Church attendance in the U.S. has fallen sharply, from 76% in 1947 to 47% in 2020. Yet, according to Shadi Hamid in The Atlantic, “American faith… is as fervent as ever; it’s just that what was once religious belief has now been channeled into political belief. Political debates over what America is supposed to mean have taken on the character of theological disputations. This is what religion without religion looks like.”
Hamid continues, “Conservatives believe that they are faithful to the American idea and that liberals are betraying it—but liberals believe, with equal certitude, that they are faithful to the American idea and that conservatives are betraying it. Without the common ground produced by a shared external enemy, …., mutual antipathy grows, and each side becomes less intelligible to the other.”
The divide in politics mirrors the divide in religion. Republican controlled States are the most religious, while Democratic controlled states are the least religious. According to recent polls:
• The 9 most religious states are all controlled by Republicans
• 9 of the 11 least religious states are controlled by Democrats, with one split
• 11 of the 12 states with the highest percentage of atheists are Democratic
Why have conservatives so embraced faith while liberals seem to have turned away? What are the implications of the shift from a Judeo-Christian belief system in our politics to one in which there is a quasi-religious intensity and fervor over what our country is meant to be?
Please join us on Wednesday, June 16 when we discuss the effects of religion and the passions that exist in our country and how they impact our elections and governance.
Participants must register by NOON on June 15th to receive details on joining the discussion. The Zoom link will be sent out 24 hours before the event.
Please note that no refunds will be issued.
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