You have no proof of your god, or any god for that matter. Until you can provide proof, why should anyone "listen to you"?

      July 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  8. Stephen

    Yale divinity school-'nuff said.

    July 16, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Stephen

      He should have just left that part out.

      July 16, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • John Roberts

      Yes, how shameful to have attended the most academically rigorous seminary in America. To evangelicals who believe ignorance is a virtue, one would have more credibility as a grade-school drop-out.

      July 16, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Dan

      Academic rigor that misrepresents what Christ taught, is not virtuous. Remember that Martin Heidigger was one of the brightest philosophers of teh last century, but chose to join the Nazi party. Erudition does not necessarily equate with the truth, bud.

      July 16, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • John Roberts

      Dan, you are wrong. Academic rigor takes humans as close to truth as they can get. It's just that evangelicals don't like what it shows about the lack of a basis for many of their beliefs.

      July 16, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • tarawa1943

      Before posting this saying sin is not sin, evil is good and good is evil, it might have been prudent to read the KJBible or attend a 2 to 4 yr Bible College that is KJBible Fundamental.

      July 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  9. Vinny

    Yale Divinity School. 'Nuf said.

    July 16, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  10. swathdiver

    Written like a good little Marxist. The writer exposes himself as being devoid of the Holy Spirit and sound biblical doctrine. A church is a local assembly of called out believers in Christ. A New Testament Church is not a Catholic Church.

    Socialism in ANY form is immoral and EVIL!!!

    July 16, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • Dan

      Capitalism in any form is evil, as well. It is all part of the world system. Ayn Rand was no prophet. It never ceases to amaze me how many people fail to get that.

      July 16, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Observer

      "Socialism in ANY form is immoral and EVIL!!!"

      So why aren't you protesting against us having a postal service? Think things through next time.

      July 16, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • John Roberts

      swath diver is an idiot. nothing in the op-ed suggests "marxism." Like all good conservatives, he uses the term socialism without even knowing what it means.

      July 16, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Bubba

      John, you should not paint everyone with such a wide brush, it shows a tendency toward bigotry. Perhaps you don't spend enough time talking with people of different and diverse views. Its a wide world out there, with many differing points of views.

      Embrace, diversity!

      July 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • John Roberts

      My support of diversity requires me to combat the ignorance and bigotry demonstrated by tools like swath diver, who threaten diversity. Supporting diversity doesn't require supporting prejudice.

      July 16, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  11. Gordon

    This is such a silly argument. The bible condemns murder, should we accept murder as well for the same stupid reason?

    July 16, 2011 at 4:02 am |
    • John Roberts

      Evangelicals do accept murder. Ever heard of Iraq?

      July 16, 2011 at 5:55 am |
  12. Lucy Olson

    As a seminary grad myself, I can't help but point out that Mr. Dudley and liberals within the church apparently have achieved some sort of enlightened hermeneutical horizon for reading the Bible. The subtext here is that Jonathan Dudley has discovered the true meaning of the Bible–which is apparently that whatever anybody wants to do is just fine with Mr. Dudley. The presence of dissenting opinions does not discount the presence of what is true. I'll stick with the near consistent moral teaching of the great theologians of the Church–catholic, eastern orthodox, and evangelical. Mr. Dudley may find much to learn from the John Shelby Spong's of the world, but we've come to very different conclusions.

    July 15, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • John Roberts

      So do you have a counterargument, or does it just come down to "I disagree and dislike the author because of it"?

      July 15, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • Rob

      Based on your simplistic comments Robert you are far out of your league with Lucy or Jonathon.

      July 16, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • HighfromChi

      No, Rob, I'd say John is right on the money. Lucy likes to use a lot of big words to say not much and misses the point of the article on top of it. There is nothing wrong with using simple words if it conveys the point succinctly

      July 19, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  13. Chris

    Have your read Robert Gagnon on this issue? See below


    July 15, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • John Roberts

      Robert Gagnon is a subpar scholar whose work has been thoroughly debunked

      July 15, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
  14. shel

    God sends no one to hell.They go there of their own free will.

    July 15, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
  15. shel

    It does not matter if you don't believe God to be true or not.Or His word infallible.You can go over these things when you meet Him.He will not be mocked.

    July 15, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • LinCA

      The Top 10 Reasons Your Dog Is Better Than God

      10. Your dog will never ever send anyone to hell, though he may be flatulent occasionally.
      9. While everyone has their own personal preference as to which dog is best, no one tells you that you will burn in a lake of fire if you love the wrong dog.
      8. If you throw a ball and ask your dog to get it, the ball will come back to you. If you throw a ball and ask God to get it in a prayer, the ball stays there forever.
      7. You cannot give God a silly haircut and a sweater.
      6. Your dog never created diseases, droughts, crop blights, tsunamis, tornados, or other major disasters, even if he does go do-do on your carpet occasionally
      5. People have never killed each other by the thousands over which dog is the correct dog.
      4. There has never been any inquisitions to punish people with torture and death for improper attitudes towards your dog.
      3. Your dog does not know anything about mortal sin; there is only "No no bad dog", which is only a temporary condition.
      2. Your dog always loves you no matter what you do. God only loves you if you strictly obey him.
      1. Your dog actually exists.

      July 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • CD

      Ok God doesnt send anyone to hell they decide that, God is always faithful,loving. God has unfailing love, If you were God would you like poeple mocking you, disobeying you, having other Gods then you?? I could go on forever on those topics, God is real he does love everyone, i know you are not fulfilled with your dog, nothing in this world will ever make you happy, only surrendering to God will, i know you will not agree with me but you know im right,

      July 15, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said "Ok God doesnt send anyone to hell they decide that, God is always faithful,loving. God has unfailing love, If you were God would you like poeple mocking you, disobeying you, having other Gods then you?? I could go on forever on those topics, God is real he does love everyone, i know you are not fulfilled with your dog, nothing in this world will ever make you happy, only surrendering to God will, i know you will not agree with me but you know im right,"
      There's a lot in this world that makes me happy. Surrendering to a figment of your imagination isn't one of them. Unless you provide some verifiable evidence for the existence of this god of yours, you're just blowing smoke.

      It's time to put up, or shut up.

      July 16, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • Mike

      I always find it interesting how so many atheist have to try and be insultive or combative to people who have some sort of belief in God. Do people who believe in God anger or threaten you to the point that you need to try and attack their beliefs? How sad.

      July 16, 2011 at 6:53 am |
    • mock god and nothing will happen

      god has a small dick. It's so small you can't even see it. He's so weak that he can't even make himself visible. He's so stupid that his grand book has mistakes all through it.

      There shel, I mocked your god and nothing much happened. Guess what: your sky daddy doesn't exist. Get over it.

      July 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said "I always find it interesting how so many atheist have to try and be insultive or combative to people who have some sort of belief in God. Do people who believe in God anger or threaten you to the point that you need to try and attack their beliefs? How sad."

      Any adult that still believes in Santa Claus or The Tooth Fairy should rightfully be evaluated for mental retardation. Belief in a god is no different. While you have the right to believe that nonsense, you don't have the right to force it upon anyone else.

      This article deals with christians trying to force their beliefs upon society. That should be opposed by any legal means. It includes ridiculing them for their silly beliefs.

      I'm just doing my civic duty. You're welcome.

      July 16, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  16. BOB

    Thank you, Mr. Dudley. You have been courageous. May you learn more truth from your detractors and dismiss their disdain. Most importantly, let's all answer the preeminent question without kneejerk or recorded response: why did Jesus die on the cross?

    July 15, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Brandon

      I'm pretty sure that's a rhetorical question but I will answer anyway. Jesus died on the cross for us, so that our sins may be forgiven and we may forever live with him in perfect harmony.

      July 15, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • CD

      Jesus Christ died on the cross for everyones sins, so we could be righteous (right standing with God), Jesus Christ made a new covenant when he died on the cross, he was perfect and still is perfect, (In Genesis 2:24 God says man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and be one flesh,). the old covenant they sacrificed goat blood and bull blood for everyones sins, there is alot more, i made it simple.

      July 15, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • Michael

      Let's just play devil's advocate here (pardon the pun) and ask, "Did Jesus die on the cross?" Or if you truly believe he did then maybe you should question why did the two thieves die on the cross or Spartacus or any other of the thousands of people that the Romans put to death is such a terrible way? As you can tell I am not a believe in your Yeshuah bar Yusof but I believe in the gods of the natural world. I cannot begin to understand how a "loving" religion has been so twisted, abused, and contorted so that it is now a religion that is bolstered on hatred and our way or no way, unless of course it was never a peaceful and loving religion to begin with...

      July 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      it should be noted that Jesus died on the cross for nothing. I have pointed this out a few times but the believers do not respond (logically), i wonder why. Believers said he died on the cross to take away our sins so we may be saved by the grace of god. Here's the reason why his death was to no avail:
      1. Jesus was sent to earth by god because adam and eve committed original sin (the fall), thus everyone on earth has fallen and is a sinner. Jesus died for us so that we could be forgiven and our sins taken away by the grace of god.
      2. It can easily be shown that adam and eve never existed. It is not genetically possible to have so much genetic variance we see today when the source was just 2 people, lol. Also adam and eve implies we came from incest. The story of adam and eve has many other physical flaws that show that its a myth such as god making the stars after the sun, lol backwards. Then god makes birds before land animals, backwards too.
      3. With adam and eve shown to be a myth, there was no original sin. This means that there was no fall and Jesus died for nothing!
      It also brings to mind another good question that if Jesus is god, how can someone of godly status not know that adam and eve never existed? instead this god came to save us from an event (the fall) that never happened. Doesn't sound like a god to me.

      August 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • J.W

      I do not think that the story of Adam and Eve needs to be literally true. The writer of Genesis obviously did not have the same knowledge of science that we have today. With the intelligence level of humans we know that it is harmful for society to commit evil act on one another, so evil had to have started at some point. I think Adam and Eve is just a metaphor for that.

      August 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  17. john

    The issue of hair is applicable today. Paul taught it to be a shame for a man to have long hair and his teaching is still valid as is the teaching on womens hair. Paul said if a woman is to cut her hair, it is as if she shaved it. This not a cultural issue but an issue of Biblical authority upon the man and woman. Even the angels, the Bible states, recognize the authority a woman has before the throne of God with reference to her uncut hair. Neither is it the will of God that men and women divorce. It is God's ideal that marriage be a life long commitment of faithfulness. The reality of divorce in society does not make God's ideal any less. Divorce is an inditement against people not God. Bilical principles are to be taught and applied in love to those who are not better than others but that are looking for a better way.

    July 15, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Ruth

      Agree with what you have to say, there are still some people that believe in Bible standards. I just taught a teen class in Sunday School about Sodom and God's hatred for that sin, so much so that he destroyed them by fire from Heaven.
      God doesn't hate the sinner but the sin, There is hope for all through the blood of Jesus and true repentance.

      July 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Ruth, I truly hope that those teens you taught will question what you told them. I hope that they experience the world with open eyes and realize that this discrimination against gays and lesbians has no basis in reality and that to deprive them of equal rights is immoral and unfair. I truly hope that these teens will grow up to be better people than the ones who teach them to hate.

      July 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Observer

      – Ezekiel 16:49 “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

      Did you tell your teen class that Sodom's sin might have been that she was a Republican?

      July 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  18. Ed

    Being raised as a protestant I can tell you there are a lot of truly ignorant people spouting off all sorts of bull that they have heard from pastors and other so called Christians. Most Christians are uninformed about how the bible came into being and rely on a preacher to force feed them opinions on God. My suggestion is pick up a bible and read it. Do some research into how the bible was written and came into existence and think for yourselves. Personally I think people can twist the bible to justify or condemn anything. Jonathan Dudley is right about one thing. Christians pick and chose what they want to believe in the bible and ignore or try to argue around the things that are contrary to the way they believe God would react.

    July 15, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  19. Dennis

    Well, I guess Yale Divinity School has one reason to be ashamed. Hey, Mr. Dudley, all you could come up with was Paul's treatment of marriage? How about Christ himself: "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
    I guess you're putting marriage between a man and a woman "asunder," yet somehow you call you're the future of the "clergy."

    July 15, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Byron

      Dennis, your on it man!

      July 16, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  20. Steve

    What a crock Dudley. Tell the truth, you were brainwashed in your Yale Stupidity School by the same liberal professors that are destroying this Country. People like you think you out think those that have gone before you. You don't only miss the mark of your forefathers, you can't even read your own bible and logically come to a sound conclusion. Why keep apologizing for your fallen nature. Just tell the people you are a moron and get off the internet.

    July 15, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • John Roberts

      Lol, please take your own advice. Dudley presents evidence and arguments. You present angry name-calling.

      July 15, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • Russell

      After reading your opinion- not too difficult to figure out who the uneducated one is... clearly this would be you.

      July 15, 2011 at 10:26 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.