Thursday, May 31, 2007

The 75% Club

A new Gallup poll has some interesting results. The poll is interesting reading. Check it out.

Acceptance of homosexuality is now tremendously correlated to age: 75% of 18-to-34-year-olds think that homosexuality is "an acceptable alternative lifestyle" versus only 45% of those 55 and older. Seventy-five percent is an overwhelming majority. And guess which group of folks is going to have the bigger influence in twenty years. :-)

The Church should take note of this trend and plan for it realistically. In twenty years there is going to be a tidal wave of social support for gay people. It will be no different than social acceptance of non-white ethnicity or the full emancipation of women, both of which witnessed first-hand by the current Church leadership. In both of these previous cases the Church had to do some serious adjusting: a change in who can hold the priesthood and new language for the temple ceremony are big changes.

It's a risky time for the Church. It can either go the "fundamentalist" route and become completely marginalized, or it can adapt. Historically, it has followed the path of adaptation to the changing views of the white middle class. Will this trend continue? If past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior then yes. However, in this case I am less certain. Conservative Christians in the U.S. have taken a reactionary, highly politicized fork in the road in recent years. Will our church follow the general trend of evangelical Christianity or its traditional center-of-the-road tendencies?

Right now, it seems that the Church is trying to play it both ways. Even though its latest official policies are moving in the direction of acceptance (celibate SSA gets full fellowship), it doesn't remove material inconsistent with its current position (such as The Miracle of Forgiveness and that BKP pamphlet). The general attitude of church members is probably more conservative on this issue than that of the leadership.


playasinmar said...

Kids today! What is the world coming to?

What with their sleepy expressions, and their tattoos, and their running around in the arcade parlors, and their shiny gold blam-blam or whatever they call it, and their dangerous skateboards, and their chef Boyardee’s, and their dang-fangled computer machines teaching them how to make bombs, and their iFrogs or whatever you call 'em, and their automobiles with the wheels that look like they're still spinning when they stop, and their trench coats, and their colorful t-shirts with the Marxist propaganda on 'em, and their thong sandals, and their Brittany Spears' husbands, and their powdered wigs, and their peg legs with the decals on 'em, and their low-carb diets, and their rockin' the vote, and their collectable bottle caps, and their tiny little cameras inside their tiny little portable telephones, and their forshizzle mcfizzlely ding dong dizzle snoopy dog language, and their general disrespect toward their elders!

iwonder said...

You make me happy strandohnemeer.

Beck said...

That 75% number means to me the huge difference between the late teen / early 20s MOHOs coming out now verses 30 year ago when I couldn't even imagine thinking let alone discussing such things in my little circle of the world.

I think that's a good thing. It's a different world and it will be very interesting to see what happens in the next 20 years with this rising generation leading the Church of tomorrow.

That's why I ask for patience and understanding from this generation for those of us who were raised and came of age in a much different time...

Switch said...

Yeah, they'll come around, but probably later than soon.

Remember, it took them ten years after the end of segregation to allow blacks to hold the priesthood.