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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. phillyroni

    Why do we as christians sound off on gays but have nothing to say about fornicators, divorced and remarried christians, money grubbing christians and lying christians. When will we see picket lines outside of the "mega church" buildings built instead of using those millions to help the poor. Did Jesus not say "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" ?? Why do we ignore this fundamental truth. Could it be our flesh at work. Could it be religous ADD, our lust of public attention. Is not the very concept of "Christian Conservative" an oxymoron, was Jesus a conservative ?? When these so-called Christians follow the words of our savior and "sell all you have and give it to the poor", then and only then will they be worth following. And not a moment before.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • John Dozier

      Same reason CNN doesn't write an article about how Muslims treat gays.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:03 am |
      • phillyroni

        As soon as the Muslims cry about being a hated minority on CNN, call me and we can discuss it. And, your babbling about Muslims simply shows your inability to face up to the facts of THIS ISSUE, as Muslims were not today's subject. Talk about hate,, yours is obvious.

        May 5, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • Sharon

      phillyroni: I totally agree.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:10 am |
  2. SixDegrees

    Sorry, but evangelicals turned themselves into a hated minority through their endless, shrill attempts to impose their religion on everyone else and to vilify anyone who dared to think or believe differently than they did. Their promotion of abolishing the teaching of science in public schools, of hatred of gays, of demonization of Catholics, Muslims and all other religions and viewpoints has finally borne the only fruit it possibly could – revulsion from the far more tolerant and accepting mainstream of society.

    If you can't be happy practicing your own religion in the country where you have more freedom to do so than any other on earth, then you're never going to be happy. How about this: stop whining whenever someone has a thought you didn't force them to think, and learn how to get along in a large, diverse society that welcomes a wide variety of views.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • John Dozier

      Yet the religion that is bombing us is okay. Ask a Muslim their views on gays.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • derp

      Shooting doctors, bombing clinics. Ask a Christian their views on gays.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • John Dozier

      Again no response on the Muslims. What about Dr. Goesnell. With his baby feet in a jar.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:18 am |
  3. amy

    Christians will never be a minority. There is a freaking church on every corner. Christmas now explodes in october and has swallowed Thanksgiving completely. What has changed is our fear of Christanity. We know we will not be burned at the stake for disagreeing with them. Their days of being the biggest bully on the block are over It is scary for them...they are a powerless majority.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • John Dozier

      But the Muslims are flying planes into buildings, exploding bombs in Boston and we have never seen an article on their views about gays. Let's have that discussion.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:06 am |
  4. Steven Ashe

    Maybe you should quit arguing with yourself. JMO, take it for what it is.

    God Bless.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:57 am |
  5. MalcomR

    It's so funny to see xians talk about other people spewing "hate" toward them, and how they are being "oppressed". Try being a simple peace-loving atheist sometime, then talk to me about hate and oppression.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • poseidon

      As a "simple peace loving atheist" how exactly are you experiencing hate and oppression?

      May 5, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • MalcomR

      You do know that atheists are the most distrusted and despised group in the US of A don't you? You'll just have to trust me on this.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • poseidon

      I asked you a simple question and you gave me an opinion back. How do you experience hate and oppression in this world? If you are a "simple peace loving atheist" how would anybody even know to hate or oppress you? I'm not religious, I'm peace loving, I keep to myself and never experience an ounce of hate or oppression from the religious right or anybody for that matter.

      I think you are either exaggerating for attention or you are not the quiet, peace-loving atheist you pretend to be.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      The stats tell the story. Polled Christians rank atheists right around pedophiles. This isn't OUR opinion.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • wisdomchoice

      poseidon... I can appreciate your intelligent and unemotional response.. and those are some good comments/quesitons.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • wisdomchoice

      imho, the chance of getting an intelligent discussion without the creation of bunny trails (new 'great soudning' topics which are fueled by emotions) = near 0. I.e. "You can't even type the word 'sounding'.. you're a moron!" or "What kinda nickname is that?" or "Stop judging me!" or "Your punctuation sucks!".. or.. or.. .or... take your pick. Non-meaning distraction tactics to keep oneself hidden.. It's Adam and Eve in the garden.. games, games and more games...

      May 5, 2013 at 9:24 am |
  6. John

    They aren't so much a "hated minority" but a "minority that hates"

    May 5, 2013 at 8:57 am |
  7. canderson71

    I wish more christians would take a stand for their beliefs and not feel fear for voicing them. Non-believers are very good at voicing their opinion and forcing their ideas on christians. I know where I'm going over life is over and I'm not willing to sacrifice that for anything. I respect your opinion if you believe that gay activity is acceptable under God, but don't expect me to stay quite or not teach my children that its wrong in my eyes. We each have a opinion and a belief, but who is right? I guess we'll find out after death.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • MalcomR

      No, you're just stupid. No hate, just a simple, evidence-based observation.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • ed dugan

      If christians would shut up, stop trying to shove their religion down everyone's throats, stop trying to subvert our politicial system and start being realistic about abortion, gays, school prayer and the rest of their obnoxious agenda they might gain a little respect. I said a little because their religiion demans none at all.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • derp

      I seriously hope you have a gay child.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • poseidon

      MalcomR: Is this your interpretation of being a "simple peace loving atheist"?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • canderson71

      Now who is showing hate? I'll continue to pray for you all.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • Danno

      You can teach your kids whatever ignorant crap you want, but you don't get to make laws forbidding people from leading their own lives based on ideas that you admit you aren't sure about.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • MalcomR

      Poseidon:

      No, my estimation of the stupidity of people who believe in things with zero compelling evidence has nothing to do with my general demeanor. It's a simple observation. I don't "hate" anyone. That does not mean that I won't point out things that are demonstrably stupid. Easy, right?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      "Non-believers are very good at voicing their opinion and forcing their ideas on christians"

      Like all the "Blue Laws" in this country prohibbiting sale of alcohol on sunday, because you are supposed to be in church.

      Like the lie "in god we trust" on our money.

      Like the line "under god" added to the pledge of allegience, basically excluding all who do not believe from taking the pledge.

      Like the several states where you cannot hold office if you are an atheist.

      Like Arkansas where atheists not only cannot hold office, but are not allowed to testify in court.

      You mean all those times atheists forced their beliefs on others???

      May 5, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • canderson71

      Danno why should my kids be affected by the laws you want in place.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • canderson71

      Richard,

      History lesson. Your country was founded by a bunch of believers. That might be the reason all those laws are in place.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • poseidon

      Malcom: Poster presented their stance. There was nothing "stupid" about their stance yet the "simple, peace loving" Malcom didn't agree with poster's opinion so had to ridicule the poster for being "stupid'. This is the extremist atheist I was referring to in another post. The attack dog minded atheist who cannot allow for the opinions of others.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • canderson71

      poseidon,

      Everyone has a opinion. Just don't expect me to be quite when you are voicing yours.

      I don't recall calling anyone stupid, i just have a different believe then you.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      cander
      No...that isn't it.
      The founding fathers intentionally excluded mentioning god in the const!tution for several reasons. Mainly because they had various and assorted beliefs, so they realized they needed to exclude beliefs or they would never get anything accomplished. Read the words of the forefathers, read their diaries, personal journals, correspondences, you will see that a great deal of thought went into it, and even if they believed in a higher power, it was not always the biblical definition. Also, just because they believed, that in itself lends no credibility to the belief itself.

      The laws I mentioned came much later.
      The lie that is printed on our money became universal to all money in the fifties, as well as changiing the pledge of allegience also changed in the fifties in response to the christians being afraid of the "godless communists"

      They broke the const!tution to pass these and many other laws.

      You are the one in need of a history lesson, I know history quite well.

      If I fight to get these laws repealed, you would claim I am attacking your faith, and forcing my beliefs on you, when in fact, it was the christian belief being forced on everyone else, and I am fighting to put it back the way it was before their beliefs were forged into law.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:26 am |
  8. 18E

    So an Evangelist , Chris Broussard, is both hateful and judgmental, his new private views of Jason Collins. Broussard uses his private employers media reach to express these views, than claims to be both hated and a minority, when people question his privates views he made public. LOL
    Next time Brossard, turn the other cheek, and don't be a hypocrite.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  9. tepeters

    If evangelicals were not such hateful people maybe they would not be hated. They bring it on themselves forgetting that this Jesus they claim to follow only admonished two groups of people; he admonished the rich for putting their wealth above other people and he condemned the self righteous for putting themselves above other people.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  10. CSD

    Extremists in any religion are a "hated minority"

    May 5, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • poseidon

      as should be extremist atheists

      May 5, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • derp

      "as should be extremist atheists"

      Feel free to let us know when an atheist bombs a clinic.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • Sane Person

      What is an "extremist Atheist" ?? One who really really really really really doesnt believe in dieties? Like, verbatim doesnt believe?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • poseidon

      STOCKHOLM -In a frightening display of rising sectarian violence, an atheist suicide bomber blew himself up on a busy street in Stockholm three days ago; killing eighteen agnostics and wounding over thirty. Members of the ‘Swedish Atheistic Liberation Front’ (SALF) have claimed responsibility for the bombing. Declaring the attack as revenge against the explosive agnostic riots, which, last week, hospitalized several atheists and terrorized the atheistic community.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Sane Person

      And here we see "christians" lying again. If you are going to make up a story, you should at least try a little harder and maybe give it a fake byline or something.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • poseidon

      JK with the satire.

      Fact is that we'll never know if a terrorist or mass murderer is an atheist because that bit of information would never be included in the information provided by the MSM. Sort of like how the MSM loves to shout when a mass murderer was "a registered Republican" if they can prove it but never, ever do you see the MSM report that a killer was a registered Democrat. When the MSM fails to shout "republican" then we all know that the killer was on the left – the silence speaks for itself.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:26 am |
  11. Mike

    There is a huge difference between 'Commendation' and 'Conviction'. I don't believe the ESPN was 'condemning' anyone, but it is the 'conviction' of the heart of those that hear Christian's words and cause someone to become angry and erroneously view the Christian as falsely being intolerant. It is the same as it was in Jesus' day and is what caused him to be put to death. As a Christian I don't hate any human being, I may hate the sin but not the sinner.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  12. poseidon

    According to all the polls to date the percentage of real atheists in America runs in the single digits and those exposing no religious ties is in the 20% range. The problem is that the MSM is run by atheist liberals who pound their agenda daily in the effort to sway the discussion in their favor. Another problem is that, as in most cases in today's America, the vocal minority has learned to out-shout and shame the passive minority into hiding and fear of stating their opinion publicly.

    I'm in the 20% of the non-religious but do not consider myself atheist so I'm not on here defending religion. I'm just a realist pointing out the unfair fight that is going on here, but if the majority side of a discussion is unwilling to stand up and fight for their beliefs then I suppose they deserve to be marginalized and eventually perish.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • GV

      You are forgetting what the media is for. They report stories, factual stories. They aren't supposed to espouse beliefs.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • poseidon

      If you believe that CNN is here to post nothing but factual stories then maybe it is you who doesn't understand the agenda of the MSM

      May 5, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      GV
      You are forgetting that the media is privately owned...they can say anything they want as long as they do not say libelous things.

      I can appear to be a main stream media company, but with a bias...there is no law against it, and actually covered under the first amendment.

      It is up to the one reading the opinions, articles, stories to seperate the reality from the noise. I read newspapers from around the world. It gives a very different perspective, but ultimately I do not trust any single source, ever.

      Do your due diligence.
      A good example is the bible...a single , unverifyable source, and yet millions believe it. They accurately call themselves sheep.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  13. Mark

    The author writes, "“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." What do you say to the pedophilias or alcoholics or whatever that say the same thing. Just because someone has "desires" and tendencies doesn't mean that it is good for them or society. I don't hate the "recovering" alcoholic anymore than I hate myself, a chaste gay man.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      You are comparing h0m0$exuality with alcoholism...ignorance run amok.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  14. mary

    I am a Christian. I believe God alone will judge and the truth is we can interpret the bible to our own beliefs easily. Only God truly knows. Jesus Christ was the epitome of love, acceptance and forgiveness. Those are the values I hold dear. If I am wrong then I will find that out when I leave this world.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Chiniquy

      That kind of thinking Mary, is the reason why the world is now under the control of people with satanic hearts and minds. As long as good people sit idle and do nothing then bad people will rule.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Danno

      Good for you. Until then, you don't get to tell other people how to live their lives.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • ed dugan

      Well Mary, you're in for one hell of a long wait. However, being a non-hating athiest I will defend your right to self-delusion since christians can't seem to survive without it.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:04 am |
  15. derp

    I'm waiting for someone to explain how 70% of the population can be a minority.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • jim atmad

      Thank you Captain Obvious.

      Righties never let facts get in the way of their opinions....

      .... or interfere with their constant bleating about being victims.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Lumping all Christians together is only convenient when you are looking for an excuse to claim a majority. Do you agree with the Westboro Church, snake handlers, Mormons, Jehovahs, Catholics, Baptists...the list goes on and on. Each sect is a minority in itself that is at odds with all the others.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:03 am |
  16. Roy

    Why is CNN so anti-Christian? We get a weekly blast!

    May 5, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • derp

      Because Christians suck.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Bill Mitchell

      Same reason no one watches their news and they are going broke.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • LOL!

      Christians suck? What do gays do literally lmao!

      May 5, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • derp

      "What do gays do literally lmao|

      I guess you'd know.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • Danno

      Because Christians want to legally forbid people from structuring their family the way they see fit if it doesn't fit the Christian definition of family. Which is textbook bigotry.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:00 am |
  17. Carlos

    People should be free to believe what they want to believe, but when people start to quote the bible and point fingers and tell people they are going to hell it is really wrong. People should be free to be what they want to be. The evangelical church like other churches obliges people to give money that at times are impossible to give. Temples were/are made of stones but faith you have in your own heart.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:53 am |
  18. Lord Vader

    Talking about religion on a CNN story is like seeing two obese ladies pointing out one is fatter than the other.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Fox

      Bad analogy.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:58 am |
  19. Sane Person

    Let me know when "god" takes the stand in court, or is elected to congress. Then he might have a say so on the law. Until then, people voluntarily follow whatever diety makes them feel the best about themselves so they can look down thier noses at people who have a different diety.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • shadow

      But how do you know what having a god is like if you never had one? its like saying pizza is disgusting but never had one. also, god created basic "law of the land". if you kill, will you be brought to justice? if you steal, wont you be persecuted? dont put all christians in one category. i love all people

      May 5, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • Sane Person

      Sorry chuckles, like most I was raised with my parent's religions affliction. (As in, it was force fed to me, rather than some sort of enlightment). After 13 years of catholic school, I already knew your cult was a hypocritical joke. Luckily I was able to break free in college and never looked back. Now, just imagine, had you been born in Iran, you'd be vehementaly defending islam right now. If China, perhaps Buddhism. If you were lucky enough to be born in Sweden todaym you'd likely grow up atheist. Your religion is not anything special. Its a product of tradition, birthplace and indoctrination.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:08 am |
  20. Rainer Braendlein

    I guess to some extent some churches really condemn gays, and therefore they are reasonably considered as hateful bigots. Love the sinner but don't love the sin, that needs some very high skill and knowledge.

    How should a Christian deal with gays in a way which would not deserve the designation hateful bigotry?

    We have to distinguish two cases: Is the certain person a church member, or is he or she any person from outside the church (for example a workmate, a next-door neighbour, anybody):

    First case, the person is a church member: If a church member becomes gay, he or she has do be admonished strictly several times. If he or she is stubborn, and doesn't want to abandon gayness, he or she has to be expeled from the church. When ever the certain person repents he or she should be allowed to return into the Christian community.

    Second case, the person is no church member but any person we meet in daily life, for example a workmate. We have to love our workmate despite his gayness. Of course, we are allowed, even obliged to tell him kindly the gospel of Jesus Christ which could release him from his gayness but even if our workmate would not repent we should still love him. The judgement is not ours but God's. Christians don't want to judge but help people to improve so that they may come through at Judgement Day. Regretably but really at Judgement Day all gay people who have not repented, and accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will get condemned.

    Addition: Of course, a state as a whole can make laws against gayness independent from the church. The state consists of believers, and people which not yet believe therefore the state may make laws concerning gays which do not consider the divine will inside the church, or consider it only a little. Of course, it is clear that families are the basic units of a living nation like cells are the basic units of a body. The more the number of families decreases the more a nation will suffer from loss, and will become weak. Therefore it is probable that even a more or less secular state will make laws against gayness in order to preserve the basic foundation of state-life which is the family. A Christian state may even consider the prescribtions of Christ for his Church but must always consider that the "sinners" deserve some patience, and need a place where they can live upt to the day of repentance (best case) or worst case up to Judgement Day.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    Dear gays, God delivered his Son Jesus Chirst for your sin (also gayness), and raised him from the dead for your justification. Believe that, and get baptized (or remember your infant baptism). Overcome your sinful body through this releasing gospel, and you will come through at Judgement Day.

    Through baptism we die and resurrect with Jesus. We die for the sin, and get a new life in Jesus. This truth or promise helps us to overcome the lust of our body even gayness, fornication, and the like.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • derp

      "If he or she is stubborn, and doesn't want to abandon gayness"

      You are retarded.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • Gaygaygay

      You are an idiot. You can not pray away the gay any more than you can pray to change the color of your skin. You're ignorance is astounding.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Brannon

      Sounds like a teenage Hitler...lol.."if you dont listen to me your going to go to hell! Believe what I say to make you happy and a "real person". Dont be who you were born as! ******I am a christian but the bible was written by man..Men make mistakes...I dont read the bible as literally as some..But I dont go around telling people to act how I interpret the bible.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:39 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.