Welcome to my blog * thoughts and things * poetry, pictures * ideas * opinions * kindness * video * stay and read a while.

Press Democrat

Share it Please
Political views on the “culture wars” issues of abortion and homosexuality are strongly intertwined with Americans’ religious affiliation, according to a national survey.

And while some faiths generally are more liberal than others, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey released Monday also found that within most faiths — Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and evangelical — people with “high levels of religious commitment” are politically more conservative than their fellow worshippers.

People who attend services more frequently, pray more often and express “absolute belief in a personal God” are less accepting of homosexuality and more likely to oppose legalized abortion, the survey said.
“Religion is highly relevant to understand politics in the United States,” said John Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum.

Sonoma County religious leaders said they were not surprised by the findings of the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, based on responses from 35,000 adults in 48 states.

“I think there’s a strong connection” between faith and politics, said Perry Bingham, president of the Santa Rosa Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Nor did Bingham differ with the survey’s finding that Mormons have the highest level of conservative political ideology among 15 faiths, including people not affiliated with a church or belief.

Sixty-eight percent of Mormons say homosexuality should be discouraged by society, the survey said, compared with 40 percent of all people in the survey.
“I’m surprised it isn’t higher,” Bingham said.

Mormons strongly regard abortion as impermissible in most cases (70 percent) compared with 43 percent of all people.

Rabbi Ted Feldman of Congregation B’nai Israel in Petaluma said Jews tend strongly toward liberal politics. “That’s the way it’s been for quite some time,” he said.

The survey said 84 percent of Jews believe abortion should be allowed in most cases and 79 percent say homosexuality should be accepted.

On both abortion and homosexuality, the general public is fairly evenly divided: 51 percent favoring and 42 percent opposing legal abortion, and 50 percent accepting and 40 percent discouraging homosexuality, the survey said.
In contrast, the survey said: “Most religious traditions in the U.S. come down firmly on one side of the debate or the other.”
On both issues, mainline Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jews, Buddhists and unaffiliated people strongly favor the “liberal” side, accepting abortion and homosexuality.

Evangelicals, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses weigh decisively against acceptance of abortion and homosexuality.
Catholics strongly advocate acceptance of homosexuality and are evenly divided over the legality of abortion, the survey said. Most organized religions tend to promote a political agenda, said Edward Viljoen, senior pastor at Santa Rosa’s Center for Spiritual Living. “You are inevitably caught in an experience in which you are prone to programming,” Viljoen said. A church leader or doctrine that repeatedly says homosexuality is wrong is bound to influence its members.
“It’s not mysticism,” Viljoen said. “It’s advertising.”

His church, part of the New Thought movement, teaches people “not what to think, but how to think,” Viljoen said. The Pew survey found “important links between the intensity of religious beliefs” and attitudes toward homosexuality and abortion. Jews who express an “absolute belief in a personal God” are twice as likely to oppose homosexuality as all other Jews, it said. Judaism is a profoundly stratified faith, with four separate movements representing a range of belief and practice and significant differences between Gen Xers and Holocaust survivors, Feldman said. Catholics, evangelicals and mainline Protestants with an “absolute belief” in God also had higher levels of opposition to homosexuality.

Bingham, the Mormon leader, said people who remain engaged with their churches through regular prayer and attendance also are “following the commandments” and are “closer to those things that God would have them do.”
Some churches have softened their rules to attract more members, Bingham said. “I’m not sure that’s the way it should be.”

Viljoen said there’s a danger in strong dogma. “There’s always a problem when you have an absolute belief in anything,” he said. “It leads to fanaticism.”

The survey’s findings are online at religions.pewforum.org.

Press Democrat Staff Writer Guy Kovner

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for representing our spiritual community so well. When I went to a more "traditional" church, I felt conflicted about these issues. It's hard to put into words how happy I was to find the Center. I continue to be so thankful to have found a community that helps me on my spiritual path- without telling me what to believe is right and wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for representing our spiritual community so well. When I went to a more "traditional" church, I felt conflicted about these issues. It's hard to put into words how happy I was to find the Center. I continue to be so thankful to have found a community that helps me on my spiritual path- without telling me what to believe is right and wrong.

    ReplyDelete

Popular Posts

Followers

Science of Mind and Spirit For Begnners

Science of Mind and Spirit For Begnners
"This wonderful book guides any individual to understand Science of Mind with ease and grace. It is a simple and beautiful presentation of the Spiritual Principles Science of Mind teaches. I highly recommend this book to students, licensed Practitioners and ministers. Blessings to Rev Edward." ~ Johan Gonzalez RScP. Science of Mind and Spirit for Beginners: Four Chapters in Simplified Prose, paraphrased by Edward VIljoen

Practice The Presence Journal

Practice The Presence Journal
Journaling offers a powerful way to record your spiritual growth. Writing in a journal calls on you to be more conscious of the insights that occur daily in your life. It gives you an opportunity to examine your beliefs and be mindful of your choices.

Follow The Author

If something here inspires or helps you please feel free to make a donation. If you would like me to coach you in setting up your blog contact me and we'll get started. Payments for blog coaching can be made here too.

Seeing Good At Work

Seeing Good At Work
I have been through the book three times over three years, and am starting it again. This is not because the material in the book is not working, but because it is working so well! The weekly lessons keep me on track and focused on what is actually true and important, and help me experience more good in every area of my life. LS

Ezine.com