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Over 30 Percent Of Millennials Today Identify As LGBTQ – With George Barna – It is important to understand and know the core of the problems in our culture to make a difference. Today, over 30 percent of millennials identify as LGBTQ. How did we get here? How do we influence their lives to make a difference? George Barna Joins us today to share with us his thoughts on this issue.

Air Date: 12/13/2021

Guest: George Barna

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

 

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live. We are taking on the hot topics of the day, from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. If you look at any issue, and you say, what does the Bible say about this, how can I learn from God’s Word the right position on this issue, and then you look into history, and say, how did this work when people applied this principle? Did it work well? Or did it work not so well for the community in the state in the nation? And what’s the principle that has worked well in that particular area? And then, of course, constitutionally, what does our Constitution in this nation say about how that should operate? Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective, it’ll get you to the right place, every time.

I’m Rick Green, America’s Constitution coach, and a former Texas legislator. And it’s my honor to be here with David Barton. He is America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Tim Barton is a national speaker and pastor, he’s president of WallBuilders. And you should book him in to speak in your area.

We are here to restore America’s foundations. That’s what the name WallBuilders is all about, it’s rebuilding the walls. Just like it says in Nehemiah, arise and rebuild the walls that we may no longer be a reproach. It’s the foundation. It’s the principles that work: rebuilding them, restoring them in our culture, restoring our Constitution, and you can be a part of it.

When you listen to WallBuilders Live, you’re getting educated, equipped and inspired. How about sharing that with other people? Go to our website, wallbuilderslive.com and that’s where you can not only listen to the program, but you can also share it with your friends and family. And that’s a way that you become a force multiplier. You’re helping other people to get educated, equipped, inspired, engaged in what’s happening in our culture. That’s also the place you can make a one-time or monthly contribution. We appreciate all of you that have come alongside us. In that way, you’re helping us to expand our voice to reach more people, to train more pastors and legislators and young people, Constitution coaches, all of those things, when you donate at wallbuilderslive.com.

Alright, guys, later in the program, we got George Barna back with us. And you know, this one, I got to say, this is going to be one of those eyes wide open. We got to look at these numbers in the culture and realize they’re not good. But as we dive deeper into them, there is hope because when truth is given, and truth is taught, you can change hearts and move people in the right direction. But George has got some pretty remarkable numbers with especially millennials and the youthful generation.

Rick:

There is reason to be hopeful, though, Rick, as you pointed out. As we look at the numbers, there are some numbers that on face value could be astounding, we go that is terrible. We also know the reality of the rising generations is that they’re a very winnable generation, once they’re presented with truth, and especially when it’s done in a relational context.

Dad, several years ago, you wrote a book called This Precarious Moment, and in there, you have an entire section of that book dealing with millennials and I actually got to help you write part of that. And we looked at a lot of polling, and we looked at the reality of how you solve some of these problems in the millennial generation. And I talked with a lot of college students and a lot of friends and just trying to get additional data and feedback on a personal level outside of just some of the stats and the raw data.

And so what we see is, again, the millennial generation is a very relational, a very winnable generation, but they also are a reflection of the culture they live in. And the culture they live in right now is feeding them so much dishonest information, it’s feeding them so many things that are contrary to Scripture. And so a lot of what they communicate, a lot of the lives they live are very contrary to Scripture, it’s very contrary to the traditional moral values of what had been the defining characteristic in America on many regards.

With all that being said, it’s not that millennials, in general, are rejecting all of those notions. It’s they’re repeating what they’ve been told. And what they’ve been told is those old things are bad, or they’re restrictive, and is judgmental, etc, etc. But once you start having conversations, and you start walking through some of the biblical, traditional, moral values, once you start talking about the Constitution, or things that might be relevant to them in culture, what you realize is that many of them are very winnable. It’s just they’ve never heard the rest of the information. They don’t know the other side of the story. And this is where having that connection, that relationship can make a difference.

But before we get into solving some of those problems, it’s worth looking at where is the culture? What are we dealing with, right? We’re going to the doctor’s office, and we’re going to let Dr. George Barna analyze the patient, right, and let him tell us, guys, here’s where the patient is, here’s what you are dealing with in this patient. And once you have a good analyzation of the problem, then you can come up with good solutions. But first, you need to identify what the problem is.

And that’s one of the reasons we’re so grateful for George Barna is he is one of the very best at helping us as Christians, as conservative loving constitutional Americans, he’s one of the best at helping us from this biblical, traditional position understand and diagnose the problem so that we can come up with potential solutions to solve these problems. So George Barna is going to help us dive into some of these numbers of the rising generation and then we’ll discuss what are some really good solutions that we can practically do on an everyday level to help make a difference in the next generation.

Rick:

It’s funny, Tim, as you described that, I just had a conversation with our mutual friend Mark Meckler about, you know, in planning, you got to have the here, there path. You got to know where you are, what is here, where are we right now and then how do we get to there? Or then what is the there that we want to get to? And then the path, but we got to start with here, and that is exactly what you just described. How are we doing right now? What’s the status quo? And then we can talk about how to improve on that. George Barna with us when we returned a WallBuilders Live.

AMERICAN HISTORY

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. The Second Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees to every individual the right to keep and bear arms has been targeted for years now by those who are determined to dismantle the individual right to self-protection. Opponents argue that only the militia, the military, and law enforcement are to have and use firearms.

But those who wrote the Second Amendment strenuously disagreed, including Founding Father Richard Henry Lee, a signer of the Declaration, a president of the Continental Congress, and one of those who actually frame the Second Amendment. He declared “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young how to use them.”

For more information about Richard Henry Lee, in the history of the Second Amendment, go to wallbuilders.com.

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. George Barna back with us, just had him on a week or so ago talking about some of the research that they’re doing there at the Cultural Research Center. George, good to have you back again today, sir.

George:

I can’t believe you asked me back, but I’m happy to be here.

Rick:

Well, I can’t either. And I tell you, I am shocked at the data. That’s what it is. I was like, this is so bad. We’re going to have George back just to verify this millennial number. I mean, it used to be like 1% right? Was LGBTQ, whatever the list was, am I reading this right, 30 something percent of millennials are identifying as LGBTQ, 47 other letters?

George:

Yeah, that’s true. But now we got to keep in mind there’s a difference between living the lifestyle and associating with a group of people that you want to be accepted by.

Rick:

Important distinction. Yes.

George:

Yeah. The way that we’re looking at this is that young adults in America today want to be seen as being open-minded, accepting, tolerant. They want to be part of the community. They want to belong. And so knowing that this mindset is pervasive in their generation, a huge proportion of them says, well, yeah, I relate to that group. I’m part of that. Even though they’re not living the lifestyle, we know that those who are living as gay or lesbian or queer, or whatever terms you want to choose, the percentage of those living that out is still down in the low to mid-single digits. But those who say, yeah, that’s part of my generation, those are my peeps. Yeah, that number is getting bigger.

Rick:

That’s interesting. So they’re more identifying with what they perceive as the freedom to be who you are, and do whatever you want to do with no restraints by society, or the Bible, or any of those things? They’re more identifying with the just, hey, everybody do what feels good, kind of that moral relativism than they are the actual sexual lifestyle, does that sound right?

George:

Yes, it’s partly about worldview. It’s partly about relationships. I mean, this is a generation that this study is showing they’re really struggling with developing meaningful, lasting relationships. Now, a lot of that we see has to do with technology, the fact that they lean so heavily on technology for communication and the time that they invest in relationships, as opposed to doing it face to face in person, having experiences with each other.

But the other thing also is, as you suggest, worldview, where they are essentially syncretists, meaning that they’re drawing for many different worldviews at once, it’s inconsistent. Sometimes it’s even internally incompatible. But because they want to be part of the community, they want to be part of what’s perceived to be relevant and current in the world today, yeah, they’re going to run with what’s the big deal of the day.

Rick:

I wonder is that almost like they’ve had the mantra of tolerance pounded into their brains from day one in the culture and then it went from just tolerant to celebrating to actually participating in. Is that kind of why they now, it’s not enough for them to say, yeah, I want them to be free to do what they’re doing, they feel like they have to actually identify as part of the group to truly affirm and be truly tolerant. Does that make sense?

George:

Yeah, it does make sense. And I think part of it, you know, when you talk about celebrating it, why would they celebrate things if they don’t participate in personally? Because where they’re coming from is that they want the older generations to see, hey, we’re coming on, we’re bringing in a whole new way of thinking. This is going to be our world to provide leadership to determine the ways that people are going to live. This is going to be part of it. We know you don’t like it. Move over, this is the way it is.

So you know, it’s all part of this power struggle when younger generations always are trying to find their footing in society and to establish their plates, they have to have their own sound, they have to have their own language, they have to have their own ideas that they’re pushing. And this is something that they know is going to get attention for them and it’s going to create some of the kind of conflict that will open doors for them.

Rick:

Yeah, when I was that age, it was big hair and 80s rock and roll, baby. That was our identification. Very, very different from this. So it sounds like we’ve got two different issues here. One is the actual participating in those kinds of sexual lifestyles, which has certainly grown because if it’s on every TV program, if it’s celebrated, if you’re now the star, because you are that thing, which is what we’ve done with at the schools and everything else, and some are going to want to be a part of that.

But then the other one, the bigger group, it comes back to exactly what we talked about so many times, and just teaching moral relativism is not good. There are moral absolutes. There are certain things that you don’t celebrate because they’re harmful to the individuals participating and to culture. So that second group. What do we do about that just actually convincing this generation that it is okay to say some things are wrong? It’s not true to say everything’s okay.

George:

Yeah. I mean, what we found through the research is that really the best way to influence these people or anybody in our culture, frankly, is that number one, you build a relationship with them based on trust; number two, you model what you believe, you don’t just talk about it. And thirdly, you challenge them in a loving way about what they believe, why they believe it, why they live that way, what the implications of that are long-term, and how it’s affecting their own mental and spiritual, and even physical health.

And so we found that when you have those kinds of riches that you’ve built to other people, based on trust, then you have the opportunity to raise those challenges. To stand on the outside and just criticize and throw stones at people and say, you know what, you’re wrong, that’s not the way it is. Even if we can point to places in the Bible, they are not buying into the Bible. So they’ve got to buy into us and trust us first that we can tell them why we believe in the Bible, how we’d seen that it is truth, how it gets applied to our life day after day in every situation that we encounter. When we do that, then we have the opportunity to start reshaping their worldview and how they live.

Rick:

Such an important order of events there, it’s in no matter how much truth or data or facts no matter how much common sense it may be seem to us at the time, I mean, certainly, the COVID thing reflects this, right. No matter how much data and science and truth you have about masks, or vaccines, or whatever, you can throw that all day long at somebody. But if you haven’t got the relationship bridge that you talked about, they’re not even hearing any of that. Same thing here, I mean, it doesn’t matter what consequences you try to point out to them, they’re not going to hear it without the relationship.

So what you’re saying is if you really want to help this Gen Z and millennial generation, build relationships with those young people in your life, and then look for the opportunity to plant some truth and through conversation once that trust is built. Am I hearing that right?

George:

Yes, sir. And you know, you touched on something just in passing there that’s so critical for us to remember. Part of the reason why we have to go that route is because more than two out of three people in America today no longer believe that there is or even can be such a thing as absolute or objective moral truth. And so, with all truth principles off the table, what are you left with? Feelings. And so everything comes back to that how do I feel about that person, that situation, that opportunity? And we’re going to be misled by feelings. We know that. There’s an abundance of evidence of that.

But again, they won’t look at the evidence because that’s factual. They don’t believe that facts are real. They believe that facts are reliable and trustworthy, just like they don’t believe the Bible is reliable and trustworthy. So that’s why that relationship building is so critical. And then when they understand how much they can trust us, then we can start to lay some of this out for them and they’ll give it a second thought.

Rick:

George Barna, you just made the old cheesy cliché absolutely true. They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. I know, we’ve heard it a million times and it sounds cheesy and cliché. But I mean, it’s just spot on. And I mean, with this generation, that really is the right approach. They got to know you care. They got to have the relationship with you, and then you’ll be able to pour into them.

George:

Well, I’m nothing it’s not cheesy and cliché. So yeah, I mean, that’s what the research has shown us very consistently. And then when we look at organizations that are trying to impact that generation, and we interact with them and say, okay, what have you tried, what’s working, what’s not working? You know, the pedantic approach of here’s the information, it’s real, trust it, isn’t working.

But when you take the time and make the effort, and it does take a lot of time and effort, it’s expensive personally to invest in other people. But that’s what they’re going to respond to is the fact that you care enough about me to actually be bringing me on the same journey that you’ve been going on. Now we can do this together. I can learn from you. They’re going to try to teach us things as well. And so we have to be prepared to give a reason for the hope that’s within us, and to reject certain things that they may believe. But we can do it now based on that trust relationship we have with them. And that’s what makes all the difference.

Rick:

And just to be clear, I did not hear you say water down the truth or affirm things that you know to be wrong or any of that. That’s not what you’re saying, correct?

George:

No, of course not. The only reason we’re building the relationship is so that we can bring God’s truth into their presence. They’re not going to get it otherwise because they’re certainly not getting it through the most impactful and influential thing in their lives, which is the media. So the media is leading people down the wrong path. We’ve got to bring them back. We have God’s truth. It’s their only hope. It’s our only hope. But you can’t just simply lay it out for people because their minds and hearts have been so distorted by all the lies that they’ve been exposed to, that they don’t know the difference anymore. So that’s why it takes the time and the effort.

Rick:

You know, that’s essentially what the left did in education, right, a professor doesn’t just hit you upside the head the first day, they slowly plant this stuff over the course of the semester and build the relationship and get you trusting them as the expert and all that and they’re masterful at it. We should take a look at their playbook and realize, hey, what they’ve been doing is effective. We need to build relationships, vitally, vitally important. George Barna, website folks can go to see the research, get on the email list, and keep up with these things and get some good advice from you as you as you put out the data as well?

George:

Yeah. You could either go to the Arizona Christian University website, or you can go directly to our website at the University, the culturalresearchcenter.com. So culturalresearchcenter.com is where we put all of our research. It’s there at no cost to people. You can access at any time. Download it, send it to friends, you know, use it, that’s what it’s there for. So if you want to know when a new reports coming out, you can sign up, we’ll send you a little email that says okay, the new report is out on this or that topic. And we want people to be informed because an informed church is a more effective church.

Rick:

Amen. Culturalresearchcenter.com We’ll have a link today at wallbuilderslive.com. Thank you, George Barna, appreciate you being with us. Stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

AMERICAN HISTORY

Hi, friends, this is Tim Barton of WallBuilders. This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. And I know oftentimes we, parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.

And if you remember back to the Bible, to the book of Hebrews, it has the faith Hall of Fame where they outline the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans, we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes, not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity in our faith as well.

I want to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called The Courageous Leaders collection. And this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers. And there’s a second collection called Heroes of History. In this collection, you’ll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman; friends, the list goes on and on. This is a great collection for your young person to have and read and it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at www.wallbuilders.com. That’s www.wallbuilders.com.

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Thanks always to George Barna and the great work that he does. And a good wake-up call for us today, guys. Tim, you are right. I mean, look, some of this stuff doesn’t look good. But there’s hope in those numbers when you dive deep and when you realize God’s Word does not return void. So now let’s talk about some of the things we can do in response to this.

David:

First off, let me note that George started with a pretty good dose of sarcasm there, and he injected a several times along the way. And this is one of the things where George and I get along really well. He sent me a t-shirt not long ago that said ‘National Sarcasm Society’. And so I think we’re both charter members in ‘National Sarcasm Society’. And I really like it because it looks like a National Geographic t-shirt. It’s got really good-looking t-shirt. It says ‘National Sarcasm Society’ in parentheses under it, it says “Like we need your support”. So, even sarcasm in the shirt itself.

But George is really good about using that to be able to point out some things that are going on, sometimes to point out the obvious. And in pointing out the obvious one of the things I thought that was very good that I hadn’t thought about is the fact that you have such high numbers of Gen Z’s millennials that self-identify as LGBTQ. Now, the numbers I’ve seen the last two weeks, it’s 30% among millennials, it’s 39% among Gen Zers. And yet George pointed out that’s what they identify. But as far as behavior goes, they’re still down in the really low single digits of those who actually engage in sexual behavior, this LGBTQ. So it’s interesting that they’re accepting the thinking one way, but the behavior is not what they accept on the other side.

Tim:

Well, and we’ve talked about before on the program, and actually, maybe it was off air we talked about it. But I told you guys, I had a very large suspicion that the numbers were very inflated because if you actually look at the millennials or the rising generation, they were largely saying it to be supportive. Like they might say, hey, I’m bisexual, and really they’ve never had a bisexual experience. But they’re saying that because they want to be supportive of this movement industry.

And really, in the midst of a Cancel culture, in their mind, you want to be on the correct side of the issue of what is the cultural narrative. And so when you have the people like the Lebron James and the Taylor Swift, and I know that these are not the current trends right now, but those are people that I’ve seen in the last month or two come out on some of these issues. And you’re going like, why are you even saying these things, right? Like LeBron, just play basketball, you’re probably not in the best position to comment on all of these cultural issues, etc.

With that being said, this is where you’re seeing a rising generation has largely been shaped and influenced by these outside sources who are not highly educated or unfamiliar on the issue either. But if they’re told this is the right thing to do, then these rising generations go, oh, well, I want to be on the right side. So if that’s what I need to do, okay, then I identify as that so I can be identified as being a good, honorable, praiseworthy person. It’s not necessarily because that’s what they’ve embraced in and of themselves, although I did think it was very telling.

But also, George pointed out that, you know, oftentimes when you look at rising generations, they will pick issues like this that they can kind of go a different direction from their parents or their peers so that they can almost like rub it in the face of people like, well, here’s us, and we’re different. And it does seem like that’s one of these issues, which is a reflection of the lack of biblical foundation for most these kids. Even though many kids growing up would identify as spiritual on some level, they don’t faithfully attend church, they don’t read the Bible, they don’t know what that’s really about, they don’t probably have a personal relationship with Jesus for most of them on that level.

So they don’t know what biblical truth is to be able to accept or even in some cases rejected. That’s not an intentional decision. But it is a reflection of what the culture is around them. Not to take away from the fact, I do think they’re very winnable still, having the relationships and having conversation with them. But that number is much more inflated because they’re trying to be supportive of what they think is the right side of the issue.

David:

Well, it’s interesting to George said that this generation, the younger generation is struggling with building meaningful, lasting relationships. And a lot of what they believe is actually internally incompatible, which is right. You know, they have certain beliefs because that’s what’s popular, that’s what they should have, that’s what they’ve been told how. But those beliefs are inconsistent, even among themselves. And so how do you get them out of that? And I thought George really hit strongly the aspect of look, they need relationships.

Tim, as you pointed out, before, I mean, I think 58% of the millennial generation is born outside of having a mother and father in the home. They really don’t know what a good relationship looks like. It hasn’t been modeled to them. They need someone who can have a good relationship with them and show them what it looks like. If you want to call it mentoring or whatever else, they need a friend that’s got some wisdom, some counsel, some advice that will love them, accept them, and just help talk through some things.

And Tim, you mentioned earlier the book we did, I think three years ago, ‘This Precarious Moment’, actually, in that book, we talked about how do you win millennials and Gen Z? How do you get them moving in a different direction? And you help to write so much of that book on that. And it’s interested in three years later we’re finding that the statistics now are coming out in affirmation and the very things that were said three years ago.

So I recommend to people, if you want to help interact and move some of these young people in the right direction for the sake of the future, and the rest of the country, I encourage you to get ‘This Precarious Moment’ and look at that section on millennials, there’s so much good apical, practical guidance that you can use that really help you with this, and help take the things that Barna has talked about, and help turn them into moving the culture in a different direction, which is something we can all be part of.

Rick:

Alright, friends, we are out of time for today. Thanks so much for listening to WallBuilders Live. Thanks to George Barna for joining us today, as well. And as we talked about at the top of the hour, please consider going to our website wallbuilderslive.com, sharing the program, expanding our reach. You know, when you share it with someone, you’re actually giving them hope. When they listen to WallBuilders Live, they realize, okay, yeah, eyes wide open, as we talked about on this program, recognizing the challenges that we face, but knowing that there are answers, there are ways to turn this thing around.

You can also get them excited about maybe becoming a Constitution coach in their area. We’re looking to have a Constitution coach in every community in the nation. And you could be that catalyst in your community for restoring biblical values, for restoring constitutional principles. Get engaged, be a part of the solution. Go to wallbuilderslive.com today to get our programs and share them with friends and family. Go to wallbuilders.com today to get the Biblical Citizenship in Modern America course. And then if you want to host the class, go to biblicalcitizens.com, biblicalcitizens.com. Thanks so much for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.