Are they preaching about these things at your parish?

Are they preaching about these things at your parish? December 13, 2018

Some interesting insight and analysis from the folks at Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) shows what people are talking about — and not — from the pulpit:

Most Americans who attend religious services regularly do not hear about certain current issues from the pulpit. Among those who attend religious services at least once or twice a month, only about four in ten say that their clergy speaks out about the issue of abortion (45%) or the issue of homosexuality (42%). Even fewer (32%) say that their clergy speaks out about the issue of immigration.

Americans are slightly less likely to hear about the issue of homosexuality during religious services today than they were several years ago. While today, about four in ten (42%) Americans say their clergy speak out about homosexuality, in 2011, about half (51%) of Americans reported that their clergy did this.

White evangelical Protestants and nonwhite Protestants are more likely than other major religious groups to hear about the issue of homosexuality while attending church. Close to half white evangelical Protestants (49%) and nonwhite Protestants (45%) who attend religious services regularly say their clergy speak out about the issue of homosexuality. Just about one-third of white mainline Protestants (36%) and Catholics (34%) report that they hear about the issue of homosexuality while attending church.

Compared to 2011, fewer Americans hear about the issue of abortion from their clergy (54% vs. 45%).

Catholics are more likely than other major religious groups to hear about abortion during religious services. More than six in ten (63%) Catholics who attend church at least once or twice a month say that their clergy speaks about abortion at their place of worship. By contrast, less than half (48%) of white evangelical Protestants, about four in ten (39%) nonwhite Protestants, and just 28% of white mainline Protestants hear about the issue of abortion from their clergy.

Catholics are also more likely than other major religious groups to hear about the issue of immigration during religious services. Close to half (46%) of Catholics say that their clergy speaks out about the issue of immigration. By contrast, just about one-third (36%) of nonwhite Protestants, three in ten (28%) white mainline Protestants, and 16% of white evangelical Protestants report hearing about this issue during religious services.

Read on. 

Speaking for myself: I’ve preached about topics like anti-semitism, racism, abortion, bullying and immigration. I’ve also addressed the current sex abuse crisis multiple times this year alone. I don’t think I’ve mentioned homosexuality.


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