Rogers, Baker A. “Conditionally Accepted: Christians’ Perspectives on Sexuality and Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights”, Rutgers University Press, 2019.
Mississippi Christians and Homosexuality
“Conditionally Accepted” by Baker A. Rogers explores Mississippi Christians’ beliefs about homosexuality and gay and lesbian civil rights. It looks at whether having a gay or lesbian friend or family member influences those beliefs. We know that beliefs about homosexuality and gay and lesbian rights vary widely based on religious affiliation. Despite having gay or lesbian friends or family members, evangelical Protestants believe homosexuality is sinful and oppose gay and lesbian rights while mainline Protestants are largely supportive of gay and lesbian rights and become more supportive after getting to know gay and lesbian people. With Catholics there is a greater degree of uncertainty and a conditional acceptance of gay and lesbian rights; clear differences between conservative and liberal Catholics are evident. We see here that conservative Christians, both evangelical Protestants and conservative Catholics, hold a religious identity that overshadows their relationships with gay and lesbian friends or family. Conservative religion is a deterrent to the positive benefits of relationships with gay and lesbian people.
Rogers gives us a textured analysis of perceptions of gay and lesbian citizens living in one of the most conservative parts of the country and does so through a well-organized, engaging, and compelling investigation. His analysis is both critical and sympathetic.