Thanks to Elizabeth for this link. The Atlantic Wire (Atlantic Monthly Group) has a brief article on American attitudes on same-sex marriage ~ they call it “gay marriage” ~ that shows that not all religious people are of the same mind.
Well, duh! We knew that but its helpful when the general public is given information to help them separate the sheep from the goats on this issue.
According to the chart, based on a study from the Public Religion Research Institute (based on data collected in July 2011), Catholics and “White Mainline” churches line up as slightly positive on the issue (52 and 51% in favor), and Black Protestant and White Evangelical church people decisively negative on the issue (60 and 76% opposed respectively).
Three years ago in the post mortem hand-wringing as to why Proposition 8 passed in California, you will remember, it was these two groups which helped to push Prop 8 to victory. the LGBT community in California was especially dismayed that we had not communicated our core message effectively to the Black churches. That reality appears to prevail today, even while general attitudes and even “White mainline” Christians have been moving steadily into our column.
Read the article linked here, because the most important finding is not represented in the Atlantic chart:
” the main theme of the study was that younger people are supporting gay rights at much higher rates than their elders. It found “at least a 20-point generation gap” between 18 to 29 year olds and adults over 65 on every public policy issue concerning gay rights. And seven in 10 people in that younger age bracket say that religious groups that come out against homosexuality are alienating them.”
Today, the most common perception is that present-day Christianity is “anti-homosexual.” Overall, 91% of young non-Christians and 80% of young churchgoers say this phrase describes Christianity. As the research probed this perception, non-Christians and Christians explained that beyond their recognition that Christians oppose homosexuality, they believe that Christians show excessive contempt and unloving attitudes towards gays and lesbians. One of the most frequent criticisms of young Christians was that they believe the church has made homosexuality a “bigger sin” than anything else. Moreover, they claim that the church has not helped them apply the biblical teaching on homosexuality to their friendships with gays and lesbians.
Pastor Dan Hooper