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. Chris

    The article is true about many things. But the conclusion is just down right stupid. He's making an argument for one sin by pointing out other sins that people have "accepted". BOTH are wrong regardless.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • hodel

      I agree with Chris. While I am an athiest, the author's logic is flawed. Also, he has picked sections of the bible to make his point, but someone else has already used other sections to counter his point. The book is what you want to make of it. No one is wrong, everyone is right and can prove it by quoting some section of the bible.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • XYZ

      then why one is allowed and one is not allowed ?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • John Richardson

      OK, so I'll ask YOU, Chris, since the last person I asked never answered: Where is the fervent push to make divorce illegal or to make men wear their hair short and women wear it long?

      The author's whole point is about the HYPOCRISY of Evangelicals. So yes, pointing out where the accept some things condemned by the bible while frothing at the mouth over other things condemned by the bible is perfectly germane.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • fuyuko

      Personally, the whole sin thing seems to be used a lot to constrain behavior, rather than to simply modify evil behaviors.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  2. stonedwhitetrash

    The boy that wrote this is kind of cute. would help though if he would put on a little makeup and smile

    June 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Trenor

      your right, he is cute! I'd tap that.. LOL

      June 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  3. Mike

    It really goes both ways. The leading header could have just as easily been: "Bible twisted by gay marriage supporters." Just because one interpretation happens to jive with your lifestyle doesn't automatically make it correct. That applies to every doctrinal issue, not just the marriage issue too.

    The purpose of religion isn't to validate what you already believe about yourself. That would be a colossal – and quite frankly narcissistic – waste of time.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • rainkettle

      So you believe in slavery, forcing women to marry their rapists, and killing your children for talking back to you? That's all in the Bible too, among many other things.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Mike

      Where did you get any of that from?

      You examples prove the point of my post. The Bible can be, and has been, used to defend any position.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Andy

      @ Mike Great post

      @ Rainkettle – you just proved his point. None of that stuff is in the Bible explicitly as you state it, there are passages that can be twisted to fit an individuals beliefs. The problem is that we are using the Bible to validate our personal beliefs, rather than using the Bible to FORM our personal beliefs. If we all formed our personal lives around the words and teachings of Jesus, things would be a lot better.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • fuyuko

      Of course religion validates what people believe. The early writers of the bible infuse their own religious 'belief's and personal beliefs in scripture all the time. This is why it is filled with one-sided accounts of biblical battles, peoples thoughts and feelings on what people should eat drink and wear etc. These are not God's desires but mans. Since religions are mostly created to unite groups of people, shaping peoples thoughts and validating said, is what religion does.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Mike

      @ fuyuko

      How do you know those aren't God's desires? Are you suggesting that you have a more intimate and perfect knowledge of God? Wouldn't that be proving my point?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • fuyuko

      I don't know god's desires. But the purpose of religion is to control and unite communities. Until it can be proven what god's will is- and since god's power is infinite, he can certainly communicate that to us all in an undeniable way. I will assert that unless proven otherwise, most of god's 'desires' in the bible are simply the thoughts and ideas of well-intentioned men and priests.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Mike and Andy: And how do we tell which belief is man-made and which is informed by God? How do you know which is the correct interpretation? You cannot. Unless God himself verifies it which isn't happening. What we have is a book. A subjective set of words. And you will interpret it according to your experience and beliefs no less than anyone else will. This absurdity that our lives must be formed by the book but at the same time cannot inform our reading of it is impossible.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  4. Matthew

    I take it you also don't believe there are 'holes' in empty space that suck up light.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  5. lisa

    I guess the writer he not read Leviticus 18 and 20.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Jim

      I guess you did not actually read the article.

      P.S. it is about you.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • CarrotCakeMan

      lisa, are you by any chance having shrimp for dinner? Or are you wearing a garment that's a cotton/poly blend? Both are forbidden in Leviticus, but the passages in Leviticus you're mentioning have been intentionally mistranslated to make it look like God wants to hurt his LGBT children.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Julia

      Leviticus is the old testament. If you want to go there, you suddenly get into a *lot* more rules that need to be followed. (i.e preparations for meat, etc. that are followed only by the most Orthodox of Jews).

      June 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Don't forget these parts!

      Leviticus 20:9 "All who curse father or mother shall be put to death..."
      Leviticus 20:18 "If a man lies with a woman having her sickness and uncovers her nakedness, he has laid bare her flow and she has laid bare her flow of blood; both of them shall be cut off from their people."

      June 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • 144000Elohim

      Similar responses on these types of scriptures seem to be used most frequently in this blog so I wil help bring understanding to those who are genuinely asking these questions wanting to know the answer, rather then using them to spit in the face of one who disagrees with them.

      @ Carrot
      For your response there are a few things to understand, the first is that these laws were given for different purposes to mankind. With regards to the unclean meat, those laws were given to help mankind understand what animals God created to be healthy and good for man to eat, and which animals He created that harm mankind when eaten.

      If you think about it logically and scientifically you will see why God told mankind the unclean meats are indeed unclean to consume. The old phrase "you are what you eat" is true, your flesh is compossed of the elements you intake through ingestion. So are all animals. So a shrimp that eats fecal matter from the ocean floors is compossed of waste product and when you eat that animal you are full of the flesh they are compossed of. The instict and attributes of these animals has not changed since these classifiactions were given and so this food law is still in place today to help you be more healthy.

      As for the clothing of pure textiles law, that was given as a physical rule to teach a spiritual lesson. Often times clothing is refered to in scripture as describing who you are as a person. The summation of the choices you make in life towards others around you. Ex. Clothes made of sackcloth (humility) made white (purified) with the blood of Christ (through repentance of sin). That physical rule was ghiven to teach the understanding that how you live your life should not be mixed with other textiles, but pure and whole (be true to yourself). That is the only way to learn the lessons this age must teach all mankind according to the perfect plan of God Almighty.

      @ Julia
      The Israelites in Moses' day were a physical people given a spiritual law without receiving the Holy Spirit in order to keep the law in spirit and in truth. Therefore some of the Old Testament law was designed as a physical law to teach spiritual lessons, some laws however are literal and much of what many claim to be "nailed to the cross" is still an active law that must be obeyed by God's people at this time. many of the physical laws however were fufilled in totallity by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and therefore are not applicable today.

      @ Dontforget
      Both the verses you qouted are correct and still valid today however you do not understand how they are applicable. The following verse is used numerous times in the Bible: "The penatly for sin is death", combine that verse with the verse that explains what sin is "sin is the transgretion of God's laws", now it is obvious God's laws are the 10 commandments. The first 4 tell you how to worship God and the last 6 tell you how to love each other. This is why Jesus said the 2 important commandments are love your God (summary of first 4 commandments) and love each other as I have love you (summary of the last 6 commandmens). Both Leviticus verses you qouted are simply describing actions that broke one of the commandments of God, the penalty for which is death.

      The part that requires understanding is who should be the one responsible for EXECUTING the judgement the sinner is guilty of? Only God almighty can righteously judge the trangresions of His laws, therefore the ultimate punishment occurs in God's time as part of His perfect plan for His future family. Those sins are worthy of death, but not by any government of this age, only the Kingdom of God can execute such judgement righteously and that Kingdom is not yet on Earth, although that will change shortly (if you have eyes to see and ears to hear).

      Thank you for your time, I hope this helps

      June 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Hey

      144000Elohim aka HeavenSent aka Doesn't Matter – at least now you are actually starting to write instead of quoting scripture after scripture. The atheist are wearing off on you – that's great!

      June 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Jeffery

      "Therefore some of the Old Testament law was designed as a physical law to teach spiritual lessons, some laws however are literal and much of what many claim to be "nailed to the cross" is still an active law that must be obeyed by God's people at this time. many of the physical laws however were fufilled in totallity by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and therefore are not applicable today."

      That's why Adam and Eve story is hogwash, Leviticus is trashed and why God made gay people!

      June 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  6. Ed Smith

    Wow, this kid really doesn't know what he's talking about. What are they doing at Yale Divinity School these days? Please take an honest peak at the Bible in context and read the early Christian Fathers for yourself.

    On the hair thing–most people would agree with Paul if they think for a moment to understand him. Yes, most agree that women look better with long hair than men do. Fashions may vary, but women always have longer average hair length than men. There's something from nature in this, just as Paul said. Of course, Paul was not "condemning" alternate hairstyles; he was making a point about something else. The question is, is the author really so ignorant as to not know this, or is he simply dishonest? Did he just get this out-of-context verse from LGBT talking points or did he actually bother to look it up?

    June 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • fuyuko

      Actually, well-kept long hair looks better on MEN and Women. If god didn't want people to have attractive heads of hair, it wouldn't grow for both genders. Paul bias doesn't reflect gods will any more than anyone else's.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      Every picture of Jesus I have seen has him wearing long, flowing, hair. Also some nakey pics he took while in Cabo on Spring Break. HOT! Gotta give my man at TMZ a call...

      June 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  7. Bill

    'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
    This would be Jesus speaking in Mark's Gospel. Notice, He does not say anything other than man and wife. Notice also that He says God ordained this union.
    This particular column is narrow where it serves the author's purposes and broad where it does not.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      The greek word for "wife" can be translated to mean many things, so your argument that this explicitly states "man and woman" is simply not true.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  8. Harry

    I'm against it and i NEVER said i was better han anyone else. SeemsYOU are paintig Christians with one big brush and doing exactly what you don't want done to you. What's that calld... oh yeah, hypocrisy... WELCOME!

    June 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Max

      Who said anything about anyone being better than anyone else? Interesting Freudian slip.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  9. stonedwhitetrash

    The word gay has been hijacked to the point of it's true meaning being lost. Anyone ever hear the phrase "gay as a football bat" or "gay as a five legged goat" the phrase "q-- as a Football bat" or "q-- as a five legged goat" i do hear this on occasion

    June 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  10. Mark

    The author almost contradicts himself in that he's actually done his homework and found some of the MANY inconsistencies and utter contradictions of the bible, things that show the insanity of religion and those that follow it, yet still counts himself as one who believes.
    I just don't understand people.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Andy

      I wonder the same thing, Mark.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Andy 2

      I don't wonder the same thing (it seems the other Andy and I think differently, which is ok, but I don't want to be confused with him). it makes perfect sense – he is able to seperate GOD and the followers of GOD. His faith is (seemingly) not based upon his family or his friends or Joel Olsteen or what someone else says.

      My religious beliefs do not involve the 'church' (if you are Catholic) or what other believers say. My Christianity is based upon the BIble. I realize the Bible was thousands of years ago, but I believe they got it from GOD and that GOD got it right. If someone proclaims the Bible in an innacurate manner and doesn't follow what the Bible says, I don't pay them any mind.

      I wish more non-belieivers would look to the Bible and to GOD rather than to us imperfect Christians. People will never get it right but GOD did.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Andy

      @Andy 2 – OK, maybe you're not dramatic. 🙂

      Still, as a non-believer and ex-fundy, I still get what (I think) Mark is saying. If you were looking at it from the "outside," you'd wonder why some otherwise rational Christians still hang on in spite of all the contradictions and lack of evidence. While you're "in it," so to speak, the thinking is very, very different.

      And I read the bible every day. I'm kind of obsessed with early Christian history.

      Take care. Read a Dan Barker book. Good day!

      Atheist Andy

      June 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Andy 2

      @ other Andy You make good points. I am on the 'inside' and am clearly bias, but I have been on the oustide before and have thought the same things. It wasn't until I started to really ask tough questions and read on my own and start to formulate my own beliefs (which I hope and pray more people do – just think for yourself) that I became so confident in my beliefs. I personally feel like the 'numerous contradictions' of the Bible arise when you are a non-believer, but again, that viewpoint is bias because I am a believer.

      But It was strange – I had to be a skeptic before I could truly believe.

      I would encourage you to continue to read the Bible everyday. It is wonderful and can be appreciated whether you believe or not – obviously you will get a little more out of it if you believe. But the history is fascinating. I will freely admit that we can't be 100% sure of the accuracy and whatnot of the Bible and the times in which this stuff happened – once we arrive at that point, the issue of faith always comes up and that's when the whole discussion tends to get really ugly, which is a shame, because it's one of the most worthwhile discussions to have.

      I'll check out Dan Barker if you'll check out C S Lewis (which is a very cliche recomendation and I'm sure you've probably already done – but he's my favorite, other than the Bible).

      I hope that one day soon you can believe (again?).

      June 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  11. Kemi

    I stopped reading when he made the reference to long hair on men, pathetic argument.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Pathetic?

      So...he used the bible to make a pathetic argument. Interesting...

      June 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • rainkettle

      No, you stopped reading because he disagreed with you. Don't lie, it's un-Christian.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • WWJD

      So, quoting the bible to make an argument is only valid if it supports your point of view? Pathetic.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Kemi

      @Pathetic? The argument itself is pathetic. I probably do not see the comparison that he was trying to make. There is an art to making an argument which this author clearly missed. We have to remember when people read they interpret things differently be it the Bible or any other book. If the author was pro-gay rights he has to make a stronger argument than that. That’s it.
      @Rainkettle Who said I disagreed? I sure did not say that. There is a proper way to write that keeps readers intrigued. I was not intrigued I guess. So contrary to your statement, he didn’t disagree with me because like I said I stopped reading so I don’t even know what his real point is. No lie.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Kemi

      @WWJD A persuasive argument is what I like. Apples are apples and when you can convince me that apples are bananas then we have something. Always make a good argument when you motivated about something. Then at least if people don't agree with you they can at least see where you're coming from.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Kemi: Your opinions really aren't worth much about being convinced or convincing if you didn't read the article. You would not know much about the author's art to making an argument or how pathetic anything is if you have nothing to base it on. It really wasn't very long. I think you could have made the effort if you were going to comment on it. The world doesn't need yet another uninformed opinion.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  12. Church is NOT State!

    Stop mixing religion and government people!

    Gay marriage has NOTHING to do with religion!

    Marriage is a legal contract! Do you take your business contracts to church? Grow up America!

    June 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • fuyuko

      Actually, to me, it is the opposite. don't see why government is involved in marriage whatsoever. It is a private matter between consenting adults, their deity/organization and their conscience.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Actually they do. Deuteronomy 34:4
      Sounds like a real estate contract. Right ?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  13. Reza

    If Christians followed the simple Truth about God that all the prophets from the beginning of time preached, there wouldn't be so many 'learned' Christians leaving the religion for Godlessness.

    [Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him. ] Al-Qur'an 112:1-4

    [The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.] Al Qur'an 5:75

    [Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, "Be," and he was.] Al Qur'an 3:59

    June 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • MikeyNYC

      I hate to break the news to you, but Christians don't consider Mohammed a prophet nor do they consider the Quran to be a holy book, so I don't know how you'd convince Christians of anything by quoting the Quran.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Reza

      @MikeyNYC well, I hate to break it to you that Muhammad was foretold in the Bible ... See it for yourself http://www.islamicity.com/mosque/muhammad_bible.htm
      and the same simple concept of God is also in the Bible :
      "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (From the NIV Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4)"
      The Bible's New Testament also records Jesus saying: ""Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good–except God alone." (From the NIV Bible, Mark 10:18)"

      June 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  14. LION

    Wicked generation God has already judge the USA, you have the strongest economy or so I thought? Ha ha ha ha. You have the most advanced technology, trust in it. It might save Los Angeles from the on coming Tsunami that will send it to the bottom of the ocean.
    Why did it not save you from Katrina, mitch and the recent tornadoes. And you scientist, liars, you always have one explanation before it happens and another after it happens but nothing that saves.

    shame on you.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Matt

      Welllll... Science did lead to improved building designs that probably did save thousands of lives from tornadoes, and while the levies broke in katrina, material science and geology have build levies and water ways that have saved thousands every year from flooding from hurricanes, and it was the work of satellite communication, the internet, material science and medicine that saved thousands more while people were waiting for government help. And I see you have a problem with science trying to predict the weather. We only have models and theories for weather. There is no weather "law", like we have thermodynamics law. We make theories. We rarely get it perfect, but we often get close, and we're getting better every day. The problem isn't the science we don't have. It's just that you take what we do know for granted.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • MikeyNYC

      I love it when idiots make believe they are three years old and claim that natural disasters are somehow a result of a god being upset. I suppose that all disease is a punishment, too, right? Is everyone who has cancer a sinner who will spend eternity in some hell? According to your logic, it would. Next time try actually using your brain before you type, since anyone with an IQ in triple digits learned a long time ago that if its raining isn't that the angels are crying for mankind...

      June 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Frogist

      It is too funny when people come on here and rail against science as they type on their computers or cell phones. Do they not see the irony?

      June 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  15. CarrotCakeMan

    When speaking about First Amendment issues in regards to marriage equality, it's always important to remember it isn't just a matter of those denominations who claim they'd be forced to perform same gender marriages. The many Christian, Jewish and other denominations that are marrying same gender couples now are being denied their right to practice their religion freely in 45 US States. These denominations have married same gender couples in 6 US States and the District of Columbia:

    The Episcopal Church
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    Metropolitan Community Church
    Reform Judaism
    Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
    Unitarian Universalist Church
    United Church of Christ

    June 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Frogist

      @CarrotcakeMan: Now there's an interesting perspective.

      June 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  16. Cdogg

    I love how CNN Religion Blogs constantly provide biased articles. It's not a religion blog, let's just be honest. It's a "Anti-Christian" blog. You people have an agenda that you want so you keep showing how Christians are blocking that agenda. Now it's Gay Marriage. So week after week, I log on to here and it's the same thing. It's a blog by someone, sometimes a scholar, sometimes an LGBT advocate but it's the same thing. You give them this space to argue why Gays should be married and how how great Gays are for Amerca and how Christians are fools, ignorant, hate filled or whatever because they subscribe to following Jesus and "you can't even prove Jesus exists". Further, you attack all in the Bible. "Paul said that men shouldn't have long hair therefore how can we trust that Gays shouldn't be married?" America is becoming more and more secular I get that, but that same hatred you say Christians extend toward you, CNN is being used as the media weapon to give the same hatred towards Christians. I detest what CNN has become in the last 10 years. You guys used to be the absolute best news out there. Now just like everyone else you have an agenda. Over and over it's the same thing because you think that repeatedly posting articles like this will make more people suddenly believe Gay marriage is okay.

    Just b/c this guy went to Yale Seminary, I'm supposed to believe that Gays should be married, and the only reason they aren't is because someone twisted the words of the Bible?

    I detest what CNN has become over the last 5 or so years. You used to have a purpose. You used to provide truly fair news. You used to mean something. But like every other media outlet now, you now have an agenda. That same hate you say Christians give you publish on your blog and call it "religious".

    No I do not support gay marriage. Never will. I choose Christ.

    I can't believe it's wrong for me to say "under God" in a pledge of allegiance but it's okay to bash Christianity and say that gays should be married.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • rainkettle

      You completely ignored everything in this article. Every single thing.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • The Pledge

      It's wrong for you to say "under god" in the pledge?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Cliff

      It's an opinion blog...it's labeled "opinion" when you click on it. If you want facts...don't go to the opinion blogs. Simple. Oh and btw....it's not an attack on Christians. Perhaps, more like a we want to be treated like everyone else. It's about the rights not the religion.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Silly

      Wow! Interesting rant. I did not read the article as pro gay as much as pointing out that if theologians are going to ignore one part of the bible to emphasize another they are not better than the fanatic Jihadists picking and choosing from to Quoran. The line from Paul regarding long hair on men was interesting since Jesus is almost always depicted as having long hair. Personally I'm leaning more and more toward the Wickan philosophy of an it do no harm do as ye will. We learned as small children that when you point a finger at others, you point three at yourself.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Pastor Jeff

      Amen Cdog. But are we surprised? God's saints can see deception. It is Satan's #1 tool. Deception is devious and it is effective especially in the hands of "christians" who claim to have obtained the mind of Christ because they have attended divinity school. A relationship with Christ is not in textbooks or in one's memories of their childhood church life. It's is a relationship. If you don't have it, (we know you by your fruit) we know you don't have it. You are not judged. You are loved. But until that happens what you say and what you write could be used to destroy, not to build up.

      We will all be judged by what we have spoken in life. Open your mouth with great caution Mr. Dudley. There are eternal consequences, especially when your words bring potential eternal destruction to another soul.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Matt

      What do you mean it's not a religion blog? It's a blog about religious ideas and beliefs. They may not always agree with main stream or your own personal beliefs, but that's not the point. It's not a sermon. It's an opinion. Stop trolling, and learn to respect other people's beliefs.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • JustSomeone

      Hey CDogg. You say a lot without anything of value. All you do is bashing CNN and the author without any proof that they are wrong if your opinion should be right. Want to be proven right, then lay out your proof. Stop attacking without reason other that they go against your believes. OMG. Someone got a different opinion and actual a valid argument. Wake up. The Bible is written for a human lifestyle 2000 years old and only an opinion from a few people. Too bad people follow blindly.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And I thought CNN was antisemetic because it had a article about banning circu-mcision...

      June 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • jody

      Cdogg, that is your opinion and the author was stating his. I am not gay but I support gay marriage 100%. The last couple of sentences of the article says it best:

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

      June 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • S

      You just blew that article way out of propportion. He isn't hating on Christians, in fact it sounds like he is a believer. He is giving a grounded opinion based on good, solid, well-researched facts. And yet you somehow turned that into a 10 year downhill spiral for CNN. Making mountain out of a....gay marriage?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • The Rational Andy

      @Pastor Jeff – I just threw up in my mouth a little.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Pastor Jeff

      What's the difference Jodi? He speaks the truth not even knwoing that he speaks for all who have been transformed by Christ. I really want you to understand this.

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

      As we have been transformed by Christ which is what being "Christian" is....we have been given a textbook of sorts inspired by God as our road map. We turn to the word to defend what it is we now see in the world and in people, and in ourselves for that matter, with this new transformed "mind of Christ" we have been blessed with. It, transformation, comes to us through great trial and tribulation. It's not easy. It is a very difficult path to follow Christ.

      So yes, we are proud to have the word to defend against sin. Without the word we wouldn't recognize what is sin and what isn't. We try to get out of the way of sin because it causes believers to miss what God has to say or where he may be leading us.

      As for defending the bibles values....the bible nor Jesus needs defending. We defend the Gospel and the truth of the word, not the bible and not Jesus. He can take care of that and of you without any help from me.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Pastor Jeff

      Rational Andy....save the vomit. When you stand before Christ giving an account of your life....dry heaves will be a little embarrasing. You're gonna want to really make it look like you thought you had it right, but just realized you didn't, and that vomit could come in handy.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • fuyuko

      First, people aren't obligated to not challenge the bible or its teachings. If a religion is good- it can deal with an honest critique. Questioning biblical ideas, thoughts and principles is why god gave us brains. I do not hate, or bash Christians. But I do not feel blind love for the religion like Christians do. Nor do I feel that because someone has a certain religious belief that it should be respected. There are many awful religious beliefs out there.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Atheist Andy

      @Pastor Jeff – I'm not going to stand before Christ. That's silly talk. (And don't quote 2nd Corinthians 5:10. That would be silly, too.)

      June 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      @Pastor Jeff – When I stand before Christ on that day, I will be able to say "I loved my neighbors as You have. I did not spend my days depriving them of basic rights that Our Father has ordained for All."

      Will you be able to say the same thing pastor?

      June 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  17. Bill

    Einstein proposed a radical statement in his essay 'Science and Religion': 'There is nothing divine about morality, it is a purely human affair'. Is morality absolute or does it evolve over time? If Einstein's statement is true, this article is a moot point.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Huh?

      How can this article be moot when evangelicals actively discriminate against gays and lesbians? It's good to take that bible and shove it back in their hypocritical faces.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • MB

      And Einstein also said, "As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene…. No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life." Moot point, eh?

      June 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  18. P

    The writer is clearly tainted by a liberal university that DOES NOT teach biblical truths. Head knowledge does not make a righteous relationship with God.

    June 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Tom

      I think his point is that most people are rather selective about their 'biblical truths'.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Cdogg

      P you hit the nail right on the head. I guess we have another Bart D. Ehrman in the making here.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Q


      Are you serious? We are talking about a school that has a Skull and Bones fraternity and where men have demonstrated for their right to rate which incoming freshmen woman are F()ckable or not?

      June 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • rainkettle

      You didn't read the article, did you? The author's entire point is that anti-gay Christians are perfectly happy to ignore "Biblican truths" when they're personally inconvenient or impractical, but they love to comdemn others on that same basis.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Cliff

      God gave us a head to think about things logically....there are plenty of things in the bible that were condemned but today are accepted, example, having long hair or short hair. Take all or none. You can't pick and choose what you think is right or wrong. And when one points out a fault, accept that, because it is clearly laid out for you to read...sir. This is not a "liberal" idea, but an idea that when something doesn't make sense, it, well, just doesn't make sense.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Matt

      I think you meant to write "This writer went to a university and developed beliefs that are not my own."

      June 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • fuyuko

      One person's 'head knowledge of god' could be another person's mental illness. The only thing we can truly know about god is what is observable through his creations. All else is merely hearsay.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Jon O

      Talk about missing the point of the article.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Max

      @Cliff Well to be fair, it does SEEM liberal because it's based on facts.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  19. KM

    It's too bad I live in a time where religion still trumps logic, reason, common sense.

    Religion is a poison.

    June 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Alicia


      June 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • R

      Couldn't have said it better.......

      June 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • fuyuko

      sadly, religion has long been a method of controlling people.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • G


      June 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Andy

      What if I used logic, reason and common sense to arrive at my religious belief? One mans reason is another mans folly.

      I have to believe in the Christian GOD because, personally, it is very unreasonable and goes against all my common sense to trust in the discoveries and advancements of a race that STILL kills itself, is riddled with bias and cannot understand itself fully. I believe that GOD has all the answers and I believe that mankind will never have all the answers – it would be illogical for me to fully trust or believe in mankind or anything mankind produces (such as knowledge, understanding, science, etc.).

      I'm not making an argument, just sharing another point of view. Open your mind and respect others – treat others as you want to be treated, that's all.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Atheist Andy

      @Christian Andy

      Why the Christian god and not some other god or belief system?

      June 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Andy 2

      The Christian GOD is the only one that made sense to me. Maybe my upbringing played a role, maybe the society I live in (mostly Christian) played a role, maybe I was somehow led to Him.

      Obviously I never researched ALL the other religions, but of the ones I did read into a bit (Islam and Buddhism mostly), it just didn't make much sense to me – and I'm not talking about historical accuracy, just the workings of the whole thing. Once I read into Christianity and blocked out what everyone was saying from all the different denominations (sprinkle vs. submerge!, no drums in praise and worship, etc,etc) and the garbage that people argue about, it started to become clear.

      Christianity just makes sense to me. The theme(s), the stories, the interactions between GOD and man, Jesus, the way I see the world around me, the way I experience the world around me – all the questions I needed to be answered I found answered in the Bible. I don't think the 'big' question is 'does the Bible have the right answers or not?' I think the real, underlying, more difficult question is 'am I ok with the answers the Bible gives me?'

      We can't know whether they are truly right or wrong, not in a humanistic sense, that's where the whole 'faith' thing comes in. I'm ok with going out a limb and freely admitting that I *could* be wrong. But I'm sure that I'm right, more sure of it than anything else. People call that blind faith or ignorance but it simply isn't.

      It's only blind faith or ignorance if you don't take the time to think for yourself.

      I respect unbelievers that don'tbelieve – as long as they've read and done their homework and not just swallowed the pill that is fed them. I feel the same way about Christians.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  20. dsavio

    Jonathan, why don't you publish this somewhere where intelligent people might read it? Like on the back of a Cheerios box?

    June 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Your full of It

      Is that where you get most of your information, the back of cereal boxes? Probably so...

      June 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • R

      No doubt that's where you get your intelligence from.

      June 21, 2011 at 3:18 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.