More than six times.
Among all churchgoers in America, those who support same-sex so-called “marriage” (SSM) are more than six times as likely to deem abortion as morally acceptable (39.1%) than those who do not support SSM (6.5%). Bye-bye Fifth Commandment.
More than seven times.
American Church-attendees who support SSM are seven times more likely to find viewing pornography viewing morally licit (33.4%) than those who do not support SSM (4.6%). Wave bye to the Sixth and Ninth Commandments.
Greater than six times.
Having a sexual relationship with no further commitment is morally acceptable to those who support SSM at a 6:1 scale, compared to those who oppose SSM (33% compared to 5.1%).
These troubling, yet completely unsurprising findings were made by Mark Regnerus and his team at the University of Texas at Austin. Regnerus is an associate professor of sociology, and a senior fellow at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture.
THE STUDY’S METHODOLOGY
As he describes in an article for Public Discourse, Regnerus conducted a survey study in early 2014 of 15,738 Americans, aged 18-60. He assures us his study represents the nation as a whole.
He explains, “In order to ensure this is not just an exercise in documenting the attitudes of Christians ‘in name only,’ I’ve restricted the analysis to churchgoing Christians—here defined as those who report they attend religious services at least three times a month and who self-identified with some sort of Christian affiliation.” A high benchmark (that’s my sarcastic observation).
Regenerus posed seven statements, asking them to rate their agreement to each on a scale from Highly Disagree to Highly Agree. Listed here are his seven inquiries:
1. Viewing pornographic material is OK.
2. It is a good idea for couples considering marriage to live together in order to decide whether or not they get along well enough to be married to one another.
3. It is OK for two people to get together for sex and not necessarily expect anything further.
4. If a couple has children, they should stay married unless there is physical or emotional abuse.
5. It is sometimes permissible for a married person to have sex with someone other than his/her spouse.
6. It is OK for three or more consenting adults to live together in a sexual/romantic relationship.
7. I support abortion rights.
He then restricts his report of the study’s findings to those who “agree” or “strongly agree” with each statement.
Regenerus goes on to compare these statistics to the national average. Additionally, he compares his findings to gays and lesbians’ attitudes toward the same statements in the survey. He breaks them down between those gays and lesbians who attend church services versus those who do not.
For my purposes, I am leaving those findings out, just focusing on all Christians who attend church, comparing those who think SSM is moral versus those who do not.
HIGHLIGHTS (OR LOWLIGHTS) OF WHAT THE STUDY FOUND
In addition to the statistics cited at the beginning of this article, Regnerus and his team report some other disturbing discoveries.
Churchgoing Christians who support SSM are more than five times as likely to find marital infidelity morally acceptable (7.5%) than those who deem SSM immoral (1.3%). I am not sure which Bible they claim to read, but they apparently crossed out several of the Commandments.
As well, those who do not have qualms with SSM and attend church are also more than 50% as apt to not find marital permanence important (33.5%), when compared to churchgoers who oppose SSM (52.2%).
And why would they, when 37.2% of the SSM-supporting churchgoers think premarital cohabitation also is a moral activity (compared to 10.9% of church attendees who do not support SSM)?
Finally, on the question of whether a sexual relationship involving three or more people is morally licit, an SSM-supporting church attendee is about 12 times more likely to say yes (15.5%) as one who opposes SSM (1.2%).
THE SURVEY SAYS… WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG
I started my blog to discuss and to expose what Regnerus found in his study. That is, human sexuality must be practiced in the context of its original, natural design, because if it is not, then any deviation would then be allowed.
In other words, only when we follow God’s law in regards to our sexual relationships will we be a thriving society with healthy families and individuals. If we permit any immorality in any regard towards the family, then slowly the entire structure of our entire civilization begins to unravel.
A FEW COMMENTS ON THE STUDY
Mark Regnerus sought to find out the impact someone’s view on SSM has on other matters of morality.
He makes a point to say he is not making a slippery slope argument… But that doesn’t mean I can’t.
His findings go to show that if you accept SSM, then you don’t have any moral high ground to oppose any other attack from the culture of death.
I know he did this study because SSM is all the rage. But I imagine he’d find similar result if he polled people’s attitudes toward SSM, when comparing those who accept contraception use, abortion, IVF, or any other mark of the culture of death.
If sex is nothing more than a recreational activity that is, at best, practiced in order to satisfy only the emotional needs of the participants, then marriage becomes meaningless. Limiting sexual activity to one man and one woman in each instance also turns into an arbitrary restriction. Children become an afterthought. Fidelity turns into a joke.
If sex is not opened to life, then contraception becomes the norm and abortion a sacrament of sexual license.
How do Catholics compare? They are not distinguished in the report. They are not differentiated from Protestants, just presumably lumped in with all “Churchgoers” or “non-Churchgoers.”
That said, I imagine that self-identifying Catholics fall in line with these statistics. Devout Catholics would strongly oppose all seven statements, but most Catholics are not devout.
Either the conjugal act is ordered toward children, or it is not.
If the former, then cultures have a duty to protect children and to raise them in a healthy environment. This is best achieved when each child is born into a family with a father and mother in a stable, lifelong marriage.
Anything less than that is not ideal and can lead to disrupted childhoods and further complications into adulthood. Add up millions of people growing up in broken families and you have the chaos you see today.
If the latter, then anything goes… Which is quite literally what we are witnessing today in our culture.
Are you surprised by any findings of his report?
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