Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Importance of Religion to Americans Slightly Higher than in 1978

Gallup reports that 54% of Americans view religion as being very important in their own life.  This is down about 6% from 2000, but 2% higher than in 1978.

Meanwhile church/synagogue membership is at 61%. This is down about 7% from 2000 and 9% from 1978.

Governor Sarah Palin pointed out in America by Heart, that the American form of government was founded on the presumption of a religious people.
"Does that mean we're a Judeo-Christian nation, solely because most Americans believe in Judeo-Christian tenets? No. But it does mean that the faith of our Founding Fathers shaped our nation in critical ways. They created a country that, in George Washington's words, relies on faith as an 'indispensable support.' They explicitly disavowed government establishing any particular religion, but they unmistakably relied on religion to produce the kinds of citizens that could live successfully in a state of political freedom." (p. 183)
That slightly over half of Americans say that religion plays a significant role in their lives continues a four decades long pattern. America's cup remains near the half full/half empty point on religious commitment--one of the two major resources* the Founders relied on for forming a moral citizenry capable of sustaining American democracy.
*the other being the family

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