Latest Survey on Mainline Clergy Views of Homosexuality

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DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
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A survey published last week offers some interesting insights into the prevailing attitudes toward homosexuality among mainline clergy.

Mainline Protestant clergy are broadly supportive of equality for gay and lesbian Americans, according to a report
released today by some of the nation’s leading researchers on religion and politics. Their conclusions are based on
the most in-depth study ever conducted of theological and political attitudes among Mainline clergy toward lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in the church and society.

“Mainline clergy are generally more supportive of equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans than the general
public,” said Dr. Robert P. Jones, President of Public Religion Research, which conducted the study. “Clergy in
these denominations have wrestled with theological questions around sexuality and report that they’ve been moving
toward more supportive positions on equal rights in society and full inclusion in the church.”

The Clergy Voices Survey (CVS) is the only broad survey of Mainline clergy in seven years, and the most
comprehensive ever in scope. Findings on broad social and political attitudes and behavior during the 2008 election
cycle were released earlier this spring; the report released today analyzes the answers to more than 60 in-depth
questions about attitudes toward sexuality and the role of LGBT people in the church and broader society.

Martin Marty, a leading scholar on Mainline Protestantism, said the "Uncertain Middle" identified in the survey
illustrates a paradox of what he calls Ecumenical Protestantism. "Because it seeks to minister to an ever more
pluralist America and internally diverse church, it concentrates on conversation more than confrontation, dialogue
more than diatribe." Marty says this characteristic "represents one strength of this group of clergy who are wellsuited
to our current task of living justly together amidst our differences."

Mainline Protestants make up 18 percent of all Americans and nearly a quarter of all voters. The CVS surveyed
senior clergy from the seven largest Mainline denominations: United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America, American Baptist Churches USA, Presbyterian Church USA, Episcopal Church, United Church
of Christ, and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The survey found significant differences across the
denominations on religious and political measures.

And Grymir is STILL in the PCUSA??? Rich, at least the ABC is "only" at the 20% level of approval for gay marriage!
 
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ColdSilverMoon

Puritan Board Senior
Are the DOC and UCC really mainline? And the largest Protestant denomination (SBC) gets no representation? Or the fastest growing (PCA)?
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
This paragraph:
“Mainline clergy are generally more supportive of equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans than the general
public,” said Dr. Robert P. Jones, President of Public Religion Research, which conducted the study. “Clergy in
these denominations have wrestled with theological questions around sexuality and report that they’ve been moving
toward more supportive positions on equal rights in society and full inclusion in the church.”

is enlightening. Allow me translate:

"Well, Hank, it is like this: we mainliners are a smart bunch. We are much smarter than the yokels in those Inerrancy churches. We don't take the statements of the Bible at their face value. No, sir. We know that God would never limit himself to mere written words. We see a clear command or statement and know that God is much too nuanced (if he or she really exists) to be so clear cut. So, we apply our superiour intellect to the passage and determine how it must be defined in our current situation. Of course that determination is subject to change down the road given further reflection."
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Are the DOC and UCC really mainline? And the largest Protestant denomination (SBC) gets no representation? Or the fastest growing (PCA)?

"Mainline" is an historical term that describes the "seven sisters of the mainline." It has long since ceased to be representative of church attenders in the U.S. It had meaning before WW2. Still, it is quite representative of liberal Protestantism.

Mainline was mainstream, now it is only a side show for the no shows.
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
samesexmarriage.jpg


A survey published last week offers some interesting insights into the prevailing attitudes toward homosexuality among mainline clergy.

Mainline Protestant clergy are broadly supportive of equality for gay and lesbian Americans, according to a report
released today by some of the nation’s leading researchers on religion and politics. Their conclusions are based on
the most in-depth study ever conducted of theological and political attitudes among Mainline clergy toward lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in the church and society.

“Mainline clergy are generally more supportive of equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans than the general
public,” said Dr. Robert P. Jones, President of Public Religion Research, which conducted the study. “Clergy in
these denominations have wrestled with theological questions around sexuality and report that they’ve been moving
toward more supportive positions on equal rights in society and full inclusion in the church.”

The Clergy Voices Survey (CVS) is the only broad survey of Mainline clergy in seven years, and the most
comprehensive ever in scope. Findings on broad social and political attitudes and behavior during the 2008 election
cycle were released earlier this spring; the report released today analyzes the answers to more than 60 in-depth
questions about attitudes toward sexuality and the role of LGBT people in the church and broader society.

Martin Marty, a leading scholar on Mainline Protestantism, said the "Uncertain Middle" identified in the survey
illustrates a paradox of what he calls Ecumenical Protestantism. "Because it seeks to minister to an ever more
pluralist America and internally diverse church, it concentrates on conversation more than confrontation, dialogue
more than diatribe." Marty says this characteristic "represents one strength of this group of clergy who are wellsuited
to our current task of living justly together amidst our differences."

Mainline Protestants make up 18 percent of all Americans and nearly a quarter of all voters. The CVS surveyed
senior clergy from the seven largest Mainline denominations: United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America, American Baptist Churches USA, Presbyterian Church USA, Episcopal Church, United Church
of Christ, and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The survey found significant differences across the
denominations on religious and political measures.

And Grymir is STILL in the PCUSA??? Rich, at least the ABC is "only" at the 20% level of approval for gay marriage!

...they didn't ask me or it would be lower!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FYI: I'm on the constitution update committee. I'm suggesting an overhaul to an elder(male) led, anything over $5000 congregational vote hybrid constitution. Actually, what I'm suggesting as far as the ABC goes would almost equal a "re-plant". I'll be posting on the prayer thread when this kicks off. Also, I have not been rebuked for teaching DoG yet, just a "well, I don't know about that" on the L.
 

ColdSilverMoon

Puritan Board Senior
Are the DOC and UCC really mainline? And the largest Protestant denomination (SBC) gets no representation? Or the fastest growing (PCA)?

"Mainline" is an historical term that describes the "seven sisters of the mainline." It has long since ceased to be representative of church attenders in the U.S. It had meaning before WW2. Still, it is quite representative of liberal Protestantism.

Mainline was mainstream, now it is only a side show for the no shows.

Thanks Dennis, I hadn't heard this until now.
 

Ivan

Pastor
Believe me, it would be of no value to poll SBCers on this one. I'd be surprised if it was less than 95% against gay marriages and unions. I believe the pollsters wouldn't be interested in those kind of statistics.
 
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DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Are the DOC and UCC really mainline? And the largest Protestant denomination (SBC) gets no representation? Or the fastest growing (PCA)?

"Mainline" is an historical term that describes the "seven sisters of the mainline." It has long since ceased to be representative of church attenders in the U.S. It had meaning before WW2. Still, it is quite representative of liberal Protestantism.

Mainline was mainstream, now it is only a side show for the no shows.

Thanks Dennis, I hadn't heard this until now.

Mason,
The vitality of the "mainline" has long since ceased to be a very relevant factor in American life. However, at one time, being an Episcopalian was like saying you were a banker, attorney, or graduated from an Ivy League school. The Presbyterians were socially close behind them. And, after the American Baptists surrendered the Gospel in favor of all manner of "justice" preoccupations, even the lower class of the mainline was pretty much on the left side of the divide.

As I sometimes put it: The "mainline" has become a sideline on the path to becoming a flatline.
 

Hawaiian Puritan

Puritan Board Freshman
I prefer the term "drainline" churches, because they are sure draining out quickly. For example, the Episcopal Church, which still officially claims more than 2 million members, only gets about 700,000 through the doors on Sunday, and between people leaving over homosexuality and dying off from old age, that figure is declining rapidly.
 

reformedminister

Puritan Board Sophomore
You should have stayed, I could use the company.

Had I known there were more of you in there with me, I might have given it a second thought.

I affirm you in your move. The PB is an oasis for me most days. If I were a younger man ....

I here you. I have spoken with other Calvinistic UMC ministers. Most of them stay because they would lose everything. It wasn't easy for me. Granted, I was young. I only pastored in the UMC for five years and only thirty three when I left. This was six years ago. I lost my job, my home, and put a great financial strain on the family. God was with us and we recovered. I started my own business about four years ago. The Senior pastor of our church is also a former UMC minister.
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
Does this survey distinguish between homosexual marriage by the state and homosexual marriage within the church?
 

Classical Presbyterian

Puritan Board Junior
No news to me here. I was surprised that my denomination's pastors were not higher in support of insanity.

The only reason to stay is to feed the sheep and prepare them for better pastures. They will only pry the pulpit from my cold, dead fingers....
 
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