Religion and the left

Wojtek Sokolowski sokol at
Tue Jun 16 11:11:25 PDT 1998

At 10:41 AM 6/3/98 -0500, Katha Pollitt wrote:
>The perception that America is so very religious may not be quite
>accurate. The statistic, for ex, that half of all americans go to church
>every week comes from a gallup poll -- this would mean there has been no
>decline in church going since the fifties. But another organization
>(forget which one) came up with a very different figure by using a
>different method.

See Hadaway, Marler and Chaves, "What polls do not show: a closer look at US Church Attendance" _ American Sociological Review_ 1993, 58(6):741-752. These authors used actual counts and compared them to self-reported church attendance, and found that Protestand and Catholic church attendance is about 50% of what people report in surveys - irrespective of geographical location.

It is another question, however, whether this 50% gap widened over time or remained more or less the same.



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