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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. sftommy

    Men decided at the Synod of Hippo in 393 which books were Godly inspired. Men decided that not God.

    May 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • HZD

      Put down Dan Brown, stop watching Zeitgeist, and get a real history book.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Actually Constantine decided which books would go in the NT in the early 4th century. This is recorded history.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  2. Zack

    Some non believers of the Bible on this forum are just as bad as those who do believe... STOP calling someone's faith fake or fiction.. In the same manner that you don't want them judging you and or your belief in freedom of others.. they have the freedom to believe what they want.. THAT is what makes America the great nation that it is.. we all should be able to live and believe what we want..

    May 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      When the followers of fiction want to use that fiction to create laws, we have the right to call it what it is. Fake, fiction, fairy-tales.....all apply.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      we have been placating to these mystical Ideas long enough i am glad to see atheists finally standing their ground! especially in America! there is a reason why America is falling behind with our education and because its easier to be religious than educated! our country would be much better off with out religion closing peoples minds. it gives them easy answers with out any critical thinking, thats why we are falling behind in our education compared to the rest of the developed world!

      May 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      The nation of the United Sates of the Americas "was" once a great nation but alas it is now fallen assunder and stayed ever far from the righteous acts and actions that made her once a proud nations!

      May 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • seedenbetter

      I laugh and ridicule anyone who believes in talking snakes, that the Earth is flat and 6000 years old and that some man rose from the dead who they worship as a god.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  3. Redemption23

    Here's a thought. Just do whatever you feel is right! Unless, it conflicts with others views of what is right. People should mind their own business! Unless, said business disagrees with yours. Do what whatever feels good! Unless, whatever feels good infringes upon you. Who are you to judge? A person in which, you, yourself ARE JUDGING. These positions self destruct under it's own demands.

    May 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  4. Peter E

    The New Testament also condems women who speak in the presence of men and who have any authority (including being a teacher) over men.
    Just because the New Testament supercedes the Old Testament does not mean people don't continue to cherry pick.

    May 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  5. christianbeliever

    The Bible states that we are populate the world – now tell me exactly how are you going to do that if men and men; women and women – duh – "Woe to those that call evil good and good evil " You're in a whole heap of trouble. You might choose the not believe and follow what the Bible says – but believe you me – the the end of this world comes – you will certainly find out first hand that you made a very unwise decision. Be not deceived – GOD IS NOT MOCKED – whatsoever a man/woman sows that shall he/she ALSO reap. There's going to be some reaping going on – and hey dont even start with I am a reglious nut – I am just a believer in the Holy inspired Word of God. You will be too at some point lets just hope that it isnt too late. November 2012 – VOTE for what's right – lets get this back to a moral nation –

    May 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There are an awful lot of stupid people here already-you're one of them. Gays make up less than 10% of the population, you bozo, and they've been around since man walked. Does it look to you like we're underpopulated?

      Why didn't your god give you more than one brain cell?

      May 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I openly mock your definition of god. You think the bible is an accurate representation of god's character? If so then your god is an evil punk. STRIKE ME DOWN NOW IF YOUR REAL!
      waiting....
      waiting....
      waiting....
      hmm, nothing yet.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Does that mean slavery,women in the kitchen,stoning,animal sacrifices?

      May 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Every time some knuckle-dragger like christianbeliever posts, it becomes easier for me to see that belief in such nonsense is idiotic.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • whatajoke

      HawaiiGuest, be careful for what you ask for, because your wish will be granted on the day you die.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, yeah, when dad gets home, you're getting a beating.

      How is it not a single person has ever come back to report on either heaven or hell?

      May 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      If the bible turns out to be all true, then I have no problem not being where that god is, due to his/her/its complete lack of truly moral behaviour.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @whatajoke

      You can't scare me with threats of a specific afterlife into joining up with christianity, so don't even try. If that's the only line of argument you can bring to justify the horrible acts that you believe happened, then you have given up your humanity and morality.

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

      HawaiiGuest
      “If the bible turns out to be all true, then I have no problem not being where that god is, due to his/her/its complete lack of truly moral behaviour.”
      =>So why be angry with God? You made your choice and you will find exactly what it is you were looking for all along. Christians think it is hell to be separate from God yet you choose to be separated and you call it something appealing..
      There are only two types of souls in this world one that you cannot keep out from the loving arms of God and one that hates the thought being with a loving God. Why all the fuss HawaiiGuest, if there is a God you will end up where no one can or will stop you from going.
      You are exactly where you belong. I can understand a Christian real or deluded dreaming of a promised land but for the godless to dream of a hell in their own making and ebracing it seems worse.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      And once again you ignore the immoral acts attributed to your god in your bible. Unless you wish to actually address the topic, then shut up because I'm not gonna deal with you dancing around issues like usual. Also, I can't be angry with something I don't believe in (i.e. God).

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

      HawiiGuest
      "your god is an evil punk. STRIKE ME DOWN NOW IF YOUR REAL!"
      =>yet it sounds like you have no problem with God !
      You do not understand or believe the Bible which is the main written reference we have for God. Let us start again with the simply theme of the Bible. The theme is basically God redeeming a chosen people to bring through into the Kingdom of God. In short it is about the Kingdom of God. There is a given fact that Good and Evil exist in this world. Gods plan is to create a new heaven and a new earth where there is no evil and every tear is wiped away. If you do not like the story that is fine. If you do not believe then it is just another Harry Potter book with a good ending. Just because there were evil thinks in the Potter book and Harry put an end to evil few kids saw Harry as evil yet you do. You call Harry a murderer a immoral killer and evil punk. Well sorry you did not like the movie or the book but it was just a fantasy to you so get over it. But, you really should get to the root of the problem that you somehow see Harry different then the vast majority and even the auther will wonder what book you were really reading.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Your analogy is completely idiotic. A few things the bible says god either did or ordered done in his name.

      The killing of multiple towns and cities.
      Keeping 32,000 virgins from a defeated city while killing men, women that weren't virgins, and male children.
      Flooding the entire world.
      Destroying everyone in Soddom and Gamorrah.
      Turning Lot's wife into a pillar of salt because she LOOKED BACK at the burning cities.
      Hardened the heart of pharaoh so he WOULDN'T let the Israelits go.
      Commanding unruly children to be stoned.
      Commanding ga.ys to be stoned.
      Admitting that he's jealous when people worship other gods.
      Accepting human sacrifice.

      Would you like me to go on?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      I cannot hate what I don't believe exists.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest
      “The killing of multiple towns and cities.”
      =>very broad but compared to 115,000 abortions per day in the world these are nothing, did God say kill em all. Millions killed by Stalin and Mao etc we know God did not tell them to do it.
      God allows man to do the things man does that does not make God a murderer. God created the world but man did not like it going his own way. All is the result of man going his own way we live in a fallen word you know the story line. What you don’t know is what happened to the pawns in the game of life and what you don’t like is that the creator decides. If those who died because God said take the town they may well be better off than those who had the opportunity to know God then reject God. These were all sinful towns in various states of moral decay and strange worship. You know what Amalekites and Moabites did to children and women. Either way 100 years of life is not even noticeable in a plan that deals with an eternal soul. A) That life is non-existent in relative terms B) we do not know the disposition of the souls on either side of the battle C) a New Heaven and New Earth does not contain memory outside of the fruits of the Spirit D) you have no clue on how it all works –as in evolution this entire existence could be one big pool in the process of creating perfect Kingdom Beings.
      You choose the most negative of possibilities.

      “Keeping 32,000 virgins from a defeated city while killing men, women that weren't virgins, and male children.”
      =>same as above but add the fact all these people were involved in attempting to corrupt the chosen ones who we set aside holy for God and used $ex to do it. Get real on this story. The virgins selected were selected by a passing mirror that turned their faces blue if they were part of the $exual conspiracy to pervert the people of God. The entire population was deep into Baal-Peor worship. God saved those that would be chosen ones.

      “Flooding the entire world.”
      =>same as first paragraph but, add this ungodly generation of Cain did such evil and wickedness God relented creating the world in the first place. Final judgment comes to the wicked while chose are safe on a boat. God did a reboot beginning with one godly family.

      “Destroying everyone in Soddom and Gamorrah.”
      =>God said he would save the town if 50 good people were found yet just Lot and kids made it out. See paragraph 1 above and add the fact we know the perversion of these people was a symbolic warning to what happens to a godless population.

      “Turning Lot's wife into a pillar of salt because she LOOKED BACK at the burning cities.”
      =>Warnings are given for a reason and many people die when they fail to heed warnings. Rejection of Gods specific plan results in death, looking upon sin brings death, failure to commit to a plan of God results in death etc.

      “Hardened the heart of pharaoh so he WOULDN'T let the Israelits go.”
      =>what’s wrong with this is it is your favorite argument. God allows it so God is responsible for everything. You just don’t like it cause the Bible said it first. No different than Romans where God allows the godless ones to stumble around in a stupor or sleep loving their own perversions.

      “Commanding unruly children to be stoned.”
      =>God love children is the clear thread in the Bible that cannot be mistaken. Anyone that harms one of these little ones it is stated it would have been better they were never born. In short the consequence for harming a child is real bad.
      Consequence was set hard for keeping order and respect for parents and God. I expect it was seldom used just as we avoid tossing young kids in prison.

      “Commanding ga.ys to be stoned.”
      =>not sure of the verse you refer to but to entice $exually in unnatural or abominable ways was symbolic of very deep perversion. No, problem God does not take kindly to those who tempt innocent or set apart Holy children of God.

      “Admitting that he's jealous when people worship other gods.”
      =>we went through this already where God children were being drawn away by promises that would never happen as false gods cannot give eternal life. Yeah, God deserves to be very hard on anyone that uses falsehoods to deceive His children.

      “Accepting human sacrifice.”
      =>I assume you are speaking of Jesus and that was a gift to the world. The Love of Chrsit was not sacrificed it atoned for the sin of man.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      I'm not even going to address your justifications for the first 4 points I brought up. All it is is special pleading and justification for attrocities.

      Read your bible about the exodus story. God directly hardened pharaohs heart after every plague. It doesn't say pharaoh was just a stubborn idiot, it says specifically that God hardened his heart every time he was about to let the Israelites go.

      Yes god loved all the children, unless they were unruly, then they could be stoned to death at the edge of town. Another contradiction in the bible.

      Jealous god, first commandment.
      I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
      Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
      Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
      Exodus 20: 2-5

      So not only does he admit jealousy, but he admits to punishing people for 3 or 4 generations for what an ancestor does. Just? Not so much.

      Human sacrifice I'm talking about Jephthah. If you don't know the story then you need to read your bible more carefully.

      May 21, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  6. c-lo

    Biblical delusion and ignorance aside. What makes these Xtians (who are about to vote for a mormon, lol) think i want to be married by their church? I have no interest in that, leave that to Newt G, Rush L, Larry K, Britney S, etc. I want my legal rights, mainly because i pay TAXES! Go do what the messiah told you to do: feed the poor, health the sick, protect the children..

    May 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  7. MrLowe

    Wow...nice article. I addressed both the truth of the Bible AND the hypocrisy in the actions of many of us in the church community. I was especially surprised at how it touched on the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Thanks author.

    May 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  8. Carl

    Acts 10:15? What a completely absurd attempt to claim exemption from Mohler's own religion.

    In Acts 10, Peter is told not to call unclean (or common) a SPECIFIC lot of food which God has CLEANSED for him. It does not speak about food in general, it speaks about the specific pile of food which came down from heaven for Peter.

    Furthermore, Peter later explains that this was a lesson in not calling unclean PEOPLE who God has literally sent to see Peter that day. It's a lame metaphor using food in place of people, but it is clearly explained in Acts. This is in no way a cancellation of the various wicked rules in the Old Testament, many of which have nothing to do with food anyway.

    This is a ridiculous stretch on Mohler's part. So we are left with a similar question to the one he claimed to answer. Why the misleading acrobatics to excuse the rules he doesn't like, and the hard literal enforcement of the rules he does like?

    May 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • HZD

      Right, so you are going to say that this is Mohler's innovation, when the entire historical church (aside from a few aberrant offshoots like the SDA in the nineteenth century) have agreed that this referred to the OT dietary laws? And then you are going to mock him for an innovation? Laughable. Find a single trained biblical scholar who agrees with you.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Carl

      Read it for yourself. It has nothing to do with dietary laws in general, and certainly nothing to do with working on sundays, etc. Its application is explained in the book itself.

      Theologians like Mohler are NOT experts at presenting accurate translations. Their purpose is to provide preachers with the very kind of wishy-washy nonsense Mohler is using to try to present a happy form of the bible.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  9. A Serpent's Thought

    The vanity of outspoken s.e.x.i.s.t.s weighs heavily upon the constructs of many sinful socilaisms! Tender though are the mercies of Christ! For Christ does allow sodomy its' place upon the people of sinning ways for the righteous lots come a season and seasons for yet to come!

    May 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Is nonsense your "fortay" (sic), too?

      May 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  10. Art G

    Idiot.

    May 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  11. Rynomite

    Acts 10.. the grand Xtian Apology.

    Of course that conviently ignores Jesus speaking during the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:

    17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    May 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • whatajoke

      matt 5 isn't referring to ceremonial or dietary laws. It refers to eternal moral law that is based on the eternal nature of God.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Rynomite

      Oh and it says this where in the Bible exactly? Or were you sitting at Jesus feet and were able to question him after?

      May 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  12. NOT MY CHAIR

    your god is a petty child with all his smiting and mass extinctions, punishing some one for eternity? can you people even fathom what eternity is? for what not doing what they are told? its ridiculous that people believe this stuff. the worlds only 6000 years old? creationism? everybody came from 2 people one created from dirt the other from the firsts rib? talking snakes? burning bushes that talk? use common sense people stories like Jesus have been around since people learned they can control others with making their own renditions. there is no magic in the world!!!

    May 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      God is a tyrant and mass murderer.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  13. Jack

    Peopl act like the definition of words doesn't evolve overtime. At one time cool and hot only referred to temperature.

    May 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • ME II

      that's cool

      May 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Yes today when we say a good looking woman is hot, it is a compliment.
      Hundreds of years ago when they said a good looking woman was hot, it mean they were burning her at the stake for being a harlot.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Redemption23

      Redefining a term doesn't change its implicit moral value. Cool and Hot simply imply that something is GOOD. Idiot, nice try.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  14. Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

    Okay, let's talk for a second about gay marriage. Here's the interesting thing about marriage in this country. It doesn't mean a thing what the Bible says It is absolutely reprehensible that people forget a little thing called the 1st ammendment. Nobody can give me one good reason outside of the Bible for why gay people shouldn't be allowed to marry. Not one. You know what that tells me? We have a classic violation of separation of church and state. Laws are being put in place that are based on the Bible and the Bible only. You can believe being gay is wrong and that gay marriage is wrong all you want. That is your right. However, there should be no laws that keep gays from living a life that not only doesn't harm others, is actually beneficial. It is amazing how quickly that Christians will throw the 1st ammendment around when they want to get what they want and they want to keep free of any thing that they deem being repressed. Then in the same conversation they will throw away the 1st ammendment on something like this. It is absurd to the utmost degree.

    Remember these are the same people that want your kids to be taught something totally unscientific in the intelligent design idea (not even a theory because it can never reach the theory part of the scientific method) in our public schools. We need to wake up.

    May 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      they do not need scientific proof when they have ignorance, i mean faith

      May 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Oscar

      Good post Hun. Those are some nice chairs. Getting past the fear and sloving problems is key. Doing something once, even if you mess up, helps you learn how to improve and correct problems you encountered on your first go. Each one of my chairs was not only eaiser but better made and crafted. Same applies to most things I would think.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:44 am |
  15. Think About It

    Why would the church ban Gay Marriage? Because it isn't going to produce children. What is the easiest way to drive up membership and then offerings, have children introduced to the church early in their lives by current members.

    Why do Catholics not promote birth control? See above.

    These things are very easy to understand if you take a step back and follow the money.

    May 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  16. Logic

    The answer to this quagmire is quite simple. First of all, the word "marriage" is derived from the latin word marītāre which means to provide a husand with a wife. By that definition alone, it excludes gays. To stop any further confusion, lets just find an arbitrary word like "conjugality" for their union. It will be recognized for its legitamacy, and they will be protected under the law. Problem solved.

    May 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Drew

      We don't make laws based on latin etymology

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

      Using that logic, why weren't colored establishments, colored washrooms, colored water fountains not good enough for african americans? After all, that's what all of you have a problem with isn't it? We can't give gay people access to the same name as something we have, it must be different so we can distinguish between them and us.

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

      "First of all, the word "marriage" is derived from the latin word marītāre which means to provide a husand with a wife. By that definition alone, it excludes gays. To stop any further confusion, lets just find an arbitrary word like "conjugality" for their union."

      Till both groups are completely equal it is discrimination.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Logic, they banned civil unions in North Carolina so what exactly are gay couples supposed to do? Hilarious unexpected consequence is that they also banend it for straight people too. Whoops. People in North Carolina were so quick to deny gay couples equal rights that they also got rid of the civil union. I wonder how many of them didn't realize that and then voted to destroy their own civil unions?

      May 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Raven76

      Your translation skills are astonishing. For example, you can marry two dissimilar pieces of metal to formulate a stronger bond. The literal translations simply means "to join".

      May 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • GodPot

      And by that logic we need a new word for "gay" because that had earlier origins too. Infact, lets start coming up with new words to describe anything that doesn't exactly fit a select groups preconcieved concept of that words origin. Like the word "white" which could refer to many different races that have lighter skinned persons or albinos, so maybe we should make up the word "Godcolor" or "Alphatint" to describe very light skinned non-ethnic Christians decended from the first few rounds of light skinned early immigrants to America. Would that make you happier? The first step towards some good solid discrimination is making up a word that you don't relate to to poke fun at the butt of your jokes and derision.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Reizo

      Hi Sara, I am so excited about your new book! I lkeood through your pages here, and it is so interesting. God has been nudging me to start a military wives ministry, and last year I approached our pastor about it. He was very supportive, just cautioning me that the work and commitment would be huge and that I would need to be able to commit to the time for prep and needs outside the study itself. I let go of the idea because Paula and I were working on we serve too! books and still are nearing the end of the process on book 3. I don;t know the timing, but Sara, that desire is there again, and I know that at some point your materials will be what I use. Thank you for making this resource available, so that others, who love God and our military, can do it without reinventing the wheel!I hope you will be blessed with much success!Kathleen

      July 29, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  17. Nooks

    Let's not focus on h omose x uality but Christianity; God coming down to earth as a man and taking our place on the cross and giving us eternal life with him.

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

      well, not all of us...

      May 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      That all happened in a work of fiction. Until you can demonstrate that your bible is an acurate portayal of what acutally happened than there is no reason why ANYONE should believe it.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Nooks

      True, but I don't know who God has selected, so we need to preach the Good News to everyone.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You "need"? That's just it. It's YOUR needs you care about. Not what others need or what God needs, but you.

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

      Ok well, we also need to first help people with their physical needs then their spiritual needs.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Nooks

      I don't have any needs, but one and that is to know Jesus the rest is just a bonus of provision.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You just said you did. Why does your omnipotent God require you to interpret for him? Does he really require you to police the world and others' lives for him?

      May 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Rynomite

      Please explain how Jesus dying on the cross is a sacrifice? If you are a beilever in Trinatarianism then god basically sacrificed a form of himself. How is dying a sacrifice if you are the immortal god? Trinity aside, if Jesus knew in advance that after death he was going to be ruling in heaven, why does his death matter? The whole concept of a sacrifice would make much more sense if Jesus had to endure everlasting torture in hell for our sins. And of course that would make more sense if God weren't supposed to be all powerful or be capable of reproducing as many sons as he wants....

      May 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • DB

      @Honey Badger

      Which part of that narrative are you claiming to be fictional? You’d be hard-pressed to find any historians who discount the fact that Jesus existed or that he was executed by the Romans. Would you go against history and claim that this never happened? Or, do you just have a problem believing the significance of those events?

      @Rynomite

      “How is dying a sacrifice if you are the immortal god?” Because he was also a mortal human. That’s why the incarnation was necessary, because if Jesus wasn’t human, he wouldn’t have been able to die, and thus sacrifice would’ve been impossible.
      “Trinity aside, if Jesus knew in advance that after death he was going to be ruling in heaven, why does his death matter?” Because he still DIED. And was brutally tortued in the process. Read up on ancient Roman crucifixion and the brutal flogging that preceded it, and then tell me THAT doesn’t matter. Yes, Jesus knew he would be raised from death to the right hand of the Father, but he also knew he was going to have to first endure an excruciating death (notice the etymology of that word, excruciating). His future glory does not negate the sacrifice.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  18. CMH

    That was a lot of words to say 'we can use any parts of the Bible that conform to what we want to believe'.

    How can he so easily dismiss the Old Testament yet still feel that the Bible has any moral authority? I don't care what Paul said thousands of years ago. I get to dismiss any parts I don't agree with, so I guess we're all correct on any position we want to say is backed by a religious text.

    By the way, the author is going to Hell for eating shellfish and not knowing how to make animal sacrifices to God. If we ever get to vote to ban shrimp I'll be sure to make sure I save him from himself by banning shellfish for everyone.

    May 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  19. solex

    Basing your dogma on a bunch of fairy tales should be illegal – or to put it more succintly:

    Opinions should not become the law of the land.

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

      That's one opinion.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Roxie

      The Greeks and Romans believed in their stories just as much. But, we know the gods of Olympus are myths.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • David M

      Solex....every law we have is an opinion. And when a law is challenged, the court gives an opinion. So, by your thinking, all laws should be overturned.

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

      what about your opinion that "Opinions should not become the law of the land"? What makes your opinion better than anyone else's?

      May 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Sheila

      solex, you think your opinions should be the law of the land. However, you fail to recognize a few facts. God created the earth and everything that is in it. He created, the sun, moon, stars, galaxies ..the whole universe. There is no other God besides him. He created everything for his own pleasure. He owns everything. It is his earth, his universe therefore his law is law. God never puts forth a law without purpose. Nothing he created was done in vain. To everything he created a purpose. However, where mankind is concerned, God knows better than we what is best for us. So he tries to guide us and teach us so we will have better lives. That is important, as this world has been full of evil since Satan and his demonic angels came down to it, and mankind sinned in the Garden of Eden. So God knows how Satan deceives and how he wants to harm the human race and prevent your salvation to eternal life. God does what he can to protect us. If you are wise you will perceive human sin, and realize it is not fruitful, productive but rather brings misery to our lives.

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

      Sheila,
      Those are very good words and can indeed be words to live by. But your belief in God and your interpretation of the Bible is your opinion. An opinion that can be freely given when asked for (such as about this article). But in this country you also have to allow others to have a differing opinion and beliefs to live by.
      I'm sure in your interpretation of the Bible practicing gays and their desire for marriage might be Satan inspired but others feel their orientation was how they were born, like being color blind. And being that way, they would like to have the same rights as straight people such as marriage. You are not obligated to like it but in this country denying someone that privilege is against the human rights given to them in our Const!tution.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  20. free druid

    All of your arguments aside, what does that have to do with the law of the US? This is for Christians to follow, not US citizens. Obviously, there are overlap of the groups, but one does not equal the other.

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

      All creatures both great and small belong to God.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • chuckt

      Because people think that's the reason it's not passing because christians oppose this. So people who belive it's wrong based on their beliefs, then they will vote that way.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Votes will not matter on this issue because eventually it will be decided in the courts and not by referendum. It's that little thing called the Bill of Rights and the tyranny of the majority that matters, not the stupid bible.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • binkyz

      You may find this strange, but as a Christian I agree with You Free Druid. Following Christ is a personal choice made by your own free will. No government or organization has the right to make that choice for you. Making unbelievers act like Christians against their will does not make them Christians. As a Christian I would like to apologize for the actions of a lazy, power drunk Church.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Hmmm???

      "Logic

      The answer to this quagmire is quite simple. First of all, the word "marriage" is derived from the latin word marītāre which means to provide a husand with a wife."

      If what "Logic" reports is accurate -this is the issue. Why attach that which instrinsically can't be to this term (marriage). In doing so, it aspires to be that which is cannot be. As it mostly stands, legally marriage is between man and a woman so it's not law. The law is not trying to be changed, they are trying to redefine marriage. Rights could be given under some other name. Regardless, no matter how strongly one pushes for this, by definition, it's impossible. "Marriage" can onoy be between a male and female.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
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About this blog

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