Want to guide your faith by polls? Try this one.

Polls of of ultimate importance to liberals and squishy Catholics.  They are more interested in polls than the Magisterium.   They incessantly cite polls about how many Catholics don’t follow Church teaching, blah blah, approve of Notre Dame bestowing an honor on Pres. Obama, yadda yadda.

Take a look at this Gallup Poll.  Heh heh…

A new Gallup Poll, conducted May 7-10, finds 51% of Americans calling themselves "pro-life" on the issue of abortion and 42% "pro-choice." This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995.

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The new results, obtained from Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, represent a significant shift from a year ago, when 50% were pro-choice and 44% pro-life. Prior to now, the highest percentage identifying as pro-life was 46%, in both August 2001 and May 2002.

There’s more.

I liked this one too.

"Pro-Life" Up Among Catholics and Protestants

One of the more prominent news stories touching on the abortion issue in recent months involves President Barack Obama’s commencement speech and the bestowal of an honorary doctorate degree on him at the University of Notre Dame — a Roman Catholic institution — on Sunday. The invitation has drawn criticism from conservative Catholics and the church hierarchy because of Obama’s policies in favor of legalizing and funding abortion, and the controversy might have been expected to strengthen the pro-life leanings of rank-and-file Catholics.

Nevertheless, the swelling of the pro-life position since last year is seen across Christian religious affiliations, including an eight-point gain among Protestants and a seven-point gain among Catholics[!]

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Read there… discuss here.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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25 Responses to Want to guide your faith by polls? Try this one.

  1. TJM says:

    This is surprisingly good news. The left will be angry. Their “message” may no longer be resonating. Or perhaps there is some truth to the
    “Roe Effect,”, i.e. pro-choice people have aborted themselves out of progeny to brainwash while pro-lifers have progeny to pass their values onto. Tom

  2. J. Basil Damukaitis says:

    Yes I agree! It’s amazing how prominent Poles have become since the pontificate of John Paul II. OHHHHHHHHHH p-o-l-l-s…..!

  3. Andrew, medievalist says:

    Now Father, do you reeeeaally think that this poll will be published in the ‘National Catholic Reporter’ et al….? ;-)

  4. Memphis Aggie says:

    2 questions: why such a big change in such a short time? and why now when last November would’ve been more meaningful?

  5. Trevor says:

    I don’t want to sound cynical, because I can certainly see a more “pro-life atmosphere” in the churches I attend. However, can some of these numbers be do to the President’s new idea that “nobody is pro-abortion”, but still will do everything to promote it?

  6. Rancher says:

    Can’t change the past. We have what we have. However, if through the leadership of good Bishops and Priests an increasing number of Catholics become strongly pro-life and if the percentage of pro life protestants continues to increase Obama (being a political realist) may be forced to back off some on his anti-life crusade.

  7. Mattk says:

    Booyah!

    Even if people aren’t voting that way, at least they are starting to think that way.

  8. Eric says:

    Maybe some of the liberal propaganda that Obama is really pro-life was believed.
    Then people think to themselves “If Obama’s pro-life, so am I!”

    I hope that doesn’t sound pessimistic. It wasn’t intended to.

  9. jakeh says:

    I agree with Trevor. I think that what’s really underlying this is a shift in what exactly it means to be pro-life. Especially among younger generations, there is a disconect with previous generations (particularly baby boomers and older) about where the line is drawn between pro-life and not. Many more in the future will identify as pro-life, while not nececarily seeking re-criminalization of it. This works the same way for other issues, such as what constitutes civil marriage, etc.

    I spent a significant amount of time in graduate study looking at generational trends and social values (here in this counry). And while the younger, millenial generation does tend to place a higher value on having moral standards than their parents might have (there’s not the same rebel-against-the-establishment mentality in the 60s/70s), it is a different standard of moral values that they hold. Sorry if I sound too cynical about it all.

  10. Jim says:

    Continue to pray to Our Lady, who said “yes” to God’s will.

  11. Aelric says:

    An interesting datum might be compare responses to:

    (1) Do you describe yourself as “pro-life”?

    as compared with

    (2) Do you believe abortion to be an objectively evil act?

    and/or

    (3) Is there an objective difference between abortion and infanticide?

    Point being that “pro-life” might be construed as a political affiliation rather than a statement of a moral principle.

  12. Subvet says:

    “…and a seven-point gain among Catholics.”

    How can we do better?

  13. mbd says:

    Those who have voiced the opinion that the change in responses over the past year are the result of respondents redefining what it means to be pro-life (by adopting the Obama definition)should examine the particularized response which are broken into three categories – 1) those who believe that abortion should always be legal, 2) those who believe that it should always be illegal, and 3) those who believe that ie should be allowed only under limited circumstances. Between the 2008 and the 2009 results, it appears that category 1) dropped by about 5%, while category 2) gained by almost the same percentage. Category 3) showed a small drop. This suggests that there may be a migration from people in the first category(pro-abortion) to the third (limited abortion) , and from the third to the second (banning abortion). In short, the results indicate a clear movement toward the pro-life position – a net gain of 9-10%

  14. MargaretMN says:

    I am glad to see these numbers but also know that my libertarian friends who describe themselves as pro-life will still defend legalized and easily available abortion for all the “hard cases” (no matter how small a percentage they make up) and my liberal friends who are “personally opposed” and wouldn’t describe themselves as in favor of abortion, will still push for “access” for poor women and subsidizing it.

  15. Antonius says:

    This poll is encouraging, however it is just a poll, there is still a lot of work to be done. I think the reason for such a change is our technology, considering that now we see body parts developed at such an earlier age of development, that makes people think that it is wrong. The rise recently is because pro-lifers are really being aggressive against Obama, and that is ultimately what needs to be done, keep up the pressure no matter who is President, and if Roe v Wade were ever to be overturned, we can’t stop there. There is no end in this war. I think we are convincing people the potential of life, however we have too many people who still think abortion is more merciful than raising a child in bad situations. We still have a long drive till we restore the sanctity, which I think begins at home and in our churches.

  16. Aelric says:

    On a related note, there is an interesting article in the May-June 2009 issue of Psychology Today if one can get past the Joan of Arc lookalike on the front cover. The title of the article is: A New View of Life In Utero .

    The article does not seem to address any implications regarding abortion, though I skimmed it in haste whilst waiting so concede that I might have missed something.

  17. Tim O'Donnell says:

    As for the increase in Catholic opinion, perhaps the Notre Dame situation has allowed for some catechesis that was not done before.

    Alternate explanation: when the Bishops lead with a clear pronouncement, the people follow.

  18. Aaron says:

    Heh. When I saw this earlier this morning, I knew Fr. Z. would be on top of it.

    It may not mean a lot, but with the liberal Catholics leaning so hard on polls to support everything they believe these days, it’s fun to have one that contradicts them. *They* are the ones who say polls are uber-important, not us.

  19. Dennis DeVito says:

    it’s good to seen that the numbers are up for those who are pro-life but its sad to see that Catholics are behind the protestant and other Christians in being pro-life

  20. Theodore says:

    Its is interesting that there is an increase in protestants who describe themselves as pro-life translate, but does this translate into an increase in pro-life activity by protestants? ie. praying before abortions clinics, going to the March for Life, talking to their political representatives, etc.

    My observations indicate that Catholics are much active than protestants when it comes to actually doing something to further the fight against abortion.

    Has anyone else observed something similar/different?

  21. Matt says:

    I’ve heard some call Obama “pro-life” because of his policies which they mistakenly believe will reduce abortion. Is it possible that this upsurge is in part based on some liberals stealing the language?

  22. Brendan says:

    Only 52 percent of Catholics are pro-life? I knew it was bad, but not THIS bad. If being Catholic means you are essentially pro-life, are 48 percent of “Catholics” persisting in grave sin?

  23. Rellis says:

    First, it makes some sense to track this over time. There may have been some statistical noise this round, etc. One poll is interesting. Three polls are data.

    Second, the atmosphere of the country has forced otherwise cowardly bishops to speak out on this matter, when they would much rather just paper over things. The politicians of death have gotten to the point where they are embarassing these politicking bishops. The effect is that more and more Catholics are hearing more and more clearly the Church’s teachings on life.

    Third, demographics is destiny.

  24. Frank H says:

    Theodore, the Greater Columbus (Ohio) Right To Life organization is strongly led by Protestants, including the coordinator of the 40 Days For Life abortion clinic prayer effort here.

  25. Rachel says:

    Theodore,

    I live near Colorado Springs, CO and Protestants in our community are very active in the pro-life movement. We have two pregnancy centers run primarily by Protestants. It is mostly the Catholics who pray and do sidewalk counseling who send women who will listen to the pregnancy centers in my experience. As a convert, I can understand the intimidation a Protestant might feel joining a Rosary prayer procession in front of Planned Parenthood with a life-sized photo of Our Lady of Guadalupe in front! Despite this, there are a couple of Protestants who join us in prayer on the sidewalk around the corner. There are also a couple of Catholics that volunteer at the pregnancy centers.