Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Survey On Religion And Politics In American Society

The Pew Research Center just did another survey on religion and politics in this country. They surveyed a random national sample of 2,002 adults, and the survey had a margin of error of 2.5 points. The top chart shows that Democrats hold a 5 point advantage among the general public, but the different religious groups vary widely in their party preference.

The advantage for Republicans is with White evangelicals (52 points), White mainline protestants (8 points), and White catholics (14 points). The groups favoring Democrats are Black protestants (74 points), Hispanic catholics (61 points), Jews (44 points), and those unaffiliated with a religion (36 points).

A rising number say religion is losing its influence in American society. In 2002, about 52% said religion was losing its influence, while 37% said religious influence was making gains. Today about 72% say religion is losing influence, while 22% say it is gaining in influence. I personally hope that 72% is right, because religion, any religion, shouldn't have that much influence in a secular nation with a secular constitution.

I shouldn't celebrate though, because 49% want churches to be able to express their views on social and political views, and 59% say they want political candidates with strong religious views.

Fortunately though, most Americans seem to like the law that prohibits churches from endorsing specific political candidates of any party. The chart below shows a clear majority of all groups (including Republicans and White evangelicals) don't want churches endorsing political candidates. This is a good thing -- and the IRS needs to make sure that churches follow the law about this.

The survey also asked religious groups their opinion on homosexuality and same-sex marriages. Not surprisingly, there is still a lot of bigotry among the religious community.

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