Recently, Gallup published the results of its annual Values and Beliefs poll.
The headline of the report speaks for itself: “Americans Hold Record Liberal Views on Most Moral Issues.
Gallup has been doing this poll since 2001, and the change in public opinion on the moral issues surveyed has been in one direction — more liberal.
Of 19 issues surveyed in this latest poll, responses on 10 are the most liberal since the survey started.
Sixty-three percent say gay/lesbian relations are morally acceptable — up 23 points from the first year the question was asked. Sixty-two percent say having a baby outside of marriage is OK — up 17 points.Unmarried sex, 69 percent — up 16 points. Divorce, 73 percent — up 14 points.
More interesting, and of greater consequence, is what people actually do, rather than what they think. And, not surprisingly, the behavior we observe in our society at large reflects these trends in values.
Hence, the institution of traditional marriage is crumbling, Americans are having fewer children, and, compared with years gone by, the likelihood that children are born out of the framework of marriage has dramatically increased.
Undoubtedly, the liberals in academia, in the media, in politics, see this as good news. After all, doesn’t removing the “thou shalt not’s” that limit life’s options liberate us?
Isn’t the idea of freedom supposed to be, according to them, that you have a green light to do whatever you want, as long as you’re not hurting someone else?
But here’s the rub. How do you measure if you are hurting someone else?
No one lives in a vacuum. We all live in a country, in communities. We are social beings as well as individuals, no matter what your political philosophy happens to be. Everyone’s behavior has consequences for others.
For instance, more and more research shows the correlation between the breakdown of the traditional family and poverty.
In 2009, Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution published his “success sequence.” According to Haskins, someone who completes high school, works full time, and doesn’t have children until after marriage has only a 2 percent chance of being poor.
A new study from the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies focuses on millennials — those born between 1980-1984. And this study reaches conclusions similar to those of Haskins.
According to this study, only 3 percent of millennials who have a high school diploma, who are working full time, and who are married before having children are poor. On the other hand, 53 percent of millennials who have not done these three things are poor.
Behavior increasing the likelihood of poverty does have consequences on others. American taxpayers spend almost a trillion dollars a year to help those in poverty, a portion of whom would not be in this situation if they lived their lives differently.
But the same liberals who scream when Republicans look for ways to streamline spending on antipoverty programs like Medicaid, scream just as loudly at any attempt to expose young people to biblical values that teach traditional marriage and chastity outside of marriage.
The percent of American adults that are married dropped from 72 percent in 1960 to 52 percent in 2008. The percentage of our babies born to unmarried women increased from 5 percent in 1960 to 41 percent by 2008.
This occurred against a backdrop of court orders removing all vestiges of religion from our public spaces, beginning with banning school prayer in 1962, and then the legalization of abortion in 1973. In 2015, the Supreme Court redefined marriage.
Losing all recognition that personal and social responsibility matters, that the biblical tradition that existed in the cradle of our national founding is still relevant, is bankrupting us morally and fiscally.
We are long overdue for a new, grand awakening.