Vice President Mike Pence firmly believes that religion is not dying in America, and he recently shared his words of encouragement about the state of faith to a group of graduates and their families.
Pence gave a commencement speech at Hillsdale College on Saturday, May 12, assuring those in the attendance at the conservative Christian college graduation that "Faith in America is rising once again," according to Michigan Live.
The vice president praised the Michigan school for speaking “unchanging truths” in an era of “relativism.” And he said that faith in God is growing amidst renewed optimism spreading throughout our country.
"Faith in America is rising again because President Trump and our entire administration is advancing the very principles that you learned here in the halls of Hillsdale College," Pence said, referring to the Trump administration's defense of religious freedom.
The vice president reiterated some of his claims on Twitter, writing, “We live in a time when traditional values, even religious conviction, are increasingly marginalized by a secular popular culture — a time when it's become acceptable, even fashionable, to malign religious belief. I still believe with all my heart that FAITH in America is rising.”
“The percentage of Americans who live out their religion on a weekly basis — by praying, going to church, and reading and believing in the Bible — has remained remarkably consistent over the decades, even as the population of the United States has grown by leaps and bounds,” he continued.
“Religion in America isn’t receding — just the opposite. Faith is gaining new life with every passing day,” he reiterated, adding that, “Faith has always been the wellspring of hope for millions of Americans, and from our Founding, faith has been the foundation of our freedom, and religion essential to our republic.”
But is Pence right about religion rising in America?
The number of Americans with no mainstream religious affiliation has been rising, according to Scientific American. That matches up with data shared by Eastern Illinois Professor Ryan Burge, who tweeted in response to Pence’s claim.
But Burge points out that the percentage of Americans believing in a literal interpretation of the Bible and attending church weekly has “stayed relatively steady for the last 25 years.” Rasmussen also found that 70 percent of Americans say religion is important in their lives. That study was conducted in October 2017.