Politics and Religion

“They” always say the two things you aren’t supposed to talk about in mixed company are politics and religion. The Pew Research Center tackles both issues in this year’s version of their survey on politics and religion. Here are some of the most telling stats:

  • 49% express reservations about attempts by Christian conservatives to impose their religious values, slightly higher than last year
  • The Democratic Party continues to face a serious “God problem,” with just 26% saying the party is friendly to religion
  • The proportion of Americans who say the Republican Party is friendly to religion, while much larger, has fallen from 55% to 47% in the past year, with a particularly sharp decline coming among white evangelical Protestants (14 percentage points)
  • Most Americans (59%) continue to say that religion’s influence on the country is declining, and most of those who express this view believe that this is a bad thing
  • The public is more divided on the question of whether religion’s influence on government is increasing (42%) or decreasing (45%)
  • About 7% of the public say they identify with the “religious left” political movement. That is not much smaller than the 11% who identify themselves as members of the “religious right,” but the religious left is considerably less cohesive in its political views than the religious right
  • On the right, white evangelical Christians comprise 24% of the population and form a distinct group whose members share core religious beliefs as well as crystallized and consistently conservative political attitudes
  • On the left, a larger share of the public (32%) identifies as “liberal or progressive Christians”. But unlike evangelicals, progressive Christians come from different religious traditions and disagree almost as often as they agree on a number of key political and social issues.

There is a multitude of other insightful tidbits which are summarized here.

(HT: Real Clear Politics)

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