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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. MrApplesauce

    The best part of this is... all the Christians claiming they are being discriminated against for expressing their views would be the first to shout down a Muslim for expressing his views based off the Koran in the work place or a teacher handing out a Koran to a student.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Oh they wouldn't do that! They believe in freedom of religion since that is a cornerstone of our country and they certainly want to be so unpatriotic.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • blob

      christians did not fly planes into buildiings or use a knife cutters on innocent civilians and stewardesses.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • MarkinFL

      More than a billion Muslims also did not do that.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • MarkinFL

      ... and our jails are loaded with wonderful examples of Christian citizenry.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  2. Bible Clown©

    Really, those rap guys with the saggy pants and the nasty lyrics are the most-hated minority. Stop drinking that cough syrup and speed up your beats, guys. I want to slap you awake every time I hear that cruddy stuff. Bring back Tupac.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  3. Joe

    Christians can't take it, but they just love to dish it out.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Kevin Harris

      That's a pretty broad brush you paint with, Joe!

      May 6, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • MarkinFL

      OK. Fundie Christians.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Hop

      Christophobe.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Closet Atheist

      @ Kevin

      If the shoe fits....

      May 6, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  4. thayes9217

    I still think that Sprigg and Perkins might be getting it on and go on these tirades simply to keep from drawing attention to their own behaviors. Just saying.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • lamb of dog

      You know they are.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  5. mathdawg

    When is the last explosion you saw that ever created anything...much less order. But yet we have DNA coding, mathematical formulas, and for some reason we love to listen to music which just happens to be 'ordered'. Humans gravitate to order and tolerate choas in small amounts. Something 'caused' this to happen and the fossils don't quite settle the argument for me of macro-evolution. The mathematical probability of all these 'accidents' leading to us is incredibly & intensely small as well. To dismiss that something bigger than us got us here is to relenquish any obligation to that something- which a lot of people seem eager to do. I am not ashamed to be a christian and i'm certainly not ignorant.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      so what created your creator? Let me guess, the universe needs a creator, but god doesnt. makes perfect sense...to a christian. LOL

      May 6, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • not my chair

      so if something cant come from nothing, why is it ok to have a creator come from nothing?

      May 6, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • LinCA

      @mathdawg

      Not knowing exactly how everything came together is no excuse for just making up some shit and claiming "goddidit". The current state of science produces far more reasonable answers to most questions than the nonsense from bronze age desert dwellers. All you need to do is open your mind and set aside your childhood indoctrination.

      Without any credible evidence for the existence of any god, they are about as lily to exist as the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • lamb of dog

      Translation:
      I dont know how all this came to be. But I am proud to assume its because of some magical sky fairy.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • ME II

      @mathdawg,
      "Something 'caused' this to happen..."

      So you say, but what's your evidence.

      "... and the fossils don't quite settle the argument for me of macro-evolution."

      How about the genetic evidence, or biogeographic evidence, or biochemistry?

      "The mathematical probability of all these 'accidents' leading to us is incredibly & intensely small as well."

      1) How can you determine a true probability when you don't know the statistical likelyhood of the possible outcomes?
      2) Evolution is not random.

      "When is the last explosion you saw that ever created anything...much less order."

      The Big Bang was not an explosion, neither chemical nor nuclear. It was an expansion of space-time.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • the AnViL™

      "The mathematical probability of all these 'accidents' leading to us is incredibly & intensely small as well."

      - show your work mathdawg

      i'm probably not the only person interested in seeing your intensely magnificent L337 math skillz in plotting the probability of these "...'accidents' leading to us...".

      May 6, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • sam stone

      math: even if there were a creator, how do you make the logical leap to make a "god" to whom we have obligations?

      May 6, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      For someone calling themself "mathdawg" you do not have much of a grasp on the concepts of very large numbers.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      This is just too awesome. Every time a christian makes a rediculous statement, he thinks he's helping his cause. Then this happens...almost every time. Thank you for helping created born again atheists everday!

      May 6, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Science

      Please do show your numbers.................mathdawg...................as the world is waiting ?

      May 6, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • NTG

      That is why it is impossible to reason with Christians. They are brainwashed. It is like talking to a brick wall. I liken them to zombies who worship their Lich deity Jesus. And I view them with pity, I have stopped trying to hold coherent philosophical conversations with them (in person) for a long time, and avoid them at all costs, because what disease they have is surely contagious, especially at a young age.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Simon Says

      Math, billions of galaxies each with billions of stars many with multiple planets, do the math and you may find your mathematical probability is well within the range of stuff just happens.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The mathmatical probability of winning the lottery is stagerringly small, and yet....

      May 6, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      " I am not ashamed to be a christian and i'm certainly not ignorant." You are certainly not very educated if you think evolution implies that we were all created overnight by "an explosion." You might as well say Christians worship a book. Science is not a religion that is trying to steal converts from your church, so relax. Get it straight: ALL the evidence supports evolution, including that computer you are typing on. There is no evidence for God. This does NOT mean you are dumb to believe in God, but that you must realize that your faith is independent of facts.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Booty

      Question from mathdawg: "When is the last explosion you saw that ever created anything...much less order."

      My answer: I had popcorn Saturday night.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • brian

      No offence but, "ignorant" is exactly the textbook definition what you are being when it comes to understanding of evolution.

      A. Evolution is not "random" at all. "Natural selection" is what is driving the part of the process you perceive to be "random". If a change, trait, or gene is beneficial to the survival of an creature it will have a better chance of being passed on to it's offspring than those without it. It could be something as imperceptible as being SLIGHTLY less vulnerable to anti-biotics than the previous generation. That isn't "random" at all.

      B. I know what you THINK "macro evolution" means, but "macro evolution" is a red herring. It is a term used by people grasping at straws to continue dismissing evolution even as the evidence builds faster than ever at the gene sequencing level (ie, most of you agree that drug resistant bacteria have evolved but the term MACRO evolution is misused intentionally so you could continue to dismiss science to save faith; pun intended). Millions of generations of "micro" evolutionary changes are exactly what you think of as the impossible "macro" evolution scenario. Resistant strains of bacteria did not just come into being. There were strains between the original and the "resistant" that were less so. Those lesser resistant strains eventually evolved stronger and stronger resistance through each generation.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • mathdawg

      I was saying what was on my mind- and appreciating all your feedback. Insult me if you want but i'd rather hear your positives-one of the best quotes i ever heard was, "a flipper would become a bad flipper long before it became a good leg." I mean, I have trouble with the complexity of the human cell happening, but i can't get over the fact that fish just started surviving outside of water. Somebody help me out with that- or of conciousness- the uniqueness that is in us– when did an animal start having the need to share his feelings....

      Booty- did you add butter?

      Clown & Brian- I totally agree that my science is lacking in details but i don't get time to get in here and talk much. I did hear about a study that concluded the human cell could not have arrived in parts (wish i had the details but will look for them)...the human cell is more complicated than a computer, right? Cells are programmed to do what they do and i've heard positive mutations are rare. Tell me what you know and what you think-

      Sam- I guess it comes back to the old saying where i do think there is a God and i'm definitely not him...

      Listen i like talking about this and i'm not close minded. I do adventure races with a science teacher and over the course of hours and hours, we just hammer this stuff out....hahaha with long periods of thoughtful silence. Wish i had more time here--

      May 6, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  6. LloydCA

    Christians claiming to be persecuted by those who support gay rights are like Hitler claiming the Nazis were persecuted by the Jews. The only ones who believe it are fellow Nazis.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • ME II

      ...and the Godwin award goes to....

      May 6, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      No, referencing Nazis isn't the same as calling someone a Nazi. No Godwin's Law violation yet. Approaching a Wheaton's violation, though.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • ME II

      I didn't think Godwin's required calling someone a Nazi, just the comparison.

      "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." (wiki)

      May 6, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  7. zoink

    Religion is like a pe.nis, it's okay to have one just don't go whipping it out in public.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • derp

      actually we have every right to do so, just like you have every right to whip out your childish analogies.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:52 am |
  8. Bible Clown©

    One day, churches will lose their tax exemption. The day after that, 98% of them will shut down. It's all about the tax-free goodies, even for a small church.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • NTG

      Most of them look like cheap warehouses with a tacky cross nailed on the front. At least in the south. The pastors qualify for business credit card accounts under their church name, Its a business, should be treated as one. One must question the morality of a company whose business is the enslavement of weak minds.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • bczu

      73 billion a year is lost by giving churches tax exempt status. Imagine all the things that could be done with that (end world hunger 30 billion) that the church claims most of that money is for anyway.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • JJ

      There are too many "follow the herd" gullible sheep so I don't think Christianity is in any danger of collapsing anytime soon. The virus will have to die out of the population first. It will one day go the way of all the other thousands of cults throughout history one day. Perhaps next couple generations.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • John

      Yeah, any of them that wish to remove the separation of church and state, great. That can happen when every chruch starts paying taxes. That should be a big step toward erasing the debt.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  9. faith

    at this pace, murdock is gonna need more meth

    May 6, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  10. genold

    It's not that Christians become a hated minority. It is when a minority of Christians become haters and bigots and target minorities they despise. It has more to do with a small number of Christians becoming bigots then society hating all Christians.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • ME II

      Well said.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • lamb of dog

      When christian bigots become the hated minority.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • pdmoe

      guilt by association

      May 6, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • ME II

      @genold,
      I'm not certain what your intent was but guilt by association is normally considered a logical fallacy, not a justification.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • ME II

      sorry that was for @pdmoe, not @genold.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • LinCA

      @genold

      You said, "It is when a minority of Christians become haters and bigots and target minorities they despise."
      I'm not so sure that they've recently become haters. I suspect they've been like this probably forever. It's only recent that their bigotry is no longer accepted by rational people (and for the sake of this argument that includes moderate christians). The same mindset that opposed freeing slaves, equal rights for women, civil rights, etc. is what rears its ugly head here.

      The good news, of course, is that if history is any guide for future development, this fight will soon be over. The bad news is that they will likely turn their hate toward a different group.

      You said, "It has more to do with a small number of Christians becoming bigots then society hating all Christians."
      Yes, most christians are not the problem. It's the belligerent few.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • fintastic

      @Lin................... "The bad news is that they will likely turn their hate toward a different group."

      They're running out of groups to hate...

      May 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fintastic

      You said, "They're running out of groups to hate..."
            Atheists
            Immigrants
            Muslims
            ...

      It'll be a while before they're out of options. Unfortunately.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  11. NTG

    Christians a "hated minority" they are just sad they can't burn us at the stake anymore.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:24 am |
  12. joe

    I'd like every Christian posting in this forum to go and live the book of Leviticus for one week, then come back and post comments.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Jesus freaker

      It might be difficult to post comments from prison?

      May 6, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Jason B

      Then I invite you to come and live with us in Leviticus, and see what happens.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • christophorm

      the OT law has nothing to do with christians

      May 6, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • John

      OMG, I can't eat the other white meat and lots of seafood and I'll have to wear a lot of different clothing then I currently own. etc etc #Sarcasm
      I'll never happen.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • lamb of dog

      Yeah the old testament stopped making sense 2000 years ago. Jesus was sent to update it. And now its about time to update it again. We could use a new new testament. Or better yet lets get over this buybull thing and start living in modern times.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  13. Kyactivist

    He is lucky he isn't in Europe, many countries have laws that make such ignorant speech a crime. Starting to think we need some of those kind of laws here, to paraphrase the French revolutionary Louis Saint-Just: no liberty for the enemies of liberty.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:24 am |
  14. New Saying

    In part, one person here put it quite succinctly and to the point: "Love the believer; hate the belief." - sqeptiq

    May 6, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • exlonghorn

      Love the believer...Ignore their belief. I don't hate the mentally deficient...I simply accept them for who they are.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  15. faith

    "Simon Says
    If being a pastor, priest or minister is considered an occupation, why are these guys and gals not stoned to death for working on the Sabbath? Next Sunday beat the crap out of your religious leader for his/her sins, thank you."

    reported

    May 6, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • The real Tom

      Oooh. Faith is a tattle-tale. What are you, 6?

      May 6, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • faith

      y? u r not several fakers including the demons who threaten xtians, r u dorothy?

      not 2 worry

      The real Tom
      Oooh. Faith is a tattle-tale. What are you, 6?

      May 6, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • sam

      What is your education level faith?

      May 6, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • faith

      i no ur but wutm i?

      May 6, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • The real Tom

      u r a dummy.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  16. H

    Gray you seem to be lacking perspective since you can say with certainty what happens (or doesn't) for every person in America. And how about the shooting attack on a Conservative Think Tank last summer. I guess that doesn't qualify as "bullying" to you.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  17. Jorge Jimenez

    Neonazis and communists are also a hated minority.

    By the way, the Christians that preach LOVE are not hated. ONLY the HATERS are HATED.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Samuel

      Thank you for pointing that out. This guy wants to oppress people and expects them to be silent about it. You don't get to hate others without reaping their resentment.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Jason B

      Now there's an important distinction. Unfortunately, the news media is guilty of mixing the two which further propogates the hatred, especially on internet forums like this.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  18. emilymagnuson

    Oh the poor Christians... This article is ridiculous. It is hateful to be prejudice of gays. Gays are people like you and me, like blacks and hispanics, like the mentally disabled, and the poor. These are all groups of people that are in that group, not because of a choice they made, but because that's how they were brought into this world. As Christians, if we cannot find love for these people, I have no faith in Christianity.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Jason B

      Quote – "Gays are people like you and me, like blacks and hispanics, like the mentally disabled, and the poor."

      Sorry, not like me. I for one am NOT a pervert, I know what my tool is for and where it belongs, which is NOT in another man.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • christophorm

      for the true believers it's unbelievers and believers or Christ and anti christ..that's the only two groups that matter.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      " I for one am NOT a pervert," Sorry, we'll be the judge of that. You seem quite perverted to us.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • fintastic

      Thanks for providing an example Jason.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  19. w.ja.blowme

    The bible condemns so many things, why do Christians hang on to this one like it's the absolute surefire way for eternal damnation, but all the others aren't? Didn't Jesus say, "Let the one here without sin cast the first stone."? We are all sinners, it's just that some of us sin in different ways. We don't run up to Christians at BBQ's and damn them to hell for eating pork do we? why do they get to scream hate and ignorance at people simply minding their own business in their own bedrooms? Christians. the reason you're so hated and are being forced into closets is because you feel so self righteous to condemn others to stay there too.

    May 6, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Jorge Jimenez

      Neonazis and communists are also a hated minority.

      By the way, the Christians that preach LOVE are not hated. ONLY the HATERS are HATED.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Exactly! And while they are always pointing to the bible as the infallible word of god on this issue, they conveniently pick and choose whether to follow other passages in the bible. Hypocrites! Basically, many christians try to hide behind the bible to justify their bigoted and discriminatory views.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Charles

      It's easy to rally people against it when only a minority of people are gay. Most people can't imagine being attracted to people of the same gender so it's easy to be convinced that it's disgusting, and therefore "wrong".

      May 6, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      " Most people can't imagine being attracted to people of the same gender" It's worse if they are, and about one in ten is. Then they hear about the unholy attractiveness of the "gay lifestyle," and it does seem attractive to them. They figure everyone finds it similarly attractive, and a sermon is born.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  20. GrowUp

    How many more wars shall we fight over religion? How many more lives should be lost? How much more misery should we cause? How much more money shall we spend?

    May 6, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Chad

      When was the last war we fought over Christianity?

      May 6, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • GrowUp

      @Chad. Ever hear of Northern Ireland????

      May 6, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • GrowUp

      Ever hear of Uganda???

      May 6, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • GrowUp

      Ever read a history book???

      May 6, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Chad

      "The Troubles" in northern ireland wasnt a war.
      The "Lord's Resistance Army" isnt Christian

      Athest leaders killed over 200 million people in just the last 100 years, dwarfing the totals from all religious conflicts (7% of all wars have been can be traced to religious conflicts) put together for the past 2000 years.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • GrowUp

      @Chad. Wow– you have really swallowed the BS dude.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • faith is dead

      "When was the last war we fought over Christianity?" How about 1812, when the COE made its second attempt to take this country over? Or WWII, when we had to defend the Jews from insane German Christians who were "doing God's will?" Get off your high horse there, Chaddie boy.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      The original post did say, war, misery, lives lost, and money spent, not just wars.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, Counting communist leaders as atheists doesn't make the deaths that they were responsible for caused by religion – mostly they were the result of power struggles and poor agricultural policy. Millions of people dies of starvation under Stalin, for example in the Ukraine.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, The IRA declared it a war, so why do you believe it wasn't or are you joining Rep. King that it doesn't count if the USA isn't involved.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Science

      And Chad ...............All for what ?................some fairy in the sky !!!

      May 6, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • christophorm

      most of the people who claimed to be christian were no more christian than say charles mansion , hitler or money preachers.satan and demons claim to be alot of things.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      "satan and demons claim to be alot of things" like Chad?

      May 6, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • fintastic

      Chad lying through his teeth again...... yawn...

      May 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
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About this blog

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