A Gallup poll released today points to yet another indicator of Americans’ wandering spirituality and religious identity.
The poll shows that 16 percent of Americans have no specific religious identity. This is up from about 12 percent in 2000 and a tripling from the 5 percent mark when the question was first posed in 1948.
The gap, too, between Americans who feel religion is relevant and can answer life’s problems and those who feel it is old-fashioned and out-of-date is shrinking.
Currently, 58 percent say that faith can help solve problems compared to 28 percent who say it cannot. While that 30 point gap is still significant, it has tightened slightly in the last decade. Over the long haul it represents a relative sea change from when the question was first asked in 1958, when 82 percent said religion answered problems and only 7 percent said it did not.