American Politics and Religion– Survey Results are Not What You Expected

Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center just sent out a message highlighting some astonishing results from a survey of 2,502 Americans on the subject of politics and religion conducted by the Center for American Values.

Some highlights from the report, which I have copied from their website:

  • Social issues such as abortion and gay marriage rank last in importance to the vast majority of Americans’ voting decisions.
  • An overwhelming majority of Americans, including at least three-quarters of every major religious tradition, say issues like poverty and health care are more important than hot-button social issues.
  • When people think about “voting their values,” more people think of the honesty, integrity, and responsibility of the candidate than any other values.
  • Americans overwhelmingly agree that too many religious leaders focus on abortion and gay rights without addressing more important issues such as loving our neighbors and caring for the poor.
  • Fully half of Americans can be classified as centrist in their religious orientation, which was based on important religious indicators such as frequency of attendance at worship services, and belief in biblical inerrancy. Another 22 percent of Americans are traditionalists, 18 percent are modernists, and 10 percent are secular or nonreligious.
  • Contrary to the assertions of many pundits, religious voters are not the property of any one party: Democrats haven’t lost them, and Republicans do not own them.
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