Research done by the PEW Research Center on Religion shows 54% of all church-going Christians now believe society should accept LGBTQ relationships. Here’s how that happened.
Not long ago, the term “born again Christian” was synonymous with anti-LGBTQ hate speech. But no more.
Notably, at the top of the list the most accepting churches are Episcopalians and the United Church of Christ at 83% and 82% acceptance. The Evangelical Lutheran Church averages an 73% acceptance rate.
Correspondingly, the largest Christian groups have mostly better than average acceptance rates: Catholics 70%, American Baptists 54%, United Methodists 60%, Presbyterian Church (USA) 65%. In contrast, only Southern Baptists were below average at 30% (up from 23% in 2007).
Of all Americans in general, 62% think society should accept LGBTQ relationships.
An LGBTQ Christian is even running for president: Pete Buttigieg (“Mayor Pete”). And remarkably he quotes scripture from the heart. Mayor Pete is not alone in helping to heal this last vestige of the dark ages.
Progress Even Among the Most Entrenched Holdouts
Long among some of the most entrenched holdouts, 51% of the traditionally black churches now believe society should accept LGBTQ relationships (up from 39%). And that number rises to 61% for the African Methodist Episcopal Church (up from 54%). This is major. The wake-up call for them came in the form of rap and hip-hop culture. The fact that it gave rise to so many predatory heterosexual attitudes showed many believers that same-sex relationships are not the problem.
Though acceptance numbers are up across the board, there is still diversity among various churches. Nonetheless, even the most conformist Christian groups are inching toward acceptance. Mormons (36% up from 24%), Evangelical Protestants (36% up from 26%), Pentecostal/Assemblies of God (26% up from 16%), and Jehovah’s Witnesses (16% up from 14%) now accept LGBTQ relationships.
Remember the spate of bad press regarding the Mormon role in defeating the 2008 marriage equality vote in California? Afterward, their church leadership amended and continues to amend its LGBTQ policies to make them less hostile. Hopefully, a similar rethink will take place within other Christian groups as well.
Why Many Christians are Doing an About-Face and Many More Will Follow
More and more Christians realize it is a grievous sin to treat LGBTQ people as many churches have. It’s important to realize that Christians are moving beyond tolerance into real acceptance.
In particular, LGBTQ movements within the church such as More Light Presbyterian Churches (begun in the 1980s), Metropolitan Community Churches (begun in the 1960s), and OurBibleApp.com (which sends out daily devotionals of wisdom and encouragement written by and for LGBTQ Christians) are helping all Christians to better live the true tenets of their faith.
Although LGBTQ Americans in general have no religious affiliation at a much higher than the general public, many of the most amazing Christians are themselves LGBTQ and LGBTQ allies. Their willingness to speak out has made the difference.
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Last modified: August 14, 2019