On this website, LGBT is an acronym for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender persons and Transsexuals.
The 35 million Baptists form the largest division within Protestant Christianity in the
United States. About 16 million are associated with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). This is the second largest Christian denomination in the U.S., behind the Roman Catholic Church.
SBC broke away from its parent organization at the time of the civil war because of the conflict over human slavery.
Many Southern Baptists at the time regarded human slavery as a moral institution; the Northern part of the parent organization took the opposite view. Similar schisms occurred at that time in many national denominations over the slavery issue.
Traditionally, this denomination had varying levels of tolerance for homosexuality and
had expressed concern over gay-bashing. However, with the shift of the SBC towards
fundamentalism starting about 1980, attitudes have significantly
hardened into an extreme opposition to equal rights for gays, bisexuals, and
lesbians, including allowing sexually active gay, lesbian, and bisexuals to become church
members and the right of loving, committed same-sex couples to marry. Their greatest concern is the gradual cultural acceptance of homosexuality and bisexuality as normal and natural for a minority of adults. One evidence of this is that most American adults now favor the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Like most fundamentalist and many other evangelical Christian denominations, most Southern Baptists believe that:
Homosexual is a chosen behavior not a discovered sexual orientation.
Because it is a choice, youths and adults can be recruited into the "gay lifestyle"
A child is set up as a result of poor parenting and/or sexual molestation to make them more likely to choose to become homosexual.
A homosexual orientation is intrinsically disordered.
Same-gender sexual behavior is immoral irrespective of the nature of the relationship or the sexual orientation of the participants.
Homosexuals can change and leave the homosexual lifestyle. Although they usually do not define how change is achieved, in practice it generally involves:
persons with a homosexual orientation choosing celibacy and
persons with a bisexual orientation choosing to restrict sexual activity to persons of the opposite gender.
Homosexuals can convert to heterosexuality through prayer, becoming saved. and perhaps by undergoing reparative therapy or through involvement with a transformational ministry.
Same-sex marriage represents a major threat to the institution of opposite-sex marriage.
Numerically, lesbians and gays represent a very small percentage of the adult population -- perhaps on the order of 1 or 2%.
Equal rights for the LGBT community -- as in, for example, allowing loving, committed same-sex couples to marry -- are actually special rights.
Neither of the two sides mentioned above seems willing to enter into dialogue to resolve their differences in beliefs about sexual orientation. We refer to them as "two solitudes." They seem to promote their own belief systems independently, and sometimes throw verbal rocks at each other.
Persons with a homosexual orientation total about 5% of the youth population in North America. (Some LGBT groups say 10%; some religious conservatives say 1 or 2%). Unfortunately some sources say that this demographic are responsible for about 33% of the youth suicides. When any demographic is committing suicide at over six times the average rate, that part of the population is in crisis. However, little progress can be made at reducing the ever growing number of dead bodies until the "two solitudes" agree to dialogue with the aims of:
Resolving their differences,
Determining what the reality of sexual orientation is, and
Educating the public accordingly.
The fact that very little direct debate and essentially no dialogue is ocurring between the two solitudes is, to me, an indicator of depraved indifference by both sides.
Now that I have alientated you and just about every North American, we offer the following essays:
Topics covered in this section related to the Southern Baptist Convention and the LGBT community: