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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. Terry

    I feel good about this. I think its a positive movement that people will not accept hatred...even from evangelicals. It is not about religion. Tell everyone to love god all you want, but when you start the prejudice people are going to turn off from your message.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:05 am |
  2. Jon

    The majority of the world is religious. I think it's funny that Americans think they are too smart for religion but yet we are getting surpassed every year on national IQ studies.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • ManWithThe1000PoundBrain

      "We" are? Which annual "IQ studies" would those be? Give me some citations. We would include you.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • Liss

      America is actually quite religious.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • steve-0

      We are being passed by Europe and Asia where religion is much less a part of their lives. You are the reason our IQ scores are dropping.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Michael

      We fall behind as a nation because we don't want to invest in education and schools. We also like to give big tax breaks to big business and churches, who should be paying property taxes and income taxes since they espouse their political beliefs on the pulpit.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • southernbutnotstupid

      Ya think?!!!! This couldn't be because Christians deny science and think the world is less than 10000 years op?

      May 5, 2013 at 8:26 am |
  3. GetReal

    Why does CNN start this war between people each and every Sunday morning it seems? People...don't give in to this stuff!
    Do something else and don't bash one another.....

    May 5, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • Ross Evans

      Exactly. Someone's religious preference is a sacred as it comes. Religion has no business as fodder for journalists to make more and more money for their corporations. The media perpetuates the divisiveness that is inherent in religion, because it sells...a lot! Religion is to be kept in the privacy of one's home, in their family, at their place of worship...NOT in the media, in our schools and definitely, ABSOLUTELY not in our politics!

      May 5, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Michael

      I'm glad the media keeps this discussion alive. As long as my tax dollars are going up so that churches don't have to pay property and income taxes, I care. There is nothing private about churches. They seek membership from the public and use public funds to exist.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:26 am |
  4. colin in Florida

    Christians are not a 'hated minority' – People who tell others how to live are not liked. People who tell others that they are 'living in sin' or are in “open rebellion to God.” are disliked. People who pretend THEIR morals are superior to others are really disliked. Please don't make this a christian vs. non-christian thing-it's not. It's a 'I'm better than you because 'quote some line from the bible' thing.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Jay

      Well said. But, while this should not be a 'Christian vs. non-Christian' issue, it always is. It is extremely hard to find a religious group as consistently intolerant of others as the outspoken Christians of today. I suppose that's just the price of being better than everyone else...

      May 5, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Howard

      Best response thus far Colin. Excellent.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • Stacey G.

      Exactly! I know many loving Christians who are working within their churches and communities to stop bigotry and hate in all its forms. The United Methodist church I attend has both gay and lesbian couples that are welcomed as family ever time they attend. Are we to the point that gay weddings would be conducted in our sanctuary? Probably not. But we've come a long way and are making more and more progress all the time toward following Christ's command that we love our neighbors – all of them – as he loves us.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • popseal

      1970 saw me an out of control drunk who was about to ruin his and his wife's life. I accepted Christ as my Savior and began to experience the benefits of His resurrection life. The Bible came alive and even my stumbling efforts to follow its ethic have delivered me from many a hurt. I give you the picture of that poor soul who abandoned her family and just turned up again after eleven years. What would Christ's saving life have been to her, had she turned to Him before she bailed out ? Psalms 19:7-11

      May 5, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • Ivan

      The bible tells people how God wants us to live. The more I 've read it the more I realize how perfect it is.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:25 am |
  5. clarke

    So, if you don't believe as the church does, you are not a Christian in their eyes. So much for turning the other cheek and not judging others!

    May 5, 2013 at 8:03 am |
  6. eric stanway

    The Bible is an inherently hateful book. Those who follow it are bigots. Simple as that. Given the fact that these same people burned thousands of people at the stake, they should just sit down, shut up and go away.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Bill

      Give another BJ and calm down.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Bill Mitchell

      Have you ever read the New Testament? Point out the "hateful" parts? I think the only "hate" happening here is YOU hating Christians.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Bill

      You call a group of people bigots yet you tell them to shut up and go away. No, you're not a hypocrite at all. LOL!! Why don't you just go give your BF another BJ and everything will be OK again. LOL!!

      May 5, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      *** Have you ever read the New Testament? Point out the "hateful" parts? I think the only "hate" happening here is YOU hating Christians.

      The new testament was a bad PR job to make your God seem nicer.
      If there is something wrong with the message you find a better way to sell it.
      Sounds like todays Republicans.
      Don't change the message, put a happy face on it.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:51 am |
  7. THE_INDEPENDENT

    This World is like a JUNGLE. Two countries are doing whatever they want to anybody and nobody going to say a word. That’s a pure JUNGLE.

    And the funny thing is how they pay the media to lie about targeted country or leader, to bring the rest of the World hating that leader though the latter has done anything wrong aside from not serving the Westerners’ interest.

    Two years ago, when the media started lying about Qaddafi to prepare his assassination like they did to Saddam Hussein, I said that the next victim will be Bachar Al Assad.

    It’s always about the same, killing leaders and people to still their resources (OIL, GAZ, URANIUM and so one).

    It’s always the same… the huge corporations are behind every single actions.

    One of the reasons why many people like countries like Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Australia… is the fact that those countries are usually neural about what’s happening in the World. Hence, they have low unemployment rate and people are living well. They don’t need to spend billions just for security purpose.

    This WORLD is a jungle… the Lions are NATO’s members and the preys are usually all other countries, usually with no NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

    I can’t keep my tears, I wonder when will my dream come true, a World with respect and without arrogance, a World without blood, just a FAIR WORLD with MUTUAL RESPECT.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:02 am |
  8. leftover

    First…Christians are not a minority. They make up about 73% of the United States. Even implying Christians are a minority is a lie.
    Second…if Christians worry their intolerance causes them some public relations issues, maybe they should save it for church instead of preaching it whenever they open their mouths.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:02 am |
  9. One one

    I shall now pray. Dear heavenly father, I give thanks for torturing and killing yourself, i mean your son to end the eternal curse of your wrath & vengeance you put upon all of humanity because, in the beginning, two people wanted knowledge. Unlike the unsaved godless trash who deserve to burn forever, I do not seek knowledge. I seek only your approval by submitting to your absurd and egotistical demands so that I may live forever in heaven. And though you never show yourself, I believe in you, for if I have thoughts of doubt, you will send me to hell to be tortured forever… because, although you love me, you hate my thoughts. Amen.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:01 am |
  10. Drew

    Being uncomfortable as a "minority" doesn't mean there is prejudice against you. Being fired for harassing others and making statements about other people's personal lives does not mean there is prejudice against you. Being fired for giving out Bibles in public schools does not mean there is prejudice against you. Now if there was an action because you're a Christian (such as getting fired from work because of the church you attend) and not because of the actions you make (such as saying being gay is wrong in the workplace) then it's hatred.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Drew

      That last word was supposed to be discrimination - not hatred. lol

      May 5, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Bill

      Being gay IS wrong and sickening as well. Do your BJ's and licking in private and I won't bother you a bit as long as you stop your incessant recruiting. That recruiting is so incessant because misery loves company.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Bill
      Recruiting? How exactly are they recruiting. That is ignorance to the highest degree. Gay people are born gay. They do not choose. Are you afraid they are going to somehow recruit you?

      What an idiot.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • Bill

      You've tried before craniumless, and all it gets you is hilarious laughter and a broken nose. And no, you weren't made to be gay, you just chose to do so because no girl under 300 pounds would even look at you.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Bill
      What the hell are you talking about?

      I am straight but know many gay people.

      You are just a fearful bigot.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • Bill

      Yeah right, you gays just scare me to death! LOL!!!!!!!

      May 5, 2013 at 9:00 am |
  11. Truthsetsfree

    Christians do not hate gays. Progressives seem to hate Christians or anyone that refuses to believe what they believe. Regarding thier hate for us, Jesus told us in Matthew that we would be hated because of our belief in Him. We accept that, and we don't loose any sleep over it.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Jay

      Are you kidding with that double-talk? "Christians don't hate gays..." Please! If they don't hate, they definitely have a funny way of showing love. I think I should be called "convenient dislike of gays." That way it's not out-and-out hate. How's that?

      May 5, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Jay

      **it should be called

      May 5, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Jay
      Not only do they hate gays, but they then justify their hatred from the bible, as if that is what it is supposed to be used for.
      Not all christians, and especially the younger generations seem more tolerant, but I have seen christians so consumed with their interpretation, they have twisted the words of the bible to their own end.

      But they all do that to an extent...that is why I know it is not the word of god...if it were, would mere mortal man be able to corrupt it so easily?

      May 5, 2013 at 8:17 am |
  12. Conrad

    The world is simply (and finally) growing weary of zealots of any stripe. I don't see this as anti-Christian, but anti-fanatic.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • Sailor101

      So just because I do not agree with the gay lifestyle that makes me a fanatic? Please explain your comment it seems to be a bit open ended. Cheers

      May 5, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Babylon

      So just because I do not agree with the gay lifestyle that makes me a fanatic?

      If you support people who are passing laws against gays you are a FANATIC.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:55 am |
  13. Becca Lovett

    Let me get this straight....for centuries, when an individual expressed any idea or philosophy outside of mainstream Christianity, they were outcast, jailed, burned, hung, maimed or tortured in some foul way. But now, when society is shifting towards mainstream critical thinking, Christians are crying they they may be labeled as a meanie? Well boo freaking hoo

    May 5, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • G_Edwards

      You really believe that, and yet you're comfortable and mockingly endorsing that behavior.

      Wow. Just wow.

      .

      May 5, 2013 at 8:04 am |
  14. scott

    so "evangelical" christains are in the closet because they are afraid to speak their minds?? they can come out and pounce on gays but fear to do so because they will be called bigots...thats right cause that is what they are, bigoted losers.....I am sorry, u cannot use the bible to justify your hatred and call it religious freedom

    May 5, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • Sailor101

      What about us non-christians who do not agree with the gay life style? Just because we don't agree with it we are automatically bigots....that is just a bigotted way of thinking.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      sailor
      It all depends on what you mean by disagree with the gay lifestyle. Basically what you said is you disagree with nature, since gay people are naturally that way.

      Note the difference betwwen prejudicial ( we are all prejudiced...it is a survival instinct) and bigotry ( acting on those prejudices and leaping to unjustified conclusions based on those prejudices.)

      May 5, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • Bill

      You weren't naturally made that way craniumless. You clearly chose it the first time an older gay pulled it out and told you to get to work. Once you go crack you can never go back, so you have no choice but to defend your "position."

      May 5, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Babylon

      Bill

      You weren't naturally made that way craniumless

      When did you decide to become straight ?
      Moron.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • Bill

      After sucking 10 d.icks, I decided it wasn't for me.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  15. Harvey Garciawicz

    Typical libertard spin on an issue. Typical CNN. CNN is nothing more than a sounding board for liberalism and screen any comments that disagree with their Clinton/Oblamer agenda.

    Everyone has a right to his/her opinion, and can speak that opinion. it's called the First Amendment. Everyone has a right even Christians, Liberals, and Turd Burglars.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • Kris L

      Which is why this comment made it onto the board. If you think a comment of yours was moderated out, then go back and look at what you wrote. You probably used hate speech or profanities.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Mike C.

      Using silly insults makes it less likely people will listen to point, FYI.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • Brad

      Freedom of Speech does not mean freedom from consequence...

      May 5, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • Kris L

      Amazing how an article about how Christians are now the ones facing the hate speech (implying such speech is just as wrong which it is) gets labeled as liberal spin. The article is defending you, and if you can't understand that, then I can certainly understand why your comments get moderated out.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      They don't screen comments for content.

      There is an automatic word filter that blocks certain combinations of letters.

      You cannot write const!tution because it has a t!t in it.
      You cannot write h0m0$exual because it has h0m0 and $ex in it. Try adjusting the way you spell certain words or choose a different word.

      If you ask, there are some people that have compiled a list of blocked letter combinations.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • reality check

      You have the right to the First Amendment, but we have the right to respond to your words, as is OUR First Amendment Right!

      May 5, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • Andrew

      You sound like a pleasant individual

      May 5, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • Babylon

      So CNN should not post stories you don't like ?
      Thanks Hitler.

      May 5, 2013 at 9:59 am |
  16. Jay

    They've brought it on themselves. Maybe they can stop being hypocrites, help the poor, and keep their beliefs to themselves and let others live and love without cursing them and telling them "I love the sinner hate the sin." God how insulting that is.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • G_Edwards

      @Jay: "Maybe they can stop being hypocrites, help the poor, and keep their beliefs to themselves..."
      ===========

      Given they help the poor far more than any other organization, shows either your ignorance or your hatred.

      WRT keeping their belies to themselves, they are a proselytizing and evangelizing religion. So according to Jay, Christians should not be allowed to practice Christianity. Got it.

      .

      May 5, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      **** G_Edwards

      @Jay: "Maybe they can stop being hypocrites, help the poor, and keep their beliefs to themselves..."
      ===========

      Given they help the poor far more than any other organization, shows either your ignorance or your hatred.

      WRT keeping their belies to themselves, they are a proselytizing and evangelizing religion. So according to Jay, Christians should not be allowed to practice Christianity. Got it.
      ------------------------------------------------------

      These same Christians are Republicans that want to do away with SS & Medicare.
      To hell with any safety net for the poor.
      Woman back to the kitchen barefoot and pregnant.
      Gays back in the closet.
      Blacks back to the end of the bus.
      How Christian of them.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • G_Edwards

      @Jay....

      Focus. Focus.

      Are you whining about Christians or Republicans? The article is about Christians.

      .

      May 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
  17. jim atmad

    Mr Broussard exercised his First Amendment right to condemn Jason Collins for who he was, based on Mr Broussard's personal religious beliefs. Jason Collins' gayness was not directed at Mr Broussard, and does not affect Mr Broussard, but is a fact of his existence.

    That is an act of bigotry by Mr Broussard, and couching that bigotry in religious terms doesn't change that. It is the sort of thing that was more common in the past, and will be unacceptable in the future in 'polite company', just as contending that white people have a right to own black people based on Scripture is no longer acceptable in most circles. Times change, and interpretation of pet Bible passages changes with them.

    So, which is a hateful act? Living a life in a manner which does not harm anyone, and does not affect anyone outside of your personal space, and then saying "This is who I am", or using a media forum to condemn someone for being who they are and being open about it?

    The later backpedalling, claiming that Mr Broussard was condemning everybody who has relations outside of marriage (one wonders how Mr Broussard's own 'glass house' would fare in that examination), is just another lie.

    Mr Broussard named one name: Jason Collins. Out of all of the athletes that have publicly admitted non-marital affairs and others that Mr Broussard knows about by talking to athletes every day, Mr Broussard took one person to task: Jason Collins.

    When you commit a hateful act, you can indeed become a 'hated minority' (although I would contend that term is far too strong), but unlike the attacks against Jason Collins, the disgust displayed against bigoted 'Christians" is based on their actions, not on who they are.

    May 5, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • Jay

      To have rights under the First Amendment does NOT mean saying just whatever you feel with no consequences, to hurt, defame, or destroy others. Having First Amendment rights means you also pay a price when you misuse them. And I'm glad Broussard came under fire. He deserves everything he gets for what he said–First Amendment rights or not.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      Christians condemning Gays, but are about to re-elect
      Mark Sanford after an extra marital affair, that cost him his job, his wife and his family.
      Guess being a Christian is like having a get out of jail free card.

      May 5, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  18. Bill Mitchell

    Lol, of course the world hates us, we're Christians. Read the Bible sometime. You are SUPPOSED to hate us. Geesh, don't you libs know anything?

    May 5, 2013 at 7:56 am |
  19. jackred

    God created pairs of everything on earth
    It is a evolution of creation
    Even, it will be respected among animals.
    have you ever seen Two lesbian or gay animal

    May 5, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • Jay

      Yes. Pick up a resource once in a while. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616122106.htm

      May 5, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • Kris L

      There are also things on this earth that can impregnate themselves.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      yes.
      Try to reduce your ignorance before posting.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • ryan

      Ya actually there are gay birds in the geese and penguin world. Which probably means there are other gay animals.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • ELPsteel

      rofl, yes there are plenty of instances of gay animals in nature you dimwit. I highly recommend actually researching issues before going on the internet posting your ill-informed opinions about them for all to see. Oh wait, that would be asking too much of you anti-gay types.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • reality check

      Why yes, I have seen gay animals. In fact, I have lesbian ducks. I have offered two handsome drakes yet they choose to love one another instead.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Bill

      Gays using wild animals to justify their behavior. Sounds about right! LOL!!!!!

      May 5, 2013 at 8:39 am |
  20. Displacedmic

    Oh for the love of Pete – put the cross down, Jesus carried it so that you wouldn't have to. Plus it might hurt your back

    May 5, 2013 at 7:56 am |
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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.