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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. Ken Colwell

    Take Joy.....John 15:19
    If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      When you treat others poorly then you deserve the hate of the world.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • lol??

      "1Jo 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

      The groom can love the world without getting dirty, That's too much to ask of the bride.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Tweety 5:18 I thought I thaw a puddy-tat! I did! I DID thaw a puddy-tat!

      May 8, 2013 at 12:39 am |
  2. just a guy

    I wish this whole "god" crap would just go away. What a cancer it's been for humanity. If you choose to believe in such nonsense then please keep your twisted beliefs to yourself and stop trying to impose it on the rest of us.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • faith

      don't hold your breath, dodo

      May 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Ken Colwell

      Love can do no wrong:) God is Love

      May 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Chad

      What makes you think the God of Israel isnt real?

      May 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • 1word

      Just a Guy, God can transform your mind to see the truth.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      I think he was talking to you religous nuts that replied.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • lol??

      just a guy
      I wish this whole "god" crap would just go away..........."

      First off, you have to give up nutsoism and quit reading religious blogs. You find your own way on step 2.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • Paul Jaramillo

      Why are so afraid of a three letter word, GOD?
      We all in life hear things we do not like, but we don't let it bother us so much.
      If you are healthy in mind, you can ignore things. People think for themselves, they are not robots run by a book,
      not all bad is done in the name of God, many are caused for self interest and societies rules. The number one reason for bad things is EGO, not God in terms of evil. People chose to follow Bible rules, by choice, not by demand.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Snow

      @Chad.. what makes you think that Mars Ultor of Rome isn't real?

      Same answer!

      May 5, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad. "what makes you think the God of Israel isnt real?"
      @Snow "What makes you think that Mars Ultor of Rome isn't real?
      Same answer!

      @Chad "you dont think that the God of Israel is real because the God of Israel has said there is no other god but Himself..
      ah.
      what?

      May 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  3. ThomasPrydeIV

    For the few sentient beings left in this discussion, the ban on pork in the Pentateuch, among most of the gazillion other rules and regulations in Leviticus, was based in the Old Covenant for the purpose of making the Jews different than the rest of the world- which is the real meaning of the word "holy" – and the verse in Leviticus referring to h.omos.exuality as an "abomination" was a description of something God finds sinful. After you apply the other verse saying that God never changes, you arrive at the conclusion that God still finds h.omos.exuality as sin. This of course is based on the premise that the bible is infallible, which I happen to believe. Let the hating begin! 😀

    May 5, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      i dont hate you. I just feel sorry for you. It must be tough to be so crazy.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      This of course is based on the premise that the bible is infallible, which I happen to believe.

      Interpretation: I've never read the Bible.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Jim

      Infallibility is a tough act. Compare the four narratives of the passion sometime.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • ThomasPrydeIV

      Thank you for you non-hate 🙂 We have it really easy here in America, especially compared to places like Pakistan

      May 5, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Yes. We would all be dead in Pakistan.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • ThomasPrydeIV

      I'm looking to see if there is anyone left who can disagree with me without resorting to name calling and unwarranted assumptions. There were a few earlier in these comments, but it seems they've all left

      May 5, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • G to the T

      It's OK Thomas – Jesus said the Laws should not be changed, but Paul said that Jesus REALLY meant they don't apply anymore... see the problem here?

      May 10, 2013 at 10:46 am |
  4. Dan

    Simply put organized religion is a lie.There has never been ,there is not now a religion that has ever been proven to be true.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • faith

      so?

      May 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • ThomasPrydeIV

      Though I am thoroughly a Christian, I completely agree with the second half of this statement.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • faith

      even though i am a devout atheist, jesus christ is my saviour

      May 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Ken Colwell

      2 Corinthians 4:4
      in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Paul Jaramillo

      What is truth and what is a lie in your estimation?
      No one has the monopoly on truth.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • TG

      Because of the atrocities of the organized religions that call themselves "Christian", as well as all the others who follow some other teaching, such as Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, Sikhism, Judaism, etc, have committed over the centuries, it has understandably left a sour or bitter taste for many.

      Especially since the churches of Christendom have said that they follow the teachings of Jesus, are they under inspection. But it has been the churches that led the slaughter of millions, such as the Catholic church that led both the Spanish and Roman Inquisitions to cull out "heretics". Dominican inquisitor Torquemada of Spain (1420-98), who was appointed in 1483 by Pope Sixtus VI as the first inquisitor general (and later made grand inquisitor by Pope Innocent VIII in 1487), ruled tyrannically for fifteen years, whereby his victims numbered over 114,000, of whom 10,220 were burned.

      The churches have not adhered to Jesus teachings, but as Jesus: "Why, then, do you call me, ' Lord ! Lord ! ' but do not do the things I say ?"(Luke 6:46) These have put on a front of piety, just as the Jewish religious leaders in Jesus day.(Matt 6:2) They have led their young men off to wars, so that they are blood guilty by the millions. They call him "Lord" but disregard his words to show godly love.(Matt 5:43-48)

      However, the Bible establishes that there is one true organized religion or "one faith" (Eph 4:5) that has not spilled any blood, that has closely adhered to the Bible and Jesus words.

      At Micah 4, it says that "in the final part of the days (our time period that began with Jesus installation as king in 1914) that the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established", whereby "many nations will certainly go", requesting to "instruct us about his ways". It further says that this organized religion "will have to beat their swords into plowshares and spears into pruning shears (implements of peace). They will not lift up sword, nation against nation, neither will they learn war anymore."(Micah 4:1-3)

      May 5, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  5. faith

    ms 13 is deeply religious

    May 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • faith

      what do u think dm, should ms 13 have the right to vote?

      May 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
  6. Colin

    There are some pretty fundamental objections to Christianity that are hard to get around. Now before some believer rants back at me that I am evil, an “angry atheist”, or going to burn for all eternity in hell, please take the time to actually read and cogitate the objections.

    If you have a disagreement with a point I make, post it. However, if you only object to the fact that I said it, please understand that I do not buy into the whole “it is immoral to be skeptical of the Christian religion” nonsense.

    1. At its most fundamental level, Christianity requires a belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies 13,700,000,000 years ago (the age of the Universe) sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,700,000,000 years for h.o.mo sapiens to gradually evolve, then, at some point gave them eternal life and sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East.

    While here, this divine visitor exhibits no knowledge of ANYTHING outside of the Iron Age Middle East, including the other continents, 99% of the human race, and the aforementioned galaxies.

    Either that, or it all started 6,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake. Either way “oh come on” just doesn’t quite capture it.

    2. This ‘all loving’ god spends his time running the Universe and spying on the approximately 7 billion human beings on planet Earth 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He even reads their minds (or “hears their prayers”, if you see any difference) using some kind of magic telepathic powers. He also keeps his telepathic eye on them when they are not praying, so as to know if they think bad thoughts (such as lusting after their hot neighbor) so he knows whether to reward or punish them after they die.

    3. Having withheld any evidence of his existence, this god will then punish those who doubt him with an eternity burning in hell. I don’t have to kill, I don’t have to steal, I don’t even have to litter. All I have to do is honestly not believe in the Christian god and he will inflict a grotesque penalty on me a billion times worse than the death penalty – and he loves me.

    4. The above beliefs are based on nothing more than a collection of Bronze and Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology, much of it discredited, that was cobbled together into a book called the “Bible” by people we know virtually nothing about, before the Dark Ages.

    5. The stories of Christianity are not even original. They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Horus and Dionysus (including virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).

    6. The Bible is also literally infested with contradictions, outdated morality, and open support for the most barbarous acts of cruelty. All of this is due to when and where it was written, the morality of the times and the motives of its authors and compilers. While this may be exculpatory from a literary point of view, it also screams out the fact that it is a pure product of man, bereft of any divine inspiration.

    7. A rejection of the supernatural elements of Christianity does not require a rejection of its morality. Most atheists and secular humanists share a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Christianity. To the extent we reject Christian morality, it is where it is outdated or mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, our basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Christian – we just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over our head in order to act in a manner that we consider moral.

    Falsely linking morality to a belief in the supernatural is a time-tested “three card trick” religion uses to stop its adherents from asking the hard questions. So is telling them it is “wrong to doubt.” This is probably why there is not one passage in the Bible in support of intelligence and healthy skepticism, but literally hundreds in support of blind acceptance and blatant gullibility.

    8. We have no idea of who wrote the four Gospels, how credible or trustworthy they were, what ulterior motives they had (other than to promote their religion) or what they based their views on. We know that the traditional story of it being Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is almost certainly wrong. For example, the Gospel of Matthew includes a scene in which Jesus meets Matthew, recounted entirely in the third person!! Nevertheless, we are called upon to accept the most extraordinary claims by these unknown people, who wrote between 35 to 65 years after Christ died and do not even claim to have been witnesses. It is like taking the word of an unknown Branch Davidian about what happened to David Koresh at Waco – who wrote 35 years after the fact and wasn’t there.

    9. When backed into a corner, Christianity admits it requires a “leap of faith” to believe it. However, once one accepts that pure faith is a legitimate reason to believe in something (which it most certainly is not, any more than “faith” that Bigfoot exists is) one has to accept all other gods based on exactly the same reasoning. One cannot be a Christian based on the “leap of faith” – and then turn around and say those who believe in, for example, the Hindu gods, based on the same leap, got it wrong. In a dark room without features, any groping guess by a blind man at the direction of the door is as valid as the other 360 degrees.

    Geography and birthplace dictates what god(s) one believes in. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own gods and they all seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams, and prejudices. Do you think they all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Faith is not belief in a god. It is a mere hope for a god, a wish for a god, no more substantial than the hope for a good future and no more universal than the language you speak or the baseball team you support.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • lol??

      Got a new name for the A&A's.

      RAGS
      Ranting Against God's Servants

      "Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." BTW, everyone serves. You choose the capacity, if you're able.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Lisa

      (5 minutes of applause)

      May 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • S. Christian Collins

      Your post is very thought-provoking, but be careful about claims that have been thoroughly discredited, such as the claim that Jesus is borrowed from other, more ancient religions. This idea was propagated largely by Zeitgeist, which dishes out a lot of wrong and unverifiable information about these ancient myths (see http://beginningandend.com/jesus-copy-horus-mithras-dionysis-pagan-gods/ which is just one of many sites that tear the claims made in Zeitgeist to shreds). There may be some similarities between many stories in different religions, but these similarities are often presented to appear more identical than they really are.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  7. nick2313

    Welcome to freedom where someone can say they like being gay and the other can call it a sin.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • lol??

      Welcome to amerika where they license marriage and dogs with NO COMPLAINTS.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • LG

      Most are claiming they dont believe in Chritianity..a God..or religion..if that is so true then they must not believe in sin...If you dont believe in sin then why the animosity when someone claims ur actions r sinful...None of these arguments here make any sense to me. IT appears more to me that each group is just trying to prove the other group wrong when in reality there is no right answer...everyone believes what they want to believe and imo no one who voices their belief on any issue is a bigot or a hater...if they are attempting to rile a group of people into commiting hate crimes then that Is a whole differnt discussion.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
  8. faith

    "..
    There is so much wrong with your post, I wouldn't even know where to start, except to say that being gay isn't a illness, and there isn't a cure for gay any more than there is a cure for hetero.
    You are also a liar. You state you are a scientist, and then act as if being gay is a "psychological anomaly". Bull. You're not a scientist, or you would know that it isn't psychological in origin at all."

    the highly degreed dodo knows. anything u say that she likes is true. honey, u r gonna grow up one day. at your age, u should b ashamed.

    regarding your desire to lb sa ra pay lyn in front of her re tard ed son. i really admire u

    May 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • The real Tom

      faith, are you claiming you're a scientist?

      Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      May 5, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  9. Kevin

    Deeply held religious beliefs can be intolerant or hate speech. The Mormon Church used to disallow black people because they were not chosen by God. If a Mormon back then said the they did not support black people because they are not chosen by God, then that would be a religious belief but also would be hateful and destestable by today's standards.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Now if those black people wanted to be mormons back then all they needed to do was be more white.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • faith

      or, u could tell the little sambo not to encourage xtards to k i l l themselves.

      lol
      good luck!

      May 5, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • lol??

      Gays might want to rethink their fascination with the mormons. When you put a couple on their very own planet, where's culture gonna evolve??

      May 5, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
  10. mason

    Neither the so called "bible" or Koran are "good" books...both are evil genocidal writings of cruel Bronze Age males...

    May 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • MARK

      lol.....death is a great equalizer. Good luck with that view!

      May 5, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • lol??

      Modern women have evened the score and then some.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Oy

      Mark, really? So your answer is to scare people into believing as you do?

      May 5, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      well, if you have no argument, threats are the next best thing

      May 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  11. Science Assistant - Weekend Update

    The problem is nothing new. Christianity has always been conflicted – certain issues make that conflict more obvious. One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one (over four million members) in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage. Thomas Jefferson hit the nail on the head over 200 years ago:

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    (from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)

    Some claim that Christianity and science are not incompatible, yet we find many who continue to ignore science on the issue of homosexuality. Is the problem poor education, steadfastness to one's own flavor of biblical interpretation, or both?

    The following is long, but note the quote from Professor MIchael King below in the section on psychology.
    =========================================================
    Psychology

    The American Psychological Association states "there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people", and says most people's sexual orientation is determined at an early age. Research into how sexual orientation in males may be determined by genetic or other prenatal factors plays a role in political and social debates about homosexuality, and also raises concerns about genetic profiling and prenatal testing."

    Professor Michael King states: "The conclusion reached by scientists who have investigated the origins and stability of sexual orientation is that it is a human characteristic that is formed early in life, and is resistant to change. Scientific evidence on the origins of homosexuality is considered relevant to theological and social debate because it undermines suggestions that sexual orientation is a choice."

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

    "Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person's fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice."

    Biology

    The following is from the article:

    Homosexuality ultimately a result of gene regulation, researchers find (12/11/2012 – LiveScience)

    [ The search for a "gay gene" may be off-target, new research finds. Another process called epigenetics that switches genes on and off may explain why homosexuality runs in families.

    Epigenetics are heritable changes caused by factors other than DNA. Instead of traits getting passed down through the genes, epigenetic change happens because of the way genes are regulated, or turned on and off.

    These genetic regulators may be the reason homosexuality persists in nature despite the fact that gay people are less likely to reproduce, suggests the new study published in the journal The Quarterly Review of Biology.

    "These things have evolved because they're good for the parents, but they sometimes, not [with] high frequency, but sometimes carry over" into offspring, study researcher William Rice, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told LiveScience. In a male fetus, Rice and his colleagues write, an epigenetic change that benefited the mother may lead to "feminization" of sexual preference — homo- or bisexuality. The same may be true for epigenetic changes passed down by dad to a female fetus. (The terms feminization and masculinization of sexual preference refer to sexual orientation only — not to physical or personality traits of the offspring.)

    The findings add to past research suggesting gay men haven't died out, because female relatives of gay men tend to have more children on average than other females. The study researchers specifically found that two genes passed on through the maternal line could produce this effect.

    Hormones, epigenetics and orientation

    Rice and his colleagues focused on epi-marks, which are molecular changes that act like temporary "switches" to turn genes on and off. If a gene is a blueprint, the epi-mark is the construction foreman who makes sure the product gets built. An epi-mark also determines when, where and how much a gene is expressed, according to the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.

    These molecular switches are usually erased very early in the developmental process, but they can be passed down from generation to generation, too, Rice said.

    Some epi-marks are particularly important during fetal development, when they promote normal physical development in the sexes despite natural variations in testosterone during pregnancy. Researchers know that fetal exposure to too much testosterone can masculinize the genitals, brain or behavior of a genetically female fetus. Likewise, too little testosterone can make a genetically male fetus more feminized.

    But here's the catch: There's lots of overlap between the levels of testosterone male and female fetuses get exposed to. That means there must be another side to the story, Rice and his colleagues wrote.

    That side appears to be epigenetics, Rice said.

    "Early in development, we think these epi-marks are laid down so that girl fetuses will be relatively insensitive to testosterone and male fetuses will be relatively sensitive to testosterone," Rice said.

    Biological behavior

    Thus, if an epi-mark that kept a mother from getting exposed to high testosterone in development gets passed on to her son — the opposite sex — it could desensitize him to testosterone, contributing to his sexual preference for men. Similarly, if a male-specific epi-mark from dad gets passed to a daughter, it could "masculinize" her sexual preference, making her more interested in women.

    These findings could explain why twin studies show that homosexuality runs in families, but no "gay gene" can be found, Rice said. In identical twins, there's about a 20 percent chance that if one twin is gay, the other will be too. If genetic change were responsible for homosexuality, you'd expect a much higher match, Rice said. Epigenetics, however, can explain the heritability without the need for a specific genetic change.

    The hypothesis could be tested by examining epigenetic marks in parents of kids with gay versus straight offspring, Rice said. There are, of course, concerns that this knowledge could be used by parents who want to avoid gay offspring, Rice said, but that concern already exists around certain hormonal conditions in utero, which are known to contribute to an increased chance of offspring being lesbians.

    "That cat's already out of the bag," Rice said. He added that an understanding of the biological underpinnings of homosexuality could help emphasize that same-sex behavior is not "unnatural."

    "In fact, it's a major part of the natural world," Rice said. Fourteen percent of Western gulls raise chicks in female-female pairs, he pointed out. And 8 percent of male sheep show zero interest in fertile ewes, but get sexually excited by other rams. ]
    =============================================================

    Whenever... preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put [their congregation] off with a discourse on the Copernican system, on chemical affinities, on the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art of science.

    (Thomas Jefferson)

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    (James Madison, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution, framer of the first ten Amendments; from A Memorial and Remonstrance as delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785.)

    May 5, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Science

      An Awesome Message from P.W. Swivel

      People are People

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbD3Hlbvafo

      Thanks for watching.

      It would be NICE......... but
      Maybe they should not have created the wedge !!!
      The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Insti-tute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Insti-tute manifesto known as the Wedge Docu-ment,[1] which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda whose ultimate goal is to defeat materialism, naturalism, evolution, and "reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic
      convictions.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

      Peace

      Please watch

      The African Rift

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okWkmgkS00w

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

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

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

      Education

      Moving forward CREATIONIST you might want to take a blood test?

      Scientists Find Genes Linked to Human Neurological Disorders in Sea Lamprey Genome

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130224142915.htm

      Peace

      Facts work .

      May 5, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Science

      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.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
  12. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    test

    May 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Sciernce

      Test back at you

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

      May 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  13. lol??

    You can't build a house of cards with Cheetos.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
  14. Slav

    Gays cannot be true believers until they turn from their perversion and accept Christ.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • J.W

      Would you say the same thing about adultery or divorce?

      May 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • mason

      "eat my flesh, drink my blood', now that's sick perversion...only the un-bright cannot see the complete moral disconnect of blood sacrifice of a son, or believe that a virgin gives birth...

      May 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Oy

      Why in the world would they want to be "believers" with someone who obviously does not accept them for who they are!

      May 5, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
  15. JimmineCricket

    I only showed you what the rest of your quote was. Rest assured that in the end you will one day . Romans 14:11 says of that day, "
    New Living Translation (©2007)
    For the Scriptures say, "'As surely as I live,' says the LORD, every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.'"
    The problem is that it will be too late. It is now that one must give Jesus the respect and mastery over their life. Romans 10:9 says, " if you will confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved". I hope you will do that before judgment day for your own good.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Since when did a cricket start using scare tactics. Rest assured you will not scare me into belief of you silly sky fairy.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Your god is not only a bully, he's an imaginary bully.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Oy

      *yawn* You are barking up the wrong tree.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
  16. Colin

    10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong

    01) Gay marriage will encourage straight people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make short people tall.

    02) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

    03) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

    04) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed. My parents in Texas ran screaming to the court to get a divorce the minute they heard that a gay couple married in Vermont.

    05) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

    06) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets, because gays marrying will alter the fundamental $ex drive of others.

    07) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. We really want people who, in the 21st Century, still believe in sky-gods and evil devils, based on 2,000 year old Palestinian mythology, setting social policy.

    08) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

    09) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms, just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

    10) It will lead to social disorder. I constantly hear of large groups of gays protesting against the rights of Christians to marry and committing acts of violence against Christians.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Fine work, Colin!

      May 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Chad

      =>interesting, so you endorse:
      – repealing all laws restricting gambling
      – repealing all laws restricting prosti tution
      – repealing all laws restricting polygamy
      – repealing all laws restricting bestiality
      – repealing all laws restricting pedophillia
      – repealing all laws restricting drug use
      – repealing all laws restricting drinking
      – repealing all laws restricting smoking

      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 6:08 pm |
    • Colin

      I never engage you Chad, you know that. I restrict my debate to people who can argue rationally. For so long as you take the position that things are true simply because they are written in the Bible, that will exclude you.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Selfservliberal

      Beautiful

      May 5, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Chad

      actually, I just asked if you favored removing all restrictions on those behaviors. Nothing about the bible there..

      But, since saying no, you wouldnt want to remove some/all of those restrictions highlights the fact that you favor restricting some things while allowing others, gets you out of the self rightous seat you wish to be in.. I dont blame you at all for dodging the question, masterfully done! 🙂

      May 5, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • J.W

      Some of the things on those lists are more harmful to society than others. For example, drug use should obviously have more penalties than gambling.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You can try to put words in other people's mouths and posts, Chardo, but all that does is make you look even more like HeavenSent.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Comparing relationships between consenting adults to crimes like pedophilia, or acts that are harmful to others, like smoking, is dishonest and immoral. But Chad is dishonest and immoral, so it's futile to expect better from him.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Chad

      Ah, so you DO favor a dialogue on the issue, and acknowledge that society DOES have an overarching concern to protect morality.

      Well,, that's interesting 🙂

      May 5, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Robert

      Is this a PhD thesis? The University of Alabama grants such degrees for detailed accurate works like these.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • jp

      It's not that your question can't be answered. It's just that no one wants to answer it because there is no arguing with an irrational mind. It's like talking to a child who just keeps asking "why" but doesn't process what you are actually saying. When you open yourself to a logical discussion, I am sure people will happily debate with you but it's really just a waste of breath because you have nothing intelligent to offer to the conversation.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Science

      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.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Robert

      The original quote is,
      "I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
      ...Stephen F Roberts

      Nice plagiarizer. Stealing isn't against the bible or anything.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Snow

      Chad, While it is a valiant attempt at trying to point flaws in colin's post, you missed one crucial point.. Every one of the 10 points Colin said were actually used by the opponents of gay marriage (even in the arguments we heard in supreme court).

      However, NONE of the points you say are ever supported by a supporter of gay marriage.. you are just talking out of your a$$.. as usual.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Science

      source for above.

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

      May 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Chard's ass must get a real workout on here every day.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Chad

      @Snow " Every one of the 10 points Colin said were actually used by the opponents of gay marriage (even in the arguments we heard in supreme court"

      =>really?
      Someone actually argued before the SCOTUS that
      01) Gay marriage will encourage straight people to be gay
      02) gay parents will raise gay children,
      03) women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
      04) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed.

      are you making stuff up again?

      May 5, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • ahem..

      Chad, So you are agreeing that 6 out of the above 10 were used in SC.. Can you cite any place/event where as many of the arguments you posed were pushed for legalization by gay marriage supporters?

      May 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Chad

      unh..
      what?

      The point of my list was to show that Colin opposes some behaviors but not others..
      And labels anyone that opposes the behaviors he favors a bigot..
      which is hypocritical..

      May 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • ahem..

      "The point of my list was to show that Colin opposes some behaviors but not others.."

      which is the same you are doing.. what are you getting at, then?

      May 5, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      *applause*

      May 8, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • Ken

      Chad
      "The point of my list was to show that Colin opposes some behaviors but not others.."
      That would make sense if all "behaviors" were intrinsically harmful and needed restriction.

      For example, praying is a "behavior", isn't it?

      May 8, 2013 at 12:27 am |
  17. Andy

    So right. Just like no one spoke up for slave owners or the Klu Klux Klan. They were on the right side of history, right?

    May 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  18. RichardSRussell

    Fundies will have a case — and my sympathy and support — the very instant a gay person tries to pass a law making their religious beliefs illegal. Until then, they should find someplace else to shed their crocodile tears over their trumped-up persecution complex.

    May 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Andy

      Amen

      May 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  19. Jez

    There has been so much violence and hatred against gays, with "Christians" (not all, of course), quoting biblical censoring – Islam is just as bad. Of course this is teaching hate. I find it amazing that anyone cares what goes on in somebody else's bedroom. As long as it's consensual, butt the heck out!

    May 5, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  20. Correctlycenter

    H O M O S E X U A L I T Y is a sin. It is OK to say it! I would rather listen to and obey God than worry about the BS from the PC thought control police like people from M S N B C and characters like Perez Hilton...

    May 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Captain Kirk

      No it's not. Where are you getting your info on this. Let's take a look see.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • The real Tom

      It's "PARIS," ya moron. And no, it isn't a "sin." It's also not illegal.

      Do you think whining about it is going to make gays go straight? Go back in the closet? Get married to someone of the opposite gender?

      May 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      If you don't like it, don't do it.
      If other people DO like it, let them.
      Doesn't hurt you at all, does it?
      Then STFU.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Science

      Pound sasnd CC !!!

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

      May 5, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Science

      Oops ..........sand

      May 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Correctlycenter

      Religiosity is a mental disorder. It is OK to say it!

      May 5, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • J.W

      This isn't really the point of the discussion, but there is a person named Perez Hilton.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • AvengingAngel

      no doubt

      May 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      There is no proof that the god of the bible exists. Therefore any judgement made on the basis of that god's "word" is irrelevant. Common sense and fact should be the basis of right and wrong, not the arbitrary words of men who lived in a scientifically primitive age.

      May 5, 2013 at 6:30 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.