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Gallup On Post-Christian America

Gallup reports that the United States is now more socially liberal than it ever has been. Excerpt:

Americans continue to express an increasingly liberal outlook on what is morally acceptable, as their views on 10 of 19 moral issues that Gallup measures are the most left-leaning or permissive they have been to date. The percentages of U.S. adults who believe birth control, divorce, sex between unmarried people, gay or lesbian relations, having a baby outside of marriage, doctor-assisted suicide, pornography and polygamy are morally acceptable practices have tied record highs or set new ones this year. At the same time, record lows say the death penalty and medical testing on animals are morally acceptable.


Of the 19 issues included in this year’s poll, 13 show meaningful change in a liberal direction over time, regardless of whether they are currently at their high point in Gallup’s trend. No issues show meaningful change toward more traditionally conservative positions compared with when Gallup first measured them. That leaves six issues for which there has essentially been no change over time.

Emphasis mine. Here’s the chart. Commentary below it:

In The Benedict Option, I write:

Today we can see that we’ve lost on every front and that the swift and relentless currents of secularism have overwhelmed our flimsy barriers. Hostile secular nihilism has won the day in our nation’s government, and the culture has turned powerfully against traditional Christians. We tell ourselves that these developments have been imposed by a liberal elite, because we find the truth intolerable: The American people, either actively or passively, approve.

Conservative Christians, let’s be honest with ourselves. This is not going to turn around anytime soon. The young woman at the Evangelical college asked, genuinely, “What’s wrong with just loving Jesus with all our hearts, like I was raised to do?” These poll results show what’s wrong with that as the only strategy Christians have. Loving Jesus with all our hearts is necessary, but not sufficient. We have to know what that love entails — and what it excludes. If it’s nothing but emotion, then the post-Christian culture will define its expression.

A reader writes:

I think what people miss when they call you a “retreatist” is simply the extent to which you are pushing back on the intrusions of the state, market, and mass culture. It is they who have grown, who have invaded every nook and cranny of life and every relationship. To build bulwarks and fortresses is hardly an act of retreat but rather one of counteroffensive.


about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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