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Gay Debate Mirrors 19th-Century Church Dispute On Slavery

"While there are striking parallels between the slavery and homosexuality debates, historians caution that important differences emerge upon close examination," writes Daniel Burke. "In both eras, cultural trends forced Christians to question practices that had long been taken for granted, said Mark Noll, a professor of American religious history at the University of Notre Dame and author of The Civil War as a Theological Crisis. Likewise, the Bible, and how to interpret it, has played a central role both then and now, Noll said. In the 19th century, even some Northern abolitionists admitted that the Bible clearly condones slavery. Many, therefore, sought other sources of morality and methods of biblical interpretation; conservatives countered that such appeals undermine the power of the sacred text." READ MORE

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