A world gone mad – or going mad

Ross Douthat’s latest New York Times column tells us what we already expected to hear sooner or later. The Liberal Agenda is moving on and is now beginning to rub the Gini’s bottle again with the prospect of getting polygamy into the social mix – or should we say mess? We might ask, is it such a big step from serial polygamy (divorce on demand) to this?

Douthat takes his cue from the latest Gallup findings on our social attitudes:

On every issue save abortion, social liberalism is suddenly ascendant in America. The shift on same-sex marriage has captured the headlines, but the change is much more comprehensive: In just 15 years, we have gone from being a society divided roughly evenly between progressive and traditionalist visions to a country where social conservatism is countercultural and clearly in retreat.

This reality is laid bare in the latest Gallup social issues survey, which shows that it’s not only support for same-sex marriage that’s climbing swiftly: so is approval of unwed parenthood (45 per cent in 2001, 61 per cent now), divorce (59 per cent then, 71 per cent today), and premarital sex (53 per cent then, 68 per cent now). Approval of physician-assisted suicide is up 7 points and support for research that destroys human embryos for research is up 12, pushing both practices toward supermajority support.

Oh, and one more thing: The acceptance of polygamy has more than doubled.

Now admittedly, that last one is an outlier: Support for plural matrimony rose to 16 per cent from 7 per cent, a swift rise but still a very low number. Polygamy is bobbing forward in social liberalism’s wake, but it’s a long way from being part of the new permissive consensus.

Read more here.

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