Evangelical Update

A resource for lefties who want to understand conservative Christians.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


I had run out of ideas for this site, but I was reading Ron's series on marriage over at Northern 'burbs Blog (specifically this post), and realized that we have not discussed sex here.

Most Conservative Christians (CC's) or Evangelicals are against premarital sex. I have found, however, that many Evangelicals are very open about their marital sex lives - much more so than non-Evangelicals. I have read comments on these sweet little Evangelical ladies' blogs that make me blush or at least think, "Eeeewwww! I didn't need to know that!"

So what's the deal with CC's pride in their sex lives? Is it because they feel that marital sex is completely righteous, and therefore of nothing to be ashamed?

Considering CC women's views on wifely duty to obey their husbands, do they feel that it is their duty to have sex whenever their husbands want it, whether they want it or not?

Here are some related Barna statistics regarding the public's vs. Evangelicals'* views on sexuality:

Non-married, opposite sex co-habitation is morally acceptable
Public: 60%
Evangelicals: 12%

Consenting gay sex is morally acceptable
Public: 30%
Evangelicals: 5%

Having a sexual fantasy is morally acceptable
Public: 59%
Evangelicals: 15%

Having an extramarital physical relationship with someone of the opposite sex is morally acceptable:
Public: 42%
Evangelicals: 7%

Viewing photos of nudity or sexual acts is morally acceptable:
Public: 38%
Evangelicals: 5%

Having a satisfying sex life with a marriage partner is considered to be a very desirable future condition by 63% of the public and 66% of born again Christians (Barna source).

One-quarter (25%) of born again Christians** have co-habited. Among self-identified Christian who do not hold beliefs that classify them as "born agains," 37% have co-habited. Forty-two percent of adults who associate with a faith other than Christianity have co-habited, and 51% of atheists have co-habited (Barna source).

The following population segments are more likely than average to be married: evangelicals (86%); Republicans (72%); born again Christians (65%); Catholics (63%); whites (62%) (source same as above).

*Evangelical definition from Barna: "Evangelicals" are a subset of born again Christians in Barna surveys. In addition to meeting the born again criteria, evangelicals also meet seven other conditions. Those include saying their faith is very important in their life today; contending that they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians; stating that Satan exists; maintaining that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works; asserting that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; saying that the Bible is totally accurate in all it teaches; and describing God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today.

**Born again Christian definition from Barna: "Born again Christians" were defined in these surveys as people who said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today and who also indicated they believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.