Friday, October 22, 2010
The Public Religion Research Institute polled 1,017 Americans their views on religion and homosexuality between October 14 and 17, in the wake of a highly publicized rash of suicides by gay people — mostly teenagers.
The survey found two out of three Americans believe gay people commit suicide at least partly because of negative messages coming out of churches and other places of worship.
More than four out of 10 Americans say the message coming out of churches about gay people is negative, and about the same number say those messages contribute “a lot” to negative perceptions of gay and lesbian people.
Catholics were the most critical of their own churches’ messages on homosexuality, while white evangelical Christians gave their churches the highest grades, the survey found.
Only five out of 100 people gave churches high marks for its handling of “the issue of homosexuality” in the Public Religion Research Institute survey.
Speaking to a crowd of the faithful recently, Pope Benedict XVI, the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic church engaged in gay bashing saying, “[gay marriage] contributes to the weakening of the principles of natural law” and to “confusion about society’s values.”
It’s homophobic comments from church leaders like those from Pope Benedict that a majority of Americans find contribute directly to the epidemic of gay teenage suicides.