More Americans see religion’s influence waning, want bigger role in politics: Pew poll

September 23, 2014
(A woman walks past an empty, boarded-up church in Youngstown, Ohio November 21, 2009. Youngstown has 4,500 vacant structures in a city of about 75,000 people, and about 22,000 vacant parcels of land. REUTERS/Brian Snyder )

(A woman walks past an empty, boarded-up church in Youngstown, Ohio November 21, 2009. REUTERS/Brian Snyder )

Nearly three-quarters of the public think religion is losing influence in American life and a growing number want religion to play more of a role in politics, according to a poll released on Monday.

The share of Americans who say churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political issues has gone up 6 percentage points since the 2010 midterm elections, to 49 percent from 43 percent, the Pew Research Center survey found.

Also, a growing minority of Americans, up to 32 percent from 22 percent in 2002, think churches should endorse candidates for political office, the poll found.

Overall, it showed 72 percent of Americans say religion is losing influence in the country, up 5 points from 2010.

“Some of this might be in reaction, perhaps, to the perception that religion is losing influence,” said Jessica Hamar Martinez, a research associate for Pew.

The poll also found that a declining share of Americans see the Obama administration as friendly toward religion, to 30 percent from 37 percent in 2009.

The belief that the administration is unfriendly to religion rose by 19 percentage points since 2009 among both white evangelical Christians and white Catholics, the poll found. Leaders from both these groups have been vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, which they say restricts religious liberty.

The poll also found that nearly half, or 47 percent, of U.S. adults, think that businesses, such as caterers and florists, should be allowed to reject same-sex couples as customers if the businesses have religious objections to serving them.

The survey questioned 2,002 U.S. adults between Sept. 2 and Sept. 9, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

via More Americans see influence of religion waning: poll | Reuters.

4 comments

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Why we have to have store-front religion is something worrying. If churches mix with state, we end up with, well, the Middle East right here in America.

Posted by gordonhilgers | Report as abusive

They pollsters talked to a small fraction of 1% of the people in the country and they say this reflects the will of the people. 2002 people were polled, that’s about the number of people that live in my neighborhood. They didn’t ask me or my friends, we would have told them religion plays too big a role in world politics and its the main reason for at least half the trouble in the world today.

Posted by mickey29 | Report as abusive

As for religious bigots who want to deny service because of their religious beliefs, whats next, back to white only drinking fountains or rather “straight only” or a new inquisition, “we don’t like Jews so we won’t serve them”. The religious, what a bunch of haters and losers.

Posted by mickey29 | Report as abusive

“growing number want religion to play more of a role in politics”
Then perhaps the Middle East is a better fit for such people

Posted by ct150 | Report as abusive