The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Monday, April 6, 2009

Young Evangelicals

I've written previously about Rick Cizik and evangelicals in general. Cizik, of course, is the former vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals who was booted after saying he believed in civil unions for gays and lesbians during an interview on NPR's Fresh Air.

The Advocate has an article in their current issue titled "Reduce, Reuse, Religion?" The article focuses on Jonathan Merritt, a Southern Baptist student (or former student) who is becoming a leader in the growing "creation care" movement among evangelicals.

Read what Merritt said about his new found fame (or infamy) in this article from the Christian Index. He's been tagged a (gasp) liberal.

All because he is concerned about the environment. Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative is the web site he started and his declaration that created the buzz can be found there.

My interest in the Advocate article (and I assume their purpose in printing it) is that it says young evangelicals are taking the focus off of divisive social issues and placing it on more pressing concerns. (The article is not available online as I write this) A majority of young white evangelicals (age 18-29) support either marriage or domestic partnership for same sex couples (58%), according to a 2008 study referenced in the article, compared to 46% of evangelicals over 30.

Merritt says it's easy to see why. Four out of ten evangelical youths say they have a close friend or family member who is gay, twice as many as their older counterparts. When the issue becomes personal, attitudes change. "Many older [evangelicals] are in disbelief when you quote that statistic," he says. "One man said to me, 'Well, I have a cousin who is gay.' I told him the difference is that I hang out with my friends who are gay on Friday nights. You just see your cousin at Christmastime."

The future looks bright(er) for the planet, and for equality.

Read an announcement about a distinguished speaker, Susan Solomon, coming to UAB Wednesday at Bessemer Science and Nature, speaking of climate change.

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