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January 13th, 2013
10:11 AM ET

Why Washington's National Cathedral will start hosting same sex weddings

CNN's Randi Kaye talks to the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral, about the national church's decision to host same-sex weddings.

CNN Belief: Washington National Cathedral to wed same-sex couples

- Dan Merica

Filed under: DC • Episcopal • Gay marriage

soundoff (702 Responses)
  1. Douglas

    Why the trend toward celibacy in gay enclaves?

    At our community forum last week, one of our celibate lesbian facilitators
    took questions from the floor and explained her transformation from fornication
    to celibacy.

    Amber explained that it was not an easy decision having been acculturated in a fast paced
    LGB world of multiple partners and one night stands. The ride on the merry go round had a price
    and that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

    Amber's life changed when she jettisoned fornication and came out as celibate and found faith through the Bible.

    This is just one person...and their remarkable story...more to come.

    January 18, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • Erik

      Define fornication.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Delusional fantasies.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
  2. Bill

    I regret that Dean Gary Hall feels so free to speak for the Episcopal Church, USA. Thankfully, we are an intelligent group of free thinkers, and many of us still read our Bibles daily, in addition to praying from the BCP. I seriously doubt Hall has a real sense of humility before The Almighty, a personal relationship with The Christ, or is truly led by The Holy Spirit. Baptism and Holy Communion are the only two sacraments mandated by Our Lord. Marriage is not a choice, option, or possibility for everyone. Frankly, I am very disappointed with the WNC Trustees for approving this new opportunity in the National Church.

    January 17, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Observer

      Marriage is a LEGAL matter with optional religious involvement.

      January 17, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
  3. Douglas

    The best thing going is that the Holy Books of Othodox Christianity, Islam and Judaism are all firewalled against the
    sin of gay coitus and gay "marriage".

    Each Holy Book condemns these sinful practices and each provides numerous examples of why they are wrong and the penalties that will be paid by practioners of these wicked acts.

    Take heart, Orthodox Christians, Jews and Muslims your faith is firewalled against the sin of gay coitus.

    January 15, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • tb63

      So obviously you think being gay is a choice. Tell you what, I really can't respect people who have the unmitigated audacity to say it's a choice. If you're dumb enough to believe it is, you are not using your head and thinking it through.

      For it to be a choice I would have to be attracted to both sxs. Not once in my life have I been attracted to the opposite sx. Not even a little bit.

      For being gay to be a choice you yourself (and everybody, through all of time) would have to be attracted to both sxs. Well, are you?

      If being gay were a choice do you seriously think anybody would choose it? To risk rejection, bigotry, discrimination, ostracism or worse? To have to put up with people like you?

      Use your brain. It's chance, not choice.

      Enjoy your firewall.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Doogie is gay. He's posting this tripe to further the cause.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • mama k

      Yes, I'm starting to think that too, Tom. I've seen this pattern before.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • Athy

      Doug makes me glad I'm an atheist.

      January 15, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
  4. Peter Bishop

    that are currently considered perversions or immoral by religion"

    Sorry, but you don't speak for all of religion.

    You don't speak for the United Church of Christ; nor Washington National Cathedral; nor the Unitarian Universalist Church; nor the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and others.

    Answer: I did not say I spoke for any particular Church. But again, based on the relativistic argument, these Churches you have mentioned have no more validity then any other. If there is really no absolute moral truth, then their doctrine has no greater meaning or validity just because they may condone a particular behavior. T

    January 15, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • mama k

      Then use better wording than "by religion". You're speaking from your own point of view, and you're not the representative of all of it. That's been the problem with Christianity since the beginning – with all the differing sects and their views, they agree on little yet each claims only they have the "true" interpretation of the "word".

      During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

      James Madison, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights – to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785

      January 16, 2013 at 12:19 am |
  5. Peter Bishop

    So by the logic of some here, since religious perspectives on behavior have no validity, then we don't need to follow any edicts of behavior at all. After all, what gives anyone the right to judge anyone else and their behavior if all behaviors are relative?

    January 15, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • End Religion

      what's an edict of behavior?

      January 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • mama k

      No that's a huge leap. That's about the same amount of "leaping" that the theist makes when they jump from a universe with finite beginning and "fine tuning" to the Abrahamic God, with no other possibilities in mind.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • Peter Bishop

      Exactly. Based on typical relativistic logic. There are no edicts of behavior.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "So by the logic of some here, since religious perspectives on behavior have no validity, then we don't need to follow any edicts of behavior at all. After all, what gives anyone the right to judge anyone else and their behavior if all behaviors are relative?"

      Could you identify one person who has made this argument? Have you really seen people arguing even that all behaviors are relative, because I've been here a while and I can't remember anyone I have read saying anything like that?

      January 15, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • Peter Bishop

      "End Religion" resorts to insulting another. Fascinating.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • End Religion

      Friend, sorry but it is my natural response to morons. Sometimes I don't suppress my idiot reflex well enough to converse with religious people. It requires either good drugs or a 6-pack to slow me down enough to deal pleasantly with the incredible emptiness that exists between your ears. It's as if I have to teach you how to count to 3 so we can then discuss the number 4, which you marvel at since you never even made it to 3 before.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
  6. Peter Bishop

    So when does society move on to some other behaviors that are currently considered perversions or immoral by religion and let society decide they are now okay too and get those moved into a "church" and push for approval?

    January 15, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Slippery slope fallacy.

      Why don't we lower the age at which kids can drive to say, 12?

      After all, it's just an arbitrary decision to allow them to drive at 16 or 17 but not at say, 3, right?

      Moron.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Gir

      The assumption being that the religious perspectives on those behaviors are right? LOL.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • End Religion

      leave it to somebody named "bishop" to be no smarter than a 5th grader

      January 15, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • mama k

      "that are currently considered perversions or immoral by religion"

      Sorry, but you don't speak for all of religion.

      You don't speak for the United Church of Christ; nor Washington National Cathedral; nor the Unitarian Universalist Church; nor the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and others.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
  7. mama k

    Correction to a couple of my posts regarding this article.

    James Madison, 4th POTUS was not the 4th Bishop of the Episcopal Church. It was his cousin, also named James Madison (also from Virginia; born two years apart; both Episcopals, both supporters of separation of church and state). This cousin who was the 4th Episcopal bishop became the eighth president of the College of William & Mary.

    January 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @mama,

      well that makes sense. You should fix the wikipedia page on the history of the Episcopal Church, which links to the President James Madison.
      (the filter made me delete the link)

      Do you have an attributable online source?

      January 15, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • mama k

      I probably ran into the same thing you did, not a GOPer. But that wasn't the only place – I had read something before but it wasn't linked to anything. I just got curious after I wrote something more about this, and just Googled it differently, but the other JM has a full Wiki page as well. I think I just Googled "James Madison 4th Episcopal bishop". But I haven't found another source yet. Someone else did correct me on the other article from today, I see.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @mama,

      it's just a bad link on the wikipedia page.

      There is a separate wikipedia page for the bishop:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Madison_(bishop)

      January 15, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • mama k

      Thanks, not a GOPer – I think our posts crossed. I did finally see that page. Very interesting in itself.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Now I can't find the link!

      The one here is correct:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Episcopal_Church_(United_States)

      January 15, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I must have imagined it or clicked on the wrong link. Both James Madisons get referenced.

      Easy mistake to make.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • mama k

      Yeah – maybe someone fixed it since we used it. I do remember it going right to his page from just his name.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
  8. Apes

    Going ape over you .
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nH1fqd0Ryo&w=640&h=360]

    January 15, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Chris Christian

      LA-LA-LA-LA!

      I'vew got my eyes closed and my hands over my ears, and I'm sining really loud, so I can't hear you !

      LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!!!!!

      January 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  9. Bill Deacon

    Why would the Anglicans splinter and make their own rules about marriage? Is that a rhetorical question?

    January 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • mama k

      Why would the Episcopals put a woman at the helm for the first time in AC's history? Why would the Episcopals appoint the first openly gay bishop in AC's history? It seems like they've been on a more progressive track than much of the rest of the AC for a while now. WNC seems to represent the leading edge of that difference and Hall hints at that in the article video.

      January 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yeah, it's a slippery slope. They should have kept Henry caged.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  10. Just Wondering

    If marriage is a religious thing, then woldn't that mean Christians would consider a Hindu couple (bait set, hook in water) be considered to be living in sin as they were not joined by the right God?

    And if the Biblical model of marriage is so important, why aren't they strongly in favor of polygamy? I mean, in the Bible, marriage is between one man and one to 1,000 women. And they married very young, too, so isn't a Biblical marriage also between one man and one little girl? And why do Christians think it is wrong for 12-year-olds to marry much older men when that is Biblical too?

    January 15, 2013 at 2:49 am |
    • NII

      They married young? Please if you do not know anything ask a doctor. it is only with the better nutrition of the last century that women are menstruating before fifteen years. Even now poor nutrition is causing FIFA-the Association for soccer, to use "football age" where is the physique of a player from South America or Africa maybe Asia is more important than his actual age.

      January 15, 2013 at 3:05 am |
    • NII

      And why do you think the legal age at which one ends your minority is 15 if they were marrying at age 12. For the rules of marriage it precedes religious law into natural law. A Bhuddhist etc are married under natural law. By the way Bhuddhism ac

      January 15, 2013 at 3:09 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I can't decide which posts make less sense: Nii's, LL's or Logic's.

      January 15, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  11. Observer

    Topher,

    Divorce and remarrying is legal in all 50 states. What are you doing about the 50% or more who are ADULTERERS according to Jesus' rules? How often does your church talk about all the adulterers in it's midst?

    January 15, 2013 at 1:20 am |
    • Dippy

      Its, not it's.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:23 am |
    • Observer

      Dippy,

      Yes. I realized I made a typo after I entered it..

      January 15, 2013 at 1:29 am |
    • lol??

      You couldn't keep in Vegas what happened in Vegas. It's called mobster power and wise guys as leaders amongst PUblic Servants. Now tell the Beast to butt out.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:31 am |
    • lol??

      God doesn't NEED help from the gubmint concerning marriage. The culture can't afford any more of the mob's help. Too much like loan sharking.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:34 am |
    • Observer

      Marriage is a LEGAL matter with optional religious involvement.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:35 am |

  12. [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCLF2ji0rZI&w=640&h=360]

    261 Ministers Proclamation

    As Christian clergy we proclaim: the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.

    In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:

    -to affirm that the essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;

    –to embrace the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;

    –to declare that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;

    –to celebrate the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;

    Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.

    .
    John

    Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

    Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

    There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

    Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

    Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

    Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

    That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex.

    .
    Don

    The most beautiful word in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is "whosoever." All of God's promises are intended for every human being. This includes gay men and lesbians. How tragic it is that the Christian Church has excluded and persecuted people who are homosexual! We are all created with powerful needs for personal relationships. Our quality of life depends upon the love we share with others; whether family or friends, partners or peers. Yet, lesbians and gay men facing hostile attitudes in society often are denied access to healthy relationships. Jesus Christ calls us to find ultimate meaning in life through a personal relationship with our Creator. This important spiritual union can bring healing and strength to all of our human relationships

    Biblical Interpretation and Theology also change from time to time. Approximately 150 years ago in the United States, some Christian teaching held that there was a two-fold moral order: black and white. Whites were thought to be superior to blacks, therefore blacks were to be subservient and slavery was an institution ordained by God. Clergy who supported such an abhorrent idea claimed the authority of the Bible. The conflict over slavery led to divisions which gave birth to some major Christian denominations. These same denominations, of course, do not support slavery today. Did the Bible change? No, their interpretation of the Bible did!

    Genesis 19:1-25

    Some "televangelists" carelessly proclaim that God destroyed the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of "homosexuality." Although some theologians have equated the sin of Sodom with homosexuality, a careful look at Scripture corrects such ignorance. Announcing judgment on these cities in Genesis 18, God sends two angels to Sodom, where Abraham's nephew, Lot, persuades them to stay in his home. Genesis 19 records that "all the people from every quarter" surround Lot's house demanding the release of his visitors so "we might know them." The Hebrew word for "know" in this case, yadha, usually means "have thorough knowledge of." It could also express intent to examine the visitors' credentials, or on rare occasions the term implies sexual intercourse. If the latter was the author's intended meaning, it would have been a clear case of attempted gang rape. Several observations are important.

    First, the judgment on these cities for their wickedness had been announced prior to the alleged homosexual incident. Second, all of Sodom's people participated in the assault on Lot's house; in no culture has more than a small minority of the population been homosexual. Third, Lot's offer to release his daughters suggests he knew his neighbors to have heterosexual interests. Fourth, if the issue was sexual, why did God spare Lot, who immediately commits incest with his daughters? Most importantly, why do all the other passages of Scripture referring to this account fail to raise the issue of homosexuality?

    Romans 1:24-27

    Most New Testament books, including the four Gospels, are silent on same-sex acts, and Paul is the only author who makes any reference to the subject. The most negative statement by Paul regarding same-sex acts occurs in Romans 1:24-27 where, in the context of a larger argument on the need of all people for the gospel of Jesus Christ, certain homosexual behavior is given as an example of the "uncleanness" of idolatrous Gentiles.

    This raises the question: Does this passage refer to all homosexual acts, or to certain homosexual behavior known to Paul's readers? The book of Romans was written to Jewish and Gentile Christians in Rome, who would have been familiar with the infamous sexual excesses of their contemporaries, especially Roman emperors. They would also have been aware of tensions in the early Church regarding Gentiles and observance of the Jewish laws, as noted in Acts 15 and Paul's letter to the Galatians. Jewish laws in Leviticus mentioned male same-sex acts in the context of idolatry.

    The homosexual practices cited in Romans 1:24-27 were believed to result from idolatry and are associated with some very serious offenses as noted in Romans 1. Taken in this larger context, it should be obvious that such acts are significantly different from loving, responsible lesbian and gay relationships seen today.

    What is "Natural"?

    Significant to Paul's discussion is the fact that these "unclean" Gentiles exchanged that which was "natural" for them, physin, in the Greek text, for something "unnatural," para physin. In Romans 11:24, God acts in an "unnatural" way, para physin, to accept the Gentiles. "Unnatural" in these passages does not refer to violation of so-called laws of nature, but rather implies action contradicting one's own nature. In view of this, we should observe that it is "unnatural," para physin, for a person today with a lesbian or gay sexual orientation to attempt living a heterosexual lifestyle.

    I Corinthians 6:9

    Any consideration of New Testament statements on same-sex acts must carefully view the social context of the Greco-Roman culture in which Paul ministered. Prostitution and pederasty (sexual relationships of adult men with boys) were the most commonly known male same-sex acts. In I Corinthians 6:9, Paul condemns those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind," as translated in the King James version. Unfortunately, some new translations are worse, rendering these words "homosexuals." Recent scholarship unmasks the homophobia behind such mistranslations.

    The first word – malakos, in the Greek text-which has been translated "effeminate" or "soft," most likely refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control. The word is used elsewhere in the New Testament but never with reference to sexuality.

    The second word, Arsenokoitai, occurs once each in I Corinthians and I Timothy (1:10), but nowhere else in other literature of the period. It is derived from two Greek words, one meaning, "males" and the other "beds", a euphemism for sexual intercourse. Other Greek words were commonly used to describe homosexual behavior but do not appear here. The larger context of I Corinthians 6 shows Paul extremely concerned with prostitution, so it is very possible he was referring to male prostitutes. But many experts now attempting to translate these words have reached a simple conclusion: their precise meaning is uncertain. Scripture Study Conclusion…No Law Against Love

    The rarity with which Paul discusses any form of same-sex behavior and the ambiguity in references attributed to him make it extremely unsound to conclude any sure position in the New Testament on homosexuality, especially in the context of loving, responsible relationships. Since any arguments must be made from silence, it is much more reliable to turn to great principles of the Gospel taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Do not judge others, lest you be judged. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love . . . . . against such there is no law. One thing is abundantly clear, as Paul stated in Galatians 5:14: "...the whole Law is fulfilled in one statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself".

    .
    Sarah

    Let me make one thing clear: being gay is not wrong. It is not unnatural. It isn’t immoral or gross or something that should provoke disgust. What is wrong, what is unnatural, what is immoral and what is gross is intolerance and discrimination against fellow human beings for their sexual orientation and active pursuit of preventing loving and committed homosexual couples from legally being married.

    I believe in God, and I identify as a Christian, and this identity as a Christian has provided me with the insight to know that people who oppose gay marriage based on “religious reasons” are just making excuses for their homophobia. The idea that homosexuality is sinful is a farce. The Bible never actually condemns homosexuality. You know what the Bible does condemn?

    Winking. “He who winks is plotting perversity.” Proverbs 16:30

    Rounded haircuts. “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.” Leviticus 19:17

    Tattoos. “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you.” Leviticus 19:28

    It is unacceptable that some modern Americans think it’s alright to toss rules like these aside and yet still vehemently oppose marriage rights for homosexual couples.

    As a Christian, I’ve been taught to love my neighbor. Somehow, active public discrimination against homosexuals and barring fellow human beings from marriage rights does not seem very loving or neighborly to me.

    Homosexuality isn’t a disease: it’s an innate way of being.

    Nobody is going to “catch” gay.

    Nobody is going to be “cured” of their homosexuality.

    Sexual orientation is personal and affects nobody but the individual and is absolutely not the business of anybody but the individual.

    The fact that people continue to suggest otherwise and perpetuate this idea that homosexuality is wrong and attempting to make outcasts of people who identify as gay is unbelievably disgusting and frightening and old-fashioned.

    It’s 2012, and we should have come much further than this by now.

    This matters. This is an issue that, if left unfixed, tacitly permits discrimination and harassment.

    The prevalence of anti-gay messages encourages bullying and hate crimes, and there are literally confused, hurt, frightened young people who actually kill themselves over issues like this — and yet people still insist upon calling homosexuality a sin.

    The cruelty and hypocrisy is infuriating and unacceptable.

    It needs to stop.

    Until marriage equality is legal in all fifty states, I hope Americans will have the courage to end hatred and homophobia.

    .
    Eric

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

    Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

    In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

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

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

    Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

    But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

    This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

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

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

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

    Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

    .
    James

    As usual, Bob is wrong again. The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

    .
    Brent

    "There is no Christian case for "gay marriage"

    Religion-based bigotry use religious teachings to justify discrimination against Native Americans, African Americans, minority religious groups, woman and interracial couples.

    Connecting the dots between historical bigotry against other groups and the atudes of some people today toward hosexuality is one of the most effective ways to educate people about the denial of equal rights to the LGBT community.

    Most people know that, historically, religion has been used to justify discrimination against women, religious minorities and people of color. Putting anti-gay religious beliefs in this historical context can be a powerful tool in connecting discrimination that most Americans today accept as morally wrong and the discrimination faced by LGBT people. By citing historical instances of religion-based bigotry and prejudice, you allow people to be more comfortable with atudinal change – they realize they are not stepping out alone against a commonly accepted viewpoint but rather following historical progress toward justice and equality.

    When talking about the misuse of religion to justify discrimination in the past, it is important not to say that the LGBT community’s struggle with discrimination is exactly the same as the Civil Rights Movement. Rather, the point is that religion-based bigotry has been a common denominator of injustice toward many groups in American society’s past. When given a chance, many people will see the underlying historical pattern of using religious teachings and beliefs to justify harmful discrimination.

    There is another benefit to citing other times in the past when religious teachings have been used to justify discrimination. Many times, when people of faith are challenged about their anti-gay views, they cite biblical verses or other religious texts as a safe haven when they are unable to articulate why they hold prejudiced atudes toward LGBT people. Instead of telling people that their interpretation is wrong, you can remind them that other religious texts have been used in the past to justify atudes and laws that are recognized today as morally wrong and unjust – such as discrimination against women, people of color and religious minorities.

    History provides the moral judgment, and we do not have to be theologians engaged in scriptural debates to point people to the judgment rendered by history.

    .
    Elaine

    "Sodom and Gomorrah is still a good example. "

    In Genesis 18, the story about the angels coming to Lot's house, we learn that the reason they were coming to destroy Sodom was because of the wickedness that ALREADY existed in the city. The exact form of wickedness is not mentioned in that story!

    Let's just reinforce this CRITICAL piece of information. In the story of Sodom, in Genesis 18, God had ALREADY decided to destroy the city BEFORE the attempted ra pe of the angels – which incidentally was perpetrated mainly by heterose xuals since ALL the men of the city were involved, and we know that throughout history, gays have only represented about 10% of the population. Also, if they were ho mose xuals, why would Lot suggest that they take his daughters instead? That just doesn't make sense if the men were gay.

    So just to get this straight, the event that took place at Sodom was an act of violence and ra pe, mainly by heterose xuals. It had nothing to do with a loving relationship between two people of the same se x, and ho mose xuality was NOT the sin of Sodom in whatever form. The story of Sodom in Genesis 18 was about violence and domination, the same type of event that takes place in prisons and occupied countries, but it was NOT the reason for God's decision to destroy the city, and to use this story as a basis for prejudice against ho mose xuality in general is like comparing ra pe to marriage. There is NO similarity!

    The aftermath of Sodom aside, let's take a look at other passages of Scripture that mention the sin of Sodom. Here are 14 references to Sodom and not one of them mentions ho mose xuality!!!!! The overwhelming themes are idolatry, immorality and inhospitality! To me, this indicates people like Bob and HeavenSent have taken things out of context!

    Deuteronomy 29:17-26 – the sin – idolatry and images to false gods – "Why has the Lord done this to the land? . . . It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord . . ."

    Deuteronomy 32:32-38 – the sin – idolatry – "He will say 'Now where are their gods?'"

    Isaiah 1:2-23 – the sin – idolatry, rebellion, injustice, murder, greed, theft, covetousness, mistreating the poor – "They have rebelled against Me."

    Isaiah 3:8-19 – the sin – idolatry, arrogance – "Their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying His glorious Presence"

    Jeremiah 23:10-14 – the sin – idolatry, adultery, lying by priests and prophets – "Both prophet and priest are godless. . . . They prophesied by Baal and led My people astray."

    Jeremiah 49:16-18 – the sin – idolatry, arrogance, oppression, pride of the heart – "The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived
    you. . ."

    Jeremiah 50:2-40 – the sin – idolatry, pride, false prophets – "Her images will be put to shame and her idols filled with terror. . . . . For she has defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. . . . . Their shepherds have led them astray."

    Lamentations 4:3-6 – the sin – cruelty and failure to care for the young and poor – "My people have become heartless."

    Ezekiel 16:49-50 – the sin – "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned: they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me."

    Amos 4:1-11 – the sin – idolatry, oppression, mistreating the poor – "I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom . . . . yet you have not returned to Me."

    Zephaniah 2:8-11 – the sin – idolatry, pride, mocking – "This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty. The Lord will be awesome to them when He destroys all the gods of the land."

    Luke 17:26-29 – Jesus speaking – No specific sins mentioned

    II Peter 2:1-22 – the sin – idolatry, living after ungodliness, lawlessness, arrogance, blaspheming, adultery, greed, corruption, depravity, boasting, lust – "But there were also false prophets among the people . . . . ."

    Jude 1:7-8 – the sin – se xual immorality and perversion, i.e fornication after strange flesh (angels, see Genesis 6:1) KJV

    The dictionary defines "perversion" as "a se xual practice regarded as abnormal". That means that a heterose xual practicing ho mose xual acts is perverted as in the case of ALL the men of Sodom wanting to engage with the angels (strange flesh). However, since se x with the same gender is normal for a gay person, there is no perversion associated merely by the se xual act.

    Note also that, while the word "abomination" has been used with reference to hom ose xuality, the biblical interpretation of the word "abomination" relates to any act of uncleanness as set out in the Holiness Code, such as eating shellfish, trimming your hair, touching the skin of a dead pig (should we stone the entire NFL?), wearing clothes of two kinds of material (polyester/cotton) – the list is long. How can we discuss one sin to the exclusion of all others?

    This is an enormous subject, which has been reduced to simplistic values. It is plain and simple prejudice to portray ho mose xuals as immoral just because of the gender to whom we are attracted. Of course there are immoral hom ose xuals, just as there are immoral heterose xuals, but simple orientation carries no implication of morality or immorality.

    Our se xuality is God-given. God made us the way we are. It follows naturally that He loves us exactly the way He made us. So long as we embrace marriage with the same standards as any monogamous, loving heterose xual relationship there should be no barrier against us.

    When gays are only asking to have their loving relationships acknowledged and respected, why is there so much fear and anger? To strengthen marriage, why not take a stand against divorce and separation, instead of opposing love and commitment? Jesus spoke of divorce, but he never mentioned hom ose xuality. I believe that was because ho mose xuality was not even an issue in His day. Love was love. Love IS Love!

    "Protect marriage? Puhlease. With a 50 percent divorce rate, rampant domestic violence, Las Vegas drive-through chapels, and I wanna-marry-a-really-rich-guy reality TV shows, there's no way gays could trash marriage the way straight people have."

    This letter only refers to the sin of Sodom. There are actually six "clobber verses" which are used against gays. Space does not permit an explanation of each one, but just as the sin of Sodom has been misrepresented, so have the other verses. There is an explanation for each one that clearly indicates that, just as slavery was condoned by Scripture for many years, ("Slaves obey your masters . . . . ." Eph. 6:5-8) and civil wars were fought to protect the ownership of people, we now know that Scripture was interpreted incorrectly, for God would not have people to be possessions.

    We now have a fuller understanding of Scripture with regard to slavery. It's time to accept a fuller understanding of ho mose xuality based on new research into language, concepts and customs when these words were written.

    So please choose acceptance and inclusiveness whether or not you understand fully. One of us is wrong. Many of you think it's me. I think it's you, based on solid research into Scripture from another perspective. Yes, God encourages us to question Scripture.

    "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, REPROOF and instruction in righteousness." II Tim. 3:16

    If there is even a chance that I could be right, do you want to take the eternal risk of rejecting some of God's children, and slamming the doors of your churches to those of us who wish to enter? That's what you're doing when you treat us as less than yourselves simply based on our orientation.

    If we have done the research, and it is our understanding that God loves us, including our orientation, then why not just let God be the judge? He will be in the end anyway. If one of us is to err, why not err on the side of love and acceptance? Now that was truly Jesus' example!

    .
    Shawn

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

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

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

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

    Some claim that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 clearly say that ho mose xual se x is an abomination. In fact, it merits death. Isn't it obvious that God hates hom ose xuality?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Because these eunuchs were born se xless, God made an exception for them because it was natural. The same applies to the Gay community today. Science has proven hom ose xuality is completely natural, so it seems God would allow for hom ose xual marriages.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    YeahRight

    Bob – the biggest liar anywhere. We've pointed out over and over again you are using reports from well known hate groups that the experts in this country have proven are false. The experts in this country are stating that heterose xual behavior and hom ose xual behavior are normal aspects of human se xuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bise xual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that hom ose xuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    Like their heterose xual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.

    Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-se x partners closely resemble those of heterose xual partnerships. Like heterose xual couples, same-se x couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterose xual and same-se x couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterose xual couples.

    A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-se x parents as it is for children of opposite-se x parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-se x parents as for children of opposite-se x parents.

    Assertions that heterose xual couples are inherently better parents than same se x couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterose xual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterose xual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterose xual parents.

    January 15, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • Dippy

      You should elaborate and make your posts longer.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:27 am |
    • Okey Dokey

      What fun you must be at dinner parties. Even the people who agree would suddenly remember an important something or other they have to go do right away.

      January 15, 2013 at 2:51 am |

  13. [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ULdaSrYGLQ&w=640&h=360]

    261 Ministers Proclamation

    As Christian clergy we proclaim: the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.

    In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:

    -to affirm that the essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;

    –to embrace the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;

    –to declare that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;

    –to celebrate the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;

    Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.

    January 15, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • lol??

      OOoh, oh, those bullies from Sodom have found a new thread.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • midwest rail

      And the liars have followed, right lol?? ?

      January 15, 2013 at 1:27 am |
  14. lol??

    Free will?????? hahaha How do the slaves and sinners have free will when it feels so good to do be in denial?? Too bad, so sad. Jesus read this, "Luk 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,'........ Here I thought the A&A's said He couldn't read.

    January 15, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • Observer

      lol??

      Did the children and fetuses that God killed get a chance at "free will"?

      January 15, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • lol??

      Ob, you're the one that can't read.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:26 am |
    • Observer

      lol??,

      I can read well enough to know your statement was ignorant.

      January 15, 2013 at 2:17 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
      Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
      Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
      One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
      In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
      One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
      One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

      January 15, 2013 at 2:30 am |

  15. [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iKqr230U9M&w=640&h=360]

    261 Ministers Proclamation

    As Christian clergy we proclaim: the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.

    January 15, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • lol??

      Take those 261 and put em where the sun don't shine.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • Observer

      Amen.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:36 am |
    • Topher

      Ridiculous

      January 15, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      See? Not all Christians are hypocrites.

      Good for them.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I think the god thing is bogus but congrats to you for taking something positive from it.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:42 am |
    • Topher

      These "ministers" think they know better than God.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Maybe, but you certainly do with your "moral, priestly, etc." sin BS. Cafetaria Christianity at its most hypocritical.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      "These "ministers" think they know better than God."

      But you're delusional enough to know exactly what God is thinking, right?

      January 15, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Topher

      Rational Libertarian

      I most certainly do not think I know more than God. But I side with whatever He says BECAUSE He's so much smarter than me. And I don't see what's hypocritical about the covenental laws.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • Topher

      I know what He thinks on varies topics, yes. I have the Bible.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:49 am |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      Speaking of being smarter, who more likely knows more about Christianity? 261 MINISTERS or you? (Please list your background that would qualify you as someone knowing more than a minister).

      January 15, 2013 at 12:52 am |
    • Pee Wee

      And no two Christians agree on "covenental" laws and you're back to square one with the luny christards. he he..

      January 15, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I have Ulysses. I have a strong understanding of Leopold Bloom's thoughts. It doesn't mean I have the right to dictate the actions of others.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • midwest rail

      Do the covenental laws allow for adultery ?

      January 15, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • Topher

      Observer

      Normally I would say the ministers, but when you see ridiculousness like this you have to take their credibility into account. I'd like to know what these peoples' backgrounds are.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:56 am |
    • Topher

      midwest rail

      Not sure what you mean.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      I can understand why many Christians are upset. These ministers apparently believe in the Golden Rule.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • Topher

      Everyone should live by the Golden Rule. So what?

      January 15, 2013 at 12:59 am |
    • midwest rail

      It's a fairly straight forward question. Is adultery acceptable or not ?

      January 15, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      The Silver Rule is better.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      I agree, but they don't. Hypocritical Christian sinners could pick on their own and quote the Golden Rule, but it's more fun for them to ignore their own sins and pick on gays.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:02 am |
    • Topher

      midwest rail

      Of course not. Jesus said if you even look with lust you're GUILTY of adultery. It's very serious.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • midwest rail

      Can you explain then why contemporary Christians are so eager to regulate the behavior of gay people using civil legislation, but not the behavior of str8 folk ? Why no rush to make adultery illegal ?

      January 15, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • Topher

      Observer

      "Hypocritical Christian sinners could pick on their own and quote the Golden Rule, but it's more fun for them to ignore their own sins and pick on gays."

      Like I said the other day, we're ALL hypocrits. But there are several reasons Christians should be talking on this subject. I admit we often do it poorly and sound uncaring. First, it's because it is a sin, we should warn people what will happen if they die in their sins. Same should go for people who commit ANY sin on a regular basis. When we say it's OK, like these "ministers", they're sinning themselves in letting those people think it's OK to do that act thus setting them up for God's wrath. So even though we do it poorly, it really is in love we talk about it. We don't want them to go to Hell and should be telling them the Gospel and how to find forgiveness and that they can still go to Heaven if they repent and trust in the Savior.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:10 am |
    • Topher

      midwest rail

      Well, the government isn't trying to get me to endorse adultery. That's the first problem.

      And I think in MANY places adultery IS illegal.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • midwest rail

      No one is asking anyone for an endorsement. Adultery illegal ? In what universe ? Where has it been enforced last ? No, the fact is, absent your push to regulate the moral/immoral behavior of str8 people's se-x lives, then you are being morally inconsistent and cowardly.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • lol??

      God does the marryin'. Get the gubmint out of it and tell your little pharisees to take a hike. That should satisfy the pervs.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • midwest rail

      And the Cowardly Liar chimes in. Next.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:19 am |
    • Topher

      midwest rail

      "No one is asking anyone for an endorsement."

      Yes they are. They want me to vote for it. That would be an endorsement.

      "Adultery illegal ? In what universe ?"

      Here's an article I found in USA Today from a Google search ... http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-04-26-column26_ST_N.htm

      "Where has it been enforced last ?"

      Enforcement has nothing to do with whether it is legal or not. And apparently in Illinois they are still prosecuting ...

      No, the fact is, absent your push to regulate the moral/immoral behavior of str8 people's se-x lives, then you are being morally inconsistent and cowardly."

      Maybe so. But it's still my stance that it's a sin.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:20 am |
    • lol??

      All those Beastie benefits you get, you can't afford.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:21 am |
    • sam stone

      Gopher: They are only seeking EQUAL RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW. I realize that annoy bigots, particularly the cowardly ones who hide behind their bibles.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers, Just for you Topher

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwf6QD-REMY&w=640&h=360]

      January 15, 2013 at 1:45 am |
  16. Douglas

    Gay "marriage" cannot take place in a Christian church without bringing disgrace to the participants.

    The Bible is unambiguous about the sin of gay coitus.

    Many LGBTQ folks are beginning to undertand the value of celibacy to ensuring their salvation
    as they grow in their Chriastian journey.

    Reach out to LGBTQ at your place of worship and let them know they are
    bound for glory when they reject fornication and place their trust in ceibate relationships!

    With God it can be done

    January 14, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Jen

      What is a Chriastian? What is ceibate? You'll understand why I do not take the opinion of anyone with a fifth grade education seriously.

      Is it pretty dark in that closet you reside in?

      January 14, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Douglas

      Jen,

      Consider celibacy as you ponder the temptations you face.
      Say no to fornication and yes to salvation.

      January 14, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Douglas

      And that's fine for any church that wants to take that stance. That doesn't mean you get to make laws that would apply to everyone based on that.

      January 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Jen

      I'm married to a man and just gave birth to my third child. And I would have no issues if any of my children turn out to be gay. I certainly wouldn't tell them to remain celibate (note the proper spelling). That would make me a horrible mother.

      January 14, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      Maybe everyone should follow what Paul said, stay single, live a life of celibacy, and be like the holy spirit. Being married brings nothing but trouble according to Paul.

      January 14, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      I know the shellfish thing is funny, but maybe you can explain why a "loving god" says disobedient wives, and children should be killed? Or you can tell me how you worship a god that kills innocent babies because Pharaoh did exactly what god commanded him to do, just so he could show his power? Or worship a god that says, "happy are those that take the children, and dash their heads on the rocks"? I haven't even come to Job yet!

      January 14, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Doogie, you never fail to make yourself a laughingstock. Now you're telling a married woman who has three children she should refrain from "fornicating"? You are so dumb, it's painful.

      January 14, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • I found out who Douglas has feelings for

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qU7nzLLa92g&w=640&h=360]

      January 14, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • ITZ A MEEERACLE!!!!

      "I'm married to a man and just gave birth to my third child"

      I hate to tell you, but . . .

      January 15, 2013 at 2:54 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      If I want to lick balls, I'll lick balls, no matter how many ancient desert manuscripts which bare no relevance to modern times say I shouldn't or the Dark Lord Cthulhu will devour my soul.

      January 15, 2013 at 3:39 am |
    • sam stone

      so, you think that gays should remain celibate for the promise of a celibate eternity? good idea, sparky

      January 15, 2013 at 5:10 am |
    • Huh?

      ITZ A MEEERACLE!!!!:
      "I'm married to a man and just gave birth to my third child"
      "I hate to tell you, but . . ."

      WHAT do you hate to tell her?

      January 15, 2013 at 5:40 am |
  17. Topher

    Good evening everyone.

    Anyone have any honest questions about Christianity?

    January 14, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Why is the god of the bible so stupid? Can anyone think of a more disgustingly evil character?

      January 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • Topher

      What about Him do you find evil?

      January 14, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      Here's a question I have yet to get an answer to:

      Where does the Bible say that being gay is still an abomination, but eating lobster and Alaskan King crablegs is not still an abomination.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Observer

      What's wrong with evil? It was good enough for God. He bragged that he does evil.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I know you're a troll but Sodom, Gomorrah, The Flood (ie. Noah, not Halo), all the tribes he asked Moses to massacre. Pretty evil methinks.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I find many things about god evil, and I think you would too if you could look at the situations without bias. For example, I think it is evil to allow a place of never-ending torment to exist when you could destroy it.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Topher

      Observer

      Fair question. Jesus Himself address marriage being between a man and a woman in Mark 10. It's also talked about in several other places in the NT.

      As far as food, that's one of those things not carried over into the new covenant. For instance, in Acts, Peter is shown a large amount of food coming down from Heaven and told by God that there are no forbidden foods. If you want to know exactly where, I'll look it up for you.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      Yes, please find where the "unchanging" God changed his mind about lobster and Alaskan king crablegs.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      And where is the part of the bible that we shouldn't kill witches, gays, unruly children, unbelievers? Where is it that we are now allowed to wear blended clothes, or to not own slaves anymore?

      January 14, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • Topher

      Moby Schtick

      "I find many things about god evil, and I think you would too if you could look at the situations without bias."

      Ok, but aren't you doing the same thing? Looking at them with bias?

      "For example, I think it is evil to allow a place of never-ending torment to exist when you could destroy it."

      Really? Why should He destroy it? Don't you want lawbreakers to be punished?

      January 14, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      It is unjust to cause eternal punishment for finite crimes.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Funnily enough, I don't think eternal torture is a just punishment for my love of shellfish, especially seeing as how your god created with with a love of shellfish.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      No, I am not looking at the acts of biblegod with bias. Any being who did such things as are attributed to god in the bible MUST be labeled the most evil character ever imagined. He's evil because of his actions, the judgment stands regardless of WHO he is.

      Never ending torment is not "punishment" it is torture and it is disgustingly excessive.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Topher

      hawaiiguest

      "It is unjust to cause eternal punishment for finite crimes."

      I'd say that depends on whom the crime is committed against, don't you think?

      For instance, if I lie to a child, nothing will happen to me. If I lie to my wife, I'll be sleeping on the couch. If I lie to my boss, I'll be fired. If I lie to the president, that's treason and I'll be thrown in jail or even sentenced to death. Same crimes, different punishments. So how much more should I be punished when the sin is against a holy and just God?

      January 14, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • Topher

      Rational Libertarian

      Then I've got good news for you. You can eat shellfish for every meal for the rest of your life. It's not a sin.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      So the value of a person is measured on their influence? So the morality of an act is based on the position of power the thing has?

      January 14, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Not for eternity, for sure. That's stupid, evil torture and absolutely ridiculous. Besides, I would think god would have a better way of handling things than my spouse or my boss. Perhaps maybe some sort of gentle lesson that allows the person to truly learn to be better–and then that person gets to contribute to goodness instead of never ending agony in fire.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Topher

      Moby Schtick

      "Perhaps maybe some sort of gentle lesson that allows the person to truly learn to be better–and then that person gets to contribute to goodness instead of never ending agony in fire."

      Well, you always had the option of not sinning. But let's say for the sake of the argument you sinned and deserved punishment. I've still got good news for you. Jesus Christ paid your fine for you. If you repent and trust in Him you can walk free on Judgment Day.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • Observer

      Topher

      "Then I've got good news for you. You can eat shellfish for every meal for the rest of your life. It's not a sin."

      We're still waiting to hear where God changed his mind.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      Another immoral doctrine.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Topher

      Leviticus 11:10 says otherwise. Anyway, replace shellfish with butt loving and it's the same argument.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • Pee Wee

      Wow, so you can sin all you want, and if the law doesn't catch you, you can just close your eyes and wiggle your nose in church and you'll be fine! Cool! he he..

      January 14, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • Topher

      You can take old covenant laws and divide them up into three groups. 1. Moral laws (including the 10 Commandments). 2. Priestly laws. 3. Laws given only to those people at that time. We broke the old covenant, so God made with us a new one. Under the new covenant, only moral laws are still in play. Priestly laws (sacrifices) are out because Jesus was our sacrifice. Other laws, such as shellfish and certain clothing options, are not part of that new covenant.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Is wiggling one's nose an act which criminals engage in?

      January 14, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      So can I have butt relations with other men?

      January 14, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Topher

      No. That's a moral law. That's why Jesus and other NT writers address it.

      January 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Pee Wee

      I think it we had eyes in the front and back of our heads, there would be more congratulatory butt relations in football, like right after a touch-down. Actually I'm getting a headache trying to imagine the whole games under those circ umstances. he he..

      January 14, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Bob

      Ahem, Topher, you brought up that sacrifice canard again. Read carefully this time:

      The whole premise of Christianity that the death of the son of god would have been any kind of "sacrifice" and was required to deal with "sin" is utter nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are discussing. Christians, think this through a bit: how come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that supposed saving without the loony son sacrifice bit? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there. Give that some thought and maybe it will help you leave your delusions behind. You will remain a laughingstock otherwise, and the more you dwell in your silly delusion and ancient myths, instead of keeping up with advances in medicine and technology, the more America slips downward relative to the rest of the world in science and other fields.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      January 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      So still no quote?

      When God gave the Ten Commandments, he said that we should kill anyone who works on the Sabbath. That is still in effect, right?

      January 14, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      So your god thinks eternal damnation is a just punishment for butt relations? That sound very evil to me. Also, please quote scripture in which Jesus decries being

      January 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      So where, in each of the 623 commands given by your god, does it say "This one is moral, this one is priestly, and this one is only for this specific time"?

      January 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Being gay.

      January 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Topher

      Observer

      "When God gave the Ten Commandments, he said that we should kill anyone who works on the Sabbath. That is still in effect, right?"

      We should keep it holy, which is what the commandment says. See what Jesus says about working on the Sabbath. Not only is it OK to do good works, but He takes it further ... the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. It is given for us to rest. That's a good thing.

      January 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      So far, you haven't quoted much of anything from the Bible, just people's INTERPRETATIONS.

      We want quotes from the Bible, not you.

      Where does it say that shellfish eating is no longer an abomination?

      January 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      Why are you ignoring me Topher? I noticed that you do that often when I ask you questions.

      January 14, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Topher

      From Acts Chapter 10 ...

      9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:

      10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

      11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

      12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

      13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

      14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

      15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

      January 14, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      "15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common."

      So where did God "cleanse" seafood?

      January 14, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      If you want to know what happened to the covenant between God and the children of Israel just read one chapter, Leviticus 26. It will answer a lot of your question on a lot of the OT law. The law was conditional it was for the children of Israel, if they kept it, God would bless and protect them and allow them to live in the land in peace, if they broke it God would punish them and kick them out of the land. God gave them the law which told them what to do and what not to do. In chapter 26 of Leviticus he told them what would happen if they kept the covenant and what would happen if they didn’t keep their end of the deal. Everything that he told them would happen has happened, except the last part and it will happen someday in the future.

      January 14, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Bob

      Topher, in response to your quote dumping from your book of horrors AKA the bible, take a look at these loving chestnuts, or many others like them in the bible, both OT and NT:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      January 14, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Bob

      Robert, both your quotes and mine show your "god" to be quite the evil, vindictive, vicious, human rights abusing asshole. So, please keep your delusions to yourself. Silently, please.

      January 14, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • Topher

      Also, from Mark Chapter 8

      18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?”

      January 14, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • Bob

      Topher, speaking of "understanding", how does your bible claim that diseases spread, again? And those "mustard seeds" you planted, how are they growing?

      January 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • Topher

      And Matthew 15

      11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”

      January 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Topher

      That enough quotes to prove my point yet?

      January 14, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • Pee Wee

      When God killed everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah, I can understand sparing Lot, but shouldn't God have known not to spare his trampy daughters? They just had to get it on with daddy right after, so they seduced him with wine. So we have an incestuous relationship immediately after the destruction of the cities. Creepy.. he he..

      January 14, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      I hate to run this into the ground, but you still haven't supplied any quote that shows that being gay is still an abomination but eating shellfish isn't.

      So far there's nothing to prove that Christians aren't hypocrites for practicing an abomination while picking on others for one.

      January 14, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Topher, you have yet to make a single, defensible point. Care to try again?

      January 14, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      I know the shellfish thing is funny, but maybe you can explain why a "loving god" says disobedient wives, and children should be killed? Or you can tell me how you worship a god that kills innocent babies because Pharaoh did exactly what god commanded him to do, just so he could show his power? Or worship a god that says, "happy are those that take the children, and dash their heads on the rocks"? I haven't even come to Job yet!

      January 14, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Topher,

      You never answer my question honestly yesterday. Care to try again or are you going to admit you were wrong?

      January 14, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • Topher

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      First, I reject your claim that I didn't answer honestly. Second, I don't even remember the question.

      January 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Topher, would you agree that your conception of God's punishments relies on a libertarian concept of free will? Does the fact that modern psychology doesn't support any such notion just not bother you, or do you put it in the same scientific class as some Christian's put evolution?

      January 14, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • Topher

      Saraswati

      Not sure what you are asking. Yes, I believe in free will.

      Not sure what you are saying modern psychology doesn't support.

      I believe God will punish lawbreakers, not only because God says He will, but because it makes sense that a holy God would also be just.

      January 14, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Topher, modern psychology doesn't support the idea of free will you need to justify eternal damnation. I suspect a few psychologists at religious universities might, but good luck finding one who isn't religiously bound to justify this kind of blame doing so. Essentially to anyone worth a modern understanding of how the brain works, your god is damning people for a combination of biological and social factors that have ended in their actions. While punishments are essential to creating a functioning society, for a god to hand the, out eternally is just pure malice against his own creations.

      January 14, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Topher

      Saraswati

      Modern psychology doesn't believe in free will? And we're supposed to trust them with our mental health? Well, I guess they are enacting their free will to not believe in it.

      January 14, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Observer

      "Free will" is just more double-talk from the Bible.

      God never recognized "free will" when he torturously murdered every child, baby and fetus on the face of the earth.

      January 14, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Topher,

      I am not surprised you don't remember. You said it was a "great question" but your response was so inane and flawed you obviously put no personal thought into it and instead just regurgitated what someone told you as if it made sense. That is why it was not honest.

      January 14, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Observer

      "Free will" is just more double-talk from the Bible.

      God never recognized "free will" for them when he torturously killed every child, baby and fetus on the face of the earth.

      January 14, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • Topher

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So what was the question?

      January 15, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • midwest rail

      Why did you refuse to answer three separate requests for a link to the news article you were referencing ?

      January 15, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Topher

      midwest rail

      If I remember right, someone else posted the link.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • midwest rail

      Yes, with the caveat they thought that MIGHT be what you were referencing. You never responded to them or made any confirmation. Are we supposed to be psychic ?

      January 15, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • Topher

      midwest rail

      "Are we supposed to be psychic ?"

      Ha. Some of you claim to be more intelligent. 😉

      So what would you like to discuss?

      January 15, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • midwest rail

      What claims have I ever made about myself ? To you or anyone on these blogs ?

      January 15, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • Topher

      You? None that I recall.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • Simran

      "We broke the old covenant, so god gave us a new one"

      And many have broken the new one too! So when is God coming to give us a NEWER ONE?

      January 15, 2013 at 12:59 am |
    • sam stone

      yes.

      how do you reconcile free will with an omniscient god?

      how do you explain the concept of an immortal god dying?

      what makes you thin think that those who wrote, translated or edited the bible know any more about god than anyone else?

      what makes you think that people can fear retaliation from a being in which they do not believe?

      January 15, 2013 at 5:14 am |
    • sam stone

      "So how much more should I be punished when the sin is against a holy and just God?"

      A holy and just God?

      You are truly deluded

      Your god is a petty, vindictive pr1ck, and you are NOTHING but a snivelling sycophant.

      Who the fvck would want eternity with either your god or you? Pompous dweeb

      January 15, 2013 at 6:17 am |
    • sam stone

      "If I lie to the president, that's treason and I'll be thrown in jail or even sentenced to death. "

      gee, gopher, do you make this up as you go along?

      Treason

      : the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign's family

      how does lying to the president meet this criteria? it will be entertaining seeing you attempt to slither out of this

      January 15, 2013 at 6:42 am |
  18. Bob

    Jesus said to turn the other cheek, not spread your cheeks and let them in. Fa gggots have corrupted this country and it has upset our Lord. Why do you think we have had so many tragedies? There are consequences for our wickedness.

    January 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • Pee Wee

      Hi Westboro Baptist Bob! I saw you and Douglas in the theater the other day. he he..

      January 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Bundles of sticks two feet in circ.umference and three feet long have corrupted this country? My goodness, that's odd.

      January 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • sam

      You're a hard workin' troll, son.

      January 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Beth

      Bob, more and more, the god that you've made for yourself sounds like a vengeful, vicious bigot. So, no thanks. Please get over your delusions and stop spreading your hate and bigotry on this blog.

      January 14, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      "Our skimpy costumes ain't so bad"

      "They seem to entertain your dad"

      January 14, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • Observer

      Bob,

      "Your" Lord supports slavery and discrimination against women and the handicapped.

      Jesus NEVER said anything bad about gays.

      Read the Bible someday.

      January 14, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • tb63

      Oh please. Because I'm gay God takes it out on the whole country? Right.

      January 14, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • lol??

      tb63, nah, most people just look at ya as a smoke detector or as a temperature guage on the dashboard,

      January 15, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • ed

      Cowardly lol?? always has to play by himself.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:21 am |
  19. mama k

    I mentioned on pages 1 & 2 some things about the National Cathedral and James Madison, who was the 4th Bishop of the Episcopal church. The present-day struggle over the issue of same-sex marriage between moderates of Christianity and the bigoted, superstitious extreme fundamentalists should remind us of the time when Madison was about to become the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights. He was faced with similar struggles in his home state of Virginia. He, along with Jefferson, Mason, Washington, Paine, and more, witnessed violent feuding and persecution between different Christian sects in their home states. Madison was consecrated as a Bishop of the Episcopal Church in 1790 by the anglican Archbishop of Canterbury. But it was only five years prior to that consecration that Madison delivered these words to the Virginia General Assembly:

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize the Madison was soon to become, along with Jefferson and others, one of the fiercest advocates for separation of church and state. Of course, being the key framer of the Constitution and 1st Amendment, we should not be surprised by these reflections from two of his letters:

    Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

    The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State.

    Our most recent constitutional Amendment, number 27, adopted in 1992, was first introduced by James Madison in 1789.

    January 14, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • mama k

      Madison as president vetoed two bills that he believed would violate the separation of church and state. He also came to oppose the long-established practice of employing chaplains at public expense in the House of Representatives and Senate on the grounds that it violated the separation of church and state and the principles of religious freedom. (Library of Congress – James Madison Papers – Detached memorandum, ca. 1823.)

      January 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @mama k

      I had no idea that James Madison was consecrated as a bishop of the Episcopal Church. Thanks for that. It made me find out about the British Consecration of Bishops Abroad Act 1786 which made it possible – presumably by removing the offending bits related to the Oath of Supremacy.

      Other than reinforcing the doctrine of separation, I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. The "National Cathedral" is a fine idea. It's relevant to have a 'go-to' church in Washington when people want a religious service with some national significance. Theologically it is no more than a local church that happens to be in the area of DC.

      I suspect that most of the fundies here would be shocked at how generally similar Episcopal services are to Catholic services, were they actually to attend either one.

      January 14, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Episcopals reject the pope as head of their church, acknowledging the crown of England instead. Henry the IIX wanted a divorce. Along with rejecting the papacy, Anglicans reject transubstantiation as taught by the Catholic Church. There are various sects within Anglicanism from High Church Anglicans whose beliefs are very close to those of the Catholic Church to middle of the road parishes that may or may not be orthodox in their teaching and practice to low church parishes that more resemble Evangelical Christians in beliefs and practice. American Anglicans precipitated a schism by ordaining Gene Robinson as the first openly gay bishop of the Anglican church in America. The split still pervade today with many conservative Episcopalians converting to Catholicism. I suppose Catholics who become enamored of gay rights have also found a home with the liberal side of the Anglican church. Liturgically they are very similar except for the presence of women priests in many Episcopal congregations as well

      January 14, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • mama k

      not a GOPer – I guess I would say my main point in this last post was about separation of church and state.

      The cathedral is an odd object in our history. Not sure if you read my earlier post about it, but it was designated the "National House of Prayer" under a charter passed by the United States Congress on January 6, 1893. Teddy Roosevelt was present when the cornerstone was laid. Very close to the "Mother of Presidents" state of course. Woodrow Wilson is buried there along with Helen Keller. And many know it as the place where Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the final Sunday sermon of his life.

      January 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • mama k

      Bill, I'm sure you meant Henry VIII?

      January 14, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      8 yes

      January 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      IIX, while incorrect, still technically makes sense.

      January 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • mama k

      That reminds me – I've seen several seasons of that "Tudors" thing on showtime, but I'm still behind a season or two.

      January 14, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • mama k

      OK, thanks for that – I didn't know you could express it as such.

      January 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Actually, I'm not sure if it can be expressed as such. I'm not an expert in Roman numerals, it's just that it does also make sense expressed as IIX. Who cares anyway, it's best not to get too pedantic.

      January 14, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bill Deacon,

      "Liturgically they are very similar"

      Which was my point. Netiher the gender (or the orientation) of the priest changes the liturgy.

      January 14, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @mama k,

      "The cathedral is an odd object in our history."

      It just illustrates the deep seated envy/longing that "America" has for merry olde England. Americans can't get enough of the royal family, (think People magazine and US Weekly) and want a Westminster Abbey of their own to bury dead celebrities in.

      It's the subconscious loss of what culturally we once were a part of. It's funny really. It's a bit like striving to be better than different than one's parents but still wanting some of the old ways and customs.

      January 14, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      America's obsession with the royal family is ridiculous. Are we a republic or a secret, wannabe monarchy?

      January 14, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • mama k

      Yes, not a GOPer, you're not the first person to express that notion to me in different ways. As you can tell from my reference to the 'Tudors', I am fascinated at times myself in some ways to that history. For some, it might only be about architecture, or perhaps music. As an agnostic atheist, one might think I would have no interest in cathedrals or any large structure remotely related to religion, yet I couldn't wait to see St. Peter's Basilica, the Duomo in Florence and the Mormon Tabernacle.

      January 14, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      One can't help but be fascinated by Renaissance architecture, the best of which is generally religious buildings.

      January 14, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • mama k

      Yes, RL. I wandered into St Mark's Basilica in Venice to some really lovely choir music. Thankfully no one was running around sprinkling holy water around. Otherwise that might have did me in. lol.

      January 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • lol??

      Ratlib, that fascination must be a remnant of the genes that were so inbred amongst royalty.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • mama k

      Correction to one thing I said above.

      James Madison, 4th POTUS was not the 4th Bishop of the Episcopal Church. It was his cousin, also named James Madison (also from Virginia; born two years apart; both Episcopals, both supporters of separation of church and state). This cousin who was the 4th Episcopal bishop became the eighth president of the College of William & Mary.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    It's sad that people need to have their relationships sanctioned by people who've contrived reasons to despise them.

    January 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • lol??

      cry now, cry later (Easy loans are available.)

      January 14, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Or, in the case of the consistently inane lol??, lie now, lie later.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • lol??

      Mama monorail, quit moaning so loud. The neighbors might hear and they'll tease you tomorrow.

      January 15, 2013 at 2:08 am |
    • midwest rail

      Awww, poor baby hates being reminded of his dishonesty. No surprise. Next.

      January 15, 2013 at 2:11 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.