Most Americans support women as religious leaders and have “strong reaction” to the Southern Baptist Convention’s new statement of faith, according to a recent poll.
“While the Southern Baptist delegates voted overwhelmingly in favor of this change, it has met with strong reaction from other quarters,” read the poll review from Gallup News Service.
A majority of Americans (71 percent) favor women acting as pastors, ministers, priests or rabbis, compared to 23 percent who disfavor women as religious leaders, according to the poll.
Favor for women as religious leaders has risen from 42 percent of Americans in 1977 to 71 percent in 2000, according to the poll review.
In 1998, a majority (69 percent) of Americans disagreed with the SBC statement wives should “submit graciously” to the “servant leadership” of their husbands.
“The declarations and statements of faith made by the Southern Baptist Convention are grounded in a literal interpretation of the Bible,” read the poll review.
Many Americans differ with the SBC on this outlook.
In a survey from 1998, 33 percent responded the Bible is “the actual word of God,” while 47 percent responded the Bible is “the inspired word of God, but not everything in it should be taken literally.”