October 10, 2012

A Secularizing America?

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By Mark Tooley

A new Pew Research Center study of America’s evolving religious demographic asserts that nearly 20 percent of Americans are now religiously unaffiliated, while historically dominant Protestants are now under 50 percent. The headlines have understandably cited the study as proof of America’s secularization.

The truth is probably more complicated, more interesting, and a little less disturbing to religious America. Two-thirds of the religiously unaffiliated still believe in God, and 20 percent of them pray daily. A significant minority among them even regularly attend formal worship. Atheists and agnostics, although purportedly growing in numbers, still number only 6 percent of the total population. Over 90 percent of Americans say they believe in God. Seventy-six percent of Americans according to Pew say prayer is very important, the same who said so 25 years ago. Seventy-six percent of Americans, including most unaffiliated, believe churches and religion strengthen morality. Nearly 60 percent say…

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