Pray for us? Americans see nation lacking in morality

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Ernestine Cuellar raises her hands in prayer during a rally on Boston Common in 2016. (Elise Amendola/AP Photo)

Ernestine Cuellar raises her hands in prayer during a rally on Boston Common in 2016. (Elise Amendola/AP Photo)

NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller sits down for his weekly conversation with Gallup’s Frank Newport to talk about trends in U.S. opinion.

The NFL announced this week a new policy that players and teams can be fined if they kneel during the national anthem. Most polls asking about whether it’s appropriate to kneel during the anthem find the nation is split, with at tilt toward saying it’s not right. A poll conducted earlier this year by the Washington Post showed that a slight majority of 53 percent said it was never appropriate for players to kneel during the anthem, but the results vary widely by race, age, and party.

The Trump administration last week decided that federal money will be withheld from health clinics that promote abortion, pushing that issue back into the public spotlight. Controversies continue on a number of other “values” issues, as well as concerns about the morality of government and business officials.

With all of that said, it’s perhaps not surprising that Americans continue to rate the state of the nation’s moral values in the U.S. as very low. In fact, new data show that only 1 percent say “the overall state of moral values in this country today” is excellent; 13 percent say it’s good; and 49 percent consider it poor. More than three-quarters of Americans say moral values are slipping.

Americans are largely negative over the Trump administration’s ethics compared with previous presidents; 37 percent rate ethics of the president’s team as excellent or good, the lowest of any administration we have measured going back through Reagan.

Listen to the audio above to hear the full conversation.

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