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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. UD

    He comes in unkempt. Unshaven. Even sometimes he comes in smelling of alcohol. We must monitor the bar and party room 1. If Loree is a good belly dancer, I think this will work.

    May 12, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Newkirk

      That sounds like one of those radio codes Hogan's Heroes got over the radio from London.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Akira

      Hoo boy. Here we go!

      May 12, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • Corporal LeBeau

      Shhh. You are giving us away!

      May 12, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Col. Hogan

      Goldilocks to Papa Bear, there is a video freak chasing me with a tripod.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
  2. lionlylamb

    Gay marriage? WWJSay? "Get thee married and stop w h o r I n g around lest your wings be clipped!"? Hetero marriage? WWJSay? "Stop being a part and parcel of this world's sociologically infested w h o r e d o m ways and straighten up lest your w h o r I n g ways set you upon a dung heap!"?

    May 12, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • .

      He would likely say, "lionlylamb, mind your own business and let them mind theirs. My Father and I will be the judges. And stop writing so stupidly. I would never talk like that, and you shouldn't either."

      May 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Jesus is a Barbie Doll for the Mind

      La-La's Jesus-Barbie says what La-La says, not what the Bible says. For Jesus is always what you imagine him to be. Just like Barbie.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I bet Jesus has a Camaro and a Penthouse and sings for a band, too.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Jesus is a Barbie Doll for the Mind

      That's Mulholland Drive Jesus, accessories sold separately.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
  3. The message

    How do you go to heaven? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” [John 14:6]. The Bible says, “There is [no] other name . . . given among men, whereby we must be saved” [Acts 4:12]. You can’t get there except through Christ. The Bible says it’s a narrow road–very narrow, Jesus said. “Except [you] repent, [you] shall . . . likewise perish” [Luke 13:3]. Has there ever been a moment in your life when you really turned from sin to God? Has there ever been a moment when you really received Christ into your heart? “[For] as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” [John 1:12].

    May 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Science

      Which devil are you tonight .........................chad...................austin..................fred....................or vic ?

      May 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • The Four Fluffy Kittens of the Apocalypse

      I thought Austin was out doing his amateur drive-thru installation hobby at the local churches.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • tallulah13

      No thank you. There is no actual evidence to support the existence of any god, or devil or heaven or hell. So I'm not really interested in your particular delusion. Reality is much nicer, and you don't have to be "saved" from it.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • sam stone

      who the fvck wants to spend eternity with a bunch of kneeling, begging sycophants?

      May 13, 2013 at 7:49 am |
  4. Paul in Atlanta

    #A Conversation, That's a interesting little twist you're trying to make there. So who decides which of the 10% of the law is applicable? Also as far as I know the entire old testament and new testament are considered the Christian Scripture, not simply the new testament. Where is this magical place in the scripture that tells us we can no longer sell our daughters into slavery, when we no longer should put our neighbors to death for sowing two crops in one field, that our wives and daughters are no longer properly. I'm simply pointing out the obvious here, if the old testament law is null and void, then it's null and void for all of us, not just Christians. What I find again and again, is that people like yourself cherry pick the verses you like to point out what you consider the sin in everyone else's lives while ignoring the your own transgressions of verses that stand side by side. Are we free of all of the old testament law or just the parts you don't like?

    May 12, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • required

      Your question is ironic given that your name is Paul.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • .

      What if he was named for McCartney?

      May 12, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Re: "I'm simply pointing out the obvious here, if the old testament law is null and void, then it's null and void for all of us, not just Christians," what should be obvious is that some cult's book of mumbo-jumbo only applies to that cult's members! To be clear, none of The Babble applies to me or any right thinking persons aka atheists.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • Gosh!

      I thought "Paul" was the criminal alias of Saul.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • saggyroy

      I could be wrong, but Jesus was challenged on the point of the old v. the new by the pharisees or sadducees, and Jesus said he came to add to the Mosaic law, not subtract from it. Don't know chapter & verse, it has been awhile.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • Johnny Shadow

      That's right, saggy. He made it stricter. Trying to argue that the line "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." as meaning that he did not come to get rid of the laws but to get rid of them is laughable, especially when you actually consider what he goes on to say.

      Jesus left all the old testament laws in force, and Christians just fall all over themselves to deny it.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • saggyroy

      ....and me an avowed atheist....

      May 12, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • Johnny Shadow

      They lost me with the story of how Jesus got pissed off at a fig tree and killed it. What a stupid god!

      May 12, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Saggyroy & Johnny Shadow,

      Leviticus 17:11
      For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

      Matthew 26:28
      For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Johnny Shadow

      The New Testament is all the old rules plus his stricter additions. All those repugnant old laws, made stricter.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • required

      Study to show yourself approved, Paul.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Johnny Shadow,

      Now you don’t even have to do it to be guilty, all you have to do is think about doing it.

      We all sin whether in thought or deed every day. We are guilty and must be judged or forgiven.

      Forgiveness is much more appealing.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Robert,
      I know you believe there's power in people reading the quotes and I'm not going to try and argue you out of that belief. But just as a tip, most of us don't read comments at all if they are just a pure Bible quote. Think about it from our perspective: why would we read something from someone dead a long time ago we don't think has any real significance? What you probably want to do if you want people to read the quote at all if introduce it with context. Otherwise you're really typing for nothing most of the time. I have no idea what you just quoted, by the way, just that you stuck some bible quotes in there. But a lead in might have hooked me into reading them.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • Johnny Shadow

      I too find it pointless and bizarre to quote a book to people who already regard that book as ridiculous and unbelievable.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Saraswati,
      I appreciate the advice. I get a little carried away sometimes.
      The subject was the OT law and the New Testament. Jesus said he came to fulfill the law and the prophets. He fulfilled the law by becoming the once and for all sacrifice for sin. The quotes were meant to show that under the mosaic system an animal had to be sacrificed to cover sin and when Jesus died and shed his blood it removes all sin for those who believe.
      To show how he fulfilled the prophets would take a few more quotes.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Saraswati,
      I appreciate your help. I get a little carried away sometimes.
      The subject was the OT law and the New Testament. Jesus said he came to fulfill the law and the prophets. He fulfilled the law by becoming the once and for all sacrifice for sin. The quotes were meant to show that under the mosaic system an animal had to be sacrificed to cover sin and when Jesus died and shed his blood it removes all sin for those who believe.
      To show how he fulfilled the prophets would take a few more quotes.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I've never understood the self-hatred required by christianity. And I'll never understand why all your bad acts in life are magically forgiven if you ask god to forgive you. How lame is that? If I do something wrong, I try to make amends to the person I hurt, not my imaginary friend.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Sorry for the double. Thought advice was a bad word.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      "To show how he fulfilled the prophets would take a few more quotes," not to mention a little real evidence, which has never been produced to date.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Thanks Robert, that did put it in perspective and I did go back and look at the quotes. Still not struck by spear but on the off chance you are right someone might be.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      tallulah13,

      That’s good. I won’t quote it, but the bible basically says that you should make peace with the person before making your offering to God.

      As far as hating yourself, I guess I don’t see it. Love your neighbor as yourself.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      HotAirAce,
      If you were looking for evidence of a whale would you look in the ocean or the desert?

      May 12, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Good evening Robert. Since God is always near and at hand, one should not have to look far for evidence of God. One should not have to look at all. God would rather play a little game with us, it seems.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • tallulah13

      When one looks in the ocean, it's easy to find ample proof of whales. But for the entire history of humanity, there has been no evidence that any god has ever existed, no matter where anyone looked There is plenty of evidence of religion, of personal belief, and emotional experiences, but not a shred of evidence for any god.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Other One,
      Hey Tom, God is very near.
      God is a spirit. Searching for physical evidence of a spiritual being seems pointless to me.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I admit I have no idea what spiritual means. You have the advantage, Robert.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Mankind has been looking for proof of gods *everywhere* for 2,000+ years and the only *hint*, not actual evidence, is in books of mumbo-jumbo such as The Babble. As time goes on, religion becomes more like astrology, religion's sister on the evolutionary tree of silliness.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Conveniently, god doesn't exist in a way that can be proven. God only "reveals" himself if want to believe in him, or already believe in him.

      Now please explain why any rational person would fall for that?

      May 12, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Other One,

      I’m not trying to get an advantage and I can’t define spirit either, maybe some descriptions but not a definition.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      tallulah13,
      I think you are mistaken to equate an emotional experience with a personal supernatural experience with God. Don’t you put any weight to the millions of experiences?

      May 12, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Why would anyone have absolute faith in something that has not be proven, they cannot define and can't with certainty describe?

      May 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Not at all, Robert. Emotional experiences are just that. Worshiping creates endorphins which create a feeling of ecstasy, which those people who really, really want a personal connection with god chose to call "a personal experience".

      May 12, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      HotAirAce & tallulah13
      So, here is God and he is looking down and over here he sees a person down on their knees crying out from their heart. In another spot is a person flying God the bird, saying with a sneer God if you are up there strike me dead right now. Which one will God commune with?

      May 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I would think God, being God and all, would commune with the person who needs God the most, Robert.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • Chad

      @HotAirAce "Why would anyone have absolute faith in something that has not be proven, they cannot define and can't with certainty describe?"

      =>you have the same faith in the atheistic view of the origin of the universe, origin of life on earth, the reason the universe obeys laws, and the existence of free will..

      you believe in all of them, but cant explain why in any of them.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      HotAirAce,

      Faith is a gift from God. No one believes for no reason. You can’t buy it or earn it. Is it asking too much for you to seek?

      May 12, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Egad, Chad. That means the God of Israel® must be the one true God.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So basically what you are saying Robert, is that god only "reveals" himself to desperate, needy people who are overwhelmed by the responsibilities in their lives. Do you know why, Robert? Because desperate, needy people who are overwhelmed by the responsibilities in their lives are grasping at straws and are willing to believe in anything, even the supernatural, because they are desperate, needy people who are overwhelmed by the responsibilities in their live.

      Rational people, who are willing to be responsible for their own difficulties, no matter how overwhelming, don't reach for god, because they don't need god. They just roll up their sleeves and clean up their own messes.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      As usual, more unsubstantiated claims from a delusional. But I must admit, I do have faith in the scientific method – a process that has clearly shown that it produces good answers that improve over time, very unlike religion.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      tallulah13,

      The spirit does have a physical effect on the body and probably does kick in those endorphins. If endorphins were all there was to it, I could possibly agree with you. Everyone believes for a reason. Endorphins aren’t the reason.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You know what else kicks in those endorphins? Chocolate! So you'd better pray to chocolate, just in case.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Seriously, Robert, emotional experiences are proof of emotional experiences. That's all. You may personally give them greater significance than that, but really, they are a very human reaction. No god necessary or proven.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Other One,
      The guy flying the bird in his mind doesn’t need God he’s got this. Oh, I believe God does lots of things to get his attention and at some point presents him with a choice, or many choices or chances. He gave me all the time and chances I needed.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
      On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

      May 12, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      tallulah13,
      God hates pride. Rational people who take matters into their own hands and do not need God may not find him. The cool thing about it is he can break even the hardest heart and humble even the most prideful.

      He loves the heartbroken, tired, and poor. They aren’t heartbroken, tired, or poor because they aren’t responsible.

      People who come to God come with a broken heart and contrite spirit.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • Skiffle

      It's a shame God doesn't make it equally easy for people to find and accept him. He seems to have no trouble convincing the trainwreck loser and brainburned nutcases, but he makes it very difficult for people of intelligence who have done well with their lives.

      A real god would make it fair. He would also write a better book. And he wouldn't make kissing his ass the only condition for salvation.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      HotAirAce,
      Yes, the scientific method allows flexibility for new info.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      tallulah13,
      I will agree that the holy spirit of God does cause emotional experiences and reactions. Some people are more emotional than others, before, during, or after. Even if we were acquainted I probably couldn’t convince you of the difference. You will have to see for yourself. As an old preacher used to say it is better felt than tellt. Peace.

      May 13, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Skiffle,
      Hang on tight to that camel as you try to get him through the eye of that needle.

      May 13, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • Larry

      So an cliché from an old dingbat does it for you, eh Robert?

      It's all your imagination. Were you born in Saudi Arabia, ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, Aztec Mexico, or India, you would believe in a different god every bit as absolutely.

      May 13, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • Skiffle

      That was for rich people, you idiot, and if true, even you are doomed. Rich in Jesus' time meant three extra goats. By his standards, the vast majority of Americans are filthy rich. The fact you have a computer makes you rich in his eyes, camel-boy.

      Good thing it is nonsense, only believed by fools who imagine themselves deities.

      May 13, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • tallulah13

      Robert, every true believer of every god that humans have ever worshiped has felt the same conviction and emotional experiences that you have. It really isn't that special. Humans are emotional animals.

      Also, what is proud about being accountable for your own actions? What is virtuous about abdicating your responsibilities to an invisible "spirit" that you know only because you had a feeling?

      How is it even remotely humble to believe that a being capable of creating the universe is sitting around, waiting for you to tell him that you love him best? And when you do that, you get to live forever (after you die) in paradise, because the most powerful being in the universe loves you best, too! I am always astonished at the utter hypocrisy of those christians who call unbelievers "proud".

      May 13, 2013 at 1:54 am |
    • sam stone

      "We all sin whether in thought or deed every day."

      Sort of diminishes the jseriousness of "sin"

      "We are guilty and must be judged or forgiven."

      For being human? What kind of vindictive pr1ck would do this?

      "Forgiveness is much more appealing."

      Only if you are a toady

      May 13, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • sam stone

      faith is a gift?

      REASON is a gift

      faith is rejection of that gift

      May 13, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Good Morning Mr. Stone. Got a cup of coffee turned on the computer and here is sam chewing me out.

      May 13, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • sam stone

      i skydive and exercise for those endorphins.

      May 13, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • sam stone

      well, robert, i got my cup of coffee and there you were speaking of "sin" as if it were a real thing

      May 13, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • Robert Brown

      sam stone,
      I sin whether in thought or deed every day, it was a massive assumption to say everyone does. It doesn’t change the seriousness of sin or the penalty.

      God will judge sin. I know that causes people to get mad, but it is true. What would be really mean and cruel is if he didn’t offer forgiveness.

      May 13, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • sam stone

      "God hates pride"

      Like those who purport to speak for god?

      May 13, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • Science

      Update :for ....... Rebert Brown and chad I

      That red devil with the funky horns...........and his partner the fairy in the sky.........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

      AND

      Easy to do !

      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

      Foot note............ethics + morals = really tough on religion !

      Facts work best for teaching children !

      Evolution wins hands down ..........time for god(s) to get the HELL out of the way................so humanity can evolve !

      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

      Peace

      Oops do not forget about the chondrites !

      May 13, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • sam stone

      "God will judge sin"

      "Sin" is a man made concept.

      "I know that causes people to get mad, but it is true"

      No, it is the pompousness of the preacher that gets me mad

      "What would be really mean and cruel is if he didn’t offer forgiveness."

      For the entrapment he set up from the beginning? That's mighty fvcking nice of him

      May 13, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • sam stone

      "I sin whether in thought or deed every day....It doesn’t change the seriousness of sin or the penalty. "

      No, but it does comment on the vindictiveness of the being who would penalize people for being human.

      PARTICULARLY when this being is supposedly omniscient and knew what each individual would do before they did it

      May 13, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • sam stone

      What, Robert, no response?

      May 13, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Paul

      It must be fun to interpret the quotes Robert Brown put up so that you can ignore the things that Jesus stated so clearly that there is no need for interpretation.

      May 13, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  5. The message

    A sermon by Billy Graham
    The Bible says, “He that hardeneth his heart, being often reproved, shall suddenly be cut off and not without remedy” [see Proverbs 29:1].

    You never know. To some of you who go out on the slick highways this afternoon, this may be the last sermon you will ever hear. In every crusade we have ever conducted anywhere, there have been people who have come to the meeting in good health and never came back because they were dead in the next few hours through an accident, or a heart attack, or something else.

    We never know when our moment is coming. Maybe God spoke to you this afternoon, and your heart is in danger of being hardened. Some of you are older people; some of you are younger people. The Bible says once you hear the Gospel and do nothing about it, you are in danger of being hardening your heart.

    But, last of all, there were some that made a decision [see Acts 17:34]. They received Christ and went their way rejoicing. I am going to ask you today to receive Him. I am not asking you this afternoon to join some special church. I’m asking you today to give your life to Christ.

    You may be a member of a choir. I don’t know who you are or what you are, but you want to give your life to Christ on this opening Sunday afternoon. I’m going to ask you to do a hard thing, because coming to Christ is not easy. So many people have made it too easy. Jesus went to the cross and died in your place. Certainly, you can come a few steps from where you are sitting and stand here, quietly and reverently, and with bowed head. And say, “I need God; I need Christ. I want to be forgiven of my sins. I want a new life, and I want to start a new direction today.”

    May 12, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • (Back when Billy was getting around a bit more)

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuet7GRv7Bo&w=640&h=360]

      May 12, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      I forgot how scary Henry Kane was. He could give Freddy Krugger nightmares.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
  6. mama k

    I'm still trying to figure this one out:

    HS: "A dvocates of s ame-s3x m arriage have never been s uccessful at the b allot box when citizens were allow to cast their votes."

    Does HS actually think someone prevented people from casting their votes in Maryland, Washington (state), or Maine?

    May 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Open you eyes mama k and tell me what election day did this occur? Aaaaaaaah, no election, none, nadda.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • The Sad Floppy Life of Cluckles the Boneless Chicken

      From Wikipedia: "Same-sex marriage in Maine became legal on December 29, 2012. The bill for legalization was approved by voters, 53-47 percent, on November 6, 2012, as Maine, Maryland and Washington became the first U.S. states to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote."

      Got that date?

      May 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • tallulah13

      HS has no contact with reality. She dwells in a biblical haze, far removed from fact or honesty. I pity anyone who has to deal with her in real life.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • G to the T

      Hi HS – ummmm... I'm from Maine. We did indeed legalize gay marriage via a popular vote in our last local election cycle... are you really so blinded by your faith that you are unwilling to acknowlege this fact?

      May 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  7. HeavenSent

    Let's empty this place and meet with the designers.

    Amen.

    May 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Wasn't that Jones Town's motto....

      May 12, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony heaventsent is as phony heavensent does.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So unplug the jukebox, and do us all a favor. That music's lost it's taste so try another flavor.

      – Antmusic 3:16

      May 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
  8. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Word Oxymoron.

    Vowel o identifies quantification of a matter,
    Letter X is invented to show unification, meaning tide to, coupled with.
    Letter y represents will or desire of a noun.
    Letter M represents, essence of choice of a person or a matter.
    Vowel O identifies quantification of a matter.
    Letter R identifies path or the way of a noun or a matter,
    Vowel A identifies established or quantified in path.
    Letter N always appears to indicate establishment of a matter or a noun.
    Oxymoron, The one enshrined or quantified, established in secular ism, self center ism, and he is none other than a hindu atheist, ignorant self centered, using cover of religion to justify his hindu secular ism, self center ism,

    Oxymoron= moron=pig= self centered = atheist = Lucifer-secular = self centered, one in hindrance to truth absolute, a hindu, other wise known as criminal.

    May 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • You make this fun

      V is for the victory of Hindus
      I is for intelligence you see
      S is for sarcastic folks who post here
      H stands for whatever you want it to be
      N is for nobody understands you
      U is for that understanding lost

      Put them all together they spell VISHNU!!!!

      Now stop with all the singing and defrost

      Yah yah yah yah...(((jazz hands)))

      May 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • Observer

      Thanks you, Gary Busey.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • You make this fun

      I'm laughing so hard coffee came out of my nose.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • The Four Fluffy Kittens of the Apocalypse

      Religion does bear a stunning resemblance to brain damage.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
  9. Robert Brown

    Your mother would be full of joy, if you accepted Christ, today!

    May 12, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • UD

      My mother hates that sick fuck god.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Akira

      What an odd way of saying

      HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, all.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Robert,
      Did you read the article?

      May 12, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • UD

      Happy M Day Akira 😉

      May 12, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bostontola,
      Yes, I did read it. I thought it was very good.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Robert,
      Then you must realize that there are billions of people whose mother wouldn't be thrilled if they switched to Christ. That's that lack of empathy the author was referring to.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bostontola,

      Ok, I see what you mean. If your mother isn’t a Christian then the best Mothers day gift she could receive is Christ.

      It is with a great deal of empathy that I write this to you and those billions.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Robert,
      With all due empathy, I wish all moms the gift of rational thought in addition to their intuitive and empathetic capabilities.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • tallulah13

      My mother died 17 years ago. Of lung cancer. Praying every day to be healed. These days, she's dead, and there is no reason to believe she actually exists anywhere to care one way or another.

      Truth be told, she'd probably would have been happy if I was a christian. But she's the one who taught me to be honest (her and dad) so I guess she would also be pleased that I am a strong, independent woman with the ability to think for myself. So happy Mother's Day, Mom. I miss you every day.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
  10. lionlylamb

    Animalisms crusaders for the instinctual caring of those lamed by mankind's w h o r e d o m does imprison the lots of humanisms tyrannical escapades.

    Gay pride is but a socialite deviancy to win emancipation and declare to the world that sodomy exists and will not go away on its own merits. For as w h o r e d o m s go, many a sodomite is at their best whenever they exalt and over inflate their inbred socialite egos making the w h o r I n g crowds go wild!

    May 12, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • Observer

      Millions of heteros engage in sodomy so your comment is pretty pointless.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      1 Timothy 4:1-2

      1   Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

      2   Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

      Amen.

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

      HeavenSent,

      "some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy"

      Sounds like you are getting worried about the millions of Christians this applies to.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Science

      Wow HS................facts = what ?............................plain and simple the bible is BS !!

      Wearing the devil horns are you HS ?

      May 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Saraswati

      OK, I just realized that have grown up with only a very limited number of religious fanatics I misunderstood all this Bible quoting business. To a normal person it doesn't make sense. Why would they use the bible to try and convince non-believers of its validity. That's just nutty logic, and while I like to assume people are mostly logical once you know their premises this one always stumped me a bit. But they really think the Bible words are magical, don't they? They are supposed to have some sort of special power that grabs us, like the book of Mormon of Falun DaFa?

      May 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Science

      Saraswati....................It is the sole..............the bible ?

      May 12, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • mama k

      I think in some cases here Sarasw., these quotes can become some kind of defense comfort mechanism – like a shield against the attacker. But also, I know people try to make a response with them, and maybe they get joy from being able to quickly use their computer to cross-reference certain positions on various topics. Just guessing, though.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @mama k, so you think they say them more to sooth themselves than to make a point?

      May 12, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Saraswati, it is just a trollish behavior. Nothing soothing or defensive, because there is no desire to engage with anyone....just to incite people on the other side. That folks keep engaging with tons of counter post with little response back means that HS is winning the troll war.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • mama k

      I'm not sure, Sarasw., but at times it sure seems like it's a little of both.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • mama k

      I've always said one can argue any side of any argument from the Bible, and now that it is so easy to cross-reference positions and topics of the Bible on the computer, I can easily see someone making that a hobby, strangely.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Observer,

      Jesus warned us,

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

      Matthew 7:13

      Amen.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Mark, I don't know about that. When I lived down south I used to see these preacher shows where people talked in Bible quotes...just stringing them together. They weren't getting any feedback or anything from that kind of TV appearance, so at least some of them do it genuinely.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • Observer

      HeavenSent,

      Jesus NEVER mentioned gays, but he had plenty to say about the s3x lives of heteros and much of it was bad.

      If hypocrisy is going to keep people from heaven, there will be VERY FEW Christians there.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • lol??

      Observer sayz,
      "HeavenSent,

      Jesus NEVER mentioned gays,......................... Weren't many socies in those dayz to defend em with a mob. They were too chicken to make an appearance to Jesus and I'm gonna guess their closet was some kinda cave. If He noticed em at all it wouldn't be for much, being given up and all.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Saraswati,

      Christians quote the bible for lots of reasons. Here is one of them.

      Hebrews 4:12
      For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

      I realize you don’t believe, but I do and it makes perfect sense to me and my hope is that it would make sense to you. I believe the word has power through the holy spirit. I believe the word answers many questions and yes mama k it is soothing also.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Soothing words based on bullsh!t are still bullsh!t. . .

      May 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Saraswati. I have also heard TV preachers and in church pulpit preachers but that is speaking to the choirs. HS is just doing the same as most trolls.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • Science

      But as you Robert the bible is the devil too !!!

      Evil you know !

      May 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • Science

      oops ...........as you know Robert.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      science, wasn't it Shakespeare that said "Me thinks he doth protest too much"?

      May 12, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Thanks, Robert, that was more or less what I was thinking. I'm afraid it doesn't apparently pierce any armor I might have, but it makes more logical sense to me that people are making these kind of quotes if they believe it has that kind of power.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • science

      Who is protesting HS. ?.................I am just sharing facts !

      May 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Leviticus 18:25-30

      25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.

      26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit [any] of these abominations; [neither] any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:

      27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which [were] before you, and the land is defiled;)

      28 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that [were] before you.

      29 For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit [them] shall be cut off from among their people.

      30 Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that [ye] commit not [any one] of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I [am] the LORD your God.

      Amen.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      science, spewing the lies of men that deny Jesus Christ will not save your soul.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Science

      HS + BS = LL

      May 12, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Just after you prove that your god exists and that some dude named jesus was divine, you can get on with proving that there is any validity to the concept of a soul.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

      2 John 1:7

      Amen.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Saraswati,

      The Word can. The Word is not only the written word or the bible, it is also Jesus. Where it says the word of God in the above quote you can also substi.tute Jesus. Jesus is the Word of God. I could demonstrate that with more quotes, but I won’t do that now. Jesus has all the power needed to penetrate that armor. Why would anyone have faith if he couldn’t? Faith isn’t blind. Read what the book of Hebrews says about faith. Everyone who was commended for their faith had a personal supernatural experience with God. They had a very good reason to believe. Seek and you will find.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • Derek

      Robert Brown, your circular reasoning is roundly circular as you orbit your nonsense rotunda circularly in a round circle.

      As for your ghostie stuff, personal experience is worthless as proof; no supernatural event has ever been verified.

      BTW, why should anyone have to "seek" your god? Sounds like your god has a major vanity issue.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Derek,
      May the circle be unbroken.

      You are welcome to verify for yourself.

      Pride is actually why a lot of folks won’t seek.

      May 12, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Re: "Pride is actually why a lot of folks won’t seek," yes, let's blame the unbeliever, not the alleged god and/or its bullsh!t.

      Ya gota believe to belive!

      May 12, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      HotAirAce,
      No, it is not you gota believe to believe. You have to have a reason to believe. Faith is a gift from God. You can’t earn it or buy it. Would seeking it be asking too much?

      May 12, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So, in order to believe in god, you have to want to believe in god. That's possibly the worst argument for the existence of god that I've ever heard.

      May 12, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
  11. Bostontola

    The author said that Christians can be condescending, loud, self righteous, and lacking of empathy, I never noticed that did any of you?

    May 12, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Wow, so Christians can be Human?

      May 12, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Bostontola

      I'll take that as a yes.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • lol??

      You read the article?? Are you an idiot, too??

      May 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • lol??

      You can that as a that.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • Bostontola

      lol??, I guess the author left out "arrogant" as a Christian identifier.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • lol??

      When you gonna bring your god out of the closet and identify him-her??

      May 12, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • Bostontola

      lol??, when will you notice that your god was man made and handed down. There are a lot of gods out there in people's minds, the odds are against yours even if there was 1 actual god. Your odds are further reduced since your creed was created at a time when ignorance was so profound, the creed is rife with flaws.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • lol??

      Your closet god told you that?? Would you have Closet give me a gud stock tip?? Maybe his name is Closure cuz he lives in a closet temple?? Let me rephrase. Have Closure give me a gud stock tip.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • Bostontola

      lol??,
      Please look up "tautology". It's use is not compelling.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      There is the view that we are speaking of the same God or Gods. There are similarities in Holy text that are hard to be ignored. It is just an additional point that makes Faith stronger.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Mark, that is a minority view in most religions, definitely in Christianity. Most Christians believe that if you don't accept Christ as your savior, you take the elevator down.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      This is true. It is a minority view and I am proud of this view.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Mark,
      Enjoy your unique belief system. It resembles atheists in that they all have unique sets of belief also.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bostonola,

      "A majority of all American Christians (52%) think that at least some non-Christian faiths can lead to eternal life."

      http://www.pewforum.org/Many-Americans-Say-Other-Faiths-Can-Lead-to-Eternal-Life.aspx

      From 2008 so likely slightly higher now if anything.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Saraswati,
      That is an interesting stat. Of course another is that American Christians are a small minority of Christians and are not very representative.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Saraswati,

      “Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’.”

      John 14:6

      Amen.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bostonola, true, but comprehensive data would be hard to find. However I'd guess the number is at least as high for European and Canadian Christians, and possibly for the Catholic dominant countries. I'd expect African Christians might be more conservative as is common on other issues, and I'm not sure how to guess about Christians in countries where they are a minority. I'd think that would vary by the dominant culture.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • Saraswati

      HeavenSent, Do you want to chime in and comment on what you are thinking to achieve or what you think motivates you when you post a quote like that to me?

      May 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Bostontola. American Christianity may represent a small percentage Christians but we should not be discounted.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @HeavenSent, I see this is on a different thread that where we were discussing why Christians quote the bible to non-Christians. Nevertheless, I am curious to know why you quoted that to me. Is it because you think the wording is better than what you could write, because there are special powers in Biblical words or is it more for yourself (I know that's more personal). Or, as another person suggested, is it just to stir things up?

      May 12, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Saraswati,
      I don't think so, but who knows. I can't even be sure what the American stat means. E.g. Many American Christians don't recognize Mormon as a Christian religion, but since Mormons accept Jesus, they think they may get in heaven. The question is too open ended to be a definitive result.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I don't know what most of the world's Catholics believe, but as I understand it the official Catholic position is currently that non Christians can go to heaven.

      "Whoever seeks peace and the good of the community with a pure conscience, and keeps alive the desire for the transcendent, will be saved even if he lacks biblical faith." -Benedict XVI, 2005

      May 12, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Just to add some more Data to that, about half the world's Christians are Catholic, so if I understand the Catholic doctrine correctly a minimum of half the world's Christians belong to religions which think that non-Christians can go to heaven.

      On the other hand, In the US data only 65% of the Catholics appear to have thought Hindus would go to Heaven, 77% thought Jews would. Substantial portions answered "don't know" in each case, though. But even most evangelicals and black protestants thought Jews would go to heaven (get eternal life..assuming the same idea) and they presumably have not accepted Christ as savior.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Saraswati, you posted "HeavenSent, Do you want to chime in and comment on what you are thinking to achieve or what you think motivates you when you post a quote like that to me?"

      Answer: Listening to the lies of men will never save your soul. Only Jesus Christ can save your soul.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Revelation 21:8

      Amen.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  12. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Oxymoron= moron=pig= self centered = atheist = Lucifer-secular = self centered, one in hindrance to truth absolute, a hindu, other wise known as criminal.

    May 12, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Oxy = Greek Island
      Moron = Muslims and Christians
      Oxymoron – Stupidest Greek Island

      May 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • STFU

      Oxymoron =Religion of Peace =Islam

      May 12, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
  13. HeavenSent

    Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. And that is why mommy gave me the scissors.

    Amen.

    May 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • U okay

      ?

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

      Maximize your training priorities.

      Amen.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • .

      Looney gets incoherent as usual.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      As usual spot, you post to the phony heavensent's babble.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
  14. Mark From Middle River

    Geez, Atheist and Faithful alike should ask why CNN does not install the DISCUS feature on this blog. The past few weeks I have had back and forth arguments with a poster named Bob and he was a devote Atheist. I come in today and see someone posting as him.

    I might disagree with the majority of Atheist here but this stealing of blog handles is stupid. What reason does CNN have to not allow a login platform.

    May 12, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • lol??

      It's a covert gubmint op to catch terrorists.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Bob's a pretty common name. Are you sure this isn't just a coincidence? There were two long standing Bob's who used to argue...kind of funny.

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

      I don't suppose it occurred to you that there is more than one 'Bob' here, do you? Rather a common name, after all. There's 3 different and distinct 'Sams' here, also...
      Although I agree that CNN's platform is awfully lax; it allows for WAY too much hijacking of names. I just don't think this Bob is stealing; I've seen him before.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • mama k

      well for a long time there has been a very gay hater name Bob also; if you look at some of the older gay-related articles, you'll even seeing them arguing with each other, with only the slant of their arguments keeping them distinct.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • mama k

      excuse me – a gay hater "Bob" who would always show up at the same time as "Douglas" and argue with atheist "Bob".

      May 12, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      I can accept that there maybe more than one Bob posting here but this fact must have come up in a Belief Blog editors meeting. It is just nuts that you go to one blog on CNN and you have to login to blog about cars, guns, and politics but in here they choose to not have it.

      I do think that they want mass conflicts.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • mama k

      Homophobe "Bob" is another one who would argue the importance of the Mayflower Compact over the Constitution when laws and rights were being discussed.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • Bostontola

      .

      May 12, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Akira

      I see this [name stealing] on TJI, Political Ticker, etc...I don't know why some of the blogs have different formats. I think you may be onto something. And it's the blogs that do not have a login format that there is the largest amount of name-stealing trolls and people with many, many different identities...

      May 12, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • Dippy

      What is a "devote" atheist?

      May 12, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
  15. lionlylamb

    So much for logging out,,,

    May 12, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
  16. mama k

    I see from some of the comments and questions that some still don't have a basic education about homosexuality. Muslims lead the way as having the most uneducated, disenfranchising stance toward gays. But many Christians are not far behind. Just last week CNN reported some gays being arrested in Zambia which is a predominantly Christian nation.

    Christianity has always been conflicted on social issues, but this current hot topic really highlights the extremism within Christianity. One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one (over four million members) in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage. Thomas Jefferson hit the nail on the head over 200 years ago:

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    (from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)

    Some claim that Christianity and science are not incompatible, yet we find many who continue to ignore current scientific knowledge on the issue of homosexuality. Is the problem poor education, steadfastness to one's own flavor of biblical interpretation, or both?

    Whatever your religion, whatever your belief, with gay marriage coming quickly to the U.S., now is the time to at least have a basic education about homosexuality.

    The following is long, but note the quote from Professor MIchael King below in the section on psychology.
    =======================================================
    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."

    Biology

    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. ]
    =======================================================

    May 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • lol??

      Natural world, woof woof. Got it Spot??

      May 12, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • Science

      Ethics + morals = really tough on religion/god(s)

      Peace

      May 12, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

      1 John 2:18

      Amen.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Science

      Wow HS................facts = what ?............................plain and simple the bible is BS !!

      May 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      mama k,

      Animalisms crusaders for the instinctual caring of those lamed by mankind's w h o r e d o m does imprison the lots of humanisms tyrannical escapades.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • psych ward staff

      Uh oh, the Lion threw up his word salad again. Clean-up on page 4 – stat.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      science, if you have issues with Jesus' truth, they are issues that you own and refuse to resolve.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • ..

      HS + BS = BS

      May 12, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      LOL, two spots are worse than one spot. Thanks for playing.

      May 12, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
  17. Gay Marriage Watch

    Same-se-x marriage in the U.S.

    Done deal: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington & the District of Columbia.

    Who's next?
    Illinois: Gov. Pat Quinn called on the Illinois House to send him legislation to legalize gay marriage, saying lawmakers had plenty of time to make up their mind on the issue. The state Senate passed the measure on Valentine's Day, and the governor has said he's ready to sign it.

    New Jersey: Gov. Christie doesn't seem to be against gay marriage coming from a ballot measure, but has stated in the past he would veto such a change from legislators. This was his stance before the President changed his views. If Christie reconsiders, NJ could be sooner than expected.

    California: It seems gay marriage will be in CA soon one way or the other. This is because polls show a much larger support for gay marriage than when Prop 8 was passed. So even if the upcoming SCOTUS case were to fail, it would likely be put to voters there very soon again.

    Hawaii: Already has some good laws on the books evidently, and although things have been put on hold until after 2013, legislators there are attempting to speed up the process.

    ==========================
    Let's see around the globe:

    Done deal: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, & portions of Brazil.

    In the works:

    France: Has already passed same-se-x marriage bill in both houses; president intends to sign; right-wing party plans to challenge in the Consti tutional Council to try to force a delay on enactment.

    Germany: On 22 March 2013 the Bundesrat passed an initiative to open marriage to same-se-x couples, which now moves onto the Bundestag for approval.

    Ireland: On 14 April 2013 as part of the Consti tutional Convention a measure voted in favour of same-se-x marriage by a margin of 79 percent.

    UK: On 5 February 2013, the House of Commons debated the Marriage (Same Se-x Couples) Bill and approved it in a 400–175 vote at the second reading. (Third reading to be scheduled.)

    Finland: 03-19-2013: The citizens' initiative overrides the committee's decision, and thus the bill must now be considered by the Parliament.

    Brazil: In November 2012, the Court of Bahia legalized same-se-x marriage in the state of Bahia. In December 2012, the state of São Paulo legalized same-se-x marriage. More Brazilian states are considering measures.

    Luxembourg: On 6 February 2013, the Chamber's justice committee agreed to approve the measure opening marriage for same-se-x couples. On 20 February, the committee initially backed the right to simple adoption for same-se-x couples. On 6 March 2013, the committee confirmed that position.

    Australia: lower house MP will seek to have his Marriage Equality Amendment Bill brought for an immediate vote in the House on June 6.

    Mexico: rulings due this summer.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCFFxidhcy0&w=640&h=360]

    May 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • lol??

      Is she an XX educated by the socies?? It looks like a she but one doesn't know these days.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • .

      Yes, lol??, you asshat, she is female. Somthing you've never come in contact with in your ong, miserable life. Dumb hillbilly.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Romans 3:3-6

      3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
      4 God forbid: yea, let God be true , but every man a liar ; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
      5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
      6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?  KJV

      Amen.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • lol??

      Then what's she doin' blabbin' on marriage?? A senator, no less. BTW, I didn't play it. How do they get "obeying the hubby" into law these days??

      May 12, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • ..

      HS now in TTM (total troll mode)

      May 12, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Akira

      Is there some reason you feel women are not qualified to talk about marriage, lol?? Other than the fact that you present as misogynistic?

      May 12, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  18. Observer

    Bob,

    Welcoming gays into church can't make HYPOCRISY any worse. There are FAR FAR MORE Christian adulterers than there are total number of gays, but have you ever heard of a church campaign against them?

    It's all pick and choose HYPOCRISY.

    May 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Lindsay

      I agree with you Observer, the GLBT community should be welcome any and everywhere. The church as we knew it though has a worse problem and that is just the plain old concrete truth that there is zero evidence for the existance of life after death. Unless you still WANT to go to church being aware of that makes the whole thing a bit pointless for everyone not just the GLBT community.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Bob

      Observer, better to repent my friend then to try to justify your behavior by pointing out the faults of others. God doesn't grade on a curve. "All have sinned and fall short of His glory". Romans 3:23 Unless you repent you will die in your sins.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      I have to agree a bit that the same churches that go after Gays and Lesbians but do not go after actions that are clearly against scriptures is wrong. Still there are many ordained Gays and Lesbians and LGBT churches and it is not an oxymoron.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Observer

      Bob,

      Yep. You have no excuse for the massive HYPOCRISY in picking on gays and ignoring Christian ADULTERERS who remarry.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • The Sad Floppy Life of Cluckles the Boneless Chicken

      So Bob, care to provide evidence of what you say? Let's face it, there is none. But you believe anyway. You have a book, but there are hundreds of other religions with books too. Yours is full of contradictions and inaccuracies, so it fails as evidence.

      So go ahead and tell us why you are sure, for nobody has ever found any evidence beyond the workings of their own imagination.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • lol??

      Your gubmint god is in charge of doctrines AND marriage, Observer. Quit blaming Jesus, the Creator.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Bob

      Sad, keep rejecting Scriptures and seeking "evidence" and you will continue to be one sad dude. It is our response to the Word of God that "shows" if we are of God at all. For those who reject God's Words, well, lets just say its not a good sign.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • Observer

      Bob,

      Still no answer. You still haven't come up with even ONE explanation or excuse for all the Christians who ignore their own adulterers and pick on gays.

      Can't you try?

      May 12, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • The Sad Floppy Life of Cluckles the Boneless Chicken

      Why would you believe in anything that is totally devoid of evidence?

      Why do you believe in scriptures when they are so obviously contradictory and inaccurate and invented?

      May 12, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Bob

      I have given the answer several times, but you didn't want to hear it. Should I keep going until I say something more to your liking? Sorry, your going to get the same answer. Anyone who is living in sin should repent! Are you willing to repent? Well, Observer, are you?

      May 12, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Lindsay

      I used to make that EXACT point to the church, infact cheating on your spouse is a logical misstep because someone gets hurt in that scenario. A gay marriage no one is injured from that. The reason you seek is fear of their own repressed urges (read Freud). It will change in time, but by then probably people will not be religious at all.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Bob

      Sad, "Those who are of God, hear the Words of God". ....Jesus John 8 What does that say about you sad? You picked the right screen name.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Saraswati

      If we went by the bible most second marriages would be invalidated, but even the Catholics shy from trying to make that an issue of law. Until they do no one with a scrap of education is going to take these hypocrites too seriously.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Cluckles,

      If you were looking for evidence of a whale would you look in the ocean or the desert?

      May 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Matthew 5:29-30

      29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.

      30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.

      Amen.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • lol??

      Read Freud and you'll be sumpin', alright. He and his rich pals all had wet nurses that he took and used as bad data. Garbage in, garbage out.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Observer

      Bob,

      You are apparenlty opposed to gay marriage.

      Are you also opposed to any Christians getting remarried thereby committing adultery?

      May 12, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • lol??

      Saraswati, churches like gubmint, usurped their way into the marriage business. Two wrongs.......

      May 12, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Akira

      I have to laugh at the notion that one who supports gay rights must themselves be gay...nonsense.
      Do you same people think that everyone who supported the civil rights movement in the 50's and 60's were themselves black? Nonsense.
      I support equal rights for every human.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Genesis 18:20

      Amen.

      May 12, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
  19. Science

    And he little devils..........with horns are out tonight !!!

    May 12, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
  20. Ariel Castro

    God is Good.

    May 12, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • Bob

      Indeed, He is soooooooooooooo good. God Bless

      May 12, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Clue to theClueless

      Bob, you are definitely a Christian if you are stupid enough to say that to "Ariel Castro".

      May 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Not the real Bob or the one that has been posting regularly here recently. I think some one stole his handle.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • .

      Not that good. Ypu got caught finally, asshat.

      May 12, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • Ariel Castro

      Is god on crutches? ha ha ha

      May 12, 2013 at 7:28 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.