Senior woman praying in a church

 

According to a survey released September 22, 2014 by Pew Research Center, 72% of Americans think that religion is losing its influence on American society while only 22% believe that it is increasing its influence. Of these, 56% believe that this loss of influence is a "bad thing."  Of the 22% who believe that religion is gaining influence, 12% say that it is a "good thing" while 10% say that it is not.

While most Americans oppose the idea of churches endorsing particular political candidates, they tend to support religious involvement in politics. According to poll results, in August 2010, 43% said churches should express their views on political and social questions but that number has increased to 49%.  More Republicans (59%) than Democrats (42%) favor more involvement in political issues by churches.

The poll also found that only 30% of Americans believe that the Obama administration is friendly toward religion, a number that has decreased from 39% in 2012. The poll also found that the percentage of Americans who felt the administration was unfriendly toward religion increased from 23% to 29% in the same period.

The survey also found that 31% of the public thinks that evangelicals face discrimination, while 50% of evangelicals feel that they face discrimination. When asked whether they considered themselves to be members of religious minorities, 90% of Catholics said they did not while 30% of white evangelicals self-identified as minorities because of their religious beliefs.

This year, for the first time, Pew Research asked respondents whether they believed businesses that provide wedding services such as catering or flowers should be allowed to refuse services to same-sex couples for religious reasons. The respondents were split, with 47% responding that businesses should be allowed to refuse services and 49% saying they should be required to provide services to same-sex couples.

Survey results and methodology can be found on the Pew Research Center site at:  http://www.pewforum.org/2014/09/22/public-sees-religions-influence-waning-2/

 

Photo credit: DepositPhotos

 
 

13 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Mmm,though you do make some good points, the manner in which you present them seem biased to me. Also in your defense these are difficult statistics to present 'safely.'
    Recently, I have done some research myself. In doing so, I have learned that:
    "72% of Amer­i­cans think that reli­gion is los­ing its influ­ence on Amer­i­can soci­ety while only 22% believe that it is increas­ing its influ­ence. Of these, 56% believe that this loss of influ­ence is a bad thing. Of the 22% who believe that reli­gion is gain­ing influ­ence, 12% say that it is a good thing while 10% say that it is not."
    Only this into account, I believe that loss in religious influence is a good thing.

  2. While religion is important to people personally, it should not be involved with the government. America is based on secularism, so the church and state should be separated. The establishment clause in the first amendment prohibits an established national church, so that every citizen has the freedom to choose any religion. That said, religion will always tend to influence certain laws or policies in government because it is the basis of people's values. Currently though, many people are using logic instead of religious beliefs, so I would agree that religion is losing its influence; but it is not necessarily a bad thing.

  3. Disco Dangus says:

    I agree with the opinion above, while reli­gion is impor­tant to peo­ple per­son­ally, it should not be involved with the gov­ern­ment. Amer­ica is based on sec­u­lar­ism, so the church and state should be sep­a­rated. The estab­lish­ment clause in the first amend­ment pro­hibits an estab­lished national church, so that every cit­i­zen has the free­dom to choose any reli­gion. That said, the streets will run red with the blood of the nonbelievers reli­gion will always tend to influ­ence cer­tain laws or poli­cies in gov­ern­ment because it is the basis of peoples val­ues. Cur­rently though, many peo­ple are using logic instead of reli­gious beliefs, so I would agree that reli­gion is los­ing its influ­ence; but it is not nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing.

    • Hugh G. Reksean says:

      I strongly disagree with your statement cause while religion may be important to people, it should be involved with the government. the church shouldn't be separated from the states cause if Jesus died for our sins then if you don't sin he died for nothing. the fact that religion always tends to influence certain laws just proves my point, showing that religion will keep its hold on the government.

  4. sarahi says:

    I believe religion is used in politics in order to gain more votes from the public. If an idea favors a religious view they can automatically win over many people that have the same views. Just how it states that 30% believe that the Obama administration is friendly towards religion. Religion and politics should be separated in determining our government it should be based purely on what a candidate can offer. After all the government cannot impose a certain religion on the people.

  5. Anonymous says:

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  6. Eva Moya says:

    Religion was the base our country when it was first established, but as the years went by our nation become a secular country, which is the separation between the church and state. Politics and religion should not interfere with our decision because we live in a diverse country were hundreds of religions exist and we would never come to an agreement due to religion. When it comes to laws or policies, people should take into consideration what is best not if its part of the values of religion. Religion can influence certain laws, but it can get scaring when religion values control politics. Just because religion is losing its influence in government, it does not mean it is losing influence in America. Religion and government are not meant to mix according the establishment and free exercise clause.

  7. Kevin Palacios: Codename:TERMINATOR says:

    Remember in history class when we learned about the middle ages where the church was the government of the land and they constantly campaigned so called "Holy" wars in an attempt to gain control of the "Holy" lands(aka invade other countries to get more land). It didn't end well so even after hundreds of years have passed and we live in the world of modern science and technology religion is STILL a major influence in our country's politics. True religion does not technically have any real authority however many freedoms such as abortion and gay marriage are constantly denied because of the influence of religion. If basic freedoms are being denied because of the influence of religion then it is clear that religion and government are not meant to be.

    • Remem­ber in his­tory class when we learned about the mid­dle ages where the church was the gov­ern­ment of the land and they con­stantly cam­paigned so called Holy wars in an attempt to gain con­trol of the Holy lands(aka invade other coun­tries to get more land). It didnt end well so even after hun­dreds of years have passed and we live in the world of mod­ern sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy reli­gion is STILL a major influ­ence in our countrys pol­i­tics. True reli­gion does not tech­ni­cally have any real author­ity how­ever many free­doms such as abor­tion and gay mar­riage are con­stantly denied because of the influ­ence of reli­gion. If basic free­doms are being denied because of the influ­ence of reli­gion then it is clear that reli­gion and gov­ern­ment are not meant to be.

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  9. orkidya says:

    Religion and government are independent of each other, religion is a personal hope and guidance. While the government is a federal working system the decisions the supreme court and the establishment of laws have been going since the forming of America. Religion at first was not officially stated that it influence politics, but it did then slowly faded away. Although modern days practice religion less frequently creating a moral approach to the law making system. This is rather good at some level because there shouldn't be a mixture of religion and government, but frightening because there are opposing viewpoints. When different people express there views that is when bandwagon starts and ethos, people start choosing a based on if their into social media. It is factious that America has become so ignorant to voting and hasn't taken a holistic approach on certain situations.

  10. Leonardo Mendoza says:

    I have always viewed America as a secular nation growing up. Although religion may influence the government, legislation, and the rest of politics, it would not benefit the nation to be under one singular church. The diversity of the U.S. would make it quite impossible to unite countless ethnicities and religious point of views.

  11. Art says:

    Religion should not be influenced in a government setting with the idea of seperation of church and state in mind. On this note the lost of religion in the realm of government will always be in place withing the many people that carry theier religious beliefs with them to make a decsion in their lives. Stating back to lost of religion it is not a harsh reality to believe this especially in a now more logic society where more factors come in to play with peoples lives. To end my thought i believe that in no way should religion play a role in government, but in the minds of those who vote and hold public office it is a belief to lay back on if belived needed for their sake and purpose.

 
 
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