Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Survey - LGBT & religion

The Pew Research Centre in the US has done a very interesting study about religion and the LGBT community. It's findings aren't at all surprising given the amount of shit we continually have to cop regularly from religion. I mean seriously, it can be a long struggle for many LGBT's against depression, rejection, even sheer hatred directed squarely at them simply because of who they are. It's not easy, and the gay community has not only had to deal with mental health issues arising from this treatment, but seeing members of their communities end their lives because of what religion has told them. 

In such an environment, to hear the Christian catch cry "We love you"  reeks of insincerity and falls on angry ears. We push back.....

Now the attitudes and thinking of LGBT people on religion has been thoroughly researched by the Pew Centre. These are some of the results. 
The new Pew Research survey asked LGBT respondents to rate six religions or religious institutions as friendly, neutral or unfriendly toward the LGBT population. By overwhelming margins, most rate all six as more unfriendly than friendly. About eight-in-ten LGBT respondents say the Muslim religion, the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church are unfriendly toward them, while one-in-ten or fewer say each of these religious institutions is friendly toward them. Similarly, about three-quarters of LGBT adults (73%) say that evangelical churches are unfriendly toward them, about a fifth (21%) consider these churches neutral and just 3% say evangelical churches are friendly toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population. By comparison, fewer LGBT adults see the Jewish religion and non-evangelical (mainline) Protestant churches as unfriendly toward them, but more say each is unfriendly rather than friendly by a large margin. And about three-in-ten LGBT adults (29%) say they personally have “been made to feel unwelcome at a place of worship or religious organization,” as detailed in Chapter 2 on social acceptance. more

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Many LBGT adults see major religious institutions as unfriendly toward them. And as shown in Chapter 2 on social acceptance, about three-in-ten LGBT adults (29%) say they personally have been made to feel unwelcome in a church or religious organization. 
More than eight-in-ten LGBT adults surveyed say the Muslim religion (84%) is unfriendly to those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, while less than 1% say the Muslim religion is friendly and 13% consider it neutral. Perceptions of the Mormon Church are similar, with 83% of LGBT respondents saying the Mormon Church is unfriendly toward them. About eight-in-ten (79%) consider the Catholic Church unfriendly, and 73% say the same about evangelical churches. By comparison, the Jewish religion and non-evangelical (mainline) Protestant churches are seen as less hostile, although many more LGBT adults consider these institutions to be unfriendly than friendly toward them. Roughly half of the LGBT adults surveyed say the Jewish religion (47%) is unfriendly toward the LGBT population, just one-in-ten say the Jewish religion is friendly and about four-in-ten (41%) say it is neutral. Perceptions of non-evangelical Protestant churches are similar; 44% of LGBT adults say these churches are unfriendly, 10% say they are friendly and 43% say they are neutral. more
No shit Sherlock. 

Apart from simply driving people away from their so called message of love about a fairy tail (ie. Jesus and god), it's also making the churches increasingly irrelevant in the modern world. Slapping your hands over your ears and Bible thumping isn't a recipe for a lasting relationship with gay people, to put it mildly.

Or perhaps I could quote Alan Chambers in an interview about his closing of the Exodus gay reparative therapy organisation:
I don't know many pastors or leaders who have sat and listened to people who have been hurt. Many of them shared stories about Exodus. Many of them, people that I had never met, who went through a various ministry or worked with a counselor or people who had been hurt by the church. And I don't know many Christians who sit down and listen to that and really own the burden of the hurt that we have caused through words we've used or things we've believed or things like that. And I think it really is time for the church to turn around and listen to the people who are screaming with fever pitch about the things that the church has done to hurt them, because there are those things, and we must own them. If we're ever going to be credible, if we're ever going to be taken seriously, if we're ever going to compel people toward the good news of the Gospel we have to be willing to make amends and say we're sorry and listen to people scream at us without screaming back. more

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