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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. Jon

    Freedom to marry who you choose, freedom to worship your God, freedom of speech. The key word is freedom. Don't hate a religion because they disagree with your beliefs. Accept that you disagree and move on. People shouldn't be forced to like or accept you. Just understand that people are different. People say stop forcing your religion on me, now the tables have turned and we can say stop forcing your atheism on us....

    May 5, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • michael

      I don't think anyone hates Christians. They, for the most part, are a loving group of tolerant and caring people. It's evangelical Christians, the intolerant and ignorant group, that we dislike. And why do we dislike them? Because, besides their hateful and false claims about who we are and what we want, they try mercilessly to inflict their dogma on others.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • Jay

      It's not people disagreeing with christians and keeping them from their beliefs that is the problem here, buddy. Read a news article once in a while, eh?

      May 5, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • ryan

      Right, but the same can be said right back at over zealous christian fanatics...

      May 5, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      Stop passing laws against me.
      You started this war.
      We will end it.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  2. Rainer Braendlein

    I guess to some extent some churches really condemn gays, and therefore they are reasonably considered as hateful bigots.

    How should a Christian deal with gays in a way which would not deserve the designation hateful bigotry?

    We have to distinguish two cases: Is the certain person a church member, or is he or she any person from outside the church (for example a workmate, a next-door neighbour, anybody):

    First case, the person is a church member: If a church member becomes gay, he or she has do be admonished strictly several times. If he or she is stubborn, and doesn't want to abandon gayness, he or she has to be expeled from the church. When ever the certain person repents he or she should be allowed to return into the Christian community.

    Second case, the person is no church member but any person we meet in daily life, for example a workmate. We have to love our workmate despite his gayness. Of course, we are allowed, even obliged to tell him kindly the gospel of Jesus Christ which could release him from his gayness but even if our workmate would not repent we should still love him. The judgement is not ours but God's. Christians don't want to judge but help people to improve so that they may come through at Judgement Day. Regretably but really at Judgement Day all gay people who have not repented, and accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will get condemned.

    Addition: Of course, a state as a whole can make laws against gayness independent from the church. The state consists of believers, and people which not yet believe therefore the state may make laws concerning gays which do not consider the divine will inside the church, or consider it only a little. Of course, it is clear that families are the basic units of a living nation like cells are the basic units of a body. The more the number of families decreases the more a nation will suffer from loss, and will become weak. Therefore it is probable that even a more or less secular state will make laws against gayness in order to preserve the basic foundation of state-life which is the family. A Christian state may even consider the prescribtions of Christ for his Church but must always consider that the "sinners" deserve some patience, and need a place where they can live upt to the day of repentance (best case) or worst case up to Judgement Day.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    Dear gays, God delivered his Son Jesus Chirst for you, and raised him from the dead for your justification. Believe that, and get baptized (or remember your infant baptism). Overcome your sinful body through this releasing gospel, and you will come through at Judgement Day.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:55 am |
    • marc dane

      gee i wish john the baptist were here then it would be easier to get bathtized alot of churches want a fee for this

      May 5, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • Bob

      Total bs.... I've read the bible and this message is no where in there. Use your mind and rational judgement to interpret a book that is thousands of years old. The world evolves and so should you. If you think for a second Jesus would condemn gays then you have missed the most important teaching and you are wasting your faith.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • ryan

      This is why evolution is taught in school and not creationism, unless your in those 2 weirdo states. I love this debate, it highlights the similarity between the west and the Muslim states we have demonized lately. Gays are persecuted there as well, here we have a debate about but if the Christians could get a good burning in (cross, body whatever) I am sure they would be in it, just like the Muslim states that stone gays.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Rainman
      You are an idiot. You don't "become gay". People are born that way, following the design of your god. I didn't become straight, neither have any of my straight freinds, have any of my gay friends become gay.. Nobody chooses.

      Tell me rainman, why does god make so many gay people...and why even bother making gay animals?

      May 5, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If the preservation of the "family unit" is society's primary concern, why is it not more difficult to get a divorce?
      Is it not more beneficial for a child to be raised by two loving, supporting parents than 1 struggling parent, even if the couple is of the same gender?
      Would you rather the plethora of abandoned kids inevitably generated in areas where abortion is illegal be sent into the orphanage/foster care system where they are far more likely to wind up dead, addicted to drugs or in jail, or be taken into the lives of a same gender, married couple?

      It it hard to take seriously the cries of "protect the family unit!" when divorce rates in the Bible Belt are so incredibly high.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  3. Ryan

    So if your religion says it's okay to eat babies and I disagree, I'm "persecuting" you?

    Gimme a break!

    May 5, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • Frank

      Uh, just a little off the deep end there, Ryan. We are supposed to have freedom in this country. The battle for gay rights should be fought in Washington, not against any religion. That said, those who believe should honor the beliefs of those who don't, and visa verse.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • ryan

      (Different Ryan) – sure Frank, but if a religious group is actively opposing equal rights then in my mind, its the same as mulsims trying to get shira law in western countries. Ie religious beliefs fostered on the unwilling.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Boris

      Frank, that is a load of bull manure, what you just posted. People deserve respect. Beliefs don't, and should be critically examined at every opp. Christian beliefs, for example, don't stand up to scrutiny, so it's high time to toss them -especially when they oppose advances in human rights and advocate bigotry.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  4. McShannon

    Jesus didn't come to condemn the world, he preached love, sharing and understanding. Yes, we will hate those that use religion for a political agenda, those that change the good news to bashing gays, disregarding the poor and calling them unworthy. Preaching politics from the pulpit doesn't make anyone holier than thou it's just arrogance on display.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • Science

      Gravity is not up for debate !

      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

      May 5, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • lobo

      If he loved the world so much then why did he wait until 1492 to give his message of love to the western hemisphere?

      May 5, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Paul

      lobo, that is why the mormons make more sense. At least in their version of the made up story Jesus came to North America.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  5. False Christianity

    As people wake up from the stupor, things like present day Christianity will change or be for ever gone. Absolutism is always the danger because it cements falsehoods. Look at christianity and islam as examples. Did the Bible Jesus even exist at all? Why did mohamed bring such violence as religion? Religions are like clothing, many different styles. They can't be all wrong or right. I would venture out to say the religion is all man made and that the Source has no religion, it simply is. Seek the Source.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:53 am |
  6. William

    I'm sorry that the Christians "imaginary friend" in the sky tells them that gay people are living in sin....My advice to them? Get over it already, life is too short to be so concerned about who someone else loves or doesn't love. I know a lot of straight couples and I know a lot of gay couples, they are all wonderful people and they also all have something in common...None of them have any affect on my marriage! I really have to wonder how terrible someones relationship has to be, that it causes them to spend most of their bashing another relationship or group or relationships....

    May 5, 2013 at 7:53 am |
    • mique

      I know many god fearing good people that have cheerful, happy god messages hung up all over the house. You can't look at a wall without a proverb or catchy phrase telling you how God loves you, you are a special gift in his eyes, love is good, etc., etc. Sometimes there a two or three sappy quotes hung one above the other. You can't help but notice. I also can't help but notice that these same people are some of the most unhappy individuals I have ever met.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:14 am |
  7. mark

    Liberal are such idiots. it's the same with muslim they want us all to be PC with the muslin religion but with Christians we must take down all Christmas trees and any sign of Christian beleafs. I wonder if they know that in reality what muslin hate the most about us is the same things liberal push in there agenda so in turn the muslin hate the liberals that are PC to muslim what a bunch of idiots,,,,I guess thei liberal cambia moron think if they are PC to Muslin they will hug it out and not what to kill us any more when in fact it them they what to kill lololololololoHey fro you liberal idiots ask a true muslin that you love to be pc and give a pass to al the time what they think of gay marriage or gay or gays adopting kids go ahead might be a good wakeup call

    May 5, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • False Christianity

      Christmas Trees? Are you aware that they are an adaptation of an European Pagan Tradition? You now, God is not a conservative republican or even a member of the GOP as Fox News and Rush Limburger would have you believe.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • John

      Mark,
      The quality of your response underlies the ignorance that is modern day Christianity. Christians are ironically the most unforgiving and hateful group of religious zealots out there. If they just exercised their rights as human beings to follow their own beliefs and stopped tying to change/persecute/criticize/hate everyone else who does not share their values, they themselves would not be hated/criticized. "judge not lest ye be judged" is from the Bible by the way. If the God you believe in really exists, that God will judge us "sinners"...not you and your kind. Mind your own business, stay out or our business ,and you will be left alone. Pretty simple.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • MoodyMoody

      mark, I didn't know there was a religion about muslin, a thin cotton fabric. It should be well-accepted by Christians since it isn't a mixed fiber fabric. (Deuteronomy 22:11)

      May 5, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      I don't remember any laws being passed against you having a
      Christmas tree in your own home.
      Please fill me in.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • Satan's can opener

      Muslin religion? So, there's a group of people who worship a loosely woven cotton fabric? Hey, who knew? At least muslin is real so maybe it's not a bad thing.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  8. Winston

    People don't have the right or the ability to define for themselves what is true.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      If people don't have the right, who does???

      May 5, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Individuals don't but a fair and equitable society does.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:06 am |
  9. Whats next?

    They are working on a cure for gayness, just try to refrain from being that way a lttle longer

    May 5, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • Tom

      Keep telling yourself that, Neanderthal.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      You can't cure something that is natural, just like one can't cure your stupidity.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      While they are at it, they can cure Blue eyes and left handers.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Satan's can opener

      They're working on a cure for stupid, so hang in there

      May 5, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  10. ajw3

    Its a difference between small-c christians who build their religion on selected Bible quotes and large-C Christians who try to follow Christ's teaching.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • Reality

      For the little "c's" and the big "C's":

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      May 5, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • False Christianity

      Oh there was a real Christ all right but you'll not find him in the Bible. See, the Bible Jesus was not even named that until after the 3rd century. Most likely it was Heisoos, it does not matter. The Government has a machine that records past events. They have recordings of that person on the cross. But you'll never see it. I would bet on the Nazarean what ever his name was.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:11 am |
  11. John D Lamb

    Comments please .....

    May 5, 2013 at 7:51 am |
  12. Comment

    Just let the gay people marry, they are grown adults, they have different religious beliefs, and most importantly, its their personal love life, so just get out of their face.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:51 am |
  13. Rainer Braendlein

    Love the sinner but don't love the sin (this needs some skill and some knowledge).

    I guess to some extent some churches really condemn gays, and therefore they are reasonably considered as hateful bigots.

    How should a Christian deal with gays in a way which would not deserve the designation hateful bigotry?

    We have to distinguish two cases: Is the certain person a church member, or is he or she any person from outside the church (for example a workmate, a next-door neighbour, anybody):

    First case, the person is a church member: If a church member becomes gay, he or she has do be admonished strictly several times. If he or she is stubborn, and doesn't want to abandon gayness, he or she has to be expeled from the church. When ever the certain person repents he or she should be allowed to return into the Christian community.

    Second case, the person is no church member but any person we meet in daily life, for example a workmate. We have to love our workmate despite his gayness. Of course, we are allowed, even obliged to tell him kindly the gospel of Jesus Christ which could release him from his gayness but even if our workmate would not repent we should still love him. The judgement is not ours but God's. Christians don't want to judge but help people to improve so that they may come through at Judgement Day. Regretably but really at Judgement Day all gay people who have not repented, and accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will get condemned.

    Addition: Of course, a state as a whole can make laws against gayness independent from the church. The state consists of believers, and people which not yet believe therefore the state may make laws concerning gays which do not consider the divine will inside the church, or consider it only a little. Of course, it is clear that families are the basic units of a living nation like cells are the basic units of a body. The more the number of families decreases the more a nation will suffer from loss, and will become weak. Therefore it is probable that even a more or less secular state will make laws against gayness in order to preserve the basic foundation of state-life which is the family. A Christian state may even consider the prescribtions of Christ for his Church but must always consider that the "sinners" deserve some patience, and need a place where they can live upt to the day of repentance (best case) or worst case up to Judgement Day.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    May 5, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the newbies:

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

      To wit:

      1. The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

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

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

      3. See also the From the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”
      "Most scientists who study human se-xuality agree that gay people are born that way. But that consensus raises an evolutionary puzzle: How do genes associated with h-omose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?"
      http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/evolution/Gay-gene-deconstructed.html

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

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

      To wit:

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

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

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

      May 5, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • mique

      Grow up.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:53 am |
    • Jim

      Most people wouldn't have a problem with religion. But as you pointed out Reiner, you guys all have a self given right to try and recruit people. At least the gays don't do that, so in my book they're much better people.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • mique

      So, in your love/hate relationship with your version of scripture, if a gay person is in your church, you kick them out. If they are just another person you accept them. Logically then, a person who is kicked out is automatically just another person and they are accepted. Seems the best thing to do is never join your church and live happily ever after and you live your life. I think that is the point. You to yours, me to mine. A god did not have to tell me that. It is quite simply how people get along without being carbon copies of each other.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:02 am |
  14. jaron kadek

    I was shocked last night while watching H2 ( The History Channel 2) to see a promo for a show on 'cults' that featured a picture of Billy Graham as a young man. There is a vile, planned assault on the Christian faith. We need to find out who is carrying it out.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • Jon

      very true

      May 5, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • mique

      Millions of people that don't agree with you.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • Physics Professor in CA

      @mique: Millions more do.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • mique

      @the professor. Not really.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • lilyq

      That would be satan.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • False Christianity

      If you only knew how far and wide the christian deception is, you would run away screaming like a teenage girl at a Justin B Concert. Billy Graham was a manipulator and a fool. He rolled around with the uppity-muckity-mucks for self gratification.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      jaron: Feeling a little persecuted?? Keep your belief to your church and home and out of the public forum and all will be good. Not keeping it out of the public forum means you will continue to be persecuted. You wouldn't want a muslim or hindu or pagan imposing their belief on your life, so have the same respect.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • morning joe

      Must be Obama

      May 5, 2013 at 8:12 am |
  15. ray

    Truly, God have mercy on all of your souls, please turn from this and find a church this morning. God bless.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:49 am |
  16. me

    Too funny, playing the
    'victim' role

    May 5, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • Syphor

      Sympathy gets more donations. god needs money you know.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:58 am |
  17. mique

    That is fine with me. they have been at the top of my "what's wrong with America" list for a long, long time. Nice to have others notice they are the minority.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:48 am |
  18. No ore hate

    Being gay is not a choice, being evangelical is.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:46 am |
  19. croco3

    What goes around comes around!!!!
    That being said, I'd like to believe the great majority of Christians are not the hardheaded haters this evangelical minority make them appear to be!

    May 5, 2013 at 7:46 am |
    • Scott

      Agreed. Most Christians are not outspoken people haters. Disagreement is acceptable so long as it is respectful. Unfortunately it is often not in comment sections on articles like this.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:56 am |
  20. Diane

    s make themselves hated. They are mean to anyone who doesn't believe the same as they do. The Bible is no longer from God. It has been rewritten and re-written, by Men. They dress it up but, Christians hate gay people. It's about time these "bigots" felt some of the hatred and judgement gay people have been carrying for years. looks good on them!

    May 5, 2013 at 7:46 am |
    • rplat

      Left wing liberal rags like CNN are certainly doing their best to cast Christians as a "hated minority" but it's not going to work.

      May 5, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      *** Left wing liberal rags like CNN are certainly doing their best to cast Christians as a "hated minority" but it's not going to work.

      No, CNN didn't do that, YOU DID.
      You hate, then blame CNN for reporting it ?
      Wow.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:45 am |
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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.