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. hippypoet

    being gay is not a choice, they are born this way... the church only has power if you let them....religion is a personal thing, there is no need if you wish to believe to go to church as that has nothing to do with the message of god/jesus/Buddha/Odin
    whatever – if you believe and are gay, thats just another battle – fight the good fight and live to love! screw everyone else who doesn't understand and hates you for them being short-sighted and close-minded!

    November 10, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • WWJD

      If you saw another person standing on a train track and the train was headed right toward them would you warn them to get off the tracks. Same Thing!

      November 10, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • WWJD

      If your brother was about to drive off a cliff unknowingly and you had time would you warn him? Same Thing!

      November 10, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • mcool123

      I agree

      November 10, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Chuckles

      @how do you unknowingly dive off a cliff?

      November 10, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • hippypoet

      how is anything you just said like being gay and treated like sh!t for it?

      November 10, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • WWJD

      The wages of sin is death! Drive off a cliff is death! Stand in the path of train is death!

      November 10, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • hippypoet

      if your argument is being gay is a sin then your wrong... if you wish to go that route, then in your book all it says is laying with a man like a woman is a sin, not being gay! so pleae try again.. i will be here till 11:30, then – biz meeting

      November 10, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "The wages of sin is death! "

      Being gay is not a sin moron.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • mcool123

      hippypoet: Are you gay? Because you are all offensed about it too much?

      November 10, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • hippypoet

      not that it makes a difference, but no – i have had a gay relationship once, I needed to know for sure so i jumped in you could say, it wasn't for me...... i am married to a woman, we have 2 kids together – however she is bi, that we know for sure! I find that if you never try something new, then your thoughts are only conjecture and your opinion of whatever is worthless.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • mcool123

      hippypoet, sorry man, don't get all ofenseive about it. It's okay. I am in a relationships with a dude, i just need some help with my relationship with him. Can you help me?

      November 10, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • tallulah13

      Since you think warning people about their activities is a good thing, WWJD, here you go: There is more proof that being gay is innate than of there is proof of the existence of any god. In fact, there is no proof that supports the existence of any god, any heaven, or any hell. Therefore, you are the one engaging in unnatural behavior. Your personal fear of death and the unknown is not an excuse to discriminate against minorities. It's immoral and wrong behavior.

      Consider yourself warned.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • hippypoet

      mcool123 all problems in all relationships stem from a lack of communication... while you still may talk plenty with your partner, you may be holding back from what you wish to or need to say... i have found that being honest, even if it loses you the relationship, is always the best path and the relationship was going down sooner or later anyway. If that helps yay, if it doesn't, sry. Thats all i can offer anyone in a bind – talk it out...sometimes its your fault and by accecpting blame allows both to move on and grow.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • mcool123

      hippypoet thanks and i will. You're the best

      November 10, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • hippypoet

      your welcome... how old are you? if you don't mind me asking..

      November 10, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "have found that being honest, even if it loses you the relationship, is always the best path"

      I agree hippy and the reward for that honesty when the relationship stays together is greater trust and intimacy. The only thing I would add is have those conversations when you are both ready to talk, don't do it in the middle of a heated discussion. Walk away calm down, then plan a time to sit down and open up.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • hippypoet

      yeah, a clear head is always needed. And when your in a heated argument – breathing, walking away, opening a door even – anythnig to calm down , to clear your head... only then can a proper conversation happen. Otherwise you or the other person will be only waiting for the sucker punch in word form!

      November 10, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Free

      Except this supposed cliff is completely undetectable, and you only think it's there.

      November 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Sorry, but in what way does "sin" cause death, at least in the sense that driving off a cliff does anyway?

      November 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  2. Becky

    It's a big problem when the church begins to be seen as just a "club." If it's nothing more than a club, then sure, you might as well leave and join a humanitarian organization or something. I'm not even Catholic, but church is supposed to be the living, breathing body of Christ, bringing healing to the world and following God's Word. If you see it as a club, you should have left long ago.

    November 10, 2011 at 8:07 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "It's a big problem when the church begins to be seen as just a "club."

      It's a cult not a club.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:19 am |
    • catholic engineer

      Cults and clubs have a tendency not to outlast 2000 years of every kind of attack, including from within. The Founder of the Church said that the gates of hell would not prevail. This would be a miracle. If, as atheists insist, Jesus is dead or didn't even exist, the church's survival is even a bigger miracle. Hell has used everything from Roman persecuation, to barbarian invasions, to the relativity of rationalism, to over-stretched science, to Evangelical fundamentalism, to communism and Nazism, to inside corruption to attack the church. Each manifestation of hall has failed every time. If I wanted to find "the true" church, I would find the one which has survived the strongest and most persistent persecutions. Only one candidate would be left.

      November 10, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by catholic engineer contains the ad populumfallacy.


      November 10, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by catholic engineer contains the ad populum fallacy.


      November 10, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • catholic engineer

      The post of Fallacy Spotting 101 refers to the ad populum fallacy fallacy.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "atheists insist, Jesus is dead or didn't even exist,"

      Jesus is dead but he could have existed. What some of us are saying is the grandiose story of him is made up, just like what happen with Santa Claus. The story of Santa is based on a real person but man made him into something he is not. If you look back at other religions during the time period of Jesus they used those stories to create the son of a god. They had to create a religion to unite people, give them a sense of meaning to their lives because back then life really sucked! We don't need this made up religion in our lives anymore especially since it continues fuel hatred and division within our communities.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • tallulah13

      So by catholic engineer's estimation, hinduism must be the true religion, since it is older than judaism, has withstood centuries of invading armies (including the very christian British) and still survives and thrives.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • J.W

      There are other churches that have withstood persecution. The Jews have also withstood much persecution, probably the most of any religion. There are other Christian groups that have been persecuted as well.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • MM

      catholic engineer: Your "rebuttal" makes no sense. It's more akin to a child sticking his fingers in his ears and shouting, "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

      November 10, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  3. tokencode

    These gays should be ashamed of themselves associating with a group that has questionable morals like the Catholic Church.

    November 10, 2011 at 6:30 am |
    • catholic engineer

      By questionable morals, do you mean "No adultery"? " Don't interpret the Bible according to your own taste"? Maybe you mean "not caving into the fads of relative morality"? What is immoral about taking care of large numbers of immigrants, especially Hispanics and Vietnamese? Building hospitals and universities abound the planet is generally not seen as immoral, but maybe you have some priveledged information to share.

      November 10, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by catholic engineer is an instance of the composition fallacy.


      November 10, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • mcool123

      no they shouldn't be ashamed, maybe you should be, because you are just making fun of gays, maybe you are just jealous, freaking jerk!!!!

      November 10, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  4. TonyBigs

    It is not that Catholics refuse practicing gay, it is that practicing gay refuse to be Catholics.

    Practicing gay have excommunicated themselves. Ipso Facto. The act itself.

    The Catholic Church cannot confirm people in their sins.

    November 10, 2011 at 3:20 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "The Catholic Church cannot confirm people in their sins."

      Yes they do, but they just look the other way, look at the pedophile priests they protected for years. Oh, then take a good look at those attending many would fall into the categories of greed, gluttony, adultery, etc..... but they can't point out those sins because it would affect their bottom line. LOL!

      November 10, 2011 at 8:18 am |
    • Pope Jebus

      We shelter pedophiles and took literal tons of Nazi Gold. But damn it all if we let a couple that loves eachother be happy!

      November 10, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • Primewonk

      98% of Catholic women in the US have used forms of birth control banned by the church.

      November 10, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • catholic engineer

      Where I live, we have Native American churches. You might see "South Road Indian Church". Hispanics tend to segregate themselves into their own congregations. This is not exclusive. People with a common history and culture are naturally more comfortable together. Maybe the gays should simply form their own churchs. Jesus is interested in them, too.

      November 10, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Bob

      CE, present any evidence that your Jesus is currently interested in anything.

      November 10, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • catholic engineer

      @Bob "CE, present any evidence that your Jesus is currently interested in anything." You are on a faith blog, so tolerate some scripture: In Mark, Jesus refered to those who "have eyes but cannot see, ears but cannot hear." Ezekiel 12 refers to the same people. In other words, Bob, you may not understand the evidence if it was given to you.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Bob

      Thanks, CE. You don't have any evidence. I thought so.

      I suspect I know the scriptures better than you do. Go on with that if you want, but there's no evidence you can pull from them, just circular reasoning, at best.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • catholic engineer

      @Bob Don't worry about scripture. I wonder if you understand "circular reasoning". Lots of atheists use the term, but they seldom explain it.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Free

      "It is not that Catholics refuse practicing gay, it is that practicing gay refuse to be Catholics.
      But for a gay person to be a Catholic means being celibate, in your opinion, so your distinction is really meaningless, right?

      Catholics make up the Church, and they can actually exercise their political power to change what the definition of being a Catholic includes by speaking out and even leaving if change is not forthcoming.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by catholic engineer is a form of the ad hominem fallacy.


      November 10, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "Maybe the gays should simply form their own churchs. "

      Wow, you need to get out more, they already do and many churches have changed their policies and now accept gay couples into their house of worship.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  5. Alien Orifice

    Hey Ya'll, HeavenSent thinks that children who are molested by pedophiles deserve it! Who wants to jump on the HeavenSent bandwagon?? Those damn kids, they are just asking for it!! Right??

    November 10, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • Observer

      Let's see what she has to say and if she meant what she said.

      There sure are some morons on here. James is clueless.

      November 10, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • HS

      Alien Orifice, AKA Central Scrutinizer, AKA Father O'Blivion, AKA hippypoet, AKA Sheik Yerbouti has been using other people's handles. He took mine and posted terrible things that do not represent what I am about under my handle.

      November 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  6. James

    Yuck. I am no longer going to open such disgusting threads and generate ad revenue for multinational corporations like CNN. And I'd hope that you guys who do indeed want to discuss the issues pertaining to the lewd, graphic and inappropriate garbage posted above, please do so on your forums - you can generate all the revenue there for yourselves you like, and not worry about giving to CNN or any other such organisation which does not care about you whatsoever.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Observer


      Do you pretend you are a Christian?

      November 10, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • tallulah13

      Poor James. The sight of people in a loving relationship is repulsive to him. He's a delicate flower and he is so much more important than anyone else, his needs must be met first. Because Jesus loves him.

      November 10, 2011 at 3:23 am |
    • JR

      Good one Talluah

      November 10, 2011 at 5:00 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "Yuck. I am no longer going to open such disgusting threads and generate ad revenue for multinational corporations like CNN. And I'd hope that you guys who do indeed want to discuss the issues pertaining to the lewd, graphic and inappropriate garbage posted above, please do so on your forums"

      LMAO not only did you click on it, look at the picture, you took the time to comment several times. So you contributed to the very thing you are trying to condemn. LMAO!

      November 10, 2011 at 8:15 am |
  7. Alien Orifice

    On 11/9/2011, HeavenSent said the following to me:


    He skated around the question because he knows I've got him figured out. Anywho, he probably deserved what happened to him.


    She was referring to the fact that I was se xually molested by a pedophile when I was 12 years old.

    I bring this to your attention because at one time, I thought HeavenSent was just a harmless old hag mad at the world. Now I realize she is far stranger. Perhaps dangerous.

    No sane or decent person would make that kind of statement. I encourage you not to engage HeavenSent in conversation. In my opinion, she has clearly crossed the line. She is IN FACT a nut case.

    My opinion only, but that is exactly what she said and that is really creepy. You be the judge.

    November 9, 2011 at 10:48 pm |

    RCC is wrong about many things, but if they ever give in to the pressure of this kind of crazy crowd, which demands acceptance of their lewd lifestyles, they would be totally washed out! Sin of lust and any form of perversion has no place in God's church, which is the spiritual body of Christ. If they want to become Christians, they MUST FORSAKE their sinful lifestyles. Period!

    November 9, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • Observer


      "Sin of lust and any form of perversion has no place in God's church, which is the spiritual body of Christ."

      Paul said that MARRIAGE was for people who lusted for each other. So was he trashing marriage or don't you follow the New Testament?

      November 9, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • James

      I've come to realise Observer is just a vile f*ggot posting on these forums because others didn't accept his twisted way of life.

      It ought to have its throat slit.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • Observer


      If they ever wanted a poster child for Christian hypocrisy, you have it made or aren't you claiming you are a Christian?

      November 9, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Zowie

      If you read into things as all people do then you can justify saying. I was not doing anything GAY in church so therefore I have not committed a sin IN GODS HOUSE because I was outside.

      November 10, 2011 at 7:33 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "they would be totally washed out! Sin of lust and any form of perversion has no place in God's church, which is the spiritual body of Christ."

      LOL! Even the pope look at the science and said being gay is not a sin. Then there are all the churches that now accept gays and there are now gay pastors. The experts in psychology have shown that being gay is normal and is not a mental illness. Nowhere in your bible does your god condemn the saved loving married partnership of gays.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:13 am |
    • TheTruthFairy

      did you get "vile f*ggot" from sunday school?

      November 10, 2011 at 8:23 am |
  9. Jefferson

    CNN should at least have the journalistic integrity to change the name of the blog to the "Non Belief Blog", because judging by the consistent content they put out here, they aren't worried about religious faith, but the tearing down of religious edicts to fit a humanistic world view.

    November 9, 2011 at 10:20 pm |

      Yep, you've got that right!

      November 9, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • Observer

      Believers don't do well on here. They usually get whipped by the nonbelievers.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:10 pm |

      "Believers don't do well on here. They usually get whipped by the nonbelievers"
      LOL! no, you've got it all wrong, because the Believers have the Word of God that cuts deep into the heart of a man, to bring out his secret thoughts... But all the unbelievers have is a whip made up of slang words, and hateful , vile spirit who lashes out of them when he's exposed!

      November 10, 2011 at 7:50 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "But all the unbelievers have is a whip made up of slang words, and hateful , vile spirit who lashes out of them when he's exposed!"

      That's a total lie, it's only what a brainwashed christian has to believe when they are shown there is no god. It's these false beliefs about those that are different than you why christianity is so bad because they fuel hate within our society.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:09 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "but the tearing down of religious edicts to fit a humanistic world view."


      November 10, 2011 at 8:10 am |
    • Free

      Oh, some believers have their own repertoire of vile slang words that they love to use, especially against gays. Do they imagine Jesus being proud of them for this?

      November 10, 2011 at 9:58 am |

      To you, people everything that exposes your lewd human nature and doesn't sugarcoat the truth is hate. You'll do anything to protect your "rights" to preserve your "liberties" to keep doing your lewd deeds.... you even duck behind the Consti'tut'ion...You don't care how it affects the world around you and whom you hurt. You even desire the others to be like you.... But there is a place where you can not duck down behind anything. To the eyes of God nothing is hidden. And it is Him you will have to face. Is that a hate speech, or words of wisdom to the stiff necked people who out of their rebellion label it as hate? Those who ar honest KNOW wshat it is!

      November 11, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  10. Patricksday

    Jesus invited all to his table, but most "religions" claim to be "Christian" but dont have a clue about the simple message "Love one another as I have Loved you", or " I was Hungry and you fed me", "In prison and you visited me", "naked and you clothed me" Oh well. its OK to be Gay and Catholic you just need to be a Priest and be very DOWNLOW. But everything is Changing now, even the outdated forms of Dogma.

    November 9, 2011 at 10:12 pm |

    The picture above is disgusting! Even barbarians through all ages of history knew that ho-mo-se-xu-ality is perverted.
    But today's crop of smart@$$es knows NOTHING!

    November 9, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • Dr. Zeuss

      DORF, just because you kiss your same se.x partner in private, doesn't mean you get to dictate the mores of others.

      November 9, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • Bob

      That's awfully Carnot of you, Zeuss. Such depravity!

      November 9, 2011 at 9:52 pm |

      "DORF, just because you kiss your same se.x partner ..."
      O, yeah?! You would just love if everyone would be a freak, wouldn't you?

      November 9, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • wait..

      So Dorf, you would turn away in disgust when you see two hot girls kissing? think very very carefully when answering that.. coz it will say a lot about you..

      November 9, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • Free

      Likely you'd have been just as disgusted over a black man kissing a white woman 30 years ago. Face it, your reaction is just another form of bigotry.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:21 am |
    • John Richardson

      The photo isn't even a little bit disgusting. I'm kinda anti-oral and I've never been deeply into kissing. So I don't even like prolonged kissing scenes between man and woman. (And yes, as a red-blooded hetero male, I prefer seeing to women kiss to seeing a hetero couple kiss. Just another one of those zillions of se-xual predilections that none of us CHOOSE to have, eh?) But a short sweet peck between any two people who love each other is a nice thing.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:33 am |
  12. I-have-no-opinion-by-now

    Geez...after reading all the comments before mine's...I am now really confused... Opinions, harsh remarks...some fuill of hate...some downright "opinionated"...you know what?.... I know nothing...I'm humble, I don't want to give you my opinion...because after reading all your opinions...you have ruined mine's... The world doesn't need more opinionated people...Lately, you keep running into people you can't talk to because they already figured it out, who already live in a world of certainties !!! The world needs courageous, selfless people that roll up their sleeves and get down to business. As long as there are people out there to help broken marriages reconcile, rehab drug-addicts, help single moms strive, rescue the homeless from being stranded, the world has hope!!! Stop giving your opinion, and start doing what needs to be done. I'm working real hard to give religion a good name !!!! And I know God will help me... – A Catholic clergyman

    November 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Ed

      You're awfully opinionated for someone without one.

      November 9, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • Max

      All of those things you mention are good works, but no where do you say it's wrong to torment LGBT students... wrong to describe someone's intrinsic nature as evil... oh wait.. there's that Original Sin thing... all humans are evil in the Christian faith, ne?

      November 9, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Ann Ecdote

      Clergy: "As long as there are people out there to help broken marriages reconcile..."

      When I called my parish for help with my failing marriage a few years ago, first I spoke with a clueless secretary, then to a priest who told me in pidgin English that he knew of no counseling - and did not even have a referral to a paid counselor. Thud.

      November 9, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • Free

      "all humans are evil in the Christian faith, ne?"
      Perhaps a better interpretation of this is that all humans, no matter how hard they try to be good, have a capacity to do evil that begs to come out, and tormenting gay people is just one of those ways.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  13. none

    Why so many labels for people? Atheists, Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Jewish, Buddhists etc. Is that all that we are? A label that someone else can use to define us? Where would we be in humanity without labels? Are there not many levels and many different sets of beliefs within the entire world of religion? Can someone who doesn't have a belief in God have compassion? Yes. Can someone who believes in God have none? Yes. Is the reverse also true? Yes. Labels are limiting.

    November 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • str82u

      Labeling is a process humans use to sort, collect and order data. Without order, our world (like the universe) has a natural tendency toward entropy and random selection which, ultimately, leads to total chaos.

      November 9, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Labeling fights entropy? LOL!

      November 9, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • Dr. Zeuss

      I label your entropy and raise my joule over your kelvins.

      November 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Bob

      That's awfully Carnot of you, Zeuss. Such depravity!

      (Wow, that post got stuck in the wrong thread first try. Surely excess entropy for such a jewel.)

      November 9, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • aquarianboy78

      I agree 100% that we need to stop with the labels.

      November 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
  14. toadears

    In the wake of the Penn State trial? Really, CNN? OK everybody scream the yellow rag theme at the same time SENSATIONALISM!

    November 9, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  15. Pravda

    Gaybe lifestyle is a choice. No one is born gay, many have left the gaybe lifestyle and returned to a normal lifestyle. Be gay if you want, but stop trying to force everyone to accept you as normal, because we don't.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "stop trying to force everyone to accept you as normal, because we don't."

      The experts in psychology disagree with you and have stated being gay is normal. They have also said that gays can't voluntarily change from being gay and it's dangerous to try.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Ed

      How do you know this?

      November 9, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Reality Bites

      Being gay is no more a choice than how tall someone is. It has been studied throughout the animal kingdom. Deal with it already.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I've never seen two male lions kissing and groping each other.


      November 9, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "I've never seen two male lions kissing and groping each other."

      Oh please they often lick each others asses.

      November 9, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      No they do not.


      November 9, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Snow

      Ofcourse.. HeavenSent is now a genetic engineer, animal behavior expert, human behavior expert, anthropologist, historian, science major and a theologist wrapped into one.. if he says they don't ... ofcourse they don't..

      where were you when the world had so many problems HS? did you find cure for cancer as well yet?

      November 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • stormsun

      How sad that your programming prevents you from seeing the obvious – that not everyone is the same. They were not born the same, and expecting the rigid conformity you believe in is a fiction. Explain hermaphrodites that are biologically both male and female; are they aberrations? Did God make a mistake? From the obvious physical duality of hermaphroditism to the subtle but incontrovertible genetic programming of hormones and biochemical signals emanating from the cellular level, there are many reason for being gay...but my guess is those who simply "choose" to be gay are a tiny fraction of the predestined but nevertheless wholly human and beautiful people who are, to their core, gay. You would turn your back on Leonardo Da Vinci and Michaelangeo and countless other people who don't fit your ancient, primative concept of morality. I feel sorry for you.

      November 9, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • kasey

      To HeavenSent:


      Ctrl+F: "lion."

      That is all.

      November 9, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Observer


      Still clueless that it isn't an option. Education could sure help.

      November 9, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • Brian

      Kasey, you should feel ashamed of yourself trying to confuse poor ole HeavenSent with facts and science. You know Heaven is more in tune to "beliefs" and "voodoo" than reality.

      November 9, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • PushingBack

      Stuff it you pinko commie!

      November 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • James

      Observer, why is it I imagine your version of 'education' as being no more than forcing others into a room with a projector on depicting what beliefs are normal and which aren't (as if you, a degenerate and potentially dangerous HIV-ridden f*ggot were able to judge to begin with) and then forcing them to accept those beliefs?

      November 9, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Free

      How about this recent story? Granted, it's happening at a Canadian zoo, and you know how accepting they are of gays. 😉
      Gay penguin separation means survival of the species: zoo keepers


      November 10, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Free

      "I've never seen two male lions kissing and groping each other."

      They're animals. What are you expecting, them to be dressed in cheekless leather pants and dancing on a gay pride float?

      November 10, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • John Richardson

      Google "Lesbian Seagull" A classic song inspired by a gov't study of longterm lesbian monogamy in seagulls!

      November 10, 2011 at 8:21 am |
    • HAHAHA

      "depicting what beliefs are normal and which aren't (as if you, a degenerate and potentially dangerous HIV-ridden f*ggot were able to judge to begin with) and then forcing them to accept those beliefs?"

      Keep showing your clueless, the experts have stated being gay is normal and not a mental illness. The fact you are associating aids with just gays continues to show your opinions are not based on facts but deep seeded prejudice, you are nothing like your christ.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  16. rightorwrong

    both sides insisting they are right – go figure. the term catholic was not used until the start of the 2nd century and ment throughout the entire church body. gays, lesbians and transgenders have been around somewhat longer. consider what happened to Sodom. but is not the choice to become or remain a catholic an effort to come closer to God. did not Jesus Himself say "not my will, but yours Father"? you can do whatever you want, it is our responsibility to 'sound the trumpet' a warning that the path you've chosen leads to eternal destruction. whether your gay, pedophile, or whatever. the personal attempt is again a closer relationship with God. And there are many in the church who will not make it either. Hence Jesus saying in John's Revelation "depart from Me you workers of iniquity, for I have never known you".

    November 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • hawaiiduude

      gay jews are speaking up even more!

      November 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  17. Reality

    The nitty-gritty of gay se-xual activities:

    Lots and lots of "gays" doing their hot and heavy things on Internet tube sites but nothing about coin flipping, who is on first, and sanitizers sites?? There must be some "Gaying It For Dummies" books out there somewhere. Hmmm, I wonder if said books/sites have to have FDA and CDC approval??

    Is said activity wrong and worthy of a trip to hell? Of course not but to the general heterose-xual population it is yucky, unusual and not normal to them. With that mind set, approval by the majority is not always sanctioned in law.

    The general population to include many of the voters in California, rightly or wrongly, find gay se-xual activities, married or not, to be "yucky" and unusual and typically associate. Such activity is associated with the spread of AIDS which is of course wrong. Said AIDS epidemic in the gay male community at the start of the AIDS crises will always remain unfortunately a stigma on the gay community.

    And after all of this rhetoric, gay "marriages" simply simplify and somewhat sanitize what are still acts of mutual masturbation caused by a variant gene(s) and/or hormone imbalance. One wonders if stem cell research will find a cure??

    Hmmm, would the embryos formed from the sperm of gay guys and the eggs from gay gals make more ethical embryos for this and other types of research?? "

    Again, from below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay se-xual activity is still mutual ma-sturbation caused by one or more complex issues. Some defects are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

    Returning to the religious aspects:

    "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Jeff

      There is no god. There is gay. Get over it.

      November 9, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Reality

      I have. My good friend who died from AIDs did not.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Reality Hetero AIDS is rampant in Africa. I guess hetero behavior should be mocked and condemned, then?

      November 10, 2011 at 8:24 am |
    • Reality

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      Also from the CDC:

      There is substantial biological evidence demonstrating that the presence of other ST-Ds increases the likelihood of both transmitting and acquiring HIV.

      Increased susceptibility. STDs appear to increase susceptibility to HIV infection by two mechanisms. Ge-nital ulcers (e.g., sy-philis, he-rpes, or chan-croid) result in breaks in the ge-nital tract lining or skin. These breaks create a portal of entry for HIV. Additionally, inflammation resulting from ge-nital ulcers or non-ulcerative S-TDs (e.g., chla-mydia, go-norrhea, and tricho-moniasis) increase the concentration of cells in g-enital secretions that can serve as targets for HIV (e.g., CD4+ cells).

      Increased infectiousness. S-TDs also appear to increase the risk of an HIV-infected person transmitting the virus to his or her se-x partners. Studies have shown that HIV-infected individuals who are also infected with other S-TDs are particularly likely to shed HIV in their ge-nital secretions. For example, men who are infected with both go-norrhea and HIV are more than twice as likely to have HIV in their gen-ital secretions than are those who are infected only with HIV. Moreover, the median concentration of HIV in se-men is as much as 10 times higher in men who are infected with both go-norrhea and HIV than in men infected only with HIV. The higher the concentration of HIV in se-men or gen-ital fluids, the more likely it is that HIV will be transmitted to a se-x partner.

      And from:
      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'"

      Note: Some words hyphenated in order to defeat the inane word filter used by the moderators.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  18. Snow

    I have to ask.. again.. why were so many parts of things mentioned in the bible changing..

    for eg, "earth is flat" "earth is the center of universe" "kill the child if he is disobiidient to his parents" "if a girl is ra.ped, kill the girl to wipe the sin from family"

    and why are so many parts ignored by good and true christians.. for eg., "Divorce is not allowed" "Contraception is not allowed"

    – Wasn't Bible the word of god? written by god to be the absolute and unequivocal truth? if some part of it is considered/proven to be wrong, doesn't that mean god does not know the truth and not all that powerful? if so, why follow him?

    – If some parts are now proven wrong, how can you be sure about the other parts of the book? how can you believe anything from the book? it could be wrong too.. proven wrong in the future..

    -Or, it could mean that the book was not written by god, but by man.. if so, why follow some dudes yapping as absolute truth?

    And don't give the regular response I am tired of: "You don't get god.. he is too great.. and so it is wrong to even ask all the above questions"

    November 9, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Bob

      Head of nail, meet hammer.

      Great post.

      November 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • SciFiChickie

      Very rational thinking...

      November 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • JB

      I've always found it pointless to ask many christians about the bible. You'll only get part of what they think they believe. The best thing is to sit down with a bible and a concurdance (it's a huge book that gives you every translated word in the origional greek and hebrew) and read it for yourself. Make your own choice but at least you'll have much more understanding than the average church goer.

      November 9, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Free

      A lot of us did just that, which is why we're atheists now.

      November 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The Bible was not written by God. Atheists spew a lot of misinformation. If you actually read the Bible, it tells us that man wrote the Bible as inspired by the Lord. Men are not perfect and make mistakes. It is a book written by a flawed creature. You don't think God knows this? Hateful atheists miss the message completely. Always searching for imperfections everywhere else except for within themselves. What's wrong? Afraid to look in a mirror?

      And JB, it's CONCORDANCE.

      You atheists need to do some research instead of spewing things you hear. It's exactly what you accuse us of doing.


      November 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • GodPot

      Yup, wasn't easy getting through a literal translation but very enlightening. It's much easier to see the glaring gaps in continuity and changes in the God of the Hebrews when not reading a paraphrased or grammaticly out of date bible as most Christians do. I'm all for books that teach good principles, which often the bible does, but when you have it also teaching slavery, inc est, blood sacrafice and the murder of those deemed unrighteous while still claiming the moral high ground, any unbiased reader would have to believe this to be the work of many men over many years, each adding their own twists and ideologies.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Snow

      Looking in the mirror.. aka introspection.. is the way I strive to better myself..

      So, let me get this straight.. you agree it is not the actual word of god, but written by some dudes and is imperfect.. So, everyone who quotes the verses from book to defend their outlook are wrong – ok I will give you some slack – could be wrong.. Still, why follow some words that could be wrong, when you can just follow simple rules like "dont hurt others" "don't lie" "don't be an a$$"

      Also, even you can not disagree its written by 2000 yr old goat herders.. How do you know it was the lord who inspired those words and not that they were high on peyote when they wrote it.. the only evidence that it was lord who inspired it is "in the book" that we are trying to figure out the validity of... so.. circular reasoning?

      November 9, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • GodPot

      @HS – "Hateful atheists miss the message completely. Always searching for imperfections everywhere else except for within themselves. What's wrong? Afraid to look in a mirror?"

      Sorry, you lose again. We got the message, it's just when presented with a message of infallibility coming from nutjobs like yourself, we instinctivly counter by pointing out the idiocy of your flawed position. We never claim to be perfect or claim to know everything there is to know about the universe or claim some personal relationship with the creator, it is the Christians that make such statements. Atheists have nothing to fear from your mirror since when we look in we see just us looking back, flaws and all.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Snow

      Also, I can not help but ask.. if the imperfect book written by men (your words) is the only source that says Jesus was the son of god, how can you believe it?

      November 9, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Me

      You have hit the nail on the head. The Bible is indeed a creation of men, not the words of God. When one takes this into consideration, one understands that the beliefs of men, centuries ago, must be taken as just that: the beliefs of me. To assume that these men knew what God was thinking is naive at best.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • JB

      Wow... lots to hash through. First, i'm not an athiest. I have my own beliefs which are my own business. Next, No where does it say the Bible was written by God. Since the churches defense centers around the book of Romans i'll use that book. In Chapter 1 verse 5 it says... "Through Christ, God has given us the privilege [fn] and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name." So there, it's not written by God but by his apostles who he gave this "privilidge" to.

      And to Heavensent, thanks for the spell check but don't miss the point. This is coming straight from the bible so there is nothing for you to argue. If you do wish to retort, use a verse or choose someone else's comment to rebut. And the use of the word "Amen" is out of place. It means "I agree", thats why you say it in a group after someone else prays. Come on, you can do better than that.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Observer


      Could you tell me the verse that said "if a girl is ra.ped, kill the girl to wipe the sin from family"?


      November 9, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • wait..

      Deuteronomy 22:23-24
      If a damsel be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and has inter.course with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.

      So, all a man has to do is to close a girls mouth when he ra.pes her and shes gonna be killed alongside.. Hmm..

      November 9, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • Observer


      Thanks. That's almost as zany as the verse saying that all a guy has to do to get his pick for a wife is to r@pe a virgin.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Free

      "the Bible as inspired by the Lord."
      Is that like a movie being 'inspired' by true events? Hardly an endorsement for its having much accuracy, is it? An artist creating his master work and claiming inspiration from his wife need not have actually used her as the model of his piece. The Bible writers were 'inspired' by their feelings about God to put ideas down on papyrus, but they were still just their ideas.

      "It is a book written by a flawed creature."
      Could not the idea that these thoughts recorded in the Bible come from somewhere outside of the authors' minds be part of that flaw?

      "Always searching for imperfections everywhere else except for within themselves."
      Oh, we know that we have imperfections due to our human nature, which is why we are skeptical of things that are only supported by subjective human experiences, like religion. The human mind is easily fooled, which is why hard evidence for God's existence is needed.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  19. Terry Bass

    Their strident opposition in accepting gays as well as their appalling cover-ups of their priest molesting children has people fleeing the church in droves.
    The church is postulating thousand year old dogma that was initially created as a way to battle internal opposition, that is bishops that were somewhat openly gay back then.
    The 'gay issue' teaches abandonment and intolerance of your own children....

    November 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  20. Just Think

    Clearly, it is the Catholic Cult that will eventually lead people to Hell since they worship graven images which is against the Holy Bible and they also refuse to allow those who want to take communion to take it simply because they are di-vorced or gay. That is something God surely is looking at and when a church cult refuses to offer the Body of Christ to those desirous of it, then God will surely condemn them to darkness for eternity as they are breaking serious Biblical rules.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      Just Think, St. Paul tells us that "whoever eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord". Jesus says that anyone who divorces and marries another is guilty of adultery. This implies unworthiness to receive communion. You're probably aware of these passages. However, the church offers an annulment process in which these matters are investigated. We do not worhip graven images. We simply pray to God in the presence of religious art. Keep in mind that God Himself authorized "graven" images: the surpent image raised up on a pole, and the angel images on the Ark of the Covenant.

      November 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Barbarian

      Please educate on the Catholic faith and do not post misconceptions that are wrongly spread about Catholic faithful.

      November 9, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Free

      catholic engineer
      How many statements does Jesus himself make against gays specifically in the gospels?

      November 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Catholics are all idiots. Every single one of them. They pray to Mary and the saints. How is that biblical in any fashion?

      November 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Jeff

      If I overheard this, and other conversations from this board, through a window or a crack in a door, I would think I was standing outside of an insane asylum. Do you people ever actually listen to the nonsense that you put out there?

      November 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Free

      Alien Orifice
      To be fair, Catholics were practicing Christianity long before there was even a canonized Bible. They would claim that their tradition dates back to the very beginning, and that affording the Bible the ultimate, singular authority over Christianity is merely Luther's invention.

      November 9, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • Just Think

      Fact of the matter is that Catholics are still in high denial about their worship of graven images, etc. Their stores even sell pictures of saints with prayers on the back of them for people to pray to. That's a fact. As for divorce, the Bible contains at least two Scriptures that allow it for cause. But no where does it give Catholics the right to deny Holy Communion to anyone because they don't first go confess theirs sins to a priest. They can do it in private, to be worthy, as the Protestants do and God hears their confession because He is omniscient and omnipresent. End of story.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Free

      Just Think
      Just for the sake of clarity, I was a Catholic in the beginning and we never prayed TO saints like they had any power to answer prayers themselves; we asked saints to intercede and pray FOR us just as many protestants call upon their fellow church members to pray for them in their times of need. Saints were once people too, and Catholics believe that the dead can hear us from heaven. That's their belief.

      Also, it doesn't matter so much what the rest of the Bible says about allowing divorce, Jesus expressly forbade it, and for a Christian that's what is supposed to be the final say, right?

      November 10, 2011 at 2:54 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.