New Study of the Relgious Right and Left

New Poll Shows Religious Right and Left Look Very Different

By Daniel Schultz
Posted on September 15, 2009, Printed on September 16, 2009

It should be said at the outset that the new poll released today by the Bliss Institute and Public Religion Research concerning religious activists (on both the left and the right) contains very little that will surprise anyone who has studied religion and politics in recent years.

That should not be taken to mean that there is nothing of worth in the poll results. Far from it. It confirms, for example, much that observers have had to intuit or scratch out from other data. The religious right—pardon me, conservative religious activists—is mostly evangelical (54%), with lesser contingents of Catholics and mainline Protestants. If you’re not standard-grade Christian, however, you’re probably not a part of the demographic: only 1% were Mormon, Orthodox, or Jehovah’s Witnesses, and less than 1% were non-Christians.

Progressive believers were a much more diverse group, which is also not a surprise: 44% mainliners, 17% Catholics, 12% Unitarians/mixed faith, and so on down the line. Only 10% claimed to be evangelicals, a point we’ll come back to in a moment.

For the rest of the article please go to Religion Dispatches

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