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Poll: America losing its religion
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May 29th, 2013
03:06 PM ET

Poll: America losing its religion

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – More than three in four of Americans say religion is losing its influence in the United States, according to a new survey, the highest such percentage in more than 40 years. A nearly identical percentage says that trend bodes ill for the country.

"It may be happening, but Americans don't like it," Frank Newport, Gallup's editor in chief, said of religion's waning influence. "It is clear that a lot of Americans don't think this is a good state of affairs."

According to the Gallup survey released Wednesday, 77% of Americans say religion is losing its influence. Since 1957, when the question was first asked, Americans' perception of religion's power has never been lower.

According to the poll, 75% of Americans said the country would be better off if it were more religious.

The poll doesn't reflect Americans' personal religiosity, such as church attendance, but rather how large events and trends shape shared views, Newport explained.

For example, the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War and the rise of the counterculture fed the perception that religion was on the wane during the late 1960s, he said.

Views of a secularizing America peaked in 1969 and 1970, when 75% of Americans said faith was losing its clout in society. A similar view dominated from 1991-94 and from 2007 to the present.

Americans saw religion increasing its influence in 1957, in 1962 and at a few points during the Reagan presidency in 1980. This number also spiked to its highest point ever - 71% - after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The pollster didn't speculate on the contemporary factors that led to the current views on faith's influence.

Still, the poll numbers are dramatically influenced by church attendance, according to Gallup. More than 90% of people who attend church weekly responded that a more religious America would be positive, compared with 58% of Americans who attended church "less often."

The Gallup poll was conducted via telephone from May 2 to May 7. A total of 1,535 people were sampled for the poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • United States

soundoff (6,389 Responses)
  1. tomfoolery

    Some sort of religious faith is necessary for mankind to stay alive and in good health in this country. It does not come from going to church, but is an affair that comes from within one's heart. If this affair with trying to live a good and decent life and respect life in general, which is the real thing that has gone awry in this country...people not respecting other people and life in general, then this country will go the way of the highway...that is the highway to HELL!

    May 29, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Huebert

      Neither religion nor faith are necessary for morality, and respect.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • asdf

      >Neither religion nor faith are necessary for morality, and respect.

      And how anyone over the age of six needs this explained to them shows how smart the average person is.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • Mirosal

      Are you saying that religion and/or faith is necessary for good health?? Seriously?

      May 29, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • Dippy

      My mother was an atheist. Never went to church in her life. She died last year at age 105.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • The real Tom

      And mine, on the other hand, was a truly faithful Christian and died at age 75.

      Someone else I know who was extremely religious died at 60 of cirrhosis of the liver. Drank himself to death.

      So what conclusions do you draw from these anecdotes?

      May 29, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • The Way It Is

      It's very sad that she died without becoming Born Again, Dippy, as God says she cannot enter into Heaven without first becoming Born Again through Jesus Christ. And that's Our Creator speaking, not man. She may have had a long life, yes. Eternal life, No.

      May 29, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • The big A

      What? It is because of Science and Medicine that we live long healthy lives. Not religion. Grow up!

      May 29, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • The Way It Is

      There is a very pervasive and dangerous lie that has been perpetuated by non-believers in Christ Jesus. That is that they can have riches, fortunes, great times, and long life. Yes, of course they can. But God expects them to become Born Again too, that is, to give their life to Jesus before they die. Otherwise, His holy word says they may have had it all while on Earth, like Long Life, but Eternal Life in Heaven with God? No, that will not be possible. Therefore, the chance to become Born Again is NOW.

      May 29, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
  2. Jaun

    To quote Joseph Campbell, "My favorite definition of religion is 'a misinterpretation of mythology'. And the misinterpretation consists precisely in attributing historical references to symbols which properly are spiritual in their reference."
    We need to start thinking outside the religious box.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  3. Religion is a joke

    Grow up people! Think for yourself and stop believing in fairy tales.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  4. bob l

    Religion was invented to give humans hope that there is some form of existence after we die. The only way to know for sure is to die.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • asdf

      No actually it probably evolved in humans in the form of morphological brain changes because it encouraged groups which increased survival and thus reproduction.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • bob 2

      Religion was invented to give humans an excuse to kill one another and take the other guys stuff and then not feel bad about it afterwards "They were heretical pagans deserving of death! Quick gather all their belongings and give it to me!, er, i mean, give it to the Church!! (who will turn around and give it to those who helped take this guy down...)".

      May 29, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
  5. Joe Anja

    Joe Mamma
    Anja Daddy

    May 29, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
  6. Darren

    Uh, no, sorry, I do not believe that 75% of Americans claim the country would be better suited if it were more religious. The more likely story is that the poll is seriously flawed.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • Jez

      Of course you don't believe it Darren – you have magiic-faith-juice!

      May 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
  7. bob green

    Just read The Origin of the Universe – Case Closed" and then ask yourself if religion is true. I think not.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  8. asdf

    I believe in the Gospel of Bill Hicks and George Carlin.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  9. The RealWizard

    Encouraging to see people use their minds as opposed to being told how to think and being forced to act as if they believe in the absurd. Maybe we as a society can spend our thoughts and resources on making life better as opposed to believing some magical being in the sky is actually watching over us.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
  10. Nitty Gritty

    Let's look at this article rationally, people. People who currently have an atheistic persuasion read this article and respond with happiness and a sense of vindication or even justification regarding the apparent decline of religion in America. But don't be so quick to react. Consider what these polls are really indicating: 1) the majority of Americans think religions' influence is waning & 2) these same people THINK THIS IS NOT A GOOD THING. Look at the whole picture.
    (Consider that hospitals and universities, for example, were started by Christians. This is indisputable fact.)
    No one is perfect, whether believer or non-believer. No one is "holier than thou." Everyone has to put one foot infront of the other every day. No one has it all figured out. But to take atheistic thinking to its logical conclusion is to ultimately say, "there is no meaning apart from what I give it. All of my DNA and physical matter, and that of the entire universe, has no meaning."
    Even Einstein said there is a Higher Power. Most people who call themselves atheists really are agnostics. They think there is a Power that puts everything in motion, but that's as far as they go. To say "I'm an atheist" and to really live it out logically is nearly an impossibility. You rely on order, structure and the tenets of "good" and "evil" too much in everyday life to really wrap your head around the warped darkness of atheism. And, to be fair, many "religious" people believe primarily due to custom or tradition, and haven't really examined their own beliefs. So there are questions on both "sides." But to believe and admit you don't have all the answers is honest and humble, and there is hope beyond themselves available. However, to say "I don't believe," and say you've got it figured out is the height of blindness and arrogance. There is no hope in this view.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Anon. in San Diego

      "Even Einstein said there is a Higher Power"

      No he didn't. I have an original translation of his essays (published in 1936) and he made his point unambiguously clear: he described himself as a Pantheist and was very careful to do so using Baruch Spinoza's definition–Spinoza, of course, was probably a reductionist pantheist, which is ontologically equivalent to atheism. In any case, what is accepted is that he was not a theistic pantheist. It's also worth noting that he made his position clear because of continuously being misquoted by the [dishonest] faithful whenever he mentioned the word god (which he did so, generally, as a euphemism for "I don't know").

      But if you're uneducated and hold supernatural beliefs, you'll probably dismiss this and continue to believe fallacies that support your wishful thinking.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • mary

      Well said..
      It is amazing how Anyone can offer absolutes one way or another..
      But since everything has a design.. I choose to believe that there has to be intelligence behind it..
      I know of nothing on this earth, that fell into perfect place at random. If it happened once .It surely didn't happen millions of times over..

      May 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • The real Tom

      How do you know that, mary?

      May 29, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Anon. in San Diego

      @mary: "But since everything has a design.. I choose to believe that there has to be intelligence behind it.."

      Let me fix that for you: "apparent design" to the uneducated. The creationist / intelligent design lobby has been thoroughly ridiculed and their claims utterly discredited. You know this right? This is comforting–because if we were designed, as a primates, you'd have to question the competence of the designer–with our weak lower backs, exploding appendices, propensity for cancer and cardiovascular diseases–actually, how*does* this ignorance comfort you?

      May 29, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • mary

      @The real Tom

      Belief in a higher power is as much a choice based on scientific facts as the choice not to believe based on those same facts..There is as much unanswered in science as answered.
      Some choose to hold out for the "proof" of no God..I choose to hold out for the "proof" of his existence..
      Doesn't make me or any other believer "stupid" It just means that I take what is not answered in science and prefer to choose a creator..
      Many take what is answered and choose to believe there isn't..
      I say.. All the facts are not in..And NO ONE can sit and say with absolutes..
      Or worse ridicule anyone else for their choice of beliefs..

      May 29, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, mary. You poor thing. I didn't say I knew whether there was a god or not.

      By the way, it's a free country, and you're not the thread nanny. People here can ridicule you or anyone else just as much as they wish. If this forum format isn't to your liking, there are plenty of others that don't allow dissenting opinions. You can go there or deal with what you find here. If you're like most of the believers, you come here BECAUSE you like arguing with atheists and agnostics.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, and mar? One more thing. You don't know whether "everything fell into place" or not. You don't want people to declare absolutes; maybe you should try that shoe on your own foot first.

      May 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • mary

      @The real Tom
      No actually its a place to offer opinions.. And I offered mine..Just as you have.
      And of course you spew contempt..
      The new thing is to ridicule people of faith.. And its a trend science started..
      So think about how the scientific community would not do or say anything to be subjected to such ridicule..Careers and prestige and he need for acceptance..
      Then wonder if they are 'truly telling you the truth'!~

      May 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "No actually its a place to offer opinions"

      Oh? Says who? Did they say ridicule wasn't allowed? Where?

      "And of course you spew contempt."

      No, dear, I didn't. I asked you how you came to the absolute conclusion that there "HAD" to be a designer and that if "everything fell into place once it didn't happen millions of times. You have yet to provide an answer. You don't "know" any such thing. You believe it. That is not the same thing. You don't want others to declare absolutes but think you should be able to do so. Sorry, I don't think you get to decide what I post. You can scroll or scram. I don't care which.

      "And its a trend science started.."

      And your evidence of this is what? Science can't ridicule anything. People can and do. And scientists aren't the only ones who ridicule the sort of nonsense some of you believers spew.

      "So think about how the scientific community would not do or say anything to be subjected to such ridicule..Careers and prestige and he need for acceptance.."

      What utter silliness. Scientists most certainly do engage in ridicule and are ridiculed all the time by numbskulls who don't know anything about any scientific field whatsoever.

      "Then wonder if they are 'truly telling you the truth'!~"

      I have a far higher level of confidence in the scientific method than I do in mumbo-jumbo.

      May 29, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Good start with "Let's look at this article rationally, people." Good start, yes....except for the fact that you proceed to do the exact opposite.

      May 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  11. Jez

    "Ding, Dong! The Witch is dead!" – or perhaps with current "religions", the "Warlock" is dead!

    May 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  12. WashyWoman

    I predicted this all in my book. The falling away from religion is the first step and economic hardship soon follows. Morality declines and acts of extreme behaviors become passe. What we'll see next is a concerted effort to push the limits of what we regard as reasonable.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • The War Criminal General Sherman

      Oh pleeeeeeeeeeeeeaaase tell us the name of your 'book'.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • CleanConscience

      So things are getting worse? I thought we used to have sanctioned slavery in America. Didn't we used to deny women a right to vote? Didn't we displace the native population by means of force so we could move in? Didn't we create laws banning blacks and whites from getting married and laws banning blacks from just about everything? Are you really going to sit there and say we are on a slippery slope AWAY from morality? It would seem like in the last 200 years there have been some hard fought and won fights TOWARDS morality.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Anon. in San Diego

      "The falling away from religion is the first step and economic hardship soon follows".

      What utter nonsense. Secular societies to substantially better: more highly educated, more socially cohesive, happier (on every single metric in the studies I'm familiar with), lower mortality rates, improved wealth distribution, and so on.

      May 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
  13. Tom Paine

    Can't happen fast enough.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
  14. Christopher

    Religion is and always has been the worst thing man ever created. It is disgusting that after Billions of years of evoultion so many people still believe in this dangerous garbage.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • asdf

      Without religion we probably wouldn't have had the first nation states like Ur and civilization as we know it. That said religion should have disappeared with the invention of the scientific method but my guess is due to some pathological genes it will continue to haunt us for some time.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • asdf

      mean city state not nation state

      May 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Jez

      ...but it has been profitable garbage!

      May 29, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
  15. mary

    The bible predicted this..
    Its very simple.. I hear the comments of those that Hate religion.. Hate God..
    Yet they don't even seem to realize that they are hating God based on the actions of those that proclaim to do great things in his name..Yet they do not.. All they do is turn people away.. Because they are not following his word, but rather their interpretation of his word.. His words are to love one another as yourself.. To follow his commandments. And to pray and wait for all things to be as they were meant to be. When all the pain and suffering of this world, will be done away with..
    Instead people go on hating and doing as they please.. Wondering how God can allow this..
    Well.. He won't..

    May 29, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Mirosal

      it doesn't matter what your god will or will not allow. Your god allows just as much as Zeus would, and for the exact same reason.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Yakobi

      Every religion claims theirs is the true word. Yours is no different. The only right answer is, they're all wrong.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Dippy

      Mary, atheists don't hate god. We just don't believe he exists. Why can't you religies get that straight?

      May 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • mama k

      lol – the Bible can predict whatever you want it to predict. You can also argue both sides of just about any argument from it as well.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • mary

      Three hateful comments from those that claim religion and people of faith are the hateful ones~!.
      I said to love one another as yourself and follow commandments that are all about being good to one another..
      And I get three hateful comments from three "good folk" calling me names .
      Wow.. Yes religion 'might' be ruining the world.. Cause it seem s to fills people full of hate at the mention of it..~!~

      May 29, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • are122

      You will note in replies that no one will have anything meaningful, scientific, or theoretical to say.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      Mary, I dont need your god to have good morals. If you need a god/gods to believe in to have good thoughts and morals...more power to you.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • mary

      Religion is doctrine.. Which is interpretation.
      we can argue that all day.. but I won't..
      There is in fact something very wrong in any people regardless of faith.Who are determined to hurt others be it for a doctrine or lack of it..
      Hate is wrong..
      Does no good to have reilgion or not.. IF you are only out to ridicule and spew hate at others.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • jack

      Your god does not exist. Keep on wasting your time with grown up fairy tales.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Robert

      I climbed to small mountain yesterday and heard his (God) voice, telling me Michelle Bachmann will not seek 5th term and it happened to be true.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • Dippy

      Mary, what were the three names you were called?

      May 29, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • mary

      @Dippy
      The ridicule of people who believe there is a higher power.. A creator.. Unless you have been beyond the universe you have no more proof than I do..
      It is what a person chooses to believe.
      I am no less smarter or dumber than anyone else for believing there is a creator out there...Than you for not believing there is.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Cheryl

      Mary:
      Clearly, your definition of 'hateful' is different than mine. I did not see one comment in those replys calling you any sort of name. I believe people are good or evil but most are a combination but must be INSTRUCTED in proper behavior. Most have been given the intelligence to make a choice of good behaviors or bad. I choose to be good whic I manage most of the time. I choose to behave in a morally positive fashion most of the time and hopefully my temper doesn't get the best of me MOST of the time. I also do NOT believe in God. Just because I no longer believe in God does not mean I am now unable to control myself. Believing controled, moral behavior is only possible if you believe in God is an uneducated belief.

      May 29, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
  16. ruben

    this is actually good news, it shows that we are intellectually growing. Not that I am necessarily dismissing god, but religion has done more harm to humans than any disease or natural disaster in history.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • devin

      Tell that little mantra to the countless number of orphans, homeless, sick and dying, famine sufferers etc.. who have been taken care of in the name of Jesus Christ over the centuries. Get a little perspective.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • anthony

      devin- it is science, not god that is actually healing the sick, it is gay couples adopting that will bring the orphan number down, and it is education that keeps the homeless off the streets(better to prevent than treat). so going with your logic is it better to keep the world sick and treat it to keep them relying on religion than to actually cure the problems and allow them to live independtly in thought. religion is at a record low worldwide right now, and nationwide. atheism has doubled since the 60s. and we are getting smarter and smarter by the day. the world is also (even tho you will deny this with warped facts) becoming more peaceful. there are less and less wars happening now than 100 yrs ago. countries are more likely to be allies than enemies now. and the countries in europe that are the least religious just happen to be among the most peaceful nations in the world. all the facts point to this being a good thing. we dont need the church or its teachings anymore. society can put on its big boy pants now and work for a better future.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
  17. jimbobbillyjoe

    Since I have recently retired, I have been spending time volunteering with the tornado clean up outside of Granbury, Texas. The volunteers, which are doing a lot of good work, are predominantly Christian. I have been amazed to see how many small, country churches have their own disaster response trailers. Christian churches have opened up their facilities to house the displaced until other accommodations can be made, collecting and sorting debris, helping move personal effects, providing meals. I certainly did not see the hate that so many people have tried to hang on Christians. All I have seen is compassion and love.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • ruben

      that's true for any religion. while I agree that churches give when is needed, they also take and take much more. I can tell you that religion or not to give is being human. I didn't need religion to teach me this, I needed my parents to teach it to me.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
  18. Mirosal

    It seems that the Scandinavian countries are always listed as the happiest countries on Earth, and they are the least religious. The Middle east, where Islamic law runs rampant, is one of the most repressed regions on the planet. Let's just think about that, and let it sink in, for just a minute.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • One Man Among Others

      Did you bother to ask anyone living in a Scandinavian country if they are happy?

      May 29, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Mirosal

      I don't have to, those polls are done every year . and it's a worldwide evaluation.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • are122

      You missed yesterday's news. Austrialia is the happiest.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • Mirosal

      Yes, and their Prime Minister is openly Atheist.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Actually, One, I have a friend in Denmark I've known for over 30 years, and yes, I did ask her. She's quite happy. Anything else?

      May 29, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  19. mama k

    Theodore Roosevelt did not take the oath of office on a Bible in 1901.

    John Quincy Adams swore on a book of law.

    William Howard Taft, the only U.S. President to also hold the office of Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court:

    I do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and there are many other of the postulates of the orthodox creed to which I cannot subscribe.

    As Deist Christians, the first five presidents including John Adams, James Madison & Thomas Jefferson were likely to have quite a different notion of God than the Christian God of today. Deist Christians may have followed Christ's teachings, but usually refuted the divinity of Christ. They were always ready to call out on the dark side of organized religion:

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of maMillions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    (Thomas Jefferson, from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)nkind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history. "

    (John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816)

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    (James Madison, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights – from A Memorial and Remonstrance as delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785.)

    John Tyler, the 10th POTUS was a Deist Christian.

    Many believe Abraham Lincoln was a Deist.

    John Remsburg, in his book Six Historic Americans (1906), cites several of Lincoln's close associates:

    After his assassination Mrs. Lincoln said: "Mr. Lincoln had no hope and no faith in the usual acceptance of these words." His lifelong friend and executor, Judge David Davis, affirmed the same: "He had no faith in the Christian sense of the term." His biographer, Colonel Lamon, intimately acquainted with him in Illinois, and with him during all the years that he lived in Washington, says: "Never in all that time did he let fall from his lips or his pen an expression which remotely implied the slightest faith in Jesus as the son of God and the Savior of men."

    The Deistic side of John Adams comes out strong in these paragraphs A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America (1787-1788)

    The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

    Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • mama k

      Correction of two quotes in the middle that were jumbled:

      I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history. "

      (John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816)

      Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

      (Thomas Jefferson, from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)

      May 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • leonid7

      Well said.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • are122

      Amusing. Jefferson blames religion and not the people that pervert it. Suspect he never read the New Testament.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Yeah, are. That's a reasonable suspicion. After all, Jefferson was such a country bumpkin and hardly a well educated man.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
  20. MagicPanties

    In other news, the earth is not flat after all.
    Stay tuned!

    May 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.