Thursday, August 13, 2009

Survey: ELCA Clergy Support Gay Clergy and Relationships

Shrimp here, with a press release from Public Religion Research about a 2008 survey of "senior clergy from the seven largest Mainline denominations: United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, American Baptist Churches USA, Presbyterian Church USA, Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)." Tip o' the claw to ELCA News.

We don't know much about Public Religion Research other than that their motto is "Bringing expertise and insight to the intersection of religion, values and public policy" and that their analysis of the survey (pdf) suggests a progressive, pro-gay perspective. You can see the actual survey here. Now without further ado, Shrimp out.

Survey Shows Lutheran Clergy Support Ordination of Gay and Lesbian Clergy

Survey Shows ELCA Clergy Support Performing Same-Sex Marriages Where Legal

Contact: Dr. Robert P. Jones, President, 202-425-0277, rjones@publicreligion.org
For the PDF version of this press release, click here.


A majority of clergy who belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) support ordination of gay and lesbian clergy, and a plurality (46%) support performing same-sex marriages in states where they are legal, according to a recent national survey by Public Religion Research. The Clergy Voices Survey is the most in-depth study ever conducted of Mainline Protestant clergy and contained nearly 60 questions related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in the church and society.

"ELCA clergy are generally supportive of a range of rights for gay and lesbian people both inside and outside the church. Nationwide, a majority of ELCA clergy support ordaining gay and lesbian clergy, and only a minority of ELCA clergy opposes performing same-sex marriages in the states where they are legal," said Dr. Robert P. Jones, President of Public Religion Research, who conducted the study. "ELCA clergy also strongly believe that the gospel message requires full inclusion of gay and lesbian members in the life of the church, and support for ordination and participation in marriage ceremonies of gay and lesbian parishioners are concrete expressions of that theological conviction."

Seven-in-ten ELCA clergy say that the gospel message requires full inclusion of LGBT people in the church, and a majority of ELCA clergy supports ordination of gay and lesbian clergy . A solid majority (54%) of ELCA clergy says that gay and lesbian people should be eligible for ordination with no special requirements. About one-third (32%) says that gay and lesbian people should be eligible for ordination only if they are celibate, and only 14% say gay and lesbian people should not be eligible at all.

A plurality of ELCA clergy support performing civil marriages where legal. By a significant margin, ELCA clergy disagree with the statement, "Even if it were legal, I would not be willing to perform a civil union or marriage for a same-sex couple" (46% disagree vs. 37% agree). As a matter of public policy, the overwhelming majority of ELCA clergy support either same-sex marriage (37%) or civil unions (44%), and only 1-in-5 (19%) says there should be no legal recognition for same-sex relationships. ELCA clergy are also strongly supportive of other rights for LGBT families and individuals, such as adoption rights, hate crimes laws, and workplace discrimination protections.

A majority (53%) of ELCA clergy report that their views on LGBT issues are more liberal today than they were a decade ago. One-third (33%) says their views have not changed, and only 14% say they have become more conservative.

The Clergy Voices Survey was conducted by mail among a national random sample of senior clergy serving congregations in the seven largest Mainline Protestant denominations. The survey contained over 250 separate questions and generated 2,658 respondents with a response rate of 44%. The Clergy Voices Survey was funded by the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. Full results of the study can be found at http://www.publicreligion.org/research/?id=208.

4 comments:

Erma Wolf said...

Follow the money. Look at the foundation that funded the Clergy Voices Survey: the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. Very interesting.

Reformed Catholic said...

Amazing, they came to the same conclusion about PCUSA clergy !!

Brian Hughes said...

Erma,

For what it's worth, IMHO, we are witnessing what happens when evil gains more than a foothold in the church ... and yes, I really do believe this is about evil in the church.

mellow roc said...

Experience and my Opinion,
I was quite upset when leaving our ELCA church last Sunday after hearing the pastor assume the position of being subserviant to his boss Bishop Hansen, in calling for mercy to be shown, and to prepare for what he called "difficult teaching" ahead. I sent an email to the ELCA officials on Monday voicing my disdain over their vote to endorse gay clergy and the message it sends to all concerned.
The site virtue on line has become a fave of mine to cope with the endorsement of sodomy-type behavior that the ELCA and other main line denominations are supporting. Of course, money talks, it don't sing and it don't walk, and as stewardship month is fast approaching, churches in financial hardship need a few bucks, so include, include, include...
Of course the ELCA and others have forgotten or care to know little about their heritage in the synagogue but have a Savior who is most likely ethnically European though born in a little town called Bethlehem.
I see that the homosexuals are keeping their victory to them selves, in their own closets as none came up when doing a google result. Hmmmmm.
Perhaps they are busy worshipping each other right now or having coffee or a brew with their new-found friends and potential lovers.. Mellow Roc

The good ship ELCA...

The good ship ELCA...
Or the Shellfish blog...