• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • FamilyFacts.org: The Fruit of Religious Faith In America

    Despite the assertive statements of celebrity atheists, national book tours denouncing God and the perennial docket of court cases challenging the presence of religion in the public square, most Americans believe in God and many regularly practice their faith. Heritage research on the newly launched FamilyFacts.org shows that 75 percent of American adults believe in God and another 11 percent in some higher power.

    Many Americans take their faith a step further—almost 40 percent of all adults act on that belief by attending religious institutions at least once a week, and over half of adults surveyed say they pray at least daily. These religious beliefs and practices can have a profoundly positive impact on civil society and defend against much of the social breakdown threatening communities.

    For instance, regular religious observance has been associated with helping to sustain intact families, raise healthy adolescents, and even maintain good health. Families who frequent religious institutions tend to have higher marital satisfaction and fidelity, fewer incidents of domestic violence, and greater conflict resolution. The religious practice of parents also seems to have a significant impact on how adolescents will view marriage, pre-marital sex, and cohabitation. Likewise, adolescents whose families regularly attend church services are less likely to be sexually active or experience teen pregnancy.

    Men and women who frequent religious institutions tend to have lower stress levels, are less likely to die from cancer, and have better psychological health than adults who seldom or never attend religious worship. The effect of familial religious attendance can even impact the health of the next generation, as children and teens from households with frequent observance are less likely to report feeling lonely or having episodes of depression.

    The benefits of religious practice to individuals and families are important to maintaining strong communities and a thriving civil society. With four out of 10 children now born outside of marriage and more than half of all families in poverty headed by single parents, the economic and social consequences of family dissolution are hard to ignore. The effects of religion on civil society should not be overlooked when addressing the most pressing problems in American culture.

    To learn more about the role of family and religious practice in maintaining limited government and civil society in America, visit FamilyFacts.org.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to FamilyFacts.org: The Fruit of Religious Faith In America

    1. George Colgrove VA says:

      There was a recent poll that upwards of 80 percent of Americans believed in prayer.

      All good news for the American people in their day to day lives.

      Let us hope that this does not bleed into federal policy however. Our spiritual beliefs are rooted in the voluntary drive to achieve higher understanding of these matters. When law that counters the intent of the first amendment that either forces religious belief or counters belief is wrong.

      As the founders felt, we should keep the feds out of ALL religious matters.

    2. Zack says:

      Every single link posted in this blog leads back to previous Heritage blogs. I for one, take all Heritage research with a grain of salt. The only problem this country has with church and state is people like you Ms. Torre, and other conservatives that have been trying to connect church and state for decades. Everything Ms. Torre blogged was strictly opinion and NOT fact. These are links to Heritage blogs, not fact.

      Just recently conservatives have been trying to say the seperation of church and state is not in the first ammendment. Rules have already been broken by conservatives favoring hetrosexual couples to marry over homosexual couples. If it is a religious establishment then why does the Federal Government recognize marriage?- if anyone can answer that you will be the first. Anything relgious, in any public square violates the first ammendment. Forcing homosexuals to hide their sexual orientation in the military violates the first ammendment. Examples such as prop 8 violates the first ammendment. Period, cut and dry, done and done. Give me one example of one single person, group or church that has had one single religious right or freedom taken away? No go ahead, name one single example?

      In my personal opinion, people that claim to be the most religous turn out to be the most selfish, judgemental, intolerant people I have ever met. Also, people that claim to be the most christian, turn out to be the least christian people I have ever met. I have nothing against religion or its "free exercise thereof", but Heritage and other conservatives seem to have something against not being religious.

      Nobody is taking away any single spec of religious freedom. Paying tithing, or any contribution to a church that decides what to do with the money seems to be the perfect opportunity to get the best of people's fears and suffering to collect more money and grow your numbers. I have been to many different churches during my life, just to experience religion, and I have came to the conclusion that the most hypocritical, dishonest, and selfish people come from religion, just a personal opinion. I'm allowed to have an opinion right?

      The very predictable replies to my comment will prove my point even more. Heritage and any conservatives out there- KEEP RELIGION OUT OF GOVERNMENT. We have seen what religion in government has done to other countries and look how well it has turned out.

      The hardest part for anyone to understand is the fact that I do believe in God. I believe that Jesus Christ walked the earth and died on an actual cross for our sins. Nothing is stronger then faith but you do not have to believe in god to have faith and live a great life with a loving family. The difference between me and many others that I speak with is actions. I never look down at anyone for any belief or no belief. I never favor one religion over another. I never tell people what they should do. I respect everyone and everything regarding religion. Everyone, including Islamic religion, jewish religion, christianity, mormons, catholics, protestants, buddism, etc. I never post ficticious blogs claiming that christianity is the reason families reach happiness. This blog is very unacceptable and brings nothing to the table but typical christian conservative ideology. The entire pupose of this blog is to demonize anything that is not relgious but most apparent anything that is not christian. This blog will not work and it is pure ignorance. You fail.

    3. Dustin Brock, Tallah says:

      Isn't intersting how government tries their hardest to conform people to be better citizens in frivolus programs that dont work and wasteful spending of our tax dollars. It seems obvious that religion solves ALL if not most of societies ills. And think, its all voluntary and the costs are almost nothing. Our country was founded upon Christian and god fearing principles. The Fathers of our Constitution were inspired men by God to design a free people and country.

    4. bev says:

      supressing religious expression of governing bodies as well as the general public is not what the founders have in mind – they overflowed with expressions of their reliance and dependence on God…George Washington ordered that Bibles be printed and distributed to all the schools so that the children could use them as texts…and on and on…

      "Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord" says Psalm 144:15

    5. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      When you consider facts like these it is confirmation of the half vast Left Wing Conspiracy! The atheists are over represented in Government on the Democratic side. Why? The same reason the Left look like a bunch of incompetent clowns! We have a 4.5% demographic running the Democratic Party! Is that Representative Government? Who do these Demolition Plutocrats actually Represent? They represent Communists, and a traditional Foreign Interest of long standing enmity! Have you examined the more frightening aspects of this?

      Perpetual conflict is what you must get because Progressives are wrong about controlling everything. The fact Spirits exist will insure a perpetual fight against Government micro managing, an American 'jihad' if you care to look at it that way! The Progressive Agenda cannot end well! It entirely misses the whole point of Life! One size does not fit all, and because their 'paradise' is impossible to begin with, the default is just stupid gangsterism! Stalin was the very best the Communists could do! Our American Plutocracy, and that would be Pseudo Democratic Plutocracy, is the only possibility left. The rest of it is La La Land! Free lunch and pie in the sky isn't new. What is new is the People believing in Pie in the Sky! That is a gut wrenching disappointment. These are Americans?

      What hope do I have now? When the majority of Americans are so damned Un-American? "I am a Spiritual being! I can handle it!" That is what Citizen Sovereignty means. You don't have to believe any particular Religion, but to BE an American you have to take up your Sovereignty! You have to! In the land of Citizen Sovereignty atheism is Political Suicide!

    6. Zack says:

      Dustin,

      you stated-

      "It seems obvious that religion solves ALL if not most of societies ills"

      -religion has also been the most obvious reason for all wars in this world since man's creation.

      "And think, its all voluntary and the costs are almost nothing"

      -oh, cost is all around. I'm tired of my tax dollars paying for religous fanatics in congress and government that wish to impose religion into law. Or trillion dollar wars fighting against muslims because they have a different bible then we do. Or the fear mongering bishops, pastors, preachers, etc. that gobble up as much money as they can to grow numbers, all while being tax exempt.

      "Our country was founded upon Christian and god fearing principles. The Fathers of our Constitution were inspired men by God to design a free people and country"

      -excpet for thomas jefferson who was infact an atheist(he did not believe in god or any form of deity-read the jefferson journals) ya know, that same founding fathers that specifically said "government shall not respect an establishment of relgion" The entire point of the first ammendment was the clear SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.

    7. Zack says:

      Bev,

      Do you still think the government should order public schools to hand out bible to every student across this country to use as texts? What if a jewish student was in class? A muslim student in class? Would they be "ordered" to use bible as text?

      ha, ya know as much as conservatives say they believe in "individual responsibility" you sure like to shove christianity down peoples throats as if its the law of the land.

      your comment was….well, just plain sad.

    8. O_Henry says:

      Greetings Zack,

      You make several gratuitous assertions like, "Everything Ms. Torre blogged was strictly opinion and NOT fact. These are links to Heritage blogs, not fact." Zack, do you have any evidence the blogged information was not researched? Information being used by Heritage doesn't disqualify the material because Heritage used it. You may want to look into sourcing before making accusations.

      You also write, "In my personal opinion, people that claim to be the most religious turn out to be the most selfish, judgmental, intolerant people I have ever met." Have you ever considered the altruism of Pol Pot, Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, or other "godless" leaders in a side by side comparison of leaders you can verify are self professed Christians?

      Additionally you note, "We have seen what religion in government has done to other countries and look how well it has turned out." May I point you in the direction of what civility and ethics countries and have achieved that flatly refuse to practice any religion i.e. China, North Korea, Nazi Germany, and the USSR. All of these groups have made enormous contributions to humanity in the Name of Godlessness, and will be infamous for it.

      I would point out that no less a man than Ben Franklin observed, "If Men are so wicked as we now see them with Religion what would they be if without it?" Zack, you have quite a ways to go to out reason "Poor Richard" on this one.

    9. Harry Snyder Tempera says:

      I have wondered whether the critics of people who believe in God also fault those who believe in….Allah.

    10. Jill-Maine says:

      Actually Zack, There has been greater conflict and war in our world since Nietche declared God is dead in the mid 1800's. He even predicted that because God is dead ( or so he thought) that the twentieth century would be the bloodiest in history. It was.

      More carnage has been done in keeping with the philosophy of atheism. anything like that done in the name of Christianity has been contrary to Christian belief.

    11. Bobbie says:

      good one O Henry!! And not only that but religions that start wars are obviously religions of vengeful beliefs. Opposition of any religion that is known under Christianity.

    12. Bobbie says:

      where peace and dignity are of all color and within the content of ones character and displayed by his actions…

    13. Bobbie says:

      Actually, there is a religion that shows much hatred and vengeance that is claimed to be Christian. Jeremiah Write? leads distortions and defamation of the most peaceful man on earth. Blasphemes God and the bible. Wonder if he is tax exempt and paid fully by supporters and tax payers.

      I pray for those who are without knowing the truth. Jesus gets along with everyone. Jeremiah wants vengeance and speaks it during homily. He knows no truth and preaches no truth. He's a traitor to God and his own Brother, Jesus.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×