Friday, July 17, 2009

The Christian Faith of Homosexuals

The gay and lesbian population, which constitutes about three percent of adults, has received a lot of national attention in the past several years, primarily due to the efforts of gay activists who have promoted same-sex marriage, homosexual adoptions, domestic partner benefits and numerous other issues. A new survey by the Barna Group explores the spiritual lives of gay and lesbian individuals, providing some surprising results.

Out of 20 faith-oriented attributes examined by the Barna study, there were just a few in which there were no significant differences between heterosexual and homosexual populations. The areas of similarity included the facts that (1) a small minority of people in both groups believe that Satan is real; (2) equivalent percentages of these groups feel they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs with others who believe differently; (3) similar numbers of people from each group contend that good people can earn their way into heaven through their goodness; and (4) rates of participation in house churches is about the same for both groups.

Barna's study also found a majority of spiritual measures that were statistically significant in their differences between "straights" and "gays":

  • Straight adults (72%) were more likely than gay adults (60%) to describe their faith as "very important" in their lives.
  • More heterosexuals (85%) self-identify themselves as Christian than homosexuals (70%).
  • About six out of ten heterosexuals say they are absolutely committed to the Christian faith, compared to about four out of ten homosexuals.
  • Seventy-five percent of non-gays have made "a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in your life today," versus 58 percent of gay adults.
  • Forty-seven percent of straight adults qualified as born-again Christians (according to Barna's criteria) compared to just 27 percent of gays.
  • Heterosexuals were twice as likely as homosexuals to strongly believe that the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches.
  • Seventy-one percent of heterosexuals have an orthodox, biblical perception of God compared to just 43 percent of homosexuals. However, an equal percentage of each group have a pantheistic view about deity — i.e., that "God" refers to any of a variety of perspectives, such as personally achieving a state of higher consciousness or maximized potential, or that multiple gods exist, or that everyone is god.
  • Heterosexuals are twice as likely as homosexuals to attend a church service, read the Bible and pray to God during a typical week (31% vs. 15%).
  • Heterosexuals consider faith and family to be among their highest life priorities. Homosexuals assign a lower priority to family (30% saying family is their top priority compared to 48% of other adults) and placed a higher emphasis upon the importance of their lifestyle (32% placed this on top, versus 16% of other adults).

Many other interesting findings can be found in the new Barna report.

1 comment:

Wickle said...

I guess I don't get what you're trying to say.

To me, the 31-15 comparison about church attendance and Bible reading COULD mean either that homosexuals are less-disposed to do these things, or it could mean that we as Christians are less likely to reach out to homosexuals and invite them to church.

Or, perhaps, they simply don't think that they'd be allowed or welcomed.