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May 13th, 2012
01:07 PM ET

Across country, black pastors weigh in on Obama's same-sex marriage support

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) - Addressing his large, mostly black congregation on Sunday morning, the Rev. Wallace Charles Smith did not mince words about where he stood on President Barack Obama's newly announced support for same-sex marriage: The church is against it, he said, prompting shouts of "Amen!" from the pews.

And yet Smith hardly issued a full condemnation of the president.

"We may disagree with our president on this one issue," Smith said from the pulpit of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington. "But we will keep him lifted up in prayer. ... Pray for President Barack Obama."

And Smith said there were much bigger challenges facing the black community - "larger challenges that we have to struggle with" - bringing his full congregation to its feet, with many more amens.

Days after Obama announced his personal support for same-sex marriage, pastors across the country offered their Sunday-morning opinions on the development, with the words of black pastors - a key base of support for Obama in 2008, that is also largely opposed to gay marriage - carrying special weight in a presidential election year.But black pastors were hardly monolithic in addressing Obama's remarks.

In Baltimore, Emmett Burns, a politically well-connected black minister who said he supported Obama in 2008, held an event at Rising Sun Baptist Church to publicly withdraw support from the president over Obama's same-sex marriage support.

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

"I love the president, but I cannot support what he has done," Burns said at the church.

In an interview with CNN, Burns predicted that Obama's support for legalized same-sex marriage would lead to his defeat in November.

The Rev. Calvin Butts, an influential black pastor in New York City, did not endorse Obama's views but denounced those who are ready to "watch others be discriminated against, marginalized, and literally hated in the name of God."

"Our God is love," he said.

And like Smith in Washington, plenty of black ministers talked about distinguishing between opposition to same-sex marriage and views about Obama.

"I don't see how you cannot talk about it," the Rev. Tim McDonald, based in Atlanta, said earlier this week. "I have to. You can say I'm opposed to it (same-sex marriage), but that doesn't mean I'm against the president."

Though African-Americans provided Obama with record support in 2008, they are also significantly more likely to oppose same-sex marriage than are whites. That may be because black Americans are more likely to frequently attend church than white Americans.

A Pew Research Center poll conducted in April found that 49% of African-Americans oppose legalized same-sex marriage, compared with 39% who support it. Among whites, by contrast, Pew found that 47% supported gay marriage, while 43% opposed it.

African-American pastors have been prominent in the movement to ban same-sex marriage. In North Carolina, black leaders helped lead the successful campaign for a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage and domestic partnerships.

In California, 70% of African-Americans supported Prop 8, the 2008 state gay marriage ban, even though 94% of black voters in California backed Obama.

McDonald, who founded a group called the African-American Ministers Leadership Council, says he opposes same-sex marriage, but that he is more concerned about issues such as health care, education and jobs.

But he says more black pastors are talking about same-sex marriage than ever before. "Three years ago, there was not even a conversation about this issue," McDoland says. "There wasn't even an entertainment of a conversation about this."

In Atlanta, at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church - where Martin Luther King Jr. got his start - the Rev. Ralph Warnock addressed the president's remarks near the end of his sermon.

"The president is entitled to his opinion," Warnock said. "He is the president of the United States, not the pastor of the United States."

Warnock said that there is a place for gays in the church, and that "we don't have to solve this today."

Black churchgoers on Sunday appeared split on same-sex marriage, though many of those opposed to it said they still supported Obama.

"It's a human rights issue, not a gay issue. All people that pay taxes should get ... the same privileges and rights," said Terence Johnson, a congregant at Salem Bible Church in Atlanta.

At Shiloh Baptist in Washington, Shauna King said she does not support same-sex marriage, but that she respects the president's decision on it.

"I think he was very honest in what he was saying and personally he decided to do that," said the 38-year-old mother of two. "As individuals, we all have to make that decision for ourselves."

"I believe it speaks to what America is," she said. "That we all have different views and are respected for our views individually."

Black opposition to same-sex marriage has dropped dramatically in recent years. In 2008, Pew found that 63% of African-Americans opposed gay marriage, 14 percentage points higher than the proportion who expressed opposition this year.

On Friday, a handful of black leaders, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and former NAACP leader Julian Bond, released a letter supporting Obama's position on same-sex marriage but expressing respect for those who disagree.

"The president made clear that his support is for civil marriage for same-sex couples, and he is fully committed to protecting the ability of religious institutions to make their own decisions about their own sacraments," the letter said.

"There will be those who seek to use this issue to divide our community," it continued. "As a people, we cannot afford such division."

But the letter itself was an implicit acknowledgement of discord within the African-American church community on gay marriage.

Black pastors who preach in favor of same-sex marriage know they may pay a price if they take Obama's position, says Bishop Carlton Pearson.

The Chicago-based black minister says he lost his church building and about 6,000 members when he began preaching that gays and lesbians were accepted by God.

"That's the risk that people take," he told CNN. "A lot of preachers actually don't have a theological issue. It's a business decision. They can't afford to lose their parishioners and their parsonages and salaries."

Pearson navigates the tension between the Bible's calls for holiness and justice this way: "I take the Bible seriously, just not literally," he says. "It's more important what Jesus said about God than what the church says about Jesus."

In Obama's interview with ABC this week, in which he announced his personal support for same-sex marriage, the president talked about squaring his decision with his personal religious faith.

"We are both practicing Christians, and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others," Obama said, referring to his wife, Michelle.

"But, you know, when we 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," he said. "Treat others the way you would want to be treated."

- CNN’s John Blake, Chris Boyette, Meridith Edwards, Dan Merica and Stephanie Siek contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Gay marriage • Politics

soundoff (3,700 Responses)
  1. One one

    I don't understand why people care so much about other peoples private lives, rather than minding their own business.

    May 14, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • GauisCaesar

      No one really does go out of their way (except for the ignorant) to say these things. In NC, we had a vote. Because of that, now the media claims we are all for inequality. In America, we vote based on how we feel. NC felt they didn't want gay marriage. No inequality there.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • momoya

      Of course theirs inequality in NC.. Just because you vote to adopt a bigoted law doesn't mean that it's not bigoted.. Hitler was voted into power to, and you're not going to say that because the people voted him in he wasn't a hateful and evil person..

      In NC, you guys passed a law that allows some consenting adults the freedom to marry but denies other consenting adults the right to marry.. You who are allowed to marry who you want to have taken that right that you have away from others who want to marry.. How's it feel to be such an azzhole?

      May 14, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  2. The Sky Must be falling

    I personally respect the President's view. Do I agree on everything he say, no. But at least he understands that all Americans should be treated the same and for that, I will vote for him in November. The republicans have distance themselves from the People these last 10 plus years unless you are rich. That I cannot accept.

    May 14, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • GauisCaesar

      So before last week, Obama just didn't understand people or believe in civil rights for all people? One day he woke up and said, yes, I think these are civil rights! LOL, Obama did this to win the election. He is using gays as a way to get votes.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • GauisCaesar

      Before last week, Obama just didn't understand people or believe in civil rights for all people? One day he woke up and said, yes, I think these are civil rights! LOL, Obama did this to win the election. He is using gays as a way to get votes.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @GauisCaesar: That's the difference between closed-minded fundiots and open-minded christians. Closed-minded fundiots hold firm to their stance always, no matter how much evidence they are presented with. People like Obama who are open-minded will change their opinion based on the evidence and updated information they have. He is sworn to uphold the consti.tution and a major part of that is separation of church and state. Why is it okay for you to marry your cousin but not for two unrelated, consenting adults to enjoy a love for each other? Your state may have passed that law but it is unlikely it will remain in tact...your religious bigotry needs to stay out of government at all levels.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  3. acura2010

    Man and woman, nothing in between. God will send his wrath to America.

    May 14, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Wow

      Yea, He is just that hateful.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Primewonk

      Point 1 – We are not a theocracy. Whatever your version of a cobbled together god wants, needs, desires, or demands, is irrelevant, because your god, like the 10,000 other gods we've invented, has no legal standing in our secular nation.

      Point 2 – You don't even understand the difference between gender and orientation.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • sam stone

      acura: yep, your god is a petty little punk

      May 14, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      Just like he did in Massachussetts, right ?

      May 14, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  4. Abe Lincoln

    The black church and all blacks need to take an honest look at what Democratic policies have done for them...keep many of them in poverty. Republicans believe in creating conditions that allow everyone to prosper. The government is not the solution to every problem. America prospers when government allows people to determine their own destiny. Democrats have also abandoned blacks with their stance on gay marriage. It's time to look once again to the party of Lincoln.

    May 14, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Brie

      I would agree that the way benefits are handled needs to be revamped to encourage positive choices and discourage laziness, etc. But, I completely disagree that Republicans are doing anything useful for the middle class. I think both parties waste a lot of effort avoiding real issues, but at least Democrats spend some effort trying to aid the average person.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  5. yankeenot

    Had FUN getting you all stirred up this morn, gotta go!

    May 14, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  6. Dave

    Perhaps not monolithic, but certainly the majority oppose Obama's ideology of how the world should be.

    May 14, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Gunny

      To me, it's not about his ideology, to me it is about him being the most diverse and American representation of the people. What he wants and what congress will pass are arguably two different things. By the way, I support gays being treated fair and equally as with all the other Americans. I also support a states decision to allow gay marriage or not allow gay marriage. And I am not gay.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  7. Ronnie12345

    T*M your comment that all blacks do this make you look like a bigot and gives me and many other reasons not to listen to your opinion.

    May 14, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  8. Ronnie12345

    Tom your comment that all blacks do this make you look like a bigot and gives me and many other reasons not to listen to your opinion.

    May 14, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  9. woodofpine

    The comments 'it's not a civil rights issue' is disingeous. It been said before.

    "Separate but equal!"

    May 14, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • GauisCaesar

      Agreed. So men should also have a maternity leave, since it isn't fair that only women get a baby vacation. Separate but equal.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • bob

      actually, many places allow men to take paternity leave, smarty pants...

      May 14, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • GauisCaesar

      Bob, I want the govt to force ALL employers to do this.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • ME II

      FMLA

      May 14, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Just Jac

      Besides the fact that men do get maturnity leave... Your Baby vacation comment is so ridiculous. I do not even have the proper words to get started!

      May 14, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  10. cptpooppants

    So let me get this right. You would rather have Mitt Romoney as president because you, as a loving forgiving church going person, HATE gay people that much? Get your heads out of your a s s e s!

    May 14, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  11. yankeenot

    Why do people think that they can just start changing laws to fit themselves? Is it really just the spoiled generation?

    May 14, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Vince

      Here! Here! Laws should never change! Especially to apease the spoiled. We should keep all laws the same forever...starting with the one that allowed women the right to vote....we need to get rid of that immediately. We should also get rid of the law that allows everyone over 18 to vote and go back to the way it used to be...where only property owners can vote...what do renters know about running government anyway? We should also go back to making inter-racial marriage illegal, reverse all airline security laws (no one should have to be screened to get on an aircraft)...and the list goes on and on. I think you should write your representative and insist they repeal any law thats ever been changed...clearly change has done nothing positive for this nation.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • yankeenot

      Go back to bed

      May 14, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Hank Danger

      Are you serious? I can't wait until what I can only assume is your lead paint eating moronic generation to fade off into the ignorant racist sunset. You are lucky our generation developed technologies and extended your life expectancy.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Gunny

      Women did it so that they can vote and African Americans did it so that they can vote. Sometimes change is good.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  12. Chris MI

    sam stone, so to make you happy those of us married need to change? Ya that sounds fair. What is wrong with me staying married and you having a Civil Union?

    May 14, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • bob

      how are YOU changing because someone else gets married? thats the most nonsensical thing I have ever seen on these forums – and thats saying a lot!

      May 14, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • GauisCaesar

      Bob, by voting against what we believe, we are changing. Let people vote how their heart desires.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • WASP

      @chris: one word EQUALITY. that is the issue. telling same gender couples they can have civil marriage but not the same as opposing gender couples. it's the same action as telling africans they have to move to the back of the bus for caucasians. civil rights means civil rights not selective rights or good enough rights.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • sam stone

      chris: i am not suggesting you change a thing with your marriage. i am suggesting from some point on, that the government provide EQUAL PROTECTION under the law. also, i am a straight middle aged male in a long term relationship with a woman i love

      May 14, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • steven harnack

      I could suggest one change that you should make that would allow you to see more sunshine.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  13. metb

    Those who support gay marriage claim it should be 'OK' because of something called diversity, but don't allow those with a different opinion to claim their right to that same diversity. This is known as duplicity. For some it's a civil rights issue, for others it's a moral issue. The wheat is being separated from the chaff!

    May 14, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • sam stone

      it is not a diversity issue, it is an equal protection issue

      May 14, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • eric

      This issue has nothing to do with: diversity nor people's definitions.

      Does this country have different laws for different people depending on how they were born?

      That is the issue and it had been decided many times already. Some try to hold to the 'its a choice' argument but have not come to that conclusion through honest research but merely as an escape to admitting they are bigoted. Everyone wants to believe they are good so they must justify their hate somehow.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • lorynx

      "for others it's a moral issue"

      And the problem with that is that civil laws aren't based on your opinions of what is considered moral and what isn't. If that were the case – I find whale tails (thongs showing over a ladies pants) immoral and should be banned, and I am not alone...

      May 14, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • momoya

      Those who don't support gay marriage are hypocrites.. They want everybody to kowtow to their idea of what is moral instead of allowing everyone to choose what decision is right for them just like the people in monogamous hetero relationships,

      May 14, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  14. Jomama072

    The only reason religious zealots weigh in on this conversation is because their grip on the masses weakens by the day and this is all they have left.
    Religion, like politics, uses the only tool it has to control its followers: fear. You get beyond that fear, and they have nothing. Start thinking for yourself people instead of letting those who don't give 2 5h!t5 about you tell you how to live your life.
    Believe, preach, pray what you want but don't think that by cramming your collective illusion down the throats of us 'non-believers' that it gives you any more leverage over death than the rest of us.

    May 14, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • GauisCaesar

      As long as you remember the same thing. We all have a vote. The reason we are weighing in is because we are voting on it.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • lorynx

      "The reason we are weighing in is because we are voting on it." Voting on civil rights isn't allowed, it's protected because it's everyone's civil right to be treated equally.

      Call it what it is – you're voicing your opinion and voting based on your religious belief, thereby turning our government into a theocracy.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • GauisCaesar

      Lorynx....theocracy isn't where one person votes his conscience, its where the govt decides things based on religion. And in NC, we voted for gay marriage. Wrong on both points!

      May 14, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "its where the govt decides things based on religion."

      And that violates the consti.tution. Nothing should be decided upon by religion or based on religion. If religious organizations want a say in what the government does then they should start paying taxes. NC's flawed law will more than likely be repealed at some point, as it should be.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  15. Jeremy

    The more I see this story reported in the American media, the morre I see America as a backwards civilization in the 21st century. We have had marriage equality for years now in Canada and our society is far from crumbling. It would seem that an over abundance of religion, mixed with thirty years of gop cuts to education has left most of America stupid and behind the times, especially when it comes to social issues.

    May 14, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Chris B.

      Your statement proves you know little of the United States. Spending on education has increased steadily over the last few decades. Unfortunately, it has done nothing for the quality.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Jomama072

      It's sad, isn't it?

      May 14, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • yankeenot

      jomama072 needs to go clean out his rear, from last nights date

      May 14, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • steven harnack

      You've hit the nail on the head and the proof is in the statistics on black church going and black education. The people who run the Republican show aren't stupid and they know that the less educated the public is, the easier they are to control.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • closet atheist

      @ yankeenot ~~ You're a disgusting bigot.

      @ Jeremy ~~ Sadly, you are correct about the US education system. Unfortunately, it's systemically broken. Like any unionized industry (or one that runs in a simlar fashion), productivity and actually excelling are second-tier considerations. Teachers are often encouraged to be "good enough" and "survive until tenured".

      May 14, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  16. yankeenot

    Being gay in America is one thing, but when the gay community wants to start changing the face of America, that is where it should stop.This country like all others was built on certain beliefs and morals which made it what it is now. NOW, when you have this new era of politicians that give in to these gay groups screaming for what they want and they start giving it to them, why not just give anyone what they want? We cant go changing the country into what each and every person and group should believe it should be, they have free will to move to another country where they fit in to the laws and stop thinking you can change a country. If this does happen, thats when we fail as a country. If you dont like where you are, stop whining and go elsewhere.Its not that hard to do these days.If you put gay in, you will take God out.Should we really do that for this little group of whiners?

    May 14, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • bob

      we NEED to take god out of this country. it would be a far better place that way.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • yankeenot

      No, like I said, we need to take you out of this country.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Jomama072

      It's not about gays changing America you backwoods bigot. It's about everyone being equal no matter what lifestyle paths they choose. Your problem is fear. What's to be afraid of? Gays keep to themselves and that's one less person you have to compete with to get the girl, right?
      Jeezus, grow up.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      The same applies to you. If you get tired of gays having rights you are free to pack up and go.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • yankeenot

      OK you gay quee r , while u are sucking on your man this morning, dont forget to brush your teeth before you leave your one room apartment in the bronx

      May 14, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • sam stone

      which certain morals and beliefs are you talking about? the right to own people? women being unable to vote? blacks being 3/5 a person? tell us of this moral shangri-la you reminisce about

      May 14, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • sam stone

      people can change the country. it just takes a long time

      May 14, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • mendacitysux

      "A revolution now and then is a good thing" – Thomas Jefferson (founding father)

      May 14, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • yankeenot

      Sam, you are an idiot.Doesnt take much intelligence to know what I was talking about.Guess I just expect that from you all.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • sam stone

      wow, calling someone stupid online. what an insightful political commentary.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • lorynx

      "If you dont like where you are, stop whining and go elsewhere." Take your own advice and allow America, land of the free, to move into the 21st century.

      Seperation of church and state... After all – if we believe in your God, do we need to follow these scriptures?

      Leviticus 20:9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

      Leviticus 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

      Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

      Leviticus 19:27 Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

      Leviticus 19:19 Keep my decrees. Do not mate different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.

      Leviticus 25:44 Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.

      I'm sure you know these well and follow each one of them because the bible said it and the bible is NEVER wrong...

      May 14, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Lissa

      No Bob, we don't need to take G-d out of this country, in fact G-d has been taken out of this country a long time ago. The proof that G-d has been taken out of this contra and many other powerful ones is clear, the economies of the world are doing fantastic, starvation keeps decreasing all around the globe, diseases no longer spread around and no new break outs are ever reported, people are taking much better care of our planet, all humans are loving each other more and more, we now respect the lives of others, innocent people no longer die at wars, people can travel across the world without any fears or concerns, groups of people seeking violence no longer exist and we are very close now to world peace (that's just naming a few things). All of thesewo derail advances in our society keep happening since we have takn G-d out of our country, out of our communities and out of our lives. How do I know, because since the foundation of this nation when G-d was part of our country we did horrible, we didn't get independence, we did not rise above all other nations and became a super power, our economy did not grow surpassing all others and the people of the world didn't look at as as as ample of progress, power, strength, and people certainly didn't come to this country looking for freedom and a much more prosperous life.

      So yes, I suppose you are right,let's take the little bit of G-dthat remains and let's enjoy this progress we have been enjoying since.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Just Jac

      You know what, your right! So I guess me being a black woman, I shouldnt have the right to vote or even be considered a citizen because those are the morals that this country was birthed, even though I am just as much apart of this country as everyone else! Get a Clue!!! Times are changing, and people are just getting smarter and wiser... What the heck are you so afraid of. A Successful Gay person? News Flash, already happened... WAKE UP

      May 14, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Brie

      Did Jesus actually ever say anything about gays, or are religious anti-gay everything based on the ancient story of Sodom and Gamora? If based on the old story, then I would say that I'm a little concerned that the religious anti-gay belief is necessarily Christian after all. If it was that important to God, and Jesus as his son, then it would seem like Jesus would have shared a message about it. I don't think Jesus would have kept silent if this was such an important issue – He certainly didn't hold back on many other areas.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Lissa

      Just Jac, I'm not talking about racial issues, I'm merely responding to someone who suggested that G-d should be taken out of this country, how african american folks were treated back in the day has nothing to do with G-d, it has a lot to do with mankind stupidity and immorality. I'm not afraid of a successful gay man or woman, nor am I afraid of them at all, being gay doesn't make you a scary creature does it? So I don't see your point? It's very irrelevant and off-path to what was discussed on my initial point.

      May 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Lissa

      Brie,
      While it is true that Jesus never spoke directly against it, He did say that whatever was written by Moses, who was before Jesus, He followed and preached about. Clearly we all know that not every single word spoken by Jesus was accounted for on the Bible, but when making that connection, then one can find that Jesus preached that which was preached by Moses.

      May 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  17. bob

    if the pastors dont agree with obama they need to get on the back of the bus and consider themselves 3/5ths a vote come november.

    May 14, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Just Jac

      Now that comment was just ignorant. Everyone is not going to always share the same opinion, view, or see things the same as you. While I happen to belive in Civil Rights for all, I am not going to make silent racial slurs against blacks because they may not see things the same. Back of the Bus and 3/5ths vote. Your point was far from made!

      May 14, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  18. John

    So should we allow for Fathers and Daughters to Marry? Mothers and Sons? Brothers and Sisters? If there line in the sand liberals are not willing to step over?

    May 14, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Patricksday

      What a silly question

      May 14, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Tom

      Are you saying being gay is like incest, another fool this world must suffer.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • John

      I say this because you claim your view is right and any other is wrong based on what? Your own values. My question was simple do you think those marriages are alright? evidently you don't why not if they are adults? Some find Gay Marriage just as wrong. If you don't like it you don't have to accept that view but there is nothing you can do to change other people view. Some feel your liberal views are backwards and your morals lacking

      May 14, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • ChrissyinFL

      Actually we should, IF those wanting to marry are CONSENTING ADULTS who mutually want to be legally tied together as a couple. The government should merely issue marriage OR civil union licenses to every couple that wants to be contractually obligated to eachother. It should be seen as federally recognized secular arrangement.
      It is then up to that couple to have whatever ceremony they wish to have, in whatever church or spiritual setting they desire and that wishes to perform a ceremony for them to "celebrate" the union. No church should be obligated to perform such a spiritual ceremony if they don't want to. But the ceremony should not be part of the legal requirement for recognition of the union, merely the secular license.
      Current marriages are not void, and remain unchanged in the eyes of the Federal government, regardless of if the federal governmetn starts issuing licenses to all CONSENTING ADULT HUMANS to recognize their commitment to eachother as a couple.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • sam stone

      john: i am a conservative. i am in favor of marriage equality. it is not just the liberals

      May 14, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • ChrissyinFL

      To clarify: I think the government should issue everyone a marriage license or issue everyone a civil union license....whatever they want to call it. But all going forward should receive the same sort of license. Since the history is to issue marriage licenses, then fine, call them that. But for churches to not freak out, maybe the secular recognized marriage should be called a civil union in all cases, and let the ceremony be called a marriage. whatever...as long as the federally recognized relationship is the same for all and the same benefits/rights AND responsibilities apply.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Primewonk

      Have others noticed that folks like John seem to spend an inordinate amount of time fixated on, and fantasizing about diddling their daughters, boinking their brothers, doin' the doggie, etc.?

      May 14, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Just Jac

      Seriously John!!!

      Beyond the whole civil rights issues with regard to Gay Marriage, all of the people you mentioned are family. So with that being said, all of those family members have rights that gays do not have. If you are Gay and your partner is ill, in the hospital, or dying, you do not have the rights that a husband, brother, sister, or anyone else in the family does. If you are Gay and your partner is dying and you share all assets, you do not have rights to any of that because you are a roomate. If you are Gay and your partner is dying, you are not legally next of Kin. You have no rights! These are major issues and it is not fare that these civil rights are not being acknowledged...

      It wasnt that long ago that blacks and whites couldnt legally marry, I think it is still illegal in Utah (books wise). With that being said, don't you think that your comment about where do we draw the line is a little extreme. Life is not as simple as you are trying to make it and I hope that my comment to you has some effect! You tell me if you would be upset if someone told you that you couldnt spend time with a close loved one that was ill or dying... Just a thought...

      May 14, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @Primewonk" Yes but people of his mindset also believe Adam and Eve existed, so his stance makes perfect sense to him. Incest was the way they populated the earth.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  19. remorse2

    Look Geniuses ! It is the economy that needs attention ! Economy is the subject obama wanted to avoid ! There are 23 million unemployed for more than 2 years !

    May 14, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      There are also 20+ million gay people in the country, and many millions of people who still believe in personal liberty, so it is an important issue for us.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Me

      You taking it in the backside is not a big issue for America...the economy is. Continue to fall short when you "jump over the candle stick"...

      May 14, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  20. Woody

    God wrote no books , Jesus wrote no books . The bible was other peoples idea . Just like all the fairy tale books and all, other books you see on the shelves . The bible is not Gods word but rather the churches . The very church that has men only on the door .

    May 14, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Lissa

      Im assuming you are a scholar who has dedicated much of your research life to proof the statement you made, I'm sure you've read every page of the Bible, read many other books from the region that were written at the time, and this is how you've reached your conclusion, yes?

      May 14, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Jim

      I respectfully submit.."How can you be so sure that God wrote no books....what do you base that upon?"

      May 14, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • cptpooppants

      Liisa, Jim, If twelve leaders from the church TODAY got together and announced a new new testament that God had just told them, would you believe them? If so, why? If not, why?

      May 14, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • WASP

      @jim: pretty certain if the RCC or any other religious facilty would be prancing around the streets shwoing it off. if a perfect being wrote a book for humans, you would figure it would be on something indestructible or magically preserved. so far no such claims have been made..........well other than the mormons ofcourse.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Lissa

      Ctpooppants I wouldn't be able to believe or not believe until I get chance to read, analize, study it, finding its application, etc. of course if something like that happened today the same that applied to the current Bible would apply to the new one we speak of, and that would be time, and not just a few days, months or years. The Bigle however enjoyes a long trajectory or centuries, countless numbers of people, and generations have gotten the chance to put it to a test, both by individuals and large groups. Sort of like a historical book that tells us stories, theories, and explain things that thought out the test of times we have found to be truth, so while a historian might come out and say that he has found evidence that, say the roman empire didn't take house in Europe but South America, I might be reluctant to believe but then time will tell if that new theory was in fact the truth.

      May 14, 2012 at 7:26 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.