F Rosa Rubicondior: U.S. Confidence in Religion Falls Again

Thursday 11 July 2019

U.S. Confidence in Religion Falls Again

U.S. Confidence in Organized Religion Remains Low | Gallup.

The confidence of Americans in organized religion has fallen by a further two percentage points in the last year and now stands at another historic low of just 36% having a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it.

Historical lows have been recorded in each successive year for the last 5 years and there has only been one brief respite in an otherwise inexorable decline since 2010. In 1975, soon after Gallup began polling the same question about a number of American institutions, organized religion has fallen from the most trusted at 68% (a position it held until 1985) to sixth place.

Over the same period, those expressing very little of no confidence in organized religion has risen from 11% to 27%.

Two factors have probably contributed most to this decline. Firstly, the decline in Catholic confidence due to the sex abuse scandals which now stands at just 36% compared to 48% for Protestants. Secondly, the growth in the proportion of Americans with no religious affiliation. Of this latter group only 8% express confidence in organized religion and 'nones' now constitute about 20% of Americans. It would appear, perhaps unsurprisingly, that a loss of confidence is accompanied by disaffiliation.

Perhaps the surprising thing from these figures is that with less than half of the Protestants and just over a third of Catholics now having confidence in their own churches, the haemorrhage into 'nones' has not been much greater.

Despite the increasingly strident noises from the fundamentalists and their apparent penetration of the GOP, the facts show that USA is slowly catching up with Europe in its rejection of religion and becoming less religious and less trusting of religions and religious leaders.

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