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October 21st, 2010
03:14 PM ET

Churches contribute to gay suicides, most Americans believe

Fort Worth Texas Councilman Joel Burns’ videotaped story about being gay and bullied as a child recently went viral on the internet.

Two out of three Americans believe gay people commit suicide at  least partly because of messages coming out of churches and other places of  worship, a survey released Thursday found.

More than four out of 10 Americans say the message coming out of churches  about gay people is negative, and about the same number say those messages  contribute "a lot" to negative perceptions of gay and lesbian people.

Catholics were the most critical of their own churches' messages on  homosexuality, while white evangelical Christians gave their churches the  highest grades, the survey found.

The Public Religion Research Institute asked 1,017 Americans their views  on religion and homosexuality between October 14 and 17, in the wake of a highly publicized rash of suicides by gay people.

Gay rights campaigner Dan Savage said the idea that churches send out an  anti-gay message "totally jibes with my experience and that of millions of  other gay and lesbian people."

He cited Joel Burns, a Forth Worth, Texas, city councilman whose  emotional tale of being bullied as a young gay man went viral on the internet.

"He remembers being told to go home and commit suicide and that he was  going to hell," Savage said, adding that the source of such attitudes "wasn't  in algebra."

Leaders of the Christian right "have redefined Christianity so that it is  about being anti-gay," he said.

And he cited other poll findings that suggest more Americans than ever  before define themselves as having no religion.

"When you dig down, you found people who said they were Christians who  didn't want to be identified with being anti-gay," he argued.

But Jim Daly, the head of Focus on the Family, argued in a commentary for  CNN that Christian churches are not to blame.

"To violate the dignity of another person, in any form or fashion, is to  contradict the very basis of Gospel-centered living. And to suggest that an  orthodox understanding of Christianity encourages abuse against homosexuals is  a sad misreading of the very tenets of the faith," he said.

"Some self-described Christians do not act in Christ-like ways toward  those who are different than they are," he conceded.

"They save their harshest judgments for the sins they don't struggle with  themselves. That is not biblical Christianity in practice," he said.

Only five out of 100 people gave churches generally an A for their  handling of "the issue of homosexuality" in the Public Religion Research Institute survey, while 28 percent said their own church handled it well.

One in three people said that messages from places of worship contribute  "a lot" to higher rates of suicide among gay and lesbian youth.

Another one in  three said they contribute "a little." Only one in five said they do not  contribute at all. The rest said they did not know.

Americans were equally split on whether homosexual relationships between  adults are wrong, with 44 percent saying yes and 46 percent saying no.

The sampling margin on the survey, a joint project of PRRI and Religion News Service, is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Gay rights • Polls • United States

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soundoff (681 Responses)
  1. BSchurch

    All churches are BS! If you are christian, then you are either and smart scam artist, or a STUPID follower who would believe anything. Amen!

    October 21, 2010 at 9:48 pm |
    • Frank

      Okay, you're just a troll. Got it.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:49 pm |
  2. BSchurch

    When I was a child, my mom told me not to believe any christian on TV. They are all FAKE, and all they want is your donation. The rest are just desperate and gullible worshipers. Pastor Long and Haggard have proved my mom is right.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
    • moderatemama

      ALL Christian churches? That's a bold statement... you've been busy traveling around visiting them all, I assume?

      October 21, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
    • Frank

      I don't know what church you're talking about but I'm Catholic and Mass is free. In fact, all the Sacraments are free. Sure, we pass the collection plate around but you're not required to put a thing in it, and no one bats an eyelash if you don't.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:47 pm |
  3. moderatemama

    oh here we go again... blame the church, blame Christians. whatever.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
    • Xtiansrcrazy

      ummm...read any history book. you people are a problem...our nation was founded by those running from xtian persecution. but, keep talking weirdos...reveal your bigotry and hate, so the moderates back away and quit voting with you.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:53 am |
  4. Jon

    I'm definitely pro gay rights but I don't think the Church contributes to suicide. It seems more like it doesn't really do one thing or the other. If you're gay and catholic your Priest will simply tell you to stop or you can leave the Church. Although really thinking about it, it really is kind of f****d up. Oh well.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
    • KDW31

      You don't see how being ostracized from one's community is detrimental to gays? If someone truly believes in God but is also gay what are they to do? Leave their church, which may be a very integral part of their life, friendships, and how they define themselves. Also the whole hate the sin love the sinner thing is very destructive. If a person lies they can go to church ask for forgiveness and try not to lie again. Being a liar is not an integral part of their being, they aren't a liar 24/7. A gay person on the other hand would have to go to church repent their sin and try suppress who they inherently are. This is a problem. I'm an atheist but I have some friends and family are very devoutly religious. I could not imagine how devastating it would be for them if they were gay and told that they could not be a part of their community.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • Teleprompter in Chief

      "You don't see how being ostracized from one's community is detrimental to gays?"

      And this is the communities fault......why? Why should one ghey force an entire community to surrender their values and their beliefs? The ghey can move.

      " If someone truly believes in God but is also gay what are they to do?" – Apparently pretend they are Icarus and swan dive off a bridge while singing R.Kelly's greatest hit "I think I can fly!".

      October 22, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  5. You're kidding

    Utter Nonsense!

    October 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • Dean

      Thanks for your contribution!

      October 22, 2010 at 12:16 am |
  6. BSchurch

    If they are really peaceful christians, they should be able to LOVE everybody including gay and Lesbian. All bigots should go to HELL.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
  7. BSchurch

    Most christians are STUPID and low-educated. They are violent and they spread hatred. They have blood of those poor gay kids on their bloody hands. The only smart ones are their rich and gay pastors. I hope those pedo pastors and their stupid and violent worshipers BURN IN HELL. Thanks to Pastor Long and Haggard.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
    • Traysea73

      @BSchurch – my guess is you haven't spent much time in churches, as you'd probably find that there is not a lot of hatred and violence happening there on Sunday mornings or during other various events churches hold. I would invite you to connect and really get to know about it before you paint everyone with such a broad stroke.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
    • hicoastiefly

      no, i agree with everything that you generalized about Christians. Just don't put any other groups name in front of those incredibly accurate descriptions... because then that would be ignorant.

      October 21, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
    • hicoastiefly

      no, i agree with everything that you generalized about Christians. Just don't put any other groups name in front of those incredibly accurate descriptions... because then that would be hate speech and ignorant.

      October 21, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
    • Lauren

      I hope you realize that while taking the time to write a comment about Christians spreading hate, you yourself did the very same thing. Just so you know, I believe in God, I'm neither rich or gay and I have a damn good education, and I have no hate towards gay people whatsoever. Infact I'm friends with a lot of gay people. So please for pitys sake, open your eyes before you go on rant & judge people you don't know.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:00 am |
  8. R E

    ALL Christian churches only pretend to care – they all have double standards. At the end of the day, they preach evil and hate. They want your soul and your wallet.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
    • moondrop

      you got it!

      October 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  9. Traysea73

    I am a Christian (Assemblies of God – Pentecostal) and I wore purple on Wednesday, do NOT allow hate speech in my classroom (I am a public schoolteacher) and have friendships and family relationships with more than a couple of gay people. I love them and feel as though my job is to love as Christ loved and spend time pointing to HIM, rather than pointing any fingers at the gay community.

    To generalize that all Christians are hateful, undereducated, ignoramuses is quite frankly, a form of hatred and bigotry in itself.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
    • pete

      Most people think because we believe in God that we're hate mongers. The hate mongers get on TV. Hate mongers get on discussion boards and write horrible things about people. It is too bad that those of use who believe in God and are not filled with such hate, are not heard as loudly.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
    • Jason in Phoenix

      Sorry, but that can't be helped. Maybe some of you that aren't so hateful should speak more loudly and drown out those hate-mongers. Frankly, I'm sick of hearing about "family-values" and Focus on the Family. Let me hear from someone like you with a friggin' brain and a real heart.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:07 am |
    • Adam

      If you were a TRUE Christian you would tell your gay friends that they are living their life in sin. You can still accept them and love them for who they are, but don't accept or love their decisions to sin. If not, you are not doing what God is asking.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:31 am |
    • jimmyD

      those christians who are not hate mongers should make more noise and try to reclaim their religion (or at least the face of their religion). The hate mongers are the ones who are always in the news, always telling everyone theat they are saved whole virtually no one else is, etc. etc. You can't blame people for starting to thing that hatred is part of christianity.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:44 am |
    • Frank

      Adam, worry about your own sins. You are not God.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:46 am |
    • Frogist

      @Traysea: Do you go to church? And does your church preach that being gay is a sin? If they don't, then amen to that. But if they do, then you have to acknowledge that it is contributing to a culture of isolation of gays as lesser people. I'm glad that you personally are more accepting. But then churches have a message of gays as sinners, even progressive ones. And political candidates who call themselves christian but want to block gays from some basic rights And then you have people like Adam (read down)... It all adds up. And that needs to be acknowledged apart from your personal accepting views, or in conjunction with them.

      October 22, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  10. someoneelse

    All suicide linked to being gay is religious based. Duh...

    October 21, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
  11. Dan

    CNN, you are truly the blind leading the blind.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
  12. Darlene

    Where is personal responsibility?

    Everything we do in life involves a choice. You can decide not to get up in the morning just like you can choose with whom you sleep. Every choice in life has consequences that go with it. If a person commits suicide, it is their choice and blaming someone else for it is not right.

    God gives us the freedom of choice. What we do with it is up to us.

    October 21, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
    • rafael

      Let me just guess, Darlene–you have not been bullied, tormented, subject to the pain of incurable disease, or subject to a chemical balance that alters your ability to make rational choices. No one is rejecting personal responsibility as an important guide, but as with most things in life, it is not black or white and it depends a lot on your experience.

      October 21, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
    • Jerry

      Everyone please, please read a bible....cover to cover. There is no surer path to nonbelief. Faith is the same tool used by abductees who have been..erm..probed. It is just amazing how much of this unsupported stuff people pull straight from their hind quarters.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
    • derp

      Suicide is what people try to do when the pain they feel has gotten so bad they think dying is the only way to make it stop. It is not a choice any more than being gay is a choice. It is an emotional pain that cannot be described.

      Suicide hasn't any personal responsibility like you posted. People who try it are so beyond rational thought they don't believe there is any other way. The way you try to trivialize it shows ignorance and lack of empathy. Do you kick kittens and puppies as a hobby?

      October 21, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Jerry please give us great examples.

      October 22, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  13. Dale

    @ Bill

    Sadly, Christianity has taken on a reputation and association with an uneducated, right-wing, extreme, gun-loving, war-promoting bunch.

    October 21, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  14. Bill

    There was another survey recently that asked college students about Christianity. It asked them to state the first thing that came to their mind when they thought of Christianity.

    94% of those students polled said their first thought regarding Christianity was that Christians are the people that hate gay citizens.

    How proud Jesus must be. To have his name associated with the hatred of his creations...

    It reminds me of something Gandhi said: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    October 21, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • Frank

      It also reflects the complete lack of knowledge people in the West have when it comes to religion. Good job, 'higher education'.

      October 21, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
    • Frank

      Then again, surveys are next to worthless.

      October 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Frank

      Where are you in 'negative' land today... "surveys are worthless" (next to)....?

      Please, my friend, statistical surveys done appropriately are incredibly useful and can be invaluable in many areas.

      I warned you... You better snap out of it..!! 🙂

      October 21, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • shalom2U

      Please supply the name of the study.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:28 pm |
    • Frank

      I'm always negative, cynical and pessimistic. Lol.
      I just don't trust surveys. It's just a 'thing' with me.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Frank You're taking a stand against higher education? Just puzzling. I remember when the American dream was to see your kid graduate from a good school. Are you against that? Or were you being sarcastic? Puzzlement.

      October 22, 2010 at 10:37 am |
    • Sweet Gender Switch Potato Fry From Transs[e]xual Transylvania

      No, I'm not against higher education but the educational system as a whole is just a big ol' mess.

      October 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  15. Frank

    This gay suicide issue is just being blown out of proportion because of the elections. It's all for votes. Pretty much the only time LGBT issues are in the news are during election years. I guess we don't exist during any other time.

    October 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Frank

      It 'may' be true that it is about the votes at this point, however I certainly hope not. But, if it is.. it is.

      And.... I have seen more discussions and discourse and people taking literal action on behalf of LGBT people more than 'any' other time in history.

      And, yes, you can make some joke about me being an 'old guy' or something, however, my friend, try, if you can, to see that there is 'movement' in a positive direction going on.

      20 years ago, I had never heard of 'any' christian denomination allowing gay clergy. And, now look at the change.

      I could go on with examples, but I sincerely 'hope' you are getting my point.

      If not.... then, again, I will have to bring out my 'agnostic-fujitsu' against you, to destroy your 'short-sighted' and limiting beliefs. 🙂

      October 21, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
    • Frank

      I just don't like people and groups taking advantage of difficult issues that impact people's lives on a deep level for mere political gain which, sadly, is what it's about 9 times out of 10.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • Todd

      And of course, from all those young gay people, who you know, suicided.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
    • imacritic

      Kinda like how abortion gets brought up by the right before every election season. Gay suicides ARE on the rise, while abortions have dropped.

      October 22, 2010 at 2:25 am |
    • Joe

      I apologize, but, what would suicides have to do with an election?

      October 22, 2010 at 2:30 am |
    • Sweet Gender Switch Potato Fry From Transs[e]xual Transylvania

      Joe, each election year, certain social issues are brought out of the closet, dusted off and we all scream, fight and argue about it once more. Abortion was mentioned. LGBT rights are another standby favorite. Both sides like to milk those issues dry for votes, scaring us into believing that if we don't vote for their candidate for their stance on these isses, the nation will go to hell in a handbasket.

      October 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  16. Disgusted American

    well at 50yrs old, I know for me, I will NEVER have anything to do with any form of organized religion ever again..I don't trust them....they stand for nothing that I remeber growing up being taught......ALL i hear is divisive bigotry, Constantly interjecting & putting thier collective noses into OUR secular gov't.....causing hate, discrimination, and anger towards LGBT Citizens / and thier families. In the 60's and 70's – growing up religion WAS Kept to ones self,and to sundays.......now we have Politicans Kow-towing to them...and frankly Im fed up with it all. I see Our Country Devolving....Im saving up $$, and hope to by retirement to get the hell of this bigoted,hateful,discriminatory country.....Liberty & Justice for ALL my rear-end! They are EMPTY meaningless words that make america sound better then it actually is – in reality.

    October 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • Raison

      @Disgusted American

      I hear you, but a lack of ethical behavior that is encouraged by greed is closer to the roots of the problem, I think.

      October 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
    • Sum Dude (aka Raison)

      @all
      Having discovered that CNN employs a real person named Dr. Charles Raison, I am changing my name to protect the poor man from being confused by any strange references to my personal postings on this blog.

      My apologies for any confusion. I am still in shock at my poor choice of "Raison" as a screen-name.

      But his articles show him to be a reasonable fellow, so I hope he can forgive my lack of awareness. I do not surf Dr. Gupta's blogs, where Dr. Charles Raison sometimes contributes.....!

      Just a public notice at y'all....

      October 21, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Sum Dude (a.k.a Raison)

      Hey Pal..! So... Ya' never spilled the beans as to what you used to post under.... See, I didn't forget that little tidbit that you put out there a couple of weeks ago.

      So, who were you posting under...? I have a couple of guesses... but, in the interest of potentially being wrong, I don't want to possibly have the people that I guess come back at me...

      So, bro.... fess up..! 🙂

      October 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Peace2All

      hey, bro! In the interests of peace I decline to answer....I do not need anyone raking up every silly mistake I have done in the past...and I like to think I have grown as a person, so by denying my past mistakes I might find a little peace. Forget and there is no need to forgive...ignorance can be bl-iss, you know.... 😛

      I seek hope for the future of all humanity...and we all live under the naked stars on a planet of no great stability.
      I could have said that better, but I'm a bit sensitive right now. My name is a new one. I am reborn, and the pain is great.

      October 21, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Sum Dude

      I 'knew' you were a 'closet fundie'..!!! (born again)... 🙂

      O.K... so, apparently you are not going to spill the beans.. eh...? I will have to get you on the phone, at some point so you don't have to put it out for all to see.

      October 22, 2010 at 5:12 am |
    • Sum Dude

      @Peace2All
      Hey, howareya!
      You've been hitting the wall with your head too much. And no phone calls are allowed in this part of the psychiatric ward. LOL

      October 22, 2010 at 5:52 am |
  17. NL

    "Catholics were the most critical of their own churches' messages on h0m0se -xuality, while white evangelical Christians gave their churches the highest grades, the survey found."

    Am I reading this right, that white evangelicals are more likely to favor the anti-gay message their pastor's give, whereas Catholics are the most critical? If churches were democracies it looks like the Catholics would be voting for a major policy change whereas the evangelicals appear to have exactly the policy they want.

    October 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
    • rafael

      It's hard to draw that conclusion without knowing what the message is for each of those churches. White evangelicals could be agreeing with a more benign message coming out of their church–doubtful, but possible given the wording.

      October 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • NL

      I suspect their idea of a "more benign message" is that gayness is a disorder, but luckily we have the cure, so there's hope.

      October 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
    • Frank

      Well, not all Evangelicals believe the same thing when it comes to social issues.

      October 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
    • NL

      Frank-
      Nor Catholics, or atheists.

      October 21, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
    • Frank

      NL:
      You are exactly right. The only thing I'm really all that conservative about is the abortion issue. There's a diversity of views in every group. Most things in life are very gray.

      October 21, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
    • jody

      Why is it wrong for people to live by a certain set of standards and why can't we voice our beliefs about those standards. People expect us to accept thier beliefs and agree to their terms when they refuse to accept my beliefs. Secondly, why is it wrong to have a stance against something. Churches say its wrong to steal and lie – do you see people committing suicide because churches condemn that too? With that being said – its a tragedy that folks feel like they must go to that extreme because of the way they feel about their life and it is too sad that too many Christians don't act like they should, especially with this topic; however, I will never accept or approve of their lifestyle.

      October 22, 2010 at 7:06 am |
    • Frogist

      @NL: It's actually a stat I've heard before. People who attend church as Catholics are much more "ok" with their gay parishioners. I cannot remember where I heard it before, but it was another poll done maybe last year. I was shocked as well. But it shows there is hope for change in the way christian churches treat the topic of hom-ose-xuality.

      October 22, 2010 at 10:03 am |
    • Frogist

      @jody: There is nothing wrong with having religious convictions. But you must understand that just because they are your beliefs doesn't mean they are not affecting people for the negative. You equate stealing and lying with being gay and that's just not the same. That's like me telling you your hair color is a sin on par with committing murder. And you have to repent for being a sinner by shaving off all your hair or god will be so disappointed with you he will send you to hell for eternity. And then having people, even those in power, constantly berate you for being a sinner. And tell you you are not allowed to marry or be around children for fear of "influencing" them towards acceptance of you as just another person. Take that scenario and mutiply it by a thousand and on a much more personal level and then you might be able to understand what a majority of churches and "christian" leaders are teaching about being gay. You can have your beliefs, but when you take that stance, you must accept that it is contributing to the problem of bias and misunderstanding of gay people.

      October 22, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  18. Reality

    What needs to be posted on every church, temple and mosque door:

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    October 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • rafael

      Clearly you are not the same "Reality" as the one lacking statistical knowledge above.

      October 21, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Reality

      Thanks for the research bro... !

      October 21, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
    • Sjohn

      @Peace2All
      I would do my own research if I were you. That information is from Wikipedia if you are interested. I would do a more independent research to find out the details. I have read studies that say contradicting things to that study by Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab

      October 21, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • Simon

      Rafael, you got owned above by the majority of people that said you were way wrong and know NOTHING about statistics. Keep posting your idiotic rants... they just make you look like a douc-he. Take some math classes above algebra.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
    • Reality

      Sjohn,

      We await your specific references.

      Wikipedia's articles actually appear to very well researched and written. Check the references given in each article to verify the veracity of the information.

      Added checking can be done by reviewing the same topic posted on on-line encyclopedias, with many of these being free to all those with library cards. Go to your local library's website and look for reference sites like the Power Library.

      And there is always Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines to get up-to-date information on current events which are also reviewed in many Wikipedia articles

      October 22, 2010 at 12:16 am |
    • Peace2All

      @sjohn

      Thanks, and.... What research in particular are you referencing that disputes, most if not all of the studies i have seen that concur with the research posted by @Reality....?

      October 22, 2010 at 5:17 am |
    • Peace2All

      @sjohn

      *most of the research I have seen concurs with @Reality's research. What *true* scientific studies have you seen that conclude differently...?

      October 22, 2010 at 5:19 am |
    • ticman

      in history there was this guy, he killed his brother. he was cursed and his seed for all time. today we have that seed all over the world. I believe this is one of the genes spoken of. we are going through a separation of genes. wheat and chaff need to be separeted to get the good stuff.

      October 22, 2010 at 7:07 am |
    • Frogist

      @ticman: When you say "separated", what is it that you mean exactly?

      October 22, 2010 at 9:59 am |
    • Peace2All

      @ticman

      O.K... We all want to hear this one.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  19. capnjammer

    I understand that some churches can say they haven't contributed, but religion on the whole, especially Christianity, has been the EXCLUSIVE contributor in the United States. There is no other reason for legislature against all but the nuclear family, and there is no reason for any anti-non-straight sentiment. If it were not for religion, people wouldn't have the terrible sentiment which has led to so many deaths.

    October 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
    • Mike

      Where do you come up with this stuff?

      October 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
    • Jerry

      Mike do you have any examples of non-religious sources that contribute to the anti-gay, heterocentric movement?

      October 21, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
    • Sandie

      I agree. It is religion that determined 1 man should marry one women....it is religion that determined premarital 'you know what' is wrong....and it is religion that says that gay is wrong....a sin. It is religion plain and simple. For those that cannot acknowledge this.....you must be in another country. North America was popluated by mostly christians....and that's where much of our ingrained beliefs come from. If we had gone with a Native American Spirituality gay people would be revered in our society.....so believe what you want...but is all down to religion.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
    • Terry Bowen

      Jerry, the Boys Scouts, the US Military, etc. etc.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
    • Bruce H

      Just as we cannot say that the 9/11 terrorists represent all of Islam, we cannot say that the Rev Phelps represents all Christians.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
    • JCG

      Origin of Species.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
    • papia

      Absolutely right

      October 21, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
    • imacritic

      @Terry: the evangelicals have infiltrated the US military, especially the US Air Force Academy. Never mind the churches that believe in gay-re-education camps that can Jesus the gay out of someone. Meh on all organized religion.

      October 22, 2010 at 2:29 am |
    • Catie

      Why isnt CNN doing an article about the Islam faith, why Christian faith. Christians will just condem you and try to heal you. Islam will need to exterminate you for being gay

      October 22, 2010 at 6:14 am |
    • Mike, not me

      Ok lets start with the poor kid that took his life because, not religion, but a roommate video taped him.

      October 22, 2010 at 9:03 am |
    • Steve-o

      Capnjammers response (as well as this article) sounds somewhat similar to WW2 Nazi propoganda. Blame the Christians for the woes that we human beings bring upon ourselves, then we can justify a reason for persecuting them unto death. What Capnjammers conveniently forgot to mention was all the charitible work that Christian churches do for the less fortunate. I believe that what is stated here comes dangerously close to hate speech...there no doubt are hypocrites in many of the churches (as there are in every circle of society), however to blame the whole for a certain group is just a convenient excuse for persecuting those we hate.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • civilioutside

      The Boy Scouts and the US Military, while they are not churches, are most definitely not examples of non-religious sources of anti-gay sentiment. The Boy Scouts of America is an explicitly Christian organization. The US military bases its policy on the argument that anti-gay prejudice is so strong that the prejudicial behaviors will interfere with the functioning of the organization – not that being gay is wrong and bad in and of itself. Those members of the military who try to //justify// the prejudce always seem to fall back on religious argument.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Terry

      I am with @civiloutside on this one. All you have to do is read a bit, and the 'Boy Scouts' and the US Military, are very bad examples.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
    • capnjammer

      If it weren't for the religious saying that hom-ose-xuality was abhorrent and against God's natural laws, no one would care. It wouldn't have been "funny" to tape that kid and put it on the internet. The military wouldn't believe that being g-ay could lead to any kind of problems, because they wouldn't even think of it as different. The Boy Scouts wouldn't have any problem letting g-ay (or atheist) kids in.

      You can fight it all you want, but in the end it's humanity that loses. As long as you pretend there's an answer for every anti-Christian sentiment, you're only prolonging how much the human race has to suffer because it still exists. Stop holding on to it, because it's destroying this country and this world. Religion brings segregation, hatred, and distrust wherever it goes.

      As for the whole "Nazi propaganda" thing... It's more like Nazi propaganda to accuse those who are against you of being like the greatest war criminals of all time, don't you think. After all, aren't Christians the ones threatening people with mass incineration? Just sayin'.

      October 24, 2010 at 9:36 pm |
  20. Reality

    The Public Religion Research Insti-tute asked 1,017 Americans their views on religion and ho-mos-exuality between October 14 and 17, in the wake of a highly publicized rash of su-icides by g-ay people.

    There are over 300 million citizens in the USA and conclusions about their beliefs on religion and ho-mose-xuality are based on a sampling of 1,017? Give us a break!!!!

    October 21, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
    • Megatron

      I tend to agree, but just because a sample size is small doesn't mean the conclusions are wrong, only unfounded.

      The sample size can be argued that it gives a strong indication.

      October 21, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
    • Luke

      That's actually a pretty good sample size statistically speaking. However, I'd like to see where the population was pulled from.

      October 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
    • rafael

      Ah, you clearly understand nothing about statistics and the use of samples to represent populations. If the sample is chosen in a representative and unbiased fashion, the surveyors can actually put a probabibility on the likelihood that the sample represents the population. In fact, this is how sample sizes are determined. Learn a little more before you "contribute."

      October 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • Raison

      I will maintain that there is no sampling that can compare to simply asking everybody.
      We have the technology – why don't we use it?

      October 21, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
    • rafael

      Two problems. First, it is an enormous waste of resources to sample beyond a certain sample size, because the odds of the sample misrepresenting the population become quite small (and you can put a number on it). "We" don't have the technology to sample everyone in the US population–it takes resources to reach people, remind them to respond, and to analyze their responses. Second, you can't just broadcast a survey with the hope that a large number of people respond–the sampling method needs to be designed to eliminate bias as much as possible. It is actually much more informative to get an unbiased small sample than to get a biased large sample.

      October 21, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
    • Sjohn

      @Rafael
      I understand your point, but a sample size of barely thousand people is not representative of the American population which is around 300 million. And I think Reality has a point. No need to be rude.

      October 21, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
    • Dale

      Actually, a 1,000 polling sample is right on par for polling the US. It's the target number for Gallup, Pew, Harris Poll, Angus Reid, and Rasmussen Reports.

      October 21, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
    • rafael

      No, Reality doesn't have a valid point, and you don't understand my point if you think 1000 cannot be representative of a much larger sample. There is so much mistrust of expertise engendered by the far right talking heads and their subordinate politicians that someone cannot allow that polsters might knowwhat they are doing. People on these blogs act like they have valid points when what they really have is uninformed opinions. And the more strident–"Give us a break"!!!!!–the more they think their opinion is valid. Most of these polls target an error interval of plus or minus a few percentage points, so the numbers are not going to be wildly off. Reason just doesn't want to accept the conclusions of the study and thinks that his statistical argument is valid when it is based on ignorance.

      October 21, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
    • Sjohn

      @Rafael
      And you are excluded from that group of people that make uninformed opinions? You are still wrong. The sample size is too small. I am an Economist, I would know. If you can't accept it, search for a tool on google that will let you determine sample size for a given population size. At least then you can see with your own eyes. And who is Reason?

      October 21, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
    • pete

      I'd have to agree with teenage mutant ninja turtle. 1,000 is a pretty good sample size. They use far few participants in medical research to determine the efficacy of treatments. And those small numbers are extrapolated out to the population at hand. These are life and death desicions, not just opinions.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
    • Vincent L.

      I wouldn't say 'churches' lead to gay suicides exactly, but when you have something taught to children at a young age and live with that mentality and something comes along that goes against what you are taught, for example Islam or any other thing of similar interest it leads to this type of bullying.

      ~Vincent

      October 21, 2010 at 9:28 pm |
    • Sjohn

      @ pete
      Medical studies have smaller sample sizes because the population size at hand is smaller. In this case the population size is close to 300 Million. If you ask any economist or statistician they will tell you that for a population that big a sample size of 1000 is not representative.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:36 pm |
    • FreedomBaby

      This article is hate speech against Christians. All these new un-scientific studies based off of amazingly small samples sizes are nothing more than propaganda. When you make a blanket statement that 1 in 4 Americans..... You can't validate that statement on such a small study. If the study was done in the Bronx it would have to read "1 in 4 people who live on the 1200 block believe....." Either way this is still hate speech against Christians.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • bobby

      Take a statistics class before you comment.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:40 pm |
    • pete

      sjohn-
      I understand that. But if you went purely on percentages, the sample size would be about the same.

      you do a study on diabetes, but you only have 100-200 participants. 23 million people have diabetes.

      It works the same for this poll.

      October 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
    • m1sterlurk

      OK, quick lesson on statistics so this argument doesn't drag on needlessly.

      When you do a poll, it is insanely difficult to survey EVERYBODY. The Census is only done once every 10 years for this very reason. Therefore, you ask a sizeable number of people and then use them to represent the entire population.

      A group of 10 people is pretty inaccurate. A group of 100 is an improvement, but still isn't great. A group of 1,000 is pretty accurate. A group of 10,000 is barely more accurate than a group of 1,000. Pretty much, if you have a thousand people that you're asking a yes or no question, you can be reasonably sure that if those people were truly selected at random from the entire population, that if you asked everybody that same question, you would be accurate within 1 or 2 percentage points. If you ask 10,000 people, you're accurate to within a fraction of a percentage point, but you asked 10 times as many people for that extra percentage point of accuracy when within 1% or 2% is good enough to paint a fairly accurate picture.

      Now, certain things that may seem totally innocuous can actually cause a profound slant in the sampling. One seemingly innocuous thing would be the study pulling numbers from the phone book. This would result in a Conservative slant to the poll. Conservatives are actually much more likely to have land lines and be in the phone book, while liberals are more likely to use cell phones and not have land lines at all, and not volunteer themselves into the phone book. If the polling organization is based in a big city and just asks people in that city, then chances are that the poll will be slanted liberally, due to the fact that liberals tend to prefer living in cities, while conservatives trend towards living in suburban and rural areas.

      The only perfect poll would be if the pollsters could round up 10,000 people drawn by lottery with their social security numbers, and then forcing them to answer the questionnaire and not allowing them to continue with their lives until they answer the questionnaire. That would assure that the sampling was truly random, and would be accurate to within a fraction of a percentage point in relation to the population at large. It also might be considered a civil rights violation.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
    • dsplmkr

      to pete: but if you were to take an opinion poll about how diabetics felt about a certain doctor-recommended diet, you wouldn't take the results of the responses of only 100 diabetics and say "Most diabetics believe..."

      October 21, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
    • Terry Bowen

      I wonder if the questions on the questionnaire properly operationalized what was trying to be ascertained? Most don't. Or was bias built into the questions? Who cares about the sample size? If the questions had an innate bias, I'd throw out the whole survey.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
    • just me

      I know lots of kids who are being bullied and a couple who have committed suicide and they were not gay, so do we blame the church for these kids committing suicide as well? We have to blame someone, can't possibly be any other trouble in these children's lives other than the church......

      October 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
    • Bruce H

      As we know from faux news polls, the wording of polling questions often prejudices the outcome of the results dramatically.
      But then, any site that says it is unbiased and then prominently displays paid political ads for only one political party has given the lie to the "unbiased" claim.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
    • Rob

      I'm a Psychologist, and we deal a great deal with stats. The reality is this is too small of a sample. Even if you factor out the gay population and narrow it down to just the adult population you would still need a sample size of over 4000 to get a confidence level under 2.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
    • Statster

      Okay, here are some REAL NUMBERS, from an online sample size calculator:
      http://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm

      To get an estimate within plus or minus 3% (more than adequate for the big percentages in this poll), at a 95% confidence level, for a total population of about 300,000,000 the appropriate sample size is....1,067.

      (If you wanted to be within 2% of the population value, you'd need 2,401. But if a 4% margin of error is good enough–as it would be in this poll–a mere 600 would be adequate.)

      October 21, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
    • JD

      Sample size is very misunderstood. Think of it this way; there are an infinite number of possible coin flips. How many tosses of a coin do you need to do before you can conclude that the likelihood of heads or tails is pretty close to 50%? Do you need to toss the coin forever? Do you need to toss it a million times? The answer is no, as anyone realizes; much less than 100 tosses will get you very close to the answer. Sampling is much the same way, provided you have an unbiased sample. It's the method of sampling, not the sample size, that can undermine a survey.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
    • aatami

      I'd like to give you a break but you seem too stupid to recognize it. Pull your head out and recognize your own fears and ignorance that is fed by religion. You probably need some guy in a position of authority to tell you how to live because it doesn't seem that you have the sense or abilities to know what the right thing is on your own.

      October 21, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • Doug

      You are for sure out of reality... You can not even imagine sitting in a church being 13 or 14 and listening to a preacher teach hatred towards you as you look at your parents give this a nod... I have, I lived with so much guilt when I was younger that I finally searched for my own answers and came to the realization that religion was about hate, control and money...
      They could sample this entire country and I am certain we would come up with the same conclusion...

      October 21, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
    • amy

      Clearly you were not a statistics major.

      October 21, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
    • Hello

      Statistical sampling is a valid method of conveying public sentiment within a calculated range of accuracy, generally the two-sigma limit. The opinion poll would be more acurate using 10,000, but you get the accuracy you pay for. If you think about it, there's no way anyone would pay for a poll that would call on 2,000,000 people for their opinions, unless you call it "American Idol."

      October 21, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
    • Jason

      You need to give US a break! How are they going to sample 300 million people. Just because the results aren't what you like, doesn't mean it doesn't have a grip of truth to it.

      October 21, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
    • Quinn

      That's a pretty good sample size - have you checked the sample sizes of most of the polls on the news every day?

      October 22, 2010 at 12:34 am |
    • David

      How many gay people have to die to prove the church has contributed to the death of countless GLBT people.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:27 am |
    • Copacetic Man

      Like I totally got into the dude that said 10,000 polls wouldn't be that much better than 1,000 polls, man. And then, like, you would be doing much more work to get just a percentage better. Like that is totally far out that he like thought of that man. It makes the most excellent sense of anyone else's argument here. OMG! That is so like cool, you know what I mean? Oh yeah! I'm seeing statistics right now. They are dancing in front of my eyes. I thought the guy who, like, went to the Web site and got the sample size number for 300,000,000 people was also really nirvana, man. I mean, like he was totally Zen, man. Everyone needs to be like these guys, because they, like, totally get it. Oh yeah!!!! Woohoo!!!!

      October 22, 2010 at 1:28 am |
    • Sonny

      Believable or not, one gets to to know public sentiments through their surroundings. Let's stop being self righteous and simply respect each person. I studied in catholic schools from kinder to college yet I am now an atheist simply because I experienced first hand how religion manipulates ones mind (they'd call it divine will/biblical norms) that result in destruction of self respect.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:41 am |
    • LiveFreeOrDieNH

      As recommended, I found a sample size calculator through Google, and it calculated that for a population of 300,000,000 (the population of the US) that to be 95% sure that I had a +/-3% margin of error, I needed to poll 1028 people. So how is the sample size not correct? For those who don't want to believe in sampling and statistics, I suggest you stop flying in airplanes, or driving in cars, as most of the specific parts in those machines have not been tested for durability (it wouldn't make sense to test every part to failure, now would it?) So manufacturers sample parts from the assembly lines, test them to failure and infer their results on the rest of the parts in the line. Do you think testing 20 wings to failure means the wings on your next flight are safe?

      October 22, 2010 at 1:53 am |
    • Rob

      For those that are arguing statistics, this is actually not a valid poll because to come to a conclusion for Americans in general regardless of sample size, everyone in the population would have to have the same chance of being selected to participate in the poll. I doubt that is in even possible. Therefore this is what we usually call junk science.

      October 22, 2010 at 2:02 am |
    • John

      If the same 1017 people were sampled on if America is a republican nation and those 1017 people were polled in TEXAS the answer would be meaningless. IT"S TOO SMALL OF A SAMPLE PERIOD>

      October 22, 2010 at 2:34 am |
    • Laura

      Sorry, in the Bible being gay is wrong- but we shouldn't hate people for how they want to live their life, nore should we judge it. So, if people stopped picking on gay people and just shut their mouths about it, what would happen? Would the gay community still feel threatend? I think that no matter what anyone says, it's God who said that being gay was wrong, well the bible says it but it's what we believe God believes. Even if people stopped talking about it, how would that change anything? No matter what anyone says, they are always going to feel like they aren't accepted in the Christian communtiy- the only way they would feel accepted is if we changed the Bible, and even then it wouldn't work. In the end, you are the only soul you can save.

      October 22, 2010 at 2:39 am |
    • GrumpyBearDC

      Statistically, that's the sampling size. They use 1,017 in every poll, commercial or political. Sorry, didn't you know that?

      October 22, 2010 at 2:51 am |
    • mathdegree74

      There are statistical methods for determining whether a sample is representative or not, and further methods for making statistical inferences from the sample, with a certain margin of error (reported in the article as plus or minus 3 percent).

      It is often the unfortunate case that a person who is ignorant of the particulars of a conclusion(s) make unjustified claims about the conclusion(s). That is the case here.

      It is similar to the cases where intelligent design (creationism) is compared to evolution, as in two competing theories. Such arguments betray a blistering ignorance of the difference between a scientific theory (which relies on objective evidence) and a preferred idea, which need not rely on objective evidence (ghosts and bigfoot, anyone?).

      The best challenge to the statistics in the article would be to investigate the statistical methods used, and to determine whether the inferences were statistically justified.

      I don't have the time to spend on that, and so accept the statements in the article with a bit of skepticism. Over time and upon viewing further conclusions I will become more convinced of a reasonable position.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:02 am |
    • EnemieRhymes

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIewIf3OFjo WRITTEN IN RED watch it.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:14 am |
    • Brian

      I'm a criminologist... n=1000 would be sufficient for most studies. That is, of course, assuming the sample was random and unbiased.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:16 am |
    • EnemieRhymes

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIewIf3OFjo <>Written in red watch it.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:17 am |
    • Doug

      So when it turns out not what you want you spew hate... So, what church do belong to bigot hater ?

      October 22, 2010 at 3:32 am |
    • Brandon

      Do you realize how survey data works? That is a statistically sound sample size. That data can be extrapolated to represent the United States. Please, think before you speak. Or, at least understand what you are arguing about.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:44 am |
    • Andrew

      Have you guys ever actually done any statistics? Have you any notion of what would, or would not be a decent sample size?
      Really?
      Do you know what sample size is supposed to help determine? Do you know that statisticians have taken basic statistics?

      Consider for a moment a sample with some percentage of people who believe churches contribute to suicide. Call this value A. Now, you want to generate a range by which you're 95% sure that A lies within your range. So you take a sample of the population. The more people you sample, the more you can narrow your range. That "3 percentage point" margin of error is actually a very important statistical quant-ty, when they give you that "3% points" you are 95% confident that the true mean is captured by the mean provided plus or minus 3%. If they doubled, tripled, or even multiplied the number sampled by tenfold, you'd find that the mean value provided would likely (19 out of 20 times) only converge on a value within that 3% point each way range.

      Saying "the sample is too small, it's only 1000 people" misinterprets the nature of sampling. People are randomly selected from the population, and there's a natural variance that occurs, but the more people you choose, you find due to the central limit theorem the variance drops off dramatically. That's how you can approximate large populations with relatively small samples. If you're complaining about "it's not large enough", then the only thing you really have to complain about is how wide the margin of error is.

      If you've never taken statistics, you're hardly in a position to criticize pollsters for taking too small samples. You'll only expose your ignorance of stat.

      Hopefully this doesn't go to the "waiting for moderation" graveyard.

      October 22, 2010 at 3:49 am |
    • Derek

      As indicated, you really need to take a Statistics class.

      October 22, 2010 at 5:26 am |
    • Sweet Gender Switch Potato Fry From Transs[e]xual Transylvania

      "Some "no choice" defects are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell."

      As a transman, I take offense to that because they aren't men, they're just more or less butch women.

      And if gay people were so disadvantaged, evolution-wise, why are they still here? Obviously nature is a fan.

      October 22, 2010 at 5:31 am |
    • jamesbrummel

      @StJohn: Total population size is not a factor in standard of error.

      October 22, 2010 at 6:51 am |
    • Reality

      The Pu-blic Religion Research In-sti-tu-te as per guidestar.org and the po-sted IRS Form 990 for 2009 was a start-up ope-ration in 2009 with no f-u-nding and no as-sets. So then how did said group get the fu-nds to su-pposedly run this ex-pensive "so-phi-sticated" poll? Might there be some fu-dging or in-venting the results with su-bsequent use of inex-pensive po-lling sta-tistics sof-twa-re?-

      October 22, 2010 at 10:19 am |
    • American who Believes in rights for all

      Even if the sample size is small, it does not make it any less true. I was raised in the South and what people say in front of cameras and in person are totally different. Our country still brews with undertones of hatred for gays and inequality.

      October 22, 2010 at 10:29 am |
    • Reality

      The questionaire:

      "Overall, do you think messages on the issue of ho-mose-xuality coming from
      America’s places of worship are generally positive, generally negative or do you
      think most places of worship do not talk about the issue?
      7 Positive
      43 Negative
      38 Do not talk about the issue (Hmmm, how then can these individuals answer the remaining questions????)
      12 Don’t know (VOL.)(ditto)
      100 Total

      [PROGRAMMING INSTRUCTIONS: ROTATE Q2 & Q3]
      Q.2 If you had to grade America’s places of worship on how they are handling the
      issue of h-o-mose-xuality? Would you give them an “A”, a “B”, a “C”, a “D” or an
      “F”?
      5 A
      11 B
      30 C
      18 D
      24 F
      12 Don’t know (VOL.)
      100 Total
      Q.3 If you had to grade your own place of worship on how it is handling the issue of
      ho-mos-exuality? Would you give it an “A”, a “B”, a “C”, a “D” or an “F”?
      28 A
      17 B
      18 C
      6 D
      11 F
      12 Do not attend (VOL.)
      8 Don’t know (VOL.)
      100 Total

      Q.4 How much, if at all, do you believe messages about the issue of h-o-mos-exuality
      coming from places of worship contribute to [INSERT; RANDOMIZE]? Would you
      say a lot, a little or not at all? What about [INSERT NEXT]? Would you say
      messages about the issue of h-om-os-exuality coming from places of worship
      contribute at lot, a little or not at all to this?

      a. negative views of ga-y and le-sbian people
      40 A lot
      32 A little
      17 Not at all
      11 Don’t know (VOL.)
      100 Total

      b. higher rates of suicide among ga-y and le-sbian youth
      33 A lot
      32 A little
      21 Not at all
      14 Don’t know (VOL.)
      100 Total

      c. higher standards of morality among youth
      29 A lot
      33 A little
      24 Not at all
      14 Don’t know (VOL.)
      100 Total

      Q.5 Do you personally believe that s-exual relations between two adults of the same
      gender is a sin, or not?
      44 Yes
      46 No
      10 Don’t know (VOL.)
      100 Total

      October 22, 2010 at 10:51 am |
    • Bob

      Yes, 1,000 is the standard of polling sample, a simple google search would tell you this.

      The other thing to consider is that it came in at 66.6%, that's quite a huge number to be nit picking about polling methods around. I'd say, no matter what, most Americans do think this.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
    • ObserverGuy

      Anyone who thinks that 1,000+ randomly selected respondents are insufficient would do well to take a basic statistics course. For a population base of 300,000,000 people, the sample size necessary for 95% confidence that the survey response is within 5% of the total population, the sample size required is only 384. Based on the sample size used in this study, the confidence interval would be about 3.05%.

      Personally, I am more than comfortable drawing conclusions regarding the general population based on this survey, provided that it was truly a random sampling.

      But then again, I am basing my opinion on science and evidence. I understand that there are many on this message board that form opinions based on... other factors.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
    • ObserverGuy

      Those of you who are arguing about whether the sample size is sufficient are truly missing the point.

      This is not a scientific survey. The questions themselves do not lend themselves to mathematical certainty. Arguing about whether the confidence level is 90%, 95% or 99% is just silly.

      Who cares what the 'exact' number for the total population is? The survey was intended to demonstrate a trend. What the survey indicates is that religious faith is seen by a large portion of the population to contribute to the problem of gay suicide.

      To the poster who thinks article / study is 'hate speech': Get help; your persecution delusion is showing. How can reporting on statistics be 'hate speech'?!? If christians don't like the impression people have of their club, the answer is to try to fix the club, not shut down other people's opinions.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • Magic

      Reality,

      Interesting. Thanks.

      I would also like to see the introductory screening questions. I have been called for surveys; and they ask preliminary questions before the 'meat' of the interview (I presume so that they don't get too many from a particular set). I'm not saying that it necessarily changes the validity, but it would also be interesting.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Observer Guy

      Well said...

      October 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
    • Tim Fisher

      yes! the bible (old testament), the religious right, "family values", fred phelps, the westboro baptist church, etc, etc
      i almost forgot the mormons & prop 8! polygamy, ok – gay marriage not ok.
      ...and the catholics. molesting boys, ok – gay marriage not ok.

      October 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
    • Reality

      Looks like California's Prop 8 vote is still the best scientific "poll" concerning the influence of religion on ho-mos-exuality especially in regards to a very large sample size.

      Sample size and opinion poll methodology are thoroughly discussed on the P-ew Research Center website. The increase use of cell phones and modern methods of blocking calls is a significant problem for groups like P-ew in doing the typical phone surveys.

      October 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
    • Shar

      The BIBLE: Leviticus 18:22, say " You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination!......

      October 22, 2010 at 9:50 pm |
    • Reality

      Some suggested questions for the next poll on ho-mo-se-xuality and religion:

      "The general population to include many of the voters in California (large sampling of the USA population)find g-ay se-xual activities, "unionized" or not, to be "y-ucky" and unusual and typically associate such activity with the spread of A-IDS. Said A-IDS epidemic in the g-ay male community at the start of the A-IDS crises will always remain unfortunately a stig-ma on the g-ay community." What sayest thou about this and are you influenced by your religious beliefs?

      "Impressive list of g-ay people who did not let their "lack of choice" defect get in the way of being a contribution to society. Unfortunately, they were not able to contribute to the evolutionary process of DNA improvement via procreation. " Your thoughts about this with respect to your religious beliefs?

      "From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, g-ay s-exual activity is still mutual ma-sturbation caused by one or more complex s-exual ("no choice) defects. Some "no choice" defects are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell. Of course not all having these abnormal tendencies, show it outwardly as in the case for example with Rock Hudson." Again, what are your your thoughts about this with respect to your religious beliefs?

      October 23, 2010 at 12:29 am |
    • mike todd

      As usual the secular world wants to blame everything that happens to someone on everything else and even God and not on the person and the sin in their lives. Believe me it aint the Christian kids in the schools who are doing the bullying. The Bible warns me of excessive drinking but I wont blame the Church or God if I get killed in a car wreck because I drove drunk and I definitely wont commit suicide even though that would be suicide! The Bible and the Church's message is one of warning for the consequences of sin. But I don't expect the secular world to understand that because they don't believe that there is sin!

      October 23, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      A poll is just a poll. It will never be the same as asking everybody.
      And since the wording of the questions used always gives a certain tendency to bias regardless of the respondent's understanding of English and / or their understanding of the intent behind the question, polls and surveys will always be tools for manipulating opinions and not tools for gathering truth.

      Manipulating opinions by misrepresenting "trends" is an old, old game in the public arena.
      How sad that we cannot get anything better.

      A ratio of 300,000 to 1 might be 300,000 times cheaper to do, but it is a lazy man's game and a political one as well.

      We have the technology to ask everyone but not the political will, and so it will never happen as long as that remains true.
      Politics sux and so do polls and surveys. I've seen a lot of posts by people who are only afraid for their jobs and less concerned with the truth of the matter. How sad that they feel compelled to post such nonsense. Did they think this blog matters that much?

      October 24, 2010 at 1:52 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.