QUESTION #1: What is the latest findings of your research with SAGE Cons (Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservatives) regarding their view of American culture?


George Barna:

“What we found in the research is that 95% of SAGE Cons are not satisfied with the state of American culture today. They recognize it’s broken. Secondly, we wanted to find out from them, “Well, in what way is it broken?” So, we gave them 18 different adjectives and asked them, “Which, if any of these, characterize what you believe to be that current state of American culture?”

What we found was that there was a very clear mindset on the part of almost all of these individuals. For instance, we found 96% said that American culture today is self-indulgent; 94% said it’s selfish; 84% said it’s intolerant. 82% characterized America’s culture today as mean-spirited. 61% say it’s corrupt. 59% say it’s decadent.

Now, in addition to that, we gave them a lot of positive-tone kinds of adjectives as well, but relatively few of those were chosen by SAGE Cons to characterize our nation’s culture. For instance, only 2% believe that American culture today can be described as biblical. Only 3% believe it’s uplifting. Just 4%, one out of every 25, say that it’s family-friendly. Only 6% say it’s spiritual. Just 8% claim it to be affirming. Only 9% say it’s transparent. Just one out of 10, 10%, say it’s emotionally safe.

It goes on and on and on; but, you look at this overall framework that they’re building about their perceptions about the culture, and you think, “Wow. They really don’t have much positive to say about it.” Then, the most significant thing of all to me that came out of this was another question we asked, which was how interested they were in personally being involved in activities that are designed to produce positive cultural transformation in the near future in our culture. What we found is that two-thirds of them, 67%, said they are extremely or very interested in being personally involved in such a process.

That’s an extraordinarily high percentage of people who would say, “Yeah, count me in. I want to do something. I don’t want to just be a victim. I don’t want to just be a critic. I want to be someone who helps to bring the solution to the streets of America.” That to me is hugely encouraging.”