Your Take: Rebuttals to rethinking the Bible on homosexuality
What does the Bible really say about homosexuality? Readers responded to a professor's views on the issue.
May 17th, 2012
02:10 PM ET

Your Take: Rebuttals to rethinking the Bible on homosexuality

The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality - and, by extension, same-sex marriage - right?

A guest "My Take" post we ran this week from a college psychology professor who has a background in religion (he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest, for instance) challenged that conventional wisdom.

The professor, Daniel A. Helminiak, argues that foes of same-sex marriage have assigned modern, ethics-laden meanings to biblical passages on homosexuality to make it seem like the Bible unequivocally condemns it. In fact, Helminiak proposes, the original meanings of such passages about gays are at the very least ambiguous.

The piece has generated an avalanche of response: 10,000 Facebook shares, 6,000 comments, 200 tweets and a couple of blog posts.  Giving the other side its say, here's a rebuttal roundup of critical reactions from across the Internet:

Kevin DeYoung, a conservative Christian blogger, calls Helminiak's piece "amazing for including so many bad arguments in so little space." DeYoung, who leads a Reformed Church in Michigan, challenges Helminiak's argument that the biblical tale of Sodom and Gomorrah doesn't condemn homosexuality per se.

"Jude 7 states that Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities 'indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire,' " DeYoung writes.

"Even the NRSV, translation of choice for the mainline (and the version Helminiak seems to be using), says 'pursued unnatural lust,' ” he continues, referring to the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

"Clearly, the sins of Sodom lived in infamy not simply because of violent aggression or the lack of hospitality, but because men pursued sex with other men."

DeYoung also takes issue with our guest blogger's argument that the Greek term the New Testament writer Paul uses when describing homosexuality, para physin, has been misconstrued by modern translators to mean "unnatural." Helminiak says that the original term does not contain ethical judgment and should be translated instead as "atypical" or "unusual."

Absurd, says DeYoung. "We know Paul considered same-sex intercourse an ethical violation, and not simply something uncommon. ... (N)otice what Paul goes on to say: 'Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error' (NRSV)."

DeYoung writes, "When you read the whole verse, Helminiak’s 'nonethical' argument becomes implausible. Paul thought homosexuality not just unusual, but wrong, a sinful error deserving of a 'due penalty.' '"

On Facebook, Helminiak’s piece, "My Take: What the Bible really says about homosexuality," provoked a mix of positive and negative response. Some of the latter was very, very negative.

"The following article appeared on the front page of CNN. ... I was so grieved and troubled, I had to respond to the writer," Vince Smith wrote on his Facebook page Thursday. "This is what is most tragic and terrifying about beliefs on homosexuality in this nation.

"When you take Scripture and twist it to 'reinterpet' what it means, and then teach others, you are literally playing with fire ... eternal fire," Smith continued. "I pray that The Lord has mercy on Mr. Helminiak."

Readers' comments on the piece included much criticism, too (although there was plenty of support for Helminiak’s argument).

"Daniel's argument misses the glaringly obvious condemnation of gay sex in the Bible," writes a commenter named Mike Blackadder. "Catholics believe it is a mortal sin when it is premarital, masturbatory, and when we deny the possibility of conceiving children (i.e., through the use of contraceptives).

"Unfortunately, the faith suggests that gay sex falls under the same category as these others and if we interpret differently for gays, then we must accept a new interpretation of these other acts for the same reason," Blackadder writes. "The corollary is that if your faith accepts hetero impurities (such as contraceptives or [masturbation]) but condemns gays, then you may be rightfully accused of hypocrisy."

Many commenters avoided quibbling with Helminiak’s logic, instead taking aim at the piece's very existence.

"Why can't gays leave other people's sacred things alone?" asks a commenter named iqueue120. "Instead of redefining 'marriage,' just call your pervert juncture 'pirripipirripi.' We will grant you and your 'pirripipirripi-other' all the 'rights' that you want.

"You can write your own sacred book, call it, for instance, 'Pirripipirripible,' and make it teach how awesome is 'pirripipirripi,'" this commenter continues. "... All we ask in exchange is that you leave 'marriage' and 'Holy Bible' as they are."

On Twitter, most RTs, or retweets, endorsed the piece, but not all. "Another pastor,"  tweeted @BarbRoyal "trying to pretend the ugly parts out of the Xtian (Christian) bible. ..."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Comments • Gay marriage

soundoff (3,580 Responses)
  1. Leviticus 18&20

    my name says it all. Not that I agree with it or like it... but... check those two, that's where it is...

    May 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • YeahRight

      So are you going to force women to marry their rapist based on that scriptures? Or how about Deuteronomy where you have to stone your children to death for talking back to you....oh....that's right you have to put it into historical context to get the real meaning since that is part of reading comprehension 101. Duh!

      May 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Leviticus is also known as part of the holiness code which Christians don't follow today.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Observer

      Since you don't believe everything in Leviticus, what is your point?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Leviticus 19

      Don't forget the "if you rape your slave girl, bring an ox to the temple as punishment" thing from Leviticus 19, right between those passages you mention. Proof that God is okay with slavery.

      And no beard or sideburns trimming! “‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard."

      May 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Kevin Nickoson

      Do you know how to read Hebrew? Are you familiar with all the available information on the cultural context of that book? Do you have a degree in linguistics? Oh. Well. How do you deal with the whole women are property and should shut up in church?

      May 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • flipd

      Leviticus 25:44-46: "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly."

      Leviticus has lots of great moral lessons for the whole family

      May 18, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Canopy

      Leviticus 19:19

      New International Version (©1984)
      "'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."

      There goes the mixed dog breeding, most farms, and most outfits.

      May 18, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • blf83

      If you are buying two verses of Leviticus, but ignore all the rest, you then proclaim yourself a hypocrite.

      May 18, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • danSeAnnTinAeN

      That is exactly the point, the hypocrisy of bible interpretations. Christians today take just what they want from the bible and claim that as ultimate truths, For All of US of course, even though they don't speak for all of us. They ignore the rest, the inconsistencies, the contradictions and the downright stupid, like "not wearing clothes made of two fabrics " or such.
      People who don't care about or agree with the bible are just pointing that out. They pick those dreaded bible sections that Christians so carefully don't mention, because the passages are so idiotically out of date and stupid.
      So it's only fair that someone else points it out. If the Bible is the written word of god, then god spoke a whole bunch of nonsense... sorry to be so blunt.

      May 18, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Edith

      You would get more enlightenment and self help out of a Suzanne Summers exercise book.

      May 18, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Jesus Saves

      Jesus Saves

      the wages of sin is DEATH but the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE thru JESUS CHRIST our LORD... no matter what schemes or plans man comes up with to avoid the TRUTH, TRUTH will always will be TRUTH, you can't change TRUTH and because JESUS is true and his word is true and is a God that can't lie nor is he the son of man to repent then that means unless you repent you shall all likewise perish Luke 13:5..you can't change truth into a lie..JESUS came so that we might have life and life more abundantly and that is to say not in excessive indulgence in the cares of this world but in him which dwell all the fullness of the godhead bodily..Why reject such a great love, all he wants to do is save us from the wrath to come..the day you hear my voice harden NOT your heart and I will come in and have sup with you and I will abide in you and you abide in me..

      May 18, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Reason

      'Jesus Saves', I don't know what side of the argument you fall on, but Jesus said to love one another, and do unto others as you would have unto you. I'm no theologian, but I know that much.

      May 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  2. Charles Wong

    Among other things, nobody ever believed the earth was flat...


    May 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm |

      that whole video lost all creditability when it it stated "that no educated person in history of western civilization from the third century BC onward believed that the earth was flat" and you are assuming that people where educated? look at the lack of education in modern times! 99% of the planet was uneducated until more recently. to assume that the intellectual ideas were the ideas of the commoner is silly and misleading. while i do agree that intellectuals knew the earth was spherical due to algebra, but most people couldn't even read till a hundred years ago.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

    wow i did not expect so many atheists to be posting here, has it finally happened? are people leaving behind there silly mythology?
    also to you theist is god created man in his image and some men are gay does that make your god gay?
    Abraham this, Moses that, Jesus hit me with a wiffle ball bat

    May 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      also, if god created man in his image, does that mean god has a p.enis? for what? are there goddesses for him to put it in? does he need to urinate? wonder if he ever gets morning wood...

      May 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm |

      calm on dud hes been around forever he needs something to kill the time

      May 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  4. Kevin Barbieux

    Plain and simple: The bible is not a source of accurate information.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm |

      wow wow wow the universe is not 6000 years old? and man and dinosaurs did not coexist? mind officially blown

      May 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Love

      The bible has never been disproven as a historical record. Archeologists, along with historians and scientist, use it for factual information. Research it.

      May 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • blf83


      May 18, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Sammy

      While historians may use the bible in supporting geography, historical cities and timelines, they don't give an ounce of credence to the resurrection, salvation or the holy ghost.

      May 18, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  5. Reality

    Does the following "thu-mptation" pass rigorous, historic scrutiny?? (Matt 19: 4-6)

    “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    According to many contemporary NT scholars, said passage was not uttered by Jesus. It does show however how the locals, i.e. Matthew and his readers, felt about marriage and se-xuality in the first century AD/CE.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • 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 17, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse | Reply

      May 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  6. Not what you wrote but what you thought

    You have to go to Lao Tso and the Tao Te Ching to understand why all of these arguments written in words are simply human folly. Words my friends, are imperfect translations of our thought and ideas, or ideals if you will. Always (including the words written here) they are open to interpretation, and manipulation. Because of that they have, and will continue to be used, abused, and misused by people to control others. Your relationship with whatever you conceive, or don't conceive God to be is your own. Cultivate it if that is your bent, or let it go if it is not, but realize that I, at least will only agree with your words if they ring true where my interpretation of God resides in me.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Ykcyc

      That is the truth!

      May 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      in other words, you sugar coat the bible.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Ykcyc

      I’m not my thoughts – No thought is true.
      Thoughts aren’t your source – No thought is you.
      Don’t trust your thoughts – No thought is real.
      Mind that believes that thoughts are real is troubled, ill.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Ykcyc

      The only truth exists within – inside you, inside me
      To seek it elsewhere, you won’t find it, it’s a myth
      To be yourself, to feel alive, to simply be
      The only joy, the only freedom, only truth.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      in other words, christians, turn your brain off. thinking is bad for you.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Reason

      Here, here!

      May 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  7. johngeisler

    All the judgement and hate ! eye see you

    May 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Rolf Eczema

      "eye see you"? Really? You want to go with that literary masterpiece, do you?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  8. Bill P

    Rundvelt: "The bible can be used to uphold pretty much any view you like. The problem is that people are generally too lazy to read the entire thing. If they would, they'd realize how full of holes and contradictory the bible is."

    I have been spending the entire last year reading the whole Bible and I don't come to your conclusion at all. In fact, I would venture to say that folks that make such statements have only read summaries and commentaries that are negative in nature. This comment is based upon a myth that is propagated amongst those that choose not to believe.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Rolf Eczema

      Did it really take you a whole year to read it? Even being deliberate, it should not have taken anywhere near that much time.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      actually, if you read the bible with historical, religious and skeptical study guides, it does take a long time.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Rolf Eczema

      Fair enough, but why does the Bible need so much interpretative help if God actually intended to be understood and accessible? Why didn't God write the Bible like stereo instructions, nice and clear, do this, don't do that, instead of these weird stories and very strange discussions?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Bill P

      Rolf – Taking a year to read a novel would be slow. Taking a year to read, a few chapters a day (about 1200 total), with some gaps in days, in order to take time to understand what is being said is not unreasonable. I suppose the word "study" might be more apropo. We are not talking about a simple "user's manual", we are talking about the words of Our Creator. Does that then seem unreasonable? Now, if a person doesn't believe that, and further finds the Bible torturous to read, then I can fathom that a year would seem too long. Rundvelt made it clear that he (or she) discounted the Bible as being God's Word (by definition of his/her contempt of its accuracy), so I question whether one would actually spend the time to read the whole thing given that contempt. Not impossible, just very unlikely.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the simple answer is god doesn't exist and the bible was written (poorly) by flawed men.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • wrob

      Not only that but it's *long*. Have you ever actually seen one, Rolf?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Rolf Eczema

      I've read the Bible twice, cover to cover, carefully considering it as I went, and it did not take me anywhere near that long.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Bill P

      Rolf – "Why didn't God write the Bible like stereo instructions, nice and clear, do this, don't do that, instead of these weird stories and very strange discussions?"

      What an incredibly good question! I have found the Bible to be both simple and complex. It was written over a period of about 1500 years by some forty authors (some are anonymous). The short answer is this: the simple statements, found in the Gospels, are provided for immediate understanding of our need to have faith in the Lord (Jesus) – like John 3:16. The complex portions, like the prophetic books are for multiple purposes – like warnings of (at the time of the writing) contemporary and also future events (the coming of Jesus and the final judgment of the world). The books written by Moses were pretty straightforward with exacting requirements for the children of Israel to follow in ritualistic form. Not complex in comprehension but complex is execution. God inspired a book to be written so that every man, woman, and child could derive what they needed to understand His love and obtain mercy from their Lord and Savior. Some passages are hard to understand because that is what God had intended – to maintain a mystery until the time was right to reveal its truth. Not a cop-out, but even Jesus told His disciples that He spoke sometimes in parables to obscure understanding to those folks that were not yet believers. I take it that they were not ready for those truths at that time. Start with the simple and build up to the complex. Start as a child and grow into an adult. But the Bible had to contain both the simple as well as the complex to keep folks reading His word.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Bill P

      Rolf: "I've read the Bible twice, cover to cover, carefully considering it as I went, and it did not take me anywhere near that long."

      OK, OK, I give. I am a slow reader. One day I was talking with a fellow about the Lord and reading God's Word. He said that He had read the entire Bible over twenty times. Well, that of course put me to shame. But I don't think that it is a contest and certainly not a requirement for salvation.

      So, Rolf, now that you have read it twice, what is your take-away? But before you answer, I am sure that you came across these verses: Isaiah 55:10-13 and Hebrews 4:12, and John 1:1,14. What I would gather from these is that God's Word is unlike anything that has ever been written and that it is powerful even unto itself in a way that one might not expect: it is God Himself, it is able to dig deeply into our thoughts and hearts, it is not voided or made to be useless, and it accomplishes what He intended.

      May 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • FoxFox

      If you read the whole thing through and believe in all of it, you would know posting here is a sin. That you should be elsewhere, giving to charity, elsewise it is a sin.

      Everywhere from if a man can work for a living, let him work, to if a man has a skill, let him use that skill to benefit others, to love thy neighbor to don't engage in petty conflict to diffuse arguments rather than incite them to use your time to take care of the least of these and the needy. The list goes on and on.

      You can't use reading the entire bible as a justification to not do the most important things it says. I'm here because I read it twice and don't believe all of it. The persians wrote some of the old testament (esther, an author, was a persian queen), some of the old testament discusses bizarre, esoteric concepts such as UFOs and beings covered in eyes with 4 faces. Some of the new testament is simply letters the apostles were giving to individuals, as personal opinion that may not have even been inspired by the Holy Spirit (though in some ways, I believe they were. But I believe at other times they are personal opinion.)

      There are books removed that ought to be included, books included that ought to be removed. In deutoronomy, it says to cut a woman's hand off without pity if she grabs a man's genitals. Clearly they tried to stamp out the Goddess worship for their man only club. As said above, if God made man in his image, why did adam have a penis? It leans to the idea either God is not quite as human as people say, or God did not do that at all. Moses wrote the first 5 chapters of the bible based off of other religions and traditions passed on...as in, he didn't create it, he merely game of telephoned it.

      The entire purpose of Jesus's coming was to spread doing good things for others, baptism of water, repentance of sin, gentle rebuke, not condemnation, of those who make mistakes (remove the plank from your own eye etc.), and spreading the Gospel. Matthew mark luke and john, the first four chapters. Mark wrote from peter's words, luke rewrote mark's, so only matthew and john really have any credibility at all. Even then, it's badly mistranslated.

      My point is if you can't get WWJD out of the bible you're reading it wrong, stop criticizing gay people and if anyone quotes leviticus again let them be removed from the ability to vote. Leviticus also said eating shrimp is an abomination, and Jesus changed that rule. Do you think Jesus is incapable of changing rules, then? Why would you worship a book without caring what his Holy Spirit has to say?

      One last message:

      Matthew 15: 1-3

      Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”

      He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?”

      37Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’b 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’c 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

      So everyone who hates on gay people over marriage, a tradition of men, why do you transgress the commandment of God, love thy neighbor, for your tradition?

      May 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Bill P

      FoxFox – I'll try not to "sin" too much by replying to your post. An interesting twist on your part, but lacking spiritual discernment. Ester was a Jew that became a queen of Persia. Further, the authorship of the Book of Ester is actually unknown. There is no basis in scripture to say that posting here is a sin as talking about and sharing God's Word is just as if not more important than feeding those that do not have food in their belly. But it is true that one might reach them better if their belly does not ache with hunger. Jesus made such a point: "It is written: "Man does not live on bread alone." (Luke 4:4). He also said, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33) So while God may be interested in feeding the poor, He is actually more concerned about their souls and where they will spend eternity – an issue for every sinner – whether it be the occasional liar or a person that deviates from natural affections. In fact, God does not put forth a priority on sins save for those that He enumerated in the Ten Commandments. As Creator of the universe, food is a trivial matter for Him, but as Lord and Savior He is powerless to make any one person believe in Him. That is because "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) The Bible tells us that "there is none that doeth good". God does love all of His creation, all human beings, but is incapable by virtue of His holy nature to treat any sin as other than that which separates us from Him and from Him for all eternity. Jesus solved that with His sacrifice on the cross. All sinners, including, gay people, can seek forgiveness of sins. But all sinners must seek that forgiveness with repentance. Nowhere does it say that God hates people because they are one way or the other. He hates the sin because it separates us from Him.

      May 18, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  9. Dale

    What about the Koran or Book of Mormon?

    May 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • dad

      lots of people steal from grocery stores, why don't you? see why that comparison falls short

      May 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Rolf Eczema

      I threw them in the port-a-potty too, along with all the damn Bibles people gave my son and told him not to tell his parents.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Also works of fiction loosly based on the bible.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      those books are just as silly. add the torah to that list too.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  10. God

    Don't you idiots know by know that the Bible isn't real?

    May 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • dad

      Sure it is, there are billions of them

      May 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  11. Ken

    All you Atheist fools commenting below are the reason God has a hell just for you. Repent while you still can fools.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • @Ken

      Put your tin foil hat back on Ken

      May 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Gustavo Flores

      What exactly do I have to repent of, to subdue to a book that clearly was written by men, to slave other fools and make them do stupid thing, common I can't belive in the 21th century there are this kinda of fools, I would forgive those guys when Galileo was around but now, get real people!

      May 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • the anti-ken

      The god of Abraham is not real, along with all the fables told in the jewwish, x-tian, and islamic holy texts. Most of the stories were borrowed from earlier cultures which have long since been moved over to the myth pile. Others are complete fabrications, while others still are nothing more than the ramblings of scared and feeble men.

      How is it Ken that you can suspend your critical thinking skills and believe this utter and complete nonsense? How are you able to function on a daily basis with such a deficiency? Wake up Ken, there is no heaven and there is no hell. It is you that is a fool Ken, and the sooner you realize it, the sooner you can free yourself from the religious bondage you love so dearly.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      if i don't go to hell, i'll miss all my friends. plus i really want to talk to Ghandi and John Lennon.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • mrgup2

      But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
      Matthew 5:22

      May 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      hell, a place the "loving" christian god made so that anyone who disagrees with him can be tortured for all eternity. mmmmm compassion....

      May 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • danSeAnTiAN

      Question: Why would anyone of sound mind and judgement would want to spend eternity with people the likes of lovely Ken above?

      May 18, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Steve Billiter

      Matt 5:22 But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  12. Anomic Office Drone

    Is it just me or do the gods described in religious texts seem genuinely unpleasant?

    May 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • John Jacob Jinkleheimer Schmidt

      Incredibly mean, remarkably unjust and capricious, arbitrary, vengeful, and just plain angry.

      Do you know that there is only one mention of God laughing in the entire Bible, and he is laughing in delight at slaughtering people who disagree with him? Not that any other religions' gods are any better.

      God is a sick fuck.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • mrgup2

      schmidt- that is not true.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  13. Charles Wong


    Among the many other things....nobody ever believed the world was flat.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  14. John Jacob Jinkleheimer Schmidt

    Come to think of it, there really cannot be any true religious news. It's not like we are ever going to see "God Is Back, And It's . . . THOR!!!" as a headline.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • John Jacob Jinkleheimer Schmidt

      Note to self – push reply button

      May 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  15. 13thCurse

    I think it's kinda funny that on a pro-christian blog almost none of the comments are christians. Do all atheists/non-believers spend their time just cruising on christian sites looking for something negative to say?

    May 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Dan

      I noticed the same thing about posts about evolution or climate change. Most of those who comment are some flavor of fundamentalist christian blasting it as heresy.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Anti-indoctrination

      No, we're just sick of you pouring your poison into people and we feel the need to express an opposing view... to, you know, remind the fundies that such a view exists.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      this is not a christian site. it is a news site, though that's debatable most of the time. atheistic articles are also put here. and it's because christians affect our lives that we are here posting. stay out of our lives and out of politics and there won't be much to argue about.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Really?

      Are you kidding me? I am an atheist. But, in their defense, and response to your comment I really think Christians have no room to speak. If there is any group that sticks their nose where it doesn’t belong and passes judgment when on one asked for it………….it is Christians!

      May 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • unclean one

      You should see the amount of theists on the forums of atheists. I say there is a prominent percentage of both group frustrated and ready for a fight.

      I come to these things because I'm constantly seeking, searching, and learning. If evidence speaks to my heart better I might follow a god one day. For now, i'll say polytheist....there are many gods I don't believe in. If I'm going to hell anyway...what is a little name calling in this life?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Sammy

      Secularists stay informed by reading CNN and the newspapers. We don't waste time bowing to God 5 times a day.

      May 18, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  16. Bootyfunk

    '[God] puts an apple tree in the middle of [the Garden of Eden] and says, do what you like guys, oh, but don't eat the apple. Surprise surprise, they eat it and he leaps out from behind a bush shouting "Gotcha."'
    - Douglas Adams

    May 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Pliny the Elder

      And if they'd obeyed, none of this would matter.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Wilberforce Pumpernickel III

      God, who knows everything that will ever happen, is surprised and angry when the creations he made did what he knew they would do, and punishes not only them but all of humanity forever for what is basically a minor boo-boo caused by his own design flaw.

      Can you say entrapment? Can you say guilt by association? Can you say blaming the victim? Not impressive legal standards for the most intelligent being in the universe.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Ykcyc

      Didn't the accepted concept of God indicate that the sadist had know they would eat it and did it anyway. It is like giving a child a loaded gun, knowing he would blow is brains out. These fairy tales are for Fairies.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Hmmm

      "punishes not only them but all of humanity" Don't forget who else he punished for mans sin...

      "The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them." Gen 6:6-8

      I think PETA might have been very offended...

      May 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • notanapple

      The bible never states there was an Apple tree in the Garden of Eden. Nor, does it state that Eve was tempted to eat an Apple, followed by Adam later. If you get one part wrong how do you know you aren't getting another part wrong.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Hmmm, did you know God put rainbows in the sky to remind him not to drown everyone on earth again?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      god kicked adam and eve out of the garden because there was a second tree, the tree of immortality. he was afraid now that they had knowledge, they might eat from the second tree and become gods.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Diane

      God did not put "rainbow in the sky to remind Him" --he put rainbows in the sky as a promise to us that he would never flood the earth again.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Bootyfunk


      May 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Ykcyc

      I thought it was the water molecules reflecting the light. If I can make a rainbow with my water hose, does that make me a ...
      No way!

      May 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Duh

      "he put rainbows in the sky as a promise to us that he would never flood the earth again."

      Right, because before then water droplets did not refract light... or maybe humans were unable to see color until after the flood...

      May 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Wayne

      If you have rain and sunlight you can have rainbows. They were not put there for any sort of promise. People can't be this stuipd.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • DeAnne

      The tree of knowledge was in the garden, so when Eve ate its fruit, she became smart and realized God wanted everyone to remain ignorant and just believe what God wanted her to believe.

      May 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  17. Rundvelt

    The bible can be used to uphold pretty much any view you like. The problem is that people are generally too lazy to read the entire thing. If they would, they'd realize how full of holes and contradictory the bible is.

    The most entertaining thing is listening to apologists saying that certain parts of the bible (the parts they argree with) are as written, but when there's something that doesn't agree with their position, then it's literal or we don't understand the context. Hilarious.

    Remember people, an all knowing, all powerful God that created you cannot, by definition allow you to have free will. Because he/she/it creates you with flaws, knowing what you'll do with your flaws. It's sort of like creating a screwdriver out of a twig, then blaming the twig because it's not strong enough to spin a tight screw.

    May 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Arthur Smegma

      Only 10% of Christians have ever read the whole Bible. Can't say I blame them – a lot of it is really badly written.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Pliny the Elder

      Or perhaps the truth is how amazing that dozens of authors over many centuries can combine to form the real account of a living God who loves to redeem his creation – especially those who don't agree with him.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      there is more wisdom in a Dr. Seuss book than the bible.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • unclean one

      Pliny, can you answer why god would wait centuries to patch together his word? And then to a small region of the world for hundreds of more years. So, god comes down to a very small region of the world...one without a written language...and just completely forgets about the far east?

      Then he makes people wait...and wait...and puts his word together so shabbily that even experts can't agree on it?

      give me a break

      May 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  18. Bootyfunk

    christians are often embarrassed by the cruelty and ignorance of the bible. so they make excuses, try to skip or reinterpret those parts to make them more palatable for a modern society - christianity light. that's what the "journalist" of the original article did. another is slavery, dominance over women, etc.

    the next step is to drop christianity altogether. Humanism offers a much more logical and compassionate ethical code.

    May 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Pliny the Elder

      It's a shame when humanists decide that they have a monopoly on the determination of scriptural truth. Poor translation work, eisegesis (reading something into the text that may not be there) and a generally weak level of scholarship force Christians to slowly, patiently and imperfectly defend what God's word is. Other posts decry the idea that context matters in scripture instead of a bold faced Jesus said line, while these same posters deny the reality of Christ's purpose and power. I pray you live well, but don't broad brush the topic before you struggle with the question.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "It's a shame when humanists decide that they have a monopoly on the determination of scriptural truth"

      christians hate when humanists point out the atrocities of the bible. so they throw out this cr@p - "no one but a christian can understand the bible. lol. it's their way of getting out of having to take responsibility for what the bible says.

      btw, study after study show that atheists have more biblical knowledge than christians. christians don't read the bible. cherry picked passages are read to them at church on sundays - when there's no football game.

      there is no god. it's doubtful jesus ever existed. grow up and take responsibility for your own life. learn to think for yourself.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  19. Wimbledon Splurt

    What does the Bible say about selling your daughter into slavery? Quite a lot, actually. It gives you the proper protocols for doing it.

    The one thing the Bible does not say about selling your daughter into slavery is to not do it.

    May 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      don't forget about rules for beating your slave. as long as they can walk again in 3 days time, you didn't go overboard with your abuse. if they die or can't walk after 3 days though, you've been naughty. there are also rules for buying slaves.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Arthur Smegma

      Interesting how so much of the morality in the Bible is really bad, really inhuman. Interesting how some say that the morality of the Bible is universal and unchanging, and yet it changed radically and conveniently ignored all that psychotic Old Testament morality, as if it was once okay but now isn't.

      Make a list of appropriate Biblical morality, and it is quite short. Make a list of all the evil, inhuman, sick, horrific Biblical "morality", and it is very long. Then, as you notice the difference in length, ask yourself why you think that the Bible is a good source of morality?

      Christians severely overrate their own morality.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • crackedskull44

      Ill take it you didnt bother to read the new Testament..

      May 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      here's jesus in the NT supporting slavery:

      Luke 12:37-38
      37 "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.
      38 "Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.”

      May 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  20. John Jacob Jinkleheimer Schmidt

    Is it me, or are 50% of the stories here just rehashes of a stories already posted here?

    May 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Pretty much John.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Yep

      Occasionally there is a rehash of the rehash. Those are my favorite.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      do you think news is happening all the time or something? hehe.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
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.