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“Gay Sin” Survey Reveals We’re Playing God

I’m always on the hunt for positive news, there being such consistent media focus on the bad stuff. Most days, headlines essentially read, “Handbasket full; hell in sight.”

So a recent headline caught my eye because of its positive tone: “Survey: Big drop in those who say being gay’s a sin.” According to Lifeway Research, a division of Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, significantly fewer Americans defined homosexual behavior as sinful in 2012 than in 2011.

As reported at lifeway.com:

“A November 2012 survey of adults in the United States found 37 percent affirm a belief that homosexual behavior is a sin — a statistically significant change from a September 2011 Lifeway Research survey asking the same question. At that time, 44 percent answered, ‘Yes.’”

In contrast, the percentage of Americans who do not believe homosexuality is a sin barely changed over the same period — 43 percent in September 2011 and 45 percent in November 2012. Those unsure of what they believe jumped from 4 percent to seventeen percent.

Ed Stetzer, president of Lifeway Research, attributed this change in large measure to President Obama’s “evolution” on gay marriage in the year preceding his re-election.

“The president’s evolution on homosexuality probably impacted the evolution of cultural values — there is a real and substantive shift, surprisingly large for a one-year time frame,” Mr. Stetzer said.

Proving, if nothing else, that a statistically significant number of Americans may, in fact, believe Mr. Obama is the messiah.

Joking.

Proving that Americans don’t know what sin is and think the concept is fluid, or defined by their personal comfort with certain behaviors, or negotiable because their cousin is gay and he’s a great guy and his partner is super nice so it can’t possibly be sinful or wrong to be gay.

And therein lies the problem with the “gay sin” survey or any survey that measures what we believe about sin.

In fact, Lifeway’s survey may tell us more about our nation’s understanding of morality than it does about our cultural evolution on homosexuality. If sins can now be defined and redefined based on society’s current opinion, then moral relativism has certainly become our new norm.

And a dangerous one, according to Rev. Charles Irvin, senior priest of the diocese of Lansing, Mich., and the founding editor of Faith Magazine, the largest and fastest growing Catholic publication in America, because it means as a society, we’re comfortable playing God and deciding our own moral imperatives.

“What we see is the manifestation of the Imperial Self,” Father Irvin says. “Essentially, this survey reveals that people think, ‘I decide what is real and what is not, what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is not.’”

If Americans clearly have become more comfortable with homosexuality, it’s not because homosexual behavior is any less sinful than it ever was, but rather our culture has promoted it as natural and therefore acceptable.

As with all surveys, the wording makes a difference in the result. If I had participated and been asked if it’s a sin to be gay, I would also have said no. Being gay is no more sinful than being straight; it’s sex outside of God’s definition of marriage that matters.

Father Irvin summarizes the crux of the question: “The issue over gay marriage does not deal with who is a good person or who is bad, it is rather a question of what is good behavior and what is bad behavior, not simply for the actors themselves but for society as a whole. Redefining sin according to our desires will never benefit society.”


Marybeth Hicks is a columnist for The Washington Times and founder and editor of Ontheculture.com.


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  • Larry W2LJ

    Marybeth,
    “Joking”
    Unfortunately, in your joke, I believe there is very large gain of truth. a lot of the people of this nation DO regard this President as some sort of messiah. They are willing to swallow whatever is put forth in front of them without the slightest bit of discernment.
    I think we are back to the times of “bread and ciruses”.
    Very sad.

    • http://www.schefter.org/ PrairieHawk

      I shudder to think that my fellow citizens actually might look to Obama for moral guidance. This is the man who supports letting newborns who survive abortion die and who once said that he didn’t want his daughter “punished” by a child – his grandson or granddaughter. If Americans, including our President, can’t even see the goodness of a little baby – is there any hope left?

  • cfish

    “If I had participated and been asked if it’s a sin to be gay, I would also have said no. Being gay is no more sinful than being straight; it’s sex outside of God’s definition of marriage that matters.” And this goes to show how much the media has influence on culture, and in some ways why the culture war is so difficult a battle. I’m 40 years old. I remember when the term ‘gay’ came into popular use.
    A ‘gay’ person , by definition is someone with homosexual orientation who embraces their ‘lifestyle choice’ as being healthy. So being ‘gay’ is sinful. It seems the last 5 maybe 10 years the term has begun to shift to mean anyone who exhibits homosexual tendencies.
    But that has been and is part of the consistent strategy of the political groups pushing for gay rights to confuse the issue, but creating and then redefining terms again and again. They have ‘outed’ everyone from Elonore Roosevelt , the St. John Newman , on the proposition that anyone who EVER feels attraction to a member of the opposite sex, even simple friendship is ‘gay’.
    They claim there is no such thing as ex-gay and that orientation is fixed. Regardless of how many people successfully make the transition from a homosexual lifestyle to a heterosexual lifestyle.
    The idea that ‘homosexual orientation’ exists is quite possibly a misnomer, as it should be considered someone who suffers from a temptation to sin. A kind of a mental disease of sorts, how much difference is there between a man that thinks he’s a woman, or should have sex with other men, then there is between a man that thinks he is a dog, or should have sex with dogs? The fact that such things are no longer considered mental disease show a deep failing of the proper use of science and the ability of a small minority to overcome clear thinking in the scientific community.

    So, if someone asked my if being ‘gay’ was a sin. I would answer ‘yes’ because being ‘gay’ means having a temptation to sin AND embracing it as acceptable or normal.

    Or has the definition changed on me again when I wasn’t looking?