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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. JA

    John 9 1-3
    As he went along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

    November 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      Your god intentionally blinds people? Does he intentionally give kids cancer, too?

      November 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Bears 30 : Eagles 24

      November 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Really?

      Lost ya. Are we talking about blind gays now?

      November 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      JA, I think we both know what causes blindness. Now if you will excuse me.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Yup

      Im cunfused? is it watching the tv too close or beating the meat? I try to be careful with both....

      November 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      What does that verse have to do with the article? Not to mention reality.
      So this vicious creature in this vicious fairy tale viciously took out its vindictiveness upon an innocent child...and you christards somehow think this thing is worth worshiping...a little messed up in your thinking!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Is Hairy palms a sin?

      November 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • JA

      @CS
      haha you crack me up buddy. speaking of that i will be back in five minutes...............ok ahh i feel better
      Ok @ everyone else....I put this out there to make everyone think, not to cause a ruccus*

      We had a lesson about being gay in church a few months back. My sister and I as devout christians disagree with our minister as he said being gay was a sin. I believe this verse contradicts his teaching. We both believe that science is correct when saying that certain traits that depict this supposed sinful feeling is found in the human genome.

      November 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • JA

      @Truth

      God forbid that You nor myself would have to go through life with child that suffers from a deadly disease. In some ways i look up to them that suffer. Ive seen the good works that come from little ones who are dying...In many ways i think we should all live like we are dying.

      November 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Right on JA.

      November 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • teddy

      "Thinkforyourself"–God does not blind anyone or give them cancer–That is from natural cuases, disease, genetics, poor diet, etc.

      You non-believers think GOD controls things people do, He does not–People have free will....There are rules such as the commandments that GOD has given us to follow to be the best we can be when living on this earth–and our reward after we pass on is to live eternally in His kingdom.

      Anyone that doens't believe in God is sad and I feel sorry for them to think that this life on earth is all there is.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Jeff

      @teddy: See, and I feel sad for you (not really, i couldn't care less about you) that you are living your whole life on this earth in pursuit of a pipe dream that is never going to happen.

      November 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  2. hippypoet

    I like turtles.

    November 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Fake Hippy, which Ninja do like to pretend to be?

      November 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Yes I do, they can hide in their shells like me!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      (see what I did there real HP? lol)

      November 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • hippypoet

      you da man!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • hippypoet

      k , the real hippypoet is here – i like ralph – in real history he died at a young age but still mannaged to create some of the most beautiful works of art. Mikey on the other hand lived to be near 70 i think and did great stuff too, but he had the time to do more...leo, didn't do much at all besides have ideas...don, i know nothing about sadly 😦

      November 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Using undiscovered evidence, I have learned that don is the passive one. Also a nerdy turty.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • hippypoet

      fight? fight! kitchen?? kitchen!

      now in the kitchen..
      pork rine? pork rine!!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Yup

      Funny, did you watch that on Tosh.O or are you from Oregon?

      I like turtles:) LMAO

      November 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • hippypoet

      if your talking to me... thats from the first ninja turtles movie... yes, i am that kinda of nerd. so! guess this movie line : give me the amulet you bit-ch!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  3. Yup

    hippypoet,

    why are you not out protesting with the OCCUPY WALLSTREET people. Or are you doing the whole OCCUPY FROM HOME thing.

    Sorry, if i dont make myself laugh who can:)

    November 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • hippypoet

      sry if i missed this earlier... i have kids, they need to eat...so i work, and come summer, i will have a bigger veggie garden and then i can take time off being i need less money for food... but i need to find a way to generate my own power – right now i have pin wheels powering my washing machine... every turn is a micro sized wash load... i was thinking of also doing the same idea with my drains, so everytime the water runs down them it turns another turbine. just ideas in my head at the moment!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • hippypoet

      I'm getting ready for the Great tribulation spoke of in revelation, just in case.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • hippypoet

      look, i am sry that you people are sad, mean, evil little creatures full of hate...i am just honest and more knowledgible then you...and can read too i imagine being here...so go study, then get back to me with something worth talking about!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • New Movement

      Yup, speaking about that, I understand there is a new movement now growing to OCCUPY THE VATICAN! How do you think that will grab them at Vatican City!

      November 9, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  4. Central Scrutinizer

    Hey look, I loves me some ho mose xuals (as friends and fellow humans with equal rights) but I prefer to LOOK at hot chicks making out if given a choice. That's all I am saying. Nun constumes not withstanding.

    November 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  5. Yup

    If the Christian god is so powerful, why does he let the Christians sin? None of this he testing us crap... He/she or it has tested long enough.

    November 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • hippypoet

      He don't let us sin. We do that ourselves. He is just faithful to forgive our sins through the shed blood of his son, if we sincerely ask.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • A thought

      It's called Free will. God wants us to decide for ourselves whether we would like to be in his grace, or not.

      November 8, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Ridiculare

      Was the holocaust also an expression of free will? The genocide in Rwanda? Maybe the killers had free will. What about the vicitims??? I bet they would have chosen different alternatives to the gas chambers.
      Wait, they were only jewish people, not christians. Wait! Jews are god's chosen people. Wait! Most of the killed in Rwanda were christians. Do I have free will too?? Good, I want a huge bowl of ice cream, whipped cream on top, w/ blueberries and a shot of egg nog. I want it now. That is my free will. Happy holidays.

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

      Actually I am responding to hippypoet in this reply to Yup. hippy poet said pretty much the whole answer. God bless you! I just hope your comments were from your heart about God's forgiveness.

      November 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  6. Yup

    HAHAHA,

    dang, i thought of that post, but it appears we posted at the same time. Although, i am on top, HAHA to that...:)

    November 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  7. hippypoet

    hippy don't want to play no more awwwww toooo bad.

    November 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Potent Potables for 800 ! see i can play... just that your too dumb to keep posting on my argument... i can post it here again if you'd like!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Yup

      what post? stop it, they left or something...

      November 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  8. Really?

    That pic is really disgusting!

    November 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Colin

      I am a full supporter of gay rights, but I have to agree. It is a little off-putting.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Yup

      I agree, who takes it and who gives it?

      November 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      I know right? Why couldn't they put a couple of hot Asian chicks in nun costumes making out??

      November 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Mark

      Wow, two people in love is disgusting? You are a sad, angry little person.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Yup

      My guess is the one on the bottom, GET IT, "bottom". hell if i didn't make myself laugh who could...

      November 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Really?

      Sorry, there is just something about two "MEN" swapping spit that is unnatural. Sorry! Not my idea of a manly man. Yuck!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "Sorry, there is just something about two "MEN" swapping spit that is unnatural. "

      It's all in your head and your personal prejudice. It's totally natural and normal part of human sexuality.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Yup

      What do you consider MANLY? just asking, im sure one is the man in that holey union.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Really?

      Then why can't they conceive. They don't fit! Unnatural! Yup!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Yup

      REALLY?
      why cant all woman conceive? yuck, they should be slaughtered....

      November 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "Then why can't they conceive. They don't fit! Unnatural! Yup!"

      There are straight couples that can't and men do it to their wives all the time. Then there are elderly that can't. So...what's your point again? LMAO!

      By the way it's totally natural it's found in 1500 other species too. 😉

      November 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Hear This

      Colin
      "I am a full supporter of gay rights, but I have to agree. It is a little off-putting."

      I agree, but I guess it's just because it doesn't sync with our own desires, and we are not accustomed to seeing it. I suppose that we could be turned off by seeing a picture of a skinny guy in lip-lock with a fat girl too.

      Truthfully, I am not comfortable envisioning ho.mo.se.xual relations, but then I don't spend a minute of my time envisioning what my hetero neighbors are doing behind closed doors either.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • EchoSider

      I know, right! It's ok to be gay, and we fully support gay marriage but no one wants to actually see an expression of affection from gays. I mean, that just goes to far, right?

      /sarcasm

      November 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Really?

      Yup...why can't any men naturally conceive. Cause it is UNNATURAL. Like beastiality and pedophiles.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      @Hear This – great post. Our reaction to the picture says more about ourselves than it does the picture.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "Yup...why can't any men naturally conceive. Cause it is UNNATURAL. Like beastiality and pedophiles."

      The fact your using those two stupid analogies with the gay issue shows you are clueless and your prejudice is founded on stupidity.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • J.W

      So by that logic every person who cant conceive is unnatural

      November 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "Really?
      Yup...why can't any men naturally conceive. Cause it is UNNATURAL. Like beastiality and pedophiles."

      When you make such ridiculous comparisons you do nothing but highlight your own ignorance and hatred. Couples over the age of seventy can't conceive naturally, either. Are you also equating grandma and grandpa to a pedophile? If you actually have an argument, try not to resort to such ridiculous statements and maybe people will actually take you seriously.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Hey look, I loves me some ho mose xuals (as friends and fellow humans with equal rights) but I prefer to LOOK at hot chicks making out if given a choice. That's all I am saying. Nun constumes notwithstanding.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Really?

      ha ha.... don't change the subject, answer the question. If it is totally natural then why aren't they equipped to have their own children with each other? If they are a natural family, wouldn't you think they could conceive? Just don't add up to me. If it was intended to be that way we will eventually become extinct. It don't go with the theory of survival of the species.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      "that pic is really disgusting".
      That's what they said 50 years ago, about black guys holding hands with white girls, and vice versa. It's disgusting only if you have no exposure to it. Too bad you live in a deluded little world. Who cares ? "Manly" men ? Hahahaha. Why do you think the bars in Oceanside CA are FULL of marines most evenings ? It's because there are VERY "manly" men, who ONLY like other "manly" men. You live such ignorant sheltered lives. Wake up ! It's perfectly "natural" if you are gay. If THAT threatens you, then YOU are the one with the problem. it's a "natural" as breathing to those who are gay. If you don't believe it, go take a class in Human Se'xuality, or Google it. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616122106.htm
      If YOU don't like it, STFU, and stop trying to foist your personal opinions on others. Let them be. If the human experience of se'xuality were a matter of choice, then when EXACTLY did YOU choose to be straight ? (You realize of course, that that implies YOU could have gone either way?) Time to grow up, and give up the ancient world views, and take a science course or two, and live in the 21st Century. 😈

      November 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      @really – its natural because they were born that way – as it also happens in other species. Our species does not require 100% or its members to procreate for the species to survive.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Really?

      ThinkForYourself......who said I hate them. I don't hate them. It's just not meant to be that way or their LOVE could make babies. Sorry. They were not built to be together or they could survive by procreating. It's just the truth, not hate.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "If it was intended to be that way we will eventually become extinct. It don't go with the theory of survival of the species."

      Gays have been a part of human history all along and we are fine. The problem is with your barbaric mentality it's ok that we are hitting 7 billion people now on a planet that won't sustain us if we keep procreating! We are invading other animal spaces driving many of them to extinction. So by your stupid mentality... we'll go extinct. DUH!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      @Reallu "ThinkForYourself......who said I hate them. "

      I'm not the one comparing them to pedophiles

      November 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Really?

      That pic is anything BUT MANLY! You know it!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "That pic is anything BUT MANLY! You know it!"

      Why are you classifying love as manly, that's just stupid.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Fookin' Prawn

      @Really – so your point is that people who can't get each other pregnant shouldn't love each other? You don't see anything faulty in that logic?

      November 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Ridiculare

      I like the guy on the right. Sensual. You can have the little bugger on the left. Headscarf, yuk!

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

      That's what I say when I see straight people kiss.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  9. hippeypoet

    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    November 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Yup

      Makes you wonder with those religions who would be left? Maybe all newborns that have not had the opportunity to sin yet? Hmm, food for thought....

      November 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      Being gay is not a sin moron.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Jesus died for our sins all we have to do is accept him as savior.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "Jesus died for our sins all we have to do is accept him as savior."

      Which is why there are 1000's of gay christians out there in loving partnerships. DUH

      November 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Yup

      All religions, or just some religions is not being gay a sin? Educate me please...

      November 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Rick

      The wages of sin is death, but after taxes are taken out, you are just left with a sort of tired feeling

      November 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • hippypoet

      sry but god died with jesus on the cross... thats why i smile all day long... because i know this is the best it will ever be!

      to the false hippypoet – tisk tisk, at least try to sound like me or your gunna try at all!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Fookin' Prawn

      @Rick – thank you for that.

      November 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Ridiculare

      Remember, Jesus practically lived for almost 3 years.... with a bunch of guys. GUYS! Get it? You don't think there is a remote possibility that someone was sweet on someone else??

      November 9, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  10. Bucky Ball

    Actually, it's not at all surprising that the Roman church opposes, officially, the GLBT movement. It fundamentally threatens their philosophical, and theological "house of cards". They really have no option to oppose it, as if they didn't, they step onto the slippery slope of "relativism", and a non-Thomistic view of human se'xuality and Natural Law, (and authority). They KNOW they have good reasons NEVER to let this door open, even a crack, because when you pull out, even one card, from the "house of cards", the whole thing crashes down. Do you hear that crashing sound ? Most American Catholics, and even more European Catholics do not attend Mass every week. The power of the paternalistic church authorities is weakening by the day. There are women being ordained in secret ordinations, and no one really cares what the bishops say or do any more. It is an organization of mostly grey and blue haired OLDER women. 😈

    November 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Sandy

      Maybe in your church, but not mine. We're in the process of building a new church to house the growing congregation. You're right about one thing, though: most American Catholics care not what the bishops say. (The new mass translation is going to make this harder to do, though, as it seems to be pulling Catholics back pre-Vatican II.)

      November 9, 2011 at 2:26 am |
  11. now then

    God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

    November 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • hippeypoet

      Jesus Christ is Lord!

      November 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Ridiculare

      You are not god, I won't change my mind. I have spoken. Have you? But maybe you said, and he will not do it? What? He won't? C'mon, give me a fill, so that he should lie, not with dog nor with man. Has he fallen filled? Or did he change his mind? I am gettin' confused, that's for sure. Yes, all the irony in the world.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  12. Yup

    IF YOU DONT BELIEVE IN MY GOD< THEN WE HAVE A PROBLEM... Sound familiar.... Of course, there is only one GOD.. and you all are going to hell if you don't believe. OH, Jesus is the savior, Fu–ck Abraham and his virgins..

    November 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  13. now then

    During the whole period of my life that I was gay, I felt a longing. It was when I gave myself to Jesus that I was able to be loyal to my wife and give up the gay lifestyle.

    November 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • BobbyBarnes

      Now then, look at the post below. You cannot pray the gay away. you are gay, just accept it.

      November 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Yup

      Still think about the penis though huh???

      November 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • now then

      get a life copycat

      November 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Fookin' Prawn

      Does your wife know you've been getting it on with Jesus??

      November 8, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Jesus

      Did you give yourself to Jesus Ramirez, the gardener? I

      November 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Truth hurts, deal with it

      Im glad to hear that you need to share your story because alot of people think its normal and they were made to be like that, dont listen to these creeps please

      November 27, 2011 at 1:22 am |
  14. bachmanntwit

    FACT: Michele Bachmann's husband, Marcus Bachmann, is gay.
    FACT: He tried and he tried and he tried, but he just couldn't pray away his own gay.
    FACT: Michele Bachmann and her husband have never seen each other naked.

    November 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  15. Father O'blivion

    Whoa now, slow down there me sons and daughters. You be needin' a nutritious pancake breakfast before you start on the holy killing spree. Bless ya all then.

    November 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Yup

      And a blessing

      November 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Father O; good day my friend...so nice to see you out to fight the fight again today 🙂

      November 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Wes S

      At Saint Alfonso's pancake breakfast where I stole the margarene...

      November 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Always a pleasure Truth, always a pleasure 😉

      November 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Father O'blivion

      @truth
      Ah, me alter ego got ahead of himself again as does more often then not LOL

      November 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Father O'blivion

      But you know I need the help from 'ol CS. My flock is growing and everyone be needin' there pancakes hot and fresh! Even the Hippy Poet has been helpin' St. Alphonzo and me!

      November 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Father O'blivion

      Welcome to my flock Wes me lad!! Bless ya then.

      November 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  16. hippypoet

    to the wanna-be hippy: please show us your witt and intelligence by posing an argument agaisnt this –

    The Buddha, born 563 b.c.
    Zoroasterianism – creation of religion – 500 b.c.

    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 god... so with the good vs. evil gods and the message of love and compassion jesus had the perfect scam...then he died... oops!

    November 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • now then

      Buddha is not God.

      November 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Yup

      Budda is a God, what one do you worship?

      November 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • hippypoet

      who said he was dip sh!T...no one, learn to read! tisk tisk... your loser jesus is a thief and a lier. he stole Jewish mysticism and eastern philosphy and then claimed to be the son of god – that takes balls!

      November 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Hear This

      now then,

      How obtuse can you be? hippypoet is saying that Jesus may have filched those philosophies. He (Jesus) kicked around for 30 years before he went on the preaching trail, you know. Who knows what he picked up along the way... including perhaps some magic tricks from Egyptian lore.

      November 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • chip

      Generally, to argue against something, it needs to actually be an argument. You just spewed a bunch of random facts and thoughts together, which you apparently think is an argument. Try again.

      November 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • J.W

      I can see the similarities of Jesus' teaching and Buddhism. I am not sure about Zoroastrianism because I do not know the finer points of that particular religion. I know basically that they believe in one God, and from the basic things I have read that God seemed similar to the God of the OT. I am sure that when humans first existed that there was not much in the way of philosophy, but in the few thousand years before Jesus, probably just about all of the ideals that Jesus put forth had existed at some point. There were probably a variance of philosophies that existed, so it would have been difficult for them not to overlap somewhere. However, Jesus brought the ideas together and introduced them to his followers and the Jews that maybe had a different philosophy.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Anyone can be a Buddha, but only Mormons can be Gods.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • hippypoet

      here ya chip, you said this – chip

      Generally, to argue against something, it needs to actually be an argument. You just spewed a bunch of random facts and thoughts together, which you apparently think is an argument. Try again.

      but what you missed was the post after mine by me which was the end, i spaced because of a customer!

      so here it is again, your loser jesus is a thief and a lier. he stole 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! hell the man was most likely black with nappy hair, but all the white folk swear it is white too – didn't god form us in his image or was it the other way around!??!!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • hippypoet

      J.W.

      what i am saying is that the OT god destoryed cities because of them breaking his rules, yet today vegas still sits with all the same evils if not more evil!!! so in short, the two dudes called god are either different creations of man, or god had a family intervention where jesus said "whoa dad, we need to talk about your anger issues....get help" and yay he did! or the whole thing is messed up from the start . Jesus is a con-man who told a good story! if we had cedit cards then he would have had them all!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Jake

      Buddhism comes in multiple flavors. The initial – pure, if you will – form of Buddhism does not declare that the Buddha is a god. Indeed, it is generally free form metaphysical presumptions/tenets of any kind. Many forms of Buddhism currently practiced do, however, elevate the Buddha to a diety or something like one.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • J.W

      As far as the picture we have of Jesus, the gospels themselves paint different pictures of what Jesus. The picture that Mark shows us it seems more of like a darker side of Jesus, and he was often more critical of his disciples in Mark. Mark still has some of things that he said and did, and includes the crucifixion, but it is more to the point than the others. The picture becomes different in the other gospels, until John, when Jesus I would say seems the most God-like.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • chip

      Can you stay on topic? I really don't care what Jesus' hair looked like or his color. As to Jesus stealing anything from anyone else, just because you say it doesn't prove it. Feel free to provide actual evidence if you have it, but until you do, it's reasonable to dismiss your nonsense.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • hippypoet

      chip, get over yourself... i know what i am posting is not proof – it is a look thru history at the man called the son of god, the savior of man ... and from any rational point of view, he stole his teachings from buddhism, he created a kind god like that of zoroasterianism, and then kept most of the jewish mysticism that he grew up with – whoa, thats a hard concept to fathom... i understand if you need a minute to take it all in.... i'll wait. 🙂

      November 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • J.W

      I think Vegas is ok. It doesn't say gambling is wrong in the Bible. New Orleans and Detroit have a lot of violent crime and murders, and they have seen hard times. And in a way Vegas has too. Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the country. Not that all of this is because of God, but Im just saying.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • chip

      Why would I need to get over myself when you're the one making baseless assertions? Answer me this question, if you will, what is the oldest manuscript of the Zoroastrian religion in existence?

      November 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • hippypoet

      chip
      i would say its the Avesta texts... written before 500b.c. but it was translated around then...so thats the date i know of... but what this says is that the words were written either during Zoroaster's life or just after his death...and it is still practiced today!

      November 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • chip

      I'd suggest you check your facts. Try 14th century CE. Think about that. I'm sure you think that the Bible is unreliable textually because some of its texts are a generation to a few hundred years removed from their source, but these are removed by almost 3000 years, and that's what you're basing your argument on.

      November 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • hippypoet

      dude, where did go pull that date from? the hymns are generally said to have been written by zoroaster himself, and some people even place him as far back as 1200 b.c.e. i said 500 b.c. because they are def. that old, but i did say they came from older texts... eithey, whats your argument? show the site you found your 1400 ad from ...this i have to see! heres my site http://www.avesta.org/avesta.html wheres yours?

      November 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Wes S

      Several religions that are much older than Christianity had the exact same parables, messages, events, ceremonies, etc. as those adopted and adapted by early Christians. Those stories are ancient, and served as the pretext for most major religions. Only the names were changed to "protect the innocent" (make it seem as if teh messages were new.)

      November 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @Wes S, thank you for adding to the conversation... my choice of religions to use in this discussion was Zoroasterianism and Buddhism, zoro has the first one god with one enemy idea, and buddha has the message of no material wealth and love for all... these combined make the message that jesus pushed... no other beliefs are equal to this, hence why i didn't go too deep into human religious history... there is no way anyone can look at these two belief systems and not see the message of jesus! which then i am hoping that they will deduce the same and grow the fuk up..move beyond the idea of god and just live by the message, which is still a great one, just it wasn't brought to us by the son of god!

      November 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • yourworstnightmare

      But unlike Buddha he came back from the dead conquered death and reign forever and ever

      November 27, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • Mirosal

      ok, so your "saviour" is a zombie. I'm sure we'll all sleep better at night knowing that. Oh, wait ... zombies don't exist, so I guess we're all safe anyway!!

      November 27, 2011 at 1:41 am |
  17. Finch

    According to the bible it is against god's word to eat shellfish. And yet we do it. Why? Shouldn't we hate people who eat shellfish? It also says that women are to remain obdient and silent, learning nothing for themselves but taking direction from men to find approval in every aspect of their lives... you know, like twilight!

    The point is this - times have changed.

    When it comes right down to it, the bible DOES say one thing that makes a whole bucket of sense no matter what time it is – it is a sin to speak for the lord. Judgement will be passed by him only, and it is our jobs as christians to love one another (be it friends, enemies, or someone we dont necessarilly agree with) and show them kindness. THAT is the job of a christian. Not spewing out 'I'm right, you're wrong' logic.

    In my opinion the greatest sacrifice one could ever perform is somehow finding it in your heart to love your enemy. You dont have to like them, but even being able to truly forgive them for hurting you and wishing them well KNOWING they won't change is an amazing feat.

    Peace. Love. Acceptance.

    This is my role as a catholic, although some may call me untrue to my religion for it. I will not judge, I will not taunt, and I will not cause pain to some one I do not agree with. I will pray for them, I will try to befriend them if they're open minded and welcoming to my company, I will talk to them about my views if they're willing to but I will not shove my beliefs down their throats.

    SO there was my humble opinion, take what you want from it. Have a nice day.

    November 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Finch

      TLDR:

      Stop worrying about every one else's soul but your own. You're not as perfect as you think. No one is.

      November 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Yup

      Worry about your own,,, But of course if your Catholic " a confession, a couple of up/downs and left/right across your chest should suffice. Whew, that was close, Amen.

      November 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Finch

      @ Yup

      I'm catholic and should've been offended at your comment but what the hell. HAHAHA!!! Its sad but true. Many people think that confession is an easy way out and don't really understand what repentance is. Its more than just saying 'I'm sorry I did this. I won't do it again.' because more often than not, you WILL do it again.

      It should be a realization that you're flawed and a point in your life where you accept that you have to try harder to be a better person.

      I know I'm kind of reading too much into it. But your comment did make me laugh. And rant. You're neat.

      November 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  18. Colin

    Ten signs you are a Catholic.

    1. You believe that the pope has personal conversations with God (that nobody else ever hears) and is infallible when he elects to speak “from the chair” on matters of Church doctrine. You then wistfully ignore the fact that Church doctrine changes and that former popes therefore could not possibly have been “infallible”. Limbo, for example, was touted by pope after pope as a place where un-baptized babies who die go, until Pope Benedict XVI just eradicated it (or, more accurately, so watered it down as effectively eradicate it in a face saving way). Seems all those earlier “infallible” Popes were wrong – as they were on Adam and Eve v. evolution, heliocentricity v. geocentricity, immaculate conception, and a host of other issues that required an amendment of official Church doctrine. You also ignore the innumerable murders, rampant corruption and other crimes committed over the centuries by your “infallible”, god-conversing popes.

    2. You reject the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours. You are blissfully (or intentionally) blind to the fact, that had you been born in another part of the World, you would be defending the local god(s) and heralding the incorrectness of Catholic beliefs.

    3. You begrudgingly accept evolution (about a century after Darwin proved it and after accepting Genesis as literally true for about 2,000 years) and that Adam and Eve was totally made up, but then conveniently ignore that fact that your justification for Jesus dying on the cross (to save us from Original Sin) has therefore been eviscerated. Official Church literature still dictates a belief in this nonsense.

    4. You disdain native beliefs as “polytheist” and somehow “inferior” but cannot explain (i) why being polytheistic is any sillier than being monotheistic. Once you make the quantum leap into Wonderland by believing in sky-fairies, what difference does if make if you believe in one or many?; nor (ii) why Christians believe they are monotheistic, given that they believe in god, the devil, guardian angels, the holy spirit, Jesus, many demons in hell, the Virgin Mary, the angel Gabriel, thousands of saints, all of whom apparently make Earthly appearances periodically, and all of whom inhabit their life-after-death lands with magic-sacred powers of some kind.

    5. You bemoan the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don`t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees or the 3,000 Israelites killed by Moses for worshipping the golden calf (or the dozen or so other slaughters condoned by the bible). You also like to look to god to for guidance in raising your children, ignoring the fact that he drowned his own – according to your Bible.

    6. You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that God impregnated Mary with himself, to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to “forgive” an ”Original Sin” that we now all know never happened.

    7. You criticize gays as sinners, but have no problem when Lot got drunk and committed father-daughter in.cest (twice) or offered his daughters to a mob to be gang ra.ped, or when Abraham, time and again, offered his wife up for the “pleasures” of the Egyptians to save his own skin.

    8. You believe that your god will cause anyone who does not accept your Bronze Age stories to suffer a penalty an infinite times worse than the death penalty (burning forever in excruciating torture) simply because of their healthy skepticism, yet maintain that god “loves them”.

    9. You will totally reject any scientific breakthrough that is inconsistent with your established doctrine, unless and until it is so generally accepted as to back you into a corner. While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you of the deep inanity of your silly faith, some priest doing magic hand signals over bread and wine is enough to convince you it is thereby transformed into the flesh and blood of Jesus because of the priest’s magic powers (or “sacred powers” to the extent you see a difference).

    10. You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to Lourdes, Fátima and other magic places and prayers in general. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. The remaining 99.99% failure was simply “god moving in mysterious ways”. The fact that, if you ask for something repeatedly, over and over, year after year, sooner or later that thing is bound to happen anyway, has not even occurred to you. A stopped clock is right twice a day.

    11. You accept the stories in the Bible without question, despite not having the slightest idea of who actually wrote them, how credible these people were or how long the stories were written after the alleged events they record occurred. For example, it is impossible for Moses to have written the first five books of the Old Testament, as Catholics believe. For one, they record his death and events after his death. In fact, the chance of the Bible being historically accurate in any but the broadest terms is vanishingly small.

    Heavens, I could not fit them into ten.

    November 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong:

      01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

      02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

      03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

      04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

      05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; my parents ran out and got divorced the minute they heard that a gay couple got married in Vermont.

      06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

      07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

      08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. We really want 21st social policy set by people who still believe in Iron Age myths from the Middle East that were cobbled together during the Dark Ages.

      09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

      10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans. 😈

      November 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Wes Scott

      10-4, Eleanor. And, I hope you will not be offended if I copy and re-use your excellent essay on the Ten Signs You Are a Catholic. It never ceases to amaze me that Christians fail to see the hypocrisy and contradictions in what they claim to believe. I guess that is how they can oppose abortion, yet accept the killing of abortion doctors, or how they can rationalize invading other countries and killing people so that we can get their oil.

      November 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Liz the First

      Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you! and this comes from a recovered Catholic. :-)))

      November 8, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  19. Central Scrutinizer

    Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes, and observe them; I am the Lord; I sanctify you.

    All who curse father or mother shall be put to death; having cursed father or mother, their blood is upon them.

    If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbour, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death. The man who lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness; both of them shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.

    If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall be put to death; they have committed perversion; their blood is upon them.

    If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them. [Leviticus, chapter 20]

    Now let’s start killing half the people in America. We are supposed to kill everyone who has cursed his father or mother, everyone who has committed adultery, and every hom ose xual.

    Go on then, get started Christians!

    November 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Baby Come Back

      :O Everyone on the Jerry Springer show is fu-cked.

      November 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Colin

      I also saw a guy woring o nthe Sabbath. We'd better take him out, too.

      November 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Let's go "Preacher with a Shot Gun" on their as ses!

      November 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Mark

      I just realized my t-shirt is a poly blend. I was about to find a rock to try and beat myself to death, when I suddenly remembered I'm not a part of some insane johnny-come-lately desert religion of arbitrary rules. Whew, that was a close one!

      November 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Close call Mark. Good man.

      November 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Colin...I know some lesbian couples, shall we take them out too? how about burning crosses on the lawns of the inter-racially mixed families?

      November 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Father O'blivion

      Dam it Truth! Now I have to shoot myself!

      November 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • teddy

      Central Scrutinizer
      -You are not reading the bible passages properly. Man are not the ones to "kill" people for their sins, God would by not letting them, into his kingdom after they pass on, these sinners that do not repent or go to confession ...However, "kill" doesn't mean to murder someone....The people commiting the sins are "killing" themselves slowly (their soul or being at risk of STD's, etc.)

      You non-believers really have a comprehension problem and are not educated to read between the lines of parables..

      November 9, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  20. Yup

    Yup, a couple of ups/downs and cross to cross and your forgiven... NOW get back to killing and fu-cking....

    November 8, 2011 at 1:38 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.