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May 11th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

My Take: ‘Gay Christian’ is not an oxymoron

Editor’s note: Justin Lee is the Executive Director of the Gay Christian Network and author of Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate.

By Justin Lee, Special to CNN

(CNN)–In high school, I was a Christian know-it-all.

My nickname was "God boy," and I was known for regularly preaching at my friends about social issues of the day. I dismissed their objections - and accusations of homophobia - as intolerance for my faith.

"I'm just telling you what God's Word says," I'd argue.

Years later I realized my mistake. What my peers most objected to wasn't my beliefs - it was my condescending attitude. I debated and preached when I should have listened. I thought that stating my position loudly and unyieldingly was a sign of strength. In the process, I alienated my friends.

I'm still an evangelical Christian, but one thing is now crystal clear to me. American evangelicals' bad reputation isn't just because of what we believe. It's mostly because of how we behave.

When ESPN commentator Chris Broussard was criticized for saying that openly gay NBA player Jason Collins was “openly rebelling against God,” some evangelicals argued that conservative theological views are no longer tolerated in America.

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But they're missing the point.

Broussard's language didn't just express a religious view about sexual morality; it referred to gay people in ways that were dehumanizing, reducing all gay people's lives to a single sex act. Other outspoken Christians routinely say even worse things, comparing gay people to pedophiles, for example.

No one is immune from criticism in a free country with diverse beliefs. But if Christians feel particularly singled out at times, I'd argue that our perceived lack of empathy for others is largely to blame.

I can often test a Christian's level of empathy by offering a single admission: When I was 18, I realized that I'm gay.

Empathetic Christians are typically intrigued by such a statement, even if they also question how a conservative Southern Baptist could also be openly gay. They want to know about my struggles, how my family and church responded, and whether I ever feel my faith and sexuality are at odds with one another.

I love these questions, because they show that the other person genuinely sees me as a human being.

But far too often, Christians respond not with curiosity and questions but with politics and preaching.

They quote Bible passages at me, make assumptions about my faith, or tell me why they’re opposed to same-sex marriage.

I'm no longer a person to them; I'm a symbol of a culture war. A battlefield. And when I don't want to be treated that way, they assume I'm turning away because I didn't really want to hear the truth.

This kind of behavior is why so many of my LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) friends want nothing to do with the church.

But it's not only them.

In my book, "Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate," I share the story of Cindy, a conservative evangelical mom whose life was thrown into turmoil when her son told her he was gay.

This wasn't a political question for Cindy; it was a personal one. But the dehumanizing rhetoric about gay people she heard from the pulpit made her afraid to talk to anyone at church about her son's sexuality.

Christians are not a monolithic group. I know many empathetic Christians, including many who speak up regularly for their LGBT brothers and sisters.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The loudest megaphones do not speak for the rest of us, but they are still loud, and legion. To them I say: Gay people are not an issue. We're people. Some of us are Christians, too. And if it disturbs you that I refer to myself as both gay and Christian, I invite you to take the time to get to know me, and read what I write. You don't have to agree, and you might think I’m a sinner, but at least you’ll see me as a human being.

Baptist minister and author Tony Campolo quips that Jesus entreated Christians not to "love the sinner and hate the sin," but to "love the sinner and hate your own sin."

Jesus saved his harshest words for the self-righteously devout and chose the outcasts and sinners as his closest friends.

Perhaps a lesson in Jesus-style humility might do us all some good.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Justin Lee.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Homosexuality • Opinion

soundoff (3,629 Responses)
  1. mama k

    This is interesting to me, but I can't say I'm surprised.

    HeavenSent: "mama k, your Justin Martyr has no eyes to see nor ears to hear His truth. Like you, it's the blind leading the blind." (May 14, 2013 at 2:05 am)

    Saraswati: "@mama k, According to the mainstream (Gallup, Harris) polls about 30% of US Christians don't believe in Satan..." (May 14, 2013 at 9:26 am)

    I would really like to hear a Catholic perspective on this – well really different perspectives might be helpful. HS seems to align me with JM (well, I'd better say Justin Martyr as I do go on about the other JM quite a bit – lol). Does HS not know the significance of JM in the early church?

    And JM was not the only one- there were other early Christian apologists as well that, to explain away the charges that the gospels were copies of other stories, used Satan as the excuse – claiming that Satan had written earlier stories to occur first to confuse the faithful. Now I haven't forgotten that others have pointed out to me that based on surviving texts, based on that evidence alone, the Christian texts are the earliest we have. But the point is, using this as an example among possibly many, how do some Christians rationalize a non-existence of Satan, when Satan was a key explanation for certain things in Christian history? It seems to me, to not make a wobbly story any more wobblier, the Christian God and Satan would have to be joined at the hip for all eternity.

    May 14, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Jim

      It's interesting just how many Christians believe in a Satan who can deceive people who are way smarter than they are, but who isn't smart enough to fool them.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Science

      mama k................a catch 22 ?

      May 14, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Science

      mama k

      And look who shows up below lol??.......................could it be the .........

      Peace

      May 14, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Science

      mama k.................. it is the old devil and the god damn bedrood sh-it. !

      May 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Science

      Oops..................bedveroom !

      May 14, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Science

      mama k

      I see chad is doing the POLKA below. LMAO !

      Peace

      May 14, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      mama k, you and all the other unbelievers are listed in Revelation 21:8.

      Amen.

      May 14, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
  2. Jim

    If being a Rich Christian isn't an oxymoron then I can't see why this should be a problem.

    May 14, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • ME II

      Excellent point!

      May 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Hmmm...

      i'm thinking a gay man might have a better shot at getting through the eye of a needle...

      May 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  3. Observer

    Bill Deacon,

    The Bible's position on marriage:

    FORCE it on slaves.
    FORCE it on r@pe victims.
    FORCE it on men whose brother's died leaving a widow.

    Skip the hypocrisy. You certainly don't support all of that so skip the picking and choosing.

    May 14, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • lol??

      You spue your evil quite freely with the diverse Beast exercising power.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Observer

      lol??,

      If ANYTHING I said there was false, name it.

      You just can't handle the TRUTH.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Observer, what looks like force tactics to you was a compassionate get out of jail card for the offender if they turned their bad behavior into a righteous act.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • G to the T

      HS – if these were compassionate acts, why aren't they still the law of the land?

      May 15, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Traditions of men forsaking Jesus' truth.

      May 15, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  4. The real Tom

    Dill Doe, when are you going to figure out that you have no say in the matter of what women do with their bodies? When are you going to figure out that you have no say in whether someone is straight or gay? When are you going to figure out that you're not in charge of others?

    May 14, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • lol??

      Demobocracy spued out from Sodom. Who is the Gay for the Day leader today??

      May 14, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Dippy

      Spue?? Try spew next time, dunce.

      May 14, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
  5. The real Tom

    What is it with you nutty zealots? No reputable scientist has concluded that s3xual orientation is a choice. But even if it were, so what? So what? Do you think that means you can discriminate against gays because they're different from you? You can't, any more than you can discriminate against people who choose not to believe in your mumbo-jumbo. Your bible has no bearing at all on law. None. No one is required to abide by its rules.

    May 14, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Are we required to abide by yours then?

      May 14, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • The real Tom

      Since they're not "mine", you ass, the question is moot.

      You are required to abide by the laws that our society decides best benefit all.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Alias

      If only that were true.
      They do descriminate and there are laws based on the bible.
      That is why christians are so often disliked by normal, sane, moral people.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Roger

      "Are we required to abide by yours then?"

      You are required to abide by the laws of the country that you live in and in the US there is the separation of church and state for a reason. It's also why we have a judicial system to challenge laws made by bias and prejudice people that try to oppress minorities. That's why laws against gays in many states have been overturned.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • science

      The bible ..............was suppose have created morals Bill................has it ?

      May 14, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • LinCA

      @Bill Deacon

      You said, "Are we required to abide by yours then?"
      There is no fairy tale involved in setting "ours". "Ours" don't involve forcing rules based on complete bullshit on others.

      You are still free to subject yourself to additional restrictions based on your delusion. But you don't get to take extra liberties because of it. You also don't get to tell anyone else to live their lives based on it.

      If you think your imaginary friend doesn't want you to engage in homosexual activity, or enter into a same sex marriage, then simply don't.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Jim

      Bill
      Nobody forced racists to stop being racist. Still, with a lot of effort in pointing out just how hurtful and nonsensical it was, racist remarks and actions became less common. So, no, you're not required to change, but you'll soon find it as socially awkward to bash gays as it us to make racist remarks. We'll let social pressure and shame do all the work for us.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      @Bill "Are we required to abide by yours then?'

      Another Christian "If we allow gay marriage in our country our Christian rights will actually be infringed on" fallacious arguement from Bill.....oooohhhh the persecution.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • lol??

      Putting the diverse Beast in charge of marriage will lead to millions of deaths. OOOoops, already has and a done deal.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      We'll let social pressure and shame do all the work for us.

      LOL JIm sounds like a 1950's Baptist.

      You like the idea of subjective morality when it swings your way. The advantage of objective morality is that it is true no matter who is in power.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      "Don't want one don't get one." Sounds like the new second amendment to me. Are you actually advocating that people should be allowed to do whatever they want and those who oppose it should just not participate?

      Do you ever honestly question your thought processes or just go with what sounds good at the moment?

      May 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Trail

      Nice slippery slope there Bill Deacon. Love it. Slide on down.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Bill, how big of an idiot are you? If a group of people don't like blond hair, does that mean they get to tell all blondies to dye their hair, or should that person just dye his own hair if he's blonde?

      Nobody is forcing YOU to do anything, Bill; therefore, if you don't like the idea of gay marriage, then don't marry someone of the same gender. Simple. Try to be less of a moron, next time.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom, when did infants know what s$x was?

      May 14, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • The real Tom

      HS, when did you decide to be straight?

      May 14, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The real Tom, you posted "HS, when did you decide to be straight?"

      Answer: You admit that we decide.

      May 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Except, as you're well aware, that's not an answer, but a deflection, and a dishonest one at that. Revelation does not bode well for you, H.S.

      May 15, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      midwest rail, playing backup allows both to insert foot in mouth?

      May 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
  6. trollintraining

    Gay and christian is an oxymoron.
    I used to be christian, and every time I was happy they made me feel guilty until I was sad.

    May 14, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Yeah, it's difficult to give up those sinful ways?

      May 14, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
  7. palintwit

    Tea Party Patiots = Guns good, darkies bad.

    May 14, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Science

      Or

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/29/my-take-if-you-hear-god-speak-audibly-you-usually-arent-crazy/comment-page-89/#comment-2340293

      May 14, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      or Klu Klux Klan?

      May 14, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • HeavenSent

      "Stir It Up" is a song composed by Bob Marley in 1967, written for his wife Rita, and first made popular by Johnny Nash. Nash's recording hit the top 15 in both Britain and America in 1972.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  8. mama k

    Vic tries to over-simplify what latest research shows about epigenetics and homosexuality by including "nurture" and "lifestyle" in a list of factors external to genes. I don't think he realizes that what scientists have been saying for quite some time now indicate they are talking about environmental factors that occur much earlier on in life than "nurture" or "lifestyle". Furthermore, they indicate that such changes in gene expression are resistant to change.

    The following is from the article:
    ==================
    Homosexuality ultimately a result of gene regulation, researchers find (12/11/2012 – LiveScience)

    [ The search for a "gay gene" may be off-target, new research finds. Another process called epigenetics that switches genes on and off may explain why homosexuality runs in families.

    Epigenetics are heritable changes caused by factors other than DNA. Instead of traits getting passed down through the genes, epigenetic change happens because of the way genes are regulated, or turned on and off.

    These genetic regulators may be the reason homosexuality persists in nature despite the fact that gay people are less likely to reproduce, suggests the new study published in the journal The Quarterly Review of Biology.

    "These things have evolved because they're good for the parents, but they sometimes, not [with] high frequency, but sometimes carry over" into offspring, study researcher William Rice, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told LiveScience. In a male fetus, Rice and his colleagues write, an epigenetic change that benefited the mother may lead to "feminization" of sexual preference — homo- or bisexuality. The same may be true for epigenetic changes passed down by dad to a female fetus. (The terms feminization and masculinization of sexual preference refer to sexual orientation only — not to physical or personality traits of the offspring.)

    The findings add to past research suggesting gay men haven't died out, because female relatives of gay men tend to have more children on average than other females. The study researchers specifically found that two genes passed on through the maternal line could produce this effect.

    Hormones, epigenetics and orientation

    Rice and his colleagues focused on epi-marks, which are molecular changes that act like temporary "switches" to turn genes on and off. If a gene is a blueprint, the epi-mark is the construction foreman who makes sure the product gets built. An epi-mark also determines when, where and how much a gene is expressed, according to the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.

    These molecular switches are usually erased very early in the developmental process, but they can be passed down from generation to generation, too, Rice said.

    Some epi-marks are particularly important during fetal development, when they promote normal physical development in the sexes despite natural variations in testosterone during pregnancy. Researchers know that fetal exposure to too much testosterone can masculinize the genitals, brain or behavior of a genetically female fetus. Likewise, too little testosterone can make a genetically male fetus more feminized.

    But here's the catch: There's lots of overlap between the levels of testosterone male and female fetuses get exposed to. That means there must be another side to the story, Rice and his colleagues wrote.

    That side appears to be epigenetics, Rice said.

    "Early in development, we think these epi-marks are laid down so that girl fetuses will be relatively insensitive to testosterone and male fetuses will be relatively sensitive to testosterone," Rice said.

    Biological behavior

    Thus, if an epi-mark that kept a mother from getting exposed to high testosterone in development gets passed on to her son — the opposite sex — it could desensitize him to testosterone, contributing to his sexual preference for men. Similarly, if a male-specific epi-mark from dad gets passed to a daughter, it could "masculinize" her sexual preference, making her more interested in women.

    These findings could explain why twin studies show that homosexuality runs in families, but no "gay gene" can be found, Rice said. In identical twins, there's about a 20 percent chance that if one twin is gay, the other will be too. If genetic change were responsible for homosexuality, you'd expect a much higher match, Rice said. Epigenetics, however, can explain the heritability without the need for a specific genetic change.

    The hypothesis could be tested by examining epigenetic marks in parents of kids with gay versus straight offspring, Rice said. There are, of course, concerns that this knowledge could be used by parents who want to avoid gay offspring, Rice said, but that concern already exists around certain hormonal conditions in utero, which are known to contribute to an increased chance of offspring being lesbians.

    "That cat's already out of the bag," Rice said. He added that an understanding of the biological underpinnings of homosexuality could help emphasize that same-sex behavior is not "unnatural."

    "In fact, it's a major part of the natural world," Rice said. Fourteen percent of Western gulls raise chicks in female-female pairs, he pointed out. And 8 percent of male sheep show zero interest in fertile ewes, but get sexually excited by other rams. ]
    ==================

    In biology, and specifically genetics, epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype, caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence – hence the name epi- (Greek: επί- over, above, outer) -genetics, some of which are heritable.

    As another poster pointed out we haven't found a gene for left-handed people, but we certainly don't ignore that they are that way and resistant to change.

    The latest research on epigenetics also happens to support what we hear coming from the field of psychology:

    The American Psychological Association states "there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people", and says most people's sexual orientation is determined at an early age. Research into how sexual orientation in males may be determined by genetic or other prenatal factors plays a role in political and social debates about homosexuality, and also raises concerns about genetic profiling and prenatal testing."

    Professor Michael King states: "The conclusion reached by scientists who have investigated the origins and stability of sexual orientation is that it is a human characteristic that is formed early in life, and is resistant to change. Scientific evidence on the origins of homosexuality is considered relevant to theological and social debate because it undermines suggestions that sexual orientation is a choice."

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

    "Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person's fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice."

    May 14, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Your orientation may not be a choice but crop dusting that uterine environment is.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, look. Dill Doe, back for more. There is no evidence that use of the pill is causing more babies to be born gay, dumbfvck. Do you EVER use your head? At all?

      You have yet to cite even one benefit that straight marriage brings to society that gay marriage cannot, Dill. When are you going to do that and stop pretending you didn't see the request?

      May 14, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Debra

      "Your orientation may not be a choice"

      Which means God created them, yet you can't even follow Christ when it comes to love. You are a troll and not a real Christian.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • The real Tom

      What special kind of stupid are you, anyway, Dill? How do you explain the fact that gays have remained at about the same percentage of the population since long before the pill was ever invented?

      My word, but you're an idiot.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Tom, in my very first post where I asked the question regarding the benefits of gaay marriage, i gave a synopsis of Christian philosophy of marriage as a positive construct for society. Perhaps you ignored it, dismissed it, ridiculed it or insulted it. For reference, I'd direct you to the catechism of the Catholic Church. That will give you the basis for why traditional marriage is a good thing. I don't think you can co-opt those arguments in the absence of your own while at teh same time dismissing them as invalid. That would be, well, dishonest wouldn't it?

      May 14, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • The real Tom

      Dodge all you want, Dill. You aren't answering the question I asked because you can't. Marriage has benefits to society. If you can't find any that are unique to straight marriage, then there's no reason to deny gays the right to marry.

      So put up or shut up.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • midwest rail

      Suggesting Tom is dishonest – ah, the irony.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Tom, could you please post a study showing the population trends of gaay demographics over the last say three generations? I'm wondering how your derive the conclusion that the ratios haven't changed since the mid sixties. The research I've read says the data is hard to calculate for a variety of reasons.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I'm not dodging the question. I prefaced my question with the answer from the traditional perspective. You can try and hi-jack the debate by reversing the question all you want but the truth is that there is no argument which supports the advancement of gaay marriage while there is ample discourse on the benefit of traditional marriage coupled with the history of that benefit. At which point you will default to "well we're getting it anyway so tough." Points for style but zero substance

      May 14, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • LinCA

      @Bill Deacon

      You said, "That will give you the basis for why traditional marriage is a good thing."
      There are benefits to drinking a glass of wine. Is that any reason to ban drinking beer?

      Allowing same sex marriage does nothing to reduce the benefits of opposite sexual marriage. If your "traditional" marriage is in any way negatively affected by sex marriage, you have issues that you need to work on with your spouse.

      There is no rational reason to prevent same sex marriage.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      midwest are you suggesting it is intellectually honest to dismiss the Church's philosophy for traditional marriage while at the same time co-opting it in support of gaay marriage? Tell me how that works please.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • The real Tom

      Since there are no benefits to straight marriage that are not also provided by gay marriage, there's no reason to prevent gays from marrying, Dill Doe. You can keep ignoring the fact, but it won't go away just because you think it should.

      Can you cite a single negative effect of gay marriage in any state that's legalized it thus far? At all?

      May 14, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • The real Tom

      Dill, do you think preventing gay marriage will benefit society? How?

      May 14, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Lin I'm not arguing that gaay marriage is a detriment to traditional marriage, although I think that argument can be made. tom is refering to a question I posted asking about the benefit of gaay marriage which no one seems to be able to answer so the tactic has been to reverse the question back, demanding defense of traditional marriage. There is no positive statement in support of gaay marriage that has a basis in anything other than the political expediency of it.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • The real Tom

      Who has "dismissed" traditional marriage, Dill? Do you think it's intellectually honest to make such a statement? You're starting to look a lot like Chard.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • mama k

      Bill I did answer your question about gay marriage and the what I would see as beneficial effects of more stability in different forms of families including those adjacent to traditional families who both struggle to move through unnecessary legal hurdles. I suppose you don't remember that.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Tom, perhaps a clarification will help. I am a Catholic. I do not even believe gaay marriage is possible, in the sense that Christian marriage is constructed. The inability of anyone to construct a statement showing that proves my point. Having said that, I believe it is most likely that the SCOTUS will grant protection to a legal definition providing for it. I'm not interested in that argument. I'm interested in the underlying foundation of social philosophy on which a person of good will could say it is a positive contribution towards society as the Church describes marriage and family as the building blocks thereof. Again, I would caution, not to dismiss the Church's thought and then attempt to utilize it.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • .

      "underlying foundation of social philosophy on which a person of good will could say it is a positive contribution towards society as the Church describes marriage and family as the building blocks thereof"

      YeahRight

      The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      Like their heterosexual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.

      Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples.

      A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-sex parents as it is for children of opposite-sex parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-sex parents as for children of opposite-sex parents.

      Assertions that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I do remember mama. You seem to say that gaay couple can pick up the pieces after traditional marriages fail. That may very well be but it relies on the presence of traditional marriage as a precursor and the destruction of same in order for the condition to present fro a gaay marriage to perform that duty. In that sense, traditional marriage serves as a sort of "host" to a parasitic dependency for gaay marriage. I think what you are presenting is that while traditional marriages do in fact die, there is something noble about letting others feed off the carcass.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • .

      "dismiss the Church's philosophy for traditional marriage while at the same time co-opting it in support of gaay marriage? "

      Brent

      The term “traditional marriage” is a term employed by anti-gay religious groups and individuals to promote bigotry, prejudice, hostility and discrimination toward gay and lesbian citizens.

      The term is used to justify a social injustice both in terms of denying gay and lesbian individuals equal treatment guaranteed by our Constitution and also denying them human dignity. The use of the term is an action that promotes constitutional unfairness and human indignity and therefore one which is morally wrong.

      If a person of faith agrees that a practice that promotes looking upon a segment of society as inferior, unworthy and undeserving of that which we find as good in our lives, the use of the term “traditional marriage” therefore also must be sinful.

      Regardless of their particular faith, the person would be hard-pressed to say that love, compassion and wanting what is best in our lives for others around us are not the core principles of most religions. When a person of faith stands opposed to those principles, their attitude and actions stand opposed to the principles which they strive to uphold in the everyday interactions with those around them.

      There is also deceit involved in the use of the term “traditional marriage” because those who employ the term attempt to perpetrate an untruth and ulterior motives of hostility and prejudice.

      The untruth comes when “traditional marriage” is offered up as a term that defines a religious concept of a God-blessed union of a young man and woman who fall in love, get married with no prior sexual experience, have children and remain together into old age. They are implying that this is how God ordains marriage.

      If it is, it took him until just 50 years ago to arrive at that conclusion.

      The tradition of marriage in Old Testament times meant the man and his wife could have the same father.

      In the Bible, the patriarch of the Hebrew people, Abraham, and his wife, Sarah, couldn’t have children so Sarah put forth her slave Hagar for Abraham to have children by.

      In Old Testament times, it was normal, sometimes even required for a man to take multiple wives. A man having multiple wives was accepted by the church as late as the 5th Century, 500 years after the teachings set forth in the New Testament. The church for a very long time apparently did not interpret biblical teaching as an edict for one-man, one-woman marriage.

      The tradition of marital unions in the 1700s and 1800s in America doesn’t seem to measure up to God-ordained – especially from the female perspective.

      One third of brides were pregnant at the altar in Concord, Massachusetts during the 20 years prior to the American Revolution.

      In this quote from a wedding couple in 1855, we see that the church had no problem blessing a legal marriage that was considered by many – including this couple – as a violation of the woman’s dignity and civil rights:

      “We believe that personal independence and equal human rights can never be forfeited, except for crime; that marriage should be an equal and permanent partnership, and so recognized by law; that until it is so recognized, married partners should provide against the radical injustice of present laws, by every means in their power…”

      So we can look back and see that religious teachings which uphold the ideals of love, dignity, compassion and respect for each person within marital unions throughout history has taken a back seat.

      In other words, the definition of a God-ordained tradition of marriage has never been constant rather it has evolved.

      History shows us it’s the marital union that should be uplifted…not the evolving traditions of a social institution. In other words, it’s not about how we come together but why.

      Rev. Mark Gallagher, a Unitarian minister, in 2004 asked “what about a marriage could have that quality of spiritual beauty? What makes for sacredness in a marriage?” He names four things.

      “First and foremost, mutual love. A feeling of heightened affection, respect, concern, and appreciation between marital partners. It gives a certain sparkle to the time spent together, and potentially to the entire experience of life. The presence of love makes a marriage sacred.

      “Fidelity contributes to the sacredness of a marriage. Commitments fulfilled. Coming through. Hanging in. Placing the integrity of the relationship over personal preference and convenience. It builds a powerful trust. Fidelity makes a marriage sacred.

      “Intimacy brings sacredness in a marriage. When two people reveal themselves to one another over time, they cannot help but gain acquaintance with the deep regions of the human experience. They get to know one another, of course. But more importantly, they get to know themselves.

      Through relating intimately over time, deeper honesty and authenticity become possible. This is the spiritual journey to know and be known, behind the public charade, however subtle or crude that may be.

      “And forgiveness generates sacredness in a marriage. We all make mistakes and need forgiveness. Our spiritual liberation requires that we become masters of forgiveness letting go of resentment for slights and injuries. The prolonged togetherness of marriage will present myriad opportunities for the practice of forgiveness. When forgiveness flows freely, there is a palpable quality of gentleness and compassion.”

      Does the heterosexual couple uniting in marriage today lift up the union as characterized by love, fidelity, intimacy and forgiveness. We expect they do and we suspect those characteristics as Gallagher concluded in his sermon are what exude sacredness.

      We also know that gay and lesbian couples uphold those same characteristics for their unions. Why would they not? Why would a parent of a gay son or daughter not want their child to enjoy the happiness derived from a lifelong devotion to those characteristics? Why would a brother or sister with a gay sibling not want their brother or sister to enjoy the happiness derived from a lifelong devotion to those characteristics?

      Why would a person of faith not want the gay or lesbian individual to enjoy the happiness derived from the pursuit of marriage sanctity?

      Why would we as Americans not want our government and its laws to recognize that same marriage sanctity for gay and lesbian individuals in their pursuit of liberty and happiness?

      There can be only one reason and that is because many of us have been conditioned by years of misguided church teaching to look upon gay and lesbian individuals as morally inferior, unworthy and therefore undeserving of that which we uphold as good and sanctified in our lives.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • mama k

      Your initial question on this, Bill seemed to indicate that you were looking for any ideas about a positive benefit for society. Are you now saying that you are only interested in opinions from other Catholics? And I have no problem with that, but it seems the focus of your question has changed.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • JMEF

      BD Typical of you in all your posts. You find it necessary to set the parameters of the argument based on your devotion to the catechism . but you try to deflect just like Chad does. Very catholic but not very Christian.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • mama k

      Bill: "I do remember mama. You seem to say that gaay couple can pick up the pieces after traditional marriages fail."

      Wrong assumption. The problem is that you are only looking at relationships outside of traditional marriage as failed. And that is simply too presumptive. We know that homosexuality exists natural at some percentage along side hetero in the human species. That's not going away. Therefore, instead of continuing to disenfranchise those at the fringe of traditional families who are capable of supporting families of their own, often as an integral part of a larger family group that include one or more traditional families, why not remove the legal roadblocks and let these entities peacefully co-exist and support each other?

      May 14, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      mama, I have no trouble with that and I have no trouble with eliminating difficulties partners encounter at hospitals or tax offices etc. But it isn't marriage. Pro gaay activist have utilized the marriage equality tactic as a shortcut to social parity and while I may be in favor of social parity for any number of groups, it isn't sound thinking to label it marriage in order to achieve that.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Bill Deacon
      "traditional marriage"
      What is the definition of that Bill...many cultures, many traditions, many accept same $ex unions, many accept people marrying animals.
      To say we should use the bible definition is to say we should break the const!tution.
      Same $ex marriage has been accepted in N. America long before it was america. Native tribes have accepted it for millenia.

      Your tradition is one of oppression Bill, we broke free of that, and so should you.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      "mama, I have no trouble with that and I have no trouble with eliminating difficulties partners encounter at hospitals or tax offices etc. But it isn't marriage"

      since the state licenses marriage, marriage is whatever the state deems it to be

      May 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • JMEF

      mama k
      It is pointless asking BD to allow other people to not live up to the catechism and dogma of the RCC. BD has constantly shown that he and his church cannot butt out, they must pontificate and get every one in line as good sheep should be, obedience to his beliefs.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      No mama, I'm interested in anybody's thought. I simply show the Catholic construct as an example of how social philosophy is developed. I even posted a short quote from an Episcopal Bishop who asserts that H0mo s3xuality is "a divinely ordered orientation". That is as far as that gentleman's thinking has progressed and I think it is a long way from "divinely ordered orientation" to something that leads to marriage. I must say I'm somewhat confounded by the inability to even grasp the question so many have displayed coupled with the inclination to counter attack my own position, as if that justifies their argument.

      If I were a pro-gaay marriage activist, I think I would set out to produce a philosophical body of thought that convinces rather than spend my time shouting down my opponents and exercising political muscle.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      If I take sam and richard's statements together, I'd say we can look forward to the time when people can marry their pets but if I used that as an argument about why the state has an interest in protecting traditional marriage, I'd be accused of slippery slope bigotry.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • sam stone

      "If I take sam and richard's statements together, I'd say we can look forward to the time when people can marry their pets but if I used that as an argument about why the state has an interest in protecting traditional marriage, I'd be accused of slippery slope bigotry."

      If you used that as an argument, you would reveal yourself to be an imbecile

      May 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • ralph

      Bill

      You are asking people to prove that x is true using only information that says x is false. In your mind, all information that says x is true is automatically wrong because you believe that x is false. It’s a dishonest question, that has been adequately answered if you don’t start out with the presupposition that x is false. Please pick another topic, and move on, because this one is only making your prejudice shine.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • mama k

      Bill, because the term in the U.S. is used as a legal factor, to me, the only other choices to me would be to remove that term as a legal factor altogether (affording rights & advantages for one type of couple over another). It seems state governments are going in the direction of expanding the term though and I'm not surprised. I can't even imagine the nightmare of someone researching what would need to change based on removal of the term "marriage".

      May 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • sam stone

      Bill: the prohibition on same gender marriage will fall to the 14th amendment the same way the prohibition on interracial marriage did. if this bothers the pious, they can choke on it

      May 14, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Bill, I'm not sure what you actually believe hom.ose.xuals should do. What I'm asking is not what you think is allowed, but what you think people should be doing for the good of society. Do you think it is best for society that we pair up but are not allowed to call our unions marriages? Do you think we should marry opposite se.x people we aren't in love with? Or do you think we should live a life as single celibate people?

      I'm guessing not the first since you are Catholic. I hope the second is insane enough and clearly cruel enough to all involved not to require addressing, but let me know if I'm wrong. As for the third, we would really be asking whether their are advantages to pairing when couples cannot have children. The evidence is very strong that social instability is connected to the number of single males in a community and that single people are far more likely to live in poverty. Single people also experience much more frequent depression and are more likely to miss work due to mental health issues. One of the worst things that's happened to the environment is a rise in single people living in individual apartments, and the alternative, living with non-family members, is not generally a positive living experience. There really are no arguments for asking the average person to remain single except for religious ones. Certainly, there is a small minority of the population that is happier, better off or contribute more to society when single, but it is not the norm.

      I'm also curious about what you definition of a person's se.x is (if you think this is obvious please review the literature before answering) and how you feel about marriage for people with atypical se.x related genetics or physical development?

      May 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      "Allowing same sex marriage does nothing to reduce the benefits of opposite sexual marriage."

      =>That is nonsense. To begin with now we must erect a wall to prevent homosexuals with aids from bringing in aliens with AIDS (U.S. citizenship by marriage) to take advantage of Obama Care which will burden opposite sex couples with the cost ($658,000 average per aids patient) of the sinful life of others.

      The medical cost of anal penetration and unprotected homosexual desire will spread the cost of STD across the board. It is not safe and certainly goes against design. In case you want to argue that point the lining of the Colon is of a different design and much thinner than the vagina which was designed for sex.

      You and your tooth fairy belief are so wacked out you want to call anal sex normal and beautiful. It is perversion of designed evolutionary physiology. You cause great harm to the gay community by promoting animal lust as a normal condition. Why do you think we have such a hard time keeping STD's under control with homosexuals? Bullies like you pushing sex on innocent homosexuals to stroke your liberal ego or perversion not to help out the community.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • JMEF

      Saraswati
      Until BD gets back. Bill has stated that he has no problem if a large % of priests are gay and that LGBT are welcome in the church as long as they repent and remain celibate, that is acceptable. Now Bill has also expressed having problems with s8xual behaviour in the past, so may have chosen celibacy as some sort of penance. I am guessing that s8xual intimacy and love are quite different in Bill's life. Just some ramblings of mine, Bill likes to set everybody straight, pun intended, and should be back.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • mama k

      fred – I don't think a hissy-fit based on fear, greed, assumptions you've made and the rest of the kitchen sink from that post of yours is helpful at all.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Bill Deacon

      You said, "I'm not arguing that gaay marriage is a detriment to traditional marriage, although I think that argument can be made."
      You can't, at least not without resorting to your fairy tale. There are no rational arguments that hold water to be made that show that same sex marriage is somehow detrimental to opposite sex marriage.

      By the way, calling opposite sex marriage, "traditional" marriage is disingenuous. The tradition of marriage includes far more than what you appear to want to limit it to.

      You said, "tom is refering to a question I posted asking about the benefit of gaay marriage which no one seems to be able to answer so the tactic has been to reverse the question back, demanding defense of traditional marriage."
      The benefits of same sex marriage are the same as those of opposite sex marriage. But, even if there were fewer, or even no benefits to same sex marriage, that in and of itself would not be enough reason to ban it. As a society we even allow things that are known to be harmful such as smoking, simply because we don't always need to force the best possible.

      You said, "There is no positive statement in support of gaay marriage that has a basis in anything other than the political expediency of it."
      Same sex marriage is sought after by thousands of committed couples. Dismissing their desires as "no positive statement" is what makes your position immoral. Denying certain groups equal access and equal protection is what makes certain religions so despicable, yours included.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • DavidTX

      "If I take sam and richard's statements together, I'd say we can look forward to the time when people can marry their pets but if I used that as an argument about why the state has an interest in protecting traditional marriage, I'd be accused of slippery slope bigotry."

      I'm sorry, which part of the word "consent" do you not understand Bill?

      Also, I have heard several people tell you the benefits of gay marriage and yet you keep saying things like "There is no positive statement in support of gaay marriage" and "The inability of anyone to construct a statement showing that proves my point." which makes me suspect you of being the ever deaf Chad.

      Reasons in support of gay marriage:
      1. See all reasons in support of marriage: stability, structure, cooperation and love which can all be found in the family unit.
      2. Removes the stigma of "abnormal" from the children being raised in gay familys and allowing them access to all the same benefits as a traditional marriage increases the chances those children will develop into well balanced adults.
      3. Gives those mates the same rights owed them by the constltution and the DoI.
      4. Eliminates a secondary class of citizen in a free democracy.
      5. Puts all adult American citizens on the same equal footing and defeats the current apartheid where everyone knows seperate but equal is never really equal, all the way down to the word itself, marriage.

      If you are either to proud or to stupid to understand these simple truths then maybe you should go without some of your rights for a while. Maybe a dunce cap worn in the town square would help you to understand what you have done to your fellow Americans for so long, but that would be a light punishment for sure.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • fred

      All financial benefits for marriage must be stripped away from all people period if gay marriage is allowed. Pensions, Social Security, Medical Care, Taxes must be trashed and a new basis for income redistribution implemented if gay marriage is allowed. Our system is based on a 70 year old traditional Christian Family orientation where the wife took care of the kids and father brought home the bacon. That is now history. Welcome to the new world order.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "Traditional marriage" in the abrahamic tradition would best be understood as accepting polygamy, very young marriages (as young as 13 at least) and often marriage between close relatives. Times change, and society adjusts. it's only the willfully ignorant who don't see this.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      fred
      "our system"? Not really...it has only forced otherwise normal productive citizens to hide themselves. Marriage has been around for many millenia fred.. Long before your bible existed, long before men created your god.
      You are a prime example of why we need to move forward.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @fred,

      "All financial benefits for marriage must be stripped away from all people period if gay marriage is allowed. Pensions, Social Security, Medical Care, Taxes must be trashed and a new basis for income redistribution implemented if gay marriage is allowed."

      lol, are you under the assumption that half the population is about to run out and enter same se.x unions. Seriously, do some research on the numbers in countries and states with same se.x marriages and unions before you put yourself into a panic.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • sam stone

      "All financial benefits for marriage must be stripped away from all people period if gay marriage is allowed. Pensions, Social Security, Medical Care, Taxes must be trashed and a new basis for income redistribution implemented if gay marriage is allowed"

      The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

      May 14, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • mama k

      My goodness, fred, you sound like some sort of Rumpelstiltskin who's been asleep for the past thirty or more years. I understand your concern about how changes like this will affect the economy, but suppressing rights and advantages is . . . just that. It must stop.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • JMEF

      David TX
      Don't think BD is at all that stupid just very arrogant. You would get Bill all excited if you gave him a pointy hat, a nice gown and robes, Prada slippers and a golden scepter, and put him in the public square, such is Bills ultimate fantasy. No punishment at all.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      Holy fucking shit! Your delusion is showing. You also seem very obsessed with homosexual sex. Are you afraid people will find out that you are gay? It's OK. I won't tell anyone. Your secret is safe, and nobody here will inform your bigoted brethren.

      But, even if all that nonsense that you spew were correct, do you really think that banning same sex couples from marrying is doing anything to stop it?

      May 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Dan

      In no way to I mean to infer that being gay is a negative with my next analogy, please keep that in mind, I am not comparing drug use to being gay.

      @fred – what are the odd's that you fred would run out and buy a bag of heroin if it was announced that it was no longer illegal? I'm betting pretty slim. Studys show a decrease in users in countrys who have legalized like Portugal due to the increased number getting medical treatment in clinics instead of thrown into the prison system to become repeat offenders.

      Now as I said, I am not equating being gay with using heroin, but the fact remains that a similarity exists in that legalizing gay marriage will not have some tidal effect of people "becoming" gay, it will just allow those who are already gay to step out of the shadows of society and contribute just like everyone else, to be support for their family and friends instead of having to hide in the closet full of guilt and shame all derived from something they were born with. There are no rising numbers for gay people, those numbers have always been there, there is only a rising number of visible gay people and it's something the rest of society better get used to just like the whites did at the front of the bus and at the lunch counters. Move over ignorance, there is not enough room for both you and tolerance in our great nation.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Ralph, I think you answered my question. To borrow from Euclid "If A equals C and B equals C then A equals B". Conversely, if A equals C but B does not equal C then B does not equal A.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • fred

      Gay marriage is a fitting end to what God once established as foundation and core of unity in family. The purpose of family was to pass down tradition and morals of a God centered life. The family was modeled to bring order in a fallen world with the Father as the head and wife united as one moving faith forward from generation to generation.

      Gay marriage is nothing more than a satanic attack on the Bible. It makes a statement to any impressionable youth that the Bible is nothing but a bunch of old garbage from religious nuts thousands of years ago. It has already split the church and divided the faithful.

      Taboo about the age of child who can wed or any other features such as sisters getting married etc. is fair game when the absolute truth of God is meaningless. There is no measuring rod only the will of the lusts and desires of the society. Let us welcome back the Greeks.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Paul

      Bill gay marriage can provide all of the same benefits that regular marriage can provide.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      "do you really think that banning same sex couples from marrying is doing anything to stop it?"
      =>Yes, the more you spread lies like anal sex is normal and fun the more pressure on vulnerable youth bullying them into a risky lifestyle.
      =>yes, the more you normalize anal sex the greater the frequency.
      =>yes, the Bible cannot stand if it is wrong on family, marriage and or homosexuality. You may not like this but we see about 20 abused homosexuals every year that were bullied into that lifestyle thinking it was not sin and it was unnatural not to express all your desires or allow others to express their desires using your innocence.

      You should be ashamed of that hurt your lies bring down on innocent children. Sandusky and the like were just taking advantage of the weak as are you. Just keep encouraging the children to submit, God is a myth and life is a meaningless fulfillment of animal desire

      May 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • fred

      Dan
      You may think I am a hypocrite but I help abused and lost homosexuals break from the lifestyle pushed down their throats. Not all wish to be celibate and find committed relationship rewarding. A few wanted marriage and did so with full understanding that the Bible does not provide for that. Eventually they leave for a church that embraces their marriage yet there are no hard feelings simply understanding. The understanding comes in knowing God and loving people because God loves them and created them.
      Those who attack homosexuals, Christians and the Bible are the intolerant ones. Those who promote risky godless lifestyles to the innocent are the intolerant ones are nothing more than sex bullies.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • mama k

      fred, I'm not sure I'm buying your story, but one thing is for sure – it doesn't jive with current life in the U.S. – ergo my suspicion that you have this Rumpelstiltskin complex. Strangely, you also seem way too anxious to lump pedophilia with homosexuality and that is a huge sign that ought to be sign enough to not trust whatever else you are crying about. The only thing I can imagine, if anything you are saying has a shred of truth to it, is that you've had some history with a very specific time, situation and locale that has warped your perception of what homosexuality is in this day and time.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      Fred, sounds liek you are in need of therapy. You are the last person anybody should be taking seriously. Your ignorance matches your delusion.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • mama k

      fred – do you "assist" other abused individuals besides young homosexuals?

      May 14, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • fred

      mama k
      You may want to argue what is pedophilia but I am speaking about abuse that takes advantage of youthful innocence not a clinical definition. Yes, I have had over 1,100 people in my support groups over the years and they are Christian based support groups. There is great pressure on boys that can be compared to girls that find themselves trapped in a lifestyle not of their making. Few stand up against the Sandusky types and even fewer stand up against the emotional and mental bullies that trap the innocent. I personally see the consistent pattern of how they are led down the pathway leading to risky lifestyles. I hear the excuses that anal sex is natural and accepted by "everyone", I see the winks these abused victims receive for joining the crowd. Then it becomes fun and eventually who they are.

      Not what God planned but what God warned about (regardless of orientation)

      May 14, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      Appears Fred's pa s sion is a n al s e x.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • fred

      Ted Jones
      That is the comment I would expect from someone who cannot see the reality of God's plan or perspective. It is shame you are so bigoted that you cannot tolerate a godly perspective. You really should consider a broader knowledge base that includes what man has discovered about life over the past 10,000 years. No one has ever experienced a world without the presence of God (real or imagined). Godlessness is not some wonderful place where you get to experience all your desires without constraint because there are others that will fulfill their desires in the same space and time. If you are not like them it will be hell for you..

      May 14, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      "God's plan or perspective"
      .
      Lets focus on this. Did god talk to you and he/she/they told you the plan or perspective?

      May 14, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • mama k

      fred – is this your experience at one location in the U.S. or more? Inner-city or not? Should I assume that you are dealing with other problems besides those involving homosexuals? Drug addition in straight young men for instance? I'm trying to get a handle on this strange picture you're trying to paint.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      The risks associated with homosexual sex, or any sex, are far less than the real damage caused by marginalizing gays and lesbians for who they are.

      You said, "You should be ashamed of that hurt your lies bring down on innocent children."
      Since this is coming from someone who voluntarily would subject his offspring to the abuse of religious indoctrination, I don't hold your opinion on "lies" in very high regard.

      You said, "Sandusky and the like were just taking advantage of the weak as are you. Just keep encouraging the children to submit, God is a myth and life is a meaningless fulfillment of animal desire"
      Sandusky is a serial child molester, rapist and a devout christian. He embodies some of the most despicable excrement of humanity. To find a group that closely resembles him and his practices, you have to look no further than your local church.

      Unless you have some evidence to support the existence of your imaginary friend, it is no more likely to exist than the Tooth Fairy. Believing it exists places you at about the level of a five year old.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • fred

      Ted Jones
      Jesus said I must go so the consoler who will fill you with all truth can come. That is the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit actually fills you with the truth that brings you into an understanding of Gods plan. The "voice" is the spoken word that fills your heart. The extent to which it is an audible voice is a matter of interpretation as to verbal thought or actual quiet inner voice.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      fred

      Ted Jones
      Jesus said
      ............
      I assume there is a recording of this or Jesus's own handwriting.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • fred

      mama k
      General format is a 12 step format that uses the core of Rick Warrens program called Celebrate Recovery. The majority of people have drug and alcohol issues but sex addiction in the past 6 years is growing.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • fred

      Ted Jones
      Just for you Jesus is only known to have written in the sand at the feet of hypocrites that were about to stone a woman for doing what they themselves did.
      Just as God did not use a pen to write the Old Testament Jesus did not use a pen to write the New Testament. The Word if God speaks to your heart. What you find written is from men some inspired more than others but inspired just the same.

      I suspect when you read the Bible you heard the voice that revealed who you really are just as I did. That is why it is called the Living Word of God.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      fred

      Ted Jones
      Jesus said
      ............
      I assume there is a recording of this or Jesus's own handwriting.
      ..
      In addition to my question above....do you relate all ga ys people as abuse victims and this is why they are ga y?

      May 14, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      And Fred, your faith is not based on the actual word of god written by a god, rather men who claimed to write on behalf of a god. The core of your faith is in man.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I'm not unfamiliar with the 12 steps as well as celebrate recovery. It was once said taht he greatest spiritual advance of our time was the invention of Alcoholics Anonymous. As the recovery from alcohol community has matured and stayed sober, they have revealed for us a resultant "dual diagnosis" in many cases. Drugs and alcohol are often used to self medicate and once removed the primary addictions and mental illnesses begin to present. Since seexuality is at the core of our being as humans, it should not surprise that seexual distortion, obsession and compulsion is underlying.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • mama k

      fred – you didn't answer the questions in my reply at May 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm.

      Looking at those questions and answers might help us get to the root of your odd assumptions and correlations.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “The risks associated with …..are far less than the real damage caused by marginalizing gays and lesbians for who they are.”
      =>No, the damage is caused by the choices and those choices are influenced by many factors. The experts cannot seem to agree on the ordering of factors.

      “existence of your imaginary friend, it is no more likely to exist than the Tooth Fairy. Believing it exists places you at about the level of a five year old.”
      =>no, it reveals your compete lack of understanding. If you wish to put Obama, Clinton and most of our presidents in the category of 5 year olds then you need to reassess your grasp on reality. Given you see yourself as much greater than these men even though you cannot hope to achieve their level of authority and leadership your argument follows the same reasoning. The Tooth Fairy never achieved the level of authority or influence accredited to Jesus or the Bible for that matter yet somehow you think you have logically equated them. I wonder if all atheists suffer the same impairment.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • fred

      mama k
      “ is this your experience at one location in the U.S. or more?”
      Two locations not inner city mostly middle class.

      “Should I assume that you are dealing with other problems besides those involving homosexuals?”
      Homosexual issues were less than 10% and the other issues were drugs/ alcohol, sex, anger, food addictions, orientation in that order. These were mostly people looking for help from God to get out of their brokenness. They all had some prior knowledge or life experience with Christianity.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Trail

      Bill Deacon, you are a master of the slippery slope presentation. A true master. Are you a Christian

      May 14, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Mary

      fred appears to have a little => problem.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • JMEF

      BD is not a Christian nor is the RCC that he is part of. Nice evasion of the other posters points on the gay marriage topic Bill, cat got your tongue.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Trail. You either don't know any recovering people or have no ability to google "dual diagnosis"

      May 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Dual diagnosis (also called co-occurring disorders, COD)[1] is the condition of suffering from a mental illness and a comorbid substance abuse problem.

      JMEF, I think Ralph cleared it up for us all. He admitted that gaay marriage is not equivalent to traditional marriage and that pro gaay marriage advocates have no intention of defending that, focusing on the legalization over the justification. I'm satisfied with that acknowledgement.

      May 14, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "No, the damage is caused by the choices and those choices are influenced by many factors. The experts cannot seem to agree on the ordering of factors."
      The suicide of a single gay teen because he or she was bullied by the likes of you is far worse than the possible medical cost of the additional sexual activity.

      You and your ilk are, in part, personally responsible for all the suicides. You are complicit in the death of numerous kids.

      You said, "no, it reveals your compete lack of understanding."
      I understand that you believe, without a shred of evidence in support, that your imaginary friend is real. That is indistinguishable from an infantile belief in the Easter Bunny.

      You said, "If you wish to put Obama, Clinton and most of our presidents in the category of 5 year olds then you need to reassess your grasp on reality."
      Aside from being ignorant, you also appear to be clueless about politics and politicians. Because a large majority of voters still has imaginary friends, it behooves a politician to, in the interest of electability, cater to those delusions. That doesn't necessarily mean that he or she suffers from it too. It is far easier for a sane person to act insane, than the other way around. It is also far easier for a rational person to act as if he or she is a delusional believer than the other way around.

      Mental illness is hard to hide but easy to mimic. I would be sorely disappointed if either Clinton or Obama were actual believers. But even if they are, sometimes a believer may be all that is available, and as long as they keep that delusion separate from the real world, I won't disqualify them simply because they are believers.

      You said, "Given you see yourself as much greater than these men even though you cannot hope to achieve their level of authority and leadership your argument follows the same reasoning."
      I don't think I could stoop to the level of a believer for more than a short while. I guess I'm not cut out for US politics.

      You said, "The Tooth Fairy never achieved the level of authority or influence accredited to Jesus or the Bible for that matter yet somehow you think you have logically equated them."
      Just because virtually everyone believed the world was flat, just a few hundred years ago, doesn't mean it was. Just because kids aren't allowed to question the belief in one imaginary being while they are actively discouraged from believing in others, after a certain age, doesn't mean one is less imaginary than the other.

      The only way to establish whether your god actually exists is to provide some evidence. Something believers have failed at for thousands of years.

      May 14, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • JMEF

      BD Yes pick and choose Bill, how Chad like. David TX provided a detailed answer to your question that you cannot or will not answer, why?

      May 14, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill, where did Ralph say that and who are "us all"?

      May 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • JMEF

      Exactly Saraswati, Ralph states BD's question is not honest and Bill extrapolates that into Ralph confiring his entire argument, Bill is morphing into Chad.

      May 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @JMEF, A lot of them seem to do the same thing. I wonder if it's something modelled by their religious leaders or just a reaction of desperation?

      May 14, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • fred

      “The suicide of a single gay teen because he or she was bullied by the likes of you is far worse than the possible medical cost of the additional s.exual activity.”
      =>In perspective 48 billion spent by U.S. to treat aids could have saved many lives from many causes that were not voluntary such as AIDS acquired by drugs or s.ex choices.

      “You and your ilk are, in part, personally responsible for all the suicides. You are complicit in the death of numerous kids.”
      =>not me but perhaps those who look down their nose or treat anyone less then themselves. You know we are to love our neighbor as ourselves and that doing what you suggest is a sin. I understand many treat others in harmful ways and it was Jesus who pointed this out. Jesus would never encourage kids to run after se.xual desires leading to death.

      “That is indistinguishable from an infantile belief in the Easter Bunny.”
      =>get real and be a good egg

      “Aside from being ignorant, you also appear to be clueless about politics and politicians.“
      =>look who is delusional. You can read Clintons heart and Obama’s heart and determined they fake their faith.

      “I would be sorely disappointed if either Clinton or Obama were actual believers.”
      =>so Clinton still finds it necessary to lie about God? Face it God is more than the Easter Bunny

      “Just because virtually everyone believed the world was flat, just a few hundred years ago, doesn't mean it was.”
      =>Just because virtually everyone knows the Easter Bunny is make believe doesn’t mean it is. Now how silly is that?

      “ Just because kids aren't allowed to question the belief in one imaginary being while they are actively discouraged from believing in others, after a certain age, doesn't mean one is less imaginary than the other.”
      =>one is known to be imaginary character originating among German Lutherans, while God cannot be proven or disproven.

      “The only way to establish whether your god actually exists is to provide some evidence. Something believers have failed at for thousands of years.”
      =>Any evidence for or against God that meets scientific standards would mean God is man made. There are many reasons for God and reasons to believe just as there are reasons not to believe. Now, you can continue to be reasonable or unreasonable either way your belief is not based on evidence.

      May 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • fred

      above is reply to LinCA

      May 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, Dill Doe, you're just precious. As if anyone's denying that traditional marriage is beneficial to society! Straw man, dumbfvck. Nobody said it was. The fact is that gay marriages are beneficial to society in precisely the same ways. Unless you can cite ANY difference, dear, you lose. You cannot come up with any benefits that straight marriage affords society that is not also provided by SS marriage.

      Therefore, there's no reason not to allow gays to marry.

      May 14, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • fred

      The Real Tom
      If the marriage bed was not defiled as God commanded we would not be having this discussion. The fact Bible believing people do not honor God in the marriage bed any more than non believers I would agree with you (no different than ss marriage). Orientation is not the issue. Honoring God in our daily lives is the issue. We made our bed now we can lie / lay in it.

      May 14, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • The real Tom

      It's "LIE", stupid. And marriage isn't required to involve your god, your bible, or your beliefs.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • fred

      The Real Tom
      Doing the best I can for a Lay Pastor

      May 14, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "In perspective 48 billion spent by U.S. to treat aids could have saved many lives from many causes that were not voluntary such as AIDS acquired by drugs or s.ex choices."
      As long as you keep associating AIDS with homosexuality you keep showing your ignorance. While the gay community was particularly hard-hit by the epidemic, AIDS is not a gay-only illness. It is just as much, if not more, of a problem among heterosexuals.

      You said, "not me but perhaps those who look down their nose or treat anyone less then themselves."
      As long as you keep trying to deny them equal access and equal protection under the law, you are very much guilty.

      You said, "look who is delusional. You can read Clintons heart and Obama’s heart and determined they fake their faith."
      If they have half a brain between them, they are very much atheists.

      You said, "so Clinton still finds it necessary to lie about God? Face it God is more than the Easter Bunny"
      I said that I would be disappointed if he was a true believer. I don't know if he is. In US politics the choice is hardly ever between the perfect candidate and everyone else. It is most often between an acceptable one and a republican. What passes for "acceptable" depends in most cases on how horrible the republican is. The bar is often very, very low.

      But even so, the fact remains that there is still a majority of dimwits in this country. Clinton still has an agenda that he needs funding for. Pointing out how ignorant people are is probably bad for his cash flow.

      You said, "Just because virtually everyone knows the Easter Bunny is make believe doesn’t mean it is. Now how silly is that?"
      There is a chance that it is real. That doesn't mean you should live your life as if it is. The odds that it is real is roughly equal to the odds that your god is real.

      You said, "one is known to be imaginary character originating among German Lutherans, while God cannot be proven or disproven."
      We know quite well when your god was invented. Just because its fairy tale has been around a little longer doesn't mean it's any more likely to exist.

      You said, "Any evidence for or against God that meets scientific standards would mean God is man made."
      So, if evidence for your god is impossible, how could those that wrote your fairy tale possibly know what they were talking about? Is the "evidence" for your god only perceptible to the gullible?

      It may be past time to recognize that your god is entirely man made.

      You said, "There are many reasons for God and reasons to believe just as there are reasons not to believe."
      Of course, the reasons to believe are fairly simple. It is far easier to answer any question for which there isn't an immediate answer by saying "goddidit" than to find out what really goes on. It is also far easier to keep the flock in line if you are perceived to be in communication with a vengeful god. Sheeple are easy to control when they are afraid.

      The reason to not believe is also exceedingly simple. There simply is not a single reason to believe these creatures exist.

      You said, "Now, you can continue to be reasonable or unreasonable either way your belief is not based on evidence."
      It is the complete and utter absence of evidence that makes my position the only reasonable one. Without evidence it is unreasonable to believe anything.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
  9. ME II

    @Chad,
    "why dont you try and seek God?"

    A) As I said, I have. It didn't work. Obviously, you likely won't agree that it was a sufficient attempt, but how do you know? What objective criteria do you use?

    B) I see no reason to try any further as there is no objective evidence that indicates a god exists.

    "1. You want a existence protocol that can prove that God doesnt exist, and then when that can be shown it fails, proves God exists? "

    Are you claiming that a negative "existence protocol" exists? and that it failed? and such failur "proves" Gods's existence?
    What are you talking about exactly?

    "2. You dont feel that seeking God is valid, because you claim one has to believe in Him before seeking Him?"

    I don't feel that "evidence" that is predicated on belief is sufficient to warrent investigation, no. Otherwise, I would be hunting UFOs and big foot.

    "3. having an experience isnt by definition "subjective", any more than finding a tree in the woods while you are out hiking alone is subjective.. "

    The experience itself is absolutely subjective; no one else will ever have the same experience. The tree however is objective, i.e. anyone can check to see if it is a tree. The fact that you were there and may have seen the tree is an objective phenomena.

    "4. Claiming that someone hasnt shown objective evidence, because the way to determine if God is real is a one on one process "

    Not sure what you are saying here.

    5"A. indicative of your need to have God meet you on your terms"

    I would like some objective evidence, yes. That doesn't seem too much to ask.

    5"B. the analogy would perhaps be better framed as 'one doesnt attempt to detect light with a sonar', the point being you have to use the prescribed mechanism to get results."

    Okay, tell me what light meter to use, what reading I should find and why, and let's get started. Mind you, though, such things need to be rational, e.g. pointing a light meter at the sun and saying, 'see, God exists' is obviously incorrect.

    "6. You are badly misusing the term 'objective'"
    "objective(of a person or their judgment) Not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts."

    Try the rest of that OED definition:

    Definition of objective
    adjective
    1(of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts:
    historians try to be objective and impartial
    Contrasted with subjective.
    not dependent on the mind for existence; actual:
    a matter of objective fact

    (http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/objective)

    "having an individual experience confirming the existence of God is objective."

    What?

    I was talking about objective evidence, not experience. You had mentioned, "experiential knowledge", though I am not entirely certain what that is, but a purely subjective experience, i.e. no objective phenomena, does not qualify as objective evidence, because no one else can tell if it even happened let alone if it's true.

    Your example of finding a tree on a hike, is not a purely subjective experience. There would be objective evidence of that event, e.g. foot prints, mud on shoes, pollen/etc. on clothing, the tree itself.

    May 14, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • ME II

      Reply to post on pg 5

      May 14, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • @chad

      @ME II

      I suspect he's going to scurry off and hide now that you've shredded his argument.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Pete

      "I suspect he's going to scurry off and hide now that you've shredded his argument."

      Or he'll come back with a bunch of twisted nonsense not related to the actual points being made filled with deceitfulness and lies.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Chad

      @ME II "What objective criteria do you use?"
      @Chad "I dont have any, that's a question you'll have to answer for yourself"

      ===
      @ME II "I see no reason to try any further as there is no objective evidence that indicates a god exists."
      @Chad "define what objective evidence you would view as acceptable (that always kills that conversation )"

      "1. You want a existence protocol that can prove that God doesnt exist, and then when that can be shown it fails, proves God exists? "

      ===
      @ME II "I don't feel that "evidence" that is predicated on belief is sufficient to warrent investigation, no. Otherwise, I would be hunting UFOs and big foot."
      @Chad "origin of the universe, origin of life, universe obeys laws, free will, Jesus. All of that is evidence, and it warrants investigation.

      ==
      the remainder of your post has to do with the nature of the experience (objective/subjective), and evidence

      If you meet a person, that is an objective experience, that person is objective evidence.
      God offers you the opportunity to have that objective experience and evidence with Him.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • sam stone

      "God offers you the opportunity to have that objective experience and evidence with Him."

      You confuse objective with subjective.....

      but, by all means, blather on

      May 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "define what objective evidence you would view as acceptable (that always kills that conversation 🙂 )"

      Generally, it does kill the conversation, because you fail to acknowledge that the burden of proof is on the claimant. (That's you 🙂 ) Any empirical evidence supporting the existence of God would be a start.

      "origin of the universe, origin of life, universe obeys laws, free will, Jesus. All of that is evidence, and it warrants investigation."

      I agree that all of those thing warrant investigation, but not that said warrant itself is evidence. With the exception of free will and Jesus, they are questions that should be investigated, but questions are not evidence.

      "If you meet a person, that is an objective experience. God offers you no less an objective experience."

      Two people meeting is an objective event. The experience is subjective. If meeting God is an objective event, then objective evidence should be possible.

      I think you are conflating the noun form of "experience", e.g. I have experience in this job, with the subjective nature of the verb form:

      verb
      [with object]
      encounter or undergo (an event or occurrence):
      the company is experiencing difficulties
      feel (an emotion):
      an opportunity to experience the excitement of New York

      (http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/experience)

      May 14, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • ME II

      Note: in original post on pg 5 emoticon was in @Chad's posting.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      "God offers you the opportunity to have that objective experience and evidence with Him"
      .
      Did you use the bat phone to talk to him? Did he tell this to you direct? Do you have a recording of his voice? Or is this something that is on a "personal" level/experience that cannot be detected or recorded? Perhaps this promise you speak of came from another man's words?

      May 14, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad "define what objective evidence you would view as acceptable (that always kills that conversation )"
      @ME II "Generally, it does kill the conversation, because you fail to acknowledge that the burden of proof is on the claimant. (That's you ) Any empirical evidence supporting the existence of God would be a start."

      @Chad "So, I have always acknowledged and accept that if I am purporting to demonstrate the existence of God that the burden of proof is on me. I have never once denied that 🙂
      You are conflating that with me asking a person who denies the existence of God to provide a basis for that statement.
      but, I digress, you know all this of course, yet persist (and they call me disengenuous!!), I guess you feel it makes good copy..


      so: accepting that I have the burden in the context of this particular discussion SINCE I am the one making a claim, what kind of empirical evidence would you accept? Please give me a couple examples. thanks!..

      ===
      @Chad ""origin of the universe, origin of life, universe obeys laws, free will, Jesus. All of that is evidence, and it warrants investigation."
      @ME II "I agree that all of those thing warrant investigation, but not that said warrant itself is evidence. With the exception of free will and Jesus, they are questions that should be investigated, but questions are not evidence."
      @Chad "so, what investigation have you done?
      and
      why do you exclude free will and Jesus?

      ===
      @Chad ""If you meet a person, that is an objective experience. God offers you no less an objective experience."
      @ME II "Two people meeting is an objective event. The experience is subjective. If meeting God is an objective event, then objective evidence should be possible."
      @Chad "what objective evidence is available when you meet another person in the woods, then part ways?"

      May 14, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Chad

      @sam stone

      if you meet someone, is that not objective experience?

      May 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Chad

      @saraswati "... People only have to be a smidgeon smarter than those they're talking to to have the potential to be convincing."

      =>cant believe what I am reading!
      criticism from a determinist?

      that makes you immoral, right?

      Determinism – which holds that our behavior is determined by prior causes in the same way that the motion of an object through space is determined by prior causes – says that a person could not have acted differently. The laws of physics determine the motion of every electron, proton, and neutron on our body, meaning that they determine the motion of the body itself. There is no free will. It is never the case that an agent could have overthrown these laws of physics and done something else.

      Therefore, it is never the case that an agent ought to have done something else. Any claim that they ought to have is false – built on this false assumption that humans have a supernatural capacity to overthrow the laws of physics.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • George

      Chad, do drop the html attempts. You are making yourself look even more foolish.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Wow, Chad, you still haven't wrapped your head around how a determinist world view actually works despite having it explained in very straight forward terms multiple times. If you ever get it you're going to feel pretty silly, but there's probably no danger of that.

      Once again, in a determinist (as opposed to a fatalist...I know you still don't really get the difference though you think you do) world view the individual is a part of the system. He or she makes choices, and those choices are determined. This is a metaphysical not an ethical system so there is no way yet, just based on a belief of determinism, to judge what is or isn't moral. On top of this system you could have many different ethical systems. I am something very close to a rule utilitarian, and I call morally good that which is done in order to increase the greatest conscious well being of all sentient beings (weighted system, but not relevant here). In order to efficiently order these decisions we have rules and insti.tute criticism when either the rules or the greater goal of the common good are broken. These are things that influence (deterministically) people's choices.

      Pretty simple stuff. I'd bet a bundle you don't get it this time either. Look, you clearly have a learning disability and I do feel a bit mean when I laugh about this stuff, but your refusal to even consider that you don't know what you're talking about and to recognize that you are particularly slow to adjust new information is a real problem. I don't know what to do to help you, but since this behavior is relatively rare you're just pis.sing people off and making an ass of yourself. I recommend you stop, but it's up to you. One hint: just because there are a lot of idiots in the world and you can see that doesn't mean you aren't also an idiot. Sorry, just the reality.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Russ

      I think Chad really has a point to make. I'm just not sure what it is.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Chad

      regarding determinism vs fatalism, pretty straightforward, unfortunately you are simply incorrect..

      Determinism states that for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given those conditions, nothing else could happen.
      Fatalism emphasizes the subjugation of all events or actions to fate.
      Fate is a power or agency that predetermines and orders the course of events.

      =====
      For the remainder, you are (perhaps) attempting to sneak in a different view on determinism than your previous expressed view.

      @ Saraswati I don't need to define free will since Christians are the one introducing it. I don't believe in it and don't use the term except in discussions about how it is meaningless. It is a filler word used for pragmatic reasons much as "common sense". For Christians to use it they must define it as existing outside the normal flow of determinism and something more than random or probabalistic events.
      January 15, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      From this thread:
      @saraswati "He or she makes choices, and those choices are determined. ... These are things that influence (deterministically) people's choices.

      so, question (which you probably wont answer).
      your use of the word "determined" above, please elaborate.
      there is a big difference between "determined" due to being deterministically constrained due to the laws of the universe, vs the squishy "determined" due to "having been raised to do a certain thing in a certain situation"

      which are you referring to?
      The answer bears on whether the "choice" is a real "choice" or not.

      cue anything but an answer...

      May 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Saraswati

      lol...Chad, do you think the way people are raised is outside the laws of the universe. Too funny.

      May 14, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "what kind of empirical evidence would you accept? Please give me a couple examples."

      Empirical evidence (also empirical data, sense experience, empirical knowledge, or the a posteriori) is a source of knowledge acquired by means of observation or experimentation. (wiki)

      The following are not conclusive, but might, if verified, be considered empirical evidence towards your claim.
      Observation: photos, finger prints, DNA, spiritual essence(?), angels, cherubs, etc. (no, the Bible is not sufficient), would be a start.
      Experimentation: repeatable tests that can be performed by independent sources, something like "Study of the Thera[]peutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP) in cardiac bypass patients: a multicenter randomized trial of uncertainty and certainty of receiving intercessory prayer" (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16569567), would be as start.

      ====
      "so, what investigation have you done?"

      I am not a astrophysicist, physicist, nor a biologist, so I have done little primary research, just reading.

      "why do you exclude free will and Jesus?"

      As I've said before we may not be able to tell if free will even exists, let alone if we have it. Jesus as a person in history is not evidence of anything, except that a person named Jesus existed in history.

      ====
      "what objective evidence is available when you meet another person in the woods, then part ways?"

      What evidence is possible? footprints, trace evidence on each other's clothing, depending on proximity skin flakes may be transferred, GPS records, photos, etc.

      May 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad "cue anything but an answer...

      @Saraswati "lol...Chad, do you think the way people are raised is outside the laws of the universe. Too funny."

      @Chad "right on cue :-)"

      to the reader: the reason @saraswati didnt want to answer, is that if she fessed up to believing in the hard determinism, then she would be forced to admit that in that view, any criticism is immoral as in that view the agent being criticized had no choice to do anything else. Which in turn, would force her to admit that though she purports to believe in determinism, her actions are in direct contradiction to that professed belief.

      there will follow another round of ad-hominims..

      May 14, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      We've already seen this song and dance before. You say all atheists are determinists (eventhough you know that to be false). You wait for an atheist to point that out and then fall into your position that being a determinist automatically invalidates the nebulous idea of "free will". You refuse to actually discuss the difference between physical free will (are we able to have a certain degree of control over our subconcious mind?) and theological free will (Are we predestined or determined to do something or do we have free will to choose our own path).

      You then turn a blind eye to the incoherent position of having a god who can time travel and see the result of a "choice" you made and then go back and pretend like that initial choice will still somehow turn out differently.

      You base this all on the assumption that humans have a soul and when challenged with this it gets blown up into the broader issue of "does the supernatural exist?" which you equivocate (which is incidentally the word of the day today) the origin of the universe to be a supernatural event.

      You have pages and pages of dicussions with the atheist du jour that you deign to talk to (Whether it be me, ME II, Saraswati, etc...) and then when you finally run away after being thouroughly trounced, you begin again, on a different page and refuse to address the atheist that just word ra.ped you.

      Considering we all know this game, why do you keep on playing? Why do you keep embarrassing yourself day in and day out on the same discussion points? I'm seriously asking here because we all know the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result), so I'm very serious when I ask, are you insane?

      May 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Saraswati

      No, Chad, what I did is laugh at the fact that you can't recognize hard determinism when it's staring you in the face. As predicted, you still don't get it.

      May 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Saraswati

      The best part of this particular version of this discussion is how clear it becomes that chad can't distinguish physics and metaphysics from ethics. He gets funnier with each round.

      May 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • lol??

      You have enough free will to get saved. Predestination happens after salvation.

      May 14, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Chad

      to the reader: the reason @saraswati didnt want to answer, is that if she fessed up to believing in the hard determinism, then she would be forced to admit that in that view, any criticism is immoral as in that view the agent being criticized had no choice to do anything else. Which in turn, would force her to admit that though she purports to believe in determinism, her actions are in direct contradiction to that professed belief.

      there will follow another round of ad-hominims..

      right on cue!

      May 14, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      No Ad-hominem here, just a serious question, are you insane? You have clearly shown that you keep posting the same sh.it, having the same debates, asking the same questions and expecting something different to happen (which is never does).

      So, answer the question. I'm not even trying to be mean here so please don't take it that way, I'm just honestly curious at this point.

      May 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II's list of acceptable evidence of the God of Israel:

      1. photos, finger prints, DNA, spiritual essence(?), angels, cherubs, etc.
      2. Experimentation: repeatable tests that can be performed by independent sources, something like "Study of the Thera[]peutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP) in cardiac bypass patients: a multicenter randomized trial of uncertainty and certainty of receiving intercessory prayer" (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16569567), would be a start.

      ===
      in response:
      A. DNA for a non-natural being? I think you are confused about the nature of the God of Israel according to Christian doctrine
      B. Demands that God perform for an audience? You arent aware apparently that that type of thing is specifically called out as wrong by the bible.
      C. And, topping that off with repeated refusals on your part to investigate the reality of the God of Israel as is directed by the bible itself.

      Leads one to inescapably conclude that you dont want to find God, so you arent looking..

      May 14, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Chad is making a category error. Yes all inanimate matter and energy in the universe behaves deterministically. Life however, even at the cellular level, is like a battery. The potential is determined but the utilization is random. Living things are agencies of chaos.

      May 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • JMEF

      Chad
      The ad hominem fallacy right on cue. Because someone that does not want to go through your game of answering the same questions and argument for the tenth time is not avoiding the question. You are so adept at searching out some ones past comments when it suits your purpose, I challenge you to look up the answers and really try to understand. Calling someone a criminal and murderer is not ad hominem if they are proven to be one; calling you disingenuous and a bald faced liar in your case is not an ad hominem attack simply a fact.

      May 14, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad,
      "Demands that God perform for an audience? You arent aware apparently that that type of thing is specifically called out as wrong by the bible."

      The believers claim that there is a god and for christians that the bible is the word of said god. Yet the only evidence presented is the bible, which has fallen far short on the testable parts, so how can it be verified? Well god could present itself; the bible claims it did several times millenia ago. The bible records that god performed for Elijah, Gideon, and Hezekiah, so it's not unprecedented. Also isn't that how fortune-tellers and psychics work – if you're skeptical then my powers disappear. Not very convincing.

      May 14, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Santa

      I thought the same thing. god is entirely unwilling to perform for mortals for fear of being caught on camera because.... well because in the bible he's a little camera shy I guess. It really makes no sense. god is supposed to be this crazy vain diety that demands worship from all his followers, but when a follower, or heathen for that matter, asks god to put up or shut up, he's gone and a believer speaks up and says "well when my sisters friend's aunts boyfriends best friends former roommate asked the same question, god killed him, so.... I don't ask god to do something because he'll kill you"

      Chad asked what empiracle evidence ME II et al would like to see, ME II responds with a lot of different ways that god could prove his existance and chad responds "stop persecuting me!"

      May 14, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      You asked, "...what kind of empirical evidence would you accept? "

      I answered.
      (Although, just to be clear, I did not say "acceptable evidence of the God of Israel")

      ===
      "A. DNA for a non-natural being? I think you are confused about the nature of the God of Israel according to Christian doctrine"

      Your doctrine is not my problem.
      However – so you don't have DNA. What about photos? People claim to see these things, so they must be photographable, right? So, divine intervention must emit radiation, right? What about infra-red, or gamma, radiation. Neutrinos?

      They don't emit radiation? They must impact the brain is some way, right? How?

      If they exist, there must be some interaction with the physical world, otherwise we would not aware of them at all ...

      ... or perhaps we just made them up.

      I've provided several examples, don't expect me to do your work for you.

      "B. Demands that God perform for an audience? You arent aware apparently that that type of thing is specifically called out as wrong by the bible."

      Again, your doctrine is not my problem.
      This is classic unfalsifiability. I'v heard that clarvoyant's can't work with negative vibes around either.

      "C. And, topping that off with repeated refusals on your part to investigate the reality of the God of Israel as is directed by the bible itself."

      I said I had already tried. It did not work.

      You have failed again and again, or perhaps "repeated refusals" is more appropo, to provide any objective measure of a successful attempt.

      Tell me again, how exactly is it determined whether or not I tried with my "whole heart"?

      Regardless, what does that have to do with empirical evidence? This is a deflection.

      May 14, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "your doctrine is not my problem"

      =>we are narrowing in on the core issue.
      Your statement indicates that the evidence you consider acceptable for God, does not coincide with what God actually is.

      as shown above you dont want to find God, so you arent looking.

      May 14, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "as shown above you dont want to find God, so you arent looking."

      Arggh! Let me say this again, you asked what would be empirical evidence. I answered.

      First, I am "looking" at the data that I think I can trust,or is less likely to be false any way, i.e. scientific data.

      Second, you admitted to having the 'burden of proof', so why does it matter one iota whether I'm looking or not? Present your evidence!

      Third, please stop playing at mind-reading, you're not very good. (You have no clue what I want.)

      May 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "your doctrine is not my problem"

      1. You are asking for "evidence" that is not in line with the nature of the God of Israel as revealed in the bible.
      I wont speculate as to why you are doing that, but that's what you are doing.

      Kind of like "I'll accept that that's' your car only if it tells me so itself".

      2. I acknowledge that if I am making an assertion that the God of Israel is real, I have a burden of proof.
      If, on the other hand, you are making an assertion that the God of Israel is not real, you have the burden.

      May 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Chad

      3. The reason I always ask for what evidence the atheist would accept is:
      A. they hate to articulate it, as it shows how irrational their demands are (for example, DNA above..)
      B. it gets atheists out of the position of saying "nope", "nope", "nope" to whatever is presented, regardless of validity.

      May 14, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Von Block

      Chad, present all the evidence that you can for your god. In any form.

      I suspect that you have none.

      May 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Ed

      Chad is a burden. Even on other Christians.

      May 14, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, Acceptable proof. How about water into wine, walking on water, eclipse on demand, lightning on demand, verifiable answer to prayers, woman into salt, man survives in big fish, man lives for centuries, raise from the dead, heal an amputee, etc.

      May 14, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I rarely care about changing the mind of a Christian. I am very certain why I lack a belief for any gods, and I share those reasons readily. If the Christian cannot show where my reasoning is wrong, then I have no cause to reconsider my stance.

      Because I was a Christian for almost five decades, I know that deconversion can be an extremely difficult thing, and that most Christians would rather pretend to believe and "keep up appearances" with themselves and others than honestly evaluate the actual state of their belief and courageously follow their convictions despite any lingering fear. It's perfectly natural for Christians and muslims to cower under the fear of their brainwashing rather than shake off the silliness of their belief system once they see it exposed in some way or other.

      Christianity is a ridiculous belief for a huge list of reasons; Christians just ignore that list in favor of weak apologetics and flimsy philosophy wrapped in fancy rhetoric.

      May 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Personal opinion, hearsay, and "faith" in the personal opinion of others is not evidence, Chad, and no Christian has anything other than that.

      May 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      C. So you don't have to address #2.

      "A. they hate to articulate it, as it shows how irrational their demands are (for example, DNA above..)
      B. it gets atheists out of the position of saying "nope", "nope", "nope" to whatever is presented, regardless of validity."

      A) You asked for examples, not demands, I presented them.

      B) What validity?

      May 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      . You are asking for "evidence" that is not in line with the nature of the God of Israel as revealed in the bible.
      I wont speculate as to why you are doing that, but that's what you are doing. - You've already speculated, so that's lie #1, lie #2 is that you are now trying to say that evidence is not in line with god even though the song you were singing mere days ago is the hard evidence is the empty tomb. So which is it Chad, that god doesn't need evidence, or there is evidence?

      "Kind of like "I'll accept that that's' your car only if it tells me so itself".
      - No, that's false equivalency and shows that you are clearly still misunderstanding ME II, he is asking to see you're car. You are asking him to trust you that you have a car. He says he won't believe you until you produce evidence. You ask what that evidence would be and he says that either show the car, or even tire tracks in your driveway, You say that the only evidence ME II should need is that the person down the street one time saw you drive a car.

      2. I acknowledge that if I am making an assertion that the God of Israel is real, I have a burden of proof.
      If, on the other hand, you are making an assertion that the God of Israel is not real, you have the burden.

      –Lie #3 (or is it #4?) The assertion "god is not real" rarely comes up and when it does, it's only in reaction to the original claim. Once you prove your claim with hard, empiracle evidence and the atheist still completely rejects the claim, then it is up to the atheist to show why the evidence provided isn't conclusive.

      "3. The reason I always ask for what evidence the atheist would accept is:
      A. they hate to articulate it, as it shows how irrational their demands are (for example, DNA above..) - Lie #4/5 I have said countless times what acceptable evidence would be, nor do I find it the least bit irrational. The only atheist that hates to articulate what evidence he or she would need is the make believe atheist that you argue with when you aren't on this blog.
      "B. it gets atheists out of the position of saying "nope", "nope", "nope" to whatever is presented, regardless of validity."
      –More lies, An atheist wants evidence, when you say "trust me" or "the bible" or some of your other bullsh.it, it's not good enough, and not because I don't want it to be good enough, that would be opinion. It's not good enough because it's hearsay, subjective bullpoop that wouldn't hold up under scrutiny for five minutes from a rational mind.

      Please answer my question Chad, are you insane?

      May 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  10. Neal Dakota

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

    May 14, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • The real Tom

      The author is all of 25 years old. He doesn't know anything yet.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Pete

      "The author is all of 25 years old. He doesn't know anything yet."

      And he's still in school, the kid isn't even an expert or anything at all. It's just shows how desperate the xtians are with their deceitfulness and lies about gays.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • The real Tom

      What really cracks me up is that this kid isn't yet married and has absolutely no idea what the future will be like.

      When I was 25, I thought I knew everything, too. I outgrew that. So will he, if he has any brains.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Neal Dakota

      Ah, so added to the post modern stance: You have a right to free speech, so long as you agree with me and you're above a certain age limit.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • The real Tom

      Ah, the little doofus imagines someone's telling him he can't speak. You don't read very well, either.

      You have every right to say whatever you want. And I have every right to ridicule your silly belief that you know anything about life at all.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • mama k

      Vic tries to over-simplify what latest research shows about epigenetics and homosexuality by including "nurture" and "lifestyle" in a list of factors external to genes. I don't think he realizes that what scientists have been saying for quite some time now indicate they are talking about environmental factors that occur much earlier on in life than "nurture" or "lifestyle". Furthermore, they indicate that such changes in gene expression are resistant to change.

      The following is from the article:
      ==================
      Homosexuality ultimately a result of gene regulation, researchers find (12/11/2012 – LiveScience)

      [ The search for a "gay gene" may be off-target, new research finds. Another process called epigenetics that switches genes on and off may explain why homosexuality runs in families.

      Epigenetics are heritable changes caused by factors other than DNA. Instead of traits getting passed down through the genes, epigenetic change happens because of the way genes are regulated, or turned on and off.

      These genetic regulators may be the reason homosexuality persists in nature despite the fact that gay people are less likely to reproduce, suggests the new study published in the journal The Quarterly Review of Biology.

      "These things have evolved because they're good for the parents, but they sometimes, not [with] high frequency, but sometimes carry over" into offspring, study researcher William Rice, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told LiveScience. In a male fetus, Rice and his colleagues write, an epigenetic change that benefited the mother may lead to "feminization" of sexual preference — homo- or bisexuality. The same may be true for epigenetic changes passed down by dad to a female fetus. (The terms feminization and masculinization of sexual preference refer to sexual orientation only — not to physical or personality traits of the offspring.)

      The findings add to past research suggesting gay men haven't died out, because female relatives of gay men tend to have more children on average than other females. The study researchers specifically found that two genes passed on through the maternal line could produce this effect.

      Hormones, epigenetics and orientation

      Rice and his colleagues focused on epi-marks, which are molecular changes that act like temporary "switches" to turn genes on and off. If a gene is a blueprint, the epi-mark is the construction foreman who makes sure the product gets built. An epi-mark also determines when, where and how much a gene is expressed, according to the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.

      These molecular switches are usually erased very early in the developmental process, but they can be passed down from generation to generation, too, Rice said.

      Some epi-marks are particularly important during fetal development, when they promote normal physical development in the sexes despite natural variations in testosterone during pregnancy. Researchers know that fetal exposure to too much testosterone can masculinize the genitals, brain or behavior of a genetically female fetus. Likewise, too little testosterone can make a genetically male fetus more feminized.

      But here's the catch: There's lots of overlap between the levels of testosterone male and female fetuses get exposed to. That means there must be another side to the story, Rice and his colleagues wrote.

      That side appears to be epigenetics, Rice said.

      "Early in development, we think these epi-marks are laid down so that girl fetuses will be relatively insensitive to testosterone and male fetuses will be relatively sensitive to testosterone," Rice said.

      Biological behavior

      Thus, if an epi-mark that kept a mother from getting exposed to high testosterone in development gets passed on to her son — the opposite sex — it could desensitize him to testosterone, contributing to his sexual preference for men. Similarly, if a male-specific epi-mark from dad gets passed to a daughter, it could "masculinize" her sexual preference, making her more interested in women.

      These findings could explain why twin studies show that homosexuality runs in families, but no "gay gene" can be found, Rice said. In identical twins, there's about a 20 percent chance that if one twin is gay, the other will be too. If genetic change were responsible for homosexuality, you'd expect a much higher match, Rice said. Epigenetics, however, can explain the heritability without the need for a specific genetic change.

      The hypothesis could be tested by examining epigenetic marks in parents of kids with gay versus straight offspring, Rice said. There are, of course, concerns that this knowledge could be used by parents who want to avoid gay offspring, Rice said, but that concern already exists around certain hormonal conditions in utero, which are known to contribute to an increased chance of offspring being lesbians.

      "That cat's already out of the bag," Rice said. He added that an understanding of the biological underpinnings of homosexuality could help emphasize that same-sex behavior is not "unnatural."

      "In fact, it's a major part of the natural world," Rice said. Fourteen percent of Western gulls raise chicks in female-female pairs, he pointed out. And 8 percent of male sheep show zero interest in fertile ewes, but get sexually excited by other rams. ]
      ==================

      In biology, and specifically genetics, epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype, caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence – hence the name epi- (Greek: επί- over, above, outer) -genetics, some of which are heritable.

      As another poster pointed out we haven't found a gene for left-handed people, but we certainly don't ignore that they are that way and resistant to change.

      The latest research on epigenetics also happens to support what we hear coming from the field of psychology:

      The American Psychological Association states "there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people", and says most people's sexual orientation is determined at an early age. Research into how sexual orientation in males may be determined by genetic or other prenatal factors plays a role in political and social debates about homosexuality, and also raises concerns about genetic profiling and prenatal testing."

      Professor Michael King states: "The conclusion reached by scientists who have investigated the origins and stability of sexual orientation is that it is a human characteristic that is formed early in life, and is resistant to change. Scientific evidence on the origins of homosexuality is considered relevant to theological and social debate because it undermines suggestions that sexual orientation is a choice."

      The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

      "Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person's fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice."

      May 14, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • mama k

      Sorry – that was not meant to be a reply – I have relocated.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:38 am |
  11. Vic

    Continuing from last night discussion on epigenetics, for the benefit of the reader:

    To put in layman terms, epigenetics are external non-genetic causes/factors, i.e. environment, nurture, lifestyle, etc., that can influence how some genes may be expressed while DNA (genetic code) is UNCHANGED!

    Until this day, science has not found a single gene that is the cause of h o m o s e x u a l i t y ! As a matter of fact, science has reached a dead end in this regard, and many scientists view the quest for a gene as the cause for h o m o s e x u a l i t y as a lost cause!

    May 14, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • The real Tom

      There doesn't have to be a gene for a trait to be inborn, idiot.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • .

      "Until this day, science has not found a single gene that is the cause of h o m o s e x u a l i t y ! As a matter of fact, science has reached a dead end in this regard, and many scientists view the quest for a gene as the cause for h o m o s e x u a l i t y as a lost cause!"

      Erik

      All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

      Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

      But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

      This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Vic: When the only thing you ever really use to back your bigotry is the buybull your argument completely fails. Just because a 'gay' gene has not been identified does not mean that science has failed, it simply means that as of yet the answer has not been found. So when are you going to admit that you're simply jealous that gays/lesbians have found love and happiness in life and unlike you, don't have to depend on latex dolls to get satisfaction?

      May 14, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Very well written... it's too bad Vic and his ilk are to ignorant to actually comprehend it. So although I found it interesting and logical, i'm afraid it was a wasted effort on them. We don't call them christards for nothing.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Madtown

      science has not found a single gene that is the cause of h o m o s e x u a l i t y !
      -----
      They haven't found one for left-handedness either, yet handedness is not a choice.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Pete

      "They haven't found one for left-handedness either, yet handedness is not a choice."

      Don't forget in the past xtians use to think those who were left handed were possessed by the devil.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Saraswati

      In this context when people are discussing epigenetics they are generally talking about changes in gene expression that take place after or at fertilization and before birth. In many important cases we are looking at how some genes are regulating expression of other genes. So in a senses you could say it is both "genetic" and epigentic.

      Even when people look at genetic factors, they are not looking at a single gene. Traits such as height are not regulated by a single gene but several and so are still "genetic" yet it is silly to talk of the "height gene". That's all that people mean when they say there is no gay gene.

      What people also don't realize is that there's a good chance there are advantages to these traits. A trait that may make some siblings less likely to reproduce may make other siblings more likely to reproduce (say sisters of gay men) while also leaving more males without their own children to help provide for offspring of relatives. Not that this should be particularly important in political discussions or influence how people think of hom.ose.xuality morally, but somehow it seems to get lost in an understanding of this issue.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Vic

      @. "....."

      I am totally surprised . that you identify yourself as a man of science, yet you have not mentioned the front and center field of epigenetics regarding h o m o s e x u a l i t y , once in your obviously confirmation bias response! You have also totally ignored DNA (genetic code) that holds every creature's genetic information!

      I am NOT suggesting any conversion therapy at all to anyone! I am not sure what made you think that! I am a professional myself, and I am presenting correct and accurate scientific data for the issue at hand! I have noticed a lot of misinformed comments regarding the the science of the issue!

      To reiterate:

      To put in layman terms, epigenetics are external non-genetic causes/factors, i.e. environment, nurture, lifestyle, etc., that can influence how some genes may be expressed while DNA (genetic code) is UNCHANGED!

      Research it.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Science

      Hey Vic

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/29/my-take-if-you-hear-god-speak-audibly-you-usually-arent-crazy/comment-page-89/#comment-2340293

      May 14, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Vic

      @. "....."

      I am totally surprised . that you identify yourself as a man of science, yet you have not mentioned the front and center field of epigenetics regarding h o m o s e x u a l i t y , once in your obviously confirmation bias response! You have also totally ignored DNA (genetic code) that holds every creature's genetic information!

      I am NOT suggesting any conversion therapy at all to anyone! I am not sure what made you think that! I am a professional myself, and I am presenting correct and accurate scientific data for the issue at hand! I have noticed a lot of misinformed comments regarding the the science of the issue!

      To reiterate:

      To put in layman terms, epigenetics are external non-genetic causes/factors, i.e. environment, nurture, lifestyle, etc., that can influence how some genes may be expressed while DNA (genetic code) is UNCHANGED!

      Research it.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • UhOh

      "DNA (genetic code) is UNCHANGED!"

      Another illiterate Christian. The dude wasn't talking about genetic code moron. "there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless."

      May 14, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Saraswati

      Actually Vic, you are presenting misinformation on how the term epigentics is used in modern biology and clearly have no clue what you are talking about. Your mistake is in assuming that everyone is as ignorant as you are. I don't know what field you have claimed to be in, but you clearly haven't even taken introductory anatomy or biology classes.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • mama k

      Latest research is not talking about nurture and lifestyle, Vic. They are talking about factors VERY early on in life development. You need to read the latest research, and see how that falls into line with what others have been saying for quite some time now. There are still unknown answers, but researchers believe the answer lies in biological epigenetics where there is gene expression or cellular phenotype modification. Notice how all this jives with what we can observe in the way of homosexuality appearing to skip generations.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Saraswati

      @mama k, If these guys weren't already too lazy to read research they wouldn't be saying such stupid things. Unless it's in a two paragraph summary on some Christian website they won't look at it.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Madtown

      I am a professional myself, and I am presenting correct and accurate scientific data
      -----
      He has a doctorate in Bigotrometrics.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • The real Tom

      Vic, honey, it's not a choice. Even if it were, so what? That wouldn't give you any right to discriminate, either. People don't get to deny others rights simply because they are different.

      Otherwise, we'd all be ousting your ass for being a wackaloon.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Alias

      This is so over-simplified that it proved you don't understand how genes work.
      Sometimes it takes more than one gene working together.
      Each specific gene does not lead to one exact trait.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Vic

      It is really sad for the discussion to s u c c u m b to a d e f e n s i v e & an unprofessional tone and unfounded personal a t t a c k s, let alone mischaracterization of scientific data! I myself don't s l a n d e r nor involve in personal a t t a c k s! I am ONLY presenting up to date input.

      At any rate, I just found this:

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/education/body/epigenetics.html

      May 14, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • The real Tom

      Vic, honey, you can't even figure out how the filters work on this blog.

      If you're that stupid, why would anyone value your opinion?

      May 14, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • LOL!

      "At any rate, I just found this:

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/education/body/epigenetics.html"

      This is proof you really don't know what you're talking about since you had to go google it, you must be related to Chad. LOL!

      May 14, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Dave

      "To put in layman terms, epigenetics are external non-genetic causes/factors, i.e. environment, nurture, lifestyle, etc., that can influence how some genes may be expressed while DNA (genetic code) is UNCHANGED!"

      If you look at what the scientist showed in what you posted by NOVA they showed it does have to do with pregnancy too, which means your above statement is false and you DON'T know what you're talking about.

      "Choline supplementation during pregnancy in rats increases learning ability, enhances synaptic function, and offers protection from neurotoxicity"

      "We have shown that during early fetal development, maternal nutrient supplements of methyl-donating substances (folic acid, choline, vitamin B12, and betaine) or genistein, found in soy products, can counteract the reduction in DNA methylation caused by BPA. "

      May 14, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "I myself don't s l a n d e r nor involve in personal a t t a c k s! I am ONLY presenting up to date input."

      What a liar! You attack and slander every time you use pseudo science or your buybull to speak out against gays. You don't give a rats ass what any of us have to say because obviously it goes against what you have been brainwashed to believe. So you googled something...big deal...there is a lot of false information out there.

      The following makes more logical sense than anything you have ever babbled:
      "In the March 2004, Health and Medicine Week, research findings from the study of homosexuality in rams was published. Scientists at Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine had looked at the biological foundations of a male sheep's homosexuality. They used the animals since they had been consistently and thoroughly studied in the past, and provided for a controllable experiment. They studied the oSDN, "an irregularly shaped, densely packed cluster of nerve cells in the hypothalamus of the sheep brain." The hypothalamus is an important part of the brain that regulates body temperature, blood pressure, as well as sexual behavior. Researchers found that the ovine sexually dimorphic nucleus (oSDN) was larger and contained more neurons in male- oriented rams (1). This information is important in several different ways. While it is solely a study on ram behavior, it is believed that homosexuality can be found in many different species, not limited to humans. This is also important because it is the first study to show a relationship between variations in sexual partner preference and brain structure in an animal, which could provide insight into how humans are studied and what should be looked for in humans to unlock the clues of biological causes of homosexuality."
      (http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/33)

      In the end your bigoted opinion fails. You can either accept the reality of this or be left behind, things will progress without you agreeing. Only you decide what side of history you are on.
      What would you do if your child or relative came to you and stated they were gay/lesbian? How would you handle it?

      May 14, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Dave

      ""To put in layman terms, epigenetics are external non-genetic causes/factors, i.e. environment, nurture, lifestyle, etc., that can influence how some genes may be expressed while DNA (genetic code) is UNCHANGED!""

      Also from your NOVA site. "the lack of knowledge about the impact of diet and lifestyle on the human epigenome and the formation of human complex diseases."

      Then the conclusion. "Moreover, the link between what we are exposed to during pregnancy and disease formation in adulthood appears to involve epigenetic modifications like DNA methylation"

      Again proving your statement is false.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Derek

      Vic is just stupid. That's pretty much all there is to it. Just throwing out one GCE after another.

      May 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Vic, What is your scientific field? Obviously not genetics.

      May 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  12. roe

    this guys needs to really stop kidding himself.

    May 14, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • The real Tom

      faith burbles: "I win." What? The booby prize? The award for most effective imitation of an azzhole?

      May 14, 2013 at 9:56 am |
  13. faith

    once again

    i win

    May 14, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      How so? Believing something without evidence would seem like a complete fail to most. Enjoy the delusion!

      May 14, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • sam stone

      such is your delusion

      May 14, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • mama k

      What did you win, dear. A free trip to the Creation Museum? A lotto somewhere?

      May 14, 2013 at 10:41 am |
  14. faith

    "Mirosal
    Why do you feel you need to be bound by the words written by an agrarian society that has been long since dead?"

    no emotional need

    y r u so consumed with the topic?

    May 14, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Mostly we come here for entertainment. You see we view poeple like you as kinda screwed up. Believing in preposterous things like resurrections and miracles. It's a bit like watching a train wreck of illogic. Godd for shits and giggles.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • The real Tom

      Absolutely. I come here to see what stupid, asinine, absurd sh!t you've decided to post, faith. You and your sock puppets lolly, biggies, HS, Prissy, and others make my cats look like genius. In fact, you make cat turds look smart.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • faith

      you are a liar

      May 14, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  15. faith

    look up codify

    May 14, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      More random nonsence by faith. Did you have a point or do you just like seeing your posts appear?

      May 14, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • tallulah13

      He/she just likes seeing the posts. Trolls are impressed by the simplest of things.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:54 am |
  16. JMEF

    Great post that will totally miss the target there are some that will never accept reason and logic. There are also those like Topher who honestly believe that three breeding pairs of humans 4,600 years ago managed to populate the whole earth and account for all the worldwide history of that period. I think those, HS, fred, Topher etc. can be discarded as harmless. It is the people like Chad that can present a cogent, even if false argument, based on 2000 years of Christian apologetics that are a danger. To an impressionable mind that has been thoroughly brainwashed as a child, Chad maybe seen to be quite believable. Having gone to some of the Christian apologetics sites the one thing they have in common is they are trying to beg for donations or sell something all part of the over all scam of religion.

    May 14, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • JMEF

      @Heathen Mike

      May 14, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • Saraswati

      I don't know if you saw the recent thing someone posted arguing mitochondrial DNA supported the young earth business. It's the whole idea of taking of an area of science you don't understand and misrepresenting it to people who understand even less that is both troubling and dangerous. This mitochondrial DNA business like the bizarreness over conflating "born gay" with "gay gene", and it's scary, because it really can convince the large number of people who's scientific understanding is at about an 8th or 9th grade level. And Chad and his type, if anyone could tolerate their other behaviors and poor debate techniques, have about a college freshman's understanding and so might convince people with an understanding up to an 11th or even 12th grade level...which is a big chunk of the population. People only have to be a smidgeon smarter than those they're talking to to have the potential to be convincing.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • Ken

      The fact that most of their audience just wants an excuse to keep on believing also makes it far easier for these guys. The people they aim these arguments at aren't going to be very critical of anything supporting their belief. They just want to be reassured like children.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • JMEF

      Saraswati and Ken
      I think you are both right. These posters seem to be in the same club and no matter how ridiculous they think their fellow Christian posters opinions maybe the are unlikely to criticise each other.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Ken

      JMEF
      It's like the fans of series like Star Trek. Certain things, like the transporter and warp drive, were invented by the writers to help the story along and the majority of people can enjoy watching the shows without betting bogged down by thoughts of how these things might actually work. Similarly, the people who really enjoy the Bible don't get bogged down by the contradictions, or wonky pseudo-science that it contains.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • lol??

      Barbie's Ken sayz,
      "................ Similarly, the people who really enjoy the Bible don't get bogged down by the contradictions, or wonky pseudo-science that it contains.............."
      OK, where's Hal 90000001 to shoot this girly man down??

      May 14, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • lol??

      Saraswati,
      Are you fighting a straw man?? Where in scripture does it give an age of the earth, ya Qweirdo.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • lol??

      JMUF sayz,
      ".................are some that will never accept reason and logic............"
      God is Spirit. Have you ever read the scripture looking for spiritual logic?? Over yer head, I perceive. Woof woof

      May 14, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  17. faith

    Mirosal
    The "buy-bull" is NOT considered evidence because, from a legal perspective, it does NOT meet the criteria for the word "evidence". It does, however, fully meet the meaning of "hearsay", which is NOT admis'sible as evvidence of any kind.

    incorrect
    we use one to swear to tell the truth, moron. lol

    May 14, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • midwest rail

      It is not required to use a bible when swearing-in in a court of law.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • faith

      and it is quoted b4 each session of congress begins

      May 14, 2013 at 9:35 am |
  18. 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 Christian logic, because science can't PROVE that Harry does not exist, he must exist and we should worship him ...?

    May 14, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Strange isn't it.
      Christianity is based in large part on the idea that some dude died and a few days later his corpse was reanimated. Now if they can't see just how crazy and impossible that is then I'm stumped. They have lowered the bar for what is credible to uncharted lows.

      May 14, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • faith

      wrong. i proved the atheist's fairy gods don't exist.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • sam stone

      atheists do not have gods, pen-day-ho

      May 14, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      "wrong. i proved the atheist's fairy gods don't exist."

      Do tell? Where did you do that? But first show me a god that atheists believe in. You know...the only way to be a bad atheist is to believe in god.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • faith

      "sam stone
      atheists do not have gods"

      didn't take much proof neither terrorist little fatty sambo

      how was work dodo?

      May 14, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • sam stone

      faith: still have that jeebus marital stuck deep up your backside?

      May 14, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • sam stone

      marital aid, that is

      May 14, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      The Universe, its laws and its 'order' (everything is a chain reaction) has been functioning for 13.7 Billion years – and maybe what we currently point to as the beginning (Big Bang) is just part of an endless cycle.

      When you look at what our Mathematics tells us, What our telescopes and microscopes tell us.... God becomes an extremely inadequate way to explain it all.

      Many will claim "you cant disprove that there isn't a creator of some kind" – completely unable to put all the data we ve gathered for all of our sciences into one solid picture.

      Our history is ours...we have created – continue to create it....our religions are part of this history.
      Our Sciences on the other hand, are not just Us....they are our label and descriptions for what Is happening in our universe, completely independent of us.

      Some people – very intelligent people, just cant seem, or don't want to put the whole picture together.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • meifumado

      Would be cool if we could have magic wands.
      I may have to look in to this Potterism , It seems to offer a lot more then the other brands.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  19. Jim Crumbley

    Such a tough topic with no easy resolution. We are an imperfect race. We are all fallen. We are saved only by grace. One act...one struggle...one weakness...one choice does not completely define a man. "I know the plans I have for you says God..."
    I struggle a plenty in my own weaknesses and effort to get closer to God. I pray for salvation for all and healing for those who do not agree. JimC c3journey.com

    May 14, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • midwest rail

      An easy resolution would be to simply be secure in your beliefs without trying to codify them through civil legislation.

      May 14, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Mirosal

      Why do you feel you need to be bound by the words written by an agrarian society that has been long since dead?

      May 14, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      "We are an imperfect race"
      Yup...no argument there. But we also have no evidence or examples of a "perfect race". And no your Bible stories of Jesus don't count.

      "We are all fallen"
      Fallen from what. It seems to me that we humans have actually "risen" from the various barbarian cultures of our ancient ancestors. We live longer, happier and healthier than ever before. Thanks mostly to technology and medicine.

      " I pray for salvation for all and healing for those who do not agree. "
      And here you suggest that someone like me is sick or broken in some way. And that I need to be saved from something that you haven't made clear. I don't see how. In fact I see you as the one who needs healing. You see I actually care enough about my beliefs to only accept things that are true. Backed up by facts and evidence. I question everything and insofar as your religious claims are concerned I find the answers seriously lacking.

      May 14, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "The idea of God was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god was nothing more than an exalted father-figure: desire for such a deity sprang from infantile yearnings for a powerful, protective father, for justice and fairness and for life to go on forever. God is simply a projection of these desires, feared and worshipped by human beings out of an abiding sense of helplessness. Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race; it had been a necessary stage in the transition from childhood to maturity. It had promoted ethical values which were essential to society. Now that humanity had come of age, however, it should be left behind." – S.Freud

      May 14, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Madtown

      We are an imperfect race
      -----
      Indeed, very much so. Just as we were designed to be.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • faith

      "midwest rail
      An easy resolution would be to simply be secure in your beliefs without trying to codify them through civil legislation."

      for example...

      May 14, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • midwest rail

      faith, I'll be happy to address the question with the original poster – however, since you ignore any and all questions addressed to you, why would anyone bother answering those that you ask ?

      May 14, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      for example...

      Trying to make same sex marriage illegal for one....

      May 14, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Ken

      Jim
      "We are an imperfect race"
      Yes, and that "race" wrote the Bible, which makes it the product of an imperfect race. Why do you trust that these imperfect people got it so right thousands of years ago that it cannot be amended like our Const.itution?

      Also, have you ever read any Church history regarding how the Bible became canonized? In short, the books that came to make up the NT reflects only about a third of all the gospels, acts, letters and revelations that were in circulation amongst the various differing varieties of Christianity that were around in the first few hundred years after Jesus died. Basically what happened is that the variety that was based out of Rome, because it was more wealthy and better connected than the others, grew strong enough to call itself the official faith and label all others "heretical". Even then, some books like the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation almost did not become included in the canon because they were favorites of these heretical groups. In the end, the winning Roman Church, what came to be the Catholic Church, selected only those books that agreed with what they were already believing. So, instead of belief coming from the Bible, the Bible was put together in order to support a certain belief already held by the Roman Church. That's what you put your faith in, right?

      May 14, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • sam stone

      jim: why do you feel you need this "salvation"?

      May 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  20. Heathen Mike

    I think the whole seeming fascination with comments of HeavenSent and faith by us A&A types has mostly to do with entertainment value. Surely we all realize there is No chance of convincing them of anything they don't already want to believe. Facts have no power if you simply ignore them. Fascinating to see someone state grossly inaccurate misunderstanding of fact so boldly and then call those who point out the errors–and provide their checkable references–to call them stu*pid idiots. It is clear that HS and "faith"'s faith in themselves is truly larger than a mustard seed. Pity for them their faith alone is no guarantee of being right. But it does seem to be effective armor against any sort of logically reasoned presentation of actual facts. That, I suppose is part of what makes religious fundamentalism dangerous.

    The other part is that the fundies want to run society, make laws that apply to believers and un-believers alike, and to disenfranchise groups they don't like. That's bad news.

    While I don't agree with Justin Lee's starting point of the Christian paradigm, I do have to root for him, because it is Christians like him that most effectively voice hope for others who are too afraid to critically think about–and then reject– their fundamental ideas about G*d but who nevertheless face a choice about whether to buy into the hate-filled fundamentalist rhetoric that hurts people or to do something more constructive with their belief system.

    After all, I Jesus, or at least the teachings attributed to him, had a lot of positive and helpful things to say. There is nothing wrong with people wanting to recognize the good stuff and find inspiration in it. People's belief in fairy tales does not hurt me unless they try to hurt or disenfranchise me or people I care about. Unfortunately, that is just what so many fundies like HS and "faith" seem to be about; cramming their dogma down others throats and acting smug about it. Ironically, that is so Un-Christ-like.

    May 14, 2013 at 7:53 am |
    • Mirosal

      From Gandhi ... "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."

      May 14, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • Science

      Update : Thank you faith

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/11/my-take-gay-christian-is-not-an-oxymoron/#comments

      There is no fairy in the sky..............with his partner the red devil !

      But.....................MOM AND DAD DID IT !!!..................and NOT with the horn-y red devil `

      Scientists Identify Why Some Fathers Are Left Holding the Baby

      Mar. 12, 2013 — A century old mystery as to why, for some animals, it's the father rather than the mother that takes care of their young has been cracked by researchers at the University of Sheffield.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312121842.htm

      That red devil with the funky horns...........and his partner the fairy.........did NOT create US !

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

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

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

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

      Human Evolution

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

      For all POLITIANS see below!

      For all creationists and ID believers...............IT only takes minutes to figure IT out. No fairy in the sky needed !

      New Device Can Extract Human DNA With Full Genetic Data in Minutes

      May 6, 2013 — Take a swab of saliva from your mouth and within minutes your DNA could be ready for analysis and genome sequencing with the help of a new device.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130506132100.htm

      May 14, 2013 at 6:36 am | Report abuse | Reply

      Science

      But Sara..................the POLITICIANS...............military and police forces should know the information and understand IT !

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/11/my-take-gay-christian-is-not-an-oxymoron/#comments

      May 14, 2013 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |

      faith

      well, that is wonderful. thanks for sharing.

      so what?

      May 14, 2013 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      Maybe they.............the politicians and you faith can learn the truth ..................and everybody around the planet !

      Mom and Dad............created you ............not the fairy in the sky............with the red horn-y devil.

      Peace

      Chad too.............poke.

      May 14, 2013 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      And faith....................they might know already.

      https://www.f35.com/

      Peace

      May 14, 2013 at 7:31 am | Report abuse | Reply

      May 14, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • faith

      that's my point. so, y r u here?

      May 14, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • mama k

      Very well stated. Thank you, HM.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • faith

      iow, what was written 2,000 years ago about jesus Christ referred to as the new testament appeared one day in history and has no value as a legitimate source of information?. it is composed of fairy tales written by who knows who and is comparable, at best, to a comic book series?

      May 14, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Saraswati

      It does seem to be some sort of watching a train wreck scenario. While HS may actually be a Christian, I'm pretty sure faith is just some guy with way too much time on his hands. Since it would be unlikely to just do that all day I suspect he's here under some other name as well possibly with a very different persona.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • .

      HS is probably sincere, if misguided and a tad bit duplistic. Faith, OTOH, is just a straight-up asshole and as far from Christianity as it gets.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • sam stone

      faith is a cvnt, and so is HS

      May 14, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • lol??

      Feel better, Heathen Mike, with your filthy RAGS out in the open??

      May 14, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Science

      Got a wedgie,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, lol??

      May 14, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Heathen Mike, you talk about me because you have no original or creative thoughts to call your own. Just grab from others is the name of your game.

      Revelation 21:8 Ring any bells with you Mike?

      May 14, 2013 at 8:57 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.