Nelson Mandela is considered a great man, not just for being a freedom fighter, but for deeply forgiving the same people who persecuted him and killed his comrades. Amazing
He also was not afraid of admitting his human flaws. Watch the above 60 Minutes interview with him from 1997.
One is the great warmth, affection and magnetism of this man—Francis—and his willingness to allow the gospel to shape his ministry in a very profound and visual way. Additionally, the pressures of the culture we find ourselves in has, in a way, forced Catholics and Protestants together in a new way, where they realize that what divides them is far less than what unites them. … And when you hear a Pope stand up and talk about mercy, and forgiveness, and the broken hearts we all endure, and the need to push gossip aside and how destructive that can be in our lives, he’s getting down to the very granule level of faith that I think is appealing to the evangelical and Protestant mind.
The thing that has always impressed me about my evangelical friends—my in-laws are evangelicals, by the way—is their deep concern for the people in the pews next to them. And their willingness to go out of their own comfort zones to help those in their own community. And if the mainline churches and Catholicism have a problem, it’s that at times we can get very isolated. And though we check the boxes, we’re going to mass, we’re living our lives and we’re trying to be good people, extending that into our everyday lives can be a problem. Francis is calling people to allow that message to go deeper and to have personal reverberations in their own lives. I think that’s what they’re finding most appealing.
It’s also a very simple message. It’s a very blunt gospel, in some ways, which startles some people in the Catholic church. They go, “Wait a minute. What happened to the high theology? Where’s the graduate level exegesis here?” Francis isn’t that. I would argue that he’s boiling down the last two papacies with their the great messages and the intellectual heights that were scaled into a digestible message that the masses can absorb. And when I say “masses” I mean 99% of the people in the pews, whether they be Catholic or evangelical.
Research shows that about 5% of the male population is gay, with the highest concentration of closeted guys in the least tolerant states
This article confirms what ever gay person knows in America: it is harder to be gay in the Bible Belt as well as most red states. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz tells all for the New York Times:
Using surveys, social networks, pornographic searches and dating sites, I recently studied evidence on the number of gay men. The data used in this analysis is available in highly aggregated form only and can be downloaded from publicly accessible sites. While none of these data sources are ideal, they combine to tell a consistent story. At least 5 percent of American men, I estimate, are predominantly attracted to men, and millions of gay men still live, to some degree, in the closet. Gay men are half as likely as straight men to acknowledge their sexuality on social networks. More than one quarter of gay men hide their sexuality from anonymous surveys. The evidence also suggests that a large number of gay men are married to women.
There are three sources that can give us estimates of the openly gay population broken down by state: the census, which asks about same-sex households; Gallup, which has fairly large-sample surveys for every state; and Facebook, which asks members what gender they are interested in. While these data sources all measure different degrees of openness, one result is strikingly similar: All three suggest that the openly gay population is dramatically higher in more tolerant states, defined using an estimate by Nate Silver of support for same-sex marriage. On Facebook, for example, about 1 percent of men in Mississippi who list a gender preference say that they are interested in men; in California, more than 3 percent do.