Gallup Poll Shows American Moral Pessimism

Gallup asked if the state of moral values in America is “getting better” or “worse,” 72% of Americans responded “worse.”

Although married, churchgoing, or Republican Americans were the most negative, Gallup pointed out, “No major demographic group evaluates moral values positively overall.”

But here’s the irony: Many of the Americans who recognize our moral problems are also the quickest to justify them.

As a country, we have a higher tolerance than ever for divorce (68% believe it’s morally acceptable), premarital sex (63%), out-of-wedlock births (60%), and homosexual behavior (59%). On two explosive issues–human cloning and polygamy–the public’s support has actually doubled. Believe it or not, more Americans now have a problem with “wearing fur” (59%) than aborting a human life (42%). Only adultery lost ground in the battle over values–falling just a single point, from 7% approval to 6%.

Gallup’s Bottom Line:

Last year, Gallup asked Americans to give their views on the most important problem with the state of moral values. Americans were more likely to cite a lack of respect or tolerance for other people than divisive political and social issues such as abortion or same-sex marriage. So their sour outlook on U.S. values may have more to do with basic matters of civility than with the more controversial moral issues that currently divide Americans.