Why do Catholics support gay marriage more strongly than Protestants?

According to the latest Gallup Poll, 60% of Catholics support a federal law requiring states to accept gay marriage. Since only 53% of Americans believe that it must mean that Catholics favor gay marriage in much larger numbers than non-Catholic Christians. Why do Protestants and other non-Catholics reject gay marriage at a higher rate than Catholics?


In America Catholics tend to be concentrated in politically liberal areas and as many on this board lament they are “cradle” Catholics or the saying is they have not been properly taught their faith. On the other hand I remember when Proposition 8 passed in California, Filipinos were one of the few “minority groups” to vote against it. With other groups, Black and Hispanic, objecting to having homosexuals being linked to African American and Latino. In the time since however the so-called leadership of the minority groups have evolved :shrug: along with President Obama on the issue.

I suspect younger Catholics are even more pro gay marriage than older Catholics. We always are hearing that older Catholics have been improperly catechized and that it is getting better among the young. I’m not sure that is true. Why would Filipinos vote against Proposition 8 – they are among the most Catholic groups in the country?

And they are also on the politically liberal, give me more, political party’s side. As Dennis Prager says leftism is the world’s most dynamic religion today and gets more converts then Christianity and Islam combined.

Most people don’t have a good understanding of what Sin is and does to one’s soul.

Therefore, considering outside influence, it’s easy to be swallowed up in the pool of self desire.

Protestant Churches can be extremely passionate about rejecting gay marriage and abortion, so it’s likely that the influence comes from such a passion.

I can’t speak on behalf of Catholics in comparison though because I’ve never observed their Church or its members closely enough to make a call on why Protestants are more likely to reject this.

Poll numbers are not always what they may seem. When you look at the categories of people who either support or reject SSM there is a statistic at the bottom of the list categorized as those who attend church weekly of which only 23% support it. Would this not include Catholics who attend Church weekly as well?

There are millions who identify themselves as Catholic who were baptized in the Catholic Church. The only time they enter the doors of the Church again is at their funeral. They have never been catechized and do not follow the teachings of the Church, yet if they receive a phone call and are asked to identify their religion, they will, no doubt, say “I am Catholic”. I can guarantee you that if they took that poll from those leaving Sunday Mass each week, it would be nowhere near the 60% figure that is being cited as the “Catholic” view, and may very well be much lower than 23%. I know for certain that those who support SSM is not even 23% in my own parish, probably closer to 5-10%.

Well so many support abortion. Again it’s just the liberal faction of Catholicism

I’m guessing in my own large parish in the Midwest it would be closer to 40%. I see a lot of Obama stickers in the parking lot. Still.

As I have spoken of time and time again throughout my posts…The average Catholic in the US has had such poor catechisis and is so lazy pertaining to continued learning of the faith, have no idea how to live as a Catholic because they have no clue what the teachings of the Catholic Church are.

Most believe if they go to Mass once a week they are good Catholics. Many more believe that they can pick and choose what teachings they wish to follow and are good Catholics. Fewer are those who live their faith outwardly and make decisions based on Catholic teaching.

The simple truth is that too many US Catholics just don’t know their faith well enough to make decisions based on what the faith teaches.

Yes. And they contradict and reject the teachings of the very Church to which they claim membership. It is akin to me calling myself a Buddhist while rejecting two of the five precepts. I would be no more a Buddhist than those who accept abortion and SSM are Catholic.

I know Clinton bought off the Irish vote he’d lost in supporting abortion by hopping into bed with Gerry Adams and his IRA terror gang. Now they are bringing in foreigners and buying them off with other people’s money.

People will never stop falling for Socialism.

I am not saying this to lay blame, and I certainly don’t have any statistics to back my statement up, but it is just a thought. Are not Catholics more highly criticized in the Media than other Christians? Our theology is mocked, misrepresented, purposefully misinterpreted, our good priests are openly labeled as pedophiles because of the acts of a few, the few corrupt priests are labeled as representatives of the Church, our Pope is continually misquoted, and it is the popular trend currently to hate Catholicism in general. …We were told by Christ that we would be tested, and only the true and faithful would remain. Further, we were told that those who remain true and faithful would be persecuted. Catholicism is the one, True Faith, and I believe we might be seeing some of Christ’s words come to fruition. Whether it be from poor catechesis, or from pressures of popular opinion or what have you, I think it is much harder to be a faithful Catholic today than it is to be some Christian denomination. It’s not an excuse, but I have a hunch it is why so many Catholics do not practice in full accordance with the Church.

This is a protestant country at heart. Catholics who are not well studied in their faith or are lax tend to politicize, as their protestant neighbors do. The liberal protestants are super-progressive, the conservative protestants are right wing. Real well-studied Catholics don’t fall neatly into either category - we are to be socially just, love our neighbor, prolife all the way through AND firm in Christ and the Church; not one over the other or in spite of the other. This makes us targets from both groups.

It seems to me the media loves the Catholic Church ever since Francis became Pope. They love comments that seem to be favorable to gays. They love polls that show Catholics are in favor of gay marriage. They love to portray Catholics as favorable to their liberal agenda. I would rather see them criticizing the Church like they used to do.

Catholics have a different perspective, given that salvation is on-going, not something that happens one-time from saying the “sinner’s prayer” at an altar call.

Catholics do better at presenting the “how” to be a good Christian part, but Protestants are better at presenting the “why” redemption and salvation is necessary part. Which is kind of ironic, given that Catholics have the CCC and history to draw upon.

Just thinking about, I go to a pretty conservative parish, but I can’t recall any of my priests saying the word “sin”. Maybe they’ve said it and I missed it, but I don’t think so. I think I’d remember if any of the fathers at my parish said the word “sin” because it would be so unusual. However, I can still see my old Baptist pastor standing at the pulpit preaching about sin and damnation all these years later. They weren’t unusual words to hear.

As a convert, I’ve experienced both. I can see why mainstream Catholics would support gay marriage as part of the “social justice” mission of the church. However, I don’t understand it, given what the church actually teaches about homosexuality.

Maybe it’s poor Catholic understanding/belief of the Bible. Evangelicals know their Bibles inside and out, and adhere strongly to the teachings therein. It’s pretty black and white for them. For Catholics, who interpret the Bible through the lens of Tradition, thorough catechesis is necessary to grasp all the doctrines taught by the Church, and many people slip through reception of sacraments without a lot of catechesis or support at home. So we end up with a vast number of us who think it’s OK to move beyond the Bible and ignore clear teachings, especially when the surrounding culture says they’re ok. Contraception, abortion, homosexuality are all elements of liberal Population Control.

Then you have the Democratic Party in the USA, which did a bait-and-switch on Catholics over the years. Before Roe v. Wade it was admirable to be a Democrat Catholic. Look at JFK. But the Kennedys changed in 1964, embracing intrinsic evils, and presaged a sea change in the landscape of American politics. Nowadays I know many Catholics who cling to the tenets of the Democrats, and they think more like Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius than anyone else. Politics and patriotism are strong forces in people’s lives. They often override religious beliefs and teachings. My mom, for example, like many Democrats, is more concerned about setting up a large welfare state and “caring for the poor” no matter how inefficient or awful it gets, at the expense of taxpayers and supplanting faith-based charities which may do a much better job. Immigrants tend to be overwhelmingly Democratic, so in the USA we have this situation of many Latino Catholics coming in and supporting abortion and homosexual marriage because that’s what their political party does. Protestants tend to be more strongly allied with the Republican party and more politically conservative overall. While the “Catholic vote” bloc is strongly divided today, the conservative Evangelicals are still a base to be reckoned with.

In short, I think liberals do not see homosexual marriage as a grave issue of religious belief and freedom, but rather one of civil rights and stopping government interference in the bedroom. Catholic bishops dropped the ball on this about 50 years ago, during Humanae Vitae and the turmoil of Vatican II, when the world was going crazy with free love, it was a critical time to hold steadfastly to the Catholic teachings on chastity, but that opportunity was lost and so are many Catholics today.

A majority of the younger Catholics I know are “cafeteria Catholics.” I seem to be the only one who adheres to all of the teachings of the Catholic Church.

It might be because some priests today are too afraid to speak out against homosexuality. There is this retired priest that fills in at my parish sometimes, and he was trained in a pre-Vatican II seminary. He always speaks out against homosexuality. It seems like only the older priests have the courage to speak out against things that contradict the Catholic faith.

It seems after Vatican II, more people are having less respect for Church teaching. I don’ know why. Vatican II didn’t change any teaching. :shrug:

By George, I think she’s got it! :thumbsup:

Two things I learned in Statistics: first, I have mathematical dyslexia :eek:
Second: you can skewer statistics for just about any purpose

Who on this board has ever gotten any phone call from these “poll” people? I know I haven’t, so where are these people, who are they, how many of them, etc. This is what they don’t tell us.

This is my take on the matter. Lay Catholic culture has for centuries been centered on a few things: Mass, popular devotions, Rosary, and stuff like that. Since these things have all but gone away in the everyday life of many or most Western Catholics (at least), their connection to Catholic culture has effectively been obliterated. Or, in another way of saying it, Catholic culture itself has been destroyed for them. Where we see strong Catholic culture in lay Catholic groups–whether they be families, colleges, or whatever–there is almost always strong Mass attendance and devotional use.

Now, culture is what links us to the Church, in a sense. So if our connection to the culture, or our perception of that culture, is harmed, so too will our relationship be harmed in matters like faith and morals. It is kind of easy to see for me.

On the other hand, Evangelicals and other similar or related groups have not compromised their essential culture. Yes, they have their problems and yes, they don’t have Sacraments, but their culture and thus their connection to what they believe has remained largely intact, if not in an objective sense (because I can’t verify that) then at least in a subjective sense.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.