The 2011 Faith Matters Survey — a study from Harvard and Notre Dame that surveyed 2,646 Americans — asked respondents how much they agreed with the following statement, “Women should be allowed to be priests or clergy in my house of worship.”
Three quarters (77.8%) of Americans agree. That includes two-thirds (64.7%) of Southern Baptists and Roman Catholics (68.9%). That could accurately be described as strong levels of support.Southern Baptist women in particular seem ready to accept women as pastors.
Three quarters (73.1%) of female Southern Baptists favor women in the pulpit, compared to just 58.1% of Southern Baptist men. And half of Southern Baptist women along with four in 10 men strongly support women clergy.
About 12% of Southern Baptist men strongly disagree with women clergy. So do about 7% of Southern Baptist women.
Looked at from this view, a doctrinal change for the SBC on this issue would seem to please many more people than it would anger.
So, why hasn’t it happened?
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