John Cooper: America Is Facing a Loneliness Epidemic Because it Rejected God

Michael Foust | Contributor | Tuesday, May 16, 2023
John Cooper: America Is Facing a Loneliness Epidemic Because it Rejected God

John Cooper: America Is Facing a Loneliness Epidemic Because it Rejected God

The nationwide “loneliness epidemic” that was the subject of a recent surgeon general report can be traced to America’s rejection of God, rocker and author John Cooper says.

The frontman for the award-winning band Skillet discussed the report on his podcast Cooper Stuff alongside his wife and bandmate Korey Cooper, both of whom said the nation is facing a spiritual crisis.

This month, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy released an 81-page report calling loneliness an “underappreciated public health crisis.”

“We told people: You're a cosmic accident,” John Cooper said. “... We took God out. And we made identity a brand-new god. And we're finding out that identity is a terrible God to worship because it leads to high suicides and depression.”

Korey Cooper quoted Ecclesiastes 3:11, which says God “has planted eternity in the human heart.”

“You're made to worship God,” she said.

Too many Americans, though, have tried to replace God with the temporal, she and her husband said.

“Whether you're a Christian, not a Christian, Republican, Democrat, whatever you are, the social fabric is in massive disarray,” he said. “... If you don't have any common values in a country, then you are going to fall apart. And what's happening right now is a revolution against not just America, but Western civilization at large. Christianity is what is underneath that. So now we are living in a country that cannot agree on any common values.”

He quoted a new Wall Street Journal/NORC survey that found that only 39 percent of Americans say religion is “very important” to them – a decline from 62 percent who answered that way in 1998. At the same time, 38 percent of Americans say patriotism is “very important” to them, down from 70 percent in 1998. The share of U.S. adults who said raising children is very important fell from 59 percent to 30 percent.

Meanwhile, the importance of money has increased in Americans’ lives since 1998, jumping from 31 percent to 43 percent in the “very important” category.

“What you're really witnessing now is a revolution against the social order,” John Cooper said as he mentioned the debate over drag queens, transgenderism and children.

“We are born to worship. Every human being, religious or not, will worship something,” he said. “You're going to worship – you're either going to have true worship, or you're going to have false worship.

“If we’re going to rip out religion from the social order,” there will be consequences, he added.

Korey Cooper said the data should be a wake-up call for the nation.

“The fact that you feel the tragedy of your life not having meaning, to me, shows that your life has meaning. Otherwise, why do you feel sad? Or why does it feel like you're missing something?” she said.

That void, she added, can be filled only by God.

“There's something eternal in your heart, and you're made to worship God, you're made to live by God's design,” she said. “And when you do, there is blessing in it. And when you don't, there isn't.”

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Ethan Miller/Staff

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

John Cooper: America Is Facing a Loneliness Epidemic Because it Rejected God