Lutherans elect first openly gay bishop
The Rev. R. Guy Erwin was elected the first openly gay bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on May 31.
June 3rd, 2013
02:12 PM ET

Lutherans elect first openly gay bishop

By Dan Merica and Daniel Burke, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN'][twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN)– For more than two decades, the Rev. R. Guy Erwin couldn't officially be a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. On Friday, he was elected a bishop.

Erwin's election signals a shift not only for the ELCA – the nation's seventh largest church – but also for American Christianity. Only one other mainline Protestant denomination, the Episcopal Church, has elected openly gay and lesbian bishops.

“In these days such milestones seem to be coming at an ever-faster rate," Erwin told CNN, "and eventually what seems revolutionary now will seem normal and predictable."

With more than 4 million members in 10,000 congregations, the ELCA is the largest of several Lutheran denominations in the United States. The ELCA's decision to allow gay clergy has strained ties between those denominations, some of whom have partnered for relief work.

"The ELCA is a church that belongs to Christ, and there is a place for all here," said church spokeswoman Melissa Ramirez Cooper. "The election of Pastor Erwin illustrates what many in the 4-million-member church believe - that God calls each of us by name.”

The ELCA lifted its ban on openly gay, partnered clergy in 2009, clearing the way for pastors like Erwin, but angering conservatives. By some estimates, some 600 congregations have since left the ELCA for more conservative churches.

The Rev. W. Stevens Shipman, director of the Lutheran Coalition for Renewal, said the ELCA is not keeping promises it made in 2009 to respect the views of churches and individuals who regard homosexuality as a sin.

"The promise was also made publicly that no congregation would be required to call a pastor in a same-sex partnership," Shipman said, "but now an entire synod has been forced to live under the authority of a bishop who is in such a relationship."

Erwin, a scholar at California Lutheran University, will serve a six-year term representing the Southwest California Synod, a five-county area that includes Los Angeles. His election took place an annual three-day assembly in Woodland Hills, California.

Erwin, who was ordained a pastor in 2011, played down his election as the ELCA's first openly gay bishop. But acknowledged that his very “existence” was a symbol for broader acceptance.

“The work of a bishop in our church is to lift up the church's message of grace and peace in the wider society, to administer the church's work in our area, and to teach and preach,” Erwin said in an e-mail to CNN. “In this regard, the sexual orientation of the bishop may not be very important.”

Still, the bishop-elect said, “The very fact I exist will be a signal to others that GLBT folks are respected and have a full place in our church.” Erwin is also part Osage Indian and is active in the Osage Indian Nation, according to the ELCA.

Erwin’s election symbolizes a noticeable change for a church that once banned clergy who were in same-sex relationships, said Ross Murray, director of news and Faith initiatives at GLAAD.

Prior to the 2009 change, “hundreds of gay and lesbian clergy were forced out of congregations or served under secrecy,” Murray said.

“Dr. Erwin demonstrates how far the ECLA has come with LGBT inclusion,” said Murray in an e-mail to CNN. “He could not have been ordained just four years ago, and now he is a leader for the church. It makes me proud as a gay man, and as a Lutheran.”

Although the ELCA church did not allow clergy in same-sex relationships while he was attending seminary, Erwin  said that he “always believed that this would someday be possible.”

Erwin also said the church's 2009 change in policy was more of a "culmination of God's work" than a "start of something new."

Erwin has long been a board member of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, a Lutheran group that advocates for the 130 openly gay Lutheran clergy who are members.

Amalia Vagts, the group’s executive director, said Erwin’s election was an “amazing day” for openly gay and lesbian Lutherans.

“This is a powerful message for LGBT people everywhere that the Lutheran church welcomes them,” Vagts said in an e-mail.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Lutheran

soundoff (1,122 Responses)
  1. HotAirAce

    Those crazy Lutherans! I rarely find a reason to cheer on the delusionals but this deserves praise. Nice to see a religious cult move into the 21st century, and if this causes other delusionals to get their panties all twisted up, so much the better!

    June 3, 2013 at 5:49 pm |

      are you calling yourself asshoIe HotAirAss?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
      • over50hire

        Islamic people getting involved in a Christian discussion is apostasy. You belong in a different conversation.

        August 15, 2013 at 9:20 pm |

      are you calling yourself asshoIe HotAirA ss?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • over50hire

      You, my unwashed friend, are delusional. Leaving the faith to join a secular belief should not be a reason to celebrate.

      August 15, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
  2. highplainsparson

    Reblogged this on High Plains Parson and commented:
    Sadly, this is just the next step in the long slide from the historic Christian faith which has been experienced by the mainline Lutheran Church.

    June 3, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • OMG

      Sliding right into Jesus' arms.

      June 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • OMG

      What's the Good News of Jesus mean to you?

      This explains it all to me:

      "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."

      Who is the treasure? And who sold all he had for that treasure?

      June 3, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
      • highplainsparson

        Wrong question. Before asking what it means to me, you need to find out what the good news is, and who Jesus is.

        June 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • OMG

      We are the treasure that Jesus finds in the field and sells everything.

      He choose us.

      June 3, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • OMG

      What I am asking is, what do you think the good news is?

      What is your understanding?

      June 3, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
      • highplainsparson

        The good news is the nutshell is that out of His great love, God took upon himself a human nature, and became a man, lived, died, and rose again, to save sinners: his enemies who were under His wrath and curse for sin. If you would like to find out more of what I believe, please visit my blog by clicking on the name above. Thanks.

        June 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • derp

      "What I am asking is, what do you think the good news is?"

      It would be good news if your keyboard stopped working.

      June 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • OMG

      What denomination do you belong to? What is the 'historic Christian faith' that is superior to mine?

      Why does Jesus Christ show up each day to our church that openly welcomes g@y people?

      Why isn't He stopping us? He seems to be loving and supporting our ministry to share the good news with all people.

      Not just the heteros@xual males.

      June 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
      • highplainsparson

        There are answers to all of those questions, found in God's Holy Word, the Bible. Otherwise, if you want to continue looking into these things, I would direct you to my blog.

        June 3, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • OMG

      Ugh, you just want to promote your blog.

      Thanks for giving the Wikipedia summary of Christianity. That is real helpful.

      And you wonder why your faith is sliding?

      Mine is growing.

      June 3, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
      • highplainsparson


        June 3, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
      • highplainsparson

        We Christians measure things not as they seem to the world, but in the light of God's word. I would encourage you to study it, first and foremost. This forum is not the best for explaining these kinds of things, but there are many sources to which you may turn.

        June 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
      • over50hire

        I would guess "your faith" won't care about the Christianity as soon as they achieve their goals.

        August 15, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Akira

      Yes, OMG, you got it right: he only wants to steal advertising space for hos blog here.
      I took the liberty of copying his entire post about the above story:
      "Sadly, this is just the next step in the long slide from the historic Christian faith which has been experienced by the mainline Lutheran Church.  It is well past time for Bible-believing Christians to come out of this group."

      He is spamming.

      June 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
      • over50hire

        You are delusional as well. There are many Bible-believing Lutherans. You must be some sort of Calvinist. Just because the Church is faltering is not a reason to leave; however, it is a reason to fight the agenda being waged against the Lutheran Church.

        August 15, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • OMG

      I have prayed on this. Can a h@mos@xual do what Jesus asks: Love god and love others.

      Is the exclusion of g@ys by some denominations, just like the exclusions of blacks, women, Asians, Native Americans, etc?

      The church has a horrible record of mistakes.

      The church has earned this. It deserves this.

      Maybe it is time to stop drawing lines – and doing what Jesus asks.

      Love God and love others.

      June 3, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Geez. It's funny; for some reason I was thinking of "high plains parson" earlier today and wondering what became of him, as he seemed to be a straight shooter.

      Guess I know now that he's just another carnival barker.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Confusion abounds.

    Sanity is fading away.

    Human behavior is animalistic.

    Two wrongs don't make you right.

    Don't cross your wires.

    Screw in the light bulb into light socket.

    Use a toilet brush to clean your teeth.

    Wipe your butt with a dirty kotex napkin.

    Use only rubbers with holes.

    Make you bed dirty and then sleep in it

    June 3, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Akira

      Good thing you posted as anonymously; you need a mental health checkup. Your poem seems to be a cry for help.

      June 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  4. sinaiticus

    Lutherans don't call their clergy "priests." Please correct with "pastor," "minister," "clergyperson," or something. AP Stylebook probably covers this.

    June 3, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • OMG

      "Priest" can be used a a generic term for a religious leader.

      They used it as lower case.

      June 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
      • over50hire

        You don't know anything about Christianity do you?

        August 15, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Athy

      Should be lower case, it's not a proper noun.

      June 3, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Arnie

      Lutheran priests can properly be called out of their cells for meals.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
      • over50hire

        You don't know anything.

        August 15, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  5. Science

    Hey faithy/HS seems like you have not been weaned yet sort of like chadie .............reminds me of a 5 year old ?

    Monkey Teeth Help Reveal Neanderthal Weaning

    May 24, 2013 — Most modern human mothers wean their babies much earlier than our closest primate relatives. But what about our extinct relatives, the Neanderthals?


    June 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Science

      Go pound sand HS

      Scientists Find Oldest Dinosaur - Or Closest Relative Yet

      Dec. 5, 2012 — Researchers have discovered what may be the earliest dinosaur, a creature the size of a Labrador retriever, but with a five foot-long tail, that walked the Earth about 10 million years before more familiar dinosaurs like the small, swift-footed Eoraptor and Herrerasaurus.


      June 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      science, what do you get when the lost follows the lost?

      June 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
  6. Honey Badger Don't Care

    The reason that I asked my earlier question is because the bible says that ho mo se xuals are to be put to death. How can someone believe in the bible and then do a complete 180 on what it says?

    Crazy religious nutz one and all.

    June 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm |

      hindu Pundits, crooked tricksters are master of it, dumb, deaf and blinded are pundits , crooks are capable of calling day light, darkness. They believe in nothing else, but their hindu soul, filthy desire. end justifies the means. no limits. Way of hindu seculars, crook self centered to hind, fool humanity.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:52 pm |

      Islam troll, crook butt-wiper, dog-free self-centered ims, champion of boom boom scattering pieces

      June 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • OMG

      Some people interpret this to mean those who participate in h@mos@xual prosttution.

      And there is this interpretation:

      "If two men engage in h@mos@xual s@x while on a woman's bed, both have committed an abomination. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

      Implying a married man having s@x with a man.

      June 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      HBDC You actually bring up a good topic, and one that cannot possibly be resolved here. Luther is fundamentally the one person in history responsible for the advancement of individual interpretation of Scripture. So, the common comment of "40,000 denomination and which one is right?" stems from his theology.

      June 3, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  7. EX catholic

    This is one of the many consequences and results of Idolatry, IDOLATRY IS NOT RELIGION. IDOLATRY is a Very, Very grave and serious SIN.

    June 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • STFU

      why don't you adopt Islam and you never have to worry about how God looks. You just face in the direction of Mecca and hit your head on the floor.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • I wonder


      If you talk to "God" or "Jesus", or even think about them, you are practicing mental idolatry.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  8. STFU

    people servicing in churches, temples (except mosques) are humans first, priests, bishop, saints later.

    June 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      It's possible to get serviced in a church? Maybe religion is not so bad.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
  9. Bryan

    “All the cunning of the devil is exercised in trying to tear us away from the word.”
    ~Martin Luther

    June 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm |

      Could you bother to translate word, WORD FOR US.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • STFU

      shut up you muslim fart, your scholarly talks are not welcomed here, get lost goon.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • STFU

      shut up you muslim aghori, stop eating peoples brain.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Nayrb

      "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Mahatma Ghandi

      June 4, 2013 at 12:19 am |
  10. Carter

    With the exception of the Church of Sweden, Lutherans do not refer to their clergy as "priests" but as "pastors," to make the point that lay people and clergy are both priests in the priesthood of all believers.

    June 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  11. Carter

    Just a technical point: Lutheran terminology in America does not refer to clergy as "priests" but rather as "pastors." Episcopalians, Catholics, Orthodox would use the term "priest."

    June 3, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
  12. Moses

    All sinners need Christ, all sinners are called to repentance. All except for ECLA? They got an exemption from above 😉

    There is abundance of grace for forgiveness of sins. More than that, there is abundance of grace to bring us to a life of overcoming sin.

    June 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Huebert

      Since I don't believe in the doctrine of sin, I am not a sinner. Therefor I don't need your god or his son.

      June 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Exemptions, exceptions & enticements

      What exemption- Sin exception,eh?

      June 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Aaron

      For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God–Romans 3

      For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.–Romans 6

      June 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      "Since I don't believe in the doctrine of sin, I am not a sinner."

      Can I play that game too?

      Since I don't believe in murder, I not a murderer for taking a life.
      Since I don't believe in theft, I not a thief for taking other's belongings

      This is fun I get to make my own rules. If only it was true.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Huebert

      Mike you are not playing the game very well.

      Crimes crimes are a transgression against society. Society is real weather or not you believe in it, but Sin is particular to deities. Sin means a transgression against a deity, which are only real to the people who believe in them. Therefor a nonbeliever can never be a sinner.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Good luck with explaining that to the cops, Mike. Law and sin are different things, as are religion and morality.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      "Crimes crimes are a transgression against society. Society is real weather or not you believe in it,"

      Society? Which one, if you tell Hitler you murdered a Jew I am sure him and his society would not consider it a transgression.

      "Sin means a transgression against a deity"
      Correct, creation transgression against the Creator. That is why that penalty for sin is death, just like treason in all societies.

      ", which are only real to the people who believe in them. Therefor a nonbeliever can never be a sinner."
      This is were you go wrong. It is only real if the Creator is real, not your personal opinion. Which drives the original point home so well. You gladly told me I was breaking the law and did not ask me what I thought about the "reality of society" . Same applies in your case, sin exists based on the deity not your opinion of Him.

      June 4, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  13. Science

    Hey creationists ........chadie too............evolution wins time for the fairy in the sky and the horn-y beast to get the

    hell out of the bedVroooom !

    New Species of Marine Fish from 408 Million Years Ago Discovered in Teruel

    June 3, 2013 — Researchers from the University of Valencia and the Natural History Museum of Berlin have studied the fossilised remains of scales and bones found in Teruel and the south of Zaragoza, ascertaining that they belong to a new fish species called Machaeracanthus goujeti that lived in that area of the peninsula during the Devonian period. The fossils are part of the collection housed in the Palaeontology Museum of Zaragoza.


    June 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Science do you believe the gay gene?

      June 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Science

      Chomp on that bone...................creationists. chadie too..................evolution at its best the old croc.

      Time for the horn-y beast to get the hell out of the bedVroooom !!!

      Fourteen Closely Related Crocodiles Existed Around 5 Million Years Ago

      May 21, 2013 — Today, the most diverse species of crocodile are found in northern South America and Southeast Asia: As many as six species of alligator and four true crocodiles exist, although no more than two or three ever live alongside one another at the same time. It was a different story nine to about five million years ago, however, when a total of 14 different crocodile species existed and at least seven of them occupied the same area at the same time, as an international team headed by paleontologists Marcelo Sánchez and Torsten Scheyer from the University of Zurich is now able to reveal.


      June 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Science do you believe the gay gene? (take 2)

      June 4, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  14. Mike from CT

    I would be interested in his exegesis on Romans 1 or 1 Cor 6

    June 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Colin

      Well Mike, I think it is a matter of yet another Biblical prophesy coming true. Gay marriage and marijuana use are both being legalized. Leviticuas states that if a man lies with another they should both be stoned. We just weren't interpreting it correctly.....

      June 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • OMG

      I would be, too. Especially since there is no mention of h@mos@xuality in the four Gospels of the New Testament.

      The moral teachings of Jesus are not concerned with the subject.

      June 3, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Alias

      Get your prophecies correct –
      This is happeniong in the year 2013, and it is Lev 20 13 where gawd wrote it down.
      What more proof do we need?

      June 3, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • OMG

      Two others (Leviticus 18:19-23 and Leviticus 20:10-16) are part of what biblical scholars call the Holiness Code.
      The code explicitly bans h@mos@xual acts.

      But it also prohibits eating raw meat, planting two different kinds of seed in the same field and wearing garments with two different kinds of yarn. Tattoos, adultery and s@xual intercourse during a woman's menstrual period are similarly outlawed.

      Jesus Christ makes it clear that we don't need to follow this Holiness Code.

      June 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      There is also no mention of Bestiality either. The "argument from absence" is a poor one.

      There is affirmation though.
      Matthew 19

      June 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      "Two others (Leviticus 18:19-23 and Leviticus 20:10-16) are part of what biblical scholars call the Holiness Code."

      Correct but since you are I are not Israelites separate from the world to show God's glory that is why I did not quote Leviticus. It helps to read in context.


      "Jesus Christ makes it clear that we don't need to follow this Holiness Code." Where?

      June 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • OMG

      He did speak a lot against divorce. I know a lot of divorced Christians.

      They are a lot like the h@mos@xual Christians I know.

      What about this:

      “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”

      (Matthew 19:11-12).

      What are eunuchs?

      There are some who have been eunuchs from birth — made that way by God?

      June 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • OMG

      Leviticus says things like:

      “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them...”

      I'm not living in Israel. I'm not preparing to occupy the land of Canaan.

      Under Jesus, we live under a new covenant.

      The New Testament of the Bible makes this clear to me.

      June 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      "Leviticus says things like:
      “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them...”
      I'm not living in Israel. I'm not preparing to occupy the land of Canaan.
      Under Jesus, we live under a new covenant.
      The New Testament of the Bible makes this clear to me."

      Yes so why quote Leviticus?

      June 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      "He did speak a lot against divorce. I know a lot of divorced Christians."

      So do I, that does not change the commands of God of how he choose to govern his creation.
      Again, hence the need for Christ.

      "They are a lot like the h@mos@xual Christians I know."
      Then we know different people, because the Christians who have divorce have successfully or unsuccessfully tried to reconcile their marriage and not choose to live in active rebellion.

      What about this:

      “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”

      (Matthew 19:11-12).

      What are eunuchs?
      A castrated man, or a man without working gentiles

      There are some who have been eunuchs from birth — made that way by God? Yes, still to this day.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • OMG

      I don't know why "Alias" mentioned Leviticus.

      There are about 9 verses that people normally use to hold judgement against h@mos@xuals – he mentioned 2 of the big ones.

      I responded with my understanding of the context of the verses.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • OMG

      @ Then we know different people, because the Christians who have divorce have successfully or unsuccessfully tried to reconcile their marriage and not choose to live in active rebellion.

      You don't know any divorced Christians?

      I know h@mos@xuals who have felt guilt and shame about being gay. They have had people pray over them, accpeted Jesus and spoke in tongues. They tried to change who they were.

      Yet, they still felt they were gay. They believe they were born that way.

      And they believe that Jesus loves them, too.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Madtown

      I know h@mos@xuals who have felt guilt and shame about being gay
      Me too, primarily because of the way they are looked upon by christians. All that judgement and criticism, all for doing nothing than living as you were meant to?

      June 3, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • OMG

      Is h@mos@xuality a choice?

      Do some Christians choose to sleep with the opposite s@x – because God wants them too. Otherwise they would enjoy the company of their same s@x?

      Do they demonstrate to God each day what a devoted servant they are by resisting the temptation to snuggle up with their bowling partner?

      June 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • HeavenSent


      Matthew 5:17

      Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.


      June 3, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Pete

      Mike, according to the bible simply being divorced is living in sin. It doesn't matter if you tried to make it work or not.

      June 4, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Mike from CT

      Pete, correct. I guess the more correct term is husbands separated from their wives.

      June 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Scotty's a bit bored today LOL.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
  15. Huebert

    Way to go ELCA. 🙂

    June 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • The real Tom

      It's almost enough to make me go back to church....

      June 3, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
  16. Alias

    Please forgive a report from the last article, but it makes me feel better when I repeate things I really believe in (excuse the satire)
    Religion done right is a positive influence on people. Support groups in many forms and people who care enough to listen really work. There is a lot of wisdom in the bible. It can help in many situations especially with young people.
    Too many athiests on this blog criticise the bible and think christians will change their minds, or even give serious thought to the arguements. Most christians already know those bible passages are there and they are still christians. Those agruements are pointless.
    Religion can have real value to people in this life. God does not have to exist for this to happen.
    You need to understand this is you want to actually influence people away from christianity.
    Of course, if you are here to throw insulst and post the same shallow, useless crap repeatedly, then ignore me and carry on.

    June 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      "God does not have to exist for this to happen."

      Exactly. Wisdom and support groups do not need religion or a god; they are only associated with religion because historically religion was central to life. Now we have knowledge and hopefully soon we can dispense with the superstitions that came to control our lives.

      June 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • OMG

      It seems like it is natural for people to have a religion.

      I know secular people that treat politics like their religion. Or sports, alcohol, s@x, their career, etc.

      We all believe in something. We all have faith in something.

      June 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Scotty Tom is too bored today LOL.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
  17. Colin

    I wonder if the Southern Baptists will congratulate him.......

    June 3, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Alias

      They will congratulate him for earning a spot in Hell!
      Just like they do pagans like us.
      They will feel superior, and tell us to enjoy the fire and burning and suffering we clearly deserve for not accepting their interpretation of the bile bible!
      Oh the heat!
      Oh the brimstone!
      Oh the acting lessons i should sign up for!

      June 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  18. trollintraining

    Let me guess about his qualifications ...... Eagle Scout?

    June 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Doobs

      Keep your day job, troll wannabe.

      June 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  19. Honey Badger Don't Care

    I dont know much about the different xtian denominations. Do lutherans believe in the bible?

    June 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • OMG

      Lutherans are big on grace and God meeting us where we are at.

      We don't work our way up to God.

      June 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      "We don't work our way up to God."

      All Christians are big on that, hence the need for Christ.

      June 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Martin Luther was a Catholic priest and the creator of the doctrine of Solo Scriptura which proposes that each individual is responsible to and for interpretation of Holy Scripture and that no authority except the Scripture should be used to discern God's will. His 99 thesis, posted to the door of an English cathedral mark the radical beginning of the Protestant Reformation; which was the reaction to clerical abuses of selling indulgences by some Roman clergy in the mid 1500's. He later came to regret some of the tangents his protest lead to.

      June 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Huebert


      Most Lutherans do not subscribe to fundamentalist interpretations of the bible. They are one of the more liberal christian denominations.

      June 3, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • OMG

      Some Christians believe God always comes down to us.

      Some religions concern themselves with working their way up to God, by following steps or purification techniques.

      June 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      editors note: 95 thesis, Wittenburg church

      June 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Harley Davidson

      How was your ride? Not too many birthdays left are there Bill. Nice to see you recognize clerical abuses some 600 years ago, too bad you find it is so difficult to see that those same type of abuses are still going on today in the RCC. Nice crutch you have there Bill.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The ride was great. About 80 people showed up to support a retreat for people who survived the West Texas explosion. WE prayed and sang and had a wonderful meal together. People came from all over Texas and some from Louisiana. I suppose there will always be some number of abuses in the clergy. They are, after all, human. The good news is that nothing they nor anyone else does or has done can affect the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The sinners come and go, but His Passion remains. As far as a crutch goes, I'll accept my cross in His name every day.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Lumping all Catholic priests together as pedophiles makes about as much sense as thinking all Harley riders are Hells' Angels. Seems kind of stupid doesn't it?

      June 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Harley Davidson

      Glad you had a good time, hope the BBQ was awesome. Of course all priests are not pedophiles, just a very small minority. The problem escalated when the RCC hierarchy decided to go into protection mode instead of reporting the crimes to the authorities. You know that Bill and revelations of destruction of docu.ments and redactions still goes on today; the RCC were accomplices before and after the fact. You mentioned the s8x scandal but can also be applied to the money laundering, tax evasion and ties to the Mafia, all criminal behaviour.

      June 3, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      As I said, you can bang that drum all the way to Calvary

      June 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  20. Reality

    Gay or not, he still follows a very flawed religion both historically and theologically as do all Abrahamics.

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    To wit:

    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    “New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

    June 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Reality

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      June 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Reality

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, the Filipino “koranics”and the Boston Marthon bombers.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud (e.g. Syria and Iraq) and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:24 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.