Does Phil Robertson get the Bible wrong?
Phil Robertson of A&E's "Duck Dynasty" has been suspended for his comments on homosexuality.
December 20th, 2013
11:23 AM ET

Does Phil Robertson get the Bible wrong?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(CNN) - The Robertson family of "Duck Dynasty" fame has rallied around its patriarch, saying his controversial comments on homosexuality are "grounded in the teachings of the Bible." But Scripture is fiercely contested ground, and some experts say Phil Robertson misinterprets a key Bible verse.

A&E, the network that broadcasts the hugely popular "Duck Dynasty" show, suspended Robertson for a now infamous interview with GQ magazine. In the article, Robertson, who became a born-again Christian in the 1970s after a prodigal youth, is asked to define "sin."

Here's what Robertson says: “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."

Robertson, 67, then paraphrases a Bible passage from the New Testament: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers - they won’t inherit the kingdom of God.”

That's a pretty close citation of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, which is a letter from Paul, often called the father of Christianity theology, to a fledgling Christian community in Corinth, Greece.

Here's what Paul's passage says, as rendered in the New International Version, by far the most popular translation among evangelicals and conservative Christians such as Robertson:

"Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Evangelicals, who make up about a quarter of the U.S. population, tend to take that passage at face value. The Robertson family pastor, for instance, told CNN on Thursday that "the verse explains itself."

Robertson himself is no religious neophyte. He's an elder in the White's Ferry Road Church of Christ and offers spiritual counseling, charity and Bible studies to many in his hometown of West Monroe, Louisiana, the family pastor, Mike Kellett told CNN.

The "Duck Dynasty" star also preaches around the country to conservatives that flock to hear his blend of woodsy, plainspoken Christianity.

Many conservatives backed Robertson's views on Scripture and homosexuality this week, if not the "crude" way he argued his point to GQ.

My Take: The Bible really does condemn homosexuality

But other Bible experts said the Scripture Robertson cited isn't quite clear about homosexuality.

"A lot of people misread this text because it's so complicated," said O. Wesley Allen Jr., an associate professor at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky.

First, scholars say, we have to look at the context surrounding Paul's letter.

The Christian leader is trying to get the quarreling Corinthians to stop taking each other to civil courts and being judgmental. "The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already," Paul says.

Things were supposed to be different after they became Christian believers, Paul continues; they were supposed to stop their sinful ways.

Then Paul lists some of their sins of the past, including greed, drinking too much, worshipping idols and sexual immorality. "That is what some of you were," Paul says. "But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

The list of sins is likely based on rumors that Paul heard about Corinth, says Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania who has studied the Bible's teachings on homosexuality. Bible scholars call it a "vice list," and it appears several times in Scripture.

So what does Paul's "vice list" say about homosexuality? That's the tricky part.

The first word Paul uses is "malakoi," which means "soft" in Greek, according to Allen. By analogy, the word came to mean "effeminate," which is how the King James Version of the Bible translates it.

"In the ancient world, it would refer to a boy in a relationship with an older man," Allen said. "It was pederasty, not homosexuality as we think of it today."

The other relevant word on Paul's "vice list" is "arsenokotai," which means "male sex." It refers to the other half in the man-boy relationship, common in Greece at the time, Allen said, the older male having sex with the "soft one."

"It isn't anything to do with what we would see today in an intimate, mutual relationship between gay adults," said Allen, who is co-authoring an upcoming book on homosexuality and heterosexuality in the church.

My Take: The Bible’s surprisingly mixed messages on sexuality

Even so, scholars such as Allen acknowledge there are no Bible passages that support same-sex relationships, and at least seven that appear to condemn gay sex.

"There's no way around the fact that those passages take a negative view of homosexuality, and nowhere in the Bible is a positive view offered," Allen said. "So conservatives and liberals continue to debate."

Liberals say that some parts of the Bible offered particular truths for a specific times and places but those times and places, as well as human understanding of sexuality, have progressed dramatically.

"The Bible may be divinely inspired, but its authors were human and saw, as St. Paul puts it, through a glass darkly," said Jim Naughton, a Christian gay rights activist and communications consultant. "On the subject of homosexuality, the Bible doesn’t mean what Phil Robertson thinks it means."

Conservatives such as Robertson, on the other hand, argue that the Bible is the bedrock of their faith, unchanging and unalterable. "We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word," the Robertson family said Thursday.

For decades, the gulf between the two sides has divided denominations, churches and families. To paraphrase Lincoln, both sides read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and both invoke his aid to argue against each other. Which is why our contemporary debate over homosexuality is so fierce, and so seemingly unending.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Discrimination • Ethics • evangelicals • Faith • Gay marriage • Gay rights • gender issues • Prejudice • Same-sex marriage • Sexuality

soundoff (5,719 Responses)
  1. sovereen

    well, considerig the bible in a collection of stories, folklore and andeqdotes told over 500-600 years and then was translated into English 1300 years later, I think there might be some room arguemtns against strict interpretation.

    December 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Atul C

      If you don't believe in the Bible, why do you care for what someone who believes has to say? You have your opinion, they have right to have their own opinion.

      December 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
      • Tim

        The sky is neon green. Grass and plants have emotions. I believe these and why would you care that I believe them? Because they are wrong. you are saying this guys shouldnt give his opinion because he should let other people have opinions... also, his isnt really an opinion as much as fact.

        December 20, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • martiniano

          No, I am saying that actions have consequences. What he said is offensive to the majority of Americans who support gay rights. I have to right to say I am offended, whether you like it or not. And A&E has a right to play to the majority, which is what they are doing. I don't want to change Phil's opinion. I want to ensure that the majority voice is heard.

          December 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • Ole Olay

          I actually could care less what the f.. you believe in. But don't tell me what to believe in because you happen to think it is wrong. Who the f are you to tell me that???? NOBODY

          December 20, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • Parakletos

          "Do not let your hair become unkempt" Leviticus 10:6

          We see how well Phil studies his Bible...

          Furthermore, if Martin Bashir can be fired for making disparaging comments, then so can this civil war throwback Phil.

          December 21, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • Hayden71

          Martiano said, "What he said is offensive to the majority of Americans "who" support gay rights."

          Hey you're absolutely right, but who says that the majority of Americans support gay rights?

          It seems for the past number of years that it has been activist judges making law changes and not voting Americans so your argument is really soft and easy to discredit.

          In most cases, wherever these issues have been voted on, the public has voted against gay marriage etc, however judges have stepped in an reversed the will of the voters. Not much of a democracy anymore.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
      • Nathanial

        absolutely and because it is not a protected class, A&E can fire them much as a christian organization does not have to hire a non believer

        December 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
      • Painfully Obvious

        Why would someone who doesn't believe in the Bible care what a rich, hyper-conservative with a huge mouthpiece has to say about it? Well...maybe because Conservatives are constantly trying to have the Bible enshrined into law in this country. Maybe because, throughout American history, Conservatives (especially in the South) have used the Bible to justify everything from low taxes to slavery to segregation and every major war of the 20th century.

        I don't believe in the Bible, but you better be damn sure I keep my ear to the ground to try to figure out how conservative christians are going to try to shove it down my throat and if some idiot like Phil Robertson pops up, I'm going to try to shout his ass down. There's no benefit for non-Bible believers to letting Phil Robertson's comments go unchallenged.

        December 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • Ole Olay

          paranoid much> ???

          December 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • DS

          Paranoia is fear of things that MAY happen. Everything he describes IS happening and has been happening for years.

          December 20, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
        • Parakletos

          You don't need to be paranoid in order to recognize the radical Christian DOMINIONISM that is being sought.

          December 21, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • Will

          Very good post. I feel the same way as you. We cannot let religious zealots go unanswered. They have every right to spout their nonsense as we have every right to respond with reason.

          December 22, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • Lifehiker

          Well said. "Dialogue", to fundamental Christians, only means a chance to tell you they deliver divine truth – something that their faith requires them to transmit. But I say, "By their fruits you will know them", and the fruits you enumerate speak volumes.

          December 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • Hayden71

          ...and you have an issue with low taxes because....???

          December 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • J.R.

        when you try to use your religious beliefs to restrict the rights of others, you open yourself and your beliefs up to public criticism. If you don't like it, then keep your religion out of my bedroom.

        December 20, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • Los

          then dont watch the show.
          Plain and simple.

          December 20, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • kt

      Don't forget that the books of the bible as we know them today are a compilation of gospels hand chosen by Constatine and the Nicean Council because the encourage and central church (which Constatine was head of...) to that they could condense their power and influence. All other gospels (any gnotics books) were deemed heresy by the council. Knowing this is biblical, historicaL FACT, I have a really hard time following the bible to the letter as the "ultimate and final word of God, or taking anyone serious who believes such. Knowing the history of the church, how can anyone honestly believe the bible so literally?? It blows my mind.

      December 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • kt

        sorry for the spelling/grammar errors

        December 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • Hayden71

          Thanks for apologizing for the spelling errors...but what about the historical errors?

          December 22, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • Andrew

        Well, even a lawnmower comes with an Owners Manual. Don't you think that God, who loves you so much more, would provied you with one? And do you really think He would allow a false message to be sent to us whom He died for? Your historical facts are correct, but are you ignoring that they prayed for divine inspiration to choose correctly the books of The Bible? If you change the words of The Bible, it doesn't become the Gospel of Christ anymore...it becomes the gospel of you. And the gospel of you make you God. So now we are back to moral relativism which falls apart intelectually pretty quick. You can't pick and choose what you like from The Bible.

        December 20, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • Michael T.

          Actually his facts are wrong. Nicea never declared what the books of the Bible were nor did Constantine influence the Council. At best his role was allowing the Council to be called. There actually wasn't an official declaration of the books of the Bible until the Council of Trent where the Roman Catholic Church gave a list in response to Protestants who were asserted the Apocrypha was not part of the Bible. Outside of that there are lists from different individuals dating back to the Second Century as to what is included in the canon. If you take just those books that appeared on all of the lists there would be no substantial difference in the central precepts of the faith. Accepting all books on anyones list is a little more complex because there were many books written much later (e.g. the Gnostic texts) many of which were immediately declared to be inauthentic).

          December 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • martiniano

          Andrew, you say "God, who loves you so much more". How do you know the emotions of God? How do you know that God has something as base as emotions? You know this because a book told you so? You believe the book to be divine because a person told you so? You believe that person to be right why??

          December 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Fred Keyes

          Martiniano., we Christians look at a crucifix and have our answer.

          December 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
        • Parakletos

          It's people like you that make Christianity a JOKE. We know where that book came from. We know where the STORIES came from. They came from human beings, not some sky father riding a cloud, or a volcano god.

          You seriously need to get ahold of the book "Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection" - you are so blinded by adolescent understanding that it's sickening.

          December 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • srgntyork

          Right Andrew because through the history of the world there has never been anything evil done in the name of God. lol Are you kidding me?

          December 21, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
        • Michael T.

          You are aware that the Horus – Jesus connection is laughed at uncontrollably by nearly all Bible Scholars, even those such as Bart Erhman who are Agnostic/Atheist?

          December 22, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • Hayden71

          Martiniano you're mistaking love for an emotion. Emotions can come from love but you cannot put the horse before the cart or you end up with a 50% divorce rate like what we have here in America.

          God's love is you and I even though we deserve to be cast into Hell.

          The problem is, most people don't see themselves as Hell deserving sinners and that's why the love of God means nothing to them but mere feeling or sentiment.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
      • gp


        December 20, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • James

        kt, you have your facts mixed. The gnostic texts were not deemed out of the Bible for reasons of not giving more power to the Church or Constantine. In most cases, they were left out simply because they were written hundreds of years later than the other texts describing the same timeframes, so could therefore not be authenticated as true. For example, one describes, like Genesis does, the stories of Adam and Eve, but since it was written long after genesis was, it was not accepted as authentic. Anyone in the early centuries after Christ could have just started writing stuff out of his rear and saying it was more true than what was previously written, just like people today fake artifacts in the antiquities trade. That's why they were deemed heretical, not because they would take power away from anyone.

        December 20, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
      • brian

        kt, all i can say is that no one ever told me that God ever was or is real. people tried to tell me who God is and what He is, but the only reason i have come to believe is because what i have learned about faith is that "faith" is not your own unless you explore God personally on your own in relationship with Him. And building that relationship like any other relationship comes with questioning His existence and even character, and it comes with the understanding of realizing that only God can and will in His time make Himself evident to us when as a person we personally seek Him out; not off what someone says or thinks about Him.

        December 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
        • brian

          and of course, i do believe the Bible to be the true Word of God, however, that is something we each have to explore on the journey as well. Relationships take time and mine with God, began without the Bible even in my life. just a little something i wanted to add in there, and today, i am a Pastor.

          December 20, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • John Pacella

      The Bible could govern personal behavior, not provide a weapon to command the behavior of others.

      December 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
      • martiniano

        Some people soak up the teachings of Jesus like a sponge, it becomes part of them. Others use his words to beat people over the head, as if they were God Hisownself with a right to judgement over right and wrong.

        December 20, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Ole Olay

      In your opinion.... thanks

      December 20, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • moment of faith

      Moses wrote Genesis around 1500 BC some 3500 years ago

      December 20, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
      • DS

        NO, he didn't. Moses is a fictional character. Genesis was written by many authors and much of it was copied off of earlier Sumerian mythology.

        December 20, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
        • Hayden71

          By what "credible" authority do you state supports this?

          World recognized credible historians such as Josephus and Tacitus would differ with your statements

          December 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • Lifehiker

        Wow! Of all the things one might say to "prove the Bible", this is one of the most ridiculous. Hardly any Jewish scholars would agree with you, and it's their book. Just to make one little point, you think Moses wrote two creation stories that don't agree with each other? The list goes on and on to prove that Genesis was written many centuries after Moses was in the grave. But it's still a pretty cool book!

        December 22, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Geo Bruno

      But the bible says more bad things about the rich

      When do they mention that?

      December 22, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • moderatedave

      By your math it has yet to be interpreted.

      May 23, 2014 at 3:30 am |
  2. Really?

    So Phil Robertson's interpretation can not be correct but a gay activist is the expert because he understands how it promotes his position?

    December 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Ole Olay

      I know hilarious

      December 20, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Nathanial

      oooooo you are going to make all the gay priests mad.....

      December 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Hayden71

      Bingo my friend, and that is what exposes the ridiculous nature of this article.

      Only a fool misunderstands what the bible says about these issues.

      You may not like the stance the bible takes, but if you're honest, you have to admit it's not the liberal viewpoint of the writer.

      December 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  3. Yashco

    I don't think he misinterpreted anything. He stated his belief BASED off the bible, not directly quoting it. Good luck CNN...

    December 20, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • AE

      Did the pre Civil War Christians slave owners base their beliefs on the Bible?

      December 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
      • Andrew

        That was one argument used, yes. But that is a small subgroup who twisted The Bible to serve their own ends. The Bible does say for slaves to love their masters, but slaves (or servants) in the ancient world weren't treated as chattel. The could usually purchase their freedom and sometime even were required by law to get it after so long. So the slavery of The Bible and the slavery of pre Civil War US are very different things.

        December 20, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • G to the T

          "But that is a small subgroup who twisted The Bible to serve their own ends." And so history is re-written...

          December 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • martiniano

          Were not treated as chattel? Are you kidding? What was the punishment for a slave who escaped and was captured? Who owns the children of a slave mother?

          December 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
        • DWatcher

          That was one argument used, yes. But that is a small subgroup who twisted The Bible to serve their own ends. The Bible does say for slaves to love their masters, but slaves (or servants) in the ancient world weren't treated as chattel. The could usually purchase their freedom and sometime even were required by law to get it after so long. So the slavery of The Bible and the slavery of pre Civil War US are very different things.
          Sorry Andrew but your statement is just ridiculous on so many levels. The old testament EXPLCITLY condones slavery and no, a slave could not buy their freedom, only indentured servants could do that. The Bible clearly refers to slaves as PROPERTY to be passed onto your children and can be beaten to death as long as they don't die with in a couple days because they are your property. It tells you how much to pay for them, how to trick your fellow Hebrews into becoming your slaves permanently, who you could and could not enslave. It says that you could keep your fellow Hebrews as indentured servants but slaves are to be taken from the nations around you. The fact that you are unable to see the sickness and immorality of that book and that you have to do so many mental gymnastics to try and make excuses for it is quite sickening. Christians can be so disappointing sometimes, being dishonest to protect the image of that bi-polar monster that they worship.

          December 20, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
        • dennis

          in fact, you are a slave if you work for another man.
          The bible warned slave masters or employers to treat their workers fair, and not to cheat them of their wages.
          The bible did not condone American slavery or Egyptian slavery the Hebrews were under..

          December 22, 2013 at 4:30 am |
      • moment of faith

        It's always been slaves even to this day. Are we such good people we don't believe such?

        December 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
      • Hayden71

        Slavery and a number of other issues have always been so misconstrued by petty skeptics who don't understand the bible and why the writers of the gospels were not politically motivated, but were motivated to spread the gospel.

        The reason the Apostle Paul told slaves to behave with honesty and dignity is because he knew (unlike the political right of our day) that the gospel and conduct of the Christians would be the only thing that could change the hearts of men and women.

        They lived during a time where society had little to no care about human rights for slaves and it would take the permeating of the gospel and the inward changing of the hearts of men and women throughout society before major change like abolishing slavery could be accomplished. They trusted that God would ultimately accomplish His purposes and He did.

        Centuries later, William Wilberforce who eventually fought against and defeated slavery in England believed that campaigning against slavery was a natural extension of appreciating Christ’s love. He felt that God had called him to devote his life to defeating the evil of slavery.

        Abraham Lincoln said after the emancipation proclamation, "What I did, I did after very full deliberation, and under a heavy and solemn sense of responsibility. I can only trust in God that I have made no mistake." Lincoln was a believer who held the bible that you slight in the highest esteem and his faith in God and the freedom of mankind cost him his life, but ultimately it has caused freedom to triumph.

        Can you please name one atheist who gave their life to rid the world of the tyranny of slavery? You will not find one. It was ultimately God's design and purpose that slavery would be defeated, but the hearts of men and women had to be prepared first in order for the fight to ultimately succeed.

        December 22, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • J

      His belief is irrelevant. A&E believes that his statements were offensive. Since they pay his salary, that is all that counts.

      December 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
      • Ole Olay

        Let him go, whats will all gay outrage??? Guy got an opinion. We all do.

        December 20, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
      • Hayden71

        Really, would they have been nearly half as outraged if he would have ridiculed Christianity or the bible?

        No, because that happens all the time in the cesspool of Hollywood and nobody is ever penalized for it.

        This is a double standard that the media supports and unfortunately, nobody calls out the hypocrisy for what it is.

        December 22, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • tallulah13

          If he has compared christianity to bestiality, I'm sure there would have been just the same backlash. Poor christians. You really have to stretch the truth in your quest to feel like martyrs.

          December 22, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    It doesn't matter if Mr. Duck's comments are "grounded in the Bible." A&E is not a religious organization that must adhere to any particular dogma – it is Mr. Duck's employer, and like any employer, if it feels he is not representing them in a way they would like, they can fire him.


    December 20, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • J

      Well said and yet some many fail to get it.

      December 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • vonn

      True, but they are making a big mistake and will lose the whole show. Some other network will pick it up for sure.

      December 20, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
      • J

        True but not without making the entire family sign a contract with a clause referring to these kind of statements.

        December 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
      • Humanist999

        Wrong – the damage is done.

        December 20, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
      • Nathanial

        Wow...and that would be such a loss to the world...no more Duck Dynasty....guess you could fill it with the Booze makers....

        December 20, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
      • DS

        Well conservatives need not fear – if Duck Dynasty is gone they still have Honey Boo-Boo to represent their finest minds and "family" values.

        December 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • DWatcher

        If they want to do that sure, but I'm sure they signed a contract and it will hurt them in the end.

        December 20, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Ole Olay

      His comments were taken from JQ magazine, what does it have to do with the show???

      December 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • G to the T

        He's a contracted employee. That's the difference.

        December 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • martiniano

          You went over his head using that big word "contracted".

          December 20, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Hayden71

      You're right so can A&E please cut the ties so that the Robertsons can sign a contract with one of many networks that are waiting in line to sign them on?

      December 22, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
      • midwest rail

        Please list the networks "waiting in line".

        December 22, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  5. pauleky

    Who cares if he got the Bible wrong? Not all of us believe in those fairy tales. He did get logic and intelligence wrong, among many other things. Just another example of the dumbing down of America. Now, excuse me – I have to go watch Honey Boo Boo.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Ole Olay

      perfect hahahha

      December 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • midwest oracle

      Pauleky, have you read the Bible? You referred to it as a fairy tale but unless you have read the whole think how can you make that statement? You may be making the statement based upon what someone else has said but how do you know they have read it all the way through?

      Take the time to read it all the way through with an open mind. Then make a decision about it.

      December 20, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
      • G to the T

        I've read several different versions of the bible several different times. It does not seem to have the magical effect that you believe it does.

        Tell me this – have you read any of the textual criticism about the bible? Try reading some with an open mind, you might be surprised.

        December 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • robbie357

          And if you DID learn as you read, you know that some people are simply not destined to understand. Some hearts are not open to accept. Some souls are just destined for hell.

          I'm wondering...what originated your hostility to God?

          December 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
        • Hayden71

          The problem is Pauleky that reading and understanding are two completely different things

          December 22, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • Mantid

          It is magical and it is spiritual- and i would sincerely recommend the same to you- Read the bible again with an open mind and an open heart- The atheist arguments and points are kind of silly and sad all rolled into one- there is a great book called "i dont have enough faith to be an atheist" I would recommend to all

          December 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      • martiniano

        I have read the Bible twice from cover to cover (NIV) and studied it deeply. I have also read the Qur'an and the Torah cover to cover. I've read three interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita, including Gandhi's. And I've studied the roots of Christianity in Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. All are mythology meant to guide us, not to use as weapons against others.

        December 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
      • DWatcher

        Have you read Harry Potter? I mean, have you read the whole thing; all seven books? If not, then how can you say that it is just a fairy tale?

        Now do you see why your statement is so ridiculous?

        December 20, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
      • FTC

        I've never read World War Z. Maybe that's true too?

        December 21, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • moment of faith

      That's been the norm - Americans believing in the bible - some would argue that those who believe anything else are the ones bringing down America. See the further we go away from GOD the worse it gets

      December 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
      • DS

        Which God? The one from the Bible that condones slavery and the oppression of women? Funny, all the other secular countries in the world are doing great. All of them have higher ratings than the USA in education, quality of life, healthcare and standard of living. All without kissing your Bible God's ass.

        December 20, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
        • Hayden71

          What a lie and misrepresentation DS...or is it BS?

          Do you prefer Nazi Germany who exterminated millions, China that has zero human rights, Russia that has one of the highest rates of alcoholism, poverty and drug abuse, or Holland that is rampant in drug abuse and euthanasia?

          I could name many more secular societies that you see as some kind of "atheistic utopia" who are actually suffering because of their lack of a moral compass.

          Besides if these places are so much better than the U.S. why don't you live there?

          December 22, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
  6. Patrick

    Its pronounced the "buy bull" for a reason

    December 20, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • wyatt

      you have a good point there

      December 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
      • moment of faith

        That you both can't spell

        December 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
  7. Hypocrisy, thy name is Christian

    "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

    "Judge not, lest thou be judged."

    "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

    Funny how Christians so often ignore the important things that they themselves are violating at the moment they decide others are sinning due to some obscure law in the Old Testament, which they themselves mostly ignore as well.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • N

      You are correct...I cannot judge you nor anyone else. Like you and everyone else in this world, I am a filthy sinner that is not fit to be looked upon by a Holy God. I am no better than you, gay, straight, murderer, Hitler, etc, etc. True, Christ-followers know this. I will not judge...Christ himself will judge. Someday, "every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord"...it will happen now or it will happen in eternity. Christ himself did not get pulled into the politics of his day...he turned the other way. Trying to convince non-believers that the Bible has authority is a waste of time.

      December 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
      • ppony

        I completely agree. I love my faith and Jesus, but I loathe what people have perverted it to be. Hypocrisy, in any faith is disgusting. How people can proclaim Jesus (and God) was all about love and acceptance and still spew this hatred boggles the mind. Cherry-picking is hypocrisy.

        December 20, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • midwest oracle

          I agree with this, however, you don't become a "Hater" for calling Sin a Sin... I can love my sister, mother, brother, neighbor who doesn't believe in Jesus, but i don't have to condone their behavior if it is against the teaching of the Bible.

          That is the difference. I agree that Jesus said to love everyone as yourself. Love your neighbor and everyone is your neighbor. However, this DOES NOT mean we have to condone all of the SINS our neighbor commits.

          December 20, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Hate the belief, not the believer" that's my motto.

          Tell me this – can sin only be peformed as the result of free will? In other words, is it a sin when it isn't the result of a free will decision?

          December 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • martiniano

          Midwest, I see that you are a thoughtful person. You say "sin is sin" and that means someone defines sin. In your case I will guess you mean the Bible defines sin. I am saying that the Bible has no bearing to define sin – it is a book written by people, no more divinely guided than the Qur'an was recited by an Archangel.

          December 20, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • DWatcher

          Midwest Oracle, I reject the very concept of sin as arbitrary, just like your god's morality. We should concern ourselves with what is morally correct, not with the silly and arbitrary rules of a god who places a negative moral value on disbeleif, wearing mixed fabrics or on who a consenting adult chooses to go to bed with.

          December 20, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
      • Painfully Obvious

        "Trying to convince non-believers that the Bible has authority is a waste of time."

        Awesome! Now if you could only get other Christians to stop this as well the rest of us would really appreciate it.

        December 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • Ole Olay

          Can you also stop trying to convince me that a man screwing another man is a beautiful thing. Keep it in the bedroom. Thanks.

          December 20, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • moment of faith

      I think he included about everyone in his speech

      December 20, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Hayden71

      What I find more amusing is how that you use and re-use these few verses time after time without understanding the context of those passages as a whole.

      Take some time to learn what these passages are teaching as a whole.

      December 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
  8. House of Quan

    Well Duck Dynasty guy is stating the truth.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • G to the T

      A "truth" maybe. What he believes to be "true" certainly. What is actually true...

      December 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • martiniano

      His truth. Not the truth of the majority of Americans. You may believe the Bible is ordained by God. I believe the Bible is convenient for wiping my ass when I forget to buy TP.

      December 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
      • Ole Olay

        According to the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) (2008) 76% of the American adult population identified themselves as Christians... I think yo fail, do your research before speaking for the majority of Americans.

        December 20, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
        • FTC

          Well, a gallup poll said that around 55% of Americans support gay marriage...And an ABC poll says that only 45% support gay marriage. So around 26% of your Christians don't seem to be following the good book.

          December 21, 2013 at 1:56 am |
      • Hayden71

        It's interesting you say that Martiniano.

        The majority of Americans did believe the bible at one time and society as a whole was far more stable but what you will fail to admit is that since the bibles and prayer have been yanked from schools and public places, things like mass shootings, drug abuse and violence have taken their place.

        Nobody lives in a vacuum and if you want to expel God from society than please let me assure you...instability, depression, violence etc etc etc will take the place that God once had.

        December 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • midwest rail

          ",,,prayer have been yanked from schools ..."
          You mean compulsory Christian prayer, right ?

          December 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • DWatcher

      Apparently you're unable to distinguish truth from opinion.

      December 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
  9. Really?

    Leviticus 20:13 seems clear to me.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • AE

      Leviticus 20:10-16 is part of what biblical scholars call the Holiness Code. It it also prohibits eating raw meat, planting two different kinds of seed in the same field and wearing garments with different materials.
      You are probably violating the garment code right now. And you probably don't oppose sushi restaurants of most of the farms in America.

      December 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
      • moment of faith

        Go grab yourself a bucket of raw chicken and have a go. You want a slab a raw ribs on the side? Jesus told HIS PEOPLE how to live thousands of years ago. He also told them not to eat buzzard. Would you like one of those?

        December 20, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • but wait..

      have you read the all of chapter 20? and 19?
      it's incorrect to single out one sin and consider it all the evils of the world.

      December 20, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Nathanial

      Sorry...was reading Starship Troopers Chapter 3.....about as valid as Leviticus....IAnd as another poster stated please make sure you do EVERYTHING they say in the OT then....

      December 20, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • martiniano

      And I should drive an awl through the ear of my slave if he escapes and I capture him. Specifically I should drive the point of the awl through his ear and into my door jamb. Right?

      December 20, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Geo Bruno

      "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property." (Leviticus 25:44-45)

      December 22, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  10. Elf

    It never ceases to amaze me how many so-called Christians love to call others out on their sins based on their idiotic story book. If they'd read the whole thing instead of just the parts that correspond with the things they don't like about other people they'd realize that it's practically impossible to go a single day in the modern world without committing some kind of sin. They just like to pick and choose so they can condemn others to make themselves feel superior.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Liberal Are Useless

      Liberals try to force their beliefs on everyone.

      December 20, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
      • Humanist999

        Yeah, that’s why they force their religious holidays on a secular nation and act surprised when people no longer consider the holiday to be based in religion.

        December 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Ole Olay

          have you heard something called tradition you tard???? For some people Christmas is a time to spend with the family. If you dont like it move to China or smth.

          December 20, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
      • DS

        Liberals are responsible for all the rights and freedoms you enjoy in this country.. most of which were won in conflict with Christian and Biblical "morals" and principles

        December 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
        • gator opus

          I always thought is was the men and women of the armed forces that go back to the revolutionary war that are responsible for the freedoms and liberties we have today.

          December 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Actually, you can thank the men who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They are the ones who created our government and the basis of our laws. If not for them, we might well have been another monarchy with George Washington as our first king. Soldiers fight for the nation and they have our thanks, but the Constitution guarantees our freedoms.

          December 22, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Geoff

      Elf that ignorant statement you just made tells me exactly how little you know about a relation with God.

      December 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • ppony

      Now who's the one judging others to feel superior????

      December 20, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • moment of faith

      He named a bunch

      December 20, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  11. Organic1

    If he was going to dance, he should have paid the fiddler first.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  12. Really?

    Leviticus 20:13 seems pretty clear to me.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • DC

      You do realize that in Leviticus 20:18 it discusses sleeping with a woman on her period right? Most of the punishments for these "crimes" are being stoned to death? That Leviticus 20 also discusses knowing the difference between "clean" and "unclean" animals and foul? You do also realize that anyone picking and choosing which parts of the bible to follow, and which to disregard is guilty of a mortal sin right? I really hope for the sake of your soul that you do not work on the 7th day of the week (which was originally Saturday, but changed to Sunday by by Constantine, that you know your "clean" and "unclean" meat and you NEVER wear cloths of multiple fabrics!

      December 20, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
      • 270to256

        What's wrong with being stoned? I got stoned last weekend. LOL

        December 20, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
      • moment of faith

        The law was to show man he couldn't live perfect and accept Jesus was the only way. he died for ALL of our SINS. EVERYONE of them Past, Present, and Future

        December 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • JayCarlos

      Amen to that.

      December 20, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  13. Marky

    Oh here we go. Another opinion piece from CNN trying to explain to everyone what the bible actually says.
    There is no mixed message. The question is do people care enough about the bible to bother adhering to what it says. Don't try to water down what it says. Just admit that YOU'RE priorities no longer hinge on the bible. Just be honest.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I have no problem admitting my priorities are in no way dependent upon The Babble, but then I also recognize that there is no actual evidence to support The Babble or the supernatural claims in it so there is no reason to live as if it is any more than a poor book of fiction.

      December 20, 2013 at 11:59 am |
      • Andrew

        Actually, there is a lot of historical evidence too numberous to list here and much of it before your eyes every day. "Evidence that Demand as Verdict" by Josh McDowell, have a read. At least know why you believe what you believe. And there is nothing to say that what you are saying here isn't fiction. So why should I believe what you say? There is an emotional element to faith. Why do you not want ot believe God?

        December 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          It's simple – there is no objective, factual, verifiable, physical, independent evidence for the supernatural claims of The Babble or any alleged god. None. And your chief apologist has been thoroughly debunked. Again, you have no evidence that would stand up to the scientific method or the justice system's rules of evidence. Nothing. Now, if I am wrong, it should be trivial to produce some real evidence. if you can't, then you should admit you are simple pretending to know things you don't.

          December 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
      • Marky

        No one needs to know anything after you mentioned it's not a priority. That's exactly what I'm saying. You have free choice. No ones forcing you to do anything in this day and age in the western world. If you don't want to live by the bible then simply don't! You don't need to feign interest and try to debate whether or not the "Almighty, all-knowing, perfect creator of everything around us" made some errors in judgment thereby rendering the bible nothing more then a first draft we need to correct today.

        December 20, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Chuck Anziulewicz

      Are you suggesting that there's NOTHING in the Bible that is open to interpretation or consideration in context?

      I would suggest in response that the Bible, like all other "holy books," provides a framework within which we might conduct our lives with decency and humility. But the Bible is NOT a science textbook. The men who wrote the Bible knew precious little about astronomy, biology, archaeology, and human psychology.

      December 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
      • Andrew

        The Bible is unique from other Holy Books in that is has a God that became humand and died for us whom He loves so much. "Evidence that Demand a Verdict" by Josh McDowell has a chapter that specifically discusses these. He was an atheist lawyer who did a review of Christianity and became a believer. Also, don't think that science and faith are mutually exclusive. Science is just a methodoloy that send us to statistical probabilities and trends. Some seem obvious (like there is a planet called Saturn) and some are more hidden (like the Higgs-Boson), all based off observation. Even the atheist Stephen Hawkins says we can never know anything, it is, at best, a partial theory. So now we are back to faith....Everybosy has faith in something.

        December 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • G to the T

      "There is no mixed message." Over 40K demonimations say otherwise. These message boards say otherwise. Just about every poll on religion ever says otherwise.

      So what exactly are you basing this on?

      December 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • DS

      No one with a functioning brain stem cares what the Bible says about anything...

      December 20, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  14. hoop

    Nothing new here, people have been using religion to justify their poor behavior for centuries.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  15. NorthVanCan

    Does Bible get reality wrong?

    December 20, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • TELew

      With regards to ho mo se xuality, yes.

      December 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • MAS0525

      Well, I don't know. Have you seen any stonings in the US lately?

      December 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  16. Crosswinds

    Isaiah 59:15
    So truth fails, And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him That there was no justice.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  17. SUE

    Really, now Phil Robertson cannot read correctly or Phil interruption is incorrect? Keep twisting the Bible's meanings, and what Phil said, and how he said, and the way the moon lined up that day, and they way gay people love, and then we'll have the real story. Please CNN, Please just stop. Phil said what he believes, he said it the way he believes it, and he has the right to do just that. Gay's have the right not to like it, but don't start this crap about what the Bible really says....Please don't go there.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Damocles

      And what does your own... um... interruption of the bible say?

      December 20, 2013 at 11:40 am |
      • Akira

        'Phil, Interrupted'?

        December 20, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Science Works

      Why not ?

      December 20, 2013 at 11:40 am |
      • HotAirAce

        Because believers hate it when the status quo and their privileged position within it are questioned.

        December 20, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • Science Works

          Yeah it is like the science books next to the bible at the state park in the bible belt.

          December 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Rob

      Who gives a rat's butt what any celebrity thinks? Especially anyone that is only a celebrity because they're willing to be portrayed as a country bumpkin on a reality tv show.

      December 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Maine Liberal

      Strict literal interpretation of scripture requires no explaination it is what it says.

      John 13:23
      There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved

      December 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • SUE

      Sorry about that...lets try again. Phil's interpretation of the Bible is the same as mine....word for word. You don't have to "get it", "like it", "appreciate it"......just tolerate it. Tolerate it because he has a right to say what he believes, and you have a right to disagree with what he believes. A& E can fire him, and people can stop watching A&E. Whether you like it or not...Phil's quoting from the KJV of the Bible is spot on....that's just a fact....Believe it or not!

      December 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
      • G to the T

        KJV – lol... we have a winner!

        Your faith in this particular version of the bible is way more than anyone would need to belive in a "god" in general.

        December 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • MAS0525

      "Phil said what he believes, he said it the way he believes it, and he has the right to do just that...but don't start this crap about what the Bible really says"

      Contradiction much?

      December 20, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  18. Bible Study


    December 20, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  19. ThinkFree

    I'm sure everyone has the Bible wrong according to someone. Let the games begin...

    December 20, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  20. Kyle

    His own choice of words were poor, in the end Phil spoke about sins as written in the Bible.

    December 20, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Alfred

      He should have stuck to the Bible verses and the words as written in the Bible and should not have gone onto elaborate using his own words.

      December 20, 2013 at 11:35 am |
      • HotAirAce

        He should have stuck to selling duck calls and stayed away from the snake oil.

        December 20, 2013 at 11:53 am |
      • KMom

        Why not say it in his own words? He did not make a threat, he did not attempt to incite hate. Freedom of speech allows us to say things in our own words. People bash Christians aplenty, and that is certainly allowed. Phil said being gay is wrong. Others say Christians are wrong. So why is it ok to say one and not the other?

        December 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • Humanist999

          I don’t think that anyone on a religious broadcast network would be allowed to bash religion and maintain employment – do you?

          December 20, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Friend

      Ahh, but he forgot that the bible says we are all sinners, "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God", so the real problem here is that he is claiming to be a Christian while putting himself above other "sinners". He is saying there are layers to sin, but the bible does not say that. If you commit a sin of telling a lie (which every living and dead person has done) then you have fallen short of the glory of God, if you commit the sin of adultery then you have fallen short of the glory of God, etc.. Is Phil saying that he does not need the gift of eternal life through Jesus' death on the cross? If that is what he is saying then he isn't really a Christian now is he?

      December 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
      • midwest oracle

        He did say he was a sinner and falls short and is a sinner. However, he is also saying our nation is legalizing sin instead of turning our backs on sin...

        December 20, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Our nation" includes the very people you are trying to say are willfully disobeying your god.

          Good thing it doesn't say being left-handed is a sin eh? Or how about being black? Lucky miss there...

          December 20, 2013 at 2:57 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.