For Most Americans, Religion Is the Answer to Today’s Problems

But 30 percent say religion is “old-fashioned and out of date.”

US Vice President Joe Biden places his hand on the Biden family Bible held by his wife Jill Biden as he takes the oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
National Journal
Kaveh Waddell
June 27, 2014, 12:09 p.m.

While most Amer­ic­ans turn to re­li­gion for an­swers to the ma­jor­ity of their prob­lems, a grow­ing num­ber of people con­sider it out­dated, ac­cord­ing to a new Gal­lup Poll.

In the 1950s, when Gal­lup first asked about re­li­gion, more than 80 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans be­lieved that re­li­gion can “an­swer most or all of today’s prob­lems.” When the ques­tion came up again in 1975, that num­ber was down 20 per­cent­age points. In the dec­ades that fol­lowed, it re­mained near the 60 per­cent mark. Now, it’s at 57 per­cent.

Since the 1950s, the per­cent­age of Amer­ic­ans who con­sider re­li­gion “old-fash­ioned and out of date” rose from a mere 7 per­cent in 1957 to 30 per­cent in 2014.

Across al­most all demo­graph­ic groups, those who turn to re­li­gion with their prob­lems out­num­ber sec­u­lar Amer­ic­ans. The dif­fer­ence is most strik­ing among tra­di­tion­ally re­li­gious groups, such as people who live in the South, polit­ic­al con­ser­vat­ives, and those over the age of 65. Only among polit­ic­al lib­er­als do those who con­sider re­li­gion out­dated out­num­ber the re­li­gious, 49 per­cent to 36 per­cent.

The Gal­lup Poll sur­veyed 1,028 adults in 50 states and the Dis­trict of Columbia, May 8-11. The mar­gin of er­ror is plus or minus 5 per­cent­age points.

(Gal­lup)

On the polit­ic­al land­scape, re­li­gion, es­pe­cially Chris­ti­an val­ues, re­mains im­port­ant to most Amer­ic­ans. Earli­er this month, politi­cians gathered at a con­fer­ence held by the Faith and Free­dom Co­ali­tion, where Re­pub­lic­an law­makers em­phas­ized the role of Chris­tian­ity in Amer­ic­an polit­ics in front of more than 1,000 evan­gel­ic­al lead­ers. Re­li­gion is im­port­ant among Demo­crats, too: Hil­lary Clin­ton cites her Meth­od­ist up­bring­ing as a sig­ni­fic­ant in­flu­ence on her life and polit­ics, and she re­cently called the Bible the book that made her who she is. But ideo­logy aside, re­li­gion is likely to con­tin­ue to fig­ure in Amer­ic­an polit­ics for a long time.

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
When It Comes to Mining Asteroids, Technology Is Only the First Problem
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Obama Reflects on His Economic Record
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Reagan Families, Allies Lash Out at Will Ferrell
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."

Source:
PEAK CONFIDENCE
Clinton No Longer Running Primary Ads
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-ex­pec­ted primary battle be­hind her, former Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton (D) is no longer go­ing on the air in up­com­ing primary states. “Team Clin­ton hasn’t spent a single cent in … Cali­for­nia, In­di­ana, Ken­tucky, Ore­gon and West Vir­gin­ia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “cam­paign has spent a little more than $1 mil­lion in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone back­er in the Sen­ate, said the can­did­ate should end his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign if he’s los­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton after the primary sea­son con­cludes in June, break­ing sharply with the can­did­ate who is vow­ing to take his in­sur­gent bid to the party con­ven­tion in Phil­adelphia.”

Source:
CITIZENS UNITED PT. 2?
Movie Based on ‘Clinton Cash’ to Debut at Cannes
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."

Source:
×