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When Christians become a 'hated minority'
Evangelical Christians say they are the new victims of intolerance - they're persecuted for condemning homosexuality.
May 5th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

When Christians become a 'hated minority'

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - When Peter Sprigg speaks publicly about his opposition to homosexuality, something odd often happens.

During his speeches, people raise their hands to challenge his assertions that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but no Christians speak out to defend him.

“But after it is over, they will come over to talk to me and whisper in my ear, ‘I agree with everything you said,’" says Sprigg, a spokesman for The Family Research Council, a powerful, conservative Christian lobbying group.

We’ve heard of the “down-low” gay person who keeps his or her sexual identity secret for fear of public scorn. But Sprigg and other evangelicals say changing attitudes toward homosexuality have created a new victim: closeted Christians who believe the Bible condemns homosexuality but will not say so publicly for fear of being labeled a hateful bigot.

As proof, Sprigg points to the backlash that ESPN commentator Chris Broussard sparked recently. Broussard was called a bigot and a purveyor of hate speech when he said an NBA player who had come out as gay was living in “open rebellion to God.” Broussard said the player, Jason Collins, was “living in unrepentant sin” because the Bible condemns homosexuality.

“In the current culture, it takes more courage for someone like Chris Broussard to speak out than for someone like Jason Collins to come out,” says Sprigg, a former pastor. “The media will hail someone who comes out of the closet as gay, but someone who simply expresses their personal religious views about homosexual conduct is attacked.”

When is disagreement hate?

Bryan Litfin, a theology professor at Moody Bible Institute in Illinois, says Christians should be able to publicly say that God designed sex to take place within a marriage between a man and a woman.

“That isn’t so outrageous,” Litfin says. “Nobody is expressing hate toward homosexuals by saying that. Since when is disagreement the same as hate?”

But quoting the Bible doesn't inoculate anyone from becoming a bigot or hater, some scholars say. There's a point at which a Christian's opposition to homosexuality can become bigotry, and even hate speech, they say.

Crossing such a line has happened many times in history.

A literal reading of the Bible was used to justify all sorts of hatred: slavery, the subjugation of women and anti-Semitism, scholars and pastors say.

“Truly damaging speech cannot be excused just because it expresses genuine religious belief,” says Mark D. Jordan, author of “Recruiting Young Love: How Christians Talk about Homosexuality.”

“Some religious beliefs, sincerely held, are detestable. They cannot be spoken without disrupting social peace,” says Jordan, a professor at the John Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

The point where religious speech becomes hate speech is difficult to define, though, scholars and activists say.

The Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama is a nonprofit civil rights group that combats and monitors hate groups. Three years ago, it designated the Family Research Council, the group that Sprigg represents, as a hate group - a characterization the group stridently rejects.

Mark Potok,  a center spokesman, says there’s no shared definition of what constitutes hate speech.

“There is no legal meaning. It’s just a phrase,” Potok says. “Hate speech is in the ear of the beholder.”

'One of the most hated minorities?'

Intolerance may be difficult to define, but some evangelicals say they have become victims of intolerance because of their reverence for the Bible.

The conservative media culture is filled with stories about evangelicals being labeled as “extremists” for their belief that homosexuality is a sin.

Their sense of persecution goes beyond their stance on homosexuality. There are stories circulating of evangelical students being suspended for opposing homosexuality, a teacher fired for giving a Bible to a curious student, and the rise of anti-Christian bigotry.

A blogger at The American Dream asked in one essay:

“Are evangelical Christians rapidly becoming one of the most hated minorities in America?”

The reluctance of evangelicals to speak out against homosexuality is often cited as proof they are being forced into the closet.

Joe Carter, editor for The Gospel Coalition, an online evangelical magazine, wrote a blog post entitled “Debatable: Is the Christian Church a ‘Hate Group’?" He warned that young people will abandon “orthodox” Christian churches that teach that homosexuality is a sin for fear of being called haters.

“Faux civility, embarrassment, prudishness and a fear of expressing an unpopular opinion has caused many Christians to refrain from explaining how homosexual conduct destroys lives,” Carter wrote.

Some Christians fear that opposing homosexuality could cause them to lose their jobs and “haunt them forever,” Carter says.

“It’s easier to just go along,” says Carter, who is also author of “How to Argue Like Jesus.” “You don’t want to be lumped in with the bigots. That’s a powerful word."

Edward Johnson, a communication professor at Campbell University in North Carolina, says we are now living in a "postmodern" era where everything is relative and there is no universally accepted truth. It's an environment in which anyone who says "this is right" and "that is wrong" is labeled intolerant, he says.

There was a time when a person could publicly say homosexuality was wrong and people could consider the statement without anger, he says. Today, people have reverted to an intellectual tribalism where they are only willing to consider the perspective of their own tribe.

“They are incapable of comprehending that someone may have a view different than theirs,” Johnson says. “For them anyone who dares to question the dogma of the tribe can only be doing so out of hatred.”

Sprigg, from the Family Research Council, says his condemnation of homosexual conduct does not spring from intolerance but a desire to protect gays from harmful conduct, he says.

Sprigg, a senior fellow for policy studies at the council, wrote in a council pamphlet that homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are straight men. He also wrote that gay men are also afflicted with a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases and mental illness as well.

Sprigg says he does not believe homosexuality is a choice and that “personal testimonies" and "clinical experience” show that some people “can and do change from gay to straight.”

“Maybe we need to do a better job of showing that we are motivated by Christian love,” Sprigg says. “Love is wanting the best for someone, and acting to bring that about.”

'That's a lie'

Potok, from the Southern Poverty Law Center, has little use for the love Sprigg talks about.

He calls it hatred, and his voice rose in anger when he talked about the claims by Sprigg and other Christian groups that gay men are more predisposed to molest children and that homosexual behavior is inherently harmful.

He says the Southern Poverty Law Center didn’t designate the Family Research Group a hate group because they view homosexuality as a sin or oppose same-sex marriage, Potok says. There are plenty of Christian groups who hold those beliefs but are not hate groups, he says.

A group becomes a hate group when it attacks and maligns an entire class of people for their “immutable characteristics,” Potok says. The Family Research Council spreads known falsehoods about gays and lesbians, he says, such as the contention that gay men are predisposed to abuse children.

“That’s a lie,” Potok says. “These guys are engaging in straight-up defamation of a very large group of people. There are not many things much worse than you can say in America about somebody than they are a child molester.”

Potok scoffed at Spriggs’ claim that the council and other evangelical anti-gay groups are victims of intolerance.

“That’s whining on the part of people who spend their days and nights attacking gay people and then some people criticize them and they don’t like it,” he says. “That’s pathetic. It reminds me of slave owners complaining that people are saying ugly things about them.”

What the Bible says

What about the popular evangelical claim, “We don’t hate the sinner, just the sin” – is that seen as intolerance or hate speech when it comes to homosexuality?

There are those who say you can’t hate the sin and love the sinner because being gay or lesbian is defined by one’s sexual behavior; it’s who someone is.

“Most people who identify as gay and lesbian would say that this is not an action I’m choosing to do; this is who I am,” says Timothy Beal, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book.”

Beal, a religion professor at Case Western University in Ohio, says it should be difficult for any Christian to unequivocally declare that the Bible opposes homosexuality because the Bible doesn’t take a single position on the topic. It's an assertion that many scholars and mainline Protestant pastors would agree with.

Some people cite Old Testament scriptures as condemning homosexuality, such as  Leviticus 18:22 - “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” But other Christians counter by saying they are not bound by the Old Testament.

There are those who also cite New Testament scriptures like Romans 1:26-27 - “… Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men. …”

Beal, however, says Jesus said little about sex. And the Apostle Paul, who wrote Romans, was probably referring to male prostitution and men having sexual relations with boys, a practice in the Greco-Roman world.

“Paul does not understand genetics and sexual orientation the way we understand it now as something much more than a choice,” says Beal.

Some evangelicals say Christians can’t change their view of biblical truth just because times change. But some scholars reply:

Sure you can. Christians do it all the time.

Denying a woman’s ability to preach in church was justified by scriptures like 1 Timothy 2:11-12 - “… I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” But many churches have abandoned that teaching - and some scholars say a woman preached the first Christian sermon, when Mary Magdalene proclaimed that Jesus had risen.

Slaveholders in 19th century America justified slavery through a literal reading of the Bible, quoting Titus 2:9-10 – “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything. …” And anti-Semitism was justified by the claims that Jews killed Jesus, such as Matthew 27: 25-26 - “Let his blood be on us and on our children.”

Litfin, from Moody Bible Institute, acknowledged that the Bible once sanctioned slavery, but he said that practice was a “cultural expression” that changed over time. Evangelicals who oppose same-sex marriage by citing the Bible are on more solid ground, he says.

“Marriage is a universal and timeless institution that God set up for maximum human flourishing. He set it up in the first book of the Bible with the story of Adam and Eve. It is consistent throughout the whole Bible. … Marriage is in a different category than those cultural things.”

Public jousts over the Bible's stance on homosexuality rarely change people’s minds. What changes is when people get to know gay and lesbian people as friends and hear their story, says Beal, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Bible.”

“If you open up to that other person genuinely, you basically come to a point where you have to sacrifice them to your ideology or crack open your ideology to make a hospitable place for them,” Beal says.

One Christian pastor who is gay says the uproar over the ESPN commentator’s comments can actually be good,  because debates help settle moral disputes.

“What appears to us as antiquated and prejudicial now was once a disputed issue that required debate,” says the Rev. Richard McCarty, a minister in the United Church of Christ and a religious studies professor at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania.

Until the debate over homosexuality is settled - if it ever is - there may be plenty of evangelical Christians who feel as if they are now being forced to stay in the closet.

Carter, the evangelical blogger, says he foresees a day when any church that preaches against homosexuality will be marginalized. Just as many churches now accept divorce, they will accept sexual practices once considered sinful.

“It’s getting to the point,” he says, “where churches are not going to say that any sexual activity is wrong.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Culture wars • Protest • Sex • Sexuality • Sports

soundoff (10,982 Responses)
  1. Bible Clown©

    They just don't get it. They come to an article about why people are recoiling in disgust from their preaching, and they come to say we'd better be more respectful or they'll have us tortured, and they say that in between spates of insult and innuendo. Right now Islam looks calm and respectable beside these fuming maniacs. Guys, THIS is why "Christians have become a hated minority." THIS right here.

    May 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Heretic

      Don't look now, theyre making an army !

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYaJjiHr4rs

      May 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Science

      Is it to simple................... how the earth was made ?

      A little backfill on those stoney irom meteorites !.

      Grains of Sand from Ancient Supernova Found in Meteorites: Supernova May Have Been the One That Triggered the Formation of the Solar System

      Apr. 19, 2013 — It's a bit like learning the secrets of the family that lived in your house in the 1800s by examining dust particles they left behind in cracks in the floorboards.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130422111246.htm

      May 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Science

      Like the dustballs under the bed at Grandmas house..................might find a stale fruitcake ?

      May 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Clown, telling folks Jesus' truth is a loving act towards another. If you find Jesus' truth offensive it's because it's opposite of satan's lies that have your ear.

      May 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • The 1600's and on..

      Who is signing up to have you tortured, bible clown?

      And Heretic, kids that age shouldn't have to deal with grown up issues like politics.

      May 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Heretic

      I know it's funny how they employ whiney brainwashed kids to put a message across.

      May 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Blather

      I'm sure Christians, a minority amongst teh 7 billion humans on this planet, are hated, since they hate themselves.
      To believe that you're going to hell because just being born is such an evil thing that some wonderful guy with lovely long hair died just for yooooboohoohoohoo, is to believe you are disgusting and vile and evil and to hate yourself and then magically pretend none of it matters anymore because of that lovely long hair that died and magically revived its bouncy character and glossy sheen!
      Oh, this is ridiculous. They hate themselves and hate anyone having a good time if Jesus isn't right there with a bottle of conditioner wearing nothing but a towel.
      Yes, folks, I am sick and tired of these people whose greatest claim to faith is that they don't care about their souls enough to verify where they are supposed to go and verify there is someone to receive them.
      Suckers who never learn how bad they were tricked, because they will cease to exist before they could ever discover they've been robbed. No magic justice. No magic information or answers. No life without a body. No mind without a brain.
      No retention of information. No transfer of information. All electrical activity simply turns off.
      The electrons scatter, some heat is generated, and the remains of your brain decompose into a nasty mess.
      Your thought are ended. Your life was short, brutal, ignorant, and a total waste of time. No magic happens to you.
      You are no more. Everyone dies. History is erased. Self-awareness is an illusion, like free-will.
      We are not special. We are not great. We are primates that evolved into basketcases. We need a better human. 2.0.

      May 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • The 1600's and on..

      I feel really bad for those kids.

      May 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Heretic

      When will it become a crime against humanity to do this? I know it's a harsh question, but religion is dangerous by nature and this indoctrination is nothing short of child abuse.

      May 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  2. anti christian bigot

    I hate christians
    I wait for an opportunity for a christian to post and
    pounce on them like a pit bull
    I hate christians
    Christians are idiots and morons
    I hate christians
    Don't ask me what my religion is, it is none of your f'n business

    May 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • anti non christian bigot

      I hate non christians
      I wait for an opportunity for a non christian to post and
      pounce on them like a pit bull
      I hate non christians
      non christians are idiots and morons
      I hate non christians
      Don't ask me what my religion is, it is none of your f'n business

      May 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      So what's your point? To disparage innocent pitbulls?

      May 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Looks like widdle buddy here got he feelings hurt. You got an issue? Here's a tissue.

      May 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "Don't ask me what my religion is" You are a Christian. The whiny hatefulness is unmistakable.

      May 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      How sad. Someone who continually mistakes anger for hate and thinks an attack on their beliefs means we hate them. Sad.
      There, there, little fella. We won't hurt you none. If you don't like this place, don't hang out here, don't come here, and don't read anything here.
      How hard is that? Seriously. If you mad, stay away and then you no mad. ok?

      May 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      anti christian bigot, know what you do .... My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.

      Job 10:1

      Amen.

      May 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • The 1600's and on..

      It's always someone's turn in the barrel isn't it?

      May 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Paul

      I use to be a Christian, so I can't say that I hate them. I empathize with their struggle to make sense of it all, but I can't say that I agree with their hurting people with the excuse that they believe God wants them to.

      May 9, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  3. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    BLUF of 8860 comments and counting... "I'm right and you're wrong"

    Isn't the psychosis called humanity great?...

    May 9, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all [is] vanity.

      Ecclesiastes 12:8

      Amen.

      May 9, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  4. Obsydian

    To all the "nice" little atheists, commenting & mostly ranting on this forum.

    I'm your huckleberry !!

    goto: http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

    & to: http://atheismexposed.tripod.com/

    Bring It On !!
    😉

    May 9, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • derp

      Prove to me that magic rainbow colored unicorns don't exist.

      You can't. Therefore they exist.

      May 9, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Granite

      The bible is so wonderful! That's your proof?

      May 9, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Crap sites. I stopped reading after it said that Darwin wasn't an atheist.

      Nice try though, now go run outside and play, let the adults talk.

      May 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Look... I can post things too; "Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study http://www.philly.com/philly/health/132456883.html"

      May 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Like anybody's going to click on your silly link. I bet it says more of the silly stuff you post, like all atheists are cold and unfeeling, and also I bet it says people you don't like are going to burn while you laugh from a safe place, which is a pretty creepy thing to consider "paradise" but whatever. And have you learned why Christians are a hated minority yet?

      May 9, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Heretic

      God doesn't exist, grow up. You're an adult.

      May 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Gerontion

      "I'm your huckleberry !!" I had to look that one up, Grampaw. It was a doozy. Twenty-three skidoo and hunka munka. You must be 99 years old. No wonder you are cranky.

      May 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      Says "bring it on" and then is never heard from again.
      1/10

      May 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Akira

      How apropos that you're our huckleberry, particularly on this blog, when several species of huckleberries in the genus Gaylussacia are common in eastern North America....thanks for the chuckle, Huck.

      May 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Obsydian, great post LOL.

      May 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • sam

      Jesus. Seriously? Nutcake.

      May 9, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Obsydian

      Wow..... such "outstanding" comebacks & rebuttals there guys.... NOT !!

      some are too arrogant to be bothered......
      some are too gutless or scared to refute the links provided !!
      some are just too angry that I even dared challenge their deluded Belief System of Neo-Scientism !!

      Well, as the saying goes......

      You Can Lead An Atheist To Logic.....
      But You Can't Make Him Think !!
      😀

      FAMOUS SCIENTISTS WHO BELIEVED IN GOD:
      http://refreshingnews99.blogspot.in/2013/05/famous-scientists-who-believed-in-god.html

      ATHEISM ANALYSED
      http://www.atheism-analyzed.net/

      TEN PROOFS FOR GOD'S EXISTENCE:
      http://atheismexposed.tripod.com/ten_proofs_god.htm

      CLASSIC PROOFS OF GOD'S EXISTENCE:
      http://atheismexposed.tripod.com/classic_proofs_of_god.htm

      Leading Atheist Philosopher Concludes: God Is Real !:
      http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,141061,00.html

      http://socrates58.blogspot.com.au/2006/11/atheism-agnosticism-secularism-index.html

      Evidence of the Afterlife:
      http://www.spiritdaily.net/standstill.htm

      http://www.spiritdaily.net/evidence.htm

      ATHEISM:
      The irrational belief that there was once absolutely nothing.
      And then nothing happened to the nothing, until the nothing
      magically exploded ! (for NO reason !), creating everything
      & everywhere. Then a bunch of the exploded everything,
      magically rearranged itself (for NO reason whatsoever !),
      into self-replicating bits, which then eventually turned into
      proto-plasm. Which then magically & co-incidently got struck by
      Lightening, & became a Singled-Cell Organism & then eventually
      became Dinosaurs. Then those dinosaurs (without any of the extra DNA
      information required) magically morphed into ALL of the ancestors
      of the creatures we see today, including Primates !! Those Primates
      then magically "evolved" into us Humans..... even though absolutely NO
      intermediate species have been PROVEN to exist !!! And of course it
      all took Gazzzillions of Years to occur..... of which quite conveniently,
      NO Witnesses exist,..... & of course the Scientific Method can Never
      Observe or Replicate !!!

      And They Mock Your Beliefs !!
      😉

      Quote:

      "The Problem with Christianity, is Not that it has been Tried & Found Wanting, BUT,
      that it has been Found Too Difficult & Not Tried At All" !!
      – GK. Chesterton.

      May 10, 2013 at 1:43 am |
    • Obsydian

      @ Lucifers Moronic Twin.....

      This one's for you:

      HOW ATHEISM, AGNOSTICISM & SECULARISM LEAD TO DEPRESSION & SUICIDE:
      http://www.adherents.com/misc/religion_suicide.html

      http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_depression

      😉

      May 10, 2013 at 1:58 am |
    • Hepcat

      Says "bring it on" and then goes to bed, wakes up and posts after midnight using random internet crap.
      You are teh fail, Obsydian. You can't argue worth crap. I'm not going to your websites. Try using your own words, punk.

      May 10, 2013 at 4:35 am |
    • Obsydian

      @ Hepcat ..... or is that Moonbat ??

      If anyone's a punk.... It's YOU !
      obviously your brain can't allow for people on the other side of the world !!
      .....& I thought you guys were supposed to be the "brites" !!
      – yeah right !!

      All abuse & NO argument !!
      what a loser !!
      :/

      May 10, 2013 at 7:29 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I'm not depressed, nor suicidal... in fact my life is pretty great... no supersti.tious drivel required

      May 10, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • Hepcat

      Osbydian, it is you who had no argument. Giving links to websites is not an argument. You are pretty damn stupid, I must say.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Obsydian
      Hepcat isn't punk, he's traditional two-tone ska.
      "Right On Time" is an awesome album. Even though it's distributed by a punk rock label, the music is in no way punk.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Obsydian

      Arch BISHOP FULTON SHEEN: Against the Atheist !

      “As all men are touched by God’s love, so all are also touched by the desire for His intimacy.
      No one escapes this longing; we are all kings in exile, miserable without the Infinite.
      Those who reject the grace of God have a desire to avoid God, as those who accept it have a desire for God.

      The modern atheist does not disbelieve because of his intellect, but because of his will; it is not knowledge that makes him an atheist…

      The denial of God springs from a man’s desire not to have a God—from his wish that there were no Justice behind the universe, so that his injustices would fear not retribution; from his desire that there be no Law, so that he may not be judged by it; from his wish that there were no Absolute Goodness, that he might go on sinning with impunity.

      That is why the modern atheist is always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion—he would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth.

      His feeling toward God is the same as that which a wicked man has for one whom he has wronged: he wishes he (his victim) were dead so that he (his victim) could do nothing to avenge the wrong.

      The betrayer of friendship knows his friend exists, but he wished he did not.

      The post-Christian atheist knows God exists, but he desires He should not.”

      – Archbishop Fulton Sheen
      (Peace of Soul)

      May 10, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Obsydian

      ATHEIST "CHURCH" SERVICE – ENDS UP PROVING GOD !

      http://blogs.christianpost.com/guest-views/my-sunday-at-an-atheistic-church-14529/

      😉

      May 10, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Obsydian

      THE PROOF THAT GOD EXISTS:

      The Proof that God exists is that without Him you couldn't prove anything.

      While this proof Is valid, no one needs this proof.
      The Bible teaches us that there are 2 types of people in this world, those who profess the truth of God's existence and those who suppress the truth of God's existence.

      The options of 'seeking' God, or not believing in God are unavailable.
      The Bible never attempts to prove the existence of God as it declares that the existence of God is so obvious that we are without excuse for not believing in Him.
      Romans 1 vs. 18 – 21 says:

      The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

      For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

      For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened."

      God does not send people to Hell for denying what they do not know, but for sin against the God that they DO know.

      Why is God necessary for truth, knowledge, and universal, abstract, unchanging logic?

      Why Is God Necessary For:

      Knowledge?:
      Unless one knows everything, or has revelation from someone (God) who does, something we don't know could contradict what we think we know.

      Truth?:
      If our thoughts are the mere by-products of the electro-chemical processes in our evolved brains, you would not get "truth" you would get "brain-fizz." Chemicals do not produce "truth" they just react.

      As Doug Wilson said, it would be like shaking up a can of Mountain Dew, and a can of Dr. Pepper, opening them, and watching them fizz. Neither fizz is "true," they just are. For truth you need someone (God) who transcends the natural realm.

      Universal, immaterial, unchanging logic?:
      For universal, immaterial, unchanging logic, you need someone (God) who is universal (Psalm 90:2), not made of matter (John 4:24) and unchanging (Malachi 3:6).

      Without God, who has universal knowledge, we could not know anything to be universally true. Without God, who is Spirit (not made of matter), we could not make sense of immaterial things.

      Without God who is unchanging (and logic is a reflection of the way He thinks), we would have no basis for expecting logic not to change.

      http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/why-is-god-necessary.php

      Denying belief in God is not unbelief, but "professed unbelief" – an exercise in self-deception. You may know things, but you cannot account for anything you claim to know.

      Arguing against God's existence would be on par with arguing against the existence of air, breathing it all the while.

      You admit that absolute truth exists, but cannot account for it without God. You claim to know things to be true, but cannot justify knowledge or truth according to your own worldview.

      You use universal, immaterial, unchanging logic in order to come to rational decisions, but you cannot account for it. Truth, knowledge and logic are not the only ways God has revealed himself to you, but they are sufficient to show the irrationality of your thinking, and expose your guilt for denying Him.

      There is a reason that you deny the existence of God and it has nothing to do with proof.

      I can show this to you.

      Examine what your initial reaction was to the proof of God's existence offered on this website. http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/welcome.php

      Did you think that you could continue to deny God because you are not a scientist, or philosopher but 'Surely somewhere, sometime, a philosopher or scientist will come up with an explanation for truth, knowledge and logic apart from God?'

      Did you try to come up with an alternate explanation on your own?
      OR Did you even consider that the proof was valid?

      Hoping that an alternate explanation for truth, knowledge, and universal, immaterial, unchanging logic can someday be found apart from God, is a blind leap of faith, or wishful thinking.

      Isn't it interesting that this is exactly what professed unbelievers say about Christians?

      Please examine the real reason why you are running from God.

      It is the prayer of All Christians, that God will open your eyes and change your heart so that you may be saved from your sin, embraced by His forgiving love in the person of Jesus Christ, and come to know the peace which passes all understanding.

      O:)

      May 10, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      obsydian, Your ignorance is astounding.

      May 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Hepcat

      I am not suppressing any facts. You don't have any for me to suppress, anyhow, Obysdina.
      If you have facts, I am always willing to examine them, if only to see what sort of nonsense you are trying to shovel.
      If there was a god, we wouldn't need the internet to argue about it, would we?
      It would be self-evident. You may claim that it already is, yet it truly is not. There is nothing. Faith requires gullible ignorance.

      May 10, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Miss Chocolate Mom

      There are more than enough witness accounts in the bible that said God did what he did. Facts are what facts are.

      May 11, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • tallulah13

      Of course, there is no proof that those "eyewitnesses" actually existed, so perhaps you can see why "facts" require a higher standard.

      May 11, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • tallulah13

      Obsydian:

      I checked out your sites. Gotta say that I'm not impressed. What's next? Kirk Cameron and the Banana?

      May 11, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Miss Chocolate Mom

      Your belief connects you to God. It is your choice to believe others telling you the truth about him.

      May 11, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • Obsydian

      @ In Grinch we are Deceived......

      And your Arrogance & Obstinacy is Obnoxiously Breath-taking !!

      May 11, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Sean

      Obsydian-Fantastic!

      May 11, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Obsydian

      Thanks Sean.
      Much appreciated !!

      If you wish to chat, you can email me here: obsydian8@gmail.com
      🙂

      May 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      There is exactly ZERO proof for any gods. If there was proof, we'd not be debating with arguments and rhetoric, we'd be referencing the verifiable, measurable method that proves god every time you perform the experiment.

      Why do muslims terrorists and Christian radicals use the same math and chemistry? Because they must. Why do these same individuals disagree about god's will and plan? Because there's nothing stopping them; there's no explosion that won't go off if they get it wrong; there's no explosion that will go off if they get it right. You CAN believe anything about god because there's no reason not to.

      Obsydian is just expressing the confines of his doubt.

      May 11, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Obsydian

      @ Moonbat......

      If anyone is shovelling manure....... by the truck load !! –
      it is you & your sad & pathetic little band of atheist mafia mates,
      with your Pseudo-Intellectual Scientism & Nihilistic Religion !!

      It takes FAR More "faith" to believe in the rubbish you fools are peddling, than the
      gloriously concise Creed that we Profess........as I have noted above.

      For people like you...... no amount of evidence, argument & reasoning will EVER suffice !!

      For in your arrogance, you have decided there IS No God !! – & there NEVER will be !!!

      According to your warped & darkend mind, there can NEVER be a Higher moral authority than YOURSELF !!!

      If there is a god, that your worship,... it is either the god of random chance..... or yourself !!!

      But In Truth...... You actually don't wish there to be a God..... (especially the Judeo-Christian God) so that you can blissfully justify your sinful, corrupt, & morally bankrupt behaviour with impunity !!

      Fulton Sheen summed up people like you just perfectly !

      "The modern atheist does not disbelieve because of his intellect, but because of his will;
      it is not knowledge that makes him an atheist…

      The denial of God springs from a man’s desire not to have a God—from his wish that there were no Justice behind the universe, so that his injustices would fear not retribution; from his desire that there be no Law, so that he may not be judged by it; from his wish that there were no Absolute Goodness, that he might go on sinning with impunity.

      That is why the modern atheist is always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion—he would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth.

      The betrayer of friendship knows his friend exists, but he wished he did not.

      The post-Christian atheist knows God exists, but he desires He should not.”

      Go back into your Atheistic bubble world & spare us all your miserable creed of No Hope, Despair & Nihilism !!

      This is a Forum of Believers & Belief...... NOT professed Unbelief !!

      Why don't you Go rant & peddle your rubbish on some Atheist forum,
      where your ego can be adequately stroked by those of
      a similar ilk to you !!

      May 11, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      My initial reaction to the "proof of god" website is that the writer is extremely, extremely ignorant of how the brain processes logic. The website exemplifies the Dunning-Kreuger effect.

      May 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • The Heart of the Matter

      "But In Truth...... You actually don't wish there to be a God..."

      Which is why God and a Genie in a bottle are so similar, they both rely on wishing. If you don't wish hard enough then God won't be real for you.

      May 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Christians like Obsydian exhibit extremely disgusting behavior. The pride and arrogance is astounding. He is his own god; god is only what his opinion is of him and nothing more. Obsydian's god is his own ego, nothing more. Move along, folks.

      May 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Darrin

      "Why don't you Go rant & peddle your rubbish on some Atheist forum, where your ego can be adequately stroked by those of a similar ilk to you !!"

      Christians give me much better feed back then other atheists do. It takes just a few words of reason and logic to get a Christian to write half a page of foaming at the mouth rhetoric that pretty much shouts their lack of education.

      May 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Sean

      Thanks Obsydian. 🙂

      May 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • DavidTX

      "The modern atheist does not disbelieve because of his intellect, but because of his will;
      it is not knowledge that makes him an atheist…"

      The modern atheist is one who took bible study to it's inevitable end and were unsatisfied with "It's a mystery" or "Well you just have to have faith" as answers to the deepest questions of theology. Once you have read through the bible several times in search for those answers and continually find those answers consp.i.c.uously missing, atheism or at least agnosticism is not far behind. All current Christians are either in on the scam and making too much money off it to say anything or haven't read their bibles cover to cover and been willing to ask the big questions, like why doesn't the fossil record, archaeological evidence and geological evidence support the Genesis account? No Adam and Eve, no global flood, no mere few thousand years of human history. And if a Christian believes in the bible because the universe is complex so logic says there must have been a more complex being to have created it, why do they refuse to take that to it's ultimate conclusion where you continually have the need for a more complex being to have created the last complex being to infinity.

      That is where atheists come from, but few Christians will ever travel that far down the road of reason and logic because of the fear instilled in them as children.

      May 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Obsydian

      @ Dopey Stick

      Zero proof ??

      How does energy & matter come from Nothing ??

      Where does All the DNA information come from ??

      God, who is by definition an Infinite Being, can NOT be measured by Us Humans, (Finite Beings)
      who use the very science / maths that HE created to form the universe in the first instance,
      because as HE is Infinite.... he is therefore outside of the confines of Time, Space, Energy & Matter !!

      He is PURE SPIRIT !!

      Finite Beings can NEVER comprehend or contain the Infinite ! – It's that simple !!

      Why do religious people use chemistry & math ???..... Yes they Must, because God Created it !!

      How is it Dopey...... that Maths & Science Exist ??? & why is it even Intelligible to us ???

      Because God designed it that Way !!

      Why is there confusion, disagreement, & conflict within ALL Humanity, not just professed religious people,
      (there is far more conflict & violence even amongst Non-Religious & Totalitarian, Atheistic & Secular Humanists, thru out history such as Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot etc...) because God gave humanity Free-Will,..... & as such we have fallen as a race, & have turned away from HIM, who is the Source of All TRUTH, KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM & LOVE (not too mention all other Virtues) God possesses ALL of these virtues Infinitely, otherwise HE wouldn't be God !

      HE is the Creator.... & we are the Creatures ! HE is the Father..... & we are his Children !! We are the disobedient ones who turned away, & so we must face the consequences,..... like any disobedient child !...... We must be corrected for our own Good,..... otherwise we die !

      By rejecting that which is the Source of ALL Life...... we have therefore Chosen Death !!

      Re: Dunning-Kruger effect.....

      Wow !! Pretty desperate to quote from an unproven "psychological study" which
      hasn't been adequately replicated or verified !

      & then Fails to provide an Adequate de-bunk of the Proof offered, using LOGIC itself !!

      Talk about mistaking your own Inability & Incompetency !!
      Methinks Mr. Dopey Stick needs to look in the Mirror !!

      http://phillipjensen.com/articles/new-atheists-and-the-dunning-kruger-effect/

      As you say Dopey...... Move along nothing to see here !
      😉

      May 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Obsydian

      @ Darrin

      you're obviously willfully choosing to ignore all of the Insults, Arrogance, & "foaming at the mouth" rants, directed at Christians & other believers by your own atheist mates on this forum.

      None so blind as those who won't see & are Bigoted !!

      Surely, never a More Truer example of Cognitive Bias !!
      😉

      May 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Obsydian

      @ David TX......

      You asked the questions...... Here's the answers that you "believe" we don't have, &/or can't answer !!!

      THE FOSSIL RECORD & EVOLUTIONARY THEORY:
      Creationists can cite quotations which assert that no solid fossil evidence for the theory of evolution position exists:

      “ "...I still think that to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of special creation. – E.J.H. Corner (Professor of Botany, Cambridge University, England), “Evolution” in Anna M. MacLeod and L. S. Cobley (eds.), Contemporary Botanical Thought (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1961), p. 97[95][96] ”

      “ "We then move right off the register of objective truth into those fields of presumed biological science, like extrasensory perception or the interpretation of man's fossil history, where to the faithful anything is possible – and where the ardent believer is sometimes able to believe several contradictory things at the same time." – Lord Solly Zuckerman (professor of anatomy at Birmingham University in England and chief scientific adviser to the British government from the time period of 1964 to 1971), Beyond The Ivory Tower, Toplinger Publications, New York, 1970, p. 19.[97][98] ”

      “ "Fossil evidence of human evolutionary history is fragmentary and open to various interpretations. Fossil evidence of chimpanzee evolution is absent altogether". Henry Gee, “Return to the Planet of the Apes,” Nature, Vol. 412, 12 July 2001, p. 131.[99]

      THE FOSSIL RECORD Q & A:
      http://creation.com/fossils-questions-and-answers

      GEOLOGY:
      http://creation.com/geology-questions-and-answers

      ARCHAEOLOGY:
      http://creation.com/archaeology-questions-and-answers

      ANTHROPOLOGY:
      http://creation.com/anthropology-and-apemen-questions-and-answers

      INFORMATION THEORY & DNA:
      http://creation.com/information-theory-questions-and-answers

      PROBABILITIES:
      http://creation.com/probability-questions-and-answers

      GENETICS:
      http://creation.com/genetics-questions-and-answers

      ASTRONOMY:
      http://creation.com/astronomy-and-astrophysics-questions-and-answers

      QUANTUM MECHANICS & THERMAL DYNAMICS:
      http://creation.com/thermodynamics-and-order-questions-and-answers

      NATURAL SELECTION:
      http://creation.com/natural-selection-questions-and-answers

      MUTATIONS:
      http://creation.com/mutations-questions-and-answers

      SPECIATION:
      http://creation.com/speciation-questions-and-answers

      ORIGIN OF LIFE:
      http://creation.com/origin-of-life-questions-and-answers

      NOAH'S FLOOD Q & A:
      http://creation.com/noahs-flood-questions-and-answers

      YOUNG AGE EVIDENCE:
      http://creation.com/young-age-of-the-earth-universe-qa

      RADIOMETRIC DATING & ITS FLAWS:
      http://creation.com/radiometric-dating-questions-and-answers

      HISTORY:
      http://creation.com/history-questions-and-answers

      PHILOSOPHY:
      http://creation.com/philosophy-questions-and-answers

      IT'S JUST NOT SCIENCE:
      Is it valid to categorize evolution as science and creation as non-science ?
      http://creation.com/its-not-science

      BIG QUESTIONS FOR EVOLUTIONISTS:
      http://creation.com/15-questions

      As You Were !!
      😉

      May 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  5. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    I see the love fest is still going on...

    May 9, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Science

      Funny stuff.............. watch Cartoon Network.......................they beat the sh-it out of the devil !!!

      May 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Futurama has the best – The Robot Devil!

      May 9, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Science

      Russ on previous page...............should watch...................might learn something ......chad too !

      May 9, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Tertious

      I can only speak for myself, but fundamentalist evangelical Christians are the only minority group I, personally, hate. Well, that's not entirely true ... I hate extremists of any religion, particularly the violent ones. But see, the rest of them aren't attacking me personally on a daily basis, so I hate them in a less passionate way.

      Extremist Christians, on the other hand, are constantly attacking my schools, my civil rights, my country. They have declared a culture war. It is difficult not to hate someone who has declared war on you.

      May 9, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @Tertious – ok

      May 9, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  6. mama k

    In the news (cnn–updated 5/9/13): "Zambian police rearrested two men this week on charges of engaging in homosexual acts "against the order of nature," a rights group said." Zambia is an almost 98% Christian nation.

    Extremist religious sects, including many Christian sects are hindering a basic education about homosexuality. As a result persecution of LGBT by Christians continues.

    Christianity has always been conflicted – certain issues make that conflict more obvious. One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one (over four million members) in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage. Thomas Jefferson hit the nail on the head over 200 years ago:

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    (from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)

    Some claim that Christianity and science are not incompatible, yet we find many who continue to ignore science on the issue of homosexuality. Is the problem poor education, steadfastness to one's own flavor of biblical interpretation, or both?

    The following is long, but note the quote from Professor MIchael King below in the section on psychology.
    =========================================================
    Psychology

    The American Psychological Association states "there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people", and says most people's sexual orientation is determined at an early age. Research into how sexual orientation in males may be determined by genetic or other prenatal factors plays a role in political and social debates about homosexuality, and also raises concerns about genetic profiling and prenatal testing."

    Professor Michael King states: "The conclusion reached by scientists who have investigated the origins and stability of sexual orientation is that it is a human characteristic that is formed early in life, and is resistant to change. Scientific evidence on the origins of homosexuality is considered relevant to theological and social debate because it undermines suggestions that sexual orientation is a choice."

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

    "Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person's fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice."

    Biology

    The following is from the article:

    Homosexuality ultimately a result of gene regulation, researchers find (12/11/2012 – LiveScience)

    [ The search for a "gay gene" may be off-target, new research finds. Another process called epigenetics that switches genes on and off may explain why homosexuality runs in families.

    Epigenetics are heritable changes caused by factors other than DNA. Instead of traits getting passed down through the genes, epigenetic change happens because of the way genes are regulated, or turned on and off.

    These genetic regulators may be the reason homosexuality persists in nature despite the fact that gay people are less likely to reproduce, suggests the new study published in the journal The Quarterly Review of Biology.

    "These things have evolved because they're good for the parents, but they sometimes, not [with] high frequency, but sometimes carry over" into offspring, study researcher William Rice, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told LiveScience. In a male fetus, Rice and his colleagues write, an epigenetic change that benefited the mother may lead to "feminization" of sexual preference — homo- or bisexuality. The same may be true for epigenetic changes passed down by dad to a female fetus. (The terms feminization and masculinization of sexual preference refer to sexual orientation only — not to physical or personality traits of the offspring.)

    The findings add to past research suggesting gay men haven't died out, because female relatives of gay men tend to have more children on average than other females. The study researchers specifically found that two genes passed on through the maternal line could produce this effect.

    Hormones, epigenetics and orientation

    Rice and his colleagues focused on epi-marks, which are molecular changes that act like temporary "switches" to turn genes on and off. If a gene is a blueprint, the epi-mark is the construction foreman who makes sure the product gets built. An epi-mark also determines when, where and how much a gene is expressed, according to the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.

    These molecular switches are usually erased very early in the developmental process, but they can be passed down from generation to generation, too, Rice said.

    Some epi-marks are particularly important during fetal development, when they promote normal physical development in the sexes despite natural variations in testosterone during pregnancy. Researchers know that fetal exposure to too much testosterone can masculinize the genitals, brain or behavior of a genetically female fetus. Likewise, too little testosterone can make a genetically male fetus more feminized.

    But here's the catch: There's lots of overlap between the levels of testosterone male and female fetuses get exposed to. That means there must be another side to the story, Rice and his colleagues wrote.

    That side appears to be epigenetics, Rice said.

    "Early in development, we think these epi-marks are laid down so that girl fetuses will be relatively insensitive to testosterone and male fetuses will be relatively sensitive to testosterone," Rice said.

    Biological behavior

    Thus, if an epi-mark that kept a mother from getting exposed to high testosterone in development gets passed on to her son — the opposite sex — it could desensitize him to testosterone, contributing to his sexual preference for men. Similarly, if a male-specific epi-mark from dad gets passed to a daughter, it could "masculinize" her sexual preference, making her more interested in women.

    These findings could explain why twin studies show that homosexuality runs in families, but no "gay gene" can be found, Rice said. In identical twins, there's about a 20 percent chance that if one twin is gay, the other will be too. If genetic change were responsible for homosexuality, you'd expect a much higher match, Rice said. Epigenetics, however, can explain the heritability without the need for a specific genetic change.

    The hypothesis could be tested by examining epigenetic marks in parents of kids with gay versus straight offspring, Rice said. There are, of course, concerns that this knowledge could be used by parents who want to avoid gay offspring, Rice said, but that concern already exists around certain hormonal conditions in utero, which are known to contribute to an increased chance of offspring being lesbians.

    "That cat's already out of the bag," Rice said. He added that an understanding of the biological underpinnings of homosexuality could help emphasize that same-sex behavior is not "unnatural."

    "In fact, it's a major part of the natural world," Rice said. Fourteen percent of Western gulls raise chicks in female-female pairs, he pointed out. And 8 percent of male sheep show zero interest in fertile ewes, but get sexually excited by other rams. ]
    ========================================================

    Whenever... preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put [their congregation] off with a discourse on the Copernican system, on chemical affinities, on the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art of science.

    (Thomas Jefferson)

    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, framer of the first ten Amendments; from A Memorial and Remonstrance as delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785.)

    May 9, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The only trauma occurs when the X chromosome crosses over to make Y as in XY. Then again, that was known prior to 1970.

      May 9, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Science

      All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................that is you HS

      The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.

      Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

      Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

      May 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  7. A quick demonstration for you

    It's 3:19pm...where I am

    1.) God is Jesus...I'm a Christian..."Hallelujah"

    2.) God is Allah..I've deconverted I am a muslim

    3.) I changed my mind there are no such things as gods I am an atheist

    4.) No, wait I want a religion...I am Hindu...Hari Krishna

    3:20pm.

    You see? You never know what is going on in someone's mind..you never will.

    May 9, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Heaven's Tent

      At least you aren't barking or quoting.

      May 9, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tent, you consider hearing Jesus' truth barking? His truth is opposite of all satan's lies you focus on. Thanks for playing

      May 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "satan's lies" LOL...

      May 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Mike Nelson

      You actually believe in the Devil? "Why yes, I've seen his food cake."

      May 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • A quick demonstration for you

      These lies belong to no god or demon, they are mine and mine alone. The truth is far stranger. Peace.

      May 9, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • A quick demonstration for you

      Props Mike Nelson that's really funny. 🙂

      May 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  8. Heretic

    I wish the rapture would hurry up and happen.

    May 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      “When the Rapture comes and God bodily transports all of the good, kind, charitable, compassionate, tolerant, humble, loving Christians, I'm sure the world will miss both of them.” – Doc V.

      May 9, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      My guess is that the two being raptured would be Jimmy and Rosaline Carter. The greatest ex-president ever!

      May 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  9. Science

    NO ANGELS with PITCH FORKS the old pope KICKED them in OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

    Pope's book on Jesus challenges Christmas traditions

    By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

    updated 10:56 AM EST, Fri November 23, 2012

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/22/world/europe/vatican-pope-jesus-book/index.html?iref=allsearch

    All these years there are suppose to be angels.......................then poof go the angels according to the old pope;.......

    where are the morals there ?

    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

    THE END !!!

    May 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  10. Dyslexic doG

    @ lol?? – As an atheist who likes to convert people, thank you for all of your hard work!

    May 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  11. Steve B

    This is an interesting article. People of faith are (often) called narrow-minded, bigoted, hateful, and un-loving when they disagree with many secular viewpoints. As the article says, "since when is disagreement the same as hate?" Those in disagreement with our views have the right to say my/our views are (pick an adjective), but the minute we say we disagree with their views, we are (pick an adjective). We don't get that right anymore that we have had to give them....!

    That just can't be right in this age of tolerance! As all other lifestyle forms and groups have gained recognition and acceptance, they will most certainly accept us too! Ours is but a relationship with God – and it is a lifestyle choice...Right? Why won't they accept us in this new age of tolerance? We have been called (pick an adjective) – and how can that be in this climate of acceptability, love, and tolerance of all?! It’s intolerant! It’s unaccepting! It’s unloving! It's (gasp!) boldly hypocritical!

    May 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • laststonecarver

      @Steve B,
      per your brethren, lol??
      Poochie, stay away from mama dawg.
      May 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply

      May 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Ours is but a relationship with God – and it is a lifestyle choice...Right? Why won't they accept us in this new age of tolerance?"

      Because christians who feel they have a relationship with god often feel the need to bloviate endlessly about this relationship, and issue empty proxy threats to the disbeliever

      May 9, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • bostontola

      Steve,
      Hypocrisy is not exclusive to the religious (although it is quite common). It reaches all groups of people including atheists and agnostics. I would also say that your comment exhibits another trait of the religious, whineyness. You guys are the vast majority, don't be a wimp.

      May 9, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "We have been called (pick an adjective) – and how can that be in this climate of acceptability, love, and tolerance of all?! It’s intolerant! It’s unaccepting! It’s unloving! It's (gasp!) boldly hypocritical!
      How am I a hypocrite? I haven't knelt before a god and sworn to conduct myself in a way pleasing to Him, as you have. I'm under no obligation to tolerate unspeakable behavior from anyone, and my social obligation to be pleasant to you vanishes when you sneer at me. What am I to make of your nastiness about "lifestyle choices?" Your whole post is meant to be an insult, and I guess you expect God to also sneer down and say "Good one, Bro! High-five!" instead of "Thou shalt not bear false witness." Hypocrite? That would be you.

      May 9, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Heaven's Tent

      "Ours is but a relationship with God – and it is a lifestyle choice...Right? " Wait, WHUT now? Are you actually saying you are gay for Jesus? This is something you want us to be tolerant about? You gotta be frecken kidding us.

      May 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Abrahamic religions do not have a history of tolerance.....

      May 9, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • skytag

      Who doesn't accept you? Are you having a delusional episode? Christians create their own problems by being arrogant enough to claim we need to impose their wholly unsupported beliefs on all of society.

      May 9, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • derp

      So if I say that blacks are inferior and are best kept chained up unless they are out picking cotton, you will just smile and be tolerant of my views.

      There are about 9 million dead jews who think accepting bigotry in the name of tolerance is a frighteningly bad idea.

      May 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      9 million dead Jews no longer exist. They can neither think nor dance a polka. What you said was so stupid I just had to respond.
      4/10

      May 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • lee

      A few problems with your analogy:

      1. Being gay is genetic, not learned. Being Christian is learned, not genetic.
      2. Gay people (and straight people who support gay rights like myself) don't want to control any part of your life (i.e. tell you who you can marry). Pointing out that you are bigoted does not control your life. Feel free to say gay people are sinners and I will feel free to call you silly for believing such nonsense. But the difference is that I am not trying to control you in any way.

      I hope this helps so you don't use that awful analogy anymore.

      May 10, 2013 at 8:41 am |
  12. Bible Clown©

    So have the Christians decided yet if it's a lie and everyone loves them, or if we will all perish in flames for not obeying their commands? So far, God's love has moved them to call us a bunch of names, claim all atheists are criminals, and bark like mutts. I can just God up there in heaven doing a big facepalm and waiting for even ONE of His followers to say something decent about this. Instead, they pretend we're all gay abortionists, and then they wonder why they are so despised and avoided. Arf indeed. Barking mad.

    May 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Akira

      Re: the abortion fallacy: Christians are by far the largest group of women obtaining abortions: 83% are Christian.

      May 9, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Akira

      Along with all the other good little bitches awaiting their turn. Arf, arf.

      May 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • The 1600's and on..

      Bible clown...

      In time there will be no christians, no atheists just a bunch of humans with varying ideas about their mortality, no gods no devils nothing but just people. It's what is really going on now only people are to fearful to see it for what it is.

      May 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  13. Dyslexic doG

    Christianity is belief that a god impregnated a virgin with himself, to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to forgive the "original sin" of a couple we now all know never existed.

    Atheism is the belief that the above belief is fvcking stupid

    May 9, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Reality

      Now that is a great summary !!!

      May 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      That and any other myth like it. 🙂

      May 9, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  14. Doug A Scott

    A damn good rebuttal to this tripe:

    http://www.politicususa.com/conservative-christians-claim-spew-hate-consequence.html

    May 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Akira

      This was indeed a very good article.

      May 9, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Science

      .Doug A Scott...................how about this ome !!!................do you have any ?

      .NO ANGELS the old pope KICKED them in OFF the TEAM last year !

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

      Pope's book on Jesus challenges Christmas traditions

      By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

      updated 10:56 AM EST, Fri November 23, 2012

      http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/22/world/europe/vatican-pope-jesus-book/index.html?iref=allsearch

      All these years there are suppose to be angels.......................then poof go the angels according to the old pope;.......

      where are the morals there ?

      May 9, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Science

      Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

      The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

      The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

      Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

      April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

      May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |

      May 9, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  15. Really-O?

    ..."I hope it was I". ... friggin' English.

    May 9, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  16. Dyslexic doG

    tell me what sort of loving god lets 3 young Cleveland girls spend TEN YEARS subjected to terror and torment at the hands of the Christian Castro brothers? I wonder if the girls prayed to God and Jesus for help as he looked down on them lovingly from above and left them to suffer?

    May 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Nazis are Christians

      Oh, God and Jesus was just exercising "free will". You know.

      May 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • biggles

      The kind of god who hasn't thrown you into hell, yet

      May 10, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  17. Shouldn't this read...

    "When Christians become a 'hated majority'"

    There are still far more of them then us, it's just they can't get away masking their hate behind their faith and it's no longer fashionable to bash gays and minorities like they used to.

    May 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I think a significant percentage of Christians see the religion for all its foolishness, they just want to stay in the church club, don't want to upset their friends, don't want to rock the boat, don't want to be ostracized by questioning how nonsensical the whole religion is.

      May 9, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Just one opinion

      I can't speak for most people but I for one have no objection to criticism or opinion on religion (either for or against). It lacks any objective data at all and should be properly addressed.

      I do not however want to participate in viewing the world in terms of "us" vs "them". I object to "us" and "them" mentality.

      Infact the very word "christian" probably draws to your mind a single enemy with an awful face that exists largly in your imagination.

      May 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  18. Practical advice

    If anybody (Atheist or Christian) wants to use the bible as a tool to make your life worse...RUN! Don't walk, don't look back just run.

    May 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  19. Vic

    In electromagnetics, you learn that you can receive a radio signal through a beer can for antenna for your radio (receiver) as well as through the fanciest antenna! Why is that?! The answer is simple!

    All the power is put in the source, the transmitter! The Communications Industry puts great emphasis on the ability to transmit radio signals, as strong as possible, so anyone with any level of means can receive them!

    God is the same way! He reveals Himself through a tremendous amount of evidence so any person, regardless of their level of intelligence and/or effort, can detect Him!

    This leads us to the following:

    Science ventures into the physical existence and can not venture into the metaphysical which is believed to be behind this creation!

    There is a characterization of a universal impulse for God and Religion (Faith/Belief) by the Scientific Community! I couldn't agree more on the following premise:

    We are programmed to detect and sense the physical world through our physical bodies! The same way, we are programmed to detect and sense the metaphysical through our metaphysical spirits! The universal impulse for God and religion (Faith/Belief) comes from the programmed spirit just like the universal impulses for food and s e x come from the programmed body!

    Now, when you think about God, keep an open mind to that God Himself (Who Is Metaphysical) is not subject to this physical world and its science (physical laws) that He created all. Therefore, science can not prove or disprove God! In scientific terms God is imponderable! However, this entire creation, including life, is huge EVIDENCE to a CREATOR == GOD !!!

    !!!Anthropic Principles Reveal God!!!

    !!!This Universe is intricately designed and fine-tuned (Anthropic Constants are accurately measured) to enable Life here on Earth!!!

    !!!Science Reaveals God!!!

    !!!This Universe and Life in it ARE “Prima Facie” EVIDENCE to God!!!

    Romans 1:20
    "20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

    Colossians 1:16
    "16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him."

    Hebrews 11:3
    "3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible."

    Acts 17:24-28
    "24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’"

    [Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible (NASB)]
    http://www.biblegateway.com

    May 9, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Here's someone who follows the same reasoning and claims the same evidence as Vic!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0-04VDrCbM

      May 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • @chad

      God is the same way! He reveals Himself through a tremendous amount of evidence

      only if you're a simpleton.

      May 9, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Tom Truthteller

      You are exactly right Vic and this is also the reason we have Atheists. God is supernatural. Humans have a limited capacity to understand that which is outside our natural experience. Atheists see themselves as intellectuals and can't believe anything or anyone could have powers and abilities that far exceed their own. As a result, their only conclusion is that their can't be a God because they would feel marginalized. Anyone with any common sense can look around at the world, look at the genius in the design of the human body and in nature and know that intelligent design was behind it all. Denying this shows an enormous lack of intelligence.

      May 9, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Tristan

      @vic
      Nicely written and articulated very well. Well done!

      👍

      May 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Bill

      In reality, whoever designed the human body did a pretty poor job.

      May 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • ME II

      @Vic,
      Unfortunately, you still need a radio receiver in order to receive radio transmissions. There is no equally demonstrable receiver for "God's" transmissions.

      May 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Humans have a limited capacity to understand that which is outside our natural experience."

      Yet you feel you have the objectively correct answer. Is it not outside of your experience, too?

      "Anyone with any common sense can look around at the world, look at the genius in the design of the human body and in nature and know that intelligent design was behind it all."

      How do you make the logical leap from a creator to a god?

      "Denying this shows an enormous lack of intelligence"

      Good deal, calling those who disagree with you stupid. I am sure that you are intellectually beyond everyone

      May 9, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • mama k

      Humans would have greatly benefited from an immune system like that of the crocodile. Very poor design in some regards.

      May 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      "God is the same way! He reveals Himself through a tremendous amount of evidence "
      Odd how no one has ever presented any of this evidence.

      May 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      The scientists and professionals who spend their lives attempting to decipher the natural world do not believe in any gods--most of them, anyway. It is extremely rare that a scientist has any sort of radical god belief; if they do have one, it is very mild and does not require that people suffer eternally as a consequence for actions during life. In short, it's more of a side opinion.

      Ask yourselves why the worlds leaders in math and chemsitry and particle physics do not all advocate the same god and the same method of worship for that god. Why is it that a muslim terrorist and a christian radical both use the exact same math and chemistry when building their b o m bs and yet believe all sorts of contradictory things about god and the proper worship of him. What kind of stupid god can't make his nature and will as obvious as math or chemsitry? hmmmm.....

      May 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      Vic, do you aspire to be a beer can one day?

      May 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Cpt.Obvious,

      "What kind of stupid god can't make his nature and will as obvious as math or chemsitry? hmmmm....."

      The jerky kind? The kind that want to teach us weird lessons about ignorance? Some good ones fighting with some jerky ones?

      May 9, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      @ Vic "God is the same way! He reveals Himself through a tremendous amount of evidence so any person, regardless of their level of intelligence and/or effort, can detect Him!"

      Except anyone can run experiments using a beer can as an antennea and get the exact same results. Funny how believers get results that completely contradict each other when the same thing is applied to the message from "god". Such results should lead one the the exact opposite conclusion you came to. Your logic is so flawed it is complete nonsense.

      May 9, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Hamburger Jones

      "Atheists see themselves as intellectuals and can't believe anything or anyone could have powers and abilities that far exceed their own."
      I have met Neil Gaiman and China Miéville. They were surrounded by dozens of people smarter than I am. If you think I had trouble believing that, guess again. But I am an intellectual, good guess, and I am a lot smarter than you, smart enough not to be arrogant.

      May 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Hamburger Jones

      –In electromagnetics, you learn that you can receive a radio signal through a beer

      He's been up all night listening to Mohammed's Radio . . . .

      May 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • biobraine

      "Atheists see themselves as intellectuals and can't believe anything or anyone could have powers and abilities that far exceed their own. As a result, their only conclusion is that their can't be a God because they would feel marginalized."

      You are projecting. The christian faith would have you believe that in the entire universe revolves around mankind and his relationship with some absent god. An atheist knows full well that mankind is just one species to have evolved on one planet in the universe, no more and no less important than any other form of life. From this point of view, there is no need to feel marginalized if we discover an alien life that is much more evolved than us. There are other life forms on this planet that already do things much better than humans in specific areas (speed, flight, eyesight, ability to detect light outside visible spectrum, reaction time, strength, resistance to disease, etc.). Nothing against any god, I just see no reason to believe in one without any evidence.

      May 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Dan

      "Atheists see themselves as intellectuals and can't believe anything or anyone could have powers and abilities that far exceed their own. As a result, their only conclusion is that their can't be a God because they would feel marginalized."

      No, Atheists see themselves as people who use logic and reason to base their conclusions and have never witnessed anything or anyone displaying powers and abilities that would be considered super-natural. As a result, their only conclusion is that there is no God because to believe in something with no evidence is the behavior of a fool and a sucker who shall soon get fleeced by the unscrupulous.

      May 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • skytag

      @Tom Truthteller: "You are exactly right Vic and this is also the reason we have Atheists."

      We have atheists for the same reason we have people who don't believe in Santa Claus, leprechauns, and vampires.

      "God is supernatural."

      If he exists, which you fail to establish.

      May 9, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Let me say....

      I am immensely encouraged by the rational replies on this board! It gives me some measure of hope. For example, Dan's reply above is precise and succinct. Kudos to all such members with replies in this thread and on others!

      I am also encouraged by the confusion and illogic expressed by almost every god believer in attendance, here. 🙂

      May 9, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • skytag

      @Tom Truthteller: "Humans have a limited capacity to understand that which is outside our natural experience."

      Agreed. However, the fact that something supernatural would be outside our natural existence if it existed is not evidence it exists. The same could be said for Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and werewolves.

      May 9, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Thinker

      " you can receive a radio signal through a beer can for antenna for your radio" "God is the same way!"

      Yes, we already knew the average Christian brain is just like an empty beer can, tell us something we didn't know.

      May 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  20. mama k

    In the news (cnn–updated 5/9/13): "Zambian police rearrested two men this week on charges of engaging in homosexual acts "against the order of nature," a rights group said." Zambia is an almost 98% Christian nation.

    Extremist religious sects, including many Christian sects are hindering a basic education about homosexuality. As one of our regular posters often says: "enough is enough".

    Christianity has always been conflicted – certain issues make that conflict more obvious. One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one (over four million members) in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage. Thomas Jefferson hit the nail on the head over 200 years ago:

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    (from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)

    Some claim that Christianity and science are not incompatible, yet we find many who continue to ignore science on the issue of homosexuality. Is the problem poor education, steadfastness to one's own flavor of biblical interpretation, or both?

    The following is long, but note the quote from Professor MIchael King below in the section on psychology.
    =========================================================
    Psychology

    The American Psychological Association states "there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people", and says most people's sexual orientation is determined at an early age. Research into how sexual orientation in males may be determined by genetic or other prenatal factors plays a role in political and social debates about homosexuality, and also raises concerns about genetic profiling and prenatal testing."

    Professor Michael King states: "The conclusion reached by scientists who have investigated the origins and stability of sexual orientation is that it is a human characteristic that is formed early in life, and is resistant to change. Scientific evidence on the origins of homosexuality is considered relevant to theological and social debate because it undermines suggestions that sexual orientation is a choice."

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

    "Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person's fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice."

    Biology

    The following is from the article:

    Homosexuality ultimately a result of gene regulation, researchers find (12/11/2012 – LiveScience)

    [ The search for a "gay gene" may be off-target, new research finds. Another process called epigenetics that switches genes on and off may explain why homosexuality runs in families.

    Epigenetics are heritable changes caused by factors other than DNA. Instead of traits getting passed down through the genes, epigenetic change happens because of the way genes are regulated, or turned on and off.

    These genetic regulators may be the reason homosexuality persists in nature despite the fact that gay people are less likely to reproduce, suggests the new study published in the journal The Quarterly Review of Biology.

    "These things have evolved because they're good for the parents, but they sometimes, not [with] high frequency, but sometimes carry over" into offspring, study researcher William Rice, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told LiveScience. In a male fetus, Rice and his colleagues write, an epigenetic change that benefited the mother may lead to "feminization" of sexual preference — homo- or bisexuality. The same may be true for epigenetic changes passed down by dad to a female fetus. (The terms feminization and masculinization of sexual preference refer to sexual orientation only — not to physical or personality traits of the offspring.)

    The findings add to past research suggesting gay men haven't died out, because female relatives of gay men tend to have more children on average than other females. The study researchers specifically found that two genes passed on through the maternal line could produce this effect.

    Hormones, epigenetics and orientation

    Rice and his colleagues focused on epi-marks, which are molecular changes that act like temporary "switches" to turn genes on and off. If a gene is a blueprint, the epi-mark is the construction foreman who makes sure the product gets built. An epi-mark also determines when, where and how much a gene is expressed, according to the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.

    These molecular switches are usually erased very early in the developmental process, but they can be passed down from generation to generation, too, Rice said.

    Some epi-marks are particularly important during fetal development, when they promote normal physical development in the sexes despite natural variations in testosterone during pregnancy. Researchers know that fetal exposure to too much testosterone can masculinize the genitals, brain or behavior of a genetically female fetus. Likewise, too little testosterone can make a genetically male fetus more feminized.

    But here's the catch: There's lots of overlap between the levels of testosterone male and female fetuses get exposed to. That means there must be another side to the story, Rice and his colleagues wrote.

    That side appears to be epigenetics, Rice said.

    "Early in development, we think these epi-marks are laid down so that girl fetuses will be relatively insensitive to testosterone and male fetuses will be relatively sensitive to testosterone," Rice said.

    Biological behavior

    Thus, if an epi-mark that kept a mother from getting exposed to high testosterone in development gets passed on to her son — the opposite sex — it could desensitize him to testosterone, contributing to his sexual preference for men. Similarly, if a male-specific epi-mark from dad gets passed to a daughter, it could "masculinize" her sexual preference, making her more interested in women.

    These findings could explain why twin studies show that homosexuality runs in families, but no "gay gene" can be found, Rice said. In identical twins, there's about a 20 percent chance that if one twin is gay, the other will be too. If genetic change were responsible for homosexuality, you'd expect a much higher match, Rice said. Epigenetics, however, can explain the heritability without the need for a specific genetic change.

    The hypothesis could be tested by examining epigenetic marks in parents of kids with gay versus straight offspring, Rice said. There are, of course, concerns that this knowledge could be used by parents who want to avoid gay offspring, Rice said, but that concern already exists around certain hormonal conditions in utero, which are known to contribute to an increased chance of offspring being lesbians.

    "That cat's already out of the bag," Rice said. He added that an understanding of the biological underpinnings of homosexuality could help emphasize that same-sex behavior is not "unnatural."

    "In fact, it's a major part of the natural world," Rice said. Fourteen percent of Western gulls raise chicks in female-female pairs, he pointed out. And 8 percent of male sheep show zero interest in fertile ewes, but get sexually excited by other rams. ]
    ========================================================

    Whenever... preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put [their congregation] off with a discourse on the Copernican system, on chemical affinities, on the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art of science.

    (Thomas Jefferson)

    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, framer of the first ten Amendments; from A Memorial and Remonstrance as delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785.)

    May 9, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Science

      For all creationists and ID believers...............IT only takes minutes to figure IT out. No fairy in the sky needed !

      New Device Can Extract Human DNA With Full Genetic Data in Minutes

      May 6, 2013 — Take a swab of saliva from your mouth and within minutes your DNA could be ready for analysis and genome sequencing with the help of a new device.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130506132100.htm

      Monkey Math: Baboons Show Brain's Ability to Understand Numbers ..........E = mc2..............(U-Pb) numbers do not lie !

      May 3, 2013 — Opposing thumbs, expressive faces, complex social systems: it's hard to miss the similarities between apes and humans. Now a new study with a troop of zoo baboons and lots of peanuts shows that a less obvious trait – the ability to understand numbers – also is shared by humans and their primate cousins.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130503132719.htm

      OR.........take a ride on a DINO.

      Fossil records are better to read than the nasty bible..................no god(s) required !

      Oldest? New 'Bone-Head' Dinosaur Hints at Higher Diversity of Small Dinosaurs

      May 7, 2013 — Scientists have named a new species of bone-headed dinosaur (pachycephalosaur) from Alberta, Canada. Acrotholus audeti (Ack-RHO-tho-LUS) was identified from both recently discovered and historically collected fossils. Approximately six feet long and weighing about 40 kilograms in life, the newly identified plant-eating dinosaur represents the oldest bone-headed dinosaur in North America, and possibly the world.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507124800.htm

      The Science Guy takes on creationism

      CNN|Added on November 24, 2012

      http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2012/11/24/intv-nye-creationism.cnn

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/comment-page-95/#comments

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/07/biden-urges-faith-leaders-to-pressure-lawmakers-on-background-checks/#comments

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/06/richard-dawkins-evolution-is-not-a-controversial-issue/comment-page-14/#comment-2333546

      May 9, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Science

      NO ANGELS the old pope KICKED them in OFF the TEAM last year !

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

      Pope's book on Jesus challenges Christmas traditions

      By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

      updated 10:56 AM EST, Fri November 23, 2012

      http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/22/world/europe/vatican-pope-jesus-book/index.html?iref=allsearch

      All these years there are suppose to be angels.......................then poof go the angels according to the old pope;.......

      where are the morals there ?

      May 9, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • ME II

      "mentioning or acknowledging the God of Israel"

      Ah, now we get to the Madison chestnut.

      May 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • ME II

      ^^
      misposted

      May 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Paul

      Wow, Chad really is just too dumb to see the difference.

      May 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Chard is such a lying sack of poo. "The US wasn't like this 50 years ago." I was HERE 50 years ago, azzhole. I'm GLAD it isn't like it was then. Yes, we recited the Lord's Prayer every day before class began. So? You think that was a GOOD thing? Was it good for EVERYONE? No, it wasn't.

      You are an idiot, Chard.

      May 10, 2013 at 6:35 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.