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Slippery Slope: 17% of Americans Think Polygamy is Okay

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We warned you about the slippery slope, after the Supreme Court legalized homosexual marriage in 2015.

Polygamy — having multiple spouses at one time, which President James Garfield once said “offends the moral sense” — was one of the most morally taboo social behaviors in the eyes of Americans.

But a new Gallup poll — the Values and Beliefs poll conducted on May 3-7, 2017 — found that the percentage of U.S. adults who find polygamy morally acceptable has accelerated in recent years.

Gallup began measuring Americans’ moral perceptions of polygamy in 2003. For the first seven years (2003-2010), the rate of U.S. adults who said polygamy was “morally acceptable” was always in the single digits. But beginning in 2010 — the second year of Obama’s first term as POTUS — that percentage began to rise, from 11% in 2011, to 14% in 2016, and to 17% in the latest poll, which is nearly 1 in 5 American adults.

Not surprisingly, religion is a factor in Americans’ attitude toward polygamy:

  • Between 2011 and 2017, 32% of atheists and non-religious (those who do not identify with any religion) said polygamy was “morally acceptable.” This follows the general tendency for those who are less religious to be more liberal on social issues.
  • In contrast, Christians and even Mormons are less likely than the overall sample average to find polygamy morally tolerable:
    • 12% of Mormons
    • 10% of Catholics
    • 9% of Protestants/other Christians
  • Oddly, the Gallup poll makes no mention of another religious group — Jews.

And what accounts for Americans’ increasing acceptance of polygamy? Gallup’s Andrew Dugan attributes it to at least two factors:

  • Television: “Beginning in the mid-2000s, television shows began to feature polygamist characters — though these depictions were not always favorable. The TLC show ‘Sister Wives’ premiered in 2010, and according to The Washington Post, humanized a family of polygamists. The show was successful and remains on the air. Notably, over the time it has been on the air, Gallup has seen support for polygamy rise by nearly 10 percentage points, although it is impossible to establish any direct causality between the show and changing attitudes.”
  • Overall increase in “social liberalism”: “Many of the moral norms that have changed the most in the U.S. over the last few decades are related to sex and marriage — including gay/lesbian relations, divorce and having a baby out of wedlock.” There is still a last bastion that social liberalism hasn’t yet completely penetrated — adultery. Having an extramarital affair remains nearly as morally toxic this year as it was in 2001, with about one in 10 Americans finding it morally acceptable (10% in 2017 and 7% in 2001).

It is downright frightening how malleable the U.S. and any culture is, and how swift the moral erosion.

Already there is a push to “normalize” pedophilia. See:

What’s next on the slippery slope?

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Incest? Bestiality?

~Eowyn

Republished with permission Fellowship of the Minds

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