If religious conservatives thought that eight years of George Bush would help them gain strength, they are going to be disappointed. Not only did his administration not manage to pass any of the big social conservative issues — no abortion ban or amendment against gay marriage — they didn’t even do so well on more minor issues like trying to keep Terry Schiavo breathing.
But what has got to really hurt is that the number of people who are actively religious has declined. When Bush became president, 86% considered themselves to be Christians. Eight years later, the number has dropped to 76%. And the number of people who consider America to be a “Christian nation” fell from 69% to 62%. Worst of all, the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has nearly doubled from 8 to 15 percent.
These numbers are even more significant when you consider that the rising number of Hispanic immigrants has increased the number of Roman Catholics, which means that the percentage of Christians in the rest of the population has decreased even more.