The Trend Toward Accepting Gays Crosses Over into Enemy Territory.

Members of Christian denominations in general are expressing support for gay rights.  The Barna Group recently released current survey results and compared those results with ones taken ten years ago.  Support among Christians is up significantly.

There is one exception, evangelicals. Among that group, support slipped from only ten per cent ten years ago down to seven percent.  What this all portends we cannot be certain.

Surveys comparing ten years ago to today are not tracking the same people.  There are new people entering these denominations and deaths.

More importantly, more people are leaving the Church than are entering.  It seems plausable that those who leave tend to have more or less common points of view.  If, for example, young liberal people are leaving evangelical churches, we would expect the percentage of conservative people to rise as it did.

There can be no doubt, full acceptance of gays by Catholic and Protestant branches is coming.  It is coming because a.) there is no valid reason not to do so and b.) churches cannot stand apart from the society around them and remain viable.  They must conform.

Accommodation by the Jewish/Christian thread of world religions started from day one.  First, Jews needed to stop requiring circumcision to appeal to gentiles.  Next, as Christianity emerged from a branch of the Jewish faith, the view that the end times were just in the next few days had to be adjusted.

Adjusting to the new reality that gays are OK will be easier than these earlier accommodations.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/study-shows-shift-in-support-for-lgbtq-rights-within-religious-groups-99422/

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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33 Responses to The Trend Toward Accepting Gays Crosses Over into Enemy Territory.

  1. Michael Ross says:

    “b.) churches cannot stand apart from the society around them and remain viable. They must conform.”

    “Do not conform to the pattern of this world”(Romans 12:2)

    God by Himself is a Majority.

    • entech says:

      Is that a majority of one, or, three, or is that the same.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Michael 1:43 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world.”

      Am I wrong, then? That is, do you think the Church can be different, or seem at odds, with most of society and remain viable?

      • Michael Ross says:

        Yes, God has called His own to be a “peculiar people”. I believe that is one area I excel in. Don’t you agree?

        “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9)

    • Brad says:

      Quite often, the way of the world is the right thing. In fact, things that are falling in popularity (i.e. bigotry and racism) are usually things that are wrong and people are finally finding the right path. Abolishing slavery was the way of the world because it was the right thing. Allowing women and minorities to vote was the way of the world because it was the right thing.

      The notion that anything “of the world” is wrong simply because it is “of the world” is probably the single greatest fallacy ever invented by the Christian fantasy.

      • StanB says:

        Eugenics, child sacrifice, Aztec human sacrifice, involunterry euthanasia all things that were the “right” things to do at one time

        • entech says:

          Even burning at the stake :) and promising forgiveness of sins and guaranteed heaven if you went to fight to rescue the holy land.

          Shinola, even sending all your dissidents to starve in Siberia or allowing famine to kill hundreds of thousands maybe millions was also right according to some at sometime.

          Is there any real point in all this my villains are not as bad as your villains.

    • Avatar of realist realist says:

      Michael, I suppose you can quibble about the meaning of the phrase “remain viable”. Some religious groups have taken viewpoints far from society’s norm and managed to struggle along, but others have entered the annals of history. The Shakers come to mind as a group eschewing sex and thereby guaranteeing their eventual extinction. Other communal groups have fared better, but still don’t attract new members. They rely instead on producing large families in the case of the Mennonites and Hutterites. The Evangelical Christians are becoming so radical that soon attraction will become difficult for them and they will begin to marginalize themselves into permanent minority status. Of course, that won’t happen overnight, but if they keep on accelerating their rightward drift, then it will be inevitable.

      • Jennifer Osmondson says:

        Well “realist” you fail to use your real name, so your opinion is not valid as you “hide” behind a fake internet identity. If the Christian faith is going to be a minority status, why is it that many are growing? My denomination is still growing in large numbers and we find homosexuality to be a vile sin. So, you are wrong, they will not all die out, but the liberal gay agenda will just keep pushing to have their way through the government to attempt to control the church.

        • Formerly Fargo Bob says:

          Those who are not affiliated with any church are the fastest-growing group in our country. You and the fellow believers in your church may find me to be a “vile sin,” but overall your numbers are shrinking, thanks to the attitudes you’ve expressed here. And to a large extent we’ve realized as a society that being gay is no more a sin than being left-handed or being short or having red hair. Variations within our species are common.

          • Ray says:

            Fargo Bob… it’s interesting that society has ‘realized’ this about homosexuality. What kind of evidence has ‘society’ discovered about homosexuality in the last decade that would change how we view its sinfulness? Or are we just basing this on warm and fuzzy feelings?

          • Formerly Fargo Bob says:

            Ray, it’s ironic that you would mock what you would call “warm and fuzzy feelings,” as one could easily argue that “Love thy neighbor” is the greatest commandment attributed to the Jesus figure. And it’s interesting how folks like you get all worked up about the so-called “sinfulness” of homosexuality based on a few verses in a chapter of the Old Testament that you otherwise dismiss as irrelevant. And science has discovered a strong link between exposure to hormones while in the womb and sexual orientation. Also, the brains of gay men differ from those of straight men. And many people have learned from simple real-life experience that we LGBT folk are not vile, sinful perverts as you apparently still believe. In many ways, we’re just like everybody else.

        • Avatar of realist realist says:

          I take exception to my internet identity being called “fake”. It is as real as it possibly could be so, Jennifer Osmundson, (if that is really your name), realize that not everybody plays by your rules, not on the internet and not in interpreting religious issues.

        • Michael Ross says:

          Jennifer, I appreciate that you also use your full name and have the courage and conviction to identify yourself with what you believe. “Realist” and other commenters like to anonymously snipe at Christians and others they disagrees with.

          Warning:
          The “New Atheists” (which Jon, Realist, and a number of commenters on this blog are) believe that the old atheists were too tolerant of religion, and not aggressive enough in their attacks upon it. To them, religion is not benign but is an evil which society can no longer afford to tolerate. They accuse us of being the intolerant ones because we oppose sexual perversion, abortion, etc. They will not tolerate anything moral and decent. Their only criteria is the Bible. The God’s word promotes it, they are intolerant of it. If God’s word condemns it, they promote it.

          • Formerly Fargo Bob says:

            Well, Michael, I find the opinions you express here to be seldom moral or decent. You express disdain for your fellow human beings at every turn, especially if they are gay, atheist, or otherwise outside of your “moral code.” Apart from some of the pronouncements attributed to the Jesus figure, I find very little in the Bible that actually promotes genuinely moral, caring behavior.

          • Avatar of realist realist says:

            Warning? Seriously? This is just a blog, Michael. Lighten up. All people need to do is not come here and share if they don’t like it.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Michael 3:39 “The ‘New Atheists’ (Jon, and…) believe the old atheists were too tolerant of religion, and not aggressive enough in their attacks on it.”

            Like so many things, the term “New Atheists” was invented by believers and is completely an illusion. Richard Dawkins is no more aggressive, in fact is less aggressive, than many authors and speakers that have been around for years. I have purchased many books from one of the few organizations that published atheist’s books in the past, the American Atheists. Those books were really anti religion.

            The reason Dawkins’, Sam Harris, etc. books appear aggressive is because they were published by major publishing houses, were marketed widely and are quite popular. Such practices are recent. I suppose the fact that major houses publish these is because publishers figured out the public was ready for such books and money was there to be made.

  2. Jennifer Osmondson says:

    “There can be no doubt, full acceptance of gays by Catholic and Protestant branches is coming. It is coming because a.) there is no valid reason not to do so and b.) churches cannot stand apart from the society around them and remain viable. They must conform.”

    This is not true, as many faiths will not conform to the gay agenda. We will not be FORCED to ACCEPT, CONDONE, or SUPPORT with homosexuality EVER. I do not and will not support what I see as a sinful act.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Jennifer 3:41 Welcome to the discussion page and thank you for your first-time post.

      “We will not be FORCED to ACCEPT, CONDONE or SUPPORT with homosexuality EVER.”

      I’m sure there will be pockets of resistance against homosexuality for a long time to come. To me, however, the pattern taking place is identical to what took place with racial integration and “working on Sunday”. There was religious-based resistance. There was Gov. George Wallace saying, “Integration, never.” On “keeping the Sabbath holy”, there were clear rules. No retail stores open. There were laws against it. No farm field work–at least in substantial parts of the U. S.

      As one generation replaced another, a few people clung, and still cling, to the old rules. Religious institutions, however, shifted in accommodation. They had to because otherwise they would have ceased to exist. I’m certain current trends signal either the break away sub denominations who refuse the option of gay preachers will die out in the next few decaded, or, even more likely, the hard and fast rule of homosexuality-as-sin will simply not be brought or discussed anymore.

      Homosexuality-as-sin is just another cycle of sin, then accommodation, that has occurred many times before. Each time there were good people like youself who vowed to fight on only to be swampped by time and societaly changes

      • Jennifer Osmondson says:

        Mr. Lindgren, following society is like being a person without a real valid opinion. Those people just follow and conform without thinking, as they want to join the “cool kids” crowd.

        I live by a moral code the was built on my faith, not by my faith and did not even willingly engage in premarital sex, as an example. I think for myself and will not conform to the evils society seems to try to force acceptance for. I am also teaching that same way of thinking to my children.

        • Formerly Fargo Bob says:

          No, I have to assume you don’t think for yourself and are instead willing instead to have morality defined for you by an ancient text. Hope you continue to arrogantly enjoy the moral superiority you think you possess.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Jennifer 3:02 “I think for myself and will not conform to the evils of society..I am teaching the same way of thinking to my children.”

          I believe you. I just saying that your ancestors would think think many of the things you do are immoral acts. Your decendants will see your rules of morality as outdated and not relevant. As one of my favorate books, The Worldly Philosophers says trying to stop change is like putting toothpicks in front of a bulldozer.

        • Wolfy32 says:

          Jennifer… Interesting precepts. I’m of a faith in God and Christ, not in what is preached on a Sunday morning, not of a follower of a priest, pastor, or church. My belief is not in a group of people that think they’re better than everyone else because they are extremists. I faith is in a real live living God, not some emotions concocted on a Sunday morning.

          And to be honest, I have yet to see anything biblical that says Gays are wrong, and nor does it indicate why it’s wrong? How does a gay person hurt anyone? Imagine if we said Hetero sexuality is unhealthy for others? How is it? why is it, why do we make this distinction?

          Bleh.. it’s born out of fear of something different.. Or quite simply prejudice. I never really truely understood prejudice until I see these issues.

          The concept of marriage wasn’t biblical. It was a pagen ritual long before Christianity came to be.

          And Sex before marriage? Show me the precise verse that says “Thou shalt not have sex prior to marriage.”

          Why is it wrong? What’s wrong with it? does it ruin something. What if someone never gets married? But has a partner their whole life? They’re going to hell becuase somehow that’s hurting God?

          I had a pastor once tell me, “You know what, it’s o.k. to be angry with God… I’m pretty sure he can take it.” I don’t wish to worship a God that’s easily hurt by someone as small as me…. If he is hurt by me, we have issues.

          I find it interesting that the “extremists” don’t question anything.

  3. Ray says:

    Jesus Christ certainly did not conform to the ways of the world. Neither should his church, or any church claiming to follow in his footsteps.

    The entire gay rights movement has advanced in the total absence of any new evidence regarding the origins of orientation. Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law, and less than two decades later he cheered when it was struck down. What changed his viewpoint? Nothing concrete – he simply moistened his finger, stuck it in the air and changed his views based on which way the winds of society were blowing. Given what we know about Clinton’s core values or lack thereof, that’s definitely not surprising, but it’s also not the way to run a church.

    Society has twisted the word ‘tolerance’ so badly that when a person speaks about a behavior being sinful or harmful, society calls this ‘intolerant’ and hateful. In fact, it’s an act of love. If I’m on the wrong path in my life in any number of ways, I’d sure want someone to point that out to me. That’s love, that’s friendship.

    • Brad says:

      “Society has twisted the word ‘tolerance’ so badly that when a person speaks about a behavior being sinful or harmful, society calls this ‘intolerant’ and hateful.”

      The problem is that this is based on the false premise that being gay is “sinful” or “harmful”. Of course the religious right firmly believes that it is sinful and harmful, but that’s based mostly on the passages they find in their book of fantasy – the bible. People also believed that slavery was good because it was promoted in the bible.

      It goes back to the idea that whatever is written in the bible must be valid. So then we must either follow the bible to the letter and start slaying people for working on the Sabbath and disobeying their parents and so forth, or we pick and choose only those verses that serve a political purpose or support our bigotry and ignore the less convenient verses that contradict our political agendas and bigotry.

      • Ray says:

        I don’t even have to go as far as ‘sinful’ or ‘harmful.’ It’s sufficient to point out that a homosexual union, by definition, cannot bring life into the world, and therefore it cannot be given the same recognition as a traditional marriage.

        If one believes that homosexuality is ‘natural,’ then you would also have to believe it to be unnatural for homosexuals to raise children. The gay rights movement wants to have it both ways. If we’re going to talk about inconsistencies, let’s start there.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Ray 12:33 “Jesus Christ certainly did not conform to the ways of the world. Neither should his church, or any church claiming to follow in his footsteps.”

      Those who claim to have been quoting Jesus in the Bible did not include Jesus condemning homosexuality. According to them, he said nothing about it.

      If there was an actual character named Jesus, we don’t really know as a factual matter whether he changed his views on anything important or not. We have no surviving first person written accounts, not one, by anyone who was knew this person. That said, the changes in Jewish/Christian dogma began almost immediately.

      One of the most interesting things to observe about the faith is how it claims never to change and is constantly changing.

      • Formerly Fargo Bob says:

        Jon, you’ve put your finger on one of the great ironies of religious belief. Even more pronounced is the change the god figure undergoes from the Old Testament to the New, from a genocidal maniac to a supposedly all-loving, all-accepting father figure. Many modern Christians just simply ignore the Old Testament and its god, except if they want to use it to condemn gay people for simply existing.

    • Wolfy32 says:

      However, what I disagree with is he did not conform to the ways of the church either… So many people have faith in blind leaders telling them how to go to heaven. Go to so many masses or services, sleep through the sermon, or maybe sing a bunch of songs and somehow that’s all going to save you. Then take some bread and grape juice occasionally, and socialize then go out to work or come on boards and profess your salvation.

      There’s passages in Revelation about a beautiful lady that was once great in God’s eyes and she loses her way and comes back as a blasphemer against all God stands for, and the people of the earth loved her. Were enamored by her. Followed her.

      And God was blasphemed by her. There was a religious group that was talking about this passage and they were referring to churches as being this “lady”. God originally thought it was great that organized churches started up, then saw the evil pervade them and mislead people. Christ tried overthrowing many of the churches (not religions.. organized churches). He did not conform to what the churches wanted him to be.

      God refers to his church as his bride.. And his bride comes back full of evil, it’s stench reaching into heaven like sodom and Gamorrah.

      Very little of what Christ stood against was the world. He went to the world and worked with the people in the world… It’s the churches he grew most angry with and intolerant of their rules and regulations as if God can be put in a box of dos and don’ts.. Don’t be gay, do be married, don’t dance, don’t gamble, don’t step wrong, or you’ll get stepped on… Christ stood against all of that. He went out to the world, out to the people, he didn’t go to any pews and sit in comfortable cushions, singing cute songs, and praying the world would change for him.. Until the church stops being a church and the people start becoming the church, Christianity will dwindle. The people need to be the church.

      Imagine the billions of dollars that go into Christian based organizations on an annual basis. Imagine if those billions went into the communities instead of funding large and fancy air conditioned buildings, etc..

      God cannot be caged.. And Christianity is a cage that we try to fit God into…

  4. Blasphemer says:

    interesting, that as the church has started to accept me, I have totally rejected them. (and there is no going back)

    • Avatar of realist realist says:

      That’s kind of what has happened to the Republican party as they begin to mend fences with women, minorities and gay people. Who wants to join up with those who grudgingly accept your humanity? Not many.

    • Henry says:

      “I have totally rejected them. (and there is no going back)”

      Church, take note. Not only is embracing homosexuality against God’s law, but there is little worldly reward as well. If you reform to pro-homosexuality values, they still reject you.

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