Americans more tolerant of immorality than ever before, says new poll

(Reuters/Marvin Gentry)Supporters of same-sex marriage hold a rainbow flag and a rainbow umbrella outside Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama February 9, 2015.

A new Gallup poll has found that Americans today are more tolerant of behaviors that were previously deemed unacceptable in society.

In its annual Values and Beliefs poll, Gallup has found that Americans today have the "most left-leaning" views regarding various social issues like same-sex relationships, sex between unmarried people and divorce.

"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 researchers noted in the report, according to The Christian Post.

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

The findings, which were released on Thursday, indicated that there is a record high in the support for birth control (91 percent), divorce (73 percent), same-sex relationships (63 percent), and pornography (36 percent). At the same time, there has been a record low in the support for the death penalty (58 percent) and medical testing on animals (51 percent).

The public is still divided on the issue of abortion, with 43 percent of Americans saying it is morally acceptable and 49 percent saying it is morally wrong.

There has been virtually no change in the public's perception of birth control. Between 89 and 91 percent have found it morally acceptable since Gallup first asked about it in 2012. Other issues that showed no change since it was first measured by Gallup are abortion, buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur, extramarital affairs, cloning animals and gambling.

The researchers also noted that Americans are also the least likely to believe that suicide, polygamy, human cloning, extramarital affairs are permissible. Fewer than one in five have stated that the said practices were morally acceptable.

Gallup further explained that the leftward shift in perceptions of what is morally acceptable has been an ongoing trend, with shifts occurring in 2014 and 2015.

The survey findings were based on telephone interviews conducted on May 3–7, 2017 with a random sample of 1,011 adults living in the U.S. Gallup first conducted the Values and Beliefs poll in 2001 with questions regarding 13 issues, with additional items added in subsequent years.

Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Lifeway Research has indicated that 81 percent of Americans are concerned about the decline or 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.

"We are not all on the same page when it comes to morality. And we haven't reckoned with what that means," he added.

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