Thursday, December 30, 2010

Obamanation: Americans See Less Religious Influence

Despite the public opinion spike in the aftermath of 9/11/2001 that religion was gaining influence on American life, since the 2009 inauguration of President Obama, Americans now believe, more than ever in 40 years of polling, that religion is waning in America.

-- From "Near-Record High See Religion Losing Influence in America" by Frank Newport, Gallup, Inc. 12/29/10

Seven in 10 Americans say religion is losing its influence on American life -- one of the highest such responses in Gallup's 53-year history of asking this question, and significantly higher than in the first half of the past decade.

Americans' views of the influence of religion in the U.S. have fluctuated substantially in the years since 1957, when Gallup first asked this question. At that point, perhaps reflecting the general focus on family values that characterized the Eisenhower era, 69% of Americans said religion was increasing its influence, the most in Gallup's history.

By the early 1990s, Americans became more convinced . . . that religion was losing its influence. These views persisted until a sharp reversal after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when a number of social and political indicators, including presidential and congressional approval and overall satisfaction with the way things were going, showed substantial increases.

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From "Gallup: Belief That Religion Is Increasing Its Influence on American Life Hit 50-Year Peak After 9/11; Belief It's Losing Its Influence Hit 50-Year Peak After Inauguration of Obama" by Terence P. Jeffrey, 12/29/10

In polling done, May 7-10, 2009 (the first Gallup survey on the question after the inauguration of President Barack Obama), 76 percent said they thought religion was losing its influence on American life and 18 percent said they thought religion was increasing its influence on American life.

Before Obama’s January 20, 2009 inauguration, only two Gallup surveys had ever shown as many as 70 percent of Americans saying they thought religion was losing its influence on American life. Both of these polls came in the Vietnam-War era in the early days of the Nixon Administration.

The specific question Gallup asked is: “At the present time, do you think religion as a whole is increasing its influence on American life or losing its influence?”

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From "Poll: Religion's Influence Waning in America" By Nathan Black, Christian Post Reporter 12/30/10

According to the Gallup poll, released Wednesday, 54 percent of Americans say religion is "very important" in their lives, down slightly from the past two decades. Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who say religion is "not very important" continues to edge upward and is currently at 20 percent.

Membership in a church or synagogue has also continued to steadily fall. Today, 61 percent report church or synagogue membership. The percentage is the same as that recorded in 2007 and 2008 and is the lowest in Gallup's history of asking the question since 1937.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.