Looking for a new moral code

Barna has released a fascinating study on Americans’ moral beliefs. Eighty percent are worried about the nation’s moral condition, and yet there is little consensus about what morality is and how we can know the difference between right and wrong.

A majority believe that this knowledge is a matter of personal experience.  Three-quarters of Millennials believe “Whatever is right for your life or works best for you is the only truth you can know.” (I don’t understand how you can get from experience or “what works” to moral truth, given the difference between what “is” and what “ought to be.”  And how do you know “whatever is right for your life”?  Isn’t that the question we are trying to figure out?)  [Read more…]

Millennials are moving to the suburbs

Contrary to the free-floating urbanite stereotype of millennials, that under-35-year-old generation is now preoccupied with buying houses in the suburbs.

Could it be that rather than over-generalizing about generational characteristics, what we have been seeing is far simpler?  Single people like living in cities, where possible mates are more plentiful and there is much more to do with them.  But once they get married and have children, cities lose their appeal in favor of bourgeois considerations like home ownership and looking for a “good place to raise a family.”

Perhaps the millennials have stayed single longer than other demographic groups, but eventually adulthood kicks in.  This might also apply to religious commitments, the lack of which among millennials has many churches worried.  But church attendance always drops off among single adults, only to pick up again among married couples, especially once they have children.

[Read more…]

Young voters prefer socialism, reject conservatism

A poll of first and second-time voters, age 18 to 26, has found that two-thirds prefer socialism or even communism to capitalism.  A majority believe that America is no better than any other country.  And only 15% favor Republicans.  This may spell doom for Republicans and conservatives in general for the next three decades.  So says pollster Frank Luntz.

I would say that once this cohort gains some life experience, some of their political beliefs will change.  That’s usually the pattern.  It certainly was for those of us in the Sixties generation.  I also suspect we are seeing the fruit of today’s educational system.  The founders believed that a free republic requires an educated citizenry.  Not just any kind of education, but a “liberal” education, the term coming from the Latin word for free citizens.  That is, the classical liberal education that expanded the mind, taught discernment, stressed the lessons of history, and studied the high points of our civilization.

When that kind of education is jettisoned in favor of relativism, revisionism, and leftist political indoctrination, what can we expect?  Why wouldn’t they think that socialism and communism are “more compassionate” than capitalism, if they know nothing about economics, history, or objective reality? [Read more…]

Unintended consequences of megachurches

The larger the group, the less the individual involvement.  That’s a long-established finding of social science.  So what does that mean for very large churches?  New research has shown that those who attend megachurches are less involved in their congregation than those who attend smaller churches.  That may be obvious, but the researcher then raises a disturbing question:  Has the rise of the megachurch thus contributed to the overall decline of religion in the United States?

I am not attacking big churches.  It’s natural for a congregation to want to become as big as possible, and many large congregations are quite orthodox.  But churches need to face up to this data.  Are there other unintended consequences of megachurches?  Is there a way to counter them?  How might a big congregation increase individual involvement?  Or should big churches split into smaller congregations, once they reach a particular size?

[Read more…]

Millennials like socialism, but don’t want a government-run economy

Millennials–young adults 30 and younger–like socialism.  85% of that cohort in Iowa and New Hampshire voted for socialist Bernie Sanders, and a majority (53%) in one poll favor socialism over capitalism.  At the same time, 64% of this age group do not want the government running the economy, preferring instead the workings of the “free market”!

Which tells us that Millennials are such relativists that they have no problems believing in two contradictory ideas, or don’t know what socialism is, or have never been taught economics in school, or all of the above.  They also have no memories of the Cold War, with its death struggle between capitalism and communism, and no experience with socialistic experiments, such as the Nixon administration’s wage-and-price controls, which gave us gasoline and food shortages.  (Anybody remember that?  And Nixon is usually portrayed as a conservative!)

Read the research from the Federalist, linked after the jump. [Read more…]

Less than half of American children live with both parents

There are lots of disturbing statistics that get thrown out by every latest study.  Phil Lawler identifies the most disturbing of all, the one that has the most devastating implications for our society, our culture, and our people:  Fewer than half of our children today, 46%, live with both of their parents. [Read more…]