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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. James Works

    I am disturbed by your headline lumping all Christians into one group, when you are referring to the group of Christians commonly called "evangelicals." It is the refusal of many evangelicals to entertain the possibility that some view other than their own could be consistent with Christian teaching that leads others to view them as a "hated minority." There are other Christian viewpoints than that espoused by evangelical Christians.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Help

      Please speak up – we need to hear them!

      May 5, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Rachael

      Well then why don't you stop your 'brethren' from these views. I've tried to. They still take a literal interpretation of a book written starting 600BC about a bronze age caste based society. The Bible is written from other sources than that bronze age caste based society. The 10 commandments are from the Egyptians. The Patriarchs are from the Mittani nuzi inscriptions. The flood epic is from the sumero-babylonian. Much of the Bible is based in a composite of Persian, Babylonian, and Egyptian beliefs. And then the book of Revelations is a recycling of a 1500BC battle of Megiddo. None of the history is reliable in the Bible-it simply alludes to some actual history. The passover never happened-the 'hebrews' did not build the egyptian pyramids. The story of Esther actually is chauvinistic and references a Vashti who refuses to expose herself-there is not an Esther nor a Vashti but there was a Persian Queen who kept herself covered because she had breast cancer. And she was never deposed.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:17 am |
  2. Ed

    Track team member gestures to God, feels wrath of school rules. 5/3/2103 - Columbus High School Cardinals, Columbus, Texas, Numerous on line sources - Wfaa.com, Dallas, TX. "As he was crossing the finish line, Derrick Hayes pointed up to the sky. His father believes he was giving thanks in a gesture to God". Team was disqualified by meet officials for taunting. There's no prejudice against Christians is there.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Proof he doesn't exist.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Mike

      First, it wasn't the 'gesture to god' that got him disqualified, it was the act of gesturing, regardless of its direction. The school has rules against gesturing in the field of play, he gestured and was disqualified. Just because afterwards he said he was just praising god means this was religious discrimination? Come on, you're smarter than that, right? Do some research.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Rina

      The tables are turning on the christians and they don't like it. They have villified people and promoted hate, bigotry and ignorance for thousands of years. Well, people are getting smarter. They are starting to ask questions and want proof. The control that the "religious" have held in this country is waning and they can't stand it. Well, get used to it. A new day is here. You don't get a free pass to be nasty to people who don't believe as you do just because you are a christian.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Stephen Daugherty

      Pardon me, but if you point up at the sky, is there an interpreter on hand to tell people what you really meant by that?
      And will God be ignorant of you thanks, if you whisper a prayer inside? Nobody can misinterpret an internal thought. Nobody, even in the most repressive of climates, which I don't think this is, can keep you from praying to God.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  3. gordon peterson

    people who claim to be "christians" always quote the bible. this book has been rewritten many times and is not factual. it is a legend at best. christianity began over two thousands years ago when life was very different ( as all other major religions have). all religions should get into the 21st century and update their books. this is very true in the muslim religion. all major religions started in order to control the masses and to make money for a select few. look at the tv evangelists for making money. I have read all holy books and have many in my collection. they all spout to be humble and good, but most people never follow what they preach. personally I don't believe in any religion and that is my right. I try to be tolerant of others and do not push what I believe in other peoples faces. I wish other people would follow that same idea.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • timelord7202

      Very true – translations can be made with bias or intent in mind.

      Amazingly, anti-wealthy stuff like "money is the root of all evil"/"the love of money is the root of all evil" or the camel/needle bit have remained...

      What's bothersome is why most ministers/priests/etc don't cover half the book, probably because – in doing so – they would lose favor... or worse. Assuming the congregation in the pews would believe it, of course...

      May 5, 2013 at 11:14 am |
  4. Dlws

    When your religion is about hate and you try to force it on others, you become a hated group.

    The obvious problem with the opening of this article is that the writer does not provide evidence that those opposing the viewpoints are members of another religion or atheists. Perhaps those stating opposition are the true christians.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  5. Eric G

    You reap what you sew. Christians have a long history of hate and intolerance towards those not like them.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • AmethystApple

      So do white people, should we get rid of them too?

      May 5, 2013 at 11:26 am |
  6. Well then

    Gay, lol you are proud of what? rectal reaming?

    May 5, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Patrick

      We're proud of just being able to be ourselves in a world full of hatred like yours.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • yalesouth

      Proud of being able to stand up to Neanderthals like you.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Paul

      Maybe you should go have a massive heart attack. Thanks.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Don't Envy

      You need to get the gleam out of your envious eye, Well then, it's blatantly and overly showing what you really think about.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • GREGORY

      It's really all nonsense. In a hundred years, none of us is going to care.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  7. Patrick

    How are Christians going to become the "hated minority" when over two thirds of them are normal sane people who understand that the Bible couldn't possibly be God's literal Word and don't try to force their beliefs or their will on others like the Christian extremists do?

    May 5, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Lamb of Dog

      True. It is a shame that the more extreme people get more recognition.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Bill

      Christians aren't the "hated minority." It's evangelicals. They, by definition, believe in the Bible as the literal word of God.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • I Am God

      It is probably due to the fact that the majority of Christians (like most people complain about Muslims not doing) don't condemn these fringe and extremist groups. This causes people to avoid and view the religion as a problem, which is leading to the rise of minority religious groups and groups unaffiliated with religion.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • James

      Exactly...the belief that the bible contains God's actual words will ultimately lead to the demise of Christianity as more and more people get turned off by people who believe that.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • McQ

      As long as they let people who identify with the same god and holy book speak this garbage without shouting them down, then they might as well be tacitly endorsing it.

      Most Christians are almost as much of an atheist as I am. They don't believe in any other gods and don't follow half of what's in their holy book. They are Christians in name only, really. The amount of non believers is higher than you might think. That's why the lunatic fringe is taking over. The moderates are so moderate that they don't even believe. But they need to speak up or they tacitly endorse hate.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Kelly

      So Mcq are your thoughts the result of your superior "enlightened" thought? Sounds no different from a judging mean spirited christian

      May 5, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Bob

      The Gallup poll I assume you are referring to showed that 1/3 of Americans believed the Bible was literally true, which means closer to half of Christians believe it. If you've already come to the obvious conclusion that the Bible cannot possibly be the work of an all-powerful supreme being, then why do you still believe in any of it? How do you pick and choose which parts to believe? Doesn't it seem likely that if men made up the Bible then they also made up the god in the Bible? If someone came forward today claiming to be the son your God, would you believe him? Why is it any more plausible because it supposedly happened 2000 years ago?

      May 5, 2013 at 11:26 am |
  8. CatBat

    Considering we live in a world with over seven billion people, it seems God's plan for men and women to procreate has been a wild success. Too much of one.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:48 am |
  9. Julian

    We cannot expect non-Christians to respect or love us. They will not. They do not know the Saviour. We have to reach them and understand why they hate us, because they are at enmity with God. Those who do not know the Bible will look for acceptance and compromise by loving the sins of the world. The church is not to be the same as the world. Accept that church. Love not the world or the things of the world. Spread the message, take the stand, reach the lost.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Patrick

      Get help Julian. This didn't come from God:

      Leviticus 25:44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Exodus 21:20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Patrick

      Sorry, you don't get to decide what Christianity is for all Christians. The United Church of Christ, Unitarians, Unity Churches, MCC, Episcopols, Anglicans, about half the Lutherans and many of the more progressive Presbyterians and Methodists would like to be able to practice their Freedom of Religion and marry gays and lesbians in their churches.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Melissa

      And you just showed why non-christians hate you very very well. Nice job portraying yourself as hateful, arrogant, and ignorant. See, what you just displayed is called 'pride' in your bible and is part of your ten commandments. Either get over yourself or be sent to hell.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Bruce Rubin

      A person who stereotypes or has been taught to stereotype and believes that Non-Christians hate them is the same philosophy that drives the Taliban.You are clearly not a Christian. It is obvious you do not comprehend what you read. The land of the lost.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • timelord7202

      Thanks for trying to learn others' POV.

      Most non-Christians read the Bible, and some have read it a little more thoroughly... or remember the parts you might pretend don't exist.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • McQ

      Oh, we know the bible, all right. We know it well. That's why we completely reject it.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  10. Michael

    I found a post here by wade that really seems to sum up the problem here:

    "I happen to be a Christian who is for gay rights and woman rights but I do agree Christians are targeted and hated by liberals. The proof is so obvious all you have to do is turn on the news or watch any show or movie and 90 % of the time they are making fun of or putting down in some way Christians or their beliefs. Good thing for them we are Christians and not Muslims or they would all be beheaded."

    It's very telling that he makes it a political issue instead of a religious one. The reason why is pretty obvious... conservative Christians care far more about conservatism than Christianity. They want to keep political power and religion has been the means they've used (via lies and manipulation) to try to do so for decades, but people are starting to see through the act, hence this hilarious article that proclaims them to be victims... and funnier still, a minority!

    As for his comment about how Christians are less violent than Muslims, I would reply that we should be more thankful for the Enlightenment than Christianity for the lack of violence. We have seen, quite clearly, what has happened when fanatical Christians are allowed to make the rules for society, in the form of witch trials, inquisitions, holy wars, etc. It was very much cut from the same cloth as Islam in that regard and there are people (i.e. Rick Santorum) trying to turn our country into a theocracy so that we can see a return to that kind of thing. If the founding fathers hadn't made the law of the land secular in nature, I have no doubt that there would have been more travesties like Salem happening across America.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • timelord7202

      And if they read up on what the neoconservatives do, including handing out corporate welfare to each other (often while offshoring jobs and opportunities and then calling the unemployed lazy or other horrible, undeserved things) while saying to us that welfare is bad...

      May 5, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Bruce Rubin

      YOU ARE NOT TARGETED FOR BEING A CHRISTIAN Your actions are targeted. You live in a country where you must respect the rights of ALL. REGARDLESS OF YOUR BELIEF. READ THE BIBLE MAN.stop being paranoid

      May 5, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Ben

      "It's very telling that he makes it a political issue instead of a religious one. The reason why is pretty obvious... conservative Christians care far more about conservatism than Christianity. They want to keep political power and religion has been the means they've used (via lies and manipulation) to try to do so for decades, but people are starting to see through the act, hence this hilarious article that proclaims them to be victims... and funnier still, a minority!"

      Ain't that the TRUTH. Evangelicals would not be so persecuted if they kept their slimy claws out of politics and dealt with their own followers. it's when they insist on degrading others who do not follow their faith and persist on using secular laws to codify their own literalist bible morality on ALL people that creates the backlash they are getting, and rightfully so.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  11. timelord7202

    Sorry but when the people who claim "judge not lest ye be judged" start judging all over the place, while eating shrimp, not beating their wives as commanded by god, wearing garments woven from multiple types of fabric (2 or more), or praising the rich when the Bible states, MANY times, about greed being wrong... or the most direct anti-successfulpersonstatement of them all, "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is a rich person getting into the kingdom of god".

    If these "Christians" read their book, they might learn a thing or two and how much worse off they are than all the gay people combined.

    Never mind that since we all came from Adam and Eve, anyone who has ever jumped into the bed with one technically committed incest. Based on the Bible's own logic. Your book, your problem. Clean up your own acts before condemning consenting adults who harm NOBODY. (since, for example, somebody hiding or lying about their HIV status would render their claim of "soliciting consent" rather moot... and it's a criminal act to willfully spread the disease. It's murder... ah, yes, "thalt shalt not kill"...)

    May 5, 2013 at 10:48 am |
  12. Jerry

    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.”

    Yeah, like that never happened in the past. Many people were killed or tortured for disagreeing with Christianity. I think you will survive a little verbal condemnation.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • timelord7202

      Very true. Maybe they'll realize that one day, but isn't history one of those unprofitable librul wastes of time and money?

      May 5, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  13. TXJew

    Christian: "You are an abomination who should not have rights and deserve death" Gay person: "You are being intolerant" Christian: "Help, help, I'm being oppressed!!!"

    May 5, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Alex

      So is that what all the Christians are saying, the gays should die? Lets not make the same mistake we have with the muslims and fail to separate the radicals from the regulars...

      May 5, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  14. mystictundra

    Until people realize that "minorities" don't exist.. until people realize that the Bible is a set of guidelines, not rules.. until people realize that people should be respected for who they are and not what they do, that all people are worthy of honor in some form.. until people stop condemning others for things that they simply "disagree" with – criminals who prey on others excepted, naturally – then nothing will ever be any different. Ever. Funny enough, this species isn't even capable of it. The human brain doesn't have the capacity to understand what "mind your own business" even means.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:46 am |
  15. Liberal

    There was a time when things switched in society and people who openly defended segregation changed from "conservatives," to bigots. Same thing with people who believed women didn't belong in the workplace. This is merely the same thing. Society is now viewing them as bigots. They have always been bigots, but fewer in society are sharing their bigotry and hatred.

    When you attempt to impose your religion on other people, as Evangelicals do, you are oppressing people. When you tell people their lifestyle is wrong because some 1600-year-old book says so, you are a bigot.... and you're not that bright. You have the right to believe so. Heck, you have the right to be a racist, but if you spout off with racist language at work, you can and should lose your job. If you spout off with an anti-gay or any other religious diatribe, then you can and should lose your job. Keep your bigotry at home.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:46 am |
  16. Krautkopf

    If religious people would show some respect for other points of view, there would not be any backlash.
    Unfortunately, far too many people of faith insist on ramming this stuff down our throats.
    ..... and they wonder why nobody likes them.......
    As far as I am concerned, they all are a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Ben

      It is not possible for a literalist bible reader to " show some respect for other points of view". They are completely sold on the biggest lie ever told, that the bible is the direct word of God and is infallible. They accept no disagreement with what their religion teaches. And when you think God is on your side there is no limit to that amount of hatred you can spew in public spaces or the amount of disrespect they will show for those who do not follow their lifestyle.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:52 am |
  17. Karen

    You don't want to be labeled a hateful bigot, then don't act like one.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  18. Zooterist

    If evangelical, fundamentalist Christianity has come to be associated with hate groups, it's because the words and deeds of evangelical, fundamentalist Christians have earned them that reputation.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Kelly

      Your statement just proves you are no more tolerant or evolved than anyone else...

      May 5, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  19. Mark Rome

    I am glad you have a book you believe in and cherish and I fully support your right to speak about it. I respect your opinion and spent 33 years protecting that right in the military. I reject your control of my life. It isn't what you say, it is that you force it upon me. Give us equality and say what you want. To attempt to become the victim in this is absurd and shows your true desire in life, to be a martyr. Get over it.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  20. Gradschooldude

    Perhaps this is just the ripening of karma. For year some Christians and Christian groups have been promoting hatred, division, intolerance, and misunderstanding. To me it seems an appropriate time for the pendulum to swing back in the other direction.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • sam

      Is the new definition of the word disagree, hate?

      May 5, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Claudia

      Thank you. I quite agree.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • G to the T

      Sam – is the new definition of "disagree" – "legislate"?

      May 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Science

      Hey G to T

      Science

      Dyslexic doG

      Big Bang fvcking CIRCLE aye

      Science

      Hey HeroesAre Rare..............deleting more comments aye?

      Oh! by the way –
      Sam stone, Science and the Doc all of whom think they're pretty sharp............ I've said what I have to say and I will NOT respond to ANY of your juvenile attempts to argue. Got it!

      May 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply

      May 24, 2013 at 7:09 am | Report abuse | Reply

      Science

      HerosAre Rare , faith the peach and chadie too you are so full of IT...............link below if you need help !

      http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/internet-explorer-help#internet-explorer=top-solutions

      Peace

      May 24, 2013 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      HerosAre Rare...........urls got you science !

      May 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |

      science

      Test

      May 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/comment-page-111/#comment-2365603

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/comment-page-111/?replytocom=2366231#respond

      May 24, 2013 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |

      May 24, 2013 at 8:11 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.