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Trends
Gallup finds that of those adhering to a religious identity, Americans who considered themselves Christian made up 95 percent of respondents. 15% did not subscribe to any religious identity; but only 8% of Americans say they do not believe in God. Another find from Gallop:  81 percent of Americans believe that religion is either “very important” or “fairly important” in their lives. These findings show the contrast between the United States and traditionally Christian countries like England, where research recently report that a minority of the population consider faith an important part of their life. via Survey: Christians Make Up 95 Percent of U.S. Religious Population, Christian News. Does this surprise you at all? Todd
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Trends
According to the Houston Chronicle and a new Gallop poll:  Christians and people from other religious traditions have grown more tolerant of gays and lesbians. The percentage of Catholics calling gay relations “morally acceptable” has increased by more than a third in the past five years, up to 62 percent. More Americans also favor legalizing gay marriage. More from the article: Although America’s stance on homosexuality remains a contentious social issue, nearly split nationwide, gays and lesbians are moving towards equality in some of the country’s mainline Protestant denominations. The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles recently ordained the church’s first openly gay female bishop. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America decided last year to allow non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy to serve. Despite some dissenters, the ELCA has continued to seek the full inclusion of homosexual church leaders and members. In the survey, fewer people cited homosexuality as a personal choice rather than a factor of genetics and environment (from 41 percent in 2008 to 34 percent in 2010). As I’ve said many times before… I really think the gay/lesbian issue will be one of the biggest areas of controversy and change in the church in the next decade.  How is your church engaging/reaching/reacting to gays and lesbians?  Do you feel you need to?  How will your church hold it’s theological views on homosexuality and yet minister in a world that is increasingly looking at homosexuality as a norm? You can read more here… Todd
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