Magazine June 11, 2012, Issue

Getting Irreligion

A lone congregant waits in person for the web-streamed Sunday services to begin in Seattle, Wash., March 22, 2020. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
How should conservatives respond to declining church attendance?

There was a time when American politicians could condemn godless heathens almost anywhere in the country and expect nothing but lusty applause. Now, however, there are large swathes of the country in which the unchurched are just as important as the churched. The United States remains the most religiously observant of the world’s affluent countries: According to the World Values Survey, 38 percent of Americans say they are active members of a church, which is markedly higher than the 16 percent of Australians and the 4 percent of French who say the same.

Yet the number of Americans with no religious

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