An lgbt pride flag flying in front of a church
One theory suggests that evangelicals’ rigid beliefs have effectively turned many LGBT people away from religion.

A new analysis of the Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans are less religious than their heterosexual counterparts.

A staggering 41% of LGB adults identified as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” compared to just 22% of straight adults. The survey did not ask respondents to identify themselves along gender lines – hence the “T” being absent from these results.

When it came to religious service attendance – the study’s standard measure of religious participation – about 19% of bisexuals and 16% of lesbian and gay Americans attended a house of worship regularly, compared with 36% of straight adults. LGB adults were much less likely to take the Bible as the word of God, with 38% of bisexuals and 33% of gays and lesbians saying this, eclipsed by the 61% of straight Americans who did. More prescient still, only about a third of LGB adults (34%) claimed religion was very important in their lives. More than half of straight Americans (54%) feel this way.

Pew Research LGB faith study

LGBT Acceptance Among Evangelicals

So why do LGBT people appear to be less pious than their heterosexual counterparts? The study doesn’t make that clear, but one theory is that evangelical attitudes toward LGBT identities have effectively turned many LGBT people away from religion. Indeed, only a scant 36% of Evangelical Protestants believe homosexuality should even be accepted in society – let alone given equal rights. It’s understandable that it would be hard to get excited about going to church knowing that over half of the country’s largest religious denomination finds your identity unacceptable.

Unsurprisingly, another Pew survey found that many in the LGBT community are skeptical of religion in general. One-third of LGBT respondents noted a “conflict between their religious beliefs and their sexual orientation or gender identity.” Another third even said that they’ve outright felt unwelcome in a house of worship.

Those same respondents also shared an overwhelming belief that religious groups are intentionally unfriendly to them. The institutions viewed most negatively in this regard? The Muslim faith, the Mormon Church, and the Catholic Church. The data shows that for those LGBT individuals who do believe in God, houses of worship are viewed less as places of sanctuary and more as torture chambers.

For those who do choose to attend, there are clear disincentives to expressing their true identities: religious leaders and political donors regularly demonize them, work to limit their social rights, and even call for their deaths.

In that sense, it’s not terribly surprising that the LGBT community is shying away from religion. It’s only natural that humans would prefer to congregate where they feel welcome. The question now becomes: will faith groups change their ways and become more accepting, or will they stick to their guns?

13 comments

  1. Rev, Marti J. Smith says:

    In most organized religions the scriptures have been twisted to reflect inappropriate interpretations and vilified LGBT people. It has caused many to be verbally and physically assaulted because they are seen as inferior human beings. They have been driven out of God’s house by fear and intimidation, so ,of course they see no home or comfort in religious institutions. All who have done this will be held accountable by their Creator. Jesus would turn NONE away.

  2. Kimberly Pierre says:

    No. People are accountable for what they do or don’t do. Not others. There’s far too much blame going around these days.

  3. Howard Pippin says:

    Did anyone take time to see what the Bible says on this issue?

    1. Lionheart says:

      Who cares what a book says that was written by uneducated idiots that believed they were receiving direct word from a deity? If people want to believe that then they have to deal with their belief structure. For those that don’t, get on with life as best you can, just like those that have different beliefs. The end result will be the same.

      🦁❤️

  4. tom b says:

    Respectfully…anything that reduces the population of organized religions is essentially positive…just know God, and live a loving, compassionate forgiving life…Peace…Tom B

  5. Mark Hannon says:

    I’ve had so much negative attention from evangelicals that I don’t believe in conforming to any organized, Christian religion.
    I am a born again that was fortunate to have many good Bible teachers and have spent years reading and studying the Bible. I just don’t consider it the inerrant Word of God.
    That being said I am still the organist for the local ELCA church in my township. I have not joined. It’s been the third church for me in the last 20 years.
    I did have 19 great years at an Independent Baptist church in a city before these last.
    And I wished I had a brochure to hand out to every evangelical that thought they were the first to ever bring up every Bible verse that condemns homosexuality. Honestly, come up with something new.

  6. Carrie says:

    It is only in the most recent “translations” that the condemnation appears. Many of the parts that are quoted now are twisted and skewed toward intolerance and hatred. A prime example I have found over and over is about the Sodomites. They were never condemned for sexual perversion! According to the original Ezekiel-16:49…”Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.” It sounds like the sin of the evangelicals, closing their hearts, minds, and love from those who wander, lost and alone.
    I left many years ago because I never found a place where women were more than chattle. I have been involved in my faith for nearly 50 years. All inclusive and all who wish to follow, do.

    Brightest Blessings.

  7. Jeff McClain says:

    Is one sin greater than another, I think not in the eyes of God. Jesus walked among men for 30 years, he loved and taught us all. I wonder how many men or women Jesus touched with his blessing that were Gay during his reign as a man? I would say since there have been Gay and Lesbian spoken of in the Old Testament that he walked and taught among a few. So let’s find the 2 scriptures that explain how Jesus felt about, 1. Whosoever, believeth in me shall have everlasting life. 2. Let he without sin cast the first stone. Or maybe it is in the ten commandments Huh! Wake up people, we are not to judge anyone for anything for God warns of this, we are to open our hearts and love each other, love has nothing to do with sexual orientation, or sex at all for that matter.

  8. Hank Stanco says:

    Of course the LGBTQA community is less accepting of the existence of a God. Deny the existence of God and the deny the existence of sin, it’s not rocket science.

    1. Lionheart says:

      But then again, it doesn’t matter who doesn’t accept the existence of any god, or deny the existence of any god, and deny the existence of sin, because no god appears to be able to prove its existence. That shouldn’t be a problem for any god….right?

      Message to god:
      Just show up god and prove to us you exist, It’s not rocket science.

      Come on god, wave your magic wand and show up!

      We’re till waiting god!

      Yawn!

      Oh well, surprise surprise, a no show. It’s what we expected anyway.

      🦁❤️

  9. Nellie says:

    God’s word will always stand. Whatever he says he will bring it to pass. What did the bible say in Matthew 5:18 – For verily I say unto you,Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. God is saying Heaven and Earth both will pass away before one word that he says pass away. Leviticus 18:22 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Meaning man shall not lie with man and women should not lie with women. Deuteronomy 22:5 -The women shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. He said a woman shall not wear clothing trying to be a man and a man shall not wear clothing trying to be a woman. Exodus 20:14 – Thou shall not commit adultery. Matthew 19:18 – You must not commit adultery. Sin is sin in God eyes. No sin is greater than the other. The consequences of sin is different. In God’s word, no matter what surgery you have, no matter what you change your name to, etc…. Your DNA will tell medical science what you are. He made us different for a reason. No matter how much we fight back and forth and say what we think. God’s word is not changing. No matter the laws man change. God is not changing. You chose your life and pay the consequence in the endtime. Because it will be an endtime. God said it. Not one of His words will pass away.
    I only quoted the BIBLE.
    Nellie

  10. Lionheart says:

    Yes, your gods word will always stand:

    Exodus: 21:20-21. “And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
    Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.”

    Bottom line, your very immoral god is okay with people owning people, and they can be punished with a rod as long as they don’t die in the first two days after being beaten. So just make sure that anyone you own survives at least two days and you should be okay.

    Don’t blame me, I only quoted the BIBLE.

    🦁❤️

    1. kimberly says:

      tsk Lion…don’t you know the difference between servant and slave? And, you don’t seem to grasp the concept that people didn’t have cushy electric devises back in those days and needed manual labor. In that scenario, servitude was a matter of necessity. That law was enacted to prevent abuse of servants. Not to allow it.

Leave a Comment