New polling released on Good Friday shed new light on Americans’ religious attitudes. The polls showed that Americans are still believers, but may not put their beliefs into practice.
A Rasmussen poll of 800 Americans found that two-thirds believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God and was resurrected from the dead. Rasmussen also found that 39 percent consider Easter to be one of our nation’s most important holidays.
Nevertheless, according to Gallup, even though 56 percent of Americans say that religion is very important in their life, nearly half seldom or never attend church services. The percentage of Americans saying that they never attend church has more than doubled since 1994. The number attending church regularly has fallen as well.
The decline in church attendance may be related to shifting opinions on religious issues. Rasmussen also reported last week that 53 percent of Americans oppose religious freedom laws like the controversial Indiana law enacted this week. Opposition is based on the fear that the laws might lead to discrimination against gays and lesbians, even though 51 percent think that the media makes the laws sound more problematic than they really are.
Nevertheless, the same survey showed that 70 percent believe that a Christian wedding photographer should have the right to refuse a job for a gay wedding. This number has declined from 85 percent in 2013.
Support for gay marriage has exploded at the same time that church attendance has declined. From 27 percent in favor of same-sex marriage in 1996, Gallup now finds support for gay marriage at 55 percent.
In other areas, the declining influence of Christianity can be seen as well. Single-parent households have more than tripled as a share of American households since 1960 according to the Atlantic. Almost half of American first births, 48 percent according to CBS News, are out of wedlock.
The increase in unwed mothers and single parents destabilizes American society. Single-parent families are much more likely to live in poverty and require government financial assistance than traditional families. Children of single-parent families are much more likely to be abused and more likely to become involved in violent crime, drug abuse, and premarital sex according to the National Fatherhood Initiative.
The evidence shows that even as a majority of Americans claim to believe in Jesus Christ, few are living out his commands and the guidelines of the Bible. The disconnect may be due to rising Biblical illiteracy connected with declining church attendance. Fewer than six in 10 Americans can name even half of the 10 Commandments according to Barna Research Group.
George Gallup found the root of the problem: “Americans revere the Bible–but, by and large, they don’t read it.”
Read the full article on Examiner.com