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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. BillWinIdaho

    Christians need to get out of the Democratic Party.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Really

      Even Obama?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  2. Acceler8

    This kind of judgment serves only to bolster the ego of the hypocrite and defame the name of the other person. Proverbs 16:27-28 says, “A worthless man digs up evil, while his words are as a scorching fire. A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends.” When we judge like this, we are playing God, and nothing but further sin and destruction can result. James 4:12 warns, “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One Who is able to save and destroy; but who are you to judge your neighbor?” Jesus wisely reminds the hypocrite that he is as much subject to the law as his brother whom he judges.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Choomba

      Since any rational judgement requires a rational mind, the crazy judgments of religious people are always worthless.
      Jesus was a worthless, lazy bum who hated Maimonaides and declared the Temple and the Levites to be worthless compared to him. He was probably kicked out of yeshiva, couldn't get work due to his massive ignorance, just like yeshiva-scum in modern times who can't even do math, and found some crazies to follow him and give him money and food.
      I can judge your Jesus for what he was, and he may not have even existed, but worthless yeshiva turds are a dime a dozen in Jewish culture, so if he existed, he was likely one of them. Your god does not exist, so I can also add that fact to any deliberations I may undertake in terms of evaluating the apparent conduct of people like you. Go die in a fire.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  3. Luke

    Gay people are not 'oppressed' by our government, they have just as many 'rights' as anyone else. Marriage is defined as one man and one woman being bound as one person under God and state. The fact that two gay men can't partake in the act is not oppression, because two straight guys can't either. Two straight dudes are just as 'oppressed' as gays because they can't get married either. If gay people want to have the same legal rights, the government should probably create some new legal process that binds the two under one name and allows them to see each other in hospitals and whatever else they're making a fuss about.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Answer

      Get over your own spiel. Marriage is fundamentally about what the government allows as a benefit towards a couple for taxation purposes.

      Your babble 'marriage' was never a significant view until the government made it more critical to define it.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Answer

      Hit the age of 65+ and go into retirement and see how that marriage certificate really does you and your significant other a real advantage. Then go to your church and see how they'll look at you.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Hillcrester

      My wife and I have been married (MF) for 35+ years, and I assure you god was nowhere in sight during our courthouse ceremony. "Defined under god" is your belief, not law. Failure to respect that earns you folks every condemnation possible. Any effort to turn your beliefs into law will be opposed by every legal means possible. And you will be justly ridiculed for your hubris,

      May 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "Marriage is defined as one man and one woman being bound as one person under God and state. The fact that two gay men can't partake in the act is not oppression, because two straight guys can't either."

      What is that supposed to mean?? Which straight guys want to get married?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Marriage is marriage whatever you call it dummy.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Brian

      So you think it's alright to deny people certain legal benefits for who they are? Tell you what, if you want to deny gay couples access to marriage, then you need to give up the legal benefits straight couples receive.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  4. Dan

    When a gay couple is able to conceive a child then and only then I will think being gay is OK.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Marie

      Since lesbians can conceive, I guess you're cool with gay people!

      May 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Dan. It doesnt matter. Gay people will soon be given the same rights as you. You beliefs are dying.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Your beliefs are dying

      May 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Your Answer

      For your information, Dan, gay people have wonderful reproductive organs fully capable of reproduction any time they want and when they want. Then there is also artificial insemination as many have used to bear children and are now proud parents.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Also Consider

      You're right, Your Answer, what should not matter is whether it was a "couple" having the children as much as the fact that they (gays and lesbians) chose to have them in the first place by whatever means. But in Dan's camp, they have them and some abort them. Now where's the real sin!

      May 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • John

      So the elderly, or women women who are infertile or have some kind health problem so they can't get pregnant, or impotent men will be unable to marry because they are unable to conceive a child? That's right up there with the woman who told me because my children were not Baptised that they couldn't go to heaven.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • In Agreement

      Well Said, @Also Consider! Very Well Said and Also Factual! 🙂

      May 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • They're Fruitful

      I've known quite a few gays and lesbians who have children, Dan, because they want them. The gay male goes to a lesbian friend and either conceives by the act or by artificial insemination. It happens all the time though people don't always hear about it.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Danny boy, does it bother you that many straight couples can't conceive? Then why does it bother you if gays either adopt, choose a sperm or egg donor, or have a surrogate? Lots of other straight couples do, too.

      You're pretty stupid, aren't you?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  5. bluesblast

    You remember when all the folks who believe in the fairy god in the sky also said the bible condemned interracial marriage?
    Now no one even bothers to say the bible says such a stupid thing as god hates interracial marriage.

    The reason these numskulls claim that their religion is being persecuted is they no longer have the upper hand in persecuting folks who don't believe as they do. Get over it! The bible was written by men not by some eternal being living in the sky. That is why it has the same biases as mortal men. No god would condemn anyone for wanting to love the person of their choice!

    May 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
  6. Domino Dancing

    It is pretty sad that this article bans all of my posts that include the word H OMO SE XUAL. Why? If nothing is wrong with it then when are my posts being filtered when I use it?

    May 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  7. Choomba

    Some people will never learn. Should we kill them? Maybe. The damage they do is extreme. Am I talking about religion? Some.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  8. Hillcrester

    Evangelicals give "holier than thou" a whole new level of arrogant meaning.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
  9. ShawnDH

    Somebody should tell "Christians" who usually know absolutely nothing about the Bible, that one man, one woman marriage based on love didn't exist as a concept until the 20th-century. Marriage is ALWAYS being redifined. If you support "Biblical marriage" do you support polygamy with women as property?

    May 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • The Truth

      4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ [a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ [b] ? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Jesus. Matthew 19:4-6 NIV

      May 31, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  10. Entropy

    All Christians do not feel they are more important then the rest of the world.
    All Christians do not feel that treating their fellow human beings as less then human is a good thing.
    To say that all Christians are now in a minority is a gross over-exaggeration.
    In a world that continues to become increasingly open to the needs and rights of it's citizens only one group becomes marginal.
    Those who would see others suffer for their own false security.
    Those who would turn their back on their fellow human beings.
    These are the new minority.

    In my opinion.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
  11. Dr Bip

    Civil liberties are not about "postmodern relativism." They are foundational to our culture and based on Enlightenment beliefs in the right for everyone to be free. No one is trying to force Evangelicals to engage in gay behavior. They are free not to. But the gays are not free. They are the truly persecuted minority. Just giving you all a reality check.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Hillcrester

      You are absolutely correct,

      May 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  12. USA 0975

    So your idea of tolerance is to not tolerate those who disagree with you wow is that progressive there are people in this world who think differently and the inability to not express ones views because of pc bs is the problem In this country

    May 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Michael

      Hiding behind "the world is too politically correct" is usually the stronghold for those who hate people for no good reason and wish to express such with no consequences. If you feel that strongly about it, have the courage of your convictions and be proud of it without being a coward and whining about how the PC world is ruining things for you. If you're going to do that, then you're nothing more than a part of the PC world that you complain about. If you don't feel strongly enough to voice your views openly, then you probably know you're in the wrong. Either way, you're just as much of a problem as those you whine about.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Dr Bip

      Tolerance is no one's personal idea. It is foundational to our country, based on Enlightenment beliefs in the inherent equality of all people.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  13. Marie

    My acquaintance with several evangelicals has taught me that certain types of Christians are constantly telling themselves that being Christian gets you persecuted, that they're two steps away from being fed to lions, etc. etc., and they take pride in that.

    But man, the moment society does something as mild as legalize something they don't like, with mild (and purely social) consequences for opposing that something... they flip out. Sheesh.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  14. Socrates

    Most "Christians" don't know Jesus's intentions. Jesus proclaimed the right brain version of recipriocity "Love thy neighbor" to be the greatest commandment the same as loving the All Mighty with all of your heart, mind, and soul. It is very different from the semanticle left brain "do unto others" version. All biblical instructions, case studies, or personal deliberations, should be bumped against the greatest commandment before you act.
    Most of Christianity is still suffering from thousands of years of illiteracy and the absence of a printing press. It is my hope that one day Christ's words will find the masses.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  15. Ableza

    It's not just Christians. I hate all racists and bigots.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • BldrRepublican

      But you do "hate" them – that makes you a flaming hypocrite, you intolerant bigot!

      May 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • USA 0975

      Nice tolerance

      May 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • N&W 1000

      Just another wonderful tolerant, diverse, inclusive person.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
  16. JayneQP

    Our first amendment is a beautiful and glorious double edged sword: You are welcome to speak your mind, just don't be surprised when other Americans with the same rights disagree with you and are vocal about it. It's kind of like the Golden Rule, isn't it? If you treat people with disrespect, you will be treated similarly in turn. Try using kindness, compassion and friendship. Jesus did, didn't he?

    May 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  17. BldrRepublican

    As a Christian, I am allowed to disagree with lifestyles, habits, and behavior.
    That doesn't mean I "hate" anyone. That means I, like Jesus, don't accept every behavior.
    It has nothing to do with what I think of the person.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Would you vote against gay marriage?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • BldrRepublican

      Yup.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Why?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • BldrRepublican

      Would you vote against legalizing allowing legal-aged incestuous marraiges?
      How about polygamy?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • The Non Believer

      That is not an answer BldrRepublican.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Ok. Next its going to be about animals. Then you'll warn me about nazi germany. You are full of hate. And you didn't answer.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Alex Dundee

      So, gay marriage is no different than polygamy?

      And you wonder why people think you're a bigot?

      Let's pretend this is 1960 and I'm on your side:

      Would you vote against interracial marriage?

      Miscegeny? What about bestiality?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • BldrRepublican

      Because the Bible is rules of how to "live life the best" by the being who "invented" this thing we call "life". He will know how to do it best.
      In there, it clearly states that the "best way" to live this life is with a man and a woman. Nowhere does it mention that man/man or woman/woman is also a good way (granted, it's not specifically forbidden), but that's irrelevant.
      Want to do life "for the best"? Follow the rules of the creator of life.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • BldrRepublican

      @Alex-
      You are avoiding the question.
      Google "Sister Wives Lawsuit" and see for yourself.
      There *ARE* groups of people lobbying to redefine "marriage" to fit their agenda.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Socrates

      All of the bible is bogus except for the words of Christ. Particularly "Love the neighbor as thyself" is the greatest commandment.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Alex Dundee

      Polygamy is inherently a detriment to society. It leaves a permanent underclass of males who cannot find wives. Gay marriage is about two gay people having the same rights and benefits as married, straight COUPLES.

      You think gay marriage is the same as incest. You are a bigot, and future generations will be embarrassed by you the same way we're embarrassed over Jim Crow.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Hillcrester

      I fully agree with that principle, although I disagree with your views about GLBT. Speak out all you want. Just don't expect your beliefs to be reflected in civil law.,

      May 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • The Non Believer

      That is a religious justification for a secular law and not valid.

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

      @Alex-
      Read the lawsuit. It is YOUR opinion that polygamy is detrimental to society. (And nowhere does it say it must be one man and several women – it can be the other way around and address your "concerns" about an underclass of men). Besides, that "underclass" could just marry other men, right?

      Sorry, but according to your argument, we should be allowed to marry whomever we want, so WHY are you drawing the line and agreeing with forbidding certain marriages???

      That makes you a HYPOCRITE! and guilty of EXACTLY what you are castigating me for.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Brian

      You have every right to disagree with certain lifestyles. You have no right to force that belief on others, and expect others to conform to your beliefs. Stop confusing those two concepts.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • BldrRepublican

      Besides, one can argue that allowing gay marriages is a detriment to society because it relies on the fact that it remains a MINORITY.

      IF it ever became the majority of marriages, society would wither as it would require procreating children OUTSIDE of the marriage in order for society to continue.

      THAT makes gay marriages inherently detrimental to society.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • The Non Believer

      You can argue that the earth is the center of the solar system but that doesn't make it true. Where are your facts?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  18. N&W 1000

    Jason Collins needed ZERO courage to do what he did, because, everybody is slobbering all over him, fawning, and heaping praise upon him;

    Chris Broussard, on the other hand, is scorned, mocked, ridiculed, etc...it took a lot of courage for him to voice his opinion.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • craig

      To say Jason Collins had ZERO courage to come out...as a gay BLACK man in the NBA? What rock do you reside under?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      It doesn't take courage to be stupid.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • N&W 1000

      No rock; BUT, WHO in the NBA has OPPOSED what he did?

      NOBODY.

      Being black only makes him more immune from criticism.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • SkepticalOne

      So you hate gay people and black people. Any other ignorant bigotry that you would like to admit to while you are at it?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  19. Get over it

    This article invokes thought. The problem is Christians use the bible and verses to beat down people and pick only the verses they choose – and ignore the rest. Jesus says "let he who is without sin throw the 1st stone". These people have their own sins and ignore many of the old testament verses regarding their own lives. Whether it be sin or not, the bible and religious beliefs should not be used to deny people the right to marry one another and love one another. That is AGAINST all the new testament stands for.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • bigfoot

      Amen and AMEN.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Domino Dancing

      Actually, the new testament is AGAINST hom and clearly states that homes will not enter into the kingdom of the heavens along with all of the other willful and unrepentant sinners. PLEASE educate yourself.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Hillcrester

      Domino, if you try to tell me that your NT should have ANY effect on my life, you deserve to be called every vile name in the book. Why do you evangelicals keep trying to shove your odd beliefs down our throats?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • The Truth

      4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ [a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ [b] ? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Jesus Matthew 19:4-6 NIV

      May 31, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  20. james

    There is no right or wrong, good and evil if you're a free thinking atheist.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • N&W 1000

      That is exactly what my next door neighbor said about the Boston Marathon bombing.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Fernando

      Free-thinking atheists don't usually start sentences with "There is no..."
      Evangelical atheists might.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      NW
      You are sick

      May 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Alex Dundee

      So, belief in God is the only thing that makes you a good, moral person? Without religion, without a book or a preacher telling you right from wrong, without the ever-looming threat of eternal damnation, there is nothing stopping you from being a raping, murdering monster?

      And you think atheists have a problem?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Brian

      Ramen!

      May 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
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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.