America's New Class Divide

Americans are rejecting marriage and religious observance – cultural norms tied directly to upward mobility, a purpose-filled life, and human happiness. Before any political or policy “solutions” will have much effect, we need a cultural re-awakening. Charles Murray, New York Times bestselling author of Coming Apart, explains.



A Culture in Crisis

Marriage and family life are collapsing. Faith and religious observance are in freefall.

These institutions—once held in common by nearly all Americans—strengthened the social fabric of our nation. They provided meaning and purpose in people's lives. And when practiced alongside the "success sequence"—graduate high school, hold a job, get married, then have kids—they opened a door to the American Dream.

The rapid decline of these norms, especially among working-class millennials, is creating a new class divide in America. Research shows that those anchored to a religious community and married life prosper while those who reject these behaviors are increasingly hopeless, isolated, and economically distressed.

Today's culture is leaving millions of our fellow Americans behind in a permanent underclass.

The Culture of Freedom Initiative is empowering churches, local nonprofits, and other "frontline" organizations to strengthen the core sources of meaning and upward mobility in life—marital bonds and religious practice.