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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.

 

*Update

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. soican

    Why are all religions promote hate and separation? This churches actions are the same as bigots.

    August 23, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • bostontola

      Congregational hate is a consequence of leadership through fear. That's how that kind of leader secures his followers. Hitler used the similar tactics.

      August 23, 2013 at 10:17 am |
      • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

        The socies didn't care 'bout the Big O's REV Wright or Wrong. They just wanna RULE!

        August 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
  2. lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

    The BIG O will solve the church problem. He'll be talkin' to his pals in Egypt and see if they want to earn a little extra money doin' odd jobs rakin' and burnin' leaves this fall. So what if the fires get out of hand. It will be declared accidental.

    August 23, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  3. Richard

    This kind of hate-mongering will only speed the demise of Christianity. But, the followers are generally too stupid to realize it.

    August 23, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  4. soican

    Jesus had 2 fathers and he turned out ok.

    August 23, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Landru

      Ya know soican. That's brilliant!

      August 23, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Average Thinker

      Correction: Jesus has one Father and two Dads.

      August 23, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  5. Billy

    Ironically, religious people tend to be the most hateful mean spirited people I've ever met. Unless you are just like them with the same beliefs you are considered dirt.

    August 23, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Left Of Center Christian

      I've known good and bad people who were Christan and good and bad people who were atheists. I've found no strong correlation either way. Not everyone in my church is a nice person and many of my atheist friends and relatives are the nicest people you could ever meet. It's a mixed bag.

      August 23, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      Spoken like a true dirtbag dustball.

      August 23, 2013 at 10:10 am |
      • Tom Jackson

        Way to prove his point, d***a**!

        August 23, 2013 at 10:15 am |
        • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

          Science demands proof, mostly. Sometimes they just like to tell stories and make up myths.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:29 am |
  6. Melvin Earl Swanson

    I don't have anything bad to say about gay women. This Christian doctrines is Masonic paganism anyway. Most of the preachers are members of the national Christian order of the Free-masons. The Free-masons worship Lucifer as God and their motto the same as their father "lie, steal and kill" When these Masons get to about their 7th degree in the Masons they call their selves Lord. Christians are dumb sheep and don't realize when the preacher says give unto the Lord "he is talking about himself"

    August 23, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Lucifer fought against the tyranny of Yahweh. He's an admirable character to revere.

      August 23, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        Odinist revere satan now Dave? What does your clan have to say about that?

        August 23, 2013 at 10:10 am |
        • bostontola

          Bill,
          If he said he revered Lex Luthor would that bother you?

          August 23, 2013 at 10:14 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I've gone rogue.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:14 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Dave, you're banging Palin?

          August 23, 2013 at 10:18 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I'd like to.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:20 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          HotAirAce

          Christ, I've only just got the reference.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:24 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Christ had nothing to do with it, but I suspect she thinks she's been banging him too.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  7. Left Of Center Christian

    The family should check out Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in downtown Chattanooga. I suspect they and anyone else would find themselves more welcome there. Christ wasn't an a-h0le and churches should keep that in mind.

    August 23, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • vanityofvanitys

      I pity you for the way you speak. You don't understand reverence, and Jesus is not just "one of the guys."

      August 23, 2013 at 10:00 am |
      • Left Of Center Christian

        Pity me? Thanks, but your pity is misdirected. Jesus loved everyone, even self-righteous pitiers who smugly thought they had all the answers.

        August 23, 2013 at 10:04 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Isn't the whole point of the Christ character that God makes himself "one of the guys", becoming flesh?
        Jesus was "the guy" who tried to say that Abraham's God is for everybody, not just the Jews...

        August 23, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  8. cadien

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure Jesus would have spurned someone for being gay.

    "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.”

    (I am not calling gay people sinners - merely pointing out that Jesus welcomed the fellowship of all, even those spurned by society.)

    August 23, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Live4Him

      @cadien : I am not calling gay people sinners

      Why be afraid of the truth? They are sinners – just like everyone else.

      Romans 3:23-24 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus

      Isaiah 53:6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

      August 23, 2013 at 10:12 am |
      • Johnny

        I might buy that argument if Christians were trying to outlaw all sins, and not just gay marriage.

        August 23, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  9. Harry Houdini

    Hallelujah! "Christians' showing themselves from their best side again!!! Suggest you folks have a look at your bible and read it (if you can), especially the New Testament. If Jesus had acted this way, we would not be talking about him today.

    August 23, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  10. Live4Him

    John 8:10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you? She said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said, I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.

    Notice that Jesus didn't say: Go and sin all you want? True love desires the best for others – which means desiring that others avoid sin.

    August 23, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • ME II

      "The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53—8:11. A few manuscripts include these verses, wholly or in part, after John 7:36, John 21:25, Luke 21:38 or Luke 24:53."

      (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%207&version=NIV)

      August 23, 2013 at 9:55 am |
      • Live4Him

        What the Law says about gays:
        Leviticus 20:13 If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act;

        What Jesus said about the Law:
        Matthew 5:17 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.

        August 23, 2013 at 10:05 am |
        • Madtown

          The writings of men. The men who wrote these laws must have been ok with 2 women being together?

          August 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
        • You're almost there

          Right, and he fulfilled the law. That was made pretty clear in Acts.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:45 am |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          finish the quote

          (Lev 20) "13 “‘If a man has se[]xual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

          Is that the law that Jesus will fulfill? He didn't kill any gays did he?
          If you adhere to Leviticus, shouldn't you adhere to all of Leviticus?

          August 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • NickZadick

      notice that there is no proof jesus said anything that's written in the bible...he didn't write it...It was written decades after his death.... so your quotes are meaningless!

      August 23, 2013 at 9:57 am |
      • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

        Didn't take much for you to attain yer final destination.

        August 23, 2013 at 11:00 am |
  11. cartesien

    This detective puts his life on the line for his community every day at work, and this is the thank you he gets from his church.
    The Ridgedale Church of Christ looks to me like one of those extremist madrasas popping up in too many places.

    And really, could Jesus, a single guy who hung around with 12 buddies, really be that dead set against gays ???
    And if women are so great, how come God doesn't have a wife ???

    I don't pretent to have answers to those questions, but those Elders of the Ridgedale Church don't have any answers either. Instead, they believe in a Virgin mother, some guy who assumedly walked on water, and tradition, the rationale used when no rationale explanation can be found.

    August 23, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      The answers to your questions are these:

      1. The detective is a "she" not a "he", thus the root problem
      2. Jesus isn't against any of us. he is for all of us. It is we who are often against Him.
      3. God does have a wife. Her name is the Church.

      August 23, 2013 at 9:54 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        How can one be against Jesus any more than one can be against Darth Maul?

        August 23, 2013 at 9:57 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          in·ure also en·ure (n-yr)
          tr.v. in·ured also en·ured, in·ur·ing also en·ur·ing, in·ures also en·ures
          To habituate to something undesirable, especially by prolonged subjection; accustom: "Though the food became no more palatable, he soon became sufficiently inured to it" (John Barth).

          August 23, 2013 at 10:04 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          loz·enge  (lznj)
          n.
          1. A small, medicated candy intended to be dissolved slowly in the mouth to lubricate and soothe irritated tissues of the throat.
          2.
          a. A four-sided planar figure with a diamondlike shape; a rhombus that is not a square.
          b. Something having this shape, especially a heraldic device.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:08 am |
        • You're almost there

          Darth Maul had a lightsaber, so that's hardly even fair...

          August 23, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  12. Michael

    "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."

    Funny thing is that Leviticus 18:22 says "MAN shall lie with MAN. Not like woman. For that is an abomination." It never said anything about women. I'm a proud Christian and I feel that it is not my place to judge others for their actions or beliefs. Their fate is for God to decide, not me. I do my best to be kind to other people and treat people respectfully and fairly, no matter what.

    August 23, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Isn't pride a sin?

      August 23, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Spike

      I wish more christians were like you but that doesn't seem to be the case. As a gay I man, I know I was born gay and I know God makes no mistakes. So I am good with my God. People that are passing judgement are spitting in the face of God by condemning his creations are the ones that should be worried.

      August 23, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • John

      I am sorry, but as a Christian you are supposed to judge one's actions. You aren't supposed to judge the heart of the person, because that is God's job, but you are supposed to judge their actions, especially if they are a brother or sister in Christ.

      August 23, 2013 at 10:00 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

        August 23, 2013 at 10:04 am |
        • John

          Yes, but you are STILL to cast out the speck of the other's eye. You can't leave it there once the log in your own eye is gone.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:09 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Isn't the point that the log in your own eye will never be gone? Who has logs in their eyes anyway?

          August 23, 2013 at 10:14 am |
        • John

          No, I'm sorry that isn't the point. And clearly by making that statement you are missing out on the wisdom of the analogy.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:21 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Wisdom isn't exactly The Bible's forté. It's not a bad book though. I didn't so much like the latter part of the book which is more like all preachy talking, than fighting and the old in-out. I liked the parts where these old yahoodies tolchock each other and then drink their Hebrew vino and, then getting on to the bed with their wives' handmaidens. That kept me going.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:27 am |
      • John

        Wisdom isn't the Bible's forte? The same part of the Bible you are referring to with the yahoodies also includes the book of proverbs and the book of psalms. Both of which are intended to be books of wisdom (especially proverbs, Psalms is more of a book of prayers of lament, but the wisdom of it is still there). Basically, the Bible teaches us that wisdom is not knowledge, but the use of knowledge for good.

        August 23, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Intention and outcome don't always correlate.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:38 am |
        • John

          Yeah just look at Adam and Eve

          August 23, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  13. Luis Medina

    Remember before removing the speck out of your friends eye first remove the plank out of yours.

    August 23, 2013 at 9:48 am |
  14. dzerres

    Gotta love those christians! Judge, condemn, cluck their tongues, holier than thou – all the things that Jesus specifically talk about and was specifically against, these people do and they have no qualms about it. Amazing hypocrisy.

    August 23, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Kinda makes you think He was right after all doesn't it?

      August 23, 2013 at 9:47 am |
      • NickZadick

        why does it matter what his opinion was...it is dubious he even existed!

        August 23, 2013 at 9:48 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          well, dzerres seems willing to use it as a basis for condemning hypocrisy in others. You might doubt He ever existed but others do not.

          August 23, 2013 at 9:51 am |
  15. jj

    Private clubs? Churches are supported by our tax dollars. THAT is why they are supposed to adhere to the laws of the land. At least a few...
    WWJD? The answer is plainly written in their bible. He would love and welcome them. I'd guess the members also believe their church is right. Otherwise, they should ALL quit. The church's actions are an affront to the god they say they follow and worship. Their god is a myth, but an empty church is a clear statement. Shame on them all!

    August 23, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I might have read your ideas on how the church should behave but I couldn't get passed your ignorance of how the Constiitution is written.

      August 23, 2013 at 9:48 am |
  16. Jason Young Guy

    Now she can be a true Christian, much more than those people hope to be, and understand how Christ felt when the "elders" of Jerusalem did not believe him, and kicked him out, except to a cross to die. Christ will truly reward this lady much more than the Church and the "elders" of the Church. I seriously doubt you feel the Holy Spirit when you enter that Church now. It's gone.

    August 23, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • NickZadick

      to be a true christian you have to accept fairy tales are true... not very impressive in my view...

      August 23, 2013 at 9:51 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        Can you please point that out in the catechism? I mean the part about the fairy tales. I presume you can deconstruct the metaphorical and spiritually poetic similes from the text you will use.

        August 23, 2013 at 9:57 am |
        • NickZadick

          WOW!!! you use big words... you must be right!

          August 23, 2013 at 9:58 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          The part about the carpenter raising people from the dead. Don't get me wrong, it's no Snow White but it's still a fairy tale.

          August 23, 2013 at 9:59 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          You can claim it's a fairy tale but you can't prove it. Consequently, you don't really know it to be.

          Yes I am not a product of the public school system. Big words have meaning, if you can read them. Thanks for playing.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:08 am |
        • ME II

          "328 The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls "angels" is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition."

          Couldn't angels be considered fairies and therefore tales of angels, fairy tales?

          August 23, 2013 at 10:11 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I also can't prove Thumbelina is a fairy tale, it doesn't mean I believe in inch tall girls and talking animals.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:12 am |
        • HotAirAce

          And Billy D, or any other mentally ill delusional believer, cannot prove a single one of the supernatural claims in The Babble.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:38 am |
        • NickZadick

          I understood what you said Bill... just seems claiming something you cannot prove to be untrue must be true is rather a simple concept to debunk....why not use your intellect to deconstruct your flawed logic? thanks for playing too... I enjoy these debates!

          August 23, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • John

        To be a true Christian, you have to accept that there is something more out there. Our entire universe wasn't created my something without a mind, it couldn't have been. Look at how complex even our human bodies are. That point you do TRULY accept Christ, that is, not only believe but trust in him completely (and forget about all the worldly opinions about him), an amazing peace overcomes you and nothing is better, because it is of God and not of this world. At that point you realize God doesn't cause pain, but he uses it to bring out something good, even better that what we would imagine it to be,

        August 23, 2013 at 10:08 am |
        • NickZadick

          I agree... but that doesn't require a Christian fairy tale book that promises eternal disneyland in the sky! the force that created the universe did NOT chat with jews 2000 years ago and did not put out a ridiculous book... that force is to this day a mystery...

          August 23, 2013 at 10:55 am |
        • Tom

          God doesn't cause pain? Well, okay-but:
          "... when disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?" Amos 3:6

          "Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?" Lam. 3:38

          "The Lord said to him{Moses} ,'Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?' " Ex. 4:11 NIV

          I know the NT supplants the OT, but we can't really ignore God's own words in either Testament, I think.

          August 23, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • John

        The difference between thumbelina and the gospel is there is actual history behind it. Eye-witnesses to Christ's life, death, ressurection, and countless people died for the faith because they knew what was after this life was extremely more important than this life. The gospel wasn't man-made, thumbelina was.

        August 23, 2013 at 10:25 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Prove Thumbalina was man made and prove Jesus' divinity wasn't.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:31 am |
        • John

          I can prove the latter part of your statement by simply going through my whole life-story. God doesn't need proof of his existence, it's like defending a lion. Simply put, and by no means am I trying to get in to a religious debate, but after we die, there just has to be more than what we see doesn't there? I choose to believe and trust that I am loved by a God, whom yes I cannot physically see nor prove by words (I believe God reveals himself as he sees fit), no matter how bad I mess up, I can say he is always with me even when no one else is. It isn't about proving anything, it's about trusting and believing.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:40 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          First off, that's not proof. Second, just because you fear eternal nothingness doesn't mean it's not the most likely outcome of brain death.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • John

          I never said I feared eternal nothingness. I said there has to be more than just this life. I'm being human. If you want proof for everything to be true, then good luck, you aren't going to get it. There is proof all around you of God's existence, you just have to keep your eyes open and actually look. If you aren't open-minded to it, then it's not going to become real to you. Go ahead, make the argument that you can be open-minded to anything and then anything can become real. I'm telling you there is nothing like being in peace with God. You want proof? That's your proof. I can talk all I want but until you actually experience God's greatness, I can't do anything to change your mind.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:51 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          One minute you have proof, the next minute there isn't proof. Make up your mind. Also, you haven't explained why there has to be more than this life.

          An open mind is good, but it's best not to have it so open that your brain falls out.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:56 am |
        • NickZadick

          Why do you believe god and the christian god has to be the same thing? god is the force that created the universe or IS the universe itself... christian god is a fairy tale invented by man to try to explain it...it fails!

          August 23, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • John

          Believe what you want. That's your God-given right. Go watch a video on youtube: Louie Giglio Indescribable. That is all the proof you're ever going to get. Like I said, nothing I can say can do anything. I choose to let my actions glorify God and do his work. Throw your doubts away for 40 minutes and go watch this video. Have a good day.

          August 23, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • NickZadick

          I looked...didn't watch it all...he seems to glorify science and attribute it to god... which is ok (god=universe)...nothing to do with jesus or the fairy tale book you refer to..or that you magically get a second life....I agree the universe is grand and magnificent...

          August 23, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • NickZadick

          now YOU go listen to richard dawkins or Christopher Hitchens....

          August 23, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • Johnny

          I prefer to think that god wrote the bible as a joke so that he could send the people who think it is literally true to hell for being complete morons.

          August 23, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • NickZadick

          watched more of your video...he really does take pure science and expertly reattributes the credit to jesus...which has NOTHING to do with it.... I could do the same thing and attribute it to....anything!!

          August 23, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  17. Luis Medina

    It is truly sad what is going on in this world. We have no right to judge anyone for the sake of God for it is he who shall judge us. I love all humans wether black white orange or purple. We have no right at all. My church has taught me to never be that person to ever judge to never seek ones punishement because he or she maybe Gay. We need to understand it is not our position to judge as we all have our sins to put forth. On Earth it is actual judges who can do so and when we die we shall be judged by the Lord. I do not hate others because they do not believe in God or Jesus. I just do not walk with those who do not believe but try to teach that Jesus never meant for us to hate eachother based on our likes or dislikes but I will hurridly save those who believe or not believe from an ultimate death. If we continue on this path I m afraid of what will happen in the future. It is not my or your fault that we have been lied to for hundreds of years, but it is our fault if we do not search for these truths that ultimately save us in the end. One has said it and I believe those words "Cant we all just get along?" those priests and pastors who feel that way will ultimately pay for their sick ways of thinking. Jesus was and is real and sadly those who feel the way they do will be judged with the harshest of punishements for leading others to feel the way they do. WE HAVE NO RIGHT to think and to hate others as we all are sinners. As the Lord once said let he who has not sinned throw the first stone.

    August 23, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      the lord never said that ... it was some bronze age men who wrote that line in a book.

      August 23, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      What right does your god have to judge anybody? The only inst.itution with any right to judge anybody should be the judiciary.

      August 23, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Madtown

      I do not hate others because they do not believe in God or Jesus
      ---
      That's good. Many people have never even heard of Jesus, so they certainly shouldn't be hated for not believing in him.

      August 23, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  18. lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

    The socie, commie, A&A mob sure gets revved up when they get their Qweirdo leadership. Just like Sodom.

    August 23, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • God

      Freak.

      August 23, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  19. JJ

    "This is an in-church private issue." BWAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAH! Not anymore, imbeciles!

    August 23, 2013 at 9:36 am |
  20. God

    I hate people that use my name while they pass judgement on another one of my children, without my consent.

    When did I ever say, "take money from people so that you can build churches where you can sit around all day and listen to a man tell you what I'm thinking?"

    Never.

    August 23, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • vanityofvanitys

      You say (speaking for God) that He hates people who use His name. And, yet, you dare use His name and speak for HIm??? Upon what authority are you speaking dogmatically?

      August 23, 2013 at 9:49 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        that is God! How dare you judge him. A voice in a burning bush told me that God would say exactly that on this blog on this morning. And you question him?!?!?! To HELL with you!

        August 23, 2013 at 9:51 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        that is God! How dare you judge him. A voice in a burning bush told me that God would say exactly that on this blog on this morning. And you question him?! To HE11 with you!

        August 23, 2013 at 9:52 am |
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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.