EP 318 Why Are Americans Losing Faith?

  The numbers are eye-popping.  In the last 10 years, the number of Americans who identify as Christian has fallen 13 percent, while those who are not affiliated with any religion grew by 30 million, according to data from the Pew Research Center.  And if you’re skeptical of Pew’s numbers, just look at those occupying the pews.  The trend is real.  That’s why we decided to pursue the story and the reasons behind it.  We turn to Christopher Vondracek, a reporter on this beat for ‘The Washington Times’.  In this conversation we trace this radical departure in the exceptional American story of being both wealthy, as a society, and still devout in our religious faith.  Until the 1990’s we avoided the secularization seen in many other Western societies.  Why did this change?  We run down the historical antecedents and whether the disengagement speaks more to the failings of the institutions of formal religion or to changes in society which have us seeking answers to life’s profound questions in other ways. We also look to the intersection of politics and religion in America and whether the rise of evangelicals has affected the attachment of millennials to their ‘starter religions’.