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January 5th, 2013
09:34 AM ET

Priests in same-sex relationships may become Anglican Bishops

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

(CNN) - Men in a civil union will now be allowed to become bishops in the Church of England, but they are not allowed to have sex.

Intercourse between two men - or two women - remains a sin.

"Homosexual genital acts fall short of the Christian ideal and are to be met with a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion," according to Anglican doctrine.

Men and women in same-sex unions were already allowed to serve as priests in the Church of England, but there was a moratorium on advancement to the episcopate - becoming a bishop - while the church considered the issue.

The church announced Friday that if men in celibate civil unions may be priests, then there is no reason for them not to be bishops, as long as they are "living in accordance with the teaching of the Church on human sexuality."

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Anglican • Christianity • Church and state • Homosexuality • United Kingdom

My Take: Let's protect religious counselors amid 'conversion therapy' debate
December 11th, 2012
02:35 PM ET

My Take: Let's protect religious counselors amid 'conversion therapy' debate

Editor's note: Gabe Lyons is author of "The Next Christians: Seven Ways You Can Live the Gospel and Restore the World" and founder of the Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society.

By Gabe Lyons, Special to CNN

(CNN)–Can gay people become straight? Is human sexuality modifiable? Are we really still discussing this?

Yes, according to U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb, who ruled last week that three licensed psychotherapists have the right to practice therapy that attempts to change the sexual orientations of gay and lesbian minors.

In a culturally counterintuitive move, he ruled that First Amendment rights of mental health professionals who engage in "reparative" or "conversion" therapy outweigh concern that the practice poses a danger to their clients. This ruling, albeit temporary, adds a new plank to the debate over gay rights, traditional American liberties and what constitutes good therapy.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality

Mormon website embraces LGBT community
Gay rights activists hold hands in protest in front of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, in July 2009.
December 6th, 2012
03:07 PM ET

Mormon website embraces LGBT community

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

(CNN)–The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has fought against same-sex marriage throughout the United States, launched a website on Thursday that preaches understanding and compassion for the gay and lesbian community.

The website “Love One Another: A Discussion on Same-Sex Attraction” www.mormonsandgays.org, outlines the church's position on “same-sex attraction” and provides readers with a host of videos from “church members who are attracted to people of the same sex, and conversations with the loved ones of gay spouses, children, or grandchildren who are dealing with the effects of same-sex attraction in their own lives.”

FULL POST


Your Take: Praise, condemnation on ‘gay for a year’ story
Evangelical Christian Timothy Kurek, center, wrote about his experiences pretending to be gay in "The Cross in the Closet."
December 4th, 2012
02:59 PM ET

Your Take: Praise, condemnation on ‘gay for a year’ story

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - It came as no surprise that a story about an evangelical Christian pretending to be gay for a year provoked vocal responses from many different quarters.

Much of the feedback centered on the propriety of Timothy Kurek’s yearlong experiment. Some questioned why he would actively choose what they called a life of sin. Others questioned whether the author’s experiment was worthwhile or fair:

KGE
"On the surface, perhaps we are supposed to applaud someone who takes such drastic steps to make changes in hateful beliefs learned over a long, long immersion in evangelical religion. But here's what bothers me about it: Instead of approaching the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community with honesty, he built his entire 'conversion' on lies and deceit, pretending to be 'one of them' instead of who he is. It would have been more honorable and meaningful to learn, communicate, socialize and support a way of life that isn't his own."</blocquote

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Faith • Homosexuality • Sexuality

Christian’s year of living 'gay' leads to dramatic change, sparks controversy
December 2nd, 2012
06:45 AM ET

Christian’s year of living 'gay' leads to dramatic change, sparks controversy

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

Washington (CNN) – Timothy Kurek’s motivation to spend a year pretending to be gay can be boiled down to a simple conviction: it takes drastic change to alter deeply held religious beliefs.

The experiment began after a lesbian friend opened up to Kurek about being excommunicated by her family. All Kurek, an avowed evangelical Christian, could think about, he says, “was trying to convert her.”

He was quickly disgusted by his own feelings, more pious than humane.

In fact, Kurek was so disgusted by his response to his friend that he decided to do something drastic. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, he would pretend to be gay for a year. The experiment began on the first day of 2009; Kurek came out to his family, got a job as a barista at a gay café and enlisted the help of a friend to act as his boyfriend in public.

The experience – which stopped short of Kurek getting physically intimate with other men - is documented in Kurek’s recent book “The Cross in the Closet,” which has received international attention, landed him on ABC’s "The View" and elicited some biting criticism.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Faith • Homosexuality • Sexuality • Uncategorized

November 28th, 2012
05:49 AM ET

Rick Warren on gay marriage

American evangelical Christian pastor Rick Warren discusses homosexuality and gay marriage with CNN's Piers Morgan.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Gay marriage • Homosexuality

Atheist billboard attacks Romney’s faith, but Mormons say it's misleading
This billboard on wheels, sponsored by American Atheists, will follow the Romney campaign throughout southern Florida.
October 21st, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Atheist billboard attacks Romney’s faith, but Mormons say it's misleading

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – When he campaigns in southern Florida on Monday, Mitt Romney will have an unwelcome traveling partner: a mobile billboard attacking his religion.

The billboard on wheels, sponsored by American Atheists, attacks the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its treatment of African-Americans and gays, though the church says the attacks are inaccurate.

The billboard, which American Atheists says will follow the Romney campaign for seven days, features two messages on Mormonism: “No Blacks Allowed (until 1978)” and “No Gays Allowed (Current).”

The first line is a reference to the church’s practice of denying lay priesthood to black male members until 1978.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • Florida • Homosexuality • Mitt Romney • Politics • Race

The Gospel according to Obama
President Obama is not just a racial trailblazer, but some say a religious pioneer as well. No president has ever shared his type of Christianity, historians say. Some say he may revive a form of Christianity that once dominated America.
October 21st, 2012
06:59 AM ET

The Gospel according to Obama

By John Blake, CNN

President Barack Obama was sharing a pulpit one day with a conservative Christian leader when a revealing exchange took place.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative Christian who has taken public stands against abortion and same-sex marriage, had joined Obama for an AIDS summit. They were speaking before a conservative megachurch filled with white evangelicals.

When Brownback rose to speak, he joked that he had joined Obama earlier at an NAACP meeting where Obama was treated like Elvis and he was virtually ignored. Turning to Obama, a smiling Brownback said, “Welcome to my house!”

The audience exploded with laughter and applause. Obama rose, walked before the congregation and then declared:

“There is one thing I have to say, Sam. This is my house, too. This is God’s house.”

Historians may remember Obama as the nation’s first black president, but he’s also a religious pioneer. He’s not only changed people’s perception of who can be president, some scholars and pastors say, but he’s also expanding the definition of who can be a Christian by challenging the religious right’s domination of the national stage.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • Barack Obama • Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Church • Courts • Creationism • Culture & Science • Culture wars • Evolution • evolvution • Faith • Fundamentalism • Gay marriage • Gay rights • God • History • Homosexuality • Interfaith issues • Obama • Protestant • Religious liberty • Same-sex marriage • Schools • Science

September 20th, 2012
01:41 PM ET

My Take: Chick-fil-A controversy reveals religious liberty under threat
July 31st, 2012
10:36 AM ET

My Take: Chick-fil-A controversy reveals religious liberty under threat

Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

By R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN

(CNN)–Cultural upheavals often occur in the most surprising contexts. Who expected that a clash between sexuality and religious liberty would be focused on a restaurant company mainly known for its chicken sandwiches?

And yet the controversy over Chick-fil-A is a clear sign that religious liberty is at risk and that this nation has reached the brink of tyrannical intolerance from at least some of our elected leaders.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Homosexuality • Opinion • Religious liberty

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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.

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