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…]


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…]

Happiness vs. Freedom?

In a description of his new book, The Intolerable God, author Christopher J. Insole tells about a central struggle in the philosopher Immanuel Kant:  the conflict between happiness and freedom.

Now this sounds strange to American ears.  Surely, freedom is essential to happiness.  But Kant relates the issue to God.  Here is how Insole describes Kant’s dilemma:

We need God if we are to hope for happiness, as Kant thinks we must. We also need freedom, in a strong sense, in order to be moral. God must withdraw for this freedom to be possible. But if God withdraws, happiness can no longer be attained.

Read about this after the jump.  How would you resolve this dilemma?  I offer some thoughts myself. [Read more…]

Moral relativism gives way to a new moralism

Moral relativism is over.  Moral absolutes are back.  The problem is, these are new moral absolutes, with little connection to traditional objective morality.  And yet because the new moralism is concerned only with tolerance and inclusion, it lacks principles such as justice, temperance, and mercy that can temper its harshness.  As a result, it is just as judgmental, shame-inducing, and self-righteous as the old moralism at its worst.

Read the Atlantic’s Jonathan Merritt on the subject.

[Read more…]

Supreme Court to rule on sinning vs. causing others to sin

Tomorrow the short-handed Supreme Court will hear arguments on the case brought by the Little Sisters of the Poor on whether they should be forced to go through the paperwork so that their employees can get free contraception and abortifacients under Obamacare.

The government says that the Roman Catholic nuns aren’t being forced to provide contraception.  Rather, they just have to declare that they are opting out so that their insurance company can provide the services for free.  Since they aren’t paying for the pills and devices, argues the government, they aren’t violating their religious beliefs.

But that shows complete ignorance of Roman Catholic moral theology.  For one thing, the morality of an action depends, in part, on the intention.  In this case, the intention of filing the paperwork would be to let employees commit a grave sin.  Also, it isn’t just sinful if an individual does something wrong.  Causing someone else to sin can be even worse. [Read more…]