October 25th, 2011
12:09 PM ET
My Take: Why Christians are embracing their LGBT neighbors
Editor’s note: Ross Murray is director of religion, faith and values at GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
By Ross Murray, Special to CNN
America is embracing its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens. Don’t believe me? Just look at the progress being made in faith communities.
The Christian church was once considered the final holdout for those who oppose equality for LGBT people. Staunch believers could gather in worship with people who thought just like them to hear sermons affirming the anti-LGBT beliefs they held in common.
For those of us who identify as LGBT, church was a place of fear and secrets. We had to figure out how to hide ourselves or how to find a more welcoming community.
But that is changing.
Although there is still a variety of scriptural interpretations, an increasing number of Christians are reading scripture and understanding that God’s design for the world includes LGBT people. It follows, good Christians believe, that if God made them, then I am called to love and support them.
Whole Christian denominations have accepted and embraced the reality of LGBT believers within their ranks and in their leadership. Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, the United Church of Christ and Unitarians have formally accepted LGBT people within their denominations.
Even within denominations and faith groups whose policies don’t fully welcome LGBT people, there are growing numbers of people who have learned to love and accept their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters.
The Public Religion Research Institute found this year that as many as 71% of Catholics in America support lesbian and gay people, even up to the point of civil marriage, despite the Roman Catholic hierarchy telling them otherwise.
Of course, there still are Christian groups who work actively against equal protections for LGBT people and their families.
Indeed, as more Americans get to know and love their LGBT neighbors, the messages and vocal misinformation of anti-gay activists become even more shrill.
And yet more and more Christians are now living out the message of 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”
How did this happen? More Christians now know someone who is LGBT. They probably even know someone from their church. There are countless faithful Christians who identify as LGBT.
These are folks who have found their faith in God to be stronger than the opposition of vocal anti-gay activists.
These LGBT Christians have shared their lives and their stories that build up love and break down fear, leading to tangible progress, especially with young people.
According to the Public Religion Research Institute, there is at least a 20-point gap between those ages 18 to 29 and those ages 65 and older on every public policy measure in the survey concerning equality for gay and lesbian people, with younger Americans gravitating toward equality.
Even Christian-identified young people increasingly support protections for lesbian and gay people, the same survey found.
Those who oppose equality can call it what they like, but the reality is that we are living in a society that has learned how to value LGBT people as they would others.
That attitude doesn’t rely on fear or lies, but on caring relationships and trust. It lives out the apostle Paul’s wish for the Corinthians that someday we will know fully, even as we are fully known. It is a biblically informed reality that is helping to make the world a better place.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ross Murray.
About this blog
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.
As the 'world' turns so goes the 'human condition'. For the conditioning of humans are of polarizing agendaships tantamount to the sacrilegious treacheries. Between the pages do run the ink wells of abominations, ever blotting the most perfect unionization of the marriage decrees. Such plagiarisms outside of the normal molding of marriage can only bring down the most noble unions of man/woman marriages. Come to the party and be glorified with the embitterment of ill gotten civilities all for public somberness' sakes. Dregs to the lot of them who bewail the abominations of unholy man/man or the like matrimonies.
If a man acts like woman I treat him as GOD intended him to be, like man.
It's obvious that most of you who read this article are being mislead by it. God created Adam and Eve. Male and female He made them. Anything outside of that is sin.
WHEN did God make Adam and Eve?
Hello??? It is SO easy to stump people like you.
Whew!!! What a relief!!! I'm an M2F TS. But since GOD made me too, it's all good. 🙂
@ wimanf: if you are a Christian, think about the cross. Doesn't it tell you that your sins are just as bad? Show the same love that Christ showed you.
@ I.E.B.: it's a much easier to take shots at a building than to construct one.
I also say it is a sin to misuse your employer's computer time to screw around on the internet acting like an a$$. Get back to your honest toil and sin no more.
Careful now, there are some hostile Christians in here who would see you burn in Hell! If they give you any trouble let me know...I just might have a little enema for them.....
Did I say anything wrong other than pointing out the fact about the way God created us?
Sorry Cindy.. straight to hell with you!
But as long as you are around.. you can count me as one of your proud friends!
Ok Russ, what building did you construct exactly?
Don't cry ok? You never answered my question. WHEN did God create Adam and Eve?? Why is this a hard question for you?
Read the Bible and you will find your answer there.
Follow up question, what building was it I was supposed to construct or not throw rocks at or whatever? Not clear on the point you are trying to make.
@ I.E.B: I'm one of those death-deserving Christians who needs Jesus to die in my place. I'll take his shelter, not mine.
@ wimanf: "Whether you like it or not, you will face Him alone without CNN by your side when you die." you said that before. That strikes me a bit like wanting ring-side seats to watch folks suffer in Hell, not like someone who deserves to be there, too, but for whom Jesus died.
All your gods creatures do it. Did it make them too ?
@ The Illinois Enema Bandit
When do you ask? Simply put, there was firstly Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve, for if there were firstly Adam and Steve we would not be! In fact, All the Adams and Eves give birth to all the admonishing steeds and only via the abominations of disobediences does the Acts of the Unholy wantonness leech their way into the people's civilities and honorable marriage proclivities.
You are pathetic. You just got through saying it was fact, but you don't know anything about it. Fraud. God did NOT create Adam and Eve moron. Humans evolved over many thousands of years. The first modern humans came out of Africa 200,000 years ago. This information is not in the Bible, so looking there would not be a practicle application of my time (like this is). Crack open somehting besides the Bible once in a while and learn something about the world you live in. Here's your enema.
hey man, don't listen to these people trolling this blog to spread their propaganda. You know the truth man. God didn't create nuthin that can't multiply. We all know God made them male and female. Don't let anyone change the truth into a lie. stay with it man!
Sorry dude, zombies creep me out.
Watch your emotions! Too much hate in your heart. Turn to Jesus!
Yeah man, just stay ignorant man. The truth don't matter man. yeah.
"God didn't create nuthin that can't multiply. We all know God made them male and female"
Yep. That's why heteros, gays, and lesbians can ALL reproduce. (check a beginner's book of biology).
Good point about procreation! LGBT is bad news to our society because it will die off, since they cannot reproduce, if those confused people get their way.
Wimanf, You really are one of a kind.. aren't you? you are full of hate and despise for everything that does not fit your view.. and yet you preach the love and teachings of Jesus? You are the biggest stupid racist bigoted hypocritical person I have ever heard an opinion from.. How do you live with yourself?
On the side note, you helped coin a phrase that is extremely contradictory by itself but makes perfect sense for people like you – bigoted hypocrite! Be proud of your achievement
Good point about procreation! LGBT is bad news to our society because it will die off, since they cannot reproduce,"
Are you really so TOTALLY CLUELESS about biology? Gays and lesbians can reproduce. Get a "Biology For Dummies" book if you need to. The Bible certainly won't teach you about science. Wow!
Human: Why do you hate LGBT?
Christian: Coz God says they are unnatural and shouldn't exist..
H: How do you know?
C: Coz the book says so!
H: But, How do you know its what God said?
C: Coz the book is written by god and it says so
H: How do you know its written by god?
C: Coz the book says itself.. see this passage "This is my wo-"
H: Wait. Any schmuck could have written that.
C: No. It is written by god!
H: How do you know?
C: Coz the BOOK Says so!
C: The Book says so!
H: Ok. Lets get back the the main argument. If god created everyone and everything, he created LGBT too.. isn't it.
C: It is WRONG. The book says so.
H: The book also says to love your neighbor. Isn't LGBT your neighbor?
C: No. The book says it is wrong and so it is wrong.
H: So you question the god's creation? and his word written in the book you keep referring to? Aren't you a Hypocrite?
C: Of course not. The book written by god shows me the light and it says LGBT is wrong and so it is wrong.
C: The Book says so!
Christians do not hate LGBT. They hate what it stands for because it is rebellion against Jesus. Get it right!
Coz the book says so??
Oh gee.. do you even have a single thought that is your own, and not that of a 2000 yr old bronze age goat herders?
Where in the New Testiment does it say Jesus descriminated against or disapproved of LGB OR T? I count myself as a Christian, and long for the day when I can again attend the Southwest Baptist church I grew up in. I fail to see how that is a rebellion against Jesus. if anything it's a celebration of his love.
L: Why do you mischaracterize Christians to prove your point?
C: Because we couldn't do if if we were honest.
L: Well what about their beliefs? Don't you think you shouldn't impose your views about what they should believe?
C: Because we want them to change.
L: Okay, now I see. You don't really care about truth. You just want them to change their truth to yours. Got it.
Do not fool yourself! Christians follow the teaching of Jesus and not of CNN. There no such thing as "gay christian".
Where does it state in the bible that a man can't fall in love and have a serious and loving relationship with a rock?
"There's no such thing as a gay Christian".
So there's no such thing as a remarried Christian unless the previous spouse was already an adulterer?
Actually, it 'does' say in the bible something along the lines of "a man's seed is better spent in the (??what was that word??) of a prost-i-tute than on a rock"... I.E., better to 'put it in' than master-bate. Now, how about an answer to my question? I addressed yours.
All your parody purports that Christian are not even humans; yet Christians are the haters, not you!!!
Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination".
Im not sure but the bible makes it sound worst than "thou shall not kill."
I just try to follow directions as much as I can.lol
So what about the rest of Leviticus then....lame christians pick and choose.....pick and choose.....
– not speaking up to testify as a witness (5:1)
– touching an unclean thing (5:2)
– eating blood (17:10-12) – No rare steaks people
– making idols of cast metal (19:4)
– stealing (19:11)
– lying (19:11)
– showing bias or prejudice in court (19:15)
– making cuts or tattoos on your body (19:28) – Hope you haven't pierced your ears.
– turning to spiritist or fortune tellers (19:31)
I have friends that are lesbian and gay. That's who they are. We are all sinners, period. The only person who was not is Jesus, Son of God. I don't hate gay or lesbian people. I hate sin. My sins, their sins, everyone's sins. Our church has been supported by the LGBT community to stand side by side with other churches when the Westboro Baptist Church came to protest and picket our church one Sunday. No where does the Bible, which we believe is God's Word (and the truth) say to hate gay or lesbian people.
So,Romans 1:26-27 does say that God gave up those who worshipped anything else but Him (these days it could be your job, your nice car, your money, your iphone..) because basically He was tired of all the stuff they did against Him. It doesn't say He hated them, it doesn't say we should hate them, but all the things they did it says are wrong. Adultery is wrong, lying is wrong, stealing, killing, and so on. We do things that are wrong all the time. If we repent, ask for forgiveness, focus on His Word and what His will is for us, try and be obedient to what He asks of us, then we are forgiven, and try not to sin in the ways we were.
But until the day we die, we will always sin, whether in the things we say or think or do. But we have redemption through Christ Jesus, and through Him directly and His name we can ask for forgiveness of our sins. Then we try again to live as God wants us to.
So, like it was said before, hate the sin, not the sinner. And if someone never asks for forgiveness from God or repents, then that's between them and Him. We can pray for people we know, and they may never know God or Christ, or not want to, but we can only hope that someday they will.
as a gay american citizen, i don't give a rats a$$ whether a make believe religous cult known as christianity is more accepting or not. the fact is i am not accepting of them and their hate, predjudice, and nonsense! what ever happend to the good old days when christians were fed to the lions. i vote that we bring that back. now thats entertainment.
hell yes. if christians want to kill in the name of their religion, i want to kill christians in the name of evolution. LOL
Well you are gay. That explains your hatred toward God. Whether you like it or not, you will face Him alone without CNN by your side when you die.
I am curious as to where, in the infinitely small amount of time you have been alive, in comparison to the amount of time that the universe has existed, you got so smart?
Sadly for you, you have it COMPLETELY backwards.
wow....fear mongering continues i see...keep up the solid work.
You are so tolerant of those that disagree with you that you propose murdering them? Who is intolerant here?
Stop putting your faith in man. The devil wants to discredit man so that folks like you never take a real look at what Jesus Christ's ministry was about. The devil wants to keep you away at all costs. Man created religion. The truth is through Jesus Christ. He is the only one that is without sin, without fault, and all loving. Try focusing on that instead of all the Christians who fall short of your expectations. It is part of any real Christian's makeup to admit being a sinner and imperfect. We are not here to judge, but to love. Loving doesn't equate to agreeing. Understand that. It is easy to say Christianity is a "cult" as you say. But that's only because you are following the cult so that you can discredit what is already inherently discredited. Follow Christ my friend.
"Stop putting your faith in man"
lol you realize MAN wrote the bible do you not? Man claims they were under the influence of god when they wrote the bible, yet you put your faith in those men. Logic is fleeting here eh?
Actually the logic is 100% correct. Try not to be a critic without basis or merit. Jesus Christ is central in Islam and other religions as well. He is the way. Men wrote of His miracles and ministry. He was here. In addition, if you really do the research you will find irrefutable evidence that the Bible is true. The fact that so many wrote it across a thousand years, and all of it cross references and matches up to very specific details proves that God was all over it. It sounds like you just want to criticize and count on your own knowledge in doing so. The real proof is in your heart brother. And the burden of proof is on the non-believer. I am sorry you have not found God. He's there, waiting. This sounds arrogant to the non-believer, but to the believer it's like saying to a child "Hey, around that corner in the hallway is a gift and you will absolutely love it". The problem is, well, only if we were all like children.
christianity is for the weak. the only people that turn to it are those who need a psychological uplift.
Well at least you already know Jesus loves you too
Spoken just like I used to speak. But now I'm a full God-fearing, Christ loving Christian and couldn't be happier. I'm not rich. I don't have everything I want. But I have God. Explaining that and trying to prove that God exists in a very real way to you is the same as you trying to explain how much you love or hate anything. I can easily discredit and blow holes in all of it. Point? Look into it yourself my friend. Just like you would read a book and research how to build a rocking chair, or landscape your yard, or play guitar. Give it the same effort and you will find true peace, joy, and love. If you don't give the effort to really learn about Christ, well, you won't find true peace, joy, and love. Worth a shot, right? Worse that can happen is you give it a real shot (no half assed stuff) and you still aren't convinced. But don't speak on something you know nothing about. God isn't here to give us our every thing to fill our selfish happiness. He is here to see us through life....through the good and bad, and grow, and see like He sees, and give us eternal life. God bless you my friend. Do it because you want to find out the truth. If not, you will always be a critic without merit.
If all the Christians who have been called “not really a Christian” by other Christians were to vanish, there would be no Christians left. -Anonymous
Foolish statement. But funny. There are a lot of judgemental Christians. But there are many that have matured and grown with God to see their faults, and are not judgemental anymore. Are you judgemental? Christians all come to realize that they are imperfect as anyone else is. The one difference is we have taken Jesus Christ into our hearts and we know we are loved. By that, and through that, we cannot escape growing with Christ. However, there are also those that use religion as a shield and I feel bad for those people because they will be held accountable. Just know that it isn't complicated: Christ came to show us the way and die for our sins. He is the only way to God, so I pray you read about him, read his ministry and the words he speaks. It will change you forever, especially if you actually begin to walk the talk.
God loves scientists he created them that way so it must be right. Call it a scientific orientation
God loves gays he created them that way so it must be right
Once again, without lifting a finger, atheism once again proves its superiority over all the invisible flying spaghetti monster belief systems. Throw away your mental crutches, embrace the idea that we are different, and stop wasting time worrying about things people wrote on sheepskin back when they still through the earth was flat.
But please donate your useless Bibles to me. I need a lot of TP for the hard work ahead. There are so many people in here full of sh-it, this could take quite some time. I could use a helper or two.....TC? Observer? HS?
Isaiah 40:22, "the circle of the earth" .. This was stated thousands of years before someone decided it was flat. Try reading the bible you'll find many other things about contimation
"Isaiah 40:22, "the circle of the earth""
hunny....a circle is a 2 dimensional object (flat)....spheres are 3 dimensional objects which is what the earth is. Read your 3rd grade geometry book.
Try reading the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It is really good.
You are right circle does mean two dimential. the actual transulation should read sphere.. Great doing homework! You could always try to prove me wrong
"the actual transulation should read sphere"
Exactly! It SHOULD read sphere but it doesn't....there you go again putting words in the mouths of the writers of the bible.
The Bible was WRONG. It's that simple. Educated people know the difference between 2 and 3 dimensional objects.
Hebrew word for "sphere," rwd. In Isaiah 22:18 the word rwd is translated "ball." ( The bible was tansulated into english)
Atheism seems to be the club for the wanting. Why do you waste so much time trying to discredit Christianity? I mean, we see the science. We know as much as you do. But have you actually taken Christ into your heart, and tried to live a life in honor of him that died for you? You would not be saying such things if you did. How easy is it to be an Atheist??!!! LOL!!! I mean, you guys are the ultimate hypocrites! The fact that you have to believe in what you see, and the "proof" of science (by the way, God loves science) in order to feel safe a secure. Really? You think Christians do that so we can feel psychologically happy? We believe in something you can't see, you can only feel it...it's in the heart. That's faith. That's taking a risk. What risk are you taking!? Hahaha! C'mon man, really? How easy is it to sit back and gain comfort by being an Atheist? So easy. I'm an Atheist and I'm happy because I know everything that is. It's all science, and I can put that in a little box and understand it. There is nothing more difficult than following Christ. How difficult is it to sit back and say "It's all good man, the world just is what it is".
"(by the way, God loves science)"
You MUST be joking. The Bible is full of nonsense that science disproves. If God cared about science, all he had to do was have Jesus tell us the world was round and not the center of the universe. Jesus could have told everyone to wash their hands to avoid bacteria. LOL.
one, who cares what the christians think. two, the fact that they keep changing their minds and interpreting only what they like from the bible is sheer stupidity. as if human beings cannot come up with values without the bible lol. grow up, people.
Dude, read Jesus's ministry. It's the first 4 books of the new testament. The old testament was a love story between God and man, and Him trying to show us how much he loves us. It culminates with the coming of Christ. God realized that you can't force true love, you have to want it. So he gave his only son so we could have eternal life, if we accepted Christ. This is a choice. After Christ went to heaven, the rest of the Bible is essentially his apostles spreading the word. The good news. Please, take a chance and read it. You will be happy, and will affect those around you in a positive way. God's work brother.
Love thy neighbor – absolutely! The Bible however says very clearly in Genesis 19:6, Leviticus 20:13, Deuteronomy 22:5, Romans 1:25-26, 1 Tim 1:9-11 (NIV) and 1 Corinthians 6:9-7.1 that gay behavior is “wicked”, "detestable", "an abomination", "unnatural – perversion", “contrary to the sound doctrine” and "immoral", respectively. Are these words of hate or words of warning? There is nothing outdated about God’s Word. Uproar is expected from people who refuse to repent and conversely want to legitimize their sinful behavior...and misguide you by telling you that if you don't accept this perversion you are not "loving thy neighbor".
The problem with today's people is that they do not read the bible for themselves. they rather listen the folks on CNN to tell them how to live life. They also forgot that they will not be accountable to CNN but to God. Flee from this sinful lifestyle. Run to God.
I'm sorry, but how can you say "Love thy Neighbor" but them judge them harshly? Didn't God make everyone? To hate them for something that God has made them, is to hate God's creation.
They get their religious info from CNN? I thought they went to church for that bull sh-it...What are we going to do with all the preachers now?
The Bible also says that any guy who wants to marry a virgin, just has to r-pe her and she will have to marry him.
What is your point?
the bible also says its ok to beat your wife and have slaves...your point?
Where does it say its ok to beat your wife?
beat your wife ? yourBible was miss labeled should read Quran
thank you! i was seeing all these other postings and yours was refreshing. just thought somebody needed to tell you
LaLa, I am not a blog follower but your show elrlay inspire me, I am on oxygen so I do live a day at a time, but you and your girls elrlaylite up my day when I watch your show, you are so genuine, and down to earth I like it, don't ever change keep on being you, I try hard to let nothing get me down. because I know this is a test. GODhas more in store for me. Thanks LA LA
The outpouring of love from the Christians is overwhelming. What a sick bunch of haters.
Hogwash. This whole article is hogwash.
Anyone of you judgmental Christians ever say to a divorced person, "Love the person, hate the sin?"
Love everybody. Take them as they are. Leave no one the way they came.
If something is a sin, talk about it privately, using the Bible, and with as much grace as is possible.
God forgives everything he declared to be a sin – that's why he announced what were sins and what weren't – to show how far his love extends!
God needs Extenz? I would have thought he was better endowed. Jimmy Johnson I can understand, but God? Wow.
I haven't found the text yet, but I'm sure God forgives dick jokes too!
Stupid dick jokes...maybe. I'll ask my pastor and get back to you. 😛
Thanks. It was a pretty bad joke. Whataya gonna do.
"Just look at the progress"???? is satan speaking?
Yes, Satan is speaking dip-sh-it.
No, they are not getting any closer to being accepting, they are just giving in to get the LGBT to shut up.
I wonder Loren if such a stupid remark would have worked against women and African American equal rights. You're an idiot.
No, they are inviteing them in because they want the LGBT's money
I have broken every rule in the bible myself
It took them 500 years to accept gravity, so this is relatively quick.
The next thing you know they will be claiming the earth is a sphere.
the christian taliban church cant embrace ANYTHING until they ADMIT their priests are ped oh files, TURN them in for instant arrest, Turn over ALL information they used to cover it up, submit all that knew and covered it up to arrest and thrown out of the church. ADMIT that Priests feasting on BOYS us the VERY ACT they demonize hoe moe sectuals for etc etc etc etc
LGBT and peds share the same destiny