Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Good and Bad News About Religion

There is good news and bad news in the latest survey by the Pew Research Center about religion in America. The bad news is that roughly 20% of Americans are non-religious. That's a long-term increase that results from the growing social ills of our society. But the good news is that more Americans pray daily than one might assume. 58% of adults – more than 100 million Americans – say daily prayers. This is more than those who vote in presidential elections. Another 21% of Americans say prayers on a weekly or monthly basis. Only about 5% of American adults describe themselves as atheist or agnostic. That's more than 10 million people. But even 6% of this group of non-believers pray daily, and another 11% of them pray weekly or monthly. American youth are missing out the most, with a higher percentage of them rejecting religion than prior generations did at their age. Shockingly, one-third of all adults under the age of 30 have abandoned any religious affiliation. Of Americans who are 65 and older, only 9% lack a religious identity.

Increasingly atheistic public schools, which educate and train about 90% of American children, are probably the biggest reason for this decline in religion among youth. The vacuum of values is then filled with harmful competitors to the Bible, such as substance abuse, depression, gambling, pornography, and video games. Some young adults who walk away from religion end up in trouble and do not make it up to age 65, so perhaps older people have always been more religious than young adults. But the big gap in religious commitment today between the old and the young is striking. Young people would help themselves by picking up a Bible from time to time, and their elders might encourage them to do it.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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