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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. Ryan Cameron

    So, Christianity wants to say "you'll all burn forever" but then gets all defensive when we call them "bigots". You want us all dead and burning forever...how is calling you a "bigot" even close to that?

    May 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Well stated. I don't worship the god of the bible, in part, because I don't worship terrorists. I don't think it's possible to imagine a more evil character than one who could do away with the eternal suffering of hell yet allows it to continue.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  2. I weep for the world

    First off, I want to say that I enjoyed this article. It gives another perspective and identifies a growing trend in this debate. Theists and atheists will always be on opposing sides of the battle field, with morality being the prize. This is as an excellent quote and should be considered by all:

    "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."

    Theists and atheist alike are guilty of being intolerant. And I don't need to defend the amount of wars started because of differences in religion, neither will I condone those who do evil and claim no god. i.e Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge.
    We do horrible things to each other not because of religious beliefs or differences, its basic human nature.

    Anything made by nature will decay in time, and anything made by man will have faults, since humans are imperfect, and will fail in time as well. But God's will and His works will last forever.

    This is for my fellow believers, my brothers and sisters in the Lord, to not lose faith and hope. And to those who seek discredit a "2000 year old" book, and that the Bible is irrelevant and just fairy tales, here's what it said 2000 years ago on this very subject. And I'm not talking a single line or verse and "cherry picking" either:

    John 15:17-27 Jesus talking to his disciples:
    18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. 22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures[a]: ‘They hated me without cause.’"

    But take comfort:
    26 “But I will send you the Advocate[b]—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. 27 And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry."

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

      So in the end you gave us a wall of text just to get around to finally issuing a threat that your pretend sky friend will get us all if we don't obey. What is the quote about crazy people not being able to see how crazy they are?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Choomba

      Your god does not exist. Nothing you do or say can change that. There is no such thing as magic. Weep for your insanity.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Alex Dundee

      "They [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion. "

      -Thomas Jefferson

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

      It appears that morality may not the the purview of humanity but is found in much of the animal kingdom. Which means we do not need the man-made bible or the religions it has spawned in order to live a moral life. Go ahead and weep for the world. I weep for those who can't live a moral life without the fear of some kind of external retribution.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • The Truth

      Amen.

      May 31, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
  3. arao6

    God may exist, or may not. I respect everyone's opinions, but personally, I think God _does_ exist; however, who are we to say that we understand anything about "God" (if he or it does exist)?

    Every religious person walks around with their holy scripture, claiming that their scripture speaks of the truth, but there is no way to validate anyone's claims. People state that only their God is the true God, and that doesn't make any sense because in the end, it really doesn't matter what we believe in. We all end up back with God (if he or it exists). All this religious violence occurring in the world today could be completely negated with a little practical sense: religion doesn't matter in the light of science OR in the light of God.

    "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." – Galatians 3:28
    That quote shows that it doesn't matter who we are, for if God exists we'll end up back with him.

    "As men approach me, so I receive them. All paths, Arjuna, lead to me." – Bhagavad Gita 4:11 (Hinduism)
    All paths lead to God, regardless of what faith people follow, regardless of one's beliefs. If this world, its inherent physical laws, and one's veridical perceptions are a result of one's consciousness, then that consciousness (as a result of neurophysiology) are nothing but impressions left by external stimuli, a result of that consciousness.

    All religions seem to imply that they are right, but any scientific minded person (who is also religious) will find that claiming anything as "true" without proof doesn't make any sense. Despite this, I still believe in God because of some experiences I've had as a child... other than that, I think people should start considering things through a rational, scientific perspective.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Henry

      John 15: 5- 6, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned”

      May 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Science

      arao6...............looks like you have none .........morals that is ?............can provide more facts if needed !

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

      Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !

      Where do morals come from?

      By Kelly Murray, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/12/where-do-morals-come-from/#comments

      No fairy in the sky !

      May 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ arao6: You said "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." – Galatians 3:28
      That quote shows that it doesn't matter who we are, for if God exists we'll end up back with him."

      Do you see what you are doing/ You are quoting the bible, then using it to support your as-sertion that "if god exists we'll end up with him".

      No. No, no. no.

      It's just a book. It doesn't prove, or establish, or support, anything.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  4. Acceler8

    Funny, how I don' remember the Bible making any references to Jesus dating. What if Jesus was gay? Answer that you staunch bible bangers. Really - contemplate that - Jesus never married. However, this question would require an "open mind" & most Christian Conservatives don't know what phrase even means.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • John 13: 23-25

      23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
      24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.
      25 He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Henry

      Am I My Brother’s Keeper Or My Brother’s Hater?

      http://henryastabrotherkeeperorbrotherhater.blogspot.com/2013/03/america-was-born-christian-nation.html

      May 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Answer

      Tell us about the life of jeebus from when he was from 2 years old to his early thirties.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Answer: read a book by Christopher Moore – "Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Friend". Hilarious, profound, profane – I highly, highly recommend it.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • The Truth

      To John 13 post: " Jesus Predicts His Betrayal

      18 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned [a] against me.’ [b]

      19 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. 20 Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”

      21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”

      22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”

      25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” John 13: 18-25 NIV

      May 31, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  5. Ruby

    Maybe this is not so strange: to rally a group of followers together, tell them “You are under attack but we will protect you” – as in Gays (or whatever enemy you choose) will wreck society and abuse the children.
    Then to gain control and support, “We are under attack by a powerful enemy, but we will fight them off!” – as in, send money so we can defend you.

    Big, political business, church.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Answer

      @Ruby

      It's called motivate the flock through fear.

      It's their favorite calling card.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Amen. And Gay people are easy because they will never have a majority.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      The only thing is they didn't expect the youths to side against them.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  6. Brian

    Christians seem to confuse the right to believe what you wish with the ability to force that belief on others. You have every right to disagree with others. You have no right to expect everyone to conform to that belief. This is why people complain about these people, and call these people unintelligent. You expect others to conform to you beliefs.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Henry

      You may disagree all the way to hell! the choice is yours!

      May 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • 10centsworth

      Hey Henry. You gonna ascend to orchestral background while your neighbors children roast? Is that what you believe? You folks are hoping and praying this beautiful world, which just might be heaven, ends in a ball of fire in YOUR lifetime. Too bad you don't have the mental capacity to take a step back and analyze that thinking. You folks are insane.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  7. jimmy

    chris broussard thinks gays are living in open rebellion against god. yet he makes his living off of pro football, which is propped up by illegal gambling, alcohol abuse, and pure monetary greed, is played by wife beaters, drunk drivers, drug abusers, and dog killers, and is chosen instead of church by millions of americans every sunday. who is in open rebellion against god?

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

      Yeah, but God is so interested in the scores on Sunday he picks the winners and losers, just ask Tim Tebow...

      May 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  8. Steve

    Poor white Christians! Everybody picks on you!

    May 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • TheTruth

      Don't be racist.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Henry

      Don’t worry about the poor white Christians, worry about yourself because if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ you are condemned already and on your way to hell.

      John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son

      May 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • TXLady

      poor jerk, he couldn't come up with anything good to say...

      May 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Ruby

      Hey, that's a good point. Black Christians don't bash gays?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Chris Rowland

      Try being Christian is Saudi Arabia or Iran (a lot tougher than being a Muslim in San Francisco). Try being a Christian in China, or North Korea. Christians overall (compared to most everybody else) have been tolerant of minorities, even gays. Where, other than in countries with a Christian heritage, are gay rights championed or taken seriously?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  9. Russt

    Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent–and often even vocal–sanction of things as they are.

    But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust., Martin Luther King Jr., letters From Birmingham...

    May 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Answer

      They want to still cling on to their authority. Technology and reason erodes it from them each and every day.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      The judgement of god? What god? There are thousands of them. And who are you, in your ignorance, who claims to know what is in the mind of whatever god you are referring to. That's like a virus saying it KNOWS what Einstein thought.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      I hope the youths help. They see how crazy we have been. Running our lives based on some ancient book written by men.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  10. Billygoat 72

    Let's cut to the cause of things,
    The bible, as wonderful as an inspiration to the soul, to be taken in the literal sense, word for word, is a tad bit precocious. The bible was written after hundreds of years of the oral tradition, in some cases longer. Sorry peeps, but the telling of one story to next will almost always change from person to person; some elements will disappear and others will be added to fix the nature of the storyteller. Then to find out that it was edited in the 4th century to appease an overzealous ruler that was pushing the religion on conquered people; Charlemagne.

    Ultimately, if I started a quoting any other book that was written under those pretenses, you would call me an idiot, easily mislead, even down right stupid. But since it is something that people have been raised to accept in the face of conflicting evidence, rational conversation will never be reached. Try convincing someone that their whole belief system is grounded on half truths and speculation.

    With that said, the foundation of the Creation can be dismissed by light; the acknowledgment of the fact that we see the light from the sun. Light is usually expressed in TIME, not velocity, due to the how fast it travels and how much distance it covers in a set amount of TIME. Because of the advancement of sensitive imagery and the measurement of light in different spectrums, we can measure the distance of of galaxies and stars. That distance gives us the amount of TIME it took to reach Earth; the most recent is closer to 14 Billion, with a B, years.

    In Genesis, the Earth was created before the lights in the sky, stars. If that is truly the case then the earth is older than 14 Billion years old which is totally conflicting with the idea that it is roughly 6-8 Thousand years old.

    The point being, if you can easily dismiss the foundation of the basis for your religion, you have to question the validity of the literal word for the rest.

    I am Catholic, was raised Catholic, and have faith. I refute the literal verse of the bible as it applies to whom we love and how one condemns. The Christian religions that came have sprouted have been around for only a few hundred years, and they were created to appease the whim of man on how to celebrate the word of god. Episcopalians came because a king wanted divorce; Lutherans because of the indiscretions of the Catholic church toward the rich; Baptists so that its priests could marry. None of this was in the bible, and most goes AGAINST the word of god.

    At the end of the day, to condemn others that are not like you when your own practicing faith goes against the teachings of a book that has been altered with not much of a historical validity could be considered not only hypocritical, but also blasphemous and idiotic.

    God/Jesus is supposed to judge. that was written as clear as bell. So when you start condemning people with HATE in your heart for those who want to practice LOVE, are you not wrongly speaking for the lord? I can't change your mind but to contradict myself, "he who has committed no sin...". Love people, this is about love.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Henry

      There aren’t any Christian’s only men pleasers. Christians would acknowledge Christ before men by shouting fearlessly, daringly, and courageously from the rooftops in condemnation to all the devices of the wicked.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  11. Ricky

    Sodomy and Gomorrah that is you end. They say about Noah is crazy and what happens all drowned and is physical evidence on that.

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

      How dumb you are.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Ricky. You are making christians look stupid. Stop writing nonsense.

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

      Sorry may be my writing is bad but I have common sense more smart you think you are less sense you have. GOD BLESS YOU AND JESUS BLOOD OVE YOU.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Answer

      The christard shout.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      @ricky: please get help from an english speaker.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      He is an american. He is just a little slow.

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

    There aren’t any Christian’s only men pleasers. Christians would acknowledge Christ before men by shouting fearlessly, daringly, and courageously from the rooftops in condemnation to all the devices of the wicked.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      "devices of the wicked" like propoganda, such as the bible?

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

    Minority? Give me a break. Most of the country is christian and those who aren't are the ones who truly turn out to be alienated. I wouldn't dare tell my employer or friends how I feel about xtianity. That's being a minority. Get off it.

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

      True absolutely true. But Evangelicals loudly proclaim their holiness sometimes right upon first meeting. It's like a shout out looking for their own kind. Some of them actually favor their own and don't process that their own can be big liars. It is destructive in business and it clouds their management decisions. I don't say this lightly I have observed this several times. Not Catholics or Lutherans or some of the other more traditional religions but Evangelicals – the holly roller crowd.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
  14. Darwin

    If the EVANGELICALS today had the secular powers of arrest and imprisonment that they did 300 years ago, you can be sure they would be thrilled to hunt down all you INSOLENT AND HERETIC POSTERS and send you down to their DUNGEONS where you would be tortured until you repented your refusal to acknowledge GOD'S LOVE. If Christians tortured suspected heretics in the 17th century and used the inerrant BIBLE to justify it, then torture of heretics must be OK today too, based on the "timeless truths" of the Bible, right?

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

      Nonsense.
      Anti-marriage equality isn't fair and it isn't right. But what you are doing right here, right now with that post is also absolute nonsense.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  15. BillWinIdaho

    Democrats are a party of progress, enlightenment, and science. There is no room in the Democratic Party for any religion, including Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Religion is from the Past. Democrats are for the future.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Alex Dundee

      As a heathen, left-leaning liberal, I think you're full of it. The Democratic Party is full of observant Jews and super-religious minorities and has no problem entwining themselves with religion when it suits their agenda.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  16. john

    think of it as population control. since when does less than 1 percent of population dictate bigotry. only in America.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  17. Answer

    ==quote==
    Elias

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

    The glorious spiel of the christards in full view. XD

    Dream the little dream while you're safe in your bubble.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  18. Jeanne

    "Christians" are not "hated" in this society (and in America, I don't believe they are a "minority" ...It's all the HYPOCRITES that we find repulsive.
    I went to 12 years of Catholic School and had a Baptist Grandma who took me to Sunday school every Sunday during the summers (eventually moving to more evangelical churches as we grew older), and two of the overwhelming messages I remember that was past down by Jesus were "LOVE one another!" and "Judge not, lest thou be judged"....
    The MAJORITY of the "haters" and very public "judgers" out there are so called "Christians".
    I my mind these are not true Christians – Leroy Butler seems to be a TRUE Christian...that is, one that follows the teachings of Christ!

    May 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Yet another No True Scotsman argument...weak.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Visitor

      No they are Christians. Some might be "good" or some might be "bad" or not agree with the doctrines but they are all Christians. Hitler was a Christian. It's the same as Muslims saying terrorists aren't Muslims. They might be bad Muslims but they are Muslims. Stalin was an Atheist. There are "good" and "bad" people, and people we don't agree with, no matter what the tribe.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  19. Charlotte, NC

    Being gay is a choice. Then you can choose not to do it. If you was born gay, you can born again through the power of Jesus Christ. Have a blessed day!

    May 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Thanks for proving how intolerant christians can be.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Flat out lie.
      When exactly did you choose to be straight?

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

      Do you know this, Charlotte, through personal experience? Please share your sapphic adventures and spare us no details, as you seem to be an expert on the"not born that way" logic...speak!!!!

      May 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • anonymous

      First, your grammar needs work. Second, you're wrong on so many levels. Read a book. (No, not THAT one).

      May 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Bill

      Probably when a girl said yes. You gays decided to switch sides after a barrage of NO's!

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

      you are a very naïve and ignorant person. I happen to be straight, but the gay people I know, did not "choose" to be that way. And I know plenty who have tried to be "reborn through Christ" and deny their true orientation, then later left their wife and children, because that was not who they really were.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Ricky

      Amen. They no born like that. Is just demond take them

      May 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Alex Dundee

      "you can born again through the power of Jesus Christ"

      Like Ted Haggard?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Science

      Charlotte, NC...........looks like you have none .........morals that is ?

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

      Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !

      Where do morals come from?

      By Kelly Murray, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/12/where-do-morals-come-from/#comments

      May 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • David

      Thank you for your unresearched and uneducated opinion. Science however tells us a different story, one with facts and data and research that shows that we are born gay and no amount of prayer will change what gender we are attracted to.

      If you want to say that engaging in gay s e x is a choice, yes, that's true, just like engaging in hetro s e x is a choice and you can choose to remain celibate if that's your thing or if someone made you feel so guilty about your preference at some point. The fact is that when you remove the invented deities who some claim have made rules as to our s e x ual activity, the stigma and guilt and shame drop away and we can get on to the very rewarding job of living and being good to one another.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Visitor

      I'll pray for you to not be ignorant. Have a blessed day 🙂 I can pour perfume on the pigs also 🙂

      May 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  20. Daryl

    What goes around, comes around!

    May 5, 2013 at 12:31 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.