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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. Marcus Bachmann

    I married Michele because she has a big penis.

    July 19, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Dave

      There was no "mix-up". You knew good and well what you were saying. The fact that you're now fleeing just proves it. You're everything I've come to expect from a "christian".

      July 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Dave

      Crap, sorry, that was meant to be a reply to the thread below. Sorry.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  2. Question

    Does Jesus love Gays?

    July 19, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Answer

      Yes he does

      July 19, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • Question

      What should a Christian do?

      July 19, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • Answer

      Show love and compassion to all of Gods creation, including being there for a Gay person when they need help although, they cannot accept the lifestyle.

      July 19, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • Question

      What must the church do?

      July 19, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • Answer

      The church must reach out in love and compassion.
      It CANNOT compromise on the written word of God which is the Bible

      July 19, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • Question

      What can a Gay/Christian do?

      July 19, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • Answer

      Seek a genuine relationship with God and have a quiet one on one time with God regularly to seek to learn from him, his plan and purpose for his/her life.

      July 19, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • Dave

      Can't compromise? So it's still okay to murder my kids of they're being disobedient?

      July 19, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • HenryO

      No Dave -you can't murder your kids if they misbehave. That, like much of the old Scripture, was directed at specific people for specific time, including some who had wronged God and worshiped false idols. Please read and try to understand the Bible before bringing up arbitrary verses that you think are for all people for all times.

      July 19, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • Dave

      No, but they JUST said there can be NO compromise on the "bible" which is the word of "god". The "bible says it, so you MUST kill your children if they disobey you. Or is this one of those instances where "god" was wrong?

      July 19, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • The Jesus

      If jesus were real he most assuradly was gay. That long flowing hair blowing in the breeze. There is also that dress we always see him in.

      July 19, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Dave

      There's actually some validity to the gay "jesus" theory. Assuming the guy ever existed, (we can discuss the complete lack of evidence later), he lived in a society where boys were married by their mid-teens. Gays were cast out from the society. So we have a group of 13 male outcasts, wandering around...gee, no women. No wives. I wonder why?

      July 19, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Jpdag

      For others out there, a cursory reading of the Gospel of Mathew, particularly chapters 5-7, will dispel both of Dave's contentions.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Dave

      Sorry, but a book that talks about zombies and advocates murder, genocide and slavery can disprove nothing.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Ron

      @ Dave,
      Personally, I rather doubt the gay thought because in my studies of the ancient Hebrew people, Jesus was referred to many times as Rabbi. In the tradition of the time, one of the requirements to be a Rabbi was you had to be married.
      This brings up a whole different can of worms.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Jpdag

      Except, of course, when your contention is about what the book says.

      Don't be tricked by Dave's catch phrases people, his contention that the Bible tells you to kill your children is based on a (purposely?) simplistic reading. And by simplistic, I mean ignoring context and the rest of the Bible, which explains things more completely.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Dave

      Well, Ron...having read the "bible" many times, I can find no mention anywhere of his wife. But it drones on incessantly about his gaggle of boyfriends.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Oh Hello

      I agree with Dave. Its like the Quran, which apparently says that non-believers must all be killed.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Dave

      Jpdag, your fairy tale is unequivocal on the subject. It is a very simple statement. If your child misbehaves, you are to stone him to death. Try and twist the words all you like, or use the cheap dodge of context...I'm well-accustomed to your kind using dishonesty to defend the barbarous nature of your evil religion.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @JPDAG
      Dave is right – the book is pretty clear in several places.
      He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. - Exodus 21:15
      He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. - Exodus 21:17
      If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. - Deuteronomy 21:18-21

      And we should be happy and joyful about infanticide!
      Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. - Psalm 137:9

      July 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Nympha

      Dave, it is very illogical for you to argue against the legitimacy of God/Christ, His teachings, His followers, His words, His history and say that all is wrong or never existed and yet contend that He must have been gay. The Bible is sharply clear on who He was. You've said you don't believe that, so, can you prove He was gay? If you are a follower of logic, yours is way off.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Dave

      Nympha, I didn't even mention your "god". I spoke of the delusional homeless guy (who has never been proven to have existed) that you seem to be fine idolizing, despite your "commandments".

      I never stated "jebus" was gay, I said the theory he was gay has merit. Maybe you should actually learn to read?

      Your "bible" claims the guy was also a zombie. How can any adult believe such trash?

      July 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Nympha

      Yes, I understand who you are now.
      "Will evildoers never learn-
      Those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on the Lord?
      There they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous."
      Have a nice day!

      July 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Dave

      Ah, yes...the standard "taliban" response...anybody who isn't us is EVIL. Such good theological company you keep, Nympha.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Nympha

      Thank you, Dave:) Actually, we are all "evil", me included. I'm no better than you. Blessedly, I have sought forgiveness, been forgiven, and strive so very hard to not follow the natural tendency towards sin. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed. But, you do not believe in sin so this is a moot point. I'm afraid all my points will be moot so I will "cast my pearls" elsewhere.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Dave

      See, there's the difference 'twixt you and me, Nympha. I'm not evil. I've done nothing to be forgiven for.

      Oh, so now you're calling me a pig? How very "christian" of you. See, this is what happens when you back a zealot into a corner with the facts. They lash out with insults.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Nympha

      Actually, I was not calling you a pig. You are correct that the phrase I stated comes from the verse you are referencing from so I can understand your confusion, but I don't think of you as a pig or with an ambivalence. I was simply saying that I won't waste my time any further. You are firm in your disbelief so it would serve no purpose on my part.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Dave

      Oh, I'm not confused in the slightest. Your chosen phrase calls unbelievers pigs. It denigrates atheists and non-"christians"as subhuman. And you wonder why people say "christians" come off as smug and superior?

      July 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Nympha

      I apologize for the mix-up. Hope all is forgiven. Have a nice day, bye.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Dave

      Nympha, there was no "mix-up". You knew good and well what you were saying. The fact that you're now fleeing just proves it. You're everything I've come to expect from a "christian".

      July 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Free

      Answer
      "The church must reach out in love and compassion.
      It CANNOT compromise on the written word of God which is the Bible"

      Is it absolutely possible to know exactly what the Bible says about gays? Remember that we are talking about an entirely different culture that existed thousands of years ago, with limited knowledge of what gayness actually is, deeply male-oriented, recorded in different languages of which the translation is a matter of hot scholarly debate. Paul could have used the proper word for gay men, but he didn't. So, who was he referring to and what behaviors was he condemning is not at all clear if one takes an honest approach to trying to interpret his writings. If this were a court of law, enough doubt could be generated to throw out the idea that Paul condemned gay relationships as we know them today, and since the Old Testament Law is not binding on Christians, it is easy to say that we don't know for sure whether the Bible considers ho.mose.xuality to be sinful, or not.

      July 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  3. Rainer Braendlein

    We are inclined to point a finger at gays, but according to Romans Chapter 1, there are another sins causing God's wrath, and probably we are all guilty. We all have the same basic malady, which should be cured.

    According to Epistle to the Romans Chapter 1, the Creator can be realized through the creation. But we get born into this world (creation), and immediately everything is more important for us, than to think contemplatively about the maker of heaven and earth. Imagine, you would call on a physician, and at your arrival you would not even great him. Of course the physician would be offended. This is, what we do with God: We enter this world, see his great works, but ignore him completely. And exactly this is the "Fall of Man". It would be tiresome to discuss, why we behave like this, but it is a matter of fact. The purpose of man would be to adore God, but instead he creates idols. Assumed, your little finger could/would leave you, it would be a damage for you and for him. Your hand would be no more fully operative and the finger would die, because he would not be supported with blood. Because we don't exercise our purpose to adore God, we are cut off from the source of life and start to rot. Sins like gayness are the consequences of that process of rotting (of course there are a lot of other sins beside gayness). Actually God's creation should suffice to realize him. Regretably we have a defect and need more than this revelation. God in his mercy gave a second revelation: Jesus and his death on the cross. Jesus was the most lovable "man", who has ever lived on earth and has finally borne the sin of the whole mankind on the cross. By faith in the lovable Jesus the "Fall of Man" can be rolled back. By faith in Christ we become able and willing to adore God. Adoring the source of life the process of rotting will stop and we can live a life, which causes God's enjoyment. Other sins beside gayness, Romans Chapter 1: 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    Addition:

    When you read Genesis, you could see that yet before the "Fall of Man" something was wrong, because God said: "It is not good that Adam is alone ... ." Obviously Adam was not pleased with the genuine union between him and God. Adam failed to rejoice in God and in the course of time he became so weak that Satan could seduce him.

    Let us rejoice in God, and Satan will have no chance to secude us.

    July 19, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • Melanie

      You are seriously brainwashed. I hope someday you gain the courage to learn and think critically for yourself.

      July 19, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • Doh

      Why, Melanie? Because you say so? It's interesting that your absolute truth is what you push forward while condemning others for theirs. If you don't agree, fine. There are many things that I hear daily from people that I disagree with and I choose to just move on with my life. If they push their ideas on me then I can state my disagreement civilly. I have never had a Christian "force" their views on me like I read here so often. Where are these horrible Christians that everyone else seems to know? I am not a Christian myself, but of the many that I know they are all loving, tolerant, empathetic, and willing to discuss their views if I wish to...otherwise I never hear about their faith. One thing that they are not, though, is brainwashed. They certainly have come to their faith fully informed. I'm sure that there are Christians who have not educated themselves as much as the ones that I know, but then again there are atheists who are of the same vein.

      July 19, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • sbp

      "The purpose of man would be to adore God...if you do not he is offended". So God is basically a 4 year old girl playing with dolls? The supreme being is immature, egotistic and insecure? Um, yeah, that makes sense. And I'm sure he really appreciates your worship of him based on a fear of retribution – a wholly inauthentic faith.

      Are you 6 years old? Your entire belief system is childish.

      July 19, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • Scarpen

      @sbp
      It is childish and ignorant to assume your ability to "think critically" can lead you to conclude there is no creator. Or at least the possibility of a creator. Think as critically as you wish, but your conclusions will be a compilation of misinformation and misunderstanding that allows you to live a selfish life and facilitates your continued denial of accountability. You will see you are wrong. No one has to push God on you. He is the ultimate conclusion drawn from a life of true contemplation.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Dave

      Scarpen, it doesn't require critical thinking to understand there is a sum total of exactly zero evidence to support the "creator" theory. Moreover, it's incredibly ironic to believe in bronze-age fairy tales, while calling someone else "childish". Let me ask you...what of all the people around the world who engage in contemplation but don't come up with your silly little morality tale?

      The best questions are saved for last: You call others selfish, while claiming you have the only correct answer? Can you not see the irony? And who are you to decide that people who don't share your beliefs have no accountability?

      July 19, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Ron

      @Doh,
      yes, but many people who believe in absolute truth don't try to deny other the same rights by seeking to have laws changed to reflect their beliefs. Conservative, evangels seek to do this most of the time. There IS a big difference. And please don't tell me this isn't true. I read and watch the news too often for someone to say otherwise.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Free

      Scarpen
      Yes, there's still the possibility of a creator, but which one? There have been hundreds of creator deities. Virtually every myth system has one, so are we to assume that the folks who argue for there having had to have been a creator don't have a favorite candidate in mind? How do they rationally narrow the suspects to just one? I'd like to hear the thinking on that.

      So, I will concede the possibility of there being a creator if you concede that that creator may easily not have been the Judeo-Christian-Muslim God, alright?

      Of course, back in Paul's time of writing Romans, there wasn't nearly as much thought being put into the sciences. So, back then, if asked why one disagreed with the idea that some god created the world what alternative could you give? Today, however, it is a completely different story, and rationally not having any reason to believe in any gods is very easy indeed.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • sbp

      Scarpen, I never said there was no creator. I am saying if there is one, he wouldn't demand that he be worshipped, and he wouldn't care if people believed in him. That serves no purpose – unless he is egotistical, immature and insecure. (Unless you think he does so because it makes people more compliant with the laws of society – though that argument would go further towards establishing the notion that religion and morality evolved as a cultural trait that provided benefits to a gene pool).

      Any real god could not, conceptually, condemn a person for failing to believe in him. One cannot "will" oneself to believe in a particular deity any more than one can "will" oneself to believe Orange is one's favorite color. If your favorite color is blue, it is what it is, regardless of any threat of eternal damnation. Merely professing Orange is your favorite color to curry favor is a false and inauthentic belief. Which is why proponents of Pascal's Wager miss the point – a "real" god would be angry at someone whose belief is founded on fear and hedging his bets, and could not be angry at someone who has nothing against believing but just can't.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Free

      Now, is your idea of 'rejoicing in God' actually what a God wants, are they moral things apart from your idea of God wanting them to be, or could they just be what you personally desire doing and you are merely using God as an excuse?

      July 19, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Scarpen

      I agree that God may be something different than what is put forth by the church. I am in no way advocating that the church does no wrong. The church is mans creation and dictated by mans law. The ultimate truth (for me) is that there IS a creator and he is all about love. This has come from much reading of various religous texts, examination of science as we understand it, and much self reflection. I don't have any interest in proving others wrong. It just amuses me when people claim that there is no possibility of an afterlife based on what our (society as a whole) understanding of science is. As a physician, I know the science. I know the limits of our understanding. It is an audacious characteristic of humanity to assume that those who are educated will naturally assume there is no God and no afterlife. That us not true. So, naturally, when I hear people say "when will you think critically for yourself and drop this fairy tale belief", I find it amusing. As far as God demanding that he be worshipped....
      I believe the worship of God is to the benefit of the believer. It is simply a self proclaimed acknowledgement that we were created by something greater than ourselves. If you believe God is the source of love, then personal acknowledgement brings this love into your life. It doesn't make life easier or better, it just helps to move forward knowing that no matter how desparate things are, you ARE loved, and you will be going back to the source. I don't think, by the way, that gay people can change, it's like wishing to change your eye color....rediculous. I agree also that God probably dislikes any belief that is a position of convenience rather than the result of thought and introspection. We have found nothing in our universe as complicated as the human brain. I'm sure God intends it to be used. Your correct in saying you can't will yourself to believe. You can, however, ask yourself the question "was I created by something greater? Why?". For me these questions led to years of turbulent thought and introspection. Don't worry about what others think, don't assume that just because a priest molests a kid, his message (the message) does not contain some piece or trace of truth. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I feel confident in saying that the construction of our universe demonstrates intent. If there is intent for it's creation, then there is purpose for our lives. This purpose, I believe, is to be earthly manifestations of what God is: love- plain and simple. With this belief structure, worship thus becomes a natural byproduct of the awe and love you feel. How could you not worship a God that loves you unconditionally. Therefore, worship is for US, not God. He's probably happy just to see you smile. It seems that here in this blog you have 2 choices: believe in God and be lumped in with the pedophile priests, or be an atheist that is assumed will burn in a lake of fire forever. I suspect we are all a little off. All I can say is that I am a proud believer in God our creator who is the source of love. I believe love is point, in all it's forms.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history."
      – Robert Heinlein

      July 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Scarpen
      You omnipotent Creator is, by definition, also the source of hate and unfathomable destruction.
      He is a vengeful God, more than willing to toss the vast majority of His creatures into eternal torment for the simple crime of not being able to pick the 1 True Religion out of countless options based on faith alone.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Scarpen

      You said: "I don't claim to have all the answers, but I feel confident in saying that the construction of our universe demonstrates intent. If there is intent for it's creation, then there is purpose for our lives. This purpose, I believe, is to be earthly manifestations of what God is: love- plain and simple. With this belief structure, worship thus becomes a natural byproduct of the awe and love you feel. How could you not worship a God that loves you unconditionally. Therefore, worship is for US, not God. He's probably happy just to see you smile. It seems that here in this blog you have 2 choices: believe in God and be lumped in with the pedophile priests, or be an atheist that is assumed will burn in a lake of fire forever."

      Believers claim, that god doesn't send you to hell, you send yourself to hell. Make no mistake. God sends people to hell. Believers always want to give their god a pass on evil. Satan does it, humans are responsible, etc.

      If god is the creator of all things, then he is responsible for the bad as well as the good. He made the beautiful flowers and the worm that is eating a child's eye.

      If God exists and is all good, we must have evidence that all of the evil we see are for a higher purpose.
      All the pain and suffering should have the purpose of teaching. But even Christians admit there is no evidence. That is why they must resort to talking about the mysterious ways in which God works or God's Great Plan.

      There's no evidence at all, that 300 to 500 million people dying from Smallpox in the 20th century, is for a greater good.

      Walk through a children's cancer ward some time. Come back and tell me what lessons are being learned there.

      What lesson does the parent of a baby born without a brain take away from the experience?

      What lesson is taught to a mother, who is watching her baby starve?

      Even if evil and suffering is a teaching tool, an all good God would only allow as much evil or suffering as is absolutely necessary, in order to achieve a greater purpose. Any suffering above that necessary to learn, would have no purpose.
      But when we look at the world around us, we find many instances of apparently pointless suffering from which no greater purpose seems to result.

      Consider that Evolution is responsible for disease and nasty parasites. Disasters all have natural origins.
      When you drop god from the equation, you eliminate much of human strife.

      Cheers!

      July 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Scarpen

      You say, "God is love – plain and simple.

      Hmm...

      It is said: "By your fruit you will be known."

      Let's look at your god's "fruit".

      God directly or at His insistence, murdered men, women and children including babies. This isn't evil? Is this moral?

      God killed every living thing on the face of the earth other than Noah and his family, because man was wicked. Afterwards, He decides He won't kill everything again, because man's heart is evil from his youth. This isn't evil? Is this moral? An all knowing god didn't know this BEFORE He murdered everyone on the planet? OOOooopsie!

      God had a man believe he was going to sacrifice his son to Him. Do you know how traumatic that would be for a father and his son?
      If you had the power would you do this? Would you be so insecure? This isn't evil? Is this moral?

      There was a man who loved God. God made a bet with Satan that even if the man were tortured, his Possessions taken, and his children killed, he would still love God and never curse Him. God won the bet.
      Would you do that? Would you kill a man's children for a bet? This isn't evil? Is this moral?

      God sent a bear to kill a group of children, because they had teased one of His prophets.
      Did the children deserve to die, because they teased a bald man? This isn't evil? Is this moral? Is this a just god?

      God allowed a man to sacrifice his daughter to Him, for giving the man a victory in battle. Human sacrifice! This isn't evil? Is this moral?

      God created a place He can send people to be burned for all eternity. Could an all benevolent god construct such a place of misery?

      If a puppy wet on the floor, would you hold it over a burner? Even for a second? I couldn't do that. Not to a puppy. Certainly not to a human. I am more moral than the Christian god, and I am not omnibenevolent.

      I call Jesus, Himself as a witness!

      Jesus had this to say:

      Matthew 7:17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

      Luke 6:43 "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.

      1. A god who is not evil, can't do evil things!
      This is established, by Jesus' testimony.

      2. The Christian god is guilty of horrid crimes against humans
      Evidenced by the atrocities recorded in the bible and the Christian god's own admission:

      Isaiah 45:7, KJV says the Christian god is responsible for at least some evil: "..I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

      3. Therefore, god is evil. He bears bad fruit.

      Read the examples of god's behavior again. Tell me in what reality or under what circ_umstances, these actions would not be evil?

      Cheers!

      July 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Scarpen

      I really am not trying to convince anyone of anything, but with that in mind I respond to Doc.

      How do you know non believers burn in hell? I certainly don't know that for sure.

      God is the source of love. Humans are responsible for f@&king it up. Perfectly in line with what has throughout history been our "modus operondi". The miracle is that he still loves us anyway.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • CN

      @scarpen–for someone who claims not to have all the answers, you sure have a lot. with all the things going on, you seem to know your god's mind quite intimately. tell me, what does why does your god think it is selfish to want to find love and happiness in the only life we know we get?

      with every word you type, you make it more and more obvious you're just another primate who thinks he can tell others how to live their lives. wrong.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Dave

      @ Scarpen...so nobody ever loved anybody else before your "god" was created 2,000 years ago? Care to prove that? Humans have indeed fouled things up. By creating religion, yours included. man's natural state is atheism. Every human being has been born an atheist. Then zealots get ahold of us before we learn to think and scare us into believing ridiculous stories that a half-educated 12 year-old can see through. This should be considered child abuse.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Scarpen

      Wow, I guess I struck a nerve....
      It is not my intent to inflame anyone. If you notice in my previous posts, my beliefs were intentionally identified as my beliefs prior to making any statement. I reiterate again that I could care less what you believe (directed at no-one in particular). There is no need for someone else to correctly identify me as a primate. Thank you for your intelligent contribution to the discussion. Once again: believe what you want.

      God , I believe, exists independantly of religion. God was here before religion. He was here before all things. So asking me about love before 2000 years ago makes no sense.

      I can not prove God exists. I believe he does. I have come to that conclusion laboriously.

      If you look at life from the perspective of the afterlife being your "true" existence, then all you learned from the bad you encountered would be a great service to you. For example, what better way to learn tolerance than to be persecuted. In that sense, persecution serves a higher purpose. And the persecutor serves a purpose as well.
      (please note: I am not advocating persecution, just a logical demonstration)

      What if this is one of many lives you've lived, all with the intent of bettering yourself in your "true" existence.
      (please note: I am not saying we should all believe in reincarnation)

      these are some responses to comments above. Please note the abscence of malice.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Dave

      "My 'god'was here before religion"
      So explain why nobody ever heard of your deity before about 2,000 years ago. Did it just not care about anybody before then, or outside a tiny area of the middle east?

      "asking me about love before 2000 years ago makes no sense."
      It makes perfect sense when you claim your "god" invented love, and your "god" has only been around for about 2,000 years.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Scarpen

      I would like to know a couple of things. You say you've come to the conclusion, laboriously, that there is a god. Do you have a religion then or are you a deist. The two questions I have from that is, 1) What exactly was your "aha!" moment to think that there is a god, and 2) does that connect with a specific religion, if so which one? Did you have previous ties to it in your life or did you come to the conclusion on your own and then realize later that the god you found happens to be (insert religion here)?

      Lastly, are you a prophet? Seriously now, prophets are people who have a direct line to god and speak using his words, this is different from regualr people nowadays because they pray to god but never hear his words, so do you speak directly with god or only through signs and signals? How do you know that god speaks the same sign language as you do and that you aren't misinterpreting signs.

      Honestly these are all questions I have, without malice, because you do seem very sure of yourself and I'm wondering how you came upon that concrete as.surance.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Free

      Scarpen
      The Church is indeed manmade, but so is the Bible and likely God Himself, along with all of our ideas about Him.

      July 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Free

      Scarpen
      "God , I believe, exists independantly of religion. God was here before religion. He was here before all things. So asking me about love before 2000 years ago makes no sense."

      Do you just choose to believe this, or do you have compelling reasons to? You say that you came to the conclusion that God exists "laboriously." If so, what arguments to the contrary gave you the most difficulty, and how did you manage to overcome them?

      July 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Scarpen`

      @Laughing
      You would like to know a couple things.....why, so you can use your superior intellect to dissect my responses and ultimately demonstrate to the world that your ability to negate my answers proves that there is no God. Now who is the one forcing opinions down peoples throats. Your questions are quite personal. Go ahead and accuse me of being full of sh.it because I wont play your little game.
      I BELIEVE IN GOD. YOU DON'T HAVE TO.

      July 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  4. Reality

    "The allegation is sometimes made that Hitler was a Catholic – a Christian until the day he died. This claim is based upon the fact that Hitler was born and raised in a Catholic family.

    However, as an adult, Hitler sp-ecifically rejected the Catholic Church, as well as Christianity in general. He described himself as "a complete pagan".

    The book Hitler's Secret Conversations: 1941-1944, published by Farrar, Straus and Young, Inc. (1953), contains definitive proof of Hitler's real views. The book was published in Britain under the t-itle, Hitler's Table Talk: 1941-1944, which t-itle was used for the Oxford University Press paperback edition in the United States.

    Some excerpts:

    All of these are quotes from Adolf Hitler:

    Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:

    "National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. (p 6 & 7) "

    10th October, 1941, midday:

    "Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (p 43)"

    July 19, 2011 at 8:27 am |
    • sbp

      This book has been discredited and dismissed by many sources. The "quotes" have never been substantiated, and are the result of wishful thinking by Christians embarrassed by Hitler. Historians have actually made presentations specifically debunking the book – proving Hitler was not at the locations mentioned on the dates mentioned, among other things.

      July 19, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • Nympha

      nonbelievers ALWAYS discredit sources and writings when they don't conform to their ideologies.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Realilty

      sbp,

      References supporting your comments are?

      July 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  5. teepee

    america is the modern day sodom and gamorrah and will pay a terrible price for it...

    July 19, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • teepee

      not good to thumb your nose to God

      July 19, 2011 at 8:07 am |
    • Dave

      Pffffft...your "god" is an impotent wuss, and his supposed kid was gay.

      July 19, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • Kyle

      Sodom and Gomorrah where known more for their greed and inhospitality then they ever where for h-omos-exuality.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  6. Mike

    CNN is certainly no authority on what Christians believe or do.

    July 19, 2011 at 8:00 am |
    • Ron

      But certain sects of Christianity certainly do think they have the right to tell others what to believe.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  7. Eric

    To prove reparative therapy works, they should take one of their staff members and change them from straight to gay. They can always change them back again later.

    July 19, 2011 at 6:05 am |
    • Jakey

      You know, I laughed at first but that's actually an excellent point. If they can't stop pretending it works, they should put their money where their mouth is.

      July 19, 2011 at 6:18 am |
    • teepee

      Sht man, white girls do that all the time...last night it was Eric...tonight it will be Bette, tomorrow night will be rover...

      July 19, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  8. John R

    I was raised and consider myself Christian. I've have many friends...gay, atheist, even a wicca or two. I'm not just referring to night-school or work associates...friends I'd go out with. I find the headline offensive...I haven't changed my stance on anything because I never believed in the subject matter of the story. I also know a lot of Christians, and I've never known one - not one - who thought someone need go through therapy for the orientation. I can't help thinking this story is trying to exposee an issue that only a very small minority cling to.

    July 19, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • Chuck

      I think it's trying to expose the Bachman's as extreme Christians, and I think it does.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • Peace2All

      @John R

      Is this my friend, 'agnostically-tinged...neo-animist' -John...?

      Peace...

      July 19, 2011 at 2:11 am |
  9. Reality

    Why the Christian Right to no longer matters in presidential elections:

    Once again, all the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?
    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe it should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)

    (The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.)

    July 18, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Observer

      Correction:
      Everyone is "pro-abortion" if things get horrible enough.
      Everyone is "pro-life". It just matters if that life is the mother or fetus.
      The issue is being PRO-CHOICE or ANTI-CHOICE.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • ernie

      hey reality person.
      i think that you are mistaken when you label every person that voted for obama as "immoral". im sure that you are aware that abortion was only one of a myriad of issues that were addressed during the '08 presidential campaigns. my point is this: I am pro life and i voted for obama. why? because i took into consideration all the issues that were being spoken of by both candidates and quite frankly obama seemed like the better choice to me. you might then think that i sacrificed my belief in pro life but in fact i didnt because i know that the president isnt all powerfull and that he would not be able to pass pro abortion laws without approval in congress. The beauty of checks and balances.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Observer

      Nicely stated.

      Peace...

      July 19, 2011 at 2:42 am |
    • stahJames

      MY daugher has some kind of implant that is good for 5 years re birth control.

      As for the abortion issue, the two groups most anti abortion are the

      Catholic church of Adolph hitler, born and baptised such in very cath Austria. He deatils in his own book – Mein Kampf, how he came to hate the jew growing up under the influence of the catholic church there.
      the worst murderer in history has yet, dead or alive, not be EXcommunciated.

      Most likely because it was the church that crated the foundation for the nazis and the hOlocaust. See http://www.nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm

      the other group is the christian evangelicals (not all of them). Who justified slavery as per the bible. Tens of millions were shipped to the new world in a voyage of a month or two. left in their own fillth. about 25 % died. And you can immagine who they lived, and what sort of even the available primitive medical care that was available.

      So they died like flies, and the people of hte same religious culture babble about protecting life also.

      Its their smokescreen to deflect from their own mass murders

      July 19, 2011 at 4:21 am |
    • stahJames

      BTW the comment on my daughter – she went to the implanted birth control device cuz the bigots were trying to go back to the before 1920 – when birth control devices were still illegal.

      And why did they want this scene again – more minds to control and corrupt.

      I'm still trying to find the reference I saw a few years agao – the catholc and still UNexcommunciated Hitelr told his country to have more babies> So he could keep feeding soldiers to the wehrmacht.

      July 19, 2011 at 4:42 am |
    • Reality

      "The allegation is sometimes made that Hitler was a Catholic – a Christian until the day he died. This claim is based upon the fact that Hitler was born and raised in a Catholic family.

      However, as an adult, Hitler sp-ecifically rejected the Catholic Church, as well as Christianity in general. He described himself as "a complete pagan".

      The book Hitler's Secret Conversations: 1941-1944, published by Farrar, Straus and Young, Inc. (1953), contains definitive proof of Hitler's real views. The book was published in Britain under the t-itle, Hitler's Table Talk: 1941-1944, which t-itle was used for the Oxford University Press paperback edition in the United States.

      Some excerpts:

      All of these are quotes from Adolf Hitler:

      Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:

      "National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. (p 6 & 7) "

      10th October, 1941, midday:

      "Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (p 43)"
      --------------------------------------------------

      July 19, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:
      http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u

      o The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank <<<Death Toll <Cause <<Centuries<<<Religions/Groups involved*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Pagans)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

      July 19, 2011 at 8:30 am |
  10. 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 11:51 pm |
  11. missadr

    This article doesn't seem to have even one verifiable fact in it anywhere. Yet everyone is arguing about it. All we can gather from this article is that the author *thinks* that christian organizations are steering away from a certain type of therapy in their counseling departments.

    July 18, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • stahJames

      I know two fixed gays. One of them – it took 2 yrs of montly dinner meetings to break through his veil of civility. then he said that "gays support the westboro baptist church", Most people know who those nutcase psychopaths are about.

      then I pressed him further and he said "Matthew Shepards parents shoudl have fixed him". Then a minute later he utterly denied he said it. thats what conversion therapy is all about. Turning people into psychopaths and pathological liars.

      And I dont trust the slim hopes I've seen re the article. these kind of people never never never give up. Hate is their methood to keep the collection plalte full and the evangelicals are the same kult that gave us slavery, the KKK and segregation all justified as per the bible

      IMHO , be very carefull. the repubs and these people are very clever. they must have a more powerfull game in the works. Look ath how the tea party suddenly came into existence.

      And re the gay community supporting some apparently good repubs, pls remember that despite Obamas failings, the Repubs are close to taking over the senate – only 4 senate seats away, and 23 dems are up for re-election and only 10 repubs in 2012.

      And its the senate that confirms nominees for the supreme court and other lower courts.

      Give the repubs control of the senate, with btw two 80+ yeear old progressives, and its curtains for the prop 8 challenge that is certain to go to the supreme court.

      Remember also, pls, that America is the last of the westernized nations which has yett to embrace equality for gays, except for italy and greece.

      Once America does so, its all over in all of the westernized world, period. the vatican, run by an ex nazi knows this,and he's probably the one with his gang of molesters working to fool gays into voting for hteir own demise.

      Because if he loses, its all over for the vatican except for a new "anything but" holy murderous inquistion.

      Remember – Benedict was born and grew up in nazi germany, was a member of the hitler youth corp, and didnt' "run away" until the war was over.

      In 2009 he UNexcommunciated a Bishp Williamson, an extremist who is a holocaust denier with 600,000 mad folllowers.

      as for his church, http://www.catholicarrogance.org/index4.html explains the horrors of the catholic church and how it was the varioous protestant churches and some independent catholics who saved jews, eg the Polish pope.

      July 19, 2011 at 4:06 am |
  12. ruemorgue

    Zealots believe *only* what they *want* to believe. Reality, facts, logic, obvious contradictions will not deter or sway believers in the *truth*! What is the *truth*? What ever hateful, close-minded, self-rightious belief they want! Before the Left-wing gets holier-than-thou with this statement, let's not forget *the* most open-minded, narrow-minded, freedom-of-speech haters: the Left-wing.

    July 18, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • Russell

      Religion will never save anybody. Only by receiving Jesus Christ can a person be saved, changed in a good way, have fellowship with God and have the assurance of going to heaven instead of hell. Jesus is a spiritual being that wants us to have a happy and joyful life. For those who say that the bible is a fairy tail and anyone who doesn't believe in Jesus, they will when they see Jesus at judgment and have to answer for their sins.
      Jesus is the only way to come to God and enter the kingdom of God. When you who don't believe in Jesus find yourself in hell, don't blame anyone other than yourself. You have now been told of the consequences so it's up to you to make the decision.
      It is my prayer that God will receive all who will believe in his Son and make himself known in way that they will know in their heart and spirit that God is with them.
      God bless you all and may God have mercy on those that don't know him yet.

      July 18, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • ernie

      to Russell,

      Ghandi wasnt cristian is he in hell?

      July 19, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • Frogist

      @ernie: And Anne Frank.

      July 19, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  13. ruemorgue

    Pray the Gay Sway Away by Prey on The Gay, new song by Bachmann and Bachmann,

    July 18, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  14. Joe

    The entire Bible was written in 1993 by a mentally retarded Lebanese cop during a three week meth binge. True story.

    July 18, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • atomD21

      What did that statement accomplish? I mean really, that's right up there with "all atheists are demon possessed." Just pointless.

      July 18, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • Void

      But we are all demon possessed, don't you read tabloids? And to be fair, the Lebanese man had Asperger's.

      July 18, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • Free

      void
      Would those be Rupert Murdoch tabloids? 🙂

      July 19, 2011 at 12:54 am |
  15. frank

    titmouse!

    July 18, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
  16. Why??????????

    Why won't these people just DIE???

    July 18, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • atomD21

      To which people are you referring? There are a lot of people out there.

      July 18, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • morgan painter

      Eventually.............they will.

      But if asked, most of them would say........."You first."

      July 19, 2011 at 2:06 am |
  17. Lee

    Anyone who thinks this crap works is an idiot eveyer person who has gone through this crap has either come out and said it dosent work or they end up commuting suicde, becoming addicts, or they have tons of affairs. It should be banned it is dangourous and It speeds the lie that being gay is a bad things and it's not being gay is OK.

    July 18, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • atomD21

      The only people that think "reparative therapy" works are people that are told it does by religious leaders and believe it is wrong to question them. Anyone with half a brain realizes all it does is force perfectly normal people to repress a large portion of who they are. It's the same as telling someone from China it's bad to be Chinese and if they go to therapy, they can stop.

      July 18, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Dj

      Gay is wrong..and so is your morality.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:20 am |
    • stahJames

      EXodus – the umbrella group for the fix the gays movement – was started by David Bussey. a few years ago, he came out,a dmitted he was still gay, and married his BF, someone he met at Exodus, up in MA.

      that zealot jerry Fallwell – gone to the maggots he deserves – his assistant – similar story, finally came out as gay.

      July 19, 2011 at 4:57 am |
  18. TheRealDealisThus

    Open to definition, what is the line of naturally occurring in nature? What is the test we should apply?

    July 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • atomD21

      Oh for the love... Let me try replying again, first time got blocked. I would say that something that's naturally occurring is something that happens without influence from outside sources. And yes, I would place $exual orientation on that list.

      July 18, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • squiggy

      So every identical twin where one of them is gay, they both must be gay - since it's in their genes. This is not true.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • Peace2All

      @squiggy

      You Said: "So every identical twin where one of them is gay, they both must be gay – since it's in their genes. This is not true."

      So, you think that 'every' pair of identical twins, (if )something actually 'is' genetic, (then) that means that 'both' of the twins will 'always' exhibit certain genetic expressions...?

      Hmmm... you 'may' want to re-think your argument a bit.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 19, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • Peace2All

      @squiggy

      *oops...should have read– "...then that means that 'both' of the twins, (in order for something to be considered genetic, they 'both'..."should" 'always' )...etc...

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 19, 2011 at 2:40 am |
  19. mcore

    Surprise, surprise: Christians are wrong again. And once again they finally realize that if they are going to survive as a viable religion, they're going to have to change to accommodate an evolving secular society. It's been this way since the very beginning and will continue for as long as Christianity continues to be conservative, bigoted and unenlightened. Too bad they have to be repeatedly smacked in the face with the truth before they discontinue their hurtful, destructive influence on society.

    July 18, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Sue

      Yeah, and unfortunately it seems like there's a lot more smacking needed yet. Christians seem to be a pretty thick, stupid bunch.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • TheRealDealisThus

      Yeah if they could only follow the liberal way they would be so much smarter.

      July 18, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • fred

      For those who doubt the power of Gods word just look at how many lives lost over time in the struggle over truth. It was the Christians that broke the Greek $exual mistreatment of young boys. Yes they ushered in high moral standards but are you saying what the Greeks did openly to boys was right? Should the Christians been more tolerant and "liberal". Should you not be a bit more tolerant of what Priests did to boys in the Church in our generation?

      July 18, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • atomD21

      I tried to comment once , but apparently I used a word I wasn't supposed to... Anyway, not all Christians are as backward as you think. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but as a Christian, I believe the way the church treats the g@y community is disgusting and exactly the opposite of how Jesus would treat them. I also believe that all adult couples should be allowed to commit themselves to each other in marriage, regardless of orientation.

      July 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • News Flash

      NOW ya tell me. All these years I have been dutifully doing my burnt offerings out on the patio. Jeeze, I wish I had known.

      July 18, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • JT

      Christianity is always evolving and adapting to the higher morals of secular society. One would think Christians would get a clue. They have to continually reinterpret their bronze age beliefs to fit in with the current day or be deemed mentally retarded or criminally insane.

      July 18, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • fred

      jt,
      What planet are you talking about where secular moral values are higher than Gods. I understand you hate God for some reason. We are now so progressive and advanced, applauding Bill Clinton for womanizing then accepting his new morality. Kids in jr high thinking what was once tab oo is now not even $ex because the entire senate of the United States applauded his perversions. Yeah, I really wonder what higher morals you are referring to

      July 18, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      Logic flaw: people who don't believe in God can't hate him.

      Bill Clinton? Why not update your info and mention that 3 of the top 5 Republican candidates for president in the last election committed biblical adultery?
      .

      July 18, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      I used Clinton because his actions in redefining publicaly what $ex is set in motion a change in youth behavior. The republicans action did not shift what was or was not acceptable in society from that point forward. Your right on the hate God issue.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Observer

      fred,

      Get serious. NO ONE thought of Clinton as a good role model for his infidelity. Ignoring that so many Republicans do it and claim it's without impact is absolutely ridiculous. Two of Clinton's most vocal trashers were Newt Gingrich (need I say more) and Henry Hyde, another Republican, who had seduced a married woman and taken her out in public in the past.

      Take your blindfold off.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • Observer

      For those who prefer to foster hatred about an abomination like eating shellfish or carving images, I leave this MORE IMPORTANT quote:

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

      July 19, 2011 at 1:43 am |
    • ernie

      i think you are mistaken in judging all cristians negatively just because of these people. I am a christian and i am not a conservative, in fact im quite the opposite. I support gay rights because i know that gays didnt choose to be gay but rather they were born gay. i also believe that God doesnt create anything imperfect. if gays exist its because God wanted this to be so.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • stahJames

      Lets talk about al those god fearing repubs. the loudmouth LImbaugh on his 4th wife. He goes on vacation to Haiti, where the only thing those people have to sell is their chidlrens bodies.

      Gingrinch – cheated on his 1st wife dying of cancer. Saw her only 1 time – to deliver his list of demands re the divorce. She died btw.

      then remarried and cheated again.

      Now remarried and who knows what hanky panky but you know the expression – once a bum,a lways a bum......

      Zampolit Karl Rove – married twice divorced twice. Dad is gay, prob also Karl, who created lots of the anti-gay baloney that helped win the election for the Bush of Iraq war lies in 2004.

      And of course toe tapping Sen Craig the gay boy in denial, same re Rep Foley – all repubs.

      And a whole lot more in the movie Outrage, prob still available on amazon.com ifyour into laughign at lies and hypocrisy.

      July 19, 2011 at 5:05 am |
    • stahJames

      In my post on Limbaugh, Gingrinch and rove and their infidelity, I missed explaining "Zampolit"

      its a russian word that describes a political officer who stands over the shoulder of the upper mil brass to insure "purity" re party doctrine. I think it fits all of those three – and the repub party, who will often kill off at the primary any liberal who is too progressive.

      Reminds me of Stalin – guess what he did to anyone who threatened his rule........

      July 19, 2011 at 5:16 am |
    • stahJames

      erni3 – we know there are many great christians who believe in jesus commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself.

      The problem you face is that it only takes a few loudmouth rotten apples to poison the barrel.

      You folds need to get with it publically in a big big way – to stand up for our gay friends and neighbors agaisnt these stuck in the mud bigots.

      the whole problem will be solved in a jiffy if good christians took to the streets and loudly proclaimed their trure love and acceptance of all our our gay friends and nieghbors.

      Eg In BRAzil a county with 60% of our population, 3.5 million people come out for gay pride in Sao Paulo every year

      In iceland, about 40% of the population show up at the gay pride in Rekyjavik every year, and their parliment in 2010 voted to change CUs ot marriage 49 TO 0 ZERO – with no abstentions. (thats why I'm going there on vacation in early august)

      I;m not saying your bad, jus ttht the gays need your vocal support. As they said about the moon rocket where an explosion many years ago placed the astronaughts in peril – failure is not an option (or is silence re this issue)

      BTW IN all of cieland- 300,000 people,. they had 2 murders that year. Baltimore city is about the same population – and with all our churches etc, we have about 20 murderes every month.

      Of course all those christians who claim to support life supported Bush's law that removed all liability for the merchants of death. Hypocrits.

      thank you.

      July 19, 2011 at 5:37 am |
  20. total non sense

    Outlaw religion. remove all relgious previlege... PROBLEM SOLVED.

    Religion serve no good purpose. all it does is ever does it bad for menkind.... the whorst one is Islam. but the catholics are not far behind.

    July 18, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • heliocracy

      meh...I'm an atheist, but I certainly don't agree we should legislate either what fairy tales people can believe, or that they can't believe their fairy tales at all. And to think that organized religion never does anything helpful for society or people is really not true, even if, in the balance of history, more harm has been done than good.

      July 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • david79

      I'm sure you would like to not be held accountable for your actions in life. That would just be so convenient.

      July 18, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • atomD21

      You do know that the right to believe there is no God falls under freedom of religion, right? And for every Westboro Baptist church, or Bachmann Clinic, there is a World Vision or Habitat for Humanity. Not all religion is bad, but the good parts need to speak out against the bad, and they're not doing that.

      July 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Rick

      david79: i got no problem being judged by my actions in life. i just don't think it is going to happen. speaking of convenient, you abdicate responsibility to determine your own morality to those who lived 2,000 years ago?

      July 18, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • David Johnson

      david79

      You said: "I'm sure you would like to not be held accountable for your actions in life. That would just be so convenient."

      Society enforces the laws. The good behavior. So, everyone is held accountable for their actions. The good part is, society exists.

      Do you have any evidence that your god exists? Any? Even a little, besides your faith?

      Cheers!

      July 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • ernie

      Those are harsh words you speak. I am a Catholic and i have quite a few friends that are muslim so i have to disagree with your statement. you are stereotyping the vast majority for the faults of the few

      July 19, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • Dj

      So you just want to live and go to Hell? If u believe it or not doesnt change your end... b/c u had no choice in coming to this world, only the things you do in it..neither do you have a choice in your judgement unless you follow Jesus and acknowledge him as God.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:26 am |
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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.