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4 Bumps

Is it possible to disagree with your religion's teachings on abortion and homosexuality and still remain in good standing with their faith? Americans today are saying yes

 

WASHINGTON (RNS) Significant majorities of Americans say it is possible to disagree with their religion's teachings on abortion and homosexuality and still remain in good standing with their faith.

The findings, released Thursday (June 9) in a detailed survey by Public Religion Research Institute, held true for major religious groups, including Catholics and white evangelical Protestants.

The findings reflect the complicated tasks faced by Catholic bishops to discipline politicians who stray from church teaching, or evangelical groups that try to toe a traditional line as cultural values shift around them.

In fact, the survey found that six in 10 Americans chafe at the idea of religious leaders publicly pressuring politicians on the issue of abortion, as has happened to several high-profile Catholic Democrats in recent years.

Overall, 72 percent of Americans say it's permissible to disagree with church teaching on abortion, and 63 percent say the same for homosexuality.

Catholics closely mirror the general population's position on abortion and church teaching, but are more progressive than the general population on the issue of homosexuality and church teaching.

Two-thirds of evangelicals (67 percent) said they could differ with church teaching on abortion, and slightly less than a majority (47 percent) said the same about homosexuality.

The report focused on the views of millennials (people ages 18-29) and found that they are more supportive than their parents of gay marriage. Their views on abortion closely mirror their parents, however, with six in 10 saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Also, most millennials -- 68 percent -- think at least some health care professionals in their community should provide legal abortions.

"Millennials are actually more likely to say that abortion should be available in their local community than say it should be legal," said Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Washington-based research firm, whichannounced its results at the Brookings Institution.

Abortion services by local health care professionals is also supported by majorities of white mainline Protestants (72 percent), the religiously unaffiliated (71 percent), white Catholics (58 percent), and black Protestants (56 percent). Minorities of Latino Catholics (38 percent) and white evangelicals (37 percent) supported such availability.

The report also found a religious divide on the sinfulness of having an abortion, with more than 60 percent of white evangelicals, black Protestants and Latino Catholics seeing it as sinful. White Catholics, meanwhile, were evenly divided (46 percent each), and white mainline Protestants were the sole major religious group where a majority (55 percent) did not believe it is sinful.

Researchers found a link between biblical interpretation and opposition to abortion: almost six in 10 Americans who say the Bible is the literal word of God believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

More than 80 percent of people who don't see the Bible as the word of God but rather a book written by men think abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances.

The overall survey, based on telephone interviews with 3,000 people between April 22 and May 8, had a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. The sample of 431 millennials had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Among other findings:

  • Significant majorities of mainline Protestants (85 percent), Catholics (78 percent), black Protestants (74 percent) and evangelicals (62 percent) support public schools teaching comprehensive sex education.
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  • With the exception of white evangelicals, majorities of major religious groups say "pro-life" and "pro-choice" are both labels that describe them at least somewhat well.
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  • Majorities of Americans who attend church at least once or twice a week hear clergy talk about abortion and homosexuality, with most hearing those issues are morally wrong and few hearing they are morally acceptable.
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Answer Question
 
sweet-a-kins

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 11:23 AM on Jun. 10, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (36)
  • Yes.

    I am Catholic and the Catholic church (and maybe others, I'm not sure) teaches that if you are not baptized, you do not get into Heaven....NO exceptions. And that means that a miscarried or stillborn baby or a child whose parents have not gotten baptized is in Purgatory. There is no way I am not going to fully believe that they are all in Heaven. Talked to a priest about this once and he actually AGREED with me pointing out that I was only using the free will that God gave to me.

    I liked that priest!!
    AllAboutKeeley

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 11:31 AM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • I believe so, just because you are ok with abortion and homosexuality does not make you a bad person. We are all sinners and that includes what we think, you cant change how you feel about a subject. You cant be perfect. Its ok in my book
    leksismommy

    Answer by leksismommy at 11:41 AM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • I am Catholic and the Catholic church (and maybe others, I'm not sure) teaches that if you are not baptized, you do not get into Heaven....NO exceptions. And that means that a miscarried or stillborn baby or a child whose parents have not gotten baptized is in Purgatory. There is no way I am not going to fully believe that they are all in Heaven. Talked to a priest about this once and he actually AGREED with me pointing out that I was only using the free will that God gave to me.
    >>>
    That's kind of true and kind of not. I am going to copy a bit from a couple of answers from an apologist and the CCC

    The Catholic Church entrusts all children (from the moment of conception) who die without baptism to God’s mercy in hope of their salvation. There is no distinction between children already born and those still in the womb. "Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward
    adnilm

    Answer by adnilm at 11:42 AM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • children which caused him to say: ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,’ allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism" (CCC 1261).
    adnilm

    Answer by adnilm at 11:42 AM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • The search to stretch the means by which baptism can validly be bestowed was more understandable in a time when the common opinion of theologians was that unborn babies could not go to heaven without baptism. Now that it is better understood that God is not bound by the sacraments and that he can bestow sanctifying grace outside of the sacraments to those who are innocently incapable of receiving it in any other way, there is no need to try to stretch how baptism may be validly conferred. All that is necessary is that parents do all that they can to have their children baptized within the first few weeks after birth (cf. CIC 867 §1; CCC 1261).
    adnilm

    Answer by adnilm at 11:43 AM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • I don't necessarily disagree with my church on either. I take different routes away from the conclusion they make.
    adnilm

    Answer by adnilm at 11:44 AM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • NO exceptions. And that means that a miscarried or stillborn baby or a child whose parents have not gotten baptized is in Purgatory.


    They USED to teach this, but no more. I have an Aunt who had a stillborn and was tortured for years thinking her baby wasn't in Heaven because she was never baptized,,,about 10 years later she was told by a priest...WE DONT TEACH THAT ANYMORE!! say what????


    she used to light a candle every saturday morning for her daughter and pray she would get to heaven......

    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 12:04 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • Which Americans say yes?

    You mean the one's who are trying it?

    You expect them to say, "No, it's not possible?"
    Hm.
    mustbeGRACE

    Answer by mustbeGRACE at 12:23 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • .................and was tortured for years thinking her baby wasn't in Heaven because she was never baptized,,.....................


     


    My denomination of Christianity never taught that so I guess we were ahead of the game!


    We have always assumed that God has AT LEAST as much common sense as we humans do.


    How would you condemn a baby to hell who never once had the opportunity to choose to sin?


    Not very loving.

    mustbeGRACE

    Answer by mustbeGRACE at 12:26 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

  • How would you condemn a baby to hell


    they didnt teach hell....but purgatory...


    It was very painful for my Aunt

    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 12:42 PM on Jun. 10, 2011

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