America is losing its religion

Details: Whatever their religious practices, Americans are increasingly rejecting many of the moral precepts found in most major religions.

A 2017 Gallup poll found a significant majority of Americans believe practices like birth control, divorce, extramarital sex, gay and lesbian relations are all morally acceptable.

In a piece last year for Foreign Affairs, the political scientist Ronald F. Inglehart argued that as birthrates have dropped thanks in part to contraception and falling infant mortality, modern societies have become less observant “because they no longer need to uphold the kinds of gender and sexual norms that the major world religions have instilled for centuries.”

The catch: Just because conventional religious practice is on the decline doesn’t mean Americans will have no need to fill what the journalist Murtaza Hussain calls the country’s “God-shaped hole.”