A Religious People.
In the 1990s Americans continued to identify themselves by their religious belief. As in past decades, Protestants and Catholics dominated the religious landscape; Jews remained a small but influential minority; increasing, but still small, numbers of Americans identified themselves as Buddhists, Muslims, or Hindus. Though there was some evidence that people overreported their attendance at religious services, overall levels of participation were largely unchanged from previous decades. About 40 percent of Americans consistently reported attending religious services on a regular basis, a number virtually unchanged since the 1960s. More than 95 percent identified themselves as believing in God.
Religion in Public Life.
The idea of a "moral majority" who shared a common commitment to traditionally conceived Judeo-Christian values and behavioral norms gave way in the decade to a sense among religious and cultural conservatives that American culture had lost its ethical moorings. The moral failings of President Bill Clinton, the increased public acceptance of homosexual and other alternative lifestyles, and the continued inability of the religious Right to outlaw abortion only confirmed this feeling of despair. Liberal religious groups did not fare any better. Indeed, the traditionally mainstream churches, represented by...
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