Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pew in the Pews

A survey on American belief overturns some scholars' theories

Alan Wolfe in The Chronicle Review, March 21, 2008, on the recent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life's report, "U.S. Religious Landscape Survey" (see this earlier post)
The biggest losers among American religions turns out to be Catholics: As many as one in 10 Americans is a former Catholic. The findings do not allow us to establish cause and effect, so some observers may claim that people are leaving the Roman Catholic Church because it has become too liberal, while others blame the sexual-abuse crisis among priests and an out-of-touch hierarchy. Chances are, however, that the decline in Catholicism has more to do with intermarriage — 22 percent of Catholics marry outside their faith, compared with 10 percent of Hindus and 17 percent of Mormons — than with attitudes toward abortion or birth control.

(via Arts & Letters Daily)

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