Support for school prayer in decline

According to Philip Schwadel, a sociologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, support for school prayer has been on the decline since the 1970s among most Americans. However, two cohorts defy these odds, as the researcher claims that evangelical Christians and older Americans have not seen a decrease in their support for public invocations.

As for evangelicals, their support for this faith-based sentiment remains steady at 71 percent. And while there has been a decrease among most Americans, including Catholics and mainline Protestant groups, old age is another exception. Among those who are 80 years of age, around 73 percent of both Catholics and evangelicals support prayer in schools; 67 percent of mainline Protestants at the same age agree.

But younger Americans in these groups showcase greater disparities. To illustrate these differences, The Christian Post highlighted some of Schwadel’s results among individuals in their mid-40s. While 72 percent of these evangelicals support school prayer, only 60 percent of Catholics an 58 percent of mainline Protestants agree. Overall, Jews had the lowest level of support for school prayer (24 percent).

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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