Saturday, January 12, 2013

Survey: Big Drop In Those Who See Gays As Sinners

There's more bad news for the anti-gay professional Christians and hate group leaders like Tony Perkins and Pope Benedict XVI: a new LifeWay Research survey shows that the number of individuals who see being gay as a sin is plummeting.  Yes, the efforts of the hate merchants is failing.  Expect the volume of the Christofascist shrieking and sheets of flying spittle to increase as these extremists realize that they have lost the so-called culture wars.  And the situation for the hate merchants will only get worse as more and more of elderly bigots virtually die off.  USA Today has details on the survey findings.  Here are excerpts:

Americans who believe being gay is a sin are now a minority — a shift that a Southern Baptist-affiliated research group links to President Barack Obama's changed opinion of gay marriage.

A November survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research found 37 percent of Americans polled said "yes" when asked if homosexual behavior is a sin. Forty-five percent said it was not. Seventeen percent didn't know.  That's a major change from LifeWay's September 2011 survey, when 44 percent said homosexuality was a sin, 43 percent said it wasn't and 13 percent didn't know.

The survey results, released late Thursday, didn't surprise the Rev. Cindy Andrews-Looper of Holy Trinity Community Church in Nashville, a congregation with a large number of gay members. When her church opened in the mid-1990s, most gay and lesbian members were in the closet, she said.  Today, they've found more acceptance in the religious community and in the community at large.

Andrews-Looper said that being gay isn't any more sinful that being left-handed.  "Jesus didn't come into the world to condemn anyone," she said. "To use the gospel to condemn anyone is missing the point."

The shift in attitudes about gay people likely cost an Evangelical minister from Atlanta the chance to pray at President Barack Obama's second inauguration.  . . . .   LifeWay's Ed Stetzer predicted more future conflicts such as that one.   "The culture is clearly shifting on homosexuality, and this creates a whole new issue: How will America deal with a minority view, strongly held by Evangelicals, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, and so many others?" he said in a statement.

Anthea Butler, associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, said that politics, culture and demographics have played a role in the growing acceptance of homosexuality.  . . . . Butler also sees two religious factors: Younger evangelicals are less likely to be judgmental toward gays, and many who don't claim any faith are friendly toward them.

I'm sorry, but there is no reason to accommodate anti-gay bigots by the larger society.  The claims of "deeply held religious belief"  should not be seen as a pass for hate and bigotry.  The Bible was once used as a justification for slavery.  That excuse has been thrown on the trash heap of history and using the Bible to justify anti-gay hate and bigotry needs to meet a similar fate.  As for the anti-gay bigots themselves, they need to be viewed the same way that racists are viewed by the media and general public: they need to be shunned and not given platforms by the media.

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