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At evangelical colleges, a shifting attitude toward gay students
A group of Wheaton College alumni formed OneWheaton to offer an alternative view on sexuality from the evangelical school.
March 30th, 2013
09:15 AM ET

At evangelical colleges, a shifting attitude toward gay students

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey, For CNN

Wheaton, Illinois (CNN)– Combing through prayer requests in a Wheaton College chapel in 2010, then-junior Benjamin Matthews decided to do something “absurdly unsafe.”

He posted a letter on a public forum bulletin board near students' post office boxes. In the letter, he came out as gay and encouraged fellow gay Christian students - some of whom had anonymously expressed suicidal plans in a pile of the prayer requests - to contact him if they needed help.

In a student body of 2,400 undergraduates in the suburbs of Chicago, at what is sometimes called the Harvard of evangelical schools, Matthews said that 15 male students came out to him. Other students seemed somewhat ambivalent about his coming out, he said.

No one told him he was wrong or needed to change, Matthews said some students were obviously uncomfortable with someone who would come out as gay and remain a Christian.

“I don’t think most Wheaton students knew what to do because they've been given ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ rhetoric, but they don't know how that plays out in real life,” said Matthews, who graduated in 2011. “They would mostly just listen, nod and say, ‘Yeah man, that’s hard.’”

As is the case at many evangelical colleges, Wheaton students sign an agreement to not have sex outside of marriage, including "the use of pornography ... premarital sex, adultery, homosexual behavior and all other sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage."

On campus, the college created an official group in February for students to explore questions of gender identity and sexual orientation. The group is intended as a “safe place for students who have questions about their sexual orientation or gender identity,” where students may self-identify as LGBTQ.

But cultural and political changes have created tensions for the academic and student life environment. As more mainline denominations ordain openly gay clergy and more states pass same-sex laws, some gay evangelicals – and their allies - are openly deviating from Wheaton’s official and long-held positions. Well-known Christian author Rob Bell, a graduate of Wheaton, came out in favor of gay marriage in mid-March.

OneWheaton, a group unaffiliated with the college, wants to offer an alternative view on homosexuality from that of the evangelical school. The group, which is not explicitly religious, wants GLBT students to feel affirmed in their sexuality, acting as a support network for students struggling with their sexual identity, whether they choose to be openly gay or whether they choose to remain celibate. But leaders of the group say that gay Christians do not need to be celibate to retain their religious identify.

“For those of you feeling alienated, it gets better,” says OneWheaton’s founding statement, signed by about 700 GLBT and straight, alumni, echoing Dan Savage’s national “It Gets Better” campaign for gay youth. “Your desire for companionship, intimacy and love is not shameful. It is to be affirmed and celebrated just as you are to be affirmed and celebrated.”

A widespread question

Wheaton is hardly the only evangelical college that’s seeing a growing spectrum of responses toward homosexuality among students, alumni and staff.

Last year, a group at Biola University in southern California came out with posters and a website called Biola Queer Underground. The group describes itself as “like-minded LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) students and allies who have formed a private underground community in which we share our life struggles, as well as our love and support for one another.” Biola then issued a “statement on human sexuality” saying, "God’s design for marriage and sexuality is the foundational reason for viewing acts of sexual intimacy between a man and a woman outside of marriage, and any act of sexual intimacy between two person of the same sex, as illegitimate moral options for the confessing Christian.”

Groups from at least two Christian schools, Eastern University in Pennsylvania and George Fox University in Oregon, have formed OneEastern and OneGeorgeFox, which launched public websites in 2012.

About 200 LGBT and straight alumni from California’s evangelical Westmont College co-signed a letter to the student newspaper suggesting they experienced "doubt, loneliness and fear due to the college's stance on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues."

Many Christian schools have different regional, historical and denominational ties that keep issues related to sexuality complex and keep these institutions from responding monolithically.

Wheaton’s well-known alumni include evangelist Billy Graham, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and former George W. Bush speechwriter Mike Gerson. To come out at the college, OneWheaton’s organizers say, is to risk losing a network of fellow-minded alumni.

“Part of OneWheaton is showing that while people are risking their networks, they'll have people they can turn to,” said OneWheaton spokeswoman Kristin Winn, who came out six months after graduating in 2007.

The married-sex-only agreement that Wheaton students and faculty sign is part of the college’s Community Covenant, which says that students agree the Bible condemns “sexual immorality, such as the use of pornography, premarital sex, adultery, homosexual behavior and all other sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage between a man and woman.” Few students self-identify as gay, and if they do, it has different implications based on their expressed beliefs and behavior. Students can self-identify as gay, but college officials consider each student on a case-by-case basis if it comes into question.

Members of OneWheaton attend an athletic event on campus.

“What matters is the moral understanding of the person and how that matches with our institutional identity and the moral behavior that flows from the understanding. There’s no formula to how this gets applied," said Wheaton's Provost Stan Jones, a psychologist who has written several books on sexuality.

Students who openly deviate from or openly advocate for deviation from the covenant may be dismissed from the school, Jones said.

Alumni say some gay students have been asked to leave or been counseled to leave Wheaton. No member of Wheaton would be asked or counseled to leave this institution on the basis of sexual orientation alone, Jones said, and he is not aware of any cases where people were dismissed only because of sexual orientation.

Jones said it would be difficult to say whether a student who signed OneWheaton’s statement would be in open disagreement with the covenant, though he is not aware of any student who has left or been dismissed over involvement with the group. “We’re not in a rush to show people the door,” Jones said. “We want Wheaton College to be a community where people can wrestle with these issues.”

The balance, college officials say, is between preserving the theological integrity of the school while leaving room for questions.

“Articulating orthodox Christian theological beliefs and moral convictions itself is and ought to be an expression of grace,” said Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton, explaining the college's stance on sexual behavior in response to OneWheaton's emergence. “Those theological principles and moral guidelines are an expression of God’s character and the best way to live.”

Homosexuality is not a focus at Wheaton more than any other college, said Ryken, but culture places a priority on sex. The college does not keep track of the number of students who leave over homosexuality, he said. “There are a variety of challenges that different Christian colleges and universities face from people advocating homosexuality,” Ryken said in an interview in his campus office. “OneWheaton has been clear in saying they’re not interested in changing the college, but it remains to be seen what kind of influence they desire and may seek to have.”

A growing trend

Evangelical colleges likely face generational differences in attitudes toward sexuality as younger evangelicals develop friendships with people who are gay, says David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, a Christian market research firm.

“There has been a shift from rightness to fairness,” Kinnaman said. “There’s a real sense in which their institutional loyalty and their loyalty to theoretical morals and ethical choices are trumped by their peer relationships.”

About 40% of evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 29 are likely to say homosexuality should be accepted by society, compared to 24% of evangelicals who are older than 30, according to the 2007 religious landscape survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. But there is still less acceptance of homosexuality by evangelicals than by other young people. The same Pew poll found that 63% of Americans age 18 to 29 say homosexuality should be accepted by society, as do about half of Americans ages 30 to 64.

As a younger demographic is less opposed to gay marriage, they are also are more likely than before to identify as pro-life. Forty-one percent consider themselves "pro-choice," a record low since Gallup began asking the question.

“During the last five to seven years, there has been a definite uptick in interest [in homosexuality],” says Michael Hamilton, a history professor at Seattle Pacific. “As evangelicals and the main currency of American culture converge, an increasing number of gay students are going to say, ‘Wait a minute. I don't see a problem.’”

Last year, students at Seattle Pacific University received student support and a faculty letter backing a group’s desire to discuss being gay. Its administration approved the request but declined to give it official status. In 2010, Abilene Christian University declined to grant official status to a gay-straight alliance.

Michael Lindsay, president of Gordon College in Massachusetts, said that homosexuality is just one of a basket of issues that evangelical schools are dealing with now for the first time.

“Any moral issue dealing with the body gets a visceral response,” said Lindsay, who said future important issues will include bioethics, disability and other questions dealing with life. “Because sex is tied in with the body, naturally it’s one of those issues folks will have highly charged responses.”

Facing alternative views

The Wheaton alumni group, OneWheaton, was initially a private Facebook network that went public partly in reaction to an April 2011 chapel service at Wheaton featuring Wesley Hill, a gay Wheaton alumnus who says he chooses to be celibate, a path that some gay students and alumni take. Hill wrote the 2010 book “Washed and Waiting,” about being gay, Christian, and celibate, and told students how he came to his position that sex is between man and a woman in marriage.

“I found myself convinced of the position the church has held with almost totally unanimity throughout the ages, that although many people find themselves, through no fault of their own, to have sexual desires for members of their own sex, this is not something to be affirmed and celebrated, but is a sign that we’re broken, in need of redemption and recreation,” Hill told students.

“Gay people are not uniquely broken,” he said. “That’s a position we share with every other human who has ever lived or will live. But we are, nonetheless, broken. And following Jesus means turning our back on a life of sexual sin, just as it does for every other Christian.”

According to a survey conducted by the Wheaton student newspaper in 2008, about 5% of students (mostly male) reported having "had a homosexual experience." About 56% of students agree or strongly agree that homosexuals are not welcome at Wheaton, the survey reported.

OneWheaton is working to change that in some in-your-face ways. During one homecoming weekend, the group held a concert featuring Jennifer Knapp, a former contemporary Christian Music musician who came out as a lesbian in 2010. “Although I disagree with painting sexual orientation and gender identity as a biblical sin, Wheaton has a right to that interpretation,” Knapp said. “But I don’t know how you can be welcoming but not affirming.”

Knapp questions whether colleges such as Wheaton present alternative theological positions.

“Whether it’s alcohol or premarital sex, is Wheaton an academic institution willing to present both sides, or is it wanting to churn out soldiers that believe exactly the same things they do?” said Knapp, who used to identify as evangelical but now disassociates herself from the movement.

The college does not typically host speakers who espouse theology that affirms same-sex behavior, but it does not forbid such discussion from taking place. Administrators say they know that students might end up differing with the college theologically.

“This is not a place of indoctrination,” said Jones. “This is an educational community. We need to have a high level of patience and tolerance for students working through those issues.”

In many ways, Jones said, students need to be thoughtfully engaging the issues.

“Many students have only heard about homosexuality in the context of ‘Those bad people who we must oppose,’” he said. “There are many in our student body who want to engage these issues sympathetically, but there are others who are prone to thoughtless speech that can lean in the direction of incivility.”

At the same time, he said, Christian colleges are facing outside professional and political pressure on gay issues. Wheaton administrators spent several months preparing for a 2006 visit from Soulforce, a group aiming to change religious leaders' minds on gay issues that was co-founded by Mel White, who was a ghost writer for some evangelical leaders, including Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell.

Soulforce members had been arrested at other Christian campuses that ban same-sex behavior, but the group had a cordial gathering at Wheaton and visited again last year.

In 2009, the American Philosophical Association adopted a procedure to “flag” ads from employers that ban same-sex sexual conduct.

“I find that extraordinarily ironic for a discipline that prides itself on spirited debate about fundamental issues,” Jones said. “You are inviting the erosion of your distinctions if you don’t draw some boundaries.”

Administrators also are carefully watching court cases related to federal funding and hiring practices, where the government could pull funding if an institution is deemed discriminatory.

Faculty are expected to sign the same covenant as students, and those who advocate for something contrary to the stated beliefs would be called into question, Jones said.

“If a person disagreed with a clear assertion of the covenant, that has implications regardless of their status, even for those who have tenure,” Jones said. In faculty applications, he would consider where a professor stands on sexual intimacy as between a man and a woman in marriage, though questions about whether gay marriage should be legal at a state level would not necessarily come up. “We don’t ask about their civic views of gay marriage,” he said. “I would not be looking for their policies on a governmental policy voting.”

On the “Day of Silence” in April 2012, about 90 students wearing white T-shirts printed with "break the silence" attended a campus-hosted discussion about homosexuality, such as whether Wheaton can be considered a "safe place" for gay students. “You are telling LGBTQ students that no matter where they end up on their journey of identity, you care for them, respect them, and will remain their friend,” OneWheaton leaders wrote on a sign-up form for students who wanted to wear T-shirts. One alumnus came out to the rest of the group.

Matthews, the student who came out at Wheaton in 2010 – he now teaches middle school science in Connecticut - wrestles with whether the group OneWheaton will be an effective network since its views are far from the college’s stance on sexuality. He said he followed Wheaton’s agreement to refrain from premarital sex during school, but his personal views on the morality of homosexuality have shifted.

Matthews was attracted to men when he began college but hoped he would begin liking women.

He considered sexual orientation conversion therapy, which some evangelical Christians embrace but which the American Psychological Association has said is ineffective and could be damaging. After the Episcopal Church ordained its second openly gay bishop in 2010, Matthews began reading more and eventually embraced a theology that suggests gay Christians do not need to be celibate. At one point, he considered becoming an Episcopal priest.

Matthews said Wheaton was a safe place to come out because he could work through both being gay and being a Christian. If he had gone to another college, he said he might have stayed closeted because people might suggest abandoning his faith, something he wasn't willing to relinquish.

“Quite ironically, had I not gone to Wheaton, I might not have come out,” Matthews said. “They weren’t going to say what I presumed people at other colleges would tell me, which is, ‘If you have conflict between your faith and sexuality, drop the faith.’ No one at Wheaton was going to tell me that.”

Editor's Note: Sarah Pulliam Bailey is managing editor for Odyssey Networks.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (1,024 Responses)
  1. backlink

    There is perceptibly a lot to identify about this. I think about you produced some great points in features also. backlink http://fiverr.com/twnseobacklink

    April 24, 2013 at 10:10 am |
  2. Douglas

    Let the healing begin!
    Drive out fear and end the hate.

    Strugglers can be redeemed from the depths of the abyss.

    There is no time like the present to start and a college campus is a great mission field
    to labor in doing the Lord's work with young people.

    April 23, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Science

      The troll is back................last days aye doogie ? The fairy in the sky is between your ears !

      Time to grow up kids !

      Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

      Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423134037.htm

      April 24, 2013 at 10:25 am |
  3. papaw nick

    On thing I would like to see on subjects like this is for those who comment start with their religious beliefs. It would be easier to understand comments if everyone had this information. Second, it is sad that all some can contribute is to trash or ridicule someone who disagrees with them. I guess they have no info to help inform others.

    April 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Science

      Evolution wins OK

      Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418104324.htm

      April 20, 2013 at 7:53 am |
  4. papaw nick

    What does it have to do with politics? The college has certain standards that each student knew before they enrolled. They accepted these. Now we have laws for those who come to this country and are expected to abide by them. In both instances we have those who came in under false colors. If they can't abide by those standards they have the freedom to leave. There are certain individuals society would never permit to be involved or teach children even if they say they were born that way. If a person is gay that is their business but I don't have to agree with them. By the way, have you ever heard of someone demand everyone accept that they were "streight"?

    April 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  5. Politics

    Why is religion so political? If I decide for example to be a vegan, because meat/eggs are against my religion I have to accept that I'm going to live in the world with people who eat meat.

    If I decide to have a religion that does not permit me to be gay, I still need to realize I share the world with gay people.

    April 18, 2013 at 6:14 am |
    • Netprophet

      Everyone has a worldview. If you are a Christian or not a Christian, your view of the world shapes how you think, what actions you take and how you vote.

      April 18, 2013 at 7:00 am |
    • lol??

      From the inciteful Lady GooGoo, "Egg power, s*crew the chicken!"

      April 18, 2013 at 7:25 am |
  6. John

    Woof, woof! Sounds like Wheaton is going to the dogs.

    April 18, 2013 at 1:47 am |
    • sam stone

      Yeah....how dare they?

      April 18, 2013 at 8:08 am |
  7. shawbrooke

    Okay, so a non religious group has named itself OneWheaton and works to foment dissent. Someone came out and found 15 students (less than .01% of the students) to join him.

    Here's what is likely. Some group decides to target Wheaton College. They may or may not find a few vulnerable people. Some of those 15 students may be people who registered at Wheaton with the sole agenda of joining the planned group. To their frustration they find that Wheaton students treat them with respect and compassion, but do not agree with them (they don't know what it means to hate the sin and love the sinner – right), and few if any real Wheaton students join them.

    The group goes ahead with the publicity anyway, publicity that is based on speculation since they couldn't find anything real. For many decades those who don't like something about someone else pretend to know that the young will change things their way. That doesn't often happen, time marches on and things change. What insipid tripe. No thinking person would believe that all that speculation.

    We think less of news media that gives air time on such little excuse.

    April 17, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
    • Terrance

      And we all think less of the bigots who use their religion as an excuse to belittle, bemoan and discriminate against those they have deemed "sinners".

      An American should treat everyone, male or female, black or white, gay or straight, with the exact same respect in every aspect of public life. If you want to discriminate at home and not invite any gay people over for dinner that's your choice. If you are telling the effeminate applicant that this job position just isn't right for them because you felt a little uncomfortable during the interview, then you are a disgusting bigot who needs to get the fvck out of America.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:07 am |
  8. David

    Seems someone inappropriate to discuss this in light of the tragedy in Boston. Tragedy has a way of realigning our consciences.

    April 17, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Huh? Why? What else should we not be doing whenever some sicko decides to kill innocent people? How much are we going to allow terrorists to change our lives? Did you stop discussing or doing some things because a sicko with too many guns slaughtered innocent school children and teachers? Did you take any action other than shutting up?

      April 18, 2013 at 1:58 am |
    • Netprophet

      On what basis?

      April 18, 2013 at 6:54 am |
    • sam stone

      What has this got to do with Boston?

      April 18, 2013 at 8:09 am |
  9. krehator

    Religion that adapts and changes based on the desires and opinions of the people is the best evidence that it is a fraud.

    April 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • sam stone

      and those which do not change become irrelevant

      April 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Heathan Mike

      So....Krehator, you mean that a religion that is not responsive to the feelings and yearnings of the people is somehow more likely to be "true?" So then just how is that "personal relationship with Christ" things supposed to work? The fact is "Truth" is inherently subjective. "Reality" is that which actually IS. "Truth" attempts to import meaning or value to an issue. Hence, the subjectivity. You want to claim authority based on your bible? That would be the book written by dozens of authors over hundreds of years, edited and reassembled in differing forms with different content countless times, not to mention translated with all the inconsistencies in connotation that entails. And to top it off, it has numerous factual errors and contradictions. So you want to guide your life with it? Fine. There are many positive principles you can glean from it, such as turning the other cheek, loving those who hate you, and casting no stones of dispersion against others. You can accuse anyone of picking and choosing scriptures to suit their motives, because reading selectively is the only way possible to read the Bible. No one can possibly follow all its dictates, nor recite all its moral claims without some contradictions occurring.

      April 15, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        Exactly, it's up to us to find the true nature of God. The book has many lessons and clues ,not all easy to see on first glance.It is better to become close to God than the bible. Then you can determine the real essence of him rather than someone elses ideas or doctrines.

        September 5, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • EternalFlame

      "Religion that adapts and changes based on the desires and opinions of the people is the best evidence that it is a fraud."

      And religions which don't change?

      Anyone worshiping Zeus anymore? Seriously?

      'Change or die' applies to religion, as well as life.

      This is something Christian Evangelicals are discovering in no uncertain terms, as their youth abandon their limited and limiting faith in droves. (On the order of over 70% by the time they reach age 30.)

      Enjoy your dusty, empty worship in your dusty, empty church.

      April 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        Can you still be close to God and be partly wrong ? Can you be mostly right and still be able to worship God? Will he still listen to you and love you ? Are we perfect or struggling to improve? Does he love us even with our imperfections?

        September 5, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Saraswati

      "Religion that adapts and changes based on the desires and opinions of the people is the best evidence that it is a fraud."

      Or that...

      1) The god or gods reveals parts of truth that are understandable to the particular state of cultural development.
      2) The god or gods understand that different rules are needed under different circu mstances.
      3) Parts of the human understanding of the religion were wrong and are now better understood.
      4) Parts of the texts used for understanding were inaccurate and the god is not powerful enough to monitor them.
      5) The truth of the religion is in fact created by human consciousness (god and his order spring from belief)
      6) ... many others ...

      There are really a lot of different possibilities in the universe. I'd rather the religions change and grow with the times for whatever reason than stay in an outdated form.

      April 16, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Douglas

      Excellent observation!

      To your point...a glaring example is the attempt to normalize fornicating relationships and behaviors
      as acceptable in the sight of God. Furthermore, the deconstuction and revision of the Bible to
      "accept" sinful acts and behaviors as part of the "Jesus loves everyone no matter what" school of
      thought is par for the course with the practioners of same here in this forum.

      krehator, keep up the good work!

      Welcome to the forum!

      April 16, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • sam stone

      wow, krehator, you're in trouble....doogie agrees with you

      April 17, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Netprophet

      Yes, amen. To do so is to adopt moral relativism and abandon truth and doctrine.

      April 18, 2013 at 6:55 am |
    • Netprophet

      And Rob Bell, with his apostate teaching is an example of that. He is not orthodox.

      April 18, 2013 at 6:57 am |
    • Science

      No god(s) period..................equal rights for ALL !!!

      April 18, 2013 at 7:12 am |
    • peter

      Heathenmike; I salute you sir. Your few short sentences are well articulated and extremely hard to refute (in my humble opinion). As a former evangelical christian, I think this type of careful reasoning (without too much name calling etc) is helpful to those who are trying to work through the logic of their religion and perhaps even considering a step away from their faith (a terrifying thing to do for most raised in an evangelical/fundamentalist home on several levels). So... Thanks!

      April 18, 2013 at 7:33 am |
  10. TheRationale

    If you have enough time to spend any synapses worrying about what other people do in bed, your life must be horribly uninteresting.

    April 15, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • Science

      It would be NICE......... but
      Maybe they should not have created the wedge !!!
      The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Insti-tute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Insti-tute manifesto known as the Wedge Docu-ment,[1] which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda whose ultimate goal is to defeat materialism, naturalism, evolution, and "reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic
      convictions.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

      April 15, 2013 at 10:10 am |
  11. Eloise

    As the Good Book has warned, there will come an age when people just will themselves choose confusion more than what is right and morally just to preserve their sinful ways instead of seeking the One they need to perfect them as a human person with dignity as a divine image of noble and holy existence, instead do de- basing themselves out of a healthy and happier existence even on earth. They prefer to destroy themselves than to work harder to better their existence to offer themselves for goodness sake than to perversity. Life on earth becomes worse than unfair if selfishness and self love abounds more than godlyright living

    April 14, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • amy

      How did it warn, Eloise?

      April 14, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Then there are people like Eloise, who allow their religion and their ignorance to hurt others because their beliefs give them the false sense of superiority. When someone is more concerned about their own reward after they die than they are about the quality of this real life for their fellow humans, one can only conclude that they are utterly selfish.

      April 14, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Douglas

      Eloise,

      Amen!

      April 14, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      for doogie

      April 14, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      wow, eloise, aren't you the pious one?

      i bet god is impressed

      April 15, 2013 at 6:03 am |
    • Felix Sinclair

      Eloise, your phony piety isn't fooling anybody.

      April 15, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      eloise: if you want to hold on to the supposed morality of iron age sheep mounters as representative of god, have at it.

      April 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Hamsa

      That was very nice.

      April 15, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Science

      Hey Doogie

      An illusion it is......................Poof goes the dragon !

      Engineering 'Ghost' Objects: Breakthrough in Scattering Illusion

      Feb. 19, 2013 — A team at the NUS Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering led by Dr Qiu Cheng-Wei has come out with an optical device to "engineer" ghosts.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130219090643.htm

      April 16, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • SC

      The time has come. Be vigilant and stay in prayer Eloise.

      April 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  12. Wow...

    Jesus is a LIE....it is the greatest story ever SOLD....the quicker humanity can get away from this drivel the sooner we can actually start being human....

    April 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Hamsa

      You mean the sooner you can cease being human at all, and forever... Not to worry, the fairy story will soon end. 2-3 years. Are you ready?

      April 15, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Hamsa

      People have been predicting end times since the beginning times.

      April 15, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • ttwp

      The Apostle Peter was correct when he prophesied almost 2,000 years ago:

      "Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

      April 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  13. mason

    Evangelicals going against the so called "bible"...that's nice...maybe they'll eventually evolve to Deists and we'll be rid of these backward humans

    April 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      Evangelicals!!!! Take the advice of Jesus.!!!!!!! Castrate yourself. (Matthew 19:11-12) "But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs from the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." (Matthew 19:11-12) The Scholar's Version has: "There are castrated men who castrated themselves because of Heaven's imperial rule. If you are able to accept this (advice), do so."

      April 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
  14. A question

    I always wondered why creator of everything that exists would mandate same gender relations? I mean there must be a reason? The only reason I can think of is if it were to cause a massive overpopulation of humans, which would only be important in the case of an alien attack.

    April 14, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Science

      To A question .................the answer below.

      Where do morals come from?

      By Kelly Murray, CNN

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/

      Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

      Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

      Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
      bears his name as the “God particle.”

      http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/08/atheist-prof-peter-higgs-stop-calling-higgs-bosen-the-god-particle/

      Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
      Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/28/pope-praises-science-but-insists-god-created-world/

      Science

      Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
      By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/17/heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-hawking-says/

      April 7th, 2012

      08:32 PM ET

      The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/comment-page-137/#comment-2281915

      April 14, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Science

      Origin of Life: Power Behind Primordial Soup Discovered

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130404122234.htm

      April 14, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Science

      And the Y

      Was the bible around back then ?

      Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

      Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145821.htm

      No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

      April 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • A question

      Not even a smirk from you, eh Science?

      April 15, 2013 at 1:12 am |
    • Science

      A question

      Facts work ........................are they as smart as a 5th grader ?

      Listening to the Big Bang - In High Fidelity

      Apr. 4, 2013 — A decade ago, spurred by a question for a fifth-grade science project, University of Washington physicist John Cramer devised an audio recreation of the Big Bang that started our universe nearly 14 billion years ago.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130404170154.htm

      April 15, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • Science

      A question

      Creationist (RCC) are you the generated ghos this new device has created ?

      Engineering 'Ghost' Objects: Breakthrough in Scattering Illusion

      Feb. 19, 2013 — A team at the NUS Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering led by Dr Qiu Cheng-Wei has come out with an optical device to "engineer" ghosts.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130219090643.htm

      April 15, 2013 at 10:21 am |
  15. Me

    During my college years, I started off in a Catholic university, and it was extremely liberal and pro-gay. This was back in the late 90s too.

    April 14, 2013 at 3:42 am |
  16. For the record

    The anti-gay sentiment was exactly the point where religion fell apart for me. Which in itself was not a complete solution so much as an entire host of other dilemmas but, regardless when it falls apart it falls apart.

    April 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  17. Geesh

    SARS... Correction the biology has not been proven (yet) through science, so yes all they have is their conscience on their side....

    April 13, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  18. brian

    Is that one of those schools that teaches "christian science"? I'm sure they also teach the bible as actual history. silly christians and their insistence on living in delusion.

    April 13, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Geesh

      I always found the term "science/fiction" curious. So which one is it? Science as fact or fiction as in narrative?

      April 13, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • some dude

      Can someone here disprove the Bible? And in the word "disprove" you are seeing the root word "proof". So proof would be necessary. Here are some facts. The church has grown from Jesus Christ and twelve men, into 2.1 billion christians. That can say something about the delirious christians of the world. That is nearly one third of the world. So who is delirious? Look at these facts and you may say, How did this happen? It happened because the Bible is historical and the miracles that occured were real proof of what Jesus did. God saved us, wether you believe it or not. It would be beneficial for the naysayers, to inquire further for their own sake. I hope you do, for yourselves. God bless you guys.

      April 13, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Nonsense. Just because people, even millions of them, latch on to a comforting fiction, does not make that fiction fact.

      April 13, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Me

      That Catholic university that I mentioned above ... their science classes were just like science classes at any other college or university.

      April 14, 2013 at 3:43 am |
  19. kateU

    Jennifer Knapp says she doesn't know how Christians can be welcoming but not affirming. The answer is simple- look to Jesus' example. He hung out with tax collectors (Romans who swindled the Jewish people of their money) and other questionable people. Did he approve of their behavior? of course not. He sat and had a conversation with a Samaritan women who had had 5 divorces and was living with yet another man. He had fellowship with her but called her out of her sin to trust in him, the Messiah. So Jennifer there is plenty of precedent in the Bible for welcoming but not affirming.

    April 13, 2013 at 6:28 am |
    • Saraswati

      There may be precedent, it's just that in this case it looks pretty stupid because gay and lesbian adults know who they are and have biology and psychology on their side, so these backwards nuts won't get a lot of takers for their hollow "welcome".

      April 13, 2013 at 7:16 am |
    • SS

      (Y) JESUS

      April 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  20. 1stPrime

    By the way. It is okay to say something is 'right or wrong.' Why have many gotten so lost in the lunacy of the times where one can no longer identify a behavior as simple 'wrong to embrace.' The penalties for embracing things openly without realizing the price will ultimately lead to ruin. This current course has happened before, and we all are simply seeing a repeat of history transpire once more.

    April 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • clarity

      BS – who is stopping you from saying something is wrong to embrace? Well, I am assuming you live in a country where you have the freedom of speech.

      April 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • nope

      " This current course has happened before, and we all are simply seeing a repeat of history transpire once more."

      Nope you're wrong. Prove gay marriage existed in the past.

      April 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • clarity

      You such a clutz, nope. Would you like to explain how what you just wrote has anything to do with 1stPrime being able to freely express his/her opinion here?

      April 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • nope

      Like what you just wrote has anything to do with being able to freely express his/her opinion here?

      April 12, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • clarity

      Not a bright one I see, nope. Never mind – I'll wait to see if 1stPrime has any more of a reasoned response.

      April 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Kilto

      @ Clarity Were all waiting for the infamous copy/paste answer that you are notoriously known for giving...

      April 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I would rather live in a rational society than one ruled by superstition and fear. If our society is ruined, it will be done so by people who are afraid to embrace reality, people who would rather destroy than move forward.

      April 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.