Sunday, April 16, 2006

Evangelicals and Sexuality

In between Easter services and Easter dinner, I had a quick chance to look at the Sunday New York Times. But, perhaps you didn't, so I want to point out a fascinating article on page 5 of the week in review, "Evangelicals Debate the Meaning of Evangelical". You may be able to read it online.

In my work around the country with secular progressive leaders, I often correct people who equate the word "evangelical" with fundamentalists or the religious right. This article points out that there are really three types of evangelicals in America -- traditionalists (who represent about 12.6% of all Americans and resemble what we think of as the religious right), centrists (who represent 10.8% of all Americans and generally avoid politics) and modernists (2.9% of Americans, who are more flexible socially and politically.)

What interested me most about the article was the graphic that included polling data on evangelicals and sexuality. (Yes, sexuality is often what most interests me in articles...) Almost six in ten modernist evangelicals support either civil unions and same sex marriage and 63% support abortion rights at least in some cases. One third of the centrists support either civil union and same sex marriage and more than four in ten support abortion rights. But even among the most conservative evangelical Christians, 11% support civil unions or same sex marriage, and 16% support abortion rights in at least some cases. Add those together and that's a substantial number of evangelical Christians who support at least those measures of sexual justice.

To this minister, that seems like really "good news."

Blessings for the week ahead.

Rev. Debra

1 comment:

Braidwood said...

What? I'm confused. Then who is so against it? Do they just try and make it seem that large numbers of people are against civil unions and same sex marriage?