The study found that almost three-quarters of the American public — 72% — believes that religion’s influence is waning in public life, the highest level in Pew Research polling over the past 10 years.
And many Americans say that trend is a bad thing, the study found.
“A growing share of the American public wants religion to play a role in U.S. politics,” the Pew study authors write.
What kind of role?
Let’s start with pastors, like Garlow, openly endorsing political candidates.
Nearly a third of Americans say they want houses of worship to back particular candidates, despite IRS rules against it. That’s an increase of 8 percentage points since 2010.
An even higher percentage – nearly half of all Americans – said churches and other religious institutions should openly express their views on social and political issues, an increase of 6% since 2010.