Brushing up on Our Moral Hygiene

Barb Wire

Most of us don’t need a national poll to tell us what the headlines already do: America is headed in the wrong direction. Not just economically, but morally. The two parties disagree on plenty of things, but that’s not one of them.

The majority of voters from both parties think the country is in a cultural freefall, Gallup found. “Americans remain far more likely to say the state of moral values in the U.S. is getting worse (73 percent) than to say it is getting better (20 percent).” And that includes the majority of Republicans (84 percent) and Democrats (61 percent). Together, both sides agree that there’s a “decline in U.S. standards and a lack of respect for one another, as well as poor values instilled by parents and reflected among government officials.”

In a nation where states are fighting for their most basic rights, is it any wonder that Americans feel a lack of civility taking hold? But beyond the surface problems, there’s a much deeper issue at work. President George Washington warned of this very thing in his farewell address to the nation, saying: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports.” Liberals have spent years scrubbing faith from the public school to the public square — and then seem surprised when there’s no morality. Washington was clear even then that “…Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

To Washington, this wasn’t just a matter of being uncomfortable or pessimistic about the future — it was about the very preservation of the republic. So how do we reverse the trend? Well, fortunately, we don’t have to wait on politicians to do something. We’re empowered to affect the change right where we are: as parents in the home transferring our values to our kids; as churches, performing outreach to people who aren’t hearing the gospel; as citizens, defending our morals in our school boards and city councils. This is exactly why religious liberty matters. As believers, we have to advance Christ and make no apologies for it. As Washington said, the future of the republic depends on it.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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