The moral decline of Americans

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” -Benjamin Franklin

The Left have won the culture war.

A new survey by the American Culture & Faith Institute (ACFI) found that a large majority of U.S. adults have radically redefined moral behavior related to family matters.

In March 2018, a national random (therefore, representative) sample of 1,000 adults was asked about the morality of 8 family-related behaviors. Large majorities of the public claimed that 6 of those behaviors are acceptable – either because they are “morally acceptable” or that they do not even qualify as moral issues, i.e., there is no right or wrong position related to the behavior.

The six behaviors deemed morally acceptable by many U.S. adults are:

  1. Using pills or medical devices for birth control – acceptable to 86%.
  2. Getting a divorce – acceptable to 77%.
  3. Sexual intercourse between unmarried male and female adults – acceptable to 71%.
  4. Having a baby without being married – acceptable to 69%.
  5. Intentionally looking at pornography – acceptable to 58%.
  6. Having an abortion – acceptable to about half of Americans (48%).

Only two family-related behaviors evaluated in the survey received smaller proportions of public approval:

  • Being married to more than one person at the same time (i.e., polygamy) — approved by 28%.
  • Physically or emotionally intimidating or aggressively dominating someone — approved by 23%.

Increase in Amorality

More disturbing than the increase in approval of abortion and out-of-wedlock babies is the fact that increasing numbers of Americans don’t believe those are even moral issues. Instead, they regard them as “personal” behaviors that are neither right nor wrong, to be decided according to one’s “subjective” preferences:

  • At least 15% and as much as 40% of adults do not consider behaviors such as divorce, abortion, and unmarried sexual intercourse to be moral issues. In other words, those behaviors are simply a reflection of individual preferences.
  • For the eight measures examined in the survey, an average of one-quarter of all adults (25%) said those behaviors are not moral issues. One-third or more of the public considers divorce, birth control, and having a baby outside of marriage to be amoral decisions.

While born again Christians are much more likely to embrace a more traditional, biblical moral perspective, a majority nevertheless deem 4 of the 8 behaviors to be acceptable:

  • Using birth control (87%)
  • Getting a divorce (66%)
  • Having a baby without being married (54%)
  • Sexual relations between unmarried adults (51%).

Religion and Morality:

  • Skeptics are the fastest-growing “faith” segment in America. About 20% or 1 out of 5 Americans is a religious skeptic – agnostic, atheist, or indifferent to religion.
  • 29% of Millennials are Skeptics. Even among adults who are 65 or older – a group that has been staunchly Christian for decades – 1 out of every 7 (14%) is now in the Skeptic category.
  • The moral perspectives of Skeptics are far different from those of most Americans. Overall, Skeptics believe that 6 of the 8 behaviors evaluated are acceptable, with a majority of Skeptics describing only polygamy and domination as morally unacceptable behaviors, although it is noteworthy that a large minority – more than 4 out of 10 Skeptics – deem polygamy to be an acceptable choice.
  • People of faith (Christian or otherwise) differed substantially from Skeptics regarding pornography (acceptable to 78% of Skeptics, 52% of people of faith); abortion (67% vs. 42%, respectively); sexual intercourse between unmarried adults (90% vs. 66%); and having a baby without being married (87% vs. 64%).
  • The survey also found that Protestants and Catholics have substantial differences regarding half of the behaviors evaluated. For each of those, Catholics were significantly more accepting of the behavior than were Protestants. Catholics were more likely to endorse viewing pornography, getting a divorce, sex between unmarried adults, and giving birth outside of marriage.
  • A particular segment of Christians are much less likely than any other groups to approve of 6 of the 8 behaviors assessed. They are SAGE Cons (Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservatives), committed Christians who are well-informed about public issues, engaged with politics, hold conservative views, and were instrumental in the election of Donald Trump — like the core readership of FOTM. Less than 1 out of 10 SAGE Cons approve of polygamy or intimidation; only 1/8 of them approve of viewing pornography or having an abortion; and about ¼ of them approve of unmarried sexual relations and having a child without marriage.

Generational Differences:

  • Millennials are most likely to accept intentionally viewing pornography (66%) and intimidating or aggressively dominating someone (32%), but are the least likely adults to accept using a birth control mechanism, although 4 out of 5 find pills or devices are acceptable.
  • Millennials and Baby Busters (aka Gen X) are most likely to accept polygamy: more than one-third of each generation group embrace having multiple marital partners.
  • Baby Boomers and their predecessors (Elders) are least accepting of intentional viewing of pornography.
  • The Elders (adults age 75 or older) are the most likely to accept birth control (91%) and divorce (84%), but the least likely to accept having a child outside of marriage (59%), aggressively intimidating or dominating someone (14%), and polygamy (13%).
  • There are no significant differences across generations related to their acceptance of abortion and sexual intercourse between unmarried adults.

Racial and Ethnic Differences:

  • White adults (89%) are more likely than Hispanic (82%) or black adults (70%) to accept the use of pills or medical devices to facilitate birth control
  • People of color are more likely than whites to embrace polygamy: 34% among Hispanics, 33% of blacks, 25% among whites.
  • Black adults are most likely to accept the physical or emotional domination of someone (35%), followed by Hispanics (29%), and whites (20%).

Ideological Differences:

Not surprisingly, political conservatives are massively different in their moral views from those who are politically liberal — a gap of 20% or more on half of the 8 items examined:

  • Abortion: approved by 68% of liberals, 50% of moderates, and 23% of conservatives.
  • Sex between unmarried adults: approved by 83% of liberals, 75% of moderates, and 50% of conservatives.
  • Having a baby without marriage: approved by 80% of liberals, 72% of moderates, and 49% of conservatives.
  • Polygamy: approved by 44% of liberals, 26% of moderates, and 16% of conservatives.
  • Pornography: approved by 68% of liberals, 61% of moderates, and 41% of conservatives.

Survey Definitions

  • Millennials: people born between 1984 and 2002.
  • Gen X/Baby Busters: people born between 1965 and 1983.
  • Baby Boomers: people born between 1946 and 1964.
  • Elders: people born before 1946.
  • Born again Christians are people who consider themselves to be Christian and believe that when they die they will go to Heaven only because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. In ACFI surveys being classified as a born again Christian is NOT based on describing oneself as “born again” and it is not based on church attendance or denominational affiliation.


30 responses to “The moral decline of Americans

  1. We have been suffering from internal moral rot for a very long time. We used to believe in ‘doing the right thing’ and everyone would know what that meant. Nowadays, people don’t even know what the ‘right thing’ is. Guns??? guns haven’t changed, societal mores have changed; more violent, more accepting of deviant and immoral behavior. We have become more crass, more crude, degenerate and perverted. When God is kicked to the curb, guess what takes His place?

    Liked by 4 people

    • “We have become more crass, more crude, degenerate and perverted.”

      I’ve been so concerned about what I see written on the web — user comments and opinions and the like — that I recently wrote in protest to YouTube that they should at least use basic filtering to flush out some of the more disgusting comments (and videos) that kids and moral adults were likely to view, comments that weren’t even made specifically to denigrate the video, its poster or another comment, but just written as if we all speak with such vulgarity for the sake of saying such things, for lack of vocabulary.

      But then I happened to catch maybe 45 seconds of some reality junk on network TV this week, and was surprised to see the contestants in the competition were using the same language, such that almost every other word was having to be bleeped out. Unbelievable. It’s everywhere..

      “When God is kicked to the curb, guess what takes His place?”
      Exactly my sentiment. Generation after generation, decade after decade. We’re about one away from each until total, Godless anarchy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It appears the devil has more than just his nose in the tent.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dr. Eowyn, the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science has an article
    entitled “The Mutant says in his Heart, ‘There is no god.’ The rejection of
    collective religiosity centred around worship of morals gods is associated
    with HIGH MUTATIONAL LOAD [capitals are mine].” This article is reviewed on May 26 article in entitled “Are Atheists genetic mutants–a product of recent evolution?” by Lance Welton. The review
    included a free link to a PDF of the original article in the Journal Evolutionary Psychological Science.
    The gist of the original article is that prior to the Industrial Revolution
    child mortality was 40%. Those who survived were more likely to
    adhere to rigid religious standards calling for behavior conducive
    to survival. A scientific thesis supporting many of the opinions of
    your commenters.
    The moral decay we see around us today is producing dysfunctional genetic
    stock. For example, the LGBT US military will have no chance against
    the Russians.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Interesting! Thanks, Gary.
      Here’s the article:

      Liked by 2 people

      • Abstract of article:

        “Industrialisation leads to relaxed selection and thus the accumulation of fitness-damaging genetic mutations. We argue that religion is a selected trait that would be highly sensitive to mutational load. We further argue that a specific form of religiousness was selected for in complex societies up until industrialisation based around the collective worship of moral gods. With the relaxation of selection, we predict the degeneration of this form of religion and diverse deviations from it. These deviations, however, would correlate with the same indicators because they would all be underpinned by mutational load. We test this hypothesis using two very different deviations: atheism and paranormal belief. We examine associations between these deviations and four indicators of mutational load: (1) poor general health, (2) autism, (3) fluctuating asymmetry, and (4) left-handedness. A systematic literature review combined with primary research on handedness demonstrates that atheism and/or paranormal belief is associated with all of these indicators of high mutational load.”

        The study’s conclusion is bleak:

        “The results largely support our hypothesis that atheism and belief in the paranormal are positively associated with a variety of markers of developmental instability. This is consistent with the idea that they are both reflections of mutational load, because they would have been selected against under pre-industrial conditions of strong selection.

        First, let us consider some implications that these findings may have for the future. Developed countries will continue to become less religious in the traditional sense, at least in the short term. Furthermore, this will cause even those who do not carry the mutations associated with low religiousness to become less religious…. In addition, it has been shown that religiousness is positively associated with both positive and negative ethnocentrism…. In effect, increasing proportions of the populations in developed countries can be expected to espouse ideologies such as multiculturalism, which encourages immigration from different ethnic groups and promotes their culture and interests…. In most circumstances, this would be at variance with the interests of the ethnic group as an extended genetic family because it would decrease the portion of the population that was from this ethnic group…. Concomitantly…we would expect a continuing growth in forms of religiousness that deviate from that practiced in developed countries at the point of industrialisation. In other words, religious belief and practice will become increasingly diverse and anomic. More and more people will claim, for example, that they do not believe in God but they “believe in something”…,or they “worship God in their own way”. This kind of belief — as well as advocacy of ideologies such as multiculturalism and even religious pluralism…can already be observed within established churches….

        It is quite possible, however, that the situation could be reversed. A number of researchers have argued that intelligence, in developed countries, is in decline and that this will ultimately lead to reversal of civilisation…. This reversal of civilisation would eventually elevate stress and negatively impact medical science, increasing the intensity of selection and decreasing mutational load. Accordingly, religiousness would increase.”


        • Avoiding for the moment “mutations”. Cultural pressures assert enormous influence over people’s beliefs. That is why TV and films, etc., are a source of ideas that would not normally be available to people at large prior to the technology.

          I am not sure how much value I place on “natural selection”. I do understand that what is considered “acceptable” in a society goes a long way toward creating conditions favorable for manipulation. I do not believe that rejection of traditional faith is coincidental or accidental.

          Many people believe that they are simply “too smart” for religion, or, if they elect to pursue one it should be of their own design. I personally think that’s a formula for disaster.

          That said, time will tell. I have no intention of changing direction and I submit that there are a substantial number of others with similar views. To me motive is almost everything. I don’t think for a minute that the declines we see are simply due to natural selection.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Not to rain on anyone’s parade here, but the impact of this in the negative for atheism etc. might already be hedged on account of comics & shows like “X-men” making “mutants” out to be “cool” and “desirable” as well as “discriminated against” in more recent generations. Be prepared for that potentiality.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. When we give up our God and our relationship with Him/Her (God is both male and female), we lose the sense of who we really are. Goodness and wholeness is slowly drained from our consciousness and feeling world. Day by day as we engage in anti-God thoughts, feelings and behavior as we become more of the evil (which is an energy veil overshadowing our highest self) energy that has invaded this nation and world. We accept a lower consciousness because we lose that strong sense of right and wrong where there is no right/wrong anymore. The white purity of concepts have become gray and in some cases, black (no light – goodness gets in). As more and more people are following the evil ones in positions of authority/power believing this is progressiveness (communistic), they are, in reality, regressing to an animalistic nature. They have no spirituality, no wisdom (wise dominion over the self and world), their heart flame is diminished to selfishness, anger, hatred, vengence, argumentation, arrogance, pride, no respect for life (including their own), etc. Without our God nature, we do become like an animal. It is that God flame in our heart, mind and soul that sets us apart from animal kingdom. It’s so unfortunate that people who’ve lost belief in a higher power within and above are living a life without it. When tragedy enters their world, they have no where to go to seek help and refuge. Sometimes, tragedy is a must in order to bring them back up to truth. God bless them!


    • What you have written sounds very New Age. In the Holy Bible, all pronouns referring to God are male. Always.

      Liked by 2 people

      • And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over the whole earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth.
        And God created Man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
        Genesis 1:26-27, Douay-Rheims Bible

        I don’t think the poster was being “new age” at all…. notice the plural words in the book of Genesis, and the “creation of ‘them’ in ‘our’ image…. Dr. E had a spectacular post a while back noting the (portion) of the female nature of God. Besides, a being that powerful cannot be described in words that we can understand, much less comprehend an entity that transcends all known laws of time, space, science, etc…. Not trying to be a cudgel here, but we cannot begin to grasp the infinite power of The Architect of the Universe. On a side note, with the rising tide of evil on our planet, pronouns are probably the least of our worries….. just my $0.02. Maybe Dr. E can elaborate a little more here 😊

        Liked by 3 people

        • I’d agree with that. God has no gender. We generally refer to “Him”, but it is more out of tradition and convenience. It isn’t intended as a slight to women. There is really quite a lot of theology behind this.

          I love theology. It isn’t necessary for salvation, but it certainly helps me in my journey. When I’ve had trouble accepting a dogma, I trust the Church Doctors. This doesn’t happen very frequently, but when it does, they never let me down. Confusion is generally due to not fully understanding the subject and its nature.

          It was an excellent piece. I just have a history of catechism related to formation of conscience and morals. I used to help teach a retreat with a couple of religious brothers and the course took five days. Most things are not nearly as simple as people would like them to be. Still, the general morality has declined because people have fallen away from faith. “Details” or fine-tuning morality must begin with faith. If there is none it is useless to talk about it.

          Liked by 2 people

          • God has no gender. We generally refer to “Him”

            The Second Person of the Triune Godhead does have a gender!


            • Indeed. I’ll take my chances that God understands what I’m saying. My God isn’t that hung up on issues like this. Anyway, you’re correct. Having said that, I don’t believe that God is more masculine than feminine. You are, of course, free to believe what you like.

              Liked by 1 person

              • I don’t believe that God is more masculine than feminine

                I’m not sure calling God “masculine” or “feminine” is even appropriate or useful. I’m not even sure what the point is in characterizing God as masculine and/or feminine. Concerning a being as awesome and incomprehensible (to us puny humans) as the Creator of the Universe — of all things visible and invisible — our human language is entirely inadequate.


        • Dr. E had a spectacular post a while back noting the (portion) of the female nature of God.


          Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Patricia Wilk

        I hear you and what you say is true about Bible, but what then does that make women? In Genesis, it mentions the Elohim and they say “them” when referring to God.
        Are we not also part of God and in the image of God? Would it not make sense that God is both male and female energies? Male energy is Spirit and female energy is Mater and God is both Spirit and Mater. God is in all life and all life is part of God’s energy.

        Liked by 1 person

    • If its of any help to folks here, what I’ve noticed in my own studies is that it seems that God (Outside of Christ’s incarnation as flesh and blood) is referred to traditionally as “Him”, apparently because hebrew culture was patriarchal in nature, given how not seriously they regarded Him in the first place, imagine what would’ve happened had female pronouns been utilized? It seems that the male was used to get the point across, not so much as a literal statement, (like pagan gods being male and female, with reproductive organs to match) but rather to get the point across to their little minds.

      Again outside of Christ’s incarnation, there’d be no reason for God to be a male, (read: with reproductive generative male organs) or a female, same as there’d be no reason for Him to be a hermaphrodite, like the occultists, luciferians, & satanists seem to think, conflating masculine and feminine traits with literal generative male and female organs, there being a distinct and important difference between those items.

      This is just what I notice, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t question the statistics, I’m not sure that would be my basis for measuring “moral decline”. Sexual matters are important, but not THAT important. The lack of regard or respect for life is much more serious in my opinion.

    I think a lot of moral beliefs have to do with how we view God. If we see him as an angry, demanding, tyrant, we will see our lives much differently than if we see him as a loving father. So, at the risk of being pounced upon I’ll just say that I don’t think specific actions are anywhere near as important as attitudes.

    I don’t believe that God makes lists and checks them twice. I do believe that God desires to draw all of us to Himself. I very much have my own beliefs and standards that I try to adhere to. I most certainly do not believe that all of these “issues” are reducible to simple “righty/wrong”, “one size fits all” answers. Life is much more complex and human judgement must be tempered with understanding and kindness.

    If faith and morals were simply about following rules God would have kicked all our butts eons ago.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. As the decline in belief in God has rolled along for decades now . .. we see that there is a corresponding decline in society. Those two are inherently connected.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Daddy doesn’t pray anymore..

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: The moral decline of Americans — Fellowship of the Minds – NZ Conservative Coalition

  9. They took away prayer in school, honor the flag, love your country, and I believe it all happen the moment parents valued more money, the credit card, and women became independent single moms.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was all part of the plan, Alma. And it started way back in the thirties when lefties thru the UN set their sights on our schools and school children. The sixties and the Johnson’s ‘Great Society’ (which destroyed black nuclear families) and women’s Lib moved the destruction of American values and mores nicely.

      There is a little book ‘None Dare Call It Treason’, long out of print but still available on Ebay that lays it all out and it was written back in the mid-sixties. I read some parts of the book to my young niece who has recently become politically aware and she was shocked at the revelations made way back then and how things have come to pass..

      Also read ‘The Communist Manifesto’, read into the congressional record way back in the sixties. Almost all their goals for the conquest of America (without firing a shoot) have been realized. We knew the danger and what Communism was back then. Over the years the lefties have diluted and dulled our young people’s knowledge of the evil of that particular ‘ism’. They recruit openly on FB now and march openly with our own unions. How is that for brainwashing the public? Some kids nowadays proudly proclaim themselves ‘Communists’. You know they don’t have a clue.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. I am dismayed that there is any percent that approve of polygamy… which by the way has been advertising wantonly the past few years, worse still it seems like finding resources against it is becoming more difficult, an in favor of dating site for it is the third result on duckduckgo, for example, with the wikipedia entry above it and one about mormonism at the top, followed by various things tying into polygyny, and polyamory (polygamy’s newest politically correct name), taking this into consideration with unwed sex (promiscuity/fornication), plus not really using contraceptin, but using abortion as contraception, basically, makes for a vile poison, this is not good.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. 2 Timothy 3 But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, 3 having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, 4 betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 5 having an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power;b and from these turn away. 6 From among these arise men who slyly work their way into households and captivate weak women loaded down with sins, led by various desires, 7 always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truth.

    Matthew 24:7, 8

    ““Many false prophets will arise and mislead many; and because of the increasing of lawlessness, the love of the greater number will grow cold.””

    So, nothing new here, just more prophecy being fulfilled. Just try to remember that when people act like total fools and jerks, remember it is Satan inspiring them to do so. And it’s Satan who inspired false religion, and who controls all governments of Earth. Anyone who really knows God’s inspired word already knows all of this.


  12. Could the fact that the 18th-century constitutional framers replaced the Bible’s immutable/moral law for their own capricious man-made Enlightenment and Masonic traditions as the supreme law of the land have something to do with America’s moral decline?

    America was sold down the river when the founding fathers replaced Biblical responsibilities with Enlightenment rights. For example, had the constitutional framers (like their 17th-century Christian Colonial forbears) established government and society upon Yahweh’s triune moral (including Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13), there would be no homosexual agenda today because no sodomite or lesbian would dare risk exposing themselves (pun intended) to petition government for their “rights.”

    For more, see blog article “America’s Road to Hell: Paved With Rights” at

    Then find out how much you REALLY know about the Constitution as compared to the Bible. Take our 10-question Constitution Survey in the right-hand sidebar and receive a complimentary copy of a book that examines the Constitution by the Bible.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: The moral decline of Americans | The Olive Branch Report

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