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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. faith

    dodo has a bad habit of saying, "don't the bible say this?" and says some ridiculous thing she then uses to support her preposterous beliefs.

    dodo, b4 u pretend u have any idea whatsoever that u no what u r talking about, ask some1 who nos first.

    no, the bible don't say that, u lying moron

    "Doesnt the Bible also say we are ALL sinners, and sin in many ways every day? By that measure, we should all maim ourselves." dodo

    May 24, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  2. faith

    "TC
    Were you aware the the Bible story you quoted was a later addition, and not orignal to the Bible text?
    Way to go, quoting a human created addition to the original Bible."

    this isn't fair. sorry. life ain't fair. this nazi god-hating fascist fool admits that the bible is god's word by trying to refute a phrase she don't like. thanks babe. don;t get mad at me. u said it

    May 24, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  3. Douglas

    LGBQ celibates Rock!

    Honor the dignity of celibate Christian LGBTQ.

    Welcome them to your place of worship.

    May 23, 2013 at 12:24 am |
  4. .

    "If you really believe in GOD, you CAN and SHOULD try to get over it first.
    And GOD absolutely WILL help then, those who sincerely decide and work hard to get over it."

    YeahRight

    Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. 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 21, 2013 at 11:11 am |
  5. faith

    dodo, is there some reason we get stuck with you and your moron friends? r u saying there ain't one nazi god-hating fascist with any intelligence at all?

    May 21, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • midwest rail

      Oh, the irony....

      May 21, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  6. faith

    "Michael
    Can we find ANY straight person and go tell them, "Hey, if you want to be a Christian you need to stop having s e x."
    Let's see how well that goes over."

    if your hand causes u to sin...

    moron

    May 21, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • TC

      Hmmm.

      Doesnt the Bible also say we are ALL sinners, and sin in many ways every day? By that measure, we should all maim ourselves.

      Daily.

      May 21, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  7. GOOD NEWS

    If you really believe in GOD, you CAN and SHOULD try to get over it first.
    And GOD absolutely WILL help then, those who sincerely decide and work hard to get over it.

    GOD knows best what is ultimately right/good, and what is not right/good for us.
    He is the one and only GOD.
    Here is the ultimate Proof:

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    May 21, 2013 at 5:00 am |
    • Science

      ETHICS.......and MORALS..............whom ever is doing the deleting has NONE

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

      The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

      The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

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

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

      May 21, 2013 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/comment-page-109/#comment-2355282

      May 21, 2013 at 6:27 am |
  8. Observer

    Being a gay Christian is not anymore an oxymoron than being a divorce-and-remarried Christian and that's fine with most of the hypcrites in Christian churches.

    Jesus NEVER had harsh words about gays, but had many about heteros when it came to s-x.

    When Christians put as much effort into picking on divorced-and-remarried fellow Christians as they put into picking on gays, then they will have SOME credibility. Until then, it's all pick-and-choose HYPOCRISY.

    May 21, 2013 at 1:51 am |
  9. SB

    Jesus would say "Go and sin no more" Just like he told the woman caught in adultery. He would not condone it. He would not say it is okay and that person is still a christian to him. If they are "openly gay" then they are not a "christian". The bible openly states that those who practice such things will not enter heaven!!

    May 19, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      You say that Jesus would say that but since he did not there is just as much of a chance he might not. Jesus only told us that if we walk in his path we as Christians will be saved. When we do what you did by guessing what Jesus would say we are putting our views, which most of us proudly believe are right, must be Jesus's views.

      Truthfully, it is pretty difficult to contemplate when ho'mose'xuality is not mentioned in the Ten or even mentioned by Jesus. For example, I am anti-death penalty because if I believe the Bible to be true then when Jesus told us that only those without sin can carry out an execution, that is not a guess or a "Jesus would...". When it comes to LGBT, I find it hard to judge something that if you truly take as a sin, is no more danger to society than the sins of gluttony or craving of the flesh.

      May 19, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • Billy

      "craving of the flesh"

      People are mostly overweight these days so the most they can chase down and bite into is a possum.

      May 20, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • myweightinwords

      What about earlier in that same story? That bit about those without sin casting the first stone? The implication, as it is stated clearly elsewhere, that judgement of others should never come before you've seen to your own?

      May 20, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • kly

      Christian here, would you quote the verse that says that they will not enter in? I'm not finding it anywhere..,

      May 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • TC

      Were you aware the the Bible story you quoted was a later addition, and not orignal to the Bible text?

      Way to go, quoting a human created addition to the original Bible.

      May 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Michael

      Jesus met a gay man, via the Roman Centurion trying to heal his younger male slave (the Greek term 'pais' meant the younger male in a gay relationship) and said of him, "Never have I seen faith greater than this". He did NOT chirp in with "now go and sin no more". Jesus also mentions gay men in Matthew discussing men who were not made for marrying women and called gay men "born eunuch" and again He did not condemn.

      Think I'll take His Word over your self-righteous self-serving bigotry any time.

      May 20, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Douglas

      SB, Excellent analysis.

      Celibate gay christian is not an oxymoron. We fellowship with celibate gay christians and provide
      a support circle to help them stay on track for salvation. They are not unlike straight christians
      struggling to stay out of the abyss of fornication through pre-marital s–x.
      All have fallen short of the mark.
      I call my LGBTQ celibate friends brothers and sisters in Christ.

      Start a support circle at your place of worship...the need has never been greater.

      May 21, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • Douglas

      @Michael,

      You are misquoting Jesus in Matthew 19:12,

      Jesus said that the celibates (LGBTQ) should NOT be married.

      This means they have to abstain from s–x which is only permitted for straights in marriage.

      LGBTQ s–x is fornication and is condemned in the Bible.

      Celibate LGBTQ believers will make it to heaven.

      May 21, 2013 at 1:29 am |
    • faith

      "TC
      Were you aware the the Bible story you quoted was a later addition, and not orignal to the Bible text?
      Way to go, quoting a human created addition to the original Bible."

      the rest was god given

      May 21, 2013 at 1:37 am |
    • The lord all might be

      Christians didn't exist until a few hundred years after Jesus.

      May 21, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  10. nelly 2004

    It may be just me, but I can't see Jesus rejecting someone who is gay if they believe in him and repent for their sins in general. not for being gay. Doesn't the bible tell us not to judge? I think the words in the bible condemning gays was man judging man not Jesus judging the children of God.
    My opinion – which I and everyone else has a right to.

    May 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Jack

      No person can come to God and still live in their sin. I know, I tried to live as gay for years, and realized I was the biggest hypocrite. Believing in God is more that just mental assent. You can only come to God on his terms as outlined in His word.

      May 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>" You can only come to God on his terms as outlined in His word."

      (16) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (17)For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17

      It seems that God has given his terms and I do not see the part about not being Gay or Lesbian. Can you explain your difficulty with how God outlined his word on salvation?

      May 19, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • Michael

      Wow, Jack, ever hear of Google? The original text of the Bible doesn't condemn gay people. And how do you "try to live your life as gay"??? You're gay, there isn't any way to turn yourself straight.

      May 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • John Buchanan

      Opinion doesn't get you into heaven. People think they get a free-pass on the iam born this way,surely God understand's. If that were true,it wouldn't be called sin against God. the adulterer can't say I was born and adulterer.the pedophile can't say,I'm born this way.A serial killer couldn't say I get a free pass,even though murder is a sin,because he was born a serial killer. Jesus told em all you must be born again

      May 24, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
  11. faith

    god is probably big enough to handle someone's sekksuality. her behavior is not my concern. There are plenty of things I don't want to know and one of them is anything about you.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  12. faith

    y is it any of my business what someone else desires?

    May 19, 2013 at 10:02 am |
  13. Mike P

    The problem is that there are few people who are openly gay but also celibate, which is the only way to be both honestly gay and honestly Christian. Generally, whenever a person says, "I'm gay," they're saying not only, "I am attracted to people of the same gender" - no sin there - but also, "I intend to act on my attraction" - definitely sin there. When it comes to gay issues, Christians definitely need the finesse to discern the difference between gay attractions (in which there is no sin, any more than finding someone else's spouse attractive is no sin), and gay behavior (in which there is sin, just as hitting on someone else's spouse would be a sin). What Christianity would really benefit from at this time are gay Christians who live out their Christianity and say, "I'm gay, I can't change that, but I'm going to do what God expects of me and either live a celibate life or marry someone of the opposite gender. I'm not going to pretend that God has spoken other than He has just because my own biology makes it hard to conform to His will."

    May 19, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • The real Tom

      "I'm gay, I can't change that, but I'm going to do what God expects of me and either live a celibate life or marry someone of the opposite gender'

      Yeah, because that really works well. You are just ignorant. I know of a couple who married even though the man knew he was gay. They had a son. They finally divorced and the woman was left to raise the boy by herself. What possible good did marrying her accomplish?

      May 19, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • .

      ""I'm gay, I can't change that, but I'm going to do what God expects of me and either live a celibate life or marry someone of the opposite gender. I'm not going to pretend that God has spoken other than He has just because my own biology makes it hard to conform to His will.""

      Brent

      Religion-based bigotry use religious teachings to justify discrimination against Native Americans, African Americans, minority religious groups, woman and interracial couples.

      Connecting the dots between historical bigotry against other groups and the attitudes of some people today toward homosexuality is one of the most effective ways to educate people about the denial of equal rights to the LGBT community.

      Most people know that, historically, religion has been used to justify discrimination against women, religious minorities and people of color. Putting anti-gay religious beliefs in this historical context can be a powerful tool in connecting discrimination that most Americans today accept as morally wrong and the discrimination faced by LGBT people. By citing historical instances of religion-based bigotry and prejudice, you allow people to be more comfortable with attitudinal change – they realize they are not stepping out alone against a commonly accepted viewpoint but rather following historical progress toward justice and equality.

      When talking about the misuse of religion to justify discrimination in the past, it is important not to say that the LGBT community’s struggle with discrimination is exactly the same as the Civil Rights Movement. Rather, the point is that religion-based bigotry has been a common denominator of injustice toward many groups in American society’s past. When given a chance, many people will see the underlying historical pattern of using religious teachings and beliefs to justify harmful discrimination.

      There is another benefit to citing other times in the past when religious teachings have been used to justify discrimination. Many times, when people of faith are challenged about their anti-gay views, they cite biblical verses or other religious texts as a safe haven when they are unable to articulate why they hold prejudiced attitudes toward LGBT people. Instead of telling people that their interpretation is wrong, you can remind them that other religious texts have been used in the past to justify attitudes and laws that are recognized today as morally wrong and unjust – such as discrimination against women, people of color and religious minorities.

      History provides the moral judgment, and we do not have to be theologians engaged in scriptural debates to point people to the judgment rendered by history.

      May 20, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • TC

      So, God creates some people whoa re only attracted to the same gender, gives them the same needs for love, huam interractions, family, etcetera, sends them soulmates to love, and then gleefully condemns them for doing all of the SAME things that straight people do?

      What an odd notion.

      Gay folks are no more likely to be called to celibacy than straight people are. We aren't made that way for a reason.

      May 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Michael

      Can we find ANY straight person and go tell them, "Hey, if you want to be a Christian you need to stop having s e x."

      Let's see how well that goes over.

      May 20, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • naijaG

      My question is how do you know you are gay. If you don't feel attracted to women it may be because you have less androgens and more estrogens. I love women and i admire the beauty of their bodies, i can't stand looking at another man's hairy balls. Shouldn't men who feel the opposite be treated medically? Someone please enlighten me.

      May 21, 2013 at 8:25 am |
  14. faith

    "Truth Prevails 🙂
    Sodom and Gomorrah is a fairy tale like Hansel and Gretel, it has no basis in reality."

    sure it is

    May 19, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • faith

      "Truth Prevails 🙂
      1000 hands helping does more than 1000 clasped in prayer." prove it

      May 19, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • .

      "Sodom and Gomorrah is a fairy tale like Hansel and Gretel, it has no basis in reality."

      sure it is"

      Kimberly

      It is helpful to post both passages of Jude, 1:6 and 1:7 together, as they are meant to be read this way.

      New International Version (NIV)
      6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

      Note that the humans are exhibiting the same behaviors as the angels. Note, also, that the sexual immorality and perversion mentioned isn't homosexuality. Scholars who have studied this passage have concluded that the perversion alluded to is actually rape, which was rampant.

      May 20, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    May 19, 2013 at 6:26 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      1000 hands helping does more than 1000 clasped in prayer.

      May 19, 2013 at 6:30 am |
    • .

      liar prefails = lying ass hole

      May 19, 2013 at 6:32 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      May 20, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • Really?

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      That's why the data, has shown that atheists have happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians! Your post is built on a lie!

      May 20, 2013 at 9:42 am |
  16. Greg

    um... i thought sin was sin, truth was truth, etc...? I know you're scared, but any kind of immorality or anger or hatred or anything like that is extremely harmful... it always has been and will be.... Have you not read about Sodom and Gomorrah? 😦

    May 19, 2013 at 6:08 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Sodom and Gomorrah is a fairy tale like Hansel and Gretel, it has no basis in reality.

      May 19, 2013 at 6:23 am |
    • .

      liar prevails bull sh it archaeologists have found the remnants of the cities

      May 19, 2013 at 6:25 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      .: You idiot, it looks like Greg is referring to what happened within or what supposedly happened within and what supposedly happened within is a fairy tale. It still does not have pertinence is reality and seems to be a sticking point for you freaks who support hatred for gays based on the grand delusion the buybull promotes.

      May 19, 2013 at 6:29 am |
    • .

      the cities ruins are still there something happened and being qu eer is horribly wrong and causes death disease and disaster on humanity only in this generation are people stupid enough to think filth is somehow gay

      May 19, 2013 at 6:35 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      dot
      Ignorance and prejudice like yours have caused far more problems than anyone's $exuality ever has. The problem is people like you.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • .

      "Have you not read about Sodom and Gomorrah?"

      Elaine

      In Genesis 18, the story about the angels coming to Lot's house, we learn that the reason they were coming to destroy Sodom was because of the wickedness that ALREADY existed in the city. The exact form of wickedness is not mentioned in that story!

      Let's just reinforce this CRITICAL piece of information. In the story of Sodom, in Genesis 18, God had ALREADY decided to destroy the city BEFORE the attempted rape of the angels – which incidentally was perpetrated mainly by heterosexuals since ALL the men of the city were involved, and we know that throughout history, gays have only represented about 10% of the population. Also, if they were homosexuals, why would Lot suggest that they take his daughters instead? That just doesn't make sense if the men were gay.

      So just to get this straight, the event that took place at Sodom was an act of violence and rape, mainly by heterosexuals. It had nothing to do with a loving relationship between two people of the same sex, and homosexuality was NOT the sin of Sodom in whatever form. The story of Sodom in Genesis 18 was about violence and domination, the same type of event that takes place in prisons and occupied countries, but it was NOT the reason for God's decision to destroy the city, and to use this story as a basis for prejudice against homosexuality in general is like comparing rape to marriage. There is NO similarity!

      The aftermath of Sodom aside, let's take a look at other passages of Scripture that mention the sin of Sodom. Here are 14 references to Sodom and not one of them mentions homosexuality!!!!! The overwhelming themes are idolatry, immorality and inhospitality! To me, this indicates people like Bob and HeavenSent have taken things out of context!

      Deuteronomy 29:17-26 – the sin – idolatry and images to false gods – "Why has the Lord done this to the land? . . . It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord . . ."

      Deuteronomy 32:32-38 – the sin – idolatry – "He will say 'Now where are their gods?'"

      Isaiah 1:2-23 – the sin – idolatry, rebellion, injustice, murder, greed, theft, covetousness, mistreating the poor – "They have rebelled against Me."

      Isaiah 3:8-19 – the sin – idolatry, arrogance – "Their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying His glorious Presence"

      Jeremiah 23:10-14 – the sin – idolatry, adultery, lying by priests and prophets – "Both prophet and priest are godless. . . . They prophesied by Baal and led My people astray."

      Jeremiah 49:16-18 – the sin – idolatry, arrogance, oppression, pride of the heart – "The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived
      you. . ."

      Jeremiah 50:2-40 – the sin – idolatry, pride, false prophets – "Her images will be put to shame and her idols filled with terror. . . . . For she has defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. . . . . Their shepherds have led them astray."

      Lamentations 4:3-6 – the sin – cruelty and failure to care for the young and poor – "My people have become heartless."

      Ezekiel 16:49-50 – the sin – "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned: they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me."

      Amos 4:1-11 – the sin – idolatry, oppression, mistreating the poor – "I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom . . . . yet you have not returned to Me."

      Zephaniah 2:8-11 – the sin – idolatry, pride, mocking – "This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty. The Lord will be awesome to them when He destroys all the gods of the land."

      Luke 17:26-29 – Jesus speaking – No specific sins mentioned

      II Peter 2:1-22 – the sin – idolatry, living after ungodliness, lawlessness, arrogance, blaspheming, adultery, greed, corruption, depravity, boasting, lust – "But there were also false prophets among the people . . . . ."

      Jude 1:7-8 – the sin – sexual immorality and perversion, i.e fornication after strange flesh (angels, see Genesis 6:1) KJV

      The dictionary defines "perversion" as "a sexual practice regarded as abnormal". That means that a heterosexual practicing homosexual acts is perverted as in the case of ALL the men of Sodom wanting to engage with the angels (strange flesh). However, since sex with the same gender is normal for a gay person, there is no perversion associated merely by the sexual act.

      Note also that, while the word "abomination" has been used with reference to homosexuality, the biblical interpretation of the word "abomination" relates to any act of uncleanness as set out in the Holiness Code, such as eating shellfish, trimming your hair, touching the skin of a dead pig (should we stone the entire NFL?), wearing clothes of two kinds of material (polyester/cotton) – the list is long. How can we discuss one sin to the exclusion of all others?

      This is an enormous subject, which has been reduced to simplistic values. It is plain and simple prejudice to portray homosexuals as immoral just because of the gender to whom we are attracted. Of course there are immoral homosexuals, just as there are immoral heterosexuals, but simple orientation carries no implication of morality or immorality.

      Our sexuality is God-given. God made us the way we are. It follows naturally that He loves us exactly the way He made us. So long as we embrace marriage with the same standards as any monogamous, loving heterosexual relationship there should be no barrier against us.

      When gays are only asking to have their loving relationships acknowledged and respected, why is there so much fear and anger? To strengthen marriage, why not take a stand against divorce and separation, instead of opposing love and commitment? Jesus spoke of divorce, but he never mentioned homosexuality. I believe that was because homosexuality was not even an issue in His day. Love was love. Love IS Love!

      "Protect marriage? Puhlease. With a 50 percent divorce rate, rampant domestic violence, Las Vegas drive-through chapels, and I wanna-marry-a-really-rich-guy reality TV shows, there's no way gays could trash marriage the way straight people have."

      This letter only refers to the sin of Sodom. There are actually six "clobber verses" which are used against gays. Space does not permit an explanation of each one, but just as the sin of Sodom has been misrepresented, so have the other verses. There is an explanation for each one that clearly indicates that, just as slavery was condoned by Scripture for many years, ("Slaves obey your masters . . . . ." Eph. 6:5-8) and civil wars were fought to protect the ownership of people, we now know that Scripture was interpreted incorrectly, for God would not have people to be possessions.

      We now have a fuller understanding of Scripture with regard to slavery. It's time to accept a fuller understanding of homosexuality based on new research into language, concepts and customs when these words were written.

      So please choose acceptance and inclusiveness whether or not you understand fully. One of us is wrong. Many of you think it's me. I think it's you, based on solid research into Scripture from another perspective. Yes, God encourages us to question Scripture.
      "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, REPROOF and instruction in righteousness." II Tim. 3:16
      If there is even a chance that I could be right, do you want to take the eternal risk of rejecting some of God's children, and slamming the doors of your churches to those of us who wish to enter? That's what you're doing when you treat us as less than yourselves simply based on our orientation.

      If we have done the research, and it is our understanding that God loves us, including our orientation, then why not just let God be the judge? He will be in the end anyway. If one of us is to err, why not err on the side of love and acceptance? Now that was truly Jesus' example!

      May 20, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • myweightinwords

      I know you're scared,

      1) Am I?
      2) How would you know?
      3) Sin is a religious term and is defined by the dogma of a given religion. That which is sin to one may not be to another. And then there are those who do not define sin at all, because it is a religious term, and has no meaning outside of religion or literary uses.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • TC

      The story does not mention gay folks.

      May 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Michael

      Let me get this right. Lot offered his daughters to a mob of gay men? Why not his sons or even himself? Was Lot placing limits on what he would do for God?

      Right-wing religious nuts don't use ANY common sense.

      May 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  17. GOOD NEWS

    You CAN get over it, and GOD absolutely WILL help.

    GOD is absolutely Real.

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    May 19, 2013 at 2:26 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Get over what? Being gay is a normal human configuration, there is nothing to get over except for others prejudices.

      There is no indication that ANY of the thousands of gods men have created are real.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • .

      "You CAN get over it, and GOD absolutely WILL help."

      YeahRight

      Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. 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 20, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • myweightinwords

      What am I supposed to be "getting over"?

      I got over Christianity a long time ago, thank you. I got over hiding a part of myself to make other people comfortable.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
  18. Mark from Middle River

    GFN. The only truth is Faith. Some have Faith that there is a God or Gods. Others have Faith that there is not a God. The Agnostics at least are open to the possibility of either or but that is the only Truth. You strive for truth. What is that truth that you are seeking? Is it the seeking of the possibility of is or is not there God? When you declare that you are "mapping the way" sounds the same as when some, who are of Faith, declare they are searching for God. In that sense, the evidence can only be verified by Faith that ones own opinions are correct. If you want to go down that show me proof of a God or proof there is not a God, we might have to save that for another thread.

    >>>"Take your comparison of me to the Terry Jones as an example: It probably felt good to draw lines connecting the dots"

    Only pleasure is showing that intolerance and the atti'tude of arrogance can be held on both the extremes of Faith and of Atheism.

    >>>"You mention his view toward LGBTs. Does the evidence support his opinion? "

    Well, first I must apologize, it is Rev Fred Phelps. Rev.Terry Jones is the Koran burning pastor in Florida. The interpretation of the Bible in relation to LGBTs that Rev Phelps presents, many of Faith can not support. As many "Hands of an Angry God" pastors we have out there there are tons who are not.

    >>>"Let's take one of my ideas now. Black protestants and evangelical protestants are less knowledgeable about evolution than non-Christians AND most other religions."

    This might come from research but that is a far cry from the topic of tolerance and those that lack such on both sides. The Rev Phelps does not concern himself with race and I have not heard him famously wade into the evolution debate. He does preach to a certain "social" issue and his answer to that issue is intolerance.

    Now, and please you might not like my stance but at least respect that Rev Phelps' stance on LGBT issues is not my own but, for dialogue between you and me... here is a stat from the CDC.

    "Gay, bise'xual, and other men who have s'ex with men (MSM) are more severely affected by HIV than any other group in the United States."

    A person, such as Rev Fred Phelps can take this fact, directly from the CDC, and say to ones who follow him ....

    .. "You see... God hates Gays and Lesbians and the statistics prove not only that there is a God but that he is a God of the Old Testament".

    Now both of you are holding your opinions, but Rev Phelp's "fact" actually goes much further to address his view of the LGBT community than your "fact". To the closed minded individual Rev Phelp's can point to the CDC website when asked for proof of his views.

    Also, the lack of public school resources and a unequal education system between the poor and wealthy, here in the states, has been presented at forums and panel discussions since Brown vs The Board of Education.

    >>>"Terry Jones (Fred Phelps) is that my understanding of the world changes with the evidence."

    Ok, I will continue to play the Rev Phelps advocate. Let us look at "world changing". The first clinical discovery of AIDS was in 1981.(Wiki) Rev Fred Phelps was born in 1929. Now, he lives 52 years and witnesses the Gay and Lesbian community growing larger and finding more of a tolerant place in the general society. Then some disease comes almost out of basically no where and affects more of a certain demographic than others. That demographic just happens to be the one that he, Phelps already has an issue with already. Even three decades later, it is still hitting this same community...according to the CDC harder than any other community. To a person such as Fred Phelps, this is God's doing and all Phelps has to prove it to you over and over again .... are factual statistics. I could just point to this as another similarity between you and Rev Phelps and others of your extremist mindset, is the love of such stats.

    >>>"Should studies show in the future that everyone accepts the general age of planet earth being what it is, then I would no longer be in a condescending position."

    So, you are saying until everyone believes as you believe then you will resist any and all types of tolerance for those who do not? Rev Phelps tells everyone that he also will not change and he will continue to picket and be outspoken against the LGBT community until they are no more. GFN... this is intolerance and sadly you are admitting to all the little "lines connecting the dots" between yourself and Rev Phelps and also in the Muslim hating Rev Terry Jones and late Osama Bin Laden. ALL OF YOU DECLARE THAT SOCIETY MUST BEND ONLY TO YOUR VIEWS!!

    GFN... as soon as you said "everyone accepts .....then I would no longer be "...you became a dot and the words you post became the lines between you and Rev Phelps.

    ====
    >>>"I always wonder when Piddles will actually grow up to be a real boy."TomTom.

    If I didn't have you ma'am, I would think there was no love for this black guy 🙂 I'll tell you what old lady, I will try to find and squeeze into my old boy scout uniform and walk you across every street and road in your town. 🙂

    May 19, 2013 at 2:07 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      ARRGGHH!!!!....... Posted in the wrong place.

      May 19, 2013 at 2:09 am |
    • zzzzz

      What? Did someone type something? Oh, another wall of snarky insinuation. What a shock.

      May 19, 2013 at 5:37 am |
    • The real Tom

      Yep. Nothing but the ranting of an ignoramus who's nothing more than a hypocrite. Piddler is all about love and forgiveness and "meeting in the middle" but every post he writes puts the lie to that claim. He's a nasty little liar and it shows up every time he does.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      A liar? That is why TomTom, you show yourself to just be another internet hack. As you said, to another... I guess I must have "hit a nerve". Notice that so many, when you can not argue or debate their genuine heartfelt feelings you always have the same response.... that they are liars.

      Come on TomTom, when you can not debate the issues and subject and the best you can come up with is that the person is a "liar" .... then we all know that we have hit that little nerve in you so squarely that it reveals the true TomTom.

      Maybe the issue is with you Doctor Gregory House. 🙂

      May 19, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • The real Tom

      You prove my point, Piddler. You don't want to make peace or meet in the middle. That is why I say that you're a liar. You make all sorts of claims about being a mild-mannered, sweet, friendly guy who just wants to increase understanding, but you're not and your posts are evidence.

      Your opinion of me is about as bothersome to me as a freckle. Rail on, you phony; it's fun to watch you trip over your own scrotum every time you attempt to write something. Your education is so sorely lacking that you hoist yourself on your own petard and your sensitivity to criticism is hilarious, given how frequently you dish it out.

      May 20, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Nice try TomTom. I want to meet in the middle but at the same time I have no problem addressing ones such as you and trust me I do lose no sleep over you or your post because you are a broken record. Whenever you are beaten by a person of Faith then you start whining that they are liars.

      >>>”and your posts are evidence.”

      Please show the posts. I have asked this before and you failed over and over. I will admit there was that night a few years ago that I decided to play your game and post as you do. You know, lacking any arguments and feeling proud of the use of swear words 🙂

      But, please.... Show everyone the post you speak of.

      That's is why you will always lose to tolerance …. and more importantly … to me 🙂

      The offer to get back into my Boy Scout Uniform and help yourself as a elder cross as many streets as needed to get you on the sunny side of life, is still open.

      May 20, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You lie, Piddles, because you're a complete charlatan. You have no intention of "meeting in the middle" unless YOU are the one deciding where the middle is, you moron. You pretend you're some great Christian when in reality, you're a turd. You pretend to be the peacemaker, when in reality, you're a snarky, smarmy, illiterate toad.

      You can keep on telling everyone that you just wanna be friends, but your posts, and I mean those you've typed right here, are proof otherwise. You're a creep, not a Christian.

      May 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Wow TomTom... I guess its another epic fail for you. All you have to prove me wrong is show me proof in a post of mine. That's all and like a failure, failure has become your norm. I know I upset you, a Christian willing to reach out to Atheist, but you need to accept that ones like you ... your time is over once we see who the real problems in society are. I mean, I am even a person that is positive of the LGBT community. I know that P.O.'d you off just the same as the 700 Club Christians.

      But, you know this already. Sorry, that I came across your path. I know you would be more comfortable with every one at each others throat.

      >>>"You can keep on telling everyone that you just wanna be friends, but your posts, and I mean those you've typed right here, are proof otherwise. You're a creep, not a Christian."

      Show the post old lady..... This is a simple act... a simple step to show me as being what you say I am ... but something tells me it is a path to proving you are right...that you can not perform.

      Show the post to back up your claim ma'am.

      May 20, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • Observer

      Mark,

      "Gay, bise'xual, and other men who have s'ex with men (MSM) are more severely affected by HIV than any other group in the United States."

      This is an excellent often-repeated statistic that enforces the benefits of gay marriage. Without doubt (and in spite of the bad track record for heteros), marriage is still a strong force in reducing promiscuity.

      Keep passing the word.

      May 21, 2013 at 2:39 am |
    • The real Tom

      "Show the post old lady."

      Right there, Piddles. You are a peevish, petty little boy. You think you fool people about how much you care for them. You don't. Every time you post some snarky little turd, it puts the lie to your claim that you just want to teach the world to sing. That you don't see it is hilarious. My day is made. Since I know you'll be back to read this, you have a nice morning, sweetheart.

      May 21, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • Science

      Markie too !

      Come on BILL......creationists.........and Chadie........ID believers............the sign above in picture is wrong...............is it

      NOT ?

      The wrong path is Adam and Eve .................where was the .............bible BILL !

      Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

      Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145821.htm

      No god(s) needed or required

      May 21, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”This is an excellent often-repeated statistic that enforces the benefits of gay marriage.”

      Well, out side of the celerities, I have only known two Gay males who have died from HIV. The only thing I worry is that while I agree with you, there are too many cheaters out there who are straight, and bring HIV back to their wives or husbands. I do not know if it is a bit of skepticism over the bonds of marriage but I feel that maybe protection should exist both with marriage or with out marriage.

      >>>”The wrong path is Adam and Eve”
      Do not forget, there are Holy text where there were two more before Eve 🙂

      Hi Science. Yes, I am a creationist but I am a Creationist that see enough similarities between Evolution and the Biblical creation account, that I can happily accept both. Question, since I have you here... they found a Y that goes back that far, does the “X” go back further? Thanks

      TomTom. You do care... admit it! Just as you said I would be back to read this, I knew that my favorite old lady TomTom would be back to read mine. Come on TomTom,

      >>>”....that you just want to teach the world to sing.”

      TomTom. I just want to find another way forward. If you and HeavenSent types want a future of just bashing each others brains out, then that is you. We can just see from your post TomTom that you still feel to when is to flame and to flame is to win. This is why your going to continue to be a epic failure.

      Sigh.... can't a African American Christian Republican teach the world to sing …. hmm ...idea. 🙂

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1NeogMh1JI&w=640&h=360]

      You have a nice day as well ma'am and every time you see a Coke, think that Mark is out there ready to be your buddy... Scary huh

      May 21, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  19. faith

    JESUS LOVES YOU

    May 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Athy

      No, he doesn't. I don't even know him. And I don't want to. I assume you're not talking about my gardener.

      May 18, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • faith

      "Athy
      No, he doesn't. I don't even know him. And I don't want to. I assume you're not talking about my gardener."

      silly. he knows you. he always has. he loves big babies. now, after all this time and effort, you are losing the battle you assumed you had won.

      cancer does that to people

      May 18, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • Athy

      But I don't have cancer.

      May 19, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • faith

      Athy
      But I don't have cancer.

      you don't know

      May 19, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • Science

      You know creationists...........ID believers...............The Bone !..............E =mc2

      Messed-Up Bible Stories – 2 – Adam and Eve

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRGnPIlclps&w=640&h=360]

      How did feathers evolve? – Carl Zimmer

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPLgfGX1I5Y&w=640&h=360]

      Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418104324.htm

      Star Dust we are

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWdU_px9ApE&w=640&h=360]

      Holy Hallucinations 35

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XTCRdC8Dlo&w=640&h=360]

      Prehistoric shark captured on film

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mneDhOtVEQw&w=640&h=360]

      Thai Researchers Discover 100-Million-Year-Old Crocodile Fossil

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwD_hjq_V7U&w=640&h=360]

      (EA) FÓSILES, FOSILIZACIÓN Y PALEONTOLOGÍA.

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw1cRg9oKTc&w=640&h=360]

      Bill Nye: Creationism Is Just Wrong!

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaKMAhPQ54g&w=640&h=360]

      Kepler or not, we'll find life in space

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/20/opinion/urry-kepler-malfunction/index.html?hpt=op_t1

      Evolving Planets Get a Bumpy Ride

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120305131756.htm

      Where Does All Earth's Gold Come From? Precious Metals the Result of Meteorite Bombardment, Rock Analysis Finds

      Not by the horn-y red thingy CHAD !

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907132044.htm

      Peace

      May 21, 2013 at 6:29 am |
    • Anthony

      I'm sure he would... if he existed.

      May 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  20. WOT

    When you read Gods' word for your self, one will better equiped for awes! Matthew 19: 10-13.

    May 18, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Athy

      God's...not gods'.
      Yourself...not your self
      be better...not better
      awes???

      Not often that you see three mistakes in a single sentence. Way to go, religie.

      May 18, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Athy

      Equipped...not equiped. That's four in one sentence. You now hold the record for stupidity.

      May 18, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
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About this blog

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