And We Thought Boomers Were Loose
by Candice Watters on 10/31/2006 at 6:12 AM
Pollster George Barna's newest survey results reveal a sickening trend among "Busters" (currently 23-41 year-olds) -- we're more immoral than the Boomers.
Among their findings:
Busters were twice as likely to have viewed sexually explicit movies or videos; two and a half times more likely to report having had a sexual encounter outside of marriage; and three times more likely to have viewed sexually graphic content online.
But many Busters also defy sexual convention in their attitudes. For instance, more than two-thirds of the generation said that cohabitation and sexual fantasies are morally acceptable behaviors, compared with half of older adults. Most young adults contended that engaging in sex outside of marriage and viewing pornography are not morally problematic, while only one-third of pre-Busters agreed. Almost half of Busters believed that sexual relationships between people of the same sex are acceptable, compared with one-quarter of older adults.
Equally troubling was the report's emphasis on crude and coarse behavior. We're not as kind or respectful of others as were our parents. Writes Barna:
...on a deeper level, the new rules of morality affect how young adults interact with others, creating less civility, respect, or patience. Busters were twice as likely as their parents’ generation to use profanity in public, to say mean things about others behind their back, to tell something to another person that was not true, to do something to get back at someone who hurt or offended them, to take something that didn’t belong to them, and to physically fight or abuse someone.
There's a fundamental disconnect from knowing what is right and wrong. They found, "Two-thirds of those over 40 said humans should determine what is right and wrong morally by examining God’s principles; less than half of Busters felt this way. Instead, nearly half of Busters said that ethics and morals are based on 'what is right for the person,' compared with just one-quarter of pre-Busters."
It's tragic, but not surprising. Think about what you learned -- and didn't -- in the public schools. What outcome did they expect when they shifted the emphasis to tolerance, coupled with relativism, in the absence of absolutes like the Ten Commandments? We'd all be fools to expect anything different.
But values is all the rage, Boomers claim. What happened to all that character education? So dutifully underpinned by values?
Recently I was reading Vigen Guroian's Tending the Heart of Virtue where he exposes the real meaning of values. Far from a standard for shaping morality,
"[V]alues" belong to those things we call individual lifestyels, and in common discourse a lifestyel is something we choose and even exchange for another according to our personal preferences and tastes, much in the same way that we might replace on wardrobe with another.
Does faith make a difference?
According to the findings,
Born again Busters were somewhat less likely to illegally download music, to smoke, to view pornography, to purchase a lottery ticket, or to use profanity. However, young believers were actually more likely than non-believers to try to get back at someone and to have stolen something. Moreover, on eight of the 16 behaviors, the profile of born again Busters was virtually identical to that of non-born again Busters.
These results are sobering. I'm reminded of James' matter-of-fact remark that "faith without works is dead." It does no good to believe in God if we don't obey His commands. Even the demons believe in God. From the looks of this survey, our generation has a lot of reviving to do.