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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. faith

    Observer
    "God condemns no one".

    Great. No more Hell for anyone.

    May 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      errdumb?

      May 5, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Got mulch?

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

    After a half mil years of an understanding of marriage, what makes this a prudent time for messin' with the lesson?? Are Gays runnin' out of time for funnin'??

    May 5, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Terry

      After a half mil years of not understanding human biology you can go fvck yourself with a hot poker.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Odessa

      Really? You think your form of marriage has been the only form for 'halfuhmilliun years"?

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

      Oh dear!!

      WWHD?
      Hannibal

      May 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      I'd say it's a brain lesion, but that requires the actual presence of a brain.

      May 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  3. Jeff

    People live together before marriage yet no pastor complains about that. The Kennedy men committed adultery all the time. Where's the church on that adulterers? Is murder and stealing a sin? Where are the clergy on that?

    May 5, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Cows are monogamous

      May 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jeff, you'd hear what was preached by the clergy of "said" sins if you attended church.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • oOo

      What was the sermon at the ELCA church about sin, HS – you know, they have over four million members. Are you going to be the one to condemn them to hell?

      May 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      oOo, you keep lying and insisting that I belong to a Christian group. As I said from the beginning, I came on this blog to speak out against the evil of antisocial personalities.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Cow, cow, Book of Talmud lies written by the tradition of men

      Matthew 23:29-36
      Matthew 27:20-26
      T itus 1:10-16
      1 S amual 8:4-9
      A cts 9:10-23
      Revelation 2:8-11
      Revelation 3:7-13

      Amen.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      HS, Are you saying that you're not a christian?

      May 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  4. MS

    Arguing that a significant majority with views that basically shaped recent Western civilization is a minority is sort of repulsive. Let's ask true minorities if they consider Evangelical Christians to be on of them. I strongly suspect the answer is no, as it should be. Hating or disliking somebody because of who they are, be it Black, short, fat, gay, or even Christian, is bigotry. Citing the Bible as evidenciary support of that hatred is just sad. The Bible nixes divorce, supports slavery, and gives us all kinds of legitimate ways to beat, maim, and kill family members who commit particular transgressions. I think the rest of us just get tired of this "minority" picking and choosing its beliefs

    May 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      "Arguing that a significant majority with views that basically shaped recent Western civilization is a minority is sort of repulsive."

      Are you referring to Roman-style democracy? That seems to be the most influential force that shaped Western civilization.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Who let the cows out?

      May 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Book of Talmud lies written by the tradition of men

      Matthew 23:29-36
      Matthew 27:20-26
      T itus 1:10-16
      1 S amual 8:4-9
      A cts 9:10-23
      Revelation 2:8-11
      Revelation 3:7-13

      Amen.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Gregg

      I think what these people see, is that even evangelicals are moving away from being bigoted towards gays. They claim that Christians are going to become a hated minority, when in fact, it's just hat they themselves are going to be marginalized within Christianity.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      MS, you are just as guilty of those you accuse.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      So folks don't like salty Christians? Why am I not surprised? LOL

      May 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  5. mike

    I guess minding their own business is out of the question.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  6. faith

    I VOTE 4 LITTLE FAT SAMBO!

    who's with me?

    May 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Milk?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Goat milk?

      do you?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Tamsyn

      Are you racist, faith? Because "Sambo" has racial connotations.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Are you old enuf to vote?

      May 5, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  7. nanners

    Again, you are confusing Christian with Catholic...two different things. Catholics haven't followed the christian doctrine for years.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • RJP3

      This comment is exactly the problem with religion – everyone start saying who is following the right version or not - the world sectarian slaughters rage and this fool is saying Catholics do not follow Christian doctrine - and of course Catholics believe the exact same thing about Protestants. This post is just as bad as going on TV saying Gays are not Christians.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      cows follow their own religion

      May 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You see here we have 6 of this, but over there we have a half dozen....see the difference?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Paul Jaramillo

      Who are you to say what is the right Christianity, are you an expert on Christianity?
      I am tired of people who know nothing, all of a sudden think they know it all.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • One one

      The two sects are as different as Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
  8. Kale

    They are the one's attacking the gays first, so they have no right to feel victimized. Its like a bully that punches someone and then cries because he got punched back.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Its cool though as long as the bully is doing gods work.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Cows kick hard

      May 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  9. Lamb of Dog

    Errdumb. Put the claws away. Ohh there you go. Thats a good pu ss ycat.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Tee-Ha, I got the chewin power!

      May 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
  10. Austin

    John 15:7 ►

    New International Version (©2011)
    If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

    <>
    New International Version
    The Word Became Flesh

    1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcomea it.

    Revelation 19:13 ►

    New International Version (©2011)
    He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.

    if you are talking about the Lord God, who is THE WORD OF GOD, the living word, and you stand in front of Him and say, i dont except what you have written because of this part of your word......................

    Matthew 16:23 ►

    New International Version (©2011)
    Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns."

    Mark 8:29 ►

    New International Version (©2011)
    "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Messiah."

    ◄ Romans 6:18 ►

    New International Version (©2011)
    You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      if Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan!, Jesus was filthy gay.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Quote the bible all you wish, Austin. Do you really think you can make gays change? Go away? Forgo marriage? Live a celibate life?

      It doesn't matter what you believe. It doesn't matter what you think. Gays aren't going to disappear just because you don't approve of them.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      ME 1:1
      Who cares what a bunch of ancient men said.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Casual Observer

      You do realize that quoting the bible doesn't solidify your position, right? If anything it makes you sound like more of an uniformed uneducated imbecile who can't think for himself and believes in magic and other crap most individuals should have outgrown by the age of 9.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Use your own ID to spew your hinduism.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Austin

      we are all caught in a rut at times. the hope in Christ, the truth, is that He is faithful to forgive and restore us into His will. It is never too late to walk with God, even if that means walking alone and trusting Him as eternal God. Do not give in to habitual sin. This road is a temporary sinful satisfaction and a spiritual death trap.

      Life is in Christ. Come to the cross. This is the only road that pays off.

      There is only one way to God, which is Christ. I have personally experienced the supernatural ways of God, all tied to the truths written in His Word. Jesus Christ is the essence of God,. Love and Forgiveness, Life over death. And we have been set free from sin . We are at war with sin and the devil. You had better get involved in the spiritual battle, or you have become useless in this life. this whole entire life is about truth, God, and resurrection power. The devil is as real as anything gets. Spiritual birth is the only road through the baptism of the Holy spirit. Let go of yourself.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Austin

      the bible is the authoritative word of God,. I know this because God supernaturally revealed Himself to me, all tied to a time where i was deep into His word, trusting in God. and He gave me the experience of a life time, opening my eyes to His presence and power. His sovereign voice His supernatural ability to control everything.

      There is no other truth as important as Jesus Christ, resurrected atoning redeeming God.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      My spiritual battle is freedom from your jesus christ.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      If you see things that arent there you should have your head checked.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You didn't answer my question, Austin. Do you think gays can pray the gay away? Research has proven you wrong. Do you think opposing gay marriage is going to make gays disappear? Do you think you can make them straight?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • In God We Cuss

      Come to the cross

      Cross? I thought David Koresh was killed in a fire.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Austin,

      Mathew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God

      Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

      1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

      Our being but a 'building' inside which the kingdom of God makes itself manifest, is condition-based regarding one laboring together and equally with God who did husband all of this world's Life Manifestations from the most finite in Life to the seemingly great sizes of finite Life Formations' Cellular Scales.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Elmer 6 6:6 Shhhhhhhhhhh! We're hunting for WABBITS!

      May 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  11. Chad

    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
    “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.”

    ===
    Then, the agenda kicks in
    ===
    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.
    “Some religious beliefs, sincerely held, are detestable. They cannot be spoken without disrupting social peace,”

    ===
    Catastrophically, the very word of God is being labeled “hate filled”.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      Didn't you read their examples, slavery, women's rights, etc.?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      Nah. God doesn't hate people when he supports slavery and discimination against women and the handicapped.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Athy

      That's what one gets for using a 2000-year-old book to learn manners.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Joe from Indy

      I believe the term you were looking for was "appropriately". The so called word of God IS hate filled. Denying it doesn't change what is written.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      And it is hate filled.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "Didn't you read their examples, slavery, women's rights, etc.?"

      =>misguided Christians and atheists seizing on out of context biblical passages dont really make a huge impression on me 🙂

      May 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • RJP3

      When you start trying to impose your religious laws and pass laws that keep entire groups of people second class citizens in doing so - you have become a hate group.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      "misguided Christians and atheists seizing on out of context biblical passages"

      Wow. Any you actually are delusional enough to CLAIM you have read a Bible?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Chad

      @RJP3 "When you start trying to impose your religious laws and pass laws that keep entire groups of people second class citizens in doing so – you have become a hate group."

      =>interesting, so you endorse:
      – repealing all laws restricting gambling
      – repealing all laws restricting prostitution
      – repealing all laws restricting polygamy
      – repealing all laws restricting bestiality
      – repealing all laws restricting pedophillia
      – repealing all laws restricting drug use

      you oppose restricting any behavior that anyone wants to do?

      🙂

      "I contend we are both conservatives, I just believe that one fewer societal behavior is proper than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible societal behaviors as being legitimate , you will understand why I dismiss your pet one(same se.x marriage) ." – Rephen Stoberts

      May 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Science

      Pound sand chad !!!

      Wow ..................Chad .............you love that devil's cult aye ?

      Chad
      Love the Catholic Church they're so generous to the world

      February 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/12/why-next-pope-must-open-up-church-and-usher-in-vatican-iii/#comments

      May 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |

      May 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad: "Misguided Christians . . . "

      Wow, Chad – that's a big step for you. Now who are the mis-guided, Chad – the over four million members of ELCA? The members of United Church of Christ? All the folks over there at Washington National Cathedral? Are they all going to burn, Chad?

      Whose interpretation of God, Chad – yours? How about the ELCA? How about the United Church of Christ? Are you prepared yet to say they are wrong? On the subject

      May 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "misguided Christians and atheists seizing on out of context biblical passages dont really make a huge impression on me"

      Must be lonely as the only person to ever be Right? 🙂

      May 5, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  12. Devout Atheist

    Waaaahhh!! People Give he a hard time for being a bigot, I'm such a victim, Waaaahhh!!

    May 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Chad

      Interesting handle,

      how does one be a "devout atheist"?

      I thought atheism was just "absence of belief", how can you devoutly have an absence of belief?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Chad

      devout
      1. Having or showing deep religious feeling or commitment.
      2. Totally committed to a cause or belief.

      I never bought into this whole "atheism is a religion" thing, but I think you guys are convincing me..

      May 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Chad was born missing his funny bone.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • ME II

      irony, parody, sarcasm... one of those.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Athy

      I think Chad was born missing a lot more than his funny bone.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad

      "how does one be a "devout atheist"?

      Actually reading a Bible can cause it.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      devout |diˈvout|
      adjective
      having or showing deep religious feeling or commitment: she was a devout Catholic | a rabbi's devout prayers.
      • totally committed to a cause or belief: the most devout environmentalist.

      As you can see, devout also means to be committed to a cause.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Chad

      If you accept @saraswati's assertion that one can be religious without the object of that devotion being a deity, then atheism is certainly a religion with devoted followers.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, now you've really lost Chard. He doesn't know that "religious" and "religion" can have more than one meaning, either. He is the only one who gets to redefine words here, and don't you forget it or he'll smite you with and emoticon.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Chad, meet English... English, Chad. Now take some time to get to know each other better.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      If how one deals with the meaning of life can be called their "religion", then atheism and agnosticism probably qualify.

      Regardless, arguing over the explicit or implicit definition of the word is a waste of time and usually an attempt to avoid more important matters.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Science

      Like this Chad...............do you have any ?

      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

      May 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "If you accept @saraswati's assertion that one can be religious without the object of that devotion being a deity, then atheism is certainly a religion with devoted followers."

      It also requires a thing to which to be devoted. Atheism as a lack of belief does not fit the bill.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "It also requires a thing to which to be devoted. Atheism as a lack of belief does not fit the bill."

      =>so, you reject @saraswati's claim that there is such a thing as a "religious atheist"

      May 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  13. EdL

    Don't know if Christians are a minority or majority in the U.S. but the trend is that more and more Christians are becoming victims of hate, almost, by the liberal media and their followers.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • yalesouth

      so we should not point out their insanity?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Poor bigots getting what they deserve.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Examples?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Payback's a biatch. Deal with it; you brought it upon yourselves.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  14. Loathstheright

    Have you ever had to sit in a room for any amount of time with evangelicals? There is a reason people are starting to be turned off by these people.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Have been around a bunch of mad cows?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Akira

      When cows run amok: why do I see a Gary Larson cartoon in your posts? (I'm a HUGE Larson fan!)

      May 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  15. Casual Observer

    Give me a break, you become a "hated minority" when you spew bigoted points of view.

    Don't make yourselves out to be martyrs. People who use religion to spread bigotry are as much a martyr as the KKK was in the 60's.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • faith

      don't u want pa lins buttered treats to pund in front of retarged kid?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Cows chew, bigots spew which one r ya?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Casual Observer

      Faith, I have no idea what you just said

      May 5, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • faith

      sorry. i can't quote little sambo and her friends. cnn don't allow it, so i gots to try to camouflage their words and it ain't perrty. one of your distinguished scholars said she wants to r a p e sara pay lyn.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • faith

      yea. she was quite specific. wants 2 do it in front of her re tard ed child, too.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • faith

      yea. she was quite specific. wants 2 do it in front of her re tard ed child, too. ain't it grand?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Akira

      Faith does not understand what a troll is, and further, believes every poster besides herself is the same one person who says these outrageous things.

      Faith frequently lies about other posters, and then gets mad when people strike back at her.

      In short, faith is the epitome of what this article is about.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  16. pattysboi

    The anti-gays are NOT victims, even though they love to claim that they are. I've had rocks thrown at me, been spat upon, and verbally abused by Eastern European "Christian" at local Pride festivals. My wife and I are gay Christians, and we are stronger than these little children who whine and thrown tantrums when they don't get their way.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Cow- she , bull-he

      May 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Austin

      then repent. habitual sin is rejection of resurrection power. You are commanded to repent. you have been set free from sin.

      do you read the book of revelation how to every church , s.exual immorality was explicitly condemned in every single church. ????

      Revelation 3:21 ►

      New International Version (©2011)
      To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.

      YOU MUST REPENT AND OVER COME SIN. Lordship salvation.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Tamsyn

      Repent what, Austin? Being Christian? Why should they do that? Being Christian isn't considered a sin now, is it?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Religions are about truth absolute GOD, and hindu gay ism, hind love ism is by persons hindu secular ism, self center ism, denial of truth absolute GOD, no need to label yourself to be of truth absolute GOD, while one is a hindu gay, ignorant hind lover in defiance of truth absolute GOD.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • lol??

      So what works for keepin' an XX under control of her passions?? I suppose a chasti*ty belt is needed for a period of time.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  17. Steve

    Let me see here... White Christians are playing the minority card?

    Sorry, people are gonna dispise the extreme Christian right until they stop trying to put their fanatical religious views into law.
    These nuts are pouring loads of money into taking away personal freedoms, or preventing people from having them. They screw with the laws so that creationism is taught in schools, evolution is a lie, and the world was created 6 thousand years ago. As much as they'd lie to return to the dark ages, you can't reverse the enlightenment. Furthermore, prodistants are supposed to be progressive. These guys are worse than Catholics!

    May 5, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Healthy cow? Skinny cow? Choices

      May 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  18. STFU

    Mohammad A. Dar said "any thing out side norm of humanity is condemnable, such as hind love ism, hindu gay ism,"

    would you consider saying something similar for muslim love ism, muslim gay ism, muslim terror ism Mohammad A. Dar ?

    May 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      It is not permeable in Islam, but a holy tradition of hinduism, every hindu sanatan, crook shaman, god of hindus, deniers of truth absolute GOD was a hindu gay, pervert hind lover by faith.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • STFU

      Mohammad, either you are a congenital liar or just stupid, Saudi Arabia has the biggest Gay population in the Middle East, my Syrian friend told me, saudi Arabs are Gay 100 percent.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  19. Austin

    God has revealed himself. If we worship our sinful flesh we are playing with fire.

    God is real. Our Lord is There Jehovah Shammah

    God condemns no one, sin is condemned. Dont condemn yourself with unbelief. Satan has no right to your soul. It is your choice.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Athy

      If god revealed himself, I must have been napping because I missed it. Maybe I'll catch the rerun.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Observer

      "God condemns no one".

      Great. No more Hell for anyone.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Truth Will Out

      God does not exist.

      Satan does not exist.

      Hell does not exist. Neither does Heaven. There is no afterlife.

      Sin does not exist.

      Without the concepts of afterlife and sin, religion has no reason to exist. Free yourself from the concepts of an afterlife and sin, and start to truly live without the burden of religion.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Translation:
      God loves everyone. But if he hates you its your fault.
      If you dont listen you will burn in hell. So do what youre told and be scared.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Allah – O – Akbur Allah is the only God Austin

      May 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      A call to the COWS – charge!

      May 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
  20. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    hindu gay ism has no genetic reason, but his hindu soul filthy desire in lust, a person to be pervert by his hindu secular ism is, filthy self center ism.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:28 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.