Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The "God Gap" Of American Politics

Photo Credit: tsmyther
From Christianity Today:
"Political scientists often refer to a "God Gap" in American politics, noting the tendency for religious people to be more conservative and vote Republican while those who are less observant lean left and prefer the Democratic Party. "If I know whether you say grace before meals every day, I can probably predict how you vote," Notre Dame political scientist David Campbell recently told Los Angeles Times columnist Doyle McManus.

New research suggests there are actually two God Gaps. For some Christians, being more religious makes them more conservative on social issues. For others, going to church, praying, and doing other religious activities actually makes them more liberal on social justice issues.

Previous polls have shown the God Gap has been limited to social issues, issues that focus on individual morality. People who are more religious tend to hold more conservative positions on social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, but there was no God Gap on issues like welfare, health care, or other social justice policies.

A new study finds the difference between these two types of Christians is what they think it means to be a "good Christian." For some, being a good Christian might mean greater pietism, a focus on eliminating individual sins. As these kinds of Christians become more religious, they become more conservative on issues like abortion and gay rights. For others, being a good Christian means reaching out and helping one's neighbor. These Christians take more liberal positions on social justice issues as they become more observant."
According to the words of Christ, being a "good Christian" involves both issues of personal morality and how we treat others (e.g. see The Sermon on the Mount). It's sad that it often feels like American Christians are expected to prioritize one or the other when we engage in the political process.

You can read the complete Christianity Today article here.

1 comment:

J. Hill said...

I don't see a separation in the social or moral (sin) issues. They are a package deal. How one comes to address these issues is the matter at hand. I don't believe that abortion or same sex marriage should be legal. I see no right bestowed upon us either in the Bible or n the Constitution (not that the two are equal). One could make an argument that God's granting of free will makes it so, but that does not mean that we as a society have to sanction it.
On such issues I stand firmly with the morally conservative.

On the social issues I have some ups and downs. I think the science on such issues as Global warming is junk and propaganda hence I don't support drastic restrictive actions. On one hand it's a money grab. On the other it's earth worship. I do support good stewardship. Hence, I recycle, don't litter, and always support efficiency.

Items such as healthcare, hunger, and the like I support as well. However, I don't support them from a government stand point. I don't think the church should pass it's call and responsibility on to the government to satisfy it's conscience about such issues. Christ said, "You feed them." He didn't say vote for those that would feed them. The government does a poor job with such things. Waste and corruption abound. And, there is no mention of the Gospel. I think this is the churches responsibility.

So, can Christian's be Republicans and Democrats...sure. Can they support all platforms...NO. There is a way to serve both the City of God and the City of man without comprimising our faith and without supporting the worldly systems.