Comments about ‘Americans' views on morals have changed through time’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 31 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

Yes, our view of morality has changed over time. Thank goodness!

We no longer believe that eating shellfish a sin.

We no longer believe that wearing two kinds of fabric is a sin.

We no longer believe that women must be kept silent in church and never give instructions to men.

We no longer believe that a woman raped within city limits must be killed, but a woman raped in the countryside must be married to her rapist.

We no longer believe that people whose religious beliefs are different from our own must be killed.

We no longer believe in owning slaves.

Those are all contained in the "morality" of the Bible, yet we have wisely abandoned those beliefs.

21st Century morality is indeed different from the morality contained in the Bible. It's the only reason we're able to function as a society.

I think it's fair to say that the more a society tests dogma against reality, the healthier it is.

Dietrich, ID

God does not change his morals sin is still sin

Huntsville, UT


Let those who worship your god follow his rules. Leave everyone else alone.

One funny thing about those who believe that homosexuality is a sin, or premarital sex is a sin, etc. They are among the most likely to commit various other sins themselves. Take a good look at those who claim to worship and be religious and see just how many are committing adultery (another sin) or have participated on one or more of the various sins listed in the bible (there are many).

Hypocrites are usually the first to scream when their own sins are pointed out and the last to admit they were wrong.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

For any thing to be sacred, it has to have a purpose. Since the most important thing in life is self preservation. mirage is a commitment to the continuance of life. The gay and lesbian are 4% of the population and only 1.5 of the g@l's that find a friend stay friends.
I'm can;t understand why this is any thing I can be the least concerned about. But it really makes me wonder about our elected.

Salt Lake City, UT

higv: "God does not change his morals sin is still sin."

That is demonstrably untrue.

How many slaves do you own? Do you treat them well?
What's the going rate for selling a daughter into slavery?
Ever eaten shrimp?
Are you wearing more than one type of fabric on your body right now?
Do you trim your hair? Wear jewelry? Permit women to wear slacks or speak in church?
How many disrespectful children and "infidels" have you killed?

More to the point, who made you the arbiter of what does and does not count as "sin" according your imaginary super-being?

When some preacher bellows that _you_ are the sinner and _he_ is the virtuous messenger of God, why do you get to tell him to go jump in a lake, but we are supposed to believe that _you_ are an expert on morality?

Using the ghost stories told by Bronze Age mystics as the basis for morality is a terrible way to run a sane and just society.

Me, I'm grateful that so many people are really terrible at doing what their religions demand from them.

Burke, VA

Mr. Mattingly starts with a valid point - that moral behav ior has changed over the past 40 years - but he then he finds it necessary to turn this into a political rant.

"...the number of Americans who took the conservative stance was leveling off at 38 percent, but the percentage of those embracing the liberal, progressive position was up to 60 percent."

Just one more person claiming that everyone who claims to be politically conservative is mroally clean and those who call themselves liberal have no morals. This is nonsense. Look at the sex scandels involving our public officials. Is there a distinction between the two in that regard?

"President Barack Obama announced a long-expected change of heart and openly endorsed same-sex marriage." But the president didn't pass any moral judgement on same-sex relationships. I have gays friends at work and elsewhere and they know that I don't condone that aspect of their lives. But they are wonderful people in so many regards that it would be harmful to me if I rejected them for their sexual preferences.

Whatever happended to "love one another" and "judge not..."? When will we pratice what we preach?

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

The thing that has changed the most in these matters is that consequences have been minimized, by science and social programs. Contraception, abortion, and medication have greatly curtailed the unwanted pregnancy and STD consequences from promiscuous sex. Without these natural consequences, Godless people see no reason not to "be merry" to whatever extent they want.

But what about the emotional consequences? Breaking up can be tough, but it has an added dimension for those who were sexually bonded. People eventually come to trust no one, and bond to no one, to protect them from further emotional hurt. Many women who had abortions in years past, now suffer from horrible emotional distress from that choice.

Meanwhile, antidepressant use, anxiety disorder, and other mental disorder rates are skyrocketing. Most our mass murderers are detached (detachment disorder) from their fellow men/women. But we won't bother studying the connection between chosen behavior and mental illness. Inventing more drugs makes more money, and frees the immoral from responsibility for their choices.

For those of us who are religious, it is simple. Sin is sin. We are not surprised by the negative consequences of sinful actions. It is God's danger signal.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

And to think - those on their moral high horse about those who "sin",
would propbably welcome back public stoning for it.

Is it any wonder they still do the psychological equivalant of it...


Morality is about more than sex.

Morality is about honesty and personal values, respecting yourself and other people, facing the consequences of your actions and allowing others to do the same - among other things.

This is a very narrow look at morality.


@ Christian 24-7: One problem with your rant - nothing in reality supports it.

American Fork, UT

Yes, thankfully our ideas about morality evolve with time. We've done some pretty stupid, and cruel, things in the name of morality. Religion, which tries to sell itself as the champion of morality, is much slower to evolve. It takes a while for a 'prophecy' to come through. Plus, the fixation it has with who gets to have sex with whom and for what purpose is becoming a bit, well, disturbing.

Everett, 00

Dietrich, ID
God does not change his morals sin is still sin

7:28 a.m. Jan. 31, 2013


Did God change his morals regarding slavery?
Did God change his morals regarding plural marriage?
Did God change his morals regarding eating pork, circumsision, shaving, and gentiles being baptized?

Good grief.

Why don't some of you ultra-conservatives go back 3,000 years were you belong.
Hint: The past wasn't as nearly as rosy and morally superior as you might imagine.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

Looking forward to reading an article about the morals and the lack thereof of hedge fund types and co-conspirator banksters...

Instead...a pithy tome about SEX.

Salt Lake City, UT

Christian 24-7: "For those of us who are religious, it is simple. Sin is sin. We are not surprised by the negative consequences of sinful actions. It is God's danger signal."

It's "simple" all right.

Is simplicity a good thing? You're saying we have no need for an appreciation of the inescapable complexities of life? Everything is just black vs. white for you?

Why do bad things happen to good people? What was their "sin?" Why did my friend's 4 year old daughter die slowly and painfully from an inoperable brain tumor?

Why do good things happen to "sinful" people? Why is Hugh Hefner 86 years old, happy and prosperous?

Are all bad things that happen to people an expression of divine wrath? Are all good things that happen a divine reward?

Why is your God, historically, so blatantly indifferent to good and evil?

How do you know which events are due to divine intervention, and which are simply the random occurences that happen naturally in a dynamic, changing world?

The "simple" approach to life is to believe that diseases are caused by evil spirits.

I'll take complexity over that kind of "simple" thinking any day.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

If repubs and conservatives are so moral then why are the southern (protestant) states leading the way in abortion, teen pregnancy, and STDs?

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

I like our modern changes in morality...
I enjoy driving into cities and not seeing "sinners" impaled on stakes or left hanging in trees.

USS Enterprise, UT

To "Blue" I feel sad for you.

Bad things happen to good people because the bad people made bad choices. God will not stop us from making bad choices (Satan wanted this), so when a person makes a bad choice that choice is allowed so that it can stand as a testimony against them at the Judgement day.

It all depends on what you call good, and the timeframe that you are looking at. If you are only concerned with this life, then go ahead and be jealous of the sinful wealthy people. If you look at this life from an eternal perspective, you will feel sad for those sinners because after this life they will be separated from God.

God is not indifferent. Just look at the old testament. When the people are good, God helps them, when they are evil, he lets them destroy themselves.

Miracles are often hard to determine. There are times when you may be involved in a miracle and know it.

God's commandments are simple, it is only people that make them more complex, like the Scribes and Pharasees.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Sin is the invention of religion. It’s purpose is to offset the defenses that people might have in believing the imaginary story of the religion.

Before religion there was not sin.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

I think the Mormon approach is very good. I dont agree with the Mormons on almost anything related to their doctrine, but their approach to homosexuality seems about right.

Treat everyone kind, while never accepting what is wrong.

People who have challenges should be helped. People can overcome those challenges and caving into their challenges is never what is best.

While I dont agree that sexual relationships need to wait for marriage, I agree they are only acceptable to God between a man and a woman.

Keep up the good work in this regard Mormons. I'll stand with you on this one issue.

Salt Lake City, UT

Redshirt: "Bad things happen to good people because the bad people made bad choices. "

What "bad choices" do the victims of earthquakes, floods and tsunamis make?

"God is not indifferent. Just look at the old testament. When the people are good, God helps them, when they are evil, he lets them destroy themselves."

The Old Testament is a work of fiction. Or do you really believe that the world is 6,000 years old, the first homo sapiens were Adam and Eve, and that Noah's flood and ark were real?

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