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Can You Guess the Moral Issue That Most Divides Americans? Can You Guess the Moral Issue That Most Divides Americans?

Can You Guess the Moral Issue That Most Divides Americans?

by Cord Jefferson
June 4, 2011

Twelve years after Dr. Jack Kevorkian went to prison for murder when he helped a man with Lou Gehrig's disease die, American's are still sharply divided about the morality of doctor-assisted suicide. With 45 percent of people believing euthanasia is OK, and 48 percent against the practice, that issue stands atop a new Gallup poll of the nation's most divisive moral conundrums. Second and third were abortion and having a child out of wedlock, which is surprising when one ponders the adoration of "Brangelina."

What the vast majority of Americans can agree upon is that a married man and woman having an affair is morally wrong. And most also believe that it's bad to have more than one spouse and to clone humans.

Of course while the extremes on either end are always fun to see, what's most interesting about this survey isn't the poles. Most interesting is that for every practice Gallup asked about, at least a quarter of respondents found it morally objectionable. In a time in which America seems like it's filled with bigots who will never be willing to accept gays, it's important to remember that the number of people against gays and lesbians and the number of people against gambling aren't separated by too wide a gulf. As you can see below, nearly 25 percent of Americans even think something as benign as divorce is morally wrong.

The next time you're shocked, as I sometimes am, at how many people have moral problems with LGBT people, just remember that almost as many are opposed to a man and woman having intercourse out of wedlock, something millions of Americans do every day.

The point is that the moral police are going to be the moral police regardless of your race, gender, or sexual orientation. It's annoying, but it's now so archaic as to be laughable.


 
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