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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. Jim

    Seriously? The religious can judge anyone they decide is behaving in a way counter to their religion, but if they are judged it is somehow persecution.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • kvankam

      They don't judge anyone for believing that some behaviour is a sin.

      In fact, they believe that everyone is a sinner in some way.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  2. Dave David

    You believe the Bible is a fake book. No problem. It's your right to believe what ever you want. Just as long as you accept that it's also my right to look on with contempt for people who stick their willies into holes that digested food comes out of.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • I love Aniel

      just do go making laws against it

      May 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Observer

      David.

      Millions of HETEROS engage in sodomy.

      Welcome to the world of reality.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • ..

      As long as you don't mind being looked upon with contempt for your belief in the Bible, I think that's fair.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Do you have problems with people sticking their willies where food goes in, Dave? Seems to me that a lot of guys really like oral sex.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • ..

      And stop watching woman-on-woman porn. You realize that's gay sex, RIGHT?

      May 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Tamsyn

      Good point, t13. As an interesting aside, that's called oral sodomy. Oops.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Yeah, and a whole lot of people like sticking their willies into a hole that urine comes out of. As someone once said, it's a pretty poor civil engineer who runs a drainage ditch right through a recreational area.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  3. Observer

    The biggest problem is the massive HYPOCRISY by many Christians in criticizing others.

    There are FAR FAR MORE Christian adulterers than there are total number of gays, but you'd never know it from Christian hypocrites.

    The bible never mentions abortion, but you'd never knw it from Christian hypocrites.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Exactly. Being gay didn't even make the 10 commandments list, but adultery did. How many judgemental Christians do you know that are divorced?

      May 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  4. tallulah13

    Fundamental christianity is simply reaping what it has sown. When your underlying message is exclusion and discrimination, eventually people will respond in kind.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  5. ERTBen

    The premise of this article is prepostrous. Being a Christian is a virtual prerequisite for acceptance into almost any political office. Every two years, candidates fight to out-Christian each other in a bid to win votes from the extremely powerful and wealthy Christian right. Extremely popular and obvious social, health, and even economic reforms are scuttled again and again because the same minority doesn't "believe" in them.

    Facing weak and scattered criticism for expressing your beliefs is not persecution, it's part of living in a free society. If you can't stand up to and rebut even the most basic challenge to your beliefs, maybe you need to rethink what you believe.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  6. Lotta Sympathy

    As a Liberal, Progressive Christian who has had to put up with decades of Evangelicals and Fundamentalists insisting that they alone define the entirety of the legitimate Christian landscape, my tears are as effusive as they are crocodilian.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  7. lbdukeep

    The Christian Church has condemned everyone, top to bottom, and all around. The Christian Church created the Crusades, and their battle has gone on for more years than one can count, and not one single group of people, not one society has gone unscathed. Its time for them to stop yelling they are persecuted – and go back into hiding so they can feel what real persecution is. WE the people who ARE NOT CHRISTIAN are sick and tired of them screaming their obscenities and biblical verses at us. Time for them to back up, shut up and mind their own damn business. The rest of us would like to go on living in peace!

    May 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  8. Common sense

    What are people supposed to do if they are gay and their mom and dad are Christian? Seriously, what do they do? I know a family like that and I love all of them very much.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Answer

      The kids will hide it.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Either you learn to agree to disagree, or families grow apart. Those are the choices.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      The kid gets to feel terrible. And would have a good chance of being depressed. Because the people that are suppose to love him/her would look down upon their own child.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Lianna

      give the kid some resources. Let him approach the parents when he feels its right.

      This website is a good place to start: http://www.gaychristian.net

      Pflag.com will also prove to be an invaluable resource for all of them.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Observer

      The difference is likely that the son is the only one practicing the Golden Rule.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  9. Christian

    whaa people are persecuting me, because i like to persecute people, they wont let me hate people :_(

    May 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  10. we need something new

    Can somebody please make up another religion already? The ones we have seem to have run their course.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Don't suggest it! Someone will invent one, and 10,000 people will sign up for it.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • lbdukeep

      Try Pagans, we have tons of fun! And we don't persecute, we coexist!

      May 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Under construction

      I'm working on it. You'll like it there are crystals and candles and aliens involved...I'll keep you posted.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • we need something new

      Didn't all of the Pagan holidays get hijacked by Christianity?

      May 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • The Non Believer

      Let me look into my hat.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  11. Errday

    I absolutely LOATHE religion. If you gave me a button that would kill every single religious person in the world, I would jump on top of that thing so fast I'd probably break it. But it would be better to heal these sick people rather than put them out of my misery. No button for that either. This lack of proper buttons sucks.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      You need to calm down.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Errday

      You need to kiss my ass.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      See

      May 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Chill pill time. Its one thing to laugh at the sillyness of religion. Its another thing to wish violence on others. You are no better than the religious extremist.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Adam G. in NC

      Would it be hateful and judgmental of me to say that you are "a murderer at heart"?

      May 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Paul Jaramillo

      Errday, you are a sick individual. You need to be locked up or start taking anti-psychotics. People like you are the reason why respect for human life is absent. Religion is not the problem, men are the problem. This entire society will not admit the the fact that men are the killers of our species. Your neighbors better watch out for a sick individual like you.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Errday

      You still need to kiss my ass. Oh, and fuck you, too, ass-wipe.
      My violence is in rational self-defense. Their violence is delusional, irrational, and random.
      But I'd bet you're too stupid to see any difference. Gosh, what a razor-sharp turd you must be.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      but Adam G. in NC the only murderers at heart are Christians Muslims and Jews, i mean their all dead, think about it separation from life is separation from Gaia, because she is life, since you have been willing living in the body of Christ(a dead man) you have left this world Gaia, live in the world not of it= death

      May 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Errday. You fight like a trapped animal. It makes you appear weak and frightend.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Errday

      Paul, you must not understand how people's brains work or you wouldn't say such idiotic things.
      I do not have any overweening rules that call for the death of other people beyond self-defense.
      YOU, on the other hand, are a self-admitted slave to a bunch of rules that call for the death of other people based upon imaginary criteria subject to your own level of schizophrenia.
      YOU are the threat here. NOT me. YOU are sure to commit murder in the name of your god if you think your god supports you in your violent and delusional viewpoints.
      Me? Not so much.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Errday

      Lamb of dog, if that's the best you can do, I suggest you take up knitting or something more your speed.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      I would rather knit then rant like a lunatic errday. And yes thats what I got. But its true. Everyone in here even us atheist dont need the likes of you around. You are in need of some help. If you are this angry than the religious right has already beat you.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Errday

      Lemb of Dug, you couldn't argue your way out of a wet paper bag.
      I don't give a fuck what you think about my intentions because you are so fucking clueless already that I doubt anyone is bothering to read what you post anyway.
      I don't need your stupid and pathetic attempts to speak here, either. Why don't you just get the fuck out?
      Who needs people like you? Not me. Why don't you just kill yourself now?
      I mean, since you obviously need me to validate your existence and all...

      May 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  12. Sam Yaza

    oh know the poor persecuted Christians. two thing; 1 being christian is a choice, one that goes against nature, and thus the goddess because she is nature. 2 your the hated majority not the minority.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • biggles

      Wow man. Deep

      May 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  13. Dave David

    CNN would neeeeeever run a story on the backwardness of islam and how they're becoming a ' hated minority.' It doesn't get me mad though ; this is why CNN's ratings are in the toilet and pieces like this illustrate how cowardly they are ; kinda like ' rebel ' Billy Maher. He only goes after christians, while completely ignoring jews and muslims. He should just bash religio...err christians while wearing panties, because he's a soft little dude.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Islam isn't at the forefront of the hate campaign, waged against gays. Christianity is what's touted as the only "reason" (yeah...I say that word with tongue-in-cheek)... to discriminate against gays in this country.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Errday

      Well, you're a liar. A fucking pathetic liar. maher goes after ALL religions you stupid fuck.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • ..

      Yawn. And why would they post anything about Maher, who is a political satirist, on the BB? Get real. Psssst. Your persection complex is showing.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Answer

      Let's see if the muslims are the ones in Uganda doing the gay hating.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Moe Jones

      Dave, you are absolutely incorrect about Bill Maher. You need to see "Religilous". In that film, he goes after ALL these absurd religions! My personal view is that man invented these religions as it was the only way to understand the mystery of nature. The bible has been altered so many times that today's King James version is more out of touch with reality then at any other time. People love fantasy and religion proves this. There absolutely is NO evidence to show the existence of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed or the Buddha. Yet when you tell the lie enough times, it becomes a fantastic truth for so many.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Visitor

      Bill Maher does NOT only go after Christians. Why did you just make that up?

      May 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  14. Wendy

    There are still closeted Christians who believe that treating blacks and women as inferiors is OK because the Bible says so, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't a good idea to shame them underground.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • lol??

      Women aren't inferior. The husband has to rule, though. Otherwise there aren't any pastors. Lot's more live babies is a great side benefit.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      LOL you are making christians look stupid. Do yourself a favor and stop typing.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • biggles

      No! R u serious? Seemed to me Jesus treated Mary very nicely. When you were murdering him, he made arrangements for her future security and well being.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Wendy

      When you say that husbands have to rule then you are saying that we're inferior.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • lol??

      doggie, chapter and verse??

      May 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Answer

      The cretin believes that males are the rulers. Never for equality.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • biggles

      When giving some ground rules for interrelationships, god was right on. He knew man is such a bozo that it was wiser to call him the boss, cause women don't care about their egos like fellas do. He knew women would be in charge, just didn't want the neanderthals to know

      May 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • lol??

      Are captains inferior to generals, wendy? You wanna serve, you obey the chain of command.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • biggles

      Women r by far superior. Endure more pain. More common sense. More virtuous. More decent. Less hateful.

      That don't mean all of them. Look at dodo and her crowd. Worse than animals

      May 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Answer

      The chain of command... so funny.

      The establishment of the military is a government ideal. Looks like the cretins want to their 'manhood' to say male outrank women. Funny.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Answer

      The brute (alpha dog) mentality is one based on fear and violence.

      Welcome the cretin's arguments to their "manhood" and dominance.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Sharon

      lol??: That's the whole point, not a chance in hell that I want to "serve" anyone. Your ilk is exactly the type that it necessary to speak and work against. Thankfully, as this article points out, we are making progress.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • lol??

      Gubmint begins with a humanoid governing his own mouth, ANSWER.

      "Mat 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man."

      May 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Answer

      Call the quack. Christard arrives.

      -Lesson 9:2

      May 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  15. Edweird69

    So many Christians, so few lions.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  16. laguna_greg

    When is the Xian Right going to stop telling lies about, well, everybody...

    May 5, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Answer

      How else are they going to survive?

      They'll come up with any lie they can.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      When enough people get tired of hearing it and leave the church.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Edweird69

      When your entire life's philosophy is based on fantasy and fairytales, it's hard to know the difference between a lie and the truth.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  17. ShawnDH

    Christians think that anybody who doesn't believe exactly what they believe are going to hell. What's not to like?

    Of course Christians can speak out against gay marriage and speak up for government forced-birth if they want. Nothing is stopping them. They can also be for slavery and beating women (says it's okay in the Bible)....but they shouldn't be surprised or pretend to be victims when they are criticized for their backwards beliefs.

    How about living your lives and allowing other the same freedom to live theirs? It's not that hard.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Errday

      Shawn, you want to live and let live? That's nice. Too bad you're stupid. Trying to be nice, but stupid as fuck.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • kvankam

      No, dear, the Bible doesn't favor slavery, but it is seen as a social stratus. It mentions it as a social condition of its time, but it's not part of the Christian or Jewish requirements (or limitations) to be a believer.

      Many first Christians were slaves and people of ALL RACES.

      Next time, you must talk about something you know.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  18. TXLady

    @attack, go take some valium. I don't know what the heck you are talking about.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  19. Great Information

    This is something everyone should be reading. http://whosoever.org/index.shtml Don't adhere to centuries-old mentality.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  20. Rob

    If you don't want to be labeled as a bigot, then don't embrace a bigoted religion. I, for one, refuse to have my morality and the bounds of my intelligence dictated to me by primitives cowering in the back of caves.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • TXLady

      Christianity is not a bigoted religion. Certain confused people who believe they are Christians are. Don't label people please

      May 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Dictated to by men who never saw a light bulb. The men who wrote the buybull would be entranced by the modern world. And these are the men who christians put all their faith in. Move on.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • the AnViL™

      TXLady...

      actually, xianity is really super bigoted.

      if you'd take some time to actually read the bible, this might be clear to you.

      the abrahamic religions are predicate on ignorance and bigotry.

      May 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Visitor

      Females clearly are not equals in both the Old and New Testaments. Maybe not as much as other old religions, but definitely bigoted. Modern Churches even have classes for wives on how to deal with being the minority decision makers in their own families.

      May 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.