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My Take: Why good Catholics are challenging church line on homosexuality
A series of recent conferences have cast a light on gay Catholics and their families.
November 8th, 2011
12:22 PM ET

My Take: Why good Catholics are challenging church line on homosexuality

Editor's Note: Patrick Hornbeck is an assistant professor and associate chair for undergraduate studies at Fordham University.

By Patrick Hornbeck , Special to CNN

The Roman Catholic Church has long been a reliable source for one-dimensional storylines: Victims of sexual abuse call for justice. Parishes close as numbers of clergy plummet. Rosary-clad Catholics protest outside abortion clinics.

Perhaps nowhere has the storyline seemed more clear-cut than with regard to the church’s treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their relationships.

Official Catholic teachings describe gay or lesbian orientation as “an objective disorder” and tell those who love their same-sex partners that they possess a “tendency… toward an intrinsic moral evil.”

Catholic bishops have been public advocates for laws banning same-sex marriage, and some have sought to prevent LGBT Catholics and their allies from fully participating in the Church’s rituals and activities

But neither formal teachings nor bishops’ statements tell the whole story.

A series of recent conferences at American colleges reveals the breadth of Catholic approaches to issues of sexual diversity.

The conferences, part of an effort called More than a Monologue, have happened at two Catholic universities and two non-denominational divinity schools

The events conclusively show that American Catholics are hardly of one mind, nor in lockstep with their bishops, when it comes to same-sex marriage; to rights for LGBT people at home, at work, and in church; or to the ongoing campaign against anti-gay bullying in schools.

At Fordham University in New York, a Catholic school, a proud mother of a grown gay son drew a standing ovation when she told a story about discovering the effect of church teachings on her child.

Here’s that mother, Deb Word, who has founded a group Fortunate Families to help Catholic families with lesbian daughters and gay sons, in her own words:

Fast forward to a family vacation in the Gulf. There were five of us floating—Sean and his wife, Chris, and his dad and me, holding onto each other’s rafts. And I said, ‘I think this is what Heaven is like.’ And Christopher said quietly, “except I won’t be there with you.” “Son, where do you get this stuff?” “Mom, it’s your club. You know the rules.”

And if my cradle Catholic child, growing up in a loving family, got this message, then what does Catholic mean in more conservative homes? … And I wonder, why do I stay in a club that my son says is dangerous to his soul?”

Another panelist at the event described the freedom she feels as a result of living, within the church’s rules, as a celibate lesbian.

A third, a physician in New York City, praised the Catholic tradition for its emphasis on human dignity and social justice, but added: “I am troubled by the fact that I find greater acceptance of myself as a whole person in my professional community as a physician, than I do in the official hierarchy of the church of my family, my childhood, and my life.”
Nationally syndicated columnist Dan Savage may be better known for his very public critiques of Catholic leaders than for the year he spent in a high school seminary, or for his Catholic deacon father, or for the baptism he and his husband sought for their son.
But speaking recently at New York’s Union Theological Seminary, Savage described his Catholic family and upbringing, celebrating parts of his Catholic experience.

At the same time, he refused to let the church off the hook for the part he accuses it of playing in tacitly condoning the bullying of LGBT youth.

Last month, at Yale University, a Catholic layman who teaches psychiatry spoke movingly of his attempt to offer church leaders the wisdom of his scientific field, and of his bitter disappointment when his offers were met with silence.

And at Connecticut ’s Fairfield University, scholars, clergy, and lay Catholics recently discussed the implications for the church of having many gay and lesbian people, both in and out of the closet, in roles as priests and ministers.

These public events have brought into the light the struggles, compromises and choices about meaning and love that many Catholics experience daily.

Poll numbers show that while many of their bishops have been stepping up their rhetoric on the issue, only one-in-three American Catholics describe opposition to same-sex marriage as “very important.” Seventy percent support legal recognition for same-sex couples.

All of us, Catholic or not, LGBT or not, owe it to ourselves and our fellow citizens to keep these new conversations going. Let’s not to settle for only part of the story.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Patrick Hornbeck.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Homosexuality • Opinion

soundoff (2,880 Responses)
  1. Doobie Wah

    ** Bobby

    i agree lets change the rules in the Catholic church!.................wait.........God calls that idolatry......... changing the rules to suit yourself............you cant get into heaven practicing that............hmmmm...........
    -------------------------------------------------------------–

    God said to follow the Sabbath/keep it holy.
    The Sabbath according to the bible is Saturday.
    But the Vatican changed it to Sunday.
    But i guess thats OK, as long as the church says so.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Observer

      So which day do we kill all the people who work on the Sabbath?

      November 9, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Jonathan

      Wrong. Church is not GOD. This POP was part of German killers.

      Prophet Noah’s people were destroyed because of gays and L. We should be destroyed too. Welcome Nuclear weapons.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Bobby

      hahahah. according to your bible its Saturday. .... adventist........another idolater chimes in........and im not catholic. read it...study it.......do it yourself..........dont listen to me......

      November 9, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  2. lairbear

    Interesting link for the non-religious, not religious individuals, please don't waste your time.

    energeryhttp://www.cheapthinker.com/

    Are there any links for spiritual individuals that does not separate but bring people together?

    November 9, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • SCOOBY DOO

      DONT DRINK THE COOLAID!

      November 9, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Chris

      Why would any self-respecting gay person affiliate themselves with such a horrible organization or any other religion for that matter?

      November 9, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  3. Leon

    I'm "A Okay with gay" until you start making out in front of me. It is repulsive. I'm talking Jerry Sandusky repulsive.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Rod in Texas

      There is a difference in making out and simply kissing......A simple kiss shouldn't bother you. Making out should bother you regardless of whether is is male/male, female/female, or male/female.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • steve g

      i have a great idea to solve that issue....you ready for it? it's very difficult and advanced.....its called...wait for it....."don't look" *gasp* you can turn the other way, unless you're in an odd position where you have people surrounding you making out which i highly doubt.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • BRB San Deigo

      Hope they don't find a cure for aids; this disease should be allowed to thin the herd of "gay' pariahs. They are a drag on society, health care, welfare, and everyone's patience. Just keep your "alternate" lifestyle to yourselves and die in peace.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Youre One

      BRB, spoken like a true Satanic Catholic!

      November 9, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Hope

      Do male/female couples kissing briefly upset you too? Sorry to tell you but you are not "Ok with the gay" if a simple kiss bothers you.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  4. Bobby

    JW. try Genesis 19:4 but you have to read all of Genesis 19 to get the full affect. you cant get what you are looking for in one verse. its more than a chapter. Genesis 19:4 reads "Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”

    November 9, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Doobie Wah

      *** Bobby

      JW. try Genesis 19:4 but you have to read all of Genesis 19 to get the full affect. you cant get what you are looking for in one verse. its more than a chapter. Genesis 19:4 reads "Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”
      --------------------------------------------------------------
      Nice how you left out the part that lot was protecting 2 angels
      Lot then offers his daughters to the crowd.
      You take this verse and apply it to gays, but ignore the larger story.
      The story of S&G was about corruption, not about gay people.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Bobby

      you think he destroyed them because they were corrupt? hahahaha.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Tony C

      This is the Torah that never changed. The invitation from Christ was delivered to all who will receive Him...There was no "except you gay people" in the bible...

      November 9, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • J.W

      I have read the story many times. It just never specifies that because the people were gay it was destroyed, or really even implies that.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  5. eastwood1379@gmail.com

    Grosssssss

    November 9, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "Grosssssss"

      You find love gross that's funny! LMAO!

      November 9, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Really?

      it is not love it is abomination.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • steve g

      first off......"It is AN abomination" yay for grammar.....now on to the point at hand. all that is is perspective, you can feel "abomination" all you want doesn't make you right. so because they are people who are not the same as you they are an abomination, but if it were a man and a woman kissing you probably would not be saying a word would you?

      November 9, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • True Reflection

      Go easy on Eastwood, they are only reflecting what they see in the mirror and about their way of thinking.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  6. SCOOBY DOO

    Hail Mary, Full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amoungst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy woumb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Observer

      Put in a plug for all the Christian adulterers who remarry.

      There's FAR FAR MORE of the CHRISTIAN ADULTERERS than there are gays.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  7. Plug1

    THAT PICTURE, SHOULD BE A CRIME!!!

    November 9, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • HAHAHA

      Love is a crime wow are you pathetic.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • sassypants

      YUCK!! YUCK!! GROSS!!!

      November 9, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • steve g

      well so should your comment...and yet, THERE YOU ARE!!
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      moron

      November 9, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Tony C

      You need to talk to your parish leaders ~ if you are even Catholic. My bet is that you are not and you are trying to make the church look bad...

      November 9, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Hope

      You are a sad, sad, angry person, Plug1. I pray you can get over your prejudice someday.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  8. Simon

    Picture is repulsive!

    November 9, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "Picture is repulsive!"

      Love is not repulsive but bigotry and prejudice people like you are.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Doobie Wah

      Dont look at it.
      Better yet, come back when you are an adult.
      Then you can sit at the big table.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • The FlipSide

      Simon, it's not near as repulsive as what the straights are doing on prime time t.v. with their deep open kissing, discussions of infidelities and how much they are in agreement with that kind of lifestyle as well as showing their very near naked bodies when kids can be watching.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  9. Jordan

    Is there really still an arguement in this world about gay being a choice? Really? Why would a gay person be gay to just get attention or to act out? I've been beat up at a school and riducled a lot of my life for it. Why would I choose that life? Everyone wants to be successfull, well-liked, and happy. Oh, and the point about gays having psychological issues more than straights? Have you seen the crazy straight people out there in the world? Are you alive? You think everyone no matter gay or straight doesn't have ups and downs in their lifetime???? C'mon. AND ALL OF YOU KNOW THIS! The ones who lash out against gays are the ones trying to get attention! Not the other way around. OH, and I have a bachelor's degree in psychology. I think I may know a thing or two. Not beating my chest. Hope people read this and reply. Most serial killers in the world today are white/straight/men. Fact. Not speculation.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Bobby

      Abomination. the fact that you were born straight is without argument. that you had a choice to like men or women was just that, you choice. you want to have fun and live your life the way you want to live it, you arent putting God first in your life then. so essentially what you have is what? 60-70 years on this planet living in the flesh, living in the worldly things. i am working for eternity. thats a heck of a lot longer than what you want. no one is telling you that you cant live the way you want. you obviously want what you have. im telling you, dont push your lifestyle down my throat because i dont believe in your religion.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  10. Mary

    This is a discussion that is long overdue and should be held with respect and intelligence. As a Catholic that once was lost and now is found so to speak, I am at great odds with the church on many issues not the least of them the issue of the treatment of Gay Catholics. Of all the issues we need to discuss marriage for gays is the least important and I say live and let live as loing as they live a good and loving life. The US Bishops need a real wake up call! They need to come out of their ivory towers. We need to be addressing the issues of injustice and the need for jobs and everything that is currently wrong in our society.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Bobby

      lmao Mary! do you realize how far you are moving away from the "church"? Read the bible! and not that watered down one the Catholics have. the bible (KING JAMES). read the words. feel the words. understand the words. what God said once will never change. He has the same simple rules to follow today that he had back in the days of the old Testament. you arent going to find answers in the world.........in the flesh..........where do you think the devil rules and tries to influence us? he isnt thown in the lake of fire until the second coming of Christ.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  11. Ray

    Through the centuries, it is estimated that 10% of the population has always been Gay. Personally, I believe this is Mother Nature's way of limiting the population explosion.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Case

      So you are saying one in ten people are gay? Better check your stats, hell you could probably work/write for CNN with comments like that.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Look AtThis

      Case, Ray is right! Just take a good look at this scientific poll: http://www.gallup.com/poll/6961/what-percentage-population-gay.aspx

      November 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  12. Carol

    This picture is reality, and the article wasn't about this particular picture. The comments from a Catholic mother out for a beautiful day swimming together, and saying to her family, "This is what heaven must be like", illustrates how cruel the Catholic Church is, by one gay son reminding her that the club she belongs to doesn't inclued his soul so they can all be together in heaven. This is more than sad, and one more reason I thank God I don't belong to their club.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Jonathan

      Sick Sick Sick
      What the fish.. Discusting.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • 16halo

      I find you r comment to be extremely bias and Anti-Catholic. Speaking as a Catholic who is gay obviously you missed the point of the article.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Tony C

      I am a Catholic, and we really have to clear up this perception. This is not what we teach at all. Although many Catholics make these comments and it makes it look bad. I have friends in our parish that are gay. I hold no hatred or discord with them. I do not judge. These men I know are every bit as committed to Christ as I am. They work hard in charity as well. My commitment in being Christian is to help them if they need my help, befriend them, and if they need anything just ask...

      November 9, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  13. Bob Andrews

    Can you write the article without the picture of two men kissing in front of the cross. Always about the shock value with the news...we can read the article, we don't want to be slapped in the face.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • hippypoet

      being fearful of reality is the christian way of life...i think you should took a good long look at the dudes kissing and try to understand the love between them and how it is equal to any love for anyone – man to a woman or a man and a man...or vice versa

      November 9, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • HEAD IN SAND

      It's people like you that need to be 'slapped'.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Free

      Again, that's the reality of the situation. People who are in love with one another kiss. It's only shocking because it's been kept in the closet up until now. If you consider it a slap in the face then take the hint, and wake up already! 🙂

      November 9, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • prettypiper

      It's called polarizing the GAY AGENDA....I can't wait to see the sh&(&(*t hit the fan when a man tougues his dog and wants to marry

      November 9, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Rod in Texas

      Men and women kiss all the time in front of a cross. What's the difference?

      November 9, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Tiffany

      Get over it and get used to it, as the days continue people will become more selfish, rebellious, and disrespectful. I find it laughable how certain groups of people want you to respect their decisions and rights, but they willingly and GLAADly try to force their views down peoples throats. Christians do not ignore reality, but we (true children of God) show love and tolerance. Tolerance of something does not always equal acceptance of that something. I have a right to my views and so do you; I can love someONE (A PERSON) and not agree with their way of life (that someTHING). That goes for ANY way of life.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Art

      Bob...if the picture of two men kissing in front of a cross offends you, that's ok. There is nothing wrong with you feeling that way, and you don't need to be criticized for expressing that. I think it's gross and disgusting, too, but I don't hold it against them if that's what they want to do.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Free

      Again, 30 years ago a similar photo of a biracial couple would have been just as 'shocking', right?

      November 9, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Free

      Tiffany
      "Do not say, 'Why were the old days better than these?' For it is not wise to ask such questions." Ecclesiastes 7:10

      November 9, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Free

      prettypiper
      Dogs are not human beings and therefor cannot enter into a marriage contract. Really, is this a genuine concern of yours? If it is, I suggest you look at the relationship some women have with their lapdogs. That actually does make me feel uncomfortable! 🙂

      November 9, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Doobie Wah

      Keep looking Bob.
      The shock will go away.
      I find the picture sweet.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • WeSee YourIntentions

      Prettypiper, have you picked out your poodle's wedding dress yet or are you just thinking about it! 🙂

      November 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  14. hippypoet

    If you claimed to know something like the existence of radiation, and you claimed to be the person who found it, do you think in todays world people would believe you or would they know about the lovely find that killed its founder, Marie Curie , 200 years before you were even born? This is the same thing, just because you really really want jesus and god to be real doesn't make it so, and not being able to provide any argument against mine is proof of you willingness to be lead with hopes and dreams, thats a childs game! Adults play with facts and proof and or has much evidence as possible. For jesus being a thief, there is much proof, for jesus being the son of god or even simply rose from the dead – nothing but "faith"... well i have faith that when you die, the world will not morn your passing, just say "i hope he is in a better place"!

    November 9, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      All of your arguments can easily be refuted. Quite frankly, many of your positions are pretty ignorant and show absolutely no intellectual honesty or research. This is probably why people don't refute you.

      It's equivalent to you trying to argue that 1+1=3 with the juvenile positions you take, I don't know of anybody who wants to argue with someone who holds such a dumb position.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • hippypoet

      al... your an idiot...saying that noone will argue with me while posing an argument is very humorous – keep it up, i could uise the laugh today!

      November 9, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • chip

      And just because you want Jesus and God not to be real, doesn't make it so. You see how this works? You think you are making some rock-solid deductive argument, when in fact you are only making assertions with no evidence to back them up.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • 16halo

      Al, that makes no sense.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • hippypoet

      chip why is that when you asked me yesterday to provide you with the oldest scripture of Zororasterianism, which i did, you never posted again till now – is it because you choose not to admitt that all of jesus's teachings weren't his and you have no argument against it using facts and historic events to back you up!!!! yup thought so!

      November 9, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Really?

      Why are you so angry at God. I think you used to be a believer and something happened to you and you are just angry. Want to talk about it?

      November 9, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • chip

      Because you just don't get it. We have very little idea of what Zoroastrianism taught, and there is no evidence that it was prevalent in Roman occupied Palestine or the surrounding regions in Jesus' day, and therefore, your claims are absolutely baseless. The point of the oldest Zoroastrianism manuscript being 13 centuries after Christ should make you question what you THINK you know about Zoroastrianism.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      Haha and now hippypoet doesn't respond. Bc he got completely owned and he's so ignorant it's not even worth responding much of the time, and some1 takes him to school and he runs like a little girl.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • hippypoet

      chip, i think your retarded and i have a retarded friend – so i feel bad for you... so i will AGAIN POST IT for your simple mind – http://www.avesta.org/avesta.html go here and see for yourself... i have other websites as well,just not here at work – for those you will need patience! Something i think you christians don't have much of being around every corner its the end times...like you folks can't wait to meet your maker but can't kill yourselvs – too bad!

      November 9, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @hippy – How about you respond to chip's point? He makes a valid point which invalidates your ridiculous claims (which I said were juvenile and showed no intellectual honesty to begin with) and you just start calling him names? Hahahahahha, your true self has been proven, ultimate hypocrite you are. Take care and I hope you let go of the hate someday.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • hippypoet

      al, i am sry most of what is being discussed is going over your head, but i did respond... it was the website i tossed....AGAIN! why don't you either leave and stay off the blog or read the posts that you post under thinking your being clever and witty...now shooo you idiot or read the posts then get back to me.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • hippypoet

      chip, you have had more then enough time to explore the website... and you once again haven't posted after i post the site – i tihnk i see a pattern!

      November 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  15. Monkey Flinger

    Did they really have to use that picture? C'mon. I'm no bigot but really?

    November 9, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • HAHAHA

      It's just two loving people kissing each other so what.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • acorlando

      yes, you are a bigot. The public is bombarded with hetero images like this all the time. How do you think think this feels to gay people?

      November 9, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • BMA

      if it really bothers you that much...i suspect the problem is not the photo.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • robert frost

      Actually kinda hot. Or would you prefer two hot chicks?

      November 9, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Free

      30 years ago a similar photo of a biracial couple would have been just as 'shocking', right? Times change. Best not to get too hung up about it.

      "Do not say, 'Why were the old days better than these?' For it is not wise to ask such questions." Ecclesiastes 7:10

      November 9, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • fred

      30 years ago their was respect for the cross, respect for Christian and Jewish faiths. Is it a CNN accident the cross overshadows the kiss or a CNN accident that Judas betrayed Christ with a Kiss.
      The drumbeat continues for removal of the cross from the schools, the public square and now the personal lives. What no hidden message? CNN always has hidden messages and this kiss of death to the church is clear.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Hope

      They sure did. If it were a hetero couple kissing, you wouldn't have minded or even noticed. How can there be a real conversation about LGBT within the catholic church if the reality of a gay couple is not acknowledged?

      November 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Free

      fred
      "30 years ago their was respect for the cross,"
      In case you haven't noticed, Catholics equal a very large majority of all Christians worldwide, and this is a story about their changing att.itude towards gays. Your small minority's opinion of what is respectful regarding the cross really isn't the focus here, right?

      "Judas betrayed Christ with a Kiss."
      Maybe you might want to do some thinking about Jesus' lack of comment against gays, and his comfort with being kissed by another man?

      November 9, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "30 years ago their was respect for the cross, respect for Christian and Jewish faiths."

      No fred people just didn't talk about their dislike for how Christians force their religion down other peoples throats. Now that there are outlets to show this frustrations people finally feel it's OK to talk about it.

      November 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  16. SCOOBY DOO

    EXJehovahs Witness
    ***AGREED***

    November 9, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • klbaraskey

      same, and same. my mom found out i kissed another girl when i was nineteen and immediately called an elders meeting and asked "why would you do that, what are you thinking?" lol. what do you think i was thinking.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  17. hippypoet

    just some historic events that formed the message of your so called savior –

    The Buddha, born 563 b.c.
    Zoroasterianism – creation of religion – 500 b.c. possibly even as early as 1400 b.c.e

    before jesus came around Abraham's god was mean and anger, jelous and spiteful...but thats not the god jesus preached about...his message was nearly exactly like that of another great preacher – the first Buddha – he spoke about the evils of material wealth and to love one another and to show compassion to all people...Shortly after the Buddha there was a spiritual happening going down in Persia, the Movement was started with a man named Zarathruster – greek translation Zoroaster – the religion that stemed from it...Zoroasterianism, the basic tenets are One great good all powerful god and the evil enemy...no other religion has an enemy of god like Zoroaster did...the first monotheistict religion was Abraham, but the first devil figure was Zoroaster's enemy of god...

    everything above is based on historic events and facts which can be proven....

    November 9, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • hippypoet

      this is my view on the above statement –

      so with the good vs. evil gods and the message of love and compassion jesus had the perfect scam...then he died... oops!
      jesus is a thief and a lier. He combined Jewish mysticism and eastern philosphy and then claimed to be the son of god – that takes balls!
      this is an argument that states jesus was nothing like that of the modern day image of him!

      source – http://www.avesta.org/avesta.html here under the timeline page it states and elsewhere that Zoroaster may have actually lived even further into the past then i state -around 1400 or 1200 b.c. – and thats before moses!

      and so just you know, Zororasterianism is still around and kicking stronge!

      November 9, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @hippy – I hope you realize that what you're saying isn't even close to accurate. Please try to actually learn facts instead of babbling your biased BS. Thanks and have a nice day.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Latenite

      Similarities between faiths are not "proof" of dependency of origin. That's just bad logic.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • hippypoet

      you may wish to argue, but having nothing to say but "i'm wrong" aint gunna cut it.. i gave a web site to have you check my facts and then argue back at me... you instead chose the dum-b@ss path and just started whinning about how not right i am. you make me sad!

      November 9, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • hippypoet

      if thats the best you got for an alternitive argument against mine than shoo... how is it that you people are still around? Why haven't you died off yet? I pose an excellent argument using historic facts and events that are from before the time of jesus...

      i argue the similarities because jesus was supposedly the first person, the son of god...but all his messages are not his, he stole then from others then lied about it... i am using perfect logic based directly from history – if it makes you sad or even wanting to cry – do so.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Jesus Saves

      Don't worry hippypoet, sooner or later you will find out if Jesus IS (in case you don't understand when that is, it is when you die). Unfortunately, it will be TOO LATE to repent then.
      Please, I say this for your own sake and good, even if you don't believe in JESUS CHRIST as your LORD AND SAVIOUR, you don't need to abuse and insult HIM. Please show some respect, that says a lot about the true character of a person. You don't have to agree or believe to respect.
      God bless you. We in CHRIST love you very much!!

      November 9, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • hippypoet

      do you not see the lunacy in basing ones life on a belief that can't be proven right or wrong untill you die!
      you people are retared! there really is no better way to live accecpt thru something i can't prove ...thats idiotic, harmful if you are eager to meet him, and demeaning to others of differing beliefs, not religous beliefs, just different!

      November 9, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • hippypoet

      do you not see the lunacy in basing ones life on a belief that can't be proven right or wrong untill you die!
      you people are retared! there really is no better way to live accecpt thru something i can't prove ...thats idiotic, harmful if you are eager to meet him, and demeaning to others of differing beliefs, not religous beliefs, just different!!

      November 9, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Jesus Saves

      Like I wrote before hippypoet, wait and you will see. Since God is a merciful God, He will give you a chance to repent until the second you leave this earth and I pray you will have a revelation of JESUS' truth.
      As for logic, we are saved by faith and not by knowledge or logic. That's why Jesus said ...'I praise You Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and revelaed them to little children' (those whose hearts are open and innocent as children's, that is). An open heart and faith is required, we are not on an quest or investigation to prove Jesus is, we know in our hearts by faith that HE exists. And His love poured into us causes us to love everybody including you. God bless you!

      November 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Hayat

      "I pray you will have a revelation of JESUS' truth."

      No, you need to ask Allah for forgiveness.
      Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If thou forgive us not and have not mercy on us, surely we are of the lost! (Qur’an 7:23)
      My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for Thou art Best of all who show mercy. (Qur’an 23:118)
      Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget, or miss the mark! Our Lord! Lay not on us such a burden as thou didst lay on those before us! Our Lord! Impose not on us that which we have not the strength to bear! Pardon us, absolve us and have mercy on us, Thou, our Protector, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk. (Qur’an 2:286)

      November 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • hippypoet

      the only faith anyone needs is faith in themselves!
      no dead person will save you, and thinking that way is fuking crazy. Your a lunatic! As well as all your fellow believers!Dead men tell tales, but do not save!
      If you didn't understand my post earlier – here is a sumed up version... Zoroasterianism combined with Buddhism then combined with Jewish mysticism...what do you get – the message of jesus – all three came nearly 1000 years before jesus and therefore he didn't nothing but combine thoughts then add the "i am the son of god" bullsh!t... do some research into history before you give yourself to anything...understanding ones beliefs should happen before one believes!

      November 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  18. John Gabriel

    Someone should make a blow up of this photo and send a copy to each of the closet conservatives in the House and Congress.

    Too funny... We'll have more foot incidents being reported in the news...

    November 9, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  19. TODAY

    Gay people as well as those who were stright at some point and then turned gay have psychological issues. If it's natural to be gay humans would be extinced long time ago.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "Gay people as well as those who were stright at some point and then turned gay have psychological issues. If it's natural to be gay humans would be extinced long time ago."

      The experts disagree with you. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are not disorders. Research has found no inherent association between any of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Both have been documented in many different cultures and historical eras. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • TODAY

      for you it's normal

      November 9, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "for you it's normal"

      No the experts are saying it's normal.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • BRC

      @Today,
      Tendencies towards "gay" activities have existed throughout recorded human history. It is not a recent developement of a morally defunct culture, nor is it some species ending aboration. It's been happening since before ancient Greece, and it was obviously happening within the Hebrew population, or they wouldn't have made a rule about it. SO, it's obviously a potential within the human make-up, and it's pretty evidently not that big of a deal.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Chuckles

      @BRC

      I agree with you, but one thing I wanted to clarify, it's not it was necessarily happening within the hebrew culture which is why it was outlawed. Ho.mose.xulaity was outlawed more because other cultures actually accepted it and the hebrews tried to separate themselves as much as they could (thus you have the mixing of fabrics being outlaws, and other seemingly pointless laws designed to literally separate israelites from everyone else).

      November 9, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Chuckles

      PS

      As an interesting aside, This is in part why christianity has since abolished those rules of separation by using jesus as a conduit in which to absorb gentiles into the religion easier. Judaism is about being "chosen" and separate from everyone else, but christianity (not jesus, but christ followers) wanted to grow in numbers and so used scripture as a way to tear down the wall that kept gentiles out by making it more accesible and friendly towards outsiders.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • tallulah13

      Straight people have gay children. It seems to be related to a woman's hormone levels during pregnancy. There is also statistical proof that shows that the more older brothers a man has, the greater likelihood he will be gay. Strangely, these numbers only account for the right-handed individuals.

      Anyway, I feel sorry for the younger male members of that wretched Duggar clan. I suspect that there's already one or two of them conflicted about their identi.ty.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • BRC

      Chuckles,
      Good points.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Doobie Wah

      All gay children come from straight parents.
      Nice try.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  20. BriSoFla

    Great Article! Thanks for the insight and the author is right we need to keep this conversation going. Change doesnt happen overnight. Who is anyone to tell me or any other gay person that their religious beliefs that are wrong. Those that oppose us jump down our throats with hate and you get your panties in a bunch when we the Gay Community stands up for ourselves. My beliefs are GOD MADE ME GAY FOR A REASON AND WHO AM I TO GO AGAINST GOD'S PERFECT CREATION! If you don't agreee fine, that is your belief but you need to accept the fact that we live in FREE COUNTRY! If you cant, then you need get over it yourself and move to the Middle East. 🙂

    November 9, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • TODAY

      God didn't make you gay. You made yourself gay. Think about it.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • TODAY

      "Gay" is in the head.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • HAHAHA

      ""Gay" is in the head."

      Biigotry and prejudice is and it's a choice.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Rod in Texas

      For those of you said Gay's chose to be that way and God didn't make me Gay. Ask yourself this? Did you choose to be straight or did God make you straight?

      November 9, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • tallulah13

      TODAY? Your ignorance is a choice. You may be a good christian, but you are a lousy human being if you can't even be bothered to educate yourself before you start with the name calling.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Such Thinking

      Today, in saying "God didn't make you gay. You made yourself gay. Think about it." your thinking is quite convoluted. That would also be to say that an unequivocal, completely straight person can certainly change to become LGBT at any time they wish and remain that way.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
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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.