Ross Douthat’s article, “Crisis of Faith” in The Atlantic Monthly discusses the phenomenon of rising secularism in the U.S., while Europe is becoming increasingly enmeshed in religious controversy. In one graph Douthat notes:
Liberals have spent much of the past six years straining to cut into the GOP’s advantage among religious voters. But when the Democrats finally shattered the Republican majority in the 2006 midterms, it was their consolidation of the secular vote that helped put them over the top. Despite all their efforts to close the God gap, the Democrats managed barely any gains among frequent churchgoers last November—but their share of the vote among Americans who never attend church at all leaped to 67 percent, from 55 percent in 2002.
Douthat reports on a general secularization trend in the U.S., that fewer Americans are attending church every week. He notes a recent Pew Research Center survey indicating that 20 percent of young people say they have no religious affiliation — nearly double the percentage of the 1980’s (Summary Here). It makes sense that many of them would be turned off by the growing influence of theocons in the GOP.