It was only a matter of hours before the data in the new Pew study on American religion found its way into the political bloodstream, to be bandied about by Christian conservatives on the one hand and secular liberals on the other. Each side is already saying say that the data prove at long last the truths that have been self-evident for decades. Conservatives see in the data an appalling religious dilettantism combined with a rising devotion to nothing at all. Liberals see an idiosyncratic populace that prefers to exercise individual choice even in spiritual matters. Both, of course, are right.
About The Author
Lisa Miller is a contributing editor at New York magazine. She is the former religion columnist for the Washington Post, former senior editor of Newsweek magazine, and author of “Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife.” She is a multi-year winner of the New York Newswomen’s Club prize for feature writing and has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award.