April 8, 2019

Sobering findings from the General Social Survey: the percentage of Americans who profess no religious beliefs is now slightly larger than either of the two main traditional religious groups in America.  “No religion” is now at 23.1%, with Catholics at 23% and Evangelicals at 21.6%.  While the atheists are still a small minority compared to all religious beliefs combined, their numbers have been growing ever since the Supreme Court outlawed prayer in schools, setting off an escalating war on religion.

It’s been fought in schools, pop culture, politics, social media and courts, until it's reached the current level of hostility where activists in league with politicians twist laws to try to persecute people for exercising their First Amendment religious freedom rights and brand traditional religious organizations as “hate groups” for refusing to embrace a “progressive” left agenda.

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Sadly, as the linked story notes, this is a war that the anti-religious forces are winning among young people, and the results speak for themselves.  The increasing cynicism, narcissism, amorality and self-centeredness have been accompanied by a sharp rise in depression diagnoses (up 33% among Millennials and 67% among teenagers since 2013),  use of anti-depressant drugs (up 65% in 15 years until one in six Americans is now on them) and suicide (up 70% among teenagers since 2006.)   


Fortunately, at least for now, people of faith still outnumber the enemies of faith, and they do vote in greater numbers.  But they need to be even more motivated, because elections these days aren’t just to pick public servants.  One side has made it clear that they are a referendum on America’s soul and whether we are going to continue to be a land based on Judeo-Christian values and freedom of religion or a nation hostile to the very principles that made it great. 


This is why I'm involved with a terrific nonpartisan group called My Faith Votes, that “motivates, equips and mobilizes Christians in America to take action, transform our communities and influence our nation with biblical truth.”  You can learn more about it here:


I would like to see every single Christian in America show up for every election.  If we did that and made all our voices heard, people of faith could decide every election and lead this nation. 


And remember: you don’t just vote in voting booths.  You also vote with your dollars and consumer choices. You don’t have to support colleges that indoctrinate your kids into atheism and socialism, any more than you have to support products from Hollywood that mock and belittle your beliefs.  On that subject, “Unplanned,” the movie liberals in Hollywood, the news media and social media are trying hard to keep you from seeing because it tells the unvarnished truth about abortion and Planned Parenthood, is now on nearly 500 more screens.  You can find a showing near you here:


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    08/06/2019 01:01 PM

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    04/09/2019 06:36 PM

    I am proud to say that our school,there is a stand for the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE and a moment of prayer after.In our pledge,we say it as written,ONE NATION UNDER GOD,HANDS OVER OUR HEARTS,ETC. Cuomo hasn't stopped us yet for doing the right things here ! I am a Prodastant (sp bad),but some what a church goer,but strong believer. Just between you and me,if you had won over Trump,I would have voted for you ! I just knew we need a firm believer in GOD to be in charge ! I thank GOD for Trump and those that believes in God on his side ! I really love your daughter too !

  • Carol Hopper

    04/09/2019 04:21 PM

    I find it interesting there were only 4 choices on the survey. I believe in Jesus, I'm not Catholic and I'm not evangelical.

  • Kenneth E. Blythe

    04/09/2019 03:28 PM

    I specifically do not believe the poll numbers because in my opinion no one answers a poll exactly right .but it is apparent that church attendance is declining .I am a born again Christian , but do not attend any church and the reason is that I like " that old time religion " which I cannot find anymore .now one has to follow a little bouncing ball on a movie screen just to sing praises .

  • Sharon Hayden

    04/09/2019 01:58 PM

    It's a crying shame that schools are trying to indoctrinate our kids. Parents need to fight this. I grew up in a Christian home. We went to church. We had prayer and Bible reading and the pledge of allegiance every morning when I was in school.

  • David Marney

    04/09/2019 12:34 PM

    We've 4 grown kids ages 49 to 36 - 3 sons 1 daughter = all respectable adults = no jail birds - druggies - perverts... our little secret trick =hang a decorative copy of the Ten Commandments in the bathroom they all used growing up & I never pushed religion on them & never told them not to attend when invited by pals now & then. I let it be mystery for them to deal with...= they are all God fearing - healthy conservative individuals today.

  • Anne Turner

    04/09/2019 11:29 AM

    Please address the windmill comment by the President. It appears to. D specious. Why must he throw pit stuff like that? He is not a stupid man, but this makes him appear to be ignorant and just plays into the Dems hands. Please use whatever influence you may have.

  • Barbara Gray

    04/09/2019 10:00 AM

    Wish that there was someway you could make your comments a little more "printer friendly". There have been several times that I would have liked to share a story with my church women's group and/or my pastor; but because of all the ads that appear on your letter (I know you might not be able to do something about them) it can take up to 5 or 6 sheets of paper to print 4 paragraphs. Just a thought for your team to have something else to do.

  • Wonda Hartwig

    04/09/2019 01:53 AM

    I read most of the other comments and I must admit I am disappointed. And Governor Huckabee, I am also disappointed in you. Here you have painted a picture of complacency with our numbers, yet with the message that Christians should be heard in the voting booth. It is a sad situation, but I have been praying for a resurgence of Christianity in America. I have been praying for a leader to bring Christians together to fight for our rights. The rights of Christians have been infringed upon too long, but WHO is fighting to get back our Christian rights. WHO is fighting to get back our Christian freedoms? Christians need to rise up and become the Moral Majority again. But WHO will lead us? We need to fight to have public prayer returned. We need to establish the fact that a Christian's religious beliefs are just as important to them as a Muslim's beliefs. I wonder what Washington would think if all Christians (including Catholics) descended upon the doorstep of the House of Representatives to let Nancy, Chuck, Adam, Jerry and all the rest know how we feel about THEM. Thank you for putting President Trump in this position. I don't believe anyone else could have stood against his opponents as strongly as he has. He constantly shows that he is a Christian.
    My prayers are with all Americans, that they can feel the peace of God's hand touching them. My prayers are with you Governor Huckabee – I read your newsletter every day. May God bless all.

  • John Prentice

    04/08/2019 08:54 PM

    It's my fault. I've failed to make the effort to share my faith.

  • Darlene F. Donston

    04/08/2019 08:13 PM

    Well, it's no wonder then that this Country is in the shape it is in! They took everything out of the schools, besides. I was just thinking yesterday about this and I was born in Chicago and was Baptized in the Nazarene Church there, because my Grandma and Grandpa went there. By the time I was 4 we had moved down to a small town called Newton in Jasper County and I started going to the Grace Methodist Church and Sunday school there on Sundays. When I got older it was to MYF on Sunday evenings and along with that I went with my Grandma and Grandpa to the Free Methodist to Prayer Meetings on Wed. nights because there was no Nazarene Church. Then as I got older into High School it was then to Choir practice on Wed. at the Methodist Church. Now that I am a lot older I wonder just how many kids do that today????? I doubt if very many to! This is why we have gone down hill. We really need to put so many things back into the Public Schools, but then back when I went to school Mother's did not work, so maybe that is another reason. They probably so tired from working all week they do not want to deal with it. Very sad situation, and I don't have the answer. So glad my kids are grown and also my Grand-daughters. I will have to say that my Daughter and her husband and the girls do go to Church there in Franklin once in a while! Thank goodness for that! Plus our Son married a girl from Lenoir City and she is a Baptist! I feel pretty lucky about all of that!

  • Bette Miller

    04/08/2019 06:34 PM

    I have read most of the comments already entered. I agree with all of them, but especially Susanne Wall. I am 79 and was reared in a Baptist Church. I no longer belong to any church, because of the very reasons the others have said: the music is "entertainment", the pastors keep looking for the latest "thing" that will draw teenagers and young people to their church, the church leaders not "being there" when you need them. A dear man whom I loved very much and I had been going to a Christian Church. We were faithful members. When this man died, I went to the church for help with the services. The pastor had fled to Florida because his son was a gunner in Iraq, and both his teenage daughters had gotten pregnant. He couldn't cope. The Assistant Pastor had already planned his vacation and would not change reservations. I never went back and have heard from relatives and friends who have had bad experiences such as those who have already written you. Yes, I miss having a church. But as was said before, there are many, many of us who don't attend church, but who still believe with all our hearts in God, Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

  • Robert McFate

    04/08/2019 06:23 PM

    After Suzanne Wells comment I had to post another one to this subject. I have to agree with her point on establish religion. Much that is taught in churches today is not based in biblical teaching and us who have studied the bible for ourselves have stepped away and have tried to base our live on what the Bible says and not what they would have you believe!

  • Robert McFate

    04/08/2019 06:16 PM

    Huck; You ever think that the courts taking a side in the argument over religion is a violation of the 1st Amendment? By weighting in on the argument one way or the other they are actually making laws favoring one over the other!


    04/08/2019 03:33 PM

    I read this article the other day. I find it unsurprising. I for one, a life long Southern Baptist who happenings to believe in the gifts of the Spirit, have backed off the church organizations. It is my experience that have become soft, secular, and in competition with each other to offer the most new stuff. New "works" to insure entrance into the heaven or win salvation. Churches, most all of them, have veered to the left, watering down the message of God's Word. People are like sheep, but they are not sheep. They have superior brains, and a sound mind, and a spirit (since we are all created in the image of God, who is Spirit). People know when the church is practicing it's tricks of the trade. So people say, "No. I do not belong to any one religious organization". That is very different than saying "I do not believe in God, or Jesus Christ". I have spent hours in my church. I have seen several pastors slump into secularism just to keep warm bodies in the pew. I don't think this survey is accurate and I think it is a trick of the devil himself to mislead God's people. Just saying. I am 76 yr. Live a lot of life. Know a lot of people. The good, the bad and the ugly. Drug and alcohol abusers, women abusers, kid abuser....lots of them. However, I have found on a handful of people who even say they do not believe in God, and 1 satan worshiper. Lots of people confused about God. Most of their confusion comes from the church organizations. Just saying. Thank you, Governor.

  • Dawn Street

    04/08/2019 03:29 PM

    Sadly, I have watched the demise of our churches over the past twenty years. I saw one go down silently and without a whimper. The love of money was instrumental for that tragedy. The pastors became obsessed with the church owning a high tech gym and charging big bucks for memberships, a real money maker, but, to their credit they did house a free clinic inside. Eventually the free clinic moved and became a part of one of the major hospital chains so the church received rental/lease income on that deal. Members who made large donations were recognized during worship and interviewed by the pastor re: their decision to make the big donation to the church. It was a Metro Church so folks like us sort of got lost in the shuffle.

    The next church we went to was a small church near a housing development. We loved the pastor and his wife but when he went to Foreign Missions, the new pastor was more like the pastor from the big church. These guys were following the Rick Warren plan (Purpose Driven) and the church became a "business". Hybels and others influenced the services. As the world stormed in, most of the original members left. Several of us had met with the pastor to express our concerns and he was unapproachable about it. The world no longer creeps in, it storms into the church and takes over.

    We did find a country church we loved on the outskirts of OKC. Pastor was the son of the founding pastor and the church was biblicly strong. He taught the Word. We felt we were at home again!

    We retired and moved away and it has been a nightmare. We joined a local congregation and everything was great until the pastor brought in Rick Warren's teachings and sermons. We left to go to another little rural church. They were between pastors so we waited to see who they would call to the pulpit. They called a young pastor with a wife and 3 preschool children. He was a Bible believing pastor and his sermons had depth and a message. The church wanted him to attract younger families and wanted to grow numerically. He did a very fine job. We were happy but one family, a very strong family with many branches in the tree, became angry with him. We never did understand what was really going on but they began to threaten his life, his wife and his family and treated them all with disrespect. They wrote nasty letters about him and sent them out to the congregation. Those of us who stood by the pastor were then attacked by the other side. The young pastor resigned and had planned to get settled in another state and then bring his family to him. His wife was frightened for her safety and that only lasted a couple of weeks and he had to return to take her with him. We left. I have never felt or seen as much hatred or animosity directed at a pastor by a church in all of my life. And I am over 70 years old. The atmosphere in that church reminded me of the dissent and the angst in Washington DC. It as if a plague has covered our land, a miasma.

    Next church... we were becoming comfortable in the worship and with our Bible study class. Then the pastor flashed the book "Purpose Driven Church" on the electronic screen. His sermon was laced with quotes from the book, no scripture. Now we are without a church once again for almost 2 years, I think. I do not need my ears tickled.

    I was raised in Brush Arbor Revivals (week long), old fashioned music that glorified God and cantatas that also glorified God. We didn't go in for the "entertainment" that they tout now. I long for the simplicity of those days.

    God bless you and your family. Our nation, our people, our churches and our government are in peril. God bless and keep our President, Donald J. Trump. I do a lot of weeping and a whole lot of praying.

  • Lawrence E. Foster

    04/08/2019 03:15 PM

    Having been raised in a Baptist church, in a day when Roman Catholics were viewed as "idol worshippers" because of their use of statues in their veneration of saints, I take exception with the pollsters listing Roman Catholicism and Evangelicals as two different religions. Both Evangelicals and Catholics believe in the Trinity, in Christ as the sacrifice for our sins, and thus our savior, and in salvation by faith, not works.

    Having been in Countries where Christians are regularly persecuted, I can tell you Catholics, Evangelicals amd Orthodix Christians stand together in faith in Christ. I can also tell you, having lived in West Germany many years, and having had contact with the Church in East Germany, persecution strengthens the church and all believers, where ease of worship and lack of effort required to express one's faith tends to weaken the Church. As we approach Easter, we celebrate with all our brothers and sisters (including those of the orthodox faiths who will celebrate two weeks later). And together we will call out the ancient Easter greeting, "Hallelujah - Christ is risen!" and hear the response in many languages "He is risen inded!"

  • Marilyn Turnley

    04/08/2019 03:02 PM

    Prayer is still a sword and God is still in control. Every time I get panicky I must remind myself of this and pray also for those persecuting us. They are the ones missing out on awareness of God's presence. I wish I had money to contribute but I would end up on the welfare rolls if I gave everywhere I desire.

  • Karin McClelland

    04/08/2019 02:52 PM

    Sadly people forget that being a Christian does not mean that you are Saved and filled with God's holy spirit. Do they seek God's guidance everyday ? Do they recognize that God is the giver and creator of all good things ? Do they thank God everyday for what they have and who they are ? Anyone professing to be a Christian that could still be in favor of abortion can't possibly be saved by the Holy Spirit. Being Saved means changing. That is done through the Holy Spirit living inside of you and convicting you when you do wrong. It means having a personal relationship with Christ .
    I refuse to support movies that have actors, makers & backers that openly speak out or up for ungodly things. I pray for anyone professing to be a Christian that they be truly saved and turn away from a liberal way of thinking. Being a Christian to me means being conservative all the way....across the board. I'm tired of people saying vote your conscience. What good does that do if you don't have a conscience? If you are a Christian, no matter what you should be voting conservative! Just my opinion. We have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory.
    Thank you, my former Governor for all that you do! I absolutely love your daughter and the spirit that God has filled her with to deal with the things she deals with on a daily basis especially from Jim Acosta and the fake news media!
    I'm also praying that the movie Unplanned continues to gain support. My hope is that people will realize that Planned Parenthood lies to women .... always has and always will. They are feeding their God Baal with innocent lives. Defend Planned Parenthood!!

  • Linda Keyes-Hoyer

    04/08/2019 02:07 PM

    Lets also acknowledge the impact of scandal at the top of many church organizations. Many people have faith in God but not in church groups! They consider themselves spiritual but not of one stated “religion”.

  • larry huffman

    04/08/2019 01:22 PM

    "so it shall be written, so it shall be done" famous words of a pharaoh ,also what the BIBLE has written in It there will be a fading away in the end times. But that don't mean we are to give up our charge of spreading THE GOSPEL ...BE FOUND WORKING DILIGENTLY UNTIL THE END. HE will know which are HIS.... The ones obeying HIS commands

  • Karen Holker

    04/08/2019 01:14 PM

    I think it is time to start talking about all those who are STILL very religious in this country. As you said Catholics and Evangelicals far outnumber atheists. My religion isn't mentioned, so I know there are a lot more who live religions and the values our forefathers began. We MUST align with the Constitution on this and keep the 1st amendment forefront when talking about religion. The minority CANNOT win this one or the country as we know it will be gone. WE have already lost so many fundamental values because of these activists who would take them away - plus a former president who said his goal was to FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGE AMERICA...How sad, because it IS happening. WE must stop it - so get the view of the MAJORITY out there a lot more!!! Why are these small groups in our country getting all the press?
    Put out stories about what the faith-based groups are doing for the country. My church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is one you could find tons on if you talked to the church leaders!!

  • james randolph

    04/08/2019 11:52 AM

    Hey Mike -
    I am a little skeptical of surveys, I know you are also.
    If the survey is not confidential, the one being surveyed might just parrot "groupspeak"
    If the survey is biased, the question will be designed to get the results desired.
    (Any gun control or health care survey ... )
    Also, dividing the responses into three groups (non-churched, Catholics, Protestants is too simplistic).
    This Barna survey reported that evangelicals oppose evangelism ..
    Objective, unbiased surveys can be indicators, but statistics are not facts.

  • Gerald Poe

    04/08/2019 11:49 AM

    Gov. Huckabee,
    Sobering, yes. However, religions are not showing much "grace" lately. And their followers have seen a dark past and present coming to light. I think a poll for spirituality may be a better gauge than religious for today?

    Thank you for your thoughtful messages.

  • Bob Tidwell

    04/08/2019 11:48 AM

    I just completed a much-needed book aimed at unchurched millennials: The Short Story of the Bible. Casual with some humor. PLEASE pass on to Gov Huckabee!! Thank you!