Gallup Chief Shows Why the “God Is Dead” Crowd Continues To Be Wrong
(RNS) Despite a deep drop in the number of Americans who identify with a particular faith, the country could be on the cusp of a religious renaissance, says Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of The Gallup Poll.
Grounded in more than a million Gallup interviews, Newport’s new book, “God is Alive and Well,” argues that the aging of the baby boomers, the influx of Hispanic immigrants and the links between religion and health could portend a bright future for faith in America.
The book is based on the more than 1 million interviews Gallup has conducted with Americans since 2008. Dr. Newport analyzes this unparalleled and unprecedented database of information about Americans and their religions — revealing just how powerfully intertwined religion is with every aspect of society.
Key findings from the book include:
- Religion is good for your health — religious Americans have higher wellbeing.
- Religious institutions will probably have to give women more power in the future because of this contradiction: Even though women are more religious than men, some religious institutions deny women access to higher positions in their organizations.
- Religious intensity is correlated with Republican political identity in the United States today. Democrats will most likely realize that they will have to relate their political philosophy to religion if they are to compete for the valuable bloc of religious voters.
- Based on their religious characteristics and their stance on many moral and values issues, blacks in America should identify as predominantly Republican, but they do not.
- Increasingly, Americans don’t have a religious identity, or they identify with broad religious labels rather than with specific denominations.
- Unbranded, nondenominational religions and megachurches are growing.
America will likely become a more religious nation in the years ahead, albeit different than it is today. “The evidence in this book suggests that America could continue to blaze its own religious trail with religion changing, morphing, and transmuting itself into new but still vibrant forms,” says Newport.Frank Newport • Gallup Poll