A majority of Americans are deeply concerned about the country’s moral direction, according to a new “Faith in America” survey conducted by the Marist College Poll.
The survey released by Deseret News Tuesday found 72 percent of Americans believe “the nation’s moral compass is pointed in the wrong direction,” while 22 percent think it is headed in the right one.
Hal Boyd, executive editor of Deseret National, commented on the general religious beliefs and practices of Americans today.
“Religious service attendance has continued to trend downward over the past decade, despite over half of Americans saying they believe in God as described in the Bible or pray daily,” Boyd said in a statement.
“With younger age groups less likely to attend religious services than their older counterparts, the downward trend of religious attendance is likely to continue,” he added. “Though all generations of Americans believe it is necessary to follow the Golden Rule, younger generations are less likely than their older counterparts to believe that being religious is necessary in order to live a moral life. Americans actually find themselves looking to family more often than religious teachings when looking for sources of moral guidance.”
The poll found that Americans look first to family, 79 percent, and friends, 65 percent, and the rule of law, 66 percent, before religious teachings, 63 percent.
About seven in 10 Americans consider themselves spiritual, according to the survey, regardless of whether they practice a religion or not.
More than half of Americans, 54 percent of Americans, say they believe in God as described in the Bible.
But beliefs in religion are strongly influenced by political affiliation.
A majority of Republicans, 70 percent, believe someone’s politics should be influenced by their religion, while only 28 percent of Democrats believe that and 45 percent of Independents.
Most Republicans, 90 percent, say America’s moral compass is broken, and a little over half of Democrats, 51 percent, agree.
Finally, Republicans, 81 percent, believe the Constitution was inspired by God, while 55 percent of Independents and only 36 percent of Democrats agree.
The survey was conducted between Jan. 19-26 among 1,653 U.S. adults.