The Pew Research Center released a poll yesterday correlating attitudes toward homosexual persons with religious affiliation.

The poll data reflect an apparent backlash:

  • opposition to gay marriage among evangelical Protestants has risen nine percentage points, from 71 percent to 80 percent, since July 2003
  • the belief that acceptance of gays would be bad for the nation has risen eight percentage points since 2000, from 23 percent to 31 percent
  • the belief that gay themes and characters are too prevalent in entertainment media has risen from 37 percent to 48 percent since 2000.

The data may also reflect moral tunnelvision among some (not all) evangelicals. While 13 to 28 percent of mainline Protestants and Catholics say their churches discourage homosexuality — reflecting these churches’ modest prioritization of homosexuality against greater moral concerns — 59 percent of evangelical Protestants say their churches discourage homosexuality.

Evangelicals for Social Action is likely to argue that these churches spend far too little time each week addressing key Christian moral concerns such as poverty, white-collar crime, racism, religious bigotry and violence, just vs unjust war, domestic abuse, consumerism, smoking, drinking, sexism, hubris, and lying.

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