Americans and Canadians lie about church attendance

You’ll be happy to know, fellow Canucks, your country has the distinction of being a bunch of big fat liars when it comes to accurately stating their church attendance. A University of Michigan study on religious observence surveyed amost a million people from 14 different countries, and found Americans and Canadians pretend to go to church a lot more than they actually do:

“It’s not that the respondent is intentionally misrepresenting their behaviour, but rather they’re interpreting the question in a pragmatic way,” he says. In the U.S. over the past three decades, 35 to 45 per cent of people said they attended religious services regularly, but time-use information reveals that about 24 per cent is a more accurate figure.

In Canada, the percentage of people who said they worshipped regularly fell from 41 per cent in 1974 to 25 per cent by 2005, but over that time period, the percentage who actually attended religious services ranged from about 22 per cent in 1974 to 10 per cent in 2005.

That’s some encouraging news right there, don’t you agree? Of course, I strongly disagree with Phillip Brenner’s assessment lying about church attendance somehow means Canadians “remain open to the possibility of greater involvement in religious groups”. I think it just goes to show people still pretend to be religious to somehow appear more spiritual and connected with their community, two things that are still strongly associated with church-goers. The trend is clearly folks are sick and tired of religion, and this isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

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