Are Religious Americans Becoming More Vocal? New Poll Takes A Look
Despite continuous efforts to separate church from state, more Americans want religion in their public life. According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, there is a “growing appetite for religion in politics.” But experts say these numbers probably don’t mean Americans are becoming more religious, but rather people who were already religious are responding to the survey more than in past years.
Still, overall, more people did say religion is losing its influence in public life, some 72 percent now versus 52 percent in 2002 (when Pew started asking this question).
This might not mean a move to get religion back into the office place or school. “It’s key to remember that people respond to polls and form other on-the-spot political opinions in part by reacting to whatever cues are most salient… High-profile fights about abortion and birth control, two of the most hot-button issues for conservative religious folks. So, could it be that Americans, on the whole, aren’t getting more jazzed about the idea of a Bush-esque approach to religion and politics, but rather that religious voters (and hardly anyone else) are looking around, seeing things getting more secular, and wanting more religion?” reports New York magazine.
The study did find that those who do identify with a religion (e.g., Protestants, Catholics and others) who have increased their support for churches and other houses of worship addressing political issues and political leaders who are in support of religion.