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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Anti-Gay Prejudice/Rhetoric/Assholery Driving Young People Away From Churches

Posted by on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 10:23 AM

As a gay person, of course, I'm distressed by the homophobia and hatred peddled by churches. But as an atheist... I see an upside of sorts:

In a survey released Wednesday, nearly one-third of Millennials who left the faith they grow up with told Public Religion Research Institute that it was "negative teachings" or "negative treatment" related to gays and lesbians that played an significant role in them leaving organized religion. Specifically, 17 percent of Millennials, or adults between 18 and 33-years-old, said negativity around LGBT issues in religion was "somewhat important" to their departure, while 14 percent said it was a "very important" factor. A majority of Americans, 58 percent, also said that religious groups are "alienating young adults by being too judgmental on gay and lesbian issues." Among Millennials, that percentage jumped to 70.

"While many churches and people in the pews have been moving away from their opposition to LGBT rights over the last decade, this new research provides further evidence that negative teachings on this issue have hurt churches’ ability to attract and retain young people,” PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones said in a statement.

For centuries bigoted anti-gay "faith" leaders harmed only queer people. Now anti-gay preachers and churches are doing harm to themselves. Expect to see more churches downplay their anti-gay bigotry—or reason/interpret/revelation their way out of it—once they realize that their "sincerely held religious" bigotry is increasingly costly. Gay boys being brutally bullied by their peers, parents throwing their lesbian daughters out of the house, trans kids being driven to suicide—preachers and priests at mainline dominations and storefront churches didn't give a shit about any of that. But when they see attendance at services drop, and when they see fewer dollars dropping into collection plates, they'll move once again in their "conception of the value of human beings" until they realize their anti-gay bigotry "was terribly wrong."

You can bank on it—and so, unfortunately, can they.


Comments (34) RSS

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TomJohnsonJr 1
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on February 26, 2014 at 10:42 AM · Report this

Yes, I have to say, even with the new Pope, although his words towards gays have been moderate, it seems there's still a Jekyll and Hyde style where two days after the Pope does an outreach statement, a hardline cardinal comes out and controverts what the Pope said. It's almost worst than being outright prejudiced. I can't really recommend this behavior or go in front of a gay person or community and say "oh, lookie, we're all better now", at all any more than I can when the GOP does the same thing. I do notice that it seems to be settling down a bit both in Catholicism and the Republicans.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on February 26, 2014 at 10:52 AM · Report this
Why do so many churches need an enemy to rally the troops against? Shouldn't God's love be enough?
Posted by MarkusTaylor on February 26, 2014 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 4
Hosea 8:7. For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on February 26, 2014 at 10:56 AM · Report this
fletc3her 5
The churches are losing their moral authority. Which is something I can only applaud since that authority has been abused so badly.
Posted by fletc3her on February 26, 2014 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 6
@ 3, churches get a lot more bang for the fear mongering buck than the peace and love one. Not every church, of course, but many.
Posted by Matt from Denver on February 26, 2014 at 10:59 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 7
@ 5, it's nice to be optimistic, but history shows that their influence ebbs and flows. And since this country was founded by religious wackos, and various other religious wackos from throughout Europe had to flee and settle here, I'm afraid that it's too ingrained in the American character to ever really go away.
Posted by Matt from Denver on February 26, 2014 at 11:01 AM · Report this
The Beady Eyes of Mayor Ed Murray 8
God, why do stories like this make my eyes so sweaty?
Posted by The Beady Eyes of Mayor Ed Murray on February 26, 2014 at 11:11 AM · Report this
It's the wallet stupid!
Posted by jeffg166 on February 26, 2014 at 11:12 AM · Report this
@3, I find this to be an easy way to tell whether or not a church is actually following Christ. If you need to create a scapegoat to scare your congregation into following you, you are only out for yourself.

But it isn't only religious leaders who do that. It is very common among most world leaders. Create an enemy, then proclaim that you are the only one who can save everyone from that enemy. Weapons of Mass Destruction, anyone? The Cold War? This is probably why Putin is making LGBT people out to be monsters. His popularity is going down, and he is trying to regain it and stay in power.
Posted by SeattleKim on February 26, 2014 at 11:14 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 11
There is one thing they didn't count on- the internet. Since it's spread, so has awareness there are others out there who fight for their rights and don't fear the haters. Religion can't fight the awakening mind of millions. And, btw, Fronline is coming out with a devestating look at the RCC and the horrors it has inflicted on children and their families.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on February 26, 2014 at 11:18 AM · Report this
Ophian 12
A slip of the Freudian sort: "mainline dominations."
Posted by Ophian on February 26, 2014 at 11:23 AM · Report this
@12: I liked it.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on February 26, 2014 at 12:01 PM · Report this
This is precisely the reason I turned away from my Mormon upbringing. It rubbed me the wrong way at 16 when my Sunday school teacher advocated for the right to discriminate against LGBT in hiring. By the time I was in college I was morally opposed to any religion that treated homosexuality as a sin.
Posted by joejoepotato on February 26, 2014 at 12:07 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 15
Dan, the preachers were always harming themselves. It's just taken a while for the numbing fat on their demagoguery to burn off for them to feel it.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on February 26, 2014 at 12:22 PM · Report this

in the whole history of mankind has any civilization ever survived built on a foundation of HomoHumanism?

can't think of any.

Gommorah was probably the last to try it......
Posted by you get the society you deserve. so very sorry for you... on February 26, 2014 at 12:38 PM · Report this
NopeNope 17
I'd much prefer that churches maintain their stance and further alienate their followers. Because if they adopt a more accepting stance than they'll just create a new scapegoat to direct their hate and fear at. And then this whole mess will begin again with some other marginalized group. Best to let them dig their own graves right now.
Posted by NopeNope on February 26, 2014 at 12:44 PM · Report this
Even beyond LGBT issues, it's just that conservatives and religious people tend to be nastier. More openly critical of others, less forgiving, easier to anger, sarcastic, more domineering, more into discipline and punishment - just negative vibes. They're just no fun, dude. Look at our conservative Slog trolls. So negative. Would you like to hang around them, or spend your Sunday morning with them? And the thing is, either they can't see it, or they don't care, or they can't change, because that's just the nature of the culture. And Matt is right. Conservatives have long been like this and they're still here. This negativity will always have a function for some people.

I also transitioned from the evangelical religion of my youth. At the time, I felt that the weekly ritual had just become routine, but really I just couldn't make strong social bonds with my congregation because I was just too different from them, plus I didn't believe in the church's mission ardently enough. I didn't become an atheist right away, but after I separated myself from the culture, I began to recognize its stubborn ugliness and that only solidified my irreligiousness. No way in hell I'm going back. I'm also happier with the person that I am today than with whom I used to be. I'm sure many millenials share a similar experience.
Posted by floater on February 26, 2014 at 12:53 PM · Report this
@16 yep. Western civilization from Alexander the Great onward to today. We've been here always everywhere.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on February 26, 2014 at 12:54 PM · Report this
See @16.
Posted by floater on February 26, 2014 at 12:58 PM · Report this

in the closet.
you and the cockroaches.

in the whole history of mankind has any civilization ever survived built on a foundation of HomoHumanism?
Posted by read the words one at a time, slowly... on February 26, 2014 at 1:08 PM · Report this
Best just to ignore the unregistered troll.
Posted by MarkusTaylor on February 26, 2014 at 1:17 PM · Report this
@21 "Alexander the Great was in the closet"

Are you one of those people who thinks that Joan of Arc was Noah's wife?
Posted by GermanSausage on February 26, 2014 at 1:49 PM · Report this
Access to information on the entire spectrum of human thought is what is bringing down organized religion. The sleezy greazy preachers and their temples of hateful ignorance only helps push those who access information out the doors a bit faster. It was harder to acquire information when you had to search it out. The interwebs has all but smashed the kiddies' faces into gobs of information from everywhere. Once you know something it's hard to unknow it. When the lies of your church are laid bare to the light of day, in all its ugly untruthfulness, you can't help but be forced to choose to hold your nose and go along or get pissed and kick that ugly shit to the curb. The day is almost here when no one can use the excuse of what they were taught in church misled them and they acted out of not knowing any better.
Posted by kwodell on February 26, 2014 at 2:01 PM · Report this
venomlash 25
@21: Has any civilization ever survived based on egalitarian democracy? Before we Americans adopted it, none had successfully run with it for any real length of time. And people had tried, in Athens, in China, in small enclaves all over the world.
Just because it's never been done before doesn't mean it can't be done. Grow a pair, you whinging cur.
Posted by venomlash on February 26, 2014 at 2:13 PM · Report this
Dan, I'm pretty sure you're misusing "mainline" in this context. The churches traditionally identified as mainline all have a history of being moderate-to-liberal on social issues. All of the ones I'm familiar with are either officially cool with homosexuality (Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, ELCA Lutherans, Presbyterian Church USA) or actively in the middle of an internal fight for the rights of homosexuals (United Methodist).
Posted by firechicago on February 26, 2014 at 5:03 PM · Report this
I was brought up in in the Missouri Synod Lutheran environment, when I was old enough to realize that it was total bullshit I bailed. My parents couldn't understand why I wouldn't go to church with them anymore and I just told them I thought it was a total waste of my time and that I preferred the B'hai faith because they cared about PEOPLE and ANIMALS and not about money. That was the beginning of the end. My parents have gone and we made amends and I still think the B'hai folks have the right idea.
Posted by longwayhome on February 26, 2014 at 8:09 PM · Report this
lolorhone 28
@21: All this progress must be awful for you.
Posted by lolorhone on February 27, 2014 at 6:18 AM · Report this
29 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
The church has to maintain power by taking your two best things from you: your sense of awe and your sexuality, then selling them back to you.

They are gradually losing control of the sex part, when they lose the rest the atheist/pagan/discordian/subgenius/dancers/moviegoers (and so on) will at least be on equal footing.
Posted by SifuMark on February 27, 2014 at 11:04 AM · Report this
lolorhone 31
@29: Girls? That's the best you can do? Oh, honey. At least you used to try.
Posted by lolorhone on February 27, 2014 at 1:21 PM · Report this

you don't bring me flowers. anymore.
Posted by fghxdtfhdrtd4y4eyrdhd on February 27, 2014 at 7:24 PM · Report this
@29 Where y'all from, homie? Wherever it is, go back there.
Posted by longwayhome on February 27, 2014 at 8:11 PM · Report this

The Truth really hurts, doesn't it.

Try lube.

Lots and Lots of Lube.....
Posted by It Burnses! The Truth!! It BURNSES Our Ears!!! WHAAA!!! on February 28, 2014 at 3:17 AM · Report this

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