Religious Influence on U.S. Politics Grows Even as Americans Become More Secular

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At the intersection of Church and State Street in Salem, Oregon, USA (KingWu via Getty Images)

Judging from the recent Supreme Court decisions allowing prayer during high school sports, the use of public funds for religious schools and the overturning of the federal right to an abortion, one might conclude that practicing religion is on the rise in the U.S. But, nearly 30% of Americans are not affiliated with a religious institution, a rapid decline in recent decades.  People are now questioning how the erosion of the separation of church and state might affect religious beliefs and personal relationships with religious institutions. Are you religious? How are you affected by the recent court decisions on the religious cases? We’ll dive into how religion influences politics and policy and how religion plays a role in your life.


Carolyn Chen, associate professor of Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley; co-director, Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion; author, "Work Pray Code: When Work Becomes Religion in Silicon Valley"

Barbara Perry, presidential studies director, University of Virginia's Miller Center