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Religious Tolerance logo

The gradual abandonment of racism, sexism,
homophobia and transphobia by faith groups.

Recent shifts within U.S. faith
groups concerning race, gender,
homosexual orientation, and gender
identity; impacting membership numbers

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Many faith groups have promoted racist, sexist, homophobic, and/or transphobic beliefs and policies in the past. Some still do. However, the long-term trend -- as measured over decades or sometimes even generations -- is for faith groups to follow the earlier shifts seen in secular groups and more liberal faith groups, by eliminating discrimination.

The result is a gradual evolution among all faith groups towards: "... one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." 1 The term "all" includes persons of all races, genders, national origins, degree of ability/disability, age, sexual orientation gender identity, etc.

Four examples are discussed in this section: racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia.

A related topic discussed in this section is the loss of older teen and young adult members by many conservative faith groups. This has been partly caused by the slowness with which church teachings on discrimination are changing.

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Why we concentrate in this section on Jewish and Christian faith groups:

In this section, we concentrate on Jewish faith groups and their interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures as well as Christian faith groups and their interpretation of the Bible.

Although similar topics are present in many other religions, followers of non-Christian religions form a relatively small percentage of the North American population. On the order of 75% of American adults identify as Christians, and the percentage of "Notas" -- adults who have no religious affiliation -- is approaching 20%. The former number is decreasing slowly as the latter number is increasing. This leaves adherents to non-Christian religions as a relatively small contingent.

The religiously non-affiliated are normally called "nones" in the media. However "nones" is a homophone -- a word that sounds the same as another word of a different meaning. When spoken, the word "nones" sounds like "nuns" -- another word that refers to an entirely different group of people. Since both "nones" and "nuns" have a religious meaning, the result is a great deal of confusion when listening to programs on radio or television.

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Topics discussed in this section:

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Reference used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. The last nine words of the Pledge of Allegiance, from 1892 to 1954.

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Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance 
Originally written: 2014-JUN-02
Latest update: 2014-JUN-02
Author: B.A. Robinson

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