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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. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    “I see two problems with heaven and hell. First, heaven supposedly will be full of christians so that'll suck. Second, hell will definitely be filled to the brim with "good" christians which will without a doubt also suck. So kind of a lose-lose scenario either way.” – LET

    May 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

      Matthew 7:13

      Amen.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @HS -LET's Religiosity Law #8 – If you habitually and incessantly say things like, “have a blessed day,” or “god bless,” or “prayer changes things,” or “amen,” without regard to the recipients’ beliefs or disbeliefs then be advised all I hear is “Heil Hitler!”

      May 7, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      “The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to infinity.”

      May 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
  2. HeavenSent

    Hurry Tom, I typed separate incorrectly.

    May 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  3. HeavenSent

    At least you are seperating the H and the S. You're still obsessed.

    May 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  4. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    “There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.” ― Yamamoto Tsunetomo

    May 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • laststonecarver

      – perception of the environment –

      May 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  5. lol??

    Jesus didn't give Lazarus a choice. He'd have to go through the dyin' all over again.

    May 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  6. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    “When in a fight to the death, one wants to employ all one's weapons to the utmost. I must say that to die with one's sword still sheathed is most regrettable.” ― Miyamoto Musashi

    May 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  7. Bible Clown©

    "And he had made a trumpet of his rump." – Dante, Inferno: Canto XXI, 39

    May 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  8. HeavenSent

    I am also a Lesbian

    Amen

    May 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  9. HeavenSent

    I am dancing and hearing God's voice.

    Amen

    May 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Science

      Well HS where did your comment go ?................that was above ? url funny science page 88

      Is this IT !

      HeavenSent

      Obsessed much (LOL)?

      May 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |

      May 7, 2013 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |

      May 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Science will burn burn baby.

      Amen

      May 7, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • sam stone

      Go meet him. Amen

      May 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I can understand CHristians who think atheists and others will god to hell. I can't understand the ones like HS that find joy in the concept.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Too funny. Not only is the phony heavensent obsessed. His/her fake handles are, as well. LOL.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Cheesy, you are lying in that post. I never said any such thing. As a matter of fact, Christians pray for those that are lost (blinded by satan's lies) to be found by seeking Jesus' truth.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      It is pleasing when evil suffers. Warning lazy minds you will burn. Read His love letter to us.

      Amen

      May 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I know HS,

      Jesus loves us so much he created hell just in case we don't love him back...

      May 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Nothing like a little Christian apocalyptic schadenfreude to make the day complete.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Cheesy, He gave us freewill. You're the one that refuses to use it wisely. You send yourself to hell. Jesus obliges everyone of their wishes.

      May 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Science

      HEY HS I will say I am burning today...............the old acorns that fell off the old oak tree by Gramdma's house.................

      where the old fruitcake is still stuck in the tree..............from when i was a little boy.

      May 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • sam stone

      "He gave us freewill."

      Freewill is inconsistent with an omniscient god

      "Jesus obliges everyone of their wishes."

      Really? If I wish that you wander in front of a speeding bus tonight, will that mean we won't read your drivel any more?

      May 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Excuse me, ahem. cough. I meant burn baby burn.

      May 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • derp

      "Excuse me, ahem. cough"

      Wait a second, let me take my d i c k out of your mouth.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Science

      Hey HS looks like you and Chad doing the devils work ?.............if it where true ok !

      Wow ..................Chad .............you love that devil's cult aye ?

      Chad
      Love the Catholic Church they're so generous to the world

      February 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/12/why-next-pope-must-open-up-church-and-usher-in-vatican-iii/#comments

      May 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |

      May 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |

      May 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Science

      But chad's fav is chapter 6 HS from page 88

      May 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Science

      Now HS add Rachael/Chad and you can have a BIG BANG together !

      May 7, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      ““The internal dialogue is what grounds people in the daily world. The world is such and such or so and so, only because we talk to ourselves about its being such and such and so and so. The passageway into the world of shamans opens up after the warrior has learned to shut off his internal dialogue.””

      May 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  10. lol??

    "Jhn 11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth."

    May 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  11. Science

    HS = not a sweet heart !

    May 7, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  12. DavidTX

    dis·be·lief / disbəˈlēf/Noun 1.Inability or refusal to accept that something is true or real.

    be·lief /biˈlēf/Noun 1.An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.

    Atheists share disbelief in a God or Gods.

    Theists share belief in a God or Gods.

    Notice atheists do not share a belief, they share a disbelief and as pointed out by their definitions are two totally different words. Atheists do not "believe" there are no God's, they disbelieve those claiming Gods exist. If you are unable to see the difference then you might want to head back to your local community college and brush up on your reading comprehension.

    May 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Atheist buckle under (LAZY) and accept the lies of satan, Not only do they not question satan's lies, they don't believe there is a satan. Christians fight against satan's warfare of lies and deceptions with Jesus' truth and promises.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • I AM A MAGICAL UNICORN

      So what you're saying is, they fight against an imaginary being using words from a book that cavemen wrote?

      May 7, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Gandalf

      Satan is just as imaginary as your God. It's like telling someone who just said they don't believe in Goblins and elves that Sauron is going to get them for not believing. Watch out kiddies! With that ring of invisibility Sauron could be anywhere! Saurons greatest feat was convincing the men and dwarves he didn't even exist...which was pretty easy when you are invisible...!

      May 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • fintastic

      Atheist = "a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings."

      May 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "Atheists share disbelief in a God or Gods." Son, do you "disbelieve" in magical unicorns? Do you get up every morning, stare in the mirror, and say to yourself "There ARE no magical unicorns?" Do you, in fact, have a little sign on your desk at the Burger Whopper that says I DON'T BELIEVE IN UNICORNS?
      Or do you just know they aren't real and they never cross your mind in any serious way unless you are shopping for a little girl? Do you still think I am talking uni-frickin-corns here? You know less about atheists than you do about Coptic Christians; just admit it and hush.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • DavidTX

      " Do you get up every morning, stare in the mirror, and say to yourself "There ARE no magical unicorns?"

      No. I also do not get up in the morning, stare in the mirror and say "There ARE no Gods!" I don't think about it until some moron claims there is one then I ask for proof and they give the same old tired answers of either "Evidence is all around you! See how complex things are? That must mean we were designed!" without taking that to it's logical conclusion of a need for an ever increasing more complex prime mover to exist to explain the last complex thing you had no answer for, or the other common answer of "You cannot test God and he doesn't have to prove himself to anyone". I disbelieve in all God's I have been presented with, none have any evidence so if you can easily dismiss one like Allah or Odin, then you can easily dismiss them all.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

      Matthew 15:14

      Amen.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • I AM A MAGICAL UNICORN

      We can help you get out of that ditch, heavensent.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I like my beer cold...my TV loud...and my ho mo $exuals flaming.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
  13. Vic

    I always wonder, if Evolution were true, why hasn't man evolved to a more powerful form, or keep what was powerful for that matter, including size/stature, flight/wings, fur for winter, amphibia, ..etc., based on Natural Selection!

    May 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Vic, You don't need to wonder – evolution is true. If you had paid attention in school you'd know the answers, for example that we lost body hair (compared to our ape relatives) as it gave an advantage hunting on the savannah.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "I always wonder, if Evolution were true, why hasn't man evolved to a more powerful form".......said the animal sitting at the top of the food chain. Just when I think you cant trump the stupidity floating around on this board, another christian comes along.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Vic

      "I always wonder, if Evolution were true, why hasn't man evolved to a more powerful form, or keep what was powerful for that matter, including size/stature, flight/wings, fur for winter, amphibia, ..etc., based on Natural Selection?!"

      Why did we loose fur if we need it, and why can't we fly yet since it is one of our most desires?!

      May 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And before your very eyes, and even though you may not like it, mankind is evolving, at least in most developed countries, by shedding religion, a trait that might have provided some use previously but is no longer required.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      "I always wonder, if god were true, why didn't it create man in a more powerful form, including size/stature, flight/wings, fur for winter, amphibia, ..etc.,!"

      May 7, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      LOL!!

      Genetic reproduction and environmental conditions drive evolution, not desire, for wings or any other thing. Ha!!!

      May 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "Why did we loose fur if we need it"

      Why do you think you need fur? Do you not live in a temperature controlled home? Flying would be cool, but we dont need it. How about instead of asking ridiculous questions that make you look like a moron, you actually go down to the kibrary and check out a book on evolution. You can ask the book all the dumb questions you want, it has the answers printed right inside! Its evidnet you've never read even the most basic literature on evolution, so why would you be supprised you dont understand it?

      May 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • ME II

      @Vic,
      "Why did we loose fur if we need it, and why can't we fly yet since it is one of our most desires?!"

      Obviously, we don't 'need' fur since we exist without it. We lost most of our fur because in the past less fur on some individuals was beneficial to their survival, possibly because it allowed for more efficient cooling on the hot plains.
      As for flying, evolution is not goal oriented, i.e. our desires to dictate how we evolve. Additionally, wings on a human would be useless; we are too dense and weigh too much.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • ME II

      "our desires to dictate how we evolve."

      "our desires do not dictate how we evolve."

      May 7, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Vic

      I am always guilty of being very entertained by the hilarious and witty exchanges on message boards/blogs!

      In the meantime, I am expecting educated answers/dialogues!

      May 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      A better question, Vic, is why do we have genes for gills that god has to turn "off" so they don't grow on our necks? What a stupid god.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      You have received some excellent replies, Vic, and it is heartening that you find them entertaining to boot. Keep learning!! You'll get there! 🙂

      May 7, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Livilla

      Someone was throwing spitballs during biology class...

      May 7, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • lol??

      Who sayz people lost fur?? The tattoo entrepreneurs??

      May 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Their best and brightest slipped on banana peels that were on the branches they were swinging from and crashed and boomed to the ground. Look what they have left. LOL

      May 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Vic, Why stop your education at gills – look up laryngeal nerve for another example of poor "design"

      May 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And as others much smarter, more articulate and funnier than me have said, would an intelligent designer build a playground near a waste treatment plant?

      May 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Vic we can fly. We can travel underwater. We can even go to outerspace. So there is no need to grow wings because we dont need them.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • DavidTX

      " including size/stature"

      "For most people, contemporary buildings do not prompt similar claustrophobic concerns. The reason for this difference, as many people have correctly guessed, is that modern humans are taller than those from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In fact, over the last 150 years the average height of people in industrialized nations has increased approximately 10 centimeters (about four inches)." – scientificamerican

      May 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "I always wonder, if Evolution were true, why hasn't man evolved to a more powerful form," The minute our remote ancestor first used a crude club as a tool to defeat a large predator, evolution recoiled in horror. When he made a crutch to help his lame leg, evolution shrieked with fear. And when he began toasting his meat over a fire and cutting it up with a seashell because his teeth were falling out, evolution backed away, then trned and ran. Evolution doesn't work on us anymore, and it cannot touch our dogs and cattle and horses, or our plants. It's killing our bees somehow, but we are just as we've been since we upgraded from Cro-Magnon to H. Sap.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Paul

      ReligionisBS, remember there are no stupid questions, only stupid people.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • DavidTX

      " Evolution doesn't work on us anymore"

      We have increased in height on average 4 inches over the last 150 years, but because we havn't grown any extra limbs in the last 75,000 years of human history you are ready to claim evolution doesn't work on us anymore? Can you get more daft?

      May 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Bible Clown
      Actually, it turns out that WE are killing the bees with neo-nicotinic pesticides used in modern, chemical farming.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • ME II

      @DavidTX,
      I don't think increased height is necessarily evolution, but more likely a result of better nutrition. Lactose tolerance in adulthood and fewer people with wisdom teeth, however may be evolutionary.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • DavidTX

      "more likely a result of better nutrition." It's true that nutrition plays an integral part of any species continuation and in what form and with the new information about epigenetics having a larger role to play in human development we can see how phyisical changes can happen far more rapidly that first believed when there is a combination of several factors such as natural selection, nutrition, climate, isolated catastrophies or larger global cause and effect on humans.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • ME II

      @DavidTX,
      It is not always clear what factors are in play. Fair enough.

      May 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • derp

      "and why can't we fly yet since it is one of our most desires?!"

      Never been on a plane?

      Morons like you do more to make christian look like idiots than any atheist ever could.

      May 7, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  14. Lamb of Dog

    Is it any use responding to LOL? This is no fun today to many atheists.

    May 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • lol??

      Time to up the excitement by breaking out the nooses.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • LOL means...

      Lucifer our lord

      May 7, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Blind, lead by the blind.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • lol??

      Hey Heaven Stench, does jeebus have a big johnson?

      May 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "Blind, lead by the blind." That lead is heavy stuff for blind people to carry. Stop eating paint chips because they are full of lead. Can you see where I am going to lead you? Have I led you far enough? Use the space below to respond. Please print legibly.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • derp

      "Hey Heaven Stench, does jeebus have a big johnson?"

      Jeebus has no johnson. A zombies johnson falls off immediately when they become resurrected.

      May 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  15. lol??

    Atheism is a johnny come lately, dressed up, polished up, deluded version of ol' fashioned vanity, brought to you by Adam in the garden.

    May 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Atheism existed first, then some early human started atributing things to "gods' that he could not understand.

      Atheism is the default...religion must be learned.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Science

      Give it up lol?? the sign in the picture above is wrong !

      May 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • lol??

      RC, did you learn that in the same inst*itutions that taught Jim Jones?? There's some mighty guilt by as*sociation and mob think.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Atheists don't trust Jesus or believe that He walked among us, then died for all our sins. Furthermore, atheists don't ever learn Jesus' promises He made to all of us. What a shame.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Roger that

      I thought it was the woman's fault, hence the pain of a 105mm round being shot through a rifle barrel.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • DavidTX

      " did you learn that in the same inst*itutions that taught Jim Jones?? There's some mighty guilt by as*sociation and mob think."

      Okay, everyone who doesn't believe in Unicorns line up against that wall and everyone who does believe in Unicorns line up against the other wall.

      Now which says more about those two groups of people. Would you say that the group that does not believe in Unicorns has a lot in common? Are they extremely similar in their backgrounds or personalities? Would you think those people who do not believe in Unicorns share many values and ideology?

      Now what about the group that does believe in Unicorns? Would you think they might share some things in common? Do you think they might have similar personalities? Do you think they might share some values and ideology?

      Jim Jones was a psycho who preyed on people already in a weaked state of mind. They were weakened by organized relgion which is the only reason Jim Jones was able to convince them of his disgusting selfish ideology. But just like those who do not believe in Unicorns, just because we share that one common disbelief does not mean we share anything else.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • lol??

      DavidTX, your pride has deluded you. From wiki,

      "...............Unicorns are not found in Greek mythology, but rather in accounts of natural history, for Greek writers of natural history were convinced of the reality of the unicorn, which they located in India, a distant and fabulous realm for them....."
      And Aristotle was an evolutionist, with no science to back him up.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • DavidTX

      So I take it you are standing on the side that believes in Unicorns then? Well then i'm also going to stand over in the line that says I believe in God but i'm going to redefine God like you have with Unicorns and say God is really just an electron which I do believe exist so now I'm just like you lol?? I believe in "God" just like you right?

      May 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • I AM A MAGICAL UNICORN

      You got a problem with unicorns?

      May 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Lazy deadbones minds. Unicorns did exist at one time. The ark was full.

      Amen

      May 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I am an illiterate moron, I had a hard time thinking for myself so I gave up.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "Atheists don't trust Jesus or believe that He walked among us, then died for all our sins" Did you just now figure that out? I actually do think there was probably a guy named Yeshua bin Yusuf who spoke some powerfully influential sermons, but I actually also think that he was conflated with Mithras, The Son of God, and became worshiped rather than venerated by his students' grandchildren. In general it was a good thing for civilization, but it's beginning to hold us back now. Think how many people waste their time inventing "alternate geology" and flat-earth astronomy theories.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  16. Richard Cranium

    Does anyone else get the feeling that josh is just the newest incarnation of Lie4him....I made the famous list of people L4H would not respond to, and josh does not ever respond to me.

    May 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Alias

      Yes.

      May 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • I Love Fairy Tales

      Josh is just another lie-and-run troll.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Josh

      I do respond to you, Dick. I'm just embarrassed by how . . . eagerly I respond. So I delete my replies and leave them unspoken. (blush)

      May 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Josh

      That wasn't me. That was someone else pretending to be me. I would never say that out loud.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Josh

      I mean I would never say a thing like that. Really. It wasn't me.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  17. tamparaindancer

    Why are christians always trying for force their religious beliefs upon everybody else. (–just my rhetorical question.)

    May 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Alias

      Look at the attitudu of the author.
      They are so sure they are right that they are blinded by their bible.

      May 7, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • lol??

      Why are you always denyin' beatin' yer spouse??

      May 7, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Madtown

      Because they are right, and everyone else is wrong!

      May 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Typical Christian

      I beat my spouse everyday, but it is ok because I follow the rules as set out in the bible.

      May 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      tamparaindance, because all need to hear the truth about Jesus instead of the lies satan planted in your mind. Satan deceives the entire world. Christians also have to fight off satan's deceptions each and every waking moment, but, at least Christians learned the tools from Jesus what we need to fight against satan's lies.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • I Love Fairy Tales

      Oh, satan planted those lies in my head?....... ahhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!.... you mean that imaginary being?.... aaaahhhhhhhaaaaaaa!!!!

      May 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "Why are you always denyin' beatin' yer spouse??" Because I beat her with my ten inch tallywhacker, and it's embarrassing to talk about it. What do you want, the details?

      May 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Fairy, you had help getting lost.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  18. Jesus the Christ

    Christians need to get off the cross...someone else needs the wood.

    Seriously though, how ridiculous is it for a christian to say that a religion is becoming a minority. When were religions ever considered in the minority category? I think that alone is an insult to any intelligent person, let alone the fact that there are so many christians that even if they wanted to be a minority, they'd never fit the bill.

    People that STILL believe in a book that condemns gay people, ought to read the rest of Leviticus or any other bullying part of the Old Testament...most of them wouldn't be able to throw the first stone because they'd be even more evil than a man that layeth with another man. LOL!

    May 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Roger that

      Is this a script from a Hollywood fantasy film? No it's Leviticus.

      23 And he killed it, and Moses took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron's right ear and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot.
      24 Then he presented Aaron's sons, and Moses put some of the blood on the lobes of their right ears and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet. And Moses threw the blood against the sides of the altar.
      25 Then he took the fat and the fat tail and all the fat that was on the entrails and the long lobe of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat and the right thigh,
      26 and out of the basket of unleavened bread that was before the LORD he took one unleavened loaf and one loaf of bread with oil and one wafer and placed them on the pieces of fat and on the right thigh.
      27 And he put all these in the hands of Aaron and in the hands of his sons and waved them as a wave offering before the LORD.
      28 Then Moses took them from their hands and burned them on the altar with the burnt offering. This was an ordination offering with a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the LORD.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      G-ays aren't the only folks blinded by sin for listening to satan's lies.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Christianity was a minority one day on a hill near Calvary

      May 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The world would have been better off if it stayed that way Bill.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Cheesy, there have always been the lost.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Cheesy, you know better than to make an assertion you can't substantiate.

      May 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Lord help me,..... I'm just not that bright.

      May 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  19. tallulah13

    My bad, josh. I mistook your inability to make a point for trolling. I gave you honest answers, so I don't consider myself a troll.

    May 7, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • tallulah13

      Posted in the wrong spot. My first generation iPad is showing it's age.

      May 7, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • lol??

      MS-13 will have its way with you if you don't learn the difference between trolling and fishing.

      May 7, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • ..

      Have you been initiated into the MS-13, lol?? Jumped in, were you? You seem to be imordinately fascinated with them. To the point where you bring them up for No. Reason. At. All.

      May 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  20. Alias

    It seems so simple to me.
    The bible says it is okay to kill gays – in the old testament. Those of us who do not believe in th bible think it is morally wrong for christians to descriminate.
    The christians sincerely don't understand why we are complaining. They think they have the right to practice their religion. After all, they are the ones who know god and couldn't risk going to hell by doing things like loving their neighbor and treating others the way they want to be treated.

    May 7, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • lol??

      Your readers digest version left out a little. God didn't want a polluted land. Now He sayz have it your way because He has a big incinerator.

      May 7, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Your god is extremely inefficient, he needs to quit polluting himself and stop blaming others for his own problems.

      May 7, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • lol??

      RRRRrrrrigggghhht cheesie, how long did it take you to learn to print out a gun?? 100's of thousands of years??

      May 7, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I think you should change your name to "Non-Sequitor". No one knows what the hell you are talking about in a majority of your posts.

      May 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Alias

      My post was in reference to what the article said.
      Did anyone else bother to read it?

      May 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Sorry Alias,

      I should have been more clear my responses were in reference to "lol??" posts....not yours.

      May 7, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Alias, read those scriptures for the first time instead of focusing on non-believer sites that haven't a clue about scriptures. There is a heading, subject, outcome (righteous versus unrighteous) for all pages of scriptures. I do believe the killing pertains to killing the evil, lying spirit that hoovers over someone blinded by satan's lies.

      May 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • fintastic

      @heavenStench....... you are one F'd up person... "satan's lies" ............... keep it up heaven stench!.. .. we love how you help christianity look more ridiculous with every post you make!.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      fintastic, you're proof that his lies consume you.

      May 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
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About this blog

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