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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. Jon

    So when a christian shows hate toward a minority, and then he's criticized for it, that means christians are a "hated minority." Riiight.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  2. bill zimmerman

    I find that I must constantly remind myself that I have NEVER been able to "Cast the first Stone" . It is but by the Grace of GOD that I have the slightest chance of salvation. Reading many of the comments I firmly believe that HATE is truly MURDER in the Heart. Continue on with your debate ... I am finished now.

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

      hey zimm – how many times can you use the self-centered word "i" in your writing? tells me all i need to know about your self-rightious bs.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  3. Victor17

    Being a Christian is a choice, being gay isn't. That is the one thing that's lost in this whole thing. People don't hate Christians because they are Christian, people hate Christians because they hate.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • hozo1

      spot on... thank you

      May 5, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • hogarth

      Exactly.

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

      If being gay isn't a choice, is it biological? If it is, is it a heritable or inheritable trait? (Be careful how you answer, if you do. This trips up the pro-gay argument every time).

      May 5, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Larry L

      You are exactly correct. The behavior of Evangelical Christians causes many people, myself included, to consider them nothing more than a large hate cult marketing an intolerant and completely unfounded mythology.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      @Kling

      The current thinking is that there may be some inherited aspect of being gay, but it is more likely this genetic predisposition in conjunction with hormone balances in the womb. Before you argue that a "gay" gene would be removed via evolution – I know many gay men that have children, and it wouldn't matter if the "gene" was carried by the mother due to forced pregnancy (more than 50% of the lesbians that I know have had children). If there is a genetic component (as I believe), it is most likely a set of genes and triggers to turn these genes on and off during the early development of the embryo. In any case, it is the opinion of the medical community that gender preferences are not a conscious choice.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Jealous dog.
      You are correct...look at the field of epigenetics. Genetics or more specifically, DNA is the instruction manual, and the epigenome is what determines what genes get turned on and off, when and for how long. It can be changed by the environment that one is in.
      For instance, the potato famine in Ireland, had genetic consequences for the next several generations. The famine was over, or the next generations had moved to where food was more plentiful;, but the effects were passed down to subsequent generations.

      Epigenetics can be used to manipulate how the DNA reacts. Many medications work on the epigenome, changing how the DNA is used by the body. Fascinating stuff.

      When you develop in the womb, at one stage you have gill slits....if I stop the gene from turning that off, you could well develop with gill slits (doubtful they would be functional), just one of many traits from our animal ancestors we still carry with us.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  4. I Am God

    Yeah well someone expressing their hatred toward gays is being bigotted.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • George

      lmao

      May 5, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • davidi85

      I agree Jesus hated no one, and neither do I. A Christian cannot condone a lifestyle that goes against the Bible. People want to speak about respect, and show no respect for a Christian. I feel sorry for them.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:40 am |
  5. ALF-

    I am a Christian and I don't hate. And I have a right to disagree. I will not be bullied.

    For those if you that just want to Hate, then it's your choice go ahead,

    Christians try to live under a code of conduct outlined in our bible, sometimes we miss the mark. But we get up and try again.

    There are lots of people who struggle and as I said in previous post, find a different religion if Christianity doesn't work for you

    May 5, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Lamb of Dog

      I did. But I decided on no religion.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Marcus

      Well Said

      May 5, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  6. Daniel

    I am just glad I heard the turning of the wheel of dharma from Siddhartha Guatama. I have a really really good feeling that Jesus did too way back then...their philosophies are 98% identical apart from "God" and the ego to claim that you have to one and only salvation by "God" through his death. Just as today, Jesus was able to sway believers by smooth talk and fear. Jesus knew what he was doing. He has the greatest story ever sold....sad sad sad....

    May 5, 2013 at 10:26 am |
  7. TrevorMcGonigle

    I thought the point of religion was to live righteously and spread love, not immediately condemn others...If the guy isn't out there molesting kids, robbing students, and raping ladies walking through the park, I don't care what consensual behavior you conduct in your personal time...it is not my business

    May 5, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • ALF-

      You are right, "your personal time". But if it is so personal then who is making it public?

      Much can be said about incest relationships as well

      May 5, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  8. Chris

    If your actions are that of a hateful bigot, then why is it wrong to be called a hateful bigot?

    May 5, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Anyone who doesn't agree that gay people should be treated the same as straight people is a HATEFUL BIGOT.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  9. oOo

    For the poster Rainer B.

    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 10:24 am |
    • Science

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

      The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

      The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

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

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

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

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

      May 5, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  10. J.R. Holbrook/ Fashion Designer

    Gay people are amazing & magic!!! We are all tired of churches perpetuating discrimination and making gay people feel "less than" and not loved by god! STOP NOW!

    May 5, 2013 at 10:24 am |
  11. Phaerisee

    If a Christian can be a Mormon now, why not a Christian Gay?

    May 5, 2013 at 10:24 am |
  12. jrd3825

    Has any body told the Christians that we do't all have to believe what they believe? It's not the law to believe in God. When this guy said the player was living in "open rebellion to God". Not every one believes in God. If Christians are becoming a hated minority, might it be because of their judgement, persecution, and hate of every one who does not do as they say? I don't see gays walking in to synagogues and churches and telling people that what they are doing is immoral. Christianity is slowly having its turf eroded by common sense. Also, I think it's healthy to have a backlash against religious folks who have appointed themselves judges of others. No one asked you, no one made you better than any one else.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • davidi85

      Anyone who wants to hate me because I'm a christian can go ahead and do so. I will NOT change my views of this world just because everyone else does. I do not hate anyone, I hate sin, I hate my sin, and your sin as well. We live in a fallen world, the Bible tells us about exactly whats going on now.I'm not upset about it, In fact I'm excited about it, because I know the day of the Lord is soon at hand.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:34 am |
  13. David Holmquist

    Four Bible passages should come to mind in this debate: Matthew 7:1 ("Judge not, or you too will be judged"); Matthew 7:5 ("You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye"); and Matthew 22:39 ("Love your neighbor as yourself"); John 9:7 ("He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her"), As a Christian, I find it detestable when we condemn others. Instead, we should be accepting and loving of everyone! Christianity is experiencing a backlash because of the hypocrisy of its spokespeople.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • NewMexico720

      So love the terrorists who murder? Love all the pedophiles? Your twisting the scriptures is quite humorous and extremely stupid.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Marcus

      What about 1 corinthians 6:9? There is right and there is wrong. The problems is that people dont believe in Judgement and we will all be judged and it is God job to do so BUT He has given us a Guideline to follow

      May 5, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Phaerisee

      sort of like the Pharisees in The Bible.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Sharon

      Marcus: How about 2 Corinthians 6:17? "Come out from among them and be ye seperate". I would advise you seperate yourself and your opinions and let the rest of us get along without you and your guidelines.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Marcus

      Sharon: That just the problem you can be upset and twist words all you want but its clear as day and night. I disagree with the lifestyle but its my duty as a christian not to judge or Hate because that is not the way of the word. Im allowed to disagree without being called a bigot and hateful.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  14. Judy Wood

    The Christian right are always trying to force their beliefs on others. As long as they are getting their way everything is ok. But when things don't go their way they are being persecuted. They seem to suffer from tunnel vision. They do not see their persecution of others, but imagine it being done to them. I'm ok with their beliefs as long as they do not use them to try to deny others their rights. That's where I have a problem with them.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  15. Jai

    The rise of atheism and the reactions of some of the 'extremists' to different issues, now makes it very clear that hating somebody based on anything that you don't agree does not need a justification of a religious book . Dawkins had said it correctly that you would believe in some monster residing at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and do the exact same things . USA being a Christian nation happened only by chance .

    May 5, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  16. diamondheart

    A taste of their own medicine? I can't feel sorry for them; they're reaping the seeds of hate they've been sowing for decades.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  17. ChicagoLoop

    No single, greater thing in life has divided the human race more so than religion. Truly, it has wielded a destructive hand over mankind, giving people license to go to war or to despise others for their intrinsic differences. Religion will go down in history as the denominator that destroyed the world for all that it lead to: division among people, poverty, war, hate, intolerance, and so forth.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  18. Michelle

    And, as usual, it's ALL ABOUT THE CHRISTIANS.

    I wish I could say it's surprising to me that the most noticeable headline on CNN's homepage is the one for this piece. But unfortunately that's not the case. No matter that there are major world events happening in other parts of the globe...that's happening "over there", and so who gives a damn? Same with the Boston marathon bombings...OH MY GOD AMERICA IS UNDER ATTACK (when in the meantime, hundreds or thousands of people are killed in bombings all over the world, every single damn day.)

    This is one of the myriad reasons why Americans do not have a good reputation in other parts of the world.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:22 am |
  19. Rob

    yes, now we can wait for the article about the poor racists who are persecuted for expressing their opinions. their racist statements are simply them expressing their belief system.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • lwojo

      "Amen" to that! Can't complain about being hated when you're passing out judgement on everyone else.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:29 am |
  20. Marie Anti

    Christians aren't hated, they are only disliked . Why? Because like Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons they feel the need to attempt to convert non believers. Their values are not MY values nor are their beliefs MY beliefs.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Seam

      Only one nit. Jehovah's witnesses and Mormons are Christian.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:27 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.