home
RSS
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. clinky

    The problem here is that practically all Americans object to Sharia law, which is considered sacred by some Muslims, and also proscriptions on women straight out of the Koran. In other words, just because a teaching is from a holy text doesn't protect it from becoming disrespectful speech.

    However, this should be an easy one for Christians to field. Treat the anti-gay passages exactly as the anti-Semitic and pro-slavery ones. In other words, ignore them. There, problem solved.

    May 5, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • lol??

      Wall Street has been studyin' Sharia law and it ain't for ignorin'. Hopey Changey is comin' so we can now have a muslim hindu clash in a hood near you.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      Ah, but you've set yourself up for a trap: How can we selectively ignore some teachings and not others?

      I think evangelicals need to wake up to the fact the Bible is not the unadulterated word of God. It has been translated from long-forgotten cultures to the present day, and attempting to separate it from its history, and just taking the words as printed as genuine, is absolutely stupid.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  2. Colin

    Chrstianity is the belief that a god impregnated a virgin with himslef, to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to forgive the "original sin" of a couple we now all know never existed.

    Atheism is the belief that the above belief is fvcking stupid.

    May 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Terry

      like

      May 5, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      And like again.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • matt houston

      As direct and simple as this description is, it will not move one hair to change a Abrahamite's brainwashed mind.

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

      Sometimes when you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Nobody else cares enough.

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

      But why we he do that?

      May 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Science

      Collin.......... chad does not like this one...........Adam had to POKE himself HARD with his OWN BONE to create Eve !

      May 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  3. LotsofAmmo

    Not really hated, just irrelevant.

    May 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  4. m

    Christians...remember this...."He who is without sin, cast the first stone!" Comprendo??

    May 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Dippy

      Comprende or comprendes...not comprendo.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • JMorcan

      Please don't pervert the meaning of gospel to suit such an agenda. Recognizing sin is not "casting stones."

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

      Dippy are you an english teacher?

      May 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • lol??

      You tellin' me I have to carry around a bag of rocks?? No wonder people like to share the load with socialism.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      You don't need to pervert it to see its drowning in its own hate and bigotry.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • JimmineCricket

      Go on and finish the quote in John8:9-11 9
      "At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
      11 “No one, sir,” she said. "Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

      See it has the end result of a changed life, don't go on sinning.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      I dont take moral advice from god and certainly not from a cricket.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • lol??

      How 'bout ticks, dog?

      May 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  5. Dyslexic doG

    When did I realize I was God?

    Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized that I was talking to myself ...

    May 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      same story different day, Baba Mohammad said the same thing, you must follow the Thin Allah, secular s, savior of the world

      May 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @IF

      you win ... no matter how good I think my jokes are, the stuff you write is waaaay more hilarious.

      I concede to your comic genius.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      LOL

      May 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  6. YBP

    It's 2013. The Bible was written by xenophobic people of a far less enlightened time and place, at least 2500 years ago. These same people were constantly being conquered and subjugated by more advanced nations, despite their odious belief that they were divinely chosen to rule the world and that their land was somehow promised to them by their deity. What little they have to say in their ancient texts on this topic (and many other topics) reflects their distate for the practices of all foreign peoples and cultures, as well as their discomfort with all things pertaining to the erotic, such as nudity, intimacy and bodily fluids – things that they themselves kept hidden and quiet about.

    What we have learned from numerous archeological finds from the mid-1940s and 50s is that, not only was Christianity comprised of many different communities with many different gospels and belief systems in its earliest stages, but that Christianity itself springs from Essenism, a separatist-extremist sect that had existed at least 100 years before Jesus, and most closely resembles the Branch Davidians of Waco, TX. The Essenes retreated from the real world to self-imposed exile. They were by no means main-stream. They were fringe, apocalyptic, and readying themselves for war. War came. But it did not go as they had expected. Just like at Waco. These are the roots of Christianity, a religion which today is clearly seen as untrue and entirely irrelevant.

    May 5, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      You make the best showcase for the upcoming rodeo show

      May 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    we should all know about Horus from 3000 BC (Jesus is a copy of Horus), or Attis from 1500 BC (Jesus is a copy of Attis), or Mithra from 1200BC (Jesus is a copy of Mithra), or Krishna from 900BC (Jesus is a copy of Krishna), or Dionysus from 500 BC (Jesus is a copy of Dionysus) .... or any of the DOZENS of other gods predating the bronze age book character Jesus who were born of a virgin on Dec 25, traveled as a teacher, had 12 disciples, performed miracles, was killed and lay dead for 3 days and was resurrected.

    You Christians are not even original! What a joke!

    May 5, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Chad

      Indeed you should know that any analogy between horus et. el. and Jesus is utter fiction...

      you are believing a lie because you havent done any investigation..

      Putting to death the Dionysus/Osiris comparison with Jesus
      Historians do their best to understand Osiris from archeological digs, existing temples and wall carvings in Egypt. According to the myth, Osiris was slain by his jealous brother, Seth. His sister- wife (Isis) collected the pieces of her dismembered husband, revived him, and later conceived his son and avenger, Horus. Let’s take a look at the claims we have already described and separate truth from fiction, and then try to understand the underlying hope of the people who invented the god called Osiris:

      Claim: Osiris was called “Lord of Lords”, “King of Kings”, “God of Gods”, “Resurrection and the Life”, “Good Shepherd”, “Eternity and Everlastingness”, and the god who “made men and women to be “born again”
      Truth: These names for Jesus were NOT used by Osiris, who was called, “Lord of All”, the “Good Being”, “Lord of the Underworld”, “Lord (King) of Eternity”, “Ruler of the Dead”, “Lord of the West”, “Great One”, “He who takes seat,” “the Begetter”, “the Ram”, “Great Word”, “Chief of the Spirits”, “Ruler of Everlastingness”, “Living God,” “God above the gods.” These rather general names were not uncommon for many other deities as well.

      The Reasoning Behind the Osiris Mythology: If there is a God, we would expect Him to be powerful and possess a t itle that reflects that power.

      Claim: Osiris’ birth was announced by Three Wise Men: the three stars Mintaka, Anilam, and Alnitak in the belt of Orion, and Osiris had a star in the east (Sirius) that signified his birth
      Truth: It IS true that some scholars connect Osiris with Orion, but they don’t stretch the imagination to call the three stars of the belt “wise men”, and there is no mention of an eastern star in the Osiris mythology.

      The Reasoning Behind the Osiris Mythology: It is reasonable to as sume that if there is a God, his emergence into the natural world would be in some way spectacular and supernatural

      Claim: Osiris had a Eucharist ceremony of sorts, in which his flesh was eaten in the form of communion cakes of wheat
      Truth: There is no evidence for this in the research of the scholars

      Claim: Osiris taught much of the same material as Jesus; many teachings are identically the same, word for word
      Truth: There is absolutely no evidence of any of this, and the ‘wisdom’ of Osiris is still available for review.

      The Reasoning Behind the Osiris Mythology: If there is a God, we would expect Him to be a source of great wisdom

      Claim: Osiris was killed and later resurrected, providing hope to all that they may do likewise and become eternal
      Truth: Osiris was murdered and his body was then dismembered and scattered. Later, his body pieces were recovered and rejoined, and he was rejuvenated. Osiris then journeyed to the underworld, where he became the lord of the dead. He did NOT resurrect with a glorified body and walk with men on earth, as did Jesus. He was not alive again, as was Jesus, but was instead a “dead” god who never returned among the living

      The Reasoning Behind the Osiris Mythology: If there is a true God, we would expect him to have mastery over death and be able to control the powers of death and life.

      From this quick examination of the Osiris tradition, we can see that he was NOT called by the same names that were used for Jesus, and while he was connected by some to the Orion constellation, there is NO mention of three wise men in the Osiris birth story. In addition, Osiris was NOT celebrated with a Eucharist. He was murdered and reas sembled, but was NOT resurrected to glory and life as was Jesus. So in hindsight, how similar is Mithras to Jesus after all?
      How can anyone simply “say” something is similar to another matter when no similarity exists?

      http://tektonics.org/copycat/osy.html

      =======


      putting to death the nonsense comparison of Horus and Jesus

      Claim #1-Horus and Jesus are born from a virgin.

      Horus’s mother is Isis. Isis was married to Osiris. We do not know for what length of time, but presumably the marriage was consummated. Whether it was or wasn’t doesn’t matter though. After Osiris is killed, Isis puts him back together again (he was hacked into 14 pieces) except for his penis which was tossed in a river or a lake. Iris fashions a subst itute penis for him, humps him and here comes Horus. There is nothing virginal about that.

      Claim #2-Both Horus and Jesus were born to a Mary and Joseph. (Seb)

      As noted Isis is Horus’s mother’s name not Mary. In addition, Seb is not Horus’s father, Osiris is. Seb is Osiris’s father. Further, Seb is a distinct name from Joseph. Putting them side by side does not make them synonyms, and that appears to be what was done here.

      Claim #3-Both were born of royal descent.

      This is accurate.

      Claim #4-Both births were announced by angels and witnessed by shepherds.

      I can find nothing that mentions that the birth of Horus was announced by an angel or witnessed by shepherds. I have found that Horus was born in a swamp, which is a pretty unlikely place for shepherds. In addition Acharya mentions that Horus was born in a cave. Mas sey makes no mention of this, although he does represent that Mithra was born in a cave.

      Claim #5-Both were heralded by stars and angels.

      There is no star that heralded Horus’s birth nor is there any angel announcing it. Archarya in a footnote in The Origins of Christianity indicates that that there are three stars named the three kings in Orion and then relates this to the birth of Jesus. When we look to the stories regarding Horus, we find no star or angel announcing his birth. To the extent that Acharya S relies upon Ma ssey and Ma ssey relies upon what is depicted in the panels at Luxor see (from an atheist) further regarding virgin birth and pronouncement by angels http ://w ww.frontlin e-apologetics.com/carrier_luxor _inscription.htm

      Claim #6-Both had later visitors (Horus-3 deities and Jesus-3 wisemen.)

      There is no indication that there ever were 3 wisemen. The bible never mentions the number of wisemen, nor is there any docu ment that reflects 3 deities at the birth of Horus. See the website referenced in Claim #5.

      Claim #7-Both had murder plots against them.

      There is mention that Seth did want to kill Horus, and Herod wanted to kill Jesus. so this is accurate.

      Claim#8-Both came of age at 12, were baptized and their baptizers were executed.

      There is no indication that Horus was preaching in a temple when he was 12. In fact, Ma ssey indicates that Hours the child was depicted as a “weakling.” That doesn’t jive with story of Jesus preaching in the temple. Again this appears to have been a confabulation from Acharya and repeated by others.

      Horus was never baptized in any of the Horus stories. In addition, Acharya mentions that John the Baptist is actually Anup the Baptizer. This individual is never mentioned anywhere in any Horus account. There is not even a footnote in Archaya’s on-line work The Origins of Christianity to support this. There is nothing.

      Claim #9-Both had 12 disciples.

      According to the Horus accounts, Horus had four semi-gods that were followers. There is some indication of 16 human followers and an unknown number of blacksmiths that went into battle with him. Horus did not have 12 disciples. Jesus reportedly did. Acharya failed to give a footnote to support this.

      Ma ssey points to a mural in the Book of Hades in which there are twelve reapers. Horus is not present in this scene. For Ma ssey to make this connection he goes to a different scene within the same mural. In this scene there is a picture of a god whose name is the Master of Joy. Horus is never depicted although in other murals the artists do depict Horus. Had the artists ascribed 12 reapers in any relation to Horus all they had to do was put Horus at the scene. They did not.

      Claim #10-Both walked on water.

      Horus didn’t, or at least there is no record that I can find that he did. Ma ssey does not maintain that Hours did. Ma ssey uses wild conjecture to connect the story of fish man, Oannes, not Horus, to Jesus. Oannes came out of the sea during the day, and went back into the sea at ni ght. Ma ssey makes the two analogous because by his calculations, Jesus walked on water during the day.

      As to Acharya, she as usual provides nothing to substantiate this.

      Claim #11-Both performed miracles.

      This is true although the miracles were different in scope and nature.

      Claim #12 Both exorcised demons and raised Lazarus.

      The actual claim is that Horus raised Osiris from the dead and that the name Osiris morphed to Lazarus. It doesn’t matter because Horus did not bring Osiris back to life. There is no mention of this in any docu ment regarding the story. Horus did avenge Osiris’s death, but that did not raise Osiris from the dead.

      Claim #13-Both held a Sermon on the Mount; both were transfigured on a mountain, died by crucifixion along with two thieves and were buried in tombs where they paid a quick visit to Hell and then rose from the dead after 3 days time, both resurrections were witness by women, and both will supposedly reign for 1,000 years in the Millennium.

      These are the most damning claims if they were proven true in my opinion. Yet, I can locate none of this. No sermon, no transfiguration, certainly no crucifixion w/ two thieves, no trip to hell and no resurrection. There was an incident in which Horus was torn to pieces and Iris requested the crocodile god to fish him out of the water he was tossed into, which was done, but that’s it. I am at a loss to refute this because I can not find anything to support it.

      Ma ssey does compares a story about the Autumn Equinox related to Osiris, not Horus, as the symbolic crucifixion. There is no indication that Horus is involved in any way. There is no mention by Ma ssey of any Sermon on the Mount. No mention or any actual crucifixion, no two thieves, no burial in a tomb. Mas sey does not maintain that anything of the sort occurred with Horus.

      In short, of the claims outlined in this entry, I find the comparison between Horus and Jesus to consist of the following: they were of royal descent, they allegedly worked miracles and there were murder plots against them.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Athy

      Oh, Chad, stuff it, wil ya?

      May 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      thanks for the Christian Book store version of why Jesus was not quite identical to any of the pre-dating gods but still a lot like them ...

      The Bible is a joke!

      May 5, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Chad

      @Athy "Oh, Chad, stuff it, wil ya?"

      =>you actually oppose getting the truth out there?

      amazing.

      you would prefer that people buy into the whole "Jesus as myth" rather than actually know the truth? Even Richard Carrier and rational wiki oppose the Jesus as myth nonsense..

      May 5, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Science

      The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth......if you can read chad ?

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

      May 5, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Science

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

      sin !!!..

      May 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Salero21

      Chad brought more evidence of why I'm always saying that atheism is stupidity in FULL bloom, because it is!

      May 5, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Science

      Hey faith and you too chad

      http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/parker/

      Check it out cool science..................the url. above .

      Peace

      May 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/comment-page-107/#comment-2342007

      May 15, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |

      May 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Science

      Oops............ forggot Sally and doogie too !

      May 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  8. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Civility is human, by following of limit of truth absolute in life, one in hindu secular ism, criminal self center ism have no right to claim to be civil while in their atheism, self center ism, denial of truth absolute, and hindu gay ism, filthy hind love ism is not human civility, but of animals, self centered by nature, deserving no respect.

    May 5, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  9. Religion

    If Christians were anything at all like Christ, everyone would be a Christian.

    Instead they are hateful, bigoted, hypocritical d-baggs obsessed with running other peoples lives.

    May 5, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      amen!!

      May 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • lol??

      ".............everyone would be a Christian.............." OK, you first. The beheading line is over there.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • lol??

      "Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few [are] chosen."

      May 5, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Michael S.

      Sadly, very very True.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      That is why the cows are almighty

      May 5, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
  10. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    all the gay lovers are bent on clicking report abuse on my posts, filthy denier of truth absolute Thin Allah

    May 5, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Dear Mr. EBIT (Energizer Bunny Islamic Troll). I applaud your stamina. You've been posting this same nonsensical rubbish all day. You just keep going and going!

      May 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  11. Very Wise Words

    "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Mahatma Ghandi

    May 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Cows need to hear more of that not hormones or hay or straw. Increases the productivity of the cows

      May 5, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • lol??

      He got busted for s*ex crimes and had to register. Ruined his whole life. Ain't freedom grand??

      May 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  12. McShannon

    Politics from the pulpit claiming that they know God's will with a bible in one hand and a check from a lobbyist in the other. These Charlatans deserve no respect and whine that they are persecuted as a Christian, when in fact they harbor a political agenda. Bashing gays with a bible in their hand when in fact Jesus preached love and understanding. I don't recall any story in the bible where Jesus caused a gay person to be straight nor did he hint that he was appalled at this affliction whatsoever. Anything to the contrary said in his behalf is hearsay.

    May 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • lol??

      "..............check from a lobbyist............."

      Looks like you have a misunderstanding on how the socies set the system up.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  13. rymnd87

    Christians who hold extreme beliefs such as gays are an abomination etc and pass judgement on others are bigots, period. Just like radical Islamists, Nazis, radical zionists etc etc. These people cannot claim victim hood as a "hated minority", that would be preposterous. What would be next, support groups for these religious nuts whose "feelings" are hurt by the general mainstream, give me a break!!

    May 5, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Truer sounds never mooed before

      May 5, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • lol??

      Who put you in charge of the "hood"??

      May 5, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
  14. Colin

    Let's hope all activist Christians go back in the closet and cuddle their Bibles and leave we rational people alone.

    May 5, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      This place is for the cows

      May 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Dippy

      Psst, Colin, it's "us," not "we."

      May 5, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • lol??

      The "Wegodians" are under a spell.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
  15. naturechaplain

    Reasonable discussion can work. Respectfully disagreeing and saying "I believe something different" is one thing. "You have to believe My Way" deserves push back. As a former "Christian victim," I think the best question to ask these folks is: Show the rest of us how you stand up and speak out for the truly persecuted, "the least of these my brothers and sisters" (poor, homeless, immigrants, minority groups, Iragis, Afghanis, etc, etc). Then maybe, just maybe, we'll give a listen to your struggles. Or, maybe God will hear you?

    May 5, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  16. Shayna

    Written by a white, Christian male: http://www.forwardprogressives.com/republican-ignorance/

    May 5, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  17. Colin

    Dear Christians:

    God here.

    There is no reason to speak on my behalf. The reason for this is simple – I don’t exist. Have you ever thought that I might be a creation of your own minds? Is not the concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the actions and thoughts of the 7 billion human beings on this planet utterly ludicrous?

    Look, if I did exist, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was compiled with certain writings included and others excluded, nor how it has been edited over the centuries, yet you cite it for the most extraordinary of supernatural claims.

    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who elected to withhold all evidence of my existence in the first place.

    Fifthly, in the same vein, I would not make about 5% of the human population gay, then punish them for being that way. In fact, I wouldn’t care about how humans have $ex at all, given that I created all of the millions of millions of species on the planet, all of whom are furiously reproducing all the time. Human $ex would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Has it ever occurred to you that your obsession with making rules around human $ex is an entirely human affair?

    Sixth, I would have smitten all you Christian activists, and all evangelicals and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric even for a sick, sadistic bast.ard like me to contemplate).

    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

    Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

    Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you cringed in fear during the Dark Ages and thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

    Move on – get over me. I did.

    God

    May 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Back from grazing in the prairies chewing some cud? Looking for the cows?

      May 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Paul Jaramillo

      Who gave you the right to say that there is a no God, that's what you believe, everyone has the right to their beliefs. i guess you are the only one who can believe what they want. Just who the hell do you think you are?
      You must have a massive ego and that your long fairy tale you wrote, must be a masterpiece of genius.
      Keep your fairy tales to yourself.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Colin

      My apparent personality defects aside, Paul, do you disagree with any point I made?

      May 5, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      Very well written. So well in fact that it deserves to be posted everywhere – and just in this dungheap of a page.
      Thank you for your time and attention to your prose.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Candace

      Dearest Collin, one of God's disciples here, God is and always will be the Unity of the universe! My dad once asked me, " What if you spend all this time going to church, praying and worshipping something or someone then when you die you find out there is NOTHING, what then?", to which I replied. "Dad, what if did not go and do for the church and read the Bible, and when I die there is something and Hell is where I do not want to be, so I will trust in GOD and beleive there is SOMETHING!" So when your time comes and you may have a mionute or too to reflect on your past with no GOd and all you see an smell is fire and brimestone, you may have wished you would have believed in SOMETHING, anything is better than HELL! But in the meantime I will p[ray for you because that is my GOD given right and I want to pray for all those that are lost and searching because that is what "MY GOD" says I must do and so I will chose to follow Him, because with everything that is happening in this lifetime, it is the "CHRISTIAN" thing to do! Praying for you always'
      God's Disciple

      May 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Science

      Collin is dead on !!!

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

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

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

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

      May 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Colin

      Thanks Candace, you pray for me and I'll think for both of us.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Paul Jaramillo

      Belief in God is not the belief of a society that is backwards. Ancient peoples believed that destructive natural forces were the result of a God, their sense of how the natural world works was absent. The Earth is not in the center of the universe, nor does the sun go around the Earth. But the question of either creation by a super natural force or by the Big Bang, will always be in dispute.
      The belief in God is not a primitive option, it can be, if it's implementation goes against purely natural forces like gravity, weather conditions, and earth crust movements. Belief in God does not mean suspension in logic, but a way to say that a creative force was involved in the existence of the universe and not just something that just happened by accident.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Colin

      OK Paul, what evidence do you have to support your point that the Universe HAD to have a supernatural creator and what evidence do you have that this creator is your god?

      May 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
  18. Beth

    Claiming to be persecuted helps some people to feel they are part of their chosen faith. they like to imagine themselves as standing alongside the martyrs, facing the lions as unfeeling crowds yell for their blood. Then they can go home and feel they have suffered for the faith. Those who call down the wrath of god down on others are not doing it out of love. No matter what they claim. They are eagerly waiting for the death and destruction they think will be handed out to all those who don't live as they do.

    May 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Cows starting to bleat

      May 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • One one

      I want a god who takes a personal interest in ME
      I want a god who makes sacrifices for ME
      I want a god who will always love ME
      I want a god who protects ME when life gets scary
      I want a god who validates MY values and beliefs to be 100% correct
      I want a god who gives ME easy answers to life's complicated questions
      I want a god who will let ME live forever after I die
      I want a god who will let ME look down at all those people who disagreed with me and watch them burn in hell

      You see, my faith is really all about ME

      May 5, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
  19. shawbrooke

    There are lots of people who think that everyone must agree with them. These totalitarian fascists in North America use exaggeration, call disagreement hate speech and engender tons of emotion over their cause and too many people listen to them. Here's a paraphrase to think over – first they came fir the Christians and then they came for everyone not in favor of gay marriage and then they came for -- me.

    The time to fight totalitarianism is when it starts. Usually, that start is when things are exaggerated. Calling disagreement with some aspects of gay rights to be hate speech is exaggeration, no thinking person should listen to it, and media people who exaggerate it should be called on it. ASAP.

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

      When you form groups based on denying people equality its hate. And using scare tactics to fight against people standing up for gay people is sick.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      The problem is that there is no reason to deny gay people equality.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      I agree with you shawbrooke. We can't let the Christians get away with this.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • One one

      Right, it's disagreement, not hate, just like Islam is a religion of peace. Neither rings true.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  20. ClosetsR4sweaters

    Excuse me. For all of the religious rhetoric that became inflamed during the rise of Evangelical movement, I think it is time for these people to go back into their church. I am a gay man who was once Catholic, but have since become an atheist. I feel suffocated by all the Christian hate speech toward EVERYTHING these past few years. I know there are kind, loving Christians who would rather live their life and not the lives of everyone else, but it is the ones who have the microphones, the ones who have the following that preach the hate. They are speaking for you, and I believe the time has arrived I have been waiting for: when everyone else got sick of it, too. Maybe it is time for the Christians to crawl back into their churches and think about the teachings they are supposed to believe. Where is the LOVE? There is no love, no tolerance. It is all a facade lately to bring back their "traditional values" that they have been missing since the 1950's. Well, guess what? It is now 2013, and the world has evolved. That's what I love about time. It keeps moving forward, allowing life to progress forward whether we like it or not. Why not follow the times? Are you that repulsed by the gay lifestyle? Let me tell you. There are way freakier things going on in straight bedrooms than you know or care to admit.

    May 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Who cares what you claim to be, matter for human is to act in civility, and be a human, not in line of hindu primates, ignorant self centered, and claim rights of human.

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

      Disagreements are the human condition and this country is as good as it is because of free speech. Anyone who tells others to "crawl into their churches" is engaging in bullying name calling that undermines any point you might have. You are not suffocated because someone does not agree with you, and people are not unloving because they disagree with you. Really.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • shawbrooke

      Progress? Progressive is when people learn to live and let live, when people are adult enough to accept that others will not always agree with them. Demanding that everyone think like you do is regressive and takes us back to worse times.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      shawbrooke, True enough but why do we hear so much about persecuted christians in the US?

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

      If you are going to point out incivility, IF, please look to yourself, as you are one of the biggest offenders here.

      May 5, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • craig

      Jesus told his followers to go to world and preach the gospel. Can't do that only in the church. We must get out and let people that Jesus loves them and his ways are better.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120
Advertisement
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.