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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. TLA

    As with many people who espouse the superiority of their own interpretation of their selected religious tract, Mr. Mohler proves with just a few choice words that his brand of religion is fueled by the "my way or the highway" version of truth. To whit: "Christians have opposed polygamy on biblical grounds." So all Christians oppose polygamy? Because that would have been news to Mormons 150 years ago, it would be news to the FLDS today. Oh, and thousands of Christian converts in Africa and Malaysia still practice polygamy. Admittedly, Mr. Mohler's concept of Christianity isn't the ONLY concept of Christianity in existence, but apparently it's the only one he will allow to matter.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • God

      Shhhhhhhhh!

      Christianity is HUGE business in America! Ohh yee give me yo money for I shall preach to you and make you feel inlightened... or something... Also there is a bake sale after church benefiting Church Camp. >>>JUST GIVE ME YOUR MONEY!!!

      May 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • I am John

      You quoted "Admittedly, Mr. Mohler's concept of Christianity isn't the ONLY concept of Christianity in existence, but apparently it's the only one he will allow to matter."

      The ONLY thing that matters is the Word. Each church and individual will be judged accordingly by the Righteous Judge. You don't judge the Church...He judges the Church! By the way, even those that don't believe in Him will be judged by Him...that includes you whether you accept it or not. I hope you are on His right hand and not his left hand on that day.

      I include you in my prayers...whether you like it or not! For it is love that He wishes that no one shall perish! For whom the LORD loves, I love...that includes even you!

      May 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  2. Selective Morality

    I tell you, in that night,
    there shall be two men in one bed;
    the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
    Two women shall be grinding together;
    the one shall be taken, and the other left.
    (Luke 17:34-35, KJV)

    One example of many at selective morality exhibited by todays xtians. Furthermore whatever happened to judge not lest ye be judged eh? The whole casting the first stone? Makes me sick.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • D Rock

      Don't get too sick. lol If it's in the Bible and you aren't a Christian, then the words don't pertain to you.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • momoya

      Once again, I agree with D Rock.. If you don't believe in the bible you can get legally gay married.. Perfect.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • D Rock

      Right, if you don't believe, then what would you be afraid of? Do whatever your heart desires. I have no issue with someone living their life in those beliefs. It's choice.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • I am John

      Read the whole story before you quote a portion of it or else you miss the meaning. By the way, the LORD's wise counsel (commandments, etc.) applies to ALL of His creation. It is up to you to accept it or reject it by using your free will that He gave you when He created you. Whether you believe the Word or not does not matter for ALL wil be judged by it. All of us will be judged by Him using the same standards that He set forth in His Word.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  3. BNS-GA

    What about death to those who work on the Sabbath? Women who are not virgins? If God wants you to follow the Bible then are those who do not kill gays, non virgins, those who work on Sunday, (I mean Saturday) disobeying God and condemning themselves to hell???? David declares that he loved Jonathan more than any woman. They had a relationship that was recognized by the church and glorified in the Bible. How does that fit in???

    May 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • D Rock

      Study for years, then you might understand.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • momoya

      I agree with D Rock.. I myself studied for almost 50 years before I realized it was a book of ancient, revised&recycled myths.. Once you realize that's what the facts purport, the bible makes perfect sense.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • D Rock

      Everyone finds something different, but it depends on you heart and mind. You may be trying to prove something to yourself, not letting God speak to you.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • momoya

      I'm sure that's it, D Rock.. What verses in the bible do you choose not to follow?

      May 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Madtown

      D Rock
      Everyone finds something different,
      ----
      Oh? I thought the bible was so very clear on the same-s*x marriage issue? I agree with you, though, give a verse of scripture to 10 people, you typically get 10 different interpretations.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • D Rock

      I am human, so I sin and I don't deny that. I do my best, and when I fall short of his glory, God forgives me and I try harder. That's all we can do. He'll judge me one day, and while I'm here the world can bash me and tear me apart, just like they did Christ.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • D Rock

      I've got things to do though, I can't be on here all day. God Bless.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  4. Mike

    Thank you CNN for finally posting the other (usaully non-reported) perspective of this debate. Not to mention that this is what the majority of Americans believe.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • QS

      A majority also once believed that slavery was fine and should be legal....it's usually up to the few, or the one to change a popular wrong into an unpopular right.

      Religion in this context is the popular wrong.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Syd

      Just because most people need the fear of invisible giant in the sky just to do the right thing, doesn't mean everybody does. And just because idiotic "rules" like this got lumped in with others that DO make sense (like don't kill and don't steal), doesn't mean we must all live by them. America is not a theocracy.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • mike

      nonsense

      May 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • I am John

      I agree. Finally, the truth is presented. The author even recognized the Church's own failures to include the issue of divorce. Remember, the LORD will judge His own first. Therefore, let's clean our house first and humbly recognize when we have fallen short of righteousness. Christians must set the example and be the light to bring other sinners, just like ourselves, to the Light.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Friskitt

      Yeah, thank you CNN for posting a story that props up my belief
      that hating gays is cool.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  5. D Rock

    Good piece, nailed it. None of the posted opposing view points even make sense. God's word stands fast, and all else is noise out of the mouths of men; ones created by God, and most of them can't even accept that.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • momoya

      If you think that the bible makes sense, likely you won't see it anywhere else.. It's a decimating brain virus–religion is.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • a person of the Name

      The world blinds you to the truth, momoya

      May 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      And yet the entire Bible is filled with mans interpretation of the mind of God. The Bible supposedly tells us what God did, what god will do, what God wants, what God needs, what God expects and what God will provide....but not a single word about WHAT GOD IS? What is God? Where does he reside? What does he look like? The only clue is the bit about man being made in His image. This is particularly telling because it exposes what is actually going on here. God is mans way of putting a human face on a big scary universe. We have anthropomorphised the cosmos to define our place in it.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Fish Flakes

      That is fine. But, just keep those beliefs personal to yourself and your church. As long as your beliefs are not extrapolated to government, we'll all be fine and happy.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • God

      As you Holy Father I command you to stop taking the Bible so literally. I only wanted people to be good to everyone. Stop gay bashing, race bashing, political bashing, disclaiming other faiths, and twisting the Bible's text. Besides... most of the New Testament is just rehashed myths form ancient Egyptian stories that are 4,000 years old. Hell even the stories of Jesus are old stories from previous religions. NONE OF IT HAPPENED IN A SUPERNATURAL WAY.

      I may as well start over. You guys are driving me nuts.

      -God

      May 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • God

      AtheistSteve completely gets it. People like him give me great hope!

      God

      May 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Jim

      Nobody really objects to Christians interpreting the Bible however they please, and living their own lives according to scripture as they see it. What we object to, even the Christians among us, such as myself, is imposing your views on a secular culture. We are not a theocracy, and we don't want to become one. And, by the way, another one of those Old Testament laws that made it into the New Testament, was "Thou Shalt Not Kill." So why aren't the "Christians" out in the street demonstrating against war? Or how about helping "The least among us?" I don't see any Christians demonstrating against the Republicans and their attempts to further weaken our social safety net.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      LOL...Thanks God...I'll continue not believing in you.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • D Rock

      I like how god hit me up hahaha

      May 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Charles

      Either way, the bible is irrelevant to gay marriage as a law. 100%. Your church can decide who THEY are willing to marry, but the law to allow people to marry should have nothing to do with any religion. Gays should be able to go to the courthouse and get married by a judge.

      May 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  6. bobby frank- dallas texas

    My question is simple: If there were an Adam and Eve wouldn't their chidren have incest in order to pro-create? Man translated all the biblical writings to suit their own needs and nobody else. I love religion but if you are going to take it literally then don't leave anything out! You can't just pick and chose what you like and don't like.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • QS

      But don't you see – according to this article they AREN'T leaving anything out...they are just so much more familiar with the bible that they understand that they aren't picking and choosing because, conveniently, the differences between the old and new testaments does that for them!

      Oh what it must be like to not have to think for yourself....ever!

      May 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • highplainsparson

      "If there were an Adam and Eve wouldn't their chidren have incest in order to pro-create?"

      Yes, I follow that logic. I don't see a problem with it in the particular case you refer to. What's your point?

      Who has been translating the Bible to suit themselves? We have many good translations in the English language, and men like Al Mohler and myself who read in the original languages to make sure that we don't get off base because of a mistranslation. Again, what's your point? And where is Mohler picking and choosing?

      May 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • BNS-GA

      Cain was a product of incest and is why he was crazy. Remember that Eve came from Adams rib so their DNA would have been exactly the same and there would actually be no other DNA to marry into. So all people should have the same DNA with no variations unless they slept with animals like monkeys. Remember when God was looking for a helpmate for Adam he started looking at the animals first and then made Eve when he couldn't find one. I thnk the kids may have done that and not told their parents.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  7. Dave

    We are hoping that many Middle Eastern countries do not adopt Sharia Law during this Arab Spring. Why should our country do the same (a Christian form of Sharia Law)? We are a nation separating church and state. Besides, doesn't the Bible not allow divorces; however our "state" does? Are there people, within any organization who are excellent at what they do; however may have different religious, marital status, or other items than yourself. That emergency doctor, who saved your child's life, may have been an atheist or divorced, as examples. Does't the Bible have different 10 Commandments, depending on which version you are reading from? For example, there is a commandment of "Thou shalt not Kill" vs "Thou Shalt not Murder" depending on which version you are reading from. There are also 2 different accounts of the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis, as well. So please keep our religion separate from our government. We do not want (a christian form of Sharia Law) in this country. Besides, if we do, which version of the Bible do we use?

    May 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • highplainsparson

      There are many good Bible translations. Which one we use usually makes very little difference in application. When there is a question, the decision should be based on the original languages of Scripture. Al Mohler and I read it in the original. Many Americans believe in the separation of church and state, but that won't help them when they meet their Maker.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  8. saneCanadian

    New testament old testament .... it's all a crock. Just like every other religious text ever written. These are the works of man. Ignorant men at that.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  9. johnny

    "The church failed miserably in the face of the challenge of divorce. This requires an honest admission and strong corrective." So now you know who else they have in their target.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • the sonman

      Finally... The target is the Church!

      May 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • I am John

      The target is the Truth! Truth means being honest with yourself and admitting when you have done something wrong or are are doing something contrary to the LORD's wise counsel. It takes courage to put aside your selfish pride and admit you have done wrong. This applies to one's self and even to the Church. In the Church, we are called to correct our own. Outisde the Church, we are to spread the Gospel which includes informing others of the LORD's wise counsel. Regarding divorce...Malachi 2:16 – “For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.” If you feel condemned or offended as you read that, it is not I who condemn...it is the Word. Therefore, you need to take it up with the LORD. Sooner or later, you will discuss it with Him!

      May 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  10. WilmaWonka

    IT DOESN"T MATTER!!! It doesn't matter what the bible says or any other religious writings say. It only matters what the law is. If the law isn't based on religion, which is shouldn't be, then all are equal.

    Oh, and there's that whole, judge not business.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • highplainsparson

      It doesn't matter what the law says. It only matters what God said.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • I am John

      As a Christian, you follow the LORD's wise counsel BEFORE the law if the law is contrary to His. That is why His wise counsel SHOULD be a part of one's life whether it be in law, politics, government, marriage, family, school, etc. If His wise counsel is not the foundation, then the structure will eventually fall. Many Christians have been thrown into prison and even executed for putting Him first. That takes courage. Weakness is selling your soul for this world and its ways which are vanishing. 1 John 2 – "15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever."

      May 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Chris

      It's funny. Many a would be do gooder or advocate, more appropriately, for a form of social justice has often talked about only following the law if it doesn't conflict with your own personal beliefs. History, of course, teaches us about that mentality and where it ends.

      Usually, it ends with people suffering the loss of freedom and, in some extreme cases, life at the hands of those wishing to protect their own. Funny how ironic people and life can really be...

      May 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  11. tlb6432

    you can reference Mt 19:1-6 ..very specific on what our Lord Jesus said..

    19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

    3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

    4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”11

    May 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Fish Flakes

      Okay, and so.. . ?

      May 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • I am John

      Good point. To add, there are things that mankind did in the Bible that were not ordained or commanded by the LORD. That includes things like polygamy and divorce. REMEMBER...he gave us free will to follow or ignore His wise counsel. When mankind indulged/indulges in those type of things, there were/are consequences associated with them. Today is no different. In fact, it is growing worse and more wicked!

      May 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  12. AtheistSteve

    An interesting question might be:
    Why does God require different laws for Jews as opposed to Christians? Shouldn't we all be held by the same standard? But truthfully I don't want to hear an answer. The question is meaningless...just like the Bible.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • the sonman

      That's why this whole argument is pointless! "MARRAGE" is a religious term. So use; "civil union", "partnership" or whatever else floats their boat and give them all the tax breaks and insurance that married folk get and call it good. that's the real problem of this whole equal thing... And it has never and will never be a Christian problem. It is the law makers of this land and all the politics that have a problem with Gays

      May 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • highplainsparson

      Steve, I suggest you visit a church which takes the Bible seriously . They have sermons and Bible studies that will answer your question.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Fish Flakes

      Surely you realize that all religions are false except for the one "you" pratice, right? So the reason, for example, that it doesn't concern Christians what the Jews or other believe, is because the very existence of Christianity as the only true religion makes it irrelevant, and indeed even proof that they are a "less than" people.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      First "marriage" is far older than your religion so you don't get to claim it as your own private thing.
      Second...what would I possibly learn in any church that I haven't already carefully considered and dismissed as utter baloney?
      I left Catholicism ages ago.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  13. Tracy

    Thank you for having the courage and conviction to voice the Truth.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Degree

      Amen!

      May 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • C Owen

      Yes, takes a great deal of courage to seek to oppress a minority.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • 13monkees

      The Truth? According to the bible? Prove it's the truth. Prove it's even the word of God? Prove there is a God and I might take this seriously. It was a decent explanation within the context of the bible, but it really doesn't mean anything. You can find anything you want in the bible. Most of the rules you guys follow now were written by Paul, who never even met Jesus. He said he had a vision. Really? If someone says that now, we call him crazy. Why do we believe this book? Because it's old? Because we were raised to believe it? I need more than the bible is true because a lot of people think it is and the bible itself says it is.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  14. Damo

    Uh huh. Well let's put aside the kosher code.

    I can still sell my daughter into slavery, right? Exodus 21:7? One of the many lovely passages in the Bible supporting slavery. It's perfectly okay, provided they're from neighboring nations, Lev 25:44. And my daughter, if I do sell her into slavery, better do everything her new Master tells her to. It'd be a sin if she didn't.

    Now, my neighbor works on the Sabbath. That's not cleanliness code. And he wasn't performing miracles or just plucking some corn to eat. He works in a gamestop for a few hours before going off for a shift at an adult video store. So according to Exodus 35:2 I should put him to death.

    And then there's me, the guy who curses your god. I do it all the time. I'm arguably doing it right now. Lev 24:10-16. You should get the whole town together to stone me to death.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  15. How Convenient

    Well you see, the answer is quite simple. When the New Testament was constructed, those in the majority who chose to continue to discriminate against Gays and Lesbians obviously thought it best to leave those Scriptures that cast prejudice and discrimination against Gays and Lesbians, otherwise, who would they have to fight against and continue discriminating against for political gain? On the other hand, those things the author conveniently says did not apply to Christians such as the eating of shellfish, etc. were taken out. Well, How Wonderfully Convenient! Folks, this is called let's keep what suits us to keep for continued discrimination and let's remove that which we enjoy to do and to eat, etc. and not call it a sin. That's what it really boils down to and time for people to know and understand. There is absolutely no proof another Moses or other religious figure materialized in this day and age to bring the New Testament into being, so, obviously it was man's own doing. Discrimination is alive and well still in these days most unfortunately, and to think we thought the I_N_Q_U_I_S_I_T_I_O_N was over centuries ago. Nope, sadly it's still alive and well in the twenty-first century, folks! I can't see how it can come any closer!

    May 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • QS

      Glad to see I'm not the only one who sees the silly conveniences that give religious people the ammunition they continue to think is effective!

      May 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • the sonman

      Yeah, yeah that is so right! What the heck. All those damn religious bigots and dicriminating people. Total seperation of church and state right? Legislating morality will never work. First we can't use the word "Marriage" so lets call it civil unions or partnerships, give them all the tax breaks and insurance as a merried couple get and call it good. Oh, can't have any laws about murder or stealing, Yeah that's those religious nuts deal. Oh, and while we're at it hell, let guys have as many wifes as they want. yeah I know it's those religious guy that own that one too. And all those laws about age limits and incest well yeah thats their too. Well that about does it! Oh, wait... All those stupid career guys in Washington on both sides of the fence yeah let's get rid of them too... Because they are the ones holding this all back... What a better world it would be for sure!

      May 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  16. Av

    Media made this a big issue and keeping at top because this being election year. All holy book around the world talks about love and no hatred. Live and let live. Your faith should between you and god and not what others do and have. Above all, religion should be a way of living not rules to live by.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  17. rATL

    The whole bible was written by men to control others who were too uneducated to know the difference. Why anyone is still following this ancient book now days is beyond me. Living your life as a good person, doing good things is as much info you need out of the bible.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • I am John

      It is beyond me that one thinks he or she is above the One who created him or her and can make his or her own rules. It takes someone blind to the world to ignore Him and His wise counsel.

      P.S. I was blind once too! If there was hope for me (college-educated by the way), then there is hope even for you my friend and the other lost souls on this post.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • I am John

      It is beyond me that one thinks he or she is above the One who created him or her and can make his or her own rules. It takes someone blind to the world to ignore Him and His wise counsel. I was blind once too! If there was hope for me (college-educated by the way), then there is hope even for you my friend and the other lost souls on this post. In fact, I include you in my prayers.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Friskitt

      *** It is beyond me that one thinks he or she is above the One who created him or her ......

      I was a product of my mother and father.
      You are crazy.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  18. DK

    why is it that the bible..seems to be such a big hurdle..to overcome...after all....it is an "ancient" script that bears no "relevance" to our postmodern generation..or could it be that we are trying so hard to justify a truth that is somehow seared in our consciences..or as one astute teacher said...we are suppressing the truth by our wickedness......just a thought.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  19. QS

    So if understand Christianity correctly....not everybody believes as Christians do, not everybody thinks their book is accurate or even reality, and plenty of people see the hypcrisy and prejudice inherent in this belief system....yet they expect everybody else to just accept and be okay with them deciding for everybody that their little black book sets the bar for what is considered a "sin" and must be applied to all! whether all believe it or not!?

    Sounds like just the right level of delusion mixed with self-righteousness to create a cult-like atmosphere to me!

    May 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • JenniferUCD

      Perfectly said.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • the sonman

      This is so hypocritical! We need to get rid of all the laws that have been adopted from this little black book..Murder, stealing, incest, multiple wifes... yeah that makes since! And while we're at it lets get rid of those damn career politicians that keep voting against the American will......

      May 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  20. Recovering Baptist

    BAPTISTS CAN BE CURED! God did not make you Baptist. Being Baptist is a life choice that can be healed with love and prayer. I am living proof! After over 20 years as a practicing Baptist, friends did an intervention. They spent weeks loving me and not being judgemental. It took a few months, but I underwent miraculous healing from this scourge. Now I am a happy Episcopalian prone to outbursts of rational speech.

    Remember, being Baptist is a choice, and God gives second chances.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • QS

      Religion is a drug like any other – it is addictive and people need rehab in order to recover from it.

      Moving from one religion to another is equivalent to exchanging cocaine for crack!

      May 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Mike

      I don't understand how the Episcopalian church can claim to be Christian when they ignore the words and teachings of Christ. It is not a bible-based church.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Recovering Baptist

      I love it! QS and Mike are a great example of the lunacy of extremism. For me, it's the via media all the way.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • sjenner

      Good one.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Mike

      QS, thanks for proving my point. Viewing the Holy Bible as the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God is not "extreme" to Christians. Hence my "bible-based" comment.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Mike

      Sorry QS. I meant "Recovering Baptist".

      May 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Recovering Baptist – I'm also a recovering Baptist. However, being Baptist was not a life choice for me. My family are all Baptists so I was spo.on-fed that religion from birth. It was only after I became a teenager and left home that I realized I indeed had a choice in terms of my spiritual life. After I left home I dabbled in Catholicism, atheism and agnosticism. I finally found spiritual p.eace in a theology/philosophy known as New Thought (you can find New Thought described on Wiki-pe.dia). In fact, I am now an ordained minister in an independent branch of New Thought. I do not have my own church (yet) but I do perform weddings and funerals.

      Many atheists and critics claim that "religion" is a crutch – but think about that...what is a crutch? It's a tool that we use to as-sist us in walking when we're having problems. If someone wants to think of religion as a crutch, and that's how they see it, then the problem is theirs, not mine. When a critic calls religion a crutch, I simply say "okay", then laugh at them and ask, "so what's your point?". I am very happy with my spiritual life. I suffer no guilt, no fear of h.ell or the devil, because in New Thought those things are simply myths that have outlived their usefulness (if they ever were useful). As we say in New Thought, "God is all there is, and then some."

      May 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • I am John

      To Rev Rick...You were given the Truth, the knowledge of God, but have chosen to ignore it. Now you want to be a false shepherd and lead people astray. Prepare your answer to the LORD when that Day comes. Then you will see for yourself that those things that you call a myth are true.

      Luke 12:48 – "But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."

      May 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Recovering Baptist

      Thanks, Rev. Rick, but I am extremely happy being a Christian, just not a judgemental one motivated by hate and fear.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Recovering Baptist – Thanks much for your co.mment. I have no problem with any flavor of Christianity whether Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, etc.
      However, I can see that "I Am John" represents the type of Christian I used to be. One that believes, and wants others to believe, in the fear-based dogma of fundamentalist Christianity. However, the apostle Paul (Saul) hi-ja.cked Christianity and subst.ituted his own fear-based theology, and the early church supported it for socio-political reasons. Paul never even met Jesus or heard him preach. If anyone bothers to do serious historical research on early Christianity this becomes very obvious. The early church (particularly Catholic) tracked down and burned, or otherwise destroyed, co.mpeting doctrine and scripture (i.e. the Gnostic Gospels, for example) that they deemed as heretical. So, what we ended up with is Pauline Christianity, and it is doubtful this is what Jesus actually taught. In fact, we may never know what Jesus actually taught because it was never written down until decades after Jesus' death. In fact, scholarly research indi.cates that the 4 Gospels (M, M, L & J) were most likely partially copied from at least one or two other texts that have never been found. (Research the docu-ment referred to as "Q"). It's too bad, but this is none-the-less true. The Bible is a useful book and should be studied with an open heart and mind, but anyone who believes the Bible is literally true, is seriously missing the point and missing out on much of the love and c.ompa.ssion that Christ tried to teach here on earth.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Sockness Monster

      Early man used to worship the "sun".
      Somebody changed it to read "Son", and its been a disaster since.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:09 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.