Why Is Moorohler Nervous? Because Evangelicals Are Embracing Gay Marriage

The evangelical intelligentsia is very, very nervous. That’s because opposition to same sex marriage is crumbling among the generations that will be running evangelicalism in coming years. Yesterday, we saw Moorholer attacking a couple younger evangelicals who had the gall to question Arizona’s anti-gay, pro-discrimination legislation. But as the new survey out this week from PRRI shows conclusively, evangelical opinions about gay marriage are shifting very quickly among those under 40.

Here are some other findings of the survey:

  • „„Today, nearly 7-in-10 (69%) Millennials (ages 18 to 33) favor same-sex marriage, compared to 37% of Americans who are part of the Silent Generation (ages 68 and older). The generation gap today, or the difference in support for same-sex marriage between America’s youngest and oldest cohorts, is now 32 points, roughly as wide as it was in 2003.
  • „„It is difficult to overstate the effect age has on support for same-sex marriage, which is evident even among groups that oppose same-sex marriage. Half (50%) of Millennial Republicans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, a view shared by only 18% of Republicans who are members of the Silent Generation.
  • Nearly 6-in-10 (59%) black Millennials say gay and lesbian people should be allowed to legally marry, compared to only 39% of black Americans overall.
  • White evangelical Protestant Millennials are more than twice as likely to favor same- sex marriage as the oldest generation of white evangelical Protestants (43% vs. 19%).

Let me bring that down to earth: In 2050, there’s a 43% chance that the president of Wheaton College will be pro-gay marriage, there’s a 43% chance that the editor of Christianity Today magazine will be pro-gay marriage, and there’s a 43% chance that the lead singer of your favorite praise and worship band will be pro-gay marriage, there’s a 43% chance that the president of World Vision will be pro-gay marriage.

I’ve had several evangelical leaders in private tell me that they know they’re going to lose this one, but they’re going to go down swinging. The sad part is that their unwillingness to admit defeat will end up tearing apart the institutions that they’ve spent their lives building.

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  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

    Has anybody yet made a Hitler Downfall parody about evangelicals in the bunker?

    Hitler Downfall parodies: 25 worth watching
    Subtitled parodies of Adolf Hitler’s last days in the Berlin bunker, as depicted in the 2004 Second World War film Downfall, have become one of the web’s most enduring memes.

    e d i t: Yep, youtube has “Hitler Finds Out The Gays Are Getting Married”

  • Larry Barber

    Afraid your odds-making is a little suspect, Tony. The positions you mentioned are not assigned randomly, and unless this whole gay marriage thing is a non-issue in 2050 there will still be far more people in positions of leadership that reflect the majority opinion. What’s more likely, again if this remains an important issue, I would hope that’s it’s settled by 2050, is that organizations will be destroyed or split or this. However, I suspect that by 2050 it will be all but over as a social issue, while this issue hasn’t had it’s Loving vs. Virginia yet, it will, and relatively soon. It’s not been 50 years since Loving, and who talks about interracial marriage anymore? By 2050, conservatives will be saying, as always, that they were misunderstood, that they supported gay marriage all along.

    • http://late-emerger.blogspot.com/ Andrew Martin

      Yes – Tony’s odds make a few too many assumptions to be realistic. Above all, though, the direction of travel is clear. After a couple of decades of equal marriage, in which time the sky hasn’t fallen, children haven’t fallen victim to baby-eating monsters, and the heat has generally gone out of the argument, the number of accepting people – across the church as well as society – is going to be much higher.

  • Thursday1

    White evangelical Protestant Millennials are more than twice as likely to favor same- sex marriage as the oldest generation of white evangelical Protestants (43% vs. 19%).

    You assume an equal likelihood of sticking around among both pro-gay marriage and anti-gay marriage young Evangelicals, but that assumption is unwarranted: I’d say the former are prime candidates for full blown secularization.

    • Jakeithus

      That’s certainly a realistic possibility. My view is the results and fallout from this particular issue will be incredibly difficult to predict, just like it was so difficult to predict public opinion on this issue changing as fast and as drastically as it did.

      My own hope is that Evangelical leaders of today don’t go out of their way to drive out half of my generation. Unfortunately, it’s tough to see what sort of co-existence might be possible if all of us millennials do stick around to fill most leadership positions.

  • Daniel Mann

    Tony, You are both right and wrong. Yes, we are disturbed by
    the falling away of our youth. It breaks our heart. And yet we know that this
    has all been prophesied and that our Lord reigns supreme:

    · 2 Tim. 3:1-7 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

    Nevertheless, our Lord assures us that His sheep hear His
    voice and follow Him.

    • Otto Tellick

      Ah yes, those “terrible times in the last days”… all those frightful symptoms that, it turns out, have always been around since the first days, sometimes in somewhat greater or lesser proportion depending on the region, the epoch, or the demographic.

      This perennial presumption of apocalypse that some people have is so baffling: they see stuff happening that frightens them, and they conclude (because they’re frightened, I guess) that the end of all things must be near – perhaps they want the end to be near so that they won’t have to be frightened anymore. And what are they frightened of? Same-sex couples having icky sex while wearing wedding rings to symbolize their devotion to each other? How scary is that?

      As for learning vs. knowledge of the truth, we have managed to learn some truth: the absolute end of humanity as we know it is a plausible outcome in the foreseeable future, being part of a massive, global species die-off that might be triggered by abrupt and severe atmospheric disruptions that could result from any one or more of: (1) asteroid impact, (2) sudden spate of volcanic activity, (3) human-produced greenhouse gases, (4) nuclear explosions in quantity.

      We might be able to avert a couple of these potential causes through deliberate effort. It’s worth a try, I think, especially since we have statistics on the others, and our luck with those might very well hold up for a good while…

    • Nathan

      Why is a person’s POV on this issue such a deal breaker? Why does this mean “a falling away”? How is this one issue upon which so many disagree the litmus test for genuine faith? Where in Scripture does it say that on this issue christian identity rises and falls?

  • http://www.geekedoutsoul.com/ John Stonecypher

    What seems most likely to me is that Christianity Today (and other evangelical institutions) will simply grow smaller. If/When young evangelicals (like me, in bygone days) find they cannot change the institutions from the inside, they will find another banner to live under.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

      Yep. I’ve already gone and joined the dechurched Nonery. ;)

  • L.W. Dicker

    And then Jesus came upon his disciples and said, “Brethren, what’s this shit I’ve been hearing about me being a human sacrifice for your goddamn sins!!!??

    Who in the holy Mother of fuck came up with that Cro-Magnon bullshit!!!!???!

    Blood sacrifice!!!!!!!???? Are you all out of your mother fucking minds!!!!!!????”

    —-Jesus Christ, The Gospel of Sane Thought

  • Nick

    While the trends on this issue are definitely changing, it is misleading to say that Evangelicals “favor same-sex marriage”. What they are saying is that they believe that it is fine for people of the same sex to marry in our country, not that they agree with, endorse, or support the lifestyle. Or certainly not that they will accept of tolerate it in the church. Those statements may be true, but not based on this study. I find this sort of careless wording problematic. It is one thing to recognize that the laws of a state do not, and maybe should not, reflect the religious convictions of a particular group – this is a long-standing American ideal – it is another thing altogether to say that this is a “favored” practice.

    I think this is more revealing of how younger Christian people view the role of the church in its influence on public life – there is little support fro Christendom any more. That is, I believe, what this study and those like it reveal. Now, when you start showing studies that long-time Evangelical bastions begin to welcome and “favor” openly practicing homosexuals in their congregations, then there is something to be said. Until then, this reveals more about how young Evangelicals feel about their role in the culture and the place of religion in culture than anything else, I believe.

    • Bernie

      Very true, however I want to make everyone aware that our Founding Fathers’ were devout believers in God as the Creator of everything and although they were from different Church groups they truly believed that the majority would always believe in a Supreme Creator (God) they thought that the only reason one might profess to believe in ‘athieism’ would be because they hadn’t had the time to actually think it through. They seriously thought that anyone that took the time to discern the facts would have to agree that everything had been created by a supreme being using intelligent design. Nature bears this out in the way everything works together in harmony! As such the founding fathers’ also believed that our country would only be successful as long as devout Believers (Christians) continued to serve their country and as long as we all did our very best to ensure that the populous was kept well educated about how our government worked and about the history of world governments that had failed. They formed our government based on the model taken right from the Bible. There just happened to be a current well written book out about Natural Law that incorporated much of the Bible’s instructions for governing a body of people. In fact the best government that had ever been formed was that of Solomon’s court.

      • Richard

        “In fact the best government that had ever been formed was that of Solomon’s court.”

        Aside from the creation of military empire, taking of multiple foreign wives, vast accumulation of personal wealth, and idolatry, right?

        • Baz

          Or that the archaeological evidence completely undermines the notion of Solomon having any sort of real empire?

          As for the founding fathers bit – uh, no in fact some of them were atheists, many were deists – not Christians – and some were likely to have been gay.

          Further they didn’t found America as a Christian country – that much is absolutely proven given the Treaty of Tripoli.

          Further American law was never based on the Bible – if it was then the prime considerations would be wiping out people who didn’t believe in God the same way they did as per the 10 commandments.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      I have no problems whatsoever with this post, and I wish more anti-LGBT-rights people would realize:

      “… it is fine for people of the same sex to marry in our country, not that they agree with, endorse, or support…”

      (I omit the use of “life-style” as one can interpret that however they want and then apply it to all LGBT people as if it’s a chosen monolithic evil policy to live by and that all claims that it is not, by the participants who would be the only ones who actually know, are labeled lies)

  • Lamont Cranston

    “there’s a 43% chance that the lead singer of your favorite praise and worship band will be pro-gay marriage”
    Seems a bit on the low side, considering there’s an 80% chance of the lead singer of your favorite praise and worship band being actually gay.

  • http://benirwin.wordpress.com/ Ben Irwin

    Actually, I’d say there’s better than a 43% chance that the president of Wheaton College will be pro-gay marriage by 2050, since hearts & minds will continue to change for the better…

    • Bernie

      It always astounds me that people want to jump to a conclusion that has never been born out at least not by history. Do you really believe that if society adopts the same pro-Gay mentality that it had back in Noah’s day or in the days of Sodom and Gamorah, that it will be a better society? Whenever you loose the stucture and the limits of society you end up with anarchy (every time). The free sex of the 70′s weren’t good for America, or for society in any meaningful way. ‘Live and let Live’ is just a slogan that pretty much says don’t take responsibility for anything, just have fun! One thing is certain, the suggestion that you make, that everyone will be overwhelmingly accepting of homosexuals and gay marriage by 2050 also means that society will be as far removed from God as it has ever been since the days leading up to Noah’s time and therefore should be the impetus for the prophecies of the last days to be carried out. In that light it will be great, but as far as all of those gay loving socialists that will make up the society at that time, it will be a rude awakening when they find themselves at odds with their Creator, that same God who laid out the instructions in a Bible that told how we were to live and explicity told what we were to avoid and even graciously gave us the Holy Spirit to help us with any of those weaknesses of the flesh that we needed help overcoming! Your change for the better seems to be in direct opposition to everything God has commanded for our living successful lives! :-(

      • Baz

        You believe that God took offense at things naked people did, despite creating them to behave that way, and so he wiped out all life on earth – only deciding to spare whatever could fit in a small wooden ark (hint not enough for life on earth to survive – a breeding pair can’t establish a successful population due to massive inbreeding).

        He then decided to magic up a rainbow to remind himself not to wipe out all life on earth again.

        Yet you think people should take your views of how to live successful lives or for that matter your views on anything else seriously?

  • Charles Cosimano

    By 2050 no one will care what the President of Wheaton College is for or against.

  • Bernie

    What everyone seems to forget or just fails to acknowledge is that God (Yahweh) will have the final say or ‘Word’ on this issue. Just as God dealt with this perversion to the Laws of Nature back in the days of Sodom and Gamorah so it will be like the ‘Final Straw’ that brings about the final jugement of mankind. ‘The Last Days’ ushered in by the incessant desires of the flesh, what could arguably be called a perversion of the flesh. No one could actually believe that Nature would ever support such a ludicrous idea that same sex couples are good for anything other than a perversion of nature. The fact that so many are supporting it is just more proof that the Bible is a book based solely in Truth. For it is this same book that teaches that the path to enlightenment is very narrow and few will find it; however the path to destruction is wide and the majority will take that path!
    I have no hatred of homosexuals, nor do I hate pedophiles but both the act of pedophilia and homosexuality are abominations and I do hate them as such. I would by far prefer that these people would turn to Yahweh as only He can help them, but with so many supporting them in their perversions and abominable actions, why would they ever seek to change? It is as much the fault of all those ‘supporters of gay marriage’ of ‘gay lovers’ and of their right to be left alone because after all isn’t it just two people who have found love? NO! It is two people who have found lust and a perverse lust at that! Two men who lie together or two women who lie together is only the disgusting perversion of a weakness of the flesh, it is no different than the pedophile or the act of ‘beastiality’. These are all acts of perversion and are brought about by the weakness of the flesh and the absence of Yahwey (God) in these people’s lives! I guarantee that you will never find God or ‘True Believers’ mixed up in promoting any of these acts of perversion as anything other than offensive abominations to Yahwey!

    • Lamont Cranston

      It must be rough knowing that you weirdo ideas are about to end up on the ash heap of history. I’d have pity on people like you, but it was people like you who made my life a living hell. I wish on you all the suffering you deserve. Anything I can do to make it worse for you, just let me know.

  • Livin

    If we do not live by Jesus’s message. Chastity first, If we cannot be chaste marriage between a man and woman second. No remarriage unless the spouse dies(evangelicals first mistake).Self denial to care for all others before ourselves. Then we are open to any and all corruption. Gluttony, lying, stealing etc…all cease to be sins. Then we are left with a hallow Christianity that means nothing.
    It becomes like Unitarian Universalism a pointless faith with no meaning where everything goes and we loose our connection to God.

    • http://www.naturalspirituality.wordpress.com/ Howard Pepper

      Livin, having thought similarly, I think I understand your perspective and point. But I must ask how you’ve determined that someone else’s form of Christianity “means nothing”; or specifically that UUism is “a pointless faith with no meaning where everything goes…”. If religious people of any and all types agree on anything it seems to be that their religious beliefs give them meaning or provides meaning to life. And who’s to say if/when someone else (or collectively, their institution) has lost “connection to God”? I’d sure not want to make that call, if such is even possible.

      While I imagine you have certainty (or near certainty) about the specifics of your faith, others may be just as convinced about other specifics. And don’t we all go through changes in those? If not, we’re not growing. (And BTW, I do NOT believe that all forms of belief or of religion are equal, whether equally true or equally of value and benefit to the believer.)

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

      Hell-centric dogma like yours is what is a pointless faith.

    • Andrew Dowling

      “Chastity first, If we cannot be chaste marriage between a man and woman second.”

      That was Paul’s teaching, not Jesus. And he also thought the parousia was going to happen in a few years, rendering marriage useless/unnecessary.

      • Livin

        Actually that is Jesus’s teaching in the Gospel of Matthew. Paul got the teaching from the other Apostles who got it from Jesus. Please read your Bible more.

        9“And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
        10The disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” 11But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. 12“For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

        • Andrew Dowling

          I know that passage very well, thank you. And to extrapolate that Jesus taught that people should be celibate and only marry if they can’t control themselves out of “He who is able to accept this, let him accept it” is off the mark (nevermind that the Matthewan passage is the only part of all 4 Gospels where the issue of celibacy ever comes up . . clearly it was not a focus of the Jesus ministry)

          You are reading Paul’s statements into what the Gospel passage is saying, which are different things.

        • Baz

          So you’re suggesting that self mutilation is a virtue?

          Well if you want to chop your balls off, fine, but don’t pretend that isn’t absolutely crazy.

    • Ben Hammond

      “Gluttony, lying, stealing etc”

      IF we allow for the notion that gay marriage is a sin for a moment, things like gluttony, lying, and stealing are completely different kinds of “sin.” They are are usually easy to connect to forms of unhealthy behavior — even malicious behavior. This is the problem with the practice of using statements like, “homosexual practice is a sin, just like stealing or murder.” If it is a sin, it’s certainly not a sin like murder or stealing.

      This sort of slippery slope doesn’t work.

      • Livin

        Which is why I place it with gluttony. Or I can say a sin like sex outside of marriage.
        This is no different than a Jain saying “meat eating is a sin(bad karmic accumulation)” I would not agree but then again I would not become a Jain and try to get them to eat hamburgers :)

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Most LGBT people in the USA did not “become” Christians, they were taught to love Christianity from their earliest days. What changed for many of them that now have same-sex spouses is living the old interpretation after constant pleading to have their struggle against same-sex sexual need replaced with the struggle against different-sex sexual need that everyone else had (and some pleaded for asexuality so as to be called to celibacy). Jesus, apparently, doesn’t take himself seriously when asked for aid against “sin” when “ask and it shall be given” is invoked.

          • Livin

            Many men struggle with wanting to sleep with multiple strange women. It is natural but not Christian for straight men to do this. They do not choose this. It is about denying the self.

            • Giauz Ragnarock

              Denying yourself… until a man and woman live a married life together doing stuff they enjoy, being there for each other in the hard stuff, and, yes, fulfilling the desire for each others’ bodies. Apparently all that stuff we straight people don’t have to worry about denying ourselves at all. In your own mythology, Jesus + Adam= Adam is alone and that’s not good. Having woman (later named like a subjugated animal as Eve) meant Adam was no longer alone, and it was good. If Adam was gay, a Steve or Barry or Jeff would have done. The whole argument, “Well, if everyone was gay, we wouldn’t exist,” is a farce by your own mythology as Jesus can simply make us from breathing heavily on dust that he created from nothing…

    • Baz

      Are your beliefs really that hinged on who sleeps with whom? Do you really think that the prime concern of the alleged creator of the universe is things that people do while naked?

      If so then your faith has no meaning, virtue or value for the world.

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