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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. Christianity-is-Evil

    " For this reason, the abolitionist movement was largely led by Christians, armed with Christian conviction."
    Author forgot to mention that is it also Christians that mostly participated in slavery AND in the name of Christianity. It was also Christians that committed genocide in the Americas against the natives IN THE NAME of Christianity.
    Thanks alot.

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

      U poor deceived little boy...

      May 21, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • VoxVerum

      I know so many former Christians like this, who now blame Christianity for everything bad in the world. Christianity had little to nothing to do with the slave trading that occurred between Europe, Africa and North America. It was driven by economics and money. Also, the huge numbers of deaths of Native Americans occurred largely from disease, so again, no religious aspect to it really.

      BTW, I'm a liberal Christian who accepts evolution, supports gay marriage, pro-choice, and just fine with the idea that "salvation" can be reached by many paths. (Yes, we do exist.) I stand in opposition to the "fundamentalists" who have hijacked Christianity and turned it into a tool of hate, bigotry and greed, but I also can't stand those who bash Christianity ad hominem.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Atheists don't need to condemn religion or blame religion for anything, RELIGION does a pretty crappy job all by itself.

      May 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  2. Bails

    The best hope that an athiest has is that they are wrong when they die. how sad.

    May 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • momoya

      You don't actually think you said anything intelligent, there, do you?

      May 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nope. The best hope is that they lived a good life.

      Nothing happens after they die and unless you can show proof that it does, you're just using Pascal's Wager. Again. Like every other stupid git here who wags a finger and threatens others who don't believe exactly what you do.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Actually the best hope Christians have is that they were wrong. Since so few of them seem to follow what the Bible says, hell is going to be awfully crowded.

      I like what Neil deGrasse Tyson said about his philosophy on life: "For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you."

      Are you not content to just enjoy life while you have it? Why does there have to be some place after death? Sounds like you haven't come to grips with your mortality.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • status quo

      The point is: NO ONE knows what happens after you die. I do know that the bible was written in the bronze age by men that never interacted with jesus. You know, when the earth was still flat and still the center of the universe. You could just as easily be muslim or buddist, you just happened to be born in America by christian parent(s).

      May 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • momoya

      Tyson is badazz!! Sensible ideas and the ability to work with several powerful, far-right, republican christians who would be forced to admit that he is a "heretic," if pressed on the matter.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • WOW

      Tom, gues you believe we came from mudd? or ooze? We prove that? Oh wait maybe you think we came from aliens... prove that? Tom the only proof we has humas can prove with science and math and any other worldy method is that we can make equations to show in our own human terms what God has already created. It is said in the Bible knowledge will increase and that is all we are doing. You look with blinders on Tom. Take off the shades and wake up before its too late. We only wish the best for you in your salvation.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Look at it this way, Balls. When we die, the lights go out–there is no more. When you Christians die, you think you're going to a magic place with an afterlife, but you're wrong and you'll never know it. The place you go after you die is the same place you came from before you were born, which is nowhere. Think of the long, rich and rewarding existence you had before conception and birth. That's the same place you'll be when you die. That is nowhere.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • momoya

      Evolution: Proven
      God: Not proven

      May 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • VoxVerum

      WOW: No, it is YOU who think we came from mud. God formed Adam from the dust of the earth right?

      May 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      WOW, what's "mudd"?

      When you learn how to spell maybe you can explain what makes you think that simply because we don't know how the universe began yet, and may never know, that it was the work of some being?

      Get on that.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • WOW

      Pete you said: "The place you go after you die is the same place you came from before you were born, which is nowhere." You are even more lost than most. At least other non believers attempt to rationalize there creation be it mudd or ooze but you... well... all I can say is wow.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • indyreader

      I have no problem with the idea that, for the first 12 or so billion years of the existence of the universe as we know it, I did not yet exist. And I have no problem with the fact that, as soon as I'm dead, I will simply no longer exist, except as a memory of those I knew and whatever works I leave behind. The unfounded promise of *something else* after death is just the ridiculous carrot-on-a-stick that tricks people into believing a lot of made-up stories passed off as "revealed knowledge," and to therefore subscribe to an arbitrary "morality" system that gives someone else the sway to control them. There are better, more consistent systems of *ethics* – start off with Utilitarianism or Consequentialism; the Neil deGrasse Tyson quotation someone else posted is a brilliant reduction of the core thoughts in those or similar, and also gets across the point that there are perfectly reasonable reasons to treat other people well, outside your one chosen dogma.
      Also,... yadda yadda Pascal's Wager, yadda yadda, No True Scotsman (which I'm sure would eventually apply to some other rhetorical tactic you'd take), yadda yadda separation of church and state (those of the Jewish faith don't believe in eating pork – but they don't bloody try to outlaw it).

      May 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • RobertG

      @momoya –
      Evolution: Not Proven (the THEORY of Evolution isn't even real science, you cannot duplicate or predict a genetic mutation. Nor can you reproduce a statistical improbability of abiogenesis, the creation of a simple cell).

      God: proven (I can prove God all day long, you must have a desire, then read His scripture and pray and He will incontestably reveal himself to you)

      May 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You don't even know what the scientific meaning of "theory" is, Robert. When are you going to answer my question about children and gays?

      May 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • VoxVerum

      @RobertG: Your comment speaks volumes about your lack of knowledge and understanding about evolution. Go read a (real) book about it (heck, just go and read the Wikipedia article on it) and THEN you can participate in the discussion.

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

      "God: proven (I can prove God all day long, you must have a desire, then read His scripture and pray and He will incontestably reveal himself to you)"

      Love this! So many escape hatches built into that statement. I can prove God (where have you been all this time we've been wasting debating it). But wait, it only works if you have enough "desire" (of which I will be the judge), and if you read His scripture (and interpret it the way I do), and pray (again, I'll decide if you are praying enough/sincerely enough), and then God will reveal himself to you (if you meet the criteria which I, Robert, the right hand of God, set forth).

      May 21, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Joel

      @RobertG

      Please tell me your not serious. I'm sure you've been told this a thousand times but refuse to hear, a theory is a scientific model. Gravity is as much a theory as evolution. And evolution is proven; it is split into two parts, and, logically, must be true if the two parts are true:

      1. Genetic mutations: PROVEN
      -cancer is sufficient evidence for this

      2. Natural Selection: PROVEN
      -The organisms that reproduce the most will have more offspring in the next generation. This is common sense, in addition to having loads of data supporting it.

      And statistics is part of real science. Much of thermodynamics is based on statistical mechanics. For example, there is no reason entropy must increase other than it is so incredibly unlikely to decrease that it the possibility can be dismissed entirely. This is REAL science.

      And abiogenisis has NOTHING to do with the theory of evolution, evolution only explains population change over time, nothing about the origin of life. Your failure to separate these to very different and mutually exclusive theories only serves to weaken your argument.

      And, finally, there is no PROOF of god. If there were 'proof', then there would be no faith. Most religious scholars support the notion that there is no proof of god because of this fact.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • WOW

      Tom: you admit you don't know how it all started, good first step but you cannot prove that God did not create us either. You were much like myself in that I thought the same way but after being proven wrong by the Holy Spirit inside me while alone I too had questioned things. All I can tell you is that all the talk about speaking in spirit, being slain in the Spirit and more is real and you too would have to experience it yourself to know what was proven to me by no one but God. Until you have God touch through the Holy Spirit you will never know what I now know. I also understand that there are those out there that claim they are Christians and fake things for attention but when it happens to you then and only then you know what you know what you know. I am not here to prove anything to you or anyone else and that is why I made my statements in "Prove we come from Mud or Ooze" for I as a Christian can only tell you that Jesus died for you and is your saviour that your own Spirit may hear the call to seek the grace of God.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I can't prove the Jolly Green Giant did it, either, knucklehead.

      I repeat for the hard of thinking: just because we do not yet know and may never know how the universe began, it does not follow that it MUST have been a giant invisible being.

      You're simple-minded, WOW, if you don't know that one cannot prove a negative.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When are you going to learn to spell "mud", WOW. I see that you screwed it up even after I pointed it out to you.

      I have no time for people like you who barely made it past high school and show their lack of education in every post. You have no idea how to argue a point and are completely inept in your attempts to do so. Your personal anecdotes are not proof of anything. Neither is the Bible. And neither your beliefs or the Bible's teachings have anything to do with law.

      Get a clue.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Joel

      @WOW

      Um, if you propose a theory (god did it), it is your responsibility to prove it, not everyone else's to disprove it. And just because something isn't known doesn't mean god did it. The name for this fallacy is: the God of the Gaps.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • WOW

      Joel, I am not directed by the Bible to prove to you that God is God but to only witness to you that you need to turn to the Lord for your saviour. You have the choice not to do so and believe in all the false teachings you wish or no teachings at all for it is not I that will judge you but God himself.

      May 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  3. WOW

    This is the Living word of God and not just any book. I too had a hard time understanding what was meant by the "Living" word of God referring to the Bible. When i read the Bible as a skeptic to God and Religion I felt the same way and the words really didn't mean that much to me. After my acceptance of Jesus as my saviour the darkness started slowly clearing from my eyes. I started understanding the teachings of Jesus in the Bible and the complex nature of all these BOOKS (yes the Bible is a collection of books through out many many years – so it is not based on ONE book). I know now the meaning of the Living Bible. One more point... did you know that there was 500 prophecy fullfillment in the Bible? What other book does such a thing? Please don't waste a moment more and believe in the Lord Jesus as your saviour.

    May 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      So the words didn't mean anything until you were brainwashed? Sounds correct.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Jan

      Odd then that god didn't write a single word of it????

      May 21, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • WOW

      Brainwashed? Drink the cool aid? all the same sayings when one has no answers to the truth when it is put in front of them. As for what God wrote well that shows me you have no clue about the Bible. God wrote the 10 commandments in the OT. You need to know what you are saying before you say it but I will pray that you will find your way.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • status quo

      It's easy to create self fulfilling prophesies when you write a book after the first confining what you wrote the first time.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Bow Wow, you were a skeptic then did some backsliding? How sad for you. The only thing Jesus saves is baseball cards and string. Don't believe me? I'll go get him. He's in the backyard playing with the unicorns.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Madtown

      Marginally amusing troll effort.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Joel

      This is the Living word of Joel the Magnificent and not just any book. I too had a hard time understanding what was meant by the "Living" word of Joel referring to the Ellat. When i read the Ellat as a skeptic to Joel the Magnificent and Religion I felt the same way and the words really didn't mean that much to me. After my acceptance of Joel as my saviour the darkness started slowly clearing from my eyes. I started understanding the teachings of Joel in the Ellat and the complex nature of all these BOOKS (yes the Ellat is a collection of books through out many many years – so it is not based on ONE book). I know now the meaning of the Living Ellat. One more point... did you know that there was 500 prophecy fullfillment in the Ellat? What other book does such a thing? Please don't waste a moment more and believe in the Lord Joel the Magnificent as your saviour.

      May 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  4. Rahul

    All said, I'm soooo very glad God gave us The Buddha!

    May 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • WOW

      Buddha never came back to life from the dead but Jesus did with hundred of witnesses to testify of his return.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Please. You don't know that anything of the sort occurred.

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

      Hearsay is not admissible evidence.. Try again.

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

      And hundreds of witnesses saw a shooter in the Grassy Knoll.

      May 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Last Days Of Planet Earth

      ***** WOW

      Buddha never came back to life from the dead but Jesus did with hundred of witnesses to testify of his return.
      ------------------------------------------------

      I was there.
      The body was removed and buried.
      Jesus died, and Mary Magdalene was so grief stricken she had an halucination.
      Care to prove me wrong ?

      May 22, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  5. asdf

    I'm so tired of this – when we need legislation on social security or medicare or immigration or pollution or welfare we don't look to the bible to tell us how. We talk (or we're supposed to, anyway) about how it affects us and what the best course of action is, not pick phrases out of a book and then interpret them out of context.

    May 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  6. Jack

    Brian wants to know why someone has 2 dads. Well when little Billy asks why he has too dads the response is something like this: Well Billy, your hetero Catholic mom diddn't know how to keep her legs closed and did not belive in birth control, thus you were concieved. Then your mom was either too incompetent to care for you or just didn't love you enough to keep you. The reason a gay couple adopted you is because none of the other hetero couples wanted you. Any questions Billy?

    May 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • It figures...

      LOL That is so ignorant it's funny. How is it that 'hate' is bad when used against you but okay to use as a defense. I understand your point (I disagree with it, but I understand it) but you should really try a better approach.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  7. Honey Badger Dont Care

    @DB,

    "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?"

    There are quite a few historians who would disagree with you. I'm sure that you have a list of creationist historians who already has a presupposition as to the "facts".

    There is NO contemporary, extra-biblical evidence that your Jesus character ever existed let alone died and came back from the dead. In fact, there are no Roman records that say that this character was executed and that all of those zombies came out of the grave. You would think that someone would write just a little about that. The Romans kept very good records even at that time so you would think that there would be something in there. There isn’t.

    You are wrong.

    May 21, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      I don't doubt that a Jesus character existed back then. It is highly possible that there was some looney tune who claimed to be the son of God and all that. However, I highly doubt that he did all the stuff the Bible claims.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Let's review some facts.

      #1 Christ hung out with the peasantry, mostly uneducated people who could not read nor write. There are a few exceptions, such as Luke who was a doctor, and Matthew who was a tax collector. Therefore, most of the people who actually believed in Jesus, were, in fact illiterate and therefore could not have recorded anything on paper.

      #2 Jesus was hated by the Jewish elite, namely the Pharisees, who were some of the many who hated Jesus, so they wouldn't have recorded anything for this heretic and blasphemer.

      #3 There ARE extra-biblical writings about Jesus. Namely, from one of the greatest Roman historians, Tacitus, which is where we get much of our information about Ancient Rome from. He was not a fan of Jesus, at all. Here is an exerpt from his writings:

      "Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superst.ition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense mult.itude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind".

      To put this in perspective, this is writing about the Great Fire of Rome which occurred in 64 A.D., roughly thirty years after Jesus' death.

      All of that to say, there is evidence that shows that there was a man named Jesus who was crucified by the Romans. His divinity and the miracles he is purported to have performed are matters of faith.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  8. Pips

    It will be eventually written out in the next version of the Bible. Just like stoning a woman to death who marries a man after having slept with another man. Half the population would be dead from stoning if we followed everything in the original Bible.

    May 21, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • momoya

      I think that the only ones stoning and being stoned should be christians.. (Under age 18 excluded, obviously).. And christians should wear monitors around their neck that capture ever single thing that they do.. ALL commandments (not just anti-gay ones) are followed explicitly.

      Talk about a quick reduction in the number of people purporting to be "christian" I'd bet.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Last Days Of Planet Earth

      Sorry folks, had to do this.....................

      ----------------------------------------------------
      DamianKnight

      Let's review some facts.

      #1 Christ hung out with the peasantry, mostly uneducated people who could not read nor write. There are a few exceptions, such as Luke who was a doctor, and Matthew who was a tax collector. Therefore, most of the people who actually believed in Jesus, were, in fact illiterate and therefore could not have recorded anything on paper.

      #2 Jesus was hated by the Jewish elite, namely the Pharisees, who were some of the many who hated Jesus, so they wouldn't have recorded anything for this heretic and blasphemer.

      #3 There ARE extra-biblical writings about Jesus. Namely, from one of the greatest Roman historians, Tacitus, which is where we get much of our information about Ancient Rome from. He was not a fan of Jesus, at all. Here is an exerpt from his writings:

      "Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superst.ition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense mult.itude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind".

      To put this in perspective, this is writing about the Great Fire of Rome which occurred in 64 A.D., roughly thirty years after Jesus' death.

      All of that to say, there is evidence that shows that there was a man named Jesus who was crucified by the Romans. His divinity and the miracles he is purported to have performed are matters of faith.
      ------------------------------------------------------
      I did not see the word "Jesus" anywhere in that text, except for your own writting.
      How is this "proof" that Jesus lived ?
      There are no records from Rome about Jesus.
      You just tried to make one up.
      Fail.

      May 22, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  9. Robert

    Thanks for the balance. I was beginning to wonder if all we would see were opinions in support of Gay marriage.

    May 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Yeah if the year was 1950 they probably would have had a pro-segregation side of the debate on CNN. Doesn't make it right.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "were opinions in support of Gay marriage."

      The NAACP just put their support behind it because this is a civil rights issue, not a christian one. 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 3:12 pm |
    • Joel

      While I'm always glad when more people come out in favor of what is right, lets no pretend the NAACP came out in favor of SSM because of 'civil rights'. Welcome to politics.

      May 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  10. Worship Poseidon

    If heaven is paradise, how is the death of Jesus qualify as a sacrifice? What about all the human beings that died long before Christianity? Were they automatically sent to hell? Did hell even exist when they died? If creationism is real, how do you explain neanderthal, cro magnon, etc....? What are the odds that out of the infinite size of the universe, the one true god centers around planet earth? What are the odds that, out of the countless number of other "gods" that have existed, that your "god" is right and all the others are wrong?

    May 21, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      I've always wondered that too. Why did Jesus have to die if we all go to heaven anyway? The whole religion doesn't make much sense.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • John N. Seattle, WA

      Actually Catholic doctrine says that the souls of those who died before Christ were held in either "Limbo" or "Purgatory" (I can't remember which) until Christ died on the cross, then those souls were free to go to heaven. Catholic dogma does not have any answer I am aware of to deal with Neaderthals or other pre-humans...they pretend the science doesnt exist. As to the rest...who knows.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • VoxVerum

      Jesus giving himself over to death on the cross is a metaphor for the sacrifice we are called to make for one another. It is the ultimate example of love – giving up your life for another (in this case, the whole world). Taking the Bible as literally, word-for-word true is exactly what the fundies do, so it amuses me to no end when non-religious people do it.

      Myth, metaphor, allegory...that's what the Bible is for the most part.

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

      @John N. In the Catholic tradition, the baptized but unreconciled, went to Purgatory. Only unbaptized innocents (essenitally infants) went to Limbo. These distinctions are not emphasized today.

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

      Actually, the Catholic church is fairly progressive when it comes to evolution. It's the American protestant fundies who still believe the Earth is 5000 years old and that man was created from dirt, woman from a rib.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Great question. Hebrews 11 and other parts talk about the people believing in faith of the promises of God. Which includes the waiting for a savior. We see this in the gospels when Simeon talks about what he has been waiting for in Luke 2. So those people had always put their faith in Jesus before the incarnation of Jesus.

      There are other examples I can't pick out right now but even Jesus challenges the Pharisees and says who do you say the Christ is? "The Son of David"

      May 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Vox, it amuses me when people insult others for interpreting the Bible their way and then proceeding to do the same exact thing. Tell me, how do you decide what is myth or symbolic and what is real?

      May 21, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • VoxVerum

      Jacques: I use my God-given intellect and reason. 🙂

      May 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  11. rreider2

    Albert, my religious views differ. Why should your beliefs supersede mine? Why should you be allowed to force your doctrine when I find it so counter to the teachings of Christ? Is that not a clear violation of my religious freedoms?
    You may speak your mind certainly, your views are valued. However, you have no right to force me to live under your interpretation of biblical "law". The last time religious leaders were in control of politics a bunch of people crammed onto a tiny boat and faced an arduous journey and uncertain future to get the hell out of there. We called them pilgrims. Religious freedom was pretty damn important to these REAL AMERICANS and they made a pretty big point of guaranteeing that right.

    May 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Nogimus Prime

      Pilgrims were religious too. So that's kind of a moot point. However, I do agree that our laws should not be biblically based. "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" I believe is a clear reference from Jesus stating that Christianity should have no base in politics.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • rreider2

      Nogimus Prime; I realize the pilgrims were religious, in fact they were puritans, but they were persecuted and discriminated against by the church of England and fled. They knew the value of religious freedom. I would consider myself a very devout Christian but I disagree with many churches. Currently I have the right to choose a house of worship that empowers me. I will not quietly allow another sect to "correct" and demean me let alone dictate our laws. (so, no not a moot point).

      May 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  12. Brian

    The funnest thing about living an hour far from San Fransisco is every time i go clubbing there me and my buddies get to cruise around town and yell out "FAAAGGITTT" evertime we see a gay guy. One time one of them acted tough and almost got it bad.

    May 21, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, middle school must be over for today. Go mow the lawn, maggot.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      "me and my buddies get to cruise around town and yell out "FAAAGGITTT""

      One can't help but wonder whether you are aware of the long-term, irreparable, permanent damage that you are inflicting on the Republican Party.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Observer

      Brian,

      Why brag about your lack of intelligence? Sounds like you have some serious issues.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • momoya

      Do you really think your comment makes you look good or respectable in any way?. You may as well mas ter b ate in public with your own feces.. Clearly, you have psychological issues..

      May 21, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • TROLL

      !!!

      May 21, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      But it's his "funnest" thing, mono!! Don't take away his chew toy!

      May 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      ooops. I meant, momo. My computer doesn't believe me.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • rreider2

      I'm guessing you live in Modesto.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Did you go with your boyfriend or alone?

      May 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Grog Says

      Grog Says:

      Grog like Brian.
      Brian need attention ?
      Brian say bad things and get attention.

      Brian feel better when Brian pulls finger from nose.
      Clean up sticky things on keyboard.

      Maybe Brian need shower.
      Starting to smell here.

      May 22, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  13. Ramon F. Herrera

    One wonders: Which is the party where hatred is most concentrated and distilled?

    The only ones qualified to make an statement are the victims of prejudice, persecution and racism themselves. Let's ask them, shall we?

    Here's their response:

    – Black folks voted for Obama, by a 98% margin.
    – Jewish folks voted for Obama, by a 75% margin.
    – Hispanic folks voted for Obama, by a 66% margin.
    – Oriental folks voted for Obama, by a 63% margin (Orient of Asia).
    – Gay folks voted for Obama, by an unknown margin.

    ps: Oh, I almost forgot the largest minority of all:

    http://patriot. net/~ramon/misc/GOP-Hates-Women-and-Feeling-is-Mutual. jpg
    http://www. usatoday. com/news/politics/story/2012-04-01/swing-states-poll/53930684/1

    (remove spaces)

    May 21, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  14. Nogimus Prime

    For all you religion haters out there, just so ya know, it's lame. I used to feel that way though too. Religion has a powerful effect on people and speaking directly of Christianity specifically it has been used for both good and evil purposes. The teachings of the New Testament tell Christians to be compassionate and loving first, but also teaches about what the bible refers to as sins and how to live your life "correctly". This is not a bad thing. However, put in the wrong hands: Hitler, the Popes who incited the Crusades, King Henry 8, those Spanish Inquisition dudes, it can be used to sway weaker minds to do evil things. Put in the right hands: Mother Theresa, the Salvation Army, my ancestors from Pennsylvania who fought in the Civil War, and many folks that I know today, it can be used for great things. Consider a car: a great invention, gets you where you need to go quickly (except in certain cities). In most ways one of the greatest and best inventions of all times. Yet if I was a real jerkface I could run over a lot of pedestrians in a short amount of time. So is a car bad or good?

    May 21, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Michael

      The car is neither good not bad. It depends on how the driver uses it. Religion can be the same. Religion can be used for good purposes and bad.

      Personally, I think discrimination is bad.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • pellmellus

      Um, your history is faulty. The crusades were a response to Muslim aggression and forced conversions. Go back to the history books and start again.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Nogimus Prime

      Michael, I agree with you that discrimination is bad. I also feel that although I am a Christian, enforcing laws in America based on biblical beliefs is wrong. That's what made us unique. Jesus said, render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, which I believe to be a clear reference that we are not supposed to infuse Christianity with politics. However, growing up as a pastor's kid, I also understand the other point of view. My parents always told me, "Hate the sin, not the sinner." And since we are all free to vote, they vote based on their own beliefs, as any American does.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Nogimus Prime

      Pellmellus-before you criticize my history, maybe you should read up on some history first. Previous to the First Crusade, Europe (which wasn't referred to as Europe yet) was in a state of financial collapse. Most folks were poorer than dirt, and the ones who were not: Kings, barons, and the like were in a state of constant feuding, which means they were aggressing their Christian brethren and may be subject to hell. It was just the way things were. The church had a limited amount of power, and so to cure all this Pope Urban 2 came up with the crusades. He told of unspeakable atrocities committed by the Muslims (which these particular atrocities were untrue) to fuel the Christians hatred. By offering automatic salvation to anyone participating in the Crusade, this both solved the problem of anyone wondering if what they had done in the past would condemn them to hell and united the various feuding factions toward a common goal, thus consolidating the power of the church. They were the givers of salvation through the Crusade. On the way Christians committed what is referred to as the first Holocaust toward the Jews. Now at this same time, Muslims allowed conquered inhabitants to freedom of religion and the right to practice so long as their churches were not taller than the local mosque and they were required to pay a special tax called a jizya for not converting to Islam. Also at this time the Sunnis and Shiites were busy warring with each other and not Europe. True, they had conquered much of Spain, called Iberia, and other previously Roman lands in North Africa and Middle East, referred to as Anatolia, but that had happened decades and some even centuries before. I don't want to lecture you too much since you'll probably be upset already at being wrong. So with that, go read some history books and comment back when you're done:)

      May 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  15. 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 3:05 pm |
    • Nogimus Prime

      We're far from Sharia law out here in the good ol US of A. I'm sure you resent that, trolly.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Michael

      @Nogimus Prime. What is the material difference between forcing laws based on an adherence of one faith versus another in a secular society? If you think our laws are based on the 10 commandments, ask yourself, how many of the 'sins' in the 10 commandments actually break the law. Can you name more than four?

      May 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Nogimus Prime

      Michael-What? First, I was merely stating that Sharia Law is not law in America, which I'm sure the original poster is all about. Second, can I name 4 ten commandments that are against the law? Do you mean they are contrary to our laws? If so we don't enforce, I am the Lord thy God, Thou shalt not have strange gods before me, Thou shalt not make for thyself any graven image, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, Remember to keep holy the sabbath day, Honor thy father and mother, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, and Thou shalt not cover thy neighbors goods (including female slaves!). The others, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, and Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor are pretty standard law anywhere and should be for the good of human kind. Are you opposed to that, and if so, is it the stealing, murdering, or slandering your neighbor that you disagree with being part of American law?

      May 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  16. dave sickles

    People have the right to believe what they want. They do not however have the right to impose their religious views on others. They do not have the right to use their views to justify their bigoted narrow minded behaviors.

    May 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  17. Matt

    People today have no morals and why are we as people looking to change to make gays more popular. I for one dont hate nor am i religious but gays can not bread and will never be able to leading to world crisis if things are changed and not looked at for the long term reality.

    May 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "People today have no morals and why are we as people looking to change to make gays more popular."

      Christians have been proven to be WRONG throughout history. Christians got itt morality WRONG! Christians came to this country murdered the Native American and stole their land. They kidnapped African Americans, made them slaves denying them their civil rights but they were proven it was morally wrong and African Americans got their civil rights. Then Christians tried to keep women in the home and denied them their civil rights but again Christians were proven morally WRONG and women got their civil rights. Then the Christians tried to ban biracial marriages and they were proven WRONG and marriage was declared a civil right. Now in present day the Christians are being proven morally WRONG about gays by trying to deny them their civil right to marry.

      The moral issue is people who deny what all the experts are now saying about gays. That everything that was written in the past about gays were done by bias and prejudice people and that includes your Bible!

      May 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • VoxVerum

      Speaking of breeding (note the correct spelling – write it down), please don't.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Matt

      For the sake of humanity, hopefully you can't "bread" either...

      May 21, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Matt, you're a moron. Where do you think gay children come from? The stork?

      The percentage of gays in the population has remained relatively the same since statistics have been kept. There's no indication that gay marriage is going to cause the world population to crash. Why are you people so dumb?

      May 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Gay people are just a physiologically capable of reproducing as straight people.
      But if that is the primary criteria for allowing people to marry, I guess a fertility test should be required to get a marriage license.
      As for a population crisis – our problem is too many people, not too few.
      Those who choose not to squirt out as many cro.tch critters as possible are the responsible ones, not those who breed indiscriminantly.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Sockness Monster

      I dont want to "bread".

      I work and pay taxes.
      I call my mom once a week, and i cut my lawn.
      I am middle class America.
      I enjoy football, cooking out on the grill, and having a beer.
      Except for the part that i am gay and have been with my
      partner for over 30 years.

      You people are telling me how to live.
      I dont think your "Jesus" would be happy.

      May 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  18. Robert Brown

    Should we attempt to prevent people from committing what we believe is sin by passing laws? We already do in some cases. Are we hypocrites? Sure we are. How could we possibly enforce some of the laws that would be required? I saw you looking at that person with lust, your under arrest! Also, laws are passed by elected officials, some are Christian and some are not. So, we get a mix in the law too.

    May 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • momoya

      In order:

      No.
      Yes, everyone.
      What the fvck are you even asking.
      Most politicians and every president has been christian; why don't we have heaven on earth in the USA where so many law makers are following god's plan?

      May 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  19. BIBLES AND QURANS ARE ALL GARBAGE

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    May 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      The funny thing is the resistance to such "control" is controlling itself because as much as people "don't do thngs" because they are commanded you refuse and end up not doing things because your afraid of control.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Crazyyyy

      re·li·gion noun \ri-'li-j?n\
      A mass human psychosis that usually results in participants believing in incredibly silly crap and acting like total retards.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      So you do believe what the bible says, especially Galatians 4.... good. Then continue to follow Christ.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  20. Greg

    You, R Albert Mohler, and those like you are the reason so many have left the church. You can twist words this way and that and ignore this and highlight that, but you are still a hypocrite and a bigot. Better tie a millstone around your neck.

    May 21, 2012 at 3:04 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.