Pew study: Religion plays key role in deciphering public opinion

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

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  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    Sept. 23, 2010 7:58 a.m.

    Morality of the body vs. morality of economics. I think it's an interesting contrast for religion.

    It's easy to talk about morality of the body and condemn homosexuality, or abortion, or any number of other sexual "sins" but as we've seen with many religious leaders, they can hide those sins which are exposed in scandals.

    Economic morality though is harder to deal with for religion and maybe that's why it's not talked about very much. When you follow the money, you follow the values of someone. If you don't talk about economic values or morality then you can do what you want with your money.

    All this to me shows the hypocracy of religion because we talk about what you can't see and ignore what you can see. Personally I think a lot more people are hurt because of poverty. Poverty also causes many well healed religious people (not all) to condemn the poor because poverty comes with so many other problems with are immoral.

  • bye bye butterfly Murray, UT
    Sept. 22, 2010 4:45 p.m.

    I'm glad you pointed that out, RedShirt. It's interesting how people flip the coin to meet their own perspective, without realizing it's what they're accusing others of doing.

    Candide, I respect the fact that you're an atheist. I may not agree with you, it doesn't make sense to me, I can't look at a protein molecule under a microscope or read about the human eye in an anatomy book and believe these things happened accidentally.

    But I don't call atheists brainwashed and stupid. I ask the same in return.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 22, 2010 2:45 p.m.

    To "Candide | 1:57 p.m." here is what is interesting about your arguement against there being a God.

    You said "I feel deeply about mine as well. Feelings cannot be trusted. Human beings are so easliy fooled, especially by things they desperately want to believe in. It is called wish fullfillment."

    You have feel that God does not exist. Yet, you say that you can't trust feelings and especially when it is something you want to believe in. So, using your logic, you can't be an Atheist either because you base your atheism in a feeling.

    How do we know that your deep feelings that being atheist are not just a "wish fullfillment" of yours?

  • Candide Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 22, 2010 1:57 p.m.

    @Keith, how do you know I haven't received a "personal" revelation? My revelation is just different that yours. How do you know yours is right? Because you feel deeply about it? I feel deeply about mine as well. Feelings cannot be trusted. Human beings are so easliy fooled, especially by things they desperately want to believe in. It is called wish fullfillment. I can't experience something doesn't exist because I have a close personal relationship with reality.

  • Keith43 Littleton, CO
    Sept. 22, 2010 1:16 p.m.

    @ Candide, 10:51 a.m. Just because you haven’t received “personal” revelation from God yourself, doesn’t mean it is non-existent. You have your “opinion”, and that’s all you have. I, and many others who post here, know beyond a doubt, that the heavens are not closed, that God can and does speak to us. I personally experience it nearly every day of my life. And while it cannot be explained to a person who has never experienced it; it nonetheless, is an experience that when it occurs, I cannot deny it — because I feel and know of His presence and pure knowledge flows from Him into my mind and heart. No one can help you understand this - It would be like me trying to explain to you what salt tasted like, if you never had tasted it before. Those of us who experience these communications, are simply left with no doubt. And the point is, God is no respecter of persons. He loves us all equally — To know what the word of God is, all we need to do is exercise our faith in Him and live worthy to receive His guidance.

  • ADN Weiser, ID
    Sept. 22, 2010 12:34 p.m.

    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.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 22, 2010 12:04 p.m.

    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.

  • Candide Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 22, 2010 10:51 a.m.

    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.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 22, 2010 10:28 a.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Sept. 22, 2010 9:54 a.m.

    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.

  • Keith43 Littleton, CO
    Sept. 22, 2010 9:09 a.m.

    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.

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

    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.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Sept. 22, 2010 8:25 a.m.

    @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.

  • bye bye butterfly Murray, UT
    Sept. 22, 2010 8:06 a.m.

    @ 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.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 22, 2010 7:07 a.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Sept. 22, 2010 5:11 a.m.

    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.

  • Livingstone Orem, UT
    Sept. 21, 2010 11:17 p.m.

    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?

  • Cats Provo, UT
    Sept. 21, 2010 11:11 p.m.

    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.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 21, 2010 7:07 p.m.


    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.

  • jedivan Ogden, UT
    Sept. 21, 2010 6:24 p.m.

    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.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 21, 2010 4:56 p.m.

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

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2010 4:51 p.m.

    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.

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 21, 2010 4:38 p.m.

    Sorry, that should be STOP listening.

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 21, 2010 4:37 p.m.

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

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2010 3:23 p.m.

    '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.