Yes, yes, I know I should get around to doing some original blogging one of these days, but instead I’m going to to steal yet another graph from the Pew Study Kevin Drum linked to — a chart of worldwide responses to the question whether you must believe in God to be moral, and whether society should accept homosexuality.
The answers line up just about how you’d expect, except perhaps that most of Latin America is more tolerant of homosexuality than the U.S.; and Russia and the Ukraine much less. Brazil surprises everyone by rating off the charts on both the God/morality question (affirmed by both young and old) and tolerance for homosexuals.
I don’t have much to add, except that this chart might indicate why I tend to feel more at home in Europe than in the United States. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll say that I would answer question 1 "obviously not." And, to illustrate the point, most of the Germans I know who do believe in God would not say this essential to morality. They know there is a veritable Everest of historical evidence against this proposition, and don’t want to look ignorant.*
And my answer to number two is "of course." The fact that about 4 out of 5 Germans agree — and 9 out of 10 of younger Germans agree — means that many Germans who consider themselves conservative and who are regular churchgoers believe society should accept homosexuality. Major leaders in all political parties are openly or at least not-secretly gay. It’s just not a controversial issue over here, which explains why the angry bickering over acceptance of gays in the United States seems so futile to most Germans.
* This doesn’t mean the opposite is true, of course. My personal experience favors the null hypothesis: belief in God has no effect on a person’s morality, however you might want to measure that (good luck!).