According to a poll from the Nashville-based, Southern Baptist-affiliated LifeWay Research, fewer Americans think homosexuality is a sin.
37% of Americans polled in LifeWay’s November survey believe homosexual behavior to be a sin, a seven percent drop from a similar survey taken in September 2011.
Meanwhile, 45% said that homosexual behavior was not a sin and 17% simply didn’t know, compared to the previous year’s 43% and 13%, respectively.
[It should be noted, however, that the 2012 poll had 953 fewer respondents than in 2011.]
So what caused this shift in the paradigm?
LifeWay’s Ed Stetzer lays the blame on President Obama’s “evolution on homosexuality,” saying the change was “surprisingly large for a one-year timeframe” though noting, “this was hardly a normal year on this issue.”
With marriage equality victories in four states, a gay friendly presidential administration, military personnel being able to serve openly and the Supreme Court getting ready to tackle two cases that could determine the fate of same-sex marriage in the nation, that year between surveys was all kinds of queer.
But for Rev. Cindy Andrews-Looper of Holy Trinity Community Church in Nashville, whose congregation has a large number of gay members, being gay is as much a sin as being left-handed (which you know who is).
“Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn anyone,” Andrews-Looper told USA Today. “To use the gospel to condemn anyone is missing the point.”
Rev. Louie Giglio learned that the hard way. Giglio was scheduled to deliver the benediction at Obama’s inauguration ceremony , but withdrew after an anti-gay sermon he delivered some years ago resurfaced on the internet.
Stetzer anticipates more conflicts like this in the future.
“The culture is clearly shifting on homosexuality, and this creates a whole new issue, ” he said in a statement. “How will America deal with a minority view, strongly held by Evangelicals, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, and so many others?”
We guess the same way America always deals with minorities: by ignoring them.