Even intense religiosity is declining in the United States
In their 2017 article, "The Persistent and Exceptional Intensity of American Religion: A Response to Recent Research," Schnabel and Bock claimed that "intense religion . . . is persistent and, in fact, only moderate religion is on the decline in the United States." In this article, we show that even the intensely religious segment of the American population is indeed shrinking. Schnabel and Bock mistakenly concluded otherwise because their analytical strategy was not sufficiently sensitive to detect very slow change (leading them to miss signs of declining intense religion on the indicators they examined), they examined a limited set of indicators (missing still more signs of declining intense religion), and they paid insufficient attention to cohort differences. Overall, their empirical conclusion that "only moderate religion is on the decline in the United States" is simply false. And their interpretive conclusion that "intense religion in the United States is persistent and exceptional in ways that do not fit the secularization thesis" should be rejected.
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