So, on Monday I posted about a recent public opinion poll on abortion, and I wanted to "compare and contrast" (if I'm allowed to return to the 7th grade for a bit) with another article I read about the shift among younger members of the Evangelical movement away from "social conservatism" (ie, anti-woman and anti-gay) toward "stewardship (ie, anti-poverty, pro-environment). From the NY Times:
...the new breed of evangelical leaders -- often to the dismay of those who came before them -- are more likely to speak out about more liberal causes like AIDS, Darfur, poverty and global warming than controversial social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.
First, let me say it's about friggin' time. I haven't yet seen any fundies come out against policies that keep generations and nations in poverty and disease, or for policies that would reduce our carbon footprint or our dependence on petroleum, but I cannot wait!
Think of how much energy these people throw into the anti-gay, anti-choice efforts, and how much good we could do if instead they'd help us out on the anti-war, anti-big oil fronts! Heck, we could use Fred Phelps directly as a source of alternative energy--all alone, he throws off enough furor to light up a small city. Throw in the rest of his klan and we could power the whole Midwest!
But perhaps I'm letting myself get carried away. More from the Times:
But the conservative legacy of the religious right persists, and abortion continues to be a defining issue, even a litmus test, for most evangelicals, including younger ones, according to interviews and survey data....
Recent surveys conducted by the Barna Group show that younger 'born again' Christians are more accepting of homosexuality than older ones and are less resistant to affording gays equal rights. But on abortion, they remain almost as conservative as their parents....
Sigh. I don't quite get this. Somehow young fundies are more okay with gays than with abortion. Perhaps it's something to do with the findings of the latest Pew Research poll, that says 41% of Americans say they have a close friend or family member who is gay. From the researchers:
An analysis of survey results suggests that familiarity is closely linked to tolerance. People who have a close gay friend or family member are more likely to support gay marriage and they are also significantly less likely to favor allowing schools to fire gay teachers than are those with little or no personal contact with gays, the poll found.
So. Consider: somewhere between 5-15% of the population is LGBT (I'd just use what I consider the traditional 10%, but after the debate at last night's Bilerico contributors' dinner, I'll broaden it out), and that results in 41% of the population admitting to having ties to someone gay, and that leads (albeit ever-so-slowly) to acceptance of gay equality.
Then consider that a third of all women in the US will have an abortion at some point in their lives. How many people don't know a woman who's had an abortion? Why then is there still so much stigma?
Seriously--would Jesus really be that interested in my uterus?