Losing the culture war – by the numbers

Gallup released some interesting survey results this week on people’s views of the “moral acceptability” of a wide range of issues. Here’s the graphic from Gallup:

Survey Results

Record high comfort levels with divorce and abortion are interesting, but the more interesting data is in the comparisons based on party affiliation. Not surprisingly, Republicans are out of line with general public opinion on just about every “moral” issue. Interestingly, though they are stricter on sexual matters, Republicans show far higher tolerance levels on issues related to animal cruelty or animal rights. The drift over time is interesting too, as Republicans have basically missed the broader public shift on all of these issues which has opened up a new partisan rift that was not so prominent in the past.

 

 

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Religious Right
147 comments on “Losing the culture war – by the numbers
  1. objv says:

    Intrigued wrote: According to the bible, offering your virgin daughters to be rapped is acceptable but homosexual behavior is wicked. WTH?

    ———————————————————————————-

    Some misconceptions need to be cleared up here. Saying The Bible condones rape because rape is recorded is like saying the Houston Chronicle condones murder because it reports on murders. Parts of the Bible are historical and events – good and bad – are recorded even when they portray Biblical characters negatively.

    Lot is significant because he was Abraham’s nephew. Lot’s descendants became the nations of Moab and Ammon. They were completely separate from the Israelites (Isaac’s descendants.)

    The reason given to Abraham for Sodom’s judgement was: “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous.” (Genesis 18:20) Clearly, there were victims who were crying out to God – homosexuality was not mentioned as the cause although attempted homosexual rape figured later in the account.

    When Lot offered the two angels, who appeared as men, shelter, he became bound under a code of honor prevalent in that area of the world to protect the visitors no matter what the cost – even to the death of his family and himself. Marcus Luttrell wrote about a modern day situation in his book “Lone Survivor” where members of a village in Afghanistan protected him from the Taliban because they were honor bound by their code of hospitality to do so.

    Lot did not come off looking good in the Biblical account. He and his daughters managed to escape with their lives, but they had to flee to the mountains to live in isolation. At every stage in the Biblical narrative, Lot made bad decisions (starting with the one to live in Sodom) and did not receive God’s blessing.

    I realize that many of you do not believe in God, but to imply that the Bible says that rape is acceptable is simply inaccurate.

    • Turtles Run says:

      You forgot the part of the Bible that describes these virgin daughters getting their father Lot drunk and then getting pregnant by him. Beautiful story. Is rape acceptable in the bible? It depends on your definition of rape. When the five kings of Midian were slain the Israelites brought forth the women and the children captured to Moses. They were commanded to slay the male children and non-virgin women. What do you suppose was to happen to those young virgin girls?

      Virgin girls
      Numbers 31: 9-18
      https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/num/31?lang=eng

      Lot and his daughters
      Genesis 19:30-38

      https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/gen/19?lang=eng

    • John Galt says:

      Objv, your explanation contains the phrase, “bound under a code of honor prevalent in that area of the world…” Fine, I get it, the Bible is a product of its place and time, as are all books. The alternative Lot attempted is pretty horrifying in our time and area of the world. It makes me, and many others, wonder how relevant this moral code is for our day and age. Large chunks of the Old Testament appear pretty foreign to anything that 21st century Americans would accept as moral behavior.

    • Anse says:

      I have also heard some scholars believe Sodom and Gomorrah were held out for special punishment because they were practicing human sacrifice, including the killing of children. I agree that historical perspective can shed a light on much of what the Bible says. The problem is that few fundamentalist evangelicals bother with such context, especially if the historical context moves one to make a less-than-orthodox interpretation of Scripture. It suits many fundamentalists to focus on homosexuality as the chief sin of Sodom because it gives them a Scriptural basis to object to gay rights.

      Nevertheless, let us remember that much of the Bible was written during the peak of the Roman occupation of Palestine. These stories were handed down in an oral tradition and were only written down by zealots who wished to preserve Jewish culture, a good and noble pursuit. But they are stories, a mix of myth and history, not unlike the Greek or Egyptian or Mesopotamian myths to which they bear some similarities and likely borrowed some motifs. The Word of God it ain’t.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Very wrong and your comment almost reads like satire.

        The point of Lot’s story is God wanting to destroy Sodom/Gomorrah. Lot said to God surely there are righteous people there. God said there isn’t. Lot said basically I’ll be there are at least 10 righteous men. God sent two angels to accompany Lot. When men were trying to hook up with the male angels, Lot tried to intervene. The moral of the saga is Lot was wishing it so, God knew and God was right.

        The second paragraph of your comment is just laughable.

      • Anse says:

        I know what the story says. I’m quite familiar with it. If you want to put stock in the crazy notion that the cities were destroyed in a big ball of fire from the angry deity, of course you can. Many do.

        Christians pull from this story all kinds of parallels to the modern day. When Katrina hit New Orleans, I remember many suggesting that it was God’s punishment against that notoriously libertine city and its sinful ways. It must be a rather offensive notion for those good and faithful Christians who endured that disaster, of which there were many. It brings up many questions about our basic understanding of justice, and the rather freewheeling way God metes out punishment without regard for individual guilt.

        After all, God allowed the brutal and bloodthirsty and pagan Roman Empire to rule the western world for almost a thousand years. Sort of odd, don’t you think? God’s mysterious justice makes no sense. It’s quite arbitrary. It’s a pretty bad example for people to follow. Most of us, Christian and skeptic alike, would find God’s notions of justice wholly inappropriate for our courts and our body of laws.

  2. Anse says:

    A poll like this needs to be taken with a healthy scattering of salt. The low acceptability rating for pornography is laughable when one considers how huge the porn market has become since the creation of the internet. I’m sure we can all agree that there are a whole lot of people whose opinions do not reflect their actual lifestyle. The internet was god’s gift to conservatives on that point.

  3. Intrigued says:

    The problem with using the bible to judge morality is that the source is highly immoral. After a quick search about bible verses against homosexuality I find Genesis 19:1-1, in response to to the towns people wanting to commit homosexual acts against his houseguests Lot responds “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing. Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them as you wish. But please, leave these men alone, for they are my guests and are under my protection.” http://christianity.about.com/od/Bible-Verses/a/Bible-Verses-Homosexuality.htm

    According to the bible, offering your virgin daughters to be rapped is acceptable but homosexual behavior is wicked. WTH?

    • CaptSternn says:

      You didn’t do much of a search.

      http://www.witnessfortheworld.org/homont.html

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Trust Sternn to idolize a piece of witless incompetence.

        There’s one, count ’em, *one* citation of Jesus through the Gospels, and it relies on an indirect argument through what Jesus fails to mention. Jesus also neglects to refer to skyscrapers, bananas, joint-stock companies, open-heart surgery, and workplace-safety legislation. But only someone with Sternn’s goldfish level of mentation would imagine that an absence of any mention by Jesus means that such human behaviors or inventions are immoral and prohibited.

        One other reference appears to Revelations, a bit of lurid propaganda all too beloved of brain-dead Baptists with more devotion to drama than good sense. And the rest are cherry-picked from the Epistles, which A) are a historical rather than divine product of a fallible human author, and B) contain plenty of socially objectionable material that you’ll also have to accept if you’re determined to adopt a slavish ideal of infallibility toward Paul’s writings. Is Sternn convinced that Tutt should remain silent in church and keep her head covered? He’s enough of a asinine fuck that perhaps he just might.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Owly’s ignorance is so well demonstrated today. Again, you have to study the Bible to understand the Bible.

        Back in that era, when Jews met in synagogue the men met in the sanctuary and the women sat on the peripheral area’s. When it was time to question the Rabbi, the women would shout to their husbands a question they had. You can see how distracting that can become. Orthodox Jews to this day practice that way.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        kabuzz, as usual, stumbles all over himself to make my point.

        If one piece of the Epistles is historically determined and irrelevant to modern culture and practice, then why not others?

        Oh, right: ’cause *those* pieces support your noisome, self-satisfied, lazy bigotry. But of course.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Some don’t know the difference between a rebuke and a sin. Anyone? Anyone?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        kabuzz, please work on distinguishing your own fundament from a terrestrial excavation.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Are you not the that claimed that tithing was not longer necessary or am I wrong and you do allow God his 10%. Or maybe you are like most Christians that pick and choose the Bible passages they like and ignore the rest?

    • kabuzz61 says:

      You did know that Lot was trying to save Sadom and the two ‘men’ were angels sent by Lot’s request to demonstrate that the people were not deviant. Of course not. It takes much more than a Google search to understand the Bible.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Nonsense. The sin of Sodom (successfully spelled) was not homosexuality, but lack of hospitality. Jesus even says so. But what the Hell does He know, right? Why let that obnoxious Jesus get in the way of comfortable bigotry toward the harmless downtrodden?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Again, Owly, you are way out of your depth.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        You really want to discount Jesus’ very own words? Hey, it’s your religion. You’re free to be ignorant about it. It just looks really, really, stupid.

        So at least you’re staying in character.

    • John Galt says:

      The Bible lists a lot of sins, but this one looms disproportionately large in the minds of modern conservative Christians in comparison to the amount of NT text devoted to it.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      How do you rap them? Get Ice T to perform?

  4. John Galt says:

    Somewhat surprisingly, about 50 GOP House members voted to get the government out of the Mary Jane enforcement business, at least in terms of medical marijuana.
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/05/30/house-votes-to-block-feds-from-targeting-medical-marijuana-in-states-where-it/

  5. texan5142 says:

    There is no “god”, so all this talk about sin is fluff . I find it immoral that the Captin would judge other people based on a belief of a book of bad writing and fairy tales.

    • DanMan says:

      said the guy that judges people daily

      • texan5142 says:

        Says the guy that does the same thing, but then again, I am not judging people based on a book of fairy dust, I am judging on the fact that people who say they follow the laws of god and/or Jesus only follow when it suits them.

        Still beating your wife Dan the Richard??

    • CaptStern says:

      I pity you, Texan.

      • texan5142 says:

        Why?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Because you reject God and Salvation. As I have said, Samson is my Biblical hero. It is because he did so much wrong, but his God was still with him until that one thing was done to him. Then he went out and realized God was no longer with him. In the end he asked God to come back to him, and God did. I do not ever want to wake up and walk out the door and God not be with me, or me not be with God. How can you exist while rejecting God? Then again, maybe that is why you are so bitter?

        And that strange avatar, well, I just recently was issued an iPhone. Won’t be posting from that thing any more.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Then again, I “assumed” the question you were asking and tried to reply to that. In reality, the only answer to “why” is “because”. Maybe I should not have assumed anything.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “In reality, the only answer to ‘why’ is ‘because’.”

        Only to someone mentally and morally mired in middle school.

        Oh, wait….

  6. Owl of Bellaire says:

    Interesting poll, on both the issues and the response patterns. But what’s up with the phobia about cloning?

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Just look at the folks here. Would you want a five copies of us running around in the world?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        I have no idea what anybody here is like physically, so I have no opinion on that issue.

        Cloning doesn’t duplicate the mind, experiences, or personal history. So, despite the lurid sci-fi fantasies from which many suffer, clones will be physical copies but entirely separate and distinct individuals.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Owl…it was a funny.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Well, yes. Sorry. It just seemed all too like what some of our local hacks might actually believe.

    • John Galt says:

      What is the purpose of cloning humans? Is it to make copies of particularly fit individuals (fit from an evolutionary point of view)? Smack of eugenics. Is it to allow rich people to make minims? Sounds narcissistic. Is it to provide perfect match organs for transplant? Humans should not be spare parts farms. I think there is some value to studying this, as stem cell technology (on the cellular, not organismal, level) has great potential benefits, but I can’t see any reason to clone a human that is not fraught with moral problems.

  7. kabuzz61 says:

    Only Homer can’t understand the conservative view on homosexuality. It is possible to think it is immoral and sinful (which it is) but could care less to hinder anyone’s ability to sin. Christians pray and will continue to do so, but sin is up to the individual. If you want to think homosexuals are on equal footing in God’s eyes as heterosexuals, fine, that is your belief. Don’t be a bigot and respect our belief. You dem’s are consumed with wanting people to march in lock step. It is eerie and scary.

    Homer like Owly tries to impress us as if he is a wise and intellectually superior human to these discussion boards, but when you look at this questions and his inability to connect, he is either playing games or just plain dumb.

    Furthermore, dem’s and independents also believe homosexuality is a sin.

    If you truly have a moral core, you would understand how following trends does not make you stable. Just the opposite.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      So, kabuzz, are you willing to stop hindering the ability of homosexuals to get married to each other in Texas? Or is your supposed tolerance really just a smokescreen?

      Why do you believe (not “know”) that homosexuality is a sin?

      If it’s because you believe God prohibits it, then have you ever wondered WHY God would make such a rule? After all, homosexual relations don’t harm anyone in the way that lying, theft, or murder do. So what’s the logical basis for the rule?

      And, if there’s no logical basis, then does that mean that the rule is really a product of irrational human bigotry rather than divine writ? Or does it mean that your God is a capricious, willful Twit no better than the flawed deities of pagan myth?

    • John Galt says:

      The problem, Kabuzz, is that the majority of social conservatives both “hate the sin” and eagerly attempt to hinder the ability of other’s to sin. If conservatives actually did what you said, we’d be happy to respect and politely ignore your opinion.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Again, simplistically. Most care not. If you put it on the ballot, how can Christian conservatives approve? We can’t. We don’t approve of the lifestyle. We all bring beliefs into the poll booth not just Christians. Outside the booth, why should I try to prohibit someone that chooses to live in sin? It is between them and God.

      God created man and woman. God says homosexual’s are an abomination. Where is the logic? Who cares. God’s mind is not my mind. Since most animals/mammals do not have homosexual sex, I would think God expects more from human’s.

      Those of us who have studied the Bible in a school setting are very much aware you can’t teach belief in a comment section of a two bit political blog. So, your questions will go unanswered so you can continue to believe God is a willful twit.

      One Bible verse that stands out to me: Be yea not deceived, God is not mocked.

      • DanMan says:

        yep, well said kabuzz

      • texan5142 says:

        I mock his/her ass every day , so yes, god will be mocked. Fuck God !

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        So Buzz…let me see if I’m following you.

        It seems as though you are saying that don’t care if gay people have “relations”, and you really don’t care if they can have a marriage recognized by the state.

        However, if you have any say in the matter, either as a voter in a direct ballot initiative or in electing your representatives, you will try to stop gay people from getting married.

        That certainly seems like you care about the issue and care a whole lot.

        My brain is not flexible enough to figure out how you can say, “I don’t care what gay people do”, but at the same time say, “If I get to vote on it, I’m voting to restrict gay people’s rights and privileges”.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I am personally opposed to gambling. I may tolerate it and not actively protest against it, but if it came up for a vote, I could not in good conscience vote for something I oppose.

        There are shades of difference between being against something, not voting for it, actively opposing it, simply tolerating it, etc.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, simply because you don’t understand the difference between passive and action. If I am forced to vote, I can’t support it. Because I will have an direct connection to the sin in question. I think even you can figure this out. Just try harder.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Texan, your stated mocking of God on a daily basis seems like a religion in and of itself, a ceremony, a twisted form of prayer.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Who is forcing you to vote on the issue? You can just skip the box.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, you obviously do not practice civic pride. The right to vote being about the only time I can make a difference. I vote on every issue and every referendum. My government wants to know what I think, I tell them. Sorry you disagree with that. If you Homer only vote on things you agree with, well, nuf said. Again, your purposely playing the obtuse, lost, can’t understand shtick is old bordering on embarrassing for you.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Tutt claims, “I am personally opposed to gambling. I may tolerate it and not actively protest against it, but if it came up for a vote, I could not in good conscience vote for something I oppose.”

        Why? That’s effectively claiming that other people should live by your beliefs, regardless of their own. I’m personally opposed to tattoos and body-piercing, but I regularly work with folks so adorned (in the theatre) and wouldn’t dream of trying to ban such practices. We hear all the time about dog people and cat people; would it be an act of good citizenship for either group to vote to make the other group’s choice of per illegal?

        You seem to be more than a little morally incoherent, Tutt.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        kabuzz claims, “My government wants to know what I think, I tell them.”

        But that’s a clueless misrepresentation of the ballot. The question is not what you *think* (because then you, at least, would have to leave the ballot blank), but what you want the government to enforce.

        Again, it’s not a simplistic poll. The government is not asking you what colors you dislike, or what hotdog toppings disgust you; they’re asking whether they should *ban* those colors or condiments, even if others like them.

        And your attempt to enforce your own personal beliefs on others is immoral.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      So Buzz…you are passively against gay marriage until you get an opportunity to be actively against gay marriage?

      Geez, just don’t vote on an issue about which you don’t care.

      In fact, you seem to be saying that the state should recognize same sex marriage, but somehow you would be forced to vote against it.

      That is a baffling stance.

      Tutt…I’m not seeing the equivalence of gambling and homosexuality…simply tolerating two folks who love each other? Actively voting against people getting married? Opposing loving people getting married but keeping quiet?

      Why would you need to do any of those things? Just leave people alone.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, you obviously do not practice civic pride. The right to vote being about the only time I can make a difference. I vote on every issue and every referendum. My government wants to know what I think, I tell them. Sorry you disagree with that. If you Homer only vote on things you agree with, well, nuf said. Again, your purposely playing the obtuse, lost, can’t understand shtick is old bordering on embarrassing for you

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…I clearly am stupid…it isn’t an act.

        If I had believed the state should recognize same sex marriage but my religion thought homosexuality was a sin, I think some level of pragmatism might prevail and I would actually vote against a ban on gay marriage.

        If we had a vote to close businesses on the Sabbath, would you be forced to vote for such a ban?

        You stated above that voting against a ban on gay marriage would be against your religion and you would “have a direct connection to the sin” in question.

        I cannot follow this line of thinking.

        If I have the Biblical interpretation correct, homosexuality is the sin. Gay marriage is rarely mentioned in the Bible.

        Gay folks are going to be homosexual regardless of whether the state recognizes their marriage. The sin occurs either way.

        How does voting to allow gay marriage make you connected to that sin?

        You aren’t “allowing” them to be gay. They already are gay. You would not be more connected to the sin of homosexuality than you were when you woke up this morning.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Owl, perhaps the way to solve my moral dilemma over gambling would be to abstain from voting at all on that particular issue.

        HT, you must be one of the actors in the theatre Owl frequents. 🙂

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Tutt, I don’t think you need to abstain from voting, either. It merely requires thinking harder than kabuzz does, which is hardly any sort of real challenge.

        You aren’t endorsing a behavior just by making it legal or allowing it to remain so. We have divorce laws on the books, but that doesn’t mean we *encourage* divorce; just that it’s *allowed*, for those who want or (preferably) need it. The question is not whether you personally *endorse* a behavior, but whether you think the power of government should be used to *suppress* it or stamp it out; that’s a far different and more important question than a mere opinion poll.

        We have laws governing all manner of things with which you might or might not personally agree: the aforementioned tattooing and body-piercing, or manicures, or extreme hair-styling, or plastic surgery, or candy stores, or churches and temples of a variety of religious faiths, or abbatoirs and butchers, or day-trading, or smoke and novelty shops, or lingerie merchants, or “plus-size” clothing stores (why endorse gluttony?), or model-railroad emporiums.

        But the universe does not consist unanimously of people entirely, or even remotely, like you. So the question is, are you adult and American enough to allow those people to be different individuals and to find their own ways through life, or do you insist that your own beliefs must be a one-size-fits-all iron maiden in which everyone else’s lifestyle must be crushed?

        I have hopes that you are that adult American. It’s pretty clearly impossible for kabuzz, Dan, or Sternn.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Would that be the theater of the absurd, Tutt?

        Owl squaks, “… or do you insist that your own beliefs must be a one-size-fits-all iron maiden in which everyone else’s lifestyle must be crushed?”

        No, Owl, that would be more in line with the way you come across, intolerance and all.

  8. Hmm. 42% have no problem with killing an unborn child; 58% have a problem with killing an animal for clothing. Curious.

    Am I the only one struck by the notion that this sort of thinking does not constitute a viable survival strategy for the species? One can’t help but ponder whether our society is suffering from some horrible form of mass psychosis.

    BTW, my deer hide gloves and slippers are quite comfy. The deer antler handle on my Muela pocket knife is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The venison sausage I consumed for breakfast was delicious, not to mention the venison tenderloins I BBQ’ed last Sunday. Thank you, Bambi, for gracing our world and my table with your presence, and for being such a beautiful, tasty and useful critter. And thank you Lord, for gifting us with such a cool planet.

    • CaptSternn says:

      TThor, you are talking about people that compare eating eggs from chickens (chicken embyos) to abortion of human beings (human embryos).

      Reminds me of the type of person that said we should just buy our chicken, pork and beef from the grocery store. That way no chickens, pigs or bovine are harmed.

      My leather boots are very comfortable. I enjoyed the steak I had today. Lifer and the others are coming across as vegans. Oh, the horror of us that enjoy pizza wth extra cheese.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Build that straw man and catch it on fire my friend.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Actually, it was my interest in animal ethics that cemented my pro-life views on human abortion, so there is a correlation.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      TT…you normally do a bit better than strawperson arguments, but hey, it is Friday night, and no one is putting much thought into their ramblings.

      Most folks have some pretty strong issues with killing children, it is just that most folks don’t view a six day old blastocyst as a child.

      Most folks don’t have a problem with killing an animal for clothing or food, but looking cool in a fur coat that had nothing to do with food might just happily hop right over a line. If you happen to live in an arctic environment where fur coats make some sense, I think people will generally cut you some slack. If you are hanging out in Houston in January in your fur coat, well, that is just tacky.

      • GG says:

        LOL…..people always look ridiculous in furs down here IMO. I don’t believe in killing just for fur but I happily eat steak and wear leather. At least most of the cow is used.

      • DanMan says:

        strawperson? hilarious. Care to point out the strawperson angle in Tracy’s comment?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        It’s obvious, Dan. But apparently you spend so much time in such company that you’ve become utterly unaware of the straw it’s made of. It explains a great deal about your own argumentation, or rather lack of it.

    • Doug says:

      “The deer antler handle on my Muela pocket knife is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.”

      Just looked those up. Next time I have a spare $500 not earmarked for a new SBR or suppressor (for shooting multiple hogs quietly) I’m picking up a BX-Damascus. That is one beautiful knife.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      “42% have no problem with killing an unborn child…. Am I the only one struck by the notion that this sort of thinking does not constitute a viable survival strategy for the species?”

      Why are forced-birthers so addicted to straw-man arguments? It’s as if they’re incapable of arguing honestly.

      You have no way of knowing whether the 42% actually have “no problem” — just that they consider it moral. I consider tattooing and body-piercing to be moral, but I still have a problem with them, due to personal preference and taste. So, as so often, you’re dishonestly overstating your case.

      Moreover, no-one with an ounce of sense or honesty would claim that support for abortion means support for ending ALL pregnancies, as would be implied by fatuous worries about “a viable survival strategy for the species”. We make plenty of human beings, Tracy; we’re in absolutely no danger of running out.

    • John Galt says:

      “Am I the only one struck by the notion that this sort of thinking does not constitute a viable survival strategy for the species?”

      Since Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion nationwide, the population has increased by 100 million. I don’t think the survival of our species is in jeopardy.

      The 58% number is bizarre. The only explanation is that most people choose not to think about where their clothes come from and associate animal use with wearing fur, which does seem to me a bit gratuitous. But if you asked a lot of this 58%, “You know those cute Louboutin pumps you’ve been eyeing? They’re made out of cow,” the answer would be rather different.

      And if anyone wondered, I pounded down a ribeye, nicely rare, last night.

      • John Galt says:

        I clearly hadn’t read the poll. It actually did refer to fur specifically. That makes more sense: various groups have spent 20 years campaigning against this.

      • DanMan says:

        in a very rare break from my routine, I actually did not have a steak last night. The flounder was delicious.

    • fiftyohm says:

      “…killing an unborn child.”

      Tracy- Think of it this way:

      Life on earth is diverse in two, and perhaps three ways; morphologic, genetic, and the ‘softer’ one, sentience, or spirit, or whatever you wish to call it. On morphology, humans look much more like chimps or baboons than human blastocysts. In fact, virtually all animals are more morphologically similiar to us than a human blastocyst..

      While the genetics are the same, we must consider we differ from each other by perhaps 0.5% of our genome. We share 98% of our genome with chimps, 90% with my (remarkable) cat here, 80% with that yummy cow I’m going to eat tonight, and about 60% with a fruit fly. It seems then, that this aspect of interspecies comparison is not too great either. If your neighbor shares 99.5% of your genome, and a chimp shares perhaps 98.5% of it, assigning some sort of “cut-off” in this regard is a bit arbitrary.

      Now, let’s consider sentience. My cat here is sentient. (Trust me on this.) He is far more sentient than a blastocyst. much more so in fact than a an ancephalic human adult, and maybe more than Sternn. (Just kidding!) And he shares only 90% of my genome. Well, maybe sentience isn’t such a great marker either.

      So where does this leave us? First of all, by any rational notion of ‘humanity’, a blastocyst is not ‘human’, let alone a “baby”, by any reasoning that is anything other than arbitrary. Certainly standards of morality regarding cruelty, murder, and the like can indeed be based on the three factors I presented above.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Correction to the above: There is no record of an ancephalic adult homo sapiens.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Very much like the argument people once made concerning black people, Fifty. A human being is a human beiing from the time of conception until death. Blstocyst, embrio, fetus, newborn, baby, toddler, child, teen, adult to senior citizen, always a human being.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Exactly how is that argument similar? Your response is nothing but a non-sequitur load of crap.

      • CaptSternn says:

        People once argued that blacks were not actually human, but a sub-species or some other, much the way people speak about the unborn to excuse their support for keeping abortion legal, much as you have done to compare the unborn with other species whether you support keeping abortion legal or not.

        I understand people find that fact offensive because they then have to deal with the company they keep, but there it is. Many of those same people try to compare having states recognize same sex marriage with the civil rights movement, but that should offend the people that were beaten, arrested, sprayed with fire hoses and more because it simply does not compare.

        There are many ways people try to twist and squirm to excuse what they support or oppose, then get all offended when a mirror is held up for them to look into. I don’t have that problem. As someone here stated on polls about morality and immorality, people may say something in order to try and give the right answer. But then, what is the right answer? For me, that would be to give my honest opinion, even if Lifer or others think I am giving the wrong answer, or one they disagree with.

        And even then, I do not believe morality should be legislated. Would it be immoral for a business to serve only blacks and turn away whites? To discriminate? For individuals to discriminate based on race, religion, sexual orientation or other things? Of course it would, and many here that claim to be tolerant and against legislating morality are all for intolerance and for legislating morality. Inconsistent hypocrisy to say the least.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Cap, what kind of ‘squirming’ bullshit are you on about? I gave three specific factors regarding possible definitions of humanity – none of which were ever used by racists. You dodged that point, (the question I asked you specifically), and then ran off at the mouth with another pile of obfuscation.

        Do you honestly think we’re that dumb? Ever take debate, or any other course or training in forming a coherent consistent argument?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Chimps, cows, cats, neighbors, humans are not humans … or some humans are not humans …

        You are sounding like Owl, or like the people that once argued that humans are not humans.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Learn some basic biology, Sternn. And employ your brains, assuming they haven’t entirely atrophied through disuse.

      • fiftyohm says:

        I fear my comment regarding Sternn vis-à-vis my cat may have been in error.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Learn biology, Owl? Maybe you should try that since you think we are concieved as one species then become another when we are born. Biology doesn’t work that way.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        As usual, Sternn, you lie flagrantly about others’ beliefs, either because you incompetently misunderstand them or because you are such an immoral hack that you think that’s a legitimate mode of argument.

        I don’t claim that a human fetus changes species; I claim that there’s an obvious distinction between human *flesh* and a human *being*.

        But we shouldn’t be surprised that you attach no significance to mental activity, given that you are so bereft of it yourself. fiftyohm, there’s your anacephalic adult Homo sapiens.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Owl- Cap hasn’t answered. I heard he was attending a Requiem for a Booger.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Is that the kind of Communion his faith requires?

        I wouldn’t be surprised.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Now *that* was funny! I doubt seriously he has a clue what we’re talking about, though…

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Yes, Sternn, we are saying that you are such a brain-dead, hapless imbecile that you devour your own nasal mucus as a religious sacrament.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The maturity of you two reflects the level of your intellect. Of course, the Owl leaves himself open for insult every time he tries to make his point of mental activity and potential, but I will continue to avoid doing so. Much like people here using foul language because they can, I see no need for it and it only weakens their position.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Just out of curiosity Cap, and Owl’s last comment aside, do you know what we’re talking about?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Are you asking about “Requiem for a Booger”? A quick Google search shows results of “Requiem for a Dream” and other nonsense. Do I know what that is all about? No. Do I care? Same answer.

        Do I understand about comparing human beings to other species, sub-species, plant or animal? Yes, very much so, and it is wrong. A new human life is created at the moment of conception. All that is needed for that person to become an adult is nurture and time, barring death by natural causes, accident or intentionally killing said person. That person is not a skin cell or just human flesh. It does take a few years for the person to become self aware, and longer to fully develop and be capable of reproducing, but it is still a living human being, innocent until or unless some crime is committed later on in that person’s life.

        There was a time in history that our modern technology and science did not exist, so people guessed that life actually began with the quickening, and that is covered under Roe vs Wade (yes, I have read the entire ruling). But science and technology have advanced quite a bit over the last 100 years, and now not only do we jknow that a human life begins at conception, we can even make the conception happen outside the body of the mother then implant the conceived human being in the womb.

        Now you and others could argue that some human beings are simply not as valuable as others, or that some human beings should have more rights than others, like owning other human beings as property or killing other human beings they find inconvenient. That would be an honest argument. But to simply deny a person their very humanity and therefore basic human rights, pretending it isn’t human, or suggesting that you would not impose your beliefs on others to protect the rights of others from being treated as property and killed on demand, that is not an honest argument from anybody that doesn’t reject science.

  9. Bart-1 says:

    Question: If Republicans are more socially conservative, and Chris’s views are in line with the more liberal Democrats than the socially conservative Republicans, is he still considered “conservative”? How are the establishment/ socially liberal Republicans really any different than the all the Democrats here who basically agree with Chris?

    • DanMan says:

      That is the humorous aspect of this site. Our humble host declares he’s repub but only criticizes repubs. And the more conservative the repub, the more he isolates them. A fair heading for this particular post would be “Winning the Culture War” since he agrees with every trend he is reporting.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Ah, Bart…it is always a joy when you make an appearance.

      If you only want the GOP to include socially conservative folks, you are going to be able to hold the 2020 GOP National Convention in the Lampasas Civic Center.

  10. Crogged says:

    As an independent member of the pragmatist party I believe wearing animal fur is acceptable as long as the animal is alive and I support higher morals thru legalization and regulation of marijuana. My conscience, and my vodka, is clear but doctor assisted suicide clearly usurps my authority to do it myself..

  11. Doug says:

    Polls on moral issues are notoriously suspect. People tend to answer what they think they should answer, Republicans probably more so than Democrats. If you doubt this, just refer to the “approve of porn” numbers. Ha!

  12. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Sure, you libs will rejoice in these numbers as the country slowly slides into chaos and ruin. It is Sodom and Gomorrah I tell ya.

    The average age of first marriage in the US is 27.9 years old, yet almost half the GOP thinks it is immoral for unmarried folks to have sex.

    Wow, that is unfair. I’m just tossing out things to poke the GOP and make them look like out of touch goofballs.

    On a more serious note, don’t just click the link for the results for the GOP, Independents, and Democrats. Click on the link for the age group comparisons.

    If you want to look at how the culture wars are going to look in 10 or 15 years, that chart will tell you that the war is over and it is just a matter of time before everyone realizes it.

    These young folks are not all of the sudden going to decide that they disapprove of gay folks getting married and women having the right to choose what to do with a pregnancy.

    • Bart-1 says:

      Dr James Dobson declared that the culture war was lost over 5 years ago in April of 2009. This is certainly not news.

  13. CaptSternn says:

    Interesting that three out of four (74%) believe that the moral values of this nation are getting worse. Seems that is being driven by the left and the right tends to continue to support higher morals. I didn’t see where animal cruelty was a question asked, though.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Well, you could interpret it that way, or you could look at it as folks on the left thinking that the right’s “higher morals” of being opposed to gay marriage is immoral.

      I think you would see lots and lots of folks on the left suggesting that there is quite a bit of immorality in the world, but some of them likely would be talking about the things you might see as moral.

      Given such a high number (i.e., 74%), there have to be lots of Democrats and young people saying that morals are getting worse. The folks are not saying that because of gay marriage (since they support gay marriage), they are saying for a host of other reasons.

      Some folks would suggest that medical testing on animals and wearing fur would constitute animal cruelty.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I didn’t see a question about same sex marriage either. Testing on animals is far better than testing on humans. It is not going to be pleasant for the animals, but that is much different than animal cruelty. Animal cruelty would apply to that couple recently arrested for making crush videos, or just killing or torturing an animal because a person can. Wearing fur or leather is avoiding parts of the animal to go to waste, which is not cruelty.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…while this is not 100% true since you are not seeing it, I think lots of folks would see “gay or lesbian relations” as something of a proxy for gay marriage. Of course, since gay folks in GOP world can’t get married, maybe the GOPers are just upset that they are unmarried people having sex.

        For the record, I’m not opposed to all medical testing on animals, but I’m pretty opposed to unnecessary testing on animals (e.g., cosmetics).

        For the animals involved, I’m not sure they would draw a huge distinction between the cruelty suffered in medical testing and cruelty by sick idiots.

        With regard to wearing fur as “avoiding parts of the animal to go to waste”, even you do not believe that. Sure, we’ll go ahead and eat all the mink and fox meat, but we just can’t let all this fur go to waste.

        Stern, even for you, this just seems like one of those incredibly principled stands to just be on the opposite side of the darn liberals.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Using only the fur of teh animal would be waste. I used to be a hunter with my dad, and though I won’t claim we used 100% of the anilam, we hunted for food and tried to avoid waste as much as possible. The American Indians were very much against wasting any of the animal.

        You are making assumptions about the same sex relationships. You know what they say about when you assume something.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        OK…let’s take your point that “gay and lesbian relations” is not the same sex marriage.

        That would mean that 61% of the GOP are opposed to gays and lesbians even having relations, which is a much more damning statistic than 61% being opposed to gay marriage.

        I’m giving the benefit of the doubt that the GOPers are more true to their word that they don’t care about what happens in the bedroom, but your spin on this would suggest otherwise.

        Stern…I’m happy you used all the animal, made buttons and jewelry from their bones and all that, but I’m pretty sure that the folks making fur coats aren’t relying on you and your dad bringing in a whole mess of mink pelts for a shiny new coat.

      • CaptSternn says:

        It would stand to reason that the right would be against gay and lesbian relationships, HT. Homosexual activity is a sin in the eyes of many on the right. There is less than a 20 point difference between that and unmarried people having sex, also seen as a sin by many on the right.

        That doesn’t mean they want to use force of law to prevent it, or that they are interested in what you do in your bedroom, just that many see such things as being less than moral.

      • DanMan says:

        I recall as a kid that chinchillas were the new easy path to wealth. Pretty much like emus 20 years later. A friends dad built cages in his garage. It didn’t last long. The first round of culling for pelts sent the wife and kids into emotional trauma apparently.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        And Stern…some folks on the left (and particularly young people) would suggest that it is kinda immoral to be opposed to two loving, consenting adults people having relations.

        Funny how it works that way.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Maybe so, HT, but do you think homosexual behavior is moral or would you consider it less than moral? Do you see abortion as a moral action? Not whether or not it should be illegal, only if you see it as moral?

      • goplifer says:

        Yes absolutely.

      • easyfortytwo says:

        Homosexual behavior is not morally different from heterosexual behavior. Is heterosexual behavior moral?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Homosexual behavior is always very immoral. Sometimes heterosexual behavior is immoral, sometimes not.

      • DanMan says:

        my goodness Cap their tender eyes can’t be allowed to see you say that! It’s like 50 having to withstand a childrens hymn while he waited for a punch line. That right there made me laugh.

      • CaptSternn says:

        By the way, HT, your own logic that since 74% of the people see morals in decline means that a lot of people on the left, democrats, do see that as well. I do not disagree with your logic at all, as 90% of the people find nothing wrong with birth control, 88% of people that identify as republicans

        That pretty much shuts down the leftist claim that republicans and conservatives (not always the same) have a desire to outlaw birth control. Oops.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…why on earth would I view homosexual relations as immoral? That is some pretty sheer lunacy there.

        Why would anyone view two loving consenting adults engaging in one of the greatest activities of all time immoral?

        Absolutely baffling.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Because it is immoral, HT.

        And I hope Lifer was not responding to me about killing innocent human beings for convenience as being morally right. I hope he doesn’t find his parents inconvenient in their old age. Well, I hope that for the sake of his parents, or any other relatives or neighbors he finds inconvenient.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        The fascination with others’ sex life is somewhat fascinating.

        So, unmarried heterosexual sex is immoral. Gay sex is not just immoral, but it is “always very immoral”.

        Why can’t what two people do just be what it is. Why is this some convoluted morality play.

        Dare I say, what two consenting folks do is pretty amoral.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Ah, HT, I do not always do what I think is morally right. Samson is my Biblical hero. But I can have an opinion of what is morally right and wrong. Understand?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Sometimes Stern…following your line of thinking is….well…challenging.

        Person 1: I think the Astros are going to really struggle this year, just like last year. With the Texans struggling, it is a tough year to be a Houston sports fan.

        Person 2: I agree, but the Rockets did OK this year, so it is not all bad.

        Person 1: That is true. It was good to see them in the playoffs.

        Person 2: I think it would be cool if turtles had wheels, and we could drive them like cars.
        _______________________________________

        I think you could read and re-read this entire line of discussion, and at no point did anyone assert that you do what you think is morally right.

        What does the morality of your actions have to do with anything in this line of discussion?

        We start off talking about medical testing and wearing fur coats, and you talk about you and your dad hunting. I’m moderately sure you weren’t hunting mink, testing eye-liner squirted in their eyes, and then selling their pelts to a furrier (but hey, maybe that is how you and your dad rolled).

        Then you plant the flag in the ground that gay folks having sex is always very immoral. This is a baffling statement for what has to be a darn fun activity between two consenting adults that causes no harm to you or anyone else. How is that always very immoral?

        You’ve stated before that you are religious, but I’ve always assumed it was something of a pragmatic religiosity. Slapping an “immoral” label on a nice 60 year old lesbian couple borders on lunacy.

      • CaptSternn says:

        HT, homosexual behavior is a sin, therefore it is immoral in my opinion. However, it is none of my business and it does me no harm. That is what the poll is about, what a person views as moral or immoral, not about what should be allowed and what should be outlawed.

        Getting back to your same sex marriage issue, I am very much opposed to it, but I still believe the state should recognize it as a legal contract between consenting adults. Same with polygamy and group marriages. I see it as immoral, but it does me no harm and I believe in individual liberty and rights.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Why would homosexual behavior be a sin?

        Sternn, when asked why homosexual behavior is immoral, you clearly answered “Because it is immoral”. Can we get out of the elementary-school, circular reasoning, please? Unless you *want* to look even more like a gibbering fool.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…Buzz is probably right on this issue. I’m just not going to get it.

        I’m just not going to get that the nice gay couple down the street is sinful. I’m not going to get that two 27 year olds having sex after a date is sinful.

        It is just what it is. No morality in those relationships. It is amoral. But hey, that is just my belief.

        I’m happy that if it came to a vote in Texas, you would vote against a ban on gay marriage, but it seems that many of your brethren and sisteren probably wouldn’t join you.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Hey Stern…let’s keep this way down here. Folks are busy arguing up at the top and won’t get down this far.

        Obviously, you are more religious than me. I was raised Baptist, went to a slightly odd church, and then seriously drifted away in college.

        I think you could count my atheist and agnostic friends on one hand while our best “couple friends” teach Sunday school and are active small group leaders in their church, my just retired former boss who I greatly admire as a scientist and a person (and who I want to be like when I grow up) is a one of the longest serving leaders in his church, my sister teaches in a Christian school and her husband is a deacon in their church, and my wife’s brother and his wife teach Sunday school.

        Religious folks are not foreign to me. Religious folks are not bad people. These folks generally span from pretty liberal and pretty conservative.

        I would venture to say that these folks do what they can to avoid sin, but it doesn’t seem like all “sin” is treated the same. Although I’ve not polled my friends and family, my assumption is that none or very few would vote to ban gay marriage.

        Clearly, as a country, we’ve pretty much gotten over the sin of working on the Sabbath. We’ve dismissed a whole host of other Biblical sins (and Biblical endorsements) because they just don’t fit in with society today.

        Why is homosexuality one of those things we can’t seem to get past?

        I’m trying to not be mean here, but it just seems like cherry picking this versus that, and he issues against gays just seems mean spirited.

        I will do my best to keep an open mind about this. I’m just not seeing the rationale.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Have to look so far up to find the “reply” link.

        HT, as Christ taught, the Sabbath was made for Man, not the other way around. Christ “worked” on the Sabbath.

        Sex outside of marriage is immoral, but I have done that. Homosexual sexual activity is an abomination, against nature and against God. Sin is sin, but there are different levels, just as there are different levels of crime. A speeding ticket is not the same as capital murder, but both are crimes.

        There are things that have been made crimes that should not. Vice should not be a crime, though it is immoral. Discrimination should not be criminal, though it is immoral. But you have supported legislating morality and making things immoral against the law.

        You are right that most would not dig so deep to find the reply, and to reply. So what do you say about legislating morality?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Ht, all due respect, check back tomorrow. My lady and I are out of town. We are curious of the blog and other things, thank you for the discussion, but enough for today. Wish you and yours the best..

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…there are lots and lots of abominations in the Bible that we blissfully ignore, but not homosexuality. The list of abominations is very lengthy.

        I doubt either of us wants to hear about the other’s sex life, so let’s just put that to bed (pun very intended).

        I’m not Biblical scholar, but I seem to recall Jesus keeping the Sabbath. There are several points made that he keeps all the Jewish laws. If the Sabbath was made for man, shouldn’t we be keeping it holy?

        I think we could probably find anywhere from a half dozen to six dozen specific abominations in the Bible, but aside from criminal behavior, we do not restrict those folks from the rights and responsibilities of our society.

        I would easily disagree with your characterization that anti-discrimination laws are legislating morality. No one is attempting to keep folks from hating other folks. If you own a business in the public marketplace, you are required to play by public rules.

        No one forces you to open a business. In fact, you are free to open a business that is a private club that actively discriminates against whatever group you don’t like. That business is a private club and not part of the public marketplace.

        No morality being legislated. If you operate in the public marketplace, you are just not allowed to refuse service due to a very small set of factors (e.g., race, religion, sex, etc.).

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Jesus dude (see…I’m making a funny), what the heck are you two doing on here during a weekend away?

        Ignore this place and enjoy your night.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Eating shrimp is also, supposedly, an abomination.

        But, apparently, the Judeo-Christian God is just a capricious Asshole.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Who says we don’t keep the Sabbath holy, or that we ignore other sins listed in the Bible?

        A privately owned business is just that, privately owned. Public means publicly owned, as in government owned and run. Therefore by not allowing discrimination, the government is legislating morality.

        And thanks, but not to worry. My lady and I enjoy each other’s company.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “Public means publicly owned, as in government owned and run.”

        Only if we allow you to make up definitions and enforce them on the rest of us.

        And, sorry, we don’t let stupid assholes like you do that.

      • CaptSternn says:

        That’s funny coming from a bird that makes up its own definitions for words on the fly.

      • geoff1968 says:

        Publicly owned means being publicly owned. As in offering ownership interests for sale to the general public. It does not mean being owned by the government. We do not own equal interests in Mt. Rushmore, for instance.

    • goplifer says:

      Yea, that’s an interestingly open-ended question. They could be talking about sex, or they might be referring to Republicans’ opinions about wearing fur. Impossible to know for sure.

    • DanMan says:

      that’s rich coming from you owl

  14. DanMan says:

    wonder why they left out lying to advance public policy?

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