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Australia: 40 percent of gay couples identify as Christian

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  1. Why anyone would want to be part of something that does not accept them is beyond me!

    1. That is an appallingly generalised statement to make!

      Poll after poll show that most “normal” Christians who live their lives without putting their heads above the parapet at ever conceivable opportunity to hurl venom and bile – unlike the minority of loopy Christian extremists who profess to speak for all and who shout loudest at every given opportunity – do in fact accept everyone unconditionally, and yes, are tolerant of gays.

      Every race, religion, interest group and, yes, sexuality has their extreme faction of zealots who shout and elbow for attention and who claim to speak for all, thereby tarring all their kind with the same brush of intolerance for the rights and beliefs of others.

      Need I really go on here and state the obvious and risk a barrage of verbiage in return from the more, shall we say, enthusiastic posters on PN forums?

      As a non-religious person per se I certainly have no beef with any of my “normal” Christian friends of all sexual persuasions.

      1. The Buybull clearly states that homosexuality is an abomination.

        It’s so rare to hear a moderate christian condemn the buybull as being a vicious, extrremist, hate-filled tract.

        Christians keep saying ‘We are not always monstrous bigots’.

        Yet they seem to do so very, very little to denounce the hatred in their holy book of fiction.

        Most christians while theymay not be blatant bigoits, remain bigot enablers.

      2. Tim Chapman 29 Jun 2012, 9:43pm

        Tolerant? Isn’t to tolerate someone merely to put up with them? Not exactly unconditional acceptance as you claim.

      3. @ Samuel B.

        Please provide links to all the polls to which you refer.

        The problem is that your ‘extreme faction of zealots’ are those in charge, e.g. the Pope, Archbishops, Bishops etc.

      4. Thanks for standing up for those of us Christians who aren’t particularly hateful. It’s quite a shame to see how many people on PN are so anti-Christian. Many Christians are very loving and accepting people. It’s simply media portrayal that we are allowing to sway our opinions of all Christians. Let us make a contrast though. During gay pride we see men who are half naked and who are overtly sexualised as well as often being incredibly camp and sometimes dressing up in women’s clothes (not that I have a problem with that) . However, not all of us are like that and we don’t like when people make the generalisation that all gays behave that way. Similarly, not all Christians are like the hateful Christians that we see in the media and it’s not right that the gay community, who really should know how unfair generalisations and stereotypes can be, are doing exactly the same thing.

        1. You’re not all hateful people, sure. But you do all stand up for and promote the idea that wishful thinking and make-believe are a valid source of knowledge about the world. Religion is irrational, unevidenced and predicated on faith. And that’s the problem – the nasty versions are just as valid on such a basis as the nice versions. If you can believe what you like without evidence then it’s open season on whatever bigotries and prejudices you care to show.

          Because it isn’t a valid truth-seeking mechanism, religion has no mechanism by which such things can be legitimately condemned. If you’re religious you’re still part of the problem – you facilitate the acceptance and legitimising of appeals to personal feeling as a valid basis for public action.

      5. “shall we say, enthusiastic posters on PN forums? ”

        By that you mean by people who are not as schizophrenic and rabid as you are Samuel.

  2. Tragically high figures.

    Although at least less than half LGBT people identify as cultists.

    2 out of every 3 straight people do.

    Christianity is a minority interest for LGBT people in Australia.

  3. I hope these Australians identify as cultural christians rather than practicing christians. If the latter then they are being hypocrites on two fronts: First, they are traitors to Gay rights with their tacit support of religious homophobia and second, if they ignore the hate filled bile in their bible they can’t be true christians.

    1. David Waite 29 Jun 2012, 3:28pm

      First, a charge of hypocrisy should only be hurled at those “christians” who actually support religious homophobia, such as the Exodus types, and bishop-obeying Anglicans and Catholics. It certainly doesn’t apply to (for example) Unitarians.

      Second, the hate-filled bile directed at men who love men in the Old and New Testaments amounts to less than a dozen badly translated verses of the total. Moreover, ‘true’ Christians adhere to the letter of Jesus’ commandment. “A new Commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you.” Also, “The old law has passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

      I am an atheist child of Dominionist missionaries. My mother informed me (when I was 8 years old) that I was an abomination to the Lord. I was one of her terminal care givers, in my celibate forties: She never changed her mind about my status. I was her ‘walking stick’ and ‘eyes’ (she had bad cataracts) on the mission field and back home. Am I a traitor?

      1. You are a compassionate person, who did not let the hurt that comes from a parent’s non-acceptance divert you from your personal moral commitments.

        However, the balance of your post, you seem to argue that the relatively small number of column inches given to condemning homosexuality in the Bible lets the Christian enterprise off the hook in some way. This would be arguable if it were not for the disproportionate amount of energy that non-liberal Christians expend using those few words in support of their homophobic agenda.

        1. He’s more arguing along the lines that gays can be Christians while ignoring the clobber phrases. (Especially given that there are whole chapters of the bible devoted to the practice of animal sacrifice but we don’t follow those any more).

  4. churchgoers = 1%, I bet

  5. GingerlyColors 29 Jun 2012, 3:25pm

    What defines someone as a ‘Christian’? Do you qualify as one if:
    You celebrate Christmas and Easter?
    Or if you go to church for ‘hatches, matches and dispatiches?’
    Or if you go to church regularly?
    Or if you live live strictly by the Bible 24-7.
    I do not consider myself to be a Christian. I look forward to Easter but as for Christmas, I hate it because of all the hassle and at work it is the worst time of year for me. As I was typing this there was an advert on TV for a Christmas catalogue and it is only June!

  6. I don’t find it that appalling. After all, almost all the countries that have decent LGBT rights have majority Christian populations (allbeit largely secularized ones). The religions is probably the most tolerant to gay people out there, even if this goes only for some denominations.

    1. What planet are you living on?
      You are confusing the Enlightenment’s secularizing effects on the practices of government and on attitudes in society with the influence of religion. Christianity has had nothing to do with the advancement of gay rights.

      1. Well, no. I said “secularized ones” because the Enlightmenment has ONLY worked full-stop in Christian countries. I know it is hard to swallow such a fact given the attitude problems of high clergy, but unlike – say – Islam, no one gives a toss on what said high clergy says, even if people still nominally consider themselves Christian.

  7. It is probably down to the huge dominance of Roman Catholicism in Australian society, though I imagine that this is fading now. A Queenslander I knew once told me that in the small town she came from there were two sources of Truth – the Labour Party and the Catholic Church.

  8. Not surprised by the statistics at all. My partner and I listed as ‘No Religion’ in the Census but like many of the 50+ age group, a majority would have been brought up as Christians during our youth. My partner and I both had to attend Sunday School because that was what was expected of us by our parents. Australia is a very conservative country and that is why we are seeing such a delay in any form of national relationship recognition , especially Marriage Equality. The Census does not provide a clear picture as to how many same-sex couples there truly are in Australia, because many couples are still closeted, many older couples would not want to declare their relationships because of Centrelink rulings in regards to de facto couples. The Federal Government wants same-sex couples to declare all of their assets in regards to the Aged Pension but they will not give us any form of relationship recognition. But the Census was good in that for the first time same-sex couples were included

    1. BJ – totally with you on the undercount. Apart from your Centrelink point, it also pissed me off that the Census forms and website gave no indication that “married” would include anything other than heterosexual, Australian-recognised married couples. Then AFTER the fact, the bloody Census statisticians reckon “hey, let’s count the number of gays who ticked married and report it like its a meaningful number”. Seriously bad statistics that was, and more grist to the mill of right-wing homophobes who can now claim that gays and marriage are not meant to be!

  9. May I just point out, parenthetically, that “Buddhism” in its purest form is not a religion but a philosophy. It recognises no supernatural interventions, and places its greatest stress on personal responsibility.

  10. George Broadhead 1 Jul 2012, 9:37am

    Rehan wrote:

    “May I just point out, parenthetically, that “Buddhism” in its purest form is not a religion but a philosophy. It recognises no supernatural interventions, and places its greatest stress on personal responsibility.

    This seems mor like a description of Humanism to me.

    Dictionaries define Buddhism as a religion and it is generally accepted as such.

    Although Buddhism is atheistic, it does adhere to supernatural concepts like nirvana, dosn’t it?

    1. Yes that’s true, and rebirth according to merit too. However, none of it is dependent on the intervention or obedient worship of divinities (in the purer forms anyway).

      And yes, it is structured like a conventional religion – temples, priests and all the social control and flummery that goes with ’em – but, again, it’s the only major one of what are called religions to not have a central, capricious deity or deities.

    2. GingerlyColors 1 Jul 2012, 9:56pm

      Buddhism believes that one is subjected to a cycle of birth, death and rebirth until they can achieve enlightenment known as Nirvana. As we all trip up somewhere along the way I believe that Nirvana is unattainable.
      As an agnostic, I always view things from the strictly athiest point of view first. How can the Universe suddenly appear out of absolutely nothing in a ‘Big Bang’. Even thin air would contain matter to form a universe. Also if we are condemmed to an eternity of oblivion without end after death, then we would have been in a state of oblivion that never had a beginning before we were conceived in our mother’s wombs. Therefore I do believe in a higher state of existence but I can do so without peddling homophobic, racist and sexist opinions.

      1. But, as with all religious belief, there is no evidence for it.

  11. All should embrace atheism.

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