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Politico: Evangelical Support For Gay Marriage On The Rise - VIDEO

Vines

In a lengthy profile published yesterday on Politico, reporter Jim Hinch looks at how evangelical Christians are changing their minds on gay marriage, supported by rather than in spite of the Bible: 

Over the past decade, evangelical support for gay marriage has more than doubled, according to polling by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute. About a quarter of evangelicals now support same-sex unions, the institute has found, with an equal number occupying what researchers at Baylor University last year called the “messy middle” of those who oppose gay marriage on moral grounds but no longer support efforts to outlaw it. The shift is especially visible among young evangelicals under age 35, a near majority of whom now support same-sex marriage. And gay student organizations have recently formed at Christian colleges across the country, including flagship evangelical campuses such as Wheaton College in Illinois and Baylor in Texas. […]

For a branch of Christianity devoted to scriptural interpretation, a debate about gay marriage was bound to contend with what the Bible says on the matter. Sure enough, as the politics of same-sex marriage have changed, a quiet movement to change evangelicals’ very interpretation of the Bible has gained momentum. 

One of the faces of this sea-change is 24 year old Matthew Vines, whose hour-long YouTube sermon on the intersection of Christianity and homosexuality posted in 2012 has since racked up more than 730,000 hits and spurred the creation of his Reformation Project which holds conferences to bring pro-gay rights evangelicals together who want to prove that the Bible does not necessitate a condemnation of gay relationships but actually supports them. 

The shift in attitudes towards gay marriage among evangelicals has also had major political ramifications: 

Just a decade ago, conservative Christians powered an electoral surge that outlawed gay unions in 11 states and, in the view of many political analysts, helped to ensure President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection. Barely one in 10 evangelicals supported gay marriage, and church leaders like Warren urged their followers to vote against same-sex unions. 

FischerToday, conservative Christian groups and Republican leaders have shied away from campaigning on gay marriage and have instead focused on topics such as “robust religious exemptions.” Anti-gay organizations, such as the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), have also felt the financial sting of a waning interest in battling gay marriage from the Evangelical community. 

Still, despite the dramatic shift, the Evangelical community is still home to some of the country’s most anti-gay firebrands like Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischer. Said Fischer of the movement towards more pro-gay attitudes among Evangelicals,

“What we are seeing is the impact of this relentless brainwashing by the mainstream media, and it affects people that aren’t thinking clearly or aren’t grounded in a biblical worldview...There are some evangelical leaders who are sounding a very defeatist tone—the battle is over, and we lost and we have to get used to it. That kind of defeatism just has no place in the evangelical community.”

In case you missed it, watch Matthew Vines’s sermon on the Bible and homosexuality, AFTER THE JUMP…

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Comments

  1. Death to all the Christians and their evil influence. Never trust them!

    Posted by: The Romans | Jul 9, 2014 11:00:01 AM


  2. That's the great thing about the bible: you can twist it whichever way helps you make money.

    Posted by: jason MacBride | Jul 9, 2014 11:00:56 AM


  3. They're not pro-gay ...It's always about the money....

    Posted by: styler | Jul 9, 2014 11:03:24 AM


  4. This is not good news.

    Religious belief is a mental illness that can be treated.

    Normalizing mental illness does not fix anything.

    Posted by: MaryM | Jul 9, 2014 11:04:52 AM


  5. I'm reminded of the passage in ROOTS, wherein a slave says "the first thing they have us do is build them churches, so they can tell themselves that they're still Christians"

    it's weird how people can read the same book, with all of its (even slight) variations in translation, and come away with entirely different outlooks and ideologies.

    as one raised in the united church of canada, where sin-focused "hell and damnation" sermons SIMPLY DON'T HAPPEN (truly - i can't think of a single angry hateful sinners-be-damned sermon in my entire life being shared) it's frankly stunning to me that people are having this conversation in their congregations; and acting as if they're the first to have it.

    wow - what a concept; perhaps we should extend grace, understanding, compassion, empathy and kindness to others, eh?

    i look at Facebook, all my friends from high school who are now parents - barely any of whom are raising their children in a religious environment - NONE of whom are raising their children in an anti-gay religious environment. these are friends who simply will not be a part of something that tells them, and their children, that people they love - friends and family - are "lesser" because of their orientation, their gender-identity, their path in life, their beliefs, etc. and a lot of my friends were raised in conservative religious denominations - but a Life Lived proves all the dogmatic nonsense to be just that.

    the harder they push their anti-gay views, the more they'll alienate the young people who, praise the lawd, have bonded and connected with LGBT people in their life. we can't be called out as "evil dangerous sinners" when the people who know us know us to be anything but.

    the ultra-conservative christians become more and more like the Westboro's with each passing day - as their grip over their flocks gets harder to maintain. we'll see the hallmarks of desperation: the angry lashing outs, the false-claims of victimhood, a rise in their fiery rhetoric and like with Rick Warren - the loss, likely by suicide, of the children of some of these prominent anti-gay bigots.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 9, 2014 11:11:23 AM


  6. Many younger christians care deeply about the environment and poverty and much less so about trying to legislate on moral issues like gay marriage. It is inevitable that they just let go that stuff and start voting for the stuff that matters most to them. I think many, many Christians are far more in line with the Democrat's platform but keep voting Repub because of gay marriage and abortion. Repubs are anti-environment and care nothing for helping the poor. There is only so long the repub party can hold onto voters with such a negative, non-productive message. No matter how you try to spin the bible, Jesus was undeniably supportive of helping the poor. You can debate the bible's message on gay people or morality, but you cannot debate the message about poverty.

    Posted by: james | Jul 9, 2014 11:26:39 AM


  7. I couldn't agree more with what Little Kiwi wrote: "the harder they push their anti-gay views, the more they'll alienate the young people who, praise the lawd, have bonded and connected with LGBT people in their life. we can't be called out as "evil dangerous sinners" when the people who know us know us to be anything but." My fundamentalist in-laws were all supportive of the recent gay marriage in their family for they know and love their brother/uncle/great-uncle and have extended that love to me.

    Posted by: MichaelJ | Jul 9, 2014 12:04:54 PM


  8. Christianity and Islam are the focus of evil in the modern world. If we ever hope to live in a free, peaceful, and prosperous world, they need to be eradicated. And that's much easier than it sounds. Christianity is built on demonstrable lies (for example, that the earth is 6000 years old). Simply never allow them to make factual claims without challenging them. More and more people will see the lies, and belief will fall away. The internet makes it possible to reach large numbers of people without fear of violence, which was not possible in the past. We are already seeing the effects. Christianity can only survive in an environment where it has a monopoly on thought, and dissent is not tolerated. That world no longer exists.

    Posted by: Merv | Jul 9, 2014 12:56:57 PM


  9. The process of self-selection generally picks pastors that are very good at telling congregations what they want to hear.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 9, 2014 2:29:48 PM


  10. Religion is not "truth"...it's a "belief" Truth requires facts and constancy...beliefs change with however one feels at any given moment. Religionistas are mentally and emotionally stunted people.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Jul 9, 2014 9:18:19 PM


  11. @Merv : the idea that the earth is 6000 years old is not a core Christian belief - it was rather a number arrived at by some worthy named James Ussher, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and
    Primate of All Ireland in the 1600s. This worthy based his estimate on the Bible and other sources. He got decent estimates of the dates for some things - the death of Julius Caesar and Alexander, but it got more and more dubious beyond dates associated with Nebuchadnezzar.

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 10, 2014 2:22:25 AM


  12. ... one thing I should have added ... Ussher's estimates became particularly unreliable for events, real or imagined, where the only source of information was the Bible.

    Now that's perhaps an interesting result, although not what Ussher had in mind.

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 10, 2014 2:25:19 AM


  13. It is indeed gratifying to note that evangelicals are softening in their objection to gay marriage; I believe that they are responding to the almost unprecedented national reversal on this issue (from anti gay marriage to pro gay marriage) over the course of a very short time. Many people have dropped their strongly held objections because they see nationwide gay marriage as inevitable (which it certainly is); others do not wish to have to explain to their grandchildren why they voted on the wrong side of history. Add to this the recent decisions of United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. 12 (2013) and Hollingsworth v. Perry, 570 U.S. ___ (2013), and it is easy to see how this issue has been given a hard, sharp push to legalization by the highest court in the land. A total of at least 22 federal district courts and one of the US Courts of Appeals (for the Tenth Circuit; the first circuit to hear a lower court opinion) have voted in favor of gay marriage. Anybody who believes that the eventual outcome of this civil rights issue is still in doubt is suffering from what can only be termed a mild break with reality.

    PHILIP CHANDLER

    Posted by: Philip Chandler | Jul 10, 2014 10:53:08 AM


  14. You will find it impossible to eradicate religion, because religious people rely on faith, not cold, hard evidence, to support their beliefs. For example, I know a man who is extremely intelligent but who insists that the UNIVERSE is only 20,000 years old, and that the "firmament" (as he calls it) is utterly devoid of life, except on this planet. When I trued to point out to him that the KNOWN universe contains roughly 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars, he insisted that they were created for our benefit. He also opined that movies such as "Star Trek" and "War of the Worlds" are godless attempts to divest us of our special place on the pinnacle of existence. When I pointed out the empirical evidence in favor of the Big Bang (which is now the established theoretical model for the coming into existence of this universe, and which occurred roughly 13.73 billion years ago), he insisted that this was merely a test of the strength of our beliefs.

    Another colleague who knows this man once went to the museum with him, and was struck by how incredibly uneasy and eager to leave the dinosaur display this man was. Clearly, the sight of ancient fossils and dinosaur bones made him incredibly uneasy and directly confronted the beliefs he could keep a grip on until forced to observe reality.

    Facts simply don't get in the way of religious people, because faith is by definition a belief in something in the absence of evidence of its existence, or in spite of evidence that it does not exist.

    When it comes to talking to a religious fanatic, you are wasting your time. You may as well talk to a brick wall.


    PHILIP CHANDLER

    Posted by: Philip Chandler | Jul 10, 2014 11:14:27 AM


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