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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. lamb of dog

    Fred.
    I am threatened with eternal damnation. And when I mock scare tactics I am the evil one. Its ok to threaten someone that they will burn forever in a lake of fire? Who is the evil one?

    May 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Jesus was a lich

      Its over Lamb, we are eternally damned and will burn in the hellfires. True story.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Bummer

      May 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • lol??

      ".....................Its ok to threaten someone that they will burn forever in a lake of fire?............."

      When God speaks, people roll over, rover.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • faith

      honey chal,

      them ain't threats u moron

      lamb of dog
      Fred.
      I am threatened with eternal damnation.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      I've been keeping score, and so far "faith" is the evil one. The Gollum of Christians.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  2. Uhypocryte

    Christian " Gays are going to hell, you're all sinners, you're all evil."
    Me " Dude Chill, Think what you want to think just dont force it on other people."
    Christian " Stop it, why are you persecuting me."

    Why ist it Christians can call people so many names and tell them evil things but when someone responds back they act in anger like only they can say things. Look at the christians that protest on t.v or in real life. There is always anger on their faces and when someone defies them they act outraged. If you are alowed to think what you want to think others are allowed to think what they want to think. Thank you.

    May 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  3. ReligionIsBS

    Maybe one day christians will overcome this hatred and have an openly christian man become president....or maybe even 44 in a row.

    May 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  4. faith

    To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

    a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

    a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

    a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

    a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

    a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

    a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

    a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

    What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboreth?

    have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

    He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

    I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

    And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.

    May 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Science

      faith = BS

      May 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Reason Rules

      Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
      Great warrior, hmm? Wars not make one great.
      Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm?
      Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.
      A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.
      Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side of the Force are they.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Which God?

      @faith. The belief in something that doesn't exist, except in your head. . You're either daydreaming all the time, or suffer from delusions.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Reason Rules

      I just thought one random quote deserved another. There is no point in quoting random passages from the bible, or Star Wars for that matter, in the comment section. I fail to see the relevance.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • hal 9001

      faith x (X) = 0

      May 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • hal 9001

      [ for any value of X ]

      May 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • FAITH WATCH

      REPORTED

      May 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      science, is another liar listening and abiding in man made lies (traditions of men), losing his soul versus Jesus' truth that will save his soul.

      Matthew 23:29-36
      Matthew 27:20-26
      T itus 1:10-16
      1 S amual 8:4-9
      A cts 9:10-23
      Revelation 2:8-11
      Revelation 3:7-13

      Amen.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Science

      The BS just keeps coming from HS...............Like the pink bunny.................just keeps goiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing !

      May 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • faith

      step right up Murdock and prove your lie isn't a lie

      on your mark

      Which God?
      @faith. The belief in something that doesn't exist, except in your head. . You're either daydreaming all the time, or suffer from delusions.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • fintastic

      Heaven stench... stop typing on that computer!!!!... ya know the one that lying science made?

      May 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  5. Guy

    "Hated minority"? More like hateful minority. Keep repressing science, progress, and equality, bigots.

    May 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • faith

      "Keep repressing science, progress, and equality, bigots."

      ok

      May 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • joldham

      Your hatred really boils out here. I feel sorry for you because unless you repent and change your ways, eternity is a long time to burn in hell..

      May 6, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • lol??

      Anything you say Big Guy, sweetie.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Which God?

      joldham. Bullschit statement. No hell. No heaven either. Proxy threat = zero credibility. Total fail Please complete your grade school education.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • faith

      how do you really feel?

      Which God?
      joldham. Bullschit statement. No hell. No heaven either. Proxy threat = zero credibility. Total fail Please complete your grade school education.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Which, is another liar listening and abiding in man made lies (traditions of men), losing his soul versus Jesus' truth that will save his soul.

      Matthew 23:29-36
      Matthew 27:20-26
      T itus 1:10-16
      1 S amual 8:4-9
      A cts 9:10-23
      Revelation 2:8-11
      Revelation 3:7-13

      Amen.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • fintastic

      @joldham............ well I really feel sorry for you.... confusing fantasy with reality. No such place as hell or heaven... not even a devil dude with pointy horns a red suit and a pitchfork..... oh yea, no talking snake either..... or great flood..... all just mythology..

      May 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  6. ME II

    Is not the ruler, i.e. the government, appointed by God anyway? "The authorities that exist have been established by God." (Romans)

    If Christians are supposed to follow the law, then why do they fight God's will by fighting these laws that allow gay marriage?

    May 6, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • snowboarder

      rule is not appointed by god. that is silly superst ition.

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

      perfect fit, since christianity is silly superst ition.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Topher

      True, if someone is in power, it's because God willed it or allowed it. But that doesn't mean that person is there for the good of God. We fight laws like this because they're immoral and a sin. We stand for God.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      But if God put them there, then isn't standing against them in effect standing against God?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Russ

      @ ME II:
      (Rom.13) submit to the governing authorities
      (Acts 5:29) "we must obey God, not men"
      we are called to submit to the govt unless the govt itself is going against God.

      but then the challenge is the manner of protest: will we die sacrificially like Jesus did to express a love that seeks to win over our 'enemies' & make them family, or (as so many of us sadly are doing) whine & complain & invoke our "rights" (going against 1 Cor.9)?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Topher, how is being gay immorral? Did you get that from the bible, which advocated for slavery? Is slavery immoral according to you?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • ME II

      "we are called to submit to the govt unless the govt itself is going against God."

      ...but if God put the authorities in place then how is going against it not going against God?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • ME II

      @Russ,
      ps Peter was speaking to the Sanhedrin, but was it a "governing authority"? I don't know.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Topher

      ME II

      " But if God put them there, then isn't standing against them in effect standing against God?"

      Depends on what the stance is on. If that leader is requiring you to sin, then you should choose God over a meer man. But in general, we should be praying for our leaders.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "we are called to submit to the govt unless the govt itself is going against God."

      ahahahahahahaha

      "We do what pleases us, even if if means going against our gods orders!"

      Again, you cant make this kind of stupid up.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      " If that leader is requiring you to sin, then you should choose God over a meer man"

      Ah, interesting point. How then does gay marriage require an individual to sin?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Topher

      ReligionIsBS

      "Is slavery immoral according to you?"

      Which kind of slavery? The kind in the Bible? Or the race-based kind in U.S. history? There's a big difference.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Russ

      @ ME II:
      read the OT. your argument doesn't seem to take into account how God dealt with even just Israel – his chosen people. he put the kings on the throne. some of them were evil. he would discipline them.

      moreover, take a case like Habakkuk: the govt & people were evil & going away from him. Habakkuk is complaining to God about it. God's response: ok, i'll discipline them... by letting an even greater evil come in to rule them (As.syria).

      your objection doesn't seem to take these things into account. it's what Joseph said to his own brothers (who had betrayed him, sold him into slavery & told his father he was dead): "you intended it for evil, but God used it for good" (Gen.50:20). it doesn't make what we do good, but God's grace is bigger than our mess.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      slavery in any form. slavery is slavery. slavery of old was just as bad, it only had the blessing of the church to disguise it. Please, tell me which form of slavery you condone. Please tell me why you would condone biblical slavery.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Topher

      ME II

      "Ah, interesting point. How then does gay marriage require an individual to sin?"

      Would you like me to vote in favor of gay marriage? Or to say it's OK for them to be doing those things?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • ME II

      Is race-based better than nationality-based slavery? Weren't there different rules for Israelites and foreigners?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Russ

      @ ME II: yes, the Sanhedrin had both governing & religious authority in Jerusalem. and maybe MORE pointedly, it applies with *religious* governing authority, too!

      May 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Which God?

      Topher, if god allows it, it is good, as in its eyes all it does is good. Your god says so. Are you going to dispute it?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • ME II

      @Russ,
      "read the OT. your argument doesn't seem to take into account how God dealt with even just Israel – his chosen people. he put the kings on the throne. some of them were evil. he would discipline them."

      But the admonishment to obey the governing authorities is in the NT, correct? Romans and Acts? i.e. during Roman rule.

      However, you raise an interesting point, If today's "authorities" are misbehaving, why doesn't God discipline them.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Russ

      @ ReligionisBS: you seem to be ignoring passages like Gal.3:28 & Philemon... not to mention history: the people who ENDED slavery & fought AGAINST the prevailing social norms for civil rights appealed to the very source you are deni.grating. Think MLK & William Wilberforce.

      by your logic, the Bible supports polyg.amy too – despite openly condemning it later – AND everyone who practices it (take Genesis for example) does not find their marital life going so well.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Topher

      ReligionIsBS

      "Please tell me why you would condone biblical slavery."

      Because Biblical slavery was an agreement between the parties. The "slave" often owed a debt and thus was voluntarily willing to become someone's servant. The "slave" would be provided food and a house during their service. "Slaves" were also supposed to be released after every six years, so it wasn't permanent. But after that term is up, the "slaves" often would make a life-time agreement because they were treated so well.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • JMEF

      Topher
      Since you continue to duck, I will ask once more. How do you account for the known history of the peoples on earth from 2500BC to 2000BC if only 8 people got off of the ark? You can start with who built the Egyptian pyramids of that time?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Russ

      @ ME II: Paul is appealing to an OT notion (Dan.2:21; Ps.75:7; etc.). it's present throughout the Bible.

      i think God does discipline us today – not only Christians (Heb.12: God disciplines those he loves), but even the whole world. For us as Christians, we recognize that the worst punishment possible is for God to let us go to our own ends (Rom.1) and destroy ourselves. As some have said, the theme song of Hell is Frank Sinatra's "I Did It My Way."

      May 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • fred

      ME II
      Order is important to God as it reflects goodness. When we follow Christ we are connected to Him and can trust that regardless of what a leader does or does not do it will be right with us. There is no law against the things of God nor can there be that will prevail.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      So why did the bible give instructions on how to beat these people? Sounds like bs to me. But hey, whatever it takes to justify your bigotry. And what you were describing is an employee, not a slave. God didnt seem to care about abolishing slavery too much. In fact, he was pretty adiment that you're supposed to beat the tar out of them.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • sam

      Russ, Topher and fred, the bullshit triplets.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      BS, slavery allowed those people to have food on their tables, clothes on their backs, sandals on there feet. Since, you know nothing about history your complaints arguing about slavery (1st form of employment as we know it today) means that you prefer these people died of starvation instead.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • ME II

      @Russ,
      Neither Galatians nor Philemon seem to be condemning slavery, just discouraging, though not disallowing, Christians from owning other Christians. Similar to Leviticus, which disallowed Israelites from treating Israelites badly.

      Pro-slavery and abolitionist alike used the Bible to support there position. And yes, the Bible may support polygamy too. It all depends on ones interpretation.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Russ

      @ ReligionisBS: it certainly sounds like "bigot" is the new popular term to label someone with because I disagree with them. for lack of understanding their position & for lack of a good sound argument of my own, i'll just resort to name-calling...

      ironically, a 'bigot' is someone who – without much education on the ACTUAL beliefs/character/etc. of another person – maligns & unjustifiably hates that person. now, think with me... do you *really* want to know what Christians believe?

      there are bigots among ALL of us. bigotry should not be acceptable ANYWHERE – but often those who ARE said name are the first to invoke it as a cover.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • ME II

      @Russ,
      "Paul is appealing to an OT notion (Dan.2:21; Ps.75:7; etc.). it's present throughout the Bible."

      So again, shouldn't Christians obey the governing authorities as Paul stated? Isn't going against the government going against God?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Russ

      @ ME II: I think because we have modern ears you are not hearing how RADICAL a statement Galatians 3:28 is. it is phenomenally radical. and it wasn't just theology – Philemon proves Paul was putting that thought into action.

      did Paul choose to make ending slavery the social agenda item of the Church? no. the Gospel was the agenda. but again – WHO were the people in the Western world to fight to end slavery... and on what basis did they effectively fight AGAINST the prevailing social norms?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "Would you like me to vote in favor of gay marriage? Or to say it's OK for them to be doing those things?"

      Why vote at all? If it is God's will, it shall be done, right? Is it God's will that you attempt to prevent the "free will" choice of another, by force (force of law is force)

      May 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Russ

      @ ME II: i'm sorry. maybe i'm assuming you know the OT better.

      let me explain a little. repeatedly in the OT, Israel wanders from God – especially at the behest of bad leaders. In Judges: "there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what was right in his own eyes." over & over. God is their king. that's who they're ignoring. then they ask for a human king. God is against that, but nonetheless gives them what they want – after warnign them that their kings will lead them astray, oppress them, etc. but they wanted to be like the other nations around them. so they get a king – Saul. he's horrible. things go badly. then they get David – a man after God's own heart... but he's still a fallen sinner. he murders his own friend to cover up an adulterous affair he has because he's home neglecting his kingly duties when his army is off at war.

      it's the pattern in the OT – any human govt will fail us. we need God as our King. guess what the primary message on Jesus' lips is... "the kingdom of God is at hand!" who's the king? He is. is he competing with Caesar? well... yes & no. not for military might (which would be temporary & easy), but for something much greater. "Whose image is on the coin? render unto Caesar what is Caesar's & unto God what is God's." who bears God's image? all of humanity. what is properly his? all of existence. how will he fight for it? not w/ a sword, but with his blood (i.e., the cross).

      that's the big picture. the most direct answer i can give you on the govt is simply to look at how God deals with human govts throughout Scripture: they are pawns in his hand – even & especially when they are going DIRECTLY against him (think Egypt in Exodus). it's equally true in the NT & now.

      Christians are called to be faithful citizens of their respective nations – but not to forget their primary citizenship is in a greater Kingdom (Php.3:20).

      May 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • fred

      ME II
      "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." Given that is to be our character do we roll over under a repressive master or rise up? Is defense of our ideology or the slander Christians put up with from hate filled groups cause to stand or roll over? In the execution of goodness the question is does a godless view benefit a civilization. The answer is no. The view that there is consequence for the actions or inactions of leaders that go beyond our lifetime changes things. The view that absolute goodness is better than relative morality is worth fighting for.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • ME II

      @Russ,
      "Philemon proves Paul was putting that thought into action."

      What thought? That slaves should be returned to their masters? Paul did not condemn slavery, just asked that one be freed because he was now Christian.

      "but again – WHO were the people in the Western world to fight to end slavery... and on what basis did they effectively fight AGAINST the prevailing social norms?"

      but again – who were the people in the western world to start the African slave trade ... and on what basis?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      "... your complaints arguing about slavery (1st form of employment as we know it today) means that you prefer these people died of starvation instead."

      You don't think that an omnipotent being could have found a better way? Like work or abundant food and shelter. You're an apologist.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Russ

      @ ME II: you're missing what happened there. Paul did not say "disavow the government & pretend you're free, Onesimus!" but he did send him back to Philemon telling Philemon to receive him AS A BROTHER. Again, I don't think you understand how radical this is. instead of simply advocating anarchy in the face of Roman society he's pushing for a revolution from WITHIN its own standards. it's part of why Christianity would take over within the next 250 years.

      secondly, slavery long pre-existed here. to claim that those advocating Jesus' teaching began the trade is simply historically inaccurate. however, did some appeal to biblical texts to justify wrongful oppression (BY BIBLICAL STANDARDS)? Yes! has the Bible been wrongfully used before? yes. even Satan quotes Scripture to Jesus in tempting him to do evil (Mt.4).

      May 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      So just to be perfectly clear, Topher and Russ would be 100% ok with the return of biblical slavery? Right?

      And topher, a bigot has always been defined as the same. Its not any different because you are now the biggot.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • ME II

      @Russ,
      "but he did send him back to Philemon telling Philemon to receive him AS A BROTHER"

      ... because he was now a Christian! Not because slavery is ethically wrong.

      I'm not certain how exactly the degree of radicalness factors into the discussion. I thought that Christianity taught that morality was absolute and as such slavery is either acceptable or not, regardless of times, the society, or the radicalness. Why did not Paul simply say "Philemon, it is wrong to own another human being, give Onesimus his freedom and recieve his as a brother"

      Likewise, why is the Bible so unclear on whether slavery is wrong or not. You claim using the Bible to support slavery is a misuse, but many in the past have (and probably many today still would) disagreed with you. Why is there no 11th commandment, 'Thou shalt not own thy neighbor'?

      Apparently, you can't covet what your neighbor has, but you can purchase them outright... provided you do it in a loving and Christian manner.

      Yes, slavery has existed long before recorded history, however, Christians often claim a distinction between slavery in the Bible and the more recent 'African slave trade'. I was just pointing out that even that was supposedly justified by the Bible.

      Doesn't it weaken both side's argument that both sides use the Bible as their support? Doesn't it weaken the Bible's authority as moral a guide, that it can be used successfully in such divergent ways? Is ambiguity a virtue?

      May 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred,
      "Is defense of our ideology or the slander Christians put up with from hate filled groups cause to stand or roll over?"

      Is there more good in defending your "ideology" or in "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,..."?

      "The view that absolute goodness is better than relative morality is worth fighting for."

      ... at the expense of goodness?

      May 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Jen

      Topher: The Bible allowed *MALE* slaves free at the end of six years. Women were lifetime property. And if the master gave his male slave a wife, who later provided children, the wife and children belonged to the master. The male slave could either go free and lose his family or stay to keep them, becoming a lifetime slave, as well.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • fintastic

      Topher wrote = "Which kind of slavery? The kind in the Bible? Or the race-based kind in U.S. history? There's a big difference."

      That's right folks because slavery in the bible is god approved!

      May 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Russ

      @ ME II:
      1) you're making a false dichotomy (between being against slavery & becoming a Christian). if you stop to take Paul in context, what good would it be to ensure a person is set free from human servitude only to be enslaved permanently and eternally? he doesn't see the two as separate. it's similar to when folks argue you should just give thirsty people a glass of water. if Jesus is (as he said) "living water," it would be a travesty not to give both. though to be clear, to only do one is a tragedy as well – and i think that is the thrust of your argument here. you think Paul is only arguing for the spiritual – or at least only for the Christian, right?

      2) radical literally means 'to the root.' and that's where we're missing each other. Paul's position is fundamentally contrary to his current social environment. where did that come from & why?

      you don't see it because you aren't hearing him in his own logic. you're looking for – not only a 21st century articulation – but also a secular one. first of all, he's expressing about as STRONG a statement as possible against his own culture (Gal.3:28). and secondly, he's NOT secular. he doesn't argue against having a master because he believes EVERYONE has a master. the question is not freedom from a master vs. not, but rather: who/what is your master? he says that bluntly in 1 Cor.6 ("you are not your own, you were bought at a price"). as often as possible, he refers to himself as a slave ("doulos") of Christ – and yet he calls himself a "free man, slave to none" (1 Cor.9:19).

      so, whatever you live for will enslave you (Jn.8:34) – whether you call that 'sin' or not. whatever that thing is (success, family, religion, money, etc.) will require that YOU die for it. there's only one Master that willingly dies for you. that's the message he's putting forward. is slavery wrong? to anything other than Christ – yes. As Jesus himself said: "no one can serve two masters. you will love one and hate the other." (Mt.6:24).

      3) for your argument to hold against the Bible's authority, you would think someone secular would have led in ending slavery. it was much the contrary. Wilberforce & MLK led the charge precisely *by appealing* to the Bible. they were social progressive WHILE BEING theological conservatives. it breaks our political categories – but it's exactly what Jesus was.

      Jesus clearly regarded the OT as God's Word, even appealing to the use of a singular word as fully authoritative and claiming not even a single dot would pass away. meanwhile, he pressed against that very culture in incredibly progressive ways. (David Chappell's book "Stone of Hope" draws this out in the case of MLK.)

      May 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  7. Michael Sawyer

    I am sure its soooooo terribly hard to be called a bigot. As someone whose been called f*g and fa**ot MANY a times, I can understand. But the silver lining for Christians is that unlike me who can't stop being gay, they can stop being bigots. And thus end the name calling.

    On behalf of my three friends who killed themselves because of the severe hate and rejection by the religious families and communities they were a part of... go to hell. No sympathy.

    May 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      They will only realize when one of their own comes out as being gay. Thats when they change their minds.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • lol??

      "..............go to hell. No sympathy......."

      What?? Are you a b i g o t??

      May 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  8. Reason Rules

    Christians are a "Hated Minority" in the United States. Yes, we can only dream of a day when Christians can OPENLY WORSHIP without fear of prosecution, when the government finally makes them EXEMPT OF ALL INCOME TAXES, and of the day when we will finally see an openly CHRISTIAN PRESIDENT....oh, wait. Anyone who claims Christians are a "hated minority" needs their head examined. Simply calling out someone's bigoted belief is not persecution. Stop harboring bigotry, and you will be surprised how much less you will be "hated".

    May 6, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • sirhuxley

      Perfect!

      May 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • ME II

      I think the article was talking about a subset of Christians:

      "closeted Christians who believe the Bible condemns hom[]ose[]xuality but will not say so publicly for fear of being labeled a hateful bigot."

      May 6, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • joldham

      you are a sich sub human being...

      May 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
  9. Middleway14

    I don't care what some book full of fabrications, myths, and insidious societal control mechanisms says. As others have pointed out, it says a lot of hateful things regarding women and other traditionally suppressed groups, as well. It says a lot of things which are irrational and arbitrary that we laugh at in today's world. The bible is simply a control mechanism for those who are too weak willed or to desparate to think on their own.

    Think about it for a second: the men who wrote the torah (i.e., old testament) and the new testatment were simply trying to manipulate and exploit others for their own benefit. They preemptively commanded followers to stop thinking on their own. This is most obviously illustrated in the book of genesis where knowledge is represented as being dangerous (i.e., tree of knowledge with its tempting but damning fruit) and a tool of evil (i.e., snake = devil). The ironic part is that the authors are the real evil ones here–the real snakes–with their premeditated malintent! This is not to say that all followers of the religion are up to no good. Most are unaware of the original malintent of the powerful men who were the authors and who are now the keepers and interpreters (even many of these keepers and interpreters on the lower rungs of the bureaucratic ladder are good but ignorant people). The original manipulative, dubious intents are now embedded within the hegemony of our society and propagated by unknowing followers. This is also not to say that along the way good people didn't inject their own brand of humane moral and ethical codes into the religion because they did. There are many good people who are Christians. But they are also ignorant to reality, and ignorance can make even good intentioned people dangerous to others.

    May 6, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • faith

      I don't care what some book full of fabrications, myths, and insidious societal control mechanisms says

      u don't?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Neal Dakota

      This comment is filled with remarks that are not supported in history, textual criticism nor intellectual honesty.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • faith

      u seem to care a great deal about this book

      I" don't care what some book full of fabrications, myths, and insidious societal control mechanisms says"

      u don't?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Think About It

      Wait, so who are these authors you're talking about? When did they die and how do you know what their intent was? Did you know them personally? What have you read about them? What are their names?

      You're right about one thing. Ignorance is dangerous. Even in something as simple as a paragraph.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Res_Ipsa

      Man, they were just so insidious on insisting that people should treat others like they themselves would like to be treated, that the poor should be helped and that greed was evil, that we should protect the powerless, heal others, etc. Those Old Testament prophets who attacked the rich and powerful for failing to protect the weak were also just horrible. Turning swords into plowshares?! What mind control! The meek shall inherit the Earth? Social control! Advocating defying the powers-that-be through peaceful yet effective tactics? Disgusting!

      May 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  10. faith

    the threat to sa ra pal in is particularly heinous

    May 6, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • faith

      and those god-haters who said nothing to the animal who threatened her. report all of them

      May 6, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • sam

      What the hell are you talking about?

      May 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
  11. John

    If only you people were a minority. Then we might get some real work done in congress.

    May 6, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • lamb of dog

      Get those guys that think the earth is only 6000 years old of the science committee.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • lol??

      Dog you think you can levy taxes older than 6k years??

      May 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  12. palintwit

    Historians now agree that the south lost the civil war because generations of inbreeding resulted in an abnormally high number of mentally challenged soldiers in the confederate army. Also, physical deformaties such as webbed feet prevented the confederates from running from the northern army, thus insuring their capture and defeat. One has only to take a casual drive south of the Mason-Dixon line to see the descendants of the confederate forces, easily recognizable by their lack of teeth and sloping foreheads.

    May 6, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • smitvict

      Let's see, 360,222 from the North and 258,000 from the South died. Seems like the morons from the north just kept piling it on until the south ran out of people.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • lamb of dog

      Or the south ran out of idiots.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • smitvict

      Idiots who were a much better shot then then thar yankees.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Yes. But still idiots. Anyone fighting to keep slavery alive is an idiot.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • lol??

      They were much better marksmen than the north.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • ccceditor

      The Russians lost 26 million against the Germans. Did the Russians lose the war? Numbers don't mean much, what matters in war is winning it. The South stood on bigoted footing then and the Christians stand on bigoted footing now. The war will end the same, bigots will lose.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Man, not having palin around anymore is making your brains leak out. Everyone knows that the South went downhill AFTER the war as the losers decided to ruin their lands so the "conquerors" couldn't use them, and deliberately didn't school their children so they would be useless as slaves.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Screamin

      You really are a sick puppy aren't you....No better than those you besmirch

      May 6, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  13. Matt

    It’s amazing reading the comments. No matter which side you are on, the comments reaffirm the authors stand point. Christians or religious groups are becoming the most hated.

    May 6, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • John Blake

      Hi, I am the author, John Blake, and I appreciate all the comments. I wouldn't say, though, that I agree with the viewpoint that Christians in the U.S. are a hated minority. I just wanted to point out that a lot of people feel that way.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • KZula

      People have always been angry at flagrant bigotry. Since when is pointing out intolerance and hatred as being a true face of evil become worse than actually being a hateful person?

      May 6, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • sirhuxley

      Move to switzerland.

      Comment-ers like you have nothing to express except your own false sense of superiority that arises from your gutless neutrality .

      May 6, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • smitvict

      John, it is also important to remember than there has been a significant shift towards acceptance of gay people and marriage equality in the Christian community. Anglicans to name one major denomination. Those of use who do not believe in restricting the rights of others do not like to be lumped in with those that do.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Al

      You are correct. We the people are no longer going to let a religion's predjudices effect others. It doesn't mean that you have to stop hating gays, blacks, etc, you just can't prevent their equal rights.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • JayDee

      Well, they've brought it on themselves. I hope one day in the United States we'll have an openly christian president who is straight and has kids and a nice family. I hope for the day that christians can walk around together in cities and towns and feel safe. I also hope that they can freely do as they wish in their homes without fear of losing their jobs. Give me an f-ing break.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • lol??

      Commie cool has resurgitated.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
  14. Topher

    Why is this a surprise? Christ SAID they would hate us.

    May 6, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      So did David Koresh. Thats a good line to throw out there when you're preaching something that ridiculous.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • lamb of dog

      I guess he must knew his followers were going to become a bunch of hateful people. What goes around comes around.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • ME II

      Nice logic?

      'If you disagree, it proves we are right.'

      May 6, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Jesus was a lich

      But its ok Christans, we wont burn you at the stake for disagreeing with us. Like you did to us when Christianity was at its height.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Science

      topher .........learn something maybe ?

      Free speech helps to educate the masses..............POLITICIANS TOO !.......

      Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

      The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

      The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

      Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

      The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !..................Creationists...........ID believers and christians !

      Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

      Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

      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

      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

      Education works for children

      Where do morals come from?.............the answer is not the bible read and find out !

      By Kelly Murray, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/12/where-do-morals-come-from/#comments

      Gravity is not up for debate ! ............E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas..........that do not lie or sin !!!...

      By the numbers .......easy to do !

      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 | Report abuse |

      Peace.......

      May 6, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • lol??

      Don't get blind sided by the hate from the churches, either. The wurld moved in.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  15. Erik

    Here is a better question - who cares what some 2000 year old book of history and fiction, written by men, edited by men, translated over and over again has to say about anything? Grow up already.

    May 6, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Erik, you're just another fool listening and abiding in man made lies (traditions of men), losing his soul versus Jesus' truth that will save his soul.

      Matthew 23:29-36
      Matthew 27:20-26
      T itus 1:10-16
      1 S amual 8:4-9
      A cts 9:10-23
      Revelation 2:8-11
      Revelation 3:7-13

      Amen.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • fintastic

      Heaven stench.... you constantly spew a bunch of mythological bull crap... no one takes you seriously, in fact we're all laughing at your ignorant stench...

      May 6, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      HS these quotes are equal to Little Red Riding Hood

      May 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  16. mike diamond

    marriage=one man and one woman.

    May 6, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • lamb of dog

      Not for long. Guess what. You are going to lose.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • sam

      Everybody can have it, or no one can have it. Make your choice.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • ME II

      Apparently not

      May 6, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Jesus was a lich

      Dont complain about hatred when your religion infringes upon the freedom of others.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • John Blake

      Hi Mike. It's interesting that people say the biblical tradition is "one man and one woman." Yet if you look in throughout the Bible, many of the greatest biblical heroes – Abraham, Jacob, David - had many wives. Go to the New Testament and Jesus apparently wasn't married and who knows if Paul was. In fact, Jesus' in a sense rejected his family when in one passage his family sends Jesus' siblings after him to take him home and Jesus says he has a new family - those who are in the Kingdom of God. So I hear people lift up the Bible as a tribute to the nuclear, one-man-one-woman marriage, but I actually think it's more complex than that.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • albiegf13

      Mariage + between one man and one armadillo....

      May 6, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      In the Bible, it's one man, four women, and two of the women are slaves. Remember? Do the decent thing and take some concubines.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Clown, The Egyptian Pharoah order all the male Jewish children be killed at birth. When the Jewish girl babies grew to the age of marriage, there were no Jewish males of their age to marry. Hence, in order to preserve their heritage the older Jewish husbands, took multiple wives.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  17. optikradio

    Of course it's okay to bash ideas, particularly bad ones. There's a huge difference between hating a person and hating an idea. Get over it.

    May 6, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  18. lamb of dog

    You being the best example of christian creepiness.

    May 6, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • HeavenSent

      lamb of dog, you're the perfect example of a liar that has no shame.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • The real Tom

      What's lamb lying about? Surely not about you, HS. You libel and slander everyone on here.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  19. THE LORD LIVEITH AND BLESSED BE THE ROCK

    Those that persecute the Children of the Lord shall in turn be punished in the lake of fire!
    So keep slinging those insults. Is it worth burning forever in h-e-l-l because you think trolling is funny?

    May 6, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • lamb of dog

      What i find funny is you threating me with an imaginary fire lake. Lakes are made of water dumby. And trying to scare me with you fairy tales is hillarious.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Jesus was a lich

      If I am going to hell then I will be in good company.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      I need to go get a towel because i think I wet myself because your lord and pet rock just scared the he ll out of me,.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Jesus was a lich

      Please someone find a cure for this disease.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Al

      Great... more fear factor.

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

      Why dont you seem as concerned about what the muslims are saying to you? That you will go to hell if you do not follow islam? Thats kind of weird.

      May 6, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • fred

      Ted, Lamb and lich
      I am really impressed with how fearless and full of mockery you are. The three of you completely fill the profile of those who are filled with evil based on your continued hateful and mocking comments. Everytime one opens the Bible we see truth and difference between those destined for unity with God and those destined for eternal separation from good. You see it, know it yet continue to mock.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • sam

      Watch out, everybody, fred's cornered the market on the definition of evil again.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Jesus was a lich

      Fred you are seriously deranged.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Fred.
      Jesus is dead. God is a fairy tale. Hell is a scare tactic to keep imbeciles in line.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Corey

      I'm a christian, and do I want people to follow the teachings of Christ, absolutely. If we were to all try to be like Jesus, the world would be a better place, in my opinion. Although, here is the issue with most Christians. The Bible, simply put, is a Christian rule book. If you are not a Christian, it really doesn't apply to you. Just like the NFL rule book doesn't apply to the MLB. Individuals are free to believe and do what they want. Free will is a cool thing. Iif you call yourself a Christian, there are a set of rules that you have to try to live by. Too many people focus on the rules instead of the teachings themselves, but for this argument, the rules are the focus.

      Most people could care less about my beliefs and I could care less about a mojority of others. But to slander Christians and the bible when you have no concern placed in it, makes you no better then the Christians that try to force their opinion onto you.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "The three of you completely fill the profile of those who are filled with evil based on your continued hateful and mocking comments."
      In fact. I'm one of the nicest people around. I don't mind knocking down stupid pinatas like you, but I'd never be mean to real people. Now, why don't you go down to the mall and shout at women in short skirts? You know you want to.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Unbelievers listen and abide in man made lies (traditions of men), which causes them to lose their soul versus Jesus' truth that will save their soul.

      Matthew 23:29-36
      Matthew 27:20-26
      T itus 1:10-16
      1 S amual 8:4-9
      A cts 9:10-23
      Revelation 2:8-11
      Revelation 3:7-13

      Amen.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • fintastic

      Wrong again heaven stench..... it's man made religion.

      May 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  20. Jesus was a lich

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVKfoo354AY

    For those bad parents who allow their children to use the net – contains profanity

    May 6, 2013 at 11:47 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.