Via Religion News:
Religiosity in the United States is in the midst of what might be called ‘The Great Decline.’ Previous declines in religion pale in comparison. Over the past fifteen years, the drop in religiosity has been twice as great as the decline of the 1960s and 1970s.
How do we track this massive change in American religion? We start with information from rigorous, scientific surveys on worship service attendance, membership in congregations, prayer, and feelings toward religion. We then use a computer algorithm to track over 400 survey results over the past 60 years. The result is one measure that charts changes to religiosity through the years. (You can see all the details here).
And here’s the lovely, lovely graph.
So pat yourselves on the back, atheist activists. You who were outspoken and questioned the religious people you know to their faces? You had a part in this. You who never argued with anybody, but who helped to make a welcoming atheist group that made it easier for people to leave church: you had a part in this.
And the best part? Without de facto respect, religion crumbles. I don’t see a way for religion to ever regain enough power so that it can demand respect – it must earn it, and in a world full of increasing knowledge where questioning is bound to continue, I don’t see that line graph ticking up anytime soon.