June 21st, 2012
09:40 AM ET

Harsh anti-gay preaching alarms gay rights supporters and Christian conservatives alike

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - The little boy with a buzz cut shows no sign of nervousness as he sings in front of the church congregation.

Dressed in a pressed white shirt and blue sweater vest, he holds the microphone and sings that the Bible is right, then lets loose the line that brings whoops from the congregation: "Ain't no homo gonna make it to heaven."

Next to him, an adult beams as worshippers rise to their feet and cheer.

The scene was captured on video and anonymously posted online, receiving hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube since the end of May. It appears to show a service at the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Greensburg, Indiana.

The church quickly posted on its website that its pastor and members "do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason."

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

But the chubby boy with the buzz cut isn't the only one going viral with harshly worded anti-gay pronouncements in church.

In recent weeks, Pastor Charles Worley in North Carolina preached that lesbians and gay men should be fenced in and left to die out, while Pastor Curtis Knapp in Kansas said the government should kill homosexuals.

"They won't, but they should," Knapp said, according to a recording of his sermon posted online. Worley’s sermon was captured on video and also went viral.

The incidents drew outrage and condemnation from gay rights supporters.

But they also left many Christians uncomfortable - even those who call themselves conservative.

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One leading expert on American Protestantism has a simple explanation for why some pastors preach against homosexuality while others go further, encouraging violence against gay people.

"There is a significant percentage who think it's a sin," Ed Stetzer said of homosexuality. "And there are a small minority who are stupid."

Stetzer is president of LifeWay Research, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Worley and Knapp both belong to Independent Baptist churches and are not part of the Southern Baptist Convention, which is the second largest Christian denomination in the United States.

Many conservative Christians would agree with pastors such as Worley and Knapp that homosexual behavior is fundamentally wrong, Stetzer said.

But that doesn't mean they support them or their sermons, he added.

"If you asked, they would say that's really unhelpful and stupid," he said.

But the Rev. Robin Lunn said these preachers are much worse than that. She calls such pastors "genocidal."

Opinion: Why some Christians focus on gays

"If someone is talking about rounding up me and all my kind in a pen, what is the difference between that and what is happening in Syria and Sudan and what happened in Germany and Poland during World War II?" asked Lunn, executive director of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists.

"We are talking about people who believe somehow that the Second Coming is connected to a Final Solution," said Lunn, a lesbian, using the Nazi term for the mass murder of Jews in the Holocaust.

"I think these men expressed something that many Baptist preachers think," Lunn said. "We need to stand up and denounce this powerfully."

Her group campaigns for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion across all Baptist churches. It has its origins in the American Baptist Churches movement but is not connected to any one Baptist group or denomination, she said.

"It seems to me that this is an opportunity to show some solidarity around the belief that all people are children of God regardless of what you think about someone's 'lifestyle,' " she said.

Opinion: The Christian case for gay marriage

One of the most respected voices in conservative Christianity agrees with Lunn, up to a point.

"The Gospel does not condemn homosexuals, it condemns homosexuality," said R. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. "The Bible makes clear that homosexuality is a sin, in the context of making clear that every person is a sinner."

What preachers such as Worley and Knapp are doing wrong, he said, is that they are "not merely rendering a moral judgment on homosexuality but extending it to the condemnation of people. They are speaking with a certain venom and hatred."

He called their sermons "reprehensible."

And, he said, "they are doing grave harm to the cause of conservative Christianity by speaking messages of hate that obscure the message of the church."

"What you're seeing here is a very dangerous fringe that does not represent conservative Christianity in America," he said.

About one-third of Protestant pastors talk to their congregations about homosexuality several times a year, while another third do so "rarely," data from LifeWay Research suggests.

The rest do so anywhere from never to several times a month, according to a 2008 telephone survey of 1,002 Protestant pastors across the country and a wide range of denominations.

Half of the pastors who preached about homosexuality several times a year identified themselves as "very conservative," while a quarter of those who did said they were liberal or very liberal.

LifeWay’s Stetzer argued that it was important to remember that many Americans - not just Christian pastors - think homosexuality is wrong.

A Gallup Poll last month found that 54% of Americans saw homosexuality as "morally acceptable," while 42% said it was "morally wrong."

"This is not a small minority," Stetzer said. "Are all of those people going to be tarred by the comments of a few pastors?"

The sermons of Worley, Knapp and those like them do not have a great influence, Stetzer said, calling them "isolated."

"I've never heard of or seen a violent confrontation" that resulted from Christian preaching, he said.

But Ross Murray, director of religion, faith and values at the gay rights group Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD, said it's not that simple.

"When pastors preach they want people to listen to their words and pay attention to them," he said. "It's an exhortation to believe and think and act in accordance with the Gospel."

And he said he's not worried only about people who might act on violent preaching they hear in church. He said he's also concerned about young churchgoers grappling with being gay or lesbian themselves.

"You get brought to church; you have told nobody about this and you hear your pastor preaching or this child singing. What this tells you is that the church is not a safe place, not a place where you are going to experience love and grace," he said.

Pastors such as Worley and Knapp "give Christianity a bad name," he said.

And more than that, they are dangerous, he said. There were a record number of murders of members of sexual minorities in the United States last year, he said, citing a study out this month by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.

He conceded that no link has been proven between preaching and attacks on homosexuals, but he argued that preaching matters.

"To say that people shouldn't take you seriously when you say something violent is disingenuous. Our words have consequences," Murray said. "Our words have real meaning."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality

soundoff (1,795 Responses)
  1. Texs Dude

    It appears that the good Reverend has taken Adolph Hitlers version of Nazism to Heart. This is a guy who 40 years ago would have argued the same bible to persecute Semites as the murderers of Jesus or that black people were the result of the mark of Cain.

    It's the ugly head of racism, prejudice, Hate and intolerance that these self proclaimed messengers and misinterpreters of the bible have used for generations to discriminate against anyone they target with their hate.

    Don't worry Pastor Worley, There is a special place in Hell reserved for you and your fellow christian hypocrites who like to twist the message that Jesus brought of love, peace, tolerance, understanding and forgiveness.

    No Pastor Worley, There will be no ice water available to relieve your pain and suffering once Satan welcomes you with open arms to the abyss we know of as Hell. Eternal damnation and suffering awaits you Pastor Worley and any that are deceived into following you and other false prophets.

    June 24, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer really changes thing s

    June 24, 2012 at 6:20 am |
    • midwest rail

      Can we assume, then, that you are praying for these hate-fomenting preachers and their followers to see the error of their ways ?

      June 24, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  3. Justice

    I'm glad I'm not a Christian and especially not a Baptist although I do believe Christ is a messenger from God. Everything about these people is soo dark and full of hatred. This whole notion of sin must weigh heavely on them. I dont believe that we are born sinners or that we can be "saved". People who claim they have been "saved" claim they cant do anything wrong. I completely disagree. Although I do not believe in the burden of eternal sin, I do believe that we should take ourself to account each day regarding our actions towards others. Every religion in the world speaks of love as in love Thy neighbor. They dont say "go and kill the gays" . Christians pick and choose passeges from the Bible that fit their own ends.
    One of the most important commandments is "Thou shalt not kill". Then how can a pastor condone the killing of people when it is against the Law of God? Why are these Christians so focused on hunting down gay people and preventing them from getting equal rights? All they talk about is what they are against. Why are they not equally aggresive about helping people out of poverty, figthing the epedemic of drug use or crime? These radical preachers are no better than the rest of us. How many times has a supposedly "sinless" and "holy" fire and brimstone preacher been caught red handed in the act of adultery,embezzlement, getting rich on the backs of his poor congregation, caught with his pants down in the company of a gay person or even killed all his followers. People who preach hatred are not one iota better than the ones they preach against. Hatred and bigotry are serious sins. I think fire and brimstone preachers are a very sick and a very scary lot.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  4. WOT

    Children are talking birds ,they ususally repeat what they hear their parents say.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  5. Follower of Christ

    I will stop believing in God when the sun fails to set. Ill stop believing in God when the sun or moon fails to give us light. Ill stop believing in God when nature stops working perfectly together and proves to be mere coincidence. Ill stop believing in God when someone comes up with a better theory than evolution or the big bang theory. Ill stop believing in God when Jesus the most powerful man to ever walk this world is silenced. Ill stop believing in God when someone creates a greater love story than Jesus's with there life. Ill stop believing in God when someone gets tortured and dies for the wrong doing of every human being. Ill stop believing in God when someone rises from the dead and claim countless followers who would happily die for them. Ill stop believing in God when someone can give me even the smallest piece of evidence that God does not exist. Until the impossible is done I will forever follow my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

    June 23, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • midwest rail

      I mean no disrespect by asking, but does your post relate to the story, or did you feel moved to simply post your testimony ?

      June 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  6. Robert

    The Bible absolutely condemns ga_y se_X as sin and specifically says no person who is a hom_ose_xual will be in heaven. However, it teaches us to love everyone.

    All of us must repent (turn from our sins) according to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    June 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • midwest rail

      So – no opinion on the proliferation of these hate – fomenting preachers and their followers ?

      June 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Sadie

      The Bible also says that passing judgment on others is not our job- it is God's job. If people could put half of the energy that they put into hatred and judgment into something good- maybe fighting poverty or hunger or some other just cause- then the world would be a better place.

      June 24, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • JWT

      That is you opinion of the bible – and your opinion does nto apply to other people. Gays are not sinners in the views of other christians. If the gays are not members of your particular group then none of your religious rules apply to them

      June 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • sam stone

      Robert: Bully for the bible. What does translated, edited iron age hearsay have to do with the here and now?

      June 25, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  7. ElmerGantry

    Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things stated once again.
    "Prayer changes things"

    Earlier I challenged you to do something positive for humanity by praying to stop the international forced sëx trafficking of the estimatated 800,000 people.

    To wit,

    I see your prayers to stop the estimated 800,000 people who are forced into sëx traficking across international borders have not worked.
    Wait since prayer changes things that means you have not been praying to stop this scourge on humanity.

    Why won't you pray to stop this repulsive human abuse?

    In Matthew 21:21:
    I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt,not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

    Mark 9:23
    All things are possible to him who believes.

    In Luke 1:37:
    For with God nothing will be impossible.

    Nothing could be simpler or clearer than Jesus' promises about prayer in the Bible.
    So there you have it, straight from the New Testament in clear, simple, and unequivocal terms.

    You are a sincere believer are you not?
    Well since you are why do you not pray to end this horrible and repulsive human abuse.

    Jesus says very unequivocally that if you have faith and do not doubt that you will receive whatever you ask in prayer and nothing is too big to ask for.
    Sinnce this horrible practice has not ended, that means you are not praying to end it.

    Why not?
    Knowing that you could put a stop to such practices but don't implies you are a sicko enjoying the schadenfreude.

    How is that cognitive dissonance in you brain knowing that you could stop this human abuse but choose not to stop it?

    Put up or shut up you TROLL

    June 23, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Prayer changes lives
      A good man prays
      A great man acts on prayer
      Prayer changes things

      June 24, 2012 at 6:16 am |
  8. LInda McMillan

    "I've never heard of or seen a violent confrontation" that resulted from Christian preaching, he (Stetzer) said.

    Uh, has this guy ever been to Uganda?
    Just sayin'.

    June 23, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • Texs Dude

      He's never seen it because he is blinded by his own bigotry.

      Hypocrites only see what they want to see.

      June 24, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  9. fwrightjr

    All these people that are advocating the destruction of all gay's and lesbians and these preachers that preach hate maybe they should look in there own closet before they come out. I would love kids no matter what and all people that are different in any way shape or form it is the christian thing to do. So just remember haters God is watching you for what you do you will have to answer for and for you bigots god help you.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • championsleaguer

      Of course, we're no longer to have an opinion anymore, either. OOOOOH, someone said something someone else disagrees with, OOOOOOH -- so scary. Let's all freak out and write an article about it, OOOOOOOH.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:20 am |
    • perversion is a crime

      Truth is not hate. Ho mo se xuality is an abomination.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:42 am |
    • sam stone

      Sure, they can speak out against gays. Those that disagree can also speak out against them. I think a good first step would be to publicly ridicule these fvcks and harrass them verbally whenever they go out in public

      June 23, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • Troy

      Oh my GOSH! Champion is so frickin funny. He's doing exactly what he blames others for. It's the article that he is freaking out about! LMAO!

      June 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  10. nottolate

    Be not deceived imagining, that through your knowledge and profession you shall be saved, live as you will:

    neither fornicators, such as are guilty of uncleanness with persons in a single state:

    nor idolaters; who worship more gods than one, and not the true God; who do service to them that are not gods, and perform what the Jews call עבודה זרה "strange service": and not only fall down to stocks and stones, but serve divers lusts and pleasures, the idols of their own hearts:

    nor adulterers: such as have criminal conversation with persons in a married state:

    nor effeminate; or "soft", or, as the Syriac renders it, מחבלא, "corrupters"; that is, of themselves, by voluntary pollution, such as are guilty of the sin of Onan, Ge 38:8.

    Nor abusers of themselves with mankind; sodomites.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • sam stone

      nottolate: get off your knees and stop being such a snivelling little slave

      June 22, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  11. nottolate

    "It seems to me that this is an opportunity to show some solidarity around the belief that all people are children of God regardless of what you think about someone's 'lifestyle,'

    Thats patently false. For it is written,

    13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
    14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

    Verse 14: aka authentic Christians and none other.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  12. BB

    The big problem here, is that if the majority of christians do not support the messages of these bigots, then they need to stand against them and publicaly denounce them. Remaining silent = consent. What are they afraid of? Losing their congregation, because that is what most christians really believe anyway, they are just too weak to admit it.

    June 22, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • perversion is a crime

      why would any clear thinking morally decent human being take a position in favor of the most sickening disgusting perversion of natural life that anyone has ever taken part in? Ho mo se xuality should be condemned in the most severest terms and criminalized in thought word and filthy deed.

      June 22, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Silence is the voice of complicity.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:12 am |
  13. perversion is a crime

    and forever more should be treated as unnatural, filthy acts undeserving of anything but complete contempt and disassociation by all mankind.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  14. SolderOfConscience

    If they dont try to push their g@yness down our throats, we will leave them alone.

    June 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • sam stone

      if you don't deny them equal rights, you just might get that.

      June 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • perversion is a crime

      we are the 99% let the sicko perverts try to force the issue so their filthy doings will be exposed and penalized by the entire world.

      June 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • sam stone

      Perversion....doesn't the good pastor have a surprise in his pants for you?

      June 22, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • perversion is a crime

      Truth is responded to by filth when a ho mo is involved, point proved, ho mo se xuality is an abomination.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:41 am |
    • sam stone

      Bigoty posing as "truth" is still bigotry, and that is an abomination

      June 23, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • perversion is a crime

      Just because you do not like it , your opinion does not make the Truth either bigoted or a lie.

      June 24, 2012 at 6:18 am |
    • sam stone

      Nor does your opinion make your "Truth" true

      June 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  15. SolderOfConscience

    What about freedom of religion? If you dont like church X or mosque X, dont go there. At the end of teh day, we all believe in "hate the sin, love the sinner".


    June 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Nonsense. The Big Lie as practiced by the modern faux Christian is just the philosophy you espouse. You blithely say " Love the sinner, hate the sin " ( which you stole from the Hindus ) and then go on your merry way spewing hatred, bigotry and ignorance.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Nii

      I view as all as equals! In fact that is how i know doctors r right when they call gay s.ex a s.exual behaviour rather than a mutation. I don't think calling ad.ul.tery pe.do.ph.il.ia n fornication wrong makes anyone less human. It only shows how human we all are since we all gra.pple with one!

      June 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Nii

      Why then do you forbid pe.do.ph.il.es their enjoyment of children? Why do you kill mosquitoes? The LORD created them all! Of course they might have been born that way, though doctors say not! And there is evidence of people who stopped being gay! And of course I don't hate ad.ul.ter.ers!

      June 26, 2012 at 2:09 am |
  16. Brad

    The church quickly posted on its website that its pastor and members "do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason." - Actions speak louder than words... I'm afraid you do teach, condone, and practice it...

    June 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • LInda McMillan

      Right, Brad. If they really believed that then they'd fire the pastor.

      June 23, 2012 at 6:43 am |
  17. John in Vegas

    "I've never heard of or seen a violent confrontation" that resulted from Christian preaching, he (Stetzer) said.

    Has this man been living under a rock? Christian preaching is at the heart of anti-gay bias in our society. Christian lobbyists are a major force against passing anti-violence laws to protect gay men and women. It's time to hold them accountable. Anti-gay sentiment is not an expression of religious freedom. It is a form of bigotry that must not be tolerated in any form.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

      I seem to remember a little religious preaching party called the Inquisition. Oh and the Crusades. What about people the KKK? They are Christians and for my taste their preaching leaves something to be desired.

      June 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  18. Matthew

    "There are two lists in the Bible of people who do not get into heaven. See Rev 21:8 and Rev 22:15. The abo-minable and se-xually immoral will not be allowed access into the New Jerusalem (Heaven)."

    Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Any educated Christian would know that. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality. That’s why Jesus never mentions it as well. There is nothing immoral, wrong, or sinful about being gay. Jesus, however, clearly states he HATES hypocrites. If you preach goodness, then promote hate and twist the words of the Bible, you are a hypocrite, and will be judged and sent to hell. Homosexuals will not go to hell, hypocrites will. This is very similar to the religious bigots of the past, where they took Bible passages to condone slavery, keep women down, and used Bible passages to claim blacks as curses who should be enslaved by the white man. People used God to claim that blacks marrying whites was unnatural, and not of God's will.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Nii

      I don't know what u r fighting for! That gay s.ex is immoral or it is unnatural? In a lot of ways Xtians leave gays alone. It is only when they want to push believes like the Bible champions being gay that causes protests! No one wud even 've a problem if they marry but why push it as if its normal?

      June 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Nii

      Jesus constantly mentions that the se.xua.lly imm.or.al ( mostly translated as a.du.lt.er.ers) will go to hell! This is a clear reference to the moral law's injunctions on gay se.x, ad.ul.te.ry, in.ce.st, and fo.rn.ic.at.io.n. Please go n read it. Bible scholars have often been highly im.moral!

      June 22, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "! This is a clear reference to the moral law's injunctions on gay se.x, ad.ul.te.ry, in.ce.st, and fo.rn.ic.at.io.n. Please go n read it. Bible scholars have often been highly im.moral!"

      No you need to get help with your reading comprehension skills since what the bible condemns is idolatry, male prostitution, worshiping a pagan god using sex and rape. Nowhere in the bible does your god condemn the saved loving long-term relationship of a gay couple.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Nii

      Yeah Right and nowhere does the Bible condemn u sleeping with your loving and faithful pet dog. It is sleeping with strays it condemns! lol

      June 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Nii ...The problem is that very few Christians can really agree what the bible says. You most likely do not have a gay person in your family and as such are adamant that the bible condemns it.There are others who may have a gay son or daughter and as such can find no such condemnation in the bible, based on their interpretation.

      June 22, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Nii

      I understand YR n u applying ur judgement's ability to apply legalism to persuade ur conscience that wrong is right. However the Bible's judgements are God's judgements for some of us. It cannot be wished away! I know some ENGAGED in gay s.ex! I don't hate them but I don't condone it too!

      June 23, 2012 at 3:57 am |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Nii..you wish the bible to be true, and so it can be wished away.just as easily... and then you can view folks as equals rather than god fodder.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Nii

      This is the Liberal pro-gay dillemma. How do u claim someone is medically n psychaitrically inclined to behave contrary to normal human s.exual behaviour and at the same time is your equal. I see them as my equal thats why I say its wrong!

      June 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • jknbt

      is the blog still open?

      June 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • jknbt

      Matthew– Nothing in the Bible against hom-ose xu-ality???? how about Leviti- cus 20:13?
      "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abom-i nat-ion. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them."
      1 Corin- thians 6:9
      "Do you not know that the unrig-hteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornic-ators, nor idol-aters, nor adult-erers, nor hom-ose-xuals, nor sodo-mites,"
      Genesis 19:1-39 Here the Lord deals harshly with those who attempt to sod-om- ize his angels and practice imm-oral se-x.

      here is a scripture for you personally, Matthew:
      Matth-ew 22:29
      "Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God."

      June 23, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  19. Janet

    "2) There are two lists in the Bible of people who do not get into heaven. See Rev 21:8 and Rev 22:15. The abo-minable and se-xually immoral will not be allowed access into the New Jerusalem (Heaven)."

    The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is based on human ignorance, suspicion of those who are different, and an overwhelming concern for ensuring the survival of the people. Since the Bible regards homosexuality as a capital crime, it clearly assumes that homosexuality is a matter of free choice, a deliberate rebellion against God. We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • ttwp

      I would rather trust in God who does not lie.

      June 22, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      TTWP..what did your god say that was true, and not know to humanity before he was invented by us?

      June 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • nottolate

      We, who is we? We've learned no such thing. And you forgot this list or purposely left it out:

      9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
      10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • jknbt

      is this blog closed?

      June 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • jknbt

      Janet– hom-ose-xuals are not unthinking robots. They make a choice to look at g-ay po-rn or not to look at g-ay po-rn; they make a choice to bed down with someone or not to bed down with someone; they make a choice to love their bodies, or to love to Word of God which clearly says the practice is wrong. They will be held accountable for their actions, not their instincts. You throw around your pseud-oscience about all this proof you claim, but you don't understand the basic difference between feelings and actions. We all have wrong feelings every now and then. The question is, what do you do about it? How do you act on the feelings? a celibate, repentant, non-practicing person with hom-ose-xual instincts is just as forgiven as a celibate, repentant, non-practicing person with hete-rose-xual instincts.

      June 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • ttwp

      @Evolved DNA

      Everything that comes from the mouth of God is true. Those that don't know him think He's invented. Those with His Spirit know He's real.

      June 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  20. Erik

    "1) God didn't create g-ayness...this flaw is the result of Adam's fall. The genetics researchers have identified family genes for violence and alcoholism."

    That is a complete lie. All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

    The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

    On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

    The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

    Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

    There are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • jknbt

      Erik– your post just confirms exactly what I said. That there is a biological basis for behaviours is without dispute. A perfect loving holy God did not create the incredible mess the world is in. He did not create bodies with horr-ible genetic flaws such as tourettes, sickle cell anemia, tay-sacs, or any of the others. He did not create ga-y instincts, either. This all happened as a result of the fall of man when Adam and Eve willfully disobeyed God and instead listened to the devil and their own instincts. The devil took over as the god of the age, and the rest is history.
      Researchers have found that alcoholism has a strong genetic link to people of northwestern european origins (dutch, engish, scotch, irish, etc.) To follow your logic, we should repeal all laws that punish people of N.E. European origins for drunk driving due to alcoholism, all that punish people for spousal or child abuse due to alcoholism, all that punish people for violence due to alcoholism. This should be done, since after all, alcoholism has a strong genetic and biological link.
      Every alcoholic out there started his/her drinking career with that first glass of wine or that first beer. They made a choice to drink it. After they fall into life-destroying alcoholism, they have a choice to make: will they deal with it and get done with alcohol addiction, or will they let it continue to destroy them and their families? There are choices to make, and consequences following the choices. Similarly, every ga-y person out there made a choice to look at ga-y por-n or to not, to be close friends with people they hoped would sed-uce them or to not, and chose to continue with ga-y se-x acts after the initial experimental phase was over or to not. God doesn't punish repentant alcoholics because they crave alcohol. God does not punish someone with ga-y feelings if they never act on them, but rather seek grace adequate to the need to deal with the urges. Instead He shows special favor, mercy, grace, and forgiveness to someone like that.

      June 23, 2012 at 7:16 pm |

      JKNTB, you know a lot about god and what god wants. Are you infallible? Did you and god double date in college?

      Can you explain the millions of inconsistencies in the bible not to mention the history of the bible? How about the fact that Christians pick and choose which parts of the bible they want to believe in? Can rich Christians get into heaven? Maybe you say yes. From what I can tell Jesus said no.

      June 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • ttwp

      @FLADABOSCO: There are no inconsistencies. Only those without His Spirit see inconsistencies. Who are you to take God's word upon your lips. Especially since you consider it worthless. You should read Psalm 50:16-23 and think carefully because one day you will stand face to face with God. Accept his Son Jesus and his sacrifice for our sins and live. For those who place their trust in Jesus will never be put to shame.

      June 24, 2012 at 1:55 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.