It doesn’t work!

26 01 2010

The Times today reported on the latest British Social Attitudes Survey noting that “the public are more liberal on personal lives and family values. Disapproval of homosexuality and cohabiting parents has virtually disappeared, even among older generations.”

The communication game in the twenty first century is a strange thing. This survey is of about 3000 people – just 3000 in over 60 million, which appears slightly questionable, but let’s assume they were right. Let’s join the Today programme from Radio 4 this morning and wonder why that is – they weren’t very clear.

I’m slightly hesitant to comment having read two other articles in the Times this morning where I appear to be caricatured. David Aaronovitch having a little rant about parenting objected to anyone speaking against his viewpoint, especially “bankers and scribblers.” Well I’m certainly not a banker but I have to admit to being a scribbler, but why that puts me out as the opposition, I’m not sure. In another article Robert Crampton speaking about “reigns of terror by marauding teenagers” declared, “The Left likes to blame poverty, the free market and yes, 20 years on, Margaret Thatcher. The Right likes to blame parents, teachers, bishops, television, the absence of a damn good thrashing, etc.” Another example of pigeon holing people!  If they knew about me, I suspect these guys would write me off because I am an unashamed Christian writing a Christian-based blog, and so they would assume a whole load of negative stuff about me. It is difficult to say anything sensible or logical in such a climate.

I want to go back and wonder about the apparent findings that we have become a more liberal society (as if that is good). But to make sure we don’t stray off the factual field, let’s actually quote, at the risk of making this an even longer blog,  the summary findings from the Attitudes Survey:

  • Britain is becoming increasingly liberal in its views about homosexuality. 36% think sexual relations between two adults of the same sex are always or mostly wrong, down from 62% in 1983.
  • Cohabitation is becoming increasingly acceptable. 45% agree that it ‘makes no difference to children whether their parents are married to each other or just living together’, up from 38% in 1998. A quarter (27%) disagree, down from a third (33%) in 1998.
  • These changes are partly because younger, more liberal, generations are gradually replacing older, less liberal, ones. But on many issues, like cohabitation, people are also becoming more tolerant as they get older, reflecting their life experiences.
  • Britain is more tolerant than many other European countries of “non-traditional” family arrangements.

This throws up, I suggest, a difference between what people feel and what life-facts reveal. Let’s note the ‘feelings’ first because they are easier because they are in the survey: in respect of homosexuality the numbers have fallen in 25 years from roughly 2/3 to roughly 1/3 of the population who object to homosexual sex. In respect of cohabitation and children, nearly a half think (feel) it doesn’t matter as against a little more than a third eleven years ago. Why those changes?

There are two primary and fairly obvious reasons, I suggest. The first one is to do with promoting a lifestyle.   The media (in various forms) have promoted homosexual and cohabiting lifestyles. As the interviewer on the Today programme this morning dared say, one almost dares not say anything against these things now, such is the pressure that has been brought.

The other corresponding reason, which I have commented upon a number of times on this blog, is that when you remove God from the equation, as we have done as a society over the last fifty years or so, you also remove virtually the only stabilising force that anchors morality and gives reason for there to be moral absolutes. Thus today, in our unbelieving, rudderless society, if someone promotes cohabitation say, then Jo Average has no grounds on which to dispute that.

Well actually, that is not true, and this is what is so strange about these things. Surveys about cohabitation show clearly that such relationships are more unstable and more likely to break up than married relationships. Moreover the numbers of changes that take place in such cohabiting, often means that the current man in the relationship has little or no grounds for a deep relationship with the children, which also seems to promote the grounds for child abuse, as well as instability and uncertainty in children. So why do so many people now think like that, ignoring the life-facts?

I was recently chided by a reader of my blogs that they were too long, so I won’t even venture down the path of homosexuality, but from recent writing in the media we could ask similar questions. Whether it is cohabitation, homosexuality, or any other variation from God’s design as clearly laid out in the Bible, the more I read and the more I study, the more I am convinced that these variations do not work and it is only a matter of time before our society has the honesty to face up to that. So, I’ll leave it there and simply ask, can we have some non-emotive, fact-based, honest and logical discussion of these things – if we dare?

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