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. Brad

    See, that's the fun part about the Bible. You can pick and choose which parts support your pet cause while conveniently writing off the rest as "culturally irrelevant".

    August 16, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • LOL

      Yup, like we no longer practice stoning our children to death when they talk back to their parents.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Uriah

      But no one can escape judgement.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • tallulah13

      Well, Uriah, no one can escape YOUR judgement.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Amazing

      Yeah, sorry... Inquisitions are outdated.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Lauren

      Or you do your research on the verses and not read them out of context.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • doug

      should bring the stoning bad kids back.... j/k

      August 17, 2011 at 5:32 am |
    • flyingfish

      God's Judgement Tallulah – Uriahs the messenger.

      "Inquisitions" should be made into into God, His Holy Scripture, and Christ. We suffer from a severe lack of Biblical knowledge and understanding of God.
      "not read them out of context." Uriah's statement is "the context" of your existence, your predicament in summation.

      Jesus took care of your stoning Doug. Your debt is paid. Instead of using 'stoning' as stones why not read Timothy.

      August 17, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • flyingfish

      Its not picking and choosing to suit particular needs. – the Bible is so comprehensive, so amazing – whether you consider it simply a book, or God's word. It is one of civilizations greatest records of history, timeless truths, and thought – and well worth a read. And to think they have found copies from thousands of years ago that show it has not changed one iota. Thats sort of amazing

      August 18, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Observer


      The Bible is a generally good book of morals, but it was written by man and therefore also contains errors, contradictions, hypocrisy and nonsense. Read it.

      August 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • flyingfish


      I am reading it – the Holy Bible – God's inerrant word.

      Wiil you please point out two examples for:
      errors –
      contradictions –
      hypocritical statements –
      and some nonsense

      August 18, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Here you go, fish. Just go to this site and scroll down and you find more contradictions that you can shake a stick at. Contradictions are nonsensical and also they are mistakes, so you can see for yourself at this site. They even list the books and verses so you can check for yourself.


      Here's a list of the time unicorns are mentioned in the bible. Do you believe in unicorns? Kind of nonsense to me, if the blatant contradictions aren't nonsensical enough for you:

      Numbers 23:22 – God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
      Numbers 24:8 – God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.
      Deuteronomy 33:17 – His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.
      Job 39:9 – Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
      Job 39:10 – Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
      Psalm 22:21 – Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
      Psalm 29:6 – He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
      Psalm 92:10 – But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
      Isaiah 34:7 – And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.

      I think that covers everything. No wait - your god would have to exist before he can judge. So as far as anyone has proven, Uriah is just judging because a book of bronze age fables told him to (except the whole throwing stones things, but hey, what's contradiction among christians), because if he doesn't, his loving god will torture him for eternity.

      August 18, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • flyingfish

      Tallulah darling
      This is beyond ridiculous – unicorns? Really! please go to biblegateway – do a wordsearch in any of probabaly more that 50 languages for Unicorns – you can actually search those very verses – which are translated as "Ox"

      After you have found this to be true – dig into 'philvaz" site and see what you find.

      You are proving my point and now you have NO credibility now – you are misquoting from unreliable sources with confirmed wrong conclusions.


      August 19, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Observer


      Guess you've never heard of the King James Bible. It's in English, if you missed it. It's even the most popular Bible ever. Thought you'd have heard of it.

      "You are proving my point and now you have NO credibility now"

      August 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • fred

      You only showed one verse (49) and the rest which it clear these two sins were the least of a bunch of sin. The hang up word is abominations and that never means feed the poor in Hebrew. Now, I could throw 8 different verses back at you showing that it was ho mo $exual or strange $ex yet you plucked just one line out in an attempt to snare someone.
      I agree we can pick and choose all night long but I have 8 verses to your 1 if we want to go by weight. Use you gut feeling and look to what God said to Abraham as to why he was going to destroy the town.....it was certainly more serious than just feed the poor. Can you cite one other example where God took out man, women and children for just not feeding the poor. How do you ignore the main verse in Genesis on Sodoms men and boys rejecting the virgin daughters for the strange men? Good gosh Observer one of us is stretching it and twisting it no doubt..
      Oh well, I do thank you for making me look into the topic a bit deeper. You have been a help. Gotta run, take care

      August 20, 2011 at 1:59 am |
    • Observer


      So do you believe what the Bible said or do you CHOOSE to ignor it?

      – 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.”

      August 20, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • Observer

      "You only showed one verse (49) and the rest which it clear these two sins were the least of a bunch of sin."

      This is good. So now we pick and choose by selecting a majority of verses and relegate everything else to be minor and therefore not a big deal. It's sort of like ignoring the ADULTERY of Christians while picking on the abomination of being gay.

      Obviously, this is CHOSEN to be ignored too: – James 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” That can't matter when you say some sins are more minor than others. Pick and choose.

      August 20, 2011 at 2:16 am |
  2. Christian Couple

    So where in the Bible did GOD say that 2 men or 2 women can be together? Anyone ever read Leviticus 18?

    August 16, 2011 at 5:26 am |
    • LOL

      You realize you are doing exactly what this author is talking about, choosing only part of the scriptures to justify your prejudice outlook....what about the rest of Leviticus? Do you eat shellfish, wear clothes of different fibers, men who ejaculated due to masturbation are considered unpure, no tattoos, men are not to shave their faces or get their hair cut, etc...etc.. Or did you just get stuck on that chapter. This book is no longer relevant to Christians which is why it is not followed today.

      August 16, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • Observer


      Could you please give the quote from that Bible concerning masturbation? I don't find any clear references.

      August 16, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • Uriah


      Gen 38:9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled [it] on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

      Gen 38:10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Observer



      August 16, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • doug

      i know that story and that is not why man was punished. he was punished because he did not do what God told him to, and that was to make a child with the mentioned woman.

      August 17, 2011 at 5:40 am |
    • flyingfish

      you are the most prejudice person on this blog- whats worse – a true liar – one who bears false witness. and makes false claims with absolutism that sicken. "This book(?) [your Opinion] is no longer relevant to [to anyone especially] Christians which is why it is not followed today. – 'why it is not followed today'? It is and has been the most relevant record in all of history, not only to Christians, but to the world. You tell me one that makes and backs up the claims this particular book makes and stands the tests of time and people like you. I am sorry God has chosen to keep you blind to His grace and love. I dont know why He chose to reveal Himself to me and not you. I am truly sorry you will never know what its like to be able to lay hands on some and have them physically healed, or to be able to pray for people and have them confirm Gods and Jesus and their Holy Spirit at work in their lives in the very places of concern. I am very sorry you will never know what its like to reach out and find a Bible and meet God in true reciprocal love relationship – beyond he law of God necessary to convict you and others you cant escape. I am truly sorry. I will seek His blessing for you {and all here] in prayer and love

      August 18, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • LOL

      flyingfish what makes you think I haven’t done those things? I could tell you hundreds of cases that I have touched people’s lives and converted them to Christianity. You are the one turning people away with your prejudice mindset that has no love in your heart that Christ shared with us. You have done nothing but spread hatred towards others on this board. Your opinion is the one no longer relevant because you refuse to look at the true science and psychology reports that have shown that people are born gay. God gave us science for that reason to make us more aware and appreciate his creations. If anyone is spreading lies it’s you and you lied in this last I am filled with and inspired by the Holy Spirit which is why I continue to write on this board, to fight the prejudice and bigotry that has spread like a cancer within the Christian community, turning people away from the church and God! But you are too blind in your hatred and prejudice to see the rot surrounding your heart.

      August 18, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • LOL

      By the way fiyingfish when I wrote "This book is no longer relevant to Christians which is why it is not followed today." I was talking about the book Leviticus, it was written for the people of Israel. It was a law book for them. It was also known as the Holiness Code. We are not bound by that code today. The Holiness Code," because it listed out punishments spells out requirements for Israel to remain "Holy." Israel was God's "Chosen People”. God had a covenant with them. It required Israel not to take part in religious practices of the Canaanites. If you are saying we have to follow all the laws in that book, then you have to follow all of them. You are familiar with Jesus "did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it". That means that we now follow the New Testament teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, and no longer follow Mosaic Law. The Bible says that the Law of Moses was "set aside", to make way for the Law of Christ

      August 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Does that cover the 10 Commandments as well?

      August 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Jerome

      The New Testament makes it abundantly clear that the believer in Christ is not any longer under the Mosaic law in its entirety. Indeed after having been delivered from the law, to deliberately place ourselves once again under its [control] is said to be “falling from grace.” the book of Hebrews demonstrates that the old covenant of the Mosaic Law was only temporary and has been replaced by the coming of Christ whose ministry is based on (1) a better priesthood, one after the order of Melchizedek which is superior to Aaron’s, and (2) a better covenant with better promises (see Heb. 7-10). The old covenant was only a shadow of heavenly things, and if it had been able to make men perfect before God there would have been no occasion for a second or new covenant (see Heb. 7:11-12; 8:1-13). This change in the priesthood also necessitates a change in the Law. Such a change shows the Law has been terminated or done away. The fact that the Mosaic law has been terminated does not mean that there is no law in this age of grace even though the nature of this law is quite different from the standpoint of incentive, motivation, and means. In fact, the epistles speak of “the perfect law of liberty (Jam. 1:25), “the royal law” (Jam. 2:8), the Law of Christ (Gal. 6:2), and the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:2). This consists of the many imperatives found throughout the epistles which comprise this law. These too cover all areas of the believer’s life to direct him in the will of God in today’s world. By its very nature, the Mosaic Law was not to be, and could not be, obeyed to the letter by any other people in any other place as a rule of life. However, in the spirit of the Law it did set forth moral principles which were applicable and would bring blessing to all people anywhere and at any time when applied and used as a standard of right and wrong.

      August 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Observer


      Now please explain EXACTLY which laws were done away with. After hundreds of years, it should be easy for a Bible to identify which laws are nonsense and which are active. Where does it say to stop killing unruly kids, but you can still trash gays?

      August 18, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • flyingfish


      I appreciate your zeal for this subject – truly, but you have to understand these things we are discussing an Jerome pointed out are so very easy if you will listen into them – dont react. Let these words fall upon a heart of soft rich soil where these concepts can take real root.

      Juts bear with me here:
      God creates man and women (not Adam and Steve)
      man and women rebel against God – sin – man falls
      man is cast out of Gods presence made to work hard and die
      man becoames more corrupt – Gods floods us out cept Noah
      The world repopulates
      God meets with and inspires Abram who birthed God's people
      God sees the Jewish people and loves them
      God saves Jews from Pharoah and enlists Moses to lead em out – brings law in leviticus, ten commandments during the Exodus...
      God is with 'the people' (Jews) They follow His smoke and fire and lightning cloud toward the Promised land; aka Israel and Jerusalem
      fast forward past a bunch of prophets of God and such who tell of Jesus the Messiah (Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel especially) from the line of King David.
      Jesus comes to fulfill the law (take away our responsibility to it, cause we cant measure up, no one not me not you No one can be perfect – except Jesus -the temptations etc) he defeated satan in perfection – took all sin past present then and now and into eternity – He was sent by His father to die as a sacrifice – a living sacrifice (not a quick kill and burned one) a live sacrifice for you and me.

      The law is important in that it is Gods heart. It is how he wants us to live. all the eye for an eye, shellfish n pork and stuff stoning is abolished, by His own sacrificed Son so we could live worshiping Him blameless, because His creation (you n Me) is faulty but he loves us like His Son, and wants us.

      Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of the Prophets and satisfied the penalty of the Mosaic law

      Except, Jesus will come again to judge the living and the all dead – you cant work your way to heaven (thats what Islam does with all the daily prayer, jihad etc). The only way to get this right is by accepting Jesus as God's Son.

      No one made this up, this is Gods will – GODS WILL; His creation – His story.

      Do you understand Sodom was destroyed by God for these perversions of h•omo•s•exuality. To say otherwise is to thumb your nose and believe what suits you.

      We aren't burned to the ground by a legion of God's angels because of Christ's sacrifice – we will suffer for it because we choose to live against/outside His will, as we play God making our own way as we re-create what we need to satisfy our vanity/pride/ego/...you pick.

      Jesus said He did not come to abolish the [Mosaic] law, but to fulfill it – meaning it is still Gods heart, God sacrificed His son and His chosen people Israel (who do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah] so that we Gentiles can be brought into covenant with God,

      So you see – the law convicts the soul towards righteousness and Jesus sets you free. The law convicts your heart of sin against God and His creation (like sodom•y) and turns you toward Jesus.

      Ask Jesus into your life, beg Him and you too will ride upon the heights and be blessed even in the darkest days.

      Flyingfish – I'll be praying for you!

      August 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • LOL

      Do you understand Sodom was destroyed by God for these perversions of h•omo•s•exuality. To say otherwise is to thumb your nose and believe what suits you.

      This is totally not true did you even bother to understand the FULLdefinition of sodomy it’s anal and oral copulation with the opposite sex. The idea that "all" the men of Sodom were gay is ridiculous. For one thing, Lot's daughters were pledged to be married to men of Sodom. If all the men were homosexuals, why did Lot offer his daughters to appease them? What good would it do to offer a gay man a woman to have sex with? Finally, these people threatened Lot. If he didn't comply with their wishes they said they would do worse to him that to the two visitors. They were also trying to force the door down. They were obviously violent and they were trying to get at two unwilling guests. Whenever you mix sex with violence against an unwilling person you do not have homosexuality, you have rape.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • flyingfish

      Once again you mis-quote, miss the point, and spew venom as lies thru ignorance of Scripture. The men of Sodo•m came to rap•e the males visitors and Lot offered his daughters – Stop it!- God Hates this! This is using God's name in vain – ploys. (Gen19)

      August 19, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • LOL

      Now you're getting it flyingfish it's about RAPE it has nothing to do with the loving saved partnership of a gay couple. It's about RAPE. That's the point you are one twisting the scriptures to justify your prejudice beliefs about gays especially when the scientific and psychological community has shown that the past reports up until the 1970 was created by bias and prejudice people. God is showing us today to stop the hate and lies about this group and look to Christ's example of love and forgiveness. Gays are a creation of God, it's time to stop fueling the hatred and prejudice towards this group

      August 19, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • flyingfish

      You still aren't (getting the point)
      Deviant MEN of Sodo•m wanting to vigilanty mob-style rap•e Men visiting Lot!
      which part of that does not compute?
      ac/ac dood and God burned the town into oblivion – NO TRACE
      You in line to be next, if you keep misrepresenting God and His word and purposes

      August 19, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • LOL

      “You still aren't (getting the point)
      Deviant MEN of Sodo•m wanting to vigilanty mob-style rap•e Men visiting Lot!
      which part of that does not compute?
      ac/ac dood and God burned the town into oblivion – NO TRACE
      You in line to be next, if you keep misrepresenting God and His word and purposes”

      That is NOT about homosexuality. RAPE has always been used as a tool of violence. It’s purely about rape – it has nothing to do with how we know and understand gay today that’s the point. You do not see gay men currently going around raping people that is what you are not computing! Rape is rape, plus those men were straight men wanting to show their dominance toward the people in Lots house. If you understood that about the culture, you would know that. You also see that also in the Roman culture as well.

      August 19, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • fred

      Sod.om was about $exual immorality of all sorts not just ra.pe. The story was about how God allows evil only to a point. There is no way one could assume these people where not full of ho mo $exuality, bi $exuality and all sorts of evil.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Jerome

      Since the Middle Ages, many Christian theologians have viewed this story as a blanket condemnation of homosexuality. They have perpetuated the idea that Sodom was destroyed for its sexual wickedness and that the proof of this wickedness was the desire of the men of Sodom to have homosexual sex. Let’s test this interpretation against both the facts relayed in Genesis 19 and the interpretation of the story by later authors of the Bible. First, let’s examine the facts.

      The text of the story tells us that “the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man” (vs. 4) gathered at Lot’s door and demanded that his guests be brought out to them. This language is important because it makes clear that the group at Lot’s door was comprised of either all the people of the city (men and women) or, at a minimum, all the males of the city, both boys and men. This is a telling fact.

      This point is reinforced by another fact recounted in the story. We are told that Lot, in a last-ditch effort to save his guests, offered his virgin daughters to the men at the door. Although Lot’s offer is reprehensible, it does yield another important interpretive clue. Suppose you were hosting a dinner party, when suddenly a group of men that you knew to be homosexual began angrily beating on the door, demanding that you send out a male guest from your house. Would it make any sense to offer them a beautiful woman instead? Of course not! If the men were motivated by homosexual desire, offering them heterosexual sex instead would be nonsensical. Lot knew the men of Sodom much better than any of today’s fundamentalist preachers do. And it’s obvious he believed the crowd outside his door was predominantly heterosexual. Why else would he offer his daughters?

      Although it might be simpler to blame what took place in Genesis 19 on homosexuals, the facts indicate that something far more encompassing and complex was taking place. But what? If the motivation for the attack was not homosexual desire, then what was it?

      Consider an example from modern times. On August 9, 1997 in New York City, two white police officers were strip-searching a black Haitian immigrant named Abner Louima and grew angry with him. They dragged him into a bathroom and, while one officer held him down, the other repeatedly rammed a broken broom up Louima’s rectum. While they did this, the officers reportedly yelled things like, “We’re gonna teach you n****rs to respect police officers!” In the aftermath of this terrible incident, nobody has suggested the assault was motivated by homosexual desire. Intuitively, we recognize the two officers were motivated by hatred and fear of people like Abner Louima. In their minds, there was no better way to demean and humiliate an “enemy” than to sexually violate him.

      This same evil motivation is behind the vulgar phrase “F**k you!” That’s why, when Tyler is poking along the highway in his ’87 Honda Civic and an angry man in a Ford F150 flies by and flips him the finger, Tyler doesn’t think, “Oh, he must think I’m cute!” Tyler knows the man is angry — maybe angry enough to brutalize him.

      On pages 130 and 147 of The Construction of Homosexuality (University of Chicago Press, 1988), David F. Greenberg discusses the use of sexual intercourse as a form of humiliation. Martti Nissinen in Homoeroticism in the Biblical World (Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1998) says, “Homosexual rape has been a traditional way of establishing the relationship with captured enemies and foes”

      From archeological records, we know it was also a common practice in the Near East during ancient times for soldiers to use homosexual rape as a way of humiliating their enemies. When victorious soldiers wanted to break the spirit of their defeated enemies, they would “treat them like women” by raping them. The practice was not driven by sexual desire, but by brutality and hatred toward the enemy.

      The motivation to sexually abuse those we hate is, sadly, part of the general human experience (even if it is not part of each of our personal experiences). And it is this motivation, not homosexual desire, which stands behind the sin of Sodom. Perhaps the men of that city feared the two angelic strangers were spies. Perhaps the fact that Lot (a recent immigrant) had taken them in served to heighten their suspicion. Whatever caused their panic, a mob mentality took over, and before long the people of Sodom were at Lot’s house clamoring to brutalize the strangers. This is a story about attempted mob violence, not homosexual desire.

      To test this proposition, let’s ask a simple question. Suppose the two angels in the story had been women, but the story otherwise unfolded exactly the same: The men of Sodom clamored to have sex with the two female angels and God destroyed the city. Do you think anyone would conclude this story was a blanket condemnation of heterosexuality? Of course not! Instead, we all would conclude (correctly) that the wickedness of Sodom was shown by their desire to sexually violate two strangers in their midst.

      Likewise, Jewish scholars did not associate the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah with homosexuality until Philo in the first century AD and not with any measure of consistency until the sixth century.

      In fact, this is the way other authors of the Bible interpreted this story. There are about twenty references to the story of Sodom in the Bible, and none of them says homosexuality was the sin of Sodom. One of the most extensive references to Sodom is found in Ezekiel, which says, “This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it.” It is clear from this passage that the abomination of Sodom, according to the Old Testament prophets, was that they behaved with callous indifference toward the weak and vulnerable — the poor, orphans, widows, and strangers in their midst.

      Why then do some Christians interpret this story as condemning all homosexual behavior? We would submit that their interpretation is driven by anti-gay prejudice. Many Christians only know the stereotypes they learned in childhood. They buy into the idea that all gay men are predators and that loving relationships between inherently homosexual people do not exist. So they read the story of Sodom and see a stereotype of what they think all gay people are like. They then assume the story must be a sweeping condemnation of homosexuality, because they assume all homosexuality takes the form shown in this story. In truth, this story is at most a condemnation of homosexual rape. And, as other Scriptures affirm, it is more generally a condemnation of the mistreatment of those who are most vulnerable, including strangers. It is ironic that the story of Sodom is now used by Christians to justify hatred toward another vulnerable group — gay people.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • fred


      Talk about twisting what is written to justify the opposite of what was said

      August 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • LOL

      The point is Fred that to understand the true meaning of the scriptures you have to put it into historical context, which is reading comprehension 101. It is well known that rape was used as a form of dominance and violence, that does not fit the definition we now have come to use for homosexuality today.

      Jerome the police officer example was a good one.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Observer


      What did the Bible SPECIFICALLY say was "the sin of Sodom and her daughters". Answer please.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • fred

      Blatant sin within a society

      August 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Observer


      What sins? Try again.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • flyingfish


      Genesis18 sets the stage for Genesis19's confrontation.
      Genesis18 shows us God concerned about Sodom's sin and unrighteousness...“The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous; that I will go down and see..." (Gen18:20ff). The mob rap•e scene in Genesis19 is only part of the example of this sin, not the primary issue. The shear weight of the unrighteousness found there is so great, which includes: rap•e; a lawless disregard for men and God; corruption; and is just plain evil. The fact that Hom•os•ex•uality and sodo•my are used to illustrate the debaucherous UNRIGHTEOUSNESS and SIN is important. This 'event' is so obviously sin, discussion of its justification as somehow different now as 'love' is as rebellious and deluded.

      August 19, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • fred

      It was wickedness, grave wickedness enough that God had to destroy all. I said blatent sin of society as there were many and they were in your face proud about it. If you are looking for a specific one it would be ho mo $exuality that stands out or strange $ex like ince.st or others. I do not buy into the poor hospitality idea.

      August 20, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • 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.”

      So do you believe the Bible or CHOOSE to ignor it?

      August 20, 2011 at 1:17 am |
    • fred

      You only showed one verse (49) and the rest which it clear these two sins were the least of a bunch of sin. The hang up word is abominations and that never means feed the poor in Hebrew. Now, I could throw 8 different verses back at you showing that it was ho mo $exual or strange $ex yet you plucked just one line out in an attempt to snare someone.
      I agree we can pick and choose all night long but I have 8 verses to your 1 if we want to go by weight. Use you gut feeling and look to what God said to Abraham as to why he was going to destroy the town.....it was certainly more serious than just feed the poor. Can you cite one other example where God took out man, women and children for just not feeding the poor. How do you ignore the main verse in Genesis on Sodoms men and boys rejecting the vir.gin daughters for the strange men? Good gosh Observer one of us is stretching it and twisting it no doubt..
      Oh well, I do thank you for making me look into the topic a bit deeper. You have been a help. Gotta run, take care

      August 20, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  3. Geoff M

    I'd be interested to read more about where you said, "[The evangelical community of my youth] taught me to take the very human perspectives of its leaders and attribute them to God." What did you mean by that? I cannot tell if that was a sarcastic comment or genuine or what you meant.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • Say What?

      1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us we should love one another.Rom 8:12-14 12 So, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

      August 16, 2011 at 4:11 am |
  4. debra

    OMG..... oh dear, dear rev. trina , lawd,lawd, what am I to do . I was born the same religion as your christian saviour... you do realize he was not a christian at all, he was a jew, does that make him a sinful abomination in the eyes of YHWH God?

    There really are some nuts on here today... LOL>>I do really appreciate your posts, not only are you fair and civil minded, but your gosh darn funny as well..... so let me do my own little lol...... thank you for brightening up a rather crudfilled day.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • flyingfish

      to debra
      Jesus was Jew, Jews are God' chosen people, we Gentiles (those others than Jew) are being grafted into the Kingdom of God, given the chance for salvation through Christ Jesus on the backs of, or as a result of un-repentant Jews. "Thou art thyself [Israel] the reason for the love wherewith we are loved" – AW Tozer.

      Deuteronomy7:6-8 is wjere we first hear, straight out of God's love for the Jews:
      "The Lord...set His love on you...because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which he swore to your forefathers."
      Jesus said he did not come to abolish the the law and prophecy, but to fulfill it. There is no separation between then and now OT and NT. Jesus came for you!

      Its said The OT is the NT concealed (prophesied about, points to) AND THe NT is the OT revealed – (shown, understood, fulfilled).

      August 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  5. dean

    especially LOL

    August 16, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • LOL

      I am posting the reports about gays so people stop spreading the lies about this minority group. Why don't you stop being lazy and do some actually research.

      August 16, 2011 at 8:37 am |
  6. dean


    already confused , confused 99% of readers.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  7. Mit O'Flynn

    Church history of any kind, tradition or opinions on the subject does not matter. All that matters is "what does God say in His Word." By the way, the vast majority ot theologians don't believe the Bible, so when they conflict with the Bible, they are wrong.

    August 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • LOL

      I think you meant to say: "all that matters is what my pastor/favorite radiobroadcaster/televangelist thinks the Bible says, not what trained biblical scholars or theologians think it says"

      Evangelicals don't worship God. They worship ignorance.

      August 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • LOL

      "Evangelicals don't worship God. They worship ignorance."

      Keep it up Joe..aka fred.... the ignorance is upon you since you don't look at the real science about gays and continue to fuel hatred and prejudice on this minority group. Keep showing your not a true Christians by stealing and showing your true character. .

      August 16, 2011 at 8:35 am |
  8. St Bwana

    why is this not posting?

    August 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  9. Kinship


    August 15, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Observer

      He'll have plenty of company with all those hypocritical Christians who trashed gays while ignoring all their fellow Christians who commit adultery by divorcing and remarrying.

      August 15, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • LOL


      So you're agreeing that Jonathan Dudley will go to hell?

      August 15, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • Observer

      Nope. I'm not sure anyone is going to hell.

      August 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • Arizona fred

      Dudley looks a little light in the loafers himself...Why doesn't he just come out and say he enjoys a good tubesteak himself? What did one gay guy say to the other gay guy at the bar????? Can I push your stool in....God still loves gay people, even if they are freaks....

      August 16, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • Observer

      Arizona fred,

      Whether Dudley is gay or not is IRRELEVENT. What he said is relevent. He told the truth. Better than you did.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • Arizona fred

      Observer....does that mean you like to watch two men get it on??? Dont get all butthurt....its ok if your gay, just stay away from normal people and with your own kind...FREAKS...

      August 16, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • Observer

      Arizona fred,

      Just another bad assumption by you: I am not gay. Don't worry, I stay away from ignorant bigots.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:11 am |
    • LOL

      Typical of Joe he has to STEAL another handle while claiming to be a Christians. Thanks Joe aka Fred aka...all your other handles that you are not a true Christians.

      Observer I know you can tell the difference. LOL! ....just look for all the typos and bad grammatical structure. LOL!

      August 16, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • Uriah

      As long as you have breathe you can repent. And ask God for forgiveness through his son Jesus. But those who teach others to sin is considered small in the kingdom of God.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • LOL

      "But those who teach others to sin is considered small in the kingdom of God."

      That's right which is why the Christian community needs to stop fueling the hatred and prejudice toward this minority group when science has shown they are born gay. They are God's creation.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  10. Anon

    God also created angels that turned away and became demons. Just because God created something does not necessarily mean it cannot become evil or corrupted.

    Think on this you must!

    August 15, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Virgil

      Yes, it's time for Christians to realize they are corrupt in their views on gays and lesbians.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • a guy

      you must be gay, because like most people on here, you're generalizing. NOw if you thought i sounded ignorant, jst know, your comment sounded just the same to me. AS opinionated as you on the subject, or any subject, just remember, you wll never know enough about a group to throw every single person who may follow that "thing" all in one category. If you are gay, I could say "you're just like all the other gays. flamboyant loud, annoying, and nasty" That obviously isn't true, as all people who are gay aren;t like that right? No! I'm just saying that everyone isn't the same, even if they consider themselves in the same group, so generalizing defeats any type of argument you may be bringing to the table

      August 16, 2011 at 2:32 am |
  11. Keely

    While we are on the discussion and LOL seems to be angry at anyone who is against gays. Just like LOL has an opinion everyone else has one also. While reading the Bible, read Romans Chapter 1. I never hear anyone referring to this book or chapter. There are some very informative writings in this book. Just read it for yourselves and you decide. Some things may bring clarity, especially when you get to verse 21 and go on through 32. Allow God to be your guide and not simply what you think or believe.

    August 15, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • LOL

      I am not angry in the least that is YOUR judgment. I am merely fighting for the civil rights of a minority group. The reports in the past haven been proven to be written by prejudice and bigoted people. It's only now that the light is being shown regarding the truth about them and the laws are changing. It's a civil rights fight, just like women rights and slavery.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • LOL

      Oh, and when you do read those scriptures make sure to have a history book handy so you don't take it literally but in context which you should have learned in reading comprehension 101.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • bro Brad

      lev. 18: 21 Mankind shall not lie with mankind as if it is womadkind,it is an abomination. For all those who did not read this passage did'nt read the Bible. Religion is mans way of tayloring the bible to his lifestyle. If you live according to the word you have no need for a religion!! BLH JEPP2011

      August 15, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • Observer

      bro Brad,

      Leviticus (20:9) also says “If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death”

      So what is your point?

      August 15, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Arizona fred

      But women and slaves weren't freaks of nature...gay rights= no such thing...gay marriage= no such thing...now get back in the closet...

      August 16, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • Observer

      By your foolish reasoning, left-handed people are freaks of nature, too.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • tallulah13

      No matter how you try to use your bible to excuse prejudice, it still comes out as hatred of those different than you. Your bible is simply a book of bronze age fables to me, while my ga-y and les-bian friends are very real indeed. They are good people, in many cases better than the christians who damn them.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:16 am |
    • a guy

      Have any of your read the bible? And I don't just mean specific things, I mean the whole thing. And by read, I also mean studied it? And studied its history? And studied its accuracy? As much as im seeing people deny its correctness, they fail to see its the onlyt historical book, that can be dated in secular history on record, with actual completed prophecy? And I ask if you've read it because like many people who read it but still don't get it, you seem to miss the actual message of the bible, which proves you havent really read it, but base what you're saying off of interactions, and ur own personal opinions, of Christians you met. Take the time out to read it for yourself and stop going off of what people do. I guarantee you if you actually read it for yourself, with an attempt to understand it, you'll understand all the things that people say contradict themselves. The first time i read it front to back, the entire thing made sense. And i wasn't even going to church everyday then, i was overseas.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • tallulah13

      The bible is filled with contradictions. It is a book of stone age fables, and if you find greater meaning in that, good for you, but that doesn't alter the fact that many people are more interested in provable fact.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:50 am |
    • LOL

      "But women and slaves weren't freaks of nature."

      The experts in science and psychology have proven you WRONG. Scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors. In most people, sexual orientation is shaped at an early age. There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality.

      That is not a freak of

      August 16, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • flyingfish

      to LOL

      perhaps you should consider the Bible for what it is – God's heart for all people and His sacrifice and His offer salvation.

      What was the worst thing you ever you did as child? Re-live it right now for a second...how bad you felt/feel. Don't you feel bad about that?

      First, did your parents stop loving you, or throw you away as a result of your offense? Second, why did you feel bad, convicted of offense in the matter? Its "any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse," which is taken from the definition of 'sin'. This same conviction you fully recognize through this childhood offense is the same thing which convicts you of the sin of murder, or stealing.

      Your unwillingness to acknowledge sin that keeps you from understanding and experiencing relationship with God. We all know, we all have. God's heart is for reconciliation and redemption, to draw near to His creation; You, and love; YOU.

      Blessings and LOVE from a Hetero*s*exual Christian male

      August 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • flyingfish

      Please provide the scientific proof (discluding psychologists and most doctors) real scientific proof of a hom•o•s•exual gene.

      This is convenience, if we can blame genetics, we don't have to look to ourselves for the reason for this unnatural form of inter*course. I can love a man, and do my father deeply, but not have to, need to, or desire to express it in a s•ex•ual way.

      God if you will, or creationist evolution did not create Adam and Steve!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • LOL


      Do your own research because obviously you are to lazy to do it. Oh and I am not gay, nice try. Being gay is not reprehensible they are born gay and are God’s creation.

      “Please provide the scientific proof (discluding psychologists and most doctors) real scientific proof of a hom•o•s•exual gene.”

      Again do your own research it’s not all about the gene, it has to do with the brain and hormone levels in the womb that make a person gay. The fact that you are stuck on just one part shows you don’t have a grasp on this issue.

      “This is convenience, if we can blame genetics, we don't have to look to ourselves for the reason for this unnatural form of inter*course.”

      You realize that straight people have the same type of sex which is why the definition is of sodomy also includes anal or oral copulation with a member of the opposite sex. So, there is no unnatural about it. Your a man don't you like getting a blow job?

      “I can love a man, and do my father deeply, but not have to, need to, or desire to express it in a s•ex•ual way.”
      Well…duh, it’s because you’re not gay.

      By the way people have been posting the science but obviously you’re too lazy to bother because you are stuck to much on your own personal prejudices toward gays and lesbians.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • flyingfish

      2 LOL
      You cant show me – if its all so prevalent and I so obviously missed it – show me. All you offer is lip service to these issues and nothing else – post here a link to the definitive source(s). You use the phrase 's•exual orientation' as if its some conclusive scientific term – when in fact, this is a personal/social descriptive that refers to preference – not genetic or scientific terminology.

      Like I said its easier for everyone to leave it in the mysteries of 'genetics,' or science, when in fact the responsibility is all our own cultural and environmental malaise, broken families, father wounds, and perverted perspectives rooted in self-indulgent narcissistic civilization. We have become the idols, set above God.

      August 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • J.W

      flyingfish, there have been several scientific article quoted throughout this blog. Why dont you look back through some of the other pages?

      August 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • LOL

      Flyingfish since your to lazy to do your own research and obviously can't comprehend other posts I posted this again here so you can go look it up at all these resources. But, we all know you won't because your personal prejudice will blind you to the truth.

      By the way it is worth noting that many medical and scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person's sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association.

      August 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Jerome

      flyingfish did you it is commonly true that those most opposed to gay rights, are those with repressed homosexual urges. Well, surprise, surprise, there is scientific proof that is exactly the case.

      An article in Scientific American shows that of two groups of self-reported heterosexual males (one being homophobic and one non-homophobic), the homophobic group showed a good deal of sexual response on a penile plethysmograph that measured their sexual stimulation to three different kinds of pornography.

      By the way, the homophobic and non-homophobic criteria were based on answers to a questionnaire. The pornography was male/female, lesbian and male/male. The non-homophobic and homophobic were both stimulated strongly by the first two groups, but the non-homophobic were only slightly stimulated according to the meters, by the gay male porn.

      Well, the homophobic group was though, pretty excited by the gay male pornography. In fact, 80% of the homophobic group showed a moderate to definite response to this pornography v. 34% for the non-homophobic group. That is an overwhelming difference in reaction between the two groups.

      In a second study, homophobic males in a type of game, delivered longer and more intense shocks to individuals they believed were gay males v the shock that non-homophobic males gave to gay males. Both homophobic and non-homophobic males delivered the same type and range of shocks to what they believed were heterosexual males.

      There was of course, no actual males, gay or not, being shocked. This was after viewing gay pornography. Obviously the gay pornography set off anger and emotional trauma in the repressed, homophobic males.

      So flyingfish it's time to come out of the closet and accept who you are.

      August 16, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  12. Vince

    THE BIBLE IS A FICTIONAL BOOK... it keeps the society intact... It provided orders...

    COMMON... are you really seriously think that a human can resurrect from grave? what's next? UFO?

    religion killed TRILLION OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD... hang people who claimed to be witches... or killed million of Jewish

    so.. .F* religion... I believe that Christian and Catholic are Devil worshiper...

    the only religion I would join is the church of fonz Ayyyyy!!!

    August 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • cremation

      ou say religions killed all these people and JEWS? Is Judaism not a religion lol like Jewish people are saints ha

      August 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • bnpoteet94

      1. The Bible is historically accurate on many accounts. Look it up.

      2. This God we're talking about not just some magician.

      3. Just over 100 billion people are believed to have ever lived. Not trillions.

      August 15, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  13. Rev. Trina

    To LOL: You put your trust in medical associations (ma)? Perhaps you should research how ma's have led this country( that is supposed to be the wealthiest in the world) into a state of epidemic illness across the board. They don't know their buts from a hole in the ground! All they want is to keep people sick, confused, on drugs, & in a state of ignorance; so a monetary profit can be made.

    August 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • LOL

      LOL! No, what is going on is you have to justify your personal prejudices and deny the evidence about gays. What is your degree in by the way? What are you going to say to God when he points out that hundred of thousands of people showed the truth about gays yet you chose to hang onto your prejudices and hatred in your heart. 😉

      August 15, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  14. Rev. Trina

    To LOL: Being a born again gay christian is certainly a misnomer. I will not judge that gay Christian-Jesus will.

    August 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • LOL

      No, it's not it's been proven they are born gay so it's not a sin and what the bible condemns is not being gay. It's male prositituion, rape and idolatry. They are saved, wonderful loving people living in our communities, raising their families, support our churches. They are just like everyone else, normal.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • J.W

      Be honest. You think that they are going to hell.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • fred

      You are off base on that one. Sorry, there are 5 verses where there can be no mistake. The veses also cover a large time spectrum so it applies to all times and all people. Now, the tricky part is to say that without being accused a bad guy or hurting someones feeling. So, how do I say this is what the Bible says without being a bigot or hateful.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • fred

      on another tac the same Bible also includes drunkards, slanderers, adulturers etc.
      Can we apply the same reasoning to this group.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • LOL???

      To LOL: If God was in favor of gay marriage wouldn't he have created two men and two women and let them decide? If I remember right it was Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • LOL

      Sorry, there are 5 verses where there can be no mistake.

      Let's see you are going to try and use Romans, Leviticus, Cor. etc... no, they are NOT about gays as we know and understand it today. It's time you pick up a history book and read about that time period. Part of reading comprehension 101 is putting it into historical context. What was happening during that time period...they were using sex to worship their gods, etc....

      August 15, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • LOL

      "If I remember right it was Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve."

      Oh, I see you're bringing up the lame argument....where did you hear that? Duh.....

      When all else fails try the lame argument of Adam and Even not Adam and Steve. It always comes down to the one woman, one man argument. Adam and Eve were created for mutual companionship and procreation. The creation story is about the love and wisdom of God, who made all things good and wills us no evil. Because the text says that God created a man and woman and “blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number..." some people think this means gay or lesbian couples are not blessed by God or, worse, are “unnatural” and go against “God’s law.” They read this interpretation into the text, even though the text is silent about all kinds of relationships that don't lead to having children: couples who are unable to have children; couples who are too old to have children; couples who choose not to have children; people who are single. As Christians and as a society, we do not view childlessness as an immoral failure to fulfill God’s will. Such childlessness may be regarded as unfortunate, but the childless couple is not viewed as sinful or wrong for not having kept God’s commandment. Nothing suggests the biblical authors intended a lesson on sexual orientation.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • LOL

      "on another tac the same Bible also includes drunkards, slanderers, adulturers etc.
      Can we apply the same reasoning to this group."

      Can you get the scientific and psychological community to prove it, I doubt it. Your grasping at straws because you don't understand this issue and want to hold onto your personal prejudices.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • LOL

      "Bible also includes drunkards, slanderers, adulturers etc."

      You realize the word homosexual was added later to that scripture, the word hadn't even been invented yet.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Trina, if there is a god, then you will be judged, too.

      I assume from the name that you are a woman. Did you forget this particular bible verse, or did you just decide that it didn't apply to you?:

      1 Timothy 2:11-12, King James Version (KJV)
      11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
      12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

      If you are truly a reverend, you will be condemned alongside those you have condemned yourself.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:25 am |
  15. Brotha Percy

    Too many folk are wrapped up in a "religious system"; until you submit your life to Jesus Christ you will NEVER see, nor understand, the truth found only in the BIBLE.

    August 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • LOL

      There are thousands of gay Christians they understand God created them this way, which is why they get married before God and want the same civil rights as straights.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Vince

      I just think you are stupi_d...

      August 15, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  16. Rev. Trina

    To Pastor Peter & others: Born Again believers should love the person & hate the sin. I am not gay bashing & hate is not in my heart. I love people everyday of my life. I hate the BEHAVIOR of people that goes against the Will of Jesus. Behavior is changeable & will always be...

    August 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • LOL

      Did you see I posted this below. By the way it is worth noting that many medical and scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person's sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • LOL

      "love the person & hate the sin."

      What scripture did you get this from?

      August 15, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • J.W

      How do you know Jesus did not want people to be gay?

      August 15, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Kevin

      LOL: It sounds like you have put more faith in man, not God. Just because a scientist says something doesn't make it correct. There is no truth in science, only theories.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • LOL

      "It sounds like you have put more faith in man, not God."

      So let's user you're argument you are putting faith in the men that wrote the bible.God is about love and what the Christian community is doing is fueling hatred and bigotry toward a minority group they refuse to understand and believe what is true today.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Observer

      "There is no truth in science, only theories."

      It doesn't get much more ignorant than that statement. So theories cannot be true? WOW!

      August 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • fred

      Exact wording :"Most scientists today agree that $exual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors"
      That said if ho mo $exuality glorifys a Holy God according to your analysis then what do I do about the other sins "drunkeness, adultery, bigotry, liars and slanderers

      August 15, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Observer

      "if ho mo $exuality glorifys a Holy God according to your analysis"

      Who said that? It certainly wasn't me. I never said anything in particular glorifies God including Christian hypocrites who commit adultery while picking on gays.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • LOL

      "That said if ho mo $exuality glorifys a Holy God according to your analysis then what do I do about the other sins "drunkeness, adultery, bigotry, liars and slanderers"

      You do know the word homosexual was added later to that part of the scriptures. The word hadn't been invented yet when the bible was originally written.

      August 15, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • fred

      So then how does adultery differ since the usage of the word also includes for-ni-cation. Whether gay or straight we are called to reprove the brother who is a for-ni-cator but, if he or she is not a brother we are to show love and the same amout of caring as for a brother. Now am I a bigot for telling my brother (I am using the term to imply a member of my church) to knock it off? To a non church member I always start with where they are in Christ and go from there. If they do not beleive in God I approach the adultery from a who are you hurting basis (since no use talking about sin if there is no god).
      Either way I do not approve of cheating on your wife and family ....does that make me a bigot?

      August 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • LOL

      “So then how does adultery differ since the usage of the word also includes for-ni-cation”

      When gays marry and have a long term commitment they are not fornicating. Yes, they get married by priests before God then they do not fornicate. If you look at our society Christians have become very lax in condemning fornications. Adultery is the same thing, as long as the gay couple is married before God and don’t cheat they are fine. What you can’t get your brain around is the fact gays still marry before God and have long term-committed relationships. I have a gay couple and a lesbian couple in my neighborhood that go to my church. The gay couple has been together for 20 years and the lesbian couple for 18. They have their commit ceremony photos on their fireplaces.

      August 15, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Observer


      First of all, I have never called you a bigot.
      This whole article is not whether the Bible says h-mo-s-xuality is an abomination (everyone can read). This article is about picking and choosing the sins to pick on others for. It's interesting to note that recently CNN did a story about fidelity. Were there Christians loudly denouncing fellow Christians for doing that? Nope. No Bible quotes or condemnations.

      Just pick and choose from the Bible. Ignor the MUCH GREATER problem of hetero adultery and pick on gays instead. That's what this story is all about.

      August 15, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Observer

      Obvious correction: "infidelity" instead of "fidelity"

      August 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • fred

      I wish I knew what Jesus wrote in the sand to each of those accusing the woman of adultery that made them hang their head in shame and walk away without stoning the woman. Since Jesus followed it up with neither do I condem you now go and sin no more I assume Jesus revealed the true condition of the hearts of the accusers vs the heart of accused.
      Yes, I do believe it has to do with the condition of the heart before a Holy God. Can a ho mo $exual have that heart that longs for God...yes every bit as much as the woman cited above.
      If 1 corinthians term ho mo $exuality was added later as you suggest that leaves Romans 1:27 standing alone in the new testament. I already delt with all the others related verses so I will take another look. Thanks

      August 15, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • fred

      Note my comment to LOL regarding verses on ho-mo-$exuality just below yours. I think you and I talked about wiggle room when it comes to bible verses. I boiled all the verses at issue down to 5 that are hard to wiggle out of. Out of those 1 corinthians 6:9 and Romans 1:27 both from Paul are impossible to wiggle out of. What say you?

      August 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Observer

      – I Corinthians 11:6 “For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head.”
      – I Corinthians 14:34-35 “As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.”
      – Luke 6:29 “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.”
      – Matthew 5:29 “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
      – Matthew 5:30 “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”
      – I Timothy 2:12 “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.”

      So do you support EVERYTHING in the New Testament or just select those you agree with? Have you ever stumbled and then torn out your eye?

      August 15, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • fred

      Thanks gotta run for now but will think and pray about these verses latter tonight.

      August 15, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • fred

      Thanks again you made me realize how important it is to remain centered on what Christ says and the Bible teaches. I see no problem with any of the passages quoted and they all apply today. As to tearing out my eye remember we are in the 1st century middle east. Thrust of statement is the importance of not allowiing fleshy lust entry by even glancing or thinking about that which does not give glory to a holy God. Applied to immorality he-ll is not worth the price.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:44 am |
    • Richard

      Romans 1:27

      That is about roman cult worship using sex. the people being talked about in Romans one created gods in the form of statutes, birds, four footed animals and reptiles and they used these false gods during worship services that involved sexual acts. The sexual acts were both strongly against their natural inclinations and damaging to their bodies. Studies of pagan worship services, many times, show highly charged music, intoxication, sensuous dancing, orgiastic sex and fever pitches of emotion and trance like states when people would engage in various acts, sex or initiations. They were, in a word, riotous. Mutilations were done to the men's bodies during these worship services was something that is described as “meet” meaning it was obvious by the acts that they were damaging their bodies. Damaging the body could and did affect reproduction – the ultimate Jewish taboo due to the Prime Directive. God “gave them over”, not because they had same sex attraction, but because they KNEW God and made a choice to leave him and worship idols in sex cult worship services. During these services they would go against their nature, abandon their natural inclinations and damage their bodies. These people also encouraged others that were already doing these same practices to continue doing them.

      Something to consider. if you replace homosexual references in Romans one with heterosexual references, would you assume Romans one was condemning ALL heterosexuals or a SUBSET of heterosexuals that have transgressed into wrongful, harmful sex practices? It is the dangerous, idolatrous and abusive ACTS being condemned and it was condemned for ALL people whatever your sexual attractions.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • fred

      Keep it in context "and women excanged natural relations for unnatural ones........They are God haters, insolent ......they not only continue to do these things but also approve of those who practice them.

      "You who pass judgement ......condem yourselves"
      So Richard we are to get our act together and REPENT because all have fallen short of the glory of God. That was the Key Jesus gave us, the key Johah gave to Ninivah in 760 bc, Moses to the Hebrew in 1446 bc and God to Cain long before 12500+ bc.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  17. Rev. Trina

    To LOL about gay pastors & preachers...it is simple; Jesus will judge them too...& if He finds they are not fit, He will cast them into hell. Have you ever been at the bedside of a person who died without Jesus and who was on their way to hell? It's not a pretty site :~(

    August 15, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • LOL

      They'll be in heaven with God while prejudice bigoted people like you are tossed into hell. Your judgment day will be having to explain all the lying and fueling of hatred when Jesus commanded you to love everyone, your posts prove otherwise.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Pastor Peter

      Christians who recognized the abuse of Scripture in harming other human beings in body, soul, or spirit, and fought to bring right into the light.

      Get it together, saints! The duration of bad theology does not make it any less bad. Indeed, it only serves to indict the many generations of Christians who were too blinded by religiosity to apply the heart of God and critical thought to the passages they read. With so many examples having gone before us, we have no excuse for our continuing failure; and we, indeed, are made more guilty than they, for the preponderance of errors that we should have learned from by now.

      It's nothing more than horrible interpretations and/or applications of Scripture that are the culprits here, not the text itself. What has so often seemed obvious by a surface level reading of Scripture has proven untrue time and time again. Why is it so hard for Christians to accept the very possibility that their theological position against gays is only the latest symptom of the same disease?

      If you care enough to get this one right, you must at least expose yourself to the evidence that demonstrates that homosexuality is not the sin that we've been taught it was. Set yourself free from the lie that God condemns homosexuals, or that you somehow serve Him by treating gay people with anything less than completely open arms.

      Don't make the mistake of assuming that Scripture is so obviously clear on this issue. We've gotten it wrong too many times before to make that same mistake again. Love God enough to at least consider the evidence, if perchance it proves true; and always remember the wisdom of Proverbs 18:13 – "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him."

      God's love for us, our love for God, and love of neighbor are the standards by which everything must be judged. Biblical religion at its best authorizes principles that facilitate justice and the highest possible fulfillment of persons in community. The highest ideals we know come from the Bible, and they must be used to judge everything else in the Bible. Nevertheless, it is important to show the error or questionability of certain traditional interpretations of Scripture that are oppressive. Careful historical study and responsible translation and interpretation may be effective in showing how the prejudices of the past have themselves corrupted the meaning of the original texts. Devotion to the text can sometimes prevent misuse and lead to interpretations that are not only more accurate but more humane. One must, however, be completely honest with the actual texts in doing so. Above all, particular texts of Scripture must be evaluated in the light of the supreme themes of humanity created in the image of God for a life of love in a community in which we honor the image of God in each other and mutually promote the happiness and well-being of each and all.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • fred

      He ll is reserved for Satan and his demonds. Are you suggesting these pastors are one of these two catagories? Jesus is perfect justice and he will not make any mistakes at the end time. Now I am still making mistakes as we speak perhaps but Jesus has saved me by the finished work on the cross. What I am saying is you don't know

      August 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Regan Dean Testerman

      You spelled sight incorrectly. How much education do you have?

      August 15, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I assume from your screen name, Rev. Trina, that you are a reverend and that you are also a woman. It seems you have conveniently forgotten that the same book that condemns gays also condemns women who preach. Just another case of religious people deciding for god which commands are really important.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  18. Rev. Trina

    I am not a feminist heretic. I have been called by God to preach the gospel. "Father God in the Name of Jesus I ask that you show Extra Medium your power in women preachers & let Extra Medium remember this prayer when it happens. Amen." Women carried the first gospel message to the disciples after Jesus' death, burial & resurrection. The men disciples were still in the upper room scared and trembling!

    August 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Pastor Peter

      The Word of God proclaims, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent” (1 Timothy 2:11-12). In the church, God assigns different roles to men and women. This is a result of the way mankind was created and the way in which sin entered the world (1 Timothy 2:13-14). God, through the apostle Paul, restricts women from serving in roles of teaching and/or having spiritual authority over men. This precludes women from serving as pastors over men, which definitely includes preaching to, teaching, and having spiritual authority.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Observer

      Rev. Tina,

      Did you miss Pastor Peter's quote from the Bible or are you just picking and choosing what you want from the Bible, EXACTLY what this story is all about?

      August 15, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  19. Rev. Trina

    Corection to LOL: Being gay is a sin & so is fornication.

    August 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • LOL

      No, it's not. What is a sin in the bible is male proti-tution, rape and idolatry. The bible does not condemn gays as we know and understand it today. That is why pastors, ministers and churches are going on record stating being gay is not a sin. You just proved this author correct, nice job.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • LOL

      Did you even read this post by Progress?

      Ministers will publicly unveil a proclamation on Wednesday calling for an end to religious and civil discrimination based on sexual orientation.

      The pastor said the proclamation was created because, “we were just fed up with the popular notion that the Christian point of view is anti-gay.”

      The pastor said more than 100 ordained Christian ministers have signed the proclamation, including leaders from Lutheran, Episcopalian, United Church of Christ, Methodist and Presbyterian churches.

      The ministers will join together to publicly unveil the proclamation and show full acceptance of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people.

      “We believe homosexuality is not a sin. It’s not a birth defect or a choice. God created people this way. And if God created them this way, they need to be honored for who they are, and fully included in church life and wider society,” the pastor said, whose words are reflected in the document.

      The pastor said after sharing his point of view, he’s learned that many Christians hold the same beliefs, but have not openly expressed them. That’s the reason the proclamation also includes an apology to the gay community.

      “We felt it was important for us to apologize for the times when we ourselves have been silent. Some of us have not always been on this side of the issue,” the pastor said.

      The pastor said he unveiled a similar proclamation while working with another church three years ago in Arizona. He said nine Catholic priests were ordered to remove their names from the proclamation or be removed from the priesthood.

      The pastor’s efforts are bold. “It really does take one person or a small group of people to make a big impact. In 10, or 20 years, I think people will think, why wasn’t it always this way?”

      The proclamation is, "the Christian thing to do.”

      “The whole point of Christianity is love and compassion.” The pastors aid in ministering to gay, lesbian and transgender people, he’s learned that he must first convince them that God doesn’t hate them before he can share the message that God loves them.

      “It’s very clear and very simple. We want to be open to all people,” said the pastor.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • extra medium

      According to the Holy Bible, woman are not to speak in church. What's with this "Rev Trina" stuff? Are you some sort of feminist heretic?

      August 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Rev. Trina

      Actually, truth be told, when the salvation of Jesus gets into the heart of a person, that person becomes a new person and no longer has a desire to do anything that goes against the Will of Jesus. It's called being Born Again. You must be born again to enter the Kingdom. This is called an absolute...

      August 15, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • LOL

      That's why there are born again gay Christians and ministers. They know God created them and loves them and are saved through Christ. I am glad you're getting it now.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Hey Rev Trina: It is also a sin for a woman to be a preacher. So I guess you're going to burn with all the gays and heretics.

      August 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  20. Uriel Castrillon

    Human nature is to justify one's opinions and yes, sins too. That is why the Bible was given us by God: to be confronted with reality and then we decide whether we agree with God or not. He gives us that choice. His way (Eternal Life), our ours.

    August 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Ummmm

      So when you find out the word homosexual was added later by prejudice translators then what?

      August 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Rev. Trina

      Yes! We can choose at this moment in time...but one day all of us will be judged by Jesus the Christ. When that day comes none will have a choice!

      August 15, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • LOL

      Being gay is NOT a choice. Human beings cannot choose to be either gay or straight. For most people, s-exual orientation emerges in early adolescence without any prior s-exual experience. Psychologists do not consider s-exual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • LOL

      By the way it is worth noting that many medical and scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person's sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Rev. Trina

      If everyone was gay, nobody would be here...

      October 4, 2011 at 10:32 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.