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Amid Bachmann controversy, many Christians cool to conversion therapy for gays
Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus, who says his counseling business uses conversion therapy for clients who request it.
July 18th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Amid Bachmann controversy, many Christians cool to conversion therapy for gays

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - When presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, addressed accusations that his Christian counseling business encourages homosexual clients to try to change their sexual orientation, he appeared to play down the role of so-called conversion therapy at his clinics.

"Is it a remedy form that I typically would use?” Bachmann told Minnesota’s Star Tribune newspaper. “It is at the client's discretion.

"We don't have an agenda or a philosophy of trying to change someone," Bachmann said, noting that such therapy was not a focus of his two clinics.

Michele Bachmann officially quits her church

Bachmann’s seeming ambivalence about conversion therapy - sometimes called reparative therapy - after a week’s worth of news stories that raised questions about whether his clinics promote the practice may illustrate a broader trend in the conservative Christian subculture.

While many evangelicals once viewed conversion therapy as key way to deal with homosexuality, many of the religious movement's leaders and organizations have cooled to the practice in recent years, as more science suggests that homosexuality may be innate and as new therapeutic approaches have emerged.

“Evangelicals, in quiet ways, are shifting to this position to where there is just not a lot of support for the change paradigm,” said Warren Throckmorton, an influential voice in the world of Christian counseling, referring to so-called change therapy.

“In the late 1990s, the debate was clearly, ‘Could gays change from being gay?’ and the focus was on orientation, and it was a big part of politics,” said Throckmorton, an associate professor of psychology at Grove City College, an evangelical school in Pennsylvania.

One sign of that shift, Throckmorton says, is the influential evangelical group Focus on the Family’s 2009 decision to stop funding a program teaching that “transformation is possible for those unhappy with same-sex attractions." (Focus, which said the move was due partly to financial pressures, handed the program off to another Christian group.)

The head of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, meanwhile, a leading conservative Christian, has recently chided some evangelicals for characterizing homosexuality as a choice that’s relatively easy to change.

“We have spoken carelessly and unknowledgeably in the past to just say, ‘Just change. Just decide right now your pattern of attraction is not homosexual but heterosexual,’ ” Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler said. "We have to know better.”

“We understand that sexual attraction and a profile of someone’s sexuality is a complex of factors, some of which are certainly not chosen,” he continued. “It’s not just a matter of choice. It’s not something that’s turned on or turned off.”

Exodus International, the national Christian organization that promotes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ," has de-emphasized conversion therapy in recent years as more of the counselors in its network have abandoned the practice.

“In the 1980s and '90s, the counseling emphasis was heavier than it was today,” said Alan Chambers, the president of Exodus. “Transformation in Christ is possible, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will never be tempted or completely move beyond a certain struggle that we might have.

“But we can live through the filter of our faith and abide by that most, and leave behind all sorts of things that have power of us,” said Chambers, who once identified as gay but who says he no longer does.

Most conservative Christians point to biblical passages that condemn homosexuality and believe the Bible teaches that sex is to be reserved for married men and women.

The American Psychological Association adopted a resolution condemning conversion therapy in 2009, saying that “mental health professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments.”

But the same resolution also encouraged therapists to consider the religious beliefs of clients who say such beliefs are important to their views of homosexuality.

Some Christian counselors have moved away from reparative therapy and have adopted a therapeutic approach that Throckmorton describes as a “congruence paradigm.” The model encourages counselors to appreciate a client’s wishes to harmonize their values, often shaped by religion, and their sexuality.

Under the congruence approach, a religious person who considers homosexuality sinful could attempt to square their beliefs and sexuality by trying to remain celibate. A bisexual client who perceives a similar conflict could try to focus on heterosexual relationships.

But under the congruence model, it’s up to the client - not the therapist - to decide how to view his or her sexual orientation. “If they say 'I think being gay is OK and it’s what I want to pursue,' we’ll work with them to do that, too,” said Throckmorton.

Evangelical re-examination of conversion therapy is part of a larger conversation under way among conservative Christians on how to respond to homosexuality at a time when more gay people are coming out, when there's a new awareness of the bullying that many young gay people face and when the gay rights movement is making some big strides, including, in some states, legalized gay marriage.

“We’re silly to think that there are not gays coming to church, part of our congregations,” said Marcus Yoars, the editor of Charisma, a popular Christian magazine. “It’s the elephant in the room. Its ridiculous that we can’t address it in a manner of love first, which doesn’t mean watering down biblical teaching.”

For the first time in years, Charisma put the issue of homosexuality on the cover of its magazine for the July issue, in a package that includes a story of a woman who says she was “rescued from lesbianism.”

But Yoars said that conversion therapy should be seen as only a small part of the Christian response to homosexuality.

“We have to realize that reparative therapy is a fraction of what’s out there, especially in Christian counseling,” he said. “When it’s reduced to sound bites, it gives (the therapy) a bad rap and falls into the stereotype of all Christians feeling that this kind of therapy is what all Christian counselors should use.”

Another factor behind the new evangelical conversation around homosexuality and conversion therapy is a generational shift on attitudes toward the issues. Recent polls show that young evangelicals are much more supportive of rights for gay partners than their parents are, even as they mirror their parents' opposition to abortion.

"Retaining young people is crucial, and a more accepting generation will not tolerate business as usual when it comes to the debate over homosexuality," wrote Jonathan Merritt, a young evangelical leader, in a recent opinion piece. "Pastors need not compromise their convictions, but they can expect congregants to call for a more accepting, forgiving message – a more Christian message.

"If Christian leaders can’t make that transition – and quickly – instead of an awakening," Merritt wrote in the Christian Science Monitor, "evangelicals may be facing an exodus."

–CNN’s Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • Michele Bachmann • Politics • Uncategorized

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soundoff (2,293 Responses)
  1. Chris

    It's really interesting to see all of the "tolerance" being displayed on this board by the liberal left. I'm really struggling to understand the definition of the word “tolerant” these days. I look it up in the dictionary and it's clear to me. Then I compare the definition to the way that the liberal left actually uses it and it's no longer clear. From what I can gather so far: The intent of promoting tolerance is to be tolerant of other people's views and beliefs even if they are not the same as our own with the only exception being that if someone's beliefs are not the same as the beliefs of liberal left, then tolerance does not apply and the other view is instead to be labeled intolerant. Is that correct? Maybe I'm just an ignorant red-state conservative that just doesn't have the capacity to understand the supreme intellect of the left.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Waltham1892

      When did being tolerate of bigotry and hate become virtues?

      Did I miss that memo, was out the day we voted on that?

      Sorry, being wrong is not a piont of view or a civil right.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • petercha

      Good point, Chris.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Spiffy

      There is a difference between tolerance and acceptance. Maybe you didn't learn that at bible camp.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Observer

      So are you tolerant of equal rights for everyone?

      July 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Terri

      LOL, funny I was just thinking last week that I am very intolerent of intolerence and laughing at myself for it. The only people I tend to have a problem with are people who want others to be like them or fit their standard of "normal". I am what I loathe! I need to work on that.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • HeReallyModComeON

      Yeah they are not very tolerant. And if they talk about civil rights. How about the right of a Black man to get a job? 16% unemployment, but a silent White House, Black caucus, and Black President.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • capiers

      Don't lie to yourself Conservatives arealso guilty on your point.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Terri

      On the other hand being tolerent of intolerent people allows bigotry and evilness against minorities...I guess this is a personality "flaw" I can live with.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Liberial

      The "Liberal" left is far more tolerant than the Religious right. I do agree with: “Maybe I'm just an ignorant red-state conservative”., but then maybe with a few more Tolerant Liberals at the helm maybe the Whack-Jog Religious will go away.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Quit The Hate

      Maybe you should look up passive aggressiveness as well. I'm I dreaming or is a REPUBLICAN complaining about judging and calling people names people b/c they don't think the same way as everyone else. While you're at it, look up the word irony.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • HeReallyModComeON

      Call me foolish, but if minorities have good jobs, educated youth, and good housing, a shot at any profession they set their hearts to, even if it is not and EQUAL shot then that is civil rights. Anything else would be mere icing on the cake. Sadly this is not the case but the way CNN covers the news you would think all is well with Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Not quite

      You are ony partially correct, but hey that's all right! I don't mind pointing out the flaws. There are two major points about tolerance: it is passive, and it must be reciprocated to be relevant.

      Tolerance is passive by its very nature; you can't claim to be tolerant of a group or individual if you are actively trying to change that group or individual to be more like you so that you don't have to tolerate their difference any more. Listening to Christians saying that they are tolerant of gays because they no longer tell them that being gay is a choice, and instead tell them that they were born gay but can resist it through the power of prayer is ridiculous. The fact that you can't accept them as just being gay and let them be automatically proves your intolerance.

      This brings us to the second requirement: tolerance can only be extended so long as it is reciprocated. I would tolerate Christians wanting to believe in their invisible old man in the sky and his zombie son if they were actually tolerant toward others as they profess. But they aren't. They condemn any person who doesn't live up to their particular standards. So why should anyone display polite tolerance toward them when they don't practice the same? I don't tolerate Neo-Nazi's views because I find them to be rather intolerant themselves; why should Christianity get a pass?

      If these explanations seem too 'left-wing liberal intellectual' to you, I'm sorry, I tried to explain them as simply as I could. If you don't believe the words I've written, just pretend you're reading them from a book of historically dubious origin with no factual evidence behind it and the word 'Holy' on the cover. That should help you.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Honey, AvdBerg is at the door again.

      Everything is all nice, everthing is OK, everything will be just fine.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  2. Spiffy

    Isn't it likely if you had been born in Syria you would be a Muslim? And if you had been born in India a Hindu? Or in Spain a Catholic? What makes you know that you are right when you are simply born into your religion?

    July 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • capiers

      Soooo true.. I'm sure they have an answer for that too.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  3. CRISTIANITY - WRONG YET AGAIN

    Christianity – WRONG throughout history and WRONG again.
    Wrong against Galileo
    Wrong against Darwin
    Wrong on gays
    Wrong on the Apocalypse
    Wrong on Christ

    July 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Edwin

      Science is wrong over and over, too.

      Aristotle's Laws - wrong
      Newton's Laws - wrong
      Einstein's Relativity - wrong
      ...

      Science is not as old as Christianity, so it has not had as much time to get things wrong. It DOES correct itself when new information comes in. But so does Christianity. Catholicism no longer, for example, considers Galileo wrong.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Waltham1892

      Edwin,

      Who brought you the glowing plastic box you are typing on, science or Jesus?

      July 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • capiers

      Wow! really Edwin...

      July 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Cheku

      And in the end...YOU may hear the words that YOU are wrong for heaven!!
      Oh well. Free will to choose is God given gift to us...use it wisely!

      July 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      ' It DOES correct itself when new information comes in. But so does Christianity. Catholicism no longer, for example, considers Galileo wrong'

      only took 360 years for it to apologise.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • capiers

      The word of GOD should never be corrected.. If it is then whats the point. Science is always evolving because Humans continue to do research and discover new things.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Spiffy

      @Cheku The free will that Christianity preaches isn't really free will. It is either believe what I say or burn for eternity in hell.

      @capiers What about when the word of God is wrong?

      July 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  4. RUsurpriesed

    Janelle, one day – GOD will open his books and find you and many others lacking from HIS pages. I'll stick to HIS books, not revisionist history books. Keep smiling, if that makes you feel better.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • capiers

      The so called words of GOD have been revised over time to fit mans needs.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Scout

      Oh, please shut up.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • capiers

      Example: Women are property so says the Bible.. This has either been rewritten or simply ignored today. I'm sure you can find plenty more of these.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Chach

      Awesome! Stick to the book 100%. You can't do just 50% or even 99%. So, Slavery is legal! And kill your kids if they mouth off! It's not just o.k., it is commanded! Kill infidels, just like the Koran, it is commanded! You can't just believe the parts you like. You MUST take every word as the gospel truth, or you can't take any of it.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  5. Terri

    Minnesota is putting out as many freaks as Texas, maybe even more. (BTW, I am a Texan so all my fellow Texans should know this is coming from home)

    July 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • bjb

      Maybe we can send Rick Perry to Minnesota.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  6. capiers

    How many Born again Christians do you think are Republicans and how many are Democrats. Ever wonder?

    July 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Waltham1892

      To many?

      July 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Dan

      I know sincere Christians from both parties. It, like most things in politics, is a matter of social class. Most well-to-do Evangelicals are Republican, while the working class tend to be red-dog democrats.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • capiers

      From my experience it's just the opposite. Go figure. Pick a side I guess.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • TC

      It doesn;t matter

      July 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  7. Beth

    If you watch the undercover video you will noticed that the person ask if he can be converted from being gay. There is no grand conspiracy to convert gay people, just hope for those who want to change.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Kyle

      There's also no scientific evidence that conversion works. However, there is a good amount of evidence that it causes psychological damage.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • RLC

      You don't get it ! You can't change . It's as silly as trying to change green eyes to blue eyes . EDUCATE YOURSELF ! before your rhetoric hurts someone .

      July 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Chris

      To Kyle: There's actually significant evidence that gays are a direct result of psychological damange – broken homes, abuse, etc.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Kyle

      Chris, no, no there is not.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Chris – To Kyle: There's actually significant evidence that gays are a direct result of psychological damange – broken homes, abuse, etc.'
      oh rubbish. I have yet to meet a person that became gay because of a broken home. Heck most gay people I have meet have straight brothers or sisters and come from a happy 2 parent family.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Chach

      Awsome! Stick to the book 100%. Slavery is legal! Kill your kids if they mouth off! It's not only o.k., it's commanded! Kill infidels, just like the Koran, it is commanded! You can't just believe the parts you like. You MUST take every word as the gospel truth, or you can't take any of it.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  8. highonbeingababyjesuslover

    fat white men
    ...women made up like h00kers...

    ...must be a republican event

    July 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • petercha

      Hate much, High?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  9. Waltham1892

    I think it boils down to picking your poison.

    No gay guy ever knocked on my door at 7:00 on a Sunday morning to tell me I was going to hell.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Chris

      No, instead they push for legislation to take away the long-held view that marriage is to be between only a man and a woman. I'd prefer if they just knocked on my door once a week than them attempting to forcefully inject twisted immorality into our culture..

      July 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Cheku

      No need to knock on anybodys door...hell is a given for some.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'No need to knock on anybodys door...hell is a given for some.'
      in his everlasting love and mercy, lol.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • cheku

      "in his everlasting love and mercy, lol"
      Not an open invitation to sin!!!

      July 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  10. RLC

    For people who doubt that the majority of Priest are gay should read the following http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/27/the-vatican-s-gay-priests.html and it would be nice to see CNN do a comparable story if they are brave enough .

    July 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  11. K3Citizen

    It is okay when women are gay, but totally unacceptable when men are.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Waltham1892

      Angelina Jolee + Jennifer Connelly does not equal Ernest Borgnin + John Goodman.

      Sorry, but there you are...

      July 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  12. Laurie in Spokane

    Don't people have enough to worry about in their own lives and how they conduct it without trying to tell others how to run theirs? What arrogance to tell someone how to live their life. Keep it up republican party. Just shows how hypicritcal you are and better for the Democrats in 2012.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • cheku

      Seems to me its the Democrats that want to tell us how to live...by rules and ammendments that just so happen to force us to do things the way they want.
      Where's the freedom ?

      July 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  13. Geoz

    Gay is born that way, which Marcus knows all too well.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • robert

      Thats why the church is full of chumps and cowards plan and simple you either believe gods word or you dont its a behavor that has to be looked at god from the begining said adam and eve not adam and steve.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Alleygator

      Bingo.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Alleygator

      The 'Bingo was for Goez, not Robert.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  14. Colin

    Which of the following groups believes that bread and wine becomes the real flesh and blood of a dead Iron Age prophet from the Middle East, because a priest does some hocus-pocus over the top of it?

    (a) Illiterate tribesmen from Yemen
    (b) Delusional schizophrenics
    (c) Catholics; or
    (d) All of the above

    July 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Spiffy

      Oh I want to say (d) but this voice inside my head that tells me what to do says I should pick (c).

      July 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • highoneatingbabyjesusanddrinkinghisblood

      i was at a dead jesus eating fest yesterday and i still got some body rushes and colors goin'

      July 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Resident Alien

      Yemen's illiterate tribals are quite clear about the concept of God. They don't assosiate stupid events and attributes to God. Try some untouched tribe from Amazon or Africa.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Quit The Hate

      Look, we get it. You are against organized religion. But do you have to be so nasty and mean? This is a country founded on freedom of religion, which means you have the right to worship (or not) without being persecuted. Now, I think Bachmann is a hypocrite and most likely a bigot. Obviously this so-called clinic is some kind of brain washing, pseudoscience crap and he uses Christianity as some kind of religious blanket to release him of responsibility. But to lump EVERY person who believes into the same category is ridiculous. I respect your right not to believe, so in turn respect those of us who do. It makes you just as bad as those holier than thou bible-thumpers telling everyone they are going to hell just because you don't think the same way as they do. And you don't want to be like them do you? Please respect everyone's right to believe or not to believe as an individual and private decision.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Colin

      To QuitThe Hate I do not mean to insult the person, but I absolutely mean to take on the belief.

      I mean, come on, 99% of Catholics believe in most of the following (i) the entire Universe was created in 6 days about 6,000 years ago and the Earth began with a man a woman and a talking snake; (ii) an invisible, all powerful "good spirit" called god reads my mind (or "hears my prayers" to the extent you see a difference) and selectively intervenes in the day to day lives of humans; (iii) this invisible good spirit has an evil counterpart who wants us to "sin"and join him in hell where we will burn for ever. He is locked in eternal battle with the good spirit; (iv) we will live after we die, catch up with all our dead loved ones in heaven and live happily ever after – provided we obey some rules; (v) bread and wine becomes the flesh and blood of a dead middle eastern prophet called Jesus every Sunday all over the world because a priest mutters magic (or "sacred" if you prefer) words over it.

      I could go on, but you get the picture. Can you, perhaps, see why we athiests find all this a little bit childish and silly? I do not mean to insult, but come on !!

      July 18, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Spiffy

      @Colin actually you will find that a lot of Catholics have become more accepting in their beliefs.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  15. Dave

    EffortPA, there is a God. You will meet him one day, as we all will. To each his own beliefs and to each his own choice. Because someone calls themself a Christian, doesn't mean they are. The same with a Jihadist Muslim or Terrorist. Osama claimed to be a Muslim, was he? Muslim people would tell you no, he was not and did not represent them.

    God calls on each of us, whether we listen, follow or hear, it's up to us.

    God Bless and take care

    July 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • ReallyModComeON

      Enough said. Personal choice to follow or disobey.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Spiffy

      How did you arrive at the conclusion that there is an all powerful being in the universe that for some reason despite being all powerful chooses to love you specifically?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • HeReallyModComeON

      He loves us all. Just like you would love your child when they do wrong. No one is more special then another. But we are all being held to account no matter how many stories on CNN tells you otherwise.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • JustMe

      I would be so happy if there were, in fact, a life after death – just so that I could see the stunned expressions on all the religious people's faces when they find out that they were completely wrong.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • RichG

      So a Buddhist monk will meet God, but God will tell him, "Sorry, I know you were a peacefull and generous man, but you are going to hell because you didn't believe in me."

      July 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Kyle

      "Do what I say or burn in hell for eternity"

      Yeah, that's some 'choice.'

      July 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Sabina

      Dave: You say "there is a God. You will meet him one day, as we all will. And "God calls on each of us, whether we listen, follow or hear, it's up to us". Then, "To each his own beliefs and to each his own choice".

      On one hand you are telling us what will happen, then on the other hand, "to each his own belief and own choice".
      Frankly, this does not make sense. Yet another reason why I avoid religion; nothing makes sense.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Kyle – "Do what I say or burn in hell for eternity"
      Yeah, that's some 'choice.'

      I use the analogy that its like a mafia boss putting a gun to your head and saying 'either you do as i say or i will shoot you in the head, its totally your choice, you have the free will to decide, i am not forcing you to chose one way or the other'

      July 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Chrisg

      Where is the proof? I will be happy to "believe" if you can show me proof. And dont say the bible the "word of god" because we all know it was written by men/women and translated and changed to fit the needs of the church for the times.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  16. ReallyModComeON

    Yeah because the populace has been here before. Romans were gay as a 2 dollar bill. But there was a change when they decided that was not working out for them so well. I guess we will repeat the same history yet again.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Observer

      Romans were gay as a 2 dollar bill.

      Not one tiny bit of logic in that statement.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  17. RUsurpriesed

    Love the SINNER not the SIN. Get your facts right if you want to quote the Bible. For such a large group who don't believe there is a GOD, that is HOLY AND JUST, who sent HIS ONLY SON to die for ALL our SINS and gave a new life in CHRIST, you sure like to quote just a limited section that fits your ungodly life style. You want your life style to be something special and for you not to fall into judgement for what this same GOD calls a SIN, then you are the ones living in a fantasy world. CHRIST does love those who persecuted HIM, "for they don't know what they are doing", but you do and will be held accountable on HIS judgement day. We will just keep loving you – inspite of you SIN. That is what we are called to do. We are not your judge. HE is! Repent from your SINS, BELIEVE HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS, and be saved. Your call, ball is in your court.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • RichG

      Blah Blah Blah!

      July 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Colin

      "..who sent HIS ONLY SON to die for ALL our SINS and gave a new life"

      Sooo, your sky fairy humped a Virgin to impregnate her with himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to forgive an original sin we now all know never happened?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Lenny

      It appears that your 'caps lock' key selectively sticks.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • richunix

      Two thousand years ago multiple religions were the cultural norm. The belief in multiple GODs was widely accepted and only varied by type (and special abilities) depending the region you were from. None of the stories were ever PROVEN (BAR NONE) and are always written well after the events. The only thing that has changed was the names used, from Sumerian times the God “An” to the current Christian name “YAHWEH”. To make a finer point the only thing that changed was the “story teller” and this was done to improve his or her deity. These writers create wondrous feats of magic that go beyond any basic physical laws. You find the very same Creation (according to the Sumerian) stories written thousand years earlier, only the name has changed to meet the current God in use. Of course when any questioned these stories, always supplied the same standard answer “God says so” . But yet the same people will question any other believer’s of different religious sects like the Jehovah Witness and Mormons and then label them as “whack–jobs” , but they fail to see Christians are no different. The major difference is modern man has proven through scientific exam the laws of nature and how man really works and YES we evolved from lower forms of life and YES Apes are our distance cousin (deal with it).

      Stephen F Roberts: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

      Atheism is not a religion nor is it a belief.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Sabina

      More insanity from the insane.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • RUsurpriesed

      Rich and Colin, you never surprise me with your comments. HELL is hotter than the mid west, so be sure to wear your bathing suits. Also, sorry to say, no ice available either. But since you don't plan to understsnd and here the warnings- enjoy your life style while you are alive. You don't believe on a afterlife or judgement. So, please don't say later "I didn't know."

      July 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Colin

      RUSurprised. This whole believe or burn superst.ition is one of the sillier Christian superst-itions. It allows believers to smugly tell non-believers they’ll get their “comeuppance”. Like you just did.

      Think it through though, man. You don’t have to kill, you don’t have to steal, you don’t even have to litter. All you have to do is refuse to believe in the Christian god and he will inflict a punishment on you an infinite times worse than the death penalty….and he loves you.

      Your Dark Ages clap-trap does not frighten me. you might as well threaten to send me to Spo.okyLand.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Chrisg

      Your god help you.........he knows you need it

      July 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  18. Colin

    How long until Marcus joins this list?

    Feb 2011 -founder and senior pastor of Glory House London, Dr Albert Odulele was charged with two counts of se xual as sault

    2010 – former pastor Vaughn Reeves serving consecutive six-year terms for each of nine fraud counts, in a scheme that cost about 2,900 investors $13.1 million

    2010 – complaints were filed against Eddie L. Long by men that stated Mr. Long used his position as the church leader to entice or coerce the men into consensual se xual relationships in exchange for money, travel and goods.
    April 13, 2010 – Christian leader George Alan Rekers photographed at Miami International Airport returning from an extended overseas trip with a twenty-year-old "rent boy", or gay male prosti tute

    2007 – Coy Privette resigned as president of North Carolina's Christian Action League and from the Board of Directors of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, following revelations on July 19 that he had been charged with six counts of aiding and abetting prost itution

    2007 – Earl Paulk founder and head pastor of Chapel Hill Harvester Church in Decatur, Georgia from 1960 until the 1990s. A number of women from the congregation came forward during the 1990s and 2000s, claiming that Paulk had se xual relations with them charges of child mol estation were also made.

    2006 – Lonnie Latham, the senior pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church and a member of the powerful Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, was arrested for "offering to engage in an act of lewdness" with a male undercover police officer

    2006 – Paul Barnes founder and former senior minister of the evangelical church Grace Chapel in Douglas County, Colorado confessed his ho mo se xual activity to the church board, and his resignation was accepted.

    2006 – Ted Haggard, pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado and was the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, had been regularly visiting a male prost itute who also provided him with methamphetamine

    July 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • richunix

      Taking the negative for the positive doesn't help... There are evil men in all walkls of life.

      Stephen F Roberts: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

      Atheism is not a religion nor is it a belief.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • petercha

      You've gone to a lot of trouble to assemble this list, Colin. Motivated by hate, much?

      July 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • cheku

      Why dont you assemble a list of serial killers to indicate that because there have been some....we ALL must be one?
      Stupid!

      July 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  19. ReallyModComeON

    I am sick of social issues topping the front page of all other issues. There are starving kids right now. Wish we could help them but unless they are Gay starving kids we will never know who they are.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Kyle

      If you feel so strongly about starving children, perhaps you should spend less time on CNN and more time helping starving children.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • jdog

      How is this NOT a social issue...oh right, cause it has the word GAY in it....right, then it shouldn't be an issue, keep it on the back page right, kinda like the back of the bus, oops, too soon there? the US is a funny funny place

      July 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • HeReallyModComeON

      Well anytime you want to change places with Blacks feel free. I doubt you would like the heat you would get. Social issues means you have and opinion of correct behavior I have a different one. But if you know of a Gay guy who is sitting on the back of the bus because he is Gay by all means share that info with us. Please share housing discrimination that has affected Gays. Because I have a whole heaping pile of it that has been brought against ALL MINORITIES.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Gabe

      You can't just solve problems like starving children by throwing food at them – you have to promote social change so that they become self-sufficient. Otherwise they become 1) dependent or 2) too large of a population to sustain with the limited food. Then even more children are dying. They talk about social issues in the U.S. because let's face it, who are we to promote social change elsewhere when we still have work to do back home?

      July 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • HeReallyModComeON

      What you can do is talk about the breakdown of families that leads to starving kids. What you can do is actively promote community involvement in education. You could challenge men in the community to be adopted fathers to boys without a man in their lives. You could promote those social impact groups that are doing well. There is a lot that is not being done because we want to play recreate the 1960's when there were REAL deadly civil rights issues.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  20. Janelle

    One day the history books will look back and laugh at everyone.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • palintwit

      We're laughing at Sarah Palin right now.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
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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.