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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. Jim

    They probably had these same articles during the 60's – 80's when it came to black and white weddings. Surprised at CNN. You can choose to believe a religion, you can't choose to be gay.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • LinCA

      It's an opinion piece. Some opinions are based on rational thought, some not so much.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • faith

      and your proof?

      May 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
  2. helo

    We will continue to preach the gospel whether it offends.. but we continue to preach the gospel in love to all, but we still must warn them to not cointinue in there sin. – streetevangelismtampabay@facebook.com

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

      Don't forget to pray to the Easter Bunny.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I hope you figure out the difference between "there" and "their," then, because otherwise, you look like someone who isn't competent to interpret much of anything that involves the written word.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Jim

      Yes, because homelessness and actual sin like stealing, cheating, murder, isn't worth fighting for, but people born gay, no matter how kind and loving and helpful, now there's something you can gang up on, easy pray right?

      May 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • faith

      y is it anyone's concern what someone does in the privacy of his bedroom?

      May 5, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
  3. biggles

    Murdock, u have no proof to support your lie that Jesus is a copy of boris

    May 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Jim

      biggles wrote:
      "Murdock, u have no proof to support your lie that Jesus is a copy of boris"

      How can you prove anything related to a religion? The irony in this..

      May 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • faith

      how can she maintain jesus was a copy of this idiot? she can't. she lies all the time

      May 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • faith

      murdock, u lying piece of trash and demon infested devil, u do a heck of a good tom boy.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
  4. JM

    “There is no one righteous, not even one;
    11 there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.

    23 for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace

    May 5, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • omeany

      I'm inclined to agree that no one is as righteous than God but since fossils clearly show us that we were not created perfect but rather evolved over thousands of years there was no fall from grace (Adam & Eve did not litterally exist). If there was no fall from grace then there is no need to be saved from a fall that never happened.

      Jesus came so we could have life more abundantly by loving and supporting each other. This is the take a way that we need to relearn from scripture. Stop using scripture to condem others and prop up your own sense of righteousness and start loving your fellow human beings.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • Dave

      That passage is proof the "bible" is wrong. I am an atheist, and therefore, am incapable of committing a "sin".

      May 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      Here's an oldie but goodie from Deuteronomy.

      6 "If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods,' which neither you nor your fathers have known,
      7 some of the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other,
      8 you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him.
      9 But you shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • Hepcat

      There is no sinner. Not even one.
      You may seek out a god, but none exists anywhere.
      Everyone is free to investigate this lack of a god, the truth does not hide from the open and rational mind.
      There is no such thing as sin. All of it is a scam perpetuated for thousands of years.
      You were never guilty of any sin.
      If you want to hate yourself and let others use you like a tool, there is no god to watch over your life or protect you no matter how much they tell you otherwise. Check it out. If you can't tell when people are lying or brainwashed, then you are part of the problem.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • JM

      In other words: no one is better than anyone else or has any right to judge another because we all have problems enough of our own that we need to take care of.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • Hepcat

      No, JM, you are wrong. I am better than you, more moral and ethical than your god, your pope, priest, pastor, etc.
      I will always have the right to judge you however I like. It's called "freedom of thought".
      I have never been a sinner. I am spotless because there is no such thing as sin. You have never sinned either.
      You want to grovel in the mud over NOTHING, go ahead. I would love to stop you by smashing a rock into your skull, but its a free country. I cannot save you from your own insanity or from the insanity of others.
      If you want to call insanity a sin against your god, go ahead. There are no absolutes. You can make up any lies you want.
      I am not required to respect your insanity, though. So watch your step and beware....your god will not protect you.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      JM: His grace? You must be joking

      May 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • biggles

      Big meany, how do u no what to keep and what to ignore regarding the scriptures?

      May 5, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
  5. omeany

    It was persecution of the church that actually made it strong from the beginning. Of course back then there really was persecution that usually led to death of bodily injury. Today's Christians cry persecution every time someone disagrees with them. The howls of persecution are frequently heard on Fox News which I don't think is helping their cause.

    Unfortunately, Christianity for the most part is a tribal religion where anything the "church" disagrees with, God is conveniently against also and if God is against it it is ok to belittle, scoff at or even murder those who do not agree with you...or is it God? This manipulation has been used for centuries to control the populace and enrich the church hierarchy.

    The reason it is coming to a head is we have access to more information now and some of us are questioning the origins of what we believe and are drawing very different conclusions from what we learned as children. This will continue to be the case so buckle up folks.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Elliott Carlin

      A+ on your first paragaph, but the grades get progressively lower for the last two.

      Christians, by the very definition, believe what Christ taught as revealed in the Bible. Therefore, if a Christian is accurately quoting and applying a text or verse, then yes, this is what the LORD has said about the subject at hand.

      The Scriptures also teach us, "there is nothing new under the sun". Access to 'more information'? Do you mean when NASA tells us life could be supported on Mars due to one drop of water they found, but for some reason, the woman's body (70% water) isn't at times fit for another human life (abortion)?

      Yeah, that evolution thing has really brought us a long way.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • omeany

      RE: Elliott Carlin (Loved you on Bob Newhart by the way!)

      It is typical that a Christian would grade/judge anything that is disagreeable to them. I will give you credit for not threatening me with hell for disagreeing with your interpretation of scripture. (I've had more that a few burn in hell videos sent to me...love thy neighbor but if your neighbor doesn't agree with you it's ok to send them to hell...odd dogma)

      It is impossible to take the scriptures literally as they were copied by monks many times over and usually in accordance to the political agenda of the church.

      One of my personal faves tells us not to lean on our own understanding. In other words don't question authority. Isn't it odd that God would create us with a questioning nature and them tell us to just trust him? I think God can stand up to our examination of him but I doubt the same can be said of our church leaders.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
  6. simplyput

    Jesus has already covered this: *Let he who is without sin cast the first stone*. Bible irrelevant? Not.

    May 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Bible necessary? Not.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Dave

      Well, to be fair, most "christians" have only a passing acquaintance with what the "bible" actually says. They completely ignore any "scripture" or anything "jesus" said that would inconvenience them, or would put a stop to their bigotry.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Hepcat

      I will gladly smash a rock into the skull of anyone who thinks I am subject to the slimy rules of their cult.
      I am not a "sinner". There is no such thing as sin, for there are no gods anywhere. This is a godless universe.
      Your make-believe, slimy cult beliefs are not welcome here. There are no gods here.
      I will cast that first stone all day every day. Your imaginary god will do nothing to me, for me, to or for anyone else either.
      If you say there is a god and there are rules made by this god, you'll have to prove it in every single way.....but you can't.
      It's totally impossible. You don't have any real rules because you don't have any real communication with your imaginary god...because there isn't one to have communication with. I am not a sinner. I will not go to your imaginary torture chamber.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
  7. Dave

    This just proves that the "christians" are still falsely playing the victim card, are still totally dishonest, and cannot take what they dish out.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
  8. Believer

    Tom, Tom: Because He who was without sin died on a cross for my sins so that I might have eternal life, there really is only one response. I'm overcome by joy because of God's Mercy (I didn't get what I deserve due to my sin) and God's Grace ( I get what I don't deserve, eternal life). I want to reveal God's glory to those that will seek Him and obey Jesus' commands. Let's agree there is a spiritual battle and many mock what I hold sacred. I don't want to get involved in causes and concerns, just share God's love with those that might appreciate it.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • The real Tom

      And yet you can't manage the reply function on this site.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Please don't let your Joy spill over into political action.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      "He who was without sin died on a cross for my sins so that I might have eternal life"
      – Is Jesus/God/religion necessary for eternal life? Why do you want eternal life?

      "I'm overcome by joy because of God's Mercy (I didn't get what I deserve due to my sin) and God's Grace ( I get what I don't deserve, eternal life). "
      – Wait, why should you be given amnesty for doing things that are wrong/stupid/harmful? Just because? Interestingly self-serving clause you have there.

      :I want to reveal God's glory to those that will seek Him and obey Jesus' commands."
      – Why is obedience necessary? Why shouldn't people simply obey the golden rule and give up all the extras? Are you okay with others wanting to reveal the folly of belief in gods (norse, greek, christian, mayan, and the like)?

      "I don't want to get involved in causes and concerns"
      – Strange...I suspect your very much involved in "spreading the word". That makes you involved, like it or not.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
  9. mikeinsjc

    So, should any behavior between "consenting adults" be ok?

    May 5, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • The real Tom

      If both are competent to give informed consent, why not? What sorts of horrors do you envision as a result?

      May 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Yes, as long as it doesn't harm others.

      I like the Pagan credo- "Do as you will, but harm none".

      May 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Don't keep us in suspense, mike. You seem to have some scenario in mind in which something horrendous will occur if we allow two competent, consenting adults to do whatever they wish to each other. What, exactly, do you think will happen?

      May 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • mikeinsjc

      You ok with your wife having an affair with your neighbor?

      May 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Well, I don't have a wife. I'm female and I have a husband. No, I wouldn't be okay with it, but that doesn't mean it should be illegal. You really are clueless, aren't you?

      May 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      An affair between your wife and neighbor? In general it is right and good that your wife should keep promises she made to you.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      if it doesn't harm others, yes

      May 5, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
  10. achepotle

    I would like to see thm register at FEMA camps.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
  11. Jesus was a white guy from Birmingham

    Imagine that. Feeling sorry for yourself because people call you out when you show your Bible supported prejudice towards others. Woe is me.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
  12. JJ

    "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."

    That's what Christians said when slavery was outlawed, women given the right to vote and blacks given civil rights.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • Ding ding ding

      Johnny tell 'em what he's won.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Elliott Carlin

      wow, sounds like another indoctrinated public school attendee. Ever heard of William Wilberforce? Did you know Susan B Anthony was opposed to abortion? Did you know Planned Parenthood was begun by an avowed racist?

      Sometimes Christians aren't as bad as you'd like to make them, but then again, you are a tolerant person. We can tell by your post.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
  13. Bootyfunk

    awwwww the poor bigots... that's the complaint, right? we're prejudiced bigots and we don't think it's fair to be called out on our hateful views. in fact, hating bigots is a kind of prejudice, right?

    lol, keep crying. your rule book says to murder h.omos.exuals, among many others. your religious bullet proof vest isn't working anymore - "sure i hate g.ays, but it's not my fault - my bible told me to and i cant' think for myself." if you spew hatred and prejudice, you will be held accountable.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
  14. John

    Oh, the irony of this headline. no, the majority religion in the US doesn't get to call itself a repressed minority. I am sorry but having a reason grounded in religion doesn't make bigotry okay. If people were against interacial marriage in religious grounds we'd still call it bigotry. You have every right to practice your beliefs but if you want to go around saying gay people are doing something wrong because your 2,000 year old legend says so, expect to be called for your bigotry.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
  15. RexCraigo

    Most christians are dumb and deserve the scorn they receive. And more.

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

      Rex, did you really mean what you said about Christians? Isn't that offensive and hurtful to those, like me, that have college degrees (engineering in my case) and have spent 40 years studying the Bible and worshiping God? What did you really mean, anyhow?

      May 5, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
  16. dorothy

    These "Christians" are "persecuted" as much by their fellow christians as they are anybody else.....just like radical muslims are persecuted by normal muslims. Radicals by their very nature tend to believe everybody should think like they do. The rest of us just shake our heads in shame that they use the same "label" as we do.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam

      Yup.

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

      U took some measurements, dodo?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:40 am |
  17. Answer

    A helpful set of questions to defeat the apologists...

    End and defeat their usage of sophistry.

    ======This is the complete format of the morality routine that they want to obscure from you. It's main usage is to embed a sense of guilt into your psyche. To make you view yourself as immoral for making a critical calculation of the risks.

    It is an attempt to lower your self esteem.

    ********

    It's your choice: do you willingly r-a-p-e one person to save the lives of ten hostages?

    It's your choice: do you willingly r-a-p-e one person to save the lives of ten thousand hostages?

    It's your choice: do you willingly r-a-p-e one person to save the lives of ten million hostages?

    It's your choice: do you willingly r-a-p-e one person to save the lives of seven billion hostages?

    ===Now we do the opposite...

    It's your choice: do you willingly r-a-p-e one person to save the life of one hostage?

    It's your choice: do you willingly r-a-p-e ten people to save the life of one hostage?

    It's your choice: do you willingly r-a-p-e ten thousand people to save the life of one hostage?

    It's your choice: do you willingly r-a-p-e ten million people to save the life of one hostage?

    It's your choice: do you willingly r-a-p-e seven billion people to save the life of one hostage?

    ***These are sophists tricks. By the way there is no one who is capable of going about raping even 1 billion people. The average person only gets to live an average of 2.5 billion seconds (80 years). Unless you really think you're that "super."

    May 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • Sane Person

      I r-a-p-e-d seven billion people once

      May 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Hepcat

      Well, that was a waste of copypasta. Where'd you get that lame crap, Answer? It looks like it was written by someone stupid.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
  18. NAthan

    "But Sprigg and other evangelicals say changing att.itudes toward hom.ose.xuality have created a new victim: closeted Christians who believe the Bible condemns hom.ose.xuality but will not say so publicly for fear of being labeled a hateful bigot."

    Boo hoo.

    Let's discuss the difference in LEGALLY ENSHRINED restrictions on one's life, liberty, rights, and property and merely being a social pariah because your personal views conflict with the majority of those around you but who have not had your rights LEGALLY RESTRICTED based on your holding them.

    Your hyperbolic strawman is showing.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  19. joe

    I was persecuted and hated by the community Christians my whole life growing up. Using a book to hate and criticize others is HATE, nothing less. Personally I hope the whole religion dies a gruesome death. The only good thing about Christianity and Catholicism is that they are better than Islam.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      joe, Catholics are christians

      May 5, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • JJ

      No, they are no better than Muslims. They are both cults under Abraham and share a common delusion.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Elliott Carlin

      I was persecuted and hated by the community Atheists my whole life growing up. Using a Hitchens book to hate and criticize others is HATE, nothing less. Personally I hope the whole theory dies a gruesome death. The only good thing about atheism and agnosticism is that they are better than not having a pulse.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Hepcat

      Gee, Elliot, you sure are dumb. That didn't work. Did you have a point that makes sense? Nope. Your gibberish is showing.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
  20. edmundburkeson

    The day that Christians are marginalized is the day that America will be marginalized by gay rights. Face it! It throws into doubt the entire basis of what a civil right is.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:22 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.