A new Gallup poll out today says that Americans believe religion is losing its influence on society:
Over three-quarters of Americans (77%) say religion is losing its influence on American life, while 20% say religion’s influence is increasing. These represent Americans’ most negative evaluations of the impact of religion since 1970, although similar to the views measured in recent years.
What’s interesting is that it doesn’t seem to matter how often you attend church or how personally religious you are, you still think religion is losing power. Victory is ours!…
… or not. Even though people think religion is losing power — and perception certainly matters — most Americans also believe we’d all be better off if we were more religious:
This time, though, the numbers change heavily depending on how religious you are. If you attend church all the time, you obviously think we’d be better off with more religion (94%). If you don’t attend church all the time, that number drops significantly (58%).
We obviously don’t know how much of the perception of religious influence can be attributed to atheists — it’s probably more of a response to political (Obama!) and social changes overall (gay marriage!) — but it’s hard not to think we’re helping exacerbate the change.