“The mistake is to assume that the current trend towards a larger secular population means that religion is giving up the ghost. As shown in the below chart, the data indicates the opposite. The number of Americans who are highly engaged with their faith has not changed very much.”
Pollsters in the United States have come under scrutiny because nearly all predicted Hillary Clinton would win the White House. Among them was the author of The End of White Christian America. Undergirding the book was the same data that led many to believe the country’s growing ethnic diversity and burgeoning secular population would reject Donald Trump.
Like many others, Robert Jones missed the mark. Writing in the New York Times after the election, he concluded that white Christian Americans “swarmed to the polls to elect as president the candidate who promised to make America great again”; the man who would “turn back the tide of cultural and economic change”.
We all have blind spots. And for many, these are the power and influence of religion. There’s a good reason for this: the data seems to confirm that religion is a dying force. “US public becoming less religious,” announced a recent Pew study headline, adding only at the end of the subtitle: “but religiously affiliated Americans are as observant as before.”
Ironically, as America’s general population has become less religious, worship attendance has remained constant, with the large majority (70%) reporting that they attend worship either weekly (37%) or at least occasionally (33%), as shown in the chart below.