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Amid Bachmann controversy, many Christians cool to conversion therapy for gays
Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus, who says his counseling business uses conversion therapy for clients who request it.
July 18th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Amid Bachmann controversy, many Christians cool to conversion therapy for gays

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - When presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, addressed accusations that his Christian counseling business encourages homosexual clients to try to change their sexual orientation, he appeared to play down the role of so-called conversion therapy at his clinics.

"Is it a remedy form that I typically would use?” Bachmann told Minnesota’s Star Tribune newspaper. “It is at the client's discretion.

"We don't have an agenda or a philosophy of trying to change someone," Bachmann said, noting that such therapy was not a focus of his two clinics.

Michele Bachmann officially quits her church

Bachmann’s seeming ambivalence about conversion therapy - sometimes called reparative therapy - after a week’s worth of news stories that raised questions about whether his clinics promote the practice may illustrate a broader trend in the conservative Christian subculture.

While many evangelicals once viewed conversion therapy as key way to deal with homosexuality, many of the religious movement's leaders and organizations have cooled to the practice in recent years, as more science suggests that homosexuality may be innate and as new therapeutic approaches have emerged.

“Evangelicals, in quiet ways, are shifting to this position to where there is just not a lot of support for the change paradigm,” said Warren Throckmorton, an influential voice in the world of Christian counseling, referring to so-called change therapy.

“In the late 1990s, the debate was clearly, ‘Could gays change from being gay?’ and the focus was on orientation, and it was a big part of politics,” said Throckmorton, an associate professor of psychology at Grove City College, an evangelical school in Pennsylvania.

One sign of that shift, Throckmorton says, is the influential evangelical group Focus on the Family’s 2009 decision to stop funding a program teaching that “transformation is possible for those unhappy with same-sex attractions." (Focus, which said the move was due partly to financial pressures, handed the program off to another Christian group.)

The head of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, meanwhile, a leading conservative Christian, has recently chided some evangelicals for characterizing homosexuality as a choice that’s relatively easy to change.

“We have spoken carelessly and unknowledgeably in the past to just say, ‘Just change. Just decide right now your pattern of attraction is not homosexual but heterosexual,’ ” Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler said. "We have to know better.”

“We understand that sexual attraction and a profile of someone’s sexuality is a complex of factors, some of which are certainly not chosen,” he continued. “It’s not just a matter of choice. It’s not something that’s turned on or turned off.”

Exodus International, the national Christian organization that promotes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ," has de-emphasized conversion therapy in recent years as more of the counselors in its network have abandoned the practice.

“In the 1980s and '90s, the counseling emphasis was heavier than it was today,” said Alan Chambers, the president of Exodus. “Transformation in Christ is possible, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will never be tempted or completely move beyond a certain struggle that we might have.

“But we can live through the filter of our faith and abide by that most, and leave behind all sorts of things that have power of us,” said Chambers, who once identified as gay but who says he no longer does.

Most conservative Christians point to biblical passages that condemn homosexuality and believe the Bible teaches that sex is to be reserved for married men and women.

The American Psychological Association adopted a resolution condemning conversion therapy in 2009, saying that “mental health professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments.”

But the same resolution also encouraged therapists to consider the religious beliefs of clients who say such beliefs are important to their views of homosexuality.

Some Christian counselors have moved away from reparative therapy and have adopted a therapeutic approach that Throckmorton describes as a “congruence paradigm.” The model encourages counselors to appreciate a client’s wishes to harmonize their values, often shaped by religion, and their sexuality.

Under the congruence approach, a religious person who considers homosexuality sinful could attempt to square their beliefs and sexuality by trying to remain celibate. A bisexual client who perceives a similar conflict could try to focus on heterosexual relationships.

But under the congruence model, it’s up to the client - not the therapist - to decide how to view his or her sexual orientation. “If they say 'I think being gay is OK and it’s what I want to pursue,' we’ll work with them to do that, too,” said Throckmorton.

Evangelical re-examination of conversion therapy is part of a larger conversation under way among conservative Christians on how to respond to homosexuality at a time when more gay people are coming out, when there's a new awareness of the bullying that many young gay people face and when the gay rights movement is making some big strides, including, in some states, legalized gay marriage.

“We’re silly to think that there are not gays coming to church, part of our congregations,” said Marcus Yoars, the editor of Charisma, a popular Christian magazine. “It’s the elephant in the room. Its ridiculous that we can’t address it in a manner of love first, which doesn’t mean watering down biblical teaching.”

For the first time in years, Charisma put the issue of homosexuality on the cover of its magazine for the July issue, in a package that includes a story of a woman who says she was “rescued from lesbianism.”

But Yoars said that conversion therapy should be seen as only a small part of the Christian response to homosexuality.

“We have to realize that reparative therapy is a fraction of what’s out there, especially in Christian counseling,” he said. “When it’s reduced to sound bites, it gives (the therapy) a bad rap and falls into the stereotype of all Christians feeling that this kind of therapy is what all Christian counselors should use.”

Another factor behind the new evangelical conversation around homosexuality and conversion therapy is a generational shift on attitudes toward the issues. Recent polls show that young evangelicals are much more supportive of rights for gay partners than their parents are, even as they mirror their parents' opposition to abortion.

"Retaining young people is crucial, and a more accepting generation will not tolerate business as usual when it comes to the debate over homosexuality," wrote Jonathan Merritt, a young evangelical leader, in a recent opinion piece. "Pastors need not compromise their convictions, but they can expect congregants to call for a more accepting, forgiving message – a more Christian message.

"If Christian leaders can’t make that transition – and quickly – instead of an awakening," Merritt wrote in the Christian Science Monitor, "evangelicals may be facing an exodus."

–CNN’s Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • Michele Bachmann • Politics • Uncategorized

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

    FACT: Marcus Bachmann is gay. And it's both Bachmann's hypocrisy which is to be condemmed, not the fact that he is gay.

    July 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Downafewpegs

      Assume he is gay. So your position is that gays should be allowed their freedom and privacy except when they have opinions you hate? You're as much of a hypocrite as he is – assuming he's gay.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Ancient Marinator

      Actually, if he is than he has a little more right to counsel them than it originally sounds.

      July 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • phil

      Cher's gaydar went off when she heard him speak about how gays are barbaric in bed.

      July 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  2. ART

    Well it seemed to have worked for Mr Bauchman,but I still think he has one foot in the closet

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

      He's so deep in the closet, he's finding Christmas presents.

      July 20, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • gary

      He sure looks gay! Not that there's anything wrong with it. Funny how conservatives want smaller gov't and less control, but they want to control what we do in the bedroom. Both Bachmanns are delusional whackos.

      July 20, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  3. Realilty

    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 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Lycidas

      When you are switching between your usernames...doublecheck spelling.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Eph 6:12

      It is so surprising to see how far the church has come away from Spiritual things. What wicked webs we weave.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Ancient Marinator

      The Kinsey surveys pretty much proved that statistically. There were slightly less people reporting g ay experiences in the Fifties and early Sixties, but they never found more than ten or fifteen percent of people reporting themselves as g ay even as society got to be more forgiving about it. You'd think it would be more like twenty-five if outside forces influenced it.

      July 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  4. dav

    Why does this article use the term "Christians?" One or two churches or groups affiliated with Michelle Bachmann do not represent Christianity. Now a really stupid imbecile wouldn't know that, but someone who gets paid to write headlines and copy for CNN should. You do it all the time. I don't know any of those people you refer to as Christians, I don't know anyone like that. To me, I can't ever tell if they're real or just another stuffed straw-man.

    July 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Dave

      Perhaps they use the term "christians" because the people they're talking about follow that belief system?

      July 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • dav

      AA works according to it's members. Changing a belief is changing your mind. To claim that this therapy (whatever it is I don't really know) wouldn't work is like saying there isd no rational basis for a 12-step program to work. We know they do for some people. I'm not defending the creation of treatments for conditions that aren't really sicknesses or problems, but thats a relative term. If you're gay and don't want to be, why not give it a shot? It ain't gonna hurt ya any is it? Why make such a big deal about it? They aren't dragging people off the streets and forcing them to "convert". lol 🙂

      July 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Dave

      Actually, being brainwashed CAN hurt you. Ever heard of Kirk Murphy?

      July 19, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • dav

      And thats the problem. "The people who think that way follow a belief system" What a nonsensical statement. Thats like throwing eastern orthodox, baptists, catholics, and the freakin Christian Militia together for purposes of discussion. Its stupid because you aren't talking about the thing that ties them together, which are love thy neighbor and turn the other cheek and accept jesus as a savior. There isn't anything in that about gays or therapy, and we all don't see these issues even remotely alike

      July 19, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Dave

      Too bad "christianity" isn't about lover. It's about hate.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Kyle

      "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 s-exual orientation through therapy or other treatments.'"

      This policy was adopted because men and women who are undergoing or have undergone this type of "therapy" have elevated risk of mental illness and suicide. Not to mention, there is no evidence it is effective in the least.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  5. john316

    I liked the part about "rescued from lesbianism".....those people were in denial to begin with and not gay....... and probably don't even know what planet they are on if they can be converted so easily back and forth.....the Bachmanns remind me of the Anita Bryant saga.....let's all remember how that turned out......the only Reparative Therapy that is needed is for the religious Right.......whatever their denomination is....

    July 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  6. Phil

    @sbp: You bring up a valid point. Actually, in the Chronicles of Narnia series "The Last Battle" there is a scene where a young boy, a devout follower of the god Tash, is before Aslan. He is allowed to "go further up and further in" because of his sincere faith; he did not worship Tash because he hated Aslan; he worshipped Tash out of love and a purity that Aslan knew that, ultimately, was intended for him but not fully understood.

    July 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  7. Kyle

    I find it incredibly hypocritical that one would condemn h-omos-exuality while maintain that other laws of the Bible such as the ones related to s-exism, child abuse and murder, and slavery where a product of a very specific time and/or people and are no longer relevant to modern day Christians. Furthermore, it is disturbing that one would approve of murder, slavery, or s-exism at any time, in any context, regardless if such acts are sanctioned by God or not.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  8. *SIGH*

    They may have 'cooled' to it, but they don't stop it. Where are the moderates to actually stand up to this nonsense and condemn it? The silence speaks volumes.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Kyle

      They're doing what moderates mostly do; they're remaining silent until issues that actually affect them arise.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  9. Phil

    When Jonathan was killed, David lamented him deeply and said of him he had a love "far beyond the love of women". How will the conservative church address this?

    July 19, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • sbp

      Would that include beyond the love of two women at the same time? Or one woman and whipped cream?

      July 19, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Phil

      Are either of those in 2 Samuel?? Show me chapter and verse vs what I can show you.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • sbp

      Phil, I'm joking – I'm perfectly familiar with David's "attachment" to his bestest buddy.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Phil

      Sorry. Humor doesn't always translate on here 🙂

      July 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Skegeeace

      It meant that their "phileo" love (that of brotherly love) was better than eros love (romantic love between a man and a woman). It wasn't implying that Jonathan and David were gay. Besides, that would be very inconsistent with the rest of what the Bible teaches. That's why sometimes women say they're thankful for their friendships and value them over their relationships with men.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • petercha

      Skegeeace – Thank you for your intelligent, informed post.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • tommas

      "very inconsistent with the rest of what the Bible teaches" HAHAHA, REALLY.. Because that is the only example of inconsistencies in the bible.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  10. SoundOfForest

    Thieves must be taught stealing is wrong. Pagans and atheists must be taught whose world this universe is.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Dave

      You sound just like the "taliban".

      July 19, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Dave

      Any time you want to "teach" me, pal...you just bring it on.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • ZeldalinaGiveItARest

      SoF, we know you love you. Now get your hands out of your forest or your god will smite you.

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

      Threats? really.

      All God has to do is show up, is that so much to ask?

      July 19, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • think for yourself

      Morality does not come from religion. Where was your religion when sla.very was common or women couldn't vote?
      This world "belongs" to all of its inhabitants, not just us or an invisible man who likes to burn people.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • tommas

      "whos world this universe it"... before you go on teaching people things, I think you should do some reading on the difference between a planet and a universe

      July 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Ron

      Those of us who are Pagan, we already know whose world and Universe this belongs to. There is never a question about it but we're still willing to share with everyone. We'll never demand or expect another person to give up their religion. We're quite comfortable and secure in our own religion and faith SoundOfForest.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  11. SoundOfForest

    Trend changes all the time but Christians will continue to teach the truth and moral purity and fight for it until the Kingdom comes.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Kyle

      Just like you did thousands of years ago when your kind killed children in the name of your God.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • TahoePadreFan

      You do realize that there isn't one story in the bible that can't be traced back hundreds if not thousands of years before Jesus was ever born. Even the Jews don't think he was the son of god, and he was there King. People think that the Roman empire was destroyed but the truth is the Roman empire just became the Roman Catholic Church, and they have been ruling the weak minding ever since.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • petercha

      Amen, Sound. At least REAL Christians will, not just those who CALL themselves Christians.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Dave

      @ petercha...I thought deciding who is and isn't a "christian" was above your pay grade? I could have sworn I read something about how you're not supposed to be the one judging people.

      Or is your "bible" wrong? Maybe that's one of the rules you can decide to ignore?

      July 19, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Amused

      Keep telling yourself that ! Someday, you may actually convince yourself of that notion! Just keep trying ...

      July 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  12. CW

    I stand beside all the christian believers,

    I do want to say that I would rather go to a church where the Preacher speaks against ALL sin including H.om.os.e.xuality than to go to a church where 1000's attend and this and other sins are simply over looked. I stand by the saying "Love the Sinner...H.ate the Sin".

    July 19, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Dave

      Well, you've got the hate part right. That is the cornerstone of religion.

      I stand beside all decent people when I say "Live and let live".

      July 19, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • LinCA

      @CW

      You said "I stand beside all the christian believers,

      I do want to say that I would rather go to a church where the Preacher speaks against ALL sin including H.om.os.e.xuality than to go to a church where 1000's attend and this and other sins are simply over looked. I stand by the saying "Love the Sinner...H.ate the Sin"."

      Consider the following:
      – A "sin" is an infraction of a religious law or rule.
      – The US has freedom of religion.
      – Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion, and my freedom from religion gives me the freedom from your religion.

      So:
      Your religion doesn't apply to me, or anyone else who doesn't subscribe to your religion.
      Your religious laws and rules don't apply to me, or anyone else who doesn't subscribe to your religion.

      Therefor, anyone outside your religion can't commit a "sin", as defined by your religion.

      So, if you wish to spout your religion based intolerance and hate, direct it at your fellow believers. Keep your fucking hate, bigotry, ignorance and religion out of my life.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Dave

      LinCA, try not to get down on their level with insults and epithets. It just reinforces their stereotypical views of atheists.

      I do love your use of one of my favorite ways to make a "christian" froth at the mouth. Nothing they hate worse than being told I'm incapable of "sin".

      July 19, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Peace2All

      @LinCA

      Very nice !

      Peace...

      July 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • petercha

      Amen, CW, right on the money.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Nympha

      You have not sinned? Have you ever lied? Have you cursed? Have you been jealous or envious? Have you stolen even so much as a cookie when your mother told you no? All have sinned and fall short. No one is free from it. Not even us Christians but we have christs strength to help us overcome.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Dave

      @ Nympha...the only people who can "sin", are members of religion. Lying isn't a "sin". It's impolite in some cases, and a crime in others. Swearing? Not a "sin".

      Your tired claim that all have "sinned" is pure garbage. That's just a cheap way of including people into your personal guilt trip. You want to feel bad because some delusional homeless guy (who probably never existed) got himself killed 2000 years ago? Be my guest. It's got nothing to do with me.

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

      Ok, Dave. Hope all goes well for you.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Dave

      Nympha, things went well for me the moment I flushed religion into it's proper place.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  13. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    It teaches gays to push themselves back in the closet.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • SoundOfForest

      People should be ashamed of what is shameful. The West boasts shameful things.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Dave

      Bigotry is shameful. Are you ashamed?

      July 19, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • myweightinwords

      It also teaches others that it is okay to bully and torment those who are different.

      Conversion therapy is wrong.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Dave

      Myweight, don't dignify that barbaric practice by dressing it up in the pretty words it's defenders came up with. Call it what it truly is...brainwashing.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • myweightinwords

      @Dave, no matter what name we use, it is still evil dressed up as "help"

      July 19, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Phil

      @SoundofForest: What are the fabrics of the clothes you are wearing? What colors are they? Is your beard and moustache trimmed? Are you eating pork or shellfish right now? On what day do you celebrate the Sabbath? Do you celebrate the Sabbath? Shall I go on?

      July 19, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      God's closet is big enough to hold all the gays in the world!

      July 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  14. adraine

    well one thing is true GOD does honor marriage between man and woman it was so in the beginning and ever shall be you go in the bible and turn it into something that its not.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • Dave

      So, what about marriages of people in other religions? Are those invalid? What about people who got married before your religion was invented? Were their marriages somehow fake?

      July 19, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • SoundOfForest

      Dave, Christianity made marriage civil for the world. USA must not go back to barbarism.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Marriage is a social contract which has evolved since time began.

      It also exists outside of Christianity. My religion teaches that marriage is a sacred vow between people who love one another. Gender is unimportant.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Dale56

      @adraine Please feel free to believe whatever you wish but stop trying to shove it down other people's throats. Many here, possibly most here have a real hard time with the variations of the myths that you promote.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Dave

      Gotta call BS on this one, Sound. Non-"christians" around the world have marriages that are perfectly fine. You want less barbarism? Ban ALL religions.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Kelcie

      @Dale56 Please explain to me how adraine shoved anything down anyone's throat. She simply said the truth in that God honors marriage by it's true definition: a union between a man and woman, and that it is and always will be that way before Him. In no way is it a myth. Twisting the Bible into what it is not causes the "myths" argument though.

      I don't agree with conversion therapy, but I do believe in and agree with deliverance, faith, and prayer, which comes with action and will.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Dave

      Kelcie, since when is marriage defined as ONLY legitimate when sanctioned by your mythology? I hear so many people claiming "christianity" created marriage...but nobody can explain how marriage existed before "christianity" was invented.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • myweightinwords

      @Kelcie, the bible would seem to define marriage as financial contract between a man and the father of the women he marries. Except when it defines it as punishment for ra-pe. Or when it is used to conquer another people.

      And while, all marriages in the bible do seem to include one man, they often include many women.

      So....which model was it we were supposed to be following?

      July 19, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Phil

      @Kelcie @adraine: How sacred or blessed was the union between Hosea and Gomer? It's in the Bible. Answer me, I dare you.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • tommas

      "In the beginning" there were single celled organisms which many actually have more than two mating types.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  15. CN

    @scarpen–what tripe. i don't believe in your god, but i am very certain my life is just as moral (if not more so) than yours. grow up.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  16. bachmanntwit

    Barack Obama = 2 terms. All you Bachmannites and Palinistas get used to it.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Dave

      How about those of us who see Palin and Bachman as complete and utter morons, but also see Obama as one?

      July 19, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • LinCA

      @ Dave

      As is commonly the case in US politics, it comes down to a vote for the lesser of two evils. In the current race, that choice should be easy for anyone with a brain OR an ounce of compassion (you don't even need both).

      I'll take Rod Blagojevich over anything the GOP has to offer.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Dave

      Lin, I'm pretty tired of being given the choice between a turd sandwich and a soggy turd sandwich. I just couldn't bring myself to vote for either candidate last time. And it's looking like I may have to do that again. My own Governor's probably going to run, and he's an embarrassment.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Phil

      Considering that William Wallace isn't qualified to run at this time I don't have too many options either. However, I'm going all out for Obama unashamed and unabashed because he is our best option. This, of course, has nothing to do with the article in question..

      July 19, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Dave

      If Obama's our best option, (bearing in mind that pretty much all his policies and programs are just continuations of Bush's policies and programs)...then just start lighting candles for our funeral right now. Stick a fork in America, because we're most assuredly done.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Phil

      Well, Dave, in that case.. BACHMANN/PALIN IN 2012, BABY!!!

      July 19, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Dave

      Only thing worse would be Palin/Perry.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  17. baj4q

    I don't see what the big deal is. If someone is gay and happy, let them be. If someone doesn't like something about themselves and they want to attempt to change it, let them try. It's none of my business either way.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Dave

      An excellent point. Not to mention, by trying to change people from what they are, they're saying their "god" made a mistake. I could swear that's a no-no for them.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Ron

      ...but conversion therapy is a big money making thing in conservative Christianity because you are right Dave, to admit that their god created everything is simply unthinkable. It appears that some conservative Christians groups are rethinking this but we'll see how far this actually goes.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:33 am |
  18. AvdBerg

    By entering “evangelical scandals” on Google it provided almost 4 million listings. By entering “se.xual abuse scandals in the churches” it provided 7.3 million listings.
    Wouldn’t you agree that something is drastically wrong? For a better understanding of the word “Church” we invite you to read the article “Church and what it means” on our website. Also, to get a better understanding of The Mystery Babylon and the Mother of Harlots as spoken of in Revelation 17: 5, we invite you to read the articles “The Mystery Babylon” and “Popes and the Princes of This World”. Do not forget to read the latest entry on the Current Events page. It will tell you more about the subject issue. You can locate our website by entering “a world deceived” on Google. It is easy to find as it has been the number one listing for the last five years out of more than 10 million listings. All of the other pages and articles on our website explain how this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9 and the Bible is true. It is the discerner of every thought and the intent of the heart (Hebrews 5:12).

    July 19, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  19. VinoBianco

    I can't believe someone with such extreme views could be president...scary.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  20. Jim Bob

    A bad excuse for a Christian to use the Bible to justify the foulness of bigotry.

    July 19, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Jose Morales Santamaria

      lol is not an excuse my friend is the true word of God

      July 19, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Dave

      Ok, Jose...so did you murder your children when they disobeyed you? Because the "true" word of "god" says you have to.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Ron

      Jose,
      Don't forget all the other prohibitions in Lev. too. There a lots of them. One things seems apparent, conservative, evangel Christians only 'choose' to speak on this one because the others are too close to home.

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

      Dave, I'm afraid you don't know the scriptures very well. Christ fulfilled the law and the physical punishment (which you took out of context and w/o out understanding) is not something followed nor taught by Christians. If you are going to debate with believers, I would recommend that you gain a better understanding of scripture.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Dave

      @ Nympha...so your "inerrant" word of "god"...was flawed? It had to be fixed?

      By the way, IF your delusional homeless guy fixed the bits that said you have to kill disobedient kids, then he also fixed the bits that say you should hate gays. I'll quote exactly what "jebus" said about gays. You ready? This is intense:

      "______________".

      Profound, isn't it?

      July 19, 2011 at 12:59 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.