Poll: Christianity good for families; bad for sex

Interesting new poll out that bolsters the view of those who claim religion has been slow to adapt to progressive views on sexuality.

Conducted by Grey Matter Research, more than 1,000 American adults were asked if the Christian faith had a positive, negative, or no real impact on 16 different areas of society, such as crime, poverty and the role of women in society.

Strong majorities (72 percent) said Christianity is good for helping the poor and for raising children with good morals. Around half (52 percent) said Christianity helps keep the U.S. as a “strong nation,” and nearly as many (49 percent) said the faith had a positive impact on the role of women in society.

The most negative perception is how the Christian faith impacts sexuality in society. Just 26 percent feel the faith has a positive impact in this area, while 37 percent see no real impact, and 37 percent believe it has a negative impact.

Interesting results given how many denominations are wrestling with the homosexual issue. And you have the Catholic Church, which adheres to a strict doctrine regarding sex before marriage and permitting priests to marry, etc.

Then there’s this relevant story: an Irish priest who leads a campaign to change Catholic Church teachings on contraception and celibacy has been silenced and sent to a monastery for six weeks of reflection.

Father Tony Flannery is a popular voice of the most liberal wing of the church. He founded the Association of Catholic Priests, an Irish group that has openly dissented from Church teachings.

He often questioned the relevance of archaic church doctrine in the modern world. The church finally had enough of Flannery and suspended his column in the Redemptorist Order’s monthly magazine, Reality.

The Daily Beast reports that “a growing number of Catholic bloggers say the movement has the makings of what could be considered the beginning of a Catholic Spring uprising.”

Interesting stuff. I don’t doubt that these changes are coming. The question is how fast.

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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