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. Marcus Bachmann

    Anyone want to the the new buttplug Michele bought me?

    July 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  2. bachmannsux

    This is simply proxenitism... They should go to jail forcing man and women to have s.x

    July 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  3. MW

    Where's the cure for brainwashing by mythology?

    July 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      reading, so good luck there

      July 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • CD6910


      July 18, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Barnacle Bill

      No, CD6910, that is a symptom.


      July 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You asked: "Where's the cure for brainwashing by mythology?"

      Critical thinking worked for me.


      July 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  4. Dan

    Good luck figuring out what the CNN censors will cut out or not.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  5. fundies

    This article is gay.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  6. Al

    Yes, this is complex but these "fundy" (fundamentalist) folks tend to look at all things simplistically, to their and others disadvantage. Too bad, religion should liberate the soul, not enslave it in prejudice and intolerance.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • CD6910

      Religion saves the soul.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  7. CD6910

    For all you liberals who say keep religion out of politics why do you persist in your support of stories like this? Is it because you want your religion to rule? I think so.

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

      Secularism != religion.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • sbp

      Yes, that's IT. Now that you have discovered our secret, I'm afraid you will not be allowed to leave this page....ALIVE!

      July 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Barnacle Bill

      You think so?

      Sorry, but it is obvious you do little thinking.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • CD6910

      This from someone named Barnacle Bill?

      July 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Barnacle Bill

      Yeah, Barnacle Bill is my real name, just like CD6910 is your real name.


      July 18, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • osro

      that means "secularism is not equal to religion". In coding the exclamation point is loosely equivalent to saying "not".

      July 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  8. doug

    ...but the stance of red-necked, hillbilly, bible beating hypocrites remains unchanged.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  9. Anothermuse

    The point made at the end of the article is really the most important. Tomorrows generation, whether Christian or otherwise has moved past the entire argument. In the Christian world and even amoung political conservatives, the younger generation has decided, I'm not going to hate people because they do something I might not...The "gay rights" issue will be non existant in 20 years. It will simply be a rights issue. The states are deciding, and again the younger generation has dismissed the dogma of the past.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • CD6910

      People continue to confuse "disagree" with "hate". And just because there is a societal opinion shift on a subject and the younger generation adopts it, it still does not make that opinion necessarily true.

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

      I find it frightening, however, the way that they say "we must retain the younger generation" nd then proceed to morph beliefs that were so incredibly important to them previously. This is not a group that wants to be known for its flexibility, yet when they do flip-flop, they want to rationalize all day long.

      Speaking of young people, I wonder if one reason that this therapy gained the traction it previously had is that they cloister the victim for a period of time while that person ages and calcifies to the point where $ex in general becomes less important to them, then slap a label on it, "solved" as though they made something go away that would have "gone away" (or faded?) under normal conditions of aging or experience. This is the problem with belief-based "sciences" – if the technique had been run through clinical trials, we'd never be hearing about it, but these extremists are petrified of science, so that will never happen (and don't flag or flame me for that because I experience this constantly from my evangelical-extremist parents who won't even take solid medical advice from me).

      July 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • GodPot

      "The "gay rights" issue will be non existant in 20 years. It will simply be a rights issue."

      And the same was probably said back in '64 about racisim and civil rights in America, and it has certainly declined, but by no means gone away. There are many practltioners of hate left and likely will continue to be so until they die off and cannot spread their corruption any further.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • GodPot

      "People continue to confuse "disagree" with "hate"." And there are many who confuse "hate" with "disagree". If you show your "disagreement" by not hiring "a gay" or not wanting your kid's to go to school with "a gay" or voting against the same freedoms you possess for "the gays" then you are confusing your "disgreement" with "hate". Just accept what you are, a hater, just like gay people accept who they are.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  10. CarrotCakeMan

    Then the biggest sinners are the anti-gay "churches" that are telling lies to try to hurt LGBT Americans.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  11. Andrew

    The Bachmann's moral values are so skewed that it amazes me that anyone listens to them. Then again people listened to Hitler.


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

      Seriosuly, John Stewart was right..Why is it whenever we don't like something we have to compare it to Hitler...

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

      I do not really want to judge anyone but this "Bachman Team" can't be believed on anything. Starting out with lying to the American people about the farm subsidi and later about the medical subsidy this woman is now in teh US Senat. This is catastrophic. I get really upset when I read that our Senators call themselfs CHrisitians and then go out and lie about everything. How can America win with this kind of crooks? I guess the Bachmans are now into gay conversion? I am sure they will sell conversion kits to gays and lesbians.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  12. patriot

    "Pastors need not compromise their convictions, but they can expect congregants to call for a more accepting, forgiving message – a more Christian message."

    Gosh, if the Karl Rove's can't get mid-America's votes on the gay anymore, and if mid-America starts looking for a Christian message on immigration, and if mid-America realizes it is not the union but the multi-billion dollar management that is responsible for their lot in life, how on earth will they get mid-America to keep voting for them against their own economic best interests?

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

      Because Patroit, what libs don't understand, and apparently never will, is that what mid America really votes for aren't the topics the GOP machine sells, they vote against the "progressive" idea that, "hey, don't worry about working hard or taking care of your families. that's what the government is here for. And don't worry about paying your own way, we will make those "rich" people pay for it..See isn't better now.."

      Here is the bottom line that has been forgotten. Today's GOP represents nothing except attempts to get votes at all costs..Less than half the people in t he country pay taxes and they scream NO MORE TAXES...What taxes? No ones paying any. And gee, while everyone on the left screams about the Bush cuts for the rich that we could use to reduce the debt, why isn't anyone talking about the other cuts Bush put in place on the lower and middle clasess, that are 6 times bigger than the cuts on the rich? Want to fix the budget, pull all the tax cuts out..Oh, but wait, then the left would have to pay their own way...

      July 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  13. Josh

    I have been reading these post and find them very interesting. Now I am a christian but have to agree with the other people that say the church wants to throw scriptures and twist scriptures to support there Ideology and the ones that scream the loudest against them are the ones that are usually gay themselves . Like this the church has sad and done things for the past two thousands years in the name of christ and the bible that Jesus didnt really authorize it example crusades witch trial ect. The way I look at it is a gay person isnt hurting anyone by being gay and even though I feel uncomfortable around them I still believe that they should be allowed to marry because the way I look at if they are wrong then god will judge them and if they arent then god will not judge them but who are we to sit and judge them I am sure that if jesus were here he would not have pleasant things to say to people who are judging them. so before going and spouting out bible passages make sure you judge your self first because jesus said judge not that you be not judged condem not so that you wont be condemed for in the same manner that you judge and condemm someone the same way you will be judge and condemned.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Anothermuse

      Ok, other than needing a few periods, Josh, you are right..

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

      Funny, I was going to type the same thing – while slightly ungainly to read for its lack of punctuation, this is well-stated – fair and balanced!

      July 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • jayne

      you are the exception to the x-tian rule (or so the rule sems now a daZe)
      thans for holding true to a loving and guided (not gullible) heart that most think jesus would most appreciate
      why don't your run for office...heh
      just kidding...that would most definitely muddy your thinking that you are greater than the almighty as those
      so-called x-tians have already shown
      god bless

      July 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • jayne

      regarding your post Josh
      your content was right and we understood it loud and clear
      and to those who've commented on the context-

      'for when we try only to be perfect
      we forget how to be good'

      July 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  14. JimF

    Stop picking and choosing what you like and don't like out of the bible, it's not a buffet.
    Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as if with womankind: it is an abomination."
    Leviticus 19:19 god forbids wearing any clothing of mixed fabrics, "... neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee."
    James 2:10 "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."
    Anyone condoning a man laying with another man better not be mixing their fabrics....in the eyes of god you are all sinners. Did you know unicorns are also mentioned in the bible?

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

      Leviticus was gay.

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

      JimF, unless you're out stoning women to death who aren't virgins on their wedding night, you 're a typical bigoted "christian" hypocrite who is "picking and choosing what you like and don't like out of the bible."

      "But if ... evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones..." (Deuteronomy 22:20,21)

      July 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • David Johnson


      Your bible is ambiguous and therefore not inerrant. There are about 34,000 different denominations of Christianity. Each believes they are interpreting the bible correctly. Many are contradictory. Many believe only their members will be saved.

      Why couldn't the Christian god create a bible whose meaning everyone could agree upon?


      July 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      Lol you do the same thing every day. Don't pretend you even read the old testament. Your religion is not even close to that of Judaism. Either way it's all crap. Why would an all powerful God have to say I am The Lord all the time. The answer is that it was widely believed that you cannot have a government without a religion backing it.

      "'Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard." Lev 19:27
      "'Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD." Lev 19:28
      ""'If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head." Lev 20:9

      July 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Er guys JimF was making a point about christians picking and choosing parts of the bible to use to condemn and then ignoring bits that doesnt suit them.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • jayne

      the 'F' is apparently for failed
      do yourself a favour read THE REST of the over 1OOO pages you conveniently quote from
      it might wake you up to the passages where "judge not lest ye may be judged' will 'thump' you on your noggin
      remember this quote..?
      it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God
      (if you have more than the least amonsgt you, you are rich)...obviously you have an abunDUNCE of 'no sense' in droves...you should worry...
      we ALL are sinners...you've seemed to have forgotten this little nugget...and it'd do you and so many of us others much good to not forget this fact..and armed with just that bit of information, shouldn't you be trying to tidy up your own little abode rather than sweeping up someone else's floor..?
      trust that being a happy (or nasty) little busy-body will offer no extra 'gates to heaven' passes...you earn those on your own, not on the backs of someone else...
      is it maybe because you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the REDWOOD in your own...?

      lastly, i will ask, of what passage is it where someone else's bedroom proclivities is a particular business of YOURS to burrow yourself into..?
      god may bless you
      you hope

      July 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • JimF

      Please don't call it my religion, I'm an atheist. I'm against ALL religions in politics or in any part of our government. And Jayne...I'm not worried about going to heaven, believing or not believing in your god does not scare me. Any god that states "you shall have no other gods before me." seems a little insecure. If your god is "the one and only" why does he have to state that? 15 years ago I was a devout Christian. I was in Catholic school for 6 years and lead our church youth group for 5 years (scary I know). I have also read the old AND new testament a few times. The problem is I read and studied the old and new testament. AND doug ,David Johnson and Joshua....you guys nailed it.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • jayne

      To JiM-
      from jayne'F' – 'F' for my failure to not realize you were quoting others their rhetoric
      at least i hope that is what you were doing..
      that was what you were doing right...?
      otherwise you got me–
      please forgive me if you are able to
      it was the way your post was presented that made me respond as if you were a hating x-tian..
      not very x-tian like of me eh...?
      well, never said i was x-tian : )
      i read the bible too
      besides, i couldnt be one of them if they wanted me to because i'm a sinner and obviously they aren't
      i understand your 'actual' point of view maybe more than you might realize
      thanks for replying in a manner more Christian-like (no offense) then i replied to you
      God bless me
      i hope

      July 18, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  15. Colin

    Gay Teenager: God, you made me gay. I can no longer deny the urges I am having. Why, oh Lord? I have been a good person all my life. My family and I have kept your commandments and attended church every Sunday.

    God: It’s all part of my “grand plan” for you. Your small mind cannot comprehend such matters.

    Gay Teen: But God, the Christians are telling me I am a sinner and will burn in hell, but you made me this way. I cannot help it. I think you owe me an explanation. I am truly frightened!

    God: I was moving in mysterious ways.

    Gay Teen: What the hell does that mean?

    God: Well, I make thousands gays every day, just so I can wait until they get to puberty and crush their hopes for a normal life. My Christian followers on Earth complete the misery by tormenting these poor children. Then, when you die, I can send you to burn forever. Pretty mysterious, hey?

    Gay Teen. I can’t believe what I’m hearing?

    God: Yeah, it’s pretty rare that I speak so frankly. Look, if it makes you feel any better, tell yourself it’s Satan’s work. Satan is trying to tempt you away from me.

    Gay Teen: But you’re god!! You can stop Satan.

    God: Ok, you’ve got me there. Look kid, the truth is, I don’t exist. I never have. Wasn’t it obvious to you that you made me when I seemed to love all the same things you do and hate all the same things you do? Haven’t you noticed that those who disapprove of you say I disapprove of you and that those who support you say I support you? Every culture that has ever existed has had its own gods and they all seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Gay Teen: That’s a shame, because I intended to give you a free pass. To still believe in you despite hating myself. I have been taught to believe in you and never to question it, and I accepted what they said when they told me it was wrong to doubt.

    God: Well, look at it from my perspective. How long would I last if I positively promoted healthy skepticism, independent thought and rational investigation? You people would see right through me in a minute.

    Gay Teen: Ok. I have to go now. My parents, Christian friends and teachers have all disowned me. I need to work out what to do.

    God: Good luck. I’ll say a prayer for you. Hey – even I need a god sometimes

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

      love it,
      but too bad the end result of the converstaion is commonly as depicted, or worse, ends in a suicide.

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

      This is very similar to my thought process as I came to terms with being gay as well as becoming an atheist.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • RUsurpriesed

      I think you are confused with the theory of evolution and gene pools. You need to take your gay trates up with the monkeys and swamp slim you believe in. I think you will get all your answers from them. Do you have a zoo close by? You don't believe in GOD anyway. The conversation you played out, quite interesting. Not sure which god you were talking to. Mine doesn't talk that way. Good try. Won't be a good excuse later on.

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

      @RU this is sarcasm and yes this is pretty much how it goes down. I know this and I'm not Gay.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Sudzzz

      WOW! You really don't know &^%#! Maybe if there is a God, he gave us free will instead of "created" people gay or straight. And you are exercizing your free will now. So IF there is a God, he probably thinks you're an a$$ hole for mocking him. If there is no God, feel free to continue to mock risk-free. But if there is a God, you're &*^$*@ed. Good luck! (I would not take those odds)

      July 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: " Not sure which god you were talking to. Mine doesn't talk that way."

      Really? How does your god talk? What proof do you have that your god even exists? Your god is no more likely to exist than Santa Claus. *smile*


      July 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      so Sudzz you believe people have the free will to chose to being straight or gay huh? when did you sit down and decide one way or the other.

      "I would not take those odds" – what? over nothing after death or an all powerful magical figure casting spells, creating and controlling everything for some unknown reason, who i will apparently meet after death? ...yeah, I will take those odds.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  16. Nigel Tufnel

    Bachmann isn't anti-gay. Look at that picture, she is sitting very pleasantly with that gay man in the foreground.

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


      July 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  17. john

    i'm gay and have decided to only sleep with straight people but so far no matter how many straight guys i sleep with i'm still gay:(
    having said all that, i'm having the time of my life trying to convert myself ....

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

      Don't give up. Try sleeping with Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. If that doesn't turn you straight, nothing will.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Marcuththth Bachmann

      Thleeping withh Michele turned me the othther way.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • jayne

      it's 5:OO am and i almost woke the house up with my laffing
      gotta luv ya..!
      make that God'll luv ya : )

      July 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  18. jeff

    I think that in these difficult times, it is not easy for people to distinguish the difference between good and bad when its comes to such moral issues as gay rights, abortion, euthanasia, etc.
    I consider myself very lucky because I practice Falun Gong which allows me to know the difference between right and wrong.
    It is a free practice with tens of millions of adherents Worldwide. Thank you.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  19. Chrisg

    THIS is why RELIGION HAS NO PLACE in politics. Cant you people see how DESTRUCTIVE this is?

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

      The problem really isn't that religion is destructive to politics. The problem is that politics is inherently destructive. Religion may not help that, but I would bet a discussion of favorite colors could become downright brutal if it were somehow connected to politics.

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

      My pink is way better than your taupe. Her brown is awful.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Chrisg

      I will say it again.......There is no place in politics for religion; Period

      July 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  20. Marcus Bachmann

    That's why I married you.

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

      for a blasphemous political campaign?

      July 18, 2011 at 5:57 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.