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Religion and the Partisan Divide in the U.S. America: a religious nation * 90% believe in God [22% in UK, 4% in France] * But 25% attend service weekly (40% claim to!) * Is U.S. religiosity “a mile wide & an inch deep?” Sociologist: “ Moral Therapeutic Deism ”

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slide2

America: a religious nation

* 90% believe in God [22% in UK, 4% in France]

* But 25% attend service weekly (40% claim to!)

* Is U.S. religiosity “a mile wide & an inch deep?”

Sociologist: “MoralTherapeuticDeism”

Christian Smith ↓ ↓ ↓ [be good] [feel good] [w/ God] RULES “SELF”

slide3

6 Major Religious “Traditions”

% PopReligious and Political “Distinctives”

Evangelical Protestant 23% “evangelistic”; mostly conservative

Mainline Protestant 14 ↓ “social justice”;moderate or centrist

Catholics 25+ split: traditional/moderate/progressive

Jewish <2 political liberals; pro-Israel foreign policy

Black Protestant 10 economics liberalism/social traditionalism 

Hispanic Protestant 7 [a bit more conservative than black prot.]

“Secular” 15+ non-religious beliefs & behavior; liberal

Other faiths 6 varied…

slide4

The “God Gap” in U.S. Voting

[a.k.a. attendance of religious services]

slide5

The “God Gap” in U.S. Voting

[a.k.a. attendance of religious services]

…HIGH [weekly +] attendance = tend to vote REPUB by 2:1

BLACK PROTESTANTS are the exception to this!

…Americans who NEVER attend any kind of religious service tend to vote for DEM candidates by 2:1

***Religious attendance is AS important as race, and more important than gender, age, income, or region in PREZ vote!

slide6

The “Orthodoxy” Divide

“true” “belief”

←moreorthos-doxaless→

Strict adherence to More fluid, less traditional doctrines tied to traditional & text interpretation interpretation; less & religious practice active in practices

TRADITIONALIST vs. MODERNIST

“Traditionalist Catholics are much closer politically to traditionalist Evang. than to modernist Catholics!”

slide9

Orthodoxy and Psychological-Political “Orientations”

←more ORTHODOXY less→

Strict adherence to More fluid, less traditional doctrines tied to traditional & text interpretation interpretations…

←moreAuthorityless→

More “deferential” More “suspicious”

slide10

Orthodoxy and Psychological-Political “Orientations”

←more ORTHODOXY less→

Strict adherence to More flexible, less traditional teaching tied to traditional & text interpretation interpretations

←sinfulHuman Naturegood→

“Pessimistic” vs. “Optimistic”

…about govt attempts to improve society

slide11

Orthodoxy and Psychological-Political “Orientations”

←more ORTHODOXY less→

Strict adherence to More flexible, less traditional teaching tied to traditional & text interpretation interpretations

←order/discipline Nature of Godforgiveness/love→

Goal of government Goal of government

is security/protection is “social safety net”

(limited government) for societal injustice

slide12

WHY did the Traditionalists & Modernists split politically?

  • School Prayer decisions of the 1960s
  • Abortion politics in the 1970s & 1980s
  • Reagan appeals to Evangelicals andtraditionalist Catholics and mainliners
slide13

Effects of Traditionalists & Modernists split…

  • By the 1984 election, more conservative Catholics\and mainliners joined evangelicals in the so-calledReagan Coalition, including “Reagan Democrats”
  • NEW issues like gay marriage, stem-cell researchare reinforcing the cultural divide between parties.
slide14

Effects of Traditionalists & Modernists split…

  • A recent demographic trend is idea of “regional sorting,” where people become increasingly more likely to moveto the geographic areas where others thinklikethem!
  • CHURCHES were already one of the MOST racially andsocially/politically segregated places in the U.S., and the regional sorting has only reinforced this trend…
slide15

QUESTIONS

from the reading