The Weimar problem

From George Will:

“Every republic,” writes Charles Kesler, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, “eventually faces what might be called the Weimar problem.” It arrives when a nation’s civic culture has become so debased that the nation no longer has “the virtues necessary to sustain republican government.”

Read my comments and questions after the jump.

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New study of Americans’ moral beliefs

Gallup has released a new study of Americans’ moral beliefs, and it’s full of surprises and good-news/bad-news.  Acceptance of abortion (43%) , same sex relations (60%), stem-cell research on human embryos (60%), and physician assisted suicide (53%) is actually down from last year.  Though a majority still narrowly support suicide by doctor, only 18% consider suicide in general to be a moral option.  While 67% believe that sex between unmarried men and women is moral, only 37% think it’s OK for teenagers to have sex, and only 10% believe marital affairs are acceptable.  And only 34% believe in the morality of pornography.

After the jump, a discussion on how stable Americans’ moral attitudes have been, despite the public policy changes. [Read more…]

Turning pride from a sin to a virtue

An LGBTQ theologian, apparently thinking of “gay pride” parades, wants Christianity to change its teaching that pride is a sin and turn it instead into a virtue.

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Only 1.7% are gay, but 8% have had gay sex

A new study has found that the number of Americans who are exclusively homosexual is 1.7% of men and .9% of women, a number that has been stable over the years.  But the number of Americans who report having sex with someone of their own gender has doubled over the last two decades, to 8.2% for men and 8.7% for women.

The main issue today may not be homosexuality but bisexuality.  Furthermore, it would seem that this is experimentation due to the new social acceptability of gay behavior.  And that, whatever is the case about gay identity, many people can, in fact, choose whether or not to experiment with homosexual sex.  As for bisexuals, they can be encouraged to marry a member of the opposite sex, being faithful to that spouse despite temptations from whatever gender, like everyone else is expected to.

After the jump, read a story about this study, which gives details about how this varies generationally, with women compared to men, how church attendance makes a difference, and how sexuality is “fluid” (despite what we were told when gay marriage was an open issue). [Read more…]

Indifference

Jake Meador, a thoughtful young evangelical, reflects on monasticism and says that one thing we can learn from that practice is the virtue–yes, the virtue–of indifference. [Read more…]

Looking for a new moral code

Barna has released a fascinating study on Americans’ moral beliefs. Eighty percent are worried about the nation’s moral condition, and yet there is little consensus about what morality is and how we can know the difference between right and wrong.

A majority believe that this knowledge is a matter of personal experience.  Three-quarters of Millennials believe “Whatever is right for your life or works best for you is the only truth you can know.” (I don’t understand how you can get from experience or “what works” to moral truth, given the difference between what “is” and what “ought to be.”  And how do you know “whatever is right for your life”?  Isn’t that the question we are trying to figure out?)  [Read more…]