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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. Adam

    Love the sinner. Hate the sin. Jesus died for us all.

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

      Jesus never married and lived with all men. So I think he's happy men can finally get married.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • sbp

      Adam thinks he's special because he's writing on a webpage? Too funny

      July 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • DontVoteForHer

      Adam, for the lntellects and Athest on this blog, please explain what a sin is. Also, why is there a HELL and who was it really meant for? Does GOD send people to HELL for no apparent reason? Is there a way of escape? What must anyone do to avoid HELL? Do you have any GOOD NEWS? Please help them understand what you mean, love the sinner, not the sin.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Patrick

      Sorry brother. Love the sinner, hate the sin almost killed me three times. Since I've accepted who I am the way God Created me, I've never been happier – FOR YEARS NOW.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Ancient Marinator

      "Love the sinner. Hate the sin." OK, then can I hate you for your sinful arrogance? Pride is one of the deadly ones. You assume you have a place in Heaven, but you will be judged instead.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  2. crucified

    Sodom and Gomorrah! KJV no sodomite shall enter the kingdom of Heaven....

    July 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • stejo

      Who would want to enter anywhere that let people like you in?

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

      @stejo sounds like you made your choice.. hope you like marshmellows.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Kyle

      So much for Jesus's everlasting forgiveness.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • bluebellz

      I ain't lettin no sodomite broach my AZZ with his dinkus!!!

      July 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Patrick

      Yeah make sure you don't post the whole Sodom and Gomorrah story, like the part where Lot, the only righteous man to be found, the only one worth saving, was actually such a degenerate that he offers both his young virgin daughters to be r@ped by a r@pe gang of men. If that happened today, he'd be locked up, registered as a $ex offender, they'd be removed from his home for life...which probably would have been a good idea SEEING AS HOW HE GOT BOTH HIS YOUNG DAUGHTERS PREGNANT.

      THAT'S THE RIGHTEOUS MAN WORTH SAVING?

      YOU PEOPLE ARE SO FAACKING SICK. YOU USE THIS BOOK AS A MORAL GUIDE??? HOW FRIGHTENING. GEEZ. GET HELP. IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE SENSE OF TWO THIRDS OF THE CHRISTIANS HERE IN THE US AND REALIZE THAT THE BIBLE IS THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD AND CERTAINLY NOT HIS LITERAL WORD, GET HELP!!!

      July 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • crucified

      @kyle qoute the scripture you are refering to. and Jesus says in Matthew there is an unpardonable Sin. of course it is rebellion against the holy spirit which would change a person..I am going to be bold here and say I have never and will never see a person filled with the holy spirit actively committing sin.Gay and salvation do not go together..because even if you were you would have to give up the behavior having more love for Christ than sin. gay is a selfish sin of rebellion.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • hurtfultruth

      How DOES that "kingdom" thing work anyway?? Is there a castle, with "pearly gates" and someone who has to "rule" everyone else?? Based upon what we know NOW about the truth behind monarchies, I don't think I'd want to be "ruled" by any "king"....THAT seems to be the only way our simple minded ancestors could interpret what Heaven was like....to compare it to the only model of "leadership" they had......Kings......who were ANYTHING but good!!

      July 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Normon

      Are Gomorrahites okay then?

      July 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • stejo

      cruc – you know nothing of my relationship with Jesus Christ, and yet you judge me – and now I'm judging you. So goes it with humans.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Kyle

      Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,"
      Romans 8:1 New International Version

      July 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Kyle

      Matthew 7:1-5
      King James Version (KJV)

      Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • crucified

      @kyle if you are practicing gay then you are not in christ Jesus...read Jude 1:7, Romans 1:26-27, 1 timothy so on,,,so on

      July 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @crucified

      You said: "@stejo sounds like you made your choice.. hope you like marshmellows."

      If god is all loving, all good and all just as Christians profess, how do you reconcile this with the fact, that there is a place called hell?

      How could an all good, all merciful, all just god, spend His time constructing such a place? Did he whistle while He worked?

      If god is all loving, all good, all merciful and all just...how do you reconcile this with the fact that god would burn humans for all eternity? What crime could justify such a punishment?

      Man lives a finite number of years. Only a finite number of "sins" could be committed in this finite time. How is it just to punish a finite number of sins with eternal agony?

      Christians also claim their god is all knowing (omniscient). If this is true, then He would know who will be saved and who will be damned, even before they are born. Yet, god lets them be born knowing their ultimate fate is eternal punishment. Seems wrong somehow. Maybe it's just that I am sane...

      Christians often prattle on about having a choice of accepting Christ or spending eternity in hell. This is not a choice. This is Vito Corleone making an offer that cannot be refused. Pfui!

      If you were trying to start a religion, as the New Testament authors were, wouldn't this be a good PowerPoint bullet? I mean it really couldn't hurt the membership roster, right?

      Join = Eternal Bliss

      Decline = Eternal Agony

      If a puppy peed on the floor, would you hold it over a burner, even for a second? I couldn't. Not a puppy and certainly not a human. I am more moral than your vile god.

      Like many of your fellow Christians you seem overjoyed with the idea, that people who do not agree with you will be horribly punished. You draw it like a gun. It is the better part of any argument you make. If I am wrong and there is a god and there is a Jesus...you and I may be roomies.

      Cheers!

      July 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • crucified

      @ kyle... silly no one is judging.. it is what the bible says therefore it is Christ who has judged.. and scripture specifically says you are suppose to correct those that claim to be Christian and are sinning. as far as those that are not Christian the Law judges them.. besides I do not have this issue and therefore can qoute scripture telling people where they will go if they do not love jesus enough to change,,,Jesus will say "get away from me you evil thing, for I never knew you"

      July 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • crucified

      @david your trollling batter doesn't work here...any comment results in circular arguement on your part therefore pointless. you just go on believing that the bombadier bettle just evolved and continue eating your bananas.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @crucified

      You said: "your trollling batter doesn't work here...any comment results in circular arguement on your part therefore pointless. you just go on believing that the bombadier bettle just evolved and continue eating your bananas."

      Okay. Show me where my argument(s) are circular. Or are you afraid to debate?

      Cheers!

      July 18, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  3. Sy2502

    See
    http://www.pollingreport.com/civil.htm
    for recent polls on the public opinion on gays. The religious Right is completely out of touch with the population, especially young people. Their bigotry doesn't resonate any more with the average person, people have stopped caring what consenting adults do in their private life, and are quite OK with different people pursuing their own version of happiness, whatever that might be.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Al

      I've said many times that as go the gray hairs, so goes religion. It's too bad that you can't change ignorance... you just have to let it die off.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  4. Ancient Marinator

    People change all the time, and g ay is a wide umbrella with everything from mannish girls to girly men under it. There are sissies and bullies in leather, and there are bi s8xuals who swing both ways. Obviously there are people who want to get out from under the umbrella, but don't try saying everyone under the umbrella is one of them. And PLEASE don't say it to one of those leather boys unless you want to wrestle them.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Patrick

      Sorry, no one's $exuality changes. Everyone finds out in puberty that they are either gay, straight or bi$exual and that never changes through the course of their lifetime whether they are a straight guy making money on the street having gay $ex that doesn't even turn them on or a gay man living a lie as a hetero partner to a women. The technology to easily accurately and affordably deterimine a person's $exuality in a lab has been around since the 50s, and in all that time, Not Even One Person has ever shown their $exuality to change, not even from gay to bi or straight to bi.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Jakey

      So I take it you're not a doctor.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  5. Arch

    it's only news because bachmann wound up married to a gay man, not that there's anything wrong with that.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • saaly

      no, it's only news becuase cnn is obssesed with the woman and anything having to do with gays.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Jakey

      Uh, you do know she's running for President, right?

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

      saaly, you're right. jakey, you're funny.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Grammar and Spelling Cop

      sally, you forgot to remind us Anderson Cooper is gay.

      July 18, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  6. John

    Everyone is quite clear on what the Bible teaches. You can twist it anyway you want. I already see non-believers posting passages that can be easily explained, but it is impossible to explain in a blog. In the end we all have to give an account to God. If the Christian you hate so much is wrong then what's the worst that can happen? He or she will get severely punished for their actions. What happens if everyone else is wrong? You already know. It's the same for the disbelievers in this blog. What's the worst that can happen to a Christian when they die? If there is no God, then nothing right. Now what happens if the disbeliever is wrong? You can get as creative with words as you want but you already know the answer whether you accept it or not.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • badchecker

      You're not original. That's called Pascals Wager and it's bullox.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Patrick

      "impossible to explain in a blog"

      INTERPRETATION – "I can't explain it."

      July 18, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Bruce

      The worst thing that can happen is that God sends the Christian to hell for being wrong, because God is not a Christian and punishes all the Christians with hell when they are wrong about these things.

      You have been warned.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • sbp

      It's called Pascal's wager, and it's ridiculous on its face. A Hindu or Muslim can make the exact same argument, for the exact same reason. Why wouldn't you be better off "placing your bets" with them? And do you think a real god is going to reward people whose belief in him is based on fear and hedging your bets?

      Your belief is founded entirely and completely on words recorded in a book. You choose to believe that the book is non-fiction because the book says it is non-fiction – and because your parents told them it was non-fiction, and their parents told them.....

      July 18, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Patrick

      You need to stop imagining that the Creator of the Universe wants you to believe in Him and do what's right out of fear. He wants you to believe in Him and do what's right BECAUSE IT IS RIGHT.

      You think you'll be rewarded one day for your fear??? You won't. Because your fear is driving you to actually do and say things that are not of the One True God, immoral things, things that hurt people, and your selfish fear is more important than transcending the beliefs you were raised with and having compassion.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Ancient Marinator

      Did you think of that yourself? Pascal's Wager. Look it up. You'd like Pascal.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Jakey

      Oh boy, fear of an unpleasant afterlife is, like, the worst way to convince somebody to believe in God. Pick a new tactic bro, this one will get you nowhere. It just makes you sound like you go through the motions yourself. You know, just in case.

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

      Yes. The bible is very clear. It says that angels and humans fornicated to make a new race of giants... it says that a man grew his hair really long resulting in super-human strength and that he once threw the jaw bone of a donkey and killed hundreds of men by doing so (just like Herakles)... it says that you should not suffer a witch to live... it says you can take a slave as long as you don't take him/her from a neighbor country (I guess Canada is off limits)... it says you can eat any plant that bears seed (including hemlock)... it says that woman came from man's rib, that there is a lesser light, that light was invented many different times, that the earth rests on 4 pillars, etc, etc, etc. Sounds like a very reliable resources to me.

      You believers are immensely dense.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • ChicagoLoop

      It's not about when people. The emphasis of the entire human race, regardless of religious beliefs, or lack thereof, should be on the here and now. One of the reasons the human race can't get its act together, is not because I don't support your ideologies nor you mine, but that people fail to account for the reality that opinion, beliefs, ideas, and thoughts are as abundant as the race itself. If people would refrain from attempting to determine whether or not their behavior or actions in their life are going to lead them to some promised land after they die, and start focusing on the here and now, toward creating a better world for EVERYONE to live in collectively, then, issues such as gay lifestyles would be moot.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  7. CW

    What simple observation tells you a man on the street is NOT gay? What simple observation lets you look at infants and determine which of them are NOT gay?

    July 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  8. DontVoteForHer

    If don't like her, don't vote for her. No one is forcing you to convert to her way of thinking. Are you that simple minded. You want Mr.Obama for 4 more years. Vote for him. And stay off the blogs on topics you don't like or are againts. Practice your freedom of choice for religion or none, freedom of speech by practicing silient protest, and if you want people to accept your life style and choice to be gay – respect our choice to tell you that you are wrong. If you were drowning, I could care less if you were gay or straight or mixture of both. I would still throw you a life persevere. And if you knew I was a Christian, it would be your choice to say "no thank you". I don't believe in getting saved. That is the beauty of this great country we live in.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • stejo

      I would use some really colorful language regarding your "choice" comment, but CNN's filter doesn't allow for it.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • QS

      "and if you want people to accept your life style and choice to be gay – respect our choice to tell you that you are wrong."

      Ok, I'll bite...saying it's a choice to be gay, not original, but okay, let's use that as the basis for this particular discussion...

      Despite what many religious people would have us believe, one is not born religious. Therefore, you choose your religious affiliation one way or another. Thus, you have chosen a particular lifestyle...

      Now, take your own advice and respect our 'choice' to tell you you are wrong when it comes to your beliefs. See how this works? Yes, we can all keep things to ourselves, which I believe a majority of the time most people are happy to do...

      The difference is that the religious are the ones fighting to relegate gay people to second-class citizen status through law, not the other way around. So to try to claim you are the somehow a victim simply because we are voicing our opinion about your beliefs, just as you demand we respect you for doing the same, is quite laughable.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • jayne

      To QS
      a great analogy that the 'perfec x-tians' can not not use against themselves...
      but being perfect has it's own downfall as befitting that narcissistic angel of lore
      and the demons of now

      July 18, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  9. Jakey

    It's kind of alarming that the article doesn't point out how insane it is to let a patient dictate their treatment. (Not that I even think Bachmann's clinic does; it's just the first excuse he could think of, I'm sure). That is not how psychology/psychistry works, guys. That is really dangerous, especially if they're volunteering for a treatment the APA says has no benefit and may leave them suicidal.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Patrick

      Excellent point.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • badchecker

      Indeed. Excellent point.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Jakey

      Haha, for the record I do not think there is anything called "psychistry." Typo! That was supposed to read "psychiatry."

      July 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Kyle

      This is undoubtedly malpractice. He should me sued.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Grammar and Spelling Cop

      Kyle
      It's also possibly health care fraud, depending on how he's billing for these clinic hours

      July 18, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  10. Gaius Baltar

    the nexus of evil is the admixture of religion and politics

    July 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Patrick

      How do you know you're not a cylon?

      July 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  11. barbara

    She's cooked her own goose. Say bye bye to getting elected.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • crucified

      She's got my Vote!!

      July 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  12. jayne

    quote below is sentiment of many many many people

    "The bible has clearly stated the consequences of letting gays infiltrate your communities to promote their lifestyle choice. If you do not fight back, your hometown is going to be another Sodom and Gomorrah."

    July at 1:00 pm ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    please Christians read the bible you so freely and conveniently quote fearfully from
    Christians who've read and begin to understand the bible will realize that true christians will be ostracized and then number in the few...that's right...they will begin to number in the few...not the many as there are everywhere in all the world...!
    this probably is a frightening fact to face if you are not a believing Christian of the Word from your bibles...
    but believe this...it is a difficult job to be the CHRISTIAN that God wants you to be...BUT it's an easy job to be the x-tian you want to be...
    obviously, many many many do not want this to be so (to be numbered in the few), so they then absolutely jeopardize themselves by going along with those many many x-tians who are trying to deny that there will not be many Christians who are going to get to heaven and they assure this ironically, by hating...by hating another and each other...like i said, it's easy to be the x-tians you want to be and hating is one of the easiest things to do...
    well, this definitely is a fool proof way to prove the point and absolutely not get where x-tians want to ultimately go...
    you hate them, they hate you..see how this works..?
    it simply does not...
    do you not realize that it is love that can allow a better chance at the pearly gates than hate..?
    sooo many many many people hate and if you are in the many category, well you've just about destroyed your chances...
    do not be fooled by hate especially under the cloak of x-tianity...you will be disappointed and very
    and this is all according to your own x-tian beliefs...
    wake up...be amongst the few Christians who do actually practice love and tolerance
    accept the way other people are, as you expect the same from them to accept you.,..there is room for everyone in good heart..
    so do not be so busy as to peer into your gay neighbours bedrooms...no extra gates to heaven 'passes' will be granted you, you earn those on your own, not on someone else's back..the shame and your fate will be all on you and boy you will have earned it...
    .if you cannot do such, then do not judge others and especially against those who do love or tolerate...
    and still if you can not do such, well, then you move, just like Lot did...
    (we'd rather fight though wouldn't we..?)
    and this exactly is WHY there will be so few Christians going up and instead many going down...
    too bad, nobody, especially God, said that it would be easy to be a Christian, now did tHEy..?
    remember that (judging) specifically is God's job...
    not ours
    good blessings

    July 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  13. Hypochratic Light

    good to know i guess. any progress on that policy of fixing pedophile priests yet?

    July 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  14. Beverly Tatum

    THERE ARE NO REPUBLICAN CHRISTIANS – YOU CAN BE ONE OR THE OTHER BUT NOT BOTH – THEY CANCEL EACH OTHER OUT. REPUBLICANS HATE EVERYBODY, DO NOT FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS AND THINK THE TEN COMMANDMENTS DON'T APPLY TO THEM.
    THEY ARE LIKE THE MONEYCHANGERS IN TEMPLE JESUS RAILED AGAINST. GREED AND POWER ARE THEIR "VALUES". THEY HAVE NO HUMANITY, NO CHARACTER, NO INTEGRITY, AND ARE HYPOCRITES WHO ONLY USE RELIGION AS A WEAPON. THEY ARE DISGUSTING,

    July 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • crucified

      whatever! you are just trolling

      July 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  15. Craig from Pa.

    As far as I am concerned, keep this $hLt out of politics!!! It has nothing to do with running the country....If it is a priority for Bachmann,... if you have any common sense,... you will see that it's a no-brainer to not vote for her!...there are far bigger things at stake than worrying if someone is gay !!! Get freakin' real!!!

    July 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • DianaGail

      AMEN – (ahem)

      July 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  16. Psychologist

    So when will MS. Marcus Bachmann begin applying those very same principles to his/her flamboyant self?

    July 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  17. Corey

    If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you were not a racist, vote for someone else in 2012 to prove you are not an idiot!

    July 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Normon

      ... because apparently posting here didn't work for you.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Corey

      Norman you little twerp-posting always works for me.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Normon

      Man, if I were Norman, I might be offended.

      Sincerely,

      Normon

      July 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  18. hingedlwnb

    Jesus was gay. He loved his fellow man.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  19. Nyarlathotep

    Gay people exist; gods don't. Form your policies accordingly.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • ReallyModComeON

      And what SCIENCE says Gays exists?

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

      Simple observation.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • ReallyModComeON

      What simple observation tells you a man on the street is gay? What simple observations lets you look at infants and determine which of them are Gay?

      July 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Patrick

      @REallyMOd – You can take a simple lab test called a plethysmograph that will accurately determine your $exuality. It's existed since the 1950s.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Arch

      the irony, michelle bachmann marries a self-hating gay man, and now she's trapped. priceless. "Don't be gay, Marcus. Don't be gay!"

      July 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Normon

      Hom.os.exuality is se.xual activity with a person of the same se.x, if you didn't know. This can be observed, e.g. gay por.nography.
      If you are talking about the self-reported nature of "being gay," then I would have to question how you know that heterose.xual people exist.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  20. VoiceOf TruthUSA

    Trying to persuade someone to leave their sinful lifestyle to follow Jesus Christ goes against everything He preached about. It comes down to whether you want to follow Him or not.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • News Flash

      "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." – Galileo

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

      Gay people can follow Jesus too, you know...

      July 18, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • cecilia

      and by sinful lifestyle I guess you are talking about a gay lifestyle – we are so very lucky to have you and people like RallyModConeON to tell us what God means – I remember one of the things Jesus said was about pride

      July 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • ReallyModComeON

      I speak for myself and say I cannot judge you as a person. Who am I to say God will not forgive you? He may very well not forgive me. But at least I will not try to change his word for my own selfish ends.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • CW

      ReallyModComeON, his word also says if you eat shrimp you're going to burn. Do you follow that as well? Or do you just pick and choose what is or isn't His Word?

      July 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Bruce

      If what you say is true, VoiceOfTruthUSA, it would be better for a man not to marry at all!

      [/ironicsarcasmoveryourhead]

      July 18, 2011 at 5:12 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.