41% identify as atheist
The Pew Research Center has released new findings from its 2014 Religious Landscape Study which examined religion and its ramifications within the United States. A newly released part of that study found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults are less likely to have religious beliefs compared with other segments of the population.
One of the most important aspects of this study was focused on having a belief in God or not as seen in straight and LGB individuals. According to the study, 89 percent of straight respondents believed that there was a God. That was contrary to 77 percent of lesbian, gay, and bi people. While this was a rather large percentage in terms of outright belief, there were other areas to consider as well.
For example, the study revealed that 16 percent and 19 percent of gay and lesbian and bisexual people were attending church services, respectively. That was about half of the 36 percent of straight individuals. A lack of faithful activities such as praying daily and saying religion is important was also seen in the lesbian, bisexual, and gay communities that were interviewed.
That doesn’t mean these people aren’t asking the big questions about life. They still ponder existence and purpose and possess a deeper sense of wonder about the universe itself compared with straight individuals.
Now, one thing the study didn’t answer was why those individuals weren’t believers. Looking at the stances of many of the hardline religious groups in the U.S., it’s not hard to see that many gay people are seen as undesirable or against their religion. Maltreatment and a lack of a message that is appealing to LGB people could be some of the things that are driving them away from religion as a whole.
There is one final aspect to consider, and that is the fact there are still a lot of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people that have religious beliefs. Many of them are members of churches that are probably more progressive and welcoming of all people. That model of inclusion could be the thing that helps bring more people into churches, but further divisions could ensure the number of religious LGB people to continue to fall.