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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. Yeah, cnn and the mainstream media sockpuppets can be trusted-NOT

    http://topinfopost.com/2013/05/10/shocking-cnn-anchors-pretend-theyre-having-a-satellite-interview-even-though-theyre-in
    Seems they pulled this same bs during the 1st Gulf War. Bet ya they pull it every damn day-especially since they receive their talking points(directives from the regime) from the White House on a daily basis. Wake up you stupid sheeple!

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

      Oh, the faux outrage! Your butt must feel SO hurt right now. Imagine, two lazy anchors! What next? It is certain evidence of a plot to manipulate all media. Actually, the FCC's news distortion policy allows any news channel, like FOX, to misreport or distort any news item, since news is "entertainment."

      May 10, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • To believe ANY of the msm can be trusted to "report" the truth is a mistake.

      Stupid cnn-viewing kool-aid chugging sheep

      2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

      2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

      2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
      That's right all you elitist "educated" bloggers, step right up and believe the lie. How's it feel to know that the Bible has prophesied about you? (In not a good way, either).

      May 10, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  2. laststonecarver

    For xtians, in the game of 'Beat the Devil' – with love
    Satan is pretty scary, especially since you have to protect yourself –
    But knowing some simple facts can help –

    0. Eating an apple from the tree of knowledge, when tempted by satan (original sin) – you are culpable, because you belong to this religion – you are never forgiven – so sorry Charlie –

    ( I'd like to buy a vowel Vanna – an 'I' )
    1. Pride – satan's sin, which got him/her thrown off the Island – pretty scary, but to my knowledge, no one was ever mortally injured, by someone else's Ego – although religious armies have been known to kill, in the name of their god –

    ( I'd like to buy another vowel Vanna – an 'O' )
    2. Lies – satan's tool, this can really be confusing, since the only truth is supposedly written in the 'Book', and anything not written in the 'Book', including everything since the 'Book' was written, is a lie – you are going to have to take it on faith, that everything is not a lie –

    ( I'd like to buy a 'U' Vanna )
    3 – Killing – satan's achilles heal – (this is important) – what is the worst sin? – to Kill – and what is the worst sin of killing – that's right, Suicide – so Satan at his/her best/worst by nature, will destroy him/her self, to enact the best of the worst sin –
    Hahaha – the devil will beat the devil, by doing what it does best –

    To summarize:
    Let the devil kill itself – you can instead concentrate on doing good works and perceiving your environment –
    Pride will get you kicked off the island – you are not better than someone else, because you think you are going to heaven, that is a lie – Don't pretend to speak for god, god can take care of itself – pretense is a lie –
    Lies are confusing, don't dwell on them – choose good decison making – including the simple fact that your actions affect others – be equitable – if it is okay for you to do something, then it should be okay for someone else (as in religion taught in school, satanic icons placed in public places (including court houses, etc.), creating a law/policy, which benefits your group (such as only LGBT are allowed to marry, and get the benefits from said) –
    Killing – let the devil beat itself – the taking of another life, even for religious purposes will destroy you, and that is suicide –

    Or, just keep being afarid of the devil – and holding onto god's coat tail, in hope's of a free ticket –

    May 10, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      "creating a law/policy, which benefits your group (such as only LGBT are allowed to marry, and get the benefits from said)"

      Are you taking medication for this?

      May 10, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • laststonecarver

      @Bible Clown©,
      Do you believe that it would not be equitable for LGBT to marry?, and that only taking medication would make it equitable?

      May 10, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  3. mama k

    Up next for same-se-x marriage in the U.S.

    Illinois: Gov. Pat Quinn called on the Illinois House to send him legislation to legalize gay marriage, saying lawmakers had plenty of time to make up their mind on the issue. The state Senate passed the measure on Valentine's Day, and the governor has said he's ready to sign it.

    New Jersey: Gov. Christie doesn't seem to be against gay marriage coming from a ballot measure, but has stated in the past he would veto such a change from legislators. This was his stance before the President changed his views. If Christie reconsiders, NJ could be soon.

    California: It seems gay marriage will be in CA soon one way or the other. This is because polls show a much larger support for gay marriage than when Prop 8 was passed. So even if the upcoming SCOTUS case were to fail, it would likely be put to voters there very soon again.

    Hawaii: Already has some good laws on the books evidently, and although things have been put on hold until after 2013, legislators there are attempting to speed up the process.

    May 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Science

      mama k

      Watching report about Minnesota passing same se-x marriage.....................comment from right wing nut .............

      She feels soory for her children and grandchildren................the world has changed..!

      Wow had to comment !

      May 10, 2013 at 6:12 am |
  4. What is anger?

    Anger is a manifestation of a deeper issue... and that is based on insecurity, self-esteem and loneliness.
    Campbell

    May 9, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Austin

      Anger is not based on that.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Anger is basic instinctual emotion evolved because it motivates people to act when, say, someone is stealing their food supply or mating partner.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Austin

      Those type of definitions are for emotional vampires .

      May 9, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Austin

      Referring to Campbell and not Saraswatis good definition.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • Austin

      For example have you ever bought something you needed for work from home depot and you drive forty five minutes to the job site, you take your new tool out and it was taped shut and it is broken. ?? Oh great. No problem .

      May 9, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • frogs croaking looking for?

      food?

      May 9, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • frogs croaking looking for?

      Nah, that is a mating call!

      May 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • PaulB

      Austin
      Saraswati is right, it is akin to someone stealing their food supply or mating partner. It's taking away the means these conservatives can demonize their opponents and it's taking away the bigoted talking points that hold this small group together under a common identi.ty. Take away this bigoted language and they stop being what they are and must switch to other Christian themes, like loving their neighbor and caring for the poor.

      May 9, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
  5. The real Tom

    Looks like the usual end of the discussion. Chard runs off crying to spin his Rolodex of topics. He'll reappear tomorrow, yipping like a Pomeranian on steroids about some other obsession of his–subjective/objective morality, perhaps. And he'll regurgitate the very same arguments and copied and pasted quotes all over again, expecting people to be enthralled and convinced he's a visionary.

    Isn't that the definition of insanity?

    May 9, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      The real Tom,

      Visionary? For the Life of me I just can't put vision into a perceptivity! Oh darn!

      May 9, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • The real Tom

      More nonsense words. Oh, joy.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      The real Tom,

      Insanity? Been there. Not just another funny farm. Hey all you doctors of psychiatry! Why do you most all the time lean ever so hard on over medicating your patients? Then up the dosages as time goes by or write a script to ease the side effects from the first meds administered! What a racket this neuropsychological prescription game is!

      May 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • Merhalk

      Sounds like Lambo needs a higher dosage.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Athy

      Lambie says he's been insane. I don't think he ever returned.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Austin

      At least
      Chad has something to do sometimes. Hint Tom Tom.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Austin

      You should rename yourself. "Tom girl"

      May 9, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Akira

      Tom should go back to Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, which is how I originally met her.
      And Tom keeps egos in check. This is a good thing.

      May 9, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Tom – and he still hasn't answered the question. Anything that strays from his desired narrative gets ignored.

      May 10, 2013 at 4:08 am |
    • Science

      The real Tom..................and it only takes minutes now..............to simple for them maybe ?

      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

      May 10, 2013 at 6:52 am |
    • Religions

      The real Tom
      Caught the Chad out on his bigotry and ignorance, see p 100, under derp, end of thread.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:08 am |
    • Science

      Chad.............. is again on page 88 his fav is chapter 6 from the ICR !

      May 10, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • Science

      And chadie knows about carbon – 14................. maybe ?

      May 10, 2013 at 7:37 am |
    • Science

      And has seen this !!!

      ..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

      May 10, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      "You should rename yourself. "Tom girl"" Now, have we begun to figure out why Christians are a hated minority? Hint, hint?

      May 10, 2013 at 8:41 am |
  6. faith

    "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."

    were u baptized in the holy spirit?

    May 9, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Observer

      Not all Christians have the "holy spirit" which called for so much killing of others, for instance.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Can't answer for him, but I certainly was. Your point? Oh, wait, I see it-it's on the top of your tin-foil hat!

      May 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Akira

      Tom: top soprano and occasionally second soprano, but I can sing alto, also. You?

      May 9, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Akira

      Sorry; reply meant for thread below.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I was told I was..... but since the holy spirit is a fabrication of humans.....nope.

      May 10, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • faith

      "Paul
      I use to be a Christian..."

      are you still speaking in other languages?

      May 10, 2013 at 1:37 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      Single-malt whiskey is a holy spirit.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:34 am |
    • faith

      paul, where did you go bro?

      May 10, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • PaulB

      faith
      I was baptized with water, and not in it. It was a ritual, and I don't think that it had any magical effect upon me, if that's where you're going with this? If you believe in such things then circ.umcized Jews would always be Jews no matter what they convert to, which would make none of the apostles real Christians, right?

      May 10, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      faith: Most Atheists I know were christian and baptized/christened. Given that most baptisms are done by a priest/minister/pastor it would appear rather safe to say they were done in the name of the holy spirit. Just because Atheists are raised that way does not mean they are bound to it.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • faith

      do you still speak in other languages?

      May 10, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • PaulB

      I've only ever spoken English, and I don't see the significance of that regarding this discussion.

      May 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  7. Frank

    “There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counter-claimed by Satan”
    C.S Lewis

    May 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • faith

      Now there’s spiritual warfare and flesh and blood breaking down
      Ya either got faith or ya got unbelief and there ain’t no neutral ground

      The enemy is subtle, how be it we are so deceived
      When the truth’s in our hearts and we still don’t believe?

      Read more: http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/precious-angel#ixzz2SquiUQ3v

      May 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • Merhalk

      So funny how the supposedly all-powerful Christian god isn't powerful enough to quash Satan already.

      Ain't they funny, the "gods" that men make...you'd have to be pretty stupid to fall for Christianity and all its lies.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Frank can you answer a question that no Christian authority has ever been able adaquitely answer? How could Satan tempt Jesus with anything considering jesus was the creator of everything?

      May 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Merhalk,

      "So funny how the supposedly all-powerful Christian god isn't powerful enough to quash Satan already."

      I don't think he was all-powerful in the original versions.

      May 9, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • fred

      Jesus was fully God and fully man. Jesus gets cold hungry and everything we do. There was nothing Satan could do to Christ or Jesus. Satan poured out every evil upon Christ yet Satan could not prevail against God. The full glory and radiance of God was seen in this man Jesus made of flesh just as you are and overcame through the power of God in him. This happened to many throughout history who overcame the trials of Satan.
      God could not very well take on the sin of the world if it was just pretend it took the physical form to feel the pain of sin from the world.

      May 9, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • fred

      Why squash evil? God does an simply will separate good and evil. God created out of goodness which is Gods nature. When creation elects to go bad you assume God should erase it. God creates and the creation proves exactly what it truely is. Certainly there is possibility God could void some or all past present or future evil but from what is written God allows souls eternal presence in the bed they make and sleep in.

      May 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      fred,

      That didn't answer my question, not even close. If Satan knew Jesus was "fully God" he would not have wasted his time. It is a completely absurd contradiction of Christianity. I would say 'nice try" but that is the same tripe I was taught as a child. It didn;t make sense then and it doesn't now.

      May 10, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      @fred "Why squash evil? God does an simply will separate good and evil. God created out of goodness which is Gods nature. When creation elects to go bad you assume God should erase it. God creates and the creation proves exactly what it truely is. Certainly there is possibility God could void some or all past present or future evil but from what is written God allows souls eternal presence in the bed they make and sleep in."

      Sounds like an over stated Christian version of "sh!t happens"

      May 10, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      I love CS Lewis, but he was a fervent convert and an academic writer. His opinion is as good anyone else's, and no better. I also grudgingly agree with Pullman that his Narnia books are written to force readers to accept his worldview as a condition of enjoying the stories.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • sam stone

      fred: how is free will consistent with an omniscient god?

      May 10, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • Len

      fred
      "Jesus was fully God and fully man."
      So, you're saying that God could be held within a single human body?

      May 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Larry

      sam stone
      God could know everything as long as he doesn't act in our lives, helping some people believe in him, but not helping others. That's where he messes with free will IMHO

      May 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
  8. The real Tom

    Haven't heard much from Bill Deacon today. Has he managed to cite any "benefits to society" that straight marriages have but gay marriages do not? I'm all on tenterhooks wondering if he'll ever find any.

    Doesn't look like the 12 states who've approved SS marriage have any problem seeing a benefit.

    Poor Dill Doe.

    May 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Mirosal

      Don't worry, I'm sure he and "Chard" will make something up to justify their ignorance.

      May 9, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Of course they will. Dill Doe is still trying to wrap those two brain cells of his around the idea that gays can have children. Not too bright, obviously.

      May 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Mirosal

      well of course they can ... science has come a LONG way, while religion is still stuck in the age of mud bricks.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Bill also cites "Catholic tenets and teaching" as reasons for why the gov't should not allow gay marriage and yet when I asked if he wanted the churches teaching on divorce and contraception to be incorporated by the gov't he strangely dissappeared....

      May 9, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Akira

      No. Absolutely no Catholic teaching and tenets in our laws; no Christian, no Muslim, no Jewish, etc etc etc. The FF's were very specific about that, and they were right.
      1)Where is God mentioned in the Constitution?
      2)Where is Jesus mentioned in the Constitution?
      3)Where are the Ten Commandments mentioned in the Constitution?
      Exactly. They're not. We are meant to be a nation of secular law.

      May 9, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Science

      Bill is like chad and fred you know............don't you Bill ?

      May 10, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Good morning children. I see you've all been wondering about today's lesson. Back to the topic. Tom has done precisely what I have described. I asked for a reasoned rational for why gaay marriage would be a benefit for society. Something along the lines of the Episcopal church statement that h0m o s3xuality is "divinely ordered" I specifically asked that arguments not be "ad negetiva", that is making your case based on attacking and ridiculing your opposition at the cost of positively stating your own argument. I understand the tactic of reversing the argument to be against the other persons position. I am asking for a positive statement on the "for" position". The closest anyone has offered is that we need to end discrimination. But my counter to that is that the function of government is the proper application of discrimination and we do it all the time. So, what is the philosophical foundation for why society should not discriminate that marriage is an instiitution reserved for opposite seex couples?

      As can be noted above, no one has been able to do so.

      Also, since everyone seems well versed on the details of every post on the topic, for extra points, who remembers the post where I said I was not interested in Catholic thought dominating the political landscape but that I prefer to discuss issues from a background of Catholic tenets and wish others would, rather than simply deride mine? Bueller? Bueller?

      I have no interest in passing U.S. law that prohibits divorce nor contraception but I am willing to discuss why those things are disordered from a Catholic perspective. It's just hard to find anybody on this board who can sustain the dialogue without degenerating into insults.

      I think Jeebus said it best several pages back quoting Jung "whenever you can't understand someone, you tend to think him a fool" There's not even enough of an argument for the "pro" side to make the call. The political forces plunge ahead but I wonder why I can't find anyone willing to take a step back and outline the reasoning why we should take political action merely to please a vocal constiituent.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Tom you still haven't posted that you understand the difference between conceive and acquire.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • @chad

      @Bill

      It's just hard to find anybody on this board who can sustain the dialogue without degenerating into insults.

      That’s because you continuously yank the carrot. You word your questions, and conditions in a way that all reasonable arguments will be ignored. People are tired of your nonsense and just want you to go to hell.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      What's so hard and why the utter inability to answer a simply request. What is the foundational argument for why society should be constructed to support gaay marriage? Other than validating seexula gratification of the partners, I'm afraind I can't see one.

      It's all well and good to end discrimination. I think gaay partners should have rights of survivor-ship, access to benefits etc. I just don't see that marriage is a vehicle to end discrimination on those counts. I'm really trying here to se the case but no one will even make the case. So, how can I support something that no one can describe except to say "Agree with us or you're stupid"?

      May 10, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • sam stone

      "I asked for a reasoned rational for why gaay marriage would be a benefit for society."

      families are a building block to society. gays have families.

      need more?

      May 10, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      funny, an atheists telling someone they should go to hell. Now that's funny.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Equal rights under the law for consenting adults, Bill. How hard is that to understand?

      Unless you've got a really great reason why equal rights should be denied to a small portion of socieity, you're sunk.

      So, Bill, why should gaays not have the same rights as people who prefer to be secksual with the opposite gender? Is it that you find it "yucky" or what?

      May 10, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • sam stone

      nothing wrong with "separate but equal", is there, bill

      government licenses marriage

      government is requied to treat all citizens equally

      the ban on gay marriae will fall to the 14th amendment the same way the ban on interracial marriage did

      the religious community is welcome to have whatever hissyfit they feel is appropriate, as long as they do not harm others

      May 10, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • *

      Explained to you before Bill. If all your gay priests were allowed to ho0k up with their gay priest partner they would not be allowed to claim equivalent to married status for their Filipino house boy, the bit on the side, and pay their fair share of taxes. Of course taxes are an anathema to the RCC, and as an aside that is what so many Mafia Don's get charged with tax evasion, coincidence.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • sam stone

      "funny, an atheists telling someone they should go to hell. Now that's funny."

      nowhere near as funny as a person with a bible in one hand, and the pope's.....errr.....manhood in another purporting to speak for god

      May 10, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yay sam!

      Let's run down that road. You say they have families which they do. But in order to obtain families, something else has to happen right? Either a partner has to divorce their opposite se ex spouse and get custody of existing children, or a surrogate donor has to co-operate or adoption is possible. In the case of divorce, that requires the destruction of an existing marriage and family. Involving a surrogate requires a seex act or an unnatural scientific conception outside of marriage. For an adoption, an unwed mother or unwanted child is required. Each of these cases contravenes a traditional marriage. Not that these situations don't occur but, for a same se ex couple to have a family, they HAVE to occur. For a ga ay couple to have a family for the betterment of society, the destruction of a traditional family has to occur. So, when opponents say that gaay marriage is an attack on traditional marriage they are correct aren't they?

      May 10, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Wow. Reading back through Bill's replies, here. What an AZZ!!! Seems like if you wanted people to convert to your perspective (on civil matters or religion), you'd try to make your behavior a little more attractive. Just going on pure att!tude and intelligence, I'd be terrified of becoming like the so-called "christians."

      May 10, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Try to pay attention Cpt. I'm not talking about rights under U.S. law. Perhaps in my numerous attempts to create a dialogue I haven't been clear. I already concede that the government can pass any law and make anything legal they want to. I am wondering what the justification for doing so is that exists outside the law. It's sort of like "we can and we should". What I hear is "we can and we will"

      May 10, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • sam stone

      "oh pontiff, pretty pontiff, can anyone shake your hand? or is it that you just like uniforms, and someone kissing your hand?"

      lou reed
      good evening mr waldheim
      new york

      May 10, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • *

      Why does the government have to justify to you or your faith group the laws they pass? They are accountable to the majority that elected them and at the next election, what makes you so special that they have to answer to your opinions or beliefs, Bill?

      May 10, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Rupert

      @Bill D

      You hear what you want to hear Bill. What makes “traditional marriage” so special, and why is so imperative to you that all others adhere to your definition of marriage? Marriage is not a prerequisite of having children, and being married doesn’t dictate that you must have children. People were having babies long before religion, and marriage existed. You’re so stuck on your view that you continuously ignore the answers being given. People deserve equal rights. What they do with those rights is none of your business.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • sam stone

      bill: why do you feel that "traditional marriage" is the only one beneficial to society?

      society changes, why should marriage not

      like it or not, marriage equality is coming. the cat is out of the bag.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Yes, Bill. I get it and you don't. I think that most people want rights to be equal. Laws shouldn't be unfair and allow some consenting adults to do what it does not allow other consenting adults.

      We should try to be fair and have equal rights for all. I could not have been more clear the first time, but perhaps you needed to read it twice. Let me know if you need to have me write it a few more times, or perhaps go run off a copy and just read it every few minutes until it sinks in.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Science

      Bill............. outside whose law ?..................the RCC/fairy in the sky ?

      May 10, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Bill: I don't see the difference between a male and female married couple opposed to a man/man; female/female couple. They all pay taxes; they volunteer; they live normal lives just like you and your wife do. To bring up the 'child' factor is simply out of line because not all hetero couples have children and if that is (as it would appear to be) part of your argument, why allow them to get married?
      I'm really curious as to why you would wish to deny another human the same rights granted to you. Have you had your life personally impacted by the actions of someone who is gay? Is any harm being brought to you as a result of them being happy and living their lives?
      The point is that if they're not directly impacting your life and they're not causing harm to another person, then let them be. Soon you will see another state legalize same gender marriage, this trend won't stop...so you can either be part of the here and now or get left behind with the past, either way this isn't going to stop.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • mama k

      On an earlier post, Bill, you used the word "order" as some predetermined moral "truth" condition that was achieved by following traditional marriage as part of Christian tenets. Obviously, there are many gay Christians in the U.S. today. Isn't it safe to assume there will always be a gay segment of the population? Isn't it safe to assume there will always be familial struggles of various sizes and shapes that fall outside the components of traditional marriage? If so, then isn't it possible that gay marriage will provide more order to the lives of those outside or closely adjacent to traditional families?

      May 10, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • sam stone

      strangely, bill adopts the persona of gopher and runs like a scared little child when the questions get too tough

      May 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • JMEF

      Like sam has stated it looks like Bill has done a runner. You have one vote Bill and your fellow RCC types have the same. You have the right to lobby for your point of view and vote for those politicians that best meet you standards. My question, does your faith allow you to flaunt the laws of the country you live in that have been passed by the majority of the representi.tives of the people? Does it allow you, for example, to not report criminal behaviour by your members even though that the law requires it for the protection of society?

      May 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Here's a great article: It shows how the influence of "natural law" was formative to construction of the Constiitution and how regard for such has waxed and waned throughout time in the U.S. Supreme court. I highly encourage reading it. For one thing, it shows how "natural law" was a major consideration in the ruling granting abortion rights in this country since the right to freedom essential granted to the individual the power to determine what existence means. Otherwise, an outside authority would make that determination and women would have to submit to that authority in order to justify abortion. For another, the Fourteenth amendment to the Constiitution hinges principally on the natural law concept of the rights of man.

      So, while you may not like the idea that natural law may not support your case on the one hand, causing you to disregard it, it sure came in handy in the past and there can be no doubt that it has a storied and significant contribution to American law.

      It is entirely fair game for opponents of some legislation to utilize natural law in their case. At least according to the history of the Supreme Court.

      May 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      http://www.nlnrac.org/american/u.s.-supreme-court

      forgot to paste the link. Exceptional reading.

      May 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      dot, nothing makes me special in that regard that any one should have to answer to me. However, typically, in society, people are able to make rational philosophical arguments for the direction in which they feel society should move. The other option, I suppose is war and enslavement.

      May 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      Are you talking about Christian Natural Law ?

      May 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      Bill Deacon

      dot, nothing makes me special in that regard that any one should have to answer to me. However, typically, in society, people are able to make rational philosophical arguments for the direction in which they feel society should move. The other option, I suppose is war and enslavement.
      .
      I can agree.....appears society is changing and the views of the church are becoming outdated.

      May 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • DavidTX

      I think one primary consideration that BD and the other religious apologists forget is that you can't cherry pick from our past. A person may think back fondly of his teen years and the freedom one had and the youth and vigor, but if that is all you remember without thinking of the pimples and wildly erratic hormones and first crushes and being gangly or awkward or having to rely on other people for rides, then you are creating a rose colored fantasy that was never real. American history has lot's of good honest people trying their best, but it also has a lot to be ashamed of from slavery to small pox blankets being given to the supposedly dirty heretical natives. While one can say that we should understand where we came from and how this nation was formed, to proclaim righteousness with such blood and guilt on our hands is preposterous and disingenuous.

      We have taken what we wanted from our past and evolved as a secular nation ridding ourselves of some of our worst habits over time. Discrimination did not end along with slavery, it is a long and difficult route to weed it out of every corner of this nation, but that is what must be done or we cannot be considered truly United States.

      May 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • mama k

      Indeed, DavidTX.

      May 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • sam

      Here we go with the hilarious spelling of gaay seex again.

      May 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      mama, There's no doubt that traditional marriages suffer attrition and families are left bereft of the "good order" that Christian thought proposes they receive from marriage. There is, in fact, a portion of people who will assert that not all marriages between heteros exist within the classical sacramental state the Church acknowledges. This is what makes annulment possible. I suspect that if the government begins to license and tax same seex marriage, the Church will look on them the same as non-sacramental hetero marriages.

      Now as to whether the introduction of same seex marriages lends stability or applies some type of social "triage" to that end, I cannot speculate. You seem to be saying that gaay marriage will strengthen traditional marrriage. I'm afraid my crystal ball doesn't pierce that far ahead and I think it is not philosophically prudent to hope that it does and use that hope as an argument a priori.

      May 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      Claiming "that the function of government is the proper application of discrimination" does not dismiss the rationale behind the 'ending discrimination' argument, it merely defers the discussion to what is "proper".

      And I would propose that from slavery to women's suffrage to civil rights the accepted 'proper discrimination' is to apply the law equally to all people where ever it is possible. In other words 'proper discrimination' has been increasingly to disallow distinction under the law between different classes, or perhaps classifications, of people.

      May 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      First of all thank you all for finally approaching the topic with some opprobrium. I appreciate the discussion.

      David, I think you make an excellent point I've been thinking on the side. Legislating same seex marriage into existence will do nothing to eradicate the discrimination involved. So, the end of discrimination is not a starting point for the argument, it is an end point. If I were pro same seex marriage, I would try to show how same seex marriage was a boon and that therefore deserved legalization, the end result being the acceptance of it. Seems advocates have the cart in front of the horse.

      Ted, I don't think natural law has a denomination. My understanding is that religious, philosophers and political thinkers have distilled it throughout the generations into certain indisputable concepts of free thought. I've been trying to discover how gaay marriage can fit into that collective wisdom but I have to say, I have not been able to do so.

      May 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      "Involving a surrogate requires a seex act or an unnatural scientific conception outside of marriage."

      I fail to see why this would be detrimental. If one is posing the "family" argument, then these avenues seem perfectly reasonable and don't necessarily damage other marriages/families or society, as far as I can tell.

      May 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • mama k

      Bill, I wouldn't try to predict the future either, but it certainly seems reasonable that gay marriage could have beneficial effects for all involved in extended families including Christian families by encouraging acceptance within families and removing some legal roadblocks that have plagued people who may already be in accepting extended families. I also think some of these beneficial effects may be positive without having to be tied to or involve traditional families.

      May 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Observer

      Bill Deacon,

      "Legislating same seex marriage into existence will do nothing to eradicate the discrimination involved."

      It seemed to work fine for the mindless discrimination against blacks and women. Once prejudiced people realize that their hysteria over consequences never materialized, they often change their views. We can see that happening now with the rolling momentum of allowing gay marriage.

      May 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      ME II, I totally agree. Herein enters the slippery slope. Catholics, like me would say then that same seex marriage is not proper and the state has a duty to discriminate against it. You might say that the state has a duty to restrict NAMBLA from petiitioning for man/boy marriage. My point all along has been that there is a line somewhere. We may disagree on where to draw it but you and I and I think most people will agree that the line exists. Therefore as noble as the "end of discrimination" sounds and as appealing a bumper sticker as it makes, it is really a false argument.

      Of course there are anarchists and pure liberals who advocate for total freedom and no restrictions of any kind. Socially, I think we call them libertines and politically I think we call them libertarians.

      May 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      ME II I heard this first in a Robert Heinlein novel but it resonates with the Church and so I support it:

      "Babies should not be made in test tubes by scientists. They should be made in bed by men and women."

      Ok, just so everyone knows, I'm not running away. I'm sure I haven't persuaded anybody to convert to Catholicism and I have not been won over to same seex marriage or even attraction but I have had a satisfactory discussion and I have to go now. I'm sure we can all agree to ridicule each other more later

      May 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • sam

      Maybe the problem stems from being unable to define what a 'family' is any longer. Most of human history involved being part of a tribe/village (and plenty of cultures still involve it). Everyone works together, raises the children together; you have core familial settings with mates and children, but all in all, the point is humanity grew up in one large social structure or another. One man one woman + 2.5 kids is relatively recent, historically, and is too restricting. If we still lived in tribes and/or thought of ourselves more as part of a wider community, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

      May 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      "Herein enters the slippery slope. Catholics, like me would say then that same seex marriage is not proper and the state has a duty to discriminate against it. You might say that the state has a duty to restrict NAMBLA from petiitioning for man/boy marriage."

      First, slippery slope is a fallacy, not an argument. Second, you are making a specious argument. Marriage generally involves consenting adults (determined by the state, of course); NAMBLA promotes se.xual relationships with children. That seems like an easy line to draw.

      "My point all along has been that there is a line somewhere. ... Therefore as noble as the 'end of discrimination' sounds and as appealing a bumper sticker as it makes, it is really a false argument."

      Again, you have simply moved the discussion to where to draw the line, you have not falsified the argument. In other words, just because a line is hard to place does not mean that there shouldn't be any line at all. That would be anarchy.
      In fact, what I think you are really saying is that it is too hard to move the line, therefore we should leave it where you think it currently is, i.e. "traditional".
      What I am saying is that the line is easily drawn at two consenting adults. Now if you can come up with a non-religious reason why that line is "not proper" or detrimental, then we can discuss that.

      "'"Babies should not be made in test tubes by scientists. They should be made in bed by men and women.'"

      Hardly a valid argument. (I'm a fan of Heinlein, but don't remember this particular one.)

      May 10, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • ME II

      Now here's a Heinlein quote:

      Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men. – Assignment in Eternity (1953)

      May 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Hepcat

      Bye Bill. Die in a fire, k? You deserve nothing but bitter condemnation for your disgusting lack of ethics or honesty, to name but two of your numerous shortcomings. Catholic apologists have nothing but damage to offer innocent people. Hurry up and die.

      May 10, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Ah Hep, the return of tolerance.

      ME II it was tiitled "Number of the Beast" Although I might be wrong I think it was Heinlein. Also, I think you are making my argument for me. You claim it is easy for you to place the line where you think it should be. I claim the same. Again you have agreed with me that there should be a line, we just disagree on it's placement. I hold forth centuries of Judeo-Christian ethic as justification for my placement of the line. What have you got? Because it sounds fair?

      May 10, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • DavidTX

      " So, the end of discrimination is not a starting point for the argument, it is an end point. If I were pro same seex marriage, I would try to show how same seex marriage was a boon and that therefore deserved legalization, the end result being the acceptance of it. Seems advocates have the cart in front of the horse."

      So I take it that if I lived more than a hundred and fifty years ago and was pro-freedom for slaves. should have had to show how getting rid of slavery would be a boon and therefore deserved legalization? Really? The whole point is that none of these discriminatory laws should ever have been in place and we cannot tear them down fast enough. They were wrong then and they are wrong now, the only questions is whether we have enough people willing to stand up against the bigots who just don't care about others rights and are only concerned about their own. America has enough room for everyone if everyone is willing to share a part of both the rewards and the responsibilities. The only thing we should no longer tolerate is intolerance.

      May 10, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • mama k

      MEII: [ Now if you can come up with a non-religious reason why that line is "not proper" or detrimental, then we can discuss that. ]

      And that gets back to the Constitution, but even if you look at the DOI, the key text is:

      That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

      for the "Creator" and supposed rights issued from such in the Preamble has different meanings among the significant non-Christian population in the U.S. that will no longer be ignored in today's society. And our Deist Constitutional framers saw to it that the voices of all, regardless of religion, should be heard.

      May 10, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Good morning children. I see you've all been wondering about today's lesson. Back to the topic. Tom has done precisely what I have described. I asked for a reasoned rational for why interracial marriage would be a benefit for society. Something along the lines of the Episcopal church statement that interracial intercourse is "divinely ordered" I specifically asked that arguments not be "ad negetiva", that is making your case based on attacking and ridiculing your opposition at the cost of positively stating your own argument. I understand the tactic of reversing the argument to be against the other persons position. I am asking for a positive statement on the "for" position". The closest anyone has offered is that we need to end discrimination. But my counter to that is that the function of government is the proper application of discrimination and we do it all the time. So, what is the philosophical foundation for why society should not discriminate that marriage is an instiitution reserved for same race couples?

      As can be noted above, no one has been able to do so.

      Also, since everyone seems well versed on the details of every post on the topic, for extra points, who remembers the post where I said I was not interested in Catholic thought dominating the political landscape but that I prefer to discuss issues from a background of Catholic tenets and wish others would, rather than simply deride mine? Bueller? Bueller?

      I have no interest in passing U.S. law that prohibits divorce nor contraception but I am willing to discuss why those things are disordered from a Catholic perspective. It's just hard to find anybody on this board who can sustain the dialogue without degenerating into insults.

      I think Jeebus said it best several pages back quoting Jung "whenever you can't understand someone, you tend to think him a fool" There's not even enough of an argument for the "pro" side to make the call. The political forces plunge ahead but I wonder why I can't find anyone willing to take a step back and outline the reasoning why we should take political action merely to please a vocal constiituent.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      reply at p105 (at time of posting)

      May 12, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Science

      Bill again whose law?......................the red devil with horns in the head ?

      May 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  9. The message

    A sermon by Billy Graham
    The Bible says, “He that hardeneth his heart, being often reproved, shall suddenly be cut off and not without remedy” [see Proverbs 29:1].

    You never know. To some of you who go out on the slick highways this afternoon, this may be the last sermon you will ever hear. In every crusade we have ever conducted anywhere, there have been people who have come to the meeting in good health and never came back because they were dead in the next few hours through an accident, or a heart attack, or something else.

    We never know when our moment is coming. Maybe God spoke to you this afternoon, and your heart is in danger of being hardened. Some of you are older people; some of you are younger people. The Bible says once you hear the Gospel and do nothing about it, you are in danger of being hardening your heart.

    But, last of all, there were some that made a decision [see Acts 17:34]. They received Christ and went their way rejoicing. I am going to ask you today to receive Him. I am not asking you this afternoon to join some special church. I’m asking you today to give your life to Christ.

    You may be a member of a choir. I don’t know who you are or what you are, but you want to give your life to Christ on this opening Sunday afternoon. I’m going to ask you to do a hard thing, because coming to Christ is not easy. So many people have made it too easy. Jesus went to the cross and died in your place. Certainly, you can come a few steps from where you are sitting and stand here, quietly and reverently, and with bowed head. And say, “I need God; I need Christ. I want to be forgiven of my sins. I want a new life, and I want to start a new direction today.”

    May 9, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • Heretic

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

      May 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • The real Tom

      What does being a member of a choir have to do with anything?

      May 9, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • Akira

      I'm a member of a choir. Means I like to sing. {Shrug}

      May 9, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I've been a member of numerous choirs and choruses. I love music of all kinds, including sacred music. Doesn't mean that I believe in the message of the lyrics; just that the great composers of the past relied on income from the church to survive and therefore wrote a tremendous body of sacred music.

      May 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Hey Akira: Soprano or alto?

      May 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Akira

      Tom: top soprano and occasionally second soprano, but I can sing alto, also. You?

      May 9, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • Austin

      Which is higher?

      May 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Akira

      Top soprano is the highest, Austin.

      May 9, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • Hepcat

      Quoir singers? Quoir? QQ

      May 10, 2013 at 4:20 am |
    • Religions

      Tom-Akira
      Cue the organist, a little Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, would wake me up.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • sam stone

      graham is awesome. i was particularly impressed by his conversations with nixon

      May 10, 2013 at 10:00 am |
  10. Surprised

    Don't you guys know any Christians? I do. I've got an uncle, 2 next door neighbors, some people at work, my sister in law..after all "Christians" number four billion. I am certain you all know that not all of them oppose gay marriage not all of them are the Wetborough baptist church.

    Over the years I've had a number of them tell me they maybe didn't like my religions or assorted things I was into and I said "Okay" and that was about it. There was no problem after that.

    I know you have your politics and so on, marriage equality is important but come on...really!?! Some of you are tossing around the hitler card.

    May 9, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • Akira

      The only person(s) that I know that does that is faith/biggles; this person talks about people being God-hating Nazis as if that were the atheist mindset. I've not met a person yet who thinks this way, except for her/him.
      This is a person who professes to be Christian. I don't know WHAT to make of this person, but faith/biggles is not like any of my Christian friends, and believe me, I know a *lot* of them.

      May 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Yes, I do know and have known stellar folks who are Christians and are NOTHING like the dreck who post here. I know gay Christians who are wonderful people. I know Christians who do so much for others that they would shame the jerks who post here, polishing their halos. That's why people like Chard, HS, faith, and the rest of the fools are so disgusting. They give ALL Christians a bad name.

      May 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Sure, most Christians are fine people. Most of them don't really take religion as anything more than a social club, and they lie, cheat, and steal with no sense of a higher power overlooking them, but they say they are Christians and that's good enough. I've got no problem with them except when they are burning crosses or picketing funerals or trying to legislate against people like me.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • @chad

      Four billion?

      Try again Surprised

      May 10, 2013 at 10:03 am |
  11. The real Tom

    I swear Chard is having a meltdown. Last night, he was having a hissy fit because some challenged his assertion that numerous scientists believe that a god created the universe. The trouble is that none of those he quoted mentioned a god at all. Even so, Chard was dishonest enough to say that's what they "meant." When asked why none of them SAID "God did it," all our dear Chard could do was copy and paste the same quotes again.

    What a lame brain.

    May 9, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Athy

      Arguing with Chaddie is like beating your head against a wall. The only positive thing about is that it feels so good when you stop.

      May 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • The real Tom

      What REALLY feels good is when Chard starts back-pedaling. NOW he's claiming that he never said that the ACLU argues only against those who believe. What an ass.

      May 9, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • Akira

      Yes, he did; I remember him saying that, Tom...

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

      The Westboro Baptist is being defended by the ACLU in Iowa and I agree with the ACLU in doing so.

      May 9, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • The real Tom

      So do I. I hate what Westboro does, but I would not have them silenced if it meant infringing on their right to free expression. There are MANY cases the ACLU has argued that support the rights of people to observe their religious beliefs as they wish. Chard just conveniently ignores facts when they don't support his views.

      May 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Tom I think that is what frustrates me with many people in this country, they think that supporting a groups rights means condoning behavior.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • The real Tom

      That's what irritates me when it comes to the right of women to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy. I understand that many people would not consider abortion for themselves, but they seem to think that it's necessary to take that choice away from other women. They can't seem to grasp that by doing so, they make women lesser beings when they become pregnant.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
  12. GOOD NEWS

    GOD ALMIGHTY clearly tecahes us what is WRONG and what is RIGHT,

    what is GOOD and what is not GOOD for us,

    here now, in a most Superb and Wonderful "Universal Language:"

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    May 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Athy

      I went to that site once. Total bullshit.

      May 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
  13. Heretic

    Grats to Minnesota to become the 12th state to legalize gay marriage. Sorry xtians.

    May 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Akira

      Excellent.

      May 9, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • mama k

      Wow – this is going so fast I can't keep up with it and I've been trying to check the status of things at least daily.

      Let's see around the globe:

      Done deal: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay.

      In the works:

      France: Has passed both houses; president intends to sign; right-wing party plans to challenge in the Consti tutional Council.

      Germany: On 22 March 2013 the Bundesrat passed an initiative to open marriage to same-se-x couples, which now moves onto the Bundestag for approval.

      Ireland: On 14 April 2013 as part of the Consti tutional Convention a measure voted in favour of same-se-x marriage by a margin of 79 percent.

      UK: On 5 February 2013, the House of Commons debated the Marriage (Same Se-x Couples) Bill and approved it in a 400–175 vote at the second reading. (Third reading to be scheduled.)

      Finland: 03-19-2013: The citizens' initiative overrides the committee's decision, and thus the bill must now be considered by the Parliament.

      Brazil: In November 2012, the Court of Bahia legalized same-se-x marriage in the state of Bahia. In December 2012, the state of São Paulo legalized same-se-x marriage. More Brazilian states are considering measures.

      Luxembourg: On 6 February 2013, the Chamber's justice committee agreed to approve the measure opening marriage for same-se-x couples. On 20 February, the committee initially backed the right to simple adoption for same-se-x couples. On 6 March 2013, the committee confirmed that position.

      Australia: lower house MP will seek to have his Marriage Equality Amendment Bill brought for an immediate vote in the House on June 6.

      Mexico: rulings due this summer

      May 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Looks like the Chards of the world are losing their edge big-time.

      May 9, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • Science

      Agree.............also home to...........Evolution wins hands down time for god(s) to get the hell out of the way !!!

      News Release

      3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)

      University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube

      Media Note: To request high resolution images of Dr. Seelig and/or of a 3D structure of the evolved enzyme, please contact Matt Hodson at mjhodson@umn.edu.

      Contacts:Matt Hodson, University News Service, mjhodson@umn.edu, (612) 625-0552
      Peggy Rinard, College of Biological Sciences, rinar001@umn.edu, (612) 624-0774

      May 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Merhalk

      Yeah funny how as humanity progresses, gods get smaller...

      and smaller, and smaller...you'd think they didn't exist. If you think.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
  14. Anna

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY9qx5OuKGY
    `

    May 9, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  15. He is the Great 'I Am'

    ELOHIM......Genesis 1:1, Psalm 19:1
    meaning "God", a reference to God's power and might.
    ADONAI......Malachi 1:6
    meaning "Lord", a reference to the Lordship of God.
    JEHOVAH–YAHWEH.....Genesis 2:4
    a reference to God's divine salvation.
    JEHOVAH-MACCADDESHEM.......Exodus 31:13
    meaning "The Lord thy sanctifier"
    JEHOVAH-ROHI......Psalm 23:1
    meaning "The Lord my shepherd"
    JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH.......Ezekiel 48:35
    meaning "The Lord who is present"
    JEHOVAH-RAPHA.........Exodus 15:26
    meaning "The Lord our healer"
    JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU......Jeremiah 23:6
    meaning "The Lord our righteousness"
    JEHOVAH-JIREH.........Genesis 22:13-14
    meaning "The Lord will provide"
    JEHOVAH-NISSI.........Exodus 17:15
    meaning "The Lord our banner"
    JEHOVAH-SHALOM........Judges 6:24
    meaning "The Lord is peace"
    JEHOVAH-SABBAOTH......Isaiah 6:1-3
    meaning "The Lord of Hosts"
    JEHOVAH-GMOLAH........Jeremiah 51:6
    meaning "The God of Recompense"
    EL-ELYON..............Genesis 14:17-20,Isaiah 14:13-14
    meaning "The most high God
    EL-ROI................Genesis 16:13
    meaning "The strong one who sees"
    EL-SHADDAI............Genesis 17:1,Psalm 91:1
    meaning "The God of the mountains or God Almighty"
    EL-OLAM...............Isaiah 40:28-31
    meaning "The everlasting God"

    May 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Paul

      Personally, I don't trust anybody who goes by multiple aliases. It usually means that they're trying to escape from being tagged with crimes they did in their past, and genocide is a pretty heavy crime against humanity.

      May 9, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Paul, your confusing His righteousness with the unrighteous actions of posting under multiple handles on this site.

      May 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      correction: You're not your.

      May 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • james

      looks to me like the name Jehovah deserves some respect and some worship would seem to be a good idea also. did not the man named Jesus indicate that was the reason for his even coming to give us access to this Great God? go to jw.org to learn what the Bible really teaches.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:01 am |
  16. Yale

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Czs5gAf2DR4

    May 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
  17. Malcolm

    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.

    –What is so great about this intellectual tribalism?

    May 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Hepcat

      LOL
      You are so clueless. Look, some people are actually intelligent and know what they are talking about.
      And then there's the other people like you. Some people are actually right about something and that means those who don't agree are actually wrong. This is too confusing for you, I know. Oh, well..

      May 10, 2013 at 4:26 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      LOL Hep at IMMEDIATELY proves Malcolm's point.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Hepcat

      LOL No, Bill, you're wrong again. Malcolm didn't have a point that made sense. He didn't even have any facts. You fail. Again.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  18. Someone better than U, looking at U..........

    I can do anything better than U!

    May 9, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Hepcat

      Who is U?

      May 10, 2013 at 4:27 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      U is Uranium.

      May 10, 2013 at 7:24 am |
  19. Dyslexic doG

    Hilarious that Christians who read nothing but the bible and books from the Christian book store, think they know any facts.

    May 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Hear This

      Yep... the epitome of what their own book says, " Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools".

      May 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Science

      Chad ...................takes top honors ..............maybe ..............followed by ?

      May 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Science: Austin's dreams are right up there with Chad's delusions.

      May 9, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Science

      Oops forgot the list.....................l4h

      May 9, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  20. Alias

    Lucifer, if he exists, should be very evil.
    The evil twin line was originally an excuse for why a self proclaimed good person did something bad.
    So, shouldn't Lucifer's evil twin be ..... good?

    May 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • The 1600's and on..

      Maybe he is....Lucifer was rather easy on the eyes from what I've read so you know maybe we are all missing out.

      May 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Paul

      I think that's the Mormon belief. For them, Jesus is Satan's brother.

      May 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Agnostic

      Is that in mormonism? I think it was from Sumeria..."Enki and Enlil"..something like that.

      May 9, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Lucifer is not the name of your fictional devil... christians should know that, but they don't... their book has been rewritten, mistranslated, cheesy movied and so on for so long... but it's "god's" word.... hahaha...

      May 10, 2013 at 8:10 am |
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About this blog

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