Barna: Americans now accept ‘lying, abortion’ and reject ‘moral truth’


It’s no longer an America where Opie Taylor on the Andy Griffith show would face consequences for lying.

It’s not even the “M.A.S.H.” society where good usually was a clear choice among the bad things that happen in life, and the gray areas left people feeling uncomfortable.

Or where a deceiving interloper, created by Disney, would get his comeuppance while trying to destroy Princess Anna of Arendelle.

Now it’s a place where, “A majority of adults accept lying, abortion, consensual intercourse between unmarried adults, gay marriage, and the rejection of absolute moral truth as morally acceptable.”

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It’s where “Less than half of all adults embrace the Bible as their primary guide to morality. A minority believes that every moral choice either honors or dishonors God.”

It’s where “A large minority of adults accept the notion that as long as you do no harm, you may do whatever you wish.”

That’s all according to research from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, which has released its “American Worldview Inventory 2024.”

It bluntly warns, “What Millennials began, Gen Z is accelerating, regarding the generational transformation of the nation’s moral landscape.” Center Director George Barna found that “biblical worldview incident in the U.S. has declined for five consecutive generations and during that time, the number of adults holding a biblical worldview has plummeted … to 4%.”

And it’s continuing.

“Our studies of teenagers and preteens indicate that the national incidence will drop another two points within the next 15 years, unless some dramatic and unusually effective spiritual renewal event occurs.”

In fact, “traditional morality” has become a casualty as Millennials and Gen Zs replace Boomers, ages 60-78, and elders, ages 79 and older, as the largest part of the adult population.

The assessment explained, “While Millennials have disrupted and reshaped moral beliefs and behavioral norms established by Boomers and Busters (Also known as Gen X, ages 41 to 59), Gen Z (born between 2003 and 2021) is maintaining or accelerating these trends, and is further reshaping or solidifying these as the new moral norms.”

Those include that while six out of 10 Boomers and Busters consider having an abortion “to be acceptable behavior,” for the younger set its nearly seven out of 10.

Then “consensual sex between unmarried adults” gets approval from 69% of Millennials and 73% of Gen Zs.

Even, “refusing to repay a loan that is due,” is now approved.

“Overall, about one-quarter of adults from generations encompassing people 55 and older say they accept the refusal to repay a loan to a wealthy relative who does not push for repayment to be morally acceptable. Nearly twice as many younger adults accept such refusal to repay what is due to be morally defensible (42% of Millennials, 50% of Gen Zs).”

Gen Z now is forging even “new levels of acceptance” of behaviors.

Six of 10 say “lying to protect your personal best interests is morally acceptable.”

And 66% of Gen Z say it’s morally fine to do “anything you desire as long as it does no harm,” a standard that Millennials, at 55%, are close to reaching.

Key to the results is that only 21% of Gen Z “identify the Bible as their primary source of moral guidance, lower even that the 29% for Millennials.

The report continued:

“Like the Millennials before them, Gen Z reflects similar levels of support for gay marriage, the rejection of absolute moral truth, and the dismissal of the notion that every moral choice either honors or dishonors God.

Knowing that most spiritual and moral beliefs and behaviors do not change during the adult years unless a significant, life-transforming personal crisis intervenes, it is unlikely, Barna says, that the worldview elements that characterize Gen Z today will change substantially in the years to come.

However, there are two noteworthy exceptions to the worldview continuum.

Gen Zers are less likely than people from earlier generations (including Millennials) to believe that people are basically good. This may be a result, Barna says, of the cultural turbulence they experienced during their formative years.

“Young adults tend to form their worldview primarily through feelings and personal experiences, rather than logic and facts,” Barna says. “Gen Z grew up with a daily bombardment of conflicting messages about right and wrong. Most of them lived in homes traumatized by divorce. Crime has escalated precipitously in recent years. War and terrorism have been constant, looming threats. Bullying, pedophilia, and child trafficking have been part of their life’s narrative. Under such conditions, and without any kind of deeper spiritual wisdom provided to put these matters in context, it is not surprising that so many young adults feel their way through uncertain times and conclude that human beings are not inherently good.”

Barna noted the irony:

“Millennials and Gen X have largely dismissed Christianity as irrelevant. Yet, they’re coming to the same conclusion as the Bible: that people are not basically good. We’re sinners. Sin distorts our minds and hearts, producing bad choice after bad choice. Repentance and reliance upon Jesus Christ are the solutions—an antidote that people also dismiss as ‘old-fashioned’ or ‘foolish.’ But biblical truths are the only reliable truths and they serve us best.”

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Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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