Speaking as someone who teaches at a university with a comparatively conservative and religious student body, this post by Rachel Held Evers rings very true to my ears. I was particularly struck by the following:
When asked by The Barna Group what words or phrases best describe Christianity, the top response among Americans ages 16-29 was “antihomosexual.” For a staggering 91 percent of non-Christians, this was the first word that came to their mind when asked about the Christian faith. The same was true for 80 percent of young churchgoers.
Heckava job, homophobes.
Vaguely relevant anecdote: Earlier this semester, I mentioned in class as an aside that discrimination against GLBT people was perfectly legal in many states. The students, ranging from left to right, were unanimous in their reaction: shocked that such a thing would be legal in this day and age, and disgust and horror at that fact. Said shock and horror intensified when I told them Ohio was one of the states where such discrimination is still legal…
What’s particularly striking is that back when the contemporary religious right really got going in the late 1970’s gay-bashing was a good way to persuade those outside of their political-religious milieu of their status as defenders of public morality. Now, it’s doing precisely the opposite.