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Yet Another Poll Shows Young Evangelicals’ Increased Support for Marriage Equality

Jim Burroway

September 9th, 2011

The Washington Post points to a poll from the Public Religion Research Institute released in late August that found a huge generation gap between young Evangelical Christians and seniors in support for same-sex marriage. PPRI found that there is at least a 20-point gap between Millennials (age 18 to 29) overall regardless of religious affiliation and seniors (age 65 and older) on every public policy position concerning LGBT people. The survey found that 62% of Millennials favor allowing same-sex marriage, 69% are okay with gay couples adopting children, 71% favor civil unions and 79% favor employment anti-discrimination measures. Sixty-nine percent of Millennials overall believe that religious groups are alienating young people by being anti-gay.

The gap persists among Evangelicals as well. Forty-four percent of white Evangelical Millennials favor marriage equality, as opposed to 12% of Evangelical seniors.

Taking religion out of the equation, the same poll also found that 49% of Republican Millennials also favor marriage equality, in contrast to 19% of Republican seniors and 31% of Republicans overall.

The same poll also found that 52% of self-identified Catholics favor allowing gay people to marry, and an identical proportion believe that gay relationships are not a sin. What’s more, 46% of Catholics think the Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality is too conservative, 43% think it’s about right, and only 6% think it is too liberal. Among Catholics who attend Mass weekly, 37% overall think the church is too conservative on gay issues while 54% say it is about right. This poll also confirms earlier findings that there is a significant ethnic division among Catholics on this issue, with 55% of Hispanic Catholics believing the church is too conservative on homosexuality, compared to 43% of white non-Hispanic Catholics holding the same view.

The poll’s margins of error: ±2% for the general sample, 3.7% for white Evangelicals, 3.9% for Catholics, 8.3% for Latino Catholics, 4.5% for Millennials, 3.8% for seniors, and 3.5% for Republicans. No margin of error was given for white Evangelicals Millennials or for white Evangelical seniors.

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Robert
September 10th, 2011 | LINK

Don’t fall for this manipulative fallacy from the Washington Post, all you young Christians. Neither God nor truly saved Christians hate homosexuals…we hate the sin of homosexuality. Nobody is born gay, it is a choice. And those who call themselves evangelicals, yet approve of gay marriage, you’re confused. Evangelicals, put simply, spread the everlasting, perfect Word of God’s Bible. If you do not believe God’s Word is perfect, you are not an evangelical Christian or a saved Believer. That is a fact whether you like it or not. Seek Jesus Christ for your answers, and accept his Holy Spirit as belief in his death for your sins. That’s your only ticket to both the Truth in this life…and entry to God’s Kingdom of Heaven in the next. My prayer for you is Truth…not the lies this world tries to deceive you with. God bless you

Ezam
September 10th, 2011 | LINK

Robert, the fact of the matter is that homosexuality is NOT a choice, and that the Bible was written thousands of years ago by primitive men who knew nothing about nature or science. As soon as you understand that, you’ll see why young Christians are changing their minds.

Priya Lynn
September 10th, 2011 | LINK

Robert, our sexual orientation is a core feature of who we are. If you hate gayness then you also hate gays, you cannot seperate the two. You can no more “love the sinner and hate the sin” than you can love the water and hate the wetness.

F Young
September 10th, 2011 | LINK

@Robert

“Nobody is born gay, it is a choice.”

So, how come only gays have a choice, never heterosexuals? I’ve never heard of any heterosexual expain how, one day when he was 13 perhaps, it was his time to choose and he talked it over with his friends and family, weighed the pros and cons and finally chose heterosexuality. You’d think heterosexuals would reminisce about that fateful day all the time. Gays too.

What about you, did you have a choice? When did you decide? What factors did you consider? Did you do any research?

What, it just happened? You were just horny as hell and had wet dreams and you couldn’t help yourself? You didn’t choose heterosexuality; it chose you?

So, why does God give gays a choice that he doesn’t give heterosexuals? Why does He privilege gays that way? What did heterosexuals do to be denied this grace? Doesn’t God trust heterosexuals?

And, if he gave gays a choice, wouldn’t it be ungrateful and contrary to God’s manifest will for gays to refuse their God-given choice and instead act as if they were heterosexual and had no choice?

Frankly, Robert, like all born heterosexuals, you were born completely ignorant of homosexuality. The only people who can teach heterosexuals about homosexuality are homosexual. Listen to them. They ALL say homosexuality wasn’t a choice.

Blair Martin
September 10th, 2011 | LINK

Robert: your assertion about what evangelism is, is the problem I have as a Christian (church goer, bible reader, daily pray-er and all that jazz) with accepting the need to “evangelize” the world. You pervert this wonderful Greek word to mean something akin to unthinking dogmatic idiom. The Bible is not the infallible word of God. The Bible is full of contradictions and misinterpretations (even Jesus of Nazareth preached on the contradiction and misinterpretation found in the opening lines of Psalm 110)which is used by successive believers to judge, demonize and condemn others who do not accept that literal view as expounded by those doing the expounding. Finally, may I direct you to Romans 14:13 and ask you to reflect…

Oh and what they said too – my sexuality isn’t a choice anymore than you can choose to breathe or not breathe instinctively.

Timothy Kincaid
September 12th, 2011 | LINK

Robert,

Thank you for illustrating my rule of thumb: those who capitalize “truth” have none to share.

When you speak of “Truth”, it is the “I believe it and don’t care if it is factual” variety. The “my religion says it so I can declare it to be Truth” sort of nonsense that has to value or sway.

It matters not one whit to you that sexual orientation is significantly (though perhaps not entirely) biologically based. It does not matter that sexual non-conformity as observed in very young children is strongly correlated with homosexual or bisexual orientation.

In order for your church’s anti-gay political activism to be anything other than monstrous and evil, you have to believe that you are not persecuting your neighbor but his “choice” instead. So you declare that to be the “Truth.”

It matters not a whit to you that the actions taken and words spoken by you and those who share your version of Christianity are directed to hurt, punish, humiliate, and deprive living breathing gay people. It is of no concern that any unbiased observer would see such behavior as hateful and cruel. Your church wishes to continue in such actions and so simply declares that you are hating your neighbor’s “sin” but – contradictory to every evidence – you actually love the neighbor whom you are treating so poorly.

And as you cannot really in your heart of hearts believe such a thing, you tell yourself – and us – that it it “Truth.” Unable to deal with truth, you replace it with a lie and in order to avoid even considering the subject, you capitalize the word, declare it to be the equivalent of God, and put faith in the lie. The “Truth” is your idol, which you dare not look at too closely.

Sorry, Robert, but God has a higher standard than that. You can’t just go on “my church says so” as evidence when you stand before Him and justify your bigotry, arrogance, and malice. You can’t tell God that it’s “Truth” no matter what he says.

You see, Robert, God has no use for mindless robotic adherence to The Law, absent of any understanding (or desire for understanding) of his grace and love.

If you want to know what God thinks of your “Truth”, read Matthew 25.

Timothy Kincaid
September 12th, 2011 | LINK

And a final thought…

The gospel was good news because… the news was good. No longer was man subject to the Law And Punishment paradigm but instead are to base their lives in love, charity, forgiveness, kindness, and decency towards others.

And, you see, to a Christian (the kind you think aren’t saved believers) that sounds pretty good. That’s news that we can believe in.

But ask yourself, Robert, what exactly is good about the news you bring? Is it that if I don’t worship your deity the way that you say he wants to be worshiped and if I don’t follow his rules then he will torment me for eternity? Is it that your deity demands that I live a life absent of love or romance, never having a first kiss, a walk on the beach, candlelit dinners, falling in love, committing to that relationship, experiencing the ecstasy of physical expression of that love, growing old together, and looking back on a life of fulfillment, joy, and love?

Is it that I get to choose between celibacy and Hell? Is that supposed to be good news?

Because frankly, brother, your deity really sounds like an asshole.

Timothy Kincaid
September 12th, 2011 | LINK

This poll also confirms earlier findings that there is a significant ethnic division among Catholics on this issue, with 55% of Hispanic Catholics believing the church is too conservative on homosexuality, compared to 43% of white non-Hispanic Catholics holding the same view.

…3.9% for Catholics, 8.3% for Latino Catholics…

I’m not sure I see confirmation of significant ethnic division. These numbers – while 12 points apart – are within the margin of error.

And the poll may not be comparing like things. Hispanic Catholics are predominantly located in specific geographies – often places where other Catholics are also more liberal.

So it would be relevant to look at Hispanic Catholics in Los Angeles v. non-Hispanic White Catholics in Los Angeles. Or at the Hispanic/non-Hispanic Catholics in Wichita.

But a sample that finds Hispanic Catholics in Los Angeles are more likely to support marriage equality than non-Hispanic Catholics in Wichita (for example), may be seeing something other than significant ethnic division.

T.J.
September 17th, 2011 | LINK

Sixty-nine percent of young people believe that the church is alienating people of their generation with its antigay positions. I’ve been saying this for some time now. Evangelicals are going to rue the day that they refused to listen and reconsider the Biblical teaching on this and drove away a whole generation of people from the church. I am no longer an evangelical, not only for this reason, but also for doctrinal reasons, but having been raised in that type of church I can say that they do a lot of things well and so it’s a shame that they are alienating people who could find help in some of their other programming because of their obstinate refusal to reconsider their position. As Robert illustrates, there continues to be this confusion between what “God says” and what “I interpret God to be saying.” If one simply recognizes that difference, his or her tone on this issue, even if an evangelical, would be quite different.

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