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Survey: Millennials echo parents on abortion, much more supportive of gay marriage
June 9th, 2011
01:46 PM ET

Survey: Millennials echo parents on abortion, much more supportive of gay marriage

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - Ask Sarah Mattingly for the first word that comes to mind when she hears the word "abortion," and she heaves a huge sigh.

Then there's a long pause before she answers: "Sadness."

Mattingly works at Northland Church, an evangelical megachurch in Orlando, Florida, and she regularly passes an abortion clinic on her way to work.

"There are always picketers. The parking lot is always full. I see these women sitting in their cars and just feel full of sadness," she says.

There's no doubt in her mind that abortion is wrong: "not what God has ordained."

And yet, she says, she's not entirely convinced abortion should be against the law.

"I know a lot of people my age who struggle with that - who say we will never agree with it, but at what point is it the government's responsibility?" she asks. "I would tend to say I think it should be illegal, but I can see both sides of the story. It's a tough one."

Mattingly is part of what's being called the millennial generation, born in the 1980s and coming of age around the year 2000.

A huge new survey finds that she is not alone among her peers in feeling conflicted about abortion.

Just under half of 18- to 29-year-olds say that abortion is morally acceptable, but six out of 10 say it should be legal in most or all cases, and nearly seven out of 10 say it should be available locally.

The survey, by the Public Religion Research Institute, contains a number of startling findings.

One is that millennials are not significantly more supportive of abortion rights than their parents are, even though they tend to be better educated and less churchgoing - factors which tend to predict people are pro-choice.

There's no noticeable difference in the number of 20-year-olds and 50-year-olds who say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, for example, according to the PRRI.

But young people do break ranks with their elders on the other major "value voters" issue, gay marriage.

Only four out of 10 millennials say sex between adults of the same gender is morally wrong, about 60% of 50- to 64-year-olds say that, and seven out of 10 people 65 and older think it is.

The millennials are driving a massive shift in American views on gay marriage.

In 1999, just over one-third of Americans said gay marriage should be legal. Today, just over half do, according to the PRRI survey, which is consistent with other recent findings.

Views on abortion, by contrast, haven't budged in the last dozen years, with 57% of Americans saying in 1999 that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and 56% saying so in the PRRI survey.

"The decoupling of attitudes on abortion and same-sex marriage suggest that these topics, which served in the past as the heart of the 'values' agenda, are no longer necessarily linked in the minds of Americans," says the survey, which was released Thursday.

It's called "Committed to Availability, Conflicted About Morality: What the Millennial Generation Tells Us about the Future of the Abortion Debate and the Culture Wars," and is based on 3,000 English and Spanish telephone interviews conducted in April and May.

One of America's most prominent cultural conservatives admits that when it comes to gay marriage, the movement is not as influential on young people as it would like to be.

"There's a lot of ground to make up there," said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, a Washington-based organization that promotes "marriage and family" and opposes abortion.

He disputes the PRRI findings on abortion, asserting that "young people are stronger in their pro-life views than their parents."

But he concedes that conservatives haven't had a similar impact on young people's views on homosexuality.

"Cultural influencers have weighed in heavily" in favor of gay marriage, he said.

But the millennial generation could well change its mind as it grows up and starts families, he said.

"There is certainly this live-and-let-live attitude, but once the younger generation gets married and has children it falls by the wayside out of a necessity to protect their children," Perkins predicted. "They begin to re-evaluate the value construct."

Back at Northland Church, Sarah Mattingly is torn about gay marriage the same way she is about abortion. Married to a musician who works in musical theater, she and her husband have gay friends.

"Again, I don't agree with it, I really don't," she says of gay marriage. "God specifically in his word has ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman. But at what point is it the government's responsibility to step in?"

She thinks gay marriage is "misguided," and feels the "church and believers" need to be involved.

"We would never say that this is a good thing in the sense that we don't like it, we wish it didn't exist. But the reality is, it does," she says.

And she as she wrestles with whether the government should let gay people marry, she can't come up with a definite answer: "I can answer yes and I can answer no to that."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Abortion • Gay marriage • Politics • Polls

soundoff (584 Responses)
  1. ivan

    Draconian in faith and Neanderthal in thinking, can't these people learn from history? The only thing worse than ignorance is willful ignorance. I pity these poor people who will never progress beyond their self-imposed boundaries.

    June 9, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Lycidas

      There are reasons why we have limitations.

      June 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Alyssa

      There are reasons, and for social issues like this it is usually protectionism. People feel a threat to their way of life so they hunker down and defend. But the population is slowly but surely figuring out that their lives are unaffected by either issue.

      June 10, 2011 at 8:15 am |
  2. William Demuth

    Corrupting Christian women is a passion of mine!

    Trust me, when you break them of the silliness, the shag like sheep dogs trying to dry off after falling in a lake.

    I think it is because they are taught subservience, so they knucle under to anyone who acts like an authority figure!

    June 9, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  3. Frank the Tank

    I don't really care who's right. You don't believe in gay marriage, that's fine but why do you get to decide what is morally acceptable? There are enough unwanted, discarded children in the world. Put the passion you have on abortion into raising some of those kids. Christians are suppose to lead by example. Not by damning everyone to hell. Let God do his job and leave the rest of us alone.

    June 9, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • The Voice of America

      I am raising one of those kids and leading by example thank you very much!

      June 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Frank the Tank

      Good Job!

      June 9, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • bspurloc

      I am still trying to figure out why this is an abortion article using stats gathered by a religious source. right there u have a conflict of interest... bias x999999

      June 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Alyssa

      I don't understand, wouldn't restricting abortion create more of those discarded, unwanted children?

      June 10, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  4. Jacob

    It would be nice if people could make a decision on issues like this without falling back to "Well, God clearly states.."
    Time to move on past this, folks.

    June 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Alyssa

      Especially since "god" clearly states very little.

      June 10, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  5. angrysmell

    those who bring god into discussions regarding these important social issues need to put the bible down. the god they worship wants nothing to do with judging how others choose to live their lives. that alone has caused more pain than anything else in human history.

    June 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Lycidas

      This is the religion section of CNN...how should we all have a conversation on this topic?

      June 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • The Voice of America

      That is the stupidest, most ill-informed, ignorant remark I have ever read.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • BADGUY

      I think people should "say their piece" if they feel something is wrong...but..that's where it should end. Pushing legislation to FORCE others to follow their beliefs is not right. So it is with Abortion and Gay marriage.

      June 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Frogist

      @angrysmell: (hilarious name btw) I agree with you. When discussing legal or illegal, religion needs not apply. I think that's what a lot of these "millenials" are starting to come to grips with. Their moral objection should be their own private issue and not have anything to do with whether these two issues are legal or not. Like the bumper stickers say: If you don't like gay marriage/abortion, then don't have one.

      June 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  6. ImRickJames

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fpmu42g6mDs&w=640&h=390]

    June 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  7. Bucky Ball

    In moral theology as taught by the RC's, "intention" is the keystone. How is the use of birth control and the employment of the "rhythm method", any different, as the intention in both cases is to prevent a pregnancy ? Hmm.

    June 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  8. Just Saying

    There is a big difference between feeling that abortion is morally wrong and thinking it OK to use the power of governemnt to compel individuals to act in accordance with the dictates of a religion they don't profess. It is possible to be both anti-abortion and pro-choice but it requires that you accept freedom of religion as an absolute value. between these two evils, abortion and the use of government to compel adherence to un-held religious positions, I know which one is the bigger evil by far. And if you think it is abortion, oplease feel free to move to Iran or Saudi Arabia. The lack of religious freedom there will likely thrill you.

    June 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Heinz Doofenshmirtz

      Well said.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  9. Rick

    You know what I get out of this? The millenial generation is indecisive because they haven't been taught to think for themselves. Explain to me how logical it is that " six out of 10 say it should be legal in most or all cases, and nearly seven out of 10 say it should be available locally." Does that mean 10% of the millenial generation want abortion available locally, but don't want it to be legal?

    June 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Cru

      Yo Rick, explain how that 10% margin makes the whole generation indecisive.

      Is it so hard to understand that some people when asked said "no, I don't think it should be legal - but if women will die stabbing their wombs with coat hangers put one in my neighborhood."

      June 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • JT

      Cru, explain how they could have access to it if it's illegal. Those are conflicting sentiments. You can't have both, period. And I agree (being born in '86) that our generation needs to be told what to think all too often. Honestly, I get sick and tired of the fall-back to "but God says" just as much as the next guy. I'm also wondering how they managed to do phone surveys on my generation – I wouldn't agree to one unless I had an agenda to push, and having been conducted by a religious group, I'm sure people more aligned with them would be willing to take the time to answer a survey whereas people who couldn't care less about religion probably weren't willing to participate.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Cru

      *sigh*

      JT,
      "Cru, explain how they could have access to it if it's illegal."

      It's not illegal, and that isn't what I was saying.

      I'm saying the people that think it should be illegal have second thoughts when it will end up causing deaths of both mother and child because they'll still do it illegally - Instead opting for it to be local and regulated (and thus safe!) even though they have moral objections to it.

      "And I agree (being born in '86) that our generation needs to be told what to think all too often."
      And this is why we all sat still and silent as "don't taze me bro" happened right in front of our faces.

      June 10, 2011 at 9:26 am |
  10. mike

    Next time you fundie lunatics are picketing an abortion clinic and screaming at women, please consider the fact that those same clinics also remove fetuses that have died in the womb due to health issues, against the mother's will. So not only do these poor women have to deal with the grief of losing their pregnancy, they then have to deal with generalizing fools screaming "murderer" at them. No true Christian does what these people do.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • matt

      the question of abortion has a simple answer,
      do two wrongs make a right?

      June 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Alyssa

      @matt, it must be nice going through life thinking that everything has a simple, grade-school like solution.

      June 10, 2011 at 9:19 am |
  11. Jake the Snake

    Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock! Psalm 137:9

    June 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • joe

      if the fetus is not a person, why is it murder if someone else kills it?????? should not even matter one bit... ok mabe destruction on property....

      June 9, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Matt

      The psalmist was talking about the coming destruction of Babylon, where Israel was exiled at the time. Babylon is also used as a symbol for those who oppress God's people. Here the psalmist is talking about the cruelties of war, how Babylon will experience the terror that it inflicted upon others.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  12. Fidei Coticula Crux

    God is all about pro-choice. God put the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden and then gave Adam and Eve a choice.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • ScottK

      According to the bible God performed the first abortion when he killed all of his children (well after 24 weeks old) except for eight children he decided to keep.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Heinz Doofenshmirtz

      I like your take on it Joe

      June 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Matt

      God gave no choice regarding the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He said do not eat of it. He did not see eat of it if you desire, or eat of it if you dare. That would be a choice. But instead he gives a command "do not," implicating that there is no choice in the matter.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  13. David Johnson

    If abortion is illegal, women will seek back alley remedies. We, as a society, must take away as many of the reasons women seek abortions as possible.

    We need to make adoption easier and make it financially possible for a woman to keep and care for her baby.
    Obama has a program to do this. More needs to be done, but with the Republicans controlling the House, funds won't be forthcoming.

    Most of all, we need to make birth control available free of charge, to all women. We need to educate the women on these birth control methods. Remember, the best way to prevent an abortion, is to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

    Psalm 127:3 – Children are a gift of the LORD

    Hmmm... Well, the bible says it, so I believe it. Children are god's gift!

    Notice how god doesn't check to see if a woman is capable of raising a child, before he gives a baby to them?

    Women in poor countries bear children, only to have them die, because Mom has no food.

    Women addicted to drugs are given babies, when they are totally incapable of taking care of themselves, much less a child.

    Girls are blessed with a baby they don't want. Why are babies given to women who don't want them?

    If god would be more careful with giving out gifts/children, abortion wouldn't be needed.

    And remember, there are a lot of women, who god refuses His gift. They would be overjoyed with god's gift. No abortions in their homes!

    God works in mysterious ways. It's almost as if He doesn't exist...

    We should start real $ex education in school. Not abstinence only. Real education about the use of birth control.

    We will never totally eradicate abortions. Only a god could do that, and he either does not care, or does not exist.

    Cheers!

    June 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Pam

      I really enjoyed your comments! You're a pretty smart guy! Of course, women will always go to back alleys to get abortions if they aren't legal. And, yes, it is almost like God doesn't exist....or, at least, doesn't bother himselfor herself with us and our petty little lives. Maybe there's a God and maybe there isn't...but it's a good idea to live as if there will be a price to pay for being horrible to your fellow men and women and animals. I think if there is a judgement, it will be on how we treat people and animals.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Artist

      Required- so the heart beat as off 6 weeks, the breathing, the moving, the feet squeezing the mom's bladder... just a figment of one's imagination then?
      --
      Okay so we have mus cle movment and twi tch ing....and that const i tutes life how? Now if we start seeing the fe tus smiling, win king or doing the jig you might have a basis. From what you are saying we have evidence of living tissue, not a complete human. Sp erm have tai ls and swim, shall we outlaw self pleausre because we are kil ling things that are alive?

      June 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Matt

      David,

      Your observations about God's wisdom in gifting babies to those who aren't prepared or wanting of them is shortsighted and misguided. Do you have a wisdom that God has overlooked? Have you discovered a point of view that God has missed? His thoughts are higher than your thoughts, as high as the heavens are above the Earth. Do you not understand that with God all things are possible? Even a child in an unwanted home can have life to the full through the freedom Christ has given us. All things happen for God's glory, for his purpose. God provides for those who believe in him, and provides the means for those who are gifted children but may not seem "capable of raising a child" according to earthly standards.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Kelly

      Matt,

      "{God} provides the means for those who are gifted children but may not seem "capable of raising a child" according to earthly standards."

      So what you are saying is, our "earthly standards" of buying formula to feed your baby instead of crack (using one of David's excellent examples of an unfit mother) is unreasonable because your "God" has gifted said crackhead with a baby. That somehow God feels it is right to let a baby starve while it's mother tokes up? If preganancy didnt clean up the crackhead, you think God will magically cure her?? If so, please provide specific examples of when this has EVER happened.

      This kind of talk is what is wrong with religion. I am an atheist, but I am open minded to those who are open minded. This kind of theory is just completely out of the park.

      Beyond the complete idiocity of your statement, I have to say this... America is a FREE country. That means I am FREE to be atheist. Which also means I should be FREE from having your religious views shape the laws in my country. I am a moral person, I do good by people and choose what is right... I dont need some book to scare me into doing the right thing. I am not pro-abortion, I am pro-choice... As in a woman should be FREE to choose what she does with her body. And more importantly, FREE to make that choice without people like you making her feel even worse than she already does about the situation.

      Are you seeing a common theme here?? All that freedom... It's a beautiful thing, and it's what this country is supposedly based on.

      June 9, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Artist
      "shall we outlaw self pleausre because we are kil ling things that are alive?"
      If you're Catholic, the answer is yes. Sin of Onanism!

      June 9, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Matt

      You said: "All things happen for God's glory, for his purpose. "

      Kelly answered you as well as I could. But, I would like to comment on your statement above:

      If all things happen for God's glory, for his purpose...then abortion must be part of god's plan. The plan for the fetus, is just really short. LOL

      You said: "God provides for those who believe in him, and provides the means for those who are gifted children but may not seem "capable of raising a child" according to earthly standards."

      Really?

      Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes. That's one child every five seconds. -Source: Bread for the World Inst_itute.

      I think your god is a really poor provider. How many children do you think would die, if god did not exist and was not providing? Maybe, about 16,000 every day? Yeah, about that, I think.

      Babies born to drug addicted moms, are born addicted themselves. Babies born to alcoholic moms are born with fetal alcohol syndrome. God does not even protect the little gifts, from these.

      Cheers!

      June 9, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Frogist

      @David: With Planned Parenthood being attacked in every state, it wouldn't surprise me in the least that back alley and do-it-yourself abortions will rise. There are too many infringments on Roe v Wade going on to name. Some so outrageous and horrifying it scares me to be female. Some, like Rick Santorum, that say if I have to die so my fetus lives, that's just fine. And it makes me wonder about all those alledged pro-life people... Don't they care about my life?

      June 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  14. William Demuth

    Even with the threats of Hell, Christian children are breaking from the dogma.

    A few more generations, and Jesus will end up as a division of Chrysler or Toyota, just like Mercury who once feared is now just a mid size sedan..

    The only question is how many more peoples minds will be destroyed until we can relegate the lie to the past?

    June 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Lycidas

      I would think it would take a little longer than a few generations for a 1 billion+ religion to fade down the road of the Mercury.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Artist

      Threats of he ll are hol low. When you consider even the Angels rised up against god, it pretty much gives us a look at a very imperfect god. He can't even rule his own heaven properly. Heaven, I will pass because god is a pathetic god. Even the Angels came down to Earth to mate with humans (Book of Enoch). And yes, Angels had s e x. They couldn't get out of Heaven fast enough.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Artist

      Lycidas

      I would think it would take a little longer than a few generations for a 1 billion+ religion to fade down the road of the Mercury.

      ----------

      I believe he was talking about civilized/educated empires. We will still have 3rd world ignorant people. Then it is just a matter of getting full compliance or liquidation.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Then it is just a matter of getting full compliance or liquidation."

      Dang..a nazi enough answer to the problem isn't?

      June 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Lycidas

      The Book of Enoch is usually considered apocrapha and some wonder if Jude shouldn't be too because of it's reference.

      As for the angels, let's go to the quote from character John Milton (the devil) from the Devil's Advocate, "Free will....it is a bit*h"

      June 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • William Demuth

      It depends on subsidies

      Free abortion for Christians, no abortion for the others

      Throw in a Jihad or two, and a small nuclear exchange, and we might be able to thin out the herd.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • civiloutside

      I shouldn't say it... I know I shouldn't say it, but I find it hilarious, the idea that someone might one day be driving around town in their Chrysler Kennedy Jesus towncar...

      June 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Artist

      Lycidas

      "Then it is just a matter of getting full compliance or liquidation."

      Dang..a nazi enough answer to the problem isn't?

      --------

      Its not like anybody will miss them. I was being sarcastic. lol

      June 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Artist- Lol, I was hoping you were. It didn't seem like you to say such a thing.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Artist

      Required- so the heart beat as off 6 weeks, the breathing, the moving, the feet squeezing the mom's bladder... just a figment of one's imagination then?
      -
      Okay so we have mus cle movment and twitch ing....and that const i tutes life how? Now if we start seeing the fe tus smiling, win king or doing the jig you might have a basis. From what you are saying we have evidence of living tissue, not a complete human. Sp erm have tai ls and swim, shall we outlaw self pleausre because we are killing things that are alive?

      June 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Artist

      Lycidas

      @Artist- Lol, I was hoping you were. It didn't seem like you to say such a thing.
      -----–
      Seems we always see the non-believer card of being compared to Stalin etc. Since accused I figured I would play the role. lol

      June 9, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Lycidas

      No fears, being a non-believer does not equal Stalin to me or any other villain in history. A non-believer is just that...a non-believer.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Artist

      He rode in on an @ ss so I am guessing it won't be that impressive of a brand. I can't see a company dedicating a vehicle to a schizophrenic who took a bet from his buddies to far. However I am sure he had a great view being nailep up there.

      June 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  15. CW

    Sounds like parents aren't teaching their kids again in the ways that God would have them to live.

    Abortion is wrong....its a sin....very wrong.

    g-ay marriage...equally just as wrong...very wrong.

    To those that say..."christians aren't as educated"...I say this...I have to disagree...we not only have college degrees and are highly educated but..we are smarter than most...b/c we believe in God and trust his word to guide us.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Colin

      Hey CW, a quick question. Which of the following groups believes that an invisible being in the sky is watching their every move and will punish them if they are bad:

      (a) Small children, too young to know that is silly
      (b) Delusional schizophrenics
      (c) Christians; or
      (d) All of the above

      Yeah, you guys are way smart.....

      June 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • William Demuth

      We really need to abort more Christians!

      Otherwise our gene pool is toast.

      As far as the marriage, perhaps your preachers will stop molesting little boys if they can marry other preachers?

      June 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Artist

      Is an unborn considered a citizen?

      June 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Artist- If we go by the idea that the unborn vote just about as much as the average US citizen..yeah sure, they qualify. lol

      June 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Colin- You for got (E) None of the Above, because I don't know anyone that worships an "invisible being in the sky".

      June 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Artist

      Lycidas

      @Artist- If we go by the idea that the unborn vote just about as much as the average US citizen..yeah sure, they qualify. lol
      ---
      lol okay serious now. Unborn are not citizens...they have no rights...there is no murder. I understand how religious people can be upset and they have the right to pray their pants off to their mystical god regarding such matters. Their god has a plan and if it is for the fetus to live then something magical will happen. They have no say so or right to stop it. Have faith, pray and your god will do whatever they do.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Artist- While I do have a religous veiw on the topic of abortion, my point of view is pretty secular as well. I look at the unborn as ppl. In that if their development continues you will (usually) have a healthy human being.

      This topic is always an odd one because there is no way to say when a person is an individual really. Is a baby born premature by a month more a person than a baby in the womb that goes full term?

      This is why I rather caution on the side of life. I rather see a baby go to adoption than aborted if possible. Of course there are extremes and special occasions that abortion would be in the mother's physical best interests, but I think those are rare occasions.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • mike

      CW, judging other people's lives is wrong. Very wrong. Is that not God's job? You must have weak faith in your god.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • CW

      @ Colin,

      I guess a better question for you is this

      How do you know there is no God?

      Now before you pose the same question back to me....and we go in circles. I will say...I can't convince you with the amount of proof you require an example(delivering God to your front door) but my proof is my faith...and my proof is in the way I use the Bible to guide me...along with prayer and asking for the wisdom that can only come from God. The only other "proof" that I can offer is there have been many times in my life where things happened that the answer as to "why "couldn't be explained by some "random" circ.umstance or whatever you would want to describe it as.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Artist

      Lycidas

      @Artist- While I do have a religous veiw on the topic of abortion, my point of view is pretty secular as well. I look at the unborn as ppl. In that if their development continues you will (usually) have a healthy human being.

      This topic is always an odd one because there is no way to say when a person is an individual really. Is a baby born premature by a month more a person than a baby in the womb that goes full term?

      This is why I rather caution on the side of life. I rather see a baby go to adoption than aborted if possible. Of course there are extremes and special occasions that abortion would be in the mother's physical best interests, but I think those are rare occasions.
      ------
      I think the key is "born". And I agree with you regarding adoption. I am all for programs geared towards adoption. However, in th eend it is still the woman's choice, not the government or the church. Me and my wife cannot have children and we are looking into adoption. Even if we could have children, we would rather give the gift of adoption to a child, rather than bringing our own in. Blood does not matter, love is the only thing that matters to a child.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • CW

      @ mike,

      I didn't judge anyone....thank you

      June 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Required

      @Artist- " lol okay serious now. Unborn are not citizens...they have no rights...there is no murder. I understand how religious people can be upset and they have the right to pray their pants off to their mystical god regarding such matters. Their god has a plan and if it is for the fetus to live then something magical will happen. They have no say so or right to stop it. Have faith, pray and your god will do whatever they do."

      Unborn are not citizens and have no rights therefore there is no murder. Huh... so the heart beat as off 6 weeks, the breathing, the moving, the feet squeezing the mom's bladder... just a figment of one's imagination then? How can a live person have no rights just because he/she is still in someone's womb? I have been a Reproductive Biologist for 22+ years and not once I've seen dead sperm fertilize an oocyte or a dead oocyte be fertilized by a sperm. Nope. It has to be pretty much alive and well. Regardless of religious beliefs, biologically speaking, the human inside that gal IS a live person whether you want to accept that or not. Because if it isn't alive then she's not really pregnant, is she?

      June 9, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Artist- Agreed.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Required
      So then what should the legal reprecussions be for taking the morning after pill and committing blastocysticide?

      June 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Artist

      What is interesting is the unborn is not even considered a citizen or fall under any legal rights. The biblical law has no bearing as well. This is what I was gettign at that religious people are more than ent i tled to pray as much as they want but they have no legal basis or authority.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |

      June 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "What is interesting is the unborn is not even considered a citizen or fall under any legal rights."

      Not yet but maybe they will one day.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Artist

      Lycidas

      "What is interesting is the unborn is not even considered a citizen or fall under any legal rights."

      Not yet but maybe they will one day.
      -------------–

      It is possible for religious to take power and push religious views on others. So I agree it could be possible.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Lycidas

      I don't think that the rights of an individual has to include any aspect of religion. The unborn could be given rights without any bit of religion put into the debate.

      June 9, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Lycidas
      So what of the mother's right to self-determination?

      June 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Artist

      Lycidas

      I don't think that the rights of an individual has to include any aspect of religion. The unborn could be given rights without any bit of religion put into the debate.
      -------–
      At what point do we stop? Sperm? Eggs? The right of the unborn cannot supersede the right of the mother. Seperate the fetus from the mother and see what hapepns. It is not an individual, rather more like something living off its host. How can we justify going beyond born and infringe on the right of the mother?

      June 9, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "So what of the mother's right to self-determination?"

      If you mean by self-determination that she choose to get knocked up...she got it. But as with everything in life there are reasonable reactions. I just do not feel that it is reasonable in a society that does have birth control to allow abortions on average.

      June 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "At what point do we stop?"

      I do not think for the moment that the answers will come easily. But why choose birth as a time? What makes being born unique? The baby is no more able to take care of itself than a 6 week old fetus. It's just now that the mother can dump the responsibility in a more natural manner. Abandonment.

      "The right of the unborn cannot supersede the right of the mother."

      Should there be no responsibility on the mother for her actions that got her pregnant? And what right are we talking about with the mother? On average she is not going to die from being pregnant. Especially in our modern society. But every choice to have an abortion will lead to the death of the unborn.

      "Seperate the fetus from the mother and see what hapepns."

      Dependance upon others is not a hinderance to being consider an individual. If that was the case, every old person with a resperator wouldn't have the rights of an individual. Babies wouldn't have any rights either because they still depend on others for care.

      "It is not an individual, rather more like something living off its host. How can we justify going beyond born and infringe on the right of the mother?"

      Again, what is the right of the mother in this case? Freedom from a bad mistake?
      When does one become an individual? When it can take care of itself? That isn't scientific. When it realizes it exists? Again, not scientific.
      When it is identified by it's species? If so then it could be an individual way before birth.

      There are no easy answers and I don't expect any. If it was so, we would not be having this argument still after all these decades.

      June 9, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Alyssa

      "And what right are we talking about with the mother? On average she is not going to die from being pregnant. "

      No, but she is for all intents and purposes a slave for 9 months if we allow the unborn fetus to have rights that are priority over the mother's rights. It's not permanent, but the effects of a pregnancy can be long-term, and are we willing to tolerate any period of slavery?

      June 10, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Lycidas

      @Alyssa- Slavery?? Really?

      No offense, but the chains that are shackled to the mother's wrists were forged by her own actions. The unborn child's right to live outweighs the mother's right to be stupid and not pay for it.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Artist

      Lycidas

      @Alyssa- Slavery?? Really?

      No offense, but the chains that are shackled to the mother's wrists were forged by her own actions. The unborn child's right to live outweighs the mother's right to be stupid and not pay for it.

      ----
      I disagree, the mother should have the right to correct her mistake.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Artist

      No harm, no foul

      June 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Lycidas

      If the mistake was 2+2=5..I would agree. Break out that eraser.

      But this isn't that kind of mistake. It's a "mistake" that equals a new member of our species into existence. As we have talked about before..adoption would be such a better way to right a mistake.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Artist

      Lycidas

      If the mistake was 2+2=5..I would agree. Break out that eraser.

      But this isn't that kind of mistake. It's a "mistake" that equals a new member of our species into existence. As we have talked about before..adoption would be such a better way to right a mistake.
      ---------
      I agree, but not required. I find it interesting you refer to us as species. Very cold sounding *wink*

      June 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Ok

      "But this isn't that kind of mistake. It's a "mistake" that equals a new member of our species into existence. As we have talked about before..adoption would be such a better way to right a mistake."

      There are well over 500,000 children still waiting to be adopted. Many of those children then go onto to be homeless people on the streets. I know I worked in the system but I had to leave because I got to see the really dark side of humanity. The side we don't know about because of privacy laws for children. In protecting them the truth of the cruelty people can do to a child is hidden from society. If you are pro choice then I feel it's your obligation and responsibility to go an adopt these children. It's easy to have your opinions its harder when you actually have to practice what your preaching. Have you adopted a child yet?

      June 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Frogist

      Funny how the argument about abortion always comes back to punishing women because they had se-x. Women have se-x and that's enough for their bodies to not be their own ever after? Women must remain pregnant and put their health and life at risk just because they had se-x. Does that punishment fit the "crime"? I know of no other area where gov't imposed sacrifice of one's body is legal or supported except when it comes to women. Not a govt in the world would require the parents to give up a kidney or uterus or otherwise for a baby outside of the womb.

      June 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Frogist- It's not about punishing them at all. But it's the really real fact of our lives that when we have done something, there are responsiblities that come along with it.
      And come on, preganancy is not a high contact sport. There is little danger involved. At least in our civilized nation.

      June 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Ok- My brother was adopted by my parents, so I can see the benefit over the risk in this case.

      As for my adopting a child. Let's just say there is a personal reason why my wife and I are unable and leave it at that.

      Sounds like you also have bigger issues when it comes to how our society deals with children than the topic of abortion.

      June 10, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Artist- I thought you would prefer a more scientific manner of speech. Would you prefer a more religious one?

      June 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Artist

      Lycidas

      @Artist- I thought you would prefer a more scientific manner of speech. Would you prefer a more religious one?
      ------
      Please do not be that cruel. LOL

      June 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Ok

      "As for my adopting a child. Let's just say there is a personal reason why my wife and I are unable and leave it at that."

      Now if you could only do that for other women in our society it's their personal reasons too so why do you leave it at that.

      June 10, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Ok- You see..there is a little problem with your reasoning. My having kids is not in the realm of the legal. However, the topic is abortion and that is a legal issue.

      As you can see, my having no children hurts no one. But an abortion does kill. Whether one agrees it is a human child or a human fetus...something still dies that's human. I think that is worthy of discussion. Don't you?

      June 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • No Gov't

      "I think that is worthy of discussion. Don't you?'

      As long as the women who is making the personal choice is informed, then the choice is hers to make NOT yours. There's enough gov't regulations we don't need anymore. Keep the gov't out of our personal lives. You want us to respect your privacy and reasons for not adopting then have that same respect for others. Just because your parents adopt doesn't mean you get a free ride. If you're are against abo-rtions then backup your beliefs with actions otherwise you are a hypocrite.

      June 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "As long as the women who is making the personal choice is informed, then the choice is hers to make NOT yours."

      Well duh. That's not the issue now is it? I have yet to say that a woman cannot have an abortion. We are discu*ssing if it is morally wrong. I think you have a bit a problem with telling the difference between morality and legality.

      "You want us to respect your privacy and reasons for not adopting then have that same respect for others."

      Very good...but I am an individual. We are discussing the action of millions. Now if this conversation was about a spe*cific woman having an abortion I would agree with you. But we are not.

      June 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Lycidas

      (cont) "If you're are against abo*rtions then backup your beliefs with actions otherwise you are a hypo*crite."

      What kind of acti*ons would you sugg*est? Do your respect and agree with those that would take over an abo*rtion clinic? I doubt you would but they would be acting wouldn't they?

      I suggest you get over yourself and your po*mpo*us atti*tude. The topic is about the mor*ality and not leg*ality of abor*tion. It can also be said it is about when life begins and when the rights of the indiv*idual begins.

      June 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  16. Colin

    Oh what a disappointment! I keep hoping to see the trend toward secularism start to snowball.

    I so hope that it is only a matter of time before they look back on our generation with stunned incredulity at how we believed in a collection of Bronze Age Palestinian myths that were cobbled together into a book during the Dark Ages.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Artist

      At the rate people are stepping out of the dark, there might be hope in about 200 years.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Bronze Age Palestinian myths that were cobbled together into a book during the Dark Ages."

      Bad history here.
      1. No "Palestine" in the Bronze Age.
      2. No collection of any "myth" or any religious info from the Bronze Age was put together in the Dark Ages (I assume you meant Europe). The Tanakh was completed no later than 200AD. The New Testament was pretty much done as we have it now by 367AD.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Lycidas
      I first assumed he was referring to the (erroneous) assumption that the NT canon was voted on during the Council of Nicaea. I was wrong. The Christian Biblical canons of both the Old and New Testament were decided at the Council of Trent (1546), by the Thirty-Nine Articles (1563), the Westminster Confession of Faith (1647), and the Synod of Jerusalem (1672) for the Catholic Church, the Church of England, Calvinism and the Orthodox Church respectively.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Even so, that was way after the Dark Ages of Europe.
      Also, the NT as we know it was pretty much hammered out in the 300's and the OT before that.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Colin

      Bucky, Lycidas, sorry to have disappeared (I was flying most of yesterday).

      Lycidas, seriously, I just called your belief a collection of antiquated Palestinian myths, and your repsonse is to take issue with my geographical and historical nomenclature? I would have thought you might have had a more fundamental objection to my point.

      Well, to answer your challange, I could say"Middle Eastern myths" but even that term was not in vogue at the time, nor was English....

      As to period. I learned the Dark Ages ran from 5th to 15th Century. I know it has since been pa.rsed and refined, but let's face it, the term has a great ring to it when criticizing beliefs and is broad enough to be accurate..

      Bucky, thanks for the factioids.

      June 10, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Lycidas

      @Colin- Anyone that get's the basics so fundamentally wrong doesn't need me to get all over them for being wrong on the deeper issues at hand.

      Besides, my faith is quite secure...so your little blind stab didn't bother me. However, for someone that probably warrants a great deal into facts...you need to clear up your thinking a bit.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  17. The Bobinator

    > She thinks gay marriage is "misguided," and feels the "church and believers" need to be involved.

    I think she should realize it has nothing to do with her. I think she should afford the other people the same rights she already enjoys.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Chris

      Yep, Sarah is a totally wishy washy nitwit. She, and every woman like her, does a grave disservice to those of us trying to promote feminism. I'll never understand why women in this day and age continue to bow down to a book that teaches that women are second class citizens to men. Great job, Sarah. Now, please shut up so that the real women can get some work done. ugh.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  18. Lycidas

    For me, abortion is morally wrong. But it is allowed by law and that's how it is. So if someone wants to undergo the procedure, it's your choice..but don't expect me to seem that supportive.

    As for gay marriage...eh. Our nation is suppose to give the same rights to all it's citizens and I think that includes marriage. But, I do not believe that a religious organization should ever be required to marry two ppl that do not conform to thier beliefs. Marriage does not require a religious ceremony, so if they want to get married...good luck. Just don't hold it against a religion if they don't want to conduct the service.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > For me, abortion is morally wrong. But it is allowed by law and that's how it is. So if someone wants to undergo the procedure, it's your choice..but don't expect me to seem that supportive.

      See, you're the type of Christian I have absolutely no issue with. Believe what you want, but don't have your beliefs impose on other people. 🙂

      > As for gay marriage...eh. Our nation is suppose to give the same rights to all it's citizens and I think that includes marriage. But, I do not believe that a religious organization should ever be required to marry two ppl that do not conform to thier beliefs. Marriage does not require a religious ceremony, so if they want to get married...good luck. Just don't hold it against a religion if they don't want to conduct the service.

      Wow, and I agree with this as well. Has hell frozen over? 😛

      June 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Wow

      We should make this guy the Pope!

      June 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Well said.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Bob- Lol, no...hell hasn't frozen over. I may not agree with you on all aspects of faith and religion, but I have never believed in trying to force one's beliefs onto others. It doesn't matter if it's Islamic, Jewish, Christians, Atheist, Pastafarian..etc. No one should thrust their beliefs onto others without a choice.

      @WD- Doubt the Catholics would allow it.

      @Nominus- Ty

      June 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • CosmicC

      No law could require any religion to perform a gay marriage if that religion didn't support it. The problem is the law bars religions that recognize gay marriage from performing them. That's a clear violation of the First Amendment.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Commonsensical

      So if it's the law then the action being deemed within the law is okay, even if you're morally against it? I'm glad to see you're channeling your inner Stephen Douglas.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @CosmicC- There are those that would probably try to get certain religious groups deemed "hate groups" if they wouldn't perform certain services. Regardless of the 1st Amendment.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "So if it's the law then the action being deemed within the law is okay, even if you're morally against it?"

      No...since I am morally against it it would not be "ok" to me...it would just be legal.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Commonsensical

      But you wouldn't be speaking out against it, in effect meaning it is okay with you. It's the exact same rationale slavery apologists used back in the day (i.e., "slavery is wrong and I'm personally opposed to it, but it's legal and I'll respect other people's decision to own a slave"). As I said, it's nice to see you're channeling your inner Stephen Douglas.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • CW

      @ Lycidas,

      Glad your a christian BUT as it states you CAN'T be someone who...........Believes in God Almighty..but..still of this world with your secular views...by the way I'm not judging...just pointing out what it says in the Bible.

      A good example is this...I can't call myself a true christian if I go out and cheat people out of money or live and believe contrary to the Bible.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Eric G

      I have no problem with any church that wants to deny services to a particular group of people.

      But.............

      I do have a problem with any group that does not pay taxes (which is a public subsidy) that denies services to any particular group of people that provide that subsidy.

      Make all churches pay taxes, then have them fight out their discriminating and biggoted policies in civil court. Take all the revenue from chruch taxes and fund public school science classes.

      Problem solved!

      June 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Artist

      CW

      @ Lycidas,

      Glad your a christian BUT as it states you CAN'T be someone who...........Believes in God Almighty..but..still of this world with your secular views...by the way I'm not judging...just pointing out what it says in the Bible.

      A good example is this...I can't call myself a true christian if I go out and cheat people out of money or live and believe contrary to the Bible.
      ---------
      Any christian who sins cannot call themseleves christians. I am sure Lycidas appreciatesd your perspective but your persepctive has no bearing on the relationship between a believer and their god. Noted and..........next in line please

      June 9, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Common-"But you wouldn't be speaking out against it, in effect meaning it is okay with you."

      I believe that I have been speaking out against it. I have yet to say it was a good thing. If the possibility of a vote came to me on such a topic I would vote no to it. There are certain facts you must keep in mind...this is not a theocracy. No one can take their religious views and impose them upon others. Not you, not me...not anyone.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Artist

      Lycidas

      @Common-"But you wouldn't be speaking out against it, in effect meaning it is okay with you."

      I believe that I have been speaking out against it. I have yet to say it was a good thing. If the possibility of a vote came to me on such a topic I would vote no to it. There are certain facts you must keep in mind...this is not a theocracy. No one can take their religious views and impose them upon others. Not you, not me...not anyone.

      --------
      Oh but give people like CW a chance and see what happens. The will insert jesus right up your ar se without lube.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @CW- I think you are missing a certain as*pect. The Bible supports the idea of obeying the law of the land as long as it does not co*nflict with your own actions. My wife has never had an abortion because we both feel it is wrong.

      June 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Artist

      Considering the bible can be twisted for any argument, I can assure you cross humpers are flipping through the pages as we type. I am so glad to be rid of the days of scriptures flying through my head lol.

      June 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Tony

      I agree with lycidas' original post. I don't agree from a moral standpoint that abortion is right, however, if given the choice, I believe we should make it legal. Simply because, I would much rather prefer it be done in a clean environment with a qualified professional, then a creep who has had his license revoked in a back alley storage shed, then end up with two deaths. And before anyone starts getting religious or quoting verses on me, I'm pretty sure judgement for all man kind and their decisions is reserved for God and God alone. On top of that, God gave mankind FREEWILL, so who are we as mere sinners to judge the GOD GIVEN FREEWILL of others, or the choices they make with it? Answer? No one. So i guess since God says it's wrong, but gives us the freewill to do it without earthly (or potentially heavenly for non-believers) consequences, I guess that means that lycidas isn't the only one channeling Stephen Douglas. Holy crap! Does that mean that God is Stephen Douglas?!

      June 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Lycidas

      This whole "channeling Stephen Douglas" accusation is odd at best. This isn't the same as letting slavery continue because some states allow it while others do not. Douglas was allowing the status quo to continue, I am against the status quo. Douglas didn't want to change anything because it was the law. I will do what I can as a citizen to change the law by voting in those that will work to change it. I can't see anyone on here supporting a more "active" approach in trying to stop abortions. What do you want? Invade the clinics?

      June 9, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Tony: So from reading your post, it seems you are pro-choice. You are anti-abortion but recognize the necessity for personal choice to be important in the decision making process. Many people do not understand that is what pro-choice means.

      June 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  19. The Bobinator

    > And she as she wrestles with whether the government should let gay people marry, she can't come up with a definite answer: "I can answer yes and I can answer no to that."

    Can't come up with a definite answer? What a mush head.

    June 9, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  20. The Bobinator

    > There's no doubt in her mind that abortion is wrong: "not what God has ordained."

    Cause God clearly meant that so many babies die from complications within the mother or from miscarriage.

    June 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.