August 22nd, 2013
03:07 PM ET

Gay detective's mother booted from church

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

(CNN)–The mother of a gay detective has been booted from the Tennessee church she attended for decades.

Elders at Ridgedale Church of Christ told Linda Cooper and two relatives that their public support for Kat Cooper, Linda Cooper's gay daughter, went against the church's teachings, local media reported. In a private meeting, reports say, Linda Cooper was given a choice: publicly atone for their transgressions or leave the church.

Linda left the church.

Kat Cooper is a detective with the Collegedale Police Department. This month, she fought successfully for health benefits for her same-sex spouse, Krista, from the town.

The Board of Commissioners passed a resolution allowing for same-sex partner benefits, becoming the first city in Tennessee to do so.

Along the way, the mother publicly supported her daughter. That support appears to have led to a rift with her church.

"My mother was up here and she sat beside me. That's it," Kat Cooper told the Times Free Press of Chattanooga. "Literally, they're exiling members for unconditionally loving their children - and even extended family members."

"Her answer to them ... is that she had committed no sin in her mind. Loving her daughter and supporting her family was not a sin," Kat Cooper's father, Hunt Cooper, told CNN affiliate WTVC. "There was nothing to repent about. They certainly couldn't judge her on that because that was between her and her God, and it was not their place to judge her for that."

"The sin would be endorsing that lifestyle," Ken Willis, a minister at Ridgedale Church of Christ, told to the Times Free Press. "The Bible speaks very plainly about that."

The news enflamed the passions of critics and supporters of the church's action.

A phony Facebook page for the church was created by one critic, who posted glib messages affirming same-sex marriage shortly after the controversy went viral. "There's nothing about girl on girl in Leviticus," one post reads.

Mary Sturdibint, a Collegedale resident, told WTVC, "I don't think they should be kicked out of church. If you're going to kick out someone, it needs to be the two that are same-sex that's married. I do believe in that."

Willis declined an on-camera interview with WTVC but released a written statement.

"This is an in-church private issue. Because emotions are so inflamed at this point, I choose not to comment any further," it read.

"The church is overseen by elders. I am a minister, not a pastor and therefore, do not have the authority to speak further on this. The news is getting mixed reviews."

Multiple calls to the church and the Coopers by CNN were not returned.

Church of Christ structure

What happens next for the small suburban church remains unclear.

There is no denomination to hand down an edict praising or condemning the local church's decision.

Churches of Christ are a loosely joined group of independent churches that are autonomous by design. There is no denominational oversight, formal structure or even a denomination headquarters.

Local churches are governed by appointed elders in a structure the church traces to the early followers of Jesus described in the New Testament, said Ronald Highfield, a professor of religion at Pepperdine University.

"They're organized in congregations with their own local leadership so that no other congregation, no set of congregations, no convention can exercise any ecclesiastical discipline over another congregation," said Highfield, who is also an elder in his local Church of Christ congregation.

While there are no documents or position papers by the church on the issue of homosexuality and how members ought to interact with lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender family members, he said that on the issue of sexual orientation, churches in the denomination fall on a spectrum from progressive to conservative.

Most churches, Highfield said, hold a traditional Christian belief that sex is to be reserved for married men and women and that sex outside of that marriage arrangement is wrong, regardless of what the church believes about sexual orientation.

"There is an implicit covenant when you're a member of a congregation to adhere to the scriptures and the authority," he said.

So, he said, supporting a view that could be seen as undermining the teaching of the church could be grounds for excommunication.

Highfield was unfamiliar with this particular congregation until the story broke and said as for its decision, "whether it's just or fair, I'm not going to make a judgment."

Not a new issue

For decades, churches have wrestled with the issue of homosexuality, leading to splits and schisms of individual congregations and entire churches.

Some churches, like the Episcopal Church, have shifted from the traditional Christian position on marriage to now bless monogamous same-sex unions and perform same-sex marriages in states where they are legal.

While churches that have formally shifted their policies on same-sex marriage are in the minority, Americans' opinion of such marriage has shifted significantly from opposition to support.

A CNN/ORC poll conducted in June, when the Supreme Court was deciding the fate of the Defense of Marriage Act and the validity of a California law banning same-sex marriage, 55% of Americans said marriages between gay or lesbian couples should be recognized as valid. That marked an 11-point swing from 2008, when 44% of Americans said the unions should be legal.

The public outcry about the exile of the parents of a gay adult child from this Tennessee congregation seems to mirror this shift in public opinion.

Some pollsters and commentators have pointed to tension about same-sex marriage as a reason for an exodus from churches, particularly among young people.

Many mainline Protestant churches have seen a decline in membership, while pollsters have noted a steady increase in "nones," or people saying they have no religious affiliation. In its latest surveys, the Pew Forum on Faith and Public life puts "Nones" at 20% of the population.

Pew has also noted that at the same time younger Americans are leaving churches, older Americans are returning in a pattern that matches historical trends that have shown people become more religious as they get older.

Because there is no central office for Churches of Christ, reliable numbers on membership are difficult to come by.*

When the Ridgedale congregation next updates its membership rolls, it will be crossing out the Coopers. The family told the local newspaper they were devastated to leave a church where they had been active for 60 years.

For now, both the Coopers and their former church are standing by their own convictions, and after six decades of traveling together, they are heading in different directions.



Difficult, but not impossible. There are 12,438 Church of Christ congregations in the United States with 1.55 million adherents according to publisher 21st Century Christian's annual "Churches of Christ in the United States" which they have compiled since the 1970s.
H/t @BobbyRoss

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Gay marriage • Gay rights

soundoff (3,329 Responses)
  1. barbara

    are there people out there who do not realize that one or more of their own children can be gay?

    August 22, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Don

      Amen! Good bye evil church people!

      August 22, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
  2. LarryLSmith

    Another Church where they don't really remember who Jesus was and how he loved everyone unconditionally. It is an excellent example of why many American churches are slowly becoming irrelevant.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • Colin

      Actually he didn't love everybody. That is the simplistic, sanitized motif of him that grew up over the centuiries. Look at a couple of his statements.

      “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”; and, in talking about people who try to dissuade young people from following him, "If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea."

      He had is violent moments.

      August 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
  3. Thom

    I guess Jesus was gay since he didn't want any women...........just guys around him........ Wasn't the last supper a guy thing ?

    August 22, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
  4. NorCalMojo

    Fundamentalist atheists see the world in such simplistic terms. They talk about Christianity as if there's only one Christian church. They cherry pick the most extreme, and ignore the most liberal. It's as if they think the protestant reformation never happened.

    Fundies are all the same. Simpletons grasping at simplistic solutions and lashing out at anyone who threatens their grip.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • Colin

      Funny that you mention the reformation. The three greatest movements in human history, which, in the cu.mulative, mark the emergence of the Western World from the Dark Ages, are the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment. All three are largely defined by their rejection of religious dogma in favor of science, free thought and reason.

      If religion was an overall positive thing for mankind, would we not expect movements toward greater religiosity to be preeminent in World history and viewed in a positive light? If it were credible, would we not expect 95% of the World’s most eminent scientists to be ardent believers rather than atheists? In such a case, instead of celebrating the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment, would we not be lamenting the “Backsliding”, the “Deterioration” and the “Great Fu.ck Up?”

      August 22, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
      • NorCalMojo

        Most of the harm done by religion was persecuting people who didn't share the beliefs.

        Disbelief won't make it any less harmful than belief.

        Now I've pointed out the irony of your position, if you continue to hold it, I can only assume you're a hypocrite.

        August 22, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • Colin

          NorCalMojo, you said, "Most of the harm done by religion was persecuting people who didn't share the beliefs.

          Disbelief won't make it any less harmful than belief"

          Are you that fvcking stupid? That is like saying being black is as bad as being a memebr of the KKK..

          August 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
        • NorCalMojo

          No it isn't, it would be like saying that being black and lynching nonblacks is as bad as the KKK.

          I'm not criticizing the disbelief of atheists, I'm criticizing the closed minded and mean spirited way they deal with people who do believe.

          August 22, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      It boils down to the existence of a god. That's a pretty simple issue. It's either true or it's not. Nothing complex about that.

      I've never seen any proof that a god exists, so I don't have a belief in god. You can try to demean me by calling me a "fundamentalist", but your derision doesn't actually change how simple the question is.

      August 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
      • NorCalMojo

        No it doesn't.

        The existence of God has no direct effect on the world. If it did, there would be proof one way or the other. If you were a real atheists you'd think the existence of God is irrelevant. If you were really secure in your disbelief, you wouldn't feel threatened by people who challenge it.

        It comes down to being able to live with your fellow human beings even if they don't believe in the same things you do.

        August 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
        • Sara

          While I agreed with most of your original statements about fundamentalist atheists, I think it is you who are now being a simpleton. It's childish to say it doesn't matter what people think and believe. These beliefs influence behaviors and voting patterns that can mean the difference between joy and misery, or life and death.

          August 22, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
        • Cedar Rapids

          The belief in the existence of a god however has a very real effect on the world. That is the atheists main point of contention

          August 22, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
        • Juanito


          I agree with your assessment about self professed athiests being uncomfortable with their positions when challenged by those who don't agree with them. It's like talking about Santa: just how heated can you make that discussion, and are you willing to take the time and effort to do it?

          That brings this discussion to you.

          Based on your posts, you don't believe. I'm not sure if that indicates that you do not believe in an afterlife as well.

          Regardless, the unanswered question is why are you, a nonbeliever, here on this site?

          If this is all there is to you, and God to you is nonexistent and/or irrelevant, then why are you wasting the precious limited time you have in this non consequential and irrelevant existance we call life?

          I'm not attacking, mocking, or have any ill intent at all. I ask because I'm interested in what you have to say.

          In His love, Juanito

          August 22, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Charity

      Fundamentalist Christians are the ones who scream loudest and perpetrate the most bigoted acts against people, and who try to pass laws to repress women and gays. Denying that would make you...blind.

      August 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
      • NorCalMojo

        They're annoying, too.

        August 22, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  5. Kev

    Per the article... "The sin would be endorsing that lifestyle," ... "The Bible speaks very plainly about that."

    Does the bible really speak plainly about lesbian relationships? I am pretty sure it in fact does not. It does say something about men not lying with other men as they do with women, but to my knowledge there is absolutely no mention of lesbianism as a sin in the bible. This is purely some people today deciding to lump lesbian women with gay men.

    Frankly, I think it's crazy to be part of any church that kicks some folks out for not following a specific interpretation of the bible. They all like to say that aren't being specific, but instead are interpreting the bible strictly, and on that note I say they are all outright LIARS. Are they kicking out the farmers who plant their fields with two different kinds of seeds? And what about the people who wear material of mixed wool and linen?

    The 'stricter' the church, the bigger the hypocrites. Even Jesus himself recognized that fact.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • Ricker

      Do yourself a favor and don't question the bible with logical thinking. Very little in the bible is backed by logic. It's of the imagination

      August 22, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Very nice, Kev. Quite a few folks here need to read that over and over for a few hours or so.

      August 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • Arthur

      I'm no theologian but it's just the way the Bible was written; mostly by the man's POV. The seed stuff overridden by Jesus Christ's death for our freedom from the shackles of the law. Why are you speaking about the Bible as if you know something when you don't even read it and can't comprehend it?

      August 22, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
  6. Joe Rhem

    Take your pick of these or the many other verse that point to the hypocrisy of being righteous and judgmental.

    Matthew 6:1
    “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

    John 2:9
    Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.

    Matthew 7:5
    You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
  7. cdogg

    Why don't these bigots treat divorced people the same way, they are violating the same teaching, from the same part of the bible in exactly the same way? This would be really upsetting, except for the fact that this woman will be better off without their company.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  8. Timothy Roy Arias

    I act gay but I have five kids. I am against gay. The church made a good choice. Gay is a sin. We cant set a president on how we behave and live.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Hey! You!

      If we set President Taft on it we'd squish it!

      August 22, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Timothy Roy Arias

      May I recommend a basic education?

      August 22, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
      • Hey! You!

        C'mon, the 2nd grade was the toughest 3 years of his life!

        August 22, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • Charity

      What?? Oh, bull.

      August 22, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • Chris

      Learn how to spell you dips$h!t

      August 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
  9. joseph

    Would someone please explain...Why conservative Christians go so wild over Levitus 2:13 with the whole "if a man lies with a man it is an abomination...." ....but then seem to ignore Levitcus 11:11 "They (shellfish) shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination." ????

    I am sincerely interested in a conservative Christian answering how you can pick and choose which verses to pay attention to? Is there reasoning behind adhering to some verses and ignoring others? Thanks.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Agent Michael Scarn

      Duh, because Lobster is the bomb.

      August 22, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
      • joseph

        So is girl on girl bootie!

        August 22, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
  10. ac61572

    Don't know what the big deal is, it's not like they actually practiced the teachings of Jesus Christ in that building.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Colin

      You mean like the World endidng 2,000 years ago, which is what Jesus believed.

      August 22, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
      • Niloc

        Well, we get two things from this.

        1) Colin believes without a doubt that Jesus was real.

        2) Colin somehow KNOWS what a 2,000 year ago person actually thought.
        Can we say, "Coo-coo"?

        August 22, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
        • Nice

          Well said

          August 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
        • Colin

          He was very likely real and based on a number of historically reliable indicators, it is likely he was an apocolyptic Jew.

          August 22, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Scott

      But, Jesus himself laid down the rules for excommunication Matthew 18:15-17 and the Apostle Paul echoed cutting off fellowship with one who was in sin 1 Corinthians 5:1-12 and this draws all the way back to the Mosaic Law in Deuteronomy 17:7

      We do not have all the facts in this matter, but for the elders of the congregation they acted on what they saw as Biblical grounds.

      Now, isn't it wonderful how the movement which cries out for tolerance and acceptance, is so tolerant and accepting of people whom they do not agree with?

      August 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
  11. Sammie


    I would never tell children they will burn in hell. You don't bring Christ into people's hearts threats. It's never been about what's going to happen if they don't. It's about what wonderful things awaits in this life and what happens after, if you are one of his. God is the same God today as he was in the past. You have a choice. God want us to be told and to tell others about his wonderful love and what he can do for us. I've leaned on him many a times. Times that I really needed him. You can have this too. This isn't some Illusion...Try God for yourself....at least give him a chance.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • Colin

      Actually, Sammie, out of all the silly superst.itious beliefs of the Christians, I think the myth of hell is my favorite. Think it through. I don't have to kill, I don't have to steal, hell, I don't even have to litter. All I have to do is have a reasonable, honest and rational disbelief in the Christian god and he will inflict a grotesque penalty upon me an infinite times worse than the death penalty. And he loves me.

      Let's subject this "cherished Christian doctrine" to the probing light of say.......fifth grade mathematics.

      Approximately one hundred and ten thousand million (110,000,000,000) people have lived on Earth. Given all those who have, over the centuries, rejected the Christian god, or who have otherwise committed mortal sins, there must be literally thousands of millions of people burning for all eternity in the cosmic oven of hell set up by their all-loving god. Some must have been burning for thousands of years by now.

      About 100,000 people die every day. There must be a constant stream of thousands of forlorn souls every day into the one way pit of hell their “all-merciful” god set up and maintains.

      But, far, far worse than sheer overwhelming numbers is the extent of the punishment. There is no way out, no parole, no time off for good behavior. You don’t just burn, you burn for all eternity. Billions of people and thousands of daily new arrivals burning for all eternity!

      No criminal justice system in the history of the Human race, even those established by the most despotic of tyrants, comes close to matching the unfathomable barbarity of their “infinitely benevolent” god.

      Hitler murdered six million Jews in his concentration camps, but compared to the Judeo-Christian god, Hitler was a bleeding-hearted wimp. A goose-stepping girlie-man. Their “all-caring” god not only burns billions more than Hitler, Pol Pot and all other dictators and tyrants added up, he keeps doing so to them for all eternity! I would not wish a bad sunburn on a person simply because they have a different religion to me, let alone fry them for all eternity.

      It is also odd that their all-loving god is also all-knowing and knows which souls will go to hell before they do. He even knows it before they are born, and yet he still creates them. He is worse than a psychopathic teenager who breeds litter after litter of kittens so he can slowly roast them in ovens.
      That is the problem with using the same deity to be both the carrot and the stick. It gets really silly really quickly.

      Sammie, Sammie, how you believe this utter garbage in the 21st century completely eludes me.

      August 22, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
      • derp

        Perfectly spoken, friend.

        August 22, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
      • Juanito


        I shared those exact thoughts and feelings a long time ago. My harshest feelings came during the Rewandan crisis, while working at a restaurant buffet. I would empty out all left over food in large trash bins every day, and go home to watch the starvation of hundreds of thousands every night on the news.

        And I thought: where are you, God? You love us but you lift your hand to allow this to happen to children, babies, everyone. Even by human standards, abandoning children and babies is parental abuse. Even OUR puny justice system appears to be far more benevolent.

        And I came around to thinking if God really existed, its definately not the one in the Bible.

        I spent a lot of time reading, reasoning, discussing, challenging beliefs systems, for and against, and eventually just stopped believing that man could not wrap his mind around the true concept of God, if it existed at all. (I called God an 'it' because if God existed, defining God by gender would confine the most powerful force in the universe, and that would be impossible. If it really existed, that is.).

        So I relinquished any responsibility in thinking about God, much less trying to understand it. I just thought if it did exist, I would never get a grasp on it, so why try.

        It felt liberating. I was elated. In my truck alone one day, I even said aloud: if you do exist, then your knowledge and power is so incredible and immense, that the sum total of all human knowledge would fill a thimble compared to your seven seas of knowledge.

        And He responded with a question, as audible as the volume your tv:

        "Now do you see?".

        It was without exception the most terrifying experience of my life. His voice wasn't loud, or anything harsh like you see in the Moses movie. It was incredibly gentle, masculine, and very near.

        And I burst into tears, clutched the wheel and sped into work. I buried it deep down, and tried to drown it in layers of everyday living for almost six years, never talking to anyone about it at all.

        Then one day, in a morning of despair, I called out to Him, admitting what happened in that truck was real and demanded that He just show me one more sign, anything to let me know He's there and by some way of showing He actually cares, to give me that sign now.

        Fifteen minutes later, my sister showed up, and helped me on my final steps to accepting Christ as my Savior.

        This wont answer your questions about His apparent harshness to those He loves, but we all wanted our freedom, and as a loving parent, He granted it.

        And so we all chose to live in a world apart from Him, revel in the things that against His holy nature and being, and curse Him when the evils we do bite us back in some viscous and deadly way.

        It's like the addict blaming the dad for the addicts problems, and all the consequences that befall the addict are because the dad isn't there to rescue the addict.

        And like the unrepentant addict, we still choose to do what we want, not what we need.

        We all need to come clean, turn from our addictions and restore the relationship we have with our Father.

        He made it all possible through the blood of Jesus.

        It's up to us to accept His Son as redemption for our wrongs.

        In His unimaginable love, Juanito.

        August 22, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'It's like the addict blaming the dad for the addicts problems, and all the consequences that befall the addict are because the dad isn't there to rescue the addict. '

          if the dad is with the addict 24 hours a day and doesnt do anything to try to stop the addict then hes a bad father.

          August 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Hey! You!

      Then why is there hell?

      August 22, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "God is the same God today as he was in the past."
      So it's still the same monster as is depicted in the OT? All the more reason not to worship it.

      August 22, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
      • Colin

        Hey LinCA, I just used your Pascal's wager refutation.

        August 22, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • LinCA


          You said, "I just used your Pascal's wager refutation."

          August 22, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
  12. Will

    Once again, religion rears it's ugly head.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Timothy Roy Arias

      you gay loser

      August 22, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
      • overed

        Much better to be a gay loser than a Timothy Roy Arias. A gay loser can always become a gay winner. You......

        August 22, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Dippy

      Its, not it's.

      August 22, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
      • RC

        Guess what? SHUT UP!!!!

        August 24, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
  13. Snow

    So, if any of those church elders get sick and in an ER, will they ask if the doctor is gay or not before getting treatment?
    if any of those church elders are in trouble and call police, will they ask only non-gay people to respond?
    if they are in an accident, will they only accept help from non-gay people?

    will they have the GUTS to say yes to the above? Absolutely Shameful of them.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Arthur

      What's shameful, that they may have the guts to actually say that?

      August 22, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
  14. overed

    My god can beat up your god

    August 22, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • Clark Nova

      My goddess can p****-whip your god.

      August 22, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
  15. Lifehiker

    Hey, look here. Religion is its own arbiter of right and wrong, since it is all made up anyway. This church made its choice, and that's its right. I may not agree with how they feel, but I don't understand why this is such a big deal. The lady will go where she's welcome, and those she left behind will be happy she's gone. All is well as long as nobody got hurt.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • suffer'n succatash

      Agree 100%. No big issue here folks!

      August 22, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
  16. Roger that

    Linda Cooper,

    You should consider yourself fortunate. The church is asking you to choose religion over your own child. This should be eye opening for you. Many fanatical parents choose religion over their children. I commend you for making the right choice. You should enjoy your time with your daughter and spend the rest of your life free from religion. You will be glad you did.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
  17. People start believing as they get older

    Because they become more and more afraid of death. SO – they invent a happy little story that makes their fears go away.

    Delusion is delusion. And only STUPID people allow themselves to be deluded.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
  18. Raven

    If you can't live by the clubs rules, don't join the club.

    Your god, no matter what religion you belong to, comes before all else. If it didn't "IT" wouldn't be a GOD....

    August 22, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • LinCA


      Adults that put their imaginary friends before their family should be treated for mental illness.

      August 22, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
  19. Sammie


    I'm a very loving person. Please don't have hate on your heart.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Tell your deluded Christian friends that, Sammie

      WHEN do you hypocrites EVER admit your hypocrisy?

      It's really too bad there really ISN'T a hell, because I'd sin just to get there to LAUGH AND SPIT AND PEE on your face once you finally get there. And I hope my pee feels like acid.

      August 22, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • Snow

      oh you hate people with love.. got it!

      August 22, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • Charity

      What's up with starting new threads all the time? There's a reply button, you know.

      Unless you are the posters Austin/faith. They never got the hang of it.

      August 22, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
  20. 2 + 2 ≠ 5

    Richard Dawkins said (and I wholeheartedly agree):

    Mock them. Ridicule them. In public. Don't fall for the convention that we're all too polite to talk about religion. Religion is not off the table. Religion is not off limits. Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated and need to be challenged and, if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt.

    August 22, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • NorCalMojo

      In other words, strive to be as narrowminded and dogmatic as the charicature you've built up for the people you choose to hate.

      Sounds like good advice if you can't stand other people.

      August 22, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        When they want their religious beliefs to be taught in place of science; when they want their religious beliefs to be the basis of our laws, etc. they should be resisted. There is no evidence for any god and plenty of evidence to show that the biblical creation myth is totally incorrect, so why should yhey get to dictate to society as though they have some special insight?

        August 22, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
      • LinCA


        You said, "In other words, strive to be as narrowminded and dogmatic as the charicature you've built up for the people you choose to hate."
        Ridiculous beliefs should be ridiculed if reason failed to persuade the holder of such beliefs.

        August 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
        • NorCalMojo

          Why? If those beliefs don't harm you or anyone else, why does it matter?

          August 22, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
        • LinCA


          You said, "Why? If those beliefs don't harm you or anyone else, why does it matter?"
          Those beliefs aren't harmless. A child believing in the Tooth Fairy is pretty harmless, but adults believing in such nonsense are affecting the world around us. Religion is toxic to a civilized society. In its benign form it stifles science and education, and in its more virulent form causes mass destruction.

          August 22, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
        • LeaveTheStoneAge


          "Why? If those beliefs don't harm you or anyone else, why does it matter?"

          So we can advance as a species. To move beyond the irrational fear of the unknown. The Sun was once worshiped as a god. The Moon as well. Very clever people turned these fears to their advantage by claiming they had a direct pipeline to these gods. It made them rich, powerful, and stroked their egos. It still does to this day. Stop being a pawn in these insidious games they play with your mind and your life.

          August 22, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
        • Athy

          But they do harm society. They interfere with science and pervert our political system.

          August 22, 2013 at 10:04 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.