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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. Michael

    This is not a case of a hated minority; it's the case of a hateful minority being told the government won't support their hate any more.

    May 6, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Wow, great example of double-speak. Because YOU hate them and want to oppress them, their natural dislike of you makes them hateful. What a jerk.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Oops. Misread your post. With all the weird logic flying around here I took it for anti-gay. The double-speak has me twisted a bit. 🙁

      May 6, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • MarkinFL

      At least I think so?

      May 6, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  2. roe

    The real question is when will logic take hold in the world. Killing each other over stories we believe is really insane if think about it. Deep down non of us know why we are here or why it all is.

    May 6, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  3. Shayler

    8 years back I was still being heckled about holding another man's hand in public. What's the discrimination that Christians face? Not being able to illogically deny rights to a group of people and speaking about our demographic in a way that is the cause of countless suicides a year in the LGBTQ community without verbal retaliation from our supporters? Once Christians are denied government benefits or denied showing any affection at all to their loved ones, maybe I will listen to such a claim.

    May 6, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Just think of the poor oppressed Romans when they were no longer allowed to persecute Christians. Where were their rights? And the KKK? They are not even allowed burn a cross anywhere they want to and they get made fun of if they hold a parade!
      Poor oppressed group. So sad.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      America has always been a tough place for straight, white, Christian, land-owning males.
      They weren't even allowed to vote until 1776!

      May 6, 2013 at 10:09 am |
  4. Matt

    Jesus freaks trying to shove their beliefs down societies throats...and more than a few use violence...how are they different from the Tsaernavs or the Taliban?

    May 6, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • MarkinFL

      They're supposed to be different? Hadn't noticed.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:42 am |
  5. Seoras

    Being called hateful names because of your faith isn't persecution. Persecution is being fired from your job, banished from your family, beaten by police, imprisoned in jail, or simply killed outright. This is the fate of millions of Christians in many other parts of the world. If soft Christians in America are upset just about being called names, they need to remember how much worse it is for their brethren overseas. Toughen up & start to do what Jesus has commanded -> love thy neighbor & proclaim the salvation of Christ, regardless of the cost!

    May 6, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      You forgot...stop forcing your beliefs on others.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • MarkinFL

      And sounds like how gays have been treated in this country.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • faith

      lol

      u girls b a strugglin 2day

      May 6, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • geekgirl42

      "Persecution is being fired from your job, banished from your family, beaten by police, imprisoned in jail, or simply killed outright." Then gay people are being persecuted all over the world as well.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • faith

      "Richard Cranium
      You forgot...stop forcing your beliefs on others."

      yea! like big di k cromedomous. she don't tell nobody nothin, literally

      lol

      May 6, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • faith

      this country?

      "MarkinFL
      And sounds like how gays have been treated in this country."

      u have a point. it is only god-fearing, religious theocracies that persecute gays

      May 6, 2013 at 9:58 am |
  6. Evenstar13

    It is so sad that in this world today nearly anything goes. Everyone is right in their beliefs or their actions, but if someone were to say that something is wrong, then everyone jumps them and cries, you are wrong for saying that this or that is wrong. They deride them as a bigot or hateful, when all they did was say what they beleive. As a Christian, I am taught not to be a bigot or a hypocrite. I hate many of the sinful things people do, but I do not hate them, rather I forgive them as I am taught to do. But I am also taught not to associate with those who embrace their sinful ways,
    "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you" 2 Corinthians 6:17
    This does not mean I hate them, just their sin. To be in rebellion with God is to be truely the walking dead. I pray that those who are in rebellion obtain the wisedom to see the error of their sinful ways and repent, for God is meriful and will forgive those who repent and their sin will be remembered no more.
    "Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." Luke 15:10

    May 6, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • faith

      lol

      good one dorothy

      May 6, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • MarkinFL

      You can hate me or not or hate what I do or not. I really do not care at all. But if you attempt to limit my civil rights or that of my friends or family then you can expect a fight.
      I will respect every belief that you do not try to force others to live by. Everything else is fare game and you WILL hear my opinion until you back off.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Evenstar13
      The problem with the Family Research Council / Focus on Family is that their end goal is Christian theocracy in America, and they're quite willing to lie about all manner of things to achieve that goal.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      If you are taught not to embrace someone who embrace their sinful ways, then you must not associate with anyone. Anyone who has lied, or has done anything considered a sin, then prayed for it becuase they are sorry, then do it again, is embracing. So, unless you only associate with people who are such jerks as to not tell a little white lie now again as to not upset people (does this make me look fat), then you are a hyporcrite. BUt then again, you are a christian, so everybody knows that anyway.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • faith

      "MarkinFL
      You can hate me or not or hate what I do or not. I really do not care at all. But if you attempt to limit my civil rights or that of my friends or family then you can expect a fight.
      I will respect every belief that you do not try to force others to live by. Everything else is fare game and you WILL hear my opinion until you back off."

      me too

      May 6, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • faith

      atheists don't have an agenda, thank goodness. u just can't vote

      Doc Vestibule
      @Evenstar13
      The problem with the Family Research Council / Focus on Family is that their end goal is Christian theocracy in America, and they're quite willing to lie about all manner of things to achieve that goal.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • Simon Says

      Who are you to determine whether others behaviour is a "sin" or not? You Christians just can't stop butting into others business, stop already. What if your jesus was hitting on simon peter, then what?

      May 6, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • faith

      jesus embraced dirt bags almost as disgusting as tommi. u can embrace the person. we must embrace everyone. there r roughly 26, 012 ways to embrace others w/o embracing the things which r destroying them.

      "ReligionIsBS
      If you are taught not to embrace someone who embrace their sinful ways, then you must not associate with anyone. Anyone who has lied, or has done anything considered a sin, then prayed for it becuase they are sorry, then do it again, is embracing. So, unless you only associate with people who are such jerks as to not tell a little white lie now again as to not upset people (does this make me look fat), then you are a hyporcrite. BUt then again, you are a christian, so everybody knows that anyway."

      May 6, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • faith

      "Simon Says
      Who are you to determine whether others behaviour is a "sin" or not? You Christians just can't stop butting into others business, stop already. What if your jesus was hitting on simon peter, then what?"

      like you do?

      May 6, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • faith

      simon wants his daughter to marry a hitler

      "Simon Says"

      May 6, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • tallulah13

      Ignorance is the greatest sin of all. If you make your decisions about the world on the basis of a book written before the most basic natural phenomena were understood, then you are rejecting truth in favor of superstition. And that is pure ignorance.

      I don't hate you, Evenstar. I just hate your sin.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:58 am |
  7. Luiz Penalva

    Give Christians a science book. More schools, less churches!

    May 6, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • JJ

      They already get all the science they need from their pastors then they get on public school boards and try to stamp out all critical thought and reason in the classroom since it's a direct threat to their cult.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Better you give christians a history book that spells out where their book really comes from, and the damage that christianity has done throughout history.
      Maybe then they can stop trying to tell me it is a religion of love.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  8. ReligionIsBS

    "Hey, this anti-christian is oppressing my rights to oppress people!"

    May 6, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "It is my God given right to make sure others don't get to exercise their God given rights."

      May 6, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  9. pdmoe

    There sure seems to be a lot of intolerant people making comments on this article. Very judgemental, very hateful very self rightous. Maybe the mirror is the first place we need to look before we throw stones?

    May 6, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • MarkinFL

      So when we witness someone attempting to oppress a large segment of the population we are just supposed to ignore it because then otherwise we would be guilty of oppression ourselves? That's horse hockey.
      I guess all of the white population should have stayed silent while the Jim Crowe laws stayed in force.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:36 am |
  10. Doc Vestibule

    The Family Research Council are propagandists of the worst sort who resort to fear mongering to push forward their agenda to legislate morality.
    They seek to "disestablish" the education system and force prayer into schools and to teach absitnence only se/x ed. They want all foreign and domestic US policy to be overtly Biblical.
    But most of all, they want everyone to hate and fear "The Gay Agenda" that exists only in their own twisted heads.
    They pusblished a diatribe in 1999 called "Ho/mo/se/xuality and Pedophilia" in which they erroneously claim that "Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the hom/ose/xual movement." and that "...one of the primary goals of the hom/ose/xual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the 'prophets' of a new se/xual order."

    They are the Christians that atheists refer to when speaking about bigoted, religious nutbars who seek to make America a theocracy.

    May 6, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • Science

      Morning Doc..........another one.

      Maybe they should not have created the wedge !!!

      The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Insti-tute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Insti-tute manifesto known as the Wedge Docu-ment,[1] which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda whose ultimate goal is to defeat materialism, naturalism, evolution, and "reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic
      convictions.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

      May 6, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Science
      The FRC/FOF work with and help fund the The Center for Science and Culture, the folk who brought us the Wedge strategy.
      They seek "to defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies". They want to use Intelligent Design as a "wedge" to separate science from its allegiance to "atheistic naturalism".

      In other words, they fear that teaching FACTS to children will drive them away from religion.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Science

      Doc................Love FACTS !...............Evolution is a dirty word to them !

      Monkey Math: Baboons Show Brain's Ability to Understand Numbers

      May 3, 2013 — Opposing thumbs, expressive faces, complex social systems: it's hard to miss the similarities between apes and humans. Now a new study with a troop of zoo baboons and lots of peanuts shows that a less obvious trait - the ability to understand numbers - also is shared by humans and their primate cousins.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130306133917.htm

      The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

      Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

      Human Evolution

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2cHumanevo.shtml

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

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

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

      They lost in 2005............still trying !

      May 6, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  11. MarkinFL

    HAHAHAHAHAH.

    The bigots are whining at being called out for what they are. Who cares if their religion is what makes them a bigot?
    If they are so sure of their beliefs then they should where the bigot label proudly and not care that the rest of society thinks they are jerks.

    May 6, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • MarkinFL

      oops. "wear"

      May 6, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  12. Joe

    Do you know when a Christian is spreading hate and intolerance?
    His lips are moving.

    May 6, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • ShaneB

      Wow, a most intolerant and hateful thing to say.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • MarkinFL

      I happen to agree. Its like painting all Muslims with the same brush. Absolutely the same.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:41 am |
  13. Primewonk

    Misrepresentation wrote, "I don't think I'm ignorant to the idea of fusion, gravity, etc., but those things didn't just come out of no where did they"

    You're the nutter who stated, "I don't want to argue the existence of God, because I think the fact that the earth itself, rotating around a giant ball of heat and energy, is proof enough.", so yes, you are ignorant.

    May 6, 2013 at 9:26 am |
  14. Cant Come To Terms

    The problem with many folks is not that they hate gay and lesbian people so much as that they hate the possibility that they themselves may have those same feelings but just can't come to terms with it.

    May 6, 2013 at 9:24 am |
  15. magnus

    Jesus would be disgusted by the behavior of these so-called christians who have the same level of intelligence and hate as a muslim terrorist.

    May 6, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Shaggy

      How would the Easter Bunny feel?

      May 6, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Shaggy,
      I think he would given them a whack with his Boom-a-rang.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  16. Austin

    I can't get laid. I have no friends. I drove my car in to a church after boozing it up at a tavern-even the rednecks hate me. My only friend now is god b/c he forgave me like I forgave myself. I committed a horrible crime but it doesn't matter, God says so therefore it must be.

    May 6, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Chris

      So you talked to him?! I'd love to do the same..just tell him to drop me a line!

      May 6, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • lamb of dog

      Sorry to hear that austin. But those people should forgive you.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:23 am |
  17. charmaine

    One more comment. Not all Christians are the same just like not all whites, blacks, Mexicans and etc are the same. If a white person did something wrong to me I am not going to blame the whole race that's ignorant. Be specific everyone is different unless and unique in there own way. Stop the hate get to know people instead of being so quick to judge people. It's like a bunch of adults acting like kids on here. He started it. No mine! You can't play with us because you are poor. Goodness people really need to grow up and stop wasting energy on unproductive matters. Myself included and on that note I am gone. Have a blessed day!

    May 6, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Not every christian is the same but every christian shares a belief in a god that apparently committed horrible acts against humanity. To believe in that god is not something to brag about.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Nope

      It is obvious that you have not wasted energy on punctuation and grammar.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Selfservliberal

      I basically agree with you, but I have a caveat. Faith is anti-rational. Faith is the syllogism that says "It is true because I want it to be true- facts are irrelevant". It is harder to be friends with someone who has already declared that their mind is not a good enough tool for survival. I prefer rational people. I have met a few Christians that I do like– I just have never noticed that their religion made any difference, they would be good people with or without Faith. But I am contented to live and let live, but then the Evangelical Right will propose social policies straight from the Dark Ages and claim that it is God's Will. How do I reconcile that with a world of good will and tolerance? I can't imagine I could respect them if they actually did follow Christs example– Christ a feminist, Christ a champion not of kings but the very poor the right wing blames for their own poverty–this in spite of the New Testament, John Calvin over Christ, greed over love. Historically Franscis of Assi seems to me to be the only Christian trying to be Christlike since Christ himself died. Now, to forestall the avalanche of hate mail or pios statements of faith– I HAVE read the Bible cover to cover, more than once. I already know God loves me so much he is going to burn me in Hell for all eternity. You can never reconcile Christ or Yawa and love, not, if you demand logical consistency, which of course brings us back to Faith which says follow your heart, wishful thinking not fact.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:01 am |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    If God created man in his image, and 10% of people are gay, then God must be 10% gay.

    May 6, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • Jesus freaker

      God must be like Ted Haggard. I think he considers himself only about 10% gay.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • magnus

      probably the most logical post i have read today

      May 6, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • k

      That's a very philosophically/theologically mature conclusion to draw. That would be like saying that God must have both male and female reproductive organs because the made half of us men and half of us women. We are made in His image insofar as we are made to love (selflessly giving of oneself for the benefit of others) ... just as He loves.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • MarkinFL

      K, please point us to where in the bible it tells us the definition of "Image"....

      I think you just made that up.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @K
      God's primary characteristic is not love, it is jealousy.
      It says so right in the first commandment.
      If we are made in His image, then we are made to be jealous, envious and spiteful.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Akira

      So the earilier stories, the ones that the Bible STOLE, are the counterfeit ones, lol?? Malarky. Get a clue. Premptive evil, right? Lolololol.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  19. Michael

    Want to know the truth about the origins of Christianity and the Bible?

    http://www.bidstrup.com/bible.htm

    May 6, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  20. Chris

    Hated minority! WHAT NONSENSE. Studies show that people don't trust atheists out of all minority groups. The only reason...they don't believe in god. Well when they start treating other groups with more respect...maybe those groups will see fit to do the same.

    May 6, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      is that a study by a Christian group? What a surprise ...

      May 6, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Brian

      To sweepingly say that all Christians treat other groups without respect is overbroad generalization. I have several friends who are Atheistic, one of whom I jokingly call a "Westboro Atheist" because she spits blood and thumps a biology textbook like some evangelicals thump a Bible. Her actions don't color my opinions of Atheism. It's also false to think that all Christians interpret God or the Blible in quite the same way – any basic analysis of the biblical and apocryphal texts would show you that God isn't gendered when, frequently, God is refered to as male. We have just as many incidents in the Bible of God being refered to as "Mother." The text can be used to infer a lot of things, and it has been used to represent good as well as evil – the thing that can't be questioned is the faith a true Christian has in the Lord, and we are called to love unconditionally.

      As far as this article states... I don't think it's right to condemn a man for his opinion, regardless of it's nature. I think the condemnation is that the opinion seeks a broad and sweeping removal of civil and legal rights from a group of Americans. In that respect, no Church or faith has any right to dictate what the State should or shouldn't do. In the inverse, the State shouldn't repress or condemn what any faith or Church wishes to say. However, to my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I would remind you of what St. Francis said, "Lord, grant that I may seek not to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we recieve; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."

      May 6, 2013 at 9:39 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.