A new Gallup survey is the latest indicator that religious influence is in sharp decline in America.Released last week, the poll revealed that 77 percent of Americans say religion is losing its influence. Since 1957, when the question was first asked, Americans’ perception of religion’s power has never been lower.
The poll doesn’t reflect Americans’ personal religiosity, such as church attendance, but rather how large events and trends shape shared views, Gallup explained.
For example, as CNN explained, the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War and the rise of the counterculture fed the perception that religion was on the wane during the late 1960s.
From the CNN story:
Views of a secularizing America peaked in 1969 and 1970, when 75% of Americans said faith was losing its clout in society. A similar view dominated from 1991-94 and from 2007 to the present.
Americans saw religion increasing its influence in 1957, in 1962 and at a few points during the Reagan presidency in 1980. This number also spiked to its highest point ever – 71% – after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Still, it seems Americans are going to church less as well. This is a story I have done many times over the past 20 months.
Yesterday, I interviewed Father Robert Nugent of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in New Freedom. He talked about the “competition” for families who have soccer practice, band, recreation and family entertainment choices seven days a week.
According to the poll, 75 percent of Americans said the country would be better off if it were more religious.
What do you see in York County? Is religion playing less of a role in our lives? And is that a good or bad thing?