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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

« Previous entry
soundoff (2,293 Responses)
  1. really

    Are all Gays Atheists?

    July 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • athist

      All gays are atheist but not all atheists are gays!!!

      July 18, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Kyle

      Sadly, no. I have many gay friends who consider themselves Christian despite the fact that their community overwhelmingly disapproves of them.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • TC

      just the ignants thay show up on CNN blogs,

      July 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • RUsurpriesed

      No. They are not descenants from apes either. God said, "choose rhis day – life or death" . I choose life. HIS standards, HIS ways, HIS life. If not, the consequence is death and separation for all eternity. I once was blind, now I see. You can SEE to. Ask HIM to soften and open your hard hearts. Be willing to listen to HIM. HE loves you very much, just where you are. And if you let HIM, live as you know it today can change. Only HE can make all things new. Trust me, I am living proof.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Really?

      Actually I know some gays that are religious. But then again I was raised and follow a section of the church that isn't looked upon friendly by other sects of the church. The monks believe in being a better human being above all else and all have taken a vow of poverty. They also taught us the Bible does contain stories and passages that were written thousands of years ago. It must be handled with intellectual care, especially since the church hand picked which passages should be included in the Bible, not all written passages were included. But then again all these monks have Ph.D's and were scientific geniuses. I'd rather believe someone preaching to be a better man asking for nothing in return, than being told what to do and asking for everything.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Tim

      Kyle. Disapprove of any out of marriage se-x. Straight or otherwise. This is not a gay specific belief.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • bob

      you so dumb n' crazy!

      July 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • bob

      Dear really: you so dumb n' crazy!

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

    She's not a Christian.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  3. Dave H

    Christians are so scary! Muslims don't scare me,Christians do! These people are nuts and should not hold any office anywhere in politics. Racist ghouls!

    July 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • TC

      Those who believe in nothing are much scarier becasue they believe only in theor own limited knowledge.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      yes TC, instead we should make up what we don't understand, teach it as God's truth, and kill everyone that doesn't agree with what we just discovered. Oh and you owe me 10% of your gross income too.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Sudzzz

      Look around you–Christians: AAAAH! You don't know what you're talking about. I know lots of christians, Muslims, Agnostics, Atheists. If I ever need help, I'm going to find some Christians. You can take your chances with the government. Or feel free to stop by my church.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • TC

      Killing is wrong in any capacity and plenty of blame to go around for that in the name of just wars. 10%? Yep, we should give so thers have – good thing Catholic Church came about – you cna thank them for organized hospitals and education and missionary outreach. Wallow in your own belief of yourself – good luck with all that.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Kyle

      TC, there are numerous passages in the Bible in which God sanctifies killing, including women and children. What Bible are you reading? Or right, you don't actually read it...

      July 18, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • TC

      Nice try Kyle – but your immature attempt to determine whether I have read the Bible fails becasue if you had actually read it as an entire summation, you would know killing is wrong in th estrictest sense, but humans do have the right to protect themselves.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Tim

      Why. Where is our Jihad? Oh right. We do not call for one against the infidels.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Kyle

      "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones."

      Psalm 137:9
      King James Version (KJV)

      July 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      TC the bible sanctions murder. What exactly did Jericho do to be ethnically cleansed?

      July 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • TC

      Great job Kyle posting a piece of scripture – this solves everything. Did you not understand the words "entire summation"? One must study the book for its entirelty and not pick and choose what suits them.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • TC

      Josh – see note to Kyle. Let me repeat – "entire summation" and I will add also the full comprehension of salvation history. You have no knowlegdge or desire to learn all this so it is pointless.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      Actually TC I have read the Bible cover to cover. Twice. It was in doing this, that I stopped being a Christian.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Kyle

      I've read the entire Old Testament. I used to be a practicing Jew. There are passages in Bible where God tells his followers to kill others. It's not an opinion. It's fact. Regardless of the over all meaning the authors of the Bible had in mind, the fact still stands that God told people to kill in his name, thereby sanctioning it.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      I also went to church faithfully every Sunday for 30 years. I can tell you this, there is nothing more freeing than getting out of church.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • TC

      Josh – thats a shame and sorry to hear that. May I recommend that you read the book "Rediscover Catholicism" I think it does a great job of pulling the entire message together – I take it you used to be a protestant?

      July 18, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • TC

      Kyle – did you ever get into any deep studies with a Rabbi to explore the resons behind all this? I totally respect Judaism but having part 2 helps in the overall message

      July 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • TC

      Josh – interesting – I have foun the oposite to be true. When I really started living out my faith – I found nothing more frreing and how to genuinely love people

      July 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      I went to Rome. I've been to your Vatican where you waged wars against anyone who defied you. No thanks. Sure I'll read your book though. I unlike Christians am not afraid of reading. BTW did you know that you have Egyptian Gods in the Vatican? Ironic isn't it. There's a whole room filled with them.

      Yes I was protestant.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      Contrary to Christian belief, you can love people without going to church. You can also help the poor. I commend the Catholic Church for their work with the poor. However, I'll never hand someone a pair of shoes upon the condition that they profess faith in Christ. That's insane.

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

      Josh – we could go on and on about "religion" but I will say that on faith, when it happens you feel it, know it – it really is unexplainable – and I'm not talking about seeing Jesus or voice in my head. The seeking whole heartedly piece is something that speaks loudly ot me. I think everyone finds it but do they heed the call.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • TC

      Josh – I agree that secular charity does some great things and we need it. I have a feeling you will find faith, you are too intrigued and wanting something bigger not to.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      TC I don't need faith. I am not a child. Children were taught in Biblical times to trust their parents no matter what and to trust their scriptures. If they didn't, they were taken outside the city and stoned. This is not really something I want to instill in my kids.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  4. Ray

    Is there a conversion therapy for Ignorant beeatches that Bachman can go to??

    July 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      Send her a copy of "God is Not Great"

      July 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  5. Mong-Lor

    In this election shes toast. No political credibility whatsoever. ...toast

    July 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  6. Peter van Deelen

    What a lucky situation! As an atheist I live in Europe (Netherlands) where gays are not sick. I wish Barack Obama all the best and I hope that he will succeed to be re-ellected. Right wing politicians as Bachmann become more and more crazy.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • jdog

      it seems to be a national past time these days....crazy, that is.....

      July 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • TC

      Ahh, the Dutch! An atheist? No? The great slave traders of the 17th and 18 centuries? You are all a bunch of tall non-contributing memenrs of world society. Go to Dutch CNN pages

      July 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      Visit islands colonized by the Dutch and those colonized by Spain. You will see a WORLD of difference. That is if you make it out of the Spanish colonies alive.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  7. jdog

    oh Lord, God and Babay Jeeeeesus, rinky-dinky-twiddly-do-dum-tiger

    July 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  8. saaly

    another gay story at cnn.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  9. Sudzzz

    I see so many posters here who are judging each other on both sides. My religion says Do not judge. And that religion is Christianity. I will not judge people, but I do judge behavior. And you people are all acting like a$$ holes.

    Have a nice day!

    July 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • tommas

      There is nothing else that defines a person besides their behavior... Thank you for an example of christian double thinking

      July 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  10. Colin

    99% of Christians 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 at my behest (or "answers my prayers"); (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.

    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 2:48 pm |
    • WrshipWarior

      Actually the "talking snake" as you put it was the first recorded instance of a reptile dysfunction.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Shadowflash1522

      Not to be too much the numbers stickler, but since atheists have a love of science and statistics (which I happen to agree with) I feel compelled to ask you: where did you get your 99% from?

      To my knowledge, the majority of Christians actually belong to some denomination of Protestantism, which on the whole does not subscribe to transubstantiation (the bread-wine-to-flesh bit); Catholic official policy does not support the creationist theory of 6,000 years and talking snakes (it's officially a metaphor); similarly, heaven is also considered to be mostly metaphorical and the 'rules' are heavily open to context and interpretation.

      If you must exaggerate, please do not lower yourself to the standards of our fundamentalist brethren.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • tommas

      Then theist try to argue that this god exist because something cannot come from nothing.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • biodan

      You seem to know very little about Christianity. To say that 99% of Christians identify with these five points is simply wrong. (i) Much less than 99% take the creation story to be literal truth. (ii) Prayers are sometimes answered, but is not as simple as you imply. (iii) The only one you get 100% right. Yes, we believe there is a hell and a Satan. (iv) Rule following doesn't quite cut it. This might work in Judaism or other religions, but not in Christianity. (v) Many Catholics believe this, but far less than 99% for Christians.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • SouthernPrincess

      Are you serious? Please know your subject matter before attempting to comment, judge and stereotype an entire group of people. In fact the group they are referring to, Evangelicals and Protestants, do not believe in this flesh and blood phenom you are referring to. They do not do communion every Sunday. The 6 days is to many Christians a metaphor as it also says that " day to Gd is a million years and a million years a day" (and don't forget Jews subscribe to this as it's a text from the Torah). Also, please show me in the Bible/Torah where it says Adam and Eve were the first people...it does not ever say that anywhere. Belief in how active Gd is in daily life varies from person to person, but the main tenant of Christianity is a belief in "free will" and that Gd does not actually become actively involved simply at request.

      Again – please know about what you speak before degrading others.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Colin

      SouthernPrincess – I think I described quite accurately basic Christian theology. Indeed, you have confirmed you believe in this mind reading, happily ever after garbage. The problem for you christians is that you like to reinterpret the Bible every time science backs you into a corner and proves it is nonsense -as with your trying to weasel out of the Adam and eve nonsense.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • News Flash

      Respectfully, I think you and Shadowflash may have good points. The talking snake thing isn't really what Hebrew scholars believe the myth to be about, (Buber et al.) The word "evil" was a mistranslation of the word for "chaos", and the whole point of the myth is missed when it is taken as a literal mistranslated presentation.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • SouthernPrincess

      Wow Colin your mind reading powers work so well in decoding my beliefs LMAO considering I'm Jewish. But I am actually very well versed in Christianity having studied it along with many other religions. Also, I live in a largely Christian area where I have always been treated with nothing but respect which is far more than I can say for atheists you are representing. I just get tired of people beating up on the very Christians who were the ones who built this country and gave us the opportuity and rights we have now. It's sick. When I hear someone spouting off nonsense about Christians being scarier than "muslims" I want to wretch...Christians are killed, tortured and persecuted in exponentially higher numbers in the world than any group of people. I know firsthand the atrocities that are committed against Jews and Christians and it turns my stomach with the bashing others do.

      Please keep your attempt at psychology of entire groups of people to yourself

      July 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Greg

      Check your facts before posting. 40% of evangelicals believe in evolution, which is about the same as the general population. The idea of a 6,000 year old earth is not the prevelent belief in evangelical circles anymore, however, it is still held by quite a few people. Nowhere near 99%, though. Most Christians do not believe bread and wine literally turn into the body and blood of Christ. That is a Roman catholic belief, which has little acceptance outside catholic circles. Also we do not believe the devil wants people to join him in Hell. He has no interest in going to Hell and will be just as much a victim in that fate as any others who choose that path. You are correct, however, that we believe in an all powerful spirit who controls this universe as well as a life beyond this temporal world. We believe that life has a purpose and humanity has a role to play in that purpose. And we fully reject the idea that randomness and chance are the only gods of this world.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Ian

      I am sorry, you are incorrect. 99%? Please research a little first. I cannot speak for any other denominations, however in the catholic church there has long been a de-emphasis on the literal interpretation of the bible. The Catholics have their own scientists who are well respected and make discoveries which hold up against the scrutiny of their secular peers. Catechistic dogma is even ambivalent on the subject of evolution (leaving the individual to decide without guidance from the church). Way back in 1950 the pope even said that as long as dogma isn't violated, catholics are free to study evolution. Catholics make up 1.1 billion of the 2.3 billion christians. I am not trying to suggest that all 1.1 Billion catholics believe in evolution, but it is likely a far cry from 99%.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Haha

      This thread is hilarious! Know one knows what Christians think!

      July 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      Christians can't agree on anything so saying 99% is very flawed. If they all agreed they would all be one church.

      Here are some things that MOST churches preach:
      1) The Bible is the Holy and infallible word of God. This means that they believe every word in the Bible is truth.
      2) There is one God, in three beings. The Father, The Son, and the Holy Ghost / Spirit
      3) There is a heaven and a hell. However in the time of Jesus, this was a heavily debated topic amongst Jewish leaders.
      4) The simplified belief that you go to heaven by hearing, understanding, and confessing that Jesus is Lord. Even though the Bible says that women are saved by bearing children, and Paul was saved by an encounter on a road to Damascus. These don't apply. On that note, don't scroll up and read point number one. It's contradictory to the doctrine that I just stated.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  11. Joshua the Agnostic

    Why do you Christians feel the need to defend your God? If he's all powerful. Let him speak for himself. And no that voice in your head that sounds like you doesn't count as God. That's the part of your brain that's crazy. Don't believe me? Try walking on water after you hear it. Start in the middle of a lake.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • hurfdurf

      Why do you Agnostics feel the need to prove that there's no God, if he doesn't exist?

      July 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      Because we promote knowledge and freedom, rather than fairy tales and death.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Ian

      You promote freedom by attacking those who are exorcising it? Strange bird you are. I love to watch militant theists and athiests duke it out. Its really ironic to me since they are more like each other than a moderate atheist like myself or even a moderate religious person. Same type of tactics, arrogance, ignorance and intolerance, slightly different beliefs.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Greg

      Ian, I'm with you on this one. I don't understand why an honest atheist would care one bit what anyone else believes. The fact that they feel the need to attack religious views so vehimently suggests they aren't all that confident in their own beliefs.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  12. matila61

    Do these fools truly believe that gays are just straight people behaving badly?

    July 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • jdog

      ask her 'husband' he might know.....or THINKS he knows, which is to say he's really denying himself....

      July 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  13. Sybaris

    If straight people have a problem with ho-mo-s-ex-uals then they should stop having ga-y babies!

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

      Sounds like you are making simple remarks to a very complex issue – doesn't serve your intellect well. We see your veiled brainpower.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Sounds like you are trying too hard to convince people that you are a moron

      July 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • TC

      Ahhh, what's wrong Sybaris – your weak intellect got you down so you gonna use namecalling now. That's OK, I pity the the fool.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  14. EffortPA

    I am not sure about you, but I get really nervous when any adult who has an ongoing relationship with an imaginary friend has access to our nuclear codes. What if that imaginary friend convinces him or her that is time to press the button? Very scary indeed.

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

      Be more afraid when you meet GOD on judgement day. Won't be able to claim ignorance then. "A fool says in his heart, there is no GOD." Happy April Fools day. It's your day – everyday. Not just April 1st.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      RUsuprised, there is no evidence of the divine, so please stop beating your idiot drum. Your imaginary friend is not supporting you.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • SouthernPrincess

      Wow well that means you have problems with every creator of this country who were all extremely devoted to Gd. You can thank JudeoChristian values for this country and all the rights you are afforded.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      Judgment day eeh. Wasn't that last May? Or is it September now?

      YOU ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE, QUIT WASTING IT ON MAKE BELIEVE.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      Princess, our founding father's were hardly devout Christians. They were more interested in maintaining wealth acquired through the rum trade.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  15. TC

    It seems like many of us get tripped up on what does tolerance really mean. My belief is that we accept other views as possibly credible and respect them as human beings with all full rights and priviledges as others but we do not necessarily agree with those beliefs. I would treat any gay or lesbian person with utmost respect and give them full consdieration and rights to all things afforded to all people but I cannot agree to the lifestyle.

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

      this is how I see it as well

      July 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Your veiled prejudice is duly noted

      July 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • TC

      Sybaris – how is not agreeing with anothers actions or behavior prejudice?

      July 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Chuck

      Prejudice: an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.

      You disapprove of an entire group of people that you don't know personally and have no logical reason to have any grudge against.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • TC

      @chuck – you made the point for me. Prejudice is forming an opinion beforehand. I have fully explored gay behavior and find it to be wrong, I make no prejudgemetns on the subject. Just becasue one can disaprove of behavior does not mean you hold a grudge. This is how intoloerance starts with people like you inflamming what is not there.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • sam

      Ah. Tolerance. As long as they don't disagree with you on the internet, I guess; then apparently it's okay for you to be a patronizing dic k.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  16. Reality

    To the Bachmanns:

    "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • TC

      You have no clue what you are talking about – no study has afirmed that gay is a natural genetic condition,

      July 18, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • sam

      TC is here to save us all from Being Wrong on the Internet.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      TC – No study has confirmed God either.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:33 am |
  17. Colin

    I can only hope that, in a classroom soemwhere in rural Texas, at some point in our future I will not live to see, children will wonder in amazement at how, in the 21st Century, "they" still based important social policies on a collection of Iron Age myths from the Middle East, which were cobbled together during the Dark Ages

    July 18, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • David

      In Texas?

      Pfft! Get real.

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

      Thou Fool!

      July 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • TominRochNY

      Amen!

      July 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Cari

      Excuse me but whats wrong with Texas see you use my state as an example and you have no clue what you are talking about as i live in a part of Texas where we are a lot more accepting than most

      July 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Greg

      They're actually bronze age stories cobbled together during the iron age.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  18. JJ in CT

    Now, Mr. Bachmann. Repeat after me. I am not g-ay, I am not g-ay, I am not g-ay. Make sure to keep your eyes on my pocket watch. You are getting sleepy, your eyelids are heavy....

    Cured!

    July 18, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      BTW Mr. Bachmann, that will be $150.00 please for your reparative therapy. See our receptionist on the way out. We take Visa, and MC/MA. .

      July 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      we also take Medicare!

      July 19, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  19. LaPlut

    Imagine no religion!

    July 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      That would be a truly wonderful wold.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • ThatGuy

      That worked out so well for Russia and China. Ask the millions who were killed by their atheist leaders.

      Religious people desire control and non-religious people desire control. The common denominator here isn't "religion" but people. The lack of control over passions and the desire to control others is a very human tendency. In fact, religion is the only attempt mankind makes at keeping their unbridled passions in check. I fear the day when men eschew it entirely...

      But go ahead and keep on dreaming.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • rs

      @ThatGuy: Russia before the revolution was a very very religious country. However, in the beginning of the 20th century the bolsheviks government destroyed churches, killed priests etc. and those so religious people DID NOT EVEN THINK TO DEFEND the church. Now ask yourself WHY???

      July 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • ThatGuy

      @rs

      I'm sure fear had nothing to do with. The Russian people completely trusted the compassion of their oppressive leaders. Conversely, are you suggesting that people fought to defend communism when it finally fell in 1989? What, exactly, is the point you're trying to make?

      July 18, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • rs

      @ThatGuy:The point was that they were fed up with the church and were glad it was gone

      July 18, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Greg

      @rs
      funny, because the church seems to be back in Russia. And it's growing in China faster than any other country. What was it about atheism people were supposed to find so compelling?

      July 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      @ThatGuy You are imagining a world without leaders with the desire for power and control. There will always be religious people, they just don't always have to be in power.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  20. zentierra

    You know what I find interesting? That Jesus himself did not say anything about "the gays"... BUT, he had plenty to say about hypocrites!

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

      Help me out on this one, which bible are you reading and quoting? Why don't some of these athist experts get into a real bible study. But of course, you are too smart for that. You believe you come from monkeys and swamp slim. Read any of their books lately. I hear they are real page turners.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • waylaid88

      He also railed against the rich. Go figure.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Christ also healed people for free, something republicans would never do.

      RUsuprised is a moron.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'You believe you come from monkeys and swamp slim. Read any of their books lately. I hear they are real page turners.'
      Well if you are interested there is a c rap load of books written by the species that evolved from a common ancestor of the apes.
      Apparently some of them even wrote a book and then claimed god did it. I think it was because the penmanship was too neat to be earthly hand or some silly reason like that.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • RUsurpriesed

      Guess again. HIS death on the cross wasn't free. But you gays and libs and DEMS are still trying to crucify him over and over. HIS foregiveness is free. Wait til the muslims take over the USA, they have more serious ways to solve the gay problem. Counciling and conversion are the least you need to worry about.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Colin

      Hey RUsurprised. I am sorry, but I don"t believe that your sky-fairy humped a virgin to give birth to himself so he could sacrifice himself to himself to forgive an original sin that everybody except you knuckle-dragging creationists now knows never happened.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Hey RUsuprised, you do kow that your hate will actually stop you getting into heaven right?
      Just want to make sure you are aware of that and that you didnt have some silly idea that it would be overlooked or ignored come judgement day.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Hey, RUsuprised, your imaginary friend likes you, but the rest of us think you are a D-bag.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Gingeet

      @ RUsurpriesed
      Yeah, I would love for everyone to go to a "Real bible study". It might be nice to actually pull it apart and analyze it with a group that has a higher reading comprehension than a third grader to facilitate the discussion.

      If people actually did take a "Real bible study" they would quickly find just how terribly poor it was written and the never ending list of contradictions and errors it holds. Just read the first two chapters need I say more... Ahem... I know this goes way over too many peoples heads....

      But once they did actually "Read" it they would understand fully that the book is far from divine.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:36 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.