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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. GeorgeInTexas

    Stoking conservative Christians sensitivities is a big tax exempt business. Add a steady diet of FOX news and it is easy to understand this cult's paranoia. With plenty of professional help, they have segregated themselves from secular society. Over time they will be "Left Behind".

    May 5, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • fkwhitaker

      If these beliefs you embrace are leading...we'll be HAPPILY left behind...as we will be RUNNING the other way!!!

      May 5, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Sharon

      fkwhitaker: THAT'S GREAT! See, we can agree on some things!

      May 5, 2013 at 9:49 am |
  2. Wasnt Mee

    Hate is in the eye of the beholder, No? Judge not, lest ye be judged; is that in the bible? Top 10 I believe.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Screamin Eagle

      #1 most wrongly interpreted scripture ever. It does not say do not speak out against sin..far from it..repentance from sin. The Bible talks about going and confronting sinners about sin, if that doesn't' work, bring others along, then finally after all that just leave them alone for we as Christians have done our job. Judging is saying that one is not worth salvation, not worth the time because they are far to gone. Only God can do this, not us.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  3. Patrick

    Christians aren't the hated minority. It's the Christian Taliban, a small minority of sickos among Christians.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • fkwhitaker

      Says the hater!

      May 5, 2013 at 9:25 am |
  4. kevin

    If religious people would just keep their opinions to themselves they wouldn't be so hated.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Screamin Eagle

      Then they wouldn't be following their belief which say go forth and tell all nations the good news. If you truly love your fellow man, enemies alike, according to the Bible, then you must try to direct them to salvation...because you truly care for them. To leave others alone and be apathetic is unloving..because you know what could happen to them in the afterlife(according to your belief). A well known Atheist once said," If I believed like you Christians believe about salvation and Hell, I would walk barefoot over broken glass if I had to to tell everyone about it". Pretty strong belief there .

      May 5, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • papalegba

      The arguments being presented by the Christians on this forum appear to be predicated on some right-left, the Bible is the only truth premise. I hate to burst your bubble but this US them, right wrong thinking brought us Nazi Germany and the terror in France. This is not you being hated. Keep your religion of my freedom of choice and there would be no argument.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  5. JR

    Its part of prophecy from the bible about the End Times(Last Days) Evil is good and what's Good is evil. We Christians aren't perfect but we try to be perfected for GOD, by doing this we become rejected and some times hated by the unbeliever.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • athens guy

      very simple. live your life and let others live theirs. don't try to influence law, don't try to force the exclusion of others (e.g., gays) that don't fit your views.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Liberalism RequiresTyranny

      It truly is a great blessing and a great honor to be hated by liberals (especially the lying liberals who label themselves "Christian") because we KEEP God's words, unedited.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • John Dozier

      Unless you are a White conservative Christian.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Liberalism RequiresTyranny

      Athens Guy,

      So, Christians are not allowed to have their own morals? You are, but they aren't. You just literally tried to force your twisted morals on Christians, but that's only good for you, right? You can force your morals on everyone else ('shut up and enjoy the ride') but they can't even share their opinion of what's right and wrong?
      Nitwit.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • oOo

      "we Christians" . . . . are
      .
      .
      .
      CONFLICTED!

      Have a nice day.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • athens guy

      UNEDITED?????????????????? I don't think you know much about the history of the bible, do you. Laughable, your argument, to say the least...

      May 5, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Billy

      The mouth-breathers are out in force this morning;.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • athens guy

      L>R>T: live according to your morals. Dont expect that we will. Dont agree with gay marriage? -> dont have one. Dont approve of gays? dont befriend them. and so on. but dont tell us (jews, muslims, LBGT, women, etc.) what to do with our lives

      May 5, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • Liberalism RequiresTyranny

      Athens guy,

      "To say the least"???
      That's all you say. All you bring is your scoffing and your hate. You haven't been bothered with a single fact, or any logic and reason so far.

      Obviously, from your lack of any attempt to reason, you must be a liberal.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      Things is Liberalism RequiresTyranny, when you talk about false christians.......you are one of them. You see the bible specifically states that revilers, or haters, will not enter heaven, and we can tell by your posts that you hate.
      Sorry, not my rules you understand.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • papalegba

      And now comes the end is nigh. I would not suffer a tyrant, nor would I be one. On what authority do you intend to take someone else's inalienable right. You cannot take what you did not give. Freedom of religion is freedom from religion.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  6. oOo

    The problem is nothing new. Christianity has always been conflicted – certain issues make that conflict more obvious. One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one (over four million members) in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage. Thomas Jefferson hit the nail on the head over 200 years ago:

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

    (from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)

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

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

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

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

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

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

    Biology

    The following is from the article:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Hormones, epigenetics and orientation

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

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

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

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

    That side appears to be epigenetics, Rice said.

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

    Biological behavior

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (Thomas Jefferson)

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

    (James Madison, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution, framer of the first ten Amendments; from A Memorial and Remonstrance as delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785.)

    May 5, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • Hiram57

      Excellent response !

      May 5, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Science

      Update :

      See for yourself below.................The fairy in the sky did NOT create us !!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      The Science Guy takes on creationism

      CNN|Added on November 24, 2012

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

      Update :

      See for yourself below.................The fairy in the sky did NOT create us !!!

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      The Science Guy takes on creationism

      CNN|Added on November 24, 2012

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

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

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

      May 11, 2013 at 9:27 am |
  7. papalegba

    The seperation of church and state. The question of marriage is economic not religious. This is not yet a theocracy, you are not a hated minority but an irrational feared majority that has dangerous ideologies that threaten our freedom.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:19 am |
  8. 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 9:19 am |
    • athens guy

      and christians are shooting planned parenthood clinics and bom bin g federal bldgs

      May 5, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • John Dozier

      So when was the last time that happened. Are Christians STONING GAYS TO DEATH. That's a false premise.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • athens guy

      your counter argument is irrelevant. all that matters is that it happened. and yes, beating of gay males and transgenders happens all the time

      May 5, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Billy

      Yes, John, Matthew Shepard was beaten to death by Christians in Wyoming in 1998 for being gay.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • Billy

      One EXTREMELY FAMOUS instance. One of the greatest quotes ever: "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." This does not fit all Christians, of course, but the Johns and Broussards of the world wipe that stink all over their fellow Christians.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • athens guy

      Indeed, Billy. And that was a case that made the news... all you need to do is read police blotters in southern states, e.g., TX

      May 5, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Sane Person

      If they thought they could get away with it, I have zero doubt christians would attempt to kill those who disagree with thier beliefs.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:56 am |
  9. Luciafurr

    As an apostate, I can say with confidence that Christians have done it to themselves. No pity here.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • Liberalism RequiresTyranny

      You're no apostate. You never were a Christian. You must first be a Christian before you could possibly be apostate.

      Here's my proof: You cannot even tell me what it is that you think made you a Christian.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • ernieb28

      You are mistaken and fool hearted. A deceiver of "The Truth" Truth.... is not in the words you speak. You have chosen to become a disciple of lies. Give your life to the one that allows you to breath....... The Lord God and Creator of the Universe!

      May 5, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • mccurdyca

      What have I done to you? You don't know me and you can't say a blanket statement that I deserve critisim because I identify with a certain group. Talk about ignorant.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • Luciafurr

      It was decided for me to be a "Christian" at birth. I used my "freewill" to renounce that nonsense.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:00 am |
  10. athens guy

    While I do not intend to favor or support hatred coming from any side, the Evangelicals brought this onto themselves, by wanting everyone to live according to Evangelical rules, to influence civil law so as to cause it to read more like biblical law, etc. they should live their lives according to their rules, but NOT expect that we would fit their model of correctness.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:18 am |
  11. Markus

    The simple truth is that faith is bigotry. Bigotry can be synonymous with prejudice, which is literally pre-judging, or evaluating something as superior or inferior without evidence. There is no reason to believe that white people have better moral potential than black people, or men better intellectual potential than women; these are things that can only be believed on faith, in the absence of evidence. Similarly, there is no reason to believe that the Bible story is true and the Hindu story is false; it is done merely by faith/bigotry. Christian belief is equivalent to Christian supremacism, and has no more logical foundation than white supremacism, misogyny, or fandom for a local sports team. The same applies to Islam and all other story-based worldviews.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • John Dozier

      Have you ever been in a church. You people do realize their are also Black Christians. The same ones who came out in a majority to vate down gay marriage in CA. Are they Conservative Republicans also.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • dean morse

      Your words are ever so true.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • lori degarmo

      Very well said! Thank you.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • Fairwin

      Stated perfectly. Based on the criteria for "minority" set forth in this article, I would think the Klan or Neo-Nazi's would be the "most hated minority"

      May 5, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  12. Jude

    This has all been foretold.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:18 am |
  13. Mxh

    Christians a "hated minority"? Considering an overwhelming majority of the US is Christian and Christian theology is essentially affecting everything from healthcare to education to science funding to defense. Playing the victim card in this instance only proves that these bigots have no defense for their hate.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • David

      its so ridiculous, and your right.....this is just propaganda

      May 5, 2013 at 9:18 am |
  14. A dose of Reality

    Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
    Faith is the DENIAL of observation so that beliefs can be preserved
    Religion is delusion.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • athens guy

      well said!

      May 5, 2013 at 9:19 am |
  15. Liberty Bell

    CNN , spreading hate and devision world wide . Did Obama tell you to print this ? Isnt Obama a Christian ?

    May 5, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • athens guy

      division

      May 5, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • Billy

      DEVIDE AND KONKOR!

      May 5, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  16. Reason

    Pretty soon these liberal atheists are gonna start believing that a 50 year old man is ok being attracted to a 13 year old girl

    May 5, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • A dose of Reality

      No, that's something that religion does. Ever read the Koran or the ENTIRE Buybull?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Sane Person

      Sorry, you've got that backwards. Its religion that believes that. Your bible very clearly states that it is ok, expected and even looked upon favorably. (And at far younger than 13). Sane people have never thought it appropriate. Good try though.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • Patrick

      Good Christian legislators had the age of consent in many states set at TEN years old in this country in 1900. Modern psychology changed that.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • fvkking Christians

      The priests/pastors already believe that it's OK to abuse the little kids and the Vatican will protect them with cover-ups!

      May 5, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • MalcomR

      A well developed and beautiful 13yr old girl is a sight to behold. I might even say an "Angel". As an atheist, I have no fear of stating the obvious. Any 50 year old man that is NOT attracted, at least momentarily, to a beautiful 13yr old girl is either gay (which is just fine) or dysfunctional (i.e. religious). It's ok to be attracted without guilt. Just don't be a creeper.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Reason

      Darwin married his cousin

      May 5, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • MalcomR

      You should read you bible for some really perverted stuff. You'd be surprised.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • athens guy

      all I can say is... HUH?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Sharon

      Sure, being attracted isn't the problem, acting on that attraction is where it infringes on someone else's rights and health. See how that works? Same with you having your narrow beliefs regarding gays, you can have them all you want. You just don't get to act on them in a way that will infringe upon someone else's rights.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  17. Farooq The Great

    Really CNN? Every Sunday?
    Gid bless you anyway.

    Christos Anesti!

    May 5, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • Farooq The Great

      Oops. GOD bless you.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  18. Timothy

    'Open rebellion to God". LOL. God better watch out, s e x pistols are very powerful.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:14 am |
  19. Pat

    Three weeks ago 2 Muslim men blew up a marathon in the name of Islam and now some knuckle head from ESPN who is Christian says something about gays and Christianity is the religion of hate?

    May 5, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • Mark

      Evangelicals specifically. If you think it is entirely the result of a Chris Broussard comment then you live in a fantasy world.

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

      People killing others in the name of religion isn't limited to Muslims. The Atlanta Olympic bombing was perpetrated by a Christian who thought he was defending his faith. He also bombed two gay bars. Then you have the Christians who have bombed clinics or assassinated physicians. Disaffected extremists use religion as an excuse.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Rightpath

      Islam has nothing to do with this. Stop blaming worlds' problems on Islam. There are bigger threats around us. Only Chinese and Russians are taking advantage of this.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • athens guy

      and all the hatred directed at muslims on a daily basis is just not happening... huh?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • lolwut

      Good one. Those people acting alone are representative of all of Islam just as the ESPN guy and the gay preacher represent all of Christianity.

      Oh, wait. That isn't possible. How are we supposed to hate now?

      May 5, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  20. Patrick

    All of a sudden Christians are concerned about their rights as Americans, after years of violating everyone else's rights. I love it.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • Sane Person

      Its amazing how sensitive they are. They are all fine and dandy doing it to others, but if someone speaks out against them, its OMG PERSECUTION OPPRESSION SAVE ME JESUS time.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Billy

      No joke. They say something hateful and ignorant and then claim persecution when told they are hateful and ignorant.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:22 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.