A new Pew Research survey, conducted September 2-9, finds that "the share of Americans who say churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political issues is up 6 points since the 2010 midterm elections (from 43% to 49%).

The share who say there has been “too little” expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders is up modestly over the same period (from 37% to 41%). And a growing minority of Americans (32%) think churches should endorse candidates for political office, though most continue to oppose such direct involvement by churches in electoral politics."

Also, 72% said religion is losing its influence on American life, and a substantial majority of them see that as a bad thing. (Only the religiously unaffiliated were pretty evenly split over whether the waning of religion's influence was a good or a bad thing.)

Sentient Biped posted about how the same survey shows 5 points less support for same-sex marriage than in February. He cautions that "one blip does not prove a trend", but feels that people are similarly more comfortable expressing racism than they were a few years ago. Also in that survey, 47% said caterers, florists, etc. should be allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples for religious reasons.

(read the full Pew Research report)

(Image source at top: detail of "Jesus flag" from "Americans Growing Anti-Gay, Want Even More Religion In Their Politics", The New Civil rights Movement)

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And a growing minority of Americans (32%) think churches should endorse candidates for political office,....

The number 32 and its neighbor 33 appear often in conservative-related news.

In commentary on sociological research, I've seen "hard authoritarians" estimated as 16% of the population and "soft authoritarians" estimated as another 16%. These add up to 32%.

On "social conservative" issues, two of which are abortion and homosexuality, I've seen many polls that say 33% of people consistently vote Republican, no matter how hostile-to-humanity the policy is.

Thanks for that insight. And you've spoken the plain truth about those authoritarian policies, labeling them hostile to humanity.

i just read Non-believer Nation by David Niose and i find this poll even more disturbing than i otherwise would have.  it had given me a slight overconfidence that Secular Americans were waking up to the issue of religion in politics.  apparently not, if this poll is to be believed.  gigantic UGH.  but thanks for the heads up Cat.

ps - i never noticed this group before so i joined.  politics/religion make up most of my posts so i'll try to post whatever i write in general discussions here as well.  

The info in the survey is pretty disconcerting, but I have to say that crucifixion-laden flag image is a pretty nasty piece of work itself. It's practically giving me Catholicism flashbacks.

Worth a look: more discussion on this survey in Allan Clark's discussion "New Pew Survey on Politics and Religion", as well as in Sentient Biped's discussion I already linked to, "Americans trending more antigay now" (LGBTQI atheists, nontheists, and friends).

There's a somewhat interesting follow-up article to news of this survey in RD today.



A highlight:

But since most of these issues were also in the news the day before the new Pew survey (and the day before that and the day before that too) it’s hard to see the 300+ articles—proclaiming everything from “Americans fear religion losing influence, say churches should speak...” to “More Americans want religion in the politics”—as anything more than sociological clickbait.

News outlets are playing the culture war card because the fight over religion’s role in politics is second only to naked nubile actresses in arousing public attention.


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