Christian scholars have pushed back on a study in an American Psychological Association journal that concludes that laws designed to protect the LGBT community from discrimination do not negatively impact Christians.
The APA’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published a study in January titled “Is LGBT progress seen as an attack on Christians?: Examining Christian/sexual orientation zero-sum beliefs.”
The report was based on studies conducted with five separate sets of participants. Some of the studies included Christians, LGBT individuals and non-Christians. Participation in others was limited to Christians.
The research was conducted by Clara Wilkins, Chad Miller, Jaclyn Lisnek and Lerone Martin of Washington University in St. Louis, Joseph Wellman of the University of Mississippi and Negin Toosi of California State University East Bay.
In an interview with Fox News, George Yancey, a professor at Baylor University whose work was cited in the report, accused the authors of misleading their readers.
The scholars cited Yancey’s analysis of 40 years of attitudes toward conservative Christians based on the American National Election Studies, which they claim “provides no evidence of increasing negativity toward Christians over time” and that “attitudes averaged from near neutral to positive for fundamentalist Christians.”
“They accurately cited that I did not find anti-Christian sentiment increasing but did not cite that I also found that those with anti-Christian sentiment have grown more powerful in society over the past few decades,” he said in the interview. “Needless to say, even if those with anti-Christian attitudes do not increase in numbers, if they increase in power, they have more of an ability to act on their religious bigotry.”
The introduction to the report states that as social policies and laws “have changed to grant more rights to LGBT individuals,” some Christians in the United States have argued that “that LGBT rights impede Christians’ religious freedom.”
The authors sought to “demonstrate that Christians’ beliefs about conflict with sexual minorities are shaped by their understandings of Christian values, social change, interpretation of the Bible, and in response to religious institutions.”