2.27.19 A Historic Moment for the United Methodist Church

A Historic Moment for the United Methodist Church

The United Methodist Church voted to remain opposed to same-sex marriage on Tuesday. Throughout the United States, individual parishes varied in their level of support. Some pastors preach that homosexuality is a sin, while other clergy members have come out from the pulpit. Timothy Williams of The New York Times writes, “The denomination has been grappling for years with how to respond to social changes that have buffeted other mainline Protestant congregations, with individual United Methodist churches adopting contradictory — and sometimes competing — practices.” PRRI data from 2018 show that 46 percent of white mainline Protestants (WMP) describe present-day Christianity as anti-gay, while 45 percent disagree. Thirty-six percent of WMP say that they hear their clergy speak out about homosexuality from the pulpit, compared to 42 percent of American overall. Twelve percent of WMP believe that their church accepts homosexuality, compared to 28 percent who believe their church discourages homosexuality.Additional data from 2018 shows that 70 percent of WMP favor same-sex marriage while 24 percent oppose. 
FiveThirtyEight Looks at PRRI Data and Race Relations Across the U.S.

FiveThirtyEight writer Perry Bacon Jr. uses PRRI data in a new article on what Americans think of race-related issues. Bacon’s piece was inspired by a recent debate over whether the government should pay reparations to descendants of slaves. He writes, “The reparations news made me curious: On which issues is the racial liberalism of the Democrats in line with the broader public — and where is it not?” Bacon draws on PRRI data in the article, observing that there is “optimism about bridging racial divides66 percent of Americans are optimistic that people of different racial and religious backgrounds can work together to solve the country’s problems, according to the February 2019 PRRI report.” 
Are Working Parents Going Away?

According to Andrew Van Dam of The Washington Post, working parents are slowly disappearing. He writes, “Parents make up a smaller share of the U.S. labor force now than at any other time in at least a century, according to our analysis of Census Bureau and Labor Department data. But it’s not because parents aren’t working. It’s because workers aren’t becoming parents.” Van Dam notes that according to PRRI data from 2017, “31 percent of all Americans (and 53 percent of black Americans) described the cost of child care as a ‘critical issue.”
Why “Green Book” is Causing Controversy. 

After winning multiple Oscars at the 2019 Academy Awards, “Green Book,” the story of pianist and composer Don Shirley’s travels through the Deep South in the 1960s, has received a hefty amount of criticism. Brooke Barnes writes in The New York Times,“While admired by some as a feel-good depiction of people uniting against the odds, the movie was criticized by others as a simplistic take on race relations, both woefully retrograde and borderline bigoted.” On a night that featured many wins for underrepresented groups, Barnes argues that “Green Book” winning the night’s top award was the “ultimate Lucy-pulling-away-the-football moment for those who had hoped the film academy was going to reveal itself as a definitively progressive organization.” A 2017 MTV/PRRI poll shows that 66 percent of people between the ages of 16 and 24 believe that the entertainment industry promotes negative stereotypes of African Americans.