Importance of Religion Declining in U.S.

Crossed out version of original image File:Rel...
Crossed out version of original image File:Religious_symbols.svg, containing symbols of various religions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is some recent evidence to suggest that the importance of religion may be declining in the United States. A new poll by NBC and The Wall Street Journal shows that 21% of respondents say that religion does not play an important part in their lives. According to Carrie Dann (NBC News), this is the highest percentage recorded since the poll started in 1997 and is up from 16% in 1999.

National trends like this are somewhat challenging to interpret, as there will almost certainly be large differences by region, ethnicity, age, education, and a host of other variables. Still, it is encouraging to see that there is an overall decline in the importance assigned to religion. Here's hoping the decline continues and picks up a bit of momentum.

In my opinion, the most likely reason for this decline (if we had to pick just one) is the anti-equality stance taken by many religions when it comes to same-sex marriage. I'm just speculating here, but this seems to be the main area where the gap between where society is moving ahead at the same time organized religion is refusing to move. Then again, it would be a mistake not to consider the impact of technology in general and the Internet in particular.