Lingering faith in faith
For 60 years, Gallup has asked about public attitudes toward faith, giving respondents a clear choice: “Do you believe that religion can answer all or most of today’s problems, or that religion is largely old-fashioned and out of date?” In 1957, 82 percent expressed confidence in religious solutions, while only 11 percent considered faith old fashioned. Today, the margin is much closer but Americans still think religion has the answers — 55 to 34 percent.
The surprising aspect of the poll is the stubborn respect for religion where you’d least expect it.
Among those who “seldom” or “never” go to church, a full third still think religion can solve contemporary problems. And among Democrats, a plurality agrees that faith has the answers all people seek.
This means that even among political liberals, and those who never participate in public worship, there’s still a lingering suspicion that faith-based attitudes benefit individuals and society. Believers should never write off America as a secularized, Godless, lost cause.