Will Social Conservativism Go Quietly?

Andrew Oh-Willeke

Faith Gets Mushy

I don't usually think much of the Parade supplement in the Sunday paper (I call it the "Stupid Pages" because its analysis is often shallow), but its poll on spirituality described by Christine Wicker in her story How Spiritual Are We? was notable for showing the mushiest Christian scene in the United States that I've seen after following these polls for decades.

The poll showed that 69% of Americans believe in God, 7% aren't sure if God exists, 5% don't believe in God, and 19% have some other answer to that question. About 12% don't believe in an afterlife. About 12% say no religion is valid.

{josquote}The beliefs of the majority of Americans are in line with the doctrines of Free Masonry and the Baha'i: God exists, all religions have validity, and religious toleration is best.{/josquote}

About 23% don't pray outside religious services, and about 25% don't believe it's a parent's responsibility to give children a religious upbringing. About 24% see themselves as "spiritual but not religious." About 22% say that religion is not a factor in their lives; another 22% said that religion was "in their lives but not particularly important." About 41% of Americans say that religion has too often led to war and suffering. About 50% say that they attend religious services rarely or never. 59% say that all religions are valid and 58% think that religion and politics should not mix. About 22% would consider converting to another religion, and 82% said that they would consider marrying someone of a different faith.

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