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Americans Views on Moral Issues

When one looks at America today, it appears drastically different than it was even ten years ago.

There have been incredible improvements in technology, increases in terrorism, economic rises and falls, and even surprising political triumphs followed by sudden changes of fortune. However, it is not just the American government or international relations that have changed but the American people themselves.

People’s morals are changing which has caused immense cultural shifts across the U.S. A recent Gallup poll has shown Americans current views on morality (what’s right or wrong) across a variety of subjects, from alcohol to assisted suicide.

  • 91% of Americans view birth control as morally acceptable versus 6% who view it as unacceptable.

  • Birth control has been widely approved and manufactured since the 70’s and 80’s when the sexual revolution was rampant throughout America.

  • 67% of Americans view gay or lesbian relations as morally acceptable versus 30% who view it as unacceptable.

  • More Americans are OK with homosexuality than were OK with divorce (59 percent) in 2001. A decade ago, a plurality of Americans did not even believe that homosexuality is innate.

  • 65% of Americans view having a child outside of marriage as morally acceptable versus 32% who view it as unacceptable.

  • As of 2002, only 45 percent of Americans thought it was “morally acceptable” to have a child outside of wedlock. Today it’s 61 percent. And yet, concurrent with that shift in opinion, it’s become obvious that whether or not it’s “morally” wrong to have a kid without being married, it’s undoubtedly bad for that kid.

  • To consider just one of many alarming statistics, if you’re a child growing up in what was once called a broken home, you’re six or seven times as likely to witness domestic violence as those brought up by married parents.

  • 65% of Americans view smoking marijuana as morally acceptable versus 31% who view it as unacceptable.

  • In 1969, the year of “Easy Rider,” support for legal pot stood at 12 percent. As recently as 2003, it was still only 34 percent. Today a large majority of Americans view it as acceptable with many states changing their laws to legalize its use.

  • 43% of Americans view abortion as morally acceptable versus 48% who view it as unacceptable.

  • In 2000, 53 percent thought abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 43 percent thought it should be illegal in all or most cases. In 2017, support for legalized abortion had ticked up to 57 percent, and opposition had gone down to 40 percent. Those numbers reflect gradual shifts, far from the seismic changes we’ve seen on other cultural issues.

  • 20% of Americans view suicide as morally acceptable versus 75% who view it as unacceptable.

  • Suicide was one of the least morally acceptable items on the poll, only followed by polygamy, cloning humans, and marital affairs.

  • However, physician-assisted suicide was much higher on the list with a slim majority (54%) finding it acceptable.

Americans are simply, broadly, more tolerant of others who are unlike them. As a general trend, that’s heartening. On the other hand, what comes along with this mass departure of moral judgment from public life?

Some of the numbers received from the poll are undoubtedly shocking. The idea that 54% of Americans support physician-assisted suicide which surely betrays human dignity and equality before the law is horrifying. Remember the case of Brittany Maynard who was a poster child for the right to die moment and who ended her life due to her incurable brain cancer shortly before her 30th birthday. Janet Morana, executive director of the group Priests for Life, released the following statement: “We are saddened by the fact that this young woman gave up hope, and now our concern is for other people with terminal illnesses who may contemplate following her example. Our prayer is that these people will find the courage to live every day to the fullest until God calls them home. Brittany’s death was not a victory for a political cause. It was a tragedy, hastened by despair and aided by the culture of death invading our country.”

The poll shows that 67% no longer believe in the idea of a biblical family and 65% support having a child outside of marriage. The concept of family is extremely important in the Bible, both in a physical sense and in a theological sense. The physical family is the most important building block to human society, and as such, it should be nurtured and protected.

If you’re a baker, you can refuse to cater a gay wedding for any reason you please — you’re too busy, you’re taking a few days off, you’re hungover — but if you say the words, “I don’t approve of gay marriage,” you’ll not only be vilified, you’ll be bankrupted (NY Post). Americans should be able to think whatever they want without fear of condemnation.

These findings from Gallup should serve as a wakeup call for us as Christians. We must do a better job of redeeming culture for Christ.

All hope isn’t lost - but another cultural revolution must happen. Christians in our generation can lead if we are bold in sharing our Christian worldview.

There is only one worldview that answers humanities age-old questions and only one worldview that has been proven to bring peace and prosperity to communities and nations.

Together, let’s live out our faith to introduce meaningful change.

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