Archive for the ‘Evanglical Protestant’ Category

Evangelicals, Catholics Softening Stances

January 15, 2011

Jay Bakker, son of televangelists Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Messner, has become a gay-rights advocate among evangelical Christians.

According to two recent news reports, Catholics and evangelical Christians may be softening their views on lgbt rights and same-sex marriage. Follow the links for the full stories.

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Conservative Religious Groups Soften Stances

July 29, 2010

Rabbi Asher Lopatin

Two recent news stories suggest that even conservative religious groups are re-examining their views on homosexuality.

First, a group of Orthodox rabbis, including Chicago’s Rabbi Asher Lopatin, signed a statement promoting compassion and inclusion for lesbian and gay people. The document does not reinterpret Jewish law. It maintains that same-sex conduct remains against the law, but says that there is a place for gay and lesbian people in the Orthodox community. Rabbi Lopatin is also a signatory on the civil unions petition.

Also, the NPR radio program Fresh Air recently featured an interview with Richard Cizik about his ouster as the chief lobbyist of the National Association of Evangelicals. Cizik lost his job in December 2008 in part because of his public statements in favor of civil unions for same-sex couples. Since then, he has founded The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, an evangelical group promoting social justice concerns.

Research Shows Tolerant Trend Among Religious

June 23, 2010

A study just released from the Public Religion Research Institute dispels many sterotypes about religious people’s views on social issues.  The study, called “Beyond the God Gap,” focused on four Christian groups that the researchers say make up 75 percent of the U.S. population: white evangelical Protestants, white mainline Protestants, African-American Protestants, and Roman Catholics. In all four groups, the researchers found that views on homosexuality and other topics were more progressive than commonly believed. An article by the authors in Huffington Post sums up some key findings.

Key findings in relation to homosexuality:

  • White Evangelical Christians: Although most White evangelicals hold negative views of homosexuality, they nonetheless 63% said they support protection from employment discrimination for gay and lesbian people and 67% believe that they should be able to serve in the military. They oppose legal recognition for same-sex couples, but the picture among young evanglical Christians is different A majority of 52% support either civil unions or legal marriage for same-sex couples.
  • White Mainline Protestants: Among this group, 86% support the right of gay and lesbian people to serve in the military and 78% support employment non-discrimination protections. On the issue of marriage, mainline Protestants are more supportive than other religious groups and the general population, but fall well short of majority support. More than one-third (34%) of mainline Protestants support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, and nearly the same number (36%) support civil unions for same-sex couples. Nearly half (48%) of young (age 18-34) mainline Protestants support marriage for same-sex couples.
  • African-American Protestants: More than 6-in-10 (63%) black Protestants support laws that would protect gay and lesbian people from job discrimination (Pew RLS 2007). However, a  majority (57%) oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. And nearly half say they support either marriage (27%) or civil unions (20%), compared to a similar number (48%) who do not favor any legal recognition for same-sex couples.
  • Roman Catholics: Catholics are strong supporters of most policy issues concerning gay and lesbian people. Approximately three-quarters (77%) of Catholics support allowing gay and lesbian people to serve in the military, and laws that would protect gay and lesbian people from job discrimination (75%). A solid majority (55%) of Catholics believe that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to adopt children. On the issue of relationship recognition for same-sex couples, Catholic views largely mirror the general public. Approximately 6-in-10 Catholics support either marriage (30%) or civil unions (31%), compared to approximately one-third (32%) who say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship.