The Anti-Gay Christians Are Losing

I’ve said this before, but it’s a mixed bag for me that so many Christians treat gay people the way they do.

On one side, they’re pushing gay people (and many liberal allies) away from their churches and faith. And that’s a plus.

On the down side, they hurt many gay people in the process. And I wish that didn’t happen.

But times are changing and the likes of bigots like James Dobson and Rick Warren and Pat Robertson and all those anti-gay Christian leaders (who secretly have gay sex) are losing their power.

Gallup polled Americans on their “perceived moral acceptability of gay/lesbian relations” and the trend is in the right direction:

Acceptance of gay/lesbian relations are above 50% for the first time.

Catholics, moderates, and independents showed the largest increases in support of gay relations:

Andrew Sullivan writes:

The religious grouping with the biggest increase in moral acceptance: Catholics, with a 16 point gain in tolerance since the hierarchy decided to demonize gays and banish them from the seminaries. Keep it up, your Holiness. And the issue of homosexuality isolates Republicans from Independents more than any other issue I’ve seen: 61 percent of Independents and Democrats alike see gay relationships as morally acceptable; only 35 percent of Republicans do. And the moderates are changing twice as quickly as Republicans.

We’re getting to a point where Republicans will find it increasingly difficult to demonize gay people in order to galvanize their base.

We’re not there yet, but it’s happening.

The more Christians push an anti-gay agenda, the faster intelligent younger Christians will move away from them (and hopefully see the problem with religion in general).

It’s pretty fun watching conservative Christians self-destruct because of their own homophobia.

  • Alex

    You’d think Christians would be as supportive of homosexual/bisexual couples as the Bible was of David and Jonathan…

  • http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100426/ap_on_re_as/as_taiwan_earthquake_3 Silent Service

    It cannot happen fast enough for me. I still deal with homophobic asshattery every week and I’ve been retired from the military for 2 years.

  • Aj

    I trust Gallup a lot less since they misrepresented opinion of Muslims in an embarrassing attempt to sweep problems under the rug in an attempt to promote cohesion. Following the doctrine of “if we ignore it, it’ll go away”.

    In this case the questions aren’t misrepresented, and the results match up with other polling organisation’s results. I’m shocked every time I see how many people think homosexuality should be illegal. I wonder how long the vast majority of Catholics in the West can ignore or flatly go against official church doctrines without the Church changing or breaking up.

  • http://www.frommormontoatheist.blogspot.com Leilani

    I hope by the time my two preschoolers are adults, they will have the freedom to marry whomever they love.

    I know that some Atheists don’t favor marriage in general, it’ll be a great day when our LGBT friends are no longer treated as second class citizens.

  • http://www.magnumdb.com/ Dan

    It is hurtful to gays, but sometimes getting hurt is the only way to learn.

    We don’t want to touch the stove because of lessons learned when being burnt. We cherish the love we receive from others because we know the hurt that comes from rejection.

    Sometimes you just have to let people experience mental pain in order for them to grow. It’s a big part of how we grow. It wouldn’t be this reality if we were able to learn and grow without the experience of pain.

  • Greg

    I’m glad to see things getting better.

    But I have to say that I am horrified by how many people still think it is not morally acceptable.

  • Moxiequz

    “It is hurtful to gays, but sometimes getting hurt is the only way to learn.”

    Maybe I’m misinterpreting what you’re try to say but it seems to me that your argument is assuming that somehow gay people who ‘know better’ (i.e. are not Christian and/or have nothing to do with any repressive religion) are not impacted by the actions of the of the followers of those religions. Prop 8 in CA is a stark counterexample of that.

  • Evilspud

    I really don’t believe Rick Warren deserves to be grouped into that list. I would never compare a man who has also done much to promote the humanitarian efforts his beliefs promote, to the hypocrites and bigots that are on his side of the fence.

    Most importantly, regardless of what he believes, his messages, efforts and endorsements do not focus on issues like Gay Marraige. (http://www.usnews.com/blogs/god-and-country/2009/04/07/rick-warren-stopping-gay-marriage-very-low-on-priority-list.html).

    That reason alone means he should be supported. I think the fact that his opinion on gay marraige has been, at worst, a personal disagreement, makes him deserving of more respect. Especially when his humanitarian work is taken into account.

    Do you disagree? Is there anything particularly damning he has done recently?

    Most of my reading on him has been about his outreach work. He’s more or less a philanthropist.

  • Bob

    Whether it’s over the subject of gay marriage or another issue, the fact remains that conservative Christianity is built on a static, unchanging approach to a changing world.

    In other words, if it rains, you wear the same clothes you would on a sunny day, and then you blame the rain, rather than your choice to go out in shorts and a t-shirt.

    The natural state of the world is change. An unseen, intangible, imaginary deity can’t cope with that.

  • Hitch

    Lots of demographic changes coming down the pipe. I happen to think that positive depictions on TV is the single most helpful reason why tolerance is abound to skyrocket within a generation.

    Now, how to get a few sitcoms and soaps with some really lovable skeptics?

  • mkb

    Hitch, you don’t find House lovable (and when she was on the show Cameron was a nontheist too)?

  • Hitch

    Give more! It’s like saying that Fraser is enough ;)

  • john locke

    House is loveable and so is Sheldon(and Lennard hints at being a nontheist too)

  • Jim H

    “The religious grouping with the biggest increase in moral acceptance: Catholics,”

    I was driving to a ballgame with my (Catholic) dad a couple of weeks ago. In the past I had heard him deride gay people he knew; this time, when (for some reason) the subject of DADT in the military came up, he said, “Why don’t they just repeal that?” I agreed, after I picked my jaw up from out of my lap…

  • http://yamipirogoeth.blogspot.com/ Sakura

    Being a member of the GLBT community on 2 counts, this actually makes me feel pretty happy. In certain situations, it almost makes me wonder if I’m about to get my ass kicked or something.

    But with this trend, I hope it keeps going up. Plus, as Hemant said “(and hopefully see the problem with religion in general)” It’s totally a positive thing.

    Also, House is an atheist?

  • http://www.banalleakage.com martymankins

    Wow. This is great news to see. It was inevitable since reasonable people don’t have an interest in hating.

  • Brandon

    I am simultaneously pleased to see tolerance rising and outraged that “we don’t think you’re immoral scum” only crossed the 50% line in 2008. Jesus fricking Christ.

  • http://breadgodhoard.blogspot.com/ BreadGod

    If the Republicans are unable to galvanize their base by expressing their hatred of gays, they’ll probably start directing their hate towards atheists. After all, we’re the last minority in America that is socially acceptable to hate.

  • Casimir

    I would never compare a man who has also done much to promote the humanitarian efforts his beliefs promote, to the hypocrites and bigots that are on his side of the fence.

    That’s why he deserves to be grouped on that list and why he isn’t deserving of more respect. That is his side of the fence, and it’s the wrong side.

    It is possible to do philanthropic work without endorsing Prop 8, or spreading homophobia in Uganda.

  • Kingpin

    History favors inclusion over exclusion.

  • Epistaxis

    We’re getting to a point where Republicans will find it increasingly difficult to demonize gay people in order to galvanize their base.

    No, they’ll just find it increasingly difficult to get elected by galvanizing their base because it makes everyone else think they’re crazy. Or are we already at that point?

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Where is the moral question regarding “gay/lesbian relations”? Should society allow people to be in love with someone of the same sex? Should the same rights that straight people have be enjoyed by their gay counterparts?

    Homosexuality is a non-harmful form of sexual behaviour. The consequentialist in me says no harm, no moral question, no foul. The only acts that are immoral come from those who try to curb the freedoms and rights of gay people.

    I hope that in a generation or two “gay/lesbian relations” will be no more outrageous than mixed race relations. Some obvious bigots might object but they’ll be easily recognised as such.

  • http://pinkydead.blogspot.com David McNerney

    Cool to see the Catholics giving two fingers to their dictator, but why are the so many “No Religion” who see homosexuality as not “Morally Acceptable”.

    I find that odd. While the “without God, no morals” doesn’t wash – without “God”, you do have to figure it out for yourself. So how do you figure bigotry out for yourself.

  • http://godlessmusings.wordpress.com/ Fiyenyaa

    @David McNerney: there seem to be a surprising (not to mention disapointing) number of nontheists who think that homosexuality is something that should be stamped down for the “good of the species” or something similar. My dad is a non-theist, and while I don’t think he’s the kind of person who’d encourage laws being made against homosexuality, he certainly doesn’t think it’s moral.
    It’s not like homosexuality has been occuring in the animal kingdom for millions of years without problems or anything. Oh, wait a second…

  • http://findingmyfeminism.blogspot.com/ Not Guilty

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am glad I am Canadian!

  • Samiimas

    That reason alone means he should be supported. I think the fact that his opinion on gay marraige has been, at worst, a personal disagreement, makes him deserving of more respect. Especially when his humanitarian work is taken into account.

    I’ve got a racist uncle who thinks ‘them darkies’ shouldn’t be allowed to marry ‘decent white folk’. How much does he have to give to charity before I have to respect him?

  • Evilspud

    You can simulataneously respect and condemn a man for the variety of actions they commit.

    An easy example is Thomas Jefferson. I heavily criticize him for his lack of empathy towards Native Americans and his alleged adultery, but I also greatly admire his intellect and the influence he had in forming our nation (at the time of his signing, he was risking his life, after all).

    That admiration doesn’t give him a free pass on his wrongs, however. I agree with you that everyone should be held accountable for their actions, but it doesn’t make sense to assume that all actions should be judged relatively and then apply them across the board when it’s suitable.

    You don’t have to respect the man for being a racist, but say your uncle is also heading a huge outreach that regularly donates over a million dollars annually, and his racist attitude is irrelevant to the efforts.
    You can make your own choice, you know, but it’s horribly sharp to judge someone based solely on their moral failings.

    But beside the point, when I say Rick Warren’s views on homosexuality are a personal disagreement, you don’t have to respect the view. I took some time to read a bit further, especially a lot of his statements and found a less appealing side of him than I previously imagined. Hell, that’s an understatement, I feel a bit lied to about him actually. I’m still a little uncertain, but I can see why the label could be justified.

    Now I’m confused. I’m gonna have to recalibrate my opinion on the man.

  • fritzy

    In another 50 years or so, gay rights will have advanced to about the point where race relations are today in comparison to the 1960s. And the church (what is left of it) will have changed it’s tune. The “unchanging wordz of gawd” will again evolve (amazing how many times a rock-solid fundament of immutable moralality can change) to be mostly accepting of gays. And the church and those of faith will take credit for helping move the cause of gays forward, just as they have done with the civil rights movement.

    I hope I can count on some good people of skepticism to call ‘em on it! ;)

  • http://frans.lowter.us Frans

    @Sakura:

    Also, House is an atheist?

    Considering how he calls anyone with religious belief an idiot, stupid, etc. Oh yeah, and there was a nun who accused him of being angry at God while not believing in God a couple of years ago.

  • http://melbymonkey.com Mel

    Even if that is correct and reasonably accurate, the politicians have yet to make that leap. One percent of the vote in Congress in favor of repealing DADT was republicans. An entire five republicans, out of 167, voted “aye” (while 229 dems voted aye and a mere 27 voted no). Disgusting.

    If public opinion has truly reached that level, awesome, that’s great. But our elected appear to be in the dark about this shift, surely someone must have forgotten to relay the message…

    (vote source: govtrack)

  • http://ilovebacon.com hey

    now if only we had more anti-christian gays, that might shake things up a bit more

  • norris hall

    It is interesting to watch Christianss come down hard against homosexuality.
    The Bible has more to say about divorce and a woman’s subservience to men than it does about lesbianism or homosexuality.
    Yet Churches never condemn divorce (which is widespread among even conservative Christians and condemned by Christ in all 4 gospesl) nor expect women to be subservient to men (which is proscribed in the Bible many many times).

    Targeting homosexuals seems to take the pressure off from having to take a self critical view of their own Christian failings and shortcomings.

    when the Christian church starts coming down as hard on divorced Christians as it does on gays, then I’ll believe this is about their beliefs and not the scapegoating of some easy target.

    A good start would be to condemn divorce, strip divorced Christians of their position in the Church, Bar divorced people from attending church until they have repented and reconciled.

    Similarly they could put strict limits on a womans role in the church, make sure they keep their mouth shut and their heads covered and order their women to submit to their husbands just as muslim women are expected to do. This is what the bible expects.

  • Slim

    Christians,Catholics and Mormons are spending millions and millions of their hard earned dollars and working around the clock to stop gay marriage and the gay agenda and some christians have been working on ways to do gay people in, see a list of anti-gay hate groups http://www.splc.com or just google anti-gay Christian groups. Some of these groups are getting guns to take over the government and if they ever do they will be like Hitler who killed Jews and homosexuals. Do not be fooled Christians are networking around the world to stop any body, gays and who ever they do not like, they have taken over web sites like Craigslist and others. The Christians are also stopping people who want to hook up on the internet by pretending to be gay so they can get your name and pesronal information to add to their gay hit list. This is no joke, look at how they are spending millions and stopping gay marriage. Sooner or later the fight will end up in the streets the same as the blacks who have had to fight for their freedom and equal rights around the world. They had Martin Luther King and gays need a leader like him to fight the way he did to get freedom and equality for the gay people of the world. A white president got freedom for blacks, now it is time for a black president to get freedom for gays. And some day we can all say free at last free at last, a day where gay people and children can go hand in hand with straight people and live in peace. Keep the faith that day will come, never in history has any group been kept down in slavery that did not fight and win their freedom. It will take everything we have but our gay children will some day walk proud and free.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X