Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Same-Sex Marriage and the Culture Wars

While we’re on the subject of the relationship between religion and
social views, I’ve just received a pre-publication copy of a paper
written by University of Southern Illinois sociology prof. Darren
Sherkat and a couple of colleagues analyzing the connections between
religion, partisan politics, and views of same-sex marriage. Yes, it”s a
gnarly regression-analysis-laden exercise that will appear later this
year in the journal Social Science Research–but it provides an excellent window into the structure of the culture wars in our time.

The paper looks at the two-decade period between 1988 and 2008, during
which same-sex marriage went from being opposed by two-thirds of the
American adult population to less than one-half. In 1988, opposition was
more or less the same among Democrats and Republicans, and among the
various species of Christians. Now there’s a substantial divergence
between “sectarian Protestants” (evangelicals) and Republicans on the
one hand and everyone else on the other. In a word, the sectarians and
the Republicans have shifted far less towards acceptance of same-sex
marriage than the rest of the population.


What Sherket et al.’s regressions show is that Republicanism as well as
evangelicalism operate as independent variables: Both push their members
toward opposition to same-sex marriage. (Just as, it seems, Democratic
ideology pushes in the opposite direction.) Unfortunately, the
researchers did not create an age cohort of voters born after 1978 that
would enable us to see if sectarians in their 20s differed significantly
from their elders. Be that as it may, the paper shows how a social
issue that didn’t significantly divide the public on partisan lines two
decades ago has come to do so. You don’t have to look further than this
week’s vote on Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell to understand the dynamics.

Comments read comments(7)
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posted September 23, 2010 at 11:32 pm

I used to get all worked up about every little development and court decision in this area, but I realize it’s just a matter of time. People under 50, and especially under 40, simply do not have the obsession with “protecting marriage.” It’s simply a waiting game. As with all oppressive social regimes, like apartheid, it fights hardest just before it crumbles.

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Grumpy Old Person

posted September 27, 2010 at 11:22 am

That may be because there’s nothing to “protect”. My marriage does NO harm to anyone else’s marriage. Gay people marrying does not take away a thing from heterosexuals marrying. It doesnt’ inhibit them or make them somehow ‘lesser’.
Heterosexuals and their marriages are still allowed, no?
Such a kaffuffle over nothing.

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posted September 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Grumpy Old Person,
You’re missing a HUGE point. It’s not about what an individual sinful marriage will do to you. This is about the big picture that the leaders of this perverse movement know, that are hidden in their PR language like “equality”.
It’s amazing how many people don’t get this. They’re thinking long term. You cannot declare sin as neutral, or worse yet, a “right” and simultaneously preach against sin. The homosexual pro-sodomy movement is going after churches, free speech and parental control.
You don’t believe me? One minister received 30 day sentence for preaching “hate speech” of Romans 1. Another street preacher received a $1500 fine for responding to a “set up” question of people who asked him if homosexuality is wrong. When he said it is in fact wrong, he was fined for “hate speech”. If they can silence God’s word on this issue, which is about as clear as possible, they can silence the church on ANY issue. That’s one of their stated goals.
Parental control? A Massachusetts parent who wanted his child, on religious grounds to “opt out” of the pro-gay “training” to his six-year old was taken to court and told that his child MUST receive this training. It’s about being able to teach MY child what is morally right and what is morally wrong.
If you don’t understand this, then simply opt for righteousness over sin every time. As they used to say, ask yourself WWJD (what would Jesus do?) and if you’re not biblically literate enough to discern that, ask yourself WWSD (what would Satan do?). Satan would be FOR same sex, and Jesus is AGAINST it (a MAN should join to his WIFE, not optionally gendered partern).
I hope that helps.

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Grumpy Old Person

posted September 29, 2010 at 11:35 am

No it doesn’t.
Starting with, “You cannot declare sin …”
My religion does not teach that consenting, adult, human, same-gender relationships ARE “sin” in the first place.
You’re welcome to your beliefs; why are others not welcome to theirs? (I.E. why do you hate freedom of religion?)
“Equality” is not ‘PR-speak’ despite your claim; it is a Constitutionally guaranteed thing for all citizens.

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Marco Luxe

posted September 30, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Eddie: Th
It’s amazing how many people don’t get that the kool aid you drank is just false propaganda with just a hint of truthiness. The preachers were vindicated completely, but you still believe the right wing screeming headlines that ignored the follow-up story. Regardless, these preachers were not in the US, but that fact is ignored. The same goes for the Mass school lawsuit filed by carpetbagger Mormons who never owned a home locally, and moved soon after the case went to court. The court simply said that the school board is the correct venue to critique the curriculum, not the federal courts. This had nothing to do with “opting out”, but on the attempt to use the federal courts to impose one parent’s wacko hysteria on the entire school system. [talk about activist courts!]

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Grumpy Old Person

posted December 26, 2010 at 12:03 pm


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