America has always considered itself a religious nation, one whose foundation was laid in large part by immigrants seeking religious refuge and freedom to worship as they please. While the nation has historically had Judeo-Christian roots, it has -- by virtue of the First Amendment -- both tolerated and encouraged many other religious groups which have prospered in the land of the free.
Recent observances, locally and nationally, of the National Day of Prayer were strong reminders of the religious fervor that still exists throughout the nation. And in a recent cover story, U.S. News & World Report documented the trends of faith in America. Among some of the report's interesting findings:
Most Americans consider religion to be important in their lives.
Church attendance is important to more than 85 percent of Christians and nearly half of non-Christians.
Most Christians and non-Christians have a tolerance for faith systems other than their own.
There are nearly as many Muslims in the United States as there are Jews. Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs also have a strong presence in the United States.
These are all positive trends that contribute to a continuing sense of spirituality and faith that for so long have undergirded this nation.
That can surely be regarded as good news by most Americans.