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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. Liberal for Life

    If you are a white guy, especially if you are a white guy with a family, you are a hateful bigot liar. PERIOD!

    May 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Tamsyn

      Nonsense.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Religion

      Lame attempt.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Not very Liberal for life.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Sharon

      Please. Stop playing the victim card. That position is laughable.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Brad76

      What?

      May 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Science

      Liberal for Life.............BULLSH-IT.....

      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

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

      BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

      Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet

      Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425142250.htm

      Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

      The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

      The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

      Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

      April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

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      Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418104324.htm

      And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

      the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

      Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

      Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145821.htm

      No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

      Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

      No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

      Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

      Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423134037.htm

      Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute

      http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/.../page4

      Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

      Good stuff !

      The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

      Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

      Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

      For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

      Where do morals come from?

      By Kelly Murray, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/

      Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

      Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

      Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
      bears his name as the “God particle.”

      http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/08/atheist-prof-peter-higgs-stop-calling-higgs-bosen-the-god-particle/

      Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
      Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/28/pope-praises-science-but-insists-god-created-world/

      Science

      Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
      By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/17/heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-hawking-says/

      April 7th, 2012

      08:32 PM ET

      The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/comment-page-137/#comment-2281915

      Make sure to read comments

      April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

      Breaking News

      NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/18/us/planet-discovery/index.html

      NASA: Mars could have supported life

      Star Dust we are

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWdU_px9ApE

      Holy Hallucinations 35

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XTCRdC8Dlo

      The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

      Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

      Human Evolution

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2cHumanevo.shtml

      BBC. Planet of the Apemen. Battle for Earth 1. Ho-mo Erectus

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUliLKSJ4bQ&feature=player_embedded

      BACKFILL on E =mc2.....

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

      By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

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

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

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/category/culture-science/

      May 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |

      Cheech & Chong's History of 420

      http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/3b1508d1f0/cheech-chong-s-history-of-420?rel=player&playlist=341944

      All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................

      The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.

      Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

      Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

      Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

      Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.

      http://www.aclupa.org/legal/legaldocket/intelligentdesigncase/dovertrialtranscripts.htm

      Education works for children

      Earth From Space

      Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

      Program Description

      "Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/earth-from-space.html

      February 16, 2013 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |

      Peace

      May 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • I'm 45, single, unemployed, and live with my parents

      You are so right.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • LOL

      Hey, dumb atheists, nobody reads your moronically long posts! Hello?

      May 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • tallulah13

      @"Liberal for Life"

      As a three year old of my acquaintance once said about an older child who was throwing a temper tantrum at a grocery store: "Baby. Wah."

      May 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  2. Hillcrester

    Disagreement and even ridicule are not hatred.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  3. Francis

    Is Christian bashing OK? Why is that not considered a hate crime?

    May 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Errday

      It's only a hate crime when we fight back. It's only class warfare when we fight back. It's only (insert hypocrisy here) when we fight back.
      You are a bully playing the victim card. Bullies deserve hate. You are not a victim, you are a piece of filth.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      That depends on your definition of bashing. If you mean striking with a club, then yes that would be a hate crime and punishable.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • lol??

      You can't make a hobby a crime.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Visitor

      If that was the definition, half of what is on Fox News and AM Talk Radio would be hate speech.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Darwin

      Francis – It's not "bashing" to make fun of Evangelicals and Fundies who 1) believe that a foolish women listened to a talking snake 6000 years ago and caused all of us to be dammed with original sin – how silly! 2) believe a donkey talked because the Bible says so 3) believe that a guy named Noah took all the animals (including Tyranosaurus rex, whom God made a vegetarian during the boat ride) onto an ark 5000 years ago 4) believe that Noah's flood caused most of the geological features on this planet, etc. etc. Fortunately, brave and brilliant scientists and doctors threw off the oppression and control of the church and started to think for themselves – otherwise you'd be long dead from one of the diseases that the Bible says is caused by demons.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  4. Bryan

    I can't really hear anything because the sound of hypocrisy is deafening. The hate speech spewed by these so-called Christians has caused generations of gay folks to feel they need to hide, or worse, to commit suicide or be lynched. America is finally waking up to how horrible a thing that is to do to our fellow Americans, and they want us to pity them for leading the bigot parade? No thanks.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Hillcrester

      The only thing I can agree with in this opinion piece is that anti-GLBTs are a minority within the US electorate, although they have considerable political clout in some states.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • lol??

      Yeah bryan, almost a half million years of Gay Resentment!! One would think the race would have evolved by now!!

      May 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  5. wowcnnjustwow

    worst....article....ever....

    May 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  6. Joe

    You're not a bigot if you believe that being gay is a sin. You're a bigot if you think that being gay is a sin AND you have to coerce people into not being gay by punishing it...such as by putting legal restrictions on relationships that gay individuals are involved in.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Agreed. Youre just stupid if you think its a sin.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • lol??

      The Beasties will sort it out, guaranteed. Usurping is a way of life for em.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • TXLady

      Agree! But the foundation of being a Christian has nothing to do with one thinks of somebody else. That doesn't make someone worthy or not. That is up to God. It is depending on the individual's relationship with his/her God. It is not somebody else's business!

      May 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  7. TXLady

    please be careful when you talk about the extreme right as if they were the only Christians. Christians come in all political spectrums. The right wing nuts don't own Christianity. Many of them are confused about what that really means, anyway.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • lol??

      Yup, the leavening is quite far advanced.

      "Mat 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened."

      May 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  8. lol??

    When is the socialist mob and their gubmint god gonna let the citizen masters become "FREE AND CLEAR"??

    May 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, good. I'm so glad you finally learned that "socie" isn't a word.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • lol??

      You socies are such bullies. Learn that in Sodom?? Tommy two bwain??

      May 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I learned that if one has a speech impediment that causes one to say "r" as "w", it's best to get therapy. And you desperately need some.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • lol??

      Ah so, despewate housewives!

      May 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • lol??

      How do you feel about those with se*xual impediments, tommy tommy??

      May 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You mean not only are you in need of speech therapy, you need s#x therapy, too? My sympathies. You are multiply handicapped.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • lol??

      Is there an Affirmative Action slot for that tommy, tommy, mommie??

      May 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  9. BldrRepublican

    @Visitor-
    You need to educate yourself. – look at the population replacement rates of "advanced" societies – Europe, the US. They are at MOST 2.0 – which is DYING. Europe is at 1.7

    Anything below 2.1 and the society is dying. Read and learn it.

    All of the population growth is occurring in countries too poor to care for their people.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      And do we really need more people? Maybe we should help educate the poor so they slow down also.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Answer

      Look at the fear in your post..

      Really ? If the population of the entire Earth goes along below the 2.0 margin and we have a decline in the overall population of 7 billion – we're doomed?

      Hilarious.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Visitor

      You know Republican, I almost went there with the last post, and decided not to. But you sure opened yourself up, so I will complete my last post with...

      Unless you are one of those White People who are paranoid that the Planet is Running out of White People to Pay Social Security and things like that.

      Hitler felt the same way. Too many minorities, not enough Whites. Which is why he outlawed Abortions for German Woman and encouraged child bearing among German Women so they would produce more German Flesh.

      Now, I like all of us as much as the next person and am White as White comes. But I am CERTAINLY not concerned about the population of this planet. If anything, a falling birth rate is to be CELEBRATED. It means us women are taking control of our childbirth and we have plenty of people on this planet. Next step, educate and empower women in those third world countries. Agreed. Their birth rates should also fall. So I would respectfully ask you, Republican, to help the Men of those Countries understand that Women should control their own Bodies, so they can be as advanced as We Are.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
  10. tim

    Religion is myth. Tax the churches and the businesses owned by the churches.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • TXLady

      Don't say this as if it were the truth, it is only your opinion!

      May 5, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ TX – do you believe in Thor and Odin and the other Norse gods, or do you consider stories about them to be myths?

      May 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Sharon

      I ABSOLUTELY AGREE that religions and thier business should be taxed!!! Have been saying the same thing myself for years.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • TXLady

      Sharon, agree on the tax part. I was referring to the myth part.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  11. Will

    The Family Research Council is a definitive example of the far right end of the Christian spectrum. It is not a matter of held beliefs that they have been held to account for, it is there actions. That is the important distinction. I, nor anyone I know is asking for their acceptance, but they demand adherence to a philosophy that is based on a book that is contradictory at best and shamelessly ignored by the Christian population at worst. Christ said nothing bout gay people, however he was very specific on divorce, and yet the Christian's like one from the Family Resource Council say nothing about that, and do nothing about that. In that refusal they show their true heart and intent. This "we are victims" is their latest attempt to turn public opinion in their direction. They do this as they stand in the doorway of equality to deny me my rights as an American. I do not expect nor wish for their approval, however as they stand on the street corners of America and call me the most vile of names and attempt to marginalize me and my family at the ballot box, I will and have fought back. My advice to them is simple, don't want to be called a hater, or a bigot then do not act like one.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Bill from Hillcrest

      Excellent, accurate, articulate, true.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
  12. Bob

    Funny...here is an article about Christian haters and yet there was no mention of The Westboro Baptist Church.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  13. Jay

    If Christians did not try to run everyone's life, they would not be a hated minority. Christians are NOT God, so it is NOT their job to prevent, or punish, sin. Their job is to preach The Gospel-to those who wish to hear it-and to brush the dust off their feet, as they walk away from those who do not wish to hear it...nothing more. Today's supposed Christians are more like ancient Israel's Pharisees...whom even Christ denounced.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Son of God

      Where in the article does it say – Christians punish sin? They do what you said – preach the Gospel. And Gospel says – man on man is sin.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Son of God

      You said, "They do what you said – preach the Gospel. And Gospel says – man on man is sin."
      You've touched the root of the problem Christians keep peddling their bronze age fairy tale as if it were relevant.

      You are free to believe the bullshit, but unless you have any evidence to set your god apart from all other imaginary creatures, it isn't anything other than bullshit.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  14. Darwin

    Every County social services worker knows from direct and shocking experience with their hapless clients that it's actually the HETEROS who are destroying marriage with their high rate of 1) divorce 2) spousal abuse 3) sha cking up 4) child abuse 5) abandonment 6) drugs and alcohol, etc. etc. In comparison, GAY marriages and families are actually much LESS DISFUNCTIONAL! Love the irony in this!!!

    May 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Francis

      More fantasy from the Liberal left. I want to know why it's OK for Liberals to be so intolerant of Christians, while being tolerant of Muslims. Some of the things posted on and by CNN about Christians would not dare be said about Muslims.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Errday

      Who the FUCK is this IDIOT who thinks all liberals are tolerant of muslims? WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID????

      May 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
  15. Bill Richardson

    In the last 2000 years, the world has become a little "churchy" but the Church has become Immensely worldly. Professing Christians that remain silent ought to feel completely ashamed. If they don't now, they will soon enough. Christians are still in the majority in this country, but you would never know that by looking at what is happening all around us. I strongly recommend that ALL CHRISTIANS read up on the Church of Laodicea in the book of the Revelation 3:14-19.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Or put down the buybull and move on.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Bill Richardson

      Look at Lamb of Dog's response to me. THIS is why you dear brothers and sisters are remaining silent. The bullies have scared you into it. Did our heavenly Father save you to remain silent in your homes?

      May 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  16. Vic

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/comment-page-4/#comment-2321214

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

      Vic Splat again !

      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 12:53 pm |
  17. About Loving Sinner Hating Sin

    And about Whosoever: Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin: http://whosoever.org/v6i6/cindy.html This is certainly worth reading!

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

      Love the believer; hate the belief.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Great New Saying

      That should be a great New Saying, sqeptiq, to get back at them! From now on everyone who does not align with bigotry against gays and lesbians should use this one! Thank you for providing it for everyone!

      May 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  18. BldrRepublican

    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, the VERY same argument used by pro-gay to prohibit polygamy, which BTW, is ALSO being proposed as an alternate definition of marriage.

    Google Sister Wives Lawsuit and see what you pro-gay marriages advocates have started.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Jesus the Christ

      Dude, you are making absolutely no sense whatsoever!

      May 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      You are as smart as Ricky.

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

      You are concerned about Gay Marriages becoming the majority of marriage? Really? Wow republicans really do stink at math.

      By the way, the world is overpopulating, humankind is hardly withering away.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Evangelical republicabism...where reason goes to die.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • BldrRepublican

      @JTC- Tell me, how would a society of gay couples procreate?

      They would need to procreate with members of OTHER couples (you do realize that two men cannot produce a baby, no matter how hard they try, right?)

      Simple enough for you?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Sanity or Death! Down with religion!

      Strangely enough, considering all the damage done by people who should never have been allowed to have children or be around them, raising children outside of religion should be our number one priority. Marriages don't mean squat anyway.
      People like you are so sick and twisted, you should all be zapped into sanity or death.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • The Non Believer

      Where are the facts supporting your statement?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • What Christians don't seem to understand...

      Is that being gay is not a choice. It will never spread wider than those who are born gay. It's not a fad, it's not a trend. There is NOT ONE SINGLE SHRED of evidence that suggests being gay or being in a gay relationship is harmful or hurtful to an individual aside from the possible suffering at the hands of bigots and the discrimination from hateful ideologues.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Joe

      So you think that, by legalizing gay marriage, straight people are going to suddenly decide to enter into gay marriages at a rate that would make them the majority? Or do you think that people who are gay somehow don't 'get intimate' unless they are married?

      You're making no sense.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • BldrRepublican

      @Visitor-
      You need to educate yourself. – look at the population replacement rates of "advanced" societies – Europe, the US. They are at MOST 2.0 – which is DYING. Europe is at 1.7

      Anything below 2.1 and the society is dying. Read and learn it.

      All of the population growth is occurring in countries too poor to care for their people. It's easily verifiable on the web.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Brian

      I didn't realize that you could be denied legal rights because you are a minority. Last I thought, our founders took great care to prevent that. Yet it seems like people forget that all are equal under the law.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • BldrRepublican

      @Joe-
      Like I said, gay marriage relies on the fact that it REMAINS a minority. Your post clearly advocates that same requirement.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Joe

      So when do we make it illegal for the old and/or sterile to get married, gay or not?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Errday

      WHO is this republican dumbfuck who just can't get it through his head that ALL gay people were born, not made?
      That EVERY gay person was a product of hetero s3x?
      WHO is this TOTAL RETARD??????

      May 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Joe

      Not really...I am pointing out the hypocrisy of your statement. I am not a genius but I can tell you that you don't actually have to get married to have a child.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Tamsyn

      Gay couples are in the minority. There simply isn't enough people who are gay to overtake all of the heteros in America. Therefore gay marriage will NEVER overtake straight marriage. Ever.

      Gay couples can adopt. The same way as straight couples who cannot have children naturally can adopt.
      There are many, MANY children waiting for adoption even as we speak. There. Took care of that objection.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      bldrrep.
      Since when is marriage required for procreation?

      Your whole line of reasoning has zero logic, and is flawed at the outset by false a$$umptions.

      Look to the animal kingdom...they do not worship gods, they do not get married (although many species do mate for life) and yet they thrive. Your argument is garbage based on your ignorant opinion. Nothing more.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • BldrRepublican

      The "shred" of evidence you are looking for as to why it's harmful is because it RELIES on being a minority. It REQUIRES that there be "non-gay" couples in order for gay couples to exist. Otherwise a society of purely gay couples would die, where as a society of purely straight couples will continue.

      Heck, even a society of polygamists would continue, but you pro-gay people are AGAINST allowing that, which makes you guilty of the very same behavior of which you are accusing anti-gay marriage people, such as myself.

      That makes you a HYPOCRITE!

      May 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • BldrRepublican

      @Richard-
      Correct. A society of people could exist without this entire concept of marriage. So why do we have it, and why are gay couples so he l l – bent on being allowed to "marry" when "civil-unions" provide EXACTLY the same tax/secular benefits???

      But no, that's not good enough. WHy not?

      May 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Errday

      Hey republitard, civil-unions do NOT provide "exactly" the same benefits. Not even in tax law.
      You are so FUCKING STUPID!!!!
      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      May 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      bldrrep
      Civil unions do not equal marriage...they do in some places but not most.
      Marriage is not exclusive to the bible either. Marriage has happened for thousands of years before your bible was written, and many cultures world wide have same $ex marriages, including many native american cultures. Gay marriage wa in america before it was america...the christians stirpped the people of it, it is time to correct this wrong.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      bldrrep
      Also...I have no problem with polygamy at all. It would not be right for me, so I would not do it. You again leapt to an unjustified conlusion based on your own ignorance.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  19. Alex Dundee

    *reads comments
    *looks at "previous entry" link below the comments

    "Ex-NFL player's support for gay NBA player apparently costs him church appearance"

    But remember, it's the Christians who are the real victims of persecution!

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

      Amen

      May 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  20. Juanita

    Christians might not necessarily be a minority, but by the responses, it is clear that they are hated. Plus as a Christian I don't believe I am on this earth to judge nor condemn anyone. My goal is to love and preach the word of Christ, you can choose to listen or ignore it. Also it should be noted that the christian belief is very broad and many interpret it differently.

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

      And that is PRECISELY why we have the Bible.
      "Do what the Bible says"
      "Don't do what it doesn't say".
      Easy.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Easy?
      Not so much. It contradicts itself.
      But I guess its easier than thinking.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      And that's why people hate you. You preach myths of a man who never existed, son of a god who doesn't exist, and even that god is a son of another god that doesn't exist. Normally no more harmless than children believing in Santa, until entire societies start making sweeping political decisions based on these myths affecting the lives of everyone.
      Religion is a hindrance to mankind and you are right to be reviled for spreading it.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Alex Dundee

      -BldrRepublican:

      (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)

      If a man is caught in the act of r(@)ping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

      If your daughter is victimized by a rapist, how much silver is 50 pieces? Are we talking kennedy half-dollars, Morgan dollars? What would you accept in lieu of 50 pieces of silver? Cash? Why don't you support the release of all rapists and force them to marry their victims?

      After all, it's in the Bible! That's what we have it for!

      May 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Visitor

      It is true Juanita, people really got sick of the whole "you are going to roast in h–ll if you aren't our religion" stuff, especially when preached to children.

      Maybe you should move to my neighborhood, where my daughter was the first child to openly say she was an atheist. She went through an enormous amount of cr-p because of it including from neighbor parents several who wanted to take her to church. Which was fine, I allowed it as long as she wanted to go. She did, to be with friends, but it only solidified her non-religion. When people are not pressured or threatened with the destruction of their eternal soul, a lot of people reject religion. It is just as valid for any of us to say that is baloney and abusive as it is for any Christian to claim that message of soul destruction is based on "love". Please.....

      Look there is a lot to respect with churches but the hate really comes from the religious. The preaching is NOT based on love. It's based on old fashion holier-than-thou-ism.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Beth

      I disagree that it is CHRISTIANS who are hated, rather it is the subset of Christians who feel compelled to force everyone else to live by their beliefs – see the difference? I don't care what you believe, but you cross the line when you expect the law to enforce your beliefs on others. THAT is the backlash you are feeling – the resentment that comes from trying to force your beliefs on others, rather than 'hatred' of you for having those beliefs.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:05 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.