Are we here in America becoming far more socially liberal, and therefore more immoral in how we go about living out our lives? Well, if a recent Gallup poll is anywhere near correct, then the answer would appear to be…yes. Because it’s according to Gallup that 31 percent of Americans now describe their views on social issues as being generally liberal, matching the percentage of those who identify as social conservatives for the first time in Gallup records dating back to 1999. It’s also the highest figure ever recorded for liberals and the lowest for conservatives.
Some 63 percent of Americans now say gay or lesbian relations are “morally acceptable.” That’s a 23-point jump since 2001, when only 40 percent felt that way, according to Gallup. That jump reflects the greatest shift in opinion to the left of any issue Gallup measured in its survey. Americans today are also more accepting of having a child out of wedlock: 61 percent said it’s OK, compared with 45 percent in 2001. And some 68 percent of Americans now say sex outside of marriage is acceptable, compared with 53 percent in 2001.
Liberals are giddy, as well they should be. They delight in having been able to bring the rest of us down to their level, there in the gutter. According to that liberal rag of a newspaper, the Washington Post, “You may not have realized it, but a large cohort of Americans did something brave this month.” The writer goes on to say, “For years—in some cases, decades—these lonely, marginalized souls had repressed their shameful feelings, hiding them from the world. Then May came along, and they finally decided to come out of the closet. As liberals.” If so, that is in no way a good thing.
And it was this same writer who said, “On multiple social issues,” adding, “Americans have indeed become more likely to adopt the standard lefty stance.” She cites only two examples—same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization—and then allows that “abortion appears to be the outlier . . . with views bouncing around a bit; ‘pro-choice’ and ‘pro-life’ have taken turns holding pluralities in recent years.” What is claim to be “the standard lefty stance” is really nothing more than the manner in which those on the left refer to their increasingly level of perversion.
And then we have the New York Times, another liberal rag, joining in and providing additional examples, from Gallup’s “moral acceptability” index. The writer in this instance said, “Acceptance of gay or lesbian relations is up 23 percentage points over that time. Having a baby outside of marriage is up 16 points. Premarital sex is up 15 points. Divorce and research using stem cells obtained from human embryos are both up 12 points.” It would seem these are odd things to crow about, and they make quite clear just how far we have fallen as Christian nation.
Gallup’s findings on same-sex marriage, which are consistent with those of other pollsters, show a steady and rapid increase in support: 60% this year, up from 37% in 2005 and 40% in 2009. Now it might be worth pointing out that that this growing support for gay marriage may be based, at least in part, on the fact that a majority of Americans also ‘assume’ that the percentage of our population that is gay to be roughly 25 percent. The actual percentage is under 4 percent. Which begs the question, where would people get the impression that the number is so much higher?
By definition, “social conservatives” (and some “moderates”) are the holdouts against, for the most part, same-sex marriage and abortion. And sadly, it would seem that the holdouts by definition are decreasing in number. This explains how changing opinion about same-sex marriage could—and in our view almost certainly does—account for virtually the entire trend away from “socially conservative” and toward “socially liberal.” It’s a mistake to think substantial numbers of voters have suddenly embraced the entire package deal of “social liberalism” more broadly defined.
It is said that the findings of this poll have implications for the next election. It is said that Republicans will have to abandon, or at least soften, their opposition to such things as gay marriage. It seems reasonable to surmise that an aggressively oppositional position, of the sort George W. Bush adopted in 2004, will be as untenable in 2016 as support for same-sex marriage would have been that year—or, for that matter, as recently as 2008, when even Barry claimed to yield to the dictates of his faith and declared himself against same-sex marriage.
Liberals, and some conservatives, doubtless are puzzled that public opinion has stubbornly refused to move to the left on abortion while it has done so with such ease on same-sex marriage. But it’s unlikely that the abortion figures are stable because everybody’s mind is made up; rather, people change their minds in both directions. Younger people tend to be more “pro-choice” and older ones more “pro-life,” just as older folks tend to be more about family. By contrast, hardly anyone goes from supporting same-sex marriage to opposing it, movement has been all in one direction.
This increase in “liberal” positions on both abortion and same-sex marriage are said to have come about because of cultural assumptions about sexual equality and freedom. Assumptions that, for better or worse, have become more widely shared over the past half-century or so. There remain arguments against same-sex marriage but they are countercultural arguments and comprehending such arguments requires a fairly deep familiarity with philosophical or theological systems of thought that, while far from dead, are also far from universally agreed upon or even understood.
And while the argument against abortion may be more easily understood, there is still little tolerance for those who oppose it. The claim is always made that women are in control of their bodies and therefore have the right to determine the fate of that child inside of them. Little consideration is given to the fact that when a woman becomes pregnant it’s a separate life that resides within her. One cannot ignore the fact that the unborn child one is carrying is a human being worthy of the very same protections under the law as is the mother, and not merely a clump of cells that can be, or should be, removed.
Now one would think that “pro-life” arguments would be especially appealing to liberals, or at least to that sensitive subset of liberals who find themselves compelled to protest for the equal rights and fair treatment of those animals part of the food chain. Or that group on the left that has little difficulty in arguing that some cop killer deserves to have a second chance more than he deserves to be executed. That they are not is testament to liberals’ determination to resist any encroachment, in practice as well as in theory, against the ideals of sexual equality and freedom.
And where abortion has been around since time immemorial, same-sex marriage is a relatively new idea, the subject of serious debate only for the past 20 years or so. At the start of that debate most people opposed the idea because it was novel and seemed strange. For a while, appeals to tradition were sufficient to sustain the opposition, but sadly we have now gotten to the point where appeals to tradition cannot long withstand what is sure to become a virtual onslaught once the philosophy on which that tradition is based has died in the minds of most of the populace.
I think few would argue that America has now been brought to what can be described as being a tipping point and we have been brought there primarily by those on the left. But that’s not so say that some on the right have not played a role. And not only is there now an effort underway to push this nation over the cliff fiscally, but morally and spiritually as well. And if this poll tells us anything, it would seem that those determined to bring an end to this country are achieving as much success morally as they are fiscally. They do so by using their own immorality as a weapon.