Saturday, September 17, 2011

Of Surveys, Science, Social Conservatives, and Society

The link at the bottom of this posting is for a recent CNN/ORC Poll including specific questions regarding social issues.  The results are mixed: some shocking and some less so.  Let’s get started:
1)      Should we continue to have a Department of Education?  74% say yes while, while 24% say it should be eliminated completely.  Those that oppose the DoE are likely Tea Party members and social conservatives who believe in greater state autonomy and oppose federal education guidelines.  As for Diggapedia, we believe if you leave educational guidelines and content to the states we will end up with creationism in Kansas science classes with local activist school boards having too much power and influence.  While standardized testing is a key component of education, it cannot be a single plank in the platform; we need to go after the learning and educational process at the national level.  Every country ranked ahead of us in the educational rankings has strong national programs.
2)      Do you think abortion should be legal under any circumstances, legal under only certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances? Legal under any circumstances: 25%, Legal under certain circumstances: 53%, illegal under all circumstances: 21%.  These numbers have not moved much over the last 30 years and thus contradict conservative commentators who tell us that we are a center right country.  Clearly America above all remains a nation of laws and Christian conservative politicians such as Bachmann, Santorum, Huckabee, Perry, and Tancredo , to name a few, are clearly out of touch with America.  Finally, supporting the legality of abortion does not make a person pro-abortion, it makes them pro-choice and smack dab in the center of America.  You may have guessed that Diggapedia is pro-choice in a big way.
3)      Do you believe that the theory of evolution is definitely true, probably true, probably false, or definitely false?  Definitely true 21%, Probably true 36%, Probably false 16%, Definitely false 25%.  Clearly a majority believe in the theory of evolution though it is surprising that 41% doubt or deny the theory of evolution.  This may be connected to the relatively high church going demographic in the U.S.  Diggapedia comes down firmly on the pro evolution side as science cannot be denied, and that doesn’t make me an atheist. 
4)      Do you think marriages between gay and lesbian couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages? Should be recognized as valid 53%, Should not be recognized as valid 46%.  The most astonishing thing about this question is that in just three short years the results have flip flopped possibly in part due to the repeal of DADT.  Once again these results challenge the center-right claim of the SoCons.  No shocker that Diggapedia is in the majority here again.  When we go from hiding homosexuality, to making it Hollywood fashionable to being just plain old boring, we are headed in the right description and it isn’t to the right.
5)      In your view, is homosexuality something a person is born with, or is homosexuality due to factors such as upbringing and environment? Born with 45%, Upbringing and environment 39%, Both (vol.) 9%, Neither (vol.) 3%.  One of the biggest sweeping changes in America.  In 34 years American opinion has moved from only 13% believing that homosexuality was something a person was born with to 45% today.  That is definitely bad news for Marcus Bachmann’s clinic.  Of all the questions and studies I have read, this single question fills me with more hope and pride in America as it demonstrates a people understanding the human condition and that science is real and false prophet Christian broadcasters are losing the battle.  Can I get a hell yeah?
6)      Thinking specifically about the role that religion plays in government, which of the following statements comes closest to your views: Religion should be the only factor the government uses to decide its policies 2%, Religion should be a major factor in the government's decisions but not the only one 15%, Religion should have some influence on the government's decisions but should not be a major factor in those decisions 36%, Religion should have no influence at all on the government's decisions 47%.  Once again, results that counter the center right shift argument and bad news for the holy rollers from the right who insist on calling us a Christian Nation.  Sorry folks, we are a democratically elected secular republic with the law of the land explicitly stating that government will neither establish a national religion nor create a religious test to hold office.  That is the greatness of America.

While it is difficult to find good news anywhere, these survey results are promising and show that we are progressing on the road to enlightenment against the tide of reactionary evangelical anti-science dogma from the right.  Intolerance must be eradicated,  I am therefor declaring war on intolerance and ignorance.  Who’s with me?

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