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The Decline of Morality in America

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thank you for watching us tonight.

The decline of morality in America, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."  Last night, we demonstrated how the Black Entertainment Television (search) Network has degenerated into a rap video flesh fest.  And many African-Americans are furious about it.

We did make one mistake in that report.  The outrageous video by a guy named Nellie was not broadcast during the day on BET.  And I implied it was.  And I'm sorry for that mistake.

The belief that America is degenerating on a moral level is shared by both Republicans and Democrats.  According to a new  Gallup poll, 82 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats say that moral values in the U.S.A. are only fair or downright poor.  40 years ago, only 33 percent of Americans felt that way.

So what's happened?  First, secular forces have destroyed any rendering of Judeo-Christian philosophy in the public school system.  Many teachers are now ordered not to make value judgments on  behavior and not to push any specific moral standards.  Thus children receive little if any moral guidance in class.

Second, with the rise of single parent homes, more and more American kids wind up unsupervised for long periods of time, left to the television set or the computer, where harmful material comes at them like rain in a thunderstorm.

Third, major corporations now traffic in sex and violence to an extent never before seen in this country.  Americans spend more than $10 billion a year on porn every year.  And violent video games gross billions more for corporations.

Fourth, peer pressure to actually reject immoral behavior is virtually non-existent in many places.  The military criminals at Abu Ghraib never could have committed their crimes if other soldiers did not look away.  The code of silence about bad behavior is an infectious disease among Americans.

And finally, the decline of the Catholic church in America has dramatically harmed the U.S.A.  According to a 1958 Gallup poll, 74 percent of American Catholics attended mass every week.  Now the number stands at 25 percent.  With 65 million members, the Catholic church in America is by far the nation's largest and used to set a moral tone that was taken seriously by society in general.

That's over now because of the priest scandals and the lack of leadership within the American Catholic church.

So as it stands, both Republicans and Democrats realize America is lacking a strong moral compass.  Millions of American parents are trying hard to teach their children good values, but are besieged by the terrible influences beyond the home.  The secularists have succeeded in drastically changing the moral tone in this country.  And 80 percent of us see that change as a bad thing.

However, there's no mass outcry about it.  And until there is,  America will continue its declining moral direction. 

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...

Bush and Kerry may be tied in the election polls but in a survey as to who you would like to have a beer with, it's no contest.  A poll from Quinnipiac University (search) says 50 percent of Americans would like to take a cold one with Bush, 39 percent with Kerry, 11 percent don't know, don't care or could not understand the question, which might be ridiculous.

And one more reminder while we're talking ridiculous, tomorrow we'll give you the results of our billoreilly.com poll question: "Should we invite Michael Moore on The Factor."  It is a close race right now, but whatever you say goes. All right? Tomorrow Moore will learn his fate. 

One more thing, a week from Friday, June 4, I'm going to be at George Washington University (search) for my last appearance -- live appearance, at 6:30.  If you go to billoreilly.com we have all the information.  It's sponsored by the radio station that carries the Radio Factor, WJFK (search) in D.C.  All right.  So in Maryland and Virginia and the District and West Virginia, I'd like to see you down there on June 4 at George Washington U. 

--You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com

Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Bill O'Reilly