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”
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…
The “God Gap” in U.S. Voting [a.k.a. attendance of religious services]
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!
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!”
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”
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
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
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
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.
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…
QUESTIONS from the reading