Poll: Mainline Protestants Very Liberal on Abortion, Sex, Gays -- Pentecostals More Conservative

By Michael W. Chapman | September 12, 2017 | 4:25pm EDT

(CNSNews.com) -- A Gallup survey shows that mainline Protestant denominations, such as the Episcopalians, are very accepting of abortion, sex outside of marriage, and gay and lesbian relationships. However, the survey also found that Southern Baptists, non-denominational churches, and Pentecostal churches are far less accepting of those practices than their mainline Protestant relatives.

Every year since 2001 Gallup has polled adults nationwide on "values and beliefs." The latest results are from aggregated data of those annual surveys (2001-2017), which looked at the acceptance of moral issues by Protestant denomination. 

The numbers represent the percent from each denomination that found the topic or practice "morally acceptable." 

(Photo: Psychology Today) 

For instance, with Episcopalians, 57% say abortion is "morally acceptable"; 71% say sex between an unmarried man and woman is morally acceptable; and 71% say gay and lesbian relationships are morally acceptable. Also, 59% of Episcopalians say the death penalty is acceptable. The numbers were similar for Presbyterians, Lutherans and Methodists. 




Methodists, however, were a bit less accepting of abortion (46%) and gay and lesbian relations (56%) than the Episcopalienas. (See chart.)

On the other side of the Protestant coin, so to speak, Baptists, Southern Baptists, non-denominational Christians, and Pentecostals revealed more conservative leanings. 

For instance, only 13% of Pentecostals and 17% of Southern Baptists believe abortion is "morally acceptable." Also, only 15% of Pentecostals and 24% of Southern Baptists think homosexual relations are "morally acceptable."

Nationally, for all the Protestant denominations surveyed, only 41% of the people said abortion was acceptable, and only 54% said gay relations were morally acceptable. 

Gallup reported that Episcopalians "have one of the highest levels of educational attainment of any religious group, do not assume the Bible is literally true, and generally tend to identify as more socially liberal than other Protestant groups."

Illustration of a D&E, dilation and extraction, abotion. (Priestsforlife)

"Southern Baptists, by contrast," said Gallup, "have lower educational attainment on average, are more likely to be biblical literalists, tend to be socially conservative and live in more conservative areas of the country."

"Understanding Protestants remains an important research objective because they constitute the largest category of religious identification in the U.S. today, about twice the size of those identifying as Catholics, the second-largest religious group," said Gallup

Adults aged 18 and older, living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, were surveyed by telephone each May by Gallup. This poll's results came from an aggregated sample of 17,765 adults. The margin of error was +/- 2 percentage points, with a 95% confidence level. 


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