World News and Trends: America and amorality

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America and amorality

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Far too many Americans have chosen a path of make-it-up-as-you-go morality or even amorality. Amorality admits no moral distinctions or judgments and lacks moral sensibility, not caring about right and wrong.

A new study by the Barna Group ("Young Adults and Liberals Struggle With Morality," Aug. 25, 2008) shows that Americans have "redefined what it means to do the right thing in their own lives." Researchers asked adults which behaviors they had engaged in during a one-week period. Behaviors listed included pornography, profanity, gambling, gossiping, sex outside of marriage, retaliation, getting drunk and lying.

The study found that a majority of adults had engaged in one or more of these behaviors. Nearly three in 10 had used profanity in public; nearly one in five had gambled or intentionally viewed pornographic images. About one in 10 had gossiped, gotten drunk, lied, had extramarital sex or engaged in some form of retaliation.

It also found that "one of the most stunning outcomes . . . was the moral pattern among adults under 25. The younger generation was more than twice as likely as all other adults to engage in behaviors considered morally inappropriate by traditional standards."

For example, almost two in three in this group had used profanity publicly, almost two in five had lied or engaged in sex outside of marriage, a third had viewed pornography, and one in four had gotten drunk.

Not surprisingly, adults who described themselves as liberal on sociopolitical issues were twice as likely as those who described themselves as conservative to engage in these activities. Atheists and agnostics were about five times more likely to participate in these behaviors than those who identified themselves as evangelical Christians.

As Americans depend less and less on the Bible for their source of moral judgment, they become their own independent judges of what is right and wrong. George Barna believes that "it is not likely that America will return to a more traditional moral code until the nation experiences significant pain from its moral choices."

America's founders relied on the Bible as their guide. Read their history and you will consistently find that God and the Bible were often mentioned in matters of state. But times have changed, affluence has turned our heads, and we follow in the footsteps of ancient Israel during the period of the judges: "Everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25). Forget God and God says He'll forget us (Deuteronomy 8:19-20). To better understand what this all means, request or download our free booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy. (Source: The Barna Group.)