"Abomination"--life as a Bible belt gay.
ABSTRACT Drawing on observation, autoethnography, and audio-taped interviews, this article explores the religious backgrounds and experiences of Bible Belt gays. In the Bible Belt, Christianity is not confined to Sunday worship. Christian crosses, messages, paraphernalia, music, news, and attitudes permeate everyday settings. Consequently, Christian fundamentalist dogma about homosexuality-that homosexuals are bad, diseased, perverse, sinful, other, and inferior-is cumulatively bolstered within a variety of other social institutions and environments in the Bible Belt. Of the 46 lesbians and gay men interviewed for this study (age 18-74 years), most describe living through spirit-crushing experiences of isolation, abuse, and self-loathing. This article argues that the geographic region of the Bible Belt intersects with religious-based homophobia. Informants explained that negative social attitudes about homosexuality caused a range of harmful consequences in their lives including the fear of going to hell, depression, low self-esteem, and feelings of worthlessness.
- SourceAvailable from: Igor Pietkiewicz
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- "Unfortunately, no gay or lesbian JWs could be recruited for this study to explore challenges experienced with the anti-homosexual sentiment in this religious community. Further research in this area may reveal problems similar to those reported by sexual minorities who are also members of conservative religious groups (Barton, 2010). It also seems that JW children may be predisposed to developing dependent personality traits, although further quantitative investigation is required to verify this hypothesis. "
ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to gather information about religious values, beliefs, and normative practices in the Jehovah's Witness community to observe how these affect individual and family lives or well-being. Fifteen semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 10 participants (six women and four men, aged between 19 and 62), who were active or former members of the community. Interview transcripts were analyzed together with the community's official website contents and publications used for religious socialization, with Nvivo10, using the procedures of the constructivist grounded theory. Pathways for becoming a Jehovah's Witness and numerous social norms are discussed in the paper with reference to their potentially salutogenic, pathogenic, or pathoplastic aspect. Special attention is paid to cultural shifts associated with conversion, expected acculturation styles, and the consequences of potential social exclusion when accepted norms are broken. It is claimed that understanding the culture of this specific religious group is crucial for healthcare providers, counselors and teachers who come into contact with community members in order to recognize risk factors and potential areas of conflict.Journal of Family Studies 08/2014; 20(2):148-165. DOI:10.1080/13229400.2014.11082003 · 0.25 Impact Factor
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- "Perhaps most importantly, what explains the selection and creation of Grace Church's particular goals and ideals, and how might they represent, draw from, and potentially help integrate Grace Church's competing cultural identities? While previous research has considered a number of aspects of gay-religious identity formation (e.g., Barton 2010; Lukenbill 1998; Mahaffy 1996; Moon 2004; Rodriguez 2010; Rodriguez and Ouellette 2000a, b; Rostosky et al. 2008; Thumma and Gray 2005; Wagner et al. 1994; Wilcox 2002, 2003; Wolkomir 2001, 2006; Yip 1997a, b, 2002), including a handful of studies that have specifically considered gay persons who are either evangelical, fundamentalist, or charismatic (e.g., McQueeney 2009; Pitt 2010a, b; Thumma 1991; Walton 2006), much if not most of this literature has focused on identity formation at the individual level. Our study thus proceeds in a somewhat new direction by not only considering the understudied phenomenon of gay evangelicals but also by considering the dynamics of gay-religious identity formation, as this formation takes place at the congregational level. "
ABSTRACT: America’s popular culture war narrative has often portrayed the evangelical community and the gay community as fundamentally oppositional groups whose range of disagreements center around arguments over the morality and nature of homosexuality. Against the backdrop of these arguments, we undertake a qualitative study of a congregation of gay evangelicals, specifically investigating how pastoral leadership attempts to manage sexual relationships amid a congregation that is firmly and self-consciously rooted in both its gay and evangelical identities. We look at the particular goals and ideals that pastoral leadership espouses for sexual relationships, and we explore how these goals and ideals represent, draw from, and potentially help integrate the congregation’s competing cultural identities. We find that pastoral leadership strives for what we are calling a “blended approach” to managing sexual relationships—an approach that simultaneously emphasizes traditional evangelical sexual norms (such as commitment, stability, monogamy, and longevity), while allowing these norms to be significantly tempered by a strong recognition of the private and public contexts that have shaped the gay community’s understanding of sexual and relational life. We speculate that this blended approach to managing sexual relationships may be pointing the way toward future developments within some predominantly-heterosexual evangelical congregations.Review of Religious Research 09/2012; 54(3):349-370. DOI:10.1007/s13644-012-0051-8 · 0.46 Impact Factor
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- "It appears from the research literature that LGB individuals, LGB couples, and family members of LGB individuals are experiencing religious identity/ sexual orientation identity conflict, and they are engaging in strategies that bear similarity to resolution strategies proposed by Festinger (1962b); however , LGB individuals were also engaging in one additional strategy of compartmentalization by living in two distinct and separate worlds. In addition , just as Festinger proposed, LGB individuals had engaged in more than one conflict resolution strategy to resolve their religious identity/sexual orientation identity conflict (Barton, 2010; Kubicek et al., 2005; Rostosky, Riggle, et al., 2008; Schnoor, 2006; Seegers, 2007). "
ABSTRACT: Over the past 20 years, numerous research studies have been published indicating that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals, LGB couples, and family members of LGB individuals are experiencing religious identity/sexual orientation identity conflict. In addition, many of these same studies have included in the findings resolution strategies utilized by participants to negotiate this type of conflict. This article presents a review of the religious identity/sexual orientation identity conflict research and links it to cognitive dissonance theory. Subsequently, implications for counselors and future research are offered in light of this literature review.Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling 07/2011; 5:259-281. DOI:10.1080/15538605.2011.632745