The Moral Decline of the United States


Principles of Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness


1. “The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now. They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty”. John Adams

Definition of virtue, according to

“A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness. In other words, it is a behavior that shows high moral standards. Doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong”.

What is the purpose of the U.S. Constitution?

“The primary purpose of the U.S. Constitution was to form a government for the new federation of states. Shortly thereafter the Constitution was amended with the Bill of Rights. It’s purpose was to establish the rights of citizens which could not be curbed by the government nor by populism.”


U.S. Constitution and America was based upon Christian principles, found in God’s Word. Virtues, as discussed in the above John Adams quote, is “doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong”. The Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and God’s love laws (love thy neighbor as thyself, love God with all thine heart) are examples of virtues that America should follow. In Joshua 1:7-9, God’s inspired Word says: “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Success in all areas of life, including following the American Dream (life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness), involves studying God’s Book of Instruction, the Bible.

A. “No man is free who is not a master of himself”. Epictetus

John Quincy Adams believed “Christianity, had, all in all, been a ‘civilizing force, checking and controlling the anti-social passions of man’”.

Noah Webster said, “All the… evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”

According to Patrick Henry, “The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible.”

The Bible guides us in having correct beliefs of what is right and wrong. By letting the Holy Spirit control our lives, He enables us to have moral goodness, which makes us “invincible”. Unfortunately, when we continuously disobey God, we are vulnerable to life struggles, in our pursuits toward happiness. (Abiding in Christ is the secret toward true happiness.) Please read Luke 6:46-49:

“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”

Our lives can be analogous to the “house”, described of, in the previous verses. “When someone listens and heeds God’s teachings”, it is like “building the foundation of their life on solid rock”. When life storms rise and beat against our lives, we stand firm because our “house is well built”; however, when we disobey God repeatedly, it is like building your life and American dream without a foundation. When you face adversity, your life is more susceptible to collapse under the pressure. This is partially, because, the consequences of disobedience become much and much greater, and you aren’t in fellowship with God when you disobey.

B. “Without virtue, happiness cannot be.” Thomas Jefferson

Sin creates unstable conditions, making it harder to reach the dreams that make you happy.

The consequences that sins bring is a curse from disobedience. Please read Deuteronomy 28:1-19:

“If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the LORD your God:

Your towns and your fields
will be blessed.

Your children and your crops
will be blessed.

The offspring of your herds and flocks
will be blessed.

Your fruit baskets and breadboards
will be blessed.

Wherever you go and whatever you do,
you will be blessed.”

“The LORD will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven!

“The LORD will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

“If you obey the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways, the LORD will establish you as his holy people as he swore he would do. Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the LORD, and they will stand in awe of you.

“The LORD will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, blessing you with many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops. The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them. If you listen to these commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom. You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today, nor follow after other gods and worship them.

“But if you refuse to listen to the LORD your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you:

Your towns and your fields
will be cursed.

Your fruit baskets and breadboards
will be cursed.

Your children and your crops
will be cursed.

The offspring of your herds and flocks
will be cursed.

Wherever you go and whatever you do,
you will be cursed.”

These were the words of God to His people in Israel. Thankfully, God’s grace withholds much of His anger on sin, thanks to the cross, to the Christian (God, disciplines in love, Christians who sin, but judges the wicked with wrath). “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins – for those who believe in Him and accept His gift will receive everlasting life and not hell. See plan of salvation on how to become a Christian.

C. “[L]iberty cannot be preserved, if the manners of the people are corrupted . . .”  Algernon Sidney

In our country, man is allowed to pursue happiness as long as it is not illegal or injurious to another’s individual rights. When they break the law, the liberty or freedom to choose without restraints is restricted to preserve human freedom. If people don’t obey Ten Commandments (murder, lie, steal, etc.), the consequences of their evil acts injures another person, creating unstable conditions, limiting the freedoms and opportunity to pursue their happiness, a bit, depending upon the severity of the crime. For example, a drunk driver hits a pedestrian and cripples the person for life. The crippled person is limited to a wheelchair, and experiences limitations in what he can or cannot do. Thus, his pursuit of happiness is constricted, and his liberty is limited a bit, because he cannot choose freely without restraints. Thus, to punish the drunk driver (so he would be less willing to do it again, to hurt another person), his freedom and liberty is restricted for a while. He spends time in jail, loses his license, limiting his freedom, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

“A man reaps what he sows” (see Galatians 6:7-8). Laws are created to punish and to restrict freedom, to avoid people deliberately and heinously injuring another for personal gain. Thus, “liberty must be limited in order to be possessed” (Edmund Burke). If this doesn’t happen, chaos, retribution, and survival of the fittest would rule in this world, undermining “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness”. Without rules and restrictions of freedom, man will reciprocally injure another for personal gain. That is why God created the law, “love thy neighbor as thyself” (“for love does no wrong, and is fulfillment of the law” – Romans 13:10). If people don’t love, freedom gets restricted as self-interests and eye’s for eye’s harm another in their pursuits toward personal happiness. The more sinful a group of people become, the stricter God’s laws are need to punish and enforce deviant behavior. This means less and less freedom of the people, to protect each other from each other.

To secure the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, God instituted governments, to create policies, laws, and to enforce these rules. George Washington believed, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” Our country is a Christian nation and should reflect the principles of God.

D. “A state is nothing more than a reflection of its citizens; the more decent the citizens, the more decent the state.” Ronald Reagan

The government are people prone to sin just as its citizens. Politicians are leaders chosen by the people. They are to lead our country toward “securing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” They do this by following Christian principles, found in God’s Word. If Christianity isn’t prevalent in the nation, then less of the people are prone to practice moral goodness and follow God’s laws; this includes, everyone, including the government leaders. Government leaders will also deliberately injure people for personal gain as well as the people. “It is certainly true that a popular government cannot flourish without virtue in the people.” Richard Henry Lee

American today is in moral decline. Please read the following quotes by our founding fathers. Reflect upon how they relate to America today.

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
Benjamin Franklin

“The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful and virtuous.”
Frederick Douglas

“…if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded.”
Noah Webster

“… the manners of the people in general are of the utmost moment to the stability of any civil society. When the body of a people are altogether corrupt in their manners, the government is ripe for dissolution.” John Witherspoon

“Laws without morals are in vain.” Benjamin Franklin (Motto of the University of Pennsylvania)

“A nation as a society forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society.” Thomas Jefferson

“When virtue is banished, ambition invades the minds of those who are disposed to receive it, and avarice possesses the whole community.” Montesquieu (written by Thomas Jefferson in his Common Place Book).

“The order of nature [is] that individual happiness shall be inseparable from the practice of virtue.”
Thomas Jefferson

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it”. H.L. Mencken.


2. What America Says They Believe About Morality and our Country


“81 percent of Americans are concerned about the moral decline of our country.”

When the following statement was said: “Implementing laws to encourage people to act morally is not effective”, 63 percent agreed and 37 percent disagreed.

On the other hand, 44 percent of Americans believe the following statement: “The fewer laws regulating moral standards, the better.”
51 percent of Americans also think “too many laws about moral standards have been removed”. 72 percent of those with evangelical beliefs support that statement, more than Americans without evangelical beliefs (46 percent). Christians (55 percent) are more likely to believe that “too many laws about moral standards have been removed” than those of other faiths (36 percent), or “nones” (42 percent).

Half of America (52 percent) says “right and wrong never change”. 32 percent believe in the statement: “whether or not someone gets hurt plays a role in determining if something is right or wrong”. When thinking about morality, 24 percent consider whether something is legal; 20 percent, whether of not the benefits outweigh the costs, and 8 percent on what the majority of people think, and 10 percent, whether an institution gets hurt.

LifeWay Research studied the “factors that shape the shared moral views Americans think society should hold.”

Two ways researchers asked the question. First, Americans were given by LifeWay Research, a list of potential factors and asked them to select as many as applied. “Among those influences: parents (64 percent), religious beliefs (50 percent), personal feelings (42 percent), friends (35 percent), teachers (26 percent) and media like books, movies and music (14 percent).”

When asked which of the previous factors “are the most influential in shaping their moral views”, Americans said “their parents (39 percent), followed by their religious beliefs (26 percent) and their feelings (18 percent). Friends (4 percent), teachers (2 percent) and media (3 percent) are less influential”.

People having evangelical beliefs are most likely to state their faith (64 percent), rather than their parents (22 percent) are “most influential in shaping their moral views”. “Those who attend church once or more a month also say faith (51 percent) is the biggest influence on their morals – in contrast, to only 13 percent of those who attend less than once a month.”

“56 percent of Americans say belief in God is not necessary for someone to be moral and have good values, while 44 percent disagreed.”

In 2011, 49 percent of Americans thought “belief in God was not necessary for morality” and 48 percent said “it was necessary”.

3. Why are we in moral decline?

“Religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness.” Samuel Adams – Letter to John Trumbull, Oct 16 1778.

Christianity is the religion that America was founded on. Good morals come from studying God’s Word. Studying God’s Word, prayer, obeying His commands, and the presence of the Christian religion in human hearts is the solid foundation of freedom of mankind. The more that man abides in His Creator, the more that “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” dream becomes a reality of individual man. And the wiser decisions that our government leaders do in formulating policies that promote American freedom, from seeking the wisdom of God, the more moral a country as a whole can be, and the more successful a group of people become in achieving “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Our first president, George Washington, believed “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible”. Today, the majority of government leaders do not practice this philosophy. And the consequences affect America negatively today.

Our country struggles because Christian religion is beginning to fade out in this nation. Fewer Americans today believe in God or have a religious affiliation than ever before. 65 percent of American adults described themselves as Christian when asked about their religion, according to Pew research surveys, down 12 percent from the last ten years, and the number of those “unaffiliated with religion”, has increased 9 percent, from 17 percent in 2009, to 26 percent in 2019. “The country is becoming less religious as a whole, and it’s happening across the board”, someone said.

In the last ten years, regular church attendance has also sharply declined. It is extremely hard to have a close, moral, relationship with God when you hardly go to church. It is also difficult to handle to life pressures and challenges and to lead others to Christ when your faith is diminished. Choosing to love and not be selfish and not to injure or retribute another are all very hard tasks when you are not close to God. Hatred, selfishness, injuring another for personal gain, and retribution all negatively affect the spiritual and other freedoms of self and those around you. How can you build a solid foundation when you hardly go to church or presumably aren’t in the Word? When the floodwaters of life beat upon your house, are you able to withstand the pressure, without God being preeminent in your life?

The two biggest reasons for people being dissatisfied with religion is factions within the Christian church and also secularization of public schools in the United States. People have differing views of religion and many individuals don’t like it. Casual church goers may feel some churches are overly critical to others as there are divisions in the church. Dress codes, being judgmental over sins, not believing in what is preached, are examples of what can keep people out of church. There are varied of perceived reasons why people choose not to attend church.

The secularization of public schools in America is the issue I want to address in this article. It has been a problem for over a half century and it will worsen far greater for future generations if something isn’t done.

Secularization of Public Schools in America

“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.” Steve Straub

“Article III. Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall be forever by encouraged.” July 13, 1787 F.N. Thorpe, ed., Federal and State Constitutions (Washington: GPO, 1909), 2: 957).

“Religion is the only solid basis of good morals, therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man towards God.” Gouverneur Morris (1832).

A. Removing Bible and Prayer from Schools

On June 25, 1962, the United States Supreme Court stated in Engel v. Vitale that a prayer approved by the New York Board of Regents for use in schools violated the First Amendment because it represented establishment of religion. In 1963, in Abington School District v. Schempp, courts declared Bible readings in public schools was also unconstitutional, for the same reason. According to Education expert William Jeynes, there is a correlation between the declining of U.S. public school and these 1962 and 1963 declarations of our government.

Jeynes said, “One can argue, and some have, that the decision by the Supreme Court – in a series of three decisions back in 1962 and 1963 – to remove Bible and prayer from our public schools, may be the most spiritually significant event in our nation’s history over the course of the last 55 years,” According to William Jeynes, the following has happened in American public schools, since that Supreme Court act:

• Academic achievement has plummeted, including SAT scores.
• Increased rate of out-of-wedlock births
• Increase in illegal drug use
• Increase in juvenile crime
• Deterioration of school behavior

William Jeynes says further: “So we need to realize that these actions do have consequences. When we remove that moral fiber – that moral emphasis – this is what can result.” He also stated, that in comparison of the top five teacher complains from the years of 1940 to 1962 (which was talking, chewing gum, making noise, running in the halls, getting out of turn in line) has worsened immensely, from 1963 to now: rape, robbery, assault, burglary, and arson. These are definite signs of the moral character of students being undermined, with a correlation of our government removing prayer and the Bible from schools, in 1962 and 1963.

There is strong correlation between the removal of prayer and Bible from American schools and our country’s decline in morality. From 1960 to 1990, teenage pregnancy increased 200 percent, divorced doubled, teen suicide increased 300 percent, and violent crime went up 500 percent. Also, in a study made the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2007, in schools, 5.9 percent of students carry weapons to school with them, 7.8 percent of students have been threatened or injured on campuses nationwide, 12.4 percent of them have been in a physical fight on school grounds at least once, and 5.9 percent of students decide not to go to school because of safety reasons.

Prayer and Bible being removed from schools is really bad, but worse is that, our educational system in America overall today is failing to teach about the Christian heritage of our founding fathers – people need to fully understand the Christian responsibilities and privileges of the American dream – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They need to understand the importance of God in their lives; instead, courses teach that there is “no God, and that you can be good without God, and because there is no God, all actions are permitted”. They say that are “morals are based upon arbitrary feelings and opinions, culture, that we don’t have anti-social passions, or that we can have power inside us to control them without God. If there is no God, then if you feel you want to injure another for personal gain, then it’s okay, because there is no God to enforce punishment”. So, what is the big deal, you may ask?

“The God who gave us life”, gave us the freedom to pursue happiness as we please as long as it doesn’t injure another. Our morals are to inhibit us from harming others and to reduce their freedoms in our pursuits for personal gain, and to make sound decisions that don’t reduce our freedoms, happiness, stability, and security. When our modern education says that “your morals are based upon arbitrary feelings and personal opinions and attitudes and not on Ten Commandments”, and if you lie, steal, cheat, murder, rape, etc., and there is no God to enforce punishment for your crimes, then your moral character is determined and enforced solely by your parents, the government, and your culture. As generations go by, and there is less Christians in this nation to speak God’s truth, and as education continues to teach personal irresponsibility, the more and more of society’s population becomes irresponsible and immoral, including the government, parents, and teachers. Culture increasingly becomes “no God, all things are permitted”-slanted, making America far worse in its morality. Government, who as a majority, doesn’t follow God’s Word, becomes increasingly evil and deviant, and making more irresponsible policies and laws that bring forth more immoral people. Teenagers, into drugs, crime, and poor education, get pregnant at an early age, and are forced to become responsible, parents who have the responsibility to mold and train their children to become moral future leaders of America. Divorce inevitably occurs, leading their children to become psychologically damaged. And because Christianity is starting to die out, unless Christians do something about it, greater moral decline in our country will occur, producing more irresponsible citizens, government leaders, parents, teachers, and children.

I tragically read the following in an Internet article: “An 18-year-old girl attending her senior prom in New Jersey last spring allegedly delivered her baby in a rest room, disposed of it in a plastic bag where it suffocated to death, cleaned herself up, and went back to the dance floor, where she asked the DJ to play a favorite song. A teenage couple in Delaware has been charged with giving birth to a baby boy in a motel room and then tossing him into a trash dumpster, where he died a cold, horrifying death. A 15-year-old boy in Detroit who disappeared for six months had reportedly been sold by his mother to a drug dealer to cover a $1,000 cocaine debt”. This is America today and will get even worse in future generations, if something isn’t done about it.

Prayer has countless psychological, physical, and emotional advantages. Prayer can relieve stress, calm fears, and reduce anxiety as you focus on your emotions through praying. From April 1982 to May 1983, Randolph Byrd completed his famous study on prayer effects. He discovered praying on a regular basis can enormously improve the psyche of a person by stabilizing his mood, giving him a feeling of well-being, improving how he interacts with others, and positively changing the way he conducts himself. In relation to prayer in school being removed, and all of the deviant and violent behaviors of students since, prayer can have positive, constructive effects on the students’ outlooks on life and of the people around them. To achieve the American dream, and to survive, children must learn to pray. It is unfortunate that the government restricts is, role model parents are struggling, schools teach irresponsibility, and there is less Christians in this world to speak the truth and to help them.

“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” Theodore Roosevelt

4. “A nation as a society forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society.” Thomas Jefferson

Every person has a responsibility to his society not to injure another intentionally for personal gain. If he injures, he not only hurts others but also himself. In addition, love and not retribution is the key to freedom.
Part of love, which God teaches us to love, is to have compassion for your fellow man. Showing compassion involves many things; one is to help those in need. Let God guide you in your paths to help people with the problems they face. Be a light for them so they can find and experience Christ further, which will help them in their pursuit of happiness.

Mark 8:36 says, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” The American dream is important, but far more essential, is their salvation.

Finding Christ is the first step for eternal freedom for man. After they become a Christian, the more they grow in the Lord, the more moral they become. And the more moral they are, the less they injure others, making the American dream more of a reality for others. And the more loving they become, the more likely they will help you in your time of need.

America is like a house made up of many bricks. Each brick represents a U.S. citizen. The mortar that unites each brick can be comprised of many things: love and obedience to God’s laws; selfishness, hatred, ambition, and or irresponsible behaviors. Let’s have love and obedience to God’s laws become the mortar that binds America together. The foundation of the house of America used to be Christianity. Now its bad government and bad education. When the floodwaters of life beat against our house, will it remain firm?

Let’s convert people to Christ and replace our nation’s foundation back to God. Let God become the foundation of your life, and surrender daily to His particular dream for your life, and let Him guide you into becoming a point of light that can make an impression to the Americans and or others around you.

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