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. Dan613

    I don't think catholics today for the most part follow what the church tells them to believe, and not only on gay issues. I think most of Catholics don't give a crap to other issues as well, but they still call themselves Catholics, which is a huge hypocrisy.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • J.W

      The problem is they cannot change the doctrine, or that would be like saying that the original doctrine was wrong, and then the church would not be infallible.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • DT

      You are correct that Catholics don't follow everything in their church. That is pretty tough to do, but that doesn't mean the standard should be lowered. It is something that they strive for.

      December 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  2. Peter

    Thinking the good US of A is a good sample population to view the changes in world religion is a mistake. After all, we are not the most religious of people- even if we want to believe we are. In ths country, truly religious peple are veiwed as strange so we have watered it down and democratized religion. Over time, we will accept anything...that is how people are. We are also not a people that respects authority...of any kind. I think one can draw parallel lines between the lessening of religious impact and our ability to move forward politically. Our religious community is weakening as is our governments ability to govern. The interesting thing is that religion will attempt to keep itsef viable not by demanding obedience but instead accepting what 'the people' want. Government, however, while originally created to perform the peoples wishes is slowly moving to demand more obedience. It may not seem so but we do not worry about keeping religions ten commandments yet we keep adding thousands of pages of law every year that calls for us to behave a certain way or be fined or imprisoned. What will that look like in a thousand years? After all, technology allows fewer and fewer people to control more and more people. What is the next creation te deal with the balance between religion and government to control humans. Someone wiol always want that power.

    December 18, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  3. peter whalen

    I went to Fairfield Uuniversity – very briefly – they arranged for me to leave and go into Freudian Therapsy – tweny yeasrs later – after a life of Gay living – I turned to Freud again and in 1982 upon arising my mind simply shattered – i went insane !. Enclsoed are some little poems about a long journey. Peter Whalen


    Rejoice instead in the measure that you share
    In Christ’s suffering. When His glory is
    Revealed, you will rejoice exultantly
    (1 PT 4;13)

    Pity me not because I lost my mind,
    Wandered the streets in a psychotic fit-
    Lived where I could, ate what I could find ;
    Was for years and years the village idiot –
    Nor feel sorry that I was no longer clever,
    Sobbed hysterically a decade and a half ,
    Nor let your heart break because I was a beggar –
    That I traveled through life a psychopath-
    Feel not anguish that I thrashed in locked wards,
    Was abandoned in ways I could not say ,
    A poet with a frightful loss of words;
    A sad gay man learning how to pray.

    Rejoice with me
    Jesus paid my frightful price –
    Took me to Him – Into HIS Mystical Body –
    That we shared in life the same tormented cry;
    He had walked in His Way the same streets as I –
    Insane – I was never at a total loss ;
    I KNEW the Blessed Mother choose my Cross
    In Her maternal love for me and for us all;
    Conceived In LOVE such a Holy Cross for me;
    Through Mary Jesus was someone I could serve –
    She knew it was the Cross that I deserved
    And so did I – for over a quarter of a century
    I stood with Her at Calvary – a wretched sentry
    With the Communion of Saints, and Blessed Kateri
    Till Easter came for me-

    Having carried my cross – He Now Carries me
    But new Crosses will come until the end-
    And If SHE ASKS I will carry the old cross I did again
    And I will sing to Her – in praise of all that has been done
    That we might all carry our Crosses for Her Son-
    And I will gladly sing – that it never be forgot
    That we pity only those that do not .

    At Marist College
    Sitting alone, psychotic, slurping a Snapple
    On Good Friday between twelve and three
    On a little hill near Our Lady of Wisdom Chapel
    I thought-“ There is just the Universe and me”
    My eyes a muddy spring of winter tears,
    I heard the student’s cheering in spring training,
    An echo of my old pagan college years-
    A deadly poem- a life of cruel refraining-
    This was the day doors were open for folks to go
    To visit my old Home
    – The Mental Asylum upon the hill-
    My dead Catholicism wracked me to and fro--
    Then Sprung Alive
    A quickened faith -
    Uproariously at peace --
    A burning chill

    The Chapel Door Had Opened-
    A youth came saying a rosary
    Seemingly alone
    -More Man than boy-
    Climbed to the Mental home
    -O Jesus -
    Shocked Treated me to Hope
    And left me


    Suffer me not
    That I might have the glory
    In the telling of my own sad story
    Which is insufferable

    Suffer me a lot
    That you might learn a little
    To suffer much with Him
    And suffer yourself no more


    (For Mary and Phil Leonard)
    “What’s written for me”

    I wanted to write out my life-
    I tried so hard I burst-
    And then I found at Calvary
    Jesus wrote it first-

    Costing Him much more than me-
    My musings a dead letter-
    And His life alive for mine-
    His Living Word was better

    Than my clever little rhymes,
    Cruel playthings of an aging boy,
    A shallow singing of sad times
    Maturing to His Manly Joy.

    The Art of Life is hung at Calvary-
    Nails piercing the Master’s hand
    That recreates after the Fall
    The Life of Heaven for us all.

    He wanted to right out our lives-
    Live life with us from the Cross-
    Each Man’s book is written there
    And we read our lives in prayer.

    To create from joy and suffering
    Our offering up of each small task-
    To let His Flesh and Blood be ours
    In the Mystery of the Mass…

    And let Him write out with our lives
    The living of His life again,
    Until we truly learn to sing
    The poem that will never end.

    December 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  4. be

    How silly to believe that God would condemn a loving relationship. How foolish.

    December 10, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • Truth

      God condemns wrong relationships. Just because it's loving doesn't mean it's right. If someone was cheating, it might be loving, but it's still wrong, and God condemns it in the same way.

      December 16, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Harpo

      Any loving relationship? What about Jerry Sandusky? He may say (right in open court I think) that he only had loving relationships.....

      December 17, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • rick

      truth: awfully sure of the mind of god, aren't you?

      December 19, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "God condemns wrong relationships. "

      Funny your god doesn't condemn the saved loving gay relationships as we understand it today, only prejudice and bigoted people like you do.

      December 20, 2011 at 8:34 am |
  5. Dragon

    God Bless the Jews!!! God Bless the Jews!!!! Palestine was politely asked to move down to Iraq, a long distance away from beloved Israel. Get this, by the clouds!!! Who would have thought religion and cloud cover go hand in hand!!!! Israels rich history has come back and the Palestinians will do good to leave as soon as possible. God bless the Jews God bless the Jews!!!

    December 7, 2011 at 9:03 am |
  6. Going In Circles

    *** Dan

    Town Crier: Jesus says, "Verily, verily,

    Verily, has got to be the most "gay" word in any language ever written.
    Try using that today in a sentence, and see the look from those around you (Chuckle)

    December 7, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  7. Normal Human Being

    Catholics are allowed to be Catholic and have their rules. To those who disagree or oppose any views held by the church I suggest you switch religions. How about this – Your friend says he really likes football but wishes it was played on ice and with pucks. The NFL isn't going to exactly change its rules for a minority of people. The NFL might just tell them to look into hockey, ya dig?

    December 7, 2011 at 6:30 am |
    • Going In Circles

      **** Catholics are allowed to be Catholic and have their rules.....

      Right up until they use thier religion to pass laws against me.
      Believe what you want, but KEEP IT TO YOURSELF !!!!!
      Keep your religion OUT OF MY GOVERNMENT !!!

      December 7, 2011 at 7:54 am |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "The NFL isn't going to exactly change its rules for a minority of people.'

      What a stupid analogy we are talking about civil rights moron and yes the rules changed for a minority before and WILL change again. It's what this county is founded on EQUAL Rights! DUH!

      December 7, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • USmellLikePee

      Catholics are allowed to be Catholic and have their rules.....
      If that's so then every young boy should be pulled out of the catholic church for their own safety.

      December 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  8. Scott

    Samuel 18:1 "...the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul ..."

    Samuel 18:3-4 "...Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt."

    Samuel 20:41: "[David and Jonathan] kissed each other and wept together until David got control of himself ..."

    Don't even get started on Ruth and Naomi.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • DD

      yeah!! but it does not mean they were gay.

      December 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • JD

      The Bible describes Sodom and Gomorrah, but that doesn't imply that it condones them.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "The Bible describes Sodom and Gomorrah"

      What's funny is how Christians use this text against gays but don't understand it's explained later in Ezekiel, "Sodom's sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door." LOL! No gay issue there. LOL! What's really funny is how many Christians today actually fall into the sins of Sodom. LMAO!

      December 6, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • your point is???

      this is call bad interpretation you need to learn to read in between the lines.. just like the bad interpretation you are giving to your body if you are a male you star actin like a female and try to find bible verses to back up your wrong beliefs. but let me tell you God is so merciful that he love you as a person but doesn't agree with your life style. if you believe that God is "perfect" tis mean that God did not make a mistake with you by allowing you live in a wrong body,, so just think for a moment because you are what you mind tell you.. and you need to change your thoughts

      December 17, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Hey Pointy, you might want to pray to your god for a few writing skills, but given the uselessness of prayer, you probably should go back to school. When you get a little better at reading and writing you should discover that The Babble is crap and the probability of there being any gods is just about zero.

      December 17, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  9. Scott

    If there is such a thing as "gods word", why does it have to be written down by humans? It should appear on large tablets that anyone in any language can understand just by looking at it. There wouldn't be hundreds of different religions because everyone would know what the rules were supposed to be. Of course, no such thing will ever exist because the entire thing is a bunch of nonsense.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Dan

      I agree with you Scott. Just think how peaceful the world might be if people didn't judge each other by religious standards.
      The whole thing messes a lot of people up, the bigotry, prejudice and all.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  10. Mullet Death

    @Huh? I would like to point out that not only can the condemnation of s-o-d-o-my be understood in certain biblical passages, but that even if the bible did not directly condemn the practice of h-o-m-os-e–x-ua-l-i-ty that Tradition always has. With all due respect, I think you need to familiarize yourself more with Catholic beliefs. Also, I am not prejudiced. Did I not mention in my first post that I am a b-i-s–e-x-ua-l, but am opposed to actually acting on any h-o-m-o-se-x-u-a-l attractions I may have? As Catholic teaching would have me do, I will either enter into straight marriages or remain celibate. Your preconceived notions made you jump to conclusions and that is quite telling.

    December 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "I would like to point out that not only can the condemnation of s-o-d-o-my be understood in certain biblical passages, but that even if the bible did not directly condemn the practice of h-o-m-os-e–x-ua-l-i-ty that Tradition always has."

      The point is the experts have NOW shown that everything people thought about in the past about gays was done so through bias and prejudice views, including the Bible! Experts around the world have stated that being gay is not a mental illness, it's not a choice and it CAN"T be voluntarily changed. They deserve the SAME freedom of happiness that straights do, the DESERVE the same civil rights as straights. As long as a saved gay couple is married before their god, they do not sin. Nothing in the bible about gays applies to how we know and understand it today. The bible condemns, bad hospitality, using sex rituals to worship a pagan god and in Corinthians they added the word homoseexual! LMAO!

      December 5, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Michaeltanino

      I really don't care what your book says or what was intended. This is YOUR beliefs. You have every right to believe it and to live your life by it, but in NO WAY does your personal belief indebt other people to you. You think that your personal beliefs supercede the beliefs of others? That others become indebted to you because of what personal moral code you chose? Who are you?

      December 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Presto88

      Wow such an intelligent debate going on here. People throwing out insults at each other on both sides..Gee I wonder where the people are that would like to see this "war" end?

      December 17, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  11. Ted Ward

    The Catholic Church is a much broader more complex and intellectually, socially,culturally,historically, and theologically diverse and complex organization than the pathetically twenty second sound bite-oriented media is able or willing to comprehend. The basic idea is to love in the way of Christ all across the world. How that is accomplished without betraying the central principle is really complicated and not without difficulty or fault. God bless all...

    December 2, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
  12. David J

    the bible was not written down in the first place... it was told to people over and over again and by different people... therefore, logically, the bible is full of misinformation. but why waste your life now worring about this stuff, cause when you die, you will realize there is no god and you will be upset for wasting your time on this trivial stuff...

    November 29, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • joe

      How am I going to be upset with myself for beleive and God,

      November 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • phoodphite

      Yes. And that's why I choose to ignore most of it. In my thinking, I try to apply Jesus' 'prime directive': love one another as I have loved you. He said this because his closest followers (you know, Peter, Paul and Mary, and the rest of the band) were never getting his point about disenfranchising and unfairly judging others. (He was constantly telling them they missed his point.) So many of these references posted here from Paul and the Catholic church come from guess where? – a time later when they just had to get back into the politics of judging and disenfranchising people on all sorts of levels of crazy detail.

      December 1, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • angel

      say there is no God–i choose to try my best to live according to "da rules"–integrity, kindness, love, compassion, mercy, patience, self control, etc. what the world needs more of especially nowadays! when i die, hope to have few regrets – go to heaven – if not, then its ok-i lived the type of life that i will be proud of–either way its a win win–

      December 2, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • Jackson

      your obviously misinformed. the bible was writen down as soon as it happened. well the new testiment was anyway

      December 2, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • tallulah13


      The books of the new testament were written 30-100 years after the time given for the death of Christ.

      December 2, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • rick

      or, you will die and not realize anything because you are dead

      December 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • sms

      wow! When you die you either wait for judgement day, go to hell or heaven. so many people don't know where they go after death, i fear for those who don't care, I also feel sorry for those who don't wanna know God and repent. God is coming soon and we have to get ready, no one knows when he is coming , we just know its soon, very soon. The devil is wide awake he likes to destroy families, and lives it can be as simple as worldly music to lies. Its time for us to turn to God and ask him for forgiveness, and lets live in peace and not judge each other.

      December 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
  13. Kim

    Ok'y Dok'y – when they decide to actually read in full ...can Christians also learn to read Hebrew and Greek so they actually are reading original texts and then all contextualize it to the period in history it was written? A lot gets lost in translation and literal "oh this was said in 32 a.d. therefore it must directly relate to 2011" reading...

    November 29, 2011 at 6:11 am |
    • Chandler

      Actually they'd need to understand a far older dialect of Hebrew and Greek on top of that, because over the course of say...2000 years, things change a bit.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  14. Mike

    "...gay churches are marrying couples before your god." Correction: Gay churches are desecrating marriage before everyone's God.

    November 28, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "Gay churches are desecrating marriage before everyone's God."

      Correction prejudice people like you are NOT christian, prejudice and hatred like yours is the work of your devil. So you are the one desecrating your religion. LMAO!

      November 29, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ Ok'yDok'y

      I'm Christian. I can not and do not support the marriage of a man + man or a woman + woman -especially with Clergy as it is sending the wrong message to the flock. (Ya think?) That doesn't make me prejudiced or a hater of people. I believe it is wrong. Peroid. The devil doesn't need to work too hard when society makes what is wrong into something right.

      How many people are truely gay? Small percentage when you add it all up. Sooooo, I'm supposed to just ignore the existance of these people? I don't. I know they are there. I know of a few in my circle of aquaintances.

      Then be celibate and honor God with your body.

      November 29, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "I believe it is wrong. Peroid. "

      The experts disagree with you which is why the laws in this country are changing. Denying a minority group their civil rights is prejudice. Being gay is normal, not a mental illness, not a choice and it can't be voluntarily changed. The deserve the same happiness as you do. As long as a gay couple is saved and married they do not sin. 😉

      November 30, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • myweightinwords


      If you think it's wrong, don't do it. However your opinion on what is right or wrong should not impact others, especially not when society at large disagrees with you.

      December 1, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ Ok'yDok'y

      I don't know who your 'experts' are. I don't answer to them. If you are refering to the notion that being gay or lesbian is a mental illness, I never said it was, nor do I refer to it as such.

      I have not come across the Scripture verse that allows for the union of two men or two women. I believe MY 'expert' says that is a no-no. In that case, sin is sin and I can't argue with my 'expert'.

      I will stand by my conclusion. If you are gay/lesbian by nature, be celibate. Honor God with your body.

      December 1, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ myweightinwords

      I am not running with my 'opinion' on this subject. It is fact.

      Since when do I care if I go against the prevailing winds of society?? Ha!

      God's Word has weight. Taste and see how good it is.

      December 1, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "God's Word has weight. Taste and see how good it is."

      Your god did not write the bible MEN did, men that held prejudice in their own hearts, including Paul. What the bible condemns has nothing to do with what we NOW know about gays. Jesus believe in love and intimacy and even stated that if you find yourself in lust – marry. That is why saved gays are getting married before god in their churches. Jesus showed he was for those that are different and oppressed, I am sure he would have supported the gay loving partnerships of today.

      The experts you don't know about are ALL the major organizations in the world made up of hundreds of thousands experts. The APA, AMA, World Health Organization, etc...etc.... Thanks for proving your an idiot on this subject.

      December 1, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ Ok'yDok'y

      If it's anything I have learned in my older age, is that if you want to carry on an intelligent conversation with someone, don't call them an idiot, or anything demeaning. That reflects poorly on you. Want to talk? Show respect. Allow others the courtesy to say a few words, even those you don't agree with, and allow yourself the possibility of something to learn.

      Again, I have not read a single Scripture verse that ok's the union of same s3x couples. When you/anyone mentions marriage, I read it in the context of male and female.

      Jesus did indeed spend a lot of time with the average Joe's out there. I hope they learned to put an eye on heavenly matters just as much as the earthly.

      December 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "I have not read a single Scripture verse that ok's the union of same s3x couples. When you/anyone mentions marriage, I read it in the context of male and female. "

      Of course you would because you are a closed minded bigot toward gays and lesbians since you were to lazy to actually read and know that TODAY its a normal part of being a human sexuality. The people that wrote the bible and everything up until recently came from a prejudice perspective against gays and lesbians. Time to come into this century, the fact the bible never address the issue fully about gays and lesbians but in a few snippets of text that has NOTHING to do with TODAY demonstrates they didn't understand it.

      December 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ Ok'yDok'y

      It seems those little 'snippets' of Scripture you are referring to, are those same verses that are tripping you up and making you angry. Not me. They are a 'help' to quide you today as it has in the past and will tomorrow. If you can't reap the wisdom in those 'snippets' you find going against your thinking, then you will continue on as you are, believing people who disagree with you are bigots and close minded. Not so.

      Again, quote me a verse that allows for the union of same s3x couples. You will not find it.

      Gods way is always the better way. We don't always see/understand it that way. Time has a way of proving it.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      “are those same verses that are tripping you up and making you angry”
      I am not angry dude, it disgust for bigoted people like you that can’t put what is written into historical context to get the true meaning. Romans is discussing how they worshiped their pagan god using sex rituals, the word homoseexual was added later by prejudice translators, and Sodom had nothing to do with gays when you read in Ezekiel it was about hospitability and greed. So what’s left now in your bible that condemns gays, nothing. That’s the point moron.

      “then you will continue on as you are, believing people who disagree with you are bigots and close minded. Not so.”

      Oh really so you’re claiming not to be a bigot then use your vote to allow gays to marry. Otherwise look in the mirror and recognize you are a bigot, but you’re to closed minded to even want to recognize your wrong.

      “Time has a way of proving it.”

      We now have science to show that the people who wrote your bible were prejudice and WRONG and it’s now being proven gays are a normal part of who we are. By the way – I am not gay.

      December 1, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ Ok'yDok'y

      Name calling seems to be a bad habit of yours. You should check and clean up your page before you post.

      December 1, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "Name calling seems to be a bad habit of yours. You should check and clean up your page before you post."

      You are a prejudice bigot toward gays why don't you look in the mirror and think about that.

      December 2, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ Ok'yDok'y

      I thought about your screen name last night (Ok'yDok'y) and came to the conclusion that maybe for you, all things are permissible -"OKAY" -as in no parameters. I cannot say the same for me. I have areas I don't go. Marriage is for a male and female and I truely have no problem with that. Whether you agree or disagree is up to you. I believe you have had your say. To a vast number of folks, this is a moral issue with no compromise.

      Face it. Not everybody is gonna agree with you. Get over it.

      December 2, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      “Marriage is for a male and female and I truely have no problem with that. Whether you agree or disagree is up to you. I believe you have had your say. To a vast number of folks, this is a moral issue with no compromise.
      Face it. Not everybody is gonna agree with you. Get over it.”

      The experts around the world disagree with narrow minded bigots like you. Gays and Lesbians deserve the same rights as everyone else and that is what this country is founded on and why we have separation of church and state. If you are going to use your bible to hide behind then you also have to support polygamy, a woman has to marry her rapist, women are to be submissive and not speak in church, oh and don’t even get me started on the divorce issues. NOWHERE in your bible does your god condemn the saved loving relationship of gays as we know and understand it today. It’s also why the laws of this country have changed towards gays and lesbians, it’s just a matter of time before they get their equal civil rights like everyone else. Then you will have to get over it and face your prejudice bigotry head on moron.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Nathan


      December 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • rick

      Not mine, Mike

      December 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • rick

      imlook'nup: i can see that our alliegance to your "expert" is sincere, but most of us do not answer to him

      December 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • rick

      imlook'nup: if you want gays to be denied marriage rights, then take it out of the lands of government. secular laws are not here to codify your RELIGIOUS beliefs

      December 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Going In Circles

      A marriage contract originally was a contract between two parties.
      The meaning of marriage has changed over the centuries,
      but now people dont want the meaning to change anymore
      because it may include gay people.
      Thats discrimination.

      December 7, 2011 at 8:03 am |
    • Michaeltanino

      Mike, you have the right to that belief. Believe all day long that which you just said. You are free to do that. But what you are NOT free to do is take your personal moral code and indebt OTHER PEOPLE to you for it. You think that because you have your beleifs that everyone else must be bound by them as well? That everyone else, regardless of whether or not they share your beliefs, must sacrifice their rights to adhere to what YOU believe? Seriously?

      That is what this boils down to. You don't just believe something for yourself, you think that other people should all behave according to your desires. It's pure arrogance.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • RUserious!

      You keep saying that the bible does not condemn gay relationships what about this scripture: Leviticus 18:22 i: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." I think something being an abomination would be condemned by God. And like Looking-Up keeps trying to tell you. Do I have to be a bigot or closed minded or and idiot just because I don't agree with you? Why can't you look from my point of view and see why I have these beliefs and YOU not be a bigot, closed minded or an idiot? You have a right to your opinion but anyone that disagrees with you doesn't? Isn't that what they gay rights groups are fighting against people like you trying to take away other people right to express themselves?

      December 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  15. Mike

    And, yes, Romans 1 does indeed condemn gay hanky-panky as well as hetero up-the-rear activity, as both are unnatural (which anyone who isn't a pervert should already know). The back door is exit-only. Nothing's supposed to go up there.

    November 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "Romans 1 does indeed condemn gay hanky-panky as well as hetero up-the-rear activity, as both are unnatural "

      Guess you skip over the part where it talks about worshiping a pagan god, that was part of Roman culture or did you not study your history. By the way, gay relationships are found throughout all of nature and have been proven quite natural. It's pitiful you formed your opinion on gays based on nothing and ignored the real facts. LMAO

      November 29, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • common sense

      I'm a practicing Catholic and I find nothing wrong with a little back door action with my wife when she's in the mood. If that makes me a sinner, then I'm okay with that.

      As far as gay and lesbians being married, they should have the same civil rights as straight couples get (tax benefit, same healthcare, death benefits, etc.). As far as whether a church wants to marry them....I guess that's up to the church. I don't think the neighborhood gay couple getting married is going to destroy the santicty of marriage any more so than the "good catholics" that get married 4 times and have each annulled because they want to. We have so many other problems in our country and world, this to me is pretty low on the list of priorities.

      December 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Going In Circles

      Mike is now an expert on s*exual activity.
      What goes on between two consentual adults is none of your business Mike.
      But many hetero couples indulge in this activity.

      December 7, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • J.W

      What is supposed to exit?

      December 8, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  16. Mike

    "...nowhere in your bible does your god condemn the saved loving gay partnership as we know and understand it today." Um, yes, it does. 1 Cor 7:2 - "To avoid fornication, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband." That verse tells us two things: First, all hanky-panky outside of marriage is wrong, and second, marriage is only between 1 man and 1 woman. (Jesus himself affirmed the 2nd point in Matt 19:4-5: "Haven't you read that in the beginning God made Man male and female, and for this cause a man leaves mother and father and cleaves to his wife, and the two become one flesh?") So a "saved loving gay partnership" is only kosher with God if there's no hanky-panky involved. If there is gay hanky-panky involved, that's fornication (i.e., wrong).

    November 28, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "To avoid fornication, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.""

      LMAO – Uh...duh....when a gay couples gets married then it's husband and when lesbians marry is wife. They get married before your god then the saved couple does not qualify as fornication. Plus gays do leave their parents to join their partners to become on flesh. 😉 When the bible was written the writers did not understand gays the way we do today, they wrote the bible from the perspective of straight. We now know that being gay is not a mental illness, it's not a choice and it cannot be voluntarily changed. They deserve the same loving intimate marriage as you do.

      November 29, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  17. trxsuspension

    Hello. everyone.
    would like to make new friends with you guys.

    November 28, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  18. Mullet Death

    It doesn't matter if se-x-u-al orientation is a choice, because how one expresses that se-x-u-a-lity is a choice. I don't choose to be b-ise-x-u-al, but I do choose not to enter into unions with other men, and I don't try and change Catholic teaching to suit a different lifestyle.

    November 27, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Huh?

      "I don't try and change Catholic teaching to suit a different lifestyle."

      The problem lies in that nowhere in the bible does it condemn the saved loving gay partnership....come on now...use that brain of yours. Being gay is not a choice, it can't be voluntarily change and it's not a mental illness, yet in your prejudice mind you don't think these people deserve loving intimate relationship like you do. It's people like you that bring down our society, not gays.

      November 28, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • Giancarlo Taliente


      Mullet death doesn't say that $exual orientation is a choice, but the $exual act is. The act whether between 2 men or women is as wrong as between an unmarried man and unmarried women. When the intimate act is just about pleasure and completely closed to the possibility of life then it is a sin.

      November 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Huh?

      "When the intimate act is just about pleasure and completely closed to the possibility of life then it is a sin."

      That's the point it's NOT a sin when it's a saved loving gay couple that is married before your god. Nowhere does your bible condemn that and yes gay churches are marrying couples before your god.

      November 28, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Just thinking

      @huh....The most angry and bigoted people that leave comments are those that are slamming Christians. It is absolutely amazing the double standard that exists – everyone MUST be tolerant, except being tolerant of those that believe being gay is a choice and that it is clearly called sin in the Bible. Argue what you will (however irrationally) about the authenticity or authoritative nature of the Bible, but don't argue that it is accepting of the gay lifestyle...it is simple ignorance.

      November 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "but don't argue that it is accepting of the gay lifestyle...it is simple ignorance."

      The ignorance come from christians not understanding history to get the correct context of what is written in the bible. The few snippets of text they use has nothing to do with what we now know and understand about gays.

      November 30, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  19. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    The GOP solution: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Unemployed, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Employed, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the Military.

    November 23, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • ObamaDIDit

      That's not it at all! Who told you that? a mud slinging Democrat?...........figures!
      Go ahead and vote for obama and wait for your check on the 1st and the 15th while most americans go to work

      December 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • AGuest9

      ObamaDIDit – You mean had to clean up Duhbya and Uncle Dic.k's mess?

      December 5, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  20. John

    There is a big difference between the golden rule of Christianity and the golden rule of most religions. In Christianity you are expected to be challenged about your faith and you are supposed to want it that way. Every one likes to talk about what Jesus did according to the Gospel. Well, what did he do? He did a lot of judging of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. As a Christian, you are suppose to want it that way because enduring that, in testimony to him, makes you closer to God. Jesus said tackle yourself first, but that doesn't mean ignoring the mistakes in faith of your Christian brother. Both need to make sure they do not have any planks in their eyes (Luke 41-43). A good church should be like a family. Wouldn't a good father critique his daughter for staying out to late? Wouldn't a good friend take the keys away from a buddy who has drunken to much? A church body should function the same way. It is not this way because it makes one feel more superior then others. No, it is this way because humility brings one closer to God. The more humble one's are the one's God will most appreciate.

    November 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "I would think that a good Christian, Catholic or otherwise, would use the word of God (the Bible) to determine the right side of an issue"

      That's the point there are gay christians, gay churches, nowhere in your bible does your god condemn the saved loving gay partnership as we know and understand it today.

      November 23, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Town Crier

      The golden rule was "by other religions;" what you do not wish for yourselves do not wish for others. Confucius, clearly stated that 500 years before Jesus was born. The most interesting point you have made is that you "pretend" to know the mind of god. WOW! What a burden you must bear. If humility entails anything; one would imagine that it encompasses the unknowable.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:00 am |
    • Dan

      Town Crier: Jesus says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I AM." John 8:58 Therefore, it doesn't matter what Confucius said because Jesus is God and He makes the rules. You are using foolish human wisdom. (see Proverbs 14:12)

      November 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Truth hurts, deal with it

      Hey Ok'yDok'y look up Romans 1:18-27 he most certainly does

      November 27, 2011 at 1:15 am |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      Hey Ok'yDok'y look up Romans 1:18-27 he most certainly does"

      NO it doesn't moron – what it co</b ndemns is using sex to wor</b ship a paga</b n god. Read what I wrote "saved" Rom</b ans states "they neither glorif</b ied him as God nor gave thanks to him" – it also states " "and excha</b nged the glory of the immo</b rtal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and an</b i</b mals and re</b ptiles." -meaning pagan god.

      It's amazing that christians don't know how to read when they only want to take sn</b ipp</b ets to use to condemn people. Hey how's that log doing in your eye! So again your god does not co</b ndemn the saved loving partnership of a gay couple.

      November 28, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Kim

      Dan – are you forgetting that Jesus was Jewish and part of Jewish culture is to read, interpet and discuss the laws and teachings? Foolish as human wisdom is it was a premise in Jewish teachings and what Jesus was taught growing up.

      The golden rule is crap. There is no one golden rule but you will find at root of ALL religions is love for your fellow man. I honestly don't care what the bible says because it was written and rewritten by humans over thousands of years. "Man and women make one flesh" yeah duh a baby not that only man and women should be together. Honestly if God is love and love appears to be at the center of all beliefs, then that's it. I have seen more love and charity between gay couples then between some straight couples and you can honestly tell me that the straight couple is closer to God?

      November 29, 2011 at 6:00 am |
    • Just thinking

      @Kim....a person living in open rebellion to God's Word cannot be "close" to God. The gay lifestyle is clearly condemned in scripture – as is adultery, fornication, stealing, etc. Anyone who claims otherwise is just not being honest. There is more manuscript evidence for the Bible than any other book of its age. We have over 25,000 pieces of evidence for it, as opposed to roughly 900 pieces of evidence for Aristotle's work. No one seems to be challenging Aristotle's authorship...strange! People don't WANT to believe the Bible, because if they do, they may have to make some "lifestyle" changes (not just gay people) that would take away their "fun."

      November 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "The gay lifestyle is clearly condemned in scripture"

      Nowhere in the bible does it specifically discuss the loving partnership of gay couples as we understand it today. Each one of those snippets of text that Christians use to condemn the gay lifestyle and be shown it has no relevance to the loving saved relationships of gays today. Romans, worshipping a pagan god through sex rituals, Corinthians, the word homosexual was added later, and Sodom was NOT about the gay lifestyle, read Ezekiel if you're clueless on that one. LOL!

      November 30, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
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.