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Shooting sparks controversy over 'hate' designation for conservative group
The scene outside the Family Research Council after Wednesday's shooting.
August 17th, 2012
03:06 PM ET

Shooting sparks controversy over 'hate' designation for conservative group

By Michael Pearson, CNN

(CNN) - It's an online gallery of hate.

Here on the Southern Poverty Law Center website is Blood & Honour, a racist skinhead group with members who killed two homeless people they deemed inferior, according to police. A quick scroll away is the World Church of the Creator, which calls nonwhites "mud races" and preaches "racial holy war" that has, according to authorities, inspired some members to commit violent crimes.

Then there's the Family Research Council.

The SPLC says the conservative Washington policy group is listed as a hate group because "it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda" about lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

The designation, in place since 2010, has ignited a fierce debate after an apparently politically motivated shooting Wednesday at the FRC's Washington offices.

Conservatives see FRC attack as part of broader war

A Virginia man who authorities say harbors "strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner" is accused of shooting the manager of the council headquarters, wounding him in the arm.

The suspect was carrying 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, leading investigators to link the attack to recent comments by the restaurant chain's CEO defending traditional marriage and the Family Research Council's staunch defense of traditional marriage.

While the SPLC defended its label Thursday, saying it was about the "demonization" of gays and a long history of anti-gay activism, the FRC and its conservative allies struck back.

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"I believe the Southern Poverty Law Center should be held accountable for their reckless use of terminology," FRC president Tony Perkins said.

In response, SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok said the FRC was looking to make gains from the tragedy.

"Perkins and his allies, seeing an opportunity to score points, are using the attack on their offices to pose a false equivalency between the SPLC's criticisms of the FRC and the FRC's criticisms of LGBT people."

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

The FRC, through spokesman P.J. Duffy, declined to comment for this article.

Outside opinions were, predictably, mixed.

Tufts University political science professor Jeffrey Berry said the council is a mainstream, if very conservative, public policy shop - one of a multitude in Washington.

"I'm not comfortable calling them a hate group," he said.

"There's probably some things that have been said by one or two individuals that qualify as hate speech. But overall, it's not seen as a hate group," said Berry, who has written extensively about the influence of ideological and public policy groups in Washington.

Peter Montgomery, a blogger for the liberal think tank People for the American Way, said he backs the SPLC's designation.

"If you ask me, 'Does the FRC promote hatred towards gays and lesbians?' I would say yes it does," he said. "The FRC is not the KKK. But that doesn't also mean they deserve a free ride from being called out on their hateful rhetoric."

The FRC opened its doors in 1983, three years after founder James Dobson, then of Focus on the Family, held a prayer session with eight Christian leaders at a Washington, D.C., hotel, according to the FRC's official history.

"FRC's immediate goal was to counter the credentialed voices arrayed against life and family with equally capable men and women of faith," the group writes in its history.

According to its mission statement, the FRC "champions marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society."

"Properly understood," the mission statement continues, " 'families' are formed only by ties of blood, marriage, or adoption, and 'marriage' is a union of one man and one woman."

According to IRS data, the group received nearly $12 million in revenue in 2009, the latest year for which data is available.

It works on a variety of topics, including anti-abortion policy, traditional marriage, educational choice, religious liberty and family tax policy.

What has raised the SPLC's ire is the Family Research Council's stance on homosexuality. The council calls it "by definition unnatural."

"We oppose the vigorous efforts of homosexual activists to demand that homosexuality be accepted as equivalent to heterosexuality in law, in the media, and in schools," according to the council's website.

"Attempts to join two men or two women in 'marriage' constitute a radical redefinition and falsification of the institution and FRC supports state and federal constitutional amendments to prevent such redefinition by courts or legislatures."

The group says it also supports programs to help people overcome "unwanted" same-sex attractions.

But the SPLC says the group goes further than simply promoting a conservative Christian perspective. It spreads lies in pursuit of its own political agenda restricting the rights of homosexuals, the group argues.

Among other things, the SPLC says the council uses dubious science to convince Americans that gays pose a threat to their way of life, particularly that gays are a threat to children.

In 1999, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an FRC analyst co-wrote a booklet called "Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex With Boys."

In the document, which is not available on the FRC website, the authors reportedly argued that "the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the "prophets" of a new sexual order," according to the SPLC.

The group also was heavily involved in the effort to prevent the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy prohibiting military service by openly gay men and women. Among other things, Perkins said, the change would force the military to pay for sex-change operations.

In 2010, the FRC was widely denounced after blogger Joe My God published documents that appeared to show the FRC provided $25,000 for lobbying efforts to defeat a congressional resolution expressing opposition to a proposed law in Uganda, which called for the imprisonment of gays and lesbians and the death penalty for those accused of spreading disease and other acts of "aggravated homosexuality."

The story was picked up by several news organizations and still appears in Internet denunciations of the group. In a 2010 statement, the FRC said that it did not support the Uganda bill or the death penalty for gays and lesbians.

In a statement published at the time, the group said it only wanted lawmakers to "remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right."

Not long after that controversy, the SPLC added the FRC to its list of hate groups.

The FRC has been a "font of anti-gay propaganda throughout its history," the SPLC wrote.

However, unlike many of the groups listed in its "intelligence files," it does not accuse the group of any violent or illegal acts.

At the time of its designation as a hate group by the SPLC, the FRC called the label "slanderous" and "character assassination" in an open letter published in Washington newspapers.

"This is intolerance pure and simple," the ad read. "Elements of the radical Left are trying to shut down informed discussion of policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures and the courts."

After Perkins' comments Thursday, the debate began to take off.

In The Washington Post, columnist Dana Milbank noted the controversy.

"I disagree with the Family Research Council's views on gays and lesbians," he wrote Thursday. "But it's absurd to put the group, as the law center does, in the same category as Aryan Nations, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Stormfront and the Westboro Baptist Church."

On the conservative website Newsbusters, a commenter posting as "Blonde Gator" said calling an organization a hate group doesn't make it true.

"Just because the FRC has a mission statement which doesn't align with your own agenda, does NOT make them a hate group," Blonde Gator wrote.

Elsewhere, a blogger going by the name of "Senator Blutarsky" said the designation lowered the bar for what constitutes hate.

"The Great Chicken War showed that in 2012, all one need do is subscribe to a conventional understanding of Christian teaching, and boom! You're a bigot," the commenter wrote, referring to the Chick-fil-A controversy.

On the website for "Truth Wins Out," which describes itself as a nonprofit "fighting anti-gay lies and the ex-gay myth," blogger Wayne Bessen wrote that the SPLC was "100% correct" in labeling the council as a hate group.

"As someone who reads Perkins' anti-gay fundraising letters - make no mistake about it - this group loathes LGBT people with a special passion," he wrote.

One commenter on the site said the shooting "was Lady Karma finally come a-calling on the FRC."

"GLBT people have put up with their hatred, beatings, burning, rapes, murder ... for centuries now," said the poster, writing as "Merlyn." "But the second something like this happen we are blamed and groups like the FRC ramp up the volume of their calls to incarcerate us. I'm not saying I approve of what the shooter did, but all things considered, the FRC got off very lightly."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Politics

soundoff (911 Responses)
  1. borisjimbo

    I'd sure love to know what kind of research the Family Research Council carries out, and in what peer-reviewed journals this research is published.

    August 18, 2012 at 3:20 am |
  2. AGuest9

    "Mud races"? Y'all mean that Adam an Eve weren't the first, and we ain't all really kin?

    August 18, 2012 at 3:10 am |
  3. jamessavik

    If the FRC doesn't want the label of hate group, they should stop acting like one.

    If they were saying the same things about Blacks and Hispanics that they are saying about gays, they would be universally condemned.

    But gays are the last minority that it is OK to spit on.

    August 18, 2012 at 1:20 am |
  4. Gee Whiz

    A beautiful song here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtwIT8JjddM

    August 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Really? This is the worst thing that could have happened to music. I just want to puke.

      August 18, 2012 at 12:38 am |
  5. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Moving out of the Dark Ages into the 21st century.

    o "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    1. The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    3. See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x 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, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

    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.

    August 17, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      spec·u·la·tion    [spek-yuh-ley-shuhn] Show IPA noun

      1. the contemplation or consideration of some subject: to engage in speculation on humanity's ultimate destiny.
      2. a single instance or process of consideration.
      3. a conclusion or opinion reached by such contemplation: These speculations are impossible to verify.
      4. conjectural consideration of a matter; conjecture or surmise: a report based on speculation rather than facts.
      5. engagement in business transactions involving considerable risk but offering the chance of large gains, especially trading in commodities, stocks, etc., in the hope of profit from changes in the market price.

      August 18, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • Reality

      Considering the god of Abraham:

      The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years) (prayer = a reiterated peti-tion such as the Our Father)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (references used are available upon request)

      August 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  6. Mimi

    One of God's gentle people, FRC president Tony Perkins, violated campaign expenditure disclosure law when he tried to hide his payment to KKK Grand Wizard David Duke. Proof? You got it:

    http://eqs.sdrdc.com/eqsdocs/0000016F.pdf

    August 17, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      In 1996, while managing the U.S. Senate campaign of Woody Jenkins against Mary Landrieu, Perkins paid $82,500 to use the mailing list of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. The campaign was fined $3,000 for filing false disclosure forms in a bid to hide the payment to Duke. Perkins has stated he did not know about the mailing list's connection to Duke.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Mimi and vocal, does Jerry Springer ring any bells? LOL.

      August 18, 2012 at 7:04 am |
  7. joemygod

    While I certainly do believe that the Family Research Council has more than earned its hate groups status from the Southern Poverty Law Center, it's more than a stretch to imply that the FRC's addition to that list came about because I blogged about their lobbying against Uganda's "death to gays" bill. In fact, the SPLC's lengthy recounting of the FRC's many anti-gay actions and positions contains no mention of Uganda at all.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • sam

      The FRC has given plenty of reasons, to the point where pulling one from the stack no longer really means as much in the landside of nonsense they've created for themselves.

      You did get a little press, though. Hope it doesn't bring you too much grief from the standard internet crazycakes factor.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @joemygod

      Congrats to you for your work !

      Peace...

      August 18, 2012 at 1:39 am |
  8. saggyroy

    Sounds like gods plan to me....

    August 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • saggyroy

      ...god loves killing and mayhem.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      That's the OT god. The NT god loves everyone. He even loves non Christians. He has to send them to hell to burn and suffer for all of eternity, but he feels really bad about that Rules are rules. Besides, even God needs some form of entertainment.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      freaker, fact is the Heavenly father (God) doesn't do the judging. That's Jesus' job. Jesus doesn't condemn everyone for eternal damnation. Most get blotted out, never to be remembered anymore. That's why the wide path is so easy and most people walk it. It's the narrow gate that you need to focus on.

      August 18, 2012 at 7:09 am |
  9. Jack

    Hello. Everyone is cordially invited to visit... thestarofkaduri.com

    August 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  10. TheVocalAtheist

    I feel like I'm at the bottom of a pile of shi*t trying to dig my way out of this pile of religious puke and feces. You religious people have no foundation, no basis, no proof of your madness, just delusions and very bad judgment.

    August 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • sam

      Believing oneself to be backed by an almighty creator that ONLY FAVORS THEM is a pretty strong pull. Gives a certain priviledge. Someone will post their pity for you in 3...2...1....

      August 17, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • saggyroy

      I can't wait for the rapture so we can have our planet back....

      August 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      The fun nuts have their Reebok's ready!

      August 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Huh?!?

      Wow, your tolerance level is impressive, you get your inspiration from Barry Obummer I bet, such a clean, articulate and nice looking guy. If you don't believe it, go somewhere else with your beliefs on not believing. I don't go to Atheistic comment sections because it wastes electrons I could use to make you look stupid here. Sorry but you suck

      August 18, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Huh,

      where are the atheistic comment sections?

      August 18, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      "Sorry but you suck"

      At least you said sorry, must be a nice person, thank you!

      August 18, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • HeavenSent

      So, let me see, basically the atheists are whining again because they want to take the easy way through life instead of meeting Jesus' challenge to live righteously.

      What to do, what to do, what to do?

      August 18, 2012 at 7:12 am |
  11. Susie

    Woud you call the American Cancer Society a ha te group because they discou rage smoking? How about M A D D beca use they discou rage drunk driving? The CDC lists the infection rate for A I D S/H I V for men who have s ex with men, as 19% infected. This behavior is at least as dangerous as the others. Think that g ay ma rriage will decrease that? Guess what, according to studies of g ay men, more than half of g ay marriages, are planned as open marriages.

    August 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • sam

      I just bet that made sense in your head, didn't it. God, it's like someone put wheelblocks on the brains of a certain portion of the population.

      Did you make all that up your very own self, or did someone from your church group help you invent those 'facts'?

      August 17, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      Oh so the Christians love gays and are concerned about gay health. All this time I was thinking they hated gays for the Bible tells them so.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Bill M.

      I hate hate groups

      August 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Gay jock from Cali

      What a fool. The fastest growing group of HIV infected people, is now "straight" identified Black men and women in the US. Infection rates have nothing to do with hate. If Herpres were terminal, or other VD's were terminal, would you favor no straight marriage ? Thank you. ANther great product of the US education system, and proof that Americans are too stupid to live.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • tallulah13

      No, Susie. But I would call any group that tells lies about a minority in order to deprive them of their civil rights a "hate group". And since you are also telling lies about a minority, I would call you a "hate individual".

      August 18, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • rick

      Well, Susie, when the American Cancer Society or MADD lobbies to deny people their CIVIL RIGHTS, get back to us.

      August 18, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      I'd appreciate a link to these apparent studies. The studies I have read don't say any of the garbage Susie spewed.
      As for hating those other organizations, there is simply no comparison to what FRC does.

      August 18, 2012 at 7:11 am |
  12. Rufus T. Firefly

    "I think the Southern Poverty Law Center should be held accountable for recklessly....pointing out that we knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda"

    Yeah, you tell 'em. It's all their fault for noticing, huh? Give me a break.

    August 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • sam

      Yeeeeeah...because all the denigrating, false things these fools have said about anyone who isn't 'straight' isn't bad at all.

      Self serving hypocrisy this blatant and ironic just boggles the mind.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Indeed. It's like the FRC is saying, "How dare you point out that we are lying in order to oppress others?"

      August 17, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • sam

      I'm just trying to figure out what kind of mental gymnastics it takes for them to not see it. It must be like dividing by zero -level gymnastics.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      I can truly understand why people get pis*sed-off. Their madness is deafening by the loud screech of nails on a chalkboard.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  13. Pross

    Under these guidelines, Obama would be guilty of promoting hate, since he is encouraging anger towards the "1%".

    August 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Huh?!?

      He is part of the 1%, just trying to blend in and not get caught. But he got elected while still professing traditional marriage. How many gays voted for him then? That hater!!

      August 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  14. My Opinion

    The basic premise in this argument is flawed. Deciding who is a hate group, based on your own beliefs, is obviously biased. Everyone seems to hate, to one degree or another, those who do not really agree with them. If you side with the Creator then what is wrong is determined according to the Creator's rules of right and wrong. If you don't side with the Creator and you, in reality, make up your own rules, then you can decide who are hate groups or not based on your own made up criteria. So simple. In the end the Creator wins because He is bigger and better than everyone else. He is divine and you are not.

    August 17, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • sam

      See, not everyone believes in the same creator, or in one at all. Deal with that.

      Also, when patterns of behavior surface that cause harm to others, yes, they should be labeled a hate group. It's that simple. It's not about opinion, it's about acts and intent.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      I am glad my opinion is not my opinion.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      "determined according to the Creator's rules of right and wrong"

      And you can prove this, correct?

      August 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • on judgement day

      Look for sam it will be one of the ones with the Oh sh it look on its face.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • My Opinion

      If there is no Creator then who can even say "hate" exists? Without a moral God then there are no absolutes like good and evil or hate. What an interesting dilemma. Without a moral Creator with His ten commandments of right and wrong then we are just matter floating around with no moral direction at all ... wait that is what we see today isn't it. We did away with God and His holy law and now anything goes and confusion reigns. Amazing. So, do you really exist?

      August 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • sam

      I hope there is a judgment day; and that it finally wipes all these delusional nutballs off the planet.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • on judgement day

      It will make no mistake about it.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • sam

      I'm still hoping one of those near-miss asteriods will finally not miss.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @My Opinion

      My world is different than your world. You see things that I don't see. You tell me all this wonderful stuff but I still don't see it. I think for myself and I don't need someone like you claiming your nonsense to be truth. If you can give me something, anything that resembles a reasonable explanation for me to believe in your world please do. Remember, it has to be real.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • My Opinion

      What makes the SPLC think they are the standard for others? What authority do they have to determine what hate is or who is practicing hate? In this present world the one with the most guns or money seemingly wins, but in the judgment day, when the Creator has His say so .... only those who trusted in His authority and loved His law will be the big winners. They are the peacemakers and they show no hate and they tell the truth even when it is unpopular.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • on judgement day

      @sam
      it is appointed unto man once to die then the judgement. It does not matter how or when you die you will then face judgement.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Until you can prove your creator is real, anything that comes out of your mouth sounds ridiculous, like your reading it out of some book or something. Don't you have your own brain and own thoughts?

      August 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • sam

      Jesus Christ the idiocy in here tonight is staggering.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • huhb

      SPLC's claims are backed up by evidence. FRC's are not.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @sam

      This would be hell for me, the worst nightmare ever.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • sam

      @Vocal – me too, man. Me too.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • My Opinion

      The world I live in is very real and it is based on sure promises from One who is trustworthy. It is a world that entered upon by faith in those promises but one day soon it will be a complete reality. You live, you die. Thats it. I live, I die, I am raised again by the Creator and eternal life goes on forever. I have hope and joy and peace. What do you have? I would choose my reality any day over your hopeless despair and empty future. The promises of the Creator are made to all fallen humans, but only a few will take hold of them and really live. No God, No Peace ... Know God, Know Peace. It's really that simple. Hate is the opposite of love and hate is based on selfishness while love is selflessness. God is love ... and I joyfully choose that life which lasts.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • truth be told

      Jesus Christ is the only hope any of us have sam.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • sam

      Jesus Christ is the only hope left for you, and it's worked out just great so far, hasn't it?

      Keep it in your own yard.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      "I would choose my reality any day over your hopeless despair and empty future."

      I am so please to see your creator has made you such a loving individual.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • My Opinion

      @TheVocalAtheist .. Like I said ... the promises are to all who are willing to trust in the Creator. Eternal death is the natural result of rejecting the Author of Life. There is no everlasting hell but there is a lake of fire to destroy sin and those who love sin .... and sin is the transgression of the law of the Creator ... Deuteronomy 5 and Exodus 20. Don't you hate me? Aren't you a hate group too? Hummm. God is love and He sincerely loves you ... but even He won't force you to love Him. Jesus says, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." This is the way of life ... to trust and to obey. Good day to all ... I have other things to tend to.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • sam

      I love that here again we have this idea of a god who essentially says 'believe in me or else.' Because that's great. Fear is a terrific motivator. How many people out there are stuck following along because they've been ingrained with a fear of eternal punishment? For things that don't deserve it?

      That's awful.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Oh yeah, this religious folk are so fair and understanding and tolerant you just want to hug them.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • stormrider2112

      One does not need a god to be moral. Doing good out of fear of divine retribution or the promise of a paradise afterlife means you're not actually good, but rather a self-serving egoist. Doing good for the sake of doing good means you are a genuinely good person. Read Plato's "The Republic" for a great discussion on justice and morality in a culture that didn't have a concept of conscience.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Gay jock from Cali

      @on judgement day..
      Do you even know where "judgement day came from ?
      When you die, you're dead. Stone cold dead. Your fairy tale isn't going to scare rational adults. If you NEED to scare people, and feel superior, try a room full of little kids.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Since I'm an American, I side with the Consti.tution. It says nothing about your god, except that he doesn't belong in our government.

      August 18, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      ...that all men are endowed by their creator (that is God to you tallulah) with certain inalienable rights...

      August 18, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • rick

      really, My Opinion, how many other groups lobby to deny citizens their civil rights?

      August 18, 2012 at 7:13 am |
  15. Nadrakas

    The Southern Poverty Law Center is a Hate Group as much as any that they finger.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Science

      Care to actually back up that claim and say how that's possible please?

      August 17, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Daniel

      no they are not, you just hate them because they more than likely have a group that you love dearly listed as a hate group

      August 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • pervert alert

      There is no comparison between coloreds and qu eers. Qu eers are degenerates that gave the world AIDS

      August 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @pervert alert

      You don't know a darn thing about AIDS so shut the f*uck up!

      August 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • nmmell08

      Pervert doesn't want to learn, he doesn't want to open his heart to love, he feels like he is right no matter what. I wish God/Jesus/A Friend/Random Stranger can open his heart up to realize just b/c someone has a different orientation, they are still human and should be loved

      August 17, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • sam

      And your rationale on that came from where, Fox News?

      August 17, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • pervert alert

      AIDS has killed millions of innocents since unleashed on the world by perverted qu eers. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • sam

      Nadrakas: sounds like you know too much about fingering. Better confess to Jesus.

      pervert: one day, the right boy will find your prostate and your mood will improve.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Pigs will fly before your kind will ever influence the other 99% of the world. Qu eers the people who gave AIDS to the world

      August 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • nmmell08

      Pervert, i tried to play nice, tried to play with the science and the proof arguments. But you sir/madam need to cut this absolute BS out. You spew hate and lies to promote an opinion that holds no credability. Its a conspiracy that spawns from the early 80s. Its been rebuked. Its 2012. Stop being an a*#*%le and be tolerant. Or else someone will beat you senseless

      August 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • sam

      Hands down, gayest poster here is pervert alert.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      pervert alert is gayer than gay!

      August 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Threatening to slap me with your purse you self righteous bigot, your Truth is exposed now isn't it. Qu eers the people who gave the world AIDS.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • nmmell08

      Pervert: Where are your facts. WHERE?!

      August 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • DMG2FUN

      They claim to track hate groups. So where is nambla on their hate group list?

      August 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • sam

      pervert alert, do you remember the Peanuts cartoons? Charlie Brown had a friend named Pig Pen, and everywhere he went a little cloud of dust followed.

      That's you, except it's a little cloud OF AIDS

      August 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • truth be told

      Peanuts was penned by a Christian man and frequently had Biblical themes.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • sam

      @truth be told – that's what makes it so very ironic. Luckily, he wasn't as preachy or heavy handed as some of you whackadoos.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I always thought that Peppermint Patty was a bit of a tomboy.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS0UEa1lEV4

      August 17, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • sam

      LOL GOP'er

      August 17, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • TR6

      @pervert alert: "AIDS has killed millions of innocents since unleashed on the world by perverted qu eers. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS."

      More than half of the innocent people who have died of AIDS would still be alive if the catholic church hadn't done everything in its power to prevent anyone, especially anyone in the third world, from using condoms.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • TR6

      @truth be told: "Peanuts … frequently had Biblical themes."

      I'm a long time Peanuts fan; but, I didn't notice anything biblical. The Great Pumpkin didn't destroy all of the world with a flood and everyone in it except the peanuts kids. The Great Pumpkin didn't the kids somebody else's and them command them to slaughter all the residents and take the new neighborhood as their promised land…

      August 17, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @TR6,

      the "Charlie Brown Christmas" is a bit of a dead giveaway, don't you think?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @TR6,

      raised Lutheran, there is no questioning Charles (Sparky) Schultz' faith but as sam says, he wasn't preachy about it in the strip.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Schulz

      August 18, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • tallulah13

      "Pervert" is nothing more than a troll, begging for scraps of attention by telling offensive lies. Maybe is we all ignore him/her. he/she will go away.

      August 18, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • pervert alert

      And maybe if tallulah ignores qu eers AIDS will go away also. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS

      August 18, 2012 at 7:12 am |
  16. Rob

    Read "the origin of consciousness and the breakdown of the bicameral mind" to understand why all this religiion nonsense exists. Julian Jaynes is the author. Education is the cure.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • truth be told

      Professing themselves to be wise they exchanged the glory of God for idolatrous pursuits.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Rob: I don't think "education" would have cured the guy with the gun. The problem is deeper than that.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Scott

      @truth be told Professing themselves to be wise they exchanged the glory of God for idolatrous pursuits.

      Which is completely legal in America, Western Europe and more countries every year as long as the idolatrous pursuits are pursued by consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes"

      August 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Ho mo se xuality should still be a hanging offense. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS

      August 18, 2012 at 7:13 am |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 17, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  18. Urafkntool

    Why are libtards the most intolerant people on the planet? If you disagree with them (which anyone with sense would do), you're a bigot, racist, fill in the phobe, etc. You're targeted for violence or death, you get shouted down by a dozen liberals when you tell the truth and reality about something. This group stands for white values. The only problem is, ZOG hates white values, and they instruct their AIPAC, ADL, and SPLC go–yim well.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Urafkntool

      It just goes to show ya... anti-racism, anti-phobism= anti-white.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • nmmell08

      Um the left wing has the support of hispanics, blacks, quite a few whites, gays, straight. The right wing is known mostly for its support of White Christains...and White Christains

      August 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Urafkntool

      Actually, all politicians look out for themselves and their bank accounts. Liberals just happen to have the absolute WORST ideas. I'm not a perticularily religious person (call me a dyslexic agnostic insomniac), but even I know better than to believe anything a liberal says.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • nmmell08

      You have SS, medicare, medicaid, eletricity in the South thanks to the TVA? That was a liberal doing that. Equal pay for women, Liberal. Equal rights no matter what color skin you have, Liberal. Liberals did all of those things. live with it

      August 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • nmmell08

      But mayber i shouldn't try to argue that. Your viewpoints are White Supremist in nature with your white genocide remarks. Also crim rate is dropping right now 🙂 so that argument is bullcrap. And if crime ever rose 500%, this country would of been in total chaos

      August 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Urafkntool

      I noticed that when I post truth here it STILL gets deleted. Fact is, the "equal rights" movement (also known as the white gen-o-cide movement, or bowel movement) has caused nothing but rising crime rates, inner city ghettos, entire cities declaring bankruptcy due to overwhelming demands on social services (because most "minorities" refuse to work but have tons of kids). Fact is, you say crime rates are dropping, but they're not. All you have to do is do a little research on black on white and hispanic on white crime to see that it's just NOT BEING REPORTED. The MSM doesn't TOUCH "minority" on white crime, EVER.

      My views are white nationalist/separatist, not supremacist. I don't believe races can live together in harmony, because it's been proven time and time again that they CAN'T.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • sam

      'tool...there are no mods. It's that you're too damn dumb to learn how to get around the automatic filter. Asshat douchewaffle twatlobster knucklefuck. Don't you have a banjo that needs tunin'?

      August 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  19. bam

    Mr Jesus didnt preach bigotry, intolerance and hate, why do his followers?

    August 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      Jesus taught that i-t is a sin for a man to lie with another man. He also taught a man is to have one wife, and a woman one husband. It is only when people remove God from their lives that not only do they tolerate ho-mo-s-e-xu-ality and multiculturalism, they embrace it.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • truth be told

      Truth is not intolerance bigotry or hate. Your labeling Truth that way makes no difference it is still Truth get used to it.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Russ

      @ bam: good point.
      but also recognize this: much of what is labeled today as intolerance, bigotry & hate are most certainly things Jesus preached.

      Jesus said he was the only way (Jn.14:6). Is that intolerance?
      Jesus called religious hypocrites names, like brood of vipers & wolves (Mt.23, for example). Is that hate?
      Jesus was a Jew, and clearly believed God has especially chosen Jews to reveal who he is (Mk.7:24f). Is that bigoted?

      August 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • nmmell08

      Where does the bible does it say Jesus said that? Your quote is from Leviticus. Which does not hold power in Christainity due to Jesus on the cross.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • truth be told

      The same God of the gospels was the God of Leviticus and Romans and Corinthians. He was also the same God who destroyed Sodom.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Russ

      @ nmmell08: i assume you're talking to God's people, as I gave NT references for my points.

      however, worthy of note: your view of the OT is not Jesus' view. he preached that the OT was fully authoritative.
      he said every letter of the law is authoritative (Mt.5:17) and he came to fulfill it (Mt.5:18).
      he once argued a point with the religious conservatives based off a single word's interpretation (Mt.22:44).
      and most importantly, he said all of the OT is about him (Lk.24:27,44).

      you can't draw such stark lines between the OT & NT if you're following Jesus' teaching.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • nmmell08

      Russ: That passage i have read he said he came to fulfill the law. Hsi comming fullfilled the law. Also if we had to follow all the laws of the old testament, why are Christains allowed to eat Pork or Shellfish?

      August 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • truth be told

      Some laws were given as local ordinances as explained to Peter in the book of Acts. In modern terms if pork was as easily tainted and diseased today you would be well advised to avoid it. Who would consume shellfish from waters contaminated by nuclear waste?

      August 17, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • nmmell08

      Yet Jesus said his coming fullfilled those laws. That covenant those laws represent was fullfilled by him. That is the argument that Christain scholars have been using for generations

      August 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • sam

      Yes, keep talking yourselves into holes, christians. The bible can and will say whatever you want it to if you try hard enough, and you can justify about anything with it. Keep it up.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Russ

      @ nmmell08: you are partly correct, but missing some distinctions. if i can get technical for a moment...

      there are 3 types of OT laws: ceremonial, judicial & moral.
      ceremonial: ritual cleansing laws in regard to the temple & sacrifices.
      judicial: theocratic laws of OT Israel
      moral: universally applicable laws of morality

      so yes, Jesus *fulfilled* all of them. but that doesn't mean none apply today. the ceremonial laws are now abrogated (no longer apply) because he is our cleansing. the judicial laws no longer apply because they were particular to OT Israel. but the moral laws which Jesus kept in living the perfect life *still* apply. For example, the 10 Commandments.

      Christians believe Jesus lived the life we couldn't (fulfilling all the Law demanded), but that now – in grace – we are called to live faithfully in light of who he is. And that's exactly what the moral law shows us. Not just "don't lie," but rather: God is integrity. Life with him should be lived with integrity. Not just "don't steal," but God is generous – even becoming poor so we could have real spiritual wealth (life in Jesus).

      Point being: the moral laws still apply – because they are a reflection of God's character. And Jesus came to make us more & more like him.

      And now all of that comes to bear on this: which type of law are those passages in Leviticus? clearly not ceremonial (they're not merely about cleansing) or judicial (they're not just about OT Israel as they are repeated in the NT). they are moral laws. so they still apply. just like the 10 Commandments.

      And yet where conservative Christians stop short is this: we are as sinful as anyone else we're calling out. we utterly fail the 10 Commandments. it's not from a position of moral superiority that conservative Christians should speak – but as one who knows the cross tells me I deserve death as much as anyone else. And yet that's exactly where grace is found. And that's where your point about the cross comes in.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Russ,

      you've done a much better job of rationally explaining the why Christians 'cherry pick' Leviticus than most of the people who post here do. It was reasoned and free of proselytizing. Thank you.

      Nevertheless, it doesn't explain why Jesus spends a lot of time very specifically talking about adultery and nothing about h0mos3xuality.

      Given that contemporary Christians look the other way when it comes to adultery but get twisted around the axle when it comes to marriage equality how do you reconcile that?

      August 17, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Gay jock from Cali

      Jesus preached that the kingdom was about to be re-estalished. It didn't happen. So much for Jesus. Move along.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Russ

      @ not a GOPer: I don't reconcile that. I think it is a major problem in the life of the Church – a scandal.
      Statistically speaking, adultery is a much more prevalent issue in the Church than hom.os.exuality. It doesn't mean we should avoid noting *both* as sins, but the Church should be much more concerned with the sin in-house rather than outside (1 Cor.5:12).

      Jesus central message was repentance – not "other people should", but to his own disciples. He even called his own disciples "evil" at times (Mt.7:11). If only the Church would get back to leading in repentance instead of finger-pointing, maybe we'd begin to actually show people Jesus instead of our arrogance & hypocrisy.

      Ideally, Christians should share their faith from a position of knowing they themselves need a Savior as much as anyone else with whom they would witness.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Gay Jock: understand, Christians believe the resurrection to be a historical event. I understand that you don't.
      But consider this: if it did happen, there could not be a more resounding re-establishment of the kingdom.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Russ,

      I can't and won't argue with that. It is the hypocrisy that offends me the most.

      I hope that many of your fellow Christians who post here regularly can follow your example and ease up on the vitriol, false benedictions, and 'eternal damnation to the lake of fire'. Equally many of those who profess atheism could ease up on the ad hominem attacks.

      Have a nice evening.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  20. kendallpeak

    So what's wrong with hating f a g s?

    August 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • RayJacksonMS

      Cram your jesus on a stick up your a s s.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • nmmell08

      Your hating your fellow man and woman

      August 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Qu eers are not "fellow men and women" they are perverted criminal degenerates who gave the world AIDS . There is nothing of humanity in unnatural acts.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • nmmell08

      Oh not you again, i thought I ended the argument about AIDS already w/ science. Let me go w/ science again. Over 1000 species of animals have same gender relations. Also yeah they are, they came from straight couple relations. There orientation is not a choice, it is hard wired.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Trying to hide the dirty Truth about Qu eers behind"science" only fools other qu eers. The normal people in the world the other 99 % know you are a bunch of sick twisted and evil things that unleashed AIDS on the world.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • nmmell08

      Sad thing is you think i am gay, but I am straight, love women, love relations with women, and yet think gay people are good people. And science is something I will beleive in more than anything you can ever say. Science has been checked over and over again, peer reviewed, and scrutinized, what science says is right and not right has more say in my mind that what you will ever say

      August 17, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Yeah right, double BULL SH IT to you. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • nmmell08

      I hope love finds a way into its heart and you can realize those of another orientation are your fellow human and should be loved. Until then, your hate will get you no where.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • sam

      perv, you're a bigger bitch than kendallpeak. Stop acting like you aren't begging to get it up the ass.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Smell the coffee qu eer bait, Truth is not hate get used to it you self righteous bigot. Qu eers the people who gave the world AIDS.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • sam

      pervert, you are AIDS. Stop spreading yourself here. Go find a nice boy to get under and find out how queer you are.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • nmmell08

      Sam: Don't proud him like that, it only reinforces his opinion. Pervert: GIVE ME PROOF. ANYTHING! ANY HARD SCIENCE.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • pervert alert

      AIDS ground zero = one sick Canadian qu eer with multiple human and animal contacts including chimps. Qu eers the people that gave the world AIDS

      August 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • nmmell08

      Give me a source. I give you sources I have found. I found a case of AIDS from 1959 in Africa. That likely was ground zero. Where is your proof

      August 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • sam

      nmmell08 – pervert alert is a little troll that shows up on these boards every couple of weeks, saying the exact same things on every article. It's a little kid trying to be shocking, so we just make fun of him until he gets bored and goes away. You can't reason with him, he doesn't want to actually converse.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • pervert alert

      In other words to spread a Truth and move on as in I actually have a life as opposed to atheist /qu eer losers. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS

      August 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • sam

      pervert alert...it's getting hard to breathe in here with all your AIDS. Go microwave yourself a nice AIDS burrito and sprinkle extra AIDS on it.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Gay jock from Cali

      Actually your god gave the world HIV. He gave it to monkeys, and straight truck drivers, got it from prosti"tutes in the developing hiway system in Africa, and eventually it was brought to the US by gays. Gays did not invent HIV. God did. And now god is giving it to lots of straight people. Too bad, you're an idiot, Prevert Alert. Did you know people who are ho'mophobic are latent gays. It's been proven by the National Insitute of Health.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Gay jock, the HIV virus was created in a lab for germ warfare.

      August 18, 2012 at 7:17 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.