America becomes more religiously polarized.
The United States has always been somewhat of an outlier among highly developed nations. Unlike Canada or Europe, America has had a strong tradition of attending a faith community if not every week, on a higher average than their Canadian or European counterpart. For good or for ill, religion has had an impact on American society. The abolition of slavery and the Civil Right movement would not have advanced if not for people of religious conviction.
Today, fewer Americans attend a faith community regularly. In 2021 Gallup released a poll that showed in 2020 the number of people who belonged to a house of worship fell below 50% for the first time since Gallup started taking the survey in 1937. A recent survey did see how the pandemic affected organized religion and the findings are troubling. The American Enterprise Institute’s Survey Center on American Life in conjunction with NORC at the University of Chicago conducted a survey to see who regularly attends a house of worship and they released the findings in early January. The findings show that there is a growing gap between those that attend a faith community on a regular basis and those that don’t and that has significant implications for American society.
In today’s episode, I talk to one of the researchers, Daniel Cox. Daniel is the Director of the Survey Center on American Life and a senior fellow in polling and public opinion at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), in public opinion and survey research, religious change and measurement, as well as social capital, and youth politics. Before joining AEI, he was the research director at PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute), which he co-founded and where he led the organization’s qualitative and quantitative research program.
American Storylines (Daniel Cox’s Substack)
Breaking Faith (a 2017 article by Peter Beinart)
Episode 110: The Church After COVID w/Sean Chow
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