Religion, Politics & Sex (Part Two)
Chet Burger

Religion, Politics & Sex (Part Three)

Becoming_christian_citizen In researching Amazing Grace, Putnam and Campbell studied how religiosity correlated with someone's position on social issues. 

They found a strong correlation on only two: abortion and same-sex marriage. 

In fact whether someone was “highly religious” or “not at all religious” accounted for a shift of 40 to 60 percentage points in opposition to the two issues. 

Of course, religiosity has correlated to people’s attitudes on those issues ever since the 1970s. But beginning in the 1980s, religiosity also became aligned with political partisanship. 

It was only then that the Republican and Democratic parties made abortion a campaign issue.  The GOP called for a constitutional amendment barring abortion in its 1980 convention platform; that’s also when the Democratic party firmly declared itself to be “pro choice.” Religion, sex, and politics fused for those who were highly religious. 

Ironically, surveys show that most Americans are firmly middle-of-the-road on abortion. They believe abortion should be legal, but regulated in some ways.  The problem is that people differ on where to draw the line and, if they're inclined to set more limits, they’re more likely to be Republican. 

People who are highly religious are also more likely to find the issue of abortion important. In fact, highly religious people are likely to consider all sex and family issues important.

Knowing a polarizing issue when they see it, Republican candidates made homosexuality an issue in the 1980s. As a result, voters consider Republicans “friendly” to religion; Democrats are at best “neutral.” 

But if sex and family values are the glue holding the Religious Right together, their potency may be declining.  That’s tomorrow’s post.

 

Comments

There definitely is correlation. For example, according to the story, God really did make Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. But...Adam and Steve could have done exactly the same thing Adam and Eve did. Do a search: The First Scandal. Then click twice.

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