My Take: Will there be gays in heaven? Will there be fat people?
Anderson Cooper's coming out provoked the author to send a tweet that triggered some strong reaction.
July 5th, 2012
01:11 PM ET

My Take: Will there be gays in heaven? Will there be fat people?

Editor's Note: Craig Gross is the pastor and founder of XXXchurch.com and is the author of seven books. He just turned 36 and is no longer a hip 20-something pastor from California.

By Craig Gross, Special to CNN

After Anderson Cooper came out this week, I posted a link on Twitter to a story that included this quote from Cooper: “I love and am loved.” As I said in my tweet, Cooper is one of my favorite journalists. I was honored to once be on his show.

After I tweeted I got e-mails and a direct message asking the same question: "You still like him now?"

I was saddened by that reaction and started thinking: What would happen if we read the Bible and, instead of highlighting certain passages, we took it all for what it is - truth.

In 1 Corinthians, the Bible says don't indulge your body with food or sex: “‘Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,’ and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”

My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage

I deal with people who indulge their bodies with sex. I’ve  done it for 10 years with XXXchurch.com, helping people caught up in porn addiction.

If you indulge your body with sex via pornography, affairs, strippers or hookers, and your secrets are exposed, you will not be preaching on Sunday. Sexual sin is not tolerated in our churches. If clergy are caught in these things, they’re disqualified.

What if you indulge your body with food? Well, then you can pastor some of the largest churches on the planet and have the most successful broadcasts on the religious channels and sell a lot of books.

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

Same biblical passage, same sin. Why is one accepted and one rejected? Why is it that religious folks want to camp out on a few things rather then all things?

Why do they believe that the gay guy goes to hell but the fat preacher who builds some of the largest churches in the world makes it to heaven?

I have no problem bringing my fat friends to church; they fit right in. Our Los Angeles church has doughnuts to eat during worship service, which makes the hymns we sing sound so much better.

My Take: Why many Christians focus on homosexuality

I coached my son's soccer team last year. My assistant coach is a lesbian. My son became great friends with her son, and my wife and I have become good friends with his mom and her partner. We played on three teams this year with them and have spent time in each others’ homes.

Could I bring them to church? Absolutely not.

Most evangelical Christians don't have gay friends. We just have gay stereotypes and we base our beliefs on a few biblical passages, ignoring passages about things that people in the church really struggle with, like food and other addictions.

The problem is that the church has only one answer for homosexuality: Don't be gay. Come as you are, but you'd better not be gay. But you can be fat.

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Most Christians believe you should just help your friends to not be gay when, in all honesty, only Christ can do that.

I love my lesbian friends. Let’s say I share Christ with them and they accept Jesus - or maybe they already have. Where do they go to church?

There is no way I would send them to an evangelical church, because not everyone would treat them the way they should be treated. But if they attend a gay church many Christians look at them as crazy.

People will push you to take a stand one way or the other on homosexuality, but no one has ever asked me to take a stand when it comes to fat people.

The goal shouldn’t be to change anyone's sexuality. Ultimately, I believe homosexuality gets blown way out of proportion in our churches. If we would all see gays as fellow sinners instead of “others,” there wouldn't be a need for gay outreach, because they would already be incorporated into our community based on a shared need for Christ.

God loves gays and Jesus is for them. God loves the fat preacher. Homosexual activity and overeating are both sins - just like speeding, gossip, lying and cheating. I think I did all of those just today.

All are forgivable in Christ and, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, can be changed. Just remember that change does not happen overnight.

Have you ever seen someone lose 100 pounds overnight? The process takes time. When it comes to the Lord, it’s nothing less than a journey of sanctification.

And wherever you are at on that journey, I think there should be a place for you at church. Because there’s probably one in heaven.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Craig Gross.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (2,508 Responses)
  1. Alexandr

    How is speeding a sin?!

    July 6, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Nurse143

      In Romans we're instructed to follow the laws of the governing authorities.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • GM

      1. You put your wants (of getting where you're going faster) above the safety of others.
      2. You are not being moderate
      3. You are not subjecting yourself to authority
      4. Chances are, you are being impatient and not loving others as you love yourself. Jesus said that this was the second greatest comamndment (only to loving God with all your heart) and that it summed up the whole of all the law of Moses and the comandments. He said do these and you will have eternal life.

      Here's where we miss the boat. we throw these sayings of Jesus Christ out the window and make ourselves judges, sitting in condemnation of others. We become judges of The Word and not doers of The Word.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  2. cnnmembuh

    I appreciate the message of this article. The truth is that we're all sinners. That means (if you're a church goer) that everyone around you in church has some sinful burden upon them, along with yourself. People are born gay and do not make that choice. They may be able to choose how to react to that fact, though, just as people who are predisposed to eat too much can try to struggle against that issue. The list is endless, but we should try to love and support one another, whether we/they believe in God or not.

    July 6, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Who invited me?

      I am not a sinner. I was not born a sinner. Your definition of sin is rediculous. I am also not a wretch. I am a decent honest hard-working compassionate and generous man. I am that way without the threat of a super being putting me on the barby for all eternity.
      I also enjoy using my brain.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • cnnmembuh

      @Who invited me? – The purpose of my post was not to define sin. If you are not a sinner, you are a very special person indeed!

      July 6, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  3. Mark Yelka

    Leviticus refers to issues of exploitation and violence. I'm trying to put the exact info here, but CNN is censoring my posts. I wonder which words are responsible!

    July 6, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • JA

      Its not just the words but the lettering inside the words. Can someone post the censor list please?

      July 6, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • John the guy not the baptist

      Leviticus had a great deal of bigotry references, so give it a pass.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Kevin

      Exploitation of.....shellfish?

      July 6, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Rick

      You keep trying to post what you think. The Bible is a way of looking into the future. It has and always will tell the truth. As far as gays entering heaven. Emphatically NO. It says that in the Bible. Fat people, yes. But keep in mind. It's not your physical body that goes to heaven but your spirit. Heaven is a spiritual place not a physical place. Imagine if you can, you like to smoke or do other things like you do now. Now imagine doing those things without a body. Where would you rather be, in heaven or hell?

      July 6, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Posts like Rick's crack me up. "Emphatically NO". As if you speak for god, are an authority on the bible or on entry requirements for anything.

      Arrogance beyond all reason, Rick.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Rick – Why did God create a hell in the first place? This is basically all the trash he wants disposed of. But God is infallable. So why are his creations so messed up?

      July 6, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Explainig the gap

      @ Rick
      The gap from when jesus was born in the manger to when he was out and about doing miracles and preaching and the like, jesus at seventeen.....

      joeseph...Hey son, where are you going, out on a date?
      jesus.......No dad, just going down to the temple and hang with the guys, we may go fishing.
      joeseph...Okay. Those guys you hang around with are they good guy?
      jesus.......Ya sure. They worship me, I can control them.
      joeseph...Good. Me and your mom were hoping you would find yourself a nice je*wish gi*rlfriend.
      jesus.......(sarcastically) Ya sure. I'm looking around.
      joeseph...I guess you have heard the stories going around that your mother is a vir*gin, well it is not easy for me either
      having a son thats devine.
      jesus.......Sorry dad, I'll try.
      joeseph...Well have a good time and don't be too late.
      jesus...... Okay, thanks dad..( heard under his breath, What a wan*ker)

      Got to wonder if jesus ever got to sit at the right hand of his supposedly real daddy. He was really close to his twelve buddies, in particular the pleasant looking red headed guy. Of course this like all fairy tales can not be proven, right?

      July 6, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Heaven isn'ta physical place?
      I thought when the Rapture comes, all the good Christians will ascend bodily to heaven.
      And don't the Catholics say that Mary ascended bodily to heaven?
      How can there be physical bodies in a "spiritual" realm?

      You see – hell and heaven were originally understood to be real, physical places. But like with a lot of other supernatural religious as.sertions, human discoveries made the absudities of such claims apparant.
      When faced with a tenet that is no longer defesible even to those who are willing to suspend their disbelief, Shamans will generally change their tunes and cite problems with their predecessor's interpretation of Holy writings.
      But the current Shaman is always right.

      July 6, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  4. Rain

    Oh my... I do need to do a little more reading... But knowing how complex DNA is... I couldn't imagine it coming to life without someone having time to make it... 🙂

    July 6, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So? Just because YOU can't imagine it doesn't mean godidit. Complexity does not equal "created by a fairy."

      July 6, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • One Nation Under god IS Divisible

      Ok, by your logic we could say: "But knowing how complex god is... I couldn't imagine it coming to life without someone having time to make it".

      Circular logic wins the day.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Rain

      I couldn't agree more... But I really believe that there's more to life than just us moving around randomly without any destiny or fate... It's like saying, "I can kill someone i want coz this is my life and i do whatever I want to do for as long as I enjoy doing it"... That's just what I think... 🙂

      July 6, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You need to do a better job of thinking. And reading. No one has said we "come from nothing". No one has said we can "do anything we want".

      Get a clue.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Primewonk

      DNA is complex. But it is also incredibly simple. 4 simple molecules. Adenine, which only binds with Thymine (or Uracil if we're talking RNA). And Guanine, which only binds with Cytosine.

      And the first price active self replicating cells would not have been hundreds of thousands of base pairs long. Instead, it would have been maybe 8-12 base pairs.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  5. M

    Sir, I will put aside for the moment whether the Bible is the 'Word of God' and thus, the 'Truth'. Unless you are reading from the ORIGINAL text (the untranslated manuscripts, or photos thereof), you are reading a TRANASLATION. By HUMANS. So 90% chance it's inaccurate – like the word for man, which was mistranslated and actually should have been translated as "person"...

    On a second note, I'm so tired of seeing everything as sin-based. Humanity is imperfection. We get it. Let's accept it and move on, rather than dwelling on it. Until we deal with people hurting each other and reduce THAT, then we can deal with the personal imperfections, like whether I eat too much and who I spend my private time with.

    July 6, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Religion is the #1 problem in this world by far

      The original texts were written by humans, also.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  6. freetime1

    No, gay or fat people will never get into heaven; fact is no one will ever get in, because it is not real. It is sad that mankind has not gotten passed this S#!t, but at least it seems we are starting the move that way. More and more people are point out what a joke this is. A bad joke at that.

    July 6, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Bleh64

      Because weak minded fools who do not believe in science and proof must have their crutch to lean on. What i find funny is usually that the most devout "born again christians" are the biggest a$(holes and hypocrites on the planet. Religion was used in the middle ages to scare people into compliance and to start wars for greed. Seems it's still used for that today huh? lol

      July 6, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Sadly new ones are being indoctrinated at a far greater rate. Believers are more likely to have more children and the only real opportunity for non-believers to gain the majority will have to rely on education and more atheist activism. The need is for more atheists to come out. Our numbers are bigger than it would appear but many are afraid to face the rejection of friends and family. Once the tipping point is reached where being an atheist is acceptable the tide will surely turn. In some ways the believers are right. The end is coming...just not the one they are expecting.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • bcarpe

      Doesn't saying someone is a hypocrite automatically disqualify them from being devout? If one is truly devoted to something, then one must actually do what one says is right. Right?

      July 6, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Rain

      I agree with Religion as being something Big Fishes use to lure the weak so they could eat them... But Jesus is not a Religion... He brings Hope to sinners like you and me... 🙂

      July 6, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Scott

      Sadly, you offer no proof of your statement and expect it to be accepted as fact. Why is it that you claim that only Christians need offer proof for their beliefs? Can you prove that God does not exist? If you don't have any such empirical evidence, you are acting on faith (or presupposition) as much as any Christian. Are all the Nobel prize winners in the various sciences who are/were also devout Christians fools in your eyes?

      July 6, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • GM

      You have a lot to lose if it turns out you're wrong.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your proxy threats are unimpressive. I don't live my life based on the suspension of disbelief. Threatening hellfire and brimstone is about as effect as a screen door in a submarine.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  7. Mark Yelka

    The mistranslated verses in the Bible are being used to sponsor hate against gays. See Ezekiel 16:49-50. And, the Leviticus quotes don't mean what you think they mean. The Bibly wan't written in English, you know. The author is hardly stating any facts. Facts are things like science gives us. Religion gives us only dogma. You can google the issue of how the Bible is misunderstood very easily.

    July 6, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • WhatDoIKnow

      Of course the Bible was not written in English, but that's what translation is for. You still haven't told me what it's supposed to say. And I don't mean to attack you, I'm legitimately curious.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  8. Jokesterer

    Don't get behind the fat people at the Feast of the Lamb. There won't be anything left.

    July 6, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  9. bob.bob

    If there are no gay people in heaven, i guess no one told St. John the Baptist, you know the guy the Bible describes as a "beautiful man" who is always depicted androgynously in art and who clearly represents a 'certain kind of man'?

    July 6, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Nick

      I think you mean St. John the Evangelist. St. John the Baptist probably looked more like your neighborhood homeless person or your local Rasta stoner. He lived in the desert for years and wore camel skin while snackin' on locusts. Not exactly conducive to "beauty".

      July 6, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Dionysus, Dion for short

      Son of Zeus and Semele, mortal woman. The stories I could tell you!

      July 6, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  10. Blaise

    Wow, the entire premise of this article is a fraud. Corinthians say food is for the stomach and the stomach for food–in other words, it is intended that we eat. Fornication is not intended. There is no parallelism here. I just read every commentary on the passage and they all agree–you can't read.

    July 6, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Every commentary"?

      I call bullish!t.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Robert

      You mean you read the ones that agree with your opinion.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • ajbuff

      The entire premise of this article is ridiculous because no one needs to care or worry about anyone else's personal religious views of what will happen to them when they die! Worry about yourselves and not judging others! Good people are good people, they are an asset to society, they make wonderful friends and neighbors and Americans, and no one needs to worry about their weight or orientation. I wonder if the next article will read "Will blind people go to heaven? Will rich people go to heaven? Will ugly people go to heaven? Will people who hog resources go to heaven?" Honestly, this is ridiculous. If the Koran doomed you because of your weight, or some other mythological text (like the Bible), would you care? We can't run a society based on any one group's religious dogma. It's silly.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • bill

      You are precisely right. The passage quoted makes it simple statement about food and the stomach being made for each other. It does NOT call eating (or being fat) a sin.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  11. Mark Yelka

    The author of this article is really REALLY being passive aggressive! How many times did he put down gays in his article? Lots. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with being gay. There is a LOT wrong with being an intolerant Christian. The very very few Bible quotes that are claimed to be anti-gay are, in fact, misunderstood. But, intolerant Christians would rather cling to erroneous understandings of their own scripture than give in to being tolerant beings.

    July 6, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • WhatDoIKnow

      Seems more like someone is being hypersensitive. The author is only stating opinions and facts. I have absolutely nothing against people who are gay, as one of my best friends is gay, but the Bible is pretty clear on this issue as it is on many others. If the "anti-gay" parts of the Bible are misunderstood, then by all means clear them up for everyone.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • Fat vs Gay?

      @ What does he know, not much...: "the author is only stating opinions and facts??? What's it gonna be, an opinion on gays and the fact that a lot of preachers and church goers are FAT? Being gay is sin? That can only be an opinion, it's not a fact. It's not even illegal in this country. But I can see that it's a fact that FAT churchgoers condemn gays for being gay. After all those FAT azzes have to have someone to look down upon, their own sight is really not that attractive. Now did I just state an opinion or a fact? hahahaha

      July 6, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • ajbuff

      Agreed! Why the heck are we reading people's evaluations of nonsense???? "Will Santa Claus bring you coal if you eat too much?" "Will the great Buffalo in the Sky demote you if you marry in your own gender?" "Will the gods on Mt. Olympus punish you after death via Hades if you are overweight?" Why is anyone writing a "scholarly" article evaluating your chances of some imaginary hypothetical situation? It's crazy! America continues to keep itself in the Dark Ages of critical thinking.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • WhatDoIKnow

      The author quoted the Bible, hence it's a FACT that it says that. Then he followed with his OPINIONS. Do you need to go back to the first grade so you can learn what these words mean?

      July 6, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Mark Yelka

      The use of the word "FACT" to simply refer to someone saying something is not the common use of that word. When people refer to facts, they are referring typically to evidences. Let's stick to common uses of words and not engage in crazy word play.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Primewonk

      " The author quoted the Bible, hence it's a FACT that it says that"

      But those verses did not mean what you think they mean. Many of them were talking about ritual temple prostîtution. Other verse actual show how much your bronze-age shepherds hated women. The sin was not 2 men having sèx, it was one man being submissive and being dominated. This put him at the level of a lowly woman. That was the big sin. A man being reduced to the position of a woman.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  12. floridamom1

    Why anyone could think that God doesn't use scientific principles to do what he does is beyond me. And to think that God will or won't do something or does or does not exist simply because you don't think so, is also beyond me. No proof? Why is it so hard to believe that there might be something out there you just don't know about yet? Atheists make no sense to me. They see the world only through their own lenses and then mock others who do the same.

    July 6, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      What makes me amazed is how you can believe in something without a shred of evidence? And then you go on to make all sorts of positive claims about what this thing you can't prove wants, needs and expects of us. Doesn't it seem a bit strange that you seem to know exactly what your God expects and that it is exactly the same as what YOU want? Heaven if it exists is full of bigoted blowhards worshiping a maniac tyrant. I'll take your fictional hell over that thank you very much....at least the company will be bearable.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Tallus

      Why is it so hard to believe in God?

      How about because everything that exists can be measured? Thing you can't see (electrical power, air, wind, time, etc) are measurable, predictable, have behavior, can be felt, etc, but not God. God is a concept, an idea used by ancient people to explain a world they knew nothing about. Before Christianity, bad weather was blamed on irritable gods who hadn't gotten their monthly human sacrifices yet. Today, there are more religions than you can shake a stick at, and every one of them claims to be the one, the truth, the path.

      Christians are atheistic towards Mithra in the same way an atheist is. Atheists just take their "there is no god" stance one God further. Christians are just hostile towards it because, for whatever reason, they've been brainwashed into believing their religion is the right one in spite of 'knowing' all the rest are hooie, and don't like their fable being lumped into the same catagory. Christianity is no better and no more true than Scientology, and I'm sure everyone (except Scientologists) will agree that Scientology is absolutely terrifying.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • All the way, Steve

      Couldn't agree more with you, Steve. Why would I want to spend fairy tale eternity with such fat self righteous narrow minded people playing godly games in a sandbox??? They spout their ungodly selfish self-serving -reasons with such ignorance, it must hurt between their ears. Well, it would, if there was much between such ears. But in their hearts they must feel the warm glow of hate and feeling superior to anyone who hasn't given in to their fairytale dog [sic] haha

      July 6, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Martin

      They see the world only through their own lenses and then mock others who do the same.

      Your last line can be used for pretty much both sides can't it.
      If the author of this article is so believing in Jesus invite your gay friends to your church to share you belief. Then see how your church reacts maybe its not the loving forgiving place you think it is. Do you really want any part of that sort of hate.
      Stand up for your friends they are the ones going to be there if you need them more than some mythical being ever will

      July 6, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Rain

      No evidence that God is real? Look around you man... Look at yourself... Do you really think you appeared out of nowhere just like that? That's like believing in Peter Pan and the Neverland... 😉

      July 6, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who said we "appeared out of nothing", Rain? I don't anyone who claims that. I haven't seen anyone on here say that, either. Why do you persist in lying about what others say?

      July 6, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Who invited me?

      What evidence do you see? just because I see a tree does not mean a god put it there. You are leaping to an unjustified conclusion. Perhaps it is the scientific experiment from some alien race, perhaps we are but an atom to a race of giants who are not even aware of our existance. There are an infinite number of theories re: where did all this come from. You have jumped on the Theory of god and proclaimed it to be valid. when you have no more evidence of your theory than anyone elses. I am glad that there are people who willingly say we do not know, than proclaim the theory of god is the right one. Your mind is too far closed to be able to engage logic and reason.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Rain

      I'm sorry if it sounds like i'm pushing the God is Real thing to you guys... I do respect your opinions but never have I heard you respect mine... Conclusion was subjective and you say whatever your conclusion is... But never say anyone's beliefs are not real... You can't even prove to yourselves that God is not real... Life is too mysterious to be able to conclude anything... But then again, I just have faith... That's all... 🙂

      July 6, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Rain, your posts don't even make sense, except for the last phrase you wrote in this one: you have faith, that's all.

      You are welcome to have faith and believe. But don't pretend your belief and faith equal facts or proof. They don't.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Nick

      While I do think that religious people often try to oversimplify things, it isn't exactly appropriate to attack religious people for being anti-intellectual either. Some of the best philosophers and scientists have been theists if not religious. Kepler (a foundation of Astronomical sciences) and Mendel (the first "geneticist") were both monks. If you read St. Augustine, he had an understanding of the relativity of time long before Einstein. St. Thomas Aquinas is one of the pillars of Western philosophic inquiry and applied logic in manner so fastidious that many modern people still can't keep up. Descartes established rationalism while arguing for the existence of God.

      Say what you want, but don't read Dawkins and Hitchens and then think THAT qualifies you as a bona fide intellectual in a world of religious troglodytes. Modern atheism does not have a singular claim to knowledge.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Sid Airfoil


      Hebrews 11 (King James Version)
      11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

      People believe in things for which there is no evidence because that is what faith is....belief WITHOUT evidence. That faith contradicts logic, reason and common sense is lost on the faithful. Theists turn logic upside down. Logic dictates that evidence PRECEDES belief, whereas theists put belief first and then look for "evidence" to support their preconceived conclusions. Faith, thereby, allows people to justify ANY belief they choose to have. Faith is so popular worldwide because it never requires you to change your mind about anything, and allows you to believe that god himself is on your side no matter what crazy side you're on.


      July 6, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Primewonk

      " Why anyone could think that God doesn't use scientific principles to do what he does is beyond me"

      Here's the thing – we have perfectly good, valid, confirmed evidence, facts, and observations for the diversification of life on earth. We also have this for the expansion of the initial singularity that is our universe. We also have perfectly good hypotheses and experimental evidence for how first life formed 3.5 billion years ago.

      No god or gods are needed for any of those. Adding your god, or any other gods to the mix does not provide us with any additional explanatory power. It only adds an additional layer of complexity that is not needed or warranted.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Nick

      Primewonk –

      Except you assume that the only questions that matter are scientific questions. The concept of God isn't really an answer for scientific questions. Belief in God is about the philosophical questions that existence raises. Science doesn't need God...fine. But the overwhelming history of humanity proves that humanity does. The larger questions of meaning are largely unanswerable by science in a satisfying way.

      I am a theist (a Christian one, though that is largely unimportant in this discussion). But I accept science as a satisfactory explanation of existing phenomena. But science doesn't answer the existential dilemma that I find within myself. Another "level of complexity" needs addressing, and, for me, I find the solution to that complexity in religion.

      I just get really fired up when people act as though that somehow diminishes my intellect or the authenticity of my pursuit for knowledge.

      All fundamentalism is bad...even if it is atheist fundamentalism.

      July 6, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Who invited me?

      "But the overwhelming history of humanity proves that humanity does"

      So you have proof that humanity needs god.
      Is it the crusades? 9/11? 7/7 in england? The spanish inquisition?
      Please tell me where in history we have ever needed god

      July 6, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Primewonk

      Nick – religious belief is, in essence, an opinion. An opinion that is unsubstantiated by fact or evidence. Which is fine.

      The problems arise when theists state that their particular version of a god is real, or a fact. And they state that it is their interpretation of their holy book that is the correct version.

      And then they try and force others to live by their religion. They try and force their religious beliefs and opinions into our laws and our schools. They seek to legalize discrimination against gay folks, because they think their version of a god wants them to think gays are icky. They try and force their religious beliefs into women's vàginas and uterouses. They seek to force their religious mythology into our public school science classes.

      July 6, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Nick

      Who invited me? –

      I was speaking from an anthropological standpoint. That theism has existed in some form since the earliest human civilizations, it appears evident that a concept of God has been a necessary part our philosophical understanding of the world and our relationships to it.

      Primewonk –

      I agree that faith is a subjective reality. And I do oppose any attempt to force one's subjective understanding of reality on anyone else.

      But that it is subjective doesn't mean it isn't reality. And, in the same way that I have to respect your right not to believe without diminishing your value, I feel that I, as a person of faith, deserve the same right. If we can't disagree without ridiculing each other, then we will never go anywhere.

      And while I respect science a great deal (my wife is a biologist and we roll our eyes anytime the creationists start their spiel), I do recognize that science is, at least in part, a mythology of its own. We still don't have all the answers. Don't believe me? Pick up a science book from the 1930's - or the 1970's. So we have to be careful throwing the term "fact" around since facts change with data.

      July 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  13. floridamom1

    Hmmm, do gay people go to heaven? Only if they are obeying the commandents. Do fat people go to heaven? Same thing. And are people gay in heaven? NO. Because when you leave this earth and get your resurrected body, it will be whole and not broken. Gay bodies are broken whether you want to believe that or not. Something is wrong with them. But, that won't be the case after they are dead.

    July 6, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • @FloridaMum

      Aren't we in a selfish glowing hateful mood today? My my, so the problem with gays ends when they're dead? Nice, nice. Just what beJeeesus would say, such love, such glory, such warmth.
      The only thing 'wrong' here is that not MORE people call your narrow minded dumb ignorant statements what they are: hateful and ignorant.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      floridamom, I hope your fairy godfather "fixes" you before you're dead so you don't inflict your hatred on others.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Primewonk

      Claiming gay folks are broken, and that there is something wrong with them is all fine and dandy. You folks (the hômophobic, fundiot, bigots) are great at the accusation part. But it all falls apart when we ask you to back it up. Whenever we ask you to provide the citations to the peer-reviewed scientific research that supports your accusations, you fall silent. Why is that?

      July 6, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      I just wonder if floridamom realizes that she could bring a gay baby in to this world...would that make her broken as a parent?

      July 6, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  14. eric starnes

    Please, give me a break. Step back-into history-and find a scientist who believed in a flat earth and that bleeding ill people made sense and don't say science is such hooey, How can anyone believe in that "magic" ? No, it is line upon line, precept on precept, just like the Bible says about our faith. For those faith haters-it is understandable to be impatient with us "science haters", but with a long term view we meet at the horizen-with joy of discovery of who we are.

    July 6, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • floridamom1

      There are plenty of Christian scientists who have no problem with God and science.

      July 6, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      You're going back much further than when science had developed proper methodology. Alchemy and primitive astronomy weren't science in the sense we use today. The Earth was considered flat because that's how it appears, just as the sky appears to revolve around us. The proper application of scientific methods revealed the errors you are pointing out. It's science that gets us closer to truth and the more we search the more we discover. Religion on the other hand is stuck with unchangeable declarations that time and again have been shown to be wrong.

      July 6, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • Polergiest

      Truth? No, science doesn't bring us closer to truth, it tells us how the world operates. Truth is a philosophical concept outside the scope of science with the exception of maybe psychology. Science gives you answers to questions of the practical world. It doesn't tell me what I should or should not believe in, that's just atheism.

      Atheist hijack science to answer the same questions that religion tries answer. It's done largely through deductive/inductive reasoning so atheist theories on those questions tend fall back on science for answers. The problem is, science was never meant to prove or disprove any philosophy or debate religious concepts. As a result, science spends most of it's time defending major theories like evolution instead of teaching them, because atheist cling to the theory as an answer to their questions in place of dogma and create the perception of religious conflict.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      So it isn't true that the Earth is a globe...or that we orbit the sun? It doesn't matter what discipline you apply it to things are either true or false. Philosophy doesn't hold a monopoly on truth.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • WASP

      @Polergiest: "As a result, science spends most of it's time defending major theories like evolution instead of teaching them, because"

      see you started out fine right there, you just messed up with whom is battling against sceince in our schools. where to start...........you have IDers wanting that taught along side evolution as if that puedo-science would stand up in school, you have religious folks attacking the schools over different parts of the curriculum. s-e-x education, etc etc etc so it's not us atheists holding back education it's the religious nut jobs getting in the way of progress for the sake of their own personal beliefs.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "Christian scientists"

      Slight contradiction there. Science usually involved evidence. Christian involves faith.

      July 6, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  15. Reality

    From p. 2:

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no ad-ultery or for-nication allowed.

    And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-s-ex unions not same-se-x marriages.

    To wit:

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay se-xual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex se-xual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    As noted, there are basic biological differences in gay unions vs. heterose-xual marriage. Government benefits are the same in both but making the distinction is important for census data and for social responses with respect to potential issues with disease, divorce and family interactions

    July 6, 2012 at 7:33 am |
  16. john the guy not the baptist

    Speak not..for thou know not what thou sayith....
    Well, with any degree of intelligence, anyway.

    July 6, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • Rain

      lolz... You're funny... Of course I speak what I think is right... This is a venue for that... Say what you think, and I give mine... 🙂

      July 6, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  17. AGeek

    "If we would all see gays as fellow " humans... FTFY. Religion reinforces the 'us vs. them' mentality that holds back humans from constructing a peaceful, prosperous society. Dear Religion, I found the evil you purport to fight against..and it's you.

    July 6, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • copernicus911


      July 6, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • Nick

      Get rid of religion and we'll find another "other" to create. It isn't religion that causes this behavior. It is human nature. Our primal tribal instincts demand us to define OUR tribe and then attack the others before they steal our resources or attack us.

      The fact that atheism still maintains an us vs. them mentality is all the evidence you need. Either atheism is itself a religion, or religion isn't the cause of the us vs. them scenario.

      July 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  18. WASP

    they finally found the higgs-boson particule. cool! i wonder how the religious world will react when we can mathmatically show the very instance of this universe creation. how will the preachers,pope, rabbis', ministers explain this fact away. will they pull the whole "it's the devils doing"?
    i truly believe that if humans can give up the magic stories they were taught to cling to, we may just be able to progress forward as a species.

    July 6, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • dyslexic dog

      ah WASP, as ever, you put it perfectly.

      July 6, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • Karl Schulz

      Even if they confirm the Higgs-Boson particle, it wouldn't prove anything about God's existence one way or another. Scientific discoveries have a way of leading to more questions, not coming to some kind of final conclusion. If you have never experienced God, his voice, miracles, and other manifestations of his presence, then it's like telling a child about what it is to be in love. Once you've experienced it, you will believe. Unless of course you are mad at God for not doing what you wanted him to do...

      July 6, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • WASP

      @shultz: how can i be......well anything at something that doesn't exsist? implying that is just ignorant. i've seen "miracles" and the such, they are just as easily explained. seeing picture of jesus or "virgin" mary in a wall, power meter, or toast is shadows or marks of somekind that they mind makes into a picture due to the fact of looking for said articule. if a person walks around searching for aliens they will find them as well, it's how our minds work. while i'm on that topic of images of faith based things, how come we see jesus and mary but not one picture of "god"? could it be that we can't imagine something that doesn't look and act as we do? curious huh........lol

      July 6, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      The church has a histoty of discounting any scientific discoveries, Galileo, Darwin, etc.. untill they look so stupid in their attempts to deny or come up with a barely plausible alternative, ie. intelligent design being one of the latest. I believe that if they could the religious powers that be would just love to go back to the premise that the world isa flat and the earth is the center of the universe with everything else revolving around our little rock. One of the great achievements of man is overcoming the religious attempts to keep all of mankind in ignorance, thank dog!

      July 6, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • Ron

      Does knowing the very minute or second of creation, negate the fact that it was created? And if it was created at some point, does the discovery of the Higgs boson somehow negate the fact that there was a force behind that creation? Putting religion completely aside for a moment, doesn't it seem like every discovery brings even more questions? Far from being complete, our understanding of the world is still in its infancy.

      July 6, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • Scowl

      Ron, to state that the Universe was "created" is nothing more than a blind assumption.

      July 6, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      It's your as.sertion that the universe was created. Science merely states when it emerged from a singularity. From where or what no one can say. There may be many universes popping into existence. At time = 0 the infant universe was smaller than a proton and at that scale quantum mechanics allows for some pretty weird things...including particles popping into and out of existence. The crux of the argument is just how is a natural cause less likely than a supernatural cause?

      July 6, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • WASP

      @ron: science does create a lot of questions, it's just how it works. kind of like pulling a string on a carpet, the more you pull the more it unravels. eventually we will unravel this "rug" of exsistance until we know everything that can possibly be understood. however i haven't ever seen the benefit of attributing anything to any god/devil. if humans had just fell in line with religious teachings and never asked questions other than "god did it"........then people would still be dying in child birth, the common cold, small poxs etc etc etc. i find that we survived a s a species to become the alpha predator of this planet and the achievements we have made since then to be amazing; attributing everything humans have achieved to a god just cheapens the value of our achievements as a species.

      July 6, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • floridamom1

      But you still can't prove God didn't do it. What makes you think that God does not work with scientific principles or that he actually knows a few things you don't?

      July 6, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • Polergiest

      They probably won't react much at all. The big bang was initially proposed by a catholic priest studying astronomy in catholic university.

      July 6, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • WhatDoIKnow

      I don't understand how most people think that they have to decide between creation and evolution when they both fit quite well hand in hand. I personlly do believe in creation, as well as the big bang, and I don't see how discovering the higgs boson particle will disprove religion at all. Science can prove all day long how the universe was created and how it all started with the big bang, but what caused that? This mindset would be similar to proving why a ball rolls down a hill. You can prove all day long with physics why a ball rolls down a hill and forget every step of the way that someone had to push it first.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      We can't prove pink goblins didn't do it either. Playing the "what if" game doesn't get you any closer to the truth..only demonstrable evidence does that. What evidence for God's hand at work in creating the fabric of the universe is there?

      July 6, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • WhatDoIKnow

      I think most people would rather believe in one thing with the possibility of being proven wrong then believe in nothing and that one day nothing exploded for no reason and became everything.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • WASP

      @nay-sayers: yes i believe there is a true problem between believeing in religion and believeing in science as well. genesis 1:1 said god created everything, so in the bible everything starts there. in science things start with a singularity that exploded and expanded into what we understand as reality. so which is it? god or singularity? religion can keep moving god/gods further and further out into the universe or a seperate reality and science will continue to narrow down possible hiding spots for the religious to put "god". how will religion explain pre-big bang, parralell worlds the countless other scienctific possiblities science will eventually locate......how about the discovery of another intelligent life form? how will that be explained? god messed up with us so he created another sentient being? how would that float with believers, "oops sorry guys, you failed my test so i replaced you" message from god to humans after finding alien life.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Robert

      It's impossible prove a negative. You can't prove there isn't a tiny teapot floating in orbit between the Earth and the sun, that doesn't mean it's there. Atheists aren't concerned with disproving god's existence. After examining the evidence we simply don't accept the concept of a god. For us it makes as much sense as the existence of tinkerbell. No hate, no anger, no existence. In your own way you're also an atheist in that you don't believe in every other god that others may worship. I just believe in one less than you do. Have a geat sunny Florida day, I miss it.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • @Karl S

      "if you ever heard the voice of god?".... we are in trouble when we hear voices of non existent beings. Psychiatry can help a little but you're largely stuck in a hole, Karl.
      IF there is a voice of god, please show me a recording, a CD, a DVD, hey even a cassette will do. Let me hear that voice please... Oh, you can't? It's only you who hears it, inside?
      See above, hearing voices that no-one else can means you need help.

      July 6, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      I woke up one night and was positive I heard the VOICE of god, what an epiphany, I was ready to be converted. Turns out my wife couldn't sleep and was watching an old George Burns movie, still, I took another shot of medication and went back to sleep. Praise the lord.

      July 6, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Nick

      Our first reaction will be to spell particle correctly. 🙂

      July 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  19. WASP

    @RAIN: please read the theory of evolution. it's doesn't claim we came from monkeys, we came from a common ancestor with apes. i don't understand how religious people find it so hard to accept we changed over time and progressed on our own instead of believeing some all powerful, all knowing thing made humans from dirt.

    July 6, 2012 at 6:36 am |
  20. Rain

    Okay... I give up my Christianity and believe that I came from a long line of Monkeys... Do you want me to say that? Never will I accept that stupid theory... Sorry... 😉

    July 6, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • dyslexic dog

      evolution doesn't say we came from monkeys. you need to do some reading ... otherwise ... rain, rain, go away ...

      July 6, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Evolution does prove that we share 96% of our DNA with chimps.

      July 6, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • ThsIsNotReal

      @TruthPrevails - Actually evolution does NOT prove that we share 96% of our DNA with chimps. Genetics proves that. Evolution is a theory resulting from that finding as a well as other scientific findings.

      July 6, 2012 at 7:07 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Actually genetics merely confirmed what evolution has said all along. That all living things share a common decent. The DNA evidence is so conclusive that evolution would stand even if the fossil record didn't exist. I had to laugh at Rain who said he would never accept that we have a common ancestor with other apes, and yes even further back to early monkeys, but in fact we could go all the way back in time to find we have a common ancestor with lowly bacteria.

      July 6, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • Robert

      No need to be sorry Rain. The sad truth is that all life on earth shares common ancestors at some point. Do a little reading on the recurrent laryngeal nerve and see the evidence of our fish ancestors.

      July 6, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • Rain

      I guess Christianity is yet to be proven... But for whatever reasons... I will still be a Christian and do my best to be more and more like Him... Though I'm a sinner too... It must be sad, to have a life with all these uncertainties... Have you ever asked yourself if you're really happy? I may not know what you're going through right now, but Life with Christ is so much fun than being an atheist... 🙂

      July 6, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Who invited me?

      What makes you think your life is better than anyones? Oh yeah, because you're a christian. That holier than thou, so I must be hapopier than thou crap won't fly here. I am quite content knowing I don't have all of the answers, lead a wonderful life and don't need the crutch of religion to find happiness.
      Another christian on his high horse

      July 6, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • WASP

      @rain:"but Life with Christ is so much fun than being an atheist... " seriously? life more fun with the constant thought of what you can't do and how you are a sinner and bound for hell? i highly doubt that your life is any less wonderful or any less stressful than anyone elses. and FYI i have expenced "life with christ".it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. i enjoy and value my time on earth so much more so for the fact that i live only once.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Primewonk

      Rain – I thought your god was against lying?

      This obviously isn't your first rodeo. You have seen hundreds and thousands of posts from other fundiots spewing the "evolutionist claim we came from monkeys" drivel. And each of those times folks have told the folks like you that that is most certainly NOT what science says. We go on to explain to you fundies that humans ARE apes. We share common ancestry with the other great apes. We give you links to actual science sites explaining all this to you in great detail.

      Yet, bizarrely, you, and other fundiots, who purposefully choose to be ignorant about science, ignore all that and then have the balls to turn around and repost the exact same lies again.

      And you wonder why we hold you cretins in such low regard?

      July 6, 2012 at 9:58 am |
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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.