Poll: Pre-Marital Sex More Acceptable than Pornography
Gallup finds our attitude toward sin is shifting. More evidence the church's influence is declining?

Birth control has reentered the public conversation since the Obama administration attempted to force non-church religious organizations to include the pill in employee health insurance plans. As a result, Gallup has included birth control in a new survey of American's attitudes about sin.

The findings show that 89 percent believe birth control is acceptable. Not surprising perhaps, but what may surprise you are where different behaviors rank on the acceptable-not acceptable scale. For example, Americans believe premarital sex is more acceptable than viewing pornography. (Does anyone else find that odd?) And medical testing on human embryos was seen as more morally acceptable than medical testing on animals.

Divorce and gambling, two things denounced by old time religion, now rank among the most acceptable behaviors on the list, and a majority (54 percent) now accept gay and lesbian relationships as morally acceptable.

See the full table of results from the Gallup poll.

What was deemed the least morally acceptable behavior? Extramarital affairs. While both divorce and pre-marital sex are seen as acceptable, it seems clear that most Americans still find cheating on a spouse to be a serious betrayal.

What does this mean for the church? Share your thoughts.

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May 24, 2012

Displaying 1–10 of 19 comments

sheerahkahn

June 05, 2012  12:34pm

Mr. Williams, Perhaps, I assumed far more than I should have in regards to what I consider the obvious, and what goaded me was...uh...hmm...bah! Looking back on it makes me think that any attempt on my part to clarify my thoughts would only highlight my own idiocy...however, I find I'm still thinking... "I fear that this is another case where what you have written is so clear and self-evident in your own mind,.." And I fear that you may be right...though when I reread what I wrote I "think" I was being clear. Perhaps, my own biases are at work here in the assumptions of what I would consider the obvious...ugh...my thoughts are dividing themselves into two camps, and one is looking pretty weak right now... Bah... Let's drop it. This is already making me feel foolish...you're apology is unnecessary, and there is nothing to forgive. You were working from your POV, and I was working from mine. The span of space here makes for poor communication between adults to fully convey our thoughts.

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Bill Willams

June 04, 2012  1:23pm

sheerahkahn, first, I can tell that I have greatly offended you, and for that I am sincerely sorry, and I ask for your forgiveness. It is never my intention to offend anyone here. Unfortunately, I fear that this is another case where what you have written is so clear and self-evident in your own mind, but again, I don't think what you've written is as clear as you think it is. I don't know what "serious concerns" about my judgement you're talking about. I don't know in what way I'm in over my head or don't have the restraint to know my limits. All I've been trying to say is that your comments often come across as condescending, and I imagine I'm not the only one here who feels that way. And even if I am, it's just my opinion, anyway. Take it or leave it for what it's worth. If you think my opinion about your writing style is wrong, then leave it, forget about it! If you don't see how writing "I'm not sure you know what 'condescending' is" is ITSELF a condescending statement, then fine. Last night I slept no better and no worse for what you write on this forum. I still get to play with my kids everyday, whether you accept my opinion or not. I still get to celebrate my eight-year anniversery with my wife this Wednesday. I still have the best job in the world pastoring two Spanish curches in West Texas. It was JUST MY OPINION!!! And a relatively insignificant one in the context of the rest of my life. If you don't agree with it, fine. But I am very sorry that I crossed a line, even though you haven't told me how. If you would like to clarify your lastest post, I would appreciate it as it could help me to know exactly what it was that I did wrong, and how I can better communicate with you in the future. May you enjoy God's richest blessings this day!

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sheerahkahn

June 04, 2012  10:45am

Mr. Williams, There are somethings you can be very insightful on, and on others so obtuse as to confound reason. The latter is the only one I can describe. You have crossed a line with me, Mr. Williams, and you're intellect was never in question. Your judgement, yes, but not your intellect. And the way you phrased this latest post of yours only demonstrates the serious concern I have about your judgement. And just to be sure about the plane of discussion we are on currently I've worked with Ph.D's who had the genius of the subject they studied in to dominate any topic of that subject...until they crossed over into another subject that they were completely, and utterly in over their heads with, but didn't have the restraint to know they're limits. And it was quite embarrassing to have a director shut one of them down because of their inability to restrain themselves. As for the rest of your post, quid pro quo, Mr. Williams.

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Bill Williams

June 03, 2012  3:43pm

sheerahkahn: From merriam-webster.com: CONDESCENDING: Showing or characterized by a patronizing or superior attitude towards others. For example, when you wrote: "Bill, I'm not sure you know what 'condescending' is," THAT was condescending. I'm a grown man with higher education. I know what the word "condescending" means, and to suggest that i don't shows that you have a superior attitude towards me. Another example: "Mr. spek (sic) got me wrong because he didn't read my post. period (sic), end of sentence." You casually dismiss the possibility that maybe Mr. Spek DID read your post, but maybe YOU didn't write as clearly as you think you did. Or maybe YOU got him wrong in what you originally quoted from him: "If we can teach and show..." And I could go on. You're use of "/sigh", "/facepalm", ellipsis–it communicates an attitude that you are just rendered speechless by how stupid we all are, as if it's just so frustrating for you that you are so much more brilliant than we are, and we are all just too dumb to "get" what you are saying. This is what I mean when I say that you come off as condescending. This isn't about what you can get past the moderators. I'm simply suggesting that if you want your comments to be taken more seriously, you might want to begin by taking us a bit more seriously, treating people with respect. I'm not saying that you have to agree with everyone; no one here expects you to. I'm also not saying that bluntness is necessarily inapprorpriate. But the ability to be blunt with someone is a privilege one must earn, and you haven't earned that privilege with me. I imagine you haven't earned it with Mr. Spek, either.

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sheerahkahn

June 02, 2012  12:17pm

"sheerahkahn, why do you always have to come off so condescending? If Jim Vander Speck got you wrong, just clarify your point; and treat people with respect. You know, you may not write as clearly as you think you do!" Since the moderator deemed my previous response...whatever it was he or she deemed it...I don't know, bluntness seems to be a four letter word to him or her I will say this. Bill, I'm not sure you know what "condescending" is. Mr. spek got me wrong because he didn't read my post. period, end of sentence. And took that opportunity to plug his book as a response using me as his foil which is really disingenuous considering I said no such thing, nor did I even intimate it.

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Valencia C Morris

May 30, 2012  6:50pm

It is a shame that we argue over what polls say,but forget that God's word, the Bible has spoken on all of these 'issues'.

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John

May 30, 2012  6:04pm

Jesus taught us Mt 18:7 ¶ "Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! 8 "If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. 9 "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire. NKJV That tells me that "I" am responsible for "me" and I need to take drastic measures to avoid sin (which is clearly spelled out in both Old and New Testaments) if I want to avoid being cast into hell. At least in America, the bible is readily available to all who want to read. But it is not the hearers of the word who will be blessed, but the doers. If we can't avoid falling into temptation, we need to avoid the situation that affords the temptation in the first place. That is cutting off the hand. A word to the wise is sufficient.

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Bill Williams

May 30, 2012  3:35pm

sheerahkahn, why do you always have to come off so condescending? If Jim Vander Speck got you wrong, just clarify your point; and treat people with respect. You know, you may not write as clearly as you think you do!

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sheerahkahn

May 29, 2012  8:46pm

"Yet, you are mistaken if you believe that this problem cannot be solved." Uh...what the...where did you...how did you arrive...did you even read my post before you posted this?

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JIm Vander Spek

May 29, 2012  10:54am

sheerahkahn: Arguing that lust and porn is a problem that stems from our ungodliness and disobedience is a good place to start. Yet, you are mistaken if you believe that this problem cannot be solved. I wrote a book that explains my frustration and struggle with lust as well as the means to be set free from this sin. http://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Lust-Jim-Vander-Spek/product-reviews/1619040522/ref=sr_1_2_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1 I urge you to read the first part of this–it can be viewed free there–to introduce you to the truth that living in victory over lust is not only possible but the expected outcome for those who are in Christ.

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