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June 4th, 2012
11:58 PM ET

Sex in the Bible and preaching hate

A child singing an anti-gay song for his church gets a standing ovation. His church says he was only singing what’s in the Bible. But are they cherry-picking sins? “Walking the Bible” author Bruce Feiler weighs in.

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Filed under: 360° Interview • Religion
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Richie rich

    I think it is important to understand religion before we can weigh in on this matter. Religion, regardless of it's origin, cultural or geographic origin, is man's attempt to rationalize his existance. Religion basically explains life. It does so in four basic functions: it gives life meaning, purpose, structure and discipline. Sex falls under structure in that it must be contained within the setting of a "god-mandated" relationship between a man and a woman for procreation-which falls under purpose. . Sex outside of that arrangement is a "sin" thus it must be punished. That part falls under discipline.
    All religions perform these functions and are a man-made creation. People will always disagree on what the Bible, the Koran, book of Mormon or any other book of guidance says about sex but if we simply learn tor espect what other believe, then we can all get along.

    June 16, 2012 at 3:56 am |
  2. charles davis

    Trace the passage of the bible through time. What language was the original? What language was is translated into?
    What language was that translated to? Remember the party game when somebody whispers a statement to the neigbor, and they do the same to the next person? iIdoubt if the original bible even resembles the present one.

    June 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  3. Callan Dickerson

    There is only one thing anyone needs to take away from the Bible. It was given to us from Jesus.Love one another as I have loved you. It has been 2,000+ years since Jesus has gone from us and we still can't get it right.God help and forgive us.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:15 am |
    • Jonathan

      Jesus did not give us the Bible. The oldest books (in the NT) were written almost 100 years after he died. The stories were passed through oral tradition, and you should know how stories grow in the re-telling.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  4. Allan E. Dupuis

    Anderson: Thank you for bringing this issue further into the light. I am a proud, positively, practical, progressive Gay christian man. I have spent my professional life trying to undo the damage done by those spewing hate under the banner of The Christ. I wish someone would have the courage to ask the hate mongers to stop defaming the name and message of the Christ through their rhetoric. If they want to follow the letter of Leviticus, let them call themselves Leviticans and not Christians. I dare any of these hate mongers to show me where in the teachings of The Christ it calls for the exclusion, degradation and death of any of God's creations. Thank you. allan

    June 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  5. Ann V.

    Hi, Anderson.

    I respect your efforts, and Mr. Feiler’s to bring awareness to a challenging subject for all. And, it is horrible to see a little one singing such hate in church and being applauded. Nevertheless, the church is us, and we are flawed. Nonetheless, we are all special, loved, and called by and to God. The thing to always remember is that God is fiercely loving, merciful, encouraging, protective, forgiving, . . . to all.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:12 am |
  6. Kelly

    I grew up in a Catholic household and today, at 28, I consider myself a non-practicing Catholic. I do believe it is wonderful to have faith in a greater being, however, I find the Church's argument to be extremely hypocritical. How can the Bible condemn certain acts and groups of individuals and yet claim every person as a child of God and promote acceptance? Forgiveness of deplorable acts (adultery, promiscuity, et al...) is acceptable but it is unacceptable to BE AS YOU ARE? I feel like it can't be both ways.

    I do respectfully disagree with you, Kimberly, in regard to two ideas. You wrote, "Whoever doesn't believe in God or doesn't follows God's laws are probably the ones that are gay." I, myself, am not homosexual nor do I practice "God's laws" to the fullest extent. I do like to believe, as I previously mentioned, that there is a greater power. And while I agree with the fact that we are not to judge others, I believe it is important for the media to explore these discrimminating practices, especially when degrading photos and videos are posted to the internet. Yes, there is a separation of church and state, but to what extent? Given the fact that so many gays are taking their own lives because of societal ignorance angers me. It may be stated in the Bible as fact, as you say, but once these teachings and sermons find their way to the public forum, discrimmination is discrimmination. I applaud Anderson for continuing to explore this subject matter. I appreciate the work he is doing and this interview was excellent.

    I truly hope, as a country, we can come to a point where a person's race, ethnicity, size, shape, and sexual preference does not define who they are, that, instead, we can look to the PERSON and appreciate and celebrate them for their heart and mind.

    Respectfully,
    Kelly

    June 5, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  7. Carolyn

    Hello Anderson Cooper, Bruce Feiler, & Everyone,

    Thank you so very much for doing this extremely important interview, about a Topic that I find to be so very near and dear to my heart, the true meaning the teachings of Jesus Christ, which are unconditional love & compassion for all.

    I truly felt so sad to hear this sweet child singing an anti-gay song in church, and then witnessing the child getting a standing ovation.

    I feel that avoiding judgmentalism, and embracing good loving judgment, and having compassionate observation, is really what the true loving spirit of the Bible is all about.

    I applaud Bruce Feiler for communicating all of the absolutely wonderful information in his book, “Walking the Bible” and for all of the many other fine writings and various work that he has been doing.

    Again, Thank You Sincerely!!

    Carolyn

    June 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  8. shirllene

    Why are Church's spouting hate? Are there not law's to stop this? Maybe, someone should look at stopping tax-free benifit status on Church's. This will help the economy........that would be a Christian thing to do.

    June 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  9. Cindy Dague

    It really comes down to hateful and judgemental people...as always!

    June 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  10. Naline

    It's very sad to hear what these so called religious leaders are saying. This is why I'm so discourage from going to church.There propheting their own beliefs in there own way, disgusting. They should be ashamed of themselves, using the bible as a source of fictional facts.

    June 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  11. Rallie F. Cruz

    It is really hard to understand when a Book they call Bible is merely stolen and taken without understanding why it is written and for whom it is applicable. That Book was written for Israel by the Jews while they were building up a Holy Nation of One God. If that was to be made known for all the people of the world or Egypt at that time, Moses would not need to get God's people out of Egypt but instead just teach Egypt to change their ways. Same sex relationship was banned because Israel was still building up a nation of Israel and they have to increase in numbers. Being in a Holy war and building a Holy Nation also mean that they should not desecrate their places and od what other nations are doing which is not Holy for their God.

    June 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  12. lindaluttrell

    This group sounds just like Phelps. What next? Anti-american comments, picketing our dead soldiers' funerals? As I said before about the Phelps children, I will say it again: I believe teaching your children to hate is a form of child abuse.

    June 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  13. warren brown

    Dear Anderson Copper! It is written in the bible that men would be lovers of men; women Lovers of women and mankind would be lovers of self. Whatever God has revealed is living and true. For no man can alter or change the word of God as it was revealed. There is no lie in God and God sees and hears all things. There is Nothing Hidden in the eyes of God.
    In the end all will be revealed. Every Opportunity Given to each and every one of us by God for us men and our salvation. The choices we made to open the door To Gods will or continued to do our will which is against God.
    For in the end Gods will;will be done.

    What scripture clearly states is we are to love the Lord God First and foremost above any and all other things! Be Baptized and if we sin! Go to confession with a contrite heart receive commmunion and go and sin no more. Repent and reform our Lives and stop giving offense to the Lord God almighty. Be Holy as God is Holy. If we live for the flesh we will die in our sins! sins of the Flesh! If we live in the spirit we will have eternal life for we who are Gods children have crucified our flesh. Dying to the concuspence of the flesh and the ardor of worldly desire and sensuous living. If we do sin we know that Gods Love is greater then our sins. God saves Jesus enlightens and the spirit of God is within us.

    God knows our weaknesses and loves all his children! Hates the sin Loves the sinner. That is why He Died Once and for all. To eat his Body and drink his Blood To wash away our every sin! Not only Mine But that of all mankind!

    June 5, 2012 at 5:12 am |
  14. kimberly harris

    Just because people accept that being gay is ok, doesn't mean it's ok. The Bible states that this is not permitted or acceptable. Whoever doesn't believe in God or doesn't follows God's laws are probably the ones that are gay. Read your Bible, it's states very clearly what God has to say and he will have the last say.

    June 5, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • kimberly harris

      Also remember it isn't us to Judge people, the Church's should know that. Leave it alone, it's not your call of Judgement. God will take care of all of that. My statement above is just a statement of the truth.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:28 am |
      • Terry Madison

        Nice try, Kimberly Harris. You state that your alleged "god" should be doing the judging, and yet here you are sounding away on what we should and should not do, all the while clearly contradicting yourself by saying you're not judging when clearly it is your full intent. Your ancient iron-age book of unproven fairy tales also states that we "should honor thy father" – What if our father is a murderer or adulterer?.....as many in the "bible belt" most assuredly are. The bible always says to keep the Sabbath Holy and that it is an abomination to boast, to have idols, to swear, and to eat shell fish – uh oh...there goes millions of holier-than-thou "Christians" sinning away. By the way, Jesus himself never said ONE WORD about gay people...and some people are born with both male and female sex organs...in equal amounts...who should they have the right to marry or love? Get an education.

        June 13, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • Mike Jagang

      The bible also says gay men, people who commit adultery and promiscuous teenage girls should be put to death. Which one of these groups do you fall under? Here is your cure for Leprosy...Leviticus 14:1-25. Let me know how that works out for you.

      June 6, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Stacy

      I've always believed that church is for sinners. ANY sinner!! I know of a church that would not allow lesbians enter their church????? They refused to let them hear the Word of God. My God would not do this. He would open His doors and allow them to come in. No matter what their sins may be. It's really between them and God. Shouldn't we be more worried about the economy???????????? After-all, we ALL must face judgment someday.

      June 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Chris Condon

      Kim – the Bible was written by man, interpreting what was believed to be God's will and I am positive that more than just a little got lost in translation. More importantly – your statement about those who don't follow God's will are all gay – seriously? WOW

      June 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  15. Judy Goldsworthy

    Too Funny! Your commentary on the Ridiculous featuring Miss South Carolina at the Teen America Pageant sounded just like Sarah Palin!!!

    June 5, 2012 at 2:01 am |