Could varying beliefs about the Bible be at the heart of differences between Americans and Canadians on such moral issues as abortion and same-sex marriages?
Could varying beliefs about the Bible be at the
heart of differences between Americans and Canadians on such moral
issues as abortion and same-sex marriages?
New polling by the Gallup Organization suggests that could be the case, some observers say.
Gallup polled about 1,000 adults in each country and
found that Americans are considerably more conservative in their view
of the Bible.
Additional polling found that Canadians are much
more liberal on the hot-button social issues of the day – such as
abortion and same-sex marriages.
The polls affirm that a society’s beliefs about the
Bible also impact its beliefs on moral issues, said Tom Minnery, who
serves as vice president of government and public policy at Focus on
“I think it’s only common sense that there is a
connection,” Minnery said. “In Western society, the basis of moral
principles is the Bible. As one loses one’s belief in the Bible as the
authoritative Word of God, one tends to stray away from moral
principles that once were honored. …
“We’ve seen that in Canada on the marriage issue and its embrace of the homosexual agenda.”
Those polled were given three statements to choose from regarding their view of the Bible.
In America, 34 percent agreed with the statement
that “the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally,
word for word.” Only 17 percent of Canadians agreed with the statement.
In the second statement, 48 percent of American adults and 51 percent
of Canadian adults agreed that the Bible “is the inspired word of God
but not everything in it should be taken literally.”
Combining the two statements, 82 percent of
Americans and 68 percent of Canadians believed that the Bible is either
the “actual” or the “inspired” word of God.
In the third category, 29 percent of Canadians and
15 percent of Americans said they believed the Bible is “an ancient
book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.”
In a separate poll, 81 percent of Americans said they believe in God, compared to 64 percent of Canadians.
Meanwhile, other polling by Gallup has shown Canadians to be more liberal on moral issues.
For instance, 53 percent of Canadians of Americans
said that abortion is “morally acceptable,” compared to 40
percent On another issue, 60 percent of Canadians said that
homosexual behavior is morally acceptable, compared to 42 percent of
In fact, the issue of homosexuality may be where the two countries differ the most.
Fifty-four percent of Canadians said that
homosexuality is “something a person is born with.” Only 37 percent of
Americans agreed with the statement.
Also, 51 percent of Canadians favored same-sex
marriage legalization, while only 35 percent of Americans did so.
Same-sex marriage is legal in seven of the 10 Canadian provinces, and
the Canadian federal government is moving to legalize it nationwide.
On premarital sex, 78 percent of Canadians said it
is acceptable, while 60 percent of Americans did so. On childbirth out
of wedlock, there is a much wider gap – 73 percent of Canadians said it
is acceptable, compared to 49 percent of Americans who said it is okay.
The differences between the two groups of citizens also can be seen in church attendance.
Twenty-eight percent of Americans said they attend
church on a weekly basis, compared to 16 percent of Canadians.
Conversely, 62 percent of Canadians reported that they seldom or never
attend church, compared to 42 percent of Americans.
Minnery emphasized that the data should serve as a warning to Americans.
“I think Americans should be very concerned because
I think we’re on the same path as Canada, …” the focus on the Family
worker said. “We will get there if people are not eternally vigilant to
hold onto moral values.” (BP)
(Polls relating to biblical beliefs involved 1,016
American adults and 1,004 Canadian adults. The other polls
involved 1,000 American adults 1,005 Canadians.)