Christian’s year of living 'gay' leads to dramatic change, sparks controversy
December 2nd, 2012
06:45 AM ET

Christian’s year of living 'gay' leads to dramatic change, sparks controversy

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

Washington (CNN) – Timothy Kurek’s motivation to spend a year pretending to be gay can be boiled down to a simple conviction: it takes drastic change to alter deeply held religious beliefs.

The experiment began after a lesbian friend opened up to Kurek about being excommunicated by her family. All Kurek, an avowed evangelical Christian, could think about, he says, “was trying to convert her.”

He was quickly disgusted by his own feelings, more pious than humane.

In fact, Kurek was so disgusted by his response to his friend that he decided to do something drastic. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, he would pretend to be gay for a year. The experiment began on the first day of 2009; Kurek came out to his family, got a job as a barista at a gay café and enlisted the help of a friend to act as his boyfriend in public.

The experience – which stopped short of Kurek getting physically intimate with other men - is documented in Kurek’s recent book “The Cross in the Closet,” which has received international attention, landed him on ABC’s "The View" and elicited some biting criticism.

The book is the latest entry on a growing list of experiential tomes revolving around religion. They include Rachel Held Evans’ recent “A Year of Biblical Womanhood,” in which the author follows the Bible’s instructions on women’s behavior and Ed Dobson’s “The Year of Living Like Jesus,” which had the author “eat as Jesus ate. Pray as Jesus prayed. Observe the Sabbath as Jesus observed.”

For Kurek, his year as a gay man radically changed his view of faith and religion, while also teaching him “what it meant to be a second class citizen in this country.”

A yearlong lie

For years, Kurek says, the only life he had was “his church life.” Being an evangelical Christian was his identity.

He was home-schooled until seventh grade, almost all of his friends were from church and his social life was a nightly string of faith-based events, from church sports to a Christian Cub Scout troop. “It was the only thing I was used to doing,” said Kurek, who attended Liberty University, the largest evangelical university in the world, before dropping out after freshman year.

Kurek grew up in an “independent Baptist church.” “We were evangelical,” he said, “but we were more conservative than evangelical, too.”

His churchy lifestyle led to some deeply held views about homosexuality. Most evangelical churches condemn homosexuality as sinful. Many rail against certain gay rights, like gay marriage.

“I had been taught to be wary of gays,” Kurek writes of his beliefs pre-experiment. “They were all HIV positive, perverts and liberal pedophiles.”

Those views began to be challenged in 2004, when he first encountered Soulforce, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, on Liberty’s campus. The group made the school an important stop on its cross-country tour targeting colleges that they alleged treated LGBT people unfairly.

Kurek was struck by what he had in common with the protesters at Liberty. “It really impressed me that people who were coming to push their agenda were able to do it and be so nice about it,” he said.

His doubt about Christianity’s condemnation of homosexuality, Kurek writes, was “perfected” in 2008, when a close friend recounted the story of coming out to her family and being disowned.

“I betrayed her, then,” writes Kurek. “It was a subtle betrayal, but a cruel one: I was silent.”

His recognition of that betrayal, he writes, led him to believe that “I needed to come out of the closet as a gay man.”

“I believe in total immersion,” Kurek says in an interview. “If you are going to walk in other people’s shoes, then you are going to need to walk in your shoes.”

To ensure the purity of his project, Kurek says, he had to lie to his deeply religious family about being gay, something that troubled him throughout the year.

“I felt like they loved me but they didn’t know how to deal with me,” he says. “They didn’t understand how to handle having a gay brother or sibling.”

In the book, Kurek recounts learning that his mother wrote in her journal that she would rather have been diagnosed with cancer than have a gay son. That experience and others left Kurek feeling outcast by people he loved, confused about his new life and conflicted about past religious beliefs.

Kurek was living a lie. And even though he was conflicted by his family’s reaction to his new lifestyle, he was longing to be honest with them.

The response

It’s no surprise that the “The Cross in the Closet,” has spurred strong reaction, especially from the LGBT community.

“I feel for the gay community of Nashville, and for every person who trusted Kurek enough to flirt with him, hang out with him, and confide in him about their lives,” wrote Amy Lieberman on the blog Feministing. “If I were in that community, I would feel so betrayed right now.”

In a Huffington Post blog post titled “Pretending To Be Gay Isn’t The Answer,” Emily Timbol, a religion blogger, expressed a similar opinion: “What's sad is that every interaction Timothy had during his year pretending was fake.”

“He was welcomed under false pretenses, acting like someone who understood the struggle that his LGBT friends faced,” she wrote. “He did not.”

But Kurek says that that was not his aim. “This isn't a book about being gay, I could not write that book, I am not qualified,” he writes. “What this is about is the label of gay and how that label affected me personally.”

Throughout the book, Kurek emphasizes that distinction. While much of “The Cross in the Closet” is about the struggle to understand the gay community, which he tries to address by enlisting a friend to act as his boyfriend, much of it addresses how his former church’s community – and family – reacted to his new lifestyle.

“I am actually not friends or in contact at all with 99.99% of the people that I grew up with or the churches that I grew up with,” Kurek says.

Kurek says he isn’t opposed to interacting with people from his "former" life. When he has run into members of his old church, he said he generally has quick, cordial conversations and moves on.

But some of the new distance is by choice. When Kurek’s mother told a friend in her church that her son was gay, the person said Kurek’s sexuality could jeopardize his mother's standing in the church.

The evangelical community has remained fairly mum throughout much of the reaction; most responses have come from Christians who are in some way connected to the LGBT community.

The change

Though Kurek goes to church less now, primarily because he has yet to find one that feels like “home,” he says he feels more religious “in the biblical definition of religion.” He still considers himself a Christian, although no longer evangelical, and says he is interested in attending the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in the future.

Kurek quotes James 1:27 from the New Testament: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

There’s no mention of organized religion in passages like that, and Kurek says it’s the institutions of religion that worry him most today. He talks about his once robust church life as a distant memory.

Living as a gay man jaded him to religion, he says, though he has not surrendered all of his former beliefs. Yes, Kurek says, he is struggling with certain points of his theology, but he has been looking for the right church. “I am trying to figure out what place in the body of Christ I fit in,” he said.

As for his original goal, to radically change who he was, Kurek says mission accomplished. He says he has conquered his prejudices of the LGBT community and is happy with the person he has become.

“If anybody had told me back then who I would be or what I would believe now,” Kurek said, “I would have thought they were completely insane.”

For example, Kurek now thinks homosexuality is completely acceptable.

His family is happy to know that he is not gay, says Kurek. He has a new set of friends. And he lives in Portland, Oregon, where he moved shortly after finishing his experimental year.

The author plans to donate part of the proceeds from his book to help LGBT homeless youth who have been rejected by their families.

He is now at work on a book proposal for a follow-up to “The Cross in the Closet.” The book will be about the years after his experiment, transitioning back to honest living while continuing to engage the LGBT community.

“I want to tell more stories,” he says “and humanize the people who Christians always want to look at as labels.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Faith • Homosexuality • Sexuality • Uncategorized

soundoff (3,659 Responses)
  1. Udontgetthepoint

    These questions are solely for Mr. Timothy Kurek if he is reading these posts.

    Did your actions glorify God?

    Did you relay God’s message in your testimony and actions or your own personal feelings?

    Would God condone you professing a lie, that you were openly living as a sinner even if under the guise that you sought to walk a mile in their shoes?

    Did you lead people to Christ, or did you lead them further astray?

    I ask these questions to provoke thought and reflection.

    I leave it up to the Holy Spirit to convict you if you need convicting, and up to God to judge you if you need judging.

    December 2, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Casey

      Being g a y is not a sin. The Bible does not condemn h o m o s e x u a l i t y when it is put in historical and cultural context and is read using reason, as Jesus did. If you disagree, please cite a verse.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      “Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man.”
      _ Thomas Jefferson

      “Shake off all fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God, because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.”
      _ Thomas Jefferson
      “I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.”
      _ Stephen Hawking

      December 2, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Timothy Kurek

      "Did your actions glorify God?" Did God's actions of mass murdering the entire human race except 6 people glorify him? Did all those incredibly evil rules God put in the Old Testament glorify him? If God's actions are a disgrace, how can I possibly give glory to him?

      "Did you relay God’s message in your testimony and actions or your own personal feelings?" Which message? Get angry at fig trees? Kill rebellious children? The correct procedure for selling your daughter into slavery? I did tell them not to wear mixed fibers. Good enough?

      "Would God condone you professing a lie, that you were openly living as a sinner even if under the guise that you sought to walk a mile in their shoes?" Jesus spent 32 years living as an ordinary human, certainly a lie if he was part of God. He also lied about the Kingdom of God coming down on earth in the lifetime of his listeners, on the clouds for all to see, taking the righteous to heaven.

      "Did you lead people to Christ, or did you lead them further astray?" Christians always lead people away from Christ by being ignorant self-righteous jerks like you. You are leading people away by being harsh, judgemental, hate-filled, and a total drag. That is why secularism is far outgrowing all forms of religion.

      "I ask these questions to provoke thought and reflection." No, you ask them to bully me back into your prison of beliefs.

      "I leave it up to the Holy Spirit to convict you if you need convicting, and up to God to judge you if you need judging." But you are hoping I get tortured, loving Christian that you are. Threats, threats, threats . . . just more proof religion is evil.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Udontgetthepoint

      Casey, God's word says this:

      Leviticus 18:22

      22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

      God does not hate the ho mo se xual, he hates the ho mo se xual act.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Udontgetthepoint


      You put your faith in the words of men instead of Almighty God. Therein lies your mistake. Man cannot save you, only God can.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Observer


      Leviticus also says (Lev. 20:9) "If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death”.

      So what was your point, if any?

      December 3, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • uoıƃılǝɹ ɟo plɹoʍ uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɥʇ

      So you are saying that God is going to horribly torture gays for the rest of time, but he doesn't hate them.

      poƃ 'ʎnƃ pɹıǝʍ

      December 3, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • A Frayed Knot


      Do you obey all of the rest of these from Leviticus too?

      Don't let cattle graze with other kinds of Cattle (Leviticus 19:19)

      Don't have a variety of crops on the same field. (Leviticus 19:19)

      Don't wear clothes made of more than one fabric (Leviticus 19:19)

      Don't cut your hair nor shave. (Leviticus 19:27)

      Any person who curseth his mother or father, must be killed. (Leviticus 20:9) Have you ever done that?

      If a man cheats on his wife, or vise versa, both the man and the woman must die. (Leviticus 20:10).

      If a man sleeps with his father's wife... both him and his father's wife is to be put to death. (Leviticus 20:11)

      If a man sleeps with his wife and her mother they are all to be burnt to death. (Leviticus 20:14)

      If a man or woman has s ex with an animal, both human and animal must be killed. (Leviticus 20:15-16).

      If a man has s ex with a woman on her period, they are both to be "cut off from their people" (Leviticus 20:18)

      Psychics, wizards, and so on are to be stoned to death. (Leviticus 20:27)

      If a priest's daughter is a w hore, she is to be burnt at the stake. (Leviticus 21:9)

      People who have flat noses, or is blind or lame, cannot go to an altar of God (Leviticus 21:17-18)

      Anyone who curses or blasphemes God, should be stoned to death by the community. (Leviticus 24:14-16)

      Don't let cattle graze with other kinds of Cattle (Leviticus 19:19)

      December 3, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • clgmm74

      @ Casey

      Often people speak for God even when their personal views differ and fail to take responsibility for those views. I personally disagree with this mindset. I hold a very firm belief in God and all he represents with no question. I say what "he represents" not what others may present on his behalf.

      I personally also hold a very firm belief that we are all part of the same humanity. One that should not be based in condemnation or judgment. One that remembers the importance of responsibility for the damage we may cause to another in our haste. I strongly disagree with the rejection of another human being based on s e x u a l i t y. I hope someday the contempt you feel from others is replaced by acceptance and understanding.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Udontgetthepoint

      Wow, person pretending to be Tim Kurek who sounds an awful lot like Cuchi. You are very angry!

      Your argument is with the Creator of the Universe. Do you deny him? Do you pretend to know better than him?

      It is HIS word you take out of context to make your misbegotten argument. I am only here to warn you that the end of the Age of Grace is rapidly approaching. You had better be really, really sure of your convictions as they will determine your place in eternity. Are you SURE of your position!!??

      December 3, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Udontgetthepoint

      Yes, to all you that have quoted Leviticus. Those things are there too. And yes, they were the law that the ancient Israelites were to follow before the Age of Grace. Casey asked me where in the bible God said that ho mo se xuality was a sin. God clearly feels pretty strongly about it. He doesn't just call it a sin, he calls it an "abomination". I doubt he's changed his mind about it. Let me go look up places in the New Testament (after the Age of Grace began) to see if I can find where it is still defined as a sin. BRB.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Observer


      It's all PICK and CHOOSE HYPOCRISY. You hypocritically aren't supporting God to send unruly kids or people working on the Sabbath to hell.

      Just hypocrisy. Get serious.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Udontgetthepoint

      And no, clever upside down guy, God is not going to torture gays for all eternity. God is going to punish ALL unrepentant sinners who do not accept his gift of Salvation before judgement day. God never intended the lake of fire for man. It was created for the devil and his angels. God created man and loves us all. But God will have no choice but to punish those who stand with Satan in outright defiance at the end of days. Be warned. His words, not mine.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • Observer


      God called being gay an "abomination" like eating lobster or Alaskan King crablegs.

      God called getting divorced and remarried a TEN COMMANDMENT SIN of adultery (unless your spouse was already an adulterer).

      So why are you concerned here about an abomination when there are MANY MANY MORE Christian adulterer sinners? Why not spend your time trying to save your family or friends?

      December 3, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Udontgetthepoint

      Dear Observer,

      The only sinners going to hell are the ones who reject God's offer of salvation. You think saved people don't sin? We do it every day. The difference is, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, and we turn back to God and ask him to forgive us. Yes, saved ho mo se xuals are going to go to heaven too. Once saved, you cannot lose your salvation unless you change your mind and deny Christ, thereby rejecting the gift of Salvation. However, God warns us that the saved will be held accountable for their lives lived, and there will be a great weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth from those who ignored the prompting of the Holy Spirit to live a Christ centered life.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • Observer


      You're on here telling gays to repent. How often do you tell your fellow Christians who have divorced and remarried that they likely need to repent and divorce to get out of their TEN COMMANDMENT sin of adultery?

      December 3, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • YeahRight

      "22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

      God does not hate the ho mo se xual, he hates the ho mo se xual act."

      This shows you don't know your bible, because Christians actually don't follow Leviticus anymore.

      December 3, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • old Guy

      Casey. Read the first two chapters of the Book of Romans.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  2. Stella

    Judgment Day is Coming. Christ is coming to judge the world. And as it is appointed for men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

    December 2, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Andrew

      Christians have literally been saying that for two thousand years now.

      I'm still waiting.

      Regardless, if your god is real, I'd still much rather be in hell than in heaven... your god sounds far too evil for me to want to be associated with.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • I wonder

      What makes you think that Paul of Tarsus knew anything special or supernatural?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Andrew

      By "your god", fyi, I do mean quite literally YOUR image of your own god, Stella. Some Christians don't have nearly as vile a picture of god that they present, but yours of "believe or suffer for eternity" is one of the most odious forms of Christian theology.

      It makes your god seem so very very tiny.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • zus

      you rather be in hell than heaven? wow! Your wish will be granted. I just hope you are not harming people around you.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Stella

      You can go to hell, no problem.

      He is your God too.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Andrew

      Yes, if god is the type of creature to condemn beings to hell for eterinty for the 'crime' of not beleiving in him.... regardless of your acts in life, such that Feynman, Dirac, Gandhi, etc, are all in hell, then yes, it sounds far more pleasant than being in heaven.

      Think about it, that's a god saying "the only thing I care about is myself and my own praise". That's incredibly self-serving, incredibly petty, vain, and small minded. That "believe or suffer forever" is just about the most abhorrent thing any creature could possibly come up with.

      That isn't a god that deserves belief, that is a god that deserves scorn, condemnation, and hatred. That is an EVIL god which Stella speaks of. I'd rather enjoy the hell of going against an evil god than suffering the torment of falling victim to its egotistical self serving loathsome game.

      If Stella's god is truly the correct picture, then hell sounds a hell of a lot more pleasant than heaven. I couldn't 'enjoy' heaven while knowing the people I care and respect most are all in hell. The god to create such a system cannot possibly be more evil, and makes Satan look like a saint. Who, incidentally, seems to have a smaller murder count in the bible than God himself.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • carmel

      Stella – you need to re-read Matthew 7:1 again. It's not your place to judge ANYBODY and that seems ot be what evangelicals just love to do.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      Stella, Do you vomit all over the table when other people are eating there, because that is about the same effect your comments and quoting scripture have on the rest of society.
      See me NOW. I"m sticking my thumbs in my ears and waving my fingers around, while scrunching up my face and sticking my tongue out at you. NOW I'm thumbing my nose at you and giving you the "sign of the pig" (This is still better than vomiting at the table like you christians do. (I'm typing with my toes of course, so these things are possible AND WITHOUT GOD ha ha ah )

      December 2, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • sam stone

      "jesus is coming, look busy"

      did your savior get stuck in traffic, stella? he's been coming for many centuries

      December 3, 2012 at 4:45 am |
  3. GO_GOP

    We need to have some legal options to stop this sickness of a lifestyle called gay. Our country is a Christian nation and as per the Bible the gay lifestyle is not permitted by our Lord in Heaven. I want all Gays to leave my country, I will sponsor their one way ticket.

    December 2, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • ralph

      can we add the blacks too?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • carmel

      Here's an idea! You leaving the country and taking your like-minded friends with you.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Observer

      Keep the gays and ship out all the ignorant bigots.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Andrew

      The bible also condemns eating pork and said slaves should obey their earthly masters.

      Somehow I'm not too troubled by what the bible says, nor do I believe it is a good standard to apply to individuals country-wide. How about we adopt the 'no victim' policy? That laws should be made to protect the rights and freedoms of others, no one can infringe on the rights of others. Things like gay marriage would be allowed because there is no victim, just like there is no victim in a heteros-xual marriage.

      That way your religious beliefs are not forced upon those who do not subscribe to your religious beliefs. That sounds almost like what the founding fathers actually intended, but sure, feel free to advocate your theocracy instead.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      WE NEED to have legal options to prevent you religious mentally ill people from indoctrinating children, and lowering our test scores as a result. We are NOT NOT NOT a xstian nation. You need a friggin history lesson you uneducated DOLT

      Yuck FOU

      December 2, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • GO_GOP

      For all of you ignorant atheists' info: I am well versed in the Bible (the word of our Lord) and I do not need any other form of education since the Bible is the absolute truth.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Sam

      You'd probably be very surprised by the number of tickets that would require.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Casey

      GO-GOP – The Bible does not condemn h o m o s e x u a l i t y when it is put in historical and cultural context and is read using reason. If you disagree, please cite a verse.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Observer


      "I am well versed in the Bible"

      Good. So you know it supports slavery and discrimination against women and the handicapped.

      So do you support EVERYTHING in the Bible? Yes or no?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • GO_GOP

      Observer: I support the Bible 100% since it is the word of our Lord. If you do not, you will burn in hell. Also, as is well know atheists tend to have a life expectancy significantly lower than Christians. For me the choice is simple: CHRISTIANITY.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Observer


      Do you support slavery like the Bible does? Yes or no?
      Do you support discrimination against women like the Bible does? Yes or no?
      Do you support discrimination against the handicapped like the Bible does? Yes or no?
      Do you believe that virgins who are r@ped must marry the rapist? Yes or no?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • carmel

      Just like I'm sure you didn't want a Black President again but, ha, ha, you got one!

      December 3, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • GO_GOP

      Observer: Keep going and keep mocking our Lord. There is a very special place in Hell just for you and your ilk. But there is time yet, repent, pray and ask for forgiveness and doors of heaven will open for you too.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Observer


      I just asked 4 simple yes or no questions about your true faith and you start talking about me going to hell.

      Why are you stumped on these easy questions?

      December 3, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • GO_GOP

      Observer: You have shown how unintelligent and uneducated atheists are with your inane questions. Need I say more? Seek Jesus and be saved.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Observer


      Still completely stumped by 4 EASY questions about how much you believe in and support the Bible? What's the problem?

      Do you support slavery like the Bible does? Yes or no?
      Do you support discrimination against women like the Bible does? Yes or no?
      Do you support discrimination against the handicapped like the Bible does? Yes or no?
      Do you believe that virgins who are r@ped must marry the rapist like the Bible says? Yes or no?

      December 3, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  4. Stella

    Just because religion has done some harm - that doesn't mean it's mistaken! Sure, people have done terrible things in God's name. That doesn't mean God doesn't exist!

    December 2, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Andrew

      You are aware that according to Gallop polls, the number of Americans who believe god made the planet within the past 10,000 years is roughly 40%.

      That means nearly 1 in 2 americans believes the earth is less than 10,000 years old because of some truly twisted religious indoctrination.

      You can claim, correctly, that not all Christians are hurting the country, but you are turning a blind eye to just how twisted the community has become. It's not a tiny minority, there is a substantial plurality of Christians in the US with truly insane ideology.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Casey

      Stella – I am a gay Christian, and I agree that despite the terrible things that have been done in God's name, He still does exist. It is important to remember that many gays and lesbians have had their faith robbed from them by the judgment they experience from conservative Christians. They think they have to choose between their s e x u a l i t y and God, when God loves and accepts gays as they are.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • The Bottom Line

      If God can't make his own people behave better than others, then what good is he?

      If God will not stop evil or disease or catastrophe, then what good is he?

      How can a god be good who demands obedience and cruelly punishes alternative viewpoints, especially since he intentionally ensures there are many alternatives, and he keeps totally hidden to confuse people?

      If you take all the attribute of God and consider them carefully, then you will realize that the Christian God is evil, not good.

      There is no god.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Athy

      There are a large number of reasons that god doesn't exist. There are no reasons that he exists. It's all in your imagination.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • sam stone

      it doesn't mean god does exist, either

      December 3, 2012 at 4:47 am |
  5. Stella

    For People Who Don’t Believe In God, You Atheists Sure Do Talk About Him A Lot

    December 2, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Andrew

      Yes, we're forced to because people like evangelical christians have a tendency to try to shove their beliefs where they aren't warranted.

      Such as legal status of marriage for two consenting adults, or trying to teach that nonsense creationism in public schools, so much so that we've even got a young earth creationist on our House Science Committee.

      If you had a bunch of people trying to tell us that we need to defend against Voldemort, have that taught in schools, and use that to restrict the rights of other citizens, I'd imagine you'd have something to say too. Just because your god is fictional doesn't mean the damage your community does is too.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Stella

      I reject your opinion

      December 2, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • Athy

      Why do you capitalize every word in your sentence? Do you write headlines for some newspaper? Or, more likely, you just don't know any better?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Stella

      athy: good come back. is this better? why would you even care enough to point that out. oh, i guess you aint got nothing

      December 2, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • carmel

      If you're a "Christian" why did you even read this article? And why are you posting comments? Shouldn't you be reading The Bible?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Stella

      My Bible has been read. i am trying to save your soul. Just keep fighting it. Hell is very hot. No AC there

      December 2, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Athy

      Well, it's an improvement, Stella, but you could still do better. My observation is that religious people have the poorest writing skills. You seem to validate that premise.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Whatever

      Stella, don't you find it disturbing that you have to resort to threats in your attempts to get people to believe? I find it very telling that religious people cannot offer a single fact or shred of evidence, and must rely on dishonest argumentation and threats like yours.

      Oh, by the way, if you think that not believing is a problem, you should realize that there are many other religions which, if true, will send you to a nasty hell too. You are every bit as much at risk.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • sam stone

      i think they are more talking about the True Believers (TM) then they are about god, stella

      December 3, 2012 at 4:49 am |
    • sam stone

      stella: hell is hot?

      how does a being without a body percieve heat?

      December 3, 2012 at 5:02 am |
  6. LizardMom

    Well, lets give it a try:

    We believe in one God,
    the Father, the Almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all that is, seen and unseen.

    We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of God,
    eternally begotten of the Father,
    God from God, Light from Light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made,
    of one Being with the Father.
    Through him all things were made.
    For us and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven:
    by the power of the Holy Spirit
    he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
    and was made man.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
    he suffered death and was buried.
    On the third day he rose again
    in accordance with the Scriptures;
    he ascended into heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
    and his kingdom will have no end.

    We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
    With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
    He has spoken through the Prophets.
    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
    We look for the resurrection of the dead,
    and the life of the world to come. Amen.

    OK, that's the Nicene Creed and we afirm our belief by saying it weekly. That's a good thing. Yes, most of us can say it by memory, but many of us might need a little prompter.The point is, this is what we believe in our hearts.

    December 2, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Casey

      I absolutely agree with the creed. Notice how it says nothing about h o m o s e x u a l i t y.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Ginny

      That's the old translation of the Nicene Creed. Have you been to Mass in the last year?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  7. Stella

    All you non believers want to make fun of religion and God. Just like on the other blog about Jesus jokes. Yes, so funny, let's make jokes-so hilarious from behind a computer I hope you have your fun now, because when He returns, it's too late for you. It'll be lights out!

    December 2, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • LinCA

      Make sure to tell Thor "hello" when you finally get to meet him.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Andrew

      Yes, and when He Who Must Not Be Named returns, we shall face unending peril for our lack of magic powers.

      Colour me unconvinced. "My book says you're all in trouble" doesn't mean much if we believe that book is fiction.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • The One True God

      Wow– what a nice, forgiving person.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Stella

      repent. Start believing. It is the only way to save your soul,

      December 2, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Athy

      Stella, he's never going to return. Get used to it, it'll make your life better.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Andrew

      If believing is the only way to save my soul then I'd reject your religion simply on the principle that it sounds vile, and I'd have no desire to EVER believe in a god whose sole requirement is sycophantic praise.

      That sounds like a rather vain and egotistical god you believe in... I'd rather suffer in hell with the likes of Feynman and Dirac than in a heaven near some psychopathic tyrant who requires blind belief from all his followers or else condemns you to a life of eternal suffering regardless of your merits in life.

      Yeah, your 'belief is your only requirement god', sounds rather terrifying to me.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Stella

      and I mean NOW!

      December 2, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • I wonder

      "when He returns, it's too late for you. It'll be lights out!"

      What is your verified evidence that something like this actually happens?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Stella

      @ wonder: read the Bible

      December 2, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Andrew

      Stella, it's actually difficult to put into words how repellent your concept of god seems to me.

      Threats are hardly the best way to convince anyone that your theology is worth a damn. It just shows you believe in an incredibly self-serving god.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • I wonder

      " read the Bible"

      And what is your verified evidence that what The Bible says about supernatural stuff is true?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Sam

      RE: "Read your bible" and the second coming. Isn't there something in there about the second coming happening during the lifetime of the original apostles?

      December 3, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Sam

      Stella, found those quotes for you: Matthew 16:28, in which he says "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." Another example is found at Luke 21:32, where he says "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." He makes similar statements in Luke 9:27 and Mark 9:1.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • sam stone

      stella: your god is a petty, vindictive cvnt, and so are you

      December 3, 2012 at 5:06 am |
  8. cuchi

    My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    December 2, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  9. cuchi

    Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

    December 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Observer


      Haven't you heard? All of the nonsense from the Old Testament doesn't apply, unless it's the Ten Commandments and anything that trashes gays.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  10. cuchi

    I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    December 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  11. cuchi

    I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

    December 2, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Loki

      Better check first if he's Jewish. Exodus is the old testament. Next, if you really want to do this check first to see if you are qualified. Are you religious ?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • cuchi

      Loki: are you out of your f-ing mind?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • The One True God

      Yes, I think that by definition Loki is out of his mind. He's the Trickster god, after all.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • Athy

      You can kill him, but make it look like an accident. How much are you asking for your daughter?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Loki

      You are asking me if I'm crazy ? You want to kill people. I'm just asking you technical questions.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  12. mel

    Oh here I go again. You just can’t stop me when it comes to this subject it seems many try to avoid controversy on their blogs but when it comes to gays or gay marriage I am right here to blog my $0.02. Sorry can’t help it.

    December 2, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  13. fuk

    Physiologically speaking the male body is not designed to be penetrated. An.al s.e.x is the overwhelmingly practice for gay men.The only epidemiological studies to date on the life spans of gay men have concluded that gay and bi men lose up to 20 years of life expectancy.( The Health Risk of Gay S.e.x by Dr. John Diggs)

    December 2, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Observer

      So is anal s-x fine for women? Any hypocrisy here?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Casey

      fuk – Many straight couples have a n a l s e x, and many gay couples do not. What is your point?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  14. Woodrow

    All Religion is evil. No need to say any more.

    December 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  15. fuk


    December 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  16. Loki

    You can never convince psychopaths that they are psychotic. These are the same people who defend Kevin Clash the pedophile. They wear pink wigs and push up bras ... and they want you to accept them into your life and families. I say no way. EVER. Do not stand next to me. If you do I'll just move away.

    December 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • fuk


      December 2, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good. I hear Iran is lovely. Go there.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Loki

      Why don't you go to Iran...I have heard Arabs like little boys.You should fit in rather well. I'll just stay here for now and avoid gays as best I can. I'm pleased to say my children feel the same way I do.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Casey

      Loki – You can never convince bigots that they are bigots.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Loki

      Concluding that a particular human act is disgusting and to be avoided is not bigotry. Gays are not a separate race. They are a group defined by their conduct and lack there of. How gays got to grab hold of the bigotry stamp and use it everywhere is amazing.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Your Gay Closeted Family and Friends

      We are standing next to you always. You love us and we love you, but we are afraid to tell you we are gay because we don't want to lose you and we don't want you to reject us. Jesus said "By this shall men know that ye are my disciples: If ye have love one unto another". Treating people with love is how you show that you are a Christian. Treating people with hatred and exclusion shows you are not a Christian. He among you that is without sin, let him cast the first stone.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Casey

      Loki – Disliking an entire group of people for something outside of their control is bigotry.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Casey

      Your Gay Closeted Family and Friends – Well said!

      December 2, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Loki

      I tell you what...If you can keep it quiet and not dress up like Ru Paul we have a deal. How is that? I also promise not to mention God; that is easy for me. I don't believe in the factuality of either the old or new testament.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Casey

      Loki – Give g a y s legal equality, and we will keep our public displays of affection to the same level as our h e t e r o s e x u a l counterparts.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  17. lionlylamb

    The world is steeped full and does need to be thinned out of its dominant species in order for the balance of nature to become right. Soon will the trumpets blare out! Soon will the red rockets so glare! Soon will the most dominant species be thinning by their own justice felt harkening! Soon! Very soon! Days are being so numbered as if in a calendar. May the just fruits lay not wasted in the coming of a new and dawning Age! Untold domineering numbers will cease to be! The world will soon be balanced and a new and a better dominion of dominance shall come of Age The lessor will no more be nor will the most for all things made new will bring upon this world, a newer passion for living and its needs will be laid bare! Amen!

    December 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Common Sense

      Do you ever sit back and just realize that you are insane? I mean, just have one of those moments of clarity where you just go, "I am f***ing crazy" before sliding back into your delusions of armageddon? I often wonder what it would feel like to walk around and spout off crap like what you just wrote and to also believe it. Do you ever realize that Christians have been predicting the end of the world for over the past 2000 years? You aren't even original.

      God I hope (and this is sincere) that you do not live in a State with easy access to firearms.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:07 am |
  18. Brampt

    Smoe might say:“Even if you’re not gay, you should change your view of hmsxality.”

    “Suppose I didn’t approve of gambling but you did. Would it be reasonable for you to insist that I change my view, simply because millions of people choose to gamble?”

    Remember this: Hmsxuals, along with most people, have some ethical code that causes them to deplore certain things—perhaps fraud, injustice, or war. The Bible prohibits those behaviors; it also draws the line at certain types of sxual conduct, including hmsxality.—1 Corinthians 6:9, 10.
    The Bible is not unreasonable, nor does it promote prejudice. It simply directs those with hsxual urges to do the same thing that is required of those with an opposite-sx attraction—to “flee from fornication.”—1 Corinthians 6:18.
    The fact is, millions of hetrosxals who wish to conform to the Bible’s standards employ self-control despite any temptations they might face. Their number includes many who are single with little prospect of marriage and many who are married to a disabled partner who is unable to function sxally. They are able to live happily without fulfilling their sxual urges. Those with hosxual inclinations can do the same if they truly want to please God.—Deuteronomy 30:19.

    December 2, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Observer


      "The Bible is not unreasonable, nor does it promote prejudice"

      The Bible supports slavery, discrimination against women and discrimination against the handicapped.

      Why not read it sometime?

      December 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Sorry if this was meant for Joe Smoe...

      No one has asked you to change YOUR views. If they do, feel free to keep believe whatever back-wood, ignorant belief you want. It's your life and your mind. Just don't legislate your personal belief to restrict others.

      Basically, you and gays have a lot in common. You both want to believe the way you want to believe without having laws restricting those beliefs. Welcome to the rainbow.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Casey

      Bampt – You say that 1 Corinthians 6:9 condemns h o m o s e x u a l i ty. The Scripture says, (King James Version) "9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

      This does not refer to h o m o s e x u a l i ty. It may condemn effeminate men, but there are effeminate straight and gay men just as there are masculine straight and gay men.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Brampt

      Casey- some bible translation quote that vers 9: "... Nor men kept for unnatural purposes, not men that lie with men..."
      Do you think being gay is natural? They cannot procreate...
      I recommend you that if you see you cannot follow the bible, forget the bible and help the gay community another way... But don't be misquoting the scriptures for your own benefit!

      December 3, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Observer


      Gays and lesbians can reproduce. Please take a very basic course in biology or read "Biology for Dummies".

      December 3, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • GodFreeNow


      There are plenty of hetero couples who also can't procreate including the elderly. Are they also an abomination?

      December 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  19. Udontgetthepoint

    Yes let's try it again. I think the evil doers on here will mark this as abuse just to get rid of it, but not yours. Let's see how long this stays posted.

    Romans Chapter 3

    9 What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
    10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
    23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
    25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

    God’s salvation is free to everyone. He asks so little in return, why would anyone risk eternal damnation by denying him?

    All he asks is that you admit you are a sinner, believe that Jesus Christ is his son, accept the gift of salvation thru Jesus Christ of your own free will, and ask Jesus to come into your heart and save you.

    Once you do this, you can never lose your salvation.

    December 2, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Udontgetthepoint

      Now someone tell me why a word filter would strike that?

      December 2, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot


      Your other post just like this one still stands on Page #29. It was not removed.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • LinCA

      If you believe that based on your interpretation of your fairy tale, your imaginary friend doesn't approve of homosexuality, you better not engage in it. You have no right to expect anyone else to be denied anything because of your delusion.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "Now someone tell me why a word filter would strike that?"

      CNN uses WordPress blogs for their opinion pieces, and they use automated censoring that looks for words, or fragments of words, that are considered offensive. If your post doesn't show up, it most likely had a forbidden word in it.

      On the Belief Blog, repeat posts, even those that were previously censored and not displayed, will show a message stating that you posted it before.

      The following words or word fragments will get your post censored (list is incomplete):
            arse             as in Arsenal
            cock           as in cockatiel
            coon           as in cocoon
            cum             as in circumstance
            homo         as in homosexual
            poon           as in spooked
            rape         as in grape
            sex           as in homosexual
            spic         as in despicable
            tit               as in constitution or title
            vag           as in vague
            wonderful us

      To circumvent the filters you can break up the words by putting an extra character in, like: consti.tution (breaking the oh so naughty "tit").

      December 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Casey

      Romans 3 has nothing to do with h o m o s e x u a l i t y.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  20. A man

    Christians are not wrong for denouncing gays.

    Most of those who are not Christian/religious believe that morality is subjective. Subjective by definition is "based on somebody's opinions or feelings rather than on facts or evidence" (Bing) If subjective – then make- believe. Now, anti-theists can go around preaching saying "Treat other people the way you want to be treated" and such, but in the end – none of that matters. In fact, I believe that the logical conclusion of atheism is nihilism – the belief that life is without any meaning, value, or purpose. So – those who aren't religious can pretend that being gay is "okay" or that murder/ra-pe is "wrong", but I believe in the end you'll realize that you're deluding yourself.

    December 2, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Observer

      A man,

      Many Christians are hypocrites who believe that the Golden Rule doesn't apply to gays.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • ericgoestoholland

      And so, how are christians not wrong for denouncing gays?

      December 2, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • sybaris


      apples – oranges

      nice try

      December 2, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Chris

      Facts? You claim facts? all you have is your faith in the bible. That is not Fact. Pure heresay. Cant get more subjective than that.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46
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.