As we approach the midpoint of 2022, there are many disconcerting trends that are troubling our nation. Skyrocketing inflation and energy costs are hurting all but the very wealthy. The wave of violence and crime continues to afflict particularly large urban areas but is being felt everywhere. Moral decay persistently tears at the fabric of human society as we drift further from the patterns ordained by the Creator. Weakened families are failing to provide stable environments in which children may be established to provide sound, courageous leadership for future generations.
At the root of these degenerative patterns is a waning national conviction of the existence of God. Gallop’s poll conducted in May 2022 reveals the lowest percentage of Americans expressing belief in God ever recorded. This year 81% of people surveyed answered that they believe in God – down six percentage points from the 87% who expressed their belief in God in the 2017 poll.
When this question was first asked in 1944, and twice annually through the 1950s and 1960s, consistently 98% of respondents indicated their belief in God. By 2011 the percentage had dropped to 92%. So, over the past decade, the pattern of disbelief has fallen over 10 percentage points.
When nearly 20% of the population refuses to acknowledge that there is a God to whom they are ultimately accountable, such disbelief will inevitably affect human behavior and social trends in a negative way. Some of those degenerative patterns were noted earlier.
Indeed, most Americans understand that all is not well. A Gallop poll released on June 15th indicated that half of Americans rate the overall state of moral values in the US as “poor.” Another 37% rated morals as “only fair.” Not surprisingly, these are the worst ratings received in the 20 years that Gallop has been asking the question.
Our task as God-fearing followers of Christ is to ensure that our lives daily reflect the conviction that there is a God in heaven who rules in the affairs of men. Scripture declares that only a fool tells himself that there is no God. In our time we see many highly educated people living as fools.
If there is hope for America, it will be found in a renewed commitment to our national Pledge of Allegiance which affirms that we are “one nation, under God.” Whether as individuals, or as a nation, living as if there is no God will lead inevitably to devastating consequences such as we are witnessing in these perilous times.
As we celebrate Independence Day, let us pray that the God of mercy will send revival and renewal across our troubled land.