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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. john

    think of it as population control since when does one percent of population dictate bigotry? only in America..

    May 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Constantin Chicioroaga

      Constantin Chicioroaga traianch2005@mail.ru
      I love every day and night on several occasions his partner Stephen, we get along very well, and even think to register our relationship and adopt a few children in Germany! We live in a free country, and we want to build their lives freely in a modern way, so we do not care about all of you and what you think of us – WE ARE GAY AND PROUD OF IT!

      November 13, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  2. SirHumphreyDavey

    These "conservative" Christians think they represent all Christian, but their school of Christianity is the same one that claimed a biblical justification for black slavery. It's the same one whose preachers (along with their community's teachers, police, civic leaders, and so forth) ranted against civil rights and for a continuation of Jim Crow, and who encouraged and applauded their teenage children to go beat up people in lunch counters. They've always been "conservatives" before they've been Christian. Then there is the school of Christianity characterized by Quakers, Congregationalists, and others, who understood that slavery was a terrible evil and didn't pretend to justify it with their religion. Don't be confused about what so-called "conservatives" are: American domestic history is the unbroken story of people having to fight against the right-wing for their most basic rights, usually in the face of violence. There is hardly a conservative today who wouldn't again resort to the gun and rope to rob you of your rights, in the name of God and country.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • And Furthermore

      And don't forget, Sir Humphrey, about The Inquisition! A dreadful and heinous time in history when thousands of innocent people lost their lives due to prejudice, bigotry, discrimination and hatred from the Christian wing.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  3. Sam

    This is the age of information. The media has nothing to do with the real dissemination of information today. We are nearly Borg in our desire to collectively interact and gather information. We are evolving both technologically and emotionally to be more tolerant of others views as our access to more and more points of view is broadened. With that we also are more aware of the old intolerant organizations of the past and can now see them for what they are, archaic control devices for a time of peasants and pageantry. Well good riddance I say, bigoted and hateful religion will not be missed by the citizens of the future...

    May 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  4. Elias

    God hates gays. All the talking in the world won't change that. There are no gays in heaven.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      So why does god make so many people gay?

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

      Are they in Valhalla then? Or Nirvana? Oh, wait, there is no evidence for heaven or heII so why should your comment carry any weight? Oh, that's right, it doesn't.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • Constantin Chicioroaga

        Constantin Chicioroaga traianch2005@mail.ru
        I love every day and night on several occasions his partner Stephen, we get along very well, and even think to register our relationship and adopt a few children in Germany! We live in a free country, and we want to build their lives freely in a modern way, so we do not care about all of you and what you think of us – WE ARE GAY AND PROUD OF IT!

        November 13, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • craig

      There is no God, Elias. But if there was, he would be judging you for judging others and making such hasty statements about people that he "hates". Put that in your Bible and thump it.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • God's Idea

      Actually. Elias, I hate YOU! I am so going to smite your sorry stupid a-ss unless you immediately change your ways.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • 10centsworth

      The only ones affected by your "reasoning" are fellow christians. Get it? And isn't it blasphemy to speak for god? Like you KNOW what's in his/her/its mind? This from reading a book written by men with an agenda to control the world with their blatherings, centuries of corrupt, evil popes leading to King James, who burned women at the stake and believed in the divinity of kings? THIS is what gives you the gall to speak for GOD?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Reality

      o "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the gay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore gays are gay because god made them that way.

      To wit:

      1. The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

      “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

      2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

      3. See also the From the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

      "Most scientists who study human se-xuality agree that gay people are born that way. But that consensus raises an evolutionary puzzle: How do genes associated with h-omose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?"
      http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/evolution/Gay-gene-deconstructed.html

      Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

      And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.

      To wit:

      From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

      Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

      As noted, there are basic biological differences in gay unions vs. heterose-xual marriage. Government benefits are the same in both but making the distinction is important for census data and for social responses with respect to potential issues with disease, divorce and family interactions.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Dave

      Elias – Amazing that you actually think you are a Christian. To suggest that you are able to know who gets into heaven and who does not is about as arrogant and sacreligious an act imaginable. Shame on you.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Mat

      I thoroughly agree that your god hates gays, which is why we should want to have nothing to do with him.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • lol??

      one must:

      "

      King James Version (KJV)
      John – Chapter 3

      Jhn 3:1 ¶ There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

      Jhn 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

      Jhn 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

      Jhn 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

      Jhn 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

      Jhn 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

      Jhn 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Peter

      God does not hate anyone, moron.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      If there were a god Elias and his ilk would be driving people away from her in droves.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:35 am |
  5. Lee Oates

    The idea than any "book" composed by basically illiterate people 2000 years ago is used as a guide for the 21st century is ridiculous. These evangelicals are still denying evolution. Hopefully they will return to the closet and keep their hate to themselves.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • lol??

      Bibles in the closet and Gays on parade
      What a culture the pwogwessives have made

      May 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  6. ShawnDH

    Awwwwww. Poor Christians. Their "freedom" to mindlessly oppress people based on ancient Middle Eastern fairy tales is being taken away from them. Awwwwwww! They are SO OPPRESSED!

    May 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  7. nclaw441

    I wonder if faith has a genetic element.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  8. N&W 1000

    That NBA player, he is a third rate, back bencher, old, with no team, bouncing around with no contract.

    BUT he is brilliant.

    NOW, he WILL get an NBA contract, OR ELSE...

    May 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  9. Really

    You guys are an angry mob and you can't put all of them in one basket. I don't even believe in god and I see that some of you are lunatic extremists. Some Christians suck and some don't it's as simple as that.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • lol??

      Saved Israel and lost Israel. Fleshly Israel and Spiritual Israel. Old Jerusalem and New Jerusalem.

      "Mat 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

      May 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  10. lol??

    Ti*tle:"When Christians become a 'hated minority'"

    Is the story worth reading?? Anybody heard of narrow??

    "Mat 7:14 Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it"

    May 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Reality

      As with all NT passages, Matt 7: 14 has been thoroughly analyzed for historic authenticity by many contemporary NT scholars. See for example, Professor Gerd Ludemann's analysis in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 152-153. " This passage is inauthentic as it was formulated by the community or by Matthew himself." See also http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb163.html

      May 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • lol??

      Ludemann is lewd and doesn't have God in his temple.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
  11. Patrick

    Anyone who believes the Bible is God's Literal Word (less than one third of Christians believe that btw) either hasn't read the Bible or is INSANE.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • nclaw441

      Patrick why is your hatred of Christians any less wrong than the hatred you say you oppose?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • lol??

      How do you want me to take your comment?? Literally or metaphorically?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
      • Constantin Chicioroaga

        Constantin Chicioroaga traianch2005@mail.ru
        I love every day and night on several occasions his partner Stephen, we get along very well, and even think to register our relationship and adopt a few children in Germany! We live in a free country, and we want to build their lives freely in a modern way, so we do not care about all of you and what you think of us – WE ARE GAY AND PROUD OF IT!

        November 13, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Patrick

      I didn't say I hated anyone and if you could bother to actually read and live in reality you'd see my comments weren't directed at Christians, just at about one third of Christians who are extremists. Whatever makes you feel better though.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Patrick

      @nclaw441 – I don't hate the ignorant or the insane person, I just hate their immorality.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • lol??

      "Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."

      May 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  12. N&W 1000

    I appreciate CNN for faithfully running stories to bash Christians, but never Islam.

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

      Why would they bother? Not even 1% of Americans are Muslim.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Lee Oates

      Sounds like one and the same to me.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      They have stories about islam all of the time, some critcal, some not. Research before posting.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Michael

      You apparently missed their many articles on the girl who got her nose chopped off by her Islamic relatives. Or maybe you just ignored them because you wanted to pretend only your religion is looked down upon for its nutcases.

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

      What a surprise, more of the "poor me".

      May 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  13. Ricky

    Wow, I feel sorry for these people no belief in Jesus you a bunches ignorants, Ooh, I forget you are monkey or probably came from the space most be alien but is more belief you came from nasa experiment always go against nature

    May 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Ricky. You shouldnt post. You are making christians look dumb.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Not dumb, DUMBER.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:43 am |
  14. Reality

    Only for the newbies:

    Hmmm, another Sunday morning CNN headline and the Belief blog lights up like a holiday tree. To put things into 21st century perspective:

    The Apostles' Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    May 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  15. Kenneth

    People who believe in the bible are generally are generally the least educated people in western societies.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • nclaw441

      Kenneth, you have no basis for that statement.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      You're absolutely right. They are educated. And yet, despite that education, they are mind-numbingly ignorant. I spoke with a man 2 weeks ago who claimed that the earth is 6500 years old, that dinosaurs are a fraud, and that there is no evidence to support evolution. He was being absolutely sincere in his religiously derived delusions.
      Both pathetic and frightening.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      You can"t fix stupid, but you can stun it with a two by four.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:45 am |
  16. Tyler

    I believe wholeheartedly that Christianity is one of the great evils of our time. It's no wonder people are leaving them by the thousands.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • N&W 1000

      CERTAIN WORDS are censored on here, and the H WORD is one of them, you know, if you do not use "Gay" the H word, you
      cannot print that on here.

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

      Don't stop with Christianity:

      (only for the newbies)

      Putting the kibosh on all religions in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

      • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

      • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

      • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

      • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

      • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

      • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sihkism.

      Added details available upon written request.

      A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

      e.g. Taoism

      "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

      Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

      May 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Yup

      Nce try troll.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  17. Marton Heart

    If Christians can believe so faithfully in the sin, why do they have so much trouble with: "Judge not"; "Love Thy Neighbor"; and, "Forgive"?

    May 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  18. Hindu

    The persecution environment is being created by the globalist media which has been bullying and demonizing on this issue - for the interest of the new world order for their masters

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

      This is the age of information. The media has nothing to do with the real dissemination of information today. We are nearly Borg in our desire to collectively interact and gather information. We are evolving both technologically and emotionally to be more tolerant of others views as our access to more and more points of view is broadened. With that we also are more aware of the old intolerant organizations of the past and can now see them for what they are, archaic control devices for a time of peasants and pageantry. Well good riddance I say, bigoted and hateful religion will not be missed by the citizens of the future.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  19. One one

    Out of all the "sins" in the bible, I find it curious that Christians are so obsessed with h0m0s3xuality ? Jesus talked more about adultery and divorce. Why don't christians make such a big fuss about those "sins" ?

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

      Because then they would be stuck in their so called perfect marriages.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • angela

      Oh, but we do. Adulterers and fornicators are removed from the fellowship for a period of time.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Alex Dundee

      @ angela

      Then why do so many icons and leaders on the religious right have 2nd and third wives and get caught having affairs so often?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Dave

      angela... but do you fight for laws to ban divorces, to prohibit fornicators, adulterers, masturbators, etc. from receiving equal rights? No. It's only the supposed gay sin that sparks such action. And before there was gay marriage, there was tooth and nail fighting to keep gays out of the military and to keep sodomy laws on the books.

      This article is a joke. Nobody persecutes Christians in America. They only get called out when they try to persecute others. Nobody suggests that any right be taken away or denied them. If they would just mind their own business and live their lives as they want without trying to force their religious laws on a secular country, nobody would hate them.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • ruth1098

      That's a good question with a good answer: You don't see people holding parades celebrating GLUTONY, or T-shirts declaring that they are GREEDY and proud, or legal battles to redefine THEFT so that kleptomaniacs can avoid prosecution. There really isn't another sinful activity that people use as a characteristic identifier–I am a glutton; I am greedy, I am a thief–the way that people currently use gay (I am gay). The current redefining of the words gay and marriage in our culture is forcing people to focus on this issue in a public way. That simply is not happening with other, also problematic sins.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I don't believe it's a sin. I don't really care what you think about it.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Fundamentalists keep reelecting them. David Vitter, Newt Gingrich, and now Sanford is working his comeback. Adultery is such a common sin among christians that it is no longer a disqualifier from pubic office..

      May 6, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  20. Yonah

    Christians do not speak for me because I am Jewish. Christians need to get over that they cant impose their beliefs on the rest of us Nor can they speak for the Hindus Moslems Shiks etc. Keep your Christ in your hearts and in your Church.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
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About this blog

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