Religious affiliations are shifting
It’s always interesting that perception does not usually reflect reality, specifically when it comes to religion. If you looked only at statistics, it would seem as religion were on a comeback, since studies have shown the average person attends church more often than in any period of American history. However, on the other side of the equation, it would appear that every state in the US has seen some significant increases in the number of atheists and general non-religious individuals.
This leads me to conclude, therefore, it isn’t that religion is making a comeback, but rather there is an increase in the marginalization of religion in American life. Individuals who are already religious are affirming themselves more, but I believe the growth of atheism is a direct consequence of this. People who previously did not care are forced to choose sides as Christianity tries to strengthen its foothold in American politics and life.
So long as religion is no longer a private affair, the battle lines will always be drawn, and atheism will continue to grow. Every generation rejects the outdated values of their parents, and religion may suffer a heavy blow in the coming years. Don’t expect this to be the end, however. If we can be certain of anything, it’s that religion has never played fair, and doesn’t enjoy becoming marginalized.
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