The American exodus
A new PRRI report documents the continued rise of the non-religious in the US. It claims that is now 25% of American adults, and 40% of those 18 to 29. The report documents that most come from religious childhood homes, which in any case is a straightforward implication of the rapid rise from such small fractions in decades past. The major cause people cite for leaving their religion is not some personal conflict, but simply that they “stopped believing in the religion’s teachings.”
The New York Times has an article on how conservative evangelicals are taking the seeming late phase of the culture wars. It is bound to generate mixed feelings for anyone who knows or is related to conservative evangelicals. Will that trend cause them to withdraw further from the larger culture, taking some path like the Benedictine option that Rod Dreher suggests? Will they become less conservative in their faith, finding ways to better mesh it with a culture where it is not dominant? How do those faith paths affect their daily lives and personal relationships? While I cheer that this source of authoritarian politics continues to crumble, that crumbling is seen quite differently by those who view a culture dominated by their religion as the only normal form of society.
Data from 538 makes pretty clear how religion influences voting among whites.