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One Nation Under God

In “One Nation Under God,” a statistical map of American religion, summarized in the Nov. 29 issue of Newsweek, Barry Kosmin and Seymour Lachman of the City University of New York have assembled data from 113,000 respondents, by far the most comprehensive random sample of detailed religious preference ever collected. The survey determined that nearly 1/3 of the adult U.S. population (18 and over) is now “totally secular” in its spiritual outlook! It also found that only 19 percent of adult Americans—about 36 million people—regularly practice their faith. The rest are described as “moderately religious” (22 percent), “barely” or nominally religious (29 percent) and agnostics and atheists (7.5 percent). The survey has an important message for the religiously and politically conservative who are interested in reversing the downward cultural spiral. It is unlikely that the 19 percent whose faith affects their lives and world view can change the moral and social conditions of our country through political means alone.

Cal Thomas, 1993 Los Angeles Times Syndicate, quoting Newsweek, Nov. 29, 1993, p. 82