Two-thirds of Americans believe "religion as a whole" is losing influence on American life. But the drop is nothing new. Public perception of religion has always fluctuated, usually in response to major political events.
Religious influence is now at its second lowest point since the question was first posed in 1953. The nadir was at the height of Vietnam in 1971 and its highest point was in December 2001, when 71 percent of Americans said religious influence was on the rise.
What else are Americans saying? To see,
- People who regularly attend church were more likely to say influence was declining than those who attend seldom or never.
- Fewer people believe religion has the ability to solve the world's problems, continuing a steady decline from 82 percent in 1953 to 53 percent today.
- More people see religion as old-fashioned, growing from seven percent in 1953 to 28 percent today.
Is religion in its end times, or will it just keep on fluctuating?