Americans More Accepting of Immorality Than Ever Before, Gallup Finds

Americans today are supportive of divorce and pornography in record high numbers, according to new Gallup findings.

(Photo: Reuters/Marko Djurica)A gay rights activist holds a rainbow flag while marching in downtown Belgrade September 27, 2013.

Gallup released the findings of their annual "Values and Beliefs" survey, which found that on many social issues Americans have the "most left-leaning" views to date.

On issues like divorce, same-sex relationships, having a child out of wedlock, and polygamy, Americans have either tied past record high support or broken the record for acceptance.

Record highs noted in their findings, which were released Thursday, include support for birth control (91 percent), divorce (73 percent), same-sex relationships (63 percent), and pornography (36 percent).

"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," noted Gallup in the report.

"No issues show meaningful change toward more traditionally conservative positions compared with when Gallup first measured them [in 2001]."

Gallup also explained that the leftward trend of the various social issues has been the "ongoing" trend for the past few years.

"The leftward movement in perceptions of what is morally acceptable has been ongoing, with Gallup also noting shifts in 2014 and 2015. Since then, there have been additional, albeit slight, changes in a more permissive direction," continued Gallup.

"On an absolute basis, Americans are most likely to view birth control, divorce and sex between unmarried people as morally acceptable. At least two-thirds say each of these is OK."

A Lifeway Research poll revealed this week that 81 percent of Americans are concerned about declining moral behavior in their country.

"We are shifting very fast from a world where right and wrong didn't change to a world where right and wrong are relative," Lifeway Research Executive Director Scott McConnell said in a statement. "We are not all on the same page when it comes to morality. And we haven't reckoned with what that means."

Last year, Gallup reported that 89 percent of respondents believed that birth control was morally acceptable while 72 percent viewed divorce as morally acceptable.

In their 2016 report, Gallup noted that the least morally acceptable practices included extramarital affairs, suicide, polygamy, and human cloning. But 11 of 19 topics were viewed as morally acceptable.

Regarding the news of the 2017 Gallup report and its talk of record high permissiveness, Andrew T. Walker of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention took to Twitter to comment.

"The church does its best work when it's a contradiction to the culture," tweeted Walker.

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook