Thursday, July 22, 2010

Butler Bass & "But the Bible says ..."

Love this reflection by Diana Butler Bass on yesterday's PRRI poll of Californians on same-sex marriage.

You should read it all here ... but I particularly appreciated her summary/wrap up on the "but the Bible says" argument. She notes that in the same-sex marriage debates:

"... some religious person always shouts, "I don't care about scientists or a bunch of secular ethicists! The Bible says ... "

Well, the California survey found the electorate almost equally divided in their views of the Bible (or other "holy book"): 30 percent believe that scripture is the literal word of God; 27 percent believe it to be God's word, yet not literal; and 33 percent believe the Bible was written by "men and is not the word of God." While the literalists strongly oppose same-sex marriage, the "written by men" folks strongly support it.

Thus, the theological swing group is in the middle -- those who take the Bible seriously but not literally -- and they appear to be moving in the direction of legalizing same-sex marriage. Progressive and mainline clergy seem to be having an impact on ways in which the Bible is interpreted: Californians who heard "positive messages from the clergy" about gay and lesbian people overwhelming supported either same-sex marriage (60 percent) or civil unions (22 percent).

Finally, Californians strongly agree that the Golden Rule -- to treat others as we want to be treated--applies to the issue of same-sex marriage. Some 58 percent said, "We should apply the Golden Rule to gay and lesbian couples who are in long-term committed relationships and allow them the same opportunity to get married as everyone else."
Thanks, California, for the reminder that the Golden State remembers the Golden Rule -- and that religion can help open minds and not just close them.

And thanks, Diana, for helping get that word out. For WAY too long the Religious Right have wrongly presumed to speak for ALL people of faith. Polls like this help continue to turn that tide ... and we can help KEEP it turning by stepping up, by speaking out, by believing out loud!

1 comment:

Mompriest said...

I am so grateful for this. I have long argued that a full range of Christian views need to be made "public" and political so that the general public does not lump all Christians into one narrow category.