Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Bruce Hunsberger

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Do religious individuals “love the sinner, but hate the sin?” More specifically, is relatively higher intrinsic religious orientation linked to tolerant attitudes toward gays and lesbians, yet condemnation of homosexual behaviour? There have been conflicting conclusions within the relevant literature in answering this question (Batson, Floyd, Meyer, & Winner, 1999; Fisher, Derison, Polley III, Cadman, & Johnston, 1994; Fulton, Gorsuch, & Maynard, 1999). 169 undergraduate students completed several scales measuring religious orientation, church teaching of “love the sinner, hate the sin," and scales measuring attitude toward both homosexual people and homosexual behaviour. Intrinsic religion was associated with relatively less tolerance toward gays and lesbians if one did not account for religious fundamentalism, or church teaching of “love the sinner, hate the sin." After partialling out fundamentalism, the relationship between intrinsic religion and relatively less tolerance became nonsignificant. Also, an interaction between church teaching of “love the sinner, hate the sin” and relatively higher intrinsic religious orientation scores clarified previous conflicting research. It was concluded from the present study that some individuals (higher intrinsic religious orientation) who attended religious groups that scored higher in church teaching of “love the sinner, hate the sin were more tolerant of homosexual people, yet less tolerant of homosexual behaviour. However, the majority of people involved in this study did not make a distinction between homosexual behaviour and homosexual people. it is suggested that further research could refine this discovery.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season