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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. ReallyModComeON

    It is common now for Gays to compare themselves with Blacks and their movement. Not Jews, Women, Asians, Muslims, or any other group outside of Blacks. And in that light, let us remember that man DID use the bible to justify slavery, denial of life, and destruction of Black families. But one difference Blacks also read the bible and knew they were right with God. They knew Blacks were mentioned positively throughout the bible. And no matter who used the bible to discredit Blacks they never turned the back on God. They kept the faith and kept love in their heart for Jesus in the mists of all the persecution. They were not sitting up here fighting for Slave Marriage but the right to be free from chains and not be killed on a whim and they stayed TRUE to God under that. If you want to copy the Black movement copy that. The Blacks did not run from God when others missued the bible because they saw themselves spoken within it. And they knew God loved them and wished them well. They turned to him when their enemies used slander. Why can Gays not do the same? Because they know they are absent when God talks of a people. God never saw Gay as a group or people onto themselves rather something you did or DID NOT do.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Nyarlathotep

      Let me guess: you're Fred Phelps.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Jakey

      Loving v. Virginia, look it up. The fight for legal interracial marriage was indeed incredibly similar to this. And yikes, it was a looooong time after black people were freed from slavery. You really think the Civil Rights Era ended in 1863?

      P.S. "Are they Christian" is not a sound basis upon which to judge whether someone is legitimately being oppressed or deserves not to be (it's a trick question anyway: we all deserve not to be). We are not a theocracy.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Ancient Marinator

      Show me where God appointed you His spokesman. Nobody care what the Bible says when it's wrong. The world's not flat either, and the sun doesn't actually 'rise.'

      July 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Derek

      Gays compare their struggle to that of blacks because theirs is the most memorable civil rights struggle of recent U.S. history, and took place during many of our lifetimes. Remember – it's been less than 50 years. Gays are not trying to chum up with God's favorite minority, as you seem t be suggesting – just pointing out that prejudice and hatred in the U.S. is STILL alive in the modern age.
      Also, the Bible was not God talking to the people. It is a series of stories and fables, many based heavily on those of ancient religions, all of which were recited orally for generations before being written down and that have been rewritten, retranslated, altered, edited, deleted, and misinterpreted for thousands of years. Hardly words from the mouth of a God.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  2. BBuzz

    The choice argument is simple projection. Those who "chose" think it can be the same process for others as it was for themselves. Their "choice" is to lie and live in denial. What they don't understand is the freedom, peace and greater connection with god that comes with living an honest and shameless life.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Observer

      If Christians ACTUALLY cared about sinners, they would pick on the FAR greater number of Christians who commit adultery.

      It's all pick and choose hypocrisy.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Normon

      Well put, Observer!

      July 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  3. coder

    its amazing how stupid people become when following any religion
    from the pope vs galileo
    to the current pray your DNA away
    blow yourself up to get to heaven -– Religion and Money are the two biggest human indignities invented by man

    July 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Normon

      Hey now, don't blaspheme money. It has a necessary and useful place in society, if used properly.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  4. DOUG

    I guess if its in the genes to be stupid, then it certainly follows its in the genes to be Christian and Tea Party Republican...

    July 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  5. Steve Arnold

    The first article CNN ran was a "sting" operation in which a man came to Bachmann's clinc, claimed to be gay, and ASKED FOR THE REPARATIVE TREATMENT. He wasn't offered it. He ASKED for it.

    CNN has now twisted that lame sting operation into an ongoing story of how Bachmann & Co. are out to "pray the gay away."

    I'm not in favor of that practice, but I also feel what CNN is doing is extremely sleazy, unfair, and just downright dirty journalism. Though not surprising when you consider how CNN and Nancy Grace handled the Anthony trial over the last year.

    CNN used to be a news network. Now it is turning to sleaze and sensationalism. Too bad, but I can change the channel.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  6. Marcus Bachmann

    Can someone get me Lindsey Graham's phone number?

    July 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • saaly

      how about barney franks instead.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Thomas Perl

      666-666-6666

      July 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Lindsey Graham in SC

      Oh Marcus, you are a big teddy bear!

      July 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Larry Craig

      Lindsey and Marcus...get a room guys, or at least an airport bathroom stall!

      July 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Lindsey Graham in SC

      Larry, airport bathrooms are filthy! The last time I used one, I got santorum all over my penny loafers.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  7. Thomas Perl

    It seems to me that perhaps folks like the Bachmann's need shock therapy to get their minds opened to scientific fact.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  8. Phil

    The headline read "christians stiff on gay change therapy". lol.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  9. Suedehead

    Gay the pray away!

    July 18, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Mike

      Ra'men, brother!

      July 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  10. radam82

    And this is why I worship Satan, my most foul Lord.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • johnnyb52

      Ignorant, but stupid and foolish.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • radam82

      There's no yin without the yang.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  11. baatman74

    It can be proven scientifically that being gay is learned behavior. Gays would have become extinct hundreds of years ago otherwise. Simple fact. Two criteria for a mutation to survive; 1. it must be able to survive on it's own, 2. it must be able to reproduce. Sorry to be the one to bring this news, but the only thing that qualifies gay is we are able to say it, disregarding all facts. Human nature, huh?

    July 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Ricnaustin

      What on earth are you saying?

      July 18, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • rATL

      Nonsense. Please tell us your source for this. I grew up in a tiny town not knowing a single person that was gay until I left home at age 20. I knew I was gay in 4th grade. I most certainly didn't learn it from anyone.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • saaly

      it's biological, has to be. nobody, and i mean nobody is going to choose to be gay

      July 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Buddy R

      Well, it is certain there are no se_xual fet_ish genes for the many thousands of different se_xual fetishes humans have. The gay fe_tish is no exception.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • sbp

      What you know about science could fit on the head of a pin. A very, very, very small pin. Where did you get your degree in genetics?

      July 18, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Observer

      baatman74,

      Basic Biology 101; gays and lesbians can reproduce.

      You won't find any science or biology in the Bible so you'll need to do some studying.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • jomama

      Learned? Did David in the second grade learn it from someone? DId my gay friends 'learn it'? Nope, it was just there.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • AGeek

      If it's a learned behavior, then it's a choice. So, when did you choose to be straight?

      July 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • stormsun

      You don't want to go down that path, friend. Someone may be tempted to ask you to "scientifically" prove the extraordinary claims your religion makes about, well, just about everything. Which much of the world seems will to accept without a shred of proof, scientific or otherwise.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • aahawks

      I love how straight people think that they know so much about gays. They know how we think and feel. That just amazes me.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • MD/PhD

      Natural selection works at the population level, not the at the level of the individual. As long as a behavior benefits the population, it is likely to be inherited by future generations. This can easily be seen in eusocial species such as bees and ants.

      Furthermore, simple Mendelian genetics cannot be used to explain complex behaviors such as s-exuality.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Marcus Bachmann

      Gay people reproduce

      July 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • sam

      If those crazy heteros exuals would stop reproducing, there'd be no more gay. There's your fact for the day, peanut.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Thomas Perl

      Hmm – which of the many logical errors is there in here – maybe just ex post the author is a mad scientist.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Doug

      Darn those conservative christians for breeding all of those gay folk!

      July 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • baatman74

      loflmao, a number of emotional responses, not one logical argument..., that is why gays get a by, everyone is afraid to face the issue logically. saaly said 'nobody would choose to be gay,' (it must be bad then?) Come on guys, don't come to an intellectual discussion unarmed... Oh, my degree is not genetics, it's psychology, I am a former family counselor. Rip that qualification as being unimportant while you show me your credentials...

      July 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • airbornevet

      So certian mutations that have survived that do not allow someone to reproduce ie infertility are they learned also? You make no sense

      July 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Bruce

      Just so you know, baatman, there are many ways for a gay man or a gay woman to procreate.

      You are "proving" nothing using "science." What you have done is set up what is known as an intuition-pump and are using the term, "science," as a rhetorical hammer.

      A man need not be s3xua11y attracted to a woman in order for the two of them to make a baby together.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Mike

      [citation needed]

      July 18, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • NotQuite

      Your view of evolution is not quite right, but it is a very common mistake. Evolution works on populations, not on individuals. A trait that does not get passed down directly can still be a trait that is 'selected for' in a population if it serves to the benefit of close relatives. If having a gay child made an individual's other offspring more viable, then an individual that carries but does not express the gay gene would be selected for. Such altruism in individuals to the benefit of the population is seen in nature quite frequently. In humans it helps explain things such as menopause, which carries no evolutionary advantage for the individual, but could benefit the population.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Observer

      baatman74,

      You obviously didn't major in biology or you would know different.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • RADDA

      DO U NOT UNDERSTAND THAT ALL GAYS ARE BORN TO STRAIGHT COUPLE. SO THEY CAN NEVER BE EXTINCT. AS LOND AS THERE ARE BABIES BORN THERE WILL BE GAY PEOPLE.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      And the moon is made of green cheese.

      July 18, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  12. Jack

    Yeah it's only a matter of time before he comes out of the closet like the rest of those hypocritical, self-righteous ba***rds.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Brandy

      That was my thought too. I'm just waiting for him to get caught in a rest room with another dude.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  13. Buddy R

    As always, CNN is leading the gay rights parade.

    Christians will always view gay se_x as sin because the Bible says so and Jesus himself said marriage is between a man and a woman. The apostle Paul gives the cure for hom_ose_xuality. The Holy Ghost. (1 Corinthians 6: 9-11)

    July 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Gracko

      Perhaps it's time for Christians to get their noses out of the bedrooms of others and stop worrying what gay people do behind closed doors.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Buddy R

      @Gracko

      I could care less how many people of what gender you sleep with. But true marriage will always be between a man and a woman. God make a spiritual union between them that a gay "couple" can never have.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Observer

      Buddy R,

      Guess you missed where Paul said "It is good for a man not to have s-xual relations with a woman"

      Pick and choose whatever you like.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • radam82

      Jesus was a cult leader. Nothing more. He's dead and, he's not some space zombie that grants eternal life.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Amunaka

      To..Buddy R""""

      How did the holy ghost get Mary pregnant ....

      July 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Buddy R

      @Observer: I guess you missed where Paul said that even though it is good for the kingdom of God for Christians to remain unmarried so they can focus on Christ's work it is better for them to marry than to not to so they don't burn with se_xual passion.

      Gay se_x is condemned as a sin before, during, and after the Law of Moses. There is no refuting that. The Christian position will always be that gay se_x is sin.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • tommas

      "God make a spiritual union" ... if there was a spirit/soul/ghost to begin with maybe.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • jomama

      There is no god, case closed.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Buddy R

      @Amunaka

      The Bible does not say, other than the power of God overshadowed her.

      Luk 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God

      July 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • mezza

      Beeegh! Buddy was obviously brainwashed as a child, it would be impossible to alter his views now. But, I think deep down inside, they all know that they're full of it.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • sbp

      Sure, Buddy, it's condemned - in a book.
      IT'S A BOOK.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Buddy R

      @jomama:

      You are certainly a person of a lot of faith in saying "there is no god" because you have no proof for your religious dogma.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Really?

      Please do not use Buddy R as a generalization for the rest of us. He currently only speaks for himself. Unfortunately, people like this cause stereotypes for the remaining people.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • sam

      Oh, you just hush now, Buddy. Your doc told me all about how much you look forward to your prostrate exam.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Amunaka

      To..Buddy R""""

      Oh that's how huh... I don't know but it still kinda creeps me out what Lot and his daughters did in that cave after mom got turned into a pillar of salt ..after that S&G thing ..

      July 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Normon

      @Buddy R,
      "...true marriage will always be between a man and a woman. God make a spiritual union between them that a gay "couple" can never have."

      So why are you concerned about civil marriages? Gays aren't trying to get married in your church are they? (if they are go to another church)

      Get your Church out of our government!

      July 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • News Flash

      Sam, It's ProsTATE.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • sam

      @ News Flash – not when he's planking, it isn't.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  14. carlos``

    a very wide stance.....hehehehe

    July 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  15. Lindsey Graham in SC

    Anybody know the man she's sitting with? Is he seeing anyone?

    July 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  16. tray117

    Those who protest the loudest. . .

    July 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Kyle

      Are the first ones to get gassed?

      July 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  17. stonedwhitetrash

    Michele's husband sure looks a little light in his loafers

    July 18, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • sami

      What does that mean? Light in his loafers?

      July 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • rATL

      It means he looks like a big h0m0.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  18. AGeek

    They're finally ..maybe ..starting to realize that the rest of us are no longer willing to put up with their bullsh-t.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • WhereRtheRealPeople

      Nope, still here. Not going away. Have you parades, be politically correct, scream and hit us, spit on us, take us to court, try to change the laws, compare us to nazis, tell us we are wrong, vote for who agrees with your ways- but we will still be here. One day- every knee will bow and confess- JESUS is the CHRIST! no longer a question on anyone's mind or heart. We are looking forward to that day. For today, we pray for you. LORD, OPEN THEIR EYES AND HEARTS. sorry if this offends anyone.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • sbp

      You can't offend me any more than a child calling me a poopyhead.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Observer

      WhereRtheRealPeople,

      – Matthew 7:12 “Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about.”

      You must have seen it. It's in all the Bibles.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • WhereRtheRealPeople

      Glad you can read the last line. Doesn't surprise me. You'll have to graduate from kindergarden to read the rest.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • AGeek

      Wow. Same class of people I left 20 years ago. You have my pity & sympathy. Your intolerance of anyone who thinks or believes differently is sad, but not surprising. Rife with self-righteous hypocrites, your ilk fail at the humility you profess to follow.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • tommas

      WhereR, its a good thing you were born and brainwashed into. If you were born somewhere else you would feel the exact same way about another religion.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • tommas

      WhereR, its a good thing you were born and brainwashed into a christianity. If you were born somewhere else you would feel the exact same way about another religion.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • sbp

      Sorry, "realpeople", did you just call me a poopyhead? I did graduate kindergarten, And the Ivy League. Did you even graduate from redneck middle school?

      July 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • WhereRtheRealPeople

      Give up. You lose. If you left Christ, that wasn't your smartest decisions I hope. If anyone wants to be gay- have a gay day and enjoy yourselves. No sweat off my backside. For the bible quotes. You can find yourself quoting Darwin in a minute. Survival of the greater gene pool. Maybe after we are done evolving from the monkeys, we will all be gay. Then, what is next? We will be flying, gay monkeys like in the wizard of OZ. Happy trails to you and your species. See you in a zoo one day.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Observer

      WhereRtheRealPeople,

      No one believes every word of the Bible. They just pick and choose what agrees with them.

      Christians could PICK the Golden Rule, but many prefer to pick quotes to foster hatred instead.
      That is hypocrisy.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @WhereRTheRealPeople
      Obviously you feel very strongly about your convictions. For thousands of years, millions of people have felt just as strongly, if not more so, than/as you do, and they have been proved to be wrong. Strong conviction is no guarantee of correctness. BTW, he IS a question in more people's minds than not. Google the stats.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      oops, should be "proven to be" 😈

      July 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  19. jschau

    Republicans were born with their heads up their toot hole. Marcus the effeminate voice to the Religious Wrong is the perfect spokeswoman for their cause.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  20. melvinslizard

    As a Christian hypocrite (I know "right from wrong", but I'm very human in my inability to always do the former...), I must say I find Michelle and Marcus to be as disturbing as Jimmy and Tammy Faye. I've stepped in puddles deeper than these two charlatans.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • sbp

      If you are going to be religious, that's fine, but at least have some doubt. If you can say "I believe in this because I have faith, but I realize I can't explain it logically" – well, that's OK. It's also likely you would not be so presumptuous as to foist your views on others.

      What is tough to take are the zealots who have absolute certainty that something is TRUE because their parents told them it was, and because it says so in a book. That's their whole basis for unwavering conviction that everyone else is wrong: it says in a book that the book itself is true.

      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.