October 3rd, 2007
According to David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons, Christianity is facing a severe image problem. And the problem is best exemplified by Evangelical Christianity’s stance toward gays and lesbians.
Kinnaman and Lyons’ new book UnChristian explores how attitudes toward Christianity have changed over the past decade. Kinnaman’s organization, the Barna Group, conducted a poll in 1996 which found that 83% of Americans identified themselves as Christians, and that fewer than 20% of non-Christians held an unfavorable view of Christianity.
Since then, the Barna Group conducted two more polls, in 2004 and 2007, of young people between the ages of 16 and 29, and found a decidedly negative impression emerging in the next generation:
Nine out of ten outsiders found Christians too “anti-homosexual,” and nearly as many perceived it as “hypocritical” and “judgmental.” Seventy-five percent found it “too involved in politics.”
Churchgoers of the same age share several of the non-Christians’ complaints about Christianity. For instance, 80% of the Christians polled picked “anti-homosexual” as a negative adjective describing Christianity today. And the view of 85% of non-Christians aged 16-29 that present day Christianity is “hypocritical — saying one thing doing another,” was, in fact, shared by 52% of Christians of the same age. Fifty percent found their own faith “too involved in politics.”
Kinnaman spoke about Christianity’s relationship with the gay community in an interview with Time magazine:
A majority of Americans continue to believe that homosexuality is inappropriate. And the Christian biblical perspective is that it is not consistent with Christian discipleship. But non-Christians regarded it as our biggest negative, and most of the Christians we sampled agreed. Many Christians say, “That’s not something we’re willing to negotiate on.” And, certainly, this is based in historical Christian convictions and scripture. But they need to guard against not wanting to grapple with the complexity of homosexuality, against trying to give very simple answers to very complex stories, and against feeling they can solve some of these deep issues without personal friendships with gay men and women. … The two sides ought to have some respect for each other — and the responsibility should be on Christians to lead by example instead of just shouting at others through the ballot box or talk shows.
More conferences like the Family Impact Summit, where leading participants talk about the “evil agenda,” will only reinforce such impressions. By the way, that Summit’s poor attendance provides some more evidence for the problems that far-right politically active Evangelicals face. Focus On the Family is facing cutbacks, and many are speaking openly of abandoning the GOP, now that the GOP’s current front-runner for the presidential race, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is not deemed sufficiently socially conservative. With moves like that, the Evangelical right’s descendancy is likely to continue.
Hat tip: Jonathan
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
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In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.