Michael Medved: Lingering Faith in Faith

For sixty years, Gallup has asked about public attitudes toward faith, giving respondents a clear choice: “Do you believe that religion can answer all or most of today’s problems, or that religion is largely old-fashioned and out of date?” In 1957, 82 percent expressed confidence in religious solutions, while only 11 percent considered faith old fashioned. Today, the margin is much closer, but Americans still think religion has the answers—55 percent to 34 percent.

Among those who say they “seldom” or “never” go to church, a full third still think religion can solve contemporary problems. And among Democrats, a plurality agrees that faith has the answers all people seek.

Even among those who consider themselves political liberals, and those who never participate in public worship, there’s still a lingering suspicion that faith-based solutions benefit individuals and society. Believers should never write off America as a secularized, Godless, lost cause.