My Take: What the Bible really says about homosexuality
The author argues that the meaning of the Bible's passages on homosexuality have been lost in translation.
May 15th, 2012
05:39 PM ET

My Take: What the Bible really says about homosexuality

Editor's note: Daniel A. Helminiak, who was ordained a priest in Rome, is a theologian, psychotherapist and author of “What the Bible Really Says about homosexuality" and books on contemporary spirituality. He is a professor of psychology at the University of West Georgia.

By Daniel A. Helminiak, Special to CNN

President Barack Obama’s support of same-sex marriage, like blood in the water, has conservative sharks circling for a kill. In a nation that touts separation of religion and government, religious-based arguments command this battle. Lurking beneath anti-gay forays, you inevitably find religion and, above all, the Bible.

We now face religious jingoism, the imposition of personal beliefs on the whole pluralistic society. Worse still, these beliefs are irrational, just a fiction of blind conviction. Nowhere does the Bible actually oppose homosexuality.

In the past 60 years, we have learned more about sex, by far, than in preceding millennia. Is it likely that an ancient people, who thought the male was the basic biological model and the world flat, understood homosexuality as we do today? Could they have even addressed the questions about homosexuality that we grapple with today? Of course not.

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Hard evidence supports this commonsensical expectation. Taken on its own terms, read in the original languages, placed back into its historical context, the Bible is ho-hum on homosexuality, unless – as with heterosexuality – injustice and abuse are involved.

That, in fact, was the case among the Sodomites (Genesis 19), whose experience is frequently cited by modern anti-gay critics. The Sodomites wanted to rape the visitors whom Lot, the one just man in the city, welcomed in hospitality for the night.

The Bible itself is lucid on the sin of Sodom: pride, lack of concern for the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:48-49); hatred of strangers and cruelty to guests (Wisdom 19:13); arrogance (Sirach/Ecclesiaticus 16:8); evildoing, injustice, oppression of the widow and orphan (Isaiah 1:17); adultery (in those days, the use of another man’s property), and lying (Jeremiah 23:12).

But nowhere are same-sex acts named as the sin of Sodom. That intended gang rape only expressed the greater sin, condemned in the Bible from cover to cover: hatred, injustice, cruelty, lack of concern for others. Hence, Jesus says “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:19; Mark 12:31); and “By this will they know you are my disciples” (John 13:35).

How inverted these values have become! In the name of Jesus, evangelicals and Catholic bishops make sex the Christian litmus test and are willing to sacrifice the social safety net in return.

The longest biblical passage on male-male sex is Romans 1:26-27: "Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another."

The Greek term para physin has been translated unnatural; it should read atypical or unusual. In the technical sense, yes, the Stoic philosophers did use para physin to mean unnatural, but this term also had a widespread popular meaning. It is this latter meaning that informs Paul's writing. It carries no ethical condemnation.

Compare the passage on male-male sex to Romans 11:24. There, Paul applies the term para physin to God. God grafted the Gentiles into the Jewish people, a wild branch into a cultivated vine. Not your standard practice! An unusual thing to do — atypical, nothing more. The anti-gay "unnatural" hullabaloo rests on a mistranslation.

Besides, Paul used two other words to describe male-male sex: dishonorable (1:24, 26) and unseemly (1:27). But for Paul, neither carried ethical weight. In 2 Corinthians 6:8 and 11:21, Paul says that even he was held in dishonor — for preaching Christ. Clearly, these words merely indicate social disrepute, not truly unethical behavior.

In this passage Paul is referring to the ancient Jewish Law: Leviticus 18:22, the “abomination” of a man’s lying with another man. Paul sees male-male sex as an impurity, a taboo, uncleanness — in other words, “abomination.” Introducing this discussion in 1:24, he says so outright: "God gave them up … to impurity."

But Jesus taught lucidly that Jewish requirements for purity — varied cultural traditions — do not matter before God. What matters is purity of heart.

“It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles,” reads Matthew 15. “What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”

Or again, Jesus taught, “Everyone who looks at a women with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Jesus rejected the purity requirements of the Jewish Law.

In calling it unclean, Paul was not condemning male-male sex. He had terms to express condemnation. Before and after his section on sex, he used truly condemnatory terms: godless, evil, wicked or unjust, not to be done. But he never used ethical terms around that issue of sex.

As for marriage, again, the Bible is more liberal than we hear today. The Jewish patriarchs had many wives and concubines. David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi, and Daniel and the palace master were probably lovers.

The Bible’s Song of Songs is a paean to romantic love with no mention of children or a married couple. Jesus never mentioned same-sex behaviors, although he did heal the “servant” — pais, a Greek term for male lover — of the Roman Centurion.

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Paul discouraged marriage because he believed the world would soon end. Still, he encouraged people with sexual needs to marry, and he never linked sex and procreation.

Were God-given reason to prevail, rather than knee-jerk religion, we would not be having a heated debate over gay marriage. “Liberty and justice for all,” marvel at the diversity of creation, welcome for one another: these, alas, are true biblical values.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Daniel A. Helminiak.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Gay marriage • Opinion

soundoff (8,832 Responses)
  1. liz

    What does the Bible say about eating shellfish and pork?

    May 16, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Badley

      Doesnt really matter.... we are all sinners. Life is too short to be pointing out the differences in people, lets work on how we are alike, there is way more material to go on, but there are the "Holier than thous" that ruin it for everyone.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  2. Badley

    There will always be the hypocrates that will flip thru the bible until they find a sin they havent committed and Throw stones.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      @ Badley

      Sinners throwing stones? When" Where" How? Why? Tell me your puke so I can regurgitate it on to the other pukes mouths! Misfiited SOB's need to be sent to the underworlds for a spell!

      May 16, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Badley

      To "serpents thought" You must have wings and a Halo if you are claiming you are not a sinner. The logic is we are all sinners, but for some to pick out the sin they don't violate and act as they are better is hypocritical at least, and if you are religious you will be judged for playing God and condeming anyone.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "There will always be the hypocrates that will flip thru the bible until they find a sin they havent committed and Throw stones."
      I don't sin. I'm incapable of it. I also don't throw stones.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  3. Scott

    I don't really care one way or the other about gay marriage. But if you're really interested in defending marriage, something needs to be done about WOMEN. They're making the commitment of marriage a joke... not gays.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • marcus

      omg !!! lol... are you serious ??? women are the problem in marriage ??? there's not a single study of marriage that indicates women are having more affairs, or that women are more guilty of physically or emotional abuse... it speaks volumes about your ignorance to make a statement as ridiculous as that..

      May 16, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      can someone say "jaded"?


      May 17, 2012 at 3:14 am |
  4. The THRUTH

    Why do gays walk with a lisp?

    May 16, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Satan

      Why do you type like you have a wine bottle in your butt?

      May 16, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Ass hurts

      May 16, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Satan

      Bamadan, I'll see you very soon!

      May 16, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Oz in OK

      'The THRUTH'? What the heck is that?

      May 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      walk with a lisp?

      People "TALK" with a lisp and "WALK" with a limp


      May 17, 2012 at 3:15 am |
  5. Believe the Bible

    It will all come out on Judgement Day, but it will be to late!

    May 16, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      What would that be oh wise one???

      May 16, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Satan

      I will come on on judgment day, come on your face.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • JM

      Of course, not everyone who thinks they will be in heaven will and vice versa.

      21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’


      15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
      16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’

      18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

      19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

      20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

      21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
      22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’

      23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

      May 16, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Hitler Was a Saint and a Scholar

      You spelled cum wrong, idiot.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • JM

      31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

      34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
      37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

      40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
      41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

      44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

      45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
      46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. ”

      May 16, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • sam stone

      Read The Bible: Spend a lot of time on your knees, do you?

      When someone resorts to the "believe before it is too late" schtick, you know that they know they have no rational argument and are reduced to blathering empty proxy threats

      May 16, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Satan

      I'm aware of that saint hate. Kill yourself, save the planet.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • rob

      believe in the Bible:....Yes and on THAT DAY GOD will say to all you INTOLLERANT FINGER POINTING HYPOCRITES "JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED!

      May 16, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Kelsey


      May 16, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • A Servant

      Amen – The bible clearly says that the things of God are foolishness to the natural man.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  6. The TRUTH

    Surely a parent will tell their child, do not smoke or drink, and most people's would say, yeah, that's what most parents will say. And you know why. smoking or drinking doesn't make the parent hate the child, but his or her actions. If the child smokes or drinks, the child is in fact being disobedient to their parent.

    Yes, there are 10 commandments in the Bible, and there is not a single person on earth who can keep the commandments and not even break 1.

    Since NO ONE is perfect, Jesus Christ had to come down to earth to pay the ultimate penalty of our SINS.

    God says in the Bible in Leviticus 20:26
    You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.

    A Child can continue to smoke or drink, but the parent will not stop loving them. But if the child continues to smoke and drink and does not even consider quitting, the question will be, does the child love his parents?

    I am a SINNER, but I strive to be a person who is pleasing in the eyes of God. I love you all, and so I hope God reveals the TRUTH in us all, not men.

    Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:32

    May 16, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • GodPot

      " the question will be, does the child love his parents?"

      You have yet to prove you know who our parents are. A parent who never contacts their children or does so through convoluted ancient prophecy written down by crazed shepherds intermixed with all the other writings around the world claiming other parents with other rules and restrictions has no love or respect for their children. They abandoned their children and deserve no respect or love.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • sam stone

      Beware of those who claim to know the absolute truth. Also, The TRUTH, the bible only applies to those who accept it

      May 16, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Wow

      Very well said.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      Using that same analogy, what parent would torture their child for all eternity just because they refused to stop smoking? That's a terrible parent, even if the child didn't love them, if the parent loved the child, they would never do something like that to them.

      If god and he.ll are real then that god does not love people or else he would never send them to he.ll. your god is hateful if he does send people to he.ll and doesn't deserve to be worshiped

      May 16, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Primewonk

      What does chilldren smoking and drinking have to do with foks being born gay? Your post makes no sense.

      In essence, you should be talking about parents correcting/disciplining children who are born left-handed or green-eyed. When you do that, you can see how innane your post was.

      May 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • JustAnn

      Which commandment tells us not to be gay?

      May 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  7. Secure

    i think the real question is... whats up with that dumb "gay man voice" that gay men have? Where did it come from? Do you have to practice it alot in front of the mirror? Do you use the voice with your grandma? Can you stop using it if you want? Like Madonna and her English accent? These are the questions at hand people.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Yes they want to be girls

      May 16, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • GodPot

      It's comforting to know the Christian right will continue to use their misinformed stereotypes based on fictional TV gays to define their beliefs...

      May 16, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Satan

      Get kitchen knife, slit throat, meet your god! No more ga y voice, no more bigot! Win win for all.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:38 am |

      satan i am reporting you for abuse your posts are offensive and your a pervert

      May 16, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Satan

      I hate Jesus!

      May 16, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Secure

      Hey! I was just joshin! I'm just trying to chill out, just like all the pro gays are saying, free love, everyone stick their private parts where ever you want! Theres no God anyway! And if there is, he has no limits to what he wants from you! There is no such thing as perversion! If you feel sad, hurt yourself, if you feel angry, hit someone, if you feel jealous, steal something, if you disagree, call them names, if you feel horn.ey s.e.x something, whatever you feel like! Yay-----freedom!

      May 16, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • sam stone

      Some have the "gay man voice", some don't.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • sam stone

      I LOVE JESUS: This love you have for Jesus is touching. Are you on your knees at the time you are loving Jesus? If so, Jesus my lawn guy (he pronounces it hay-zeus) would sure like to hook up with you

      May 16, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • GodPot

      " There is no such thing as perversion! If you feel sad, hurt yourself, if you feel angry, hit someone, if you feel jealous, steal something, if you disagree, call them names, if you feel horn.ey s.e.x something, whatever you feel like! Yay-–freedom!"

      So you compare a loving consensual relationship where no one is being harmed to hitting, stealing and calling people names? And s.e.x.ing "something"? As if there is anything else but another adult human who can consent and thus make it not r.ape. This is like comparing apples to orangutans. True freedom means not impeding others freedoms as well. As soon as you start stomping on someone elses freedoms with your own, you no longer have freedom for all.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Secure

      The difficult thing about debating in this "belief" forum, is firstly, 80% of ppl on here have no belief or respect for those who do believe in God. Obviously, to these people none of the religious points are taken or relevant. BUT, if you do have a belief in God, and more specifically, the God of the Bible, then the Bible tells us that everything you naturally feel, emotionally and physically is not necessarily in line with what God wants. And that goes for each of us. We are imperfect, we are far from what God origianlly wants us to be. And we have Satan making it harder. This, of course, is IF you have belief/ respect in the Bible.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  8. Josiah

    Don't twist the words of the bible to fit your own needs and that it is not mentioned clearly. All the Apostles were witnesses of Jesus Christ even though Apostle Paul did not see Jesus physically but seen Jesus after his resurrection. He received the Holy Spirit from Jesus Christ who is God to testify against ALL EVIL. 2 timothy 3 1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
    You see here it doesn't only talk about just one group but all people! God bless you all!

    May 16, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      You're talking about a book of fiction as if it were fact. You have to first give evidence that your book is a reliable account of what happened first.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • ThaGerm

      "Don't twist the words of the bible to fit your own needs and that it is not mentioned clearly"


      Seriously? At what point did Jesus say to love thy neighbor, except when they do something you don't like, then you should go bomb the ever-loving-sin out of them? I am going to guess there has never been a person murdered in haste or war that Jesus agreed with in the history of humanity; but who takes us to war? The Conservative Christian Right. And that's a fact that even they "you" don't deny. So come off it, you ALL bend the words of the bible on a daily basis to meet your needs PERIOD.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • todd in DC

      In that case, Josiah, I hope for your sake that you never ate shellfish, you never wear mixed fabrics, and your wife was a virgin when you married her, you never touch pig products, you never see your wife while she is having her period, don't keep your hair too short or too long, kill uppity children, you get the idea.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:56 am |

    There sure are a lot of easily offended pansies around here. Gotta tiptoe through the tulips or they start crying. Everyone's an activist when they're anonymous. When push comes to shove, most of you don't have the balls to stand up for anything. Just an observation I've made over the years.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • todd in DC

      And I suppose you reallly are the right wing radio host.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  10. n8263

    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 16, 2012 at 11:34 am |

      Thanks for your wisdom and insight n8263. You sure told all those Christian cocksuckers!! Yeah! They'll all shut up now that you've said your piece!

      May 16, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Johnny

      In one breath, you say that it is immoral to press one's beliefs upon others.

      In the next, you try to press your beliefs upon others.

      Do you see the problem here?

      May 16, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • n8263

      @Limbaugh, that is not the intent at all.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • n8263

      @Johnny, how am I imposing my beliefs on anyone?

      May 16, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • ThaGerm

      Yes I am going to have to agree, how exactly is he/she pushing their beliefs on you? Pushing is when you deny someone basic health coverage because it does not fall in line with you particular beliefs NOT when someone voice their opinion on an issue. I would say "nice try", but really it wasn't.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Oh, no, not again.....

      Polly wanna cra'cker! you pea-brained bird!

      May 16, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "In one breath, you say that it is immoral to press one's beliefs upon others.
      In the next, you try to press your beliefs upon others.
      Pointing out how completely idiotic a religious belief is, isn't forcing you to change anything. You are still free to believe, or claim to believe, that you have an imaginary friend in the sky. you are still free to worship the worst monster ever conceived by man.

      Explaining why people believe what they believe may cause some to evaluate their beliefs. They may finally grow up and shed those infantile notions. After all, how many adults still believe in the Tooth Fairy? Why would anyone believe in a creature for which there is equal evidence?

      You said, "Do you see the problem here?"
      The problem is with the idiots that have a hard time distinguishing between expressing an opinion and denying someone equal right.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  11. Badley

    "Let ye who has not sinned cast the first stone" having said that we are all sinners if not in body then in mind (or both) How many of you are reaching for that stone at this moment?

    May 16, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      I haven't sinned so I'll be throwing cinder blocks damn a stone

      May 16, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • ThaGerm

      The mere act of claiming to be without sin IS a sin ya dolt!

      May 16, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  12. Peter

    I say we all just scrap the Bible and go with the Book of Mormon. At least that was only traslated once... not thousands of times like the bible... (this ought to stir up some debate!)

    May 16, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  13. podunda

    Is the anus intended for the insertion of a p-nis or is it there to eliminate waste from the body? I know what "unnatural" means.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Apparently you don't!! Being gay is not unnatural, science has studied this and has proven you wrong!

      May 16, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • podunda

      So you think taking a wang in your anus is natural? Do it a lot?

      I bet you do. Your kind are easy to spot.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • LOL Religion

      So I take it you've never had oral podunda? No wonder you're so angry and frustrated.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • paganguy

      OK. Do you ever go down? Really?

      May 16, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • LOL Religion

      As the philosopher Lasalle said, 'You got to lick it before you stick it'.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @podunda: I'm a married female idiot! What people do in the privacy of their own though is not your business. I understand that you keep running across ads for gay po.rn on christian mingle dot com's web site but that's not an excuse to hate gays.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  14. Honey Badger Dont Care

    The ti tle of the article is: “My Take: What the Bible really says about ho mose xuality”

    First of all, it doesn’t matter what YOUR opinion is on what the bible says. It speaks very plainly all by itself.

    In the article he writes, “the Bible is ho-hum on ho mose xuality.” Really? Lets see.
    Leviticus 20:13
    New International Version (NIV)
    13 “‘If a man has se xual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

    While this may sound “ho-hum” to the author of this article it sounds more like a death threat to me. There is no way around the fact that the bible is full of hate and ignorance.

    Wake up, don’t believe in fairy tales, live in the real world, and have a good life.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Johnny

      Live a good life?

      What defines a good life? Absent some organized system of principles, the value of which cannot be objectively demonstrated, how can any life be good or bad? Why is your set of subjective principles better than that of a religious person?

      May 16, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • That Student

      Using the NIV of the bible is highly misleading many of the texts are extremely different from those of the Old King James Version, just get both of the books put them side to side and see the differences, sure some people prefer the NIV because it is suppose to be easier to read and understand, only if they would translate the old english into a more correct fashion and not change the scriptures entirely.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Um, Sparky? You think the KJV was the original bible? Really?

      May 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  15. Jerial

    We are supposed to have a separation of church and state. That means keep your church out of the laws.
    Or more simply "who are you a@%holes to tell me what goes into mine.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Evangelical

      If we believe in the separation of church and state, can't we keep this guy's political views out of the church? The first amendment was meant to protect the church from political influences. He can believe what he wants about marriage, but he clearly doesn't understand biblical texts or Christian heritage, and there's no reason for him to be attacking our religious beliefs.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  16. Voice of Reason

    The Bible should have a preface addendum these days, simply a disclaimer of sorts, for example;

    The material in this book is open for interpretation and it is by no means a docu.mented and factual representation of the truth as we know it today. It is a story about ancient people that had very limited to no understanding of the universe and our natural world. In fact, we know today that Christianity is one of many religions based on the sun, the stars, the seasons and utilize information and concepts from religions thousands of years before its creation. Horus and Mithra, two such God's would be a point of reference to make comparisons to the life of Jesus which are astonishingly similar in the method of birth (virgin), his life, his death and resurrection.

    WARNING: The Bible should not be taken literally as it promotes genocide, slavery, the murder of children and many instances of abomination towards humanity. It has shown to promote bigotry and hate in small children that have been taught that the Bible is true. Read at your own risk and act reasonable and responsible.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I would add:

      "The fact that millions of people believe the contents of this book (or similar books, depsite there not being a single shred of factual, independent, verifiable or objective evidence to support any of them), join cults and engage in arcane rituals in no way suggests that this book is true. If you find yourself taking The Babble seriously, please seek medical assistance."

      May 16, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Wow

      What is today, is tomorrow's past. Is not today as good as tomorrow? Is not what is written in a text book two days ago not as good as it is today?

      You are attempting to discredit the Bible based on its age and who wrote it. Is that even a solid foundation to attempt such a thing? For whom says what you say is creditable or could be challenged tomorrow or the next day?

      Did you know that the Bible has 500 prophecies 100% fullfileed? What other book can say that? Do you really think we came out of some type of mud or ooze or some electical spark (evolution)? If you truley believe that something came from nothing then why is it so hard for you to believe in the Bible?

      I can tell you why... Your eyes are covered and you are being decieved. I can only pray that you will open your eyes and see the light and accept Jesus as your savior.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Re: 500 fulfilled phrophcies – list 'em! With independent (non-religious) support.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      @ Voice of Reason,

      Sillie lil weiner bird! The Tribunal has spoken! You are found in rebuked testimony to no longer be in need of your weiner! It will be cut off and placed in a jar of vinegar as a reminder to societal constructs that weiner birdies can and will be castrated! 🙂

      May 16, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @A Serpent's Thought

      Did you fall off the wagon old man?

      May 16, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Voice of Reason


      Please be a wise person and read something other than the bible. You make no sense.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • GG

      that's the best summary of the bible i've read yet!
      tragically true.....

      May 16, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • No-Name

      Funny that you say that because the Bible is one of the most historically backed pieces of writings in history. Read any contemporary historian (many of whom wrote during the absolute worst persecutions against Christians in history) confirm the existence of most figures in the Bible. Obviously since the Bible was written from so many different authors there are small details that differ but for the major facts it is consistent with historians. It is also widely known that there are a couple thousand different texts of the Bible taken from different points in history (ex. dead sea scrolls) which leads you to believe that it has survived history pretty well. I'm just saying do some research before you jump into these wild assumptions.


      ps. i google to find this source which shows how widely known this is

      May 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  17. Reality

    Ho-mose-xuality in the 21st century:


    "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  18. Wayne

    We all have free choice, so far, to worship a supreme being, almighty God, Divine intelligence who left us with some instruction for the way to live, the choice to worship and believe in the a supreme being who left no instructions so ",lesay con ton temps roule" or man accidentally crawled out of the sea and has no accountability so "lesay con ton temps roule". I suppose there are many other choices but this one is about allowing BFers to require the government (that's us) to recognize their union as being blessed by the Almighty. For us that believe the Bible is instructions, there is enough clear evidence that the God referred to doesn't bless that activity. We may sympathize but we can't say it is OK.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Reality

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit-state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      (references used are available upon request)

      May 16, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Madtown

      Divine intelligence who left us with some instruction for the way to live
      Except that this has not happened. We have no instruction manual created and left for us by God. What we have are the ideas of man, put into an instruction manual and arrogantly passed off as the "word of God".

      May 16, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Blahman

      What the heck is "lesay con ton temps roule"?! Did you mean "Laissez les bon temps rouler"?

      And BFers? Ya, that shows real sympathy on your part hypocrite.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  19. Omar

    Are you for real??? have you ever read the bible?? how about this....

    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.

    Clear enough for you???

    May 16, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • J

      16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Satan

      God hates shellfish in Leviticus as well, I'm sure it clear to as well.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Reality

      Some added clarity:

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."


      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Madtown

      Are you for real??? have you ever read the bible??
      Pretty sure he has, as he's an ordained priest and theologian. Those things mean he's already forgotten much more about religion than you will ever know in your lifetime. By the way, which of the many versions do you read? What's your position on the fact that some scripture says entirely different things depending on which version you read?

      May 16, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Reality

      John 3:16

      New International Version (NIV)

      16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

      But what do many contemporary scholars conclude about the gospel of John?

      From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

      "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

      "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

      "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

      And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,

      "Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. "

      See also http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/john.html

      May 16, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • sweebach

      This is my favorite Leviticus: 19:19 “‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material." . . . . Damn those wearing poly-cotton blends . . . I refuse to befriend someone who wears them . . . might end up in hell due to their influence . . .

      May 16, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Underhill

      Many people discount the first five books of the Bible as simply being Jewish. Your point is well made however, does not get much clearer than that. Obviously this guy has an agenda, trying to spin the Bible to say someething is does not, or obscure some thing it does.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Tom

      Thanks Omar...now take your Bible and shove it up your hole

      May 16, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • B.

      It also says that regarding persons who curse their parents or who have committed adultery... so I'm thinking a lot of people should be dead today if it's meant to be taken so literally.

      Also, this and related laws were meant for Moses and the Jewish people, not for all Christians... when Christ died on the cross, his new covenant with Christians took effect.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  20. Victor

    Religion, is, indeed a subjective thing, and it must be for the concept of faith to be valid. One cannot have faith in god if there is absolute proof in god. Therefore, those of faith must allow others their own actions to enable the possibility of faith.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Satan

      Religion, is, indeed based on lies and the belief in a non existent diety.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:28 am |
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About this blog

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