What Do Gays and Straights Have in Common in Terms of Spirituality? June 23, 2009

What Do Gays and Straights Have in Common in Terms of Spirituality?

A new survey released by the Barna Group focuses on the spiritual lives of gay and straight people.

One thing they had in common?

… The areas of similarity included the facts that a small minority of people in both groups believe that Satan is real

Well, that’s a plus. Good to know that belief in Satan isn’t being taken that seriously. Though a “small minority” is still far too many people.

One key difference between the two groups:

Heterosexuals were twice as likely as homosexuals to strongly agree that the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches;

They don’t elaborate further in the article, but I think you can guess which Biblical principles gay people didn’t quite buy into…

George Barna had this to say about the results — somethings Christians ought to realize when their pastors denounce homosexuals in church:

“People who portray gay adults as godless, hedonistic, Christian bashers are not working with the facts… A substantial majority of gays cite their faith as a central facet of their life, consider themselves to be Christian, and claim to have some type of meaningful personal commitment to Jesus Christ active in their life today.

(Thanks to Alan for the link!)

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  • David D.G.

    Cool! Great survey finding, and great post.

    Now, can we just get a few surveys comparing shellfish-eating Christians and non-shellfish-eating Christians, or comparing Christians who trim their hair and beards to Christians who do not trim their hair and beards?

    The only reason that homosexuality is any more of an issue than these non-issue distinctions is that religious homophobes still resist being dragged kicking and screaming out of the Dark Ages and into the Enlightenment (let alone the 21st century).

    ~David D.G.

  • John Larberg

    This just in! Christians have finally given in to the theory that the Earth is round.

    I think Christian churches and organization will eventually feel the pinch if they can’t fend off the horde that is societal change.

  • Of course, my wife and I have frequently had to fight the perception that we’re atheists because we’re gay. Many of our family members and friends, including a large number of our gay friends, have said a lot to us about just how accepting their church is (except for the Southern Baptists–they’re pretty sure we’re going to hell, regardless).

  • I used to be a Christian, but I never bought the anti-gay stuff (and thankfully none of the churches I attended pushed it or even mentioned it). It was as irrelevant and antiquated to me as the prohibitions against shellfish, blended fabrics, pork and the like. When I left Christianity it was because I lost my faith (and if one doesn’t believe in god they can’t follow his son) , not over anti-gay dogma as some presume.

  • Infinite Monkey

    Mine was a combination of both science and being gay. I don’t understand how a gay can be christian. If I stretch my imagination I can find the “being gay is a sin, just like lying. Since all sins are equal, being gay is just as bad as lying.” Of course this doesn’t stand up to logic-not that anything else in religion would either-since you can choose to lie or tell the truth. You can lie sometimes, and be honest others. You can’t be gay some times, and be straight others. Could someone ask a gay friend that? I would, but I’m already out there as being athiest, and that would probably be seen as an attack on religion. I try to avoid that.

  • Calvin

    Gay Christians are just… Ridiculous.

    I’m not homophobic but if you read the bible, it’s anti-gay. No question of it. Leviticus couldn’t be any clearer.

    Well actually, Christians are all just ridiculous. (Don’t tell my Christian girlfriend I said that)

  • Brooks

    I can understand gay Christians who don’t view the bible as the inerrant word of God. I just can’t understand conversative gay Christians who do. As a gay atheist, is it wrong that I’m actually sort of disappointed that there’s not more gay atheists? It just seems like I can find plenty of gay Christian forums but I can’t find any specifically for gay atheists.

  • Richard Wade

    I don’t know much about the sites, but here are two:



  • I’ve been an atheist my whole life, and I think it really helped me to come out–it was still scary, but at least I never thought there was something *wrong* with me or that I’d go to hell. Fundamentalists who teach their children to hate themselves or put them in “ex-gay treatments” are some of the best arguments that religion is poison.

  • E

    To Brooks,

    Here’s a great site!

  • Heidi

    There probably aren’t as many gay-specific atheist sites because orientation isn’t usually an issue with us. So you don’t have to worry that you’re at an unfriendly site.

    Whereas gay Christians might well find themselves in homophobe-land if they join any old forum.

  • Ron in Houston

    Dammit – does this mean that those succubi aren’t real either?

  • Brooks

    How accurate does Barna’s surveys tend to be? The survey said that only a minority of heterosexual Christians believed Satan was real, but wasn’t there a survey done awhile back that showed there more Americans who believed in the devil than in evolution? Also, I’m confused by this one statement. ““Born again Christians” were defined as people who said they had made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that was still important in their life today and who also indicated they believed that when they die they will go to Heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Respondents were not asked to describe themselves as “born again.”

    Are they basically saying that they didn’t ask if someone was a born again Christian, they just assumed the person was born again based on their descriptions?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Of course Satan is real! What does a guy have to do to get recognized? He just won the freakin’ Stanley Cup!

  • Alan E.

    I did a little math, and the percentage of gay people in the study is just under 3%. Is this fixed to keep that number under the “accepted” percentage in the evangelical community? Of course they did take people’s responses at face value, so there could be a difference between openly gay and closeted responses.

    I also don’t recall seeing which areas they called or which areas responded more, which raises another issue. Phone surveys are not as reliable anymore as more people, especially the younger population, is moving away from having a landline. There are just too many ways that factors are skewed.

    I knew I should have never taken that statistics class in college. It has made me question all studies.

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