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My Take: The Bible condemns a lot, but here's why we focus on homosexuality
The author writes that it's fine for Christians to take certain biblical condemnations seriously while ignoring others.
May 21st, 2012
10:00 AM ET

My Take: The Bible condemns a lot, but here's why we focus on homosexuality

Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

By R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN

Are conservative Christians hypocritical and selective when it comes to the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality? With all that the Bible condemns, why the focus on gay sex and same-sex marriage?

Given the heated nature of our current debates, it’s a question conservative Christians have learned to expect. “Look,” we are told, “the Bible condemns eating shellfish, wearing mixed fabrics and any number of other things. Why do you ignore those things and insist that the Bible must be obeyed when it comes to sex?”

On its face, it’s a fair question. But it can be posed in two very different ways.

First, the question can be asked to suggest that the Bible’s clear condemnation of sexual sins can simply be set aside. The other way of posing the question represents a genuine attempt to understand how the Bible is to be rightly applied to life today.

In truth, those asking the question the first way really don’t want an answer.

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

An honest consideration of the Bible reveals that most of the biblical laws people point to in asking this question, such as laws against eating shellfish or wearing mixed fabrics, are part of the holiness code assigned to Israel in the Old Testament. That code was to set Israel, God’s covenant people, apart from all other nations on everything from morality to diet.

As the Book of Acts makes clear, Christians are not obligated to follow this holiness code. This is made clear in Peter’s vision in Acts 10:15. Peter is told, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

In other words, there is no kosher code for Christians. Christians are not concerned with eating kosher foods and avoiding all others. That part of the law is no longer binding, and Christians can enjoy shrimp and pork with no injury to conscience.

The Bible’s commands on sexual behavior, on the other hand, are continued in the New Testament. When it comes to homosexuality, the Bible’s teaching is consistent, pervasive, uniform and set within a larger context of law and Gospel.

My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage

The Old Testament clearly condemns male homosexuality along with adultery, bestiality, incest and any sex outside the covenant of marriage. The New Testament does not lessen this concern but amplifies it.

The New Testament condemns both male and female homosexual behavior. The Apostle Paul, for example, points specifically to homosexuality as evidence of human sinfulness. His point is not merely that homosexuals are sinners but that all humanity has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The New Testament condemns a full range of sexual sins, and homosexuality is specified among these sins. In Romans, Paul refers to homosexuality in terms of “dishonorable passions,” “contrary to nature” and “shameless.” As New Testament scholar Robert Gagnon has stated, the Bible’s indictment “encompasses every and any form of homosexual behavior.”

Your Take: Rethinking the Bible on homosexuality?

Some people then ask, “What about slavery and polygamy?” In the first place, the New Testament never commands slavery, and it prizes freedom and human dignity. For this reason, the abolitionist movement was largely led by Christians, armed with Christian conviction.

The Old Testament did allow for polygamy, though it normalizes heterosexual monogamy. In the New Testament, Jesus made clear that marriage was always meant to be one man and one woman.

“Have you not read that He who created them made them male and female?” Jesus asked in Matthew. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” For this reason, Christians have opposed polygamy on biblical grounds.

Why are Christians so concerned with homosexuality? In the first place, that question is answered by the simple fact that it is the most pressing moral question of our times. Christians must be concerned about adultery, pornography, injustice, dishonesty and everything the Bible names as sin. But when my phone rings with a call from a reporter these days, the question I am asked is never adultery or pornography. It is about homosexuality.

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Christians who are seriously committed to the authority of the Bible have no choice but to affirm all that the Bible teaches, including its condemnation of homosexuality. At the same time, our confidence is that God condemns those things that will bring his human creatures harm and commands those things that will lead to true human happiness and flourishing.

In other words, we understand that the Bible condemns all forms of sin because our Creator knows what is best for us. The Bible names sins specifically so that each of us will recognize our own sinfulness and look to Christ for salvation and the forgiveness of our sins.

Christian love requires that we believe and teach what the Bible teaches and that we do so with both strong conviction and humble hearts. The Church must repent of our failures in both of these tasks, but we must not be silent where the Bible speaks.

Are Christians hypocrites in insisting that homosexual behavior is sin? We, too, are sinners, and hypocrisy and inconsistency are perpetual dangers.

The church failed miserably in the face of the challenge of divorce. This requires an honest admission and strong corrective.

At the same time, this painful failure must remind us that we must not fail to answer rightly when asked what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. Love requires us to tell the truth.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of R. Albert Mohler Jr.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Gay marriage • Opinion

soundoff (7,995 Responses)
  1. clinky

    The verse from Matthew which Mohler quotes does not quite amount to excluding gays. It is written in the language of a parable, not a law textbook. Conservative Christians seem bent on litigating the fiery and open-ended language of the Bible by hammering it into a codebook.

    May 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Drew

      Because they are stupid, literal-minded people

      May 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Cunning Stunts

      Watching a video on youtube.
      Truth about the bible exposed, by Bart Ehrman.
      Mr Ehrman talks about how many different ways the bible has been "tampered" with.
      Its a real eye opener.
      Of course, you Christians wont watch it, its blasphemy.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  2. Genesis

    IF you took your Bible away...would there be an issue?
    I think not! Religion is your right...keep it!
    I am an American...I have the freedom of Religion and the freedom from Religion!
    Allow me to exercise my Rights...And you exercise yours!
    Condemn those that CLAIM to live by your scripture...Leave all others alone!

    May 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      The problem arises when people who CLAIM to live by scripture try to legislate from the pew and pass laws that effect everyone. That is why seperation of church and state is so important.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Genesis

      It would be nice to remove the religious from politics thereby truly separationg CHURCH and STATE. Besides...why are the religious in politics in the first place...I thought their objective was to live a clean life? Name any religious politician, even the reborn that are squeaky clean, alright...clean, alright alright!....just above dirt grade! Tough isn't it?

      May 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  3. Sticks and Stones

    Christians, and the Church in general, are too concerned with everyone else these days. They need to clean their own house before trying to re-arrange everyone else's. What it boils down to, is that everyone wants to point out the "faults" and "mistakes" of others to keep from shining the light on their own sinful life. Christians are called to preach the gospel to the world – not to belittle, demonize and chastise those who don't follow the teachings of Christ. You share your faith, and why you believe it, and God will take care of the rest. It's not your job to force what you "think" on everyone else. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Until you find yourself glowing with perfection, you should be focusing inward and being more concerned with your own salvation. That's not to say you shouldn't share your faith. You just shouldn't bash people in the face with it, since you are by no means perfect. Because you do believe, you are held to a much higher standard and are far more accountable for your actions, than someone who doesn't believe. Stop living in glass houses, while being "holier than thou". Their sin is no greater than yours.

    May 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  4. Christian

    "As the Book of Acts makes clear, Christians are not obligated to follow this holiness code. This is made clear in Peter’s vision in Acts 10:15. Peter is told, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”"

    Typical misinterpretation of a biblical verse. First, does it say that the old testament law is made void? No, it says not to call what God made clean common. Now, God specifically assigned his cleanliness laws to HIS people at the time. I, for one, consider Christians to be HIS people for the current and future time. Shouldn't we try to follow EVERYTHING God told us to do in the Bible? Or did God make an accident in the old testament and didn't really mean what he said. Romans 3:31 says "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." We are not SAVED by works BUT we can be witnesses to others through our actions. If we act like the worldly then nobody will enter into God's family because they'll see Christians are just like them and not want to partake in their efforts. Last but not least: why are we to ask for forgiveness if we haven't done anything wrong? Oh yeah, that's right! We transgressed against God's law...

    May 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  5. Amen!

    “You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”

    May 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  6. RobertG

    Finally some common sense on CNN! The scriptures regarding ho.mose.xuality are also listed as those affecting our relationship with God. Christians don't have to follow every single verse in the Bible because, quite frankly, they don't affect salvation. It doesn't say don't eat shellfish or you are going to hell. It does say, however, avoid fornication, adultery, and ho.mose.xuality or you won't go to heaven (1 Cor 6:9-10). Christians put a lot more emphases on those sins that God specifically denies His salvation.

    May 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "It does say, however, avoid fornication, adultery, and ho.mose.xuality or you won't go to heaven (1 Cor 6:9-10)"

      Actually in the original Greek the word homosexual was never in that text it was added later by a bias and prejudice scribe. The experts have shown that every thing written in the past about gays was done by bias and prejudice people, that includes the writers of the bible!

      May 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • RobertG

      @YeahRight – First, fornication includes any s e x outside of marriage. Ho.mose.xuals are generally disqualified by that alone. However, they want to justify their actions by getting married now. God will never endorse those marriages as He says, "Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord." (1 Cor 11:11). Gay relationships can never be "in the Lord" or "Christ centered".

      Second, I suggest you actually learn what ar.seno.koi.tus actually means before you make a fool of yourself. "Ar.seno" = male / "koi.tus" = coi.tus. It's perfectly reasonable to translate it to say "ho.mose.xual" today.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • James

      "Second, I suggest you actually learn what ar.seno.koi.tus actually means before you make a fool of yourself. "Ar.seno" = male / "koi.tus" = coi.tus. It's perfectly reasonable to translate it to say "ho.mose.xual" today."

      Arsenokoitai is made up of two parts: arsen means man; koitai means beds. Although the word in English Bibles is interpreted as referring to homosexuals, it can be fairly certain that this is not the meaning that Paul wanted to convey. If he had, he would have used the word paiderasste. That was the standard Greek term at the time for sexual activity betiten males. It can be concluded that he probably meant something different than people who engaged in male-male adult sexual behavior.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "First, fornication includes any s e x outside of marriage"

      When a christian gay couple is married before your god regardless of the law, then that scripture doesn't apply to them. Duh!

      May 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • RobertG

      @James – "neque masculorum concubitores". Sorry, but it says the same thing in the Latin Vulgate. How idiotic is your interpretation that Paul was saying that men who go to sleep together in the same bed won't go to heaven? "Lucy, you got some 'splainin to do".

      @YeahRight – God isn't going to look at man's laws to justify His own saving power. It doesn't matter if they are married or not under Man's law, if HE doesn't recognize the marriage, they are under condemnation.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Weren't you the same poster who brayed nonsense about the rights of children to have a male and a female parent? You never got back to me with any evidence that such a "right" exists or that children are harmed by having gay parents, Robert. When do you plan to do that?

      May 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "How idiotic is your interpretation that Paul was saying that men who go to sleep together in the same bed won't go to heaven? "Lucy, you got some 'splainin to do"."

      How idiotic is it of you to believe that Paul actually had the understanding of gays as we understand sexual orientation today. Are you also going to adopt his prejudice anti-Semitic attitudes too? LMAO! There are hundreds of thousands of experts now that have stated that being gay is NOT a choice, it's not a mental illness, and it can't be voluntarily changed. Duh!

      "God isn't going to look at man's laws to justify His own saving power. It doesn't matter if they are married or not under Man's law, if HE doesn't recognize the marriage, they are under condemnation."

      Nice judgement on your part so now you are speaking for your god and know what is in a gay couples heart. Thanks for playing and you are clueless!

      May 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  7. Danny

    As Christians, we must remember that the Bible only speaks to those who believe in what it actually says. The very same Bible reminds us that they who do not believe will never understand what is written becuase it is absolute foolishness to them; they dont have the Holy Spirit one is given for understanding of the Scriptures when one decides to follow Christ.
    We must also remember that God's essence is LOVE. He never forced himself on us therefore we cannot force our beliefs onto others. It is thru LOVE that we can show them what we have come to believe is right. Dont expect others to follow our footsteps by condenming them to hell for what they do. If we as Christians stop pointing fingers and actually decide to show the love Christ spoke about, than we might actually gain some ground. We cannot agree with their life style; but let's remember that out of that very same darkness we were also pulled out and we must show LOVE and compassion and not hatred and condemnation.

    May 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      what turned me against all religions is how petty the all knowing all powerful gods are, follow what i say or be tortured for eternity. also there is way to much incest in those religions for me to ever stomach the idea

      May 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  8. PVS1

    what of the rest of us who rightfully point out that your magical sky fairy has no place in the creation and amendment of law?

    May 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  9. Rynomite

    "The Old Testament clearly condemns male hom.s.xuality along with adultery, bestiality, incest and any s.x outside the covenant of marriage."

    The author seems to neglect the righteous man Lot getting tag teamed by his daughters.
    He also conveintly ignores the fact that Adultery meant the following in the Old Testament:
    For Husbands: Don't bang another man's property, but unattached women are fair game as concubines or additional wives.
    For Wives: Don't bang anything but your husband.
    Hardly the modern definition of adultery.

    May 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • TC

      Wow – you seem so educated and refined in your explanations – yes, I thik I will listen to you.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Not to mention that incest is almost explicitly REQUIRED. Otherwise who did Cain and all of the other first born marry?

      Things that make you go Hmmmm.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  10. Kevin

    Faith, you either have it, Or you will come to it in the end. Disagreeing with Gods law does not make it right. You claim to be your own God. Then who is to say I decide that stealing is fine, or other crimes?

    May 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • momoya

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7xt5LtgsxQ

      May 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      the idea of not stealing was around long before man invented your god and his laws.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  11. xtopher

    Mohler's views (and other like him) are contributing to the deaths of gay youth. Period.

    May 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Drew

      True.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Kevin

      You have no proof of that. That's just plain slander.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      its OK cause they are demons

      May 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Kevin

      Now your confusing Muslem's with Christians.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Drew

      Kevin: gay youth commit suicide because they feel hated. Views like those of Mohler contribute to the idea that gays are sinful, and thus worthy of hate. So yes, he is responsible

      May 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • ah292801

      It seems a bit odd that you feel people should abandon their beliefs simply because you say they should. Perhaps you could contemplate your reaction when those "Christians" ask you do give up your beliefs. I'm willing to bet its just as hard for them as it would be for you. The dialogue and process might work better if we try to understand one another rather than ridicule one another. . .

      May 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Not Another Sheep

      I don't ask that you abandon your beliefs...I just ask that you stop pushing them on other people.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  12. Sherri

    Many slaveholders used the bible to defend slavery. It was also used to defend not giving women the RIGHT to vote. I choose to not believe that a book on your bedside was written by divine guidance. It is a book. No more, no less. In my experience, the ones who quote the bible the most and preach their Christianity the loudest are the ones I watch out for. They are the liers, cheaters, thieves. I can do without them. They are the ones who will cut you off in traffic, cheat you on a deal, cut your throat at work. BUT they have their little bumper stickers on their cars proclaiming how holy they are. Yeah right. I wish they'd all go jump in a deep lake.

    May 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • TC

      Just beacuse some extreme morons cited a source for thier beliefs – it deosn't take away from what it actually means. People will twist anything in any way and in any manner to justify what they do.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  13. Jamest297

    I guess then, that god's proclamations that he is eternal, inerrant and unchanging are to be disregarded. Either dog is inerrant and unchanging or he is not. Christians cannot seem to reconcile their own errencies.

    May 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  14. Article Reader

    Excellent, well-thought out article. Thanks for posting.

    May 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  15. blah

    Pick and choose verses you want to use. The bible was written by a lawayer.

    May 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  16. n8263

    Christians think Sharia Law is immoral but impose their own Sharia Law in America.
    No matter what version, it's immoral to impose your religious superstition and deny others civil rights.

    May 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • TH

      yup.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  17. agree.

    Seems like religion takes the hit for patriarchy. Everyone hates patriarchy. It's trauma. Not healthy for men or women.

    May 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  18. James

    How can he say the Bible does not command slavery, when it explicitly encourages you to be a slave of Christ? Jesus purchased you with his blood, supposedly.

    May 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      lol awesome

      May 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • GauisCaesar

      That is what Paul is referring to when he speaks of slavery. To Paul, being a slave is another example of the pains of this earth, which are normal. Nowadays, would consider slavery not only to be wrong but also intolerable for this earth.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Bryan

      Yeah, forget Locke's Social Contract, the Christian social contract is even more shackling.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Kevin

      Purchased your soul from Sin. Not your living body. Man you people are dumb.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • adamrdreyer

      If you don't understand it, read about it for yourself. Rather than asking pointed questions without trying to understand at all, give it shot. Try 1 Corinthians, namely chapter 7.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  19. n8263

    Christians should care what the Bible says regarding homosexuality about as much as they care about what it says regarding stoning disobedient children to death.

    May 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • TC

      They would if it was in the New Testament but Jesus brought enlightenment since we evolved just a tad bit to control ourselves from killing people and having relations with anything that suited us.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • GodPot

      Yes, what should Christians do to their gay kids? I mean just being disobedient gets you murdered, gay and disobedient must get you disemboweled...

      May 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • n8263

      TC, read Matthew 5:17.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Sheila

      You are taking scripture out of context, meaning you do not know what the purpose of the text was. You also do not understand the Old Testament writings, nor it's relation to the New Testament. Those of you who rage war against God when you have absolutely no understanding of what the bible is, how it is written, and the teachings are missing out on the greatest blessing anyone can receive. The Bible makes it clear that God does not desire the harm of anyone, nor does he desire the death of anyone. However, there is a point at which he must rebuke and discipline, or punish. If you love someone and they do something harmful to themselves or others are you not going to correct them ? God only desires to correct us for our own good. But for those who refuse correction, eternal damnation awaits.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Sheila

      The magic words of context. Must be really easy to throw out that word and not actually think. Then wrap it all up with the threat of eternal torture.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Bryan

      Don't you just LOVE it when people say "it doesn't apply" or "you're taking this out of context" when you ask them to evenly apply the Bible? The reason people have to do that is to avoid the contradictions written in the Bible.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I find it more irritating when they post and run. It only shows how weak their faith is, and that they don't actually believe, otherwise they would stay and actually defend what they say.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  20. badskippy

    i would like to point out that these laws are for CHRISTIANS to follow – not everyone else. Don't put your views, laws and beliefs on me, on my family, on my children, etc etc. You live your way, and leave the rest of use to llive it OUR way. So, put that in your pipe and smoke it!

    May 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • GauisCaesar

      Don't know of anyone that is against this argument. The problem is you think Christians are supposed to ignore their beliefs when they go into the voting booth. That won't be happening.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • ah292801

      No need to be rude about it. . .

      May 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • BRC

      @GauisCeasar,
      IF you vote that a rule should be put in place based on your religion, even though you know there are people who don't follow your religion, then you ARE forcing your views and beliefs on others. Yes, it is wrong to do so. You don't have to ignore your believes, but you should weigh and understand the effect your actions have on other's lives, and respect that their beliefs may not be yours.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Topher

      So you don't want us putting our "views, laws and beliefs" on you ... but you do want to put yours on us. Why can't you be tolerant?

      May 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The problem is you think Christians are supposed to ignore their beliefs when they go into the voting booth. That won't be happening."

      Actually it is happening which is why gays have got the right to marry in some states. There is already talk that the defense of Marriage act is unconstitutional. The U S Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is a civil right when Virgina tried to ban interracial marriages. It's only a matter of time before gays get there civil rights especailly since they have so many experts on their side. he American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      May 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • GodPot

      " you think Christians are supposed to ignore their beliefs when they go into the voting booth."

      If you have a law to ban gay marriage in front of you that you are voting on and you feel strongly that you are not gay so the vote does not effect you IN ANY WAY because it has nothing to do with your straight marriage then you can follow your moral compass by NOT VOTING AT ALL since it does not effect you. Let the people effected by the law vote on it, pass or fail it does NOTHING to your marriage or can you not undertsand that simple point?

      May 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • BRC

      @Topher,
      Find me 1 time I have forced my belief on someone. Moreover, find me 1 example of an "atheist" law that forced the belief that there are no gods on anyone OR find me one LGBT law that interfered in ANY way with a heterosxual relationship.

      I am intolerant of bigotted actions. Denial of another man/woman's rights because someone else's beliefs (which are unprovable) is unconscionable, and against the very foundation of our country. I serve in the military for the exact purpose of protecting people's lives, rights, and freedoms. To watch people subvert those efforts in our own country through passing ignorant laws is infuriating.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • adamrdreyer

      The idea is that we all live under one God, whether you choose to believe in Him or not. So while I won't force you to think the things I do or believe what I say, the truth is that God exists, He loves you, and you can do all you want to run away from Him.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Topher

      By asking me to support these actions with a law you are in a way forcing your beliefs on me. And if you are telling me atheists aren't toying with legal issues I'd say you don't read the news. No praying in schools. Or at city council meetings. Or wearing Christian T-shirts in public places. Don't put the 10 Commandments up. Don't have nativity scenes at Christmas. Don't say "Merry Christmas," say "Happy Holidays." To try and say atheists aren't pushing their agendas through the law is a joke. And these laws do interfere with my marriage. My marriage is a covenant through God who created it and upholds it. To say something unholy is equal with my covenant with God is blasphemous and an insult to me and to my wife.

      Now on another note, obviously we disagree on this topic, but I do truly thank you for serving in the military.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • BRC

      @Topher,
      It's a job I enjoy.

      BUT, there is a huge difference between follwoing laws and forcing beliefs. Removing religion from the public sector 1) wasn't solely pushed by atheists, 2) should have no effect on your personal belief. You are still allowed to pray in school, but you can't force everyone to take time to pray. That's not mandating believes, it's leveling the field. You can put up a nativity scene, or the 10 commandments, anywhere in the private sector, but not on Public property because the government answers to all citizens and many of us DON'T believe in it. YES< atheists are involved ain pushing an agenda for equal treatment, but there is no atheist law that says YOU, the individual who is using the name Topher can't pray, believe in "God", and live a life that you believe will bring you salvation. Noone is trying to stop that, and noone ever should, that is your right, just as much as it is the right of others to believe differently.

      To say that allowing same gender marriage somehow lessens your own is mind boggling. 1) It's insulting to any LGBT person, becaus eyou have just said they are less then a person, or at the very least less then you. Whether that's how you meant it or not it's what you said. 2) I know how much I love and am committed to my wife, and I can tell you right now that the priest (she's catholic) who married us could perform a service in the church we used to marry a kangaroo to a Man who was already married to his cousin and it wouldn't affect our marriage in the least. Allowing how others live their lives to affect how you value your own marriage is just silly. THAT kind of thinking devalues marriage, and I'd liek to give you credit for being better than that.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Topher

      No, an LGBT person is not less than me. I am the chief of wretches. But what they are asking is for their marriage to be the same as mine when it is not. Mine is condoned by God. I know there are those who don't believe in God, but that does not make Him less real. And if I may add, an LGBT person has every right already to live with and sleep with anyone they want. I'm not trying to take away that right. They just can't have marriage. That is a God thing. Is the marriage of a kangaroo and a man what is coming next? Do you think that is ok?

      May 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • BRC

      @Topher,
      That's not what they're asking for. They're asking for teh government to recognize same gender marriages, that is completely independent of any church. Neither the concept of nor the word for marriage originated in Christianity; still, there is no push for christianity to recognize sme gender marriages, what people want is for teh GOVERNMENT to recognize them, and there is no grounds for them to not do so.

      And no, a person marrying an animal is not the next step, because an animal can't consent, so it is not a valid comparison.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Topher

      The problem is it will never be truly independent of church. Just look at the health care law and what it is trying to do to religious rights. The government won't keep out of our rights to those freedoms. I'm sure you understand that I disagree with marriage not originating in Christianity (as God says in the OT that man and woman come together as one flesh.) There is even a case recently, I think, in Hawaii where a cake decorator gently told a couple he couldn't make their wedding cake because of his religious beliefs. So now the case is going to court. The governement WON'T stay away from religion. I agree about the animal and the man marrying. Yet there are plenty of people who want to be with animals. If there is no God and thus no moral law-giver, who are we to say the man shouldn't be married to a kangaroo? It would just be our opinion against his. Since we do have morals and thus a moral law-giver, we must seek out His will.

      I know you don't believe, but have you really looked deeply into any religion? You and I can argue about this marriage stuff until the end of our days, but I'm far more concerned with your soul. Have you thought about where you will go when you die? If there's an afterlife?

      Let me ask you this ... IF there's a Heaven, are you good enough to go there?

      May 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • BRC

      @Topher,
      Unfortunately you continue to look at things with a skew. Religious freedom does not apply to churches, buildings, or business. Only to individuals. YOU have the right to freedom of the religion. The Church does not (that's how the consttution reads). Without looking into it, I'd say that the governemnt is in the wrong with the cake guy. If that person doesn't want to make a cake for a same gender couple then he is a closed minded bigot, but he has the right to be so.

      A "moral law giver" is not necessary to a civilization that lives by law. It is wrong to marry an animal because they cannot make decisions for themselves, so we make it against the law. Done, no gods required. To believe that morals must come from a book is simplistic. Morals generate from instincts that allowed our rather weak species to survive, no gods necessary.

      I have looked into many religions (atheists get to do that). I don't believe any of them, and for the most part they exist to control people. Religion has the capacity to comfort people when they are scared or depressed, it is the only value I see to them. AS for me going to heaven, I know that I lead a good life, and I will continue to do so the best way I know how without the input of any religion. If I'm wrong about pretty much any religion, I'll be spending eternity suffering (so will you by the way, unless the 1 you picked is right), but I will do so knowing it is at the whim of a petulant god, and that I still lead a good life. Fortunately I'm not really worried about that, I don't believe in it.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Topher

      So you think you're a good person? That's great! Let's take a look and see how well you'd do on Judgment Day.

      In your whole life, how many times have you told a lie? Just take a guess at the number.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.