Broad Concern About U.S. Moral Condition


While a majority (57 percent) of all U.S. adults said that "whatever is right for your life or works best for you is the only truth you can know," significant differences emerged on the basis of age and religious tradition.

Eighty percent of all U.S. adults are concerned about the moral condition of the nation, according to a Barna Group survey.

"Though measurable differences exist between population segments, moral concern is widespread across the demographic board," Barna noted. "The proportion is closer to nine in 10 among Elders (89 percent) and Boomers (87 percent), while about three-quarters of Gen-Xers (75 percent) and Millennials (74 percent) report concern."

Ninety percent of practicing Christians did so, compared to 72 percent of other religions and 67 percent of those claiming no faith tradition.

Based on Barna's classification: Elders were born in 1945 or before, Boomers from 1946 to 1964, Gen-Xers from 1965 to 1983, and Millennials from 1985 to 2002. Practicing Christians attend religious services at least monthly and say their faith is very important to their identity.

This widespread agreement lessened when respondents were asked about the basis of morality.

While a majority (57 percent) of all U.S. adults said that "whatever is right for your life or works best for you is the only truth you can know," significant differences emerged on the basis of age and religious tradition.

A strong majority of Millennials (74 percent) affirmed this view, while only 59 percent of Gen-Xers, 47 percent of Boomers and 39 percent of Elders did so.

Only 41 percent of practicing Christians agreed with this perspective, compared to 56 percent of other religions and 67 percent of those not claiming a faith tradition.

A similar pattern emerged when respondents were polled about whether they saw morality as relative.

This belief was strongest among Millennials (51 percent) and declined with each generation: Gen-Xers (44 percent), Boomers (41 percent) and Elders (39 percent).

Only 29 percent of practicing Christians agreed, compared to 43 percent of other religions and 61 percent identifying with no faith tradition.

"Americans are both concerned about the nation's moral condition and confused about morality itself," Barna commented about their findings.

The full report can be viewed here.

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Tags: Barna Group, EthicsDaily Staff, Morality


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