Christian pollster George Barna made a controversial argument Wednesday night that Americans are to blame for the destruction of their country and it is up to faith groups to restore it.
The once great United States is decaying, declared Barna to a crowd of hundreds of Christian journalists on the opening night of the Evangelical Press Association/Associated Church Press Convention.
America's divorce, abortion, sexually transmitted disease, spousal abuse and crime rates are the highest or among the highest compared to other developed nations. And the percentage of students graduating from high school on time has not changed in 32 years.
"The enemy of America today is not Iraq. It is not Afghanistan or communism. It is not Somalian pirates. It's the moral degradation and spiritual complacency of Americans," contended Barna, founder of the research firm The Barna Group. "In essence it is the willingness of Americans to become victims of the imposition of values and objectives that defy our common good."
Many factors have led to America's deterioration, he said, including moving from mass production to mass consumption, moving from common values to now radical individualism with personal values, and competition among faith groups rather than cooperation.
"Just think about the shift in mottos that characterize our nation," Barna noted. "We talked about one nation under God, but today really we are one nation under self, sometimes aided by one or more gods."
"We shifted from a nation that said ‘In God We Trust' to reality and self we trust," he said. "We transitioned from being a land of the free and the home of the brave, to now we are the land of the indebted and the home of the self-indulgent. We also shifted from a land that believes you can be all you can be to now it's get all you can get."
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