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. Tired Of Trash News Networks

    CNN can go F CK itself. They wouldn't dare do a piece like this on islam. What a cowardly news network. No wonder they get their a sses handed to them in ratings.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Lamb of Dog

      And yet you are posting on CNN.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • I Am God

      Get lost troll. You are absolutely trash. You don't like CNN yet you have the time to post you absolute hatred which shows that they are doing well. CNN isn't your personal news network so get lost or go back to Fox News.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      They have done several articles critical of islam.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Sane Person

      lol such an angsty christian. Its ok, we think every religion is ridiculous. You arent alone.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Thomas

      You should pay closer attention. They do pieces like this on Islam fairly often. And when they do, folks like you come out and bash the **** out of anyone defending the faith of over 1.7 billion people throughout the world.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • skytag

      More evidence Christianity is a fraud.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:25 am |
  2. GE in MD

    If Christiain Evangelicals are becoming a "hated minority", it can only be because they've been asking for it - bigtime!

    May 5, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Yes they are.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  3. Paul

    As contemptible as Broussard's views are, he is merely expressing his religious belief, I don't think it goes over the line of what he consider free speech in this country. He can say it, and reap the consequences, which I think he has. But i wouldn't call him a "hater".

    The Family Research Council is another story. They go well beyond relgious belief, and spread falsehoods and defamqation about a group they don't like. They couch it in their pious rhetroic all they want, but they are indeed a hate group. You can express relgious beliefts, but you can't lie and defame, and that is what they do. (e.g, their so called "statistics" about child molestation.

    Bottom line, Broussard can talk, the FRC must be silenced.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  4. toikster

    When Sprig says, "Maybe we need to do a better job of showing that we are motivated by Christian love," he might start by not saying that we have chosen to be disease infested,mentally ill, abominable child molesters and have chosen to defy God in exchange for an eternity of burning. Perhaps the Talibangelicals should go in the closet. We know what their views are. They should keep them to themselves. During most of my entire life it has been socially acceptable to say hurtful things against gay people and it they don't being labeled as bigots they should stop quacking like bigots. And hiding behind scripture to justify bigotry doesn't mean they are acting out of love.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  5. Anthony Edwards

    Nothing in that bible passage says the 'wife' has to be a woman. It's all implied.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  6. Lilybeth

    I am a Christian. Yet I don't see how this has anything to do with an attack on the so-called Christian minority? If Mr Sprigg (or others like him) is worried about being called a hateful bigot, maybe he should stop preaching hate to the masses?

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

      He uses religion as a shield trying to justify his hateful and bigoted opinion.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:00 am |
  7. Weasley

    Sprigg and Broussard are cowards. They are expressing their own bigotry, their own personal hatred, then like so many other Christians they hide behind the Bible. Cowards all.

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

      coward? No it is call standing up for what you believe. I take it that you have no religious affiliation, and that is your choice. You cant honestly say that there is no act or behavior that you find offensive. You are closed minded, and you are a hater. You hate Christians.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • kelligurl

      No, the majority of CHristians are cowards. EIther cowards that they spew hate and hide behind cherry picked buy-bull verses or cowards in that they refuse to or lie about objectively examining their delusions.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Weasley

      I do not hate Christians. I hate their hate filled rhetoric when they claim to do it in the name of Jesus. I believe you should love your neighbor as yourself, and judge not that ye be not judged. There's so much more to the Bible, but so many Christians cherry pick to fuel their own prejudice.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  8. Stosh

    This "hated minority" pushes hate itself, which is why there is a backlash. And I'm sick of Christians whining about how oppressed they are. They can believe whatever they want, as can everybody else.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  9. spittythekitty

    They aren't hated because they're Christians, they're hated because they spew hate.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  10. Shane

    I get the feeling the religious community is going to cry foul now that they no longer can dictate what the rest of us can and cannot do. Soon they will not longer be the majority and will have to explain why it is that a person should not have the same rights as them other than the fact that "their god" says so and they have the numbers.

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

      The numbers do not matter................... they do not have a leg to stand on............see below .

      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 11:04 am |
  11. Well then

    A cure for gay is coming, try not to be gay until then. I know it's hard...oops didn't mean to tease you

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

      @Well then

      You said, "A cure for gay is coming, try not to be gay until then. I know it's hard...oops didn't mean to tease you"
      It may be true that a "cure for gay" may be found, but a cure for being religious is already available. It's called opening your eyes and mind to logic and reasoning.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Look At How It Affects You

      Every time you talk about gays, Well then, you can't help but notice what is happening in your own body which is why you mention the word 'hard'.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  12. Twist

    Get real, please. Until proposition 8, DOMA, and every other anti-gay-Christian discrimination manifestation are overturned, the pious weasels deserve to hear the term bigot fester in their ears until they're delivered from it.

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

      what is a bigot, since you seem to use the term often

      May 5, 2013 at 11:04 am |
  13. the real god

    Tell you what, when christians are beaten to death, or hanged for being christians then and only then can they complain. So its alright for christians to KILL, BEAT, and ostracize every black, gay, or non christian, but if anyone tells them its wrong then chritians are being persecuted. And they are not a minority in this country. Seriously FUQQK

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

      I can't believe they have audacity to hint at 'oppression'.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:06 am |
  14. darkhorror

    Here is an idea, if you are religious keep your religion to yourself and if you don't think something is right because of your religion keep it to yourself. Do not try to force others to follow the parts of the religion you decided to follow.

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

      Agreed if your gay keep that to yourself as well

      May 5, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • darkhorror

      @OK: If someone says they are gay it has some sort of effect? Do you not see the difference between saying that they are gay, and someone saying that they can't do something because they are gay or that being themselves is wrong?

      May 5, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  15. thebigdrew22

    Bigot: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

    If you hate those who once hated you, then you are no better than they were.

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

      Wrong. A bigot manifests real, tangible, discriminatory laws. In this instance, Christians are indeed the rotting bigots!

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

      why do you call Christians bigots?

      May 5, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  16. Science

    Where do morals come from?..............not from the bible .

    By Kelly Murray, CNN


    Gravity is not up for debate ! ............E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas..........that do not lie or sin !!!...


    Splat goes the fairy in the sky.................the sign in picture above STINKS !

    Evolution created us !!!

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


    BACKFILL on E =mc2.....

    Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'

    By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

    Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”


    May 5, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  17. Joe Camel

    When you all go back in the closet where you belong, stay away from my shirts.....

    May 5, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  18. tim

    typical that the right wing evangelicals get so defensive and question why they are attacked so often. well DUH! how about looking at the hateful judgmental rhetoric that comes from that side of religion for every diverse form of human behavior. I am down here in the bible belt of georgia, and it is really incredible the levels of ignorance, hypocrisy, judgment, anger, arrogance, etc. that the so called "evangelical baptists" portray. if you really get into a debate with them about their personal journey, it is loaded with drama and dysfunction. so in that sense it works FOR THEM. but it sure doesn't work for everyone as they try to sell it. they use the bible as a weapon of hate continuously. and they wonder why they are under attack as they say. finally, finally – there is some degree of intellectual individualism in this country that is finally pushing this extreme thinking to the fringes where it belongs. GOD LOVES EVERYONE – and everyone is created equal in his eyes.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • alf

      True God loves everyone, but it is clear he hates certain acts. Why dont you read if for yourself

      May 5, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • LinCA


      You said, "True God loves everyone, but it is clear he hates certain acts. Why dont you read if for yourself"
      Your god is no more likely to be real than the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. So while you are free to remain blissfully ignorant and believe your imaginary friend is real, you don't get to tell anyone else to live by what you think it wants.

      If your imaginary friend doesn't want you to engage in homosexual acts, than you better not do it, but your imaginary friend has no jurisdiction over anyone else.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  19. Bill

    HATED minority? More like HATEFUL minority. Gays are no more of a threat to their lifestyle as anyone else. If you don't want to be gay, then don't be. Bottom line.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  20. A dose of Reality

    A few questions should help shed light on the relationship between religion and rational thought.
    The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the field of:
    (a) Astronomy;
    (b) Medicine;
    (c) Economics; or
    (d) Christianity
    You are about 70% likely to believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with only one man, one woman and a talking snake if you are a:
    (a) historian;
    (b) geologist;
    (c) NASA astronomer; or
    (d) Christian
    I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am
    (a) A gifted psychologist
    (b) A well respected geneticist
    (c) A highly educated sociologist
    (d) A Christian with the remarkable ability to ignore inconvenient facts.
    I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am
    (a) a delusional schizophrenic;
    (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly
    (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or
    (d) your average Christian
    Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:
    (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;
    (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;
    (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or
    (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.
    I believe that an all powerful being, capable of creating the entire cosmos watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty". I am
    (a) A victim of child molestation
    (b) A r.ape victim trying to recover
    (c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions
    (d) A Christian
    The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:
    (a) Architecture;
    (b) Philosophy;
    (c) Archeology; or
    (d) Religion
    What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from religion:
    (a) Religion tells people not only what they should believe, but what they are morally obliged to believe on pain of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;
    (b) Religion can make a statement, such as “there is a composite god comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;
    (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas religion is regional and a person’s religious conviction, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than an accident of birth; or
    (d) All of the above.
    If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:
    (a) a deep psychiatric issue;
    (b) an irrational fear or phobia;
    (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or
    (d) my religious belief.
    Who am I? I don’t pay any taxes. I never have. Any money my organization earns is tax free and my own salary is also tax free, at the federal, state and local level. Despite contributing nothing to society, but still enjoying all its benefits, I feel I have the right to tell others what to do. I am
    (a) A sleazy Wall Street banker
    (b) A mafia boss
    (c) A drug pusher; or
    (d) A Catholic Priest, Protestant Minister or Jewish Rabbi.
    What do the following authors all have in common – Jean Paul Sartre, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, John Milton, John Locke, and Blaise Pascal:
    (a) They are among the most gifted writers the World has known;
    (b) They concentrated on opposing dogma and opening the human mind and spirit to the wonders of free thought and intellectual freedom;
    (c) They were intimidated by the Catholic Church and put on the Church’s list of prohibited authors; or
    (d) All of the above.
    The AIDS epidemic will kill tens of millions in poor African and South American countries before we defeat it. Condoms are an effective way to curtail its spread. As the Pope still has significant influence over the less educated masses in these parts of the World, he has exercised this power by:
    (a) Using some of the Vatican’s incomprehensible wealth to educate these vulnerable people on health family planning and condom use;
    (b) Supporting government programs that distribute condoms to high risk groups;
    (c) Using its myriad of churches in these regions to distribute condoms; or
    (d) Scaring people into NOT using condoms, based upon his disdainful and aloof view that it is better that a person die than go against the Vatican’s position on contraceptive use.

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

      Exactly! I wish they could see it this clearly.

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

      Idk F A G S?

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

      The reality is that you are going to hell unless you repent of your evil sin of disbelief

      May 5, 2013 at 11:15 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.