Southern Religion

The public opinion future belongs to same-sex marriage advocates

The Southern Baptist Convention’s LifeWay Research found in “a wide-ranging August, 2009, survey” that:

Six in 10 American “Millennials” – those born between 1980 and 1991 – see nothing wrong with two people of the same gender getting married.

That’s a slam/bang majority in a nation where for all age groups public opinion analyst Nate Silver has concluded that change toward approval is accelerating and the majority view is currently “too close to call.”

Silver mapped the data into an illustration which suggests, like the year-old SBC Lifeway results, that the future belongs to same-sex marriage advocates:

Same-sex marriage polls

Change in public opinion about same-sex marriage


September 4, 2010 Posted by | Politics, Religion, SBC | , , , | Comments Off on The public opinion future belongs to same-sex marriage advocates

Resurgent acceptance of homosexuality

Homosexuals were not vilified before the 1870s because they had not been identified as “other,” Cody Sanders writes for the Associated Baptist Press. Specifically, he argues:

French historian Michel Foucault reveals that the advent of conceptualizing the “homosexual” as a particular type of person with a specific “lifestyle” didn’t occur until the 1870s in medical discourse (History of Sexuality, Vol. 1). What’s more, one of the earliest known uses of the word “homosexual” in American English showed up in a medical paper in 1892 (the term “heterosexual” made its debut around this same time). Certainly, same-sex sexual acts have been commonplace from time immemorial — but before the end of the 19th century, anyone could conceivably engage in same-sex sexual acts. It was only with the advent of “homosexuality” as a medical descriptor, that a specific type or kind of person was thought to engage in these sexual acts. What is significant about Everett’s anachronism is that, while in 1850 Texas Baptists may not have tolerated men having sex with men, they certainly didn’t deem “the homosexual lifestyle” abnormal or sinful. In 1850, same-sex sex acts may have been deemed “sinful” — but no church held what [Executive Director Randel Everett of the Baptist General Convention of Texas] views as an unwavering “theological position” on homosexuality.

Everett was referring to the case of Royal Lane Baptist Church, which precipitated a standard Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) homosexuality crisis when its diaconate voted to say on its Web site:

Royal Lane Baptist Church is an inclusive, multi-generational congregation joined in Christian community. We are a vibrant mosaic of varied racial identities, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and denominational backgrounds.

Will Wilkinson finds in his analysis of World Values Survey data that attitudes in the industrialized world are going Royal Lane’s way as people come to accept homosexuality as something people are, rather than a sinful decision they make.

Where Wilkinson’s data shows the U.S. shifting back toward treating homosexuality as wrong, the latest Public Policy Institute of California poll comes to an opposite conclusion.

Despite the Catholic/Mormon investment in Proposition 8, a majority of Californians now favor same-sex marriage:

Among all Californians, residents are more likely to favor (50%) than oppose (45%) same-sex marriage for the first time in the PPIC Statewide Surveys. Support among all adults has never surpassed 45 percent since the question was first asked in January 2000. There are clear partisan divisions: majorities of Democrats (64%) and independents (55%) are in favor, and most Republicans (67%) are opposed.

There is much more consensus on the issue of gays and lesbians in the military. In the wake of Obama’s announcement that he would like to repeal the federal “don’t ask, don’t’ tell” policy passed in 1993, 75 percent of Californians say that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military.

Does the data imply a sort of Great Commission Resurgence for churches driven out of the SBC?

March 30, 2010 Posted by | SBC | , , , | 1 Comment

Prop. 8 crowd breaking on Supreme Court rock? is now fighting its friends as well as its foes as the Proposition 8 battle in the California Supreme Court proceeds, says the San Francisco Chronicle, excluding some allies as too extreme and off-putting.

According to John Wildermuth of the Chronicle, general counsel for the “Yes on Prop. 8” campaign Andrew Pugno said:

We represent the people who got things done, who got Prop. 8 passed. An important part of defending Prop. 8 is eliminating arguments not helpful to our concerns.

Read the rest of the story here

November 24, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , | Comments Off on Prop. 8 crowd breaking on Supreme Court rock?