My Take: On gay marriage, Obama, Billy Graham, and a tale of 2 Christianities
President Obama cited his Christianity in explaining his support for gay marriage.
May 10th, 2012
11:41 AM ET

My Take: On gay marriage, Obama, Billy Graham, and a tale of 2 Christianities

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Not so long ago and not so far away, the culture wars stuck to a simple script.

On questions such as abortion, the Republicans would denounce the Democrats for preaching a "secular agenda." The Democrats would denounce the GOP for injecting religion into politics. Then, because the overwhelming majority of Americans believe in God, the Republicans would usually win.

Things today are more confusing, and more interesting.

After John Kerry’s defeat at the hands of George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election, the Democrats got religion. Nowadays they too present their public policy positions in moral and often biblical terms, describing the question of taxes, for example, as a matter of “fairness” and in some cases quoting from the Gospel of Luke (“Blessed are the poor.”)

Nowhere is this shift more stark than on the gay marriage debate. In a week that saw North Carolinians inject a gay marriage ban into their Constitution, the nation’s most celebrated preacher and the nation's most celebrated politician weighed in—as Christians.

In full-page ads in North Carolina newspapers, Billy Graham said, “The Bible is clear—God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman." In an interview yesterday with ABC’s Robin Roberts, President Obama said that when he and the First Lady “think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated.”

Both men ignored facts that did not support their cases. Graham did not mention the many cases of polygamy in the Christian Bible. And Obama ignored the many cases in which homosexuality (particularly male homosexuality) is denounced.

Two things are striking about this debate. The first is that both sides are now conducting it in religious terms. Whereas the GOP in prior culture wars was able to denounce the Democratic Party for pushing a “secular agenda,” now it is in the much more difficult position of claiming (as Rick Santorum did of Obama) that the left is preaching a “phony theology.”

Second, it is striking how closely this debate mirrors the slavery debate in antebellum America. Then, pro-slavery forces read key passages in the Bible in a "commonsense" manner and concluded that God was in favor of slavery. Meanwhile, anti-slavery activists, seeking after the "spirit" rather than the "letter" of the Biblical text, concluded that slavery flew in the face of both "love your neighbor" and the Golden Rule.

As Mark Noll argues in his book America’s God, the fact that the Bible seemed to most "commonsense" readers to support slavery brought on a crisis of authority that helped to produce what we now liberal Protestantism. Many American Christians at the time just knew slavery was wrong, so they learned to read the Bible in a different way.

We may be at a similar inflection point today. If you take a literal approach to the Biblical books and focus only at passages on sexuality, the Bible seems to support Graham. But if you focus on its broader message of love, it casts its vote for Obama.

As with slavery in the nineteenth century, public opinion in the twenty-first century is shifting rapidly on the gay marriage question, and not only among secular types. Billy Graham and other evangelicals who continue to insist that “the Bible is clear” in its opposition to gay marriage would do well to heed the lessons of America's most costly conflagration over race.

As they preach what they see as the "clear" meaning of scripture, they are not only swimming against the tide of history. They are putting their own religious tradition at risk.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Bible • Billy Graham • Christianity • Culture wars • Gay marriage • Homosexuality • Politics • Same-sex marriage • United States

soundoff (641 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Recent comment counts to Belief Blogs on this subject:

    ...631 ... 5/11/12 – My Take: ... a tale of two Christianities / Prothero
    4,327 ... 5/12/12 – Is the black church guilty ... / Blake (CNN)
    7,274 ... 5/15/12 – My Take: What the Bible really says ... / Helminiak
    3,563 ... 5/17/12 – Your Take: Rebuttals to rethinking ... / Gilgoff (CNN)
    6,274 ... 5/19/12 – My Take:The Christian case for ... / Osler
    4,038 ... 5/21/12 – My Take: The Bible condemns a lot ... / Mohler Jr.

    I have to say I feel a bit bad for Mr. Prothero. His blogs here are always interesting to read and he kicked off this whole topic, but clearly did not spawn the vitriol of the (largely) redundant comments that came after, totalling more than 23,000 comments on this topic, so I felt compelled to post here.

    May 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    May 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!.*!

      May 13, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  3. Mary Davis

    GOD says that gay lifestyles are (1), UN-CLEAN ACTS, (2), UN-NATURAL ACTS and (3), it is clearly
    an ABOMINATION to him! THE HOLY BIBLE DOES NOT LIE!!!!!! Just so you know where I stand, I
    LIVE MY LIFE FOR GOD! GOD created marriage between a man and a woman for the sole purpose
    of creating future generations. Man and man cannot produce a child. Woman and woman cannot
    produce a child. A man and a woman, together, CAN produce all future generations. This is the truth. GOD BLESS US ALL!

    May 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • momoya

      Sounds to me like you shouldn't be a h.o.m.o, then.. Certainly you don't expect that everybody else with convictions different from you to have to follow your convictions, do you?? That would be soooooo stupid and sooooo bigoted!!! LOL!!!

      May 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "GOD says that gay lifestyles are (1), UN-CLEAN ACTS, (2), UN-NATURAL ACTS and (3), it is clearly

      No it doesn't what your bible is condemning is male prostitution, idolatry and worshiping a pagan god using sex. Part of reading comprehension 101 is putting the scriptures into historical context.

      The bible lists many abominations – Unclean things (Lev. 7:21) ; Cheating (Mic. 6:10) ; A proud look (Pro. 6:16-17) ; A lying tongue (Pro. 6:17; 12:22) ; Hands that shed innocent blood ((Pro. 6:17) ; A wicked scheming heart (Pro. 6:18) ; A false witness that speaks lies (Pro. 6:19) ; A sower of discord (Pro. 6:19) ; A false balance or scale (Pro. 11:1) ; The proud of heart (Pro. 16:5) ; Justifying the wicked (Pro. 17:15) ; Condemning the just (Pro. 17:15) ; Refusing to hear the law (Pro. 28:9) ; Wearing clothes of the opposite sex (Dt. 22:5) Re-marriage of former companions (Dt. 24:1-4) ; Cheating others (Dt. 25:13-16) ; Making images/idols (Dt. 27:15) ; Eating unclean things (Isa. 66:17) ; Robbery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Murder (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Adultery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Oppression of others, particularly the poor or vulnerable (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Violence (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Breaking vows (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lending with interest to a brother (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lying with a menstruous woman (Ezek. 18: 6-13)

      So based on your poor logic we should all have prejudices against all theses sins and then deny anyone who falls into this category their civil rights. What a hypocrite.

      May 13, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Nii

      You confuse the Mosaic Law(Gen-Deut) with philosophy(Prov). How then do you suppose your interpretation of the said verses is right let alone better than Mary's. If u do not study the Bible you cannot claim u know it cos u read it b4.

      May 13, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  4. Stan

    Nii and Whiner, just go here:


    Stop denying reality.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  5. Megan

    Can we get some people who actually have some understanding of the Bible to write these commentaries for CNN? Just because polygamy is "in the Bible" doesn't mean it's condoned by God. A lot of the things that took place and were recorded for the Bible depicted actions that went against God's law, but they are there to illustrate a point. David, the man after God's own heart, was a polygamist -and an adulterer- among other sins, but God NEVER condoned those actions, and in fact, he punished David for them. Few people (men, esp.) are mentioned in the Bible without reference to some sin(s) they committed against God. Why? Because people are sinful! Everyone does it, and everyone's a hypocrite. But the repentant recognize this and are righteous in the eyes of God.

    May 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Nii

      As a Christian it shud be noted that polygyny is not a sin. Polygandry is. David did not commit a sin of polygamy. Paul who gave the injunction of monogamy did it for ministers only. It was expected that most xtians will aspire for ministry hence monogamy became the norm.

      May 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • momoya


      Evidently Nii can't spell.. It's nothing new.. The bible condones multiple wives and slavery and stoning disobedient children and sprinkling dead bird blood on people to cure acne.. Don't base your morals on such a stupid book written by people who didn't know basic biology or math.. That's just silly.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Nii

      For a former "Evangelist" you seem to lack the requisite emotional maturity required to convince people of the truth of your own position. I don't need you to poke fun at the Bible. Practise its teachings instead. See if they don't make u a better person for it. Brush up on ur shorthand.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Nii

      It is silly to talk about the Bible aas if it is a Medical textbook or Geography book. It is the best Psychoanalytical text ever written so either you study it for what it is or you whine about what its not. Either way its your own cup of tea. I thought at ur age u wud teach us wisdom.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Nii – "the bible...is the best Psychoanalytical text ever written"

      What the?! Delusional.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Nii

      There is so much that you don't know about the Bible but basically the psychoanalytical basis is the reason why scientists do not call religious believers delusional or crazy. My guess is you are an atheist who thinks that makes him a Psychaitrist.

      May 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Nii – "My guess is you are an atheist who thinks that makes him a Psychaitrist" (hint: spellchecker)

      Nope...I just can't see any better way to screw-someone-up (especially a child or a fragile adult) than to impose upon them the confusing and often vile nonsense in the testaments.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Nii

      You need more than a spelling checker to give you what you don't know! Hope u try ur best to seek. Your medical diagnostics is terrible to say the least.

      May 13, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  6. greg

    Marriages should not be something that the government needs to be envolved in.I like to think Im a christian.I dont believe in gay marriage but i see any problem if gay people fell they should marry .God will decide if it is a true union or not .I will teach my children that the puzzle dont fit but they should treat all equally! Try live a life of light not darkness and negetivity! Love your neighbor as yourself !! Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!!

    May 12, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  7. Rainer Braendlein


    • The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

    • Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

    Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

    Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".

    And said moderators still have not solved the chronological placement of comments once the number of comments gets above about 100. They recently have taken to dividing the comments in batches of 50 or so, for some strange reason. Maybe they did this to solve the chronology problem only to make comment reviews beyond the tedious.
    Zeb’s alphabetical listing

    o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:
    Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
    You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
    ar-se.....as in Car-se, etc.
    co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
    co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
    cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
    cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
    ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
    ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
    ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
    ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
    jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
    ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
    koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
    pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
    pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
    ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
    se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
    sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
    sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
    ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
    tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
    va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
    who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!

    There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
    Allowed words / not blocked at all:
    raping (ra-pe is not ok)
    shat (sh-@t is not ok)

    The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those

    May 12, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  8. Rainer Braendlein

    The verses of the Bible against ho-mos-exuality are meant verbatim. Yet today in the concrete handling of certain cases patience must be applied.

    We can imply that yet at Moses' time a gay man was not stoned immediately, but exhorted several times, before he was punished. If someone repented, he was forgiven and admitted again into the community of God's Chosen People.

    The equivalent of stoning at Moses' time is the exclusion from the Church (the Church is the successor of God's Chosen People) today, if a church member is not ready to repent from a heavy sin. The exclusion takes place first after at least three attempts of rebuke (by a singel church member, by several church members and by the whole congregation). Like stoning the exclusion from the Church can lead to the total destruction of the body of the church member in the worst case. A church member outside the Church has got no protection against evil powers.

    Basically a ho-mose-xual person can not remain in the Church. If he or she wants to remain in the Church, he or she has to repent. The Church is a place, where sinners can be cured from their maladies or where are people, which are already cured.

    Every true Christian is always aware of his own sinfulness and knows that he overcomes his sinful body only by God's Grace in Jesus. Hence, a Christian will not judge sinners, but offer the gospel of restoration towards them. In the Church there are people (sinners), which have accepted God's salutary Grace. If someone rejects God's offer of healing, he should stay outside the Church.

    If my workmate, classmate, neighbour, etc. outside the Church is a gay, I don't have to judge him, but treat him friendly offering the gospel by word and practical love.

    The only problem is, when gays want to be church members, without abandoning their sin by the releasing Grace of Jesus. This cannot be accepted, because the Church is the proper place, where are people, which are reconciled with God. Someone, who keeps on sinning, is not reconciled with God and doesn't belong to the Church.

    May 12, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Stan

      Whiner, piss off with your long garbage posts already. We know how sick your religion is already. 1500+ species of animals have homosexual members and it's a natural thing, so stuff your stupid religion and all its incipient hatred where the sun don't shine.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      What actually is your business on a belief blog?

      Stop bothering us!

      May 12, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Nii

      The oldest science is agriculture and guess what it deals with animals. I have kept a lot of farm animals b4 and saying a snail is gay is the most stupid thing ever said. No male animal mates with another male animal. If its a hermaphrodite animal its normal. Humans r not hermaphrodites

      May 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Stan

      Nii and Whiner, go here:


      Stop denying reality.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Nii

      I've read so many of those gay propoganda on walruses, giraffes, etc. I wonder y African men who like to walk together a lot n hold hands r not gay. My lambs train themselves for mounting by imitating. However they dont've de urge. When they mature they don't mount other males. I read Biology.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Nii

      Mathematics aand its branch called Statistics are social sciences not natural sciences or applied sciences. In order for what they say to be scientific data they must not capable of alternative unscientific explanation. A statistical arguement is very weak without objective observations.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Nii

      I know in the West u have preconcieved notions of how a gay man shud behave. However they can blend so well u may not notice. It is a se.xual behaviour not a complex genetic phenomena. That has no basis. Now they attempt to say it is a gene pool malfunction. How about pe.do.ph.il.es and adulterers?

      May 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Erik

      "It is a se.xual behaviour not a complex genetic phenomena. "

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      There are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

      May 13, 2012 at 9:46 am |


    May 12, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:


      oThe Muslim Conquest of India

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank <<<Death Toll <Cause <<Centuries<<<Religions/Groups involved*

      1 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      20 million Joseph Stalin 20C

      8 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs Pagans)

      8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians vs Pagans)

      19 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)
      7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      May 12, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • Anni

      Hitler Was NOT a Christian: Case Closed
      If YOU say you are a Christian DOES NOT MEAN you are a Christian.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Dedi

      Jesus wasn't born on Dec 25th. We have no idea when he was born. We have no idea IF he was born. Christmas as we know it is a pagan holiday based on the wientr solstice interspersed with all kinds of Nordic and Anglo-Saxon mythology. This war on Christmas is one of the most cynical, treacherous and evil bits of political manipulation of the masses since Lenin's hijacking of Russia.

      June 26, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  10. PLease don't take the hard view

    Interesting article. My reading of the Bible shows a certain neutrality on slavery, as touching advocating or condemning. It merely tells about a way to manage it as it was it was in the current culture. On the other hand the main subject of this article is soundly condemned. In both Old and New testaments, no less. I am merely pointing out what seems obvious and trying not to make judgements, just saying.

    Couched in a purely secular, atheistic evolutionary view, do you know what a non-survival trait is? Now that's a HARD logic view! Nuf said! Let's not go there, OK?

    May 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    May 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!.

      May 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • usethatloaf

      What an absolutely ridiculous and immoral statement. How dare you restrict children, or adults for that matter, from learning about the truth and evidence that science and nature can provide? And how many "other living things" do you know that are religious and would notice a difference if atheism was introduced on a much broader scale? Pathetic.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • just sayin

      Science and nature are the province of God. God bless

      May 12, 2012 at 6:23 am |
  12. Whereraceisamyth

    Fellow christians i ask you this in humility. How could humans be lied to unless we have the spoken and written word? All babies are born knowing how to smile and laugh. To me, thats is where Gods light shines the brightest. Thats how I see it.

    May 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Whereraceisamyth

      Suffering leads to perserverance. Perserverance leads to character. Character leads to hope. Hope in hebrew means FACT...not "boy i hope my ternal soul is saved, while you cross your fingers"

      May 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  13. Whereraceisamyth

    One sin you can not repent of...is judgement. You do it even when you dont realize. Im doing it to you right now.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Whereraceisamyth

      A gathering of people to share their testimony of faith with others is Gods temple. Pastors create an invisible barrier of superiority when they preach to a congregation from a stage. If pastors would just ask their congregations to donate to his family, instead of taking a salary from the church would help to calm scandels of money. You would probably end up with a larger salary if you were selflessly honest.

      May 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      There are denominations where the pastors are unpaid.

      There are pastors who refuse to be paid.

      May 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Whereraceisamyth

      I praise God for them. I dont want to sound harsh...but its hard for me to accept that Christ died in vain. I feel in my heart he died for the man to his left and the man to his right. God forgive me if im wrong...but thats how my heart feels.

      May 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  14. Whereraceisamyth

    Where is it written that gay people arent capable of loving God as much as straight people? And when did God measure the evilness of different sins? You do understand God convicts each person differently. In fact God makes it very clear, we are all guity.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Nii

      Totally agree but then HE DOES NOT WANT US TO CONTINUE IN THOSE SINS! The greatest sin is to refuse repentance. That sin is unpardonable. It is what Christ terms sin against the Holy Spirit.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Whereraceisamyth

      Perfection is your enemy dan. Thinking you can reach Gods mandate is foolish.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Whereraceisamyth

      The unrepentable sin that plagues every human...judgement....everyone does it, even when they dont realize it.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  15. danielwalldammit


    May 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • brandi

      Ok, that was HIGH-LARIOUS!

      May 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Radio

      It would be wonderful if these atheist trash would educate themselves instead of posting videos bashing Christianity.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:38 am |
      • danielwalldammit

        Lol, don't worry, radio. I am quite sure Jesus died just so you could play internet-Christian.

        May 12, 2012 at 5:06 am |
  16. WASP

    isn't it ironic that the bible states we are all made in god's image, but christians feel a need to correct their all mighty? he made ALL humans in his image correct? so refusing to see any human as an equal is basically telling god he made a mistake and that "you" (meaning the relgious extremeists) deem his creations less than you deem yourself. lmfao i'm sure he is going to love to see you folks.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  17. Mary

    Gays do not belong in voting booths in this Christian nation of ours. They're to blame for obama getting in office in the first place and he's really sent by the devil.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Mirosal

      You really ARE a female version of Randall McMurphy. Beter be careful or we'll send in Nurse Rachett to put you back in your rubber room with full restraints.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Mary: You are a bigot and an uneducated one at that!! SCIENCE has stated that being gay is something people are born to be and given that the research providing the evidence is updated, this trumps the buybull you hold to be so true. Grow up and stop imposing your delusions on the PERSONAL lives of others.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Mirosal

      Mary .. little lesson in gov't for you. You DO know that if you base your vote strictly on someone's faith, you're violating their civil rights according to the US Consti'tution? Take a peek at Article 6 and tell me what it says.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "full restraints"

      Could that include a ball gag and duct tape on her hands so she can't harm society with her delusions?

      oh btw Mirosaol, good morning 🙂 Wishing you peace and love for this beautiful weekend!

      May 11, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Mirosal

      Hope you and yours enjoy the weekend m'lady 🙂 .. as far as the ball gag and handcuffs, something tells me she might LIKE that sort of thing? 😉 lol

      May 11, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Mirosal: She is not intelligent enough to comprehend the meaning of that. Civil rights means nothing to this person, who thinks she is holier than thou but yet is breaking one of her gods major rules (judge not lest ye be judged). She is the one who does not belong in America if that is the way she views people who think differently or are different than her. I just want to know how she would react if one of her kids told her they were gay. She's a hypocrite and in her gods eyes a sinner...it is her hell she can enjoy it and I'm certain if it exists (NOT) she will be sizzling along with the rest of fundiots.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Mary

      Well, based on your responses, I can safely say that I hope you enjoy hell. That's where you're going.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • raceisamyth

      Only the rightous may judge...and as God said...no one is rightous...not even one.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Mirosal

      Tell us how you're so sure of that, Mary? Better yet, prove to us that "hell" actually exists. Oh, and you can't use your big book of myths (buy-bull) as proof or evidence, as it does NOT meet the standard criteria for evidence.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Primewonk

      Mary, why do you fundiots (fundamentalist îdiots) hate the constîtution?

      May 11, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • raceisamyth

      Hell is eternal seperation from a loving God, and its only reserved for the truely wicked.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Mary: You're delusional. My responses and the responses of the others are based off of your complete ignorance, nothing more. Equal rights do not only pertain to christards, they pertain to everyone whether you agree or not. The fact that you would wish to take away those rights from people really does not speak well for you as a person. I don't give a damn what your buybull or god say, it is stuff written 2 millenniums ago and has no place in the 21st century.
      So tell us what you would do if your own child was gay?
      BTW: You are probably to inept to realize this but that computer you are using was invented by an Atheist. Sure you don't want to start a prayer-a-palooza and ward off the evilness for that?

      May 11, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @raceisamyth: She is wicked. Unlike you, she is saying that gays have no place in society, all you have basically said is that gay people should not be allowed to marry in a church, at least you're not being ignorant enough to spew hatred.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You smell a lot like Cap'n Sayin' Atheism Isn't an Angry Pervery Neumann.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      @ mary. My denomination of Christianity disagrees with your denomination of Christianity, so my denomination believes your denomination should not have voting rights. Since you wish to hold on to such archaic notions, how about you as a woman stay out of the voting booth and go sweep the porch and make babies.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Primewonk

      Mary, Does our brother Paul, the apostle, not tell women to sit down and shut up? Does he not forbid women from lecturing men, especially in matters of faith?

      Why are you here? Why are you thumbing your nose at your bible and your god?

      Now, be a good girl, shut up, and go make us men a sammich!

      May 11, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • raceisamyth

      Paul was a bit crazy. In this instance he is describing the Roman church. And Paul abandoned Mark...who later wrote a gospel. There is substance in his writing...but you have to read between the lines.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • NotBuyingIt

      @ all the replies after the original comment

      Come on, can't you guys recognize a troll when you see one?

      May 11, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • TR6

      Mary, you are a clasic poster child of why separation of church and state is such a magnificent and important idea

      May 11, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Adam

      Mary has trolled you all.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • TR6

      @lunchbreaker:” you as a woman stay out of the voting booth and go sweep the porch and make babies.”

      As a past victim of a mother just as Christian and as open minded as Mary I can assure you that she SHOULD NOT be making babies. There are much worse things than abortion and having Mary as a mother is one of them.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • danielwalldammit

      Mary, you are not a christian. Your malice has nothing to do with Jesus, nothing whatsoever.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Whereraceisamyth

      We were saved by grace and it is through faith in Gods love for us that we stop fearing God and start loveing God. God makes it clear Yeshua gave his life for Jew and gentile alike. God made it clear that to curse the Jews is to be cursed. Salvation is not a prize to be won...it is a loving gift to the undeserving.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • captain america

      The responses you are getting are coming from a lot of canadian qu-eers and qu eer bait canadians. They have no legitimate voice in America and we suspect there own country is sick and tired of their whining. Tell them all to go s crew themselves and take the US idiot with them. There's your sign.

      May 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • usethatloaf

      Mary... i feel sorry for you! Brainwashed by your hypocritical and bigoted beliefs. You are an embarrassment. I am an avid atheist, but am always willing to listen to the views of coherent believers. However, you represent that group of blind idiots that make my blood boil with your persistent and stubborn ignorance! Have a look at yourself and think (for once) and maybe one day you too could join the real world!
      See you in hell!

      May 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  18. raceisamyth

    Free black Africans built their own boats and sailed to America to escape slavery.18 million Africans were taken into slavery when race based slavery was invented. Only 6% came to America by the British, not by Americans.

    Indeed, one thing people need to know is that there is a higher percentage of people in this country who own private jets now than people who owned slaves back in the day. Also, people seem to think African slavery stopped w/ Lincoln when it still continues today. The pattern of the slave traders from Holland, Spain, and England was to foment war between local tribes and have the winning tribe sell the losing tribe into slavery. Many of these families who engaged in such activity back then are still around and do it today. Those are the white people blacks should hate. But few people of any color seem to know their names. And the reason it doesn’t get taught in school is because it still is happening and black people don’t want to admit that fellow black people sold them into slavery. To deal with an issue as big as African slavery, you have to be open confronting the entire problem. Nobody seems to want to talk about it except blaming white people who didn’t even own slaves or aren’t descended from a slave owner.
    Lincoln just signed the paper. 600000 americans died to free the slaves. Most were white euros. Theres good and bad in all peoples histories. Those cartel familes played a huge role in destroying the American Indians also.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • raceisamyth

      If you cant handle the truth..stop looking for answers.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:29 am |
  19. raceisamyth

    Its about respecting the seperation or church and state and about protecting values. You can have the term marriage. But you can not defy God in Gods church. Why dont we just erase all marriage benefits totally. Problem solved.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Why not just stop arguing about the basic rights of others and get to the real issues your country is facing? Why are you not crying out against the pathetic state your economy is in or the human trafficking that occurs or the starving children or the fact that innocent children are dying needlessly because their parents can't afford healthcare? Fine, don't let gay's marry in the church and keep your sanctimonious system in tact but don't step on their rights to enjoy life. 'Judge not lest ye be judged' (nothing in that to indicate who you are allowed to judge)

      May 11, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Nobody is forcing any church to perform any ceremonies.
      The local Baptist Parish can refuse to marry a gay couple, just as they denied interracial couples in the 20th century.
      For those same se.x couples who want a church ceremony, they can go see the Anglicans of the Unitarians.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Nii

      The Anglicans after Lambeth Conference 2010 pulled back all the liberal agenda including gay priests and marriage. Sorry. It was too divisive and we didn't want to lose the Largest Protestant Denomination Ti.tle. Unitarians are still available.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Nii

      Marriage is a privilege. Otherwise u cud demand sponsorship of your wedding. The govt only extends extra privileges as it deems its function as important. Marriage is to provide a normal human nest for offspring. Of course some dont fill that nest but that is like saying a bad President is a norm

      May 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "Marriage is a privilege"

      Marriage is a right between consenting adults, a basic human one at that.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Nii

      As a married woman you do know how much the two of you went through to get married and stay married. You did not just reach a marriage age and got handed a husband. The consenting adults part is a of human rights issue. A lot of people say "I do" but don't consent.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Eladio

      Hands down our Bible study gathering togniht with the women of our community. Many things were working behind the scenes to "go wrong" and did; but in the end, we all gathered anyway, rejoicing in the truth that we learned over the past week. I love Tuesdays; lunch with the "ancients" and Bible study with my girlfriends. The best day of my week!Love your new concept of joy moments. I'll be looking for mine tomorrow.peace~elaine

      June 27, 2012 at 3:57 am |
    • Turkuaz

      I think he did great and really wtaend his autograph, but couldn't. i think he deserves to be the hero of the year 2009. the video was very touching,and that made me want to help the charities more. His presentation made me want to unleash my hero in my heart!

      June 29, 2012 at 3:16 am |
  20. TruthPrevails :-)

    Coming from my wonderful Socialist country and being a firm believer in equal rights for all, I am not grasping why those who have such a devout belief in god are having such a hard time with same se.x marriage/unions. It makes absolutely no sense to base equal rights off of a book. So my major question is this: How does a person's marriage/union directly affect you? (set aside the buybull because that is not definitive of you as a person) I do understand that the buybull states certain things but if you believe in equal rights and that everyone should be judged by your god, does it not make more sense to myob and let your deity do the judging than to do it yourself and break the commandments you hold so dear to your heart? You say you follow the book but yet you break that one rule every time you sit there and argue against the rights of others and then you wonder why you are called hypocrites and bigots. I understand that some of you think that if a gay couple marries, they are in the wrong due to not being able to pro-create but yet you tend to set aside the fact that you argue against abortion and if a woman is forced to carry an unwanted child to term, that child needs a home when that mother puts it up for adoption.
    If it doesn't have a direct impact on your life and they are not causing you or your loved ones harm, then you need to mind your own business and let them be happy. They're not telling you who to love or not to pro-create, so have some respect and give them the same. No-one has the right to judge anyone else until you can honestly say you've walked a mile in their shoes. If all you have to base your opinion off of is a book that has never been updated in the 2000 years since it was written, then your argument against it is frail and has no bearing.

    May 11, 2012 at 7:58 am |
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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.