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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. mrbarolo

    When I start to read about employees of corporations run by gay people being fired for their faith, or Christian couples denied housing by gay landlords because they're "breeders," Christian spouses refused hospital visits to loved ones, or young Christian men grabbed, kidnapped, beaten, and tied to fences and left to die, maybe then I'll get real worried about this "persecution."

    May 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Elliott Carlin

      Call it a Civil Union, but don't call it a Marriage.
      A Honda Accord isn't an SUV no matter how many times you say it is.

      The meanings of words matter and marriage has been man+wife since the dawn of Creation.

      Get over it already.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Elliott Carlin

      You said, "Call it a Civil Union, but don't call it a Marriage."
      There were marriages long before your cult hijacked the term. If you want something exclusive, how about "religious union"? No rational person would want to get caught in one of those.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
  2. devin

    I remember reading about this Guy who walked around talking about sin and our accountability to God. He was hated and despised by the majority of His contemporaries. I think they called Him Jesus.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Captain Kirk

      Yeah – everyone had a different take on that guy.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • Athy

      He wasn't called Jesus then.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • DJ

      Somethings never change.when ppl look at something pure they feel dirty.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • Spock

      Today they're called suicide bombers.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • mrbarolo

      And then his followers built a giant organization that dominated the Western world and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people for centuries, including each other, over what he might have meant.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • BaZinga

      Yeah. There was also a guy named Abrabraham who was going to stab his only son to death becasue he heard god's voice instructing him to do so, but the voice stopped him j u s t in time. Today this is diagnosed as schizophrenia

      May 5, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • biggles

      Just goes to show you how little we've progressed in the field of mental health

      May 5, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
  3. KMS

    I cannot wait until there are no more Christians who use their religion as an excuse to hate and exclude others.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • Gawd Almighty

      Muslims use it to kill others. Prioritize your bigotry. Keep it in perspective.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • biggles

      I hear ya bro

      May 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
  4. Pmdww2

    Seriously? Conservative Christians are being persecuted? When was the last time a conservative Christian was not allowed to get married or adopt a child?

    May 5, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      They feel their right to limit your rights has been infringed.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Surtherford, that might be the most clear and accurately succinct reponse I've seen yet.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Rights? Doesn't the word itself incline toward being within the range of deniability weighing inwardly upon the clamminess areas meant mainly for breeding yet foreplay never seems to get old. What's that? Breeding as in breeding stock is a non-issue when viewed by non-breeders? If not gay is one then but a w h o r e ? No gender needed for w h o r e d o m s to thrive!

      May 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
  5. Evan Ash

    Evangelicals take the prerogative of actively interfering with the personal lives of others and they have , and still, attempt to fashion the outward world in their image. This is simply obnoxious. if they want to withdraw from society they may, but they have no right whatsoever to badger folks like myself and attempt to being us to heel.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Evan Ash

      i meant to say "bring us to heel"

      May 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
  6. Surthurfurd

    In similar news: Muslims in Egypt are upset at how the Coptic Christians are threatening their way of life.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  7. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    The problem is not what the bigots say (or want to say but are "closeted"), rather it is that they are not satisfied with talk. They want to change society, band together and act to bring an end to all of the wanton sin they suspect is around them. Their God commands them to police what goes on in our private lives and so they try to do so. Of course they are opposed, often vehemently. Hated? Perhaps if they weren't on the wane, but they're on their way out. We needn't bother with hatred.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • mikeinsjc

      So, everyone wants to change society- cops, politicians, dope smokers, your mom and dad. And nobody wants to be told what they do is wrong.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • The real Tom

      No, they don't. Unless it IS wrong. Who says being gay is wrong? You? Your god? Sorry, I don't find either of you to be competent judges.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      mikeinsjc, WHY do these people want to change society? See, that's exactly the problem. We now have hundreds of thousands of laws, many of which are so obscure as to be fodder for jokes. Our tax code is a perfect subset. It's our nanny-state governments best effort at social engineering from two political groups who see the world in near-opposite terms. A recipe for eventual chaos. Whatever happened to the concept of harm? Laws should primarily exist to prevent harm to another (in essence and infringement on THEIR freedom). Laws that regulate behaviors that don't genuinely cause harm to others is at the crux of the issue people have with evangelicals. I say unto them: Believe what you want in your own time and in your own space, but stop trying to impose your beliefs on everyone else.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Indeed. You really shouldn't come to me for absolute standards of right and wrong.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
  8. everybody please stop going back and forth

    Gay and Lesbians know what they're doing is a sin- that's why they are always trying to excuse themselves and their
    lifestyle. Just like all of us trying to excuse ourselves when we sin in other ways. Leave them alone it is up to God the creator of all things to judge them and not us. God will also judge you for hating.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • Athy

      But there is no god. So your argument is invalid.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • aty

      just because we can't see or feel him doesn't mean he's not real. You can't see your brain does that mean you don't have one?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      aty.. i have seen lots of brains and even a couple scans of my own.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Athy

      Brains are real, god is not. Can you understand that?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Al

      What is your excuse for being uneducated?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • skytag

      @aty: "just because we can't see or feel him doesn't mean he's not real."

      I don't see him, feel him, or see any evidence whatsoever that any supernatural power is affecting the outcome of any event anywhere in the world. Thus I see no reason to choose to believe there is a God.

      "You can't see your brain does that mean you don't have one?"

      More evidence that religion makes people stupid. I can't see my brain, but since every human autopsied in the history of the world has had a brain I feel safe in assuming I have one too.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • hal 9001

      WARNING – Observing ping-pong can cause dizziness. Try moving further away from the game. If the problem persists, try completely eliminating this observing this activity.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • hal 9001

      transmission error correction: eliminating *observation of* this activity.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      aty, I was going to say that I've neven seen a living human being that DIDN'T have a brain. However, you may have just provided the lone exception.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
  9. topcat

    so the bigots are mad that they are now experiencing bigotry themselves?
    there are more important things to worry about.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
  10. Blake Smith

    Hahaha reading this article I found myself forgetting that I was on CNN and not the Onion! Poor christians, now that the tides are turning they are the opens being exposed and are finally receiving the hate that they have been spewing for hundreds of years.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • Bob

      Right, but you such an accepting person, as long as everyone agrees with you. Remember, gay marriage will never win in the American heartland, because the majority of Americans are against it.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Athy

      Yeah, you're probably right. That's the Bible Belt. Those folks are about 50 years behind the rest of the world.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • skytag

      Pretty obnoxious comment, Bob. Did Jesus teach you to talk to people that way?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
  11. everybody please stop going back in forth

    Gay and Lesbians know what they're doing is a sin- that's why they are always trying to excuse themselves and their
    lifestyle. Just like all of us trying to excuse ourselves when we sin in other ways. Leave them alone it is up to God the creator of all things to judge them and not us. God will also judge you for hating.
    ]

    May 5, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      There is no God and no sin, so what you say is moot.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Dippy

      "back in forth? What the fuck does that mean?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • sorry for the typo Dippy

      it's a typo Dippy

      May 5, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • Dippy

      That's not a typo. It's the wrong word.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
  12. TheVocalAtheist

    Take this God thingy out of the picture and what do you have? Hate and bigotry, pure and simple. These people are deluded morons that use the power of religion. Keep the God thingy in and what do you have? Hate and bigotry, pure and simple. If there was just one tiny ounce of truth in anything they say I would be the first to support their right to freedom of speech. When it is premeditated fraud in the guise of love sp*iced-up with a little bit of the Jesus thingy then I say chop-off their tongues and pour salt in their mouths.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      Do not judge all Christians by the actions of those who wish to impose their ideals on others.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Strut

      Please point out for me where I said anything about all Christians?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • Jayson

      hey atheist why do you get so pumped up with Christ and his followers. I know its because, YOU believe in Him and his followers. I know you do. I know you read that Bible. I know you want to find faults. But at the end of day your heart, your soul aches for the belief in GOD that we all have. I know that. Be kind to your miserable soul and believe in HIM.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Jayson

      Keep your deluded screwed-up mind to people that want to hear your nonsense.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • Jayson

      Can I send missionary to your house or how about going to your local church?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Jayson

      If you send anyone to my house make sure their carrying.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  13. Chris

    Over and Over again Christians are the meanest, uncaring, inconsiderate POS that don't live up to the nonsense the preach!

    May 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      Only a handful are that way. Sadly the majority have been overshown by the radicals who claim to be Christian.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Zech Adams

      The so called "Christians" give real Christians a bad rap. What they are doing is totally wrong and God will judge them for it. Do not think all Christians are bad because of this, these people are insane and nothing like the true kind, loving Christians like myself and the majority of the rest of them. Just like the suicide bombing muslims, they give the rest of them a bad name, all muslims I know are wonderful, kind loving people.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
  14. Francis

    Christian Bashing- The epidomy of "Tolerant" Liberal Hypocrisy in modern day America.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      Bashing Liberals?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Dippy

      "epidomy"? Try "epitome" next time.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Justin Case

      Francis, are you making up new words? What does 'epidomy' mean?
      I, for one, am so glad that the religious freaks are being called to the carpet, and their hypocrisy is finally their undoing. You want to be religious, then you do it in private. You don't go to anyone's home, their neighborhood, or bother asking them which church they attend. The christian evangelists have had this coming for a long time now, as their will be an end to their outspoken opinionated beliefs, for their is only one true judge. If people love one another, regardless of their gender, let them be. The Book of Sunday stories doesn't dictate what goes on in this World, and if you think it does, you already need help.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • sam stone

      when christians stop trying to deny other their civil rights, let me know, francis

      May 5, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      You are the epitome of Don Juan's jewels you are

      May 5, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • skytag

      Are you one of those Christian hypocrites to bashes liberals to feel better about yourself?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Epidomy – the surgical removal of your epid.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
  15. hateism

    BREAKING NEWS:

    This just in

    May 5, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Richard Harris

      Reporter Richard Harris is proud to announce that 'atheism' will now be officially known as 'hateism'

      May 5, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • Richard Harris

      and atheists are called hateists or bigotists

      May 5, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • LinCA

      @hateism

      Pointing out how moronically infantile beliefs in imaginary creatures is, isn't hate. It's a public service announcement. What you do with it is entirely up to you.

      It's like the health warnings on packs of cigarettes. The truly addicted won't heed them, but they may discourage others from picking up the habit.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • Christians hats off in dealing with the hateists

      A thundering applause to each one of you!

      May 5, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • h before the a

      wun'erful, wun'erful!

      May 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • ..

      Someone left your brain out in the rain, Richard Harris. Hey, aren't you dead?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  16. S. Thomas Flynn

    It comes down to this – it's not anyone's business who someone sleeps with just as it is no ones business who someone worships. If Christians feel that the gays and lesbians should have no rights, than let's take away the Christians's rights. You simply can't give to one and deny the other – THAT'S NOT WHAT OUR FATHERS FOUGHT THE WARS FOR – they fought it for freedom.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • John Adams

      The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

      Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.

      [from A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America (1787-1788)]

      May 5, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • mikeinsjc

      Well Mr. Flynn, I doubt you really believe it's "nobodys business". You ok with your wife sleeping with your neighbor? Our your daughter sleeping with the high school football team? After all, they are "consenting adults", right?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Captain Kirk

      @mikeinsjc – are you for real?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  17. cyberactor

    Oh, the poor, beleaguered Christians! Life must be truly awful for them, being the most celebrated religion in the entire country. Pity them though! They've got it pretty rough.

    What I find supremely ironic about this entire story is how quick so-called Christians are to condemn other religions. Their beliefs are sacrosanct but Islam...that's a hateful, dangerous religion that should be banned. The Ten Commandments should be in courtrooms but...pass laws against Sharia law! That's blasphemy! Puh-leeze.

    I don't care what your beliefs are. You can worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster for all I care. Just keep your beliefs out of our laws. They have no place there. None.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Jayson

      You are so feeble physically and mentally that even till your last breadth Christianity will haunt you. Pathetic soul.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • mgarcia61

      Bravo! Well played dear sir.

      Who ever thought of seperation of church and state? Hmm, now thats an interesting concept.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
  18. JimNamsium

    I never realized that the majority could be a minority. I learn so much on here.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

      The majority IS the majority, but that does not mean that the majority can do whatever it wants, especially with regard to minority groups in society.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
  19. joey

    It becomes hate when you single out a group of people. If Mr. Sprigg were to openly say that someone was living "open rebellion to God" every time someone got a divorce, then that would mean he is not just targeting one group or if he said that about pre-marital intercourse. If you're going to live/preach the Bible, then you need make sure your hatred is spread out equally, not just to those you don't like (or are not giving you money). Don't want to upset the divorced "christians" or any of the other ones that follow him, i'm sure they tend to support him.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
  20. USA

    Since when does not agreeing with something or someone called hatred. I don't agree with my children sometimes, it doesn't mean I hate them. A lot of you doth protest too much. As tfor those who want Christians to go away or worse, then you aren't much better than the Christians who "hate" gay people, are you? Why is ok for you to hate? Why can you not set the example of excepting people for who they are. Show us what kind of role models non-Christians really are, because this spewing of hatred coming from you is gaining you nothing, but causing your "cause" harm.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Christians shouldn't go away. They should, however, get a dose of reality. The mass delusion of your bronze age voodoo needs to go.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • USA

      The use of YOU and YOUR is offensive. By my post you ASSUME I am Christian???? Because I say disagreeing is not hating, because I ask non-Christians to not go down the road of hatred and intolerance??? Wow you assume alot. But you give a prime example of what I am trying to relay about hatred and bigotry not being just a Christian disease.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.