Is the black church guilty of spiritual hypocrisy in same-sex marriage debate?
Delman Coates at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church is among a minority of black ministers in Maryland who have endorsed gay rights.
May 12th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Is the black church guilty of spiritual hypocrisy in same-sex marriage debate?

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - Some people wonder if the black church will punish President Barack Obama for announcing support for same-sex marriage.

Here’s another question:

Why would the black church cite scripture to exclude gays when a similar approach to the Bible was used to enslave their ancestors?

“It’s so unfortunate,” says James Cone, one the nation’s most influential black theologians and author of “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.”

“The literal approach to scripture was used to enslave black people,” he says. “I’ve said many times in black churches that the black church is on the wrong side of history on this. It’s so sad because they were on the right side of history in their own struggle.”

Call it historical irony: Black church leaders arguing against same-sex marriage are making some of the same arguments that supporters of slavery made in the 18th and 19th centuries, some historians say. Both groups adopted a literal reading of the Bible to justify withholding basic rights from a particular group.

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

Opposition to gay rights is not the standard position of all black churches. Still, while several predominately white mainline denominations have officially accepted gays and lesbians in various forms, the vast majority of black churches still consider homosexuality a sin.

Black church leaders recently helped lead a successful drive to amend North Carolina’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The Rev. Fred Robinson, a black pastor in Charlotte, says most black churchgoers aren’t hypocrites. They take scripture, and sin, seriously.

“Black people are not confused,” Robinson says. “If you look at the scriptures that oppose homosexuality, Old and New Testament, they are clearer cut than the ones people used to justify slavery.”

Yet there are other factors beyond the Bible that shape the black church’s resistance to same-sex marriage.

“It’s more than scripture – it’s history, culture, how we were raised,” says the Rev. Tim McDonald, founder of the African American Ministers Leadership Council.

Some black church leaders are still fighting hard just to persuade straight black couples to marry. Accepting same-sex marriage when so many black households lack a husband and wife makes McDonald uneasy.

“I am not comfortable performing a wedding ceremony of the same sex,” says McDonald, an Obama supporter. “That’s just where I am.”

Some black pastors, however, embrace a literal approach to the Bible not just to exclude gays but to get rid of competition, says Edward Blum, a San Diego State University historian.

Some black pastors cite New Testament passages such as Paul’s demand that women keep silent in churches to argue against black women in the pulpit.

That argument is harder to make when black women’s energy and donations form the backbone of the black church, Blum says, but some still get away with it.

“The biblical literalist reading has kept male leadership in power in a church that is hugely female,” Blum says. “It keeps power in men’s hands.”

The one book that mattered

Black churches also embrace a literal reading of the scripture because of its unique history, says Blum, author of “W.E.B. DuBois, American Prophet.”

During slavery and segregation, many blacks saw the Bible as the one document they could trust. The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, state and local laws – all found some way to ignore their humanity, Blum says.

The Bible, though, was one book that told them that they weren’t slaves or three-fifths of a person, Blum says.

It said they were children of God.

“Throughout the 18th and 19th century, what document could they trust?” Blum says. “When the Bible says it’s so, it’s something that black people believed they could trust.”

Their enemies, though, used that same veneration of the Bible against them. Slaveholders had a simple but powerful argument when critics challenged them: Trust the Bible.

They cited scriptures such as Ephesians 6:5. (“Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling. ...”) And they said Jesus preached against many sins, but never against slavery.

Since the Bible is infallible, and scripture sanctions slavery, it must be part of God’s order, slaveholders concluded.

“Slavery is everywhere in the Bible,” Blum says. “When Americans who were in favor of slavery defended it with the Bible, they had a treasure trove of clear biblical passages that accepted enslavement.”

Blum says abolitionists found it difficult to mount an effective counterargument. They couldn’t just say trust the Bible. They preached another approach to scriptures.

They said you couldn’t enslave people based on the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do to you. (Obama cited the Golden Rule and his Christian faith in supporting same-sex marriage).

“The abolitionist turned to the ethics and spirit of the Bible,” Blum says. “They were theological modernists before modernism.”

And what are black clergy and churchgoers today when they cite the Bible to oppose same-sex marriage?

Robinson, the North Carolina pastor, says they’re not homophobes.

“It says in the Bible that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God,” he says. “How do you explain that one away? A lot of honest Christians are not trying to hate homosexuals. They’re saying that if I take the Bible seriously, I’m not sure I can say it’s right.”

Robinson says that some opposition to homosexuality is actually based in compassion:

“If I’m concerned about your soul, I have to tell you the truth in love.”

Cone, who teaches at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, says black churchgoers opposed to same-sex marriage are instead mimicking their ancestors’ oppressors.

“I tell some people, ‘These people were against you.’ They would have lynched you. How are you going to now join them and help them lynch somebody else?’”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity • Culture wars • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Politics

soundoff (4,348 Responses)
  1. Ronnie Harper

    This black bigotry is what happens when you give children guns and religion instead of books and discipline. I have an idea, let's make people of the cloth that live off our tax dollars prove they have read enough history and philosophy and that they have earned letters in these fields before allowing them to abuse the minds of our youth.

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


      May 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • imeubu

      Thank goodness for infinity... at least we know there's room for everyone to be where ever they decide they want to be.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  2. sybaris

    Religion is a disgusting, filthy disease of the mind and any parent who sends their child to VBS or Sunday school should be paid a visit by CPS.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Ronnie Harper

      Religion is a disease of the mind; a pox on humanity. Inculcating a young mind with 1st century slavish theology is child abuse, pure and simple.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  3. smahoney

    Reblogged this on To Perceive is to Filterpret and commented:
    Another point by CNN on using the Bible to express divination and hate, rather than love and togetherness.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • sybaris

      You clearly need to read the bible a lot closer and pay attention to the parts where the god directs people to indiscriminately kill men, women, children and animals.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Ronnie Harper

      The only message in the "bible" is that the slavery and subjugation of women and children is the prerogative of powerful men.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  4. YBP

    In the mid First Century CE, the Greeks highjacked Judaism. Not mainstream Judaism, but a fringe apocalyptic sect of Jewish extremism called Christianity. Think Waco, Texas. The religion was developed into something resembling the other Greco-Roman, Egyptian and Syrian belief systems of the day. Three centuries later, the Emperor Constantine made it the state religion throughout Europe. Resistance to the faith was met with death. Not ordinary death, but cruel unimagineable death. The religion took root. All kinds of tyranny developed. In the eighteenth century, African slaves were taught the religion by their Western owners. The black church came into being. What an incredible history. Black people following the fringe Judaism invented of their white masters. Incredible.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Ronnie Harper

      It's astonishing that black people are so undereducated with regards to world history and their own history as to champion the hand that holds them down.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Marlin

      I live in Waco.

      We hate hearing about that. Guess what.. it didnt happen in WACO. Waco was just the nearest town that had hotels. Mount Carmel is actualy like 20ish miles away.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    What is ironic is that these people still groan under the whip of slavery.
    I read their groans and complaints in the news and shake my head in disgust at their unwillingness to release themselves from this slavery.
    This slavery is mental slavery. They are chained, mentally and emotionally, to the bigoted cults of their religion.
    The exact same religion that was used by whip-wielding slave-owners to justify their hatred of dark skin, of a foreign people they had enslaved by force.
    Yet these descendants of those slaves never escaped the mental and emotional slavery of the slave-owner's religion.
    The chains are still there.
    They chafe and bruise and break their bones with hypocrisy and bigotry and racism, just like for those long-gone slave-owners who also were slaves in this way.
    Mental chains of bigotry and delusion. Emotional chains of group identlty, of hate, of false comfort, of having no ability to think for themselves because they were born into this slavery.

    It is slavery born of ignorance, of indoctrination, of the brutal emotional "beat-downs" of their own family members and neighbors.

    Born into this slavery, or caught and sold to the slave-owning churches from outside the group, these people have no hope for freedom.
    They have had their hope for freedom stolen from them, covered over with lies, fooled into thinking their chains are freedom, that their chains are made of hope.
    But chains are chains.
    They remain slaves who have been brainwashed to refuse freedom, brainwashed to refuse real hope, brainwashed to fight against anything that goes against their slavery!
    Religion has made them slaves that forge the chains of their own bondage, their own servitude to the bigoted delusions of their religion.
    How can I blame them in their ignorance and seeing the delusional strength of their mental chains?
    I do not hate them. I very much want them to be free and happy to the greatest extent possible.
    But I do not have anything but words like this to saw away frantically at those chains...those chains upon my brothers and sisters no matter who they are or what they look like.
    I attack their chains over and over with my words of truth, of honesty and compassion. I use much of my strength and love to attack the chains that destroy their lives and warp their minds. I spend hours of my life doing this for them.

    And no, they did not ask me for this. Such slaves as they have become would never ask for freedom because these are chains upon their minds and emotions. The chains are always disguised, always made of lies, and are almost unbreakable.

    Yet I try. I seek their freedom from the lies they cannot break, the lies they cannot and will not fight.
    I seek to release them from their mental slavery even as they attack me for daring to even touch their chains.
    It is very sad and horrifying to see the sheer scope of what I am attempting to do.
    I have shed tears more than once over the plight of those who are mental slaves to lies, to bigotry based on lies, to hate born of fear and ignorance.
    But I will keep hacking away at those chains. I can do nothing less if I want them to be free. And I do. Very much.

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

      Outstanding post.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Seriously

      Earth-shaking brofist in return, Anonymous.

      May 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  6. seriously

    Consider these quotes, and how you might feel if you lived in a country where these sentiments were mainstream:

    “Our leader was not elected…he was appointed by Allah.”
    “Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of Allah…must be denied citizenship."
    “I, your Provincial Governor, do hereby proclaim… a day of prayer and fasting for our country.”
    “Allah called me to this government position…my family fasted for three days to make sure it was true.”
    “"I would not put a Christian among my advisors, or in my government."
    “(our founding doc.uments) are quite clear that we would create law based on Allah of the Qur’an and Sharia Law, it’s pretty simple.”
    “I hope I will live to see the day when…we won't have any public schools. The Mosques will have taken over them over again and Imams will be running them. What a happy day that will be!"
    “There will never be world peace until Allah's house and Allah's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world."

    These statements should rightfully alarm you. Now consider this, YOU DO live in that country, and these are not Taliban quotes. In the above quotes the religious references have been changed. They are quotes from prominent, politically powerful Americans who would establish religious control over America’s government. Here are the actual quotes:

    “George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States, he was appointed by God.” –Lt. General William Boykin, US Army
    “Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion–must be denied citizenship." –Gary North, Inst.itute for Christian Economics
    “I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim August 6, 2011, to be A Day of Prayer and Fasting for Our Nation.” –Rick Perry, Texas Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate
    “God called me to run for this office, and my husband fasted for 3 days to make sure it was true.” –Michelle Bachman, US Senator and Republican Presidential Candidate
    “"I would not put a Muslim in my cabinet, or in my administration." –Herman Cain, Republican Presidential Candidate
    “(Our founding doc.uments) are quite clear that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the 10 commandments, it’s pretty simple.” –Sarah Palin
    I hope I will live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken over them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!" - Jerry Falwell
    There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world." –Pat Robertson

    These statements should be no more frightening in an Islamic or a Christian context – this kind of rhetoric is a serious threat no matter who it comes from. Theocracy is dangerous no matter whose God is invoked. We hear these things from pious politicians every day and are likely desensitized to them, but even momentary consideration reveals them to be un-American to the core. Religious fundamentalists make no secret of their goal of controlling our government and establishing their narrow beliefs as law. We must not let that happen – not here, not in our country.

    It happens in small steps – the Ten Commandments in courthouses, prayer and creationism (“Intelligent Design”) in schools, revising science, history, and civics textbooks in Texas, State-endorsed prayer rallies, faith-based initiatives, and on and on – and because these steps may individually seem harmless, many people underestimate their consequences. That is why we must stay alert and fight to keep church and state separate. We should shudder whenever a politician or policymaker alludes to his or her religious beliefs as a justification for public policy. We should be deeply suspi.cious of anyone who claims to be chosen by God to lead us. We should aggressively defend our free society against any religious group who would hope to gain control over it.

    Do not underestimate the importance of defending the separation of church and state. Stand up for it at every opportunity with your voice and your vote.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • preacherman

      Right on!

      May 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Bush's Brain

      Well said!

      May 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Anonymous

      Massive brofist, bro! We are on the same page, even! lol

      May 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • JeebusFree

      AWESOME post man!!!

      May 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  7. Andrew

    Christianity seems a hotbed of hatred much like they love to scream about Islam. Duality will bite you in the ass!

    May 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  8. Dino Droppings

    My hetero father , and my hetero mother have 6 children.
    One of them is gay.
    But by the reasoning of some people, gays do not reproduce, so they not only
    should not be allowed to get married, but they are a danger to civilization.

    This would be funny, if it wasnt so pathetic.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  9. n8362

    @imeubu, I agree with you that it is possible there are more advanced beings in the universe than humans. What is your point?

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

      It has to do with religion because that is the part of philosophy that attempts to describe our propensity to worship and ascribe. It's genetic now but it obviously “began” somewhere... whether physical or otherwise. Probability is just math simulation to determine which explanation is most likely... turns out... religious descriptions are most likely.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  10. Mike1

    Obama's beliefs defined:
    If it gets me votes, I am for it.
    If it loses me votes, I am against it.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Oneironaut

      If Obama were worried about votes, he would have waited until AFTER the election to vocalize his support of SSM. Doing so now is potentially risky. Not an easy call to make at all.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Andrew

      How original.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Eric G

      Mike1, you miss the point. It is not just Obama, but Romney too. Your statement would be correct if you said all politicians are that way.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Mike1

      Oneironaut, Obama listened to pollsters and found that the people mainly against gay marriage were not going to vote for him anyway and he saw he could get another section of the population motivated to vote so he supported it. Never would Obama's belief surface if they were detrimental to his goal. He would nuke New York if it got him elected.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Mike1

      Eric G, Sadly, you are correct. What we need are people that will stand up for what they believe and not just tell us what we want to here.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Little Tin God

      Mike, your logic is especially true of Romney.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Little Tin God

      That is it would be if your statement were logical. But since it is simple GOP robot talk, it isn't logical.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  11. Observer


    So who was responsible for designing man to be "naturally evil", "self-destructive" and "naturally selfish"?

    May 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  12. Mike1

    California pass a proposition that stopped gay marriage. A single judge over ruled it. Gay marriage is introducing a change to existing laws. We the People decide what our government is. What if a majority of the people do not want gay marriage? Should a smaller group be able to change the law against the will of the majority? No.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Drew

      Should the majority be allowed to withhold civil rights from a minority? Brilliant logic, idi0t

      May 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Doobie Wah

      I know what you mean Mike.
      I cant wait to get 51% of the population behind a law to ban Christians.
      Its only fair, right ?

      May 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Mike, the entire reason we have a Consti/tution in the country is so that everyone is protected, not just the majority. I'm sorry if you take exception to that, but that is the price you pay for living in a country where human rights, even the rights of minorities, are paramount.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Mike1

      Minorities can marry the opposite $ e x too. Gay marriage is the introduction of a brand new civil liberty. Logic dictates that you are wrong. Minorities are able to do the exactly the same thing. They can get married under the same exact definition of marriage; between one and one women. This civil right is not being violated. You are introducing a new civil right that must be approved by a legal process.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • nom de guerre

      Marriage is a right that must be equal for all. It is equality under the law that is needing to be enforced.
      We already have equal rights to equality under the law. We do not need new legislation for that.
      Marriage equality is a right already enshrined in the Constltution. It is the bigots who cannot see that and who demand special legislation. It's why we needed to waste our time with Civil Rights legislation = bigots refused to honor those rights as being already included in the Constttution. What a bunch of weenies you are, my word.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  13. mandarax

    How ironic that Corinthians points to extortioners as unwelcome in heaven when the whole incentive to believe is based on extortion.

    Extortion: to wrest or wring (money, information, etc.) from a person by violence, intimidation, or abuse of authority; obtain by force, torture, threat, or the like.

    "Revelation 20:15 “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire”


    May 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    Discussing gay marriage instead of the gospel of Jesus Christ is like talking about the hell instead of heaven. The Church and Jesus Christ are the bride and the groom. Every normal marriage shall be a metaphor for that. Every healthy marriage is a holy metaphor for the relationship between Christ and his Church. This gets utterly distorted by gay marriage, which can be only a metaphor for the relationship between Satan and his wretched swine.

    In order to get the topic of gay marriage and gayness right, we have to understand the relation between God and natural human beings in general.

    Our basic problem is that we don't trust God. We are not utterly convinced that he loves us.

    Actually, if we would watch the stars, the sun and the moon, heaven and earth, sweet animals, plants and our fellow human beings, we should conclude that God is a loving God, which seeks our happiness. Although the Creation is not still in its perfect genuine state, it still shows us God's eternal power and godhead. Actually, we should regard the Creation as a kind of gospel (good news). God created a world for us, in which we should be happy in his presence. He made a wife for us and sweet animals, so that we might not feel lonely.

    We want to have got all goods, but don't seek the giver of the good gifts. The ancient Romans and Greeks worshipped their idols like Zeus, Hermes, etc. and we worship the Mammon, which is the God of materialism and capitalism. Then we wonder, why we have a lack of certain things, which we need to be happy. The Mammon is an evil demon, which doesn't seek our happy life, but our destruction and death.

    In a word, in order to become happy, we need to return to the Source of Life, which is God. We can be happy, only if we are connected with the Source of happiness and life, which is God himself.

    How can we know that God is a loving God, who seeks our happiness?

    God proved his love by a second revelation beside the Creation. God delivered his beloved Son for our sins and raised him from the dead for our justification. Ain't we sinners? We adore Mammon day by day, instead of the Lord, the Eternal God, which has made heaven and earth. Yet, this heavy sin can get forgiven and we can released from this sin by the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ convinces us of God's infinite love and we adore him instead of Mammor or any other idol (Mahomet, pope, cheap-grace-Jesus and the like).

    After we have returned into a confident relationship with the Eternal God by the gospel of Jesus Christ, we become able to trust him that he even may give us everything, which we need, even a wife.

    And this is, what the gays need. They need a restoration of their confidence in God. This could help them to control the lust of their body and wait up to the day, when they meet their wife, which God has predetermined for them.

    As the faith, which we can produce by reason, is very small, God gave us the sacramental baptism. At baptism we receive a person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, which gives us a strong faith in Christ and the Father. The Spirit is stronger than our sinful body and if we invite him day by day, he uses our body, which is dead in itself, as a tool of righteousness. By the impact of the Spirit sinners by nature become holy people, because the holy divine nature is stronger than our sinful human nature. Its only important that we daily remember our health in Christ.


    Gays should neither marry each other, nor go to church, but repent and believe in Christ, who has borne their sins, when he died for them on the cross. After they have started to believe, God will give them a wife and implant them into his holy Church.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Doobie Wah

      *** The Church and Jesus Christ are the bride and the groom.

      Just like corporations are people, huh ?

      Thats twisted.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Scott

      Religion is dead if it tries to live in the absence of science and an understanding of the universe as it is – or as best as we can understand it at this point in time. People were put to death not that long ago by holding that the earth was not the centre of the universe. Religion was wrong in this because science clearly showed that this was simply untrue. The sun is the centre of our solar system. It makes no sense to try and hold this as faith when it is scientifically untenable. Science now largely says the same about gender and attraction. Religion is on the wrong side of this debate if it once again tries to hold a position that is untenable in the face of scientific reality. It is not easy to give up culture and tradition – even if it is wrong in the face of history. But to push this culture and tradition up to God simply robs people of their humanity and wholeness. Faith and religion must dialogue with science and be prepared to use the intellect that God created in us. If we fail to use our intellect then we have failed God.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  15. Freedom 101

    Obama is fishing votes, the church leaders are simply standing by MORALS. Shows what kind of man was elected last time....time for a change for HOPE. I want a President with CONVICTION not polling flip-flops.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Observer

      It took CONVICTION to go against 60% of the people of North Carolina.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Freedom 101, you were never going to vote for Obama anyway. Stop pretending like this was even an issue for you.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Doobie Wah

      You mean like Romney who was for gay marriage in Massachussets, but now against it.
      Was for health care coverage in Massachussetts but is now against it.
      It took a lot of guts to come out in favor of gay marriage right before an election.
      At least Obama has some integrity.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  16. BB

    Organized religion is a farce, I do not believe in it, those trying to impose their religious views and morals through legislation are the new dictators in line. I do not understand why women, children and those most vulnerable cling to such religious dogma that goes against their own best interests and impose discrimination upon others. Religion is used for one thing, to control the masses, nothing more. The Catholic church for example is against all contraception for women. Why you ask? Because this allows them to keep their flock and power growing. They could care less about women's health and welfare, it is all about producing more to join the flock and increase power and influence.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  17. n8362

    It is immoral to impose your religious superstition on others.

    You do not believe in religion because you honestly think it is true, you believe in it because you fear mortality or are seeking meaning in your life. It does not take a genius to figure out all religion is man made, so for humanity's sake, please stop lying to yourself.

    Deluding yourself in religion does not change reality. Lying to yourself is probably the worst possible way to try to find meaning.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Mike1

      Imposing your beliefs on others ---–> "Deluding yourself in religion does not change reality"

      You're imposing your atheistic beliefs on me the same way you claim others are to you.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • imeubu

      How can you believe we are the most advanced beings in the Universe? The probability of that being so is calculated to be a billion billion billion times less likely than winning Super Loto!

      May 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • n8362

      I am not imposing any beliefs on anyone. You impose your religion on others when you use politics to deny people of civil liberties based on your religion. I do not do that.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • n8362

      @imeubu, I agree with you that it is possible there are more advanced beings in the universe than humans. What does this have to do with religion?

      May 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • imeubu

      It has to do with "religion" because that part of philosophy attempts to describe the phenomena

      May 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  18. Ben

    Why can't humanity regulate itself you ask?? Well there is a simple principle religious people believe and non religious people don't...Man is naturally evil. There has been different terms used for it "Human Nature" "Carnal Nature" "Inner Evil". Humanity is naturally selfish and self destructive. Just because people who believe in morality fall doesn't mean morality is diqualified

    May 12, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Drew

      I'm not religious but I still believe that people are evil. But you realize that one can still have morality that is not based in Christianity, right?

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


      Who was responsible for designing man to be "naturally evil", "self-destructive" and "naturally selfish"?

      May 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Ben

      You live in a society who's morality has been formed by centuries of relgous beliefs, so understand where your morality comes from in the bgining...

      May 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Drew

      Western morality has also been shaped by centuries of secular and humanist thought, beginning in the Renaissance. What was your point again?

      May 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Ben

      Good vs. evil has been around longer then humanity, we had an option to live without understanding we made the choice.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Ben

      don't confuse removal of morality as shaping...

      May 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Drew

      Caring for your fellow men is not removing morality. It's a different kind of morality, less dualistic, but morality nonetheless

      May 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Ben

      Just to elaborate, morality is a constant never changing or altered it precludes time and space, it is not effected by culture or belief.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Ben

      By that statement humanity didn't care for one another until the Renaissance??

      May 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Drew

      I completely disagree with your first point, so i suppose we may be at an impasse there.

      No, but people began to value human life and happiness more highly in the renaissance. History has shown that the more educated people become, the more empathetic they become as well. I think that empathy is what is missing from your worldview

      May 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Ben

      so when did Jesus say the greatest of these was to love your neighbor?

      May 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Drew

      Obviously Jesus said that far before the renaissance. Few people listened to him though; public torture and execution was still common, ritual killings still common, etc. Even now it seems to me, as a non-Christian, that many Christians are much more into self-aggrandizement than caring for others

      May 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Ben

      You just proved my point that Morality is larger then humanity and Morality is not subject to culture and time.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Drew

      explain how i did that please?

      May 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  19. postedbygeo

    King James was a brilliantly intelligent man. He also liked men and had many children. What better way to have more like him than to revise and use a book, that makes people build a closet while spreading the seed with women. He is laughing and rolling in his grave, side by side with his 2 happy partners.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  20. Henry

    So, the same bible that was used to defend racism is used today by the sons of the victims of Slavery to discriminate against others ... I guess some people don't even see their bigotry. Unbelievable.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Ben

      Holding a standard of morality is not bigotry. Sorry not everyone can do what they want, when they want, and how they want...

      May 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Truth7

      Race and a lifestyle choice are not comparable. Apples and oranges.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Drew

      Ben, standards of morality can CERTAINLY be bigoted, that's why it's important to thoroughly examine your own moral code

      May 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
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About this blog

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