Americans trust the military and the police force significantly more than the church and organized religion, a new Gallup Poll says.
Only 46 percent of respondents said they had either a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the church, compared with 69 percent who said they trusted the military and 54 percent who trust police officers.
The figures are among the lowest for institutionalized religion in the three and a half decades that Gallup has conducted the poll. Peaking at 68 percent in May 1975, the numbers bottomed out at 45 percent in June of 2003.
But while confidence is waning for organized religion, the numbers are even bleaker for other American institutions. Just 25 percent expressed confidence in the presidency, while a mere 14 percent say they trust Congress.
Other findings suggest the nation is focused more on political issues than morality issues.
In the monthly pulse-check poll, Gallup asked Americans what they believed was the most important problem facing the country.
An overwhelming 34 percent cited the war in Iraq, followed by illegal immigration at 15 percent.
The nation's religious and moral decline was fifth among the concerns, with 6 percent.
The poll was conducted by telephone from June 14-17. The margin of error is three percentage points.
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