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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. faith

    THIS POST SAYS IT ALL. WHATEVER THEY SPEW FOLLOWING IT IS WORTHLESS. THIS POST ACCUSES ATHEISTS OF BASING THEIR BELIEF SYSTEM ON ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. THEY CANNOT AND DO NOT RELY UPON ON ONE SINGLE FACT

    faith
    "Richard Cranium
    The truth is men created your bible and all of the characters in it...including god.
    Join us in reality."

    folks, they cannot answer the simple question, "how do u no?"

    their lives revolve around and depend upon this premise and they cannot defend it.

    they don't even try. they divert. they demand something from christians first. they try to b funny.

    in the end, they have nothing that demonstrates they r correct. ZERO

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

      What theory exactly are you looking for evidence of? The origins of life, the origins of the Universe, what?

      May 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Eric g

      ?
      Please explain your position.

      I really am curious as to where you are trying to go with this.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • ..

      Nazis were Christian.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "they demand something from christians first."

      Of course! Because the burden of proof is on the believer, the one making the claim of a god.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      "folks, they cannot answer the simple question, "how do u no?"
      .
      How can anybody take you seriously HeavenSent?

      May 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      faith: The reality is that we don't know for sure, nor do you. We simply see no evidence for your claims.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      Truth Prevails 🙂

      faith: The reality is that we don't know for sure, nor do you. We simply see no evidence for your claims.
      .......
      And this applies to Unicorns and Fairies

      May 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Ted: Most definitely. It also applies to Zeus, Thor, the Easter Bunny, the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, etc etc etc.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      What exactly is the question? "How do u no?" How do I "no?" Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and begin with a "nnnnn" sound, then open the mouth and make an "o." That is how I "no." Some shake their heads in a negatory fashion instead, but I prefer a vocal utterance.
      You are the stupidest person on the entire internet as far as I can tell.

      May 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • biggles

      Thanks girls!

      May 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      I still can't figure out what you are talking about. Are you trying to say science is not satisfactory as a religion because it doesn't explain "everything?" I totally agree; science is not a religion and makes no claims towards universal explanation. It's just a way of determining what's real and what's unsubstantiated belief. But you don't care; you aren't interested in reality.

      May 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
  2. Neal Dakota

    Hmm.

    http://goingtodamasc.us/why-the-marriage-debate-has-already-destroyed-us/

    May 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  3. Rainer Braendlein

    Christians are never the minority in the sense that they would exist at the very edge of society. In fact, the Christians are the core of the civilized world. There is a strong tendency of barbarization in the world. By nature people are inclined to make profit on cost of their neighbours, we are selfish by nature. This destructive power can only be stopped through the Spirit of God which dwells in the Christian Church. This Spirit causes a love which is stronger than the destructive power of man, and causes an unselfish love which is not only concerned for oneself but also for the neighbour. The love of Christ will never aspire after profit on the cost of the neighbour.

    Of course, the mega-selfish people in the world, our criminal leaders, feel disturbed by the Christian Church or the Spirit of God, and declare the Christians would be a "minority", a sect living at the very edge of society. Yet, one day it will become clear that these people had made a mistake, and they will manifest as the losers.

    May 6, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • ..

      The losers are the bigots. Religious bigot or not, a bigot is a bigot. Such as you continuously displaying your bigotry for the RCC. Loser.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      You are delusional.
      Are you saying greed doen't exist in the church? Please explain why some churches spend millions on Audio/Video equipment. There are magazines dedicated to selling churches this stuff.
      Also please explain all the Preachers like Joel Olsteen who preaches about wealth constantly. And what about all the super rich pastors driving fancy cars and wearing diamonds all over?

      May 6, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Rainer
      Please explain the longevity of Ja/panese culture despite the historical lack of Christianity.
      They are among the healthiest, happiest, most highly educated and most successfull societies in the world, all without Jesus.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Translation:
      If you are not a christian you are a barbarian. Because I am inherently greedy everyone else is. But god helps me control my greed.
      The leaders of the world are evil but the church is good.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      Majority of all crimes in the US are committed by Christians. Majority of prison inmates are Christian.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      dog, Jesus warns us throughout His writings (the Bible) to beware of false teachers that preach lies of men instead of His truth.

      Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

      Jeremiah 14:14

      also,

      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 2:30 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      So then to be safe organized religion is a bad idea. Why not just find god yourself?

      May 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Regretably today there are a lot of nominal Christian and a lot of sects, cults and false churches. It is true that many clery pervert the gospel, and live a more selfish life than ordinary people.

      It is high time for a new reformation of the Christian Church. The Church which is known as Christian Church must be really the church which acts according to Christ's intentions.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist, though your statistics are a lie, the real question is that prison is big business and who owns the prison ... and don't through the figure head under the bus for those that hide behind them.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Correction: throw should have been typed.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      HeavenSent

      Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist, though your statistics are a lie, the real question is that prison is big business and who owns the prison ... and don't through the figure head under the bus for those that hide behind them.
      .
      Okay you claim it a lie....prove it

      May 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Which God?

      HS is spooging for christ again. HS, jeebus is coming, you can get carnal then. You baable posts mean nothing to thosewho thinks it's all horseschit. Your 'truth is just that, yours, not some sky-fairy's word. Tinkerbell spoke better than your fairy.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      congrats heavensent, you continue to quote words written by mortals, not a god.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  4. Bootyfunk

    christians, a hated minority? now that's funny.

    christians crying because they're being held accountable for their prejudices. "but people criticizing bigots is in itself a form of bigotry!" terrible argument. "they're being mean to me because i'm preaching hatred." you can't keep hiding behind religion. you have the power to think for yourself - exercise it. just because the bible commands christians to hate g.ays doesn't mean you have to think that way. the bible is a terrible guide for good ethics. that book was written at a time when people thought the earth was flat. there are unicorns, dragons and satyrs in the bible, talking snakes and donkeys. it's not supposed to be taken seriously.

    if you're a h.omophobe, i don't care if it's because your holy rule book told you to be - it's wrong. wake up, get educated, join the human race.

    May 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  5. Every Black Dude Ever

    WHERE ARE THE WHITE WOMEN AT?!?!?!

    May 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    So you worship Jesus?

    Let's talk about Horus from 3000 BC (Jesus is a copy of Horus), or Attis from 1500 BC (Jesus is a copy of Attis), or Mithra from 1200BC (Jesus is a copy of Mithra), or Krishna from 900BC (Jesus is a copy of Krishna), or Dionysus from 500 BC (Jesus is a copy of Dionysus) .... or any of the DOZENS of other gods predating the bronze age book character Jesus who were born of a virgin on Dec 25, traveled as a teacher, had 12 disciples, performed miracles, was killed and lay dead for 3 days and was resurrected.

    You Christians are not even original! What a joke!

    May 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yep, dionysus, mitra, hercules, and others. the christian jesus myth was told before. christians plagiarized the fairy tale from other myths.

      there is no good evidence jesus existed at all.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!

      Don’t forget Apollonius who supposedly lived from 1 to 34 CE and performed miracles and had a lot of followers.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  7. faith

    god hating nazis want you to buy their unsubstantiated claims that god don't exist. they no this is true but they cannot explain why. but, they base their lies and bitter hatred for christians based entirely on nothing. they do not have one shred of evidence to support this absurdity

    they repeat their mantra 50 to 60 times a day

    May 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • KZula

      Hey dipstick. If you could prove God existed, it wouldn't be called FAITH. It'd be called science. OOOOH SNAAAAP!

      May 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • sam

      Trollolololololol...

      May 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      religious babble

      May 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      There is a book about an amazing person named Harry Potter. It tells of all the miracles he performs. There are wise men and disciples that travel with him and reference to life after death in a heaven type place. There is evil and fighting and temptation. The book is about the same thickness as the bible, and it is written by someone with a far better knowledge of the world than bronze age goat herders living in the desert.

      By your logic, because science can't PROVE that Harry does not exist, he must exist and we should worship him ...?

      May 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Keepin' it REAL

      bad troll is bad yo

      May 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm |

    • Poor silly faith just needs a head-crushin'
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwlAvsPvPfg

      May 6, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • ..

      Prove atheists are god-hating nazis. It is you making THAT claim, dip wad.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  8. Sunny

    Whew! I can tell I'm on the liberal CNN site...unbelievable at the hatred eminating from the "so-called" tolerant liberal/progressives. Just WOW! 😉
    Generally, the "religious" offences are directed at Jesus or YHWH....wonder why that might be?.....rarely, if ever, does one see attacks toward budda, the hira krishna, allah, or gosh-forbid mohammed.....THAT if NOTHING else PROVES the offensiveness of Jesus....and the Perfect IS offensive to the profane. Hence, the profane will ALWAYS attack the TRUTH.
    Praying for everyone who has "attacked" with virulence....praying you will allow God to open your eyes to the truth.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      The truth is men created your bible and all of the characters in it...including god.

      Join us in reality.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • faith

      "Richard Cranium
      The truth is men created your bible and all of the characters in it...including god."

      how do u no?

      May 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      How many buddhists do you see trying to deny other people rights. And you wonder why people hate you. LOL

      May 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      no
      That's how I no.
      Were you really asking how do I know?
      Use english.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Eric g

      Could it be that you don't find cirticism of islam offensive? Is that why you don't notice it?

      I do not mock your god. I mock your belief in something you have not proven is real.

      I don't mock unicorns, because they don't exist either.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Oh I didnt realize that my eyes were closed. Hold on. Ok I opened them up. Oh wow I still dont see jesus or god anywhere.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      faith. You're the ones claiming that it is – where's your evidence? There has been plenty of research into the bible and all the evidence points to plagiarism of prior religion and myth, and selection and omission of gospels and texts, and modification to suit the purposes of the current leaders.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • sam

      A passive aggressive post whining about liberals and containing a smiley face? How refreshing.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yeah? check out the comments by the religious here. just as much hate and anger, so get off your high horse. also, see any comments from self-identified buddhists? taoists? pract.itioners of jainism or shinto? no, you don't. most of the comments here are from americans. the majority of americans are christian, which means the majority of religious ignorance atheists/agnostics have to deal with is from christians, not buddhists. do the math and stop playing the victim.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • ME II

      @Sunny,

      But aren't you attacking the "liberals" here?

      May 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Charles

      Sunny
      If you saw a bunch of guys dressed as Nazis parading effigies of burned Jews down your street while shouting how they deserved what they got from the Holocaust, would you get at least a little upset? I've personally seen parades of "Christians" so something just as graphic, and just as hateful, against gays. That's why we're upset.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Doesn't take a brain surgon...

      "?.....rarely, if ever, does one see attacks toward budda, the hira krishna, allah, or gosh-forbid mohammed.....THAT if NOTHING else PROVES the offensiveness of Jesus....and the Perfect IS offensive to the profane."

      First, Buddha simply means "enlightened one" and in no way is considered a God or worshiped as one. Second, all the other religions mentioned are just as fake as Christianity, Muhammad and his Islam is not exception.

      Third, the only thing many of us find offensive is that Christians claim their religion is "Perfect" and all the rest of us are doing is holding a mirror up showing how wrong the Christians making that claim are.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • faith

      "Richard Cranium
      The truth is men created your bible and all of the characters in it...including god.
      Join us in reality."

      folks, they cannot answer the simple question, "how do u no?"

      their lives revolve around and depend upon this premise and they cannot defend it.

      they don't even try. they divert. they demand something from christians first. they try to b funny.

      in the end, they have nothing that demonstrates they r correct. ZERO

      May 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • derp

      "Hence, the profane will ALWAYS attack the TRUTH"

      Says the guy whose fairy tale gave us the Salem witch trials and the Spanish Inquisition.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "rarely, if ever, does one see attacks toward budda, the hira krishna, allah, or gosh-forbid mohammed....."

      Yeah, but we don't have Buddhists passing laws to make us all pretend to adore Buddha. Hare Krsnas aren't a presence in congress. There's maybe two Muslim congressmen? And Mohammed is dead and doesn't influence elections in this country. We have to defend ourselves against constant sniping from you god-botherers trying to outlaw tv or close everything on Sunday. When there's two attempts per week to pass Sharia laws, we'll be just as against that as we are against your attempts to rule over us.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      faith
      Lying again
      I did answer your question. You just didn't appreciate the answer. Try asking the question properly.
      Perhaps if you use english, we could understand.
      no does not equal know.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Sunny
      You'll find more arguments against Christians here becuase Christianity is the dominany religion in the United States.
      The brand of Christianity highlighted in this story is of particular concern to secularists becuase Focus on the Family / The Family Research Council are powerful political lobbies with the stated intention of establishing the US as a Christian theocracy.

      Buddhists don't try to legislate their philosophy into law.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      faith

      "Richard Cranium
      The truth is men created your bible and all of the characters in it...including god.
      Join us in reality."

      folks, they cannot answer the simple question, "how do u no?"

      their lives revolve around and depend upon this premise and they cannot defend it.

      they don't even try. they divert. they demand something from christians first. they try to b funny.

      in the end, they have nothing that demonstrates they r correct. ZERO
      .
      Just so we are clear...are you denying that men wrote the bible? This is a yes or no answer

      May 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      faith "how do u no?"
      .
      wow 😮

      May 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Sunny

      “sam
      A passive aggressive post whining about liberals and containing a smiley face? How refreshing.”

      *Actually, it’s a winky-face. ;D And I could have been like this loverly person and his AMAZING tolerance….smh http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n98V4XuFLrk

      “Richard Cranium
      The truth is men created your bible and all of the characters in it...including god.
      Join us in reality.”

      *Whose “reality”? Yours? No, thank you. Unless “Cranium” is your real name, I know what you think of yourself.

      “Eric g
      Could it be that you don't find cirticism of islam offensive? Is that why you don't notice it?
      I do not mock your god. I mock your belief in something you have not proven is real.
      I don't mock unicorns, because they don't exist either.”

      *But don’t you see, by even acknowledging my post, you have proven my point to be true?

      “Bootyfunk
      yeah? check out the comments by the religious here. just as much hate and anger, so get off your high horse.”

      *Really? The only virulent name-calling I’ve seen are from ppl who are attacking Christians. LOL here are a few…”Hey dipstick, Trollolololololol, religious babble, written by someone with a far better knowledge of the world than bronze age goat herders living in the desert, what a moron, hate speech, Christianity is by definition bigotry, you are more likely parroting some nonsensical drivel your pastor spewed forth, supersti tious nonsense, staggeringly arrogant of you, absurd, Your god is a monster. And an idiot, You have some issues, jerk, hater……THIS is the only name-calling I saw, and every single one came from the liberal/progressives. :/

      “ME II
      @Sunny,
      But aren't you attacking the "liberals" here?”

      *Actually, I was only pointing out what all are proving by the name-calling….I didn’t do that, I only pointed out that THEY are doing it. That’s not an attack…..that’s just what’s obvious….here are a few…”Hey dipstick, Trollolololololol, religious babble, written by someone with a far better knowledge of the world than bronze age goat herders living in the desert, what a moron, hate speech, Christianity is by definition bigotry, you are more likely parroting some nonsensical drivel your pastor spewed forth, supersti tious nonsense, staggeringly arrogant of you, absurd, Your god is a monster. And an idiot, You have some issues, jerk, hater……THIS is the only name-calling I saw, and every single one came from the liberal/progressives. :/

      “Charles
      Sunny
      If you saw a bunch of guys dressed as Nazis parading effigies of burned Jews down your street while shouting how they deserved what they got from the Holocaust, would you get at least a little upset? I've personally seen parades of "Christians" so something just as graphic, and just as hateful, against gays. That's why we're upset.”

      *I do not agree with that AT ALL…and I WOULD say something(and DO)…...and I’m leery of ones who call themselves Christians and do such as that. You should be too. Any study on the life of Jesus would lead you to immediately discount ppl like that who claim Christian. And to be frank, it is much rarer to see that than this…. http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/pro-abort-lesbians-attack-catholic-archbishop/

      “Doesn't take a brain surgon...
      "?.....rarely, if ever, does one see attacks toward budda, the hira krishna, allah, or gosh-forbid mohammed.....THAT if NOTHING else PROVES the offensiveness of Jesus....and the Perfect IS offensive to the profane." First, Buddha simply means "enlightened one" and in no way is considered a God or worshiped as one. Second, all the other religions mentioned are just as fake as Christianity, Muhammad and his Islam is not exception.”

      *I knew that about Buddha, and actually, as that “religion” touts self-actualization, much like the new age movement, it is not a religion as such…more a journey to “find yourself”…...however, I was making a point that the “heads” of “religions” are not attacked except for Jesus. Sorry if I confused you.

      “Bible Clown©
      "rarely, if ever, does one see attacks toward budda, the hira krishna, allah, or gosh-forbid mohammed....."Yeah, but we don't have Buddhists passing laws to make us all pretend to adore Buddha. Hare Krsnas aren't a presence in congress. There's maybe two Muslim congressmen? And Mohammed is dead and doesn't influence elections in this country. We have to defend ourselves against constant sniping from you god-botherers trying to outlaw tv or close everything on Sunday. When there's two attempts per week to pass Sharia laws, we'll be just as against that as we are against your attempts to rule over us.”

      *Huh???? There ARE attempts, REGULARLY, to pass Sharia Laws here….smh….as a matter of fact, there have ALREADY been 50+ Sharia cases tried HERE IN THE USA…..smh, smh

      “@Sunny
      You'll find more arguments against Christians here becuase Christianity is the dominany religion in the United States. The brand of Christianity highlighted in this story is of particular concern to secularists becuase Focus on the Family / The Family Research Council are powerful political lobbies with the stated intention of establishing the US as a Christian theocracy. Buddhists don't try to legislate their philosophy into law.”

      *Maybe Buddhists don’t, but atheists do……and as far as that goes….for the ones saying that I need to prove God exists, can YOU prove he DOESN’T? Atheism is also a religion….a religion of self. I don’t like that pushed on me. 

      May 6, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  9. faith

    "William Demuth
    Finally some progress
    Christianity is by definition bigotry.
    It creates a "preferred" status with a non existent deity."

    one of my favorite nazi, god-hating fascists.

    hey willie

    how u b?

    how do u no god don't exist?

    u don't

    ur premise is invalid

    sorry

    May 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      probably the same why by which you know other peoples gods dont exist. LOL, what a moron.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • ..

      You
      Have
      Never
      Offered
      One
      Bit
      Of
      Evidence
      As
      To
      The
      Existence
      Of
      God.
      You
      Never
      Will
      Because
      You
      Have
      None.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "one of my favorite nazi, god-hating fascists." You are such a great advertisement for Christianity. Who wouldn't want to be just like you? God's love bursts out of your heart like some kind of vicious alien parasite.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • fintastic

      Why are the majority of christians who post here illiterate?

      May 6, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  10. Bible Clown©

    But is there a Christian anywhere willing to stand up and say he loves his fellow man, gay and straight alike, without adding that he looks forward to seeing those who aren't straight being tortured by fire? Because my idea of heaven doesn't include knowing my friends are being tortured while I'm safe on a cloud.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      In fairness, BC, there are many people who call themselves Christian who do not believe in a literal hell, and who are themselves gay or who have gay friends. There are ministers in Protestant congregations who are openly gay. The real problem is the fundamentalists – those hardline literalists.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Bishop James Pike was defrocked for saying he'd dig down to hell and rescue the damned rather than enjoy heaven. He said it would be his plain Christian duty, dead or alive, to save souls.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  11. Pixie Spawn

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt1SqoJPsa8&feature=player_embedded

    May 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  12. Keepin' it REAL

    Can't we all just agree to hate the Irish?

    May 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Eric g

      ......And the Yankees.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Two Irishmen walk out of a bar .........

      No, really.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      God is good to the Irish, but no one else is; not even the Irish

      Adolf Hitler

      May 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  13. Screamin

    I see bigoted remarks coming from both sides of the issue....Sorry state of affairs, neither side can claim to be morally superior...

    May 6, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      but I have an old book written by goat herders that gives me the right to treat you like crap.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Eric g

      That is kind of the point. Only one side is claiming moral superiority.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Oh, I can CLAIM to be morally superior all day long. I could even grab a dictionary and say my Book makes me your superior. I just can't back it up in the real world.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • My Sky Daddy is bigger than your's!!

      Because he's uncircvmcised...

      May 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • faith

      who cares?

      May 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Charles

      There does come a point where this stops being a matter of personal opinion, and the majority of Americans now appear ready to call those who sneer at gays bigots. Would it be bigoted now to call racism wrong, or male chauvinism? How about calling kids with Downs "retarded", or kids with disabilities "gimps"? Are we bigots for calling out people who still say things like that? All were perfectly acceptable by the majority not too long ago, and that was when even a bigger percentage of us were Christians. Christians seem to forget that they can, and have been wrong before.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  14. Eric g

    Until the believers can provide verifiable evidence that their god exists, their position on this topic is hate speech.

    Please provide verifiable evidence that your god exists........ let's start there.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Isnt it blatently obvious that the beauty in this world was created by MY god....and not the god of the thousands of other religions?

      May 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  15. {*}

    A secular St. Paul might have said, "In the end there are only three things: faith, hope, and tolerance. And the greatest of these is tolerance." The secular brainwash consists in this: first, convince the masses that tolerance is the highest virtue. Next, instruct the masses on what is required to be tolerant (now you can sell them anything). Then, tell the masses to congratulate themselves on what loving freethinkers they are. (thinking isn't "free", it takes discipline; the more one tolerates the less he has to think.) Finally, paint any disenter as a hater.

    "A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it." – Chesterton

    May 6, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • I AM A MAGICAL UNICORN

      Ah.... "in the end." Not like that's been preached for thousands of years. "THE SKY IS FALLING! PRAY!!"

      You can try stating something valid next time to appear credible.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Yes, tolerance is a terrible thing, whereas intolerance is to be celebrated.

      Right.

      Well, on the bright side, at least I've learned to tolerate the opinions of the intolerant, such as yourself.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Derby

      “To see evil and call it good, mocks God. Worse, it makes goodness meaningless. A word without meaning is an abomination, for when the word passes beyond understanding the very thing the word stands for passes out of the world and cannot be recalled.”
      ― Stephen R. Lawhead

      May 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • ..

      To call something natural EVIL is evil, fool. Because what gay people feel is as natural to them as what heteros feel to THEM...to call people evil because a book tells them to do so is the height of idiocy.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Christian Plantation Owner circa 1810

      "A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it." – Chesterton

      Amen! All them Northerners keep saying I can't keep slaves and saying how public opinion is changing towards owning humans, but they can all just go with the flow if they like, i'll be staying alive swimming against the current for as long as my racist arms will carry me...

      May 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      So that's your view of St. Paul? Wow. I guess he did a great job of fooling people into becoming Christians? I always thought he was a sincere convert if anyone was.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  16. Joseph

    Every flavor of religion has its zealots - for some reason many Christians think they are exempt. Not so, In my perception, it is not all Christians who are disliked (or even 'hated'), just the zealots. Zealots who are so wrapped up in taking what they THINK the Bible says ultra-literally, that they don't even realize how non Christ-like they are being. I dislike Muslim zealots (specifically those who resort to violence), but certainly not all Muslims. I dislike Catholic zealots who murder abortion doctors - I certainly do not dislike all Catholics. And yes, I dislike Christian zealots who want to force their beliefs on a country based on separation of church and state and the extension of basic human rights to all, regardless of whether they are make or female, Caucasian or not, straight or gay.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Proprietary augmented insinuations revitalize species' animosities of generalized distinctiveness making for the p r a c t I t I o n e r s of zealotries to eviscerate the inescapable constructs of sociological jealousies.

      May 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  17. Alias

    The good news is that the chatholics are becomming a hatefull minority.
    The sooner this happens, the better.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  18. Michael

    Considering the fact that non believers have been persecuted for 600+ years, I think it's time the persecutors get a taste of their own medicine. People are starting to wake up and realize their lives shouldn't be dictated by what some 2000 yr old book says and those that still believe that and try to enforce it on others can expect backlash now. It's only fair.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Jesus was a lich

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=ktvTqknDobU&feature=endscreen

      May 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  19. William Demuth

    Finally some progress

    Christianity is by definition bigotry.

    It creates a "preferred" status with a non existent deity.

    This status is then used to force feed others a moral code that is several thousand years obsolete.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  20. Ken langham

    Well I agree that there should be civil discussion and not argumentation God is right and that settles it. I also share in the feeling of offense. When in church and I see the American flag in God's house I'm offended and reminded. That our heavenly father is not happy with this country for all the immoralities that have developed. The American flag is one of many not worthy to be in the house of god. Bring your sins , repent and be humble. God's blessings for this country are not long. Not with the mentality we persist in.

    May 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      There is no god, and even if there were, how would you know whether or not he's happy with this country? He told you this personally? Made you his spokesperson, did he?

      No, you are more likely parroting some nonsensical drivel your pastor spewed forth.

      Invalid.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Ken: how do you know this? : "God is right and that settles it. I also share in the feeling of offense. When in church and I see the American flag in God's house I'm offended and reminded. That our heavenly father is not happy with this country for all the immoralities that have developed. The American flag is one of many not worthy to be in the house of god."

      May 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • snowboarder

      supersti tious nonsense.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Rupert

      Your heavenly father is only a figment of your imagination, so don't worry about it.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Hey, ken – exactly which god are you referring to? Vishnu? Ra? Zeus? Thor?

      And you're claiming that you, Ken, you actually KKNOW what the creator of the universe is thinking??? You know this?? Wow – staggeringly arrogant of you.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "hat our heavenly father is not happy with this country for all the immoralities that have developed. " You know this how? From the Bible prophecies of Glenn Beck? I guarantee God never told you in person that He was dissatisfied. In fact, there's not a word about America in the Bible. It's as if God didn't know there would ever be such a place.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Good. We dont need god anymore.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Luke 11:14-23

      "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.

      Amen.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Eric g

      "A flute with no holes, is not a flute. And a donut with no hole, is a danish."
      -Webb

      May 6, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Heavensent: How tolerant! if you're not with me, you're against me. More typical bullying.

      Doesn't it get tiring following a book of fables where the main character – god – is a paranoid, murderous, genocidal psychopath who sanctions child abuse, r-ape, and slavery, and also wants to micromanage the fiber mix of clothing but is so stupid he doesn't know that bats AREN'T birds and rabbits DON'T chew their cud. Your god is a monster. And an idiot.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • sam

      Wow. You have some issues, Ken.

      May 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • fintastic

      "There are all kinds of stupid people that annoy me but what annoys me most is a lazy argument."

      Christopher Hitchens

      May 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.