The major part of the population (as per the findings of a survey) doubt the existence of God and religion. Most of the Americans do not have a religious affiliation. Susan Setta, an associate professor of Religious Studies at the Northeastern University explained this rise of unbelief and atheism among the youth of America.
When asked about the causes behind the waning of belief in God, Setta explained that societal tolerance can be one major factor. The Pew Survey also found variations in religious preference and political group. With this, a geographic study proves the increased competition in sports activities results and the decreasing attendance in the church prayers.
On the contrary, religious identification has notably increased in the case of Baby Boomers. This is because they have finished their child- rearing activities resulting in having a long, free time. Hence, they devote themselves to the activities of the church. Setta calls this an example of Pascal’s Wager. Blaise Pascal believed that there was no downside to believing in God. And there would be negative consequences if one did not believe in God. However, if God did not exist, there would be no negative consequences to a person who believes.
The current Pew study shows that citizens are comfortable when they see strong religious ties with their political candidates. This is because a candidate’s religious perspectives can have a major influence on his or her social beliefs. This preference will, in turn, create a specific and a particular social and religious belief. Setta gives the example of Mr Obama and The Latter Day Saints (Mormons). The LDS (Latter Day Saints) have conservative views on gender issues and quite disagree with homosexuality and on the contrary, Obama’s religious affiliation is more liberal on these issues.
To conclude, Setta says that, “Although Americans are tolerant of, and may favour, strong religious ties in their politicians, they do not approve of institutional interference in the political process”.