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. jayakumar

    People who believe in religion have a logical reason to oppose gay marriage because their messiah says so. I understand that. But the law has nothing to do with religion at least in this country. And gay marriage is purely a legal phenomenon. If religious people dont want to marry their gays, then fine, but THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO dictate the laws of a nation which is decided by the people.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:07 am |
    • HKfCA

      Exactly! Thanks.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:18 am |
    • Satan's can opener

      Their messiah said exactly nothing about gays. But boy the book of Samuel sure did; look up David and Jonathan. Never hear a peep outta the thible bumpers about THAT one.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • ABC123

      We got the right to tell them what we believe and pray that they understand that its wrong. If they don't want to listen then God will take care of them as for me I'll move on and help somebody else. Matthew 7:14 "But small is the gate and narrow road that leads to life, and only a few find it." God Bless you and Jesus loves you and so do I.

      May 25, 2013 at 3:53 am |
  2. Bob

    Blake, kudos!

    May 5, 2013 at 7:07 am |
  3. JDW

    Floyd Corkins is on trial for attempted murder after going to the Family Research Center with the express intent of committing mass murder. Corkins, a left-wing sympathizer, went to the FRC after seeing them listed on a "Hate Map" created by the Southern Poverty Law Center. THE SPLC is itself a dangerous instigator of violence and uses the old kinds of incitement employed by Maoists during the cultural revolution. They cry "bigot" at any offense they themselves deem offensive.

    By the SPLC's own words the SPLC qualifies also as a hate group:

    "A group becomes a hate group when it attacks and maligns an entire class of people for their “immutable characteristics,” Potok [of the SPLC] says.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:07 am |
    • Chip Smith

      You are so full of it. You must believe in god as well.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      There are 350 Million people living in the United States, and you pick out
      one nut case to condemn a whole group of people.
      Nice try.

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

      And Wikipedia shows no fewer than 25 assaults on abortion clinics in the USA alone in the past 20 years. There are also numerous incidents of murder of gays. It seems to me that there are many more conservative nutjobs than liberal nutjobs. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." (John 8:7)

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

      "Crazy" is limited to one political side or another. Damaged people exist everywhere.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:44 am |
  4. Generalista

    The only hate I ever experience is from conservative, evangelical, so-called Christians. They are surely not forgiving, not inclusive, and share no love. I have no idea why they even think they are Christians. Something went terribly wrong.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:07 am |
    • Oy


      May 5, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Ron Kappes

      Don't you get it? They are true Christians doing what their Christianity teaches them.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      Intolerant views need not be tolerated.

      You'd think they'd get that by now, eh?

      May 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  5. basilio

    Gods love to be loved but never love you back.Gods are invented to keep people from thinking,from seeing the truth,from taking action against the brutality of the organized churchPastors charge you $40 to their sermons in the arenas nd for something I can tell you for free.Pastors get richer and the sheeps not any wiser

    May 5, 2013 at 7:05 am |
    • JR Ewing

      I like your pretty brain.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:28 am |
  6. Punt

    Wow, great to see CNN's open about their war on white Christian men. Agenda driven blog.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:04 am |
    • Sharon

      There is no war on white Christian men. They simply are no longer allowed to persecute and harm others with impunity as they once were. How's if feel to be one of the rest of us?

      May 5, 2013 at 7:13 am |
    • .

      are you a white Christian man sharon

      May 5, 2013 at 7:16 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      Typical response.
      Don't like the message, shoot the messenger.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Brent

      Ummm... Chris Broussard, the subject of this article is a black man.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • ImIrish

      Yep, and libs say they don't discriminate......bullcrap!

      May 5, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Oy

      You lack reading comprehension skills. It seemed like a pretty balanced blog to me, showing both sides of the issue.
      The author can't help it if your side comes out lacking in common sense and decency.
      Yes, you poor poor put-upon White men. 🙁

      May 5, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      You have freedom of speech.
      You are not free from the consequences.
      Grow up.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • George Ferretti

      and the award for the most pathetic sentence of the year goes to? The man with the victimization complex. I am white by the way, just old enough not to believe in fairy tales.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  7. Name*Chedar

    The bible was assembled to contained the ancient man. At the age of quantum mechanics, particle physics and string theory, the concept in the bible no longer hold true in this modern age. Only fools denying the existence of science still believe a creator. A creator who creates worms that bore their way into a boy's brain in Africa. So if you believe there is a creator, please keep it to yourself as you look stupid when you start to introduce a senseless creator.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:03 am |
    • Physics Professor in CA

      Only a simpleton would say that an airplane came to be by a tornado blowing through a scrap yard that contained the parts to the airplane and that the pieces just all assembled together in the right order, or that a camera came about by blind chance. Only an unintelligent person would believe that a website could create itself in cyberspace without being created by a programmer, even though all the ingredients exist in cyberspace.

      Yet the ~2% of the world's population who self-identify as atheists believe that the universe came about by pure chance. This of course has to include the galaxies, solar systems, suns, planets and the micro world of atoms, protons, electrons, quarks, and gluons etc. Then we also have to consider the dimensions, 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on, plus all the natural laws, anti-matter, dark matter and the code that make up the fabric of the physical realm.

      The concept of bringing the universe into existence from nothing is completely outside the parameters of scientific observation and experimentation. Science tells us a great deal about matter that already exists – it tells us that matter can change shape and form but science can’t account for the appearance of something that previously didn’t exist. It can only theorize about possible explanations for how everything we see around us came to exist from nothing.

      The human mind can't even conceive of the scale of the universe, never mind thinking that this incredible design came about by luck. To believe that all this plus much more, came about without a God/designer/programmer is naive. To reject revealed knowledge simply because you don’t understand it or because it doesn’t meet humanly imposed limitations is the most extreme form of ignorance possible.

      So go ahead and continue to spew your hatred. The remaining 98% of us are not so simple-minded & arrogant and understand that we don’t have a complete understanding of the history of the universe and who believe that none of this came about by chance but rather by design of something far greater than ourselves.

      Continue to deny the existence of God if you choose to do so – God gave you free will and you’re exercising that gift & that choice. But make no mistake ... despite the fact that you don't believe in Him, He believes in you.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:10 am |
    • Professor of Lies

      Look–the Christian zealot borrowed the Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu zealots to create a fake statistic.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:14 am |
    • Science

      Hey Dizzy fro CA...........can you read ?

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

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

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


      May 5, 2013 at 7:16 am |
    • Sharon

      Physics Professor: Science can't tell us ... Yet. Give it time. Science was repressed for eons due to the ignorance and fear of the Catholic church and all of it's Christian offspring. Science is and will catch up.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:21 am |
    • One one

      @physics, a tornado blowing through a garbage heap could not create a bible and a god. They must have had a creator. Can you guess who ?

      May 5, 2013 at 7:26 am |
    • Jeremy

      Stalin would approve. Unfortunately for you, I live in the USA, where we still have Freedom of Religion.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • God

      @Physics Professor in CA:
      So – you are aware of this thing called "entropy" that I created, right?

      Seems, you don't really understand it though. You are trying to use it to argue that a tornado cannot make an airplane from airplane parts. No kidding, genius.

      But, that very same entropy allows molecules to bang into one another and form new combinations. These molecules follow my chemical laws. Amongst my chemical laws, is the ability for particular compounds to make copies of themselves.

      Another one of my laws that these compounds follow is evolution. This one is really simple – you might even be able to understand it – if something can make copies of itself over time, the longer it lasts, the more copies it will make.

      And entropy, while it would cause the airplane parts to further degenerate in the midst of a tornado, also leads to random changes in these things. Let's call these particular chemical compounds "life" – that's what I like to call it – but if you think life chemistry is identical to manufactured airplane parts, well, I don't know how I ever let you become a physics professor (by the way, lying is a sin – and I see and know all – and I have something of a temper – so you might want to think about that a bit)

      Some changes kill these things quickly; some actually allow them to live longer and have more babies.

      Any questions?

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

      Physics Teacher:

      I can only hope that your name isn't your profession, because your post indicates a child like understanding of science.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • scotty501

      Physics Prof

      Then how did God come to be?

      May 5, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • bakslider

      Hey Prof. Didn't know that Liberty University had a campus in California. How about this to your tornado argument? Every time the tornado shakes things up, things fall down. Eventually a part will fall on another part that works. What is never mentioned is that the parts that work get to stick together before the tornadoes next toss. And the tornado gets to toss the parts 100 times per second for 4 billion years. The end result Prof, is that something is created over time. Us. Try another argument. Maybe the quantum Easter Egg. Although my argument is pretty silly, there is statistical basis for it. The case for God creating the universe or anything else has no basis whatsoever except wishful thinking. To a believer wishful thinking = science.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • ImIrish

      Physics Professor – I think I'm in love!

      May 5, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Kevin

      Physics Professor in CA– Your argument is as follows: We cannot possibly know how and why the universe came into existence, so we have to recognize the existence of God.

      This is a fallacy: We cannot know, therefore we must know.

      We do know that very complex things can happen by "chance." But even chance is subject to an underlying set of rules. The universe has its own organization. If you want to call that "God" I am okay with that. I, however, do not think God has a mind capable of writing, or even encouraging, a book to be written and a religion to be formed. Humans do have a basic nature that is subject to this underlying set of rules, but for the most part humans create their own nature. Humans are the only creatures with the minds necessary to create religion.

      Is that good? Is that bad? It depends on how you read it. Religion is an old moral script meant to guide people into ethical actions. It was tainted when people used it to justify their power over others. It is taken far too literally.

      I am a moralist. I decide what is right and wrong, good and bad, based off of ideals and principles gathered from all disciplines, religions, and walks of life. I never allow my intuition to rule me, and I am always willing to change my beliefs if presented with a better argument. In the end everyone is a moralist, some are just better at recognizing that loyalty to an idea is not always a virtue.

      P.S. Even loyalty to the idea that science is paramount can be harmful.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • birch please

      Absence of evidence is not evidence for its absence... guessing the Ph is for piled high not philosophy

      May 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Socrates

      0 + 0 = 0. The universe can not create itself.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Science

      Socrates,and dizzy teacher

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

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

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


      May 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Socrates

      @ science –

      Learning is great! However, facts are no good without perspective. For instance, if our minds were so simple that we could understand them we wouldn't be able to. Now this doesn't mean that we shouldn't study the brain. I'm just pointing out that science must be humble to be credible. Otherwise people like Dick Dawkins run around spewing centruries old gravity ether theories as his own like he has solved all the mysteries of the universe.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Billy

      @Sharon and Others: Yes, right, Science will catch up.... 13 Billion years have passed and Science has only learned how to send Man to the Moon? Serious problem here with Science... And we cannot even get to the nearest Star (besides our Sun), forget the Galaxy and the Solar System and we talk about conquering the Universe... Even if you travel by speed of light, you cannot reach those places... And Science says Speed of Light is maximum speed. So who is in control? Men and Women like you or God? You can start your rant now...

      May 6, 2013 at 2:47 am |
    • ThronedOne

      >"Only a simpleton would say that an airplane came to be by a tornado blowing through a scrap yard that contained the parts to the airplane and that the pieces just all assembled together in the right order, or that a camera came about by blind chance."

      Nobody makes that claim. Evolution is guided by natural selection, while there is a "noise" function to generational reproduction, there is an inevitability that is far from random. You are offering a pathetic straw man argument that shows a complete lack of comprehension of what evolution says.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:57 am |
    • HotAirAce

      So, Fucked Up Physics Professor, where can we find your peer-reviewed scholarly argument successfully refuting the likes of Hawking and Krauss?

      May 6, 2013 at 3:10 am |
    • Science


      This wasm in there to faith the ................peach...............Chadie...........No red horn-y thingy needed !

      Whom ever is doing the deleting on article below................you know..............thanks.........have a great life !


      Human stem cell cloning: 'Holy Grail' or techno-fantasy?

      By David King, Special to CNN

      updated 10:40 AM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013


      Cloning stem cells: What does it mean?

      By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

      updated 9:20 AM EDT, Mon May 20, 2013



      May 21, 2013 at 8:15 am | Report abuse | Reply

      May 21, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  8. One one

    Christians deserve as much respect and tolerance as they give to atheists.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:01 am |
    • Daniel

      So that would be none, as me nor anyone else I know goes around disrespecting anyone . But I'm sure you already had a predetermined , hateful , made up perception of what a Christian should be.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:11 am |
    • JohnCalvin

      That would require Atheist to be much less tolerant!
      Christians who use their brains are as reviled as atheists by the biblio-idolators, who call themselves "evangelicals". Evangelical is derived from the the greek term for good news. The people described in this article as "evangelicals" (falsely so-called) are totally unfamiliar with the Gospel.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:15 am |
    • Rogue Thought

      You're correct Daniel. Christians deserve no respect at all. Exactly as much as they show atheists. LOL. And you also displayed as much reading comprehension of One one's comment as most Christians have when reading the bible.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Stephanie

      Which is ZILCH.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • hozo1

      I think you have nailed it ... when Christians actually start treating others with respect .. they will get respect

      May 5, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • JR Ewing

      I so totally agree. You reap what you sow.

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


      May 5, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Kevin

      That is retaliatory. I thought atheists were trying to have a moral high ground in this discussion?

      My claims:
      I am a moralist. I decide what is right and wrong, good and bad, based off of ideals and principles gathered from all disciplines, religions, and walks of life. I never allow my intuition to rule me, and I am always willing to change my beliefs if presented with a better argument. In the end everyone is a moralist, some are just better at recognizing that loyalty to an idea is not always a virtue.

      P.S. Even loyalty to the idea that science is paramount can be harmful. Loyalty to a religion can be as well.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • kvankam

      Too bad atheists are not the center of the universe.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      Nailed it.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • johnsullivanmusic

      Being told my whole life that I was going to hell because I never could swallow the Bible, at 5-6–8--50 is a form of abuse. Trying to understand it made me an atheist!

      May 26, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  9. Brandon

    If you're using your religion as a tool for discrimination, then you should expect to be attacked the same as anyone else who discriminates. A religion doesn't give you free reign to freely discriminate against people w/out reprisal. It's not just harmless opinion, you are purposefully restricting the lifestyle and equal opportunity rights of the group your speaking against, for instance; the whole gay marriage thing.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:01 am |
  10. Morals, values, and society

    The church must accept all sinners, the church CANNOT condone sins

    This is a good article.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:00 am |
    • Church must reach out in love

      Church must address the problem of fornication, adultery, divorce, deviant lifestyle choices equally. If the church does not reach out to tell the truth, who will?

      May 5, 2013 at 7:03 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      "fornication, adultery, divorce, deviant lifestyle choices "

      All of which are contrived and illegitimately fabricated taboos of religious bigotry.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:09 am |
    • One one

      @church, what "truth" ?

      May 5, 2013 at 7:19 am |
    • .

      one one-fool read the article

      May 5, 2013 at 7:40 am |
    • bmurdoc

      Accepting pedophiles is the same as condoning pedophiles.

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

      Hey Church, how about the Church minds its own business and gets out of other people's lives!

      May 5, 2013 at 11:46 am |
  11. CP

    Struggling to figure out how Christians are a "minority" when "the majority of Americans (73–76%) identify themselves as Christians..." Ref Wikipedia...

    May 5, 2013 at 6:59 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Christians think Jews and Muslims are wrong even though they are worshipping the same God of Abraham. Catholics disagree with Baptists, Mormons and Jehovahs are considered cults by most mainstream Christians. Each sect is at odds with the beliefs of the others. Whichever one you adhere to is a minority when compared to all others.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:06 am |
    • .

      the god of islam is a misrepresentation of the God of Abraham allah is not the Judeo Christian God and never will be. allah is an imposter

      May 5, 2013 at 7:12 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Thanks for proving my point.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:21 am |
    • bakslider

      Praise! The demon-graphic, at least in the Western World, is changing and the number of "non-believers" is doubling each decade. The author is right that Christians are presently reviled by some but even for a non-believer like myself, at this time, can hardly call Christians a minority. Give it 20 years and the U.S. will be primarily secular. Give it a 100 years and people will look back on Christianity like they now look back at Zeus. "Oh, you worship Zeus/Jesus, how quaint. Can I take you picture for the folks back home?" There will be bus tours that drive by the ruins of the Creation Museum. "And off to your right you will see the Ark, that held two of every animal on the planet. At least until their bankruptcy in 2018.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • ThronedOne

      >"the god of islam is a misrepresentation of the God of Abraham allah is not the Judeo Christian God and never will be. allah is an imposter"

      Which is it? Is it a misrepresentation of Yahweh, or is it a completely different imposter? It cannot be both. I'll give you a hint: both books name god as Yahweh, because Yahweh is the name of the first major monotheistic god of Egypt.

      The fact is that Yahweh has been handed down from religion to religion and Islam is just the next in a chain.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:59 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Hopefully soon, "god" will be handed over to the astrologists. . .

      May 6, 2013 at 3:02 am |
  12. Roger

    It's hate because you work to deny them equal rights.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:59 am |
    • tiffer72

      Well said.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • johnsullivanmusic

      Christianity acting like a victim is so disgusting

      May 26, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  13. Me

    Stupid article, I can't believe cnn even has faith section. When are people going to stop believing in fairytales as using it as a weapon of hate against others. People who are bigots are also 'openly disgracing their god"

    May 5, 2013 at 6:58 am |
    • birch please

      This section is very important... I always imagine many young adults in the south (that have been deeply brainwashed) finding these blogs and possibly opening their minds just a pinch to at least start questioning.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  14. Joe

    HAha. Hilarious. All Christians have to do is say "we may not agree with xy and z, however those are our personal beliefs, and everyone should have equal civil liberties." Then no one would cry foul. Yet they're going after certain minority groups, trying to strip them of civil rights, for what purpose? Oh yes, because they're trying to force their beliefs unto others. That's where the line needs to be drawn, and where they SHOULD receive massive backlash for attempting to do so. You're gettin EXACTLY what you deserve. Back off, and everyone else will too.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:57 am |
    • Nicole M

      Had you'd bothered to actually read what was written you would see that there are hardly any Christians displaying their disagreement any more because of all the hate you people spew out. We aren't all trying to "force our beliefs of others" We just say we disagree and all hell breaks loose.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:02 am |
    • Oy

      Nicole, that's a load of horse manure and you know it! How many politicians are out there actively trying to enact legislation that discriminates against minorities, be they gays, Blacks, or women, because it suits their biblical beliefs? A LOT.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  15. Big Whop

    I'd like to address the biggest question here: At what point did Christians become a "minority" in any sense?

    May 5, 2013 at 6:57 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      World population of 7 billion, 2.2 billion of who are christian....sounds like a minority to me.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:20 am |
    • Oy

      When you're trying to play martyr, you always claim you are a put-upon minority.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    May 5, 2013 at 6:56 am |
    • basilio

      that's ignorance,tactics of brainwashing by your church,Church has been the reason of wars,deaths,never been the case with atheism

      May 5, 2013 at 7:01 am |
    • One one

      Really ? How is praying for world peace working out for you ?

      May 5, 2013 at 7:04 am |
    • Sharon

      I think you are wrong. The world will be a much better place when people have to accept the responsibility for their actions and words fully instead of blaming it on some other worldly being's dictates.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:05 am |
    • .

      atheists have brutally tortured and murdered more innocent people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries. careful examination of all histories wars and atrocities will reveal the atheist philosophy as the hidden cause

      May 5, 2013 at 7:08 am |
    • nope


      May 5, 2013 at 7:08 am |
    • nope


      May 5, 2013 at 7:09 am |
    • nope

      @share on

      May 5, 2013 at 7:09 am |
    • One one

      A few days ago a 5 yo child shot and killed his 2yo sister. Why do you suppose "god" allowed such a terrible thing happen? Did prayers for the safety and well being of the child change anything ?

      May 5, 2013 at 7:35 am |
    • Bill

      Maybe she was gay?

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

      NO, brainwashing, myths, fairy tales and lying to children and telling they will burn in hell if they don't believe what you do is not healthy for children. Typical fundie nutter...

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

      Don't you ever get sick of posting the same bs over and over on here?

      May 5, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      Yeah, it makes one feel better after doing nothing to solve a problem. I think I'll just pray for you.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • johnsullivanmusic

      Prayer fails all studies of its effectiveness. I know you get your GodGasm on but that means nothing!

      May 26, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
  17. John

    This is a problem that is rarely spoken. Thanks CNN for bringing it up!

    May 5, 2013 at 6:56 am |
  18. Nicole M

    GOOD LORD!!!!!!....its like you idiots didn't even read the article. Just because we disagree with someones life choice doesn't mean we are actively trying to crucify you, lynch you, or have you burned at the stake!. Evangelical Christians don't agree with your lifestyle, but not all of us are trying to end your way of life...For all the screaming about how hateful Christians are, there is an awful lot of hate spewing out of your mouths just because we disagree with you.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:53 am |
    • theactofactuality

      No. haha. Its just like you are supporting ancient mentalities of inequality and denying a vast group of people equal rights and benefits just because you dont understand something. So essentially you are doing your personal best to promote a mindset that has made life so much harder for so many people. Stop making yourself feel better. You are helping to hurt so many people. Enjoy.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:59 am |
    • Cacherdo

      Did YOU read the article? And just how does calling people idiots demonstrate Christian love? Your response does seem to put you squarely in the camp of those people who are feeling persecuted because other people are pushing back against hateful and intolerant speech and actions that serve to marginalize groups of people. Christians are not being marginalized or persecuted when they are called out on their dogmatic and hurtful rhetoric.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:06 am |
    • Nicole M

      Either you are a total retard or you just can't read. I didn't say anything about making life harder for gays nor did I say that I didn't support equal rights for them. I'm sorry your feelings got hurt but as the article stated most Christians no longer say how they feel about the issue because for instance it can get them fired. We aren't actively out trying to destroy or hurt someones life most of us just privately disagree.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:07 am |
    • HKfCA

      If your are going to base your condemnation of who we are based on the bible, then why do you cherry pick? The bible clearly mandated that we be executed. Why do you go against word of god and treat us with "love"?

      May 5, 2013 at 7:08 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Nicole: For someone screaming about hatred for your ilk, you're certainly spewing enough of it yourself. It's not so much that you disagree, that factor doesn't matter...no-one rightfully cares what you think. It's a matter that the only reason you have to disagree is because you believe in a book that was written 2000 years ago by uneducated sheep herders, a book that hasn't been updated to match the reality of today, a book that has been debunked numerous times over, a book that the rational minded person doesn't need to guide them. It's a weak minded person that needs that book (you are basically saying that you're not capable of being decent without it).
      Try a little tolerance for all instead of being a hate filled bigot.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      **** there is an awful lot of hate spewing out of your mouths just because we disagree with you.

      Funny, I haven't seen any "Gays" passing laws against Christians.
      Have You ?

      May 5, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • spiritus

      there's a lot of hate spewing out of OUR mouths? Go back and read your own post. You begin your post by calling everyone idiots. The next post you call someone a retard right off the bat. Look up the word hypocrite in the dictionary, then look in the mirror.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • JR Ewing

      "We're not trying to burn you at the stake, we're just trying to keep gay people from getting their well-earned equal rights."

      You disgust me.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • hozo1

      Old adage: you can never tell the problem ... they are the problem.
      This entire argument is about perspective ... folks who are not good with change, like a set of beliefs that are rigid and narrow and it makes them comfortable ... which is great. Religion does do wonderful things for people and helps them with their life.
      However, there are others who realize that the world is dynamic and that the literal interpretation of a series of writings handed down through generations, that is being used to maintain the status quo ... just is not going to work for many in the modern world.
      I believe the real issue driving evangelicals is that the U.S. is moving into an era where whites will no longer be in the majority, plus not as many young people are buying into religion as their spiritual beacon. This is a paradigm shift that evangelicals have a hard time dealing with because the fundamentals of what they believe are eroding in their eyes. The natural backlash is their attempt to make the changing world fit their view ... thus Gays need to become straight and minorities need to adopt the white Christian view of the world.
      Obviously, this is not going to hold up overtime, as many of us embrace diversity and the changing world order. But we must understand that as it evolves more ... the intolerance will grow. Evolution is not a good fit with people who need a rigid set of principles to live by. My hope is that hey do start to embrace diversity and treat all their fellow human beings, as they would want to be treated.
      Again, the problem rarely understands why they are the problem and how their actions may be negatively effecting someone else. Its all just a matter of perspective.

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

      To my knowledge, every major anti-gay piece of legislation was put forward by Christians and, more importantly, funded almost in full by Christians. This "we don't hate gays" BS you are spouting doesn't fly very high when essentially the ONLY opposition to gay rights originates in the churches and when every dollar comes from your pocket or people like you. You hate the sinner so just admit it.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • JoeD

      I support you and love that you start every post with an insult. I am totally on your side of this argument. Not all people deserve rights. Go with Christ.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Oy

      Hmmm. Trying to imagine Jesus going around screaming at people that they are "idiots" and "retards"....hmm Nope! Even if Jesus was an imaginary folk hero (which I believe), your behavior does not live up to the legend. "Christian" does mean "Christ-like", correct? You are vulgar and filled with hate, the exact opposite of what your religion claims to teach, but completely in line with what your Holy scripture says, so congratulations!

      "Christians no longer say how they feel about the issue because for instance it can get them fired"
      As they should.
      When you are hired, you are hired "at will". If your employer feels your speech against a group of people is inflammatory, he or she could and should dismiss you for unprofessional behavior.
      wah wah wah Go cry somewhere else, Nicole.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Andre

      Not any more your not but only because its illeagle. If not for seperation of church and state you would be.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      I'll believe you when I see your kind denouncing discrimination in public. Then I'll take you seriously.

      I'm not waiting up for this....

      May 5, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • John

      So you wont mind if gays get the right to marry other gays then......

      May 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
  19. MomentofClarity

    The only reason they claim persecution is because they lack control. Seriously, if they had the say-so, there would be no gay marriage... because the bible says so. Open and shut. Thing is, in our awesome, brilliantly designed country, religion is a personal endeavor. You can't simply say, "My religion says it is wrong, therefore no one can engage in that behavior!" All you can do is mind your own business and wait for whatever ultimate punishment you think is going to come down upon everyone who doesn't behave the way you think they should. In the matter of gay marriage, you are rendered powerless. Get over it and live your life.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:52 am |
  20. Wowreally

    Awww, your hateful beliefs aren't socially acceptable anymore? Waahhhhhh

    Are you really whining about the fact that public opinion has shifted and is now opposed to your belief? It's not like you can't express yourself, unlike the people you hate so much who can't express their love through marriage. All that has changed is that you can't expect public support for your hateful beliefs. Oh, how hard it is to be a extremist Christian.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:51 am |
    • Oy

      I think I love you.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Bill

      Uh oh, I see another BF ramming coming. Y'all get a room this time, will ya?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
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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.