LifeWay Christian Resources - a product of the Southern Baptist Convention - recently polled 2,144 Americans using an online instrument. They were asked, "Do you believe homosexuality is a sin?"
44% said yes.
43% said no.
13% weren't sure.
It's always important to remember who's asking and why. As an unabashed arm of the Southern Baptists, LifeWay may be trying to ring an alarmist bell, claiming a tipping point is near, and that all it will take to start full-blown culture wars or Armageddon or whatever is just one more state making gay marriage legal.
'Course, if you go with information released by Gallup on Monday, it's more of a done deal, and attitudes have already shifted in favor of acceptance of gay relationships and rights.
We like how Box Turtle Bulletin articulates the kind of careful self-deception that's long fueled outfits like LifeWay.
For many years, conservative Christians have played a word game with themselves and the public. When it came to discussions about sin and love, there was a careful distinction between the person and the behavior. They could joyously love the sinner (but not his sin) so much that they longed for his soul to know God (and give up all that sin). But when it came to individual rights and civil liberties, that distinction evaporated. When talking about whether someone should have job security or the right to rent an apartment, suddenly the Bible declared “it’s a sin”.
This allowed conservatives the comfort of convincing themselves that the American public still agreed with them, still deferred to them on matters of religious conscience. Should Connecticut allow marriage or should Lincoln choose to ban anti-gay employment discrimination, well at least they know that they are accommodating immorality.