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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. A Certain Someone

    The fact that this piece appeared on CNN's site is embarrassing.

    For a long time, Christians have mistakenly believed that they were actually right when they were just the majority. There's a difference. Thankfully, people with common sense are using it and Christians are shocked to find themselves having to actually justify their positions. Unfortunately for them, those positions often don't hold water. And when people point that out, they scream all the louder and play the victim (which is a joke). I'm just glad that people aren't buying that well-worn storyline anymore.

    So, sorry Christians– you'll have to make a logical case for your cause, just like the rest of us. And just know that the harder and more forcefully you try to make that case, the more you look like bigots. Because that's what you are. And in general, people don't like bigots. Sorry, but that's just the way it is.

    Hey, maybe if you tried that love thing - I mean really tried it– people would be more open to hearing what you had to say? Just a suggestion.

    May 6, 2013 at 2:39 am |
    • devin

      Your illogical conclusions are astounding on many levels. You need to comprehend the fact that first, truth is not determined based upon its majority or minority status. Second, casting someone as a bigot does not nullify the truthfulness of what they believe, though I imagine on some level it serves your agenda and gives you some degree of satisfaction. Third, while not all Christians consistently display love as they are called to do, there have never the less been more hungry fed, hospitals built, orphans given homes, sick and dying cared for etc.., in the name of Jesus Christ than any other organization known to mankind.

      I hope this clarifies the fog that is in youir mind.

      May 6, 2013 at 3:07 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Repeatedly claiming that a myth is true does not make the myth true. Believers should prove that there is even just one god, or that a divine jesus actually existed, or they should preface every claim with "Despite there not being a bit of proof for what we believe, we believe ."

      May 6, 2013 at 3:17 am |
    • scruffy

      i'm not astounded and think your post, a certain someone, was spot on.

      May 6, 2013 at 3:26 am |
    • anon123

      to: devin
      "majority or minority status" – that is what he said.

      What he was saying is, now Christians need to explain their beliefs because they are not an overwhelming majority....

      "truthfulness of what they believe" - nonsensical statement, first of all people believing something does not make it true. Which is why you used the word "truthfulness"

      "More good done by religion than any other organization combined" (paraphrased) - wholly contestable and the bad done by religion is quite extensive as well.

      All of this aside, there is no reason to believe the nonsense preached by the religious. Why should we? There are thousands of religions, all with similar credibility. Time and again religious dogma and irrationality has been pushed back by human progress.

      May 6, 2013 at 3:27 am |
    • devin

      Ace, here is the dilemma. Your source for determining truth is your own mind and sense of understanding what you believe to be rational. Truth for you is what can be quantified, demonstrated and proven ( At least that's the theory, in reality I imagine many of your beliefs are based on a certain degree of speculation). For me, as well as most Christians, we believe in a source outside ourselves that has revealed certain truths about the universe and our role in it.

      May 6, 2013 at 3:27 am |
    • devin

      anon. I appreciate your attempt to clarify my statements, but it would be helpful if you first grasped their meaning:

      May 6, 2013 at 3:39 am |
    • JH1

      devin

      Let me fix that for you:

      "we believe in an unsubstantiated, unfalsible source outside ourselves that we believe has revealed certain non-factual truths about the universe and our alleged role in it."

      May 6, 2013 at 3:39 am |
    • devin

      JH. But you didn't fix it, you only inserted your own presuppositions based on your understanding of how truth is known.

      UNFALSIFIABLE. That's how you fix something.

      May 6, 2013 at 3:49 am |
    • Purpledrank

      *puff*

      May 6, 2013 at 3:54 am |
    • anon123

      Devin:

      I understand your point, but you do not understand mine. Which is exemplified by the systematic quotations and explanations.

      You believe your religion to be true. But why are other religions not equally true? or why is any religion true for that matter? These are the very first questions anybody should be asking when presented with a religion or any other supernatural explanation.

      May 6, 2013 at 4:29 am |
    • devin

      I realize that it is an attempt to bolster one's own point, but this logical fallacy that states " because there are so many religions, it is impossible for the existence of one true religion", gets tiresome.

      I don't mean this to be critical of you, the mantra just gets old.

      May 6, 2013 at 4:43 am |
    • Rollololo

      Black is white because magic
      evil is good because magic
      every religion is magically true
      Do as I say not as I do because magic

      May 6, 2013 at 4:56 am |
    • biggles

      What an idiot

      May 6, 2013 at 6:17 am |
    • biggles

      U could b a little more sanctimonious

      May 6, 2013 at 6:18 am |
  2. Citizen VII

    Thank goodness for AIDS.

    May 6, 2013 at 2:36 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Did you mean say thank some imaginary god for AIDS? And why would you thank anyone/body for such a deadly disease that is still infecting and killing thousands, largely due to religious objections to condoms?

      May 6, 2013 at 2:49 am |
    • jokiex

      And all of the innocent children AIDS kills? Yikes!

      May 6, 2013 at 4:57 am |
    • Sane Person

      Ahh, a true christian. It amazes me that you clowns are shocked when people dislike you. Bleet on little sheeple, and sail off into obscure irrelevancy.

      May 6, 2013 at 6:09 am |
  3. John

    On the night of Sept. 11, as the Obama administration scrambled to respond to the Benghazi terror attacks, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a key aide effectively tried to cut the department's own counterterrorism bureau out of the chain of reporting and decision-making, according to a "whistle-blower" witness from that bureau who will soon testify to the charge before Congress

    May 6, 2013 at 2:25 am |
    • Steve

      1. What does that have to do with gay marriage?

      2. People like you care more about 4 people dying in Benghazi than you do about the dozens of people killed by gun violence in the US.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:52 am |
    • simplyput

      No country for old women, or old people if you look at the latest suicide rates. But Devon is correct in that an external source is the backbone of Christian belief. However, you can study the original greek, but if a heart is not sincerely open and frankly, broken, it's not Jesus time. *For now we see through a glass darkly* actually reads *for now we see through a mirror in a riddle.* in the original text. So it's not just logic that needs to be appllied, but mystery. Bunch of philosophers here, few believers, and few Columbo's. You have to get it straight from Him.

      May 6, 2013 at 3:43 am |
  4. a.g.

    i want an explanation so i have taken screen shots and will be at the cnn tower on sunset tomorrow. i just live down on fairfax.

    May 6, 2013 at 2:10 am |
  5. a.g.

    the moderation on cnn comment sites are biased.

    May 6, 2013 at 2:05 am |
  6. Jonathan

    Christians are some of the most hypocritical people I know. They are the first ones to organize hate groups, attend hate speeches and judge others when clearly their religion calls for them not to. I have only met a handful of Christians who truly are Christian and not someone using it as a platform to hate inGods name. Sickening.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:53 am |
    • Jesse Pinkman

      Muslims are worse

      May 6, 2013 at 1:56 am |
  7. AMMO

    To all my Christian brothers and sisters, continue to show the love of Jesus Christ to all these individuals. By planting the seed of the living Word the Spirit of God and of Christ will change their hearts. Remember the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4, some individuals will turn their ears from the truth and accept individuals telling them lies. However, God's word will not change, it is for all eternity.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:43 am |
    • Athy

      You spend far too much of your time on your knees, AMMO. Get a life and get real.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:52 am |
  8. DarrellSF

    Well, maybe you SHOULD keep your hatred on the DL! Now you know how it feels!

    But seriously, if you are a Christian, you should be following the teachings of CHRIST. Not the Old Testament, and not the writings of "saint" Peter. Jesus spoke about being meek, and compassionate, and non-judgmental, and basically told everyone to worry about their own sins rather than poking their noses into the lives of others.

    But, for some reason, today's Christians feel it's their god given duty to make everyone suffer who does not view life the way they do. They do not share with the poor, they condemn who they see as the wicked, and they are just very hateful people. Today's Christian simple doesn't see the fact that THEY are the evil ones sowing discord between societies, and vowing to wage the war of god.

    I'm sorry, I'm so sick and tired of it. And quite frankly, you're NOT a minority. You're the worst majority ever on the face of this earth. You just dish hatred out left and right, and then can't handle the fact you ARE questioned about your beliefs. And, interestingly enough, not a single born-again Christian groups wants anyone to ask any sort of question at all, but rather wants blind "faith".

    But you know, nothing I say will make one iota of a difference to today's Christian. They'll discount my every word because they are so blinded by the hatred espoused by their particular brand of religious group.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:36 am |
    • Bob

      You stated it extremely well, Darrell. Couldn't have said it better myself.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:39 am |
    • jonathan

      The supernatural claims is that 2000 years later athiest agnostics and gays are all fighting a god that they believe does not even exist..i would never argue with someone over the existence of santa clause..you claim the bible is a joke but time tells all tails and in 100 years nobody wil care or remember your existence but the bible will continue to be the center of topic on cnn, fox, and every secular quote unquote news website in the world. Stop making excuses if the bible is a joke and riddled with contradictions and fairy tails then write a better book i challenge every athiest and bible opponent right now...plz write a better book that will sell more and outlast the bible.. oh yea and hopefully believers ae persecuted just to translate and preserve you book also... good luck!

      May 6, 2013 at 2:22 am |
    • Athy

      "Tails"? Maybe you mean "tales?" Go back to sixth grade. And stay awake this time!

      May 6, 2013 at 2:31 am |
    • l33theart

      Jonathan– the fight is not against a god, the fight is against people who claim to speak for him/her/it/them and quite frankly act like jerks in the process. I have no beef with a Christian who does his/her best to love their neighbor and practice the forgiveness and tolerance preached by Jesus.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:32 am |
  9. jj

    When in doubt, change 'gay' to 'black', and read it back to yourself. 40 years ago, we wouldn't have heard the difference. Today, it's plain that what the bible says about blacks is wrong. In the future, the die-hards will see hating gays is just as wrong. Hating either is NOT very chrisitan! And what does the bible really say about gays, anyways? How 'bout jesus???
    This is nothing but a distraction, and a spike in the eye to keep the country shifting to the right.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:34 am |
    • Josh

      The Bible doesn't say anything about blacks.

      May 6, 2013 at 6:03 am |
  10. cnet

    Here's the bottom line of Christianity:

    We ALL sin. Sin separates us from God. Jesus took the punishment for all of our sins so we can appear perfect before God. All we have to do is admit we're not perfect, acknowledge that Jesus paid for our sins, turn away from our sins, love God and love others.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:21 am |
    • Athy

      What a line of bullsht. How can a sane person believe that?

      May 6, 2013 at 1:28 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Go ahead. But expect rational people to laff themselves silly at your ignorant superst¡tions.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:29 am |
    • Hepcat

      The whole concept of sin requires that your god exists and that "original sin" occurred for reals as described in Genesis.
      So many Christians can't face the fact that your religion is deliberately accusing innocent people of a crime.
      A false accusation which no one can prove to be true.
      I don't need your fantasy Jesus because I have never sinned. I have never sinned because there is no such thing as sin.
      There is no such thing as your god, which is good because everything he does and says is clearly psychotic.
      .
      Go read Genesis. Where is the basis for the concept of sin?
      In Genesis, the original sin was Adam and Eve "choosing" to be moral and intelligent, which angered "god" so much he threw them out of the "garden" where he had previously enjoyed watching them run around without clothes.
      He didn't like them covering up their reproductive organs. He didn't like them knowing the difference between good and evil.
      He didn't like them eating the fruit in total ignorance, somehow "choosing" to disobey him and unknowingly choosing knowledge and morals which he did NOT want them to have!
      Can you seriously read that crap and not have some serious questions?
      The Original Sin is intelligence and culture!
      By being intelligent, you offend your god?
      .
      How appropriate.
      No wonder so many of you hate honest facts, hate any honest truth, hate to do anything that makes sense, etc.
      You sin against your imaginary god using imaginary rules that all contradict each other, contradict everything real, and are always open to individual interpretation, showing that there are no actual morals imbedded in the universe at all.
      No common interpretation proves that your god does not exist, that your Bible is bullshlt, and that your Jesus, a stupid and rebellious Jew, died for NOTHING beyond being executed for his crimes. He was a criminal. There is no sin he needed to die for.
      If you could go back and see the idiot they based the Jesus story on, you'd see someone who would spit on you for being a non-Jew and who would probably snarl about how his race is superior to yours despite being saddled with ridiculous random rules handed down by fat greasy slobs of rabbis for hundreds of years. And how his god was only for Jews.
      That the sins you claim are Jewish sins, based upon the Jewish fairytales.
      It is Paul that you worship. Paul who wrote so much of the NT lies. Paul who said non-Jews could be included.
      There is no sin. Those old Jewish bullshlt books are totally worthless.
      Angering god by being intelligent and moral?
      READ IT IN GENESIS, IDIOTS.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:58 am |
  11. faith

    :i love pointing this out to you retards: most good national socialists in germany during the 30's and 40's were faithful xians. yes, that's right... nazis were mostly xian, either protestant or catholic. flat fact"

    prove it

    May 6, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • faith

      anvil face, if u ignore my challenge again, u won't have a shred of cred left, dorothy

      May 6, 2013 at 1:16 am |
  12. Seth Hill

    Christianity is the largest religion in the world. (Christianity 33%, Islam 21%, Hinduism 13%, Buddhism 6%) So stop whining.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:14 am |
  13. James A.

    “Hate Speech” is any speech that is designed to DEHUMANIZE other human beings; and yes, it is always a dangerous practice. All anyone has to do is look at what happened in Germany in the first half of the Twentieth Century for a stark example of where it can lead a society.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:08 am |
  14. cnet

    Christians becoming a hated minority is only Biblical prophesy. The Bible says that is going to happen...in the end times.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:04 am |
    • sqeptiq

      BS!

      May 6, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • midwest rail

      Men have been predicting the end of days since roughly 40 A.D. They have all been wrong. So are you.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • cnet

      Lol...I didn't predict anything. Just telling you what the Bible says.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • midwest rail

      You certainly made the implication. Care to elaborate ?

      May 6, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • cnet

      Revelation has plenty to say about the persecution of Christians in the last days. Certainly not there yet, but it's certainly turning in that direction.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:10 am |
    • midwest rail

      Are Christians being persecuted in parts of the world ? Absolutely. In America ? Absolutely not.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • cnet

      Not yet. But most of the hate I see is aimed at Christians these days...not coming from them. But of course, misguided cults like Westboro Baptist Church that claim to be Christians are the only people that get press.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      If you're truly interested in Biblical prophecy, you should probably learn that it's the verb that's spelled with an "s" (pronounced sigh) and the noun with a "c" (pronounced see).

      May 6, 2013 at 1:19 am |
    • James A.

      “End Times” are just around the corner for everyone. I believe everyone predicts a cataclysm before they die; and by damn, we all want to see the sh!t hit the fan – or see our enemies eat sh!t (which ever would be more satisfying) within our lifetimes. We are all selfish this way.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:19 am |
    • cnet

      Sorry Richard. I'll spell check from here on out. Although, it is simply a message board.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:24 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Well, cnet, it's kind of hard to pass yourself off as even knowledgeable on the subject, let alone an expert, if you can't get something this simple right.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:37 am |
    • CommonSensePlease

      Let's say that Christians did, in fact, become a hated minority. Which, they're not, AT ALL, but let's grant that they did, in some hypothetical situation.

      Obviously the most likely explanation for this is that it was prophesied, right? Because there's just NO WAY that a group could -ever- become a hated minority without some divine hand at work...

      May 6, 2013 at 1:47 am |
    • Lets read the bible and debate on it

      Whats interesting is that in the rise and fall of nations the targeted group has always been religious groups, more so those believing the God of the bible. Before WW2 the German Reich targeted the christian groups one at a time until all were subjugated and only the "ideal" of the reich was left standing, meaning that taking out God from public venues allowed the leadership to exploit the true intentions and nature of God to an unwitting public indoctrinated to follow a harsh leadership. Then after the war the Russians targeted the Christians and trying to remove their influence on the country, leaving a void of moral statute that allowed the Russian government to conduct horrible acts, again due to a populous that became and ignorant of the basic concepts of the bible. Now again we have a new generation in the United States that on average has prob only read one chapter of the bible and gain most of their knowledge of the book by watching tv or by word of mouth and stating it on a CNN online report. I can definitely see why soo many people are confused as to what sin actually means in the bible.........because they are not willing to read the book to make an argument valid enough

      May 6, 2013 at 2:31 am |
  15. angryoldguy

    When anyone, Christian or otherwise spreads a message of hatred, they in turn will become hated. you reap what you sew. True followers of Christ do not hate. "You will know them by their fruits. A healthy tree cannot produce bad fruit, as an unhealthy tree cannot produce good fruit".

    May 6, 2013 at 12:59 am |
    • Dippy

      Sow...not sew. Sow – plant seeds; sew – make a dress. Got it?

      May 6, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Yeah, and it's OK to verbally refer to somebody who sews for a living as a sewer, but don't do it in print.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:20 am |
  16. maria

    Christians are not being denied free speech as far as I can see. But they have to realize that they will be JUDGED based on what they say. Free speech doesn't protect you from the consequences of what you say. Bigots have free speech, but at the end of the day, they are still bigots.

    May 6, 2013 at 12:55 am |
  17. isaasix

    Long after the last speck of ashes from these arrogant secular people have returned to the dust long forgotten. Christianity still be around still strong, for our spirit can not be changed... " On this rock I shall build my church and the powers of Hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt: 16:18)
    "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." (Matt: 24:35)

    May 6, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • tallulah13

      Religions come and go. They always have and as long as humans fear the unknown, they always will. Even now, the majority of the people on this planet are not christian. Your claims have no substance.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:59 am |
  18. Aidan

    This is a joke article, right?

    May 6, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • Hepcat

      Yes. CNN regularly posts articles like this to troll for responses. Every click means money to them. They love putting up articles about LGBT because s3x and h0mo are banned words. Stuff like that. I rarely read the articles because so many of them are worthless and pathetic. What is fun is arguing with fundies who say the stupidest things I've ever seen. Crazy stuff, man.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • Dippy

      Sex, homo. Hm, don't seem banned for me.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:10 am |
  19. jmp

    Christians aren't just a big herd of sheep doing stupid things. There are extremists and idiots everywhere in the world. Christianity being a majority religion means having a lot of people in the family of believers. The more people, the more chance of crazies. Those in the community against the LGBT all band together and form hate crimes which seem to overpower the good that others are doing.

    May 6, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      All religious people are crazy in one shared respect: they think that they can gain actual knowledge via faith, when its track record is absolutely abysmal. Nobody ever decides anything at all important using faith. Faith is the world's worst method of making decisions, which is why preachers defend and praise it so zealously, cuz otherwise they got nothin'!

      May 6, 2013 at 1:23 am |
  20. Godoflunaticscreation

    http://youtu.be/luib2pT6yi4

    May 6, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • Bob

      The video says it all. Thanks, Godof....

      May 6, 2013 at 1:58 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.