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Pew report shows LGBT identification with/rejection of religion

Pew report shows LGBT identification with/rejection of religion

The Pew Research Center’s report on religion in America shows some interesting findings regarding the LGB community, according to

More LGB Americans consider themselves Christian than ever before. In a new Pew Research Center report, 48 percent of LGB Americans identify as Christian, up from 42 percent in 2013. The statistic contrasts the study’s finding of overall decline of Christianity, from 78.4 percent of Americans identifying as Christian, down to 70.6 percent.

In commentary by Candace Chellew-Hodge, USC Annenberg’s Religion Dispatches takes a look at the half that’s rejecting religion:

As for the LGBT community, Pew researchers found that at least 41% could give a rip if the evangelical church welcomes them in their pews, because they’ve given up on religion anyway—at least that type of religion…

The reason so many LGBT people have fled the church tracks closely with why millennials in general have abandoned sanctuaries across the country—a perception that churches are filled with judgmental and hypocritical people.

A survey last year by Pew found that 73% of LGBT people perceived evangelical churches to be unfriendly and 79% said they felt unwelcome in Catholic churches.  As for non-evangelical mainstream churches, the survey found that only 10% of LGBT folk viewed such churches as friendly while 44% perceived them as unfriendly.

One-third of religious LGBT people, however, say “there was a conflict between their religious beliefs and their sexual orientation or gender identity,” and many are opting for evangelical churches that maintain a more conservative approach to liturgy while being inclusive.

Read yesterday’s Episcopal Cafe report on the Pew Research Center study here.

Posted by Cara Ellen Modisett



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Eric Bonetti

The problem for many LGBT folks in TEC, I suspect, isn’t that the church isn’t welcoming. It’s that it welcomes them into a situation that is the same-ol’, same-ol’ in every other way. Suddenly, folks who’ve faced mistreatment elsewhere find themselves in the midst of internicine warfare about which flowers look best on the altar, some offhand comment made at the last vestry meeting, and all the other BS of parish life. So yes, LGBT are welcome, but in my experience, many LGBT are sensitive to injustice and the suffering of others. As a result, they soon find themselves aligned with millenials, who find too much judgment and too little appreciation in our common life.

The solution: Welcome all, but welcome them to a healthy, vibrant, loving church.

JC Fisher

“More LGB Americans consider themselves Christian than ever before. In a new Pew Research Center report, 48 percent of LGB Americans identify as Christian, up from 42 percent in 2013.”

Wow. When possibly the most prevalent thing LGB (T? were Trans people not surveyed?) people hear about religion (specifically Christianity) is “God Hates F@gs”, I’m pleasantly amazed!

Keep on’ keepin’ on, TEC: the (GOOD) news is getting out!

Wayne Rollins

I’ve read some of the survey, and its results mirror what I’ve found to be true in everyday life. One thing I think TEC needs to do when taking a stand is to spend more time discussing the spiritual and theological reasoning that results in that stand. We’re good at politics, but not very good and explaining why. Only then can we move into the next step of being church, and find redemption from the hurt and anger that has been inflicted on so many in the name of Christianity. Being inclusive is the first step in a long journey. We must confess our own fault, and have enough courage to say “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” That LGBT folk find places where such forgiveness occurs, and their own salvation at the same time, is no surprise. Every major movement in faith history has come when the oppressed hear good news spoken to them. It’s our history. Remember it, offer it, and live the good news.

Cynthia Katsarelis

I too am waiting for TEC to step up in several ways. First, TEC needs to go with inclusive marriage at this GC. There can be no more waiting, even the Presbyterians are ahead of us. I think there needs to be provisions for conservative parishes, but there has to be access to inclusive marriage in every diocese.

Second, TEC needs to work for social justice. The national church, EPPN, and the Jubilee Ministry language is all great, but it needs legs on the ground. It looks to me as if the churches have responded very well in places like Ferguson and Baltimore, but we all need to get with the social justice program, especially on race. White Privilege is never more apparent than when middle and upper middle class Episcopalians ignore the problem, because we can. Society and wealth have been engineered in our our favor and it will take an act of Faith to extend God’s bounty to others.

Perhaps it is the lack of energy on social justice that is a turn off to millennials, after all, social justice seems to be a big part of the Jesus message.

David Murray

Just my thought as well. I would not be comfortable with a ‘order’ that each parish would be inclusive. However, yes there needs some measure given of inclusive in each Diocese.

It’s a hard thing to believe that any this or that is the message of Christ. It is my belief that many LGBT persons (such as myself) are generally moderate. Generally, I dislike the concept of White Privilege. I have never received much out-and-out advantage due to my white status. However, there is a measure of truth still to the idea, and yes some such persons can rest far too much on a advantage of birth. Nevertheless, faith without works has many problems. It becomes entitled.

David Murray

There’s much to learn here. That is if people (and TEC) wants to. Things are changing, and it remains to be see whether TEC wants LGBT people. Or does it want to make happy those who are the past. And past it is. LGBT people aren’t going take second-class membership, but it requires courage to stand for them on the past of the church.

That is – if the church wants them, but bowing to such as Central Florida won’t do. The Episcopal Church has done a great thin, and is welcoming. However, those remaining sections are a blemish that says much. And the fact is – America is becoming open to LBGT people. Those that aren’t are the living dead. The arguments being used are extreme to keep out. The knowable know this.

Is the Episcopal Church truly going to be inclusive or will it allow the few to control?

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