NC Baptist leader wants civil debate on marriage

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Submitted: Tue, 12/27/2011 - 2:29pm
Updated: Tue, 12/27/2011 - 2:32pm

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — The newly-elected president of North Carolina’s largest religious denomination says he’s hoping for a civil debate over a proposal to ban same-sex marriage in the state constitution.

The Rev. Mark Harris, president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, tells The Charlotte Observer he understands the question is an emotional one.

But Harris says he thinks both sides can respectfully argue their cases.

Harris was elected to a one-year term last month. The convention represents roughly 4,300 churches and some 1.3 million members in North Carolina.

Voters will decide in May whether the state constitution should be amended to ban same-sex marriage.

Not all Christian leaders are in favor of the idea.

About 250 clergy members from multiple denominations have signed a statement denouncing the proposal.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


  • Guest55555 says:

    Whoever told you Christians are perfect? The Bible says, “There is no one righteous, not even one”. Sure, there are going to be some hypocrites in the church…but aren’t hypocrites everywhere? When you walk into a grocery store, they’re probably all around you. Does that stop you from going into a grocery store? They’re at the mall, too. Does that stop you from going to the mall?

    It’s so easy to say, “I’m not going to church because of the hypocrites.” It sounds like a good excuse, doesn’t it? But that’s what it is…an excuse. If you only go where there’s no hypocrites, you’ll be sitting home most of your life. I think if you’re really honest with yourself, at some time or another you’ve probably been a hypocrite in your own life. The great thing is, we have a loving and forgiving God.

    I don’t know where you ever heard, “no one would ever be hungry or homeless”. The Bible says, “The poor you will have with you always”. But the church does more than any other group on this earth to combat hunger and homelessness.

    It doesn’t sound like you’ve truly given Christians a chance. It sounds like you’ve just repeated the same old, same old that anti-Christians have said many times in the past. Why don’t you find out for yourself, instead of relying on someone else’s old arguments? At least that way, you’ll know it firsthand and not from someone else who’s never set foot inside a church or knows what they’re talking about.

  • WilmingtonMAJ says:

    Didn’t you hear…despite being all powerful he is only responsible for good things. Pray to him for a good economy, touchdowns and a great meal. When a plane flies into a building, a child dies of cancer and women are stoned to death for not dressing appropriately…it’s man’s fault. Their sky fairy apparently only wants to take credit for the good in life but seems to shrink away when it comes time to take responsibility for all the crap in the world!

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    …have a right to deny gay and Lesbian citizens the rights that every other straight citizen has, and that’s where the problem arises.

    We are not governed by the Bible. We are a secular nation, governed by a Constitution that promises equal protection of law. As long as there are certain benefits available to married heterosexuals that are denied to gay and Lesbian couples, they have every right to be in rebellion.

    If we get the government out of the marriage business altogether, and simply have registered domestic partnerships for everyone, regardless of sexual preference and genders, the issue of gay marriage will be moot and we actually WILL be a country of equal treatment…..once we adopt a flat or consumption based tax.

  • Charles Walters says:

    The Southern Baptist are nothing more than domestic terrorist. They support people like Eric Rudolph and others who plant bombs im womens health clinics. Yes while some perform abortions, many simply offer a place where women can go for birth control or for treatment for their specialized health needs. I guess Thou Shalt Not Kill only applies when they want it too. There does not need to be any debate over same sex marrage because it is a non-issue for the majority of the people in the world. No jobs, crappy schools, and a host of other problems that are so much bigger that this is what should be debated. Not who marries who or what people do in the bed room. Spouses who cheat on each other are more of a threat to marriage than this. Just look at all the fine Christians who screw around on each other everyday.

  • WilmingtonMAJ says:

    with that. Religion fanatics like this woman want to shove their religion down my throat and into my laws. I want to marry my partner one day and because of her fairy tale god, I can’t. THAT is why it pi**es me off. I am SICK of religion and religious people dictating what I can and can’t do. Last year I paid well over $100,000 in taxes to the US Government…a government that treats me like a second class citizen because people like her have nothing better to do than want to enforce their beliefs on everyone. If you want to live in a state that is run by religion, move to Iran.

  • Guest3 says:

    If you choose not to believe in God, that’s your affair, but calling someone else names because they choose to believe is beneath you. It’s mean and it’s bigoted.

    Why can’t everyone just live and let live? Why is it a contest now to see how far down you can degrade and humiliate someone? Does it make you feel more powerful? If so, it’s only an illusion.

    She gave her opinion; she’s entitled to voice it, just as you are entitled to voice yours. However, in this case, she did it with a lot more dignity and a lot more class.

  • anne says:

    Why debate? God had a plan – he made man for woman and woman for man. Couldn’t be any simpler!

  • Das Weibstück says:

    ……If he existed he made homosexuals too.

  • Guestgustd says:

    If marriage is supposedly so sacred, why does the state make you get a license to be married, and then why doesn’t that license ever expire, say after 7 years? If both partners agree to renew, fine. If one, or both, don’t want to, then the marriage ends. No lawyers, no fighting. Now, that seems simple.

  • tia says:

    This religion thing is out of control—– I would like to tour the homes of the people who think they can use the Bible to control others– If I find pork in your house- ummm you should not belong to a church. How about working Sundays ? Lets discuss obesity – Is that gluttony? Christmas trees- It is written in your Bible- Only heathens have decorated trees – Birth control, un ruley kids, Divorce – geesh- the list of your sins goes on and on- One birthday is mentioned- in your later changed version of your book – Jesuss’ so why do you all celebrate Birthdays ?
    My most important question is – religion was formed with the promise of no one would ever be hungry or homeless- What went wrong there ? Exactly where does all the money that your God has you pay in to your church go?
    I mean really take a look at the churches– Slap n wrap aluminium buildings– hahah fake made in china stained glass— pressed board — OMG Sheep wake up you are so being conned- Your priests are leading you into the hell they created .

  • WilmingtonMAJ says:

    Grow up and quit believing in santa claus and god. They are make believe and you my dear are an idiot. Religion has no place in laws and politics. NONE. So quit trying to shove YOUR VERSION of morality down my throat. As the poster above said…there is no such thing as a true christian anymore anyway. I don’t know a single one who doesn’t drink, doesn’t eat pork, doesn’t occasionally work on sundays, wear clothes from different threads, etc… etc… You are a hypocrite and a little little person with no ability to think for yourself. Just keep digesting what your told and maybe the magic sky fairy will help you out.

  • Charles Walters says:

    It is none of the Baptist Damn Business. Politics and religion do not mix and should be kept seperate. Churches should stay out of the bedroom, before everyone has to get permission from the Deacons and the Preacher to have sex.

  • Guest1946 says:

    The state needs to stay out of religion and vice-versa. Has no one ever heard of separation of church and state? Why does the religious right, Baptists in particular, feel they must control everyones lives?

  • Charles Walters says:

    You are right the government has no business regulating morality. This is why there is no national religion and everyone is free to choose. If someone wants to get their freak on then who cares as longs as it is between two consenting adults who have reached the age of consent then it is no ones business but their’s. This is the reason many people quit going to church (me included) because they get tired of every other week there is a new rule about what you can do or not do. Most of these rules are made a bunch of old fools who lost their freak or never had it in the first place.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Separation of church and state has no basis in the Constitution. Like it or not, this country was founded on Christian principles and like it or not Christians have just as much a say in the laws as everyone else.

  • Guest6858 says:

    If you’re not a Baptist, why do you care?

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    It’s so important that we will hold a Constitutional referendum on it. Of course, we’re NOT trying to amend the Constitution to end:

    * Involuntary annexation
    * Eminent domain used for private projects (Kelo v New London)
    * The governor looting any specially designated fund three ways from Sunday at will, to fund pet projects.

    Here’s a hint for my Reublican friends. If you’d get out of the morality business and concentrate on fiscal matters, you’d insure that no Democrat would ever get elected again. Millions would flock to your side.

    You probably drive away twenty percent of the voters simply because of your stands on gay rights and abortion. We’re on the verge of financial collapse, and all you care about is insuring that Jimmy and Johnny can’t file a joint tax return.

  • Guest1966 says:

    If the government doesn’t start regulating morality, we might just end up with perverts abusing children next; oh wait, we’re already there! Although I am against same sex marriage, I also understand the importance of the constitution, and as a KING JAMES BIBLE BELIEVER, I cannot get past …the Right to persue happiness, no matter how damaging the consequences! And I can imagine pretty badly, the BIBLE gives a clear picture as to how things will end.

    As for getting a freak on, I think your tired of the freaky to the point you can’t find amusement anymore, which most churches are trying to do to force growth, but entertainment is NOT what church is suppose to be about, so now your burned out, but I doubt you were anywhere on fire in the first place, go somewhere else, find a BIBLE believing church, and question the authority with what God really says, after all, plenty of good people die everyday, and bust Hell wide open, so what’s your rush?

  • Guest421 says:

    You should run for President. I have long felt the same way, but 4 years instead of 7.

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