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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. Newport Pagnell

    Minority! Funny,nice try tho...

    May 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  2. daprice82

    Here we go again with the Christian persecution complex.

    Don't worry Christians. You run the entire government, have your worship centers on every street corner in Amercia, control whether anyone can see a boob on TV, and over 70% of the population still identifies themselves as Christian. I think you'll be fine.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Jesus the Christ

      I know, right?!?! We SO need a good lions den right about now...

      May 5, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Hindu

      Everyone knows well who controls the govt and the media in this country - otherwise we won't be having this debate

      May 5, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  3. Patrick

    It's real easy to become an atheist or a believer in another religion – all you have to do is READ THE BIBLE.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  4. Well Said

    "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Mahatma Ghandi

    May 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  5. Rob

    You gotta love these groups that are being discriminated against because of their own discrimination. What a bunch of hypocrites. Their basic argument is that nobody can discriminate against them due to their discrimination of another group. No wonder intelligent people are walking away from organized religion. What a bunch of buffoons. I don't think they are hateful, I just think they're morons for not being able to see their own hypocrisy.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Answer

      It's a given that they are dumb.

      If they can't even grasp the concept that you can't go out and ask others to prove a negative because your god is questioned.. then it really is plain to see how deficient they are.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  6. Jonny Zuhalter

    First of all – ESPN asked Broussard to comment because they wanted his reaction. Its a sad state of affairs when the media choose to become part of the story rather than simply report it. Now ESPN is no longer just reporting it, but a part of it! Had SI not scooped ESPN on the Collins story, this never would have happened. Secondly, to the Christians: you are neither a minority, nor hated. Quit whining and stop painting yourselves with the brush of victimization. Most of you are just pretending to be Christians anyway. This is well-deserved backlash for continuing to judge society using your hateful, offensive, hypocritical, antiquated belief systems.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:51 am |
  7. Romanadvoratrelundar

    Let's see what the bible says about your whining, eh Christians?

    As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. Galatians 6:7
    As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. Job 4:8
    Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38
    Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail.
    And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. Mark 4:24
    Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
    And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. ... Galatians 5:24-6:18
    Since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you 2 Thessalonians 1:6

    Perhaps a little more cheek turning would've done you well.

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

      Except the real world doesn't work that way. All those sayings are just wishful thinking of delusional people.
      There is no justice. There is no god. Nothing happens after death. What you consider right and wrong are just sociocultural values. Trying to scare paranoid schizophrenics into casting off their fears is one of the more stupid things I've seen today.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Susy

      Talk about proof texting. These words could apply to what you have just done.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
  8. Why Worry?

    If you truly believe in the bible and the second coming of Jesus Christ, Christians believe that this world has to get a whole lot worse before Christ comes to redeem the people. So, acts of sodomy, zero religious observance, immoral behaviour, more wars and rumours of wars, etc. all have to occur to fulfil that prophecy. There is no point arguing or protesting it all, as "it shall come to pass" according to the bible. Remember, Christ is the judge, not you.
    And, if you have no Christian religious belief, then you're not really worried about any of that stuff anyway, so why is anyone even arguing?

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

      Valid point...it should not be an argument for Christians, it should be a spreading of the word of God. Those that accept will be saved, those that don't will not. I believe the arguing comes because both believers and non believers think they should be able to force their opinion on the other group!

      May 5, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Melissa

      People are arguing because christians think they should get away with being horrible people and yet be able to treat people horribly.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  9. Tanker

    My solution is to take all the unhappy Christians who beleive they are being picked on, put them on an Aircraft Carrier, and tell the Captian to take them wherever they want to go.

    We can rename of the Carrier, the Mayflower II.

    The unhappy Christians get a fresh start some where else, the rest of us get some peace and quiet, and the yelling stops.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:51 am |
  10. Mweavil

    Based on the majority of comments on this post, the article headline rings true. It's really scary what our society has come to. Talk aout hate filled. Geez!!!!

    May 5, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Jesus the Christ

      awww...someone call the waaaaaaaahhhhhmbulance for mweavil!

      May 5, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  11. Tim Jordan

    Lest we forget, these are the same people who used the Bible to defend slavery, exploitation of women, and an almost uncountable amount of religious nonsense. They're a minority of intolerant simpletons who need to keep their Dark Ages comments to themselves.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  12. James

    Christians are neither a minority in the USA, nor are they persecuted by anyone but their own conscience, because most of them know they're in the wrong for tarnishing God's name and word by using it to justify bigotry. As for where the line between religion and hate falls, if you're cherry picking verses to justify your bigotry (such as from Leviticus) while ignoring other verses that "don't fit today's society", it's safe to say that you've crossed the line. Such behavior is both intellectually and spiritually dishonest. The Bible is either the word of God or it's not, and Christians need to stop trying to have it both ways for their personal convenience. For my part, things like this are a major part of why I left Christianity long ago. I think that the Bible (like most books) has some good lessons and messages, but the outdated social and religious taboos of a completely different culture from thousands of years ago are not among them. We have been given the ability to be better than this, so let's do it already.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  13. Cambridge Ray

    There are TWO kinds of Conservatives:

    • One group is busy spreading hatred

    • The other group is busy denying that the first group exists

    Don't believe me? Check by yourself: Just scroll up & down. Go to ANY Internet forum.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  14. Ed

    Maybe if they didn't get their religious instructions from the likes of Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim & Tammy Faye Baker, Marjoe Gortner, Eddie Long, George Alan Rekers, et. al?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scandals_involving_American_evangelical_Christians#Eddie_L._Long.2C_2010

    May 5, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  15. telefonica46

    How is it that Christians fear Sharia Law but vote based on their own religious views? It's hypocritical.

    Keep your faith out of my home. If you want to disallow gays from being married in your church, fine, I won't stop you. But don't come into my home and force your religious beliefs on me. This is a free country; freedom of religion also means freedom from religion.

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

      The crafted laws that you make up for your own benefit are of course always promoted. Why else wouldn't you like your own beneficial laws?

      May 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • hellasoup

      Couldn't possibly agree with this more...

      May 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  16. Bert

    The conservative Christians are mistaking disregard for hate. They may hate the feeling of being disregarded, they may hate becoming irrelevant, and they may hate being told they're wrong like conservative Christians were once told they were about slavery, but it's not the same as being hated.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  17. adamthefirst

    The media is responsible for this new hatred for Christianity, nothing else. When has cnn ever had a positive article about Christianity...Never!!!

    May 5, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Jesus the Christ

      umm...so this article is a positive article for Christianity because it shows people what Christianity is all about...is that confusing?

      May 5, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  18. Austin

    God is alive. He sustains His own ministry. I have experienced the supernatural voice of God. He is risen.

    John 15:26-27
    New King James Version (NKJV)
    The Coming Rejection

    26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Jesus the Christ

      That's what a lot of other schizophrenics say as well...

      May 5, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Science

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

      How many time you going to go splat Austin ?.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Lamb of Dog

      You need to seek help. You could be crazy.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • G to the T

      Hey Austin – Any new pyschic visions? You know, the ones you think are from god?

      May 9, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  19. Sam

    "“Faux civility, embarrassment, prudishness and a fear of expressing an unpopular opinion has caused many Christians to refrain from explaining how ho.mose.xual conduct destroys lives,”

    No, the inability to show any aspect of life that is "destroyed" by being gay is what causes them to refrain. There is ZERO evidence that being gay has any negative effects at all other than the bullying and bigotry shown to gay persons by the ignorant religious hypocrites.

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

      Austin
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      Austin
      @ Mass D
      "By the way, there are many people who keep dream journals, but only psychopaths try to decipher them as divine inspiration."

      i am going through this again...
      all of the dreams I had, that I discern were visioins, were because I was having dreams that were LEADING what my reality and awake life was about to actually present to me. Did I know when i wrote them down, or expect, for these dreams to be doing such a thing? there were a few where I knew that I could expect something. and they did hit .

      two nights in a row, and a little space between the third dream,

      #1I dreamt about the tile patio , a huge and beautiful rock tile with wide grout and a beautiful pattern and color, ater i had entered a stone arch entrance. There was an arm reaching into a whole, a whole chizzeled out of the ground. and the arm pulled out a leather bag full of gems. wrote these down in the middle or the night half asleep. The next day....I kept reading my bible.......

      Jeremiah 43:8-13
      New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      8 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, 9 “Take some large stones in your [a]hands and hide them in the mortar in the brick terrace which is at the entrance of Pharaoh’s [c]palace in Tahpanhes, in the sight of [d]some of the J.ews; 10 and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I am going to send and get Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and I am going to set his throne right over these stones that I have hidden; and he will spread his canopy over them.

      #2 the next night I dreamed that i was being attacked by a motorcycle gang and that the leader of the gang had a huge animal horn, att.atched to his seat. he could not even sit on his bike. he was trying to run me over. they were a rebel gang.
      the next day, i had finished reading Jeremiah and gotten into Lament.ations

      ◄ Lament.ations 2:3 ►

      New International Version (©2011)
      In fierce anger he has cut off every horn of Israel. He has withdrawn his right hand at the approach of the enemy. He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire that consumes everything around it.
      ◄ Lament.ations 2:17 ►

      New International Version (©2011)
      The LORD has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago. He has overthrown you without pity, he has let the enemy gloat over you, he has exalted the horn of your foes.

      I DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH AND THE STONES, AND I HAD NO RECOLLECTION OF LAMENTA.TIONS. i COULD NOT HAVE TOLD YOU WHAT ONE MAIN POINT WAS OTHER THAN I KNEW JEREMIAH WAS A PROPHET.

      #3 a few days later I had a dream that there was a huge pile of feathers underneath a bed. that day, I was reading in the book of daniel, ◄ Daniel 4:33 ►

      New International Version (©2011)
      Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

      the kid who i had the dream about, got into trouble that day, which i had suspected the feather was a sign that he would be humiliated. he had his work pass suspended which was a major blow.

      #4 dreamed I was poisoned by mercury in alcohol. the next dream, didnt have a single dream for two weeks, this next dream I had just let two snakes out of a cage. one was a viper, the other was a rattler. but I had not thought even thought the word viper for a long time. when i woke up, i said to the kid next to me................."something is going to happen today, this one is a sign" i knew the snakes were a sign..

      two hours later i went down to bible study, the leader, on the second passage, said turn to proverbs 23:32

      29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
      Who has strife? Who has complaints?
      Who has needless bruises? Who has blo.odshot eyes?
      30 Those who linger over wine,
      who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
      31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
      when it sparkles in the cup,
      when it goes down smoothly!
      32 In the end it bites like a snake
      and poisons like a viper.

      #5 Dreamed i was in a wh.ore house and I flooded it because i turned on a water spitot upstairs and just let it go and left it on. I had been praying about lust. I didnt catch this dream, until a few week later i did a study on water. I had no clue about this dream. i seemed like a random joke. but i got kicked out for letting the water run and flood.

      15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. 16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? 17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. 18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 A loving doe, a graceful deer– may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. 20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man's wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? 21 For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths. 22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast.

      # 6 dreamed i was touring a house and went out back and there was an ABOVE ground pool with an flush deck and a privacy fence right around the deck.

      two days later the kid sleeping next to me pulled out a piece of paper , sheldon clay was his name, and he showed me his blue print he drew, of a new house, with an above ground swimming pool , with a flush deck around the pool, and a privacy fence on the deck.

      #7 this kid on night threw a roll a tp and racked me. I was furious and said to myself, I wonder if he has the light in his eye. and then i rebuked my judgment of his spiritual condition. THE NEXT MORNING he woke up and came up to me and said, "i had a dream last night that i was going around to see who had a special light in their eye to see if they were possessed or not"
      this kid was not a bible verse type of guy.

      #8 had a dream that the kid who was ripping on me lost his money
      a month later i over heard him talking about how he lost his money, and i said watch this, and pulled out the dream i had that he had lost it.

      #9 the cat dream. I had a cat at my house, that night i dreamed that a demonic voice sang to me which inverted my body and then presented the same cat, covered in blood.

      I woke up and the cat was dead in the highway, 550 feet from my house.

      #10 I had a dream i was inside the st. louis arch and I was in there with my cousin, and she was pointing at a glass case , with a bust of someone. she said "look, its thomas Jefferson" and the place was very nice. very expensive and ritzy.

      I had no idea what the st. louis arch was about. but what i had been doing, was getting heavily into the rumors about masons, and this dream just came to me. and when I googled this and I started trembling . this is called "a word of knowledge" which is a type of spiritual gift.

      There have been numerous other ones that I believe were spiritual words of knowledge that i wont get in to .

      None of this stuff, is me trying to fit things together. everything i dreamed, and then experienced in real life as i have stated. Some of these, are totally obvious. others, I have complete faith that they were also spiritual revelations, because I know %100 that some were, so I can have faith that others probably were too. and 8 of the first ten there, all happened in jail.

      This is organized, and relevant information that is a dream, relating to reality that i was about to live.

      That is spiritual revelation.

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

      Great post proving my point Austin. Religion is for the dogs. Like a cat returning to eat it's vomit the religious zealots keep swallowing the lies, hate and bigotry and call it spiritual food.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  20. ss

    Precisely, now since these evangelicals are losing the battle for their anti gay agenda, they are turning to another tactic, that Christians live in fear of those ever so powerful gays, kinda replicating what gay people have and had to go through. Evangelicals feel everyone needs to be a christian and think like they do. I don't and I don't want want to that's the beauty of living in this country, i don't have too, and i don't want my laws or my life impacted by evangelical Christians. By the way if the teacher provided literature that promoted assistance for gay youth to a gay sturdent, I am sure Christians would be up in arms getting that teacher fired. They have been not only hard line in their push for "christian values". they cry the victum when people wont buy into it and wont stand for it either.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:47 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.