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Evangelist Billy Graham defends Chick-fil-A
July 26th, 2012
02:18 PM ET

Evangelist Billy Graham defends Chick-fil-A

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN)– Billy Graham, the dean of American evangelists, has once again broken his usual silence on hot-button issues, defending the president of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain for his opposition to same-sex marriage days after issuing a letter decrying what he sees as the nation's moral decay.

Earlier this year, the ailing preacher publicly endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay unions in North Carolina, raising eyebrows among many who'd watched Graham studiously avoid thorny social issues for years.

On Thursday, he issued a statement of support for the popular fast-food chain. Many people have slammed Chick-fil-A President Don Cathy for saying his company backs the traditional family unit and is opposed to same-sex marriage.

Graham praised restaurant founder S. Truett Cathy and son Don Cathy, the company's president, "for their strong stand for the Christian faith."

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"I've known their family for many years and have watched them grow Chick-fil-A into one of the best businesses in America while never compromising their values," Graham said.

The Chick-fil-A controversy reflects what many see as America's deep cultural and religious divide. The company's position on same-sex marriage doesn't sit well with Jim Henson Co., whose Jim Henson's Creature Shop toys have been served in Chick-fil-A's meals for children.

Jim Henson Co. is named for the creator of The Muppets. However, the company transferred The Muppets' rights and ownership to the Walt Disney Co. in 2003, according to Jim Henson Co.

"The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over 50 years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors," the company said in a posting on its Facebook page.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2008 GOP presidential candidate, is backing Chick-fil-A. He urged people to turn out to Chick-fil-A restaurants on Wednesday to show their support for what Cathy had to say about marriage.

Graham says he appreciated Huckabee's leadership and plans to visit a Chick-fil-A on that day, August 1.

"Each generation faces different issues and challenges, but our standard must always be measured by God's word. I appreciate the Cathy family's public support for God's definition of marriage."

On Tuesday, Graham leveled deep criticism at the United States. He compared the country to Sodom and Gomorrah, the Biblical cities synonymous with sin.

"Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle," Graham writes in the open letter released by his organization this week.

He blasts what he sees as efforts to keep references to Jesus out of the public sphere.

"Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone - except God. Yet the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control," he writes in the letter released Tuesday.

Graham, 93, has preached to untold millions over six decades, and provided counsel to generations of U.S. presidents.

His open letter also contains a fund-raising appeal and a notice that Graham's son Franklin, himself a major evangelical figure, is launching a new effort to "bring the Gospel into neighborhoods and homes in every corner of America next year."

Randall Balmer, the chair of the religion department at Dartmouth College, suspects the motivation for the letter is at least partly political.

"It's hard for me to believe that this letter does not have political intent," he said.

Its move to decry what he would see as moral decay "would be tied to the Obama administration," he argued, asking rhetorically why Graham would not have issued the statement in response to an event like the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.

In response to the controversy, Larry Ross, Graham’s spokesperson, said that “the letter does not address timely issues.”

“‘My Heart Aches for America,’ was written 6-8 weeks ago – long before recent current events, such as the tragic shooting in an Aurora, Colo movie theater, or the ongoing Chik-fil-A controversy,” Ross said in an email to CNN. “He is responding to general struggles in our culture and a moral decline that has existed through his public ministry.”

At the same time, Ross said that Graham is keen on the idea of eating Chick-fil-A next Wednesday.

“Considering Mr. Graham's age and limited mobility, his statement today was more an expression of sentiment and solidarity with the Cathy family and their cause than actually a commitment to go to a Chik-fil-A himself,” Ross said. “But he does plan to ‘Eat Mor Chikin’ on Aug. 1, which I expect someone will be able to get for him to enjoy at home.”

Balmer said that evangelicals would take note of the letter, though Graham has largely retired from the public eye in recent years.

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"There is certainly admiration for Billy Graham, as there should be," Balmer said. "There is lingering respect for Billy Graham and I think that people will take notice."

But he said the comparison to Sodom and Gomorrah - which Graham attributes to his late wife Ruth in the letter - was startling.

"When Billy Graham came to Madison Square Garden in 1957, he made comments comparing New York City to Sodom and Gomorrah and was roundly criticized for it," Balmer said. Since that time, Balmer said, Graham has largely avoided making the comparison to the Biblical cities.

CNN's Joe Sterling contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Billy Graham • Christianity • Church and state • Food

soundoff (2,864 Responses)
  1. Joe

    Right On Big Billy!! Moral decay will be America's downfall. We are all witnessing it happening. This proves the Christian belief's are true, that earth is the devils domain. But life on this planet isn't the only existence we all will experience. Just watching how our moral tolerances have changes for the worse over the last 50 years shows the trend that it will only get worse. The devil's rule on this planet is miniscule compared to life after.

    July 27, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Rick James

      Ahhh, the moral panic....a little bit of fear sprinkled with some delusion.

      July 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Wow, talk about myopic! The world is going to Hell in a hand basket primarily during YOUR lifetime because... let me guess....YOU are HERE!! That is just the biggest coincidence. And it was doing the same back in the 50's because, ummmm....let me guess...BILLY was a young preacher at that time, and was suffering from the SAME condition as you. Thinking that you are the center of all judgement, and that you are seeing END TIMES – – – HURRAH!! Hurrah for the destruction of everything, and you wish to see it. YOU WISH to see it. Pardon me, Life will go on, with or without you. Or Billy. Fund raiser TBA.

      July 27, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Oldwhiteman

      Every generation talks about the moral decay of their day being awful. It is total BS, of course. It is just people who are too dumb to understand and accept change. My racist relatives in Mississippi used to talk about the moral decay brought by integrating black people into white society...of cours,e they didn't complain about the cross burnings or lynchings being moral decay.. Christians are the greatest proof there is no benevolent, loving god.

      July 28, 2012 at 8:15 am |
  2. mema

    What is the big deal? All that was said is they support traditional marriage. That's not hate not is it discriminatory. Its just a personal view. Jews. No one can say they believe in traditional marriage without getting bullied. Its not like they refused to provide a service to anyone or banned anyone. Grow up people.

    July 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • mema

      Dumb spell check. Not jews, sorry, meant jees.

      July 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • are you related

      to Mel Gibson?

      July 27, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • jungleboo

      I am having a belly laugh right at this moment. You get the blue ribbon for the zaniest spell-check error in a post!!

      July 27, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  3. Hypatia

    Diocletian had the right idea about xians.

    July 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  4. bhigh

    I thought Billy Graham had already shuffled off this mortal coil.

    July 27, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  5. Robert

    WHat an old hipocrite!

    July 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  6. have the courage

    to tell the qu eers NO !

    July 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  7. womanity

    A prayer before leaving this comment board: Father God, I pray that you forgive everyone on this discussion board that has improperly used and all out irreverently bashed Your name and the name of Jesus Christ. Please help them to learn to respect even what they do not believe in or understand; help them to comport themselves as respectful, intelligent adults and most of all to come to know You as their Savior before they die. On that day, the 1st Amendment freedom of speech can offer them no exoneration. Please forgive me of my sins as I pray this prayer so that nothing will stop it from being pleasing to You. In Jesus' name A-men

    July 27, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • sam stone

      we cannot be afraid of judgement from a being in which we do not believe.

      July 27, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      how about praying for those who use the name of god to deny others' civil rights?

      July 27, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • on judgement day

      look for sam he'll be one of those with the oh sh it look on its face

      July 27, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • pervert alert

      There is no right to perversion. Qu eers the folks that gave the world AIDS.

      July 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      on judgement day: and you will be on your knees, servicing jesus in the old monica lewinski fashion, i take it?

      July 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • on judgement day

      God will take care of me, you'd best worry about you. You are in for a hell of a shock.

      July 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Delly

      We? With all due regard, please kindly speak for your self.
      Btw, I don't think God actually invites you to fear Him, but respect Him, and respect your neighbour.
      I personally dont see anything wrong in that. Besides who knows what is on the other side, but it does not hurt to believe I would think.
      Kind Regards,
      D

      July 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • glo

      Thank You . Yahooers need some prayer to , they are so hateful.

      July 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • on judgement day

      Jesus will be fully known and it was God who knows what is on the other side, God created it for us and wrote about it in His book the Holy Bible. Jesus taught about it in His earthly ministry and went to prepare a place for us.

      July 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • bhigh

      Thanks but no thanks.

      July 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Hypatia

      troll

      July 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  8. guests77

    I commend Don Cathy for speaking up where we as christian should be speaking in support of God's word and not man's. As in the beginning, God words have never change, but ours has since the beginning of time to satisfy our selfish needs. We change to support political, job, popularity, or fill in the blank ... It is sad when gay activist bully others to believe in their belief. I stand by God's words today, tomorrow, and always.

    July 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • JWT

      Just because your version of god says something (which of course mught be somethign diffeent to a different christian group) does not mean it should be the law of the land. The laws need and in fact MUST embrace all people, not just yours.

      July 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • ppt

      I agree. Perfect law will not reign until Jesus Christ comes again in glory to set up His kingdom. Let the governments rule as they see fit. "Give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (Mk 12:17) We cannot rule people into having a relationship with God; it is their own decision. The best we can do for them is pray.

      July 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer really changes things

      July 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Delly

      JWT. God's laws are no longer written on tablets of stones, or ink of paper, but written in our Spirits, as imprints of laws, or conscience. The biblical word says the government shall rest on his shoulders, which means that the love, respect and kindness the bible breathes i life should always serve as inspiration for our laws, Which indeed it does in every major democracy.
      Its inspiration not law. But what you have today is a departure from the inspiration behind our founding fathers. Our fathers believed in god, and it inspired them to write consitutional laws inspired by Moses and Jesus, that seperated directlt church and state. its this inspiration, which some also call culture that is withering away today, an its quite unchartered territories. A country without culture is a dead tree waiting to decompose. Christinaity is our culture. it embraces and encompasses all, thats the reason why you have the free dom you have today.- So dont go around bashing chirstianity, its your inheritance!

      July 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  9. Guest

    Billy never lent his name to these kinds of things until he became old and infirmed. I wonder if this isn't the ministry (and son Franklin) using his father's name for publicity? You never get Billy on tape saying these things, just press releases. I am skeptical!

    July 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Billy Graham not weighing in on social issues? Don't bet on it. I understand that back in his younger days, during the red-scare of the 1950s, Billy was quite the fire-brand, using his pulpit to denounce Godless Communism.
      I know he's been a bit of a lamb in recent decades, but maybe now he's decided to come full-circle and return to his roots.

      July 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  10. Penelope

    Chick-fil-a sounds like a p0rno flick. Maybe their marketing folks intended that.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • HYPOCHRISTS

      No but your followers do.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Penelope

      Are you my follower?

      July 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  11. HYPOCHRISTS

    "Jesus Christ Penny's, PLEASE SAVE US from the murdering profiteers!"- signed-,THE CHICKENS

    July 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • The Chicken God

      It's all good. It's part of my grand plan. Those chickens deserved to get slaughtered. They weren't worshiping me in the right way.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • HYPOCHRISTS

      You screwed your grand plan up from the beginning remember.........

      July 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • The Chicken God

      Quite the contrary. Whatever happens is part of my plan. See how that works?

      July 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • HYPOCHRISTS

      DELUSIONAL, its ok he has never admitted he has made a mistake before either.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • HYPOCHRISTS

      Why does God have to tell you people everything........maybe he wants you to figure out on your own that these aren't the days of the flood any more, there are plenty of things to eat besides killing one of his defenseless creatures. Wouldn't that be real COMPASSION, if you made that decision on your own? YOUR selfish and want what you want out of pleasure just like a crackhead and professed by your God as un-Christian and a lover of pleasure rater than a lover of God. A real Christian would not be responding here at all.....they let God judge these people not you or the CEO of a fast food company.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • The Chicken God

      I'm not sure what the issue is. I certainly don't claim to be an omni-benevolent god.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  12. PAUL

    I AM FOLLOWER OF JESUS AND SO IS JAH RULE AND CHERYL COLE!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWkS7pf9hKE

    July 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • HYPOCHRISTS

      As well as HITLER.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • truth be told

      hitler was an atheist.

      July 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  13. Lars

    Democ rats know this secret, make same s ex legally binding as marriage at federal level and they get an increase in federal income tax. Currently same s ex partners, although married in a stayed that allows it, can file federal taxes as single. Once bill is passed, they must file as married, and typically pay higher bracket. Think re pub licans would catch on?

    July 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      I see that you're obviously not an accountant.

      Unless you flunked fifth grade math, it's not hard to see that married couples ALWAYS pay less taxes. One of the arguments against gay marriage is that people will get married just to reap tax benefits (a bogus argument, since this applies equally well to hetero couples)

      July 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  14. Eric

    Isn't he dead yet?

    July 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Clearence

      I'm sure that Billy most enjoyed making anti-semitic jokes with his old firend Richard Nixon. Now he can just shoot his mouth off with the usualy self righteous posturings that the Bible thumpers are so good at.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Robert

      this man hase worked hard to teach the word of jesus to all you heathens out there to try to get you to wake up and realize that you are here for a reason. God in heaven gives permission for every breath you take. your days like mine are numberd. and only he. knows when your last day is. Repent

      July 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Animal

      *Isn't he dead yet? He looks dead.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • ME II

      "this man hase worked hard to teach the word of jesus to all you heathens out there..."
      My condolences on his failure.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • sam stone

      robert: get off your knees and try not to be so much of a sycophant slave boy

      July 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Susan

      LOL. I thought the same thing..............Isn't he dead yet? LOL

      July 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Susan

      I am a heathen and proud of it!!

      July 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  15. pervert alert

    Who wants some AIDS drooling qu eer around where people eat anyway? Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS. No hate just fact.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Troll Alert

      There is no single definition for the term ‘homophobia’, as it covers a wide range of different viewpoints and attitudes. Homophobia is generally defined as hostility towards or fear of gay people, but can also refer to social ideologies which stigmatize homosexuality. Negative feelings or attitudes towards non-heterosexual behavior, identity, relationships and community, can lead to homophobic behavior. This is the root of the discrimination experienced by many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Homophobia manifests itself in different forms, for example homophobic jokes, physical attacks, discrimination in the workplace and negative media representation.

      “Homophobia continues to be a major barrier to ending the global AIDS epidemic”

      July 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Until recently, the origins of the HIV-2 virus had remained relatively unexplored. HIV-2 is thought to come from the SIV in Sooty Mangabeys rather than chimpanzees, but the crossover to humans is believed to have happened in a similar way (i.e. through the butchering and consumption of monkey meat). It is far rarer, significantly less infectious and progresses more slowly to AIDS than HIV-1. As a result, it infects far fewer people, and is mainly confined to a few countries in West Africa.

      In May 2003, a group of Belgian researchers published a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. By analysing samples of the two different subtypes of HIV-2 (A and B) taken from infected individuals and SIV samples taken from sooty mangabeys, Dr Vandamme concluded that subtype A had passed into humans around 1940 and subtype B in 1945 (plus or minus 16 years or so). Her team of researchers also discovered that the virus had originated in Guinea-Bissau and that its spread was most likely precipitated by the independence war that took place in the country between 1963 and 1974 (Guinea-Bissau is a former Portuguese colony). Her theory was backed up by the fact that the first European cases of HIV-2 were discovered among Portuguese veterans of the war, many of whom had received blood transfusions or unsterile injections following injury, or had possibly had relationships with local women.

      Given the evidence we have already looked at, it seems highly likely that Africa was indeed the continent where the transfer of HIV to humans first occurred (monkeys from Asia and South America have never been found to have SIVs that could cause HIV in humans). In May 2006, the same group of researchers who first identified the Pan troglodytes troglodytes strain of SIVcpz, announced that they had narrowed down the location of this particular strain to wild chimpanzees found in the forests of Southern Cameroon . By analysing 599 samples of chimp droppings (P. T. troglodytes are a highly endangered and thus protected species that cannot be killed or captured for testing), the researchers were able to obtain 34 specimens that reacted to a standard HIV DNA test, 12 of which gave results that were virtually indistinguishable from the reactions created by human HIV. The researchers therefore concluded that the chimpanzees found in this area were highly likely the origin of both the pandemic Group M of HIV-1 and of the far rarer Group N. The exact origins of Group O however remain unknown.

      HIV Group N principally affects people living in South-central Cameroon, so it is not difficult to see how this outbreak started. Group M, the group that has caused the worldwide pandemic, was however first identified in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Repub lic of Con go. It is not entirely clear how it transferred from Cameroon to Kinshasa, but the most likely explanation is that an infected individual travelled south down the San gha river that runs through Southern Cam eroon to the River Con go and then on to Kin shasa, where the Group M epidemic probably began.

      Just as we do not know exactly who spread the virus from Cam eroon to Kin shasa, how the virus spread from Africa to America is also not entirely clear. However, recent evidence suggests that the virus may have arrived via the Cari bbean island of H aiti.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • pervert alert

      If you can't stand the Truth sweep it under the rug and call it hatred or bigotry. Guess what, everyone is wise to your bull sh it. you fool no one but your own. Qu eers the folks that gave the world AIDS.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Lot of monkeys in San Francisco are there? Zoo molesters perhaps? What a crock. Anything but face the Truth. qu eers unleashed AIDS on the world and are responsible for millions of innocent deaths.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Oh joy, the useless troll pervert alert has decided to continue to waste his time. Thankfully, school should be starting up again soon, and maybe mommy and daddy will keep such a stupid person of the internet.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      We all know how this goes; the ones who are all about not liking gays are the queens of denial. Kid, stop choking your chicken so much.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Animal

      *Who wants some AIDS drooling qu eer around

      I bet YOU do.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Animal

      Your mom's a zoo molester.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Billiefan

      pervert alert – you are a ignorant moron.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Your pope is giving people AIDS by not allowing contraception to be used in 3rd world countries and then those people move to other countries as refugee's (not all but some) and like any disease that potentially goes undetected, this too shall spread. Personally I think you're have a one celled brain that stops you from thinking about anything other than how to be the biggest bigot in this world! I'm sure Billy would be happy to lend you his blow up doll...it's obvious you're not getting any!

      July 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • pervert alert

      For those who are opposed to the Truth, the three best locations for qu eers
      1- in a grave, preferably with a self inflicted injury and before they have had a chance to corrupt anyone
      2- in a maximum security prison, preferably in solitary confinement to avoid corrupting honest criminals
      3- in a hospital for the criminally insane restrained gagged and preferably in solitary so that other inmates have the opportunity to recover.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Poor little troll pervert alert continuing to be useless. Does it make you feel good to be a waste of space and an embaressment to humanity?

      July 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "For those who are opposed to the Truth, the three best locations for qu eers
      1- in a grave, preferably with a self inflicted injury and before they have had a chance to corrupt anyone
      2- in a maximum security prison, preferably in solitary confinement to avoid corrupting honest criminals
      3- in a hospital for the criminally insane restrained gagged and preferably in solitary so that other inmates have the opportunity to recover."

      Thankfully the experts around the world disagree with you. Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      July 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Robert

      "Poor little troll pervert alert continuing to be useless."

      It's obvious pervert alert is a closeted gay which is why they lash out at the very thing they fear the most – It's time for pervert alert to come out of the closet.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      I'm guessing the pervert is actually a Poe.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • HYPOCHRISTS

      I would repent but I am afraid of being violated and contracting AIDS.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Hypatia

      sick troll who hangs with Holmes

      July 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    July 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Jesus

      -Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      July 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      Right, what things are those?

      July 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • New Gawker

      I'm sure it helps to take the little boys mind off of the fact a priest is pummeling him from behind.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • pervert alert

      @newgawker
      That like sandusky is the work of ho mo se xuals. Qu- eers who lied their way into the church and assaulted the innocent. Qu-eers the folks who gave the world AIDS.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      pervert alert: Wow, do you ever shut up??? Get back in your cave you ignorant bigot!!!

      July 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Well....I would imagine that believeing you are in telepathic communication with an invisible man in the sky would change some things....not for the better either.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • womanity

      yes, "atheism is not healthy..."; i feel sorry for the ppl who attacked your post; lets pray that all the things they have just shown that they have inside–the very things we know makes one's prayers detestable and unanswerable–will be moved so that they can experience the power of prayer, better yet the power of God, for themselves. 😉

      July 27, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  17. Deinse

    Anyone else notice how Billy Graham and the pope Rat-slinger have a similar severe, evil stare to them? Must go with the god-fraud-seller territory for upper level management.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  18. Shawn

    Let me start this off with a quote from a famous lesbian, Lynn Lavner:

    "There are 6 admonishments in the Bible concerning homosexual activity, and our enemies are always throwing them up to us – usually in a vicious way and very much out of context.

    What they don't want us to remember is that there are 362 admonishments in the Bible concerning heterosexual activity. I don't mean to imply by this that God doesn't love straight people, only that they seem to require a great deal more supervision."

    I am going to attempt to keep this short and simple, so here we go.

    Some claim that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 clearly say that homosexual sex is an abomination. In fact, it merits death. Isn't it obvious that God hates homosexuality?

    Yes, depending on which translation you are using, Leviticus does say, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it's an abomination." However, a few points must be made about this statement:

    a) It appears in Leviticus, which was given to preserve the distinctive characteristics of the religion and culture of Israel. However, as stated in Galatians 3:22-55, Christians are no longer bound by these Jewish laws. Even if you, for some reason, argue that these "laws" are still important, then you surely follow all of them, right?

    It is interesting that people who use Leviticus against the gay community forget the part that talks about religious sacrifices, making women sleep in tents outside during their period, the dietary restrictions placed on them and how to cleanse a leper, all of which appear in Leviticus.

    The laws of Leviticus are completely obsolete for today's Christian; however, even if you do claim to live by the laws of Leviticus, it is not fair to pick and choose which laws you are going to live by, or condemn a people by, if you are not going to follow the others. You should not need any more convincing evidence than this; but if you do, be my guest.

    b) The word that was in the original work, "to'ebah," which was translated into Greek as "bdglygma" actually means "ritual impurity" rather than abomination (or enormous sin). These passages in Leviticus can be translated to not mean homosexual sex generally, but only limiting homosexual sex in Pagan temples.

    c) This passage does not denounce homosexual behavior as a whole, but just the specific act of anal sex. This was meant for the prevention of disease. It was ruled unclean because it was physically unclean; however, hygiene has made wonderful advances since that time.

    d) These passages in Leviticus can be interpreted in many ways. I have seen it interpreted by scholars and priests to mean: "don't have sex with another man in your wife's bed;" "don't have sex with another man in the temple;" and "don't have sex with another man and pretend he is a woman," just to name a few.

    I have never seen an interpretation in any Bible, or from any scholar, that specifically says to never have sex with a man.

    Some claim the Bible simply does not support gay marriage. Chapter two of Genesis defines marriage as a holy union between a man and a woman. And later, in Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus himself reiterates the traits of a traditional marriage. How can you argue that anything other than celibacy is honorable for gay and lesbian people?

    Yes, marriage is a holy union. However, in these passages, while Jesus reiterates (but does not require) the traditional marriage, he also provides an exception for eunuchs (castrated men – or otherwise impotent men, in today's terms), and allowed them to be married, saying that this law is given to those to whom it applies.

    Because these eunuchs were born sexless, God made an exception for them because it was natural. The same applies to the Gay community today. Science has proven homosexuality is completely natural, so it seems God would allow for homosexual marriages.

    In Matthew 19: 4-5, Jesus encourages a traditional path, but does not discourage alternatives, except in the case of divorce.

    Jesus did stress purity of marriage, but not in regard to the sexes of the people within it. It can be seen that the reason that churches are against homosexual marriage is not because it is explicitly said by God, but because of a lack of instruction to specifically allow it.

    In the time that the Bible was written it would have been impossible to foresee the future to be able to specifically allow or forbid homosexual marriage.

    Some claim, in Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he lists homosexuals amongst the many sinners who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Doesn't that make God's position on this vice very clear?

    If we look at the other types of people listed in this passage; we can understand what it is actually talking about. Law breakers, thieves, adulterers and drunks are specifically mentioned. The word "homosexual" was not found until the 1890s, so it would have been impossible for it to be in the original version.

    What actually appears in the original is Paul condemning those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind." In this context, the original Greek word, "malakos," is translated into effeminate, or soft, which, more than likely, refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control.

    In this passage, when Paul condemns "abusers of themselves with mankind," he is speaking of male prostitutes.

    Then there are the people who claim that, even though science has proven that people don't choose their sexual orientation, the fact remains that homosexuality is unnatural. Romans 1:26-27 tells us that humans have a sinful nature, and therefore commit sins against God. Certain people are predisposed to be alcoholics and pedophiles, but that doesn't make their actions any less immoral. God tells us to "tear out your eye" if it makes you stumble. Why can't you just accept homosexuality as the part of your nature you must deny?

    Because the Bible has gone through so many translations, and through the hands of many people (some being non-believers), it is not surprising that the meaning has become a little fuzzy in parts.

    Homosexuality is normal. The phrase "para physin" appears in the original text for this verse. This term is often translated to mean "unnatural;" however, more accurate translation would be unconventional.

    Proof for this can be found in 1 Corinthians 11:14 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to men with long hair (unconventional, not unnatural) and in Romans 11:24 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to the positive action God made to bring together the Jews and Gentiles.

    All in all, homosexuality is obviously not a sin, unless you take passages from the Bible and add your own words or you just try really hard to interpret it that way. Let's just remember Galatians 5:14, where Paul stated, "the whole Law is fulfilled in one Statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

    July 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • ppt

      Genesis 1:28. Be fruitful and multiply.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  19. YeahRight

    "All around us today there is rampant moral decay. If one stands up and proclaims that gay marriage is ok and hurts majority of the population it is not called hate whereas if anyone points a finger at the moral decay it is defined as hate."

    Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    Social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents—concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people—are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • jungleboo

      coo coo

      July 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Sorry, YeahRight, my "coo coo" remark was meant to be posted elsewhere, at a fundamentalist. I support your views.

      July 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  20. Guest

    I just saw him the other day in a glory hole at the Chick fil A

    July 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
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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.