This post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds
“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:
- Using pills or medical devices for birth control – acceptable to 86%.
- Getting a divorce – acceptable to 77%.
- Sexual intercourse between unmarried male and female adults – acceptable to 71%.
- Having a baby without being married – acceptable to 69%.
- Intentionally looking at pornography – acceptable to 58%.
- 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.
- 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%).
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.