"Christianity = Anti-homosexual"

A survey in the United States conducted by the Barna Group between 2004 and now has found that both Christians and non-Christians have a 'bad impression' of Christianity.
The religion is also waning in popularity with a rapid increase in people describing themselves as 'non-Christian' since the same poll was conducted in 1996.
91% of young non-Christians and 80% of young churchgoers said "anti-homosexual" describes Christianity.
Further research found that both groups said that Christians "show excessive contempt and unloving attitudes towards gays and lesbians."
Young Christians told researchers that the church has made homosexuality a "bigger sin" than anything else and not helped them apply the biblical teaching on homosexuality to their friendships with gays and lesbians.
Overall, the Barna found that the younger generation is much more sceptical and critical of Christianity today, whether they are or are not believers.
Christianity's 'image problem', as Time magazine describes it, is in need of a major overhaul.
The Barna research was highlighted in a comment piece on Christian website Ekklesia.co.uk by commentator Tim Nafziger, who said it raised profound questions for churches.
"A whopping 80% of non-Christians surveyed had spent at least six months attending church," he wrote.
"These are not casual cynics, jaded by the media. They are people who have tried Christianity and found it wanting. In other words, all of us Christians are responsible.
"We can't just point our fingers at some other part of the church or secular society. Where have we failed to model the radical hospitality of Jesus?"
Christians are 'anti-homosexual' according to US poll (PinkNews 4.10.07)
Homophobia turns young people off Christianity (PinkNews 18.10.07)

Bush and the Iraqi Christians

The British blogger, Mad Priest, writes that Bush achieves the impossible in Iraq - he destroys 2000 years of Christian witness.
From the time of Jesus, there have been Christians in what is now Iraq. The Christian community took root there after the Apostle Thomas headed east.
But now, after nearly 2,000 years, Iraqi Christians are being hunted, murdered and forced to flee - persecuted on a biblical scale in Iraq's religious civil war.
Not quite what "W." had in mind - but then, I suppose, nobody ever told him that there are Christians outside of Texas...

Iceland: Church blesses gay partnerships

The general synod of the Church of Iceland voted in October to allow priests to validate cohabitations between two members of the same sex, IceNews Network reports (31.10.07). This makes the Icelandic church one of the most liberal in the world in this matter. The church now waits for the parliament to change the law.
Bishop Karl Sigurbjörnsson is satisfied with the outcome of the decision which is perhaps the first of its kind. Although there was disagreement on the issue, Sigurbjörnsson said the congregation was able to reach a compromise.
The church had long debated the definition of marriage. Some members of the synod believe that marriage is a holy union between any two individuals while others maintain that marriage is a holy union between individuals of opposite sex only. As a compromise, the church has not changed the traditional heterosexual definition of a marriage. However, the church did allow same-sex relationships to receive some validation from the church.
Earlier this year, the priest synod of the Church of Iceland voted against a proposal regarding legalizing same-sex marriage in Iceland by 64 votes to 22. The blogger MadPriest reports this, quoting the Iceland Review (which seems to experience some technical difficulties at present).
"I’m ashamed on behalf of the State Church - and I know many priests agree with me - for the fact that the fight for gay and lesbian rights did not go further at this conference," Rev. Bjarni Karlsson told Fréttabladid.
"The priests don’t own the church; that is not the way it is. The church belongs to Jesus Christ and the church is formed by every congregation the country. So although this was rejected in one election, it is not the end," Karlsson said. "I believe all people, also those against gay rights, realize that our community and the church will eventually reach the maturity to respect all people, regardless of their sexual orientation."
See also:
Iceland: Homosexuality Finds New Acceptance (IPS 30.11.05)