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My Take: Gays are coming out on TV. Christians are, too
Actor Samuel Larsen, second from left, on "The Glee Project."
May 11th, 2012
08:54 AM ET

My Take: Gays are coming out on TV. Christians are, too

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

The New York Times reports this week that gays and lesbians are now commonplace on hit television shows. But Christians are coming out of the closet and onto our television sets, too.

“Glee” may feature a gay couple (Kurt and Blaine), a lesbian couple (Santana and Brittany), and a transgender character (Unique), but it also includes the God Squad, a group of Christians that meet in school and struggle with the demands of their faith.

On the first season of “The Glee Project,” a reality show that trolls for talent to feature on “Glee,” actor Samuel Larsen won a seven-episode role in part because of a tattoo on his chest quoting from Psalm 18 (“I will love thee O Lord my strength”). Larsen, who also sports long dreadlocks, obviously has that elusive “it” factor, but one reason he won "The Glee Project" was that "Glee" executive producer Ryan Murphy wanted to feature a Christian character on the show.

Larsen’s character, transfer student (and former home schooler) Joe Hart, debuted on the "Heart" episode on Valentine’s Day, and since then he has been the “Christian guy” - aka "Teen Jesus" - at William McKinley High.

In that episode, the God Squad raises money by performing singing telegrams at $10 a pop, but when Santana (Naya Rivera) asks them to sing for her girlfriend Brittany (Heather Morris), Joe balks and a discussion about the Bible and homosexuality ensues.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Mercedes (Amber Riley) calculates that since “one out of every ten people are gay . . . one of the twelve apostles might have been gay.” Sam (Chord Overstreet) observes that “the Bible says it’s an abomination for a man to lay with another man,” prompting Quinn (Dianna Agron) go ask, “Do you know what else the Bible says is an abomination? Eating lobster, planting different crops in the same field, giving somebody a proud look. Not an abomination? Slavery. Jesus never said anything about gay people. That’s a fact.”

Matt Philbin at the Media Research Center cites this episode as an example of the liberal “crusade against faith,” characterizing “Glee” for “attacking the Bible while pushing the gay agenda.

I have a different take. I think it’s about time that Christian characters are showing up on television shows. I think it’s great that these characters are portrayed as flesh-and-blood people who struggle with their faith like the young Christians I know who struggle with theirs. And I think it’s amazing that characters on one of the most popular shows on television are actually discussing the Bible!

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In a more recent episode, called “Dance With Somebody,” Joe gets into another conversation about how to live as a Christian. He has fallen for Quinn while helping her rehabilitate from a car crash, and he’s trying to reconcile what his teenage body says about sex with what the Bible says.

In the boys locker room, Sam tells him to go for it, arguing that you can be a good Christian and a sexual person at the same time. But Joe isn’t so sure he should give in to temptation. And when he hints in a conversation with Quinn that he would give up his Christian faith in order to be her boyfriend, Quinn tells him no. “It’s nice knowing there’s something out there that can’t be lost," she says.

I’m not saying Joe is everybody’s idea of a good Christian. But out there in the real world in actual U.S. high schools there are all sorts of people who fall somewhere between chaste born-again Christians who see holding hands as a gateway drug to illicit sex and frisky secular humanists who spend more time hooking up than doing their homework.

Let's see more of Joe Hart on "Glee," I say, and more of real Christians (and their struggles) on network television.

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

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Entertainment • Homosexuality • Sexuality • Teens • United States

soundoff (752 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven
    Powerful

    May 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
      Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
      Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just go to http://santorum.com to find out more.
      Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
      Prayer makes you fat.
      Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
      Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
      Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
      Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
      Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
      Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
      Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
      Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
      Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
      Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
      Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
      Prayer dulls your senses.
      Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
      Prayer makes you hoard cats.
      Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
      Prayer wastes time.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Jacob

      Coward.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Jesus

      You're a proven liar. 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 10:42 am |
  2. preacherman

    IF GOD HAD INTENDED FOR A MAN TO MARRY A MAN HE WOULD HAVE CREATED MEN WHO ARE ATTRACTED TO MEN!!!

    wait.......

    May 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Bob

      Good one, preacherman.

      May 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  3. Bob

    Chris, that was a cowardly and utterly unconvincing reply that you made to my post. Basically, you have admitted that reaching your viewpoint requires a biased stance, rather than a critical one, and that your reference book, the bible, will not stand up to critical examination. That admission, while tacit, is a salient point that you have now buttressed. Indeed, the bible does not stand up to a critical review, insofar as the claimed "loving" nature of its supposedly divine creature goes, and also regarding many other claims of the bible.

    Looked at with any degree of critical review, bible content very clearly shows very explicitly that Christian god is a horrid being, and is both bigoted and vengeful to an unfair degree. So again, good thing that Christian god does not exist, when he makes gruesome demands of his flock like these:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    May 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  4. martog

    Ten Reasons You Know you are an Atheist.
    1. You were likely brought up a theist (probably a Christian if you live in the USA) and had to do your own thinking to rise above the beliefs that still occupy the mind of the believer. This usually involved being smart and working hard at school and college so as to get a good, accurate view of the natural Universe and overcoming significant social pressure to dumb yourself down and conform. In short, you had the guts to ask the hard questions and the brains to spot the weak answers. The more you came to understand the Universe, the less reason there was to believe in a god and the more you came to appreciate human nature, the more you understood why billions of us still do.
    2. While rejecting the supernatural elements of the Bible, you nevertheless retain a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Christianity. To the extent you reject Christian morality, it is where it is mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, your basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Christian – you just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over your head in order to act in a manner that you consider moral.
    3. You know a great deal more about the Bible than most believers. This is because you took the time to read it yourself and did not rely on the primary-color simple stories you learned in Sunday school. You have also probably done some research into the historical Jesus and have a good handle on where he REALLY fit in to the broader picture of the Middle East at the time. Needless to say, his miracles and other magic powers soon started to look pretty unlikely.
    4. Your knowledge of basic science and history is much stronger than that of your average believer. You likely have a basic working knowledge of physics, astronomy, evolutionary biology and cosmology and a good idea of the history of life on this planet. This acc.umulated knowledge puts you in a position to judge the claims of the Bible in a critical light and they are almost always found wanting. To the theist, this makes you “elitist” and ‘arrogant”.
    5. You relish your role as a religious minority in the USA, as this gives you an impetus to fight and you understand how others with unpopular, but doubtlessly correct views have felt throughout history. There is something altogether satisfying to you about having a deep conviction you are right and being viewed with disdain for your views by the errant majority. You feel a quiet confidence that future generations will look back on you as a member of a class of trailblazers, as religious supersti.tions go into inevitable decline in popularity.
    6. You are likely more environmentally aware than your theist friends and colleagues and unlikely to fall for claims of industry and wind-bag politicians concerning the impact of man’s activities on the environment. You could no more act in an environmentally irresponsible manner because “god will keep us safe” than you could jump of a ship, believing King Neptune will keep you safe.
    7. You generally have a live and let live atti.tude, but will fiercely defend any attempts by theists to thrust their views on you or your children, directly or through control of school boards, the legislature or the executive. While you are prepared to debate and argue passionately with the theist on an intellectual level, you would never wish them harm or ill will. You know you are likely to be smugly told you will “burn in hell for all eternity” for your healthy skepticism. This highlights what you despise about religion, as you would not wish a bad sunburn on another, simply because they have a different religious view to you. You have never heard of an evolutionary biologist strapping a bomb to himself and running into a church yelling “Darwin-u akbar”.
    8. You likely know more about other religions than your average theist. This makes you less fearful of them and enables you to see parallels. You realize that, if you were born in India, you would have been brought up with a totally different religion. You realize that every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. They cannot all exist and you see the error all faiths make of thinking only theirs exist(s). This “rising above” the regional nature of all religions was probably instrumental in your achieving atheism.
    9. You likely have a deep, genuine appreciation of the fathomless beauty and unbelievable complexity of our Universe, from the 4 nucleotides that orchestrate every aspect of you, through to the distant quasars, without having to think it was all made for you. You likely get more out of being the irrelevant ant staring up at the cosmos than you do in having to pretend that it was all made to turn in majestic black-and-white pirouette about you.
    10. While you have a survival instinct, you cannot fear death in the way the theist does. You know that the whole final judgment story, where you may be sent to hell if you fail, is Dark Ages nonsense meant to keep the Church’s authority. You also know that you were dead for 13,700,000,000 years before you were born. It is impossible for you to fear death, for the simple reason that you know the capacity to fear (or to feel pain or discomfort) itself dies. You will not even know you are dead. Fear of death is as meaningless to you as is the fear of a vacuum, the fear of not being born. You feel a lot more secure, and indeed a deep comfort, in this knowledge, than you would in trying to yoke yourself to some quasi-hope that every part of your intellect tells you is untenable.

    May 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Chris

      GIMME A P
      GIMME AN R
      GIMME AN I
      GIMME A D
      GIMME AN E

      WATCHA GOT?
      ATHEIST!

      May 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • martog

      You must be kidding. Christians think they have ALL the answers in their little black book. Talk about pride, and surely just a little ARROGANCE! To think that you have it right and everyone else is wrong.....man, you are truly the pot calling the kettle black.

      May 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Lisa

      Chris
      I've seen Christian pride parades.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Jacob

      Chris no offense but you sound like an intellectual coward. Why are you so frightened of reality?

      May 12, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • YeahRight

      It's hysterical that this post is so full of LIES, lying is a sin and one of the Ten Commandments, this idiot can't even follow the basic teaching in the bible. What a hypocrite. Hey wait, that means you're really an Atheist and your post applies to yourself. Duh!

      May 13, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  5. sbssue1

    Looks like the "Devil" has worked his miracles again today with the hate posted on this site today. Can't change the world but we can change ourselves for the better.

    May 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Bob

      Well, when Christians are starting from such a hateful book as the bible, we shouldn't be too surprised. The Christian book of nasty has god making all kinds of horrid, hateful requests like these:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell of burning flesh makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. What a creep Christian god must be. He's a pretty sick guy, so good thing he doesn't exist.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Chris

      Bob,
      Why is there such confusion about God's words.
      It's called justice. We all get precisely what we sincerely seek out of God's words. You seek to pull stuff out of context and use it to attack the God who died for you. You find it every time. Perhaps this relates to passages like Proverbs 26:7, 9; Mark 4:11 and Mathew 13:10-17

      I seek His mercy and love. He often strengthens my faith and thankfulness, thru folks like you – who only demonstrate that He is good and just.

      PS: It is funny that you're clearly too lazy to even bother cracking a bible and seeking for yourself, with your "Jesus purportedly said" laziness. Justice again. You're getting the deep understanding that you so richly deserve!

      May 12, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • wolfpackbob

      Bob, is your website to promote the brotherhood of man, you know, love and respect each other in peace? Or is it hateful like your blogs? Your alternative to loving your neighbor as yourself is to ridicule and be abusive to them? No thank you, Bob. Peace be with you.

      May 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Bob

      Chris, wow, that was a cowardly and utterly unconvincing reply that you made to my post. Basically, you have admitted that reaching your viewpoint requires a biased stance, rather than a critical one, and that your reference book, the bible, will not stand up to critical examination. That admission, while tacit, is a salient point that you have now buttressed. Indeed, the bible does not stand up to a critical review, insofar as the claimed "loving" nature of its supposedly divine creature goes, and also regarding many other claims of the bible.

      Looked at with any degree of critical review, bible content very clearly shows very explicitly that Christian god is a horrid being, and is both bigoted and vengeful to an unfair degree. So again, good thing that Christian god does not exist, when he makes gruesome demands of his flock like these:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Lisa

      Yup, all those hateful posts about gay people and atheists going to hell, the Devil sure is busy indeed!

      May 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  6. wolfpackbob

    Christians should believe that we are all children of God, and equally loved. As mortals, we fail at that everyday, sometimes quite miserably. By that token, no one is guaranteed or "earns" anything because no person is ever "worthy" of the divinity, anymore than anyone of us perfectly honored our parents or guardians 100% throughout our lives with what we chose to do or chose not to do. Across the planet, it is everyone's free will to choose to treat each other as we would like to be treated ourselves, regardless of faith, and trust in the mercy and grace of God to sort it all out at our end. As a Christian, I applaud the atheists who love their neighbors as well as anyone without the comfort that I have in my Creator. And how we live our lives, not why we live our lives, is the more fundamental issue that we all can find common ground.

    May 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Bob

      Brother wolf-bob, I think it would be pretty easy to actually be more "worthy" and more loving than your god, when he makes demands according to your bible like this:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Wow, your god belongs in jail for a really long time. Nasty stuff there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Chris

      Wolfpack,

      Christians are supposed to love their neighbors. Undeniably, love compels all Christians to contend for the souls of unbelievers. There is only one Way. He is the Savior. There is none other. If you're an actual Christian, you know this is true, and your love compels you to share the gospel of "Trust the Savior"
      You don't patronize those who reject, scorn, and hate the Savior, as they blindly head for justice (instead of mercy, which is what you get thru trusting Him).

      May 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Chris

      Bob,

      No problem or imperfection with those verses, which demonstrate real, actual love and respect for human lives and souls, in those situations.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Bob

      Yeah, Chris, love thy neighbour unless you're having a bad day. Then you can just follow god's other fine instructions like these ones. So enough with your cherry picking (and I don't mean the Mary fiction). Let's get right into your "good" Christian stuff:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Now, since you keep spewing about your bible, note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • wolfpackbob

      Dear Bob, my "unworthiness" that you refer to is that I regret I would never be able to joyfully, willingly and repeatedly lay down my life for my friend and my enemies. One cannot place your neighbor's needs above your own and sacrafice for him if you are concerned about whether he is worthy. Please wander over to the New Testament where lies the greatest story ever told. Yes, it is a story that I believe and you do not, but if we agree on how we both should live our lives, than that belief and non-belief should be meaningless if our resulting choices are the same?

      May 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Bob

      Wolf pup, time for you to get past the puppy kibble. I'm very familiar with the NT and the stories in it. Pretty silly stuff. Which story did you want to talk about? The idiotic dead-son-nailed-to-sticks one? Let's have a go:

      How come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that saving without the loony son sacrifice bit?

      And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there.

      Now, seriously, ask yourself, why does god never make amputated limbs grow back, even though many amputees ask sincerely to be healed and many amputees are wonderful people. The reason is that your god doesn't exist, and that's a good thing, because he'd have to be quite the ass-hole if he did.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • wolfpackbob

      Chris, I am not trying to patronize. God even cut Saul some slack and we know how well that turned out. As Christians, we cannot put limits on the unfathomable mercy of God by stating that we know what his final judgement will be on anyone. We leave that to God alone. I obviously agree our faith enables rather than hinders our ability to love our neighbor as ourself. But it is compatible with our faith that an atheist who lays down his life for his friend is also a friend of God, regardless of his beliefs.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Chris

      Bob,
      Thanks for your response. Very edifying!

      Animal sacrifices were/are for Jews, genius. They point(ed) the sincere Jew towards their Messiah. They were never for Christians. The once-for-all-time sacrificial Lamb had come, suffered, died, been buried, resurrected, and lives forevermore at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for His children.

      Your other sad rants just make me thankful that you're getting the perfect justice that you insist upon, instead of the mercy and love which you hate so vehemently.

      May 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Chris

      To wolfpackbob,

      I'm not interested in conversations with Taoists masquerading as Christians. That makes you disingenuous, in my opinion. It also leads me to believe that you're not honest with yourself. Why would I want to waste valuable time with a person who so clearly signals that they're not honest with themselves?
      There is only one Way. It's all about the Savior. Either you trust Him or you reject Him.

      An Atheist is not a friend of God. You are in error, not knowing God's words. The world has made itself an enemy of God thru it's pride. A friend of the world is God's enemy, so much more the avowed Atheist. James 4:4.
      You clearly believe in works-for-salvation, which means Satan is your spiritual father. Your religion is vanity.

      May 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • wolfpackbob

      Chris, I do not believe that I or anyone at any time in their life will have "earned" or guaranteed heaven, or as you refer "works-for-salvation". That is not how the good thief lived his life yet he was redeemed literally at his last breath through his sincere request for forgiveness. But it is impossible for us to decide who will be God's friend, who will place themselves at God's mercy at the moment of their death. Only God will know their heart at that moment. Don't you and I hope that outcome for others who are ridiculing us here? We don't have to like them but are we not supposed to love our enemies and pray for their salvation as well? That is not Tao, that is believing and trusting in God's infinite mercy for anyone who sincerely seeks it, anywhere and at any time. I will grant you that it might be more unlikely for an atheist, but we believe nothing is impossible for God, don't we?

      May 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Bob

      Chris, nope, you fail again. Your Jesus according to your bible said the OT commands still apply. And again, like I said, even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around or that Jesus didn't say that, you still have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Cq

      Well said, wolfpackbob, but remember that we atheists take as much comfort in our beliefs as well.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  7. James PDX

    Why did God command Abraham to kill his son? Supposedly it was a test of his faith in God. But God says that killing is wrong. So what God was really testing was if Abraham was afraid enough of God to do something horribly evil and kill his own beloved son to avoid God's wrath. God's a lot like a grade school bully given a little too much power.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Bob

      Good points, James. I find that bully aspect of Christian god in many parts of the bible.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Chris

      James,

      This isn't really CNN. It's their website. So, unlike the real/old CNN (or MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, or Fox) you don't get to answer for me, and then attack me for those answers.

      God didn't give the "Thou shalt not murder." commandment until 500+ years after Abraham's 20ish year old son allowed himself to be sacrificed, as a "type" of the actual Savior.

      So, you've got some problems with the sword-like words of God, which your blindly flailing around.

      By the way, it wasn't fear of the LORD (a good and beautiful thing) that motivated Abraham. It was his sincere and simple faith in the LORD, you prejudiced fool. See Genesis 22:5-8 G Hebrews 11:17-19

      May 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Chris

      Yeah. What an unjust bully. He suffered and died for your sins. All you gotta do is sincerely seek Him a little tiny bit, and He'll make Himself known to you. Or, just take Him at His word, and trust Him.

      But no. It's not enough for you to reject Him and His love for you. You actively resent, scorn, and hate Him and His love for you. Just like He warned about in Romans 1:16-32.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Bob

      Wow, Chris, you've really strung yourself along on your selective bible intrepretations. The bible though is chock full of instructions to kill, and other horrid stuff. Take a look at these loving chestnuts, and many others like them in the bible:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

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

      Chris, as for that wacky sacrifice story, what a farce. Guess you never thought that one through about your "god".

      How come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that saving without the loony son sacrifice bit?

      And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Chris

      Bob,

      Real love requires sacrifice. Maybe you don't want to understand that. It goes against the concept that you can dress up laziness, indifference and selfishness as love.

      Your alleged love may fool the world, which loves to be fooled. But, it doesn't fool your Judge.
      Regardless, He loves you. Go ahead and curse Him and work against Him and hate Him. Continue to be his enemy YOUR WHOLE LIFE LONG. But, at your soon-coming moment of death, He'll give you mercy and love if you change your mind (repent) and call on Him. Even after a life spent spitting on Him and attacking Him, just call on the Savior and He'll save you.

      May 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Bob

      Chris, go look up Pascal's Wager. It's a tired, broken old argument for your god, and you just tried to use it. I think you are more than a little out of your depth here.

      May 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Hitchens

      That isn't the wager Bob, perhaps you should read up on it yourself.

      May 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Bob

      Baloney, Hitchens. If you disagree with my statement, then explain yourself, coward.

      May 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Lisa

      Chris
      "Real love requires sacrifice."
      So, no man is really in love unless he sacrifices something to maintain the relationship? That's a pretty cynical view of love and marriage there buddy!

      May 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • momoya

      Why cynical?. Sacrifice isn't just big things.. I've been married to my hubby for a long, long, long time, and of course we recognize that love requires sacrifice.. Of course, that's not to say that there's any sort of god or god-sacrifice going on.

      May 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  8. davesulis

    We've been contradicting the Christian and Gays for ages. We forgot that there are gay Christians where bible is not interpreted in negative ways against gays. So many churches are coming out these days and embracing the true Christ's teachings of love, forgiveness and acceptance. I think these kind of Christians should come out too on TV

    May 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Bob

      dave, problem is, you have to also consider the nasty, hateful bits that horrid Christian god demands in the bible, and there are a lot of those bits. It's the whole package, and a pretty evil package Christianity sure is. Stuff like this that bible god instructs Christians to do:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. Some "sweet savor", that burning flesh, at least for sicko Christian god, the bible sez.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  9. camp

    ..or how about a quote from a Bob Dylan lyric, "you gotta serve somebody"

    May 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  10. Art

    Be glad for anonymity, it's why you still have teeth.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Jacob

      True, but sad though Art. It's sad that in a nation where we pride ourselves on Freedom of Speech, anonymity is required for someone to speak truthfully about the dangers of xtianity.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    May 12, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • James PDX

      I've been praying that you would go away and stop posting that same nonsense over and over. Thank you for proving yourself wrong by posting your silliness here yet again.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • TPN51

      I've been prayint to win the lottery. As of this morning I'm still broke.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • TPN51

      I've been praying to win the lottery. As of this morning I'm still broke.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Chris

      To James: Psalm 109:7 and James 4:3 & 4
      To the one who loves the LORD: Thank you.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Jacob

      These cultists, they remind me of robots.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things,
      Proven

      May 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Lisa

      Proven how? Where's the proof?

      May 12, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  12. Marcia

    I am not a Christian nor do I watch Glee but I support television – and general public dialog – moving from two-sided to multi-dimensional and including the struggle we all have with nearly all issues. Kudos to Glee (and to my all time favorite "I'll Fly Away") for showing human beings with ever evolving ideas and beliefs of all flavors. We should be encouraged to consider not copy.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  13. Chris

    Jacob,

    Yes. I've read God's words. I consider myself somewhat familiar with them.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  14. Let's pause and think about the homeless and the less fortunate; shall we?
    May 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  15. Topdecker

    I always hear about people "struggling" with their religion. If something were good and natural, why is it such a struggle? People need to start seeing religion for what it is; fictional stories used to shape peoples morals. The problems arise when people take it for truth and use religion to control the lives of others.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • camp

      so the atheist has no struggle? No questions? How is that resolved for them?

      May 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Chris

      What comes naturally is clearly displayed in toddlers. Pride, selfishness, jealousy, envy, covetousness, greed, pettiness.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • camp

      So Lord of the Flies end game, if left to our natural devices...so again why is Durant's statement wrong then?

      May 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • camp

      "A great civilization is not conquered from without until is has destroyed itself within" Will Durant – Historian

      May 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  16. alex

    We, the Christians of United States of America, are without sin so therefore we cast the first stone on anybody that is different than us.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Chris

      If you know what makes a person a Christian, then you know that there can no Christian ever believes he is without sin.

      As for your superficial reference to 'casting stones', I don't believe my LORD and Savior will frown upon me for sincerely keeping His words. I don't edit them to suit me. They're His words. Not mine. I've neither added nor removed any, even when they do show me some ugly truths about myself and the human heart.

      Jesus' 'casting stones' teaching was about actual stones that would actually kill and actual person.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Bob

      Chris, sure, let's look at those fine "words" of your god. You'll have a lot of leeway to do some pretty nasty stuff if you follow the bible:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Cq

      Chris
      "I don't believe my LORD and Savior will frown upon me for sincerely keeping His words."
      Then don't have h0m0$exual relations with anyone, if you believe that it's wrong, and leave other people to judge for themselves whether they want to, or not. I just don't understand why Christians feel that they can judge others in this without looking like the casters of stones Jesus referred to.

      There is also Matthew 7:1-2
      _“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you._

      Clearly, Jesus would not approve of the way Christians just KNOW who's going to hell, and who aren't afraid to tell these people where they are going.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  17. James PDX

    No single being has performed more abortions than God. Just ask anyone from the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Oh, wait, they're all dead.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  18. janetlaw

    Nice article – some intelligent thought instead of screaming black and white. I thank you.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  19. acajunthatsagun

    The little fruit cakes are popping out all over the place.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • James PDX

      What's wrong with fruitcake? Christians regularly give them away as gifts at Christmas to their loved ones.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  20. Anthony Caudill (tcaudilllg)

    These days, being a christian is a dirty word. But you know, in the name of peace they are required to let the gays have their way.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • James PDX

      If Christians would stop trying to make it a dirty word to be anything other than Christians, they wouldn't find themselves laying in that saggy, lice infested bed they made.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • CCCDaughter

      I am thankful my family are Episcopalians, they truly believe in loving everyone. There is no exception in our Church.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • sybaris

      Really Anthony, you're playing the persecuted christian game. Let's see, in the U.S. we have:

      Bibles in every motel room
      God on our money
      Moments of silence (prayer) before public events
      Christian cable networks 24/7
      Radioeveangelists 24/7
      Televangelists 24/7
      Discounts on insurance for being christian
      Churches every 6 blocks in every city over 100,000
      Christian bookstores in every town over 12,000
      Christian billboards along the highway advertising Vacation Brainwashing School (VBS) for your children
      Federally recognized Christian holiday
      Religious organizations are tax free
      75% of the population claims to be Christian
      National day of prayer
      Want more?

      Please, take the persecuted christian whine line somewhere else.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Bob

      sybaris, I so hear you.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.