Event Banner

Poll Shows Americans Are Losing American Values: How Should Christians Respond?


Christians, the moment is now. We must all focus on and stand up for what is true, noble, pure, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) or our children will inherit a nation with no redeeming values — including the right to teach their children about God and His righteous ways.”

The left’s longstanding work portraying America as an evil nation, banning prayer and Christian morality from schools and everywhere else in the public square, and demanding allegiance to secular humanism and its religious tenets is now bearing dark fruit.

That’s not just an observation. A new poll puts some hard numbers behind the belief that our country is heading in the wrong moral direction.

The Wall Street Journal and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago recently found that when asked about longstanding American values like religious faith, having children, and patriotism, Americans viewed nearly every single one as less important than before COVID. The poll asked questions of those surveyed about “the American character, that is, about our values and who we are… How important are each of the values to you personally?”

Having children was seen as very important by just 30 percent of those questioned, compared to 2019 when 43 percent said it was very important. Religion was seen as very important by 39 percent of respondents, a decrease from 48 percent in 2019. Belief in God was seen as very important by 48 percent compared to 52 percent in 2019.

Those are significant drops, both statistically and by what those low numbers mean for America’s character. Yet the largest percentage decreases were in other values.

Tolerance for others and hard work both decreased significantly over four years. While 80 percent thought tolerance for others was very important in 2019, only 58 percent thought so in the most recent survey. In 2019, 89 percent viewed hard work as very important; now just 67 percent share that view.

Those who said patriotism was very important dropped from 61 percent in 2019 to 38 percent this year. In 2019, 62 percent viewed community involvement as very important, but that view has since dropped to 27 percent.

Bill McInturff, a pollster who worked on a previous WSJ survey, commented, “These differences are so dramatic, it paints a new and surprising portrait of a changing America.” He theorized that “perhaps the toll of our political division, Covid and the lowest economic confidence in decades is having a startling effect on our core values.”

The last several years have undoubtedly had tremendous impact on Americans’ values but it wasn’t because of the threat of getting sick from a virus, political divisions, or economic malaise. The country has been through all of those things before.

What changed everything was the government’s decision to use the COVID crisis to lock down Americans in their homes and force-feed them a healthy diet of fear and propaganda. Just think about the new narratives that politicians, activists, and the media racheted up and made stick during this time, among them that America is systemically racist; that climate change is an existential threat and people shouldn’t hasten the earth’s demise by having babies; that there are dozens of different genders; that the best way to improve public safety is to “defund the police”; that hard work, education, punctuality, attending church, and adhering to biblical truth are all forms of “white supremacy”; and so on.

What we experienced was the Marxist tactic of “demoralization” in action, and it’s little wonder that so many Americans would suddenly forswear those good American values they once held dear.

The COVID lockdowns were deployed as an accelerant to complete the longstanding effort to undermine not just the core values of our nation but also its moral code and ability to discern truth.

The Bible tells us that the ultimate purpose of government, is “to restrain evil so that the people of God may continue in the good works to which God has called them for the sake of the Gospel,” as Standing for Freedom contributor Dr. Tim Yonts has rightly pointed out.

But our government is not only not restraining evil, it is actively fostering it through policy, financial incentives, and words. Government today encourages people to be, among so many examples,

But churches and Christian leaders can’t be let off the hook here. Many of them bear responsibility for this cultural rot as well. Their embrace of false gospels, in the pulpits and in Christian writings, went a long way towards unmooring Americans from biblical truth as they insisted that God only wants us to be happy or rich in this life or that the Bible isn’t a science book and it only whispers about sexual sin or that Christians shouldn’t speak clear biblical truth to a lying culture because it’s not the way to “love your neighbor.”

Perhaps most devastating, some Christian leaders have convinced parents that by teaching the entirety of the Bible and its “unpopular” truths — i.e., killing a child in the womb is just as wrong as murdering any other human being and there are only two genders — they will sentence their children to a life of social struggle and be viewed as “bad” parents.

What’s the way forward? It’s simple, though not easy: The nation must turn back to God and His righteous commands. And Christians must lead the way by embracing God’s Word (in its entirety) and teaching it to the next generation.

As Israel was getting ready to enter the Promised Land, God gave Moses many things to teach the people, which he wrote in the book of Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy 6:4-9 the Lord said through Moses,

“‘Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.’”

Tragically Israel’s older generations didn’t teach the younger. They rebelled against the Lord. Israel and Judah experienced much suffering because they would not continue to follow God. Cycles of rebellion, leading to other nations harming them, leading to cries for God’s help and His deliverance, finally led to their destruction and captivity.

In the U.S., many of our founders came here to worship God, and they established a nation built on biblical morals. Though God blessed the country, parents failed to teach their children about God. In so doing, they allowed secularists to swoop in and chip away at the truth that objective morality is found only in God and, in the process, to slowly erode the core values of our nation.

Today we see a country that is increasingly rejecting Judeo-Christian teaching and we see parents who don’t even think they have a right, much less a duty, to teach their children that God’s ways are best.

It is not too late. Parents, grandparents, and all adults must start teaching God’s truth to the next generation — and not just on Sunday morning but at every possible opportunity.

And we must start living out our faith boldly.

Christians, study your Bibles regularly so you always have a biblical answer for the lies the world is telling your children. Preach the Gospel within your community and always be an example of Christ’s grace. Go to a Bible-preaching church regularly and renew your spirit with sound teaching and fellowship with like-minded Christians.

In addition, you must do your civic duty. Vote for political candidates who share your biblical values in every election open to you. Volunteer within the community, your public library, and your local schools. If possible, run for office.

Finally, we must all pray without ceasing that our country will repent and turn back to God — so our nation will turn away from this darkness that threatens to permanently overtake its people.

Christians, the moment is now. We must all focus on and stand up for what is true, noble, pure, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) or our children will inherit a nation with no redeeming values — including the right to teach their children about God and His righteous ways.

Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.

Not Just Conservative.

Christian conservative news and issues that matter. Curated just for you!

Tired of your social media feed being censored?

For more timely, informative, and faith-based content, subscribe to the Standing for Freedom Center Newsletter

Join us in our mission to secure the foundations of freedom for future generations
Donate Now
Completing this poll entitles you to receive communications from Liberty University free of charge.  You may opt out at any time.  You also agree to our Privacy Policy.