banner photo:

"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope


Banner photo
University of Guelph - Guelph, Ontario

Monday, January 09, 2012

Rick Santorum & America's "decaying culture"

Steve Chapman at Reason points out that Rick Santorum's mission to heal a morally sick America may resonate with religious conservatives, but his claim that social liberals (read feminists, atheists and homosexuals) are destroying the very foundations of America is not supported by facts:
[Santorum] thinks America has been on a downhill slide for many years, thanks to feminism, gay rights, pornography, and other vile intruders. But where is the evidence that the developments cited by Santorum are producing harmful side effects?

In the past couple of decades, most indicators of moral and social health have gotten better, not worse. Crime has plummeted. Teen pregnancy has declined by 39 percent. Abortion rates among adolescents are less than half what they were.

The incidence of divorce is down. As of 2007, 48 percent of high school students had engaged in sex, compared to 54 percent in 1991. What "decaying culture" is he talking about?

It sounds obvious that when people practice a religion that preaches strong morality and responsible conduct, they will behave better than people who follow their own inclinations. But what is obvious is not always true.

...

Does gay marriage undermine the health and stability of heterosexual marriage? Not so you can tell. Massachusetts has the nation's lowest divorce rate. Iowa and Connecticut are also better than most. Vermont and New Hampshire are about average. In the Bible Belt, by contrast, marriages are generally more prone to break up.

Santorum presents himself as a man of faith who insists on confronting stark facts that many people would rather ignore. In fact, in his indictment of tolerance, individual conscience, sexual freedom, and secular morality, he is not telling truths but spinning sanctimonious fairy tales. American culture is not sick, and Santorum is no healer.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm no big fan of feminism, but I would also point to the Playboy philosophy that painted married men as suckers if they stayed faithful to their wives and men in general as suckers to get married.

Alex said...

Yeah but he's a skeptic.

Anonymous said...

snatorum is right. we are living in a moral cesspool.