Gallup poll shows shift in views on morality over last decade

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    May 28, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    @Tyler D - present-day standards are not objectively better in every way. The 10 commandments are absolute standards that have stood the test of time for anyone claiming to follow the most basic Christian or Jewish tenets, or probably Muslim as well since we're all supposedly worshiping the same God of Abraham. The 10 Commandments are good for every age, yet modern culture casually breaks nearly every one of them (except murder and stealing), and not only excuses such behavior, but often holds the violation of them as a kind of modern virtue.

    God was not "weaning" them away from barbarism, as you characterize it, but rather the Old Testament law and requirements was a "schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ." (Gal. 3:24) Learning the OT lessons does not require us to continue living by the same standards and requirements, since Christ graduated God's covenant people from the Law of Moses to a higher standard.

    I don't have to meet any higher burden for you or anyone else. I wonder why you don't feel a burden to explain why you take scriptures out of context and falsely attribute a barbaric incident to God's OT teachings.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 28, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    @LetsDebate – “your comment is the epitome of Tators' reference to things of men being foolishness to God…”

    You are correct that I am judging them by modern standards but that is only because millions of people today hold the Bible up as the best book ever written and one which contains absolute morality. If this book was regarded as any other book from antiquity, filled with anachronisms and ethics for those times, this would all be moot.

    So the underlying question I am simply asking is, “does it make sense given an objective reading to view the book this way?”

    Now if you want to say that this was a Bronze Age desert tribe that was perhaps being slowly weaned from their barbaric ways (culminating in the teachings of Jesus), and that our present day standards of morality are objectively better in almost every way, then great… we’re on the same page!

    If not, then I think the burden is on you to explain why we are not following the OT more closely and trying to create a society based on those standards… like the Taliban wants to do.

    Reached comment limit…

    May 28, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    @Tyler D - your comment is the epitome of Tators' reference to things of men being foolishness to God, as well as the scripture that teaches when men are learned they think they are wise.

    The scriptures you reference are primarily associated with admittedly harsh, but specific lessons God wanted his people to learn at a very specific time. You judge them by the standards of our present times and expectations, without any apparent desire to know the lessons God wanted them to learn. You take a few scriptures with no regard to historical or spiritual context, and pretend these snippets tell the entire story of each event.

    Your scripture from Judges wasn't even something any rational person could conclude was a sanctioned incident, and the evil barbarism described in those verses - which you falsely attribute to the God of the Old Testament - actually led to a civil war among the Israelites as the surrounding tribes sought to avenge the depraved actions of which you reference.

    I understand... hard to be objective about a book you've already condemned.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 25, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    Who is it that tells the youth that leaving home half-dressed is acceptable? Who is it that sells the music that encourages sleeping around? Who makes the movies and the TV shows where the "hero" fails unless he beds the "heroine"? Is it the youth who do those things, or is it the so-called "adults" who care more for money than they do for the innocence of the world's children?

    There have always been many who tell us to "eat, drink and be merry". There have always been many who tell us that God, if he even exists, will quickly forgive those who act like animals. There have always been many who stoned the prophets and mocked the words that God gave those prophets to give us to enlighten us. That much has not changed. What has also not changed is God's promises about how he will handle those who lie and who love a lie, especially the promises he made of how he would deal with those who would harm those who are innocent.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    May 25, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    We have a president and a political party which advertise and promote the gay and lesbian lifestyle and have access to the billions in Hollywood to fund its view. It is no wonder that free sex and homosexuality is now viewed favorably. Mothers milk of politics is money and the left has by far the most money.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 25, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    @rnoble – “I am wondering if you use a different translation than I do or if you are just looking for something different than I am.”

    I understand… hard to be objective about a book that some believe is perfect.

    But the barbarism is there… try these passages:

    Judges 19:25-28
    Psalms 137:9
    Numbers 31:15-18
    1 Samuel 15
    Deuteronomy 2:32-35
    Deuteronomy 13:6-10

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    May 25, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    I just looked up the Exodus reference and find no difficulty at all in teaching children about the prerogatives of God. I have read those other books several times but not recently and don't remember any commandments to abuse children or rape; must have missed them. I am wondering if you use a different translation than I do or if you are just looking for something different than I am.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    May 24, 2013 7:09 p.m.

    Lest too many standing near the stone pile cause the supply of stones to dwindle, remember, those who are closest--you know who you are--that well-known reminder that he who is without sin, cast the first stone. And surely that includes all genders...he being grammatically correct, here. Just a thought.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    May 24, 2013 5:48 p.m.

    I think it is sick how it is becoming more and more acceptable to have a baby out of wedlock or do an abortion, but less acceptable to wear a coat made of animal fur or do medicinal tests on animals. Apparently animals are more human than babies? To further evidence that point, note that most of these same people would support embryonic stem cell research.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 24, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    @I know it. I Live it. I Love it. – “Never does it say "Thou shalt enslave and murder and do every other wrong thing".”

    This is simply not true… you need to read the book objectively.

    First, start with the 2nd Commandment found in Exodus 20:4-6 and tell me if that even begins to pass the smell test as the sort of morality you would like to teach the children of the world.

    Then read books like Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Judges, Samuel and Numbers and you will find scores of commands supposedly direct from God to kill, rape, abuse children as well as a whole host of writings on how to capture and treat slaves.

    I admit the book get remarkably better in the NT, but to try and whitewash the blatant immorality contained in the OT under some guise of “not understanding” just doesn’t fly.

    And I am very much an optimist and a humanist, which I think is why I found many parts of the OT so distasteful.

  • belgie Tualatin, OR
    May 24, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    To Howard Beal: You're (perhaps understandably, although still unfairly) necessarily associating polygamy with poverty, incest, and abuse. If I used your logic, I could condemn a whole host of other lifestyles choices.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    May 24, 2013 4:47 p.m.

    The 10 Commandments essentially say to not murder, steal, lie, cheat, ect. Those laws have been stable since God gave them. That is what has not changed. And, if you look, most civil law today can be attributed to the 10 Commandments. As for society changing moral opinion, that phenomonon has been going on with mankind since Adam and Eve. So don't think the current USA in the 21st century is breaking any new ground here. Many lost societies of the past have gone through the same kinds of moral decay. As they who are smart say, those who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

    HS Fan. Your really want to say that we are not able to hear from God today with a large LDS population reading you? You're just trying to bait an argument and most of us won't indulge you.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 24, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    Taters: What you said was exactly correct. Those who are mocking you are only trying to twist and distort things in order to justify themselves. You are right. Man's wisdom is foolishness.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2013 3:53 p.m.

    Tyler D,

    If you read the scriptures in order to understand them, you will find that they contain records of the actions of men. Never does it say "Thou shalt enslave and murder and do every other wrong thing".

    When we repent and keep the commandments we can have peace, safety, and happiness. It's only when we don't that evil thrives and we face such wrongdoing.

    If no one ever stole, cheated, coveted, or lied, we would be in a very different world than we are in today. Rather than contending this, I invite you to change. Be the optimist! We can do more good together than by turning against each other.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 24, 2013 3:42 p.m.

    What is there about modern polygamy to like? I mean we all like that one reality show and we wish most polygamous relationships were this loving. I guess. But when I think of polygamy I think of guys like Warren Jeffs casting aside young teens like trash so the elders of the community don't have any "competition." I see young girls coerced to marry men twice or three times their age and usually a family relation. I see women that are mostly brainwashed to be subservient to their men wearing ridiculous pioneer style dresses and weird hairdos. I see wives two through whatever having no legal rights or protections and many families and children in poverty. So am I missing something? You can say that I'm not a fan of polygamy as it is generally practiced today.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    May 24, 2013 3:38 p.m.

    It's true that public opinion changes over time on all kinds of behavior. But I need a clarification from Tators. Did God always approve of polygamy, or did he never approve of it, or did He approve of something like polygamy, but referred to by a different term?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 24, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    "It's somewhat interesting that God's laws of morality never vary. They have remained constant and consistent throughout mankind's history. Rock solid."

    Really? Maybe you are right. But mans (including Religions) understanding varies widely.

    Let me ask you. Is it "immoral" to drink coffee or play golf on Sunday?

    I can assure you that there would be differing opinions on that.

    Is it immoral to eat pork? Or shellfish?

    Is polygamy morally wrong today? How about in 1850?

    Morals are anything but constant. They vary greatly based on who and even when you ask.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 24, 2013 2:43 p.m.

    @Tators – “It's somewhat interesting that God's laws of morality never vary.”

    So should we still be stoning people for worshiping other gods (sorry Hindus), talking back to their parents, being non-virgins before marriage (women only), while at the same time allowing slavery and committing genocide (those nasty Amalekites)?

    Are we the immoral ones or did the authors of the Old Testament just not understand what God really wanted of them? If the later then in what sense is the OT the word of God?

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    May 24, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    I've always found it interesting that the world is okay with sleeping around with a different person every week, sleeping around with partners of varying gender, etc... but is still revolted by the thought of one man committed in a polygamous relationship. There is a dark side to that culture for sure, but in this day and age of "sexual freedom" it surprises me that it still has drastically lower acceptance levels than other sexual item.

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2013 1:45 p.m.

    The only people who know for sure what God's laws are, are the dead, and they're not talking. In the mean time we're all living on the same ship so whatever you want to fill the sail with is fine with me. Tolerance and respect is what keeps the boat a float.

  • belgie Tualatin, OR
    May 24, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    Not that I approve of polygamy, but it continues to amaze me that the majority of America is so accepting of homosexual relationships, sex and childbirth outside of marriage, divorce, etc., but so adamantly opposed to polygamy. Just goes to show that most people's morals are pretty much determined by the winds of popular culture.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    May 24, 2013 11:57 a.m.

    It's somewhat interesting that God's laws of morality never vary. They have remained constant and consistent throughout mankind's history. Rock solid.
    Yet, as this article demonstrates, mankind's views of morality acceptance bend and sway with the political winds from generation to generation. They never stay the same for long. And each new change leaves that viewer feeling wiser and more informed than his predecessor. It's little wonder that as per the Bible, "man's wisdom is foolishness unto God".
    Undoubtedly, there will be some rebuttals to this that will prove as much.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 24, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    Photo radar. It's time that makes the 'immoral' list.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    May 24, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    you dont need a poll to tell you there has been a change just read any far right post on these threads and you can see how far those that claim to be the most moral have moved in the direction of relativism.