A new poll from Gallup shows confidence in organized religion has reached an all-time low of 42 percent this year.
The steepness of the decline was first noticed in the 1980s, with the biggest drop off coming in the early 2000s, about the time news of the Catholic Church’s widespread child molestation and coverup scandals broke. During that time a 15 percent drop – from 60 to 45 – can be seen between 2001 and 2002.
Some say the picture for religion is “particularly bleak,” while at the same time the number of Americans choosing to not identify with any religion at all – the so-called “nones” – is up to 23 percent.
The only bright spot for religion? At least religious institutions are more popular than Congress… which is dead last.