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Pew study says faith plays role in some, but not all, issues

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 22 2010 12:15 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

'Same-sex marriage is the leading issue where respondents say religion belief is the most important influence in their opinion – at 35 percent, including 60 percent of those identifying themselves as conservative and 5 percent of liberals.' - Article

Conclusive evidence that some people don't want the facts of the matter. They would rather be told what to believe, instead of investigate it themselves.


South Jordan, UT

True, Pagan, but some of them eventually wake up and top listening to the liberal media, and start thinking for themselves...

South Jordan, UT

Sorry, that should be STOP listening.

Salt Lake City, UT

Religion is being used to validate personal biases.

In such an environment you have certainty, absent objective evidence and in spite of objective contradictory evidence, being preferred over objective evidence itself.

Hayden, ID

@ Z in S Jordan. Well said and truthfully spoken!

Ogden, UT

Pagan stated, "Conclusive evidence that some people don't want the facts of the matter." The problem is that there aren't really any real "facts" regarding whether homosexuality is based strictly on choice or if a homosexual is born that way. What "facts" there are on this issue tend to be slanted towards the bias of an individual's belief. Likewise, there are no "facts" as to the exact moment a human embryo becomes "alive", which muddles the issue of abortion. In such a climate, many find solace with religion, preferring the "truth" that is perceived from communing with Diety to "facts" that can be twisted one way or another.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT


The clergy spoke positively about the
providing for the poor and the needy,
and the Environment.

Looks like Conservatives need to do more listening at church, and less to talk radio and Fox News.

Provo, UT

Dear LDS Liberal: You CLEARLY don't watch Fox News or you would know that your claims about the needy, immigrantion and the environment are incorrect. And, I might add, the Church has never taught that one should be forced by government to do good. That is Satan's plan. Doing good is a matter of personal moral agency.

And to Jedivan: In fact, there has never been one study that concludes that one is born homosexual. In addition, life begins at conception. That is scientific fact.

I totally get your point though, and I have no problem following God's word instead of the philosophies of men.

Orem, UT

It seems to me concerning that such social issues that impact everyone, of every belief, are pushed by subjective religious opinions. If you're going to be involved in producing laws and policies that effect others, shouldn't you have to support it with publicly available premises?

Miami Area, Fl

Cats writes
"In fact, there has never been one study that concludes that one is born homosexual"

Well then

Can you cite "One study that concludes that one is NOT born homosexual?"

Guess that logic works both ways.

Can you detail out a scenario in your earlier life that would have made you gay?

Because, for the life of my, I can't even fathom a situation that would have made me gay.

The reason I believe that people are born gay is based on my logic and common sense. It just makes the most sense.

Of course my logic could be flawed. I will admit that I do not know.

But, my views are not influenced by religious leaders who have nothing more than their opinions to base their teachings.

And, we certainly know that SOME (certainly not all) religious teachings have been terribly wrong in the past.

In addition, the religious have the NEED to believe that homosexuals are not born homosexual. Otherwise, it would suggest that God made them that way. That would turn their world upside down.

Thanks, but I will draw my own conclusions on matters such as this.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

The article once again shows the media's bias toward illegal immigrants. notice it did not distiguish between LEGAL and ILLEGAL immigrants, but again phrased it as favoring immigrants or opposing immigrants. Why do they insist on degrading legal immigrants by lumping them in with illegal immigrants?

I followed the link to Pew's webpage and it did not distinguish between legal and illegal either (so perhaps the media can be forgiven this one time). It did not look like the questions they asked differentiated between legal and illegal immigrants. If the questions did not, then the results are invalid.

It's like saying since Mao was chinese and was responsible for killing millions of people, then all chinese are responsible for killing millions of people. When there are important differences between subjects of a question, the question should differentiate.

bye bye butterfly
Murray, UT

@ Blue

I disagree. Everyone is born with a sense of right and wrong. It's called a conscience. No matter what nation they're born into, they know instinctively that things like yelling is wrong. That lying is naughty. That a man doesn't love another man in the same way as he does a woman. That being hungry doesn't make it ok to steal your brother's food.

It's the environment they're raised in and what they're taught that will set beliefs, be they religious or cultural, in their minds.

There are staunch atheists who are strongly opinionated on these topics, but have no such "religious" beliefs.

And there are plenty of people who still disagree with those around them, form their own beliefs and stand on their own, be they what others consider wrong or right.

God gave us minds and an ability to reason.

Colorado Springs, CO

@Jedivan: There's also no "real facts," as you term it, that God exists, yet people follow "God" as if he/she/it were real. Being an athiest myself, I have to admit I don't understand how anyone can believe there's a "magical" something out there controlling our every being. However, I will admit that for those who do believe, who truly believe, most likely get much benefit and comfort for their everyday lives.

@Cats: There's also not one study that concludes that one is not born homosexual. And I believe the day will come very quickly where they will find that specific gene. When there are multiple people born with a multitude of different diseases and those that are born with both genetalia and the parents have to make an on-the-spot decision which gender that child will be, it does not even begin to sound far-fetched that people are born as homosexuals. Isn't it interesting the paradigm between Mormons, a religion who started out persecuted, are now the biggest persecutors of gays? But I'm sure you believe they choose that course.

Provo, UT

Dear Joe Blow: The study that is often cited by those who want to take the position that gays are born gay was conducted in Holland--probably the most gay affirming society in the world.

However, the study concluded that genentics MAY play a roll in determining "gayness" but that if so, it is only ONE of several factors, one of which is CHOICE. Others include environment, development, etc.

In addition, studies have shown that if an identical twin is gay, there is only about a 20% chance that the other will also be gay. I am citing the head of the Human Genome Project.

The position taken by The American Psychiatric Association, etc., is based solely on "politically correct" votes that have been taken by their membership. It is not based on any scientific study.

I'm sorry, this isn't what many want to hear, but it is nevertherless correct. Do I have sympathy with the problems faced by many gays--YES. Do I have any sympathy with their social and political agenda--NO.

I'm ready to accept the word of GOD on these matters.

Littleton, CO

To expand on bye bye butterfly's opening comment, it is a matter of indisputable fact, that all of us are born with a conscience, and know right from wrong. To me at least, that is also indisputable proof, that there is a loving “creator” who is beyond our present mortal view, who endowed us with a “conscience”. Why would He do that? I’ll let you answer that for yourselves. The point is, the power is within each of us to make correct choices in our lives, or not. Many people through consistent bad choices have seared their conscience’s, to a point that they have given up a major part of their power to choose the right. Whether He be our Heavenly Father or some other person, or whatever else you chose to believe that this power of choice comes from, doesn’t matter. The point is, it is there, in all of us.

As others have stated here, I choose to follow the guidance of the Spirit in my life (my conscience), supported by my religious beliefs, rather than be driven to and fro by every wind of doctrine (man’s opinion) that comes along.

Miami Area, Fl

Well Cats, looks like a person can pick and choose the study to come to their desired conclusion.

I imagine that you would agree that there is no consensus among the scientific community. I have no problem with that.

But it makes me wonder what you are referring to when you write -

"I'm sorry, this isn't what many want to hear, but it is nevertherless correct"

Are you really basing that statement on the the studies that have no scientific consensus?

Regardless, I am pretty open either way as it does not really matter much to me whether gays are born that way or not.

I wonder how many of the "religious" would accept a conclusive study that was universally accepted by the scientific community that isolated a "gay" gene.

Or, would they defer to your thinking of

"I'm ready to accept the word of GOD on these matters."

Me? I'm flexible. I will keep an open mind. And not lose much sleep regardless.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Cats | 8:36 a.m. Sept. 22, 2010
Provo, UT

I'm ready to accept the word of GOD on these matters.


You know, the funny thing - I agree with that statement. And I do too.

The difference is some people - mostly Conservatives - wish to dictact HOW to live on others. Forcing others to always choose the right.
[Cats, who's plan was that?]

I adhere to a live-and-let-live attitude toward life.
It's called FREE AGENCY.
[Cats, who's plan was that?]

And the whole GOD told us to do things, and pass laws strictly on one's interpretation of what GOD said is called a Theocracy, and am against that as well.

Salt Lake City, UT

Cats, there is no way for you to know what the word of God is. Has God appeared to you personally, and if so did you video the conversation and put it on You Tube? The WORD of your god was handed down to you by men. Men are fallible. What if those men got it wrong? God speaks to me and she says that as long as I don't hurt others she doesn't care what I do in my bedroom.

USS Enterprise, UT

TO "LDS Liberal | 10:28 a.m. " explain how you can "adhere to a live-and-let-live attitude toward life." at the same time that you promote socialism which is the eliminates the ability of people to have Agency (there is nothing free about it).

As for your Theocracy, now that is something that the LDS church teaches will eventually come to earth when Jesus returns to earth.

Look at what the liberals have said about taking care of the poor. They say, if people won't do it it the way liberals want, they will pass taxes and laws and force you to help the poor. Now, who's plan was it to force you to do good?

If you don't like rules, please name a theological philosophy that has no rules for conduct.

To "xscribe | 8:25 a.m." God is not a magical being who controls us. God does not want to control us. He sent us here to learn to choose right from wrong, and hopes we choose right. He set things in motion, but we still have our own choices to make.

Weiser, ID

Homosexuality does come down to a belief in God or not. If one believes in Jesus Christ or Jehovah as the Lord then there is no other ground than homosexuality lifestyle is a sin, just like pre-marital sexual relation or extra-marital sexual relations.

I believe that when people fight against thier conscience they are trying to get rid of accountability. If they can claim that "their god" is different than mine, then they think they won't be held accountable for thier actions. Just because you deny a supreme being doesn't mean He isn't there and that there will be an accountability. Therefore, in my mind the question isn't if homosexuality is wrong or right, it is if Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world or not. If He is, than the homosexuality question is not a question. If He isn't then murder, rape, incest and any other form of "evil" is ok and it doesn't matter.

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